Here is what showed up at my house this week:
Unbridled Books sent me an Advance Readers Edition of River of Dust by Virginia Pye (May 14, 2013). This debut novel is set in northwestern China not long after the Boxer Rebellion. Mongol bandits swoop down upon an American missionary couple and kidnap their small child. On a search for the boy, the Reverend quickly loses himself in the corrupt and drought-stricken countryside while Grace, his young wife who is pregnant with their second child, takes to her sick bed in the mission compound. “With their Christian beliefs sorely tested, their concept of fate expanded, and their physical health rapidly deteriorating, the Reverend and Grace may finally discover an understanding between them that is greater than the vast distance they have come.” The author was inspired, in part, by journals of her grandfather, who was himself an early missionary in China.
Virginia Pye holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and has taught writing at the University of Pennsylvania and New York University. A three-term president of James River Writers, a literary non-profit in Richmond, Virginia, she writes award-winning short stories that have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including The North American Review, Tampa Review and The Baltimore Review. She currently lives in Richmond. River of Dust is her first novel. Learn more about Pye and her work by visiting the author’s website.
From FSB Associates came a copy of The Bracelet by Roberta Gately (Simon & Schuster, November 2012). Gately’s second novel is set in Peshawar, Pakistan and centers around protagonist Abby Monroe who is determined to make her mark as a UN worker in one of the world’s most unstable cities. After witnessing the brutal murder of a woman thrown from a building, she is haunted by the memory of an intricate and sparkling bracelet that adorned the victim’s wrist. Abby meets former sex slaves at a woman’s shelter who have escaped their captors. Gradually, she gains the girls’ trust. Joined by a dashing New York Times reporter and inspired by the women’s remarkable bravery, Abby traces evidence that spreads from remote villages of South Asia to the most powerful corners of the West, risking her life to offer a voice to the countless innocents in bondage.
A nurse, humanitarian aid worker, and writer, Roberta Gately has served in war zones ranging from Africa to Afghanistan. She has written extensively on the subject of refugees for the Journal of Emergency Nursing, as well as a series of articles for the BBC Worlds News Online. She speaks regularly on the plight of the world’s refugees and displaced. She is also the author of the novel Lipstick in Afghanistan. Learn more about Gately and her work by visiting the author’s website.
The good folks from Tor Forge sent me a copy of Frozen by Kate Watterson (January 2013) which is the first book in a new series featuring Detective Ellie MacIntosch. Set in Northern Wisconsin, the novel opens as Bryce Grantham goes to his family’s cabin for a quiet vacation. But, when on his first night in town, he meets a lovely girl at a bar and gives her a ride home his vacation takes a turn for the worst. When Bryce tries to return the woman’s cell phone the next day, he discovers she has vanished, leaving behind only a bloody shoe. Ellie MacIntosch has a serial killer on her hands, but without a body, she has few leads and the stalled investigation has her on edge. Bryce Grantham seems to be the perfect suspect…but Ellie believes in his innocence. Will Ellie compromises the investigation, her career, and possibly her life in order to prove Bryce is not guilty? But first she must determine whether he is a manipulative, cold-blooded killer…or the victim of a madman playing a sickening game.
Kate Watterson has over thirty published books to her credit, plus five Eppie nominations, one Eppie win for best historical erotic in 2007, a RWA Lories win, WisRWA 2005 final for best historical romance, and is a CAPA nominee. She also writes under the pseudonyms Emma Wildes and Katherine Smith. Learn more about Watterson and her work by visiting the author’s website.
Pantheon/Random House sent me a copy of Scent of Darkness by Margot Berwin (February 2013). Set deep in the bayous of Louisiana, Berwin’s novel introduces readers to a world of fortune-tellers, soothsayers, and potent elixirs. This book is described as “a magical, seductive story about the power of scent, and about what happens when a perfume renders a young woman irresistible.” When Evangeline is eighteen, her grandmother Louise (a gifted aromata) leaves her the ultimate gift—a scent created just for her. The small perfume vial is accompanied by a note from Louise: “Do not remove the stopper, Evangeline, unless you want everything in your life to change.” Here is a novel which promises to be “a bewitching tale of love, blood, power, and magic.”
Margo Berwin is the author of the best-selling novel Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire. Her work has been translated into nineteen languages. She earned her MFA from the New School in 2005 and lives in New York City.
Did any wonderful books arrive at YOUR house this week?