Books That Caught Our Eye

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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 Madman’s Library: The Strangest Books, Manuscripts and Other Literary Curiosities from History by Edward Brooke-Hitchin found at Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf.

From the Qur’an written in the blood of Saddam Hussein, to the gorgeously decorated fifteenth-century lawsuit filed by the Devil against Jesus, to the most enormous book ever created, The Madman’s Library features many long forgotten, eccentric, and extraordinary volumes gathered from around the world.

Books written in blood and books that kill, books of the insane and books that hoaxed the globe, books invisible to the naked eye and books so long they could destroy the Universe, books worn into battle and books of code and cypher whose secrets remain undiscovered. Spell books, alchemist scrolls, wearable books, edible books, books to summon demons, books written by ghosts, and more all come together in the most curiously strange library imaginable.

Featuring hundreds of remarkable images and packed with entertaining facts and stories to discover, The Madman’s Library is a captivating compendium perfect for bibliophiles, literature enthusiasts, and collectors intrigued by bizarre oddities, obscure history, and the macabre.

“I can’t resist books about books.”

——–

Martha

Trust Me by T.M. Logan found at An Interior Journey.

Two strangers, a child, and a split second choice that will change everything . . .

Ellen was just trying to help a stranger. That was how it started: giving a few minutes respite to a flustered young mother sitting opposite her on the train. A few minutes holding her baby while the mother makes an urgent call. The weight of the child in her arms making Ellen’s heart ache for what she can never have.

Five minutes pass.
Ten.

The train pulls into a station and Ellen is stunned to see the mother hurrying away down the platform, without looking back. Leaving her baby behind. Ellen is about to raise the alarm when she discovers a note in the baby’s bag, three desperate lines scrawled hastily on a piece of paper:

Please protect Mia
Don’t trust the police
Don’t trust anyone

Why would a mother abandon her child to a stranger? Ellen is about to discover that the baby in her arms might hold the key to an unspeakable crime. And doing the right thing might just cost her everything . . .

“This sounds like a good thriller.”

——–

All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese

found at Coletta’s Kitchen Sink.

Molly McKenzie’s bright personality and on-trend fashion and beauty advice have earned her an impressive social media following, as well as a big paycheck each month. When her manager-turned-boyfriend says she has an audition to appear as a host on a makeover show that nominates underprivileged youth, her dream of further fame seems to be coming true. There’s just one catch: she has little experience interacting with people in need.

When her manager-boyfriend convinces her to partner with a local organization, she begins volunteering with a summer youth program. The program’s director, Silas Whittaker, challenges her at every turn, but she swiftly grows more attached to the kids–and him–every day.

As Molly experiences an acceptance unlike anything she’s known, she wrestles with the lies she’s been believing about herself for years. She thought she knew what mattered most in life, but maybe she’s had it wrong this whole time, and there’s more to being truly seen than what she’s built her entire life on.

“The cover made me curious but the blurb really caught my interest. ”

——–

What books caught your eyes this week? ”

Books That Caught Our Eye

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DragonLegends

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

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

Martha

The Last Night in London by Karen White found at Savvy Verse & Wit.

New York Times bestselling author Karen White weaves a story of friendship past and present, love, and betrayal that moves between war-torn London during the Blitz and the present day.

A captivating story of friendship, love and betrayal – and finding hope in the darkness of war.

London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are trying to make their way as fashion models. When Eva falls in love with Graham St. John, an aristocrat and Royal Air Force pilot, she can’t believe her luck – she’s getting everything she ever wanted. Then the Blitz devastates her world, and Eva finds herself slipping into a web of intrigue, spies and secrets. As Eva struggles to protect everything she holds dear, all it takes is one unwary moment to change their lives forever.

London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner travels to London to interview Precious about her life in pre-WWII London. Maddie, healing from past trauma and careful to close herself off to others, finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, Precious’ enigmatic surrogate nephew. As Maddie gets closer to her, she begins to unravel Precious’ haunting past – and the secrets she swore she’d never reveal …

“It’s my turn to pick a WWII book. This is an author I haven’t read yet and this sounds like one I would like.”

——–


North and South
by Elizabeth Gaskell found at Read All the Things.

Written at the request of Charles Dickens, North and South is a book about rebellion; it poses fundamental questions about the nature of social authority and obedience. Gaskell expertly blends individual feeling with social concern, and her heroine, Margaret Hale, is one of the most original creations of Victorian literature.

When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man, John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction.

Gaskell based her depiction of Milton on Manchester, where she lived as the wife of a Unitarian minister. She was an accomplished writer, much of her work published in Charles Dickens’ magazine Household Words including North and South which was originally published as a serial. She was also friends with Charlotte Brontë and after her death, her father, Patrick Brontë, chose Gaskell to write The Life of Charlotte Brontë.

