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Friday, March 28, 2014

New Book Haul ~ 3/27/2014

Literally a gorgeous cache of books over this past week or so.  I love the beautiful covers and the subjects are so diverse and interesting.  I'm going to have an absolute feast with these.  I've started several of them...just couldn't wait.  Let me tell you about them without making you wait another minute:


From the internationally bestselling author, a lush and imaginative novel that crisscrosses time as passion and obsessions collide
Florence, Italy—1533:
An orphan named René le Florentin is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. Traveling with the young duchessina from Italy to France, René brings with him a cache of secret documents from the monastery where he was trained: recipes for exotic fra­grances and potent medicines—and a formula for an alchemic process said to have the poten­tial to reanimate the dead.
In France, René becomes not only the greatest perfumer in the country, but also the most dangerous, creating deadly poisons for his Queen to use against her rivals. But while mixing herbs and essences under the light of flickering candles, René doesn’t begin to imag­ine the tragic and personal consequences for which his lethal potions will be responsible.
Paris, France—The Present:
A renowned mythologist, Jac L’Etoile—trying to recover from personal heartache by throw­ing herself into her work—learns of the sixteenth-century perfumer who may have been working on an elixir that would unlock the secret to immortality. She becomes obsessed with René le Florentin’s work—particularly when she discovers the dying breaths he had collected during his lifetime.
Jac’s efforts put her in the path of her estranged lover, Griffin North, a linguist who has already begun translating René le Flo­rentin’s mysterious formula. Together they confront an eccentric heiress in possession of a world-class art collection, a woman who has her own dark purpose for the elixir . . . for which she believes the ends will justify her deadly means.
This mesmerizing gothic tale zigzags from the violent days of Catherine de Medici’s court to twenty-first-century France. Fiery and lush, set against deep, wild forests and dimly lit cha­teaus, The Collector of Dying Breaths illuminates the true path to immortality: the legacies we leave behind.


*Absolutely gorgeous cover on this book.  Thanks to Atria Books/Simon & Schuster for this opportunity to review!


Shortlisted for the Golden Dagger Award 2013.
Praise for Tequila Sunset:
"Haunting . . . recalls the best of James M. Cain."—The Financial Times
"A fascinating, tense, and engaging read that draws you into the lives of the characters with consummate ease until you reluctantly turn that final page."—Crimesquad

*I think this cover is so cool!  It's bright turquoise with gilt...love it.  I appreciate the copy from Serpent's Tail publishing and Meryl Zegarek Public Relations, Inc.


A mom, a dad, a baby...and another dad.
Laurie and Alan are expecting, again. After two miscarriages, Laurie was afraid they'd never be able to have a child. Now she's cautiously optimistic — the fertility treatment worked, and things seem to be different this time around. But she doesn't yet know how different.
Jack can't seem to catch a break — his parents are on his case about graduating from college, he's somehow dating two girls at once, and he has to find a way to pay back the money he borrowed from his fraternity's party fund. The only jobs he is qualified for barely pay enough to keep him in beer money, but an ad for the local sperm bank gives Jack an idea.
Laurie and Alan's joy is shattered when their doctor reveals that Laurie was accidentally impregnated by sperm from a donor rather than her husband. Who is Donor 296. And how will their family change now that Donor 296 is inarguably part of it?

*Wow!  Doesn't this one sound amazing!?   Very kindly sent a copy from Sourcebooks...


A mother risks everything to uncover the truth behind her daughter's botched suicide attempt
To the outside world, Susan Jackson has it all-a loving family, successful husband, and beautiful home-but when Charlotte, her teenage daughter, steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma, she is forced to question all of it.
Desperate to find out what caused Charlotte's suicide attempt, she discovers a horrifying entry in her diary: "keeping this secret is killing me." As Sue spins in desperate circles, she finds herself immersed in a dark world she didn't know existed-and the closer she comes to the truth, the more dangerous things become.
Can she wake up from the nightmares that haunt her and save her daughter, or will Charlotte's secret destroy them both?

* I'm very interested in this one!  Can't wait to start it.  Beautifully constructed book so that the pages don't bend as you turn...    Thanks to Sourcebooks


The winner of the National Book Award returns with a moving story of a family of women drawn together by the trials of the times.

The women in the Hand family are no strangers to either controversy or sadness. Those traits seem, in fact, to be a part of their family?s heritage, one that stretches back through several generations and many wars. A Dangerous Age is a celebration of the strength of these women and of the bonds of blood and shared loss that hold them together.

*  With many thanks to Algonquin Books, I'm delighted to begin this novel by Gilchrist!



