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


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mailbox Time! (Mar 7, 2011)

I was unable to do my regular posts last weekend as DH took me to see the musical Hair in Milwaukee and we even got to spend the night with no kids!  It was a fun musical but I was really amazed with how the movie changed the entire story line.  So, this post covers the last two weeks of mail.  I think that there is something for everyone here!

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

Alice in Zombieland
By Lewis Carroll and Nickolas Cook

They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the bank -- the birds with draggled feathers, the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross and uncomfortable.  All of them were covered in Alice's now cold and congealed blood, which made them even tastier looking to poor hungry Alice.

When little Alice follows the Black Rat down into the gaping darkness of an open grave, she falls and falls.  And soon finds herself in an undead nightmare of rotting flesh and insanity.  Venturing further into this land of zombies and monsters, she encounters both creepy and madcap along the way.

But there's something else troubling poor Alice, her skin is rotting and her hair is falling out.  She's cold.  And she has the haunting feeling that if she remains in Zombieland any longer, she might never leave.

Can Alice escape Zombieland before the Dead Red Queen catches up to her?

Murder Takes the Cake: A Daphne Martin Cake Mystery
by Gayle Trent

A routine cake delivery becomes a culinary nightmare when a small-town baker discovers her first client's dead body in this irresistible new mystery series.

It'll take more than a little sugar to convince folks Daphne Martin's freshly baked spice cake was not to blame for the mysterious death of town gossip Yodel Watson.  Getting her new cake decorating business, Daphne's Delectable Cakes, off the ground is hard enough now that Daphne's moved back to her southern Virginia hometown, but orders have been even slower since she found Yodel's body.  She soon realizes, however, that just about everybody in town had a reason to poison the cantankerous busybody, from the philandering pet shop owner, to Yodel's church potluck nemesis, to the Save-A-Buck's cranky produce manager-turned-bagger.  Now, to help prove she's no confectionary killer, Daphne recruits her old flame, Ben Jacobs, editor of the local newspaper, and quickly stirs up a long-hidden family scandal that just might hold the secret ingredient she needs to solve the case.  All she's got to do is roll up her sleeves and get her hands a little dirty before the real culprit decides that taking sweet revenge on Daphne will be icing on the cake.

Cold Wind (A Joe Pickett Novel)
by C.J. Box

When Earl Alden is found dead, dangling from a wind turbine, it's his wife, Missy, who is arrested.  Unfortunately for Joe Pickett, Missy is his mother-in-law, a woman he dislikes heartily, and now he doesn't know what to do -- especially when the early signs point to her being guilty as sin.

But then things happen to make Joe wonder:  Is Earl's death what it appears to be?  Is Missy being set up?  He has the county DA and sheriff on one side, his wife on the other, his estranged friend Nate on a lethal mission of his own, and some powerful interests breathing down his neck.  Whichever way this goes . . . it's not going to be good.

Field Gray
by Philip Kerr

Bernie Gunther is one of the great protagonists in thriller literature.  He's a tough-talking cop who spent eleven years as a homicide detective in Berlin's Kripo, where he witnessed just about every form of deviance, corruption, and gratuitous violence known to man.  In 1933, as the National Socialists took power and began purging non-party members from the force, he jumped ship and set himself up as a private detective.  He'd had a wife but lost her to the influenza pandemic and he's had a roving eye ever since, but not much luck in long-term relationships. It's hard to have long-term relationships in Nazi Germany when so many people keep disappearing.  Still, that's been good for business.

But in 1940, Heydrich dragoons him into the SS, and garbed in its field gray uniform, Bernie soon finds himself knee-deep in the bloodbath that was the Eastern Front.

by Mingmei Yip

Following her success of Peach Blossom Pavilion and Petals from the Sky is the release of Song of the Silk Road, the third novel by celebrated author, Mingmei Yip.  This richly imaginative novel follows one woman's daunting journey along China's fabled Silk Road, a life-changing adventure filled with the most unexpected revelations.

As a girl growing up in Hong Kong, Lily Lin was captivated by photographes of the desert -- its long, lonely vistas and shifting sand dunes.  Now living in New York, Lily is struggling to finish her graduate degree when she receives an astonishing offer.  An aunt she never knew existed will pay Lily a huge sum to travel across China's desolate Taklamakan Desert -- and carry out a series of tasks along the way.

Intrigued, Lily accepts.  Her assignments range from the dangerous to the bizarre.  Lily must seduce a monk.  She must scrape a piece of clay from the famous Terracotta Warriors, and climb the Mountain of Heaven to gather a rare herb.  At Xian,  her first stop, Lily meets Alex, a young American with whom she forms a powerful connection.  And soon, she faces revelations that will redefine her past, her destiny, and the shocking truth behind her aunt's motivations.

Powerful and eloquent, Song of the Silk Road is a captivating story of self-discovery, resonant with the mysteries of its haunting, exotic landscape.

Debbie Marrie, General Editor

God wants you to be healthy -- mind, body and spirit.

God answers prayers for healing, as the lives of people recorded in both the Old and New Testaments confirm.  His desire is for you also to live a life of wholeness and health -- to experience His total redemption.

