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


Sunday, April 18, 2010

In My Mailbox/Mailbox Mondays (April 5 - 17)

Bison roam the Black Hills of South Dakota
Mailbox Monday is hosted at The Printed Page . Please visit Kristi and Marcia  and take a look at what packages everybody else got this week!
Due to the Read-a-thon last week I wasn't able to get a Mailbox post up last weekend - so this post will cover what I received in the last 2 weeks!

by Doug Koktavy

When Doug Koktavy reluctantly brought home two sibling Labrador retriever pups on his wife's urging, he was sure the dogs would create upheaval in his already hectic life. He could not have known the dogs would become cherished family members -- and take him on a wild ride that would change his life forever.

The trouble began when Beezer, at age nine, was diagnosed with kidney disease and given ninety days to live. Doug, by then divorced and self-employed, tried to manage the downward spiral of his beloved pet the way he did everything -- by controlling it. He called vet after vet, searching for hope. He spent hours online, researching treatments. He enlisted animal communicators to help him converse with the Beez.

As Beezer worsened, Doug agonized over what he might have neglected in caring for him. Guilt crept into his life. Thinking about the future without his best friend, he grew frantic with fear. His legal work and his own health began to suffer. 

Yet, it was the caring for Beezer that eventually led to an awakening for this ego-driven attorney. Beezer needed subcutaneous drip treatments, which Doug administered in the evenings. As they snuggled on the couch during those sessions, Doug poured out his soul to him. He also began to listen to his buddy.  Even as Beezer was dying, he was teaching Doug about his life.

The story does not end there. Not long after Beezer passed, the universe had another punch for Doug. Now Boomer was ill. Had Doug learned Beezer's lessons well enough? Could he meet this new challenge with acceptance and peace?
Many books deal with the death of a companion animal and subsequent grieving. This groundbreaking memoir on the dying of a pet invites you to share the author's pain and discoveries during that difficult period between diagnosis and the last goodbye.

Still Missing
by Chevy Stevens

On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a thirty-two year old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever- patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all. Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent as the captive of psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.

The truth doesn’t always set you free.

Still Missing is that rare debut find--a shocking, visceral, brutal and beautifully crafted debut novel.

by Miralee Ferrell

New job. New townhouse. New car. the perfect new life. . .right?

Jeena Gregory thought she'd made it. She has everything a woman could ask for and a budding career promises more. But when rumors around town cast her boss in a shady light, Jeena starts to question her employer's integrity. Was she wrong to trust this man and this job?

When the boss disappears, salaries go unpaid, and Jeena overhears several hush-hush phone calls, she realizes her carefully crafted world is crumbling. Shaken to the core at the threat of losing everything. Jeena is suddenly confronted with her prejudices -- and with a God she had long forgotten.

by Jamie Buchan
Count the ways. . .

Have you ever stopped to think how many countless ways we use numbers? From the ring of the alarm clock in the morning to the numbers triggering our cell phones, our world is designed with numbers in mind. With Easy as Pi, you'll get the 4-1-1 on the fascinating origin of many of the numbers we use or read about every day:
  • What makes "cloud nine" and "seventh heaven" so blissful?
  • Why is number 7 so lucky and 13 so unlucky?
  • Is "fourth-dimensional thinking" really out of this world?
  • What prompted Ray Bradbury to call his novel Fahrenheit 451?
  • How did 007 become James bond's number?
For the math averse: Be not afraid. Easy as Pi is not a textbook but rather a lively look at the derivation of numerical expressions and their inescapable influence on our culture -- from book titles to bus schedules. To sum it up, easy as Pi equals one clever and often hilarious collection.

by Melanie Dobson

This homecoming wasn't what she expected. . .

Jobless, homeless, and broke, Camden Bristow decides to visit the grandmother she hasn't seen in years. But when Camden arrives in Etherton, Ohio, she discovers that her grandmother has passed away, leaving her the 150-year-old mansion on Crescent Hill.  The site of her happiest summers as a child, the run-down mansion is now her only refuge.

When Camden finds evidence that she may not be the mansion's only occupant, memories of Grandma Rosalie's bedtime stories about secret passageways and runaway slaves fuel her imagination. What really happened at Crescent Hill? Who can she turn to for answers in this town full of strangers? And what motivates the handsome local Alex Yates to offer his help?  As she works to uncover the past and present mysteries harbored in her home, Camden uncovers deep family secrets within the mansion's walls that could change her life -- and the entire town -- forever.

Seduced by the Wolf
by Terry Spear

She'll do anything to help wolves. . .

