Tag Archives: In My Letterbox

In My Letterbox: (15) Sunday 12 August 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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Another quiet week on the book acquisition front.  I have received two Frist Reads wins and bought just one book – for 30p from a charity stall!  Read on to find out what they are 🙂

Books I have won on Goodreads First Reads:

1. Spin Doctor by M C Lewis

Spin DoctorSpin Doctor by M.C. Lewis

Jack Abbott is a Washington spin doctor who longs to make the big time: the White House. Once there, he’ll do almost anything to hold onto his job. Will the country re-elect his boss, President Dexter, a beloved widower with a secret, because of Jack’s skillful deception? Will Jack’s conscience finally surface and spur him to make amends? Or is it too late?

Spin Doctor has a Washington theme, a realistic story and a soul. And unlike many Washington novels, Spin Doctor is not a memoir or polemic, not a message book or a thriller. Politically neutral, it goes to deeper truths: the conflict we all have between ambition and conscience. Spin Doctor is Washington from the inside, with humor and authenticity.

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I’m looking forward to this, it sounds to be an interesting and thought-provoking read.

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2. Johnny Doesn’t Drink Champagne by Cody Young

Johnny Doesn't Drink ChampagneJohnny Doesn’t Drink Champagne by Cody Young

I’m seventeen and he’s twenty-one. That’s okay… isn’t it? He drives a Lamborghini. So what? He was born in 1462. Uh-oh. He seeks revenge, but there is one person standing in his way. Me.

On a high school trip to London, Madison Lambourne meets seductive stranger Johnny De Vere, who believes he knows her already, and is torn between love and revenge. Eager to learn more about this beautiful, lonely young man, Madison agrees to go with him to a re-enactment at the Tower of London. Dressed as a highborn medieval lady in a black velvet gown, she accidentally slips through a doorway that leads to the past. Knowing she will not last long on the streets of medieval London, Johnny must follow her… with devastating consequences for them both. A wild time-travel adventure full of love, lies, mystery and betrayal.

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Yay! A time-travelling love story…just what I need to escape!

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Books I have bought:

The Consul at Sunset by Gerald Hanley

I really like “The Reprint Society” books from the 50s… love the feel and the smell.

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A quiet week, as I said. Looking forward to catching up with reading and reviewing. What arrived through your letterbox this week? Do leave a note below, with a link to your post 🙂

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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 (11): Books to week ending Sunday 24 June 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 or which I buy;
In My Inbox (IMI) for the free Kindle ebooks I compulsively download!

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Firstly, my apologies for not posting for a couple of weeks…lots of real life issues, starting with my RA being so badly exacerbated by having to stand for two days at work whilst doing some testing that I couldn’t think, let alone walk for most of the time for several days!  Mostly better now (in time for work!) so I will try to get back on track.  I did get quite a bit of reading done though, and added to my manuscript (but not posted 😦 ) reviews.  Then a few other things landed on my plate and, well, something had to give 😦 On a brighter note, I’m hoping to get back to regular posting again – thanks for sticking around 🙂  This post is the one I was working on for 24 June; my next will summarise all the books acquired in the meantime!

Books I have won on Goodreads First Reads:

1. Doxology by Brian Holers

DoxologyDoxology by Brian Holers

Vernon Davidson is an angry man. After a lifetime of abuse and loss the 61-year-old is ready to get back at God, his co-workers, and everyone else is in his north Louisiana hometown. He drinks too much to numb the pain, shuns his friends and embarrasses himself in the community. The once-cautious Vernon spirals into a reckless mess.

Only when he is reunited with his estranged nephew Jody is he forced to confront his situation. Jody is struggling in equal parts after inflicting a self-imposed exile upon himself by fleeing the family, and thereby himself, for a new life thousands of miles away. Now his father, Vernon’s brother, is dying and Vernon agrees to retrieve him for his brother’s sake.

Jody embarks on a reluctant journey back to his Louisiana home and the two men together embark on a journey that will ultimately change their lives.

Brian Holers’s Doxology examines an impossibly difficult question: how does a man go about forgiving a God he has grown to despise after the tragedies and endless disappointments he has faced?

Follow Vernon and Jody on their road from loss to healing in this deep and moving book that will challenge and surprise you, as it takes you deep into the backwaters of rural Louisiana.

Doxology does for small town Louisiana men what Steel Magnolias did for small-town Louisiana women, exposing flaws while showcasing their inner strengths. It is a tale of grandfathers, fathers, sons and brothers, and recreates family dynamics and memories in a way that forms a doxology, a song of praise for the male family bond, the emotional ties men conceal from the world and each other.

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I think I shall need my hanky, if it really is like Steel Magnolias…

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2. The 5 Greatest Spankings of All Time by Rob Wood

The 5 Greatest Spankings of All TimeThe 5 Greatest Spankings of All Time by Rob Wood

“The 5 Greatest Spankings of all Time” invites you to step into a fifty-five year old time capsule, to a simpler time when the misadventures of three young brothers growing up on a small ranch in the 1950’s stretch their parent’s patience and sanity to the breaking point. Taking place in the shadows of World War II, this tale not only unfolds the amusing and humorous events that led up to the “5 Greatest Spankings” but it conveys a flavorful and reminiscent glimpse of a time gone by, as the tastes and smells of the 50’s come rushing back. Readers of any adult generation will be entertained by the boy’s ability to effortlessly transform relatively innocent intentions into calamity and chaos. Laced throughout the chapters is an unmistakable underlying message addressing family dynamics and relationships that will surely summon to mind events of your own childhood. May laughter and joy be your companions as you journey through the adventures with these 1950’s versions of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

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I just know I’m going to be so jealous about the freedom allowed these children…but not the spankings! LOL

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3. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
The Hero's Guide to Saving Your KingdomThe Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You’ve never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change. Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it’s up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.

