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:
Omphalos by Mark Patton — from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
SIX EPOCHS, TEN LIVES INTERSECTING AT A SINGLE PLACE.
2013: Al Cohen, an American in search of his European heritage.
1944-1946: Friedrich Werner, an officer of the Wehrmacht and later a prisoner of war. His wife Greta, clinging to what remains of her life in war-torn Berlin.
1799: Suzanne de Beaubigny, a royalist refugee from revolutionary France.
1517: Richard Mabon, a Catholic priest on pilgrimage to Jerusalem with his secretary, Nicholas Ahier.
1160: Raoul de Paisnel, a knight with a dark secret walking through Spain with his steward, Guillaume Bisson.
4000 BC: Egrasté, a sorceress, and Txeru, a man on an epic voyage. Transgressions, reconciliations and people caught on the wrong side of history.
Omphalos. A journey through six thousand years of human history. (publisher’s summary)
Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum — from Random House
Anna Benz, an American in her late thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno — a banker — and their three young children in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zürich. Despite the order of her comfortable, well-appointed life, Anna is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with the remote Bruno or even with her own thoughts and feelings, she tries to rouse herself with new experiences: German language classes, Jungian analysis, and a series of sexual affairs she enters with an ease that surprises her. But Anna can’t easily extract herself from these affairs. When she wants to end them, she finds that it’s difficult. The emotional spillage escalates. Having crossed a moral threshold, Anna will discover where a woman goes when there is no going back. (publisher’s summary)
The Alphabet House by Jussi Adler-Olsen — from Dutton
British pilots James Teasdale and Bryan Young have been chosen to conduct a special photo-reconnaissance mission near Dresden, Germany. Intelligence believes the Nazis are building new factories that could turn the tide of the war. When their plane is shot down, James and Bryan know they will be executed if captured. With an enemy patrol in pursuit, they manage to jump aboard a train reserved for senior SS soldiers wounded on the Eastern Front.
In a moment of desperation, they throw two patients off the train and take their places, hoping they can escape later. But their act is too convincing and they end up in the Alphabet House, a mental hospital located far behind enemy lines, where German doctors subject their patients to daily rounds of shock treatments and experimental drugs. The pilots’ only hope of survival is to fake insanity until the war ends, but their friendship and courage are put to the ultimate test when James and Bryan realize they aren’t the only ones in the Alphabet House feigning madness. (publisher’s summary)
Holidays With Jane: Christmas Cheer by Cecilia Gray, Melissa Buell, Rebecca M. Fleming, Jennifer Becton, Kimberly Truesdale, and Jessica Grey
Six talented authors make your Christmas lights twinkle with these modern-day adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels. Curl up with some peppermint tea and enjoy something special in your stocking this holiday season.
The Work of an Instant
by Jennifer Becton
When Frederick Wentworth’s ship docks at the Navy base in Charleston just in time for Christmas, Anne Elliot feels torn between desire to see her former fiancé and fear of rejection. Will taking a risk end in humiliation or give Anne a second chance with her first love? To find out, all she has to do is turn around and face him.
Mischief and Mistletoe
by Melissa Buell
Thrifty designer and secret Gothic novel enthusiast Cate Morland gets the opportunity of a lifetime to plan the costumes for the upcoming Dickens’ Christmas Festival. There she meets Henry Tilney who shows an interest in more than Cate’s costume designs. Mistaken by Henry’s father as a rich heiress, Cate is invited to stay with the Tilney family at their estate. Will Henry feel the same for Cate once he discovers she is a seamstress paying her own way through design school?
A Tale of Three Christmases
by Rebecca M. Fleming
When their father dies, leaving their brother everything, life changes radically for the Dashwood girls. Librarian Ellie and musician Marianne have their work of course, but what about teenage Maggie? Maggie only has her writing—a surprising saving grace that helps her chronicle the ups and downs of life, love and family in this tale of three Christmases.
With Love, from Emma
by Cecilia Gray
A visit to Emma Gold’s flower shop can save a relationship but a date at Lance Knightley’s bar can take that relationship to the next level, so who should be considered Heartfield, Oregon’s resident romance expert? Emma and Lance square off at their best friends’ wedding to settle the score. Sparks fly as bets are made and favors are won in this contemporary Christmas retelling, recounted With Love, from Emma.
