Tag Archives: Charity Shop

In My Mailbox (13): Sunday 29 July 2012

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Welcome to
In My Mailbox!!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and Letterbox Love is a British take on the idea. If you want to know more, there is information under the Fun Things heading above, or you can click on the pictures at the top of this post to take you to the hosts’ blogs.

These posts are to tell you about the books I have acquired recently. I know most bloggers call all such posts “In My Mailbox”, however, as I’m English, my physical post comes through my letterbox and my electronic mail arrives in my mailbox (or my inbox…). So I have decided to use the following terms:

In My Letterbox (IML) for the physical books I aquire;
In My Mailbox (IMM) for the NetGalley books or ebooks sent to me for review by authors;
In My Inbox (IMI) for the free Kindle ebooks I compulsively download!

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I have got very behind on reading and reviewing NetGalley books, so I thought it about time I at least listed some of them on my blog.  Currently I’m reading some author-gifted books, then I’m going to get stuck in to some of these.  I now have a list of all downloaded books in a spreadsheet, so I can list any I’ve missed in a future IMM.

NETGALLEY Books RECEIVED in June:

1. A Kiss Goodbye by Audrey Penn

Publisher: Tanglewood 15 April 2007

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2. Resonance by A.J. Scudiere

Publisher: Griffyn Ink 10 January 2010

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3. Rise by Yosef Gotlieb

Publisher: Atida Press. The Olive Group 01 October 2011

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4. The White Oak by Kim White

Publisher: Story Machine Studio 09 April 2012

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5. Shades of Murder by Lauren Carr

Publisher: Acorn Book Services, CreateSpace 15 May 2012

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6. Till We Eat Again by Judy Gruen

Publisher: CreateSpace 21 May 2012

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7. Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster

Publisher: Minotaur Books, St. Martin’s Press 05 June 2012

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8. Dog Is My Copilot by Patrick Regan

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing 19 June 2012

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9. The World Without You by Joshua Henkin

Publisher: Pantheon Books, Knopf Doubleday 19 June 2012

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10. One Moment by Kristina McBride

Publisher: Egmont USA 26 June 2012

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11. Elza’s Kitchen by Marc Fitten

Publisher: Bloomsbury 03 July 2012

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How has your collection grown recently? Leave me a comment with a link and I’ll pop over!  Happy reading and hope to see you next week.

In My Letterbox (12): Monday 25 June to 22 July 2012

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Welcome to
In My Letterbox!!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and Letterbox Love is a British take on the idea. If you want to know more, there is information under the Fun Things heading above, or you can click on the pictures at the top of this post to take you to the hosts’ blogs.

These posts are to tell you about the books I have acquired recently. I know most bloggers call all such posts “In My Mailbox”, however, as I’m English, my physical post comes through my letterbox and my electronic mail arrives in my mailbox (or my inbox…). So I have decided to use the following terms:

In My Letterbox (IML) for the physical books I aquire;
In My Mailbox (IMM) for the NetGalley books or ebooks sent to me for review by authors;
In My Inbox (IMI) for the free Kindle ebooks I compulsively download!

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Catching up with the books acquired during my slight life hiccup…

Books I have won on Goodreads First Reads:

1. The Plaza by Guillermo Paxton

The PlazaThe Plaza by Guillermo Paxton

Plaza-in Mexican culture, a slang word describing the territory of a certain cartel.
Imagine your town the battleground for drug cartels. Imagine police being killed on a daily basis, bands of teenagers working as paid assassins, extortionists hitting every business, no matter how small it was. Imagine every time you went out to a restaurant, cut your hair, or even went to the movies your life was in danger, be it robberies or public executions. Imagine just five homicides in a twenty-four hour period being considered a “good” day. This is the description of what it is to live in Juarez, Mexico. In The Plaza, Guillermo Paxton explores the horror of what it was to see the place he called home turn into this nightmare.
Saul Saavedra is a crime reporter for the Juarez Daily newspaper. In just a year’s time he saw his city change from decent place to live and work to a crime-infested inferno. He reports the happenings in a city that is experiencing total social decay and writes against the government that at best does nothing about it. Two major drug cartels battle it out in Juarez and Saul soon finds himself in the crossfire between La Linea and the Sinaloa Cartel.
Guns for hire are a dime a dozen in a war among cartels, but Felipe stands out as one of the best. His only love is for money, or so he believes, until he meets a beautiful young prostitute named Ruby. As he rises in the ranks of La Linea his relationship with Ruby changes as well, and soon he learns that she too has a taste for blood.
Thousands of Mexicans are deported to Mexico every year, Juarez being a dumping ground for many. Some are convicts that have spent years in federal prison and now have lost their status as residents. Juan, a psychopathic killer, is given the option to return to Mexico or finish out his sentence in the federal penitentiary. For him the choice is obvious and he soon finds himself at home in violent Juarez and finds work in the Sinaloa Cartel.
Based on true events in the city of Juarez, The Plaza is about the people, the government and the cartels that make up both the innocent victims and the criminals that are the pawns in the drug war of Mexico.

