Books That Caught Our Eye

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dragonlegends1At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

Summer is incredibly busy, and it’s just getting started.  However, I’m having a great time cheering my daughter on in swim team.  I even received notice this week that one of my poems will be published at Mothers Always Write.  I cannot wait to see it up since it’s a poem about and for my daughter.  The other poems in that packet were not accepted, so they’ll go out to another magazine.

I hope everyone has had a great week of reading.  I’ve been on a WWII reading kick, especially with the War Through the Generations readalong of Jenna Blum’s Those Who Saved Us.

Let’s get back to why you’re all here —  the books that caught our eye.  We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

LESLIE:

32620357The Right Side by Spencer Quinn at Silver’s Reviews and BermudaOnion.

LeAnne Hogan went to Afghanistan as a rising star in the military, and came back a much lesser person, mentally and physically. Now missing an eye and with half her face badly scarred, she can barely remember the disastrous desert operation that almost killed her. She is confused, angry, and suspects the fault is hers, even though nobody will come out and say it.
Shattered by one last blow—the sudden death of her hospital roommate, Marci—LeAnne finds herself on a fateful drive across the country, reflecting on her past and seeing no future. Her native land is now unfamiliar, recast in shadow by her one good eye, her damaged psyche, and her weakened body. Arriving in the rain-soaked small town in Washington state that Marci had called home, she makes a troubling discovery: Marci’s eight-year-old daughter has vanished. When a stray dog—a powerful, dark, unreadable creature, no one’s idea of a pet—seems to adopt LeAnne, a surprising connection is formed and something shifts inside her. As she becomes obsessed with finding Marci’s daughter, LeAnne and her inscrutable canine companion are drawn into danger as dark and menacing as her last Afghan mission. This time she has a strange but loyal fellow traveler protecting her blind side.
Enthralling, suspenseful, and psychologically nuanced, The Right Side introduces one of the most unforgettable protagonists in modern fiction: isolated, broken, disillusioned—yet still seeking redemption and purpose—LeAnne takes hold of you and never lets go.
116412Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson at Beauty In Ruins.
At Blind Lake, a large federal research installation in northern Minnesota, scientists are using a technology they barely understand to watch everyday life in a city of lobster like aliens upon a distant planet. They can’t contact the aliens in any way or understand their language. All they can do is watch.
Then, without warning, a military cordon is imposed on the Blind Lake site. All communication with the outside world is cut off. Food and other vital supplies are delivered by remote control. No one knows why.
The scientists, nevertheless, go on with their research. Among them are Nerissa Iverson and the man she recently divorced, Raymond Scutter. They continue to work together despite the difficult conditions and the bitterness between them. Ray believes their efforts are doomed; that culture is arbitrary, and the aliens will forever be an enigma.
Nerissa believes there is a commonality of sentient thought, and that our failure to understand is our own ignorance, not a fact of nature. The behavior of the alien she has been tracking seems to be developing an elusive narrative logic–and she comes to feel that the alien is somehow, impossibly, aware of the project’s observers.
But her time is running out. Ray is turning hostile, stalking her. The military cordon is tightening. Understanding had better come soon….

MARTHA:

33972120Starting Over at Steeple Ridge (Timeless Romance Single Book 3) by Liz Isaacson (Author), Elana Johnson (Author) found at Wishful Endings.

STARTING OVER AT STEEPLE RIDGE: A brand new contemporary romance novella from Liz Isaacson

Tucker Jenkins has had enough of tall buildings, traffic, and business meetings to determine the next app that will change the world. He’s sold his technology firm for billions and traded it for Steeple Ridge Horse Farm in rural Vermont.

Missy Marino has worked at the boarding stable and farm since she was a teen, and she’s always dreamed of owning it. But her ex-husband left her with a truckload of debt, making her fantasies of owning the farm unfulfilled.

When she meets Tucker, she starts having a new kind of fantasy—one where they work with the horses together. Tucker didn’t come to the country to find a new wife, but he supposes a woman could help him start over in Steeple Ridge. Will Tucker and Missy be able to navigate the shaky ground between them to find a new beginning?

My eye was caught by the horse on the cover; then I was pulled by the blurb also.

32815247A Letterfrom Lancaster County (Lancaster Discoveries Book 1) by Kate Lloyd found at My Reading Journey.

