Monday, August 2, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. (the past two weeks)
Roast Mortem (Coffee House Mystery)
Here's what I got ~

Roast Mortem (Coffee House Mystery) by Cleo Coyle (ARC, Review) ~ The national bestselling author brews up another mystery-and this time, it's New York's Bravest that get burned.After local firefighters pull Clare out of a blazing café, she happily comes to their rescue by teaching them the finer points of operating their newly donated espresso machine. But matters really heat up when somebody is torching cafes around the city and firefighters begin to die in suspicious ways... Believing the two events are related, Clare investigates, staking out a five-borough bake sale and sniffing out clues in the pizza ovens of Brooklyn. When her detective boyfriend, Mike Quinn, is pulled into the fire of a false accusation, Clare is desperate to put out the flames. But will she be able to come to Mike's rescue before someone tries to extinguish her?  Release date: August 3rd

The Breaking of Eggs: A Novel The Breaking of Eggs: A Novel by Jim Powell (Review, giveaway) ~ A debut novel unwinds the tangle of twentieth-century history with wit, humor, and humanity 61-year-old Feliks is a naturalized Frenchman, a displaced Pole and former Communist-and a curmudgeon-who has made his living writing a yearly travel guide to the countries behind the Iron Curtain. In 1991, with the Curtain now fallen, Feliks finds his beliefs beginning to crumble around him. When a rapacious American publisher offers to buy out his life's work, Feliks must travel to the country he has long despised, and so begins the wry and moving tale of a man who awakens from self-imposed isolation into a changed world he must get to know all over again. So unfolds a story of family, war, politics, a second chance at love, and one man's quest for himself.

Fundraising the Dead (A Museum Mystery)Fundraising the Dead (A Museum Mystery)  by Sheila Connolly (ARC, review, giveaway) ~ At The Society for the Preservation of Pennsylvania Antiques, fundraiser Eleanor "Nell" Pratt solicits donations-and sometimes solves crimes. When a collection of George Washington's letters is lost on the same day that an archivist is found dead, it seems strange that the Society president isn't pushing for an investigation. Nell goes digging herself, and soon uncovers a long, rich history of crime.  Release date: October 5th.

Pictures of YouPictures of You by Caroline Leavitt (ARC, review) ~ A mysterious car crash on a deserted, foggy road brings three people together in a collision of their own:A photographer fleeing her philandering husband and consumed with guilt.An asthmatic boy with a terrible secret. A husband who realizes that he never really knew his wife.   Release date:  January 25th.

Simply from Scratch Simply from Scratch by Alice Bessette (Review, giveaway) ~  Alicia Bessette writes with compassion and tenderness to illuminate the many unexpected ways people save each others' lives every day-often without even knowing it. Poignant, bittersweet, and strikingly honest, Simply from Scratch is a radiant celebration of friendship and the strength of the human spirit. Rose-Ellen ("Zell") Carmichael Roy wears her late husband Nick's camouflage apron even when she's not in the kitchen. That's her widow style. It's been over a year since Nick died tragically during a post-Katrina relief mission in New Orleans. Long enough, according to the grief pamphlets, to have begun to move on with her life. But Zell is still unable to enter her attic, which is full of Nick memories. She hasn't even turned on her oven because cooking was Nick's chore. That is, until she decides to enter the first annual Desserts that Warm the Soul baking contest, hoping to donate the grand prize to Katrina survivors in Nick's memory.Meanwhile, Zell's nine-year-old neighbor, Ingrid Knox, is learning to cope with the loneliness of growing up without a mother. With an imagination as big as her heart, Ingrid treasures her doting father but begins to plot how she will meet the woman who abandoned her so many years ago. When an embarrassing baking mishap brings Zell and Ingrid together, they form an unlikely friendship that will alter both of their lives forever. Together, and with the help of a lively and loveable cast of friends and family, Zell and Ingrid embark on winning the Desserts that Warm the Soul contest - and learn that through the many sorrows and joys of life, with a little bit of flour and a pinch of love, anything is possible.  Release date:  August 5th

Scoop to Kill: A Mystery a La ModeScoop to Kill: A Mystery a La Mode by Wendy Lyn Watson (ARC, review, giveaway) ~  A sleuth sure to melt readers' hearts-from the author of I Scream, You Scream. During the local college's annual Honor's Day festivities, a graduate student is killed. When the English professor suspected of his murder also meets an untimely end, Tallulah Jones steps out from behind the counter of Remember the a-la-Mode to clear the professor's name-before anyone else gets put on ice...Release date:  September 7th.

