In My Mailbox

Wow!  It seems like this week just flew by.  It’s nice to finally be done running around the country and being back in my own home!  Kristi from Story Siren hosts this wonderful meme and I love posting about my mailbox.  It not only is fun to talk about the books – but it creates an online record for me to know when books came into my home.

So – no more chit chat…. let’s get to the mailbox!

Do you not just love love (yes – it deserves two loves because that’s how much I love them) these wonderful covers?  I read Adriana last year when I read Viola In Reel Life and I enjoyed that book.  I was so excited to be offered these two for review – and I have 3 copies of  Very Valentine to give away so lucky commentators get to read this one with me!

I really enjoy historical fiction so when this book offer came my way the answer was an “Uhhhhhhh…. YEAH!”   Here’s a little taste:  The third child of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand of Spain, Juana is born amid her parents’ ruthless struggle to unify their kingdom, bearing witness to the fall of Granada and Columbus’s discoveries. At the age of sixteen, she is sent to wed Philip, the archduke of Flanders, as part of her parents’ strategy to strengthen Spain, just as her youngest sister, Catherine of Aragon, is sent to England to become the first wife of Henry VIII.

**Elizabeth at Evil Overlord has a copy of this book for giveaway – enter soon, giveaway ends Feb 24

I am a sucker for leadership books and enjoy learning new tips for organizing my office, staff and group events.  This one looks good and with my upcoming teams I am building – this is timely too!

Another book that had me at the cover.

From the day Cobb and Mary meet kayaking on Maine’s Allagash River and fall deeply in love, the two approach life with the same sense of adventure they use to conquer the river’s treacherous rapids. But rivers do not let go so easily…and neither does their love. So when Mary’s life takes the cruelest turn, she

vows to face those rough waters on her own terms and asks Cobb to promise, when the time comes, to help her return to their beloved river for one final journey.

Ok I will let you in on a little known fact about me…. I used to write a little (ok a lot) of poetry in High School.  I actually have photo albums filled with my quirky little attempts at “witticism”  This book looks good and has a CD in the back as well.  I think it will be a fun read!

Books such as this one always surprise me.  I look at them and think they are not for me.  They are old school (really old school – as in Little House in the Prairie you may have a school but you have to walk 6 miles to it bare foot) and then…. I get into the story line and I am amazed how I can let myself fall back into simpler times and find something I just can’t put down.

The Overnight Socialite looks fun right?

Lucy Ellis moved to the Big Apple to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a fashion designer, but the native Midwesterner has just about had it with the city. A mousy, self-conscious girl trapped in a job at a designer sweatshop, Lucy has been mistreated, road-blocked, and otherwise insulted since her arrival. Overwhelmed by city life, Lucy is about to pack it all in and return home to Minnesota. Then she meets Wyatt.

And uhhhh…. hello – it’s about Minnesota!

Books I won

Its been like months since I have won a book and then suddenly I won several – so woo hoo!  Two came in the mailbox this week!

I love Ted Decker’s books.  They are hard to explain.  Ted Decker writes Christian Fiction but his books are not what you think of when you think Christian Fiction.  His books are mysterious and at times spooky.  And when he hooks up with another author it only adds to the intrigue!  This was a win over at Julie j’s blog My Own Little Corner Of The World.  This one looks sooooo good!

And then another exciting win came from Vera’s blog, Luxury Reading.  Vera runs a giveaway each month on comments…. it’s a pretty unique idea you would have to stop over there to see the details.  I won the giveaway for this past month and I was able to pick a book of choice and I went with this one.  I have seen this on blogs and heard wonderful things!  Thanks Vera!

Books From The Library

I seen this book on a blog and wanted to give it a try.  So here it is in my own home…. apparently a well liked copy as this baby is worn out!

Books I Bought

I weakened.  I have looked at this book and passed it up time and again.  And then – I blame Borders.  It was my first Borders.  In Illinois last weekend at Brad’s Navy Graduation.  I had to have books that reminded me of the occasion.  SO I went in and I browsed…. and this one came home with me.  I want to read it and review it along with the movie.

Ok this one?  I blame you.  Well – maybe not you….. but all you bloggers that had this book on their Mailbox posts and in your reviews you raved about it and well…. ok, I should probably thank you.  I am so excited to have this baby in my home!

And this one I would like to blame on some of you…. because I did first follow it on the blogs…. but the final blow goes to Amy in my Book Club who has RAVED about this book for two months now.  Not only has she read it (and the two that follow) but so has her husband and her daughter.  Apparently this is a book that everyone is enjoying and now I hope to as well!

This is our Book Club read for March and I actually read this book a couple years ago and it was fun and light and good.  I am excited to do this one again and Angie (By Book Or By Crook) found some fun things we can do with our review for this book on-line that I am excited to do.   This should be a great book club read and a great discussion on March 9th.

Oh if you are wondering why I have 5 copies – I get free shipping through Amazon Prime and will order for anyone in the book club that asks me to order their copies as well.

And Finally I have one more thing to share from my mailbox!  Look what Reagan sent me from Miss Remmer’s Reviews.  How super sweet is she?

So that’s my mailbox.  I would love to hear what came in yours!

In My Mailbox

Thank you to Kristi from Story Siren who hosts this wonderful meme.  After being out of town for twelve days the mailbox was a little overloaded.  Here is what hit my mailbox for the last two weeks:

I love historical fiction and this read due out to the public on March 16th!

Fun looking cover – a crafty idea of a book!

I am really excited to get a look at this book.  This is all about learning to live with half of what we do now.

Sweet looking cover and my guess is with this author, also a sweet read.

This book looks to be an interesting look into Christian music and the way it is perceived.  Coming from a church that plays very modern Christian music – I am interested in this book.

Gah!  Look what hit my mailbox!  The missing Lola book and not one – but two copies!  Can you say “giveaway?”  I am so excited for this one!

This book is total cover love for me!

At first look I didn’t think this book would be for me – but reading more into it I see it is filled with interesting facts and I look forward to learning something with this book.

I am so looking forward to this one!  17 CD’s on this audio!  YOWZA!!!

The Icing On The Cupcake looks and sounds great!  And how fun is this?  They sent an apron with this book!

And this is just another example why I just adore fellow book bloggers!  How sweet is this?  Julie H sees that I have an interest in this book, discovers she has two and sends me one.  What a surprise this was in my mailbox!  Thank you Julie!

Fun secrets of successful people make this book up.  And yup – two books means a giveaway!

John and Staci Eldredge are both authors I have read before.  I have completed this review here.

I am not the biggest sports fan in the world but I do like facts and this book with CD sounds like a great read!

Yes!  Crazy School is here!  And I have a giveaway going on for this book here.

This looks like a good read.

So there is my mailbox for the past two weeks.  What bookish things came in yours?

