I live in New York City and I'm surrounded by books all day and when I go home I have more books waiting for me. Read my "About" page on top to see what I mean. I just want to share my book experiences and my love of all-things-books, with hopefully the occasional review thrown in. If you wish to contact me, the address is polishoutlanderATgmailDOTcom

In My Mailbox (58)

So this is an accumulation of books from the last month-and-a-half. Yikes!

First, from PaperBackSwap:

Ned Henry is badly in need of a rest. He’s been shuttling between the 21st century and the 1940s searching for a Victorian atrocity called the bishop’s bird stump. It’s part of a project to restore the famed Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in a Nazi air raid over a hundred years earlier. But then Verity Kindle, a fellow time traveler, inadvertently brings back something from the past. Now Ned must jump back to the Victorian era to help Verity put things right–not only to save the project but to prevent altering history itself. (I never heard of this book, and only found out about it while reading www.tor.com )

In this coming-of-age story set in a medieval kingdom, Andrea is a headstrong princess longing to be a knight who finds her way to modern-day California. But her accidental return to her family’s kingdom and a disastrous romance brings war, along with her discovery of some dark family secrets. Readers will love this mix of traditional fantasy elements with unique twists and will identify with Andrea and her difficult choices between duty and desire.

Octavia Voss is an ethereal singer whose poise and talent belie her young age. In truth, she is a centuries-old vampire who once “shared the tooth” with Mozart himself. To protect her secret, Octavia’s even more ancient friend Ugo stalks the streets to find the elixir that feeds his muse’s soul. With Mozart’s musical prowess coursing through her veins, the ageless Octavia reinvents herself with each new generation. But just as she prepares to take the stage at La Scala, Ugo inexplicably disappears, leaving Octavia alone–and dangerously unprotected. . .Octavia vows to find Ugo, but his fate is in the hands of forces much darker than she could ever imagine. And when she learns the truth behind his disappearance, Octavia realizes too late that the life hanging most in the balance is her own. . . (I had first heard about this book on Velvet’s blog. Interesting premise. Maybe this will be read shortly, as I am in the midst of reading more vampire books now.)

Alisa has spent the past five thousand years as a vampire, living alone and fighting for survival. In her loneliness, Alisa cannot resist bringing Teri – a descendant of her human family – into her life. But Alisa is surrounded by death and destruction, and just by knowing Alisa, Teri’s life is at risk.  Alisa’s guilt grows when she becomes involved in a dangerous conspiracy. A top-secret group knows Alisa’s secret and will stop at nothing to use her powers for their cause. As Alisa desperately tries to protect herself and Teri from the unknown enemy, she discovers a force more powerful and more lethal than anything she has ever seen. Alisa doesn’t know who to trust, who to challenge, or who she will become...(And speaking of vampires….this is what I’m reading now. Thoughts on this and the previous volume coming soon.)

Remember that book you read at that time in your life when everything seemed to be going crazy—the one book that brought the world into focus and helped soothe your raging teenage angst? (Discovered this a while ago while reading the column Fine Lines on Jezebel.)

And now, as per usual, I do some shopping at conferences, usually on the last day. Despite the busyness at NCTE, I was able to go and browse other publishers’ booths and see what they had available:

Spunky, strong-willed eleven-year-old Mirka Herschberg isn’t interested in knitting lessons from her stepmother, or how-to-find-a-husband advice from her sister, or you-better-not warnings from her brother. There’s only one thing she does want: to fight dragons!  Granted, no dragons have been breathing fire around Hereville, the Orthodox Jewish community where Mirka lives, but that doesn’t stop the plucky girl from honing her skills. She fearlessly stands up to local bullies. She battles a very large, very menacing pig. And she boldly accepts a challenge from a mysterious witch, a challenge that could bring Mirka her heart’s desire: a dragon-slaying sword! All she has to do is find – and outwit – the giant troll who’s got it! (Abrams, the publisher, was right next to us, so I had obviously been eyeing them the entire conference just because of this book. I had been wanting it for quite some time. So on the last day, before the convention center opened, I meekly went over and introduced myself and asked to purchase a copy.)

With the delightful activities and delicious recipes in Turkish Delight & Treasure Hunts you’ll learn how to follow in the footsteps of your favorite childhood heroes, from the Borrowers and Alice in Wonderland to the Ingalls family and Winnie-the-Pooh. (Ok, I’m not much of a cook, but still…worth trying right?)

London, 1838. Sixteen-year-old Liza’s dreams of her society debut are dashed when her parents are killed in an accident. Penniless, she accepts the position of lady’s maid to young Princess Victoria and steps unwittingly into the gossipy intrigue of the servant’s world below-stairs as well as the trickery above. Is it possible that her changing circumstances may offer Liza the chance to determine her own fate, find true love, and secure the throne for her future queen? Meticulously based on newly discovered information…(The packaging on the book is beautiful, including the case cover and the page design. The author was there signing but I knew I wouldn’t have been able to make it so I got this on one of my rounds to the bathroom.)

Phoebe finds herself drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new kid in school, and the two girls become as close as sisters . . . until Mallory’s magnetic older brother, Ryland, shows up during their junior year. Ryland has an immediate, exciting hold on Phoebe – but a dangerous hold, for she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself. Soon she’ll discover the shocking truth about Ryland and Mallory: that these two are visitors from the faerie realm who have come to collect on an age-old debt. Generations ago, the faerie queen promised Pheobe’s ancestor five extraordinary sons in exchange for the sacrifice of one ordinary female heir. But in hundreds of years there hasn’t been a single ordinary girl in the family, and now the faeries are dying. Could Phoebe be the first ordinary one? Could she save the faeries, or is she special enough to save herself? (Looooved Impossible, and I still my signed galley. This was a display copy on the last day and I was shocked it was still there. I obviously made sure to get it before anyone realized there was just one hanging around.)

Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication. But it’s different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close – so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo – and possibly to the future safety of their two nations. (I seriously need to catch up on my McKinley reading. I think I might want to reread Deerskin too. It’s the only book of hers that I’ve read. I have a couple more here on the shelves.)

And last but not least, I got to see Bill from Unshelved again! And I scored another T-shirt from them:

And I actually wore one of their shorts on the last day of the conference, with the words “Will Work For Books” written on it. So people kept asking me where I got it, and I made sure to steer them to Bill and his booth.


2 comments to In My Mailbox (58)

  • To Say Nothing of the Dog looks good, I might have to pick that one up sometime. And I LOVE the cover on Mozart’s Blood. Pegasus is on my to-get list, for sure. I keep *almost* caving and ordering it. :p
    Christopher Pike was one of my faves growing up, and I still have a soft spot for him, especially these books.

    Keep an eye out for my end of the month IMM, since you’re definitely going to be in it. ;p

  • vvb

    so cool you got mozart’s blood. still must read it myself.