Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book Giveaways in Blogworld (10-30-10 edition)

    Note: A reminder that you are free to email me about any giveaways that you are having, if you want me to blog them, and I'll be happy to try to post them even if I am not entering them. Just include a link to the giveaway, what you are giving away, how many copies are being given away, and the deadline in order to assure being included. Email me at nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com.

    Here is a list of some giveaways going on in Blogworld*. Please note that new giveaways that were added this week are indented in Blockquotes:

    The Eclectic Reader is giving 3 readers their choice of a six book selection. Deadline is October 31. International!

    Libby's Library News is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Bookhounds is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    In the Hammock is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Seductive Musings is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Tell 'em nfmgirl sent you! Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    All About {n} is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Yankee Romance Reviewers is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    DebsHere is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Looksie Lovitz is having a Halloween giveaway! Win The Vampire Diaries Series, Immortal Beloved, and The Replacement. Deadline is October 31. International!

    Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Dark Faerie Tales is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Simply Stacie is giving away  3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

     Book Rat is giving away a copy of Nightshade. Deadline is October 31. International!

    Emelie's Book World is having a big 150 Follower contest! 2 winners! Deadline is November 1. International!

    About Happy Books is giving away a choice of book to 2 winners. Deadline is November 1. International!

    Readaholic is giving away a copy of Room. Deadline is November 1. US/Canada only.

    Readaholic is giving away a copy of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Deadline is November 3. US/Canada only.

    Wicked Awesome Books is giving away a paranormal prize pack. Deadline is November 4. US only.

    I Heart Monster is giving away a HUGE haul of books to a single winner! Deadline is November 5. International (limited)!

    Fantastic Book Review is giving away a copy of Nightshade. Deadline is November 5. US/Canada only.

    Readaholic is giving away a 2 copies of The Disappearance. Deadline is November 5. US/Canada only.
    Reading Teen is giving away an ARC of Fixing Delilah. Deadline is November 5. International!
    Readaholic is giving away a copy of  The Unidentified. Deadline is November 9. US/Canada only.
    The Book Junkie's Bookshelf is having a big "almost" 400 follower contest!  Lots up for grabs! Deadline is November 26 (my birthday!). US/Canada only.

    *Courtesy Note: Please keep in mind the many, many hours of work that goes into me compiling this list each week. Please be courteous and thoughtful, and do not steal my text. Either recreate your own list, or link to this list and direct your readers here for giveaway information. Thank you so much for your consideration.

Post Title

Book Giveaways in Blogworld (10-30-10 edition)


Post URL

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GIVEAWAY: LAST CHANCE to enter

    It's your last chance to win an autographed copy of The Queen's Pawn! The giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents, and will end tonight!

Post Title

GIVEAWAY: LAST CHANCE to enter


Post URL

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GIVEAWAY: Falling Home by Karen White

    Synopsis

    Falling Home is a coming home story about forgiveness and acceptance, and of finding love in the most unexpected of places. Home is where the heart is, but Cassie Madison prefers to think of it as a place where one is born, then outgrows, along with skinned knees and childhood dreams. A humiliated Cassie left Walton, Georgia for Manhattan fifteen years before, vowing never to return. 

    And then her sister calls. Their father is dying and wants Cassie to come back home. When Cassie's father dies, saddling her with the family's antebellum home and letters hinting of an unknown sibling, Cassie finds herself sinking into the red Georgia clay like quicksand. Reluctantly, Cassie is pulled into the lives of her sister and family, and that of Sam Parker, the town doctor. When tragedy strikes, Cassie is led to discover that home is a place that lives in one's heart, waiting with open arms to be rediscovered.

    REVIEW: I recently reviewed this book, and may see my review here.

    GIVEAWAY: Assistant Publicist Joy Strazza is giving away a copy of Falling Home to one lucky winner.

    Rules (you knew there had to be some):
    • You must be 18 years or older
    • This giveaway is open to the US and Canada
    • To enter, just comment below. Be sure to leave your email address in your comment, or have it visible in your profile.
    • For extra entries: follow my blog, follow me on Facebook or via Networked Blogs, and/or blog about this contest. One extra entry for each. Sidebars are okay.
    • Leave a separate comment for each entry.
    • That's a total of 4 possible entries!
    • Those who don't follow the rules risk being disqualified.
    Deadline is November 14, 2010

    Good Luck! Ready, Set, Go!

Post Title

GIVEAWAY: Falling Home by Karen White


Post URL

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Friday, October 29, 2010

REVIEW: Falling Home by Karen White

    Synopsis

    Falling Home is a coming home story about forgiveness and acceptance, and of finding love in the most unexpected of places. Home is where the heart is, but Cassie Madison prefers to think of it as a place where one is born, then outgrows, along with skinned knees and childhood dreams. A humiliated Cassie left Walton, Georgia for Manhattan fifteen years before, vowing never to return. 