Two Sisters Get a Second Chance at Life and Love

Angela
Her mother’s untimely death, a struggling marriage, a strained relationship with her sister, Rose, and regrets over what might have been haunt her. Despite being a wife and mother, she feels she has little to show for her life.

Rose
Still single, she longs for a husband and children. But Angela has all that and still isn’t happy. Rose wants to be closer to her older sister, but she and Angela couldn’t be more different. Both strong women, will their sibling rivalry ever end?

* * *

When a letter arrives from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Angela and Rose decide to visit Aunt Silvia, their mother’s Mennonite sister, in the heart of Amish country. This vacation could provide the opportunity both sisters need to sort out their issues. And yet instead of finding a new way of connecting with each other, Angela and Rose discover surprising family secrets that add to their strife and threaten Rose’s romance with a new beau.

Through it all, the two sisters must find the faith necessary to face their personal problems and allow God to restore hope and healing to their hearts and relationship as only He can.

I was raised in Pennsylvania Dutch Country not far from Lancaster so this caught my eye and interest.

SERENA:

32941294Wrecked by JB Salsbury @Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Wrecked is the new standalone novel of deliciously dark, deeply emotional contemporary romance from J.B. Salsbury, the New York Times bestselling author of Split and The Fighting Series.

When you can’t trust yourself, how can you ask anyone else to?

It’s been months since Aden Colt left the Army, and still the memories haunt him. When he moved into a boat off the California coast, he thought he’d found the perfect place to escape life.

Then Sawyer shows up, and turns his simple life upside down.

Beautiful and sophisticated, she seems out of place in this laidback beach town. Something is pushing her to experience everything she can—including Aden. But as much as he wants her, starting a relationship with Sawyer puts them both at risk.

For Aden, the past doesn’t stay there; it shows up unexpectedly, uncontrollably, and doesn’t care whose life it wrecks.

I love when fate steps in and has other plans, especially in stories where characters need healing.

19367048Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips @Rainy Days and Mondays

The dead of winter.
An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
A man.
A woman.
A sinister house looming over the sea …

He’s a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She’s a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids’ puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.

But she’s not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they’re trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.

It’s going to be a long, hot winter.

This sounds like a good summer read to cool off with.

What books caught your eyes this week? We’d love to hear about them.

Mailbox Monday

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sunflowermailbox-sml_img_2937_edited-2Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

My daughter’s swim team has been doing well, and it has been a great experience for her.  She’s connecting with kids from school and others in our own community.  She loves swimming and it shows in her excitement.  I try not to worry about placing and ribbons too much, but it’s great to see her face light up when she gets a ribbon, even when it isn’t for first, second, or even third place.

Hope everyone had a good week. Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back here on Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

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dragonlegends1At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

I think every week this month, I’m going to end up posting this on Thursday!  Swim meets are Wednesday nights, and with practice during the other days, I’m a busy mom.  I hope everyone is reading some great books.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

LESLIE:

25365530Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land at Rainy Days and Mondays.

Good Me Bad Me is dark, compelling, voice-driven psychological suspense by debut author Ali Land: “Could not be more unputdownable if it was slathered with superglue.” Sunday Express

Milly’s mother is a serial killer. Though Milly loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police. Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity, a home with an affluent foster family, and a spot at an exclusive private school.

But Milly has secrets, and life at her new home becomes complicated. As her mother’s trial looms, with Milly as the star witness, Milly starts to wonder how much of her is nature, how much of her is nurture, and whether she is doomed to turn out like her mother after all.

When tensions rise and Milly feels trapped by her shiny new life, she has to decide: Will she be good? Or is she bad? She is, after all, her mother’s daughter.

Once again, psychological suspense catches my eye!

Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford at Silver’s Reviews.

From the bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet comes a powerful novel, inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle’s epic 1909 World’s Fair.

For twelve-year-old Ernest Young, a charity student at a boarding school, the chance to go to the World’s Fair feels like a gift. But only once he’s there, amid the exotic exhibits, fireworks, and Ferris wheels, does he discover that he is the one who is actually the prize. The half-Chinese orphan is astounded to learn he will be raffled off—a healthy boy “to a good home.”

The winning ticket belongs to the flamboyant madam of a high-class brothel, famous for educating her girls. There, Ernest becomes the new houseboy and befriends Maisie, the madam’s precocious daughter, and a bold scullery maid named Fahn. Their friendship and affection form the first real family Ernest has ever known—and against all odds, this new sporting life gives him the sense of home he’s always desired.