“I am drawn to stories set in England and the issue of injustice in the local mill caught my eye.”

——–

Serena

 
In every tragic story, men are expected to be the killers. There are countless studies and works of art made about male violence. However, when women are featured in stories about murder, they are rarely portrayed as predators. They’re the prey. This common dynamic is one of the reasons that women are so enthralled by female murderers. They do the things that women aren’t supposed to do and live the lives that women aren’t supposed to want: lives that are impulsive and angry and messy and inconvenient. Maybe we feel bad about loving them, but we eat it up just the same. Residing squarely in the middle of a Venn diagram of feminism and true crime, She Kills Me tells the story of 40 women who murdered out of necessity, fear, revenge, and even for pleasure.
 
“This sounds scary and intriguing.”
 
Home by Toni Morrison at Read All the Things.
 
When Frank Money joined the army to escape his too-small world, he left behind his cherished and fragile little sister, Cee. After the war, he journeys to his native Georgia with a renewed sense of purpose in search of his sister, but it becomes clear that their troubles began well before their wartime separation. Together, they return to their rural hometown of Lotus, where buried secrets are unearthed and where Frank learns at last what it means to be a man, what it takes to heal, and—above all—what it means to come home.
 
“I like to read about veterans and their struggles when they return to civilian life. It gives me insight into the veterans I know.”

What books caught your eyes 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:

Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde found at The Bookworm.

A heart-stirring novel about the joy that comes from finding love in unexpected places by the New York Times and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author.

Thirteen-year-old Abby Hubble lives in an unhappy home in the Sierra Nevada foothills where her father makes life miserable for her and her mother, Mary. One day Abby witnesses a man dump a litter of puppies into the nearby river. Diving in to rescue all seven, she knows she won’t be able to bring them home. Afraid for their fate at the pound, she takes them to an abandoned cabin, where all she can offer is a promise that she’ll be back the next day.

To grieving widower Elliot Colvin, life has lost meaning. Looking for solace, he retreats to the hunting cabin he last visited years ago, before his wife’s illness. What he discovers is not at all what he expected: seven puppies and one determined girl with an indomitable heart.

As Abby and Elliot’s friendship deepens, Abby imagines how much better her life—and the puppies’ lives—would be if her mother were married to Elliot instead of her father. But when Abby’s father moves the family hundreds of miles away, Abby and her mother must decide how long they’re willing to defer happiness.

Seven Perfect Things is a story about joy, where to find it, how to know it when you see it, and the courage it takes to hang on to it once you have it.

“Of course the cover caught my eye, and the blurb sounds delightful.”

Lost Angels (Nikki Hunt #3) by Stacy Green found at Fiction Books.

When Special Agent Nikki Hunt is called to the Boundary Waters near Stillwater, Minnesota, it’s not just the cold that shocks her to her core: the body of a young woman has been found frozen beside a remote lake. Nikki is devastated to see the victim is her childhood friend Annmarie, and she recognizes the velvet ribbon tied in her hair as the hallmark of a serial killer who she has been hunting for years.

Desperate for justice, Nikki throws herself into the case. But she is shaken by what she finds at Annmarie’s home: a dead-bolt on her front door and a map in the spare room, with the locations of murdered women circled in thick, red marker. Did Annmarie know she was next? Then Nikki finds out that the killer has left a clue in Annmarie’s bedroom: a photo of Nikki’s mother that no one has ever seen. Has the murderer at large been in Nikki’s life since she was a child?

Nikki soon realizes that the key to unlocking this case is in her own family, but digging up the past could put her own daughter in danger. She has spent her whole life protecting the ones she loves, but to find this killer Nikki might have to risk everything… 

“This sounds like a suspense story and series I would like.”

SERENA:

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer at Silver’s Reviews and Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

In the spring of 1942, young Elzbieta Rabinek is aware of the swiftly growing discord just beyond the courtyard of her comfortable Warsaw home. She has no fondness for the Germans who patrol her streets and impose their curfews, but has never given much thought to what goes on behind the walls that contain her Jewish neighbors. She knows all too well about German brutality–and that it’s the reason she must conceal her true identity. But in befriending Sara, a nurse who shares her apartment floor, Elzbieta makes a discovery that propels her into a dangerous world of deception and heroism.

