Category Archives: In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox #15

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a fun way to share the books you’ve acquired over the past week with other bloggers. I haven’t participated in In My Mailbox in a while, but for some reason I really wanted to go back and be a part of The Story Siren’s meme this week. It was a slow week for me, but that’s OK, because as usual, I’m behind in my reading. I received two books for review this week:

Breed by Chase Novak. Release date: September 4 2012 (Mulholland Books) I won this from Library Thing, and although I was hoping to read and review it before the release date, I think it will be a couple of weeks before I get to it. I cannot wait to read this horror story that has shades of Rosemary’s Baby. Chase Novak is the pen name for novelist Scott Spencer. Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Alex and Leslie Twisden lead charmed lives-fabulous jobs, a luxurious town house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a passionate marriage. What they don’t have is a child, and as they try one infertility treatment after the next, yearning turns into obsession. As a last-ditch attempt to make their dream of parenthood come true, Alex and Leslie travel deep into Slovenia, where they submit to a painful and terrifying procedure that finally gives them what they so fervently desire . . . but with awful consequences.

Ten years later, cosseted and adored but living in a house of secrets, the twins Adam and Alice find themselves locked into their rooms every night, with sounds coming from their parents’ bedroom getting progressively louder, more violent, and more disturbing.

Driven to a desperate search for answers, Adam and Alice set out on a quest to learn the true nature of the man and woman who raised them. Their discovery will upend everything they thought they knew about their parents and will reveal a threat so horrible that it must be escaped, at any cost.

And check out the creepy book trailer for Breed:

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone. Release date: October 2 2012 (Tor). This is the first book I was officially “approved” for from NetGalley. I’m so excited! This was also my “Waiting on Wednesday” pick last week. I can’t wait to read it! Here’s the Goodreads description, in case you missed my WOW post:

A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.

Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.

Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.

When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.

Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

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In My Mailbox #14

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a fun way for book bloggers to highlight new acquisitions. This week I acquired:

Shadow Show: All New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury edited by Sam Weller & Mort Castle. Won from Library Thing Early Reviewers. Release date: July 10 2012. The timing of this book is particularly poignant, since we just lost Ray Bradbury. This book collects 26 short stories by some of the finest writers in the industry, including stories by the two editors and an introduction by Bradbury himself, written before his death. Here is the book description from Amazon:

What do you imagine when you hear the name . . . Bradbury?

You might see rockets to Mars. Or bizarre circuses where otherworldly acts whirl in the center ring. Perhaps you travel to a dystopian future, where books are set ablaze . . . or to an out-of-the-way sideshow, where animated illustrations crawl across human skin. Or maybe, suddenly, you’re returned to a simpler time in small-town America, where summer perfumes the air and life is almost perfect . . . almost.

Ray Bradbury—peerless storyteller, poet of the impossible, and one of America’s most beloved authors—is a literary giant whose remarkable career has spanned seven decades. Now twenty-six of today’s most diverse and celebrated authors offer new short works in honor of the master; stories of heart, intelligence, and dark wonder from a remarkable range of creative artists.

This could be one of the year’s best collections.

The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore. Now available. I have to admit in all my years reading and collecting horror, I was unaware of this book. First published in 1933, there have been various editions through the years. The newest edition, just released, is from Pegasus Crime. I’m so happy I stumbled upon it  while browsing at Barnes & Noble last night. Here’s what Barnes & Noble has to say:

The werewolf is one of the great iconic figures of horror in folklore, legend, film, and literature. And connoisseurs of horror fiction know that The Werewolf of Paris is a cornerstone work, a masterpiece of the genre that deservedly ranks with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Endore’s classic novel has not only withstood the test of time since it was first published in 1933, but it boldly used and portrayed elements of sexual compulsion in ways that had never been seen before, at least not in horror literature.

In this gripping work of historical fiction, Endore’s werewolf, an outcast named Bertrand Caillet, travels across pre-Revolutionary France seeking to calm the beast within. Stunning in its sexual frankness and eerie, fog-enshrouded visions, this novel was decidedly influential for the generations of horror and science fiction authors who came afterward.

And because I love delving into the history of a book, especially one this old, here are some covers from previously published editions:

1951, Avon Publishing Co.

1974, Sphere Books Limited

1993, Carol Publishing Corp.

2010, Centipede Press

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. Now available.  I have to say I hate the cover of this book, but it’s been getting amazing reviews, and could turn out to be a sleeper hit this year. Here’s the story description from Goodreads:

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 11-year-old Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

With spare, graceful prose and the emotional wisdom of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker has created a singular narrator in Julia, a resilient and insightful young girl, and a moving portrait of family life set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.

