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I’m pleased to welcome Regina Jeffers to Diary of an Eccentric today to celebrate the release of her latest novel, The Prosecution of Mr. Darcy’s Cousin.  She is here to discuss the real-life inspiration for one of the characters in the novel, and there is an excerpt and an international e-book giveaway as well.  Please give a warm welcome to Regina Jeffers:

John_Norton

Image source: Mather Brown-Portrait of Major John Norton as Mohawk Chief Teyoninhokarawen Notecards (www.encore-editions.com)

One of the characters in my latest Austenesque novel, The Prosecution of Mr. Darcy’s Cousin, is modeled upon that of John Norton (Teyoninhokarawen), who was a Mohawk Indian chief of Scottish birth. Norton attended school in Scotland.

Norton was the son of a Cherokee Indian father and a Scottish mother. His father was taken prisoner as a boy by British soldiers when the British destroyed the Cherokee village of Kuwoki in South Carolina. Later, the youth was removed to England.

John Norton became a soldier in 1784, serving with the 65th Foot Regiment in Lower Canada. From 1787 to 1788, he served at Fort Niagara (Upper Canada). From 1791-1795, he found his “fortune” in the fur trade. During those years, he learned his skills in trade and negotiation from John Askin, an American trader who served as an interpreter for those in and around Fort Detroit. Norton and Askin also had dealings with the First Nations (Maumee, Wyandot, and Shawnee tribes), who resided south of the Great Lakes. When the Americans defeated the Maumee at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794, Norton returned to Canada.

In Canada, Norton became an interpreter for the Indian Department at Niagara. During this time, he met Joseph Brant (Mohawk chief), who convinced Norton to become a fellow tribesman of the Grand River Mohawks. Brant even adopted Norton as his nephew, and Norton became chief when Brant died in 1807. As “Peace Chief,” Norton assisted the Mohawks in negotiating land settlements with the British government. Under Indian law, Norton was considered a full-blooded Indian for his father was an Indian.

The British and Foreign Bible Society saw John Norton as an asset to their cause. They asked him to translate the Gospel of St. John into the Mohawk language. The translation was published in 1806, a first for the First Nations’ language.

Over the next few years, Norton traveled extensively through the Grand River area, even establishing a relationship with Tecumseh. During the War of 1812, Norton served as a captain in the British army. He led several of the Indian tribes at Detroit and at the Battle of Queenston Heights. With the death of Sir Isaac Brock (the British leader in Canada), Norton led the Mohawk tribes against the American troops. He participated in the burning of Buffalo (NY) in 1813, as well as fighting in the battles of Chippewa and Lundy’s Lane. His efforts provided the British time to successfully defeat the Americans in the encounters.

Norton also was instrumental in the British defense of Fort Niagara, Fort George, the Battle of Stoney Creek, and the Battle of Beaver Dams. After the war, Norton and his wife, a Lenape (Delaware Indian) traveled to England, where he received the higher rank of major in the British army for his gallantry and meritorious conduct. It was a brevet commission and held no authority, precedence, or rank pay.

During his years in England, Norton finished his journal, which became an accurate account of the War of 1812 from the Indian point of view.

Norton return to the Canadian front in 1816. In 1823, he was found guilty of manslaughter after a duel involving his wife’s infidelity. We know little of Norton after this point. He reportedly passed in October 1831 in northern Mexico.

Resources for the post: Davis, D. S. “Norton, John (Teyoninhokarawen).” War of 1812. © RCGS/HDI/Parks Canada 2011, All rights reserved.

“Chief John (Teyoninhokarawen) Norton,” The Casebook: The War of 1812.

Carl F. Klinck and James J. Talman, eds. The Journal of Major John Norton. Toronto: Champlain Society, 1970.

the prosecution of mr. darcy's cousinThe Prosecution of Mr. Darcy’s Cousin: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery

Fitzwilliam Darcy is enjoying his marital bliss. His wife, the former Elizabeth Bennet, presented him two sons and a world of contentment. All is well until “aggravation” rears its head when Darcy receives a note of urgency from his sister Georgiana. In truth, Darcy never fully approved of Georgiana’s joining with their cousin, Major General Edward Fitzwilliam, for Darcy assumed the major general held Georgiana at arm’s length, dooming Darcy’s sister to a life of unhappiness.

