Books That Caught Our Eye

2 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 weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

Griffith Review 73: Hey, Utopia! found at Sam Still Reading.

There’s no place like utopia.

What are the possibilities and pitfalls of imagining a better future? Hey, Utopia! explores the ramifications of Thomas More’s term in a range of contexts: the possible and the improbable, the out of reach and almost realised.

Edited by Ashley Hay and featuring work by Sarah Sentilles, Thurston Moore & John Kinsella, Ellen van Neervan, Alex Cothren, Fiona Foley and Lea McInerney, Griffith Review 73 looks into visions past and present, those with potential and those that proved punishing.

“Considering that I do love reading dystopian and post-apocalyptic, it’s not surprising that this one caught my eye.”

Unmissing by Minka Kent found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore and Silver’s Reviews.

A return from the past knocks a family dangerously off-balance in a novel of spiraling suspense by Washington Post and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Minka Kent.

Merritt Coletto and her husband, Luca, have the life they dreamed of: a coastal home, a promising future, and a growing family. That dream ends with a late-night knock on the door.

Weak, broken, and emaciated, it’s Luca’s first wife, Lydia. Missing for ten years, presumed dead, and very much alive, she has quite a story. Her kidnapping. A torturous confinement that should’ve ended with her dead. And finally, escape. Racked with guilt over the beautiful life they’ve built, Merritt and Luca agree to help get Lydia back on her feet—it’s the least they can do.

But the more enmeshed Lydia becomes in Merritt’s family, the more questions Merritt has. What is it about Lydia that’s especially unnerving? Why hasn’t she gone to the police with her harrowing tale? What does she really want of them? The answers, when they come, are terrifying.

Because Lydia isn’t the only one with secrets.

“The title had me curious and the blurb, with the return of a presumed dead former wife, really caught my attention.”

VELVET:

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen at The Infinite Curio.

The Marjolein Bastin Classics Series is a chance to rediscover classic literature in collectible, luxuriously illustrated volumes. For the first time ever, the internationally celebrated artwork of Marjolein Bastin graces the pages of a timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice, the enduring story of the Bennet sisters and their quest for suitable marriages. Beyond bringing these stories to life, Bastin’s series adds elaborately designed ephemera, such as four-color maps, letters, family trees, and sheet music. Whether an ideal gift for an Austen or Brontë devotee or a treat for yourself, The Marjolein Bastin Classics Series, as a set or individually purchasedis perfect for anyone who feels a connection to these enduring literary gems.

Emma by Jane Austen at The Infinite Curio.

The Marjolein Bastin Classics Seriesis a chance to rediscover classic literature in collectible, luxuriously illustrated volumes. For the first time ever, the internationally celebrated artwork of Marjolein Bastin graces the pages of the timeless classic, Emma, the story of the well-meaning matchmaker of Highbury village. Beyond bringing these stories to life, Bastin’s series adds elaborately designed ephemera, such as letters, invitations, and more. Whether an ideal gift for an Austen or Brontë devotee or a treat for yourself, The Marjolein Bastin Classics Series, as a set or individually purchasedis perfect for anyone who feels a connection to these enduring literary gems.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte at The Infinite Curio.

The Marjolein Bastin Classics Series is a chance to rediscover classic literature in collectible, luxuriously illustrated volumes. For the first time ever, the internationally celebrated artwork of Marjolein Bastin graces the pages of a timeless classic, Jane Eyre, the story of a penniless orphan who finds love and friendship despite great adversity. Beyond bringing these stories to life, Bastin’s series adds elaborately designed ephemera, such as four-color maps, letters, family trees, and sheet music. Whether an ideal gift for an Austen or Brontë devotee or a treat for yourself, The Marjolein Bastin Classics Series, as a set or individually purchasedis perfect for anyone who feels a connection to these enduring literary gems.

“These look like lovely pairings for delightful comfy reading.”

SERENA:

61d5gwxxwyl._sl500_In the Shadow of the Towers: Speculative Fiction in a Post-9/11 World by Douglas Lain at Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf.

In the Shadow of the Towers compiles nearly 20 works of speculative fiction responding to and inspired by the events of 9/11, from writers seeking to confront, rebuild, and carry on, even in the face of overwhelming emotion.

Writer and editor Douglas Lain presents a thought-provoking anthology featuring a variety of award-winning and best-selling authors, from Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation) and Cory Doctorow (Little Brother) to Susan Palwick (Flying in Place) and James Morrow (Towing Jehovah). Touching on themes as wide-ranging as politics, morality, and even heartfelt nostalgia, today’s speculative fiction writers prove that the rubric of the fantastic offers an incomparable view into how we respond to tragedy. Each contributor, in his or her own way, contemplates the same question: How can we continue dreaming in the shadow of the towers?

“This might be a good listen on audio, but what attracted me was the cover.”

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne at Sam Still Reading.

Dazzle (n): Brightness that blinds someone temporarily. 

Position Vacant: Two ancient old women residing at Providence Retirement Villa seek male assistant for casual exploitation and good-natured humiliation. Duties include boutique shopping, fast-food fetching, and sincerely rendered flattery. Good looks a bonus—but we aren’t picky.

An advertisement has been placed (again!) by the wealthy and eccentric Parloni Sisters. The salary is generous and the employers are 90 years old, so how hard could the job be? Well, none have lasted longer than a week. Most boys leave in tears.

Ruthie Midona will work in Providence’s front office, and be at the Parloni’s beck and call, forever. That’s sort of her life plan. If Ruthie can run the place in her almost-retired bosses’ absence, with no hijinks/hiccups, she has a shot at becoming the new manager. She might also be able to defend her safe little world from Prescott Development, the new buyer of the prime site. Maybe after all that, she can find a cute guy to date. All she needs to do is stay serious—and that’s what she does best.

Until, one day, someone dazzling blows into town.

Teddy Prescott devotes his life to sleeping, tattooing, and avoiding seriousness. When Teddy needs a place to crash, he makes a deal with his developer dad. Teddy can stay in one of Providence’s on-site maintenance cottages—right next door to an unimpressed Ruthie—but only if he works there and starts to grow up.

Ruthie knows how this sweetly selfish rich boy can earn his keep—and be out of her hair in under a week. After all, there is a position vacant…

“Doesn’t this sounds like a fun read?”

What books caught your eye this week?

Books that Caught Our Eye

2 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 weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes found at Kait Plus Books.

Titanic meets The Shining in S.A. Barnes’ Dead Silence, a SF horror novel in which a woman and her crew board a decades-lost luxury cruiser and find the wreckage of a nightmare that hasn’t yet ended.

