In My Mailbox is hosted Sundays at The Story Siren. Mailbox Monday's host for August is Chick Loves Lit. Please visit these posts and take a look at what packages everybody else got this week!
(Surrender to Destiny: Book 1)
by MaryLu Tyndall
On the brink of the War of 1812, Marianne Denton must marry to unlock her inheritance. Without the money, her mother can't receive medical care and her sister will be destitute. But Noah Brenin needs to sail his cargo to England before the war commences in order to prove his worth to his father and make enough money so he won't have to marry at all.
When Noah walks out on their engagement party. Marianne chases him down and ends up on his merchantman out at sea. The situation worsens when Noah's ship encounters a British man-of-war and the couple is impressed into the British navy.
While a young lad's prophecy of destiny looms over them both, Marianne and Noah are forced to face their darkest fears as they desperately try to escape and fulfill their destinies -- destinies that could change the course of the war and history forever.
by Bruce MacHart
On a moonless Texas night in 1895, an ambitious young landowner suffers the loss of "the only woman he s ever been fond of" when his wife dies during childbirth with the couple's fourth boy, Karel. From an early age Karel proves so talented on horseback that his father enlists him to ride in acreage-staked horseraces against his neighbors. But Karel is forever haunted by thoughts of the mother he never knew, by the bloodshot blame in his father's eyes, and permanently marked by the yoke he and his brothers are forced to wear to plow the family fields. Confident only in the saddle, Karel is certain that the horse "wants the whip the same way he wants his pop's strap . . . the closest he ever gets to his father's touch." In the winter of 1910, Karel rides in the ultimate high-stakes race against a powerful Spanish patriarch and his alluring daughters. Hanging in the balance are his father's fortune, his brother's futures, and his own fate. Fourteen years later, with the stake of the race still driven hard between him and his brothers, Karel is finally forced to dress the wounds of his past and to salvage the tattered fabric of his family.
Reminiscent of Kent Haruf's portrayals of hope amidst human heartbreak and Cormac McCarthy's finely hewn evocations of the American Southwest, Bruce Machart's striking debut is as well wrought as it is riveting. It compels us to consider the inescapable connections between sons and their mothers, between landscape and family, and between remembrance and redemption.
(Lake Manawa Summers Series)
by Lorna Seilstad
Sun, summer, and a scrumptious sailing instructor. What more could a girl want?
When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will spend the summer of 1895 at Lake Manawa, Iowa, she couldn't be more thrilled. It's the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon. It's also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews.
But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father's secrets threaten to ruin the family forever. Will free-spirited Marguerite marry Roger to save her father's name and fortune? Or will she follow her heart--even if it means hurting the family she loves?
Full of sharp wit and blossoming romance, Making Waves will whisk you away to a breezy lakeside summer holiday.
(A Scrapbooking Mystery)
by Laura Childs
It's Halloween in New Orleans-and the festivities are going to be killer.
With the help of her best friend Ava, Carmela Bertrand is building a giant monster puppet for the Halloween Monsters & Mayhem parade. Things get terrifying earlier than expected when they overhear an argument between Jekyl Hardy and Brett Fowler- and just minutes later they find Fowler's dead body.
Carmela has known Jekyl for years and can't believe he'd ever resort to murder, despite the fact that Fowler owed him money. But when another victim is discovered-who also had an unfriendly relationship with Jekyl-Carmela is convinced someone is framing her friend and now must find a way to unmask the real killer.
(Lizzie Searches for Love, Book 1)
by Linda Byler
Lizzie Glick longs to fit into her quiet Amish community. Her sisters, Emma and Mandy, are ready to get married and settle into the traditional rhythm of having children and keeping house. But Lizzie isn't sure that's what she wants for her future. It isn't that Lizzie doesn't want to stay Amish. It's just that there's so much to figure out!
Stephen, her quiet, gentle friend, hints that he might be interested in a relationship deeper than friendship, but Lizzie is also drawn to the charming Amos who seems to have eyes for everyone but her.
She has certainly attracted the attention of the egg-truck driver. A thrill runs through her every time the worldly man comes to pick up an order, each time extending his stay a little longer. How long will she keep this a secret from Emma -- and Mam and Datt?
What will become of Lizzzie? She has too hot a temper. She hates housework and dislikes babies. She loves driving fast horses but is petrified of going away from home for a week to work as a maud (maid). Is she too spirited, too innocent, and almost too uninhibited for a young Amish woman?
by David Rakoff
In this deeply funny (and, no kidding, wise and poignant) book, Rakoff examines the realities of our sunny, gosh everyone-can-be-a-star contemporary culture and finds that, pretty much as a universal rule, the best is not yet to come, adversity will triumph, justice will not be served, and your dreams won’t come true.
