Monday, May 30, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Dreams of Joy by Lisa See, Author of Shanghai Girls


TEASER TUESDAYS :
hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading ~





Dreams of Joy: A Novel
"When You're poor, you never know when used electrical conduit or an old motor might come in handy," Z.G. says.

I look at him in his dapper suit, his perfectly cleaned glasses, his neat manner. How would he know?

~ page 126 “Dreams of Joy: A Novel ARC" by Lisa See

** Note: This Teaser is taken from an Advance Reader Copy and may be slightly different from the final version.

About the Book (from Amazon):
In her beloved New York Times bestsellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in her most powerful novel yet, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed nineteen-year-old daughter, Joy.

Reeling from newly uncovered family secrets, and anger at her mother and aunt for keeping them from her, Joy runs away to Shanghai in early 1957 to find her birth father—the artist Z.G. Li, with whom both May and Pearl were once in love. Dazzled by him, and blinded by idealism and defiance, Joy throws herself into the New Society of Red China, heedless of the dangers in the communist regime.

Devastated by Joy’s flight and terrified for her safety, Pearl is determined to save her daughter, no matter the personal cost. From the crowded city to remote villages, Pearl confronts old demons and almost insurmountable challenges as she follows Joy, hoping for reconciliation. Yet even as Joy’s and Pearl’s separate journeys converge, one of the most tragic episodes in China’s history threatens their very lives.

Acclaimed for her richly drawn characters and vivid storytelling, Lisa See once again renders a family challenged by tragedy and time, yet ultimately united by the resilience of love.

:) I always look forward to reading everyone's teasers! ~ Wendi

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up and use to buy more books! :)



Friday, May 27, 2011

Missions of Mercy series by Susan May Warren: Blog Tour and Flip HD Camera Giveaway! Point of No Return, Mission: Out of Control, Undercover Pursuit - Three Great New Love Inspired Suspense Books

Mission: Out of Control (Love Inspired Suspense)Point of No Return (Love Inspired Suspense)Undercover Pursuit (Love Inspired Suspense)The Missions of Mercy series is a great series from Susan May Warren made up of three books, each can read as a stand-alone, but they really are better together: Point of No Return, Mission: Out of Control, and Undercover Pursuit.  Through them readers will meet strong characters who will live through danger, adventure, suspense and romance!

Point of No Return (Book 1) finds Chet Stryker, the head of a security team, working with his old flame Mae Lund.  His mission: to rescue Mae's nephew while trying to keep her safe in the country of Georgia.  Right from the start, the book gripped my attention, and it never lost it.  A few twists throughout the story and some of Chet's history coming back to the forefront really brings depth to the story.  Point of No Return also introduces us to Wick and Luke, who feature in the following two books in the series.

Mission: Out of Control (Book 2) brings Brody "Wick" Wickham into focus as he faces a security assignment that just might bring his 100% success rate crashing down.  Within the first few pages, you will fall in love with Brody as he becomes his 15 year old sister's bodyguard at a Vonya concert... where he meets the diva up close and personal for the first time.  She turns out to be a nice woman with a lot of secrets who happens to need a lot of help!  I love that the story brings back Chet and Mae, and also still includes Luke, whose story is coming up next.

Undercover Pursuit (Book 3) is the final installment in the Missions of Mercy series (I believe), and it focuses on Luke Dekker, another member of Chet's security team.  This one starts with another grab at the readers attention when the story finds Scarlett trying to find out what the airline has done with her sisters wedding dress after the 16 hour flight to Mexico.  She ends up with Luke, who has mistaken her for his contact for his mission.  Too late, Luke finds out she isn't an agent, and he has to find a way to get them both through both the wedding and his mission... without falling for her.  I loved this one with its slightly lighter story, the charisma between the characters and the nice sunny locale.

One great thing about these books is they are great for everyone who likes a little suspense and action, as well as some good G-rated romance that won't make you blush.  In all, a great series of books that you won't want to end.


Point of No Return
by Susan May Warren

Steeple Hill (January 4, 2011) ~ 224 pages
Fiction / Inspirational / Romantic Suspense

Mission: Out of Control
by Susan May Warren

Steeple Hill (March 1, 2011) ~ 224 pages
Fiction / Inspirational / Romantic Suspense

Undercover Pursuit
by Susan May Warren

Steeple Hill (May 3, 2011) ~ 224  pages
Fiction / Inspirational / Romantic Suspense

Edition Reviewed: Paperbacks- Review copies received courtesy of the publisher, many thanks to both the author and the publisher for sending me a copy to review for this LitFuse tour!!


