Jun 18, 2019

Murder in Bel-Air by Cara Black: First Paragraph

Murder in Bel-Air by Cara Black, published June 4, 2019, Soho Crime

Murder in Bel-Air (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #19)

Murder in Bel-Air (Aimee Leduc Investigations #19)
Genre: mystery set in Paris

First chapter, first paragraph:

Paris. Late October 1999. Monday, Midafternoon
The young woman stumbled on the cobblestones in her worn shoes, fist in her pocket, clutching the steak knife she'd nicked from the cafe. She'd felt eyes watching - fear had charged up her back, impossible to ignore. Her gut had screamed at her to get out of there. 
Now. 
Why hadn't her contact showed?   
A car engine revved up, gears scraping. She glanced back and saw a black Renault slide onto Boulevard Picpus. Her heart pounded. 
Would you read on, based on the opening paragraphs?

Meme: I’d Rather Be At The Beach is the host for First Chapter First Paragraph on Tuesdays. Post the opening paragraph(s) of a book you are currently reading or planning to read. 

Jun 15, 2019

Sunday Salon: Book Review, Current Read


Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss

Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by 

March 26, 2019, Dial Press
Genre: multicultural, contemporary fiction, family drama

The title and cover of the book got my attention at the library, so I borrowed it and was delighted with the story and the characters.

Professor Chandra is disappointed he did not win the Nobel Prize for Economics, but he is still considered a successful and internationally renowned economist, based in Cambridge. On retirement, he turns his attention to his family, especially his children, who are distant or estranged from him ever since his divorce from their British mother.

How he manages to discover his family again as well as find a new life, new meaning, and adventures for himself is the theme of the novel. 

Smart, entertaining, and well written and plotted, the book was a pleasure to read. Five stars


Currently reading:

The Dark Bones


The Dark Bones (A Dark Lure, #2)

The Dark Bones by Loreth Anne White, May 21, 2019

Genre: thriller, mystery, police procedural
Set in Canada, this is the second in the A Dark Lure series.

I haven't read the first in the series, but I learned a lot about it by reading this one.In The Dark Bones. Detective Rebecca North returns home after a long absence, when she is told about the suicide of her father, a retired cop. Not wanting to believe her father Noah North killed himself, Rebecca sets out to find out what led to his death and meets reluctantly again, her first love and high school sweetheart, Ash.

I'm in the middle of the ebook and enjoying this mystery set in rural Canada.

Memes: 
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also,  It's Monday: What Are You Reading, and Stacking the Shelves. 

Jun 9, 2019

Sunday Salon: Guidebook for Couples; Historical Fiction; Reviews

Trouble the Water, a novel by Rebecca Dwight Bruff, July 4, 2019, Koehler Books

Trouble the Water

Trouble the Water

Inspired by a true story, Trouble the Water is about risking everything for freedom. Born a slave, Robert Smalls commandeered a Confederate arms ship from the Charleston harbor, and with the woman he loved and a small crew of other slaves, delivered it to the Union Navy. After the war ended Smalls was able to purchase the house in which he and his mother had been enslaved, and he became one of America’s first black legislators. (publisher)


Let's Do Us by Charly Ligety and Les Starck, June 11, 2019, Harper Design

Let's Do Us
Let's Do Us
A pair of playful and romantic twin guidebooks created specially for couples to help them talk about the difficult yet important issues that will affect their relationship and their future. (publisher)

Finished reading:

Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, August 14, 2018, G.P. Putnam's Sons. Source: personal copy

This coming-of-age novel had me in tears. Wonderfully developed characters and an unusual, to me, setting in the North Carolina swamps. A book for lovers of nature and stories of adolescents enduring extremely trying circumstances. Some parts of the plot are hard to see as completely realistic, but it makes for an excellent story of strife, survival, and accomplishment. Five stars.  
I've recommended this novel to our library book club which meets the first Thursday each month. 


