Monday, December 7, 2015

TBR list as of December 2015

Yay! See... this is why I don't go near bookstores these days... most of these are from my TBR pile last year! I did not include Anita Blake books I purchased years ago since I have no plans on reconnecting with her. Not without Richard Zeeman!

Books for Review

Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel
by Richelle Mead, Emma Vieceli and Leigh Dragoon

After two years on the run, best friends Rose and Lissa are caught and returned to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a private high school for vampires and half-bloods. It’s filled with intrigue, danger—and even romance.

Enter their dark, fascinating world through a new series of 144-page full-color graphic novels. The entire first Vampire Academy novel has been adapted for book one by Leigh Dragoon and overseen by Richelle Mead, while the beautiful art of acclaimed British illustrator Emma Vieceli brings the story to life.

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures, Volume 2
by Laurell K. Hamilton, Ron Lim, Brett Booth, Jessica Ruffner

Introducing Anita Blake, vampire hunter extraordinaire. Most people don't even bat an eye at vampires since they've been given equal rights by the Supreme Court. But Anita knows better--she's seen their victims. . . . A serial killer is murdering vampires, however, and now the most powerful vampire in town wants Anita to find the killer.

The Annotated Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe)
by J.R.R. Tolkien, Douglas A. Anderson

For readers throughout the world, The Hobbit serves as an introduction to the enchanting world of Middle-earth, home of elves, wizards, dwarves, goblins, dragons, orcs and a host of other creatures depicted in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion -- tales that sprang from the mind of the most beloved author of all time, J.R.R. Tolkien.

Newly expanded and completely redesigned, Douglas A. Anderson's The Annotated Hobbit is the definitive explication of the sources, characters, places, and things of J.R.R. Tolkien's timeless classic. Integrated with Anderson's notes and placed alongside the fully restored and corrected text of the original story are more than 150 illustrations showing visual interpretations of The Hobbit specific to many of the cultures that have come to know and love Tolkien's Middle-earth. Tolkien's original line drawings, maps and color paintings are also included, making this the most lavishly informative edition of The Hobbit available.

The Annotated Hobbit shows how Tolkien worked as a writer, what his influences and interests were, and how these relate to the invented world of Middle-earth. It gives a valuable overview of Tolkien's life and the publishing history of The Hobbit, and explains how every feature of The Hobbit fits within the rest of Tolkien's invented world. Here we learn how Gollum's character was revised to accommodate the true nature of the One Ring, and we can read the full text of The Quest of Erebor, Gandalf's explanation of how he came to send Bilbo Baggins on his journey with the dwarves. Anderson also makes meaningful and often surprising connections to our own world and literary history -- from Beowulf to The Marvellous Land of Snergs, from the Brothers Grimm to C. S. Lewis.

Play It Again, Mozart! (Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novels #8)
by Geronimo Stilton, Patrizia Puricelli, Leonardi Favia, Federica Salfo, Manuela Nerolini, Elisabetta Dami, Nanette McGuinness

The Pirate Cats have traveled back to Milan, Italy in the year 1770, in order to steal one of the most important musical works in history: a symphony composed by a young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart It's up to Geronimo and his friends to go back in time and stop the Pirate Cats from their dastardly deed.

The Phantom Of The Subway (Geronimo Stilton #13)
by Geronimo Stilton, Federatto Brusco, Blasco Tabasco, Guy Codana 

Even my sister Thea told me a ghost was haunting New Mouse City's subway tunnels, I knew I had to get the scoop for The Rodents Gzette! So I set off with Thea, Trap and my assistant editor PinkyPick.

Missing Era: The Emergence
by A.O. Khalil

They were just sinkholes, harmless sinkholes that were spreading like wildfire across the country. Then the disappearances started. A few people here and there then the entire army, gone in one night. Jay and Jule quickly find themselves thrown in the middle of a dangerous situation that only gets worse when something else comes that takes everyone by bloody surprise.

As they make ready to leave to gather with the rest of the family, something comes out of the sinkholes and begins attacking and killing everyone in sight. Before they know it they are in the middle of a war with an unknown enemy and an unknown agenda.

Will Jay and Jule survive their encounter or will they find themselves twenty-six feet under at the bottom of a sinkhole?
 a read-aloud, it is sure to delight readers of all ages.

Siren's Fury (The Storm Siren Trilogy #2)
by Mary Weber

"I thrust my hand toward the sky as my voice begs the Elemental inside me to waken and rise. But it's no use. The curse I've spent my entire life abhorring—the thing I trained so hard to control—no longer exists."

Nym has saved Faelen only to discover that Draewulf stole everything she valued. Now he’s destroyed her Elemental storm-summoning ability as well.

When Nym sneaks off with a host of delegates to Bron, Lord Myles offers her the chance for a new kind of power and the whispered hope that it may do more than simply defeat the monster she loathes. But the secrets the Bron people have kept concealed, along with the horrors Draewulf has developed, may require more than simply harnessing a darker ability.