Red Star Rising: A ThrillerRed Star Rising: A Thriller  by Brian Freemantle (review) ~ The body of a murdered, tortured Russian has been found in Moscow. Sadly, this isn't unusual. But unlike most corpses, this one has been found on the lawn of the British Embassy. London sends special agent Charlie Muffin to investigate. It's been years since he last came to Russia, but he finds that little has changed in the post-Soviet era. The espionage performed by Russian, British, and American spies continues unabated. While trying to ferret out the identities of the killers, Charlie faces down greater dangers that threaten to throw foreign relations between the world powers into turmoil. Red Star Rising is an intriguing update on the classic spy thriller, set in a modern-day Russia where the only thing that has changed about the KGB is its name. Release date: August 3rd

The Immortals (Taylor Jackson)The Immortals (Taylor Jackson)  by J.T. Ellison (ARC, review) ~ It is Samhain — the Blood Harvest. Nonbelievers call it Hallowe’en. The night when eight Nashville teenagers are found dead, with occult symbols carved into their naked bodies. It’s a ritual the killers believe was blessed by Death himself.When children are victimized, emotions always run high, and this case has the public both outraged and terrified: a dangerous combination. Recently reinstated homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson knows she has to act quickly, but tread carefully.Exploring the baffling culture of mysticism and witchcraft, Taylor is immersed in a darkness that threatens to unbalance the order of her world, and learns how unchecked wrath can push a killer to his limits.  Release date:  October 1st.

Body HeatBody Heat by Brenda Novak (ARC, review) ~ Twelve people have been shot at point-blank range and left to rot in the desert sun. It's Sophia St. Claire's job to do something about it. She's Bordertown, Arizona's new chief of police—and she's out of her depth.Help arrives in the form of Department 6 hired gun Roderick Guerrero. As far as Sophia's concerned, his involvement only makes things worse. Maybe he's managed to turn his life around. And maybe he's a good investigator. But as the bastard son of a wealthy local rancher, he has a history he can't get past. A history that includes her.Rod refuses to leave town until the killer is caught. He's not worried about the danger posed by some vigilante. It's Sophia who threatens him. Because he's used to risking his life—but his heart is another story.  Release date:  August 31st.

Kiss Me, Kill MeKiss Me, Kill Me by Maggie Shayne (ARC, review) ~ A long-ago act of kindness to a desperate woman changed Dr. Carrie Overton's life forever. Before disappearing, the grateful stranger had given Carrie her newborn son. When the woman is murdered, the secret becomes Carrie's alone.She has kept both it and her son, Sam, safe for sixteen years. But now a friend of Sam's has gone missing. The police believe he's a runaway—until he's found dead. Then another teen disappears, and talk turns to that long-ago murder.Newcomer Gabriel Cain is asking too many questions, befriending Sam, getting too close. Carrie distrusts him even as she finds herself falling for him. But Gabriel has secrets, too….Is it time for the lying to end? Release date:  August 31st.

Killer HeatKiller Heat by Brenda Novak  (ARC, review) ~ Too hot to handle….The bodies of seven women have been discovered in Skull Valley, Arizona. Jonah Young, a private security operative from Department 6, has been hired by the Yavapai County Sheriff to assist in solving these murders.  But Jonah’s not prepared for the complications that arise when he’s forced to work with a woman from his past, private investigator Francesca Moretti.Jonah betrayed Francesca ten years ago. She hasn’t forgiven him and she’s pretty sure she never will. But the woman she was hired to find has been murdered in exactly the same way as the seven in Skull Valley, so like it or not, Francesca has to work with Jonah. They quickly zero in on the most likely suspect--but questions remain. Questions they have to answer. Because if they bet on the wrong man, it might be the last thing they ever do…Release date:  September 28th

Kill Me Again (Secrets of Shadow Falls)Kill Me Again (Secrets of Shadow Falls) by Maggie Shayne (ARC, review) ~ I'm not who they say I am.Trust me. But can she?Reclusive novelist Aaron Westhaven, a man she's admired—and more—for years, has accepted Olivia Dupree's invitation to speak at a local fundraiser. But the day he's due to arrive, she gets a call summoning her to the bedside of a John Doe whose sole possession is her business card.
Can this undeniably compelling man—survivor of an execution-style gunshot wound—really be the novelist the lonely Olivia has grown to think of as a near soul mate? If not, he can be in Shadow Falls for only one reason: to kill her.Olivia, too, has secrets. And discovering the truth about the man in the hospital bed means dredging up her own past—a past she's been hiding from for sixteen years.

