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Mailbox Monday #437

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Wrecked by JB Salsbury, which I purchased after seeing it on Mailbox Monday at Herding Cats & Burning Soup.

When you can’t trust yourself, how can you ask anyone else to?

It’s been months since Aden Colt left the Army, and still the memories haunt him. When he moved into a tiny boat off the California coast, he thought he’d found the perfect place to escape life. Then Sawyer shows up and turns his simple life upside down. Beautiful and sophisticated, she seems out of place in this laid-back beach town. Something is pushing her to experience everything she can-including Aden. But as much as he wants her, starting a relationship with Sawyer puts them both at risk. For Aden, the past doesn’t stay there; it shows up unexpectedly, uncontrollably, and doesn’t care whose life it wrecks.

Darcy and Elizabeth What If? by Jennifer Lang, free for Kindle.

A collection of three novellas. All the novellas in the Darcy and Elizabeth What If? series are separate, standalone stories. They can be read in any order. Contains Mr Darcy’s Valentine, A Ball at Pemberley and Mr Darcy’s Waterloo

New World Rising by Jennifer Wilson, free on Kindle.

Since witnessing her parents’ murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix’s only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother’s dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, “Join or die.”

Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself.

The Longbourn Letters: The Correspondence between Mr Collins & Mr Bennet by Rose Servitova, free on Kindle.

Where Pride and Prejudice ends, a new relationship begins.

Good-humoured but detached and taciturn, Mr Bennet is not given to intimacy. Largely content with his life at Longbourn, he spends his evenings in the solitude of his library, accompanied only by a glass of port and a good book. But when his cousin, the pompous clergyman Mr Collins, announces his intention to visit, Mr Bennet is curious to meet and appraise the heir to his estate.

Despite Mr Bennet’s initial discouragement, Mr Collins quickly becomes a frequent presence in his life. They correspond regularly, with Mr Collins recounting tales of his follies and scrapes and Mr Bennet taking great pleasure from teasing his unsuspecting friend.

When a rift develops between the men, Mr Bennet is faced with a choice: he must withdraw into isolation once again or acknowledge that Mr Collins has brought something new and rich to his life.

Tender, heart-warming and peppered with disarming humour, The Longbourn Letters reimagines the characters of Pride and Prejudice and perfectly captures the subtleties of human relationships and the power of friendship.

The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Beau North and Brooke West, free on Kindle.

“He could no longer claim to be Fitzwilliam Darcy of Derbyshire, brother to Georgiana, master of Pemberley. In that moment, he was but a man. A man filled with more frustration than most souls could bear. A man torn asunder by his desperation, his fruitless dreams and desires.”

After Elizabeth Bennet rejects his marriage proposal, Fitzwilliam Darcy finds himself in the most unusual of circumstances. At first believing the extraordinary turn of events has granted him an inexplicable boon, he is eager to put the humiliating proposal behind him.

He soon discovers that he is trapped in the same waking dream with no end in sight and no possible escape. All that he holds dear—his name, his home, his love—remains ever out of reach. How will he find his way back to his normal life? Will one mistake haunt the rest of his days? It will take all of his fortitude to weather the storms of his strange new fate, and all of his courage to grasp the promise of his future.

Hand Lettering A to Z: A World of Creative Ideas for Drawing and Designing Alphabets by Abbey Sy for review QuartoKnows

Your hand lettering contains a little bit of you! It expresses what you have to say, and demonstrates your creativity in all your communications. In Hand Lettering A to Z, artist and author Abbey Sy has invited four international artists–Meg Hyland, Joao Neves, Tessa Go, and Lisa Lorek–to join her in designing all new alphabets for you to draw and use in many different languages.

You don’t have to be a trained artist to master the art of hand lettering. These alphabets are for every skill level, and will suits any taste: colorful, or black and white, classic or just plain fun. It’s all about getting creative with the twenty-six letters and a little bit of you.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #436

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Stranger Than Life: Cartoons and Comics 1970-2013 by M.K. Brown, a gift.

M.K. Brown is one of the funniest cartoonists of the last four decades — or ever, take your pick — and her body of work has long been savored by aficionados but never comprehensively collected — until now. Stranger Than Life is the first retrospective of Brown’s cartoons and comics from their original appearances in the National Lampoon, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Playboy, and other magazines and underground comics.

