Thursday, September 30, 2010

Banned Books Week: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee


As a young girl growing up in Monroeville, Alabama, Nelle Harper Lee was exposed to the hatred and prejudice against African Americans that characterized the South in the early twentieth century. Lee took the injustices she was exposed to as a child and used them as material for one of the most profound novels ever published on rights and equality. Lee’s novel has become a literary classic and still speaks volumes to every generation about discrimination and ignorance. Harper Lee’s childhood experiences growing up in the segregated South of the 1920s and 1930s and the impact they had on her worldview greatly influenced the storyline of her only published work, To Kill a Mockingbird.

The main storyline of To Kill a Mockingbird follows the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. In Maycomb, the fictional town that serves as the setting for the story, this was a death sentence for Robinson regardless of his guilt or innocence. Scout, the young narrator, watches her father Atticus Finch suffer persecution at the hands of his neighbors for defending Robinson in court. (**SPOILER ALERT** Highlight the next 2 lines to read the spoiler) Despite ample evidence proving his innocence, Robinson was found guilty by the all-white jury and given the death sentence. Robinson tried to escape prison, but was shot before he made it across the fence.

The trial of Tom Robinson was inspired by several cases that impacted both the nation and Lee’s hometown during her childhood. On a larger scale, the trial of Tom Robinson is said to draw from the infamous trial of the Scottsboro Boys. However, Lee also wanted “to leave some record of the kind of life that existed in a very small world” (qtd. in Shields 117), so the Scottsboro trial could be considered too widespread for her purposes. Another trial that occurred during the period better serves Lee’s intentions. An article published in the Monroe Journal in November of 1933 reported that a white woman named Naomi Lowery had accused Walter Lett, a black man, of rape. Lett plead not guilty, claiming that he did not know Lowery and had been working elsewhere at the time of the alleged rape. Nonetheless, Lett was found guilty by the all-white jury and given the death penalty. However, some of the leading citizens of Monroeville did not agree with this verdict (Lee’s father, an attorney, was probably among them). Due to their protests, Lett’s electrocution date was pushed back several times before the judge changed his punishment to life imprisonment. Unfortunately, Lett went insane while waiting for his case to be resolved and was relocated to Searcy Hospital for the Insane where he died of tuberculosis (Shields 118-120).

The secondary storyline of To Kill A Mockingbird follows the adventures of Scout, her brother Jem, and their friend Dill as they attempt to coax local recluse Boo Radley out of his house. This story finds its factual basis in another episode from Lee’s early life. Children in Monroeville found the Boleware house a source of great intrigue and mystery. “Children held their noses while walking by, or crossed to the other side of the street, to avoid inhaling evil vapors that might be emanating from chinks between the house’s boards” (Shields 53). Son Boleware was the greatest source of interest connected to the house and was said to be a prisoner in his own home, tied to a bedstead by his father. Son and two schoolmates had been taken to court for breaking school windows and burglarizing a drugstore. The judge decided the boys would benefit from a year at the state industrial school; Son’s father, however, believed he had a better solution and the judge agreed to let Boleware punish him as he saw fit after Boleware promised that his son would never trouble the town again. After that fateful court date, Son was hardly ever seen again. As the years went by, all Son’s schoolmates and friends moved on and he evaporated from Monroeville memory. “Mr. Boleware ruined his son’s life, I guess because it was shaming him; the man was mean,” said Charles Ray Skinner (qtd. in Shields 54). This statement mirrors one made by Calpurnia, the Finches’ housekeeper in To Kill a Mockingbird, as Boo Radley’s father is taken away in a hearse: “There goes the meanest man God ever blew breath into” (qtd. in Shields 54).