This sounds amazing! I can’t wait. What’s in your mailbox this week?

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In My Mailbox #13

Welcome to Lucky 13 In My Mailbox, hosted by The Story Siren! I was *lucky* enough to receive two books for review this week, so here we go!

The Jesuit Papers by A.B. Fowler.  Now available.  Wow, this sounds so good. It’s a mix of adventure, history, archaeology, romance and mystery, and it also won an Honorable Mention from the Los Angeles Book Festival.  A.B. Fowler is a friend of Roberta L. Smith, whose The Accordo I just happen to be reading right now. Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Will the world end on December 21, 2012, as the Mayan Calendar predicts? Linguistic scholar, Kat Hamilton, doesn’t know. But her father, a world-renowned archaeologist and Mayan expert, believes an ancient underground civilization hidden deep beneath the South American jungles holds the key; he summons Kat to help him. When she arrives in Asunción, Paraguay, Kat must accompany Nick Ramsey to La Quinta–his vast empire in the heart of the jungle—to translate an encoded Latin journal, The Jesuit Papers. The task proves harder than anticipated, and living at La Quinta holds perils of its own, not the least of which is Kat’s growing attraction to Nick. Before it’s over, she is kidnapped by treasure seekers and taken into the deep recesses of the Upper Chaco, where she is beset by vampire bats, insects, and Toba Indians—a tribe of flesh-eating cannibals. But what else could one expect from the region of forest and swampland that Paraguayan natives call Green Hell?

The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity. Now available. I recently reviewed Seven Ways to Die by William Diehl and Kenneth John Atchity, and loved it. (You can read my review here.) Atchity’s latest sounds terrific and has been compared to The DaVinci Code. Here’s the description from Goodreads:

To what lengths would the Vatican go to suppress the secret origins of its power?

The Messiah Matrix is a myth-shattering thriller whose protagonists delve into the secrets of the past—and expose those who hide them still.

A renowned scholar-monsignor is killed in a mysterious hit-and-run in Rome. A Roman coin is recovered from a wreck off the coast of ancient Judea. It’s up to his young American protégé–a Jesuit priest–and a vivacious, brilliant archaeologist to connect these seemingly disparate events and unravel the tapestry that conceals in plain view the greatest mystery in the ecclesiastical world.

Together they pursue their passion for truth—while fighting to control their passion for each other.

What they uncover is an ancient Roman imperial stratagem so controversial the Curia fears it could undermine the very foundations of the Roman Catholic faith.

From the ancient port of Caesarea to Rome’s legendary catacombs and the sacred caves of Cumae, this contemporary novel follows their exhilarating quest to uncover the truth about the historical existence of the real “Christian Savior.”

The Messiah Matrix may prove to be one of the most thought-provoking
books ever written.

Classical scholar and Yale Ph.D. Dr. Kenneth John Atchity is the only author alive today capable of creating this literary and historically-based masterpiece.

Those are some bold statements! Don’t you want to read it to see if they’re true?

What’s in your mailbox this week?

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In My Mailbox #12

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren. This week I purchased one book and received a review book in the mail.

Canada by Richard Ford. Now available.  I love Richard Ford, although I have to admit I have not read a Richard Ford book in many years. If you have not read The Sportswriter and Independence Day, please consider putting them on your to-be-read list.  Canada sounds so good, and I can’t wait to crack it open. Here’s the story description from Goodreads:

“First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.”

When fifteen-year-old Dell Parsons’ parents rob a bank, his sense of normal life is forever altered. In an instant, this private cataclysm drives his life into before and after, a threshold that can never be uncrossed.

His parents’ arrest and imprisonment mean a threatening and uncertain future for Dell and his twin sister, Berner. Willful and burning with resentment, Berner flees their home in Montana, abandoning her brother and her life. But Dell is not completely alone. A family friend intervenes, spiriting him across the Canadian border, in hopes of delivering him to a better life. There, afloat on the prairie of Saskatchewan, Dell is taken in by Arthur Remlinger, an enigmatic and charismatic American whose cool reserve masks a dark and violent nature.

Undone by the calamity of his parents’ robbery and arrest, Dell struggles under the vast prairie sky to remake himself and define the adults he thought he knew. But his search for grace and peace only moves him nearer to a harrowing and murderous collision with Remlinger, an elemental force of darkness.

