stories in and

The Figurine by Pepper Effen

At twenty-eight, Joanna Macguire wants a slow and steady kind of love, the kind to build a family on. She knows that intense attraction always burns out too fast. So when a handsome forensic scientist almost sweeps her off her feet, she rejects him. Online dating seems a safer bet, until the perfect guy turns out to be a dangerous choice. Allan Cooper feels an intense connection when he meets Joanna, and he knows the feeling is mutual. So why did she put him in the friend zone? Meanwhile, at the state crime lab, he’s investigating an elusive serial killer with a fetish for redheads and antique wedding dresses. Allan and Joanna get to know each other at weekly trivia night, and his patience finally pays off. But when Joanna disappears, the most important case of his career becomes horrifyingly personal.


A Certain Kind of Sadness by Jillean McClory

Insecurity and loneliness eat away at Rachel Wharton as old debts and obligations compel her to accept a job in another city, leaving behind family and friends. But leaving Morgan Hillier, the man she has loved since childhood, at a critical time in their fragile relationship breeds a toxic mix of self-doubt and anxiety. Now Rachel finds herself stuck in a dingy three-story walk-up. Her demons and countless falls from grace crowd her tiny apartment. Questions she has avoided for years demand her attention: how did she get here? Why did she let this happen? Her regrets challenge her to take off her blinders and see what’s in her peripheral vision, forcing her to examine her perceptions of love, family, bravery, and her ability to captain her life. Always the victim of circumstance – from her privileged upbringing, her unrequited love for Morgan, to being stalked by a man in the shadows – Rachel struggles to accept her new life. Without a net to catch her when she stumbles, she regrets her decision to take a job that anchors her to a mistake she can’t undo. It’s exhausting navigating the distance between her and Morgan, but her mother’s disapproval makes it problematic, putting further strain on their already complicated relationship. To make matters worse, with each day that passes, Rachel becomes a version of herself she hates – a poor slob in love.


My Soul to Keep: The Fellowship Dystopia Book One by Lynette M. Burrows.

She lives a charmed life—until she breaks the rules. But in this alternate 1961, following the rules isn’t optional. Before the Prophet, con men and thieves and murderers drove America into the Great Depression and to the brink of destruction. In those dark days, the Prophet brought the Fellowship and its Council forth to guide America out of the darkness. And under the rules of the Fellowship, America prospered. Miranda, the daughter of one of the Fellowship’s premier preacher-politicians, enjoys a life of privilege for nearly twenty-five years. But she is one of the elect and her time of independence is coming to an end. By Fellowship law, she must marry the man her parents choose. Live in his shadow. Be his perfect wife. Her life will never be her own. And she can’t—she won’t—live that way. She escapes. Creates a new identity. Lives a new life. A life on the run. But the world outside of the Fellowship is much darker and more dangerous than she knew. Then, a dead man puts her back in the hands of the tyrannical Fellowship. Re-education treatments meant to restore complete obedience, awaken dark memories. Memories of soul-shattering secrets. Secrets that could destroy her family. Secrets that could destroy the Fellowship. She vows to fight the tyrants, even if they are family, even if it costs her life.


The SEPA Project (The SEPA Series Book 1) by J Moody

In a future where memories can be stolen… Sepa 288 is a memory slave. Created to brave the Banjar, the desert lands surrounding New Bhutan’s borders, she brings water in exchange for Old World relics. Upon each return, her memories of the trip are emptied for study, so she never knows what she has seen or who she has known. When Meera San offers to let her keep her memories in exchange for a mission that defies the ruling Family, 288 discovers why they never let a Sepa remember. Unearthing old secrets, 288 and an unlikely group of rebels are pushed into a race to remember the terrible truth… … before they are forced to forget it. The SEPA Project is Book One of the trilogy. Cover art created by Kat Murphy.


I Am Sheffrou: An Alien Love Story (The Sheffrou Trilogy) by Cami Michaels

An Alien Love Story Tamara Walsh, frustrated by her humdrum life, longs for passion and adventure. Her wish becomes reality when she falls through a wormhole and lands on a desolate planet where she meets Maashi, a Sheffrou, a powerful alien with intriguing abilities and an unusual occupation by Earth standards. Maashi introduces her to the strange customs of his world and with time love blossoms between them. Tamara desperately searches for a way back home but she is torn between going home and staying with the Sheffrou she loves. As the aliens prepare to celebrate the most important event of the year, a shadow looms, a ruthless enemy ready to attack under the cover of darkness.... "I Am Sheffrou is a fascinating book and an impressive debut for the author... I Am Sheffrou is not one to miss." Jo Niederhoff, City Book Review. "Michaels's series kicker in The Sheffrou Trilogy is a smashing mix of romance and space opera." Book Coffee's Review "What an intriguing beginning to a trilogy! I Am Sheffrou: An Alien Love Story is definitely not your typical scifi or romance novel. It is refreshingly unique with an extremely interesting and memorable plot." liz Amazon reviewer.


