Friday, March 24, 2017

0 Review: A Death By Any Other Name



Minotaur Books 
Hardcover 
9781250101426
March 14, 2017

Summary

The elegant Lady Montfort and her redoubtable housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, investigate a murder among a group of amateur rose-breeders while the idyllic English summer days count down to the start of the First World War.

When Mrs. Jackson receives a visit from a cook who believes she was an indirect witness to murder from a poisoned dish of breakfast kedgeree Lady Montfort promises to do what she can to clear the cook’s name, and contrives an invitation to Hyde Castle, the home of a self-made millionaire, to investigate a murder of concealed passions and secret desires.

With the help of the invaluable Jackson Lady Montfort sets about solving the puzzle surrounding the death of the rose society’s most popular member and discovers a villain of audacious cunning among a group of mild-mannered, amateur rose-breeders.

While they investigate, the headlines bring news of the growing crisis in the Balkans following the assassination of.the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire. As each day brings more threatening news and the very real fear that Britain will be drawn into war, Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson must race against the clock to solve the mystery before Britain declares on Germany.

My Thoughts


I fell in love with Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson a few years ago in Tessa Arlen's first novel, Death of a Dishonerable Gentleman. They seemed to be the perfect duo to solve mysteries. Right up there with Holmes and Watson. Lady Montfort has a keen mind and feels a duty to right certain wrongs. Mrs. Jackson takes pleasure in working for an illustrious family. Though she thinks Lady Montfort shouldn't really get involved in other people's affairs, she'd do anything to help her. And, of course, Mrs. Jackson's acute attention to detail makes her a valuable asset to Lady Montfort. 

A Death By Any Other Name begins with a distraught, dismissed cook coming to Lady Montfort's home. The cook was dismissed after a guest died from food poisoning. She enlists the help of Lady Montfort who could turn her away. With the help of Mrs. Jackson, the two women visit the cook's previous residence to help clear her name with the guise of being rose enthusiasts. Once there, they soon discover that many of the guests have motives to want the gentleman, who may have died from food poisoning, dead. Not only is there a delicious murder to solve, the novel takes place on the cusp of the first world war.

Even though this is the third book in the Lady Montfort Mystery series, you could absolutely read this as a standalone. Though, I will warn you, once you read this book you won't rest until you've read them all. I had no sooner finished A Death By Any Other Name before I was checking to see when the fourth book would be available. So you see, it's clearly addictive. There are so many reasons I love this series: great characters, great plot, the time period, and, of course, there's nothing like a good whodunit. I can't wait to see what Arlen has in store for her characters in the fourth book. 





Wednesday, March 22, 2017

0 From Magpie Murders to Michael Crichton, your bookish summer just got made! @harperbooks ‏

Dey Street BooksWilliam Morrow Paperbacks, Avon and Voyager have some amazing titles coming out this summer. And just when you thought it can't get any better, Harper swoops in with a whole lot of bookish delights. From Murder to Michael Crichton, your bookish summer just got made! 






Release Date: June 6. 2017

From the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective.



Release Date: May 9. 2017

An award-winning writer makes her debut with this mesmerizing page-turner in the spirit of Everything I Never Told You and Olive Kitteridge.

Out for a hike one scorching afternoon in Sycamore, Arizona, a newcomer to town stumbles across what appear to be human remains embedded in the wall of a dry desert ravine. As news of the discovery makes its way around town, Sycamore’s longtime residents fear the bones may belong to Jess Winters, the teenage girl who disappeared suddenly some eighteen years earlier, an unsolved mystery that has soaked into the porous rock of the town and haunted it ever since. In the days it takes the authorities to make an identification, the residents rekindle stories, rumors, and recollections both painful and poignant as they revisit Jess’s troubled history. In resurrecting the past, the people of Sycamore will find clarity, unexpected possibility, and a way forward for their lives.

Skillfully interweaving multiple points of view, Bryn Chancellor knowingly maps the bloodlines of a community and the indelible characters at its heart—most notably Jess Winters, a thoughtful, promising adolescent poised on the threshold of adulthood. Evocative and atmospheric, Sycamore is a coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a moving exploration of the elemental forces that drive human nature—desire, loneliness, grief, love, forgiveness, and hope—as witnessed through the inhabitants of one small Arizona town.



Release Date: May 23, 2017

The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.

Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition.  But when the paranoid and secretive Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice. William is forced to join forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions.  With this extraordinary treasure, however, comes exceptional danger, and William’s newfound resilience will be tested in his struggle to protect his cache, which pits him against some of the West’s most notorious characters.

A page-turner that draws on both meticulously researched history and an exuberant imagination, Dragon Teeth is based on the rivalry between real-life paleontologists Cope and Marsh; in William Johnson readers will find an inspiring hero only Michael Crichton could have imagined. Perfectly paced and brilliantly plotted, this enormously winning adventure is destined to become another Crichton classic. 




