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


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Two week Mailbox Melee (6/7 - 6/19)

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!

by Claudia Gray
(Paperback Swap Wish List book!)

At the eerily Gothic Evernight Academy, the other students are sleek, smart, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

When she meets handsome, brooding Lucas, he warns her to be careful -- even when it comes to caring about him. But the connection between them can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart. . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

Perfectly Dateless
by Kristin Billerbeck
(July book tour)

The prom countdown has begun.

Daisy Crispin has 196 days to find the right date for the prom. There's only one problem -- her parents won't let her date or even talk to a guy on the phone. Oh, and she's totally invisible at school, wears lame homemade clothes, and possesses no social skills. Okay, so maybe there's more than one problem.

Can she talk her parents into letting her go to the prom? Or will they succeed at their obvious attempts to completely ruin her life?

Perfectly Dateless is hilarious, shocking, and totally real. You'll fall in love with Daisy's sharp wit and resourcefulness as she navigates the world of boys, fashion, family, and friendship.

The Reapers are the Angels
by Alden Bell
(Henry Holt/August)

For twenty-five years civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulted remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

My Give a Damn's Busted
by Carolyn Brown

He's just doing his job. . .
If Hank Wells thinks he can dig up dirt on the new owner of the Honky Tonk beer joint for his employer, he's got no idea what kind of trouble he's courting. . .

She's not going down without a fight. . .
If any dime store cowboy think's he's going to get the best of Larissa Morley -- or her Honky Tonk -- then he's got another think coming. . .

As secrets emerge, and passion vies with ulterior motives, it's winner takes all at the Honky Tonk.

Into the Beautiful North
by Luis Alberto Urrea
(Hachette - watch for giveaway)

Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in the remote Mexican village of Tres Camarones and dreams about her father, who left for America years ago.  Recently, it has dawned on Nayeli that he isn't the only man who has abandoned Tres Camarones.  In fact, there are almost no men remaining -- they've all gone north. This has also been noticed by a group of particularly nasty drug dealers, who, seeing an easy opportunity, plan to take over the town.

But at a showing of the movie The Magnificent Seven at the village's decrepit theater, Nayeli has a vision: she will go north and recruit a group of men to return to the village. She will bring back her own "Siete Magnificos" to protect -- and repopulate -- her home. She and her friends head out for America, gathering a wild group of allies for a journey into the strange and beautiful land of their dreams and fears, the mythical place into which their fathers vanished. Their destination: a small town in Illinois, where Nayeli hopes to discover her father, her warriors, and -- if she's lucky -- her destiny.

Filled with unforgettable characters and prose as radiant as the Sinaloan sun, Into the Beautiful North is the story of an irresistible young woman's quest to find herself on both sides of the fence. With it, Luis Alberto Urrea has given us his most joyful, funny, and powerful novel yet. 

Dewey's Nine Lives
by Vicki Myron with Brett Witter
(From Shelf Awareness)

Dewey's Nine Lives is comprised of nine inspiring, funny, and heartwarming stories about cats told from the perspective of "Dewey's Mom," librarian Vicki Myron. The amazing felines in this book include Dewey, of course, whose further never-before-told adventures and amazing legacy are chronicled, but several others whom Vicki found out about when their owners reached out to her. Vicki learned, through extensive interviews and story sharing, what  made these cats special, and how they fit into Dewey's community of perseverance and love. From a divorced mother in Alaska who saved a drowning kitten on Christmas Eve to a post-traumatic-stress disorder-suffering veteran whose heart was opened by his long relationship with a rescued cat, these Dewey-style stories will inspire readers to laugh, cry, care, and, most important, believe in the magic of animals to touch individual lives.

The Tale of Halcyon Crane
by Wendy Webb
(From Henry Holt)

When a mysterious letter lands in Hallie James's mailbox, her life is upended. Hallie was raised by her loving father, having been told her mother died in a fire decades earlier. But it turns out her mother, Madlyn, was alive until very recently. Why would Hallie's father have taken her away from Madlyn? What really happened to her family thirty years ago?

In search of answers, Hallie travels to the place her mother lived, a remote island in the middle of the Great Lakes. Most of the stiff islanders are unwelcoming, and she soon realizes her family's dark secrets are enmeshed in the history of this strange community. And then there's the grand Victorian house bequeathed to her --  maybe it's the eerie atmosphere or maybe it's the prim, elderly maid who used to work for her mother, but Hallie just can't shake the feeling that strange things are starting to happen. . .

