In My Mailbox

Holy book load Batman – this is a mailbox to beat any others I have posted.  The BEA bloggers mailboxes are going to be awesome to see and you know there are mail men and women all over the country groaning under the loads of books they have delivered this week.

I had 3 boxes total that I shipped to myself from New York’s BEA event and a bonus package from Simon and Schuster.  The final box arrived on my doorstep this morning.  The dogs were barking and I ran to the door to see my mailman lugging the 38 pound box of books.  I went to take it from him and he said, “I can get it, it’s heavy.”

I responded, “Oh I know, I packed it.”

Anyway – trying to figure out how to do a mailbox post this week was tricky.  I put together a Vlog and when I ended discovered it was 28 minutes.  Wha???  So delete delete … and instead I video taped the books adding some words to make it fun and came in at 9 minutes.  Better, and hopefully you will enjoy the video.

Thanks to Kristi (who was awesome to meet!) at Story Siren for this weekly meme and a chance for me to inventory my books.

Ok… hopefully you survived that.  I want to post one more thing that came in my mailbox (Don’t groan…. this one will be brief):

Mmmmmm hmmmmm…. that is an official swag bag from the BBC (Book Blogger Convention) last Friday.  I am going to post a giveaway for this bag of goodies available to one reader who did not have the opportunity to attend BEA this year.  More details on that on Tuesday.

Also – Wednesday June 9th is my one year Blogoversary and you are all invited.  This is a time when I celebrate with all of you and there will be giveaways – awesome ones.  And I may just give away stuff all week because I am that excited and that’s the way I roll!  Isn’t it all just so trippy (I told Heidi Kling on Twitter that I was going to use this word in my post!)

Hope to get a chance to see what came in your mailbox as well!  😀

In My Mailbox

Another week, another mailbox.  This is where I record the books that came into my home this week.  They are books that came for review, from the library, and purchased.  Thanks to Kristi at Story Siren for hosting this weekly meme.

I had a light mailbox this week.

For review I received:

Yes I received this book for review last week and then this week two more came.  This means – GIVEAWAY!!!

A new one for review!

Library Loot

I have already completed this one.  So interesting to read about why people think books should be banned.  Review will be up later this week.

Last week I received Tom’s new book, The Secret Speech.  I wanted to read this one first as it was recommended by a friend last year.


If you follow this blog on a regular basis you are probably aware that this time of year I participate n quite a few bike tours.  This morning I participated in a very cold one for MS in Maplewood Minnesota…. my treat to myself on the drive home was a stop at my Mother Ship – Barnes and Noble.

I haven’t read Mary Jane Clark in years.  Today I seen this lovely book an B & N for 6.99.

This was also at B & N on the bargain tables.  A beautiful journal that I am going to use for my book club notes.  I just love to write!  😀

Thats my mailbox!  What did you get in yours this week?

In My Mailbox

I missed out on last weeks mailbox as I was out of town.  So now I am catching up on two weeks worth of books.  Thanks Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting this fun meme.  Here is where I list anything bookish that came in my home… be it by mail, or Library, or purchase….

Kristen Anderson thought she had the picture-perfect life until strokes of gray dimmed her outlook: three friends and her grandmother died within two years. Still reeling from these losses, she was raped by a friend she thought she could trust. She soon spiraled into a seemingly bottomless depression.

One January night, the seventeen-year-old decided she no longer wanted to deal with the emotional pain that smothered her. She lay down on a set of cold railroad tracks and waited for a freight train to send her to heaven…and peace.

But Kristen’s story doesn’t end there.

In Life, In Spite of Me this remarkably joyful young woman shares the miracle of her survival, the agonizing aftermath of her failed suicide attempt, and the hope that has completely transformed her life, giving her a powerful purpose for living.

Her gripping story of finding joy against all odds provides a vivid and unforgettable reminder that life is a gift to be treasured.

Rebecca’s life just keeps getting better. With Jack away on business, she’s looking forward to four days alone to work on her new client’s PR campaign to help women take back their lives. But her past intrudes. Roy, the man who stalked and assaulted her years before, has been released from prison. Home alone in her big, beautiful house out in the country, Rebecca has to learn to take back her own life while facing her fears and regaining her strength. But will she be strong enough when she faces the ultimate test?

Set in 1956, bestseller Smith’s edgy second thriller to feature Leo Demidov (after Child 44) depicts the paranoia and instability of the Soviet Union after the newly installed Khrushchev regime leaks a secret speech laying out Stalin’s brutal abuses. Now working as a homicide detective, Leo has long since repudiated his days as an MGB officer, but his former colleagues, fearful of reprisals from their victims, have begun taking their own lives. Leo himself becomes the target of Fraera, the wife of a priest he imprisoned. Now the leader of a violent criminal gang, Fraera kidnaps Leo’s daughter, Zoya, and threatens to kill Zoya if Leo doesn’t liberate her husband from his gulag prison.