Biologist Cassie Roux has dedicated her life to protecting wolves in the wild. On a despearate mission to help a she-wolf with newborn pups, the last thing Cassie needs right now is a nosy and entirely too attractive werewolf pack leader trying to track her down. . .

His first priority is to protect his pack. . .

Werewolf pack leader Leidolf Wildhaven has just taken over a demoralized pack. With rogue wolves on the loose causing havoc and the authorities from the zoo suddenly zeroing in on the local wolf population, the last thing he needs in his territory is a do-gooder female, no matter how beautiful and enticing she is. . .

by Carolyn Brown

He lives the good life. . .

Gorgeous and rich, Travis Henry travels the country unearthing oil wells and then moving on. Then the beautiful blue-eyed new owner of the Honky Tonk beer joint becomes his best friend and so much more. When his job is done in Texas, how is he ever going to hit the road without her?

She's finally found a place that feels like home. . .

When Cathy O'Dell buys the Honky Tonk, the nights of cowboys and country tunes come together to create the home she's always wanted. Then in walks a ruggedly handsome oil man who tempts her to trade in the happiness she's found at the Honky Tonk for a life on the road with him. . .

Will a sexy showdown persuade two stubborn lovers to reveal their true hearts' desires, or will they both be left singing the blues?

by Patrick Somerville

Early one summer morning, Matthew Bishop kisses his pregnant wife and sets out in search of the antique cradle that used to be hers. Although the cradle has been missing for many years, she is determined that Matt find it before the arrival of their first child.

A decade later, Renee Owen, a successful writer of children's books, prepares for her only son's deployment to Iraq, and his departure brings to the surface memories of a lost love, an old truth, and a long-hidden life.

This widely acclaimed novel radiates with wry wisdom as it takes the reader on a surprising journey into the heart of marriage, parenthood, and what it means to be a family.

by Pam Grier

Some may know her as hot, gutsy, gun-totin' Foxy Brown, Friday Foster, Coffy and Jackie Brown. Others may know her from her role as Kit Porter on The L Word. But that only defines one part of the legend that is Pam Grier.

FOXY is Pam's testimony of her life, past and present. In it, she reveals her relationships with Richard Pryor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Freddie Prinze Sr., among others.  She unveils her experiences as a backup singer and a blaxploitation star. In particularly candid and shocking chapters, she shares -- for the first time -- her view of those films and the persecution that blacks, especially women, needed to endure to make a name for themselves. . . including how it felt to be labeled one of the most beautiful women alive, yet not be permitted to try on clothes in a department store because of the color of her skin. And in words sure to inspire many, she tells the story of her ongoing battle with cancer.

From her disappointments to her triumphs, nothing is held back.  with FOXY, Pam wishes to impart life lessons to her readers -- and hopes to touch their hearts.

by Sheena Iyengar
Read by Orlagh Cassidy

Life is full of choices. How do we make them?

An Apple Store customer asks for the latest iPhone in black but suddenly changes his preference to white when he sees the choices others are making. A resident of a former communist country is offered a fizzy drink from a wide selection but picks at random. Though the child knows she shouldn't press the big red button, she finds her hand inching forward. A young man and woman decide to marry -- knowing that the first time they meet will be on their wedding day.

How did these people make their choices? How do any of us make ours? Choice is a powerful tool to define ourselves and mold our lives -- but what do we know about the wants, motivations, biases, and influences that aid or hinder our endeavors?

In THE ART OF CHOOSING, Columbia University professor Sheena Iyengar, a leading expert on choice, sets herself the Herculean task of helping us become better choosers. She asks fascinating questions: Is the desire for choice innate or created by culture? Why do we sometimes choose against our best interests? How much control do we really have over what we choose? Ultimately, she offers unexpected and profound answers, drawn from her award-winning, discipline-spanning research.

Here you'll learn about the complex relationship between choice and freedom, and why one doesn't always go with the other. You'll see that too much choice can overwhelm us, leading to unpleasant experiences. Perhaps most important, you'll discover how our choices -- both mundane and momentous -- are shaped by many different forces, visible and invisible.

by Christopher Farnsworth

The Ultimate Secret. The Ultimate Agent.
The President's Vampire.

Incredibly clever and compulsively readable, Blood Oath is a debut political thriller packed with enough action to out-Bourne Jason Bourne and out-Bauer Jack Bauer.

