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Sunday, May 24, 2015

It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday May 25, 2015

This meme starts at Book Journey! My prayers continue for Sheila as she struggles to regain her footing in a world forever changed for her family. I am glad to see she is reading and blogging a bit.

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I plan to take time Monday to remember our Service men and women and give thanks for all they do.
Can you believe it is almost the end of May?  My office is still busy. We have a massive State Data Call due June 1 that we have been working on and will upload this week.

My reading was good if not alot. I only finished two books, one ebook and one audio.   I posted three reviews (one with giveaway) and posted the usual memes. :-)

I visited early in the week but then had computer troubles again as well as being tired at night.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
Finished Reading:
1. Audible

Virgin River
Written by: Robyn Carr
Narrated by: Therese Plummer
This was an enjoyable listen.
I won't get this review posted until next week due to three scheduled blog tours this week. 
Click on book title for full description.

2. Kindle

Grey (The Romany Outcasts Series, Book 1)
by Christi J. Whitney
This has unique elements and is an engaging story.
I will post the review on May 27 as part of Pump Up Your Book Tour.
Book Description
Publication Date: April 30, 2015
Sebastian Grey dreams of a girl. But when she turns up at school, Sebastian realises that this isn’t your average teenage fantasy.
Sebastian Grey always thought he was a fairly normal teenager – good friends, decent grades, and a pretty sweet job in his foster brother’s tattoo shop.
But when strangers arrive in town, Sebastian soon realizes that his world is nothing at all what it seemed. Secretive gypsies surround him, shadowy figures stalk him, and the girl he’s been dreaming about turns up at school.
Now Sebastian must protect this girl at all costs, even if it means he will never be normal again.

Currently reading:
1. eBook/Kindle

The Clockwork Crown (Clockwork Dagger Novels Book 2)
by Beth Cato
I am about 25% in this and enjoying it.
I will post my review on May 29
as part of Pump Up Your Book Tour.
Book Description
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Rich in atmosphere, imagination, and fun, the action-packed, magic-filled sequel to The Clockwork Dagger is an enchanting steampunk fantasy, evocative of the works of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.

Narrowly surviving assassination and capture, Octavia Leander, a powerful magical healer, is on the run with handsome Alonzo Garrett, the Clockwork Dagger who forfeited his career with the Queen’s secret society of spies and killers—and possibly his life—to save her. Now, they are on a dangerous quest to find safety and answers: Why is Octavia so powerful? Why does she seem to be undergoing a transformation unlike any witnessed for hundreds of years?

The truth may rest with the source of her mysterious healing power—the Lady’s Tree. But the tree lies somewhere in a rough, inhospitable territory known as the Waste. Eons ago, this land was made barren and uninhabitable by an evil spell, until a few hardy souls dared to return over the last century. For years, the Waste has waged a bloody battle against the royal court to win its independence—and they need Octavia’s powers to succeed.

Joined by unlikely allies, including a menagerie of gremlin companions, she must evade killers and Clockwork Daggers on a dangerous journey through a world on the brink of deadly civil war.

2. eBook/Kindle

Passionately Yours (The Hellions of High Street)
by Cara Elliott

I really enjoyed the first two books and am looking forward to this.
Review and Giveaway to post on May 30. I received this from Hachette/Forever.
Proper young ladies of the ton-especially ones who have very small dowries-are not encouraged to have an interest in intellectual pursuits. Indeed, the only things they are encouraged to pursue are eligible bachelors. So, the headstrong Sloane sisters must keep their passions a secret. Ah, but secret passions are wont to lead a lady into trouble . . .
With her older sisters both happily married, Caro Sloane yearns for a romantic adventure of her own. Unfortunately the muddy, sulfur-scented waters of Bath seem the least likely setting for love or excitement. But the aspiring young poet soon finds inspiration when she runs into a familiar-and achingly handsome-Scottish laird.
Visiting Bath with his sickly sister, Alec McClellan is shocked to be reunited with Caro Sloane. He hasn't been able to forget the English beauty since their brief but exhilarating first meeting. But Bath is not nearly as serene as it appears, and soon Alec must protect Caro from a danger that threatens to extinguish the sparks flying between them. Little does he know that a bit of danger is exactly what Caro is looking for . . .

3. Print

The Cancer Solution: Taking Charge of Your Life with Cancer
by Jack C. Westman M.D. M.S.
I am now 3/4 of the way through this.
I am taking time to digest the information.
I received this for review through The Cadence Group.
Click on book title for full description.

