Sunday, August 30, 2009

Book review: Time of the Witches by Anna Myers

Time of the Witches by Anna Myers (Published by Walker Books, September 15, 2009)

Drucilla and her best friend, Gabe, were born in the same house on the same cold, dark January night in Salem Village. Dru’s mother died giving birth to her, and her father died soon after, leaving Dru to be raised by Gabe’s parents. When Gabe’s parents also died a few years later, the two children, who are as close as siblings, lived together in various foster homes until the year they turn twelve, when they are separated for the first time. Dru goes to live in the home of Thomas and Ann Putman, while Gabe goes to live with Mary Putnam, Thomas’s stepmother, whom Ann dislikes because she believes Thomas‘s stepmother and half-brother cheated him out of some of his inheritance. Ann Putnam, Dru’s new adoptive mother, is a very strange and moody woman who at times spreads viscous lies and at other times weeps hysterically. However, Dru pities her because of Ann’s great grief over the loss of several of her newborn babies.

Three years pass, in which Dru and Gabe remain friends despite the feud between their two households, and even begin to develop deeper feelings for each other. Despite Mistress Putnam’s strangeness, and the coldness of the oldest Putnam child, also named Ann, Dru loves caring for the younger Putnam children and is mostly content with her life. But the year 1692 changes all that. Hysteria comes to Salem Village, as young Ann Putnam and several other girls accuse many of the townspeople of being witches. Not wanting to turn her back on her adoptive family, Dru herself is drawn into the hysteria, but when she risks losing Gabe forever, she must find a way to end it all and bring order back to Salem Village.

Time of the Witches is an excellent young adult novel that brings to life the Salem Witch Trials through the eyes of a girl caught in the middle and torn between conflicting loyalties. Anna Myers does an excellent job of showing just how hysteria overcame reason for so many people during the trials, leading them to turn on their neighbors just on the word of a few children. Readers who enjoy young adult historical fiction or who have a particular interest in the Salem Witch Trials are sure to enjoy this novel.

Book review: Breathe by Lisa T. Bergren

The Homeward Trilogy Book One: Breathe - A Novel of Colorado by Lisa T. Bergren (Published by David C. Cook, June 1, 2009)

In 19th century Philadelphia, having already lost his wife and four of his children, Odessa's father decides to send his daughter, who is suffering from consumption, and her brother and sister out west to Colorado, hoping a sanitarium there will be able to cure her. The three adult siblings settle in Colorado Springs, where they find adventure, mystery, and romance.

The main focus is on Odessa, and her experiences as she tries to recover at the sanitarium. When a patient is attacked, she finds herself in danger because she may have heard a murder take place. She also finds love and begins to heal from her illness. There are also subplots involving her brother, Dominic, and sister, Moira, who I hope we will see more of in the rest of the trilogy.

Breathe was an interesting historical novel with a unique plot for a book set in the Old West - a murder mystery set in a sanitarium. It is published by a Christian publisher, but I didn't find the book to be preachy at all. There is no graphic sex or violence, which makes the book appropriate for teens as well as adults. I would recommend this book to readers who like western romances without a lot of graphic content.

Book review: Ghost Huntress: The Awakening by Marley Gibson

Ghost Huntress: The Awakening by Marley Gibson (Published by Houghton Mifflin, May 4, 2009)

Sixteen-year-old Kendall Moorehead experiences many big changes when she moves from the big city of Chicago to the small southern town of Radisson, Georgia. However, adjusting to life in a rural town turns out not to be anywhere near the biggest change in Kendall's life, when she begins to sense something strange about her new home.

Kendall never believed in the paranormal before, but she suspects her new house is haunted, a suspicion that turns out to be correct. With the help of her newly discovered psychic powers, Kendall and her friends at school, who also have an interest in the paranormal, form a "ghost hunting" team. Somewhat unrealistically, the teens have enough money to buy a lot of high-tech gadgets to help them on their adventures, thanks to a wealthy friend.

This book is a quick and fairly enjoyable read that should appeal to teen readers who have an interest in the paranormal. However, it's not an exceptional book - there's nothing really wrong with it, but I didn't think it was anything special. I also thought it had rather excessive product placement, which may make it seem dated fairly soon. But for readers who can't get enough of teen paranormal fiction, it's a quick and entertaining enough read, and teens may not be as picky about some of the things that bothered me as an adult reader of young adult fiction.

Book review: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams (Published by St. Martin's Griffin, May 12, 2009)

Growing up in an isolated polygamist community, thirteen-year-old Kyra never questioned much about her life. She accepted her father's three wives and her many siblings, the isolation of her life, and that the Prophet's word is law. She rebelled in small ways - sneaking out to visit the book-mobile so she could read books and learn about the outside world, and meeting with a boy she likes.

