Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.
Separate Beds: A Novel by Elizabeth Buchan (Review/Guest Post/Giveaway) ~ Tom and Annie's children have grown up, the mortgage is do-
able and they're about to get kitchen make- over. Life is good- or so it seems. Beneath the veneer of professional success and domestic security, their marriage is crumbling, eaten away by years of resentment, loneliness, and misunderstandings, and they've settled into simply being two strangers living under the same roof. Until the economy falls apart, and suddenly their lives are upended when Tom loses his job. As their world shrinks, Tom and Annie are forced closer together. For the first time in years, their home is filled with people, conversation, tears - and laughter. Is it possible, they ask themselves, to start again? Release date Jan 20th
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat: A Magical Cats Mystery by Sofie Kelly (Review) ~ When librarian Kathleen Paulson moved to Mayville Heights, Minnesota, she had no idea that two strays would nuzzle their way into her life. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a stocky tuxedo cat who shares Kathleen's fondness for Barry Manilow. But beyond all the fur and purrs, there's something more to these felines. When murder interrupts Mayville's Music Festival, Kathleen finds herself the prime suspect. More stunning is her realization that Owen and Hercules are magical-and she's relying on their skills to solve a purr-fect murder. Release date Feb 1st
Shot Through Velvet: A Crime of Fashion Mystery by Ellen Byerrum (Review) ~ Fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian is touring a failing velvet factory in Virginia on its final day of operations-and finds one of the factory owners dead, lashed to a spool of velvet and soaked in blue dye. The workers are delighted, since they blamed the "Blue Devil" for killing their jobs. But when another nickname, the "Velvet Avenger", makes the rounds, and ribbons of blue velvet start popping up, it could be more than Lacey's job at stake-it could be her life... Release date Feb 1st
Stitch Me Deadly: An Embroidery Mystery by Amanda Lee (Review) ~ Maggie Singer owns The Seven Year Stitch, an embroidery specialty shop in the small town of Tallulah Falls, Oregon. Trouble strikes when an elderly woman brings an antique piece of embroidery into the shop-and promptly dies of unnatural causes. Now Marcy has to stitch together clues to catch a crafty killer. Release date Feb 1st
Save as Draft by Cavanaugh Lee (Galleygrab) @Readers CTRL + ♥ + DLT your way into Cavanaugh Lee's SAVE AS DRAFT, a novel evolving over emails, texts, and Facebook messages that makes you wonder if the things we leave unsaid—or rather unsent—could change the story of our lives. 6:59 PM Feb. 1st via twitterfeed Release date Feb 1st
Daughters-in-Law by Joanna Trollope (Galleygrab) ~ Rachel has always loved being at the centre of her large family. She has fiercely devoted herself to her three sons all their lives,and continues to do so even now they are all grown up. They are, of course, devoted to her – she and Anthony, their father, hold the family together at their big, beautiful, ramshackle house near the wide, bird-haunted coast of Suffolk. But when Luke, her youngest, gets married, Rachel finds that control is slipping away. Other people seem to be becoming more important to her children than she is, and she can no longer rely on her role as undisputed matriarch. A power struggle develops which can only end in unhappiness; her three daughters-in-law want to do things their own way, and so, to her grief, do her sons... Release date April 5th
Fatal Error: A Novel (Alison Reynolds) by J.A. Jance (Galleygrab) ~ Ali Reynolds begins the summer thinking her most difficult challenge will be surviving a six-week- long course as the lone forty-something female at the Arizona Police Academy—not to mention taking over the 6:00 AM shift at her family’s restaurant while her parents enjoy a long overdue Caribbean cruise. However, when Brenda Riley, a colleague from Ali’s old news broadcasting days in California, shows up in town with an alcohol problem and an unlikely story about a missing fiancé, Ali reluctantly agrees to help. The man posing as Brenda’s fiancé is revealed to be Richard Lowensdale, a cyber-sociopath who has left a trail of broken hearts in his virtual wake. When he is viciously murdered, the women he once victimized are considered suspects. The police soon focus their investigation on Brenda, who is already known to have broken into Richard’s home and computer before vanishing without a trace. Attempting to clear her friend’s name, Ali is quickly drawn into a web of online intrigue that may lead to a real-world fatal error. Release date Feb 1st
Now You See Her by Joy Fielding (Galleygrab) ~ Fifty-year-old Marcy Taggart’s life is in shambles. Two years ago, her twenty-one-year-old daughter, Devon, perished in a canoeing accident. Her body was never found in the icy waters of Georgian Bay, and as a result Marcy has never fully accepted her death. She continues to see the young woman’s face in crowds and has even stopped strangers on the street, certain she has finally discovered her long lost daughter. Now in Ireland, on what was originally intended to be a celebration of her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary—if, that is, her husband had not left her for another woman—Marcy yet again thinks she sees her daughter, casually strolling past her on the sidewalk. So begins Marcy’s desperate search to find Devon, to find herself, and to find the disturbing truth that might, in the end, be her only salvation. Release date Feb 22nd.