    And then her sister calls. Their father is dying and wants Cassie to come back home. When Cassie's father dies, saddling her with the family's antebellum home and letters hinting of an unknown sibling, Cassie finds herself sinking into the red Georgia clay like quicksand. Reluctantly, Cassie is pulled into the lives of her sister and family, and that of Sam Parker, the town doctor. When tragedy strikes, Cassie is led to discover that home is a place that lives in one's heart, waiting with open arms to be rediscovered. 

    About the Author
    from her website

    After playing hooky from school one day in the seventh grade to read Gone With the Wind, I knew I wanted to be a writer—or become Scarlett O'Hara. In spite of these aspirations, I grew up to pursue a degree in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University.

    I have always been a voracious reader and was encouraged by my teachers to write ever since elementary school.  Writing a book was always in the back of my mind, but definitely something I'd "do later when I have time."

    One day in 1996 when my children were just babies, I decided it was time and started writing my first book.  When I had a few chapters written, I sent it in to a writer's contest and by some miracle it won.  The finalist judge was a New York literary agent and she offered to represent me.  That first book, In the Shadow of the Moon, was sold and then published in 2000.  It was a double finalist in Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award.

    I have since published eleven award-winning novels, including The Girl on Legare Street which debuted at #31 on the New York Times bestseller list. I have four more books scheduled including the next two books in the Tradd Street series (in 2011 and 2013, respectively). My next Southern women's fiction ("grit lit") novel, On Folly Beach, will be published in May 2010.


    While growing up, I lived in London, England and am a graduate of the American School in London.  I currently live in sunny Georgia with my husband and two children.  When not writing, I spend my time reading, singing, scrapbooking, carpooling children and avoiding cooking.

    I love hearing from readers. Please email me at AuthorKarenWhite@aol.com or write to Karen White, PO Box 623, Roswell, Georgia 30077.

    Q&A with the Author

    Talking with Karen White about hometowns, writing and her new novel, FALLING HOME—

    Karen, many people spend their lives trying to get away from their hometowns. You’ve spent much of your life searching for one. Why? What does “hometown” mean to you?

    A “hometown” is what all my cousins had—a place where they went to school with the same people from kindergarten through high school, where everybody knew their name—at school, at the grocery store, getting a traffic ticket. I’m sure the grass is always greener and all that, but I’ve always thought that to have a place like that to go home to had to be the best part of life.

    You’ve lived in major cities and metropolitan areas—including in the UK and South America. Yet, you’ve coveted your grandmother’s town, Indianola, Mississippi, for much of your life. What do you find to be the best about each—the cities you’ve lived in and the towns you’ve coveted?

    The places I’ve lived in have given me a wonderful global perspective—and made me appreciate what we have here in the States (and if you didn’t think you’d miss 24 hour stores, you’re in for a big surprise!). It also allowed me to do an almost anthropological study of my Southern relatives and their hometowns, enabling me to see them as an outsider would. If I’d grown up amongst them, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate their unique qualities, not to mention their accents.

    Where did you get the inspiration for Walton, the fictional town at the center of FALLING HOME? Which came first—the plot and its conflict looking for a home? Or “Walton” followed by thoughts of what you could make happen there?

    Nothing comes to me sequentially, but usually a setting and the main protagonist and her “problem” are the first things that settle in my mind when starting a book. I believe (to a point) in the adage of “write what you know.” I’d never lived in a small Southern town, but I’d visited them enough growing up to believe I could write about one as if I had. So I made up Walton—but it’s based on several real
    towns including Indianola, Mississippi and Monroe, Georgia.

    You’ve explored family conflict in many of your novels, you deal with a range of family dynamics, and you cross gender and generations in your work. It seems mother and daughter, and sister-to-sister relationships have most frequently played a role in your books. Do you agree? And, if so, what pulls you in that direction?

    I was raised with three brothers so of course I always wanted a sister. I spent a lifetime studying the sister relationships of my mother and my aunts, as well as those of my friends with sisters. I think it was inevitable that I people my stories with sisters.

    As for the mother-daughter relationship, well, being a mother AND daughter I can definitely relate on a personal level. It is, I believe, the most complex of all relationships. It’s somewhat reassuring to know that there’s at least one thing in my books that I don’t have to go very far to research!

    Can you imagine any situation in which you would cut off relationships with family members as Cassie did?

    I’m a middle child, meaning I avoid conflict at all cost. If somebody slighted me, I would go to great lengths to get that person to like me. So, no, I can’t imagine what circumstances would compel me to do that. However, if I’d been in Cassie’s shoes, I don’t know if I’d behave any differently.

    FALLING HOME is so compelling in its use of unrequited love—Cassie’s for Joe, Sam’s for Cassie, Harriet’s for Cassie, and the decades Miss Lena spent alone. What makes these emotions so powerful, and so difficult to diffuse?

    I think it’s because we can all relate to a broken heart which is, at any level, unrequited love. It’s so painful to love someone or want something so badly, and knowing that the desire is not returned. It is the most elemental pain—and can start as early as not being picked for a kickball team on the school yard playground.

    In FALLING HOME, you don’t seem to dwell on the negative, even as you tackle your characters' conflict, pain, disappointments and challenges. Somehow you manage to maintain emotional and sometimes polarizing plot threads while still emphasizing positives such as loyalty, love, and triumph. Do you think this is true? And is this something you’re conscious of doing in this and other of your novels?

