For fans of Fannie Flagg and Rachel Joyce comes today’s top pick, Darien Gee’s witty and poignant holiday story, An Avalon Christmas. Beat the summer heat by curling up with 12 tales of generosity, mended hearts, and a surprise or two. This book includes recipes and a reader’s guide.
Darien’s books have been translated in 14 languages and are selections of the Doubleday, Literary Guild, Rhaspsody and Book of the Month Club book clubs. She is also the author of nonfiction books on writing and creativity. She attended Wellesley College and Rice University, and has past lives as an international tax manager, venture capital associate, brand manager, and a retreat center director. Darien lives with her family in upcountry Hawaii.
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Welcome to Avalon, IL. Quaint, charming, idyllic. A beautiful small river town that tourists love to visit and residents are proud to call home. Take a stroll down the flower-lined streets bubbling with old-time, classic charm or peek into any of the stores that make the local merchants proud: find a favorite book at the Book Nook, browse the selection of local wares at Avalon Gifts ‘N More, or stop by Madeline’s tea salons for scones and a hot cup of Darjeeling. Avalon is a place that you could stay for a while for no reason other than being there.But it’s the 4,243 residents that set Avalon apart from everywhere else in the world. Characters of all sorts abound, from the friendly and hospitable innkeeper to the gossipy gal living next door to the crotchety old geezer down the street. A colorful palate of individuals give Avalon its heart, and when push comes to shove, this motley crew shows up for each other as friends, neighbors and family in the least expected ways.Avalon. Quaint, charming, idyllic. Or is it? Is it truly as perfect as it sounds? This Christmas a secret hides around every corner. Who’s giving away free turkeys to every house in town? What is this mystery homeless man up to when he offers free gift-wrapping in front of the town’s most popular gift shop? Is the annual town fundraiser raffle grand prize (one full year of rent or mortgage paid!) a hoax or the real deal? Can a broken relationship between brothers be healed or can unexpected love bloom between the unlikeliest of couples? What happens when mystery gifts of generosity start showing up around town during the holidays and how do they change the lives of those who need them the most but expect them the least?
Author: Monique McDonell
Serena’s friends have a plan to get her dating again – 26 dates in a month – one for every letter in the alphabet. What could possibly go wrong?
When Serena Sanders reluctantly agrees to participate in the Alphabet Dating Plan she knows it will be tough but there’s so much she hadn’t factored in. Who knew men were so complicated? Not Serena.
As she begins dating her way through the alphabet she starts to learn more about herself and her friends than she ever expected as secrets and hidden agendas are revealed. Alphabet Dating is a love story – a tale of lost love, unrequited love, platonic love and ultimately it’s about learning to love again.
Looking after a dog is one thing, but looking after a dead dog is a different matter altogether, especially for a stranger in London.
When a waitress from a Cornish fish restaurant lands an audition for a West End show, she can’t believe her luck. The only catch is that she has to look after a pet dog in exchange for board.
She soon finds herself trying to juggle auditions, the demise of a long-term relationship and a blossoming fling, all whist hiding a sinister secret concealed within her suitcase.
This is a book for adults.
Dark times have come to the kingdom of Felgrad. Once one of the jewels of the Crescent, now the dark powers have turned their gaze upon it, and Giorn Wesrain, son of the baron of Fiarth, has become inextricably drawn into the machinations of the Dark One, along with his beloved Niara, High Priestess of Illiana.
Their love will be tested as the armies of the enemy strive against Felgrad. Worse, one of their own, Raugst, is in truth an agent of the Dark One, and Raugst will soon bend the barony to his will. If Felgrad falls, so too will the rest of the Crescent, and then the Dark One will be unleashed upon the world.
Only Giorn and Niara can stop him, but how can they when the legendary Moonstone, the great artifact of the Light that has kept the fell powers at bay for thousands of years, has been taken? As Giorn sets out into the waste lands after it, to either reclaim it or find out what the Dark One wants it for, enemy hordes swarm the mighty city of Thiersgald and Niara is trapped behind its walls . . . with Raugst.
You know, being friends with two cute boys does have its benefits.
There’s Danny. Danny is a golden boy in every way. He has dreamy blue eyes and blonde hair that always looks perfect, even when it’s windblown or been stuck under a football helmet. He’s the boy every girl crushes on. The boy I get into trouble with, the boy I fight with, the hot quarterback no girl can resist, not even me. Being with Danny is like being on an adventure. He has a bright, contagious smile and abs to die for. He’s pretty much irresistible.
Equally crush worthy is Phillip. Adorable, sweet Phillip, who I have known since birth. Phillip has dark hair, a perfect smile, brown eyes, and the sexiest voice I have ever heard. He’s the boy I talk to every night before I go to sleep. The boy who rescues me, the boy who can read my mind, the boy who is always there for me, the boy who tries to keep me out of trouble, the boy who irritatingly keeps getting hotter, and whose strong arms always seem to find their way around me. And when he gives me that grin, I can never say no.
For the past five months Essallie Hanley has been trying to forget about the frightening murder of her boyfriend. Haunted by vivid nightmares and hallucinations of the event she does anything she can to pretend she’s like every other normal girl in High School.