Lee’s novel was originally published during the civil rights movement, showing “the atrocities of discrimination and bias based on ethnicity” (Champion 113). While critics disagreed about the novel’s merits, the public responded with extreme positivity. In its first year, the book sold hundreds of thousands of copies and won a Pulitzer Prize. In addition to both critical and public acclaim, the book also caused readers to reflect on the way that they viewed social issues. James Carville, Bill Clinton’s campaign manager and a Southerner by birth, commented on the book’s impact on him: “I just knew, the minute I read it, that she was right and I had been wrong” (qtd. in Bernard 36). To Kill a Mockingbird was used in classrooms across the country to introduce students to the issues of tolerance at its core. Unfortunately, parents reacted negatively to its use in schools, objecting to everything from references to sex and violence to the negative depictions of authority figures. Critic Jill P. May “argues that some white Southerners did not appreciate the way they were depicted in the novel and hoped that by labeling it immoral, fewer readers would have access to it” (Bernard 37).

Lee, however, could not understand how her novel could be considered immoral. In an editorial written to defend the book, she wrote “Surely it is plain to the simplest intelligence that To Kill a Mockingbird spells out in words of seldom more than two syllables a code of honor and conduct…that is the heritage of all Southerners” (qtd. in Bernard 37). In spite of the controversy, To Kill the Mockingbird’s popularity has not waned. “The novel also remains a perennial staple in high school English classrooms, offering new generations of students insight into the powerful social themes that were important in the 1930s, critical in the 1950s and 1960s, and that will remain important for years to come” (Bernard 38). At a time when racial equality was not tolerated, Harper Lee had the courage to publish a novel that spoke out against prejudice. Witnessing the injustice directed toward African Americans and accepted by her Southern neighbors had a profound impact on Lee, one she illustrated in To Kill a Mockingbird. After its release, To Kill a Mockingbird went on to inspire the same views in the reading public and garnered the reputation of being one of the most life-changing pieces of literature ever created (Shields 1).


Bernard, Catherine. Understanding Great Literature: Understanding To Kill a Mockingbird. San Diego: Lucent Books, 2003.
Champion, Laurie. “Harper Lee.” American Writers. Ed. Jay Parini. Vol.8. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2001. 113-31.
Shields, Charles J. Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2006.



This is an essay I wrote in high school about one of my all-time favorite novels, and one that has been challenged or banned innumerable times.  In honor of Banned Books Week, I wanted to pay tribute to (in my opinion) one of the greatest novels ever written.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Guest Post: Author Scott Nicholson (& Giveaway)


Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, As I Die Lying, Burial to Follow ,and They Hunger. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories. His story collections include Ashes, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers. His Web site is Haunted Computer.

 
 Rabbit in a Midnight Graveyard

Many Appalachian folk beliefs came from the British Isles, and one of the prevailing cultural theories is the Scots-Irish came into New York and then kept heading south until they found something that looked like home. That would be the highlands of North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia, what is commonly called “Hillbilly Country.”

Stereotypes often contain a footing in truth, and there is still quite a bit of clannishness in the mountains and a distrust of outsiders. That’s why the mountains were largely left alone during the Civil War and why escaped slaves often headed for the hills where they would not be bothered as long as they didn’t bother anyone else.

The popular image of the barefoot hillbilly tending a moonshine still had a lot of basis in cultural history. Not only was whiskey making a proud family craft, the distrust of government that drove unhappy subjects from the King of England’s rule led to a distrust of government and its liquor taxes.

The Jack Tales, of which Jack and the Beanstalk is probably the most famous and benign, featured a clever Jack pulling a fast on over on the wealthy royalty, usually through industry and cleverness. While the oral tradition is dying out, those tales are still passed down through generations.

Plant lore was also carried over, as people were dependent on the environment for their goods, food, and healing. Four-leaf clovers, now popular as good-luck symbols, originally were considered charms that allowed the owner to see ghosts and evil spirits. My novels Creative Spirit and The Red Church draw on a little mountain folk magic as part of the foundation for supernatural activity.

I used the idea of “poppet magic,” a type of mountain voodoo doll, in my short story “Apple Head Dolly,” which appears in the anthology Appalachian Winter Hauntings and my forthcoming collection Gateway Drug. Shriveled apples were often used as the heads of dolls, because facial features could be cut into a wet apple and then dried into a creepy, wizened likeness.