About the Books: (from the LitFuse Tour)
Three heroes, all on missions of mercy, who discover that God not only saves us from evil, but from the darkness inside.

Point of No Return: An American boy and a warlord's engaged daughter have disappeared-together-in an Eastern European border country. Only one man can find them in time to prevent an international meltdown-Chet Stryker. But Chet is taken aback when he realizes the boy is the nephew of Mae Lund, Chet's former flame. When Mae insists on rescuing her relative herself, Chet knows he has to protect her from the enemy on their trail. Yet can he protect himself from falling for Mae again?

Mission: Out of Control: Brody "Wick" Wickham is a former Green Beret turned security agent-with a 100 percent mission success rate. No way is his new assignment changing that. Even if it's protecting a diva American rock star while she's on tour in Europe. Except Veronica "Vonya" Wagner isn't just a beautiful celebrity used to having her way-she's the daughter of a U.S. Senator. And she's hiding a dangerous secret. When Wick discovers what's at stake, how far over the line will he go to keep them both alive?

Undercover Pursuit: The only way to get security agent Luke Dekker to a wedding? An undercover mission as groomsman. He'll bust the groom, a drug cartel heir, before anyone can say "I do." Then Luke can escape all this love and romance nonsense-and the too pretty bridesmaid/agent assigned as his "fiancée" for the weekend. Until Luke discovers that sweet, vulnerable Scarlett Hanson isn't his contact. Isn't an agent.

Isn't trained for the high-stakes mission now trapping them both. And worse, Luke's falling for her-which is not part of the assignment.

About the Author: (from the LitFuse Tour)
Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of thirty novels with Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award. A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you! She is also the founder ofwww.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

For more about Susan and her other books, please visit www.susanmaywarren.com



Tour Giveaway Details:

About the Missions of Mercy Giveaway:

Susan May Warren is thrilled to announce the release of her 3 book Missions of Mercy series!

Three heroes, all on missions of mercy, who discover that God not only saves us from evil, but from the darkness inside.

Point of No Return: Can God deliver us from our mistakes? This question is posed to Chet and Mae as they race to save Mae’s nephew from an evil warlord in the Republic of Georgia. More here.

Mission: Out of Control: Does God turn his back on us when we fail? Brody and Vonya discover the answer as they conspire to capture an international smuggler and free a child soldier from war. More here.

Undercover Pursuit: What if we deliberately sin and harbor bitterness in our hearts? Is there a rescue from the dark places inside? Luke and Scarlett find out as they work to protect a bride-turned-informant whose courage could dismantle a human trafficking web. More here.

To celebrate the series, Susan is giving away a Missions of Mercy Prize Pack worth over $200! One grand prize winner will receive:

* A brand new FLIP HD Camera
* The entire Missions of Mercy series

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. You may enter once per email, facebook, and twitter. The contest ends on May 31st. Tell your friends! Winner will be announced on June 1st at the Litfuse Publicity site and at Susan May Warren's website. (While you're there, check out her rockin' new website!)

For more on the Blog Tour, and to see the schedule, please visit LitFuse here:  http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13307091 

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up to buy more books. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: The Return of Black Douglas by Elaine Coffman (A New Favorite Among Historical Romance)

The Return of Black DouglasI love The Return of Black Douglas by Elaine Coffman and found it to be one of the most satisfying historical romances I've read recently... and it is certainly listed among my favorites of all time!  

The Return of Black Douglas takes us back 500 years to the Scottish Highlands in 1515, to a time when men were heroes, and it required strength to survive.  Add in a quirky ghost who comes and goes as he pleases and talks in riddles, two modern day women (twins) thrown back in time, one stubborn (and handsome) clan chief determined not to marry, and you've got quite a wonderful story.
"Ye canna have everything ye want, and ye doona want everything ye get.  And yet there is balance of life." (The ghost of Black Douglas is speaking to Isobella, page 251, ARC Edition)


Most of the story takes place in 1515, with some reference to modern day technology and medicines, but what really impressed me was how real the Scotland of old seemed as Elaine Coffman told the story of Alysandir and Isobella.  It is a ruggedly beautiful time, that had a different and very strict code of honor.  


Elaine Coffman has written a story full of adventure, passion, rugged landscapes and warm-hearted characters.  It is the perfect story for anyone who enjoys historical romance, the Scottish Highlands, and time-travel.   


