Saturday, August 10, 2013

My Ever-Growing TBR Pile 8/10/2013

Halide's Gift by Frances Kazan. Spotted this author guesting on a blog I follow. She was talking about Halide (an early feminist and warrior) and her new novel--not this one--but this is the one that caught my attention. I've nabbed myself a copy on Paperback Swap. Meanwhile, check it out for yourself:


Halide's Gift: A NovelSet in Constantinople in the dying days of the Ottoman empire, Halide’s Gift is the story of a family with a secret, and a society in turbulent transition. At the heart of Frances Kazan’s beguiling novel are two sisters—one flamboyant and mischievous, the other shy and full of dreams—bound by an extraordinary friendship and torn apart by their love of radically different men. In the tradition of Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, Halide’s Gift is an intimate portrait of a young woman of restrained passions and fiercely independent mind. A vibrant fusion of history and fiction, it tells the story of the legendary Halide Edib, the daughter of Sultan Abdulhamid’s first secretary, whose allegiance to the spiritual and traditional world of her mother and grandmother was destined to collide with the tantalizing promise of freedom.

The Commodore's DaughterThe Commodore's Daughter by Jaimie Brazil. The cover alone screams STRONG CHICK. Acquired via Netgalley, I plan to read this one soon.

Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Perry dreams of traveling the world, a dream that will never happen now that she's promised to a man twice her age. But what can she do? Run away. To Japan, where her survival is uncertain. Learning the ways of her new world, and the code of the Samurai, she uncovers a plot to ambush the American sailors. Now she must risk her own life in order to save her Commodore father.

The Golden Dice - A Tale of Ancient Rome (Tales of Ancient Rome, #2)The Golden Dice by Elisabeth Storrs. Spotted on a historical blog I follow. Actually, I found the blog via historical fiction author Lisa J. Yarde's FB feed! After following her link and reading the blurb, I marked this one as well.

During a ten year siege between two age-old enemies, three women follow very different paths to survive:

Caecilia, a young Roman woman, forsakes her city by marrying the Etruscan Vel Mastarna, exposing herself to the enmity of his people and the hatred of the Romans who consider her a traitoress…

Semni, a reckless Etruscan girl, becomes a servant in the House of Mastarna, embroiling herself in schemes that threaten Caecilia's children and her own chance for romance…

Pinna, a tomb whore, uses blackmail to escape her grim life and gain the attention of Rome's greatest general, choosing between her love for him and her loyalty to another…

Historical Fiction at its best, this second volume in the Tales of Rome series explores the lives of women in war while giving a glimpse into the sexuality, religion, and politics of Roman and Etruscan cultures, two great civilizations of ancient history.


Marilyn's Red DiaryMarilyn's Red Diary by E.Z. Friedel. This was a freebie and though I'm not a huge fan of Marilyn, I'm intrigued enough to read this. Perhaps he portrays her in a more flattering light than many others have.

Marilyn's Red Diary is shocking, funny, scandalous and sad but always brutally honest. Marilyn Monroe is caught between intellectual giants - her award-winning playwright husband Arthur Miller and her dashing politician boyfriend Jack. Then along comes Jack's fiery brother Bobby. The world's dream girl relates her intimate adventures with many of the era's who's who. Marilyn's Red Diary is a touching portrait of a hard-working, extremely bright woman, trapped in her own sensuality and, tragically, born far ahead of her time.

Joan of ArcJoan of Arc by Carl James. Another freebie. Do you for one second think I could not give this a go? It's about one of the most fascinating women in history.

As 15th century France is torn apart under the chaotic rule of mad king Charles VI, the kingdom’s last hope comes in the unexpected form of a young girl from the little village of Domr√©my. Guided by the word of God, Joan d’Arc is destined to pull the armies of France out of despair and forge them into an unstoppable force. Inspired by the Maid of Orleans’ iron will and unwavering belief, the French army turns the tide of the war and routes the overwhelming English legions. Ultimately, captured and betrayed by her own country, Joan must face the ultimate test of her faith!

The Rebel Pirate (Renegades of the Revolution, #2)The Rebel Pirate by Donna Thorland. Girl. Pirate. 'Nuff said. Coming in 2014, I spotted this on Edelweiss. It's on my wishlist.

1775, Boston Harbor. James Sparhawk, Master and Commander in the British Navy, knows trouble when he sees it. The ship he’s boarded is carrying ammunition and gold…into a country on the knife’s edge of war. Sparhawk’s duty is clear: confiscate the cargo, impound the vessel and seize the crew. But when one of the ship’s boys turns out to be a lovely girl, with a loaded pistol and dead-shot aim, Sparhawk finds himself held hostage aboard a Rebel privateer.

Sarah Ward never set out to break the law. Before Boston became a powder keg, she was poised to escape the stigma of being a notorious pirate’s daughter by wedding Micah Wild, one of Salem’s most successful merchants. Then a Patriot mob destroyed her fortune and Wild played her false by marrying her best friend and smuggling a chest of Rebel gold aboard her family’s ship.

Now branded a pirate herself, Sarah will do what she must to secure her family’s safety and her own future. Even if that means taking part in the cat and mouse game unfolding in Boston Harbor, the desperate naval fight between British and Rebel forces for the materiel of war—and pitting herself against James Sparhawk, the one man she cannot resist.


Antidote to Murder (Dr Dody McCleland, #2)Having read and enjoyed book one of this series, I've now added book two to my wishlist. You can't go wrong with suffragettes, murder, and a woman doctor. Antidote to Murder by Felicity Young.