4. Audible/MP3

The Tempting of Thomas Carrick: The Cynster Novels, Book 21
Written by: Stephanie Laurens
Narrated by: Matthew Brenher
I am enjoying the beginning of this story.
I selected this title through Audiobook Jukebox.
Publisher's Summary
What happens when fate, love, and passion collide?
The number one New York Times best-selling author Stephanie Laurens returns to Scotland with a tale of two lovers irrevocably linked by destiny and passion.
Thomas Carrick is a gentleman driven to control all aspects of his life. As the wealthy owner of Carrick Enterprises, located in bustling Glasgow, he is one of that city's most eligible bachelors and fully intends to select an appropriate wife from the many young ladies paraded before him. He wants to take that necessary next step along his self-determined path, yet no young lady captures his eye, much less his attention - not in the way Lucilla Cynster does, even though she lives miles away.
For over two years, Thomas has avoided his clan's estate because it borders Lucilla's home, but disturbing reports from his clansmen force him to return to the countryside - only to discover that his uncle, the laird, is ailing, a clan family is desperately ill, and the clan healer is unconscious and dying. Duty to the clan leaves Thomas no choice but to seek help from the last woman he wants to face.
Strong-willed and passionate, Lucilla has been waiting - increasingly impatient - for Thomas to return and claim his rightful place by her side. She knows he is hers - her fated lover, husband, protector, and mate. He is the only man for her, just as she is his one true love. And, at last, he's back. Even though his returning wasn't on her account, Lucilla is willing to seize whatever chance fate hands her.
Thomas can never forget Lucilla, much less the connection that seethes between them, but to marry her would mean embracing a life he's adamant he does not want.
Lucilla sees that Thomas has yet to accept the inevitability of their union. But how can he ignore a bond such as theirs - one so much stronger than reason?
©2015 Savdek Management Proprietary Limited (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

5. eBook/Kindle

by Abigail Schwaig
I started this and then looked at my schedule and realized I needed to read books due for review so this is on hold till the end of the week.
I received this from the Author at EPICon 2015.
Click on book title for full description.

5/3/15- I am up to date on Bible reading but not the daily Devotions. I am only reading those sporadically.
I am reading The One Year Bible again along with my husband and others from our church. I am also listening to the companion commentary online. -- Really enjoying my Bible reading. It seems my eyes are open to more details and meaning. To go a step beyond the Bible reading I am also reading Jesus Daily 365 Interactive Devotions.

May Scheduled -
No specific date: The Cancer Solution by Jack C. Westman
5/27/15 Tour Review Grey (The Romany Outcasts Series, Book 1) by Christi J. Whitney
5/28/15 Tour Review The Clockwork Crown (Clockwork Dagger Novels Book 2) by Beth Cato
5/30/15 Tour Review and Giveaway: Passionately Yours (The Hellions of High Street) by Cara Elliott

I posted three reviews last week which still left two audios that I plan to post together. I also have three tour titles to post this week.
I still have have three NetGalley titles for tours, two of which will post this week, and two separate selections.  I hope to get to a TBR eBook again next week.

Welcome to Mailbox Monday.

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.  This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday. Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. 

I received two review titles this week and one print win.
Of course I downloaded more free kindle titles to my library.
Oops! I keep forgetting to include the SYNC YA Audiobooks - there are really great pairings!
(Although I have gotten to a couple, I still have many author requests, old and new ones, to consider and reply to.)
Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles
Received from the author for tour with Pump Up Your Book for Review 6/17:

The Ark
by Laura Liddell Nolen
There’s a meteor headed for Earth, and there is only one way to survive.

Received from Blackstone Audio through Audiobook Jukebox.
Diamond Rings are Deadly Things: The Wedding Planner Mysteries, Book 1
Written by: Rachelle J. Christensen
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
This looks like a fun Cozy Mystery
although it is described as Romantic Suspense..
"With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor, and spine-tingling thrills, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things is a romantic suspense novel that will keep you listening long into the night."


I won this title at a COYER Giveaway from Kristen at
The Book Monsters
The win was a choice of print book under $15.00
I am not sure where I saw this title but it caught my eye but it looked like a good Romantic Suspense.
DO NOT TELL ME NO (Intrepid Women Book 1)
by Kathryn Jane
Thank you Kristen!

