Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Waiting to Read Wednesday: The Tea Rose/ Murder at the PTA / A Wild Winter Swan / Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past

The Old(er) 
I have an embarrassing number of unread books sitting on the shelves in my personal library. Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight and discuss those neglected books in her Books from the Backlog feature. After all, even those older books need a bit of love! Not to mention it is reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!

The Tea Rose
(The Tea Rose #1) by Jennifer Donnelly (2002)
East London, 1888 - a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night, where bright hopes meet the darkest truths. Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow, a costermonger's son. With nothing but their faith in each other to spur them on, Fiona and Joe struggle, save, and sacrifice to achieve their dreams. 

But Fiona's life is shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man take from her nearly everything-and everyone-she holds dear. Fearing her own death, she is forced to flee London for New York. There, her indomitable spirit propels her rise from a modest West Side shop-front to the top of Manhattan's tea trade. But Fiona's old ghosts do not rest quietly, and to silence them, she must venture back to the London of her childhood, where a deadly confrontation with her past becomes the key to her future. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: This landed on my TBR pile in January of 2008. It likely came recommended or I saw it mentioned on someone's blog somewhere. My interest in historical fiction, especially one involving a caretaker who rises above that which would hold her down, is probably what drew me to The Tea Rose

Have you read The Tea Rose? Does this book sound like something you would like to read? 

The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.

Murder at the PTA
(Maya and Sandra, #1) by Lee Hollis
Release Date: September 29, 2020 by Kensington
Someone is trying to turn Portland High into a school for scandal with a gossipy website called Dirty Laundry. The latest target of ruinous rumors is newly elected PTA president Sandra Wallage. After a heated meeting with outraged parents, Sandra runs into fellow school mom and private investigator Maya Kendrick, who's discovered the person behind the website. But when the women storm into the venomous gossip columnist’s office they find a lifeless body—along with a confession. Although the police rule the death a suicide, Maya suspects an injured party hung the Dirty Laundry creator out to dry. Maya already has a PI partner—but she's pregnant, and sonograms and stakeouts tend to conflict. So when Sandra volunteers for a crash course in sleuthing, Maya accepts the help. But as these unlikely partners study the clues, a killer plans to teach them a lesson . . . [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: So I admit it was the title that grabbed me first. But I do enjoy a good cozy mystery, and this sounds like it will be fun. 

A Wild Winter Swan
by Gregory Maguire
Release Date: October 6, 2020 by William Morrow
After brilliantly reimagining the worlds of Oz, Wonderland, Dickensian London, and the Nutcracker, the New York Times bestselling author of Wicked turns his unconventional genius to Hans Christian Andersen's "The Wild Swans," transforming this classic tale into an Italian-American girl's poignant coming-of-age story, set amid the magic of Christmas in 1960s New York.

Following her brother's death and her mother's emotional breakdown, Laura now lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, in a lonely townhouse she shares with her old-world, strict, often querulous grandparents. But the arrangement may be temporary. The quiet, awkward teenager has been getting into trouble at home and has been expelled from her high school for throwing a record album at a popular girl who bullied her. When Christmas is over and the new year begins, Laura may find herself at boarding school in Montreal.

Nearly unmoored from reality through her panic and submerged grief, Laura is startled when a handsome swan boy with only one wing lands on her roof. Hiding him from her ever-bickering grandparents, Laura tries to build the swan boy a wing so he can fly home. But the task is too difficult to accomplish herself. Little does Laura know that her struggle to find help for her new friend parallels that of her grandparents, who are desperate for a distant relative’s financial aid to save the family store.

As he explores themes of class, isolation, family, and the dangerous yearning to be saved by a power greater than ourselves, Gregory Maguire conjures a haunting, beautiful tale of magical realism that illuminates one young woman’s heartbreak and hope as she begins the inevitable journey to adulthood.
[Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: Maguire is known for his gift of re-spinning fairy tales in unique and different ways. I would like to see what he does with this one.

Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past
(A Salem B&B Mystery #3) by Traci Wilton

Release Date: September 29, 2020 by Kensington
Salem, Massachusetts B&B owner Charlene Morris is looking into a holiday hit-and-run, with a little help from her ghostly housemate . . .

Charlene's parents are in town for Christmas, and her mother is driving her up a tree. Her bed-and-breakfast's resident ghost, Jack, isn't fond of her either--and he's showing it with some haunting high jinks. But when Charlene takes her mom and dad out for dinner, the less-than-seasonal spirits take a deadly turn.

David Baldwin has just won a fortune in the lottery--and it adds a lot of drama to the charity auction he's hosting at his restaurant. When he caps off the evening by playing Santa and handing out checks to some of the attendees, the mood shifts . . . and Charlene observes mysterious tensions between David and his flashy, bleached-blonde wife, his neglected teenage son from a previous marriage, and his hostile business partner, among others. And they're only a few on the long list of potential suspects when David runs into the road and is mowed down by a fleeing motorist. Now it looks like it's going to be homicide for the holidays . . .
[Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: One of the many paranormal cozy mystery series that has been on my radar for quite a while now, but which I have yet to start. One of these days . . . Doesn't it sound good?!

Do any of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?

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  1. Out of these I think I'm most interested in A Wild Winter Swan. The cover is beautiful and I love the sound of it as well.

  2. I love the Rose trilogy, specifically the second book, but this first one is a good read too.

  3. Whilst still not convinced by books that reimagine the classics A Wild Winter Swan appeals to me as of course does Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past which should ideal for any Christmas reading challenges.

  4. I've read The Winter Rose by Donnelly, but not this one. I also liked her YA novel These Shallow Graves. I'd like a copy of A Wild Winter Swan for fairy tale retelling and cover. :)

  5. OMG Murder at the PTA! I was in PTA for YEARS, I definitely need to check that out:-)

  6. Mrs Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past has a white cat on the cover that I've missed on my TTT!! Ah no....

    I should start sorting out my TBR, this weekly feature might help with that....

    Hope you are having a good week!

    Elza Reads

  7. Oooh! All of these sound like interesting reads! Great picks!

    Here’s my WoW!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  8. The Tea Rose looks very familiar to me. Guess that book must be somewhere around here too *smile* Happy reading and thanks for sharing.

  9. Murder at the PTA sounds like a fun cozy mystery. Gregory Maguire is so hit or miss for me. But I'm always intrigued! Hope you get a hold of these soon!
    Lisa Loves Literature

  10. I love the cover of A Wild Winter Swan! And the idea of a Murder at the PTA totally made me laugh. :)

  11. Hey, good books all! I haven't read any of them, though I've been eyeing the Donnelly series for awhile. I hope you read it and give your thoughts. I like to read historical fiction around the holiday season (no true rhyme or reason, I just do). Also The Wild Swans sounds interesting. I have to say I've never read a Maguire retelling. I always link him in my mind to Wizard of Oz and haven't seen any of his other works. And the cozies look cute too. I'm sure if you pick up any of these you will enjoy it!

  12. These all look like fun, but goodness did Murder at the PTA sound like such a fun read 😁

  13. I have been loving Paranormal Cozies lately so I'm definitely adding Mrs Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past to my list. It sounds fantastic. Murder at the PTA sounds fun too and I love the cover of the first one!

  14. I think that I might have The Tea Rose hiding out on my shelf somewhere now that I think about it. I really do want to read more of Gregory Maguire's work as well. Enjoy!


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