Thanks to Marcia at The Printed Page for hosting Mailbox Monday. My mailbox was pretty full this week, thanks in part to wins at Drey’s Library and Jo-Jo Loves to Read! I don’t know where I’m going to find the time to read all these great books.
A Darkness Forged in Fire by Chris Evans
Konowa Swiftdragon, once commander of the Calahrian Empire’s renowned Iron Elves, is now a disgraced ex-soldier. Though elvish, Konowa is more comfortable with metal and fire than with nature and, like all the Iron Elves, was marked at birth for an ill-omened destiny by the malevolent Shadow Monarch. When a prophetic Red Star falls, awakening lost magic, Konowa is recalled to find it with a new regiment of Iron Elves—except this bunch is the dregs of the military and not even elves. Their journey is plagued by monsters and an unforeseen rebellion, but the worst is to come. The Shadow Monarch’s play for the Star is a ruse masking another intent that Konowa doesn’t see until too late. An earthy, sardonic antihero, Konowa stands uneasily at the crux of a complicated network of loyalties while flanked by a large, colorful cast.
The Light of Burning Shadows by Chris Evans
Musket and cannon, bow and arrow, and magic and diplomacy vie for supremacy once again in this second epic fantasy adventure from acclaimed author Chris Evans. As the human-dominated Calahrian Empire struggles to maintain its hold on power in the face of armed rebellion from within, the Iron Elves’ perilous quest to defeat the power-hungry elf witch, the Shadow Monarch, takes on greater urgency.
Now Konowa must cross storm-tossed seas to seek out the lost elves and the prophesied return of another Star somewhere in a desert wasteland roiling with mysterious power, infernos of swirling magic, and legends brought back to life in new and terrible ways. And the fate of every living creature will come to depend on a small band of ragged and desperate soldiers, whose very loyalty to the Empire they have sworn to serve is no longer certain. When death is but a temporary condition, a terrifying question arises: who is the true ally — and fearsome enemy — in a growing conflict that threatens all?
Tempting Danger by Eileen Wilks
Eileen Wilks draws readers into a bold new world where the magical and mundane co-exist in an uneasy alliance–and a cop balanced on her own knife-edged struggle is their only hope against a cold-blooded killer.
Blue Heaven by C. J. Box
A twelve-year-old girl and her younger brother go on the run in the woods of North Idaho, pursued by four men they have just watched commit murder—four men who know exactly who William and Annie are, and who know exactly where their desperate mother is waiting for news of her children’s fate. Retired cops from Los Angeles, the killers easily persuade the inexperienced sheriff to let them lead the search for the missing children.
William and Annie’s unexpected savior comes in the form of an old-school rancher teetering on the brink of foreclosure. But as one man against four who will stop at nothing to silence their witnesses, Jess Rawlins needs allies, and he knows that one word to the wrong person could seal the fate of the children or their mother. In a town where most of the ranches like his have turned into acres of ranchettes populated by strangers, finding someone to trust won’t be easy.
The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
Chaos is coming, old son. With those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered. As families prepare to head back to the city and children say goodbye to summer, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store. Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to strip back layers of lies, exposing both treasures and rancid secrets buried in the wilderness.
No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. How did he make such a spectacular success of his business? What past did he leave behind and why has he buried himself in this tiny village? And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him?
As Olivier grows more frantic, a trail of clues and treasures lead the Chief Inspector deep into the woods and across the continent in search of the truth, and finally back to Three Pines as the little village braces for the truth and the final, brutal telling.
Mommy Grace by Dr. Sheila Schuller Coleman
Universally, mothers tend to feel they are not good enough at parenting and fear they are harming their children by not being perfect. In Mommy Grace: Erasing Mommy Guilt, Sheila Schuller Coleman offers overwhelmed moms short but emotive stories of authentic motherhood from her own and others’ experiences-foibles and all-and offers comfort by showing how God makes up for human weakness with His own strength. Because Sheila shares lessons learned the hard way by real moms rather than giving difficult instructions for better mothering, readers will leave the book feeling encouraged rather than lectured. For every mom who feels she’s not quite up to the colossal job of parenting, Mommy Grace is full of hope and compassion.
Thanks to Jo-Jo for this one and the next three.
The Road Home by Rose Tremain
In the story of Lev, newly arrived in London from Eastern Europe, Rose Tremain has written a wise and witty book about the contemporary migrant experience.
On the coach, Lev chose a seat near the back and he sat huddled against the window, staring out at the land he was leaving. . . . Lev is on his way to Britain to seek work, so that he can send money back to Eastern Europe to support his mother and little daughter.
Readers will become totally involved with his story, as he struggles with the mysterious rituals of “Englishness,” and the fashions and fads of the London scene. We see the road Lev travels through Lev’s eyes, and we share his dilemmas: the intimacy of his friendships, old and new; his joys and sufferings; his aspirations and his hopes of finding his way home, wherever home may be.
Beginner’s Greek by James Collins
The two young professionals of Collins’s polished debut, Holly and Peter, meet on a flight bound from New York to L.A. They tacitly understand they are soul mates, and she invites him to dinner, but Peter soon discovers that he has lost the number Holly wrote on a page torn from Mann’s The Magic Mountain. With Peter’s financial career and New York society as a mundane backdrop, years pass and Holly ends up married to Jonathan, a successful author and womanizer—and, conveniently, Peter’s best friend. Still aching for his one-time seatmate, Peter marries Charlotte, a dull Francophile, because it made sense. Charlotte, of course, is also in love with someone else—a former flame, Maximilien-Francois-Marie-Isidore. At Peter and Charlotte’s wedding, Jonathan is struck by lightning, precipitating an endless series of events that changes the lives of family, friends and lovers alike—including Peter’s boss and Charlotte’s ex-stepmother.
Odd Mom Out by Jane Porter
Advertising executive Marta Zinsser is no poster child for her wealthy suburb-and nothing could please her more. This former New Yorker wears combat boots, not Manolos, and drives a righteous Harley hog instead of a Mercedes SUV. Now she’s launching her own agency in this land of the Microsoft elite, even though her ten-year-old daughter wishes she’d put on a sweater set and just be normal.
Can this ex-urbanite remain uniquely herself without alienating the inner circle of smug, cookie-cutter executive wives? And when push comes to shove, can she stop being the proud odd mom out and take a chance at something frighteningly-and tantalizingly-new?
What books found their way to your house this week?