Thursday, June 20, 2013

Coming Up...Week 25 of 2013

Book to be reviewed:

Trail of the Chupacabra: An Avery Bartholomew Pendleton Misadventure by Stephen Randel (e-book, to be published on June 30th)

Avery Bartholomew Pendleton is back, and he’s just as crazy as ever. Avery is a paranoid loner obsessed with global conspiracy theories who spends most of his time crafting absurd and threatening letters to anyone who offends him. That means pretty much everyone.

Still convinced of the existence of the mythical Mexican chupacabra*, Avery enlists the assistance of the Southwest Texas Revolutionary Armed Confederate Border Operations Militia (STRAC-BOM) and their manic leader, General X-Ray, to help him invade Mexico. Accompanied by Ziggy, a burned-out hippy, and an uncommonly large iguana named Nancy, the group follows the advice of a New Orleans voodoo priestess and heads straight into the Mexican desert.

Unfortunately for the motley gang of explorers, Mexico can be a dangerous place if you cross the wrong people -- specifically, the Padre, a vicious drug cartel boss, and El Barquero, a murderous gunrunner who has crossed Avery’s path before.

What unfolds is a laugh-out-loud dark comedy of insane humor, unforgettable characters, and chilling thrills.

*No chupacabras were injured in the writing of this book.

What I'm Reading right now:

You Know Who I Am by Diane Patterson (e-book)

Drusilla Thorne's husband Colin walks out on their marriage of convenience with style: he disappears right in the middle of their magic act. Before he vanishes, though, he steals a bracelet from her, a bracelet that could tip off the people who’ve been searching for Drusilla and her younger sister Stevie for years. Drusilla won’t allow that to happen.

When she finds Colin in Los Angeles, he’s dead. Before dying, he got the both of them involved in a nasty game of Hollywood blackmail. The investigating detective finds out her identity is as fake as her marriage was and he’s determined to find her guilty of something. Her lawyer might have more allegiance to the shadowy figure footing the bill than to her. And her sister does something Drusilla can only hope they live to regret.

Drusilla had better figure out who killed Colin before everything comes apart and the police figure out who she really is.

 Chapters: 8 out of 25

 Pages: 73 out of 207

Doug and Carlie by Lisa Smartt (Kindle E-book)

Carlie once ate a whole lemon meringue pie. But she regrets it. She regrets it the way a drunk regrets downing a bottle of Jack Daniels. It was soothing and horribly depressing all at the same time. Carlie, a 32-year-old employee at the Dollar General Store in Commerce, Georgia, dreams of love and literary success, in that order. But love and literary success don’t always come easy, especially for a tall woman with a big behind who stocks canned sweet potatoes for a living. She’s ten years late on college and only has $167.29 in the bank. In her estimation, she’s late on finding love too. The good news? Sometimes there are rewards for late bloomers.

Chapters: 7 out of 25

Pages: 98 out of 287

Portraits by Cynthia Freeman (readdreamrelax site)

The captivating chronicle of four generations of the Sandonitsky family - immigrants from a Polish ghetto. This is the powerful drama of their struggle to achieve the American dream without losing their spiritual hreitage as success drives them westward to Oakland, California. A complelling novel about human needs, passions and conflicts which reach tempestuous heights.

JACOB whose newfound wealth could never fill the aching void inside him. .

SARA who sacrificed everything in the name of love -even her daughter.

SHLOMO who kept the family's disgrace a secret, and paid the price.

RACHEL whose forbidden love for one man drove her into the arms of another.

DORIS a Cinderella who achieved fame and happiness beyond her wildest dreams.

 Chapters: 48 out of 76

 Pages: 369 out of 595

Push Not the River By James Conroyd Martin

A panoramic and epic novel in the grand romantic style, Push Not the River is the rich story of Poland in the late 1700s--a time of heartache and turmoil as the country's once peaceful people are being torn apart by neighboring countries and divided loyalties. It is then, at the young and vulnerable age of seventeen, when Lady Anna Maria Berezowska loses both of her parents and must leave the only home she has ever known.

With Empress Catherine's Russian armies streaming in to take their spoils, Anna is quickly thrust into a world of love and hate, loyalty and deceit, patriotism and treason, life and death. Even kind Aunt Stella, Anna's new guardian who soon comes to personify Poland's courage and spirit, can't protect Anna from the uncertain future of the country.

