Kate, a somewhat clumsy widow of thirty-two, flees her stifling hometown on Vancouver Island to live alone on an even smaller island in the Salish Sea. In so doing, she has vague expectations of solace and sanctuary, despite past experience. Instead she meets Ivy, a woman who through their conversations transports her to the intoxicating world of 1926 Cuba. Within the context of their friendship, Ivy's past begins to unravel from a long-held silence, just as Kate finds herself confronting her relationship with the colourful community she's known all her life, along with an unexpected visitor who threatens to remove all peace from her chosen refuge. Told from the perspectives of three narrators: Ivy, Kate, and Kate's mother Nora, FISHING FOR BIRDS is a novel that juxtaposes the expectations we cling to so fiercely and the unexpected and sometimes unconventional things that turn up. The novel challenges traditional constructs of time, ethnicity, and relationship. Set against the tropical beauty of 1920s Cuba and the Northwest Coast of contemporary time, both the landscape and unique character of island life underscore the experiences of three very different women.
Sixty-year-old Frances Pia lives alone on a thirty-foot sailboat anchored near Sausalito, where she communes with the fog, sea lions, cormorants, and two sailor friends, Otto and Russell. She performs random acts of public defacement—painting drainpipes, public restrooms, and murals on the sides of houses—which she believes are beautification projects, and struggles with bouts of depression and mania. Frankly, she’s a bit of a nutcase.
As Joyce Novak’s daughter, Marnie, completes medical school and looks ahead to a surgical internship, her wedding, and a future filled with promise, a breast cancer diagnosis throws Joyce’s own future into doubt. Always the caregiver, Joyce feels uncomfortable in the patient role, especially with her husband and daughter. As she progresses through a daunting treatment regimen including a biopsy, lumpectomy, and radiation, she distracts herself by planning Marnie’s wedding.
Things are looking up for Anaya Goode after the deaths of her brother and mother. She is the youngest (and highest paid) executive in Alameda County. She is in an adoring relationship with the love of her life, her natural twists are on point, and she runs a six-minute mile. What else matters?
When Anaya is tasked with leading negotiations for the most significant development agreement in County history, her world unravels. If the antics of inept officials and her micromanaging boss aren't enough to drive Anaya mad, she discovers that her ex-boyfriend Jeff is commissioned as a consultant on the development agreement. Anaya hasn't had contact with Jeff since their messy break-up six years ago.
Inspired by the many frustrations of parenthood and the ever-present fear of failure, SHOES ON THE STAIRS centers around a mother’s struggle to accept what she has left behind after her death. She takes the reader on a journey of both laughter and tears while learning even the smallest of gestures can make a significant and lasting impact.* * *Claire Blackwell can’t find that damn white light. Thanks to a mishap at an intersection, she’s dead and stuck somewhere between Heaven and what seems like Hell as she is forced to watch her husband and children unravel without her. While she struggles to find answers for her limbo state, her family begins to see her, offering what she believes, is a gift of second chances. As she navigates through this new, untouchable world and the challenges it creates, she is forced to face some sad and potentially dangerous truths. Determined, she works to mend her relationship with her family, but her stubborn teenage son refuses to acknowledge her, and when tensions escalate with his long-time bully, her inability to control the physical world around her leaves her fearing for her family’s safety. With her time running out, she must find a way to save them before the progress she has made is lost and she fades from this world forever.
It's 1967, and Katherine Roebling is a Chicago-based stewardess caught between the hold of highflying travel and the call of her Native American ancestors just as the women’s movement is taking the US by storm. As she vacillates between an ever-present mystical ancestral feather and her alluring stewardess life of excitement and travel, she embarks on a journey from one adventure to the next—each episode bringing her closer to her predestined calling. A chance meeting with a college student from Athens, Greece at a Chicago Playboy Mansion Press Party and her visit to the Oracle of Delphi intertwine with Katherine's discovery of the treasure inside herself. Ultimately, she gains wings that allow her to glide over society’s barriers; she abandons the so-called glamorous life she’s been living, creates her own path, and embarks upon a new career at the Smithsonian in DC—one that will take her on a miraculous experience of personal growth and uncharted paths.
On September 14, 1969, Private First Class Judy Talton celebrates her nineteenth birthday by secretly joining the campus anti-Vietnam War movement. In doing so, she jeopardizes both the army scholarship that will secure her future and her relationship with her military family. But Judy’s doubts have escalated with the travesties of the war. Who is she if she stays in the army? What is she if she leaves?