Debut author Christopher Healy takes us on a journey with four imperfect princes and their four improbable princesses, all of whom are trying to become perfect heroes–a fast-paced, funny, and fresh introduction to a world where everything, even our classic fairy tales, is not at all what it seems.

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It’s a glorious old-fashioned hardback, with dust jacket over a red “linen” cover with gold lettering. How absolutely perfect 😀
I have meantime read this book, the review is in manuscript and so will be appearing soon. In brief…it’s brilliant!

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4. Deadwater Lane by Stephen Barker

Deadwater LaneDeadwater Lane by Stephen Barker

Christopher Edmonds is on a mission to understand his old risk-taking, tearaway self.
There was an accident; an old man was killed one night when Christo and his mates were out racing their cars. Christo got the blame, and a head injury – that means his memory is not the best.
Soon Christo is back on the streets, without his licence and doing community service, helping out a lonely old man, Jimmy McBreen. What’s worse – his so called ‘friend’ has stolen his girl!
Inspired by a copy of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, he begins to plot revenge – it’s just that sometimes things don’t turn out the way you expected.
A fast-paced, gasoline soaked story with a beating heart.

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I just love face-paced thriller mysteries!

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books bought from the hospital’s charity sale shelves:

1. Frankenstein #1 by Dean Koontz

Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #1)Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz

From the celebrated imagination of Dean Koontz comes a powerful reworking of one of the classic storoes of all time.  If you think you know the story, you know only half the truth.  Get ready for the mystery, the myth, the terror, and the magic of…

DEAN KOONTZ’S PRODIGAL SON

Every city has its secrets.  But none as terrible as this.  His name is Deucalion, a tattoed man of mysterious origin, a sleight-of-reality artist who’s travelled the centuries with a secret worse than death.  He arrives as a serial killer stalks the streets, a killer who carefully selects his victims for the humanity that it missing in himself.  Detective Carson O’Connor is coll, cynical, and every bit as tough as she looks.  Her partner Michael Maddison would back her all the way to Hell itself – and that just may be where this case ends up.  Fot the no-nonsense O’Connor is suddenly talking about an ages-old conspiracy, a near immortal race of beings, and killers that are more – and less – than human.  Soon it will be clear that as crazy as she sounds, the truth is even more ominous.  For their quarry isn’t merely a homicidal maniac – but his deranged maker.

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It’s a Dean Koontz book 😀

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2. Frankenstein #2 by Dean Koontz

City of Night (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #2)City of Night by Dean Koontz

From the celebrated imagination of Dean Koontz comes a powerful reworking of one of the classic stories of all time. If you think you know the legend, you know only half the truth. Here is the mystery, the myth, the terror, and the magic of…

DEAN KOONTZ’S CITY OF NIGHT

They are stronger, heal better, and think faster than any humans ever created–and they must be destroyed. But not even Victor Helios–once Frankenstein–can stop the engineered killers he’s set loose on a reign of terror through modern-day New Orleans. Now the only hope rests in a one-time “monster” and his all-too-human partners, Detectives Carson O’Connor and Michael Maddison. Deucalion’s centuries-old history began as Victor’s first and failed attempt to build the perfect human–and it is fated to end in the ultimate confrontation between a damned creature and his mad creator. But first Deucalion must destroy a monstrosity not even Victor’s malignant mind could have imagined–an indestructible entity that steps out of humankind’s collective nightmare with one purpose: to replace us.

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 More Dean Koontz…. 🙂

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3. Frankenstein #3 by Dean Koontz

Dead and Alive (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #3)Dead and Alive by Dean Koontz

From the celebrated imagination of Dean Koontz comes a powerful reworking of one of the classic stories of all time. If you think you know the legend, you know only half the truth. Now the mesmerizing saga concludes. . . .

As a devastating hurricane approaches, as the benighted creations of Victor Helios begin to spin out of control, as New Orleans descends into chaos and the future of humanity hangs in the balance, the only hope rests with Victor’s first, failed attempt to build the perfect human. Deucalion’s centuries-old history began as the original manifestation of a soulless vision–and it is fated to end in the ultimate confrontation between a damned creature and his mad creator. But first they must face a monstrosity not even Victor’s malignant mind could have conceived–an indestructible entity that steps out of humankind’s collective nightmare with powers, and a purpose, beyond imagining.

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… and yet more…I feel a Fest coming on! I’m not sure why it says “the saga concludes” – I have Book Four, which I’ve just noticed I haven’t entered in an IML!  Maybe it will make it into a future “Owned Unread” Post…

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4. Demon Seed by by Dean Koontz

Demon SeedDemon Seed by Dean Koontz

A woman is imprisoned and tortured by her state-of-the-art computer security system — and its perverse desire…

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Variety – a Dean Koontz book not in the Frankenstein series!!

BOoks i’ve bought

1. The Secret Chamber by Patrick Woodhead

The Secret ChamberThe Secret Chamber by Patrick Woodhead

Conspiracies, secrets and high-octane adventure in the Congo. Another gripping thriller from the author of The Forbidden Temple.

