Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Relax With One of These Exciting New Books

Goddess of the Sea by P.C. Cast
(Goddess Summoning Series #1)

On the night of her twenty-fifth birthday, alone in her apartment, Air Force Sergeant Christine Canady wished for one thing: a little magic in her life. After drinking way too much champagne, she performed, of all crazy things, a goddess-summoning ritual, hoping that it would somehow make her life a little less ordinary...but she never believed the spell would actually work.

When her military plane crashes into the ocean, CC's mission overseas takes an unexpected turn. She awakens to find herself in a legendary time and place where magic rules the land—occupying the body of the mythic mermaid Undine. But there is danger in the waters and the goddess Gaea turns this modern, military gal into a beautiful damsel so that she can seek shelter on land.

CC is soon rescued (literally) by a knight in shining armor. She should he falling in love with this dream-come-true, but instead she aches for the sea and Dylan, the sexy merman who has stolen her heart.


Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill
(Chicagoland Vampires Series #1)

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was Merit's. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker-and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.

Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she's traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan "Lord o' the Manor" Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries' worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude- and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan's attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone's still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war-and there will be blood.


Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch

Jillian Westfield has the perfect suburban life straight out of the upscale women's magazines that she obsessively reads. She’s got the modern-print rugs of Metropolitan Home, the elegant meals from Gourmet, the clutter-free closets out of Real Simple, and the elaborate Easter egg hunts seen in Parents. With her successful investment banker husband behind the wheel and her cherubic eighteen-month-old in the backseat, hers could be the family in the magazines’ glossy Range Rover ads.

Yet somehow all of the how-to magazine stories in the world can’t seem to fix her faltering marriage, banish the tedium of days spent changing diapers, or stop her from asking, “What if?”

Then one morning Jillian wakes up seven years in the past. Before her daughter was born. Before she married Henry. Suddenly she’s back in her post–grad school Ikea-furnished Manhattan apartment. She’s back in her fast-paced job with the advertising agency. And she’s still with Jackson, the ex-boyfriend and star of her what-if fantasies.

Armed with twenty-twenty hindsight, she’s free to choose all over again. She can use the zippy ad campaigns from her future to wow the clients and bosses in her present. She can reconnect with the mother who abandoned her so many years before. She can fix the fights at every juncture that doomed her relationship with Jackson. Or can she?

With each new choice setting off a trajectory of unforeseen consequences, Jillian soon realizes that getting to happily ever after is more complicated than changing the lines in her part of the script. Happiness, it turns out, isn’t an either-or proposition. As she closes in on all the things she thought she wanted, Jillian must confront the greatest what-if of all: What if the problem was never Henry or Jackson, but her? 




I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson
(Michael Bennett Series #5)

A South American crime lord has brought New York the worst lawlessness and violence the city has ever seen. Police shot in the street. Judges murdered in the courtroom. Mayhem is unleashed--and the mayor demands that Detective Michael Bennett find a way to stop it.

Bennett takes his ten kids and their beautiful nanny, Mary Catherine, out of the chaos on a much-needed vacation to upstate New York. But instead of escaping the violence, it follows them and they find themselves in the middle of another nightmare that threatens the entire family. The danger isn't only coming from the crime lord's killers--FBI Agent Emily Parker is back, and Bennett's attraction to her endangers his relationship with Mary Catherine. 



Let Love Find You by Johanna Lindsey
(Reid Family Series #4)

Lady Amanda Locke has struck out miserably in her two Seasons on the marriage mart. Beautiful, titled, and charming – even if she does talk a bit too much, Amanda doesn’t understand why love eludes her. Even her father, the Duke of Norford, is so perplexed he is prepared to take drastic measures to ensure his daughter’s happiness. 

Now, as Amanda begins her third Season, she gets a little help from Cupid, a darkly handsome horse breeder whose knowledge of basic animal attraction has guided him in arranging more than a few successful matches between the young ladies and gentlemen of the ton. Hired by Amanda’s family, Devin Baldwin produces results for Amanda and soon she is happy to be courted by one of his clients, the dashing Viscount Altone. In order to secure Amanda’s match to a nobleman obsessed with horse racing, Devin must teach Amanda how to overcome her fear of horses. But as Devin shows her the joys of riding, hunting, and racing, will their own hearts run astray as Amanda finds herself falling in love with Cupid himself?    
 
The Storm by Clive Cussler 
(NUMA Files Series #10)

In the middle of the Indian Ocean, a NUMA research vessel is taking water samples at sunset, when a crew member spots a sheen of black oil ahead of them. But it is not oil. Like a horde of army ants, a swarm of black particles suddenly attacks the ship, killing everyone aboard, while the ship itself goes up in flames.

