Dream of being reunited with your first love?

One woman's tale of staying friends with an ex At a lovely summer party given by a schoolfriend in our old hometown of Huntingdon, I became aware of a tall, elderly, white-haired gentleman striding purposefully towards me. Now, it’s many years since men of any age strode eagerly in my direction, so I wondered who he was and what he wanted.
As he got near, he said, ‘Liz?’ ‘Yes?’ I replied to this complete stranger. ‘It’s Alex, Alex Williams.’ ‘No! I don’t believe it!’ Reunited: Liz Hodgkinson and Alex Williams were lovers 47 years ago. Now they are just good friends, but their reunion was a poignant moment for both Alex had been my first ‘real’ boyfriend when I met him as a 17-year-old schoolgirl in Cambridgeshire; the first young man who had ever made my heart beat faster. It was thrilling to see him again unexpectedly after so many years. Once I recovered from my shock, he uttered the mischievous words: ‘We never really split up, did we?’ Indeed, we did not. We just drifted away from each other in the way one did in those days, without ever saying goodbye or realising that we might never meet again. Even though I had not seen him for 47 years and would never have recognised him, we instantly bonded once more. A rapturous reunion and floods of shared memories followed, accompanied by generous amounts of wine. More... 'I love my sugar daddy lifestyle!' Student, 21, who finds rich older man on controversial dating site gives up nursing dreams to pursue lucrative life as a 'sugar babe' One enjoyed privilege, the other hardship... The sisters raised 30 miles apart but in cruelly different worlds Sixty the new forty? Don't kid yourselves, ladies... Why trying to be a sex siren in your seventh decade is downright deluded
We both realised that we couldn’t just drift out of each other’s lives again — particularly as it turned out we lived so near each other, with me in Oxford and Alex in Cheltenham, an hour’s drive away. Now and then, Alex had flashed into my mind over the years, but not with a strong enough impetus to try to make contact. But now, having met him again, it became clear he’d made a strong impression all those years ago — and was reinforcing that now. There is possibly even more risk involved when one of you is single and the other is married (I’ve been single since my partner died in 2004 and Alex is happily married). There’s always an inherent danger in reconnecting with old flames, especially those from your very distant past. Either you wonder what on earth you saw in each other in the first place, or, even more dangerously, there may be a remaining little spark, not quite extinguished, which threatens to re-ignite itself against all the odds. Perhaps most threatening of all is the fact that however many years have passed, if you knew someone when they were young, to you they always are young. The minute I met Alex again, all those years and decades rolled away as we saw ourselves as 18-year-olds again. Back in 1961, Alex Williams had been one of the most glamorous young men I had ever encountered. He was an art student at St Martin’s School of Art, rake-thin, dark, handsome, brooding and talented. I was a raw sixth-former, longing for sophistication and decadence, and he seemed to provide it. He was that little bit older and had already escaped to London. Bright young thing: Liz in her youth We had met as aspiring young intellectuals at the Huntingdon Music and Arts Society (a regular gathering for those interested in the arts) And for those who imagine that teenagers in those far-off days were innocent, demure young creatures who never did anything wrong, I have news. Alex and I — and our friends — were no strangers to falling out of nightclubs at 3am, or binge-drinking, come to that. Alex and I were instantly attracted to each other, but as he was away at St Martin’s, we could only meet up in the holidays. We fancied ourselves as the fashionable young things of Huntingdonshire, gilded youths who could get away with anything. We would stagger drunkenly into the meadows of Godmanchester, the pretty village where Alex’s parents lived, and wonder how on earth we would ever get home. We went on pub crawls, driving our parents’ cars while well under the influence and, one night, painted the village white with huge ban-the-bomb signs. It all felt so daring and exciting. Alex was a young bohemian, up to all sorts of mischief, and I was a besotted schoolgirl, ready to follow his lead. But underneath the teenage rebellion, he was ambitious, dedicated and completely obsessed with art. I was ambitious, too, with a secret yearning to be a writer. It all felt so daring and exciting. Alex was a young bohemian, up to all sorts of mischief, and I was a besotted schoolgirl, ready to follow his lead Alex and I last met in Paris in 1962. I had gone with two girlfriends, just before we all parted for university, and Alex and two of his friends joined us, somewhat secretly, later — our parents were not to know. But I think Alex had already moved on; meeting girls at art school who were far more exotic and experienced. And I was about to embark on a new life as a university student and wanted to feel free of Huntingdon. The oomph, if such it was, had already gone out of the relationship, and we faded out of each other’s lives, with no contact of any kind, until three years ago. Brooding: Alex as a young art student After parting, we both soon fell in love with other people, made very early first marriages, both aged 21, had families, children (a boy and girl for him; two boys for me), got divorced, buried our parents and were fortunate enough to find fulfilling new relationships in later life. By the time we met again, Alex was happily married to his second wife Celia, a maternity nurse. I had been single since my partner, the writer John Sandilands, died suddenly of a heart attack in 2004. Friendship, on the other hand, was on the cards. The next time we saw each other was when Alex invited me to his arty home for dinner. There I met Celia, his wife. She had been at the party but I had been too drunk, or too surprised, to notice anybody much but Alex. Celia was brilliant from the start. So what now? Alex and I were no longer bright young things, but grandparents, hurtling towards our threescore years and ten. Even our children were middle-aged. We agreed at this party that we would stay in touch but we understood that in our case, the youthful romance had long burned itself out and there was nothing left to ignite. A very attractive, warm and friendly woman, about ten years younger than Alex, she encouraged the friendship and we soon bonded. It became clear to me Alex and Celia were very much in love and really only had eyes for each other. Celia expressed regret that she’d never known Alex as a very slim young man with jet-black hair, as I had. Thankfully, over time, Alex and I slotted into an easy, mature friendship that included Celia, our children and their partners. As I learned more of Alex’s life, I began to appreciate what a desperate struggle he’d endured to follow his dream, go to art school and become an artist. He had been opposed at every turn by his strict father, a RAF squadron leader, decorated war hero and ultimate man’s man. As I learned more of Alex’s life, I began to appreciate what a desperate struggle he’d endured Mr Williams senior wanted his elder son to have a proper job with nice guaranteed pension. Artists were, in his view, poncy layabouts, and his wayward, untamed son seemed to be fulfilling all his worst fears. There were mighty family battles behind closed curtains, something I had not known at the time. Alex’s life had been full of thrills and spills, success and failure, acceptance and rejection, huge elation and deep despair. While his college friends David Hockney and Peter Blake enjoyed international fame and success at an early age, Alex took longer to find his unique style, and establish himself as a significant modern artist. But he got there in the end. Celia, bless her, was very supportive of our project. She was generous with hospitality and time, in spite of having her own busy career. Meanwhile, I got to know Alex better than ever before. In the mature man, I found a restless but warm-hearted, witty and kind but still ferociously ambitious, person. I was so intrigued I suggested we collaborate on his biography, and Alex agreed. It meant delving deep into his psyche and dishing it up for the general public to read, but also spending months in close contact — as it turned out, ringing or emailing each other almost daily and meeting frequently. I also learned that art came first. Anybody who embarked on a relationship with him had to accept that — a sacrifice that would have been too much for me. As much as I enjoyed our time together, we could never have been life-time partners. Our teenage fling was just that — a fling. Two years after our reunion, our book is almost out. What’s more, we’ve disproved all those who say you can’t be friends with an ex — particularly your childhood sweetheart. And now we have the best kind of relationship there is: close, affectionate, productive — and platonic.

