Mailbox Monday #167

Mailbox Mondays (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch. This month’s host is Diary of an Eccentric.

Kristi of The Story Siren continues to sponsor her In My Mailbox meme.

Both of these memes allow bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received this week:

1.  What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes, which I bought.

In 1968, at the age of twenty-three, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty Marines who would live or die by his decisions. Marlantes survived, but like many of his brothers in arms, he has spent the last forty years dealing with his war experience. In What It Is Like to Go to War, Marlantes takes a deeply personal and candid look at what it is like to experience the ordeal of combat, critically examining how we might better prepare our soldiers for war. Marlantes weaves riveting accounts of his combat experiences with thoughtful analysis, self-examination, and his readings—from Homer to The Mahabharata to Jung. He makes it clear just how poorly prepared our nineteen-year-old warriors are for the psychological and spiritual aspects of the journey.

Just as Matterhorn is already being acclaimed as acclaimed as a classic of war literature, What It Is Like to Go to War is set to become required reading for anyone—soldier or civilian—interested in this visceral and all too essential part of the human experience.

2.  The Names of Things by John Colman Wood for review in May from Ashland Creek Press.

The anthropologist’s wife, an artist, didn’t want to follow her husband to the remote desert of northeast Africa to live with camel-herding nomads. But wanting to be with him, she endured the trip, only to fall desperately ill years later with a disease that leaves her husband with more questions than answers.

When the anthropologist discovers a deception that shatters his grief and guilt, he begins to reevaluate his love for his wife as well as his friendship with one of the nomads he studied. He returns to Africa to make sense of what happened, traveling into the far reaches of the Chalbi Desert, where he must sift through the layers of his memories and reconcile them with what he now knows.

3.  The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng for review in March from Myrmidon Books.

It’s Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambrige and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh, herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle fringed plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up as a child. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in Kuala Lumpur, in memory of her sister who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses, but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice ‘until the monsoon comes’. Then she can design a garden for herself. As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to her sensei and his art while, outside the garden, the threat of murder and kidnapping from the guerrillas of the jungle hinterland increases with each passing day. But the Garden of Evening Mists is also a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? Why is it that Yun Ling’s friend and host Magnus Praetorius, seems to almost immune from the depredations of the Communists? What is the legend of ‘Yamashita’s Gold’ and does it have any basis in fact? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?

4. A Demon Does It Better by Linda Wisdom, which I won from Peeking Between the Pages.

After more than a century, Doctor Lili Carter, witch healer extraordinaire, has returned to San Francisco and taken a job at Crying Souls Hospital and Asylum, where something peculiar and wicked his happening. Patients are disappearing, and Lil wants to know why. AND DOUBLY DANGEROUS FOR A DEMON… Lili finds herself undeniably attracted to perhaps the most mysterious patient of all-a demented but seriously sexy demon named Jared. What’s behind the gorgeous chameleon demon’s late-night escapades? Before long, Lili and Jared are investigating each other-and creating a whole new kind of magic.

What did you receive this week?

Interview With Linda Wisdom

I recently reviewed Hex in High Heels by Linda Wisdom, if you missed the review, click on the link to check it out.  It is the fourth book in her paranormal, romance series.

Today, Linda took time out of her schedule to answer a few interview questions on her tour stop with Sourcebooks.  Let’s give her a warm welcome.

What inspired you to write about sassy witches? 

They chose me. I used to hear “write dark edgy vampires” and my muse said “not for you”. Shapeshifters didn’t pop, but Jazz did. And the minute she entered my imagination I knew, just like Goldilocks in that third bed, that this was just right. To this day, I haven’t felt as if this was a wrong decision.

Have you always been interested in the paranormal and have you had a paranormal experience?

Yes, I have. I wrote my first paranormal romance in the late 80s and a few others after that and knew there was more in my future. As for paranormal experiences, I’ve had a few. We have a house ghost who likes to take things and we had something dark in the back yard several years ago that I still don’t like to think about! 

Could you describe a typical writing day for you and what helps you punch through writer’s block?

After I’ve had enough caffeine to feel human, I check my email, see if there’s anything that needs immediate attention and check any blogs I’m on that day. Then I pull up my book file and write. I refuse to stare at my screen when I’m blocked. I shut off the computer for an hour or so. Sometimes do something around the house or I go out. There’s been many a time that ideas flow when I’m driving around.

Do you read books in the genre you write or could you name some of the most recent books you’ve read that you enjoyed?  

Definitely. I recently finished Victoria Laurie’s Doom with a View, Wendy Roberts latest. 

Some writers have obsessions or listen to music while writing.  Do you have similar obsessions and what are some of your favorite groups or bands? 