However, Kyra's acceptance of her life changes when the Prophet declares that she must become the seventh wife of her sixty-year-old uncle. Though she has been raised to obey the Prophet, Kyra cannot imagine accepting this fate. When she dares to defy the Prophet, she faces terrible consequences. Can Kyra find a way to escape?

The Chosen One is a unique and thrilling young adult novel. I haven't read anything like it before and I usually don't read realistic contemporary fiction and prefer fantasy and historical fiction, so I wasn't sure how I would like it. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find the book gripping and hard to put down. Even though Kyra's life is very different than that of most teens today, teen readers will relate to Kyra's desire to decide her future for herself. I highly recommend this novel. Even if you don't usually read this sort of book, you may really like it, just as I did.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

In My Mailbox - 8/29/09

Credit goes to The Story Siren for thinking up the In My Mailbox feature.

Here are the new books I bought or received this week. Several of these are books I had really wanted, so I'm pretty excited!

Leigh Ann's Civil War by Ann Rinaldi

Leigh Ann Conners is spunky and determined. Although she often finds herself in trouble, she loves her two older brothers dearly and would do anything to make them proud.
When the Yankees arrive in Roswell, Georgia, Leigh Ann places a French flag upon the family’s mill. She hopes the Yankees will then spare the mill from destruction, but her actions have disastrous results. Sent north with the women and children who worked in the mill—all branded traitors for making fabric for Confederate uniforms—Leigh Ann embarks on a journey that requires her to find her own inner strength. Only then will she be able to rise above the war raging around her.

The Bride Backfire by Kelly Eileen Hake

Opal Speck knows good and well that the longstanding feud between her family and Grogans makes for volatile relations. So when Adam Grogan-the man who'd saved her life two years ago - comes chasing after a stray cow on Speck property, there's no way her family will forgive him for his trespassin'. Desperate to keep bloodshed at bay, Opal blurts out the one declaration she knows will stop them in their tracks: Adam's the father of her unborn child! Even as she prays for forgiveness for the falsehood, Adam has two choices: deny any involvement with Opal and die at the hands of her family, or accept the slur to his name and marry a gal who's trying to pass off another man's child as his! Can a shotgun wedding be the way God will end the hatred between these two feuding families? Or will its repercussions fuel an already blazing animosity?

Panama by Shelby Hiatt

At fifteen, a girl moves from a small town in Ohio to Panama while her father takes part in building the Panama Canal. This trip comes just at the right time for her. She yearns to see more of the world than her small mid-western town has to offer. She wants to meet new people. Visit exciting places. Panama with its lush rainforests and myriad of people is the perfect place for her desires to be fulfilled. Then she meets Frederico, a Spanish aristocrat who is working as a digger, one of the masses who toils daily in the heat and the dust and the danger of the canal. He embodies everything she's looking for: he's exotic, exciting, intelligent and pushes her beyond the limits her sequestered life has set for her. They begin a romance and he awakens her body as well as her soul.

A Golden Web by Barbara Quick

Alessandra is desperate to escape—from her stepmother, who’s locked her away for a year; from the cloister that awaits her if she refuses the marriage plans that have been made for her; from the expectations that limit her and every other girl in fourteenth-century Italy. There’s no tolerance in her village for her keen intelligence and her unconventional ideas.
In defiant pursuit of her dreams, Alessandra undertakes an audacious quest, her bravery equaled only by the dangers she faces. Disguised and alone in a city of spies and scholars, Alessandra will find a love she could not foresee—and an enduring fame.
In this exquisite imagining of the centuries-old story of Alessandra Giliani, the world’s first female anatomist, distinguished novelist Barbara Quick gives readers the drama, romance, and rich historical detail for which she is known as she shines a light on an unforgotten—and unforgettable—heroine.

Avalon High Coronation: Hunter's Moon by Meg Cabot

The exciting conclusion to Meg Cabot's magical Arthurian manga!
Ellie has only one day left to get her boyfriend Will to truly believe he's the reincarnation of King Arthur, or the world will plunge into eternal darkness. But Will refuses to believe her! Meanwhile, the upcoming Homecoming game and dance have everyone distracted, especially Ellie. Some people aren't too happy about her Homecoming Queen nomination and are determined to cause trouble. Ellie's got to save her reputation and the world before the new moon on the night of Homecoming brings them all to a dangerous crossroad. If Ellie can't convince Will of his destiny, the world may never recover. . . .
This manga series of Arthurian legend and high school romance comes to a thrilling climax in this final volume. And just remember—anything can happen if you believe!