Of course, ghost stories occur in most every culture and the Appalachian settlers certainly brought their superstitions with them. Even the Cherokee who inhabited the area had their tales, as I utilized in my novel They Hunger. One of the members of a rafting team is on a vision quest, enduring hardship in the hope of seeing his spirit animal. Of course, his animal turns out to be a hallucination induced by the drugs he is taking.

One of my favorite tales told by my grandmother involved a witch who couldn’t pee because someone stuck a broomstick up her chimney. My adult self can see the symbolism of it, but as a child, I was lost in the magic of a world where items had control over people. Similarly, glass had the power to catch ghosts or witches, or provide barriers through which ghosts couldn’t pass.

Rabbits, owls, rain, moon signs, and more affected the way mountain people looked at their world. And still do today, at least in my little hollow.

If you want more Appalachian folklore, I have a list of weather, death, healing, and supernatural listings at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/scottst41.htm


For more about this author, please visit:


Kindle 3 Giveaway [CLOSED]


To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. And, hey, buy The Red Church and put me in the Top 100 and I’ll throw in another random Kindle 3 giveaway. Thanks for playing. Complete details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.htm

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Many thanks to Scott for stopping by on his tour! I really enjoyed learning more about Appalachian folklore! I've always found folklore to be an interesting genre - on the surface, the stories seem simple, but if you take a closer look they often have deeper sociopolitical significance. You can learn a lot about a culture that way.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nightshade: You've Got Mail!


Yesterday, I got a package from a fictional character. Yes, you read that right. Not just any fictional character, but one of my latest literary loves. Shay Doran, brainchild of Nightshade author Andrea Cremer, has leapt off the page and into real life. Shay just moved into his uncle's creepy old mansion and is trying to uncover its secrets. He's already uncovered some clues and is blogging about his adventures - you can check it all out on his blog and Facebook page!

Here's what was in the package: 

A note from Shay

A 1909 copy of The Lock & Key Library: Classic French Stories

Inside, there were some strange designs:


This page appears to say: "water fire earth air erth CIAN"

I'm not sure what's up with the "erth CIAN" - if anyone has ideas, I'm all ears!


The second page:


This one says: "her spell after death made the power of the armies of the keeper bound to the most cruel combat and witchery"

Hmm...I wonder why "her spell" is circled in red?


What do you guys think all this means?


This is hands-down the coolest promotional strategy I've ever seen. I highly recommend following Shay's adventures on his blog and the clues on his Facebook to try and figure out the secrets of Nightshade. All of Shay's online adventures will be going into a prequel written by Andrea Cremer herself, and if you help Shay you could be in the story! Andrea Cremer's debut novel is amazing - I'll be reviewing it Monday, October 4, and interviewing Andrea on October 5. Nightshade hits shelves October 19!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Luce can’t remember exactly what happened the night Trevor died, but whatever it was is enough to land her at Sword & Cross – a crumbling, prison-like reform school out in the Georgia marshlands. As if her new home and the shadows that mercilessly stalk her aren’t enough, Luce is now troubled by the impossible familiarity she feels toward one of the reform school bad boys. To Luce’s chagrin, however, Daniel seems determined to avoid her at all costs and deny the unmistakable pull between them. Luce wanted to hide her secret shadows and troubled past from her new classmates, but it turns out Sword & Cross is harboring some great and terrible secrets of its own – secrets with which Luce is inextricably linked.

The mystifying opening of Fallen perfectly sets the tone of the novel - one of suspense, intrigue, and uncontrollable curiosity. The forbidding landscape is dismal, and yet that is precisely the perfect setting for longing, love and loss. Fallen keeps the reader in agonizing suspense from the very first page, while never becoming boring. From the start, it's clear that something ancient and tragic is afoot at Sword & Cross, and yet the truth is some ethereal substance lurking just out of reach. The moments of déjà vu throughout the story are beautifully done, leaving the reader enthralled and unnerved. The novel seems to be more about that sense of mystery and longing than about the characters themselves.

