Fresh Pick | LIFE AS I KNOW IT by Melanie Rose

Life As I Know It


February 2010

On Sale: February 2, 2010

Featuring: Jessica Taylor

368 pages
ISBN: 038534399X
EAN: 9780385343992
Trade Size
$15.00

Romance Contemporary

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Melanie Rose

Life As I Know It

by Melanie Rose

Jessica Taylor wakes up in a hospital room only to find that everyone around her thinks she is somebody else. Not only that, she seems to have a husband and four children she doesn’t remember anything about. What she does remember is her quiet single life with her dog Frankie, going to work at her comfortable job, and meeting the man of her dreams in the park just before she was hit by lightning.

Soon she discovers that when she goes to sleep she alternates between her two lives, that of Jessica and that of Lauren Richardson. Jessica has no idea what’s happened to her or whether she can get back to life s she knows it.

Meanwhile, she has her hands full being a mother to Laurens’ four heartbroken children and a wife to her demanding husband. But as she digs deeper int Lauren’s life, Jessica unearths some secrets, secrets which may tea the family apart.

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Fresh Pick | JUST LIKE ME, ONLY BETTER by Carol Snow

Just Like Me, Only Better

April 2010
On Sale: April 6, 2010
Featuring: Veronica Czaplicki; Haley Rush; Brady Ellis
336 pages
ISBN: 0425232484
EAN: 9780425232484
Paperback
$14.00

Romance Contemporary
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Carol Snow Just Like Me, Only Better
by Carol Snow

Veronica’s life was over… until she jumped into someone else’s…

From the author of Here Today, Gone to Maui, the story of a woman who finally got a life…some else’s.

Ever since Veronica’s husband found the love of his life- not her-she’s been a walking zombie with runny mascara. It doesn’t help that she keeps getting mistaken for Haley Rush- the Hollywood starlet whose dazzling life is plastered on every magazine.

When Haley’s manager offers Veronica a job as a celebrity double, it only takes a moment before she says yes. Veronica gets to drive Haley’s car, wear her phenomenal clothes-and have fun with her hot celebrity boyfriend, Brady Ellis. Too bad the job’s only part-time, and at the end of the day she has to return to her life as a cash- strapped substitute teacher and cub scout mom.

But when real sparks fly with Brady, is it a fantasy come true or a disaster in disguise?

Excerpt

I remember the exact moment when Haley Rush’s fame reached its tipping point. I was in the produce department of Ralph’s supermarket, desperately trying to concentrate on school lunches and the price of bananas, when all I could think about was my husband, Hank Czaplicki, who days earlier had announced – well, mentioned, really – that he had found his soul mate, and she wasn’t me. An image of Hank kissing Darcy DaCosta, a.k.a. “North Orange County’s #1 Realtor!*” flashed through my brain just as a skinny prepubescent girl with blue braces and a high ponytail appeared at my side and blurted, “Can I have your autograph?”

Speechless, I stared at her, tears making my vision the slightest bit blurry, and shook my head with confusion.

Kitty and the Katz is my favorite show!” she squeaked.

I blinked furiously, as if Read More… Previous Picks

Fresh Pick | DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD by Saralee Rosenberg

Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead

August 2008
On Sale: July 22, 2008
Featuring: Aaron Findley; Beth Diamond; Mindy Sherman
319 pages
ISBN: 0061253774
EAN: 9780061253775
Trade Size
$13.95

Women’s Fiction Contemporary
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Saralee Rosenberg Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead
by Saralee Rosenberg

“A “for sale” sign on our lawn is fine unless you’re not the one who put it there.”

Nora Ephron hates her neck, but Mindy Sherman hates her whole body. A forty-one year old mother of three, she is still trying to squeeze into jaws-of-life jeans, for in her Long Island neighborhood, size four is, well, fat. Not even her husband, Artie, is immune. “Someone called us Shrek and Fiona,” she cried.

That someone is next door neighbor, Beth Diamond, a tall, toned *MILF who seeks perfection in everything from her kids to her carpools, referring to her BlackBerry for infractions when Mindy disregards either. Lucy and Ethel they are not, so can they play nice when they both enter Downtown Greetings’ talent search and realize they have to compete as a team? Exactly.

