Books That Caught Our Eye

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dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

 *** STILL LOOKING

… for a new host

If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

MARTHA:

GoldenDovesThe Golden Doves by Martha Hall Kelly found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore

Two former female spies, bound together by their past, risk everything to hunt down an infamous Nazi doctor in the aftermath of World War II—an extraordinary novel inspired by true events from the New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls

American Josie Anderson and Parisian Arlette LaRue are thrilled to be working in the French resistance, stealing so many Nazi secrets that they become known as the Golden Doves, renowned across France and hunted by the Gestapo. Their courage will cost them everything. When they are finally arrested and taken to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, along with their loved ones, a reclusive Nazi doctor does unspeakable things to Josie’s mother, a celebrated Jewish singer who joined her daughter in Paris when the world seemed bright. And Arlette’s son is stolen from her, never to be seen again.

A decade later the Doves fall headlong into a dangerous dual mission: Josie is working for U.S. Army intelligence and accepts an assignment to hunt down the infamous doctor, while a mysterious man tells Arlette he may have found her son. The Golden Doves embark on a quest across Europe and ultimately to French Guiana, discovering a web of terrible secrets, and must put themselves in grave danger to finally secure justice and protect the ones they love.

Martha Hall Kelly has garnered acclaim for her stunning combination of empathy and research into the stories of women throughout history and for exploring the terrors of Ravensbrück. With The Golden Doves, she has crafted an unforgettable story about the fates of Nazi fugitives in the wake of World War II—and the unsung females spies who risked it all to bring them to justice.

“I was surprised that Serena didn’t pick this one, which allowed me to. I like historicals based on true events.”

SlewfootSlewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery by Brom found at infinite curio

Set in Colonial New England, Slewfoot is a tale of magic and mystery, of triumph and terror as only dark fantasist Brom can tell it.

A spirited young Englishwoman, Abitha, arrives at a Puritan colony betrothed to a stranger – only to become quickly widowed when her husband dies under mysterious circumstances. All alone in this pious and patriarchal society, Abitha fights for what little freedom she can grasp onto, while trying to stay true to herself and her past.

Enter Slewfoot, a powerful spirit of antiquity newly woken … and trying to find his own role in the world. Healer or destroyer? Protector or predator? But as the shadows walk and villagers start dying, a new rumor is whispered: Witch.

Both Abitha and Slewfoot must swiftly decide who they are, and what they must do to survive in a world intent on hanging any who meddle in the dark arts.

Complete with 8 pages of Brom’s mesmerizing full-color artwork and chapter illustrations throughout, his latest book is sure to delight.

“This sounds like a good book for October – fits the season.”

SERENA:

StoryInterruptedA Story Interrupted by Connie Soper at Rose City Reader

Connie Soper’s first book of poetry invites readers to wander the trails of Oregon’s lush and fertile forests, and to celebrate its beaches, coastal cliffs, and headlands. She explores her native terrain with a reverence for the wild and untamed, as well as smaller moments spent in solitude. A Story Interrupted opens its map of place, memory, and inheritances—a map both familiar and uncharted. These poems offer glimpses, as well, of more distant traveled lands, always rooted in a keenly observed sense of place and belonging. These poems recall tender moments and conjure memories that connect us with our past, even if that past is sometimes difficult to acknowledge. Here, open-endedness is not melancholy but joy, each poem a small celebration.

“It’s a collection of poetry I haven’t heard of. I always love reading debut poets.”

SevenSkinsEstherWilding
The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding by Holly Ringland at Sam Still Reading

‘On the afternoon that Esther Wilding drove homeward along the coast, a year after her sister had walked into the sea and disappeared, the light was painfully golden.’

The last time Esther Wilding’s beloved older sister Aura was seen, she was walking along the shore towards the sea. In the wake of Aura’s disappearance, Esther’s family struggles to live with their loss. To seek the truth about her sister’s death, Esther reluctantly travels from lutruwita, Tasmania to Copenhagen, and then to the Faroe Islands, following the trail of the stories Aura left behind: seven fairy tales about selkies, swans and women, alongside cryptic verses Aura wrote and had secretly tattooed on her body.