Online with God
by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton
(First Wild Card Tour/July)

Finding God in the universe of computers and cell phones isn't as easy as googling his name, but He's there all the same. And what girl wouldn't want Him with her as she tries to make her way through a galaxy of emails, text messages, IMs, chat rooms -- and middle school relationships?  Written as a girl's personal blog to God, Online with God teaches you how to stay safe while using today's technology. This ninety-day devotional contains relevant Scripture verses, tips on making safe choices, and prayers for all the confusing times in your life. As you read it, you'll realize that God listens when you blog as well as when you pray. After all, He's the Lord of the universe -- including cyberspace.

Babushka's Beauty Secrets
by Raisa Ruder and Susan Campos
(Hachette - watch for giveaway)

Don't spend a fortune to look flawless.

Esthetician to the stars Raisa Ruder learned her time-tested beauty techniques from her Ukrainian grandmother (or babushka, as they say in the old country). Now everyone can discover the all-natural, better-than-Botox secrets the Hollywood stars use to shine on the red carpet!  Ruder reveals her sought-after beauty recipes that can fight wrinkles, give you plump lips, and eliminate crow's-feet and acne -- all by using inexpensive, everyday grocery items like eggs, honey, vegetable oil, and strawberries (and a splash of vodka for freshness!). At last, by popular demand, Raisa Ruder opens up her babushka's secret pantry and shares her most amazing and effective beauty advice:

  • Skin-saving souffles -- whipped-up wonders that shrink pores, brighten skin, and diminish lines

  • Must-have mustard wrap -- an invigorating treatment that smoothes the thighs and reduces the appearance of cellulite

  • Hot hair -- a cayenne pepper blend that leaves locks silky, soft, and full.

  • Pedi pure -- a soothing, smoothing foot scrub made with vitamin E and lavender oil

  • Lustrous lashes -- a simple castor oil serum that thickens and lengthens

  • Perfect pucker -- a moisturizing mask to light up your lips.

The Hanging Tree
by Bryan Gruley
(August tour for Kaye Publicity)

When Gracie McBride, the wild girl who had left town eighteen years earlier, is found dead in an apparent suicide shortly after her homecoming, it sends shock waves through her native Starvation Lake. Gus Carpenter, executive editor of the Pine County Pilot, sets out to solve the mystery with the help of his old flame and now girlfriend, Pine County sheriff deputy Darlene Esper. As Gus and Darlene investigate, they can't help but question if Gracie's troubled life really ended in suicide or if the suspicious crime-scene evidence adds up to murder.

But in such a small town it's impossible to be an impartial investigator -- Gracie was Gus's second cousin; Darlene's best friend; and the lover of Gus's oldest pal, Soupy Campbell. Yet with all the bad blood between Gus and Gracie over the years, Gus is easily distracted by other problems. His employer is trying to push him out, the locals are annoyed that his stories have halted construction on a new hockey rink, and Darlene's estranged husband has returned to reclaim his wife.

When Gus tries to retrace Gracie's steps to discover what happened to her in the eighteen years she was away from Starvation Lake, he's forced to return to Detroit, the scene of his humiliating past. And though he's determined to find out what drove Gracie back home, Gus is unprepared for the terrible secrets he uncovers.

The second book in Bryan Gruley's irresistible Starvation Lake series, The Hanging Tree is a compelling story about family and friendship, sex and violence, and the failure of love to make everything right.

by Chelsea Cain
(Paperback Swap Wish List)

With Heartsick, Chelsea Cain took bookshelves by storm, introducing two of the most compelling characters in decades: serial killer Gretchen Lowell and her obsessed pursuer, Portland detective Archie Sheridan. The book spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and garnered rave reviews around the world. But the riveting story of Archie and Gretchen was left unfinished , and now Chelsea Cain picks up the tale again.

When the body of a young woman is discovered in Portland's Forest Park, Archie is reminded of the last time the police found a body there, more than a decade ago: It turned out to be the Beauty Killer's first victim, and Archie's first case. This body can't be one of Gretchen's-- she's in prison -- but when, with the help of reporter Susan Ward, he uncovers the dead woman's identity, it becomes another big case. Trouble is, Archie can't focus on the new investigation because the Beauty Killer case has exploded: Gretchen Lowell has escaped from prison.

