Staff Picks

A Snicker of Magic (Hardcover)

$16.99
ISBN-13: 9780545552707
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Scholastic Press, 2/2014
This is a story of friendship, family, home, ice cream and of course magic.  It truly is a magical tale.  Felicity Pickle collects words, she sees them hanging around people and things, some of the words sparkle, some glow or slither, some are shaped like wings, some are star shaped and the ones that Felicity loves the most she writes in her blue notebook.

This is the story of Felicity, her family, and how she helps a town find the magic it had lost.  This is a story truly worth reading and absorbing.  I loved it and it is suitable for all ages, if the age is too young to read, then someone who can read should read it aloud. –Jody

$11.95
ISBN-13: 9781467942379
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Createspace, 11/2011

This book took me by surprise.  Before reading it, I would never have called myself a ‘western historical romance’ person.  Historical, yes.  Romance, yes.  But not western.  This book made me change my tune a little.  Really the only ‘western’ part about it was that it is set in Montana and they ride horses.  What I really enjoyed were the descriptions of ranch life in the 1800’s.  The author also made the characters believable and likeable (or unlikable if you aren’t suppose to like them).  If you like historical romance, there is no reason you wouldn’t like this book too.  -Jill

Breaking Point (Mass Market Paperback)

$9.99
ISBN-13: 9781250011848
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Paperbacks, 10/2012
This is the second book in the Crashers series, and it was just as good as the first one - full of edge of the seat action.  Once again, we have insight into the “go team” when an airliner or any other plane crashes.  We learn about the specialties and how the investigation might progress.  There are bad guys, corrupt guys and heroes.  Book three is waiting and I can’t wait to get started.  -Debbie

$7.99
ISBN-13: 9780439916257
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Scholastic Press, 4/2009

This book is set in the beginning of the war in Iraq.  The author interviewed some folks who served in Iraq and were willing to share their insights and experiences.  Mr. Myers son shared his views about the Middle East as he had served in the first Gulf War.  Mr. Myers daughter-in-law also shared information about problems facing returning veterans.

The story is told from a first person point of view; Robin (nicknamed Birdy) is assigned to a Civilian Affairs unit.  This unit is supposed to come along after the combat is over and try to build a relationship with the natives.  The reader follows Birdy as he develops relationships with his unit, shares his fears and thoughts as they get shot at, as I.E.D.’s blow up comrades and the first time he has to kill another person.  Birdy shares his insights and his confusion as to what their goal is supposed to be and the roadblocks, political, physical and emotional, to achieving those goals.  Most of Birdy’s insights are in letters he writes to his uncle who is a Viet Nam veteran. At the end of the book Birdy writes this to his uncle, “Uncle Richie, I used to be mad when you wouldn’t talk about Viet Nam.  I thought you were being selfish, in a way. Now I understand how light the words seem. If I ever have kids, I think I won’t tell them much about what I did here, or what I’ve seen.  I’ll tell them something because I’ll want them to know about war. But are there really enough words to make them understand?”

This is a well told story, engaging with characters that are very real to this reader.  I believe that the author accurately reflected the cultures on both sides, and in addition put a very human face on the soldiers who were in Iraq and on the Iraqi’s themselves.  I thought this was probably a fairly accurate portrayal of a war zone; there was no glory, though there was heroism in the form of the members of Birdy’s unit taking care of each other and in their attempts to help the natives when war had devastated their lives and the compassion they showed. 