The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding is a sweeping, deeply beautiful and profoundly moving novel about the far-reaches of sisterly love, the power of wearing your heart on your skin, and the ways life can transform when we find the courage to feel the fullness of both grief and joy.

“I like a good mystery, and I admit, I liked this cover.”

VELVET:

OnceUponDecemberOnce Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert at Bookfan

With a name like Astra Noel Snow, holiday spirit isn’t just a seasonal specialty–it’s a way of life. But after a stinging divorce, Astra’s yearly trip to the Milwaukee Christmas market takes on a whole new meaning. She’s ready to eat, drink, and be merry, especially with the handsome stranger who saves the best kringle for her at his family bakery.

For Jack Clausen, the Julemarked with its snowy lights and charming shops stays the same, while the world outside the joyful street changes, magically leaping from one December to the next every four weeks. He’s never minded living this charmed existence until Astra shows him the life he’s been missing outside of the festive red brick alley.

After a swoon-worthy series of dates, some Yuletide magic, and the unexpected glow of new love, Astra and Jack must decide whether this relationship can weather all seasons, or if what they’re feeling is as ephemeral as marshmallows in a mug of hot cocoa.

“Possibility for my holiday tbr pile.”

BeforeMemoryFadesBefore Your Memory Fades by Toshikazu Kawaguchi at Sam Still Reading

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

From the author of Before the Coffee Gets Cold and Tales from the Cafe comes another story of four new customers, each of whom is hoping to take advantage of Café Funiculi Funicula’s time-travelling offer. Among some familiar faces from Kawaguchi’s previous novels, readers will also be introduced to a daughter, a comedian, a sister, and a lover, each with something they wish they had said differently.

“Enjoyed the first two in the series and ready for more.”

What books caught your eye this week?

 

Mailbox Monday

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mm_Oct2

Mailbox 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.

Happy Autumn!

Enjoy cozy times with a book and hot apple cider.

*** ATTENTION ***

We’re looking for a new host!

If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

DID YOU KNOW…

We’re looking for a new host!

If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

*****

MARTHA:

RetributionRetribution (LexieWinter #2) by Sarah Barrie found at Book’d Out

Once a vigilante, she’s now a cop … but she still plays by her own rules. A fast-paced, suspenseful thriller for readers of Candice Fox and Sarah Bailey.

Ace hacker, ex-prostitute, Jack Daniels drinker and part-time vigilante Lexi Winter returns, now working with the police – mostly – with a new enemy in the target and an old foe at the back of her mind.

Most probationary constables would baulk at chasing a drug dealer into a train tunnel in the dead of night. Not Lexi Winter. She emerges injured but alive, to face the wrath of her boss. Lexi may now be in uniform, but she has as much trouble with authority as ever, and is quietly using her hacking skills to investigate a notorious drug-dealing Sydney crime family with links to her old prey, the paedophile Damon Vaughn.

Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Finn Carson investigates a death on a Sydney building site … which oddly enough, leads him to the picturesque Wondabyne station on the Hawkesbury River, and Inspector Rachael Langley oversees an investigation that could tie it all together. Lexi holds the key… if only she’ll toe the line…

“The cover pulled me in and I really like the premise.”

ThreeLivesAlixThe Three Lives of Alix St Pierre by Natasha Lester found by Sam Still Reading

A compelling and lavish novel from the NYT bestselling author about a young woman striving to forget her part in the war by building life anew as the publicist at the just-launching House of Dior in Paris.

1943. After spearheading several successful advertising campaigns in New York, PR wizard Alix St Pierre comes to the attention of the US government and finds herself recruited into a fledgling intelligence organisation.

Enlisted as a spy, Alix is sent to Europe where she is tasked with getting close to a Nazi who might be willing to help the Allied forces – but there’s also the chance he might be a double agent.

1946. Following the war, Alix moves to Paris to run the Service de la Presse for the yet-to-be-launched House of Christian Dior. But when a figure from the war reappears and threatens to destroy her future, Alix realises that only she can right the wrongs of the past and bring him to justice.

