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Archive for the ‘mailbox monday’ Category

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Here’s what I added to the shelves over the past couple of weeks:

For review:

boots & backpacksBoots & Backpacks by K.C. Kahler — from Meryton Press

William Darcy counts down the last few months to his 30th birthday with dread.  Orphaned as a child, his parents’ will includes a bizarre clause:  Darcy must get married by his 30th birthday in order to inherit the family fortune.  To make matters worse, the press knows about this deadline, as do the hordes of women chasing him in the hopes of becoming Mrs. Darcy.  His family legacy hangs in the balance, but Darcy has little faith in the fairer sex.  Will he find a woman he wants to marry, and quickly?

Elizabeth Bennet is determined to pursue her education and career without letting a man get in the way.  When her traveling companion drops out, her planned hike on the Appalachian Trail is jeopardized.  She meets the spoiled, snobby William Darcy just when he is desperate to escape the spotlight.  No one will suspect that the Prince of Manhattan has gone backpacking!  Darcy and Elizabeth form a tenuous partnership and begin a 300-mile journey that will transform them both.

In classic romantic comedy tradition, Boots & Backpacks follows our reluctant partners as they build trust, friendship, and even more.  Six weeks together on America’s most famous hiking trail may turn out to be just what these two need!  (publisher’s summary)

into the savage countryInto the Savage Country by Shannon Burke — from Pantheon

When young William Wyeth leaves St. Louis on a fur-trapping expedition, he nearly loses his life and quickly discovers the depth of loyalty among the men who must depend on one another to survive.  While convalescing, he falls in love with the proud Alene, a widow who may or may not wait for him.  And on a wildly risky expedition into Crow territory, Wyeth finds himself unwittingly in the center of a deadly boundary dispute among Native American tribes, the British government, and American trapping brigades.  A classic adventure told with great suspense and literary flair, Into the Savage Country illuminates the ways in which extreme circumstances expose the truth about the natures of individual men and the surprising mechanics of their bravery, loyalty, and friendship.  (publisher’s summary)

mr. darcy's challengeMr. Darcy’s Challenge by Monica Fairview — from the author

Darcy dreams of winning Elizabeth Bennet’s hand, and he has a strategy worked out. But when a chance encounter prompts Darcy to propose to Elizabeth before he has rescued Lydia, his plans go horribly awry.

Broken hearted, disillusioned and bitterly regretting his impulsive action, Darcy sees no point in fulfilling the terms of his pledge. After all, rescuing Lydia might save Elizabeth’s reputation, but why should he assist her when they have no future together? Once again, Darcy finds himself faced with impossible choices: being selfless, even knowing there is no chance of reward; or holding onto his dignity by turning his back on the Bennets once and for all.

Pride and love are at loggerheads as he struggles to choose between his mind…and his heart. (publisher’s summary)

Gift:

becoming mrs. norris“Becoming Mrs. Norris” by Alexa Adams — from the author

**I edited this short prequel to Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, which Alexa Adams released as part of her Twisted Austen Halloween event.**

Fanny Price’s Aunt Norris is one of the most despised characters Jane Austen ever created, but how did she become so repulsive? “Becoming Mrs. Norris” explores the events that occurred before Mansfield Park, when Sir Thomas Bertram was courting Miss Maria Ward. This “Twisted Austen” tale was written in honor of Halloween and was first published serially on the author’s blog, alexaadams.blogspot.com.  (publisher’s summary)

Free e-books:

only a novelOnly a Novel: The Double Life of Jane Austen by Jane Aiken Hodge

In her lifetime, Jane Austen did her best to conform to the conventions of her day, and after her death the family touched up the picture. But the real Jane Austen, who started as author at twelve years old, was something very different.

What depths of intellectual and moral despair must she have plumbed before she achieved the extraordinary moral vision that has been compared, with justice, to Chaucer’s? It was a fortunate thing for her family that the highly polished surface of the six novels, their sheer artistry concealing tension, makes it easy to miss the depth and bitterness of what they are often saying. We must look for real evidence about her character not in the censored reminiscences of Victorian relatives, but in the books and the letters themselves.

