Books That Caught Our Eye

10 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. 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

Beauty Among Ruins by J’Nell Ciesielski at Library of Clean Reads.

American socialite Lily Durham is known for enjoying one moment to the next, with little regard for the consequences of her actions. But just as she is banished overseas to England as a “cure” for her frivolous ways, the Great War breaks out and wreaks havoc. She joins her cousin in nursing the wounded at a convalescent home deep in the wilds of Scotland at a crumbling castle where its laird is less than welcoming.

Alec MacGregor has given his entire life to preserving his home of Kinclavoch Castle, but mounting debts force him to sell off his family history bit by bit. Labeled a coward for not joining his countrymen in the trenches due to an old injury, he opens his home to the Tommies to make recompense while he keeps to the shadows. But his preference for the shadows is shattered when a new American nurse comes streaming into the castle on a burst of light.

Lily and Alec are thrown together when a series of mysterious events threatens to ruin the future of Kinclavoch. Can they put aside their differences to find the culprit before it’s too late, or will their greatest distraction be falling in love?

“It’s not just WWII novels I love, but also those set during WWI.”

——–

The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin at The Book Connection.

The morning of January 12, 1888, was unusually mild, following a long cold spell, warm enough for the homesteaders of the Dakota territory to venture out again, and for their children to return to school without their heavy coats–leaving them unprepared when disaster struck. At just the hour when most prairie schools were letting out for the day, a terrifying, fast-moving blizzard struck without warning. Schoolteachers as young as sixteen were suddenly faced with life and death decisions: keep the children inside, to risk freezing to death when fuel ran out, or send them home, praying they wouldn’t get lost in the storm?

Based on actual oral histories of survivors, the novel follows the stories of Raina and Gerda Olsen, two sisters, both schoolteachers–one who becomes a hero of the storm, and one who finds herself ostracized in the aftermath. It’s also the story of Anette Pedersen, a servant girl whose miraculous survival serves as a turning point in her life and touches the heart of Gavin Woodson, a newspaperman seeking redemption. It is Woodson and others like him who wrote the embellished news stories that lured immigrants across the sea to settle a pitiless land. Boosters needed immigrants to settle territories into states, and they didn’t care what lies they told them to get them there–or whose land it originally was.

At its heart, this is a story of courage, of children forced to grow up too soon, tied to the land because of their parents’ choices. It is a story of love taking root in the hard prairie ground, and of families being torn asunder by a ferocious storm that is little remembered today–because so many of its victims were immigrants to this country.

“This sounds so engaging, especially as it is based on first-hand accounts.”

——–

Martha

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn found at Just Reading Jess.

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart. 1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter–the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger–and their true enemy–closer…

“I like stories of codes and this sounds like an intense historical thriller ”

——–

The Minders by John Marrs found at Bookfan.

In this electrifying near-future thriller, five strangers guard government secrets, but only four can be trusted.

In the 21st century, information is king. But computers can be hacked and files can be broken into – so a unique government initiative has been born. Five ordinary people have been selected to become Minders – the latest weapon in thwarting cyberterrorism. Transformed by a revolutionary medical procedure, the country’s most classified information has been taken offline and turned into genetic code implanted inside their heads.

Together, the five know every secret – the truth behind every government lie, conspiracy theory and cover up. In return, they’re given the chance to leave their problems behind and a blank slate to start their lives anew.

But not everyone should be trusted, especially when they each have secrets of their own they’ll do anything to protect….

“Actually this cover didn’t grab me but the blurb did.”

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. 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

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi at Library of Clean Reads.

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

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .

“Sometimes you just need a time travel story, and this sounds unique.”

——–

All We Left Behind by Danielle R. Graham at Just Reading Jess.

A powerful and incredibly moving historical novel inspired by an untold story of the Second World War.

Vancouver 1941

As the war rages around the world, Hitler’s fury is yet to be felt on the peaceful shores of Mayne Island. Sweethearts Hayden and Chidori are in love.

But everything changes after Pearl Harbor.

Now seen as the enemy, Chidori and her family are forced into an internment camp. Powerless to help them, Hayden joins the Royal Canadian Air Force to bring about an end to this devastating war – the thought of Chidori is all that keeps him alive.