I resisted again this week. :-)

Free Downloads from AudioFile SYNC 2015.

by Terry Pratchett
Read by Stephen Briggs
Great Expectations
by Charles Dickens
Read by Anton Lesser

Over the past week I added 42 free Kindle titles to my library - again I had a lot of the offered titles. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday Words of Encouragement May 24, 2015

Today was a full day at Church. We honored our high school and college graduates, remembered our service men and women and celebrated Pentecost. Both our Sunday School teacher and our Pastor spoke on Pentecost.

Our SS teacher noted that Pentecost actually means fiftieth day after Passover. However the modern church recognizes Pentecostal as ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’. The original Pentecost was acknowledged in Leviticus as the day to celebrate the first fruits of the harvest (Feast of Weeks or Feast of Harvest). Leviticus 23:15-23. The day was fifty days after the angel of death passed over the Israelites in Egypt (Passover) because the Lamb’s blood was sprinkled on their doors. In Leviticus the law was written on stone.

After the resurrection of Jesus, he returned to the disciples to teach them for forty days. He left them saying to “wait”, that he would send a helper. Ten days later the people gathered to celebrate the Shavuot, the Feast of Harvest. God used that gathering time to give the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was fifty days after the blood of Jesus Christ was shed for our sins. Jesus was the first fruit and this time the message and power was written on our hearts.

Peter went through a transformation as this was the birth of the church. Acts 2. The Power was given to speak of the mighty deeds of God (verse 11). Peter spoke out boldly telling the people what they needed to do: repent, get baptized and receive the Holy Spirit (verse 38). The first Pentecost was about works; the second Pentecost was about faith. Too many people (and churches) deny the power of the Spirit so that we are as Timothy said of the last days: people will be ... “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3-4:5 NIV.

Pastor’s sermon was titled: The Guidance of the Holy Spirit. We don’t have directions as we go through life. “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;...” Isaiah 53:6 NIV. People often wander around lost because pride keeps them from asking for help. We have all learned that GPS is not always right and maps may be out of date. The best guide is a knowledgeable person. We need guidance daily! The guidance of the Spirit is for each person and specialized for each person.

Joshua told the people to follow the presence of God (the Ark) because “ Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” Joshua 3:2-4. Ask God to guide you each day so that you will stay on the path He has for you.

I was going to post Holy Spirit Rain Down which we sang this morning. 
Then I found this song to post instead.
Welcome Holy Spirit.

A Verse for Today:
Psalm 32:8(NIV)
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Thank you Lord for sending Your Holy Spirit to guide me in my earthly walk. Thank you too that I find fresh insight the more I read my Bible and study Your Word.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sharing Beyond Books #204 Comment Giveaway May 23, 2015

Hello again on Saturday night and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!

Whew- another busy week. I have another major data project needed for State filing so that is taking extra time.  We had a nice dinner over at our daughter's house tonight.
I had one night this week without internet again so I went to bed early. That seems to have thrown off my sleeping so I am waking up in the middle of the night. I listen to my audio book but I'm not getting the sleep I need. I hope I can get back in sync tonight.

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.
Most all of us are perfectly happy with our names but there were wonderful names shared. Three commenters chose Sara or Sarah and threes chose Elizabeth. Two chose Isabella and two chose flower names. The other names were fairly unique.

The regular Winner from SBB #203 comments is: #3 Miki who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the Updated ARC/Review titles or (not yet updated) Love titles - all linked near the end of the post. I'm hoping to update the book choices this week. Please let me know your choice by completing the (new) WINNER FORM.

WEEK #204 (One Question.)

Q1. Abby asks: Have you ever come across a song that you feel goes perfectly with a book/movie (must not already be on the soundtrack)??
A: This is a very hard question for me since I don't listen to music too much - except for praise and worship. I have heard some wonderful scores though --  I love the haunting Gael music ("Promentory" by Trevor Jones) from Last of the Mohicans and Enya's May it Be at the end of LOTR.  But a song I am sure would fit with some book - I just don't know which but maybe an Outlander title or a Poison Study title? - is My Immortal by Evanescence.
I know the question is to pick a song NOT ALREADY IN A MOVIE SOUNDTRACK
but I still liked this image. :-)
Image found at Consequence of Sound

Thanks to those who are sending in Questions. DON'T BE SHY! Surely everyone has a Q or two you'd like to ask. Input suggestions in this Suggested Question Form. At the end of each month I draw from the suggestions I used during the month and that person will get a book choice or GC. I thank everyone for submitting questions. Thanks for sending in questions! We still have a supply of questions but from the same people so hopefully others will send more in -- even if they are duplicates I'll weed through or try to modify to use.