A GHOST SHIP.

A SALVAGE CREW.

UNSPEAKABLE HORRORS.

Claire Kovalik is days away from being unemployed—made obsolete—when her beacon repair crew picks up a strange distress signal. With nothing to lose and no desire to return to Earth, Claire and her team decide to investigate.

What they find at the other end of the signal is a shock: the Aurora, a famous luxury space-liner that vanished on its maiden tour of the solar system more than twenty years ago. A salvage claim like this could set Claire and her crew up for life. But a quick trip through the Aurora reveals something isn’t right.

Whispers in the dark. Flickers of movement. Words scrawled in blood. Claire must fight to hold onto her sanity and find out what really happened on the Aurora, before she and her crew meet the same ghastly fate.

“Horror isn’t usually a go-to choice for me but October is getting closer and this SF horror got my eye.”

The Actual Star by Monica Byrne at A Universe in Words.

David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas meets Octavia Butler’s Earthseed series, as acclaimed author Monica Byrne (The Girl in the Road) spins a brilliant multigenerational saga spanning two thousand years, from the collapse of the ancient Maya to a far-future utopia on the brink of civil war.

The Actual Star takes readers on a journey over thousands of years and six continents —collapsing three separate timelines into one cave in the Belizean jungle.

An epic saga of three reincarnated souls, this novel demonstrates the entanglements of tradition and progress, sister and stranger, love and hate. The book jumps forward and backward in time among a pair of twins who ruled a Maya kingdom, a young American on a trip of self-discovery, and two dangerous charismatics in a conflict that will determine the fate of the few humans left on Earth after massive climate change.

In each era, age-old questions about existence and belonging and identity converge deep underground. Because only in complete darkness can one truly see the stars.

“This sounds complex but I like mixed time lines.”

VELVET:

The Attic on Queen Street by Karen White at Savvy Verse & Wit.

After the devastating events of the past few months, the last thing Melanie Trenholm wants is to think about the future.
Why, when her husband, Jack, has asked for a separation—a separation that might have been her fault?  Nevertheless, with twin toddlers, a stepdaughter leaving for college soon, a real estate career to resume and a historic home that is still being restored, Melanie doesn’t have much time to wonder where it all went wrong—but that doesn’t stop her from trying to win her husband back.
Their relationship issues are pushed aside, however, when longtime nemesis, Marc Longo, comes to them with a proposition:  allow their Tradd Street house to be used as the filming location for the movie adaptation of Marc’s bestselling book, and he will help Jack re-establish his stalled writing career. Despite Melanie’s hesitation, Jack jumps at the chance.  But Melanie’s doubts soon prove to be well founded when she uncovers ulterior reasons for Marc wanting to be back in their house—reasons that include a hidden gem so brilliant that legend links it to the most infamous jewel of all, the Hope Diamond.
But Melanie has an unexpected ally in protecting the house and its inhabitants—the ghost of a Civil War era girl warns her of increasing threats to her family. But she’s not the only spirit who is haunting Melanie.  A malevolent ghost seems determined to stop Melanie from investigating the decades-old murder of a friend’s sister, and this spirit will stop at nothing to protect its secrets—even from beyond the grave.
Melanie and Jack must work together to find the answers before evil spirits of past and present destroy everything they love.
“The ghostly activity sounds perfect for this time of year.”

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont at Book Reviews by Linda Moore

“A long time ago, in another country, I nearly killed a woman. It’s a particular feeling, the urge to murder. First comes rage, larger than any you’ve ever imagined. It takes over your body so completely, it’s like a divine force, grabbing hold of your will, your limbs, your psyche. It conveys a strength you never knew you possessed. Your hands, harmless until now, rise up to squeeze another person’s life away. There’s a joy to it. In retrospect, it’s frightening, but I daresay in the moment it feels sweet. The way justice feels sweet.”
So begins The Christie Affair, told from the point of view of Miss Nan O’Dea, a fictional character but based on someone real. In 1925, she infiltrated the wealthy, rarified world of author Agatha Christie and her husband, Archie. A world of London townhomes, country houses, shooting parties, and tennis matches. Nan O’Dea became Archie’s mistress, luring him away from his devoted wife. In every way, she became a part of their world–first, both Christies. Then, just Archie.
The question is, why?
And what did it have to do with the mysterious eleven days that Agatha Christie went missing?
The answer takes you back time, to Ireland, to a young girl in love, to a time before The Great War. To a star-crossed couple who were destined to be together–until war and pandemic and shameful secrets tore them apart.
What makes a woman desperate enough to destroy another woman’s marriage?
What makes someone vengeful enough to hatch a plot years in the making?
What drives someone to murder?
“I am taken with this mystery about the queen of mystery.”

SERENA:

A Letter from Nana Rose by Kristin Harper from Silver’s Reviews.

Arriving at the honeysuckle-covered beach house inherited from her beloved grandmother, recently heartbroken Jill hopes to convince her two feuding sisters not to sell a place so full of happy childhood memories. But the envelope waiting on the driftwood table changes everything. In her elegant handwriting, Nana Rose promises a new letter will arrive each day of the summer revealing a family secret she took to her grave.

Shaken, Jill anxiously awaits each letter filled with Nana’s bittersweet memories of her own sister who she loved more than anyone—and lost far too young. But why did Nana never speak of this tragic loss to her grandchildren?

Watching the sunset each night and wondering how well they really knew Nana Rose, Jill feels her family is closer than they’ve been in years. And after a chance encounter with blue-eyed tree surgeon Alex, she wonders if Nana believed being back on Dune Island would help Jill find love, too?

But when Nana’s final letter arrives, the revelation about how her sister died is more shocking than Jill ever imagined. Suddenly, despite the chance of happiness with Alex, selling the house seems the only way forward. Will Jill find a way to forge new bonds of sisterhood and save their inheritance, or will Nana Rose’s secret tear them all apart?

“I really enjoy books where secrets are uncovered, especially family secrets, and the creation of bonds. This sounds intriguing.”

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

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:

Camouflage by Ivy Keating and Scott Spotson found at Bookworm.

A missing man, a new police chief and an unexpected New England town mystery.

When Sean Dermott, the newly appointed police chief, sees the report that a popular local high school coach is missing, his growing fascination with the alluring Vanessa Strauss, who reported the disappearance, makes him determined to solve the case.

The investigation leads him and his team deep into Quarry Head Park, a local scenic preserve with nature trails and expansive views. There is no sign of the missing man, but what he does find terrifies him to the core.