M.K. Brown’s comics stories satirize suburban anxiety and post-modern ennui by the sheer force of her gentle but piquant, off-kilter observations, along with her slightly pixilated but winsome characters, all of which are perfectly captured in her restless pen line and delicate jewel-tone watercolors.

In these pages: Read instructions for the use of glue, making a pair of pants, home auto repair, coping with chainsaw massacres, and jackknifing your big rig. “Another True-Life Pretty Face in the Field of Medicine” introduces Virginia Spears Ngodátu, who (with a bit of a name change) would go on to star in “Dr. Janice N!Godatu,” Brown’s series of animated shorts that appeared on The Tracy Ullman Show alongside the first incarnation of The Simpsons. Plus, enjoy aliens, old people, pilgrims, mermen, monitor lizards, tiny floating muggers and other weirdos in Brown’s side-splitting single-panel gag strips.

Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachel Anderson, purchased from Audible.

After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.

Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn’t afraid to show him that he doesn’t. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #435

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Devotion by Meg Kerr for review.

Georgiana Darcy at the age of fifteen had no equal for beauty, elegance and accomplishments, practised her music very constantly, and created beautiful little designs for tables. She also made secret plans to elope with the handsome, charming and immoral George Wickham. Will the real Georgiana Darcy please stand up? In Devotion, Georgiana, now twenty years of age and completely lovely, does just that. Taking centre stage in this sequel to Experience that sweeps the reader back into the world of Pride and Prejudice, she is prepared to shape her own destiny in a manner that perplexes and horrifies not only the Darcy-de Bourgh connexion but the whole of fashionable London. The arrival of a long-delayed letter, and a clandestine journey, bring Georgiana and her fortune into the arms of an utterly wicked young man whose attentions promise her ruin. At the same time, events in Meryton are creating much-needed occupation for Mrs. Bennet and an amorous quandary for Lydia Bennet’s girlhood companion Pen Harrington; and the former Caroline Bingley is given—perhaps—an opportunity to re-make some of her disastrous romantic choices. Meg Kerr writing effortlessly and wittily in the style of Jane Austen gives Pride and Prejudice fans the opportunity to visit the year 1816 to re-unite with favourite characters, and meet some intriguing new ones.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, purchased from Audible.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Yours: A Moment Forever Wedding by Cat Gardiner, a surprise gift from the author.

This is a short sequel to A Moment Forever.  You can buy yours here.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #434

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Home No Home by Naoko Fukimoto, which I purchased.

People happily live…that is ideal; however, unwanted events happen—earthquakes, tsunami, cancer, brain surgery, unfilled love, or not making monthly rent. Naoko Fujimoto, a Japanese poet, adapted these scenes into first-person narratives in which ordinary people face these broken moments. This is captured in “Home, No Home.”

Stick it to ‘Em: Playful Stickers to Color & Create: 275+ stickers with sass for family, friends, and frenemies by Bailey Fleming for review.

Stick it to ‘Em is your invitation to play as you create customized stickers with sass! With just a hint of silly irreverence, this guide includes a list of colorful art tools in addition to easy drawing and lettering techniques and step-by-step tutorials, all designed to get your cheeky creativity flowing. You’ll then be treated to more than 35 pages of stickers, including a selection of fully designed styles to use any way you like, a variety of stickers to color in, and blank stickers to create your own. Filled with tons of puns, wit, and wisecracks, Stick it to ‘Em is your answer to getting through each day with humor and fun.

Mom & Me: An Art Journal to Share, Create and Connect, Side by Side by Lacy Mucklow for review.

This full-color art journal for moms and kids to color and draw together in is designed to be a sharing experience. Mom and child can write each other letters, draw what scares them, imagine what they want to be when they are grown up, color a scene using only one favorite color, whatever their imaginations lead them to!

Mom and Me: An Art Journal to Share is filled with fun hand-lettering and artwork from Bethany Robertson along with creative prompts from licensed art therapist Lacy Mucklow.

Mucklow offers up the best ways to communicate with a child through creating together; how to start an open conversation with your child; questions you can ask that will help generate thoughtful responses; and how to tailor the quality time so it’s still fun and engaging for your child.