The Bird House: A Novel by Kelly Simmons (Galleygrab) ~ Simmons (Standing Still) smoothly shifts between past and present in her complex and poignant second novel, told from the point of view of a courageous woman suffering from dementia. Ann Biddle, a venerable Main Line lady, may have trouble remembering current dates and times, but she clearly remembers the details of her daughter's death, her troubled marriage, and the man who has always truly loved her. When a school project gives Ann the opportunity to spend time with her eight-year-old granddaughter, Ellie, Ann is determined not to allow Tinsley, her controlling daughter-in-law, to sabotage their burgeoning relationship, even if it means a little extortion. By the end, Ann can declare: "We had our own constitution now, our little family, built on a solid foundation of lies, secrets, regrets, and debts. But even dark underpinnings can support something solid and light, can they not?" Enthralled readers will agree. Release date Feb 1st
The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry ~ After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna's soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning ("do no let her…") before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish. A haunted kitchen isn't Ginny's only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka "Demanda") insists on selling their parents' house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents' belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn't sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn't know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father's photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there's only one way to get answers: cook from dead people's recipes, raise their ghosts, and ask them. Release date April 12th
Skipping a Beat: A Novel by Sarah Pekkanen (Galleygrab) ~ What would you do if your husband wanted to rewrite the rules of your relationship? Julia Dunhill, a thirty-something party planner, seems to have it all: Married to her high school sweetheart and living in a gorgeous home in Washington D.C., she imagines her future unfolding very much as it has for the past few years, since she and her husband Michael successfully launched their companies. There will be dinner parties to attend, operas to dress up for, and weddings and benefits to organize for her growing list of clients. There will be shopping sprees with her best friend, Isabelle, and inevitably those last five pounds to shed. In her darker moments, she worries that her marriage has dissolved from a true partnership into a façade, but she convinces herself it’s due to the intensity of their careers and fast-paced lifestyle. So as she arranges the molten chocolate cupcakes for the annual Opera benefit, how can she know that her carefully-constructed world is about to fall apart? That her husband will stand up from the head of the table in his company’s boardroom, open his mouth to speak, and crash to the carpeted floor… all in the amount of time it will take her to walk across a ballroom floor just a few miles away. Four minutes and eight seconds after his cardiac arrest, a portable defibrillator jump-starts Michael’s heart. But in those lost minutes he becomes a different man, with an altered perspective on the rarified life they’ve been living and a determination to regain the true intimacy they once shared. Now it is up to Julia to decide — is it worth upending her comfortable world to try to find her way back to the husband she once adored, or should she walk away from this new Michael, who truthfully became a stranger to her long before his change of heart? Release date Feb 22nd.
