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?

 

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?

 

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?

 

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

1 Comment

dragonlegends

***ATTENTION: We’re looking for a new host! Velvet would like to pass the torch onto someone new. If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

At 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:

Kit McBride Gets a Wife by Amy Barry found at Bookfan.

The four McBride brothers have their worlds turned upside down when their precocious younger sister secretly places an advertisement for a mail-order bride.

Kit McBride knows that Buck’s Creek, Montana, is no place to find a wife. Between him and his three brothers–plus little Junebug–they manage all right on their own, thank you very much. But unbeknownst to Kit, his sister is sick to death of cleaning, cooking, and mending for her big brothers, so she places an ad in The Matrimonial News to get them hitched.

After Maddy Mooney emigrated from Ireland, she found employment with an eccentric but poor widow. When her mistress decides to answer an ad for a mail-order bride, Maddy is dragged along for the ride to Montana. But en route to the West, Maddy is suddenly abandoned and left to assume the widow’s name, position, and matrimonial prospects….

With no other recourse in the wilderness, Maddy must convince Kit not only is she who she says she is, but she’s the wife he never knew he needed.

“The cover drew me right in and I like mail-order bride stories.”


Her Frozen Heart by Stacy Green found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

The girl’s pretty face was relaxed, snowflakes settling on her cheeks as they began to fall over the quiet frozen lake where she’d been found. She could have been sleeping… but her empty eyes and the blooming bruises around her neck told a different story…

When Special Agent Nikki Hunt receives a call on Christmas Day, she knows it can’t be good news. Seventeen-year-old missing teenager Kesha Williams has at last been found… her body floating in an icy forest lake, miles from her hometown.

As Nikki rushes to the scene, she’s chilled to see the past repeating itself. Kesha disappeared from the mall where Nikki’s own little girl was targeted the year before. With Kesha’s grieving parents desperate for answers and the media out for blood, Nikki promises she’ll find Kesha’s killer no matter what it takes.

Local police are convinced it was Kesha’s boyfriend, who was spotted disappearing from security cameras that day at the mall, but Nikki isn’t so sure. The dense marshes and unstable ground around the crime scene mean it’s nearly inaccessible from the road. Whoever took Kesha is a local, and this probably isn’t his first kill.

Nikki’s worst fears are confirmed when the team find another grave on the shore – a second teenage girl, her body wound in a brightly coloured beach towel. Suddenly on the hunt for a serial killer, Nikki knows that an early break is the key to solving this case. But as the body count rises, will Nikki be able to find Kesha’s killer… or will he find her first?

“Title and cover caught my eye. I have the first book in this series on Audible and I think I’ll listen to it soon.”


VELVET:

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield at infinite curio.

Leah is changed. Months earlier, she left for a routine expedition, only this time her submarine sank to the sea floor. When she finally surfaces and returns home, her wife Miri knows that something is wrong. Barely eating and lost in her thoughts, Leah rotates between rooms in their apartment, running the taps morning and night.
As Miri searches for answers, desperate to understand what happened below the water, she must face the possibility that the woman she loves is slipping from her grasp.
“Got me with ‘under the sea’ and submarine.”

The Porcelain Moon by Janie Chang at Book Dilettante.

France, 1918. In the final days of the First World War, a young Chinese woman, Pauline Deng, runs away from her uncle’s home in Paris to evade a marriage being arranged for her in Shanghai. To prevent the union, she needs the help of her cousin Theo, who is working as a translator for the Chinese Labour Corps in the French countryside. In the town of Noyelles-sur-Mer, Camille Roussel is planning her escape from an abusive marriage, and to end a love affair that can no longer continue. When Camille offers Pauline a room for her stay, the two women become friends. But it’s not long before Pauline uncovers a perilous secret that Camille has been hiding from her. As their dangerous situation escalates, the two women are forced to make a terrible decision that will bind them together for the rest of their lives.

“Interested in reading about another aspect of Paris and its people.”


SERENA:

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Rayborn at Bookfan Mary.

Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that’s their secret weapon.They’ve spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they’re sixty years old, four women friends can’t just retire – it’s kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller by New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for forty years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies more on technology than people skills.

When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they’ve been marked for death.

Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They’re about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman—and a killer—of a certain age.

“Now, this sounds like a thriller that could be very interesting and unique.”

What books caught your eye this week?

***ATTENTION: We’re looking for a new host! Velvet would like to pass the torch onto someone new. If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

Books That Caught Our Eye

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dragonlegends

At 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.


VELVET:
The Ravaged by Norman Reedus at Bookworm.

