Daily Archives: October 14, 2012

Mailbox Monday – October 15, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Mailbox Monday and it looks like it will be hosted on the dedicated blog for the meme this month. You can go there see the complete tour schedule in the right sidebar as well.

Here is what showed up at my house since my last Mailbox Monday post on October 1st:

Leyane from FSB Associates sent me an advance readers edition of The Shortest Way Home by Juliette Fay (Penguin, November 2012). The book centers around Sean Doran, a man convinced he has inherited a life-threatening genetic disease.  Determined to do as much good as possible with the time he has left, Sean resolves to travel the world as a nurse caring for the poor, sick and injured, found among natural disasters and war zones. Physically and emotionally burned out, Sean returns home to Belham, Massachusetts, only to realize that home may be the one place he is needed the most.

Check out the book trailer:

Juliette Fay, author of The Shortest Way Home, won the 2009 Massachusetts Book Award Book of the Year for her first novel, Shelter Me. Her second novel, Deep Down True, was short-listed for the Women’s Fiction Award by the American Library Association. She received a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a master’s degree from Harvard University. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and four children. The Shortest Way Home is her third novel. Learn more about Fay and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Angie from Viking sent me a finished copy of Joanne Harris’s newest novel, Peaches for Father Francis (October 2, 2012). This novel brings back the characters from Chocolat, including Vianne Rocher, her friend Armande and Vianne’s adversary, Father Francis. The novel opens eight years after Vianne has left the small village of Lansquenet. She, and her daughters Anouk and Rosette, are summoned back by Armande where they discover that everything and nothing has changed. Newcomer Inés Bencharki is part of a new Muslim community and is stirring up things. Tensions between cultures and characters reach a fever pitch and it’s up to Vianne to rescue Father Francis and to discover what’s really going on in Lansquenet before it’s too late.

Check out the book trailer for the UK edition of the book:

Joanne Harris is the author of the Whitbread Award-shortlisted Chocolat, which was made into an Oscar-nominated feature film, and eleven other bestselling novels.   She is published world-wide, in approximately 50 countries, and is the winner of several international and UK awards.  She is an Honorary Fellow at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and lives with her husband in Yorkshire. Learn more about Harris and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Two finished books arrived from Tor Forge:

The Gemini Virus by Wil Mara is a medical thriller (October 2012). It starts with a sneeze. It kills in four days. There is no cure. Bob Easton thinks he has a cold. Before he dies in agony, four days later, he infects dozens of people. Dr. Michael Beck and Cara Porter must race to identify the deadly bug. The superbug—and the panic—quickly spreads beyond America’s borders. On a packed plane, someone coughs—and at their destination, the pilots are told, “you can’t land here.” US military bases are quarantined. Yet the virus continues to spread. Some believe the plague is man-made. Others see it as a sign of the end times. Read an excerpt.

Wil Mara is the author of more than seventy books for adults and young readers, including Wave, which won the New Jersey National Book Award. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. Learn more about Mara and his work by visiting the author’s website.

The Witch of Babylon by DJ McIntosh (October 2012) is a debut novel rooted in ancient Assyrian lore and its little-known but profound significance for the world. This is the first book in a projected trilogy. From the publisher: John Madison is a Turkish-American art dealer raised by his much older brother, Samuel, a mover and shaker in New York’s art world. Caught between his brother’s obsession with saving a priceless relic looted from Iraq’s National Museum and a deadly game of revenge staged by his childhood friend, John must solve a puzzle to find the link between a modern-day witch and an ancient one.

D. J. McIntosh’s The Witch of Babylon has been sold in nineteen countries, was short-listed for the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award, and won a Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award for best unpublished novel. McIntosh is a member of the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies. She is a strong supporter of Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists. Learn more about McIntosh and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Francesca from Penguin UK sent me Reflected in You by Sylvia Day (October 2012). This is the second book in a series which began with Bared to You. Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series is captivating readers all over the world having now sold to 34 territories. Described as “thoroughly enjoyable, addictive sexy reads, with a dark edge,” readers are going wild for the passionate and intense love story between feisty, intelligent Eva and enigmatic Gideon.

