Books That Caught Our Eye

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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:

A Nancy Drew Christmas by Carolyn Keene at Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf.

Nancy finds herself a Christmas mystery in this super special eighteenth book of the Nancy Drew Diaries series, a fresh approach to the classic mystery series.

Nancy Drew’s dad surprises her with a trip to a beautiful New England ski resort for Christmas break. Nancy is so excited. What could be better than a whole week of skiing and five-star dining?

But no vacation can go smoothly when Nancy is involved. On her very first run down the slopes, Nancy hits a bad patch of ice and takes a serious tumble. A doctor sends her back to the hotel in a cast and mandates twelve days of bed rest. That means no long car trips back to River Heights and twelve days of sitting around. Luckily, there’s still the five-star dining and beautiful views.
Just hours into her convalescence, Nancy witnesses something very suspicious through another hotel room window. And when she presses the concierge she learns there have been mysterious break-ins throughout the hotel. It’s clear someone has been going into guest’s rooms but, as far as anyone can tell, nothing has been taken. Nancy can’t resist-she has to investigate. Only trouble is, she’s still bed bound.

Taking some cues from Home Alone’s Kevin McCallister, Nancy devises some clever schemes to get her investigating done from her bed. But for all her plans, Nancy still can’t find the source of the break-ins. Or the purpose. What’s worse the mood of the hotel has turned decidedly un-merry. People are leaving in droves and the jolly hotel owner is worried about the hotel’s success.

With all the odds stacked against her, can Nancy solve this crime in time to save Christmas? Or is this one Yuletide she’ll wish to forget?

“Holiday classic YA female sleuthing mystery would be good cozy time reading.”

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult at The Burgeoning Bookshelf.

In the breathtaking beauty of the Galapagos Islands, Diana will learn who she really is, and the person she wants to become, in Jodi’s deeply moving novel about the resilience of the human spirit.
Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose – days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.
But now she is stranded, alone on what was planned to be a romantic idyll with Finn. Unfortunately, Finn is trapped thousands of miles away, and Diana is on one of the world’s most beautiful islands with no food, no luggage, and no place to stay, forced to test her personal limits to survive.
Struggling to find her feet, Diana gradually connects with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to her. As Diana helps her fight her demons she learns more about herself, and about the islands of Galapagos, where Darwin developed his theory of evolution. The dramatic and sometimes dangerous terrain reflects Diana’s own experiences, her new relationships and growing awareness that she too is evolving into someone quite different.
A near-death experience brings Diana abruptly back to familiar city surroundings, where she tries to pick up the threads of her old life. Has she changed or have the people around her? Diana is no longer prepared to be just a follower, at work or in her relationships. She breaks down years of estrangement with her mother, takes the initiative in her career, and looks at Finn through new eyes.
“Curious to see the evolution of this character.”

SERENA:

The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur at vvb32 Reads.

Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest, near a gruesome crime scene. The only thing they remember: Their captor wore a painted-white mask.

To escape the haunting memories of this incident, the family flees their hometown. Years later, Detective Min—Hwani’s father—learns that thirteen girls have recently disappeared under similar circumstances, and so he returns to their hometown to investigate… only to vanish as well.

Determined to find her father and solve the case that tore their family apart, Hwani returns home to pick up the trail. As she digs into the secrets of the small village—and reconnects with her now estranged sister—Hwani comes to realize that the answer lies within her own buried memories of what happened in the forest all those years ago.

After her father vanishes while investigating the disappearance of 13 young women, a teen returns to her secretive hometown to pick up the trail in this second YA historical mystery from the author of The Silence of Bones.

“Sometimes you need a good mystery.”

The German Wife by Debbie Rix at Silver’s Reviews.

Germany, 1939: Annaliese is a doctor’s wife, living in an elegant grey stone house with ivy creeping over the balcony. But when her husband is ordered to work at the Dachau labour camp, her ordinary life is turned upside down by the horrors of war. And Annaliese finds herself in grave danger when she dares to fight for love and freedom…

America, 1989: Turning the pages of the newspaper, Annaliese gasps when she recognizes the face of a man she thought she’d never see again. It makes her heart skip a beat as a rush of wartime memories come back to her. As she reads on, she realizes the past is catching up with her. She must confront a decades-old secret – or risk losing everything…

Germany, 1942: Annaliese’s marriage is beginning to crumble. Her husband, Hans, has grown cold and secretive since starting his new job as a doctor at Dachau. When a tall, handsome Russian prisoner named Alexander is sent from the camp to work in their garden, lonely Annaliese finds herself drawn to him as they tend to the plants together. In snatched moments and broken whispers, Alexander tells her the truth about the shocking conditions at the camp. Horrified, Annaliese vows to do everything she can to save him.

But as they grow closer, their feelings for each other put them both in terrible danger. And when Annaliese falls pregnant she has to make an impossible decision between protecting herself and saving the love of her life…

“Yes, I cannot pass these WWII books by.”

MARTHA:

ThisGoldenStateThis Golden State by Marit Weisenberg found at Kait Plus Books.

The Winslow family lives by five principles:
1. No one can know your real name.
2. Don’t stay in one place too long.
3. If you sense anything is wrong, go immediately to the meeting spot.
4. Keeping our family together is everything.
5. We wish we could tell you who we are, but we can’t. Please—do not ask.
Poppy doesn’t know why her family has been running her whole life, but she does know that there are dire consequences if they’re ever caught. Still, her curiosity grows each year, as does her desire for real friends and the chance to build on something, instead of leaving behind school projects, teams, and crushes at a moment’s notice.

When a move to California exposes a crack in her parents’ airtight planning, Poppy realizes how fragile her world is. Determined to find out the truth, she mails in a home DNA test. Just as she starts to settle into her new life and even begins opening up to a boy in her math class, the forgotten test results bring her crashing back to reality.

Unraveling the shocking truth of her parents’ real identities, Poppy realizes that the DNA test has undone decades of careful work to keep her family anonymous—and the past is dangerously close to catching up to them. Determined to protect her family but desperate for more, Poppy must ask: How much of herself does she owe her family? And is it a betrayal to find her own place in the world?

“The premise of this drew my eye. I want to know the secrets.”

The Last Checkmate by Gabriella Saab found at Silver’s Reviews.TheLastCheckmate

Maria Florkowska is many things: daughter, avid chess player, and, as a member of the Polish underground resistance in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, a young woman brave beyond her years. Captured by the Gestapo, she is imprisoned in Auschwitz, but while her family is sent to their deaths, she is spared. Realizing her ability to play chess, the sadistic camp deputy, Karl Fritzsch, decides to use her as a chess opponent to entertain the camp guards. However, once he tires of exploiting her skills, he has every intention of killing her.

Befriended by a Catholic priest, Maria attempts to overcome her grief, vows to avenge the murder of her family, and plays for her life. For four grueling years, her strategy is simple: Live. Fight. Survive. By cleverly provoking Fritzsch’s volatile nature in front of his superiors, Maria intends to orchestrate his downfall. Only then will she have a chance to evade the fate awaiting her and see him punished for his wickedness.