The Tapestry by Audrey Lewis

Discover a beautiful and deeply haunting tapestry of love, pain, magic, and healing. In a single moment, Maia’s life would never be the same. Because when her miraculous virgin birth gifts her a blind, albino hermaphrodite, she never could have foreseen the fate that lay in store for them both. Adopted by a pack of coyotes and seeking refuge deep in the woods, a sheltered cottage and unseen helpers give Maia and her baby Justice a new life together. But the world of the early twentieth century isn’t kind to unwed mothers or children like Justice… and when they’re forced to leave their hidden cottage, Maia finds herself struggling to survive in a man’s world. Her only solace lies in Justice’s incredible gift – an otherworldly ability to weave colorful tapestries that can predict the future. But Justice’s destiny will call them, and together they will share her gift, bringing freedom to those whose stories need to be told. And as Justice opens hearts and minds through her magical loom, she discovers the life-changing impact that she was fated to share with the world. Artfully weaving together a powerful and deeply moving story that touches on profound themes of love, transformation, motherhood and healing, The Tapestry is a magical contemporary fiction novel where the emotions pour out of each page, offering readers of all backgrounds a heartfelt experience that will stick in your mind long after you finish reading.


Becoming Crone (The Crone Wars Book 1) by Lydia M. Hawke

She wanted purpose. She got dark magic and war. Claire Emerson is adrift. After a lifetime as a wife, mother, and grandma, she never saw divorce or loneliness coming and is desperate for some sense of purpose. But when her sixtieth birthday brings a snarky gargoyle, an annoyingly sexy wolf shifter, and an unknown magical calling, she thinks she's losing the only thing she has left: her sanity. Refusing to believe she's the powerful defender of humankind her so-called protectors claim, Claire attempts a return to her safe life... only to have her powers ignite when she's attacked by dark supernatural creatures. And without the training she was supposed to have received, she has no idea how she'll defeat sinister mages plotting her demise. Can Claire overcome creaky joints and major hot flashes in time to save the world - and her own life?


Assure Her by Thia Finn

Chandler Chatam, fresh out of Juilliard, finds herself temporarily playing with four hot rockers of Assured Distraction, an up-and-coming band, out on their first big tour. She's lead a sheltered life of luxury and is determined to make the most of this tour as part of the band until her world is suddenly turned upside down. Then more life-shattering news alters the course she's set for herself. Meeting Chandler at her audition for a temporary spot in Assured Distraction, lead singer Keeton MacDonald flashes a panty-dropping smile knowing that a woman is sure to wreak havoc on the bus for this bunch of guys looking to enjoy the perks of life on the road as the rock stars they are. Assured Distraction's tour is the beginning of a raucous journey for them all that leads to fun days, exciting concerts, and hot nights. Not just a life on the bus story, but a story about living messy lives in the real world.


Marvels and Misfits (Trixie Towers) by Scarlett Dawn

Death this way comes to souls who break Fae law. So it is written. So carved in blood. Mighty are the Fae who watch us all. I’m screwed. Royally screwed. Of all the ways to mess up, I picked a real gem this time—of the hot shifter sort. Especially because I’m the crowned elven princess.A forbidden soul mating with the cruel King Athon was not why I attended the royal summit of magical races. Our kinds do not mix, as is written in death-blood. And I’ll be damned before I let some arrogant alpha tell me what to do, and for once I’m not talking about my father.Now, I’m on the quest of a lifetime.My crew of accomplices—sworn enemies. Including King Athon and my father. Our mission—retrieve ancient artifacts lost forever. Good luck there. And if we fail? No worries. The giants will crush the realm.Between all the secrets and lies, my name is Trixie Towers; and that’s the only truth that won’t get me dead.


Happiest in Denial by Cassandra Cordini

Who doesn’t dream of true love? When Mia meets Wolfgang, she thinks all her dreams have come true. Blinded by her passions, she plunges into marriage, even though dark shadows seem to hover around him. Wolfgang can’t hide his true nature and in time even Mia is finally forced to confront the truth about her husband. Dignity and self-respect come at a terrible price – will Mia pay it or will she be forever Wolfgang’s plaything?


The Digging Witch by KB Lawrence

In Icegrind, your secrets will kill you quicker than the cold... Libby Scarpa, prized witch of the most vicious criminal on the ice, is tired of digging through the secrets of smugglers. She has plans to sneak past the city wall and make her way to a new life. But an old friend finds a trove of maps that could rekindle an ancient war—a war the undying won, and which nearly wiped her kind from the ice. And Libby must do one last job. To save towns that have never sheltered her and people who have only feared her—and to keep a promise to a friend—Libby must cross a ghost-haunted glacier, evade an army of immortals, and rely on a man whose secrets are hidden, even from her. If she can embrace her power instead of fear it, she might be able to get the maps to someone powerful enough to save everything she's come to love.


Returning to You by Gwen Tolios

Monica’s relationship with her father is falling apart, made more obvious when her return to Madison after years aboard results in him throwing her out of the house. Lisa Carson, her BFF and old college roommate, takes her in. Turns out Lisa has her own issues with her parents – they’re pushing her to date despite her lack of desire. So when Monica joins a Carson family dinner, she lies and says it’s starting a relationship with Lisa that brought her back to America. Lisa goes along with the ruse – it gets her parents off her back and it’s only until Monica repairs her relationship with her father and moves out. What Monica failed to take into account however is that crush she had on Lisa in college? Yeah, that didn’t go away.


A Merry Life by Sarah Branson

Kat Wallace is on a mission. After escaping tortuous enslavement, she sets her sights on ending the human trafficking that has flourished in 24th century Earth. Adopted by the leader of the pirate nation of Bosch, Kat Wallace is determined to prove herself as a member of the Bosch Pirate Force and use her skills to avenge her enslavement and free other thralls. But unexpected love and a test of loyalty threaten to rob her of what she wants most: a home.


