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But truly, people who are willing to get out there and meet the producers or get to the market early can really get better ingredients.

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Restaurants are not set up to follow the seasons. The home cook does not have to deal with any of that. No one at the dinner table is going to complain if the chicken and dumplings are a little different this time. And at home you can do a lot with a few pints of great raspberries that would get lost in a restaurant kitchen.

But I was really interested when I came across your recipe for cream of tomato soup with tomato leaves. The recipe calls for the leaves and stems. I have never thought to use that part of the plant, and I love that every part of the tomato holds value for you. In a way, that felt like another important theme of this book and your cooking - finding value in everything.

Would you agree with that? The tomato is such a challenging thing. As for the soup, you want to use the small, tender stems and leaves. There is a myth out there that they are poisonous, but they're not. Join with them as these two Georgia girls continue the discussion they began that night:. My father was in the Air Force. Then we were off to Germany, close to Frankfurt. I was ten when I came home to live in Atlanta with my grandmother and got to know my eccentric extended family.

If I was quiet, they would forget I was sitting in the corner and tell the good stories about haints, murder, and conjuring spells. Black Mountain was born during these visits. I had a hard time making the little signature curl on the ice cream cone, so I was soon asked to leave. ANN: I worked for several engineers, who left me to my own means.

Those means were writing short stories in between projects. What would become the Black Mountain stories were written in this manner. ANN: The first time I sit down with an idea. I always worry is this wasted time? Have I lost my talent? Am I some kind of fool to think I can write? I still have these questions rapid fire through my mind before I dig in and let the words come.

What thrills you? This means I rarely know what will happen to my characters before it shows up on the page. This keeps me coming back to my desk each day. But it also makes for more rewrites. Was building an ensemble intentional from the outset or did this happen organically? Then Rose marched through my head with the story about her mother attempting to sell her.

I had to allow her on the page. Iona showed up in one of my dreams. What can I say? When Gallery offered me a book deal, Ghost had three female voices. And Ta Da the ensemble came together. I have four daughters. Three are grown. I addressed the fears every mother has for her daughters.

And those are stories best left for other books. Her choices were especially tough for me to accept. On some days I just refused to write another sentence because I was afraid of her next move. My husband will tell you he feels he knows Nellie because of my angst at the dinner table. My exploration of Nellie took me to places and times in my own life that were painful and lonely.

I think this is what makes Nellie so forgivable. But there were times I wondered what readers would think when they met Nellie on the page. It was just Nellie and the ghosts, most of the time. Some less adventuresome souls might argue that watching a woman come unhinged is about as tedious as watching paint dry. Yet, brave writer that you are, you were able to make a quiet afternoon of splitting wood completely unnerving. This was a risk, a big one from a writer attempting to get her first book published, but I once read something John Gardner said that has stayed with me.

It went something like this: You have to know the rules to break the rules. And then once you break them, the work becomes art. This accounts for a lot of my risk-taking. But was I a lot of fun to be around during this time. ANN: Rose, in many ways, is the opposite of Nellie. Her mother thought of selling her for a thousand dollars. Her view of Nellie as the intruder gives us a peek into her heart. Rose is the balance of this novel. Her love is not blind nor is it buried in denial. She is the heartbeat of the book. What tricks did you employ to help you interweave all these stories together?

ANN: I spend a lot of time writing in long hand before I move to the computer. This allows me to access different emotions. The women in Ghost On Black Mountain told their story to me many times. Always the character would answer. She informed me I had made her entirely too whiny. She needed to be alone more in the house. But mostly the interweaving of the stories came naturally.

I would finish one part and the next character would step up. Even when I added Josie Clay and Shelly Parker into the novel, I instinctively knew where these parts fit in the book. She can see and talk to spirits, not because she seeks them but because they find her.

Her situation is more than tolerated. She is proactive and strong. ANN: I think that all my women reflect some part of me. But Iona is closet to me. I was raised by two very strong women. So strong they outshined any males in my life. Any chance readers will be revisiting this community in future stories? This book tells the story of Shelly Parker. ANN: There is nothing typical about my writing days. When all my kids were home and I had a day job, I would fantasize about an office with a door that I could close and write away.

Finally everyone left home except for my youngest daughter. I turned one of the empty bedrooms into the office of my dreams. I went down to work that morning and thought I would just die. I took my laptop and went back to the desk in my bedroom. Each morning I get up with the idea of sitting straight down to write, but it never works out like this. I answer emails, phone calls, and get up fifty times for one reason or another. This goes on for an hour until I finally put a stop to the whole mess and get to work. I write my best when everyone is home talking and laughing.

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I know. I always write every day. ANN: I called my husband at work and then had to wait for him to return my call. Luckily he called back within five minutes. He has always been my biggest fan. He has believed in me when only one other person believed. This other person—a dear friend—was the second person I called. ANN: There are plenty of how-to books on craft. My advice is to use your God-given talent in a way that gives Him glory.

Nothing, nothing will ever stop you if you do. Meet Susan. And Susan. Susan Kelly and Susan Gregg Gilmore have more things in common than their first names. They are both Southern gals. They both like to garden. And they both have new novels out this summer. SK: I thought I'd start the conversation with no script whatsoever First of all, can you write me a phonetic pronunciation of Bezellia? In my mind, I massacred the name every time I came across it.

As a Susan, it drives me wild if someone calls me Suzanne, so let's get it right for future readers. Depictions of recent history are tricky. SK: Did you feel any trepidation in taking on aspects of the Civil Rights movement? I was only wanting to tell the story of a young girl who was desperately trying to be loved and love other people and struggling to find ways to do that with some compassion and integrity. Bezellia is not an activist or a hero, far from it. She only tries to be more heroic than those who stumbled before her. With that said, I do think it is my responsibility as a writer to bridge the gap between what I have observed and experienced and what I can put on paper.

