Take a look at some of the latest additions to our New and Featured Fiction collections! We check in new books nearly every day—check out the First Floor's LibraryThing account where we log all of our newest arrivals!
New Fiction - April 2014
Bitter Eden is based on Tatamkhulu Afrika’s own capture in North Africa and his experiences as a prisoner of war during World War II in Italy and Germany. This frank and beautifully wrought novel deals with three men who must negotiate the emotions that are brought to the surface by the physical closeness of survival in the male-only camps. The complex rituals of camp life and the strange loyalties and deep bonds among the men are heartbreakingly depicted. Bitter Eden is a tender, bitter, deeply felt book of lives inexorably changed, and of a war whose ending does not bring peace.
The Daring Ladies of Lowell
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmaker comes a moving historical novel about a bold young woman drawn to the looms of Lowell, Massachusetts—and to the one man with whom she has no business falling in love. Eager to escape life on her family's farm, Alice Barrow moves to Lowell in 1832 and throws herself into the hard work demanded of "the mill girls." In spite of the long hours, she discovers a vibrant new life and a true friend—a saucy, strong-willed girl named Lovey Cornell. But conditions at the factory become increasingly dangerous, and Alice finds the courage to represent the workers and their grievances. Although mill owner, Hiram Fiske, pays no heed, Alice attracts the attention of his eldest son, the handsome and reserved Samuel Fiske. Their mutual attraction is intense, tempting Alice to dream of a different future for herself. This dream is shattered when Lovey is found strangled to death. A sensational trial follows, bringing all the unrest that's brewing to the surface. Alice finds herself torn between her commitment to the girls in the mill and her blossoming relationship with Samuel. Based on the actual murder of a mill girl and the subsequent trial in 1833, The Daring Ladies of Lowell brilliantly captures a transitional moment in America's history while also exploring the complex nature of love, loyalty, and the enduring power of friendship.
In The Voyage, Piano manufacturer and salesman Frank Delage travels to Vienna from Sydney, hoping to introduce a new design to replace the respected old pianos of Europe. He walks the great musical city, offering an impassioned defense of his piano’s technical superiority to any who will hear it. When his ambitions are ignored by the city’s staid musical elite, Delage finds his situation suddenly transformed by a chance meeting with Amalia von Schalla, an elegant grande dame of Viennese society. Now sailing home to Australia aboard the container ship Romance with his new bride, Amalia’s daughter Elisabeth von Schalla, Delage and his story begin to come to light in a hypnotic sequence of memories, voices, and snatches of conversations. Bail’s prose sidewinds like a slipstream as Delage’s story moves between the glittering society of the von Schalla’s Vienna and the rough landscape of Australia. The Voyage is delightfully Joycean—conveying a sensuous physicality and the immediacy emotion, as well as revealing a great basin of interior life.
The Headmaster's Wife
An immensely talented writer whose work has been described as “incandescent” (Kirkus) and “poetic” (Booklist), Thomas Christopher Greene pens a haunting and deeply affecting portrait of one couple at their best and worst. Inspired by a personal loss, Greene explores the way that tragedy and time assail one man’s memories of his life and loves.
Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma
Reminiscent of early Roddy Doyle, Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma begins with our singular heroine’s less than idyllic birth and quickly moves to a spectacular fight that lands Janie and her mother in a local women’s shelter. From there it’s on to a dodgy council flat and a succession of unsuitable men, including the hard-drinking, drug-dealing, ice-cream-buying Tony Hogan. Kerry Hudson’s arrestingly original debut will enthrall readers with Janie’s tragicomic and moving story about coming of age in a non-traditional family amid the absurdities of the 1980s and Thatcherite Britain.
Kinder Than Solitude
Moving back and forth in time, between America today and China in the 1990s, Kinder Than Solitude is the story of three people whose lives are changed by a murder one of them may have committed. As one of the three observes, “Even the most innocent person, when cornered, is capable of a heartless crime.” Brilliantly written, a breathtaking page-turner, Kinder Than Solitude resonates with provocative observations about human nature and life. In mesmerizing prose, and with profound insight, Yiyun Li unfolds this remarkable story, even as she explores the impact of personality and the past on the shape of a person’s present and future.
