Archive for the ‘mailbox monday’ Category

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

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

For review:

the race for parisThe Race for Paris by Meg Waite Clayton — from Harper

Normandy. 1944. To cover the fighting in France, Jane, a reporter for the Nashville Banner, and Liv, an Associated Press photographer, have already had to endure enormous danger and frustrating obstacles — including strict military regulations limiting what women correspondents can do. Even so, Liv wants more. Encouraged by her husband, the editor of a New York newspaper, she’s determined to be the first photographer to reach Paris with the Allies and capture its freedom from the Nazis.

However, her commanding officer has other ideas about the role of women in the press corps. To fulfill her ambitions, Liv must go AWOL. She persuades Jane to join her, and the two women find a guardian angel in Fletcher, a British military photographer who reluctantly agrees to escort them. As they race for Paris across the perilous French countrywide, Liv, Jane, and Fletcher forge an indelible emotional bond that will transform them and reverberate long after the war is over.

Based on daring, real-life female reporters on the front lines of history like Margaret Bourke-White, Lee Miller, and Martha Gellhorn — and with cameos by other famous faces of the time — The Race for Paris is an absorbing, atmospheric saga full of drama, adventure, and passion. Combining riveting storytelling with expert literary craftsmanship and thorough research, Meg Waite Clayton crafts a compelling, resonant read. (publisher’s summary)

avenue of spiesAvenue of Spies by Alex Kershaw — from Crown

The leafy Avenue Foch, one of the most exclusive residential streets in Nazi-occupied France, was Paris’s hotbed of daring spies, murderous secret police, amoral informers, and Vichy collaborators. So when American physician Sumner Jackson, who lived with his wife and young son Phillip at Number 11, found himself drawn into the Liberation network of the French resistance, he knew the stakes were impossibly high. Just down the road at Number 31 was the “mad sadist” Theodor Dannecker, an Eichmann protege charged with deporting French Jews to concentration camps. And Number 84 housed the Parisian headquarters of the Gestapo, run by the most effective spy hunter in Nazi Germany.

From his office at the American Hospital, itself an epicenter of Allied and Axis intrigue, Jackson smuggled fallen Allied fighter pilots safely out of France, a job complicated by the hospital director’s close ties to collaborationist Vichy. After witnessing the brutal round-up of his Jewish friends, Jackson invited Liberation to officially operate out of his home at Number 11 — but the noose soon began to tighten. When his secret life was discovered by his Nazi neighbors, he and his family were forced to undertake a journey into the dark heart of the war-torn continent from which there was little chance of return.

Drawing upon a wealth of primary source material and extensive interviews with Phillip Jackson, Alex Kershaw recreates the City of Light during its darkest days. The untold story of the Jackson family anchors the suspenseful narrative, and Kershaw dazzles readers with the vivid immediacy of the best spy thrillers. Awash with the tense atmosphere of World War II’s Europe, Avenue of Spies introduces us to the brave doctor who risked everything to defy Hitler. (publisher’s summary)

emma mangaManga Classics: Emma by Jane Austen — from UDON Entertainment

Just in time for the 200th Anniversary, Manga Classics: Emma brings Jane Austen’s classic tale of youthful folly and romantic exuberance to a modern audience with this beautiful, new manga adaptation. The impulsive match-making of Emma Woodhouse delivers both humor and heartache through the gorgeous artwork of manga-ka Po Tse (Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice). Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions. (publisher’s summary)

guide to photographyNational Geographic Kids Guide to Photography by Nancy Honovich and Annie Griffiths — from Oleg Lyubner Public Relations

This info-packed, easy-to-use, superfun, how-to guide teaches everything there is to know about taking photographs. From smartphone cameras to SLRs, and from point-and-shoot to under-water cameras, we’ve got practical advice for kids of all ages. Watch out National Geographic photographers, a new batch of experts is on the way.


  • Diagrams showing how cameras work
  • Step-by-step instructions so you can compose, light, and take the perfect shot
  • Info about editing, photo sharing, and all the latest photo software
  • Do-it-yourself activities
  • Tips & tricks from National Geographic photographers and other experts
  • Behind-the-scenes stories about how the pros get the perfect shot
  • Careers for camera hounds
  • Ways to connect through the National Geographic Kids photo-sharing community MyShot
  • Assignments from noted photographer Annie Griffiths to test your knowledge

And much more! (publisher’s summary)

Unexpected arrival:

mrs. bennet has her sayMrs. Bennet Has Her Say by Jane Juska — from Berkley

It is a truth universally acknowledged that every man in possession of a wife must be in want of a son.