This art journal has 50 full-color spreads to color, fill in, draw, and more. Each spread has a creative prompt or another exercise for mom and child to fill out together.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #433

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams for review.

The New York Times bestselling author of A Certain Age transports readers to sunny Florida in this lush and enthralling historical novel—an enchanting blend of love, suspense, betrayal, and redemption set among the rumrunners and scoundrels of Prohibition-era Cocoa Beach.

Burdened by a dark family secret, Virginia Fortescue flees her oppressive home in New York City for the battlefields of World War I France. While an ambulance driver for the Red Cross, she meets a charismatic British army surgeon whose persistent charm opens her heart to the possibility of love. As the war rages, Virginia falls into a passionate affair with the dashing Captain Simon Fitzwilliam, only to discover that his past has its own dark secrets—secrets that will damage their eventual marriage and propel her back across the Atlantic to the sister and father she left behind.

Five years later, in the early days of Prohibition, the newly widowed Virginia Fitzwilliam arrives in the tropical boomtown of Cocoa Beach, Florida, to settle her husband’s estate. Despite the evidence, Virginia does not believe Simon perished in the fire that destroyed the seaside home he built for her and their young daughter. Separated from her husband since the early days of their marriage, the headstrong Virginia plans to uncover the truth, for the sake of the daughter Simon never met.

Simon’s brother and sister welcome her with open arms and introduce her to a dazzling new world of citrus groves, white beaches, bootleggers, and Prohibition agents. But Virginia senses a predatory presence lurking beneath the irresistible, hedonistic surface of this coastal oasis. The more she learns about Simon and his mysterious business interests, the more she fears that the dangers that surrounded Simon now threaten her and their daughter’s life as well.

National Geographic Kids: Weird But True! Know-it-All U.S. Presidents by Brianna Dumont for review from Media Masters Publicity.

What’s so weird about U.S. presidents? Plenty! Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was a great wrestler? That Ulysses S. Grant got a speeding ticket riding his horse – twice! Or that Benjamin Harrison was afraid of electricity? And let’s not forget that President McKinley had a pet parrot that whistled “Yankee Doodle Dandy” duets with him! In this new single-subject Weird But True book, you’ll have a blast learning that there’s a lot of substance – and weirdness – in every president’s past.

Benjamin Franklin’s Wise Words by K.M. Kostyal for review from Media Masters Publicity.

Discover history through the eyes of one of the smartest, funniest, and coolest figures from America’s past. This book presents 50 of Benjamin Franklin’s famous “wise words” from Poor Richard’s Almanack, his personal letters, and other writings, with sage advice on everything from good citizenship and manners to friendship and being happy. Sayings are paired with hilarious illustrations and witty translations for modern audiences. It’s a great go-to for inspirational and innovative ways to practice mindfulness, industriousness, and self-improvement.

Conceit & Concealment by Abigail Reynolds from the author for review.

Six years after Napoleon’s invasion of England…

Fitzwilliam Darcy is a traitor. He even admits to collaborating with Napoleon’s troops. And Elizabeth Bennet despises all traitors.

But she can’t make sense of Darcy. He doesn’t act like a traitor. He risks his own safety to save young women from the French. And how can she despise a man who loves puppies? Something about him doesn’t add up – and she finds him far too attractive.

Then Darcy’s carefully constructed world crumbles, and he must entrust his closest-held secret to Elizabeth. To protect that secret, Elizabeth must disappear entirely, leaving her family and Darcy behind, to plunge herself into the dizzying world of fashionable London and the dangers of the Loyalist Resistance. Nothing will ever be the same again.

Darcy is determined to find Elizabeth. Now that she knows the truth about him, there’s nothing to keep them apart – nothing, that is, until the day Darcy is forced to choose between his country and the life of the woman he loves…

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #432

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Seasons in an Unknown Key by Karen Mulhallen for review from Tightrope Books.

In her latest collection of poems, Karen Mulhallen takes us on a physical journey through the course of a year and on a spiritual journey through many lives. The beauty of birds, the amour fou of the inconstant lover, the rapture of the past in the history of Toronto Islands and of the city of Pompeii. This is a poet at the height of her art, crafting language and rhythm, to mirror the ebb and flow of the scene. A compelling and devastating group of poems.

Prosopagnosia by Ron Charach from Tightrope Books for review.