In this story of fences and defenses, two women who have never shared a recipe suddenly must join forces in order to keep their messy plates spinning. It’s a delicate balancing act, what with out-of-their mind in-laws, an errant husband, a troubled step-son, a failing business, an unplanned pregnancy, a possible relocation and a contest that might be a corporate hoax.

Their reality check nearly bounces until they uncover a startling secret. Neither would have been born if not for a chance encounter of their mother and grandmother on the Kindertransport, the rescue train that saved thousands of Jewish children during World War II.

DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD is a hilarious, heartfelt romp through bedrooms, boardrooms and backyards, making unlikely heroines out of two suburban moms who never imagined themselves as successful entrepreneurs, let alone as best friends.

The best neighbor is the one who is never home.

Excerpt

“Have you seen my Costco card?” Artie brushed and spit. “I could have sworn it was in my wallet.”

“It was.” Mindy dried her face. “Then I confiscated it.”

“I knew it!” His baby browns were on high beam. “What the hell did you do that for?”

“Because normal people who go in for batteries and a roast chicken don’t walk out with six cases of Gatorade and a kayak.”

“Not just Gatorade. Fierce Grape! You know the kids go crazy for that flavor.”

“Fine. But a kayak?”

“It called out to me.”

“Hello? I’m your wife. I can prove you once got seasick in a hot tub.”

“I was on medication.”

“It’s not funny, Artie. We are so broke right now.”

“You still shouldn’t have Read More…

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Fresh Pick | TABLE MANNERS by Mia King

Table Manners

August 2009
On Sale: August 4, 2009
336 pages
ISBN: 0425227898
EAN: 9780425227893
Paperback
$14.00

Romance
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Mia KingTable Manners
by Mia King

Her simple life is more complicated than ever. Deidre McIntosh finally has all the ingredients for a perfect life. She has her own line of cakes and cookies, and the perfect boyfriend, Kevin Johnson, one of Seattle’s top bachelors. Creative, energetic, and loving, Deidre is the person friends go to when they need a helping hand. But when Kevin’s ex-fiancée, the sultry and successful magazine publisher Sabine Durant, suddenly appears in Seattle, it’s Deidre who needs help. Already intimidated by Kevin’s glamorous, moneyed world–and his sister, who wants Deidre out of Kevin’s life–she knows she’s no match for Sabine. Deidre turns to her friends for advice, but finds they’re having crises of their own. When her business begins to slip from her fingers, Deidre knows she must to do something to keep her career and her love life from imploding. Can everyone’s favorite go-to person save herself?

The continuation of Deidre’s story from Good Things

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Fresh Pick | MARTYR by Rory Clements

Martyr

May 2009
On Sale: May 19, 2009
Featuring: John Shakespeare; Elizabeth I
400 pages
ISBN: 0385342829
EAN: 9780385342827
Hardcover
$25.00

Thriller, Historical
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Rory ClementsMartyr
by Rory Clements

In this ingenious debut, Rory Clements introduces John Shakespeare, Elizabethan England’s most remarkable investigator, and delivers a tale of murder and conspiracy that succeeds brilliantly as both historical fiction and a crime thriller.

In a burnt-out house, one of Queen Elizabeth’s aristocratic cousins is found murdered, her flesh marked with profane symbols. At the same time a plot is discovered to assassinate England’s feared sea warrior Sir Francis Drake – a plot which, if successful, could leave the country open to Spanish invasion.

The year is 1587. One man is charged with the desperate task of solving both cases: John Shakespeare, chief intelligencer in Sir Francis Walsingam’s spy network. With the Spanish Armada poised to strike, Mary Queen of Scots awaiting execution and the pikes above London Bridge decorated with the severed heads of traitors, the country is in peril of being overwhelmed by fear, chaos and religious strife.

Following a trail of illicit passions and family secrets, Shakespeare travels through a teeming underworld of enemy agents, sorcerers, whores and poets, among whom is his own younger brother, the struggling playmaker Will.

Gradually unravelling a complex conspiracy of international intrigue – and shadowed at every turn by his deadly rival, the Queen’s brutal torturer Richard Topcliffe – John Shakespeare soon realises his own family and the beautiful woman he desires are in grave danger of becoming the next martyrs to a passion for murder.

Conspiracy and murder in Elizabethan England.

Excerpt

John Shakespeare looked around the gloomy shell of the house. It was remarkably intact, given the ferocity of the fire described by the constable. Something caught his eye on the sodden floor. He picked it up. It was a paper, wet and unreadable. Then he saw that there were more papers lying around amongst the burnt stubble of thatching.

