Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, April 15, 2019

Mailbox Mondays

Well … I hit up my library book sale this weekend. So I got a nice stack of new-to-me books! And all for $5! Woo! I love this library’s book sale – it’s $5 per bag, and the bag is rather large, so I can usually get a good 10-12 hardback books in there. More if I stuff some paperbacks down the sides as well, ha! But this time I got 11 in total.

Some of these look really exciting to me! Too bad they’ll probably sit on my shelves, unread, for the next 6 years … because that’s just how I seem to roll … 😥

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Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, April 1, 2019

Mailbox Mondays

This post actually covers like the last three weeks worth of acquisitions. I just kept putting them to the side and never got around to logging them. Yeah…

I received one book for a TLC book tour:

The Shadow WriterAspiring author Graye Templeton will do anything to escape the horrific childhood crime that haunts her. After a life lived in shadows, she’s accepted a new job as protegé to Laura West, influential book blogger and wife of an acclaimed novelist. Laura’s connections could make Graye’s publishing dreams a reality. But there’s more to Laura than meets the eye.

Behind the veneer of a charmed life, Laura’s marriage is collapsing. Her once-lauded husband is descending into alcoholism and ruin and bringing Laura nearer to the edge.

As the two women form a bond that seems meant to be, long-buried secrets claw their way into the present, and the line between friendship and obsession begins to blur, forcing each to decide where her loyalties lie. Running from the past is a dangerous game, and the loser could end up dead.


From my grandmother I received:

The FallenSix YearsThe Escape ArtistThe SnowmanBones Never LieDeep Freeze


From Paperbackswap I received:

Early Autumn


From my local Goodwill, I purchased:

All by Myself, Alone


From Abe Books, I purchased:

Abigail & JohnAbigail Adams

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, March 11, 2019

Mailbox Mondays

Well this week I received a Paperbackswap order as well as my bookcase.club subscription box. I’m not going to lie, I’m not 100% thrilled on the bookcase.club box selections this month – and this isn’t the first time. I have one more month before my next renewal, and I think I’m going to let it go. I’ve been a subscriber of this box for 8 months and for the most part I haven’t been overly excited over the picks 😦

Anywhoo – from Paperbackswap I got:

A Savage Place

TV reporter Candy Sloan has eyes the color of cornflowers and legs that stretch all the way to heaven. She also has somebody threatening to rearrange her lovely face if she keeps on snooping into charges of Hollywood racketeering.

Spenser’s job is to keep Candy healthy until she breaks the biggest story of her career. But her star witness has just bowed out with three bullets in his chest, two tough guys have doubled up to test Spenser’s skill with his fists, and Candy is about to use her own sweet body as live bait in a deadly romantic game – a game that may cost Spenser his life.  

 


And from bookcase.club:

The White MirrorLi Du, an imperial librarian and former exile in eighteenth-century China, is now an independent traveler. He is journeying with a trade caravan bound for Lhasa when a detour brings them to a high valley hidden between mountain passes. On the icy planks of an old wooden bridge, a monk sits in silent contemplation. Closer inspection reveals that the monk is dead, apparently of a self-inflicted wound. His robes are rent, revealing a mysterious symbol painted on his chest.

When the rain turns to snow, the caravan is forced to seek hospitality from the local lord while they wait for the storm to pass. Li Du receives a courteous welcome at the manor built into the mountain. The dead monk, he soon learns, was a reclusive painter who lived alone in a nearby temple. According to the family, his bizarre suicide is not surprising, given his obsession with the demon world.

But Li Du is convinced that all is not as it seems. Why did the caravan leader detour to this particular valley? Why does the lord’s skittish heir sleep in the barn like a servant? Why is an Italian missionary convinced that there is a lost Christian kingdom in Tibet? And who is the mysterious woman traveling unescorted through the mountain wilds?

These are dangerous times and dangerous roads. Political tension is escalating among the emperor of China, the king of Tibet in Lhasa, and the Mongols in the north. Bandits roam the trade routes. Trapped in the snow, surrounded by secrets and an unexplained grief that haunts the manor, Li Du cannot distract himself from memories he has tried to leave behind. As he discovers irrefutable evidence of the painter’s murder and pieces together the dark circumstances of his death, Li Du must face the reason he will not go home and, ultimately, the reason why he must.

Any Minutes NowRed Rover – the blackest of black ops teams – is betrayed during a top-priority mission to capture and interrogate a mysterious Saudi terrorist. One of their own is killed; the remaining two barely get home alive. Then, without warning or explanation, the team is disbanded.

