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Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie
St Martin’s Press
Release Date: August 31, 2010

Goodreads: Andie Miller is ready to move on in life. She wants to marry her fiance and leave behind everything in her past, especially her ex-husband, North Archer. But when Andie tries to gain closure with him, he asks one final favor of her before they go their separate ways forever. A very distant cousin of his has died and left North as the guardian of two orphans who have driven out three nannies already, and things are getting worse. He needs a very special person to take care of the situation and he knows Andie can handle anything…
When Andie meets the two children she quickly realizes things are much worse than she feared. The place is a mess, the children, Carter and Alice, aren’t your average delinquents, and the creepy old house where they live is being run by the worst housekeeper since Mrs. Danvers. What’s worse, Andie’s fiance thinks this is all a plan by North to get Andie back, and he may be right. Andie’s dreams have been haunted by North since she arrived at the old house. And that’s not the only haunting…
What follows is a hilarious adventure in exorcism, including a self-doubting parapsychologist, an annoyed medium, her Tarot-card reading mother, an avenging ex-mother-in-law, and, of course, her jealous fiance. And just when she thinks things couldn’t get more complicated, North shows up on the doorstep making her wonder if maybe this time things could be different between them.
If Andie can just get rid of all the guests and ghosts, she’s pretty sure she can save the kids, and herself, from the past. But fate might just have another thing in mind…

Jennifer Crusie is, hands down, my favorite comedic romance writer.  The first Crusie book I read was Bet Me and it was pure magic. I remember reading it back to back & then taking it back to the library only to check it out again a few days later because I needed to read it one more time. Not only did I take that one out, I took out every Crusie book the library had and spent the weekend engrossed.

It has been SIX YEARS since Jennifer Crusie published her last book (those anthologies & books with Bob Mayer don’t count!) and I’m glad I don’t have to wait any longer. At the end of this month I will have in my hand what I hope will be another sweet, hot and funny read. Welcome back, Jennifer Crusie! I’ve missed you!

 *Waiting on Wednesday is an ingenious idea hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore

Release Date: December 2010

In December 1893, Sherlock Holmes-adoring Londoners eagerly opened their Strand magazines– anticipating the detective’s next adventure– only to find the unthinkable: his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, had killed their hero off. London spiraled into mourning — crowds sported black armbands in grief — and railed against Conan Doyle as his assassin.

Then in 1901, just as abruptly as Conan Doyle had “murdered” Holmes in “The Final Problem,” he resurrected him. Though the writer kept detailed diaries of his days and work, Conan Doyle never explained this sudden change of heart. After his death, one of his journals from the interim period was discovered to be missing, and in the decades since, has never been found.

Or has it?

When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, The Baker Street Irregulars, he never imagines he’s about to be thrust onto the hunt for the holy grail of Holmes-ophiles: the missing diary. But when the world’s leading Doylean scholar is found murdered in his hotel room, it is Harold – using wisdom and methods gleaned from countless detective stories – who takes up the search, both for the diary and for the killer.

This type of work is clearly not everyone’s cup of tea, especially someone with a Conon Doyle aversion…wait, do such people actually exist? I don’t know, all I know is that I’m not one of them. I’m rather big on mystery, especially in the winter months when the thought of solving a crime while curled up under a warm blanket, sipping chamomile tea becomes especially appealing. This book will come out in December so its timing is perfect!

The only thing I’m a bit apprehensive about is that this is the author’s first book. I try and stick to a policy of never reading debut novels unless I’ve heard great things about them…usually form Janelle or Erin. But, I’ll take a leap of faith with this one on account that it’s being published by Twelve (an independent publishing company that limits its output to merely 12 books a year, one for each month). I’ve never been led astray by Twelve before; their selections criteria is pretty stringent. I’m hoping for more of the same with The Sherlockian.

*Waiting on Wednesday is an ingenious idea hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Matched by Ally Condie
Release date: November 30, 2010

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

There’s been a lot of buzz on different blogs about Matched and I hear it was the “must-get” item at BEA and I can see why.  Dystopian society, forbidden love, free will versus determinism, it all sounds positively delicious.  Plus, the cover is adorable!  I’m a big fan of romance with a sly sci-fi twist and this book seems like it will deliver on every level.  November (almost December!) is way too far away.

*Waiting on Wednesday is an ingenious idea hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

This week’s WoW (courtesy of Jill at Breaking the Spine!):

The Mischief of the Mistletoe: A Pink Carnation Christmas
Dutton Adult
Release Date: October 28, 2010

Goodreads: Arabella Dempsey’s dear friend Jane Austen warned her against teaching. But Miss Climpson’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies seems the perfect place for Arabella to claim her independence while keeping an eye on her younger sisters nearby. Just before Christmas, she accepts a position at the quiet girls’ school in Bath, expecting to face nothing more exciting than conducting the annual Christmas recital. She hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies…

Reginald “Turnip” Fitzhugh—often mistaken for the elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation—has blundered into danger before. But when he blunders into Miss Arabella Dempsey, it never occurs to him that she might be trouble. When Turnip and Arabella stumble upon a beautifully wrapped Christmas pudding with a cryptic message written in French, “Meet me at Farley Castle”, the unlikely vehicle for intrigue launches the pair on a Yuletide adventure that ranges from the Austens’ modest drawing room to the awe-inspiring estate of the Dukes of Dovedale, where the Dowager Duchess is hosting the most anticipated event of the year: an elaborate 12-day Christmas celebration. Will they find poinsettias or peril, dancing or danger? And is it possible that the fate of the British Empire rests in Arabella and Turnip’s hands, in the form of a festive Christmas pudding?

