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:

You Belong Here Now by Dianna Rostad found at Silver’s Reviews.

In this brilliant debut reminiscent of Christina Baker Kline’s The Orphan Train and Kristina McMorris’s Sold on a Monday, three orphans journey westward from New York City to the Big Sky Country of Montana, hoping for a better life where beautiful wild horses roam free.

Montana: 1925. Three brave orphans from New York take the Orphan Train west, hoping for a place to belong. An Irish boy orphaned by Spanish flu, a tiny girl who won’t speak, and the oldest, a volatile young man who lies about his age to escape Hell’s Kitchen, are paraded on train platforms across the Midwest to work-worn folks. They journey countless miles, racing the sun westward.

Before they reach the last rejection and stop, the oldest, Charles, talks Patrick and Opal into jumping off the train. They journey through the Yellowstone River and grassy mountains where the wild horses roam. Fate guides all three toward the ranch of a family rended by loss. Nara, the only child left of a successful cattleman, has grown into a brusque spinster who refuses the kids on sight. She’s worked hard to gain her father’s respect and hopes to run their operation, but if they stay, she’ll be stuck in the kitchen. Nara works them without mercy, hoping they’ll run off, but begins to appreciate their grit, seeing something of herself in them.

The boys are made to cruelly round up wild horses for slaughter. When the horses are cut loose, Charles, who has been in trouble for fighting, is accused and jailed. Nara discovers he’s of age to hang and wanted in New York. Nara fears she cannot reform him, but to save him, she does something that cuts against her every fiber.

“This combines historical western, orphan train children, and some intrigue that sounds good.”

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin found at vvb32Reads.

Orphaned young, Ming Tsu, the son of Chinese immigrants, is raised by the notorious leader of a California crime syndicate, who trains him to be his deadly enforcer. But when Ming falls in love with Ada, the daughter of a powerful railroad magnate, and the two elope, he seizes the opportunity to escape to a different life. Soon after, in a violent raid, the tycoon’s henchmen kidnap Ada and conscript Ming into service for the Central Pacific Railroad.

Battered, heartbroken, and yet defiant, Ming partners with a blind clairvoyant known only as the prophet. Together the two set out to rescue his wife and to exact revenge on the men who destroyed Ming, aided by a troupe of magic-show performers, some with supernatural powers, whom they meet on the journey. Ming blazes his way across the West, settling old scores with a single-minded devotion that culminates in an explosive and unexpected finale.

Written with the violent ardor of Cormac McCarthy and the otherworldly inventiveness of Ted Chiang, The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu is at once a thriller, a romance, and a story of one man’s quest for redemption in the face of a distinctly American brutality.

“This week the westerns caught my eye. This one sounds like it will have some good action with some supernatural elements.”

SERENA:

They Called Him Marvin by Roger Stark at Rose City Reader.

“They were the fathers we never knew, the uncles we never met, the friends who never returned, the heroes we can never repay. They gave us our world. And those simple sounds of freedom we hear today are their voices speaking to us across the years.” Bill Clinton Such a man was 1st Lt Dean Harold Sherman, B-29 Airplane Commander. “They Called Him Marvin” is a history. A history of war and of family. A history of the collision of the raging politics of a global war, young love, patriotism, sacred family commitments, duty and the horrors and tragedies, the catastrophe that war is. A reviewer explains: “I am a fan of historical fiction and this story did not disappoint. It was sweet, tragic, personal, and moving. Gradually and almost imperceptibly, the story of two wartime sweethearts begins circling the drain of a tragedy you know is coming. The book begins with the ending, but by the time you get there you have convinced yourself that it can’t possibly be the case. I enjoyed every moment, even the ones that left me in tears. The letters between Connie and Dean provided a fascinating glimpse into wartime life.

“This sounds fascinating.”

The Language of Light by Meg Waite Clayton at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

Nelly Grace is starting over. With her two young sons, Nelly has fled to the simple stone house built by her great-grandfather in the moneyed horse country of Maryland in order to escape the grief of her husband’s death—and perhaps find a way back to her first love: photography. Easing her transition into this strange, mannered world is Emma Crofton, the grand matriarch of the foxhunting community, and Emma’s son, Dac, a handsome yet distant horse trainer. As Nelly slowly makes her way back to the camera, she must come to terms with her troubled relationship with her father, a photojournalist who chose fame over family. But when she finally sees him again, Nelly’s fragile new beginning is threatened by revelations of a secret past, and the fears that kept it hidden.

“I’ve read Clayton before, and I really enjoyed her prose. This sounds like another good read.”