Jack’s dying mother told him, “Run and never look back.” He spent his life amassing wealth, but after losing his family, he has no one to share it with. Alone with his demons and a backpack, he heads to South America, where people with nothing teach him what matters.

After thrashing his dog-abusing boss, Hunter learns of his father’s death in a mysterious fire. Biker buddies Nugget and Itch ride with him from North Carolina to California. Stories from his father’s life help ease the struggles of small-town Americans. Hunter discovers a secret past.

Seventeen-year-old Anne flees Tennessee after her older brother attacks her. She whacks him with a skillet and hops a freight to Alabama with her best friend. Living hand to mouth, they build friendships, uncovering something they never had: family.

The Ravaged is a fast-paced, up-in-your-face novel of gritty realism, exploring three different personal quests with eerily parallel outcomes.

“Also a Norman Reedus fan. “

——–

I Thought You Said This Would Work by Ann Wertz Garvin at Bookfan.

A road trip can drive anyone over the edge—especially two former best friends—in bestselling author Ann Garvin’s funny and poignant novel about broken bonds, messy histories, and the power of forgiveness.

Widowed Samantha Arias hasn’t spoken to Holly Dunfee in forever. It’s for the best. Samantha prefers to avoid conflict. The blisteringly honest Holly craves it. What they still have in common puts them both back on speed dial: a mutual love for Katie, their best friend of twenty-five years, now hospitalized with cancer and needing one little errand from her old college roomies.

It’s simple: travel cross-country together, steal her loathsome ex-husband’s VW camper, find Katie’s diabetic Great Pyrenees at a Utah rescue, and drive him back home to Wisconsin. If it’ll make Katie happy, no favor is too big (one hundred pounds), too daunting (two thousand miles), or too illegal (ish), even when a boho D-list celebrity hitches a ride and drives the road trip in fresh directions.

Samantha and Holly are following every new turn—toward second chances, unexpected romance, and self-discovery—and finally blowing the dust off the secret that broke their friendship. On the open road, they’ll try to put it back together—for themselves, and especially for the love of Katie.

“Drawn to road trip stories.”

——–

SERENA:
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov at The Bookwyrm’s Hoard.

The three laws of Robotics:
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
2) A robot must obey orders givein to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future–a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world–all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov’s trademark.

“I haven’t read this but I have seen the movie.”

——–

MARTHA:
Bake Offed (A Five-Ingredient Mystery Book 8) by Maya Corrigan at Carstairs Considers.

In the new installment of beloved author Maya Corrigan’s Five-Ingredient Mystery series, join Val Deniston and her grandfather at the Maryland Mystery Fan Fest in the bake-off of the century that makes “killing competition” take on a whole new meaning…

When the Deadly Desserts bake-off lives up to its name, Val and Granddad turn up the heat on a killer . . .

The Maryland Mystery Fan Fest sounds like exactly the fun getaway cafe manager Val Deniston and her grandfather could use. Granddad will even compete in a dessert competition in which contestants assume the roles of cooks to famous fictional sleuths. Playing Nero Wolfe’s gourmet cook Fritz is an exciting challenge for Granddad. A restaurant manager is playing Lord Peter Wimsey’s valet and cook Bunter. But Granddad is steamed to learn who will be playing Sherlock Holmes’s landlady, Mrs. Hudson—his nemesis Cynthia Sweet, who he believes ripped off his five-ingredient theme from his column “Codger Cook” to use in her own recipe column.

Apparently, he isn’t the only one who has a beef with his not-so-sweet competitor. When she’s found dead in her room with the teakettle whistling, it’s up to Val and her grandfather to sort through the festival goers to find out who was most definitely not a fan of Cynthia Sweet . . .

“The title caught me on this cozy mystery and the idea of famous fictional sleuths cinched it.”

——–

Murder in the Book Shop by Carolyn Wells at The Bookwyrm’s Hoard.

Book 50 in the Detective Club Crime Classics series is Carolyn Wells’ Murder in the Bookshop, a classic locked room murder mystery which will have a special resonance for lovers and collectors of Golden Age detective fiction. Includes a bonus murder story: ‘The Shakespeare Title-Page Mystery’.

When Philip Balfour is found murdered in a New York bookstore, the number one suspect is his librarian, a man who has coveted Balfour’s widow. But when the police discover that a book worth $100,000 is missing, detective Fleming Stone realises that some people covet rare volumes even more highly than other men’s wives, and embarks on one of his most dangerous investigations….

“This is another cover I was drawn to and I like locked room puzzles.”

What books caught your eye this week?

***ATTENTION: We’re looking for a new host! Velvet would like to pass the torch onto someone new. If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

Mailbox Monday

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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.

