A librarian's discovery of a mysterious book sparks the journey of a lifetime in the delightful new novel from the international bestselling author of The Curious Charms of Arthur PepperLibrarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people--though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her superhero-themed notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she's invisible.All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend--her grandmother Zelda--who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda's past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.Filled with Phaedra Patrick's signature charm and vivid characters, The Library of Lost and Found is a heartwarming and poignant tale of how one woman must take control of her destiny to write her own happy ending.
#FirstLine ~ As always, Martha Storm was primed for action.
The Library of Lost and Found was one of those reads that makes your heart happy. It was tender and sweet with a bit a mystery mixed in. It was character driven without being overdone. It was a story where you cannot help but cheer for the main character because they seem so very real and multi-layered. I loved that the story build upon itself slowly. It was paced perfectly. Such a perfect book to curl up and read (maybe in one sitting) when the weather outside urges you to stay in!
Three women—two sisters and their aunt—and the cliff house on the northern California coast that served as a beacon to them all…
After the death of their mother, sisters Daisy and Beatriz Davenport found a home with their aunt Stella in the beautiful and welcoming town of Cape Sanctuary. They never knew all the dreams that Stella sacrificed to ensure they had everything they’d ever need. Now, with Daisy and Bea grown, it’s time for Stella to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from them—a secret that will change their family forever.
Bea thought she’d sown all her wild oats when she got pregnant far too young. The marriage that followed was rocky and not destined to last, but it gave Bea her wonderful, mature, now eleven-year-old daughter, Marisol. But just as she’s beginning to pursue a new love with an old friend, Bea’s ex-husband resurfaces and turns their lives completely upside down.
Then there’s Daisy—sensible, rational, financially prudent Daisy. She’s never taken a risk in her life—until she meets a man who makes her question everything she thought she knew about life, love and the power of taking chances.
In this heartwarming story, Stella, Bea and Daisy will discover that the path to true happiness is filled with twists and turns, but love always leads them back home.
#FirstLine ~ A man was staring at her in the oral care aisle.
I love books that follow multiple characters because you get to really explore numerous lives concurrency. The Cliff House provided the reader a story filled with characters that have to travel their own path to find what happiness really means to them. They are forced to confront their past to be able to fully live their futures free of those past burdens. Each of the characters in this book had their own struggles and realized that the path with the twist and turns is the one that lead them to where they needed to end up. You will find yourself delighted by the ending of this heartwarming story.
I'm not one of those people who knew from birth she was destined to become a writer. I always loved to read and throughout my childhood I could usually be found with a book in my hands. To the disgust of my friends, I even enjoyed creative writing assignments that made them all groan. But I had other dreams besides writing. I wanted to be an actress or a teacher or a lawyer.
Life took a different turn for me, though, when my mother made me take a journalism elective in high school (thanks, Mom!). I knew the first day that this was where I belonged.
After I graduated from college in journalism, I took a job at the local daily newspaper and I reveled in the challenge and the diversity of it. One day I could be interviewing the latest country music star, the next day I was writing about local motorcycle gangs or interviewing an award-winning scientist.
Through it all -- through the natural progression of my career from reporter to editor -- I wrote stories in my head. Not just any stories, either, but romances, the kind of books I have devoured since junior high school, with tales about real people going through the trials and tribulations of life until they find deep and lasting love.
I had no idea how to put these people on paper, but knew I had to try -- their stories were too compelling for me to ignore. I sold my first book in 1995 and now, more than 30 books later, I've come to love everything about writing, from the click of the computer keys under my fingers to the "that's-it!" feeling I get when a story is flowing.
I write full-time now (well, as full-time as I can manage juggling my kids!) amid the raw beauty of the northern Utah mountains.
Even though I might not have dreamed of being a writer when I was younger, now I simply can't imagine my life any other way.
I love to hear from readers. You can reach me at my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s spring and everywhere birds are calling out to each other in TheSong of Springby Hendrik Jonas (ISBN: 978-3-7913-7379-9; March 2019; Ages 2-5; Hardcover $12.95; 52 pages). But one bird has forgotten which sound to make. He tries “Woof,” and meets a dog, who encourages him to try “Oink,” with the expected result. Moo, Hee-Haw, Meh, Meow—each successive call adds another animal friend to the page. Will the young bird find another bird friend? As young readers are introduced to each type of animal and their sounds, Hendrik Jonas’ clever illustrations grow increasingly crowded. The result is a beautiful celebration of friendship that will delight young children everywhere.