When the first date pulled in the Draft Lottery turns up as her birthday, she realizes that if she were a man, she’d have been Number One—off to Vietnam with an under-fire life expectancy of six seconds. The stakes become clear, propelling her toward a life-altering choice as fateful as that of any draftee.
"The ring rested on the soapstone vanity in Greta’s powder room where Rose must have left it when she washed her hands. The deep green of the emerald and sparkle of the diamonds caught the light from the crystal chandelier and shot shafts of green and gold onto the tiled walls. The small room smelled of lavender soap overlaid by a faint whiff of urine, probably Rose’s." Thus begins Martha’s story. She has maintained an image of comfortable middle-class ease for years, but since she retired it has become more difficult. The valuable ring is a short-term answer to her financial problems. But the theft of the ring creates a domino effect. While Martha finds new friends and even romance, she also must hide from both the police and a drug cartel. She goes from living a little lie, to making a rash decision which turns her entire existence into relentless duplicity, danger, fear, and loss. Will Martha survive her secret life?
Boston, 1984. Even in a world without cell phones, messages come through loud and clear if one is listening. When thirty-something Nora Forrest travels to Manhattan to see a Broadway play starring her idol, an aging Irish actor named Hugh Sheenan, she doesn't know whether what happens in the theater that night should be credited to witchcraft, extrasensory perception, synchronicity, or simple accident—and she knows that many people would tell her nothing had happened at all. Told through the voices of four people, Gillyflower is a story about intersections and connections—real, imaginary, seized, and eluded. It's a book about everyday magic, crystalline memory, and the details that flow through time and space like an electrified mist. It's a detective story, a love story, and a coming-of-age story—for the never really young and for the almost old.
Harper Rodrigues’ five-year plan was on track. She’d worked hard to secure her graduate marketing job, her boyfriend Adam was set to propose any day, and she was learning to process the death of her sister. She’d been through some dark times, but there was light at the end of the tunnel.
At least, that’s how it had seemed until the day she was fired in the morning and dumped by nightfall.
Now, with her life plans in ruins, Harper turns to her best friends who are going on the trip of a lifetime – five-months traveling across Asia and Oceania. Determined to see the silver lining in her unraveled plans, she decides to book a plane ticket to join them and resurrect her dreams of becoming a travel photographer.
Book 2 in the "American Dream" series. It’s been ten years since Anna Moser immigrated to Montana from Germany for love and hopes of a better life in the “land of milk and honey.” Instead, she’s found harsh winters and searing summers, sacrifice and back-breaking work. After all these years, she still perceives neighbors looking down their noses with distrust at this “foreign woman.” Did she make a mistake in following her heart to marry Neil and build a ranch and family with him? Yet, after her first visit back to Germany, she finds she no longer belongs there either. In spite of hardships, loss, and near-death illness, will the love of Neil and her children help Anna find her true home?
The Tutor by Marilee Albert
Recent Yale grad, Alice, wants to be close to her boyfriend in Paris, with enough space to sow a few oats. Rome fits, so off she goes. Her other goals? To make art and find a muse. Instead, she finds herself a muse to various men—including a TV-host dwarf, lonely banker, alcoholic playboy, aging prince, and the disillusioned Oscar-winning film director, Frank Colucci.
The middle-aged Frank is in Rome to film the last of his famed movie series, but longs to get back to making art films. Alice, still wandering Rome, lost and confused, tumbles into Frank’s life, and he hires her as his philosophy tutor.
Although at opposite poles of life with little in common—the bright but broke Alice is just getting started and has few prospects, and the married-with-kids Oscar-winner Frank bored and disillusioned—the two form a bond.
Ramona Strong is besieged from all sides. Still grieving the disappearance of her estranged business partner and lover Nate Ferguson, she's also fighting those who want to claim her land and dealing with her feelings for John Finch, a rival attorney looking to take her down in court--and to find a way into her affections.
Meanwhile, Nate is struggling to piece his life back together, desperately trying to figure out how to win Ramona back--but his old rock star friends have other ideas, ones that could potentially land Nate in deep, deep trouble.
Separated by half a continent, Ramona and Nate must overcome their differences to defend themselves and their loved ones from business rivals, hired guns--and maybe something even more sinister.
