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Aug 10, 2009

Mailbox Monday & A Mystery

Is it bad that My son POSES EAch time my camera comes out?
Welcome to The Burton Review Mailbox Monday Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. And I am adding what I purchased. Here's what I received during the last week:

One of two books I received for review was "Receive Me Falling" by Erika Robuck "A sweeping, historical epic that explores the legacy of
sin and the loss of innocence has been embraced by book clubs nationwide and promises to be one of the breakout books of the summer. Erika Robuck's debut novel, Receive Me Falling (Elysian Fields Press, July 2009), is one of the most literary and poignant additions to the historical fiction genre and maintains its appeal with modern day themes. Written with vivid description in both a past and present voice, Receive Me Falling is a powerful story about sin and redemption and the power that comes from finding one's way. After Meghan Owen loses both of her parents in a tragic accident, she begins researching her family's past and uncovers a secret history. She travels to the Caribbean island of Nevis and learns the story of a reluctant slave-owner's daughter who runs a plantation in an oppressive, male-dominated society. Catherine Dall is a modern-day heroine whose aspirations in medicine and the arts help her transcend the tyrannical world she inhabits.
In the present day, Meg learns that her father's estate was built on stolen money and is under legal scrutiny and public disgrace. She is faced with having to sell the land and plantation home and deal with the betrayal that is at the heart of this tragedy-filled land.
Told in alternating, past and present chapters, the historical drama of the Dall family unfolds while Meg discovers her own familial secrets. Catherine Dall, like Meg, is forced to choose between her lifestyle and the scandal of deserting her family. An angry confrontation with Catherine's slave, Leah, results in the girl's death, but was it murder or suicide? Hidden texts, scandalous diaries, antique paintings and confessional letters help Meghan Owen uncover the secrets of Eden and put the ghosts to rest. Erika Robuck has written an extraordinary debut that will make readers mindful of the past and contemplate its impact on the future."

The second book I received for review was Rosemary Rogers "The Wildest Heart" which is a reissue from 1974 which I didn't realize till now. Silly me. This was #1 Bestselling book, I was a year old, so I haven't read it, but it will be reissued in November by Sourcebooks and it's OVER 700 pages!! (weep):

"No man can own Rowena Danger field sensuous, strong-willed lad with a fiery,unchained spirit-though many desire her. She has come to claim her birthright, foll win her destiny to the sprawling New Mexican frontier... and to the only man who can tame restless heart. A handsome half-Apache branded an outlaw-a rebel and renegade feared throughout the territories-Lucas Cord's body and soul cry out for the beautiful, headstrong stranger who has burst into his world. And neither peril nor the treachery of desperate men will prevent him from taking what he wants ... or restrain a rampaging passion as wild and hot as the Southwestern winds."

Another book I received that was a 'surprise'.. was "F. U., Penguin: Telling Cute Animals What's What" by Matthew Gasteier A book that repeats and adds some new tidbits from his blog. F U Penguin. He has 7,212 followers. Where have I gone wrong? Something about poking fun at cute animals in a crude language. I think it'll be perfect for those long stays on the toilet and I'm being serious.

I received the rest of my big Alibris Order:

My son made me take many pictures of two of his lions with my new books "A Great and Terrible King" by Marc Morris, Publication date: 05 Mar 2009; and here is where the MYSTERY lies:

The title page is signed in black 'ink' and I cannot tell if it is a copy or real. It came from the UK via A1Books and I just have no idea. Very weird. So if anyone has a paperback edition of this book, let me know if theirs is signed or not.

Signed.. or not signed? Anyway, the synopsis:

"This is the first major biography for a generation of a truly formidable king. Edward I is familiar to millions as 'Longshanks', conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir William Wallace ('Braveheart'). Edward was born to rule England, but believed that it was his right to rule all of Britain. His reign was one of the most dramatic of the entire Middle Ages, leading to war and conquest on an unprecedented scale, and leaving a legacy of division that has lasted from his day to our own. In his astonishingly action-packed life, Edward defeated and killed the famous Simon de Montfort in battle; travelled across Europe to the Holy Land on crusade; conquered Wales, extinguishing forever its native rulers, and constructed - at Conwy, Harlech, Beaumaris and Caernarfon - the most magnificent chain of castles ever created. After the death of his first wife he erected the Eleanor Crosses - the grandest funeral monuments ever fashioned for an English monarch."