Some of the papers had distinguishable words and all of them were unfolded, which almost certainly meant they were new printed. He signalled to Boltfoot Cooper. ‘Gather them all up.’

There were other things, too: type sorts for printing. But no sign of a press.

‘All of it, Boltfoot, the type sorts, too. I will examine it all later. Perhaps we can find the letter foundry where it was made. Now, Mr Stocker, where is the body?’

Above them the roof was burnt Read More…

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Fresh Pick | GIRL MARY by Petru Popescu

Girl Mary

September 2009
On Sale: September 8, 2009
Featuring: Pilate; Mary
368 pages
ISBN: 1416532633
EAN: 9781416532637
Paperback
$15.00

Religious Fiction, Historical
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Petru Popescu Girl Mary
by Petru Popescu

For nearly two millennia, Mary of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus, has been one of the most revered women in history, yet she remains one of the most mysterious.

With his empire in crisis, Augustus orders a young Roman spy to find a sign of his divinely inspired power. Concealing his real name, Pontius Pilate enters the Judean desert seeking an unknown miracle. The moment he meets the striking adolescent Mary, he senses that he is in the presence of someone magical.

Mary, vigorous, spiritual, and charming, is a girl like many other teenage girls: full of passions and weaknesses, surrounded by her loving family and her close friends, steeped in the mystic traditions of the Jews — territory that defies Roman comprehension. The young Pilate isn’t wrong in believing that Mary is remarkable. On the verge of blossoming womanhood, Mary’s world will soon open to love — and to the miraculous.

Full of mystical realism and set against the lushly reimagined settings of the biblical world, Girl Mary is the love story of the beautiful girl, naïve and yet complicated, who beguiled everyone — even God — with her soulful simplicity, and whose destiny would change civilization in untold ways.

Excerpt

He spurred his horse, which pulled behind it another horse, loaded with water skins and bales of hay.

Five nights in a row, the young Roman, king Herod’s envoy, had chosen a campsite in the desert, poured water from the skins into a bucket and watered the horses, then broken hay and spread it on a tarp of flax before them. He ate heavy barley bread and ripe cheese and figs. Then he tied the horses’ front legs two palms above their ankles, as if handcuffed. If they spooked and took off during the night, the hooves’ banging on the sand would awake him.

When jackals approached, the horses whinnied and awoke the envoy, who bolted and waved his arms and shouted until the jackals withdrew. He lay back to sleep. When the dawn cracked the dark open, he was in his saddle already, horse Read More…

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Fresh Pick | O, JULIET by Robin Maxwell

O, Juliet

February 2010
On Sale: February 2, 2010
Featuring: Juliet Capelletti
352 pages
ISBN: 0451229150
EAN: 9780451229151
Trade Size
$15.00

Historical
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Robin MaxwellO, Juliet
by Robin Maxwell

“One of the queens of historical fiction” offers a new take on the mesmerizing young woman and poetess who inspired Shakespeare’s most famous female character.

Before Juliet Capelletti lie two futures: a traditionally loveless marriage to her father’s business partner, or the fulfillment of her poetic dreams, inspired by the great Dante. Unlike her beloved friend Lucrezia, who looks forward to her arranged marriage, Juliet has a wild, romantic imagination that knows not the bounds of her great family’s stalwart keep.

The latter path is hers for the taking when Juliet meets Romeo Monticecco, a soulful young man seeking peace between their warring families. A dreamer himself, Romeo is unstoppable, once he determines to capture the heart of the remarkable woman foretold in his stars. The breathless intrigue that ensues is the stuff of beloved legend. But those familiar with Shakespeare’s muse know only half the story…

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Fresh Pick | THE QUEEN’S LOVER by Vanora Bennett

The Queen's Lover

March 2010
On Sale: March 16, 2010
Featuring: Catherine de Valois; Owain Tudor; Christine de Pizan
592 pages
ISBN: 0061689866
EAN: 9780061689864
Hardcover
$25.99

Historical
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Vanora BennettThe Queen’s Lover
by Vanora Bennett

A sweeping tale of romance and political maneuvering in an age where women — especially queens – were only allowed peripheral roles.