But as the grande dame succumbs to an occupational hazard and their world of finery begins to crumble, all three must grapple with hope, ambition, and first love.

Fifty years later, in the shadow of Seattle’s second World’s Fair, Ernest struggles to help his ailing wife reconcile who she once was with who she wanted to be, while trying to keep family secrets hidden from their grown-up daughters.

Against a rich backdrop of post-Victorian vice, suffrage, and celebration, Love and Other Consolations is an enchanting tale about innocence and devotion—in a world where everything, and everyone, is for sale.

MARTHA:

33128934Stillhouse Lakeby Rachel Caine found at Rainy Days and Mondays.

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

I’m pretty sure I have read Rachel Caine but it has been sometime. This suspense sounds like a good one to pick up.

29939048Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack found at Read With Katie

New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack’s young adult debut: Roar.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she s yet to show any trace of the magic she ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks storm magic. And the people selling it? They re not Stormlings. They re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

This sounds like a good fantasy.

SERENA:

Jamie Ford’s new book was also on my list.

The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff at Rose City Reader

The day I returned to Templeton steeped in disgrace, the fifty-foot corpse of a monster surfaced in Lake Glimmerglass.”

So begins The Monsters of Templeton, a novel spanning two centuries: part contemporary story of a girl’s search for her father; part historical novel; and part ghost story. In the wake of a disastrous love affair with her older, married archaeology professor at Stanford, brilliant Wilhelmina Cooper arrives back at the doorstep of her hippie mother-turned-born-again-Christian’s house in Templeton, NY, a storybook town her ancestors founded that sits on the shores of Lake Glimmerglass. Upon her arrival, a prehistoric monster surfaces in the lake bringing a feeding frenzy to the quiet town, and Willie learns she has a mystery father, one her mother kept secret Willie’s entire life.

The beautiful, broody Willie is told that the key to her biological father’s identity lies somewhere in her family’s history, so she buries herself in the research of her twisted family tree and finds more than she bargained for as a chorus of voices from the town’s past–some sinister, all fascinating–rise up around her to tell their side of the story. In the end, dark secrets come to light, past and present day are blurred, and old mysteries are finally put to rest.

What books caught your eyes this week? We’d love to hear about them.

Mailbox Monday

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sunflowermailbox-sml_img_2937_edited-2Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

School is out here and summer swim team is in full swing.  Lots of afternoon swim practices, and two meets a week. We’ll be very busy through June and July.

Hope everyone had a good week. Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back here on Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

7 Comments

dragonlegends1At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

It has been a crazy week, and with summer swim team, I don’t think the crazy will stop anytime soon.  I apologize for the delay in getting this post up.  It’s Wednesday on a Thursday!  Check out the books we saw this week.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

LESLIE:

32739410The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon at Bookfan.

Both Cassie Hugo and Margaret Brickshaw dutifully followed their soldier husbands to the U.S. embassy in Jordan, but that’s about all the women have in common. After two years, Cassie’s become an expert on the rules, but newly arrived Margaret sees only her chance to explore. So when a fender-bender sends Margaret to the local police station, Cassie reluctantly agrees to watch Margaret’s toddler son. But as the hours pass, Cassie’s boredom and frustration turn to fear: Why isn’t Margaret answering her phone, and why is it taking so long to sort out a routine accident? Snooping around Margaret’s apartment, Cassie begins to question not only her friend’s whereabouts but also her own role in Margaret’s disappearance.
Written with emotional insight and stunning prose, The Confusion of Languages is a shattering portrait of a collision between two women and two worlds, as well as a poignant glimpse into the private lives of American military families living overseas.
I enjoy this author’s writing so her new book caught my eye.
25092254Cold Summer by Gwen Cole at Read With Katie.
Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future.
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.
Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.
When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.
But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.
I like to add some scifi to the TBR pile once in a while.

MARTHA:

25876358The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood found at vvb32reads.

“A Handmaid’s Tale for the 21st century” (Prism Magazine), Wood’s dystopian tale about a group of young women held prisoner in the Australian desert is a prescient feminist fable for our times. As the Guardian writes, “contemporary feminism may have found its masterpiece of horror.”

Drugged, dressed in old-fashioned rags, and fiending for a cigarette, Yolanda wakes up in a barren room. Verla, a young woman who seems vaguely familiar, sits nearby. Down a hallway echoing loudly with the voices of mysterious men, in a stark compound deep in the Australian outback, other captive women are just coming to. Starved, sedated, the girls can’t be sure of anything—except the painful episodes in their pasts that link them.