In My Mailbox errrr….. Suitcase

I haven’t been home this week so I do not have any idea what treasures await me from the mailbox.  I have however made a few purchases this week that I can share:

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

Lotus Lowenstein’s life is merde. She dreams of moving to Paris and becoming an existentialist. Yet here she is trapped in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with a New-Agey mom, an out-of-work dad, and a chess champion brother who dreams of being a rock star. Merci à Dieu for Lotus’s best friend, Joni, who loves French culture enough to cofound their high school’s first French Club with Lotus. At the first meeting, the cutest boy in the world walks in. His name is Sean, and he too loves French culture and worships Jean-Paul Sartre.

At first, Lotus thinks Sean is the best thing to happen to her in years. He’s smart, cultured, and adorable. Unfortunately, though, Joni feels the same way. And having an existentialist view of love, Sean sees nothing wrong with enjoying both girls’ affections. Things come to a head when all three depart for Montreal with their teacher, Ms. G, on the French Club’s first official field trip. Will Sean choose Joni over Lotus? And will Lotus and Joni’s friendship ever recover?

When a night-time call to 911 from a secluded Wisconsin vacation house is cut short, offduty deputy Brynn McKenzie leaves her husband and son at the dinner table and drives up to Lake Mondac to investigate. Was it a misdial or an aborted crime report?

Brynn stumbles onto a scene of true horror and narrowly escapes from two professional criminals. She and a terrified visitor to the weekend house, Michelle, flee into the woods in a race for their lives. As different as night and day, and stripped of modern-day resources, Brynn, a tough deputy with a difficult past, and Michelle, a pampered city girl, must overcome their natural reluctance to trust each other and learn to use their wits and courage to survive the relentless pursuit. The deputy’s disappearance spurs both her troubled son and her new husband into action, while the incident sets in motion Brynn’s loyal fellow deputies and elements from Milwaukee’s underside. These various forces race along inexorably toward the novel’s gritty and stunning conclusion.

In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

That’s it for my mailbox this week.  Be sure to stop over at Kristi from Story Siren and add your link to this wonderful weekly meme.  You know I want to know!  What was in your mailbox this week?

In My Mailbox

I am currently in Florida but put this together before I left home on Thursday.  Here is what came in my mailbox this past week  and thank you to Kristi from The Story Siren for hosting this fun meme.

The action begins when a grizzled professional cat burglar gets trapped inside the bedroom closet of one of the world’s richest men, only to witness, through a one-way mirror, two Secret Service agents kill the billionaire’s trampy young wife as she tries to fight off the drunken sexual advances of the nation’s chief executive. Running for his life, but not before he picks up a bloodstained letter opener that puts the president at the scene of the crime, the burglar becomes the target of a clandestine manhunt orchestrated by leading members of the executive branch. Meanwhile, Jack Graham, once a public defender and now a high-powered corporate attorney, gets drawn into the case because the on-the-lam burglar just happens to be the father of his former finance, a crusading Virginia prosecutor. Embroidering the narrative through assorted plot whorls are the hero’s broken romance; his conflict over selling out for financial success; the prosecutor’s confused love-hate for her burglar father; the relentless investigation by a northern Virginia career cop; the dilemma of government agents trapped in a moral catch-22; the amoral ambitions of a sexy White House Chief of Staff; and the old burglar’s determination to bring down the ruthless president. Meanwhile, lurking at the novel’s center like a venomous spider is the sociopathic president.

In this startling new vision of a cultural classic, Wendy intends to live happily ever after with Peter Pan. But Time, like this tale, behaves in a most unsettling way. As Wendy mothers the Lost Boys in Neverland, they thrive on adventure. She struggles to keep her boys safe from the Island’s many hazards, but she finds a more subtle threat encroaching from an unexpected quarter. . . . The children are growing up, and only Peter knows the punishment.

Gr 6-9- Charlemagne Mack, a 12-year-old African American, is an honors student in a poor part of The City. She lives with her uncle and aunt until the day a giant spider named Miss Lettie comes through her bedroom window to warn her that she is in grave danger. Charlemagne escapes to Louisiana and is surprised to discover that she is not simply an above-average student to whom odd things sometimes happen, but is instead Queen of the Sky Conjuring People. She learns to deal with her new identity, ruins the plans of some very bad, bad guys, and learns about her family.

Already sloshed from one-too-many drinks at a faculty party, Leah Thornton cruises the supermarket aisles in search of something tasty to enhance her Starbucks—Kahlua, for example. Two confrontations later—one at the grocery store and the other with her friend Molly—Leah is sitting in the office of the local rehab center facing an admissions counselor who fails to understand the most basic things, like the fact that apple juice is not a suitable cocktail mixer.  Rehab is no picnic, and being forced to experience and deal with the reality of her life isn’t Leah’s idea of fun. But through the battle she finds a reservoir of courage she never knew she had, and the loving arms of a God she never quite believed existed.

Things are really bustling at the Witt’s End resort in Northern Minnesota. Clients are vying for one of the few remaining rentals, except Cabin 14 thing is no–one gets out of Cabin 14 alive. Sadie isn’t your typical sixty-four year old senior citizen. She has things she wants to do and shouldn’t be expected to solve a murder while trying to prevent an unscrupulous sheriff’s deputy from shutting down the lakeside resort she owns with her straight arrow sister. But that’s exactly what Sadie Witt must do. When five guests with hidden agendas arrive at Cabin 14, they’re stunned to learn that the flamboyant Sadie is their conduit to the hereafter. Clad in the latest fashion trends–fads typically reserved for those without sagging body parts–and sporting hairdos that make bystanders want to look away but can’t, Sadie realizes one of the guests has been murdered and must work against the clock to untangle the web and prevent further mayhem.

Liberal sprinkling of fairy dust charm youthful readers of all ages, while expanding their theatre vocabulary and knowledge of theatre history and lore.  On behalf of the league of Historical American Theatres, I express gratitude tot he creative forces that inspire this rare glimpse behind the scenes of Boston’s oldest theatre.

Maura Sullivan never intended to set foot in Granger, Ohio, again. But when circumstances force her to return, she must face all the disappointments she tried so hard to leave behind: a husband who ignored her, a congregation she couldn’t please, and a God who took away everything she ever loved.

Nick Shepherd thought he had put the past behind him, until the day his estranged wife walked back into town. Intending only to help Maura through her crisis of faith, Nick finds his feelings for her never died. Now, he must admit the mistakes he made, how he hurt his wife, and find a way to give and receive forgiveness.

As God works in both of their lives, Nick and Maura start to believe they can repair their broken relationship and reunite as man and wife. But Maura has one more secret to tell Nick before they can move forward. It’s what ultimately drove her to leave him six years earlier, and the one thing that can destroy the fragile trust they’ve built.