What books caught your eyes 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:

Cooper’s Story: A Puppy Tale (A Dog’s Purpose Puppy Tales) by W. Bruce Cameron found at Bookfan.

A brand new Puppy Tale from the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the A Dog’s Purpose series, W. Bruce Cameron!

When Cooper — a Malamute-Great Dane puppy — is taken to an adoption fair, he finds the perfect forever home with a boy named Burke. Soon Cooper discovers his very important purpose: to help Burke by pulling his wheelchair, fetching things for him, and assisting him in and out of his chair.

Cooper’s Story is an uplifting new Puppy Tale in the popular series by #1 New York Times bestselling author W. Bruce Cameron.

“Is anyone really surprised that this cover caught my eye? Oh so cute!”

The Cottage by Daniel Judson found at Universe of Words.

A widowed mother is terrorized by a stalker with unfathomable intent in a novel of cold-blooded suspense by the Shamus Award–winning author of The Temporary Agent.

When Kate Burke is awakened one night by a sound outside her window, her PTSD is triggered. Was it simply a deer crossing her secluded backyard? Or was it intruders? Because Kate still lives with the dreadful memories of her husband’s murder during a seemingly random home invasion two years before, she knows the answer can mean the difference between life and death.

But when she discovers the unsettling ways her property has been vandalized the next day, Kate is forced to conclude the worst: someone is watching her.

Kate decides to rent out her estranged sister’s onetime cottage, which sits on her property, for the summer. Another set of eyes around the place won’t hurt. And with additional support from friends and family, Kate should be feeling safe.

Instead, the vandalism is escalating. So are the anonymous late-night calls and texts, each one more disturbing and violating than the last. Whoever is targeting Kate, whatever their motive or terrifying endgame, the footsteps in the dark are getting closer.

“The cover is interesting but the blurb really caught my interest. I hope it is better than the first review response.”

SERENA:

The Next Ship Home by Heather Webb at Silver’s Reviews and Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

Ellis Island, 1902: Two women band together to hold America to its promise: “Give me your tired, your poor … your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

A young Italian woman arrives on the shores of America, her sights set on a better life. That same day, a young American woman reports to her first day of work at the immigration center. But Ellis Island isn’t a refuge for Francesca or Alma, not when ships depart every day with those who are refused entry to the country and when corruption ripples through every corridor. While Francesca resorts to desperate measures to ensure she will make it off the island, Alma fights for her dreams of becoming a translator, even as women are denied the chance.

As the two women face the misdeeds of a system known to manipulate and abuse immigrants searching for new hope in America, they form an unlikely friendship—and share a terrible secret—altering their fates and the lives of the immigrants who come after them.

“I absolutely love books about immigrants. This one is right up my alley.”

Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley at Bookfan.

Kara Sullivan’s life is full of love—albeit fictional. As a bestselling romance novelist and influential bookstagrammer, she’s fine with getting her happily-ever-after fix between the covers of a book.

But right now? Not only is Kara’s best friend getting married next week—which means big wedding stress—but the deadline for her next novel is looming, and she hasn’t written a single word. The last thing she needs is for her infuriating first love, Ryan Thompson, to suddenly appear in the wedding party. But Ryan’s unexpected arrival sparks a creative awakening in Kara that inspires the steamy historical romance she desperately needs to deliver.

With her wedding duties intensifying, her deadline getting closer by the second and her bills not paying themselves, Kara knows there’s only one way for her to finish her book and to give her characters the ever-after they deserve. But can she embrace the unlikely, ruggedly handsome muse—who pushes every one of her buttons—to save the wedding, her career and, just maybe, write her own happy ending?

“Sometimes you need a romance that incorporates comedy. This seems like a good one.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

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

A Glimmer of a Clue (A Fairy Garden Mystery #2) by Daryl Wood Gerber found at vvb32reads.

When Courtney’s friend Wanda gets into a ponytail-pulling wrestling match in public with a nasty local art critic, Courtney stops the fight with the help of a garden hose. But Lana Lamar has a talent for escalating things and creating tension, which she succeeds in doing by threatening a lawsuit, getting into yet another scuffle–in the midst of an elegant fundraiser, no less–and lobbing insults around like pickleballs.

Next thing Courtney knows, Lana is on the floor, stabbed with a decorative letter opener from one of Courtney’s fairy gardens, and Wanda is standing by asking What have I done? But the answer may not be as obvious as it seems, since Wanda is prone to sleepwalking and appears to be in a daze. Could she have risen from her nap and committed murder while unconscious? Or is the guilty party someone else Lana’s ticked off, like her long-suffering husband? To find out, Courtney will have to dig up some dirt…

“vvb32reads actually had three tea related cozy mysteries that looked good. I liked this one for the Fairy Garden.”