I believe it was April when Erin introduced me to Lauren Willig’s first book, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, and I immediately fell in love. I ran out and quickly bought the remaining books in the series (including the 6th one in HARDCOVER) and spent the week embracing/loving all things historical, romantic, and spy-like. For me, these books touch upon everything I love in a book–a clever female protagonist, a charming/handsome love interest, good old-fashioned but slightly spicy romance (well spicy as it can be for the 1800s) and adventure. This is really difficult but Willig does it well.

I was disappointed when I realized, after reading the sixth one, that there were no more but then I stumbled upon news of The Mischief of the Mistletoe and now I’m eagerly anticipating October! Sure, it’ll be a little colder. I won’t be able to wear shorts, go to the beach, drink a margarita on the patio…and yes, this will suck BUT I will be able to snuggle up on my couch and delve into the perfect mix of a Jane Austen+Carolyn Keene (Elizabeth Bennet & Nancy Drew anyone?) novel. Oh, The Mischief of The Mistletoe, you are not coming fast enough!

This week’s WoW (courtesy of Jill at Breaking the Spine!) comes to you from Erin & Janelle!

Janelle

A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay
St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: September 14, 2010

From Goodreads: This stunning new novel from Tatiana de Rosnay, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Sarah’s Key, plumbs the depths of complex family relationships and the power of a past secret to change everything in the present.

It all began with a simple seaside vacation, a brother and sister recapturing their childhood. Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island, where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island—over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased. But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island summer. When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Recovering from the accident in a nearby hospital, Mélanie tries to recall what caused her to crash. Antoine encounters an unexpected ally: sexy, streetwise Angèle, a mortician who will teach him new meanings for the words life, love and death. Suddenly, however, the past comes swinging back at both siblings, burdened with a dark truth about their mother, Clarisse.

Trapped in the wake of a shocking family secret shrouded by taboo, Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with his own children. How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself? Suddenly fragile on all fronts as a son, a husband, a brother and a father, Antoine Rey will learn the truth about his family and himself the hard way. By turns thrilling, seductive and destructive, with a lingering effect that is bittersweet and redeeming, A Secret Kept is the story of a modern family, the invisible ties that hold it together, and the impact it has throughout life.

I really enjoyed the author’s previous work Sarah’s Key, in which she delved into the 1942 round-up of over 10,000 Jews in France, so I’m excited to know that she has another book coming out this fall. Her exploration of  the horrific events of Vel d’Hiv using the parallels of Sarah’s life during World War II and an American journalist named Julia kept me capitvated, as their stories began to intersect and we learned more about Sarah and this Parisian tragedy, so I look forward to the story de Rosnay will tell next.

Erin

Blameless (The Parasol Protectorate, #3) by Gail Carriger
Orbit Books
Release date: September 1, 2010

From Goodreads:  (I’m giving you the summary for the first in the Parasol Protectorate series because the summaries for the second and third books contain spoilers)

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Steampunk Victorian England? Werewolf detectives? Vampire dandies?  When I first heard of this series it seemed almost too good to be true.  This series, besides have awesome covers that I want to blow up, frame and put on my walls, is just delightful.  I can’t believe someone hadn’t combined two of my favorite things (Victorian England and the supernatural) before this.  Alexia is a smart, independent woman and a fabulous protagonist, but I have to admit, it’s Lord Maccon that has me eagerly awaiting this new book.  I was quite put out with the werewolf and the end of book two and hope he redeems himself in this new book.  I can’t wait to see how Carriger delves deeper into the world she’s created.  If you haven’t read Soulless or Changeless I wholeheartedly recommend you pick them up before September 1st!

I was inspired by Jill’s fantastic meme over at Breaking the Spine and thought we here at Lit Snit would not only talk about what we’ve read, but start to look forward to talk about what we’re dying to read.

Mockingjay (Hunger Games, #3)

by Suzanne Collins
Scholastic Press
Releases August 24th

From Goodreads:

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

This is a popular YA book that I’m sure anyone who has read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire is also dying to get their hands on, but there are plenty of people who aren’t big YA or sci-fi readers who have yet to discover these fantastic books.  To them I would say: run, do not walk,  to your local book store or library and read these books ASAP.  You don’t have to be a fan of either genre to enjoy Collins’s trilogy.  Not only are the Hunger Games books thrilling, emotional, and thought-provoking, but Katniss might be one of my favorite female protagonists ever.  I’ll definitely be in stores on August 24th to pick up my copy of the exciting conclusion to this brilliant trilogy.

What books are you looking forward to this summer?