For me it’s movies. I watch all genres and it depends on my moods. For music it’s Celtic and golden oldies. I tend to change playlists according to the witch I’m writing at the time. Maggie, my present witch, leans toward Zydeco. 

If you were a witch with magical powers, what spell would you love to conjure and why? 

Oh, the power! I’d want to snap my fingers and see the house magickally cleaned. And I’m talking all corners, grout, high places, and top of the refrigerator. :} Anything else I’m fine with, but I’d sure love to have a clean house in the wink of an eye.  

Sourcebooks is offering 1 U.S. or Canadian reader a copy of Hex in High Heels and Wicked by Any Other Name by Linda Wisdom as a set to 1 winner.  

To Enter:

1.  Leave a comment on this post about an interview highlight.
2.  Leave a comment on my review of Hex in High Heels and leave me a comment here.
3.  Blog, Tweet, Facebook this giveaway and leave me a comment.

Deadline is Oct. 9, 2009, 11:59PM EST.

Hex in High Heels by Linda Wisdom

Linda Wisdom‘s Hex in High Heels is a fun novel that will have readers giggling and becoming inspired to use their own magical revenge spells.

“Horace bounced up and down in his excitement as he met Blair and Stasi at the kitchen door.  ‘Let me tell you, wolf shit smells really bad when it’s set on fire.  I put bags outside of every door, so they got it everywhere.  That Roan dude was royally pissed, too.  And I left a bag at the end of one of the ski runs and someone ran right into it!’ he chortled.  ‘Talk about brown skid marks,’ he snickered.” (Page 232 of ARC)

Blair is a a hot-headed, sexy small-town witch with fiery locks who just happens to have the hots for a shape-shifting Were Border Collie outcast, Jake Harrison.  Her roommate, Stasi (short for Anastasia) Romanov, own a pair of shops and a great deal of land, including a lake.  While Stasi sells lingerie and romance novels, Blair sells a variety of antiques with each day bringing in a new theme, ranging from the roaring 20s to WWII.

Their quaint life is interrupted when Jake’s former Pack moves in on the witches’ land and attempts to bring him back into the fold.  With help from a gargoyle sidekick named Horace, ghosts, and their other friends, the Were Pack runs into some trouble.

“Her squeak came out louder than expected.  She turned to the front of the room and took a longer look.  ‘Oh boy, you’re right — that’s one powerful Were up there, and I don’t think he’s a Werepoodle, either.'” (Page 68 of ARC)

Wisdom’s characters are quirky and outlandish, but the magic is in the fun these characters have with one another and when battling common enemies.  Readers who have not read paranormal romance before should be cautioned that there are detailed sex scenes in this novel and reality will have to be suspended.  Readers looking for some light reading and just a good deal of fun, Hex in High Heels is for you this Halloween.

Stay tuned for my interview with Linda Wisdom and a giveaway on Oct. 2, 2009.

Also Reviewed by:
Book Chick City

 Check out the rest of the Linda Wisdom Tour:

October 1
Yankee Romance Reviewers Guest Blog
October 2Savvy Verse & Wit Interviewhttp://www.savvyverseandwit.com/
Fresh Fiction Guest Bloghttp://www.freshfiction.com
October 5(open)
October 6Long & Short of It Guest Bloghttp://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/
Night Owl Romance Guest Blog 2 (recurring appearances throughout the month)http://nightowlromanceblog.blogspot.com/
October 7Anna’s Book Blog Guest Bloghttp://annavivian.blogspot.com/
October 8Midnight Caféhttp://midnightmooncafe.blogspot.com/  
October 9Bitten By Books Guest Bloghttp://bittenbybooks.com
October 12Star-Crossed Romance Guest Bloghttp://www.star-crossedromance.blogspot.com/
October 13Literary Escapism Interviewhttp://www.literaryescapism.com/
Peeking Between the Pages Guest Bloghttp://peekingbetweenthepages.blogspot.com/
October 14Drey’s Library Interviewhttp://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com/
Night Owl Romance Guest Blog 2http://nightowlromanceblog.blogspot.com/
October 15A Journey of Books Guest Bloghttp://ajourneyofbooks.blogspot.com
October 16Love Romance Passionhttp://www.loveromancepassion.com/
October 19So Many Books Guest Bloghttp://purplg8r-somanybooks.blogspot.com
October 20Pop Syndicate Interviewhttp://www.popsyndicate.com
Night Owl Romance Guest Blog 3http://nightowlromanceblog.blogspot.com/
October 21Cheryl’s Book Nook Guest Bloghttp://nightowlromanceblog.blogspot.com/
October 22Wendy’s Minding Spot Guest Bloghttp://mindingspot.blogspot.com/
October 23Fang-tastic Books Guest Blogwww.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com
October 26Night Owl Romance Guest Blog 4http://nightowlromanceblog.blogspot.com/