Kathy Spence awakens in the middle of the night and finds herself in a living nightmare. Her husband has been run down and she is the primary suspect. With an eyewitness to the crime and proof that her car was the murder weapon, it appears to be an open and shut case. Terrified for her future, Kathy turns to amateur sleuth Anne Marshall for help. Believing in Kathy s innocence, Anne launches her own investigation, uncovering proof of a conspiracy that reaches from Kathy s past and threatens her own life. In a race against time, Anne must count on her close friends and even the ghost of her father to help her bring a killer to justice before it s too late.

It’s almost the end of Miranda’s sophomore year in high school, and her journal reflects the busy life of a typical teenager: conversations with friends, fights with mom, and fervent hopes for a driver’s license. When Miranda first begins hearing the reports of a meteor on a collision course with the moon, it hardly seems worth a mention in her diary. But after the meteor hits, pushing the moon off its axis and causing worldwide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, all the things Miranda used to take for granted begin to disappear. Food and gas shortages, along with extreme weather changes, come to her small Pennsylvania town; and Miranda’s voice is by turns petulant, angry, and finally resigned, as her family is forced to make tough choices while they consider their increasingly limited options. Yet even as suspicious neighbors stockpile food in anticipation of a looming winter without heat or electricity, Miranda knows that that her future is still hers to decide even if life as she knew it is over.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the small east Texas town of Howbutker is run by two families. The Tolivers preside over the massive cotton plantation of Somerset, while the Warwicks possess acres upon acres of timber. The children of the families, pretty and stubborn Mary Toliver and suave, strong Percy Warwick, are like water and oil. Percy insists that Mary will eventually marry him, and Mary is adamant that she will never have room in her heart for anything but Somerset, yet their undeniable attraction pulls them together. Through a trick of fate, Percy and Mary are forced apart. The consequences of their separation vibrate throughout the years, giving rise to lies, deceit, secrets, and tragedies that their families must suffer through, until, ultimately, they just have to leave it to Percy, Mary, and plain fate to see if they can make things right in the end.

BOOTLEGGING, BARNSTORMING and a Hard-Rock BOONDOOGLE. Los Angeles, 1934: Based on a true chapter of California history, Houdini Pie explores the depths to which a family, and a city, will sink when hard luck comes knocking and there’s nothing left to lose. Young Hal Gates is a celebrated pitcher for an upstart rural ball club, and the son of a notorious booze smuggler who vanished at the end of Prohibition. At his lonely mother’s urging, and with the desperate backing of the municipal powers-that-be, he teams up with a crackpot geologist to mine for a mythical Hopi treasure trove buried miles beneath the downtown streets. The deeper they tunnel the more Hal learns about loyalty, treachery, hunger and hope, and mostly–in ways he never would have imagined–about love.

When an avalanche thundered down the mountain housing the Fourth of July Mine in Swandyke, Colorado, that bright April afternoon in 1920, it carried death and destruction but also provided the seeds for forgiveness and redemption. Grace Foote, the mine manager’s wife, sees the children on their way home from school. Joe Cobb, the only black man in town, is one of the first to dig for them. Sisters Lucy and Dolly, estranged for years, unite now in the face of shared tragedy. Essie Schnabel, from New York City and Jewish and working in a brothel, stands vigil, as does Minder Evans, a crusty Civil War veteran raising his grandson. Dallas presents another historical novel about the hardscrabble mining communities of Colorado, set just down the road from her best-selling Prayers for Sale (2009), creating a patchwork of individuals whose lives had not intersected until this singular, transformative event. Readers may find the abrupt transitions and preponderance of flashbacks confusing and distancing.

In life, children and adults both face obstacles that can cause fear and anxiety. Bug Goes through the Maze reminds us that we can all learn important lessons to help us become stronger by meeting new people and trying new things. It also reminds us how to make every experience an adventure, while overcoming obstacles along the way.

Battling his own personal demons, Police Chief Jonah Westfall knows the dark side of life and has committed himself to eradicating it. When a pair of raccoons are found mutilated in Redford, Colorado, Jonah investigates the gruesome act, knowing the strange event could escalate and destroy the tranquility of his small mountain town. With a rising drug threat and never-ending conflict with Tia Manning, a formidable childhood friend with whom he has more than a passing history, Jonah fights for answers—and his fragile sobriety.

But he can’t penetrate every wound or secret—especially one fueled by a love and guilt teetering on madness.