As she carries out her plan and the war nears its end, she challenges her former nemesis to one final game, certain to end in life or death, in failure or justice. If Maria can bear to face Fritzsch—and her past—one last time.

“This sounds good… and heart-wrenching.”
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.

VELVET:
The Bodyguard by Katherine Center at An Interior Journey and Bookfan.TheBodyguard

She’s got his back.
Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindgerten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker.
He’s got her heart.
Jack Stapleton’s a household name—captured by paparazzi on beaches the world over, famous for, among other things, rising out of the waves in all manner of clingy board shorts and glistening like a Roman deity. But a few years back, in the wake of a family tragedy, he dropped from the public eye and went off the grid.
They’ve got a secret.
When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah—against her will and her better judgment—finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover. Even though her ex, like a jerk, says no one will believe it.
What could possibly go wrong???
Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.

“The premise – so cute and fun..”

——–

TheRedPalaceThe Red Palace by June Hur at drey’s library.

To enter the palace means to walk a path stained in blood….
Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, eighteen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, and perhaps finally win her estranged father’s approval.

But Hyeon is suddenly thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics when someone murders four women in a single night, and the prime suspect is Hyeon’s closest friend and mentor. Determined to prove her beloved teacher’s innocence, Hyeon launches her own secret investigation.

In her hunt for the truth, she encounters Eojin, a young police inspector also searching for the killer. When evidence begins to point to the Crown Prince himself as the murderer, Hyeon and Eojin must work together to search the darkest corners of the palace to uncover the deadly secrets behind the bloodshed.

“Intrigued by the place and time period.”

——–

SERENA:
The Italian by Anita Abriel at Book’d Out.TheItalianGirl

Rome, 1943: Marina Tozzi adores her father Vittorio and working together in his art gallery is her only escape from the reality of the Nazi occupation of her beloved city. Not only has she inherited her father’s passion for art but Marina is gaining a reputation as an expert in her own right.

However, Vittorio is keeping a deadly secret from her. He has been hiding a Jewish artist in their basement and one day she returns home to find her father has been brutally murdered by a German officer. Devastated, Marina flees to Florence to seek help from the man who owes Vittorio his life.

Renowned American art expert Bernard Berenson offers Marina sanctuary in his beautiful villa outside Florence and puts her in charge of cataloguing his vast art library. As Marina gradually begins to heal, she becomes obsessed with finding a way to avenge her father. As the Germans and partisans fight for control of Florence, Marina discovers that Bernard is helping to save precious art from the Nazis. When handsome young artist Carlos approaches Marina to help the partisans by using her expertise to value artworks for the cause, she has at last found her purpose.

In one daring act, Marina risks her life to save a priceless painting from falling into Nazi hands and proves herself to the partisans. But falling in love with Carlos was not part of her plan. When Carlos suddenly disappears, Marina’s dreams about life after the war with him turn to ash – and she’ll have to travel halfway around the world to unravel the truth.

“Love the WWII setting, and the art appeals to me.”

——–

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan at Book’d Out.TheKitchenFront

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

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

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

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

“I loved Ryan’s last book, so this pick was easy for me this week.”

——–

MARTHA:
AWomanofIntelligenceA Woman of Intelligence by Karin Talabe found at Sam Still Reading.

An exhilarating tale of one remarkable woman’s journey to find her purpose, and herself, in post-war America. Hailed as ‘whip smart’ by Australian Women’s Weekly.

New York, 1954. A Fifth Avenue address, parties at the Plaza, two healthy sons and the ideal husband: what looks like a perfect life for Katharina Edgeworth is anything but.

As a single girl in 1940s Manhattan, Katharina was a translator at the newly formed United Nations, devoting her days to her work and the promise of world peace – and her nights to cocktails and the promise of a good time.

Now the wife of a beloved pediatric surgeon and heir to a shipping fortune, Katharina is trapped in a gilded cage, desperate to escape the constraints of domesticity. So when she is approached by the FBI and asked to join their ranks as an informant, Katharina seizes the opportunity. A man from her past has become a high-level Soviet spy, but no one has been able to infiltrate his circle.

Enter Katharina, the perfect woman for the job.

Navigating the demands of the FBI and the secrets of the KGB, she becomes enthralled by her secret mission. But as those closest to her lose their covers, and their lives, Katharina’s secret soon threatens to ruin her.

“This sounds intriguing to me – and I like thte yellow outfit.”

——–

AStitchInTime A Stitch in Time (A Stitch in Time #1) by Kelley Armstrong found at The Infinite Curio.

Thorne Manor has always been haunted…and it has always haunted Bronwyn Dale. As a young girl, Bronwyn could pass through a time slip in her great-aunt’s house, where she visited William Thorne, a boy her own age, born two centuries earlier. After a family tragedy, the house was shuttered and Bronwyn was convinced that William existed only in her imagination.

Now, twenty years later Bronwyn inherits Thorne Manor. And when she returns, William is waiting.

William Thorne is no longer the boy she remembers. He’s a difficult and tempestuous man, his own life marred by tragedy and a scandal that had him retreating to self-imposed exile in his beloved moors. He’s also none too pleased with Bronwyn for abandoning him all those years ago.

As their friendship rekindles and sparks into something more, Bronwyn must also deal with ghosts in the present version of the house. Soon she realizes they are linked to William and the secret scandal that drove him back to Thorne Manor. To build a future, Bronwyn must confront the past.

“I do like time travel and with a ghostly element this caught my eye.”

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:
The Mayfair Bookshop by Eliza Knight at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.MayfairBookshop

1938: She was one of the six sparkling Mitford sisters, known for her stinging quips, stylish dress, and bright green eyes. But Nancy Mitford’s seemingly dazzling life was really one of turmoil: with a perpetually unfaithful and broke husband, two Nazi sympathizer sisters, and her hopes of motherhood dashed forever. With war imminent, Nancy finds respite by taking a job at the Heywood Hill Bookshop in Mayfair, hoping to make ends meet, and discovers a new life.

Present Day: When book curator Lucy St. Clair lands a gig working at Heywood Hill she can’t get on the plane fast enough. Not only can she start the healing process from the loss of her mother, it’s a dream come true to set foot in the legendary store. Doubly exciting: she brings with her a first edition of Nancy’s work, one with a somewhat mysterious inscription from the author. Soon, she discovers her life and Nancy’s are intertwined, and it all comes back to the little London bookshop—a place that changes the lives of two women from different eras in the most surprising ways.

“Curious to see how this story intertwines.”

——–

TheFellThe Fell by Sarah Moss at A Universe in Words.

At dusk on a November evening in 2020 a woman slips out of her garden gate and turns up the hill. Kate is in the middle of a two week quarantine period, but she just can’t take it anymore – the closeness of the air in her small house, the confinement. And anyway, the moor will be deserted at this time. Nobody need ever know.

But Kate’s neighbour Alice sees her leaving and Matt, Kate’s son, soon realizes she’s missing. And Kate, who planned only a quick solitary walk – a breath of open air – falls and badly injures herself. What began as a furtive walk has turned into a mountain rescue operation…

“Curious to see how these characters handle quarantine mode.”