I think this book would be appropriate for early teens and older.  Mr. Myers does not focus on the horrors of war but on the people of both sides and how war affects them and he does not show war as a glorious enterprise, he tells it like it is.  War is muddy and ugly and though the governments and the media try to make the reasons for war simple and clear cut, they are not.  I think this is an excellent message for teens to read and Mr. Myers does it without being preachy. -Jody

Crashers (Mass Market Paperback)

$9.99
ISBN-13: 9780312544157
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Paperbacks, 10/2011

I have a new favorite!!!  Crashers is one of those exciting edge of your seat books that I love.  This book is about a plane crash and the ensuing investigation into what caused the crash.  We have the NTSB, the FBI, terrorists, bad guys and best of all, it all happens here in Portland.  I am now on the hunt for book two in this series. -Debbie


When Shadows Fall (Mass Market Paperback)

$5.99
ISBN-13: 9780778317104
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Mira Books, 8/2014

This is the third book in J. T. Ellison’s Samantha Owens series.  Man they just keep getting better, you should read them really!
The main reason I really like Ms. Ellison’s writing is her character development.  Each book has doled out bits of information about Samantha Owens and her life, especially her past life.  Each successive book has revealed more answers, but then adds more questions.  The characters in these stories are well developed, very human and very likeable (except for the bad guys of course).  Ms. Ellison also has some wonderful plot twists and turns that keep you guessing.   Really, get out there and read these books. -Jody

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781439136638
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster, 6/2013

Sequels are great.  It's like getting together with a long lost friend and catching up.  When I picked up this book I couldn't wait to find out what happened to Andy, Emily and, of course, Miranda since the infamous Paris trip.  Ten years have passed and a lot has changed, but at the same time, a lot hasn't changed.

I enjoyed this book, but I didn't love it.  I felt like Andy was a little wishy washy, Emily was funny but something was missing and I didn't feel there was any closure with Miranda's story.  Maybe that was on purpose and there is another book in the works, but when I finished the last page, I didn't really feel that the story was finished.  Overall, it was good, but not great. -Jill 

The Tulip Eaters (Paperback)

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9780778313885
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harlequin MIRA, 10/2013

This was a great mystery/suspense novel that expertly wove the story between present day and WWII.  Nora's mother has been murdered, her baby daughter is missing and there is a strange man dead on her living room floor. The questions is why and where is her daughter?  To find the answers, Nora must delve into her immigrant parent's past.  But every bit of information she finds just leads to more questions.

I really enjoyed this book.  There was mystery, suspense, murder, love with a little bit of crazy thrown in.  -Jill

$23.95
ISBN-13: 9781570617898
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Sasquatch Books, 6/2013


This is a non-fiction book about the next big quake in the Pacific Northwest.   The author also includes the history of how scientists have pieced together the geology of this area.  Ms. Doughton made this ‘story’ suspenseful, entertaining, and educational; she managed to write it in such a way that the lay person can understand yet not so simple as to lose the important concepts.  Ms. Doughton also painted clear portraits of some of the key scientists and others instrumental in putting some of the pieces of our NW puzzle together.

I believe that this should be a must read for anyone who lives in the NW.  In the last chapters the author provides some excellent tips to prepare for the disaster that is sure to come.
This book is available as a hardcover, or eBook.  If you really like charts and graphs and maps, well…they don’t show up well on a plain eReader, just an FYI.  -Jody


Ten Beach Road (Paperback)

Call store for price and availablility: 503-649-3444
ISBN-13: 9780425240861
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Berkley Trade, 5/2011
When the going gets tough, the strong woman inside will always come out.  This is the basic theme of TEN BEACH ROAD.  Four women from very different backgrounds are pushed together by outside sources and faced with making the best of a tough situation. 

I've found that Wendy Wax novels are easy - in a good way.  There are compelling characters that you care about and want to see succeed.  But at the same time, you are able to just sit back and relax and enjoy a great book, like a nice vacation from thinking.  NOTE: TEN BEACH ROAD is the first book in a series.  Don't make the same mistake I made and start reading book 2 first.  –Jill

$8.99
ISBN-13: 9780142406632
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Puffin, 7/2006
This is a wonderful fantasy suitable for children ages 10 and up.

Set in a medieval type of world with knights, barons, kings and of course the ultimate evil looming on the horizon which the protagonists must defeat.  The story is well told, the main characters grow throughout the story, and they are not perfect which makes them believable and loveable.  The story is never preachy but emphasizes the qualities of honesty and honor, friendship, loyalty and teamwork.