People have been disappearing in what the explorer Stanley called the black heart of Africa — the impenetrable forests of northern Congo. But when a brilliant young English doctor vanishes, alarm bells really start to ring. Intelligence chief Jack Milton sends a message to his godson Luca Matthews (The Forbidden Temple hero) in the Himalayas asking him to go to Africa and find Joshua. Reluctantly Luca obeys, but he is no longer the man he once was, traumatised by his part in the death of his best friend, his legendary climbing nerve shot to pieces. Meanwhile in Africa, mining troubleshooter and brilliant flying pilot, Beatrice (Bear) Makuru, also wants to brave the northern wilderness. Coltan is the mineral without which no mobile phone or computer would work. Explosions have been wrecking coltan mines. Bear needs to find out why. Her journey with Luca to Africa’s black heart is the beginning of an utterly terrifying sequence of events, uncovering a secret so simple yet so startling that it could rock the foundations of the civilised world.

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I bought this in the supermarket.  Having read the blurb, I decded an uncomplicated action book was just what I needed right then.  I have already read this one…so as usual, keep a look out for the review, which will follow…eventually!

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2. Naked Writing: The No Frills Way to Write Your Book by Glenys O’Connell

A straightforward, no nonsense guide to writing – and finishing – your book, no matter what your experience level.
All over the world, at this very moment, thousands of writers are starting a novel, full of enthusiasm for their ideas. But the vast majority of those novels will fizzle by Chapter Three – an estimated 98 per cent! And their disappointed creators will put their work away and give up on their dream. It’s not that they aren’t talented and it’s not that they don’t have good ideas – what they lack are the basic tools.
In this book you’ll learn how to:
* Each chapter comes with assignments that help you apply what you’ve learned to your own new or work-in-progress book.
* Identify the kind of novel you want to write, and understand the elements of a good, workable idea
* Understand story structure and how to use it to make your novel flow
* Create an outline that will get you through the dry spells of Writer’s Block
* Know the important elements you must have at the start and end of each chapter
* Build characters you’ll love to work with – and readers will love to read about
* Points of View – just who’s telling this story, anyway?
* Develop plot points and sub-plots to add texture to your story
* Understand the two different types of character motivation – and how to use them
* Tap into the magic of dialogue, and learn when narrative and backstory can help, or hinder, your story
* Keep your story flowing to a satisfying ending with all the loose ends tied up.
* By the end of the book, using the assignments, you should be working on your own chapter three and ready to sail through to The End.

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Officially, this is an IMM book, but I wanted to list it early. I saw this book in Lynsey’s Letterbox Love post of 17 June over on Narratively Speaking. At 77p for the kindle version, I thought I’d give it a go. I doubt I’ll ever write a book – or even a short story – but I might pick up some tips to make my reviews more interesting. Then again…never say never!!!

There isn’t a Goodreads entry for this book (yet), so the image is from Glenys O’Connell’s blog; if you click on it, it will take you to her blog.

free books from Mills & boon

1. The Spy’s Secret Family (Top Secret Deliveries #2) by Cindy Dees

The Spy's Secret FamilyThe Spy’s Secret Family by Cindy Dees

“Nobody’s messing with my baby”
Nick Cass wakes up in a hospital room with a case of amnesia–and a beautiful woman at his bedside. He only remembers that he was held captive for five grueling years. Surely he wouldn’t forget someone as easy on the eyes as Laura Delaney. But Laura assures him that she and their son are very real.
Laura never forgot the man who stole her heart six years ago–even after he disappeared. She knows Nick will someday have to face his demons. But that day is suddenly upon them when Nick’s past catches up to him and their son is kidnapped. Now he and Laura must rescue their child–and their last chance for a future together.

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Sent to me free by Mills and Boon

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2. Operation Baby Rescue (Top Secret Deliveries #3) by Beth Cornelison

Operation Baby RescueOperation Baby Rescue by Beth Cornelison

Elise Norris wants nothing more than to be a mother. Her joy turns to agony when newborn baby girl Grace dies mysteriously—before the single mom could even say goodbye. But grief-stricken Elise can’t shake the feeling that the final chapter of Grace’s story isn’t yet written….

As he works through his own tragic loss, widower Jared Coleman and his one-year-old daughter become captivated by Elise. But while investigating the strange circumstances behind Grace’s death, their new friend teeters close to an explosive secret. Can Jared protect her—or is he in over his head in a desperate life-or-death struggle?

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Sent ot me free by Mills and Boon

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Rereading this post, I had quite a haul that week! I’m going to need to take a long hard look at my TBR list when choosing what to read next, though they may have to wait until I get a few more reviews posted! It’s surprising how much time it takes to write and format a post. I thought this one was pretty much finished bar a few formatting tweaks; I’ve been sat here for about an hour and a half! I also realised that one of the things that stopped me posting was that I’ve been getting a number of these books onto or updated on Goodreads.
I hope that you all have been reading and acquiring in a similar fashion – leave me a link in the comments section and I’ll pop by and and have a look, and gain more inspiration!

In My Mailbox (9): Sunday 10 June 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 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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Hello there! Welcome back to my blog and to an IMM that contains two author gift eBooks and a virtual pile of Kindle books that I’ve bought from Amazon.  If you’ve read, or are planning to read, any of these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

Enjoy the browse – I hope you find something to pique your interest.

eBOOKS won on AUTHOR’S Private competitions for REVIEW:

1. Cameron Nation by David Carraturo

Cameron Nation: Going All-In to Save His CountryCameron Nation: Going All-In to Save His Country by David Carraturo

Frustrated with the current political climate self-made billionaire, Chris Cameron retires from a successful hedge fund to focus on philanthropic endeavors. With the notoriety received after he competes in the World Series of Poker to raise money for his newest charities, the Tea Party member is introduced to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. A driven, charismatic, and brilliant leader by nature, Cameron soon finds himself invited into the elite world of professional politics.

