Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I've got I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg on my wishlist. I'm a big fan and I'm happily anticipating its publication in November and being able to move it from my wishlist to the top of my TBR pile. From the Random House website, the description of this book reads:

The beloved Fannie Flagg is back and at her irresistible and hilarious best in I Still Dream About You, a comic mystery romp through the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, past, present, and future.

Meet Maggie Fortenberry, a still beautiful former Miss Alabama. To others, Maggie’s life seems practically perfect—she’s lovely, charming, and a successful real estate agent at Red Mountain Realty. Still, Maggie can’t help but wonder how she wound up in her present condition. She had been on her hopeful way to becoming Miss America and realizing her childhood dream of someday living in one of the elegant old homes on top of Red Mountain, with the adoring husband and the 2.5 children, but then something unexpected happened and changed everything.

Maggie graduated at the top of her class at charm school, can fold a napkin in more than forty-eight different ways, and can enter and exit a car gracefully, but all the finesse in the world cannot help her now. Since the legendary real estate dynamo Hazel Whisenknott, beloved founder of Red Mountain Realty, died five years ago, business has gone from bad to worse—and the future isn’t looking much better. But just when things seem completely hopeless, Maggie suddenly comes up with the perfect plan to solve it all.

As Maggie prepares to put her plan into action, we meet the cast of high-spirited characters around her. To Brenda Peoples, Maggie’s best friend and real estate partner, Maggie’s life seems easy as pie. Slender Maggie doesn’t have to worry about her figure, or about her Weight Watchers sponsor catching her at the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. And Ethel Clipp, Red Mountain’s ancient and grumpy office manager with the bright purple hair, thinks the world of Maggie but has absolutely nothing nice to say about their rival Babs “The Beast of Birmingham” Bingington, the unscrupulous estate agent who hates Maggie and is determined to put her out of business.

Maggie has heartbreaking secrets in her past, but through a strange turn of events, she soon discovers, quite by accident, that everybody, it seems—dead or alive—has at least one little secret.

I Still Dream About You is a wonderful novel that is equal parts Southern charm, murder mystery, and that perfect combination of comedy and old-fashioned wisdom that can be served up only by America’s own remarkable Fannie Flagg.

Tuesday Teasers

Tuesday Teasers is hosted by Should Be Reading. The rules are as follows:

Grab your current read and let the book fall open to a random page. Share two sentences somewhere on that page and the title of the book that you’re getting the teaser from. Please avoid spoilers! Read the official Tuesday Teaser Rules.

My teaser this week is from a very interesting novel called Regression by Kathy Bell. From page 94:

He turned to greet the first of the men to join them in the conference room. She took a deep breath to steel herself, about to meet the most powerful group of men on Earth.

Mailbox Monday

This meme was created by Marcia at The Printed Page and Kristi at The Story Siren. In October, Avis at She Reads and Reads is hosting MM for Marcia.

I received one book in the mail last week. It's a tech noir thriller called Rivers of Gold by Adam Dunn. From Bloomsbury's website, the description reads:

Bright Lights, Big City meets The Wire in a compulsive, sexy, gritty urban thriller set in the day-after-tomorrow's financially devastated New York, by a phenomenally talented first-time novelist.

New York City has never been an easy place to make it, but in the year 2013, it's a little tougher than usual. Race riots. Massive unemployment. Rampant crime. Vacant buildings now housing a thriving black market. A worthless currency and a broken government. Welcome to the Second Great Depression. Some have adapted to life in tomorrow's Big Apple. Like Renny, a part-time fashion photographer and full-time drug dealer who oversees a network of taxicabs running contraband through the underground party circuit. He works for Reza, an enterprising immigrant who has turned the city's nightlife down a deadly road.

Others in the city are just trying to hang on. Like Detective Sixto Santiago, part of an experimental new NYPD unit known as the Citywide Anticrime Bureau (CAB), squads of undercover cops in taxicabs who are meant to hold down the chaos just enough to keep tourists coming. Santiago's new assignment will send him after the man both Renny and Reza must ultimately answer to, a criminal visionary known only as the Slav. But Santiago's most dangerous foe just might be his new partner. From the grime of the city's taxi garages to the sterilized peaks where high finance and organized crime converge, Rivers of Gold is a kaleidoscopic vision of the near future gone hideously wrong.

Review: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

I was so pleased to be asked to review Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick. I’ve been hearing how good the first book in the series is and have been wanting to read it for awhile so the offer of Crescendo was all the incentive I needed to read Hush, Hush. I wasn’t disappointed by either book.

Crescendo picks up where Hush, Hush leaves off. Nora Grey, a plucky but mature teenager (I would have said she is older than sixteen!) finds herself in the midst of danger once again. Nora has the kind of personality that any mother would be proud to have. Occasionally she makes wrong choices (what teenager doesn’t?) but overall she’s a good kid. Other characters we met in Hush Hush reappear in Crescendo and didn’t fail to raise some sort of feeling in me. One high school girl, Marcie Millar, is the perfect antagonist; full of venom, she reminds me of several students I knew when I was in school.

Another big plus with Crescendo (as well as Hush, Hush) are the settings. Dark roads, deserted towns, foggy fields and empty houses all take on a life of their own and give Crescendo depth and atmosphere. I particularly loved that aspect of this book.

