Monday, March 26, 2012

Mailbox Monday March 26

I thought it was time for me to check in and what better way to do it than with a Mailbox Monday post. I finally have my permanent schedule so life should become a bit easier. Having a set schedule makes it a bit easier to plan things. Not much reading going on here but yesterday I started taking a book to work for my break time. I miss reading, blogging and most of all visiting everyone's blogs. I will be off this weekend and hope to catch up with everyone then.

On to Mailbox Monday. Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Anna at Diary of an Eccentric. I received two books in the past two weeks.

The Cove by Ron Rash

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Ecco (April 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061804193
ISBN-13: 978-0061804199

The New York Times bestselling author of Serena returns to Appalachia, this time at the height of World War I, with the story of a blazing but doomed love affair caught in the turmoil of a nation at war

Deep in the rugged Appalachians of North Carolina lies the cove, a dark, forbidding place where spirits and fetches wander, and even the light fears to travel. Or so the townsfolk of Mars Hill believe–just as they know that Laurel Shelton, the lonely young woman who lives within its shadows, is a witch. Alone except for her brother, Hank, newly returned from the trenches of France, she aches for her life to begin.

Then it happens–a stranger appears, carrying nothing but a beautiful silver flute and a note explaining that his name is Walter, he is mute, and is bound for New York. Laurel finds him in the woods, nearly stung to death by yellow jackets, and nurses him back to health. As the days pass, Walter slips easily into life in the cove and into Laurel's heart, bringing her the only real happiness she has ever known.

But Walter harbors a secret that could destroy everything–and danger is closer than they know. Though the war in Europe is near its end, patriotic fervor flourishes thanks to the likes of Chauncey Feith, an ambitious young army recruiter who stokes fear and outrage throughout the county. In a time of uncertainty, when fear and ignorance reign, Laurel and Walter will discover that love may not be enough to protect them.

This lyrical, heart-rending tale, as mesmerizing as its award-winning predecessor Serena, shows once again this masterful novelist at the height of his powers.

True Sisters by Sandra Dallas

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (April 24, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250005027
ISBN-13: 978-1250005021

In a novel based on true events, New York Times bestselling author Sandra Dallas delivers the story of four women---seeking the promise of salvation and prosperity in a new land---who come together on a harrowing journey.

In 1856, Mormon converts, encouraged by Brigham Young himself, and outfitted with two-wheeled handcarts, set out on foot from Iowa City to Salt Lake City, the promised land. The Martin Handcart Company, a ragtag group of weary families headed for Zion, is the last to leave on this 1,300-mile journey. Three companies that left earlier in the year have completed their trek successfully, but for the Martin Company the trip proves disastrous. True Sisters tells the story of four women from the British Isles traveling in this group. Four women whose lives will become inextricably linked as they endure unimaginable hardships, each one testing the boundaries of her faith and learning the true meaning of survival and friendship along the way.

There’s Nannie, who is traveling with her sister and brother-in-law after being abandoned on her wedding day.

There’s Louisa, who’s married to an overbearing church leader who she believes speaks for God.

There’s Jessie, who’s traveling with her brothers, each one of them dreaming of the farm they will have in Zion.

And finally, there’s Anne, who hasn’t converted to Mormonism but who has no choice but to follow her husband since he has sold everything to make the trek to Utah.

Sandra Dallas has once again written a moving portrait of women surviving the unimaginable through the ties of female friendship. Her rich storytelling will leave you breathless as you take this trip with Nannie, Louisa, Jessie, and Anne. This is Sandra Dallas at her absolute best.

So that is what I found in my mailbox. What wonderful books made their way into your home?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mailbox Monday March 12

I received one book in the past two weeks. I have cut way back on the amount of books coming in. I need to catch up around here! This month's mailbox Monday is being hosted by Anna at Diary of an Eccentric

The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (May 15, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062107909
ISBN-13: 978-0062107909

Based on the remarkable true story of a freed African American slave who returned to Virginia at the onset of the Civil War to spy on the Confederates, The Secrets of Mary Bowser is a masterful debut by an exciting new novelist. Author Lois Leveen combines fascinating facts and ingenious speculation to craft a historical novel that will enthrall readers of women's fiction, historical fiction, and acclaimed works like Cane River and Cold Mountain that offer intimate looks at the twin nightmares of slavery and Civil War. A powerful and unforgettable story of a woman who risked her own freedom to bring freedom to millions of others, The Secrets of Mary Bowser celebrates the courageous achievements of a little known but truly inspirational American heroine.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Salon March 11

I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday! It is gorgeous here today and should be all week! Temperatures are in the 60's! It feels like spring!

Not much reading going on here, unfortunately. I am adjusting to working again. I love my job and love my co-workers! It's hard work but it makes the night go by so quickly! Never a dull moment! I should get my schedule this week and then will have a day off during the week and work every other weekend. I never thought I would say this but it feels great to be working again! I miss my kids but we seem to appreciate each other a bit more. My kids have been fabulous at stepping up to the plate around the house. I am very proud of them!

I hope to come up with a realistic schedule for the blog after I fall into a routine. There are some days my computer sits idle which never happened before! I have an enormous stack of books to read and hope to start catching up on them soon.

In the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Maisie Dobbs

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Paperback: 294 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books (May 25, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0142004332
ISBN-13: 978-0142004333

I have been looking forward to reading Maisie Dobbs for quite some time. I have heard so many great things about Maisie and just knew she was a character I would enjoy! When Trish at TLC Book Tours invited me to join in on Maisie Month, I was very excited to start at the very first book in the series!

When Maisie is 13, she loses her mother and her father sends her into service to help make ends meet. Maisie grows into a young lady and when the Great War begins, she becomes a nurse on the Front.

In 1929, Maisie opens her own detective agency. Her first case is the kind of case she doesn't really wish to pursue but takes the case on anyway. She really wants meaty cases. Mr. Davenham is suspicious of his wife. He feels she is not being faithful to him. The case takes Maisie to a cemetery where Mrs. Davenham visits a grave marked only with the first name of Vincent. As Maisie watches Mrs. Davenham in the cemetery, she notices many gravestones marked only with a first name. Curious about the men buried there, Maisie investigates further. She uncovers a farmhouse called The Retreat, where soldiers who cannot rejoin society in the war reside. Maisie senses something wrong and she digs deeper into The Retreat and it's occupants. She is determined to find out what goes on at The Retreat.

The story goes back in time to Maisie's past through flashbacks, but the book flows beautifully. As a reader, we get to know how Maisie got to where she is and the trials and tribulations she has gone through.

I fell in love with Maisie. She is gentle yet tough. She is one of those endearing characters who stays with you long after the last page. I know I look forward to reading many more of Maisie's adventures. I highly recommend Maisie. She is quite a unique gal!

Jacqueline Winspear

Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Among the Mad and An Incomplete Revenge, as well as four other Maisie Dobbs novels. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.

I received this book from TLC Book Tours for my honest opinion.