When Chris is asked to be the running mate on the GOP ticket, he leaps at the opportunity. The duo is elected and with the assistance of a super-majority Republican-controlled Congress they quickly implement a far-reaching agenda to restore the United States to its rightful place atop the geopolitical stage.

Cameron Nation tells the story of how a street smart kid from the suburbs of New York City leverages a deep understanding of economic theory, the business world and the capital markets combined with the savvy of an experienced poker player to provide overwhelming strategic support and gain the trust of the new president and the growing conservative movement.

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I’ve entered a few competitions to win this one, so I was really pleased when I won David’s Goodreads competition for one of twenty e-copies of the book.  Looking forward to reading this one – and aiming to get the review out before the end of the month!!

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2. Colombus Avenue Boys by David Carraturo

Columbus Avenue BoysColumbus Avenue Boys by David Carraturo

Salvatore Esposito, Anthony Albanese, and Christopher Cameron—the Columbus Avenue Boys—are somewhat related, as they share lineage back to before the turn of century. Having grown up together in a small community north of New York City, each became successful in his own right. Chris moved to Dallas to be a portfolio manager with a financial firm while Sal and Tony earn their living the hard way—by being enforcers and major earners for the mob.

Tony’s grandfather, Pops Scala, tells them a horrific secret from the Scalamarri Family past: twelve members of their family were massacred at the hands of Bugsy Siegel and his ruthless gang from Murder Inc. in 1935. Pops was the sole witness and lone survivor, and he was more than happy to pull the trigger and end Bugsy’s murderous life.

Now fifty years later, Pops convinces the Columbus Avenue Boys they must leave the underworld life for good. Since one cannot just give two weeks’ notice to the Gambino crime family, the three blood brothers devise a plan to infiltrate the inner workings of the Mafia in the 1990s to avenge the massacre in their family tree.

Columbus Avenue Boys chronicles the Scalamarri family tree throughout the twentieth century and presents a historical perspective of the life and struggles of an Italian immigrant family as well as that of America’s organized crime.

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As with Cameron Nation, I’ve entered several competitions to win this book – and was one of the first five to respond to David’s Goodreads competition!  Now all I need to do is win a copy of Cameron’s Court and I’ll be able to review the set 🙂  Again, I’m aiming to have the review posted before the end of the month. 

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eBooks (kindle) bought from amazon

1. The Flute Keeper’s Voyage (The Flute Keeper Saga #2) by Ashley Setzer

The Flute Keeper's Voyage (The Flute Keeper Saga, #2)The Flute Keeper’s Voyage by Ashley Setzer

Just as she’s settling into her new life in Faylinn, Emma Wren stands accused of causing a horrible curse that drains Ivywild castle and all the Fay living in it of their magic and vitality. Faced with banishment back to the human world, Emma becomes a fugitive and convinces the ever contrary Lev Hartwig to help her clear her name by curing the curse. The journey for the cure takes them to the high seas, where they must match wits with a wily Hobgoblin captain and her crew of pipe-smoking Gremlins, one very hairy cook, and a doctor with a split personality.
With the Fay army on her trail and a traitor racing her to reach the cure first, Emma is pushed to the limits of her burgeoning power. Though she treks across oceans, forests, deserts, and into the heart of a ghost city, she never walks the path alone. Friends old and new are on hand to help with bar brawls, flying serpents, and other travel hazards. When an evil greater than the curse is uncovered, Emma’s journey becomes a battle to save not just her home, but her friends as well.

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I decided the the 77p Amazon were asking for this book was worth it (LOL) since Book 1 was free and the reviews make me think I’ll want to read the set.

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2. The Flute Keeper’s Training (The Flute Keeper Saga #3) by Ashley Setzer

The Flute Keeper's Training (The Flute Keeper Saga, #3) The Flute Keeper’s Training (The Flute Keeper Saga, #3) by Ashley Setzer

Princess Chloe’s sixteenth birthday is looming near, but an attack by a strange, half-mechanical monster leaves Emma little time to bother with the upcoming birthday ball—that is, until a certain handsome, blonde guest shows up early and sweeps both girls off their feet. The rivalry tests Emma’s loyalty to her best friend, as well as her devotion to her new job as a priestess trainee. To make matters worse, Lev Hartwig appears to be shunning her in favor of late night meetings with another girl. Ivywild castle is bursting with secrets and it is up to Emma to decide who she can trust and who the real monsters are before it’s too late.

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As with Book 2, this was on offer at 77p, so I’m set for plenty of time with the Flute Keeper.  I’m not sure when I’ll get to read these…there are so many other books in my TBR list, some with deadlines!

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3. Never Forgotten (DCI Victor Moyes) by Peter Kirby

Set in the 1960’s this is the sixth in the series of stories covering DCI Victor Moyes’s attempts to contain the criminals operating in and around the fictional town of Abberford. Victor was what you would call a plodder refusing to give up on the cases he was involved in and relying to a certain extent on his second in command DS Victoria Morgan to come up with the ideas that would eventually bring the criminals to book.

As well as being involved in the work place they were also involved in their private lives their interest in dancing being the common denominator. They also used each other emotionally to satisfy their needs by spending passionate nights of love making although love was not involved…only their animal instincts.

This story covers the abduction of a girl held captive for seven years and repeated sexually and physically abused by her captor over this period of time and how she is eventually discovered

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I like detective stories, and at £1.02, I decided that I would buy this one too!

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4. Winter’s Destiny by Nancy Allan

Winter's DestinyWinter’s Destiny by Nancy Allan

She’s an architect, a wife, and a mother, but the quiet life ends suddenly for Amy Johnson. Alone, with a fall gale howling around the rafters, she turns to see a woman’s rain-streaked face staring at her through the dark window.

