Today I’m once again directing the spotlight on a particular section of my To Be Read Pile – review copies I’ve received from authors.
I’m currently closed to review requests but before I pulled up the drawbridge (so to speak) I’d already amassed quite a few books sent to me for review by authors. I’ll confess I’ve not made as much progress as I would have liked in reducing my author review pile and some of the books have been languishing there for quite some time.
Therefore, in highlighting a few of the books in my author review pile, I’m hoping to assuage my guilt at the length of time they’ve been there, reassure their lovely authors that I haven’t forgotten my promise to read and review them, and perhaps tempt other readers into adding them to their own TBR piles.
Artefacts & Other Stories by Rebecca Burns
That dandelion. A flash of stubborn yellow in a dark box of space. It had promised sunshine but had tasted sour.
Artefacts. A dandelion. A mayfly. A family, bereft. Items and mementos of a life, lived hard and with love, or long, empty, bitter.
In these sharply drawn and unflinching short stories, Rebecca Burns unpicks the connection between the lives we live and what we leave behind.
355: The Women of Washington’s Spy Ring by Kit Sergeant
Who was the mysterious 355?
Culper Ring members such as Robert Townsend and Hercules Mulligan are well known for the part they played in the Revolutionary War, but who was the mysterious 355 that could “outwit them all”? Inspired by many of the same characters featured in AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies and the Broadway musical Hamilton, 355: The Women of Washington’s Spy Ring chronicles the lives of three remarkable women who use daring, skill, and, yes, a bit of flirtation, to help liberate America.
British sympathizer Margaret (Meg) Moncrieffe expects to find the carefree America she remembers as a youth when she returns from her Irish boarding school. Instead she finds the new country at war, with her father on one side and her new love, Aaron Burr, on the other. When her misguided attempt to end the war results in dire consequences for the Continental Army, Meg switches allegiances in order to amend the damage she caused.
After her husband Jonathan is captured by the British and dies aboard one of the notorious prison ships, a pregnant Elizabeth Burgin realizes she is stronger than she once thought. When a prominent member of the Culper Ring enlists her help on a heist of the prison ships, Elizabeth readily accepts, putting herself and her family in jeopardy in order to save the lives of strangers.
Patriot Sally Townsend wants nothing more than freedom for America. When her family is forced to take in enemy soldiers, Sally seizes the opportunity to garner information from them and pass it on to her brother, Robert, knowing that one false move could result in the noose for both of them. Instead of finding herself in danger when British intelligence officer Major John André shows up at her family’s doorstep, Sally finds herself falling in love. But Major André is playing the same dangerous game as her and Robert, albeit for the other side.
Told from the viewpoints of these three women—including the one operating under the code name 355: The Women of Washington’s Spy Ring is an absorbing tale of family, duty, love, and betrayal.
Burning Cold (Cara Walden Mystery #2) by Lisa Lieberman
Budapest: 1956. Newlywed Cara Walden’s brother Zoltán has disappeared in the middle of the Hungarian revolution, harboring a deadly wartime secret. Will Cara or the Soviets find him first?
Cutting short her honeymoon in Paris to rescue a sibling she’s never met was not Cara’s idea, but her husband Jakub has a reckless streak, and she is too much in love to question his judgment. Together with her older brother Gray, they venture behind the Iron Curtain, seeking clues to Zoltán’s whereabouts among his circle of fellow dissidents, all victims of the recently overthrown Communist regime. One of them betrayed him, and Cara realizes that the investigation has put every person they’ve met at risk. Inadvertently, they’ve also unmasked a Russian spy, who is now tailing them in the hope that they will lead him to Zoltán.
The noir film of Graham Greene’s The Third Man inspires Lisa Lieberman’s historical thriller. Burning Cold features a compelling female protagonist who comes to know her own strength in the course of her adventures