In the scorching summer of 1911, London is a hotbed of political activity as women fight for their equality and Germany starts to pose a dangerous threat. But Dody McCleland, England’s first female autopsy surgeon, has more immediate concerns—such as finding out who’s trying to frame her for murder

A distraught scullery maid appears at Dody’s Women’s Clinic begging for an abortion. It turns out she has a case of lead poisoning, which Dody believes she took to induce a miscarriage. Instead of reporting the girl to the authorities, Dody decides to council her and prescribes an antidote. But days later, the maid is found dead from a bungled criminal abortion—and the coroner receives a series of anonymous letters accusing Dody of the crime.

Now, Dody has to find out who has framed her for the maid’s murder—or else she’ll be embroiled in a criminal trial. Chief Inspector Pike is working undercover on another case, playing the piano for an exotic dancer who may be spying for the Germans, but when he hears Dody’s in trouble, he insists on lending a hand. But as Pike and Dody are about to discover, she’s not only fighting for her career, but for her life, too…


The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion: A NovelThis one I spotted whilst browsing Amazon for upcoming historicals. It's on my wishlist now. The WWII storyline has nabbed my attention. The All-Girl Filling Station by Fannie Flag.

Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her three daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle. The only thing left to contend with now is her mother, the formidable and imposing Lenore Simmons Krackenberry—never an easy task. Lenore may be a lot of fun for other people, but is, for the most part, an overbearing presence for her daughter. Then one day, quite by accident, Sookie discovers a shocking secret about her mother’s past that knocks her for a loop and suddenly calls into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family, and her future.

Feeling like a stranger in her own life, and fearful of confronting her mother with questions, Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when an irrepressible woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family’s filling station. With so many men off to war, it’s up to Fritzi and her enterprising younger sisters to keep it going. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. But before long, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure when she receives a life-changing invitation from the U.S. military to assist in the war effort. As Sookie learns more and more about Fritzi’s story, she finds herself with new answers to the questions she’s been asking her whole life.


No Place for a DameAlso spotted on Amazon and on my wishlist: No Place for a Dame by Connie Brockway. May be too romancey (I don't mind romance books, just don't like the romance and sex to be 3/4 of the tale) for me, but I'm going to try it. I like the title and the premise:

Beautiful, bold and brilliant, Avery dreams of becoming a member of the Royal Astronomical Society—and the only way she can join the all-male society is to disguise herself as a boy. After helping Giles, Lord Strand, escape a disastrous engagement, she is certain he will assist in her daring masquerade. No lady would ever come up with such a preposterous scheme, and no gentleman would accept…but fortunately for Avery, Giles is no gentleman.

A bargain is struck between the stargazing adventuress and society's most sophisticated lord. He will sponsor her as his prodigy, and she will cover for him as he hunts London's darkest warrens for a missing colleague from his shadowy past. But time and again Giles finds his quest compromised by his fierce and unwise attraction to the lovely girl who, though no lady, may well be the one dame to finally unlock the secrets of his heart.


Japanese Roses: A Novel of the Japanese American InternmentKindle freebie: Japanese Roses by Theresa Lorella. I confess I've read my fill of Japanese Internment stories, but this has another twist to it: a Japanese-American trapped in Japan during this time. 


Japanese Roses tells the story of one Japanese-American family's incredible struggle to survive, caught in the tides of World War II and conflicted by national loyalty, forced to endure unspeakable betrayal and injustice. Spanning the years of the war for the Pacific, Japanese Roses tells the story not only of one family, but of the struggles of all Japanese Americans during a time when they were labeled the enemy both in their own country and the country of their parents. Alternating between the eyes of Maggie, Rose Marie, and Kimiko, the story moves from the streets of Seattle as the bombs are dropped in Pearl Harbor, to the prison camps that lined America's West Coast, to the devastation of Hiroshima as the war drew to a close.

Japanese RoseAnd this is funny...I came across this book while searching for usuable cover art to post on Goodreads for the above book. But this is a MUST GET MY HANDS ON title: Japanese Rose by Rei Kimura. It's about a girl who becomes a kamikaze pilot. Yea, she's on the wrong side, but it sounds like an incredible story.

The kamikaze pilots or “Winds of God” were created in 1945, during Japan’s twilight year of the Second World War. The world looked upon this monstrous creation of “human bombs” with disbelief but the young patriotic men of Japan who signed up for the terrifying attack missions of the kamikaze program were unstoppable.

Women looked on with envy and frustration at their own inadequacies which allowed only men into the program, but did anyone of them really take the daring step of breaking this rule?

"Japanese Rose" is a haunting story of the secret life and love of Sayuri Miyamoto, the woman who DID dare to take on the whole Japanese military to follow her dream of becoming a kamikaze pilot and paid dearly for that dream.

“No one must ever know there was a female kamikaze pilot to dishonor and disgrace the discipline of the Japanese military so from today, you Sayuri Miyamoto are officially dead!”

This book also takes readers on a sad journey through the ravages of war torn Japan seen from the eyes of a young woman who cherished the impossible and forbidden dream of becoming a female kamikaze pilot.

“Who is this? And why do you call me by this name? It hasn’t been used for 60 years!” the crisp irritable voice had changed to a soft, quivering whisper like the moaning of an injured animal and it made Mayumi uncomfortable at her intrusion into someone’s obviously painful past.

With these words, Sayuri Miyamoto finally broke the silence that had been imposed on her for decades. But History will never admit or accept her existence so was she real or a myth born of the feverish imagination of one woman with an unfulfilled dream?

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