The face is identical to her own!

Instantly, Amy’s life crumbles. Her husband leaves, her only child disappears, and something sinister surrounds her and those she loves. Amy is catapulted into a world she knows nothing about–a place where a killer rules, where answers stay buried, where time ticks dangerously by, where her life is in constant peril, and worse, where her son, Jamie is hidden.

To find her child, she must find her look-alike, and that dislodges a killer who hunts her relentlessly. Sheriff Dallas Wayburne’s investigation parallels Amy’s, and their combined efforts draw them together when time is critical and when their relationship adds yet another dimension to Amy’s stressful life.

They finally track down the powerful, destructive man behind the scenes, learn the identity of Amy’s look-alike, and unravel a puzzle decades in the making. As time runs out, Amy struggles to save her son while fighting both a dangerous man and the perils of the treacherous Oregon coast.

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I didn’t win this on the Goodreads Giveaways, so when I spotted it at £1.92, I decided to go for it!

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5. Paradox – The Angels Are Here by Patti Roberts

Paradox: The Angels Are Here (Paradox, #1)Paradox: The Angels Are Here by Patti Roberts

Paradox Series: Spanning over centuries to the present day, this is a story about love, loss, and betrayal.

My name is Juliette. Nine hundred years ago, I died. Today, I am alive…

The Ancient World – This is not a story about Vampires. However, we are talking about a predatory being that existed long before the word Vampire was ever whispered… the real monsters behind the legendary Vampire myths that reigned in Ancient times. They were a race of Fallen Angels called Grigorians.

The New World – Grace is a little girl struggling to understand the catastrophic events that are forcing their way into her otherwise seemingly normal, if not sometimes, strange world. Haunting visions and untimely deaths of others are a constant reminder that life and death are only a heartbeat away.

Grace finds herself trapped in a nightmare, consumed by paralyzing loss and overwhelming grief as she painfully witnesses her mother slowly being torn away from her.

A journey crossing Two Worlds. One Ancient – One New. How do the heartbreaking visions experienced by a little girl fit into this Ancient World of Angels, Myth & Legend?

Grace’s story will indeed break your heart and leave you asking… Who, When, Where? WHAT!

Book 2 in the Paradox Series – Progeny Of Innocence. Will evil strike again? You can bet your soul on it!

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Book 2 was on the free offer, and at 99p, I thought I’d risk getting Book 1! 😉 This looks like a promising series.

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6. Firecracker by Charles R. Verhey

Firecracker Firecracker by Charles R. Verhey

Firecracker is a fun contemporary fantasy thriller about a young woman named Aideen Cassidy, who has to be careful with her emotions because when she explodes, things literally explode! Being a pyrokinetic – able to start fires with her mind – isn’t an easy thing to live with, especially when trying to find work in the modern world. Luck or fate lands her a job with a group of eccentric psychics who use their gifts to help local authorities with difficult cases. They can see the future, sense feelings, read minds – useful traits. All Aideen can do is blow things up. But there’ something special about her that has caught the attention of the most powerful psychic in the world, and there are secrets about the organization even the psychics don’t know. Plans have been put into motion, secrets are unraveling, lives are in danger, and the group soon find themselves caught in a conspiracy of shadowy monsters, government spies, and ancient legends that date back 600 years.

All Aideen wanted was to fit in. Now the lives of all her new friends must rely on her talents for fiery destruction.

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I thought this was on the free list, so when I checked my order I was a bit surprised to find this cost me £3.23.  This wasn’t the only one in this order where this happens…guess I’ll have to be a bit more careful and double check before I hit the “Buy” button… 😀

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7. Chocolate Aftertaste by Liz Grace Davis

Chocolate AftertasteChocolate Aftertaste by Liz Grace Davis

At her pre-wedding dinner, Nora Darkin, the daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur, discovers her fiancé is not the man she thought he was. As her father hoists his glass to toast them, she makes an announcement: there will be no wedding to her father’s right-hand man.

Due to the fresh rift driven between her and her father, Nora escapes to the quaint town of Dreara. Determined to live her life her own way, she makes new friends and pursues her lifelong desire of becoming a chef. Ethan Danes, a neighbour with his own broken heart, helps soothe hers.

Just as Nora discovers what it means to be happy, and she begins to fall in love with Ethan, a woman from his past re-enters his life…

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At £1.95, I’m not so upset at not noticing this wasn’t on the freebie list.

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8. Immortal Coil (A Dragon Spirit Novel, Book 1) by C.I. Black

Immortal CoilImmortal Coil by C.I. Black

Two souls. One Body. Sharing is not an option…

Terrible news has turned Anaea Salis’s life upside down. There’s nothing she can do to make it right and the stranger who stops to talk to her can’t help. But when that stranger, Hunter, an ancient dragon spirit, is viciously attacked and forced to transfer his spirit into her body, Anaea’s life takes a new terrifying twist.

Hunter should have known by now not to get involved with human affairs, but there was something about the woman that drew him to her and he just couldn’t help himself. Trapped in her body all he wants is to get out, except whoever is trying to kill him is now after her.

Their only hope of survival… plunge into the deadly world of dragons.

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This is another one where I didn’t spot that it wasn’t a freebie.  Even when I thought it was a freebie, I was in two minds about downloading it, so finding I’d paid £4.47 for it was a bit of a downer!  Let’s hope that when I read it, I decide it was worth it!

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9. Wicked Game by Matt Johnson

Wicked GameWicked Game by Matt Johnson

A policeman is killed in a bomb blast, a second is gunned down in his own driveway. The Wicked Game has started.