In this case, I was writing about a period of history that I had seen firsthand as a child growing up in the South, specifically growing up in Nashville. I was simply writing what I knew. I can, however, honestly look at the culture in which I was raised and share that imperfect world with others. SK : For that matter, and on a much smaller scale, did you feel any trepidation in taking on the social strata of Nashville?

Truthfully, I met a woman named Bezellia although I believe she spells it differently at a dinner party shortly after moving to Nashville. I was intrigued, OK, a bit surprised by her name. She quickly admitted that she was a fifth-generation Bezellia. Even more impressive! But I rooted this book in many people and many memories that are part of my personal story as well as the greater Southern narrative.

Was this an intent or just a happy coincidence? SGG: I never have any specific intent other than to write a well-told story, and I hope I've accomplished that here. I think as a mother of three girls, and one of three girls myself, I am always drawn to the journey of a young woman into adulthood. So I guess the correct answer would be coincidental intent. SGG: You know I think it would be hard to pluck those out. There are many small memories that are woven into the book, but this is NOT my story.

It is truly Bezellia's. SGG: Susan, your novel deals with a lot of loss — children lost, friendships lost, marriages lost. Would you share with me what led you to write this story? SK: As usual for me, a confluence of events build organically into a full story. I was indeed travelling to the beach caravan-style with a child in another car beside me, and had a moment of panic during a storm when I lost sight of him in the rearview mirror. That was the first extrapolation of loss.

Fiction gives you the license to imagine the unimaginable. I actually include the term somewhere in every book. SGG: You can tell you have a great love and respect for the environment. And the more I thought about it, even though you write about this very gently, I'm wondering if it was your intent to represent the environment also as a victim of great loss?

SK: I'm indeed a gardener, hiker, bird watcher, rosarian What I wanted to represent is the randomness of nature. Feelings are not involved—nature does not love or respect us back — no matter how much love or respect we have for the environment. Hurricanes kill people, volcano eruptions strand people, people freeze to death in snowstorms. By Accident deals with human blame and fault and guilt after random events, but nature suffers none of those — and suffers no fools, either.

SGG: We've both written about the cities in which we live — let me ask you the same question you asked me — any trepidation writing about your hometown? SK: No trepidation, no. Once you decide to write, you pretty much take off all your clothes anyway, so the rest is just adjustment to being naked. Greensboro comes off pretty well. Mostly I feel sorry for my poor neighbors, who have to contend with assumptions that they're characters. My mother is an eternal good sport, claiming that she'd have "done a few things differently" if she'd known I was going to "grow up and be a writer.

Go figure. SGG: And I imagine you're getting ready to hit the road. Tell me a little about life on the book tour. And specifically, what is your favorite fast food item - the one comfort food that keeps you going on the road?? SK: Susan, put this in as one of my questions for you — since you've logged 18, miles, and since there's a question you don't want to answer — or is there another you had in mind that you'd like to get a word in edgewise?

But there is no better way to get to know the people who read and sell and buy your books. Some may disagree with me, but I really think writers have a responsibility to spend that kind of time with their reading family. Now, it does seem that I have an innate ability to attract thunderstorms and tornadic activity, but other than that I love every single mile of the book tour.

And I have made some great friends along the way who have welcomed me into their communities and invited me into their homes. And when offered an invitation to dinner, I do come! SK: I've done the jet-set in-house publicist book tour and the drive-myself-around book tour and prefer my own fire-engine red mini-cooper dodging wheelers on the interstate to airports. I try to keep a few clementines and apples rolling around on the floor among the Google map printouts, but my go-to is the Lance White Cheddar Cheese popcorn and a Diet Coke - fountain, please.

I'm so covered in chemical cheese when I arrive that I have to change clothes. Laura Lucas is numbed by the loss, a loss that is paralleled in the spate of upscale construction-and attendant destruction-in her starter-home neighborhood. It's about Laura's relationship with a young tree surgeon who slowly becomes a replacement for her son-but also an object of desire. The story reveals the delicate nexus where solace becomes sex; the role of men and women as unmarried friends; and examines grief in a marriage. It portrays the pain of change and the poignancy of acceptance through Laura's eyes, and occasionally, through the quirky outlook of her ten-year-old daughter.

And before the story ends, another brutal, random accident will redefine Laura's life once again. River Jordan and Shellie Rushing Tomlinson have a lot in common. They are both southern writers. They both have radio shows. They both try to do what their mamas tell them to do, and they both insist on including their dogs as members of the family.

They also both have new books coming out next spring. Two new books. We thought it would be fun to lock them in a room together and see what happened. Your writing career path has been what many people might call — original — just like you. I know this may come off all Pollyanna but I've truly not seen the competitiveness or vindictiveness among published authors that you might expect to be there.

On the contrary, the writing friends I've made seem to not only celebrate each other's success, but to help promote the others' work. That has been a most delightful surprise. To what do you think you might contribute this stellar happy news? Who really knows? It's a wonderful puzzle! But, if I must guess, I'd say my work seems to hold a mirror up before readers. When they look into it they see themselves and their people. Somehow, I get to benefit from those warm fuzzies, almost like family, even if they see me as the crazy relative in the attic!

I know I just mentioned family, but I'm going to have to go there again. My readers have become that for me. I'm humbled when they let me into their world, when they feel so comfortable with me that they actually share their hearts, whether it is what they dream of or what torments their souls. I may not be able to change a thing but I consider listening an honor. Is there one central thing that has remained the same? Live radio, as you well know River, is a rush, plain and simple.

It's a tightrope. Thankfully, mine seems to have a trampoline under it instead of a concrete floor because I get to try and try again! That would be the constant-- my dogged determination to produce a better product the next time. The maxim, "never let 'em see you sweat", I murder it weekly. How do you possibly find time or the energy to write in the midst of it? What advice would you offer to people who want to write and become published that have a hard time juggling all manner of things in their life to accomplish that? The only way to write in a big beautiful, messy, life is to learn how to churn the words out in the middle of life's unending dramas.

