May 7, 2012

Mailbox Monday

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme created by Marcia from A girl and her books (formerly The Printed Page) where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. Mailbox Monday is now on tour, and May's host is Martha @ Martha’s Bookshelf

This week I could not ignore the hype, no matter how hard I tried, even though this is YA which I do not normally read:

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (See a review at the Historical Novel Society)
I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmf├╝hrer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I'm going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.



This one is another I couldn't resist requesting,
 The Wild Princess, by Mary Hart Perry(novel about Queen Victoria’s “wild child” daughter, Princess Louise, July 2012)
The marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert produced nine children—five of them princesses, all trained for the role of marriage to future monarchs. However, the fourth princess, Louise—later the duchess of Argyll—became known by the court as “the wild one.” She fought the constraints placed on her brothers and sisters. She broke with tradition by marrying outside of the elite circle of European royals at a time when no child of the English throne had wed a commoner in 300 years. Some said she married for love. Others whispered of scandal covered up by the Crown.

In fact, many years after Louise’s death, a civil lawsuit claimed that the teenage princess secretly gave birth to a baby boy out of wedlock. One Henry Locock sought to prove through DNA evidence that his grandfather was Louise’s child, delivered by Queen Victoria’s gynecologist then secretly adopted by the doctor’s young son and his wife, thereby avoiding scandal and preserving the line of succession to the throne. But the mysteries and drama involving Louise’s life don’t stop there...This is her story.


I kept seeing this one at various Mailbox Monday blogs last week, so again I could not resist snagging a copy for myself:

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling: A Novel by Michael Boccacino (July 24, 2012)
                       
Neil Gaiman meets Tim Burton in this debut-a Victorian gothic tale of the world beyond the living and the price you pay to save those you love
We bid you welcome to the House of Darkling…
When Nanny Prum, the nanny to the young Darrow boys, is found mysteriously murdered in the forest, Charlotte Markham, the recently hired governess, steps in to care for the children. During an outing in the forest, they find themselves crossing over into The Ending, the place for the things that cannot die, where Lily Darrow, the late mistress of Everton, has been waiting. She invites them into the ominous House of Darkling, a wondrous, dangerous place filled with enchantment, mystery and strange creatures that appear to be, but are not quite, human.

Through repeated visits with Lily, Charlotte and the boys discover the wonders of the House of Darkling, careful to keep the place and their mother's existence a secret from their father, Henry Darrow, lest the spell linking the two worlds together be broken. But when the boys and their mother become trapped in the enchanted house, Charlotte has no choice but to confide everything to Henry, to whom she finds herself increasingly drawn. Together they search to find a way to travel back into The Ending, but when they learn the price demanded by the creatures who inhabit the netherworld, Charlotte and Henry must decide if the sacrifice is worth the danger.

Not since Coraline unlocked a door and discovered a distorted world through a mirror has the simple act of walking through a dense fog revealed such a fantastic journey that is so splendidly strange, frightening, and exhilarating.



Hearts That Survive by Yvonne Lehman (Free Kindle download!) In April 1912, Lydia Beaumont is on her way to a new life with a boundless hope, against all that Craven Dowd desires for her and himself. Her friendship with Caroline Chadwick deepens as they plan Lydia’s wedding on board the “grandest ship ever built.” Then both women suffer tragic losses when the “unsinkable” Titanic collides with an iceberg and there are only 20 lifeboats for 2207 passengers. They struggle to keep their families and dreams together.

Decades later, Caroline’s granddaughter, working at the museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, plans for the 50th memorial for the sinking and contacts survivors and descendants of survivors. Alan Morris feels like a failure until he discovers he is the descendant of an acclaimed novelist who lost his life when the Titanic sank. He becomes caught up in finding his identity in the past and must come to terms with his present and the meaning of true success.

Characters struggle to answer whether love is more powerful than the pain of loss and learn what it means for a heart to survive.



For Review, I received two huge galley manuscript things which are going to be so annoying to lug around. These are apparent reissues from the nineties which I wasn't aware of either when I accepted for review (which brings on a whole new discussion of why I do not want to review for publishers any longer):

Two Crosses by Elizabeth Musser
The glimmering Huguenot cross she innocently wears leads her deep into the shadows. When Gabriella Madison arrives in France in 1961 to continue her university studies, she doesn’t anticipate being drawn into the secretive world behind the Algerian war for independence from France. The further she delves into the war efforts, the more her faith is challenged. The people who surround her bring a whirlwind of transforming forces—a wise nun involved in the smuggling, a little girl carrying secret information, and a man with unknown loyalties who captures her heart. When she discovers a long hidden secret from her past, it all leads to questions about trust, faith in action, and the power of forgiveness to move beyond the pain of the past.

Two Testaments by Elizabeth Musser
The slightest spark will ignite an explosion. The tinderbox of broken political and racial relations in France and Algeria provides plenty of kindling. And the growing friction, especially in Algeria, will soon combust. A tentative ceasefire offers little to cool the heat. And in the midst of the turmoil, Gabriella Madison guards the orphans in her care, while battling jealousy when Anne-Marie Duchemin, David’s former flame, arrives in Castelnau, France. As they protect the little ones in their care amid rising discomfort in the community with the multi-cultural orphanage, each wonders who David will choose. Meanwhile, David is trapped in Algeria, caught in the turmoil of a country gone mad. He seeks a way to guard his life and, at the same time, protect the refugees he came to help. And escape seems impossible. Unable to predict what lies ahead, Gabriella and David learn that in life, waiting is the hardest part. The answers lie in two testaments.