A few hours later, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala are on their way to the Indian Ocean. What they will find there on the smoldering hulk of the ship will eventually lead them to the discovery of the most audacious scheme they have ever known: a plan to permanently alter the weather on a global scale. It will kill millions-- and it has already begun.


Ransom River by Meg Gardiner

Rory Mackenzie is juror number seven on a high-profile murder case in her hometown of Ransom River, California. It’s a place she vowed never to visit again, after leaving behind its surfeit of regret and misfortune and the specter of a troubled past that threatened to disturb the town’s peaceful fa├žade.
Brilliant yet guarded, Rory has always felt like an outsider. She retreated into herself when both her career aspirations and her love affair with a childhood friend, undercover cop Seth Colder, were destroyed in a tragic accident.

While most of the town is focused on the tense and shocking circumstances of the trial, Rory’s return to Ransom River dredges up troubling memories from her childhood that she can no longer ignore. But in the wake of a desperate attack on the courthouse, Rory realizes that exposing these dark skeletons has connected her to an old case that was never solved, and bringing the truth to light just might destroy her.
 

The Skeleton Box by Brian Gruley
(Starvation Lake Mystery Series #3)

A series of mysterious break-ins is plaguing the small town of Starvation Lake. Someone is slipping into the homes of elderly people when they're out playing Bingo. Oddly, the intruders take nothing, despite evidence that they rifle through personal files.     

Worry turns to panic when a break-in leads to the death of a beloved citizen. Phyllis Bontrager is found dead in the home of her best friend, Bea Carpenter, mother of Gus Carpenter. Bea, suffering from worsening dementia and under the influence of sleeping pills, remembers little of the break-in. Her son, editor of the local newspaper, must pursue a terrible story: the death of a woman he has known all his life, who also happens to be the mother of his ex-girlfriend, Darlene.      

With the help of Luke Whistler, an ex-Detroit Free Press reporter who came north looking for slower days and some old-fashioned newspaper work, Gus sets out to uncover the truth behind Mrs. B's death and the “Bingo Night Break-Ins.” What he doesn't know is that Whistler has his own agenda, and the secrets he’s determined to unearth—involving the long-ago killing of a nun—could forever change Gus’s perceptions about Starvation Lake and even his own family.


Little Century by Anna Keesey

Orphaned after the death of her mother, eighteen-year-old Esther Chambers heads west in search of her only living relative. In the lawless frontier town of Century, Oregon, she’s met by her distant cousin, a laconic cattle rancher named Ferris Pickett. Pick leads her to a tiny cabin by a small lake called Half-a-Mind, and there she begins her new life as a homesteader. If she can hold out for five years, the land will join Pick’s already impressive spread.

But Esther discovers that this town on the edge of civilization is in the midst of a range war. There’s plenty of land, but somehow it is not enough for the ranchers—it’s cattle against sheep, with water at a premium. In this charged climate, small incidents of violence swiftly escalate, and Esther finds her sympathies divided between her cousin and a sheepherder named Ben Cruff, a sworn enemy of the cattle ranchers. As her feelings for Ben and for her land grow, she begins to see she can’t be loyal to both.



Niceville by Carsten Stroud

Something is wrong in Niceville. A boy literally disappears from Main Street.  A security camera captures the moment of his instant, inexplicable vanishing. An audacious bank robbery goes seriously wrong: four cops are gunned down; a TV news helicopter is shot and spins crazily out of the sky, triggering a disastrous cascade of events that ricochet across twenty different lives over the course of just thirty-six hours.
Nick Kavanaugh, a cop with a dark side, investigates. Soon he and his wife, Kate, a distinguished lawyer from an old Niceville family, find themselves struggling to make sense not only of the disappearance and the robbery but also of a shadow world, where time has a different rhythm and where justice is elusive. 
Something is wrong in Niceville, where evil lives far longer than men do.


 
The Third Gate by Lincoln Child

Under the direction of famed explorer Porter Stone, an archaeological team is secretly attempting to locate the tomb of an ancient pharaoh who was unlike any other in history. Stone believes he has found the burial chamber of King Narmer, the near mythical god- king who united upper and lower Egypt in 3200 B.C., and the archaeologist has reason to believe that the greatest prize of all—Narmer’s crown—might be buried with him. No crown of an Egyptian king has ever been discovered, and Narmer’s is the elusive “double” crown of the two Egypts, supposedly pos­sessed of awesome powers.