In the year 2088, Christian missionary Abigail Caldwell leaves her New Guinea village to seek help for fellow villagers, who have all been stricken by a mysterious disease. A message from her grandfather, an American neuroscientist who is the co-inventor of a silicon brain replacement, draws her to America, where religion has died out. Abby joins forces with a historian who has a connection to Abby’s family as they investigate the death of her grandfather and face the spiritual implications of transhumanity—humans with replacement silicon brains that promise eternal life but make impossible personal connection with God.

The hilarious, implausible, and touching story of twin brothers accomplishing the impossible—making a feature film (with a cast and crew with 11 Academy Awards and 26 nominations) with no experience, no money and no contacts.

When identical twin brothers Logan and Noah Miller’s homeless father died alone in a jail cell, they vowed, come hell or high water, that their film, Touching Home, would be made as a dedication to their love for him. Either You’re in or You’re in the Way is the amazing story of how—without a dime to their names nor a single meaningful contact in Hollywood—they managed to write, produce, direct, and act in a feature film alongside four-time Academy Award-nominated actor Ed Harris and fellow nominees Brad Dourif and Robert Forster.

An elusive heirloom cradle symbolizes childhood’s pains and possibilities in Somerville’s spare, elegant first novel (after a story collection, Trouble). Marissa, pregnant with her first child, becomes obsessed with tracking down the antique cradle her mother took when she abandoned the family a decade earlier. Marissa’s husband, Matt, is sure he’s been dispatched on a fool’s errand, but his journey soon connects him to Marissa’s family and his own history of abandonment, neglect and abuse amid a string of foster homes and orphanages. Matt’s quest through four states is interwoven with another drama that takes place 11 years later, in 2008, in which poet and children’s author Renee Owen is haunted by memories of war and a lost love as she prepares to send her son off to fight in Iraq. Again, long-buried secrets come to the surface, one of which poignantly links the two story lines.

Imagine God recycling bottles and planting trees. In this book by faith and culture writer Merritt, God is honored as the ultimate environmentalist who restores and loves His own creation. Evangelical Christians are less supportive of environmental causes than other groups, a statistic that Merritt attributes to misinformation and politics that hamper understanding. Through a compilation of scripture, statistics, and his own anecdotes, Merritt explains that creation care is a shared moral obligation—not a political viewpoint or a film by Al Gore. The world is God’s apologetic about Himself; it is the Christian’s job to maintain its beauty and complexity. Merritt arms the reader with Bible verses commanding care for creation; resources and suggestions for green living are given in the appendixes.


Columbine I have seen around on other blogs and is a book that I know will be a hard read – but one I want to know about.  I have read a few other books surrounding Columbine.

The Arrival will be my first dabbling in a graphic novel.  This was reviewed at my friend Anigie’s blog By Book Or By Crook and I thought it sounded interesting.

I have had this book on my shelf for sadly – years.  I just never get to it.  Today I picked it up in audio form the Library and I will start listening to it tomorrow!

*Whew!*  There’s my mailbox of 2+ weeks.  How about you?  What has arrived in your mailbox this week?

Morning Meanderings/In My Mailbox

Justin had to be to the airport to catch a flight back to Minneapolis this morning at 7 am….. we synchronized our cell phones to wake us up at 5 am.  I was able to use the navigation system on my phone for the first time ever and LOVE it!  I consider myself very directionally challenged and I don’t even drive Minneapolis for fear of getting lost.  This little gadget brought me right to the airport and back to the hotel with no panic by me.  LOVE it – and she talks to me and tells me where to turn!  I will call her Emily.  🙂

So now…. I am back at the hotel and fully awake at 6:30 am.  Having COFFEE and chatting with the nice lady setting up breakfast.  Having missed out on In My Mailbox (kudos to Kristi at Story Siren for this gem of a meme!) that I usually post on Saturday evenings, thought I would add that to my early morning plan as a few books had come int he door before I left for Florida on Thursday morning.

College in a Nutskull I skimmed through the pages if this book when it came in and it looks like it could be a fun read!  The layout is kind of unique and looks like notebook paper.

The Missing Element by John L. Betcher.   With this book, I had pleasant email exchanges with the author and love the fact that this is a Minnesota author writing about a Minnesota mystery.

Conquering Mr. Darcy by Abigail ReynoldsWhen looking up this book, that does not release until August 2010, it has a different name on-line.  The book on-line is called To Conquer Mr. Darcy.  Either way interesting and this will by first Darcy book….

Disrupting Grace by Kristen Richburg This book intrigues me and disturbs me and I have not even opened it yet.  This is a true story of a family who adopted and had to relinquish the child because she just did not connect to them.  I am still unsure how I will feel about this book and I am hopeful that I read this with an open mind.

15 Good reasons Not To Go To Church by Michael Insalaco I enjoy books on church and theology and statistics.  I am looking forward to this read.