This first book by Tomlinson, a management consultant, is a perfect fit for the booming spirituality market, particularly for enthusiastic, evangelical 20- and 30-something audiences. He begins his personal musings with a simple thesis: it is too easy to become a “comfortable Christian” and we must always search for ways to express our active devotion to God and Jesus Christ. This premise is not particularly innovative, but his writing style is straightforward and personally honest. The author acknowledges his own struggles with pride while retelling, often with humor, his only too human attempts to reach lofty spiritual goals such as charity and purity. Every chapter opens with vivid and iconic imagery—a spoon, a bit of floss, a pager—tangible symbols throughout the book for more abstract ideas like obedience, joy, and comfort. In sum, the product is endearing and inspiring, especially appealing to young, male evangelicals. One chapter specifically devoted to the intersection of his spirituality and military service will also draw the interest of Christian men and women in the armed forces.

America is on the brink of war with England, and Fin Button is about to come undone. She’s had it with the dull life of the orphanage, and she’s ready to marry Peter and get away from rules, chores, and a life looked after by the ever-watchful Sister Hilde. But an unexpected friendship forms between Fin and the fiddle-playing cook, Bartimaeus, which sets her on a course for revolution. With Bart’s beloved fiddle and haunting blunderbuss as her only possessions, Fin discovers her first taste of freedom as a sailor aboard the Rattlesnake. She’s hiding some dark secrets, but there are bigger problems for the crew: they are on the run from the Royal Navy, and whispers of mutiny are turning the captain into a tyrant. When Fin finally returns home, will she find Peter still waiting, or will she find that she’s lost everything she once held dear?

Great books in my future!  Absolute Power sounds wonderful and is suppose to have a Grisham like feel to it.  Hook and Jill… well, do I need to say anything about this one?  Seriously it looks fantastic!  Rise Of The Queen looks good.  Walking On Broken Glass is one I have admired from afar.  Footlights and Fairy Dust is just going to be cute – I know it!  At Witt’s End is a Minnesota author about a Minnesota mystery and I can’t wait to be a part of it!  The Pastors Wife sounds wonderful.  Crave is going to be so good and I have a giveaway with that one as well.  The Fiddlers Gun is one I have waited to have a chance to read!

I didn’t buy any books this week and I didn’t check any out from the library with us leaving Minnesota until February 9.  That’s the excitement in my mailbox this week!

I am so interested in knowing what was in your mailbox?

In My Mailbox

Is it just me or did the week go by super fast?  I can’t believe we are here again and I am digging through the books that came in this week by mail, by Library, or uhhh….. by me purchasing….  Thanks as always to Kristi at Story Siren who hosts this weekly adventure into the mailbox!

So here is what has entered my home this week…

One terrible night. One outraged act. What price will people pay to hold their homes and dreams together?

When Kate and Stuart Kinzler buy a run-down, historic house in Ann Arbor, Michigan, they’re looking for a decent remodeling investment and a little space in which to rekindle their troubled marriage. Instead they discover that their home was the scene of a terrible crime many years ago—a revelation that tips the balance of their precarious union.

When a mysterious man begins lurking around her yard, Kate—now alone—is forced to confront her home’s dangerous past. Hers is not the only life that has crumbled under this roof. But the stranger who has returned to this house—once his own childhood home—is in search of something Kate may never fully understand.

Featuring a diverse cast of characters and building to an unforgettable climax, Dream House embraces the volatile issues of race and class to chart the concentric effects of one fateful decision—a moment of rage that will echo forever within these four walls.

Doesn’t this book just look good?

Two sisters of opposing temperaments but who share the pangs of tragic love provide the subjects for Sense and Sensibility. Elinor, practical and conventional, is the epitome of sense; Marianne, emotional and sentimental, the embodiment of sensibility. To each comes the sorrow of unhappy love: Elinor desires a man who is promised to another while Marianne loses her heart to a scoundrel who jilts her. Their mutual suffering brings a closer understanding between the two sisters — and true love finally triumphs when sense gives way to sensibility and sensibility gives way to sense.

I know… I feel like I am the last person on the earth who has not read this book!

You’d think Polly Martin would have all the answers when it comes to love—after all, her grandmother is the famous syndicated advice columnist Miss Swoon. But after a junior year full of dating disasters, Polly has sworn off boys. This summer, she’s going to focus on herself for once. So Polly is happy when she finds out Grandma is moving in—think of all the great advice she’ll get.

But Miss Swoon turns out to be a man-crazy sexagenarian! How can Polly stop herself from falling for Xander Cooper, the suddenly-hot skateboarder who keeps showing up while she’s working at Wild Waves water park, when Grandma is picking up guys at the bookstore and flirting with the dishwasher repairman?    No advice column can prepare Polly for what happens when she goes on a group camping trip with three too many ex-boyfriends and the tempting Xander. Polly is forced to face her feelings and figure out if she can be in love—and still be herself.

Sounds interesting!

Seventeen year old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alientated from her parents, especially her father…until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.

The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels—first love, love between parents and children — that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts…and heal them.

Ok… Sparks has been on a role lately so I can’t let this one pass by!  Giveaway coming up on this as well in the next few days!

David Marion and the Freyl family return in a page-turning story of international suspense and intrigue by award-winning author Joan Brady.

I know right?  The description is awful – but that’s what I find on-line to describe it.  In reality it looks like a smokin’ good book!

A champion trainer and true horse whisperer, Dr. Lew Sterrett has used patience and a firm but gentle hand to earn the trust of more than 3,500 horses.

Ok this is another poor description from on-line.  This book is more about the whispering to horses…  (I am cracking myself up here…) it is also about life and well, it sounds good!

On the outside, Nick O’Reilly has it all: a high-flying legal career, as a partner of an elite Wall Street law firm, and financial security, with an apartment overlooking Central Park. Having grown up in a working-class family, as far back as Nick can remember this was his dream. But at the age of thirty-six, after several years of sacrificing his personal life for professional gain, Nick has started to ponder his future and consider the mark he wants to leave on society both professionally and personally—his legacy.

After being chastised in the press for turning a cold shoulder to the community, the firm calls upon Nick to help rehabilitate its image by handling its first pro bono case. Nick is asked to represent Dawn Nelson, a domestic violence victim who is fighting for custody of her young son, Jordan. A far cry from Nick’s specialty of defending the misdeeds of Corporate America, it is up to Nick to set Dawn and Jordan on a path to a better life. But Nick gets much more than he signed on for, as Dawn forces him to reassess his life choices and, ultimately, be true to himself. Only when Nick finally realizes what is truly important in life does he face his toughest—and possibly final—challenge: a battle for his own survival.

Ok now this is a book description!  I really like the cover on this one – it is peaceful!