The author has a definite knack for creating tension between characters and within plots. The chemistry between the main characters sizzles. I wanted them to be together! I won’t say what happens but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it to all fans of fantasy. And even if you aren’t a fan – give this book a try – you may just become one.

Tuesday Teasers

Tuesday Teasers is hosted by Should Be Reading. The rules are as follows:

Grab your current read and let the book fall open to a random page. Share two sentences somewhere on that page and the title of the book that you’re getting the teaser from. Please avoid spoilers! Read the official Tuesday Teaser Rules.

This week's teaser is from City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell. From page 54:

The woman said the girl was lazy and would not do as she was asked, and that her laziness had caused a stomachache. Katherine looked at the girl and gently placed her hand on the girl's greatly distended belly while the mother explained that as she had been unable to find any cockroach feces, the usual cure for such ailments, she had fed the girl rat feces, to no avail.

Mailbox Monday

This meme was started by Marcia at The Printed Page and Kristi at The Story Siren. In October Avis at she reads and reads will be hosting for Marcia.

I've been a bit overwhelmed the last couple of weeks so I haven't posted and now I have some catching up to do. I've received five books in the mail since my last MM post:

As part of a Pump up Your Book tour, I will be reviewing Regression by Kathy Bell. From the Pump up Your Book website, the description of Regression reads:

Fourteen-year-old Adya Jordan swears that before her head injury she was a forty-year-old mother of six. Is she going crazy, or did she really live through an entirely different life? 1985 is nothing like she remembers, although her first day of high school certainly is! A typical girl with atypical genes, Adya tries to recapture her old life, hiding her growing conviction that she has done this before. Memories of the man she loved and a family she adored haunt her, even though her future husband doesn’t even know she exists. Accidentally discovering the secretive Three Eleven Corporation might know more about her situation than she does, she is convinced the twenty-eight men heading up the company are responsible for the changes in her world. Adya finds her way into their ranks, journeying to the tropical island headquarters to begin an orientation into their prestigious internship program. The Three Eleven Company controls the development and distribution of Twenty-first Century technology brought with them from the future. Charged with the task of preparing the world for an impending disaster, each member of the team uses his scientific background to create a solution for a problem the planet does not know it is facing. They don’t have time to deal with a feisty young girl poking around. Banished to the frozen Canadian Shield for asking too many questions of CEO Abraham Fairfield, Adya finds the men in the underground city of Sanctum are interested in more than just her genes as they search for the answer to her presence in the timeline. In the end, Adya encounters a choice no mother should ever face: save her children…or everyone else.

City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell. The description from Macmillan's website says:

Will Kiehn is seemingly destined for life as a humble farmer in the Midwest when, having felt a call from God, he travels to the vast North China Plain in the early twentieth-century. There he is surprised by love and weds a strong and determined fellow missionary, Katherine. They soon find themselves witnesses to the crumbling of a more than two-thousand-year-old dynasty that plunges the country into decades of civil war. As the couple works to improve the lives of the people of Kuang P'ing Ch'eng— City of Tranquil Light, a place they come to love—and face incredible hardship, will their faith and relationship be enough to sustain them?

Must You Go? by Antonia Fraser is described on the author's website:

The sub-title of the book declares its contents: this is 'my life with Harold Pinter', not my complete life, and certainly not his. In essence, it is a love story and as with many love stories, the beginning and the end, the first light and the twilight, are dealt with more fully than the high noon in between, described more impressionistically.

I have based it partly on my own diaries: these have been kept since October 1968 when I suffered from withdrawal symptoms after finishing my first historical biography Mary Queen of Scots which had been the centre of my existence for so long. I have also used my own recollections, being careful to distinguish between the two, immediate reactions (I always write my Diary the next morning unless otherwise noted) and memories. I have also quoted Harold where he told me things about his past, once again noting the source and have occasionally quoted his friends talking to me on the same subject. Looking back at the Diaries, I see that I always paid special attention to any green shoots where Harold's writing was concerned. Although it was not a conscious process, I suppose this was a consequence of a biographer living with a creative artist and observing the process first hand.

Harold and I lived together from August 1975 until his death thirty three and a half years later on Christmas Eve 2008. 'O! call back yesterday, bid time return,' cries one of his courtiers to Richard II. This is my way of doing so.

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance (phew!) by Elna Baker From the author's website:

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance (Penguin 2009) is a coming of age story about Elna Baker’s experience as a practicing Mormon in New York City. Elna’s life changes when she loses eighty pounds and gets the sexual attention she’s always wanted…. only to discover that as a Mormon she can’t follow through. The book takes on identity, faith, sex and love as Elna questions traditional values in modern times.

City in Shadow by Evan Marshall This book is part of the Hidden Manhattan Mystery series. The Amazon description of this book reads:

A frightened woman leaves a note reading HELP ME outside Sanitation supervisor Anna Winthrop’s apartment . . . A career-making story leads a journalist to a human-trafficking ring . . . A woman acts as bait in an effort to track down her missing sister . . . and Anna’s visiting cousin Patti prowls New York’s dark streets, but won’t say why. All roads lead to the Kirkmore, a sinister apartment tower harboring a secret more horrifying than anyone could ever have imagined.

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