The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke found at Silver Reviews.

Two sisters go missing on a remote Scottish island. Twenty years later, one is found–but she’s still the same age as when she disappeared. The secrets of witches have reached across the centuries in this chilling Gothic thriller from the author of the acclaimed The Nesting.

When single mother Liv is commissioned to paint a mural in a 100-year-old lighthouse on a remote Scottish island, it’s an opportunity to start over with her three daughters–Luna, Sapphire, and Clover. When two of her daughters go missing, she’s frantic. She learns that the cave beneath the lighthouse was once a prison for women accused of witchcraft. The locals warn her about wildlings, supernatural beings who mimic human children, created by witches for revenge. Liv is told wildlings are dangerous and must be killed.

Twenty-two years later, Luna has been searching for her missing sisters and mother. When she receives a call about her youngest sister, Clover, she’s initially ecstatic. Clover is the sister she remembers–except she’s still seven years old, the age she was when she vanished. Luna is worried Clover is a wildling. Luna has few memories of her time on the island, but she’ll have to return to find the truth of what happened to her family. But she doesn’t realize just how much the truth will change her.

“I am drawn to lighthouses and this plot sounds intriguing.”

SERENA:

Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen at vvb32reads.

When Huong arrives in New Orleans with her two young sons, she is jobless, homeless, and worried about her husband, Cong, who remains in Vietnam. As she and her boys begin to settle in to life in America, she continues to send letters and tapes back to Cong, hopeful that they will be reunited and her children will grow up with a father.

But with time, Huong realizes she will never see her husband again. While she copes with this loss, her sons, Tuan and Binh grow up in their absent father’s shadow, haunted by a man and a country trapped in their memory and imagination. As they push forward, the three adapt to life in America in different ways: Huong takes up with a Vietnamese car salesman who is also new in town; Tuan tries to connect with his heritage by joining a local Vietnamese gang; and Binh, now going by Ben, embraces his adopted homeland and his burgeoning sexuality. Their search for identity–as individuals and as a family–threatens to tear them apart. But then disaster strikes the city they now call home, and they must find a new way to come together and honor the ties that bind them.

“This is an immigration story that has a lot of elements and nuance to it, and when disaster hits, what is going to hold this spiraling family together?”

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris at Sam Still Reading.

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.

Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.

It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.

A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.

“This sounds intriguing. I really want to know what is going on.”

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 weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

SERENA:

Sisters of the Resistance by Christine Wells at Silver’s Reviews. 55507042

Set in the thick of the Paris Resistance movement during WWII, this exciting novel tells of the deep involvement of Catherine Dior and two young women who risked their lives to support her efforts—perfect for fans of Kate Quinn and Jennifer Chiaverini.

France, 1944: The Nazis still occupy Paris, and twenty-five-year-old Gabby Foucher hates these enemies, though, as the concierge of ten rue Royale, she makes it a point to avoid trouble, unlike her sister Yvette. Until she, like her sister, is recruited into the Resistance by Catherine Dior—sister of the fashion designer, Christian Dior.

Gabby and Yvette are both swept into the world of spies, fugitives, and Resistance workers, and it doesn’t take long for the sisters to realize that their lives are in danger.

Gabby discovers an elderly tenant is hiding a wounded British fugitive, and Yvette becomes a messenger for the Resistance. But as Gabby begins to fall in love with her patient and Yvette’s impulsiveness lead her into intrigue at an ever-higher level, both women will discover that their hearts and even their souls hang in the balance as well.

This page-turning novel is perfect for any reader fascinated by the role of women during World War II, whose stories are often untold, and introduces us to Catherine Dior, the fearless real-life Resistance hero. 

“Resistance recruits fascinate me, and this is a story of two sisters in WWII.”


Small Acts of DefianceSmall Acts of Defiance by Michelle Wright at Sam Still Reading.

May, 1940: After a bitter tragedy, young Australian woman Lucie and her French mother Yvonne are forced to leave home and seek help from the only family they have left-Lucie’s uncle, Gerard.

As the Second World War engulfs Europe, the two women find themselves trapped in German-occupied Paris, sharing a cramped apartment with the authoritarian Gerard and his extremist views.

Drawing upon her artistic talents, Lucie risks her own safety to engage in small acts of defiance against the occupying forces and the collaborationist French regime, where the authorities reward French citizens for denouncing so-called ‘traitors’ in their community.