The writer's retreat—why, it sounds heavenly, but I can't do it. I have to keep the deadlines knocked out in the middle of it all. The second half of your question speaks to one of my soapbox subjects. If you need to write, if you have to write because it's what you do and who you are, you'll find time to write. None others need apply sounds harsh, but it's the cold hard truth from where I sit. Hooray for book clubs! Where would we be without them? And, on that note, without Ms Pulpwood Queen herself tending the flame?

Readers rock! I know it's the sequel to Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On , which documented the cradle to grave advice a southern belle gets from her mama. So how in the world do you follow that? Well, obviously, you don't. You can't do the cradle to grave thing but once. With Sue Ellen's Girl I took the fact that the bookstores were shelving me in self-help, something I still find uproariously funny, and I just ran with it, telling my stories and giving advice on a variety of subjects.

You don't have to be an expert to do that, right? Right, River? My mother once offered to stand in front of a bookstore in her hometown and pass out postcards of my book cover and info to all the people coming in and driving by. Has your mother offered to help assist you on your writing career? Offered any special advice truly that has come in handy? Mama has offered to help in more ways that time or space would allow me to explain.

One of my favorite offers came as she was helping man the book table and the line was getting long. I couldn't help thinking that perhaps the readers wouldn't appreciate her thoughtfulness. She took it upon herself to reorganize the line, instead. And they let her! That's why my sisters and I call her Marshall Dillon. What has surprised you most about your own writing?

River honey, the funniest thing about my writing is that I never, but never, set out to be funny. Did I say never? Who would do that anyway? It's like trying to be tall on purpose! You either are or you aren't and I never thought I was! Somehow, when I launched All Things Southern and started my little "porch chats" people started tagging me as a humorist.

Terrified of the label, I tried my best to avoid it. I would even change the subject when it came up because I could see where the bar was being stationed. Finally I just had to go with it, a la Doris Day, "What will be will be. When you look back over the life behind Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, what do you hope to see? I hope she'll have figured out how to live fully and love well.

I hope she'll be someone who learned to live out the joy and hope she found in Christ in a honest and real way that drew untold numbers to the Light of the World. Is that too lofty? Worthwhile goals are never easily reached. River, you write from a place that seems to pull back the curtain of what we see around us to reveal the most extraordinary things happening in the midst of our most ordinary lives.

Can you remember the first time you realized that you saw things from a different perspective from the people around you, and does that include your family— or were you raised by people who saw the things you see? She seemed to be very aware that our simple lives held great truths and grand dimensions. But I do remember the magic my mother would show me of a southern storm on a summer night, standing at this big window. Wind howl, lighting crash, thunder boom. With a history as a playwright, three novels, The Miracle of Mercy Land , a southern mystical mystery hitting stores in September and a nonfiction work Praying for Strangers slated to be released in Spring , you seem to be at no loss for words.

I love the otherworldly possibilities of the Spanish writers and Portuguese writers. So I always try to go in that direction — just a straight up story. Then something always shows up — a strange bit of smoke, an odd scent in the air, a little gold dust falling — so I put it down and just keep writing. Praying for Strangers i s unlike anything else you have on the market. Did you find that openness harder or easier than you thought it would be? Actually, I write about that in the book. As you know, I never intended to write Praying for Strangers. My privacy boundaries just went out the window.

The vulnerable will come next Spring with the book is out in hardback. One of your strengths as a radio host is your calming voice. I honestly feel my blood pressure drop and my multi-tasking self-slow down whenever I listen. Enquiring minds want to know if this is instinctive for you or a skill you have developed. Strange you say that. People tell me that all the time. I never meant to be the voice drug of choice but I do think it helps authors when I interview them on the program each week.

They seem to go from being a little nervous to just relaxing and telling stories. What does she stress most often, and do you listen? You mentioned Kathy Patrick, the Pulpwood Queen. I know what she has meant to both of our writing careers as well as the work of countless other authors. That authors love to meet readers and vice versa. That the love for literature is not a snobbish, cliquish circle. The relationships that have been forged between writers and readers at her events truly inspire me.

I would recommend to anyone who is involved in the book business in any capacity needs to venture on down to Jefferson, Texas in January to experience what this weekend is really about. If, at the end of your career, there was to be a one word review of your work, a legacy known all over the world, what word do you think would best describe your writing? Let it forever be - Bodacious. Yes, definitely bodacious. I just love that word. Well, and Bonafide.

River, what have you found to be the very best advice anyone has ever given you about writing and what hard-earned experience from your own career would you would most want aspiring authors to know? Best writing advice — To listen to the story asking to be told. Advice to aspiring authors? I really used to think that getting my first novel published would change my life overnight. Now I roll around on the floor and laugh and cry when I think of that. I would never want anyone to lower their expectations but I would encourage them to embrace the writing life over the long road and enjoy every day of it.

If no one could ever read your words, would you still have to write them down and why? I am in the company of creators that must tell the story of what it was to have been human. That we roamed the earth like bottled lighting, settled in cities like an autumn hush, we blended and broke away from each other but in the end we were a crazy, passionate people, who held hands and stared into the night sky making wishes on the wind.

About how mighty and magnificence we were in all our beautiful imperfection. Thanks, River. For me, one of your great strengths is your originality. May you never stop sharing your perspectives that so enlarge our own! Shellie is owner and publisher of All Things Southern and the host of a daily radio show and weekly video segment by the same name. When Shellie isn't writing, speaking, taping her show, answering email or writing content for the next deadline, you can find her playing tennis with Dixie Belle, the chocolate lab who thinks she is in charge of running Shellie's life.

Her writing has been compared to Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner. She thinks about where stories come from - places and people and moods of the heart while rocking on her front porch. And long after the sun sets over the ridge, she waits for the moon to rise, watches the stars come out, and stares off into the blue-night sky believing with all her might.

Her newest book, The Miracle of Mercy Land will be released September 7, , followed by Praying for Strangers , to be released in the spring of Claire Cook wrote her first novel in her minivan when she was At 50, she walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the movie version of her second novel, Must Love Dogs , starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. She is now the bestselling author of nine novels. Claire: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy life to interview me, Beth.

