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.

VELVET:

Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth at A Universe in Words.

A darkly funny domestic horror novel about a woman who must take drastic measures to save her husband and herself from the vengeful ghost of her mother-in-law.

When Ralph and Abby Lamb move in with Ralph’s mother, Laura, Abby hopes it’s just what she and her mother-in-law need to finally connect. After a traumatic childhood, Abby is desperate for a mother figure, especially now that she and Ralph are trying to become parents themselves. Abby just has so much love to give—to Ralph, to Laura, and to Mrs. Bondy, her favorite resident at the long-term care home where she works. But Laura isn’t interested in bonding with her daughter-in-law. She’s venomous and cruel, especially to Abby, and life with her is hellish.

When Laura takes her own life, her ghost haunts Abby and Ralph in very different ways: Ralph is plunged into depression, and Abby is terrorized by a force intent on destroying everything she loves. To make matters worse, Mrs. Bondy’s daughter is threatening to move Mrs. Bondy from the home, leaving Abby totally alone. With everything on the line, Abby comes up with a chilling plan that will allow her to keep Mrs. Bondy, rescue Ralph from his tortured mind, and break Laura’s hold on the family for good. All it requires is a little ingenuity, a lot of determination, and a unique recipe for chicken à la king…

“Striking cover and content.”


Mustique Island by Sarah McCoy at Savvy Verse & Wit.

It’s January 1972 but the sun is white hot when Willy May Michael’s boat first kisses the dock of Mustique Island. Tucked into the southernmost curve of the Caribbean, Mustique is a private island that has become a haven for the wealthy and privileged. Its owner is the eccentric British playboy Colin Tennant, who is determined to turn this speck of white sand into a luxurious neo-colonial retreat for his rich friends and into a royal court in exile for the Queen’s rebellious sister, Princess Margaret—one where Her Royal Highness can skinny dip, party, and entertain lovers away from the public eye.
Willy May, a former beauty queen from Texas—who is also no stranger to marital scandals—seeks out Mustique for its peaceful isolation. Determined to rebuild her life and her relationships with her two daughters, Hilly, a model, and Joanne, a musician, she constructs a fanciful white beach house across the island from Princess Margaret—and finds herself pulled into the island’s inner circle of aristocrats, rock stars, and hangers-on.
When Willy May’s daughters arrive, they discover that beneath its veneer of decadence, Mustique has a dark side, and like sand caught in the undertow, their mother-daughter story will shift and resettle in ways they never could have imagined.
“Ready for a romp.”

MARTHA:

The Hidden One (Kate Burkholder #14) by Linda Castillo found at Silver’s Reviews.

Over a decade ago, beloved Amish bishop Ananias Stoltzfus disappeared without a trace. When skeletal remains showing evidence of foul play are unearthed, his disappearance becomes even more sinister.

The town’s elders arrive in Painters Mill to ask chief of police Kate Burkholder for help, but she quickly realizes she has a personal connection to the crime. The handsome Amish man who stands accused of the murder, Jonas Bowman, was Kate’s first love. Forced to confront a painful episode from her past, Kate travels to Pennsylvania’s Kishacoquillas Valley, where the Amish culture differs dramatically from the traditions she knows. Though Bishop Stoltzfus was highly respected, she soon hears about a dark side to this complex man. What was he hiding that resulted in his own brutal death?

Someone doesn’t want Kate asking questions. But even after being accosted and threatened in the dead of night, she refuses to back down. Is she too close to the case―and to Jonas―to see clearly? There’s a killer in the Valley who will stop at nothing to keep the past buried. Will they get to Kate before she can expose the truth? Or will the bishop’s secrets remain hidden forever?

“This police procedural set in an Amish Community sounds very interesting.”

Dog Friendly by Victoria Schade found at BookFan.

A burned-out veterinarian takes a much-needed beach vacation, where a charming surfer makes waves in her love life, and a unique foster pup renews her passion for her work.

Exhausted veterinarian Morgan Pearce is feeling overworked and under-thanked, so when two favorite clients ask her to watch their special needs senior dog in their Nantucket home, she jumps at the chance for a summer break. She hopes her time on the island will be a reset from the stress of her everyday life, but her chill vacation vibe takes a hit when she gets roped into fostering a challenging, anxious dog and helping plan the local rescue group’s glittery annual fundraiser.

Her trip starts to feel more like a vacation when Morgan begins falling for Nathan Keating, an irresistible entrepreneur who thinks every problem can be solved on a surfboard. Just as the summer is shaping up to be the magical refresh she needs, thanks to a fling that feels like the beginning of something real and Hudson, the foster dog who reminds her how much she loves her job, a visit from her estranged brother and the discovery of who Nathan really is changes everything. Morgan finds herself at a crossroads, trying to determine if mistakes from the past must define the future, or if she should forgive, forget, and grab hold of a chance to finally rescue herself.

“Of course, the dogs caught my eye and this sounds like a nice romance.”

SERENA:

The Ravaged by Norman Reedus at vvb32 reads.

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.

“I’m dying to read this fiction.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

Leave a 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.

VELVET:

little scratch by Rebecca Watson at infinite curio.

little scratch tells the story of an unnamed woman living in a world of office politics, clock-watching, and emoji-texting as she relays what it takes to get through a quotidian day in the wake of a recent sexual assualt.
Formatted in continuously interweaving columns that chart the feedback loop of memory, the senses, and modern distractions with witty precision, our narrator becomes increasingly anxious as the day moves on–and increasingly intent on distracting herself. Must she really drink eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated? Does the word “rape” apply to what happened to her? Why is the etiquette of the women’s bathroom so fraught? Does the colleague who keeps offering to make her tea know something? And why can’t she stop scratching?
Fiercely moving and slyly profound, little scratch is a fearless and defiantly playful look at how our minds function in–and survive–the darkest moments.
“I like the quirky vibe this gives off.”

Murder at Blackwater Bend by Clara McKenna at Carstairs Considers.
Wild-hearted Kentuckian Stella Kendrick cautiously navigates the strict demands of British high society as the future Lady of Morrington Hall. But when petty scandals lead to bloody murder, her outspoken nature could be all that keeps her alive . . .
Following a whirlwind engagement to Viscount “Lyndy” Lyndhurst, Stella is finding her footing within an elite social circle in picturesque rural England. Except tea time with refined friends can be more dangerous than etiquette faux pas—especially in the company of Lady Philippa, the woman Lyndy was once set to marry, and her husband, the ostentatious Lord Fairbrother…
Outrage erupts and accusations fly after Lord Fairbrother’s pony wins best in breed for the seventh consecutive year. The man has his share of secrets and adversaries, but Stella and Lyndy are in for a brutal shock when they discover his body floating in the river during a quiet morning fishing trip…
Suddenly unwelcome around hardly-grieving Lady Philippa and Lyndy’s endlessly critical mother, Stella faces the bitter reality that she may always be an outsider—and one of her trusted new acquaintances may be a calculating killer. Now, Stella and her fiancé must fight against the current to catch the culprit, before they’re the next couple torn apart by tragedy.
“Curious about this mystery among the elites.”

SERENA:

The Opera Sisters by Marianne Monson at Silver’s Reviews.

British sisters Ida and Louise Cook enjoy their quiet, unassuming lives in south London. Ida writes romance novels, and Louise works as a secretary. In the evenings, the sisters indulge in their shared love for opera, saving their money to buy records and attend performances throughout England and Europe, becoming well-known by both performers and fellow opera lovers.

But when Hitler seizes power in 1933, he begins targeting and persecuting German Jews, passing laws that restrict their rights and their lives. The sisters continue their trips to the German opera houses, but soon, Jewish members of the opera community covertly approach the sisters, worried that they will be stripped of their wealth and forced to leave their homes and the country. Danger looms on the horizon, threatening to spill across all of Europe’s borders.

Ida and Louise vow to help, but how can two ordinary working-class women with limited means make a difference?

Together with their beloved opera community, the sisters devise a plan to personally escort Jewish refugees from Germany to England. The success of the plan hinges on Ida and Louise’s ability to smuggle contraband jewelry and furs beneath the watchful eyes of the SS soldiers guarding various checkpoints. But how many trips can they make before someone blows a whistle? Or before the final curtain falls on Germany’s borders?

“I know, another WWII era book. I just cannot resist them.”


The Lost Ticket by Freya Sampson at Silver’s Reviews.

When Libby Nicholls arrives in London, brokenhearted and with her life in tatters, the first person she meets on the bus is elderly Frank. He tells her about the time in 1962 that he met a girl on the number 88 bus with beautiful red hair just like hers. They made plans for a date at the National Gallery art museum, but Frank lost the bus ticket with her number on it. For the past sixty years, he’s ridden the same bus trying to find her, but with no luck.

Libby is inspired to action and, with the help of an unlikely companion, she papers the bus route with posters advertising their search. Libby begins to open her guarded heart to new friendships and a budding romance, as her tightly controlled world expands. But with Frank’s dementia progressing quickly, their chance of finding the girl on the 88 bus is slipping away.

More than anything, Libby wants Frank to see his lost love one more time. But their quest also shows Libby just how important it is to embrace her own chances for happiness—before it’s too late—in a beautifully uplifting novel about how a shared common experience among strangers can transform lives in the most marvelous ways.

“I love stories with unlikely friendships.”

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

Leave a 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.

 

SERENA:

RattledRattled by Ellis Gunn at Book’d Out

Rattled tells a frighteningly honest story of what it feels like to be pursued by a stalker.

What if your life were suddenly transformed by anxiety and fear? The fear of being alone, the anxiety compelling you to stay in public places and avoid predictable routines. The horrible uncertainty of not knowing whether you should fear for your life, and maybe even the lives of your children. The dreadful knowledge that, ultimately, you are powerless to escape.

Ellis Gunn’s world is turned upside down when she realises that she is being followed by a man she doesn’t know-and that she can’t make him stop. The experience conjures up other incidents of sexual harassment and abuse that she has endured, incidents she often accepted as ‘normal’. Spurred on to look deeper, she discovers that stalking is part of an underlying misogyny that more than half the population is dealing with on a daily basis.

Alarming, and at times even darkly amusing, Rattled is a thought-provoking, heart-in-your-throat memoir that begins in outrage and ends with a celebration of the howling winds of change sweeping the globe.

“I’ve been watching some true-crime episodes lately, and this one caught my eye.”

GermanWifeThe German Wife by Kelly Rimmer at Silver’s Reviews

Berlin, Germany, 1930—When the Nazis rise to power, Sofie von Meyer Rhodes and her academic husband benefit from the military ambitions of Germany’s newly elected chancellor when Jürgen is offered a high-level position in their burgeoning rocket program. Although they fiercely oppose Hitler’s radical views, and joining his ranks is unthinkable, it soon becomes clear that if Jürgen does not accept the job, their income will be taken away. Then their children. And then their lives.

Huntsville, Alabama, 1950—Twenty years later, Jürgen is one of many German scientists pardoned and granted a position in America’s space program. For Sofie, this is a chance to leave the horrors of her past behind. But when rumors about the Rhodes family’s affiliation with the Nazi party spread among her new American neighbors, idle gossip turns to bitter rage, and the act of violence that results tears apart a family and leaves the community wondering—is it an act of vengeance or justice?

“I’ve tried not to keep selecting WWII fiction, but I couldn’t resist this one because it touches on the dilemma of how do you say no to something you know is wrong if it can protect your own family from harm.”

VELVET:

GodmershamParkGodmersham Park by Gill Hornby at Book’d Out

On 21 January 1804, Anne Sharpe arrives at Godmersham Park in Kent to take up the position of governess. At 31 years old, she has no previous experience of either teaching or fine country houses. Her mother has died, and she has nowhere else to go. Anne is left with no choice. For her new charge – twelve-year-old Fanny Austen – Anne’s arrival is all novelty and excitement.