——–

SERENA:

The Mayfair Bookshop by Eliza Knight at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.MayfairBookshop

1938: She was one of the six sparkling Mitford sisters, known for her stinging quips, stylish dress, and bright green eyes. But Nancy Mitford’s seemingly dazzling life was really one of turmoil: with a perpetually unfaithful and broke husband, two Nazi sympathizer sisters, and her hopes of motherhood dashed forever. With war imminent, Nancy finds respite by taking a job at the Heywood Hill Bookshop in Mayfair, hoping to make ends meet, and discovers a new life.

Present Day: When book curator Lucy St. Clair lands a gig working at Heywood Hill she can’t get on the plane fast enough. Not only can she start the healing process from the loss of her mother, it’s a dream come true to set foot in the legendary store. Doubly exciting: she brings with her a first edition of Nancy’s work, one with a somewhat mysterious inscription from the author. Soon, she discovers her life and Nancy’s are intertwined, and it all comes back to the little London bookshop—a place that changes the lives of two women from different eras in the most surprising ways.

“I love books that have dual story lines that come together. I want to know how this all plays out.”

——–


The Wonder Test by Michelle Richmond at An Interior Journey.

Lina is on leave from her job in New York at the FBI in order to clean out her father’s home in Silicon Valley. As though letting go of her father isn’t hard enough, Lina has also recently lost her husband in a freak traffic accident. Still reeling, she and her teenage son Rory must make their way through this strange new town and the high school around which it all seems to revolve. Rory soon starts coming home with reports of the upcoming “Wonder Test,” a general aptitude assessment that appears increasingly inane, and Lina is shaken out of her grief by a sense that something is amiss in Greenfield.

When she discovers that a student disappeared last year and was found weeks later walking on a beach, shaved and traumatized, Lina can’t help but be sucked into an impromptu investigation. Another kidnapping hits closer to home and reveals a sinister link between the Wonder Test and the rampant wealth of Silicon Valley’s elite. A searing view of a culture that puts the wellbeing of children at risk for advancement and prestige, and a captivating story of the lengths a mother will go for her son, this is The Wonder Test.

“This sounds so dystopian but something that could happen in the near future.”

——–

MARTHA:
OneForSorrowOne for Sorrow (D.I. Callanach #7) by Helen Sarah Fields found at A Universe in Words.

One for sorrow, two for joy
Edinburgh is gripped by the greatest terror it has ever known. A lone bomber is targeting victims across the city and no one is safe.

Three for a girl, four for a boy
DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach face death every day – and not just the deaths of the people being taken hostage by the killer.

Five for silver, six for gold
When it becomes clear that with every tip-off they are walking into a trap designed to kill them too, Ava and Luc know that finding the truth could mean paying the ultimate price.

Seven for a secret never to be told…
But with the threat – and body count – rising daily, and no clue as to who’s behind it, neither Ava nor Luc know whether they will live long enough to tell the tale…

“I like the rhyme in the blurb. I plan to check out this series.”

——–

WoodrowWoodrow on the Bench: Life Lessons from a Wise Old Dog by Jenna Blum found at Savvy Verse & Wit.

Since she adopted him as a puppy fifteen years earlier, Jenna Blum and Woodrow have been inseparable. Known to many as “the George Clooney of dogs” for his good looks and charm, Woodrow and his “Mommoo” are fixtures in their Boston neighborhood.

But Woodrow is aging. As he begins to fail, the true nature of his extraordinary relationship with Jenna is revealed. Jenna may be the dog parent, but it is Woodrow, with his amazing personality and trusting nature, who has much to teach her. A divorcée who has experienced her share of sadness and loss, Jenna discovers, over the months she spends caring for her ailing dog, what it is to be present in the moment, and what it truly means to love.

Aided by an amazing group of friends and buoyed by the support of strangers, Jenna and Woodrow navigate these precious final days together with kindness, humor, and grace. Their unforgettable love story will reaffirm your belief in kindness, break your heart, and leave your spirit soaring.

“The dog caught my attention and the blurb kept it.”

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:

My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci at Savvy Verse & Wit.TucciFood

Stanley Tucci grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the kitchen table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, and now he takes us beyond the savory recipes and into the compelling stories behind them.​

Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about his growing up in Westchester, New York; preparing for and shooting the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia; falling in love over dinner; and teaming up with his wife to create meals for a multitude of children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burned dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last.

Written with Stanley’s signature wry humor, Taste is for fans of Bill Buford, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Ruth Reichl—and anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.

“Sounds like a wonderful food-filled story.”

——–

SilverRiverRunThe Night Silver River Run Red by Christine Morgan at Lukten av trykksverte.

Some things, according to Cody McCall, are worth risking a whipping. Such as, sneaking out with your friends after dark for a peek at the traveling show setting up just outside of town. Oddities, the signs promise. Marvels. Grotesqueries. Exotic attractions and mysterious magics.

Not as if they’d be allowed to attend otherwise, not with parents and preacher and schoolmarm all disapproving. But how often does a chance like this come along? There isn’t much else by way of excitement in quiet, peaceful Silver River, a once-prosperous boom town slowly gone bust.

Worth risking a whipping, sure. Worth risking life and limb, and maybe more? Worth risking being ripped to pieces by ravenous, inhuman brutes? Worth crossing paths with those strange, silent cult-folk from the high valley? Worth all the fire and bloodshed and horror and death?

Because something far worse than any ordinary traveling show has come to town, and one thing is for certain: those who survive, if any, will never forget The Night Silver River Run Red.

“Soooo curious about splatter western.”

——–

SERENA:
UntilWeMeetUntil We Meet by Camille Di Maio at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

Margaret Beck is proud of her work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard sewing stars onto the Stars and Stripes, but she yearns to contribute to the war effort more meaningfully. She’s angling for a promotion to the mechanic section, but she doesn’t want to wait to make a difference. So with her two best friends, she decides to start a knitting club, where they will knit socks for the boys at the front. Thinking of the young men so far from the comforts of home, Margaret slips a note into her first pair of socks, offering a connection to an unknown soldier that will forever change her life.

For Thomas Powell serving his country was not only his duty but an honor, and he wore his Army uniform with pride. Yet being on the frontlines, witness to unspeakable tragedy and despair, has shaken him. The one shining light is Margaret’s letters—written to his best friend William. When William is killed, Tom doesn’t have the heart to write the warm, generous, and hopeful Margaret and tell her the news. Not about William’s death and not about the way he’s fallen in love with her—across an ocean, amidst the darkness of war, and through the letters she never intended for him.

Instead, he picks up his pen and responds to Margaret’s latest letter, signing it William. As the war intensifies, so does the affection between Tom and Margaret, and Tom knows he owes her the truth. But as he heads out for his most dangerous mission yet, Tom wonders—will he ever get the chance to tell her?

“I love novels set during war time, and this one sounds very romantic.”