And Then She Was Gone
Eleven-year-old Lauren O'Neil vanished one sunny afternoon as she walked home from school. Six years later, her parents Rachel and Dan still tirelessly scour their Oregon hometown and beyond, always believing Lauren will be found. Then one day, the call comes. Lauren has been rescued from a secluded farm mere miles away, and her abductor has confessed. Yet her return is nothing like Rachel imagined. Though the revelations about what Lauren endured are shocking, most heartbreaking of all is to see the bright-eyed, assertive daughter she knew transformed into a wary, polite stranger. Lauren's first instinct is to flee. For years she's been told her parents forgot her; now she doubts the pieces of her life can ever fit together again. But Rachel refuses to lose her a second time. Little by little they must relearn what it means to be a family, trusting that their bond is strong enough to guide them back to each other.
Why Are You So Sad?
Have we all sunken into a species-wide bout of clinical depression? Porter’s uproarious, intelligent debut centers on Raymond Champs, an illustrator of assembly manuals for a home furnishings corporation, who is charged with a huge task: To determine whether or not the world needs saving. It comes to him in the midst of a losing battle with insomnia — everybody he knows, and maybe everybody on the planet, is suffering from severe clinical depression. He’s nearly certain something has gone wrong. A virus perhaps. It’s in the water, or it’s in the mosquitoes, or maybe in the ranch flavored snack foods. And what if we are all too sad and dispirited to do anything about it? Obsessed as he becomes, Raymond composes an anonymous survey to submit to his unsuspecting coworkers — “Are you who you want to be?”, “Do you believe in life after death?”, “Is today better than yesterday?” — because what Raymond needs is data. He needs to know if it can be proven. It’s a big responsibility. People might not believe him. People, like his wife and his boss, might think he is losing his mind. But only because they are also losing their minds. Or are they?
What if our civilization is more advanced than we know? The New York Times bestselling author of Daemon imagines a world in which decades of technological advances have been suppressed in an effort to prevent disruptive change. Are smart phones really humanity's most significant innovation since the moon landings? Or can something else explain why the bold visions of the 20th century—fusion power, genetic enhancements, artificial intelligence, cures for common disease, extended human life, and a host of other world-changing advances—have remained beyond our grasp? Why has the high-tech future that seemed imminent in the 1960's failed to arrive? Perhaps it did arrive...but only for a select few.
The In-Between Hour
What could be worse than losing your child? Having to pretend he's still alive… Bestselling author Will Shepard is caught in the twilight of grief, after his young son dies in a car accident. But when his father's aging mind erases the memory, Will rewrites the truth. The story he spins brings unexpected relief…until he's forced to return to rural North Carolina, trapping himself in a lie.
New Science Fiction and Fantasy - April 2014
Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows. Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind before disappearing into the quickly collapsing world. Yet Biggs can still sleep, and dream, so he sets out to find her. He ventures out into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness. Kenneth Calhoun has written a brilliantly realized and utterly riveting depiction of a world gripped by madness, one that is vivid, strange, and profoundly moving.
Working God's Mischief
Arnhand, Castauriga, and Navaya lost their kings. The Grail Empire lost its empress. The Church lost its Patriarch, though he lives on as a fugitive. The Night lost Kharoulke the Windwalker, an emperor amongst the most primal and terrible gods. The Night goes on, in dread. The world goes on, in dread. The ice builds and slides southward. New kings come. A new empress will rule. Another rump polishes the Patriarchal Throne. But there is something new under the sun. The oldest and fiercest of the Instrumentalities has been destroyed—by a mortal. There is no new Windwalker, nor will there ever be. The world, battered by savage change, limps toward its destiny. And the ice is coming. Working God's Mischief is the savage, astounding new novel of The Instrumentalities of Night, by Glen Cook, a modern master of military fantasy.
Mentats of Dune
In Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Mentats of Dune, the thinking machines have been defeated but the struggle for humanity’s future continues.
It's the Silver Jubilee of People Park, an urban experiment conceived by a radical mayor and zealously policed by the testosterone-powered New Fraternal League of Men. To celebrate, the insular island city has engaged the illustrator Raven, who promises to deliver the most astonishing spectacle its residents have ever seen. As the entire island comes together for the event, we meet an unforgettable cross-section of its inhabitants, from activists to nihilists, art stars to athletes, families to inveterate loners. Soon, however, what has promised to be a triumph of civic harmony begins to reveal its shadow side. And when Raven's illustration exceeds even the most extreme of expectations, the island is plunged into a series of unnatural disasters that force people to confront what they are really made of.