Drawing strength from the animal instincts they’re forced to rely on, the women go from hunted to hunters, along the way becoming unforgettable and boldly original literary heroines that readers will both relate to and root for.

The Natural Way of Things is a lucid and illusory fable and a brilliantly plotted novel of ideas that reminds us of mankind’s own vast contradictions—the capacity for savagery, selfishness, resilience, and redemption all contained by a single, vulnerable body.

This sounds intense and interesting to me.

 

31208858The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream: A Novel (The Virtue FallsSeries) by Christina Dodd found at Lori’s Reading Corner.

From New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd comes the newest thriller in this, “Remarkable, mesmerizing series” (Library Journal starred review)…

Merida Falcon is a world-class beauty, a trophy wife who seems to have it all…except she has no voice. For nine bitter years, she lived to serve her wealthy elderly husband. On his death, Merida vanishes…and reappears in Virtue Falls with a new name, a new look, and a plot to take revenge on the man who loved her, betrayed her and walked away, leaving her silent, abused and bound to an old man’s obsession.

But Merida faces challenges. Her school friend Kateri Kwinault is the newly elected sheriff of Virtue Falls. A chance meeting with her former lover intrigues him and brings him on the hunt for her, and meeting him face to face shakes her convictions. Will she have time to discover the truth about the events that occurred nine years ago? For someone in Virtue Falls is stalking women and slashing them…to death.

Danger closes in. Merida’s fears build. There’s no one to turn to…no one she dares to trust. And she has to wonder―who is the killer stalking? Is he trying to silence forever THE WOMAN WHO COULDN’T SCREAM?

I’ve always liked ​Christina Dodd and have a collection on my TBR shelf but I’m not familiar with this series.

 

SERENA:

I also had Cold Summer and The Natural Way of Things on my list.

33277004Strings: A Love Story by Megan Edwards  @Library of Clean Reads

The Merino Rose. Ted Spencer has a hard enough time believing the celebrated violin really exists. To find it sitting on his coffee table is nothing short of incredible. The stuff of legend, the exquisite Guarnerius has been missing for centuries.

But even though the renowned instrument is a violin lover’s dream come true, it holds only heartache for Ted. The value of the Merino Rose may be beyond measure, but he has acquired it at too high a cost.

Ted found his soul mate when he met Olivia de la Vega his senior year in high school. In the school’s production of Camelot, Ted was cast as Lancelot, Olivia as Guenevere. They should have spent their lives together but strings got in the way―family ties, career objectives, and the tangled web of fate.

Will the Merino Rose bring the two star-crossed lovers together at last, or will their love always remain the melancholy sound of distant violins?

Anyone who knows me, knows I have a slight obsession with violins.  This sounds perfect.

 

33860656Roadfood by Jane and Michael Stern @Reading with Beth

First published in 1977, the original Roadfood became an instant classic. James Beard said, “This is a book that you should carry with you, no matter where you are going in these United States. It’s a treasure house of information.”

The 40th anniversary edition of Roadfood includes 1,000 of America’s best local eateries along highways and back roads, with nearly 200 new listings, as well as a brand new design.

Filled with enticing alternatives for chain-weary-travelers, Roadfood provides descriptions of and directions to (complete with regional maps) the best lobster shacks on the East Coast; the ultimate barbecue joints down South; the most indulgent steak houses in the Midwest; and dozens of top-notch diners, hotdog stands, ice-cream parlors, and uniquely regional finds in between. Each entry delves into the folkways of a restaurant’s locale as well as the dining experience itself, and each is written in the Sterns’ entertaining and colorful style. A cornucopia for road warriors and armchair epicures alike, Roadfood is a road map to some of the tastiest treasures in the United States.

When we take trips, I always plan out a couple of must-have food places.  I like to try new things, local flavor, and the best of when we travel, and this sounds like a guide that has been around forever.  Where have I been all this time?  I have to check this one out.

What books caught your eyes this week? We’d love to hear about them.

Mailbox Monday

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sunflowermailbox-sml_img_2937_edited-2Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Just a week left of school here, and my daughter has started practicing with the community’s swim team.  She’s really enjoying it. I’m feeling overwhelmed this month with work, reading, blogging, and all the personal obligations. I’m really anxious for my August vacation. How is your summer planning?