1785 was to be the most marvelous year of Marianne’s life, until an unfortunate turn of events left her in a compromised state and desperate for a husband to care — or rather cover — for her. Now, she is stuck in an undesirable marriage to Mr. Edward Bennet, who is desperate in his own way for a male heir. But as she is still carrying a smoldering desire for the handsome Colonel Millar, Mrs. Bennet must constantly find new, clever ways to avoid her husband’s lascivious advances until she is once again reunited with her dashing colonel. Except that the best-laid plans of a woman in good standing can so often go awry, especially when her contrary husband has plans and desires of his own…

Filled with audacious wit and hilarious surprises, this debut novel is an honest, smart, and satirical look at love, marriage, and the beloved Bennet family from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, as you’ve never seen them before… (publisher’s summary)

Free e-books snagged during the Facebook launch party for A Sense of Obligation by Rose Fairbanks:

pemberley mistletoePemberley Mistletoe by Ayr Bray

Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy had enjoyed a fortnight of being totally irresponsible with regards to anything other than matters of the heart, but the honeymoon is over, and Christmas is sneaking up on them. With the assistant of Mrs. Reynolds, Elizabeth decorates the manor and plans for an intimate holiday party of six, but little does she know how upside down those plans will turn when the party ends up with an additional thirteen uninvited guests.

Will Elizabeth Darcy be able to blend the Darcy and Bennet traditions into a holiday that both she and Fitzwilliam can enjoy, and can she do it while so many women are in attendance waiting for her to mess up? (publisher’s summary)

scent of desireScent of Desire by Ayr Bray

After a tempestuous acquaintance fraught with misconceptions, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are at last of one mind and heart. Their betrothal is not without its own difficulties, however, and a single misunderstanding may place all of their future happiness in jeopardy.

By Amazon Best-Selling author Ayr Bray, Scent of Desire is a Pride and Prejudice expansion chronicling the six-week engagement of one of the world’s most beloved Jane Austen couples. (publisher’s summary)

the illegitimate heirThe Illegitimate Heir by Ayr Bray

The younger son of an earl often cannot afford to marry for love, so it is fortunate Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam has fallen in love with Helen Malham, who has both beauty and wealth. Her father, however, will not allow her to marry a man without a title.

When the Prince Regent names Richard the Duke of Blachedone, it is both a blessing and a curse. His newly acquired title means he may marry Helen — assuming she will have him once the truth comes out. He was awarded the dukedom not for his service to the Crown, but because he is the former duke’s illegitimate son, and soon all of London will know.

Mr. Calvin Aldrich is a rake and a blackguard and set to be one of the richest dukes in England…until his uncle is stripped of his titles and possessions while on his deathbed. Bereft of his inheritance, Calvin will stop at nothing to get revenge on his uncle’s illegitimate heir. He will strike at Richard in any way he can, even if it means ruining an innocent woman. (publisher’s summary)

threat of scandalThreat of Scandal by Ayr Bray

At twenty years of age, Georgiana Darcy embarks on her third season in London hoping to find true love. Things go terribly wrong when she is implicated in a scandalous affair with the Duke of Rothford and, though she is innocent of wrongdoing, London society shuns her and her reputation is in tatters.

For months the Duke has had troubles of his own; the last thing he needs is to be caught up in London’s latest scandal with a perfect stranger. The Duke is an honourable man, however, and does his best to clear their names and restore Georgiana’s reputation.

The Duke’s kindness and attentiveness ignite the kind of love in Georgiana she’s always dreamed of. She knows a peer of the realm could never marry a mere gentleman’s daughter, so she contents herself with simply being near him. But when a new scandal arises, she must leave London and the Duke or risk losing her reputation forever. (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.