Release Date: June 20, 2017

It’s 1949 and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the post-war boom. The Palazzini Cab Company & Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing: business is good, they’re surrounded by sympathetic wives and daughters-in-law, with grandchildren on the way. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother Mike and their once-close families sets the stage for a re-match. 

Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife’s orphaned nephew) who lives and works with his Uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more—more than just a job driving Car #4 and more than his longtime fiancée Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his fiancée that he’s been secretly moonlighting at the local Shakespeare theater company, Nicky finds himself drawn to the stage, its colorful players and to the determined Calla Borelli, who inherited the enterprise from her father, Nicky must choose between the conventional life his family expects of him or chart a new course and risk losing everything he cherishes.

From the dreamy mountaintop village of Roseto Valfortore in Italy, to the vibrant streets of South Philly, to the close-knit enclave of Roseto, Pennsylvania, to New York City during the birth of the golden age of television, Kiss Carlo is a powerful, inter-generational story that celebrates the ties that bind, while staying true to oneself when all hope seems lost.

Told against the backdrop of some of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, this novel brims with romance as long buried secrets are revealed, mistaken identities are unmasked, scores are settled, broken hearts are mended and true love reigns. Trigiani’s consummate storytelling skill and her trademark wit, along with a dazzling cast of characters will enthrall readers. Once again, the author has returned to her own family garden to create an unforgettable feast. Kiss Carlo is a jubilee, resplendent with hope, love, and the abiding power of la famiglia.



Release Date: August 1, 2017


Since the death of Ragnvald Eysteinsson's father in battle, he has worked hard to protect his sister Svanhild and planned to inherit his family's land when he comes of age. But when the captain of his ship tries to kill him on the way home from a raiding excursion, he must confront his stepfather's betrayal, and find a way to protect his birthright. It is no easy feat in Viking-Age Norway, where a hundred petty rulers kill over parcels of land, and a prophesied high king is rising.

But where Ragnvald is expected to bleed, and even die, for his honour, Svanhild is simply expected to marry well. It's not a fate she relishes, and when the chance to leave her stepfather's cruelty comes at the hand of her brother's arch-rival, Svanhild is forced to make the ultimate choice: family or freedom.

Drawing from the Icelandic Sagas, The Half-Drowned King takes inspiration from the true story of Ragnvald of Maer, the right hand man of King Harald Fairhair, first king of all Norway, and his sister, Svanhild, as she tries to find freedom in a society where the higher her brother rises, the greater her worth as a political pawn.


With so many good titles to choose from, what books are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

0 Your summer will be even hotter with these titles from @Avonbooks and @HarperVoyagerUS


Last week, I shared some upcoming titles from Dey Street Books and William Morrow Paperbacks. Yesterday was the first day of spring, but today's going to feel like summer with these hot, new titles from Avon and Voyager. 



Hate To Want You (Forbidden Hearts #1)
Release Date: July 25, 2017

One night. No one will know.

That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted their pasts-and the last names that made them enemies.

Until the night she didn’t show up.

Now Nicholas has an empire to run. He doesn’t have time for distractions and Livvy’s sudden reappearance in town is a major distraction. She’s the one woman he shouldn’t want…so why can’t he forget how right she feels in his bed?

Livvy didn’t come home for Nicholas, but fate seems determined to remind her of his presence–and their past. Although the passion between them might have once run hot and deep, not even love can overcome the scandal that divided their families.

Being together might be against all the rules…but being apart is impossible.



Release Date: October 31, 2017

Set in New York City’s Gilded Age, Joanna Shupe’s Avon debut introduces an English beauty with a wicked scheme to win the man she loves—and the American scoundrel who ruins her best laid plans…


Lady Honora Parker must get engaged as soon as possible, and only a particular type of man will do. Nora seeks a mate so abhorrent, so completely unacceptable, that her father will reject the match—leaving her free to marry the artist she desires. Who then is the most appalling man in Manhattan? The wealthy, devilishly handsome financier, Julius Hatcher, of course….

Julius is intrigued by Nora’s ruse and decides to play along. But to Nora’s horror, Julius transforms himself into the perfect fiancé, charming the very people she hoped he would offend. It seems Julius has a secret plan all his own—one that will solve a dark mystery from his past, and perhaps turn him into the kind of man Nora could truly love. 



Release Date: August 8, 2017

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone…


Police academy cadet Charlie Burns can’t believe his luck when the gorgeous blonde he meets in a bar murmurs those magic words: “Nothing serious, ’kay?” Mind-blowing, no-strings sex with Ever Carmichael—it’s the holy grail of hookups for a guy who’s too busy following in his law enforcement family’s footsteps to think about getting serious. Charlie’s all about casual…that is, until Ever calls it quits and his world tilts on its axis.