Fun, approachable book that helps in conversations with kids about poor body image, self confidence, negative self-talk and bullying. As parents, we are always looking for good resources to help us raise our kids from the inside out. “Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat” by Andrea Zimmerman is a fun, easy read with whimsical, full color illustrations that addresses negative self-talk, poor body image and bullying. What’s especially wonderful about this book is that engages both kids and adults. The book includes a helpful discussion guide that could be used by parents with their kids or in group settings such as Girl Scouts, health classes or other groups that focus on building self-confidence, good body image and positive thinking.

While this book looks cute and fun – it is also sad that young girls do really suffer from lack of confidence in their body image.  This book is a lighthearted way to look at this up closely and address it in a way that builds girls up.  I am so glad I am able to review this book!

Purchased Books

In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families,left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.

Yes you do see three books!  This is our Bookies Book Club choice for February and a couple of the girls asked me to order theirs as well.  This one will be going to Florida with me – our book club meets the day I return to Brainerd!

British social comedy examines a young heroine’s struggle against Victorian attitudes as she rejects the man her family has encouraged her to marry and chooses, instead, a socially unsuitable fellow she met on holiday in Italy.

As part of the Gilmore Girls Challenge – this is one of the books on the list.  I have purchased two so I am able to have a giveaway on the other!

If a miracle happened to you, wouldn’t you tell everyone? What if they thought you were crazy?

Poor in health but rich in faith, Gina Merritt—a young, broke, African-American single mother—sits in a pew on Ash Wednesday and has a holy vision. When it fades, her palms are bleeding. Anthony Priest, the junkie sitting beside her, instinctively touches her when she cries out, but Gina flees in shock and pain. A prize-winning journalist before drugs destroyed his career, Anthony is flooded with a sense of well-being and knows he is cured of his addiction. Without understanding why, Anthony follows Gina home to find some answers. Together they search for an answer to this miraculous event and along the way they cross paths with a skeptical evangelical pastor, a gentle Catholic priest, a certifiable religious zealot, and an oversized transvestite drug dealer, all of whom lend their opinion. It’s a quest for truth, sanity, and grace . and an unexpected love story.

Does this book sound amazing?  I think it does!  This book is for a Round table discussion that will take place the end of February.  Watch for more details!

Library Books

The bonds linking family and the lines separating enemies have become very blurry for 17 year old Robert. With his father away fighting for the Union, Robert must decide to act alone in order to help his ailing mother, extricate his injured Confederate Uncle, and bring relief to his cousin, Emily.When he unwittingly gets entangled in a Confederate escape plot, Robert must forge his anger and shame into a new determination to save his family. And, perhaps, he must also realize that the saving might not be entirely up to him.Honor and duty to God and country aren’t as clear-cut as he hoped them to be.

I think this is another one that looks good and yeah – I am getting my use out of that new library card 🙂

So that is what is in my mailbox this week!  How about you?  I would love to hear about what you had arrive in your mailbox!

In My Mailbox

Here is what came my way this past week by mailbox, by Library, by purchases… if it is book related and came into my home – its on the is list.  Thanks you to Kristi at Story Siren for this fun weekly meme!

So here is what came by mail:

Niviene, daughter of the Lady of the Lake, sister to the faerie knight who would come to be known as Lancelot, and student of Merlin, finds her destiny in the court of the legendary Arthur. The author of A Woman’s Place (1980) undertakes a lyrical retelling of the Arthurian cycle from the point of view of the faerie folk. Crompton’s flowing prose creates an atmosphere in which the familiar tale becomes fresh again. An excellent addition to most fantasy and general fiction collections.

So do you seriously see this cover?  It is amazing and the story line sounds wonderful!

Something strange is happening in Ellerton High. Phoenix is the fourth teenager to die within a year. His street fight stabbing follows the deaths of Jonas, Summer and Arizona in equally strange and sudden circumstances. Rumours of ghosts and strange happenings rip through the small community as it comes to terms with shock and loss. Darina, Phoenix’s grief-stricken girlfriend, is on the verge. She can’t escape her intense heartache, or the impossible apparitions of those that are meant to be dead. And all the while the sound of beating wings echo inside her head…And then one day Phoenix appears to Darina. Ecstatic to be reunited, he tells her about the Beautiful Dead. Souls in limbo, they have been chosen to return to the world to set right a wrong linked to their deaths and bring about justice. Beautiful, superhuman and powerful, they are marked by a ‘death mark’ — a small tattoo of angel’s wings. Phoenix tells her that the sound of invisible wings beating are the millions of souls in limbo, desperate to return to earth. Darina’s mission is clear: she must help Jonas, Summer, Arizona, and impossibly, her beloved Phoenix, right the wrong linked to their deaths to set them free from limbo so that they can finally rest in peace. Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?

Ok – here is another bit of cover love but for entirely different reasons than the first book… this one holds mystery.    I want to know her story.  I will know her story.

Am I dead? I watch from above as my abused body lay motionless on the shoddy bed below me. My mind does not want to face the truth . . . As a result of a drug overdose the author experienced an epiphany on how people can beat addiction, which he describes in chapter Two.

Each chapter is filled with visceral accounts of modern day challenges, both personal and professional, and how you can overcome them. From the slums of Georgia to the castles of Europe, be entertained and inspired at the same time.

Is someone you love struggling with the challenges of our modern times: addiction, weight control, a troubled child, or an overwhelming business challenge? Do you need to change something in your life but don t know how to start or how to finish? Have you wondered if people can really change? If they can, are there steps or methods that can propel the change? If so, The Imposter will inspire you.

I am curious about Kip’s story here.  He contacted me to read his book and that is what I plan to do.

FBI special agent Brad Raines is facing his most complex case yet. A Denver serial killer has murdered a string of beautiful young women, leaving a bridal veil at each scene, and he’s picking up his pace.  Unable to crack the case, Raines appeals for help from a most unusual source: residents of the Center for Wellbeing and Intelligence, a private psychiatric institution for mentally ill people who are extraordinarily gifted.

It’s there that he meets Paradise, a young woman who witnessed her father murder her family and barely escaped his hand.  Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Paradise may also have an extrasensory gift: the ability to experience the final moments of a person’s life when she touches the dead body.

In a desperate attempt to find the killer, Raines enlists Paradise’s help. Gradually he starts to question whether sanity resides outside the hospital walls…or inside.

As the Bride Collector picks up the pace – and volume – of his gruesome killings, the case becomes even more personal to Raines when his friend and colleague, a beautiful young forensic psychologist, becomes the Bride Collector’s fourth target.  And she isn’t the last – by far.

Ted Decker writes incredible books… I haven’t passed on one of his yet and am looking forward to this one as well.