——–

PortraitofaScotsmanPortrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore at at The Infinite Curio.

London banking heiress Hattie Greenfield wanted “just” three things in life:

1. Acclaim as an artist.
2. A noble cause.
3. Marriage to a young lord who puts the gentle in gentleman.

Why then does this Oxford scholar find herself at the altar with the darkly attractive financier Lucian Blackstone, whose murky past and ruthless business practices strike fear in the hearts of Britain’s peerage? Trust Hattie to take an invigorating little adventure too far. Now she’s stuck with a churlish Scot who just might be the end of her ambitions….

When the daughter of his business rival all but falls into his lap, Lucian sees opportunity. As a self-made man, he has vast wealth but holds little power, and Hattie might be the key to finally setting long-harbored political plans in motion. Driven by an old revenge, he has no room for his new wife’s apprehensions or romantic notions, bewitching as he finds her.

But a sudden journey to Scotland paints everything in a different light. Hattie slowly sees the real Lucian and realizes she could win everything—as long as she is prepared to lose her heart.

“This week, I seem to need a little bit of romance.”

——–

MARTHA:
SistersofNightSisters of Night and Fog by Erika Robuck found at Silvers Reviews.

1940. In a world newly burning with war, and in spite of her American family’s wishes, Virginia decides to stay in occupied France with her French husband. She’s sure that if they keep their heads down they’ll make it through. But as the call to resist the enemy grows around her, Virginia must decide if she’s willing to risk everything to help those in need.

Nineteen-year-old Violette is a crack shot with an unquenchable spirit of adventure, and she’s desperate to fight the Nazis however she can. When her mother sends her to find an exiled soldier, Violette meets the man who will change her life. Then tragedy strikes, and Britain’s clandestine war organization—the Special Operations Executive—learns of Violette’s dual citizenship and adept firearm handling and starts to recruit her. But Violette is no stranger to loss and must decide whether the cost of defiance is too great a price to pay.

Set across the European theater of WWII, Sisters of Night and Fog tells the story of two women whose clandestine deeds come to a staggering halt when they are brought together at Ravensbrück concentration camp.

“This sounds like a WWII story I would like. (I was surprised Serena didn’t pick this one.)”

——–

ThursdayMurderClubThe Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman found at vvb32reads.

Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to…
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club.

When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

“This looks like a fun, cozy mystery.”

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:

The French Gift: A Novel of World War II Paris by Kirsty Manning at Silver’s Reviews.FrenchGift

A World War II story of female friendship, longing and sacrifice through war and loss, bringing together the present and the past.
A forgotten manuscript threatens to unravel the past …

Fresne Prison, 1940: A former maid at a luxury villa on the Riviera, Margot Bisset finds herself in a prison cell with writer and French Resistance fighter Joséphine Murant. Together, they are transferred to a work camp in Germany for four years, where the secrets they share will bind them for generations to come.

Paris, around about now: Evie Black lives in Paris with her teenage son, Hugo, above her botanical bookshop, La Maison Rustique. Life would be so sweet if only Evie were not mourning the great love of her life.

When a letter arrives regarding the legacy of her husband’s great-aunt, Joséphine Murant, Evie clutches at an opportunity to spend one last magical summer with her son. They travel together to Joséphine’s house, now theirs, on the Côte d’Azur. Here, Evie unravels the official story of this famous novelist, and the truth of a murder a lifetime ago. Along the way, she will discover the little-known true story of the women who were enslaved by German forces in WWII.

Bringing together the present and the past, The French Gift is a tender and heartbreaking story of female friendship, sacrifice and loss, and the promise of new love.

“Paris and forgotten things.”

——–

LostinDarknessLost in Darkness by Michelle Griep at Vegan Book Blogger.

Even if there be monsters, there is none so fierce as that which resides in man’s own heart.
Enchanting Regency-Era Gothic Romance Intertwined with Inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Travel writer Amelia Balfour’s dream of touring Egypt is halted when she receives news of a revolutionary new surgery for her grotesquely disfigured brother. This could change everything, and it does. . .in the worst possible way.

Surgeon Graham Lambert has suspicions about the doctor he’s gone into practice with, but he can’t stop him from operating on Amelia’s brother. Will he be too late to prevent the man’s death? Or to reveal his true feelings for Amelia before she sails to Cairo?

“Regency era with a mysterious and dark vibe.”

——–

SERENA:
Pick one is The French Gift also chosen by Velvet.

——–

MurderSheWroteMonster, She Wrote The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger, Melanie R. Anderson, Narrated by Erin Bennett at Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf.

Satisfy your craving for extraordinary authors and exceptional fiction: Meet the women writers who defied convention to craft some of literature’s strangest tales, from Frankenstein to The Haunting of Hill House and beyond.

Frankenstein was just the beginning: horror stories and other weird fiction wouldn’t exist without the women who created it. From Gothic ghost stories to psychological horror to science fiction, women have been primary architects of speculative literature of all sorts. And their own life stories are as intriguing as their fiction. Everyone knows about Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein, who was rumored to keep her late husband’s heart in her desk drawer. But have you heard of Margaret “Mad Madge” Cavendish, who wrote a science-fiction epic 150 years earlier (and liked to wear topless gowns to the theater)? If you know the astounding work of Shirley Jackson, whose novel The Haunting of Hill House was reinvented as a Netflix series, then try the psychological hauntings of Violet Paget, who was openly involved in long-term romantic relationships with women in the Victorian era. You’ll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V. C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Coltor, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today’s vanguard (Helen Oyeyemi). Curated reading lists point you to their most spine-chilling tales.

Part biography, part reader’s guide, the engaging write-ups and detailed reading lists will introduce you to more than a hundred authors and over two hundred of their mysterious and spooky novels, novellas, and stories.

“I think this sounds so interesting.”

——–

MARTHA:

Lights OutLights Out (The SNAP Agency #1) by Natalie Walters Out found at Vegan Book Blogger

CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of foreign intelligence agencies to America to foster cooperation between countries. Now one of them, Egyptian spy Remon Riad, is missing.

Jack Hudson has been working for the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency (SNAP) for almost nine years and takes the lead in hunting down the missing spy. But he isn’t at all pleased to find out Brynn is involved. It’s hard to trust a woman who’s already betrayed you.

Every lead they follow draws them dangerously deeper into an international plot. Kidnapping, murder, explosions, poisoning–the terrorists will do anything to accomplish their goal of causing a digital blackout that will blind a strategic US military communications center and throw the world into chaos.

Can Brynn surrender control to a man who doesn’t trust her? And can Jack ever get over what she did to him? The fate of the world–and their hearts–hangs in the balance.

“This looks and sounds like a Christian romantic suspense that I would really like.”

——–

Remarkable AdventRemarkable Advent: God’s Extraordinary Plan Through Ordinary People by Shauna Letellier found at The Book Connection.

Read the Christmas story as if for the first time.

When was the last time you felt true Christmas wonder? Does reading the traditional story invoke bored sighs instead of astonished gasps?