Riffing on the neurological condition ‘prosopagnosia’ (‘face blindness’), the difficulty recognizing familiar faces, Ron Charach’s new collection of poems explores our struggle to recognize ourselves in others, and to remain recognizable to them across the boundaries of gender, race and religion, health and illness, love and indifference, celebrity and fandom, youth and advancing age.

Friends and Enemies by J. Dawn King, a win from Diary of an Eccentric.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” Sun Tzu, 5th Century BCE

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the hero of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, has his world turned upside down when his character, of which he is particularly proud, is called into question by those whom he trusts.

Will he learn from his mistakes or remain his own worst enemy?

When he discovers a secret which could destroy not only the reputation of his beloved sister but threatens her very life, he can no longer hide behind his mask of social indifference. Dismaying circumstances will test the strength of his personal beliefs and convictions as well as his devotion to family and friends as a rival from his past determines to ruin him and take everything Darcy holds dear. Out of the flames of adversity, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, once scorned, becomes a beacon of hope.

Can love grow from adversity? Is happiness possible?

In this full-length novel set in Regency, England, true friendships are made, enemies are revealed, and happily-ever-after is on the horizon. Or is it…

Mr. Darcy’s Bad Day by J. Dawn King, which was a surprise additional gift from the author.

How could one simple decision change the course of a man’s life? In this fast-paced novella set in Regency England, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley in Derbyshire and Darcy House in London, finds himself unwillingly, or possibly, willingly attached to Miss Elizabeth Bennet. With visions of their life ahead, he presses forward until everyone in her family and his are finally convinced they are a match made in heaven. Or, are they?

Based on Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride & Prejudice, Mr. Darcy’s arrogance and pride seems to be a constant source of bitter frustration to his betrothed. He is surprised to find these less-than-sterling qualities trip himself up a time or two…or three, as well.

With his pride and her prejudice, will Darcy and Elizabeth ever get the happily-ever-after they desire? Enjoy Mr. Darcy’s point-of-view as he tells a tale that might take you by surprise. It sure did him.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #431

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Loving Robert Lowell by Sandra Hochman

Turner Publishing proudly presents the first of three new literary works by Sandra Hochman, author of Walking Papers. When asked in 1976 by a reporter from People Magazine if her first two novels were autobiographical, Sandra Hochman replied, “My real life is much more fabulous than the books. One day I plan to write about it–men, Paris and women’s liberation. It will probably be called Unreal Life.”

Hochman first met Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Robert Lowell in 1961 at the Russian Tea Room in New York. She was to interview him for Encounter magazine. Hochman was twenty-five and had recently returned from Paris where she had lived with her husband for four years. They were now separated. Lowell was forty-three with plans to leave his wife. Hochman remembers it as the day that changed her life. The two poets fell in love instantly, and before the night was over, they had vowed to stay together forever. In Hochman’s first literary work in almost forty years, she writes in startling detail about the torrid and ultimately doomed affair that would follow.

Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks, a giveaway win from Diary of an Eccentric.

Which would you pick: the person you love or your own dreams?
What would you do if given a second chance at that decision?

Eight years ago Emma Shaw picked her career and family over the man she loved, Fredrick Wentworth. Since then she has built a career in publishing and spends her free time making sure her father and sisters are taken care of. Fredrick has spent the same years building his career as a screenwriter under increasing public scrutiny as a celebrity. When the editor of Fredrick’s first book is injured, Emma is forced to travel with Fredrick on his book tour.

Tension builds for the two former lovers over the course of the tour. Emma and Fredrick must face their emotional baggage and their misunderstanding about how their break-up impacted the other. Will they be able to find their way back together for a second chance at love?

Tell the Truth. Make It Matter: A Memoir Writing Workbook by Beth Kephart, which I purchased the minute she announced it.

What are we supposed to do with that lovely, infuriating, instigating, mischievous blank page? Who are we, when we’re being uncommonly honest? Where do we stand, in the landscape of truth? How do we discover and profess the story of our life when lives are such strange and messy things? Frankly, why bother?

In Tell the Truth. Make It Matter. Beth Kephart offers an insider’s look at the making of true tales-and an illustrated workbook to guide the wild ride. Combining smartly selected samples with abundantly fresh ideas, dozens of original exercises with cautions, questions with answers, Kephart inspires, encourages, and persistently believes in those with a story to tell. Write this, Truth says. Read this. Consider this. Discover who you are. Have some honest fun with words.