Mother Figures by Amy Barnes

Amy Barnes has a knack for what Jennifer Pieroni has called “smart surprise”. Each of these mother/daughter stories grabs the attention with its first sentence then continues to wrongfoot the reader willfully as it proceeds. The stories are focused, lean, yet packed with unexpected details – stigmata, plastic eyes, industrial bras, a watermelon called Trudy, vulture balloons. Barnes has a voice that is entirely her own. ―Michael Loveday author of Three Men on the Edge From the first sentence of each story in Mother Figures, Amy Barnes entraps us and stuns, taking us into a variety of worlds, strange and surreal—we embark on a journey involving distorted familial relationships, and through these contorted realities, there is a booming thread of truth, mirroring our need for love and friendship. Magically entertaining, Barnes is on the forefront of breaking barriers in the craft of flash fiction. ―Shome Dasgupta author of Mute Mother Figures both elevates and devastates. In twenty-three tiny stories, Amy Barnes explores the oft-searing complexities of motherhood and mother-daughter relationships through a funhouse lens of pop culture, religion and artifact. Each story is a tightly-woven portrait that exposes our most intimate relational fissures with surprising language and a playfulness that punches to the emotional core. ―Sara Hills author of The Evolution of Birds Reading Mother Figures feels like lifting a band-aid: sharp, ugly, and vulnerable, but tender too: and after, relief: you feel as though the new light and air will heal you. ―Meagan Lucas author of Songbirds and Stray Dogs, and editor, Reckon Review In ‘Mother Figures’ Amy Barnes explores the subtle complexities of female relationships. Each story, steeped in rich detail and nestled between the real and the surreal, will pull you in and keep hold of you long after you’ve finished reading it. An absolute delight. ―Laura Besley author of The Almost Mothers and 100neHundred


Ambrotypes by Amy Cipolla Barnes

We are all slightly askew,” says one of the characters in this delightful and moving collection of innovative stories that bend, at times, toward allegory. Here's a vintage world of cigarette vending machines, Jazzercise, Sears photography studios, McNally road maps, full-service filling stations, and Green Stamps dish sets, a world where a sister with sugar for shoes who desires an octopus lover, giraffes who give funeral eulogies, a student with a backpack wormhole that houses Einstein, and a woman who places a want ad to see if someone has found her name—all highlight our humanity, its losses and its longings, and in moments, the last times we don’t know are the last times. I loved these stories.” — Jill Talbot, author of The Way We Weren’t: A Memoir “Read this collection slowly. Each of these stories unfolds like a palimpsest of images you'll want to spend time unpacking. At the heart of Barnes' prose are the intricacies of human relationships made technicolor by magic realism and the author's expansive imagination.” — Christopher Allen, author of Other Household Toxins “No one aces the first sentence test quite like Amy Cipolla Barnes. Every story in her whimsical debut begins with a zing. With irresistible openers like: "There’s a beach ball in the apartment toilet," "I knew what I was doing when I swallowed the glass piano," "My great grandmother hung the moon," and "My third baby was born an alligator," how can we not keep reading? These may be AMBROTYPES, but Barnes writes in living, breathing color to bring us captivating, quirky family snapshots that engage faith, myth, fairy tale, and a little magic. For all the absurdist delight, there's no shortage of heartache or truth: "I prayed hard that my plastic Jesus would find my daddy either real pants or a job; It felt like too much to ask for both." Barnes is adept at rendering the familiar unfamiliar and the unfamiliar familiar in these sharply observed slices of life that never fail to snap, crackle, and pop.” — Sara Lippmann, author of Doll Palace “Nothing can really prepare you for the people you'll encounter in Amy Barnes's Ambrotypes: little girls with feet made of sugar; alligator babies; wives who grow feathers; fathers made of origami. These stories are surprising, wholly original, and go down easy -- the perfect reading for our current reality.” — Amy Shearn, award-winning author of Unseen City and The Mermaid of Brooklyn


Life in the Shadows by Joyce Reynolds-Ward

IN A TECH-DRIVEN BIOREMEDIATION FUTURE, HARD CHOICES MUST BE MADE. Powerful mother. Powerful daughter. Sarah Stephens and her daughter Diana Landreth run bioremediation companies dependent upon neural nets and nanotechnology to operate complex biobots. Sometimes competitors, sometimes collaborators, while they disagree, they are still mother and daughter. And then the Disruption Machine begins its campaign of devastation. In the process of their collaboration to stop the Disruption Machine, the shadows in their lives force their paths into a dangerous divergence. Sarah chooses politics and power. Diana chooses research and family. What happens when their choices collide?


A Different Life--What If? by Joyce Reynolds-Ward

What if Gabriel Martiniere's family didn't die in a plane crash when he was twelve? What if he didn't have to go into hiding after testifying against the atrocities committed by his father, Philip Martiniere? What if he met and fell in love with Ruby Barkley as himself, not as Gabe Ramirez, a broke saddle bronc rider on the run from indenture bounty hunters? Gabe's a billionaire nerd with a conscience, unlucky at love, striving to overcome the shadows of his past while searching for agritech to fight climate change. Ruby's a former rodeo queen, trying to get her degree in agricultural robotics, searching for agritech means to fight climate change, also unlucky at love and struggling with a shadowy past. Can Ruby and Gabe successfully negotiate the complexities of the Martiniere Group and launch Ruby's world-changing biobots without interference from competitors?


