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Mailbox Monday #528

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Apprehension and Desire by Ola Wegner, a Kindle freebie.

What if Elizabeth Bennet had agreed to Darcy’s marriage proposal offered to her at Hunsford parsonage, sincerely thinking it was the best thing she could have done in her situation? As his fiancée and later wife, can she fall in love with Fitzwiliam Darcy who is still very much arrogant, rude, and not reformed man? Will she be able to look over her own prejudice and apprehension, and see a worthy man who loves, and desires her?

The Passion According to Carmela by Marcos Aguinis, translated by Carolina De Robertis, a Kindle freebie for World Book Day.

It is a time for upheaval in Cuba: the time to build a new society. Even from her position of privilege, idealistic divorcée Carmela Vasconcelos sees the waves of uprising and is caught up in the excitement. Persuaded by her brother, Lucas, she flees her wealthy home to join Fidel Castro’s rebels.

In the mountainous jungle of the Sierra Maestra, Carmela meets Ignacio Deheza, a charismatic Argentinian socialist fighting on behalf of the insurrection. On the training fields of a revolution, they bond in the cause—and in a blind passion that stirs their blood and soul.

As Carmela, Ignacio, and Lucas navigate increasingly dangerous political waters, their personal fates become inexorably tied with that of their country. But when the rebellion succumbs to corruption and disillusionment, they’ll find their dedication to the movement tested. For Carmela and Ignacio, they’ll soon discover that it’s their commitment to each other—and the choices they must make to survive—that will be the greatest challenge of all.

Go: A Coming of Age Novel by Kazuki Kaneshiro, translated by Takami Nieda, a Kindle freebie for World Book Day.

As a Korean student in a Japanese high school, Sugihara has had to defend himself against all kinds of bullies. But nothing could have prepared him for the heartache he feels when he falls hopelessly in love with a Japanese girl named Sakurai. Immersed in their shared love for classical music and foreign movies, the two gradually grow closer and closer.

One night, after being hit by personal tragedy, Sugihara reveals to Sakurai that he is not Japanese—as his name might indicate.

Torn between a chance at self-discovery that he’s ready to seize and the prejudices of others that he can’t control, Sugihara must decide who he wants to be and where he wants to go next. Will Sakurai be able to confront her own bias and accompany him on his journey?

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #527

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Lucky Suit by Lauren Blakely, narrated by Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt, from Audible.

I’m breaking up with setups. No more “you should meet my son, nephew, grandson, the butcher, the guy down the street who mows my lawn.” People mean well, but machines know better, so I’ll rely on the great dating algorithms of the web to find my ideal man, thank you very much.

Soon enough, it looks like I’ve found him – his screen name is Lucky Suit, and he’s hilarious, quick-witted, and full of heart. But when we finally get together in person, I have the distinct feeling I’ve met him before. Funny enough – he says the same thing about me.

Turns out, there’s something fishy about our meetup, and when we find out what truly brought us together, all bets are off as to whether we can trust our hearts over our heads. Can you fall in love with someone you’re not sure you really know?

For Every One by Jason Reynolds, which we purchased for our daughter. Here’s the review.

For Every One is exactly that: for every one. For every one person. For every one who has a dream. But especially for every kid. The kids who dream of being better than they are. Kids who dream of doing more than they almost dare to imagine. Kids who are like Jason Reynolds, a self-professed dreamer. Jason does not claim to know how to make dreams come true; he has, in fact, been fighting on the front line of his own battle to make his own dreams a reality. He expected to make it when he was sixteen. Then eighteen. Then twenty-five. Now, some of those expectations have been realized. But others, the most important ones, lay ahead, and a lot of them involve kids, how to inspire them: All the kids who are scared to dream, or don’t know how to dream, or don’t dare to dream because they’ve NEVER seen a dream come true. Jason wants kids to know that dreams take time. They involve countless struggles. But no matter how many times a dreamer gets beat down, the drive and the passion and the hope never fully extinguishes—because simply having the dream is the start you need, or you won’t get anywhere anyway, and that is when you have to take a leap of faith.