Former SAS and now Royalty protection officer Robert Finlay has had enough of the job’s not-so-glamorous demands and opts to transfer to a local police station. But Fate has plans for Finlay – both of the murdered policemen are former Army colleagues.

Finlay doesn’t see himself as the hero type – just a survivor. A ‘Wicked Game’, where he is the target, is about to test his skills to the limit.

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This was £1.99.  I can’t remember if I knew that before I bought it, but I suspect not.  Still, it sounds like something I’ll enjoy, so I’m not too annoyed with myself.

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So there we go: two more books won and intended for review; five books bought intentionally and four books I thought were free but weren’t.  A lesson learned.  Quite a fun-filled week on the book acquisition front!!

Next week’s IMM will be a look at some of the NetGalley books for which I’ve been approved, so the following week’s IML will look at new arrivals over the two weeks between now and then – I know it will be an IML as I bought four books at a charity stall yesterday and I’ve been told a book is in the post and winging its way to my sticky paws from Canada 🙂 Come back in two weeks to find out what all these are!

Leave a link to your IMM post, or blog in general, and I’ll pop over and say hello.  I hope there is something here that is new to you and that it has inspired you to go on a book hunt.  Whatever you’re reading in the coming week – enjoy and share the love 😀

In My Letterbox (8): Sunday 03 June 2012

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Welcome to a combined
In My Letterbox and In My Inbox

Just the three books this week, hence the combined IML and IMI.  I’m looking forward to getting to each one of these 🙂

The Book I won on Goodreads First Reads:

1. Alaskan Hearts by Teri Wilson
Alaskan HeartsAlaskan Hearts by Teri Wilson

Former Alaskan sled-dog musher Ben Grayson is still grieving the tragic loss of his dog team. So much that he put the reins—and his dreams—away.

Now a photographer, Ben’s covering the Gold Rush Trail sled-dog race. He’s surprised his heart isn’t more guarded around lovely journalist Clementine Phillips—until he learns that Clementine plans to handle a sled-dog team herself. Ben can’t bear the thought of Clementine in danger.

So he comes up with a compromise—one to keep her close…forever.

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A bit of summer escapism…to the cold and snow of an Alaskan winter – just right for for a wet English summer!!

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The Book gifted by Goldratt UK:

1. Critical Chain by Eliyahu Goldratt

Critical ChainCritical Chain by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

Powerful yet simple techniques to solve project management’s toughest problems. This book teaches companies to drastically cut project development times resulting in early completion within budget and without compromising quality or specifications. Project managers and your teams will benefit from Goldratt’s techniques of how to remain focused on the few critical areas and how to prevent your attention from being divided among all of the how to prevent your attention from being divided among all of the projects tasks and resources. Especially useful for dealing with one of the most difficult and pressing management challenges: developing highly innovative new products.
About the Author: One of the world s most sought after business leaders author and educator, Dr. Eli Goldratt. Eli Goldratt had been described by Fortune Magazine as a guru to industry and by Business Week as a genius. His charismatic, stimulating, yet sometimes unconventional style has captured the attention of audiences throughout the world. Eli is a true thinker who provokes others to think.
Eli Goldratt is the creator of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) and is the author of 8 books, including the business best sellers The Goal, It’s Not Luck, and Critical Chain. Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints is used by thousands of companies, and is taught in hundreds of colleges, universities, and business schools. His books have sold over 3 million copies and have been translated into 23 languages. Goldratt’s fascinating work as an author, educator and business pioneer had resulted in the promulgation of TOC into many facets of society and has transformed management thinking throughout the world.

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I read The Goal about 20 years ago when my boyfriend had it as part of a course. I recently read a couple of other of Eli Goldratt’s books that I picked up at a table top sale. Goldratt UK is giving away copies of The Goal and Critical Chain to interested parties, via their website. I’m delighted to have received this and am looking forward to reading it.

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The Book gifted by the author for her 30th birthday!

1. Coffee at Little Angels by Nadine Rose Larter

Coffee at Little AngelsCoffee at Little Angels by Nadine Rose Larter

Phillip, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Caleb, Maxine, Grant, Melanie and Josh grew up in a small town where they spent their high school years together as an inseparable clique. But high school has ended, and they are all living their own “grown up” lives, each under the impression that their group has basically come to an end. When Phillip dies in a hit and run accident, Kaitlyn summons the others to all come back home, forcing a reunion that no one is particularly interested in partaking in.

Coffee at Little Angels follows how each character deals with the death of a childhood friend while at the same time dealing with their own ignored demons after years of separation. Events unfold as the group tries to rekindle the friendship they once shared to honour the memory of a friend they will never see again

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I found this limited free giveaway on Amazon through an event on Goodreads…I’m looking forward to discovering a new-to-me author.

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That’s it for this week. I’m working on the next installment of IMI listing my Amazon downloads and I have some more Netgalley books to tell you about in a future IMM.

I hope you all have a pile of lovely books on your lists – leave a link in your comment and I’ll pop over and have a look 🙂

In My Letterbox (6): Sunday 20 May 2012

Welcome to
In My Letterbox!!

I’ve been a very lucky girl again this week with four First Reads books arriving In My Letterbox.  I’m enjoying very much being part of The Story Siren’s weekly meme (click on the picture above for more details).