From the depths of the park, a deadly prehistoric looking creature emerges, attacks swiftly and silently, leaving devastation in its wake. In the chaos which follows, it is up to Chief Dermott and a team of scientists to fight for balance by ensuring the safety of his town and preserving this remarkable discovery.

He will risk his career, his reputation and even his own life to stand by what he believes to be right. The question is, will he succeed, or will all be lost?

“I like camouflage and then I noted “prehistoric” creature and Alternate History – that really got my interest.”

Lie Beside Me Gytha Lodge found at An Interior Journey.

You wake up.
You can’t remember what happened.
The man lying next to you is not your husband.
And he’s not breathing . .

Louise wakes up. Her head aches, her mouth is dry, her memory is fuzzy. But she suspects she’s done something bad.

She rolls over towards her husband, Niall. The man who, until recently, made her feel loved.

But it’s not Niall who’s lying beside her. In fact, she’s never seen this man before.

And he’s dead . . .

As Louise desperately struggles to piece her memories back together, it’s clear to Detective Jonah Sheens and his team that she is their prime suspect – though they soon find she’s not the only one with something to hide.

Did she do it? And, if not, can they catch the real killer before they strike again?

“I was caught by the first lines of the blurb in this thriller.”

VELVET:

Rouge Street by Shuang Xuetao at drey’s library

An enterprising inventor dreams of escaping his drab surroundings in a flying machine. A criminal, trapped beneath a frozen lake, transforms into a giant fish. A strange girl pledges to ignite a field of sorghum stalks. Rouge Street collects three novellas by Shuang Xuetao, the lauded young Chinese writer whose frank, fantastical short fiction has already inspired comparisons to Ernest Hemingway and Haruki Murakami. Located in China’s frigid Northeast, Shenyang, the author’s birthplace, boasts an illustrious past—legend holds that the emperor’s makeup was manufactured here. But while the city enjoyed renewed importance as an industrial hub under Mao Zedong, China’s subsequent transition from communism to a private economy led to an array of social ills—unemployment, poverty, alcoholism, domestic violence, divorce, suicide—which gritty Shenyang epitomizes. Orbiting the toughest neighborhood of a postindustrial city whose vast, inhospitable landscape makes every aspect of life a struggle, these many-voiced missives are united by Shuang Xuetao’s singular style—one which balances hardscrabble naturalism with the transcendent, and faces the bleak environs with winning humor. Lyrical, masterful, Rouge Street illuminates not only the hidden pains of those left behind in an extraordinary economic boom, but also the unlikely, nourishing grace they, nevertheless, manage to discover.

“That cover… and then the settings, got me.”

Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler at Sam Still Reading

On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, a young woman snoops through her boyfriend’s phone and makes a startling discovery: he’s an anonymous internet conspiracy theorist, and a popular one at that. Already fluent in internet fakery, irony, and outrage, she’s not exactly shocked by the revelation. Actually, she’s relieved—he was always a little distant—and she plots to end their floundering relationship while on a trip to the Women’s March in DC. But this is only the first in a series of bizarre twists that expose a world whose truths are shaped by online lies. Suddenly left with no reason to stay in New York and increasingly alienated from her friends and colleagues, our unnamed narrator flees to Berlin, embarking on her own cycles of manipulation in the deceptive spaces of her daily life, from dating apps to expat meetups, open-plan offices to bureaucratic waiting rooms. She begins to think she can’t trust anyone–shouldn’t the feeling be mutual?

“Been wanting to do a reading binge of social media themed books.”

SERENA:

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger from The Infinite Curio.

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

“This just sounds fascinating. There’s something intriguing about another ‘America’ – one that we don’t recognize.”

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

6 Comments

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

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

VELVET:

Fault Lines by Emily Itami at drey’s library.

Mizuki is a Japanese housewife. She has a hardworking husband, two adorable children, and a beautiful Tokyo apartment. It’s everything a woman could want, yet sometimes she wonders whether she would rather throw herself off the high-rise balcony than spend another evening not talking to her husband and hanging up laundry.

Then, one rainy night, she meets Kiyoshi, a successful restaurateur. In him, she rediscovers freedom, friendship, and the neon, electric pulse of the city she has always loved. But the further she falls into their relationship, the clearer it becomes that she is living two lives—and in the end, we can choose only one.

“I feel like diving into a modern day Tokyo setting.”

——–

The Midnight Hour by Elly Griffiths at Book’d Out.

Brighton, 1965.

When theatrical impresario Bert Billington is found dead in his retirement home, no one suspects foul play. But when the postmortem reveals that he was poisoned, suspicion falls on his wife, eccentric ex-Music Hall star Verity Malone.

Frustrated by the police response to Bert’s death and determined to prove her innocence, Verity calls in private detective duo Emma Holmes and Sam Collins. This is their first real case, but as luck would have it they have a friend on the inside: Max Mephisto is filming a remake of Dracula, starring Seth Bellington, Bert’s son. But when they question Max, they feel he isn’t telling them the whole story.

Emma and Sam must vie with the police to untangle the case and bring the killer to justice. They’re sure the answers must lie in Bert’s dark past and in the glamorous, occasionally deadly, days of Music Hall. But the closer they get to the truth, the more danger they find themselves in.

“After reading my first Elly Griffiths, Postscript Murders, I am curious to try another by Elly.”

——–

SERENA:

The Library by Bella Osbourne at Book’d Out.

Two different generations. Two unusual people. Thrown together to save their local library.

Tom is a teenager and blends into the background of life. After a row with his dad, and facing an unhappy future at the dog food factory, he escapes to the library. Tom unwittingly ends up with a bagful of romance novels and comes under the suspicion of Maggie.

Maggie is a pensioner and has been happily alone for ten years, at least that’s what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue a friendship develops that could change her life. As Maggie helps Tom to stand up for himself, Tom helps Maggie realise the mistakes of her past don’t have to define her future.

Maggie is a pensioner and has been happily alone for ten years, at least that’s what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue a friendship develops that could change her life. As Maggie helps Tom to stand up for himself, Tom helps Maggie realise the mistakes of her past don’t have to define her future.

“I love that this pairs an older lady with a younger teen and that they help each other out. Libraries always have unique casts of characters.”

——–

The Book Binder’s Daughter by Jessica Thorne at drey’s library.

The song surrounded her now, the murmuring of the library insistent, and her foot took the first step on the winding stairs. She knew it wasn’t entirely a dream. It was the library calling her, its magic driving her.