Spirit Riding Free: Lucky’s Guide to Horses and Friendship by Stacia Deutsch , which we purchased for our daughter.

In this must-have guidebook, Lucky Prescott and her friends teach readers about the things they love most of all: the small frontier town of Miradero, all things horses, and the fun that comes with being with best friends! The PALs and other key characters from the hit Netflix show guide readers through pages of interactive quizzes about which of the PALs they are, recipes for horse-friendly cookies, easy-to-make crafts, and so much more! With nonfiction elements about horse care and plenty of playful games and activities, this guide is the perfect gift for Spirit Riding Free fans.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly and Laura Freeman, which we purchased for our daughter.

Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award–nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award winner Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers!

Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good.

They participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world.

In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA, known as “colored computers,” and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career.

We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai, which I purchased.

In her powerful new book, Nobel Peace Prize winner and New York Times-bestselling author Malala Yousafzai introduces some of the people behind the statistics and news stories about the millions of people displaced worldwide.

Malala’s experiences visiting refugee camps caused her to reconsider her own displacement — first as an Internally Displaced Person when she was a young child in Pakistan, and then as an international activist who could travel anywhere in the world except to the home she loved. In We Are Displaced, which is part memoir, part communal storytelling, Malala not only explores her own story, but she also shares the personal stories of some of the incredible girls she has met on her journeys — girls who have lost their community, relatives, and often the only world they’ve ever known.

In a time of immigration crises, war, and border conflicts, We Are Displaced is an important reminder from one of the world’s most prominent young activists that every single one of the 68.5 million currently displaced is a person — often a young person — with hopes and dreams.

Olivia Otter Builds Her Raft by Dara Kass and Jessica Piazza, which I purchased.

Olivia is a very strong swimmer and is doing fine on her own, until one day a big storm shows her that there is more to life. Travel with Olivia as she builds her raft of amazing otters who face adversity, support each other, and learn to believe in themselves and the power of teamwork.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #526

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Beyond the Lens by Hannah Ellis, a Kindle freebie.

Twenty-six-year-old Lucy Mitchell isn’t the sort of person who’d take part in a reality TV show. But when she loses her job and is offered a free trip to Spain, she reluctantly agrees. She has no idea what to expect.

But she definitely isn’t expecting Adam.

The lovely cameraman captures her heart, and as Lucy sips cocktails in the sun with fantastic new friends, everything seems perfect.

But that’s all about to change.

Thrust into the spotlight, Lucy’s world is turned upside down. Can her blossoming romance survive under pressure? Will she ever escape the cameras? There’s one thing she knows for sure: when dealing with the media, you should always read the fine print…

A Father’s Sins by J. Dawn King, a Kindle freebie.

How do Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet overcome the consequences of poor decisions made by their fathers when Darcy and Elizabeth were young?

In A Father’s Sins, Mr. George Darcy, father of an illegitimate child raised by his steward, Mr. Wickham, agreed with his wife, Anne, that the firstborn son of their marriage would be heir to Pemberley. However, Mr. Darcy loved his eldest son, George Wickham, and indulged him by bringing him to Pemberley to live after the death of his wife. His heir, Fitzwilliam Darcy, paid a heavy price for this decision.

Mr. Thomas Bennet, an educated gentleman and father of five daughters, favored his second born, Elizabeth. Unexpectedly, his wife gave birth to a son and heir. Mr. Bennet, at the persistent urging of his wife, chose not to have his youngest children vaccinated for smallpox. When the plague hit Longbourn it devastated their family. Elizabeth paid the heaviest price for this decision of her father.

Her Good Opinion by Eden Forster, a Kindle freebie.

Mr. Darcy knows that Miss Elizabeth Bennet is aware of his role in separating her eldest sister, Miss Jane Bennet, and his friend, Mr. Bingley, and thereby involving them both in misery of the acutest kind. He knows because he was there when Elizabeth found out. Still, the gentleman offers her his hand in marriage—an offer she promptly refuses.

