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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 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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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:

For review:

edge of eternityEdge of Eternity by Ken Follett — from Dutton

Edge of Eternity is the sweeping, passionate conclusion to Ken Follett’s extraordinary historical epic, The Century Trilogy.

Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families — American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh — as they make their way through the twentieth century.  Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements, and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution — and rock and roll.

East German teacher Rebecca Hoffmann discovers she’s been spied on by the Stasi for years and commits an impulsive act that will affect her family for the rest of their lives…George Jakes, the child of a mixed-race couple, bypasses a corporate law career to join Robert F. Kennedy’s Justice Department and finds himself in the middle of not only the seminal events of the civil rights battle but a much more personal battle of his own…Cameron Dewar, the grandson of a senator, jumps at the chance to do some official and unofficial espionage for a cause he believes in, only to discover that the world is a much more dangerous place than he imagined…Dimka Dvorkin, a young aid to Nikita Khrushchev, becomes a prime agent both for good and for ill as the United States and the Soviet Union race to the brink of nuclear war, while his twin sister, Tanya, carves out a role that will take her from Moskow to Cuba to Prague to Warsaw — and into history.

As always with Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion.  With the hand of a master, he brings us into a world we thought we knew but will now never seem the same again.  (publisher’s summary)

the summer of long knivesThe Summer of Long Knives by Jim Snowden — from the author

In the summer of 1936, the racial and political climate in Munich are growing tense, and Kommisar Rolf Wundt and his wife Klara are increasingly desperate to leave Nazi Germany while they still can.  But when a member of the League of German Girls is found brutally murdered and posed in the yard of a dilapidated farmhouse, Rolf’s supervisor declares that they can’t leave until he’s solved the case.  Rolf’s investigation leads him from the depths of the underground Communist movement to the heights of Germany’s elite Nazi society, exposing the cracks in Germany’s so-called unified society as well as the unspoken tensions in Rolf’s complicated marriage.  Ultimately, long-buried secrets and overwhelming evidence are laid bare, but how can Rolf bring the killer to justice in a country devoid of justice?  And how can he protect himself, his wife, and his former lover from the barbarism of a corrupt and power hungry government?  (publisher’s summary)

Surprise:

the witch's boyThe Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill — from Algonquin Young Readers

When Ned and his identical twin brother tumble from their raft into a raging river, only Ned survives.  Villagers are convinced the wrong boy lived.  But when a Bandit King comes to steal the magic Ned’s mother, a witch, is meant to protect, it’s Ned who safeguards the magic and summons the strength to protect his family and community.

Meanwhile, across the enchanted forest that borders Ned’s village lives Áine, the resourceful and pragmatic daughter of the Bandit King, who is haunted by her mother’s last words to her: “The wrong boy will save your life and you will save his.”  When Áine‘s and Ned’s paths cross, can they trust each other long enough to stop the war that’s about to boil over between their two kingdoms?  (publisher’s summary)

Purchased:

my own mr. darcyMy Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White

After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough.

Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place. (publisher’s summary)

day after nightDay After Night by Anita Diamant

Day After Night is based on the extraordinary true story of the October 1945 rescue of more than two hundred prisoners from the Atlit internment camp, a prison for “illegal” immigrants run by the British military near the Mediterranean coast south of Haifa.  The story is told through the eyes of four young women at the camp who survived the Holocaust: Shayndel, a Polish Zionist; Leonie, a Parisian beauty; Tedi, a hidden Dutch Jew; and Zorah, a concentration camp survivor.  Haunted by unspeakable memories and losses, afraid to hope, the four of them find salvation in the bonds of friendship and shared experience even as they confront the challenge of re-creating themselves in a strange new country.

Diamant’s triumphant novel is an unforgettable story of tragedy and redemption that re-imagines a singular moment in history with stunning eloquence.  (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:

For review:

the garden of lettersThe Garden of Letters by Alyson Richman — from Berkley

Portofino, Italy, 1943

A young woman steps off a boat in a scenic coastal village. Although she knows how to disappear in a crowd, Elodie is too terrified to slip by the German officers while carrying her poorly forged identity papers. She is frozen until a man she’s never met before claims to know her. In desperate need of shelter, Elodie follows him back to his home on the cliffs of Portofino.