Jane Aiken Hodge has gone deeply into the novelist’s own writings, family and contemporary records to produce a new picture of this enigmatic figure who did so much to revive the English novel at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Jane Austen appears at once as a very warm and human figure (the “dear Aunt Jane” of the Victorians), and as a baffling one. Did she, in fact, suffer what we should call a nervous breakdown in her silent, middle years? And was she content with her publishers, and with the comparatively modest earnings of her novels?

Hodge does not pretend to provide final answers to these and other fascinating questions, but she is meticulous in giving the facts on which readers can base their own conclusions. This is a book for those who have always loved Jane Austen, and for those who would like to know more about her. (publisher’s summary)

the mind's eyeThe Mind’s Eye by K.C. Finn

A girl with a telepathic gift finds a boy clinging to his last hope during the war-torn climate of Europe, 1940.

At fifteen, Kit Cavendish is one the oldest evacuees to escape London at the start of the Second World War due to a long term illness that sees her stuck in a wheelchair most of the time. But Kit has an extraordinary psychic power: she can put herself into the minds of others, see through their eyes, feel their emotions, even talk to them — though she dares not speak out for fear of her secret ability being exposed.

As Kit settles into her new life in the North Wales village of Bryn Eira Bach, solitude and curiosity encourage her to gain better control of her gift. Until one day her search for information on the developing war leads her to the mind of Henri, a seventeen-year-old Norwegian boy witnessing the German occupation of his beloved city, Oslo. As Henri discovers more about the English girl occupying his mind, the psychic and emotional bonds between them strengthen and Kit guides him through an oppressive and dangerous time.

There are secrets to be uncovered, both at home and abroad, and it’s up to Kit and Henri to come together and fight their own battles in the depths of the world’s greatest war. (publisher’s summary)

the obituary societyThe Obituary Society by Jessica L. Randall

When Lila Moore inherits her grandfather’s house, she finds herself in a small Midwestern town where margarine is never an acceptable substitution for butter, a coveted family recipe can serve as currency, and the friend who will take your darkest secrets to the grave will still never give you the secret to her prize-winning begonias.

Lila is charmed by the people of Auburn, from the blue-eyed lawyer with the southern drawl to the little old lady who unceasingly tries to set Lila up with her grandson. But when strange things begin to happen, Lila realizes some of her new friends are guarding a secret like it’s a precious family heirloom. It’s a dangerous secret, and it has come back to haunt them. Lila is caught in the middle, and her life may depend on uncovering it. But even if she can, can she stay in Auburn when not everyone is what they seem, and even the house wants her gone? (publisher’s summary)

What books did you add to your shelves recently?

© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Here’s what I added to the shelves over the past couple of weeks:

For review:

texts from jane eyreTexts From Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg — from Henry Holt

Mallory Ortberg, cocreator of the cult-favorite Web site The Toast, presents this hysterical collection of text message conversations from your favorite literary characters.  Everyone has a friend who likes to relay enormously significant, life-altering news in a careless, passive-aggressive way: Did I not mention that I broke up with him?; Oh, I quit that job!; You know, I pierced my nipple; I know I told you about that.  In Texts From Jane Eyre, various well-loved literary figures reveal themselves to be that secretly terrible friend.  If Scarlett O’Hara had an unlimited text-and-data plan, she’d be constantly trying to sext Ashley away from Melanie.  If Mr. Rochester could text Jane Eyre, his ardent missives would obviously be in all caps.  And Daisy Buchanan would not only text while driving, she’d text you to pick her up after she totaled her car.  Based on the popular Web feature, Texts From Jane Eyre is a witty, irreverent mash-up that channels characters like Captain Ahab, Jessica Wakefield, and Emma Woodhouse at their silliest, most manipulative, and most bizarre.  (publisher’s summary)

karskiKarski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust by E. Thomas Wood and Stanisław M. Jankowski — from Gihon River Press

A young Polish diplomat turned cavalry officer, Jan Karski joined the Polish underground movement in 1939.  He became a courier for the underground, crossing enemy lines to serve as a liaison between occupied Poland and the free world.

In 1942, Jewish leaders asked him to carry a desperate message to Allied leaders: the news of Hitler’s effort to exterminate the Jews of Europe.  To be able to deliver an authentic report, Karski twice toured the Warsaw Ghetto in disguise and later volunteered to be smuggled into a camp that was part of the Nazi murder machine.