Nora Warren hides her dark side well because she's had years of practice. The wife of a lawyer and mother of two girls, she slides under everyone’s radar, never revealing what she really is—a murderer. At least, she feels like one. Nora’s plagued by the secrets surrounding her older brother’s suicide decades earlier. Yet she lives as though he never existed. Now, in her thirties, Nora suspects her husband, Dave, is having an affair with her friend, the wife of a leading US Senate candidate. When her friend’s body is discovered—another apparent suicide—Nora is left with haunting secrets and choices that dredge up her grim nature, the side of herself that no one ever sees. Will she act on her impulses? Mustn’t she? How far will Nora go to protect the life she has built for herself?
Skip is a rescued dog who wants to matter. He loves living in a blissful pack with his human couple, John and Lucy, and he has bow-vowed never to lose them. But when John walks out after seven happy years, Skip and Lucy’s world is turned upside down. Skip is determined to guide Lucy through her identity crisis, but he’s guarding a secret: he’s to blame for the breakup and her broken heart.
Now, with the help of a hoarder neighbor, a stray cat, and a boy with autism, Skip must build a new pack for himself and Lucy before she discovers his canine treason and kicks him to the curb
Baking a multitude of tartes tatins for local restaurants, an Ohio housewife contemplates her four kids, husband, cats and chickens. Also, America's ignoble past, and her own regrets. She is surrounded by dead lakes, fake facts, Open Carry maniacs, and oodles of online advice about survivalism, veil toss duties, and how to be more like Jane Fonda. But what do you do when you keep stepping on your son's toy tractors, your life depends on stolen land and broken treaties, and nobody helps you when you get a flat tire on the interstate, not even the Abominable Snowman? When are you allowed to start swearing? With a torrent of consciousness and an intoxicating coziness, Ducks, Newburyport lays out a whole world for you to tramp around in, by turns frightening and funny. A heart-rending indictment of America's barbarity, and a lament for the way we are blundering into environmental disaster, this book is both heresy—and a revolution in the novel.
With the past exposed, how can Callie outrun the truth?
Callie Wells asks herself, “Why do I keep making the same mistakes over and over again?” Although a talented, creative, and successful small business owner, Callie finds herself trapped in a perpetual cycle of self-destruction and guilt. Haunted by her secret past, Callie abandons her southern roots and escapes to the Gulf Coast, hopeful that no one will find out the source of her pain. Callie’s life journey is one of silent suffering.
Hannah and Will Abbott define the American dream: two kids, a home in the suburbs, and a seemingly perfect marriage. But discontent lurks under the surface of their outwardly happy lives. Both Will and Hannah suspect the other of infidelity. When they independently consult divorce attorneys, the conflict escalates and Hannah flees with the children against a court order. This snap decision starts a social media firestorm and, suddenly, the Abbott divorce is big news. With family stress and legal fees rising, Will and Hannah accept an invitation to appear on a reality television show for divorcing couples. During filming on the beautiful island of St. John, the Abbotts must decide once and for all: can their love survive their past? The story unfolds through viewpoint of four characters: Will, the affable boy-next-door everyone loves; Hannah, the fastidious wife still in love with her husband; David, the tough-talking attorney with a heart of gold; and Rachel, the insecure novice lawyer infatuated with the Abbotts. Written with both humor and heart, The Language of Divorce is a captivating debut featuring deeply-drawn characters who will stay in readers’ hearts long after the final page.
March 1955. Ellen Von Der Hyde can finally breathe easier now that some stability has returned to her life. After four years of struggle, including coping with the tragic deaths of her parents and paying off her ex-husband's gambling debts, she has a job as a writer for a Boston newspaper, an apartment that she can afford and an easy-going relationship with her witty co-worker Nick Stanton.But the newly found balance in Ellen's life lasts only a couple of days, before she discovers that a mystery is brewing in her hometown, where her sister Meg still lives. The sisters learn that their brother Eric, a career Army officer, has died, entrusting his childhood friend, Julian Baker, with his last wishes.
The secrecy surrounding Eric's death triggers a series of events that will expose betrayal, murder, and an obsession that threatens the very core of their family's identity - and possible existence.To understand the present, Ellen soon finds herself following a trail into the past that leads from a monastery to a mortuary, unearthing decades of family secrets that she hopes don't only rest with the dead. At the end of that road, Ellen makes a discovery that takes her breathe away.It may be the last breath she takes.
Her life has turned into a nightmare. Her wedding is nearing, and Crystal is petrified of the future she sees lurking around the corner. Keith Dean is a dashing young man with cold eyes and a colder heart. If a future with Keith isn’t terrifying enough, sharing a life with his mother and sisters is. Her attempt to remove herself from the engagement has dire consequences. As war nears, Kentucky and its citizens find themselves caught in the middle. With fine horseflesh and a lifetime of experience in the saddle, Crystal’s cousin Bobby is convinced war will bring him glory. He joins the cavalry led by John Morgan and settles into the life and chivalry of a cavalryman.