The governess role is a uniquely awkward one. Anne is neither one of the servants, nor one of the family, and to balance a position between the ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ members of the household is a diplomatic chess game. One wrong move may result in instant dismissal. Anne knows that she must never let down her guard.

When Mr Edward Austen’s family comes to stay, Anne forms an immediate attachment to Jane. They write plays together, and enjoy long discussions. However, in the process, Anne reveals herself as not merely pretty, charming and competent; she is clever too. Even her sleepy, complacent mistress can hardly fail to notice.

Meanwhile Jane’s brother, Henry, begins to take an unusually strong interest in the lovely young governess…

And from now on, Anne’s days at Godmersham Park are numbered.

“Ooo, pretty cover. Love the all-around looks and sound of this.”

BillingBetterBillings Better Bookstore & Brasserie by Fin J. Ross at The Burgeoning Bookshelf

Young Fidelia Knight arrives in Melbourne in 1874, alone except for her treasured companion, Samuel Johnson; well, half of him.

To escape servitude, Fidelia hides each night in Bourke-street’s renowned Coles Book Arcade. She loves words, you see, and wants to know them all.

What she overhears in Coles sets her on a path that will change the lives of everyone she meets, starting with Jasper Godwin, the hopelessly underqualified manager of the new Billings Better Bookstore.

Fidelia’s thirst for knowledge is contagious. She tutors two orphan boys and two illiterate women, inspiring them to unlock their creativity; and her exploration of colonial Melbourne takes her to some unusual places.

Nothing daunts this diminutive genius, except the mystery of what really happened to her parents on the voyage from England.

“Always drawn to a bookstore setting.”

What books caught your eye this week?

 

Books That Caught Our Eye

Leave a 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.

SERENA:

FactsOtherLiesFacts and Other Lies: Welcome to the Disinformation Age by Ed Coper at Sam Still Reading

From fringe conspiracy theories to ‘alternative facts’, a timely look at how we arrived in the ‘fake news’ era.

Would your younger self believe the news of today? An entire city block blown up by a suicide bomber on Christmas Day because he believed phone towers spread disease. A Representative elected to the US Congress on a platform that Democrats are secretly harvesting an anti-aging chemical from the blood of abused children. Angry rioters in furs and horns overrun the Capitol in a bloody carnage of insurrection. The Prime Minister of Australia employing the wife of his friend who fronts a group the FBI has declared terrorists. A global pandemic which, even as they lie dying from it, people refuse to believe exists.

Many who sat in shocked disbelief as these events beamed around the world asked the same question: ‘How did we get here?’ For those rioters, it was the culmination of a journey of online radicalisation that began with the weaponisation of disinformation by their political leaders and outrageously biased ‘news’ commentators.

Facts and Other Lies puts fake news in its historical context and explains how disinformation has fractured society, even threatening democracy itself. It explains why disinformation is so potent and so hard to stop, and what we can do to help prevent its proliferation in Australia – where politicians and shock jocks are already operating from the same dark playbook. It outlines how anyone can defuse disinformation in the home, office or pub, or wherever the deluded gather to spread their nonsense. Be prepared!

“I am always interested in how the media is changing and how people are reacting or failing to notice these changes.”

NoShowThe No-Show by Beth O’Leary at An Interior Journey

Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth.

These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: they’ve all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up—Valentine’s Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they’ve all been stood up by the same man.

Once they’ve each forgiven him for standing them up, they are all in serious danger of falling in love with a man who may have not just one or two but three women on the go….

Is there more to him than meets the eye? Where was he on Valentine’s Day? And will they each untangle the truth before they all get their hearts broken? 

“I’ve been on a Beth O’Leary kick lately, and this is the newest one on my wish list. The Flatshare and The Road Trip were both fantastic, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this one.”

VELVET:

KalmannKalmann: An Icelandic Mystery by Joachim B. Schmidtn at BookBirdDog (Book Dilettante)

Kalmann Odinsson is the self-appointed Sheriff of his town. Day by day, he treks the wide plains which surround the almost deserted village, hunts Arctic foxes and lays bait in the sea — to catch the gigantic Greenland sharks he turns into the Icelandic fermented delicacy, hákarl. There is nothing anyone needs to worry about. Kalmann has everything under control.

Inside his head, however, the wheels sometimes spin backwards. One winter, after he discovers a pool of blood in the snow, the swiftly unfolding events threaten to overwhelm him. But he knows that his native wisdom and pure-hearted courage will see him through. There really is no need to worry. How can anything go wrong with Kalmann in charge? He knows everything a man needs to know about life – well, almost.

“Iceland and the mystery Kalmann comes across draws me in.”

DonutDisturbDonut Disturb (A Bakeshop Mystery #15) by Ellie Alexander at BookFan

Love is in bloom in Ashland, Oregon. The Shakespearean hamlet is bursting with fresh spring energy. Fragrant lilacs and the sweet aroma of vanilla cake fill the air as everyone in town gathers at Lithia Park for the celebration of the year—Thomas and Kerry’s wedding.

It’s a picture perfect day. Guests gather on picnic blankets in front of the bandshell to watch Kerry walk down the aisle and wed Ashland’s favorite detective in training, Thomas. Jules and her team at Torte have been tasked with catering the outdoor reception and everything is going according to plan, until a wedding crasher shows up.

The uninvited guest isn’t just someone looking to score a free glass of champagne. It’s Kerry’s estranged father who is supposed to be behind bars. Kerry is distraught. Jules vows to do everything she can to make sure that there are no other surprises on her friend’s big day. But when the bassist for Heart Strings, the wedding band, is found stabbed with the blunt end of his instrument Jules’s promise takes on new meaning. Now she’ll have to slice through the five tiered cake and a bevy of potential suspects in order to track down a killer before they turn the knife on her.

“Had me at the tower of donuts ;-)”

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.

MARTHA:

Cartographers The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd found at the infinite curio

What is the purpose of a map?

Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field and Nell’s personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map.

But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t resist investigating. To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable and exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy left in existence… because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one—along with anyone who gets in the way.

But why?

To answer that question, Nell embarks on a dangerous journey to reveal a dark family secret and discovers the true power that lies in maps…

“I really enjoy mapping so the title caught my eye and the blurb cinched my interest.”

DancingWithEnemy Dancing with the Enemy by Diane Armstrong found at Sam Still Reading

June 1940. `It was a perfect June evening that began with hope and ended in despair.’ So begins the journal of Hugh Jackson, a Jersey doctor, whose idyllic world is shattered when Britain abandons the Channel Islands which are invaded by the Germans. Forced to choose between conflicting loyalties, he sends his pregnant wife to England, believing their separation will be brief. It’s a fateful decision that will affect every aspect of his life.

May 1942. Young Tom Gaskell fumes whenever he sees the hated swastika flying from Fort Regent. Humiliated by Jersey’s surrender and ashamed of his mother’s fraternisation with the occupiers, Tom forms an audacious plan, not suspecting that it will result in guilt and tragedy.

April 2019. Sydney doctor Xanthe Maxwell, traumatised by the suicide of her colleague and burnt out by the relentless pressure of her hospital work, travels to St Helier so she can figure out what to do with her life. But when she finds Hugh Jackson’s World War II journal, she is plunged into a violent world of oppression and collusion, but also of passion and resistance. As she reads, she is mystified by her growing sense of connection to the past. Her deepening relationship with academic Daniel Miller helps her understand Jersey’s wartime past and determine her own future.

By the time this novel reaches its moving climax, the connection between Tom, Xanthe and Hugh Jackson has been revealed in a way none of them could possibly have imagined.

“This sounds like an engaging blend of present and (WWII) past.”

SERENA:

RoughestDraft The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka at Sam Still Reading

They were cowriting literary darlings until they hit a plot hole that turned their lives upside down.

Three years ago, Katrina Freeling and Nathan Van Huysen were the brightest literary stars on the horizon, their cowritten book topping bestseller lists. But on the heels of their greatest success, they ended their partnership on bad terms, for reasons neither would divulge to the public. They haven’t spoken since, and never planned to, except they have one final book due on contract.

Facing crossroads in their personal and professional lives, they’re forced to reunite. The last thing they ever thought they’d do again is hole up in the tiny Florida town where they wrote their previous book, trying to finish a new manuscript quickly and painlessly. Working through the reasons they’ve hated each other for the past three years isn’t easy, especially not while writing a romantic novel.

While passion and prose push them closer together in the Florida heat, Katrina and Nathan will learn that relationships, like writing, sometimes take a few rough drafts before they get it right.

“This sounds like a fun romance.”

InsideJobsInside Jobs by Ben H. Winters at Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf

Three offbeat stories of crime and conundrum, set in the present moment, from The New York Times best-selling, Edgar Award-winning author of Underground Airlines and The Last Policeman.

Inside Jobs: Tales from a Time of Quarantine includes:

The Crimson Parrot
It’s not easy masterminding the crime of the century when your whole gang is working from home. A high-stakes tale of larceny, deception, and teleconferencing.

The Cape House
As the world shifts around them, two estranged brothers end up in their childhood home. But it’s the memories they unearth that will change them forever.

Stop Motion
With endless time on her hands, an apartment-bound young woman gets to all the hobbies she’s neglected—martial arts, playing the sax, photography…and solving a murder?

“I’ve read books from Winters before. This sounds very intriguing.”

VELVET:

DeathGokumon Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo at A Universe in Words

Kosuke Kindaichi arrives on the remote Gokumon Island bearing tragic news–the son of one of the island’s most important families has died, on a troop transport ship bringing him back home after the Second World War. But Kindaichi has not come merely as a messenger–with his last words, the dying man warned that his three step-sisters’ lives would now be in danger. The scruffy detective is determined to get to the bottom of this mysterious prophesy, and to protect the three women if he can.

As Kosuke Kindaichi attempts to unravel the island’s secrets, a series of gruesome murders begins. He investigates, but soon finds himself in mortal danger from both the unknown killer and the clannish locals, who resent this outsider meddling in their affairs.

“The covers for this mystery series re-release grab me every time and reminds me to get to reading them.”

Hester Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese at Books Reviews by Linda Moore

A vivid reimagining of the woman who inspired Hester Prynne, the tragic heroine of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, and a journey into the enduring legacy of New England’s witchcraft trials.

Who is the real Hester Prynne?

Isobel Gamble is a young seamstress carrying generations of secrets when she sets sail from Scotland in the early 1800s with her husband, Edward. An apothecary who has fallen under the spell of opium, his pile of debts have forced them to flee Edinburgh for a fresh start in the New World. But only days after they’ve arrived in Salem, Edward abruptly joins a departing ship as a medic––leaving Isobel penniless and alone in a strange country, forced to make her way by any means possible.

When she meets a young Nathaniel Hawthorne, the two are instantly drawn to each other: he is a man haunted by his ancestors, who sent innocent women to the gallows––while she is an unusually gifted needleworker, troubled by her own strange talents. As the weeks pass and Edward’s safe return grows increasingly unlikely, Nathaniel and Isobel grow closer and closer. Together, they are a muse and a dark storyteller; the enchanter and the enchanted. But which is which?

In this sensuous and hypnotizing tale, a young immigrant woman grapples with our country’s complicated past, and learns that America’s ideas of freedom and liberty often fall short of their promise. Interwoven with Isobel and Nathaniel’s story is a vivid interrogation of who gets to be a “real” American in the first half of the 19th century, a depiction of the early days of the Underground Railroad in New England, and atmospheric interstitials that capture the long history of “unusual” women being accused of witchcraft. Meticulously researched yet evocatively imagined, Hester is a timeless tale of art, ambition, and desire that examines the roots of female creative power and the men who try to shut it down.

“Always like a good back story. Yeah, what’s Hester’s deal?”

