In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren every Sunday. What did you win, receive, buy or borrow this week?

Soooooooooo, I won this book from the very awesome who always takes spectacular pics, Caite with A Lovely Shore Breeze. THANKS lady!! I love to win things especially books. I have yet to ready any of Laura Lippman and am so excited to be induced into her book world.

I received these from GoodReads FirstReads -

I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
This Life Is In Your Hands by Melissa Coleman
A Race To Splendor by Ciji Ware

On My Wish List

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

Born without magic, seventeen-year-old Helena “Hex” Wayward is an embarrassment to her power-hungry relatives. As the weakest member of the world’s most deadly magical family, Hex learns early how to avoid confrontation. There’s no defending herself against an errant curse or the pit-demon that her cousins like to summon during family reunions. When the dark magic inside of her -- magic that she never dreamt even existed -- erupts in a violent display, it kills a member of a rival family. Now, Hex's family hopes to use her magic for their own sinister purposes and their enemies just want her dead. Abandoning her magic will leave her defenseless but Hex knows how quickly power corrupts even the best intentions. Hex has to make a choice: Save her life or save her soul.

When Sissy was six, she had her first vision of her sister’s (Misty) disappearance. Her mother (Tina) said she had a bad dream, but not long after that Misty vanished before Sissy’s eyes. No one believed her, so Sissy pretend to act like everyone else, like Misty never disappeared and never existed. For the past fifteen years Misty’s disappearance has haunted Sissy’s dreams. She could hear the ear piercing screams at night of her sister begging for help. Sissy tries to help her, but never succeeds. Sicily “Sissy” Monroe attends the University of Washington and is in her senior year majoring in Psychology. She has all the makings of a perfect young lady, ageless skin, flawless long black hair, full kissable lips and eyes that are shaped like almonds. She is almost where she wants to be in life. But laying deep in the pupil of her eye’s hold something that she cannot get rid of, which interferes with her plans. In addition to the nightmares, Sissy has found that as she gets older her visions became stronger and more vivid than before. Because of the first vision of Misty, and the second of a teacher in high school, Sissy wants no part in another person’s death. For years, Sissy tried to avoid having friends and relationships because she feared their fate. Most importantly she tries to avoid her family. She has no plans of ever going back home to California. When her mother calls her to tell her about her granny’s birthday party, she is reluctant to go. Going back home was not on her list of priorities, but she is going for her mother. Little did Sissy know she cannot run from her past. During her weekend at home, new developments surface. Her mother has been dating (Mark) for the past two years; her grandmother has the same gift she does; an old high school fling (Chris) comes clean about his love for Sissy; and an unknown girl from the grave begins stalking her dreams. Sissy begs for someone to admit her to the hospital, but she can’t get the words out. Her grandmother is the only one who can help her, but even then it’s too late. Two days after her birthday party, Sissy’s grandmother dies. However, it’s no shock to Sissy, because she knew death was coming for her grandmother—leaving Sissy alone once again. She finds that her sister Misty, the visions, and the dreams of the unknown girl were just a mere image of herself.

For Jane Jones, being a vampire is nothing like you read about in books. In fact, it kind of sucks. She's not beautiful, she's not rich, and she doesn't "sparkle." She's just an average, slightly nerdy girl from an ordinary suburban family (who happens to be vampires.) Jane's from the wrong side of the tracks (not to mention stuck in the world's longest awkward phase), so she doesn't fit in with the cool vampire kids at school or with the humans kids. To top it all off, she's battling an overprotective mom, a clique of high school mean girls (the kind who really do have fangs), and the most embarrassing allergy in the history of the undead, she's blood intolerant. So no one's more surprised than Jane when for the first time in her life, things start to heat up (as much as they can for a walking corpse, anyway) with not one, but two boys. Eli's a geeky, but cute real-live boy in her history class, and Timothy is a beautiful, brooding bloodsucker, who might just hold the key to a possible "cure" for vampirism. Facing an eternity of high school pressure, fumbling first dates, or a mere lifetime together with Timothy, what's a 90-something year-old teen vampire to do?

Fans of the Vladmir Tod Chronicles, You are So Undead to Me, and Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side will feast on this deliciously readable, smart, and fantastically funny debut.