Determined to win her good opinion and ultimately her heart, Mr. Darcy asks Elizabeth for six weeks to change her mind.

What could possibly tempt Elizabeth to accept the man who has been the means of ruining the happiness of a most beloved sister?

A Case of First Impression by A.M. Blair, a Kindle freebie.

What if George Wickham hadn’t married into the Bennet family?

A Case of First Impression — a modern twist on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – gives George and his accomplice, Mrs. Younge, the alternate endings they deserve. George Wickham’s 21st Century counterpart, George Wickersham, is more corrupt than the original, but then again, who knows what the original is up to when he goes off to “enjoy himself in London or Bath.”

Elyse Barret, an updated version of Elizabeth, narrates this modern tale. She’s the only family member her father trusts to keep an eye on Mrs. Younge’s criminal trial, which involves a modern Mr. Darcy as a key witness.

Second Impressions by Pepper Basham, a Kindle freebie.

He likes streamline. She prefers embellishments. His forte is business. Hers is atmosphere. Will they realize each has what the other needs most to create the perfect romance with a touch of Jane Austen flair?

When a country girl travels to Bath, England to visit Jane Austen country, will a serious businessman ruin her regency-dream?

Maria Lucas: A Short Story by Jennifer Becton, a Kindle freebie.

After a great deal of romantic strife, Maria Lucas finds herself married to Mr. Jonas Card in a desperate attempt to extricate herself and her sister Charlotte from a dire financial situation. Mr. Card, however, truly loves Maria and has vowed to woo her. Alas, she views him only in friendly terms. But when it seems that Mr. Card’s feelings have changed, Maria sets out to discover why. And through a series of unexpected events, Mr. Card succeeds in wooing his wife without saying a word.

“Maria Lucas” is a post script to the novel Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. As such, it contains minor spoilers, but it can be read as a stand-alone piece.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms, a Kindle freebie.

Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.

Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.

But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.

Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills, a Kindle freebie.

A scarred fighter.
A girl with rules.
One night of unbridled passion.

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Bennett: she’s smart as a whip, always in control, and lives by a set of carefully crafted rules. She’s learned the hard way that people you love the most always hurt you in the end. But then she meets Declan Blay, the new neighbor at her apartment complex.

A tattooed British street fighter, he’s the campus bad boy she’s supposed to avoid, but when he saves her from a frat party gone bad, all her rules about sex and love fly out the window. She gives him one night of unbridled passion, but he longs for more.

With only a cardboard-thin wall separating their bedrooms, he dreams of possessing the vulnerable girl next door forever.

One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #525

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Happy National Poetry Month! I hope you picked out some poems to read this month and share with others. Maybe you even received some poetry books in your mailboxes. I haven’t but I will be sharing poetry this month. Feel free to stop by!

Here’s what I received:

The Daughter’s Tale by Armando Lucas Correa for TLC Book Tours.

BERLIN, 1939. The dreams that Amanda Sternberg and her husband, Julius, had for their daughters are shattered when the Nazis descend on Berlin, burning down their beloved family bookshop and sending Julius to a concentration camp. Desperate to save her children, Amanda flees toward the south of France, where the widow of an old friend of her husband’s has agreed to take her in. Along the way, a refugee ship headed for Cuba offers another chance at escape and there, at the dock, Amanda is forced to make an impossible choice that will haunt her for the rest of her life. Once in Haute-Vienne, her brief respite is inter­rupted by the arrival of Nazi forces, and Amanda finds herself in a labor camp where she must once again make a heroic sacrifice.

NEW YORK, 2015. Eighty-year-old Elise Duval receives a call from a woman bearing messages from a time and country that she forced herself to forget. A French Catholic who arrived in New York after World War II, Elise is shocked to discover that the letters were from her mother, written in German during the war. Despite Elise’s best efforts to stave off her past, seven decades of secrets begin to unravel.