A true masterwork of haunting and spectacular vision from one of our greatest writers, Canada is a profound novel of boundaries traversed, innocence lost and reconciled, and the mysterious and consoling bonds of family. Told in spare, elegant prose, both resonant and luminous, it is destined to become a classic.

Shadows of the Past by E. A. Jensen. Now available. The author sent me a copy for review, and I immediately fell in love with the evocative cover. For an independently published book, this cover is top notch! Here’s the story description from the back cover of the book:

For five years, Kirsa Heinrich has tried to leave her past behind. Yet in a blink of an eye it all comes back to haunt her. A call from her old boss informs her that a series of heinous murders has occurred in her hometown. Each victim is protected under the Paranormal Laws, each one killed in a different manner. At each scene a cryptic message is left for Kirsa. Now Kirsa has to face her own past in order to solve the crimes. Ayden O’Brian is a member of an elite group of Vampires that work for the Vampire Council. He has been handed a case that hints at a traitor in their midst, one who is giving secrets to their biggest enemy. When the information that is being leaked pertains to Kirsa and her family’s connection to council, Ayden is sent to New Jersey to help Kirsa solve the case. Together they will unlock a long hidden secret about Kirsa’s family and an old war between vampires. For within the past, they will discover the secret to the traitor and person responsible for the killings.

Happy reading everyone!

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In My Mailbox #11

This is In My Mailbox, the Monday version! I actually just received something today, and I didn’t want to wait another week to share. In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, where you can check out other bloggers’ In My Mailbox books.

This week I was lucky enough to win a book from Incandescent Enchantments. And to Celise, thank you very much! I won:

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay. This book came out last August, and I hadn’t heard of it before I won the contest. It sounds really good. It’s a retelling of the Romeo and Juliet tale, but with a supernatural spin.  Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Juliet Capulet didn’t take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn’t anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light.

For 700 years, she’s fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she’s forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

Stacey Jay’s author bio says she lives with her husband, two sons, and some friendly ghosts. This is my kind of gal! Can’t wait to read it. What’s in your mailbox?

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In My Mailbox #10

Welcome to another In My Mailbox, which is hosted by The Story Siren. This week I went a little crazy on Amazon. So many new YA titles have come out recently, that I couldn’t help myself. I also was surprised to receive a book in the mail that I requested almost two months ago, and had given up on. So here’s what my mailbox looks like:

Purchased from Amazon:

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This book has been getting lots of attention from bloggers.  It hit the shelves a few weeks ago, and I’m putting it high on my TBR list.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. Here’s another book that has seen lots of good reviews. Vampires! I will never tire of vampires…

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock. Werewolves! I will never tire of werewolves either. Can’t wait to read it.

White Horse by Alex Adams. This book is actually an adult book, not YA. From the cover it’s hard to tell what it’s about, but it’s a dystopian story, believe it or not. And from what other reviewers have said, it’s pretty scary! I’m ready for something scary…

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. I’ve read lots of great reviews about this book. It’s filled with artistic characters, and one of them is a graffiti artist (I love graffiti!)

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. This is the second book in a fantastic series, and I’m still behind, having not found time to read Divergent yet. But I will!

Received a review copy from the author:

The Realms of Animar by Owen Black.  Received paperback copy for review.  The concept of this story sounds great. It takes place in a medieval world where everyone has two forms: one human and one animal. Sort of a werewolf story but with lots of other animals in additional to wolves.

What did you receive this week?

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In My Mailbox #9

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and you can visit this site to see more “In My Mailbox” posts from other bloggers. This week was (thankfully) a slow week for receiving new books, since I have so much catching up to do.

Embrace by Cherie Colyer.  I was lucky enough to win this book from the YA Bound Tour!  I received it from the author with a nice note and a couple of bookmarks thrown in for good measure.  Here’s the description from Goodreads:

How far would you go to save the people you love?

Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve.

Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him.

Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own.

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.
Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic, Embrace is a thriller that will leave you spellbound.

What’s in your mailbox this week?

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In My Mailbox #8

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren. You can hop on over to Kristi’s blog to see more In My Mailbox lists! This week I received two books for review, and purchased three from Amazon.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. It’s finally here, but I’ve read lots of mixed reviews of Cashore’s third book in her Graceling Trilogy.  As always, however, I form my own opinions on everything I read, so when time permits, I’ll post a review here.  I really want it to be great! Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.

Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.