Truth could not come from a more authoritative source-Beth Kephart, who, as an award-winning writer of 22 books, an award-winning teacher at the University of Pennsylvania, a winner of the 2013 Books for a Better Life Award (motivational category) for Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir, a nationally renowned speaker, and a partner in Juncture Writing Workshops, has mastered the art of leading readers and writers toward the stories of themselves. Truth should find a home among high school teachers, college professors, workshop leaders, autodidacts, secret writers and public ones. It is the perfect (graduation, birthday, holiday, friendship) gift-to others, and to oneself.

Dunkirk by Joshua Levine for review for TLC Book Tours.

The epic history of Dunkirk, May 1940: when more than 300,000 trapped Allied troops were dramatically rescued from destruction at the hands of Nazi Germany by an extraordinary seaborne evacuation.

The true history of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians involved in the evacuation during the nine days from 27 May–4 June 1940 has passed into legend.

Now the subject of an epic motion picture from director Christopher Nolan, starring Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Mark Rylance – the story Winston Churchill described as a ‘miracle’ is narrated by bestselling author Joshua Levine in its full, sweeping context.

Including new interviews with veterans and survivors, this book goes behind the scenes to explore the real lives of those soldiers, bombed and strafed on the beaches for days on end, without food and ammunition; the civilians whose boats were overloaded; the airmen who risked their lives to buy their companions on the ground precious time; and those who did not escape.

Told from the viewpoints of land, sea and air, Joshua Levine’s Dunkirk is a dramatic account of this glorious defeat.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #430

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Mister Darcy’s Christmas by Barbara Silkstone, purchased since I had book 1 and 3. Don’t know how I missed #2.

Christmas just became a lot more complicated for dog psychologist Lizzie Bennet and her sisters. While shopping in London they find little urchin Annie and her dog Sammy. As a fierce snowstorm takes over the city, the aloof but alluring Mister Darcy invites the girls, including Annie and Sammy, to spend the night at his penthouse.

With the best of intentions Darcy asks Annie and her seven siblings to join the Bennet sisters for a quiet Christmas Eve celebration in his London fortress. The skulduggery begins when Caroline Bingley – the villainess Austen fans love to boo – shows up acting the part of the Grinch and Scrooge combined.

Mister Darcy’s Christmas is the second book in Silkstone’s Mister Darcy series of light comedies based on Jane Austen’s timeless tales of jolly old England.

De Facto Feminism: Essays Straight Outta Oakland by Judy Juanita from the author for review.

DeFacto Feminism: Essays Straight Outta Oakland views activism and feminism as they play out in one writer’s political, artistic and spiritual life. A distinguished semifinalist for OSU’s 2016 Non/Fiction Collection Prize, De Facto… is a cross between Audre Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name and Jean Toomer’s Cane, blending essay, poems, graphics and literary criticism. An act of self-definition spanning four decades, the central person in DeFacto… is the writer herself, a feminist foot soldier. With the feel of memoir, these essays align with female thinkers Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Lorde, Alice Walker, Michelle Wallace, Angela Davis, bell hooks, Paula Giddings, Michelle Alexander, Roxane Gay and Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. Much like the central character in her semi-autobiographical novel, Virgin Soul, whom Juanita calls a female foot soldier, the voice herein is a feminist foot soldier, processing major shifts in American society through the portal of her own artistic development. The essays are set chronologically, beginning with a picture of her Tuskegee Airman father, and an account of a not altogether idyllic childhood in Oakland, California. A patchwork narrative emerges: Growing up in Oakland in the fifties and sixties. Comparing her burgeoning sexuality to young white females in 1964 having orgiastic responses to the Beatles. Formulating an erstwhile womanhood based on Black Nationalism.