August is continuing with the heat and getting ready to return to school for many. Here is a mailbox to remind us of the late days at the beach.

I enjoyed books with my grandchildren the last two weeks. Has anyone else been reading children’s books?

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.

***ATTENTION: We’re looking for a new host! Velvet would like to pass the torch onto someone new. If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

Books That Caught Our Eye

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dragonlegends

At 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:

Coming Home by Shelley Shepard Gray found at Bookfan.

When an army vet becomes a firefighter in small-town Colorado, the flames of an old love reignite in this sweet romance by bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray

In Woodland Park, a small town nestled in the foothills of Pikes Peak, Anderson Kelly and Chelsea Davis were once the high school “it” couple–the star quarterback and the valedictorian. They broke up when Anderson joined the army and one poor decision at a fraternity party changed Chelsea’s life. Now, she works long shifts in a senior center to support her nine-year-old son, Jack.

After multiple tours in Afghanistan, Anderson has changed, too–physically scarred but mentally strong–and he decides to move back to Woodland Park. Anderson and Chelsea steer clear of each other to avoid reopening old wounds, until they are forced to reconnect through the senior center. They soon discover that the love they once shared never completely vanished. But it will take a fire, a dangerous collision, and the love of one little boy to help Anderson and Chelsea see that the future they’ve always yearned for is in sight…

“I love this cover and it sounds like a nice second chance romance .”

The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni found at The Infinite Curio.

Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.

When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.

Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.

But no one has ever survived.

With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.

From bestselling author Lynette Noni comes a dark, thrilling YA fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, and Sabaa Tahir.

“I like stories about healers and this one sounds different with a prison setting and challenging trials.”

VELVET:

Never Coming Home by Kate Williams at infinite curio.

Everyone knows Unknown Island—it’s the world’s most exclusive destination. Think white sand beaches, turquoise seas, and luxury accommodations. Plus, it’s invite only, no one over twenty-one allowed, and it’s absolutely free. Who wouldn’t want to go?
After launching with a showstopping viral marketing campaign, the whole world is watching as the mysterious resort opens its doors to the First Ten, the ten elite influencers specifically chosen to be the first to experience everything Unknown Island has to offer. You know them. There’s the gamer, the beauty blogger, the rich girl, the superstar, the junior politician, the environmentalist, the DJ, the CEO, the chef, and the athlete.
What they don’t know is that they weren’t invited to Unknown Island for their following—they were invited for their secrets. Everyone is hiding a deadly one, and it looks like someone’s decided it’s payback time. Unknown Island isn’t a vacation, it’s a trap. And it’s beginning to look like the First Ten—no matter how influential—are never coming home.
“Ooo, a trap trip.”

The Lessons by John Purcell at Sam Still Reading.

What if your first love was your one and only chance of happiness? In our lives, some promises are easily forgotten, while others come back to haunt us. From the bestselling author of The Girl on the Page comes a compelling novel about love and betrayal – and literature.
1961
When teens Daisy and Harry meet, it feels so right they promise to love each other forever, but everything is stacked against them: class, education, expectations. After Daisy is sent by her parents to live with her glamorous, bohemian Aunt Jane, a novelist working on her second book, she is confronted by adult truths and suffers a loss of innocence that flings her far from the one good thing in her life, Harry.
1983
Jane Curtis, now a famous novelist, is at a prestigious book event in New York, being interviewed about the overlap between her life and her work, including one of her novels about the traumatic coming of age of a young woman. But she evades the interviewer’s probing questions. What is she trying to hide?
An intriguing, striking and powerful novel, The Lessons tells a compelling story about literature, love and betrayal, about how far writers will go in plundering their lives for their art, and about how much we’re prepared to forgive – if we forgive.
“Liking the literature, love and betrayal combo premise in this one.”

SERENA:

When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill at Infinite Curio.

Learn about the Mass Dragoning of 1955 in which 300,000 women spontaneously transform into dragons…and change the world.

Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours. But this version of 1950’s America is characterized by a significant event: The Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales and talons, left a trail of fiery destruction in their path, and took to the skies. Seemingly for good. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? Why did Alex’s beloved Aunt Marla transform but her mother did not? Alex doesn’t know. It’s taboo to speak of, even more so than her crush on Sonja, her schoolmate.

Forced into silence, Alex nevertheless must face the consequences of dragons: a mother more protective than ever; a father growing increasingly distant; the upsetting insistence that her aunt never even existed; and a new “sister” obsessed with dragons far beyond propriety. Through loss, rage, and self-discovery, this story follows Alex’s journey as she deals with the events leading up to and beyond the Mass Dragoning, and her connection with the phenomenon itself.