New Mysteries - April 2014
A stranger's life hangs in the balance. What if you had the power to decide if she lives or dies? Dr. Charlotte Reese works in the intensive care unit of Seattle's Beacon Hospital, tending to patients with the most life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Her job is to battle death-to monitor erratic heartbeats, worry over low oxygen levels, defend against infection and demise. One night a Jane Doe is transferred to her care from a rural hospital on the Olympic Peninsula. This unidentified patient remains unconscious, the victim of a hit and run. As Charlotte and her team struggle to stabilize her, the police search for the driver who fled the scene. Days pass, Jane's condition worsens, and her identity remains a mystery. As Charlotte finds herself making increasingly complicated medical decisions that will tie her forever to Jane's fate, her usual professional distance evaporates. She's plagued by questions: Who is Jane Doe? Why will no one claim her? Who should decide her fate if she doesn't regain consciousness-and when? Perhaps most troubling, Charlotte wonders if a life locked in a coma is a life worth living. Enlisting the help of her boyfriend, Eric, a science journalist, Charlotte impulsively sets out to uncover Jane Doe's past. But the closer they get to the truth, the more their relationship is put to the test. It is only when they open their hearts to their own feelings toward each other-and toward life itself-that Charlotte and Eric will unlock Jane Doe's shocking secret, and prepare themselves for a miracle. Filled with intricate medical detail and set in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest, Gemini is a riveting and heartbreaking novel of moral complexity and emotional depth.
The Weight of Blood
For fans of Gillian Flynn, Scott Smith, and Daniel Woodrell comes a gripping, suspenseful novel about two mysterious disappearances a generation apart. The Weight of Blood is an urgent look at the dark side of a bucolic landscape beyond the arm of the law, where a person can easily disappear without a trace. Laura McHugh proves herself a masterly storyteller who has created a harsh and tangled terrain as alive and unforgettable as the characters who inhabit it. Her mesmerizing debut is a compelling exploration of the meaning of family: the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths to which we will go to protect the ones we love.
The Setup Man
Johnny Adcock is an aging Major League pitcher with the perfect retirement plan—he moonlights as a private investigator. Major League Baseball, as it turns out, is a prime source of employment for a philosophically inclined, discreet detective who has both the brains and the brawn to handle the unique problems of professional athletes. Those infamous baseball salaries attract gangsters, hustlers, and predators of every persuasion who prey on the outsized egos of primetime stars. When players, coaches, agents, or wives have a problem they can’t make public, they call Johnny Adcock.
Murder in the Ball Park
Archie Goodwin and Saul Panzer have ventured into the wilds of northern Manhattan to watch the Giants take on the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds. The national anthem is just winding down when Panzer spies a notable in the box seats: state senator Orson Milbank, a silver-haired scoundrel with enemies in every corner of upstate New York. In the fourth inning, a monstrous line drive brings every fan in the grandstand to his feet—every fan save for one silver-haired senator, who has been shot dead by a sniper in the upper deck.
New Horror - April 2014
Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfire. The boys are a tight-knit crew. There’s Kent, one of the most popular kids in school; Ephraim and Max, also well liked and easygoing; then there’s Newt the nerd and Shelley the odd duck. For the most part, they all get along and are happy to be there—which makes Scoutmaster Tim’s job a little easier. But for some reason, he can’t shake the feeling that something strange is in the air this year. Something waiting in the darkness. Something wicked…
By Blood We Live
First Glen Duncan gave us his monstrously thrilling, genre-reinventing The Last Werewolf: the tale of Jake, a werewolf with a profoundly human heart, considering bringing to an end the timeless legend of his kind . . . Then Talulla Rising: Jake’s werewolf lover, mother to newborn twins, on the run from those who want her destroyed . . . And now By Blood We Live: a stunningly erotic love story that gives us the final battle for survival between werewolves and vampires, and one last searing—and brilliantly ironic—look at what it means to be, or not to be, human.
Dark Duets: All-New Tales of Horror and Dark Fantasy
Dark Duets is an ambitious, first of its kind anthology of stories written by pairs of writers, none of whom have ever collaborated before, and all falling under the umbrella of horror, thriller or dark fantasy. The idea is simple: an anthology of stories written by pairs of writers-and in one case a trio-who have never collaborated before. Just as the individual stories will meld the talents of authors for the first time, the authors themselves are a combination of elements and genres. The lineup of authors is absolutely stellar, including eleven New York Times bestselling authors. Among them are Charlaine Harris, Rachel Caine, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Stuart McBride, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jonathan Maberry and David Liss.
