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!
by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Private, the world's most powerful investigation firm, takes on three twisted, almost unsolvable, crimes. James Patterson's most electrifying series yet.
The police can't help you.
Former marine helicopter pilot Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily -- and his staff of investigators use the world's most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.
The press will destroy you.
Jack is already deep into the investigation of a multimillion-dollar NFL gambling scandal and the unsolved slayings of thirteen schoolgirls when he learns of a horrific murder close to home, his best friend's wife, Jack's former lover, has been killed. It nearly pushes him over the edge. Instead, Jack pushes back and devotes all of Private's resources to tracking down her killer.
Only one place to turn. Private.
But Jack doesn't have to play by the rules. As he closes in on the killer and chooses between revenge and justice, he has to navigate a workplace love affair that threatens to blow the roof off his plans. With a plot that moves at death-defying speeds, Private is James Patterson's sleekest, most exciting thriller ever.
by Kevin Alan Milne
Sophie Jones has had more than her share of tragedy, and every time she tries to move forward, her past drags her back. Her one consolation is discovering she's not alone when she whips up a batch of Misfortune Cookies that become a surprise hit with customers. People delight in Sophie's unique handwritten messages, such as "Is it love or pity? Try not to dwell on it."
However, when her ex-fiance, Garrett Black, walks into her shop, he reacts quite differently. Sophie isn't depressed, she's a realist who knows happiness is like a chocolate -- sweet but gone too soon. Garrett, on the other hand, contends that true happiness has no end. Since he broke their engagement with no explanation and then disappeared, he's hardly one to argue that point, but he does.
So Sophie proposes Garrett take out a want ad in the local paper seeking sustainable happiness. If he gets a hundred acceptable responses, she'll go out on one last date and hear the reason he broke her heart. Sophie knows he has no chance of winning, but she doesn't count on his determination, or the surprising way the ad changes her life. In the end, Sophie might have to concede that happiness isn't always fleeting.
by Joshilyn Jackson
Rose Mae Lolley's past is littered with bad men. From her earliest intimate relationship with her father's fists to the string of bad-news boyfriends she dated and ditched after leaving home, she has always courted trouble. As "Mrs. Ro Grandee," she's managed to tamp down the fierce and dirty girl Rose Mae once was under flowery skirts and bow-trimmed ballet flats and lunches cooked for the church bazaar.
Trapped in a marriage thick with love and sick with abuse, Ro performs her role of dutiful wife perfectly in her new home in rural Texas, gracefully working in her husband's daddy's gun store in between making eggs, ironing shirts, and taking her punches. She seems doomed to spend the rest of her life battered by her husband on the outside and by her former self on the inside, until fate throws her into the path of an airport gypsy -- one who shares her past and knows her future. The tarot cards foretell that Ro's beautiful, abusive husband is going to kill her. Unless she kills him first.
Hot-blooded Rose Mae escapes from under Ro's perky compliance and emerges with a gun and a plan to beat the hand she's been dealt. Following messages that her long-missing mother has left hidden for her in graffiti and behind paintings, Rose and her dog, Gretel, set out from Amarillo, Texas, back to her hometown of Fruiton, Alabama, and then on to California, unearthing a host of family secrets as she goes. Running for her life, she realizes that she must face her past in order to overcome her fate -- death by marriage -- and become a woman who is strong enough to save herself from the one who loves her best.
by Diane Meier
Every once in a while, when we least expect it, change comes into our lives and, if we let it, can set us free.
Sometimes, everything seems perfect on the surface. But her tenure at an Ivy League university, the publishing of her books, and an apartment with a view of the Hudson -- if she hung out the window -- never met the promise Joy Harkness had anticipated a life in New York might bring. When change knocked at her door, Joy jumped at the chance. Still, what was she thinking when she said yes to a teaching opportunity that required leaving New York City and moving to western Massachusetts? And really, what was she thinking when she bought a run-down Victorian house she could have fit five of her old apartment into? It's like some other Joy Harkness temporarily took over her life. This life, complete with women who want to be her friends, men who want to date her, children and animals who seem to need her, and a talented, emotionally stinted handyman who wants to turn her white elephant into a real home, this life doesn't seem to fit Joy at all. Or is it that Joy's been searching for this without knowing it -- until it found her?
by Jackie Lee Miles
"The morning I died it rained. Poured down so hard it washed the blood off my face."
Thus begins the story of Lori Jean, whose short life and early death are woven into this worldly-wise novel set in the rural South of the 1950s. Told from the point of view of ten-year-old Lori Jean, a sensitive dreamer of a child who longs for a "normal" family, Roseflower Creek boldly explores the dynamics of a dysfunctional Southern family. Abandoned by her father when she was five years old, her world consists of a weak-willed mother and an alcoholic step-father who can't—or won't—keep a steady job. Yet Lori Jean is filled with the curiosity and hope common to all children.
After Lori Jean's step-father, Ray, begins attending AA meetings, he seems like a changed man, and Lori Jean begins to think that finally she and her mama are going to experience some long-overdo happiness—to be a real family and "git ourselves one of them futures, just like regular folks." But when Ray returns to his former ways and Lori Jean uncovers his secret, everything begins to spin out of control and she pays the ultimate price for what she knows.
by Gwyn Cready
Art historian Campbell Stratford is about to make a name for herself with her scandalously sexy tell-all "fictographies" of famous seventeenth-century artists, but she's more intimately familiar with her subjects than her eager readers can imagine. Thanks to a time portal she accidentally discovered, she has caused quite a stir in the Great Beyond. To save their reputations, the Guild protecting dead artists convinces playboy Peter Lely, portraitist to the king, to sabotage Cam's latest project. A few hours posing on Sir Peter's modeling chaise leads to a night of seductive passion -- then Cam returns home and discovers his betrayal. But before she can turn her angry pen on her lover, Sir Peter makes a surprise visit to the future and transforms Cam's twenty-first-century life into chaos of classic proportions.