Faced with the escalating brutality of anti-Jewish measures, and the indifference of so many of her fellow Parisians, Lucie must decide how far she will go to defend the rights of others.

“This is a different take on WWII resistance — small acts of defiance and how those can make an impact.”

——–

MARTHA:
The Escapement by Lavie Tidhar found at A Universe in Words.51620343

In this dazzling new novel evoking Westerns, surrealism, epic fantasy, mythology, and circus extravaganzas, World Fantasy Award winner Lavie Tidhar (Central Station) has created an incomparable dreamscape of dark comedy, heartbreak, hope, and adventure. Chronicling a lone man’s quest in parallel worlds, The Escapement offers the archetypal darkness of Stephen King’s The Gunslinger within the dark whimsy of a child’s imagination.

Into the Escapement rides the Stranger, a lone gunman on a quest to rescue his son in a strange parallel reality. But it is easy to lose one’s way on an endlessly shifting, unpredictable landscape. Especially in a place full of dangerous mirror-images of a child’s beloved things: lawless heroes, giants made of stone, downtrodden clowns, spectacular symbol storms, and an endless war between gods and shadowy beings.

As the Stranger has learned, the Escapement is a dreamscape of deep mysteries, unlikely allies, and unwinnable battles. Yet the flower the he seeks still lies beyond the Mountains of Darkness. Time is running out as the Stranger journeys deeper into the secret heart of an unimaginable world.

In his most compelling work to date, Lavie Tidhar has delivered a multicolored tapestry of dazzling imagery. The Escapement is an epic, wildly original chronicle of the extraordinary lengths to which one will go for love.

“I love color so the cover caught my eye. The blurb kept my interest.”

——–

For the Wolf (The Wilderwood, 1) by Hannah Whitten found at Drey’s Library.

53418394

The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn’t the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.

“I am drawn to books that mention “wolf” and Drey had two this week.”

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

3 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:

56025845The Lucky Escape by Laura Jane Williams at Fiction Books.

ONE CANCELLED WEDDING

When the day finally comes for Annie to marry Alexander, the last thing she expects is to be left standing at the altar. She was so sure he was Mr Right. Now, she has no idea how she could have got it so wrong.

ONE UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTER

After a chance meeting with Patrick, an old friend who reminds her of who she used to be, Annie takes a vow of her own: she’ll say yes to every opportunity that comes her way from now on.

ONE SPARE TICKET FOR THE HONEYMOON

Could a spontaneous trip with Patrick be the way to mend Annie’s heart? She’s about to find out as she embarks on her honeymoon – with a man who’s not her husband…

“Sometimes you need an escape, and this sounds like it could be fun. I need something lighter.”


54985743People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry at the infinite curio.

Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

“Yes, surprising, another beach-like read for me this week. I am in the need for lighter fare.”

——–

MARTHA:
Rabbits

Rabbits by Terry Miles found at Drey’s Library.

A deadly underground game might just be altering reality itself in this all-new adventure set in the world of the hit Rabbits podcast.

“A taut mystery for a time of conspiratorial madness.”—Cory Doctorow

It’s an average work day. You’ve been wrapped up in a task, and you check the clock when you come up for air—4:44 p.m. You check your email, and 44 unread messages have built up. With a shock, you realize the date is April 4—4/4. And when you get in your car to drive home, your odometer reads 44,444.

Coincidence? Or have you just seen the edge of a rabbit hole?

Rabbits is a mysterious alternate reality game so vast it uses the entire world as its canvas.

Since the game started in 1959, ten iterations have appeared and nine winners have been declared. The identities of these winners are unknown.

So is their reward, which is whispered to be NSA or CIA recruitment, vast wealth, immortality, or perhaps even the key to the secrets of the universe itself.

But the deeper you get, the more dangerous the game becomes. Players have died in the past—and the body count is rising.

And now the eleventh round is about to begin.

Enter K—a Rabbits obsessive who has been trying to find a way into the game for years. That path opens when K is approached by billionaire Alan Scarpio, rumored to be the winner of the sixth iteration. Scarpio says that something has gone wrong with the game and that K needs to fix it before Eleven starts, or the whole world will pay the price.

Five days later, Scarpio is declared missing.

Two weeks after that, K blows the deadline: Eleven begins.

And suddenly, the fate of the entire universe is at stake..

“The cover of this technothriller caught my eye and made me check the blurb.”

——–

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave found at The Infinite Curio.

LastThingToldMeWe all have stories we never tell.
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her.

Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.

“I am pretty sure I saw this a week or so ago and it sounds interesting to me.”