It’s a Wonderful Latte
by Jessica Grey
Evie St. Laurent can always count on three things: being single during Christmas in Los Angeles, her job as manager at Mansfield Perk, and Frank Nakatomi, her best friend and coworker, cheering her up when she’s down. But when the glamorous Piper siblings come to town and sweep everyone off their feet, what Evie thought was sure in her life starts slipping away. It will take some Christmas magic and the help of a very special angel named Jane to help Evie see that the love she’s been waiting for has been there all the time.
Pride & Presents
by Kimberly Truesdale
Liz Bennet wants to make this Christmas the best that Longbourn Community Center has ever had. When basketball superstar Charles Bingley shows up to volunteer, it looks like that just might happen—even in spite of his unhelpful friend Will Darcy. But when everything starts to go wrong and Longbourn itself is in danger, Liz must set aside her pride and ask for help. Then she’ll discover that the best presents are the ones you never expect. (publisher’s summary)
Attempting Elizabeth by Jessica Grey
Twenty-three year old Kelsey Edmundson is a geek and proud of it. She makes no secret of her love for TV, movies, and, most especially, books. After a bad breakup, she retreats into her favorite novel, Pride and Prejudice, wishing she had some of the wit and spirit of Elizabeth Bennett.
One night at a party Kelsey meets handsome Australian bartender Mark Barnes. From then on, she always seems to run into him when she least expects it. No matter how Kelsey tries, she always seems to say the wrong thing.
After a particularly gaffe-filled evening around Mark, Kelsey is in desperate need of inspiration from Jane Austen. She falls asleep reading Darcy’s letter to Lizzy and awakens to find herself in an unfamiliar place that looks and sounds suspiciously like her favorite book. Has she somehow been transported into Pride and Prejudice, or is it just a dream?
As Kelsey tries to discover what’s happening to her, she must also discover her own heart. Is Mark Barnes destined to be her Mr. Darcy? In the end, she must decide whether attempting to become Elizabeth is worth the risk or if being Kelsey Edmundson is enough. (publisher’s summary)
Pen & Prejudice by Claire M. Johnson
Using the mystery writing world as a backdrop, Pen and Prejudice is a modern pastiche of the Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice, but instead of our witty, playful heroine and attractive but arrogant suitor willfully misunderstanding each other while attending balls and dinner parties in the nineteenth century, they metaphorically duke it out in the twentieth at mystery writing conferences. A cross between I Don’t Know How She Does It and Bridget Jones’ Diary, this novel is a romantic comedy that provides an insider look into the struggles facing most writers of genre fiction. (publisher’s summary)
Dying to Write by Mary Lydon Simonsen
In need of a break from his job at Scotland Yard, Detective Sergeant Patrick Shea of London’s Metropolitan Police is looking forward to some quiet time at a timeshare in rural Devon in England’s West Country. However, when he arrives at The Woodlands, Patrick finds himself in the midst of a Jane Austen conference.
Despite Regency Era dresses, bonnets, and parasols, a deep divide exists between the Jane Austen fan-fiction community, those who enjoy expanding on the author’s work by writing sequels and re-imaginings, and the Janeites, those devotees who think anyone who tampers with the original novels is committing a sacrilege.
When one of the conference speakers is found dead in her condo, Patrick is back on the job trying to find out who murdered her. Is it possible that the victim was actually killed because of a book? (publisher’s summary)
Suspiciously Reserved: A Twist on Jane Austen’s Emma by Samantha Adkins
Emma Woodhouse is one of Jane Austen’s most beloved heroines. She is smart, well-dressed and rich. But what about Jane Fairfax, her poor, orphaned nemesis? Would the story be so light and sparkling from Jane’s point of view?
Suspiciously Reserved is Jane’s story, set in present-day Canada. Jane has felt uneasy living off the goodwill of her wealthy benefactors, the Campbells. Now that their daughter has found the man of her dreams, Jane wonders what her future holds. She feels the necessity of returning to her grandmother and Aunt Hetty. Before she goes, however, she will spend one blissful week by the ocean where she meets handsome, charming Frank Churchill. But can she trust him? (publisher’s summary)
The Mission: He Taught Me To Hope Christmas Vignette by P.O. Dixon
Bennet Carlton captures our imaginations in the novel He Taught Me to Hope, Book 1 in the Darcy and the Young Knight’s Quest series. Join the precocious young knight as he embarks upon a mission to bring his Bennet and Fitzwilliam relations to Pemberley for Christmas, and in so doing, teaches his family to hope. (publisher’s summary)
The Austen Avenger by Tara O’Donnell
Andy was just a mild mannered clerk more familiar with comic book superheroes than Jane Austen heroines. That all changed when a Regency style lady of mystery entered his life to introduce him to the girl of his dreams and so much more.