Can they both survive long enough to be reunited?  Or will the war be the only thing to separate their love?

“There were a few WWII-related books, but I rarely find ones that involve internment camps. It’s one of the parts of WWII history that many people don’t want to talk about — how fear imprisoned many innocent people.”

——–

Martha

The Push by Ashley Audrain found at An Interior Journey.

A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family—and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for—and everything she feared

Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had.

But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter—she doesn’t behave like most children do.

Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.

Then their son Sam is born—and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she’d always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth.

The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.

“I normally am not drawn to ‘drama’ but this one caught my attention”

——–

In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture by Alister McGrath found at Rose City Reader.

This fascinating history of a literary and religious masterpiece explores the forces that obstructed and ultimately led to the decision to create an authorized translation, the method of translation and printing, and the central role the King James version of the Bible played in the development of modern English.

In the sixteenth century, to attempt to translate the Bible into a common tongue wasn’t just difficult, it was dangerous. A Bible in English threatened the power of the monarch and the Church. Early translators like Tyndale, whose work greatly influenced the King James, were hunted down and executed, but the demand for English Bibles continued to grow. Indeed it was the popularity of the Geneva Bible, with its anti-royalist content, that eventually forced James I to sanction his own, pro-monarchy, translation. Errors in early editions–one declared that thou shalt commit adultery–and Puritan preferences for the Geneva Bible initially hampered acceptance of the King James, but it went on to become the definitive English-language Bible. McGrath’s history of the King James Bible’s creation and influence is a worthy tribute to a great work and a joy to read.

“I read a fiction story about this (The Sword of Truth by Gilbert Morris) and I think the history would be interesting.”

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. 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

The German Girl by Lily Graham at Just Reading Jess.

‘Our parents were taken. And if we go home, the Nazis will take us too…’

Hamburg 1938. Fifteen-year-old Asta is hurrying home from school with her twin brother Jurgen. The mood in the city is tense – synagogues have been smashed with sledgehammers, and Asta is too frightened to laugh as she used to.

But when she and Jurgen are stopped in the street by a friend, her world implodes further. Her Jewish parents have been dragged into the streets by German soldiers and if she and Jurgen return to their house, they will be taken too.

Heartbroken at the loss of her parents, Asta knows they must flee. With her beloved brother, she must make the perilous journey across Germany and into Denmark to reach their only surviving relative, her aunt Trine, a woman they barely know.

Jammed into a truck with other refugees, Asta prays for a miracle to save herself and Jurgen. Crossing the border is a crime punishable by death, and what she and Jurgen must embark on a dangerous crossing on foot, through the snowy forest dividing Germany and Denmark. And when barking dogs and armed soldiers find Jurgen and Asta escapes, she must hold on to hope no matter what. One day she will find her twin, the other half of herself. Whatever the price she has to pay…

A gripping and poignant read that will break your heart and give you hope. Fans of Fiona Valpy, Kristin Hannah and Catherine Hokin will be gripped by the story of a brave brother and sister seeking safety during one of the darkest times in our history.

“Everyone probably realizes at this point that I love WWII fiction.

——–

Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman at Sam Still Reading.

The war is over, but the past is never past …

Paris, 1944. Charlotte Foret is working in a tiny bookstore in Nazi-occupied Paris struggling to stay alive and keep her baby Vivi safe. Every day they live through is a miracle until Vivi becomes gravely ill. In desperation, Charlotte accepts help from an unlikely saviour – and her life is changed forever.

Charlotte is no victim. She is a survivor. But the truth of what happened in Paris is something she knows she can never share with anyone, including her daughter. Can she ever really leave Paris behind, and embrace the next chapter of her life?

Seamlessly interweaving Charlotte’s past in wartime Paris and her present in the 1950s world of New York publishing, Paris Never Leaves You is a heartbreakingly moving and unforgettable story of resilience, love – and impossible choices. The war is over, but the past is never past …

“Yes, another WWII novel. I cannot resist.”

——–

Martha

Justified Misfortune (Brotherhood Protectors World) by Lori Matthews found at Fiction Books.