Die For Me by Amy Plum.  Amy’s second book in the Revenants series, Until I Die, has been getting lots of attention, so I wanted to catch up and read this first one. I’m very excited to put this on my list. Here’s what Goodreads says:

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers.  Here’s another book that received very mixed reviews. Which makes me want to read it all the more! Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

The Gateway to Hell by Ray Mileur. Received a paperback copy for review. Ray is another writer who contacted me after I recently changed my review policies, but I just couldn’t turn him down.  He’s the tenacious sort and I was intrigued enough to give this one a try. Ray is a former Marine and police chief, to name a few of his past identities, but according to the bio on his website, he’s done a lot more as well.  Here’s what Goodreads says about The Gateway to Hell:

Mike Shannon is used to taking on the hard cases. He’s a private investigator and ex-cop in St. Louis, and when the authorities throw up their hands, Shannon is there to bring the guilty to justice. But doing what’s right doesn’t mean keeping your hands clean: he’s stacked up quite a body count over the years-something he’s not proud of-and it’s beginning to take its toll on him. When a teenage girl goes missing, Shannon takes what he believes will be a simple case. But when he finds cocaine hidden in the girl’s bedroom-cocaine that apparently came from the police department’s evidence room-things begin to get complicated. Things get even worse when Shannon begins to suspect his own ex-partner, who was brutally murdered, may be linked to the girl’s disappearance and the stolen drugs. Shannon’s investigation of a possible runaway is shaping up into one hell of a case against police corruption and drug trafficking. As Shannon digs deeper, the danger escalates when he comes face to face with a dark figure from his past, a rogue CIA hitman known as the Sandman. Shannon might be in over his head, but that’s never stopped him before. In all the confusion, Shannon is sure of one thing, he’s not done killing yet. As Shannon’s past catches up with him, his two worlds collide and the dead bodies begin to litter the streets of St. Louis, with a trail of blood leading downtown to the Arch, The Gateway to Hell.

A Dark Time by Dennis Bradford. Received an e-book for review.  Dennis is another tenacious writer!  He ignored my warning that I wasn’t interested in reading indies for a while and asked me to read and review A Dark Time.  He’s hysterically funny and we’ve had several email exchanges that made me smile! Here is the extremely short blurb from Goodreads:

A college student vanishes. Her worried grandfather asks one of her favorite professors, Max Stephansson, to solve the mystery. What Max discovers is tragic. The suspense surrounding her disappearance unfolds to yield insight, but at the cost of danger and death.

What’s in your mailbox this week?

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In My Mailbox #7

Welcome to In My Mailbox, hosted by The Story Siren.  It’s been a slow couple of weeks for acquiring new books, but that’s a good thing because I have so much catching up to do. I’ve deliberately cut off my normal Amazon-purchasing habit for a while until I can catch my breath! But here’s what I did receive:

The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King.  Purchased. This is an interim story in King’s The Dark Tower saga, and here’s how it came to be, in King’s own words, from Goodreads:

Dear Constant Readers,

At some point, while worrying over the copyedited manuscript of the next book (11/22/63, out November 8th), I started thinking—and dreaming—about Mid-World again. The major story of Roland and his ka-tet was told, but I realized there was at least one hole in the narrative progression: what happened to Roland, Jake, Eddie, Susannah, and Oy between the time they leave the Emerald City (the end of Wizard and Glass) and the time we pick them up again, on the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis (the beginning of Wolves of the Calla)?

There was a storm, I decided. One of sudden and vicious intensity. The kind to which billy-bumblers like Oy are particularly susceptible. Little by little, a story began to take shape. I saw a line of riders, one of them Roland’s old mate, Jamie DeCurry, emerging from clouds of alkali dust thrown by a high wind. I saw a severed head on a fencepost. I saw a swamp full of dangers and terrors. I saw just enough to want to see the rest. Long story short, I went back to visit an-tet with my friends for awhile. The result is a novel called The Wind Through the Keyhole. It’s finished, and I expect it will be published next year.

It won’t tell you much that’s new about Roland and his friends, but there’s a lot none of us knew about Mid-World, both past and present. The novel is shorter than DT 2-7, but quite a bit longer than the first volume—call this one DT-4.5. It’s not going to change anybody’s life, but God, I had fun.

– Steve King

Taste by Kate Evangelista. Received a review e-book from the author.  I recently participated in a video reveal blog event for Kate, and I was intrigued enough to want to read the book myself.  Kate was very kind and sent one my way! This is on my schedule for May reviews, and I am looking forward to it. The cover is so lovely! Here’s the description from Goodreads:

At Barinkoff Academy, there’s only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

Orbs of Power by Rob RodenParker. Received a review e-book from the author. Rob emailed me and asked if I could review Orbs of Power right before I changed my review policies and decided to rant a bit about independently published books, but I’ve just started reading Orbs and I am relieved to find some very solid writing, so we’re off and running.  OK, I’ll admit I’m not crazy about the cover (sorry Rob!), but the story sounds promising. In Rob’s own words, “The genre is fantasy and it has action, adventure, romance, and plenty of battles against the demons.” It will be released May 11th as an e-book, so I’ll be posting a review soon.