Gravity's Engines: The Other Side of Black Holes

Like an electric dynamo, this black hole spins and pumps energy out through cable-like magnetic field lines into the chaotic gas whipping around it. Photograph: EPA A black hole is creation's end point, a one-way exit from the universe, an enclosed region of spacetime from which nothing can escape. Gravity's Engines: The Other Side of Black Holes
In that sense, black holes are neither here nor there. In practical terms, however, these death stars are everywhere and may mean everything to us. There is even a tiny one – a piffling four million times as massive as the Sun – at the heart of the Milky Way, the galaxy we call home. Cambridge scientists announced in October that they had peered through cosmic clouds of dust in the very early universe to identify a new population of supermassive black holes – one of them is 10 billion times more massive than the Sun – at a distance of 11 billion light years. The paradox is that, while the forces within the invisible enclosure of a black hole are so fierce that nothing, not even light, can get out, these dark stars are also the most radiant things in the universe. Karl Schwarzschild, a German mathematician and, in 1915, a gunner on the Russian front, worked out the way space and time would be distorted around a massive spherical object. The event horizon, the point beyond which light cannot escape, is now formally called the Schwarzschild radius. This was more than 70 years before a single black hole had been identified. A spinning, supermassive black hole is a kind of cosmic-scale battery, says Caleb Scharf: it can produce a pole-to-equator difference of a thousand trillion volts, it can propel the tenuous matter swirling around its devouring maw to relativistic speeds and deliver what is still called a quasar – an electromagnetic outpouring equivalent to the light from 1000 billion Suns. It is the most efficient converter of energy in the cosmos. It can also puff slow, pulsating bubbles of inaudible sound through the vast galactic cloud around it, "57 octaves below B flat above middle C in case you were curious. That's approximately 300,000 trillion times lower in frequency than the human voice … Supermassive black holes can make you a very, very nice sound system." Scharf heads an astrobiology research team at Columbia University in New York, and his thesis is that the biggest black holes serve as cosmic regulators: that they control the production of stars in the great clouds of gas and dust from which, ultimately, all stars and planets must condense. It could also be the wild card, the joker, the blind, haphazard agency that decides whether a galaxy has any future for photochemistry, organic chemistry, and ultimately, sustained biochemistry on some randomly ordered rocky planet with running water, reasonably near its parent star in some quiet galactic suburb. The Milky Way, says Scharf, is "smack-dab in the sweet-spot of massive supermassive black hole activity. It is possible that this is not mere coincidence." And once again, this heady story of astronomical endeavour and cosmic conjecture prompts a happy mix of marvels. Consider, for example, the gravitational forces acting on a neutron star, an ultradense object one step from total collapse into a singularity or black hole. To escape from Earth's gravitational field, you need a rocket speed of about eight miles a second. To get away from a neutron star, the rocket must accelerate to 62,000 miles a second. If you dived from a springboard one metre above its surface, you would hit the ground at 1,200 miles a second. Drop into a black hole, however, and you'd slam through the point of no return at virtually the speed of light. The other paradox of these unimaginable objects is that somebody first had to imagine them. John Michell, a British pioneer of earthquake science in 1783 followed the logic of Newton's theory of gravity and proposed a dark star, a star so massive its own light would return to it. The French mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace separately arrived at the same reasoning a decade later. Albert Einstein began to explore the way a massive star might distort the fabric of the universe around it.
There are 100 billion galaxies out there in the farthest cosmos, each containing at least 100 billion stars. Some of these are spiral galaxies, and the only life we know about exists on the outer limb of one spiral galaxy with a relatively quiet black hole at its heart. So the argument is tentative: with a sample of one, what else could it be? But that's the allure of cosmology. It offers the ghost of a possibility of an answer to the eternal question: how did we get here?
And that's the other delight of this book, and all such accounts of discovery. They offer a reminder that, given an understanding of mathematical logic and some lenses with which to make a telescope, one accidental species on one inconsequential speck of matter in the 14 billionth year of the universe has been able to identify a few testable laws that govern matter and energy, and from these, and with an arsenal of ever more ingenious telescopes, build up a picture of things that happened far away and long ago, and from that begin to construct a story of everything. The story is provisional. The next generation of space-based and earth-bound telescopes will almost certainly reveal ever more amazing things, with ever greater precision. Who needs another series of Star Wars movies, when the universal studios can go on delivering excitement on this scale? Рlease write comment on my blog!

Jonathan Miller:

