Mailbox Monday will be hosted in December by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books. 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!
The Demi-Monde: Winter
by Rod Rees
1. A subclass of society whose members embrace a decadent lifestyle and evince loose morals.
2. A shadow world where the norms of civilized behavior have been abandoned.
3. A massive multiple-player simulation technology that re-creates in a wholly realistic cyber-milieu the threat-ambiance and no-warning aspects of a hi-intensity, deep-density, urban Asymmetric Warfare Environment.
Welcome to the Demi-Monde, the ultimate in virtual reality -- a military training ground and vivid, simulated world of cruelty and chaos run by psychopaths, madmen and fanatics. If you die here, you die in the Real World. . .
In the year 2018, the Demi-Monde is the most sophisticated, complex and unpredictable computer simulation ever created, devised specifically to train soldiers for the nightmarish reality of urban warfare. A virtual world of eternal civil conflict, its thirty millian inhabitants -- "Dupes" -- are ruled by cyber-duplicates of some of history's cruelest tyrants: the fanatical Nazi butcher Reinhard Heydrich; Stalin's arch executioner Lavrentii Beria; the torture-loving Grand Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada; the Reign of Terror's bloodthirsty mastermind Maximilien Robespierre.
But something has gone horribly wrong inside the Demi-Monde, and the U.S. president's daughter, Norma has been lured into this terrifying shadow world, only to be trapped there. Her last hope of rescue is Ella Thomas, an eighteen-year-old jazz singer and very reluctant heroine. But when Ella infiltrates the Demi-Monde and begins her hunt for Norma, she soon discovers the walls containing the evils of this simulated environment are dissolving -- and the Real World is in far more danger than anyone knows. With the help of resistors determined to understand their world, Ella must race to save Norma and stop an apocalypse. . . but the clock is ticking.
Blending fact and fantasy, history and religion, military and existential themes, epic adventure and dark wit, dystopia and steampunk in a wholly original and driving narrative stream, The Demi-Monde: Winter is inventive fiction at its finest.
What Happened to Hannah
by Mary Kay McComas
As a teenager, Hannah Benson's one chance to save herself was to run away. As the years have passed, she's never looked back, not even to find out what happened to the mother and sister she left behind. Now, twenty years later, the past comes calling when her hometown sheriff, Grady Steadman -- Hannah's sweetheart in high school -- delivers some life-changing news: her mother and sister are dead, leaving her guardian of her fifteen-year-old niece.
Returning home to bitter memories and devastating secrets, Hannah must find a way to make this new challenge work without ruining lives -- or destroying her own sanity. And when her painful memories of this small town become mingled with the new, happier moments she's creating with her niece -- and the rekindled feelings she has for Grady -- Hannah is faced with the most difficult challenge yet.
Mary Kay McComas's What Happened to Hannah captures the totality of a life filled with unfinished business, words left unsaid, and unparalleled heartache.
More Than Words Can Say
by Robert Barclay
A woman finds hope, long-buried secrets, and the chance to truly come into her own when she spends a summer at her late grandmother's lake cottage in this moving, multigenerational family story from the author of If Wishes Were Horses.
Though she and her grandmother had always been close, Chelsea Enright never expected to inherit her Gran's cottage in the Adirondacks. No one had been to the cottage since Gran mysteriously closed it decades ago. A letter accompanying the will makes it clear that this is no simple bequest. The cottage holds secrets that go back decades -- secrets that Chelsea must uncover before she can decide whether to keep the place or sell it.
But a short trip becomes an entire summer in which she gets to know the cottage's caretakers and the rest of her neighbors -- including local doctor Brandon Yale -- who makes her realize that this cottage and her family's past are not so easily put behind her. As the truth unfolds, the repercussions will be felt far and wide. . . if Chelsea lets them.
by Spencer Seidel
There's something wrong with Lee. . .
Late one night out on the Eastern Promenade Trail in Portland, Maine, the police discover an incoherent teenager sitting in a pool of blood, holding the body of his best friend and the murder weapon. The girl they both love has been missing for weeks.
Dr. Lisa Boyers, forensic psychologist, receives a call from an old friend, a connection to her troubled past, Attorney Rudy Swaner wants her to interview the young killer, Paul Ducharme, who is claiming he doesn't remember the events leading up to the murder.
In her jailhouse interviews, Lisa helps Paul to recover his memories. But Paul's disturbing love story forces her to confront her own ugly, violent secrets.
Lisa soon finds herself the focus of an over-zealous reporter and media hype that drags her unwillingly into the spotlight and threatens to uncover secrets she'd rather not share.
by Faye Kellerman
LAPD lieutenant detective Decker and his wife, Rina, have willingly welcomed fifteen-year-old Gabriel Whitman, the son of a troubled former friend, into their home. While the enigmatic teen seems to be adapting easily, Decker knows only too well the secrets adolescents keep -- witnessed by the tragic suicide of another teen, Gregory Hesse, a student at Bell and Wakefield, one of the city's most exclusive prep schools.