Beth: Welcome to the South, honey! How long have you been living in Atlanta and how did that come about? Claire: Well first of all, let me just say that I was born in Virginia, so I think I should get a tiny bit of Southern street cred for that! As for the move, my daughter graduated from Emory University and stayed in Atlanta. I have two sisters and a stepmother here, too. I've always loved Atlanta, and two of my earlier novels have scenes set here. So I think it felt like home even before my husband and I moved here last November.

I love the friendliness of Atlantans and also the fact that they are such huge readers - practically everyone I've met belongs to a book club. And the gardens are amazing - each morning I rush outside to see what else is in bloom. There's a palm tree in my front yard - you don't get that in New England! What was your inspiration?

I have the most amazingly supportive readers, and they got all excited and started voting like crazy — and I won the popular vote! But I have to admit it was a lot less stressful to turn the experience into the jumping off point for Wallflower in Bloom. What was intriguing to me was the thought of a non-celebrity suddenly dropped into a celebrity world. And then I started thinking what if the heroine was the personal assistant to her famous brother, who was the family star. And what if she somehow used his connections to find her own fifteen minutes of fame?

Beth : I love how vibrant and awake to life you are. Your positive attitude is infectious. Do you have a favorite saying? Looking back over your career, can you pinpoint a moment or event when you recognized that your dream had truly become a reality? In some ways, just having the guts to stare down my fear and insecurity and write that first book made the dream a reality. What I focus on is trying to become a better writer with each book, which is really the only thing I can control.

Claire: Hmm, probably finding the time to do it all. I love writing. I love interacting with readers and book clubs and booksellers and librarians. I love interviews and social networking. But I also love reading, and walking, and trying new things, and hanging out with friends and family. Claire: I write first thing in the morning, as soon as I wake up. I find that the longer I procrastinate, the less creative I am and the harder it gets to buckle down and get to work. Then in the afternoons, I catch up on email - and Facebook and Twitter. What advice would you give to emerging writers?

Claire: To rise above the negativity. To write the book that only you can write. To read widely and voraciously. And to go to the For Writers page at ClaireCook. Beth: Thank you so much, Claire. This was fun! Congratulations on the launch of Wallflower in Bloom. Claire: Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity, Beth.

Now get back to work on that novel! Before that he was a ballplayer. Peter Boyd has a wife, two kids, a mortgage, and a car payment. Fortunately for him he also has a job.

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That has Peter worried sick, which is why he decides to take his own snow day off work. When did you decide to ditch your career as a Yankee to become a writer? I was a baseball player in high school. To me and most everyone else, that was what I would be doing for the next twenty years, which made school pretty irrelevant. I had seven classes my senior year, and four of them were study halls. I blew out my shoulder a few months later, and all of the scouts and letters stopped coming. I was seventeen, and I felt like my life was over. So I wrote a column about it, about the fear and the depression and the need to pick myself up and move on.

Reading my column had convinced her to try and turn her life around. Where did the idea for this book come from? Billy: I took a job at a local factory in August It was without a doubt the last thing in the world I wanted to do, but it was the right thing for my family. The factory offered good pay, great benefits, and stable work. Then in December , I was told I would likely be laid off. If hurting my shoulder was bad, this was much worse. By then my wife and I had two children, a mortgage, two car payments, and student loans. So I started writing down everything I was feeling and experiencing as a sort of free therapy.

What is the message you want to give those readers in particular? See it as a chance to return to the basics—the bread and milk—of your life. Lean on the things that make your life meaningful, things like faith and family and community. The major interaction of the day takes place at the Super Mart. Is there commentary in that choice? Billy: I love Wal-Mart, I truly do. These days everyone is trying to save as much as they can, and so you have people of all walks of life mingling there. Just the other day I watched a grandmother in overalls showing a man in a suit and tie how to find the best deal on canned green beans.

It was wonderful. There are so many invisible lines drawn between people based on their status or their financial worth, but all of those lines disappear at the local Wal-Mart. Which of these characters were your favorites? Or did you really stalk people at the local Mart searching for material? Billy: Many of the characters are modeled on real people. I know a Bobby Barnes. I know a Kenny McCallom. A lot of the ideas that were turned into characters really did come from field trips to the Wal-Mart down the road.

And, of course, Karen Spears Zacharias. Good answer. What do you look for in a book as a reader? Billy: Someone with heavy questions and a heavy heart, which I think means most of us. Billy: I think good writing tends to revolve around some sort of conflict, so it can be harder to write about people who seem to have no conflicts at all. Do you consider yourself a Christian writer?

Or does that label limit you as an artist? Faith will always play a major role in anything I write. I like that. Care to explain this heresy? Billy: Here is someone who sees everything. But you know what? Because no matter how many times you screw up, you know he still loves you. Now, am I talking about Santa Claus or God?

Do you have such a list? One that you are teaching your children? Billy: I keep a list. Karen: There is a lot of negative news coming out of the publishing business. How was it you managed to get a contract during the midst of one of the publishing businesses most dour economic seasons? Billy: Aside from the grace of God, I have no idea. My agent worked very hard to get the book to publishers, and FaithWords took a leap of faith. I think the fact that the subject matter was very applicable to the times helped a lot.

Karen: What is it about writing that you love? And hate? Billy: I love the simple act of sitting down to write, of just letting your hand fly across the page. The worst part has to be the waiting. Karen: Tell us about your writing process. What does a typical day for Billy Coffey look like? My wife is a teacher, so those two hours or so after the kids get to bed that she uses to grade papers are when I read.

DM: You've written in several genres including mystery and crime fiction. The Darkling , is in the genre of horror story. I found that even the first few pages of The Darkling reveal ominous events that foreshadow the deaths of the family members and it gave me the creeps. What appeals to you about this genre? Do you like making readers' skins' crawl? CH: I enjoy a really creepy story, and yes, I do like to give folks that sensation that maybe something, just in the corner of the room, is out of place. I grew up on ghost stories from my grandmother and parents.