In Two Minds: A Biography of Jonathan Miller by Kate Bassett – review Andrew Dickson on an unquestioning life of a much-lampooned polymath Jonathan Miller: famously sharp-tongued. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe for the Guardian In Jonathan Miller's brilliant, bubblegum-pink 2010 reimagining of L'elisir d'amore for English National Opera, there was a moment that caused bel canto purists to clutch for their heart pills. It came – from memory – early on. Adina, the heroine, was reading aloud from the story of Tristan when the orchestra abruptly abandoned Donizetti's delicate oom-pah-pah and lobbed in 19th-century music's most notorious hand grenade: Wagner's Tristan chord. It was a joke, but a serious one: half schoolboy prank, half learned footnote. If you could enjoy a gag this highbrow, it was also shamelessly funny. In Two Minds: a Biography of Jonathan Miller by Kate Bassett
Miller adores the element of surprise, and not only on stage. Impressionist and satirist; raconteur and chatshow darling; director and producer of opera, theatre and TV; quondam boss of the Old Vic; presenter, author and scriptwriter; lecturer, curator, artist – a dizzying life, and that's putting to one side his training as a doctor, which has impelled projects as varied as a BBC series on the history of medicine, The Body in Question (1978), and medically exact productions of Così fan tutte. A zealous non-believer, he has produced a shattering version of the Matthew Passion; riffed casually on his own Jewishness ("not really a Jew … Jew-ish") yet also staged one of the most thoughtful examinations of that faith in living theatrical memory – his 1970 Merchant of Venice with Laurence Olivier, performed as Miller's own father, a devout Jew, lay dying. As Kate Bassett's thorough, well-upholstered new biography makes plain, Miller contains multitudes. More than perhaps even he is aware of. He was born into, if not quite greatness, then the heavy expectation that he would achieve it. His father Emanuel was a well-regarded child psychiatrist; his mother, Betty, a novelist and biographer. Miller fils, somehow appropriately, didn't wait until birth to make his literary debut – making a cameo, Bassett suggests, as an unborn child in one of his mother's stories. The cultured milieu of his north London childhood is hinted at by the fact that Stevie Smith once wrote a satirical piece about his family (Bassett calls Smith's accompanying poem "vile"). It was to science that the young Miller was drawn: first at St Paul's school – pals included Oliver Sacks and book-dealer Eric Korn – then at Cambridge. But almost as soon as he began his medical studies, the "cocaine-like" addiction of performing was working away: skits at school and university, then, after graduation, the astonishing success of Beyond the Fringe – a quartet, it's pleasing to be reminded, that was assembled by a young theatre producer, as coldly manufactured as any boyband. Miller's later claims that his career has been largely happenstance are cast into relief by a letter he wrote at the age of 18 to the BBC requesting a TV audition, explaining that he and a friend "specialise in parodies of Radio, films and theatre and also 'REAL LIFE'" (the request was turned down).
Bassett's thesis is encapsulated in her title, and she spends much time examining, then re-examining, Miller's bursts of spirited indecision about what to do with his talents – no sooner promising to knuckle down to medicine before scarpering towards the footlights; no sooner triumphing in theatre before announcing a penitential progress back towards science. Bassett makes the fine point that doctoring and directing aren't perhaps so different, over and above simply requiring theatres. Ibsen, Chekhov, Goldsmith, Strindberg and Schiller all received medical training, and you could argue that both disciplines involve careful performance rituals and a degree of flamboyant mystification. Both also call for deep involvement in human problems; and practitioners of both kinds sometimes fancy they have the god-like ability to transcend them (even if, as Miller discovered, the West End proved more tempting than ward rounds at UCH).
This, alas, is the frustration of In Two Minds, which gives the recurring impression of leading its subject towards the psychologist's couch without ever eliciting sustained or meaningful analysis. Miller's relationship with his sister Sarah receives minimal treatment, his children feature largely as a support act; give or take the odd hint, the realities of his 56-year marriage are placed discreetly behind a curtain (his wife Rachel is a GP, and some of the professional challenges she's had to face sound a good deal tougher than her husband's). We are halfway through the book before we discover that Miller has suffered from depression: the discussion of how that illness has manifested, or coloured his work, lasts less than a page. Although Miller seems to have realised he is ill-equipped for the slog of medical research (something it apparently took a £88,00 grant in the 1980s at Sussex University to demonstrate), his dividedness persists, as evidenced by numerous declarations that his directing career is over – he has enjoyed more curtain calls than the most prima of prima donnas. It is typical – also somehow heartbreaking – that, not content with being a hobbying sculptor, Miller rather fancies installing what is described as a "large-scale work" outside Waterloo station. This isn't common-or-garden hypercompetitiveness; it seems to be a kind of mania, on a literally architectural scale.
Being in two minds about one's career is one thing; the more interesting question, surely, is how the schisms in Miller's own mind fit – or don't fit – together. Which of his personalities does one believe? The kindly friend who helps a colleague move house, or the man who cuts former acquaintances dead for daring to contradict him? The workaholic professional, or the one who abandons rehearsals when they aren't going his way? Vice-president of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, or the man who cracks jokes about "opera queens"? The nuclear-powered controversialist? The penseur and philosophe? The licensed fool?&&&&&&& Bassett's acknowledgments say that Miller himself has not read or edited any of the manuscript; he hardly needed to, such is the flood of his talk that courses through it. Hefty verbatim quotes form its substance, and even ostensibly independent opinions (that telling "vile"; leitmotifs on his parents' lack of affection, an odd tic to do with never having earned enough) have the tang of indirect speech. Sometimes this is innocuous enough – and often it's entertaining, Miller's tongue being famously sharp – but despite Bassett's attempts at balance, the suspicion grows that we are being drip-fed the subject's own insights into himself. Richard Holmes once compared the biographer's task to snooping on a dinner party where the guests are permanently out of earshot; Bassett brings us right to the table, but seems anxious about offending the host.
Bassett is herself a fine, fierce theatre critic – her write-ups of Miller's productions have verve and perceptive grace – so it is a shame that, when it comes to the great man, she too often abandons her critical distance, notably in a final section that marshals witnesses for the defence (John Fortune: "If he'd been born French, there would be streets named after him"; the historian Michael Wood: "the most scintillating and inspiring teacher … bollocks to those who think otherwise"). Alan Bennett, a long-term neighbour as well as family friend, is more wary: "We've always gone on the assumption that the less I said about him and the less he said about me the better."
In the end, perhaps one of the most revealing character sketches here is a short section on Private Eye, which for some years ran a column called "The Life of Dr Jonathan", casting Miller ("the Great Doctor") as a latterday Johnson, dilating at length to "importunate savants" on "topics too awful and profound to bear thinking of". In the backhanded way of British satire, it's as close as Lord Gnome's organ has ever come to unadorned compliment. Miller, naturally, cannot see the funny side.