Dead Lift: An Emily Locke Mystery  by Rachel Brady ~ (ARC, Review) Single mom Emily Locke is building a new life with her daughter. Hoping to spend more time at home, she’s put her career on hold to work part-time for her private investigator friend, Richard Cole. It’s a nice balance between work and family until Emily finds out she’s been working for the attorney that defended her husband’s killer.The discovery nearly destroys her friendship with Richard, but Emily resists abandoning his client, the socialite Claire Gaston, who awaits trial for the murder of a local plastic surgeon. The threat of losing her children to a self-serving ex-husband terrifies Claire more than the specter of a life behind bars. Sympathetic to a mother’s fears and unconvinced of Claire’s guilt, Emily resolves to stick with the case despite her growing concerns about Richard and the dubious attorney who hired him.A mysterious note leads her into a daring undercover ruse at a high brow ladies health club.  Impervious to fashion trends, disinterested in beauty treatments, Emily fakes conformity with Houston’s elite debutantes and trophy wives in a surreal fitness subculture where things, and people, are seldom what they seem. At this gym, “killer workout” has a whole new meaning.  Release date:  December 7th

A Brisket, A Casket: A Deadly Deli Mystery by Delia Rosen (ARC, review) ~
A Brisket, A Casket: A Deadly Deli MysteryGwen (nee Katz) Silver heard the brisket at her uncle-s Jewish deli, Murray the Pastrami Swami-the only one of its kind in Nashville, Tennessee-was -to die for.- But she didn-t realize that meant literally-When Gwen learns she-s inherited Murray-s, the native New Yorker leaves her chaotic career and messy divorce behind to start over in Nashville. But the venture seems doomed from the start. Murray-s taken his recipes and secret list of food suppliers to the grave with him, and ruthless real estate developer Royce Sinclair will stop at nothing to try and sandwich Murray-s into his already overstuffed portfolio. Then, on Kosher Karaoke Night, longtime customer Buster Sergeant bites into his brisket-and bites the dust. The coroner says food poisoning, but Gwen-s not convinced. Now, with the help of hunky police detective Beau McClintock, -Nashville Katz--as Gwen is quickly nicknamed-will find herself adding -private investigator- to her resume-and a new love to her life.  Release date:  October 1st. 

Fatally Frosted: A Donut Shop Mystery (Donut Shop Mysteries)Fatally Frosted: A Donut Shop Mystery (Donut Shop Mysteries) by Jessica Beck (ARC, review) ~  A local busy body has dropped dead after eating one of Suzanne’s famous treats. A forensic team is soon swarming through the Donut Hearts kitchen, dusting for clues, sifting through sugar, and suspecting the worst of Suzanne. But with the help of police inspector Jake Bishop and her ex-husband Max, Suzanne hopes to clear her good name—before another bad donut is fatally frosted…Release date: August 3rd.

The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather: A NovelThe Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather: A Novel by Alexandra Potter (review) ~ At age thirty-one, American Charlotte Merryweather has spent ten years in London pursuing personal and professional perfection. Yet her present-day success- heading her own PR company, owning a gorgeous apartment, planning a future with her devoted boyfriend- only heightens the shock of a visit from the past. "Lottie," Charlotte's twenty-one-year-old self, drives onto the scene at the wheel of a rusty, orange Volkswagen Beetle identical to Charlotte's first UK ride. Charlotte pursues a friendship aimed to bestow upon Lottie a decade of wisdom. Yet Charlotte's prosperous polish proves a pale substitute for Lottie's innate, youthful graces- openness, passion, and kindness. Will the student become the teacher in this witty turnabout? The clever plotting and winning characterization that made Me and Mr. Darcy a bestseller are on full display in these pages. 