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:
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir found at The Infinite Curio.

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission–and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

Part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian–while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

“I really enjoyed The Martian and I didn’t realize that Weir had a new book out. This caught my eye when I saw it.”

——–

In Another Light: A Novel by A. J. Banner found at Book Reviews at Linda Moore.

The death of a look-alike stranger leads a grieving woman down a troubling path in this riveting novel by A. J. Banner, bestselling author of The Poison Garden.

Three years ago mortuary cosmetologist Phoebe Glassman lost her husband in a tragic accident. No longer the hopeful wife and mother she once was, Phoebe is disappearing into her grief and into the quietude of her job—restoring to the dead the illusion of life. Then the body of a woman named Pauline Steele arrives in the mortuary, and for Phoebe, everything changes.

Pauline is unmistakably Phoebe’s mirror image and bears an alarmingly familiar tattoo. Even more startling is that among Pauline’s effects is a faded photograph of Phoebe. Aided by an eccentric colleague, her curiosity sparked, Phoebe investigates her doppelgänger’s life and death—and uncovers surprising clues to a shared past.

Phoebe’s emotional journey soon leads to shocking revelations about those closest to her…and even herself. When she’s driven to the brink, how much of what she discovers can she trust?

“I tend to be interested in stories with double images/twins.”

——–

SERENA:

Maggie Finds Her Muse by Dee Ernst from Just Reading Jess.

All Maggie Bliss needs to do is write. Forty-eight years old and newly single (again!), she ventures to Paris in a last-ditch effort to finish her manuscript. With a marvelous apartment at her fingertips and an elegant housekeeper to meet her every need, a finished book―and her dream of finally taking her career over the top―is surely within her grasp. After all, how could she find anything except inspiration in Paris, with its sophistication, food, and romance in the air?

But the clock is running out, and between her charming ex-husband arriving in France for vacation and a handsome Frenchman appearing one morning in her bathtub, Maggie’s previously undisturbed peace goes by the wayside. Charming and heartfelt, Dee Ernst’s Maggie Finds Her Muse is a delightful and feel-good novel about finding love, confidence, and inspiration in all the best places.

“Sometimes you just need an uplifting read, and I like books about writers.”

The Living and the Lost by Ellen Feldman at Silver’s Reviews.

Millie (Meike) Mosbach and her brother David, manage to escape to the States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Millie attends Bryn Mawr on a special scholarship for non-Aryan German girls and graduates to a magazine job in Philadelphia. David enlists in the army and is eventually posted to the top-secret Camp Ritchie in Maryland, which trains German-speaking men for intelligence work.

Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie, works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing; she is consumed with rage at her former country and its citizens, though she is finding it more difficult to hate in proximity. David works trying to help displaced persons build new lives, while hiding his more radical nighttime activities from his sister. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, they suffer from conflicts of rage and guilt at their own good fortune, except for Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, who seems much too eager to be fair to the Germans.

Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter day Wild West where drunken soldiers brawl; the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; werewolves, as unrepentant Nazis were called, scheme to rise again; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a decision she made as a girl in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons.

“Yes, I know, WWII books. But this sounds so interesting.”

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:
When I Last Saw You by Bette Lee Crosby found at An Interior Journey.

WhenILastSawYouFrom USA Today Bestselling Author Bette Lee Crosby comes a powerful southern saga based on a true story… Betrayal and secrets tore her family apart decades ago, now a lonely widow must search for the pieces of her broken childhood.
WHEN I LAST SAW YOU

GEORGIA, 1968 – Margaret Rose McCutcheon has just buried her husband and must now name a beneficiary for their estate in case of her demise. She is hard-pressed to do so because there is no one. No children. No family. At least none to speak of. At one time, she had two sisters and six brothers, but the lot of them were scattered to the four winds, with no one knowing where the others went. In the hope of finding at least one of her siblings, Margaret hires a detective and sets off on a journey to uncover the truth of why the family broke apart as it did.

WEST VIRGINIA, 1901 – When Eliza Hobbs gives birth to her sixth child, her husband is not there to welcome his daughter into the world. No surprise, because Martin is seldom there. He works in Charleston and returns to Coal Creek only when he has a mind to. Yes, he sends money on occasion, but seldom enough to make ends meet. Although Eliza believes each new child a blessing, he sees them as yet another responsibility on his already overloaded shoulders. When he discovers another child is on the way, he demands she get rid of it. he stops returning home and there is no more money.