Anna, a child no longer, turns to love and comfort in the form of Jan, a brave patriot and architect of democracy, unaware that her beautiful and enigmatic cousin Zofia has already set her sights on the handsome young fighter. Thus Anna walks unwittingly into Zofia's jealous wrath and darkly sinister intentions.

Forced to survive several tragic events, many of them orchestrated by the crafty Zofia, a strengthened Anna begins to learn to place herself in the way of destiny--for love and for country. Heeding the proud spirit of her late father, Anna becomes a major player in the fight against the countries who come to partion her beloved Poland.

Push Not the River is based on the true eighteenth century diary of Anna Maria Berezowska, a Polish countess who lived through the rise and fall of the historic Third of May Constitution. Vivid, romantic, and thrillingly paced, it paints the emotional and unforgettable story of the metamorphosis of a nation--and of a proud and resilient young woman.

  Chapters: 51 out of 67 plus epilogue and prologue

  Pages: 328 out of 496

The Thread of a Thousand Miles by Alan Yang

The encounter of an Asian man and an American woman in Guangzhou sparked a love affair that would put the age-old Chinese saying, "A marriage of a thousand miles is strung by a single thread," to test. Jin and Lucia came from two different worlds. They had no clue about each other's identity or their ancestors' secret past. Their romance was couched in a family saga dating back to World War II. Their passion for each other grew and blossomed at a time when love was forbidden. How would Jin and Lucia's family mysteries be unraveled? Would they be able to tackle the odds against them? Would their love ever be consummated? Filled with twists and turns, this story puts Jin and Lucia through a gauntlet of trouble and turmoil, leading up to a final climactic realization.

 Chapters: 52 out of 72

 Pages: 235 out of 345

The Year of the Great Seventh by Teresa Orts

Sophie has always felt out of step—an outsider, even amongst friends in her high school with all the hype about celebrity culture. Her life in L.A. seems to have been already written for her, but when her junior year starts, it all takes a drastic turn. When she crosses paths with the school's heartthrob, Nate Werner, they fall for each other in a way neither can understand. What they don’t know is that by giving in to their desires, they are unlocking an ancient Egyptian prophecy that threatens to return Earth to the dark ages.

To undo the curse, Nate and Sophie embark on an adventure that takes them across the country. But their quest is not only to save the world as they know it. It is also a fight for their very survival. Behind the scenes, there are those that are counting on them to fail.

 Chapters: 18 out of 23

 Pages: 235 out of 295

A Weak American in Russia & Ukraine: Adventures & Misadventures Living among the Natives by Walter Parchomenko

A Weak American in Russia & Ukraine is a painfully funny collection of travel nightmares; country and culture shocks experienced by an American living and working among the natives over the past 20 years. It offers practical tips on how to cope with: Sexy young women who view foreign men as potential ATM machines and transportation out of their closed countries; herds of stampeding Slavs on city streets, in metro areas and supermarkets; angry motorists who stop for pedestrians at crosswalks only because they are bumpier than potholes; packs of howling stray dogs who don’t understand English and Slavic attack pigeons.

A Weak American in Russia & Ukraine also takes readers by the hand and allows them to experience the agony of entering a collapsing post-Soviet medical system and interacting with Kafkaesque bureaucracies. And it provides foreign men, who seek Slavic brides, priceless advice that can save them from bankruptcy, jail and even confinement in a psychiatric hospital.

The result is a book that weaves comic misadventures without trivializing serious issues, including AIDS, rampant corruption and ecocide; shatters many prevailing stereotypes about Slavic men and women; and clears up numerous culturally based misunderstandings Americans typically have of Russians and Ukrainians.

Seinfeldian humor. Like the very popular TV series Seinfeld, this is fundamentally a book “about nothing”: the banal but often fascinating events that make up our human existence. Chapters titled Slavic Attack Pigeons, Fornicating Flies, Howling Stray Dogs and Mayo Heaven are just a few illustrations. A Weak American in Russia & Ukraine fully agrees with H.L. Mencken who aptly observed: “The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in line.”

