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 11, 2012

Mailbox Monday (Mar 12, 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! 

The Thirteen
by Susie Moloney

Desperate Housewives meets The Witches of Eastwick in this novel about a woman who returns with her teenage daughter to her childhood home, not knowing that she's stepped back into a community run by a group of witches.

Haven Woods is suburban heaven, a great place to raise a family.  It's close to the city, quiet, with terrific schools and its own hospital right up the road.  Property values are climbing.  The crime rate is practically non-existent, unless you count the odd human sacrifice dismemberment and/or blood atonement.  When Paula Wittmore goes home to Haven Woods to care for her suddenly ailing mother, she brings her daughter and a pile of emotional baggage.  She also brings the last chance for twelve of her mother's closest frenemies.

A circle of friends will suport you through bad times.  A circle of witches can drag you through hell.

City of Scoundrels: 
The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago
by Gary Krist

The masterfully told story of 12 volatile days in the life of Chicago, when an aviation disaster, a race riot, a crippling transit strike, and a sensational child murder transfixed and roiled a city already on the brink of collapse.

Summer 1919: the city of Chicago seemed on the verge of transformation.  Modernizers had an audacious, expensive plan to turn the city from a brawling, unglamorous place into "the Metropolis of the World."  But just as the dream seemed with in reach, pandemonium broke loose -- the city's highest ambitions were suddenly under attack by the unbridled energies that had given birth to them in the first place. 

It began on a balmy Monday afternoon when a blimp in flames crashed through the roof of a busy downtown bank, incinerating those inside.  Within days, a racial incident at a hot, crowded SOuth Side beach spiraled into one of the worst urban riots in American history, followed by a transit strike that paralyzed the city.  Then, when it seemed as if things could get no worse, police searching for a six-year-old girl discovered her body in a dark, North Side basement.

Meticulously researched yet expertly paced, City of Scoundrels captures the tumultuous birth of the modern American city, with all of its light and dark aspects in vivid relief. 

Missing (The Secrets of Crittenden County - Book 1)
by Shelley Shepard Gray

In the first book in her new Secrets of Crittenden County series, the beloved author delivers another page-turning romance set in Amish country.

When the body of Perry Borntrager is discovered in an abandoned well, the quiet Amish community of Crittenden, Kentucky, is thrown into turmoil.  Perry had been missing for six months, and everyone in the town believed he'd left the order, seduced by the wider world he discovered during his rumspringa.

Overwhelmed by grief, Perry's family and friends and the rest of the stunned community struggle to understand how such a terrible tragedy-- the first death by mysterious circumstance to strike their placid small town in more than twenty years -- could have happened.  But the death has not only shaken the town, it has invited the scrutiny of the outside world when a homicide detective arrives to investigate the crime.

Lydia Plank, Perry's former girlfriend, and Walter Anderson, an Englisher who was Perry's best friend, are the first suspects in the crime.  Drawn together by the suspicions of both the authorities and the community, they discover an unlikely companionship that offers solace, understanding, and the promise of something more during the hardest of days. 

Boneyard 11
by Linton Robinson

BONEYARD 11 can't seem to escape getting called "Pretty Woman" meets "The Godfather", and that has a lot to do with it. But it's much more than that.  We think you'll find Nan to be a character that lingers in your memory when a lot of ripped bodices have been forgotten.  She's a high-priced call girl that ends up getting selected for a behind-bars wedding when border crime kingpin Gaspar find himself in prison and divorced.  Beautiful and gracious, Nan is all a gangster could want in the conjugal visitation area--"boneyard" in convict slang.  But so much more than that.  When he is attacked and disabled by a rival organization, she first shows a touching kind of tough love in re-uniting him with his estranged children, then turns a steely fury on the attackers, bathing the border in flame and blood.  And all she really asks of life is a good night's sleep.

Her damaged and untried heart has opened somewhat to her husband of convenience, but suddenly ambushed by the gorgeous, athletic Fed attached to the task of cracking her hubby's links and networks.  A very dangerous temptation... and not just to her physical self.
If you liked Vivian in "Pretty Woman" Nan will delight you.  Her gangster husband, the Feds, local border cops, the corrupt DEA agent out to score, the local lowrider gang, the scary international swarm known as Mara Salvatrucha, even her jolly ex-madam,  all get far more from Nan that here serenely beautiful face led them to suspect.  And many of them didn't survive the surprise.  And others still find them themselves loving her and laughing at her wry humor.  Among the latter will be you and your readers.  Promise.