Heard: How Loss Led Us to Love by Ligia Cushman

What if your greatest loss led you to love? Professional Counselor and Director of Adoptions Ligia Cushman unveils her heart amid shattering circumstances and shows readers how to thrive when life doesn't turn out as they had planned. Some moments in life catch us off guard while others shatter us completely. For Ligia, it was the night she miscarried her first child. Ligia understands personal loss deeply and discovered that loss can be exactly what our soul needs to radically encounter God and feel heard. In Heard: How Loss Led Us To Love she invites us on her own journey with grit, gut-honest vulnerability and authenticity.


Soulmate, Stage Right by Bixby Jones

Drama teacher Abby Devlin has always dreamed of being a world-famous actress. While stardom has, so far, proven elusive, she has made quite a name for herself at McMillan Playhouse, where she’s just been cast in a self-written production. Her triumph quickly turns to dread, however, when she learns that McMillan has cast a soap star as her new leading man. After a painful divorce, Dean Altman, former soap star and a single dad, readjusted his priorities, moving back home to Galveston, Texas with his young daughter, Preslie. It doesn’t take long for him to feel the itch to dust himself off and step back into the acting world, which brings him to McMillan’s stage…and Abby’s attention. There is a fire between Abby and Dean when they meet in rehearsal, and not the good kind. Sizzling tension leads to drama both on and off-stage, but when they are forced to work together for the sake of the play, they slowly begin to give in to the undeniable chemistry between them. Before they truly have a chance to understand what they might have, however, an opportunity presents itself to Dean—one that could make or break what they have come to find in one another. Soulmate, Stage Right is an enemies-to-lovers, single dad romance, with quick progression and high-stakes emotion. It will appeal to contemporary romance fans, as well as fans of Hallmark movies. It is low on the heat, but high on the sweet, and can best be described as a romantic dramedy.


Forest Magic by M. A. Phillips

Lacey and Cian embrace a new path in life, but fresh mysteries and dangers stalk the forest around their home. The dreams and visions that once guided Lacey have gone silent, and Cian’s own intuition blossoms whether he wants it to or not. With their abilities transforming, and tragedy at their heels, can Lacey and Cian do what they must to protect their family and Pagan community, even when one of their greatest threats ever comes from within?


Hearth Magic by M. A. Phillips

After the events of RIVER MAGIC, Cian O’Connor and Anthony Russo must grapple with their relationship to the land, the spirit realm, and each other. One man wants to support Lacey and protect her from another otherworldly maelstrom. The other needs her help as he confronts an angry presence in his home so he can move on with a new lover. Are Cian and Anthony’s lives more entwined than they ever imagined? “The medium, the conservationist, and the poacher, all drawn together by a cord of fate.” A new Rituals of Rock Bay tale featuring kitchen magic, romance, redemption, and the spiritual bonds that link us.


Lady, in Waiting by Karen Heenan

She survived exile. He survived a death sentence. Can they survive marriage? Margaery Preston is newly married to a man she barely knows. Proposing to Robin Lewis may have been impulsive, but she wants their marriage to work - she just doesn't know how to be married, and it seems her husband hasn't a clue, either. Treated like a child by everyone from her husband to the queen, lost in the unfamiliar world of the Elizabethan court, Margaery will have to learn quickly or lose any chance at the life she wants. Can a marriage for all the wrong reasons make it to happily ever after?


Elevated Inferno by Carlotta Ardell

Monet Parker wasn't a sucker for a man in uniform. Even if he was a firefighter with dimples deep enough to swim in and ebony skin painted by the gods. She was just trying to get her dream internship and prepare herself for a career in social robotics. She had no idea how her life would change with the simple push of a button. When the elevator taking her to her interview at Real World Robotics stops, Monet isn't sure if she will live, let alone make her interview. She's rescued by Rhys Banks: the gorgeous hunk of a fireman. As much as their magnetism is palpable, Monet is trying to ignore her feelings. Focusing on her career and navigating her chaotic family drama is more than enough excitement for her. Still, it's hard to ignore #FiremanBae when her sister is hosting an Instagram Live video of the rescue and getting the whole internet buzzing. What happens when the internet becomes a third wheel in Monet's love life? What happens when past hurts, career goals, and family baggage are in conflict with their desires? Will these distractions win out and quash the elevated inferno? Can Monet have it all, including love?


Wish List by Amanda Pampuro

If Amazon could talk, what would it say about you? Wish List follows woman's life told through things she bought online, as told by the shopping algorithm that sold them to her. ARgurl16 first logs onto Hermes as a teenager and the platform continues to watch over her throughout her life as she transitions from broke college student to single woman looking for love, and eventually into motherhood. Hermes is data-hungry and obsessive, as it struggles to understand its own identity alongside the wants of its millions of users so that it can suggest buying the very best earplugs and coffee mugs. This concise novella is The Death of Ivan Ilyich for the reader with a guilty pleasure for Buzzfeed listicles. Readers haunted by Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle or Niccolò Machiavelli will enjoy this slice of life.