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I’m not sure how I feel about winning this book…I have a feeling that reading it will not be comfortable. Then again, that’s true of a number of books that I’ve won recently!

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2. Sanctuary by Glyn Smith-Wild

SanctuarySanctuary by Glyn Smith-Wild

At first glance, ‘Sanctuary’ may appear to be a romantic novel, but it isn’t. Nothing is as straightforward as it seems.
‘Sanctuary’ tells the story of Ben Coverdale and his decision to start a new life in France after his love-life in England collapses. However, Ben’s life is quickly reshaped by events put in place long before his departure to France and their consequences reveal a story of suspense and intrigue. Mary, Katie and Grunge all provide Ben with more problems than he can at times cope with.
Combined with his love of France and a surprising amount of input from the characters in the book, ‘Sanctuary’ is an appealing read for fellow lovers of France with mystery and romance adding to its appeal.

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I’ve already read Sanctuary – watch out for the review!
If you’re quick, you can get a free kindle copy today…see this note from the author:
The Kindle edition of ‘Sanctuary’ is FREE this week-end. It will not be offered fro free again, so get you copy today. And if you enjoy it (and most readers seem to) please leave a review.

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

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3. Sand Dollar by Sebastian Cole

Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying LoveSand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love by Sebastian Cole

What if you lost your true soul mate, the one person in life you were meant to be with? Would your love ever truly die? Not if you’re Noah Hartman, who refuses to let go of Robin after she inexplicably abandons their love and disappears from his life seemingly forever, her hidden secret yet to be discovered.
And when you finally accept your fate and do your best to move on with your life, what do you say when the unthinkable happens: your true love Robin reappears as your wedding ceremony to another woman is about to commence, looks deep into your soul with her loving, tear-filled eyes, and tells you the one thing you’ve desperately longed to hear for all of these years?
But the ending to this heart-wrenching love story has yet to be written, as Noah, old and sick in a hospital bed, tells his story of love and loss to Josh, a wise orderly at Mount Sinai Hospital. As his family members arrive to bid him goodbye, Noah discovers a far greater truth about his past, present, and future. Things are definitely not as they appear as the pieces of a shattered love are put back together in the remarkable final chapter of Noah’s life.

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I’m looking forward to reading this one.

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4. Spellbound by Monique N Peterson

Spellbound Spellbound by Monique N. Peterson

Have you ever wanted someone…you couldn’t have? For almost a year, all Bea wanted was for things to go back to the way they were before her best friend left…but when Caid Knight comes into her life, everything changes. Even after Princess Jennipher returns, there is something different about the friendship they once shared as her relationships with fellow housemaids, Kerry and Lucy, begin altering and dwindling. News of a revolt against Crimson Isle’s four monarchies threatens the lives of those closest to her while her own safety becomes the most endangered as she considers leaving the only home she has ever known. As for Caid, her feelings for him are growing stronger with each passing day yet she doesn’t know how he feels about her. Before she can ask, she is told that fate will not allow them to be together, regardless of what she tries to do to be with him. Will she defy this foretelling or surrender herself to it?

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This sounds interesting and entertaining.

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5. Codon Zero by Jim Hendee

Codon ZeroCodon Zero by Jim Hendee

Jason Stouter, a U.S. intelligence officer forced into retirement by the Mossad, confronts an old nemesis, Kahlil Zufar, during a Middle East conflict final solution. A secret group of genetic engineers tricks Jaason into embarking upon blackmail of Israel and the Arab nations to achieve peace throughout the Middle East. The geneticists engineer a very selective virus, but Jason’s nemesis hijacks the virus for his own purposes, imperiling the mission for peace. Through the cooperative efforts of his friend in the FBI and two sexy but dangerous women he meets along the way, Jason now has to stop the spread of the virus yet allow the dream of peace to go forward. Through the Florida Keys, Jackson Hole, Boston, Israel and Jordan, Jason struggles to find out why Zufar needs to wield the deadliest weapon the Middle East has ever seen to realize his ultimate vision.