    I don’t know if it’s a conscious thing; I do know that my characters tend to emulate the same kinds of characteristics I try to maintain in my real life. I don’t believe that a disappointment is the end of the road, or that loss negates any of life’s meaning. I’ve also learned—although usually kicking and screaming—that all of life’s challenges are learning experiences and that life isn’t fair. Deal with it and move on. It sure beats the alternative.

    For readers who are first discovering you through FALLING HOME, please recommend which of your novels they should read next. And—for those of us who have been happily following Melanie and Jack from THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET and THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET—when will we see them again? Lastly, what is going to hit bookshelves next? And when?

    Hopefully, the sequel to FALLING HOME, AFTER THE RAIN, will be rereleased in the near future. In the meantime, I’d suggest LEARNING TO BREATHE, another book set in a small Southern town, but this one in Louisiana.

    As for the Tradd Street series, there will be two more books out in 2011 and 2013, respectively. I’ve already started writing number 3, and it is tentatively entitled THE TURRET ON MONTAGU STREET.

    My next book, out in May 2011, will be THE BEACH TREES, set in pre-Camille New Orleans and post-Katrina Biloxi, Mississippi.

    Thank you, Karen!

    My Thoughts

    Cassie Madison was a small town girl with big city dreams. After a she learns that her sister and her boyfriend have fallen in love and eloped together, she runs away from her small town of Walton to chase those big dreams, never giving it a second thought until the phone call comes that changes everything.

    Returning to her childhood home 15 years later to attend to her ailing father, Cassie must finally face old hurts and learn to forgive and forget, or run away once more. But this time there are new ties to hold her to Walton. Will those ties be strong enough to finally tether her down?

    I can always tell that I’m really “getting into” a story when I can see it playing out in my head. And this one very quickly took on a life of its own on the “big screen” in my mind. I soon saw scenes from the movie Hope Floats flashing in my mind, glimpses of town characters, the city streets. Almost immediately the role of Dr. Sam Parker was played by “Marlboro Man” (the husband of Ree “Pioneer Woman” Drummond) in my mind. (I used to have a photo of Marlboro Man here, but worried that it was probably breaching copyright on Pioneer Woman. So I have chosen to remove it. Go here to see the vision in my head for Dr. Sam Parker.)

    I love Cassie Madison. She is tough and tenacious, and has lost touch with her soft side long ago. However returning to her family and finding herself surrounded by her nieces and nephew begins to soften her up as she gets to play "aunt" for the first time. I sort of identify with Cassie, and I even posted recently on my Facebook status:
    "Is it bad to say that I identify with the character in the book that I'm reading that is described as "stubborn, bullheaded, and mean to boot"?
    Cassie returns to find an old school chum is now "Doctor" Sam Parker. And it seems that Sam prefers to spend his time acting as a thorn in Cassie's side. This, of course, brings some nice sexual tension to a storyline that is often wrought with emotion.

    Cassie must finally deal with the guilt of abandoning her family for all of those years, and the pain she endured as a result of the relationship between her sister Harriet and old boyfriend Joe. And along the way there is a little mystery, a little levity, and a lot of sincere emotion.

    I loved this story. It had such richness and depth. It hangs in one’s mind like a good wine hangs on the tongue. It's full of truth and regrets and family and love. This story has heart.

    Falling Home goes on sale November 2, 2010!


    My Rating: 9 out of 10

    Thanks to Assistant Publicist Joy for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Post Title

REVIEW: Falling Home by Karen White


Post URL

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I Wanna...The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan

    The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan


    In a brutal nation of warriors, Jebel’s family holds the highest honor: his father is executioner. But Jebel is considered too thin to compete to replace him.

    Humiliated and furious, Jebel vows to regain his honor in a quest to petition the fire god for invincibility. The journey is long, filled with unknown monsters. And by the end of it Jebel isn’t quite sure what he wants anymore.

    In Darren Shan’s imaginative first standalone novel, he explores themes of religious tolerance and cultural understanding, and champions the idea that peace is often the bravest choice of all.

Post Title

I Wanna...The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/10/i-wannathe-thin-executioner-by-darren.html


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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tales from the Corn Portal

    Are you fascinated by all of the weird and wonderful things to be found out on the internet and around the world? Then you may like my new blog Tales from the Corn Portal. This blog will host all of the weird stuff that I come across in my day-to-day ventures around the internet. Check it out, but be forewarned-- some of this stuff can get downright creepy, and other bits are nauseatingly cute and adorable! Check it out!

Post Title

Tales from the Corn Portal


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/10/tales-from-corn-portal.html


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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's Releasing (10-27-10 edition)

    What's releasing the week of November 2nd:

    Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World by The Prince of Wales

    For the first time, HRH The Prince of Wales shares his views on how our most pressing modern challenges—from climate change to poverty—are rooted in mankind's disharmony with nature, presenting a compelling case that the solution lies in our ability to regain a balance with the world around us


    With its holistic approach, this provocative and well-reasoned book takes the discussion of sustainability and climate change in a new direction. Prince Charles shows how the solutions to problems like climate change lie not only in technology but in our ability to change the way we view the modern world.