 Chapters: 25 out of 59 plus preface

 Pages: 117 out of 283

A Country Doctor by Sarah Orne Jewett

Though not as well-known as the writers she influenced, Sarah Orne Jewett nevertheless remains one of the most important American novelists of the late nineteenth century. Published in 1884, Jewett’s first novel, A Country Doctor, is a luminous portrayal of rural Maine and a semiautobiographical look at her world. In it, Nan’s struggle to choose between marriage and a career as a doctor, between the confining life of a small town and a self-directed one as a professional, mirrors Jewett’s own conflicts as well as eloquently giving voice to the leading women’s issues of her time. Perhaps even more important, Jewett’s perfect details about wild flowers and seaside wharfs, farm women knitting by the fireside and sailors going upriver to meet the moonlight, convey a realism that has seldom been surpassed and stamp her writing with her signature style. A contemporary and friend of Willa Cather, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Julia Ward Howe, Sarah Orne Jewett is widely recognized as a pathfinder in American literary history, courageously pursuing a road less traveled that led the way for other women to follow.

 Chapters: 5 out of 21

 Pages: 175 out of 370 (out of 911)

C-Town by Aaron Powell

There’s not much for a young person to do in Corning, a small industrial town in upstate New York. While parents are working swing shifts to make ends meet, their restless children resort to acts of depravity and self-indulgence. Set in the late 1990’s, this is a story of a twenty-year-old man who is struggling with questions of purpose and existential nihilism. Patrick Mitchell spends most of his time at the YMCA, while attending community college classes, and training at the local karate dojo. He’s distracted by frivolous relationships, fights, and drugs, but his personal moral dilemmas will all seem much less important when an unusual occurrence shakes him to the very core.

  Chapters: 7 out of 29 plus epilogue and introduction

  Pages: 32 out of 138


Modern Love: The Grownup's Guide to Relationships & Online Dating by Cija Black

Modern Love will help you consider your past relationship baggage, look through your relationship assumptions and teach you how to apply that information to a focused search for love off and online.

Modern Love takes a unique approach to the topics of relationships and online dating. There are a million and one books out there about improving your relationships OR online dating, but I have yet to find one that combines the two. MODERN LOVE asks you to review your relationship baggage, identify your relationship expectations and then produce a truthful engaging online dating profile. The lessons learned from preparing an online profile will be beneficial even if you decide online dating isn’t for you.

  Chapters: 6 out of 22

 Pages: 44 out of 173

Down This Road by Kelli Dawn

They say you can never go home, and for high-powered Chicago attorney Charlie McIntire, that is perfectly fine. She left home the day she turned 18 and never planned to return…but at 29, she finds herself running back to the ranch, the only place she can think of that will help her face an unexpected turn of events. Charlie tries to settle back into the quiet pace of country living, unsure of everything except the fact that she still hates shoveling manure. Life on the ranch is uneventful, and without the distractions of the city, Charlie is forced to deal with things she’d rather avoid: what she’s going to do with the rest of her life; the unfinished business between her and an ex-boyfriend; and most of all, the event that will change her life forever. Down This Road chronicles Charlie’s journey of self-discovery. It explores how the past shapes the present; how difficult it can be to change patterns of behavior; and how sometimes, learning your lesson might come just a little too late.

  Chapters: 6 out of 45

  Pages: 28 out of 270

The Fallen Snow by John Kelley

In the fall of 1918 infantry sniper Joshua Hunter saves an ambushed patrol in the Bois le Prêtre forest of Lorraine . . . and then vanishes. Pulled from the rubble of an enemy bunker days later, he receives an award for valor and passage home to Hadley, a remote hamlet in Virginia’s western highlands. Reeling from war and influenza, Hadley could surely use a hero. Family and friends embrace him; an engagement is announced; a job is offered.

Yet all is not what it seems. Joshua experiences panics and can’t recall the incident that crippled him. He guards a secret too, one that grips tight like the icy air above his father’s quarry. Over the course of a Virginia winter and an echoed season in war-torn France, The Fallen Snow reveals his wide-eyed journey to the front and his ragged path back. Along the way he finds companions – a youth mourning a lost brother, a widowed nurse seeking a new life and Aiden, a bold sergeant escaping a vengeful father. While all of them touch Joshua, it is the strong yet nurturing Aiden who will awaken his heart, leaving him forever changed.