The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre is a thrilling, sumptuous work of historical fiction told in three timelines: before, during and after WWII. This completely immersive story takes readers from the dangerous, intrigue-filled rooms in Switzerland where elites of both sides mingled and schemed during the war, to the glamorous halls of the House of Dior in the golden age of French fashion and journalism.

“I like the idea of female spies and this sounds like a good story.”

SERENA:

AltasAbandonedPlacesAtlas of Abandoned Places: A Journey Through The World’s Forgotten Wonders by Oliver Smith at Book’d Out

The globe is littered with forgotten monuments, their beauty matched only by the secrets of their past.

A glorious palace lies abandoned by a fallen dictator. A grand monument to communism sits forgotten atop a mountain. Two never-launched space shuttles slowly crumble, left to rot in the middle of the desert. Explore these and many more of the world’s lost wonders in this atlas like no other.

With remarkable stories, bespoke maps and stunning photography of fifty forsaken sites, Atlas of Abandoned Places travels the world beneath the surface; the sites with stories to tell, the ones you won’t find in any guidebook.

“I’ve always been fascinated by abandoned places. This sounds intriguing.”

WomenWartimeWomen Wartime Spies by Ann Kramer at The Book Connection

From Mata Hari through to Noor Inyat Khan, women spies have rarely received the recognition they deserve. They have often been trivialized and, in cinema and popular fiction, stereotyped as vamps or dupes. The reality is very different. As spies, women have played a critical role during wartime, receiving and passing on vital information, frequently at considerable risk. Often able to blend into their background more easily than their male counterparts, women have worked as couriers, transmitters and with resistance fighters, their achievements often unknown. Many have died.

Ann Kramer describes the role of women spies during wartime, with particular reference to the two world wars. She looks at why some women chose to become spies, their motives and backgrounds. She looks at the experience of women spies during wartime, what training they received, and what skills they needed. She examines the reality of life for a woman spy, operating behind enemy lines, and explores and explodes the myths about women spies that continue until the present day. 

“I’m always fascinated by stories from WWII, and I love reading about spies.”

VELVET:

LastHouseNeelessThe Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward at the infinite curio

In a boarded-up house on a dead-end street at the edge of the wild Washington woods lives a family of three.

A teenage girl who isn’t allowed outside, not after last time.

A man who drinks alone in front of his TV, trying to ignore the gaps in his memory.

And a house cat who loves napping and reading the Bible.

An unspeakable secret binds them together, but when a new neighbor moves in next door, what is buried out among the birch trees may come back to haunt them all.

“Sounds like a good spooky one for the October tbr pile.”

SpiceMasterThe Spice Master at Bistro Exotique by Samantha Verant at Bookfan

Kate Jenkins doesn’t believe in fate. She believes in a clear vision, meticulous planning, and hard work in order to achieve her culinary dreams. On the cusp of opening her own Parisian restaurant, Bistro Exotique, she isn’t even concerned when her standoffish–and annoyingly sexy–neighbor dismisses her as a crazy American tourist or when she meets the wildly eccentric Garrance, the self-proclaimed Spice Master of Paris, who ominously warns her of the previous owner’s failures.

Confident and optimistic, Kate keeps calm and cooks on. Until a series of unfortunate events derail her plans and her entire staff quits.

Kate is about to throw in the kitchen towel on her lifelong dream when Garrance offers to use her mastery of scents and spices to help her, but it comes at a price: Kate must work with Garrance’s son, Charles, a world-class chef and total jerk. After Kate hesitantly concedes to the deal, she slowly learns to open her heart and mind to new concepts, not quite sure if the magic she’s experiencing comes from Garrance’s spices, from within herself, or from the growing chemistry with Charles. One thing is certain, though: her kitchen is getting increasingly hot.

“Looks like a fun combo of Paris, food and romance.”

What books caught your eye this week?

 

Mailbox Monday

1 Comment

mm_Oct1

Mailbox 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.

*** ATTENTION ***

We are looking for a new host!

If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

*** ATTENTION ***

We’re looking for a new host!

