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Fifteen years ago, this hard-boiled babe walked out of a Florida prison after serving an eighteen-month sentence, sporting 160 pounds of “nobody kicks my ass” and a couple of inches of dark roots at the base of her bleach job (“simply to confuse people into underestimating me”) and swearing she’d never set foot in a prison or trust a man again. Trust, no. But by no means has she given them up.
Cesspool (paid link)
Disgraced teacher, James Fisher, moved to a backwoods town, content to live his life in solitude. He was awakened from his apathy by a small girl with a big problem. James suspected Brittany was being abused and exploited by his neighbor. He called the police but soon realized his mistake, as the neighbor was related to the chief of police.
Most would’ve looked the other way. Getting involved placed James squarely in the crosshairs of the local police. James lacked the brawn or the connections to save himself, much less Brittany. The police held all the power, and they knew it. But that was also their weakness. They underestimated what the mild-mannered teacher and the young runaway would do for justice.
He started our war–I intend to finish it.
Buying a house in the suburbs was supposed to be low stress: my own little haven to decorate and landscape exactly how I want. Instead I find myself locking my garbage can to keep pests out–pests that are six-foot-one, green-eyed, and far too good looking.
My trespassing neighbor is rude and entitled. It isn’t long before war is declared and I find myself stooping to immature pranks.
When trouble lands at my door, my unlikely neighbor starts knocking on my heart. Was I ready to answer?
Bullets & Bloodlines (paid link)
Talk to Me (paid link)
Women’s Humorous Fiction
Austin’s car accident shattered his life and his leg. His main focus is on proving his independence. Figuring out how to shut up the new voices in his head would be an added bonus. They like to converse at the most inopportune times.
Laura’s built a wall around her heart. Everyone she loves ends up leaving her. She’s still reeling from the death of her brother and business partner. Seems like he might not be ready to completely give up the ghost yet, though.
And then there’s Aunt Marge, a world-class meddler with a penchant for oversharing. Can she manage to nudge Laura and Austin toward each other? Or will her recipe for love fall flat?
The City, Not Long After (paid link)
A plague wiped out most of the population, but some have been spared. In San Francisco, those who were left—painters, writers, dreamers—began rebuilding the city in their image: a society based on art, community, and peace. But not everyone has the same pacifist ideals.
When a mysterious young woman, Jax, appears in San Francisco, she brings disturbing news. There’s a power-hungry man, a general, moving across California, annexing cities and rebuilding his own version of America, willing to destroy anyone who stands in his way. His sights are set on the Golden Gate Bridge, and his army will soon descend, bringing guns, determination, and violence.
Welcome to Mahalia’s Sweet Tea—the finest soul food restaurant in Prince George’s County, Maryland. In between preparing her famous cornbread and mashed potatoes so creamy “they’ll make you want to slap your Momma,” owner Halia Watkins is about to dip her spoon into a grisly mystery . . .
Halia Watkins has her hands full cooking, hosting, and keeping her boisterous young cousin, Wavonne, from getting too sassy with customers. Having fast-talking entrepreneur Marcus Rand turn up in her kitchen is annoying enough when he’s alive—but finding his dead body face-down on her ceramic tile after hours is much worse.
Marcus had his enemies, and the cast iron frying pan beside his corpse suggests that at last, his shady business deals went too far. Halia is desperate to keep Sweet Tea’s name out of the sordid spotlight but her efforts only make Wavonne a prime suspect.
Beyond Reason (The Texas Trilogy Book 1) (paid link)
Five weeks ago Carly Drake stood at her grandfather’s grave. Now she’s burying Drake Trucking’s top driver, and the cops have no leads on the hijacking or murder. Faced with bankruptcy, phone threats, and the fear of failure, Carly has to team up with the last man she wants to owe—Lincoln Cain.
Cain is magnetic, powerful, controlling—and hiding more than one secret. He promised Carly’s granddad he’d protect her. The old man took a chance on him when he was nothing but a kid with a record, and now he’s the multi-millionaire owner of a rival firm.
But Linc’s money can’t protect Carly from the men who’ll do anything to shut her down, or the secrets behind Drake Trucking. If she won’t sell out, the only way to keep her safe is to keep her close . . . and fight like hell.
Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama (paid link)
Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel’s childhood…and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven.
Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It’s a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.
In the first of a dazzling series, Mary Jo Putney introduces the Lost Lords–maverick childhood friends with a flair for defying convention. Each is about to discover the woman who is his perfect match–but perfection doesn’t come easily, even for the noble Duke of Ashton. . .
Battered by the sea, Adam remembers nothing of his past, his ducal rank, nor of the shipwreck that almost claimed his life. However, he’s delighted to hear that the golden-haired vision tending his wounds is his wife. Mariah’s name and face may not be familiar, but her touch, her warmth, feel deliciously right. . .
When Mariah Clarke prayed for a way to deter a bullying suitor, she didn’t imagine she’d find the answer washed ashore on a desolate beach.
Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir (paid link)
For as long as she can remember, it’s been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn’t always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together.
So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation—following her mother’s announcement that she’s getting married—Robin is devastated.
Overnight, her life changes. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn’t understand the language and struggles to keep up. She is completely cut off from her friends in Seoul and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn’t fit in with her new stepfamily, and worst of all, she is furious with the one person she is closest to—her mother.
… See the rest of today ‘s Book Picks here on page 2Page 2