Review - The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky

Title: The Secret Between Us
Author: Barbara Delinsky
Publish Date: Jan 2008
Publisher: Doubleday
Audio Book

Barnes and Noble

I never actually thought I would enjoy listening to an audio book. I have tried it in the past and ended up never listening to the end. But I had to take a car trip that I knew would be long enough and the radio stations tend to be horrible in between towns, so I thought I'd give it a try. I don't know when or where I picked up this audio book, but I loaded it on my Nook, plugged the card into the ear phone jack and then using my auxiliary cord, plugged it in to my car and out it came through the speakers in the car. Wow, pretty darn simply if you ask me. It was easy to hear and I didn't mind the reader's voice so much.

This was an incredibly sad story of an accident that rocks two families - one, the people in the car and the other, the person who is hit by the car. It is amazing the secrets we keep from each other and more importantly, the secrets we keep to protect our family. I wasn't sure when this would end or how, but I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't so much a happy ending as it just made me feel good that things were going in the right direction. This story is the difference between right and wrong and how even the people in the right can feel wrong. And there isn't always a right and wrong. It also is hard to define right and wrong. What is a lie really, when it is protecting someone you love? Is it really still a lie if you don't come out and say it, but let others believe what they want?

Deborah is a mother of two, who has way too much on her plate dealing with her sister who is a bit estranged from their father and her father who is the stanch, "I am always right" type of father. She is also still entangled with her ex-husband who has no problem voicing his opinion whether it is wanted or not. She is a physician who works with her father in a joint practice, which makes it that much harder for her to deal with. Her daughter, Grace is within months of getting her license when things go seriously wrong for her one night driving in the rain. Her mother takes the blame because it is safer and easier to not admit the truth than to just allow people to make their own assumptions. From that one decision, a nightmare ensues.

I found that even though I am a stanch believer in the truth always comes out eventually, I felt for Deborah and her need to always protect her family, especially her daughter in this darkest of moments. I felt that I would be torn on what decision I would make, but ultimately it is their undoing.

I can't remember ever reading Barbara Delinsky, but can't imagine I haven't. I enjoyed this book so much and equally that I could drive while reading, killing two birds with one stone. I am sold on audio books and will always try to have some in the car for the car rides that I tend to take every couple weeks. I am also really excited to read Barbara Delinsky's other books. Such wonderful depth and emotion.

Summary -
Nothing will break this mother-daughter bond. Not even the truth.

Deborah Monroe and her daughter, Grace, are driving home from a party when their car hits a man running in the dark. Grace was at the wheel, but Deborah sends her home before the police arrive, determined to shoulder the blame for the accident. Her decision then turns into a deception that takes on a life of its own and threatens the special bond between mother and daughter.

The Secret Between Us is an unforgettable story about making bad choices for the right reasons and the terrible consequences of a lie gone wrong. Once again, Barbara Delinksy has delivered a riveting study of family and a superbly crafted novel, perfectly targeted to reading groups and fans of provocative fiction.

What about you? Ever try audio books?

Wordlesss Wednesday - Blue Herons

I have been watching these blue heron's for the past couple of weeks. I noticed them when I first moved in, though at the time I thought there was only one, but in fact, there are FOUR. I have a whole family of blue herons living in the lake behind my little town home. How lucky am I? Though Tuesday (cat) just wants to catch them and eat them, but hey, she will learn to enjoy the view too.

Wordless Wednesday

Review - The Ninth Wife by Amy Stolls

Title: The Ninth Wife
Author: Amy Stolls
Publish Date: May 5, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Adult Fiction; 496 Pages
ISBN: 9780061851896

GoodReads Link
Barnes and Noble

Up until halfway through the book, I found myself a little bored, a little distracted and trying to figure out where this book was going and if there would be any kind of climax.

Contrary to the title's thought process, it isn't about a plural marriage. It's actually about a man who has been married eight times and comes across his ninth wife who is wondering how and why anyone would be married that many times. On top of that, she wants to know why they would want to be married again.

I followed Rory's story and many times I would think, Dude (yes, that word) is this guy dense or what? And then I would find the author actually wrote that in the next paragraph - which made me fond of the book and of Rory's character. I liked that he knew he was making a mistake. He knew that he was fallible. It was probably his fourth wife that I started to realize what a true romantic Rory really is (even though this was stated a few times already, in the book, I didn't believe it). He really wanted to love someone for life and be loved for life. He just never found the person who would do that with/for him. I found this sad and yet, the fact that he kept trying, kept believing, made me like Rory that much more. His mistakes then turned into hope.

Bess, is his proposed to (possible) ninth wife. She has had an interesting life. She was raised by her grandparents who fight all the time and it drives her nuts. Her grandmother constantly tells her grandfather what to do and her grandfather has a secret in the basement that is too good to reveal here. (sorry, you have to read it) I simply love the part (and maybe this is why and when I became entranced with this book) when Bess decides to go and meet these previous wives and ask them why. Why did they marry Rory, why did they break up. I love her guts to even embark on this journey, let alone her continuing and following up with it and not chickening out. I could see many women thinking this is a great idea, but then thinking it's crazy, yet if you want to marry someone wouldn't you go to the ends of the earth to find out if it's good?