It's a family thing. I don't like dread, and I don't like anxiety, and I don't like gore, but a little chill can be fun. I think many of us are aware that what we term "reality" isn't all there is. DM: You said that the story came to you when you were out jogging and you saw a strange blond child. Was that child a ghost?

Do you believe in ghosts and the supernatural? CH: A ghost, a vision, a premonition. Certainly there was no real child there. Maybe just an over-active imagination. Or maybe a gift from my muse. It certainly started me thinking about who and what that child was. And yes, I do believe in ghosts. I have encountered a few and they really scared me. I'm not cool when "I see dead people. CH: In the strangest way, the novel is a story about love. In this instance, love can be destructive. But the desire to be loved can be very powerful. Perhaps powerful enough to change reality.

I always have a hard time with Frankenstein. My sympathies are with the monster, who only wants to be loved. Yes, he is horrible, but he is also very human. CH: To my way of thinking, most people read fiction for emotion. I also want to showcase the natural beauty of Coden, Alabama, a place few people know about. I think each reader will take something unique away from the story.

I constructed it I hope in a way that keeps the reader guessing about what is really happening to the Henderson family. What is Annie up to? And what is Mimi's role? The answer depends a lot on what the reader brings to the story. What do you feel makes this genre of books so popular? CH: The appeal of horror and dark fantasy is to submerge in a "what if" universe. Part of the joy of writing both is the world building aspect. And both allow the reader to view reality through an altered lens. In high fantasy, elves and fairies, often a beautiful world or it can be very dark. In horror, sometimes even darker.

King examines the human condition. Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. The best horror is always character driven, and the "monsters" or "demons" are more than one-dimensional, and there is a reason for them to be in the story. I really hate it when the "monster" just appears to scare people and there is no explanation. I'm not a "shock for the sake of shock" horror writer or reader.

The scariest story is one that is just a shade removed from the norm. Haines was also recipient of the Harper Lee Award. Born and raised in Mississippi, she now lives in Alabama on a farm with more dogs, cats, and horses than she can possibly keep track of! She leads workshops on spiritual practices, writing and creativity in the U. Peggy Payne and Carrie Knowles, good friends and colleagues for 35 years, both have new novels released within a few weeks of each other.

They call themselves The Crazy Ladies Book Tour, since both their main characters are women who are a bit off the rails for most of their respective stories. Her ladyship: Okay, what started this off? Were you standing behind one of those tedious people who take longer to order their coffee than you would to drink it, if you could just get a cup?

Did someone put a store-bought cake on a heirloom platter and bring it to your funeral? Did you punch an annoyingly smug Mom at the fun park and suddenly realize that our lives lack serious impulse control? As my husband is fond of pointing out, there are few things I enjoy more than telling people how to live their lives. I do so love profanity and I thought it would be fun to write an honest-to-Jesus advice manual that kept it real so to speak.

Racial profiling is a concern

Hence, Rude Bitches was born. Celia: See above. Her ladyship: Are you worried that our society is becoming irredeemably bad-mannered? Celia: Yes. Yes, I am. What to do! Of course. And in each section, there are a couple of write-in-type questions. Were these sent to you by your readers? Celia: The questions in the book came from, mostly, my very helpful girlfriends and the dressing room at TJ Maxx which is such a great sisterhood of strangers. What rude behavior did you leave out? Celia: There is definitely enough material left over for a second book.

Which just proves that MY readers are insanely thoughtful and well-mannered. Her ladyship: How long have you secretly wanted to be the cooler, more hip Abigail Van Buren? Is it possible to be cooler or more hip than Abigail Van Buren? Her ladyship: Are you finding now that every time someone stops you to say how much they liked your book, they also have to bore you with the rude behavior pet peeve that you left out? Her ladyship: And on that note, here's my pet peeve question. What can you do when you go to dinner with a good friend and you realize she is one of those people who makes the wait staff run lots of little errands and sends food back just because she can?

Do you put a napkin over your head to hide from the shame? Over tip the staff and write little apologetic notes with smiley faces on the receipt? Tweet the awful experience in real time as it is happening? What would be appropriate here? Celia: Oh, precious. I am so sorry that you have such poor judgment in friends. Ditch this monster immediately. Seriously, you should just photocopy the chapter that deals with high-maintenance diners and send it to her. Writing Time Flies. After years of beachside Massachusetts gardening, when I moved to the suburbs of Atlanta I was a rookie again.

And somehow beautiful pink flowers were blooming in January on a bush in my snowless garden. I snapped a photo, emailed it to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens Plant Hotline, asking them to identify it.

Joe's Book Cafe 10

When a Lenten Rose bloomed next, I simply posted the photo on Facebook, where it was immediately and much less embarrassingly identified. I got lost every time I left the house. I could put my feelings of displacement and wonder to work for me. I decided Melanie, the heroine of Time Flies , would be a transplant, too.

Instead of moving voluntarily and happily like I did, her husband would drag her kicking and screaming from the seaside town where their two young sons were thriving. Along the way I stumbled on the fact that forty percent of women, twice as many as men, struggle with a full-blown phobia at some point in their lives. I started thinking what if Melanie can finally do exactly what she wants to do, but the stress of her husband leaving triggers a latent highway driving phobia and suddenly she can't.

I could revisit all that great old music and the bad hair and outfits. With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation—and a better world. And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen—before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series. Six years ago, sisters Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell were swept away to a strange and beautiful kingdom called the Woodlands, where they lived for years.

Ev desperately wants to return to the Woodlands, and Philippa just wants to move on. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under. When Cassandra Gupta was chosen to be the youngest member of a top-secret mission to the far reaches of the universe, she knew to expect the unexpected. But nothing could have prepared her for the catastrophic events that would occur once she left Earth.