Desiree Maddox struggles to fit in at work. After losing her mother, her last known living relative, she decides to try meditation. Growing up an only child, Desiree instantly becomes a half sister. To find out how, follow her journey into new found family, new love, and herself.
Ingrid always loved to sing. Auditioning for a summer job after high school shattered her dreams. She fled to Detroit where she married with the hopes of starting a family. When hope crumbled, she attempts to sing again. Will singing bring the life Ingrid always desired, or will her mutilated soul lose her everything?
What is a fourteen year old to do when her mama’s best friend is found guilty of murdering his wife and said mama swirls into madness from the sheer weight of her grief? When Briley Beckwith comes face to face with this heartbreaking reality, she does the only thing she can think to do: she becomes invisible.Armed with her new-found Power of Invisibility and the comfort of Miss Delphine, her eccentric, opera loving, Yoo-hoo-chugging neighbor, Briley copes by tiptoeing, undetected, around the chaos that has engulfed her family—until the real culprit is exposed.Though the author has embellished the facts with humor, Invisible Girl is a fictional account of a tragically true story.
What Love Becomes traces the intimate landscape of two contemporary marriages from their idealistic, yet misguided beginnings. Each couple mistakenly believe their happily ever after will come without really knowing who’ve they’ve married. What begins as self-deception quickly morphs into deception on a larger scale. At its heart, this story is about the choices we make, how they shape our lives, and how our innate resilience propels us toward reclaiming the lost parts of ourselves.
Bonnie is a young woman, engaged and passionate about her new job, her feminist ideals, and her friends. Bonnie is also single and looking for a soulmate. Her last boyfriend dumped her after she supported him through law school. Her new boyfriend is nice, but a little boring and they’re not attuned politically. Then Bonnie meets Jane. She’s a little older, experienced, and compelling. They share a commitment to feminism and social justice. Unfortunately, Jane is married. Still, Bonnie finds her attraction growing. She denies it because Jane is off limits, but Bonnie is compelled and sure the attraction is mutual.
If SCARLET RAY is such a wonderful psychic, then why is her life a bloody mess? Thirty-year-old Scarlet is about to marry the wrong man; has a mountain load of debt and eats chocolate croissants whenever she is depressed, which is a lot. Scarlet miraculously lands a job as a psychic TV host; the only catch is she has to share the studio with manipulative porn producers. A battle ensues at Mega TV as Scarlet has to fight dirty to keep “The Psychic Show,” on air and the “Pleasure Zone Babes” off her psychic sofa. Which one will win the airtime? Will she successfully launch the show? Will she marry her loser fiancé? Will she ever find true love? Scarlet has to be a guiding light for others. The psychic who can do no wrong, a Mother Teresa icon, placed upon pedestal. Who will she turn to for guidance? She alleviates her stress by pouring her guilt, fears, joys and pains into her secret journal. Oh, she is far from perfect.
Sixteen-year-old science-geek Eve gets pregnant on a service trip over her winter break, and pro-life Mom and pro-choice Dad want her to study both sides of the abortion debate to figure out what to do. The unaware father Adam is still serving as a volunteer at the Dominican Republic orphanage where they met. Since there's no WiFi at the orphanage, he looks forward to being able to text and Face Time with Eve once he gets back to Germany in mid-August. By then, she'll be eight months pregnant--or not. Eve's best friend Claire urges a quick abortion, but pro-choice Eve believes she still has to do "the choice part." As the deadline for her decision approaches, Eve discovers a radical solution--if she's willing to be the first person to do it.
A Suspenseful and Sensual Love Story! Life changes on a dime. Few understand this painful truth quite like Violet and Dylan, former college sweethearts united by their troubled childhoods.When a gut-wrenching tragedy strikes in their adult years, they're torn apart—their relationship unable to survive the blow. Though they go their separate ways, they remain connected by a meaningful token: a locket, which Dylan bestows upon Violet on a blissful day by a gorgeous beach in Coronado, California—to which he holds the key. This lovelock remains to be their only connection as they struggle to rebuild their lives. Violet, an aspiring actress, grapples with mental illness and ends up stripping for a living. In the meantime, Dylan faces his own challenges while trying to manage his past trauma with an unknown future. They each venture down their own dark path laced with drugs and manipulative, taxing characters. All the while, neither can shake off their longing for the love they once shared and endeared. In spite of life's impediments, can they heal their past and find happiness alone, or together?