Books I have won on Goodreads First Reads:

1. The Haunted Grove and other stories by Tim Jeffreys


The Haunted Grove & other storiesThe Haunted Grove & other stories by Tim Jeffreys

“The Haunted Grove by Tim Jeffreys – a collection of nine tales of terror – has something for everyone. There are short shorts and long shorts, with storylines from the straightforward to the surreal. Themes range from the near-SF tone of “Three Winters”, through the mental powers of “The Thought She Blurted Out” to the magic of the title story. As a showcase of the author’s versatility, this collection serves its purpose well.” Review from The Horrorzine

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Perhaps summer (?!) is the best time to read these horror stories – when it’s NOT dark and the wind isn’t howling around the doors….

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2. Bone Machine by C. N. James

Bone MachineBone Machine by C.N. James

The Libra Robotics and Cybernetics Corporation robots have done the impossible. War, poverty, and slavery are nearly extinct. Worldwide employment is at an all time high. And the new workers’ paradigm: a four to six hour work day. The robots take care of the rest, acting as a personal substitute—like a clone, with all of your skills and abilities. Nearly everyone can spend time with family, pursue artistic and athletic ventures, become entrepreneurs—or anything else they’d like to do. Everyone except those working for Libra Corp.

Grayson Cornel doesn’t sleep much anymore. His life is in shambles. His father is teetering on death. He was recently promoted by Libra Corp, but his predecessor, Zoe Asher is wanted for murder and is now targeting him. On top of that, his first assignment in his new position has ended in disaster.

The last of the world’s sweatshops in Haiti had finally placed an order for Libra Corp robots, and it was Grayson’s job to make sure that the order was filled. But when the robots arrived, something went horribly wrong. They disappeared, leaving only dead bodies in their wake. No Libra Corp robot had ever killed anyone before, so Grayson is sent to Haiti to figure out what went wrong.

What he discovers begins to unravel a dark secret Libra Corp has been keeping from the public. Something so shocking that Grayson risks ending utopia to put a stop to it.

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I am so pleased I won this book 😀 It’s going to be quite high on my “read and review now” list…when I get that written!

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3. Alice Parker’s Metamorphosis by Nicola Palmer

Alice Parker's Metamorphosis (Book 1 of the New Adventure Series for Children)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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This sounds so intriguing! I may have to get a copy for my niece 😉

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4. Catastrophically Consequential by Stephen C. Bird

Catastrophically ConsequentialCatastrophically Consequential by Stephen C. Bird

This prequel-sequel to “Hideous Exuberance” incorporates non-linear plots; comical rants and disturbing inner monologues; stream of consciousness dream sequences; psychedelic, surrealistic scenarios and time-traveling characters. Revel in the chaotic confusion of sociopathic celebrities, suburban swingers, suicidal trust fund girls, decadent jet setters, D-list standup comics, medieval princesses, sinister passive-aggressive jokers, “Evilangelists”, and a host of other lost souls and disreputable, vindictive losers, as they search in vain for metaphysical clarity.

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I’ve read the first story and my thought was “Bizarre…in a good way”.  I’ve read a few other reviews and they reinforce the idea that I should leave the concept of normality behind when I read this.

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My TBR list is getting longer! I have made a May Resolution to finish off all my lists:

  1. Free Kindle Books
  2. Owned Unread physical books (that haven’t been in an IML)
  3. Books Read But Not Yet Reviewed
  4. NetGalley ebooks received
  5. Short Term Reading List

and then to get reviewing my backlog of read books!  Watch out for the lists in future IMM slots, while I try to refrain from buying new books and downloading free ebooks!!!

Happy reading to all – may the books you crave find their way to your letter box!  Be sure to leave a link in your comment – I will visit and, software permitting <sigh>, leave a comment.

In My Letterbox (4): Sunday 06 May 2012

Welcome to
In My Letterbox!!

Once again, I have been very restrained this week and have not been out and bought any more books.  I really must pass on some of my large collection before I bring too many more into my crowded house – or else maybe I should move into a library!  If I get a choice, then I’d want to live in the one at Killerton House in Devon, it really is beautiful and peaceful.

On that dream, here are the books that dropped through my letterbox this past week….

Books I have won on Goodreads First Reads:

1. A Vampire Dominion by V M K Fewings

A Vampire's DominionA Vampire’s Dominion by V.M.K. Fewings

Vampires Jadeon and Orpheus have a few things in common. They both hate each other. They’ve both killed each other.

And they both just woke up in the same body.

When a vampiric reincarnation goes tragically wrong, two immortals find themselves ever-meshing into the newly-formed William. To make matters worse, someone is poisoning London’s vampires and no immortal is safe.

William’s struggle to come to terms with his identity and maintain his survival leads him to the beautiful and intelligent Inspector Ingrid Jansen, a woman who not only awakens his heart but may also help him save the city.

Embarking on a perilous adventure, William and Ingrid struggle to decipher ancient clues while staying one step ahead of the pursuing Stone Masters. Scouring the city from the aristocratic heights of its regal facade to the darkest deviancy of its corrupted core, they search for a way to reverse his catastrophe—and save all vampires from a growing threat far worse than the Stone Lords ever were.

Rising straight from the ashes of the shocking ending of A Vampire’s Reckoning, V.M.K. Fewings brings faithful fans back to The Stone Masters Vampire Series right where they left off, while guiding new readers into the embrace of London’s nightwalkers.

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I am developing a taste for vampire books and so was delighted to win A Vampire Dominion in Goodreads First Reads competition.  I’m looking forward to reading this.  VMK included a lovely note with the book – with the envelope complete with a monogrammed seal.

2. Doll Parts by Wayne Simmons

Doll PartsDoll Parts by Wayne Simmons

Roughly 99% of Belfast’s population suddenly dropped dead.

Some have risen again, and a horde of the beautiful undead is descending upon the city, wreaking bloody vengeance on the few left alive.