The Church of Wrestling by Emily Thomas Mani

Eleven-year-old Jenny Arsenault is an undefeated wrestler, thanks in part to the guiding principle her father has taught her—Strike First. But she’s eager to try another principle. At the 1992 Canada East Championship, she defies Strike First and loses the gold. It’s not the only loss that day. Her mother also dies, launching her father into an intercontinental search for the answer to an impossible question: How do you strike first at death? A bold, inventive novella with unforgettable characters, The Church of Wrestling shows grief and obsession are full-contact sports, and family ties—even when seemingly broken—bind more tightly than a half nelson.


Pretty Damned Things by Holly Wade Matter

Fortune is an itinerant musician without a past who braids memories into her hair. Maud is a sheltered small-town girl and an unwitting heir to the notorious McBride family magic. The two young women meet when Fortune is commissioned to bring Maud to a rich man whose grandson she cursed. United by their love of music and their hunger for the road, Fortune and Maud form a friendship ... one that is threatened not only by Fortune’s mission but by their mutual desire for a man called Lightning.


Elements of Chemistry Attraction by Penny Reid

He is everything she doesn’t want, so why does she want him so badly? From the New York Times Bestselling Author Penny Reid One week. Private beach. Invisible girl. Jerk-faced bully. What’s the worst that could happen? Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner. Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family's billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water. When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good? Where to read more of the Hypothesis Series Book 1 ATTRACTION (ends in a cliffhanger!) Book 2 HEAT (ends in a cliffhanger!) Book 3 CAPTURE (no cliffhanger) Book 4 MOTION (ends in a cliffhanger!) Book 5 SPACE (ends in a cliffhanger!) Book 6 TIME (no cliffhanger)


Jordan's Penny by Stefanie Stratton

Jordan Stephens, the embodiment of perfection, was convinced early on that he deserves the best. From his dashing sex appeal to a successful career, he surrounds himself with luxury, wearing tailor-made suits, flaunting his expensive Benz, and bedding women equally gorgeous. One thing remains off-limits—commitment. He can't even commit to an assistant, cycling through one attractive, unqualified assistant after the next. Their beauty is all that matters... until their job performance makes him look bad. Penelope Matthews, Jordan's replacement assistant, is nothing like her predecessors. Forced to wear unfashionable clothing and hide behind makeup, Jordan's looks won't distract this full-figured woman. She knows her lane and stays in it. Experienced with demanding men, she'll wow him with color-coded spreadsheets, and an exceptional work ethic. And wait until he tries her tea. As long as she stays under the radar, impervious to her boss, she'll emerge unscathed. After surviving her tumultuous probationary period, the pair forms an undeniable connection that flips their worlds upside-down. With secrets lingering between them, they must decide which path to take: the one they've been traveling, or the road that leads to each other. **This book contains sensitive topics**


Abolish the Rose by Alanna Irving

"Surely I have better things to do with my time." Camille Addison resents the hand life has dealt her. Enrolling in an evening class to distract herself from memories of frustration, she finds herself instead turning to face the tumult of relationships, loss and love that has led her to where she is. Abolish the Rose, by Alanna Irving, takes us on a journey through the past in search of meaning in the present. Through a vivid catalogue of heart-warming and harrowing life experiences, we are drawn to question, along with Camille - how much control do we have over the path our lives take? Would we change the past if we had the chance? What is a life well lived?


Bluffing for Beginners by Merren Tait

Em never imagined she'd use "covert" and "shameless" in the same sentence. Until she had nothing left to lose. Em Stewart is no pushover. She can hot wire a car, torpedo a beer in under ten seconds, and make the most curse-hardy trooper blush with her colourful tongue. But when she's abandoned by her long-time boyfriend twenty minutes into starting their new life together on a remote island, she's in a tailspin. Somehow, she must forge their fresh start on her own in a place full of strangers and find her groove within the small island community - even with its songbird-loving eccentricities. The problem is Em isn't very good at hiding the truth. Her face syphons blood off her organs every time she meets the local ranger, and she accidentally gives up the island's greatest secret to the one person most willing to exploit it. Now Em has to perform the biggest bluff of her life to protect her new home against corporate interest, even if it means ruining a fresh shot at love before it's had much of a chance. But Em's not afraid of going down in a blaze of glory. And one thing's for sure: She's about to take the islanders on the ride of their lives. Bluffing for Beginners is the second of four stand-alone novels in the award-winning Good Life series.


Iron & Fire by Kerrin Willis

1675 -- Plymouth Colony -- Verity Parker promised to look after her family. Raised among the bookshops and turmoil of Reformation London, Verity now finds herself in Puritan New England, where she must learn to keep her head down and her mouth shut, or risk dire consequences. The only person who values her tenacity is Kit, the heretical ironworker she has been forbidden to see. When King Philip’s War breaks out, Verity must stay silent as the Puritan elders spread hateful rhetoric about the “savages” in the forest. When she witnesses a young girl die in childbirth, Verity must stand by as neighbors blame God’s vengeance. But when tragedy strikes her own home, Verity must choose between her duty to her family and her love for Kit. Will she choose to keep the peace, or will she defy the leaders of the colony for a chance at happiness? Set against the backdrop of King Philip’s War, the bloodiest war per capita in American history, Iron & Fire explores the experience of a clever, educated woman at a time when being so often resulted in death. Perfect for fans of Amy Belding Brown’s Flight of the Sparrow, or Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Iron & Fire was written for those who read the original American Girl series as children and are now all grown up.


