New Books

Laugh and cry with Wisconsin author Lesley Kagen

Wisconsin author Lesley Kagen, who wrote the popular books Whistling in the Dark and Good Graces, has 2 new books with Milwaukee area settings. The first is a novella, The Undertaking of Tess, and the second is a novel, The Resurrection of Tess Blessing. The Undertaking of Tess is set in Milwaukee in August 1959.

Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers

Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers was one of those books that I simply could not put down. I was drawn into the story from the beginning and found myself emotionally tied up in the struggles of each character. The story starts out describing a somewhat dysfunctional marriage, but soon turns into a very revealing and emotional tale of how a family survives a major crisis. The author skillfully tells the story from three different viewpoints through alternating chapters and blends them beautifully showing the depths of this family's love, hope, and despair.

Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot returns

The estate of Agatha Christie authorized this new book The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. If you are a fan of Agatha Christie, you will enjoy this new tale featuring the sleuth Hercule Poirot. Poirot is at Pleasant’s Coffee House when a woman named Jennie comes in and tells him she is afraid that she will be murdered and that she deserves to die.

A real-life fairy tale romance...sigh

Sometimes a real-life story reads very much like fiction, and I think Seven Letters from Paris: a Memoir by Samantha Verant is a perfect example of a modern day fairy tale come true. The author shares her personal story of how a bundle of seven romantic love letters from her past lead her to pick herself up when her life was at its lowest and reach for the happiness she deserves. She tells it all - the good, the bad and the ugly - with just the right amount of humor mixed in.

Sweet stories with plenty of heat

The Sweetheart Sisters series by Shirley Jump combines sweet stories with plenty of heat. Set in Rescue Bay, Florida, the "sisters" are a trio of sassy, well-meaning grannies living at the Golden Years Retirement Home who think their mission in life is to play matchmaker for the town of Rescue Bay, all while giving some old-school lessons in love. Add in the elements of an animal rescue facility and numerous subplots, and these stories tug at your heartstrings while making you laugh out loud.

Another heartwarming tale from Mitford

Jan Karon continues her Mitford series, set in a fictional small North Carolina mountain town, with Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good. This is classic Christian fiction by Jan Karon—heartwarming, character-driven, and hopeful. Retired Episcopal priest Tim Kavanagh returns to Mitford with his wife Cynthia after journeys to his Mississippi hometown and a trip to Ireland. There is an upheaval at his old parish, and Father Tim is asked to fill in for the current priest who is leaving.

'Tis the Season!

Are you in need of a little Christmas inspiration or looking for a last minute Christmas gift for the reader on your list? I have been reading a few of the 2014 Christmas books over the past few weeks and want to share my favorites with you. There is a little bit of everything on the list, from mystery to romance, with both historical and contemporary settings.

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson

In my last blog post I said I would share my thoughts on this year's Christmas books and I have to tell you there are some good ones out this year. I just read The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson and I think it would make the perfect gift for the animal lover on your list. It is a humorous and heartwarming tale filled with colorful characters, cats, wit and humor, a little light romance, and... cats.

Action and Adventure in Ancient Egypt

Desert God by Wilbur Smith is the latest book that he has written about ancient Egypt. If you like action, battle scenes, and intrigue, if you like books such as the “Game of Thrones” series, or if you like books by Bernard Cornwell, you should give Desert God a try. The story is narrated by Taita, a eunuch, former slave and now an advisor and confidante to Pharaoh. Taita has a mystical side that is explained midway through the book.

It is official - I have been bitten by the Christmas bug!

I know it is early.... but I have officially been bitten by the Christmas bug. There is a fresh dusting of snow on the ground and the library is already partially decorated for the holidays. This is the time of year when many authors offer up their yearly Christmas book and I hope to read new titles as I catch them and share my thoughts with you. Luckily, most of the books are short and sweet and very easy reads. My first selection is An Island Christmas by Nancy Thayer.

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