Staff Picks

One Way or Another by Elizabeth Adler

For Angie Morse, what begins as a beautiful evening off the Turkish coast at a party on a large luxury yacht ends with attempted murder and a quest for revenge. Standing on the yacht's deck enjoying the sunset, someone hits her over the head with a champagne bottle and pushes her over the side. The yacht pulls away and those on deck appear to turn their backs on her. How can that be? These are her friends, and one is her love, or so she thought. At that moment, Angie vows to survive and get even with those who did this to her - one way or another.

Novels with World War II settings

Currently there are 2 books on the New York Times bestseller list with World War II settings: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (72 weeks on the list) and Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (33 weeks on the list). World War II remains a popular setting for novels with a diversity of plots, characters, and styles.

Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams

Those intrigued by the current political atmosphere may find Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams an interesting read. Set in the mid-60s, it captures the world of politics and gives the reader a glimpse into what it can be like living under a microscope. Family dynamics play a large role in the book but there are also political agendas, secrets, lies and betrayals, and secret love affairs. The time frames switches back and forth between 1964 and 1966, but both stories are beautifully intertwined.

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Bestseller Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal is a good novel for foodies and for people who are familiar with the Twin Cities. If you like food—church basement suppers, high-end locally sourced gourmet ingredients, or county fair bake-off bars—this is a tasty treat. If you are familiar with the Twin Cities you will enjoy references to St. Paul’s Farmer’s Market, First Avenue, Loring Park, and Seward Co-op.

Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas

Hopeless romantics everywhere will want to add Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas to their reading list. It is a wonderfully romantic story guaranteed to warm your heart. Although this might be the fourth book in the author's Travis Family series, it still does well as a standalone and proves that you don't always need high drama to keep things interesting. It has been years since I read the last one but with back stories perfectly woven in I had no problem catching up with the Travis clan.

The Santangelos by Jackie Collins

What a wild ride! Author Jackie Collins is an expert at creating a perfect blend of sex, ambition, drugs, alcohol, mayhem and murder, and she delivers exactly that in her latest novel, The Santangelos. The characters are strongly developed with lots of flaws and faults (and scandals). Collins is known for giving her readers an unrivaled insider's knowledge of Hollywood and the glamorous lives and loves of the rich, famous, and... infamous!

Summer Secrets by Jane Green

The title may sound like a typical beach read, but Summer Secrets by Jane Green is a rich, well developed story about how alcohol and its related disease and addiction can impact generations of a family across an ocean and on two continents. Anyone reading this book will relate to something as it deals with the heart and soul of society and real life issues. It is a sensitive and honest account and the author has made it as true as anyone could make it.

This guy knows his romance

Chris Harrison has been the host of ABC's hot series The Bachelor since 2002 and has spent his career helping men and women find their soul mate. Who better to write a romance novel? The Perfect Letter is Harrison's writing debut and, I have to say, this guy really knows his romance. Not bad for a first attempt. Light and easy, it is a must-read for Bachelor fans and hopeless romantics everywhere.

A sweet little series set in Sweet, Texas

Are cowboys and sweet romance your thing? The Sweet, Texas series by Candis Terry is full of hot cowboys and good old fashioned romance guaranteed to satisfy. I just finished book number three, Something Sweeter, and highly recommend this author to those who enjoy authors Robyn Carr or Jill Shalvis. Once you meet the Wilder family from Sweet, Texas in book one, it won't take long until you feel like you are one of the family – and what a family they are!

Deliciously bad writing by your favorite authors

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a famous author, or maybe even written a few things of your own that was not quite bestseller material? Don't be discouraged. Writing takes work and we all have to start somewhere. Journalist and Editor Julia Scott put together a book appropriately titled Drivel in which dozens of respected, professional writers share the worst thing they have ever written. If you think your favorite author simply woke up one day and wrote a bestseller, think again.

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