As he watched her battle the forces of social evil such as retail rage and a proud author with prejudiced views, Andy felt called to action and became determined to discover the source of power behind this wonder woman of sense and sensibility.
From the author of The Hench Woman’s Handbook and The Chronicles of Copper Boom comes the tale of The Austen Avenger, a champion of universal truth, polite justice and the Austen way. (publisher’s summary)
A Season for Ravens by Will Ottinger
The year is 1918, during the final chaotic months of World War One where three pilots must each confront their personal demons in the skies over France and Belgium. Nathan Fleming, fleeing from Chicago’s slaughterhouses, is a volunteer officer in the Royal Flying Corps, struggling to overcome his working-class origins. His newfound friend, Billy Teal, is a wealthy Southerner and gifted pilot who cleverly conceals his insanity and murderous intent. Across the lines, they face Leutnant Stefan Dietzel, a disillusioned ace of the Imperial German Air Service, separated from his dying wife and tasked with molding a forgotten group of young pilots. The three fight to survive in the high arena—where the average lifespan is three weeks—and on the ground, where they touch the lives of those whose paths they cross: Rawlings, the alcoholic commanding officer living with daily fear, Blake, the meddling sergeant who sees everything, Caroline Stanhope, an upper-class young woman shattered by the war who falls in love with Fleming, and Rudi Reiter, a renegade German pilot and Dietzel’s closest friend. Madness, compassion, and fate collide with tragic consequences on the war’s final day, creating a legacy of guilt and redemption that must be reconciled 20 years later. Meticulous researched and historically accurate, A Season for Ravens is a fast-paced novel recounting the first aerial war—where sudden death is deemed an acceptable gamble. (publisher’s summary)
The Collection of Heng Souk by S.R. Wilsher
To some, Heng Souk is a hero. To many he is a criminal. For Souk himself he is neither, merely a man seeking to balance what he once was, with what he now is. When the daughter of his estranged brother arrives, with her comes the possibility of atonement.
Sun has come to tell him of the death of her father and to return a surprise package. Yet her frail uncle is a very different man from her tough and testing father. When she discovers in his possession a notebook written by an American POW detailing his torturous relationship with his captor, she is startled by what she learns.
Meanwhile, Thomas Allen, still reeling from the death of his daughter and the breakup of his marriage, is told that the man he always called Dad was not his biological father. His mother gives him a batch of letters she still has from the ‘real’ disappeared father. Their tragically unresolved love story prompts Thomas to find out why his mother’s ‘greatest love’ never returned to her after the Vietnam War.
His search leads him to the notorious prison ‘the Citadel’, and to Sun and her uncle. Despite the hostility of her brutal husband and deceitful mother, Sun and Thomas begin a perilous relationship. Aware that the fate of Thomas’ father is revealed in Ephraim’s notebook, she is torn between helping Thomas in his search and the damaging effect revealing what is in the notebook will mean for all of them. (publisher’s summary)
The Story of Awkward by R.K. Ryals
If you are looking for a happy book about beautiful people, this is the wrong story.
If you are looking for a narrative without emotion, without regrets, and without mistakes, this is definitely the wrong story.
This is by no means an uncomplicated tale about uncomplicated people. It is by no means sweet or light.
This story is ugly.
This story is complicated.
This story is emotional.
This story is tragic.
In short, this story is about being awkward.
Peregrine Storke is an artist with an odd sketchbook full of pictures she’s drawn since she was a child. It is a book full of strange sketches and awkward characters, for there is no better way to hide from bullying and life than to create a world of your own. With a stroke of her pencil, she has given life to a spectacled princess, a freckle-nosed king, a candy loving troll, a two-horned unicorn, and a graceless fairy.
At nineteen, Peregrine leaves her home, her sketchbook, and awkwardness behind. But what happens when something goes wrong in the world of Awkward? Trapped inside of her complex realm with the bully she thought to leave behind, Peregrine discovers there is nothing worse than falling for your own villain. (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.