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


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mailbox Monday (March 5, 2012)

 Mailbox Monday will be hosted in March by Anna at Diary of an Eccentric.  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! 

Out of Sight, Out of Mind
by Ally Carter

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan -- an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year.  But when Cammie wakes up in an Alpine convent and discovers that months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole.  The only traces left of Cammie's summer vacation are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home.

Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers.  Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind.  It's a race against time.  The Circle is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer. 

Before the Poison
by Peter Robinson

Chris Lowndes built a comfortable career composing scores for films in Hollywood.  But after twenty-five years abroad, and still quietly reeling from the death of his beloved wife, he decides to return to the Yorkshire dales of his youth.  To ease the move, he buys Kilnsgate House, a rambling old mansion deep in the country.

Although Chris finds Kilnsgate charming, something about the house disturbs him, a vague sensation that the long-empty rooms have been waiting for him -- feelings made ever stronger when he learns that the house was the scene of a murder more than fifty years before.  The former owner, a prominent doctor named Ernest Arthur Fox, was supposedly poisoned by his beautiful and much younger wife, Grace.  Arrested and brought to trial, Grace was found guilty and hanged for the crime.

His curiosity piqued, Chris talks to the locals and searches through archives for information about the case.  But the more he discovers, the more convinced he becomes that Grace may have been innocent.  Ignoring warnings to leave it alone, he sets out to discover what really happened over half a century ago -- a quest that takes him deep into the past and into a web of secrets that lie all too close to the present. 

Voyagers of the Titanic
by Richard Davenport-Hines

Late in the night of April 14, 1912, the mighty Titanic, a passenger liner traveling from Southampton, England, to New York City, struck an iceberg four hundred miles south of Newfoundland.  Its sinking over the next two and half hours brought the ship -- mythological in name and size -- one hundred years of infamy.

Of the 2,240 people aboard the ship, 1,517 perished either by drowning or by freezing to death in the frigid North Atlantic waters.  What followed the disaster was tantamount to a worldwide outpouring of grief:  In New York, Paris, London, and other major cities, people lined the streets and crowded around the offices of the White Star Line, the Titanic's shipping companay, to inquire for news of their loved ones and for details about the lives of some of the famous people of their time.

While many accounts of the Titanic's voyage focus on the technical or mechanical aspects of why the ship sank, Voyagers of the Titanic follows the stories of the men, women, and children whose lives intersected on the vessel's fateful last day, covering the full range of first, second, and third class -- from plutocrats and captains of industry to cobblers and tailors looking for a better life in America.

Richard Davenport-Hines delves into the fascinating lives of those who ate, drank, reveled, dreamed, and died aboard the mythic ship:  from John Jacob Astor IV, the wealthiest person on board, whose comportment that night was subject to speculation and gossip for years after the event, to Archibald Butt, the much-beloved  military aide to Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft, who died helping others into the Titanic's few lifeboats.  With magnificent prose, Voyagers of the Titanic also brings to life the untold stories of the ship's middle and third classes -- clergymen, teachers, hoteliers, engineers, shopkeepers, counterjumpers and clerks -- each of whom had a story that not only illuminates the fascinating ship but also the times in which it sailed.  In addition, Davenport-Hines explores the fascinating politics behind the Titanic's creation, which involved larger-than-life figures such as J.P. Morgan, the ship's owner, and Lord Pirrie, the ship's builder.

The memory of this tragedy still remains a part of the American psyche and Voyagers of the Titanic brings that clear night back to us with all of its drama and pathos.

Banana Split
by Josi S. Kilpack

Welcome to Paradise!
We hope you enjoy your stay here in Hawai'i.  If you've never visited the islands before, treat yourself to a delicious slice of grilled pineapple, take a walk along the beach, or sample the tasty cuisine offered at one of our famous luaus.  And you simply must go snorkeling in the waters around Kaua'i.  There is a reason why we call it the Island of Discovery -- you never know what you might find!

Sadie Hoffmiller has survived eighteen months of nonstop adventures filled with murder, deceit, and danger.  She could really use some rest -- and maybe even some time to heal -- relaxing in the tropical paradise of Kaua'i.  However, palm trees and sunshine are not as effective a medication as Sadie had hoped.  And when she finds herself entangled -- literally -- with a dead body, she is forced to face the compounding fears and anxieties that are making her life so difficult to live.