Before the Tudors could rise to power, Catherine de Valois became Queen of two countries by making her own rules

Catherine de Valois, daughter of the French king Charles VI, is born into troubled times. Though she is brought up in a royal court, it is a stormy and unstable environment. Before she is out of her teens, Catherine is married off to England’s Henry V as part of a treaty honoring his victory over France. She is terrified at the idea of being married to a man who is a foreigner, an enemy, and a rough soldier, and is forced to leave her home for England.

Within two years she is widowed, and mother to the future King of England and France—even though her brother has laid claim to the French crown for himself. Caught between warring factions of her own family and under threat by the powerful lords of the English court, she must find a way to keep her infant son safe. In Owain Tudor, a childhood friend for whom Catherine has long had affection and who now controls the Royal household, Catherine finds both strength and kinship. As their friendship turns to love, however, she risks not only her life and that of her son but the uneasy balance of power in England and France that will be forever changed.

History comes alive in this lyrical and moving true story of one woman’s courage and the inception of one of the most famous royal lineages of all time.

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Fresh Pick | THE ROSE OF SEBASTOPOL by Katharine McMahon

The Rose Of Sebastopol

February 2010
On Sale: February 2, 2010
Featuring: Rosa Barr
416 pages
ISBN: 0425232220
EAN: 9780425232224
Trade Size
$15.00

Historical
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Katharine McMahon The Rose Of Sebastopol
by Katharine McMahon

The #1 international bestseller about love, war and betrayal from the author of The Alchemist’s Daughter

In 1854, adventurous Rosa Barr travels to the Crimean battlefield with Florence Nightingale’s nursing corps. For Mariella Lingwood, Rosa’s cousin, the war is contained within the letters she receives from her fiancé, Henry, a celebrated surgeon who also has volunteered to work in the shadow of the guns. When Henry falls ill, Mariella impulsively takes an epic journey to the ravaged landscape of the Crimea and the tragic city of Sebastopol. What she finds there, as her world beings to crumble, is that she has much to learn about secrecy, faithfulness, and love…

Excerpt

Italy, 1855

We arrived in Narni late on a Sunday evening. Although the door to the Hotel Fina was locked the driver roused a servant who stumbled out with creased shirt tails, brought in our luggage and showed us to a bedroom that smelled of unwashed feet. Nora took away my cloak and bonnet, then I snuffed the candles and lay down. A man was shouting in the distance, perhaps the worse for drink. Instead of sleeping I rode through the night as if still in a carriage jolting over badly made roads across the plains of Italy. Eventually I heard a clock strike five and the rumble of a cart in the square outside and I fell asleep to the sound of women’s raised voices and the clash of a pail against stone.

I woke to a blade of sunlight sliced between Read More…

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Fresh Pick | THE STOLEN CROWN by Susan Higginbotham

The Stolen Crown

March 2010
On Sale: March 1, 2010
Featuring: Katherine Woodville
400 pages
ISBN: 1402237669
EAN: 9781402237669
Paperback
$14.99

Historical
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Susan Higginbotham
The Stolen Crown

by Susan Higginbotham

The Secret Marriage That Forever Changed The Fate Of England

On May Day, 1464, six-year-old Katherine Woodville, daughter of a duchess who has married a knight of modest means, awakes to find her gorgeous older sister, Elizabeth, in the midst of a secret marriage to King Edward IV. It changes everything—for Kate and for England.

Then King Edward dies unexpectedly. Richard III, Duke of Gloucester, is named protector of Edward and Elizabeth’s two young princes, but Richard’s own ambitions for the crown interfere with his duties…

Lancastrians against Yorkists: greed, power, murder, and war. As the story unfolds through the unique perspective of Kate Woodville, it soon becomes apparent that not everyone is wholly evil—or wholly good.

Excerpt

As I stood there, at a loss for words and sensing that I had somehow done a Bad Thing, the groom turned and stood, making me gasp. He was tall—well over six feet—and dazzlingly handsome, with hair of a rich brown. Small, sallow, and of middling appearance, I was none of those things, and I averted my eyes as if caught gazing into the sun. “Well, now. Who is this young lady?”

“Katherine, sir,” I managed.

“Kate,” the groom said as I thrilled from my head to my toes. How did this man know that I loved to be called “Kate,” only Mother insisted on the more dignified “Katherine”? He turned to my sister. “I’ve changed my mind, I’m afraid. This will be my new bride.”

“She’s a trifle young for you,” said Read More…

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