Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.
For us in Western Mass this weekend was the blizzard that wasn't. Most of the snow stayed to our south; though we did get around three inches. I am glad for it, but feel badly for those states that got truly pounded by the elements.
Last week was filled with book surprises. I had agreed to hold a giveaway for a book (Fallen Land), but the publisher kindly sent two copies so I could have one for myself (they knew it would be a while before I would get to it). Then a book that had been delayed arrived. Finally, Vannetta Chapman, whose street team I am on for 2016 sent me a book package that included all kinds of goodies.
How to make home your family's favorite place to be . . . all year long. Does your home sometimes feel like just a place to eat, sleep, and change clothes on the way to the next activity? Do you long for "home" to mean more than a place where you stash your stuff? Wouldn't you love it to become a haven of warmth, rest, and joy . . . the one place where you and your family can't wait to be?There is good news waiting for you in the pages of "The Lifegiving Home." Every day of your family's life can be as special and important to you as it already is to God. In this unique book designed to help your family enjoy and celebrate every month of the year together, you'll discover the secrets of a life-giving home from a mother who created one and her daughter who was raised in it: popular authors Sally and Sarah Clarkson. Together they offer a rich treasure of wise advice, spiritual principles, and practical suggestions. You'll embark on a new path to creating special memories for your children; establishing home-building and God-centered traditions; and cultivating an environment in which your family will flourish. (Don't miss the companion piece, "The Lifegiving Home Experience.")
Fallen Land is Taylor Brown's debut novel set in the final year of the Civil War, as a young couple on horseback flees a dangerous band of marauders who seek a bounty reward.
Callum, a seasoned horse thief at fifteen years old, came to America from his native Ireland as an orphan. Ava, her father and brother lost to the war, hides in her crumbling home until Callum determines to rescue her from the bands of hungry soldiers pillaging the land, leaving destruction in their wake. Ava and Callum have only each other in the world and their remarkable horse, Reiver, who carries them through the destruction that is the South.
Pursued relentlessly by a murderous slave hunter, tracking dogs, and ruthless ex-partisan rangers, the couple race through a beautiful but ruined land, surviving on food they glean from abandoned farms and the occasional kindness of strangers.
In the end, as they intersect with the scorching destruction of Sherman's March, the couple seek a safe haven where they can make a home and begin to rebuild their lives.
Dramatic and thrillingly written with an uncanny eye for glimpses of beauty in a ravaged landscape, Fallen Land is a love story at its core, and an unusually assured first novel by award-winning young author Taylor Brown.
Anna's Healing is the first book in a brand-new collection from popular author Vannetta Chapman. These stories of love and family and Amish community in Oklahoma tell of the miracles that can happen when lives are lived in service to God and to one another.
When a tornado strikes the farms surrounding Cody's Creek, Anna Schwartz's life is changed forever. She suffers a spinal cord injury and suddenly finds herself learning to live as a paraplegic.
Three people--Chloe Roberts, Jacob Graber, and Ruth Schwartz--join forces to help Anna through her darkest days. Chloe is an Englischer who writes for the local paper. Jacob has recently arrived in town and stays on as a hired hand at her uncle's. And Ruth is her grandmother, a woman of deep faith and a compassionate spirit.
Then one morning Anna wakes and finds herself healed. How did it happen? Why did it happen? And what is she to do now? Her life is again turned upside down as the world's attention is drawn to this young Amish girl who has experienced the unexplainable.
I also picked up the following Kindle freebie.
Things are going great for Lexy Baker. She's finally opened her dream bakery, gotten rid of her cheating boyfriend and settled into her grandmothers house with her perky dog Sprinkles at her side.
But her blissful life doesn't last long. When her ex boyfriend is found poisoned with cupcakes from her bakery, Lexy finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation headed up by her hunky neighbor detective Jack Perillo.
With the help of a gang of iPad toting, would-be detective grandmothers, Lexy decides to take it upon herself to find the real murderer in order to clear her name and get her bakery back in business.
As things heat up on the murder trail, in the kitchen and between Lexy and the hunky detective, it's a race against time to put the real murderer behind bars and get back to baking.
Will Lexy get her man?
What was in your mailbox this week?