Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Mailbox Monday 3-15-2010

Bison roam the Black Hills of South Dakota

Mailbox Monday is hosted at The Printed Page . Please visit Marcia and take a look at what packages everybody else got this week!

Laura Rider's Masterpiece
by Jane Hamilton

(from Hachette for review)

Laura and Charlie Rider have been married for twelve years, running a nursery in picturesque Hartley, Wisconsin. And though they no longer share a bed they are happy enough: Laura with her writing hobby, and Charlie with his zeal for life in general.

Jenna Faroli is the host of a popular radio show and "the single most famous person in town," in Laura's eyes. After Jenna happens to cross Charlie's path and they begin an e-mail correspondence, how can Laura resist using his identity to try out her literary skill and converse with her hero? Together, Laura and Charlie craft florid, strangely intimate messages that entice Jenna in an unexpected way. . . and quickly spin out of control with hilarious, poignant, and memorable results. (back cover)

Apologize, Apologize!
by Elizabeth Kelly

(from Hachette for review)

Welcome to the perversely charmed world of the Flanagan's and their son, Collie (yes, he was named after the dog breed). Coming of age on Martha's Vineyard, he struggles within his wildly wealthy, hyperarticulate, resolutely crazy Irish-Catholic family: a philandering father, incorrigible brother, pigeon-racing uncle, radical activist mother, and domineering media mogul grandfather (accused of being a murderer by Collie's mother). It is a world where chaos is exhilaratingly constant and money is no object. Yet it is one where the things Collie wants -- understanding, stability, a sense of belonging -- cannot be bought at any price. Through his travails, we realize what it really means to grow into one's family: to find ways to see them anew, to forgive them, and to be forgiven in turn. (back cover)

Asking for Trouble
by Sandra Byrd

(For a First Wild Card Tour)

When her family moves to London, 15-year-old Savvy Smith has to make her way in a new school and in a new country. She just knows the school newspaper is the right place for her, but she doesn't have the required experience. Can she come up with a way to prove herself and nab the one available position on the newspaper staff at Wexburg Academy? (back cover)

The Language of Secrets
by Dianne Dixon

(from Doubleday for review)

Justin Fisher has a successful career as the manager of a luxury hotel, a lovely wife, and a charming young son. While all signs point to a bright future, Justin can no longer ignore the hole in his life left by his estranged family. When he finally gathers the courage to reconnect with his troubled past, Justin is devastated to learn that his parents have passed away. And a visit to the cemetery brings the greatest shock of all -- next to the graves of his father and mother sits a smaller tombstone for a three-year-old boy: a boy named Thomas Justin Fisher.

What follows is an extraordinary journey as Justin struggles with issues of his own identity and pieces together the complex and heartbreaking truth about his family (back cover)

God Never Blinks:
50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours
by Regina Brett

(from Hachette for review)

Already an Internet phenomenon, these wise and insightful lessons by popular newspaper columnist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Regina Brett are destined to become the inspirational book of the year. (back cover)

The Wild Irish Sea
by Loucinda McGary

(from Sourcebooks for review)

Drawn together by a force they can't resist...

The telepathic image of her twin brother fighting for his life sends Amber O'Neil rushing to the rocky shores of Ireland. Desperate to find him, she turns to reclusive local inspector, Kevin Hennessy.

Bound together with a passion as relentless as the tide...

His past full of pain, Kevin has withdrawn from the world. But when the rain-drenched American appears on his doorstep with her wild tales of danger, something more than her sensuous beauty makes it impossible for him to turn her away.

The wildness of the sea, the mystery of a selkie prince, and a dangerous band of ruthless smugglers bring two lost souls together in a connection of mind, body, and spirit that can't be denied. . .(back cover)

Farm Fatale
by Wendy Holden

(from Sourcebooks for review)

A witty, beloved novel of heart and heartland, Farm Fatale skewers the culture clash of city vs. country in the snappy, observant style that made Wendy Holden famous.