I loved this first book of the series, can’t wait to read the rest (there are 12 so far). -Jody

Safe with Me (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9781476704418
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Washington Square Press, 3/2014
This is a compelling story of domestic abuse, friendship and the gift of life from one family to another.  While reading it, I became so emotionally involved that I forgot it was a novel.  I was loving this book up until the last chapter!  For me, the conclusion was too abrupt and the story felt unfinished.  I didn’t expect the characters to ride off into the sunset, but I would have liked some kind of resolution.  If ever a book needed an epilogue, this one was it – in my opinion.  Others may see it differently. -Sharri

Touch of Power (Paperback)

$14.95
ISBN-13: 9780778313076
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Mira, 12/2011
This is definitely not the type of book I normally read, Paranormal Young Adult, which is why it has been sitting on my shelf since 2011.  Yet it survived all the purges I made over the years so I finally sat down and started reading. 
 
The writing is wonderful.  The author pulls you into her world.  I loved the characters. I am so sorry I let this little gem sit on the shelf for three years before I finally took the time to find all the wonders inside.  This is book one of a trilogy so there are more wonders to discover. -Debbie

The Last Dark (Hardcover)

$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780399159206
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Putnam Adult, 10/2013
That Donaldson is a master of epic fantasy is undeniable! OMG!  I have followed “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant” since the release of Lord Foul’s Bane in 1977-read every book multiple times throughout the years.  I didn’t have a clue as to how this tale would end but I wanted to be along for the journey; and what a journey it has been!

From Lord Foul’s Bane to its stunning and just conclusion in The Last Dark, the chronicles explore and illuminate the immense depth of the human spirit.  Its challenges and possibilities.   The value of perseverance.  That there is strength in contradiction leaves no doubt.  I loved all of the chronicles, but The Last Dark was far and away the best-a true masterpiece!  Thank you, Mr. Donaldson, for giving me the literary, and emotional, ride of my life! You did it!!!  Highly recommended. -Sharri

The Free (Paperback)

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780062276742
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper Perennial, 2/2014
Willy Vlautin is a local author.  I met him at the local trade show in October.  While I assumed he was a new author from his shy and unassuming manner, I was wrong because he has several titles behind him.  He says he likes to write about down and out people who have no reason to keep going but they do.  They continue to do the right thing in spite of a sense of hopelessness.  He makes you care about the characters and cheer for them.  I will go back and read more of this author because I love a book that makes me feel for the characters and this book and this author did just that. -Debbie

House Rules (Paperback)

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780743296441
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Washington Square Press, 11/2010
I am wowed every time I read a Jodi Picoult novel.  The depth of her characters and the amount of research she must have to do is amazing.  In her novels, the reader is allowed to see a problem, or incident, from every perspective.  In HOUSE RULES, Picoult weaves another great tale around a the trial of Jacob Hunt, an 18 year old senior in high school who has Asperger's Syndrome and is accused of murdering his social skills tutor.  It is captivating to see how each person; Jacob's mom, his brother, the sheriff, the lawyer, and even the victim interact together, apart and with a person with Asperger's. 

As I've said, I love every Jodi Picoult novel I have ever read, but I was reading this one for the Jan's Paperbacks February book group.  I can't wait to get together with everyone and talk this one out.  So many different points a view.  All are welcome, so join us!
-Jill

The Last Telegram (Paperback)

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9781402279454
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark, 4/2013

A wonderful look at the English homefront during World War II. The story focuses on a single family run silk manufacturer and how the business and the daugher evolves throughout the war. It follows her experiences and trials thoughout the war and its repercussions on her later life.