The dig itself is located in one of the most forbidding places on earth—the Sudd, a nearly  impassable swamp in north­ern Sudan. Amid the nightmarish, disorienting tangle of mud and dead vegetation, a series of harrowing and inexpli­cable occurrences are causing people on the expedition to fear a centuries- old curse. With a monumental discovery in reach, Professor Jeremy Logan is brought onto the project to investigate. What he finds will raise new questions . . . and alarm.



Summerland by Erin Hilderbrand

It's June 15th, the night of Nantucket High School graduation. Four juniors are driving home from a party when something goes horribly wrong and there is a crash. The driver of the car, Penny Alistair, is killed, and her twin brother, Hobby Alistair, is left in a coma. Penny's boyfriend, Jake Randolph, and Penny's friend Demeter Castle are unhurt--but suffer tremendous emotional damage. 

Jake and his family move to the other side of the globe--to the west coast of Australia--in order to escape the horrors of the accident. Demeter falls prey to alcohol abuse and other self-destructive behaviors that nearly lead to her destroying her own life.

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to be hired as a television writer. Four years later, she’s hit the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Best Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie’s going to be the show-runner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on a boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials.

Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear and eye for writer’s rooms, bad behavior backstage and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood rollercoaster and a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true.


Porch Lights by Dorothea Benton Frank

When Jimmy McMullen, a fireman with the NYFD, is killed in the line of duty, his wife, Jackie, and ten-year-old son, Charlie, are devastated. Charlie idolized his dad, and now the outgoing, curious boy has become quiet and reserved. Trusting in the healing power of family, Jackie decides to return to her childhood home on Sullivans Island.

Crossing the bridge from the mainland, Jackie and Charlie enter a world full of wonder and magic—lush green and chocolate grasslands and dazzling red, orange, and magenta evening skies; the heady pungency of Lowcountry Pluff mud and fresh seafood on the grill; bare toes snuggled in warm sand and palmetto fronds swaying in gentle ocean winds.

Awaiting them is Annie Britt, the family matriarch who has kept the porch lights on to welcome them home. Thrilled to have her family back again, Annie promises to make their visit perfect—even though relations between mother and daughter have never been what you'd call smooth. Over the years, Jackie and Annie, like all mothers and daughters, have been known to have frequent and notorious differences of opinion. But her estranged and wise husband, Buster, and her flamboyant and funny best friend Deb are sure to keep Annie in line. She's also got Steven Plofker, the flirtatious and devilishly tasty widowed physician next door, to keep her distracted as well.


XO by Jeffery Deaver
(Kathryn Dance Series #3)

Newsweek calls Jeffery Deaver a “suspense superstar,” and in his new novel, he lives up to the accolades once again as he sets his heroine Kathryn Dance on a quest to stop an obsessive stalker from destroying a beautiful young country singer.     Kayleigh Towne is gorgeous with a voice that is taking her to the heights of the country pop charts. Her hit single “Your Shadow” puts her happily in the spotlight, until an innocent exchange with one of her fans leads Kayleigh into a dark and terrifying realm. 

The fan warns, “I’m coming for you,” and soon accidents happen and people close to Kayleigh die. Special Agent Kathryn Dance must use her considerable skills at investigation and body language analysis to stop the stalker—but before long she learns that, like many celebrities, Kayleigh has more than just one fan with a mission. 

Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich
(Lizzy and Diesel Series #2)

Lizzy Tucker’s once normal life as a pastry chef in Salem, Massachusetts, turns upside down as she battles both sinister forces and an inconvenient attraction to her unnaturally talented but off-limits partner, Diesel.

When Harvard University English professor and dyed-in-the-wool romantic Gilbert Reedy is mysteriously murdered and thrown off his fourth-floor balcony, Lizzy and Diesel take up his twenty-year quest for the Luxuria Stone, an ancient relic believed by some to be infused with the power of lust. Following clues contained in a cryptic nineteenth-century book of sonnets, Lizzy and Diesel tear through Boston catacombs, government buildings, and multimillion-dollar residences. On their way they’ll leave behind a trail of robbed graves, public disturbances, and general mayhem.

Diesel’s black sheep cousin, Gerwulf Grimoire, also wants the Stone. His motives are far from pure, and what he plans on doing with the treasure, no one knows . . . but Lizzy Tucker fears she’s in his crosshairs. Never far and always watching, Grimoire has a growing, vested interest in the cupcake-baker-turned-finder-of-lost-things. As does another dangerous and dark opponent in the hunt—a devotee of lawlessness and chaos, known only as Anarchy.

Treasures will be sought, and the power of lust will be unmistakable as Lizzy and Diesel attempt to stay ahead of Anarchy, Grimoire, and his medieval minion, Hatchet, in this ancient game of twisted riddles and high-stakes hide-and-seek.


