Jun 3, 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 June's Host has been rescheduled to BE ME! www.BurtonBookReview.com

(This is a last minute change, as of 11:30 AM Monday, so the linky will go up next week, but feel free to leave your links at the original Mailbox Monday Blog with a new linky just set up.)

(I am posting this a bit early so I can free up the week for Armchair BEA posts. Be sure to follow the blog to be informed of the Giveaways I am holding starting Tuesday! And you'll need a few days to read this massive post anyway!)

Still working on the Mother's Day gift card for HalfPrice books, so I purchased:

Taking the photos from the top, folks..

Within My Heart (Timber Ridge Reflections #3) by Tamera Alexander
Sometimes the greatest step of faith is taken neck-deep in feat.

Determined to fulfill her late husband’s dream, Rachel Boyd struggles to keep her ranch afloat with the help of her two young sons. But some days it feels as though her every effort is sabotaged. When faced with a loss she cannot afford, she’s forced to trust Rand Brookston, the one man in Timber Ridge she wishes to avoid. And with good reason. He’s a physician, just like her father, which tells her everything she needs to know about him. Or so she thinks...

Dr. Rand Brookston ventured west with the dream of bringing modern medicine to the wilds of the Colorado Rockies, but the townspeople have been slow to trust him. Just as slow in coming is Rand’s dream to build the town a proper clinic. When a patient’s life is threatened, Rand makes a choice—one that sends ripples through the town of Timber Ridge. And through Rachel Boyd’s stubborn heart.

{Christy Awards Nominee 2010}


From A Distance  (Timber Ridge Reflections #1) by Tamera Alexander
What happens when the realization of a dream isn't what you imagined... and the secret you've spent a lifetime guarding is finally laid bare?

Determined to become one of the country's premier newspaper photographers, Elizabeth Westbrook travels to the Colorado Territory to capture the grandeur of the mountains surrounding the remote town of Timber Ridge. She hopes, too, that the cool, dry air of Colorado, and its renowned hot springs, will cure the mysterious illness that threatens her career, and her life.

Daniel Ranslett is a man shackled by his Confederate past, and he'll do anything to protect his land, and his solitude. When an outspoken Yankee photographer captures an image that appears key to solving a murder, putting herself in danger, Daniel is called upon to repay a debt. He's a man of his word, but repaying that debt could reveal secrets from his past he would prefer remain buried.

Forced on a perilous journey together, Daniel and Elizabeth's lives intertwine in ways neither could have imagined when first they met from a distance.

{WINNER Christy Award for Historical Romance (2009)}

Halos by Kristen Heitzmann
It was the halo that caught her heart between beats and made her pause to take notice. When Alessi Moore drives her red Mustang convertible into town, she wonders if this could be the place she was meant to find, a place to settle down. But when her convertible and all she owns is stolen, she is filled with doubt.

A Name of Her Own (Tender Ties #1) by Jane Kirkpatrick
{after reading and LOVING Kirkpatrick's latest, my mission is to own all of her work.}
Based on the life of Marie Dorion, the first mother to cross the Rocky Mountains and remain in the Northwest, A Name of Her Own is the fictionalized adventure account of a real woman’s fight to settle in a new landscape, survive in a nation at war, protect her sons and raise them well and, despite an abusive, alcoholic husband, keep her marriage together.

With two rambunctious young sons to raise, Marie Dorion refuses to be left behind in St. Louis when her husband heads West with the Wilson Hunt Astoria expedition of 1811. Faced with hostile landscapes, an untried expedition leader, and her volatile husband, Marie finds that the daring act she hoped would bind her family together may in the end tear them apart.

On the journey, Marie meets up with the famous Lewis and Clark interpreter, Sacagawea. Both are Indian women married to mixed-blood men of French Canadian and Indian descent, both are pregnant, both traveled with expeditions led by white men, and both are raising sons in a white world.

Together, the women forge a friendship that will strengthen and uphold Marie long after they part, even as she faces the greatest crisis of her life, and as she fights for her family’s very survival with the courage and gritty determination that can only be fueled by a mother’s love.


The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
History has all but forgotten...In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.
Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.
But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her...

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers {this one comes highly recommended, and is on some fellow bloggers' Fave of All Time lists, so I've gotta check this out!}
California's gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.

Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.

Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father's heart in everything, Michael obeys God's call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel's every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.

But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband's pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does ... the One who will never let her go.




And I made a second trip.. so from the top folks..
Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer, Sourcebooks reissue of her 1968 novel
Enjoy one of only two Heyer Gothic Regency romances.

Kate, in dire circumstances, is surprised to receive an invitation to live with a distant aunt. Her aunt, uncle, and cousin welcome her to their estate, buy her new clothes, and provide all the amenities a Young lady of quality should have. Slowly, however, as strange events unfold, Kate begins to realize that her aunt's apparent benevolence hides an ulterior motive. To assure succession of the title, her aunt intends Kate to marry her cousin Torquil, until his increasingly bizarre behavior culminates in violence and tragedy. A compelling tale exploring mental illness in the Regency period.

Lady in the Mist by Laurie Alice Eakes (Midwives Series Book 1) February 2011
I really enjoyed Eakes' second stand-alone novel in this series, so I had my eyes peeled for this one.. yay!
By virtue of her profession as a midwife, Tabitha Eckles is the keeper of many secrets: the names of fathers of illegitimate children, the level of love and harmony within many a marriage, and now the identity of a man who may have caused his wife's death. Dominick Cherrett is a man with his own secret to keep: namely, what he, a British nobleman, is doing on American soil working as a bondsman in the home of Mayor Kendall, a Southern gentleman with his eye on a higher office.