 The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine, May 7, 2019, Harper


The Last Time I Saw You

The Last Time I Saw You (review ARC from the publisher) is a thriller set around the unexplained murder of a wealthy woman, Lily, the mother of Kate, a heart surgeon. Kate is reunited at Lily's funeral with a childhood playmate, Blaire, who also knew and loved the charming and generous Lily.
   
There are many suspects for the crime, and Blaire, a successful detective author, sticks around, supposedly to help her friend Kate solve Lily's murder. There are unexpected twists to the story that I found improbable and unbelievable, though it did help to prolong the suspense in the plot. I gave the book three stars.  


Currently reading:

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames,  May 7, 2019,  Ecco Press

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna

In this stunning debut novel, a young woman tells the story behind two elderly sisters’ estrangement, unraveling family secrets stretching back a century and across the Atlantic to early 20th century Italy (publisher)

What books have you been reading lately?
Memes: The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also,  It's Monday: What Are You Reading, and Stacking the Shelves. 

Jun 2, 2019

Short Book Reviews: Thrillers and a Romance

Goodbye Paris by Mike Bond

Goodbye Paris
Goodbye Paris

Goodbye Paris by Mike Bond, June 11, 2019, Big City Press
Genre: thriller, political suspense
The author has written thrillers set in political hotspots around the world. This one is set in Paris.
I was captured by all the what-ifs taken to be true facts in this fictional novel. Five stars. I hope to read his other thrillers set in other parts of the world. 
The Family Upstairs
The Family Upstairs

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell, October 29, 2019, Atria BooksGenre: suspense, family drama

I enjoyed this thriller, suspense novel, with its unusual setting, plot, and characers. The story is primarily told from the point of view of young people and teens living in an old mansion but manipulated and at the mercy of deluded parents being controlled by their new adult friends. How the different characters manage to weather the storms that ensue when  the intruding strangers take over their lives is quite intriguing and hair-raising. I gave this five stars.


If She Wakes
If She Wakes

If She Wakes by Michael Koryta, May 14, 2019, Little, Brown and Company

Genre: suspense
I've always enjoyed suspense novels involving patients who wake up from a coma, but this one takes place while one of the main characters, Tara, is still semi-comatose, unable to speak or move her extremities, but able to hear and understand everyone and everything around her.  

Tara understands what is going on with the investigation into the car accident when her passenger was killed and she was injured. She, however, can only move her eyes up and down in response to yes and no questions. Abby, an insurance investigator, tries to help find the truth about whether the fatal crash was truly an accident or if the death of Tara's car passenger was murder. 

Another five star suspenseful read.
Ellie and the Harpmaker
Ellie and the Harpmaker

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior, May 2, 2019, Transworld Digital

Genre: romance, contemporary drama
I found this a good change from the thrillers I've been reading. It involves the gradual flowering of a timid unhappily married woman when she begins to take harp lessons from an equally timid but eccentric harpmaker, Dan. 

Ellie is surprised when Dan offers her one of his handmade harps free, and she reciprocates by helping Dan in his private life, apart from falling in love with him. 

Unusual characters and a romantic plot with a few twists and turns makes this very enjoyable reading. 

What have you been reading lately?
Memes: The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also,  It's Monday: What Are You Reading, and Stacking the Shelves. 

May 25, 2019

Sunday Salon: Domestic Drama, Suspense

Domestic drama and books of suspense

The First Mistake

The First Mistake by Sandie Jones, June 11, 2019, Minotaur Books
Genre: domestic suspense
(A) wife, her husband, and the woman who is supposedly her best friend.

Murder, She Wrote: Murder in Red

Murder She Wrote: Murder in Red by Jessica Fletcher and Jon Land
Publication: May 28, 2019, Berkley Books
In what appears to be medical malpractice, Jessica learns her friend was actually a victim of something far more sinister.

Searching for Sylvie Lee

Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok, June 4, 2019, William Morrow
Genre: suspense, family drama
In one Chinese immigrant family, the book explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears, and a series of family secrets emerge.


