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Weekly Meme hosted by The Story SirenMailbox MondayTynga’s Reviews, etc.

Here are the books I received for review during the past 3 weeks.  (I fell behind during the holidays and am just now getting a post up so it’s 3 weeks worth of books).

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

Dark Memories by Jeffrey S. Savage

There are things in the darkness–things much worse than the tracks and abandoned pieces of equipment that trip the children up and gash at their feet and legs–things that brush silently past them, touching their faces before disappearing again . . .

1977- In the sleepy town of Twin Falls, Colorado, what starts as a carefree school picnic ends in tragedy when six children disappear into an abandoned gold mine. Six enter the dark void and days later, only five emerge. After an arduous search, the hunt for the last child is called off and the mine entrance is blasted. Little Frankie is left behind, alone in the darkness. He is coming.

2011 – Police Chief Cal Hunt’s investigation into a recent string of bizarre murders in Twin Falls takes a chilling turn when he learns that each of the victims was a survivor of the Seven Stars Mine incident. Cal realizes that they share a dark secret–the truth about what happened to Frankie. To drag them deeper. With time running out for the remaining survivors, Cal must face a killer that defies logical explanation. Because no matter how Cal analyzes the facts, there is only one conclusion: A supernatural force is reaching out from the depths to reclaim those who escaped more than thirty years before. And it will not rest until it takes them all . . . Into the darkness.

Drops of Gold by Sarah M. Eden

When her father dies and leaves her completely destitute, Marion can think of only one thing to do–make a new life for herself. Commencing a life of duplicity, Marion transforms herself into Mary Wood–governess. In possession of a forged letter of recommendation and cloaked in the anonymity of her new identity, she enters a life of self-imposed servitude as teacher and caretaker of young Miss Caroline Jonquil of Farland Meadows. Her idyllic daydream vision of life at the Meadows is dashed when she finds a child desperately in need of hope and a cold and sorrowful home haunted by the past. With her characteristic sunny disposition, Marion casts her spell upon the household and slowly brings to life the long-forgotten joy of those within.

Layton Jonquil is a man tormented by the lies surrounding the death of his late wife, but he cannot deny his growing attraction for the beautiful governess whose goodness and optimism have touched his dormant heart. Their connection grows ever stronger, and despite the impropriety of harboring feelings for a servant, Layton’s heart whispers that this is the woman he’s destined to love. But when Layton’s fears about the past become too much to bear and the falsehoods in which they are entangled threaten to shatter his and Marion’s blossoming attachment, will true love conquer all?

Band of Sisters: Coming Home by Annette Lyon

Five women became fast friends when their husbands were deployed to Afghanistan. But as they welcome the soldiers home, what should be a joyful time soon becomes painful. Kim, who had a baby while her husband was away, knows how to be a mother but has forgotten how to be a wife. Nora, accustomed to taking care of herself during the long years of her husband’s absence, resents having to forfeit her independence. Jess’s already troubled marriage turns dangerous, while Brenda struggles to manage her husband,s psychological trauma. And Marianne faces her crushing loss, compounded with worry over wayward children. Each woman must draw upon her bond of friendship and faith to find the strength, courage, and insight needed to move forward, proving that even the hardest of trials cannot break this loyal band of sisters.

The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

Seventeen-year-old Penelope “Lo” Marin has always collected beautiful things. Since her brother’s untimely death, her collection has become an obsession. When she finds an antique butterfly necklace that belonged to a murdered girl at a flea market, she impulsively steals it and becomes fixated. As Lo delves deeper into the life of this girl she feels an otherworldly connection to, she finds herself in the middle of a violent underworld of crime, drugs and sex. But the more questions she asks, the more danger she is in. Can Lo uncover the killer’s identity, or will she become the next victim?

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Every other day, Kali D’Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She argues with her father. She’s human.

And then every day in between . . . she’s something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her, and unfortunately she’ll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive . . . and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

Bitopia by Ari Magnusson

Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012! When you run from bullies, you never know where you might wind up… Bitopia is a wonderland of fantastical foliage and mysterious creatures. It’s also a place where Venators lurk, vile creatures that relentlessly hunt children. So the children of Bitopia, the only human inhabitants, are forced to live in a high-walled city for protection, a medieval metropolis of cold and shadow where time passes but no one ages, a place of no escape. Like all the other children of Bitopia, Stewart arrives there unexpectedly while fleeing from bullies. And, like all Newcomers, Stewart dreams of finding a way back home. Risking exile from the city and the protection that it offers, Stewart and Cora, his Finder, discover a clue to escaping, one that presents them with a terrible choice: face their greatest fear and risk death, or be trapped in Bitopia forever. A fast-paced adventure story that addresses a fundamental element of bullying–fear–and provides an example to readers of how to deal with bullying on their own. Ages 10 and up.

Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Christmas

‘Tis the season for worrying, planning, decorating, wrapping, entertaining, carolling and, worst of all, fruitcake! Scaredy Squirrel returns with a quirky safety guide filled with practical tips and nutty step-by-step instructions to help readers prepare for a perfect Christmas. A fun-filled guide sure to appeal to all the Scaredies out there!

The Amazing Action Alphabet by Esther Kehl

The most powerful way to teach letters and sounds.

An amazing yet simple technique of memorization by association that provides instant recall of letters and the sounds they make.

Message from a Hidden Past by Jos Rogiers

More than 3,200 years ago, a learned dwarf was pricked with the Sleeping Thorn and fell into a deep slumber in a secret cave somewhere on Earth. When he finally awoke, towards the end of 2009 or in the early part of 2010, he started to carry out the task he was charged with by his king: to reveal the truth about a hidden chapter of our past, that misunderstood period of our history when the so-called “gods” held sway over the world. He wrote an amazing book about this subject, a book that throws a completely new light on world history and human existence: “Message from a Hidden Past.” According to the author, the gods were neither supernatural beings nor products of the human imagination, let alone extraterrestrials. He describes them as hominids of flesh and blood, belonging to the further evolved species of Homo supersapiens. They were smarter, taller, and much more beautiful than humans. They were the true founders of civilization. The book explains their origins, describes their culture, and pictures the land in which they lived. Most revealing, it relates how the gods became involved with humans and the disastrous consequences of that fateful interaction. The dwarf recounts the story of a great world war that took place at the end of the Bronze Age and of an epic calamity that finally extinguished the Era of the Gods. Despite their physical destruction, the lore and images of the gods lived on in poetry, song, and myth. The book’s last chapters deal with what remains of them today, and discuss ancient prophecies that foretell their return at an uncertain date in the future.