Left with the children, a mountainside patch of land, and a house in sorry need of repair, Eliza seeks help and turns to someone powerful enough to hold sway over Martin and force him into providing for his family. Pushed to the brink, Martin does something unforgivable and the family is forever torn apart.

Now, after all these years, will Margaret be the one to find the pieces of her broken family?

“I like stories with dual threads and this one sounds good.”

——–

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray found at Silver’s Reviews.
PersonalLibrarian

The remarkable, little-known story of Belle da Costa Greene, J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian–who became one of the most powerful women in New York despite the dangerous secret she kept in order to make her dreams come true, from New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray.

In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture on the New York society scene and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps build a world-class collection.

But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white–her complexion is dark because she is African American.

The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths to which she must go–for the protection of her family and her legacy–to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.

“The word ‘Librarian’ caught my eye, then I read the blurb – interesting!”

——–

SERENA:
The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson at Drey’s Library, Silver’s Reviews, and BookFan.

Lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother.

Joining a band of eccentric yet dedicated locals in a campaign to keep the library, June opens herself up to other people for the first time since her mother died. It just so happens that her old school friend Alex Chen is back in town and willing to lend a helping hand. The kindhearted lawyer’s feelings for her are obvious to everyone but June, who won’t believe that anyone could ever care for her in that way.

To save the place and the books that mean so much to her, June must finally make some changes to her life. For once, she’s determined not to go down without a fight. And maybe, in fighting for her cherished library, June can save herself, too.

“This one was in a lot of mailboxes this week, and I have a soft spot for lonely characters and good causes.”

The Paris Collaborator by A.W. Hammond at Sam Still Reading.

He’ll do anything to save her … even work for the enemy.

August, 1944. In German-occupied Paris, former schoolteacher Auguste Duchene has stumbled upon an unusual way to survive: he finds missing people. When he’s approached by the French Resistance to locate a missing priest – and a cache of stolen weapons – Duchene initially refuses. But the Resistance offer him no choice. Within hours, he’s also blackmailed by a powerful Nazi into searching for a German soldier who’s suspected of deserting.

To fail at either task will have deadly consequences for Duchene – and for his daughter Marienne.

So begins a frantic race against time. As forces close in on Paris, Duchene has only 48 hours to locate the missing priest and soldier, or lose the only person he loves…

“WWII, doing anything for love? Yes, I’m sold on this one.”

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 Living and the Lost by Ellen Feldman found at Silver’s Reviews.

From the author of Paris Never Leaves You, a gripping story of a young German Jewish woman who returns to Allied Occupied Berlin from America to face the past and unexpected future

Millie Mosbach and her brother David escaped to the United States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, the siblings suffer from rage at Germany and guilt at their own good fortune. Only Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, seems strangely eager to be fair to the Germans.

Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter day Wild West where the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a past decision made in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons. Atmospheric and page-turning, The Living and the Lost is a story of survival, love, and forgiveness, of others and of self.

I think everyone knew I would pick this one.

——–


The Widows of Champagne by Renee Ryan found at Silver’s Reviews.

For readers of Lilac Girls and The Lost Girls of Paris comes a captivating novel of resilience, as three generations of women battle to save their family’s vineyard during WWII.

Champagne, 1939

Gabrielle Leblanc Dupree is taking her family’s future into her hands. While she should be preparing for a lavish party to celebrate two centuries of champagne making, she secretly hides Chateau Fouché-Leblanc’s most precious vintages behind a fake wall in the cellar in preparation for the looming war. But when she joins the resistance, the coveted champagne isn’t the most dangerous secret her cellar must conceal…

A former Parisian socialite, Gabrielle’s mother, Hélène, lost her husband to another war. Now her home has been requisitioned by the Germans, who pillage vineyards to satisfy the Third Reich’s thirst for the finest champagne. There’s even more at stake than Hélène dares admit. She has kept her heritage a secret…and no one is safe in Nazi-occupied France.

Josephine, the family matriarch, watches as her beloved vineyard faces its most difficult harvest yet. As her daughter-in-law and granddaughters contend with the enemies and unexpected allies in their midst, Josephine’s deep faith leads to her own path of resistance.

Across years and continents, the Leblanc women will draw on their courage and wits, determined against all odds to preserve their lives, their freedom and their legacy…

Yes, I know. Two WWII books and from the same blog. I cannot help myself.

——–

MARTHA

The Coward (Quest for Heroes #1) by Stephen Aryan found at A Universe in Words.