And the great news is that it looks like Elaine Coffman is working on Elisabeth's (Isobella's twin sister who is a doctor) story, which is scheduled to be available April of 2012!!!  I'm so glad we will get to revisit these characters again!



The Return of Black Douglas
by Elaine Coffman

  Sourcebooks Casablanca (April 1, 2011) ~ 448 pages
Fiction / Historical Romance 

Edition Reviewed: ARC - Review copy received courtesy of the publisher, many thanks to both the author and the publisher for sending me a copy to review!


About the Book: (From the publisher)
He’ll help a woman in need, no matter where she came from…

Alysandir Mackinnon rules his clan with a fair but iron fist. He has no time for softness or, as he sees it, weakness. But when he encounters a bewitching young beauty who may or may not be a dangerous spy, but is surely in mortal danger, he’s compelled to help…

She’s always wondered if she was born in the wrong time…

Thrown back in time to the tumultuous, dangerous Scottish Highlands of the sixteenth century, Isobella Douglas has a lot to learn about her ancestors, herself, and her place in the world. Especially when she encounters a Highland laird who puts modern men to shame…

Each one has secrets to keep, until they begin to strike a chord in each other’s hearts that’s never been touched before…

About the Author: (from the publisher's site)
Since the release of her first book in 1988, New York Times Bestselling author Elaine Coffman has helped define the historical romance genre. Elaine has received numerous awards, including the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, Best Western Historical Romance of the Year and the Maggie Award. She is the author of twenty historical romance novels (Lord of the Black Isle is my 21st book), one suspense novel and four novellas’. She resides in Austin, Texas.


*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up to buy more books. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Haven't Joined Triberr Yet? This Is One Social Media Tool You Don't Want To Miss Out On!

In short, Triberr is an awesome new social media tool that will expand your exposure by leaps and bounds! And it is FREE to join... you just need an invitation to someone who already has a tribe.

The way I understand it, and have seen it work so far, is that Triberr takes new blog posts of each team member and schedules it to be Tweeted by the rest of the Tribe members.  If a member doesn't have a post for the day, no Tweets are sent for them, and if they have more than one, they are scheduled out so there isn't a huge Twitter mess.  Even better, each Tweet is scheduled to stagger, so that of your tribe members, each is sending out a tweet about your blog post at a different time, which helps your exposure even more!

Example of a Tweet sent via Triberr:

Triberr scheduled and sent out this Tweet from my Twitter account on behalf of one of my Tribe members, Simply Stacie, and provided the link to her blog post about Build A Better Blog Week.

Basic Benefits:
Free To Join
Easy To Set Up
Requires Almost No Time Once Set Up
Don't need to stay logged in, Triberr takes care of everything automatically
Increases Your Social Media Exposure on Twitter
Gives Your Twitter Followers Additional Content They Might Not Otherwise See
You Help Your Tribe Members By Sharing Their Posts Automatically
Example of a working Tribe:

I am currently a member in a Tribe of 7 total bloggers.  I myself only have 446 Twitter followers, but when combined with my 6 other Tribe members, my posts reach a total of 22,335+ Twitter followers!  That is the power of social media and friend working together!  And the exposure doesn't stop there.

Since I'm on someone else's Tribe, I can now start 3 of my own, so if you are interested or want to learn more (I can try to answer questions!), send me an email at wbarker@hotmail.com or leave a message here and I'll see what I can do.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: A Tapestry of Dreams by Roberta Gellis


TEASER TUESDAYS :
hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading ~





A Tapestry of Dreams
There was the sound of something falling, and then the sound of Audris's merry laugh. As Eadyth came closer, the feeble lamplight showed Audris blinking like an owl and smiling.

"Oh, aunt, how you startled me!" she cried.

~ page 64 “A Tapestry of Dreams ARC by Roberta Gellis

** Note: This Teaser is taken from an Advance Reader Copy and may be slightly different from the final version.

About the Book (from Amazon):
A maiden who will not marry

For the lovely Lady Audris, taking a husband would mean losing her home. She is content to concentrate on her special gift, weaving gorgeous tapestries that often contain hints of the future. But nothing predicts the arrival of Hugh Licorne, confident in his strength and single-minded in his determination-to have her.

A battle-hardened knight who needs a bride

From the moment Hugh sets eyes on Lady Audris, he knows he has found the woman destined to be his wife. She's courageous and beautiful, delicate yet strong. But winning her trust and defending her from her enemies will be the greatest battle he has ever faced.