Deconstructing the infamous N-word controversy. Looking back acerbically at her romance with The Gun and the black power movement. Paying homage to Black Arts Movement poet Carolyn M. Rodgers. Celebrating 21st century feminism in unexpected places. Examining race and micro-aggression in liberal Berkeley. Living with a ghost/mentor for a year. The book’s format moves from essay to poem to epistle, utilizing the genre of letter writing in the final essay, “Acknowledge Me,” a true ghost story in which a dead playwright, once her teacher, pushes her to succeed. “Whatever Happened to Carolyn M. Rodgers?” pays homage to a poet who became a phantom of the Black Arts Movement (BAM). Rodgers utilized the militancy of the era to draw attention to larger social issues. She mixed slang, nostalgia, curse words, sociology, raw revelation of sexual intimacies to address the abyss between black men and women; she became a near pariah for reviving her Christian faith. “Report from the Front” indicates how America’s most liberal city still channels racism. “De Facto Feminism” tallies the ways feminism finds its way in a country that counts black women out, from fighting/finding contingency, building bridges, breaking bread, doing bizness the old fashioned way, and myriad other examples.

“Cleaning Other People’s Houses” considers the value of physical labor as the author works as a domestic for a living; Juanita leaves that job remembering that Zora Neale Hurston worked as a domestic in the last impoverished decade of her life. In the wake of Trayvon Martin, “The Gun as Ultimate Performance Poem” looks at the gun’s power and role in the African American community from the Panthers to the present. “Five Comrades in The Black Panther Party, 1967-1970” is the author’s recollection on joining the Black Panthers and revisiting the movement some 40 years later. “All The Women in My Family Read Terry McMillan” finds the newly minted novelist asking what to do about black literature, as she finds that it doesn’t quite fit with the chick lit and black chick-lit books her friends and family are reading. “Putting the Funny in the Novel” was written after her agent said her novel (about the Black Panthers) wasn’t funny enough. Juanita learned standup and lived to tell the tale (and jokes). “The N-Word.” In an age of trigger warnings and multiple N-Word explosions, Juanita blasts its premature burial…with qualifications, considerations – and calling it on white cops.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #429

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Stronger Even Than Pride by Gail McEwen, a gift from Anna.

For Mature Audiences

“…in his behaviour to me there were stronger influences even than pride.” When George Wickham speaks these words to an impressionable Elizabeth Bennet, she can have no idea how true they will turn out to be. Stronger Even than Pride, Gail McEwen’s latest novel, explores whether love can survive the biggest obstacles that Fate and a most ruinous stubbornness-can conjure up to separate two people destined to be together.

After Elizabeth refuses to read the faithful narrative of Darcy’s dealings with Mr Wickham, this Pride and Prejudice variation takes an unexpected turn when she chooses to exonerate the wrong man. Events quickly spiral out of control, and Fitzwilliam Darcy is forced to watch helplessly as the woman he loves slips further and further from his grasp.

Can there be a happily ever after for them? Can a love, stronger than pride, redeem even the worst mistakes?

Beach House for Rent by Mary Alice Monroe was a surprise in the mailbox from Gallery Books.

When Cara Rutledge rents out her quaint beach house on Isle of Palms to Heather Wyatt for the entire summer, it’s a win-win by any standard: Cara’s generating income necessary to keep husband Brett’s ecotourism boat business afloat, and anxiety-prone Heather, an young artist who’s been given a commission to paint birds on postage stamps, has a quiet space in which to work and tend to her pet canaries uninterrupted.

It isn’t long, however, before both women’s idyllic summers are altered irrevocably: the alluring shorebirds—and the man who rescues them—begin to draw Heather out of the shell she’s cultivated toward a world of adventure, and maybe even love; at the same time, Cara’s life reels with sudden tragedy, and she wishes only to return to the beach house that had once been her port amidst life’s storms. When Heather refuses to budge from her newfound sanctuary, so begins the unlikeliest of rooming situations. While they start out as strangers, as everything around the women falls apart they learn that the only thing they can really rely on is each other.

And, like the migrating shorebirds that come to the island for the summer, these two women of different generations must rediscover their unique strengths so by summer’s end they, too, can take flight in ways they never imagined possible.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #428

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

When It’s Over by Barbara Ridley for review from Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity.

Coming of age in Prague in the 1930s, Lena Kulkova is inspired by the left-wing activists who resist the rise of fascism. She meets Otto, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, and follows him to Paris to work for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. As the war in Spain ends and a far greater war engulfs the continent, Lena gets stuck in Paris with no news from her Jewish family, including her beloved baby sister, left behind in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. Otto, meanwhile, has fled to a village in England, and urges Lena to join him, but she can’t obtain a visa.

