Mailbox Monday

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

We’ve had what seems like a very stressful few weeks with the shopping, activities outdoors in the cold, our first snow, and my work drama that likely will continue into the new year. I hope everyone is reading. I haven’t been, which is probably why I am so stressed.

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

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

Books That Caught Our Eye

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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 week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

Passenger 23 by Sebastian Fitzek found at Fiction Books.

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

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

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

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

“This sounds like a very creepy suspense.”

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

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

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

SERENA:

Hood Feminism was also on my list.

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

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

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

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

“I absolutely love Pam Jenoff’s books.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Mailbox Monday

4 Comments

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

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

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

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

Books That Caught Our Eye

4 Comments

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

Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

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

WELCOME HOME TO THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SERENA:

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

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

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

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

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

“Definitely one for my list.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Mailbox Monday

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

How is it December already? The end of the year always comes too quickly for me. I feel unprepared every year and stressed out. This year, particularly so. I hope everyone has had time to read and enjoy family and food. I’m focused on food and family these days as a way to destress from work. We did have some snow flurries last week, but nothing stuck to the ground.

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

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

Books That Caught Our Eye

5 Comments

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

Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can love blossom after life changes in an instant?

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

Neither believes today is goodbye.

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

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

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

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

SERENA:

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

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

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

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

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

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

What books caught your eyes this week?

Mailbox Monday

1 Comment

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Last Monday of the month! And this one is Cyber Monday in the US. It’s going to be bigger than ever as crowds were down on Black Friday.

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

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

Books That Caught Our Eye

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

Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

Serena

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

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

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

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

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

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

——–

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens at Silver’s Reviews.

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

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

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

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

Martha

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

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

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

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

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

“This sounds like an engaging historical mystery.”

——–

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

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

The Divide.

It’s the edge of the universe.

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

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

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

They’re humanity’s only chance.

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

Leslie

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

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

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

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

Mailbox Monday

3 Comments

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Happy Monday! I can’t believe this year is heading into the last month. This Thursday is Thanksgiving in the US. And then Black Friday. A different kind of Black Friday this year, but I’m sure people will still be shopping… online! Stay safe out there.

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

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

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

Books That Caught Our Eye

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

Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

Serena

How to Catch a Snowman by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton at Silver’s Reviews.

Our heroes’ entry for the snowman contest has magically come to life―and ran away! Can YOU help catch it? Get ready for snow much fun as you travel through a winter wonderland with running, skating, and bouncing through trap after trap to catch the snowman and claim the winning prize. Will the snowman teach our heroes a lesson they’ll never forget? Who snows!

I don’t thumpity-thump or give warm hugs―that’s for my snowman friends to do.
Clever kids will try to trap me,
but who will catch me…YOU?

“This looks like a good one for my daughter.”

Martha

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey found at Savvy Verse & Wit.

I’ve been in this life for 50 years, been trying to work out its riddle for 42, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last 35. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.

Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges – how to get relative with the inevitable – you can enjoy a state of success I call “catching greenlights”. So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is 50 years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops. Hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears. It’s a love letter. To life. It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights – and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green, too. Good luck.

“I’m not a big fan of celebrities but this biography really sounds interesting to me.”

——–

To Con a Gentleman (Dalton Family #1) by Sarah Adams found at Colletta’s Kitchen Sink.

He was her target. She was his diversion. Falling in love was never something they wanted.

As a con woman who has spent her entire life fending for herself on the streets of London, Rose Wakefield knows how to scam a gentleman out of his money without ever getting caught. That’s until she knocks on the wrong earl’s door and is faced with Carver Ashburn Earl of Kensworth and not the notorious rake she thinks she is approaching.

Carver is a good man, but even a good man will not pass up an opportunity to escape his grief. What better way to avoid his feelings than to play into a con woman’s ruse and offer to marry her?

Things only grow more complicated when Carver sweeps Rose off to his family estate and circumstances force them both into continuing the ruse. Carver needs to protect his family, and Rose needs to protect herself—and her heart.

With so much set against them, will Rose and Carver have a chance at love and freedom? Or is the possibility of more heartache not worth the risk?

“I like historical romance and this sounds like a good one.”