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


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mailbox Mayhem (Sept 13 - Sept 19)

Bison roam the Black Hills of South Dakota

In My Mailbox is hosted Sundays at The Story Siren.  Mailbox Monday's host for September is Bermuda Onion . Please visit these posts and take a look at what packages everybody else got this week!

This week's mailbox


by Louise Marley

Octavia Voss is an ethereal singer whose poise and talent belie her young age.  In truth, she is a centuries-old vampire who once "shared the tooth" with Mozart himself.  To protect her secret, Octavia's even more ancient friend Ugo stalks the streets to find the elixir that feeds his muse's soul.

With Mozart's musical prowess coursing through her veins, the ageless Octavia reinvents herself with each new generation.  But just as she prepares to take the stage at La Scala, Ugo inexplicably disappears, leaving Octavia alone -- and dangerously unprotected. . .

Octavia vows to find Ugo, but his fate is in the hands of forces much darker than she could ever imagine.  And when she learns the truth behind his disappeareance, Octavia realizes too late that the life hanging most in the balance is her own. . .

by Rachel Hawkins

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes.  Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father -- an elusive European warlock -- only when necessary.  But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard:  three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus.  Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.


House of Night Book 6
by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Dark secrets and unspoken suspicions come between Zoey and Stevie Rae, putting their friendship -- and the House of Night -- at risk.

After Zoey Redbird and her gang have banished Kalona and Neferet from Tulsa, you'd think they'd catch a break.  But with Zoey and her sexy warrior Stark both recovering from a brush with death, and the fledglings struggling to deal with the fallout from Neferet's reign of terror, a break is just not in the forecast.  Zoey is haunted by her confusing yet elemental connection with A-ya, the ancient Cherokee maiden who was the only human able to tempt Kalona's body and soul.  How will A-ya's pull on her affect Zoey's ability to resist the dangerously seductive immortal?

Meanwhile, Stevie Rae, with her super redvamp powers, always thought she could handle the stuff she's been keeping from her BFF.  But the mysterious, threatening force lurking in the tunnels under the Tulsa Depot is spreading.  Stevie Rae won't confide where she's been and what she's doing, and Zoey is beginning to wonder just how much she can trust the person she always thought would have her back.

Will their choices destroy them and will darkness consume the House of Night?  Find out in this next spectacular installment in the bestselling House of Night series.

Evernight series Book 2
by Claudia Gray

The vampire in me was closer to the surface. . .

Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one.  But she has fallen in love with Lucas, a vampire hunter who infiltrated Evernight Academy, the exclusive vampire boarding school she attends.  Bianca will do anything to be with Lucas, even if it means lying to the powerful vampires of Evernight.

Her deceit leads her to dig deep into the mysteries of the school, and Bianca discovers that even those she trusts the most have their own dark secrets.  When a ghostly force begins attacking Evernight -- and targeting Bianca -- she learns a shocking truth about her past that will forever change her future.


GoD and DoG
by Wendy Francisco

First appearing on YouTube, the hugely popular video of Wendy Francisco's charming animated illustrations and moving song delivers a message of the unwavering devotion dogs have for their owners, and how it's a reflection of God's essence.

Now in book format, Wendy's heartfelt narrative is brought to life on paper and includes sheet music for the song that touched so many lives.  Francisco's story appeals to all ages, to animal enthusiasts, to people of diverse backgrounds, and especially to anyone who has been loved by a dog.

by Sherrie Madia
illustrated by Patrick Carlson

Alphabet Woof! is the story of Moxy the dog who eats magic soup and his wish comes true: He can talk! This gift leads Moxy and his family to some exciting adventures, but in the end, he realizes his greatest gift is not his ability to talk but rather, his ability to talk with the people he loves, who love him back. The story is fun and whimsical, but carries an important underlying message-of family values and of understanding what really matters.

by Dan and Ali Morrow
illustrated by Cory Godbey

A boy’s simple question sparks a search for God. Prompted by his grandfather, he discovers God’s presence everywhere: in a powerful storm, in a friend’s help, and in his sister’s kindness. Then his grandfather shares another truth: God also can be found in our hearts, if we invite him in.

Filled with wonder, That’s Where God Is! teaches children ages 4 to 8 that God is always with them. Moving beyond simply telling about God, it gently guides children’s spiritual growth, showing them how to recognize God’s presence for themselves. With an introduction by Lee Strobel, it’s ideal for parents, grandparents, and teachers who want to deepen a young child’s walk with God.

Jessilyn Lassiter trilogy - Book 3
by Jennifer Erin Valent

It's been two years since Jessilyn Lassiter last looked evil in the eye, but she knew better than to think it was gone for good.  At nearly nineteen, Jessilyn is more in love with Luke Talley than ever, and he is finally beginning to care for her in the way she always dreamed he would.  But their romance is interrupted when Tal Pritchett -- a young black doctor -- comes to Calloway, stealing the heart of Jessilyn's best friend, Gemma, and stirring up the racial prejudice that has been simmering just beneath the surface.