Your turn to share:
Q1. Abby asks: Have you ever come across a song that you feel goes perfectly with a book/movie (must not already be on the soundtrack)??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the  Valentine and "Love" books or the February 2015 Newly Updated ARC/Review List. (My daughter pulled several of the Christmas titles to give with gift bags we made up for the nursing homes. One of these days I will get together a new box of Christmas titles.)

SBB Rules:
a) Must be a follower.
b) Share a comment on either of the two questions above.
Open internationally and an international winner may get a smaller book or a $5.00 GC if I decide the mailing is too much.
I will pick a Comment winner from all comments made through Saturday May 30, 2015 at 5 PM  central.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway May 22, 2015

Oh - Thank goodness it's Friday!
This was another busy week at work with lots of daily projects. We keep plugging away at the files. Last week we had to get documents ready and scanned for annual audit and now we are back working on a massive report due to the State in early June.
Meanwhile storms knocked out our internet at home yesterday.
I hope my blog friends are staying safe as you prepare for summer (or winter for those on the far side).

US Entrants: Leave a comment and tell me WHICH BOOK you would like to get from the Friday Pick lists.
INTERNATIONAL: Leave a comment indicating "Gift Card" (see further comments near the end of the post.)

CUT OFF TIME IS THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 9:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up to late to do the winner post! I will randomly pick two winners to announce Friday mornings with the next Pick post.

Thank you to all who entered the May 15 Pick. There was only one automatic win again this week.  Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times without other people asking for that book during those weeks. There were no titles blocked.
Becky gets The Darkroom

to picked Winners from May 8 Pick:
Mariska gets a GC
Sue F gets The Last Two Bachelors

All winners please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me to confirm your win, send your snail mail address information and let me know if you would like bookmarks - sensual, sexy or sweet bookmarks. {The form is new because Google changed their forms and the old one wasn't letting me print out the responses.}
I wish we had a whirlwind of books instead of storms of damage.

New Book Group #57 May 1, 2015
(I'll finish the list with authors on Saturday 5/2/15)
Virginia Henley: The Dragon and the Jewel and Tempted
Jude Deveraux: The Invitation and Remembrance
Nora Roberts: The Heart of Devin MacKade and the Pride of Jared MacKade
A Little Better Bit Wild by Victoria Dahl
Veil of Night by Lydia Joyce
World's Greatest Dad by Marie Ferrarella
The Ruthless Greek's Virgin Princess
Skin Game by Ava Gray
Special Agent
Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spears
Dean in The Water by Stuart Woods - Cassette Tapes
Rally Fever
Jack with a Twist by Brenda Janowitz

New Book Group #56 March 20, 2015
(I'll try to get the rest linked another day.)
Dick Francis: A Jockey's Life and Proof (spine creases)
Catherine Lanigan: Tender Malice and Elusive Love (spine creases)
Parent Trap Anthology, Dallas Schulze, Lisa Jackson, Kasey Michaels
Madison Avenue Marriage (Silhouette Desire #129) by Cassandra Bishop
The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
Ain't Myth-Behaving by Kate MacAlister
Death at Play by Nancy Gotter Gates
Where is He Now? by Jennifer Greene
Raintree Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (spine creases)
Aphrodite's Secret by Julie Kenner
Virtually His by Gennita Low
Dead Even by Brad Metzger
Mommy Midwife by Cassie Miles
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

New Book Group #55 February 5, 2015
(I'll try to get the rest linked another day.)