Edited by Jonathan Santlofer and S.J. Rozan
Sex and crime: the centerpieces of some of the most compelling literature the world has ever known. The Bible, Homer, Shakespeare, Tolstoy. These two subjects can define us, motivate us, make us tower with rage or quiver with shame. And in the hands of some of today's great writers, they get us into all sorts of trouble.
In one fast-paced story, a strong and aggravated man considers the pretty woman at the bar while he fingers the knife in his pocket. But what becomes of his prey when they move to the bedroom? In another tale, a man remembers the victim of a ghastly murder who visited the same hair salon as he does. And a Don Juan of a protagonist has a hobby of marrying vulnerable women, getting access to their bank accounts, and then robbing them blind.
But there is much more to this collection than dark-haired vixens and crimes of passion. Some stories are brooding, some twisted; some bring righteous satisfaction, some linger in the back of your mind. What is truly on display is an impressive collection of literary talent -- a group of some of the best writers we have, weaving fresh and memorable stories from a classic theme. With striking black-and-white drawings by artish/author Jonathan Santlofer, this collection is a true literary gem for fans of great fiction -- whether it's from the literary mainstream, the world of mystery and suspense, or anything in between.
by Vendela Vida
Yvonne, recently widowed and the mother of grown twins, returns to Datca, the coastal village in Turkey where she and her husband honeymooned twenty-eight years ago. She hopes to immerse herself in the warm sand and sea, and in memories of a better time in her life. But her plans are quickly complicated. Her Turkish landlord and his bold and intriguing wife have a curious marital agreement and are constant visitors to the home. And rather than being comforted by her memories, they begin to trouble her.
Overwhelmed by her past and her environment, Yvonne clings to her newfound friendship with Ahmet, a young Turkish boy who sells shells at the local beach. With the boy as her guide, Yvonne gains new insight into her own grown children and begins to enjoy the shimmering sea and the relaxed pace of the Turkish coast. But a terrible accident throws her life into chaos, and her owns sense of self into turmoil.
With the crystalline voice, mordant humor, and depth of feeling for which her work has been so celebrated, Vendela Vida has crafted another unforgettable heroine in a beautiful and mysterious landscape.
by Sandra Dallas
On a spring afternoon in 1920, Swandyke -- a small town near Colorado's Tenmile Range -- is changed forever. Just moments after four o'clock, a large split of snow separates from Jubilee Mountain high above the tiny hamlet and hurtles down the rocky slope, enveloping everything in its path.
Meet the residents whose lives this tragedy touches: Lucy and Dolly Patch, two sisters long estranged by a shocking betrayal. Joe Cobb, Swandyke's only black resident, whose love for his daughter forces him to flee Alabama. Then there's Grace Foote, who hides secrets and scandal that belie her genteel facade. And Minder Evans, a Civil War veteran who considers cowardice his greatest sin. Finally, there's Essie Snowball, born Esther Schnable to conservative Jewish parents but who now works as a prostitute and hides her child's parentage from the world.
Fate, chance, and perhaps divine providence all collide in the everyday lives of these people. And ultimately, no one is without sin, no one's soul is whiter than snow, and no one is without the need for forgiveness.
A quintessential American voice and a writer of exquisite historical detail, Sandra Dallas illuminates the resilience of the human spirit in her newest novel.
by Andrew Gross
Ty Hauck is shattered by the news. A close friend from his past, along with her husband and daughter, has been brutally murdered in her home by vicious intruders. Now he will risk everything he loves to avenge her death. . . .
A wealthy banker, seeing his world about to crumble around him, knows his family is in unfathomable danger. . . .
A U.S. government agent watches the sudden bank transfers of millions in cash and suspects that this is the first step in a plot to unleash a wave of global panic. . . .
Private security investigator Ty Hauck, with Naomi Blum, a tenacious agent from the U.S. Department of Treasury, unravels the evidence that joins these seemingly unrelated events -- revealing a reckless scheme that stretches from New York to London to central Europe and gives new meaning to the phrase "too big to fail." What began with a tragedy that opened a door to Hauck's past -- a door that he thought was long closed -- ends with a frantic race to avert a disaster that could shake the very security of our country -- and even the world.
by Sophie Hannah
(This was one of my Paperback Swap wish list items!)
Sally Thorning is watching the news with her husband when she hears a name she never thought she'd hear again: Mark Bretherick.
It's a name she shouldn't recognize. Last year, a work trip Sally had planned was canceled at the last minute. Desperate for a break from juggling her job and a young family, Sally didn't tell her husband that the trip had fallen through. Instead, she treated herself to a secret vacation in a remote hotel. While she was there, Sally met a man -- Mark Bretherick.
All the details are the same: where he lives, his job, his wife Geraldine and daughter Lucy. Except that the photograph on the news is of a man Sally has never seen before. And Geraldine and Lucy Bretherick are both dead. . .
by Ann Brashares
The story of a love that lasts more than a lifetime.
Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia have been drawn together -- and he remembers it all. Daniel has "the memory," the ability to recall past lives and recognize the souls of those he's previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally apart. A love always too short.
But just as Sophia (reborn as "Lucy") finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, the mysterious force that has always wrenched them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must recognize what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.
What great things did you find in your mailbox this week?