Monday, July 5, 2010

Mailbox Monday -- July 5th

The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page and In My Mailbox hosted by the Story Siren. Below are the following advance review copies that I received this week:

1) Jan's Story by Barry Petersen. Publisher's Summary. Jan’s Story you will meet an amazing, lively and vivacious woman who loved her husband and her life, and who globe-trotted from country to country with aplomb. Jan laughed easily and thought life was about adventure and relished every new one that came along as she and Barry moved from postings in San Francisco to Tokyo to Moscow to London and back to Japan and China.

There was no dramatic moment, no instant of knowing how much life would change with the 2005 diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, when Jan was only 55. At first, she fought against the deterioration as best she could. But the medicines could not cure, only slow the disease.

And Barry, a journalist who had seen the worst of the world, from wars and genocide to the murder of innocent children, was not prepared for watching and enduring Jan’s fading away.

There was her unpredictable behavior that got worse, the caregiving that seemed controllable in the beginning and ended up sapping both his mental and physical health, the aching and inevitable decision that Jan needed to go into an assisted living facility. For Barry, then living in Tokyo, it meant moving her back to America, half a world away from him.

There were tough decisions along the way that some applauded and others condemned. There were friends who saw what he was enduring and offered not just advice, but their own suggestions of hope. There were fellow travelers on the same journey as caregivers who reached out to comfort and share what they had learned.

As Jan deteriorated to the point of not even remembering him, Barry finally reached the lonely dangerous midnight of a saddened and defeated soul, and he had to decide…to surrender…or survive.

His answer is Jan’s Story.

Thanks to the Publicist!

2) Trapped on Mystery Island by Merryll Manning. Amazon Product Description. The first of a series of mystery thrillers, featuring Police Sergeant Merryll Manning of the Paradise Police Department. (Paradise is the author's fictional capital city of Florida, and is not based on Miami). The action takes place on an otherwise deserted island in the Florida Keys, where a number of guests assemble in an old Dominican Priory for a "mystery weekend".

Thanks to the author!

3) Road Trippin' by Steve McCarthy. Amazon Product Description. What is a Road Trip...Anyway? A question of almost Talmudic proportions. Well, then, let's talk Road Trips. Not the "Load-the-Kids-in-the-Mini-VanTurn-on-the-DVD-and-Rush-to-Some-Far-Off-Theme-Park-Eating-Fast-Food-All-the-Way-on-the-Interstate-with-the-Cruise-Control-On-and-Yakking-on-Cell-Phone-Road-Trips;" trips that confirm Steinbeck's sad prediction: "Soon, we will be able to drive coast to coast and never see anything." No, real Road Trips. Road Trips on back roads. Road Trips eating at Mom and Pop diners. Road Trips of odd souvenir stands and picnic lunches. Road Trips of spectacular scenery where the journey itself is the reward, and to top it off, ya have to do it in a Real Car. So come drive the best backroads of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington and Oregon. This guide comes complete with detailed route instructions, ideas on where to eat, where to stay, and funky things to do.

Thanks to the author!

4) Room by Emma Donoghue. Publisher's Summary. To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group!

5) Twenty Nine by Adena Halpern. Publisher's Summary. What if you closed your eyes, blew out the candles, and your wish came true?

Ellie Jerome is a young-at-heart seventy-five-year-old who feels she has more in common with her twenty-nine-year-old granddaughter, Lucy, than her fifty-five-year-old daughter, Barbara. Ellie’s done everything she can to stay young, and the last thing she wants is to celebrate another birthday. So when she finds herself confronted with a cake full of candles, Ellie wishes more than anything that she could be twenty-nine again, just for one day. But who expects a wish like that to come true?

29 is the story of three generations of women and how one magical day shakes up everything they know about each other. While Ellie finds that the life of a twenty-something is not as carefree as she expected, the sheer joy of being young again prompts her to consider living her life all over. Does she dare stay young for more than this day, even if it means leaving everyone she loves behind?

Fresh, funny, and delightful, 29 is an enchanting adventure about families, love, and the real lessons of youth.

6) The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. Publisher's Summary. When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family.

Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin.

Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster!

The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.

7) All the Queen's Players by Jane Feather. Publisher's Summary. At Queen Elizabeth’s palace, intrigue abounds. And when a naive girl with a gift for keen observation enters the court, she can hardly imagine the role she will play in bringing England—indeed, the whole of Europe—to the brink of war. Nor can she foresee her own journey to the brink of ecstasy and beyond. . . .

When she becomes a junior lady of Queen Elizabeth’s bedchamber, Rosamund is instructed by her cousin, the brilliant and devious secretary of state Sir Francis Walsingham, to record everything she observes. Her promised reward: a chance at a good marriage. But through her brother Thomas, Rosamund finds herself drawn to the forbidden, rough-and-tumble world of theatre, and to Thomas’s friend, the dramatic, impetuous playwright Christopher Marlowe. And then Rosamund meets Will Creighton—a persuasive courtier, poet, and would-be playwright who is the embodiment of an unsuitable match.

The unsanctioned relationship between Rosamund and Will draws the wrath of Elizabeth, who prides herself on being the Virgin Queen. Rosamund is sent in disgrace to a remote castle that holds Elizabeth’s cousin Mary Stuart, the imprisoned Queen of Scots. Here, Walsingham expects Rosamund to uncover proof of a plot against Elizabeth. But surely, nothing good can come of putting an artless girl in such close proximity to so many seductive players and deceptive games. Unless, of course, Rosamund can discover an affinity for passion and intrigue herself. . . .

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jane Feather conspires with history to tell this dazzling story about two very real, very wily queens— and one impassioned young woman whose life they change forever.


  1. Nice week in books! Twenty-Nine sounds so good to me!

  2. I just adore anything about Queen Elizabeth. So that one stand out.
    Enjoy your mailbox..quite an assortment.

  3. You've got some good ones here. I like the look of TRAPPED ON MYSTERY ISLAND. I love locked room mysteries and an island is like one big locked room, right? I'll be interested in hearing about that one.

    I enjoyed 29. A nice take on the "what if" questions.

  4. Looks like some nice books.
    Thanks for visiting my MM

  5. Trapped on Mystery Island sounds good. Enjoy it along with your other new reads.

  6. You got some good books. Glad you stopped by. Am now a follower of your blog and look forward to your future postings.
    CMash Loves To Read

  7. Great books! 29 sounds like an interesting premise.
    I got Jan's Story too and am looking forward to reading it.

    Enjoy the week!

  8. Wow, can I have one of each. Great week for you.

  9. I have heard really great things about The Kitchen House. I have yet to read it but i hope you enjoy it.

    Thanks for passing by today.

  10. You got so many wonderful sounding books. Enjoy!

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  11. I've heard great things about The Kitchen House! Enjoy!

  12. Trapped of Mystery Island sounds great Kim, and there were several good S&S books this month as well! enjoy

    Stay cool in DC this week.

  13. The Kitchen sounds like such a good book, happy reading!

  14. This looks like a good variety! I haven't seen most of these books, but have read The Kitchen House and enjoyed it.

  15. I loved The Kitchen House. 29 has been on my list for a few weeks. It's sounds like it would be a good read. Enjoy!

  16. The Kitchen House and All the Queen's Players sounds good! Enjoy your books!

  17. Hey there – just swinging by for Monday to see what you are reading. Have a great week. Stop by The Wormhole to check out what I have gotten and what I have been reading too. Happy reading! Bev.

  18. I really liked Emma Donoghue's Slammerkin. Hope the new one's good, too (I'd like to read it). And The Kitchen House sounds like it's right up my alley -- time to head over to my wish list!