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


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mailbox Madness 7-4-2010

Happy 4th of July America!

In My Mailbox is hosted at The Story Siren.   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 Christine Lemmon
(Book Sparks tour, review 7/28)

Twenty years ago, Anna Holt thought she could control everything -- her crumbling marriage, her demanding children, her hectic life -- by quitting her high-paced job in New York City and moving her family to tranquil Sanibel Island, Florida. But she brought her untamed emotions, her rage toward her cheating husband, and her yearning to write a novel with her. When her husband and children left the house for a week, Anna thought at last she would get her household, her novel, and her mind in order. Instead, her elderly neighbor Fedelina Aurelio knocked on her door bearing flowers and homespun wisdom, and when Fedelina's recently divorced son arrived, Anna had a test of passions and a test of truth. Now, at 56 with an empty nest, Anna Holt pulls out the incomplete manuscript she started that memorable week and -- to find closure for her life and a conclusion for her novel -- travels to Indiana to visit Fedelina who lives in a nursing home.

A novel framed within a novel, Sand in My Eyes is both a story about the tension between motherhood and personal dreams as well as a story about women across generations inspiring one another to let beauty persist despite ugly circumstances.

by Peter Robinson
(from Shelf Awareness)

A distraught woman arrives at the Eastvale police station desperate to speak to Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. But since Banks is taking a break in California, his partner, Annie Cabbot, steps in. The woman tells Annie that she's found a loaded gun hidden in the bedroom of her daughter, Erin -- a punishable offense under English law. When an armed response team breaks into the house to retrieve the weapon, the seemingly straightforward procedure quickly spirals out of control.

But trouble is only beginning for Annie, the Eastvale force, and Banks -- and this time, the fallout may finally do the iconoclastic inspector in. It turns out that Erin's best friend and roommate is none other than Tracy Banks, the DCT's daughter, who was last seen racing off to warn the owner of the gun, a very bad boy indeed.

Thrust into a complicated and dangerous case intertwining the personal and the professional as never before, Annie and Banks -- a bit of a bad boy himself -- must risk everything to outsmart a smooth and devious psychopath. Both Annie and Banks understand that it's not just his career hanging in the balance, it's also his daughter's life.

by Karen Essex
(from Shelf Awareness)

From the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept Yorkshire coast, Dracula's eternal muse, Mina Murray, vividly recounts the intimate details of what really transpired between her and the Count -- the joys and terrors of a passionate affair that has linked them through the centuries, and her rebellion against her own frightening preternatural powers.

Mina's version of this gothic vampire tale is a visceral journey into Victorian England's dimly lit bedrooms, mist-filled cemeteries, and asylum chambers, revealing the dark secrets and mysteries locked within. Time falls away as she is swept into a mythical journey far beyond mortal comprehension, where she must finally make the decision she has been avoiding for almost a millennium.

Bram Stoker's classic novel offered one side of the story, in which Mina had no past and bore no responsibility for the unfolding events. Now, for the first time, the truth of Mina's personal voyage, and of vampirism itself, is revealed.  What this flesh-and-blood woman has to say is more sensual, more devious, amd more enthralling than the Victorians could have expressed or perhaps even have imagined.

by Sam Kean

Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium (Cd, 48)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why did tellurium (Te, 52) lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?

The periodic table is one of our crowning scientific achievements, but it's also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The fascinating tales in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, gold, and every single element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

Why did a little lithium (Li, 3) help cure poet Robert Lowell of his madness? And how did gallium (Ga, 31) become the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?* The Disappearing Spoon has the answers, fusing science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, discovery, and alchemy, from the big bang through the end of time.

*Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal with a unique property: it melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. So a classic prank for scientists is to fashion gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch as guests recoil when the Earl Grey makes their utensil disappear.

50th Anniversary Edition
by Peg Bracken

Fifty years ago, Peg Bracken wrote The I Hate to Cook Book -- and helped change women's lives forever. At that time her message was a revolutionary one for housewives: you don't need to spend all day in the kitchen to host parties or feed your family. Cooking can be easy and more important, it's okay if you'd rather be doing something else!

Now this updated and revised edition introduces Peg's delicious recipes -- along with her wry sense of humor -- to a whole new generation of women. While we're no longer expected to slave away in the kitchen, more than ever, women (and men!) still need meals that taste like great home cooking and can be prepared with minimal effort. Peg's mouthwatering recipes are quick and easy -- and many dishes, like her "Stayabed Stew," can be popped into the oven and ignored for an hour or so while you take a nap. Best of all, they all come salted with Peg's side-splitting and timeless humor.