Cash-strapped Rosie and her boyfriend Mark are city folk longing for a country cottage. Rampant nouveaux riches Samantha and Guy are also searching for rustic bliss -- in the biggest mansion money can buy. The village of Eight Mile Bottom seems quiet enough, despite a nosy postman, a reclusive rock star, a glamorous Bond Girl, and a ghost with a knife in its back. But there are unexpected thrills in the hills, and Rosie is rapidly discovering that country life isn't so simple after all. (back cover)

A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi"
The Origins of Foreign Words Used in English
by Chloe Rhodes

(from FSB Associates for review)

English is filled with a smorgasbord of foreign words and phrases that have entered our language from many sources -- some from as far back as the Celts. A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi," which tells the story of how many of these expressions came to be commonly used in English, will both amaze and amuse language lovers everywhere. You'll be fascinated to learn, for instance, that. . .

  • ketchup began life as a spicy pickled fish sauce called koechiap in seventeenth-century China?
  • Honcho came from the Japanese world hancho, which means squad chief? The world was brought to the United States something during the 1940s by soldiers who had served in Japan.
  • dungarees comes from the Hindi word dungri, the thick cotton cloth used for asils and tents in India?
Organized alphabetically for easy reference, A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi" tells the little-known origin of some of these thousands of foreign words and phrases -- from aficionado to zeitgeist. Inside, you'll find translations, definitions, origins, and lively descriptions of each item's evolution into our everyday discourse. With this whimsical little book, you'll be ready to throw out a foreign word or phrase at your next party, lending your conversation with, well, a certain je ne sais quoi. (back cover)

When Turtles Fly:
Secrets of Successful People Who Know How to Stick Their Necks Out
by Nikki Stone

(from FSB Associates for review)

Did you know you have better odds at winning the lottery than an Olympic medal? To bring home one of those coveted medals - or achieve any great personal goal in life - you need a lot more than luck. You need a game plan.

What if you could learn the secrets of success from an Olympian? A Nobel Prize winner? A Fortune 500 CEO? Along with anecdotes from her own dramatic journey. Olympic gold medalist Nikki Stone has compiled a treasure trove of compelling stories to illustrate each step on the path to succss. She's gathered humorous, heartwarming and hugely inspirational tales from some of today's most brilliant business leaders, scientists, soldiers, inventors, philanthropists, musicians, athletes and entrepreneurs. . . a host of people whose very names epitomize achievement. Winners such as:

  • Designer Tommy Hilfiger
  • X-Games/Olympic Champ Shaun White
  • Jazz Musician Branford Marsalis
  • Special Olympic Chair Timothy Shriver
  • NFL quarterback Steve Young
  • Perfect '10' gymnast Nadia Comaneci
  • Prince Albert of Monaco
  • Best-selling author Stephen Covey
  • Olympic skiing Star Lindsey Vonn
  • Top venture capitalist Vinod Khosta
  • Celebrity chef Todd English
  • And many more. . .
Now an acclaimed motivational speaker and peak performance coach, author Nikki Stone helps people in all walks of life to overcome fears, failures and plateaus and realize their full potential. In this step-by-step guide to success, she and her team of high achievers share their stories about reaching for dreams. . . and grasping them. (back cover)

Death of a Cure
by Steven H. Jackson

(from Yorkshire Publishing for review)

Where an unfortunate side effect of hope is murder. . .

They are the leaders of the largest charities in the world.
Living lives of excess and power.
They are trusted and believed to be simply better.
We want them to be. We need them to be.
They are the keepers of our hope.

But is the dream of a cure really their mission? Have they come to see the disease, the enemy, as their true benefactor? How far would they go to protect the enemy?

Would they kill?

Death of a cure is anovel of mystery, suspense, and action. the murder of one good man by a respected colleague is more than a crushing personal deception, it is an unequaled violation of the trust of thousands afflicted by a horrible disease.