Dutifully, Darcy and Elizabeth rush to Georgiana’s side when the major general leaves his wife and daughter behind, with no word of his whereabouts and no hopes of Edward’s return. Forced to seek his cousin in the slews of London’s underbelly, at length, Darcy discovers the major general and returns Fitzwilliam to his family.

Even so, the Darcys’ troubles are far from over. During the major general’s absence from home, witnesses note Fitzwilliam’s presence in the area of two horrific murders. When Edward Fitzwilliam is arrested for the crimes, Darcy must discover the real culprit before the authorities hanged his cousin and the Fitzwilliam name knew a lifetime of shame.

Buy: Kindle * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Nook

Excerpt from Chapter 2 of The Prosecution of Mr. Darcy’s Cousin: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery

“I expect you to reexamine your records, Belker,” Darcy said with his best “Master of Pemberley” voice.

He favored the harbormaster with a quelling glare.

“I want to know unequivocally that no one impressed my cousin into service upon one of the ships recently setting sail from the Thames. If you ignore my request, you will know the wrath of the Earl of Matlock, Viscount Lindale, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and even His Royal Highness Prince George, who favored the major general upon more than one occasion.”

Darcy took pleasure when his exaggeration caused Belker to flinch. The harbormaster was not happy to observe Cowan enter his office.

Without doubt, as a Bow Street Runner, Thomas Cowan hounded Belker’s existence, for the man held a reputation for the importation of illegal goods. When this investigation knew completion, Darcy would use his extensive influence to aid Cowan in replacing the man who used his position for personal benefit.

“As I said previously, Mr. Darcy,” Belker shot a furtive glance to a glaring Cowan, “the major general was here. Saturday last. But he never boarded any ship.”

“How can you be so certain?” Cowan growled.

Belker puffed out his chest in self-importance.

“Assisted the officer meself,” he declared. “Some men upon the Towson thought the major general an easy target for your cousin consumed more than his share of drink.”

Darcy did not like to think upon Edward imbibing so heavily. Whatever drove the major general from his home rested hard upon his cousin’s soul.

“Certainly, some can hold their drink better than others.”

Belker straightened some papers upon his desk while organizing his thoughts.

“Those from the Towson thought to claim the major general, but Lord Matlock’s son proved himself worthy of his position. With just his fists, the major general dispatched the four men from the Towson. More easily than what anyone might believe of a gentleman’s son, I might add.”

“Explain,” Cowan demanded.

Belker did not disguise his disgust, but he provided the information. The harbormaster would not cavil over a thing such as principle.

“Needless to say, none on the Towson realized the man they discovered passed out among the crates waiting to be loaded onboard was a gentleman. The major general’s clothes be finely cut, but they be filthy. On the night in question, my dockers escorted all five men to my office, and I summoned a surgeon. Your cousin had but a few bruises and cuts, Sir. Two from the Towson are still housed at the infirmary a few streets over.”

“Do you know the major general’s destination when he departed the docks?” Darcy asked.

“Said he meant to find himself an inn to wait for his next set of orders. I thought him a junior officer on one of the ships, for he wore no epaulets. Thought he expected to depart soon,” Belker disclosed.

Cowan stood to depart.

“Do you have a guess as to where the man took residence?”

Desiring their exit, Belker stood also.

“Can’t say for certain. Most sailors avoid the inns close to the river, preferring those inland for obvious reasons. I would image a King’s soldier would follow suit. If I wished to hide from those who would follow me, I would avoid the city inns.”

Weariness claimed Darcy’s stance.

“If you think of anything of import, please contact me at Darcy House. It would be well worth your time.”