How to Buy a Love of ReadingHow to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson (Review) ~ A playful, witty, and remarkably accomplished debut novel about how reading can save your life. Asked to name her favorite book, sixteen-year-old Carley Wells answers, "never met one I liked." Her parents are horrified and decide to commission a book to be written just for her. They will be the Medicis of Long Island and buy their daughter The Love of Reading. At first, Carley's sole interest in the project is to distract Hunter, the young bibliophile she adores. But as Hunter's behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Carley begins to understand the importance of stories-and how they are powerful enough to destroy a person. Or save her. Tanya Egan Gibson's debut novel is an irresistible work of metafiction that dazzlingly embeds a book within the book, and boasts an unforgettably fresh narrator whose journey towards embracing literature will make you fall in love with reading all over again.

Trust: A Novel
Trust: A Novel by Kate Veitch (Review) ~ An international bestselling novelist asks: What does it take to be a good woman and - what does it take from you? Susanna Greenfield has given her all to being a good daughter, sister, wife, and mother. Somehow, she's maintained her profession as a college art teacher, as well as rearing two headstrong teenagers and nurturing a twenty-year marriage to Gerry, a confident, ambitious architect. She's also the eternal peacemaker between her pretty younger sister Angie, former junkie turned born-again Christian, and their strong- willed mother, Jean. Just when Susanna is struggling to revive her creative career, a devastating accident rips apart the fabric of her world, exposing secrets which threaten to destroy both a marriage, and a life. Plumbing the rich emotional vocabulary of faith and betrayal, loyalty and forgiveness, Trust is the story of a woman's challenge to find her self.  

Some Girls: My Life in a HaremSome Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren (Review) ~ A jaw-dropping story of how a girl from the suburbs ends up in a prince's harem, and emerges from the secret Xanadu both richer and wiser. At eighteen, Jillian Lauren was an NYU theater school dropout with a tip about an upcoming audition. The "casting director" told her that a rich businessman in Singapore would pay pretty American girls $20,000 if they stayed for two weeks to spice up his parties. Soon, Jillian was on a plane to Borneo, where she would spend the next eighteen months in the harem of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, youngest brother of the Sultan of Brunei, leaving behind her gritty East Village apartment for a palace with rugs laced with gold and trading her band of artist friends for a coterie of backstabbing beauties. More than just a sexy read set in an exotic land, Some Girls is also the story of how a rebellious teen found herself-and the courage to meet her birth mother and eventually adopt a baby boy. 

The Bride's FarewellThe Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff (Review) ~ A tender and magical tale from an award-winning, international bestselling novelist Pell Ridley, daughter of a good-for-nothing preacher in mid-nineteenth century England, has watched her mother crushed by the burden of too many children and too little money. Unwilling to repeat her fate, Pell runs away on her wedding day taking only her beautiful, white horse. But, as she journeys through a strange world of gypsies in search of a new life, Pell finds that her ties to home refuse to release her. Like the works of Philip Pullman and Sue Monk Kidd, The Bride's Farewell will resonate with readers of all ages as it grapples with timeless questions of how to live, how to love, and how to be true to one's self.

