My Mailbox

Here are a few of the great books I received in the mail recently.

Renegade by J.A. Souders

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s believed that everything is perfect. Her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into Elysium’s secluded little world, Evelyn comes to a startling realization: Everything she knows is a lie.

Her memories have been altered.

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb…and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

Athena by Heather B. Moore

Self-proclaimed bachelorette Athena Di Jasper is at the top of her game. Her online magazine is thriving, and she’s in a comfortably static relationship, free of the kind of commitment that could lead to marriage she’s seen her parents rocky union, and it’s not for her. When her on-again, off-again boyfriend Karl wants to move their relationship to the next commitment level, Athena’s obvious dismay leads him to challenge her workaholic tendencies. His accusation is true: she hasn’t even paused to read a novel in years. Determined to prove Karl wrong, Athena takes a break from her hectic schedule to peruse a used bookstore, where she meets Grey, the intriguing and single proprietor. Her quest for change and her desire to see more of Grey leads Athena to stray from her to-do list and join the Newport Ladies Book Club. When Athena’s world is turned upside down by a family tragedy, she’s left to care for her terminally ill father. Juggling the demands of attending to an ailing parent and running her business, Athena comes to value the friendships of the book-club members, and she finds herself relying more and more on Grey’s support. When she stumbles across an old shoebox in her mother’s closet, she’s stunned by its contents, which hold unexpected truths about her parents relationship. As Athena delves into a past that defies her judgment about her parents’ marriage, she is forced to reevaluate her views on life and love.

Sweet Tooth by Kate Hopkins

A cultural history of candy—how it evolved from medicine and a luxury to today’s Kit Kat bars and M&M’s
Told through the Kate Hopkins’ travels in Europe and the U.S., Sweet Tooth is a first-hand account of her obsession with candy and a detailed look at its history and development. The sugary treats we enjoy today have a prominent past entertaining kings, curing the ill, and later developing into a billion-dollar industry. The dark side of this history is that the confectionery industry has helped create an environment of unhealthy overindulgence, has quelled any small business competition that was deemed to be a risk to any large company’s bottom line, and was largely responsible for the slave trade that evolved during the era of colonization.

Candy’s history is vast and complex and plays a distinct part in the growth of the Western world. Thanks to the ubiquity of these treats which allows us to take them for granted, that history has been hidden or forgotten. Until now. Filled with Hopkins’ trademark humor and accompanied by her Candy Grab Bag tasting notes, Sweet Tooth is a must-read for everybody who considers themselves a candy freak.

Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates

It wasn’t like she had not warned us.

It wasn’t like she had not prepared us.

We’d known that something was wrong those last several months.

But then, Tink hasn’t actually vanished. Tink is gone, and yet—she is here somewhere, even if we can’t see her.

Tink? Are you—here?

Fallen Angel by Connie Dial

Captain Josie Corsino has seen plenty of dead bodies during her twenty-one years with the Los Angeles Police Department, but the discovery of Hillary Dennis’s beautiful smiling corpse begins one of the most unusual and dangerous investigations of Josie’s career. The troubled teenage movie star is found murdered in a Hollywood Hills party house, a notorious location for vice and drug orgies. While the investigation provides little evidence, there are plenty of suspects including a city councilman’s son, several Hollywood police officers and even members of Josie’s family.

As the case progresses, Josie realizes there aren’t many of her subordinates or bosses she can trust other than homicide detective Red Behan and Lieutenant Marge Bailey, the vice supervisor; relying on them as she reluctantly takes charge of the homicide case, dodging interference and political pressure from both inside and outside her department. The situation isn’t much better at home where her husband Jake and her talented but unemployed son David expose her to the sort of scrutiny that could damage or even terminate her career.

The brutal killing doesn’t end with Hillary’s death. Josie soon finds herself in those dangerous and deadly situations typically not considered suitable for an LAPD captain, but she’s a tough cop who can run her station and still do solid police work. To catch a killer, she’s willing to jeopardize her position as a commanding officer and risk losing her life – and possibly the husband and son she loves.

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

The undead can really screw up your senior year . . .

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction