The Black Velvet Coat
Author: Jill G. Hall
Publisher: She Writes Press
Twenty-eight-year-old struggling San Francisco artist Anne McFarland is determined to get a one-woman show, even though no one, including herself, believes she can do it. But when she buys a coat at a thrift shop with a key in its pocket, strange, even magical, occurrences begin to unfold, and she is inspired to create her best work ever. Fifty years earlier, it’s 1963, and the coat’s original owner, young heiress Sylvia Van Dam, is headed toward a disastrous marriage with a scoundrel. In a split-second reaction she does the unimaginable, which propels her on a trip of self-discovery to nature-filled Northern Arizona. When Anne and Sylvia’s lives intersect, they are both forced to face their fears―and, in the process, realize their true potential.
When the current owner of a black velvet coat—a San Francisco artist in search of inspiration—and the original owner, a 1960s heiress who fled her affluent life fifty years earlier, cross paths, their lives are forever changed . . . for the better.
The Silver Shoes
Author: Jill G. Hall
Publisher: She Writes Press
In her second novel, Jill G. Hall, author of The Black Velvet Coat, brings readers another dual tale of two dynamic women from two very different eras searching for fulfillment. San Francisco artist Anne McFarland has been distracted by a cross-country romance with sexy Sergio and has veered from her creative path. While visiting him in New York, she buys a pair of rhinestone shoes in an antique shop that spark her imagination and lead her on a quest to learn more about the shoes’ original owner. Almost ninety years earlier, Clair Deveraux, a sheltered 1929 New York debutante, tries to reside within the bounds of polite society and please her father. But when she meets Winnie, a carefree Macy’s shop girl, Clair is lured into the steamy side of Manhattan—a place filled with speakeasies, flappers, and the beat of “that devil music”—and her true desires explode wide open. Secrets and lies heap up until her father loses everything in the stock market crash and Clair becomes entangled in the burlesque world in an effort to save her family and herself. Ultimately, both Anne and Clair—two very different women living in very different eras—attain true fulfillment . . . with some help from their silver shoes.
Author: Linda Bloodworth Thomason
Publisher: Harper Collins
Woodrow McIlmore is leading the perfect life in Paris, Arkansas: married to his high school sweetheart, he has two wonderful children and a warm circle of family and friends. When Wood's daughter announces that she wants to marry a college classmate, Wood is stunned. But that's just the tip of the iceberg -- her intended is the son of the woman who left Wood twenty years earlier, the free-spirited Duff. And so begins a tumultuous year in Paris, as Duff returns and familiar sparks fly with her old flame. Their rekindled passion affects not only Wood and Duff but also their good friends, as they must now all decide what in their lives is worth keeping and what needs to be thrown away.
Now You Know
Author: Susan Kelly
Publisher: Open Road Media
An “affecting novel” of a lifelong friendship that “hones in on both the big and small things that draw women together” (Orlando Sentinel). Frances Simpson and Libba Charles had nothing in common. Sweet and modest, the picture of a Southern lady, Frances possessed all the poise and grace that brash northerner Libba did not. But thrust together by chance in the fall of 1947 as freshman roommates, Frances and Libba formed an indelible bond of friendship that lasted for over forty-six years. Frances’s three grown daughters want as little to do with each other as they do with Libba, the woman who dominated their mother’s attention and affections for their entire lives. But when their mother, on her deathbed, makes them swear to “look after Libba,” they feel they have no choice—especially after Libba summons them to their mother’s summer cabin in North Carolina. Once they arrive in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Libba begins to reveal a tale of secrets and betrayals, promises and resentments the girls never knew. And, as long-hidden confidences are finally brought to light, Frances’s daughters will discover heartbreaking and powerful truths about themselves, their mother, and the nature of sisterhood, in this wise, emotional tale by the award-winning author of How Close We Come and The Last of Something.
A masquerade party at the Hendricks’ mansion quickly turns into a mystery when Nancy and her favorite date, Ned Nickerson, spy a stranger about to climb the rose trellis to the second story. Who is this enigmatic man in the black cloak and the exotic woman in the Javanese costume? Are they members of a gang of wily thieves who sneak into partied given by wealthy people and steal jewels and art treasures? And why is the owner of the black velvet hooded mask that Ned finds in the Hendricks’ garden so desperate to get it back? To find the answers Nancy and her friend George devise a daring plan. The two girls switch identities! George soon discovers that while it is exciting to play amateur detective it can be dangerous to masquerade as Nancy Drew.
The Burning Times
Author: Jeanne Kalogridis
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
A fourteenth-century monk is charged with the task of determining whether a midwife turned abbess accused of heresy by the Inquisition should be dubbed a saint or burned at the stake.
Girl in the Dark
Author: Anna Lyndsey
Haunting, lyrical, unforgettable, Girl in the Dark is a brave new memoir of a life without light. Anna Lyndsey was young and ambitious and worked hard; she had just bought an apartment; she was falling in love. Then what started as a mild intolerance to certain kinds of artificial light developed into a severe sensitivity to all light. Now, at the worst times, Anna is forced to spend months on end in a blacked-out room, where she loses herself in audiobooks and elaborate word games in an attempt to ward off despair. During periods of relative remission, she can venture out cautiously at dawn and dusk into a world that, from the perspective of her cloistered existence, is filled with remarkable beauty. And through it all there is Pete, her love and her rock, without whom her loneliness seems boundless. One day Anna had an ordinary life, and then the unthinkable happened. But even impossible lives, she learns, endure. Girl in the Dark is a tale of an unimaginable fate that becomes a transcendent love story. It brings us to an extraordinary place from which we emerge to see the light and the world anew.