Ever knows that when you control the relationship game, you can’t get played. But for the first time, she wants more than short-term satisfaction. Step one: end her fling with commitment-phobic Charlie. Step two: sacrifice herself to the ruthless NYC dating scene. Yet everywhere she turns, there’s Charlie, being his ridiculously charming self. No online match or blind date compares to the criminally hot cop-in-training, but they’re over. Aren’t they?



If love is a four-letter-word, why does the idea of Ever seeing someone else tie Charlie up in knots? Now he’s desperate to win her back…and a little date sabotage never hurt anyone, right?



Release Date: March 28, 2017


In an unforgettable debut, Lisa Berne introduces you to the Penhallow Dynasty—men destined to marry, but hesitant to love.

Wealthy and arrogant, Gabriel Penhallow knows it’s time to fulfill his dynastic duty. All he must do is follow the 'Penhallow way': find a biddable bride, produce an heir and a spare, and then live separate lives. It’s worked so well for generations, certainly one kiss with the delectable Livia Stuart isn’t going to change things. Society dictates he marry her, and one chit is as good as another as long as she’s from a decent family.

But Livia’s transformation from an original to a mundane diamond of the first water makes Gabriel realize he desperately wants the woman who somehow provoked him into that kiss. And for all the ladies who’ve thrown themselves at him, it’s the one who wants to flee whom he now wants. But how will he keep this independent miss from flying away?









Maggie Shea King
 Release Date: September 12, 2017

From debut author Maggie Shen King, An Excess Male is the chilling dystopian tale of politics, inequality, marriage, love, and rebellion, set in a near-future China, that further explores the themes of the classic The Handmaid's Tale and When She Woke.


China’s One Child Policy and its cultural preference for male heirs have created a society overrun by 40 million unmarriageable men. An Excess Male is one such leftover man’s quest for love and family under a State that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritatian measures, reinvigorated Communist ideals, and social engineering.

Wei-guo holds fast to the belief that as long as he continues to improve himself, his small business, and in turn, his country, his chance at love will come. He finally saves up the dowry required to enter matchmaking talks at the lowest rung as a third husband—the maximum allowed by law. Only a single family--one harboring an illegal spouse--shows interest, yet with May-ling and her two husbands, Wei-guo feels seen, heard, and connected to like never before. But everyone and everything—walls, streetlights, garbage cans—are listening, and men, excess or not, are dispensable to the State. Wei-guo must reach a new understanding of patriotism and test the limits of his love and his resolve in order to save himself and this family he has come to hold dear. 



Release Date: October 3, 2017

The author of the acclaimed mystery The Unquiet Dead delivers her first fantasy novel—the opening installment in a thrilling quartet—a tale of religion, oppression, and political intrigue that radiates with heroism, wonder, and hope

A dark power called the Talisman has risen in the land, born of ignorance and persecution. Led by a man known only known as the One-eyed Preacher, it is a cruel and terrifying movement bent on world domination—a superstitious patriarchy that suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing.

But there are those who fight the Talisman's spread, including the Companions of Hira, a diverse group of influential women whose power derives from the Claim—the magic inherent in the words of a sacred scripture. Foremost among them is Arian and her apprentice, Sinnia, skilled warriors who are knowledgeable in the Claim. This daring pair have long stalked Talisman slave-chains, searching for clues and weapons to help them battle their enemy’s oppressive ways. Now, they may have discovered a miraculous symbol of hope that can destroy the One-eyed Preacher and his fervid followers: The Bloodprint, a dangerous text the Talisman has tried to erase from the world.

Finding a copy of The Bloodprint promises to be their most dangerous undertaking yet, an arduous journey that will lead them deep into Talisman territory. Though they will be helped by allies—a loyal ex-slave and Arian’s former confidante and sword master—both Arian and Sinnia know that this mission may well be their last.
 


S.A. Chakraborty

When Nahri, a young con artist in eighteenth century Cairo, accidentally summons a powerful djinn warrior to her side, she finds herself drawn into the political machinations of the royal court of Daevabad, the ancient, magical city of brass. Descendant of a powerful family thought to be destroyed, blessed with the gift of healing, Nahri soon realizes her very presence threatens to reignite a centuries-old religious war between the feuding djinn tribes. Hoping to keep her head, she forms an alliance with a fiery prince who dreams of revolutionizing his father’s corrupt reign. But she soon learns that working with the enemy—even to make peace—can have deadly consequences. 



What titles are you looking forward to?



Monday, March 20, 2017

0 Murder, Mindy, and Spring In This Week's Last Week In Review (40)



Hi, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. We had nice, warm-ish weather here. My family and I were able to spend some time out of doors. I think I've been missing that a lot with the cold weather.