Hudson Riggs has returned to his family’s ranch after years spent traveling the world. The former Navy SEAL accepted a position as a Personal Security Specialist, a job that didn’t leave much free time. He never expected his visit to his hometown to turn into another job.

His former High School flame has been arrested for murder but Hudson’s gut instinct is she didn’t do it. All he has to do now is prove it.

For Sunny Travers, being back in Canyon Springs is bittersweet. She desperately misses her life in California but her grandmother needs her. Sunny’s world flips upside down when she’s arrested for killing the local hero. Now the citizens of Canyon Springs have turned against her and she’s forced to accept help from the man who broke her heart all those years ago.

Hudson knows Sunny hasn’t forgiven him. Hell, he hasn’t forgiven himself for how he left things but all his emotions take a back seat when someone tries to kill Sunny. Can Hudson protect Sunny long enough to apologize to her and right old wrongs or will the killer get to her first?

“I like the combination of military and dogs so this series got my attention.”

——–

Cruising the Mississippi: From New Orleans to Memphis on a Genuine Paddlewheeler by Sunny Lockwood and Al Lockwood found at The Book Connection.

In crossing another travel adventure off their bucket list, two retirees take a fascinating river cruise and find the heart and soul of the American South.

Born travelers Al and Sunny Lockwood seized their dreams of exploring America’s natural wonders. From hiking Sierra Nevada mountain trails to photographing wildflowers in Death Valley, they’ve documented their fascinating journeys to critical acclaim.

A serious car wreck changed their lives. They stopped postponing their dreams of ocean cruises.

Now, these veteran travelers embrace a new travel adventure: a river cruise up the magnificent Mississippi.

Join Al and Sunny on the decks of an antebellum paddle-wheel riverboat as they experience the culinary delights, rich architecture, breathtaking vistas, and famous hospitality of southern culture.

You’ll visit lavish plantation mansions, honor the fallen at Civil War memorials, and be swept away by the magical beat of authentic New Orleans jazz. Before the journey ends, you’ll witness how the couple’s first impressions are challenged, changing their hearts forever.

In Cruising the Mississippi, you’ll discover:

  • -Fascinating histories of riverside cities
  • -Little-known facts about famous landmarks
  • -Personal reflections and insights from their daily experiences
  • -Tested travel tips and advice for embarking on your own river cruise adventure
  • -The lifelong benefits of immersing yourself in different customs and cultural experiences
  • -A detailed tour of the historic paddle-wheel riverboat, and much, much more!

If you like cultural exploration, American history, practical travel insights, colorful characters, and authentic personal stories, you’ll love Al and Sunny Lockwood’s illuminating exploration of America’s mightiest waterway.

Buy Cruising the Mississippi today and embark on a breathtaking adventure for the young at heart!

“I have always wanted to go on a Mississippi cruise and this looks like a fun read.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 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. 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

When America Stopped Being Great: A history of the present by Nick Bryant found at Sam’s Still Reading.

A comprehensive analysis of the political, economic, cultural and technological factors that contributed to America’s decline and inadvertently paved the way for Trump’s presidency.

The presidency of Donald Trump is commonly seen as an historical accident. In When America Stopped Being Great, Nick Bryant argues that by 2016 it had become almost historically inescapable. In this highly personal account, drawing on decades of covering Washington for the BBC, Bryant shows how the billionaire capitalised on the mistakes of his five predecessors – Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – and how also he became a beneficiary of a broken politics, an iniquitous economy, an ailing media, a facile culture, disruptive new technology and the creation of a modern-day presidency that elevated showmanship over statesmanship. Not only are we starting to see the emergence of a post-American world, Bryant fears we are seeing the emergence of a post-American America.

The history of Trump’s rise is also a history of America’s fall.

“I don’t think any one man (or woman) is responsible for our political divide and I am not sure I agree with the premise of this book. Still, I am interested in how this history is presented.”

——–

Civil War Battlefields: Walking the Trails of History by David T Gilbert, Jeff Shaara (Foreword), Civil War Trust (Contributor) found at An Imperfect Christian Mom.

Walk in the footsteps of history with this stunning volume that brings more than thirty Civil War battlefields to life.

