Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Seven Days of Us - Spotlight

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Friday, October 13, 2017

HarperCollins Fall/Winter Book Preview!

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a HarperCollins Fall preview event at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, Ga.

While I already had some of the ARCs at home, it was a great opportunity to learn about the entire Fall/Winter lineup.

I came home with 5 additional novels and while I have not yet had any time to read them, I thought I would share them, and also one delivered via the mail, with you and give a quick synopsis of each, so that you can decide if you might want to pick up a copy when they are available, without waiting for me to tell you what I think.

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Even if it Kills Her, by Kate White
October 31, 2017

Kate White returns to her New York Times bestselling Bailey Weggins’ Mystery series, with this favorite true-crime journalist turned sleuth’s most chilling case to date.

Bailey Weggins’ great new friend in college, Jillian Lowe, had everything going for her. Pretty, popular, and whip-smart, she lit up any room that she walked into. All of that dramatically changed during her sophomore year, when a neighbor became unhinged and murdered her family. Jillian immediately left school, and ever since, Bailey has felt guilty for not staying in closer contact and being a greater support to her friend.

Now, sixteen years later, Bailey is shocked to see Jillian at her book event, and even more stunned when her still-gorgeous friend approaches her with a case. The man accused of murdering her family is on the brink of being cleared of the crime through new DNA evidence. With the real killer walking free, Jillian is desperate for Bailey’s help to identify him and allow her the closure she yearns for.

As the two women return to Jillian’s childhood town to investigate, it doesn’t take long for their sleuthing to cause shock waves. Someone starts watching their every move. As they uncover deeply-guarded secrets, so shocking that they make Jillian rethink her entire relationship to her family, Bailey and Jillian find themselves in great peril. They must decide just how much they’re willing to risk to finally discover the truth about the Lowe family’s murder.



The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
October 3, 2017

The New York Times bestselling author of the celebrated A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy returns with this eagerly awaited new novel, set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929 and inspired by actual events. The chronicle of an ordinary woman’s struggle for dignity and her rights in a textile mill, The Last Ballad is a moving tale of courage in the face of oppression and injustice, with the emotional power of Ron Rash’s Serena, Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day, and the unforgettable films Norma Rae and Silkwood.

Twelve times a week, twenty-eight-year-old Ella May Wiggins makes the two-mile trek to and from her job on the night shift at American Mill No. 2 in Bessemer City, North Carolina. The insular community considers the mill’s owners—the newly arrived Goldberg brothers—white but not American and expects them to pay Ella May and other workers less because they toil alongside African Americans like Violet, Ella May’s best friend. While the dirty, hazardous job at the mill earns Ella May a paltry nine dollars for seventy-two hours of work each week, it’s the only opportunity she has. Her no-good husband, John, has run off again, and she must keep her four young children alive with whatever work she can find.
When the union leaflets begin circulating, Ella May has a taste of hope, a yearning for the better life the organizers promise. But the mill owners, backed by other nefarious forces, claim the union is nothing but a front for the Bolshevik menace sweeping across Europe. To maintain their control, the owners will use every means in their power, including bloodshed, to prevent workers from banding together. On the night of the county’s biggest rally, Ella May, weighing the costs of her choice, makes up her mind to join the movement—a decision that will have lasting consequences for her children, her friends, her town—indeed all that she loves.

Seventy-five years later, Ella May’s daughter Lilly, now an elderly woman, tells her nephew about his grandmother and the events that transformed their family. Illuminating the most painful corners of their history, she reveals, for the first time, the tragedy that befell Ella May after that fateful union meeting in 1929.

Intertwining myriad voices, Wiley Cash brings to life the heartbreak and bravery of the now forgotten struggle of the labor movement in early twentieth-century America—and pays tribute to the thousands of heroic women and men who risked their lives to win basic rights for all workers. Lyrical, heartbreaking, and haunting, this eloquent novel confirms Wiley Cash’s place among our nation’s finest writers.

The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
April, 2018

Philomena meets The Orphan Train in this suspenseful, provocative novel filled with love, secrets, and deceit—the story of a young unwed mother who is forcibly separated from her daughter at birth and the lengths to which they go to find each other.

In 1950s Quebec, French and English tolerate each other with precarious civility—much like Maggie Hughes’ parents. Maggie’s English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don’t include marriage to the poor French boy on the next farm over. But Maggie’s heart is captured by Gabriel Phénix. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents force her to give baby Elodie up for adoption and get her life ‘back on track’.
Elodie is raised in Quebec’s impoverished orphanage system. It’s a precarious enough existence that takes a tragic turn when Elodie, along with thousands of other orphans in Quebec, is declared mentally ill as the result of a new law that provides more funding to psychiatric hospitals than to orphanages. Bright and determined, Elodie withstands abysmal treatment at the nuns’ hands, finally earning her freedom at seventeen, when she is thrust into an alien, often unnerving world.