Based on true events, The Daughter’s Tale chronicles one of the most harrowing atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis during the war. Heart­breaking and immersive, it is a beautifully crafted family saga of love, survival, and redemption.

The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros from Scribbler box.

If you’re reading this, well, you know the last-letter drill. You made it. I didn’t. Get off the guilt train, because I know if there was any chance you could have saved me, you would have.

I need one thing from you: get out of the army and get to Telluride.

My little sister Ella’s raising the twins alone. She’s too independent and won’t accept help easily, but she has lost our grandmother, our parents, and now me. It’s too much for anyone to endure. It’s not fair.

And here’s the kicker: there’s something else you don’t know that’s tearing her family apart. She’s going to need help.

So if I’m gone, that means I can’t be there for Ella. I can’t help them through this. But you can. So I’m begging you, as my best friend, go take care of my sister, my family.

Please don’t make her go through it alone.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #524

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Bed and Breakfast and Murder by Patti Larsen, Christina Gaudet, a Kindle freebie

Fiona Fleming is in so much trouble. Her recently inherited bed and breakfast might not actually be hers thanks to the underhanded misdealings of the local real estate bully. Despite her grandmother’s last will and testament, Fee might be out of luck and on the street before she even gets settled. But when her new enemy floats belly up in her koi pond, she’s the prime suspect in his murder! Can she uncover who the real killer is before the smoking hot new sheriff puts her behind bars instead of asking her out on a date?

Elizabeth Bennet’s Wedding: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Olivia Kane, a Kindle freebie

Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy are due to be married in a few weeks time in a double wedding with Mr. Bingley and Jane in the local church at Meryton. But Lady Catherine de Bourgh, still smarting from the loss of her nephew Darcy as a husband for her daughter Anne, has her own ideas about their wedding day and she can’t help but interfere. Will Darcy live to regret inviting Lady Catherine back into his life, or will Lady Catherine’s plan to take a little revenge on Elizabeth unwittingly backfire on her?

Elizabeth Bennet’s Wedding is a lighthearted, somewhat comic novel; in the spirit of the time frame, it is a genteel romance where only the tea is steamy.

Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A tale of a gentleman and an officer by Karen V. Wasylowski, a Kindle freebie

A gentleman in love cannot survive without his best friend…

Fitzwilliam Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam couldn’t be more different, and that goes for the way each one woos and pursues the woman of his dreams. Darcy is quiet and reserved, careful and dutiful, and his qualms and hesitations are going to torpedo his courtship of Elizabeth. His affable and vivacious cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam is a military hero whose devil-may-care personality hides the torments within, until he finds himself in a passionate, whirlwind affair with a beautiful widow who won’t hear of his honorable intentions.

Cousins, best friends, and sparring partners, Darcy and Fitzwilliam have always been there for each other. So it’s no surprise when the only one who can help Darcy fix his botched marriage proposals is Fitzwilliam, and the only one who can pull Fitzwilliam out of an increasingly dangerous entanglement is Darcy…

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #523

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project by Lenore Appelhans, which I purchased.

Riley lives in TropeTown, where everyone plays stock roles in novels. Riley, a Manic Pixie Dream Boy, is sent to group therapy after going off-script. Riley knows that breaking the rules again could get him terminated, yet he feels there must be more to life than recycling the same clichés for readers’ entertainment. Then he meets Zelda, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl (Geek Chic subtype), and falls head over heels in love. Zelda’s in therapy too, along with several other Manic Pixies. But TropeTown has a dark secret, and if Riley and his fellow Manic Pixies don’t get to the bottom of it, they may all be terminated.

Seasons in Time by Cat Gardiner, which came as a surprise from the author.

Romance, history, and memories of old are only part of what makes the 130 year old Time & Again antique shop so special.For Lizzy Bennet, what begins as a simple visit to Time & Again turns into so much more than discovering trinkets from the past. An unlikely friendship forms with the elderly shopkeeper who sends her on a journey of a lifetime─through a time portal. Love and lessons await her when she leaves her mobile device behind and finally looks up. Travel with Lizzy back to wartime 1940s─where her heart opens and future changes thanks to one dashing G.I: William Darcy and the magic of an antique shop.