Archie hasn't seen her in two months: he's moved back in with his family and sworn off visiting her. Though it should feel like progress, he actually feels worse. The news of her escape spreads like wildfire, but secretly, he's relieved. He knows he's the only one who can catch her, and in fact, he has a plan to get out from under her thumb once and for all.

Chelsea Cain has topped her own bestselling debut thriller with this unputdownable, unpredictable, edge-of-your-seat read.

This Must Be the Place
by Kate Bacculia
(Henry Holt/July)

When Arthur Rook learns that his vital, creative wife, Amy, has been killed in an accident, he realizes to his horror that he has no idea what her last wishes would have been. Blindsided by the sudden loss and delirious with grief, he flees his home and job in Los Angeles, guided only by a pink shoebox full of Amy's keepsakes. Among the contents, he finds an unmailed postcard written sixteen years earlier, addressed to a woman he's never heard of.  Arthur follows it to the Darby-Jones boardinghouse in the sleepy town of Ruby Falls, New York.

There, he finds more answers than he bargained for in Mona Jones, Amy's best friend from childhood, now the proprietor of the Darby-Jones and a professional baker of wedding cakes. It turns out that Mona and her daughter, Oneida, two quirky kindred spirits, have a lot to learn from Arthur as well. As the three gradually unveil one another's secrets, they are forced to choose whether the truth will ruin them or teach them about love: how deeply it runs, how strong it makes us, and, even when all seems lost, how it brings us together and gives our lives meaning.

Touching the Clouds
by Bonnie Leon
(July book tour/Revell)

Kate Evans is an adventurous and independent young woman with a pioneering spirit. When she leaves her home in Washington State to follow her dream of being an Alaskan bush pilot, she knows it will be an uphill battle. But she never expected it to be quite like this. As the lone woman in a man's world, she finds that contending with people's expectations is almost as treacherous as navigating the wild arctic storms.

When she crosses paths with a mysterious man living alone in the forbidding wilderness, she faces a new challenge. Can Kate break through the walls he has put up around his heart? And will fear keep her from realizing her dreams?

Book 1 in the Alaskan Skies series, Touching the Clouds will draw you in with raw emotion and suspense, all against the stunning backdrop of the Alaskan wilds.

In the Name of Honor
by Richard North Patterson
(Henry Holt/June)

The McCarrans and the Gallaghers, two military families, have been close for decades, ever since Anthony McCarran -- one of the army's most distinguished generals -- became best friends with Jack Gallagher, a fellow West Pointer who was later killed in Vietnam. Now a new generation of soldiers faces combat, and Lieutenant Brian McCarran, the general's son, has returned from a harrowing tour in Iraq. Traumatized by wartime experiences he will not reveal, Brian depends on his lifelong friendship with Kate Gallagher, Jack's daughter, who is married to Brian's commanding officer in Iraq, Captain Joe D'Abruzzo. But since coming home, D'Abruzzo also seems changed by the experiences he and Brian shared -- he's become secretive and remote.

Tragedy strikes when Brian shoots and kills D'Abruzzo on their army post in Virginia. Brian pleads self-defense, claiming that D'Abruzzo, a black-belt martial artist, came to his quarters, accuses him of interfering with his marriage, and attacked him. Kate supports Brian and says that her husband had become violent and abusive. But Brian and Kate have secrets of their own, and now Captain Paul Terry, one of the army's most accomplished young lawyers, will defend Brian in a high-profile court-martial.  Terry's co-counsel is Meg McCarran, Brian's sister, a brilliant and beautiful attorney who insists on leaving her practice in San Francisco to help save her brother. Before the case is over, Terry will become deeply entwined with Meg and the McCarrans -- and learn that families, like war, can break the sturdiest of souls.

Grace Under Pressure
by Julie Hyzy
(Kaye Publicity/June)

Everyone wants a piece of millionaire Bennett Marshfield, owner of Marshfield Manor, and letters are coming in daily from those claiming to be poor relations. The elderly, reclusive heir trusts no one but his aged curator, Abe. But when Abe is killed in a case of mistaken identity, the tide changes. . .

Although shaken by the murder, Grace Wheaton, whose lifelong dream has been to work at the manor, steps up to the challenge of assuming Abe's job. But now some of the letters arriving for Bennett have taken a nasty turn, demanding millions -- or else. When an uninvited stalker shows up at the manor and at Grace's home, she and handsome groundskeeper Jack Embers must protect their dear old Marshfield. But to do this, they'll have to investigate a botched Ponzi scheme, some torrid Wheaton family secrets -- and sour grapes out for revenge.