France, 1940. Nazi forces march towards Paris. Lili Rosenswig's wealthy and eccentric family is ensconced in their country chateau with their sumptuous collection of arts and antiques. The beloved Matisse portrait of Lili's mother has been brought from their Paris salon for safety. It is the day before young lovers Lili and Paul are to be married that they are forced to flee and their fortunes change irrevocably. Lili and her family escape but Paul must stay behind to defend his country. In their struggle to adapt to changing circumstances in an unpredictable world, all are pushed to reinvent themselves. When top Nazi Herman Goring loots their Matisse portrait, their story is intertwined with the fate of the painting. PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN IN WHITE is a moving family saga, an obsessive search for lost love and lost art and how far we will go to survive.
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: Harper Collins
The #1 New York Times bestselling author's ultimate edition of his wildly successful first novel featuring his "preferred text"—and including his special Neverwhere tale "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back" Published in 1997, Neil Gaiman's darkly hypnotic first novel, Neverwhere, heralded the arrival of a major talent and became a touchstone of urban fantasy. Over the years, a number of versions were produced both in the U.S. and the U.K. Now Gaiman's preferred edition of his classic novel reconciles these works and reinstates a number of scenes cut from the original published books. Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he discovers a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her—an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed. Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in the Neverwhere—a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. The Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Door, a noblewoman whose family has been murdered, is on a quest to find the agent that slaughtered her family and thwart the destruction of this underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life, he must join the journey to save Door's world—and find a way to survive. A hallucinatory fantasia of mystery, mythology, and terror that "draws equally from George Lucas, Monty Python, Doctor Who, and John Milton" (USA Today), Neverwhere is an "Alice in Wonderland with a punk edge" (Poppy Z. Brite), "that is both the stuff of dreams and nightmares" (San Diego Union-Tribune).
Like Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, Isak Dinesen and Angela Carter, A. S. Byatt knows that fairy tales are for grownups. And in this ravishing collection she breathes new life into the form. Little Black Book of Stories offers shivers along with magical thrills. Leaves rustle underfoot in a dark wood: two middle-aged women, childhood friends reunited by chance, venture into a dark forest where once, many years before, they saw–or thought they saw–something unspeakable. Another woman, recently bereaved, finds herself slowly but surely turning into stone. A coolly rational ob-gyn has his world pushed off-axis by a waiflike art student with her own ideas about the uses of the body. Spellbinding, witty, lovely, terrifying, the Little Black Book of Stories is Byatt at the height of her craft. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Lion Seeker
Author: Kenneth Bonert
National Jewish Book Award Winner: A family saga set in WWII-era South Africa offering both “page-turning thrills [and] a painful meditation on destiny” (NPR, All Things Considered). Called “a latter-day Exodus” by Kirkus Reviews, The Lion Seeker is an epic historical novel centered on the life of Isaac Helger. The son of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants, he runs around the streets of Johannesburg as a young hooligan and dreams of getting rich. But his parents are still haunted by the memories of the anti-Semitic pogroms they escaped, even as Isaac secretly pursues a relationship with a gentile girl. As the Nazi threat rises, Isaac is caught between his mother’s urgent ambition to bring her sisters to safety out of the old world, and his own desire to enjoy the freedoms of the new. But soon his mother’s carefully guarded secret takes them to the diamond mines, where mysteries are unveiled in the desert rocks and Isaac begins to learn the bittersweet reality of success bought at any cost . . .
Mount Vernon Love Story
Author: Mary Higgins Clark
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Always a lover of history, Mary Higgins Clark wrote this extensively researched biographical novel and titled it Aspire to the Heavens, after the motto of George Washington's mother. Published in 1969, the book was more recently discovered by a Washington family descendant and reissued as Mount Vernon Love Story. Dispelling the widespread belief that although George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, he reserved his true love for Sally Carey Fairfax, his best friend's wife, Mary Higgins Clark describes the Washington marriage as one full of tenderness and passion, as a bond between two people who shared their lives -- even the bitter hardship of a winter in Valley Forge -- in every way. In this author's skilled hands, the history, the love, and the man come fully and dramatically alive.
The Red Ghost
Author: Marion Dane Bauer
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
After Jenna gives her little sister an old doll dressed in red velvet as a birthday present, the occurrence of some very disturbing events make Jenna suspect the doll might be possessed.
Women in Sunlight
Author: Frances Mayes
By the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun, and written with Frances Mayes’s trademark warmth, heart, and delicious descriptions of place, food, and friendship, Women in Sunlight is the story of four American strangers who bond in Italy and change their lives over the course of an exceptional year. She watches from her terrazza as the three American women carry their luggage into the stone villa down the hill. Who are they, and what brings them to this Tuscan village so far from home? An expat herself and with her own unfinished story, she can’t help but question: will they find what they came for? Kit Raine, an American writer living in Tuscany, is working on a biography of her close friend, a complex woman who continues to cast a shadow on Kit’s own life. Her work is waylaid by the arrival of three women—Julia, Camille, and Susan—all of whom have launched a recent and spontaneous friendship that will uproot them completely and redirect their lives. Susan, the most adventurous of the three, has enticed them to subvert expectations of staid retirement by taking a lease on a big, beautiful house in Tuscany. Though novices in a foreign culture, their renewed sense of adventure imbues each of them with a bright sense of bravery, a gusto for life, and a fierce determination to thrive. But how? With Kit’s friendship and guidance, the three friends launch themselves into Italian life, pursuing passions long-forgotten—and with drastic and unforeseeable results.