Les Dawson's Joke Book: review

Les Dawson's mother-in-law jokes overshadowed some of his imaginative wordplay, as this new book of jokes shows. One of Les Dawson's 1970s quips - "The way prices are rising, the good old days are last week" - will unfortunately rarely be outmoded. Humour is timeless. It will be 20 years next June since the comedian died, at the age of 62, and in advance comes Les Dawson's Joke Book.There are one-liners, handwritten sketches - including an amusing ditty about the First World War - and limericks.
There are plenty of jokes. Do they stand the test of time? Lots do, but some - about 'Red Indians', Tarzan and trade unionists - may really resonate only among an older audience. And it was a very poor decision to include a joke about a rapist.
As someone who had a mother-in-law and a step mother-in-law, I may not best placed to consider the PC merits of the ample number of Dawson's mother-in-law jokes in a book compiled by his wife Tracy and daughter Charlotte. A typical example is: "My mother-in-law's so fat that when she passes her handbag from hand to hand she throws it". As it happens, it was always the offbeat and imaginative flights of fancy I liked best with Dawson. Here are some examples from the book: • 'My lad chewed and swallowed a dictionary. We gave him Epsom salts - but we can't get a word out of him.' • A duck goes into a chemist's shop. 'A tube of lipsol, please.' The chemist said: 'Certainly. That'll be 50 pence.' 'Just put it on my bill.' • 'I'll give you 40 pills in a box.' 'Thanks, it's hopeless trying to roll them home.' • 'I said to the wife, I wish you wouldn't smoke in bed.' She said: 'But a lot of women do.' I said, 'Not bacon, they don't.' • 'I discovered the wife's got asthma. Thank God - I thought she was hissing at me.'
• 'I wouldn't say they were posh but the toilet coughed before it flushed.' The book will certainly appeal to Les Dawson fans and those tickled by (funny) jokes such as: 'I went to my doctor and asked for something for persistent wind. He gave me a kite.'

Christian Fiction Authors

Christian Fiction Authors A Baltimore County Public Library Booklist. Christian Fiction Authors.
A Christian novel is any novel that expounds and illustrates a Christian world view in its plot, its characters, or both, or which deals with Christian themes in a positive way. Christian novels – or at least, novels by Christians – have a rich tradition in Europe, going back several centuries, and drawing on past Christian allegorical literature, such as Dante Alighieri 's Divine Comedy and John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress.
These contemporary authors uphold this literary tradition and are represented in BCPL's collections.
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Philip Gross author for adults and children

Philip Gross author for adults and children
ancient Finno Ugric fish hook from Mappa Mundi a writer of many parts:
prize-winning poetry: Winner of the TS Eliot Prize 2009 for The Water Table thrilling and challenging novels for young people science fiction, haiku and opera libretti plays, radio short stories and poem-documentaries creative writing teacher at all levels
"In the land of mutual rivers, it is all a conversation: one flows uphill, one flows down. Each ends in a bottomless lake which feeds the other and the boatmen who sail up, down, round and round never age, growing half a day older, half a day younger every time... as long as they never step on land."

Fiona Murphy and Michelle Last – new authors for Poetry Space

Fiona Murphy and Michelle Last – new authors for Poetry Space Here at Poetry Space be releasing our very first book for children, a poetry collection by Fiona Murphy and Michelle Last. Fiona, who has M.E and spinal stenosis started work on the book after having to give up her job. She met talented artist Michelle through Poetry Space and the book was born.
Wendy French, winner of The Hippocrates Prize for Poetry in 2010 has had a sneak preview of the book. This is what she had to say about it:
Fiona Murphy and Michelle Last’s collaboration as poet and illustrator for ‘Down the Plughole’ can be described in one word, ‘delightful’. These charming poems and drawings demonstrate the strength and talent of both poet and illustrator. The words and pictures will appeal to any young child and indeed will amuse adults as well. The poems are fun but serious too. In ‘Why Mum’ there are questions about the universe that will be interest any child and prompt thinking, ‘Where does the sun go at night?’ In another poem the moon says to the cloud, ‘I can change the tide. What can you do?’ And the cloud answers. Read the poem to find out the answer! The poems in this collection work on many levels and the book.

The Lies of Locke Lamora

Follow the the life and adventures of Locke Lamora, a master con artist in a world where con artistry, as we know it, is a new and rare style of crime. These seven novels will reveal his grand ambitions as well as his astounding failures. See his wits pitted against ever-increasing odds on behalf of the few things that truly matter to him, through the highs and lows of crime, courtly intrigue, politics, love, and war... The Lies of Locke Lamora Book I of the Gentleman Bastard Sequence June 2006 (Available now)
"Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile, And cry 'Content' to that which grieves my heart, And wet my cheeks with artificial tears, And frame my face to all occasions." --William Shakespeare, Richard II, iii, ii
The Thorn of Camorr is said to be an unbeatable swordsman, a master thief, a ghost that walks through walls. Half the city believes him to be a legendary champion of the poor. The other half believe him to be a foolish myth. Nobody has it quite right. Slightly built, unlucky in love, and barely competent with a sword, Locke Lamora is, much to his annoyance, the fabled Thorn. He certainly didn't invite the rumors that swirl around his exploits, which are actually confidence games of the most intricate sort. And while Locke does indeed steal from the rich (who else, pray tell, would be worth stealing from?), the poor never see a penny of it. All of Locke's gains are strictly for himself and his tight-knit band of thieves, the Gentlemen Bastards. Locke and company are con artists in an age where con artistry, as we understand it, is a new and unknown style of crime. The less attention anyone pays to them, the better! But a deadly mystery has begun to haunt the ancient city of Camorr, and a clandestine war is threatening to tear the city's underworld, the only home the Gentlemen Bastards have ever known, to bloody shreds. Caught up in a murderous game, Locke and his friends will find both their loyalty and their ingenuity tested to the breaking point as they struggle to stay alive... What others have to say about The Lies of Locke Lamora: Hal Duncan, author of Vellum "Scott Lynch is a con man, a conjuror, a wickedly entertaining juggler of words with knives up his sleeves and hatchets down his back. By the time you realize he's dangerous, you're already bleeding. The Lies of Locke Lamora is a ticket inside the astonishing city-state Camorr, and a free pass into the company of the entirely extraordinary Gentleman Bastards, and a match for any fantasy adventure I've ever read. The best news is: it's Book One. That means there'll be more."
"This is a fresh, original, and engrossing tale by a bright new voice in the fantasy genre. Locke Lamora makes for an engaging rogue, and Camorr a fascinating and gorgeously realized setting, a city to rival Lankhmar, Amber, and Viriconium. I look forward to returning there for many more visits." George R.R. Martin, author of the Song of Ice and Fire sequence
"Hugely enjoyable, a rollicking blast of solid fun; Locke Lamora cuts a roguish dash -- with all the swagger and the spark of Errol Flynn in his heyday -- and the twists and turns of the plot make for compulsive reading."