From the “First Battle of Bull Run” to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House four years later, this book celebrates the history and scenic beauty of these hallowed grounds in a large-format, beautifully produced volume.

Explore more than thirty Civil War battlefields– from Antietam to Chancellorsville, Gettysburg to Shiloh–including the first five national battlefield parks preserved by veterans in the 1890s. Each battlefield features extensive photos of the key sites and monuments, as well as beautiful landscapes and historic archival photography. The essays enable the reader to understand each battlefield from a strategic perspective–its topography, geography, and military value–the battle’s seminal moments, and its historical significance, and guide the reader on how best to tour the grounds on foot.

With maps, rarely seen archival photos, and stunning contemporary photography, this photo- and information-packed book is an inspirational bucket list for Civil War and history buffs, as well as those who wish to walk in the literal boot steps of American history.

“I do enjoy history of the Civil War and have visited some of the battlefields. This looks like an impressive gathering of historical sites.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

3 Comments

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 week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

SERENA:

512slgqe8bl._sx322_bo1204203200_An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen at Fiction Books.

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents unforeseen surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled . . . and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, joyous songs, and divine hope, work its magic in his heart . . . and hers as well?

“I love books that have secrets that are bound to come out.”

——–

MARTHA:
No Reading Allowed: The WORST Read-Aloud Book Ever by Raj Haldar & Chris Carpenter found at Silver’s Reviews.

From the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors of P IS FOR PTERODACTYL comes another hilarious, fresh look at the English language!

The hero had super vision.
The hero had supervision.

Man, a tea sounds great.
Manatee sounds great!

Sir Francis Bacon
Sir, France is bakin’!

What is going on here?!
You can’t believe everything you hear! A single word can have many different meanings. And sometimes two words that sound alike can be spelled completely differently. Ptolemy the pterodactyl is back to show us all how absurd and fun language can be when homophones, homonyms, and tricky punctuation are at play!

No Reading Allowed allows children and their parents to laugh together while also learning something new. Perfect for baby gifts, birthday gifts, teacher gifts, and anyone who finds humor in the absurdity of the English language.

“I love “word” books and this would be fun to share this with my grandchildren.”

——–

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes found at The Infinite Curio.

A Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists, perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out.

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.

Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

“I do like puzzles, riddles and codes and this sounds like a fun mystery/suspense.”

What Books Caught Your Eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

6 Comments

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 week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

Passenger 23 by Sebastian Fitzek found at Fiction Books.

On average 23 people a year disappear from the world’s cruise ships. They are written off as accidents or suicides. But what if they’re not?

Five years ago Martin Schwarz, a police psychologist, lost his wife and son. They were holidaying on a cruise ship when they simply vanished. A lacklustre investigation was unable to shed any light on what happened – murder-suicide being the coroner’s verdict. It is a verdict that has haunted Martin ever since, blighting his life. But then he is contacted by an elderly woman, a writer, who claims to have information regarding their fate and wants him to come on board The Sultan of the Seas immediately.

She explains that his wife and son are not the only mother and child pair to have disappeared. Only a few months ago another mother and daughter also vanished. She believes there may be a serial killer on board.

But when the missing daughter reappears – carrying the teddy bear of Martin’s missing son – it becomes apparent that the truth could be much, much worse…

“This sounds like a very creepy suspense.”

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall found at Sam Still Reading.

Today’s feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. That feminists refuse to prioritize these issues has only exacerbated the age-old problem of both internecine discord and women who rebuff at carrying the title. Moreover, prominent white feminists broadly suffer from their own myopia with regard to how things like race, class, sexual orientation, and ability intersect with gender. How can we stand in solidarity as a movement, Kendall asks, when there is the distinct likelihood that some women are oppressing others?

“The premise of this book sounds realistic to me and it caught my eye.”

SERENA:

Hood Feminism was also on my list.

The Woman With the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff from Silver’s Reviews.

1942. Sadie Gault is eighteen and living with her parents amid the horrors of the Kraków Ghetto during World War II. When the Nazis liquidate the ghetto, Sadie and her pregnant mother are forced to seek refuge in the perilous sewers beneath the city. One day Sadie looks up through a grate and sees a girl about her own age buying flowers.

