Monday, December 28, 2009

Mailbox Monday -- December 28th

Thanks to host Marcia at The Printed Page I'm participating in the Mailbox Monday round up. This week I received the following advance review copies:

1) Truly Madly by Heather Webber. Amazon Product Description. Lucy Valentine is as smart as can be, as single as you can get, and so not qualified to run a matchmaking service. But when her parents temporarily step down from the family business, Valentine, Inc., it’s Lucy’s turn to step up and help out—in the name of love.

Plus, her rent is due.

Here’s the problem: Lucy doesn’t have the knack for matchmaking. According to family legend, every Valentine has been blessed by Cupid with the ability to read “auras” and pair up perfect couples. But not Lucy. Her skills were zapped away years ago in an electrical surge, and now all she can do is find lost objects. What good is that in the matchmaking world? You’d be surprised. In a city like Boston, everyone’s looking for something. So when Lucy locates a missing wedding ring—on a dead body—she asks the sexy private eye who lives upstairs to help her solve the perfect crime. And who knows? Maybe she’ll find the perfect love while she’s at it…

Thanks to St. Martin's Press.

2) Not So Common Courtesy by Mitzi Taylor. Amazon Product Description. Where in the world did Common Courtesy go?! I don't want to ruin this story for you, but I found out Common Courtesy is dying a slow and painful death. I want it back, so welcome to my journey. I did find pockets of courtesy here and there that are fairly healthy, but it is definitely no longer 'common'. Common Courtesy used to describe behaviors that everyone was expected to know and practice, hence the word 'common'. There was a personal accountability to being courteous. Your manners and etiquette were not just about how you treated others, it was a show of your attitude in general. This book is about finding Common Courtesy and putting it back on the road to good health. Topics include: Communication Courtesy, Public Places, Traveling and Personal Courtesy. I have made this interactive for the reader (e.g. sign the front of the book, adding ideas in certain sections, Pass-it-Along Pages, etc.). Have fun! As Gandhi would and did say, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Thanks to the Author.

3) Denise's Daily Dozen by Denise Austin. Amazon Product Description. From Denise Austin comes the perfect health book for anyone who wants to live better but just can't seem to find the time. Much more than just another excercise book, Denise's Daily Dozen covers a whole range of health and diet related concepts yet manages it all in a no-stress, time-conscious program of 12's. At it's core, this book contains the minimum daily requirements to keep the reader flexible, strong and trim. Organized simply into seven chapters, which equal the seven days of the week, it covers a full week in daily allotments. Each day will have it's own focus from Monday being "fat burning day" to Sunday's "recharge and rejuvenate."

Denise has created a total body program, including a 7-day balanced meal plan that includes healthy recipes, and a workout that encompasses 12 exercises done in 12 minutes each day. Everyone can take just 12 minutes, at whatever time of the day works for them, and turn it over to these simple and fun exercises. Cardio, toning, yoga and breathing exercises...they're all here but in a way the maximizes effect while minimizing time.

Beyond a dozen exercises for each day of the week this book will include many other of Denise's dozens for each day.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group.

4) The Bread of Angels by Stephanie Saldana. Publisher's Summary. A gorgeous, romantic memoir of a young woman's year in Damascus, where she studied the Muslim Jesus, fled to an ancient desert monastery to heal her past, and unexpectedly found herself in love with a French novice monk.

In 2004, twenty-seven-year-old Stephanie SaldaƱa traveled to Damascus, Syria, on a Fulbright fellowship to study the role of the prophet Jesus in Islam. She was also fleeing a broken heart. It was not an ideal time to be an American in the Middle East-the United States had recently invaded Iraq, refugees were flooding into Damascus, and dark rumors swirled that Syria might be next to come under American attack. Miserable and lonely, Stephanie left Damascus to visit an ancient Christian monastery carved into the desert cliffs. In that beautiful, austere setting, she confronted her wavering faith and met Frederic, a young French novice monk. As they set out to explore the mysteries entwining Christianity and Islam, Stephanie slowly realized that she had found God again-and that she was in love with Frederic. But would Frederic choose God or Stephanie?

The Bread of Angels sweeps readers into the violent extremes of a war-torn region and renews their belief in faith, self-discovery, and the possibility of true love.

Thanks to Random House.

5) A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova. Amazon Product Description. A Mountain of Crumbs is the moving story of a young Soviet girl's discovery of the hidden truths of adulthood and her country's profound political deception.

Elena, born with a desire to explore the world beyond her borders, finds her passion in the complexity of the English language -- but in the Soviet Union of the 1960s, such a passion verges on the subversive. Elena's home is no longer the majestic Russia of literature or the tsars. Instead, it is a nation humiliated by its first faltering steps after World War II, putting up appearances for the sake of its regime and fighting to retain its pride.