These are some of my favorite excerpts -
"I don't want to go home," she says, quietly, not meeting his eyes. She crosses the room and sits on the bed. He closes the door and sits by her. He waits for her to speak. She lies down on the bed in a fetal position, slides a pillow under her head and holds her stomach. "You are a story teller. Tell me the story of your married life."
"Are you sure you want to hear it?" He touches her leg. She doesn't recoil.

People say I don't have to rush into marriage. But the way I see it, why prolong? Dao and I waited more than three years and she still left me. And it's true. Gloria left me after a short marriage, but there were reasons I'm aware of then, even from the first moment. I still imagine myself with a woman I can grow old with. i want to be able to look back on my life and see how much we shared. It's what my parents had and I think I've always been searching for that. But already more than half my life is over. That's a sobering thought.
At first I kept thinking that Bess should run as fast as she could away from this man, Rory. He was a mess and didn't seem to be able to communicate outside of his music. He was very much a child, but as his story unfolds I see the vulnerability he only offers up if you stay and listen to his life. I realize the need and want of love. It was a beautiful thing and before I knew it, I was hoping for them to get married.

Though this book got off to a slow start, I really took this book to heart. It has quite a few things one can learn and instill in a relationship, even if a few are about what not to do. I felt for each of these characters for so many different reasons, but above all I wanted them all to be in love and happy in the end. The Ninth Wife is a prime example of how do I rate a book on a scale when it meets so many other criterion that is unmeasurable?

Summary -

What sane woman would consider becoming any man's ninth wife?

Bess Gray is a thirty-five-year-old folklorist and amateur martial artist living in Washington, DC. Just as she's about to give up all hope of marriage, she meets Rory, a charming Irish musician, and they fall in love. But Rory is a man with a secret, which he confesses to Bess when he asks for her hand: He's been married eight times before. Shocked, Bess embarks on a quest she feels she must undertake before she can give him an answer. With her bickering grandparents (married sixty-five years), her gay neighbor (himself a mystery), a shar-pei named Stella, and a mannequin named Peace, Bess sets out on a cross-country journey—unbeknownst to Rory—to seek out and question the wives who came before. What she discovers about her own past is far more than she bargained for.

Namaste for TWO

I walk into Yoga class and as I am stretching and breathing and getting into the whole, "I am now in yoga class so focus" mental routine. In waddles (I am so sorry, but really) a pregnant woman. And not just a little baby bump, I am talking about a couple of watermelons (again extremely sorry to all preggers ladies). It is just she had the belly on her.

All through class, here I am trying in vain to stand on my left foot, hold my right foot and then stretch my right foot out in front. My balance is getting way better, but my legs just do not want to extend. I hear some twittering behind me, enough to kill a little harmony, so I stop and turn. This pregnant woman has the most serene look on her face and not only is she doing the stand perfectly, but with her eyes closed.

Have you ever tried to stand on one foot and then do it with your eyes closed??? HUGE DIFFERENCE and way harder, I might add.

Then we did this thing where we did downward dog against the wall, heels to the baseboard and pushed our feet up the wall so that one foot in on the baseboard and the other is inching it's way up the wall forcing us to hold our downward dog hands while balancing on the one foot. I was doing really well with my first foot, then I come down and see our pregnant lady is all the way against the wall, belly to the wall, peeps. GASP! She's so flexible. This is when I hear a few, "I can't even do that for one, let alone two!"

Now, I love that this woman came to our class. I DO! Swear! I love even more that she was able to inspire me and make me realize that pregnant woman CAN do real yoga. I'll be honest, I thought it was yoga based on birth and whatnot. NOPE! These ladies are serious.

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a Meme created and linked up from Story Siren every Sunday. Check out her fun and entertaining and ALWAYS INFORMATIVE vlog. List and display any books you bought, received, checkout, etc.

Hard Copy -
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris (#11 in the Sookie Stackhouse series - LOVE IT!!)

From the Digital Library -
The Host by Stephenie Meyers
1st To Die by James Patterson (First in the series of The Women's Murder Club) FYI: #10 came out this week, Mon called 10th Anniversary

After reading 1st To Die by James Patterson, I got lucky at the used bookstore and found Books 2, 3 and 4 for one dollar each!!