:) I always look forward to reading everyone's teasers! ~ Wendi

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up and use to buy more books! :)

SheSpeaks and P&G Future Friendly Program: Cascade Action Pacs - Save Water, Save Time, Save The Environment... All While Making Washing Your Dishes Easier and Faster (Ditch Pre-Scrubbing!)

Cascade Products - Cascade - Action Pacs, Blue, 12.7 oz. Reclosable Bag - Sold As 1 Pack - Combines Cascade powder and Dawn liquid dishwashing soaps into one pac. - Provides scrubbing action plus grease cutting power. - Easy to load without mess.After using Cascade Action Pacs one time, I was hooked! You see, I used to have to scrub every single dish, glass, and piece of silverware prior to washing them in the dishwasher, or they didn't get clean, and would come out with food still stuck on... but after giving Cascade Action Pacs a try, I was completely won over.

It took quite a leap of faith for me to give Cascade Action Pacs a try without pre-washing/scrubbing, but when I did, I was SHOCKED!  My dishes actually came out clean! Even when I put them into the dishwasher with dried on food!

I can still remember looking at my husband and bemoaning all the years I've spent scrubbing each dish clean and then washing them in our supposedly high-efficiency Kitchenaid dishwasher.  I can't even start to estimate the time these little packs of gold are saving me, not to mention water.

While they are a little more expensive than the traditional Cascade powder dishwashing detergent I was using, the cost is more than made up for in the time and water savings.

I have now used one entire bag of pacs, and in the time it took me to go through them, I only had to re-wash my crock-pot insert once (it had A LOT of baked on food residue) and one knife that had dried on banana on it.  But other than that, those little Action Pacs have done all the hard work for me!

If you are looking for an easy mess-free way to get your dishes done (especially if you are like I was and have been pre-scrubbing all your dishes), give these a try!  I'm so glad I did.  :)




Cascade Action Pacs
by
Cascade Products
 
Edition Reviewed: Pack of Cascade Action Pacs - Received as part of the SheSpeaks and P&G Future Friendly Program


About the Future Friendly Program from P&G: (for more info, visit the site here)
All Future Friendly products meet strict, science-based performance criteria and represent the value, convenience and innovation consumers expect from us. The criteria for Future Friendly products include:
    • Deliver a meaningful environmental benefit in one or more of the following categories: energy, water or waste.
    • These reductions and environmental benefits must be supported by sound, transparent science and substantiated data.

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up to buy more books. :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mailbox Monday and In My Mailbox: Disappearance and Zombies... and Hope


Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at The Printed Page, is on a blog tour!

This month, Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Mari over at Mari Reads, so stop by and join the fun!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren!

It is so much fun to see what everyone is getting in the mail.

Thanks for taking the time to visit ~ I just love hearing from you! Please let me know if you have read any of these books - I'd love to hear how you liked them!! :)

Three books for me last week!

Aftertime (Luna Books)Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield ~ Fiction / Post-Apocalyptic ~ Available Now ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review
Awakening in a bleak landscape as scarred as her body, Cass Dollar vaguely recalls surviving something terrible. Having no idea how many weeks have passed, she slowly realizes the horrifying truth: Ruthie has vanished.

And with her, nearly all of civilization.

Where once-lush hills carried cars and commerce, the roads today see only cannibalistic Beaters—people turned hungry for human flesh by a government experiment gone wrong.

In a broken, barren California, Cass will undergo a harrowing quest to get Ruthie back. Few people trust an outsider, let alone a woman who became a zombie and somehow turned back, but she finds help from an enigmatic outlaw, Smoke. Smoke is her savior, and her safety.

For the Beaters are out there.

And the humans grip at survival with their trigger fingers. Especially when they learn that she and Ruthie have become the most feared, and desired, of weapons in a brave new world….

Fade to Blue: An Otter Bay NovelFade to Blue: An Otter Bay Novel by Julie Carobini ~ Fiction / Christian / General ~ Available Now ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review
How do you restore a soul? One brush stroke at a time ...

Suz Mitchell is a determined dreamer, and won't allow her ex-husband's jail sentence to ruin their young son Jeremiah's life. An accomplished artist, Suz moves with her child across the country to California's central coast, and lands a job restoring priceless art for the historic Hearst Castle overlooking the sea.

But even dreams have shocking twists. To her surprise, a serious old flame, Seth, works at the castle and jumbles the new aspirations in Suz's heart. While sorting through their past and a palette of spiritual differences, an even bigger brush with yesterday awaits.