What if we could hold a candle to history’s frosted window and peer into the past? In Remarkable Advent, Shauna Letellier drapes the fabric of imagination over the framework of Scripture, and the Christmas story comes to life. Through the window, you’ll see Mary readjust the knot on her belted waist. You’ll long to comfort Joseph as he wrestles with what seems to be a terrible nightmare.

Twenty-five daily readings include Scripture, an imaginative retelling of the moments leading to Christ’s birth, a devotional reflection, and a prayer. You will discover it has always been God’s intention to use ordinary people—like you and me—to fulfill his extraordinary plan.

“I like to find a good Advent book each year to help me focus on the true meaning of Christmas and this sparkling cover caught my eye.”

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.

 

MARTHA:

ValetsSecretThe Valet’s Secret by Josi S. Kilpack found at Bookfan

A passionate kiss from a handsome valet becomes a Regency Cinderella story when he is revealed to be an earl.

York, England, 1819.

As a once happily married woman, Rebecca Parker lived a charmed life, but now widowed and working for a living, she feels alone and living a mundane existence. That is until the day a valet speeding by on a horse nearly runs her off the road. Mr. Malcolm Henry is apologetic, gentle, and very handsome. She’s instantly drawn to him, which is why, rather than stopping him from kissing her, she finds herself kissing him back, reigniting a nearly forgotten passion in her. But love at first sight only happens in fairy tales—never to an ordinary woman like her.

Still, she cannot stop thinking about Mr. Henry and the kiss they shared. The more time she spends with the earl’s valet, the more she knows she cannot in good conscience allow Mr. Timoltson to continue to court her, even though a marriage to him would provide her financial security and independence from her overbearing father’s control. The heart wants what it wants, and her heart wants Mr. Henry.

But while working in the kitchens during a fancy dinner party, she sees something strange: the valet—the valet she kissed—is sitting at the right hand of the baroness. She realizes that Mr. Henry is not the earl’s valet; he is the earl—Kenneth Winterton.

Heartbroken, angry, and betrayed, Rebecca isn’t sure she can trust Lord Winterton, much less accept his apology. But when Lord Winterton proves he is as kind and gentle as “Mr. Henry” was, she finds herself willing to give him a second chance. But will he still take a chance on her, when choosing a commoner means he might lose his inheritance?

Trust, love, loneliness, and passion collide in this story about a man who will risk it all to fight for the woman he loves and a woman who no longer believes in fairy tales—until she finds herself living in one.

“‘A Regency Cinderella’ sure caught my eye for a lighter romance.”

WhoSleuthedIt

Who Sleuthed It? by Lindy Cameron found at The Burgeoning Bookshelf and Book’d Out

Fingers and feelers and paws and wings,
Solving thrillers and chillers and secretive things!

In which animals help their animal friends, or human sidekicks, solve diabolical crimes and whimsical mysteries in 19 stories by Australian, American and Irish authors.

“I love the cover! This sounds like it would be fun sleuthing reading!”

 

SERENA:

SisterGreatWarSisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman at Bookfan

August 1914. While Europe enters a brutal conflict unlike any waged before, the Duncan household in Baltimore, Maryland, is the setting for a different struggle. Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape the roles that society, and their controlling father, demand they play. Together, the sisters volunteer for the war effort–Ruth as a nurse, Elise as a driver.

Stationed at a makeshift hospital in Ypres, Belgium, Ruth soon confronts war’s harshest lesson: not everyone can be saved. Rising above the appalling conditions, she seizes an opportunity to realize her dream to practice medicine as a doctor. Elise, an accomplished mechanic, finds purpose and an unexpected kinship within the all-female Ambulance Corps. Through bombings, heartache and loss, Ruth and Elise cherish an independence rarely granted to women, unaware that their greatest challenges are still to come.

Illuminating the critical role women played in the Great War, this is a remarkable story of resilience, sacrifice and the bonds that can never be vanquished.

“I do love WWI stories, and learning about women during those times is always enlightening.”

PioneerWomanCooksSuperEasyThe Pioneer Woman Cooks – Super Easy by Ree Drummond at Silver’s Review

Between my family, my website, my cookbooks, and my TV show, I make a lot of food around here! And as much as I’ve always loved cooking (and of course, eating!), it seems that more and more these days, I’m looking for ways to simplify my life in the kitchen. I find myself gravitating toward recipes that are delicious but don’t require a lot of prep or fuss, because they free me up to have more time (and energy) for other areas of my life. This also makes cooking less of a chore and more of a pleasure—exactly what cooking should be!

The Pioneer Woman Cooks—Super Easy! will free you up and transform your cooking life as well, with 120 recipes that range from effortless breakfasts to breezy skillet meals to speedy soups to ready-in-minutes Tex-Mex delights, so you’ll have lots of options for any given meal. Many recipes in this cookbook call for step-saving (and sanity-saving) shortcuts that will revolutionize the time you spend making meals for your family, and all of them are utterly scrumptious! I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this new generation of recipes, including Butter Pecan French Toast, Buffalo Chicken Totchos, Speedy Dumpling Soup, Broccoli-Cheese Stromboli (so great for kids!), and an entire section of pastas and grains, such as One-Pot Sausage Pasta and colorful and fresh Hawaiian Shrimp Bowls. You’ll find yummy meals such as Pepperoni Fried Rice, Chicken-Fried Steak Fingers, and ultra-tasty Chicken Curry in a Hurry . . . as well as assemble-in-the-baking-dish casseroles, throw-together sheet pan suppers, and simply decadent desserts such as Mug Cakes, Coconut Cream Pie, and Brownie S’Mores Bars that you’ll dream about.

There’s something for everyone in this cookbook, and not a single recipe, ingredient, or step is complicated or difficult. Now that’s the kind of cooking we can all get behind!

“I have borrowed some of her books from the library in the past, but this one seems like a nice easy recipe cookbook I could use on a regular basis.”

VELVET:

IsolateIsolate (Grand Illusion #1) by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. at drey’s library

Industrialization.
Social unrest.
Underground movements.
Government corruption and surveillance.

Something is about to give.

Steffan Dekkard is an isolate, one of the small percentage of people who are immune to the projections of empaths. As an isolate, he has been trained as a security specialist and he and his security partner Avraal Ysella, a highly trained empath are employed by Axel Obreduur, a senior Craft Minister and the de facto political strategist of his party.

When a respected Landor Councilor dies of “heart failure” at a social event, because of his political friendship with Obreduur, Dekkard and Ysella find that not only is their employer a target, but so are they, in a covert and deadly struggle for control of the government and economy.

Steffan is about to understand that everything he believed is an illusion.

“Cover love – cool. I would like to meet these characters.”

TeaLadiesStJudesThe Tea Ladies of St Jude’s Hospital by Joanna Nell at Book’d Out

The Marjorie Marshall Memorial Cafeteria has been serving refreshments and raising money at the hospital for over fifty years, long after anybody can remember who Marjorie Marshall actually was. Staffed by successive generations of dedicated volunteers, the beloved cafeteria is known as much for offering a kind word and sympathetic ear (and often unsolicited life advice) as for its tea and buns.