Sylvia Day is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen novels written across multiple sub-genres – contemporary, fantasy, historical, futuristic, science fiction, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy – under multiple pen names: three. A wife and mother of two, she is a former Russian linguist for the U.S. Army Military Intelligence. Learn more about Day and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Finally, Dana from Kaye Publicity sent me a copy of Big Maria by Johnny Shaw (Thomas & Mercer, September 2012). There is gold in Arizona’s Chocolate Mountains, where one hundred years ago a miner stashed a king’s ransom of the stuff. But times have changed. The world has changed. And now the Chocolate Mountains are the home of the largest military artillery range in the world. Harry(living on disability and getting liquored up), Frank (a feisty old-timer battling cancer and a domineering daughter), and Ricky(a good kid in a bad spot) are staking what little they have left to make the dangerous quest to the Big Maria Mine, looking for gold that can offer them a new beginning.

Johnny Shaw was born and raised on the Calexico/Mexicali border, the setting for his debut novel, Dove Season, and his follow up novel Big Maria. He is acting editor-in-chief and is a frequent contributor for the online fiction quarterly BLOOD & TACOS. Shaw received his MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA , and for the last ten years, has taught screenwriting at both Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara. He is the owner of Johnny’s Used Books, an online bookstore. He lives in Portland, Oregon. Learn more about Shaw and his work by visiting the author’s website.

Did any wonderful books arrive at YOUR home this week?

The Sunday Salon – October 14, 2012

October 14, 2012

Good morning and welcome to The Sunday Salon – a place where readers gather to talk about books! Check out the Facebook page for more links and to play along.

I have been absent from the Salon since September 2nd – my dad passed away on September 17th after a long illness and I found myself back in New Hampshire for an extended stay…so my blogging life really slowed down. But, I’m back now and thought I would share some of the books I read over the last month.

I read Home by Toni Morrison for a book club discussion and found it to be a sparse book (less than 150 pages) which packs a big punch (read my review). I have not read a lot of books by this author, but what I have read I have appreciated. Morrison is a gifted writer whose prose is poetic, rich, and character-driven. If you have not had a chance to pick up one of her books, Home would be a good first choice.

My next read was a chunkster which I read for the Chunkster Challenge and the Chunky Book Club (read my review). Fall of Giants by Ken Follett is the first book in a proposed trilogy (the second book, Winter of the World, was released in September). Ken Follett is known for his novels based in the spy genre, as well as for his well-researched historical fiction. Fall of Giants does not disappoint with dozens of characters (both real and imagined) and a look at the historical events between 1911 and 1924. Follett uncovers the lives of five interrelated families from America, Germany, Russia, England and Wales, and explores such historical events as WWI, the Russian Revolution, and Women’s Suffrage. After finishing this book, I ran out and purchased Winter of the World which I hope to read sooner rather than later.

Next up in my reading pile was The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman – a debut novel which has been getting a little buzz (read my review). I read it for a book club discussion where it got mixed reviews. Despite its slow start, I enjoyed the novel for its alluring imagery and the lyrical cadence of Stedman’s prose. Stedman ultimately creates memorable characters and a story which reminds readers that life is complicated and the decisions we make can have devastating consequences not only for ourselves, but for others.

I then turned to some genre fiction (suspense-thriller) and picked up The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan (read my review). This novel is the first in a series and centers around an investigative reporter, a homicide detective and a political senate race. Fast paced, tightly plotted and introducing a likable female character, the book will appeal to readers who like their novels suspenseful and twisty. I am interested in reading book two when it is released.

I’m heading down to Santa Cruz next weekend for Booktopia, so I will be trying to read some of the books for that event in the next week or so. My current read is The Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones which I hope to finish today. This is a beautiful novel about two teenage girls who share the same father…the twist is that the father is a bigamist – married to both mothers and one of those marriages is a secret. Narrated from both girls’ perspectives, this is a novel which looks at love, jealousy, and the impact of secret lives. I am really enjoying the book. Jones is a talented writer who keeps the tension balanced and creates believable characters.

Other books on my Booktopia reading list include:

  • Swim Back to Me by Ann Packer
  • The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
  • Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
  • Murder at the Lanterne Rouge by Cara Black
  • The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy

What about you? What is on your to-be-read pile?

Today I hope to read and have a little time to work on a Christmas quilt I started in August…it just needs to be pinned and quilted. It also looks like it is going to be a gorgeous fall day here in Northern California so a walk may be in order. What are you doing today? Whatever it is, I hope it involves a great book!