Rise Again: Below Zero
Billions died and rose again, hungry for human flesh. When the nightmare reached Sheriff Danielle Adelman’s small mountain community of Forest Peak, California, it was too late for warnings . . . forcing her to lead a small group of survivors out of hell, all the while seeking her estranged runaway sister at any cost. Two years later, the undead have evolved. Now, besides the shambling, mindless cannibals are the hunters—cunning and fast, like wolves—and the thinkers, whose shocking intelligence and single-minded predatory obsession may mean the downfall of what’s left of humanity. As Danny leads a ragtag band of the living through the remnants of the American Midwest, rumors arise of a safe place somewhere east. But the closer they get to it, the more certain Danny becomes that something evil waits for them at the end of the line. With an unspeakable secret riding beside her and an unbreakable promise made to a small, silent boy, Danny must stake everything she has—her leadership, her sanity, and her life— in order to defeat the ultimate horror in a terrifying and dying world.
New World Fiction - April 2014
Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos.
At first, only one body was found. Soon there were more. A young woman on her way to a party vanishes without a trace. Two years later, with all hope lost, her body turns up. Mercilessly dismembered, it has deteriorated considerably in its lonely burial spot on the edge of a forest. The forensic team is able to identify the body as that of Rebecca Tolle, a student at the nearby university. Investigative analyst Fredrika Bergman and her team are assigned to solve the case and question those who may be responsible for Rebecca's brutal death. Soon, more bodies are found, in the same area. But the killer is still at large. Fredrika discovers that when Rebecca died, she was researching a person with a dark past—one that Rebecca seems to have uncovered. Fredrika is deeply invested in the already heart-wrenching case, but when her lover's name comes up as a possible suspect, it might be too much for her to bear. Did Rebcecca get too close to evil—prompting evil to react? The Disappeared is the third installment of the critically acclaimed Fredrika Berman crime series by internationally bestselling author Kristina Ohlsson, and her most gripping and grisly thriller yet.
Free Falling, As If in a Dream: the Story of a Crime
From the grand master of Scandinavian crime fiction—and one of the best crime writers of our time—here is the final volume in the critically acclaimed Story of a Crime trilogy, centered on the assassination of Olof Palme in 1986. It’s August 2007, and Lars Martin Johansson, chief of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Sweden, is determined once again to reopen the dusty files on the unsolved murder of Prime Minister Palme. With his retirement quickly approaching, Johansson forms a new group, comprised of a few trustworthy detectives who doggedly wade through mountains of paperwork and pursue new leads in a case that has all but gone cold despite the open wound the assassination has left on the consciousness of Swedish society. But the closer the group gets to the truth, the more Johansson compromises the greater good for personal gain, becoming a pawn in the private vendetta of a shady political spin doctor. A detailed and boldly plotted police procedural, Free Falling, As If in a Dream lifts the veil on one of history’s greatest unsolved crimes, bringing dark humor, suspense, and wit to bear on a case long thought to have no answers.
Based on the real-life story of Bauhaus artist Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Aaron’s Leap is framed by the lens of a twenty first-century Israeli film crew delving into the extraordinary life of a woman who taught art to children in the Nazi transport camp of Terezín and died in Auschwitz. Aided by the granddaughter of one of the artist’s pupils, the filmmakers begin to uncover buried secrets from a time when personal and artistic decisions became matters of life-and-death. Spanning a century of Central European history, the novel evokes the founding impulses, theories, and personalities of the European Modernist movement (with characters modeled after Oskar Kokoschka, Alma Mahler and Franz Werfel) and shows what it takes to grapple with a troubled history, “leap” into the unknown, and dare to be oneself.
New GLBT Fiction - April 2014
Smoke and Fire
Brady Stewart lives for the fire. Nightmares of the fire haunt Nicole McMillan. Whether fighting fires in the Kuwaiti desert, in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico or the heartland of Oklahoma, both women hide behind a smoke screen of who they really are. When they meet and face the challenge of their lives, their passion ignites because where there's smoke, there's fire.
New African-American Fiction - April 2014
DeShaun and Naomi think they have it all: a wonderful marriage, steady jobs and, most importantly, undying love for each other. It's a great life. Who could ask for more? But when both lose their jobs and the money runs out, DeShaun agrees to provide a wealthy former customer, Jenn, with companionship. Things take a terrible turn when he begins to fall for Jenn. Add murder into the mix, and it's a recipe for disaster. In this cunning novel of moral dilemmas and romantic intrigue, author Nicole Bradshaw shows what happens when Indecent Proposal meets Unfaithful.