Set within a besieged Appalachian forest during a time of tragedy, The Fallen Snow charts an extraordinary coming of age, exploring how damaged souls learn to heal, and dare to grow.

  Chapters: 6 out of 55 plus epilogue

  Pages: 22 out of 302

Future Books I will read:

Rising of a dead Moon by Paul Haston (e-book) 

An Indian girl is forced into an arranged marriage then widowed. She escapes a widow's burning and flees to Africa to find the father who has abandoned her.

**WHOLE BOOK CURRENTLY FREE TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD** Click 'Read Book' below the picture.

Set against a backdrop of 19th century Indian Indenture, the shipment of Indians to work on white-owned sugar plantations in Natal, Paul Haston's critically acclaimed novel is a story of hope and tragic drama.

Chapters: 23

Pages: 218


A Deconstructed Heart by Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed (e-book)

Mirza is a middle-aged Indian college professor whose wife has left him. He moves out of his house into a tent in his back garden, where he sets up an outdoor classroom and serves tea to his kind but bewildered neighbors. He is visited by the irritable spirit of his long-dead teacher, Khan Sahib, who is befuddled by the dysfunctions of modern life. In the north of England, Mirza's niece, Amal, is finishing up her last year of college before she is expected to join her parents in their new home in India. Asked by her father to talk her uncle back into his senses, she moves into Mirza's house, and they soon are connected by their shared loneliness. She meets Rehan, Mirza's student, and is intrigued by the path of certainty he has built over his own loss and loneliness--a certainty that is threatened by his growing feelings for her. When Rehan disappears, Amal's suffering forces Mirza to face the world once more. Together, Mirza and Amal must come to a new understanding of what it means to be an immigrant family when the old traditions have unraveled. A Deconstructed Heart is a novella that explores the breakdown and rebuilding in one immigrant family trying to adapt: how lines in families and cultures are forcibly redrawn, how empty space can be reframed by a tent into a new definition of home... but how, no matter how hard we may try to forget, the past refuses to be contained.

Chapters: 20

Pages: 121

The Last Daughter of Prussia by Marina Gottlieb Sarles

Toward the end of World War II, as Germany’s hold on East Prussia grows increasingly tenuous, a childhood friendship between Manya Von Falken, the daughter of an aristrocratic family, and Joshi Karas, a Romani doctor, blossoms into unlikely love. But the young lovers are torn apart.

Captured by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp, Joshi fights for survival, while Manya and her family flee and embark on “The Great Trek” out of East Prussia. Based on true stories passed down to author Marina Gottlieb Sarles from her grandparents, survivors of the trek, The Last Daughter of Prussia also tells the story of the brave Trakehner horses who led their owners across a dangerous frozen lagoon, the only open escape route.

Will Joshi and Manya find one another? Gottlieb Sarles creates a tapestry of characters from every corner of East Prussia, shedding light on an untold tragic moment in history.

Chapters: 54

Pages: 311

Hurry Up and Wait by Aaron Powell

This book consists of the written letters between my wife and I while I was away at recruit training, Parris Island, South Carolina. We've held nothing back - save a few names to protect the identities of the characters portrayed in our letters - and we've agreed to share our experience with anyone interested in reading about it.

This is our story.
-Aaron Powell

Chapters: 141 plus conclusion and introduction

Pages: 352




Against a Crimson Sky by James Conroyd Martin

A magnificent epic, Against a Crimson Sky is an unforgettable tale of love, valor, and the enduring strength of the human spirit, set against the backdrop of war-torn Poland at the cusp of the nineteenth century.

The year is 1794, and the beautiful and resilient Countess Anna Maria Berezowska has narrowly escaped death amidst the chaos caused by the violent dissolution of Poland.

Anna is soon reunited with her longtime love, Lord Jan Stelnicki, and the two lovers marry even as their beloved Poland is ripped apart. As the couple struggles to raise a family in the face of an uncertain future, Anna’s capricious cousin, Zofia, returns with a surprise of her own. Although Zofia’s past schemes still resonate, Anna’s doubts turn to fear as Jan’s patriotism draws him to the battlefield.

Offering new hope for a conquered Poland, Napoleon Bonaparte arrives in all of his pomp and glory. With the aid of new Polish legions—Anna’s friends and family among them—Napoleon battles his way across Europe in an effort that culminates in the doomed 1812 winter march into Russia.