Wonderful characters and story! - Kim


$7.99
ISBN-13: 9781250032973
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Paperbacks, 8/2013
This book was fun!  Ellis Garrett is smart, funny and flawed.  I think most women can identify with the issues that Ellis faces and how she deals with them.  I laughed a little, cried a little and truly enjoyed this book.  It is the author's debut novel and I will be looking for the next. -Debbie

Call store for price and availablility: 503-649-3444
ISBN-13: 9781611733778
Large Print
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Center Point Large Print, 5/2012
I have read Jane Kirkpatrick before and I love the way I feel like I am in the book. The characters and the period of the book become very vivid. In this case, I felt like I knew Hulda Klager. What an amazing life she led. The support of her family and community was an inspiration and the fact that the community is still supporting her vision by restoring her gardens for all of us to visit. I plan to go see Hulda's Lilac's this spring and I hope that a visit will give more vision to her story. I highly recommend this book to just about anyone. -Debbie

Ghost Hand (Paperback)

$13.99
ISBN-13: 9780988491007
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Ripley Patton, 12/2012

This is Ripley’s first novel and what a start!  This story is a well told, young adult fantasy that is action packed and almost impossible to put down (I was really hungry so I did take a break for dinner).  The author builds believable characters that you get to know and care about as the story unfolds, incorporates a lot of action and suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat and the really good news is there is a second book out and more on the way.  Ms. Patton has unique twist on special abilities and what the bad guys are after, very intriguing. 

If you like fantasy and you are a teenager or older I highly recommend this book (series)! - Jody


Hunted (Paperback)

$14.95
ISBN-13: 9780778315841
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harlequin MIRA, 12/2013
I have found a new author of serial killers.  I loved this book, I also love the FBI Profiling part.  There was a lot of action and plenty of tense moments.  At the end, I was completely involved and heard nothing of what was going on around me - I was in that book.  I put this book in with the group of my favorites, Cody McFadyn, Chelsea Cain and Shane Gericke. -Debbie

$26.99
ISBN-13: 9780062195340
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper, 1/2014
This is an historical fiction set in Portland Oregon around 1860.

This is my first Phillip Margolin book and it was amazing.  I found myself immersed in the culture and politics of the time, right down to the mud and dust of unpaved streets.  Matthew is the protagonist, a lawyer who had lost his wife on the Oregon Trail and is a man of compassion with a strong moral compass.  Matthew finds himself embroiled in a battle to save the life of an innocent man, condemned because of the color of his skin, a man who just wanted his daughter to be free. 

There is much more to this story than what I have mentioned here.  As I stated I was immersed in the culture, the geography and the issues of that era.  I could not put the book down, I had to find out what happened to all the characters in the story, some I needed to know they would be alright and some I was pleased that justice was served.  This is a book worth reading, I loved it. -Jody

$11.99
ISBN-13: 9780307588388
Published: Crown, 06/05/2012
Wow, wow, wow - that is all I have to say about GONE GIRL. I've been told by many people how wonderful this books is and that it is a 'must read'. They were right. The story kicks off on Nick and Amy's fifth anniversary, when Amy mysteriously disappears. From there, each chapter is told from the perspective of each spouse both before and after the disappearance. What happened to Amy? Did Nick have anything to do with it? What was going on behind the doors of this relationship that appeared ok from the outside, but in truth was deeply troubled. Several times while reading this book I was totally caught off guard and actually said 'what the...' while reading. It is wonderfully written, with deep details into the psyche of each character. I will be recommending this book to anyone that will stand still long enough for me to tell them about it. Look for it to be a book group selection in the New Year. -Jill

List Price: $12.99
Our Price: $9.39
(Save: $3.60 28%)
ISBN-13: 9780758281173
Published: Kensington Books, 11/26/2013

Kristina McMorris is one of my favorite authors. Her books are just my style. THE PIECES WE KEEP did not disappoint. Audra is a young mother and recently widowed. She is considering a cross county move from Portland to the East Coast when her plans are disrupted by her young son's vicious night terrors. It is during these sleepless nights that her son starts giving details and information that doesn't seem possible for a boy of his age to know about WWII era events. To help her son, Audra must look for answers. This was a wonderful story that weaved together characters in current day Portland with characters in Europe and America in WWII, while posing the question, 'is it possible we all have past lives?'. -Jill