Ella Stepanek is an affluent Polish girl living a life of relative ease with her stepmother, who has developed close alliances with the occupying Germans. Scorned by her friends and longing for her fiancé, who has gone off to war, Ella wanders Kraków restlessly. While on an errand in the market, she catches a glimpse of something moving beneath a grate in the street. Upon closer inspection, she realizes it’s a girl hiding.

Ella begins to aid Sadie and the two become close, but as the dangers of the war worsen, their lives are set on a collision course that will test them in the face of overwhelming odds. Inspired by harrowing true stories, The Woman with the Blue Star is an emotional testament to the power of friendship and the extraordinary strength of the human will to survive.

“I absolutely love Pam Jenoff’s books.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Mailbox Monday

4 Comments

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.

Hope everyone had a good week. I’m usually busy baking and doing holiday things with my daughter, so I haven’t been reading many things. I hope you all have a great week. No snow here, but it is very cold of late.

Hope everyone had a good book week. Add your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

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

Books That Caught Our Eye

4 Comments

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 week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

517ir197hxl._sx326_bo1204203200_Sleigh Bells Ring: A Magical Cowboy Christmas Romance by Jessica James found at Bookfan.

WELCOME HOME TO THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS!

Sleigh Bells Ring is a heartwarming holiday cowboy Christmas romance filled with second chances, holiday traditions, the reuniting of best friends, and the magical promise of love during the holiday season.

There’s no love story as beautiful as those at Christmas, so pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and indulge in a classic romance that unleashes the magic of Christmas and the true meaning of the season. This clean, wholesome romance will take you back to bygone days when holiday traditions were deeply rooted institutions, and when love could heal all wounds.

Returning to her family’s Montana ranch after a ten-year absence, Jordyn Dunaway pitches in to help her Mother create the special holiday magic for which the family ranch is renowned. But when she discovers that her best friend growing up—the man she has never forgotten—is employed as a ranch hand, the holiday season turns into something she never imagined.

Chad Devlin was falling into a deep abyss after leaving the military as a result of a traumatic brain injury. When his old employer invited him back as a ranch hand he found himself recovering both physically and mentally…that is until he was blindsided by the return of the ranch owner’s daughter after a ten-year absence.

The rocky relationship of the former best friends takes a back seat as the future of the family-owned ranch becomes threatened. If Jordyn and Chad don’t put their painful pasts behind them, they might lose the ranch they both call home. Can misunderstandings, mistrust, and lost years be forgotten when the magic of Christmas is in the air?

Find out with the help of beautiful vistas, Western hospitality, and the magical meaning of a special sleigh bell that ties both Jordyn and Chad to the past—and the future.

If you love Debbie Macomber, Shanna Hatfield, RaeAnne Thayne, Susan Mallery, or Sheila Roberts, you’ll love Sleigh Bells Ring by award-winning Jessica James.

“This cover caught me with the magical look of Christmas.”

41usgakfkflProspector’s Run by Kevin W. Bates found at Library of Clean Reads.

Even after five thousand years, riches can be found among the First Stellar Civilization’s dead, shattered worlds—with luck and the right coordinates—Holtz Mitsumi has neither. But as he watches hope and his last credit disappear on a failed voyage prospecting for lost First Civ tech, Mitsumi stumbles on a mysterious artifact in the wastes of an abandoned alien city. Compelled to find the artifact’s origin, but struggling to finance the expedition, Holtz encounters Aber Chandra. An enigmatic figure, Chandra holds information on coordinates for lost First Civ worlds where untold treasure awaits.

But even as Mitsumi and Chandra scrape together a rag-tag crew, they are hunted by the Consortium. Ambushed, Holtz and crew barely survive only to discover that Chandra is not what he seems. Chased across the galaxy, Mitsumi desperately tries to evade his pursuers and keep the crew from each other’s throats. When one of the crew is kidnapped and threatened with personality erasure, all bets are off and their fate teeters on a knife’s edge.

“This is a sci-fi that is definitely up my alley.”