Carrying sealed tales of inhumanity, Karski set out to alert the world to the emerging Holocaust, meeting with top Allied officials and later President Roosevelt, to deliver his descriptions of genocide.

Part spy thriller and part compelling story of moral courage against all odds, Karski is the first definitive account of perhaps the most significant warning of the impending Holocaust to reach the free world.  (publisher’s summary)

women of valorWomen of Valor: Polish Resisters to the Third Reich by Joanne D. Gilbert — from Gihon River Press

Women of Valor: Polish Resisters to the Third Reich provides a unique and inspiring perspective on the extraordinary Jewish and non- Jewish women who risked everything to defy the Nazis. In this highly readable and educational collection of true stories, educator, public-speaker and author Joanne D. Gilbert celebrates the heroines of World War II who not only fought the horrors of the Holocaust, but survived well into their 80s and 90s—living lives of commitment to the human spirit and human rights. (publisher’s summary)

liesl's ocean rescueLiesl’s Ocean Rescue by Barbara Krasner, illustrated by Avi Katz — from Gihon River Press

**I reviewed this one already, click here.**

Liesl’s Ocean Rescue, by noted children’s author Barbara Krasner, recounts the story of Liesl Joseph, a 10-year-old girl aboard the ill-fated MS St. Louis.  On May 13, 1939, together with her parents and nearly 1,000 other Jewish refugees, they left Hamburg on the German luxury ocean liner, attempting to seek temporary asylum in Cuba.  (publisher’s summary)

the beautiful americanThe Beautiful American by Jeanne Mackin — from the author

As recovery from World War II begins, expat American Nora Tours travels from her home in southern France to London in search of her missing sixteen-year-old daughter.  There, she unexpectedly meets up with an old acquaintance, famous model-turned-photographer Lee Miller.  Neither has emerged from the war unscathed.  Nora is racked with the fear that her efforts to survive under the Vichy regime may have cost her daughter’s life.  Lee suffers from what she witnessed as a war correspondent photographing the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.

Nora and Lee knew each other in the heady days of late 1920s Paris: when Nora was giddy with love for her childhood sweetheart, Lee became the celebrated mistress of the artist Man Ray, and Lee’s magnetic beauty drew them all into the glamorous lives of famous artists and their wealthy patrons.  But Lee fails to realize that her friendship with Nora is even older, that it goes back to their days as children in Poughkeepsie, New York, when a devastating trauma marked Lee forever.  Will Nora’s reunion with Lee give them a chance to forgive past betrayals…and break years of silence to forge a meaningful connection as women who have shared the best and the worst that life can offer?

A novel of freedom and frailty, desire and daring, The Beautiful American portrays the extraordinary relationships between two passionate, unconventional women.  (publisher’s summary)

a tender moment

A Tender Moment by P.O. Dixon — from the author

What if two weeks after the Meryton assembly Darcy no longer wishes to deny his increasing fascination with the bewitching Miss Elizabeth Bennet and her amazing eyes? What if he’s the last man in the world she wishes to spend time with owing to his tendency of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time? Will he persuade her to give him another chance to earn her good opinion? (publisher’s summary)

Free ebook:

lost in shangri-laLost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff

Award-winning former Boston Globe reporter Mitchell Zuckoff unleashes the exhilarating, untold story of an extraordinary World War II rescue mission, where a plane crash in the South Pacific plunged a trio of U.S.military personnel into a land that time forgot. Fans of Hampton Sides’ Ghost Soldiers, Marcus Luttrell’s Lone Survivor, and David Grann’s The Lost City of Z will be captivated by Zuckoff’s masterfully recounted, all-true story of danger, daring, determination, and discovery in jungle-clad New Guinea during the final days of WWII. (publisher’s summary)

What books did you add to your shelves recently?

© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Here’s what I added to the shelves over the past week:

For review:

mr. darcy's christmas calendarMr. Darcy’s Christmas Calendar by Jane Odiwe — from the author

Lizzy Benson visits Jane Austen’s house in Chawton and buys a special advent calendar in the gift shop, but strange things start to happen when she opens up the first door and finds herself back in time with all the beloved characters from her favourite book, Pride and Prejudice. As she finds herself increasingly drawn into an alternate reality, Lizzy discovers not only is Mr Darcy missing from the plot, but Jane Austen has never heard of him. All Lizzy can hope is that she can help to get the story and her own complicated love life back on track before Christmas is over! (publisher’s summary)

to refine like silverTo Refine Like Silver by Jeanna Ellsworth — from the author

If Mr. Darcy had met Elizabeth Bennet in his beloved Derbyshire, would he have recognized her as the love of his life instead of dismissing her as someone “not handsome enough to tempt” him?  This alteration of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice adds a little spirit, flirtation, and charm to everyone’s favorite characters.

Early in the summer of 1811, Elizabeth Bennet travels to Derbyshire to help her aunt and uncle settle in as new owners of Saphrinbrooke.  Elizabeth is soon introduced to the estate’s nearest neighbors: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and his sister, Georgiana, who is suffering the results of a fateful trip to Ramsgate.  Having endured several life tragedies herself, Elizabeth reaches out to the young lady of Pemberley.  Under her radiant influence, both Darcy and Georgiana begin to look for help outside of themselves.

To Refine Like Silver is a romantic and spiritual journey where more than one of our favorite Regency characters must learn to fully rely on God.  Their trials bring depth to the beloved story, and Mr. Darcy ultimately learns that our trials do not define us; rather, they refine us.  (publisher’s summary)

rudolphRudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Special Edition Pop-Up Book) by Lisa Marsoli — from Media Masters Publicity

The most beloved holiday television special of all time comes alive in this special edition pop-up book.  Dash away with Rudolph on his adventures as he meets an unforgettable cast of characters: the elf/aspiring dentist Hermey, the affable miner Yukon Cornelius, the Abominable Snow Monster, and a legion of misfit toys.  This heartfelt Christmas classic has been enjoyed for generations.  Delight young readers with the magic of the holiday season and the tale of how one remarkable reindeer saved Christmas on one foggy night.  (publisher’s summary)

What books did you add to your shelves recently?

© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

Read Full Post »

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Here’s what I added to the shelves over the past week:

For Review:

jane austen cover to coverJane Austen Cover to Cover by Margaret C. Sullivan — from Quirk Books

Jane Austen Never Goes Out of Style

Since the first publication of her six novels in the 19th century, she has delighted generations of fans with classic stories that have never changed — and countless covers that have.  Jane Austen Cover to Cover compiles two centuries of design showcasing one of the world’s most beloved and celebrated novelists.  With over 200 images, plus historical commentary, Austen trivia, and a little bit of wit, this fascinating and visually intriguing look back is a must for Janeites, design enthusiasts, and book lovers of every age.  (publisher’s summary)

botticelli's bastardBotticelli’s Bastard by Stephen Maitland-Lewis — from the author

Art restorer Giovanni Fabrizzi is haunted by an unsigned renaissance portrait.  Obsessed to learn the truth of its origin, he becomes increasingly convinced the painting could be the work of one of history’s greatest artists, which if true, would catapult its value to the stratosphere.  But in learning of the painting’s past, he is faced with a dilemma.  He believes the portrait was stolen during the greatest art heist in history — the Nazi plunder of European artwork.  If true and a surviving relative of the painting’s rightful owner were still alive, Giovanni, in all good conscience, would have to give up the potential masterpiece.  His obsession with the portrait puts a strain on his new marriage, and his son thinks his father has lost his mind for believing an unremarkable, unsigned painting could be worth anyone’s attention.  Regardless, Giovanni persists in his quest of discovery and exposes far more truth than he ever wanted to know.  (publisher’s summary)

What books did you add to your shelves recently?

© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

Read Full Post »

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Here’s what I added to the shelves over the past couple of weeks:

For Review:

At Home With Mr. DarcyAt Home With Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly — from the author

The Austen Addicts are back!

It’s summer and renowned actress, Dame Pamela Harcourt, has organised a treat: the first Purley Hall Jane Austen holiday — to the home of Mr. Darcy no less.