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I love a good conspiracy novel with plenty of science thrown in.

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6. Luke Wood presents More than a Million Words by Luke Wood

Luke Wood presents More than a Million WordsLuke Wood presents More than a Million Words by Luke Wood

More than a Million Words is a collection of many unknown authors showcasing their natural talents.  In this anthology you find many different authors with many different writing styles while each shine in their own way.
More than a Million Words was arranged by Luke Wood after receiving great literary works from unknown writers for reading and critiquing.  Luke found all of the material incredible and chose to put together an anthology featuring the great talents of these incredible writers.

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I’m most of the way through these stories and poems, and enjoying meeting new authors.

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7. Redhead by Ian Cook

RedheadRedhead by Ian Cook

A must-read for all redheads and their admirers as well as fans of science fiction and horror.
Redheads have always attracted attention: desired, envied, pitied, ridiculed, even persecuted. Now the sacrifices begin…
In 1921, in the ruined city of Carthage near Tunis, a red-haired French archaeologist hears the cries of long-dead children as he stumbles upon a legendary sacrificial site. Shortly afterwards, he is viciously attacked by a hawk.
Back in present-day London, flame-haired journalist Rebecca Burns investigates strange and macabre events which seem to be directed against redheads worldwide. Together with young astrophysicist Dr Jim Cavendish and Professor Larry Burton, an authority on ancient civilisations, she is drawn into an age-old feud…a feud that threatens the very existence of redheads everywhere.

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Read this the day it arrived…rather good 🙂 review to follow…

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8. Alice Parker’s Metamorphosis by Nicola Palmer

Alice Parker's Metamorphosis (Alice Parker, #1)Alice Parker’s Metamorphosis by Nicola Palmer

Feisty thirteen-year-old Alice Parker knows something isn’t right. Aches and pains have started, she hardly sleeps and her craving for fruit is out of control. Suddenly she is top of the class in every subject. Feeling at odds with the world and being bullied by the ‘coven’ at school, Alice can’t take much more. Only when she collapses and experiences a life-changing transformation does she learn why she is different. But with this new identity comes responsibility and Alice isn’t convinced she can rise to the challenge. She just wants to be normal! The fact is she’s anything but.
Forgotten tales of a magical society are catapulted into the daily life of strong, memorable female characters who readers will grow to love. An intriguing blend of realism, suspense and fantasy, a must-read for girls of 7+.

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And I’ve read this one too! It’s a really good children’s book and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.  My neice may well get my copy, if I can bear to part with it!

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BOOKS bought from the hospital charity stall:

1. Icebound by Dean Koontz

Icebound. by Dean Koontz

A stunning and suspenseful thriller, about humanity’s continuous and sometimes futile battle against nature from one of the most popular and bestselling authors in America.
Conducting a strange and urgent experiment of the Arctic icefield, a team of scientists has planted sixty powerful explosive charges that will detonate at midnight. Before they can withdraw to the safety of the base camp, a shattering tidal wave breaks loose the ice on which they are working. Now they are hopelessly marooned on an iceberg during a violent winter storm. The bombs beneath them are buried irretrievable deep . . . and ticking. And they discover that one of them is an assassin with mission of his won. This is classic Koontz.

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Goodreads don’t have the cover image for the edition I bought…yet.  I’m working on finding it for them.

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2. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's WifeThe Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This extraordinary, magical novel is the story of Clare and Henry who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty.

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 I’ve wanted to read this for some time, so I snaffled this copy when I saw it.

Author gift

1. Keys to the Castle by Donna Ball

Keys to the CastleKeys to the Castle by Donna Ball

When a dashing French poet swept forty-something workaholic Sara Graves off her feet, she did something completely unexpected: She married him. Then three weeks later he died, leaving her a house she can’t afford to keep in a country she’s never been to. Traveling to France to settle the estate, Sara is shocked to discover that her husband wasn’t the impoverished poet he claimed to be- and that the estate he left her is a 400-year-old crumbling castle in the Loire Valley. Now Sara must sell Chateau Rondelais before it (not to mention her late husband’s disarmingly handsome lawyer and best friend) makes her question her decision to leave-and opens her heart to change and all its unexpected possibilities.

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Donna Ball kindly sent me this book when I was drawn third in her competition for reader/reviewers.  What a lovely surprise!

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Those are all the physical books that have entered my house in the last four weeks. Next time, I’ll cover some of the electronic books.
Don’t forget to leave links to your posts so I can have a virtual nosey around your shelves!