Chasing Vegas
by Tad Vezner

When Ricky Vegas got out of jail, his parole officer told him to get a job and stay in Nevada. Hours later police spot Vegas entering Horizon Station - a tower of interstellar transit stretching to the stratosphere. He could only be going one direction: away. When the search for Vegas turns into a manhunt of epic proportions, his parole officer, Geoffrey Sink, wonders why all the fuss for a simple fugitive. He stops wondering after a series of violent, bloody incidents lock the station down - and starts worrying when he realizes Vegas's flight up Horizon coincides with a rare appearance by the most recognizable people on Earth. The Originals - the first astronauts to return from deep space; the faces everyone thinks of when they stare up at the stars - arrive on Horizon to deliver their first speech since touching down in the desert five years ago. And when Vegas gets accused of trying to kill them, Sink realizes there's more to chasing this ex-con than he ever wanted to know.

Dreams of Gold
by Jonathan Chamberlain

Heart-warming, surreal and very, very funny.
How The London 2012 Olympics were saved from the bizarre schemes of a mad dictator
P.G.Wodehouse meets Tom Sharp with a dash of Spike Milligan.
Wales - the land of poets and sporting heroes . Rowan Jones, the up-and-coming Welsh poet, accidentally finds himself attracting a motley crew of disaffected athletes from all over the world to his eccentric farmhouse deep in the heart of Wales. 
There's Jeremiah the Tennessee backwoodsman, Marguerite the French existentialist, Yoshi and Toshi, the Japanese identical twins, Leonardo the Italian hunk, Solomon, the Hassidic weight-lifter, and Mad Mike and Jade and Kono and Ayesha and all the rest of them....
And then there is the mad dictator, Osmanakhian.
And Perkins, the quintessential English butler, is not all he seems.
And what about Anna? Well, Anna is... Oh dear, it's much too complicated. I'm afraid, you'll just have to read this book to find out.

Tyler's Mountain Magic
by Malcolm Ater

No one at Harpers Ferry Junior High knew why Tyler wanted to wrestle when he had cystic fibrosis. Maybe he wanted to do something with his life while he still had time. We just knew that he loved wrestling and being a part of our team. But whenever he went to the hospital, we always expected him to come back home to Blue Ridge Mountain. We also knew that Tyler had a dream. He always said that if we all stuck together, something would happen to our team that people would never forget. He was right about that. It was funny, because Tyler wasn't a very good wrestler, at least not in the beginning, but neither were most of us. But for three years we stuck together. It was Tyler who helped us overcome the curse of John Brown and the constant beatings by our hated county rival, Mecklenburg Junior High. He led us through a major cheating scandal that was reported in every newspaper in the state, and all the finger-pointing that divided our county and brought our coaches to the brink of resigning. Tyler was some kind of kid. It was that last year together that we will always remember, both the good and the bad. Certainly we went on the most magical sports ride in West Virginia public school history. But as we battled the brutal winter trying to accomplish something that had never been done before, it took something terrible to bring everyone to their senses. Along the way we learned about friendship and courage and holding on to the important things in life. And more importantly, we did the impossible. We made Tyler's dream come true. You won't see any signs in our little town honoring John Brown and his infamous raid that ignited the Civil War. But you will see a sign at the entrance to Harpers Ferry honoring a teenage boy who had a dream and ended a war in our county that had been going on forever. Call it Tyler's Mountain Magic. Unfortunately, we learned that everything comes with a price.