Witching for Grace by Deanna Chase

A Paranormal Women's Fiction with a bit of class, and a lot of sass, for anyone who feels like age is just a number! Welcome to Premonition Pointe, where witches take care of their own. Grace Valentine had the perfect marriage and a great career managing her husband’s real estate office. Or so she thought until three months ago when she was served with divorce papers. Thanks to her philandering ex, not only is she out of a husband, she’s out of a job, too. At the age of forty-five with the help of her coven, Grace is ready to pick up the pieces and move on. But her only job prospect is at the rival real estate office, and it’s only for a trial run. She’ll need to prove that she can sell the haunted properties of Premonition Pointe before she’s hired permanently. But who has time to deal with haunted houses when she’s testing out every anti-perspirant on the market to combat her escalating hot flashes, trying not to succumb to the advances of the hot thirty-four-year-old in her office, and ignoring the urges to hex her ex with erectile disfunction? Okay, maybe she doesn’t ignore the urges. She might be a witch, but she’s only human. Can Grace prove to herself and her new boss she has the magical touch to sell the impossible and find the courage get her groove back… even if her new love interest is a decade younger?


UNFURLING: A Tale of Friendship, Love, Mystery, and Mayhem by Tia Ray Dhar

Can an unexpected turn of events, including a mystery, guide you towards a sense of purpose in life? Dr. Mandira Sharma (Mandy), a recent medical school graduate from Mumbai, doesn't feel passionate about her residency in internal medicine and feels devoid of a general sense of purpose in life. Currently, her happiness revolves around making new friends and spending time with them at work or outdoor venues. Her general feeling of isolation and disinterest in her medicine residency accentuates when her two close friends go overseas, and someone she loves and cares deeply about decides to part ways. She navigates through her daily routine devoid of zest or enthusiasm, trying to cope with the current painful scenario. However, tragedy strikes again when two meeting attendees find Mandy's friend and graduate student Latika's body floating in a pool on the premises during a blackout at a psychology workshop venue. An investigative team launches a detailed probe into the crime's motive and modus operandi, and the cohort of meeting attendees, including Mandy, come under the lens of suspicion. Can Mandy help solve the case? Will she find a sense of purpose? Any reader who enjoys a university campus-themed friendship and romance-based novel with a suspenseful murder mystery will enjoy reading this story.


Say My Name by Lune

We were barely adults and only two years into our marriage when we took him as a lover. That sun-bleached surfer that I barely tolerated and you adored. How long did we spend together? A year? Not even. Our world together was only briefly permitted. Yet the nights and days the three of us shared seem a thousand times clearer upon reflection than any other memory from that time. Now I find myself asking, why? What may seem like a question easily answered, never is. There was nothing simple about our relationship with our lover, but he was not our demise, nor the highlight of our marriage. He was just a fragment of a greater broken mirror. So, why then, do I see him reflected in so many shards of us? Written in narrative poetry, Say My Name is a breathtaking true story of polyamorous love, marriage, and abuse.


Deliver Me by Reda Amirah

They came from two worlds. A young Egyptian beauty escaping a brutal marriage engagement. A bored English lord looking for his next conquest. Neither of them expected the other could be exactly what they were looking for. Nour is running for her life. She leaves everything she's ever known in her tiny Egyptian village to sail to England and find the father she's never met. Thomas doesn't believe in love. Relationships are just a means to an end and both parties always know exactly what to expect. ...and then he sees her. Together they are both learning what it means to love someone so much they can't imagine a life without the other, but will a jealous Emir tear their world apart?


A Fortnight to Bloom by Dani Morrison

When it rains it pours and Stephanie Renaut has had enough, thank you very much. The collapse of her engagement is the last straw and she takes a gamble on the irrational; a two week spiritual retreat on the far flung world of Elysia VII. Verdant, lively, and soothing, the planet’s facilities are renowned for their ability to help soul-weary seekers. But, she isn’t the only traveler seeking answers and redemption. Pahali’s Festival approaches, a celebration of the early bloom, and Davinth Xan-Curson returns for his ancestral rites without a mate. Again. He’s devoted his life to unlocking the secrets of Elysia’s flora, but finds the opportunity for a new kind of discovery with an impromptu travelling companion. Paths cross and sparks ignite, but to make way for new life, two strangers must come to know themselves to find each other.


An Ignoble Invitation by Dani Morrison

Miri Third-Born has one goal; reach heights few in The Hidden can ever hope to achieve. A talented alchemist, she seeks more out of life than her meager existence as a casteless human living under the Aelven Dominion. She has the skills, a partner, and the necessary acumen. But the path to glory is treacherous for humans without a name, and an unforeseen obstacle threatens to permanently derail her aspirations. When approached by the magnetic Aelven noble Aisalan Vinhar, it’s with an offer she would be a fool to turn down. Her companionship for his name. Too bad she doesn’t trust the Aelven any further than she can throw them and he’s seeking more than she may be willing to give. The dominion is crumbling, war is on the horizon, but Miri faces a daring challenge; to make it out of this ignoble invitation with her heart, and dreams, intact.


The Binding Eye by Dani Morrison

A new take on wolf-shifter lore, mystery, danger, and a steamy Multicultural “Why Choose?” romance awaits in “The Binding Eye”, the first Book of the Havenacht Chronicles. Brecht Adelwulf is running out of time. Havenacht holds painful memories and forbidden secrets, not to mention Wulfvinderen, families dedicated to keeping wulven kinships like his own in line. But, it will take more than his usual stoic resolve to uncover why he was called back to the town of his birth. He must put trust in a foreign researcher and a sworn enemy if he hopes to make it through the next full moon with his sanity, and family, intact. When mythology and folklore researcher Carina Silver takes a temporary research position in the coastal Dutch town of Havenacht, she finds herself playing a role in a centuries old worth of old secret that comes to life as the moon grows full. Two men, two worlds, one destiny.