Fields of Grace by Kim Vogel Sawyer

With their eldest son nearly to the age when he will be drafted into military service, Reinhardt and Lillian Vogt decide to immigrate to America, the land of liberty, with their three sons and Reinhardt's adopted brother, Eli. But when tragedy strikes during the voyage, Lillian and Eli are forced into an agreement neither desires. Determined to fulfill his obligation to Reinhardt, Eli plans to see Lillian and her sons safely settled on their Kansas homestead—and he's equally determined that the boys will be reared in the Mennonite faith. What he doesn't expect is his growing affection for Lillian—and the deep desire to be part of a family.

The Betrayal by Mary Hooper

In this final volume, Lucy is asked to continue her work on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I. And her romance with Tomas, the queen’s fool, seems to be flourishing – or it is until Mistress Juliette, the new lady-in-waiting, arrives and Tomas pays her far too much attention for Lucy’s liking. But then Lucy realises that Juliette is telling lies and is not what she appears to be. Lucy fears for the safety of the queen as there are always supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots who are willing to risk all. How will Lucy convince Tomas of her fears when he just teases her and tells her that she is simply jealous? Desperate times call for desperate measures ...

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes.
Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can't deny that he's falling for Viola. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn as well . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life—and her world—forever.
Jackson Pearce spins a magical tale about star-crossed lovers, what it means to belong . . . and how important it is to be careful what you wish for.

That Certain Spark by Cathy Marie Hake

Gooding, Texas, is about to gain a double blessing—a veterinarian and a doctor. But when siblings Enoch and Taylor Bestman arrive, the discovery that Taylor is a lady doctor has the town up in arms. Especially Karl Van der Vort, the town blacksmith, who becomes the first patient...against his will.
Though hesitant to believe in Taylor's doctoring skills, Karl finds himself oddly protective of this surprising woman who dares to drive about town on her own, wearing the color red, for heaven's sake! Taylor, on the other hand, wants only to prove that doctoring is her life's calling, despite the town's opposition. The result? Pride meets attraction head-on, and sparks begin to fly.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: Ashes by Kathryn Lasky

Ashes by Kathryn Lasky (Published by Viking, February 4, 2010)

Berlin, 1932: In many ways thirteen-year old, Gabriella Schramm lives a charmed, carefree life. She loves her sister, Ulla. She loves her new literature teacher. She loves her family's summer lake house, next door to Albert Einstein's. And most of all she loves books. But soon she begins losing all these things, one by one, as Hitler unstoppably climbs to power. People Gaby thought she could trust turn out to be Nazis. Many of her friends are fleeing, or worse, being taken away. And there's something troubling about Ulla's boyfriend that Gaby can't quite figure out. As always, she turns to her books for comfort - but even those are disappearing. How can Gaby say good bye to the way of life that she loves?

I really like everything I've read by Kathryn Lasky, so I'm glad to see she has a new book coming out soon! There are a lot of historical novels set in Europe during World War II, but not many set in the years leading up to the war, so this should be an interesting read.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Book review: Troubadour by Mary Hoffman

Troubadour by Mary Hoffman (Published by Bloomsbury, August 18, 2009)

As a young noblewoman in thirteenth-century France, Elinor may live a life of comfort, but she has little control over her own future. She is secretly in love with the much older Bertrand, a troubadour who often travels to her family's home. Bertrand has a secret of his own - he is a member of a religious sect that the powerful Catholic church wants to destroy, considering them heretics. When Elinor learns her parents wish to marry her off to a man old enough to be her grandfather, she decides she must avoid that fate at all costs. To escape, she disguises herself as a boy and runs away from home with a band of troubadours, hoping to one day be reunited with Bertrand.

Over the next few years, Bertrand and Elinor continue their separate journeys through a land at war. Bertrand witnesses the horrors of the Church's crusade, and the suffering of the innocent people caught up in the violence. Elinor, an immature thirteen-year-old at the start of the story, grows and matures throughout the novel, into a young woman. The ending was not what I expected when I started this book, but fit the story perfectly, I think, while being true to the place and time the story takes place in.

Troubadour is a detailed and interesting historical novel that I enjoyed as a fan of historical fiction. However it does have a lot of heavy historical detail about some lesser known events from history. While I enjoyed these details, and I think this book would be enjoyed by older teens (and adults too) who have an interest in Medieval history, more casual readers of historical fiction might find themselves overwhelmed by all the history. Therefore I would most recommend this book to readers who either love lots of historical detail in their historical ficton or who are fans of Mary Hoffman's previous books.