With Katherine and Warwick, Robyn, Dorris Norris and the rest of the gang, it’s going to be a trip to remember.  But then a hardened journalist and a non-Janeite, Melissa Barry, joins the party.  Fearing a stitch-up, the friends rally together, hoping to convince Melissa that the only way is Austen…  (publisher’s summary)

land of dreamsLand of Dreams by Kate Kerrigan — from William Morrow

Irish immigrant Ellie Hogan has finally achieved the American Dream.  But her comfortable bohemian life on Fire Island, New York, is shattered when her eldest adopted son, Leo, runs away, lured by the promise of fortune and fame in Hollywood.  Determined to keep her family intact, Ellie follows him west, uprooting her youngest son and long-time friend Bridie.

In Los Angeles, Ellie creates a fashionable new home among the city’s celebrities, artists, and movie moguls.  She is also drawn into intense new friendships with talented film composer Stan, a man far different from any she has ever met, and Suri, a beautiful Japanese women and kindred spirit, who opens Ellie’s eyes to the injustices of her adopted country.

While Leo is dazzled by Hollywood’s glitz, Ellie quickly sees that the golden glamour masks a world of vanity and greed.  Though she tries to navigate the family around heartbreak and the dangers of their new home, she will not be able to protect them from a darker threat: war.  (publisher’s summary)

The Color of Courage by Julian Kulski — from Aquila Polonica

“If there is going to be a war, I do not want to miss it.”

-Julian Kulski, age 10, Warsaw, Poland

A rare and fascinating look at WWII through the eyes of a child.

This remarkable diary follows Kulski, a 10-year-old Boy Scout when WWII begins, as he is recruited into the clandestine Polish Underground Army by his Scoutmaster, undertakes a secret mission into Warsaw Ghetto, is captured by the Gestapo, sentenced to Auschwitz, rescued, fights in a Polish Commando unit in the Warsaw Uprising, and ends as a 16-year-old German POW.  (publisher’s summary)

if i knew you were going to be this beautifulIf I Knew You Were Going to Be This Beautiful I Never Would Have Let You Go by Judy Chicurel — a surprise from Putnam

No matter how beautiful some dreams are, there comes a time when we must let them go. It is the summer of 1972, and Katie has just turned eighteen. Katie and her town, Elephant Beach, are both on the verge: Katie of adulthood, and Elephant Beach of gentrification. But not yet: Elephant Beach is still gritty, working-class, close-knit. And Katie spends her time smoking and drinking with her friends, dreaming about a boy just back from Vietnam who’s still fighting a battle Katie can’t understand. In this poignant, evocative debut collection, Judy Chicurel creates a haunting, vivid world, where conflicts between mothers and daughters, men and women, soldiers and civilians and haves and have-nots reverberate to our own time. She captures not only a time and place, but the universal experience of being poised between the past and the future.  (publisher’s summary)

past encountersPast Encounters by Davina Blake — from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

From the moment Rhoda Middleton opens one of her husband’s letters and finds it is from another woman, she is convinced he is having an affair.  But when Rhoda tracks her down, she discovers the mysterious woman is not his lover after all, but the wife of his best friend, Archie Foster.  There is only one problem — Rhoda has never even heard of Archie Foster.

Devastated by this betrayal of trust, Rhoda tries to find out how and why her husband, Peter, has kept this friendship hidden for so long.  Her search leads her back to 1945, but as she gradually uncovers Peter’s wartime secrets she must wrestle with painful memories of her own.  For if they are ever to understand each other, Rhoda too must escape the ghosts of the past.

Taking us on a journey from the atmospheric filming of Brief Encounter, to the extraordinary Great March of prisoners of war through snow-bound Germany, this is a novel of friendship, hope, and how in the end, it is the small things that enable love to survive.  (publisher’s summary)

Gift:

the madness of mr. darcyThe Madness of Mr. Darcy by Alexa Adams — from the author

**I’m excited about the fact that I edited this book!  Check out an excerpt and an international giveaway here (closes Sunday, October 19)

The year is 1832 and regrets beleaguer Fitzwilliam Darcy.  All he ever cared for has been taken from him: his pride, his sister, and his true love, Elizabeth Bennet.  Now, having nearly murdered a man in a fit of rage, he might lose Pemberley, too.  More than just his home, his very identity is at stake.  In desperation, he seeks the help of Dr. Frederick Wilson, owner and proprietor of Ramsey House, a madhouse for fine ladies and gentlemen.  Is Darcy’s confinement the inevitable end to his tortured descent, or will he rediscover what he lost in the most unlikely of places?  (publisher’s summary)