When Sophie is offered a job at the Ayredale Library – the finest collection of rare books in the world, and the last place her bookbinder mother was seen when Sophie was just a teenager – she leaps at the chance. Will she finally discover what happened to the woman she’s always believed abandoned her?

Taking in the endless shelves of antique books, the soaring stained-glass windows, and the grand sweeping staircase, usually shy Sophie feels strangely at home, and is welcomed by her eccentric fellow binders. But why is the Keeper of the Library so reluctant to speak about Sophie’s mother? And why is Sophie the only person who can read the strange spells in the oldest books on display, written in a forgotten language nobody else understands?

The mysteries of the library only deepen when Sophie stumbles upon an elaborately carved door. The pattern exactly matches the pendant her mother left behind years ago, engraved with a delicate leaf. As the door swings open at her touch, Sophie gasps at the incredible sight: an enormous tree, impossibly growing higher than the library itself, its gently falling golden leaves somehow resembling the pages of a book. Amidst their rustling, Sophie hears a familiar whisper…

“I love libraries full of mystery, and this sounds like a good one.”

——–

MARTHA:

Exit Through the Gift Shop by Maryam Master found at Burgeoning Bookshelf.

Anahita Rosalind Ghorban-Galaszczuk (yes, that really is her name but you can call her Ana) is discovering that life is absurd. As if dying of cancer at the age of 12.5 isn’t bad enough, she still has to endure daily insults from her nemesis, Alyssa (Queen Mean) Anderson.

Ana’s on a wild roller-coaster of life and death, kindness and cruelty, ordinary and extraordinary.

And she’s got a few things to do before she exits . . .

“This is a cute cover with a cute title. I like the idea of a story for tweens about terminal illness and bullying.”

——–

The Stolen Lady: A Novel of WWII and the Mona Lisa by Laura Morelli found at Silver’s Reviews.

France, 1939.

At the dawn of World War II, Anne Guichard, a young archivist employed at the Louvre, arrives home to find her brother missing. While she works to discover his whereabouts, refugees begin flooding into Paris, and German artillery fire rattles the city. Once they reach the city, the Nazis will stop at nothing to get their hands on the Louvre’s art collection. Anne is quickly sent to the Castle of Chambord, where the Louvre’s most precious artworks—including the Mona Lisa—are being transferred to ensure their safety. With the Germans hard on their heels, Anne frantically moves the Mona Lisa and other treasures again and again in an elaborate game of hide and seek. As the threat to the masterpieces and her life grows closer, Anne also begins to learn the truth about her brother, and the role he plays in this dangerous game.

Florence, 1479.

House servant Bellina Sardi’s future seems fixed when she accompanies her newly married mistress, Lisa Gherardini, to her home across the Arno. Lisa’s husband, a prosperous silk merchant, is aligned with the powerful Medici, his home filled with luxuries and treasures. But soon, Bellina finds herself bewitched by a charismatic monk who has urged Florentines to rise up against the Medici, and to empty their homes of the riches and jewels her new employer prizes. When Master Leonardo da Vinci is commissioned to paint a portrait of Lisa, Bellina finds herself tasked with hiding an impossible secret.

When art and war collide, Leonardo da Vinci, his beautiful subject Lisa, and the portrait find themselves in the crosshairs of history..

“I find the history of protecting the art from war interesting. (I was surprised Serena left this one for me, although she pick The Book Binder’s Daughter which was on my short list.)”

What books caught your eye 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 weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

VELVET:

Miss Moriarty, I Presume? by Sherry Thomas at Bookfan.

MissMoriarityA most unexpected client shows up at Charlotte Holmes’s doorstep: Moriarty himself. Moriarty fears that tragedy has befallen his daughter and wants Charlotte to find out the truth.

Charlotte and Mrs. Watson travel to a remote community of occult practitioners where Moriarty’s daughter was last seen, a place full of lies and liars. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s sister Livia tries to make sense of a mysterious message from her beau Mr. Marbleton. And Charlotte’s longtime friend and ally Lord Ingram at last turns his seductive prowess on Charlotte–or is it the other way around?

But the more secrets Charlotte unravels about Miss Moriarty’s disappearance, the more she wonders why Moriarty has entrusted this delicate matter to her of all people. Is it merely to test Charlotte’s skills as an investigator, or has the man of shadows trapped her in a nest of vipers?

“I haven’t started this series yet, but this story makes me want to start.”

——–

The Last Debutante by Georgie Blalock at Silver’s Reviews.

LastDebutantesThey danced the night away, knowing their world was about to change forever. They were the debutantes of 1939, laughing on the outside, but knowing tragedy— and a war—was just around the corner.

When Valerie de Vere Cole, the niece of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, makes her deep curtsey to the King and Queen of England, she knows she’s part of a world about to end. The daughter of a debt-ridden father and a neglectful mother, Valerie sees firsthand that war is imminent.

Nevertheless, Valerie reinvents herself as a carefree and glittering young society woman, befriending other debutantes from England’s aristocracy as well as the vivacious Eunice Kennedy, daughter of the U.S. Ambassador. Despite her social success, the world’s troubles and Valerie’s fear of loss and loneliness prove impossible to ignore.

How will she navigate her new life when everything in her past has taught her that happiness and stability are as fragile as peace in our time? For the moment she will forget her cares in too much champagne and waltzes. Because very soon, Valerie knows that she must find the inner strength to stand strong and carry on through the challenges of life and love and war.

Velvet: “Curious about the debutantes during this time period as well as debutantes in general.”

——–

SERENA:

Into the Forest by Rebecca Frankel at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

IntoTheForest

From a little-known chapter of Holocaust history, Rebecca Frankel’s Into the Forest is one family’s inspiring true story of love, escape, and survival.

In the summer of 1942, the Rabinowitz family narrowly escaped the Nazi ghetto in their Polish town by fleeing to the forbidding Bialowieza Forest. They miraculously survived two years in the woods―through brutal winters, Typhus outbreaks, and merciless Nazi raids―until they were liberated by the Red Army in 1944. After the war they trekked across the Alps into Italy where they settled as refugees before eventually immigrating to the United States.

During the first ghetto massacre, Miriam Rabinowitz rescued a young boy named Philip by pretending he was her son. Nearly a decade later, a chance encounter at a wedding in Brooklyn would lead Philip to find the woman who saved him. And to discover her daughter Ruth was the love of his life.

From a little-known chapter of Holocaust history, one family’s inspiring true story.

“Everyone should have known this would be on my list this week.”

——–

Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantine by Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley at vvb32Reads.

