Welcome to my weekly post about the books I receive in the mail. This is my favorite meme of the week, as I get to share what came into my house as well as learn about new books by checking out what others got. I do both memes in one because I love them! In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. If you'd like to join in, head over to their blogs and link your mailbox. Make sure you visit some of the other linked bloggers as that's what makes these memes so much fun!
Here's what came in the mailbox this past week:
Dracula in Love (ARC) by Karen Essex, from Doubleday - From the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept Yorkshire coast, Dracula’s eternal muse, Mina Murray, vividly recounts the intimate details of what really transpired between her and the Count—the joys and terrors of a passionate affair that has linked them through the centuries, and her rebellion against her own frightening preternatural powers.
Mina’s version of this gothic vampire tale is a visceral journey into Victorian England’s dimly lit bedrooms, mist-filled cemeteries, and asylum chambers, revealing the dark secrets and mysteries locked within. Time falls away as she is swept into a mythical journey far beyond mortal comprehension, where she must finally make the decision she has been avoiding for almost a millennium.
Blue Nude (ARC) by Elizabeth Rosner, from Simon & Schuster - Born in the shadow of postwar Germany, Danzig is a once-prominent painter who now teaches at an art institute in San Francisco. But while Danzig shares wisdom and technique with students, his own canvases remain mysteriously empty. When a compelling new model named Merav poses for his class, Danzig, unsettled by her beauty, senses that she may be the muse he has been waiting for.
The Israeli-born granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, Merav is a former art student who discovered her abilities as a model while studying in Tel Aviv. To escape the danger and violence of the Middle East, she moved to California, where she found work posing for artists around the Bay Area. Now challenged by Danzig’s German accent and the menace it suggests, Merav must decide how to overcome her fears. Before they can create anything new together, both artist and model are forced to examine the history they carry.
Like a paintbrush in motion, Blue Nude moves back and forth through time, recounting the events that have brought Danzig and Merav together: their disparate upbringings, their creative awakenings, and their similarly painful, often catastrophic, love lives. The novel ultimately unites them in the present and, through the transcendent power of artistic expression, moves them forward to the point of reconciliation, redemption, and revival.
Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace, from Simon & Schuster - Seventeen-year-old Ruby Thomas, newly responsible for her two young nieces after a devastating tragedy, is determined to keep her family safe in the vast, swirling world of 1920s New York City. She’s got street smarts, boundless determination, and one unusual skill: the ability to throw a ball as hard as the greatest pitchers in a baseball-mad city.From Coney Island sideshows to the brand-new Yankee Stadium, Diamond Ruby chronicles the extraordinary life and times of a girl who rises from utter poverty to the kind of renown only the Roaring Twenties can bestow. But her fame comes with a price, and Ruby must escape a deadly web of conspiracy and threats from Prohibition rumrunners, the Ku Klux Klan, and the gangster underworld.
Leaving the World by Douglas Kennedy, Simon & Schuster - On the night of her thirteenth birthday, Jane Howard made a vow to her warring parents: she would never get married, and she would never have children.
But life, as Jane comes to discover, is a profoundly random business. Many years and many lives later, she is a professor in Boston, in love with a brilliant, erratic man named Theo. And then Jane becomes pregnant. Motherhood turns out to be a great welcome surprise—but when a devastating turn of events tears her existence apart she has no choice but to flee all she knows and leave the world.
Just when she has renounced life itself, the disappearance of a young girl pulls her back from the edge and into an obsessive search for some sort of personal redemption. Convinced that she knows more about the case than the police do, she is forced to make a decision—stay hidden or bring to light a shattering truth.
Sunshine Picklelime by Pamela Ellen Ferguson, from Random House Children's Books - PJ Picklelime lives in a village very close to you. Meadows are knee-deep in wildflowers in early springtime. Summers are hot and dreamy when golden peaches the size of melons hang from the trees. Snow drifts like powdered sugar down the mountainside in winter.
Life in PJ Picklelime's village is always a little out of the ordinary . . . just like PJ herself. There's the day Lemon Pie, a yellow warbler, came to live in her bushy crop of black hair and the morning when PJ cut her hair to help mop up an oil spill. There's the afternoon she made sweet, memory-filled lemonade that drew people from blocks away, and the night she chatted with owls in a barn full of honey. But PJ's spring is not all roses and rainbows, and after Lemon Pie flies away, PJ's parents split up, and a friend dies unexpectedly, PJ turns to her neighbors, with their philosophies from all over the world, for help in understanding. Can PJ find a way to recover her sunshine?
Windblowne by Stephen Messer, from Random House Children's Books - Every kite Oliver touches flies straight into the ground, making him the laughingstock of Windblowne. With the kite-flying festival only days away, Oliver tracks down his reclusive great-uncle Gilbert, a former champion. With Gilbert's help, Oliver can picture himself on the crest, launching into the winds to become one of the legendary fliers of Windblowne.
Then his great-uncle vanishes during a battle with mysterious attack kites—kites that seem to fly themselves! All that remains is his prize possession, a simple crimson kite. At least, the kite seems simple. When Oliver tries to fly it, the kite lifts him high above the trees. When he comes down, the town and all its people have disappeared. Suddenly the festival is the last thing on Oliver's mind as he is catapulted into a mystery that will change everything he understands about himself and his world.
The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise by Julia Stuart, from Doubleday - Balthazar Jones has lived in the Tower of London with his loving wife, Hebe, and his 120-year-old pet tortoise for the past eight years. That’s right, he is a Beefeater (they really do live there). It’s no easy job living and working in the tourist attraction in present-day London.
Among the eccentric characters who call the Tower’s maze of ancient buildings and spiral staircases home are the Tower’s Rack & Ruin barmaid, Ruby Dore, who just found out she’s pregnant; portly Valerie Jennings, who is falling for ticket inspector Arthur Catnip; the lifelong bachelor Reverend Septimus Drew, who secretly pens a series of principled erotica; and the philandering Ravenmaster, aiming to avenge the death of one of his insufferable ravens.
When Balthazar is tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower walls to house the many exotic animals gifted to the Queen, life at the Tower gets all the more interesting. Penguins escape, giraffes are stolen, and the Komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives. Balthazar is in charge and things are not exactly running smoothly. Then Hebe decides to leave him and his beloved tortoise “runs” away.