In My Mailbox - 8/22/09

Credit goes to The Story Siren for thinking up the In My Mailbox feature.

I just got one new book this week, and it's not even a young adult book, but I bought it because it sounds interesting, and I liked one of the author's other historical novels, The Tsarina's Daughter. I hope to get more books next week, since I have a couple of books on the way to me that were just shipped from Amazon Vine.

The Memoirs of Mary, Queen of Scots by Carolly Erickson

Born Queen of Scotland, married as a girl to the invalid young King of France, Mary took the reins of the unruly king dom of Scotland as a young widow and fought to keep her throne. A second marriage to her handsome but dissolute cousin Lord Darnley ended in murder and scandal, while a third to the dash - ing Lord Bothwell, the love of her life, gave her joy but widened the scandal and surrounded her with enduring ill repute.
Unable to rise above the violence and disorder that swirled around her, Mary escaped to England—only to find herself a prisoner of her ruthless, merciless cousin Queen Elizabeth.
Here, in her own riveting account, is the enchanting woman whose name still evokes excitement and compassion—and whose death under the headsman’s axe still draws forth our sorrow.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler (Published by HarperCollins, February 2, 2010)

Zita’s not just any servant girl: She's a princess—the thirteenth daughter of a king who wanted only sons and banished her to the servants' quarters to work in the castle's kitchen. Then, after Zita's twelfth birthday, her royal sisters all fall mysteriously ill. The only clue is their strangely worn and tattered shoes. With the help of her friends—Breckin the stable boy, Babette the witch, and Milek the soldier—Zita follows her bewitched sisters into a magical world of endless dancing and dreams. Something sinister is afoot—and Zita must find the source of the enchantment and break the curse or the twelve princesses will surely dance to their deaths.
With a mesmerizing voice and delightful imagination, Diane Zahler delivers a dazzling retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." Zita is the spunky and unforgettable heroine that young girls will love.

This was originally one of my Waiting on Wednesday books a few months back, it was supposed to come out this month but it got delayed. I decided to feature it again for that reason and also because they changed the cover and I *LOVE* the new cover. It really looks like a painting from a fairy tale. Really looking forward to reading it, hopefully it won't get delayed again! I am including the old cover as well at the bottom of the post, it's beautiful as well but I think the new one looks more like a fairy tale. Which cover does everyone prefer?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

In My Mailbox - 8/15/09

Credit goes to The Story Siren for thinking up the In My Mailbox feature.

I just got one new book this week. It was actually a surprise, and I hadn't heard of it before, but it looks interesting:

Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White

When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn't so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (published by Delacorte, March 9, 2010)

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

I really liked the first book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, so I am looking forward to reading this one. It sounds like the main characters are new, but I hope the characters from book one make an appearance as well.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

In My Mailbox - 8/8/09

Credit goes to The Story Siren for thinking up the In My Mailbox feature.

My new books that I bought or received this week:

Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner

Nefertiti was far more than just a pretty face.

Nefertiti may be the dutiful daughter of a commoner, but her inquisitive mind often gets her into situations that are far from ordinary, like receiving secret lessons from a scribe. And she’s the kind of girl who acts first, and apologizes later whenever she witnesses injustice or cruelty. But she is also extraordinarily beautiful. And news of her striking beauty and impulsive behavior attracts the attention of her aunt, the manipulative Queen Tiye, who sees Nefertiti as an ideal pawn in her desire for power. Even though Nefertiti is taken from her beloved family and forced into a life filled with courtly intrigue and danger, her spirit and mind will not rest. She continues to challenge herself and the boundaries of ancient Egyptian society.

Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap

For Anastasia Romanov, life as the daughter of Russia's last tasr is about to torn apart by the violence of revolution. Ousted from the Imperial Palace by the Bolsheviks sieze control, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia as the rebels determine their future. But even while their captivity stretches out and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blossoms between Anastasia and a sympathetic young guard named Sasha. Will their secret love be enough to help her and her family avoid the firing squad? Inspired by the mysteries that have long surrounded the fate of Russia's last princess, this is a compelling and romantic vision of what might have been.

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.

The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate by Michael Spradlin

Washed up on a foreign shore, Tristan is lucky to be alive. As before, it seems to be a miracle—the Holy Grail the young Templar squire is safe-guarding has saved his life yet again. But now he is lost in a strange land, and he doesn’t know if his friends still survive.
Tristan’s knack for getting into trouble is alive and well though, and he quickly finds himself drawn into a conflict between a heretical band of Cathars and the oppressive King of France.
With his duty to the Grail pulling him back toward Britain, Tristan finds himself falling for the beautiful leader of the Cathars. And when he chooses to help her in her people’s hour of need, Tristan risks not only himself but his friends and the Grail itself on a quest that may prove a disaster.