That’s my mailbox.  Not sure what our plan today is yet.  Just me and Brad now in Florida.  I need to look for something to do this afternoon, maybe we will fit a late afternoon show, and Hungry Howies pizza which Brad says has the best pizza around and you can choose a flavor for your crust.  Hmmmmm….. now I am intrigued.  😀

What was in your mailbox?

In My Mailbox

Another week – another mailbox! Thank you Kristi from the Story Siren for hosting this fun meme that helps me to keep track of what came in my home and when. I use this weekly recap to capture anything bookish that has come into my home…. by mailbox, by purchases, by Library, gift…. whatever. 🙂

Here is what has entered my home this week:

When nurse Hanne Abrahamsen impulsively shields Steffen Petersen from a nosy Gestapo agent, she’s convinced the Lutheran pastor is involved in the Danish Underground. Nothing could be further from the truth. But truth is hard to come by in the fall of 1943, when Copenhagen is placed under Martial Law and Denmark’s Jews—including Hanne—suddenly face deportation to the Nazi prison camp at Terezin, Czechoslovakia. Days darken and danger mounts. Steffen’s faith deepens as he takes greater risks to protect Hanne. But are either of them willing to pay the ultimate price for their love?

Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children’s book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of an experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this horrible plan, who is simply called the Gardener.

Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he’s longed for most?

A chance encounter with a stranger in an airplane sends Elyse Bearden into an emotional tailspin. Suddenly, Elyse is willing to risk everything: her safe but stale marriage, her seemingly perfect life in an affluent Southern suburb, and her position in the church. As Elyse embarks on a risky affair, her longtime friend Kelly and the other women in their book club begin to question their own decisions about love, sex, marriage, and freedom. In the end it will take an extraordinary leap of faith for Elyse to find–and follow–her own path to happiness.

Luke Davis finds himself the “prize” in an outrageous competition for his hand. Is this any way to find a wife?


Henry York never dreamed his time in Kansas would open a door to adventure—much less a hundred doors. But a visit to his aunt and uncle’s farm took an amazing turn when cupboard doors, hidden behind Henry’s bedroom wall, revealed themselves to be portals to other worlds. Now, with his time at the farm drawing to a close, Henry makes a bold decision—he must go through the cupboards to find the truth about where he’s from and who his parents are. Following that trail will take him from one world to another, and ultimately into direct conflict with the evil of Endor.

When Henry York found 99 cupboards hidden behind his bedroom wall, he never dreamed they were doors to entirely new worlds! Unfortunately, Henry’s discovery freed an ancient, undying witch, whose hunger for power would destroy every world connected to the cupboards–and every person whom Henry loves. Henry must seek out the legendary Chestnut King for help. Everything has a price, however, and the Chestnut King’s desire may be as dangerous as the witch herself.

N. D. Wilson concludes a remarkable, worlds-spanning journey that began with one boy and one hundred avenues to adventure.

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father-an elusive European warlock-only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.


Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–though utterly romantic–results. But will she ever see him again?

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it’s all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.

That’s my Mailbox!  I am excited to see what came in yours!  🙂

Oh, and join me on Monday for It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?  We have so much fun !!!

In My Mailbox

Welcome to another Sunday and another wonderful In My Mailbox hosted by Kristi at Story Siren.   Here is what came in my house either by mail, or library, or I purchased.  If it is book related and entered my home – it is listed here.  🙂

For Review

On a summer afternoon, Melba Burns witnesses a nightmare collision. The unknown bicyclist dies in her arms, ending Melba’s desire for success at any cost. She settles into her boxy old farmhouse trying to find a simpler peace. But Melba’s stunning new roommate JoLee Garry only magnetizes messes and trouble-she brings a series of unexpected guests who transform Melba’s fruitful solo life into something different, darker, and better.

The Revolutionary Paul Revere starts at a gallop and never slows down. Follow Revere’s adventure-filled life from childhood through the French and Indian War; from the prerevolutionary economic disasters through the incendiary tax fights and riots; from military occupation of Boston through Revere’s part in the Boston Massacre trial; from his role in the Boston Tea Party through his early service as express rider for the Massachusetts patriots; from the tragic death of his first wife through the whimsical pursuit of a new love; from his role as waterfront spy through his famous midnight ride; from his participation in the worst American naval disaster before Pearl Harbor through his eventual vindication.

A photo of her sons. A doormat from Target. Twenty-three tubs of fabric. Somehow it comforts Lauren to list the things she lost when a wildfire engulfed the Santa Barbara avocado ranch she shared with her husband, Tom. He, too, didn’t survive the devastating fire. His last act was to save her grandmother’s lace from the flames-an heirloom she has never been able to take scissors to, that she was saving for someday.