Shayla Black -The Wicked Edge of Romance

Shayla Black The Wicked Edge of Romance Shayla Black -The Wicked Edge of Romance Shayla Black | The Trouble With Love Writing is never easy, but I’ve often said that writing romance is one of the more difficult challenges. Romances aren’t just about emotion Read More... Shayla Black | BOUND AND DETERMINED March 2, 2009 I’m thrilled that on Tuesday, March 3, one of my favorite books will re-release in trade paperback. Pseudonym for Shelley Bradley. Tweet
Shayla Black (aka Shelley Bradley) is the New York Times bestselling author of over 30 sizzling contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances for multiple print and electronic publishers. She lives in Texas with her husband, munchkin, and one very spoiled cat. In her "free" time, she enjoys reality TV, reading and listening to an eclectic blend of music. Shayla has won or placed in over a dozen writing contests, including Passionate Ink's Passionate Plume, Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, and the National Reader's Choice Awards. Romantic Times has awarded her Top Picks, a KISS Hero Award and a nomination for Best Erotic Romance. A writing risk-taker, Shayla enjoys tackling writing challenges with every book. Books: Hot In Handcuffs, July 2012 Trade Size Mine To Hold, June 2012 Trade Size Possess Me At Midnight, November 2009 Doomsday Brethren #3 Mass Market Paperback Seduce Me in Shadow, October 2009 Doomsday Brethren #2 Mass Market Paperback Strip Search, July 2009 Trade Size (reprint) Bound And Determined, March 2009 Trade Size (reprint) Tempt Me With Darkness, September 2008 Doomsday Brethren #1 Mass Market Paperback Dangerous Boys and Their Toy, June 2008 e-Book Decadent, October 2007 Paperback Wicked Ties, January 2007 Trade Size Their Virgin's Secret, January 2012 Masters of Menage #2 e-Book Belong to Me, October 2011 Trade Size Their Virgin Captive, September 2011 Masters of Menage #1 e-Book Surrender To Me, March 2011 Wicked Lovers #4 Paperback Haunted By Your Touch, November 2010 Mass Market Paperback Entice Me At Twilight, November 2010 Doomsday Brethren #4 Mass Market Paperback Four Play, October 2010 Trade Size Delicious, March 2010 Wicked Lovers #3 Trade Size

Framed and Showoff

Framed and Showoff
Griffin Bing's new principal doesn't like him. And Griffin doesn't like the boot camp football atmosphere the new principal has brought. Griffin manages to stay out of trouble -- until a Super Bowl ring disappears from the school's display case, with Griffin's retainer left in its place. Griffin has been framed! Unfortunately, the Man doesn't have a Plan - and everything his team tries to find out who really took the ring backfires. Griffin ends up in an alternate school, then under house arrest, and finally with an electronic anklet - with no way to prove his innocence! Griffin smells a rat - but will he be able to solve the mystery in time?
The heroes of Swindle, Zoobreak, and Framed are back - and this time, things have gone to the dogs! When Luthor goes berserk at a mall dog show, he's accused of ruining the career of the three-time best-in-show beagle. Griffin always knew that Luthor's viciousness was simmering just below the surface - so why does he feel bad enough to spring him from the pound?
Griffin and his team have a new plan. This one involves New York City, a sinister saboteur, a reclusive dog-trainer who's quit the business, an international dog show, and a whole lot of red dye. But if they pull it off, no one will even notice their sting operation...right?
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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: Book 3 of the Millennium Trilogy (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
In the concluding volume of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, Lisbeth Salander lies in critical condition in a Swedish hospital, a bullet in her head.

But she's fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she'll stand trial for three murders. With the help of Mikael Blomkvist, she'll need to identify those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she'll seek revenge--against the man who tried to killer her and against the corrupt government institutions that nearly destroyed her life.

As the finale to Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is not content to merely match the adrenaline-charged pace that made international bestsellers out of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire. Instead, it roars with an explosive storyline that blows the doors off the series and announces that the very best has been saved for last.

A familiar evil lies in wait for Lisbeth Salander, but this time, she must do more than confront the miscreants of her past; she must destroy them. Much to her chagrin, survival requires her to place a great deal of faith in journalist Mikael Blomkvist and trust his judgment when the stakes are highest. This closing chapter to The Girl's pursuit of justice is guaranteed to leave readers both satisfied and saddened once the final page has been turned.
To reveal more of the plot would be criminal, as Larsson's mastery of the unexpected is why millions have fallen hard for his work. But rest assured that the odds are again stacked, the challenges personal, and the action fraught with neck-snapping revelations in this snarling conclusion to a thrilling triad. --Dave Callanan

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire: Book 2 of the Millennium Trilogy (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
Editorial Reviews:

Product Description
Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel.

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.

The girl with the dragon tattoo is back. Stieg Larsson's seething heroine, Lisbeth Salander, once again finds herself paired with journalist Mikael Blomkvist on the trail of a sinister criminal enterprise. Only this time, Lisbeth must return to the darkness of her own past (more specifically, an event coldly known as "All the Evil") if she is to stay one step ahead--and alive. The Girl Who Played with Fire is a break-out-in-a-cold-sweat thriller that crackles with stunning twists and dismisses any talk of a sophomore slump.
Expect healthy doses of murder, betrayal, and deceit, as well as enough espresso drinks to fuel downtown Seattle for months. Fans of Larsson's prior work will find even more to love here, and readers who do not find their hearts racing within the first five pages may want to confirm they still have a pulse.--Dave Callanan

THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, the second volume in the late Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, publisher Mikael Blomkvist and the police are conducting parallel investigations into three horrifying murders -- and their initial evidence points straight at young computer genius and social misfit Lisbeth Salander. Kalle Bastard Blomkvist (as Salander has begun referring to him) hasn't seen Salander in nearly two years, except for one night when he happened to witness a huge man attempting to kidnap her and both she and the attacker eluded him. He's bewildered about why she cut him off cold, but had accepted her decision -- until now. He doesn't believe Salander killed these victims. Well, at least not two of them. He has to contact her, find out how she's become embroiled in this, and help her.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Movie Tie-in Edition): Book 1 of the Millennium Trilogy (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

Product: Stieg Larsson's #1 bestselling mystery featuring Lisbeth Salander is now a major motion picture directed by David Fincher, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, from Columbia Pictures/Sony. In theaters December 2011.

