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

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mailbox Madness (Aug 9 - 15)

Bison roam the Black Hills of South Dakota

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!


by Maureen Lang

BELGIUM, 1916
The German Imperial Army may have conquered Belgium on its march through Europe, but it can't crush their spirit. An underground newspaper surfaces to keep patriotism alive and bring hope and real news of the war to the occupied country. It may be a whisper among the shouts of the German army, but it's a thorn in their side nonetheless, and Edward Kirkland will do anything to keep it in print -- even risk his life.

Isa Lassone's family fled Europe at the first rumblings of war. Now, two years later, she sneaks back across enemy lines, determined to rescue Edward -- the man she has loved from afar since she was a child.

But will he ever see her as more than the wealthy, silly girl his mother once cared for as a daughter?

When Edward refuses to leave, so does Isa, and soon she is drawn into his dangerous double life. As the Germans close in, Edward realizes he's put more at risk than he'd planned. . . especially the beautiful, smart, yet obstinate young woman who has inconveniently managed to work her way into his life -- and his heart.




by Glenn Plaskin

A personal memoir by bestselling author and celebrity journalist Glenn Plaskin, KATIE is a moving story about a man who discovers the true meaning of family after adopting a cocker spaniel puppy. Through the magnetic personality of his mischievous dog, the author soon makes emotional connections with several of his down-the-hall neighbors in a high-rise located in the unique Battery Park City neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. First, Katie trots into the lives of Pearl and Arthur, a warmhearted elderly couple just a few doors down from Glenn. Later, John, a single dad, and his rambunctious young son, Ryan, move in and are seduced by Katie's charms.

All their lives profoundly change as they are transformed from neighbors to friends to family, with Pearl as matriarch. The motherless boy finds a "Granny," his dad inherits a mother, Glenn discovers a confidante. Set in New York City, we witness nearly sixteen years of antics and family adventures spanning Hollywood high times, bad health, accidents, blustery winters, even the terrors of 9/11. Through it all, the family clings to one another, sharing a deep bond that gives each comfort, support, and security.

Based on a widely read article in Family Circle, here is an unforgettable story about the love that makes a family -- one that transcends the hard realities of time, tragedy, and inevitable loss.




by Rosemary Harris

Welcome back to Springfield, Connecticut, where weary suburbanites can rest in peace. . .

New York media exec-turned-gardener Paula Holliday is thrilled when her friend Lucy asks her to tag along on an all-expenses-paid junket to the Titans Hotel. On display is the rare titan arum, a notoriously pungent plant known as the "corpse flower." Unfortunately, the flower isn't blooming -- and the only thing Paula smells is a real corpse.

Lucy's would-be suitor has been found dead -- with a hole in his head -- and Lucy has mysteriously disappeared. Now Paula has to start digging up clues before the police's worst suspicions take root. Even if the odious flower finally blooms, Paula has more important things to tend to. Because murder, by any other name, really stinks. . .



by Kathy Charles

IN THE END WE ALL FADE TO BLACK.

Pink-haired Hilda and oddball loner Benji are not your typical teenagers. Instead of going to parttes or hanging out at the mall, they comb the city streets and suburban culs-de-sac of Los Angeles for sites of celebrity murder and suicide. Bound by their interest in the macabre, Hilda and Benji neglect their schoolwork and their social lives in favor of prowling the most notorious crime scenes in Hollywood history and collecting odd mementos of celebrity death.

Hilda and Benji's morbid pastime takes an unexpected turn when they meet Hank, the elderly, reclusive tenant of a dilapidated Echo Park apartment where a silent movie star once stabbed himself to death with a pair of scissors. Hilda feels a strange connection with Hank and comes to care deeply for her paranoid new friend as they watch old movies together and chat the sweltering afternoons away. But when Hank's downstairs neighbor Jake, a handsome screenwriter, inserts himself into the equation and begins to hint at Hank's terrible secrets, Hilda must decide what it is she's come to Echo Park searching for. . . and whether her fascination with death is worth missing out on life.



by Matt Hilton

After barely escaping with his life while trying to save his half brother from a deranged killer, former-military-operative-turned-problem-solver Joe Hunter has a new life -- and hopefully a quieter one -- in Florida. But he's soon approached by a man who wants Hunter to bring his daughter, Marianne, home. He claims that her boyfriend, millionaire Bradley Jorgenson, is a twisted, abusive man, and he hints that Hunter should use whatever force is necessary to rescue the girl. The problem is, when Hunter finds the couple, Marianne appears happy, and Hunter can find no signs that Jorgenson has hurt her.