While Luce's illogical love for Daniel feels very real and serves as the basis for his appeal, Daniel himself is indistinct. One minute the emo boy is grinning flirtatiously and the next he's flipping off the bemused heroine. The unknown is alluring, but to be a winning hero in his own right Daniel will hopefully develop more character over the rest of the series. Nonetheless, Fallen is a desperately heart-wrenching tale - a chaotic storm of emotion. Daniel and Luce's storied past will break readers' hearts, but they'll love it anyway because there's just something irresistible about star-crossed lovers. I've never been so arrested by a novel, struggling against the temptation to read ahead and learn the ultimate truth that would make the deliciously infuriating clues and cryptic comments clear. It seems that no character in this haunting and mournful tale is entirely blameless. Lauren Kate manages to weave a story simultaneously about light and darkness, fate and choice. The blend of history, legend, religion and romance creates an intricate backdrop against which all the events of the present unfold.

Rating: 

Click here to purchase Fallen by Lauren Kate

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Release Roundup: September 26 - October 2, 2010

This is a new weekly feature I'm starting here on The Bookish Type, showcasing some of the upcoming week's exciting new releases!

September 27


The Genius Wars (Evil Genius Trilogy #3) by Catherine Jinks

After abandoning a life full of deception and mistrust, fifteen-year-old Cadel has finally found his niche. He has a proper home, good friends and loving parents. He's even studying at university.

But he's still not safe from Prosper English, who's now a fugitive from justice and determined to smash everything that Cadel has struggled to build. When Cadel's nearest and dearest are threatened, he must launch an all-out attack on the man he once viewed as his father.

Can he track down Prosper before it's too late? And what rules will he have to break in the process?


September 28


Torment (Fallen #2) by Lauren Kate

How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for? In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean - and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives. Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future...and that Daniel hasn't told her everything. What if his version of the past isn't actually the way things happened...what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?



Ascendant (Killer Unicorns #2) by Diana Peterfreund

Now a fully trained unicorn hunter, Astrid Llewelyn is learning that she can’t solve all her problems with a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend has left Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend’s powers are mysteriously disintegrating, and her hope of becoming a scientist seems to be nothing but an impossible dream.

So when she’s given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and use her skills as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she wants—or can she? At Gordian headquarters deep in France, Astrid begins to question everything she had believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and—most of all—her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns or saving unicorns from the world?



The Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block

Love is a werewolf, influenced by the moon and terror, and always about to change.

Something terrifying happened to Liv when she was thirteen. Something that changed everything. Liv knows she doesn’t belong anymore; not in her family, not in her own skin…not anywhere. The only time she truly feels like herself is when she’s with her boyfriend, Corey, and in the woods that surround her town.

But danger lurks in the woods, too. While Corey and Liv’s love binds them together, Liv’s past threatens to tear them apart as she struggles to understand who—or what—she really is. And by the light of the full moon, the most dangerous secrets bare their claws.

In the luminous hands of acclaimed writer Francesca Lia Block, werewolves take on a chilling new life. Loyal fans, as well as a fresh new generation of readers, will be enthralled.

Description from Dark Faerie Tales



The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2) by Cinda Williams Chima

You can't always run from danger...

Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.

The Exiled Queen is an epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.



Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman

On the surface, Emily Meckler leads the perfect life. She has three best friends, two loving parents, and the ideal setup at the Connecticut prep school where her father is the headmaster. But Emily also suffers from devastating nightmares about fire and water, and nobody knows why. Then the enigmatic Del Sugar enters her life, and Emily is immediately swept away-but her passionate relationship with Del is just the first of many things that aren't quite what they seem in Emily's life. As the lies she's been told start to unravel, Emily must set out to discover the truth regarding her nightmare; on a journey that will lead her to question everything she thought she knew about love, family, and her own idyllic past. This companion novel to Warman's critically acclaimed Breathless proves that sometimes the biggest lies are told to the people you love the most.