And in case you didn't know. Today's the first day of spring! 


I love spring. It's my favorite season. Fall is a close second, though.

Now, let's get to what I did last week. 




I finished two books: The Enemies of Versailles and Northanger Abbey. I reviewed The Enemies of Versailles on Friday. There's a giveaway included in the post. As of today, there's eleven days left to enter.                                                                                                     


Currently, I'm reading A Death By Any Other Name by Tessa Arlen. This is the third book in the Lady Montfort Mystery series. I'm a few chapters in and I love it! I have it scheduled to review for Friday. 




I didn't watch a lot of television last week. I continued with The Mindy Project. I know I was kinda wavering a few weeks ago whether I should continue to watch or not. Last week's episode was more on point with what I like about the show. It was relevant in today's current event and Mindy seemed more pulled together than in the past few episodes. Not that I mind silly Mindy. I don't like it when the character is 'dumbed down'. So, for now, I'll keep watching. 



Last week, I also shared some upcoming titles from Dey Street Books and William Morrow Paperbacks. Stay tuned this week as I share more from Harper Collins summer 2017 titles. 

My goal for this week is to get a little more organized and do a lot more reading. I've been doing a bit of spring cleaning while I've been listening to audio books. Which is another reason I love audio books. It makes cleaning more bearable. That's my week in review. How was yours? 

Have a great week! 


Don't forget to follow me on social media for more bookish things.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

0 Review and @Giveaway: The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie

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The Enemies of Versailles
by Sally Christie

Publication Date: March 21, 2017
Atria Books
eBook & Paperback; 416 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: The Mistresses of Versailles, Book Three

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In the final installment of Sally Christie’s “tantalizing” (New York Daily News) Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, Jeanne Becu, a woman of astounding beauty but humble birth, works her way from the grimy back streets of Paris to the palace of Versailles, where the aging King Louis XV has become a jaded and bitter old philanderer. Jeanne bursts into his life and, as the Comtesse du Barry, quickly becomes his official mistress.

“That beastly bourgeois Pompadour was one thing; a common prostitute is quite another kettle of fish.”

After decades of suffering the King's endless stream of Royal Favorites, the princesses of the Court have reached a breaking point. Horrified that he would bring the lowborn Comtesse du Barry into the hallowed halls of Versailles, Louis XV’s daughters, led by the indomitable Madame Adelaide, vow eternal enmity and enlist the young dauphiness Marie Antoinette in their fight against the new mistress. But as tensions rise and the French Revolution draws closer, a prostitute in the palace soon becomes the least of the nobility’s concerns.

Told in Christie’s witty and engaging style, the final book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the sumptuous and cruel world of eighteenth century Versailles, and France as it approaches irrevocable change.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo


My Thoughts

The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie is the third book in the Mistresses on Versailles trilogy. The trilogy focuses on the lovers of King Louis XV. The first book, The Sisters of Versailles, explores King Louis relationships with the sisters: Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne. The second book, The Rivals of Versailles, Marie-Anne is threatened when the king is enamored by Marquise de Pompadour. And, of course, court life is never easy with all the scheming politicians and social climbers. Trying to keep the king interested is a full-time job.

I was anxious yet excited to read the third book in this series after coming such a long way with King Louis XV. King Louis is saddened after the death of Madame Pompadour. He's lonely and in want of company. Jeanne Becu is thrown into his path, and he's quickly overcome by her beauty. Jeanne becomes the king's lover, but she has a dubious past as a prostitute. The king's daughter, Adelaide, with the help of her sisters tries to persuade the king not to pollute the palace with a common prostitute. They even enlist the help of their nephew's new bride, Marie Antoinette, to help them.

The Enemies of Versailles follows Jeanne Becu's life from childhood all the way to the French Revolution. While she really doesn't even compare to the Pompadour, she has a sort of innocence and naivety that appeal to the king. The characters in this book are as fascinating as the turbulent historical time period in which it takes place. The Mistresses of Versailles is historical fiction at its best. 



Praise for The Sisters of Versailles

“Such an extraordinary tale makes for compelling reading and, as the lead book in a planned trilogy, will draw in readers who are interested in royal lives before the French Revolution….historical fiction fans, unfamiliar with the history of the Nesle sisters, will be intrigued.” (Library Journal)

"Sally Christie's The Sisters of Versailles is an intriguing romp through Louis XV's France. Filled with lush backdrops, rich detail, and colorful characters, fans of historical fiction will enjoy this glimpse into the lost golden era of the French monarchy." (Allison Pataki, author of THE ACCIDENTAL EMPRESS )

“A stunning breadth of period detail, offered in a fresh, contemporary voice.” (Juliet Grey, author of the acclaimed Marie Antoinette trilogy )

“Tantalizing descriptions and cliff-hangers will leave the reader rapidly turning the pages in anticipation… A wickedly delightful read.” (New York Daily News)


03_sally-christie_authorAbout the Author

Sally Christie is the author of The Sisters of Versailles and The Rivals of Versailles. She was born in England and grew up around the world, attending eight schools in three different languages. She spent most of her career working in international development and currently lives in Toronto.

