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:
Thomas and the Dragon Queen by Shutta Crum, from Knopf - A kingdom is at war.
A princess has been kidnapped by a dragon queen.
A brave squire volunteers to set out on a quest to rescue her.
But there's just one small problem. He's Thomas, the shortest of all the squires. With little more than a donkey, a vest, and a sword, Thomas will have to use all of his courage and determination to battle a beast with many heads, reach a forbidden island, and rescue the princess from a most fearsome dragon-and an even more fearsome fate!
So Cold the River by Michael Koryta, from Powells.com (bought on recommendation from a friend and for challenge) - It starts with a beautiful woman and a challenge. As a gift for her husband, Alyssa Bradford approaches Eric Shaw to make a documentary about her father-in-law, Campbell Bradford, a 95-year-old billionaire whose past is wrapped in mystery. Eric grabs the job even though there are few clues to the man's past — just the name of his hometown and an antique water bottle he's kept his entire life.
In Bradford's hometown, Eric discovers an extraordinary history — a glorious domed hotel where movie stars, presidents, athletes, and mobsters once mingled, and hot springs whose miraculous mineral water cured everything from insomnia to malaria. Neglected for years, the resort has been restored to its former grandeur just in time for Eric's stay.
Just hours after his arrival, Eric experiences a frighteningly vivid vision. As the days pass, the frequency and intensity of his hallucinations increase and draw Eric deeper into the town's dark history. He discovers that something besides the hotel has been restored — a long-forgotten evil that will stop at nothing to regain its lost glory.
A Place Where Hurricanes Happen by Renee Watson, from Random House - Natural and man-made disasters are becoming more commonplace in children's lives, and this touching free-verse picture book provides a straightforward account of Hurricane Katrina. In alternating voices, four friends describe their lives before, during, and after the storm and how, even though the world can change in a heartbeat, people define the character of their community and offer one another comfort and hope even in the darkest hours.
Adrienne, Keesha, Michael, and Tommy have been friends for forever. They live on the same street—a street in New Orleans where everyone knows everybody. They play together all day long, every chance they get. It's always been that way. But then people start talking about a storm headed straight for New Orleans. The kids must part ways, since each family deals with Hurricane Katrina in a different manner. And suddenly everything that felt like home is gone.
Songs for a Teenage Nomad (ARC) by Kim Culbertson, from Simon & Schuster - After living in twelve places in eight years, fourteen-year-old Calle Smith finds herself in a new town at the start of ninth grade. But Calle knows better than to put down roots. Her song journal keeps her moving to her own soundtrack through a world best kept at a distance.
Yet before she knows it, friends creep in-as does an unlikely boy with a secret. And Calle discovers why she's been running all these years.
The Death (and Further Adventures) of Silas Winterbottom by Stephen M. Giles, from Simon & Schuster - Meeting for the first time, cousins Milo, Adele, and Isabella soon realize nothing is as it seems. Lured to their sick Uncle Silas's home under the pretense of becoming heirs to a vast fortune, the trio figures out too late that Silas is a villain who will stop at nothing to prevent his own death.
Dangerous Neighbors (ARC) by Beth Kephart, from Egmont - It is 1876, the year of the Centennial in Philadelphia. Katherine has lost her twin sister Anna in a tragic skating accident. One wickedly hot September day, Katherine sets out for the exhibition grounds to cut short the haunted life she no longer wants to live.
Write the Right Words by Sandra Lamb, from St. Martin's Press for a blog tour - A Warm and Practical Guide to Writing the Perfect Card Message
Are you at a complete loss for words when a birthday card or congratulatory card circulates at the office?
When was the last time you mailed a “thinking of you” card to a faraway family member, just to say hello?
What should you write to a grieving friend? How do you comfort a colleague in a time of need?
Every greeting card needs a personal, handwritten message to make it complete. In this comprehensive, encouraging guide, journalist and lifestyle expert Sandra Lamb offers a wealth of advice, inspiration, and examples for anyone who wants to add the perfect personal touch to their card messages---as well as anyone who wants to know the etiquette of when and what to write.
Something as small as a heartfelt message on a greeting card can help remedy our hectic, e-mail--dependent lives. Lamb provides tips and sample messages for every occasion under the sun, both happy and somber (thank-you, birthday, birth and adoption, condolence), and explains the meanings of possibly unfamiliar holidays and religious rituals to aid in the writing of appropriate messages.
The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews, from Thomas Nelson, won on Twitter - While digging up a withering tree beside his waterfront home on the Gulf coast, Andrews unearths a rusted metal container filled with Nazi artifacts and begins an intriguing investigation that unlocks an unspoken past that took place in his backyard.
The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, from Knopf - In 1961, two years after the Communist revolution, Lucía Álvarez still leads a carefree life, dreaming of parties and her first crush. But when the soldiers come to her sleepy Cuban town, everything begins to change. Freedoms are stripped away. Neighbors disappear. Her friends feel like strangers. And her family is being watched.
As the revolution's impact becomes more oppressive, Lucía's parents make the heart-wrenching decision to send her and her little brother to the United States—on their own.
Suddenly plunked down in Nebraska with well-meaning strangers, Lucía struggles to adapt to a new country, a new language, a new way of life. But what of her old life? Will she ever see her home or her parents again? And if she does, will she still be the same girl?
Efrain's Secret by Sofia Quintero, from Knopf - Ambitious high school senior Efrain Rodriguez dreams of escaping the South Bronx for an Ivy League college like Harvard or Yale. But how is his family going to afford to pay for a prestigious university when Moms has to work insane hours to put food on the table as it is? And Efrain wouldn’t dare ask that good-for-nothing father of his who has traded his family in for younger models. Left with few options, Efrain chooses to do something he never thought he would. He embarks on a double life—honor student by day, drug peddler at night—convinced that by temporarily capitulating to society’s negative expectations of a boy like him, he can eventually defy them.
7 Souls by Barnabas Miller & Jordan Orlando, from Delacorte Press - Mary expected her seventeenth birthday to be a blowout to remember, courtesy of her best friends, fellow New York City prepsters Amy and Joon, and her doting boyfriend, Trick.
Instead, the day starts badly and gets worse. After waking up in a mortifying place with a massive, unexplainable hangover, Mary soon discovers that nobody at school is even aware that it's her birthday. As evening approaches, paranoia sets in. Mary just can't shake the feeling that someone is out to get her—and, as it turns out, she's right. Before the night is over, she's been killed in cold blood.
But murder is just the beginning of Mary's ordeal. Her soul gets trapped in a strange limbo, and she must relive the day of her death through the eyes of seven people—each of whom, she finds, had plenty of reasons to hate her. As Mary explores the mysteries of her world, discovering secrets that were hidden in plain sight while she was alive, she clings desperately to the hope that she can solve her own murder, change the past, and—just maybe—save her own life.