Gretchen O’Malley thinks her new neighborhood is nice and quiet, as ordinary as any other neighborhood. But this soon changes. Every day a new dilemma arises, pulling her into the chaos, and as she gets to know her neighbors she discovers comedy, cruelty, and even tragedy. Do you know what’s going on in your neighborhood?
Lizzi Young lives in a small New England town with her husband, two teenage sons, and four dogs. At forty-four years old she finds herself living the life she dreamed of, but something has been stirring beneath the foundation of safety and security on which she has built her life and family. A passing spring storm reveals a hole in her beautiful backyard, and Lizzi begins to question the solid foundation she has depended on all these years. Roots from a large oak tree, cut down several years earlier, have finally disintegrated, collapsing within and exposing the past devastation to the light of day.
This discovery comes on the heels of her extended family becoming bitter and estranged after the death of her grandmother, Gigi, three years earlier. As they attempt to drag her into the latest family saga that creates a clear divide in the ones she loves, it quickly becomes the most difficult decision she has ever had to make.
Kayla is an ambitious seventeen-year-old who is content to deliver "real-talk" to her boy-crazy best friend, Breeana, while running the high school’s environmentalist club. She has no time or desire for boys, viewing even a crush as an unwanted commitment. Until Russell Mancini joins Beach Cleanup Day. Kayla learns that she’s a sucker for love just like her peers. Their relationship seems perfect, but fate conspires against the pair. Kayla’s dreams are shattered when she becomes pregnant. Struggling to make ends meet, Russell makes a decision that threatens to destroy their relationship, irrevocably steering his course away from Kayla and their daughter. Kayla finds herself pitted in a conflict she would never have expected. As Russell’s fate presents him with a seven-year incarceration sentence, Kayla must pick up the pieces and stay firm in her marriage. Dreaming of the day her daughter will have a father once again. Will Kayla and Russell untangle the knot that was once their love? Or will temptations and inner demons succeed in moving them further apart?
Abbie Rose Stone’s acquired wisdom runs deep, and so do her scars. She has successfully navigated the shoals of a long marriage, infertility, challenging children, and a career. Now it’s her turn to realize her dream: producing hard apple cider along the northern shores of Lake Michigan that she loves. She manages to resist new versions of the old pull of family dynamics that threaten to derail her plan—but nothing can protect her from the shock a lovely young stranger delivers when she exposes a long-held secret. In the wake of this revelation, Abbie must overcome circumstances that severely test her self-determination, her loyalties, and her understanding of what constitutes true family.
Talented artist, Artemisia Credo, suffers from an extreme case of Nun-O-Phobia, an overwhelming and paralyzing fear of nuns. She still has nightmares about her third-grade teacher, Sister Attila the Nun. Artemisia would rather have a colonoscopy on Main Street than speak in public—thanks to Sister Attila—and she’ll do anything to avoid nuns. The trouble is, Artemisia is haunted by a pack of dead nuns.
Artemisia and her feisty octogenarian mother, Mamma Mia—who lives on the skilled nursing-floor at St. Anthony’s Hospital—are, as Mamma says, “thick as thieves.” You best be on Mamma’s good side or she’ll whip out her bull-horned hand signal and hex you with Il Malocchio, her Italian curse.
The dead nun-hauntings began when Artemisia accepted the commission to paint the seven founding sisters of St. Anthony’s to celebrate the hospital’s centennial. Had Artemisia known what those dead nuns had in store for her, she never would have accepted that commission, no matter how much she needed the money. Never.
From a remote corner of Nepal's countryside, fourteen-year-old Avhi Tharu says a prayer for Mr. Singh. She has been promised to him in marriage. Instead, she clubs him in the head and flees with his ox and cart from the village. Days later, she slips through a mountain pass and into the lives of fellow travelers en route to Pokhara, and Kathmandu. On the run, uncertain who to trust, and how to reconcile the past, Avhi's encounter with girls and young women at the Thank Kot Center, stirs her to discover a purpose beyond herself.
Avhi's Flight is a beautiful and bittersweet adventure. Its story weaves together the complex threads of one girl's search for wholeness, the reckoning of lives left behind, and a culture's disregard for its women. Like the nonfiction bestseller Half The Sky, this important piece of fiction aligns with a central moral challenge of our time.