$10.99
ISBN-13: 9780062121318
Published: HarperTeen, 02/05/2013
This is the story of Nisha. Her parents left her at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was 6 years old. This city is for orphaned and abandoned girls where they are trained as musicians, healers, courtesans and more. The society Nisha lives in values boys over girls and families are limited to two children; this is the reason for the existence of the City. As the story starts Nisha is 16 years old, is the courier for the Matron of the City and has been engaging in a dangerous flirtation with a handsome courier whom she imagines a life with outside of the City. Then girls start dying and Nisha finds herself helping to solve the mystery of the deaths and of her own life. The ending surprised me; I love that in a book and I recommend this for those who love fantasy. This was an entertaining read, appropriate for 12 years and up. -Jody

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780316123051
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 10/2013
This is the second book in Lemony Snicket’s new series “All the Wrong Questions.” In this story Lemony is still in Stain’d by the Sea (which is no longer by the sea) and some of the questions raised in the first book are answered here (I am not going to give them away if you haven’t read the first book). In this installment there is a missing girl, a missing formula and Lemony describes S. Theodora Markson’s hair as a “wild wad of black yarn” (I love that he is often commenting about his chaperone’s hair). In the first book there were words that were used and then a description of what the word meant, (a word, any word followed by “which here means” then the description of the meaning for the context in which it was used). In this book, words or phrases are used, and then there is an explanation for other meanings that would apply depending on the context. So for the parents out there who would like their children to expand their vocabulary and their understanding of language over all this is a great way to encourage that; a good story and something to learn at the same time. I love Lemony Snicket’s writing and now I have to wait another year for the next installment. I highly recommend this series for ages 8 and up. -Jody

After I'm Gone (Hardcover)

$26.99
ISBN-13: 9780062083395
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: William Morrow & Company, 2/2014
This book had the usual: sex, lies, betrayal, murder. The character development was too lengthy and the book took too long to end. I didn't have the excitement of turning the page so I could read what would happen next. I will try another Laura Lippman book in the future to see what kind of a writer she really is. -Kelli

Thankless in Death (Hardcover)

$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780399164422
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Putnam Adult, 9/2013
I always read Robb and I always enjoy the books. THANKLESS IN DEATH is no exception. I love the journey to catching the bad guy. In this case we know who the bad guy is and we still have the journey to catch him. This book was more about the case than the relationships in Eve and Roarke's personal lives, though there was plenty of that. As I always do a Robb book five gold stars. I love them all. -Debbie

The House Girl (Paperback)

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780062207517
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: William Morrow & Company, 11/2013
Several months ago a Librarian friend said "you need to read THE HOUSE GIRL".  "Yes it is in the pile," I answered.  I wish I had not waited so long, however it is coming to paperback in early November so I guess it is okay I waited.
 
This was a really good book.  I love the way it moved from 1852 Virginia to 2004 New York and I loved the journey to join the two parts.  I would recommend this book and I think it is excellent book group material.  I know I will be talking to the Jan's book group about it. -Debbie

Call store for price and availablility: 503-649-3444
ISBN-13: 9780375870453
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers, 9/2012
Will West is 15 years old and is anything but a typical teen. The Wests have moved around a lot so that Will has never had any close friends or even spent much time at one school. The other odd aspect about Will’s life is the training he received from his parents starting with his “dad’s rules to live by” and rule number 1 is “The importance of an orderly mind”. Then Will’s world falls apart, he is chased by men in black cars on his morning run before school (did I mention that Will runs cross country and he is very fast?), gets a text from his father to run (how did he know, he was out of town on business). When Will gets to school he is called to the office to meet a Dr. Robbins who works for a school in Wisconsin; a very private, exclusive school. Dr. Robbins says that they will give Will a full scholarship to this school, based on the results of a test that he took a couple of months before. Needless to say Will accepts because it is a way to escape from the bad guys. At the school Will meets his roommates, Brooke, Elise, Ajay, and Nick who become friends and they share in Will’s adventures. Well written, very suspenseful, entertaining fantasy and of course there are some surprising twists at the end. Characters are well developed and this book is very suitable for 12 and up, there is some violence but it is not overdone. I really enjoyed this story and I hope the author continues Will’s story, I want to know what happens to the entire group! -Jody

The Death Relic (Mass Market Paperback)

$9.99
ISBN-13: 9780425264676
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Berkley, 8/2013
This was the first book I have read by this author and it will not be the last one!  It had all the elements that I like, great characters, heroic actions, suspense, surprising antagonists and lots of action.