Using Sara’s credentials to smuggle children out of the ghetto brings Elzbieta face-to-face with the reality of the war behind its walls, and to the plight of the Gorka family, who must make the impossible decision to give up their newborn daughter or watch her starve. For Roman Gorka, this final injustice stirs him to rebellion with a zeal not even his newfound love for Elzbieta can suppress. But his recklessness brings unwanted attention to Sara’s cause, unwittingly putting Elzbieta and her family in harm’s way until one violent act threatens to destroy their chance at freedom forever. 

From Nazi occupation to the threat of a communist regime, The Warsaw Orphan is the unforgettable story of Elzbieta and Roman’s perilous attempt to reclaim the love and life they once knew.

“I know. I’m getting predictable.”

An Unlikely Spy by Rebecca Stafford at Just Reading Jess.

Evelyn Varley has always been ambitious and clever. As a girl, she earned a scholarship to a prestigious academy well above her parents’ means, gaining her a best friend from one of England’s wealthiest families. In 1939, with an Oxford degree in hand and war looming, Evelyn finds herself recruited into an elite MI5 counterintelligence unit.

A ruthless secret society seeks an alliance with Germany and, posing as a Nazi sympathizer, Evelyn must build a case to expose their treachery. But as she is drawn deeper into layers of duplicity—perhaps of her own making—some of those closest to her become embroiled in her investigation. With Evelyn’s loyalties placed under extraordinary pressure, she’ll face an impossible choice: save her country or the people who love her. Her decision echoes for years after the war, impacting everyone who thought they knew the real Evelyn Varley.

Beguiling and dark, An Unlikely Spy is a fascinating story of deception and sacrifice, based on the history of real people within the British intelligence community.

“I love books about unlikely heroes, but this one sounds intriguing.”

What books caught your eyes 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:

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel found at Silver’s Reviews.

The New York Times bestselling author of the “heart-stopping tale of survival and heroism” (People) The Book of Lost Names returns with an evocative coming-of-age World War II story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis—until a secret from her past threatens everything.

After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest—and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything.

Inspired by incredible true stories of survival against staggering odds, and suffused with the journey-from-the-wilderness elements that made Where the Crawdads Sing a worldwide phenomenon, The Forest of Vanishing Stars is a heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author whose writing has been hailed as “sweeping and magnificent” (Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author), “immersive and evocative” (Publishers Weekly), and “gripping” (Tampa Bay Times).

“There were several interesting WW1 and WWII stories to choose from this week. I chose this one.”

History Uncovered: The U.S.A. by Kristine Carlson Asselin found at Savvy Verse & Wit.

This stylish atlas features key moments of American history in an innovative format, with each die-cut spread building on the last as more states are added to the union, culminating in a modern-day map of America. From the 1700s through today — one layer at a time — it’s filled with dates, facts, and historical figures.

“I could have picked several books from Savvy Verse and Wit this week. I love history in creative offerings for children so I decided on this one.”

SERENA:

Later by Stephen King at the bookworm.

SOMETIMES GROWING UP MEANS FACING YOUR DEMONS

The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine – as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave. 

LATER is Stephen King at his finest, a terrifying and touching story of innocence lost and the trials that test our sense of right and wrong. With echoes of King’s classic novel It, LATER is a powerful, haunting, unforgettable exploration of what it takes to stand up to evil in all the faces it wears.

“I love King’s books.”

Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly at Sam Still Reading.

Georgeanna “Georgey” Woolsey isn’t meant for the world of lavish parties and the demure attitudes of women of her stature. So when war ignites the nation, Georgey follows her passion for nursing during a time when doctors considered women on the battlefront a bother. In proving them wrong, she and her sister Eliza venture from New York to Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg and witness the unparalleled horrors of slavery as they become involved in the war effort.

In the South, Jemma is enslaved on the Peeler Plantation in Maryland, where she lives with her mother and father. Her sister, Patience, is enslaved on the plantation next door, and both live in fear of LeBaron, an abusive overseer who tracks their every move. When Jemma is sold by the cruel plantation mistress Anne-May at the same time the Union army comes through, she sees a chance to finally escape—but only by abandoning the family she loves.

Anne-May is left behind to run Peeler Plantation when her husband joins the Union army and her cherished brother enlists with the Confederates. In charge of the household, she uses the opportunity to follow her own ambitions and is drawn into a secret Southern network of spies, finally exposing herself to the fate she deserves.

Inspired by true accounts, Sunflower Sisters provides a vivid, detailed look at the Civil War experience, from the barbaric and inhumane plantations, to a war-torn New York City, to the horrors of the battlefield. It’s a sweeping story of women caught in a country on the brink of collapse, in a society grappling with nationalism and unthinkable racial cruelty, a story still so relevant today.

“I loved Lilac Girls, so I’d be down to read Kelly’s latest.”