Only months before, Elodie Bertolotti was a cello prodigy in Verona, unconcerned with world events. But when Mussolini’s Facist regime strikes her family, Elodie is drawn into the burgeoning resistance movement by Luca, a young and impassioned bookseller. As the occupation looms, she discovers that her unique musical talents, and her courage, have the power to save lives.

In Portofino, young doctor Angelo Rosselli gives the frightened and exhausted girl sanctuary. He is a man with painful secrets of his own, haunted by guilt and remorse. But Elodie’s arrival has the power to awaken a sense of hope and joy that Angelo thought was lost to him forever.

Written in dazzling prose and set against the rich backdrop of World War II Italy, The Garden of Letters captures the hope, suspense, and romance of an uncertain era, in an epic intertwining story of first love, great tragedy, and spectacular bravery. (publisher’s summary)

my mother's secretMy Mother’s Secret by J.L. Witterick — from Berkley

Inspired by a true story, My Mother’s Secret is a captivating and ultimately uplifting tale intertwining the lives of two Jewish families in hiding from the Nazis, a fleeing German soldier, and the mother and daughter who team up to save them all.

Franciszka and her daughter, Helena, are simple, ordinary people…until 1939, when the Nazis invade their homeland. Providing shelter to Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland is a death sentence, but Franciszka and Helena do exactly that. In their tiny home in Sokal, they hide a Jewish family in a loft a above their pigsty, a Jewish doctor with his wife and son in a makeshift cellar under the kitchen, and a defecting German soldier in the attic — each party completely unknown to the others. For everyone to survive, Franciszka will have to outsmart her neighbors and the German commander.

Told simply and succinctly from four different perspectives — all under one roof — My Mother’s Secret is a testament to the kindness, courage, and generosity of ordinary people who chose to be extraordinary. (publisher’s summary)

the darkest hourThe Darkest Hour by Tony Schumacher — from William Morrow

London, 1946. The Nazis have conquered and now occupy Great Britain, using brutality and fear to control its citizens. John Henry Rossett, a decorated British war hero and former police sergeant, has been reassigned to the Office of Jewish Affairs. He now answers to the SS, one of the most powerful and terrifying organizations in the Third Reich.

Rossett is a man accustomed to obeying commands, but he’s now assigned a job he did not ask for — and cannot refuse: rounding up Jews for deportation, including men and women he’s known his whole life. But they are not the only victims, for the war took Rossett’s wife and son, and shattered his own humanity. Then he finds Jacob, a young Jewish child who touches something in Rossett that he thought was long dead.

Determined to save the innocent boy, Rossett takes him on the run, with the Nazis in pursuit. But they are not the only hunters following his trail. The Royalist Resistance and the Communists want him, too. Each faction has its own agenda, and Rossett will soon learn that none of them can be trusted…and all of them are deadly (publisher’s summary)

remember the pastRemember the Past by Maria Grace — from the author

Elizabeth Bennet’s father, Admiral Thomas Bennet, assures his daughters that his retirement from His Majesty’s Navy will be the start of a new life for them all. Little does he know his family’s battles have only just begun.

Well-connected and in possession of a good fortune, their entry into society should have been a triumph. However, their long-awaited first season in London proves a disaster, and the resulting scandal sends the Bennets fleeing to the wilds of Derbyshire.

Widower Fitzwilliam Darcy, the master of Pemberley, wants for nothing, most especially not a wife. From the moment the Bennets arrive in Derbyshire, Darcy’s neatly ordered life turns upside down. His sons beg to keep company with their new playmates, the young Bennet twins. His mother-in-law sets her cap for Admiral Bennet. Worst of all, Darcy cannot get his mind off a certain bewitching Miss Elizabeth Bennet, but she has sworn never to let another gentleman near her heart.