Criminal by Karin Slaughter 
(Will Trent Series #7)

Will Trent is a brilliant agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Newly in love, he is beginning to put a difficult past behind him. Then a local college student goes missing, and Will is inexplicably kept off the case by his supervisor and mentor, deputy director Amanda Wagner. Will cannot fathom Amanda’s motivation until the two of them literally collide in an abandoned orphanage they have both been drawn to for different reasons. Decades before—when Will’s father was imprisoned for murder—this was his home. . . .

Flash back nearly forty years. In the summer Will Trent was born, Amanda Wagner is going to college, making Sunday dinners for her father, taking her first steps in the boys’ club that is the Atlanta Police Department. One of her first cases is to investigate a brutal crime in one of the city’s worst neighborhoods. Amanda and her partner, Evelyn, are the only ones who seem to care if an arrest is ever made.

Now the case that launched Amanda’s career has suddenly come back to life, intertwined with the long-held mystery of Will’s birth and parentage. And these two dauntless investigators will each need to face down demons from the past if they are to prevent an even greater terror from being unleashed.


Backfire by Catherine Coulter
(FBI Thriller Series #16)

San Francisco Judge Ramsey Hunt, longtime friend to FBI agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich, is presiding over the trial of Clive and Cindy Cahill – accused in a string of murders – when the proceedings take a radical turn. Federal prosecutor Mickey O'Rourke, known for his relentless style, becomes suddenly tentative in his opening statement, leading Hunt to suspect he’s been threatened – suspicions that are all but confirmed when Hunt is shot in the back.

Savich and Sherlock receive news of the attack as an ominous note is delivered to Savich at the Hoover Building: YOU DESERVE THIS FOR WHAT YOU DID.  Security tapes fail to reveal who delivered the tapes.  Who is behind the shooting of Judge Ramsey Hunt?  Who sent the note to Savich? And what does it all mean?  Savich and Sherlock race to San Francisco to find out…watching their backs all the while.


The Blackest Bird by Joel Rose

In the sweltering New York City summer of 1841, Mary Rogers, a popular counter girl at a tobacco shop in Manhattan, is found brutally ravaged in the shallows of the Hudson River. John Colt, scion of the firearm fortune, beats his publisher to death with a hatchet. And young Irish gang leader Tommy Coleman is accused of killing his daughter, his wife, and his wife's former lover. Charged with solving it all is High Constable Jacob Hays, the city's first detective. 

At the end of a long and distinguished career, Hays's investigation will ultimately span a decade, involving gang wars, grave robbers, and clues hidden in poems by the hopeless romantic and minstrel of the night: Edgar Allan Poe.

Coming Home by Karen Kingsbury

The Baxters make plans to come together for a summer lakeside reunion, a celebration like they haven’t had in years. But before the big day, the unthinkable happens. As the Baxter Family rallies together, memories come to light in the grief-stricken hours of waiting and praying, memories that bring healing and hope during a time when otherwise darkness might have the final word. 

In a season that changes all of them, the brilliance of family love overshadows even the valley of heartache as the Baxters draw closer to God and each other. Along the way, secrets are revealed and the truth about the Baxter Family history is finally made known. Ultimately, in this portrait of family love, the Baxters cling to each other and to God’s promise of forever.

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

1916: the Western Front, France. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves in the trees. Where has the mud, blood and blasted landscape of No man's Land gone?

2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Cop Monica Jansson has returned to the burned-out home of one Willis Linsay, a reclusive and some said mad, others dangerous, scientist. It was arson but, as is often the way, the firemen seem to have caused more damage than the fire itself. Stepping through the wreck of a house, there's no sign of any human remains but on the mantelpiece Monica finds a curious gadget - a box, containing some wiring, a three-way switch and a...potato. It is the prototype of an invention that Linsay called a 'stepper'. An invention he put up on the web for all the world to see, and use, an invention that would to change the way mankind viewed his world Earth for ever. And that's an understatement if ever there was one...

...because the stepper allowed the person using it to step sideways into another America, another Earth, and if you kept on stepping, you kept on entering even more Earths...this is the Long Earth. It's not our Earth but one of chain of parallel worlds, lying side by side each differing from its neighbour by really very little (or actually quite a lot). It's an infinite chain, offering 'steppers' an infinite landscape of infinite possibilities. And the further away you travel, the stranger - and sometimes more dangerous - the Earths get. The sun and moon always shine, the basic laws of physics are the same. However, the chance events which have shaped our particular Earth, such as the dinosaur-killer asteroid impact, might not have happened and things may well have turned out rather differently.