Virginia Henley: The Pirate and the Pagan (spine creases) and The Falcon and the Flower
James Patterson: London Bridges and Roses are Red (both spine creases)
Pale Kings and Princes by Robert Parker Audio Cassette Tapes
Hour Game by David Baldacci (spine creases)
If I Had You by Deborah Bedford
The Girl With the Golden Spurs by Ann Major
Can't Take My Eyes Off of You by Kasey Michaels
Dark Possession by Christine Feehan
Daisy's Back in Town by Rachel Gibson
The Man Who Ate the 747 by Ben Sherwood
Paradise Bay by James Michael Pratt
The Last Two Bachelors by Debbie Macomber
Exclusive Anthology by Fiona Hood-Stewart, Sharon Kendrick and Jackie Braun
Duets Romantic Comedy: Lady and the Scamp by Candy Halliday & The Doctor Dilemma by Dianne Drake

New Book Group #54 December 26, 2014

Lisa Gardner: Alone and Gone
Janet Evanovich: Eleven on Top and Twelve Sharp
Stuart Wood: L.A. Dead and Fresh Disasters
Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card - Tape Cassettes

BOX 4 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 47-53)

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty byVickie Kennedy
First to Fight Anthology
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
The Awakening and Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin
Maybe This Time by Victoria Barrett
The Commander by Kate Bridges
The Cinderella Plan by Margaret Daley
The Mr. & Mrs. Happy Handbook by Steve Doocy
A Garden of Friends by Penny Pierce Rose
Intrepid Encounter by Rebecca Ashley
A Stranger's Wife by Maggie Osborne
Richard Paul Evans PAIR: The Looking Glass and The Carousel
Duo Book: Yesterday's Memories by Tara Taylor Quinn and Amanda Stevens
At The Stroke of Madness by Alex Kava
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle
Catherine Anderson PAIR: Seventh Heaven and Always in My Heart
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot
Sleeping with Ward Cleaver by Jenny Gardiner

BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)

Touched by Fire by Kathleen O'Reilly
Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
It All Began at Monte Carlo by Elizabeth Adler
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)
Mariah Stewart PAIR: Priceless and Brown-Eyed Girl
Cattle Rancher, Secret Son by Margaret Way
Whisper on the Wind by Joan Smith
Fulfillment by Barbara Delinsky
Trouble Becomes Her by Laura Van Wormer
Remember Me by Mary Higgins Clark
Diana Palmer PAIR: Diamond Spur, Long Tall Texan
A Lady of Consequence by Mary Nichols
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain
Illegal Possession by Kay Hooper

BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)

Final Justice by Jasmine Cresswell
Thinner by Stephen King
Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov
Mary Higgins Clark PAIR: Let Me Call You Sweetheart and Moonlight Becomes You (SC)
Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
Dancing on Snowflakes by Jane Bonander
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)
A Courtesans Guide to Getting Your Man by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley -- NOTE This book has dog bite damage; it is missing half back cover and the edges of pages in the back third of the book... it does not effect the text but I will understand if no one wants this one
The Millionaire's Daughter by Sophie Weston
Tara Taylor Quinn: Father: Unknown and McGillus v.Wright
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe
Anthology: Something Borrowed, Something Blue - this book has spine creases and minor water damage...I thought I had read it and liked it but now I realize it was another anthology I read with Elaine Barbier.
Bride by Command by Linda Winstead Jones
Awaken the Senses by Nalini Singh

BOX #1 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 1- 23)

Circle of Stars by Anna Lee Waldo
One Eye Closed by Karen Whiddon
The Darkroom by Minette Walters
Prey by Michael Crichton - Audio Tape
Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester
McNally's Puzzle by Lawrence Sanders
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser
Death Angel by Linda Howard

If you saw the pictures posted of my bookshelves and boxes you know I do have lots of books! And that doesn't include the other eight or so boxes at my office!! And more books as I find deals too good to pass up! I am sharing my book bounty by these Friday Pick Giveaways.

I started Friday Pick on November 27, 2009 and in five+ years I have posted 54 groups of 16 (864) books to find new homes! (as of February 6, 2015).

I am happy to say that so far about 818+ books have found new homes! YAY. I have to update my print out to check the exact number sent out - a few were never claimed. I periodically update the lists - deleting those won. You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see older posts and the older lists book pictures if you want!

Note rules here regarding international entries.
Because postage to overseas can be prohibitive I am willing to give a $5.00 book certificate to international winners - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, ARe, TWRP, ClassAct Books, eTreasures, Desert Breeze, tell me where and I'll set it up. So for my overseas visitors your comment may indicate a smaller book and I'll check postage or note your choice of gift card.