When Lena and Otto are finally reunited, the safe haven Lena has hoped for doesn’t last long. Their relationship becomes strained, and Lena is torn between her loyalty to Otto and her growing attraction to Milton, the son of the eccentric Lady of the Manor. As the war continues, she yearns to be reunited with her sister, while Milton is preoccupied with the political turmoil that leads to the landslide defeat of Churchill in the 1945 election.

Based on a true story, When It’s Over is a moving, resonant, and timely read about the lives of war refugees, dramatic political changes, and the importance of family, love, and hope.

This Book Stinks: Gross Garbage, Rotten Rubbish, and the Science of Trash by Sarah Wassner Flynn for review.

Get up close and personal with a wonderful world of waste. From composting and recycling, to landfills and dumps, to how creative people are finding new ways to reuse rubbish. It’s fun to talk trash when it’s jam-packed with infographics, thematic spreads, wow-worthy photos, sidebars, serious stats, and fabulous facts. Also included are quizzes and activities to inspire kids to take action, be proactive, and rethink the things we throw away.

The Indomitable Miss Elizabeth by Jennifer Joy, which I won from her Audible giveaway.

Two determined women. One murder. No eyewitnesses.

Lady Catherine has come to Meryton.

When a devastating secret is revealed, putting Elizabeth Bennet’s future happiness and the loyalty of the man she loves in the balance, her hopes for a Happily-Ever-After are dashed to pieces. Threats are made and family obligations are enforced, leading to an event no one could foresee. Another murder in Meryton.

Fitzwilliam Darcy is more determined than ever to win Elizabeth’s love — no matter what obstacles their families place between them. When a matron is found murdered in the midst of a militia parade, he soon discovers the strength of the woman’s enemies … and their closeness to Elizabeth. Can Darcy protect her when she is determined to bring the murderer to justice?

With a killer on the loose and their hearts on the line, can Darcy and Elizabeth work together to solve another mystery while fighting for each other? Or will the pressure break them apart forever?

Bestselling author, Jennifer Joy, brings you The Indomitable Miss Elizabeth, the second standalone novel in the A Meryton Mystery romance series. If you like falling in love with characters as they fall for each other while uncovering shocking secrets, then you’ll love this mystery romance.

Ageless Bride: Famous Designers Dress, Inspire & Celebrate Brides Over 50! by Gigi Schilling for review.

Ageless Bride is lovingly dedicated to brides over 50. In her new book twelve famous designers, (Isaac Mizrahi, Zac Posen, Ellen Christine, Vicky Tiel, Angel Sanchez, Betsey Johnson, Hal Rubenstein, Jeannie McQueeny, Amy Zerner, Ines Di Santo, Jeff Mahshie and Guo Pei), offer sage guidance and share fantasy dresses that they envision for the over 50 and ageless bride. Author Gigi Schilling nurtures her readers with inspiration for their special day. As Gigi says, “Love is ageless and so is the over 50 bride!”

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #427

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

New York City Haiku, which I won from Library of Clean Reads.

New York City Haiku collects 150 of the best haiku inspired by the Big Apple. These succinct three-line poems express not only the personal experiences of every New Yorker (or New Yorker at heart), but also the universal truths about living and loving everything that New York has to offer as well.

Written by poets of all ages and from across the country, this affordable and giftable collection creates an honest and often hilarious volume chronicling what New York is all about. A must-have for anyone who aspires to “make it there,” New York City Haiku is a thoughtful and fun testament to the city and its people.

Searching for Mr. Tilney by Jane Odiwe from the author for review.

What secrets lie at the heart of Jane Austen’s teenage journal?

When Caroline Heath is taken to Bath in 1975, she little expects to find the gothic adventure she craves, let alone discover Jane Austen’s secret teenage journal, or how it’s possible to live in someone else’s body. Yet, she’s soon caught up in a whirlwind of fantastic events – travels through time, a love story or three, and even the odd sinister murder – or so she thinks.

As the past and present entwine, Jane’s journal reveals a coming of age tale, set against the scandalous backdrop of Knole Park in Kent, and the story behind an enigmatic portrait. In Bath, a Georgian townhouse acts as a portal in time, and Caroline finds herself becoming Cassandra Austen, a young woman making her debut in society, torn between family duty and the love of her life. As the riddles unfold, and the lines blur between illusion and reality, will Caroline find the happiness she seeks or will she indulge her wild imagination, threatening her future and a fairy tale ending?