The Butterflies of Grand Canyon: A Novel  by Margaret Erhart (Review) ~

The Butterflies of Grand Canyon: A NovelSet against the backdrop of the brooding and sensual canyon, a young woman's heart awakens and a decades-old mystery is solved. When Jane Merkle arrives in the tiny town of Flagstaff, Arizona, with her much older husband on a summer day in 1951, she hasn't any idea that her life is about to change forever. After all, one of Jane's favorite sayings is "When in Rome, remember that you're from St . Louis." But over a summer spent with her sister-in-law, Dotty, and Dotty's lepidopterist husband, Oliver, in a village perched on the rim of the Grand Canyon, Jane discovers her latent ability with a butterfly net and her attraction to a handsome young ranger. Meanwhile, an unidentified skeleton is found on the premises of one of the village's most cantankerous citizens. With the help-and hindrance-of a colorful cast of historical characters, including an eccentric botanist who moonlights as an amateur sleuth, the murder mystery that has haunted the town for years is solved. In her latest novel, set in the quintessential landscape of the Southwest, Margaret Erhart weaves history, science, and an intimate knowledge of the human heart to tell a fast-paced tale. 
The Sixth Surrender: A NovelThe Sixth Surrender: A Novel  by Hana Samek Norton (Review) ~ A transporting debut novel set in thirteenth century France-a time when chivalry reigned and treachery ruled. In the last years of her eventful life, queen-duchess Aliénor of Aquitaine launches a deadly dynastic chess game to safeguard the crowns of Normandy and England for John Plantagenet, her last surviving son. To that end, Aliénor coerces into matrimony two pawns-Juliana de Charnais, a plain and pious novice determined to regain her inheritance, and Guérin de lasalle, a cynical, war-worn mercenary equally resolved to renounce his. The womanizing Lasalle and the proud Juliana are perfectly matched for battle not love-until spies and assassins conspire to reverse their romantic fortunes. Populated by spirited and intelligent women and executed in flawless period detail, The Sixth Surrender is a compelling love story that heralds the arrival of a major new talent in historical fiction.
Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict  by Laurie Viera Rigler (Review) ~ The time-bending parallel tale to the national bestseller Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. In Laurie Viera Rigler's first novel, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, twenty­first-century Austen fan Courtney Stone found herself in Regency England occupying the body of one Jane Mansfield- with comic and romantic consequences. Now, in Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, Jane Mansfield awakens in the urban madness of twenty-first-century L.A.-in Courtney's body. With no knowledge of Courtney's life, let alone her world-with its horseless carriages and shiny glass box in which tiny figures act out her favorite book, Pride and Prejudice-Jane is over her head. Especially when she falls for a handsome young gentleman. Can a girl from Regency England make sense of a world in which kissing and flirting and even the sexual act raise no matrimonial expectations?
Confessions of a Jane Austen AddictConfessions of a Jane Austen Addict  by Laurie Viera Rigler (Review) ~ After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy? Not only is Courtney stuck in another woman’s life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. But not even her level of Austen mania has prepared Courtney for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperones, condom-less seducers, and marriages of convenience. This looking-glass Austen world is not without its charms, however. There are journeys to Bath and London, balls in the Assembly Rooms, and the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, who may not be a familiar species of philanderer after all. But when Courtney’s borrowed brain serves up memories that are not her own, the ultimate identity crisis ensues. Will she ever get her real life back, and does she even want to? 
The House on Teacher's Lane: A Memoir of Home, Healing, and Love's Hardest QuestionsThe House on Teacher's Lane: A Memoir of Home, Healing, and Love's Hardest Questions  by Rachel Simon (Review) ~ The bestselling author of Riding the Bus with My Sister shares an illuminating and beautifully woven memoir about the unexpected ways a home renovation can repair a heart When Rachel Simon and her architect husband begin to renovate their house on Teacher's Lane, she braces herself for the ups and downs that often accompany such projects. But to her surprise, as the old walls fall and new paint appears, she is propelled into a transformative journey as she confronts forgotten memories and repairs fractured bonds with those closest to her. This compassionate and humorous book shimmers with insights into the healing power of forgiveness, the struggle to find meaning and purpose, the compatibility of imperfection and happiness, and the ways that lost relationships-with friends, parents, siblings, spouse, and even self-can be rekindled. Fans of Riding the Bus with My Sister and new readers alike will be drawn to Simon's masterful storytelling and profoundly life- affirming tale. Her story will resonate with anyone who's ever experienced the most universal human emotion-love, in its many forms- and wrestled with its hardest questions.

"The desert air can do funny things to a person, and soon this respectable woman falls in love with another man. It all feels like an E.M. Forster novel, but set in the scenic American West." -Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

"In this deceptively gentle, wise novel, Margaret Erhart, who's been compared to Faulkner and Austen, somehow channels Ngaio Marsh and Vladimir Nabokov as well. With collecting net and heart in hand, she and her characters snare some beautiful mysteries." -Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us

"Contrasting the puritan restraint of the fifties and the savored sensuality of the American West, The Butterflies of Grand Canyon creates a wonderful new genre that exemplifies the readability of a mystery with the acute eye and true voice of literary fiction." -Craig Johnson, author of Another Man's Moccasins and The Dark Horse

"[Erhart] so vividly evokes the beauty, majesty, and purity of the land around the Grand Canyon that she made me want to go back there for the first time in twenty years." -Eric Simonoff, author of Sleepaway

"Like white wine picnics in films, and the music of Sade pretty much anywhere, if you stumble on lepidopterists (butterfly enthusiasts) in a novel it's a sure sign things are going to get steamy." -John Freeman, literary critic