Monday, March 1, 2010

Coming Your Way This Week...

City of War by Neil Russell
a high-octane thriller centering on Rail Black, a Beverly Hills billionaire with a murky past, a deep Rolodex and a penchant for helping friends. Late one night, caught in a massive traffic jam on the 405, the rear door of a van across the center divider bursts open, and without warning, Rail is thrust into an international conspiracy of high-stakes treachery and murder. And suddenly, a lot of people want Mr. Black very, very dead

Dead Reckoning by Ronie Kendig
When Shiloh Blake's first large-scale underwater archeological dig traps her in the middle of an international nuclear arms clash, she is forced to flee for her life into the streets of Mumbai, India. Is the man trailing her an enemy, or is he sent by her CIA father to protect her? Whoever he is, the only way to end this nightmare and prevent a nuclear meltdown is to join forces with former US Navy SEAL Reece Jaxon.

Tagged (Harlequin Teen) by Mara Purnhagen
Can Kate Morgan stand up for herself—without being labeled a snitch?

Kate is just as confused as her best friend, Lan, when she arrives at Cleary High to find the building's been "tagged" with a life-size graffiti mural. Could the culprit be one of their friends or classmates? And is the kind-of-amazing creation really vandalism, or a work of art? She's tempted to stay out of it—mostly because, as the police chief's daughter, she's worried about being labeled a snitch. But when the same mysterious graffiti starts appearing throughout the state, putting more pressure on the authorities to catch the vandal, her investigative instincts kick in
Now Eli, Kate's favorite coworker at the local coffee shop, is MIA. With Lan preoccupied with her own boy troubles, Kate needs to figure out some things on her own. Like why she can't stop thinking about Eli. And what she will do when all the clues about the graffiti point to someone she's close to…

March 2nd
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Drink the Tea: A Mystery by Thomas Kaufman

Willis Gidney is a born liar and rip-off artist, an expert at the scam. Growing up without parents or a home, by age twelve Gidney is a successful young man, running his own small empire, until he meets Shadrack Davies. That's Captain Shadrack Davies, of the DC Police. Davies wants to reform Gidney and becomes his foster father. Though he tries not to, Gidney learns a small amount of ethics from Shad - just enough to bother a kid from the streets for the rest of his life.

Now Gidney's a PI, walking those same streets. So it's no surprise that when Gidney's closest friend, jazz saxophonist Steps Jackson, asks him to find Jackson's missing daughter, Gidney is compelled to say yes -- even though she's been missing for 25 years. He finds a woman who may be the girls mother -- and within hours she is killed by persons unknown. The police accuse Gidney of the murder and throw him in jail.

Maybe Gidney should quit while he's behind. But when his investigation puts him up against a ruthless multi-national corporation, a two-faced congressman, and a young woman desperate to conceal her past, Gidney has no time left for second thoughts. In fact, he may have no time left at all.

Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White

When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door,Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn’t so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don’t always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she’s soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom.

Gonville: A Memoir by Peter Birkenhead
In powerful and spirited prose, Peter Birkenhead recounts a childhood spent trying to make sense of his father, a terrifying, charismatic presence who brutalized his family physically and emotionally at the same time that he enchanted them with his passion and whimsy. An avid gun collector yet an anti-war activist, a popular economics professor and a wife-swapping nudist, a leftist and a lifelong fan of the British Empire who would occasionally don an authentic pith helmet and imitate Michael Caine’s performance as the heroic Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead in the bloody war film Zulu, he was a man who could knock his young son down the stairs one day and the next cry about putting the family’s aged dog to sleep.

Such is the contradictory figure at the center of this astonishingly candid and shocking memoir. As a young adult, Birkenhead reacted to his volatile childhood by forgetting its worst moments. He adopted all the trappings of normalcy, threw himself into a career as an actor, landing parts in Broadway plays like Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, both by Neil Simon, and found himself often playing characters who were angry at their fathers. Yet he discovered that he was sleepwalking through life, on occasion falling into rages that reminded him of his father.

Then at thirty-one, eleven years after his parents’ divorce, Birkenhead told his mother about his recurring dream of flying down the stairs of their house as a young boy. She revealed that it wasn’t a dream, but a memory from his early childhood of being carried rapidly down the stairs by his mom after his father had pointed a gun at them. The revelation about the dream sparked the painful yet necessary process of examining his childhood and of ultimately moving beyond it, forcing Birkenhead to finally confront his father in a way that released him and his family from this complicated legacy. Combining the terror and wit of Running with Scissors, the poignancy and sense of place of The Tender Bar, with the sparkling prose of Oh the Glory of It All, Gonville is light on its feet even as it deals in the darkest of family tales. A harrowing and often humorous story of a son coming to terms with his alternately charming, cruel, generous, and violent father.

Hex Hall Book One by Rachel Hawkins
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father-an elusive European warlock-only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Read the Prologue
Chapter 1
Chapter 3

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
When Major Pettigrew, a retired British army major in a small English village, embarks on an unexpected friendship with the widowed Mrs. Ali, who runs the local shop, trouble erupts to disturb the bucolic serenity of the village and of the Major’s carefully regimented life.

As the Major and Mrs. Ali discover just how much they have in common, including an educated background and a shared love of books, they must struggle to understand what it means to belong and how far the obligations of family and tradition can be set aside for personal freedom. Meanwhile, the village itself, lost in its petty prejudices and traditions, may not see its own destruction coming.

Imperfect Endings: A Daughter's Tale of Life and Death by Zoe FitzGerald Carter
Zoe Carter’s busy life on the West Coast with her husband and daughters takes an unexpected detour when her glamorous, independent-minded mother, Margaret, decides she wants to “end things.” Tired of living with Parkinson’s disease, Margaret declares she is no longer willing to go where the illness is taking her. Unsure how—or when—she will end her life, she is certain of one thing: she wants her three daughters there when she does it.

The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer
Imprisoned aboard a zeppelin that floats above a city reminiscent of those of the classic films Metropolis and Brazil, the greeting card writer Harold Winslow is composing his memoirs. His companions are the only woman he has ever loved, who has gone insane, and the cryogenically frozen body of her father, the devilish genius who drove her mad. The tale of Harold’s decades-long thwarted love is also one in which he watches technology transform his childhood home from a mere burgeoning metropolis to a waking dream, in which the wellheeled have mechanical men for servants, deserted islands can exist within skyscrapers, and the worlds of fairy tales can be built from scratch. And as he heads toward a final, desperate confrontation with the mad inventor, he discovers that he is an unwitting participant in the creation of the greatest invention of them all-the perpetual motion machine. The Dream of Perpetual Motion is a memorable debut that will be one of the most talked about books of the year.
March 4th
The Line by Teri Hall
Rachel lives with her mother on The Property. The good thing about living there is that it’s far from the city where the oppressive government is most active. The bad thing, at least to most people, is that it’s close to the Line—an uncrossable section of the National Border Defense System, an invisible barrier that encloses the entire country.

She can see the Line from the greenhouse windows, but she is forbidden to go near it. Across the Line is Away, and though Rachel has heard many whispers about the dangers there, she’s never really believed the stories. Until the day she hears a recording that could only have come from across the Line.

It’s a voice asking for help.

Who sent the message? What is her mother hiding? And to what lengths will Rachel go in order to do what she thinks is right?

Note from Jeff: All book summaries were copied from the author's website or and are not the work of anyone affiliated with the blog

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