Contemporary Fiction
  World Literature
  Latin American
  The Wild West
  Facing History
  Humorous Fiction
  Mystery / Suspense
  Detectives & Sleuths
  Espionage /Thriller
  Beyond Reality
  All Chapter Excerpts
  All Authors
  All Book Titles
  Join Newsletter
  Send us e-mail

Shop Amazon, support MostlyFiction



September 16, 2004

September 6, 2004 - PB

August 26, 2004

July 25, 2004

July 11, 2004 - PB

July 5, 2004

June 3, 2004

May 16, 2004

May 1, 2004 - PB

April 25, 2004

April 4, 2004

March 23, 2004 - PB

March 18, 2004

February 26, 2004

February 03, 2004 -PB

January 27, 2004

January 15, 2004

December 28, 2003

December 6, 2003

November 14, 2003

October 22, 2003

October 6, 2003

September 26, 2003 Newsletter Update

Posted to subscriber list on 10-06-03.

Hello readers!

There are ten new reviews posted at and October raffles are now officially up. A little late, granted, but nevertheless they are up.

After all of the hullabaloo last month with finding a new home for the site, things have finally settled down. Carl is monitoring the site for me with some software and he reports no outages since we moved to this server. Now if I could just stop making errors on the site, I'd be all set!

I never really know how an update will turn out, nor even the tone of the monthly raffle prizes until I start pulling all the material together. For this update, it surely looks a lot like a history lesson - some are straight out historical novels and others have period settings with history as a byproduct. But don't worry, not all of these books are dead serous - I threw in a couple "girlish" novels for the fun of it (and to offset the tone).

TRAIN by Pete Dexter
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

Mary Whipple will be the first to warn you that you might not want to win this as a raffle prize. The book is bleak. But if you are a fan (like me), and you've been waiting eight years for another book, well here it is. No matter how dark the subject matter, Dexter weaves superbly rendered characters getting every detail just right. Besides that, aren't you curious about a noir tale that centers on the game of golf? This book is set in 1953 in L.A.

MIRROR, MIRROR by Gregory Maguire
Reviewed by Jenny Dressel

Maguire has found a niche in writing novels. He doesn't rewrite fairytales, but instead fills in the background detail so that we really get to understand the motivations, even behind the most evil ones. In this one, he tells the story of Bianca De Nevada or Snow White. This one is set in 16th century Italy.

HAVANA by Stephen Hunter
Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer

Here's another one set in 1953 - but this time we are in Cuba - before Castro gains control. In fact the Russia's have sent a special agent to keep him alive, while the U.S. puts Earl Swagger on special assignment - at the outset it looks like he's just protecting a political figure, but he'll learn that his job is to kill Castro.

FOUR SPIRITS by Sena Jeter Naslund
Reviewed by Shannon Bloomstran

Naslund, the author of AHAB'S WIFE (which was one of the first raffle prizes I might add) now turns her pen to writing about her hometown. But before you groan, realize that she grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, right smack during the middle of the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. This multi-narrator novel gets at the horror and heroism of the times.

HARVARD YARD by William Martin
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

HARVARD YARD is exactly the kind of book one thinks about when historical fiction is mentioned. The author of BACK BAY, brings back antiquarian Peter Fallon, and covers over 350 years of Harvard history beginning with Shakespeare granting a script to the newly married Harvard's upon the birth of their first son. The same son who came over to found the college. If you want to know if this is something you'll like or not, check out the excerpt. It totally sucked me in while I was working on it - certainly being familiar with Harvard is not a prerequisite.

SHARPE'S HAVOC by Bernard Cornwell
Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer

This is the 19th entry in this very popular series which features Lieutenant Sharpe and his heroic exploits. For those following the series, this one takes place back at the beginning of the series and is nestled between SHARPE'S RIFLE and SHARPE'S EAGLE. Cindy is a huge fan of this series and obviously urges newbies to try it out. The nice thing is, idf you get hooked, there's 18 more to read.

Reviewed by Judi Clark

Enough of the history. This one is set in England, in a safe out of the way seacoast town -- except that the security of the place is forever gone when our narrator's best friend is murdered. This is a different kind of murder mystery though, one in which the perspective is from the best friend and not from a detective. Anyhow, I liked it for its change of pace-for its atmospheric venue (try domestic noir?); not at all a whodunit.

POLITICS by Adam Thirlwell
Reviewed by Kam Aures

This is not about political politics; it's a comedy about everything else. It explores domestic problems of sexual etiquette between a boy, a girl and another girl. It also tells the story of a father and a daughter. It's also about everything else. Thirlwell is the youngest writer to be chosen by Granta for this year's list of 20 best British novelists - and that was before he published a book. Makes you curious, no?

Reviewed by Kam Aures

Any woman who has ever dated a man that wasn't quite ready for a commitment (i.e. Peter Pan syndrome) will enjoy this novel, in which a 27-year-old magazine writer tries to follow her own advice on how to meet cute boys. If you recall in the last newsletter Kam panned TRADING UP by Candace Bushnell. This one she likes.

A BODY TO DIE FOR by Kate White
Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer

If you like your chick-lit mystery style, then you have to try this series. Kate White is editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, so she knows the world she's put her protagonist, Bailey Weggins in. Baily is a freelance writer but mostly focuses on true crime stories. This time she runs into a dead body the first evening at spa in the Berkshires.

Will be notified in a few days. I'm concerned with all that with all the virus protection and spam screeners that raffle notices are not getting through. Check here and see if you've won a book that you've not yet received notification on and let me know.
All Previous Raffle Winners

Have a great week and thanks for visiting!


Judi Clark

To unsubscribe to this newsletter - just send an e-mail to with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject field.

Help support -- use this link to shop at