Read Full Post »

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

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

For review:

a will of ironA Will of Iron by Linda Beutler — from Meryton Press

The untimely death of Anne de Bourgh, only days after his disastrous proposal at the Hunsford parsonage, draws Fitzwilliam Darcy and his cousin Colonel Alexander Fitzwilliam back to Rosings Park before Elizabeth Bennet has left the neighborhood. In death, Anne is revealed as having lived a rich life of the mind, plotting rather constantly to escape her loathsome mother, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Anne’s journal, spirited into the hands of Charlotte Collins and Elizabeth, holds Anne’s candid observations on life and her family. It also explains her final quirky means of outwitting her mother. Anne’s Last Will and Testament, with its peculiar bequests, upheaves every relationship amongst the Bennets, Darcys, Fitzwilliams, Collinses, and even the Bingleys! Was Anne de Bourgh a shrewder judge of character than Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy combined?  (publisher’s summary)

jars of hopeJars of Hope by Jennifer Roy, illustrated by Meg Owenson — from IWPR Group

During the horrors of World War II, there were many unsung heroes.  Irena Sendler was one of them.

While many people lived in fear of the Nazis, Irena defied them, even though it could have meant her life.  This harrowing true story of a woman who took it upon herself to help save 2,500 children during the Holocaust is not only inspirational — it’s unforgettable.  (publisher’s summary)

becoming darknessBecoming Darkness by Lindsay Francis Brambles — from IWPR Group

Like everyone else living in Haven, seventeen-year-old Sophie Harkness is an Immune — a carrier of the genetic mutation that protects her from the virus Hitler unleashed upon the world more than half a century ago.  The virus that wiped out most of humanity and turned two hundred million people into vampires.  But after her best friend is brutally murdered, Sophie becomes determined to find answers to a conspiracy that runs generations deep.  And when she questions the peace treaty that keeps her small community protected, Sophie begins to discover terrible truths about herself and what it means to be human in a world ruled by darkness.  (publisher’s summary)

the book of lost and foundThe Book of Lost and Found by Lucy Foley — from Back Bay Books

Kate Darling’s enigmatic mother — a once famous ballerina — has passed away, leaving Kate bereft.  When her grandmother falls ill and bequeaths to Kate a small portrait of a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Kate’s mother, Kate uncovers a mystery that may upend everything she thought she knew.

Kate’s journey to find the true identity of the woman in the portrait takes her to some of the world’s most iconic and indulgent locales, revealing a love story that began in the wild 1920s and was disrupted by war, and could now spark new love for Kate.  Alternating between Kate’s present-day hunt and voices from the past, The Book of Lost and Found casts light on family secrets and love — both lost and found.  (publisher’s summary)


beach townBeach Town by Mary Kay Andrews — from Savvy Verse & Wit

Greer Hennessy needs palm trees.

As a movie location scout, picture-perfect is the name of the game.  But her last project literally went up in flames, and her career is on the verge of flaming out.  Greer has been given one more chance, if she can find the perfect undiscovered beach hideaway for a big-budget movie.  She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida town called Cypress Key.  There’s one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach, and an old fishing pier with a community casino — which will be perfect for the film’s explosive climax.

There’s just one problem: Eben Thibadeaux, the town’s mayor, completely objects to Greer’s plan.  A lifelong resident of Cypress Key, Eben wants the town to be revitalized, not commercialized.  After a toxic paper plant closed, the bay has only recently been reborn, and Eb has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again.  But Greer has a way of making things happen, regardless of obstacles.  And Greer and Eb are way too attracted to each other for either of them to see reason.

Between an ambitious director and his entourage — including a spoiled “It Boy” lead actor — who parachute into town, a conniving local ex-socialite, and a cast of local fangirls and opportunists who catch the movie bug, nothing is going to be the same in Cypress Key.  Now Greer is forced to make some hard choices:  about the people and the town she’s come to care about, and about her own life.  True love is only for the movies, right?  Can Greer find a way to be the heroine in her own life story?  Told with inimitable heart and humor, Mary Kay Andrews’s Beach Town is the perfect summer destination.  (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.

Read Full Post »

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

Here’s what I added to the shelves:

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.

Read Full Post »

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

Here’s what I added to the shelves:

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.

Read Full Post »

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

Here’s what I added to the shelves 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)


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.

Read Full Post »

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

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

For review:

under the same skyUnder the Same Blue Sky by Pamela Schoenewaldt — from William Morrow

1914.  In the coal-dusted shadows of Pittsburgh’s steel mills, shopkeeper’s daughter Hazel Renner dreams of adventure under blue skies and escape from her German-American parents’ ambitions for a respectable career.  But war in Europe shatters her plans and community, pitting neighbors and friends against each other and shaking free a family secret.  Seeking peace in the countryside, Hazel is visited by a mysterious healing power — a gift that swiftly leads to tragedy.