Stalwart Hilary has worked her way up through the ranks to Manageress; Joy has been late every day since she started as the cafeteria’s newest recruit. She doesn’t take her role as ‘the intern’ quite as seriously as Hilary would like but there’s no doubt she brings a welcome pop of personality. Seventeen-year-old Chloe, the daughter of two successful surgeons, is volunteering during the school holidays because her mother thinks it will look good on her CV.

Chloe is at first bewildered by the two older women but soon realises they have a lot in common, not least that each bears a secret pain. When they discover the cafeteria is under threat of closure, this unlikely trio must band together to save it.

“For the tea and buns…”

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:

LightBottomWorldLight at the Bottom of the World (Light the Abyss #1) by London Shah found at Kait Plus Books

Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters.

In the last days of the twenty-first century, sea creatures swim through the ruins of London. Trapped in the abyss, humankind wavers between fear and hope—fear of what lurks in the depths around them, and hope that they might one day find a way back to the surface.

When sixteen-year-old submersible racer Leyla McQueen is chosen to participate in the prestigious annual marathon, she sees an opportunity to save her father, who has been arrested on false charges. The Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. But the race takes an unexpected turn, forcing Leyla to make an impossible choice.

Now she must brave unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a guarded, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If Leyla fails to discover the truths at the heart of her world, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture—or worse. And her father will be lost to her forever.

“I like Alternate History so this one caught my eye.”

FarFromLightFar from the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson found at drey’s library

A tense and thrilling vision of humanity’s future in the chilling emptiness of space from rising giant in science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke Award winner Tade Thompson

The colony ship Ragtime docks in the Lagos system, having traveled light-years to bring one thousand sleeping souls to a new home among the stars. But when first mate Michelle Campion rouses, she discovers some of the sleepers will never wake.

Answering Campion’s distress call, investigator Rasheed Fin is tasked with finding out who is responsible for these deaths. Soon a sinister mystery unfolds aboard the gigantic vessel, one that will have repercussions for the entire system – from the scheming politicians of Lagos station, to the colony planet Bloodroot, to other far-flung systems, and indeed to Earth itself.

“It looks like my sci-fi addiction wants feeding this week. I like covers with wolves and I like mystery deaths in closed space ships.”

SERENA:

GuillermoDelToroIconicGuillermo del Toro: The Iconic Filmmaker and his Work by Ian Nathan at A Universe in Words

Widely regarded as one of the most imaginative directors working in cinema today, Guillermo del Toro has built up a body of work that has enthralled movie fans with its dark beauty and edge-of-the-seat set pieces.

In this book, acclaimed author Ian Nathan charts the progression of a career that has produced some of contemporary cinema’s most revered scenes and idiosyncratic characters. This detailed examination looks at how the strands of del Toro’s career have woven together to create one of modern cinema’s most ground-breaking bodies of work.

Delving deep into del Toro’s psyche, the book starts by examining his beginnings in Mexico, the creative but isolated child surrounded by ornate catholicism and monster magazines, filming stop motion battles between his toys on a Super-8 film camera.

It follows him to film school, where we learn of his influences, from Kafka to Bunuel, and explores his 1993 debut Cronos, the independent horror debut which draws on the religious and occult themes which would recur throughout del Toro’s work.

It goes on to cover his development as a director with 1997’s Mimic, his blockbuster success with the Hellboy films and goes on to study the films which have cemented his status as a legendary auteur, Oscar award winners Pan’s Labrynth and The Shape of Water, as well as his sci-fi masterpiece Pacific Rim, as well as looking at his exciting upcoming projects Nightmare Alley and Pinocchio.

An enlightening look into the mind of an auteur blessed with a singular creative vision, Guillermo del Toro analyses the processes, themes and narratives that have come to be recognised as distinctly del Toro, from practical effects to an obsession with folklore and paganism. It looks into the narrative techniques, stylistic flourishes and creative decisions which have made him a true master of modern cinema.

Presented in a slipcase with 8-page gatefold section, with scores of illuminating photographs of the director at work on set as well as iconic stills from his films and examples of his influences, this stunning package will delight all Guillermo del Toro devotees and movie lovers in general.

“I am fascinated with this director and how his mind works.”

BodyScoutThe Body Scout by Lincoln Michel at drey’s library

In the future you can have any body you want—as long as you can afford it.

But in a New York ravaged by climate change and repeat pandemics, Kobo is barely scraping by. He scouts the latest in gene-edited talent for Big Pharma-owned baseball teams, but his own cybernetics are a decade out of date and twin sister loan sharks are banging down his door. Things couldn’t get much worse.

Then his brother—Monsanto Mets slugger J.J. Zunz—is murdered at home plate.

Determined to find the killer, Kobo plunges into a world of genetically modified CEOs, philosophical Neanderthals, and back-alley body modification, only to quickly find he’s in a game far bigger and more corrupt than he imagined. To keep himself together while the world is falling apart, he’ll have to navigate a time where both body and soul are sold to the highest bidder.

“This sounds very interesting.”

VELVET:

DeathJaneLawrenceThe Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling at the infinite curio

Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town. Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man—one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him.

By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to. Set in a dark-mirror version of post-war England, Starling crafts a new kind of gothic horror from the bones of the beloved canon. This Crimson Peak-inspired story assembles, then upends, every expectation set in place by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca, and will leave readers shaken, desperate to begin again as soon as they are finished.

“The cover and description gives the gothic horror tingles.”

OtherPeoplesThingsOther People’s Things by Kerry Anne King at Book Reviews by Linda Moore

Jailbird. Klepto. Spectacular failure to launch. Nicole Wood’s sticky fingers have earned her many names, but it’s not that she’s stealing—some objects just need to be moved elsewhere, and the universe has chosen her to do it. Still, being a relocator of objects isn’t easy. With her marriage on the rocks, no real-world skills, and the threat of prison hanging over her head, Nicole is determined to change her ways.

Things seem to be looking up, thanks to a godsent job with her sister’s housecleaning business—until she encounters a seemingly harmless paperback that insists on moving from one client’s home to another’s. Nicole hopes no one will notice, but the action stirs up long-hidden secrets and triggers a series of fateful events that threatens to destroy the life she’s creating and hurt those closest to her. She’ll need to embrace her unwieldy gift and take a chance on love in order to unravel the mystery and fix what’s gone wrong.

“Curious about the doings of this ‘relocator of objects’ character.”

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.

MARTHA:

SixteenWaysCitySixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City (The Siege #1) by K.J. Parker found at drey’s library.

This is the story of Orhan, son of Siyyah Doctus Felix Praeclarissimus, and his history of the Great Siege, written down so that the deeds and sufferings of great men may never be forgotten.

A siege is approaching, and the city has little time to prepare. The people have no food and no weapons, and the enemy has sworn to slaughter them all.

To save the city will take a miracle, but what it has is Orhan. A colonel of engineers, Orhan has far more experience with bridge-building than battles, is a cheat and a liar, and has a serious problem with authority. He is, in other words, perfect for the job.