Suz must learn to let God be the true restorer of all that once seemed lost.

The Girl Who Disappeared TwiceThe Girl Who Disappeared Twice ARC by Andrea Kane ~ Fiction ~ Available May 31, 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review
SHE COULDN'T STOP IT. NOT THEN. NOT NOW.

If she'd only turned her head, she would have seen the car containing her daughter, struggling to get out. Struggling to escape her kidnapper.

Despite all her years determining the fates of families, veteran family court judge Hope Willis couldn't save her own. Now she's frantically grasping at any hope for Krissy's rescue. Her husband dead-set against it, she calls Casey Woods and her team of renegade investigators, Forensic Instincts.

A behaviorist. A techno-wizard. An intuitive. A former Navy SEAL. Unconventional operatives. All with unique talents and personal reasons for being part of Casey's group, they'll do whatever it takes.

Able to accurately read people after the briefest of encounters, Casey leads her crew to Krissy's home. There, she picks up the signs of a nervous spouse, a guilty conscience, a nanny that hides on her cell. She watches as secrets beg to creep into the open.

Forensic Instincts will dig through each tiny clue and eliminate the clutter. But time is running out, and even working around the clock, the authorities are bound by the legal system. Not so Casey's team. For they know that the difference between Krissy coming back alive and disappearing forever could be as small as a suspect's rapid breathing, or as deep as Hope's dark family history.

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up to buy more books. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quick Movie Review: Skyline (A Great Alien Invasion Movie With A Surprise and Not-So-Happily-Ever-After Ending)

SkylineWhat started off as a very entertaining movie ended on a very disappointing note. I go to (or more often rent) movies for the entertainment, and YES - the happy ending. This did prove to be entertaining, in fact, my husband and I looked at each other a few times and agreed that it was a good movie, much better than we expected after rumors had it as being a horrible movie (IMDB overall 4.5 out of 10 stars).  That said, as the movie was wrapping up, I kept mumbling that it couldn't be the end, they had to do something better with it.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie overall, until the last five to ten minutes.  The acting was good, the cinematography was also good... this was no B movie in my eyes... until the disappointing end!  Then it simply.... for lack of a better word... sucked.

Cudos to the actors.  My heart was certainly racing in more than one scene, and my attention never wandered.  It was also fun to see a few very familiar faces in Eric Balfour (lots of tv shows and movies including What Women Want), Donald Faison (Turk on Scrubs) and Scottie Thompson (NCIS as Jeanne Benoit, Star Trek) and David Zayas who played Oliver (Dexter, Law & Order).

If you are up for an Aliens Vs The World, where the aliens certainly come out on top in the third round, this is the movie for you!  It is a great alien invasion movie.  It might even be worth picking up if you want a change-of-pace from your normal happily-ever-after, but consider yourself warned.  This movie won't cheer you up in the end.


Skyline
starring Eric Balfour, Donald Faison, Scottie Thompson, David Zayas

Universal Studios (March 22, 2011) ~ 94 Minutes
Action / Sci-Fi / Thriller

Edition Reviewed: Redbox Rental Copy!


About the Movie:
It was supposed to be a simple birthday weekend in Southern California. But when sunrise arrives two hours early in the form of a haunting light from an unknown source, a group of friends watch in terror as people across the city are drawn outside and swept into massive alien ships that have blotted out the L.A. skyline. From tankers to drones and hydra-like extraterrestrials, the aliens are inescapable and seemingly indestructible. Now, it will take every survival instinct the group has to elude capture in this riveting, action-packed sci-fi adventure starring Eric Balfour (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Donald Faison ("Scrubs") and Scottie Thompson (Star Trek).

Trailer:


*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up to buy more books. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner


TEASER TUESDAYS :
hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading ~





The Confessions of Catherine de Medici: A Novel
I paused, my fingers tightening about my book. "You speak of heretics." A ripple of disquiet went through me. I had not expected our conversation to take such a turn. Until now, the most controversial subject I'd faced was my husband's attachment to his mistress, and I suddenly felt as though I'd dwelled in perfumed oblivion to the dark currents running beneath my feet.