Resolved to discover who she is and where she belongs, Hazel follows her past to an exiled German baron fighting private demons in an American castle.  There she meets Tom, a gardener who shares the freedom of flight, but their powerful bonds will be tested by the chaos and voids of war.  Betrayed by her healing powers, struggling to protect those close to her while keeping her own heart safe, Hazel must reconcile youthful dreams with the devastating realities around her.  She discovers that escape is closer than we think, and true healing can take unimaginable forms in a world after war.  (publisher’s summary)

still the cicadas singStill the Cicadas Sing by Gregory Gregoriadis — from the author

It is the 1930s and Greece is ruled by the dictator Ioannis Metaxas.  In October 1940 Mussolini demands passage of his armies through Greece.  Metaxas refuses and Italy declares war.  The Greeks are victorious, pushing the Italians back.  Seeing his Axis ally Mussolini humiliated, Hitler invades Greece.

The dreamy world of Alkinoos turns into one of brutal occupation, of famine and executions.  This is a story of the boy’s coming of age, of romance with the enemy, a German girl, a Circe with violet eyes.  It is a story of things that are not what they seem to be.  Of daring undertakings under the nose of the Gestapo, of Odyssean heroism, wiliness and wisdom…and of eventual tragedy.  An ancient Hellenic world of pathos and nobleness revisited and relieved.

Still the Cicadas Sing is the story of a boy’s spirited survival within a world of darkness and pervading death.  It is a literary novel that will take the reader on a fascinating journey in Nazi occupied Athens, blending the history of Greece of that period, a little known chapter of the War, with adolescent love, with passion and intrigue.  (publisher’s summary)

innocenceInnocence by Heda Margolius Kovály, translated from the Czech by Alex Zucker — from Soho Press

Famed Holocaust memoirist Heda Margolius Kovály (Under a Cruel Star) knits her own terrifying experiences in Soviet Prague into a powerful work of literary suspense.

1950s Prague is a city of numerous small terrors, of political tyranny, corruption and surveillance.  There is no way of knowing whether one’s neighbor is spying for the government or what one’s supposed friend will say under pressure to a State Security agent.  A loyal Party member might be imprisoned or executed as quickly as a traitor; innocence means nothing for a person caught in a government trap.

But there are larger terrors, too.  When a little boy is murdered at the cinema where his aunt works, the ensuing investigation sheds a little too much light on the personal lives of the cinema’s female ushers, each of whom is hiding a dark secret of her own.

Nearly lost to censorship, this rediscovered gem of Czech literature depicts a chilling moment in history, redolent with the stifling atmosphere of political and personal oppression of the early days of Communist Czechoslovakia.  (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.

Read Full Post »

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

Here’s what I added to the shelves recently:

For review:

a twist of hateA Twist of Hate by VR Barkowski — from the author

When the Cézanne his parents lend a local museum is replaced in situ with a forgery, former homicide inspector turned security consultant, Del Miller, refuses to investigate, insisting the museum’s director call in the FBI.  The painting, smuggled out of Nazi occupied France along with Del’s then-infant father, is not only priceless, it holds great sentimental value.

Soon, the museum director is dead, and a handwritten note in which he admits complicity in the theft arrives at a local news station.  But the theft and subsequent death are quickly overshadowed by allegations that Del’s grandfather — a French Resistance hero who died at the hands of the Nazis — stole the missing masterpiece from a Paris gallery during the war.

After the grandson of the long-deceased gallery owner comes forward to claim the Cézanne, he is found shot to death, and Del’s father is implicated in both a conspiracy to hide the painting and murder.  Del, now at a crossroads, sets out to uncover the truth.

From present-day San Francisco to war-torn France, to Nazi death camps and betrayal, A Twist of Hate is a story of family honor.  One man’s quest for answers about the grandfather he never knew, the father he idolizes, and the secrets behind a missing painting that lay buried deep within his family’s past.  (publisher’s summary)

i truly lamentI Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust by Mathias B. Freese — from the author

The twenty-seven stories in this collection include inmates in death camps, survivors of these camps, disenchanted Golems complaining about their designated rounds, modern Holocaust deniers and their ravings, collectors of Hitler curiosa (only recently, a few linens from Hitler’s bedroom suite went up for sale!), an imagined interview with Eva Braun during her last days in the Berlin bunker, a Nazi camp doctor who subtly denies his complicity, the love story of a Hungarian cantor, and many more.