Visit SallyChristieAuthor.com to find out more about Sally and the Mistresses of Versailles trilogy.

You can also find her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, March 15
Interview at T's Stuff

Thursday, March 16
Review at Leeanna.me
Review at The Lit Bitch

Friday, March 17

Saturday, March 18
Spotlight at Books, Dreams, Life

Sunday, March 19
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Monday, March 20

Tuesday, March 21

Wednesday, March 22

Thursday, March 23
Review at Broken Teepee

Friday, March 24

Sunday, March 26
Review & Interview at Clarissa Reads It All

Monday, March 27

Tuesday, March 28
Review at Book Nerd
Review at Luxury Reading

Wednesday, March 29

Thursday, March 30

Friday, March 31
Review at Bookramblings

Giveaway

Five copies of The Enemies of Versailles are up for grabs during the blog tour! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.



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Thursday, March 16, 2017

0 7 Upcoming Releases From @Morrow_PB That Celebrate Girl Power

Tuesday, I shared what Dey Street has coming out this summer. Today, it's William Morrow Paperbacks and it's all about girl power! Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for all the up-to-date information on their titles! 




Release Date: May 2, 2017

From USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Robson—author of Moonlight Over Paris and Somewhere in France—comes a lush historical novel that tells the fascinating story of Ruby Sutton, an ambitious American journalist who moves to London in 1940 to report on the Second World War, and to start a new life an ocean away from her past.

In the summer of 1940, ambitious young American journalist Ruby Sutton gets her big break: the chance to report on the European war as a staff writer for Picture Weekly newsmagazine in London. She jumps at the chance, for it's an opportunity not only to prove herself, but also to start fresh in a city and country that know nothing of her humble origins. But life in besieged Britain tests Ruby in ways she never imagined.

Although most of Ruby's new colleagues welcome her, a few resent her presence, not only as an American but also as a woman. She is just beginning to find her feet, to feel at home in a country that is so familiar yet so foreign, when the bombs begin to fall.

As the nightly horror of the Blitz stretches unbroken into weeks and months, Ruby must set aside her determination to remain an objective observer. When she loses everything but her life, and must depend upon the kindness of strangers, she learns for the first time the depth and measure of true friendship—and what it is to love a man who is burdened by secrets that aren’t his to share.

Goodnight from London, inspired in part by the wartime experiences of the author’s own grandmother, is a captivating, heartfelt, and historically immersive story that readers are sure to embrace.



Release Date: June 6, 2017

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth ...no matter where it leads.



Release Date: July 11, 2017

In the vein of Fiona Barton's The Widow and Renée Knight's Disclaimer, a psychological thriller about a war reporter who returns to her childhood home after her mother's death but becomes convinced that all is not well in the house next door—but is what she’s seeing real or a symptom of the trauma she suffered in Syria?

The One Person You Should Trust Is Lying to You…

Kate has spent fifteen years bringing global injustice home: as a decorated war reporter, she’s always in a place of conflict, writing about ordinary people in unimaginable situations. When her mother dies, Kate returns home from Syria for the funeral. But an incident with a young Syrian boy haunts her dreams, and when Kate sees a boy in the garden of the house next door—a house inhabited by an Iraqi refugee who claims her husband is away and she has no children—Kate becomes convinced that something is very wrong.

As she struggles to separate her memories of Syria from the quiet town in which she grew up—and also to reconcile her memories of a traumatic childhood with her sister’s insistence that all was not as Kate remembers—she begins to wonder what is actually true…and what is just in her mind.

In this gripping, timely debut, Nuala Ellwood brings us an unforgettable damaged character, a haunting , humanizing look at the Syrian conflict, and a deeply harrowing psychological thriller that readers won’t be able to put down.



Release Date: August 1, 2017


The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home turns the clock back one hundred years to a time when two young girls from Cottingley, Yorkshire, convinced the world that they had done the impossible and photographed fairies in their garden. Now, in her newest novel, international bestseller Hazel Gaynor reimagines their story.

1917… It was inexplicable, impossible, but it had to be true—didn’t it? When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, claim to have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when one of the great novelists of the time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, becomes convinced of the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a national sensation, their discovery offering hope to those longing for something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war. Frances and Elsie will hide their secret for many decades. But Frances longs for the truth to be told.