As she negotiates her way through grief, mourning both the tangible and intangible, Lauren wonders about her long marriage. Was it worth all the work, the self-denial? Did she stay with Tom just to avoid loneliness? Should she have been more like her mother, Eileen-thrice- married and, even now in her elderly years, cavalier about men and, it seems, even about her daughter’s emotions?

Now, it’s up to Lauren to understand what she could still gain even when it seems that everything is lost.

Featuring a seven year-old mastermind who tries really hard not to blame her imaginary friend for getting her into heaps of delicious trouble, Lauren Barnholdt’s new series is both hilarious and heart-warming. Watch out Ramona, Judy, and the rest, Hailey Twitch is coming soon!


Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up one night to find bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall above his bed and one of them is slowly turning . . .Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room–with a man pacing back and forth! Henry soon understands that these are not just cupboards, but portals to other worlds.

* Purchased from The Rabbit Room (LOVE the Rabbit Room!)

My friend Cindy gave me a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble.  OOH!  What will it be!  Is it Hex Hall?  Or the new Harlan Coben?  The new Jodi Piccoult House Rules?  Oh the ideas are endless…

I never made it to the library but have a book waiting for me so I should be stopping in this week.

And that’s my mailbox.  How about you?  Anything exciting and bookish come into your home this week?

In My Mailbox

Thank you as always to the wonderful Kristi at Story Siren who hosts this weekly meme that I just adore!  Kristi inspires me so much!  🙂

Yesterday my hubby and I went to Best Buy to pick up a computer for our front office.  The store was extremely short-handed on help and while we knew what we wanted it took over an hour to get help with it.  While we waited I was looking around at the Flip Video cameras.  A couple friends of mine have them and I think they are super cool and I really wanted to have one before BEA this year.

Well…..  I guess I spent too much time looking at the Flip Video Cam because today I went back in their and purchased their package deal which was the camcorder, tripod, a carrying case and a cord that I have no idea what it does yet.  🙂

AND I am telling you all of this because what I am offering up for my mailbox post tonight, my debut video on the flip video cam.  It’s pretty amateur as I do not know how to use my I Tunes music for background music choices so had to use what came with the cam.  (I had  a much better song in mind….).  Hopefully as time goes by I will become better at this – but for now I present to you, My Mailbox:

Ok…..LOL..  It is pretty cheesy but I decided to leave it so when I improve (ha ha) I will be able to look at this original one and laugh until pop comes out my nose.  Seriously.  🙂

Here is what you seen in the above video:

From Ye Ol’ Library

I have really learned to appreciate my library these past few months!

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson Purely blog love…. I seen it on a blog, I plugged it into my library wish list

Life Sentences by Laura Lippman I seen this book reviewed at Hannah’s blog, Word Lily and knew I wanted to read it.

Sent for Reviews

It is amazing to see all the different directions that review books come from…

God Never Blinks by Regina Brett with 3 to copies to giveaway!  YES!  That’s right – enter here for a chance to win! (Thank you to Hachette books for this one!)

Hush by Kate White was sent my way by HarperCollins

Read, Remember, Recommend, A Reading Journal For Book Lovers and Read, Remember, Recommend, For Teens are two exciting journals I can not wait to look more closely at!  I love to journal!  (Go figure, right?)  🙂  Thank you to author Rachelle Knight and Sourcebooks for this opportunity!

The Wins:

Don’t you just love winning books?  I sure do!

Wake by Lisa McMann I won from Marce at Tea Time With Marce

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant I won from Michelle at A Reader’s Respite

There you have it.  My funky mailbox.  I am really excited to know what came this week in yours!

In My Mailbox

What an exciting mailbox week!   Here is what arrived in the DeChantal home this week – either by mail, by book store, or by Library!  🙂  (Thanks as always to Kristi at Story Siren for hosting this wonderful meme that makes me say, “Dang….  that’s a lot of books”.  🙂

I am so excited about this book!  I heard about the girl’s From Ames last fall and loving stories like this I knew I had to read it.  This is the true story of friendship through the years.  I was beyond giddy (I mean BEYOND giddy) when I was emailed this last to see if I would be interested in being a part of a book tour for this book.  “Uhhhhhhh…..  YEAH!”

I stumbled on to this read through Random House and have since discovered that this is the W.O.W. (Women On The Web) pick as well.  Hmmm…. the book sounds like it is about a funny family.  Hey, I have one of those!

Hiking Through was an offer through an email that I thought would be an interesting read.  Author Paul Stutzman, after the passing of his wife, decides to quit his job of 17 years and quite literally takes a hike.  2,176 miles through 5 states.  This book – is his journey.  I for one am fascinated.  🙂

Occasionally I like to read about topics of the past….  a history lesson.  While war topics are usually not picks for me, something about this story line drew me in….  almost reminding me a bit of the Pearl Harbor movie.