In a first person account, the brother of the murdered man, a military surgeon born to wealth and accustomed to success, is thrust into the role of homicide investigator. Quickly discovering that his skills as a detective are frustratingly insufficient, he calls upon a woman from his past for help. Together they unravel layers of evil and organized deception revealing that the true work of this healthcare charity has little to do with curing the terrible disease born by a trusting constituency.

Murder was just another means to a hidden end. (back cover)

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott
by Kelly O'Connor McNees

(from Putnam Books for review)

For the millions who cherish Little Women. . .

Readers across generations have laughed and cried with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women. And there has never been a more beloved heroine in the history of American letters than Jo March, Louisa's alter ego and an iconic figure of independent spirit and big dreams. But as Louisa knew all too well, big dreams often come at a cost.

In her debut novel, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, Kelly O'Connor McNees deftly mixes fact and fiction as she imagines a summer lost to history, carefully purged from Louisa's letters and journals, a summer that would change the course of Louisa's writing career -- and inspire the story of love and heartbreak between Jo and Laurie, Jo's kindred spirit.

In the summer of 1855, Walt Whitman's controversial Leaves of Grass has just been released, and the notion of making a living as a writer is still a far-off dream for Louisa. She is twenty-two years old, vivacious, and bursting with a desire to be free of her family and societal constraints so she can do what she loves the most -- write. The Alcott family, destitute as usual, moves to a generous uncle's empty house in Walpole, New Hampshire, for the summer. Here, a striking but pensive Louisa meets the fictional Joseph Singer. Louisa is initially unimpressed by Joseph's charms. But just as she begins to open her heart, she discovers that Joseph may not be free to give his away. Their new found love carries a steep price, and Louisa fears she may pay with the independence she has fought so hard to protect.

Because Little Women borrows stories from Louisa's own childhood, the real-life Alcott sisters depicted in The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott will feel like familiar old friends. But readers will learn how the Alcotts' real life differed from the fictional March family. While Transcendentalist friends like Thoreau and Emerson were fixtures of Louisa'[s youth, Bronson Alcott's philosophical pursuits left the family finances in shambles. Unlike the wise and placid "Marmee," Louisa's mother, Abba, was often depressed and overwhelmed by poverty and disappointment.

The historical facts throughout Kelly O'Connor McNees's debut will be a delicacy to Alcott fans, but first and foremost, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott is a universal story of love and how it changes us in ways we could never imagine. (back cover)

Real World Parents:
Christian Parenting for Families Living in the Real World

by Mark Matlock

(from The B&B Media Group for Review)

Become a proactive parent (and stop overreacting!)

Real World Parents helps you be proactive, rather than reactive, while raising Christian kids toward lives of faith in a world filled with contradictions. Rather than trying to raise kids who are "good Christians," you'll find the tools to help you live out a faith that allows your children to see what it means to live as a Christian. As a result, your kids will learn about real faith by living it out with you.

Culture expert and veteran youth pastor, Mark Matlock, will help you explore issues such as:
  • Helping your child make decisions
  • The importance of failure
  • Knowing God's story for your family
  • Changing the story your family is in
  • The pursuit of wisdom, and much more (back cover)

The Clouds Roll Away
by Sibella Giorello

(from Phenix & Phenix for review)

Raleigh Harmon's life seems as impossible to solve as the high-profile case she's pursuing.

Closing her assignment with the FBI's Seattle office, forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon returns to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia, expecting a warm welcome. Instead she finds herself investigating an ugly cross burning at a celebrity's mansion and standing in the crosshairs of her boss at the Bureau. And the deeper Raleigh digs into the case, the murkier the water becomes. . . until she's left wondering who the real victims might be.

To make matters worse, Raleigh's personal life offers almost zero clarity. Her former confidant is suddenly remote while her former boyfriend keeps popping up wherever she goes. And then there's her mother. Raleight's move home was supposed to improve Nadine's fragile sanity, but instead seems to be making things worse.