God's Healing Words demonstrates God's desire to restore your entire being to health.  This insightful book full of scriptures, quotations, and prayers on healing lets you meditate and then pray for yourself and your loved ones to receive the precious promises that God has given us.  You will discover:
  • Healing words for your body
  • Healing words for your spirit
  • Healing for grief and depression
  • Healing for your marriage and other relationships
  • Healing through forgiveness
As you meditate on these "wonderful words of life," you will be inspired to pray the healing prayers of scriptures for yourself and those you love, whether the need is physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual.

The Border Lord and the Lady (Border Chronicles)
by Bertrice Small

Lady Cicely Bowen, daughter of the Earl of Leighton, is sent away by her doting father when her jealous stepmother presents a threat to her safety.  Raised by a royal widow, Cicely becomes best friends with Lady Joan Beaufort, the king's cousin.  When Joan is married to King James I of Scotland, she chooses Cicely as one of the ladies to accompany her north.

At the Scot's court, Cicely finds herself pursued by two men: elegant Andrew Gordon, the laird of Fairlea, and Ian Douglas, the laird of Glengorm, a rough-spoken border lord.  When Ian kidnaps Cicely just as Andrew is about to propose to her, the royal court is sent into an uproar.  The queen demands the return of her friend and the Gordons threaten to set the border aflame, even as Ian Douglas attempts to win Cicely's love.  But the border laird is difficult to tame -- and the lady's heart is even harder to claim.

by Priya Parmar

While selling oranges in the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, Ellen "Nell" Gwyn impresses the proprietors with a wit and sparkle that belie her youth and poverty.  She quickly earns a place in the company, narrowly avoiding the life of prostitution, to which her sister has already succumbed.  As her roles evolve from supporting to starring the scope of her life broadens as well.  Soon Ellen is dressed in the finest fashions, charming the luminaries of Restoration England.

Ellen grows up on the stage, experiencing first love and heartbreak and eventually becoming the mistress of Charles II.  Despite his reputation as a libertine, Ellen wholly captures his heart -- and he hers -- but even the most powerful love isn't enough to stave off the gossip and bitter court politics that accompany a royal romance.

Telling the story through a collection of vibrant seventeenth-century voices ranging from Ellen's diary to playbills, letters, gossip columns, and home remedies, Priya Parmar brings to life the story of an endearing and delightful heroine.

The Bone Yard: A Body Farm Novel
by Jefferson Bass

The onset of summer brings predictably steamy weather to the Body Farm, Dr. Bill Brockton's human-decomposition research facility at the University of Tennessee.  But Brockton's about to get more heat than he's bargained for when Angie St. Claire, a forensic analyst with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, asks him to help prove that her sister's death was not suicide, but murder.

Brockton's quick consulting trip takes a long, harrowing detour when bones begin turning up amide the pines and live oaks of the Florida panhandle.  Two adolescent skulls -- ravaged by time and animals, but bearing the telltale signs of lethal fractures -- send Brockton, Angie, and Special Agent Stu Vickery on a search for the long-lost victims.  The quest leads them to the ruins of the North Florida Boys' Reformatory, a notorious juvenile detention facility that met a fiery end more than forty years ago.

Guided by the discovery of a diary kept by one of the school's young "students," Brockton's team finds a cluster of shallow graves, all of them containing the bones of boys who suffered violent deaths.  The graves confirm one of the diary's grim claims:  that one wrong move could land a boy in the Bone Yard.  but as the investigation expands, it encounters opposition from the local sheriff, who's less than delighted to find forensic experts from the state capital and the Body Farm digging up dirt in his county.

As Brockton and his team close in on the truth, they find skeletons in some surprisingly prominent closets. . . and they learn that the ghosts of the past pose perilous consequences in the present.

Bound by Guilt
by C.J. Darlington

Roxi Gold is a throwaway, shuttled from one foster home to another for most of her life.  She longs for a family and will do anything to fit in -- even if it's against the law.  Soon she's traveling the country stealing rare books from unsuspecting bookstores, until a first edition of The Great Gatsby catches up with her.

Police officer Abby Dawson has seen the worst of society, and not just at work.  The job she once loved has become a chore, the world isn't any safer, and there's no joy in her life.  One fateful night a man's innocent blood changes both Roxi's and Abby's lives forever.  One searches for justice; the other finds herself on the run.  Will the power of forgiveness set them free, or will they both remain bound by guilt?

Pale Demon (The Hollows, Book 9)
by Kim Harrison

Condemned and shunned for black magic, Rachel Morgan has three days to get to the annual witches' conference and clear her name, or be trapped in the demonic ever-after. . . forever after.

But a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car going across country?  Talk about a recipe for certain disaster, even without being the targets for assassination.

For after centuries of torment, a fearsome demon walks in the sunlight -- freed at last to slay innocent and devour their souls.  But his ultimate goal is Rachel Morgan, and in the fight for survival that follows, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.