What’s in your mailbox?

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In My Mailbox #6

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way to share with other bloggers the books you’ve received over the past week.

This week I ended up with a very interesting group of books in all kinds of genres. Here they are:

Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith. Purchased. Grahame-Smith wrote Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, which I never got to read last year. Now the movie is coming out, and of course I want to read it first.  Unholy Night is his latest, and once again he skewers a historical event and turns it into, well, something else entirely. Here’s what Goodreads says:

They’re an iconic part of history’s most celebrated birth. But what do we really know about the Three Kings of the Nativity, besides the fact that they followed a star to Bethlehem bearing strange gifts? The Bible has little to say about this enigmatic trio. But leave it to Seth Grahame-Smith, the brilliant and twisted mind behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to take a little mystery, bend a little history, and weave an epic tale.

In Grahame-Smith’s telling, the so-called “Three Wise Men” are infamous thieves, led by the dark, murderous Balthazar. After a daring escape from Herod’s prison, they stumble upon the famous manger and its newborn king. The last thing Balthazar needs is to be slowed down by young Joseph, Mary and their infant. But when Herod’s men begin to slaughter the first-born in Judea, he has no choice but to help them escape to Egypt.

It’s the beginning of an adventure that will see them fight the last magical creatures of the Old Testament; cross paths with biblical figures like Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist; and finally deliver them to Egypt. It may just be the greatest story never told.

The Breath of God by Jeffrey Small, published by West Hills Press.  Received a review copy from the publisher. OK, I’m not on a religious kick, I just happened to receive two books this week with religious overtones. The Breath of God has been compared to The Da Vinci Code.  Wow! It looks really good, and here’s the description from Goodreads:

A murder at the Taj Mahal. A kidnapping in a sacred city. A desperate chase through a cliffside monastery. All in the pursuit of a legend that could link the world’s great religious faiths.

In 1887, a Russian journalist made an explosive discovery in a remote Himalayan monastery only to be condemned and silenced for the heresy he proposed. His discovery vanished shortly thereafter.

Now, graduate student Grant Matthews journeys to the Himalayas in search of this ancient mystery. But Matthews couldn’t have anticipated the conspiracy of zealots who would go to any lengths to prevent him from bringing this secret public. Soon he is in a race to expose a truth that will change the world’s understanding of religion. A truth that his university colleagues believe is mere myth. A truth that will change his life forever, if he survives.

CurbChek Reload by Zach Fortier.  Received a review copy from the author.  Yep, he’s back! Once again, Zach has been kind enough to send me a copy of his latest book, despite the fact that I wasn’t blown away by Curbchek and Street Creds. His style is gritty and unpolished, but the life of a street cop is gritty and unpolished, so it works for me in some strange way. Here’s what Goodreads says about CurbChek Reload:

CurbChek Reload is a compilation of calls handled by Zach Fortier. This is a more accurate account of the street…at least the streets as i worked them. You will accompany Zach down some dark alleys, into crack houses, chase teenage prostitutes and try to breathe life into the dying. The humor is dark. It’s real cop humor, not the canned jokes made up by people who write about cops, but the stuff they actually laugh about as they try to cope with the dark realities of the job.
Hang on for a rollercoaster ride full of unexpected twists and turns.

Summer Morning, Summer Night by Ray Bradbury. Won in the Worldbuilders raffle. I was surprised when this showed up on my doorstep, because Worldbuilders was over in January, and I really thought I hadn’t won anything. But I’m so happy to have a new batch of short stories by Ray Bradbury. This book was actually published in 2008, and it’s filled with the magical charm that only Ray Bradbury can bring to his stories. Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Green Town, Illinois stands at the very heart of Ray Bradbury Country. A lovingly re-imagined version of the author’s native Waukegan, it has served as the setting for such modern classics as Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Farewell Summer. In Summer Morning, Summer Night, Bradbury returns to this signature locale with a generous new collection of twenty-seven stories and vignettes, seventeen of which have never been published before. Together, they illuminate some of Green Town’s previously hidden corners, and reaffirm Bradbury’s position as the undisputed master of a unique fictional universe.

What did you receive in your mailbox this week?

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