Free ebook:

19321932 by Karen M. Cox

“…the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry.”  When Elizabeth Bennet left Fitzwilliam Darcy with those words, she was a sheltered, naïve girl who had never felt the sting of real poverty.  What if her circumstances were more precarious?  Would she still express herself using those harsh words?  What if she were the victim of a raging storm of worldwide economic hardship that touched virtually everyone?  How would the consequences of that hardship affect the other beloved characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice?  If Elizabeth thought she was running out of options, what would happen then?  1932 is a twist on Jane Austen’s classic tale.  Elizabeth Bennet has always led a pampered existence as the daughter of a university professor in the Midwest until the safety of her world dissolves around her due to unforeseen adversity.  Amidst the ensuing upheaval, what — and who — might she discover as she rebuilds a life for herself and her family in the sleepy, backwater town of Meryton?  (publisher’s summary)

From the library sale:

great houseGreat House by Nicole Krauss

For twenty-five years, a reclusive American novelist has been writing at the desk she inherited from a young Chilean poet who disappeared at the hands of Pinochet’s secret police.  One day a girl claiming to be the poet’s daughter arrives to take it away, sending the writer’s life reeling.  Across the ocean, in the leafy suburbs of London, a man caring for his dying wife discovers, among her papers, a lock of hair that unravels a terrible secret.  In Jerusalem, an antiques dealer slowly reassembles his father’s study, plundered by the Nazis in Budapest in 1944.

Connecting these stories is a desk of many drawers that exerts a power over those who possess it or have given it away.  Great House is a story haunted by questions: What do we pass on to our children and how do they absorb our dreams and losses?  How do we respond to disappearance, destruction, and change?

Nicole Krauss has written a soaring, powerful novel about memory struggling to create a meaningful permanence in the face of inevitable loss.  (publisher’s summary)

while we're far apartWhile We’re Far Apart by Lynn Austin

In an unassuming apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, three lives intersect as the reality of war invades their lives.

Young Esther is heartbroken when her father decides to enlist in the army shortly after the death of her mother.

Penny Goodrich has been in love with Eddie Shaffer for as long as she can remember; now that Eddie’s wife is dead, Penny feels she’s been given a second chance and offers to care for his children, hoping he will finally notice her and marry her after the war.

And elderly Mr. Mendel, the landlord, waits for the war to end to hear what has happened to his son trapped in war-torn Hungary.

Broken and hurting, yet drawn together through difficult circumstances, a new kind of family is forged…to face the return they’ve all been waiting for.  (publisher’s summary)

cocktails for threeCocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham

At the first of every month, when the office has reached its pinnacle of hysteria, Maggie, Roxanne, and Candice meet at London’s swankiest bar for an evening of cocktails and gossip.  Here, they chat about what’s new at The Londoner, the glossy fashion magazine where they all work, and everything else that’s going on in their lives.  Or almost everything.  Beneath the girl talk and the laughter, each of the three have a secret.  And when a chance encounter at the cocktail bar sets in motion an extraordinary chain of events, each one will find her biggest secret revealed.

In Cocktails for Three, Madeleine Wickham combines her trademark humor with remarkable insight to create an edgy, romantic tale of secrets, strangers, and a splash of scandal.  (publisher’s summary)

the fault in our starsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green

(I read this already, but I borrowed it from my daughter and wanted my own copy.)

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. (publisher’s summary)

What books did you add to your shelves recently?

© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

Read Full Post »

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Here’s what I added to the shelves over the past few weeks:

For review:

GI BridesGI Brides: The Wartime Girls Who Crossed the Atlantic for Love by Duncan Barrett & Nuala Calvi — from William Morrow

American soldiers stationed in the UK came away winning more than just a war, they also won the hearts of young women across Britain.  At the end of World War II, more than 70,000 GI brides followed the men they’d married — men they barely knew — to begin a new life in the United States.  Meet four of these women:

Sylvia Bradley, a loyal, bright-eyed optimist
Rae Brewer, a resourceful, quick-witted tomboy
Margaret Boyle, an English beauty who faced down every challenge
Gwendolyn Rowe, a brave woman ahead of her time

Though all made the bold choice to leave family and the world they knew, the journey each experienced was unique — ranging from romantic to heartbreaking.