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #426

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

The Nightlife by Elise Paschen for review from Mary Bisbee-Beek.

In Elise Paschen’s prize-winning poetry collection, Infidelities, Richard Wilbur wrote that the poems “. . . draw upon a dream life which can deeply tincture the waking world.” In her third poetry book, The Nightlife, Paschen once again taps into dream states, creating a narrative which balances between the lived and the imagined life. Probing the tension between “The Elevated” and the “Falls,” she explores troubled love and relationships, the danger of accident and emotional volatility. At the heart of the book is a dream triptych which retells the same encounter from different perspectives, the drama between the narrative described and the sexual tension created there.

The Nightlife demonstrates Paschen’s versatility and formal mastery as she experiments with forms such as the pantoum, the villanelle and the tritina, as well as concrete poems and poems in free verse. Throughout this poetry collection, she interweaves lyric and narrative threads, creating a contrapuntal story-line. The book begins with a dive into deep water and ends with an opening into sky.

Where is North by Alison Jarvis for review from Mary Bisbee-Beek.

Poetry. Winner of the 2015 Gerald Cable Book Award. “In Alison Jarvis’ extraordinary WHERE IS NORTH, a life unfolds between breath-taking love poems. There’s a powerful arc, but it’s a vortex, more visceral than linear. Dramatic moments enclose each other like Russian dolls, ‘the future falling back into itself,’ so that the air between I and Thou becomes charged with the trials of childhood, the rigors of history, the mirror-life of dreams…WHERE IS NORTH is a profoundly necessary book for our strange era.”—D. Nurkse

Library of Small Happiness by Leslie Ullman for review from Mary Bisbee-Beek.

In acclaimed poet Leslie Ullman’s fifth and newest book, she offers a glorious hybrid collection of essays, poems, and writing exercises. Inviting writers and serious readers into the spaces poetry can open up around us and inside us, Library Of Small Happiness focuses on aspects of craft while embracing a holistic approach that makes accessible the unique intelligence of poetry. The essay section of the book addresses subjects such as the interactive role between silence and utterance, finding the center of a poem, and the Golden Spiral as it applies to the structure of a work and the process of its creation. The exercise section offers prompts that can be used by writers, teachers, and students to generate surprising language, fresh imagery, and innovative territories for crafting poems.

Average Neuroses by Marianne Koluda Hansen for review from Mary Bisbee-Beek.

The whole blooming and exasperating world is here in Hansen’s delightfully associative poems, translated from Danish by Michael Goldman with great élan. Hansen’s voice is full of wit, longing, irony (both personal and political), and tender detail about the absurdity of being human. Thrillingly, Hansen has zero interest in presenting herself as an admirable person, which makes me deeply cherish her poems, and helps me to go on being my likewise unadmirable self in this beautiful and impossible world.
Patrick Donnelly, poet and translator, author of The Charge, and Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin

Hansen writes movingly about insecurity and anxiety. Her voice is a solitary one, but she taps into a most universal desire—to be accepted by those around us. At the core of the collection is the poet’s struggle to maintain an emotional balance in the face of the extreme beauty and pain of everyday life. Leah Browning, Editor Apple Valley Review: A Journal of Contemporary Literature

With skillful irony Hansen skewers pretentiousness, including herself as a target. It is liberating to read an author who can be self-deprecating and laugh along with the reader. Then she can turn the mood on a dime, to seriousness so poignant that the laughter or smile stiffens on your face. Highly recommended.
Herdis Møllehave, Aktuelt

Hansen transports the reader to that raw place between tears and laughter. She illuminates the causes of our struggling so that our actions are no longer struggles, but natural and completely understandable.
Eva Bostrup Fischer, Jyllands-Posten

Average Neuroses is a remarkable collection of poetic narratives full of brutal honesty, sardonic wit, and wry humor. Hansen’s insight into the desperation and routine of conventional lives—such as her own, which she characterizes as “too good to throw away / and too boring to keep”—is profound: heartbreaking and hilarious all at once. This Danish poet pulls no punches; I admire her and her poetry, beautifully translated by Michael Goldman.

What did you receive?