Updated for today's pantries and with a touching foreword from Peg's daughter Jo, The I Hate to Cook Book is sure to fill your kitchen with wonderful smells and even more wonderful laughter -- whether you hate to cook or not!

by Julia Stuart

Balthazar Jones lives in the Tower of London with his wife, Hebe, and his one-hundred-eighty-one-year-old pet tortoise. That's right: he's a Beefeater (they really do live there). It's no easy job navigating the trials and tribulations that come with living and working in the largest tourist attraction in present-day London.

Among the eccentric characters who call the Tower's maze of ancient buildings home are the Tower's barmaid, Ruby Dore, who just found out she's pregnant; portly Valerie Jennings, who is falling for ticket inspector Arthur Catnip; lifelong bachelor Reverend Septimus Drew, who secretly pens a series of principled erotica; and the philandering Ravenmaster with his flock of insufferable ravens.

The white-hot flame of Hebe and Balthazar's love has dwindled in the few years since their son, Milo, died. Their marriage is teetering on the brink of extinction, when Balthazar is unexpectedly tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower walls to house the many exotic animals given to the Queen.

Life at the Tower is about to get all the more interesting. Penguins escape, giraffes are stolen, the Komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives. . . Balthazar is in charge, and things are not exactly running smoothly. Then Hebe decides to leave him and his beloved tortoise runs away.

Suffused with whimsy, heart, and hilarity -- not to mention chock-full of curious Tower history -- The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise is a pure delight whose sparkling prose and charming characters will stay with you long after you've turned the final stunning page.

by Melody Carlson
(First Wild Card Tour, Aug 10)

Although they're sisters, Paige and Erin Forrester are like oil and water, night and day, denim and silk. Paige is an outgoing fashionista who loves to be the center of attention, while Erin is more comfortable sporting vintage garb and recording the action around her. When a near disaster turns into the opportunity of a lifetime, these two very-different sisters are given the chance to star in their own fashion-TV show. A guest spot on a hot teen-reality series and their first big red-carpet assignment give this unlikely partnership plenty of room for success -- and even more for failure.

It's hard to imagine that two sisters could be more different, but the launch of On the Runway, their fashion-centric TV show, promises that Paige and Erin Forrester will finally have at least one thing in common.

(The Rayne Tour series)
by Brandilyn Collins and Amberly Collins
(First Wild Card Tour, Aug 3)

On a lavish estate in California guarded from the media, Shaley's mom, rock star Rayne O'Connor, is marrying her teen sweetheart and Shaley's father, Gary Donovon. It's a dream come true for Shaley, who has always longed for the father she never knew.

But minutes before the wedding, Shaley is kidnapped.

Who is this man who has taken her -- and why?  As Rayne and Gary race against time to find their daughter, Shaley's abductor eludes the FBI at every turn.  Fearing for her life, Shaley wills herself to stay strong. But as the days pass, she realizes that no one can save her but herself.

by Robin Benway
(from Shelf Awareness)

Three sisters share a magical, unshakeable bond, in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait!

Around the time of their parents' divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood -- powers that come in handy navigating the pure hell that is high school, and help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?

April, the oldest, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And the youngest sister June reads minds. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls must come together to save the day or risk falling apart forever. Will they realize how much they need one another, before it's too late? Because if there's anything stronger than magic, it's sisterhood.

by Jerry Weintraub with Rich Cohen
Read by Jerry Weintraub

Here is the story of Jerry Weintraub: the self-made, Brooklyn-born, Bronx-raised impresario, Hollywood producer, legendary deal maker, and friend of politicians and stars. No matter where nature has placed him -- the club rooms of Brooklyn, the Mafia dives of New York's Lower East Side, the wilds of Alaska, or the hills of Hollywood -- he has found a way to put on a show and sell tickets at the door. "All life was a theater and I wanted to put it up on a stage, " he writes. "I wanted to set the world under a marquee that read 'Jerry Weintraub Presents'."

In When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead, we follow Weintraub from his first great success at age twenty-six with Elvis Presley, whom he took on the road with the help of Colonel Tom Parker, the immortal days with Sinatra and Rat Pack glory; to his crowning hits as a movie producer, starting with Robert Altman and Nashville, continuing with Oh,God!, The Karate Kid movies, and Diner, among others, and summiting with Steven Soderbergh and Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen.