The Last Train to London
The Last Train to London
The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton, September 10, 2019, Harper
This historical novel centers on the Kindertransports that carried thousands of children out of Nazi-occupied Europe in WWII—and one brave woman who helped them escape to safety.


The Chestnut Man
The Chestnut Man
The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup, Sepember 3, 2019, Harper
Genre: police procedural, thriller
A madman is terrorizing Copenhagen. His calling card is a matchstick doll and two chestnuts. 


Gravity Is the Thing: A Novel
Gravity Is the Thing: A Novel
Gravity Is the Thing: A Novel by Jaclyn Moriarty, July 23, 2019, Harper
Genre: contemporary fiction
A single mother's search for happiness. 

What are you reading this week?

Memes:
The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  Stacking the Shelves. Also visit The Sunday Salon hosted by ReaderBuzz, and It's Monday, What Are You Reading by Book Date. and Mailbox Monday 

Claws of the Cat by Susan Spann: Shinobi Mystery #1

Claws of the Cat (Shinobi Mystery #1) by author  Susan Spann is being re-released by Seventh Street Books; Reprint edition (April 23, 2019)

Claws of the Cat: Reprint Edition
Claws of the Cat

My review:

An unlikely pair of collaborators in 16th century Kyoto risk their lives to solve the murder of a samurai who died from claw and stab wounds in a local tea house. The fatal wounds were made by neko-te or "cat's claws," a type of weapon used mostly be female fighters. But did a female murder the samurai?

Father Mateo, a Portuguese Jesuit priest who is protected and sponsored by the shogun, and his official protector, the ninja Hiro, must prove that Mateo's convert to Christianity, the tea house entertainer Sayuri, is innocent of the crime. The son of the dead samurai threatens to kill both Mateo and Sayuri unless another person is found responsible for the murder.

An engrossing mystery in an intriguing historical setting, with likable and well developed main characters, Claws of the Cat is also an entertaining and well researched novel about the samurai, their code of conduct, and their manner of fighting. I recommend the book for those who enjoy a good mystery and are curious about the old samurai culture of Japan.

Blade of the Samurai
Blade of the Samurai
The next in the series, Blade of the Samurai,  originally published July 15, 2014, is also in reprint with a new cover by Seventh Street Books.  Here is my review of the first edition.

See my reviews of the other books in the series:
The Ninja's Daughter
Flask of the Drunken Master
Trial on Mount Koya
Betrayal at Iga

There are six novels in the mystery series so far, all being reprinted in paperback by Seventh Street Books, with a seventh book, Ghost of the Bamboo Road to be released July 16, 2019. I have enjoyed all the books, and am looking forward to the seventh book!


Susan Spann is the award-winning author of the Hiro Hattori mystery novels, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo. She has a degree in Asian Studies, as well as a lifelong love of Japanese history, food and culture. She currently lives in Tokyo, where she is working on an upcoming nonfiction book about mountain climbing in Japan as well as the next installment in the Hiro Hattori mystery series.Visit her 
website


May 24, 2019

Book Tour and Review: EXPOSED by Jean-Philippe Blondel

Exposed Banner
France Book Tours

France Book Tours presents Exposed by Jean-Philippe Blondel, June 4, 2019, New Vessel Press
Genre: literary fiction

My comments:

Alexandre Laudin, an internationally known artist, tries to attract the attention of his former teacher. Monsieur Claret, now a 58-year-old divorced man with two grown daughters. Laudin tells Claret that he played an important role in his life in his student years, and that to him, Claret had become an obsession. He eventually persuades Claret to be a subject of his art, eventually getting his former teacher to pose for his canvas, almost in the nude.

Claret is eventually pulled in by Alexandre's persistence and artistic exuberance, and at the end of the book, the two seem to make a last-minute pact that is as surprising as it is unconsidered by Claret. In other words, Claret seems to be neither unwilling or dismayed by events.  