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

8 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:

51zg02rrmgl._sx326_bo1204203200_Dark Roads: A Novel by Chevy Stevens found at An Interior Journey.

The acclaimed and beloved author of Still Missing is back with her most breathtaking thriller yet.

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

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

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

“I know I saw this on another blog recently. I have never read Stevens but I have heard good things about her books so I am interested.”

51jsubazh0lFalse Allegiance: A totally pulse-pounding action thriller (A Jake Parker Thriller) by Nick Thacker found at Fiction Books.

Someone wants Jake Parker dead. He’ll find out why, or die trying…

Ex-army, ex-police, widowed husband, estranged son. Jake Parker has no family, no one to care if one of the government-contract jobs he takes goes wrong. So he’s shocked to get a phone call from his father as he’s pursuing an anomaly from his latest mission. But his dad isn’t calling for a chat, he’s issuing a warning: stop digging around, let this job go.

Jake barely has time to register the news that his father has been keeping tabs on him before a bomb tears apart his apartment, and he barely escapes with his life. Now he’s injured, on the run, and determined to find out who wants to silence him, and why.

The more he digs, the more drastic the attempts on his life become, but Jake won’t be beaten at this game. When he gets hold of one of the thugs trying to take him out, Jake learns that he’s treading on the toes of an illicit arms deal and now he may be the only person who can stop a cargo of weapons getting into the hands of international terrorists. Terrorists with their eyes on the US and who seem to have a hold on his father. Now Jake has to make the ultimate choice: allegiance to his family, or to his country…? He can only save one.

A completely gripping thriller from a USA Today bestselling author. A pulse-pounding read for fans of David Baldacci, Tim Tigner and the Jack Ryan thrillers.

“Before I got to the last sentence in the blurb I was thinking this reminded me of Jack Reacher and I was caught.”

SERENA:

51iytok2s6lThe Secret Stealers by Jane Healey at Silver’s Reviews.

Anna Cavanaugh is a restless young widow and brilliant French teacher at a private school in Washington, DC. Everything changes when she’s recruited into the Office of Strategic Services by family friend and legendary WWI hero Major General William Donovan.

Donovan has faith in her—and in all his “glorious amateurs” who are becoming Anna’s fast friends: Maggie, Anna’s down-to-earth mentor; Irene, who’s struggling to find support from her husband for her clandestine life; and Julia, a cheerful OSS liaison. But the more Anna learns about the organization’s secret missions, the more she longs to be stationed abroad. Then comes the opportunity: go undercover as a spy in the French Resistance to help steal critical intelligence that could ultimately turn the tide of the war.

Dispatched behind enemy lines and in constant danger, Anna is filled with adrenaline, passion, and fear. She’s driven to make a difference—for her country and for herself. Whatever the risk, she’s willing to take it to help liberate France from the shadows of occupation and to free herself from the shadows of her former life.

“I really enjoy stories about the OSS. This seems like another good WWII read.”

41pb6f8njxlThe Curator’s Daughter by Melanie Dobson at Coletta’s Kitchen Sink.

A young girl, kidnapped on the eve of World War II, changes the lives of a German archaeologist forced into the Nazi Party and—decades later—a researcher trying to overcome her own trauma.

1940. Hanna Tillich cherishes her work as an archaeologist for the Third Reich, searching for the Holy Grail and other artifacts to bolster evidence of a master Aryan race. But when she is reassigned to work as a museum curator in Nuremberg, then forced to marry an SS officer and adopt a young girl, Hanna begins to see behind the Nazi facade. A prayer labyrinth becomes a storehouse for Hanna’s secrets, but as she comes to love Lilly as her own daughter, she fears that what she’s hiding—and what she begins to uncover—could put them both in mortal danger.

Eighty years later, Ember Ellis is a Holocaust researcher intent on confronting hatred toward the Jewish people and other minorities. She reconnects with a former teacher on Martha’s Vineyard after she learns that Mrs. Kiehl’s mother once worked with the Nazi Ahnenerbe. And yet, Mrs. Kiehl describes her mother as “a friend to the Jewish people.” Wondering how both could be true, Ember helps Mrs. Kiehl regain her fractured childhood memories of World War II while at the same time confronting the heartache of her own secret past—and the person who wants to silence Ember forever.

“I like WWII books in which secrets are uncovered. This sounds like an intricate tale.”

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.

MARTHA:

52547414-1The Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair found at The Burgeoning Bookshelf.

They will dedicate their lives to their country, but no one will ever know…

A compelling story about tenacity and friendship, inspired by the real codebreaking women of Australia’s top-secret Central Bureau in WWII. For readers who love Judy Nunn and Kate Quinn.