“I was first attracted to the cover of this one. But imagine suddenly sprouting wings and talons.”

What books caught your eye this week?

***ATTENTION: We’re looking for a new host! Velvet would like to pass the torch onto someone new. If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

Mailbox Monday

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sunflowermailboxMailbox 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.

August is rolling in the extreme heat and health hazards. So I hope everyone in the area is staying safe and cool. One of our dogs has experienced heat exhaustion, so the threat is real. I hope everyone has been reading and enjoying themselves. I have been reading slowly, but now it is August and time for my planned poetry read-a-long, I hope some of you will check it out. We’re reading Amanda Gorman’s book.

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.

***ATTENTION: We’re looking for a new host! Velvet would like to pass the torch onto someone new. If you’re interested, please email savvyverseandwit AT gmail

Books That Caught Our Eye

Leave a comment

dragonlegends

At 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.


VELVET:

The Reservoir by David Duchovny at Rose City Reader.

The Reservoir follows an unexceptional man in an exceptional time. We see our present-day pandemic world and New York City through the eyes of a former Wall Street veteran, Ridley, as he, in his enforced quarantined solitude, looks back upon his life. He examines his wins, his failures, the gnawing questions—his career, his divorce, his estranged daughter—and wonders what it all means and who he really is.
Sitting and brooding night after night, gazing out his huge picture window high above the Central Park Reservoir, Ridley spots a flashing light in an apartment across the park as if a lonely quarantined person is signaling him in Morse code. His determination to find out who this mystery woman is, this fellow quarantine damsel in distress trapped in her own Fifth Avenue tower, leads him on an epic quest that will ultimately tempt him with either delusional madness or the fulfillment of his own mythic fate.
Is he a dying man going mad or an everyman metamorphosing into a hero? Or both? We accompany Ridley as he leaves the safety of his apartment window to save the Fifth Avenue femme fatale and descends into a dangerous, increasingly surreal world of global conspiracies, madness, and sickness of this viral time; beyond that, into the enduring mysteries of love and fatherhood; and deeper still, into the bedrock mystery of life itself. As Ridley’s actions grow more and more uncharacteristic, he realizes the key to all the mysteries of now, and even all of history, seem to lie deep beneath the freezing waters of the reservoir.
“Curious about this pandemic thriller.”

The Couple at No. 9 by Claire Douglas at Silver’s Reviews.

BODIES FOUND UNDER PATIO
When pregnant Saffron Cutler moves into 9 Skelton Place with boyfriend Tom and sets about renovations the last thing she expects is builders uncovering a body – two bodies, in fact.
POLICE INVESTIGATE
Forensics indicate the bodies have been buried at least thirty years. Nothing Saffy need worry herself over. Until the police launch a murder investigation and ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner – her grandmother, Rose.
OWNER QUESTIONED
Rose is in a care home and Alzheimer’s means her memory is increasingly confused. She can’t help the police but it is clear she remembers something.
A KILLER AT LARGE?
As Rose’s fragmented memories resurface, and the police dig ever deeper, Saffy fears she and the cottage are being watched.
What happened thirty years ago?
Why did no one miss the victims?
What part did her grandmother play?
And is Saffy now in danger?
“Interested in the Alzheimer’s angle.”

SERENA:

Accomplished by Amanda Quain at Sam Still Reading.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Georgiana Darcy should have been expelled after The Incident with Wickham Foster last year – at least if you ask any of her Pemberley Academy classmates. She may have escaped expulsion because of her family name, but she didn’t escape the disappointment of her big brother Fitz, the scorn of the entire school, or, it turns out, Wickham’s influence.

But she’s back for her junior year, and she needs to prove to everyone – Fitz, Wickham, her former friends, and maybe even herself – that she’s more than just an embarrassment to the family name. How hard can it be to become the Perfect Darcy? All she has to do is:

– Rebuild her reputation with the marching band (even if it kills her)
– Forget about Wickham and his lies (no matter how tempting they still are), and
– Distract Fitz Darcy — helicopter-sibling extraordinaire — by getting him to fall in love with his classmate, Lizzie Bennet (this one might be difficult…)

Sure, it’s a complicated plan, but so is being a Darcy. With the help of her fellow bandmate, Avery, matchmaking ideas lifted straight from her favorite fanfics, and a whole lot of pancakes, Georgie is going to see every one of her plans through. But when the weight of being the Perfect Darcy comes crashing down, Georgie will have to find her own way before she loses everything permanently—including the one guy who sees her for who she really is.

“I’m always on the lookout for new P&P spinoffs, retellings, etc. And you don’t see too many about Georgiana”


What books caught your eye this week?