Things get even more complicated when a crafty contract killer by the name of Dantalion shows up at Jorgenson's exclusive island residence with his sights set on Jorgenson and Marianne. Dantalion has an agenda of his own, and nobody is going to stand in his way. Not even Joe Hunter.

When Hunter steps in and saves the couple, what started as a simple mater of snatch-and-grab turns into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that sets the hunter and the hunted on a grueling chase deep within the Florida swamplands.

In this pulse-pounding follow-up to Dead Men's Dust, the smashing debut that introduced Joe Hunter, Matt Hilton delivers an explosive white-knuckled thrill ride that will have readers gasping for breath all the way to the electrifying conclusion.



by Emma Campion

History has not been kind to Alice Perrers, the notorious mistress of King Edward III. Scholars and contemporaries alike have deemed her a manipulative woman who used her great beauty and sensuality to take advantage of an aging and increasingly senile king. But who is the woman behind the scandal? A coldhearted opportunist or someone who was fighting for her very survival?

Like most girls of her era Alice is taught obedience in all things. At the age of fourteen, she marries the man her father chooses for her, dutifully accepting the cost of being torn from the family she holds so dear and losing the love of her mother forever. Despite these heartbreaks Alice finds that merchant Janyn Perrers is a good and loving husband and the two settle into a happy life together. Their bliss is short-lived, however, unraveled the dark day a messenger appears at Alice's door and notifies her of Janyn's sudden disappearance.

In the wake of this tragedy, Alice learns that her husband kept many dangerous secrets -- secrets that have resulted in a price on her head and that of her beloved daughter. Her only chance to survive lies in the protection of King Edward and Queen Philippa, but she therefore must live at court as a virtual prisoner. When she is singled out by the king for more than just royal patronage, the stakes are raised.

Emma Campion paints a colorful and thrilling portrait of the court of Edward III -- with all of its extravagance, scandalous love affairs, political machinations, and murder -- and the devastating results of being singled out by the royal family. At the center of the storm is Alice, surviving by her wits in this dangerous world where the choices are not always of her own making. Emma Campion's dazzling novel shows that ther is always another side to the story.



by Kelly Gay

It takes a strong woman to keep the peace in a city of endless night. . .

Deep beneath Underground, a cunning bid for power and revenge has begun -- one that threatens to make Atlanta the new battleground in the ultimate confrontation between good and evil. The powers of hellish Charbydon have the upper hand after plunging the city into primordial night. And under the cover of darkness, a serial killer targets the most powerful Elysians in the city, the angelic Adonai. For Detective Charlie Madigan and her siren partner Hank, tracking deadly predators is all in a day's work -- but this case will test the limits of their strength and friendship as it draws them into a deadly world of power plays, ancient myths, explosive secrets, and a race against time that risks all that Charlie holds dear.



by Mary Beth Chapman

From the beginning, Mary Beth Chapman's life was not how she planned. All she wanted was a calm, peaceful life of stability and control. Instead, God gave her an award-winning singer/songwriter husband, crazy schedules, and a houseful of creatively rambunctious children. And then, she experienced the tragedy she never could have imagined.

In Choosing to See, Mary Beth unveils her struggle to allow God to write the story of her life, both the happy chapters and the tragic ones. And as the story unfolds, she's been forced to wrestle with some of life's biggest questions: Where is God when things fall apart? Why does God allow terrible things to happen? How can I survive hard times?

No matter where you find yourself in your own life story, you will treasure the way Mary Beth shows that even in the hard times, there is hope if you choose to SEE.



by Faye Kellerman

Fifteen years ago, high school senior Chris Whitman went to jail for murdering his girlfriend, Cheryl Diggs. Propelled by a misquided sense of chivalry, he confessed, determined to save another classmate, the beautiful and vulnerable Terry McLaughlin, from having to testify at his trial. When the truth came out, Chris was released from prison, married Terry -- pregnant with his child -- and changed his last name to Donatti. He also became a professional killer.

Peter Decker was the detective on the case, and over the years, he and Terry kept in touch. Now his friend is in L.A. and asking for a favor. Though Decker knows full well that getting involved will bring Terry's sociopathic husband back into his life, the obsessive and duty-bound LAPD lieutenant reluctantly agrees. The favor soon becomes complicated when Terry goes missing and Donatti disappears, leaving their fourteen-year-old son Gabe, with no one to turn to except Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus.