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.

MARTHA:

DetectivesDaughterThe Detective’s Daughter by Erica Spindler found at An Interior Journey.

New Orleans Detective Quinn Conners is haunted by her father’s whiskey-soaked, last words—that he solved the Hudson murder and kidnapping. It wasn’t the first time he’d made that drunken claim, and she didn’t believe him. Twenty-four hours later she found him dead by his own hand.

Quinn’s lived with that guilt for five years, so when she receives an anonymous message saying Your father didn’t kill himself she’s determined to crack the cold case and unearth the truth about her father’s death.

Soon, Quinn finds herself entangled in the web of mystery surrounding Grace Hudson’s disappearance and the powerful, secretive family at the heart of it. In too deep, she faces the most important question of all—is the truth worth dying for?

“I haven’t read this author in a while, but I always liked her suspense/mysteries. I like the puzzle piece cover too!”

SpindleSplinteredA Spindle Splintered (Fractured Fables #1) by Alix E. Harrow found at the infinite curio.

It’s Zinnia Gray’s twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it’s the last birthday she’ll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.

Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

“I like fairy tales even fractured ones.”

SERENA:

TakeMyHandTake My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez at vvb32 reads

Inspired by true events that rocked the nation, a profoundly moving novel about a Black nurse in post-segregation Alabama who blows the whistle on a terrible wrong done to her patients, from the New York Times bestselling author of Wench.

Montgomery, Alabama 1973. Fresh out of nursing school, Civil Townsend has big plans to make a difference, especially in her African American community. At the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic, she intends to help women make their own choices for their lives and bodies.

But when her first week on the job takes her down a dusty country road to a worn down one-room cabin, she’s shocked to learn that her new patients are children—just 11 and 13 years old. Neither of the Williams sisters has even kissed a boy, but they are poor and Black and for those handling the family’s welfare benefits that’s reason enough to have the girls on birth control. As Civil grapples with her role, she takes India, Erica and their family into her heart. Until one day, she arrives at the door to learn the unthinkable has happened and nothing will ever be the same for any of them.

Decades later, with her daughter grown and a long career in her wake, Dr. Civil Townsend is ready to retire, to find her peace and to leave the past behind. But there are people and stories that refuse to be forgotten.That must not be forgotten.

Because history repeats what we don’t remember.

“I don’t read enough about this time period, but this one sounds wonderful.”

VetsCountryHolidayThe Vet’s Country Holiday by Lily Malone at Sam Is Still Reading

For city vet Isabella Passmore, the opportunity to pet-sit in the country knocks at the perfect time. Bring on that fresh air! But after three days of holiday bliss, Izzy is bored silly. If the air gets any cleaner, she’ll start slinging mud. Then she gets offered work in the second-hand shop. Saved!

Maybe.

It’s been years since Elliot Field’s parents rolled out the red carpet, but Elliot only needs one day to learn that this welcome mat comes with strings. His parents’ new business is sinking, and they expect him to fix their financial problems.

To prepare for the week from hell, he’ll need a mug that’s not steeped in bad memories, but nothing could prepare him for the employee he encounters at the second-hand shop.

For Izzy, pursuing Elliot is a most welcome diversion from walking another lap of town with the dog. For Elliot, their random encounters add up to the sum of much bigger things.

He’s always been a numbers man and he’s kept his heart locked away, but in irrepressible Izzy, is Elliot’s number finally up?

“I tend to love books with dogs in them.”

VELVET:

CheddarOffDeadCheddar Off Dead (Cheese Shop Mystery #1) by Korina Moss at Carstairs Considers

Cheesemonger Willa Bauer is proving that sweet dreams are made of cheese. She’s opened her very own French-inspired cheese shop, Curds & Whey, in the heart of the Sonoma Valley. The small town of Yarrow Glen is Willa’s fresh start, and she’s determined to make it a success – starting with a visit from the local food critic.

What Willa didn’t know is that this guy never gives a good review, and when he shows up nothing goes according to plan. She doesn’t think the night can get any worse… until she finds the critic’s dead body, stabbed with one of her shop’s cheese knives. Now a prime suspect, Willa has always believed life’s problems can be solved with cheese, but she’s never tried to apply it to murder…

“For the love of cheeeeese.”

SeaTranquilitySea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel at Sam Is Still Reading

In 1912, eighteen-year-old Edwin St. Andrew crosses the Atlantic, exiled from English polite society. In British Columbia, he enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and for a split second all is darkness, the notes of a violin echoing unnaturally through the air. The experience shocks him to his core.

Two centuries later Olive Llewelyn, a famous writer, is traveling all over Earth, far away from her home in the second moon colony. Within the text of Olive’s bestselling novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.

When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in time, he uncovers a series of lives upended: the exiled son of an aristocrat driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.

Sea of Tranquility is a novel that investigates the idea of parallel worlds and possibilities, that plays with the very line along which time should run. Perceptive and poignant about art, and love, and what we must do to survive, it is incredibly compelling.

“Because I enjoyed Station Eleven.”

What books caught your eye this week?

 

Books That Caught Our Eye

4 Comments

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

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

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


VELVET:

The Thread Collectors by Shaunna J. Edwards and Alyson Richman at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

1863: In a small Creole cottage in New Orleans, an ingenious young Black woman named Stella embroiders intricate maps on repurposed cloth to help enslaved men flee and join the Union Army. Bound to a man who would kill her if he knew of her clandestine activities, Stella has to hide not only her efforts but her love for William, a Black soldier and a brilliant musician.
Meanwhile, in New York City, a Jewish woman stitches a quilt for her husband, who is stationed in Louisiana with the Union Army. Between abolitionist meetings, Lily rolls bandages and crafts quilts with her sewing circle for other soldiers, too, hoping for their safe return home. But when months go by without word from her husband, Lily resolves to make the perilous journey South to search for him.
As these two women risk everything for love and freedom during the brutal Civil War, their paths converge in New Orleans, where an unexpected encounter leads them to discover that even the most delicate threads have the capacity to save us. Loosely inspired by the authors’ family histories, this stunning novel will stay with readers for a long time.
“Drawn to the embroidery aspect of this one.”