by Brain Holers

Vernon Davidson is an angry man. After a lifetime of abuse and loss the 61-year-old is ready to get back at God, his co-workers, and everyone else is in his north Louisiana hometown. He drinks too much to numb the pain, shuns his friends and embarrasses himself in the community. The once-cautious Vernon spirals into a reckless mess.  Only when he is reunited with his estranged nephew Jody is he forced to confront his situation. Jody is struggling in equal parts after inflicting a self-imposed exile upon himself by fleeing the family, and thereby himself, for a new life thousands of miles away. Now his father, Vernon's brother, is dying and Vernon agrees to retrieve him for his brother's sake. Jody embarks on a reluctant journey back to his Louisiana home and the two men together embark on a journey that will ultimately change their lives.  Brian Holers's Doxology examines an impossibly difficult question: how does a man go about forgiving a God he has grown to despise after the tragedies and endless disappointments he has faced? Follow Vernon and Jody on their road from loss to healing in this deep and moving book that will challenge and surprise you, as it takes you deep into the backwaters of rural Louisiana. Doxology does for small town Louisiana men what Steel Magnolias did for small-town Louisiana women, exposing flaws while showcasing their inner strengths.  It is a tale of grandfathers, fathers, sons and brothers, and recreates family dynamics and memories in a way that forms a doxology, a song of praise for the male family bond, the emotional ties men conceal from the world and each other.

Wings of Hope
by Hillary Peak

Wings of Hope is the journey of a daughter who has the remarkable opportunity to realize that the man she thought she knew from holidays and spring breaks is more than simply her father and who finds out that death is sometimes the most heartbreakingly beautiful part of life. Jules knows her father as a physician, but she never dreamed he had liberated a concentration camp, dealt cards to Bugsy Siegel or saved the life of a Black panther. Wings of Hope takes you on a road trip through the memories of a man making peace with his life through his conversations with his daughter. Hope is the last gift of a father to his daughter--the power to reach for her dreams.

Ida Mae Tutweiler and the Traveling Tea Party
by Ginnie Siena Bivona

The book opens with Ida Mae Tutweiler preparing for a tea-time visit with her life long best friend Jane Tetly. Jane and Ida Mae are an unlikely pair; Jane is a glamerous actress in a day-time soap opera, much married, and naturally adventurous. Ida Mae is reserved and steady, a successful businesswoman. She owns a charming Victorian tearoom called Ladyfingers, in the town she was born in. She has never left Walton Falls, Ohio, nor does she care to. She is content to let Jane be her window on the world. And Jane needs Ida Mae's steadfast love, her anchor in a whirlwind life. Jane is rhinestones and red chiffon and Ida Mae is a simple well worn navy blue suit. 

Woven through the pages is the story of Ida Mae's life, her failed first marriage to her her high-school boyfriend, the tragic death of her beloved Mum shortly before the birth of her adored daughter Kate,and the somewhat less than gracious support of her haughty Aunt Germaine. There is a passionate love affair that ends badly when her lover refuses to file for a divorce from his separated wife. And there is the satisfying and hilarious ending of her Cousin Bernadette's abusive marriage. But throughout it all there is her beloved Jane, flashing in and out of Walton Falls "like a comet, trailing stars and small planets in her wake". Jane arrives in a whirl of expensive gifts and the two women settle down for tea. But the visit is not what Ida Mae expects, because Jane tells her that she has breast cancer that has progressed beyond help and she is going away to die. Ida Mae is stunned, and desperate...how can she live with out her Jane? 

How Ida Mae deals with this terrible news, and the wonderful events she creates for her dearest friend before she must leave is the warp of this story, woven in and out with the threads of their past taken from the pages of Ida Mae's diary. Written for today's woman the book celebrates the releationship between best friends, mothers and daughters, men and women, and the struggle to find hope in a time of loss. It's the tender story of two beautiful women, discovering what their lives were all about, before they must say a final goodbye. And becaues it's about the comfort to be found in a nice hot cup of tea, the book includes a small collection of delicious tea-time recipes. Brew up a nice hot cup of Earl Grey tea, grab a box of Kleenex, curl up in a quiet corner and enjoy a different kind of love story.


gautami tripathy said...

Wonderful mailbox! Happy reading!!!

Here is my post!

Holly said...

I think I'll be putting City of Scoundrels on my WL. I hadn't heard of it before but I love anything set in Chicago and this sounds really good. Happy reading!

Anna said...

These are all new to me. Hope you enjoy them!

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

Yay, I can finally comment!

Now your mailbox is interesting, especially the first two books. I hope you enjoy them all.

Have a great week!


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