When Rose Wakes by Christopher Golden

Her terrifying dreams are nothing compared to the all-too-real nightmare that awaits...

Ever since sixteen-year-old Rose DuBois woke up from months in a coma with absolutely no memories, she’s had to start from scratch. She knows she loves her two aunts who take care of her, and that they all used to live in France, but everything else from her life before is a blank.Rose tries to push through the memory gaps and start her new life, attending high school and living in Boston with her aunts, who have seriously old world ideas. Especially when it comes to boys. But despite their seemingly irrational fears and odd superstitions, they insist Rose not worry about the eerie dreams she’s having, vivid nightmares that she comes to realize are strangely like the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. The evil witch, the friendly fairies, a curse that puts an entire town to sleep—Rose relives the frightening story every night. And when a mysterious raven-haired woman starts following her, Rose begins to wonder if she is the dormant princess. And now that she’s awake, she’s in terrible, terrible danger...



Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Sixteen year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of a car while her mom fills her prescription at the pharmacy. Before Cheyenne realizes what's happening, their car is being stolen--with her inside! Griffin hadn’t meant to kidnap Cheyenne, all he needed to do was steal a car for the others. But once Griffin's dad finds out that Cheyenne’s father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes—now there’s a reason to keep her. What Griffin doesn’t know is that Cheyenne is not only sick with pneumonia, she is blind. How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare, and if she does, at what price? 


September 30


Soul Stalker (Timeless #2) by Laura Kreitzer

Being the Illuminator is not all happiness and light, especially when everyone thinks you are dead. When Gabriella decides to finally let her angels know that she is alive, Joseph and an unexpected friend help her. The Darkness Illuminator is not as in control of her power as she believes, which makes for a very comedic and endearing relationship that blooms between the three. A fender-bender debacle, a run-in with the cops, and a hiccup at the airport seem to all be worth it until Gabriella finds out her plan has backfired.

The three angels are missing, more mysteries pile up, and a new evil is brewing – so terrifying, in fact, that even the Soul Stalker herself is cowering in fear. Our heroine begins a jarring, romance-filled, heart-breaking journey that will lead her back to Italy, and ultimately to the answers she is desperately searching for. What will she do when they aren’t the answers she expected? What happens when she unveils a truth, so deeply hidden, that it causes an angelic war?



Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

His son, that's who.


Ever since his father's arrest for the murder of Little Red Riding Hood, teen wolf Henry Whelp has kept a low profile in a Home for Wayward Wolves . . . until a murder at the Home leads Henry to believe his father may have been framed.

Now, with the help of his kleptomaniac roommate, Jack, and a daring she-wolf named Fiona, Henry will have to venture deep into the heart of Dust City: a rundown, gritty metropolis where fairydust is craved by everyone and controlled by a dangerous mob of Water Nixies and their crime boss leader, Skinner.

Can Henry solve the mystery of his family's sinister past? Or, like his father before him, is he destined for life as a big bad wolf?



Belle's Song by K. M. Grant

When Belle meets Luke, son of an alchemist and Scribe to the famous poet Chaucer, she is determined to travel with him to Canterbury on a pilgrimage. She hopes for a miracle: that her father will walk again. She also hopes to atone for her own part in his accident. It is a time of unrest across the country and the young King Richard II is just hanging on to his throne. A malign character on the pilgrimage suspects Chaucer of treason and slowly winds Belle into a political intrigue. At the same time, the impulsive Belle is drawn towards both Luke and to Walter, the wealthy son of a Knight. But Walter himself is in love with Luke...As the uprising against the King starts to draw pace and the web of intrigue around Belle and Chaucer tightens, Belle and her friends must risk everything to save their country and themselves...