Against this backdrop, Anna and Jan valiantly fight to hold on to a tenuous happiness, their country, and their very lives.

Chapters: 40 plus epilogue and prologue

Pages: 368

The Laws of Gravity by Liz Rosenberg

An exquisite tour de force, The Laws of Gravity is a testament to what it means to be a family, what it takes to save a life, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love. Two families, bound by blood, hear terrible news. One decision holds the key to survival--but at a devastating cost.

Nicole, auburn-haired, airy, and beautiful, discovers her body is betraying her. She turns to cousin and childhood best friend Ari for the cord blood he's been banking for his own children. Ari stands firm, bringing them before the scales of justice. Solomon Richter, a state Supreme Court judge on the brink of retirement, is touched by this legal battle like no other. His blood case, he calls it. A case that calls into question the very things we live for: the enduring bonds of family, and the love that lasts a lifetime. It's Nicole's last chance, Ari's last stand, and the judge's last case.

A novel of heartbreaking honesty, humor, and depth--an unforgettable story of finding love and finding family--The Laws of Gravity heralds Liz Rosenberg as a storytelling sensation.

Chapters: N/A

Pages: 300

A Time of Myths by Chris Blamires

New Mystery Adventure - Win Autographed ARCs!
Woodstock, 1969: the Festival that defined a decade of peace, love and freedom. The paths of five young English students cross – with devastating consequences. Consequences that eventually reach a climax in an isolated Cretan gorge.

Seventeen years later, in the ‘golden age’ of capitalism, dramatic events conspire to reunite the surviving members, necessitating a perilous return to Greece and to a tiny Greek island, as dangerous secrets and self-deceptions are at last forced into the glaring light…

Steeped in the folklore of the 20th century, A Time of Myths is not solely a historical mystery adventure: it seeks also to examine who we are, and how far we are in control of our actions – and even of our lives.

Chapters: 6 books

Pages: 338

Manzanar to Mount Whitney The Life and Times of a Lost Hiker by Hank Umemoto

In 1942, fourteen-year-old Hank Umemoto gazed out a barrack window at Manzanar Internment Camp, saw the silhouette of Mount Whitney against an indigo sky, and vowed that one day he would climb to the top. Fifty-seven years and a lifetime of stories later, at the age of seventy-one, he reached the summit. Part memoir and part hiker's diary, Manzanar to mount Whitney gives an intimate, rollicking account of Japanese American life California before and after World War II. As he wanders through the mountains of California's Inland Empire, Umemoto recalls pieces of his childhood on a grape vineyard in the Sacramento Valley, his time at Manzanar, where beauty and hope were maintained despite the odds, and his later career as proprietor of a printing firm, all with grace, honesty, and unfailing humor. And all along, the peak of Mount Whitney casts its shadow, a symbol of freedom, beauty, and resilience.

Chapters: 12 plus prologue and introduction

Pages: 192

Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze by Peter Harmsen

This deeply researched book describes one of the great forgotten battles of the 20th century. At its height it involved nearly a million Chinese and Japanese soldiers, while sucking in three million civilians as unwilling spectators and, often, victims. It turned what had been a Japanese adventure in China into a general war between the two oldest and proudest civilizations of the Far East. Ultimately, it led to Pearl Harbor and to seven decades of tumultuous history in Asia. The Battle of Shanghai was a pivotal event that helped define and shape the modern world.

In its sheer scale, the struggle for China’s largest city was a sinister forewarning of what was in store for the rest of mankind only a few years hence, in theaters around the world. It demonstrated how technology had given rise to new forms of warfare, or had made old forms even more lethal. Amphibious landings, tank assaults, aerial dogfights and most importantly, urban combat, all happened in Shanghai in 1937. It was a dress rehearsal for World War II—or perhaps more correctly it was the inaugural act in the war—the first major battle in the global conflict.

Actors from a variety of nations were present in Shanghai during the three fateful autumn months when the battle raged. The rich cast included China's ascetic Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his Japanese adversary, General Matsui Iwane, who wanted Asia to rise from disunity, but ultimately pushed the continent toward its deadliest conflict ever. Claire Chennault, later of “Flying Tiger” fame, was among the figures emerging in the course of the campaign, as was First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. In an ironic twist, Alexander von Falkenhausen, a stern German veteran of the Great War, abandoned his role as a mere advisor to the Chinese army and led it into battle against the Japanese invaders.

