Mailbox Monday – July 16, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Mailbox Monday which is hosted this month at Mrs. Q Book Addict.

Go to the dedicated blog for the meme to see the complete tour schedule in the right sidebar.

Here is what showed up at my house this week:

Random House sent me a finished copy of Chris Bohjalian’s latest novel: The Sandcastle Girls (July 17, 2012). I have loved some of Bohjalian’s previous work including Midwives and The Buffalo Soldier which still resonate with me, so when I was given the chance to review The Sandcastle Girls I could not turn it down. Moving between Aleppo, Syria, in 1915 and Bronxville, New York in 2012, the book is described as a “sweeping historical love story steeped in the author’s Armenian heritage.” As the first World War spreads across Europe, Elizabeth Endicott has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian genocide. There, she befriends Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. When Armen joins the British Army in Egypt, he and Elizabeth exchange letters. In present day New York, readers meet Laura Petrosian, a novelist with an Armenian heritage. Fate has Laura embarking on a journey back through her family’s history “that reveals love, loss—and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.

Chris Bohjalian is the critically acclaimed author of twelve novels. His novel, Midwives, was a number one New York Times bestseller and a selection of Oprah’s Book Club. His work has been translated into more than 25 languages and twice became movies (Midwives and Past the Bleachers). He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter. Learn more about Bohjalian and his work by visiting the author’s website.

The wonderful Caitlin from Unbridled Books sent me an Advance Readers Edition of Love Slave by Jennifer Spiegel (September 2012). This debut novel is set in 1995 and features Sybil Weatherfield, an office temp. In her jobless hours she writes a confessional column for the alternative weekly, New York Shock. Along with her friends (a paperpusher for a human rights organization and the lead singer of a local rock band called Glass Half Empty), Sybil searches for  “something real and lasting.” Described as “richly funny and wincingly specific,” this novel promises to be a “bittersweet and ironic look at what it means to be enthralled by an idea—by even the most ragged possibility of love.

Jennifer Spiegel has an MA in Politics from New York University and an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Arizona State. Also the author of the story collection The Freak Chronicles, She lives in Phoenix with her husband and two children. Love Slave is her debut novel. Learn more about Spiegel and her work by visiting the author’s website.

The folks from Tor/Forge sent me a finished copy of The Formula for Murder by Carol McCleary (July 17, 2012). This is the third book in the Nellie Bly mystery series. From the publisher: “History, mystery, murder, and mad science accompany plucky Victorian newspaper reporter Nellie Bly when she travels to the haunted moors of England to investigate the mysterious death of another journalist.” During Nellie’s search for the truth she travels “from foggy Londontown to the ancient Roman ruins at Bath and the eerie landscape of Dartmoor,” all while being stalked by a killer.

Carol McCleary was born in Seoul, South Korea, and lived in Hong Kong, Japan, and the Philippines. She now lives on Cape Cod in an antique house that is haunted by ghosts. McCleary is the author of The Alchemy of Murder and The Illusion of Murder. Learn more about McCleary and her work by visiting the author’s website.

I also received two books and a book bag  from William Morrow in a giveaway for The Armchair BEA:

The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman (August 28, 2012) centers around midwife Patience Murphy. Working in Appalachia during the Depression of the 1930s,  Patience takes the jobs that no one else wants. Patience is struggling against disease, poverty, and prejudice … and her own haunting past. Described as “honest, moving, and beautifully detailed,” this debut novel promises to be “uplifting.

Patricia Harman, CNM, got her start as a lay midwife on rural communes and went on to become a nurse-midwife on the faculty of Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, and West Virginia University. She lives near Morgantown, West Virginia; has three sons; and is the author of two acclaimed memoirs. This is her first novel. Learn more about Harman and her work by visiting the author’s website.

The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen (May 2012) is a debut novel based on the true story of a freed African American slave who returned to Virginia at the onset of the Civil War to spy on the Confederates. This is an historical novel that “celebrates the courageous achievements of a little known but truly inspirational American heroine.” When Mary Bowser is offered not only an education, but freedom in the north, she travels to Philadelphia. There she discovers new friendships, a courtship, and a far different education than she ever expected which leads her into the heart of the abolition movement. Posing as a slave in the Confederate White House in order to spy on President Jefferson Davis, Mary deceives even those who are closest to her to aid the Union command.

Award-winning author Lois Leveen’s work has appeared in the New York Times, on NPR, and in literary journals and anthologies. A former faculty member at UCLA and Reed College, she lives in Portland, Oregon. This is her first novel. Learn more about Leveen and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Did any amazing books arrive at YOUR house this week?

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  1. My mailbox is not posted as yet! you have got some really good books here. Enjoy them all.

  2. Sounds like some great reading with lots of variety.

  3. The Sandcastle Girls looks and sounds wonderful – I often enjoy historical tales that unfold from within the story in the foreground.

  4. Such interesting titles! Happy reading…

    Here is my post.

    • Serena on July 16, 2012 at 04:15

    Looks like you got some great reads coming up. I also cannot wait to dive into Sandcastle Girls!

  5. ‘The Formula for Murder’ sounds intriguing! Enjoy your books. 🙂

    • Alyce on July 16, 2012 at 09:42

    The Secrets of Mary Bowser looks good!

  6. I’ve loved Bohjalian’s work in the past too so I’m a little envious of The Sandcastle Girls. Enjoy!

  7. I have read Patricia Harman’s memoir, and it was spectacular! I think you will enjoy her book very much. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!!

  8. Good stuff! Oddly enough I’ve never had much luck with Bohjalian’s stuff. I tried The Night Strangers and struck out. Haven’t tried others, but maybe I will!

  9. So many of your books look really interesting to me! I’d just love to get my hands on The Sandcastle Girls, or The Midwife of Hope River, or The Secrets of Mary Bowser.

    • Susan on July 16, 2012 at 20:05

    I have a copy of The Secrets of Mary Bowser as well — and I’m really looking forward to it.

    • Ryan on July 17, 2012 at 16:17

    I’m going to have to look into The Formula of Murder. Hope you are having a great week.

  10. What an interesting assortment of new books! They all sound like great reads. Enjoy!

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