The first volume in the Millennium Trilogy, and an international publishing sensation, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.
Once you start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there's no turning back. This debut thriller--the first in a trilogy from the late Stieg Larsson--is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston and Michael Connelly. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry.

The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues.

Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo. --Dave Callanan

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

Product Description

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games," a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.

Wow. I was barely able to put this book down for a second after the first few pages got me completely hooked. Suzanne Collins narrative here has an immediacy to it that, when combined with the very dramatic life-or-death plot, is incredibly compelling. It's entertaining, and incredibly disturbing all at once. If this was merely a good read, I would have given it 4 stars, but they say great art leaves you changed after you experience it... and this book definitely did that. Suzanne Collins has, with one amazing work, propelled herself onto my top shelf.

Parents, caveat emptor! The storyline is brutal. Even though the writing is geared for young adults, the main characters are teenagers, there's very little physical romance, and the actual violence would probably count as PG-13 nowadays... it's probably one of the most terrifying books I've read in a very long time! Right up there with George R.R. Martin, if not more so.

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3)

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3)
Editorial Reviews:

Product Description
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins's groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Product Description
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins's groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

A Q&A with Suzanne Collins, Author of Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)

Q: You have said from the start that The Hunger Games story was intended as a trilogy. Did it actually end the way you planned it from the beginning?

A: Very much so. While I didn't know every detail, of course, the arc of the story from gladiator game, to revolution, to war, to the eventual outcome remained constant throughout the writing process.

Q: We understand you worked on the initial screenplay for a film to be based on The Hunger Games. What is the biggest difference between writing a novel and writing a screenplay?
A: There were several significant differences. Time, for starters. When you're adapting a novel into a two-hour movie you can't take everything with you. The story has to be condensed to fit the new form. Then there's the question of how best to take a book told in the first person and present tense and transform it into a satisfying dramatic experience. In the novel, you never leave Katniss for a second and are privy to all of her thoughts so you need a way to dramatize her inner world and to make it possible for other characters to exist outside of her company. Finally, there's the challenge of how to present the violence while still maintaining a PG-13 rating so that your core audience can view it. A lot of things are acceptable on a page that wouldn't be on a screen. But how certain moments are depicted will ultimately be in the director's hands.

Q: Are you able to consider future projects while working on The Hunger Games, or are you immersed in the world you are currently creating so fully that it is too difficult to think about new ideas?

A: I have a few seeds of ideas floating around in my head but--given that much of my focus is still on The Hunger Games--it will probably be awhile before one fully emerges and I can begin to develop it.

Q: The Hunger Games is an annual televised event in which one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts is forced to participate in a fight-to-the-death on live TV. What do you think the appeal of reality television is--to both kids and adults?
A: Well, they're often set up as games and, like sporting events, there's an interest in seeing who wins. The contestants are usually unknown, which makes them relatable. Sometimes they have very talented people performing. Then there's the voyeuristic thrill—watching people being humiliated, or brought to tears, or suffering physically--which I find very disturbing. There's also the potential for desensitizing the audience, so that when they see real tragedy playing out on, say, the news, it doesn't have the impact it should.

Q: What were some of your favorite novels when you were a teen?

A: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Boris by Jaapter Haar
Germinal by Emile Zola
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Q: If you were forced to compete in the Hunger Games, what do you think your special skill would be?

A: Hiding. I'd be scaling those trees like Katniss and Rue. Since I was trained in sword-fighting, I guess my best hope would be to get hold of a rapier if there was one available. But the truth is I'd probably get about a four in Training.

Q: What do you hope readers will come away with when they read The Hunger Games trilogy?

A: Questions about how elements of the books might be relevant in their own lives. And, if they're disturbing, what they might do about them.

Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
Editorial Reviews:

Product Description

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)

Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)
Author: Suzanne Collins

Editorial Reviews:

Product Description

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

If you thought the Capitol couldn't get any more twisted... you were wrong.

The highly-anticipated sequel to The Hunger Games is the kind of novel that has you pulling back to take a breath and go, "How did the author think of this?" (if you can stop turning the pages long enough to breathe)

Catching Fire picks up right where Hunger Games left off. Unrest in the Districts is growing at an alarming pace and Katniss unwittingly finds herself the figurehead for the movement against the Capitol. The characters you loved return for the sequel and the reader must endure each indignity the Capitol inflicts upon them. It is painful, tortuous, imaginative and motivating. It is everything The Hunger Games was and more. It both answers your lingering questions and creates so many new ones. It challenges you to think and creates such feelings of empathy for the characters that whenever I had to put the book down, I was genuinely worried for leaving the characters..

When I read the Hunger Games, I read it straight through the night, from 1AM til 5AM. Couldn't stop reading even though I had to pee badly. After I finished it, I was dying for the sequel. DYING!!!! When I found out the ARC would be available in the spring, I bribed everyone I could think of to get me one. And yes, I got it. The day I got it, I couldn't look at it until 1AM again. This time, I promised myself, I would only look at the first chapter and then put it down. Riiiiight. It was 4:30AM when I finished reading and immediately began plotting to find out when the next book ARC would be available.

Adriana Trigiani

Adriana Trigiani
Adriana Trigiani enhances the meaning of an epic novel in her new almost 500 page historical fiction. She seizes our attention in the first few chapters introducing us to the brothers Eduardo and Ciro, who are relegated to a convent when their mother can no longer take care of them after her husband's death. Set in the resplendent Italian Alps, Trigiani moves us through their unconventional upbringing by nuns to the fierce immigrant experience in America.

There is, of course, a love story, but before this relationship blossoms, the author has her sentiments regarding the Catholic Church. Although this novel takes place at the turn of the century, the strength of the village and the Church seem timeless. Eduardo is a scholarly older brother, dedicated to protecting his outgoing, opinionated younger sibling, Ciro. Ciro is a big strong kid whom the nuns adore with his sense of humor and his commitment to earn his keep at the Convent.
Kathryn Stockett: This is by far your most epic novel to date. How long did it take you to write The Shoemaker’s Wife?

Adriana Trigiani: I worked on this story for over 20 years as I wrote scripts and novels and had my own family. There are scraps of paper, dinner napkins, and bills with timelines and notes scrawled across them. There are old notebooks filled with my grandmother’s musings from 1985. I collected train tickets, copies of ships’ manifests, and a silk tag with my grandmother’s name from garments she had created. I traveled as far as the Italian Alps and as close as the few blocks it takes me to walk to Little Italy in New York City to capture the historical aspects of the story. All of this went into the novel. It was a delicious gestation period.