A Feeling Like Home by Haleigh Wenger

Sixteen-year-old Paige Williams can’t stop self-sabotaging. Not when her dad gets sick, not when her relationship implodes, not even when her parents send her to another-freaking-state for the summer to live with her sister. Paige just wants to have fun, spray paint a few walls, and block out everything stressful, including her growing concern that she might be sick as well. To make things worse, her parents threaten her with boarding school in the fall if she can’t prove she’s changed her bad habits. Paige’s parents sign her up for a rebuilding project in Texas where her sister lives. Meanwhile, Paige reluctantly befriends her sister’s straight-laced teenage neighbor, Joey, who is a frequent guest. He’s so different from her, but Paige realizes that may not be a bad thing, especially since being around Joey curbs her urge to vandalize and ignore the rules. He even makes her forget about the debilitating stomach cramps she struggles to hide. Just as Paige begins to feel settled in Texas, her dad’s worsening Crohn’s disease brings her home to Seattle. When her own health fails her, she has the choice of staying at home and receiving care. Or, she could go back to Texas and prove for once and for all that she’s more than her mistakes and more than a disease. Torn between two worlds and two versions of herself, Paige must decide where, and with whom, she truly feels at home.


Pursuing Liam by Lisa Lanay

Find out if Taryn and Liam can go from friends-to-lovers-to-forever in this funny, light-hearted, contemporary romance that will melt your heart. At thirty-four years old, veterinarian Taryn Williams wants a baby. After a failed attempt to adopt, she believes her chances for a family are dismal. But that all changes when Liam McGregor, hunky Chicago Fireman and part-time mural artist, offers her the opportunity to fulfill her dreams. Taryn believes their agreement perfect, until she realizes that she wants Liam as more than her baby daddy; she wants him too! There’s no turning back for Taryn by the time she accepts that marriage and a family are not on Liam’s radar, but can she convince him otherwise? Invicta Libertas, Latin for Invincible Freedom. It’s the code Liam has lived by since graduating college and he has the tattoo to prove it. He does his own thing, and knows what he wants…until he offers to help his gorgeous friend-with-benefits, Taryn Williams, and his world is turned upside down. He agrees to a no-strings attached arrangement because he believes anything else would threaten his freedom and his dream of becoming a full-time artist. Soon, Liam finds himself questioning his decisions because his heart has determined that is has plans of its own, including love for Taryn and their baby, something he can no longer deny and isn’t sure he wants to.


Alyssa Fairfield by Tiffany Christina Lewis

Smart, talented and fun-loving, Alyssa Fairfield is a junior at UCLA. She believes she is firmly in command of her life until one harrowing, late-night run proves to her that not everything is in her control. After surviving a vicious assault, Alyssa becomes devoted to finding her attacker. Now she must fight her own demons while developing her skills as an investigator, and trying to apprehend a cunning and deadly assailant. You will love this #OwnVoices story about survival and triumph, fighting demons and rising above tragedy.


Idle Hands by Cassondra Windwalker

After making the courageous decision to leave her abusive husband, Perdie and her three young children start over and finally find the safety and love they deserve. But years later, when tragedy strikes, Perdie is left wondering if the choice she made to leave has led them to this moment. If she were given the opportunity to take it all back and stay, would she? In a frantic bid to protect her family, Perdie makes a deal to do just that. But in a world where the devil pulls the strings, can Perdie really change the past? Brimming with enlightened observations and brilliant voice, Idle Hands is a haunting examination of grief, resilience, and what we’d give to spend another moment with the ones we love.


My Dawn Is Only Five Hours Away by Dion Anja

Dion Anja's first poetry collection explores the various shades of life from a young-adult woman's point of view such as love, death, nature, anger, and fairies. Fueled by her imagination and surroundings, Anja aims to resonate with your heart and soul because she believes poetry is a shared feeling regardless of place and time. All of the poems have been written in the chaotic atmosphere of the pandemic and this ephemeral state of existence urged Dion to self-publish.


Planet of the Creeps by D.S. Whitaker

A twisted Cinderella story set in modern day NYC about blind dating, deceit, and the struggle to find true love. Cindy has been looking for love through Smitten, an online dating app, only to encounter one creep after another. She has a happy life living in NYC with her gay roommate, Barry, but she feels he’s putting his own love life on hold for her sake. Then her baby sister gets engaged. She decides it’s time to try again to find her own true love. The CEO of Smitten, Lance, is facing declining subscribership and the Board wants his ouster. Lance truly believes women can’t find matches because they’re too picky. As a last-ditch effort, he develops a marketing scheme involving a contest for female users. A few lucky women will go on a series of blind dates for a hefty sum, in the hopes of improving Smitten’s matching algorithm. He decides to pose as a waiter at the restaurant hosting the experiment to find out the truth and validate his position. Cindy accepts the invitation to participate. Lance is a terrible waiter and the patrons treat him horribly. But Cindy becomes his beacon of happiness as the contest progresses. She treats him like a person and not a servant. He watches how she maintains a positive attitude despite several hilariously awful blind dates with the creepiest men. Soon, Lance starts to fall for her—hard. Only, she doesn’t know his true identity. Can Lance win Cindy’s love? Or will he turn out to be the worst creep of them all?