In My Letterbox: Sunday 22 April 2012

I am aware that I have been rather lax in writing reviews and posting here on my blog in the last month or so. My excuse is that I have been reading compulsively and to the exclusion of most other non-essential things!

I decided that I need to do something about that and to get myself back on track. This first In My Letterbox post is the beginning of this process. First, let me explain the title…

I know most bloggers call such posts “In My Mailbox”, however, as I’m English, my physical post comes through my letterbox and my electronic mail arrives in my mailbox (or my inbox…). So I have decided that when I tell you all about my physical books, I shall entitle the post In My Letterbox (IML); when posting about NetGalley books, In My Mailbox (IMM); and when I list the free Kindle ebooks I compulsively download, I shall call it In My Inbox (IMI)!

Having got that off my chest:

Welcome to My First
In My Letterbox!!

These are the physical books I acquired on Thursday 12 April. There are a few other physical books in my house I have not yet read; I may list them in a future On My Bookshelf (OMB) post.

I thought I’d list the books and provide covers, blurb and links to the Goodreads entries. Let me know if you think the format works.

Books I have won on Goodreads First Reads:

1. The First Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks

The First Rule of Ten: Book One of the Dharma Detective SeriesThe First Rule of Ten: Book One of the Dharma Detective Series by Gay Hendricks

Tenzing Norbu (“Ten” for short)–ex-monk and soon-to-be ex-cop–is a protagonist unique to our times. In “The First Rule of Ten,” the first installment in a three-book detective series, readers meet this spiritual warrior who is singularly equipped, if not occasionally ill-equipped, as he takes on his first case as a private investigator in Los Angeles.

I am really pleased to have won this book – I was really hoping I would as I just loved the ideas sparked by the blurb. I had a long wait to get my paws on it, as the Post Office first returned it undelivered! Thankfully, the publisher resent it after double checking my address and it arrived safely on April 12 🙂

2. Salsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops

Salsa InvertebraxaSalsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops

Shortlisted for Best Graphic Novel 2012 by the Aurealis Awards, Salsa Invertebraxa is a storybook unlike any other, an Alice in Wonderland for insects, set in an imaginary world as two tiny companions set out on an odyssey of discovery. With one antenna listening out for vast armies competing for dominance on the forest floor, the two friends encounter strange new species of insect among surreal gardens of terrestrial delights. At nightfall, their mischief takes on a mysterious and foreboding turn as they attempt to steal eggs from monstrous super-predators, disturbing the fragile tranquillity of this bizarre Eden.

After an incubation of 15 years, Mozchops has exquisitely crafted over 200 paintings to tell this story of a beautiful and dangerous world.

Salsa Invertebraxa is currently only available from the publisher’s website. Go to http://www.pecksniffpress.com/orderin… for details.

I entered this draw because it looked interesting – and boy was I blown away when the book arrived! I read it that night (April 12 again) after eating my evening meal. The review will be posted shortly!

3. Little Girls: A Short Story Novella by Elton Loud

Little Girls: A Short Story NovellaLittle Girls: A Short Story Novella by Elton Loud

“It had been a little over two days since fifteen-year-old Shanice had seen real sunlight, or another person. Despondent, she sat silent on the basement floor, her jeans soiled with the red sediment from the brick walls that lined the damp basement.”

The place is Oakland. The year is 2004.

Little Girls: A Short Story Novella is a collection of linked short stories that focus on a group of characters whose connection to each other is the sex trade in the Oakland Bay Area. More than a collection about prostitutes or prostitution, Little Girls examines the complexities of the human condition, cutting across generations of family to reveal the people, places and history that have formed their identities, and motivations.

Mistakes will be made. Lessons will be ignored. Consequences will be deserved. Each story is unique, and will grab and hold the reader from the first line.

To read samples, please visit www.littlegirlsnovel.com

The blurb for this book indicated that it has a somewhat challenging subject matter; I thought this would be good after my recent diet of literary fluff (wait till I catch up with the outstanding reviews!), so I’m glad I’ve won this one. This also arrived on April 12.

Books  bought new on Thursday 12 April:

1. My Grammar and I by Caroline Taggart

My Grammar And I (Or Should That Be 'Me'?)

My Grammar And I by Caroline Taggart

Can you tell when a sentence contains more clichés than you’ve had hot dinners?  Is a preposition necessarily a bad thing to end a sentence with?  Are to able to immediately spot a split infinitive?

Whether your schooling in English grammar amounted to ‘a verb is a doing word and an noun is a naming word’, or whether you simply want to brush up your existing skills, this wittily observed book is guaranteed to enlighten and entertain.