I read Liz Curtis Higgs about 3 years ago.  It was her book Mad Mary, which is you like your Christian Fiction with a bit of an edge, I recommend  Mad Mary.  At that time I was really impressed with Liz’s writing and I was fairly new to “edgy” Christian fiction and have to admit I was a bit excited about the book.  For that reason, when this book came as a possible review – I had to say yes.

** Oh – and yes – two copies means one of my readers is going to have a chance to read this one too!

Brilliant Disguises came in as an offer for review through my email.  At first glance I probably would have passed, but since a PDF of the first chapter was linked to the email I decided to read it.  This is a book about a man who pretends to be a Christian to get a job.  There was something about this first chapter that struck me and I enjoyed it what I read.

*** yes!  Two copies!  One will be given away soon!

When I started this blog I really wanted to have a Children’s review section.  I set a tab up for it and everything and for whatever reason, just havent had a lot of time or call for Children’s reviews.  Still working on that.  🙂  This one was offered and since I have done one other review on Horrible Henry with success, I thought I would bring him back for another try.

Patterson!  I know, I know….  I don’t know what this current fascination is with his writing but I have been hooked.  I was hoping to be able to review this one and here it is in audio – woo hoo!  I am so excited for this one!!!


Library – library what do you have for me!  You may see a theme here and if you do you, you are correct.  This months theme for The Social Justice Challenge for march is Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.  A topic that breaks my heart.  There were so many excellent titles on the list that I started plugging them into my online Library hold and they are coming in like crazy.  I hope to really sit down and get through several if not all of these books.


And last but not least my trip to Wal-Mart yesterday did not leave me bookless.  I snatched up the 2nd book in the Percy Jackson series and our April book club read, Little Bee.

Winner Winner!

So beyond excited to share with you two books I won and they arrived this week!  From the wonderful Lydia at The Lost Entwife I won her Percy Jackson Giveaway !  Woo hoo!    AND from Kari from A Good Addiction Blog, I won The Jody Piccoult book of my choice!   Yes!  Thank you both for holding wonderful contests!  🙂

So that is my mailbox for this week.   For those of you who read me on a regular basis you are probably ready to call me out here and say, “Wait a minute Sheila….  didn’t your library have a book sale this week – AND didn’t you come home with a box of books?  Where are those”?

Whew!  Tough crowd!  I am still prepping those and I will post that picture tomorrow with my It’s Monday, What Are You Reading post.  Also, if possible…. the haircut picture that has been requested will be posted as well.  Yipes!

Ok – enough about my mailbox.  What bookish items were in yours?

In My Mailbox

Another week – another mailbox of books.  Actually, it was quite a small mailbox week for me until today.  5 books were delivered today and I nabbed two from the library.

SO thank you as always to Kristi at Story Siren for this wonderful meme.  Where I (and all of you) have a chance to inventory what hit the mailbox this week (or in my case, whatever came into my home that is “bookish”)

When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody’s name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family. She’s been May Adams, Karen Smith, Anne Johnson, and countless others–everyone but the one person she longs to be: herself. So when the feds spirit her off to begin yet another new life in another town, she’s stunned when a man confronts her and calls her by her real name.

*Oh and heads up – there is a giveaway being posted this week for three copies of this book to be given out to lucky readers!

Paddy Meehan is no stranger to murder–as a reporter she lives at crime scenes–but nothing has prepared her for this visit from the police. Her former boyfriend and fellow journalist Terry Patterson has been found hooded and shot through the head. Paddy knows she will be of little help–she had not seen Terry in more than six months. So she is bewildered to learn that in his will he has left her his house and several suitcases full of notes. Drawn into a maze of secrets and lies, Paddy begins making connections to Terry’s murder that no one else has seen, and soon finds herself trapped in the most important–and dangerous–story of her career.

* And oh snap – guess what I saw?  Yup – giveaway will be posted this week where three readers will win a copy of this book!

In today’s fast-paced and technology-driven times, Christians feel stressed out and overly busy. Many are left longing for simpler days, unaware that these days are within their grasp, made possible by getting rid of spiritual and material clutter.

I am always trying to be clutter free and this book sounds like it may have some tips for that person (we will call her Sheila) who keeps every scrap of paper – every receipt in a drawer, just in case it is needed….

Kai Miller floats through life like driftwood tossed by waves. She’s never put down roots in any one place–and she doesn’t plan to. But when a chaotic hurricane evacuation lands her in Daily, Texas, she begins to think twice about her wayfaring existence. And when she meets hometown-boy Kemp Eldridge, she can almost picture settling down in Daily–until she discovers he may be promised to someone else. Daily has always been a place of refuge for those the wind blows in, but for Kai, it looks like it will be just another place to leave behind. Then again, Daily always has a few surprises in store–especially when Aunt Donetta has cooked up a scheme.