Greg Whitman and Felix Orteno are left adrift in a world full of deathly shadows, blind alleys, and unanswerable questions. They hook up with Charlize Daou, a brilliant, wildly talented arms expert whose past is entangled with Whit’s. Though Charlie grapples with damage of her own, she becomes their new center, their moral compass, and their reason for resurrecting Red Rover.

The new Red Rover secretly sets out to find the protect Saudi terrorist, the first step in a perilous journey into the heart of a vast conspiracy that involves the NSA, a cabal of immensely wealthy mystics known as the Alchemists, and an ageless visionary out to create an entirely new way of waging war. A war that will destabilize one of the great superpowers and forever rearrange the balance of power across the entire globe.

 

Mailbox Monday, Meme, Uncategorized

Mailbox Monday, March 4, 2019

Mailbox Mondays

Well. I’ve got more than a few this week 😀 Should have stayed away from the library book sale, ha!

Anyhoo, I got one book for review in last week:

The Hunting PartyDuring the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands – the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.

They arrive on December 30, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.

Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.

The trip began innocently enough: admiration of the stunning, if foreboding, scenery; champagne in front of a crackling fire; and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous rivalry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.

Now one of them is dead … and another one of them did it.

Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?


I got two books from my grandmother:

Three Sisters, Three QueensWhen Katherine of Aragon is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure. With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined – with Margaret’s younger sister, Mary – to a unique sisterhood. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland, and France.

United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. But as they experience betrayals, dangers, loss, and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.

The SandmanAn emaciated young man named Michael is found wandering outside Stockholm. Thirteen years earlier, he and his younger sister went missing, presumed to be victims of Sweden’s most notorious serial killer, Jurek Walter, who is now serving a life sentence in a maximum-security psychiatric hospital. But Mikael tells the police that his sister is still alive and behind held by someone he calls the Sandman.

Detective Joona Linna sacrificed everything to capture Jurek, but he always thought that Jurek had an accomplice. Any chance of rescuing Mikael’s sister depends on getting Jurek to talk, and the only agent capable of this is Saga Bauer, who will have to go deep undercover and beat Jurek at his own game before it’s too late.


And then here’s what I got at the library book sale:

HeydayThe Killing ForestFinger Lickin FifteenThe Elusive Mrs. PollifaxAuntie Poldi and the Sicilian LionsTrumanDismantledAmerica Afire

First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, February 26, 2019

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring a review book I’ve got coming up:

Before She Knew Him

The two couples met at a neighborhood block party, the third Saturday in September.

I know this introduction doesn’t tell the reader much. But having recently finished this book I really want to say that I feel like the less you go in knowing about this book … the better! I sure hope you’ll come back next week and see my final thoughts when my review posts on March 7th!

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday

February 19: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

This one was tough for me … over the years I’ve been able to read lots of good books that were rather unknown. Most of these that I’m including here were review books that I received for review … actually 7 of the 10 on my list were review books. Here’s my list:

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, February 18, 2019

Mailbox MondaysSo this week’s post actually encompasses the last two weeks of acquisitions since I didn’t get my act together last week to put together a post. Here’s what I got:

The first one I picked up from my local Barnes & Noble. The author was there signing copies – unbeknownst to me, she apparently lives locally! Small world 🙂

The Stranger InsideThere’s a stranger living in Kimber Hannon’s house. The man tells the police that he has every right to be there, and he has the paperwork to prove it.

Kimber definitely didn’t invite this man to move in. The intruder claims that he knows something about her, and he wants everyone else to know it too.

I was there. I saw what you did.”

These words reveal a connection to Kimber’s distant past, and dark secrets she’d long ago left buried. This trespasser isn’t after anything as simple as her money or her charming Craftsman bungalow. He wants to move into her carefully orchestrated life – and destroy it.

 


This one was my BOTM pick for February. I went WAYYYYY outside my comfort zone with this selection, but it really appealed to me.

A Woman in No ManPalestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitors her father has chosen for her. Her desires are irrelevant, however – over the course of a week, the naive and dreamy girl finds herself betrothed, then married, and soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law, Fareeda, and her strange new husband, Adam: a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children – four daughters instead of the sons Isra is expected to bear.

Brooklyn, 2008. At her grandmother’s insistence, eighteen-year-old Deya must meet with potential husbands and prepare herself for marriage, though her only desire is to go to college. Her grandmother is firm on the matter, however: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man. But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path that leads her to shocking truths that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her family, the past, and her own future.

Set in an America at once foreign to many and staggeringly close at hand, A Woman is No Man is a story of culture and honor, secrets and betrayals, love and violence. It is an intimate glimpse into a controlling and closed cultural world, and a universal tale about family and the ways silence and shame can destroy those we have sworn to protect.