UntilProvenSafeQuarantine is such a simple, profound, and effective idea that it’s almost hard to realize that it is in fact an idea–a concept that needed to be discovered, figured out, refined, and, of course, applied. We are now all too aware of how it is applied, but we know far less about how the idea came to be–and where it may yet go.

Until Proven Safe tracks the idea of quarantine around the globe, through time and space, chasing the story from the lazarettos and quarantine islands of Venice–built before communicable diseases were really understood–to the hallways of the CDC, NASA, and the cutting-edge labs and conference rooms where the future technology of quarantine is being developed. The result is a tour of an idea that could not be more urgent or relevant, a book full of stories, people, and insights that is as compelling as it is definitive.

“Given the world we’ve lived in, this intrigues me.”

——–

MARTHA:

OnceUponaWardrobeOnce Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan found at Bookfan.

“Where did Narnia come from?”
The answer will change everything.

Megs Devonshire is brilliant with numbers and equations, on a scholarship at Oxford, and dreams of solving the greatest mysteries of physics.

She prefers the dependability of facts—except for one: the younger brother she loves with all her heart doesn’t have long to live. When George becomes captivated by a copy of a brand-new book called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and begs her to find out where Narnia came from, there’s no way she can refuse.

Despite her timidity about approaching the famous author, Megs soon finds herself taking tea with the Oxford don and his own brother, imploring them for answers. What she receives instead are more stories . . . stories of Jack Lewis’s life, which she takes home to George.

Why won’t Mr. Lewis just tell her plainly what George wants to know? The answer will reveal to Meg many truths that science and math cannot, and the gift she thought she was giving to her brother—the story behind Narnia—turns out to be his gift to her, instead: hope.

“I like C.S. Lewis and Narnia so this caught my eye. And a message of hope is a plus!”

——–

The Next Thing You Know by Jessica Strawser found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

NextThing A musician facing the untimely end of his career. An end-of-life doula with everything, and nothing, to lose. A Star Is Born meets Me Before You in this powerful novel by the author of A Million Reasons Why.

As an end-of-life doula, Nova Huston’s job—her calling, her purpose, her life—is to help terminally ill people make peace with their impending death. Unlike her business partner, who swears by her system of checklists, free-spirited Nova doesn’t shy away from difficult clients: the ones who are heartbreakingly young, or prickly, or desperate for a caregiver or companion.

When Mason Shaylor shows up at her door, Nova doesn’t recognize him as the indie-favorite singer-songwriter who recently vanished from the public eye. She knows only what he’s told her: That life as he knows it is over. His deteriorating condition makes playing his guitar physically impossible—as far as Mason is concerned, he might as well be dead already.

Except he doesn’t know how to say goodbye.

Helping him is Nova’s biggest challenge yet. She knows she should keep clients at arm’s length. But she and Mason have more in common than anyone could guess… and meeting him might turn out to be the hardest, best thing that’s ever happened to them both.

The Next Thing You Know is an emotional, resonant story about the power of human connection, love when you least expect it, hope against the odds, and what it really takes to live life with no regrets.

“I found the cover was intriguing as is the plot blurb.”

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. 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:

TheRehearsalsThe Rehearsals by Annette Christie at drey’s library.

In this delightful and romantic debut novel―with a Groundhog Day twista couple calls off their wedding after a disastrous rehearsal dinner, only to wake up the next morning trapped in a time loop. Together.

Two people. One wedding. No end in sight.

Megan Givens and Tom Prescott are heading into what is supposed to be their magical wedding weekend on beautiful San Juan Island. But with two difficult families, ten years of history, and all too many secrets, things quickly go wrong. After a disastrous rehearsal dinner they vow to call the whole thing off—only to wake up the next morning stuck together in a time loop. Are they really destined to relive the worst day of their lives, over and over? And what happens if their wedding day does arrive?

A funny, romantic, and big-hearted debut novel, The Rehearsals imagines what we might do if given a second chance at life and at love—and what it means to finally get both right.

“Love the whimsical cover and description.”

——–

VELVET AND SERENA:

TheCastaways

The Castaways by Lucy Clarke at the Infinite Curio.

A SECRET BEACH. A HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME.
WISH YOU WERE HERE?
THINK AGAIN…

It should be like any other holiday.

Beautiful beaches.
Golden sunsets.
Nothing for miles.

You’ll never want to leave.
Until you can’t…

Velvet: “The secret beach and creepy vibe gets me.”

Serena: “This sounds like it could be very creepy!”

——–

SERENA:

The Replacement Wife by Darby Kane at Silver’s Reviews.TheReplacementWife

Elisa Wright is a mom and wife, living a nice, quiet life in a nice, quiet town. She’s also convinced her brother-in-law is a murderer. Josh has one dead wife and one missing fiancée, and though he grieved for them he starts dating someone new. Elisa fears for that woman’s safety, and she desperately wants to know what happened to her friend, Josh’s missing fiancée.

Searching for clues means investigating her own family. And she doesn’t like what she finds. A laptop filled with incriminating information. Other women.

But when Elisa becomes friends with Josh’s new girlfriend and starts to question things she thinks are true, Elisa wonders if the memories of a horrible incident a year ago have finally pushed her over the edge and Josh is really innocent. With so much at stake, Elisa fights off panic attacks and a strange illness. Is it a breakdown or something more? The race is on to get to the truth before another disappearance because there’s a killer in the family…or is there?

“I really seem to be interested in these creepy reads this week. I can’t imagine what it would take to investigate your own family for a crime.”

——–

MARTHA:

TheSpiritEngineerThe Spirit Engineer by A.J. West found at A Universe in Words.

Belfast, 1914. Two years after the sinking of the Titanic, high society has become obsessed with spiritualism in the form of seances that attempt to contact the spirits of loved ones lost at sea.

William is a man of science and a sceptic, but one night with everyone sat around the circle something happens that places doubt in his heart and a seed of obsession in his mind. Could the spirits truly be communicating with him or is this one of Kathleen’s parlour tricks gone too far?

This early 20th century gothic set in Northern Ireland contains all the mystery and intrigue one might expect from a Sarah Waters novel. Deftly plotted with echoes of The Woman in Black, readers will be thrilled to discover West’s chilling prose.

Based on the true story of William Jackson Crawford and famed medium Kathleen Goligher, and with a cast of characters that include Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, The Spirit Engineer conjures a haunting tale that will keep readers guessing until the very end.

“This looks a bit darker but intriguing and based on a true story.”

——–

TheBlacktongueThiefThe Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman found at The Infinite Curio.

Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief, which includes (but is not limited to) lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, plus a few small magics. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler that crosses his path.

But today, Kinch Na Shannack has picked the wrong mark.