“I was drawn by the cover and title, but the engineering aspects clinched my interest in this one.”

ShadowOfGodsThe Shadow of the Gods (Bloodsworn Saga #1) by John Gwynne found at the infinite curio

Set in a brand-new, Norse-inspired world, and packed with myth, magic and bloody vengeance, The Shadow of the Gods begins an epic new fantasy saga from bestselling author John Gwynne.

After the gods warred and drove themselves to extinction, the cataclysm of their fall shattered the land of Vigrið.

Now a new world is rising, where power-hungry jarls feud and monsters stalk the woods and mountains. A world where the bones of the dead gods still hold great power for those brave – or desperate – enough to seek them out.

Now, as whispers of war echo across the mountains and fjords, fate follows in the footsteps of three people: a huntress on a dangerous quest, a noblewoman who has rejected privilege in pursuit of battle fame, and a thrall who seeks vengeance among the famed mercenaries known as the Bloodsworn.

All three will shape the fate of the world as it once more falls under the shadow of the gods.

“It may seem strange but I like monsters…and monster hunters. The beast on the cover caught my eye.”

SERENA:

SecretLoveLettersThe Secret Love Letters of Olivia Moretti by Jennifer Probst at Silver’s Reviews

Priscilla, Devon, and Bailey haven’t been close in years, but when the sisters are forced to come together to settle their mother’s estate, they discover a secret. In an old trunk, they happen upon ownership papers for a house on the Amalfi Coast, along with a love letter to their mother from an anonymous man, promising to meet her in Italy during the summer of her sixty-fifth birthday.

Now they’re questioning everything they knew about her history. In order to get answers about the woman they thought they knew, they’ll have to go back to where it all started. The sisters embark on a trip to the stunning cliffside village of Positano, Italy, to track down the mysterious ex-lover, and figure out who their mother really was.

As Priscilla, Devon, and Bailey unearth the truth, they also experience the magic of Italy, the power of sisterly love, a little unexpected romance, and newfound hope for the future.

“It’s no secret that I love books set in Italy. This book has family secrets and Italy, so this is a win-win pick for me.”

LastGirlGhostedLast Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger at vvb32 reads and An Interior Journey

She met him through a dating app. An intriguing picture on a screen, a date at a downtown bar. What she thought might be just a quick hookup quickly became much more. She fell for him—hard. It happens sometimes, a powerful connection with a perfect stranger takes you by surprise. Could it be love?

But then, just as things were getting real, he stood her up. Then he disappeared—profiles deleted, phone disconnected. She was ghosted.

Maybe it was her fault. She shared too much, too fast. But isn’t that always what women think—that they’re the ones to blame? Soon she learns there were others. Girls who thought they were in love. Girls who later went missing. She had been looking for a connection, but now she’s looking for answers. Chasing a digital trail into his dark past—and hers—she finds herself on a dangerous hunt. And she’s not sure whether she’s the predator—or the prey.

“This sounds like a dark read for this spooky month of October.”

VELVET:

RulesVanishingRules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall at the infinite curio

Once a year, a road appears in the forest. And at the end of it, the ghost of Lucy Gallows beckons. Lucy’s game isn’t for the faint of heart. If you win, you escape with your life. But if you lose….

Sara’s sister disappeared one year ago–and only Sara knows where she is. Becca went to find the ghost of Lucy Gallows and is trapped on the road that leads to her. In the sleepy town of Briar Glen, Lucy’s road is nothing more than local lore. But Sara knows it’s real, and she’s going to find it.

When Sara and her skeptical friends meet in the forest to search for Becca, the mysterious road unfurls before them. All they have to do is walk down it. But the path to Lucy is not of this world, and it has its own rules. Every mistake summons new horrors. Vengeful spirits and broken, angry creatures are waiting for them to slip, and no one is guaranteed safe passage. The only certainty is this: the road has a toll and it will be paid.

Sara knows that if she steps onto the road, she might not come back. But Becca needs her.

And Lucy is waiting.

“Looks like a good ghost story to encounter.”

HowToFairyTaleHow to Survive a Modern-Day Fairy Tale by Elle Cruz at A Universe in Words

Claire Ventura is nothing like the poised and perfect heroines she reads about in her favorite romance novels. She’s a quirky, people-pleasing bookworm with a degree in Women’s Studies and an internet cookie decorator all rolled into a five-foot-two package fueled by chamomile tea.

And most of all, Claire loves her grandmother, Lola. Claire was always her favorite grandchild, and they shared a special bond. So when Lola inches into her nineties and Alzheimer’s starts chipping away at the vital and independent woman she used to be, the whole family dynamic starts shifting in a new direction.

Then Claire meets Nate, the CEO of a mega tech company, and he takes her to Paris. Hailed as the next Mark Zuckerberg, Nate is a fast-rising star in the tech industry, and he’s just fallen head-over-heels for Claire. Together, Claire and Nate must learn to navigate their personal and professional lives and, in the end, Nate proves to Claire that fairytale endings are really just the beginning.

“Curious to see how this plays out and is a cozy romance read as expected.”

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.

MARTHA:

Tell Me An Ending by Jo Harkin found at Kait Plus Books.

Never Let Me Go meets Black Mirror in this thrilling dystopian debut about a tech company that deletes unwanted memories, the consequences for those forced to contend with what they tried to forget, and the dissenting doctor who seeks to protect her patients from further harm.

What if you once had a painful memory removed? And what if you were offered the chance to get it back?

Tell Me an Ending follows four characters grappling with the question of what to remember—and what they hoped to forget forever.

Finn, an Irish architect living in the Arizona desert, begins to suspect his charming wife of having an affair. Mei, a troubled grad school drop-out in Kuala Lumpur, wonders why she remembers a city she’s never visited. William, a former police inspector in England, struggles with PTSD, the breakdown of his marriage, and his own secret family history. Oscar, a handsome young man with almost no memories at all, travels the world in a constant state of fear.

Into these characters lives comes Noor, an emotionally closed-off psychologist at the memory removal clinic in London, who begins to suspect her glamorous boss Louise of serious wrongdoing.

Clever and propulsive, Tell Me an Ending is a speculative novel exploring what the world would be like if we were able to wipe away our worst moments. In this polyphonic tale, author Jo Harkin raises provocative questions about the nature of memory, through characters who confront new knowledge about themselves and a need for answers, meaning, connection, and story.

“The cover caught my eye and it sounds like a different dystopian, a genre I enjoy.”

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth found at Sam Still Reading.

A leading economist shows why current economic thinking doesn’t work – and what should take its place

Economics is broken, and the planet is paying the price.

Unforeseen financial crises. Extreme wealth inequality. Relentless pressure on the environment. Can we go on like this? Is there an alternative?

In Doughnut Economics, Oxford academic Kate Raworth lays out the seven deadly mistakes of economics and offers a radical re-envisioning of the system that has brought us to the point of ruin. Moving beyond the myths of ‘rational economic man’ and unlimited growth, Doughnut Economics zeroes in on the sweet spot: a system that meets all our needs without exhausting the planet.

