Aug 1, 2015

Sunday Salon: A Bouquet of Flowers and Books

Welcome to the Sunday Salon where bloggers share their reading each week. Visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also visit Mailbox Monday.

The roses have decided to bud and open now that the rain has stopped the past week and the weather is warm and sunny. I picked from the garden a small bouquet of two fragrant yellow roses, a pink zinnia, and a yellow and purple daylily for a relative who just got out of the hospital. She loved the fragrance and the variety of colors. 

Two new books for review: 
The Beautiful Bureaucrat: A Novel by Helen Phillips, to be published August 11, 2015 by Henry Holt and Co.

"In a windowless building in a remote part of town, the newly employed Josephine inputs an endless string of numbers into something known only as "The Database." After a long period of joblessness, she's not inclined to question her fortune, but as the days inch by and the files stack up, Josephine feels increasingly anxious in her surroundings.... Helen Phillips enters the company of Murakami, Bender, and Atwood as she twists the world we know and shows it back to us full of meaning and wonder-luminous and new."  (goodreads)

I've started this one and can't seem to put it down. I love the magical world of Murakami, and this book seems to be in a similar vein. 

Evergreen Falls by Kimberley Freeman, to be released August 4, 2015 by Touchstone. 

A long-forgotten secret, a scandalous attraction and a place where two women's lives are changed foreverInspired by elements of her grandmother's life, a tale of intrigue, heartbreak and love from the author of LIGHTHOUSE BAY and WILDFLOWER HILL. (goodreads)

This one mixes the past and the present - 1926 and 2014. 

What's new on your bookshelf?

Saturday Snapshot: In the Garden

To join in Saturday Snapshot, head over to the post by West Metro Mommy Reads:

A pale coral hollyhock plant came up among the others of bright pink. Hope more of them will come up next year.

The bee balm in the yard attracted hummingbirds and bees.

Jul 31, 2015

Book Beginning: Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt

The Friday 56: *Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader. Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. Post it. Add your (url) post in Linky at Freda's Voice.
Also, visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader
Rainy Day Sisters: A Hartley-by-the-Sea Novel by Kate Hewitt, to be released August 4, 2015 by NAL
"Welcome to Hartley-by-the-Sea in England’s beautiful Lake District, where two sisters who meet as strangers find small miracles tucked into the corners of every day...."

Book beginning:
Lucy Bagshaw's half sister, Juliet, had warned her about the weather. "When the sun is shining, it's lovely, but otherwise it's wet, windy, and cold," she'd stated in her stern, matter-of-fact way. "Be warned."Lucy had shrugged off the warning because she'd rather live anywhere, even the Antarctic, than stay in Boston for another second. In any case she'd thought she was used to all three. She'd lived in England for the first six years of her life, and it wasn't as if Boston were the south of France. Except in comparison with the Lake District, it seemed it was. 
Page 56:
She'd just tried to erase all signs of her presence in Juliet's house. Because Juliet didn't want her here.
It hadn't been her imagination; her half sister actually did resent her. 
Book description: "When Lucy Bagshaw’s life in Boston falls apart, she accepts her half sister Juliet’s invitation to stay with her in a seaside village in northern England. Lucy... finds that her sister is an aloof host, the weather is wet, windy, and cold, and her new boss, Alex Kincaid, only hired her as a favor to Juliet....With the help of quirky villagers, these hesitant rainy day sisters begin to forge a new understanding…" (goodreads)

A new novel set in England's Lake District. 

Jul 29, 2015

Malice at the Palace by Rhys Bowen: Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Malice at the Palace: Her Royal Spyness #9 by Rhys Bowen, to be released August 4, 2015 by Berkley
Genre: British historical mystery
Lady Georgiana Rannoch won’t deny that being thirty-fifth in line for the British throne has its advantages. Unfortunately, money isn’t one of them. And sometimes making ends meet requires her to investigate a little royal wrongdoing.

While my beau Darcy is off on a mysterious mission, I am once again caught between my high birth and empty purse. I am therefore relieved to receive a new assignment from the Queen—especially one that includes lodging. The King’s youngest son, George, is to wed Princess Marina of Greece, and I shall be her companion at the supposedly haunted Kensington Palace.

George is known for his many affairs with women as well as men—including the great songwriter Noel Coward. But when I search the Palace for a supposed ghost, I only encounter an actual dead person: a society beauty said to have been one of Prince George’s mistresses.