“Did anyone ask where you were this afternoon?” Sol asked her. “No,” Carrie answered, still smiling. “Dad and Eli were so excited about purchasing the orchards that it was all anyone was talking about.” “Surprised me to see Andy with you. Think that was wise?” “Aw, it was a birthday present for him. He won’t tell.” Carrie was quiet for a moment. “I won’t be here for his actual birthday.” Her heart caught for a moment. Sol didn’t seem to notice the quiver in her voice. “So we’ll tell our folks Sunday afternoon, just like we talked about. On Monday, I’ll be on the team bus to Long Island, but you can follow on a Greyhound as soon as you can. I thought we could get married in New York, the day you arrive. How does that sound?” Carrie didn’t answer right away. She glanced back at the big white farmhouse. The moonlight shone behind it, casting a bluish hue over it. The night was so quiet and peaceful, the barn and the house filled with sleeping people and animals. An owl hooted once, then twice. Then her eyes caught on a shadowy figure and she gasped. Daniel Miller was sitting on the fence across from the phone shanty, watching her.

A little mix in my genres as usual…. I have heard good things about this book.

Sales clerk, barista, telemarketer, sign waver … At twenty-five, free-spirited Becca Daniels is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. What Becca doesn’t want to be is bored. She craves the rush of a new experience, whether it’s an extreme sport, a shocking hair color, or a new guy. That’s why she quit her bookstore job, used her last bit of credit to go skydiving, and broke her leg. And that’s why, grounded and grumpy, Becca bristles when teased by friends for being commitment-phobic. In response, Becca issues an outrageous wager—that she can sustain a three-month or twenty-five date relationship with the next guy who asks her out. When the guy turns out to be “churchy” Ben—definitely not Becca’s type—she gamely embarks on a hilarious series of dates that plunge her purple-haired, free-speaking, commitment-phobic self into the alien world of church potlucks and prayer meetings. This irrepressible Getaway Girl will have you cheering her on as she “suffers” through her dates, gains perspective on her life’s purpose, and ultimately begins her greatest adventure of all.

Doesn’t this one sound fun?  I look forward to getting into this book and finding out more about Becca… and hey, she works at a book store.  What’s not to love right?

According to Sherwood, two questions are central to this book. What does it really take to survive a catastrophic event and what kind of survivor are you? You might be surprised at the answers. While there are tactics and strategies to surviving life tragedies, unforeseen accidents, and other catastrophes, many of these are instinctive (some, like exhibiting transitory superhuman strength, are manifested physiologically, without conscious planning). Some of us, Sherwood explains, are better survivors than others—in prisoner-of-war camps, for example, the people most likely to collapse are the eternal optimists who believe rescue is imminent and fail to come to terms with the possibility of long-term imprisonment. The book is a useful, insightful exploration of the nature of survival, the resilience of the human mind and body, and the ways in which we can all use our natural gifts to maximize our chances of coming through catastrophic situations.

I read a book called Survivor’s Club a long time ago.  Not this one.  A different one by Lisa Gardner.  I want to read that one again now that I am thinking about it and I may read it back to back with this one as they do have the same title…  I wonder if there are more with this title….

And from the Library….

As a young kid barely able to carry a gun, Jal, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, witnessed and perpetrated unspeakable brutality in his country’s civil war, but he has not only found refuge in the U.S. but also become an international rap star for peace. His violent memories are graphically relayed in this powerful autobiography. At age 9, he smashed faces with machetes as his friend plunged a bayonet into an enemy’s stomach. What is amazing in this story is how Jal has been able to let go of his rage. His family gone, he was adopted by a British aid worker, who took him to Kenya, where he struggled in school. But eventually, inspired by Gandhi, King, and Mandela, he turned to music and the idea of rapping for peace (“no tribalism, nepotism, and racism in my motherland”). And his songs climbed the charts.

This one I picked up from a mention on Maw Books Blog.  This will be the book she will be discussing this upcoming Tuesday on Blog Talk Radio.  I am hoping to get a chance to read through this a bit and participate in the discussion on Tuesday.  Not sure I will get it done in time but it looks like an interesting read.

And that is my mailbox.  What was in yours this week?  Anything exciting?  I would love to hear about it!

In My Mailbox

Its time to look at what came my way this past week.  If it is book related and entered this home, it is on this post.  I love this weekly recap hosted by Kristi at Story Siren.  Until this post comes up each week I keep all the books in a storage drawer in my reading room.  After I write this post they are sent over to my TBR shelves.

Here is what has come my way:

Lost is NOT just a television show. It has become larger than that-a massive story filled with mystery that has garnered over twenty million participants. Some might call them viewers, but one does not just watch Lost, one participates in it. It demands that you dialogue with the story, seeking theories and comparing yourself to characters. Lost breaks all the formulas for television, and in doing so has drawn together millions of people on a shared journey that explores life, faith, history, science, philosophy, hope, and the basic questions of what it means to be human. It is the seemingly infinite ideas, philosophies, and biblical metaphors that make this story so engaging.

The focus on faith and truth is never more clearly explained than in the words of John Locke as he questions Jack Shepherd asking “Why do you find it so hard to believe?” Jack responds quickly “Why do you find it so easy?” But Locke declares “It’s never been easy.” This tension between Faith and Reason drives every episode and story line. Locke summed this up as he explained to Jack “That’s why you and I don’t see eye to eye sometimes, because you’re a man of science…Me, well, I’m a man of faith.”

I really enjoy the TV show LOST.  I think it is brilliant!  Then this book came along… and reading what it was about, I thought that it was brilliant as well!  I am excited to see where this one will take me!

People have long been fascinated by stories of angel sightings, yet many contemporary beliefs about angels are based on misconception and myth rather than solide, biblical truth.
As he’s done so brilliantly for decades, respected Bible teacher Dr. David Jeremiah uses Scripture to unveil the remarkable truth about these agents of heaven and their role in our world and our lives.
What are angels? What is their role in God’s plan? Are they present? Do they appear? Do they give us personal insight about our work and our worship?
In this broad and thorough survey of Scripture, Dr. Jeremiah clearly and simply separates fact from fiction as it relates to angels. His enlightening findings are supported with illustrations and insights from prominent teachers, such as Billy Graham, Corrie ten Boom, C. S. Lewis, and more.
Dr. Jeremiah’s down-to-earth style guides readers around the hype about angels and directly into the “substance of things unseen!”

Another fascinating book!  This one is coming up for a book tour and as you can see here – a giveaway!

On the surface, Lena Spencer appears to have it all. She and her wealthy husband Randall have two wonderful children, and they live a life of luxury. In reality, however, Lena finds that happiness is elusive. Randall is emotionally distant, her son has developed a drug habit, and her daughter is disgusted by her mother’s “overbearing behavior.” When Randall decides that he’s had enough of marriage counseling, he offers his wife an ultimatum: “Be grateful for all I’ve done for you or leave.” Lena, realizing that money can’t solve her problems and that her husband is no longer the man she married, decides to choose the latter. Drawing strength from Tina Turner’s life story, SEARCHING FOR TINA TURNER is Lena’s struggle to find herself after 25 years of being a wife and mother.

