Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Ever-Growing TBR Pile 9/14/2013

I'm excited about this last week's "finds".

The Invention of Wings: A NovelThe Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd nabbed my interest on Netgalley. At first I thought, "aviation!" Upon closer inspection it promises to be an interesting historical fiction following the life of two women, one of them for certain a real woman in history. It's at the moment on my wishlist. It releases in 2014. *Blurb is long, sorry.*

Hetty Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid.We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.

This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.


The Traitor's Wife: A NovelThe Traitor's Wife by Allison Pataki was spotted on Edelweiss. On my wishlist with a 2014 release. It's another historical about a real-life woman.

A riveting historical novel about Peggy Shippen Arnold, the cunning wife of Benedict Arnold and mastermind behind America’s most infamous act of treason.Everyone knows Benedict Arnold—the infamous Revolutionary War General who betrayed America and fled to the British as history’s most notorious turncoat. Many know Arnold’s co-conspirator, Major John AndrĂ©, who was apprehended with Arnold’s documents in his boots and hung at the orders of General George Washington. But few know of the integral third character in the plot; a charming and cunning young woman, who not only contributed to the betrayal but orchestrated it.

Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold’s age when she seduces the war hero during his stint as Military Commander of Philadelphia. Blinded by his young bride’s beauty and wit, Arnold does not realize that she harbors a secret: loyalty to the British. Nor does he know that she hides a past romance with the handsome British spy John Andrews;. Peggy watches as her husband, crippled from battle wounds and in debt from years of service to the colonies, grows ever more disillusioned with his hero, Washington, and the American cause. Together with her former lover and her disaffected husband, Peggy hatches the plot to deliver West Point to the British and, in exchange, win fame and fortune for herself and Arnold.

Told from the perspective of Peggy’s maid, whose faith in the new nation inspires her to intervene in her mistress’s affairs even when it could cost her everything, The Traitor’s Wife brings these infamous figures to life, illuminating the sordid details and the love triangle that nearly destroyed the American fight for freedom.


Beneath a Smuggler's MoonBeneath a Smuggler's Moon by Sandra Dubay was free on Amazon. The cover is dull, but the blurb caught my attention. I one time watched a movie on TCM that had a funny, similar plot, so I'm intrigued.

Faced the the prospect of becoming a servant in the home of her social-climbing step-brother and his wife, Jane Evans strikes out on her own after the death of her mother. She becomes the companion of Lady Minerva McAllister who hires her never suspecting that she is secretly the scandalous Lady J___ authoress of books lampooning the follies of high society in Victorian London.

But Lady Minerva has skeletons in her own family closet, most notably her nephew, Adam McAllister, the notorious Earl of Briarcliff. Three times married, two of Lord Briarcliff's wives met tragic ends and the third, packed off back to Paris after being exposed as a bigamous fortune-hunter, was considered by many to have been fortunate to escape with her life.

As Jane travels with Lady Minerva to sinister Briarcliff Castle on the edge of the Irish Sea, she plans to cast the enigmatic earl as the subject of her latest book. Instead she finds herself mesmerized by his dark and brooding charm. But even as the attraction between grows they are both endangered by the plots that swirl about the earl for a jealous, unscrupulous man will stop at nothing, not even murder, to dispose of the earl and steal his title and estate and a scorned woman from the earl's past will do anything to thwart the passion that blossoms between the earl and Jane---a passion born BENEATH A SMUGGLER'S MOON.


Doll of DawsonAlso a freebie, Doll of Dawson by Holly Dutch made it on my kindle. 

More than forty years after the Klondike gold rush, Helen—a young reporter for an Alaskan publication is determined to interview an aging, former dancehall girl to secure her place as a professional journalist.

Though the elderly woman's story of survival seems closely guarded, the memories of friendship and betrayal remain sharp within her mind.

As a new bride struggling to maintain the image of perfection from high society Minneapolis, Mae recounts the last gold rush expedition that promised to make thousands of men rich—including her husband Arthur, if only they could withstand the cold and treachery of the Chilkoot Trail, and of each other. Mae recalls several colourful characters including heroes, scoundrels, prostitutes—even an exotic bird!