Written by Peter Harmsen, a foreign correspondent in East Asia for two decades, and currently bureau chief in Taiwan for the French news agency AFP, Shanghai 1937 fills a gaping chasm in our understanding of the Second World War.

Chapters: 9 plus prologue, order of battle

Pages: 303

Before the Larkspur Blooms (Prairie Hearts Series #2) by Caroline Fyffe

Caroline Fyffe returns to the windswept prairies of Wyoming with a beautiful story of rekindled love…

Thomas Donovan spent eight long years in prison, convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Finally released, he returns home to Logan Meadows, Wyoming, to discover his parents long buried and his neighbors wanting nothing to do with him. Suddenly the fresh start Thom longed for seems downright impossible until a spirited beauty from his past becomes his unlikely champion, and the walls around his injured heart begin to crumble?

Hannah Hoskins was brokenhearted when Thom Donovan was sent away. While the rest of the town was quick to brand him a no-count thief, Hannah always knew better. Now the boy she once loved has returned home a man ? a man whom Hannah's suitor, the town's deputy sheriff, is determined to destroy. When a crime spree starts anew, suspicion immediately falls on Thom, and it's up to Hannah to prove his innocence, earn him a second chance at life ? and win them both a second chance at love.

Chapters: 44

Pages: 281

Double Down by Saylor Storm

Determined to erase the painful, lonely memories of childhood, unbreakable Lola Stocking vows to make a better life for herself. She plots a path that includes an ascent up the Las Vegas casino corporate ladder. Lola follows her design tenaciously until she falls for a man who was not part of her plan. Adoring Jackson Sterling steps into her life when she least expects it, forcing her to reassess her life course. Shattered by catastrophe on her wedding day, her life's dreams come to a screeching halt. Driven by sheer will and strength, her new direction brings everything she ever dreamed of only to learn that it had been there all along...she just didn't know it.

Chapters: 55

Pages: 220


x0 by Sherrie Cronin

What if you are capable of far more than you realize? Lola, a Texan geophysicist who doesn’t believe in nonsense, finds that a near fatal accident reintroduces a disturbing phenomenon into her mind. Lola pretends it isn’t there until the changes taking place inside of her just won’t be ignored.

Across an ocean, Somadina is a young Nigerian who thinks that her telepathic abilities are perfectly normal. When her sister becomes a captive, the young Igbo woman draws upon her powers to find an ally like herself, a woman with a strong sense of justice and a desire to protect the helpless. As Somadina discovers that her sister has become a strategic pawn in a larger and more dangerous game, she vows to do anything to get the attention of this kindred, uncooperative lady.

x0 is an ancient organization with good reasons to stay hidden, but it knows that these two women have more important things in common than they realize, and that such will forge a powerful link. This forces x0 to reluctantly emerge from the shadows. Somebody needs to intervene. Both women are far stronger than they know, and to make matters worse, a fringe fanatic may be on the verge of altering a nation’s future.

Chapters: 17

Pages: 317

The Awakening and Selected Short Fiction by Kate Chopin

When it first appeared in 1899, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening was greeted with cries of outrage. The novel’s frank portrayal of a woman’s emotional, intellectual, and sexual awakening shocked the sensibilities of the time and destroyed the author’s reputation and career. Many years passed before this short, pioneering work was recognized as a major achievement in American literature.

Set in and around New Orleans, The Awakening tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a young wife and mother who, determined to control her own life, flouts convention by moving out of her husband’s house, having an adulterous affair, and becoming an artist.

Beautifully written, with sensuous imagery and vivid local descriptions, The Awakening has lost none of its power to provoke and inspire. Additionally, this edition includes thirteen of Kate Chopin’s magnificent short stories.
Stories Included in the Volume:
The Awakening
Emancipation: A Life Fable
A Shameful Affair
At the ‘Cadian Ball
Désirée’s Baby
A Gentleman of Bayou Têche
A Respectable Woman
The Story of an Hour
Athénaïse
A Pair of Silk Stockings
Elizabeth Stock’s One Story
The Storm
The Godmother
A Little Country Girl

Chapters: 39 chapters plus 13 short stories

Pages: 288

O Pioneers! (Great Plains trilogy #1) by Willa Cather

This powerful early Cather novel, a landmark of American fiction, tells the story of the young Alexandra Bergson, whose dying father leaves her in charge of the family and of the Nebraska lands they have struggled to farm. In Alexandra's lifelong fight to survive and succeed, Cather relates an important chapter in the history of the American frontier.