The Color of the Sky Is the Shape of the Heart by Chesil at BookBirdDog (Book Dilettante).

Oregon, 2003. Seventeen-year-old Ginny Park is about to get expelled from high school–again. Ginny lives with Stephanie, an award-winning picture book author, who took Ginny in after she was kicked out of Catholic school in Hawaii. As far as host mothers go, Stephanie is as saintly as they come; still, Ginny can’t bring herself to open up to her or anyone about what prompted her to flee from her native Japan. Together they live in a house littered with scraps of paper and drawings for the stories Stephanie’s been writing. A mysterious scrawl Ginny finds one day reads, The sky is about to fall. Where do you go?

In search of an answer and a home, Ginny sets off alone on the road. Writing in her journal along the way, Ginny reflects upon her childhood growing up zainichi--an ethnic Korean living in Japan–and the incident that forced her to leave five years ago. When the pieces of her life are revealed, a portrait emerges of a girl who has been fighting alone against barriers of race, nationality, and injustice all her life.

“Curious about this Korean and Japanese experience.”

MARTHA:

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw found at The Infinite Curio.

Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.

Called “Pastoral,” this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it… he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.

Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.

Hauntingly beautiful, hypnotic, and bewitching, A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind.

“The cover made me want to know what was going on. Then the storyline intrigued me.”


The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi found at The Burgeoning Bookshelf.

The Kaiju Preservation Society is John Scalzi’s first standalone adventure since the conclusion of his New York Times bestselling Interdependency trilogy.

When COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, Jamie Gray is stuck as a dead-end driver for food delivery apps. That is, until Jamie makes a delivery to an old acquaintance, Tom, who works at what he calls “an animal rights organization.” Tom’s team needs a last-minute grunt to handle things on their next field visit. Jamie, eager to do anything, immediately signs on.

What Tom doesn’t tell Jamie is that the animals his team cares for are not here on Earth. Not our Earth, at at least. In an alternate dimension, massive dinosaur-like creatures named Kaiju roam a warm and human-free world. They’re the universe’s largest and most dangerous panda and they’re in trouble.

It’s not just the Kaiju Preservation Society that’s found its way to the alternate world. Others have, too–and their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die.

“The author’s name caught my eye as I like his sci-fi. Then I saw ‘alternate world’ which clinched my interest.”


SERENA:

The Color of the Sky Is the Shape of the Heart by Chesil and translator Takami Nieda at BookBirdDog (Book Dilettante).

Oregon, 2003. Seventeen-year-old Ginny Park is about to get expelled from high school–again. Ginny lives with Stephanie, an award-winning picture book author, who took Ginny in after she was kicked out of Catholic school in Hawaii. As far as host mothers go, Stephanie is as saintly as they come; still, Ginny can’t bring herself to open up to her or anyone about what prompted her to flee from her native Japan. Together they live in a house littered with scraps of paper and drawings for the stories Stephanie’s been writing. A mysterious scrawl Ginny finds one day reads, The sky is about to fall. Where do you go?

In search of an answer and a home, Ginny sets off alone on the road. Writing in her journal along the way, Ginny reflects upon her childhood growing up zainichi--an ethnic Korean living in Japan–and the incident that forced her to leave five years ago. When the pieces of her life are revealed, a portrait emerges of a girl who has been fighting alone against barriers of race, nationality, and injustice all her life.

“I was first drawn in by this beautiful cover. The story sounds like another fantastic journey story.”


Hook, Line and Sinker by Tessa Bailey at Infinite Curio.

King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he’s a guaranteed good time–in bed and out–and that’s exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.

Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom. She knows he’s a notorious ladies’ man, but they’re definitely just friends. In fact, she’s nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport’s resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker’s eye… yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can’t deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost.

Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she’s walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and… and… man overboard! He’s fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he’s all in, she’ll choose him instead?

“I have a need for fun, romance-y type books at the moment.”

What books caught your eyes 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.

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

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


VELVET:

The Pajama Frame (Mad for Mod Mystery #5) by Diane Vallere at Carstairs Considers…

Nightie Night!

Interior decorator Madison Night is no stranger to the occasional odd inheritance. But when an octogenarian friend dies and leaves her a pajama factory, the bounty is bittersweet. Once a thriving business, Sweet Dreams closed decades ago after a tragic accident took the life of a young model. Or was that simply a cover up?

Between her friend’s death and her own stagnant life, Madison is tempted to hide under a blanket of willful ignorance. But when family members and special interest groups lobby to expose the secrets of the factory, Madison gets caught in a tangle of secrets and lies and discovers that sometimes, the bed you make is not your own.

“Looks like a cozy and fun series to dive into. But, must start with book one.”


Lucy Checks In by Dee Ernst at BookBirdDog (Book Dilettante).

Lucia Giannetti needs a fresh start. Once the hotel manager of a glamorous NYC hotel and intimately involved with the hotel’s owner, Lucy had her entire future planned out. But when the owner disappears, taking millions of dollars with him, Lucy’s life as she knows it falls apart.

Two years later, forty-nine years old and unemployed, Lucy takes a job in Rennes, France to manage the Hotel Paradis. She pictures fur quilts and extravagant chandeliers, but what she finds is wildly different. Lucy is now in charge of turning the run-down, but charming hotel into a bustling tourist attraction. Between painting rooms, building a website, and getting to know Bing, the irritatingly attractive artist, Lucy finds an unexpected home. But can she succeed in bringing the Hotel Paradis to its former glory?

“Travel and romance theme set in France is so appealing.”


MARTHA:

The Stupidest Angel (v2.0): A Heartwarming Tale of ChristmasTerror (Pine Cove Book 3) by Christopher Moore found at I’m Shelf-ish.