Applying differing points of view, in styles ranging from gothic to romantic to phantasmagoric, Freese leads readers to what might be called his own final conclusion — that we will never be done with the Holocaust; we will never work it through.  (from the press release)


elizabeth bennet's deceptionElizabeth Bennet’s Deception by Regina Jeffers

What if Fitzwilliam Darcy refused to approach Elizabeth Bennet when he observes her upon the grounds of Pemberley?  What if Elizabeth permits Mr. Darcy to think her the one ruined by Mr. Wickham?  What if love is not enough to bring two souls together?

Fitzwilliam Darcy’s pride makes the natural leap to Elizabeth Bennet’s ruination when the lady appears, without notice, upon Pemberley’s threshold to plead for Darcy’s assistance in locating his long-time enemy, George Wickham.  Initially, Darcy cannot look beyond the pain of lost hopes, but when Charles Bingley demands that Darcy act with honor, Darcy assumes the task.  Even so, the idea of delivering Miss Elizabeth into the hand of Mr. Wickham leaves Darcy raw with anguish.  Yet, Darcy loves Elizabeth Bennet too much to see her brought low.  He sets his heartbreak aside to save the woman he loves, but it is not long before Darcy realizes Elizabeth practices a deception, one Darcy permits so he might remain at her side long enough to convince the lady only in each other can they find happiness.

Their adventure takes more twists and turns than does the original Pride and Prejudice, but the reader will enjoy the devotion displayed by Darcy and Elizabeth as they bring Wickham to the line in Lydia Bennnet’s defense, as well as their working their way through multiple misconstructions and vulnerabilities.  Darcy’s final wooing of Elizabeth brings two very private individuals to a very public declaration of their love.  (publisher’s summary)

mr. darcy's faultMr. Darcy’s Fault by Regina Jeffers

What if an accident prevents Elizabeth Bennet from reading Mr. Darcy’s letter of apology?  What if said letter goes missing and ends up in the hands of George Wickham?  What if Mr. Wickham plans to use the evidence of both Georgiana Darcy’s ruination and Darcy’s disdain for the Bennets to his benefit?  How will Darcy counter Wickham’s plans and claim happiness with Elizabeth Bennet?

When he notices his long-time enemy in the vicinity of Hunsford Cottage, Fitzwilliam Darcy means to put an end to an assignation between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Wickham, but Darcy is not prepared for the scene which greets him in Rosings Woods.  Elizabeth lies injured and crumpled beneath one of trees, and in order to save her, by Society’s standards, Darcy must compromise Elizabeth.  Needless to say, Darcy does not mind claiming Elizabeth to wife, but what of the lady’s affections?  Can Darcy tolerate Elizabeth’s emotions being engaged elsewhere?

Compelled into an engagement she least desires, Elizabeth Bennet thinks it impossible she could ever care for the arrogant Mr. Darcy, but the man proves more irresistible than Elizabeth first assumes.  Yet, just when Elizabeth begins to believe happiness is within their grasps, Mr. Wickham reappears in her life with a “proposal” Elizabeth cannot refuse, and it is all Mr. Darcy’s fault.  (publisher’s summary)

darcy and elizabeth lost in loveDarcy and Elizabeth — Lost in Love by Mary Lydon Simonsen

After Elizabeth Bennet’s rejection of his offer of marriage, Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to Pemberley in the hope of finding a path that will lead him to Elizabeth.  Little does he know that Elizabeth is already at Pemberley, walking the gravel paths of the maze in Pemberley’s expansive gardens.  When Darcy and Elizabeth meet in the middle of the labyrinth, the unexpected happens.  This short story is a lighthearted retelling of the famous couple’s reunion in Derbyshire.  (publisher’s summary)

spring feverHolidays With Jane: Spring Fever by Jennifer Becton, Melissa Buell, Rebecca M. Flemming, Cecilia Gray, Kimberly Truesdale, and Jessica Grey

Winter’s almost over and Jane Austen’s got a case of spring fever!  The authors who brought you Holidays With Jane: Christmas Cheer return to bring you six modern adaptations of Austen’s classics.  So put up your parasols and prepare for sunshine, smiles, and, of course, happily ever afters.