Wow – did you read that description?  Another book tour with a giveaway!

In the shadows of Charleston, someone is watching her… Rylee Monroe, a dogwalker in Charleston’s wealthiest neighborhood, never feared the streets at night. But now a thief is terrorizing the area and worse, someone seems to be targeting her. Reporter Logan Woods is covering the break-ins with the hope of publishing them as a true-crime book. The more he digs, the more he realizes this beguiling dogwalker seems to be at the center of everything. As danger draws ever closer, Logan must choose: Chase the girl, the story, or plunge into the shadows after the villain who threatens everything?

Loving this cover and this book sounds like it is going to be an interesting read!

Fashion curator Athena Smith will do anything to get her perfectly manicured hands on the Clayworth family’s celebrated couture collection for her exhibit. So when she’s called in to make sure the gowns are the real deal, she’s ecstatic…until a dress she’s examining turns out to be loaded with toxins (talk about killer threads!) and Athena faints, only to wake up face-to-face with the One That Got Away, notorious Chicago bachelor Drew Clayworth.

Drew still believes Athena betrayed him all those years ago, and he’s sure he can’t trust her. But when the priceless gowns go missing, she offers to help track them down. Reluctantly allied in the quest, Drew and Athena are soon stunned by the barely restrained passion still sizzling between them…and memories both bitter and sweet. Is their new partnership just a business arrangement? Or is this something more than…

Hmmmm?  Well loving the dress for one… sounds like a fun read with a little mystery involved!

From The Library

New Yorker Gillian Chang starts her second term at posh Spencer Academy boarding school in San Francisco prepared to focus on her studies, her faith, and her friends. She plays a dozen musical instruments and can recite the periodic table of the elements backward. She’s totally prepared for everything–except love!
She’s falling hard for Lucas Hayes, who isn’t even a senior yet and is already aiming at a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford. The problem is, she never seems to be able to measure up and be the girlfriend he wants. He’s under a lot of pressure from his parents to achieve–maybe that’s why he’s short-tempered sometimes. But even a thick-skinned girl like Gillian can only take so much.
With her heart on the line, Gillian conceals more and more from her friends. So when she’s accused of selling exam answer sheets, even her girlfriends, Lissa Mansfield and Carly Aragon, wonder if it can be true. Gillian will need the power of honesty–with herself and with Lucas–to show what she’s really made of.

This is from my local library!  I know!  I just got my card this last week!  Woo Hoo!!!  I picked this book up as part of the Christy Awards Challenge.

In the fifteenth century, with religious intolerance spreading like wildfire across Europe, Englishwoman Anna Bookman and her grandfather, Finn, earn a living in Prague by illuminating precious books—including forbidden translations of the Bible. As their secret trade grows ever more hazardous, Finn urges Anna to seek sanctuary in England. Her passage abroad, however, will be anything but easy.

Meanwhile, a priest in London, Brother Gabriel, dutifully obeys church doctrine by granting pardons . . . for a small fee. But when he is sent to France in disguise to find the source of the banned manuscripts finding their way to England, he meets Anna, who has set up a temporary stall as a bookseller. She has no way of knowing that the rich merchant frequenting her stall is actually a priest—just as he does not know that he has met the woman for whom he will renounce his church.

It is only in England, which is far from the safe harbor once imagined, that their dangerous secrets will be revealed.

Well first lets start with this smokin’ cover.  I love it!  And then this is library book #2.  Yup.  This book I have for the Social Justice Challenge.  This months theme is Religious Freedom.

James Morgan has an almost unearthly gift for music. And it has attracted Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and then feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. James has plenty of reasons to fear the faeries, but as he and Nuala collaborate on an achingly beautiful musical composition, James finds his feelings towards Nuala deepening. But the rest of the fairies are not as harmless. As Halloween—the day of the dead—draws near, James will have to battle the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the dead to save Nuala’s life and his soul.

The third book I picked up  from the library.  Total cover love here and then I got home and seen this is actually the second book and I have not read the first.  “DOH!”  So hopefully I will get me hands on the first one because the word on the street is these are must reads!


Let me tell you all I know for sure. My name: Shauna. I woke up in a hospital bed missing six months of my memory. Now I’m starting to remember things I’ve never known.

Ooh – spooky description!  Ted Decker is an interesting author and one that I have a few books to catch up on of his.  Ok… more than a few, but he is worth it.  This one was purchased with my gift card I received from my son for Christmas.

When a horrifying attack leaves one of the four members of the Women’s Murder Club struggling for her life, the others fight to keep a madman behind bars before anyone else is hurt.

And Lindsay Boxer and her new partner in the San Francisco police department run flat-out to stop a series of kidnappings that has electrified the city: children are being plucked off the streets together with their nannies–but the kidnappers aren’t demanding ransom. Amid uncertainty and rising panic, Lindsay juggles the possibility of a new love with an unsolvable investigation, and the knowledge that one member of the club could be on the brink of death.

And just when everything appears momentarily under control, the case takes a terrifying turn, putting an entire city in lethal danger. Lindsay must make a choice she never dreamed she’d face–with no certainty that either outcome has more than a prayer of success.

As part of my new Patterson love I purchased this one at Barnes and Noble this past week.

There it is!  That is everything that came my way this past week.  How about you?  Any great reads come into your possession?  I would love to hear about them!

In My Mailbox

Thanks to Kristi at Story Siren for hosting this wonderful meme!  A few things happened my way this past week!  In this cold weather in Minnesota (currently 15 below zero as I type) the appeal of a good quality blanket and a good read is very much in favor.  Here is what arrived:

In The Crown Conspiracy, Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles until they become the unwitting scapegoats in the murder of the king. Sentenced to death, they have only one way out and so begins this epic tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend. Whether you are looking for a single novel, or a multi-book saga, The Crown Conspiracy is the place to begin. It is a heroic fantasy adventure written for a general audience and conceived as a single epic tale.

When these books were offered to me for review I was intrigued by the fact that they are a series yet all individual.  Each one came with a personal message to me from the author inside the front cover – I think that is so awesome and I am excited to see what adventures await me within the pages!

A GOOD TALK is an analysis of and guide to that most exclusively human of all activities– conversation.

Drawing on over forty years of experience in American letters, Menaker pinpoints the factors that drive and enliven every good conversation: the vagaries (and joys) of subtext; the deeper structure and meaning of conversational flow; the subliminal signals that guide our disclosures and confessions; and the countless other hurdles we must clear along the way. Moving beyond self-help musings and “how to” advice, he has created a stylish, funny, and surprising book: a celebration of “the most excusively human of all activities.”