~ page 60 “The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner

About the Book (from Amazon):
The truth is, not one of us is innocent. We all have sins to confess. So reveals Catherine de Medici, the last legitimate descendant of her family’s illustrious line. Expelled from her native Florence, Catherine is betrothed to Henri, son of François I of France. In an unfamiliar realm, Catherine strives to create a role for herself through her patronage of the famous clairvoyant Nostradamus and her own innate gift as a seer. But in her fortieth year, Catherine is widowed, left alone with six young children in a kingdom torn apart by the ambitions of a treacherous nobility. Relying on her tenacity, wit, and uncanny gift for compromise, Catherine seizes power, intent on securing the throne for her sons, unaware that if she is to save France, she may have to sacrifice her ideals, her reputation, and the secret of her embattled heart.

This one is up next on my reading pile, and I can't wait to get into it. :) I always look forward to reading everyone's teasers! ~ Wendi

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up and use to buy more books! :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mailbox Monday and In My Mailbox: Overflowing and Full of Fun!


Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at The Printed Page, is on a blog tour!

This month, Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Mari over at Mari Reads, so stop by and join the fun!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren!

It is so much fun to see what everyone is getting in the mail.

Thanks for taking the time to visit ~ I just love hearing from you! Please let me know if you have read any of these books - I'd love to hear how you liked them!! :)

Our family has been on vacation over the past two weeks, so I wasn't online to post last week's Mailbox or Teaser, so this week will be a bit bigger! Here are the wonderful books that have come into my house over the past two weeks. Because I received so many wonderful books, they aren't going to be in order by title this week. :)

From BBP Con (Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference) I received the following seven books:

Deep Kiss of WinterDeep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter ~ Fiction / Romance / Paranormal ~ Available Now ~
Two never-before-published paranormal stories to delight the senses and tantalize the imagination!

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR
KRESLEY COLE delivers a breathtaking tale of a brutal vampire soldier about to know love for the first time...and a Valkyrie aching to be touched.

Murdoch Wroth will stop at nothing to claim Daniela the Ice Maiden -- the delicate Valkyrie who makes his heart beat for the first time in three hundred years. Yet the exquisite Danii is part ice fey, and her freezing skin can't be touched by anyone but her own kind without inflicting pain beyond measure. Soon desperate for closeness, in an agony of frustration, Murdoch and Danii will do anything to have each other. Together, can they find the key that will finally allow them to slake the overwhelming desire burning between them?

NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR
GENA SHOWALTER puts a daring spin on a tale of huntress and hunted...and concocts a sensual chemistry that is positively explosive.

Aleaha Love can be anyone -- literally. With only skin-to-skin contact, she can change her appearance, assume any identity. Her newest identity switch has made her an AIR (alien investigation and removal) agent and sends her on a mission to capture a group of otherworldly warriors. Only she becomes the captured. Breean, a golden-skinned commander known for his iron will who is at once dangerous and soul-shatteringly seductive, threatens her new life. Because for the first time, Aleaha only wants to be herself....

Eternal on the Water Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger ~ Fiction ~ Available Now ~
From the day Cobb and Mary meet kayaking on Maine's Allagash River and fall deeply in love, the two approach life with the same sense of adventure they use to conquer the river's treacherous rapids. But rivers do not let go so easily...and neither does their love. So when Mary's life takes the cruelest turn, she vows to face those rough waters on her own terms and asks Cobb to promise, when the time comes, to help her return to their beloved river for one final journey.

Set against the rugged wilderness of Maine, the exotic islands of Indonesia, the sweeping panoramas of Yellowstone National Park, and the tranquil villages of rural New England, Eternal on the Water is at once heartbreaking and uplifting -- a timeless, beautifully rendered story of true love's power.

Fierce EdenFierce Eden by Jennifer Blake ~ Fiction / Romance / Historical ~ Available Now ~
She was living in fear...

Beautiful, young widow Elise Laffont embraces her freedom during the daylight hours, running the farm she loves so dearly, but the night brings with it painful reminders of the torment she endured at the hands of her abusive husband. Fate may have taken her husband, but it hasn't erased the scars he left, and Elise wonders if she will ever be able to bear the touch of a man again.

He was a man torn by desire...

From the moment he laid eyes on the beautiful widow, Reynaud Chevalier wanted her. When disaster offers him the chance to claim her as his own, Reynaud seizes the opportunity to bind Elise to him, unaware that behind her determined bravado lays a heart shattered by the past.

A Tapestry of DreamsA Tapestry of Dreams ARC by Roberta Gellis ~ Fiction / Romance / Historical ~ Available Now ~
A maiden who will not marry

For the lovely Lady Audris, taking a husband would mean losing her home. She is content to concentrate on her special gift, weaving gorgeous tapestries that often contain hints of the future. But nothing predicts the arrival of Hugh Licorne, confident in his strength and single-minded in his determination-to have her.