Stockett: This is a novel, but it is inspired by a true story—a family story, right?

Trigiani: Yes—my grandparents, Lucia and Carlo. Their love was a dance with fate. It is riddled with near misses against a landscape of such massive world events that it’s a wonder they got together at all. My challenge was to present their world to the reader so it might feel it was happening in the moment. I wanted the reader to have the experience I had when stories were told to me by the woman who lived them.
Stockett: Through the remarkable story of Enza and Ciro, your novel tells the larger story of the immigrant experience in America.

Trigiani: What a gift immigrants were and are to this country! They bring their talents and loyalty and make our country even greater. My grandparents were proud to be new Americans. Assimilation was not about copying an American ideal, but aspiring to their own version of it. The highest compliment you could pay a fellow immigrant was: he (or she) was a hard worker. I hear the phrase work like an immigrant said, but really, it’s bigger than that—we must also dream like immigrants.

Stockett: The Shoemaker’s Wife seamlessly brings together fictional characters and historical figures—how did the wonderful Caruso enter the novel?

Trigiani: It started with a three-foot stack of vinyl records—my grandmother Lucia’s collection of Caruso. Her absolute devotion to The Great Voice lasted her whole life long. I knew, in order to write this novel, I had to fall in love with Caruso too, because he sang the score of my grandparents’ love affair.

When Lucia passed, I went to my first opera, seeking understanding and comfort. As the music washed over me, I began to understand why my grandmother was such a fan. The words were Italian, and the emotions were big; nothing was left unexpressed in the music. If only life were that way.

Stockett: The novel takes place during the first half of the twentieth century--what is so compelling about this period of time to you?

Trigiani: The cusp of the twentieth century was a time everything was new—cars, phones, planes, electricity, even sportswear, and in each innovation was a kind of explosive potential. No one could predict where all the inventions would lead, people only knew that change was unavoidable.

My grandparents were delighted every time America presented them with something they had never seen before. And my grandparents’ sense of wonder never left them, so I tried not to let it leave the page, be it a cross-country train ride or the first snap of the bobbin on an electric Singer sewing machine.

Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani

Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
The shoemaker's wife : a novel
Trigiani, Adriana.
Pub date:


Two star-crossed lovers--Enzo and Ciro--meet and separate, until, finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever. Set during the years preceding and during World War I.
Publication Date: April 3, 2012 (New: Last 30 Days)
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days

The majestic and haunting beauty of the Italian Alps is the setting of the first meeting of Enza, a practical beauty, and Ciro, a strapping mountain boy, who meet as teenagers, despite growing up in villages just a few miles apart. At the turn of the last century, when Ciro catches the local priest in a scandal, he is banished from his village and sent to hide in America as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Little Italy. Without explanation, he leaves a bereft Enza behind. Soon, Enza's family faces disaster and she, too, is forced to go to America with her father to secure their future.

Unbeknownst to one another, they both build fledgling lives in America, Ciro masters shoemaking and Enza takes a factory job in Hoboken until fate intervenes and reunites them. But it is too late: Ciro has volunteered to serve in World War I and Enza, determined to forge a life without him, begins her impressive career as a seamstress at the Metropolitan Opera House that will sweep her into the glamorous salons of Manhattan and into the life of the international singing sensation, Enrico Caruso.

From the stately mansions of Carnegie Hill, to the cobblestone streets of Little Italy, over the perilous cliffs of northern Italy, to the white-capped lakes of northern Minnesota, these star-crossed lovers meet and separate, until, finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever.

Lush and evocative, told in tantalizing detail and enriched with lovable, unforgettable characters, The Shoemaker's Wife is a portrait of the times, the places and the people who defined the immigrant experience, claiming their portion of the American dream with ambition and resolve, cutting it to fit their needs like the finest Italian silk.

This riveting historical epic of love and family, war and loss, risk and destiny is the novel Adriana Trigiani was born to write, one inspired by her own family history and the love of tradition that has propelled her body of bestselling novels to international acclaim. Like Lucia, Lucia, The Shoemaker's Wife defines an era with clarity and splendor, with operatic scope and a vivid cast of characters who will live on in the imaginations of readers for years to come.

A Stitch Before Dying by Anne Canadeo

A Stitch Before Dying
by Anne Canadeo

The Black Sheep Knitters: a fivesome with a knack for knitting-and for solving crimes.

Hen Maggie Messina, owner of the Black Sheep Knitting Shop, is invited to give knitting workshops at a Berkshires spa resort, she manages to negotiate a cottage that fits all five of the Black Sheep for what promises to be a weekend of knitting bliss. But while the friends are expert at counting stitches, they haven't counted on murder.
Guests and staff at the Crystal Lake Inn are as varied as a mixed bag of yarn, but most colorful is certainly the owner, charismatic self-help guru and former psychiatrist Dr. Max Flemming. The doctor may have told all in a revealing autobiography, but from his ex-wife to the widow of his former business partner-both employees at the inn-Max seems mired in shad­ows from his past. And when a killer strikes during a mountaintop retreat, the Black Sheep wonder what the good doctor might be hiding.

The police seem to be following the wrong thread. But while Maggie's workshops have given the knitters a unique view of the tensions at the little inn, can they make sense of a crime that is as complexly stranded as a Fair Isle sweater? When the killer murders a second time, the Black Sheep won­der if they've dropped a stitch and put themselves in mortal danger. . . .

While My Pretty One Knits by Anne Canadeo

While My Pretty One Knits
by Anne Canadeo

Gallery Books- Trade Paperback
The Black Sheep Knitters -- Maggie, Lucy, Dana, Suzanne, and Phoebe -- meet once a week without fail, sharing the varied and colorful skeins of their lives as much as knitting tips, recipes, and small-town gossip, and creating an intricate, durable pattern of friendship. Now a shocking murder has peaceful Plum Harbor, Massachusetts, in knots -- and the Black Sheep women must herd together to protect one of their own from a scandalous frame-up.

Maggie Messina, beloved owner of the Black Sheep Knitting Shop, is thrilled to be hosting a workshop for one of her former students, now a celebrity in the knitting world. But the celebration is upstaged when Amanda Goran, the owner of the rival Knitting Nest, is found dead in her shop on the other side of town.