SERENA:

41aqa8xdz2l._sx327_bo1204203200_The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan at Bookfan.

In a new World War II-set story from the bestselling author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, four women compete for a spot hosting a wartime cookery program called The Kitchen Front – based on the actual BBC program of the same name – as well as a chance to better their lives.

Two years into WW2, Britain is feeling her losses; the Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the supply of food. In an effort to help housewives with food rationing, a BBC radio program called The Kitchen Front is putting on a cooking contest–and the grand prize is a job as the program’s first-ever female co-host. For four very different women, winning the contest presents a crucial chance to change their lives.

For a young widow, it’s a chance to pay off her husband’s debts and keep a roof over her children’s heads. For a kitchen maid, it’s a chance to leave servitude and find freedom. For the lady of the manor, it’s a chance to escape her wealthy husband’s increasingly hostile behavior. And for a trained chef, it’s a chance to challenge the men at the top of her profession.

These four women are giving the competition their all–even if that sometimes means bending the rules. But with so much at stake, will the contest that aims to bring the community together serve only to break it apart?

“Definitely one for my list.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

5 Comments

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 week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

51w9yvqqc1l._sx330_bo1204203200_I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman found at An Interior Journey.

Jessica and Emily Burnstein have very different ideas of how this college tour should go.

For Emily, it’s a preview of freedom, exploring the possibility of her new and more exciting future. Not that she’s sure she even wants to go to college, but let’s ignore that for now. And maybe the other kids on the tour will like her more than the ones at school. . . . They have to, right?

For Jessica, it’s a chance to bond with the daughter she seems to have lost. They used to be so close, but then Goldfish crackers and Play-Doh were no longer enough of a draw. She isn’t even sure if Emily likes her anymore. To be honest, Jessica isn’t sure she likes herself.

Together with a dozen strangers–and two familiar enemies–Jessica and Emily travel the East Coast, meeting up with family and old friends along the way. Surprises and secrets threaten their relationship and, in the end, change it forever.

“Although family ‘drama’ isn’t my usual draw, this mother/daughter journey caught my interest.”

54297964Goodbye, Orchid by Carol Van Den Hende found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

Can love blossom after life changes in an instant?

One July morning in Manhattan, handsome athlete and entrepreneur Phoenix Walker accompanies his love, half-Asian beauty Orchid, to the airport.

Neither believes today is goodbye.

But after she leaves, disaster strikes. Phoenix wakes in the hospital, broken, forever changed. He longs for Orchid but remembers the tragedy in her past that makes her panic over images of trauma.

Now, he’s faced with the hardest decision of his life. Does he burden the woman whose traumatic childhood makes him feel protective of her? Or does true love mean leaving her without explaining why?

Rising from ashes is hard. Giving up the one you love is harder.

“I was drawn by the beautiful cover and then caught by the interesting blurb.”

SERENA:

41omcxhxwul._sx330_bo1204203200_Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson at Silver’s Reviews.

It is the autumn of 1943, and life is becoming increasingly perilous for Italian Jews like the Mazin family. With Nazi Germany now occupying most of her beloved homeland, and the threat of imprisonment and deportation growing ever more certain, Antonina Mazin has but one hope to survive—to leave Venice and her beloved parents and hide in the countryside with a man she has only just met.

Nico Gerardi was studying for the priesthood until circumstances forced him to leave the seminary to run his family’s farm. A moral and just man, he could not stand by when the fascists and Nazis began taking innocent lives. Rather than risk a perilous escape across the mountains, Nina will pose as his new bride. And to keep her safe and protect secrets of his own, Nico and Nina must convince prying eyes they are happily married and in love.

But farm life is not easy for a cultured city girl who dreams of becoming a doctor like her father, and Nico’s provincial neighbors are wary of this soft and educated woman they do not know. Even worse, their distrust is shared by a local Nazi official with a vendetta against Nico. The more he learns of Nina, the more his suspicions grow—and with them his determination to exact revenge.

As Nina and Nico come to know each other, their feelings deepen, transforming their relationship into much more than a charade. Yet both fear that every passing day brings them closer to being torn apart . . .

“I love WWII novels, and this one sounds like a love story for the ages.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

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.