In a time when conversation remains deeply important– for building relationships, for relaxing, even for figuring out who we are– and also increasingly imperiled (with Blackberries and texting increasingly in vogue), A GOOD TALK is a refreshing celebration of the subtle adventures of a good conversation.

I think this book sounds so interesting!  As a huge lover of words – conversation is just as important.

For most kids, a trip to space camp is the trip of a lifetime for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. He realizes what is happening too late for a change of fate. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. This turn of events forces him to grow up quickly, accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do dominate it. His power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides a decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left.

This book is a new Middle Grade read coming out in February 2010.  This sounds to me a bit like the movie Avatar (which I loved!).

Putting more than 30 years of groundbreaking research to work, renowned scientist Judith Wurtman, PhD, and her colleague, Nina T. Frusztajer, MD, present a clinically proven 12-week program that uses the power of carbohydrates to help you to:

  • Activate the appetite-suppressant function of serotonin to stop weight gain
  • Regain control over emotional overeating and cravings
  • Lose up to 2 pounds of real weight—not water—per week
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle

I have said it many times that I do like to know about healthy eating habits.  I am looking forward to seeing what this book has to offer.

On a country road, six-year-old Joanna Mason is the only survivor of a knife attack that leaves her mother and two siblings dead. Thirty years later, after boarding the wrong train in Yorkshire, Brodie is almost killed when the train crashes. He’s saved by 16-year-old Regina Reggie Chase, the nanny of Dr. Joanna Hunter, née Mason. In the chaos following the crash, Brodie ends up with the wallet of Andrew Decker, the recently released man convicted of murdering the Mason family. Enter DCI Louise Monroe, Brodie’s former love interest, who’s tracking Decker because of a recent case involving a similar family and crime. When Dr. Hunter disappears, Reggie is convinced she’s been kidnapped and enlists the reluctant Brodie to track her down.

With a story line like this how could I pass it up?

And I have to share this wonderful sample that Julie J sent me from My Own Little Corner Of The World Blog.  These look good and I am going to try the Mandarin Orange during my workout tomorrow.  🙂  Thanks Julie!

That’s my mailbox this week.  Be sure to share your at Kristi at Story Siren’s Blog!

In My Mailbox

In the reading room I have this great little 2 drawer stand.  The stands drawers are deep like a filing cabinet and as books come in to my home each week (by mail, by gift, by library, by me…) they go in the drawers of this stand until I take them out and catalog them for this weekly post.

Many weeks, such as this one, I start pulling out of the drawers and I am surprised how many have entered these walls.  Its like a little Christmas each week!  So a special thank you to Kristi at Story Siren, who inspired me by hosting this weekly meme.

Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone. . . .

An eccentric new girl. A brooding socialite. The scion of one of New York’s wealthiest families. A promising filmmaker. As students at the exclusive Chadwick School, Phoebe, Lauren, Nick, and Patch already live in a world most teenagers only dream about.

They didn’t ask to be Society members. But when three of them receive a mysterious text message promising success and fame beyond belief, they say yes to everything—even to the harrowing initiation ceremony in a gritty warehouse downtown and to the ankh-shaped tattoo they’re forced to get on the nape of their necks. Once they’re part of the Society, things begin falling into place for them. Week after week, their ambitions are fulfilled. It’s all perfect—until a body is found in Central Park with no distinguishing marks except for an ankh-shaped tattoo.

I seriously am loving this cover and this story line!  Thanks to Luxury Reading for first introducing me to this book!  I had to purchase it!

The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they’d never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents–and maybe the world?

I am so into James Patterson these days and I love the diversity in his books.  I was interested in this YA read the moment I seen it.  This one I bought two of – one for me and one for my son.  I have read mysteries, suspense, and even romance from Patterson…. this one will be a new adventure!

Author Jonny Bowden looks at what he calls “The Four Horsemen of Aging”—free radicals, inflammation, glycation, and stress—and shows how they can harm your health and shorten your life. Bowden then unveils an arsenal of anti-aging strategies culled from cutting edge research and lessons learned from the longest lived people on the planet. He examines how the major organs, such as the heart and the brain, age and how you can prevent damage to these vital parts of the body. In total, readers learn what they can eat, do, and take to feel great, avoid illness, and live a long life.

I enjoy interesting books on keeping fit and eating right.  I am always up for new ways to keep the workouts fresh and fun.  When this book was offered up for review I jumped at the chance!

When SPC Anthony joined the Army at 18, he went in with high hopes and sterling ideals; coming from a family with a proud military background, Anthony expected to meet mentors, heroes and lifelong friends while earning money for college and becoming a man. What he discovered was a disenchanting web of mundane corruption and self-serving lies. Unlike accounts exposing the military’s most shameful iniquities, Anthony’s memoir focuses on an endless parade of petty offenses-the cowardice, drug addiction, thievery, adultery and rampant hypocrisy-he found while working in a base hospital. Relentlessly honest and reflective, Anthony’s record communicates perfectly the stranglehold of sadness, fear and disappointment that came with his lost innocence; just as worse is his eventual acceptance of the pointless, dysfunctional bureaucracy maintaining the status quo. Avoiding the intensity of the battlefield and the OR itself, Anthony’s frustrations resonate with the feelings of any young man learning about the nature of authority and his helplessness before it. Readers curious about the human side of the ongoing Iraqi conflict will be struck by Anthony’s strong voice, direct storytelling and stark honesty.

No – I am not a war buff, but I do like true stories and when I first heard about this book I knew I wanted to know more.

She’s Back, and edgier than ever. In her debut narrative, Drunk, Divorced, & Covered in Cat Hair, blogger extraordinaire Laurie Perry, aka ‘Crazy Aunt Purl,’ gave women everywhere a hilarious yet heartfelt glimpse into her misadventures as a recent divorcee with a herd of cats, a slight wine and Cheetos problem, and scores of unfinished and uneven knitting projects.

Now, in her second installment, she’s no longer drunk-dialing her ex. She is well on her way to divorce recovery and has embraced a new-found philosophy: To make the best out of the ‘extra odd bits’—both in knitting and in life. Discovering how she accomplishes this will make you laugh and cry as she navigates new territory, from dating in a weird, wired world to vacationing solo for the first time. On the cusp of the big four-O, she ventures to the most exotic, foreign locations—the gym, a therapist’s office, a self-tanning emporium— on a search for enlightenment and happiness in— where else?—downtown Los Angeles.