The tension escalates when Miss Cleta, Jessilyn's neighbor, becomes the first white townsperson to accept Tal's treatment, an offense that quickly leads to violence at the hands of the revived Ku Klux Klan.  As Jessilyn dreams of vengeance, she begins to realize that in order to bring true peace, she'll have to win the battle that's waging in her own heart first.

Lancaster County Secrets Book 2
by Suzanne Woods Fisher

She was waiting for love -- and found it in the most unexpected place.

Jorie King's life is on hold.  She has been waiting for Ben Zook to return to Lancaster County.  Waiting for him to settle down and join the church.  Waiting to marry him.

But when news arrives that Ben has been killed, Jorie is devastated.  She finds unlikely comfort in the friendship of his brother Caleb.  Friendship ripens into love, and two broken hearts plan for a life filled with the promise of a fresh beginning -- until their worlds are turned upside down.

With her realistic characters whose weaknesses develop into strengths, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers a reading experience that rises above the others.  You will love growing in spirit with these complex people living the simple life as The Waiting transports you into a world where things aren't as simple as they seem.

by Aura Imbarus

In an epic tale of identity and the indomitable human spirit, Out of the Transylvania Night explores tyranny, freedom, love, success, and the price paid for misaligned dreams.  An incredibly powerful memoir.

"I'd grown up in the land of TRANSYLVANIA, homeland to Dracula, Vlad the Impaler and, worse, the Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu -- who turned Romania into a land of gray-clad zombies who never dared to show their individuality, and where neighbors became informants, and the Securitate made people disappear.  Daylight empowered the regime to encircle us like starved wolves, and so night had always been the time to steal a bit of freedom.  As if bred into our Transylvanian blood, we were like vampires who came to life after sundown.  I buried the family jewels, tucked the flag into my sweater and left my outpost to join the action. . . tonight Ceausescu would die!"

Known for using stand-ins to pose for him, Aura doubts if it was even Ceausescu himself who was killed that night.  Nevertheless, when her countrymen topple one of the most draconian regimes in the Soviet bloc, Aura Imbarus tells herself that life post-revolution will be different.  But little in the country changes. With two pieces of luggage and a powerful dream, Aura and her new husband flee to America.  Through sacrifice and hard work, the couple acquire a home, cars, and travel -- but trying to be Americans is much more complicated than they expect.  More difficulties set in: the stock market crash takes their savings, house, and cars; thieves steal three centuries' worth of heirloom jewels; and Aura's beloved mother dies.

Aura's marriage crumbles under the stress. Devastated, she asks herself, "How much of one's life is owed to others?"  Tested even further by the vagaries of fate, Aura discovers a startling truth about striking a balance between one's dreams and the sacrifices and compromises that allow for serenity, selfhood, and lasting love.  More resolution comes when in 2010, Ceausescus body is exhumed to answer questions of a cover-up, and Aura can finally lay to rest the haunting mysteries of her past.

by Dennis Lehane

Amanda McCready was four years old when she vanished from a Boston apartment in 1997.  Desperate pleas for help from the child's aunt led savvy, tough-nosed investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro to take on the case.  The pair risked everything to find the young girl -- only to have Kenzie orchestrate her return to a neglectful mother and a broken home.

Now Amanda is sixteen -- and gone again.  A stellar student, brilliant but aloof, she seemed destined to escape her upbringing.  Yet Amanda's aunt is once more knocking at Kenzie's door, fearing the worst for the little girl who has blossomed into a striking, bright young woman who hasn't been seen in two weeks.

Haunted by the past, Kenzie and Gennaro revisit the case that troubled them the most, following a twelve-year trail of secrets and lies down the darkest alleys of Boston's gritty, blue-collar streets.  Assuring themselves that this time will be different, they vow to make good on their promise to find Amanda and see that she is safe.  But their determination to do the right thing holds dark implications Kenzie and Gennaro aren't prepared for. . . consequences that could cost them not only Amanda's life, but their own.

by Ray and Debbie Alsdorf

Here's the story -- the real story -- about what it takes to make a blended family work.

Any parent who has been through a divorce knows that a blended family is far more messy and complicated than any television show portrays.  Leftover anger and a lack of trust can make moving ahead an overwhelming challenge.  Beyond the Brady Bunch is written by a couple that has survived the ups and downs of bringing children from previous marriages together to form a new family.

Ray and Debbie Alsdorf understand the frustration and sense of failure that can often accompany a parent's best efforts.  Together, they tell their story and offer perspective on the emotional land mines that can undo the parent-child relationship postdivorce.