The Linen Queen: A Novel
by Patricia Falvey

Abandoned by her father and neglected by her self-centered, unstable mother, Sheila McGee cannot wait to escape the drudgery of her mill-village life in Northern Ireland.  Her classic Irish beauty helps her win the 1941 Linen Queen competition, and the prize money that goes with it finally gives her the opportunity she's been dreaming of.  But Sheila does not count on the impact of the Belfast Blitz, which brings World War II to her doorstep.  Now even her good looks are useless in the face of travel restrictions, and her earlier resolve is eroded by her ma's fear of being left alone.

When American troops set up base in her village, some see them as occupiers, but Sheila sees them as saviors -- one of them may be her ticket out.  Despite objections from her childhood friend Gavin O'Rourke, she sets her sights on an attractive Jewish American army officer named Joel Solomon, but her plans are interrupted by the arrival of a street-wise young evacuee from Belfast.

Frustrated, Sheila fights to hold on to her dream, but slowly her priorities change as the people of Northern Ireland put old divisions aside and bond together in a common purpose to fight the Germans.  Sheila's affection for Joel grows as she and Gavin are driven farther apart.  As the war moves steadily closer to those she has grown to love, Sheila confronts more abandonment and loss and finds true strength, compassion, and a meaning for her life.

Dark Prince: Author's Cut Special Edition
by Christine Feehan

Enter the enchanting world of the Carpathians, where dark adventure, mystery and love await, and the desires of two daring hearts unite in one irresistible passion.

A telepathic hunter of serial killers, Raven Whitney helps to catch some of the most depraved criminals.   But her work keeps her from getting close to others, and has drained her body and spirit.  In need of rest and rejuvenation, she embarks for a vacation far from home.

Mikhail Dubrinsky is the prince of the Carpathians, the powerful leader of a wise and secret ancient race that thrives in the night.  Engulfed by despair, fearful of never finding the mate who can save him from the encroaching darkness, his soul cries out in loneliness -- until the day that a beautiful voice full of light and love responds, softly soothing his pain and yearning.

From the moment they meet, Raven and Mikhail are helpless to resist the desire that sparks between them.  But just as fate unexpectedly brings these life mates together, malevolent forces threaten to destroy them and their fragile love.  Yet even if they survive, how can these two lovers -- Carpathian and human -- build a future together?  And how can Mikhail bring Raven into his dark world without extinguishing her beautiful goodness and light?

Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing
by Kathy Cano-Murillo

Sometimes to find your life's true path, you have to stray outside the lines. . .

Scarlet Santana is never happier than when creating fabulous fashions for women of all shapes and sizes.  Now, after years of hard work, she finally has the chance to live her dream and study under the hottest designer in New York.  To raise money for her move, Scarlet opens an after-hours sewing school in a local record shop, teaching a type-A working mom whose rigid parenting style is causing her family to unravel and an enigmatic seamstress with a mysterious past.

But as stitches give way to secrets and classmates become friends, the women realize an important truth:  There is no single pattern for a good life.  Happiness is always a custom fit.

Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
By Philip Connors

In the tradition of Desert Solitaire and Shop Class as Soulcraft comes a remarkable debut from a major new voice in American nonfiction -- a meditation on nature, work, and life, witnessed from the heights of one of the last fire lookout towers in America.

"I've seen lunar eclipses and desert sandstorms and lightning that made my hair stand on end.  I've watched deer and elk frolic in the meadow below me and pine trees explode in a blue ball of smoke.  If there's a better job anywhere on the planet, I'd like to know what it is."

For nearly a decade, Philip Connors has spent half of each year in a 7' x 7' fire lookout tower, ten thousand feet up in a remote corner of New Mexico.  One of the most undeveloped parts of the country and the first region in the world to be designated as an official wilderness area, the landscape he watches over is also one of the most fire-prone, receiving more than thirty thousand lightning strikes each year.  Written with gusto, charm, and a sense of history, Fire Season captures the wonder and grandeur of this most unusual job and place: the eerie pleasure of solitude; the strange dance of communion and wariness with its wild creatures; and the majesty, might and beauty of untamed fire at its wildest.

Filled with Connors's heartfelt reflections on our place in the wild, on other writers who have worked as lookouts -- Jack Kerouac, Edward Abbey, Norman Maclean, Gary Snyder -- and on the ongoing debate over whether fires should be suppressed or left to burn, Fire Season is a remarkable homage to the beauty of nature, the blessings of solitude, and the freedom of the independent spirit.


Mystica said...

I can imagine the fun you are going to have reading these different genres. Such a lot of nice reading here.

bermudaonion said...

Wow, you had a great week! I see a lot of great looking books in there, but Murder Takes the Cake looks especially appealing.

Just Mom said...

When you say there is something for everyone, you are not kidding. That is such an array of genres. I think the book about the ladies in sewing class sounds good.

Eli said...

Ooh, Dark Prince looks really good! I haven't kept up the that series, but I might want to! Happy reading!

Here is my IMM if you're interested!

Aisle B said...

Loved loved The Linen Queen and Exit the Actress!

Your style is as varied as mine and I see we have that in common :)

Reading is my Passion,so enjoy it girl :)

Alison said...

Many great books! Song of the Silk Road and the Patternless Sewing novels look especially great. New follower!


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