About the author

Regina-270x300Regina Jeffers, a public classroom teacher for thirty-nine years, considers herself a Jane Austen enthusiast. She is the author of several Austen-inspired novels, including Darcy’s Passions, Darcy’s Temptation, Vampire Darcy’s Desire, Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion, The Phantom of Pemberley, Christmas at Pemberley, The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy, Honor and Hope, and The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy. She also writes Regency romances: The Scandal of Lady Eleanor, A Touch of Velvet, A Touch of Cashémere, A Touch of Grace, A Touch of Mercy, A Touch of Love, and The First Wives’ Club. A Time Warner Star Teacher and Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, Jeffers often serves as a consultant in language arts and media literacy. Currently living outside Charlotte, North Carolina, she spends her time with her writing, gardening, and her adorable grandchildren.

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LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO BE ENTERED INTO A GIVEAWAY OF 2 eBOOK VERSIONS OF THE PROSECUTION OF MR. DARCY’S COUSIN. Please include your email address. The giveaway will close Sunday, July 12.

© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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:

hotel moscowHotel Moscow by Talia Carner — from William Morrow

Brooke Fielding, a thirty-eight-year-old New York investment manager and the daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, finds her life suddenly upended in late September 1993 when her job is unexpectedly put in jeopardy.  Brooke accepts an invitation to join a friend on a mission to Moscow to teach entrepreneurial skills to Russian businesswomen, which will also give her a chance to gain expertise in the vast emerging Russian market.  Though excited by the opportunity to save her job and be one of the first Americans to visit Russia after the fall of communism, she also wonders what awaits her in the country that persecuted her mother just a generation ago.

Inspired by the women she meets, Brooke becomes committed to helping them investigate the criminal activity that threatens their businesses.  But as the uprising of the Russian parliament against President Boris Yeltsin turns Moscow into a volatile war zone, Brooke will find that her involvement comes at a high cost.  For in a city where “capitalism” is still a dirty world, where neighbors spy on neighbors and the new economy is in the hands of a few dangerous men, nothing Brooke does go unnoticed — and a mistake in her past may now compromise her future.

A moving, poignant, and rich novel, Hotel Moscow is an eye-opening portrait of post-communist Russia and a profound exploration of  faith, family, and heritage.  (publisher’s summary)

Unexpected arrival:

every secret thingEvery Secret Thing by Laura Lippman — from William Morrow

From critically acclaimed, multiple-award winner Laura Lippman comes a riveting story of love and murder, guilt and innocence.

Two little girls banished from a neighborhood birthday party find a stroller with an infant inside on an unfamiliar Baltimore street.  What happens next is shocking and terrible, causing the irreparable devastation of three separate families.

Seven years later, Alice Manning and Ronnie Fuller, now eighteen, are released from “kid prison” to begin their lives over again.  But the unanswered questions about the original crime continue to haunt the parents, the lawyers, the police, and all the adults in Alice’s and Ronnie’s lives.  And now another child has disappeared, under freakishly similar circumstances.  (publisher’s summary)

What books did you add to your shelves recently?

© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

Sun-Kissed

Source: Review copy from Meryton Press
Rating: ★★★★☆

“You honestly expect me to splash about in the brine, naked as the day I was born?” Darcy scoffed.  “I think not.”

“Prig.”

“Just because I prefer privacy and prudence does not signify I am prudish.  I swim — without clothing, I’ll have you know — at Pemberley Lake.”

(from Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer, “Spyglasses & Sunburns” by J. Marie Croft)

Quick Summary: Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer is Meryton Press’ first short-story anthology featuring eight feel-good tales of summer, most of which involve Jane Austen’s novels and characters in some way.  Included in the collection are several takes on Pride and Prejudice, from a young Darcy’s education in becoming a great lover to Anne de Bourgh’s splash in the sea at Sanditon to the confessions of foolishness and love at a masquerade ball.  Sun-Kissed also features modern-day takes on Persuasion and Northanger Abbey set on the beach and a sweet non-Austen-related story about how a chance encounter can turn one’s life upside down.