They may require who she is.

Set against the stark metallic backdrop of the Bron kingdom, Nym is faced with the chance to change the future.

Or was that Draewulf’s plan for her all along? 

Books to Read

by Laurell K. Hamilton

Author of the New York Times bestselling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, Laurell K. Hamilton has brought the supernatural to light-and has given readers a vision of a world aflame with electrifying suspense and violent passions. In this, her debut novel, her rich imagination spreads its wings to fly-in a tale of a woman known as sorcerer, prophet, and enchantress...

The mark of a demon can open the door to undreamed-of powers and possibilites - or expose a soul to the darkest and most forbidden forces of sorcery. Now Keleios wears the mark - and the time of avenging her mother's death is at hand...

Unexpected Blessings (Emma Harte Saga #5)
by Barbara Taylor Bradford

Evan Hughes, Emma's American great-granddaughter, is trying to integrate into the powerful Harte family. She is caught between her estranged parents, her new family, and new love. But a dangerous enemy hovers in the background.

Tessa Longden, Evan's cousin, is battling her husband for custody of their daughter, Adele. When Adele suddenly goes missing, Tessa is forced to seek help from her half-sister Linnet—a woman who has been her rival all their lives.

Linnet, the most brilliant businesswoman of the four great-granddaughters, is desperately trying to show that she is the natural heir to her mother, Paula. But her glittering future at the helm of the vast Harte empire means many sacrifices, perhaps even the loss of her sister's fragile trust.

India Standish, the traditionalist in the family, falls in love with a famous British artist from a working-class background. Madly in love, India is determined to marry him, no matter what her family thinks.

Evan, Tessa, Linnet, and India: four extraordinary women. Three generations of Hartes. One indomitable family whose loyalty binds them together and whose enemies want to tear them apart.

The First Wives Club
by Olivia Goldsmith

Elise, Brenda, and Annie have one thing in common: they were all first wives. Make that two things in common — they were the secret to success for each of their spouses, faithfully supporting them as they rose to the top. Okay, three things: they were each abandoned for younger, blonder, sleeker women, "trophy wives" for their exes to sport about town.

It may not be on the menu at New York's finer restaurants, but revenge is a dish best served cold — and while lunching at Le Cirque, the ladies decide the time for self-pity is over: now it's time to get even.

TIMEOUT! To Retreat, Review & Renew: A practical 3-Step Strategy To Advance Your Life, Relationships & Businesses
by Phyllis Campagna, Jerry Campagna

Timeout! The Playbook For An Intentional Life. Funny thing... each of us, from the pauper to the president, gets the same 24 hours everyday... and yet, some just seem to get more done and smile while doing it! Timeout! To Retreat, Review & Renew is about living a more intentional life; for yourself and with your significant other. It's about intentionally putting more fun in your life, career and relationships about mapping out a path toward your unique happily ever after. Timeout! Where To Start... Timeout! consists of two primary components: 1)Annual Sabbatical (Retreat, Review & Renew) 2) Planning & Problem Solving Techniques (Toolbox) If you're looking for immediate ways to start leading a more intentional life, start with the Toolbox within hours you'll be able to apply these useful strategies. If you're looking to map out a plan toward your happily ever after, start packing your bags and read on!

The Next Queen of Heaven
by Gregory Maguire

With the new millennium approaching, the eccentric town of Thebes grows even stranger. Mrs. Leontina Scales begins speaking in tongues after being clocked by a Catholic statuette. Her daughter, Tabitha, and her sons scheme to save their mother or surrender her to Jesus—whatever comes first. Meanwhile, choir director Jeremy Carr, caught between lust and ambition, fumbles his way toward Y2K. The ancient Sisters of the Sorrowful Mysteries join with a gay singing group. The Radical Radiants battle the Catholics. A Christmas pageant goes horribly awry. And a child is born.

Stupid is Forever
by Miriam Defensor Santiago, Josel Nicolas, Dark Chapel, Francis Martellino, Manix Abrera, Elbert Or , Rob Cham, Cj de Silva-Ong 

Sense of humor is almost absent among politicians, but Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is a truly talented exception. People are puzzled how she can spontaneously make them laugh in the midst of national policy crises, and of real danger to her life as a corruption fighter.

This book is a collection of jokes, one-liners, pick-up lines, conebacks and speeches delivered and/or curated by the beloved Senator. Also, inside are illustrations by Cj de Silva-Ong, Manix Abrera, Elbert Or, Rob Cham and more of the Philippines' best young illustrators. 

Garden Spells (Waverley Family #1)
by Sarah Addison Allen

The women of the Waverley family -- whether they like it or not -- are heirs to an unusual legacy, one that grows in a fenced plot behind their Queen Anne home on Pendland Street in Bascom, North Carolina. There, an apple tree bearing fruit of magical properties looms over a garden filled with herbs and edible flowers that possess the power to affect in curious ways anyone who eats them. 