If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

MARTHA:

HiddenHidden by Vanetta Chapman found at The Book Connection

Hidden—A Christian romantic suspense Home is where our story begins … DANA JACOBS would rather forget the night of tragedy and violence that marred her childhood. She is now supervisor in charge of the Department of Homeland Security in Taos, New Mexico. Her team is prepared to handle any threat—biological, chemical, conventional, cyber, even nuclear.

BENJAMIN MARSHALL is newly assigned to Dana’s office. Straight from a six year military deployment, he is not what Dana wants or needs. Ben knows God has a reason for putting him in this place at this time—to help Dana. When a local school is threatened, they open a case which leads them on a chase through the Enchanted Circle and Carson National Forest, pursuing a man filled with a bitterness Dana can understand. But her anger is different. It’s justified, it remains hidden inside, and it hurts no one.

Can Dana face her own mortality? And when she does, can she truly understand what it means to forgive and to be forgiven?

“I like Christian romantic suspense and I’ve read and liked this author’s Amish stories.”

CrazyLeaveYouCrazy To Leave You by Marilyn Simon Rothstein found at Silver’s Review

From the author of Husbands and Other Sharp Objects comes a witty, bighearted novel about the happy accidents that lead to love and second chances.

Forty-one years old, the last of her friends to marry, and down to a size 12, Lauren Leo is in her gown and about to tie the knot. There’s just one thing missing: the groom. With one blindsiding text, Lauren is unceremoniously dumped at the altar.

In the aftermath, her mother is an endless well of unsolicited advice (Stay on your diet and freeze your eggs). Her sisters only add to the Great Humiliation: one is planted on Lauren’s couch while the other is too perfect.

Picking her heart up off the floor, Lauren turns to her work in advertising as she gathers courage to move on and plan her next step. She should know by now that nothing in life goes according to plan. What lies ahead is the road to self-acceptance and at long last feeling worthy. With a new way to measure love and success, Lauren chucks her scale—and finds a second chance in the most unexpected place.

“This just sounds like a fun, (hopefully) warm read.”

SERENA:

ItHappenedSummerIt Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey at Sam Still Reading

Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.

Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart.

“I think this could be a fun read.”

ShopRoyalStreetThe Shop on Royal Street by Karen White at An Interior Journey

After a difficult detour on her road to adulthood, Nola Trenholm is looking to begin anew in New Orleans, and what better way to start her future than with her first house? But the historic fixer-upper she buys comes with even more work than she anticipated when the house’s previous occupants don’t seem to be ready to depart.

Although she can’t communicate with ghosts like her stepmother can, luckily Nola knows someone in New Orleans who is able to—even if he’s the last person on earth she wants anything to do with ever again. Beau Ryan comes with his own dark past—a past that involves the disappearance of his sister and parents during Hurricane Katrina—and he’s connected to the unsolved murder of a woman who once lived in the old Creole cottage Nola is determined to make her own…whether the resident restless spirits agree or not. 

“I loved the Tradd Street Series, and I loved Nola, so I’m excited to read this one.”

VELVET:

FosterFoster by Claire Keegan at A Universe in Words

It is a hot summer in rural Ireland. A child is taken by her father to live with relatives on a farm, not knowing when or if she will be brought home again. In the Kinsellas’ house, she finds an affection and warmth she has not known and slowly, in their care, begins to blossom. But there is something unspoken in this new household–where everything is so well tended to–and this summer must soon come to an end.

“Want to squeeze in one more summer themed book into my mix.”

StayTrueStay True: A Memoir by Hua Hsu at Book Dilettante

In the eyes of eighteen-year-old Hua Hsu, the problem with Ken–with his passion for Dave Matthews, Abercrombie & Fitch, and his fraternity–is that he is exactly like everyone else. Ken, whose Japanese American family has been in the United States for generations, is mainstream; for Hua, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, who makes ‘zines and haunts Bay Area record shops, Ken represents all that he defines himself in opposition to. The only thing Hua and Ken have in common is that, however they engage with it, American culture doesn’t seem to have a place for either of them.