Young, sexy and happy to flaunt it, Chelsea always wins in her pursuit of money - but she also gets herself in deep trouble. When she attracts the interest of her boyfriend's sworn childhood enemy, Rodney, Chelsea knows she's playing with fire, but she can't resist a baller like Rodney. Her double life doesn't last long, and Chelsea soon realises the consequences are much worse than she ever realised.
Fortune & Fame
Jasmine Cox Larson Bush and Rachel Jackson Adams have been through a lot together-from fighting for their husbands to become the head of the American Baptist Coalition to getting mixed up in a terrible murder. Now the frenemies have found themselves the stars of First Ladies , a muchanticipated new reality television show. Jasmine balks at the idea of airing her dirty laundry on national TV, but Rachel sees it as the perfect opportunity to take her brand to the next level. And if Rachel is in, so is Jasmine. All the cast members are women of God-how much drama can there be? Rachel and Jasmine know their own pasts are murky, but they'll seem like choir girls when the secrets and sins of the others come to light. The two will once again have to form an unholy alliance to go up against these so-called Godly women who see the show as their chance to take them down-at any cost.
Fourteen-year-old Audrey Martin, with her Poindexter glasses and her head humming the 3/4 meter of gospel music, knows she'll never get out of Kentucky—but when her fingers touch the piano keys, the whole church trembles. Her best friend, Caroline, daydreams about Hollywood stardom, but both girls feel destined to languish in a slow-moving stopover town in Montgomery County. That is, until chance intervenes and a booking agent offers Audrey a ticket to join the booming jazz scene in Harlem—an offer she can't resist, not even for Caroline. And in New York City the music never stops.
New Historical Fiction - April 2014
A Burnable Book
In Chaucer's London, betrayal, murder, royal intrigue, mystery, and dangerous politics swirl around the existence of a prophetic book that foretells the deaths of England's kings. Bruce Holsinger's A Burnable Book is an irresistible historical thriller reminiscent of the classics An Instance of the Fingerpost, The Name of the Rose, and The Crimson Petal and the White.
In the tradition of Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife and Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone comes a sweeping historical love story and a portrait of an age. Vienna Nocturne is a deeply moving debut novel that brings to life two extraordinary figures—a thirty-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a young English soprano, Anna Storace, who was his muse—in prose as spirited, timeless, and touching as Mozart’s greatest compositions.
My Name is Resolute
Nancy Turner burst onto the literary scene with her hugely popular novels These Is My Words, Sarah’s Quilt, and The Star Garden. Now, Turner has written the novel she was born to write, this exciting and heartfelt story of a woman struggling to find herself during the tumultuous years preceding the American Revolution.
New Short Stories - April 2014
Trouble in Mind: the Collected Stories Volume 3
In these twelve electrifying tales (including six written just for this anthology) Deaver proves once again his genius for the unexpected-in his world, appearances are always deceiving. A devoted housekeeper embarks on a quest to find the truth behind her employer's murder. A washed-up Hollywood actor gets one last, high-stakes chance to revive his career. A man makes an impulsive visit to his hometown, and learns more about his past than he bargained for. Two Olympic track hopefuls receive terrorist threats. And Deaver's beloved series characters Lincoln Rhyme, Kathryn Dance, and John Pellam return in stories now in print for the first time.
Songs for the Deaf
A little desert town gets a sexual charge from a crash-landed alien. A dysfunctional family tries to summit Everest with "discount Sherpas" and yakloads of emotional baggage. A teen messiah emerges from a game of 3-on-3. The stories in John Henry Fleming's Songs for the Deaf put an intimate and modern spin on the American tall tale. Stories in the collection have appeared in McSweeney's, North American Review, and elsewhere.
These eight masterly stories reveal Lorrie Moore at her most mature and in a perfect configuration of craft, mind, and bewitched spirit, as she explores the passage of time and summons up its inevitable sorrows and hilarious pitfalls to reveal her own exquisite, singular wisdom.
What's Important Is Feeling
Bankers prowl Brooklyn bars on the eve of the stock market crash. A debate over Young Elvis versus Vegas Elvis turns existential. Detoxing junkies use a live lobster to spice up their love life. Students on summer break struggle to escape the orbit of a seemingly utopic communal house. And in the title story, selected for The Best American Short Stories, two film school buddies working on a doomed project are left sizing up their own talent, hoping to come out on top—but fearing they won't. In What's Important Is Feeling, Adam Wilson follows the through-line of contemporary coming-of-age from the ravings of teenage lust to the staggering loneliness of proto-adulthood. He navigates the tough terrain of American life with a delicate balance of comedy and compassion, lyricism and unsparing straightforwardness. Wilson's characters wander through a purgatory of yearning, hope, and grief. No one emerges unscathed.