“Refreshing, Engaging, and Inspiring . . .[Gilchrist] unabashedly and movingly celebrates life, true love, and triumphs over calamity and adversity . . . [These stories] reflect a lifetime of observing,writing, and living.” —Library Journal
Critical Acclaim for Ellen Gilchrist
“Gilchrist’s writing is funny, wise, and wonderful . . . Her stories seem charged with an irresistible energy . . . Stories of passion and science, poetry and shyness.


*I've already started this book.  It's fabulous!  I've loved Ellen Gilchrist since I was in my 30's.  Awesome writer.   Thank you Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill!

RedDevil 4 is spine-tingling techno-thriller based on cutting edge research from surgeon and inventor Eric C. Leuthardt.

Renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Hagan Maerici is on the verge of a breakthrough in artificial intelligence that could change the way we think about human consciousness. Obsessed with his job and struggling to save his marriage, Dr. Maerici is forced to put his life’s work on the line when a rash of brutal murders strikes St. Louis....


*Started this one the other night and I have hardly been able to put it down.  It's a great scientific thriller...highly recommended.   Most appreciated to Forge books via Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc.


“Alice is cast in the mold of a character created by an earlier Alcott, the passionate and spunky Jo March. A refreshingly old-fashioned heroine, she makes THE DARING LADIES OF LOWELL appealing”--The New York Times Book Review
“Offers up a compelling slice of both feminist and Industrial Age history”--Christian Science Monitor
From the New York Times bestselling author of THE DRESSMAKER comes a moving historical novel about a bold young woman drawn to the looms of Lowell, Massachusetts--and to the one man with whom she has no business falling in love.

Eager to escape life on her family’s farm, Alice Barrow moves to Lowell in 1832 and throws herself into the hard work demanded of “the mill girls.”  In spite of the long hours, she discovers a vibrant new life and a true friend—a saucy, strong-willed girl name Lovey Cornell.

But conditions at the factory become increasingly dangerous, and Alice finds the courage to represent the workers and their grievances.  Although mill owner, Hiram Fiske, pays no heed, Alice attracts the attention of his eldest son, the handsome and reserved Samuel Fiske. Their mutual attraction is intense, tempting Alice to dream of a different future for herself.

This dream is shattered when Lovey is found strangled to death. A sensational trial follows, bringing all the unrest that’s brewing to the surface. Alice finds herself torn between her commitment to the girls in the mill and her blossoming relationship with Samuel.  Based on the actual murder of a mill girl and the subsequent trial in 1833, THE DARING LADIES OF LOWELL brilliantly captures a transitional moment in America’s history while also exploring the complex nature of love, loyalty, and the enduring power of friendship.

*  Bought this one myself.  My grandmother was a mill worker in NC nearly 100 years ago, so I'm very interested in this subject.   This book is published by Doubleday.




Arthur Conan Doyle has just killed off Sherlock Holmes in “The Final Problem,” and he immediately becomes one of the most hated men in London. So when he is contacted by a medium “of some renown” and asked to investigate a murder, he jumps at the chance to get out of the city. The only thing is that the murder hasn’t happened yet—the medium, one Hope Thraxton, has foreseen that her death will occur at the third séance of a meeting of the Society for Psychical Research at her manor house in the English countryside. 
Along for the ride is Conan Doyle’s good friend Oscar Wilde, and together they work to narrow down the list of suspects, which includes a mysterious foreign Count, a levitating magician, and an irritable old woman with a “familiar.” Meanwhile, Conan Doyle is enchanted by the plight of the capricious Hope Thraxton, who may or may not have a more complicated back-story than it first appears. As Conan Doyle and Wilde participate in seances and consider the possible motives of the assembled group, the clock ticks ever closer to Hope’s murder, in The Revenant of Thraxton Hall by Vaughn Entwistle.

*  This copy most graciously sent by Minotaur Books.  Looking forward to reading the story combining Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde!


Mesmerizing and illuminating, Alice Hoffman’s The Museum of Extraordinary Things is the story of an electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century.
Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island boardwalk freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father’s “museum,” alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a one-hundred-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.
The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father’s Lower East Side Orthodox community and his job as a tailor’s apprentice. When Eddie photographs the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the suspicious mystery behind a young woman’s disappearance and ignites the heart of Coralie.
With its colorful crowds of bootleggers, heiresses, thugs, and idealists, New York itself becomes a riveting character as Hoffman weaves her trademark magic, romance, and masterful storytelling to unite Coralie and Eddie in a sizzling, tender, and moving story of young love in tumultuous times. The Museum of Extraordinary Things is Alice Hoffman at her most spellbinding.


* Another personal purchase.  I adore Alice Hoffman, so can never pass up one of her new books.  This one is published by Scribner.