One hundred years later… When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story it tells of two young girls who mystified the world. But it is the discovery of an old photograph that leads her to realize how the fairy girls’ lives intertwine with hers, connecting past to present, and blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, can Olivia find a way to believe in herself?



Release Date: August 8, 2017


Dukes's gripping historical novel tells the tale of a desperate Albanian woman who will do whatever it takes to keep her independence and seize control of her future...even if it means swearing to remain a virgin for her entire life.

When eighteen-year-old Eleanora’s father is shot dead on the cobblestone streets of 1910 Albania, Eleanora must abandon her dream of studying art in Italy as she struggles to survive in a remote mountain village with her stepmother Meria.

Nearing starvation, Meria secretly sells Eleanora into marriage with the cruel heir of a powerful clan. Intent on keeping her freedom, Eleanora takes an oath to remain a virgin for the rest of her life—a tradition that gives her the right to live as a man: she is now head of her household and can work for a living as well as carry a gun. Eleanora can also participate in the vengeful blood feuds that consume the mountain tribes, but she may not be killed—unless she forsakes her vow, which she has no intention of ever doing.

But when an injured stranger stumbles into her life, Eleanora nurses him back to health, saving his life—yet risking her own as she falls in love with him...




Release Date: August 15, 2017

International sensation Santa Montefiore presents the second book in her romantic and unforgettable Deverill Chronicles trilogy, which follows three Irish women through the decades of the twentieth century—perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams and Kate Morton.

Perched majestically atop the lush emerald hills of West Cork, Ireland, Castle Deverill has been the home to several generations of the Deverills. But when the castle fell prey to a devastating attack during the Irish revolt, the ancestral home’s survival was at stake—until Celia Mayberry and her husband buy the estate and vow to restore Castle Deverill to its former glory. For Celia, the castle holds many fond childhood memories when she ran through its vast halls with her cousin Kitty Deverill and their cherished friend Bridie Doyle.

But not everyone is elated. Although Kitty is grateful to her cousin for purchasing the manor and ensuring it will remain in the family, she cannot help but be wistful for the days when she was the mistress of Castle Deverill. While she is content in her new life with her husband Robert and her adopted son JP, her heart still yearns for Jack O’Leary—the man she cannot have. As Kitty struggles with her choices, she must make a heartbreaking decision that could bring her the greatest joy, but hurt those closest to her.

Now wealthy and the toast of the town in New York City, Bridie Doyle has come a long way since she was a young girl in Ireland and the daughter of one of the maids at Castle Deverill. But all her money cannot ease the pain over giving away her baby. When she finds love, she is tempted to return to her beloved homeland—even if it means she will have to face the woman she still longs to seek revenge against.

As Celia wastes no time, or expense, in hiring workers to renovate Castle Deverill—even when the country soon finds itself in the midst of the Great Depression—she has no idea that her world is about to be shattered. Now everything that felt so certain is cast into doubt as this daughter of Ireland must find the inner strength to build a new future.




Release Date: May 2, 2017

A riveting glimpse of life and love during and after World War II—a heart-warming, touching, and thoroughly absorbing true story of a world gone by.

In the spring of 1939, with the Second World War looming, two determined twenty-four-year-olds, Heather Jenner and Mary Oliver, decided to open a marriage bureau. They found a tiny office on London’s Bond Street and set about the delicate business of matchmaking. Drawing on the bureau’s extensive archives, Penrose Halson—who many years later found herself the proprietor of the bureau—tells their story, and those of their clients.

From shop girls to debutantes; widowers to war veterans, clients came in search of security, social acceptance, or simply love. And thanks to the meticulous organization and astute intuition of the Bureau’s matchmakers, most found what they were looking for.

Penrose Halson draws from newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, and interviews with the proprietors themselves to bring the romance and heartbreak of matchmaking during wartime to vivid, often hilarious, life in this unforgettable story of a most unusual business.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

0 Audio Book Review: The Gentleman


Narrated by: Samuel Roukin, John Keating
Recorded Books
Released: September 2, 2016
Length: 8 hours, 1 minute
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Publisher

Summary

A funny, fantastically entertaining debut novel, in the spirit of Wodehouse and Monty Python, about a famous poet who inadvertently sells his wife to the devil--then recruits a band of adventurers to rescue her.

When Lionel Savage, a popular poet in Victorian London, learns from his butler that they're broke, he marries the beautiful Vivien Lancaster for her money, only to find that his muse has abandoned him.

Distraught and contemplating suicide, Savage accidentally conjures the Devil -- the polite "Gentleman" of the title -- who appears at one of the society parties Savage abhors. The two hit it off: the Devil talks about his home, where he employs Dante as a gardener; Savage lends him a volume of Tennyson. But when the party's over and Vivien has disappeared, the poet concludes in horror that he must have inadvertently sold his wife to the dark lord.