Fascinating and unforgettable, GI Brides pays homage to these brave women, propelled by love and hope, who embarked on an adventure that would change their lives.  (publisher’s summary)

jane and the 12 days of christmasJane and the Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron — from Soho Crime

Christmas Eve, 1814: Jane Austen has been invited to spend the holiday with family and friends at The Vyne, the gorgeous ancestral home of the wealthy and politically prominent Chute family.  As the year fades and friends begin to gather beneath the mistletoe for the twelve days of Christmas festivities, Jane and her circle are in a celebratory mood: Mansfield Park is selling nicely; Napoleon has been banished to Elba; British forces have seized Washington, D.C.; and on Christmas Eve, John Quincy Adams signs the Treaty of Ghent, which will end a war nobody in England really wanted.

Jane, however, discovers holiday cheer is fleeting.  One of the Yuletide revelers dies in a tragic accident which Jane immediately views with suspicion.  If the accident was in fact murder, the killer is one of Jane’s fellow snow-bound guests.  With clues scattered amidst cleverly crafted charades, dark secrets coming to light during parlor games, and old friendships returning to haunt the Christmas parties, whom can Jane trust to help her discover the truth and stop the killer from striking again?  (publisher’s summary)

hidden halosSophia’s War: Hidden Halos by Stephanie Baumgartner — from the author

November 1940:

In the months following her last correspondence with Adrian, Sophia finds herself tormented by her unrequited affections for him.  The only good that seems to come from any of it is how much easier life alongside Diedrich proves to be with Adrian gone…

But a few chance encounters with the man who was once her friend and the incessant longing in her heart for him only add to her affliction.  Disturbed by revelations of alarming deeds carried out by the Nazis, Sophia’s determination to stay in Germany begins to crumble.  Lives around her are in jeopardy, and as Adrian clings to his resolve to let her go, Sophia is forced to make a decision:

To entangle herself in the war or return home, both of which will bear consequences that are bound to change her fate forever. (publisher’s summary)

village of secretsVillage of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France by Caroline Moorehead — from Harper

Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a small village of scattered houses high in the mountains of the Ardèche, one of the most remote and inaccessible parts of eastern France.  During the Second World War, the inhabitants of this tiny mountain village and its parishes saved thousands wanted by the Gestapo: resisters, Freemasons, communists, OSS and SOE agents, and Jews.  Many of those they protected were orphaned children and babies whose parents had been deported to concentration camps.

With unprecedented access to newly opened archives in France, Britain, and Germany, and interviews with some of the villagers from the period who are still alive, Caroline Moorehead paints an inspiring portrait of courage and determination: of what was accomplished when a small group of people banded together to oppose their Nazi occupiers.  A thrilling and atmospheric tale of silence and complicity, Village of Secrets reveals how every one of the inhabitants of Chambon remained silent in a country infamous for collaboration.  Yet it is also a story of mythmaking, and the fallibility of memory.

A major contribution to WWII history, illustrated with black-and-white photos, Village of Secrets sets the record straight about the events in Chambon, and pays tribute to a group of heroic individuals, most of them women, for whom saving others became more important than their own lives.  (publisher’s summary)

first impressionsFirst Impressions by Charlie Lovett — from Viking

Could Jane Austen have stolen the plot of Pride and Prejudice?

That is exactly the question devoted Janeite Sophie Collingwood must answer in this beguiling, brilliantly imagined literary adventure by the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman’s Tale.

In a small Hampshire village at the end of the eighteenth century, a young Jane Austen strikes up an unexpected friendship with an elderly clergyman named Richard Mansfield.  Consumed with writing her first novel, Jane finds in Mr. Mansfield — an author himself — a perceptive reader of her work and a pleasant companion for long walks through the green fields and narrow lanes near Steventon.