    For decades, the Prince of Wales has been studying a wide array of disciplines to understand every aspect of man's impact on the natural world, and in that time he has examined everything from architecture to organic farming to sustainable economics. Now, for the first time, he speaks out about his years of research, presenting a fascinating look at how modern industrialization has led us to a state of disharmony with nature, created climate change, and pushed us to the brink of disaster.


    From the rice farms of India to the prairies of America's corn belt, from the temples of Ancient Egypt to the laboratories of industrial designers,
    Harmony spans the globe to identify the different ways that contemporary life has abandoned the hard-earned practices of our history, a shift that has spurred a host of social problems and accelerated climate change.

    Drawing on cases from farming, healthcare, transportation, and design, the Prince of Wales also offers solutions for change, creating a new vision for our world, one that incorporates the traditional wisdom of our past with the modern science of our present to avert catastrophe. In the end,
    Harmony paints a holistic portrait of what we as a species have lost in the modern age, while outlining the steps we can take to regain the harmony of our ancestors.

    Illustrated with lush, four-color photographs and charts, this intelligent, practical, and well-reasoned guide is an indispensable weapon in the battle to save our planet.


     Falling Home by Karen White


    Falling Home is a coming home story about forgiveness and acceptance, and of finding love in the most unexpected of places. Home is where the heart is, but Cassie Madison prefers to think of it as a place where one is born, then outgrows, along with skinned knees and childhood dreams. A humiliated Cassie left Walton, Georgia for Manhattan fifteen years before, vowing never to return. 

    And then her sister calls. Their father is dying and wants Cassie to come back home. When Cassie's father dies, saddling her with the family's antebellum home and letters hinting of an unknown sibling, Cassie finds herself sinking into the red Georgia clay like quicksand. Reluctantly, Cassie is pulled into the lives of her sister and family, and that of Sam Parker, the town doctor. When tragedy strikes, Cassie is led to discover that home is a place that lives in one's heart, waiting with open arms to be rediscovered. 

    Also available this week:

Post Title

What's Releasing (10-27-10 edition)


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-releasing-10-27-10-edition.html


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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book Giveaways in Blogworld (10-23-10 edition)

    Note: A reminder that you are free to email me about any giveaways that you are having, if you want me to blog them, and I'll be happy to try to post them even if I am not entering them. Just include a link to the giveaway, what you are giving away, how many copies are being given away, and the deadline in order to assure being included. Email me at nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com.

    Here is a list of some giveaways going on in Blogworld*. Please note that new giveaways that were added this week are indented in Blockquotes:

    Elena's Book Cafe is giving away an ARC of Matched. Deadline is October 23. US only.

    At Home with Books is having their monthly bookshelf cleaning giveaway. Your choice from four books. Deadline is October 24. US only.

    Readaholic is giving away 2 copies of The Fall. Deadline is October 24. US only.

    Wicked Awesome Books is giving away Evermore and Radiance. Deadline is October 25. US only.

    I Am a Reader, Not a Writer is giving away 3 audiobooks of Room. Deadline is October 25. US/Canada only.

    Flippin' Fabulous is having a big follower contest! Up to 3 winners. Deadline is October 25. US only.

    Bookin' with Bingo is giving away 3 copies of Room. Deadline is October 27. US/Canada only.

    Voracious YAppetite is having a 6 month blogoversary giveaway! Deadline is October 27. International!

    Readaholic is giving away a copy of Z. Deadline is October 28. US/Canada only.

    Tutu's Two Cents is giving away At Home. Deadline is October 29. US only.

    Readaholic is giving away 2 copies of Rise Again. Deadline is October 29. US only.

    All About {n} is giving away a copy of Rot & Ruin. Deadline is October 30. International!

    Readaholic is giving away a copy of Wicked Girls. Deadline is October 30. US/Canada only.

    The Eclectic Reader is giving 3 readers their choice of a six book selection. Deadline is October 31. International!

    Libby's Library News is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Bookhounds is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    In the Hammock is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Seductive Musings is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Tell 'em nfmgirl sent you! Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    All About {n} is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Yankee Romance Reviewers is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    DebsHere is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Looksie Lovitz is having a Halloween giveaway! Win The Vampire Diaries Series, Immortal Beloved, and The Replacement. Deadline is October 31. International!

    Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Dark Faerie Tales is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Simply Stacie is giving away  3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Book Rat is giving away a copy of Nightshade. Deadline is October 31. International!
    Melinda Jones Carroll is giving away Mockingjay and The Dark Divine as part of the Spooktacular. Deadline is October 31.
    Urban Girl Reader is giving a $25 worth of books as part of the Spooktacular. Deadline is October 31. US only.
    Emelie's Book World is having a big 150 Follower contest! 2 winners! Deadline is November 1. International!

    About Happy Books is giving away a choice of book to 2 winners. Deadline is November 1. International!

    Readaholic is giving away a copy of Room. Deadline is November 1. US/Canada only.