An unlikely group of survivors flee the carnage, heading for the city’s main airport. But their refuge there may quickly come to an end as the living dead close in to besiege the living.

Doll Parts is the sequel to cult zombie-horror novel, Drop Dead Gorgeous.

PREVIEWS:

‘Doll Parts is a verbal gut-punch, viciously beautiful in its delivery. Simmons takes the femme fatale to a whole new level in this remorseless look at a world gone to hell’ (Sarah Elliot, Pop Culture Monster)

‘Brilliant, bloody and beautiful’ (Garry Charles, Shock Horror Magazine)

‘One of the best new horror writers of the decade. Wayne Simmons takes everything you fear and exploits it with no apologies’ (James Melzer, author of Escape)

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I have been a very lucky girl – this is another of my Goodreads First Reads wins.  It will be interesting to see what I think of this book – I prefer my zombies more in the Shaun of the Dead style…

3. Snakes by Travis Heermann

SnakesSnakes by Travis Heermann

The easiest path usually leads straight into a minefield.

Eddie, a young, pretty single mom, is trying to do the right thing by her three-year-old daughter. She really is. With no education, no job, and a string of loser boyfriends behind her, she faces hard decisions every day. Gas for the car, or food for Joy? She’s already been forced to move back into her mother’s decrepit old trailer in Shady Acres Trailer Court in rural Arkansas. Should she get a normal job working long hours for minimum wage, or should she put on her stiletto heels, bikini bra and micro-skirt and go back to exotic dancing so she can bring home fistfuls of cash for a few hours’ work? When she catches her daughter playing with handfuls of baby copperhead snakes behind the trailer, the choice gets a lot easier: get out of there by the quickest means possible. But at what cost? And is that strange man the devil or her knight in shining armor?

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I read this book on the day it arrived – you can read my review here

…………………

There we go, three more widely varying books for me to get my teeth into…and I’m looking forward to it!

In My Letterbox: Sunday 29th April 2012

Welcome to
In My Letterbox!!

This week I have fewer books to report, mostly because I’m trying not to fill my house with books that will take me years to get round to reading! I have won some more books at Goodreads First Reads (yay! I love those guys – a big UP to all at Goodreads and all the lovely authors and publishers who give away copies of their books.).  Two of these arrived in the post this week.

Books I have won on Goodreads First Reads:

1. The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
The Serpent Sea (Books of the Raksura #2)The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells

Moon, once a solitary wanderer, has become consort to Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud court. Together, they travel with their people on a pair of flying ships in hopes of finding a new home for their colony. Moon finally feels like he’s found a tribe where he belongs. But when the travelers reach the ancestral home of Indigo Cloud, shrouded within the trunk of a mountain-sized tree, they discover a blight infecting its core. Nearby they find the remains of the invaders who may be responsible, as well as evidence of a devastating theft. This discovery sends Moon and the hunters of Indigo Cloud on a quest for the heartstone of the tree — a quest that will lead them far away, across the Serpent Sea.

I like fantasy stories and have read them in some form or another since I was small. I’m looking forward to reading this one.

2. Tallis by M. C. Rae

TallisTallis by M.C. Rae

The Empire of Andresium is threatened by the corruption of the immortals, ancient beings given the gift of eternal life after the death of the last reigning empress. A prophecy speaks of their eventual downfall at the hands of one of their own, however. Tallis is known by most simply as “The Loren,” and seeks to avoid her destiny while trying herself to remain untainted by the decaying morals and indifference to the fates of men that plague her kind. As the events of the prophecy begin to unfold, Tallis finds herself conflicted between upholding her dedication to justice, and falling victim to the ramifications of following the desires of her own heart.

As I said, I like fantasy books, so this is a good win for me. I had a quick look when it arrived – and it’s an ARC…my very first ARC 🙂

Because it is an ARC (at least I guess that’s the reason), my cover is the same as that shown on Goodreads as that used on the Kindle edition, the picture with the grey background. I chose to put the published book picture here so that anyone looking for it in the shops will know what to seek!

GIFT FROM AUTHOR:

1. Misfortune Cookie by Michele Goran

Misfortune CookieMisfortune Cookie by Michele Gorman

“Following your heart will pay off in the near future”

The fortune cookie had spoken, affirming Hannah’s decision to move to Hong Kong to be with her boyfriend. She’s no stranger to rash decisions – after all she moved from the US to London on a dare, and that worked out, didn’t it? Ever the optimist, she’s determined to make a success of her move, no matter what anybody says.

Unfortunately, anybody seems to be everybody and her life isn’t going exactly to plan.

Sure, she’s found a career in fashion that she loves, her best friend Stacy moved to be with her, and they’re exploring the weird and wonderful in Hong Kong. It’s her love life that’s not quite living up to expectations. It isn’t easy having a relationship with a boyfriend who’s been posted to a job in another country. Particularly one who seems a bit too cosy with his new boss.

When things also start going wrong at work, Hannah begins to think her friends and family were right. Has she made the worst mistake of her life?

Strictly speaking, this should be in IMM or IMI, since it’s an electronic book. However, as it is a gift from the author, I thought more prominence was appropriate.

I have started reading it already…and am over halfway through! Watch out for the review 🙂

I hope everyone enjoyed World Book Day on Monday 23rd April 2012. Did anyone receive one of the books that were being given away? In the UK, the books had a Shakespeare sonnet printed in the front. There are two reasons for this: April 23rd is (traditionally) Shakespeare’s birthday and as the Olympics are being held in London this year, Shakespeare is featuring heavily in the Cultural Olympiad.

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….