“Extra Innings” by Jessica Grey
Annie Elliot still regrets breaking off her engagement to minor league baseball player Rick Wentworth ten years ago. Now he’s back in town coaching the team she works for and stirring up feelings she’d rather forget. Will Rick and Annie get a chance to hit a walk-off home run or will they strike out in Extra Innings?

“Miracle at the Abbey” by Cecilia Gray
Kathia, paranormal investigator extraordinaire, is out to prove her hometown Abbey is a bona fide miracle site—even if its sexy owner-slash-handyman Henry is dead set against it. Kathia and Henry square off and settle the score that’s been brewing since high school in this contemporary Easter retelling that ends with a Miracle at the Abbey.

“Whine and Wineries” by Melissa Buell
After their father dies, the Dashwood girls must make room for their half-brother John and his wife Franny in their Hollywood Hills home. When Franny’s brother Edward shows up unexpectedly, Elinor finds a new friend.But any dreams of something more are crushed when the girls have to move far away to Barton Winery. There Elinor begins her new life as a wedding coordinator. Her first challenge? Bridezilla Anne Steele’s spring wedding. When Anne’s sister Lucy reveals a secret that changes everything, Elinor must sort through the lies to find the truth of her feelings and hope for her future.

“Emma’s Inbox” by Rebecca M. Fleming
Emma Woodhouse keeps her finger on the pulse of Hartfield, Georgia through a series of texts and emails full of hometown gossip and romantic intrigue. In Hartfield, nothing ever changes: people fall in love (sometimeswith a little help from her), get married, and life goes on in the same comfortable way. But when hometown favorite Frank Churchill returns unexpectedly, the whole town develops a case of spring fever. Though a master at maneuvering the love lives of those around her, Emma finds she needs some advice of her own—and her family and friends are happy to fill her inbox with all the help she needs.

“No Vacancy at Mansfield Motel” by Kimberly Truesdale
Fanny Price runs Mansfield Motel, the family business in sunny South Florida, mostly on her own. But she dreams of following in her Uncle Thomas’s footsteps and becoming a marine biologist. She plans to talk to her cousin Eddie about her dreams when he comes home for Spring Break. But when he brings along Henry and Mary Crawford, trouble starts to brew. Fanny watches her precious future begin to slip away. With everything on the line, will Fanny finally speak up for herself? Or will she be stuck running Mansfield Motel for the rest of her life?

“Lydia Reimagined” by Jennifer Becton
When reformed party girl Lydia Bennet receives an invitation to her ex George Wickham’s destination wedding, she accepts with the intention of showing him exactly what he gave up when he dumped her. But no amount determination can change Wickham’s view of Lydia, especially not when circumstances conspire to make her look even more like a party girl than ever. And then there’s her sudden attraction to old college friend Kyle “Denny” Dennison…. Now that Lydia has reimagined her whole life, will she be able to forget the past and open her heart to the future? (publisher’s summary)

sincerely yoursSincerely Yours (Yours by Design, Book 2) by Robin M. Helm

Living with time turned upside down…
Accepting the consequences of rash decisions…
Learning to view adversities as opportunities…
Striving to make the most of second chances…
Recognizing obstacles as the gifts of God…
Seeking to undo the damage done to relationships…

Sincerely Yours (Yours by Design, Book 2) begins immediately after Accidentally Yours (Yours by Design, Book 1). In this Christian fantasy fiction series, after prayers uttered by both Fitzwilliam Darcy (1793) and Will Darcy (21st century) result in accidents for both men and a time switch, each Darcy must adjust to his new era and try to win the heart of the woman he loves. (publisher’s summary)

forever yoursForever Yours (Yours by Design, Book 3) by Robin M. Helm

In Forever Yours, the third and final volume of the Christian Regency/Modern Yours by Design series, both Will Darcy and Fitzwilliam Darcy seek to overcome the obstacles threatening to separate them from their respective Elizabeths.

Could it be possible for people who grew up in time periods over two hundred years apart to be happy together? Can a Regency man love a modern woman? Can a modern man adjust to a Regency woman? (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.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 229 other followers