    Readaholic is giving away a copy of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Deadline is November 3. US/Canada only.

    Wicked Awesome Books is giving away a paranormal prize pack. Deadline is November 4. US only.

    I Heart Monster is giving away a HUGE haul of books to a single winner! Deadline is November 5. International (limited)!

    Fantastic Book Review is giving away a copy of Nightshade. Deadline is November 5. US/Canada only.

    Readaholic is giving away a 2 copies of The Disappearance. Deadline is November 5. US/Canada only.
    Readaholic is giving away Daily Guideposts 2011. Deadline is November 5. International!
    Readaholic is giving away 3 copies of The Tale of Halcyon Crane. Deadline is November 6. US/Canada only.
    emy shin is giving away an ARC of Matched! Deadline is November 8. 
    Sophistikatied is giving away a Clockwork Angel prize pack. Deadline is November 16. US only.
    The Book Junkie's Bookshelf is having a big "almost" 400 follower contest! Lots up for grabs! Deadline is November 26 (my birthday!). US/Canada only.
    Book Rat is giving away a HUGE David Moody prize pack! I don't see a deadline mentioned, but I'm guessing it may be October 31st.
    *Courtesy Note: Please keep in mind the many, many hours of work that goes into me compiling this list each week. Please be courteous and thoughtful, and do not steal my text. Either recreate your own list, or link to this list and direct your readers here for giveaway information. Thank you so much for your consideration.

Post Title

Book Giveaways in Blogworld (10-23-10 edition)


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/10/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-10-23-10.html


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Friday, October 22, 2010

I Wanna...I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

    I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

    John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

    He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

    He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

    Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat---and to appreciate what that difference means.

    Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

    Dan Wells’s debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.

Post Title

I Wanna...I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells


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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Introducing...Falling Home by Karen White

    Introducing books through the first paragraph or so...

    Cassie was dreaming again. It was of old summers: the summers of bare feet, skinned knees, and homemade peach ice cream that dripped down her chi and made her fingers sticky. Aunt Lucinda rang the supper bell, and Cassie and Harriet raced each other past the gazebo toward the back porch, their sun-kissed legs pumping under white sundresses. The jangling of the dream bell seemed so real, Cassie felt she could touch the cold brass and make it stop.


    Her fingers touched Andrew's arm instead, his skin warm under her hand, and she jerked awake, the smells of summer grass and Aunt Lucinda's lavender perfume lingering somewhere in the back of her mind. But the jangling continued, filling Cassie with dread.


    She held her breath, looking at the glowing numbers on her clock, and listened for the next ring of the telephone. Only bad news came at three in the morning. Births and engagements were always announced in the bright light of day. But bad news came at night, as if the sun were already in mourning.

Post Title

Introducing...Falling Home by Karen White


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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's Releasing? (10/20/10 edition)

Post Title

What's Releasing? (10/20/10 edition)


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Monday, October 18, 2010

Mailbox Monday (10-18-10 edition)

    Image licensed from bigstockphoto.com
    Copyright stands

    Mailbox Monday is brought to us by The Printed Page. Here are just some of the books I've received over the last few weeks:

    The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
    Won from Literary Jules

    In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?


    The False Friend by Myla Goldberg
    Won from The TBR Pile

    From the bestselling author of Bee Season comes an astonishingly complex psychological drama with a simple setup: two  eleven-year-old girls, best friends and fierce rivals, go into the woods. Only one comes out . . . 

    Leaders of a mercurial clique of girls, Celia and Djuna reigned mercilessly over their three followers. One after­noon, they decided to walk home along a forbidden road. Djuna disappeared, and for twenty years Celia blocked out how it happened. 

    The lie Celia told to conceal her misdeed became the accepted truth: everyone assumed Djuna had been abducted, though neither she nor her abductor was ever found. Celia’s unconscious avoidance of this has meant that while she and her longtime boyfriend, Huck, are professionally successful, they’ve been unable to move forward, their relationship falling into a rut that threatens to bury them both. 

    Celia returns to her hometown to confess the truth, but her family and childhood friends don’t believe her. Huck wants to be supportive, but his love can’t blind him to all that contra­dicts Celia’s version of the past. 

    Celia’s desperate search to understand what happened to Djuna has powerful consequences. A deeply resonant and emotionally charged story, The False Friend explores the adults that children become—leading us to question the truths that we accept or reject, as well as the lies to which we succumb.

     Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
    Won from The Elliott Review

    Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.


    The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart
    Won from CMash Loves to Read

    Brimming with charm and whimsy, this exquisite novel set in the Tower of London has the transportive qualities and delightful magic of the contemporary classics Chocolat and Amélie. 

    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. 

    Filled with the humor and heart that calls to mind the delight­ful novels of Alexander McCall Smith, and the charm and beauty of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise is a magical, wholly origi­nal novel whose irresistible characters will stay with you long after you turn the stunning last page.

    Blind Man's Alley by Justin Peacock
    Won from Book Addict

    From the author of the Edgar Award–nominated legal thriller A Cure for Night, an ambitious and compulsively readable novel set in the cutthroat world of New York real estate. 