Hope everyone had a good week. Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back here on Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

5 Comments

dragonlegends1At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

LESLIE:

32025142White Fur by Jardine Libaire at Rainy Days and Mondays.

A stunning star-crossed love story set against the glitz and grit of 1980s New York City.

When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in a housing project without a father and didn’t graduate from high school; Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. Nevertheless, the attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore.

The unlikely couple moves to Manhattan in hopes of forging an adult life together, but Jamey’s family intervenes in desperation, and the consequences of staying together are suddenly severe. And when a night out with old friends takes a shocking turn, Jamey and Elise find themselves fighting not just for their love, but also for their lives.

White Fur follows these indelible characters on their wild race through Newport mansions and downtown NYC nightspots, SoHo bars and WASP-establishment yacht clubs, through bedrooms and hospital rooms, as they explore, love, play, and suffer. Jardine Libaire combines the electricity of Less Than Zero with the timeless intensity of Romeo and Juliet in this searing, gorgeously written novel that perfectly captures the ferocity of young love.

31751571Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane at The Infinite Curio.

Since We Fell follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself.
Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths. By turns heart- breaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, Since We Fell is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension.
It is Dennis Lehane at his very best.Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths. By turns heart- breaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, Since We Fell is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension. It is Dennis Lehane at his very best.

MARTHA:

33574161Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang found at Bookfan.

Ruth Emmie Lang teaches us how to find magic in the ordinary in her magical realism debut Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance.

Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

As amzing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places, jeopardizing not only his own life, but the life of Mary, the woman he loves.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell: great storms that evaporate into thin air; fireflies that make phosphorescent honey; a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.

There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.

The title caught my eye and the blurb clinched it.

24974122The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen found at Colletta’s Kitchen Sink.

Julie Klassen Is the Gold Standard for Inspirational Regency Fiction

Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It’s where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she’s beautiful.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother’s neglected duties. Home on leave, he’s sent to find Wesley. Knowing his brother rented a cottage from a fellow painter, he travels to Devonshire and meets Miss Dupont, the painter’s daughter. He’s startled to recognize her from a miniature portrait he carries with him–one of Wesley’s discarded works. But his happiness plummets when he realizes Wesley has left her with child and sailed away to Italy in search of a new muse.

Wanting to do something worthwhile with his life, Stephen proposes to Sophie. He does not offer love, or even a future together, but he can save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he believes he will, she’ll be a respectable widow with the protection of his family.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie agrees to marry a stranger and travel to his family’s estate. But at Overtree Hall, her problems are just beginning. Will she regret marrying Captain Overtree when a repentant Wesley returns? Or will she find herself torn between the father of her child and her growing affection for the husband she barely knows?

This sounds really lovely!

SERENA:

34372263Cooking with Nonna by Rossella Rago at Library of Clean Reads

For Rossella Rago, creator and host of Cooking with Nonna TV, Italian cooking was never just about the amazing food or Sunday dinner. It was also about family, community, and tradition. Rossella grew up cooking with her Nonna Romana every Sunday and on holidays, learning the traditional recipes of the Italian region of Puglia, like focaccia, braciole, zucchine alla poverella, and pizza rustica. And in her popular web TV series, Rossella invites Italian-American grandmothers (the unsung heroes of the culinary world) to cook with her, learning the classic dishes and flavors of each region of Italy and sharing them with eager fans all over the world.

Now you can take a culinary journey through Italy with Rossella and her debut cookbook, Cooking with Nonna, featuring over 100 classic Italian recipes, along with advice and stories from 25 beloved Italian grandmothers. Learn to make fresh homemade pasta, handcrafted Spaghetti with Meatballs, and decadent Four-Cheese Lasagna that will have everyone coming back for seconds! With easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and mouthwatering photos, Cooking with Nonna covers appetizers, soups, salads, pasta, meats, breads, cookies, and desserts, and features favorites such as Sicilian Rice Balls, Fried Calamari, Stuffed Artichokes, Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Veal Stew in a Polenta Bowl, Struffoli, Ricotta Cookies, and more! So if you are ready to bring back Sunday dinner and learn how to make Italian food just like nonna, then look no further!

Leslie and Martha had my other picks on their lists already. This cookbook looks like a good way to expand my Italian cooking since it seems to be a favorite with my daughter.

What books caught your eye this week?