Honest yet unfailingly hopeful, their message is clear:  God loves families -- no matter what they've been through -- and wants to take them to a loving future together.  Beyond the Brady Bunch can help you get there.

by Fletcher Cockrell

Dismissed with Prejudice is a legal drama that deals with the dark side of a powerful university, major college sports and state government.  At the urging of a wealthy businessman and booster with mafia ties, an assistant coach is fired under false pretenses.  Landon Duhon, a smalltown lawyer, reads about it in the paper and becomes suspicious.  It's the third assistant in the last seven years fired by the same multi-million-dollar head coach, a political schmoozer and philanderer.  Duhon sends his colleague to investigate and slowly uncovers layer upon layer of fraud, corruption and backroom deals.  The assistant's career is over regardless of the outcome, but he decides to sue for wrongful termination, setting in motion a legal battle that escalates into threats, violence and murder.  The novel is a classic "little guy against the system" story with insight into the bureaucracy, legal environment, and corrupting influence of money in the university and political arena.

by Leonard Sweet


Brace yourself. This book is set to revolutionize your understanding of evangelism.  That revolution stands to affect not just your everyday habits, including encounters you have with other people, but the very roots of your faith, the range of your mission, and the limits of your freedom.

In the tradition of The Gospel According to Starbucks, this groundbreaking book dares to ask:  Instead of bringing people to Jesus, how about joining Jesus in what he is already doing?

Author Leonard Sweet challenges you to use all five senses to interact with God and others.  Nudge will remind you that for God to do something through us, God must be doing something in us.

by Larry Levin

In 2002, Larry Levin and his twelve-year-old twin sons, Dan and Noah, brought their ailing cat into the neighborhood animal hospital to be put to sleep.  What began as one of their family's saddest days took a sharp turn for the better when the oddest-looking dog they'd ever seen bounded into the waiting room and into their arms.

Larry and the boys assumed that this white puppy had been in a fire -- he was missing an ear and half his face was covered in scar tissue -- but they were soon told a different story.  He had been near-fatally injured as part of a dog-fighting ring in the area, discovered by the police, and left at the after-hours service of the hospital.  When the hospital administrator found him in the morning, he was so bloodied and battered she knew he had a slim chance of survival.  But, determined to keep him alive, she convinced her veterinarian boss to perform a series of surgeries and readied him for adoption.

The Levins -- Larry, his wife Jennifer, and their sons -- accepted him as one of their own from the moment they met him.  As the rambunctious puppy matured into a loyal and protective member of the family (dubbed the "Third Twin"), he marked himself indelibly on their lives, healing long-held wounds and showing the twins, themselves adopted as infants, that unbreakable bonds can be formed in all kinds of families.

OOGY is about the power of redemption, and how animals and people can overcome the greatest of odds.  And Oogy is an incredibly special animal, whose sense of security and being loved has persevered despite his trials.  This one-in-a-million dog and his story will enter your heart and stay with you for a long time.


bermudaonion said...

Wow, you had a great week! We only got one book in common - Moonlight Mile. I hope you have a great week in books!

Cathy said...

Moonlight Mile looks good. Happy reading!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

What great books! I am jealous of the Dennis Lehane book - that is one I would love to read! :)

Kate Scott said...

I'll be interested to hear what you think of Catching Moondrops. I picked up the first book in the trilogy at my used book exchange a while back and haven't read it yet, but it caught my attention because the of how the author got published–by winning a writing contest, and the fact that she's from the town where I live.

Kate Scott said...

I'll be interested to hear what you think of Catching Moondrops. I picked up the first book in the trilogy at my used book exchange a while back and haven't read it yet, but it caught my attention because the of how the author got published–by winning a writing contest, and the fact that she's from the town where I live.

Kate Scott said...

I'll be interested to hear what you think of Catching Moondrops. I picked up the first book in the trilogy at my used book exchange a while back and haven't read it yet, but it caught my attention because the of how the author got published–by winning a writing contest, and the fact that she's from the town where I live. Happy reading!

Kate Scott said...

I'll be interested to hear what you think of Catching Moondrops. I picked up the first book in the trilogy at my used book exchange a while back and haven't read it yet, but it caught my attention because the of how the author got published–by winning a writing contest, and the fact that she's from the town where I live. Happy reading!

Alayne said...

You had a great week. I love the variety! Happy reading. My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

gautami tripathy said...

Have a great reading week ahead! Here is my Mondays: Mailbox/Where Am I/Musings post.

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

Oogy looks so cute! Catching Moondrops looks like it would be a book I might like too. Have a great reading week!

Anna said...

I haven't heard of a lot of these. I don't know how you find the time to read all of these!

Lisa said...

Holy crow! You had a GREAT WEEK! The book Oogey really really REALLY needs to be in my hands!

I LOVE the sound of that one. And the Transalvania one, oh and the first two books look amazing!


Passages to the Past said...

My goodness, what a week you had!! I hope you enjoy all of your new books!

HERE is my Mailbox Monday.


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