Why I wanted to read it: Short stories, particularly lighthearted, romantic stories with a Jane Austen connection, sound perfect for the beach…or at least when you’re dreaming about a beach excursion.

What I liked: The selection of stories was fantastic.  I enjoyed the mix of period and modern-day stories and the mix of new-to-me authors and authors whose work I’ve enjoyed in the past.  I also was impressed that Sanditon was included; Austen’s unfinished novel about a seaside resort begs to be included in a summer anthology, and it was nice to see those characters mingling with characters from Pride and Prejudice.  I loved or at least really liked every story in the collection, and despite their brevity, I felt like I really got to know the characters, and each had a satisfying ending.

What I disliked: That there were only eight stories in the anthology.  Don’t get me wrong, the anthology was the perfect length, but once I was immersed in the collection, I didn’t want it to end.

Final thoughts: Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer is the perfect summer read for fans of Austen-inspired fiction, with a little something for everyone.  Hats off to the editor, Christina Boyd, for helping to create an anthology that flows beautifully from story to story and provides enough variety to both satisfy readers and keep them wanting more.  Although I didn’t read this book at the beach, these authors and their delightful tales transported me to the sun and surf at least for a few hours.

Meryton Press will be releasing a holiday-romance-themed anthology late this fall. The short story contest for that volume is now open for submissions. Click here for further details: Official Rules

Disclosure: I received Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer from Meryton Press for review.

© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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 prosecution of mr. darcy's cousinThe Prosecution of Mr. Darcy’s Cousin by Regina Jeffers — from the author

Fitzwilliam Darcy is enjoying his marital bliss.  His wife, the former Elizabeth Bennet, presented him two sons and a world of contentment.  All is well until “aggravation” rears its head when Darcy receives a note of urgency from his sister Georgiana.  In truth, Darcy never fully approved of Georgiana’s joining with their cousin, Major General Edward Fitzwilliam, for Darcy assumed the major general held Georgina at arm’s length, dooming Darcy’s sister to a life of unhappiness.

Dutifully, Darcy and Elizabeth rush to Georgiana’s side when the major general leaves his wife and daughter behind, with no word of his whereabouts and no hopes of Edward’s return.  Forced to seek his cousin in the slews of London’s underbelly, at length, Darcy discovers the major general and returns Fitzwilliam to his family.

Even so, the Darcy’s troubles are far from over.  During the major general’s absence from home, witnesses note Fitzwilliam’s presence in the area of two horrific murders.  When Edward Fitzwilliam is arrested for the crimes, Darcy must discover the real culprit before his cousin is hanged for the crimes and the Fitzwilliam name marked with shame.  (publisher’s summary)

What books did you add to your shelves recently?

© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

cover to covers

Source: Review copy from author
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Maybe Monique was the kind of woman he needed in his life.  No one had held up a mirror to his empty existence quite like she had.  The characters she had based on him had opened his eyes to the possibility that all was not right with his world.  He had made mistakes, a lot of them, but perhaps there was always room for redemption.

(from Cover to Covers, page 55)

Quick summary: Cover to Covers is about Tyler Moore, an oil company CEO who likes to be in control and is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women.  After running into his girlfriend from 20 years ago, romance author Monique Delome — the only woman he was unable to forget — Tyler leaves his company behind and flies to New Orleans, hoping for a second chance.  He knows she still has feelings for him; after all, she’s based all of the leading men in her books on him.  But Monique finds it hard to trust him because he’s broken her heart before, and Tyler has issues of his own, as the battles with his stepfather for control of the company and the effects of a devastating loss from his childhood threaten his chances of happiness.

Why I wanted to read it: I don’t read many dark and steamy romance novels, but I am a fan of Weis’ writing and am willing to read outside my comfort zone now and then.