I love grammar, for me it’s the framework on which any language hangs. It makes sense of what could otherwise be ambiguous collections of words. I had a quick look at this book in the shop and decided that it is well laid out and with clear explanations. Perfect for the next time someone tells me I’m wrong!

2. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual EnlightenmentThe Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

Ekhart Tolle’s message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle’s clear writing, supportive voice and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who’s ever wondered what exactly “living in the now” means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to explain complicated concepts in concrete language. More importantly, within a chapter of reading this book, readers are already holding the world in a different container–more conscious of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of their ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.

Tolle packs a lot of information and inspirational ideas into The Power of Now. (Topics include the source of Chi, enlightened relationships, creative use of the mind, impermanence and the cycle of life.) Thankfully, he’s added markers that symbolise “break time”. This is when readers should close the book and mull over what they just read. As a result, The Power of Now reads like the highly acclaimed A Course in Miracles–a spiritual guidebook that has the potential to inspire just as many study groups and change just as many lives for the better. —Gail Hudson

I liked the title and I thought the back cover blurb sounded interesting – a summary of a number of other books on the subject. A quick flick inside showed very small print…

The Goodreads reviews were mixed; we’ll see with which ones I agree!

Books I bought at the hospital …

… while waiting to have my bloods checked (the money goes to the BBC Children in Need Charity)

1. Of Love and Life, a Readers’ Digest paperback

Of love & life: Constance / Starburst / Garden SpellsOf love & life: Constance / Starburst / Garden Spells by Rosie Thomas

This volume contains abridged versions of the following books:

Constance by Rosie Thomas

All her life Constance has had a rocky relationship with her deaf sister Jeanette – not helped when they both fall in love with the same man. But now, after years of silence, Jeanette is dying and it’s the last chance, for both of them, to shed the baggage of the past. A very thought-provoking read.

Starburst by Robin Pilcher

As the entertainers prepare for the Edinburgh Festival, all are hoping to find stardom. Among them are a first-time comedienne, a film maker and a concert violinist, each of whom will face the biggest challenge of their career. A wonderful story combining intrigue, passion and suspense with a truely dramatic finale.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Everyone in Bascom, North Carolina, knows that the Waverley women have unusual talents that make them special. Even their house, with it’s mysterious garden, is strange. But behind the local legends are two very real sisters trying to make a life for themselves even as they find love in the least likely places.

I’d not seen an RD paperback before. I picked this one up because I saw “Pilcher” as one of the authors…it was only when I got home I realised it wasn’t Rosamund! Never mind, it looks good!

2. Lost Souls by Dean Koontz

Lost Souls (Frankenstein, #4)Lost Souls by Dean Koontz

The master storyteller creates a bold new legend in a powerful reworking of one of the classic stories of all time.

Dr Frankenstein lives on, seemingly indestructible, more sinister than ever. Terrifyingly, with each new incarnation the technology he can use to build a new human race – which he will control – is vastly improved.

His first monster, Deucalion, has spent two hundred years trying to kill his evil creator. When the new Frankenstein clone, Victor Helios, starts work on some grotesque new creations, financed by an enigmatic billionaire, Deucalion is drawn to a small Montana town.

A spectacularly advanced race of monsters is about to be released on the world. Even if Deucalion can bring Helios down, it may be too late…

It’s by Dean Koontz. Need I say more??

3. Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay

Fear the WorstFear the Worst by Linwood Barclay

Suppose you come to pick up your daughter from her job – and find that no one has heard of her and she’s never worked there. If she hasn’t been working all day, what has she been doing?

Tim Blake’s teenage daughter Sydney is staying with him while she works a summer job at a hotel. But when one day she fails to arrive home from her shift and the staff at the hotel say they have no Sydney Blake working there, he beings to see his life going into freefall.

What could have made her step out of her life without leaving a trace? Only one thing convinces Tim that the worse hasn’t already happened – the fact that some very scary people seem just as eager as he is to find her.

The question is: who’s going to find her first?

I liked the cover first (it’s blue…what can I say? I like blue) and it reminded my of The Bridges of Madison County. The blurb told it me it’s a mystery/thriller, so I bought it.

So there we go, there are the physical books which came into my life just under a fortnight ago. Of these, the First Reads books are top of my list for reading and review. Now I need to get the NetGalley and ebooks listed!

(Did I mention that all of these books arrived in my mucky little paws on Thursday 12 April 2012?? 😉 )

If you liked this IML post, why not check out the IMM meme? It started with The Story Siren: click on the picture….