1943, Brisbane: The war continues to devastate and the battle for the Pacific threatens Australian shores. For Ellie O’Sullivan, helping the war effort means utilising her engineering skills for Qantas as they evacuate civilians and deliver supplies to armed forces overseas. Her exceptional logic and integrity attract the attention of the Central Bureau-an intelligence organisation working with England’s Bletchley Park codebreakers. But joining the Central Bureau means signing a lifetime secrecy contract. Breaking it is treason.

With her country’s freedom at risk, Ellie works with a group of elite women who enter a world of volatile secrets; deciphering enemy communications to change the course of the war. Working under immense pressure, they form a close bond-yet there could be a traitor in their midst. Can the women uncover the culprit before it’s too late?

As Ellie struggles with the magnitude of the promise she’s made to her country, a wedge grows between her and those she holds dear. When the man she loves asks questions she’s forbidden to answer, how will she prevent the double life she’s leading from unravelling?

“I know this might have caught Serena’s eye too but this is my top pick this week. I love codes and imagine serving as a codebreaker during wartime would be nerve-racking. ”

615ybpv5hil._sx329_bo1204203200_Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley found at Just Reading Jess.

Debut author Angeline Boulley crafts a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange.

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.

The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.

Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

“I see to always be drawn to books with Native American characters.”

SERENA:

Codebreakers was also on my list.

41dnglccmjlWhen the Summer Was Ours by Roxanne Veletzos at Silver’s Reviews.

Hungary, 1943: As war encroaches on the country’s borders, willful young Eva César arrives in the idyllic town of Sopron to spend her last summer as a single woman on her aristocratic family’s estate. Longing for freedom from her domineering father, she counts the days to her upcoming nuptials to a kind and dedicated Red Cross doctor whom she greatly admires.

But Eva’s life changes when she meets Aleandro, a charming and passionate Romani fiddler with a love for painting. With time and profound class differences against them, Eva and Aleandro still fall deeply in love—only to be separated by a brutal act of hatred.

As their lives diverge and they are each swept into the tides of war and its aftermath—they try to forget what they once shared. But as the years pass, the haunting memory of their romance will re-shape their destinies and drive them to decisions which are felt through generations.

“Love artists and this one has a fiddler and painting, but also WWII that could rip them apart. Cannot miss out on this one.”

51w6gnwfiql._sx327_bo1204203200_The Nine: The True Story of a Band of Women Who Survived the Worst of Nazi Germany at Silver’s Reviews.

The Nine follows the true story of the author’s great aunt Hélène Podliasky, who led a band of nine female resistance fighters as they escaped a German forced labor camp and made a ten-day journey across the front lines of WWII from Germany back to Paris.

The nine women were all under thirty when they joined the resistance. They smuggled arms through Europe, harbored parachuting agents, coordinated communications between regional sectors, trekked escape routes to Spain and hid Jewish children in scattered apartments. They were arrested by French police, interrogated and tortured by the Gestapo. They were subjected to a series of French prisons and deported to Germany. The group formed along the way, meeting at different points, in prison, in transit, and at Ravensbrück. By the time they were enslaved at the labor camp in Leipzig, they were a close-knit group of friends. During the final days of the war, forced onto a death march, the nine chose their moment and made a daring escape.

Drawing on incredible research, this powerful, heart-stopping narrative is a moving tribute to the power of humanity and friendship in the darkest of times.

“I don’t read a lot of non-fiction about WWII, but this one caught my eye because it is based on a true story about a woman who led a group of resistance fighters who escaped a German forced labor camp.”

What books caught your eye?

Books That Caught Our Eye

6 Comments

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

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

MARTHA:
Stealing Time by Rebecca Bowyer found at Book’d Out.

They’ll kill to get more time. She’ll die to stop them.

In a world where each person’s life span is limited by law, time is a lucrative commodity that some people will do anything to get more of.

Fourth-dimension physicist, Dr Varya Galanos, invented the technology that time thieves used to murder children by stealing their remaining years of life. Although it was destroyed 10 years ago, and the thieves brought to justice, she still suffers from the burden of guilt.

Masquerading as a lowly lab technician at the Minor Miracles Foundation, Varya finds a certain peace searching for cures for rare childhood diseases, like the one which took her 4-year-old son, Kir, away from her.

The Foundation is secretly funded by Varya and her employee and confidante, Marisa Volkov, by selling illicit time tabs to wealthy patrons. When dissolved on the tongue, a single time tab grants a person four extra hours in their day.

The time tab technology is highly valued – and highly illegal – in a society where Time Chips are inserted into each child’s brain stem at birth. Lives are limited to just sixty-five years to conserve the planet’s ever-dwindling resources.