I learned that The Book Depository does not ship to everywhere. The postage for some of the books to far away places runs between $7.00 and $10.00 and up. Since I would award $5.00 for The Book Depository to an international winner, as an alternative you may choose a smaller book and we will hope the postage will not exceed $6.00. If the postage is more, or if you want to pick a larger book and you are willing to pay any extra postage beyond the $6.00 I will work with you on that. This may not make a difference to many but if it helps one or two of you to give one of my books a home that will make me happy too. :o)

Repeating this helpful blog tip: You can right click on a link and you will be given the choice to open the link in a new window or tab so you do not navigate away from the screen you are on!! I use this all the time!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Book Review: Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey

This is a wonderfully evocative dual romance: a touching love story in 1942 London woven with the lives of a 2011 London couple.
by Iona Grey
  • File Size: 791 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (May 26, 2015)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • ASIN: B00P5RA580
  • Genre: Romance
  • My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
An accomplished novel from a talented writer, Letters to the Lost is a stunning, emotional love story. Iona Grey's prose is warm, evocative, and immediately engaging; her characters become so real you can't bear to let them go.
I promised to love you forever, in a time when I didn't know if I'd live to see the start of another week. Now it looks like forever is finally running out. I never stopped loving you. I tried, for the sake of my own sanity, but I never even got close, and I never stopped hoping either.
Late on a frozen February evening, a young woman is running through the streets of London. Having fled from her abusive boyfriend and with nowhere to go, Jess stumbles onto a forgotten lane where a small, clearly unlived in old house offers her best chance of shelter for the night. The next morning, a mysterious letter arrives and when she can't help but open it, she finds herself drawn inexorably into the story of two lovers from another time.
In London 1942, Stella meets Dan, a US airman, quite by accident, but there is no denying the impossible, unstoppable attraction that draws them together. Dan is a B-17 pilot flying his bomber into Europe from a British airbase; his odds of survival are one in five. In the midst of such uncertainty, the one thing they hold onto is the letters they write to each other. Fate is unkind and they are separated by decades and continents. In the present, Jess becomes determined to find out what happened to them. Her hope--inspired by a love so powerful it spans a lifetime--will lead her to find a startling redemption in her own life in this powerfully moving novel.

Jess escapes from her abusive boyfriend by running into the night. She eventually stumbles down a dark street and finds a deserted house where she hides until she hears his feet fade away. Having no where to go she sneaks into the house for shelter. The next morning she is pondering what to do when a letter is passed through the mail slot. It is clear that no one has lived in the house for quite a while and she is curious about the mail. Amidst all of the junk mail to 'Nancy' or Occupant comes the new letter addressed to 'Stella' and marked personal and confidential. Jess decides to check it out since it looks so important. She is surprised to find that the letter seeks a long lost loved one. As Jess continues to hide she finds a box of letters hidden in the bedroom. Reading them she finds herself mesmerized by the one sided tale of a love story between British Stella and American pilot, Dan.

Will works for an ancestry trace office and is looking for Nancy. He spots Stella one day but she claims no knowledge. Will perseveres and becomes friends with an elderly neighbor who tells him about Nancy and produces a key to the vacant house. When Will goes to inspect the place he discovers Jess almost dead. He gets her to the hospital and stays to see that she is alright. He is drawn to the frail girl and disappointed when she calls him “Dan” in a moment of delirium. When she awakens she explains about the letters. Together they begin a search for Stella in hoes that they can put her in touch with Dan before illness ends their chance to see each other one more time.

The story shifts scenes from 1942 to 2011 with glimpses of both sets of characters and their growing feelings. I like this technique of weaving two separate relationships. It is like a mystery unfolding or putting pieces of a puzzle together until the full picture is revealed.

Although there are some haunting similarities between Jess and Stella there are also major changes in the societies they have to cope in. Dan and Will are different in temperaments, one eager to enjoy life and the other moody. But when it comes to protecting a woman they have chosen they are quite similar. There is joy with anticipation and hope and shattering heartbreak with fear and despair. The characters are beautifully developed and the settings for the most part accurately portrayed. The writing is beautifully evocative and gave me a sense of being there.

I don’t always like ‘drama’ in my reading but in this book I was completely engaged by both the historic love story and the modern one. This is a debut novel and I certainly would be interested in more by Ms. Grey. I recommend this to readers who love a tender romance because here you get two, one with lovely history!

I am glad I selected this through NetGalley because it sounded interesting and it is beautiful. This will add to my NetGalley Challenge.

About the author:
IONA GREY has a degree in English Literature and Language from Manchester University, an obsession with history and an enduring fascination with the lives of women in the twentieth century. She lives in rural Cheshire with her husband and three daughters.


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