This book is ADORABLE! I loved it cover to cover and I cannot wait to share it in my classes. The illustrations are darling and the story is funny and sweet. Kids are going to get transfixed by the
animal characters because each of them has a distinct personality. Kids will love watching to see if little bird can figure out the song of spring with the help of some new friends! A super beautiful book both in story and illustrations!
#FirstLine ~ The fine hair across her forearms prickled beneath the soft satin of her sleeves.
Magic is not allowed, under any circumstances — even if it could save someone’s life. Instead, there are herbal remedies and traditional techniques that have been painstakingly recorded in lieu of using the mystical arts. Fee knows this, so she keeps her magic a secret.
Except her best friend, Xavi, is deathly ill. He’s also the crown prince. Saving him is important, not only for her, but for the entire kingdom.
Fee’s desperation to save her friend means she can barely contain the magic inside her. And after the tiniest of slips, Fee is thrust into a dark and secretive world that is as alluring as it is dangerous.
If she gives in, it could mean she can save Xavi. But it also means that those who wish to snuff out magic might just snuff her out in the process.
Shelley Sackier grew up in a small farming community in Northern Wisconsin continually searching for ways to grow warm. Realizing she would never be able to enjoy ice cream like real people should, she left the state and lived the blissful life of a traveling musician. Discovering her stories needed more space than two verses a bridge and a chorus could provide, she began storytelling in earnest. And then in Virginia. Which is where she lives now and continues to write.
Her first novel, DEAR OPL (Sourcebooks 2015), is a tale about a snarky, overweight thirteen-year old, who suffers from loss everywhere in her life except on her body. Her next novel, The Freemason's Daughter (HarperCollins, 2017) is a story about a 16 yr old Scottish girl living in 1715 who's raised entirely by six burly Scotsman--and they're all smugglers. The Antidote (HarperCollins February 2019) is a YA novel about magic and medicine, and the witches who wield them both.
To learn more about Shelley, visit shelleysackier.com where she blogs weekly about living on a small farm atop a mountain in the Blue Ridge and how it’s easiest to handle most of it with home grown food, a breathless adoration for tractors, and a large dose of single malt scotch. You can also find her on Twitter @ShelleySackier, Instagram, and Facebook.
#FirstLine ~ A head popped around the doorway of cabin 202, a thick hazelnut ponytail swinging from the top.
This book is so great for kids. It is a wild and action-packed adventure that kids (and parents) will love. I adore that The Falcon's Feather is book two of seven to be released in this series. My son fell in love with the first book and has been totally engrossed in the second. The book is based on real-life science, exploration and mission of the National Geographic Society. This is what sets Nat Geo apart from all the others. With the action packed adventure, code breaking and exploration this group of students will attend the Explorers Academy and get to really dive into a thrilling quest. All kids will be able to relate to the characters, will get immersed in the science and will love traveling the world. This series will be a hit and we cannot wait to continue on the adventures.
#FirstLine ~ One day last July, feeling delighted and compelled to both wonder about and share that delight, I decided that it might feel nice, even useful, to write a daily essay about something delightful.
Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights is a genre-defying book of essays—some as short as a paragraph; some as long as five pages—that record the small joys that occurred in one year, from birthday to birthday, and that we often overlook in our busy lives. His is a meditation on delight that takes a clear-eyed view of the complexities, even the terrors, in his life, including living in America as a black man; the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture; the loss of those he loves. Among Gay’s funny, poetic, philosophical delights: the way Botan Rice Candy wrappers melt in your mouth, the volunteer crossing guard with a pronounced tremor whom he imagines as a kind of boat-woman escorting pedestrians across the River Styx, a friend’s unabashed use of air quotes, pickup basketball games, the silent nod of acknowledgment between black people. And more than any other subject, Gay celebrates the beauty of the natural world—his garden, the flowers in the sidewalk, the birds, the bees, the mushrooms, the trees.
This is not a book of how-to or inspiration, though it could be read that way. Fans of Roxane Gay, Maggie Nelson, and Kiese Laymon will revel in Gay’s voice, and his insights. The Book of Delights is about our connection to the world, to each other, and the rewards that come from a life closely observed. Gay’s pieces serve as a powerful and necessary reminder that we can, and should, stake out a space in our lives for delight.
Ross Gay is the author of three books of poetry: Against Which;Bringing the Shovel Down; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His collection of essays,The Book of Delights, was released by Algonquin Books in 2019.