As the investigation unfolds—and Darcy, as always, turns up in the most unlikely of places—the investigation brings us precariously close to the prince himself.
 (book description)

I have just finished reading Queen of Hearts, the eighth in the series, for a publisher book tour on August 4, and I must say it was full of surprises. I am looking forward to reading this one as well. 

Jul 28, 2015

First Chapter: THE MOUNTAIN STORY by Lori Lansens

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.

The Mountain Story: A Novel by Lori Lansens, published June 30, 2015 by Simon and Schuster.
Genre: fiction

First paragraph, first chapter:
Dear Daniel,  A person has to have lived a little to appreciate a survival story. That's what I've always said, and I promised that when you were old enough, I'd tell you mine. It's no tale for a child, but you're not a child anymore. You're older now than I was when I got lost in the mountain wilderness.
Five days in the freeing cold without food or water or shelter. You know that part, and you know that I was with three strangers and that not everyone survived. What happened up there changed my life, Danny. Hearing the story is going to change yours. 
Teaser, page 118:
..."It wasn't a helicopter. You heard Wolf. It was the wind."
Five days. Four hikers. Three survivors. From Lori Lansens comes a gripping tale of adventure, sacrifice and survival in the unforgiving wilderness of a legendary mountain. 

On his 18th birthday, Wolf Truly takes the tramway to the top of the mountain that looms over Palm Springs, intending to jump to his death. Instead he encounters strangers wandering in the mountain wilderness, three women who will change the course of his life. Through a series of missteps he and the women wind up stranded, in view of the city below, but without a way down. They endure five days in freezing temperatures without food or water or shelter, and somehow find the courage to carry on.

Wolf, now a grown man, has never told his son, or anyone, what happened on the mountain during those five days, but he can't put it off any longer. And in telling the story to his only child, Daniel, he at last explores the nature of the ties that bind and the sacrifices people will make for love. The mountain still has a hold on Wolf, composed of equal parts beauty and terror. (book description from good reads)

Based on the beginning, the teaser, and the book details, would you read on? 

Book Giveaway Winner

The winner of Flask of the Drunken Master: A Shinobi Mystery #3 by Susan Spann is Kay Stewart, chosen by Randomizer. Congratulations! An email has been sent to the winner. 

Thanks to all who entered the contest.

Jul 26, 2015

Sunday Salon: Slowed Down by Warm Weather

Welcome to the Sunday Salon where bloggers share their reading each week. Visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. 

Amazing that the low 80s can feel so hot. We are so used to having cool temps here that anything higher then 70s feels very warm. There were a few days of absolute bliss - sunshine, clear skies, cool breezes, maybe mid 70s. Wish we could have more of those. 

A few books to share....
The Sisters of Versailles: The MIstress of Versailles Trilogy 1 by Sally Christie, to be released September 1, 2015 by Atria Books.
"Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters: Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne, four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail."

I like that the book is "carefully researched and ornately detailed," the first of an historical fiction trilogy. 
Unprocessed: My City-dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food by Megan Kimble, published June 23, 2015 by William Morrow.
"From a founding editor of Edible Baja Arizona, of a young woman's year-long journey of eating only whole, unprocessed foods--intertwined with a journalistic exploration of what "unprocessed" really means, why it matters, and how to afford it."

Tahoe Blue Fire: An Owen Mckenna Mystery Thriller #13 by Todd Borg, to be published August 1, 2015 by Thriller Press. 
"When Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna gets a call from a woman who’s afraid for her life, it sounds like she is excessively paranoid. 
But The Killer Was Dead Serious 
McKenna investigates and discovers that two other people have already died. He believes the killer is after something worth millions, a precious artifact that dates back to Renaissance Italy. " Loved all the previous ones in this series, set in picturesque Tahoe!

I am now reading Confucius Jade by Frederick Fisher, and a couple of cozies for blog tours. My reading seems to have slowed down a bit. Maybe distracted by warm weather outdoors!. That's always a good thing!

A giveaway of Flask of the Drunken Master by Susan Spann ends tomorrow. Email me to enter the contest. 

What books are on your TBR list?

Sunday Salon: Japanese Authors and a Mystery

  Klara and the Sun   by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Klara and the Sun was easy to read for a literary novel of such magnitude and celebrity, I found...