The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper by Kathleen Y'Barbo

The future is clearly mapped out for New York socialite Eugenia “Gennie” Cooper, but she secretly longs to slip into the boots of her favorite dime-novel heroine and experience just one adventure before settling down. When the opportunity arises, Gennie jumps at the chance to experience the Wild West, but her plans go awry when she is drawn into the lives of silver baron Daniel Beck and his daughter and finds herself caring for them more than is prudent–especially as she’s supposed to go back to New York and marry another man.
As Gennie adapts to the rough-and-tumble world of 1880s Colorado, she must decide whether her future lies with the enigmatic Daniel Beck or back home with the life planned for her since birth. The question is whether Daniel’s past–and disgruntled miners bent on revenge–will take that choice away from her.

Darklight by Lesley Livingston

Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was Faerie royalty, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved New York City from a rampaging Faerie war band. When a terrifying encounter in Central Park sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful—but cut short. For they’ve been plunged into a game of Faerie deception and wavering allegiances in which the next move could topple a kingdom...or part them forever.
The fans who flocked to Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange will fall hard for Darklight, the soaringly romantic second book in the trilogy. Breathless high stakes and vividly magical characters make this a can’t-miss fantasy for readers of Melissa Marr and Holly Black.

The Body Finder by Kimberly Darting

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: A Golden Web by Barbara Quick

A Golden Web by Barbara Quick (published by HarperTeen, April 10, 2010)

Alessandra is desperate to escape—from her stepmother, who’s locked her away for a year; from the cloister that awaits her if she refuses the marriage plans that have been made for her; from the expectations that limit her and every other girl in fourteenth-century Italy. There’s no tolerance in her village for her keen intelligence and her unconventional ideas.
In defiant pursuit of her dreams, Alessandra undertakes an audacious quest, her bravery equaled only by the dangers she faces. Disguised and alone in a city of spies and scholars, Alessandra will find a love she could not foresee—and an enduring fame.
In this exquisite imagining of the centuries-old story of Alessandra Giliani, the world’s first female anatomist, distinguished novelist Barbara Quick gives readers the drama, romance, and rich historical detail for which she is known as she shines a light on an unforgotten—and unforgettable—heroine.

I know I've been featuring a lot of historical fiction lately but it's my favorite genre and I love to get the word out about new historical reads that sound great! This book sounds like it has a really interesting and unique setting/plot based on a true story. I hadn't heard of Alessandra before but she sounds fascinating.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

In My Mailbox - 8/1/09

Credit goes to The Story Siren for thinking up the In My Mailbox feature.

My new books that I bought or received this week:

Rapture of the Deep by L.A. Meyer

On the very day that Jacky Faber is to wed her true love, she is kidnapped by British Naval Intelligence and forced to embark on yet another daring mission—this time to search for sunken Spanish gold. But when Jacky is involved, things don't always go as planned.
Jacky has survived battles on the high seas, the stifling propriety of a Boston finishing school, and even confinement in a dank French prison. But no adventure has quite matched her opportunistic street-urchin desires—until now.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Dawn's Prelude by Tracie Peterson

When Lydia Gray suddenly finds herself a widow, she discovers a newfound freedom she'd never anticipated. Ready to place the past firmly behind her, she sets her eyes upon Alaska. There, she vows, she will make a new life for herself with her aunt, a life of peace and tranquility, a life removed from the pain of an abusive marriage. As Lydia comes to know Kjell Lindquist, she finds herself slowly opening up to the possibility of love and a future with him. But life often brings the unexpected, and Lydia finds the peace she longs for cruelly shattered. Can her tenuous faith face the storms ahead?

The Carousel Painter by Judith Miller

Carrie loves painting the beautiful carousel horses...but can she stand strong against the many who don't want her to keep the job? When Carrington Brouwer receives the enviable job of painting carousel horses for a factory in Ohio, she believes her future is secure. But after an expensive necklace disappears from the home where she's been staying, she's caught up in a search for the truth that puts her entire livelihood--and her developing relationship with the factory manager--at risk. Can she lead police to the real culprit before she loses everything?

Esty's Gold by Mary Arrigan

Esty Maher's family is uprooted and torn apart during the Irish potato famine - 'the hunger'. Esty is sent into service, but dreams of going to Australia to find gold, and manages to get assisted passage for her family and friends. However, when they reach Ballarat, her dream and hard work nearly turn to dust in the midst of scavenging and rebellion. Will the Maher family's self reliance and ingenuity be enough to help them make a success of their new lives in Australia?
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