Each week will share a few 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.

Serena

Fix it and Forget it Best of Fall Recipes at Reviews from the Stacks.

Fall is here, and so is a busy season of Thanksgiving parties and cooking for big groups. But don’t let stress get in the way—simply take out your slow cooker and prepare holiday meals for the entire family with ease and joy.

Here, we have collected the very best slow cooker recipes and fan favorites that capture the spirit of fall. Wow your guests and loved ones with healthy and delicious seasonal offerings that cover appetizers, soups and stews, meaty and vegetarian mains, breakfast, beverages, and desserts. Selected from some of the best home cooks across the country, these more than 150 super-easy family-friendly meals will be the life of the party:

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup Fast and Fabulous Brussels Sprouts Honey-Maple Sweet Potatoes Applesauce Meatloaf Tortellini with Broccoli Overnight Scalloped Chicken Casserole Autumn Harvest Pork Loin Meatless Shepherd’s Pie Pumpkin-Pecan Pie Hot Mulled Cider

Accompanied with gorgeous, festive photographs, as well as tips on how to use your slow cooker, Fix-It and Forget-It Best of Fall Recipes is your one-stop solution for the country’s best-loved meals during everyone’s favorite time of the year. Happy fall and happy cooking!

“I’m always on the lookout for new recipes.”

——–

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens at Silver’s Reviews.

For decades, people have been warned about the Cold Creek Highway. Hitchhikers have vanished along it over the years, and women have been known to have their cars break down… and never be seen again. When Hailey McBride decides to run away from an unbearable living situation, she thinks that her outdoor skills will help her disappear into the Cold Creek wilderness, and she counts on people thinking that she was the victim of the killer.

One year later, Beth Chevalier arrives in Cold Creek to attend a memorial for the victims of the highway, but it might as well be one week for the amount of pain that Beth is still dealing with after her sister, Amber, was murdered the previous summer. Beth has quit university, is lying to her parents, and popping pills like Tic Tacs. Maybe this will finally bring her peace.

When she gets a job at a local diner where Amber once worked, she connects with people who knew her sister. Beth wants to find who killed her sister and put her own life back together, but as she gets closer to the truth, she learns that there is more than one person lying in Cold Creek.

“I have read all of her books so far.”

Martha

Of Darkness and Light by Heidi Eljarbo found at Library of Clean Reads.

In this first book of a new historical mystery series, a young art historian faces a tough choice in German-occupied Norway.

Oslo, 1944. Soli Hansen’s passion for art history is and always has been a way of life for her. While she spends her days working in an art shop, WWII is taking its toll on everyone. Apprehensive of the consequences, Soli avoids becoming entangled in the war resistance efforts. She closes her eyes in hopes the enemy will retreat and leave her beautiful country for good.

But when a woman is found dead in the alley alongside the art shop and a painting from the last auction goes missing, Soli is thrown into the thickest of the fray involving both Nazi art theft and the Norwegian resistance.

Once Soli finds her courage, there’s no turning back. Her personal life is turned upside-down with danger, lies, spying, and an incredible discovery.

“This sounds like an engaging historical mystery.”

——–

The Last Watch (The Divide #1) by J.S. Dewes found at Bookfan.

The Expanse meets Game of Thrones in J. S. Dewes’ fast-paced, sf adventure The Last Watch, where a handful of soldiers stand between humanity and annihilation.

The Divide.

It’s the edge of the universe.

Now it’s collapsing—and taking everyone and everything with it.

The only ones who can stop it are the Sentinels—the recruits, exiles, and court-martialed dregs of the military.

At the Divide, Adequin Rake, commanding the Argus, has no resources, no comms—nothing, except for the soldiers that no one wanted.

They’re humanity’s only chance.

“This sci-fi is right up my reading alley!”

Leslie

When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her. Yet the day she arrives, she learns that a local teenage girl has gone missing.

The crime feels frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna’s childhood, when the unsolved murder of a young girl touched Mendocino and changed the community forever. As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with saving the missing girl, she must accept that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in.

Weaving together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this propulsive and deeply affecting novel tells a story of fate, necessary redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives—and our faith in one another.