Only Essallie is far from normal. Able to conjure blue fire and a shimmering silhouette of wings from her body, she seeks the only known solace left to her name; her first home in Belfast, Maine.
But she soon realizes that her return home is only the beginning of a long and twisted road taking her as far from her humanity as possible, with Kayden, the demon originally summoned to slaughter her, leading the way. Unable to touch her but oddly curious, he joins Essallie in her search to find out just what she is. But neither of them were prepared for the secrets they’ve begun to unravel, secrets that will change Essallie and everyone around her forever.
Set in Hugh Howey’s World of WOOL, VISIONS of WOOL, is the story of Grace, who, by the very nature of her being, threatens the fabric of the Silo. She has visions. Visions of the world outside before it was forbidden, before they were buried underground, while the skies were still clear blue and animals beyond reckoning still roamed the earth. But her visions don’t stop there. Grace is put to the test when she envisions an uprising in the Silo, and the death of the young man she loves.
With the help of her visions and a mysterious book handed down through the centuries, she finds herself fighting against time, not only to save those she loves, but for the survival of future generations.
On the planet Darracia, an ever-widening social gap between its inhabitants is causing turmoil that is fracturing a once peaceful world. Struggling with his identity, nineteen year old Prince V’sair must harness the power of the elusive Fireblade, the secret to a warrior’s heart, in order to overcome his uncle Staf Nuen’s lust for supremacy. Will the energy of the Elements guide the young prince to his true destiny or will Staf Nuen conquer Darracia?
After the success of his first three books (Brood X, Stillwell, and The Hanging Tree) Michael Phillip Cash is fulfilling a dream and creating his own epic fantasy world. Schism: The Battle for Darracia is the first book in a planned series.
TODAY’S BARGAINS……………What’s this?
There already are many books on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There will be more, including by those who experienced the fire of combat. This story, though, is not just about a SEAL on the Iraqi battlefield, but a SEAL at war with himself and his ultimate victory. I believe his story will inspire the reader, just as it did me.
—from the introduction by Robert M. Gates, former US Secretary of Defense
Decorated US Navy SEAL lieutenant Jason Redman served his country courageously and with distinction in Colombia, Peru, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where he commanded mobility and assault forces. He conducted over forty capture/kill missions with his men in Iraq, locating more than 120 al-Qaida insurgents. But his journey was not without supreme challenges—both emotional and physical. Redman is brutally honest about his struggles to learn how to be an effective leader, yet that effort pales beside the story of his critical wounding in 2007 while leading a mission against a key al-Qaida commander. On that mission his team was ambushed and he was struck by machine-gun fire at point-blank range.
Fifteen years ago Sam Becker’s younger sister Cathy was murdered by his best friend – ripping his world apart with a legacy of guilt and recriminations. Now a respected heart surgeon, and happily married, Sam has finally managed to move on. But when he saves a family during a terrifying suicide attempt, the nightmare begins. The young girl who raised the alarm disappears, and Sam falls under suspicion. As increasingly sinister events threaten his life and work, Sam must face the horrors of his sister’s death to uncover the darkest of secrets in a desperate race to save those he loves.
When ex-CIA analyst Tom Butler stumbles across evidence of a conspiracy that will destroy America as a free nation, he must do whatever he can before it’s too late.
Not knowing who he can trust, Butler has to resort to extreme measures to reveal the true nature of America’s Trust. As he nears his goal, America is plunged into crisis. A war everyone thought would happen fifty years earlier, suddenly and inexplicably, raises its head.
With the world’s armies bracing themselves for a battle nobody could see coming and America on the brink of annihilation, Butler realizes the scale of the conspiracy was far beyond even his worst nightmare…
Life Without Limits is an inspiring book by an extraordinary man. Born without arms or legs, Nick Vujicic overcame his disability to live not just independently but a rich, fulfilling life, becoming a model for anyone seeking true happiness. Now an internationally successful motivational speaker, his central message is that the most important goal for anyone is to find their life’s purpose despite whatever difficulties or seemingly impossible odds stand in their way.
Nick tells the story of his physical disabilities and the emotional battle he endured trying to deal with them as a child, a teen, and a young adult. “For the longest, loneliest time, I wondered if there was anyone on earth like me, and whether there was any purpose to my life other than pain and humiliation.” He shares how his faith in God has been his central source of strength and explains that once he found his own sense of purpose—inspiring others to make their lives and the world better—he found the confidence to build a rewarding and productive life without limits.
Nick offers practical advice for realizing a life of fulfillment and happiness by building trust in others, developing supportive relationships, and gaining strength for the journey. He encourages the reader by showing how he learned to accept what he could not control and focus instead on what he could.
If you’re not daring to believe God for the impossible, you may be sleeping through some of the best parts of your Christian Life.
This book is not a Snuggie. The words on these pages will not go down like Ambien. I’m not writing to calm or coddle you. With God’s help, I intend to incite a riot in your mind. Trip your breakers and turn out the lights in your favorite hiding places of insecurity and fear. Then flip the switch back on so that God’s truth can illuminate the divine destiny that may have been lying dormant inside you for years. In short, I’m out to activate your audacious faith. To inspire you to ask God for the impossible. And in the process, to reconnect you with your God-sized purpose and potential.
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2