Zack Barrows is an ambitious young White House staffer whose career takes an unexpected turn when he's partnered with Nathaniel Cade, a secret agent sworn to protect the president. But Cade is no ordinary civil servant. Bound 140 years ago by a special blood oath, Nathaniel Cade is a vampire. He battles nightmares before they can break into the daylight world of the American dream, enemies far stranger -- and far more dangerous -- than civilians have ever imagined.

Blood Oath is the first in a series of novels featuring Nathaniel Cade, the president's vampire.

by M.J. Rose

An FBI agent, tormented by a death he wasn't able to prevent, a crime he's never been able to solve and a love he's never forgotten, discovers that his true conflict resides not in his past, but in a . . . past life.

Haunted by a twenty-year-old murder of a beautiful young painter, Lucian Glass keeps his demons at bay through his fascinating work as a special agent with the FBI's Art Crime Team.  Currently investigating a crazed art collector who has begun destroying prized masterworks, Glass is thrust into a bizarre hostage negotiation that takes him undercover at the Phoenix Foundation -- dedicated to the science of past life study -- where, in order to maintain his cover, he agrees to submit to the treatment of a hypnotists.

Under hypnosis, Glass travels from ancient Greece to nineteenth-century Persia, while the case takes him from New York to Paris and the movie capital of the world. These journeys will change his very understanding of reality, lead him to question his own sanity and land him at the center of perhaps the most audacious art heist in history -- the theft of a 1,500-year-old sculpture from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

International bestselling author M.J. Rose's The Hypnotist is her most mesmerizing novel yet. An adventure, a love story, a clash of cultures, a spiritual quest, it is above all a thrilling capstone to her unique Reincarnationist novels, The Reincarnationist and The Memorist.

by Debbie Macomber

My darling Michael, I know this letter will come as a shock to you. . .

On the anniversary of his beloved wife's death, Dr. Michael Everett receives a letter Hannah had written him.

In it she reminds him of her love and makes one final request. An impossible request -- I want you to marry again. She tells him he shouldn't spend the years he has left grieving her. And to that end she's chosen three women she asks him to consider.

First on Hannah's list is her cousin, Winter Adams, a trained chef who owns a cafe on Seattle's Blossom Street. The second is Leanne Lancaster, Hannah's oncology nurse. Michael knows them both. But the third name is one he's not familiar with -- Macy Roth.

Each of these three women has her own heartache, her own private grief. More than a year earlier, Winter broke off her relationship with another chef.  Leanne is divorced from a man who defrauded the hospital for which she works. And Macy lacks family of her own, the family she craves, but she's a resucer of strays, human and animal.  Macy is energetic, artistic, eccentric -- and couldn't be more different from Michael.

During the months that follow, he spends time with Winter, Leanne and Macy, learning more about each of them --- and about himself.  Learning what Hannah already knew.  He's a man who needs the completeness only love can offer. And Hannah's list leads him to the woman who can help him find it.

What great things did you find in your mailbox this week?


Elysium said...

Great books! Refuge on Crescent Hill sounds good.

bermudaonion said...

Nice mailbox! I think you'll enjoy The Cradle.

Kara said...

What a fantastic haul of books!! Several just got added to be TBR pile!!!

pinkilili said...

I'm loving your mailbox :) The Cradle and Still Missing look good to me! Enjoy and have a good week!

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

Quite a list you've got there!

Here is mine

Cathy said...

You've got me drooling over Blood Oath and The Hypnotist. Happy reading!

Irene said...

I think I need to read the Cradle. and Debbie Mccomber, I think is in a TBR pile already.

Anonymous said...

The Art of Choosing looks especially intriguing. I'm always interested in why we do what we do.

Shera (Book Whispers) said...

Wow! Great selection! Hope you enjoy them all.

I've never heard of Terry Spear before, but this books sounds great. Love the cover for Still Missing.

Mary said...

Hell Yeah sounds like a fun read :)
Hannah's List is on my list!
Enjoy them all!

RAnn said...

Love Debbie Macomber

Alayne said...

I think Still Missing and The Hypnotist look really good. Happy reading! My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

April said...

What awesome books!!! You have some fun ones as well as soon that sound rather thought provoking. I really want to read The Hypnotist!!

Enjoy and have a great week!

Here is mine:

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I have The Cradle on my wish list. It sounds like a good one. I'll have to get Hannah's List too. I enjoy Debbie Macomber. Enjoy all your new books!

Kim said...

Wow! You must have a large mailbox. ;) Cradle and Still Missing look really appealing to me. I think I will have to pass on the dead dog book though--I was too traumatized when I read Where the Red Fern Grows out loud to my children!

Megan said...

Wow...what a mix, You've got a few in there that are on my wishlist!

Here's my mailbox.


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