As usual… my reading pallet takes me all over the board and this review looked a little to funny to pass up.  I think what really caught my eyes is that this book includes 12 knitting recipes.  I know…. I don’t knit… but I am curious anyway!  🙂

Readers are in for a delightful romp with this award-winning debut from a British author who dances in the footsteps of P.L. Travers and Roald Dahl. As the story opens, mysterious goings-on ruffle the self-satisfied suburban world of the Dursleys, culminating in a trio of strangers depositing the Dursleys’ infant nephew Harry in a basket on their doorstep. After 11 years of disregard and neglect at the hands of his aunt, uncle and their swinish son Dudley, Harry suddenly receives a visit from a giant named Hagrid, who informs Harry that his mother and father were a witch and a wizard, and that he is to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry himself. Most surprising of all, Harry is a legend in the witch world for having survived an attack by the evil sorcerer Voldemort, who killed his parents and left Harry with a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. And so the fun begins, with Harry going off to boarding school like a typical English kid?only his supplies include a message-carrying owl and a magic wand. There is enchantment, suspense and danger galore (as well as enough creepy creatures to satisfy the most bogeymen-loving readers, and even a magical game of soccer like Quidditch to entertain sports fans) as Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione plumb the secrets of the forbidden third floor at Hogwarts to battle evil and unravel the mystery behind Harry’s scar. Rowling leaves the door wide open for a sequel; bedazzled readers will surely clamor for one.

I have recently been reading book one again and I have to say it is bringing me right back to the brilliance it once was.  It never grows old for me.  I love right from the start how J K Rowling is simply brilliant!  I heard through a conversation on Twitter that the audios of the books were fantastic so I set out to see for myself.  This one arrived this week, a used copy I purchased on line but see now I have goofed as it is in cassette and not DVD.  Oh well….  hopefully it is just as wonderful.

About three things I was absolutely certain. First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe. Second, there was a vampire part of him–which I assumed was wildly out of his control–that wanted me dead. And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished he had kissed me.

I had never heard of this book prior to me opening it up as a gift from my son on Christmas.  The cover made me think it was another vampire like series hanging on to the coat tales of Twilight.  In a way, I was right…  when I turned the book over to read the back… I laughed out loud.  I am currently reading this and it is pretty fun.

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

This is a book I fell totally in love with from the reviews on line.  I think I first spotted it on Kristi’s Story Siren post… and then it snowballed from there.  This one also showed up under the tree for Christmas from my wonderful husband who sees first hand all the books I am surrounded by and yet has the heart to purchase me another!

“Empowering, motivating, and inspiring, The One-Day Way artfully weaves the story of Chantel Hobbs’s weight struggles and triumphs with practical strategies. Chantel shows readers how to change their thoughts and habits to move toward long-term, sustainable weight loss. The key messages–taking each day as it comes and turning negative, sabotaging thoughts into positive ones–are powerful.”

Yes, another book on healthy habits.  It is that time of year where many people take a good hard look at where they are at physically and decide to make a change.  For me, I made that change over a year ago and try to keep healthy habits in my path by surrounding myself with people who want to eat healthy and who challenge me to be the best I can be.

With startling transparency, Joshua Harris shares how we can rediscover the relevance and power of Christian truth. This is book shows a young man who rose quickly to success in the Christian evangelical world before he realized his spirituality lacked a foundation—it rested more on tradition and morality than on an informed knowledge of God.

For the indifferent or spiritually numb, Harris’s humorous and engaging reflections on Christian beliefs show that orthodoxy isn’t just for scholars—it is for anyone who longs to know the living Jesus Christ. As Harris writes, “I’ve come to learn that theology matters. It matters not because we want to impress people, but because what we know about God shapes the way we think and live. Theology matters because if we get it wrong then our whole life will be wrong.”

I have read Josh before and enjoyed his writing.  This is a book I am thrilled to review.

Set in 1907 Wisconsin, Goolrick’s fiction debut (after a memoir, The End of the World as We Know It) gets off to a slow, stylized start, but eventually generates some real suspense. When Catherine Land, who’s survived a traumatic early life by using her wits and sexuality as weapons, happens on a newspaper ad from a well-to-do businessman in need of a “reliable wife,” she invents a plan to benefit from his riches and his need. Her new husband, Ralph Truitt, discovers she’s deceived him the moment she arrives in his remote hometown. Driven by a complex mix of emotions and simple animal attraction, he marries her anyway. After the wedding, Catherine helps Ralph search for his estranged son and, despite growing misgivings, begins to poison him with small doses of arsenic.

Does this look super or what?  What a great story line and I love my cover much better than the one on Amazon!

. . dramatic, tender, funny, frightening, earthy, quirky, wise and heart-warming. The tale of young Christa and her family as they leave a comfortable home to become penniless immigrants in their quest to survive the collapse of the Third Reich and flee the horrors that it has unleashed, opens up to universal themes of suffering, loss, love and hope.

Another book I am anxious to read!

From Mayo Clinic, a leading authority on health and nutrition, comes The Mayo Clinic Diet, the last diet you’ll ever need.

Get a quick and gratifying start with Lose It!, the phase of the diet designed to help you lose up to six to ten pounds in just two weeks. Eat the foods you love – in moderation – in the Live It! phase, which is designed to help you continue to lose one to two pounds a week (and keep them off!).

This is exciting and my review copy came with the journal as well!  I am going to look this over this next week and see if I can implement some of the habits for the review.

Yes! It is a Barnes & Noble Gift Card!!!  I cant decide what it will be……

There it is!  That’s what was in my mailbox this week.  How about you?  Did fabulous reads come your way?  Be sure to connect over at Story Siren’s blog.  I would love to see what you got!

In My Mailbox

Ahhh… it is that time of the week where I get to review what bookish items have come into my home.  This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi from the  Story Siren (who by the way celebrated two years of blogging this week!)

Ok… I cant wait so lets look shall we?

Shaunti Feldham is an incredible author.  Her book For Women Only was incredibly inspiring to me.   I was so excited to see that she has this new book available!!

I have drooled over this book since I first seen it and now here it is – in my home!  Par-tay in da house!   I have never read Nelson DeMille so this is going to be a real treat!

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks promises to be a great read.  I received this in audio last week and now to have it in book form too….. AWESOME!

This is a January blog tour that I am a little pumped to look into.   As busy and stressed out as I have been lately, this book may be just the pick me I need to get me back on track in the new year.

I read Pamela Samuelson for the first time earlier this year and loved her style.  Now I have a chance to join forces with her again in her new book, Buying Time.  Oh yeah – that’s a book mark over to the right…… uh huh.

Woo Hoo!  Now here’s a book that I opened up the pack age to today and was super excited!  Author of the Ya Ya Sisterhood (which of course I loved!)

And check this out!  I won not one, not two, but three giveaways for December at J Kaye’s blog!  Not only did that super rock – but they area all audio too which has become my favorite car pastime.  Thank you J Kaye!

There it is – My Mailbox.  What did you get in yours?  Be sure to stop over at Story Siren’s Blog and link your post! 😉