But despite his first impressions, Hua and Ken become friends, a friendship built on late-night conversations over cigarettes, long drives along the California coast, and the textbook successes and humiliations of everyday college life. And then violently, senselessly, Ken is gone, killed in a carjacking, not even three years after the day they first meet.

“Want to read about this experience of American culture.”

What books caught your eye this week?

 

Mailbox Monday

Leave a comment

mm_feb13.aJPG

Mailbox 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.

Pumpkin Spice Latte time!

with fall themed books for the shelves

*** ATTENTION ***

We’re looking for a new host!

If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

7 Comments

dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

*** ATTENTION ***

We’re looking for a new host!

If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

MARTHA:

ShiftingShenanigansShifting and Shenanigans (Magical Mystery Book Club #1) by Elizabeth Pantley at Bookworm

Paige and her adventurous Aunt Glo inherit a country inn from eccentric GeeGee. They pack up and hit the road, arriving at the charming place they both loved since childhood. Finally! They can get into the secret room in the basement that GeeGee kept locked! They discover it’s a wonderful library filled to the brim with mystery books. But more than the room was a secret – it’s a magical place that houses enchanted books. Paige and Glo find themselves smack-dab in the middle of a murder mystery, along with a motley group of book club friends. The club will need to work together to solve the case in order to get out of the book and back to their home.

“Cats, magic, and mystery sound like fun to me.”

DarknessTakeHandDarkness, Take My Hand: A Kenzie and Gennaro Novel by Dennis Lehane at Rose City Reader

Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro’s latest client is a prominent Boston psychiatrist, running scared from a vengeful Irish mob. The private investigators know about cold-blooded retribution. Born and bred on the mean streets of blue-collar Dorchester, they’ve seen the darkness that lives in the hearts of the unfortunate.

But an evil for which even they are unprepared is about to strike, as secrets that have long lain dormant erupt, setting off a chain of violent murders that will stain everything – including the truth.

“I like PI stories and Lehane who I haven’t read in years. Now I’m interested in this series.”

SERENA:

JaneGuideDatingJane Austen’s Guide to Dating by Lauren Henderson at vvb32 reads

Utilizing wisdom inspired by Jane Austen’s novels, from Sense and Sensibility to Pride and Prejudice and beyond, author Lauren Henderson creates an indispensable guide for navigating the all-too-mystifying dating scene. Harnessing the triumphs and pitfalls of Austen’s classic characters, Henderson shows how qualities like honesty, self-awareness, and forthrightness always win the right man–and still let you respect yourself in the morning.

A completely new and amusing approach to dating, Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating includes insightful personality quizzes that reveal which Jane Austen character you–and your mate–most resemble. Armed with this knowledge, you can learn what to do if you’re a Lizzie, but the object of your affection is a Bingley. You can even find out how to gain the clearheadedness and confidence that Anne Elliot had and almost lost in Persuasion.

Full of wit and truly useful advice that has stood the test of time, Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating will help readers overcome the nonsense and find the sense (and sensibility) to succeed in a lasting relationship. Fans of Jane Austen and newcomers alike will delight in this fun, fresh, and audacious guide.

“Love some Jane Austen fun.”

WritingRetreatThe Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz at Silver’s Reviews and Book Reviews by Linda Moore

Alex has all but given up on her dreams of becoming a published author when she receives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: attend an exclusive, month-long writing retreat at the estate of feminist horror writer Roza Vallo. Even the knowledge that Wren, her former best friend and current rival, is attending doesn’t dampen her excitement.

But when the attendees arrive, Roza drops a bombshell—they must all complete an entire novel from scratch during the next month, and the author of the best one will receive a life-changing seven-figure publishing deal. Determined to win this seemingly impossible contest, Alex buckles down and tries to ignore the strange happenings at the estate, including Roza’s erratic behavior, Wren’s cruel mind games, and the alleged haunting of the mansion itself. But when one of the writers vanishes during a snowstorm, Alex realizes that something very sinister is afoot. With the clock running out, she’s desperate to discover the truth and save herself.

“What a dream to come true, but then of course there is that sinister angle to worry about.”