By chance one morning before the dawn has broken, Tabitha and Dominick cross paths on a misty beachhead, leading them on a twisted path through kidnappings, death threats, public disgrace, and . . . love? Can Tabitha trust Dominick? What might he be hiding? And can either of them find true love in a world that seems set against them?

With stirring writing that puts readers directly into the story, Lady in the Mist expertly explores themes of identity, misperception, and love's discovery.

Rekindled by Tamera Alexander (Fountain Creek Chronicles #1) March 2006
Comes highly recommended by fellow blogger Farrah at http://tbfreviews.net/
At a different time, in a different place, under different circumstances... could two people fall in love once again?

Ten years ago Kathryn Jennings made a vow. For better or worse. And that promise still holds true, even though her marriage has not turned out as she expected. When her husband fails to return home one stormy winter night, she struggles to keep their ranch, but her efforts are blocked at every turn. After a shocking glimpse into her husband's past, Kathryn uncovers a hidden truth. What she wouldn't give to turn back time and be able to love her husband for the man that he was, not for the man she always wanted him to be.

Larson Jennings has spent his entire life running from a broken past, unable to trust, reluctant to try again. One fateful night, his life takes an unexpected twist, and soon he is forced to make a choice. Whatever he chooses, his decision may cost him his life.


Deep in the Heart by Gilbert Morris (Lone Star Legacy #1) November 2003
 (I also downloaded a few eBooks of his, I am ASTONISHED at how prolific this author is!)

The lame synopsis on Goodreads and Amazon is: The Texas Frontier provides for riveting adventure and inspiring characters as this historical fiction series draws readers into the struggle for freedom.

But here is the back cover, and so I sent this to Audra to see if she can update it on Goodreads:

They came to Texas to make their family whole. They fought for the land they'd come to love. An unforgettable saga of faith, love and loyalty that will find its place deep in your heart.

In the days when Texas was the northern edge of Mexico, when Bowie and Houston and Crockett were men and not yet legends, when the Alamo was still a scruffy mission on the banks of the San Antonio River, this unorthodox family struggled to make a wild but beautiful land their own.

This is the tale of Jerusalem Ann, who is willing to take whatever life dishes out in order to make a life for her family. It's the story of Clay, who finds himself protecting another man's family - and in love with another man's wife. It's about Jake, who loves two women and can't do right by either... and Julie, who'd rather be free than respectable... and Bowie, who can handle war but might not survive his first love. It's the story of Comanches and fiestas, hunting parties and courting parties, of battles and massacres and beautiful calm nights under a canopy of stars.
Wide as the prairies, warm as a San Antonia breeze, spiced with adventure and romance, this Texas-sized saga of faith from a beloved storyteller will quickly find its place deep in your heart.. and never let you go.

A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin (Wings of Glory #1) March 2010, a bit of a chunkster at 421 pages
I read book three, follows the family of brothers, but separated stories enough that it will be fine for me to go backwards!

Another short synopsis (le sigh)
In this World War II-era romance, Allie is promised to a man she doesn't love. When a furloughed B-17 bomber pilot captures her heart, will she honor her family's wishes or take a chance on true love?

Back cover:
Will a chance meeting in a time of war change her life forever?

Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval - even marry a man she doesn't love. While Allie has nearly resigned herself to that fate, Lt. Walter Novak - fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women - takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas.

Walt and Allie meet and begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?
Book 1 in the Wings of Glory series, A Distant Melody is an exciting and tender story of love, courage, and sacrifice during World War II.


 And then I won this eBook from the author:

After The Fog
After the Fog by Kathleen Shoop  (May 8, 2012)
The sins of the mother...
In the steel mill town of Donora, Pennsylvania, site of the infamous 1948 "killing smog," headstrong nurse Rose Pavlesic tends to her family and neighbors. Controlling and demanding, she's created a life that reflects everything she missed growing up as an orphan. She's even managed to keep her painful secrets hidden from her loving husband, dutiful children, and large extended family.
When a stagnant weather pattern traps poisonous mill gasses in the valley, neighbors grow sicker and Rose's nursing obligations thrust her into conflict she never could have fathomed. Consequences from her past collide with her present life, making her once clear decisions as gray as the suffocating smog. As pressure mounts, Rose finds she's not the only one harboring lies. When the deadly fog finally clears, the loss of trust and faith leaves the Pavlesic family-and the whole town-splintered and shocked. With her new perspective, can Rose finally forgive herself and let her family's healing begin?

And another Kindle read .. (someday I'll buy a kindle..) I couldn't resist the $2.99 deal on this one, since I LOVED her first novel:

The House of Velvet and Glass  (April 2012) by Katherine Howe
Katherine Howe, author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, returns with an entrancing historical novel set in Boston in 1915, where a young woman stands on the cusp of a new century, torn between loss and love, driven to seek answers in the depths of a crystal ball.

Still reeling from the deaths of her mother and sister on the Titanic, Sibyl Allston is living a life of quiet desperation with her taciturn father and scandal-plagued brother in an elegant town house in Boston’s Back Bay. Trapped in a world over which she has no control, Sibyl flees for solace to the parlor of a table-turning medium.

But when her brother is suddenly kicked out of Harvard under mysterious circumstances and falls under the sway of a strange young woman, Sibyl turns for help to psychology professor Benton Derby, despite the unspoken tensions of their shared past. As Benton and Sibyl work together to solve a harrowing mystery, their long-simmering spark flares to life, and they realize that there may be something even more magical between them than a medium’s scrying glass.

From the opium dens of Boston’s Chinatown to the opulent salons of high society, from the back alleys of colonial Shanghai to the decks of the Titanic, The House of Velvet and Glass weaves together meticulous period detail, intoxicating romance, and a final shocking twist that will leave readers breathless.