As the threads of the case begin crossing and double-crossing, Raleigh is forced to rely on her forensic skills, her faith, and the fervent hope that a breakthrough will come, bringing with it that singular moment when the clouds roll away and everything finally makes sense. (back cover)

One Million Arrows:
Raising Your Children to Change the World
by Julie Ferwerda

(for a First Wild Card Tour)

Will the world change your children. . . or will your children change the world?

Time is short and lives are at stake. Right now, God is inviting your family to become part of a bigger story -- a vision that will engage your hearts to make a radical difference. One Million Arrows is an inspirational call to raise your kids to impact their culture, community, and world for Christ. If you want your kids to discover their purpose, if you want them to live with a passion for the Kingdom, if you want your family to go down in His-Story, accept the mission. . . and leave a mark for eternity. (back cover)

Vampyre Blood: Eight Pints of Trouble
by George Earl Parker

(from Pump Up Your Book Tour for review)

When young New Orleans lawyer Bradley Harrington Chester III lies dying in the street after being hit by a speeding car, it seems that his life is over. But as his spirit drifts away toward a distant light, he is approached by an exotic fellow who claims to be both the Count dracula of legend, and a violin player for The Techno Zombies, a Goth rock band on a world tour.

The Count explains that with the aid of a wizard he has abandoned his dark legacy, and now finds himself in need of a legal representative. So he offers Brad a deal -- Brad can shuffle off into the light wherever it may lead, or he can become his lawyer, and be revived by a transfusion of Vampyre Blood.

The very last thing the younglawyer remembers before dying was his wife asking for a divorce, and prior to that he remembered being handed the prosecution of a mafia kingpin on his first day at the district attorney's office. He wondered why the DA was so friendly to him, and so nasty to his star attorney Richard Bleddon, and he wondered why Bleddon had arranged a champagne supper at a fancy restaurant for him and his wife. After which, a speedy midget had snatched his wife's purse and led him out into the street to die.

Impatiently, the Count presses for an answer to his offer, and after being assured that he will not become a Vampyre himself, Brad accepts, hoping to return and make sense of the madness that brought him to the brink of death. Populated by lovable rogues, scheming lawyers, and thieving gypsies, Vampyre Blood - Eight Pints of Trouble is an insane romp through New Orleans, illustrating the intensity of our human desire to get what we want at any cost, and the strange places that desire can lead to. (back cover)

Skin and Bones
by D.C. Corso

(from Pump Up Your Book Tour for review)

FBI Special Agent Severin Ash lives in a world haunted by people he's never even met -- the missing and the dead. Working out of Seattle's field office, Ash is assigned to coordinate a child abduction investigation in the small island community of Carver Isle, WA. The case at first seems to be open-and-shut, but when another child disappears on Halloween, Ash realizes it's far from over. He teams up with local woman Parker Kelly, who has her own ideas about what may be happening. Together, Ash and Parker must solve this puzzle of deceit, identity and manipulation, exhuming secrets and memories both would prefer to leave undisturbed.

Set against the chaotic backdrop of the days immediately following 9/11, D.C. Corso's stark thriller paints a vivid picture of life in a small Pacific Northwestern town as national tragedy overshadows its own losses. (back cover)

Never Tell Our Business to Strangers
by Jennifer Mascia

(from Random House for review)

When Jennifer Mascia is five years old, the FBI comes for her father. At that moment Jenny realizes that her family isn't exactly normal. What follows are months of confusion marked by visits with her father through thick glass, talking to him over a telephone attached to the wall. She and her mother crisscross the country, from California to New York to Miami and back again. when her father finally returns home, months later, his absence is never explained -- and Jenny is told that the family has a new last name. It's only much later that Jenny discovers that theirs was a life spent on the lam, trying to outrun the law.