A battle-hardened knight who needs a bride

From the moment Hugh sets eyes on Lady Audris, he knows he has found the woman destined to be his wife. She's courageous and beautiful, delicate yet strong. But winning her trust and defending her from her enemies will be the greatest battle he has ever faced.

TrappedTrapped: A Novel by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen ~ Fiction / Young Adult ~ Available Now ~
A forged letter, a golden vial, an ancient curse...

Her expression remained somber, but excitement crept into her voice. You are the Firstborn She...You must go to them. You want me to act as bait? Not bait, Emi. A spy. Our Trojan horse.

When Emi Warrin wakes one night to find a thief in her mother's house, she has no idea the intruder has planted a trap--a mysterious letter that will change her life forever. Lured to the Austrian Alps with Daniel, the man she loves, Emi is thrown into a perilous, mafia-like world of feuding families and a devastating curse that spans generations. As the Firstborn She--the only firstborn female in hundreds of years--only Emi can free her family from the curse that will soon afflict her as well. But for Emi to break the curse, she must delve into her family's dark past, and she must gain the trust of those who would use her for their own evil designs.
As Emi struggles to understand her destiny as the Firstborn She, she learns that everything isn't as it seems and that all choices have consequences.

Winter BloomWinter Bloom: A Novel by Tara Heavey ~ Fiction ~ Available Now ~
There would be tunnels of roses, beds of strawberries, fountains of overflowing herbs. And there might even be love. . . .

In the heart of bustling modern Dublin is a littered, overgrown garden of tangled weeds and a stagnant, hidden pond. Belonging to an iron-willed elderly lady named Mrs. Prendergast, who is rumored to have murdered and buried her husband there, the garden draws Eva Madigan, a young mother struggling to move on from the pain of her past. Eva is joined by Emily, a beautiful but withdrawn college dropout; Uri, an old-world immigrant; Seth, his all-too-handsome son; and occasionally even Mrs. Prendergast herself. But what drives Eva to transform the neglected urban wilderness? What makes the others want to help her? Even as Mrs. Prendergast puts the land up for sale, the thorny lives of all the gardeners are revealed and slowly start to untangle. Overgrown secrets are dug up and shared. Choices are made; a little pruning is in order. Now Eva is about to discover that every garden is a story of growth toward a final harvest. . . .

'Twas the Night'Twas The Night by Sandra Hill, Kate Holmes, Trish Jensen ~ Fiction / Romance / Holiday ~ Available Now ~
What do a Blue Angels pilot, a bounty hunter and an ex-NFL football player have in common? The three bad-boy bachelors of Snowdon, Maine have to make it to a friend's Christmas Eve wedding on time or die trying! They're willing to risk anything to make that happen-even dashing through the snow in the goofiest bus on Earth, bright red and filled with a bunch of merry, meddling senior citizens known as the Santa Brigade. All too soon, these men will have met their matches in three special women: a woman from their past, a forest ranger so hot she ought to be declared a fire hazard, and a woman on the run. Ho, ho, OH! Three roguish St Nicks are hoping what they truly want for Christmas will be nestled in their beds after the stockings are stuffed and the gifts placed under the tree. Come along for the ride, as three unforgettable couples discover who's naughty and nice while serving up holiday cheer with the Santa Brigade.

And now for the rest of the books that came into my house from authors, publishers, and tours!

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici: A NovelThe Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C. W. Gortner ~ Fiction / Historical Fiction ~ Available May 24th 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review, tour and giveaway with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours on June 1st
The truth is, not one of us is innocent. We all have sins to confess. So reveals Catherine de Medici, the last legitimate descendant of her family’s illustrious line. Expelled from her native Florence, Catherine is betrothed to Henri, son of François I of France. In an unfamiliar realm, Catherine strives to create a role for herself through her patronage of the famous clairvoyant Nostradamus and her own innate gift as a seer. But in her fortieth year, Catherine is widowed, left alone with six young children in a kingdom torn apart by the ambitions of a treacherous nobility. Relying on her tenacity, wit, and uncanny gift for compromise, Catherine seizes power, intent on securing the throne for her sons, unaware that if she is to save France, she may have to sacrifice her ideals, her reputation, and the secret of her embattled heart.