Varya’s tenuous peace is shattered when children start disappearing again. She fears the worst – that the time thieves have returned and have somehow resurrected the technology to steal precious years from children.

Varya is the only one who can find a way to reverse the time drains and save the returned children. But doing so could cost the lives of those she holds dearest.

When her best friend’s son becomes a victim, returned with just hours to live, she is faced with an impossible choice.

“This sounds like a great mix of suspense and time travel – elements sure to catch my eye.”

——–

The Shell Collector. by Nancy Naigle found at Bookfan.
A touching novel of love and loss, a friendship that crosses generations, and learning how even the smallest gifts can change a life for good, from USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle.

Amanda Whittier had no idea when she said goodbye to her husband, Jack, the morning he deployed that it would be the last time she’d ever see him. Two years later, she’s still trying to put her life with their two children back together. She buys a tiny beach cottage in the town near where they’d wed, and what comes next is as unpredictable as what the tide brings in.

An unlikely friendship with an older woman who has lived there her whole life puts a new lens on Amanda’s situation, and Amanda begins finding shells with quotes in them that seem to guide and inspire her to face her fears. She uncovers local lore about these shells from as far back as thirty years ago that gives her purpose as she chases the stories behind them.

One shell leads her to someone she hasn’t spoken to since the day she laid her husband to rest. As their friendship unfolds, Amanda begins to believe that he just might hold the key to her future happiness.

“I had three books that made the shortlist for my second choice. I selected this novel that sounds good even though I am not a big fan of friendship drama stories. Sometimes you just need to be willing to stretch. :-)”

——–

SERENA:

51xkhn75chl._sx326_bo1204203200_The Paris Dressmaker by Kristy Cambron at Coletta’s Kitchen Sink.

Based on true accounts of how Parisiennes resisted the Nazi occupation in World War II—from fashion houses to the city streets—comes a story of two courageous women who risked everything to fight an evil they couldn’t abide.

Paris, 1939. Maison Chanel has closed, thrusting haute couture dressmaker Lila de Laurent out of the world of high fashion as Nazi soldiers invade the streets and the City of Lights slips into darkness. Lila’s life is now a series of rations, brutal restrictions, and carefully controlled propaganda while Paris is cut off from the rest of the world. Yet in hidden corners of the city, the faithful pledge to resist. Lila is drawn to La Resistance and is soon using her skills as a dressmaker to infiltrate the Nazi elite. She takes their measurements and designs masterpieces, all while collecting secrets in the glamorous Hôtel Ritz—the heart of the Nazis’ Parisian headquarters. But when dashing René Touliard suddenly reenters her world, Lila finds her heart tangled between determination to help save his Jewish family and bolstering the fight for liberation.

Paris, 1943. Sandrine Paquet’s job is to catalog the priceless works of art bound for the Führer’s Berlin, masterpieces stolen from prominent Jewish families. But behind closed doors, she secretly forages for information from the underground resistance. Beneath her compliant façade lies a woman bent on uncovering the fate of her missing husband . . . but at what cost? As Hitler’s regime crumbles, Sandrine is drawn in deeper when she uncrates an exquisite blush Chanel gown concealing a cryptic message that may reveal the fate of a dressmaker who vanished from within the fashion elite.

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

51vwy-3jn4l._sx330_bo1204203200_The Note Through the Wire by Doug Gold at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

In the heart of Nazi-occupied Europe, two people meet fleetingly in a chance encounter. One is an underground resistance fighter; the other a prisoner of war. A crumpled note passes between these two strangers and sets them on a course that will change their lives forever.

The Note Through The Wire is the true story of Josefine Lobnik, a Yugoslav partisan heroine, and Bruce Murray, a New Zealand soldier, who, due to a succession of near-impossible coincidences, discover love in the midst of a brutal war.

Woven through their tales of great bravery, daring escapes, betrayal, torture and retaliation is their remarkable love story that survived against all odds. This is an extraordinary account of two ordinary people living through the unimaginable hardship of Hitler’s barbaric regime.

“Martha ended up alerting me to the fact that I missed one of those coveted WWII books. So, I just had to add it to the list.”

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:

516di-nulnl._sx346_bo1204203200_The Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power, by Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber found at Words and Peace.

Most people have fantasized about stepping into the future, if only for a moment. Will there be flying cars? Will buildings be sleek, “smart,” and clean, or will they be just one more dysfunctional component of a decaying infrastructure? Will there be robots everywhere? Will we have clean energy and clear skies or polluted air and water?