VELVET:

LarkRiseLark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson at Rose City Reader

At the end of the 19th century, Lark Rise – an isolated hamlet deep in the Oxfordshire countryside – was a rough and ready place, simple in its routines and narrow in outlook. Its people lived by the land, and the village year followed that of nature’s cycle, as it had done for generations. They laboured from dawn till dusk, and would often find themselves on the brink of poverty, yet, for all the hardship, the inhabitants of Lark Rise led a happy life. A country wedding, dancing on the green ‘until dusk fell and the stars came out’, the gathering of cowslips for the May Day garland, the beauty of the ripened cornfields, the Harvest Home feast of hams, plum puddings and beer – such unselfconscious, joyous moments turned their lives into ones of real fulfillment and pleasure.

“For the country living experiences from the past.”

LittleHouseSeaThe Little House by the Sea (Pennystrand Village Book 1) by Tracy Rees at Bookworm

Bluebells bob in the salty sea wind and the cottage gate swings open to reveal the inky-blue cove. It’s exactly how Kitty always pictured it… except in her head, she wasn’t standing here alone.

Kitty Roberts spends her days searching for the perfect home for two… until her boyfriend dumps her. Devastated, she flees to a tiny seaside village called Pennystrand, where she spent golden summers as a child, before her family fell apart.

At first, Kitty’s dramatic escape proves to be exactly what she needs – golden sunsets over warm, sandy beaches, lovably eccentric new neighbours and even a blush-inducing run-in with Cory Hudson, a floppy-haired local surfer with a heart-stopping smile.

But just as Kitty feels herself beginning to heal, Cory reveals that his time in Pennystrand is nearly up. What’s more, some strange reactions to Kitty in town make her wonder if her connection to this place might go deeper than she thought.

What is this tranquil little village hiding? It seems there’s a secret in Kitty’s past that is about to turn her life on its head once more… Is she ready for the truth? And will it bring her and Cory closer together, or drive them apart?

“Would like to hold onto summer vibes a bit longer with this one.”

What books caught your eye this week?

 

Mailbox Monday

Leave a comment

It’s… mm_Oct3

Mailbox 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.

***ATTENTION: We’re looking for a new host! If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

6 Comments

dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

*** ATTENTION ***

We’re looking for a new host!

If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

MARTHA:

ProxyBrideThe Proxy Bride by Zoe Boccabella found at Sam Still Reading

In 1939, Giacinta sets sail from Italy to Australia. Decades later, a granddaughter discovers the true story of her family… A stunningly crafted novel of family, secrets and facing adversity, perfect for readers of Victoria Purman.

Imagine marrying someone you’ve never met …

When Sofie comes to stay with her grandmother in Stanthorpe, she knows little of Nonna Gia’s past. In the heat of that 1984 summer, the two clash over Gia’s strict Italian ways and superstitions, her chilli-laden spaghetti and the evasive silence surrounding Sofie’s father, who died before she was born. Then Sofie learns Gia had an arranged marriage. From there, the past begins to reveal why no-one will talk of her father.

As Nonna Gia cooks, furtively adding a little more chilli each time, she also begins feeding Sofie her stories. How she came to Australia on a ‘bride ship’, among many proxy brides, knowing little about the husbands they had married from afar. Most arriving to find someone much different than described.

Then, as World War II takes over the nation, and in the face of the growing animosity towards Italians that sees their husbands interned, Gia and her friends are left alone. Impoverished. Desperate. To keep their farms going, their only hope is banding together, along with Edie, a reclusive artist on the neighbouring farm and two Women’s Land Army workers. But the venture is made near-impossible by the hatred towards the women held by the local publican and an illicit love between Gia and an Australian, Keith.

The summer burns on and the truth that unfolds is nothing like what Sofie expected…

“This is another ‘mail order bride’ story that seems to have a twist.”

BlownSameWindBlown by the Same Wind by John Straley found at Book Dilettante

Mysterious dreams of grizzly bears, a bumbling FBI agent, and a tense hostage negotiation have the town of Cold Storage, Alaska, turned upside down.