Newly in love with Vivien, Savage plans a rescue mission to Hell that includes Simmons, the butler; Tompkins, the bookseller; Ashley Lancaster, swashbuckling Buddhist; Will Kensington, inventor of a flying machine; and Savage's spirited kid sister, Lizzie, freshly booted from boarding school for a "dalliance." Throughout, his cousin's quibbling footnotes to the text push the story into comedy nirvana.

Lionel and his friends encounter trapdoors, duels, anarchist-fearing bobbies, the social pressure of not knowing enough about art history, and the poisonous wit of his poetical archenemy. Fresh, action-packed and very, very funny, The Gentleman is a giddy farce that recalls the masterful confections of P.G. Wodehouse and Hergé's beautifully detailed Tintin adventures.

My Thoughts


I knew The Gentleman had to be my next audio book after reading the summary. After all, a book about a man who accidentally sells his wife to the devil has to be pure gold! The book takes places in Victorian London. Which is also one of my favorite historical fiction time periods. The main character, Lionel Savage, is a poet who has seemed to have lost his muse. He blames it on his new bride, Vivien Lancaster. One evening, Lionel finds himself ranting to a stranger about his personal struggles. The next morning, Vivien is missing. Lionel puts two and two together and realizes that he must have sold his wife to the devil.

The book has an amazing cast of characters. From Lionel, an egotistical poet, to Lizzy, his forward-thinking sister. Their butler, Simmons, is an enigma. In fact, every character in this book is interesting. All the characters are brought to life by the narrators. Samuel Roukin is the main narrator. The Gentleman is told in first person by Lionel, who is relating the events as they happen. Samuel also is the many voices of the other characters as well. John Keeting is the second narrator. He is the voice of a cousin of Vivien who constantly interrupts Lionel's narration with hilarious footnotes that are more true to what actually happened in the story and not just Lionel's interpretation. 

To me, these two narrators made the story even more fantastic than it already is. The Gentleman is Forrest Leo's first novel and I am impressed! If P.G. Wodehouse and Julia Quinn's books could have a baby, The Gentleman would be it. I absolutely loved everything about it. It's my favorite audiobook so far this year. 


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

0 5 Books Coming Out This Summer From @deystreet That You'll Want ASAP!

I attended HarperCollins Summer 2017 Blogger Webcast last week to find out about their upcoming summer releases. Over the next week or two, I'll be posting about the many fabulous books hitting the shelves soon. Hold onto your wallet because you're going to want all of them!

The first books I'll be sharing with you are from Dey Street Books.




Ann Powers
Release Date: August 15, 2017

In this sweeping history of popular music in the United States, NPR’s acclaimed music critic examines how popular music shapes fundamental American ideas and beliefs, allowing us to communicate difficult emotions and truths about our most fraught social issues, most notably sex and race.
In Good Booty, Ann Powers explores how popular music became America’s primary erotic art form. Powers takes us from nineteenth-century New Orleans through dance-crazed Jazz Age New York to the teen scream years of mid-twentieth century rock-and-roll to the cutting-edge adventures of today’s web-based pop stars. Drawing on her deep knowledge and insights on gender and sexuality, Powers recounts stories of forbidden lovers, wild shimmy-shakers, orgasmic gospel singers, countercultural perverts, soft-rock sensitivos, punk Puritans, and the cyborg known as Britney Spears to illuminate how eroticism—not merely sex, but love, bodily freedom, and liberating joy—became entwined within the rhythms and melodies of American song. This cohesion, she reveals, touches the heart of America's anxieties and hopes about race, feminism, marriage, youth, and freedom.
In a survey that spans more than a century of music, Powers both heralds little known artists such as Florence Mills, a contemporary of Josephine Baker, and gospel queen Dorothy Love Coates, and sheds new light on artists we think we know well, from the Beatles and Jim Morrison to Madonna and Beyoncé. In telling the history of how American popular music and sexuality intersect—a magnum opus over two decades in the making—Powers offers new insights into our nation psyche and our soul.



Patricia Williams
Release Date: August 22, 2017

A remarkably bold and inspiring story of crime, motherhood, and redemption—not since Cupcake Brown’s A Piece of Cake has there been a memoir this unforgettable.
You want to know about the struggle of growing up poor, black, and female? Ask any girl from any ’hood. You want to know what it takes to rise above your circumstances when all the cards are stacked against you? Ask me.
Comedian Patricia Williams, who for years went by her street name "Rabbit," was born and raised in Atlanta’s most troubled neighborhood at the height of the crack epidemic.
One of five children, Pat watched as her alcoholic mother struggled to get by on charity, cons, and petty crimes. At age seven, Pat was taught to roll drunks for money. At twelve, she was targeted for sex by a man eight years her senior; by thirteen, she was pregnant. By fifteen, Pat was a mother of two.
Alone at sixteen, Pat was determined to make a better life for her children. But with no job skills and an eighth-grade education, her options were limited. She learned quickly that hustling and humor were the only tools she had to survive.
Rabbit is an unflinching memoir of cinematic scope and unexpected humor that offers a rare glimpse into the harrowing reality of life on America’s margins—a powerful true story of resilience, determination, and the transformative power of love.