What I liked: Weis does a great job developing her characters.  The novel was narrated in the third person from Tyler’s point of view, but I still felt like I understood Monique and the reasons behind her actions.  I also appreciated that the characters were older (Tyler is 50, and Monique is in her 40s), and they have two decades of life experiences under their belts when they meet again at the beginning of the novel, which made it easier for me to relate to them.  The plot itself was interesting, how a man so seemingly in control actually needs to learn to take control of his own life and stop doing what is expected of him.  The sex scenes are very steamy, and in this novel, they actually contribute to the plot and the evolution of the characters and their relationship.

What I disliked: There were times I wished the book were told from Monique’s point of view because I really liked her, and I spent much of the book disliking Tyler.  Even in the end, I appreciated the changes in his character, but I never fell in love with him.  However, Weis did make him believable as a CEO, and I guess that was the point.

Final thoughts: I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve read by Weis so far, and Cover to Covers is no exception.  It may not be my favorite of her novels, but I found the characters intriguing, and even if I didn’t particularly like Tyler, I still rooted for him in the end.

Disclosure: I received Cover to Covers from the author for review.

© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

first impressions

Source: Public library
Rating: ★★★☆☆

“It’s a tragedy,” I insisted. “Sure, Elizabeth and Jane get their guys, and Lydia makes an exciting, scandalous marriage, and the author hopes that Kitty will turn out okay, but Mary…it’s a tragedy for Mary.”

(from First Impressions, page 1)

Quick summary: First Impressions by Marilyn Sachs is a young-adult novel told from the point of view of Alice, the third child in a family of five who feels unappreciated by her parents and siblings.  She is a straight-A student forced to spend Christmas break rewriting a paper on Pride and Prejudice so her teacher will reconsider the C+ she received for misinterpreting the novel.  Given Alice’s place in her family, it’s not surprising that she identifies most with Mary Bennet, and she is unwilling to believe her teacher’s contention that Jane Austen intended for Mary to be a minor character who provides comic relief, not a tragic character who needs a chance to shine.  After a mysterious woman in a raincoat appears at random moments, and her new boyfriend, Kevin, offers to read and discuss the book with her, something magical begins to happen.  Alice finds herself and Kevin within the pages of Austen’s novel, and as she sets out to change Mary’s fate, she finds that her own life may be changing, too.

Why I wanted to read it: I was in the mood for a short Austen-inspired novel that wasn’t simply a retelling of Elizabeth and Darcy’s story.

What I liked: I liked the premise of the novel, that someone might identify with one of the other Bennet sisters and the idea of being able to dive into a novel and play with the storyline a bit.  I also thought it was nice that Alice slyly encouraged her father to ask her mom out on a date after recognizing how much fun her mom had helping Alice pick out a dress for her first New Year’s Eve party.

What I disliked: I wished the novel focused more on the magical aspects of the book, which took a backseat to Alice’s relationship with Kevin and helping her parents rekindle their relationship.  I didn’t like how Alice’s teacher thought her interpretation of the novel was wrong, especially since she was able to back up her arguments.  It also felt like Alice’s newfound sense of self seemed too heavily reliant on Kevin.  The secondary characters felt flat, but at 117 pages, there wasn’t much room for character development, aside from the changes in Alice.

Final thoughts: Overall, I thought First Impressions was an okay novel.  There was nothing wrong with the writing, but there was nothing memorable about the characters.  Part of that might be related to the fact that I’m not the target audience for this novel, but I have enjoyed plenty of YA novels in the past.  I think I would have enjoyed the novel more had the magical aspects been fleshed out a little more.  Still, I must applaud Sachs for making readers think more critically about Mary Bennet and how the events of Pride and Prejudice would have affected her life.

Disclosure: I borrowed First Impressions from the public library.

© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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 during the past month:

For review:

Sun-KissedSun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer edited by Christina Boyd — from Meryton Press

“So each had a private little sun for her soul to bask in…” —Thomas Hardy

If you desire a little heat, a summer flirtation, or an escape to bask in your own private sun, this whimsical collection of original short stories is inspired by all things summer.  In collaboration with some of Meryton Press’s most popular and award-winning authors, this anthology debuts other promising and emerging talent.