Things in the fishing town of Cold Storage, Alaska, are changing. It’s the summer of 1968; the men are wearing their hair long, the Vietnam War is at its height, and multiple assassinations have gripped the country. But some things remain the same. Ellie’s bar is still the place to catch up on the town gossip, and there’s a lot to talk about, from the boys who have returned from the war (and the ones who haven’t), to the robberies that are plaguing the locals, to the new guy in town: a famous monk from Kentucky.

Ellie, herself a fugitive of sorts, is curious about this “Brother Louis,” and worries about his motives, but he seems harmless enough. However, when a handful of other outsiders arrive to town and start poking around the bar and asking questions, Ellie begins to have reservations. Have they followed this mysterious monk, rumored to be the famous author Thomas Merton, to Cold Storage? And what is it that they want, particularly the inept FBI agent with the strange name: Boston Corbot?

Inspired by assassination conspiracy theories, the life of Thomas Merton, and the changing tide of the ’60s, Blown by the Same Wind is a coming-of-age story for the town of Cold Storage as a whole.

“I am really drawn to this cover…and I like the setting in Alaska.”

SERENA:

LilysSecretLily’s Secret Inheritance by Kristin Harper at Silver’s Reviews

When her estranged aunt Dahlia dies, single mother Lily Lindgren is surprised to inherit the family home and cranberry farm. Returning to Dune Island for the first time since Dahlia admitted to a terrible betrayal that shattered Lily’s trust in her family, she’s ready to sell up and finally create a stable future for her little boy. But her high-school crush and farm manager Jake Benson is determined to stop Lily’s plan…

After helping Dahlia turn part of the house into a local produce store, Jake shared her dream of making the cranberry farm a community hub for the island. His stories about Dahlia, and how much she had missed Lily all these years, make Lily question if she was wrong to never forgive her aunt. And when Jake joins her long walks over the sand dunes, there’s an undeniable spark… could a move to Dune Island be the key to her and her son’s happiness?

But then, clearing out Dahlia’s bedroom, Lily finds an old picture of Dahlia that stops her in her tracks. Just when she was making peace with Dahlia’s memory and learning to trust again, Lily’s heart is shattered to find she was keeping another secret. Can Lily trust Jake to tell her the painful truth—or will she run from Dune Island again for good?

“I just love books with family secrets!”

DaughterCalabriaDaughter of Calabria by Tania Blanchard at Sam Still Reading

Calabria, Italy, 1936

In a remote farming village nestled in the mountains that descend into the sparkling Ionian Sea, young and spirited Giulia Tallariti longs for something more. While she loves her home and her lively family, she would much rather follow in her nonna’s footsteps and pursue her dream of becoming a healer.

But as Mussolini’s focus shifts to the war in Europe, civil unrest looms. Whispers of war are at every corner and her beloved village, once safe from the fascist agenda of the North, is now in very real danger.

Caught between her desire to forge her own path and her duty to her family, Giulia must draw on the passion in her heart and the strength of her conviction. Can she find a way to fulfill her dreams or will the echoes of war drown out her voice?

“Yup, WWII era books catch my eye every time.”

VELVET:

IamCocoI Am Coco: The Life of Coco Chanel by Isabel Pin at Savvy Verse & Wit

Young Gabrielle came from a poor family, was orphaned at age 12, and learned to sew in a convent school. She worked as a seamstress and sang in cabarets, where she was given the nickname Coco.

This story—and the remarkable career that followed—is exuberantly told in Isabel Pin’s simple yet detailed illustrations. Young readers will learn about Coco’s beginnings as a hat designer, and how her earliest creations presaged the concept of sportswear.

They’ll learn about her iconic designs— the little black dress, the impeccable suit, the squared-off perfume bottle, and the acclaimed logo. And they will learn how a freethinking young artist who freed women from the corsets and extravagant ornamentations of the early 20th century grew into a ferociously ambitious designer who staged her own comeback at the age of 70.

Whether they are interested in the history of fashion, or looking for encouragement to pursue their own dreams, young readers will find this entertaining biography both fascinating and inspiring.

“I want to see the artwork in this book.”

OpportunistThe Opportunist by Elyse Friedman at Silver’s Reviews

A deliciously sly, compulsively readable tale about greed, power and the world’s most devious family.