But, until Willis Linsay invented his stepper, only our Earth hosted mankind...or so we thought. Because it turns out there are some people who are natural 'steppers', who don't need his invention and now the great migration has begun.



The Sleeping and the Dead by Jeff Crook
(Jackie Lyons Mystery Series #1)

Jackie Lyons is a former vice detective with the Memphis Police Department who is trying to put her life back together: her husband has sent divorce papers, she's broke, and needs a place to live. But a failed marriage, unemployment, and most recently a fire in her apartment aren’t her only problems: she also sees ghosts.

Since Jackie left the force, she’s been making ends meet by photographing crime scenes for her old friends on the force, and for the occasional collector.  When she is called to the murder scene of the Playhouse Killer's latest victim, she starts seeing crime scenes from a different perspective-- her new camera captures images of ghosts. As her new camera brings her occasional ghostly visitors into sharper relief, it also points her toward clues the ex-detective in her won’t let go: did the man she has just started dating kill his wife? Is the Playhouse Killer someone she knows?  


As Jackie works to separate natural from supernatural, friend from foe, and light from dark, the spirit world and her own difficult past become the only things she can depend on to solve the case.


A Bad Day for Mercy by Sophie Littlefield
(Bad Day Series #4)

A call from Stella’s little sister brings the news that Stella’s step-nephew, Chip, has been threatened with serious bodily harm if he doesn’t settle his unpaid gambling debts. Stella makes the drive to Chip’s home in Wisconsin, only to walk in on a wee-hours dismemberment. Chip and his Russian girlfriend, Natalya, insist the man was left, already dead, on their porch. Suspicious but compelled to help family, Stella tracks down other suspects, including the deceased’s business partner, a purveyor of black-market Botox, and a jilted violist. 

Matters are complicated by the unexpected arrival of BJ Broderson, who has picked the worst possible time to pursue his amorous intentions toward Stella. Meanwhile, thoughts of Sheriff “Goat” Jones make Stella blush and wonder where, and with whom, she will spend her fifty-first birthday.


The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts
(Inn Boonsboro Series #2) 


Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family's construction business with an iron fist - and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers bust on his compulsive list-making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn't plan for was Avery McTavish... Avery's popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation - and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery's thoughts. But the attraction she's feeling for him now is far from innocent. As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of Boonsboro a reason to celebrate. But Owen's hard work has only begun. 

Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected - and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last.


Courageous by Diana Palmer 

The life of a paid mercenary makes sense to Special Forces Officer Winslow Grange. The jungles of South America may make his former job as a ranch manager for his friend Jay Pendleton look like a cakewalk, but it’s nothing that the former Green Beret can’t handle.

A woman’s heart, however—that’s dangerous territory. Back in Texas, Grange’s biggest problem was avoiding Peg Larson and all the complications being attracted to the daughter of his foreman would entail. Now Grange will need all his training to help General Emilio Machado gain control of the tiny South American nation of Barrera; when Peg arrives unannounced, she’s a distraction he can’t avoid. 


She’s determined to show Grange she can be useful on and off the battlefield. Once she breaks through his armor, traversing the wilds of the Amazon will prove an easier task than defending himself against her winning charms…

Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton
(Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series #21)

When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people—kids, grandparents, soccer moms—all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there’s one martyr, there will be more…

But even vampires have monsters that they’re afraid of. And Anita is one of them


Tumbleweeds by Leila Meacham

Recently orphaned, eleven-year-old Cathy Benson feels she has been dropped into a cultural and intellectual wasteland when she is forced to move from her academically privileged life in California to the small town of Kersey in the Texas Panhandle where the sport of football reigns supreme. She is quickly taken under the unlikely wings of up-and-coming gridiron stars and classmates John Caldwell and Trey Don Hall, orphans like herself, with whom she forms a friendship and eventual love triangle that will determine the course of the rest of their lives. 

Taking the three friends through their growing up years until their high school graduations when several tragic events uproot and break them apart, the novel expands to follow their careers and futures until they reunite in Kersey at forty years of age. 


Red, White and Blood by Christopher Farnsworth
(Nathaniel Cade Series #3)

The Presidential Campaign Trail, 2012:  

A political operative and a volunteer are brutally murdered while caught in a compromising position. Written in their blood on the wall of the crime scene: IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK. And with that, a centuries-old horror known only as the Boogeyman returns to taunt Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire. Against the backdrop of the 2012 presidential race, with the threat of constant exposure by the media, Cade and Zach must stop the one monster Cade has never been able to defeat completely. And they must do it before the Boogeyman adds another victim to his long and bloody list: the President of the United States himself.