Now in a special holiday edition, the hilariously deranged tale of Santa, fruitcakes, angels, and Kung fu. . . . “Christopher Moore writes novels that are not only hilarious, but fun to read as well. He is an author at the top of his craft.—Nicholas Sparks

’Twas the night before Christmas . . . and all through Pine Cove, Florida, the creatures were stirring in this wonderfully funny tale that gives the spirit of Christmas a whole new meaning.

“I liked the title, the cover when I saw it, and it sounds like fun.”


The Ravenous Dead (Gravekeeper #2) by Darcy Coates found at TheNerdy Nook.

He’ll never let go…

Keira, hired as Blighty Graveyard’s new groundskeeper, lives surrounded by the dead. They watch her through the fog. They wordlessly cry out. They’ve been desperately waiting for help moving on—and only Keira can hear them. But not every restless spirit wants to be saved.

Sometimes the dead hate the living too much to find peace.

As Keira struggles to uncover the tangled histories of some of the graveyard’s oldest denizens, danger seeps from the darkest edges of the forest. A vicious serial killer was interred among the trees decades before, his spirit twisted by his violent nature. He’s furious. Ravenous. And when Keira unwittingly answers his call, she may just seal her fate as his final intended victim.

“This looks more fitting for my October (horror) choices, but I like the cover and the blurb sounds good to me.”


SERENA:

The Codebreaker’s Secret by Sara Ackermann at Silver’s Reviews.

1943. As war in the Pacific rages on, Isabel Cooper and her codebreaker colleagues huddle in “the dungeon” at Station HYPO in Pearl Harbor, deciphering secrets plucked from the airwaves in a race to bring down the enemy. Isabel has only one wish: to avenge her brother’s death. But she soon finds life has other plans when she meets his best friend, a hotshot pilot with secrets of his own.

1965. Fledgling journalist Lu Freitas comes home to Hawai’i to cover the grand opening of the glamorous Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Rockefeller’s newest and grandest project. When a high-profile guest goes missing, Lu forms an unlikely alliance with an intimidating veteran photographer to unravel the mystery. The two make a shocking discovery that stirs up memories and uncovers an explosive secret from the war days. A secret that only a codebreaker can crack.

“Yes, this one definitely has to be on my list this week. WWII, code-breaking, and more.”


Seoulmates by Jen Frederic by BookBirdDog (Book Dilettante).

A woman fights to be with the one she loves while coming to terms with her identity in this romantic drama by USA Today bestselling author Jen Frederick.

Hara Wilson has finally discovered her roots, but the challenges she must face could destroy the love she has found.

“This sounds dramatic and fun.”

What books caught your eyes?

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

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

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

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

VELVET:

The Paris Showroom by Juliet Blackwell at Silver’s Reviews.

Capucine Benoit works alongside her father to produce fans of rare feathers, beads, and intricate pleating for the haute couture fashion houses. But after the Germans invade Paris in June 1940, Capucine and her father must focus on mere survival—until they are betrayed to the secret police and arrested for his political beliefs. When Capucine saves herself from deportation to Auschwitz by highlighting her connections to Parisian design houses, she is sent to a little-known prison camp located in the heart of Paris, within the Lévitan department store.

There, hundreds of prisoners work to sort through, repair, and put on display the massive quantities of art, furniture, and household goods looted from Jewish homes and businesses. Forced to wait on German officials and their wives and mistresses, Capucine struggles to hold her tongue in order to survive, remembering happier days spent in the art salons, ateliers, and jazz clubs of Montmartre in the 1920s.

Capucine’s estranged daughter, Mathilde, remains in the care of her conservative paternal grandparents, who are prospering under the Nazi occupation. But after her mother is arrested and then a childhood friend goes missing, the usually obedient Mathilde finds herself drawn into the shadowy world of Paris’s Résistance fighters. As her mind opens to new ways of looking at the world, Mathilde also begins to see her unconventional mother in a different light.

When an old acquaintance arrives to go “shopping” at the Lévitan department store on the arm of a Nazi officer and secretly offers to help Capucine get in touch with Mathilde, this seeming act of kindness could have dangerous consequences.

“For the love of things Paris.”


Gallant by V.E. Schwab at infinite curio.

Everything casts a shadow. Even the world we live in. And as with every shadow, there is a place where it must touch. A seam, where the shadow meets its source.
Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home—to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home, it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.
Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.
Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?
“For the love of things V.E. Schwab.”

MARTHA:

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len found at The Infinite Curio.

With the sweeping romance of Passenger and the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song, this standout YA contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, is the first in a planned trilogy.

It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.

But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.

As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . .

. . . she is not the hero.

“It may seem odd to have a soft spot for monsters but sometimes I find myself feeling compassion for their situations. This sounds like one I might like.”

The Reluctant Detective (C.T. Ferguson #1) by Tom Fowler found at World of My Imagination.

C.T. Ferguson spent years as a hacker. He lived in Hong Kong, working against the Chinese government. Then they found him, threw him in jail, and eventually kicked him out. In Baltimore, C.T. sets himself up as a private investigator.

Then Alice walks in.

She’s sure her husband is cheating on her. C.T. looks into it but isn’t convinced. He soon discovers Alice has serious problems of her own.

When Alice’s troubles get even worse, C.T. finds his own life in danger. With a liar for a client and enforcers hounding him, can C.T. prevent his first case from becoming his last?

You’ll love The Reluctant Detective because it blends classic mystery with modern cyber intrigue.

“I was drawn by the cover and like the ‘hard-boiled’ mystery premise. I have it in my Kindle TBR library.”

SERENA:

By Any Other Name by Lauren Kate from Bookfan.

What she doesn’t know about love could fill a book.

With a successful career as a romance editor, and an engagement to a man who checks off all ninety-nine boxes on her carefully curated list, Lanie’s more than good. She’s killing it. Then she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to work with world-renowned author and her biggest inspiration in love and life—the Noa Callaway. All Lanie has to do is cure Noa’s writer’s block and she’ll get the promotion she’s always dreamed of. Simple, right?