Red Hook Road
by Ayelet Waldman
(From Shelf Awareness)

As lyrical as a sonata, Ayelet Waldman's follow-up novel to Love and Other Impossible Pursuits explores the aftermath of a family tragedy.

Set on the coast of Maine over the course of four summers, Red Hook Road tells the story of two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, and of the ways in which their lives are unraveled and stitched together by misfortune, by good intentions and failure, and by love and calamity.

Proust's Overcoat
by Lorenza Foschini
(From Shelf Awareness)

Proust's Overcoat unravels an unusual true story of passion and possession. The head of a perfume company in France, Jacques Guerin was an avid reader, a well-known bibliophile, and a collector. And among all of the artists and authors Guerin collected, he identified most deeply with Marcel Proust. When, by chance, illness brought him under the care of the great writer's brother, Dr. Robert Proust, Guerin stumbled into a tense and tangled relationship with the late novelist's family.

Shamed by Marcel's extravagant writings, embarrassed by his homosexuality, and offended by his disregard for bourgeois respectability, his survivors willfully began to destroy their inherited mountain of notebooks, letters, and manuscripts. Guerin, consumed by envy and desire, ingratiated himself with Marcel's heirs in the attempt to safeguard these precious objects both for himself and for posterity. Throughout the rest of his long life, Guerin continued to placate Proust's relations with cash and kindness in exchange for Marcel's remaining manuscripts, furniture, and personal effects. After years marked by relentless determination, Guerin at last was able to save a prize relic he came to covet more than any other: the moth-eaten overcoat Marcel Proust had worn every day and used as a blanket every night while writing in bed. Like the novelist's second skin, this coat was as close as Guerin could ever come to meeting Proust himself. It was the personal prize of his collection.

Keeping his hard-won trophies all to himself, Guerin would reach the age of ninety before his own imminent death convinced him to share his treasures with the world. Part mystery, part history, Proust's Overcoat introduces the reader to many intriguing characters and their various concerns for material possessions, each player contributing a piece to this curious and compelling story.

Last Writes
by Sheila Lowe
(Kaye Publicity/July)

Claudia's friend Kelly learns that she's an aunt when her estranged half sister, Erin, shows up at her home in desperate need of help.  Erin and her husband have been living quiet lives as members of the Temple of Brighter Light in an isolated compound. But now her husband and young child have disappeared, leaving behind a cryptic note with a terrifying message.

Seizing an opportunity to use her special skills as a forensic handwriting expert, Claudia becomes one of the few outsiders ever to be invited inside the temple's coumpound. She has only a few days to uncover the truth about Kelly's missing niece before the prophecy of a secret ancient parchment can be fulfilled and a child's life is written off for good. . .

The Mist
by Carla Neggers
(won this from the author - along with a T-shirt!)

Things looked bad when Lizzie Rush finally found hard evidence that thrill-seeking billionaire Norman Estabrook heads an international criminal network. But when he disappears after a deadly Boston bombing, the worst is yet to come.

From nowhere arrives the mysterious Brit, Will Davenport. Lizzie isn't sure which side he's on, but his particular talents may help end the violence. Now, emerging from a year of secrets and lies as a double agent straddling two worlds, Lizzie has little choice but to trust a man answering to no one. When the mist clears -- and the frightening truth is revealed -- nothing in Lizzie's life will ever be the same again.

April and Oliver
by Tess Callahan
(Hachette - watch for giveaway)

Since childhood, April and Oliver have been soul mates who shared a palpable attraction. Now, after years of being separated, their wildly different paths collide with the sudden death of April's brother. The sensual tension builds as Oliver, the responsible, engaged law student, finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April. But even as Oliver attempts to "save" his childhood friend from her grief, her menacing boyfriend, and herself, it soon becomes apparent that Oliver has some dark secrets -- ones he hasn't revealed to anyone.

Yet April knows. Is it really her life that's unraveling, or is it his own?  The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral. . .towards a surprising revelation.

Stein, Stoned
(A Harry Stein Soft-Boiled Murder Mystery)
by Hal Ackerman
(Kaye Publicity/July)

A soft-boiled detective story where The Big Lebowski meets Fletch.