    A concrete floor three hundred feet up in the Aurora Tower condo development in SoHo has collapsed, hurling three workers to their deaths. The developer, Roth Properties (owned by the famously abrasive Simon Roth), faces a vast tangle of legal problems, including allegations of mob connections. Roth’s longtime lawyers, the elite midtown law firm of Blake and Wolcott, is assigned the task of cleaning up the mess. Much of the work lands on the plate of smart, cynical, and sea­soned associate Duncan Riley; as a result, he falls into the pow­erful orbit of Leah Roth, the beautiful daughter of Simon Roth and the designated inheritor of his real estate empire. 

    Meanwhile, Riley pursues a seemingly small pro bono case in which he attempts to forestall the eviction of Rafael Nazario and his grandmother from public housing in the wake of a pot bust. One night Rafael is picked up and charged with the mur­der of the private security cop who caught him, a murder that took place in another controversial “mixed income” housing development being built by . . . Roth Properties. Duncan Riley is now walking the knife edge of legal ethics and personal morality. 

    Blind Man’s Alley is a suspenseful and kaleidoscopic journey through a world where the only rule is self- preservation. The New York Times Book Review said of A Cure for Night that “[Peacock] heads toward Scott Turow country . . . he’s got a good chance to make partner.” This taut, topical, and socially alert thriller delivers on that promise.

    The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
    Won from Libby's Library News

    FBI Special agent Brad Raines is facing his toughest case yet. A Denver serial killer has killed four beautiful young women, leaving a bridal veil at each crime scene, and he's picking up his pace. Unable to crack the case, Raines appeals for help from a most unusual source: residents of the Center for Wellbeing and Intelligence, a private psychiatric institution for mentally ill individuals whose are extraordinarily gifted.

    It's there that he meets Paradise, a young woman who witnessed her father murder her family and barely escaped his hand. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Paradise may also have an extrasensory gift: the ability to experience the final moments of a person's life when she touches the dead body.

    In a desperate attempt to find the killer, Raines enlists Paradise's help. In an effort to win her trust, he befriends this strange young woman and begins to see in her qualities that most 'sane people' sorely lack. Gradually, he starts to question whether sanity...

    Falling Home by Karen White
    Received from publicist for review

    Falling Home is a coming home story about forgiveness and acceptance, and of finding love in the most unexpected of places. Home is where the heart is, but Cassie Madison prefers to think of it as a place where one is born, then outgrows, along with skinned knees and childhood dreams. A humiliated Cassie left Walton, Georgia for Manhattan fifteen years before, vowing never to return. 

    And then her sister calls. Their father is dying and wants Cassie to come back home. When Cassie's father dies, saddling her with the family's antebellum home and letters hinting of an unknown sibling, Cassie finds herself sinking into the red Georgia clay like quicksand. Reluctantly, Cassie is pulled into the lives of her sister and family, and that of Sam Parker, the town doctor. 

    When tragedy strikes, Cassie is led to discover that home is a place that lives in one's heart, waiting with open arms to be rediscovered. 

    City of Veils by Zoe Ferraris
    Won from The Review Broads

    A riveting literary mystery that reveals the shrouded world of women in modern-day Saudi Arabia, from prizewinning author Zoe Ferraris.







    Thanks to everyone for the wonderful books!

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Mailbox Monday (10-18-10 edition)


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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Book Giveaways in Blogworld (10-16-10 edition)

    Note: A reminder that you are free to email me about any giveaways that you are having, if you want me to blog them, and I'll be happy to try to post them even if I am not entering them. Just include a link to the giveaway, what you are giving away, how many copies are being given away, and the deadline in order to assure being included. Email me at nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com.

    Here is a list of some giveaways going on in Blogworld*. Please note that new giveaways that were added this week are indented in Blockquotes:

    Bookin' with Bingo is giving away a copy of Please Stop Laughing at Me. Deadline is October 17. US only.

    Booklover Book Reviews is having a birthday bash! Your choice of five books. Deadline is October 18. International!

    Readaholic is giving away 5 copies of The Whisperers. Deadline is October 18. US/Canada only.

    Reading is Dreamy is giving away 2 books and swag to a single winner. Deadline is October 18. US/Canada only.

    Readaholic is giving away 2 copies of Dying to Live. Deadline is October 19. US only.

    Readaholic is giving away 3 copies of Spooner. Deadline is October 19. US/Canada only.

    Martha's Bookshelf is giving away 5 copies of Two Lethal Lies. Deadline is October 20. US/Canada only.

    Wordbird is giving away a whole slew of books to 3 winners! Deadline has been extended to October 20. US only.

    Busy Moms Who Love to Read is having a giveaway. 4 winners choosing from 15 books! Deadline is October 21. US only.

    So Many Precious Books, So Little Time is giving away up to 3 audiobooks of Room. Deadline is October 22. US/Canada only.
    Wicked Awesome Books is giving away a copy of Beautiful Creatures. Deadline is October 22. US only.
    Elena's Book Cafe is giving away an ARC of Matched. Deadline is October 23. US only.
    At Home with Books is having their monthly bookshelf cleaning giveaway. Your choice from four books. Deadline is October 24. US only.