New Romance - April 2014
Melting the Ice
Everything’s coming together for budding fashion designer Carolina Preston. Only months away from having her own line, she could use some publicity. That’s when her brother suggests his best friend as a model—hockey player Drew Hogan. Carolina and Drew already have a history—a hot one, back in college. Unforgettable for Carolina, but for Drew, just another slap shot. This time, though, it’s different. His perfect body would be for professional use only. This time, she could use him. Drew is all for it. He’s looking forward to the exposure. Plus, it would give him a chance to prove to Carolina that he’s changed. If only he could thaw her emotions, convince her to let down her guard and let him in just one more time.
The Redhead Plays Her Hand
Grace Sheridan is flying high. With scorching passion from her gorgeous Brit superstar Jack Hamilton plus the lead role in a new television dramedy, she could just pinch herself. Then a demand from her show's directors to drop fifteen pounds brings her back down to earth with a thump. Forced to subsist on air, cucumbers, and boot camp, Grace wonders if the body that brings the newly crowned "Sexiest Man Alive" to his knees is just too booty-licious for Hollywood. Jack, meanwhile, seems overly enamored of the celebrity lifestyle. Forbidden by his publicity-conscious manager to reveal his relationship with Grace, he's hitting the industry party scene way too hard. As Grace's bod incites fiery debate about the message of "thin is in," Jack's jealous fans are downing the hate-erade, viciously slamming her curves. Grace longs for Jack's support, but he's showing up late and disheveled to her most important moments. With tempers between them flaring, Hollywood's most talked-about redhead might have more to lose than a few stubborn pounds. She and Jack were clearly made for each other—but will the day ever come when they can walk the red carpet together, hand in hand?
Erotic Stories is a treasury of amorous tales from around the world, ranging from ancient Greek myths to modern stories of longing and lust. From the innocent yearning of Daphnis and Chloe evoked by Longus to the sadomasochism of Pauline Réage's Story of O, this anthology explores human desire across the ages in all its dark complexity. Whether intensely raw or subtly insinuating, the short stories gathered here—by writers as different as Boccaccio and Chekhov, Anaïs Nin and Allan Gurganus—are calculated to unsettle and arouse.
New Inspirational Fiction - April 2014
Dating, Dining, and Desperation
Daphne Ballinger has learned to accept her deceased, eccentric aunt's strange request that she marry in order to inherit her estate, along with taking over her aunt's hometown paper's advice column. But knowing and accepting that God's will be done becomes harder when a new neighbor, a divorced socialite, learns of Daphne's predicament and takes on the task of finding her the perfect man, even if it includes speed dating. When God does open Daphne's heart, it is instead to take in a young girl left parentless and in the care of her dying grandmother. It may be a temporary arrangement until the girl's uncle returns from the Marines, but God uses Daphne to speak His heavenly love and protection into the life of the child — whom Daphne soon discovers has a very handsome and single uncle.
Once upon a Winter's Heart
Emma Burcelli has suffered over a decade of dating disasters. But she concludes that love is officially dead when her grandfather Poppi suddenly passes, leaving her grandmother Nona devastated. To help out, Emma works in the family bookstore, which Nona insists must be decked out in sweetheart décor as Poppi would have done for Valentine's Day. Although she feels like a V-Day Scrooge, Emma quickly learns to enjoy the task with the help of a handsome family friend, Lane Forester, who shows her that hanging hearts is much more fun when done to the tune of Dean Martin. As Emma and Lane share time and memories of Poppi, she reconsiders the notion that romance is alive . Just as Emma's heart begins to lift, however, she learns her sister has already staked a claim on Lane. Emma's mother and sister insist Lane only sees her as a future sister-in-law, but she can't help wondering if it could be something more.
The Replacement Wife
Five years after his beloved wife's death, Quentin Chambers still hasn't returned to the church. His life and children are getting out of control - until his mother hires him a live-in nanny. Montana is pretty, compassionate and a loyal church-goer, and Quentin soon finds himself regaining faith and love. But not everyone loves her. A 'friend' of Quentin's first wife has been scheming to become the next Mrs Chambers since the funeral and is convinced she would have been had it not been for Montana's appearance. She'll now do whatever it takes to oust this threat.