In present-day London, recent Oxford graduate Sophie Collingwood has just taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop when two different customers call on the same day seeking the very same rare eighteenth-century volume: the second edition of A Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield.  Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice — and ultimately threaten her life.  Working against the clock to uncover the truth, Sophie must also choose between two suitors: Winston Godfrey, a dashing and seductive publishing executive, and Eric Hall, a pushy American academic with whom she’s shared one stolen, unforgettable kiss.  Can she trust her first impressions?  Or might Sophie be putting her life in the wrong man’s hands?

Sure to delight bibliophiles and Jane Austen fans everywhere, First Impressions is a romantic, suspenseful, and utterly compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books.  (publisher’s summary)

Free ebooks:

gracieGracie (Women & War Book 1) by Ellie Keaton

London 1938 – Gracie Thompson has a job, a loving family, a twin brother who drives her insane and a great friend. A chance meeting introduces her to the love of her life. But the storm clouds are gathering, Europe is teetering on the verge of war and threatening to destroy everything Gracie holds dear. When war arrives, her family are split up, her lover is in daily danger and her life is threatened. Her father and boyfriend believe a woman’s place is in the home but she is equally determined to do her duty for King and Country.

She succeeds in her ambition to do her bit but at what cost? Will she ever see her twin again? And can she live with the knowledge her actions may have led to the loss of the one man she loves? Not only could he die, but he may do so believing she never loved him. Is she brave enough to pull the life she wants back from the abyss? (publisher’s summary)

the other girlThe Other Girl by Pam Jenoff

Life in rural Poland during WWII brings a new set of challenges to Maria, estranged from her own family and left alone with her in-laws after her husband is sent to the front. For a young, newly pregnant wife, the days are especially cold, the nights unexpectedly lonely. The discovery of a girl hiding in the barn changes everything—Hannah is fleeing the German police who are taking Jews like her to special camps. Ignoring the risk to her own life and that of her unborn child, Maria is compelled to help. But in these dark days, no one can be trusted, and soon Maria finds her courage tested in ways she never expected and herself facing truths about her own family that the quiet village has kept buried for years… (publisher’s summary)

What books did you add to your shelves recently?

© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Here’s what I added to the shelves over the past couple of weeks:

For review:

PrintMrs. Darcy’s Diamonds by Jane Odiwe — from the author

Elizabeth is newly married to Fitzwilliam Darcy, the richest man in Derbyshire, landowner of a vast estate, and master of Pemberley House. Her new role is daunting at first, and having to deal with Mr Darcy’s aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, is a daily challenge. But Elizabeth is deeply in love and determined to rise to every test and trial she is forced to endure. When her husband presents her with a diamond ring, part of the precious and irreplaceable Darcy suite of jewels, she feels not only honoured and secure in her husband’s love, but also ready to accept her new responsibilities and position.

Elizabeth knows she will face exacting scrutiny at the approaching Christmas Ball, but it will be her chance to prove that she is a worthy mistress, and she is excited to be playing hostess to the Bennets, the Bingleys, and the gentry families of Derbyshire, as well as Mr Darcy’s French cousins. Antoine de Valois and his sister Louise have arrived at the invitation of Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Elizabeth is delighted that this young and lively couple are helping to bring Miss Georgiana Darcy out of her shell. However, when her ring goes missing before the ball, Elizabeth is distraught, and her dilemma further increased by the threat of a scandal that appears to involve the French cousins. (publisher’s summary)

empire girlsEmpire Girls by Suzanne Hayes & Loretta Nyhan — from Harlequin MIRA

Ivy and Rose Adams may be sisters, but they’re nothing alike.  Rose, the eldest, is the responsible one, while Ivy is spirited and brazen.  After the unexpected death of their father, the women are left to reconcile the estate, when they make a shocking discovery: not only has their father left them in financial ruin, but he has also bequeathed their beloved family house to a brother they never knew existed.  With only a photograph to guide their way, Ivy and Rose embark to New York City, determined to find this mysterious man and reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

Once in New York, temptations abound at every turn, and soon the sisters are drawn into the glitzy underbelly of Manhattan, where they must overcome their difference and learn to trust each other if they’re going to survive in the big city and find their brother.  Filled with unforgettable characters and charm, Empire Girls is a love letter to 1920s New York, and a captivating story of the unspoken bond between sisters.  (publisher’s summary)

What books did you add to your shelves recently?

© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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