Cassie and the rest of the crew have found themselves in the middle of a conflict between two alien civilizations hell-bent on destroying each other…and anyone else who gets in their way. What was supposed to be a reconnaissance mission soon becomes a fight for their lives. The war is coming to Earth, and only she has the information that can possibly stop the devastation it will bring. The year since a mass shooting shook their Queens neighborhood has played out differently for Jess and Lucas, both of whom were affected by that night in eerily similar and deeply personal ways.

As Jess struggles to take care of her depressed mother and Lucas takes up boxing under the ever-watchful eye of his overprotective parents, their paths converge. They slowly become friends and then something more, learning to heal and move forward together. But the cops are on to her, and the only way she can protect herself is by moving as far away from her hometown as possible and staying out of trouble. The itch to light a match and then watch it burn.

Now, in a new town, Jenny has the strange feeling that someone is watching her every move. Will her arsonist ways be exposed? Or is the burning truth deep inside her a greater danger? When Rose first met Charles, he was trapped in the form of a white bear. To rescue him, Rose traveled to the land that lay east of the sun and west of the moon to defeat the evil Troll Queen. Now Rose has found her happily-ever-after with Charles—until a sudden storm destroys his ship and he is presumed dead.

Something much more sinister is at work. With mysterious and unstoppable forces threatening the lives of the people she loves, Rose must once again set off on a perilous journey. And this time, the fate of the entire world is at stake. After all, everyone in Vinalia knows that stregas—wielders of magic—are figures out of fairytales. To save him, Teo must travel to the capital as a DiSangro son—not merely disguised as a boy, but transformed into one. Enter Cielo, a strega who can switch back and forth between male and female as effortlessly as turning a page in a book.

Teo and Cielo journey together to the capital, and Teo struggles to master her powers and to keep her growing feelings for Cielo locked in her heart. On November 17, the Next World Society is planning to leave Earth behind and reboot human civilization on a planet unaffected by climate change and pollution. It sounds crazy to Rooney Harris, but to her mother and younger brother it sounds like salvation.

But will saving her family mean sacrificing her dreams—or theirs? Daredevil behavior? Whether it is sailing leaky boats in the Atlantic Ocean or joining an ambulance corps to race to the rescue, living on the edge is required behavior for an astronaut. Sibling rivalry? An identical twin brother who both cheers you on and eggs you on is the perfect motivator. Finding the right book can unexpectedly change the course of your life by providing a dream and a road map for achieving it.

Mastering skills that could mean the difference between life and death as a fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut takes bravery. But then, the worse unexpectedly strikes: When Jack starts writing a teen sex advice column for an online site, he begins to receive creepy and threatening love letters that attempt to force Jack to curb his sexuality and personality. After being shot in the head during a dangerous high mountain operation in Afghanistan, Jimmy returns to battle with his teammates for a heroic rescue, the bullet fragments stitched over and still in his skull.

In a cross between a suicide rescue mission and an against-all-odds mountain battle, his team of PJs risk their lives again in an epic firefight. Jimmy will have to risk everything to get back into the battle and save his brothers. From death-defying Alaskan wilderness training, wild rescues, and battles against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, this is the true story of how a boy from humble beginnings became an American hero. One night, during an embassy dinner, he decides to sneak out to see the Tet celebrations in the city.

But before he makes it very far, fighting erupts across all of South Vietnam—and Taylor is captured by the North Vietnamese Army. Realizing he could be an important bargaining chip, the NVA decides to move Taylor to the north. What follows is a harrowing journey during one of the most controversial wars in US history, where one boy is forced to confront the true cost of war, and what it really means to survive.

Simon saved his best friend, Kat, from the clutches of the Company and their high-tech VR gaming experience, Otherworld. But it was at a steep price. Now he, Kat, and their friend Busara are on the run. They know too much. About the real-life consequences of playing Otherworld. Imagine a future in which you can leave reality behind and give in to your greatest desires.

That future is now. And the future is terrifying. Playing it safe to avoid a broken heart has been his MO ever since his father died and left his mom to unravel—but this strategy is not without fault. His best-friend-turned-girlfriend-turned-best-friend-again, Florence, is set on making sure Nate finds someone else. After a painful mix-up when they were little, Nate finally has the chance to tell Ollie the truth about his feelings.

But can Nate find the courage to pursue his own happily ever after? Exhausted, wounded, and reeling from revelations that have shaken her to her core, Cat is at a breaking point. But when confronted with lies and betrayals, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts. And while Lachlan is always two steps ahead, the biggest threat to Cat may be the secrets buried in her own mind. Watch your step. Eliza knows the legends about the swamp near her house—that people have fallen into sinkholes, never to be seen again, maybe even falling to the center of the earth.

As an aspiring geologist, she knows the last part is impossible. But when her best friends drag her onto the uneven ground anyway, Eliza knows to be worried. As she scrambles through one cave, which leads to another, and another, Eliza finds herself in an impossible world—where a small group of people survive underground, running from vicious creatures, eating giant bugs, and creating their own subterranean society. Is she willing to risk everything to get back to the surface?

Elyse Schmidt never would have thought so, until it happened to her. When Elyse and her not-so-secret crush, Josh Harris, are the sole survivors of a plane crash, tragedy binds them together. Sixteen-year-old Luli has just aged out of the orphanage where she grew up, and her childhood friend Yun helps her get a job at the factory where Yun works. Time is running out. Together, they can save the world. It was a short-lived victory. The Anarchists still have a secret weapon, one that Nova believes will protect her.

The Renegades also have a strategy for overpowering the Anarchists, but both Nova and Adrian understand that it could mean the end of Gatlon City—and the world—as they know it. Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.

Tucked away in an abandoned barn on the edge of the farm, the mysterious Jane Doe starts to heal and details of her past begin to surface. A foster kid looking for a way out, Jane got caught up in the wrong crowd and barely escaped with her life. Cade has a difficult past of his own. His dad is a drunk. His mom is gone. Money is running out.