* In KaraLynne Mackrory’s “Shades of Pemberley,” Mr. Darcy, with some fantastic assistance, discovers Elizabeth Bennet in a most unlikely place.
* Karen M. Cox’s “Northanger Revisited” modernizes Northanger Abbey at a fictionalized Georgia seaside.
* Linda Beutler takes us to Paris as a young gentleman is schooled in the ways of amour in “The Incomplete Education of Fitzwilliam Darcy.”
* In “Spyglasses and Sunburns,” J. Marie Croft takes the Miss Bennets to the seaside where they chance upon handsome acquaintances.
* In Abigail Bok’s “A Summer in Sanditon,” a little sea bathing seems just the thing to cure what ails Anne de Bourgh.
* In Natalie Richards’ “Midsummer Madness,” an honest confession and a promise between strangers at a masque ball mend a misunderstanding.
* Sophia Rose reimagines a modern-day Persuasion in “Second Chance at Sunset Beach.”
* In Morgan K Wyatt’s “Dream Spinner,” a near-death car accident and an unlikely trucker bring new perspective to a young co-ed’s life and love.

Contemporary and Regency alike, each romance was dreamt as a perfect summer refreshment to bring a smile to your own sun-kissed face.

Stories by: KaraLynne Mackrory ● Karen M. Cox ● Linda Beutler ● J. Marie Croft ● Abigail Bok ● Natalie Richards ● Sophia Rose ● Morgan K Wyatt (publisher’s summary)

mistaking her characterMistaking Her Character by Maria Grace — from the author

Lady Catherine de Bourgh is prepared to be very generous when it comes to medical care for her sickly daughter, Anne — generous enough to lure noted physician Dr. Thomas Bennet to give up his London practice and move his family to Rosings Park.  But his good income comes with a price: complete dependence on his demanding patroness’s every whim.

Now the Bennet family is trapped, reliant on Lady Catherine for their survival.  Their patroness controls every aspect of the Bennet household, from the shelves in the closet to the selection of suitors for the five Bennet daughters.  Now she has chosen a husband for headstrong Elizabeth Bennet — Mr. George Wickham.

But Lady Catherine’s nephew, Fitzwilliam Darcy, is not so sure.  He is fascinated by the compassionate Elizabeth who seems to effortlessly understand everyone around her, including him.  Lady Catherine has other plans for Darcy, though, and she forbids Elizabeth to even speak to him.

Anne’s health takes a turn for the worse, and Darcy and Elizabeth are thrown together as Dr. Bennet struggles to save Anne’s life.  Darcy can no longer deny the truth — he is in love with Elizabeth Bennet.  But Lady Catherine will do anything to stop Darcy from marrying her — even if it means Elizabeth will lose everything she loves.  (publisher’s summary)

inspired by graceInspired by Grace by Jeanna Ellsworth — from the author

A lady always hopes that the man she falls in love with will sweep her off her feet in a dramatic and graceful way.  Well, for Grace Iverson, at least it was dramatic.  Her childhood best friend, Gavin Kingston — now His Grace, the Duke of Huntsman — is still just as clumsy as ever.

Despite their painful separation as children, a chance encounter has offered them a second opportunity for happiness.  But after ten years apart, they both carry hidden scars.  Trust takes time.  And soon, forces from the past threaten to destroy the love they both have hoped for all of their lives.

Can Grace’s best friend break down her emotional fortress and prove his love before she disappears from his life a second time?

This lovely Regency romance started well before either of them knew what they wished for in a partner, but it will surely be one that stands the test of time.  (publisher’s summary)

death knellSophia’s War: Death Knell by Stephanie Baumgartner — from the author

“Be with me,” she whispered.  “If this is Your will, then please settle my heart.”