Gregory's mother, Wendy, refuses to believe her son shot himself and convinces Decker to look deeper. What he finds disturbs him. The gun used in the tragedy was stolen -- evidence that propels him to launch a full investigation with his trusted team, Sergeant Marge Dunn and Dectective Scott Oliver. But the case becomes darkly complicated by the suicide of another Bell and Wakefield student -- a death that leads them to uncover an especially nasty group of rich and privileged students with a predilection for guns and violence. Decker thought he understood kids, yet the closer he and his team get to the truth, the clearer it becomes that he knows very little about them, including his own charge, Gabe. The son of a gangster and an absent parent, the boy has had a life filled with too much free time, too many unexplained absences, and too little adult supervision.
Before it's over, the case and all its terrifying ramifications will take Decker and his detectives down a dark alley of twisted allegiances and unholy alliances, culminating at a heart-stopping point of no return.
The Starlite Drive-In
by Marjorie Reynolds
When human bones are discovered on the grounds of the old Starlite Drive-in, only Callie Anne Benton knows the identity of the victim who mysteriously disappeared thirty-six years ago.
It's the sweltering summer of 1956 when a handsome drifter named Charlie Memphis arrives at the Starlite to help Callie Anne's injured father run the theater. Both she and her mother, Teal, fall for Memphis's rugged style and gentlemanly manners, but Callie Anne's father -- bitter in his role as caretaker for the rural drive-in and his agoraphobic wife -- doesn't like the drifter's increasing interest in Teal.
A disastrous turn of events changes their lives forever, and it's up to the grown up Callie Anne to unlock the secret of the decades-old mystery.
Told through the voice of Callie Anne, a whip-smart tomboy reminiscent of Scout Finch, The Starlite Drive-in is a vivid snapshot of 1950s America. A compelling novel infused with hope, tragedy, and suspense, Callie Anne's story will strike a chord with readers both young and old.
Archon: The Books of Raziel
by Sabrina Benulis
There are some things worse than death. . .
For years, Angela Mathers had been plagued by visions of a supernatural being -- an angel with beguiling eyes and magnificent wings who haunts her thoughts and seduces her dreams. Newly freed from a mental institution where she had been locked away for two years, Angela hopes that attending Westwood Academy, the Vatican's exclusive university, will bring her peace and a semblance of normality.
But Angela isn't normal. With her stain of dark red hair and alabaster skin, she is a blood head -- a freak, a monster, and the possible fulfillment of a terrifying prophecy. Blessed with strange, mystical powers, blood heads hold a special place in the Academy. Among them, one special blood head is more powerful than them all: the Archon, the human reincarnation of the dead angel Raziel. And when Archon arises as foretold, it will rule the supernatural universe.
Barely in control of her own life, Angela has no ambition to conquer an entire universe, not when she's suddenly contending with a dangerous enemy who is determined to destroy her and a magnetic novitiate who wants to save her. But the choice might not be her own. . .
Torn between mortal love and angelic obsession, the young blood head must soon face the truth about herself and her world. It is she who holds the key to Heaven and Hell -- and both will stop at nothing to possess her.
In Archon, Sabrina Benulis has created a dazzlingly imaginative tale set in a lush, vivid supernatural world filled with gargoyles and candlelight, magic and murder, in which humans, angels, demons, and those in between battle for supremacy -- and survival.
by C.E. Lawrence
Everyone has what he wants.
The killer picks her up in a Manhattan night club. Another trendy victim of the latest downtown scene. Young. Fresh. Healthy. Perfect. The police find her body in a Bronx park. Pale as a ghost. Peaceful in death. Her life has been drained away. Slowly. Methodically. Brilliantly. . .
No one survives what he takes.
NYPD profiler Lee Campbell has seen the gruesome handiwork of the most deranged criminal minds. But this is something new. Something unbelievably twisted. A blood-obsessed lunatic who chooses his victims with deadly, loving care -- and forces Campbell to confront the demons in his own life. No matter who wins this game, there will be blood. . .
by Neal Baer and Jonathan Greene
Meet Claire Waters, a young, dedicated forensic psychiatrist with unnervingly personal insights into the criminal mind. Haunted by a disturbing childhood incident -- and driven by her demons -- Claire has always been drawn to those rare "untreatable" patients who seem to have no conscience or fear. But one shocking case could make or break her career -- and it's waiting for her in the psychiatric wing of New York City's Rikers Island.
His name is Quimby. A deranged inmate whose boyish good looks hide a sordid history of dysfunction and abuse, Quimby triggers something in Claire she'd rather not face. As she tries to unlock Quimby's past, she unwittingly reveals her own painful secrets -- leaving herself dangerously vulnerable. When the case propels her into the mind of another killer -- a homicidal maniac who's watching her every move -- it could only end in madness, or murder, or both. . .
Brilliantly constructed and breathtakingly suspenseful, Kill Switch is a masterful combination of murder, mystery, and modern forensics that will keep you turning the pages to the final shocking conclusion.
What books came home to you last week?