The demands of the 21st century require a new shape of economics. This might just be it.

“Economics isn’t my strong suit but I’d like to understand more. This seems to offer a newer perspective.”

SERENA:

MyHeartChainsawMy Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones at vvb32 reads

Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies…especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock as if it is one of those movies. But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying, encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold.

Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges… a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. A girl whose feelings are too big for her body.

My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph.

“I’ve heard people really enjoyed this and sometimes you need a little horror-type book in fall.”

Smugglers-In-The-Underground-Hug-TradeSmugglers in the Underground Hug Trade : A Journal of the Plague Year by William Wall at Fiction Books

Surprised by how few literary references exist for the Spanish ‘Flu pandemic of 1918/19, William Wall made a conscious decision to document the experience of ‘the strangest year we have lived’.

In a poetic journal, Wall captures the roller-coaster of emotions from the first terrible days in Italy to the highs and lows of the lockdown in Ireland, culminating in the frightening increase in numbers at Christmas 2020.

But this is not just a book about the plague: the author turns to nature, to love, to his beloved Cork coast and sea-swimming for solace.

There are many tender memories, moments of personal inspiration, humour and hopefulness—the whole suffused with an acute awareness of the historical context.

There have been other plagues and pandemics, the poems say, and we have survived: we will survive this too.

“Poetry about and during the pandemic. This has to be on my list this week.”

VELVET:

My Annihilation by Fuminori Nakamura at Dolce Bellezza

What transforms a person into a killer? Can it be something as small as a suggestion?

Turn this page, and you may forfeit your entire life.

With My Annihilation, Fuminori Nakamura, master of literary noir, has constructed a puzzle box of a narrative in the form of a confessional diary that implicates its reader in a heinous crime.

Delving relentlessly into the darkest corners of human consciousness, My Annihilation interrogates the unspeakable thoughts all humans share that can be monstrous when brought to life, revealing with disturbing honesty the psychological motives of a killer.

“Love me some Japanese noir mystery. I’m looking forward to adding this to my tbr pile next year.”

As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson at the infinite curio

Pip’s good girl days are long behind her. After solving two murder cases and garnering internet fame from her crime podcast, she’s seen a lot.

But she’s still blindsided when it starts to feel like someone is watching her. It’s small things at first. A USB stick with footage recording her and the same anonymous source always asking her: who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears? It could be a harmless fan, but her gut is telling her danger is lurking.

When Pip starts to find connections between her possible stalker and a local serial killer, Pip knows that there is only one choice: find the person threatening her town including herself–or be as good as dead. Because maybe someone has been watching her all along…

“Been wanting to try this series for a dose of YA true crime.”

What books caught your eye this week?

 

Books That Caught Our Eye

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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:

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood found at The Infinite Curio.

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

“I totally needed some lighter reading this week and this cover and blurb caught my eye.”

58807372._sx318_Afloat in Venice (Monkey’s Great Adventures #1) by Tina Wilson found at The Burgeoning Bookshelf.

Monkey can’t wait to use his new camera in Venice… but along the way he discovers something more precious than sight-seeing!

Monkey, an endearing soft toy, finds himself in all sorts of scrapes where he learns about himself and the world around him. In this first book in the Monkey’s Great Adventure series, Afloat in Venice, Monkey is entranced by a “magical floating city that seems to grow straight out of the sea.”

This book includes original music composed by the highly acclaimed, Matt Ottley and an additional version specifically narrated for the visually impaired.

Heartwarming and unique, this series brilliantly captures the innocence of childhood and will be enjoyed by all ages.

“I collected monkeys in my youth so this naturally caught my eye. I like that the characters are knitted as Dot shared in the review… and it comes with a CD.”

VELVET:

The Raffles Affair by Vicki Virtue at Sam Still Reading.

Fresh from a gruelling three-month assignment in East Africa, beautiful former MI6 agent Victoria West arrives at Raffles Hotel in Singapore to attend her friend’s wedding. But Victoria’s plans for a relaxing break end abruptly with news the groom has been kidnapped. Warned not to contact the police, Victoria sets out to find him. But in this glamorous setting nothing is quite what it seems. 
 
As the deadline to pay the ransom draws near, events take a deadly turn. Victoria suspects murder. But which of the wedding guests did it? They all have a motive… and a talent for lying. With time fast running out, Victoria must untangle the web of domestic squabbles, red herrings and false alibis before it is too late.
 
“Feeling like arm-chair traveling to Singapore.”
 

 
It’s been four years since seventeen-year-old Ruth set eyes on her fiancé. 
 
After surviving near-starvation, revolution and a long trip across the stormy ocean, she can’t help but wonder: Will Abraham still love her? Or has America changed him?
 
Nowhere’s as full of change as 1909 New York. From moving pictures to daring clothes to the ultra-modern Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where she gets a job, everything exhilarates Ruth. When the New World even seems to rejuvenate her bond with Abraham, she is filled with hope for their prospects and the future of their war-torn families.
 
But when she makes friends and joins the labor movement—fighting for rights of the mostly female workers against the powerful factory owners—she realizes she might be the one America is changing. And she just might be leaving Abraham behind.
 
“Liking the historical immigrant story vibe.”

SERENA:

The Romanov Empress by C.W. Gortner at Drey’s Library.

Narrated by the mother of Russia’s last tsar, this novel brings to life the courageous story of Maria Feodorovna, one of Imperial Russia’s most compelling women, who witnessed the splendor and tragic downfall of the Romanovs as she fought to save her dynasty in its final years.

“I absolutely loved Gortner’s other books.”

 

Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa from An Interior Journey.

The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history.

But as # 1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis.

Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at the center of the turmoil, resulting in more than 6,000 pages of transcripts—and a spellbinding and definitive portrait of a nation on the brink.

This classic study of Washington takes readers deep inside the Trump White House, the Biden White House, the 2020 campaign, and the Pentagon and Congress, with vivid, eyewitness accounts of what really happened.

Peril is supplemented throughout with never-before-seen material from secret orders, transcripts of confidential calls, diaries, emails, meeting notes and other personal and government records, making for an unparalleled history.

It is also the first inside look at Biden’s presidency as he faces the challenges of a lifetime: the continuing deadly pandemic and millions of Americans facing soul-crushing economic pain, all the while navigating a bitter and disabling partisan divide, a world rife with threats, and the hovering, dark shadow of the former president.

“We have much to do in this winter of peril,” Biden declared at his inauguration, an event marked by a nerve-wracking security alert and the threat of domestic terrorism.

Peril is the extraordinary story of the end of one presidency and the beginning of another, and represents the culmination of Bob Woodward’s news-making trilogy on the Trump presidency, along with Fear and Rage. And it is the beginning of a collaboration with fellow Washington Post reporter Robert Costa that will remind readers of Woodward’s coverage, with Carl Bernstein, of President Richard M. Nixon’s final days.

“Political history interests me, no matter what it is. The last election was a bit frightening, especially given the riots at the Capitol…something that’s hard to forget.”

What books caught your eye this week?