Who will take up the mantle and slay the evil in the Frozen North, saving all from death and destruction? Not Kell Kressia, he’s done his part…

Kell Kressia is a legend, a celebrity, a hero. Aged just seventeen he set out on an epic quest with a band of grizzled fighters to slay the Ice Lich and save the world, but only he returned victorious. The Lich was dead, the ice receded and the Five Kingdoms were safe.

Ten years have passed Kell lives a quiet farmer’s life, while stories about his heroism are told in every tavern across the length and breadth of the land. But now a new terror has arisen in the north. Beyond the frozen circle, north of the Frostrunner clans, something has taken up residence in the Lich’s abandoned castle. And the ice is beginning to creep south once more.

For the second time, Kell is called upon to take up his famous sword, Slayer, and battle the forces of darkness. But he has a terrible secret that nobody knows. He’s not a hero – he was just lucky. Everyone puts their faith in Kell the Legend, but he’s a coward who has no intention of risking his life for anyone…

“I like stories of heroes – even reluctant ones. I suspect there is more to Kell than the blurb says and I’d like to know.”

——–

How to Mend a Broken Heart by Rachael Johns found at The Burgeoning Bookshelf.

Summer in New Orleans means hot days, long nights, spooky stories and surprising new beginnings.

Felicity Bell has struggled to move on after her marriage broke down. Her ex has found love again, her children have their own lives, and it’s beginning to feel like her only comfort comes from her dog and her job as a taxidermist. So when Flick gets an offer to work in New Orleans for a few months, she’s drawn to the chance to make a fresh start.

Zoe is ready to start a family with her husband, but when he betrays her, she’s left shattered and desperate for a change of scenery. Joining her mother on the other side of the world to drown her sorrows seems the perfect solution.

Although both mother and daughter are wary of risking their hearts to love again, Theo, a jazz bar owner, and Jack, a local ghost hunter, offer fun, friendship and distraction. But all is not as it seems in New Orleans…

A chance meeting with Aurelia, a reclusive artist who surprises them with lessons from her life, prompts Flick and Zoe to reassess what they want too. Can all three women learn from the past in order to embrace their future?

An uplifting novel about three women joyously learning to move on after heartbreak by the bestselling author of The Patterson Girls and Flying The Nest.

“Sometimes I like a story with women of mature age. Add a ghost hunter and New Orleans and I’m interested.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment
DragonLegends

At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

SERENA

PaintingTimePainting Time by Maylis de Kerangal, trans. by Jessica Moore, found at A Universe In Words.

Named a most anticipated book of 2021 by The Guardian | The Millions

An aesthetic and existential coming-of-age novel exploring the apprenticeship of a young female painter.

In Maylis de Kerangal’s Painting Time, we are introduced to the burgeoning young artist Paula Karst, who is enrolled at the famous Institut de Peinture in Brussels. Unlike the friends she makes at school, Paula strives to understand the specifics of what she’s painting―replicating a wood’s essence or a marble’s wear requires method, technique, and talent, she finds, but also something else: craftsmanship. She resolutely chooses the painstaking demands of craft over the abstraction of high art.

With the attention of a documentary filmmaker, de Kerangal follows Paula’s apprenticeship, punctuated by brushstrokes, hard work, sleepless nights, sore muscles, and long, festive evenings. After completing her studies at the Institute, Paula continues to practice her art in Paris, in Moscow, then in Italy on the sets of great films, all as if rehearsing for a grand finale: a job working on Lascaux IV, a facsimile reproduction of the world’s most famous paleolithic cave art and the apotheosis of human cultural expression.

An enchanted, atmospheric, and highly aesthetic coming-of-age novel, Painting Time is an intimate and unsparing exploration of craft, inspiration, and the contours of the contemporary art world. As she did in her acclaimed novels The Heart and The Cook, Maylis de Kerangal unravels a tightly wound professional world to reveal the beauty within.

“I love books about artists, and this is a coming of age novel like no other I’ve read.”

——–


Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne found at The Infinite Curio.

SecondFirst Distraction (n): an extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.

Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center.

Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too.

Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin.

Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade.

“I can relate to someone who gets so into their work and obligations that they forget there are pleasures out there to be had beyond work. This sounds like a good escape book for me.”

——–

MARTHA

PaperandBlood

Paper & Blood by Kevin Hearne found at Amber Stults.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles comes book two of an “action-packed, enchantingly fun” (Booklist) spin-off series, as an eccentric master of rare magic solves a supernatural mystery Down Under!

There’s only one Al MacBharrais: Though other Scotsmen may have dramatic mustaches and a taste for fancy cocktails, Al also has a unique talent. He’s a master of ink and sigil magic. In his gifted hands, paper and pen can work wondrous spells.