Mothers and Daughters: A Novel by Rae Meadows (ARC) ~ A rich and luminous novel about three generations of women in one family: the love they share, the dreams they refuse to surrender, and the secrets they hold. Samantha is lost in the joys of new motherhood—the softness of her eight-month-old daughter's skin, the lovely weight of her child in her arms—but in trading her artistic dreams to care for her child, Sam worries she's lost something of herself. And she is still mourning another loss: her mother, Iris, died just one year ago. When a box of Iris's belongings arrives on Sam's doorstep, she discovers links to pieces of her family history but is puzzled by much of the information the box contains. She learns that her grandmother Violet left New York City as an eleven-year-old girl, traveling by herself to the Midwest in search of a better life. But what was Violet's real reason for leaving? And how could she have made that trip alone at such a tender age? In confronting secrets from her family's past, Sam comes to terms with deep secrets from her own. Moving back and forth in time between the stories of Sam, Violet, and Iris, Mothers and Daughters is the spellbinding tale of three remarkable women connected across a century by the complex wonder of motherhood. Release date March 26th
Original Sin: A Sally Sin Adventure by Beth McMullen (Netgalley) ~ Seeing Lucy Hamilton, you would think she is just like any other suburban stay-at-home San Francisco mom. She takes her three-year-old son Theo to the beach, playground, and the zoo. She makes organic applesauce, folds laundry, and plays on the floor with Matchbox cars until her knees ache. What no one knows about Lucy, not even her adoring husband Will, is that for nine years she was known as Sally Sin, a spy for the USAWMD (United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction). And that’s just the way Lucy wants to keep it – a secret. Ian Blackford, a notorious illegal arms dealer and Lucy’s long-forgotten nemesis, returns to the USAWMD’s radar, and they are forced to call Lucy back to action to lure Blackford out into the open. As she races to unravel the mystery that surrounds Blackford’s return (and get dinner on the table), she realizes that the answers she needs lie in a past that she’s tried very hard to forget. In a race against time, Lucy must fight to save herself, her family – and, oh yes – the world. Release date July 12th
Sweet Jiminy by Kristen Gore (Netgalley) ~ From New York Times bestselling author Kristin Gore, comes a suspenseful new novel set in Mississippi that deftly explores race, family, and an unsolved murder. In the throes of a quarter-life crisis, Jiminy Davis abruptly quits law school and flees Chicago for her grandmother Willa's farm in rural Mississippi. In search of peace and quiet, Jiminy instead stumbles upon more trouble and turmoil than she ever knew existed. She is shocked to discover there was once another Jiminy - the daughter of her grandmother's longtime housekeeper, Lyn - who was murdered along with Lyn's husband four decades earlier in a civil rights-era hate crime. With the help of Lyn's nephew Bo, Jiminy sets out to solve the long-ago murder, to the dismay of those who would prefer to let sleeping dogs lie. In Sweet Jiminy, readers will find a lively and compelling story filled with authentic and genuine Southern characters. Release date April 26th
The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon (Netgalley) ~ When beautiful but aloof Claire Harkness is found dead in her dorm room one spring morning, prestigious Armitage Academy is shaken to its core. Everyone connected to the school, and to Claire, find their lives upended, from the local police detective who has a personal history with the academy, to the various faculty and staff whose lives are immersed in the daily rituals associated with it. Everyone wants to know how Claire died, at whose hands, and more importantly, where the baby that she recently gave birth to is - a baby almost no one, except a small group of girls in her innermost cricle, knew she was carrying.At the center of the investigation is Madeline Christopher, an intern in the English Department who is forced to exame the nature of the relationship between the school's students and the adults meant to guide them. As the case unravels, the dark intricacies of adolescent privilege at a powerful institution are exposed, and both teachers and students emerge as suspects as the novel rushes to its thrilling conclusion.With The Twisted Thread, Charlotte Bacon has crafted a gripping and suspenseful story in the tradition of Donna Tartt's The Secret History, one that pulls back the curtain on the lives of the young and privileged. Release date June 14th