Maggie: A Journey of Love, Loss and Survival by Vicki Tapia

Mt. Clemens, Michigan, 1887. Seventeen and headstrong, with marriage on her mind, Maggie is sure she has found her one true love. But when she collides head-on with betrayal, overwhelming loss and ill-treatment, her life unravels. In a time when women had few rights, Maggie rises above adversity through rare determination and grit, becoming an independent woman ahead of her time. Yet before she can truly find peace, one heartbreaking, life-altering decision remains. Inspired by her great-grandmother's life, the author weaves a timeless story of survival and courage set against the backdrop of Mt. Clemens, Michigan and the prairies of eastern Montana at the turn of the twentieth century.


The Weight of Lies: A Novel by Emily Carpenter

In this gripping, atmospheric family drama, a young woman investigates the forty­-year­-old murder that inspired her mother’s bestselling novel, and uncovers devastating truths—and dangerous lies. Reformed party girl Meg Ashley leads a life of privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker reality of lies, manipulation, and the heartbreak of her own solitary childhood. Desperate to break free of her mother, Meg accepts a proposal to write a scandalous, tell-all memoir. Digging into the past—and her mother’s cult classic—draws Meg to Bonny Island, Georgia, and an unusual woman said to be the inspiration for the book. At first island life seems idyllic, but as Meg starts to ask tough questions, disturbing revelations come to light…including some about her mother. Soon Meg’s search leads her to question the facts of a decades-old murder. She’s warned to leave it alone, but as the lies pile up, Meg knows she’s getting close to finding a murderer. When her own life is threatened, Meg realizes the darkness found in her mother’s book is nothing compared to the chilling truth that lurks off the page.


Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles Book 2) by Karen Wojcik Berner

From the author of "A Whisper to a Scream" comes a story about growing up, making peace with your past, and finding a little love along the way. In her first novel, Karen Wojcik Berner introduced book club members Sarah and Annie. Now, it’s time for another bibliophile to take center stage. Catherine Elbert has never been good at making decisions, whether it was choosing an ice cream flavor as a small child, or figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up. The only thing Catherine knew for sure was there had to be more to life than being stuck on her family’s farm in Wisconsin. While watching a PBS travel show, Catherine becomes entranced by Portland, Maine. The ocean. The lobsters. The rugged coast. Nothing could be more different from the flat, nondescript farmlands of Burkesville. Despite her parents threatening to disown her and her brothers taking bets on how many days until she comes home, Catherine settles on Peaks Island, off the coast of Portland. She was finally free. Or so she thought. “Until My Soul Gets It Right” is the second book in Berner’s Bibliophiles series. Unlike most series that follow one character through various adventures, each Bibliophiles novel focuses on one or two members of a fictional suburban classics book club, revealing their personal stories while the group explores tales spun by the masters. This edition contains a Reader's Guide and book club discussion questions.


A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles Book 1) by Karen Wojcik Berner

Annie Jacobs has dreamed of the day she would become a mother since the first time she held her Baby Tenderlove doll. Unfortunately, biology has not cooperated with her plan, and she finds herself dealing with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility instead of picking out baby names. Across town, stay-at-home mom Sarah Anderson is just trying to make it through the grocery store without her toddler hurling a box of rice at a fellow shopper. She is exhausted from managing the house, a first grader and a toddler, all without any help from her work-obsessed, absentee husband. When they meet through a Classics Book Club, each thinks the other one's life is so much better than her own. But is the grass truly greener on the other side of the fence? Unlike most series that follow one character through various adventures, each Bibliophiles novel focuses on one or two members of a fictional suburban classics book club, revealing their personal stories while the group explores tales spun by the masters. This edition contains a Reader's Guide and book club discussion questions.


When Good Friends Go Bad by Ellie Campbell

All through school, tomboy Jen, snobby Georgina, hippy Meg and gentle Rowan, were inseparable. Until, that is, the unfortunate consequences of a childish prank tore them apart. As adults an attempted reunion went disastrously wrong. Rowan failed to appear. Meg behaved outrageously and - sharpest cut of all - Jen discovered just how deeply Georgina had betrayed her. So now, a mother herself, in the midst of divorce, the last thing Jen needs is a call from Meg. Or is it? Will Meg's strange mission to track down the missing Rowan re-open old wounds or is it a chance to heal the rift - or to recover Jen's never-forgotten, first true love? As their quest unearths secrets and feelings best left buried, Jen, Meg and Georgina will be tested on love, loyalty, and friendship, discover the truth about Rowan - and wake a danger that threatens them all.


How To Survive Your Sisters by Ellie Campbell

The four MacLeod sisters are no strangers to sisterly rivalry and with one of them about to be married, there are bound to be fireworks. Perfectionist Natalie wants the 'wedding of the year'. Harassed mother, Milly, just wishes her bridesmaid's dress wasn't the size of a tent. Career-obsessed Avril secretly moons over a married man and world traveler, Hazel, the youngest, yearns to be taken seriously. Forced together for the first time in years, and with an unexpected guest stirring up old resentments, squabbles are inevitable. But when tragedy strikes things really fly apart - as some shocking skeletons emerge rattling from the crowded MacLeod closet...


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