Ross is the also the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook "Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens," in addition to being co-author, with Richard Wehrenberg, Jr., of the chapbook, "River." He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin', in addition to being an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press. Ross is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University.
A great book that helps children deal with the anxieties and stresses of school, friends and all the things children face as they grow up. In this installment Bree must work through her anxieties of loosing a tooth when something unexpected happens! Bree worries about how this will this all work itself out? These books allows the reader to learn ways to copes with a variety of stresses. Bree is likable and one that kids can relate to, so it allows kids to feel less alone, less strange and less scared when they face similar struggles. This book also allows kids to relate to others while they are struggling with personal challenges. A book I highly recommend.
Countdown America is a new political cyber espionage novel with a fierce female protagonist who also happens to be a single mom, providing a thrilling and relevant read that is also an inspiration to women everywhere.
Truth can often seem stranger than fiction. The United States has certainly seen that played out in full over the past few years – from politicians gone haywire, Russian hacking scandals, the women’s empowerment movement and more – each news day seems crazier than the last. Author M.C. Fox looked at all that was happening around her – the unstable political climate, crazy international scandals and powerful women stepping up – and realized she had the perfect ingredients for a novel. From there, Countdown America was born, a whirlwind of a spy story set in the world of political cyber-espionage, all led by a fierce female protagonist.
Countdown America follows CIA agent and single mother Isabella Bendel. After the loss of her husband, she accepts a promotion to chief supervisor – a much less dangerous position than what she's accustomed to—so she can raise her two children without fear of leaving them without any parents. But any illusions of safety are shattered when, while on her Sunday morning jog in a Washington, D.C. park, she survives a brutal assassination attempt. She hauls her assailant into CIA headquarters, confident she can get to the bottom of why he was after her. Her blood runs cold when she learns the truth...as he was trying to take her out, armed terrorists abducted her children and mother right out of her home. Pushed to the brink of what any mother can endure, Isabella calls on all of her training and deadly skills to get her family back. During this mission, she fights her way through
“All mothers feel like they juggle a million things at once,” says Fox. “Isabella takes that to a whole new level by not only trying to save her family, but the entire United States. Countdown Americatakes readers not only on an entertaining, whirlwind adventure but motivating them to take on whatever crazy parenting and work throws at them – whether it involves Russian spies or not.”
Q&A WITH M.C. FOX
AUTHOR OF THE NEW NOVEL COUNTDOWN AMERICA
Question: Tell us what Countdown America is all about.
M.C. Fox:.Countdown America is about a single mom, Isabella Bendel, who rises through the ranks of the CIA to Chief Supervisor of the Cyber Terrorism Unit. She finds herself at the other end of a case she never thought she would ever be on. Trying to figure out why she has become a target, while also trying to figure out why her family has been abducted. This is the toughest mission she has ever worked. She finds herself fighting her way through assassins, cyber-terrorists, and duplicitous fellow agents, as she uncovers a Russian plot that is hell-bent on destroying the United States.
Q:What inspired you to write this novel?
Fox: Initially it was hearing about Russia’s attacks against countries of the former Soviet Republic. More recently, the news of the moles found in the United States, the hacking of our elections, and as reported, political meddling in several other countries. I thought it was the perfect ingredients for a spy story set in the world of political cyber-espionage.
Q: Isabella Bendel seems like a fierce character. What was your motivation behind creating such a strong female protagonist?
Fox: Firstly, I wanted to create a female lead. There are not a lot of female lead characters in the spy genre. In my mind, Isabella couldn’t be anything but strong considering she is a single mom, and in her case, her line of work. I believe she is a good role model for women. She rises above her emotional distress and her vulnerability and carries on with the task at hand.
Q:It is interesting that you created Isabella to be a single mother. What was your thought behind that choice?
Fox: My thought was to create a strong yet vulnerable character. Being a single mom can be very vulnerable. You are doing it all. There are so many single mom’s out there that feel they can’t make it on their own, can’t do what they need to do to take care of their children. I think it can speak to those single mom’s that don’t feel they can do it all. When they see Isabella doing it, it could help them see that they can too.
Q:And why cyber security – why did you tackle that subject?
Fox: It is a very “now” thing and I thought it would make a great plot line. We hear more and more of cyber related threats out there, for example, identity theft, and hacking financial institutions to name a few. More recently Russia’s reported involvement in the hacking of the elections in the United States. Everything is cyber related and it is a real threat, as we see played out in the news more and more.
Q: Beyond being entertained, what do you hope readers take away from reading Countdown America?