A book about artists, obsession, and a willingness to go to extreme lengths for the sake of art. The novel, nevertheless, is written with restraint and leaves a lot for the reader to intuit. An intriguing book that I enjoyed for its unusual style, writing, and personalities. 

Book excerpt: (page 26)
"I don't know how to explain it. I think a teacher signs a tacit contract with his students from the moment they walk into the classroom. It goes beyond a pact of non aggression. It is an agreement that stipulates that even over the years, there will be respect between us, and ...how should I put it...mutual protection. I'm not sure this makes an sense." 
"And I doubt whether your feelings would be shared by your colleagues. Or by some of the kids you have there in front of you."
Book excerpt: (page 34)
"All I can say is that when I saw you the other day, I understood that you had played an important role in my life. I thought about you all evening;, part of the night, and all of the following week. You became an obsession."
"Now you're scaring me."
"This happens a lot. But there's nothing to be afraid of." 
The author:

portrait de Jean-philippe Blondel


Jean-Philippe Blondel
was born in 1964 in Troyes, France
where he lives as an author and English teacher.
His novel The 6:41 to Paris has been acclaimed
in both the United States and Europe.

Enter here for a giveaway of this novel. 

Thanks to Emma for a review copy for the blog tour. 
@wordsandpeace
#franceBT

May 12, 2019

Sunday Salon: Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to one and all! Unfortunately, we are housebound for the most part because of flu in the household and rain on the way! But we are enjoying chicken soup and hot cider nevertheless. Hope all the other moms are having a good day.

Some new books:

Death in Kew Gardens (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #3)
Death in Kew Gardens
Death in Kew Gardens by Jennifer Ashley caught my eye because of my interest in plants, gardens, and gardening! This is the third in the Kate Holloway Mysteries set in Victorian London. Published June 4, 2018 by Berkley.

Invitation to Die (An Inspector Redfyre Mystery Book 2)
Invitation to Die
Invitation to Die by Barbara Cleverly is the second in the Inspector Redfyre Mystery series, This one is set in Cambridge in the 1920s. Its publication date is August, 2019 by Soho Press. 

The Book Supremacy (Bibliophile Mystery, #13)
The Book Supremacy
The Book Supremacy is the 13th in the Bibliophile Mystery series. This one is set in Paris and San Francisco, with book restorer Brooklyn  and her new husband Derek, solving a crime. Thank heavens that the books in the series can be read on their own and not sequentially. 

After the End
After the End
After the End by Clare Mackintosh is a novel of contemporary fiction about family dynamics, to be published June 25, 2019 by G.P. Putnam Sons. 


Finishing up a mystery series

The Stone Circle (Ruth Galloway, #11)
The Stone Circle
The Stone Circle is the 11th in the Ruth Galloway mystery series set in the swamplands and saltflats of Norfolk, England. I recommend that readers read the books in sequence because of Ruth's intriguing personal life that changes with each novel. I hope there will be a 12th in the series! This one was just printed May 7 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

Memes:
The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  Stacking the Shelves, and  It's Monday, What Are You Reading by Book Date. and Mailbox Monday

May 7, 2019

After Dark by Haruki Murakami: Book Review Revisited

Book Review: After Dark by Haruki Murakami


After Dark
After Dark

Title: After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Paperback: 256 pages; Kindle; Audiobook
Publisher: May 2007

Haruki Murakami's latest novel, After Dark, begins just before midnight in Tokyo and ends just before 7 a.m. The focus is Tokyo in the dead of night, after the trains have stopped running and the only public transportation out of the city is by cab.

Some of the people left in the city are college students and office workers. They are in the bars, hanging out in all night restaurants, in game parlors, or working late in the office.

The book follows a young college student, Mari, who decides to stay reading in a Denny's restaurant rather than go home. She meets another college student there, a musician who is in the city to practice with his band. At his suggestion, Mari leaves the restaurant to help a foreign woman who has been injured, and in the course of events, comes across unusual situations and makes some unlikely friends, including the manager and maid of an all night hotel. Long conversations during the night with the musician, who has met her older sister, help her come to terms with the reason she has avoided going home.

When morning arrives and the trains are running, Mari goes home to the suburbs, where she knows she will find her older sister, Eri Asai, still in a deep sleep. A beautiful and well-known model, Eri Asai has been sleeping steadily the past three weeks, getting up occasionally to eat, though no one has seen her when she is up.

Remembering how protective Eri Asai had been of her when they had been trapped in an elevator as children, Mari tries to empathize with her sister, in tears hugging her as if willing her to wake up out of her long dream. There is a glimmer of a response. Mari finally goes to sleep.

The novel only hints at the reason for Eri Asi's withdrawal. There is a suggestion that it involves the sinister office worker Shirakawa, whom Mari is unaware of though their paths overlap during the night in the city.

The novel has many levels of meaning. Murakami reveals the flip side of the city, after dark, at times with humor. The city at night also reveals the dark aspect of some of the characters he explores. Mari and the musician walk about the city and among these people but remain unscathed.

Submitted for the Lost in Translation Reading Challenge. and resubmitted for the 2012 Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge.

© Harvee Lau of Book Dilettante.

May 3, 2019

The Lonesome Bodybuilder by Yukiko Motoya: Book Beginning

Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader
From the library:
The Lonesome Bodybuilder: Stories
The Lonesome Body Builder

The Lonesome Body Builder by Yukiko Motoya, November 6, 2018, Soft Skull Press
Genre: short stories, in translation

Book beginning:
The Lonesome Bodybuilder (story)
When I got home from the supermarket, my husband was watching a boxing match on TV. 
"I didn't know you watched this kind of thing. I never would have guessed, " I said, putting down the bag of groceries on the living room table. He made a noncommittal noise from the sofa, He seemed to be really engrossed.  
"Who's winning? The big one or the little one?"
Theme of the story: What does it take for an introverted husband to finally take notice of his wife?  She goes on to become a body builder.....

Page 56:
(from the story, An Exotic Marriage)
I felt a lingering guilt about how easy I had it. Owning a home at this age, I felt as if I had somehow managed to cheat at life.

I am finding these to be thought-provoking and very unusual stories. Use of magical realism. 

Apr 21, 2019

Sunday Salon: Cupcakes, Rural Texas, Gaslight Mystery, Court Dancer

Cozy Reading

I'm back to cozy reading, after a long hiatus, and after finding a delightful mystery involving cupcakes and death!

Dying for Devil's Food (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #11)
Dying for Devil's Food
Dying for Devil's Food by Jenn McKinlay is the 11th in the series with cupcake maker  Melanie Cooper and her friend and business partner Angie. Both get involved in solving murders and this book is no exception. The problem is that the dead person in this novel is found with one of Melanie's cupcakes in her hand!


As for rural Texas, 

The Gillespie County Fair
The Gillespie County Fair
In The Gillespie County Fair by Marc Hess, two intermarried pioneer families in a small Texas town lock horns over the sale of a homestead and just about destroy themselves. 


In historical mysteries, 

Murder on Trinity Place (Gaslight Mystery #22)
Murder on Trinity Place
Murder on Trinity Place by Victoria Thompson is the 22nd in the Gaslight mystery series, set in Victorian-era New York. Frank and Sarah Malloy solve another murder in this historical novel.



New from the library,


The Court Dancer
The Court Dancer
The Court Dancer by Kyung-Sook Shin is mesmerizing in the detail, description of an era,  and the characterization of the protagonist, a court dancer who would become famous in the Joseon Court of old Korea, 1891.  I am enjoying this one very much.