This is a review book that I received for a TLC Book Tour coming up in March:

Before She Knew HimHen and her husband, Lloyd, have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator who works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Final, she’s found some stability and peace.

But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder – an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.

Could her neighbor Matthew be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?

The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face-to-face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him, and that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape…


The next four are ones that I picked up at my local Goodwill:

All Dressed in WhiteFive years ago Amanda Pierce was excitedly preparing to marry her college sweetheart in a lavish ceremony at The Grand Victoria Hotel in Palm Beach. Then, with their guests and families on site, Amanda disappeared.

In present-day New York City, Laurie accepts an uninvited visitor into her office: Amanda’s desperate mother, who begs Laurie and her Under Suspicion television team to investigate Amanda’s disappearance. It’s an appeal Laurie, a widow too familiar with the grief felt by the families of victims of unsolved crimes, can’t refuse. Soon she and the team are re-creating the night of the disappearance at the Florida resort with Amanda’s friends and family in attendance, hoping to shed new light on the mystery, as the series has done in the past.

With Amanda’s former fiance now married to one of Amanda’s bridesmaids, her jealous sister now integral in the family business, playboy groomsmen still behaving badly, a too-friendly wedding photographer, and rumors about the “beloved” bride herself, Laurie and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley quickly realize everyone has a theory about why Amanda vanished into thin air – and a reason to direct Laurie’s attention elsewhere.

One thing is certain: whoever was behind Amanda’s disappearance plans to keep the truth hidden “until death do they part…”


The Maltese Falcon
A treasure worth killing for. Sam Spade, a slightly shopworn private eye with his own solitary code of ethics. A perfumed grafter named Joel Cairo, a fat man named Gutman, and Brigid O’Shaughnessy, a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. These are the ingredients of Dashiell Hammett’s coolly glittering gem of detective fiction, a novel that has haunted generations of readers.

 


The Devil in the White City

Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson’s spell-binding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men – the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World’s Fair, striving to secure America’s place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

 


The Wife
The moment Joan Castleman decides to leave her husband, they are on an airplane, thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean. Joan’s husband, Joseph, is one of America’s preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award, and Joan, who has spent forty years subjugating her own literary talents to his careers, has finally decided to stop. From this gripping opening, Meg Wolitzer flashes back to 1950s Smith College and Greenwich Village and follows the course of the marriage that has brought the couple to this breaking point – one that results in a shocking revelation.

With her skillful storytelling and pitch-perfect observations, Wolitzer has crafted a wise and candid look at the choices all men and women make – in marriage, work, and life.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, February 11, 2019

Mailbox Mondays

Last week I received my bookcase.club box:

Seeing RedKerra Bailey is a television journalist on the rise, and she’s hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to even greater heights: an interview with the legendary Major Trapper. Twenty-five years ago, The Major emerged a hero from the bombing of the Pegasus Hotel in downtown Dallas when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors out of the collapsing building. The iconic picture transformed him into a beloved national icon, in constant demand for speeches and interviews–until he suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all members of the media. However, Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get to The Major–even if she has to wrangle an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper.

Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, John Trapper wants no association with the hotel bombing or his hero father, and spurns the meddling reporters determined to drag them back into the limelight. Yet Kerra’s sheer audacity and tantalizing hints that there’s more to the story rouse Trapper’s interest despite himself. And when her interview of a lifetime goes catastrophically awry–with unknown assailants targeting not only The Major, but also Kerra–Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he’s going to track down the gunmen before they strike again . . . as well as discover, finally, who was responsible for the Pegasus bombing.

Kerra is wary of a man so charming one moment and dangerous the next, and she knows Trapper is withholding evidence collected during his ATF investigation into the bombing. But having no one else to trust and enemies lurking closer than they know, Kerra and Trapper join forces and risk their very lives to expose a sinuous network of lies and conspiracy running deep through Texas–and uncover who would want a national hero dead.


The MentorKyle Broder has achieved his lifelong dream of becoming an editor at a major publishing house. When he’s contacted by his favorite college professor, William Lansing, Kyle couldn’t be happier, especially after William mentions that he’s been writing a novel. The idea of being his mentor’s editor is a dream come true.