Along the way, we'll watch as Jerry moves form the poker tables of Palm Springs (the games went on for days), to the power rooms of Hollywood, the the halls of the White House, to Red Square in Moscow and the Great Palace in Beijing -- all the while counseling potentates, poets, and kings, with clients and confidants like George Clooney, Bruce Willis, George H.W. Bush, Armand Hammer, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, John Denver, Bobby Fischer. . . well, the list goes on forever.

And of course, the story is not yet over. . . as the old-timers say, "The best is yet to come."

As Weintraub says, "When I stop talking, you'll know I'm dead."

With wit, wisdom, and the cool confidence that has colored his remarkable career, Jerry chronicles a quintessentially American journey, one marked by luck, love, and improvisation. The stories he tells and the lessons we learn are essential, not just for those who love movies and music, but for businessmen, entrepreneurs, artists. . . everyone.

(The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series)
by Stephanie Morrill
(Revell tour 7/25-7/31)

Senior year is over and Skylar Hoyt is ready to forgive and forget. Or at least forget. She wants a fresh start where people don't know about her past or her dysfunctional family. A place where she won't run into her ex-boyfriend every time she leaves the house. When she gets the opportunity to spend the summer in Hawaii with her grandparents, Skylar jumps at the chance to get out of town.  But will she truly be able to leave her old life behind?  And will she be strong enough to rise above the gossip and live the life God wants?

I also went a little nuts yesterday at garage sales and purchased a whole slew of books!

That Summer by Sarah Dessen
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
One For the Money by Janet Evanovich
Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich
Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich
Nightseer by Laurel K. Hamilton
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
Summer Island by Kristin Hannah
Whitewash by Alex Kava
The Murder Book by Jonathan Kellerman
Unleash the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Frankenstein: City of Night by Dean Koontz
Even Vampire's Get the Blues by Katie MacAlister
Summer on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
Mail-Order Marriages by Debbie Macomber
The Vampire Who Loved Me by Teresa Medeiros
Season of the Machete by James Patterson
City of Souls by Vikki Pettersson
Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter
Vampires by John Steakley
Rewriting Monday by Jodi Thomas

What Books Came To Live With You This Week?


Kelly said...

Ooo I can't wait to read The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May and June, hope you enjoy all of your books! :)

bermudaonion said...

Great list of books! I'd be hard pressed to decide which one looks the best!

pussreboots said...

The Disappearing Spoon sounds good. Pussreboots.

Cathy said...

I have to get back to reading about Inspector Banks. There are just too many series to follow. Happy reading!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Oh, what a treasure trove! Sand in Her Eyes looks really good...and I see several other authors I've enjoyed, like Kellerman, Hannah, and even Patterson.

What fun!

Here's my pitiful MM (lol):


Staci said...

Every single one looks fascinating but the I Hate to Cook one really grabbed my attention!

RAnn said...

Sand in My Eyes looks good. I like to cook, but need simple stuff I can get on the table quickly, so I Hate to Cook caught my eye too.

Mystica said...

I like the sound of Bad Boy very much. You have such a nice mix of books there. Enjoy!

Kaye said...

Wow, what a haul! My daughter should get that I Hate to Cook Book. Ha! Have a good week and enjoy all your new books.

DCMetroreader said...

Oh boy what a great assortment of books! I've signed up to receive the I Hate to Cookbook too and am really looking forward to reviewing it.

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

Sand In Her Eyes sounds very good. I like to cook most days but then there are those days when I wish I could wave a magic wand and dinner would be ready. I'll have to check out the cookbook. Enjoy!

Vanessa Book ♥ Soulmates said...

Great books! Looking forward to your reviews, especially Dracula in Love and April May June.
These are the ones we got this week: Vlog
Take care!
Book ♥ Soulmates

Beverly said...

Hey there – just swinging by for Monday to see what you are reading. Have a great week. Wow! Tons of books for you! Have fun. Stop by The Wormhole to check out what I have gotten and what I have been reading too. Happy reading! Bev.

April said...

WOW! Lots of great looking books! Enjoy them all and have a great week!

brandileigh2003 said...

I love garage sales :D

Happy Reading! Here’s mine if you wanna check it out.


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