Darcy’s best efforts to befriend and assist the Bennet family go horribly awry, alienating first Miss Elizabeth, then her father, and finally endangering what both men hold most dear. Can the two men Elizabeth loves most set aside their pride to prevent catastrophe for their families and win the love they seek? (publisher’s summary)

longbourn to londonLongbourn to London by Linda Beutler — from Meryton Press

A courtship is a journey of discovery…but what do we know of the official betrothal of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet? We may assume there were awkward social events to navigate, tedious wedding arrangements to negotiate, and Bingley’s toplofty sisters to accommodate. How did Darcy and Elizabeth manage these travails, and each other?

Longborn to London is not a Pride and Prejudice “what if,” nor is it a sequel. Rather, it is an expansion of the betrothal of Jane Austen’s favorite couple. We follow Lizzy’s journey from spirited maiden scampering about the fields of Hertfordshire to nervous, blushing bride in Mayfair, where she learns the unexpected joys of marriage to a man as willing to be teased as she is to tease him.

Join us as IPPY award-winning author Linda Beutler (2013 Silver Medal, Independent Publishers Awards, for The Red Chrysanthemum) imagines the betrothal and early honeymoon of Jane Austen’s greatest couple. (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:

safe havenSafe Haven by Anna Schmidt — from Shiloh Run Press

Suzanne Randolph’s journalism career is all but over…

So when she learns that President Roosevelt has invited nearly a thousand European refugees to come to America while WWII still rages across the Atlantic, she’s confident she’s found her story.  She heads for the shores of Lake Ontario to Oswego, New York, determined to make her journalistic mark, but is there more to life than restoring her career?

Theo Bridgewater knows God has plans for him…

Throughout the war, Theo has suffered the taunts and insults of others — first because of his family’s German heritage and then because of his pacifist Quaker beliefs.  Now his parents have sent him to Oswego to find his uncle, aunt, and cousin, and bring them back to the family farm in Wisconsin.  Little does Theo realize the journey will last eighteen long months and test the faith and resolve of this humble farmer.

And when there’s an undeniable spark between Suzanne and Theo, could it be God’s plan for these two determined individuals to achieve even greater things if they work together?  (publisher’s summary)

Giveaway win:

the paris architectThe Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure — from Silver’s Reviews

In 1942 Paris, gifted architect Lucien Bernard accepts a commission that will bring him a great deal of money — and maybe get him killed.  But if he’s clever enough, he’ll avoid any trouble.  All he has to do is design a secret hiding place for a wealthy Jewish man, a space so invisible that even the most determined German officer won’t find it.  He sorely needs the money, and outwitting the Nazis who have occupied his beloved city is a challenge he can’t resist.

But when one of his hiding spaces fails horribly, and the problem of where to hide a Jew becomes terribly personal, Lucien can no longer ignore what’s at stake.  The Paris Architect asks us to consider what we owe each other, and just how far we’ll go to make things right.  (publisher’s summary)

Free ebook:

loving miss darcyLoving Miss Darcy by Nancy Kelley

Georgiana Darcy watches daily as her brother and his wife fall more deeply in love and dreams of similar love and a home of her own. However, after the disaster years ago with Wickham, she does not believe that any man will have her; thus, the idea of a Season in London holds no appeal for her.

Richard Fitzwilliam was tasked with watching over Georgiana and seeing her married to a deserving gentleman. The problem is finding a gentleman he approves of; not even his closest friends are deemed worthy of her hand.

When scandal breaks and all Georgiana’s worst fears seem to come true, will Richard realize in time how deep his affections run, or will they lose their chance at happiness? (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:

For review:

the winter guestThe Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff — from the author

Life is a constant struggle for the impoverished eighteen-year-old Nowak twins as they raise their three young siblings in rural Poland under the shadow of the Nazi occupation.  The constant threat of arrest for even the most minor infraction has made everyone in their village a spy, and turned neighbor against neighbor.  Though rugged, independent Helena and pretty, gentle Ruth couldn’t be more different, they are staunch allies in protecting their family from the threats and hardships the war brings closer to their doorstep with each passing day.