The evolution of buildings, transportation and power will determine how our future looks and feels, and in this book Roger Duncan and Michael Webber argue the Energy Efficiency Megatrend will shape our future technology. Buildings and vehicles will evolve into sentient-appearing machines such that we will be living, working and moving about inside robots. Buildings may develop personalities and the transportation system will have any manner of vehicle available at a moment’s notice. This complex, interconnected system will be powered by the clean and efficient conversion of fuels and energy flows that surround us. Duncan is a former Austin City Council member and former General Manager of Austin Energy, the city’s municipal electric utility. Webber is the Josey Centennial Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas, and Chief Science and Technology Officer at ENGIE, a multi-national energy services and infrastructure company.

“This looks timely and interesting!”

511ebd1x3bl._sx331_bo1204203200_A Rogue of One’s Own (A League of Extraordinary Women #2) by Evie Dunmore found at The Infinite Curio.

A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution – but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…

“This cute cover caught my eye and then the suffragist involvement (and rest of the blurb) really pulled me in.”

SERENA:

41j3lxa70rl._sx327_bo1204203200_Unfinished by Priyanka Chopra Jonas at Just Reading Jess.
Unfinished is a collection of personal essays, stories, and observations by actor, producer, activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Priyanka Chopra.‘The flavor of the book will be honest, funny, spirited, bold, and rebellious, just like me. I have always been a private person; I’ve never spoken about my feelings during my journey but I am ready to do so now. I was raised to be fearless when it came to opinions, and I would like to tell my story in the hopes of inspiring people–especially women–to change the conversation, to shatter glass ceilings. Women are always told we can’t have everything. I want everything, and I believe anyone else can have it too. I’m proof of it.’

“I really think this will be fascinating.”
51mfwcvbqgl._sx331_bo1204203200_The Bookseller’s Secret by Michelle Gable at Silver’s Reviews and Book Reviews by Linda Moore
In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics.Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay.

Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present…

“This one is WWII era and about secrets and books…can’t go wrong there.”
What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

7 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 Summer of Lost Letters by Hannah Reynolds and Allison Parr from Just Reading Jess.

Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Ruta Sepetys, this sweet, summery romance set in Nantucket follows seventeen-year-old Abby Schoenberg as she uncovers a secret about her grandmother’s life during WWII.

Seventeen-year-old Abby Schoenberg isn’t exactly looking forward to the summer before her senior year. She’s just broken up with her first boyfriend and her friends are all off in different, exciting directions for the next three months. Abby needs a plan–an adventure of her own. Enter: the letters.

They show up one rainy day along with the rest of Abby’s recently deceased grandmother’s possessions. And these aren’t any old letters; they’re love letters. Love letters from a mystery man named Edward. Love letters from a mansion on Nantucket. Abby doesn’t know much about her grandmother’s past. She knows she was born in Germany and moved to the US when she was five, fleeing the Holocaust. But the details are either hazy or nonexistent; and these letters depict a life that is a bit different than the quiet one Abby knows about.

And so, Abby heads to Nantucket for the summer to learn more about her grandmother and the secrets she kept. But when she meets Edward’s handsome grandson, who wants to stop her from investigating, things get complicated. As Abby and Noah grow closer, the mysteries in their families deepen, and they discover that they both have to accept the burdens of their pasts if they want the kinds of futures they’ve always imagined.

“I love books with letters and this sounds like a good one.”

——–

Susannah’s career as a pianist has been on hold for nearly sixteen years, ever since her son was born. An adoptee who’s never forgiven her birth mother for not putting her first, Susannah vowed to put her own child first, no matter what. And she did.

But now, suddenly, she has a chance to vault into that elite tier of “chosen” musicians. There’s just one problem: somewhere along the way, she lost the power and the magic that used to be hers at the keyboard. She needs to get them back. Now.

Her quest—what her husband calls her obsession—turns out to have a cost Susannah couldn’t have anticipated. Even her hand betrays her, as Susannah learns that she has a progressive hereditary disease that’s making her fingers cramp and curl—a curse waiting in her genes, legacy of a birth family that gave her little else. As her now-or-never concert draws near, Susannah is catapulted back to memories she’s never been able to purge—and forward, to choices she never thought she would have to make.

Told through the unique perspective of a musician, The Sound Between the Notes draws the reader deeper and deeper into the question Susannah can no longer silence: Who am I, and where do I belong?

“This one has a pianist as a main character and it sounds so interesting.”

——–

Martha

The Distant Dead (The Detective’s Daughter #8) by Lesley Thomson found at Fiction Books.

Cleaner-turned-detective Stella Darnell connects a murder in Tewkesbury Abbey to a decades-old mystery in wartime London. From the number 1 bestselling author of The Detective’s Daughter.