Maggie, married to a businessman eager to start a family, cannot forget the daughter she was forced to abandon, and a chance reconnection with Gabriel spurs a wrenching choice. As time passes, the stories of Maggie and Elodie intertwine but never touch, until Maggie realizes she must take what she wants from life and go in search of her long-lost daughter, finally reclaiming the truth that has been denied them both.

An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King
September, 2017

Click HERE to read an excerpt.

Under the One Child Policy, everyone plotted to have a son. 

Now 40 million of them can't find wives.

China’s One Child Policy and its cultural preference for male heirs have created a society overrun by 40 million unmarriageable men. By the year 2030, more than twenty-five percent of men in their late thirties will not have a family of their own. An Excess Male is one such leftover man’s quest for love and family under a State that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritarian measures, reinvigorated Communist ideals, and social engineering.

Wei-guo holds fast to the belief that as long as he continues to improve himself, his small business, and in turn, his country, his chance at love will come. He finally saves up the dowry required to enter matchmaking talks at the lowest rung as a third husband—the maximum allowed by law. Only a single family—one harboring an illegal spouse—shows interest, yet with May-ling and her two husbands, Wei-guo feels seen, heard, and connected to like never before. But everyone and everything—walls, streetlights, garbage cans—are listening, and men, excess or not, are dispensable to the State. Wei-guo must reach a new understanding of patriotism and test the limits of his love and his resolve in order to save himself and this family he has come to hold dear.
In Maggie Shen King’s startling and beautiful debut, An Excess Male looks to explore the intersection of marriage, family, gender, and state in an all-too-plausible future.

The Other Mother by Carol Goodman
March, 2018

From the author of the internationally bestselling The Lake of Dead Languages comes a gripping novel about madness, motherhood, love, and trust.

When Daphne Marist and her infant daughter, Chloe, pull up the gravel drive to the home of Daphne’s new employer, it feels like they’ve entered a whole new world. Tucked in the Catskills, the stone mansion looks like something out of a fairy tale, its lush landscaping hiding the view of the mental asylum just beyond its border. Daphne secured the live-in position using an assumed name and fake credentials, telling no one that she’s on the run from a controlling husband who has threatened to take her daughter away.

Daphne’s new life is a far cry from the one she had in Westchester where, just months before, she and her husband welcomed little Chloe. From the start, Daphne tries to be a good mother, but she’s plagued by dark moods and intrusive thoughts that convince her she’s capable of harming her own daughter. When Daphne is diagnosed with Post Partum Mood Disorder, her downward spiral feels unstoppable—until she meets Laurel Hobbes.
Laurel, who also has a daughter named Chloe, is everything Daphne isn’t: charismatic, sophisticated, fearless. They immediately form an intense friendship, revealing secrets to one another they thought they’d never share. Soon, they start to look alike, dress alike, and talk alike, their lives mirroring one another in strange and disturbing ways. But Daphne realizes only too late that being friends with Laurel will come at a very shocking price—one that will ultimately lead her to that towering mansion in the Catskills where terrifying, long-hidden truths will finally be revealed....

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
October 10, 2017

Click Here to read an excerpt

It's the most wonderful time of the year… and the perfect moment to escape to a charming English village! From the beloved author whose novels are "sheer indulgence from start to finish" (SOPHIE KINSELLA) comes a delightful holiday story — funny, heartfelt, romantic and packed with recipes — perfect for the winter months.

In the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne, the Christmas season has arrived. It’s a joyous time for family, friends, and feasting, as decorations sparkle along the town’s winding streets and shop windows glow with festive displays. And in Polly’s Little Beach Street Bakery, the aroma of gingerbread cookies and other treats tempts people in from the cold.



Thursday, October 12, 2017

Ember - Review and Excerpt


Idgie Says:
This is a well produced novel, as beautiful to look at as interesting to read.

While there is an apocalyptic event occurring in the novel, the story is not so much about the apocalypse, it's about people - wanting to live their best life that is possible with hardships hitting right and left. 

People that alternate between wanting to hang on to their secrets, regardless of the state of the world - or just not caring anymore and letting everything bottled up inside of them out - and there are many secrets that end up being revealed in this book.

This book is filled with direct writing, filled with intent -  no overt fluff to fill the pages.  Then there is the twisty shock right in the middle of the book...

The question to the reader is, how can there be a happy ending when the world is dying, and will the ending be sufficient to you?

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The sun is dying, civilization is collapsing, it's 30 degrees in summer. Lisa and Guy's marriage is falling apart.

Three years ago, the sun began to die.

In a desperate attempt to reignite the failing star, the United States joined the rest of the planet in unloading its nuclear arsenal at the flickering ember. The missiles burst from silos in Wyoming and Bangladesh, cocooning the earth in tendrils of smoke as they began their two-and-a-half year journey into space. When they finally reach their target, it’s thirty degrees in July and getting colder. Lisa and her husband Guy sit shivering on a South Carolina hilltop, watching as humanity’s best hope at survival shimmers faintly … then disappears below the horizon.