Galva is a knight, a survivor of the brutal goblin wars, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. She is searching for her queen, missing since a distant northern city fell to giants..

Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva’s. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford.

“This cover made me think of an older sci fi. I like the idea of a knight and a thief put together.”

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

12 Comments

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

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

SERENA:

Any Dumb Animal by A.E. Hines at The Book Connection.AnyDumbAnimal

Any Dumb Animal (Main Street Rag, 2021), the debut poetry collection by AE Hines, presents a memoir-in-verse as told by a gay man raised in the rural South who comes of age during the AIDS crisis. Flashing back and forth in time, a cast of recurring characters and circumstances are woven into a rich tale of survival and redemption, exploring one man’s life as a queer son, father, and husband, over a span of more than thirty years.

“Poetry can open so many doors. This sounds like an intriguing and eye-opening collection.”

——–

themoonwontbedared

the moon won’t be dared by Anne Leigh Parrish at The Book Connection.

The poems in the moon won’t be dared by award-winning author anne leigh parrish ponder nature, love, ageing, and the impossible plight of women in a male-dominated society. Love and reverence for beauty blend with harsher truths of betrayal and brutality. Throughout, there is an overriding sense that life is full of magic, and that to wonder is a lovely gift.

“This also sounds like a poignant poetry collection.”

——–

VELVET:

The Riviera House by Natasha Lester at Silver’s Reviews.RivieraHouse

Paris, 1939: The Nazis think Éliane can’t understand German. They’re wrong. They think she’s merely cataloging art in a Louvre museum and unaware they’re stealing national treasures for their private collections. They have no idea she’s carefully decoding their notes and smuggling information to the Resistance. But Éliane is playing a dangerous game. Does she dare trust the man she once loved with her secrets, or will he only betray her once again? She has no way to know for certain… until a trip to a stunning home on the French Riviera brings a whole new level of peril.

Present Day: Wanting to forget the tragedy that has left her life in shambles, Remy Lang heads to a home she’s mysteriously inherited on the Riviera. While working on her vintage fashion business, she discovers a catalog of the artworks stolen during World War II and is shocked to see a painting that hung on her childhood bedroom wall. Who is her family, really? And does the Riviera house hold more secrets than Remy is ready to face?

“In the mood to transport to the French Riviera this summer.”

——–

TriflersTriflers Need Not Apply by Camilla Bruce at Book’d Out.

Early in life Bella Sorensen discovers the world is made only for men. They own everything: jobs, property, wives. But Bella understands what few others do: where women are concerned, men are weak.

A woman unhampered by scruples can take from them what she wants. And so Bella sets out to prove to the world that a woman can be just as ruthless, black-hearted and single-minded as any man.

Starting with her long suffering husband, Mads, Bella embarks on a killing spree the like of which has never been seen before nor since.

And through it all her kind, older sister Nellie can only watch in horror as Bella’s schemes to enrich herself and cut down the male population come to a glorious, dreadful fruition…

Based on the true story of Belle Gunness whose murderous rampage began in Chicago in 1900, Triflers Need Not Apply is a novelistic tour de force exploring one woman’s determination to pay men back for all they have taken.

“First learned about this historical character from Bailey Sarian’s YouTube show, Murder, Mystery and Makeup which features true crime stories. Curious to know more.”

——–

MARTHA:

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake found at The Infinite Curio.TheAtlasSix

The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.

Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will.

Most of them.

“The swords on the cover caught my eyes to this urban fantasy.”

——–

AFEWWORDSA Few Words about Words: A Common-Sense Look at Writing and Grammar by Joseph J. Diorio found at Rose City Reader.

Penned by a writer who had to teach himself the rules of English grammar, A Few Words About Words offers an easy and accessible approach to understanding and using the English language.

In a world dominated by countless print and social media outlets, written communication is king. Writing “your” when you mean “you’re” and “there” when you mean “they’re” can make the difference between getting or not getting new business. A missing comma can result in a PR catastrophe, and a well-written line can be remembered for generations.

And yet, many native speakers struggle with the English language.

Spawned from the widely-circulated and beloved newsletter of the same name, Joe Diorio’s A Few Words About Words blends quick-witted anecdotes from more than 30 years of newsletter entries that highlight the common, uncommon, and surprising grammar mistakes most English speakers make. The result is a digestible, all-encompassing look at English grammar.

For anyone who has ever wondered whether “also” should follow or precede the verb; if there’s a difference between ‘preventive’ or ‘preventative’; or whether the Oxford comma is as important as everyone says it is, this book provides relief for many common grammar anxieties.

Humorous, enlightening, and completely comprehensible, A Few Words About Words will be the go-to grammar guide you pick up and can’t put down.

“I have always loved grammar and, with a journalism background, the proofreading marks caught my eye!

What books caught your eye 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 weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

RiverbendGap

Riverbend Gap (A Riverbend Romance, #1) by Denise Hunter found at Bookfan

From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes the first romance in a brand-new series!

When Deputy Cooper Robinson happens upon a car balanced on the edge of a cliff, he does everything he can think of to distract the distraught driver from her perilous situation—up to and including sharing things he’s never disclosed to anyone.

Likewise, an agitated Katie Loveland opens up to the deputy, and by the time she’s rescued, she’s formed an intense bond with the man. The traumatic accident makes Katie late to her first dinner with her boyfriend’s family.

Only then does she discover that the charming deputy who saved her life is also her boyfriend’s brother.

In the aftermath, both Katie and Cooper must decide what to do with their newfound vulnerability and emotional connection… And the decision they make could change everything.

“This beautiful cover caught my eye and then I realized it is a Hallmark-like romance so it gets my pick.”

YoursistheNight

Yours is the Night by Amanda Dykes found at Colletta’s Kitchen Sink

Private Matthew Petticrew arrives in France as part of the American Expeditionary Forces, an arrival which a war-weary France desperately hopes will help to end the turmoil. Having faced unthinkable things on the front, he is captivated by the sound of a lullaby, sung by a voice so pure he knows he must have imagined it. But rumors sweep through the trenches like wildfire, dubbing the voice “The Angel of Argonne,” a mysterious presence who leaves behind wreaths on unmarked graves and footprints in the war-pocked soil.

Raised wild in the depths of the Forest of Argonne, France, Mireilles finds her world rocked when war comes crashing into the idyllic home she has always known, taking much from her. When Matthew discovers Mireilles, three things are clear: She is alone in the world, she cannot stay, and he and his two unlikely companions might be the only ones who can get her to safety.

“That colorful cover caught my eye and then I looked at the interesting blurb (WW1).”