October 1


Angel by L. A. Weatherly

In a world where angels are beyond redemption, Alex thinks he's found one that might deserve mercy. Alex is a ruthless assassin - of angels. Forget everything you've heard about them before. Angels are not benign celestial creatures, but fierce stalkers whose irresistible force allows them to feed off humans, draining them of their vitality until there is barely anything left. As far as Alex is concerned, the only good angel is a dead angel...until he meets Willow. She may look like a normal teenager but Willow is no ordinary girl. Half-angel, half-human, Willow may hold the key to defeating the evil angels. But as the hunter and the hunted embark on an epic and dangerous journey and Willow learns the dark and terrifying secrets of her past, Alex finds himself drawn to Willow...with devastating consequences. Eoin Colfer reinvented the fairy, Stephenie Meyer reinvented the vampire, L.A. Weatherly reinvents the angel! This is a heart-pounding, knuckle-whitening, paranormal romance action-adventure for fans of the "Twilight" series. This is the first in a devastating new trilogy.



Alpha (Shifters #6) by Rachel Vincent

YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE FAYTHE...

The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc, and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder, and treason. Yeah, we've been busy. But now it's time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother's death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.

It's not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I'm heading for a final showdown that can--that will--change everything forever. A showdown I'm not sure I'm ready for.

But life never waits until you're ready.


It's a great week for books! One word: TORMENT!!!!! Finally! I seriously need to get my Fallen review up. Anyway, I'm also really excited that Soul Stalker is finally coming out! I'm reading it right now, so I'll hopefully have the review up by the release date or right after.  Where the Truth Lies has been getting great reviews, and I also really love the cover - the angle is eye-catching and the muted colors and solitude make me really curious about what's going on in the image. It just seems so understated but meaningful. Speaking of great covers, how about Dust City? I love the wolf eyes overlooking the city - and the premise of the novel itself sound really intriguing. I love it when authors revamp favorite fairy tales. Finally, does the girl on the cover of Angel scare anyone else?

What release are you most excited for this week?


Descriptions from Goodreads, except where noted. Click the hyperlinked titles to purchase or preorder.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In My Mailbox: September 20 - 26, 2010

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.


For Review:

 
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Part of Book It Forward ARC Tours

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance—even her closest friends—and it seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions—for Hell—and she possesses a unique skill set that has the King of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he’s as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance.

Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn’t get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay…for all of them.



Rage (Horsemen of the Apocalypse #2) by Jackie Morse Kessler

Thanks to NetGalley!

Coming April 8, 2011!


Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different.

That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a different kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.

A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power, and refuses to be defeated by the world.


Won:

The Shifter Series by Rachel Vincent

Thanks to Cherry Mischievous!


Stray (Shifters #1) by Rachel Vincent

There are only eight breeding female werecats left...

And I'm one of them. 


I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.


I'd been warned about Strays -- werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.
This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back . . . for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever -- and whoever -- I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays -- 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them...





Gift:


Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury by Rebecca Dickson

In the minds of fans and scholars alike, Jane Austen has never grown old. Now more than ever, Jane Austen is a presence in pop culture—a major accomplishment for someone who published her books anonymously all her life. Who was Jane Austen? We have only a couple of sketches and letters to tell us about her, but from this slim thread hangs a library’s worth of speculation, including countless Hollywood interpretations of her life and her books.

Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury takes you inside the author’s world—the hardships she faced, the loves she lost, and the keen sense of irony that kept her going. Fully illustrated with Regency-era artwork, the book also explains key aspects of life in Austen’s time.

This treasury also contains removable reproductions of many important documents, including a handwritten letter from Jane to her sister Cassandra, pages from the rough draft of Persuasion, and a quirky “History of England” written by Jane as a schoolgirl and illustrated by her sister. These special features, combined with the insightful narrative and evocative images, make Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury an intimate and unique experience for anyone who appreciates the timeless significance of her work.


I've already read about 3/4 of Personal Demons and it is so addictive! I've been growing more and more excited for this one after reading everyone's reviews, so I'm thrilled I'm finally reading it! I've also heard great things about The Shifter Series, so I'm keen to try them out as well, especially with Alpha coming out so soon! Aren't the Horsemen of the Apocalypse covers so simple yet intriguing?

What's in your mailbox this week? 



Descriptions from Goodreads. Click the hyperlinked titles to purchase or preorder.

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