The author did a wonderful job of slowly unraveling the mystery of this story and did a masterful job of leading you in one direction, just when you had it figured out, the plots twists, turns and your scratching your head thinking “what!?” 

This story was set in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula among the Mayan ruins.  If you love the history and archaeology of this area and you love a good mystery, this is a great read. -Jody

Then You Hide (Mass Market Paperback)

$6.99
ISBN-13: 9781416552437
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Pocket Star, 6/2008

I promised last month another review for a Roxanne St.Claire book.  I love these things. 

This book is number five in the Bullet Catchers Series.  I haven't read in order, shame on me as I am a stickler for reading in order.  I loved the characters in the book including, Vanessa the potty mouth and Wade the southern gentleman.  Their escapade across the Caribbean is full of danger, twists and turns and it seemed to me that everyone was the bad guy.  I couldn't figure out who to root for besides Vanessa and Wade. 

Yep, I loved it and I am going back for more. -Debbie


$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780385342070
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback, 11/2012

Yep, I'll admit it - I am a self proclaimed Sophie Kinsella fan.  I have loved every book she has written and will read anything she releases without even glancing at the back of the book for the summary.  

I'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER stood up to all of her other books. 

Poppy is at a luncheon with friends celebrating her upcoming wedding when disaster strikes.  She loses her engagement ring (a family heirloom) and her cell phone (and link to the world) is stolen.  Amid this chaos, she finds a cell phone in the garbage can and sees it as a sign that she was meant to keep it.  The phone's true owner, Sam, does not share her feelings and would like his PA's (who quit unexpectedly for a modeling job, hence the phone in the garbage can) phone returned to him.  From there, Poppy and Sam are unavoidably tied together via voicemail, email and text message.

All I can say is that Sophie Kinsella books are fun books.  They make me happy and I can't wait to get back to them and see what happens.  I'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER had the feel of a great 'chick flick'.   -Jill

Navigating Early (Hardcover)

$16.99
ISBN-13: 9780385742092
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 1/2013


This book is suitable for young readers 9 years and older. 

The two main characters are 13 year old boys in a prep school in Maine, circa 1945.  Jack is from Kansas and his father is a naval officer stationed nearby, Jack’s mother has recently passed away.  Early is rather strange, his father was a VIP at the prep school and when he died of a heart attack Early was just left at the school.

The story is about a quest that the boys go on that includes pirates, volcanoes, catacombs, waterfalls, stars, bears and so much more.  I will say no more, it is a must read and I place this one on the shelf next to the Little Prince by Antoine du Saint-Exupery.  It is profound and will forever be etched into my psyche. (I know that is totally corny but I can think of no other way to say it) -Jody


$16.00
ISBN-13: 9781451699067
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Gallery Books, 8/2013
Spring Awakening is the third book in the Summerset Abbey series. I just love a good trilogy. You really get to know the characters and follow their stories. Rowena, Victoria and Purdence are all dealing with the changes that war bring to life as well as understanding the new roles they must take on in a changing world. Gone are the days of leisurely picnics with friends on the grounds of Summerset. I would recommend (and have already) the Summerset Abbey series to anyone who loves historical fiction and/or romance. And now that all three books are out, the reader can quickly move through the books to find out what happens without delay. -Jill

$8.99
ISBN-13: 9780743498593
Published: Pocket Books, 02/09/2004
Packed with bad guys, good guys, sexy guy, gorgeous woman, a little art history and a romp through France.  I loved it.  I read Roxanne St. Clair years ago and I don't know why I haven't kept up.  Sharing a table with her at the Aussie Dinner at Convention reminded me to get back to her books.  I am so glad I did and I have already started another of her books.  I will tell you about it next month. -Debbie