London, 1940
A woman lies dead in a bombed-out house. It looks like she’s another tragic casualty of the Blitz, until police pathologist Aleck Northcote proves she was strangled and placed at the scene. But Northcote himself has something to hide. And when his past catches up with him, he too is murdered.

Tewkesbury, 2020
Beneath the vast stone arches of Tewkesbury Abbey, a man has been fatally stabbed. He is Roddy March, an investigative journalist for a podcast series uncovering miscarriages of justice. He was looking into the murder of police pathologist Dr Aleck Northcote – and was certain he had uncovered Northcote’s real killer.

Stella Darnell used to run a detective agency alongside her cleaning business. She’s moved to Tewkesbury to escape from death, not to court it – but Roddy died in her arms and, Stella is someone impelled to root out evil when she finds it. Now she is determined to hunt down Roddy’s killer – but then she finds another body…

“Although it is book 8 of a series, the idea of a cleaner turned detective caught my interest.”

——–

Gone for Good (Detective Annalisa Vega #1) by Joanna Schaffhausen found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore and Silver’s Reviews.

Gone For Good is the first in a new mystery series from award-winning author Joanna Schaffhausen, featuring Detective Annalisa Vega, in which a cold case heats up.

The Lovelorn Killer murdered seven women, ritually binding them and leaving them for dead before penning them gruesome love letters in the local papers. Then he disappeared, and after twenty years with no trace of him, many believe that he’s gone for good.

Not Grace Harper. A grocery store manager by day, at night Grace uses her snooping skills as part of an amateur sleuth group. She believes the Lovelorn Killer is still living in the same neighborhoods that he hunted in, and if she can figure out how he selected his victims, she will have the key to his identity.

Detective Annalisa Vega lost someone she loved to the killer. Now she’s at a murder scene with the worst kind of déjà vu: Grace Harper lies bound and dead on the floor, surrounded by clues to the biggest murder case that Chicago homicide never solved. Annalisa has the chance to make it right and to heal her family, but first, she has to figure out what Grace knew—how to see a killer who may be standing right in front of you. This means tracing his steps back to her childhood, peering into dark corners she hadn’t acknowledged before, and learning that despite everything the killer took, she has still so much more to lose.

“”I like police procedurals and this sounds like a good mystery.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

3 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 INVISIBLE WOMAN by Erika Robuck at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

France, March 1944. Virginia Hall wasn’t like the other young society women back home in Baltimore—she never wanted the debutante ball or silk gloves. Instead, she traded a safe life for adventure in Europe, and when her beloved second home is thrust into the dark days of war, she leaps in headfirst.

Once she’s recruited as an Allied spy, subverting the Nazis becomes her calling. But even the most cunning agent can be bested, and in wartime trusting the wrong person can prove fatal. Virginia is haunted every day by the betrayal that ravaged her first operation, and will do everything in her power to avenge the brave people she lost.

While her future is anything but certain, this time more than ever Virginia knows that failure is not an option. Especially when she discovers what—and whom—she’s truly protecting.

“Yes, it is a WWII novel. But it’s also a spy novel. I’ve also read books by Ms. Robuck before and enjoyed them so this is a win-win for me.”

——–

My other pick was on Martha’s list — The Midnight Library.

——–

Martha

The Midnight Library: A Novel by Matt Haig found at An Interior Journey.

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”

A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

“The premise of this caught my interest.”

——–

The Stills (Kinship 3) by Jess Montgomery found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

With compassion and insight, Jess Montgomery weaves a gripping mystery and portrait of community in The Stills, the powerful third novel in the Kinship series.

Ohio, 1927: Moonshining is a way of life in rural Bronwyn County, and even the otherwise upstanding Sheriff Lily Ross has been known to turn a blind eye when it comes to stills in the area. But when thirteen-year-old Jebediah Ranklin almost dies after drinking tainted moonshine, Lily knows that someone has gone too far, and—with the help of organizer and moonshiner Marvena Whitcomb—is determined to find out who.

But then, Lily’s nemesis, the businessman George Vogel, reappears in town with his new wife, Fiona. Along with them is also her former brother-in-law Luther Ross, now an agent for the newly formed Bureau of Prohibition. To Lily, it seems too much of a coincidence that they should arrive now.

As fall turns to winter, a blizzard closes in. Lily starts to peel back the layers of deception shrouding the town of Kinship, but soon she discovers that many around her seem to be betraying those they hold dear—and that Fiona too may have an agenda of her own.

“”I find the idea of a female sheriff in 1927 Appalachia very intriguing.”

What books caught your eyes this week?