Then Helena discovers an Allied paratrooper stranded outside their small mountain village, wounded, but alive.  Risking the safety of herself and her family, she hides Sam — a Jew — but Helena’s concern for the American grows into something much deeper and the dream of a life beyond the mountains beckons.  Defying the perils that render a future together all but impossible, Sam and Helena make plans for the family to flee.  But Helena is forced to contend with the jealousy her choices have sparked in Ruth, culminating in a singular act of betrayal that endangers them all — and setting in motion a chain of events that will reverberate across continents and decades.  (publisher’s summary)

this is how i'd love youThis Is How I’d Love You by Hazel Woods — from Plume

It’s 1917 and America is on the brink of World War I.  After Hensley Dench’s father is forced to resign from the New York Times for his antiwar writings, she finds herself expelled from the life she loves and the future she thought she would have.  Instead, Hensley is transplanted to New Mexico, where her father has taken a job overseeing a gold mine.  Driven by loneliness, Hensley hijacks her father’s correspondence with Charles Reid, a young American medic with whom her father plays chess via post.  Hensley secretly begins her own exchange with Charles, but looming tragedy threatens them both.  When everything turns against them — will their words be enough to beat the odds?  (publisher’s summary)

dashDash by Kirby Larson — from Scholastic

Although Mitsi Kashino and her family are swept up in the wage of anti-Japanese sentiment following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mitsi never expects to lose her home — or her beloved dog, Dash.  But, as World War II rages and people of Japanese descent are forced into incarceration camps, Mitsi is separated from Dash, her classmates, and life as she knows it.  The camp is a crowded and unfamiliar place, whose dusty floors, seemingly endless lines, and barbed wire fences begin to unravel the strong Kashino family ties.  With the help of a friendly neighbor back home, Mitsi remains connected to Dash in spite of the hard times, holding on to the hope that the war will end soon and their life will return to normal.  They have lost their home; will the Kashinos also lose their sense of family?  And will Mitsi and Dash ever be reunited?

With heartbreaking honesty and stunning emotional depth, Newbery Honor-winning author Kirby Larson brings to bold life a powerful story of family, enduring friendship, and the resilience of the human spirit.  (publisher’s summary)

darcy choosesPride and Prejudice: Darcy Chooses by Gianna Thomas — from NPC Pubs

What if Elizabeth Bennet met Fitzwilliam Darcy before the Meryton Assembly?

What if she heard Darcy’s insulting comment at the Assembly?

What if he apologized at that ball?

What if they rubbed along for a while until Lizzy’s pride and temper got in the way?

And what if Wickham falls in love for the first time in his profligate life? What will he do, and how will he react when the young woman doesn’t return his feelings?

Pride and Prejudice: Darcy Chooses is about innocent young couples – Darcy and Elizabeth and Bingley and Jane – and the feelings that love evokes and how they handle those feelings. It even takes a brief look at several married couples: Why is there little affection between Thomas and Fanny Bennet? How have the Gardiners grown in their love for one another? And what will happen to the Hursts’ marriage? It is a realistic look at relationships that very well may have readers taking a closer look at their own marriages.

Add the Wicked Wickham to the mix and what do you have? You have a tale of friendships, love lost, love gained and the angst of everyday life in Regency England. (publisher’s summary)

From a friend at book club:

no graves as yetNo Graves as Yet by Anne Perry

On a sunny afternoon in late June 1914, Cambridge professor Joseph Reavley learns that his parents have died in an automobile crash.  Joseph’s brother, an officer in the Intelligence Service, reveals that their father had been en route to London with a mysterious secret document — allegedly possessing the power to disgrace England and destroy the civilized world.  Now that explosive paper has vanished, and Joseph is left to wonder: How had it fallen into the hands of his father, a quiet countryman?

