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The Summer of Grace
Ten-year-old Gracie sits on the backyard picnic table, hugging Brown Hound, wiping her nose on the dog’s fur. Her daddy is sending them both to her grandmother for the summer. They are too much for her high-strung mother.
It’s 1951 on the NC family farm when Gracie and Brown Hound meet the family. Great Granny Jane smokes a pipe and is fast with her cane, Miss Emily is loving but firm, and Jane, her cousin of the same age, has a swashbuckler’s heart.
It is wild and heady freedom, far from her mother’s scorn and her father’s indifference. The girls hunt for ancient graves, sneak visits the conjure woman, fight, make up, and sleep in the same bed, tangled like puppies.
But there is also Marcell, the solitary woman who keeps the house. Her dark skin shines but not her eyes; her history is mysteriously entwined with the family, and for some inexplicable reason she hates dogs. Gracie and Jane must fix this before Brown Hound gets sent away.
Can the girls unearth Marcell’s secrets? Why must they find a missing grave? And what time-worn promise exposed will reveal the family’s hidden past?
by Author Karen Jones
How to Date a Flying Mexican: New and Collected Stories
“How to Date a Flying Mexican” is a collection of stories derived from Chicano and Mexican culture but ranging through fascinating literary worlds of magical realism, fairy tales, fables, and dystopian futures. The characters confront—both directly and obliquely—questions of morality, justice, and self-determination. The collection is made up of Daniel A. Olivas’s favorite previously published stories, along with two new stories—one dystopian and the other mythical—that challenge the Trump administration’s anti-immigration rhetoric and policies. Readers will encounter a world filled with both the magical and the quotidian: a man with twelve fingers who finds himself on a mystical date with a woman, God who appears in the form of a scrawny chicken, a woman who bravely fights back against her abuser, and Aztec gods searching for relevance after the Spanish conquest—just to name a few of the unforgettable characters populating these pages. The book draws together some of Olivas’s most unforgettable and strange tales, allowing readers to experience his very distinct, and very Chicano, fiction.
by Author Daniel A. Olivas
In the Lonely Backwater
YA/crossover thriller, a coming-of-age Southern crime story
All seventeen-year-old Maggie Warshauer wants is to leave her stifled life in Filliyaw Creek behind and head to college. An outsider at school and uncertain of her own sexual identity, Maggie longs to start again somewhere new. Inspired by a long-dead biologist\’s journals, scientific-minded Maggie spends her days sailing, exploring, and categorizing life around her. But when her beautiful cousin Charisse disappears on prom night and is found dead at the marina where Maggie lives, Maggie’s plans begin to unravel. A mysterious stranger begins stalking her and a local detective on the case leaves her struggling to hold on to her secrets—her father’s alcoholism, her mother’s abandonment, a boyfriend who may or may not exist, and her own actions on prom night. As the detective gets closer to finding the truth, and Maggie’s stalker is closing in, she is forced to comes to terms with the one person who might hold the answers—herself.
by Author Valerie Nieman
A Christmas for Charlie Spruce
Charlie Spruce is the smallest tree in the forest.; too small to see the beautiful Christmas Star. Will his friends in the forest help him have a special Christmas?
by Author Sharon Feldt
Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder, An Andi Anna Jones Mystery Book 1
Andi Anna Jones, so-so travel agent and amateur sleuth, puts aside her resentment of her father’s widow and books a sixtieth birthday cruise to Cancun for Ruby and three friends. Never does Andi imagine the cruise will include the murder of a has-been lounge singer—or that Ruby might be the main suspect.
Flirting with more than danger after arriving in Mexico, Andi connects with charming local sheriff, Manual Gonzales. An embarrassing night involving the sheriff, too many margaritas, and a Mariachi band, can’t quell her determination to clear the name of her ex-stepmother.
While gathering clues and interviewing witnesses, however, she suspects dear old stepmom isn’t the only one in jeopardy.
by Author Mary Cunningham
The House Children
Ireland 1937-54 Follow a young girl’s journey who is born out of wedlock and seperated from her mother. After a horrific experience in a foster home, she is sentenced to live in an institution in the care of the Sister’s of Mercy. Eventually she accidently learns the identity of her mother and realizes they both have been victims of the society they live in.
by Author Heidi Daniele
Can anybody know what’s best for others? What if the “other” is your own sister? The heart-wrenching story of two sisters, different and separate by worlds apart, but remained very connected by heart and soul. Claire rushes to Italy halting her life and career in Los Angeles after her older sister, Ondina’s, brain stroke, determined to restore her health or help her die with dignity.
by Author Gloria Mattioni
The Aloha Spirit
The spirit of aloha is found in Hawaii’s fresh ocean air, the flowers, the trade winds . . . the natural beauty that smoothes the struggles of daily life. In 1922 Honolulu, unhappy in the adoptive family that raised her, Dolores begins to search for that spirit early on—and she begins by running away at sixteen to live with her newlywed friend Maria.