In this deeply affecting memoir, Elena re-creates the world that both oppressed and inspired her. She recounts stories passed down to her about the horrors of the Bolshevik Revolution and probes the daily deprivations and small joys of her family's bunkerlike existence. Through Elena's captivating voice, we learn not only the personal story of Russia in the second half of the twentieth century, but also the story of one rebellious citizen whose love of a foreign language finally transports her to a new world.

6) Blacklands by Belinda Bauer. Amazon Product Description. EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO, Billy Peters disappeared. Everyone in town believes Billy was murdered -- after all, serial killer Arnold Avery later admitted killing six other children and burying them on the same desolate moor that surrounds their small English village. Only Billy's mother is convinced he is alive. She still stands lonely guard at the front window of her home, waiting for her son to return, while her remaining family fragments around her.

But her twelve-year-old grandson Steven is determined to heal the cracks that gape between his nan, his mother, his brother, and himself. Steven desperately wants to bring his family closure, and if that means personally finding his uncle's corpse, he'll do it.

Spending his spare time digging holes all over the moor in the hope of turning up a body is a long shot, but at least it gives his life purpose.

Then at school, when the lesson turns to letter writing, Steven has a flash of inspiration...Careful to hide his identity, he secretly pens a letter to Avery in jail asking for help in finding the body of "W.P." -- William "Billy" Peters.

So begins a dangerous cat-and-mouse game.

Just as Steven tries to use Avery to pinpoint the gravesite, so Avery misdirects and teases his mysterious correspondent in order to relive his heinous crimes. And when Avery finally realizes that the letters he's receiving are from a twelve-year-old boy, suddenly his life has purpose too.

Although his is far more dangerous...

Blacklands is a taut and chillingly brilliant debut that signals the arrival of a bright new voice in psychological suspense.

7) The Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble. Amazon Product Description.
What makes a house a home?

For Eve Gallagher, home is miles away in England since she and her husband relocated to an apartment building on New York's Upper East Side. And life isn't coming up roses.

What makes a neighbor a friend?

Violet has lived in the building for decades, but she's always kept herself apart, until Eve's loneliness touches her heart.

What makes a wife a lover?

Jason Kramer in apartment 6A is no longer sure he loves his wife, but he's head over heels for Rachel Schulman in 6B.

What makes the girl next door the woman of your dreams?

Meeting Emily Mikanowski from 3A turns Trip Grayling's world upside down. It's love at first sight, but he needs help from Charlotte, the shy romance novel addict in 2A, if he's going to get his girl.

What they all have in common is an address, but it is also a home where their lives and secrets intertwine. Come in and enjoy this bittersweet story of friendship and love.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster.


  1. The Bread of Angels and the Denise Austin book sound really good. I'm looking forward to your thoughts.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  2. I been watching that last one at the library so I am looking forward to your thoughts

  3. I'm reading Truly, Madly now - cute. Enjoy all your books!

  4. Wow, you got some terrific books! Mountain of crumbs sounds good. Enjoy them all and have a wonderful new year.

  5. You had a great week! A Mountain of Crumbs really looks good to me.

  6. You had a great week. I just read Truly, Madly and enjoyed it. It was a fun read. Happy reading in the New Year

  7. The Bread of Angels looks interesting. Enjoy all your new books. :)

  8. I got The Bread of Angels books too and it looks fabulous.

  9. "Truly Madly" and "The Girl Next Door" sound like books I'd enjoy! Thanks for visiting my blog.

  10. You had a great book week! Happy reading, and happy new year!

  11. Bread of Angels hit my box this month, too. Looks interesting. Looking forward to your review!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog as well!

    Laura Hartness
    The Calico Critic

  12. Great mailbox week for you! Mountain Of Crumbs and The Girl Next Door sound good. I am reading Truly, Madly right now. It's a fun read.Enjoy them all!

  13. I just finished Truly, Madly yesterday. Not a bad little book! Hope you enjoy it as well.

    Happy Monday!

  14. Great books! A Mountain of Crumbs sounds interesting.

  15. What a great selection of books you've got. Looking forward to reading your reviews!

  16. I recognize those (3) S and S titles....LOL - (2) seem to look pretty good to me; enjoy!

  17. I am reading Denise's Daily Dozen too. I hope to see you during the tour. :)

    Bloody Bad

  18. These all look great. I should have Denise Austin's book coming soon also. Hopefully it will help me get ready for my trip to Mexico!

  19. You received some great books. I want to get the Heather Webber one. It sounds wonderful. Enjoy!

  20. Enjoy all your books. Truly Madly sounds fun.