But Joseph is soon burdened with a second tragedy: the shocking murder of his most gifted student, who was loved and admired by everyone.  Or so it appeared.  As England’s seamless peace begins to crack, the distance between the murder of an Austrian archduke and the death of a brilliant student grows shorter every day.  (publisher’s summary)

shoulder the skyShoulder in the Sky by Anne Perry

By April 1915, as Chaplain Joseph Reavley tends to the soldiers in his care, the nightmare of trench warfare is impartially cutting down England’s youth.  On one of his rescue forays into no-man’s-land, Joseph finds the body of an arrogant war correspondent, Eldon Prentice.  A nephew of the respected General Owen Cullingford, Prentice was despised for his prying attempts to elicit facts that would turn public opinion against the war.  Most troublesome to Joseph, Prentice has been killed not by German fire but, apparently, by one of his own compatriots.  What Englishman hated Prentice enough to kill him?  Joseph is afraid he may know, and his sister, Judith, who is General Cullingford’s driver and translator, harbors her own fearful suspicions.

Meanwhile, Joseph and Judith’s brother, Matthew, an intelligence officer in London, continues his quiet search for the sinister figure they call the Peacemaker, who, like Eldon Prentice, is trying to undermine the public support for the struggle — and, as the Reavley family has good reason to believe, is in fact at the heart of a fantastic plot to reshape the entire world.  An intimate of kings, the Peacemaker kills with impunity, and his dark shadow stretches from the peaceful country lanes of Cambridgeshire to the twin hells of Ypre and Gallipoli.  (publisher’s summary)

angels in the gloomAngels in the Gloom by Anne Perry

In March 1916, Joseph Reavley, a chaplain at the front lines, and his sister Judith, an ambulance driver, are battling not only the Germans but the bitter cold and appalling casualties at Ypres.  Scarcely less at risk, their brother Matthew, an officer in England’s Secret Intelligence Service, fights the war covertly from London.  Only the Reavley’s married sister, Hannah, living with her children in the family home in tranquil Cambridgeshire, seems safe.  But appearances can be deceiving.

When the savage brutalized body of a weapons scientist is discovered in a village byway, the fear that haunts the battlefields settles over Cambridgeshire — along with the shadow of the obsessed madman who murdered the Reavley’s parents on the eve of the war.  Once again, the sinister figure who calls himself the Peacemaker is plotting to kill.  (publisher’s summary)

at some disputed barricadeAt Some Disputed Barricade by Anne Perry

July 1917:  Joseph Reavley, a chaplain, and his sister Judith, an ambulance driver, are bone-weary as they approach the fourth year of the conflict; the peace of the English countryside seems a world away.  On the Western Front, the Battle of Passchendaele has begun, and among the many fatalities from Joseph’s regiment is the trusted commanding officer, who is replaced by a young major whose pompous incompetence virtually guarantees that many good soldiers will die needlessly.  But soon he, too, is dead — killed by his own men.  Although Joseph would like to turn a blind eye, he knows that he must not.  Judith, however, anguished at the prospect of courts-martial and executions for the twelve men arrested for the crime, has no such inhibitions and, risking her own life, helps all but one of the prisoners to escape.

Back in England, Joseph and Judith’s brother, Matthew, continues his desperate pursuit to unmask the sinister figure known as the Peacemaker — an obsessed genius who has committed murder and treason in an attempt to stop Britain from winning the war.  As Matthew trails the Peacemaker, Joseph tracks his escaped comrades through Switzerland and into enemy territory.  His search will lead to a reckoning pitting courage and honor against the blind machinery of military justice.  (publisher’s summary)

we shall not sleepWe Shall Not Sleep by Anne Perry

After four long years, peace is finally in sight.  But chaplain Joseph Reavley and his sister Judith, an ambulance driver on the Western Front, are more hard pressed than ever.  Behind the lines, violence is increasing:  Soldiers are abusing German prisoners, a nurse has been raped and murdered, and the sinister ideologue called the Peacemaker now threatens to undermine the peace just as he did the war.

Matthew, the third Reavley sibling and an intelligence expert, suddenly arrives at the front with startling news:  The Peacemaker’s German counterpart has offered to go to England and expose his co-consipirator as a traitor.  But with war still raging and prejudices inflamed, such a journey would be fraught with hazards, especially since the Peacemaker has secret informers everywhere, even on the battlefield.  (publisher’s summary)

where rainbows endWhere Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

Since childhood, Rosie and Alex have stuck by each other through thick and thin.  But they’re suddenly separated when Alex and his family move from Dublin to America.  Rosie is lost without him.  Then, just as she is about to join Alex in Boston, she gets life-changing news — news that will keep her home in Ireland.