Chapters: 30

Pages: 122







The Song of the Lark (Great Plains trilogy #2) by Willa Cather

Perhaps Willa Cather's most autobiographical work, The Song of the Lark charts the story of a young woman's awakening as an artist against the backdrop of the western landscape. Thea Kronborg, an aspiring singer, struggles to escape from the confines her small Colorado town to the world of possibility in the Metropolitan Opera House. In classic Cather style, The Song of the Lark is the beautiful, unforgettable story of American determination and its inextricable connection to the land.

Chapters: 62

Pages: 417





My Ántonia (Great Plains trilogy #3) by Willa Cather

The story of Antonia Shimerda is told by one of her friends from childhood, Jim Burden, an orphaned boy from Virginia. Though he leaves the prairie, Jim never forgets the Bohemian girl who so profoundly influenced his life. An immigrant child of immigrant parents, Antonia's girlhood is spent working to help her parents wrest a living from the untamed land. Though in later years she suffers betrayal and desertion, through all the hardships of her life she preserves a valor of spirit that no hardship can daunt or break. When Jim Burden sees her again after many years, he finds her "a rich mine of life", a figure who has turned adversity into a particular kind of triumph in the true spirit of the pioneer.

Chapters: 45

Pages: 289


Cowboys Are My Weakness: Stories by Pam Houston

Set in the West, and sometimes in Alaska, these 12 tales are about women who are smart and susceptible to love, and men who are wild and hard to pin down. Our heroines are part daredevil, part philosopher, all acute observers of the nuances of modern romance.

Chapters: 12

Pages: 171

Raquela: A Woman of Israel by Ruth Gruber (readdreamrelax site)

A National Jewish Book Award–winning biography: A fascinating look at the early years of Israel’s statehood experienced through the life of a pioneering nurse

During her extraordinary career, nurse Raquela Prywes was a witness to history. She delivered babies in a Holocaust refugee camp and on the Israeli frontier. She crossed minefields to aid injured soldiers in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and organized hospitals to save the lives of those fighting the 1967 Six-Day War. Along the way, her own life was a series of triumphs and tragedies mirroring those of the newly formed Jewish state.

Raquela is a moving tribute to a remarkable woman, and an unforgettable chronicle of the birth of Israel through the eyes of those who lived it.

Chapters: 30

Pages: 416

To Each His Own by Kathleen Eagle (readdreamrelax site)

A place to belong…

That was all Lavender Holland had ever hoped for. But everyone in the small town of Glover, North Dakota, made it clear that she was someone they preferred to avoid. With her unique clothing, herbal potions and intricate weaving, she was just too different for the conservative townspeople.

Being an outsider was something wrestling coach Wyatt Archer understood. As a Native American, he had never felt welcome either. But with Lavender he finally found true acceptance…and the courage to claim a place of his own.

Chapters: 12 plus prologue

 Pages: 261 (out of 474)

In a Heartbeat by Carla Cassidy (readdreamrelax site)

Caleb McMann embarked on the most emotional journey of his life, the search for the little girl who had received the ultimate gift - a new heart. His daughter's heart. Hitting pay dirt, he temporarily moved next door to Erica Clemmons and her child, Hannah, to secretly check up on the young girl. However, Caleb had never counted on bonding with Hannah - or falling for her beautiful mother, whose compassion and life-affirming kisses made him whole again. But in a heartbeat everything could change, especially since he couldn't keep his true idenity under wraps forever. Was a fresh start with this woman and child too much to hope for...?