Cade is focused on one thing, a football scholarship—his only chance. Just across the border in a city in Mexico lies the life Jane desperately wants to leave behind—a past filled with drugs and danger, information she never wanted, and a cartel boss who is watching her every move. Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as Empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all.

But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire? Someone will get burned. Shy and musically gifted nine-year-old Damien Dover went missing from his home in the Catskills two months ago. The trail has gone cold, with no new leads. As the three amateur sleuths hit the Jersey Shore to gather clues, they begin to uncover the true background of the killer, and the horrors that shaped him into who he is.

The scavenger hunt leads them to a serial child-snatcher, a former victim, and dark secrets they could never have seen coming. Set in the gentrified south among debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines the charm of a fully-realized setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off. As Sawyer works to uncover the identity of her father, she must also navigate the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, and help them discover the villain among them.

An alien race called the Krell leads onslaught after onslaught from the sky in a never-ending campaign to destroy humankind. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring above Earth and proving her bravery. No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is determined to fly.

And the Krell just made that a possibility. Who cares that the prize for the Sun City Originals contest is fifteen grand? It used to be the three of them, Dia, Jules, and Hanna, messing around and making music and planning for the future. But that was then, and this is now—and now means a baby, a failed relationship, a stint in rehab, all kinds of off beats that have interrupted the rhythm of their friendship.

And for Dia, Jules, and Hanna, this impossible challenge—to ignore the past, in order to jump start the future—will only become possible if they finally make peace with the girls they once were, and the girls they are finally letting themselves be. The mission was a failure. Even though Zivah and Dineas discovered a secret that could bring down the empire, their information is useless without proof.

Now, with their cover blown and their quest abandoned, their only remaining hope is to get home before Ampara brings the full might of its armies against their peoples. As Shidadi and Dara alike prepare for war, Zivah and Dineas grapple with the toll of their time in the capital.

After fighting alongside the Amparans against his own kin, can Dineas convince the Shidadi—and himself—where his loyalties lie? And after reluctantly falling in love, what will the two do with their lingering feelings, now that the Dineas from Sehmar City is gone forever? Time is running out for all of them, but especially Zivah whose plague symptoms surface once again.

Together, healer and warrior must find the courage to save their people, expose the truth, and face the devastating consequences headed their way. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying the Augurs for good. In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment as an intern amidst those who want her dead. But as the web of lies, deceit, and betrayal thickens around her, she finds herself hurtling towards a truth that threatens to consume her and reveal who she really is. A body that is definitely male, definitely still alive.

Yet one lies before her, sick, suffering, and at her mercy. Neither was her boyfriend, Chandler. But they were. And so was Rudy, a cute stranger Go shared a connection with the night before. And Caroline, a girl whose silence ended up costing nineteen people their lives. With Chan completely closed off to even talking about it, Go makes an impulsive decision: round up the rest of the survivors and head to New York City. There they will board an art installation made of the charred remnants of Bus 21 and hopefully reach some sort of resolution.

But things are never easy when it comes to rehashing the past.

Uniting the four stirs up conflicting feelings of anger and forgiveness, and shows them that, although they all survived, they may still need saving. I was one of five. The five girls Kyle texted that day. The girls it could have been. Only Jamie—beautiful, saintly Jamie—was kind enough to respond. And it got her killed. But our tenacious narrator is full of anger, stuck somewhere between the horrifying past and the unknown future as she tries to piece together why she gets to live, while Jamie is dead.

Is hope possible in the face of such violence? Is forgiveness? How do you go on living when you know it could have been you instead? Arkansas, The town of Griffin Flat is known for almost nothing other than its nuclear missile silos. When sixteen-year-old Laura Ratliff wins a walk-on role with a plus-one! Mingling with Hollywood stars on the set of a phony nuclear war is a perfect distraction from being the only child in her real nuclear family—which has also been annihilated. Her parents are divorced. Her mother has recently married one of the only African-American men in town.

Her father, an officer in the Strategic Air Command, is absent…except when he phones at odd hours to hint at an impending catastrophe. She picks him as her plus-one and manages to enrage both her fair-weather friends and film crew. Because nobody seems to know if a real nuclear bomb has detonated or not. Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. In , eighteen-year-old Janet Jones keeps the love she shares with her best friend Marie a secret.

As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a newfound ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself—and Marie—to a danger all too real. From hiking trips to four-person birthday parties to never-ending group texts, Jess, Lee, Ryan, and Nora have always been inseparable. And so, as always, Jess makes a plan. But as the year unfolds, Jess, Lee, Ryan, and Nora each test the bonds that hold them together. And amid first loves, heartbreaks, and life-changing decisions, beginning again is never as simple as it seems.

No one is safe, not with a horrifying new strain of Sleeping Sickness tearing through the population. After fleeing the City with her friends, Sev has one goal: to find the cure her mother developed and put an end to the epidemic once and for all. With no leads, Sev is running out of options—until she discovers someone hiding in the cargo hold of her heli plane.

Someone she thought was dead. Someone with maps that could point the way to Port North, if only she could read them.

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  5. Unfortunately, the one person Sev never wants to see again might be the one person who can help her find the cure. Faris has been forced to give up the man she loves for a dangerous but necessary alliance. Her loyalty is bound by a powerful spell to his future bride, the villainous Bryn. She wants nothing to do with Faris. Faris will again be faced with impossible choices. Or does she succumb to the poison inside that begs her to think this time, finally, of herself? The Book, the ancient, infinite codex of the past, present and future, tells of a prophecy that will plunge Kelanna in that bloody war, but it requires a boy—Archer—and Sefia will stop at nothing to ensure his safety.

    The Guard has already stolen her mother, her father, and her Aunt Nin. Sefia would sooner die than let them take anymore from her—especially the boy she loves. Full of magic, suspense, and mystery, Traci Chee brings her Sea of Ink and Gold trilogy to a close in this spellbinding final installment. When a member of the surviving second generation dies from symptoms that look just like the deadly virus, though, Lindley feels her world shrinking even smaller.