However, when greed and corruption set in, Mae's husband leaves her stranded in Dawson City to fend for herself. It's then that she became the town's beloved "Doll of Dawson", melting the coldest hearts, and finding wealth beyond gold.

Based on the true events of a woman who lived in Dawson, Yukon at the time of the Klondike gold rush named Mae Field, and the actual article written four decades later entitled The Doll of Dawson by Helen Berg.


Show of ForceSpotted on Netgalley and couldn't resist as it has a woman fighter pilot in the Navy. Show of Force by A.J. Quinn.

It should have been simple, but life has a way of getting complicated.

When correspondent Tate McKenna broke her own rules and took navy pilot Lieutenant Commander Evan Kane home from an embassy dinner in Bahrain, she knew all the reasons why it wouldn’t work. Long, unpredictable work hours. Extended absences. The dangers inherent in their jobs. Yet after being with Evan once, it was inconceivable she wouldn’t be with her again.

When they finally have a chance to get things right, danger follows them home from Afghanistan. Now, Tate and Evan must stand together in a show of force or risk losing everything—including their lives.


Nabbed on Edelweiss because it looks too cute. Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase.

Suddenly Royal (Suddenly, #1)
Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.

While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.


Sadie's Secret (The Secret Lives of Will Tucker, #3)I love me some women spies. So when I saw this one on NG, I had to read it. Sadie's Secret by Kathleen Y'Barbo.

Louisiana, 1890--Sarah Louise "Sadie" Callum is a master of disguise, mostly due to her training as a Pinkerton agent but also from evading overprotective brothers as she grew up. When she takes on a new assignment with international connections, she has no idea her new cover will lead her on the adventure of a lifetime.

Undercover agent William Jefferson Tucker is not looking for marriage--pretend or otherwise--but his past is a secret, his twin brother has stolen his present, and his future is in the hands of the lovely Sadie Callum. Without her connections to the world of upper-crust New Orleans, Jefferson might never find a way to clear his name and solve the art forgery case that has eluded him for years.


Scent of ButterfliesGorgeous cover, Intriguing title, reputable publisher, and a blurb that screams strong woman, The Scent of Butterflies by Dora Levy Mossanen hit the wishlist for sure.

Such audacity she has, Soraya, a woman who dares to break free of the diamond-studded leash of her culture. A woman who refuses to accept the devastating betrayal her husband has perpetrated. A woman who refuses to forgive her best friend.

Soraya turns her back on Iran, fleeing to America to plot her intricate revenge. The Shah has fallen, her country is in turmoil, her marriage has crumbled, and she is unraveling. The cruel and intimate blow her husband has dealt her awakens an obsessive streak that explodes in the heated world of Los Angeles.

Yet the secret Soraya discovers proves far more devastating than anything she had imagined, unleashing a whirlwind of unexpected events that will leave the reader breathless.


FREE TODAY!!!! A novel about the woman pope, Pope Joan. I've talked about her a few times on here. I've not read this book about her yet, but it's now on my Kindle. Get yours here.

The Woman PopeIs there any truth to one of the most secret, yet persistent rumors in the Catholic Church's two thousand year history? In Rome, 858 A.D. While on his way to St. Peter's, Pope John Anglicus falls ill on a street. To their horror, the crowd discovers not only is the pope a woman, but she in the throes of labor. The pope and her secret lie in full view of a rampaging crowd. This compelling novel follows the legend of Pope Joan from her childhood, to Johanna von Mainz's epic adventure to find her father and the man she loves, both seemingly lost to her forever. She fights her way across a savage pre-Europe to get to Rome and her dreams, and we discover how she arrived at her fate. This story of a woman's rise to the papacy is a timeless struggle of someone who wanted it all: God, love, family, wisdom and, yes, power. Many have paid the highest price to make those dreams real, but none have been so completely erased from history as the woman pope.


  1. The Sue Monk Kidd book looks good, I'm adding that to my tbr list. Have you read 'Secret Life of Bees' by her? It's one of my favourites :)

    Dee x

    1. I have not..but if I read and like this one, I will for sure nab her older titles. I always do. (Nab their other titles when I find an author I like.) Wasn't that made into a movie?

    2. Yeah it was made into a movie but I've not seen it. Book is really good though :)