Finished reading

Newcomer (Detective Kaga, #2)
Newcomer
Newcomer by Keigo Higashino, published November 2018 by Minotaur Books, is a detailed police procedural set outside Tokyo. 
Detective Kaga gets involved in the lives of the people he is investigating while linking clues in a case just as someone would braid a rope out of single threads. We get to know several shop owners in a traditional shopping district, their lives and their crafts and goods, all during Kaga's investigation into a recent death. Any of the threads he picks up along the way could lead to the murderer of a divorced woman living in the area, and a few do. The ending is not predictable, nor is the unique personality and methods of the detective. I gave this library book five stars. 

What books are you reading this week?
Memes: The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  Stacking the Shelves, and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date., and Mailbox Monday.

Apr 14, 2019

Thriller: No Right Way by Michael Niemann :Sunday Salon

No Right Way (Valetin Vermeulen Thriller, #4)
No Right Way
No Right Way (A Valentin Vermeulen Thriller #4) by Michael Niemann, May 14, 2019, paperback
In a Turkish camp, Valentin Vermeulen  investigates why aid for Middle Eastern refugees is being intercepted
Source: thanks to Wiley Saichek of Saichek Publicity for a copy for possible review

I am reading several books at once, according to my reading mood - historical fiction, mystery, thriller, plus an historical novel for book club.

For historical fiction, there are 
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See (Korea) and
The Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning (Shanghai)

and a mystery novel
The Perfect Fraud by Ellen LaCorte

Memes: The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  Stacking the Shelves, and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date., and Mailbox Monday.

Apr 12, 2019

Book Review: The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway, #1)
The Crossing Places
The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths, August 2009, Quercus Books
Genre: mystery set in Norfolk, UK
A child's bones are discovered near the site of a pre-historic henge on the north Norfolk coast, and the police ask local forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway to date them

Ruth is a lecturer at the local university, recognized as as expert in her field. She lives alone in a small cottage at the edge of a saltmarsh near the sea. Attracted to the local deputy chief inspector of police, Ruth is torn regarding her affections, as DCI Harry Nelson is married with two grown daughters. The two work together to solve the crimes and become romantically involved for one fateful night, in spite of his married status.

The personal and professional life of the unusual character, Ruth Galloway, pulls the reader in, and I found myself reading the second, third, and fourth books in the series, just to keep up with her life, personal and otherwise. There are several books to go in the series yet!

Thanks to Quercus for a review copy of this book. 
The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway, #2)
The Janus Stone

The House at Sea's End (Ruth Galloway, #3)
The House at Sea's End
A Room Full of Bones (Ruth Galloway, #4)
A Room Full of Bones

Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway, #5)
Dying Fall
These are all the books in the series I've read so far, 1-5. They are all available at my library, in ebook form, hurray!  I am now starting No. 6, The Outcast Dead.

Have you read any in this series? 

Apr 8, 2019

Book Tour/Review: Mrs. Rossi's Dream by Khanh Ha



Mrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh Ha

Publisher:  The Permanent Press (March 1, 2019)
Category: Historical Fiction, Vietnam, Literary Fiction, Multicultural
Print and ebook, 312 pages
About: Mrs. Rossi, a retired high school principal from Maryland, travels to Vietnam with her adopted Vietnamese daughter Chi Lan, and is taken around the countryside by the narrator of the book, Giang, who works at their roadside inn as a driver.
During the Vietnam War, Giang defected from the north  and was sent to a reform camp for ten years, after which he served in the South Vietnamese army. In the book, he gives tours of the area to Mrs. Rossi and helps her to search for the remains of her son, an American who died in 1966-1967 during the war.

The exact place where Mrs. Rossi's son died is unknown, so Giang takes her to Military Zone 9, an approximate and possible location. It is now a vast wet woodland where families from the north and south have come to search for the bones of their dead. 

Giang tries to subtly tell Mrs. Rossi that soldiers' remains, after 20 years, are now scattered bones, and not identifiable one from the other in the jungle environment. Still, she persists.