As One Fire Consumes Another by John Sibley Williams, a review copy from the poet.

What happens when metaphysics and social critique meet? Poetry that has to find a new form to express the tension it embodies. John Sibley Williams’ newspaper-like columns in As One Fire Consumes Another do just that. Here, transcendent vision and trenchant social insight meet, wrestle, and end up revitalizing one another.

Praying with Jane by Rachel Dodge from Anna at Diary of an Eccentric.

The charm of Jane Austen and her novels has been enjoyed for over 200 years by readers around the world. Much has been written about her fascinating life, yet little is known about Jane’s spiritual side. In this lovely 31-day devotional, you will get an in-depth look at Miss Austen’s vibrant, steadfast prayer and faith life. Her intimate relationship with the Father comes to life through her exquisite prayers, touching biographical anecdotes, intimate excerpts from family letters and memoirs, and illuminating scenes from her novels.

Spiritual insights and Scripture references shed light on the profound meaning behind Miss Austen’s prayers and the enduring truths they contain. Each day ends with a key Bible verse and invitation to “pray with Jane,” helping to ignite and deepen your own vibrant relationship with the Father.

The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti from Anna at Diary of an Eccentric.

For fans of Elena Ferrante and Paulo Coelho comes the international sensation about the friendship between two young Italian boys from different backgrounds and how their connection evolves and challenges them throughout their lives.

Pietro is a lonely boy living in Milan. With his parents becoming more distant each day, the only thing the family shares is their love for the mountains that surround Italy.

While on vacation at the foot of the Aosta Valley, Pietro meets Bruno, an adventurous, spirited local boy. Together they spend many summers exploring the mountains’ meadows and peaks and discover the similarities and differences in their lives, their backgrounds, and their futures. The two boys come to find the true meaning of friendship and camaraderie, even as their divergent paths in life—Bruno’s in the mountains, Pietro’s across the world—test the strength and meaning of their connection.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #522

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Lies I Tell Myself by Sarah Jones, which I purchased.

Mobile Home Molly

I don’t remember Molly
ever wearing stilettos—
just gravel and trailer park
under her heels.

With a mouth like a river
and cigarettes as oars—
Molly held a howling dog
back by its collar.

How her big orange bangs shook
like Elvis’s jailhouse. She might
have cheated casinos or played
a heck of a whore in a western.

She probably took nude photos—
we women from small towns
give things away for free.

The Lieutenant’s Nurse by Sara Ackerman for review with TLC Book Tours this month.

November, 1941. She’s never even seen the ocean before, but Eva Cassidy has her reasons for making the crossing to Hawaii, and they run a lot deeper than escaping a harsh Michigan winter. Newly enlisted as an Army Corps nurse, Eva is stunned by the splendor she experiences aboard the steamship SS Lurline; even more so by Lt. Clark Spencer, a man she is drawn to but who clearly has secrets of his own. But Eva’s past—and the future she’s trying to create—means that she’s not free to follow her heart. Clark is a navy intelligence officer, and he warns her that the United States won’t be able to hold off joining the war for long, but nothing can prepare them for the surprise attack that will change the world they know.

In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Eva and her fellow nurses band together for the immense duty of keeping the American wounded alive. And the danger that finds Eva threatens everything she holds dear. Amid the chaos and heartbreak, Eva will have to decide whom to trust and how far she will go to protect those she loves.

Set in the vibrant tropical surroundings of the Pacific, The Lieutenant’s Nurse is an evocative, emotional WWII story of love, friendship and the resilient spirit of the heroic nurses of Pearl Harbor.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #521

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Eva and Baby Mo (Owl Diaries #10) by Rebecca Elliott for my daughter’s birthday.