But Peter's search for Terry must share center stage with a gruesome murder. Adrianna Blanc, a neonatal nurse at St. Timothy's Hospital, had signed off her night shift at eight A.M. Six hours later, a foreman supervising the construction of a house in a nearby suburb discovered her body swinging from the rafters, a cable wire around her neck. Her car was found where she had parked it the night before, with no signs of foul play.

A dedicated and conscientious professional, Adrianna had a circle of close friends. yet as Decker and his able team soon learn, the young woman also had her share of detractors. A party-hearty girl, she enjoyed booze, kinky sex, and revenge-cheating on her boyfriend, Garth Hammerling, another nurse at St. Tim's. Suspicions heat up when Decker and his team find that one of Adrianna's last phone calls was a provocative and disturbing message to her vacationing boyfriend -- who himself has vanished without a trace. Was Adrianna's death something personal because of her carefree lifestyle?  Or was this unusually cruel and very dramatic murder the first signs of a serial killer? With lives hanging in the balance, Decker and his colleagues, Sergeant Marge Dunn and Detective Scott Oliver, need to find answers and fast.

As if juggling two investigations weren't enough for the lieutenant (not to mention turning sixty!), things are becoming even more dangerous with his precarious home life. Ever the concerned parent, Decker wants to look after Terry's son, Gabe. Yet who will protect his own family? Because if there's one thing he knows for sure, with a socipath like Donatti on the loose, no one is ever really safe.



 

by Laura Lippman

Eliza Benedict cherishes her peaceful, ordinary suburban life with her successful husband and children, thirteen-year-old Iso and eight-year-old Albie. But her tranquillity is shattered when she receives a letter from the last person she ever expects -- or wants -- to hear from: Walter Bowman. There was your photo, in a magazine. Of course, you are older now. Still, I'd know you anywhere.

In the summer of 1985, when she was fifteen, Eliza was kidnapped by Walter and held hostage for almost six weeks. He had killed at least one girl and Eliza always suspected he had other victims as well. Now on death row in Virginia for the rape and murder of his final victim, Walter seems to be making a heartfelt act of contrition as his execution nears. Though Eliza wants nothing to do with him, she's never forgotten that Walter was most unpredictable when ignored. Desperate to shelter her children from this undisclosed trauma in her past, she cautiously makes contact with Walter. She's always wondered why Walter let her live, and perhaps now he'll tell her -- and share the truth about his other victims.

Yet as Walter presses her for more and deeper contact, it becomes clear that he is after something greater than forgiveness. He wants Eliza to remember what really happened that long-ago summer. He wants her to save his life. And Eliza, who has worked hard for her comfortable, cocooned life, will do anything to protect it -- even if it means finally facing the events of that horrifying summer and the terrible truth she's kept buried inside.

An edgy, utterly gripping tale of psychological manipulation that will leave readers racing to the final page, I'd Know You Anywhere is a virtuoso performance from acclaimed, award-winning author Laura Lippman that is sure to be her biggest hit yet.



by Paul Auster

Sunset Park follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse.
An enigmatic young man employed as a trash-out worker in southern Florida obsessively photographing thousands of abandoned objects left behind by the evicted families.

A group of young people in a squat in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

The Hospital for Broken Things, which specializes in repairing the artifacts of a vanished world.

William Wyler's 1946 classic The Best Years of Our Lives.

A celebrated actress preparing to return to Broadway.

An independent publisher desperately trying to save his business and his marriage.
These are just some of the elements Auster magically weaves together in this immensely moving novel about contemporary America and its ghosts. Luminous, passionate, expansive, an emotional tour de force, Sunset Park confirms Paul Auster as one of our greatest living writers.



What came in your mailbox last week?

8 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Wow, what a week you had! We didn't get a single book in common. Have a great week.

Alyce said...

I've had my eye on the Katie book and I'd Know You Anywhere. Nice set of books!

Aisle B said...

Loved The King's Mistress! Hope you love it too :)

Great mailbox and loved your Mailbox avatar even more.

Posting my mailbox tomorrow on Aisle B so come on by if you get a chance.
Have a relaxing Sunday :)

PK Reeves

Lori said...

I hope that you enjoy your books.Happy reading. Check out my mailbox

Kaitlyn (Kaitlyn in Bookland) said...

Wow, what an excellent week!
Here is my mailbox for the week <3

pussreboots said...

Enjoy your books. Here's what I received.

Just Mom said...

That Laura Lippman sounds especially good - enjoy them all!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I would love to read Mary Beth Chapman's book. She seems like a very strong woman.

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