But Al isn’t quite alone: He is part of a global network of sigil agents who use their powers to protect the world from mischievous gods and strange monsters. So when a fellow agent disappears under sinister circumstances in Australia, Al leaves behind the cozy pubs and cafes of Glasgow and travels to the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria to solve the mystery.

The trail to his colleague begins to pile up with bodies at alarming speed, so Al is grateful his friends have come to help—especially Nadia, his accountant who moonlights as a pit fighter. Together with a whisky-loving hobgoblin known as Buck Foi and the ancient Druid Atticus O’Sullivan, along with his dogs, Oberon and Starbuck, Al and Nadia will face down the wildest wonders Australia—and the supernatural world—can throw at them, and confront a legendary monster not seen in centuries.

“I enjoyed the Iron Druid series and didn’t realize there is a new spin-off.”

——–

Find Me First by Linwood Barclay found at Silver’s Reviews.

FindYouFirstThe New York Times bestselling author of Elevator Pitch and master of psychological suspense returns with a riveting thriller in which the possible heirs of a dying tech millionaire are mysteriously being eliminated, one by one.

“Find You First starts with a bang and ends with an even bigger one. . . . It’s the best book of his career.” —Stephen King

Tech millionaire Miles Cookson has more money than he can ever spend, and everything he could dream of—except time. He has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and there is a fifty percent chance that it can be passed on to the next generation. For Miles, this means taking a long hard look at his past . . .

Two decades ago, a young, struggling Miles was a sperm donor. Somewhere out there, he has kids—nine of them. And they might be about to inherit both the good and the bad from him—maybe his fortune, or maybe something much worse.

As Miles begins to search for the children he’s never known, aspiring film documentarian Chloe Swanson embarks on a quest to find her biological father, armed with the knowledge that twenty-two years ago, her mother used a New York sperm bank to become pregnant.

When Miles and Chloe eventually connect, their excitement at finding each other is overshadowed by a series of mysterious and terrifying events. One by one, Miles’s other potential heirs are vanishing—every trace of them wiped, like they never existed at all.

Who is the vicious killer—another heir methodically erasing rivals? Or is something even more sinister going on?
It’s a deadly race against time . . .

“This looks like a really good thriller.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

8 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

Garden in a Seed by Nazanin Mersadeghi found at Bookworm.

GARDEN IN A SEED is a collection of modern poems touching on the subjects of self-worth, love, loss, and survival. The poems in this collection reflect the emotional struggles of women, especially when it comes to discovering their true and authentic voices. These short poems shed light on the enormous strengths hidden in the human soul. They remind us that despite experiencing despair and sorrow, we are all capable of healing.

I love poetry and this sounds interesting.”

——–


You Love Me byCarolyn Kepnes found at The Infinite Curio.

Joe is done with the cities. He’s done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now, he’s saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cozy island in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in a long time, he can just breathe.

He gets a job at the local library—he does know a thing or two about books—and that’s where he meets her: Mary Kay DiMarco. Librarian. Joe won’t meddle, he will not obsess. He’ll win her the old-fashioned way… by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they’ll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town.

The trouble is… Mary Kay already has a life. She’s a mother. She’s a friend. She’s… busy.

True love can only triumph if both people are willing to make room for the real thing. Joe cleared his decks. He’s ready. And hopefully, with his encouragement and undying support, Mary Kay will do the right thing and make room for him.

I’ve read the first of this author’s books in this series. I’d love to read more.

——–

MARTHA

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel found at Silver’s Reviews.

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

An engaging and evocative novel reminiscent of The Lost Girls of Paris and The Alice Network, The Book of Lost Names is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of bravery and love in the face of evil.

“A book with “Book” in the title always catches my eye and doesn’t this one, with dual timelines, sound good.”

——–

Beyond Me by Kathi Macias at The Book Connection.

Written in a warm, personal, and easy-to-read-and-understand style, Beyond Me is an invitation to pursue true discipleship. Beyond Me will help you clearly see the distinction between your ever-increasing clash of cultures—the clash between life and death or, in other words, wanting to live in such a way that puts others first but struggling with your desire for self-preservation. Full of poignant, humorous, but always vulnerable and meaningful examples, Beyond Me has current, historical, and biblically documented insights and teachings to support this higher calling for believers to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Each chapter contains interactive application questions, and the content addresses such topics as having a heart that is conciliatory, merciful, and gracious; loves unconditionally; seeks God and His righteousness first; depends on God; and answers the call to sacrificial service.

“I am always drawn to books that would help me be a better believer/follower.”

What books caught your eyes this week?