The book ranges from the personal to the universal, combining stories from Rakoff’s reporting and accounts of his own experiences: the moment when being a tiny child no longer meant adults found him charming but instead meant other children found him a fun target; the perfect late evening in Manhattan when he was young and the city seemed to brim with such possibility that the street shimmered in the moonlight—as he drew closer he realized the streets actually flickered with rats in a feeding frenzy. He also weaves in his usual brand Oscar Wilde–worthy cultural criticism (the tragedy of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, for instance).
Whether he’s lacerating the musical Rent for its cutesy depiction of AIDS or dealing with personal tragedy, his sharp observations and humorist’s flair for the absurd will have you positively reveling in the power of negativity.
by Nevada Barr
(From Paperback Swap)
With 13 1/2, Nevada Barr, New York Times bestselling author of the award-winning Anna Pigeon novels, has written a taut and terrifying psychological thriller. It carries the reader from the horrifying 1970s murder spree of a child -- dubbed "Butcher Boy" by a shocked public -- in Rochester, Minnesota, to Polly, the abused daughter of Mississippi "trailer trash," to post-Katrina New Orleans.
In Jackson Square in the French Quarter a tarot card reader told Polly Deschamps she would be a success. Thirty years later, Polly is a respected professor of literature with good friends and her own home -- a safe life for her and her two daughters.
Butcher Boy, released on his seventeenth birthday, shook the snow from his boots and headed south. New Orleans, a Mecca for runaways then and now, offers sanctuary but never forgiveness.
When Polly falls in love with Marshall Marchand, a restoration architect who is helping to rebuild her adopted city, shadows of the past rise out of the poisoned ground of New Orleans as thick and deadly as the toxic waters of the flood.
Like history, some crimes are doomed to repeat themselves. Evil stays the same, only the victims' names change. As two broken pasts collide in an uncertain present, Polly is determined that her children's names will never be on that list.
by April Henry
Sixteen-year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of the car while her stepmom fills her prescription. Before Cheyenne realizes what's happening, someone is stealing the car -- with her inside! Griffin hadn't meant to kidnap Cheyenne; all he planned to do was take the car. But once Griffin's dad finds out that Cheyenne's father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes -- now there's a reason to keep her. How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare? She's not only sick - she's BLIND!
by Conor Grennan
In search of adventure, twenty-nine-year-old Conor Grennan traded his day job for a year-long trip around the globe, a journey that began with a three-month stint volunteering at the Little Princes Children's Home orphanage in war-torn Nepal. But what began as a lark became a passionate commitment that would transform the young American and the lives of countless others.
Within minutes of his arrival, Conor was surrounded by a horde of gleeful boys and girls showering him with warm welcomes. Yet, as he soon learned, the children's cheery smiles belied years of pain and abuse; many of the boys and girls at the Little Princes Children's Home were not orphans at all but victims rescued from human traffickers. Moved by their plight, Conor vowed that when his trip was over he would return to the children of the Little Princes Children's Home and eventually reunite them with their families -- a promise he would risk his life to keep.
Little Princes is the powerful story of a soul's awakening, and a reflection of the noblest and darkest of human intent. It is a true, and often hilarious, tale of the power of optimism, love, and faith. And it is an unforgettable account of children, families, and one man whose decision to take a stand makes the world a better place for all of us.
by Lane Smith
As Lane explains, “Not to say that I'm not excited by the new technologies and reading devices introduced (it seems) nearly every month, I am. But I'm sure on some level I'll always be a traditional book guy.” And aren't we all? New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Lane Smith delivers a book to the technorati and literati alike. Juxtaposing a book-loving ape and a tech-savvy donkey, with clever illustrations and a brilliant punch line, Smith's nod to the times will be a collector's item on shelves, and will be read again and again in bookstores, libraries for years to come.
by Michele Scott
(Contest win from the author)
What began as an innocent love affair for one young woman, Marta Peña, in Costa Careyes, Mexico in 1969, sets in motion a series of events that spans the next thirty years. This is the story of South American drug lords Antonio Espinoza and Javier Rodriguez, and their violent quest for power. In a sweeping family saga, we meet the women who love them and the children they vow to protect at any cost. With a complex web of interconnected families, this gritty novel delves into the lives of a power hungry clan, following the rise of their business, the destructive path of their torrid and erotic love affairs, and the struggle to balance intense greed with devout family loyalty. Strong women face tragedies that test their will and their commitment to the men they passionately desire. As young girls grow into women, their traumatic pasts will drive their actions and force them to make gut-wrenching decisions. With murder, drug trafficking, dirty politics, illegal gambling, prostitution, obsessive love affairs, and family strife, El Patrón is a whirlwind in the vein of Mario Puzo's The Godfather.
What great reads did you get this week?