Thus begins the story of Jennifer Mascia's bizarre but strangely magical childhood. An only child, she revels in her parents' intense love for her -- and rides the highs and lows of their equally passionate arguments. They are a tight-knit band, never allowing many outsiders in. And then there are the oddities that Jenny notices only as she gets older: the fact that her father had two names before he went away -- in public he was Frank, but at home her mother called him Johnny; the neat, hidden hole in the carpet where her parents keep all thier cash. The family sees wild swings in wealth -- one year they're shopping for Chanel and Louis Vuitton at post shopping centers in Los Angeles, the next they're living in one room and subsisting on food stamps.

What haver her parents done? What was the reason for her father's incarceration so many years ago? When Jenny, at twenty-two, uncovers her father's criminal record during an Internet search, still more questions are raised. By then he is dying of cancer, so she presses her mother for answers, eliciting the first in a series of reluctant admissions about her father's criminal past. Before her mother dies, four years later, Jenny is made privy to one final, riveting confession, which sets her on a search for the truth her mother fought to conceal for so many years. As Jenny unravels her family's dark secrets, she must confront the grisly legacy she has inherited and the hard truth that her parents are not -- and never have been -- who they claimed to be. In the face of unimaginable tragedy, Jenny will ultimately find an acceptance and understanding just as meaningful and powerful as her parents love.

In a memoir both raw and unwavering, Jennifer Mascia tells the amazing story of a life lived -- unwittingly -- with criminals. Full of great love and enormous loss, Never Tell Our Business to Strangers will captivate and entrall, with both its unrelenting revelations and its honest, witty heart. (inside cover)

Recollections of Rosings
by Rebecca Ann Collins

(won at Genre Reviews)

Sisters Catherine Harrison and Becky Tate, daughters of Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins, have very different personalities and temperaments. Both grew up in the shadow of Rosings Park, domain of the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, but as adults their paths diverged dramatically.

When a catastrophe at Rosings Park brings Becky back to visit her sister, the two clash about their aspirations for the marriage of Catherine's young daughter, and both women are forced to confront the ghosts of the past 00 in particular, Lady Catherine's cruelty and deception.

As the shocking truth emerges, the Darcy and Bingley families rally. But it may be too late for the sisters to find the love and happiness they were denied so long ago. (back cover)

The Secret Holocaust Diaries:
The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister
by Nonna Banister (with Denise George and Carolyn Tomlin)

(for a First Wild Card Tour)

The Secret Holocaust Diaries is a haunting eyewitness account of Nonna Lisowskaja Bannister, a remarkable Russian-American woman who saw and survived unspeakable evils as a young girl. For half a century she kept her story secret while living a normal American life. She locked all her photos, documents, diaries, and dark memories from World War II in a trunk. Late in life she unlocked the trunk, first for herself, then for her husband, and now for the rest of the world.

Nonna's story is one of suffering, torture, and death -- but also of incredible acts of kindness that show the ultimate triumph of faith and love over despair and evil. The Secret Holocaust Diaries is in part a tragedy, yet it's also an unforgettable true story about forgiveness, courage, and hope. (back cover)

Whew... what books did you get this week?


Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

Whew is right! Fabulous mailbox! I received The Lost Summer too. I can't wait to read it. Farm Fatale and The Language of Secrets both sound good too. Enjoy your great assortment of books!

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

Jackpot! My goodness, that's a lot of books!

Did everyone and their mother get the Louisa May Alcott book but me?! I look forward to your review.

My mailbox is here.

bermudaonion said...

Nice mailbox!!! I got Never Tell Our Business to Strangers too. Enjoy!

avisannschild said...

Wow, that is a lot of books! Looks like you got some good ones! Enjoy!

Suko said...

What an interesting, eclectic mailbox you have! I would read many of these. Wow!

J.T. Oldfield said...

I love linguistics so I'm a little jealous of everyone who is getting A Certain Je Ne Sais Quois! I hope you enjoy it!


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