In the sixties, Harry Stein was the foremost authority on cannabis, writing a book on indoor cultivation and inventing thirteen different hybrids. Nowadays, he stays straight to keep joint custody of his daughter. But when a crop of "orchids" goes missing, Stein must re-enter the haze he thought he'd left behind.

Percival's Planet
by Michael Byers
(Henry Holt/August)

A novel of ambition and obsession centered on the race to discover Pluto in 1930, pitting an untrained Kansas farm boy at the rundown Lowell Observatory against the greatest minds at Harvard.

It's 1928, and Clyde Tombaugh, the farm boy who will discover Pluto, is grinding a lens for his own telescope under an immense Kansas sky. Meanwhile, a thousand miles away in Arizona, the staff of Lowell Observatory resumes the long-interrupted search for Percival Lowell's missing Planet X. When a chance letter brings Clyde to the observatory to join the hunt, he is thrown headfirst into the romantic entanglements of a young Harvard-educated scientist and his beautiful wife as she slips into insanity. The friendship that grows up among this improbable trio -- and among the other seekers and dreamers in Flagstaff -- leads this least-likely astronomer to the point of self-discovery, through a chase that crosses an entire solar system.

Elegant and sweeping, this vividly imagined novel of the historic search for the ninth planet brings to life the magnificent effort to discover something stranger -- and more surprising -- than anyone could have imagined.

Evil at Heart
by Chelsea Cain
(Paperback Swap Wish List)

Gretchen Lowell is still on the loose.  These days, she's more of a cause celebre than a feared killer, thanks to sensationalist news coverage that has made her a star. Her face graces magazine covers weekly and there have been sightings of her around the world. Most shocking of all, Portland Herald reporter Susan Ward has uncovered a bizarre kind of fan club, which celebrates the number of days she's been free.

Archie Sheridan hunted her for a decade, and after his last ploy to catch her went spectacularly wrong, remains hospitalized months later. When they last spoke, they entered a detente of sorts -- Archie agreed not to kill himself is she agreed not to kill anyone else. But when a new body is found accompanied by Gretchen's trademark heart, all bets are off and Archie is forced back into action.  Has the Beauty Killer returned to her gruesome ways, or has the cult surrounding her created a whole new evil?

Chelsea Cain  continues to deliver heartstopping thrills and chills in the latest entry in this dynamic bestselling series.

What did you find in your mailbox?


bermudaonion said...

Wowee! In all of those books, we only have a few in common. There are quite a few in there I'd love to take a peek at!

Kathy Martin said...

What a huge mailbox! I am especially interested in My Give a Damn's Busted and In the Name of Honor but so many others look amazing too. How will you choose where to begin? Happy reading!

Esme said...

Wow-you received some amazing books-April and Oliver looks amazing as does The Mist, Proust's Overcoat is the one I really want to read.

brandileigh2003 said...

Looks like a great week: Happy Reading! Check out my IMMB if you want here

Mary said...

I think I say this each time I comment on your mailbox list: I love the variety :) A few are on my shelf or tbr list. Enjoy!

Wendy said...

Wow! What a great mailbox this week! Some I've read and some I'm adding to my wishlist :) Enjoy!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Oh, wow! I saw several there that I would like...

I read Sweetheart, by Chelsea Cain, but haven't read Evil at Heart yet.

The Ayelet Waldman book is one I'll probably get this coming week.

Here's my MM:


Staci said...

Wow..I'm overwhelmed by your stash of goodies!! I see several that I have too. Enjoy!

Kaye said...

you must be exhausted from opening all those packages!Holy moly, what a week you had. I hope you enjoy all your new books. It'll be a hard decision which one to start with. :)

Lisa said...

Looks like you get some good ones this week

Here's mine

Alayne said...

I want The Tale of Halcyon Crane!! Jealous. :) Great books you got. My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

Suko said...

Amazing mailbox! You'll have plenty of summer reading--and beyond! I'd like to read many of these books. :)

Here is my (much smaller) mailbox: http://suko95.blogspot.com/2010/06/mailbox-monday-more-books-for-summer.html

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

Fantastic mailbox! I see a couple that I have here and a couple that I think will go on my wish list. Enjoy all your new reads!

Holly said...

None of these are my usual genre but several have piqued my interest. Great mailbox!

Lori Hedgpeth said...

What a terrific mailbox! Happy reading!


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