Fox: I hope it moves people to rise above circumstances and succeed. To move past the notion that because they are female, or vulnerable, that success is not an option. I also hope to bring awareness around cyber threat. We live in a day and age when everything is cyber related. The threats are real and so too must be the efforts to remove that threat.
M.C. FOX has long been fascinated by the world of espionage. Living right in the heart of New York City, she constantly is inspired by the sights and sounds of a large city, and how that forms the perfect environment for a fast-paced thriller. Given our currently unstable political climate, as well as the Russian hacking of the election, she knew that now was the perfect time to bring her readers a spy story set in the world of political cyber-espionage, led by a fierce female protagonist.
The companion to A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars.
Did you know there is enough energy in your pinkie finger to power an entire city? And that everything you do--running, jumping, playing, and exploring--uses that same energy inside of you?
In the companion to A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars, Seth Fishman and Isabel Greenberg explore the relationship between energy and the human body, breaking down complicated concepts into small, child-friendly segments.
A very entertaining and educational book explaining all the ways are bodies are amazing. Would you believe me if I said that this book explained how you have enough power in your pinky to power a large city for an entire day? Well when you read this book you will be taught why this is true and what a special treasure our bodies are! With bright and colorful illustration this book will launch the reader into a story that will both amaze and entertain!
Antoinette Clark’s Kindness Matters buzzes with important life-lessons
MONROE, LA–Debut author Antoinette Clark’s debut in children’s literature Kindness Matters: Sharing Bees (Royal 7 Publishing, April 22, 2019) releases this spring, teaching young kids the importance of spreading kindness. With a strong focus on sharing, Clark’s book proves that anyone can be a hero, even the buzzing bees.
In Honeycomb City, Sadie and her friends happily buzz from flower to flower, collecting nectar and pollen to bring back to the honeycomb. When they suddenly spot storm clouds in the distance, Sadie suggests that everyone share the heavy load so they can fly back to the hive before the rain starts. Sadie returns to the hive where the Queen Bee praises her selfless leadership and bravery.
Releasing on Earth Day 2019, Kindness Matters will not only show young children examples of selfless kindness, but also teach kids the important role of bees in helping spring flowers come to life each year.
Kindness Matters: Sharing Bees by Antoinette Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"Sharing makes us happy," Sadie said. This sweet stories teaches young ones that working together to lighten each others load helps to keep everyone safe and accomplishes the mission. With beautiful and colorful illustrations this story is sure to capture and keep the attention of new or beginning readers!
View all my reviews
ANTOINETTE CLARK is the president and CEO of Shoulders of Strength, Inc. an agency providing counseling services to people of all ages as well as support coordination services for those with developmental delays and disabilities. Clark and her staff have been helping those in need at Shoulders of Strength for over 14 years. She is the author of the Kindness Matters Series, born from her belief in the power of kindness and helping others. For more on the work Clark is doing, visit http://www.royal7publishing.com/.
The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters who get dumped in the same week…
Finola, a popular LA morning show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.
Zennie’s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists she pair up, she’d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainer—after all, she has an available womb and no other attachments to worry about. Except…when everyone else, including her big sister, thinks she’s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot lonelier—and more complicated—than she imagined.
Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used to being overlooked, but when her fiancé sends his disapproving brother to call off the wedding, it’s a new low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up “for support,” making Ali wonder if maybe—for once—someone sees her in a way no one ever has.
But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.
I loved this book. It was a book that made me ponder the ways families function. It really shows that love and family are complicated things. That even the most loving families face challenges and disagreements. It really brings to light how people and families process through difficult times. It shows how three very different daughters can grow up in the same home, but process and perceive it all so differently. That each of them had their own version of their childhood and it affected their future relationships. Each sister faced her own struggle that forces them to look both inward and outward and decide what they want out of life, what they are willing to accept or let go of and how they want to move forward. They all have the right to take care of their love life and all the choices within them. That not every decision is an easy one. There is a whole lot of heart in this book, as well as a story that kept me engaged. I cared about the sisters and what would happen to them. I wanted to know how it would all turn out. I buddy read this book with my friend and it provided a lot of great conversations. So, it will make a GREAT book club choice! A fun, light-hearted, feel good book filled with love, hope and reflection!
#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women's lives—family, friendship, romance. She's best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages.
Critics have dubbed Mallery "the new queen of romantic fiction." (Walmart) Booklist says, "Romance novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling," and RT Book Reviews puts her "in a class by herself!" It's no wonder that her books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list.
Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool's Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.
Susan lives in Washington state with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.