$7.99
ISBN-13: 9780763625290
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Candlewick, 4/2006
This is a fantasy story about a mouse, named Despereaux, who was not very mouse like, he loved music and stories and believed in honor, bravery, courtesy, devotion and most of all he loved the Princess Pea. 
This is also the story of a rat, Chiaroscuro, who was not very rat like in that he was enamored of light. There is a third story of a girl named Miggery Sow who wanted, but no one ever cared about what Miggery Sow wanted.  Lastly this is the story of how three separate stories merge and become one story in the end.

The tone of the book is a very personal one, conversational, as if the reader is in the confidence of the narrator.  The narrator often addresses the reader, such as “reader, can you imagine your own father not voting against your being sent to a dungeon full of rats?  Can you imagine him not saying one word in your defense?” or “Reader, do you believe that there is such a thing as happily ever after? Or, like Despereaux, have you too, begun to question the possibility of happy endings?”  The narrator is often asking the reader to imagine themselves in the place of the characters, or inviting the reader to display empathy for the plight of the characters,   and encouraging the reader to have compassion.  Sometimes the narrator suggests that the reader has a responsibility or a duty, as in this passage, “Poor Mig.  What will become of her?  You must, frightened though you may be, read on and see for yourself.  Reader it is your duty,” to care about the all the characters in the book.

This story deals with broken hearts, persevering in the face of opposition, of honor, of courage of compassion and of forgiveness.  An example, that I believe is true for most of us “That is, Pea was aware suddenly of how fragile her heart was, how much darkness was inside it, fighting, always, with the light.”  

I think this is an excellent book for children.  Despereaux is an unlikely hero, he is too small, his ears are too big, and he is rather sickly.  There are many obstacles to overcome and doubts to be dealt with but Despereaux continues on because he believes in his quest.  The antagonist in this story isn’t one that the author portrays as really bad, Roscuro is confused and has seen light and wants more.  Miggery Sow is another character that you can’t hate; her circumstances have not treated her kindly.  As the three stories come together there is compassion, empathy, and forgiveness for all which not only saves Roscuro and Miggery Sow, but Despereaux and Princess Pea as well. 

I really liked this book. I thought it was wonderful the way the author invited the reader to put themselves in the place of the characters, or asked the reader to ponder some subject such as consequences, “Every action, reader, no matter how small, has a consequence. For instance, the young Roscuro gnawed on Gregory the Jailer’s rope, and because he gnawed on the rope, a match was lit in his face, and because a match was lit in his face, his soul was set afire,”  which then led to the rest of the events in the story.  Mostly I love the idea that instead of fostering hate, there is the idea of compassion, forgiveness, light and love.   The question of happily ever after was addressed at the end and the author said “yes and no and that is as it should be, that is the way life is.” -Jody

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ISBN-13: 9780375864407
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers, 9/2012
This is a young adult fantasy story.  I spent much of the book trying to figure out what was going on…because it was the second in the series there was much background information that was implied or assumed.  That does not mean this was not a good read, it was, however I will need to get a hold of the first book and I would highly recommend that these be read in order.
The protagonists are teen siblings, Cyrus, Antigone and their older brother Daniel who is away at college for the first part of the book.  These children are referred to as “The Smiths” and are journeymen members of the Order of Brendan.  Their father was killed several years before, and their mother is in a coma.  Cyrus and Antigone are mentored by Rupus who has the title Avengel. 