This looks and sounds like a fun read!

Will I never see you again either?” I asked, feeling as though I was about to jump off a high mountain peak and hope to land without hurting myself. That’s how impossible everything seemed at that moment, no matter what I did.

“Perhaps we will meet again,” Sasha said, softening his voice. “But you must see that it does not matter. You have so much ahead of you. It’s your choice now. Choose the future! Choose life!”

For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia’s last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. But even while the rebels debate the family’s future with agonizing slowness and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood. But will the strength of their love be enough to save Anastasia from a violent death?

What’s that?  Didn’t I receive this last week?  Yes I did – so you know what means!  Watch for the giveaway of this additional copy!  You never know when or where this may pop up!

Portraying the pressures of teens to live a normal life while facing mental illness, this suspenseful young adult novel follows the journey of success-bound Abe, who struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A senior in high school, with a loving and wealthy adoptive family, Abe is on track for a big scholarship and an open future. Suddenly, horrific flashbacks rip him back to war-torn Africa, where five years previously he lost his mother, sister, friends, and almost his own life to torturous violence. During therapy, he uncovers even darker moments from his past that make him question how he survived. This action-filled thriller will open the eyes and hearts of teenagers to the lives of young people who have been exposed to profound violence around the world.

I think this book sounds amazing!  I cant wait to read it!

Violet Parry is living the quintessential life of luxury in the Hollywood Hills with David, her rock-and-roll manager husband, and her darling toddler, Dot. She has the perfect life–except that she’s deeply unhappy. David expects the world of Violet but gives little of himself in return. When she meets Teddy, a roguish small-time bass player, Violet comes alive, and soon she’s risking everything for the chance to find herself again. Also in the picture are David’s hilariously high-strung sister, Sally, on the prowl for a successful husband, and Jeremy, the ESPN sportscaster savant who falls into her trap.

Guess what?  I have three of these to give away!  Watch for the giveaway being posted soon!

When Henry Oades accepts an accountancy post in New Zealand, his wife, Margaret, and their children follow him to exotic Wellington. But while Henry is an adventurer, Margaret is not. Their new home is rougher and more rustic than they expected—and a single night of tragedy shatters the family when the native Maori stage an uprising, kidnapping Margaret and her children.

For months, Henry scours the surrounding wilderness, until all hope is lost and his wife and children are presumed dead. Grief-stricken, he books passage to California. There he marries Nancy Foreland, a young widow with a new baby, and it seems they’ve both found happiness in the midst of their mourning—until Henry’s first wife and children show up, alive and having finally escaped captivity.

Oh I am so ready for a historical fiction read!

After a long absence, novelist CJ Baxter returns to his hometown of Adelia in upstate New York for his grandfather’s funeral. Facing a messy divorce and doubting his talent as a writer, CJ is forced to confront secrets that have tormented him since childhood. To complicate matters, his brother Graham is running for a Senate seat, and the family is intent on keeping the most damaging secret–surrounding a murder and its cover-up–in the family, for fear the truth would ruin Graham’s chances at winning. But with CJ airing their dirty laundry in his books, the family is forced to deal with him. CJ must find a way to remain safe while coming to terms with the newfound faith that compelled him to return to Adelia in the first place.

Ooh I just read about this one and I want to get into it!

Engrained in our culture is the belief that unbending discipline is the only sure way to success. You must go to the gym five times a week, never order the dessert, and don’t even think about buying that dress you keep staring at in the store window. Breaking from such a regimented lifestyle is a sign of weakness, right? Wrong!-and Joyce wants to tell us why…

Come on….. any title like that I had to read!  I just got permission to buy shoes!  🙂

For generations the Burdens were one of the wealthiest families in New York, thanks to the inherited fortune of Cornelius “The Commodore” Vanderbilt. By 1955, the year of Wendy’s birth, the Burden’s had become a clan of overfunded, quirky and brainy, steadfastly chauvinistic, and ultimately doomed bluebloods on the verge of financial and moral decline-and were rarely seen not holding a drink. In Dead End Gene Pool, Wendy invites readers to meet her tragically flawed family, including an uncle with a fondness for Hitler, a grandfather who believes you can never have enough household staff, and a remarkably flatulent grandmother.

At the heart of the story is Wendy’s glamorous and aloof mother who, after her husband’s suicide, travels the world in search of the perfect sea and ski tan, leaving her three children in the care of a chain- smoking Scottish nanny, Fifth Avenue grandparents, and an assorted cast of long-suffering household servants (who Wendy and her brothers love to terrorize). Rife with humor, heartbreak, family intrigue, and booze, Dead End Gene Pool offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of old money and gives truth to an old maxim: The rich are different.