This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

In the 10th book of this USA Today bestselling series, Eva is excited to babysit her little brother, Mo. She and her friends prepare bug candy snacks, a puppet show, and a song to sing him to sleep. They are ready for ANYTHING! But soon, Eva discovers that taking care of a little baby is a BIG job. Can she put baby Mo to sleep before Mom and Dad get home?

A Whale of a Tale by Debbie Dadey, illustrated by Tatevik Avakyan for my daughter’s birthday.

The third graders at Trident Academy are traveling to the surface of the ocean for the first time ever for a “hugely” exciting activity: They’re going to visit a pod of humpback whales! But Kiki is less than thrilled. In fact, she’s scared from the top of her head to the tip of her tail. After all, the enormous creatures could swallow her (and maybe her entire class) in one giant gulp! Kiki’s pals Shelly and Echo try to help shrink her fears, and when a new friend comes along—a very big, whale-size friend—Kiki’s courage emerges, and the fun looms large.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #520

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

So Speak the Stars by Tawni Waters from the publisher and due out in March.

The Real Sky by Valerie Fox and Jacklynn Niemiec from the poet.

“This engrossing hybrid collection of prose and poetry carves out a compellingly eclectic style of its own. In The Real Sky Fox adroitly employs dramatic monologues, testimonials and vignettes (among other forms) and uses imagistic and rhythmic language aplenty. The drawings by Jacklynn Niemiec help lend this fine chapbook an airy, almost whimsical quality. A must-read for fans of hybrid literature.
”
Nathan Leslie, author of Three MenRoot and Shoot and Sibs (Texture Press & Aqueous Books)

“Valerie Fox creates new spaces where words turn surreal and then back again, and narrative structures literally awaken the inanimate. Each page contains a surprise and a delight. Fox creates new pathways for language to shape our identities, while breathing life and a new power to transform bodies, flesh, bone, and spirit. These fresh new fictions are glorious, and beautifully accompanied by bright, evocative sketches by Jacklynn Niemiec.”
Susan Smith Nash, founder & managing editor, Texture Press

What did you receive?

 

Mailbox Monday #519

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy from Audible.

On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home–one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes.

But as soon as the case is assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shift.

Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential but mostly ignored American murder–a “ghettoside” killing, one young black man slaying another–and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities–and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped.

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward from Audible.

Unfolding over 12 days, the story follows a poor family living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With Hurricane Katrina bearing down on them, the Batistes struggle to maintain their community and familial bonds amid the storm and the stark poverty surrounding them.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #518

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Mrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh Ha for review in May.

“I live in a coastal town in the deep south of the Mekong Delta. During the war this was IV Corps, which saw many savage fights. Although the battles might have long been forgotten, some places cannot forget.”

Thus begins the harrowing yet poignant story of a North Vietnamese communist defector who spends ten years in a far-flung reform prison after the war, and now, in 1987, a free man again, finds work as caretaker at a roadside inn in the U Minh region. One day new guests arrive at the inn: an elderly American woman and her daughter, an eighteen-year-old Vietnamese girl adopted at the age of five from an orphanage in the Mekong Delta before the war ended. Catherine Rossi has come to this region to find the remains of her son, a lieutenant who went missing-in-action during the war.

Mrs. Rossi’s Dream tells the stories of two men in time parallel: Giang, the thirty-nine-year-old war veteran; Nicola Rossi, a deceased lieutenant in the United States Army, the voice of a spirit. From the haunting ugliness of the Vietnam War, the stories of these two men shout, cry, and whisper to us the voices of love and loneliness, barbarity and longing, lived and felt by a multitude of people from all walks of life: the tender adolescent vulnerability of a girl toward a man who, as a drifter and a war-hardened man, draws beautifully in his spare time; the test of love and faith endured by a mother whose dogged patience even baffles the local hired hand who thinks the poor old lady must have gone out of her mind, and whose determination drives her into the spooky forest, rain or shine, until one day she claims she has sensed an otherworldly presence in there with her.

In the end she wishes to see, just once, a river the local Vietnamese call “The River of White Water Lilies,” the very river her son saw, now that all her hopes to find his remains die out. Just then something happens. She finds out where he has lain buried for twenty years and how he was killed.