Trying to find her own love, Dolores marries a young Portuguese man named Manolo. His large family embraces her, but when his drinking leads to physical abuse, only his relative Alberto comes to her rescue—and sparks a passion within Dolores that she hasn’t known before. Staunch Catholics can’t divorce, however; so, after the Pearl Harbor attack, Dolores flees with her two daughters to California, only to be followed by both Manolo and Alberto. In California, Manolo’s drinking problems continue—and Alberto’s begin. Outraged that yet another man in her life is turning to the bottle for answers, Dolores starts to doubt her feelings for Alberto. Is he only going to disappoint her, as Manolo has? Or is Alberto the embodiment of the aloha spirit she’s been seeking?
by Author Linda Ulleseit
LOVING THE DEAD AND GONE
“Turner-Yamamoto’s bittersweet fantastical debut involves the parallel stories of two grieving women… As Aurilla says near the end, “Loving the dead and gone was the sweetest love of all.” Reading this story is almost as delectable.” Publishers Weekly
“The tale of tragedy, love, and loss is truly one for the ages.” Authorlink
“This beautifully written novel, with its complicated, stubborn characters, will haunt you long after the last page.” Margot Livesey, Author of The Boy in the Field
“Loving the Dead and Gone is a rich and skillfully rendered portrait of a place that explores the generational effects of love and loss and the fragile connections within a family.” Jill McCorkle, Author of Hieroglyphics
A freak car crash in 1960s rural North Carolina puts in motion moments of grace that bring redemption to two generations of women and the lives they touch. Loving the Dead and Gone transports readers to a very small place to experience life’s biggest emotions. Full of character and common tragedy, this story invites us to identify with the events that shake and shape their world. For forty years Aurilla Cutter has tended a clutch of secrets that have turned her mean. A fatal accident becomes the catalyst for the release of the passions, needs, and hurts in everyone affected by her hidden past. Darlene, a seventeen-year-old widow, struggles to reconnect with her dead husband while proving herself still alive. Soon loss and death work their magic, drawing Darlene into an unlikely affair that threatens to upend Aurilla’s family, and sets loose Aurilla’s own memories of longing and infidelity.
As Aurilla’s forbidden and heartbreaking story of love, death, and repeated loss alternates with Darlene’s, the divide of generations and time narrows and collapses, building to the unlikely collision of two women’s yearnings, which will free them both from the past. Loving the Dead and Gone is a lyrical novel that explores how both grief and love are the ties that bind.
by Author Judith Turner-Yamamoto
Marika’s Best Laid Plan
Marika is a social worker trying to heal her drug addict clients, but she can’t seem to mend her own suffering from intergenerational trauma. She avoids love because love sits too close to death. As a supervisor at a methadone clinic, she’s trying to heal her heroin addicted clients, but can’t seem to mend her own damaged self. Her choices have left her carefully ordered life a lonely, disconnected one, not unlike her clients’ lives.
Everything is about to change when she accidentally ‘trips’ over her ex-fiance and hatches a plan.
Big-hearted, quirky, emotionally walled-off Marika embarks on a plan that ultimately forces her to confront the very thing she\’s spent her life avoiding: love. Marika’s Best Laid Plan is story about the power of connection and hope, the things without which life is unbearable.
by Author Judy V Stanigar
In the aftermath of the turbulent 60s, unable to reconcile her sheltered existence with the plight of the community’s poor, Sister Jude leaves the convent only to become ensnared in her best friend’s crumbling marriage.
Intimidated by her talented but overbearing husband Vincent, a pregnant Connie shows up at Jude’s door with her two children in tow. Jude\’s mission to feed the hungry and free Connie from her weakness for Vincent is complicated by Jude’s own attraction to a passionate, burned-out activist, back from the inner city to work his family’s farm.
Jude soon learns how little she understands the vagaries of the heart. And that her fierce faith and determination may not be enough to save Connie from her husband, the children from danger, or herself from a fall from grace. ,
by Author Grace Marcus
In the rural South, a retired colonel in an upscale retirement community grieves the sudden death of his wife on the tennis court. On the other side of the highway, an elderly Black woman grieves the murder of her niece by a white man. Between them lies an abandoned field where three centuries of crimes are hidden, and only she knows the explosive secrets buried there. When the colonel runs into her car, causing a surprising amount of damage, it sparks a feud that sets loose the spirits in the Field, both benevolent and vengeful. In prose that’s been called “dazzling” and “mesmerizing,” in the animated voices of trees and birds and people, in Southern-voiced storytelling as deeply layered as that of Pat Conroy, Marjorie Hudson lays out the boundaries of a field that contains the soul of the South, and leads us to a day of reckoning.
“Mesmerizing . . . redemptive.” – Sue Monk Kidd
by Author Marjorie Hudson
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