The Fitting Room: Putting On the Character of ChristThe Fitting Room: Putting on the Character of Christ by Kelly Minter ~ Non-Fiction / Christian Living ~ Available Now ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review
Kelly Minter explores what it means—in real life—to “clothe” ourselves (Col. 3:12) in Christian virtues like forgiveness, joy, patience, compassion, and more.

Colossians 3:12 tells us to “clothe” ourselves in Christian virtues like forgiveness, joy, patience, compassion. But how does that work in real life? Can we really “dress up” in the character of Christ? Kelly Minter says the answer is yes—if we let the Master Designer do the fitting. This relatable book offers insightful Scripture study with real-life stories and simple, down-to-earth explanations of tricky concepts as justification and sanctification—stitching it all together with dry humor and down-to-earth honesty. There are no gimmicks, no guilt trips, just an irresistible invitation for women to enjoy a spiritual makeover—to put on a life that’s personally tailored by the One who knows and loves them best.

The Last Letter from Your Lover: A NovelThe Last Letter From your Lover: A Novel ARC by Jojo Moyes ~ Fiction ~ Available July 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review via Shelf Awareness
A sophisticated, page-turning double love story spanning forty years-an unforgettable Brief Encounter for our times.

It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply "B", asking her to leave her husband.

Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper's archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie's search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance.

My Foolish Heart (Deep Haven)My Foolish Heart: A Deep Haven Novel by Susan May Warren ~ Fiction ~ Available Now ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review during an upcoming LitFuse Tour starting June 1st
When it comes to love, sometimes you have to be a little foolish. Unknown to her quaint town of Deep Haven, Isadora Presley is the star host of My Foolish Heart, a popular syndicated talk radio show. From her home studio, she gives listeners advice on romance . . . even though she’s never had a date.

It’s not that she doesn’t want to, but since a tragic accident took her mother’s life, panic attacks have trapped her inside her small neighborhood. And though she always reminds listeners that their perfect love could be right next door, it can’t possibly be true for her. Especially when a new neighbor moves in. Sure, he’s handsome, but with his unruly dog and Neanderthal manners, Caleb Knight is the last man she’d ever fall for.

To Issy, love isn’t worth the risk. Until she starts to have feelings for a caller—a man she’s never even met but finds honest, charming, and sensitive. A man she doesn’t realize lives right next door.

Revise Us Again: Living from a Renewed Christian ScriptRevise Us Again: Living From A Renewed Christian Script by Frank Viola ~ Non-Fiction / Christian Living ~ Available Now ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review
Revise what it means to live the Christian life.

Every person follows a script for living, a life-guide that offers cues for our behavior and direction for our choices. As believers, the Word of God gives us a script for experiencing life as God intended. Yet our scripts are often distorted by our environment, our culture, and our religious traditions. As a result, all of us are in constant need of revising the scripts that we live by.

Author Frank Viola believes we need to revisit and revise what it means to live the Christian life. Drawing from his rich background in ministry, Viola shares how believers can benefit from rescripting their lives in ten key areas. Written in a conversational tone and filled with practical insights, Revise Us Again is ideal for any reader who longs to follow God's original script for living.

A Weekend With Mr. Darcy ARC by Victoria Connelly ~ Fiction ~ Available July 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review
Full of characters obsessed with Jane Austen and set in Jane Austen locations in England, this lively modern Jane Austen romantic comedy trilogy features two pairs of lonely hearts who find each other and themselves at a Jane Austen Addicts weekend.

Dr. Katherine Roberts is a Jane Austen lecturer at St Bridget's College, Oxford, who secretly loves the racy Regency novels of Lorna Warwick. But Lorna is really a man who's slowly been falling in love with Katherine. He's hoping that the Jane Austen Addicts weekend will be the perfect opportunity to declare his feelings...

Whispers in the Sand ARC by Barbara Erskine ~ Fiction ~ Available July 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review
Past and present collide in richly mysterious Egypt, where recently divorced Anna Coburn is retracing a journey her great grandmother Louisa made in the 19th century. Cruising down the Nile from Luxor to the Valley of the Kings, Anna carries with her two mementos: an ancient Egyptian scent bottle, and the diary of that original Nile voyage, which has lain unread for a hundred years. As she follows Louisa's footsteps, Anna discovers both the chilling secret of the bottle and the terrifying specters that pursued her great grandmother.

WildefireWildefire ARC by Karsten Knight ~ Fiction ~ Available July 26, 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review via Shelf Awareness
Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up to buy more books. :)
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