Treading the Uneven Road by L.M. Brown for review.

The stories in this collection are set 1980’s and 90’s Ireland. A by-pass around a small village has rid the residents of their once busy traffic. They feel forgotten by the world. The need to reach out and be heard is explored in every story, from the young woman who starts to have phone conversations with her husband’s gay lover, to the dyslexic man who confronts his cruel teacher years later and the woman whose dreams are shattered because of a married lover. Treading the Uneven Road introduces us to a society that is unraveling and we cannot help feel for Brown’s characters who need to make a choice on how to carry on.

Nanopedia: Poems by Charles Jensen, which I purchased and can’t wait to dig into.

Taking the form of “the world’s smallest encyclopedia” of American culture, the prose poems in Nanopedia explore concepts coined in or corrupted by (or both) America from vantage points that are both deeply personal and politically charged.

Love_Is_Love: An Anthology for LGBTQIA+ Teens edited by Emma Eden Ramos. 3 of my poems are in this anthology and there’s a giveaway for it here. Purchases support The Trevor Project.

Love_is_Love is a collection of poems, short stories, and visual art for LGBTQIA+ teens. All of the proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project, an organization that has been saving the lives of LGBTQIA+ teens since 1998.

 

Rabbit & Bear: Rabbit’s Bad Habits by Julian Gough and Jim Field for review.

“It’s the end of the world,” said a gloomy voice.
Bear looked all around. “No it isn’t,” said Bear cautiously. “It’s a lovely sunny day.”

In this laugh-out-loud funny story, a rabbit and bear discover that things are always better when they’re shared with a friend.

Bear wakes up early from hibernation. If she can’t sleep, then at least she can make a snowman.

Rabbit has never made a snowman, but he definitely wants to make one that’s better than Bear’s.

However, with an avalanche and a hungry wolf heading his way, Rabbit soon realises that it might be nice to have a friend on your side. Especially when it comes to building snowmen.

A tale of friendship, gravity, and just a little bit of poo.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #517

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

National Geographic Kids: Make This! by Ella Schwartz and Shah Selbe for review.

This book is designed to inspire the next generation of engineers and supports all kinds of kid creators: those who prefer guided instruction, those who prefer to dream up and design objects on their own, and everyone in between. With thoughtful text and bright illustrations, kids get the tools and the know-how to tackle all kinds of exciting projects: building a kaleidoscope, designing a fidget spinner, planting a rain forest, creating a musical instrument, and more. Unconventional scenarios inspired by real National Geographic explorers give kids a chance to think outside the box and apply their maker skills to real life. Chapters are divided up by scientific principle, such as simple machines, energy, and forces. In each chapter, kids can start by following step-by-step activities, or get creative by tackling an open-ended challenge. Helpful sidebars explain the science behind what’s happening every step of the way.

Make This! is perfect for curious and STEM-loving kids, families looking for a fun way to play together, and anyone else who’s ready to get creative and start tinkering!

Narrow Bridge by Robbi Nester from the poet for review.

Carefully crafted, beautifully written, these poems are a bridge indeed between this world and the one that shimmers just beyond us. In one poem, the narrator is a small child trying to capture the moon in her mirror; when that fails, she catches it in a net of words, and that is what Nester does throughout this book in poem after gorgeous heart-breaking poem. These are poems that “sing for the joy of being heard.” ~Barbara Crooker, author of Les Fauves and Barbara Crooker: Selected Poems

In Robbi Nester’s Narrow Bridge, we are urged to be more open and fearless— Consider how a mirror tipped toward the sky captures the moon, if fleetingly; how “The voice of the bird/ in the maple/ is bigger than his body.” There are still passageways we can widen, if only we allowed wonder to make a bridge between our sense of fixity, and that refuge and home we could make again in each other. ~Luisa A. Igloria, author of The Buddha Wonders if She is Having a Mid-Life Crisis and Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser

What did you receive?