A group of militant rebels called the Minutemen take advantage of the ensuing chaos to knock out power grids, cloaking the freezing earth in near darkness. Seizing control. To escape this ruthless new world order, Lisa and Guy join a reluctant band of refugees crossing the snow-covered South in search of shelter and answers. From an icy parking lot in Atlanta to the Minutemen's makeshift headquarters at Asheville's Biltmore Estate, only one thing is certain: in a world with little light, nothing is guaranteed – least of all survival.

Author Brock Adams
Softcover (ISBN: 978-1-938235-32-0 )
$18.00
Publication Date: Sep 2017
Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.
300 pages

Click HERE to read an excerpt.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

All the Wind in the World - A Young Reader's Book - Spotlight and Excerpt

Keep your eyes open . . . your head down . . . and your love secret.

Sarah Jac Crow and James Holt have fallen in love working in the endless fields that span a near-future, bone-dry Southwest, a land that’s a little bit magical, deeply dangerous, and bursting with secrets. To protect themselves, they’ve learned to work hard and—above all—keep their love hidden from the people who might use it against them. Then, just when Sarah Jac and James have settled in and begun saving money for the home they dream of near the coast, a horrible accident sends them on the run. With no choice but to start over on a new, possibly cursed ranch, the delicate balance of their lives begins to give way—and they may have to pay a frighteningly high price for their love.

All the Wind in the World is a breathtaking tale of dread and danger, romance and the quest for redemption.

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature
BookExpo Young Adult Editors’ Buzz Panel Pick
Fall 17 Kids’ Indie Next Pick


Follow this link for Excerpt 

Algonquin Young Readers
October 10, 2017

The Stolen Marriage - Spotlight

Synopsis

The Stolen Marriage is a compelling novel from Diane Chamberlain, the bestselling author of The Silent Sister, Pretending to Dance and The Midwife’s Confession.

In 1944, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina. Hickory is a small town struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows no interest in making love. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town’s prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and Tess is blamed for the death. Tess suspects people are talking about her, plotting behind her back, and following her as she walks around town. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? Feeling alone and adrift in a hostile town, Tess turns to the one person who seems to understand her – a local medium who gives her hope but seems to know more than he’s letting on.

When a sudden polio epidemic strikes the town, taking the lives of some of its children, including a boy well known to the Kraft family, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital in less than three days. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more baffling and alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle her husband’s mysterious behavior and save her own life?

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 3, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250087279
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250087270

Christian Bend - Review


Idgie Says:
This is a slim final volume of the story of Burdy and Rain, following the history of Burdy, a healer and Zeb, who is Rain's father.  This series has been filled with the beauty of Appalachia, along with the secrets, heartaches and hardships that accompany living, surviving, and perhaps even thriving there. 

There are links below to the Dew's review of the previous two books, along with the descriptions. 


Click HERE for the Mother of Rain review.

Click HERE for the Burdy review.



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Mercer University Press
September, 2017


Christian Bend isn't the kind of place where one expects to find the sorts of secrets the widow Burdy Luttrell has been harboring. Tucked in the hills of East Tennessee, Christian Bend is a place of piercing beauty, where the rivers and love run constant. A community of people who care for each other, the land, the music, and the stories that bind them. It's called Christian Bend because so many people who settled the area shared the same last name, Christian. It's a name they all tried to live up to.

Even so, Burdy never could bring herself to tell Rain Hurd the truth about his father. She'd always meant to, but put it off until that day she was nearly killed in the shooting at Bean Station. As soon as he heard about the shooting, Rain left his job in Rhode Island and flew to Burdy's bedside at that Knoxville hospital. That's when Burdy told him about the letters.

Rain didn't believe her at first but once he found the letters, Rain was faced with a trauma of his own: What had prompted his father to abandon his family? And would Rain ever be able to forgive him the death of his mother? Would anyone at Christian Bend? Or would the community, which had long proudly regarded Zebulon Hurd as their own war hero, now abandon the aging veteran to the grief that overwhelmed him?




Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hide and Seek - Spotlight

Description
Berkley Publishing
October 10, 2017

In case you’ve been missing out on this fantastic series: one of the UK’s most popular crime writers, Arlidge burst onto the U.S. mystery/thriller scene with the publication of EENY MEENY in June 2015.  Praised by bestselling authors like Jeffery Deaver, Tami Hoag, and Lisa Gardner; reviewed in several national publications, including USA Today; recommended by ESPN’s Mike Greenberg; tweeted about by Stephen King; and selected for the Target Book Club, EENY MEENY introduced readers to Detective Helen Grace, one of the most compelling protagonists to headline a mystery series in years.