But there’s a reason no one has ever seen or spoken to the mysterious Noa Calloway. And that reason will rock Lanie’s world. It will call into question everything she thought she knew. When she finally tosses her ninety-nine expectations to the wind, Lanie may just discover that love By Any Other Name can still be as sweet.

“I love the premise of getting to work with your dream author. This sounds like one that could be fun.”


Cradles of the Reich by Jennifer Coburn at Silver’s Reviews.

At Heim Hochland, a Nazi breeding home in Bavaria, three women’s fates are irrevocably intertwined. Gundi is a pregnant university student from Berlin. An Aryan beauty, she’s secretly a member of a resistance group. Hilde, only eighteen, is a true believer in the cause and is thrilled to carry a Nazi official’s child. And Irma, a 44-year-old nurse, is desperate to build a new life for herself after personal devastation. All three have everything to lose.

Based on untold historical events, this novel brings us intimately inside the Lebensborn Society maternity homes that actually existed in several countries during World War II, where thousands of “racially fit” babies were bred and taken from their mothers to be raised as part of the new Germany. But it proves that in a dark period of history, the connections women forge can carry us through, even driving us to heroism we didn’t know we had within us.

“I’ve read a lot about the Lebensborn program of the Nazis and this one is based on historical events. It will be interesting to see how these three women’s fates are connected and what happens.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

4 Comments

dragonlegends

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

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

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

VELVET:

Crossed by Death (Stitches In Crime #1) by A.C.F. Bookens at Bookfan.

Salvaging from historic buildings isn’t supposed to require reporting a murder.

When salvage expert and historian Paisley Sutton crawls into an abandoned store with a house attached, she certainly isn’t expecting to find a body on site. But soon, her discovery sends Paisley on an expedition through history that links this murder to the one that led the previous owners to abandon the building in the first place. And someone doesn’t want her to salvage this story from the wreckage.

Can Paisley preserve herself and her young son while also uncovering the stories that matter most?

“Caught my attention because I started a couple cross stitching projects last month.”

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley at The Infinite Curio.

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.

The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge

Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.

“Fits right in for my upcoming Paris themed month.”

MARTHA:

The Weather Thesaurus: A Fiction Writer’s Sourcebook of Words and Phrases to Describe the Weather by Dahlia Evans found at World of My Imagination.

Writing Vivid Scenes Has Never Been Easier Thanks To This Invaluable Compendium of Descriptive Words and Phrases!

For many fiction writers, the thought of writing about such things as weather conditions can seem tedious and uninspiring. But a beautifully written description of the weather has the power to ignite a reader’s imagination and set a mood for the plot that follows. Nothing conveys sadness like a good old-fashioned rainstorm. Likewise, happiness is usually accompanied by sunshine. Good or bad weather conditions can also play a pivotal role in a novel’s plot. Horrors, thrillers, and romances alike, all weave weather into their storylines. Characters are very often in conflict with the weather; a thunderstorm or cyclone can become a key plot point within a story. Therefore, knowing how to describe such scenarios becomes a necessity.

In the past, this process was often met with dread, but not anymore!

Dahlia Evans has compiled a unique thesaurus designed to help fiction writers describe every aspect of the weather. This incredible sourcebook is overflowing with words and phrases gathered from a vast library of bestselling novels. Now, you can write vivid descriptions like a seasoned pro without breaking a sweat.

Inside You Will Discover:

* A wealth of weather-related nouns organized into 62 thematic sections. Some include: clouds, rain, sky, sun, wind, and much more.
* An exhaustive list of adjectives to describe each main entry word in vivid detail.
* A slew of useful prepositional phrases to add color and variety to your descriptions.
* Noun phrases of every type imaginable. You will never be short of inspiration with these winners.
* An extensive collection of verbs related to each main entry. These action words will bring life to your descriptions.
* Each main entry includes a number of example sentences to help illustrate their use in a fictional context.
* And finally, words are sorted in alphabetical order for your convenience.

The Weather Thesaurus is an essential resource for any fiction writer who wants to take their descriptive writing to the next level.

“I really do love words and finding alternate words. :-)”

Snowy Mountains Cattleman by Alissa Callen found at Burgeoning Bookshelf.

A woman’s journey of self-discovery meets Bundilla’s small-town charm and an intriguing post-WWII mystery in this captivating romance from bestselling Australian author Alissa Callen.

The greatest risk of all is love …

Interior stylist Grace Davenport has come to the mountains for solitude and a place to heal after her parents’ death. Returning to their beloved town of Bundilla, she plans to restore a local bluestone mansion in honour of their memory. She’ll just be there for the summer, until she figures out her next step.

Rowan Parker never used to think twice about taking risks until his love for a woman blinded him to all common sense. Now, between his cattle farm in the high country and his work as a stonemason, there’s no room in his life for further mistakes. But when he meets the beautiful but reserved new owner of the historic mansion he’s been hired to rebuild, he realises his best laid plans have run amuck.

Together, Grace and Rowan work to bring the mansion back to life. But when they uncover a hidden trove of post-WWII secrets about the house’s former inhabitants, their quest to find answers draws them ever closer. And just when the stone rubble around them begins to resemble a home, a landslide threatens all that Rowan and Grace have rebuilt. With their futures as unstable as the mountainside, each must fight for what they really want, even if it means losing everything…

“A horse on the cover, a mystery and romance — the package caught my eye for what looks like an easy read.”

SERENA:

The Kew Gardens Girls by Posey Lovell at Silver’s Reviews.

London, 1916. England is at war. Desperate to help in whatever way they can, Ivy and Louisa enlist as gardeners at Kew, the Royal Botanic Gardens, taking on the jobs of the men who have gone to fight. Under their care, the gardens begin to flourish and become a safe haven for those seeking solace–but not everyone wants women working at Kew.

The pair begin to face challenges on the home front. When a tragedy overseas affects the people closest to them, can the women of Kew pull together to support themselves and their country through the darkest of times?

“I love this time period and I love when women work together.”

What books caught your eye?