In Samantha’s Mailbox:
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Received: From Kate @ Media Muscle
Synopsis: One School, one gunman, your child. One Breath Away is the story of one harrowing event seen through the eyes of five very different narrators. Nearing retirement, Evelyn Oliver has been teaching for forty three years and believes that she has seen it all until the safety of her classroom is compromised by a man with a grudge. When her school goes into lockdown all thirteen year old Augie Baker can think about is getting to her little brother. Instead she comes face to face with the intruder and quickly understands that she may be the only one who can save her brother, his classmates and his teacher. Holly Baker, Augie’s mother, lies miles away in an Arizona hospital recovering from a terrible accident, and can only wait helplessly while the horrors of the day unfold at her children’s school. Will Thwaite, Augie’s grandfather and pillar of the community, upon hearing of the siege at the school realizes that he may have lost the opportunity to repair his fragile relationships with his daughter and granddaughter. Police Officer Meg Barrett, the only woman on the small Broken Branch police force, has responded to domestic abuse calls, exploding meth labs, hunting and drunk driving accidents. She prides herself in being impervious to the emotion and heartache that often accompany her chosen profession, but nothing prepares her for the potential devastation this one lone man could have on her community and on her own future. As the minutes pass relentlessly, the hidden fears and grudges of the small town are revealed as the people of Broken Branch race to uncover the identity of the stranger who holds their children hostage.
Author: Deborah Michael
Received: From Erin @ Penguin Group
Synopsis: A good marriage lasts forever…until it doesn’t.
From the start, Lynn and Jamie Prosper were one of those couples who seem meant to be—so content with each other that they barely notice the rest of the world nodding approvingly at their wedded bliss. But sometimes, even in the very best of marriages, all it takes is a mischievous outsider to bring the perfect couple toppling off the top of the wedding cake…
True, Jamie has been working so hard and traveling so much as a young lawyer that he hardly has enough energy to show his devotion. Not that Lynn, a junior museum curator, has any reason to question it. But when Lynn’s old college friend turns up at a cocktail party, chinks in their marriage’s previously unassailable armor start to show.
Suddenly, without meaning to, Lynn and Jamie have both acquired divorce lawyers. And those benevolent onlookers—meddling in-laws and competitive friends alike—eagerly bear witness to each new misstep. Is love really enough to make a marriage last?
In Sara’s Mailbox:
Author: Jennifer Gilbert
Received: Angela Marzan
Synopsis: When Jennifer Gilbert was just a year out of college, a twenty-two-year-old fresh-faced young woman looking forward to a bright future, someone tried to cut her life short in the most violent way. But she survived, and not wanting this traumatic event to define her life, she buried it deep within and never spoke of it again.
She bravely launched a fabulous career in New York as an event planner, designing lavish parties and fairy-tale weddings. Determined to help others celebrate and enjoy life’s greatest moments, she was convinced she’d never again feel joy herself. Yet it was these weddings, anniversaries, and holiday parties, showered with all her love and attention through those silent, scary years, that slowly brought her back to life.
Always the calm in the event-planning storm—she could fix a ripped wedding dress, solve the problem of an undelivered wedding cake in the nick of time, and move a party with two days’ notice when disaster struck—there was no crisis that she couldn’t turn into a professional triumph. Somewhere along the way, she felt a stirring in her heart and began yearning for more than just standing on the sidelines living vicariously through other people’s lives. She fell in love, had her heart broken a few times, and then one day she found true love in a place so surprising that it literally knocked her out of her chair.
As Gilbert learned over and over again, no one’s entitled to an easy road, and some people’s roads are bumpier than others. But survive each twist and turn she does—sometimes with tears, sometimes with laughter, and often with both.
Warm, wise, alternately painful and funny, I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag is an inspiring memoir of survival, renewal, and transformation. It’s a tale about learning to let go and be happy after years of faking it, proving that while we can’t always control what happens to us, we can control who we become. And instead of anticipating our present in a goodie bag at the end of an event, we realize our presence at every event is the real gift.
Author: Kajsa Ingemarsson
Received: Sarah @Smith Publicity
Synopsis: Yesterday’s News begins with Agnes, a small-town girl lost in a sea of woe in big city Stockholm. She’s been fired by an abusive boss, dumped by an unfaithful boyfriend and victimized by her own optimism. Agnes is depressed, despondent and ready for a change. But as the nature of change dictates, Agnes has no idea how wild a ride she’s in for – nor how complete her transformation will be.