SERENA:

WomanatFront

The Woman at the Front by Lecia Cornwall at drey’s library

A daring young woman risks everything to pursue a career as a doctor on the front lines in France during World War I, and learns the true meaning of hope, love, and resilience in the darkest of times.

When Eleanor Atherton graduates from medical school near the top of her class in 1917, she dreams of going overseas to help the wounded, but her ambition is thwarted at every turn. Eleanor’s parents insist she must give up medicine, marry a respectable man, and assume her proper place. While women might serve as ambulance drivers or nurses at the front, they cannot be physicians—that work is too dangerous and frightening.

Nevertheless, Eleanor is determined to make more of a contribution than sitting at home knitting for the troops. When an unexpected twist of fate sends Eleanor to the battlefields of France as the private doctor of a British peer, she seizes the opportunity for what it is—the chance to finally prove herself.

But there’s a war on, and a casualty clearing station close to the front lines is an unforgiving place. Facing skeptical commanders who question her skills, scores of wounded men needing care, underhanded efforts by her family to bring her back home, and a blossoming romance, Eleanor must decide if she’s brave enough to break the rules, face her darkest fears, and take the chance to win the career—and the love—she’s always wanted.

“Yes, I know, another WWI book. I love reading about courageous women in wartime. These women amaze me.”

Smokehouse

Smokehouse by Melissa Manning at Sam Still Reading

Set in southern Tasmania, the linked stories in Smokehouse bring into focus a small community and capture those moments when life turns and one person becomes another. As we get to know these characters – a mother whose fresh start leads to a fractured future, a stonemason seeking connection, a woman grieving her adopted mother, a couple torn apart by their daughter’s drug addiction – we learn how their lives intersect, in various ways, across time and place.

“I know there was another WWII book in Sam’s list, but this one sounds so interesting! I really do love interconnected/linked short stories, and this one has a unique setting.”

VELVET:

KimJiYoungBornKim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo, translated by Jamie Chang at Universe in Worlds

In a small, tidy apartment on the outskirts of the frenzied metropolis of Seoul lives Kim Jiyoung. A thirtysomething-year-old “millennial everywoman,” she has recently left her white-collar desk job—in order to care for her newborn daughter full-time—as so many Korean women are expected to do. But she quickly begins to exhibit strange symptoms that alarm her husband, parents, and in-laws: Jiyoung impersonates the voices of other women—alive and even dead, both known and unknown to her. As she plunges deeper into this psychosis, her discomfited husband sends her to a male psychiatrist.

In a chilling, eerily truncated third-person voice, Jiyoung’s entire life is recounted to the psychiatrist—a narrative infused with disparate elements of frustration, perseverance, and submission. Born in 1982 and given the most common name for Korean baby girls, Jiyoung quickly becomes the unfavored sister to her princeling little brother. Always, her behavior is policed by the male figures around her—from the elementary school teachers who enforce strict uniforms for girls, to the coworkers who install a hidden camera in the women’s restroom and post their photos online. In her father’s eyes, it is Jiyoung’s fault that men harass her late at night; in her husband’s eyes, it is Jiyoung’s duty to forsake her career to take care of him and their child—to put them first.

Jiyoung’s painfully common life is juxtaposed against a backdrop of an advancing Korea, as it abandons “family planning” birth control policies and passes new legislation against gender discrimination. But can her doctor flawlessly, completely cure her, or even discover what truly ails her?

“The setting and the insight of this story has my attention.”

SophieValrouxParis

Sophie Valroux’s Paris Stars by Samantha Verant at Bookfan

Everybody wants a piece of grand chef Sophie Valroux. With her once-destroyed reputation fully recovered and then some, Sophie is making her mark in the culinary world. She’s running the restaurants of Château de Champvert, the beautiful estate that she inherited from her grandmother. She and her fiancé, Rémi, are closer than ever, and she’s even bonding with his daughter Lola. Everything should be perfect.

Yet, Sophie still feels something in her heart is missing.

When she’s invited to cook at an exclusive event her culinary idol is attending, she thinks this could be the thing to catapult her to greater heights, maybe even bring her one step closer to her one and only dream of achieving the stars—Michelin stars.

But fate has other plans for Sophie. After she accepts to cook for the Parisian elite, her world crumbles. She suffers a fall and loses her senses of smell and taste. Certain that her career will vanish if people find out, she keeps this secret to herself, not even telling Rémi. She fakes it all: the menus for every meal, the taste of fresh figs, the juicy cherries in the orchard. All she has to do is get through life—and the event—tasteless without missing a single step. Fake it ‘til you make it… right?

“Always drawn to the Eiffel Tower on covers. So curious to see what happens in the end with the fakery”

What books caught your eye this week?

 

Books That Caught Our Eye

5 Comments

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

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

MARTHA:

PsalmWild

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers found at vvb32 reads

Hugo Award-winner Becky Chambers’s delightful new series gives us hope for the future.

It’s been centuries since the robots of Earth gained self-awareness and laid down their tools.
Centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again.
Centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of “what do people need?” is answered.

But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.
They’re going to need to ask it a lot.

“The cover made me wonder, and the blurb pulled me in for another human and robot story.”

DeathCastle

Death in Castle Dark (A Dinner and a Murder Mystery #1) by Veronica Bond found at Book of Secrets

Actor Nora Blake finds her dream job when she is cast in a murder-mystery troupe that performs in an imposing but captivating old castle. When she stumbles upon a real murder, things take a nightmarish turn in this first book in an exciting new series.

Maybe it was too good to be true, but when Nora Blake accepted the job from Derek Corby, proprietor of Castle Dark, she could not see any downsides. She would sink her acting chops into the troupe’s intricately staged murder-mystery shows, earn free room and board in the fairy tale-like castle, and make friends with her new roommates, which include some seriously adorable kittens.

But something sinister lurks behind the walls of Castle Dark. During Nora’s second performance, one of her castmates plays the part of the victim a little too well. So well, in fact, that no one can revive him. He has been murdered. Not ready to give up her dream gig–or to be the next victim–Nora sets out to see which one of her fellow actors has taken the role of a murderous real-life villain.

“Castles, theatre troupe, and murder sound like a good mix. And I liked the cover too.”

SERENA:

Plume9

Plume Poetry 9, edited by Daniel Lawless at Rose City Reader

Poetry.

In PLUME #9 you will find smart and sassy conversation, both heartbreaking and sidesplitting narratives, poems of deep engagement that will keep you rehashing them on your drive home. Each poet has brought a ‘plus one’ for the host to get to know…

The poems mingle and flirt, air kissing images that will make you giddy, make you feel less alone.

