Modest Musings

Welcome to Modest Musings!

This is were we tell you about the books we have acquired this week.  Whether it is through purchases, NetGalley or one of our many book list emails.  Please feel free to tell us what you think and if there is a particular book you are interested in seeing us review.  We hope you enjoy what we found this week!

Jessica’s Musings

22599493The Witch Within by Iva Kenaz – A gripping fantasy set in medieval Bohemia

After she has been charged with witchcraft, sixteen-year-old Talitha escapes to the abandoned Cursed Lands and seeks the ancient cave of her ancestors. In the deep woods, she starts to remember her ancestral lore of healing and magical symbolism and receives guidance on how to survive from the local spirits.
But soon she’s captured by two men, who were sent to take her to the local justice. One is a brute, but the other one is fatally attracted to her. After Talitha manages to escape them, she finds her ancestral cave, but also another one at the highest peak of the forest where a group of refugee women have established a camp. By facing both the dark and bright side of her kin, Talitha learns that what she thought was her curse, may yet become her gift.

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Blood Type by Melissa Luznicky Garrett – Since getting attacked by a vampire, I didn’t believe in beginnings. Only endings. Every person born to this world comes with an expiration date, but I had never considered mine. At least not until I met John.

Now the end was all I ever thought about. I woke up every morning wondering if that day would be my last. Venom pulsed in my veins and seeped into my bones, infecting all my vital organs and changing me from the inside out. Slowly killing me.
But I’d welcome death in the end, if only because the alternative was even more frightening.

Popular girl Blake Ehlert has it all: a prime spot on the cheerleading squad, a jock boyfriend who’s strong and sensitive, and the winning vote for Homecoming Queen two years in a row. But when she strikes up a conversation with loner John Kelly, her entire world starts to crumble.

John Kelly is a vampire—what’s known to his kind as a Compeller. It’s his job to recruit human Donors with a particular blood type.

And Blake is his next target.

20638897Four Ladies Only by Alretha Thomas – Sheridan Hawkins is a chain-smoking, former high school prom queen, trying to survive a marriage fraught with financial and emotional difficulties. Faye “Dimples” Davis is the first lady of a megachurch who desperately wants to have a baby. Victoria Williams is an elementary school teacher fighting for the love of her estranged husband and children. Danielle Wiley is a powerhouse attorney grappling with her sexual identity. These are the heroines of “Four Ladies Only.”

Their friendship began two decades ago in middle school and continued through high school. However, in their senior year, a horrific event took place that destroyed their relationship and belief and trust in one another. Twenty years later, the death of their mutual friend, Sabrina Brown, motivates them to try to reconcile. However, in the process, they are forced to tackle the secrets, lies, deceit, and hypocrisy that underpin each of their lives. But they soon come to realize that their biggest hurdle will be facing and reliving the one night that led to twenty years of separation.

Lynn’s Modest Musings

158620The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir– Lancaster and York. For much of the fifteenth century, these two families were locked in battle for control of the English throne. Kings were murdered and deposed. Armies marched on London. Old noble names were ruined while rising dynasties seized power and lands. The war between the royal houses of Lancaster and York, the most complex in English history, profoundly altered the course of the monarchy. Alison Weir, one of the foremost authorities on British history, brings brilliantly to life both the war itself and the larger-tha-life figures who fought it on the great stage of England. The Wars of the Roses is history at its very best—swift and compelling, rich in character, pageantry, and drama, and vivid in its re-creation of an astonishing period of history.

Look for special features inside.
Join the Circle for author chats and more.

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Mind Games by Kiersten White – Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

18987147The Best of Christmas – Don’t be a Scrooge—get in the holiday spirit with The Best of Christmas, a collection of classic books, poems and stories all centering around the most magical day of the year.Here you will find familiar favorites like A Christmas Carol and “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” as well as holiday works by authors as diverse as L. Frank Baum, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy, and even Harriet Beecher Stowe. Ranging in length, style, and subject, these works provide a well-rounded Christmas feast, and a host of supplementals you’re sure to enjoy.

Devil in the Dollhouse (Sandman Slim #3.5) by Richard Kadrey
James14740038 Stark, a.k.a. Sandman Slim, has a new job, but being the new Lucifer in town gives fresh meaning to the word “Hell.” Especially when he hears of hideous massacres near a haunted fortress out on Hell’s frontier.As far as Stark’s concerned, the more dead Hellions, the better, but he still has to prove that no one screws with Sandman Slim. And facing creatures so terrible even Hell does not want them is no cakewalk, even for Lucifer.

21844946Shadow Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal – Brandon Sanderson’s “Sixth of the Dusk,” set in his Cosmere universe shared by the Mistborn books and the #1 New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive, showcases a society on the brink of technological change. On the deadly island of Patji, where predators can sense the thoughts of their prey, a lone trapper discovers that the island is not the only thing out to kill him.Mary Robinette Kowal’s “A Fire in the Heavens” is a powerful tale of a refugee seeking to the near-mythical homeland her oppressed people left centuries ago. When Katin discovers the role the “eternal moon” occupies in the Center Kingdom, and the nature of the society under its constant light, she may find enemies and friends in unexpected places.

Dan Wells’s “I.E.Demon” features an Afghanistan field test of a piece of technology that is supposed to handle improvised explosive devices. Or so the engineers have told the EOD team that will be testing it; exactly what it does and how it does it are need-to-know, and the grunts don’t need to know. Until suddenly the need arises.

Howard Tayler’s “An Honest Death” stars the security team for the CEO of a biotech firm about to release the cure for old age. When an intruder appears and then vanishes from the CEO’s office, the bodyguards must discover why he is lying to them about his reason for pressing the panic button.

For years the hosts of Writing Excuses have been offering tips on brainstorming, drafting, workshopping, and revision, and now they offer an exhaustive look at the entire process. Not only does Shadows Beneath have four beautifully illustrated fantastic works of fiction, but it also includes transcripts of brainstorming and workshopping sessions, early drafts of the stories, essays about the stories’ creation, and details of all the edits made between the first and final drafts.

Come for the stories by award-winning authors; stay for the peek behind the creative curtain.

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