    Readaholic is giving away 2 copies of The Fall. Deadline is October 24. US only.
    Wicked Awesome Books is giving away Evermore and Radiance. Deadline is October 25. US only.
    I Am a Reader, Not a Writer is giving away 3 audiobooks of Room. Deadline is October 25. US/Canada only.

    Flippin' Fabulous is having a big follower contest! Up to 3 winners. Deadline is October 25. US only.

    Bookin' with Bingo is giving away 3 copies of Room. Deadline is October 27. US/Canada only.

    Voracious YAppetite is having a 6 month blogoversary giveaway! Deadline is October 27. International!

    Readaholic is giving away a copy of Z. Deadline is October 28. US/Canada only.

    Tutu's Two Cents is giving away At Home. Deadline is October 29. US only.

    Readaholic is giving away 2 copies of Rise Again. Deadline is October 29. US only.

    All About {n} is giving away a copy of Rot & Ruin. Deadline is October 30. International!
    Readaholic is giving away a copy of Wicked Girls. Deadline is October 30. US/Canada only.
    The Eclectic Reader is giving 3 readers their choice of a six book selection. Deadline is October 31. International!

    Libby's Library News is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Bookhounds is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    In the Hammock is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Seductive Musings is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Tell 'em nfmgirl sent you! Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    All About {n} is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    Yankee Romance Reviewers is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.

    DebsHere is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.
    Looksie Lovitz is having a Halloween giveaway! Win The Vampire Diaries Series, Immortal Beloved, and The Replacement. Deadline is October 31. International!
    Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.
    Dark Faerie Tales is giving away 3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.
    Simply Stacie is giving away  3 sets of four paranormal romance books. Deadline is October 31. US/Canada only.
     Book Rat is giving away a copy of Nightshade. Deadline is October 31. International!
    Emelie's Book World is having a big 150 Follower contest! 2 winners! Deadline is November 1. International!
    About Happy Books is giving away a choice of book to 2 winners. Deadline is November 1. International!
    Readaholic is giving away a copy of Room. Deadline is November 1. US/Canada only.
    Readaholic is giving away a copy of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Deadline is November 3. US/Canada only.
    Wicked Awesome Books is giving away a paranormal prize pack. Deadline is November 4. US only.
    I Heart Monster is giving away a HUGE haul of books to a single winner! Deadline is November 5. International (limited)!
    Fantastic Book Review is giving away a copy of Nightshade. Deadline is November 5. US/Canada only.
    Readaholic is giving away a 2 copies of The Disappearance. Deadline is November 5. US/Canada only.
    Library of Clean Reads is giving away 3 copies of Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. Deadline is November 7. US/Canada only.
    Just Jennifer Reading is giving away 3 copies of Dewey. Deadline is November 9. US/Canada only.
    Sparkling Reviews is giving away a Kindle! Deadline is November 18. International!
    The Book Junkie's Bookshelf is having a big "almost" 400 follower contest!  Lots up for grabs! Deadline is November 26 (my birthday!). US/Canada only.
    Readaholic is giving away a copy of Heartbroke Bay. Deadline is unknown (not currently posted), but should probably be in mid-November. US/Canada only.
    *Courtesy Note: Please keep in mind the many, many hours of work that goes into me compiling this list each week. Please be courteous and thoughtful, and do not steal my text. Either recreate your own list, or link to this list and direct your readers here for giveaway information. Thank you so much for your consideration.

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Book Giveaways in Blogworld (10-16-10 edition)


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GIVEAWAY: The Queen's Pawn by Christy English

    Synopsis

    A historical novel of the legendary Eleanor of Aquitaine and the one person she loved more than power-her rival for the throne. At only nine, Princess Alais of France is sent to live in England until she is of age to wed Prince Richard, son of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Alais is an innocent pawn on the chessboard of dynastic marriage, her betrothal intended to broker an uneasy truce between the nations. Estranged from her husband, Eleanor sees a kindred spirit in this determined young girl. She embraces Alais as a daughter, teaching the princess what it takes to be a woman of power in a world of men. But as Alais grows to maturity and develops ambitions of her own, Eleanor begins to see her as a threat-and their love for each other becomes overshadowed by their bitter rivalry, dark betrayals, conflicting passions, and a battle for revenge over the throne of England itself.

    REVIEW: I recently reviewed this book, and may see my review here.

    GIVEAWAY: Author Christy English has graciously offered an autographed copy of The Queen's Pawn to one winner.

    Rules (you knew there had to be some):
    • You must be 18 years or older
    • This giveaway is open to the US and Canada
    • To enter, just comment below. Be sure to leave your email address in your comment, or have it visible in your profile.
    • For extra entries: follow my blog, follow me on Facebook or via Networked Blogs, and/or blog about this contest. One extra entry for each. Sidebars are okay.
    • Leave a separate comment for each entry.
    • That's a total of 4 possible entries!
    • Those who don't follow the rules risk being disqualified.
    Deadline is October 31, 2010

    Good Luck! Ready, Set, Go!

Post Title

GIVEAWAY: The Queen's Pawn by Christy English


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Saturday, October 16, 2010

REVIEW: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

    Synopsis
    When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he s not alone. When the lift s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

    Just like Thomas, the Gladers don t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

    Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

    Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.


    About the Author

    James Dashner was born and raised in a small town in Georgia. His love of books and writing made him dream of being an author someday, and he still can't believe it's true. 

    You can visit him online at www.the13threality.com or jamesdashner.blogspot.com.

    Check out Simon & Schuster's "Author Revealed" to learn more about the author through their revealing questions.

    My Thoughts

    A teen boy, Thomas, awakens to find himself entering a glade filled with other teen boys and surrounded by a maze. Soon after he learns that the boys are captives, spending their lives attempting to escape the maze. The next day a girl arrives (something that has never happened before in the glade), and she carries a message for the boys: Everything is going to change. And so it does...

    Thomas is a good boy. He has conviction and strength, even in the face of incredible odds and with the suspicions of the other boys weighing on him. They don't trust him, and since neither Thomas nor the other boys remember their pasts before the maze, Thomas doesn't trust himself. But soon the struggle to find their way out of the maze becomes a priority, and Thomas and the girl seem to be integral pieces in this puzzle.

    I enjoyed this story. The more I read from this genre, the more I realize that my favorite areas are dystopian, post-apocalyptic and horror. Fun, fun, fun!

    This one wasn't as "fun" as many of them, but still very enjoyable and satisfying and it left me curious to see where book two will pick up. Plus I read this in a week, which is unusual for me. I usually take at least two weeks to read a book. If you like YA dystopian, give this one a try.


    My Rating: 8 out of 10

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REVIEW: The Maze Runner by James Dashner


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Friday, October 15, 2010

I Wanna...The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin

    The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin


    Do you remember the last time a book gave you the chills? The Dead Path is the ghost story we’ve been waiting for. 

    A haunting vision in the woods sets off a series of tragic events, leaving Nicholas Close lost amid visions of ghosts trapped in their harrowing, final moments. These uniquely ter­rifying apparitions lead him on a thrilling and suspenseful ride to confront a wicked soul, and will leave an indelible mark on lovers of high-quality suspense and horror alike. 

    Nicholas Close has always had an uncanny intuition, but after the death of his wife he becomes haunted, literally, by ghosts doomed to repeat their final violent moments in a chilling and endless loop. Torn by guilt and fearing for his sanity, Nicholas returns to his childhood home and is soon entangled in a dis­turbing series of disappearances and  murders—both as a sus­pect and as the next victim of the malignant evil lurking in the heart of the woods. 

    Stephen M. Irwin is the kind of debut author that readers love to discover—and rave about to all their friends. His electric use of language, stunning imagery, and suspenseful pacing are all on full display here. The Dead Path is a tour de force of wild imagination, taut suspense, and the creepiest, scariest setting since the sewers in Stephen King’s It.

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I Wanna...The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin


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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Introducing...The Maze Runner by James Dashner

    He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.

    Metal ground against metal; a lurching shudder shook the floor beneath him. He fell down at the sudden movement and shuffled backward on his hands and feet, drops of sweat beading on his forehead despite the cool air. His back struck a hard metal wall; he slid along it until he hit the corner of the room. Sinking to the floor, he pulled his legs up tight against his body, hoping his eyes would soon adjust to the darkness.

    With another jolt, the room jerked upward like an old lift in a mine shaft.

    Harsh sounds of chains and pulleys, like the workings of an ancient steel factory, echoed through the room, bouncing off the walls with a hollow, tinny whine. The lightless elevator swayed back and forth as it ascended, turning the boy's stomach sour with nausea; a smell like burnt oil invaded his senses, making him feel worse. He wanted to cry, but no tears came; he could only sit there, alone, waiting.

    My name is Thomas, he thought.

    That... that was the only thing he could remember about his life.

    -- The Maze Runner by James Dashner

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Introducing...The Maze Runner by James Dashner


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What's Releasing? (10-13-10 edition)

    Books that are releasing the week of 10/19/10:

    Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

    The sequel to the New York Times Best selling phenomenon, Hush, Hush! 

    Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home. 

    The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?


    Nightshade by Andrea R. Cremer


    Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?


    Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell

    "Living on a tiny island entirely surrounded by ice during the long winter months, Fredrik Welin is so lost to the world that he cuts a hole in the ice every morning and lowers himself into the freezing water to remind himself that he is alive. Haunted by memories of the terrible mistake that drove him to abandon a successful career as a surgeon, he lives in a stasis so complete an anthill grows undisturbed in his living room." "Then an unexpected visitor alters his life completely: Harriet, whom he inexplicably abandoned in the midst of their youthful romance, turns up decades after they last saw each other and demands that Fredrik fulfill an old promise and take her to the forest pool he visited as a youth. Thus begins their eccentric, elegiac journey, leading to undreamt-of connections." A moving tale of loss and redemption, Italian Shoes is a testament to the unpredictability of life, which breeds hope even in the face of tragedy.


    Also available this week:

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