    And as more people die, Lindley must face the terrifying reality—that either the virus has mutated, or one of their own is a killer.

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    Born into a family of privilege and wealth, he was sent to military school at the age of After an unremarkable academic career, he joined the family business in real estate and built his fortune. His personal brand: sex, money and power. From no-holds-barred reality TV star to unlikely candidate, Donald J.

    Trump rose to the highest political office: President of the United States of America. I met Melissa in the rubber room, a. She had secrets, I had enemies. Jason Wilder is in permanent in-school suspension for fighting. Two people who would never cross paths—outsiders from radically different backgrounds—they form an exhilarating, unpredictable bond.

    When circumstances push, they push back. How can you stand being with me? Three candidates, three platforms, and a whirlwind of social media, gaffes, high school drama, and protests make for a ridiculously hilarious political circus that just may hold some poignant truth somewhere in the mix. And now nothing is the same. Drawn together by their dark pasts, Maya and Eli know it takes only seconds for their entire worlds to change. But time will tell if meeting each other will change them for better or worse. Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete.

    She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy.

    Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions. The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list.

    Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. It feels like punishment. What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too? Belle has gone rogue, Chae Rin and Lake have disappeared, and the Sect is being dismantled and replaced by a terrifying new world order helmed by Blackwell.

    As for Saul, his ultimate plan still remains a mystery. Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers. But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot.

    Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. Take two American teen chefs, add one heaping cup of Paris, toss in a pinch of romance, and stir…Rosie Radeke firmly believes that happiness can be found at the bottom of a mixing bowl. Faced with a challenging curriculum and a nightmare professor, Rosie begins to doubt her dishes.

    Desperate to prove themselves, Rosie and Henry cook like never before while sparks fly between them. But as they reach their breaking points, they wonder whether they have what it takes to become real chefs. The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength.

    But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta. Aidan desires only one thing: to rule. Arrogant, headstrong and driven by the element of Fire, he will stop at nothing to bring the evil Howls that destroyed Scotland to their knees. But Fire is a treacherous element, and the very magic that brought him to power could burn his world to ash.

    Even at the risk of confronting the Church. Even at the risk of losing his humanity. For a price. Danny Manion has been fighting his entire life. Sometimes with his fists. Sometimes with his words. Fortunately, the very same qualities that got him in trouble at home make him a natural-born commando in a secret war. National Book Award finalist Chris Lynch begins a new, explosive fiction series based on the real-life, top-secret history of US black ops.

    After the terrifying events on Mount Raksha, the witches have returned, and River has betrayed Kamzin to regain his dark powers. If Kamzin is to save Azmiri and prevent the destruction of the Empire, she must find a star that fell in the Ash Mountains to the north. Fallen stars have immense power, and if Kamzin and Lusha can find the star, they can use its magic to protect their homeland. To get there, Kamzin has allied with Azar-at, the dangerous and deceptive fire demon, who can grant her great power—in exchange for pieces of her soul. But River wants the star too, and as their paths collide in dangerous and unexpected ways, Kamzin must wrestle with both her guilt and her conflicted feelings for the person who betrayed her.

    Facing dark magic, a perilous journey, and a standoff against the witches, can Kamzin, Lusha, and Tem find the star and save their Empire? With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society—a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be. Lirra : A girl with the power to control the wind, torn between duty and following her dreams. For twenty years, Channelers—women with a magical ability—have been persecuted in Malam by those without magic.

    Now King Aodren wants to end the bloody divide and unite his kingdom. Lirra has every reason to distrust Aodren. With Lirra by his side, Aodren sees a way forward for his people. Erin Summerill returns with a high-stakes fantasy full of romance, magic, and revenge perfect for fans of Susan Dennard and C. Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war.

    One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined.

    A century after her ancestors overcame a bloodthirsty tyrant, seventeen-year-old Valory Braiosa attends a training academy for elicromancers, immortal beings with magical gifts. Then a resurrection spell awakens a long-dormant evil, and Valory may be the only one who can vanquish this terrifying villain. Together with a band of allies—including an old friend; a haughty princess; and a mysterious, handsome stranger—Valory learns to channel her power and fight back. On the run, Alex finds himself led to the compound of tech guru Jeffrey Sabazios, the only public figure who stands firm in his belief that aliens are coming.

    Guided by Sabazios, befriended by his fellow time travelers, and maybe even falling in love, Alex starts feeling like the compound is a real home—until a rogue glide shows him the dangerous truth about his new situation. Now in a race against time, Alex is forced to reevaluate who he can love, who he can trust, and who he needs to leave behind. This extraordinary work explores the amazing possibilities of genetic manipulation and life extension, as well as the ethical quandaries that will arise with these advances.

    The results range from the heavenly to the monstrous. Twin brothers Ty and Cory Bic are on the run. When they encounter a dying deer in the middle of a remote mountain road with fresh tire tracks swerving down into a ravine, they know they have to help. But when they reach the wrecked car the vehicle appears empty, with signs that the driver escaped.

    Ty and Cory are escaping demons of their own. But what they discover in the trunk puts them in the crosshairs of something darker and more sinister than their wildest nightmares. Told through a gripping, lightning-fast narrative that alternates between present and past, this unputdownable survival thriller unravels the tangled circumstances that led Ty and Cory to the deer in the road and set them on a perilous course through the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.

    Four girls went missing several years ago, and the police never solved the case. But Haley knows the missing girls were murdered. How else can she explain the hostile presence in her house? The ghostly girls need something from her. And unless Haley can figure out what they want…she might be next. Wil, the exiled princess of northern Arrod, must do what she never thought possible: return home to discover the origins of her own curse.

    And with time running out, Wil must navigate the dangerous secrets within her family to find the truth. Nothing goes as planned, and suddenly Wil and her allies are fighting for their lives as the Southern king is out to ensure neither of his children will survive to take the throne. Traveling across cursed seas and treacherous kingdoms, Wil and Loom must make peace with their pasts if they hope to secure the future of their world.