Helen Stapinski
Release Date: May 23, 2017

A writer goes deep into the heart of Italy to unravel a century-old family mystery in this spellbinding memoir that blends the suspenseful twists of Making a Murderer and the emotional insight of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels.
Since childhood, Helene Stapinski heard lurid tales about her great-great-grandmother, Vita. In Southern Italy, she was a loose woman who had murdered someone. Immigrating to America with three children, she lost one along the way. Helene’s youthful obsession with Vita deepened as she grew up, eventually propelling the journalist to Italy, where, with her own children in tow, she pursued the story, determined to set the record straight.
Finding answers would take Helene ten years and numerous trips to Basilicata, the rural "instep" of Italy’s boot—a mountainous land rife with criminals, superstitions, old-world customs, and desperate poverty. Though false leads sent her down blind alleys, Helene’s dogged search, aided by a few lucky—even miraculous—breaks and a group of colorful local characters, led her to the truth.
Yes, the family tales she’d heard were true: There had been a murder in Helene’s family, a killing that roiled 1870s Italy. But the identities of the killer and victim weren’t who she thought they were. In revisiting events that happened more than a century before, Helene came to another stunning realization—she wasn’t who she thought she was, either.
Weaving Helene’s own story of discovery with the tragic tale of Vita’s life, Murder in Matera is a literary whodunit and a moving tale of self-discovery that brings into focus a long ago tragedy in a little-known region remarkable for its stunning sunny beauty and dark buried secrets.



Ben Falcone
Release Date: May 16, 2017

A funny and intimate look at fatherhood from the actor and writer/director of The Boss and Tammy that combines stories about his own larger-than-life dad and how his experiences raising two daughters with his wife, Melissa McCarthy, are shaped by his own childhood.
Though he’s best known for his appearances in the movie Enough Said, as well as his hilarious role as Air Marshall Jon in Bridesmaids, Ben Falcone isn’t a big shot movie star director at home. There, he’s just dad. In this winning collection of stories, with a foreword by his hilarious wife, Ben shares his funny and poignant adventures as the husband of Melissa McCarthy, and the father of their two young daughters. He also shares tales from his own childhood in Southern Illinois, and life with his father—an outspoken, brilliant, but unconventional man with a big heart and a somewhat casual approach to employment named Steve Falcone.
Ben is just an ordinary dad who has his share of fights with other parents blocking his view with their expensive electronic devices at school performances. Navigating the complicated role of being the only male in a house full of women, he finds himself growing more and more concerned as he sounds more and more like his dad. While Steve Falcone may not have been the briefcase and gray flannel suit type, he taught Ben priceless lessons about what matters most in life. A supportive, creative, and downright funny dad, Steve made sure his sons’ lives were never dull—a sense of adventure that carries through this warm, sometimes hilarious, and poignant memoir.





Ashley Graham
Release Date: May 9, 2017

One of the most outspoken voices gracing the cover of magazines today encourages women to be their most confident selves, recognize their personal beauty, and reach for their highest dreams in this wise, warm, and inspiring memoir
Voluptuous beauty Ashley Graham has been modeling professionally since the age of thirteen. Discovered at a shopping mall in Nebraska, her stunning face and sexy curves have graced the covers of top magazines, including Cosmopolitan and British Vogue, and she was the first size 14 model to appear on the front of the wildly popular Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. The face of brands such as H&M Studio, she is also a judge for the latest season of America’s Next Top Model. And that’s only the beginning for this extraordinary talent.
Ashley is leading a new generation of women breaking ground and demolishing stereotypes, transforming our ideals about body image and what is fashionable and beautiful. A woman who proves that when it comes to beauty, size is just a number, she is the voice for the body positivity movement today and a role model for all women—no matter their individual body type, shape, or weight.
In this collection of insightful, provocative essays illustrated with a dozen photos, Ashley shares her perspective on how ideas around body image are evolving—and how we still have work to do; the fun—and stress—of a career in the fashion world; her life before modeling; and her path to accepting her size without limiting her dreams—defying rigid industry standards and naysayers who told her it couldn’t be done. As she talks about her successes and setbacks, Ashley offers support for every woman coming to terms with who she is, bolster her self-confidence, and motivates her to be her strongest, healthiest, and most beautiful self.

 

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