Chapters: 14 plus prologue and epilogue

Pages: 474

Mrs. Spring Fragrance and Other Writings by Sui Sin Far

This volume reprints stories from Mrs. Spring Fragrance, along with other previously uncollected stories and journalistic essays by the first published Asian North American fiction writer. During an era of extreme Sinophobia, the Eurasian Sui Sin Far (1865-1914) courageously chose to write of the Chinese in North America as humorous, tragic, charming, and loving--in short, as human. Her stories sympathetically portray a group caught between worlds, inheritors of traditional Chinese values who find themselves thrust into boomingly mercantile and extremely race-conscious cities, such as San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and Montreal, at the turn of the last century. Offering an introduction that situates Sui Sin Far in her historical and literary contexts, Amy Ling and Annette White-Parks select from Mrs. Spring Fragrance (1914) two dozen of the finest stories, including "In the Land of the Free," "The Story of One White Woman Who Married a Chinese," "Her Chinese Husband," and "The Wisdom of the New," as well as (from the "Tales for Chinese Children" section) "The Story of a Little Chinese Seabird" and "What about the Cat?" The second portion contains previously uncollected writings, including journalism and fiction that appeared in the Montreal Daily Witness, Los Angeles Express, New York Independent, The Westerner, and New England Magazine. The final piece, "Sui Sin Far, the Half Chinese Writer, Tells of Her Career," was printed in the Boston Globe in 1912, two years before her death. Amy Ling, professor of English and director of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the author of Between Worlds: Women Writers of Chinese Ancestry. Annette White-Parks, an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, is the author of Sui Sin Far/Edith Maude Eaton: A Literary Biography.

Chapters: 51 plus 3 introductions

Pages: 296

The Foreign Student: A Novel by Susan Choi

Highly acclaimed by critics, The Foreign Student is the story of a young Korean man, scarred by war, and the deeply troubled daughter of a wealthy Southern American family. In 1955, a new student arrives at a small college in the Tennessee mountains. Chuck is shy, speaks English haltingly, and on the subject of his earlier life in Korea he will not speak at all. Then he meets Katherine, a beautiful and solitary young woman who, like Chuck, is haunted by some dark episode in her past. Without quite knowing why, these two outsiders are drawn together, each sensing in the other the possibility of salvation. Moving between the American South and South Korea, between an adolescent girl's sexual awakening and a young man's nightmarish memories of war, The Foreign Student is a powerful and emotionally gripping work of fiction.

Chapters: 14 plus prologue

Pages: 325

The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett

Modeled in part on Flaubert's sketches of life in provincial France, this collection of stories offers a richly detailed portrait of a seaport on the Maine coast as seen through the eyes of a summer visitor. Against evocative imagery of the sky, the sea, and the earth itself, Jewett celebrates the friendships shared by the town's women, capturing the spirit of community that sustains the declining town.

Chapters: 21

Pages: 487






Novels and Stories: Deephaven / A Country Doctor / The Country of the Pointed Firs / Dunnet Landing Stories / Selected Stories and Sketches (Library of America #69) by Sarah Orne Jewett,

In her nuanced and sharply etched novels and short stories, Sarah Orne Jewett captured the innerlife and hidden emotional drama of outwardly quiet New England coastal towns. Set against the background of long Maine winters, hardscrabble farms, and the sea, her stories of independent, capable women struggling to find fulfillment in their lives and work have a surprisingly modern resonance. Here is the first collection to include all her best fiction, and it reveals the full stature of the writer Willa Cather ranked with Mark Twain, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Jewett struck her characteristic note in her first collection, Deephaven (1877), stories whose exploration of Maine life moved and delighted readers when they were first published in the Atlantic Monthly, and opened a new vein of regional fiction in American literature. Of the distinctly local quality of her writings Willa Cather later said: "The language her people speak to each other is a native tongue. No writer can invent it. It is made in the hard school of experience, in communities where language has been undisturbed long enough to take on color and character from the nature and experiences of the people." The novel A Country Doctor (1884), inspired by both her own life and that of her doctor father, is often read as a veiled autobiography. Her focus here is on a woman who must choose between marriage and her commitment to a medical career, a decision she defends passionately against the narrowness of those around her: "God would not give us the same talents if what were right for men were wrong for women." Jewett's masterpiece, The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896), brings to imaginative life the faded trading port of Dunnet Landing, Maine, re-creating in spare, impressionistic prose the rhythms and textures of a communal society of poor fishermen and farmers, with its traditional country rituals and its stoically endured tragedies.

Chapters: 28

Pages: 911

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