Her determination to stay out of danger and to focus on overcoming her anxieties soon takes a backseat when she meets eleven-year-old Charlie, the son of the woman whose body she discovered near Anahola Beach.  Charlie has some questions of his own about what happened to his mother, and he is convinced that only Sadie can help him.  If only Sadie were as confident in her abilities as Charlie is.

With the help of her best friend and a local social worker, Sadie dives into another mystery with the hope that, at the end, she'll be able to find the peace and closure that has eluded her. 

The Second Time We Met
by Leila Cobo

Adored and nurtured by his adoptive parents in California, Asher Stone has moved effortlessly through a nearly perfect life.  He is on the verge of a professional soccer career -- when a car accident throws his future into doubt.  Suddenly, Asher begins to wonder about his past and about the girl who gave him up for adoption in Colombia two decades ago.  And so begins his search for a woman named Rita Ortiz.

From the teeming streets of Bogota to a tiny orphanage tucked into a hillside, Asher untangles the mystery of Rita's identity, her abrupt disappearance from her home, and the winding journey that followed.  But as Asher comes closer to finding Rita, his own parents are faced with fears and doubts.  And Rita must soon make her own momentous choice:  stay hidden in her hard-earned new life or meet the secret son who will bring painful memories -- and the promise of a new beginning. . . 

The Girl Next Door
by Brad Parks

When a delivery person for the Eagle-Examiner ends up in the paper's obituaries, investigative reporter Carter Ross decides to write a human interest piece on her.  But at the funeral, he learns that this kind-hearted victim of a hit-and-run may have had a few enemies -- including the publisher of their own paper.  Suddenly Carter's little story is big news.  And the deeper he digs, the deadlier it gets. . .

The Book Lover
by Maryann McFadden

When Lucinda Barrett's husband destroys her life in a shocking betrayal, she's left with nothing but one last dream -- to be an author.  Alone and broke, she sets out on a thousand-mile journey to get her novel into the hands of readers -- one bookstore at a time.

Ruth Hardaway knows all about shattered dreams.  For the last thirty years she's devoted her life to her store, The Book Lover, trying to bury her painful past.  But now the store is in jeopardy, and the past is catching up with her.

When Ruth discovers Lucy's novel, she takes Lucy under her wing, even offering her the haven of an unused lake cabin.  She asks one small favor in return -- for Lucy to keep an eye on her son, Colin, who's recovering from an injury in the Iraq war.  As the two women grow closer, Lucy begins to think of Ruth as the mother she's always wished for.  For Ruth, Lucy is the one person she can fianlly confide her secrets.  Or so she thinks.

As each woman begins to face her past, happiness finally seems within their grasp.  But neither has any idea that their toughest decisions lie ahead.  Or that their friendhsip is about to fall apart -- because of a little white lie. 

Ship of Souls
by Zetta Elliott

Set in New York City, Ship of Souls features a cast of three African-American teens: D, a math whiz, Hakeem, a Muslim basketball star; and Nyla, a beautiful military brat.  When D's mother dies of breast cancer, he is taken in by Mrs. Martin, an elderly white woman.  Grateful to have a home, D strives to please his foster mother and succeeds -- until Mercy arrives.

Unable to compete with a needy, crack-addicted baby, D disappears into the nearby park and immerses himself in bird watching.  At school, he unexpectedly makes friends with Nyla and Hakeem, but just when D thinks he has fianlly found a way to belong, an unexpected discovery in the park changes everything.  A mysterious bird leads D and his friends on a perilous journey that will take them from Brooklyn to the African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan, and into the very realm of the dead.  Their courage and loyalty are tested every step of the way, but in the end, it is D who must find the strength to fulfill his destiny.

Steeped in history and suspense, this inspiring urban fantasy provides an enriching experience that readers will find hard to forget. 


bermudaonion said...

Oh, The Second Time We Met should be good! Enjoy your new books!

Anna said...

The Book Lover and the Titanic book both caught my eye. Happy reading!


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