This book came to me in an interesting way.  I am part of a New York Challenge to read a book with the setting in New York.  I was sent an email asking if I would like to read this book to complete that challenge.  I read about the book, found it interesting – and said yes!

I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current.

So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives.

This book came from my friend Heidi.  Her book club just read and reviewed it and she thought I would enjoy it too.


In Vietnam, some tigers have four feet.  Others have only two feet.  Vietnamese Christians courageously spread the gospel between the gospel between the government tiger and the religious tiger.

I wanted to read this book in January for the Social Justice Challenge but my library didn’t have it.  Just yesterday they received a copy that they had ordered new for me since I had requested it.  I still wish to read this.

So that’s my mailbox this week.  How about you?  I would love to read all about it!

In My Mailbox

A busy week and again I am amazed how fast Sunday comes around.  The mailbox was a manageable level this week and I controlled myself and purchased no books.  I have one waiting for me at the Library that I am going to try to remember to do on Monday.

Here is my mailbox and thank you to Kristi at Story Siren for hosting this meme!

Zoe Fishman’s Balancing Acts, a charming and poignant story of four former college friends helping each other balance their dreams through the power of yoga and friendship, is a must for fans of The Friday Night Knitting Club, The Reading Group, The Jane Austen Book Club, and Girls in Trucks.

I love books on friendship and this one looks fantastic!  When I seen this at TLC Book Tours I had to sign up!

I love a good YA read and a book on Anastasia sounds wonderful!  When the publicist guaranteed I would love it from page one and said I would possibly need a kleenex or two along the way – well…. I had to know more!

In 1851, a lawyer named Elias P. Drake purchased a plot of land near Xenia, Ohio with the intent to establish a summer vacation resort where the country’s elite could relax and enjoy the mineral springs in the area. At the time, it was believed that natural water could cure illnesses and bring about good health.  What made this resort unusual, however, was that it became a popular vacation destination for southern slaveholders and their enslaved mistresses.  Ultimately, these flagrantly open relationships offended the northern abolitionists who also frequented the resort.  After four years, the resort closed.

This part of the story has been confirmed by historians.  I took this forgotten historical note and sketched in a fictional account of what it would have been like to be an enslaved woman traveling to this free state each summer.  Why wouldn’t the women try to escape? What kinds of emotional attachments did they have with these men?  Initially, I believed that it was entirely possible that they actually loved the men.  Ultimately, I discovered that it was much more complicated than that.

Situated in the free state of Ohio, Tawawa House offers respite from the summer heat. A beautiful, inviting house surrounded by a dozen private cottages, the resort is favored by wealthy Southern white men who vacation there, accompanied by their enslaved mistresses.

Regular visitors Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet have forged an enduring friendship. They look forward to their annual reunion and the opportunity it affords them to talk over the changes in their lives and their respective plantations. The subject of freedom is never spoken aloud until the red-maned, spirited Mawu arrives and voices her determination to escape. To run is to leave behind the friends and families trapped at home. For some, it also means tearing the strong emotional and psychological ties that bind them to their masters.

When a fire on the resort sets off a string of tragedies, Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet soon learn tragic lessons,that triumph and dehumanization are inseparable and that love exists even in the cruelest circumstances as they bear witness to the end of an era.

I seen this book being reviewed on other blogs and thought it looked wonderful.  When it was offered my way I couldn’t say yes fast enough!

Come find me two years ago…. Six words that propelled ice hockey playing tomboy, Arizona, into an alternate dimension. In one moment, she went from being a varsity hockey player in New Jersey to a glamorous cheerleader in California. She found herself with a new dad. She found herself in a new life. One that she had apparently lived in always. Everyone knew her as Arizona Darley, but she wasn’t. She was Arizona Stevens. She knew she had to find her way back to her real life. Then she met Kellan….

Ok come on…. doesn’t that sound good?  The author contacted me on this one and I am excited to jump into this adventure.

Tiziana Manoretti is an only child in her late twenties blessed with loving parents, a promising career, and a best friend who fiercely protects her. When her mother falls seriously ill and the relationship between her parents becomes suddenly strained, a carefully hidden family secret is revealed and Tiziana’s seemingly idealistic world is turned upside down.

This is a tour set for late April – another one the author contacted me about and it just sounds good you know?

Blast off was a win (woo hoo) from Luxury reading.    This just looks like an exciting read and I am always game for learning new techniques and skills.  I look forward to investigating this one further soon!

And that’s my mailbox for this past week.  I would love to know what was in yours!