Maggie had reasons to dislike Amanda, a thorn in her side ever since Maggie''s shop surpassed Amanda''s in popularity. Then again, it wasn''t hard to dislike Amanda -- the contentious woman, whose marriage was on the rocks, seemed to specialize in causing misery all over town. But the pointed evidence has a detective casting a suspicious eye on Maggie. She may be a whiz at knitting, but can she keep the police from needling her before her shop, her reputation, and her circle of friends become unraveled?

Knit, Purl, Die- by Anne Canadeo

Knit, Purl, Die- by Anne Canadeo
Meet the Black Sheep knitters -- five smart, funny
women who love to knit, gossip, and solve crimes.
Gloria Sterling had it all -- money, looks, and a new sexy young husband. So when she''s found floating face down in her own swimming pool, shock waves ripple through tiny Plum Harbor. At the Black Sheep Knitting Shop, Maggie Messina and her circle are devastated to lose their dear friend -- a woman as colorful as her fabulous yarn creations.

The police are quick to call it an accident, but sorting out Gloria''s final hours leaves too many loose ends to satisfy her friends. The vivacious, fiftysomething cougar had her French manicured tips in more than a few pots, and the threads of some inside deals stashed in her chic knitting tote.
Who was the last person to see Gloria alive on that quiet summer night? Two empty wine glasses suggest she wasn''t home alone knitting the entire evening.... The Black Sheep need to know the truth and set out to unravel -- stitch by stitch -- the weighty secrets that pulled poor Gloria under.

Cat's Claw

Cat's Claw
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by Susan Wittig Albert

Berkley Trade -| Hardcover
Police Chief Sheila Dawson believes the death of Pecan Spring''s computer guru, Larry Kirk, to be a suicide, perhaps triggered by his painful divorce. Further investigation reveals that Kirk''s death wasn''t self-inflicted. And the truth is reinforced by her friend China Bayles'' news-Larry recently asked her for legal advice in regards to a stalker.

As a police chief in a male-dominated force, Sheila meets many challenges, especially when her theories rock the boat in high profile cases like that of George Timms. He was caught breaking into Larry''s computer shop to steal his own computer back because of dangerous personal information it contained. Now that Larry is dead, she''s sure it''s connected to the burglary. And she''s also sure she''ll get plenty of resistance on her assessment...

Timms''s time to turn himself in to the police comes and goes, and he''s nowhere to be found. In her investigation, Sheila uncovers secrets, terrible secrets that would drive anyone to kill. So who then? It''s up to Sheila to prove she''s got what it takes to hunt down the predator that''s loose on the streets of Pecan Springs...

The Tale Of Castle Cottage: by Susan Wittig Albert

The Tale Of Castle Cottage -by Susan Wittig Albert
Berkley Trade- Hardcover
The latest in the Cottage Tales series-starring Miss Potter herself!

It''s the heart of summer in 1913, and Beatrix is eager to marry her fiancé, solicitor William Heelis. But there are a few obstacles blocking the happy couple''s path to the altar, like the troubled remodeling of Castle Cottage-Will and Beatrix''s future home...

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Scones ; Bones- by Laura Childs

Scones ; Bones- by Laura Childs
Berkley Trade -Hardcover
Savor the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of The Teaberry Strangler

Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is lured into attending the Heritage Society''s "Pirates and Plunder" soiree. But it''s an antique diamond skull ring that gets plundered by someone who murders a history intern in the process. Theodosia knows she''ll have to whet her investigative skills to find the killer among a raft of suspects.

Sew Far; So Good- by Monica Ferris

Sew Far; So Good- by Monica Ferris

Berkley Trade- Trade Paperback
Available for the first time in one volume: three mysteries from the USA Today bestselling author of the Needlecraft series...

Shop owner and part-time sleuth Betsy Devonshire has a knack for stumbling upon dead bodies-and it''s entangled her in more than one knotty situation. Here in one volume are three of Betsy''s adventures as a not-so-seamless investigator.
Includes Unraveled Sleeve, A Murderous Yarn, and Hanging by a Thread.
Save 24 %: List Price $18.50(Online Price $14.06)
Member Price (Learn More) $13.36

Threadbare- by Monica Ferris

Threadbare: by Monica Ferris

In the latest needlecraft novel from USA Today bestselling author Monica Ferris, Besty gets embroiled in an embroidery mystery.
When an elderly homeless woman is found dead on the shore of Lake Minnetonka, she''s wearing something that holds the key to her identity but also opens up a mystery. Embroidered on her blouse is her will, in which she bequeaths everything she owns to her niece-Emily Hame, a member of the Monday Bunch at Betsy Devonshire''s Crewel World needlework shop!

Emily''s aunt turns out to be the second homeless woman to be found dead under mysterious circumstances. It''s up to Betsy to discover the common thread between the deaths-and to determine if a murderer may strike again...

Cinnamon Roll Murder

Cinnamon Roll Murder: by Joanne Fluke|Hardcover

With the Cinnamon Roll Six jazz band heading toward Lake Eden for the Weekend Jazz Festival, Hannah Swensen is more than happy to bake up a generous supply of their namesake confections. But tragedy strikes when the band's tour bus overturns on its way into town. Among those injured is Buddy Neiman, the band's beloved keyboard player. At first, Buddy's injuries appear minor, until his condition suddenly takes a turn for the worse--as in dead. Hannah's no doctor, but she suspects that the surgical scissors jutting out of Buddy's chest may have something to do with it.
Turns out Buddy Neiman isn't the victim's real name. In fact, no one is really sure who he is, or what secrets may be lurking in his past. Hannah isn't sure just how she'll unravel this mystery, but there's nothing sweeter than bringing a killer to justice. . .

*Against the Night by Kit Martin

*Against the Night by Kit Martin

In the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Scones and Bones, Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning finds herself in hot water when a body surfaces at the grand opening of Charleston''s Neptune Aquarium...
The opening of the aquarium is a major Charleston event, and Theodosia has been hired to cater tea, scones, and sandwiches for the private party to honor dignitaries and big buck donors. Things are going swimmingly, until Theodosia escapes the party for a momentary rest, only to discover the body of a man entangled in a net, drowned in one of the aquarium''s state-of-the-art tanks.
To make matters worse, the victim is Theodosia''s former boyfriend Parker Scully. The EMTs on the scene think Parker''s drowning was an accident, but when Theodosia notices what look like defense wounds on his hands, she realizes that someone wanted Parker dead. The local police aren''t keen on hearing her theory-especially because of her ties to the victim-so Theodosia knows that if she wants Parker''s killer brought to justice, she''ll have to jump into the deep end and start her own investigation...