American Sophia is bound to Nazi Germany.  The concealment of her identity has not only become dangerous, but deadly, not to mention the Jewish family hidden in her walls.  Her cousin Diedrich has no choice but to accept that she will remain in his house for the duration of the war.  His fickle tolerance of her presence gives her hope.

When Adrian, the man she loves, comes to her with devastating news, Sophia’s life begins a deteriorating descent.  The upheaval of all she was once sure of, all that she once believed in, leaves her in a state of desolation and uncertainty.  Sophia soon learns that whether she survives or whether she perishes in Nazi Germany, her end will not come without tragic consequences.  (publisher’s summary)

tightropeTightrope by Simon Mawer — from Other Press

As Allied forces close in on Berlin in spring 1945, a solitary figure emerges from the wreckage that is Germany.  It is Marian Sutro, whose existence was last known to her British controllers in autumn 1943 in Paris.  One of a handful of surviving agents of the Special Operations Executive, she has withstood arrest, interrogation, incarceration, and the horrors of Ravensbrück concentration camp, but at what cost?  Returned to an England she barely knows and a postwar world she doesn’t understand, Marian searches for something on which to ground the rest of her life.  Family and friends surround her, but she is haunted by her experiences and by the guilt of knowing that her contribution to the war effort helped lead to the monstrosities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  When the mysterious Major Fawley, the man who hijacked her wartime mission to Paris, emerges from the shadows to draw her into the ambiguities and uncertainties of the Cold War, she sees a way to make amends for the past and at the same time to find the identity that has never been hers.  (publisher’s summary)

eeny meenyEeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge — from NAL

Two are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun.  As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.

It’s a game more twisted than any Detective Inspector Helen Grace has ever seen.  If she hadn’t spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn’t believe them.

Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case — with its seemingly random victims — has her baffled.  But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense…  (publisher’s summary)

the geeky chef cookbookThe Geeky Chef Cookbook by Cassandra Reeder — from Race Point Publishing

You’ve watched the TV shows and movies, played the video games, and read the books.  Now it’s time to level-up your geek factor…into the kitchen.

From Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, and Star Trek to Doctor Who, The Legend of Zelda, and World of Warcraft, The Geeky Chef compiles over 60 delectable, ethereal, and just plain odd — yet oddly delicious — recipes that you can re-create right in your own home.

A self-proclaimed nerd with a fondness for cooking, author Cassandra Reeder, creator of The Geeky Chef blog, has thoroughly researched every dish to make the final product look and taste as close to the source material as possible.  With easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions and fun theme photos, these simple recipes will soon have you unlocking achievements in the kitchen, no matter if you’re cooking for yourself, a friend, or even a viewing party.

So if you’ve ever found yourself thirsting for Lon Lon Milk, drooling over Pumpkin Pasties, or being a tad bit curious about Cram, this cookbook is for you.  Fantasy foods are fantasy no longer!  (publisher’s summary)

Purchased:

jane and austenJane and Austen by Stephanie Fowlers

Meet Jane and Austen.  First there’s Jane — an impractical, starry-eyed wedding planner; if love can’t match what she’s read in a book, she doesn’t want it.  And then there’s Austen — a pragmatic, logical-to-a-fault financial consultant; even if he were interested in someone, he wouldn’t know.

The two have one thing in common: they can’t leave each other alone.  Jane believes that if Austen could just experience a fairy tale romance, he would secretly love it.  And Austen’s pretty sure that if one of Jane’s beloved heroes escaped from the pages of her dog-eared novels, she’d run and hide.

Both are about to be proven right.

When the rivals are called on to help a friend plan the biggest wedding of the year, an entire resort full of colorful wedding guests descends upon them — many sharing uncanny similarities to characters in a Jane Austen novel.  It doesn’t take long before Jane gets everything she thinks she wants.  After all, too much of a good thing can’t be all that bad, right?

But when Jane’s life turns upside down, the only one she can turn to is Austen; though he’s got his own troubles of the heart…and she’s afraid that he’s enjoying them more than he should.  (publisher’s summary)

What books did you add to your shelves recently?

© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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