“I love when anthologies place poems in a dialogue, and this one also has an interview with Diane Seuss, who recently released a great book of sonnets, Frank: Sonnets.”

WomanGates

The Woman at the Gates by Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger at Silver’s Reviews and Book Reviews by Linda Moore

Resistance fighter Antonia is out in the forest behind her family’s beloved farm when the Nazi soldiers arrive. As she sees her sister Lena and her young nephews herded towards the trucks, guns pointed at their heads, she faces a split-second, heart-wrenching decision: to stay hidden, stay free and continue the fight. Or to give herself up and go with her family to protect them—no matter what lies ahead.

As she clutches her nephew’s chubby hand in hers, her other arm tight around Lena, she knows she has made the right choice. And as the truck rattles towards a brutal labor camp, and they start to wonder what fate has in the store for them, Antonia’s only thought is of how to escape.

Because before they were captured, Antonia worked tirelessly to free her country from those who had turned it into a bloody battleground. By her side had been clever, handsome Viktor. The man she was to marry, whose love shone like a light in the darkness of war surrounding them.

Antonia does not know if Viktor has been caught or executed. But she knows she must try to find a way back to him and she cannot wait any longer to be saved. Her precious nephews will die without proper food and they could all be killed at any moment.

“WWII novels always make my lists, and I really like the ones about resistance fighters, etc.”

VELVET:

Nightbitch

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder from A Universe in Words

An ambitious mother puts her art career on hold to stay at home with her newborn son, but the experience does not match her imagination. Two years later, she steps into the bathroom for a break from her toddler’s demands, only to discover a dense patch of hair on the back of her neck. In the mirror, her canines suddenly look sharper than she remembers. Her husband, who travels for work five days a week, casually dismisses her fears from faraway hotel rooms.

As the mother’s symptoms intensify, and her temptation to give in to her new dog impulses peak, she struggles to keep her alter-canine-identity secret. Seeking a cure at the library, she discovers the mysterious academic tome which becomes her bible, A Field Guide to Magical Women: A Mythical Ethnography, and meets a group of mothers involved in a multilevel-marketing scheme who may also be more than what they seem.

“Sounds like a romp. I like the quirky vibe.”

SoulmateThe Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren from Sam Still Reading

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

“Had me at soulmate.”

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. 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:

TahoeJade

Tahoe Jade: An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller by Todd Borg found on Silver’s Reviews

A Letter From Abe Lincoln
In the fall of 1861, President Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to the new governor of California, Leland Stanford. Lincoln sent the letter by Pony Express, which went through Tahoe. The letter from Lincoln was intercepted, and it never reached Stanford.

An Assault, A Fire, A Kidnapping
160 years later, Firefighter Jade Jaso was assaulted in Sacramento. The next day she nearly died in a warehouse fire. A short time later, her rancher father was killed in a fall at Lake Tahoe. Then Jade disappeared.

A Coded Message
When Detective Owen McKenna is brought on the case, he finds Lincoln’s letter hidden in the personal effects of Jade Jaso’s father, who was a collector of historical memorabilia. The letter contains a coded message. McKenna learns that the message refers to a treasure Stanford had mentioned to Lincoln. Unfortunately, Jade’s father made the deadly mistake of talking about the letter. The information came to a brute of a man who would kill and torture anyone who got in the way of finding that treasure, including Jade and her father, as well as Owen McKenna and McKenna’s girlfriend Street Casey…

“I like several elements in this book: Civil War dating, Pony Express, coded message, and mystery.”

HazardousDuty

Hazardous Duty (Squeaky Clean Mysteries #1) by Christy Barritt found at Coletta’s Kitchen Sink

On her way to completing a degree in forensic science, Gabby St. Claire dropped out of school and started her own crime scene cleaning business.

Now, when a routine cleaning job leads her to a murder weapon the police overlooked, she realizes that the wrong man is in jail.

With the help of her new and attractively single neighbor, Riley Thomas, Gabby plays the detective to make sure the right man is put behind bars.

“This sounds like an easy mystery read which sometimes fits my reading needs.”

SERENA:

RecipeForPersuasion

Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev at vvb32 reads

Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She’s a chef, what’s the worst that could happen?

Rico Silva, that’s what.

Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster.

FIFA winning soccer star Rico Silva isn’t too happy to be paired up with Ashna either. Losing Ashna years ago almost destroyed him. The only silver lining to this bizarre situation is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he’s definitely over her.

But when their catastrophic first meeting goes viral, social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry. The competition on the show is fierce…and so is the simmering desire between Ashna and Rico. Every minute they spend together rekindles feelings that pull them toward their disastrous past. Will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak—or a recipe for persuasion…?

“I love some Jane Austen inspired fiction and I love comedy, so this is right up my alley.”

VELVET:

MurderOfTwelve

Murder She Wrote: Murder of Twelve by Jessica Fletcher and Jon Land at The Book Connection

Still staying at the Hill House hotel while her beloved home is being rebuilt, Jessica Fletcher finds herself sharing the space for a weekend with a dozen members of a wedding party who have gathered there for a rehearsal dinner. The families of the bride and groom can’t stand each other but have agreed to put aside years of long-simmering tension to celebrate the nuptials.

Unfortunately, weather forecasters underestimated the severity of a storm that turns into a historic blizzard that dumps nearly five feet of snow on Cabot Cove, leaving everyone stranded.

But the hotel guests have bigger things to worry about than bad weather conditions and potential cold feet, because a murderer has shown up ininvited–one who has vowed to take them down one by one….

“Christmas in July theme is appealing and I have always wanted to read and watch a Murder She Wrote story.”

LittleFrenchBridalShop

The Little French Bridal Shop by Jennifer Dupee at The Burgeoning Bookshelf

When Larisa Pearl returns to her small seaside home town to manage her beloved great aunt’s estate, she’s an emotional mess. Larisa has just lost her job and her boyfriend and she’s struggling to cope with her mother’s failing health. But as she walks past the bridal shop window, a beautiful ivory satin wedding gown catches her eye…

Now, to the delight of everyone in town, Larisa is planning her wedding. She’s bought the dress, made floral arrangements and set the date. The only thing she doesn’t have is the groom. How did this happen? All she did was try on a dress and let her fantasy take flight.

Lost in a web of her own lies, Larisa must first face some difficult truths, including her mother’s fragile future, before she can embrace her family, straighten out her life and open her heart to finding love.

“Paris in July theme is currently on my radar too.”

What books caught your eye this week?