When Alana Shropshire’s seventy-six-year-old father, Ed, starts dating Kelly, his twenty-eight-year-old nurse, a flurry of messages arrive from Alana’s brothers, urging her to help “protect Dad” from the young interloper. Alana knows that what Teddy and Martin really want to protect is their father’s fortune, and she tells them she couldn’t care less about the May–December romance. Long estranged from her privileged family, Alana, a hardworking single mom, has more important things to worry about.

But when Ed and Kelly’s wedding is announced, Teddy and Martin kick into hyperdrive and persuade Alana to fly to their father’s West Coast island retreat to perform one simple task in their plan to make the gold digger go away. Kelly, however, proves a lot more wily than expected, and Alana becomes entangled in an increasingly dangerous scheme full of secrets and surprises. Just how far will her siblings go to retain control?

“Ooo, the secrets and surprises.”

What books caught your eye this week?

 

Books That Caught Our Eye

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dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

What We Remember by Sarah Echavarre found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

From the author of Three More Months comes a moving novel about hope, loss, the power of memories, and the enduring bonds of family.

It’s been two years and two months since trauma shattered hospital chaplain Isabel Myles’s world. Since that day, she has stopped answering calls. She’s shut out her family, friends, and coworkers. Even her faith seems to have faded. Except for her connection with her younger sister, Chantel, Isabel copes by forgetting. Then she takes on a summer job as a home caregiver for Opal, a dementia patient who is struggling to remember.

The more invested Isabel becomes in Opal’s vanishing world—and in her devastated grandson, Evan—the more open she is to forming bonds, old and new. She reaches out to her best friend. She repairs the damage between her and her estranged parents. And with Evan she feels emotions she thought were lost forever. But the trauma Isabel’s kept buried for so long will be rediscovered too. What Isabel learns could change her life again, forever. This time, though, she won’t have to face the past alone.

“The birds caught my eye, then the trauma mystery caught my interest.”

Death on the Set, A Brenna Flynn Mystery by Rose Kerr found at Carstairs Considers.

Former high school guidance counselor turns amateur sleuth to save herself from murder charge on reality show.

Brenna Flynn, returns home to Bayview City after the sudden death of her husband. Unable to find work in her field, she signs up with a temp agency to find employment. Sent on an interview for a cooking reality show, she aces it and gets the job of a production assistant.
On her second day at work, Brenna discovers a body in the studio. She soon learns she’s the police’s primary suspect. Determined to clear her name, she uses some skills she’s honed as a guidance counselor to learn more about the victim. Drawing people out comes naturally to Brenna, and she becomes a confidante to cast and crew on the show.

The stakes are raised with threatening notes, poisonings, and blackmail. Can Brenna uncover who the killer is before someone else dies?

“This cozy mystery looks and sounds like fun to me.”

VELVET:

CandidLifeMeenaThe Candid Life of Meena Dave by Namrata Patel at Savvy Verse & Wit

Meena Dave is a photojournalist and a nomad. She has no family, no permanent address, and no long-term attachments, preferring to observe the world at a distance through the lens of her camera. But Meena’s solitary life is turned upside down when she unexpectedly inherits an apartment in a Victorian brownstone in historic Back Bay, Boston.

Though Meena’s impulse is to sell it and keep moving, she decides to use her journalistic instinct to follow the story that landed her in the home of a stranger. It’s a mystery that comes with a series of hidden clues, a trio of meddling Indian aunties, and a handsome next-door neighbor. For Meena it’s a chance for newfound friendships, community, and culture she never thought possible. And a window into her past she never expected.

Now as everything unknown to Meena comes into focus, she must reconcile who she wants to be with who she really is.

” Who could resist a trio of meddling Indian aunties 😉 “

VillaThe Villa by Rachel Hawkins at Book Reviews by Linda Moore

As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.

Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.

As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.

Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.

“Ooo, looks like a perfect summer thriller.”

SERENA:

 

Serena is away on vacation so she didn’t get to visit blogs this week. But she did share this lovely sunrise with us!

 

What books caught your eye this week?