"The Life And Death of Anne Boleyn" by Eric Ives (2004) and I think this is going to top all biographies on her. "This definitive biography of Anne Boleyn establishes her as a figure of considerable importance and influence in her own right.
A full biography of Anne Boleyn, based on the latest scholarly research.
Focusses on Anne’s life and legacy and establishes Anne as a figure of considerable importance and influence in her own right. Adulteress or innocent victim? Looks afresh at the issues at the heart of Anne's downfall. Pays attention to her importance as a patron of the arts, particularly in relation to Hans Holbein. Presents evidence about Anne’s spirituality and her interest in the intellectual debates of the period. Takes account of significant advances in knowledge in recent years

From Paperbackswap I received: "The Burning Times" by Jeanne Kalogridis, which is now being re-released with a shiny new cover. This author has received acclaim for I, Mona Lisa; The Devil's Queen; and The Borgia Bride and is riding the recent wave of popularity.

"The Burning Times: The year is 1357. The Inquisition rages throughout medieval France, searching ruthlessly for heretics. In an epic tale of passion, mystery, and unspeakable danger, one woman faces the flames...and triumphs.
Mother Marie Fran├žoise, born Sybille, is a midwife with a precocious gift for magic -- a gift that makes her a prime target for persecution at the hands of the Church. She flees her village and takes refuge in a Franciscan sisterhood. Before long, Sybille's unusual powers bring her under the scrutiny of the Inquisition. Michel, a pious and compassionate monk sent to hear her confession, finds himself drawn more intimately into Sybille's life and destiny than either of them could have imagined.
Like a magician herself, Jeanne Kalogridis weaves a tale of star-crossed love, of faith and heresy, of mysticism and witchcraft, against a fascinating historical backdrop -- the Black Death, the Hundred Years' War, and the catastrophic defeat of France at the hands of the English. The result is a page-turning novel about one of the most intriguing periods in history

Also from Paperbackswap: "Virgin: Prelude to the Throne" by Robin Maxwell (2002) "A riveting portrait of Elizabeth I as a romantic and vulnerable teenager, dangerously awakening to a perilous liaison with the wrong man. England, 1547: King Henry is dead. Elizabeth's half-brother, nine-year-old Edward, is king in name only. Thomas Seymour, brother to the ambitious duke who has seized power in this time of crisis, calculatingly works his way into Elizabeth's home in genteel Chelsea House. He marries Henry's widow, Catherine Parr, and uses his venerable charms and sexual magnetism to indulge his infatuation for young Elizabeth. Caught hopelessly under Thomas Seymour's spell, surrounded by kind friends and hidden enemies, Elizabeth can only follow her heart to ensure survival."

And now for two wonderful wins:
"The Grand Sophy" by Georgette Heyer I am so excited for this win!! "Sophy sets everything right for her desperate family in one of Georgette Heyer's most popular Regency romances.
When Lady Ombersley agrees to take in her young niece, no one expects Sophy, who sweeps in and immediately takes the ton by storm. Sophy discovers that her aunt's family is in desperate need of her talent for setting everything right: Ceclia is in love with a poet, Charles has tyrannical tendencies that are being aggravated by his grim fiancee, her uncle is of no use at all, and the younger children are in desperate need of some fun and freedom. By the time she's done, Sophy has commandeered Charles's horses, his household, and finally, his heart

Thank you to Sourcebooks and Jane Austen Today for this giveaway!

Another one is "Invasion" the 10th novel in Julian Stockwin's Kydd series "In the tenth book of the popular series, rumors fly of Napoleon's planned invasion of England, and British naval commander Thomas Kydd is sent to liaise with American inventor, Robert Fulton. The American has created "infernal machines" that can kill from a distance. Fulton believes that his inventions--the submarine and torpedo--will win the day for the power that possesses them, and Kydd must help him develop the devices. Despite his own scruples, believing that standing man-to-man is the only honorable way to fight, Kydd agrees to take part in the crucial testing of these weapons of mass destruction. In the end, their fire power just may decide the fate of England."

Thank you to McBooks Press and Sarah at Reading the Past for this giveaway!

And thankfully, the end seems near for all the ARC receiving.. Whoop Whoop.. just have a billion to review now.. I've got such a wide mix here I can't pick out my faves, but Heyer and Ives are at the top of the list! Which would you read first?

*Come back later (2:00pm CST) for Part One in my 'So You Wanna Get Published?' series, featuring author Mary DeMuth!