But William’s manuscript is the most depraved story Kyle has ever read. After Kyle politely rejects the novel, William becomes obsessed, threatening Kyle’s career, his relationship with his girlfriend, and even his life. As Kyle delves into more of this psychopath’s work, it begins to resemble a cold case from his college town. William’s work is looking increasingly like a true-crime confession. One in which Kyle may just end up starring.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, February 4, 2019

Mailbox Mondays

Well this week I just *had* to go to the Goodwill for books ::eyeroll::. Anyway, I did get four new-to-me books:

ExclusiveBarrie Travis is not famous: she’s just a damn good reporter stuck at a low-budget television station. Then the First lady calls her … and offers her the story of a lifetime. The president’s wife, stunned by grief after the loss of her infant son, hints that her child may have ben murdered. Blind to everything but finding the truth, Barrie’s fight for an exclusive story will test her ethics, her patriotism, and her courage. Then, with the help of Gray Bondurant, a mysterious former presidential aide, she unearths White House secrets that, if exposed, could topple the presidency. Now, even as she falls in love, Barrie must fight powerful forces that want nothing more than to see the scandalous past – and a certain young reporter – dead and buried.


Unspeakable1Carl Herbold is a cold-blooded psychopath who has just escaped the penitentiary where he was serving a life sentence. Bent on revenge, he’s going back to where he began – Blewer County, Texas…

Born deaf, lately widowed, Anna Corbett fights to keep the ranch that is her son’s birthright, unaware that she is at the center of Herbold’s horrific scheme – and that her world of self-imposed isolation is about to explode…

Drifter Jack Sawyer arrives at Anna’s ranch asking for work, hoping to protect the innocent woman and her son from Herbold’s rage. But Sawyer can’t outrun the secrets that stalk him – or the day of reckoning awaiting them all…


Now that She's Gone

Notorious serial killer Brenda Nevins has cajoled, seduced, blackmailed, and left a trail of bodies all across Washington State. Now, after a daring prison escape, she is free to carry out her ultimate act of revenge. The targets: forensic pathologist Birdy Waterman and sheriff’s detective Kendall Stark. The pawn: a television psychic hungry for fame, ratings, and blood. There’s only one way to stop a killer as brutal, brilliant, and twisted as this: beat her at her own game

 


The GiftThe time is the 1950s, when life was simpler, people still believed in dreams, and family was, very nearly, everything. The place is a small midwestern town with a high school and a downtown, a skating pond and a movie house. And on a tree-lined street in the heartland of America, an extraordinary set of events begins to unfold. And gradually what seems serendipitous is tinged with purpose. A happy home is shattered by a child’s senseless death. A loving marriage starts to unravel. And a stranger arrives – a young woman who will touch many lives before she moves on. She and a young man will meet and fall in love. Their love, so innocent and full of hope, helps to restore a family’s dreams. And all of their lives will be changed forever by the precious gift she leaves them.

The Gift, Danielle Steel’s thirty-third best-selling work, is a magical story told with stunning simplicity and power. It reveals a relationship so moving it will take your breath away. And it tells a haunting and beautiful truth about the unpredictability – and the wonder – of life.

Meme, Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday – January 30, 2019

top 5 wednesday

So today I am participating in something totally new to me. I’m not entirely sure how I came across this, but I saw it late last week and decided it was something I would give a shot at!

January 30th: Freebie! …. Most Disappointing Reads of 2018

This was originally the January 16th prompt. I wasn’t even aware of this bookish meme on that date, and since this week was a freebie I thought it would be a great idea to start here! So without further ado … here are my Top 5 Most Disappointing Reads of 2018:

Seven Deadly WondersI was really looking forward to this one, but I had been kind of intimidated by it just because it was lengthier than I normally care for. And while I still think it would be a PERFECT movie, this one just didn’t work for me in book format. I believe in my review I likened it to an Indiana Jones movie – and I still stand by that. But ultimately it was a disappointment to me as far as a book goes.


Mallory's Oracle
This one was really frustrating. I disliked all the characters. The main character was just so cold I couldn’t stand it. I didn’t like the storyline. In fact I was really confused about how the killer ended up being the killer, it didn’t make sense for me. It just didn’t work for me at all.

 


Never Never
I’m a sucker for James Patterson books. They are usually my go-to slump breakers. But this one was just awful. I didn’t care for the setting or the storyline. I had the killer pegged WAY too early to be enjoyable. It was just not good at all. Bad, even. 😦

 


An American Marriage
This one was probably the biggest disappointment of 2018 for me. Not because it was a bad book. But because it wasn’t what I was hoping for. It wasn’t what it should have been, in my personal opinion. I just couldn’t help but think that this book could have been 1000 times better (for me) had it just been written a different way.


Hallowe'en Party
This one I picked up solely for a Goodreads challenge I was involved with. I had honestly never read an Agatha Christie novel before, and I’m not entirely sure this was the place for me to start. This one just didn’t work for me at all.