Their magical connection remains but can their friendship survive the years and miles — as well as new relationships?  And always at the back of Rosie’s mind is whether they were meant to be more than just good friends all along.  Misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck have kept them apart — until now.  But will they gamble everything — including their friendship — on true love?  And what twists and surprises does fate have in store for them this time…?  (publisher’s summary)

his majesty's dragonHis Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire Book 1) by Naomi Novik

*I really enjoyed this book when we read it for book club (reviewed it here) but now I get to own it!*

Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors rise to Britain’s defense by taking to the skies…not aboard aircraft but atop the mighty backs of fighting dragons.

When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Capt. Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future — and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature.  Thrust into the rarefied world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle.  For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.  (publisher’s summary)

victory of eaglesVictory of Eagles (Temeraire Book 5) by Naomi Novik

For Britain, conditions are grim:  Napoleon’s resurgent forces have breached the Channel and successfully invaded English soil.  Napoleon’s prime objective is the occupation of London.  Unfortunately, the dragon Temeraire has been removed from military service — and his captain, Will Laurence, has been condemned to death for treason.  Separated by their own government and threatened at every turn by Napoleon’s forces, Laurence and Temeraire must struggle to find each other amid the turmoil of war.  If only they can be reunited, master and dragon might rally Britain’s scattered resistance forces and take the fight to the enemy as never before — for king and country, and for their own liberty.  (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 few weeks:

For review:

jane austen's first loveJane Austen’s First Love by Syrie James — from Berkley

Fifteen-year-old Jane Austen dreams of three things:  doing something useful, writing something worthy, and falling madly in love.  When she visits her brother in Kent to celebrate his engagement, she meets wealthy, devilishly handsome Edward Taylor — a fascinating young man who is truly worthy of her affections.  Jane knows a match between her and Edward is unlikely, but every moment she spends with him makes her heart race — and he seems to return her interest.  Much to her displeasure, however, there is another seeking his attention.

Unsure of her budding relationship, Jane seeks distraction by attempting to correct the pairings of three other prospective couples.  But when her matchmaking aspirations do not all turn out as anticipated, Jane discovers the danger of relying on first impressions.  The human heart cannot be easily deciphered, nor can it be directed or managed.  And if others must be left to their own devices in matters of love and matrimony, can Jane even hope to satisfy her own heart?  (publisher’s summary)

a jane austen daydreamA Jane Austen Daydream by Scott D. Southard — from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

All her heroines find love in the end — but is there love waiting for Jane?

Jane Austen spends her days writing and matchmaking in the small countryside village of Steventon, until a ball at Godmersham Park propels her into a new world where she yearns for a romance of her own.  But whether her heart will settle on a young lawyer, a clever Reverend, a wealthy childhood friend, or a mysterious stranger is anyone’s guess.

Written in the style of Jane herself, this novel ponders the question faced by many devoted readers — did she ever find love?  Weaving fact with fiction, it re-imagines her life, using her own stories to fill in the gaps left by history and showing that all of us — to a greater or lesser degree — are head over heels for Jane.  (publisher’s summary)

Purchased:

pies & perilPies & Peril by Janel Gradowski

When Amy Ridley decided to compete in the Kellerton Summer Festival Pie Contest, the last thing she expected was to find the reigning pie queen, Mandy Jo, dead — a raspberry pie smashed on her face! Mandy Jo made fantastic pies, but she accumulated more enemies than baking trophies. But when Amy receives a note threatening her own life, she decides to do some investigating herself.

It seems that half the town has a reason to kill the mean pie queen, and Amy finds herself sifting through a list of suspects that’s longer than her list of recipes. Not to mention playing cupid for her love-shy best friend, fending off a baker intent on finding out her prize-winning culinary secrets, and ducking the deadly attentions of Mandy Jo’s killer. If Amy doesn’t find out who wanted the pie queen dead soon, her own goose may be cooked!

**Recipes included!** (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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