For nearly a decade, 34-year-old Claire Waverley, at peace with her family inheritance, has lived in the house alone, embracing the spirit of the grandmother who raised her, ruing her mother's unfortunate destiny and seemingly unconcerned about the fate of her rebellious sister, Sydney, who freed herself long ago from their small town's constraints. Using her grandmother's mystical culinary traditions, Claire has built a successful catering business -- and a carefully controlled, utterly predictable life -- upon the family's peculiar gift for making life-altering delicacies: lilac jelly to engender humility, for instance, or rose geranium wine to call up fond memories. Garden Spells reveals what happens when Sydney returns to Bascom with her young daughter, turning Claire's routine existence upside down. With Sydney's homecoming, the magic that the quiet caterer has measured into recipes to shape the thoughts and moods of others begins to influence Claire's own emotions in terrifying and delightful ways. 

As the sisters reconnect and learn to support one another, each finds romance where she least expects it, while Sydney's child, Bay, discovers both the safe home she has longed for and her own surprising gifts. With the help of their elderly cousin Evanelle, endowed with her own uncanny skills, the Waverley women redeem the past, embrace the present, and take a joyful leap into the future. 

First Frost (Waverley Family #2)
by Sarah Addison Allen 

From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells comes a story of the Waverley family, in a novel as sparkling as the first dusting of frost on new-fallen leaves...

It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree... and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.

Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.

Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby— a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.

Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?

When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.

Lose yourself in Sarah Addison Allen's enchanting world and fall for her charmed characters in this captivating story that proves that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It’s where the real story begins.

Surrender of Trust (Surrender #1)
by Mariel Grey 

Lucy Goodwin knows more about horse breeding than a proper young lady should. Her brother’s thoroughbred business has given her purpose and independence, but when an accident leaves her solely in charge, despair and destruction threaten her every move. Trapped in an impossible position, Lucy must do the right thing and watch their dreams crumble, or save their livelihood at a cost too great to bear. 

Lord Philip Lyton, Marquess of Chalifour is a member of the prestigious Jockey Club, dedicated to eliminating cheating in horse racing. Trouble raises its ugly head when his business partner falls foul of an accident and he’s suddenly forced to deal with the man’s sister, who seems alarmingly out of her depth. Chalifour respects Lucy’s steely resolve, but knows that single-mindedness can be the most dangerous trait of all. 

She might be beautiful and beguiling, but Lucy Goodwin is keeping secrets and Chalifour is determined to find out what they are.

A Gentleman's Surrender (Surrender #2)
by Mariel Grey

Call her a romantic—or a fool, Lady Monique Cathdon is determined to marry for love. After watching her parents tolerate an arranged betrothal, life seems too short to be wasted on keeping up appearances. 

After all, what's the point of having a heart if one refuses to follow it? 

With a smile the devil himself might be proud of, James Stanton is not what her mother would call a matrimonial prospect. Still, there's something about the young man that sends Lady Monique's heart thumping around her chest, and silences her voice of reason. 

Unfortunately for Lady Monique, the stakes are high, and young ladies of the ton make for very poor gamblers. Especially when James Stanton is on the hunt for revenge, and won't let an innocent woman—or his own passionate desires—get in the way of righting past wrongs.

Clutch: A Novel
by Lisa Becker 

clutch: a novel is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to discover the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.

Never a Bridesmaid: A May Wedding Story (A Year of Weddings 2 #6)
by Janice Thompson

Meet the people who make it all happen – the planners, the photographers, the musicians who have helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples as they find their own happy endings in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Can one bridesmaid undo the disasters caused by a poorly chosen maid of honor and save her sister’s wedding from disaster? 

Mari’s older sister Crystal is getting married, and Mari is one of her bridesmaids – actually, the last in a lineup of five bridesmaids, but that doesn’t really bother her. Much. But Sienna Jameson as the maid of honor? Really? She might be Crystal’s best friend, but she’s ditzy and undependable on her best days. When the best man turns out to be hunky Derrick Richardson, the right fielder for the Houston Astros and one of Houston’s most eligible bachelors, Sienna abandons her duties as maid of honor to chase Derrick, and it’s up to Mari to make sure Crystal’s wedding day goes off without a hitch.

While Mari is wrapped up in dress fittings, bridal showers, and bachelorette nights, Derrick has taken notice of her devotion to her sister and her determination to make the wedding perfect. But between dodging Sienna’s advances and watching Mari running around like a madwoman, Derrick is left to steal moments whenever he can to get to know this beautiful bridesmaid.

When the maid of honor shows up to the ceremony late and more done up than the bride herself, Mari fears her attempts to make her sister’s wedding perfect have all been for naught. Will the bride be up-staged by the maid of honor? Will the fifth-in-line bridesmaid ever be recognized for all the work she’s done? And will Mari finally have a moment to revel in the magic of a wedding and dance in the strong arms of a man?


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