_________________________


AND FINALLY:  Here are some books I forgot to post last Haul.....




In early 20th century British East Africa, there are rules for the British and different ones for the Africans. Vera McIntosh, the daughter of Scottish missionaries, doesn't feel she belongs to either group; having grown up in Africa, she is not interested in being the well-bred Scottish woman her mother would like her to be. More than anything she dreams of seeing again the handsome police officer she's danced with. But more grisly circumstances bring Justin Tolliver to her family's home.

The body of Vera's uncle, Dr. Josiah Pennyman, is found with a tribesman’s spear in his back. Tolliver, an idealistic Assistant District Superintendent of Police, is assigned to the case. He first focuses on Gichinga Mbura, a Kikuyu medicine man who has been known to hatefully condemn Pennyman because Pennyman’s cures are increasingly preferred over his. But the spear belonged to the Maasai tribe, not Kikuyu, and it's doubtful Mbura would have used it to kill his enemy. Tolliver's superior wants him to arrest the medicine man and be done with it, but Tolliver pleads that he have the chance to prove the man's guilt. With thote help of Kwai Libazo, a tribal lieutenant, Tolliver discovers that others had reasons to hate Pennyman as well, and the list of suspects grows.
 
Annamaria Alfieri's Strange Gods is the first in a new series. Romantic and engaging, this mystery captures the beauty and the danger of the African wild and the complexities of imposing a culture on a foreign land.

*  I appreciate Minotaur Books/St. Martin's sending me this copy for review


"It's a clever plot and Le Floch is sympathetic, but it's the superb Parisian detail and atmosphere that truly beguiles."—The Times
This is the second volume of the Nicolas Le Floch Investigations.
October 1761 finds newly promoted Commissioner Le Floch on duty at a royal performance of Jean-Philippe Rameau's latest work. Events take a dramatic turn and Nicolas is soon embarked on a major investigation when the body of a courtier's son is found. The evidence points to suicide, but Le Floch's instincts tell him he is dealing with murder of the most gruesome kind.
Jean-François Parot is a diplomat and historian.

*This is going to be a strange little book, to be sure!  But I'm interested to try it.  With many thanks to Gallic Books and Meryl Zegarek Public Relations, Inc.!



Publishers Weekly
★ 02/03/2014
The latest from author and journalist Osborne (The Forgiven) is a searing portrait of addiction and despair set in the glittering world of Macau’s casinos. “Lord Doyle,” as he’s known to the other gamblers, is an English lawyer who has embezzled from a client and fled to Asia. Doyle spends his days and nights playing baccarat, which he calls “a game of ecstasy and doom.” At the tables he drinks fine wine, handles his cards wearing kid gloves, and slowly but surely loses. Doyle’s descriptions of the tables, the players, and the game’s siren allure are by turns touching, acid, and depressing. A fellow gamer has eyes that reveal “worlds of private pain.” A particularly garish casino inspires Doyle to muse, “There is something in kitsch that reminds you there is more to being alive than being alive.” But Doyle’s jaundiced eye barely masks his monstrous compulsion; indeed, the novel’s energetic portrait of the highs and lows of a gambler’s fortunes are as good as anything in the literature of addiction. Just when it seems Doyle’s luck may have at last run out, he’s rescued by Dao-Ming, a beautiful prostitute, whose genuine concern for him seems to rouse Doyle from his dissipation and downward spiral. But the novel subverts an easy storybook ending and reveals something much bleaker. Osborne’s intriguing Chinese milieu and exquisite prose mark this work as a standout. (Apr.)

* Looking forward to reading this small book.  With many thanks to Hogarth Books.




Bound by the attributes of valor and compassion, the Beloved are sent by the Father to battle demons head on in order to help those in greatest need. But as their prowess and power grows they face a new threat, their own weaknesses.
Major Daniel Parker's life changes in an instant when he comes to the aid of one his soldiers. In a flash, Major Parker transforms from a Union Officer fighting in the Civil War to a Beloved. But Daniel's thirst for power clouds his judgment leaving him damned to an eternal hell of suffering and remorse at the hands of an ancient demon. His only chance at salvation now lies with his younger brother, Jonathan.
No matter the price, Jonathan will not abandon Daniel. But does he have the strength and courage to save his brother? Can he overcome the temptations that consumed Daniel or will he become a victim as well? The scar upon his chest is the key to who he must become.
Contrasting the valiant qualities of the Beloved with the vicious intent of the demons, Rogue inextricably weaves real-life battles of the Union and Confederate armies with the mystical wars between demons and the Beloved.

 *  Just a strange little book sent on by Smith Publicity.   I'm curious!


 That's all for now.  Thanks for stopping by!
 






































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































 
 
 

 

 
 




 

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