Recommendation: In the book, we learn about the history of Vietnam and the consequences of colonization and occupation by the Chinese and the  French, and then by the Americans during the war. We learn also about the beauty of the land, the river, white water lilies floating on the water, the dramatic contrast with death and destruction of the war. 

We learn about the Vietnamese point of view of the war, their experiences, their language, history, the ghosts and the bones scattered throughout the country.  

In the end, Giang makes a confession to Mrs. Rossi, and they both weep for their losses, for their sadness, and both come to find sorrow, forgiveness, and common ground. 

Summary: A moving story, both sad and exhilarating in parts,  that is also a history and a description of a country torn by war and occupation over centuries, and an emotional journey of a mother's search for and memories of her son.

Rating: 5/5

Thanks to Teddy Rose and Virtual Author Book Tours for an ebook for this book tour. 

About Khanh HaMrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh Ha

Award winning author, Khanh Ha is the author of Flesh (Black Heron Press) and The Demon Who Peddled Longing (Underground Voices).
 He is a seven-time Pushcart nominee, a Best Indie Lit New England nominee, twice a finalist of The William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Award, and the recipient of Sand Hills Prize for Best Fiction, and Greensboro Review’s Robert Watson Literary Prize in fiction. The Demon Who Peddled Longing was honored by Shelf Unbound as a Notable Indie Book. 
Ha graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Website: http://www.authorkhanhha.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorkhanhha
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorkhanhha
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/khanhha

Mrs. Rossi’s Dream available at AmazonBarnesandNoble

Enter to win a print copy or an ebook: https://www.virtualauthorbooktours.com/mrs-rossis-dream-by-khanh-ha-on-tour/

Apr 7, 2019

Sunday Salon: Historical, YA, Thriller, Contemporary Fiction

New book arrivals:

The Song of the Jade Lily
The Song of the Jade Lily
The Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning, May 14, 2019, William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: historical and contemporary fiction
Setting: Vienna, Shanghai, Australia

I'm enjoying reading this novel about a Jewish family escaping from Nazi occupied Austria, traveling to Shanghai, China as refugees. We follow young Romy and her parents in Shanghai, moving back and forth in time to when Romy has her own family and grandchildren in Australia after leaving China at the end of WWII. And we see Romy's granddaughter Alexandra, trying to find her way in the present, 2016, through her family's wartime history. 


The Great Pretenders
The Great Pretenders
The Great Pretenders by Laura Kalpakian, Publication April 16, 2019, Berkley Books
Setting: Hollywood in the 1950s
Roxanne forges a career unique for women in the 1950s, becoming an agent for hungry young screenwriters. When she sells a script by a blacklisted writer under the name of a willing front man, more exiled writers seek her help. 

Cygnet
Cygnet
Cygnet by Season Butler, June 25, 2018, Harper
Genre: coming-of-age tale
A 17-year-old young woman comes of age in a community of the elderly rejecting the promise of youth.

Setting: an isolated island off New Hampshire populated by a community of the elderly


All of Us with Wings
All of Us With Wings
All of Us With Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil, Soho Press
YA fantasy debut about love, found family, and healing is an ode to post-punk San Francisco through the eyes of a Mexican-American girl

The Snakes: A Novel
The Snakes
The Snakes by Sadie Jones, June 25, 2019, Harper
Genre: contemporary fiction
Bea and Dan, recently married,  visit Bea’s dropout brother Alex at the hotel he runs in Burgundy, France. Disturbingly, they find him all alone and the ramshackle hotel deserted, apart from the nest of snakes in the attic.


The Perfect Fraud
The Perfect Fraud

The Perfect Fraud by Ellen LaCorte, June 18, 2019, Harper
Genre: contemporary fiction
Claire works in the family business and calls herself a psychic, but she doesn’t really have “the gift” and hasn’t for a long time. She’s a fraud. When she meets Rena and Rena's disturbed daughter, events collide.

Which of the above books would you read first? Why?
Memes: The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  Stacking the Shelves, and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date., and Mailbox Monday.