As the story unfolds you meet characters such as Gilgamesh, Arachne, Ponce de Leon and many others who are ‘transmortals’ meaning that once they were mortal and became undying.  The Orders job is to keep the transmortals from using their powers to wreak havoc on the world and some of the transmortals are rebelling.  Somehow the Smith children are of key importance to the success or failure of this rebellion and so are thrust into danger.  This story is full of action, mythical creatures and characters, ancient civilizations and completely entertaining.  Despite the lack of background information I was drawn into the story and found it difficult to put down.  I highly recommend this series (hope the first is as good as the second), and I believe it is suitable for ages 12 and up. -Jody

Into the Dark (Mass Market Paperback)

$7.99
ISBN-13: 9780778315001
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harlequin MIRA, 6/2013
Clair Bowen is a psychologist that works with women in abusive relationships.  Joe Tanner is a detective in the L. A. County Sheriff's office assigned to cold cases.  The husband of a victim calls Tanner periodicdally to check up on his wife's case to see if there are any new leads.  After going over the same evidence time and time again, Tanner sees something that doesn't fit.  That break ends up linking that murder to four other cold cased.  Now one of Clair's patients is missing.  Did her abusive soon to be ex-husband kidnap her?  Is she still alive and will they find her before it is too late? 

A good read, defintly worth your time.  I hope that Rick brings these characters back in more books.  -Linda

$2.99
ISBN-13: 9780989268424
Published: Jaye Wells, 06/06/2013
Meridian Six is a novella available as an ebook only.  I loved it!  It starts out with Meridian Six as she is known by her captors, on the run. Does she make it to safety?  Ms. Wells has promised more Meridian Six stories and I for one can't wait. -Debbie

$15.99
ISBN-13: 9780062107909
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks, 5/2012
Mary is born a slave in Richmond, Virginia, but while still a girl, her owner gives her and her mother their freedom.  Mary is sent North to pursue an education while her mother stays in Virginia to be near her slave husband.  As an adult, Mary returns to Virginia to be near her father just as the county heads into the Civil War.  It is at this critical time in history that Mary is given the opportunity to work as a 'slave' in the home of the Confederate President and become a spy for the Union.   

This is a novel based on a real person and real events.  While I found the first 5 chapters of this book to be rather slow, I was truly ingrained by the end and could put the book down.  -Jill

True Love (Hardcover)

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ISBN-13: 9780345541796
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Ballantine Books, 7/2013
I  love a good love story, I love a good mystery.  Now technically there is no mystery here, however there is an unknown that wants to be solved. All of the characters have a story, the main characters have an incredible story.  I loved this book but I feel like I can't tell you too much about it without giving away spoilers.  I can tell you there are sexy men, great women, and Nantucket.  After reading this book I want to go to Nantucket. 

For those of you that love the Montgomery's and the Taggerts, here is a new generation for you.  This is the first book of a new trilogy called The Nantucket Brides.  -Debbie

The Wedding Dress (Paperback)

$15.99
ISBN-13: 9781595549631
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 4/2012
The description on the back of this books starts, 'One dress. Four women. An amazing destiny.'  That pretty much sums it up.  This book follows the life of a wedding dress from it's design in the early 1900's, through three brides and their individual stories to the present day and the current owner of the dress, Charlotte. 

I would have to say the cover of this book was the first thing to catch my attention and then the one line 'One dress.  Four women.  An amazing destiny.' sealed the deal for me.  I wouldn't say I loved this book, but I did like it very much.  At times I found the story a little slow, but in the end I enjoyed it.  -Jill

Such a Pretty Face (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780758229557
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Kensington, 8/2010
To say Stevie's past is an understatement.  Now as an adult, the demons from her past are still chasing her.  She is doing her best to not let them get the best of her, but can she do it?  

This is the third Cathy Lamb book I have read, and I have loved them all.  Her characters are full of life and detail and the stories she weaves around them is just as intricate.  -Jill

$14.00
ISBN-13: 9781940064017
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Windtree Press, 5/2013
This book is a young adult fantasy story.

I am not going to try and tell anything about the plot or even much about the characters.  It was a delightful story that I read in one sitting, couldn’t put it down.  The main character is a teenage girl who has a great deal to learn about herself in a very short period of time mainly that she has a destiny, but first she has to learn who she is.  That is all I am going to say about that.  If you love fantasy, dragons, magic, redwood trees, the interconnectedness of all life and more read this book.

Now I have to go find the second book… -Jody

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