Category Archives: Piedmont

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Elizabeth Langston. Whispers from the Past. Contoocook, NH: Spencer Hill Press, 2014.

whisperspastMark Lewis is in his last year of high school in modern-day Raleigh, North Carolina, and graduation is fast approaching. Mark had originally planned to send in applications to three schools, with Newman College in Virginia being his first choice; the main reason being that the campus is perfect for his passion of mountain bike riding. However, Mark has now added a fourth school to the list. Mark is applying to Duke University because of its close proximity to home and to his girlfriend Susanna Marsh. In the past year, Susanna has become Mark’s passion. After saving Susanna from the horrific circumstances of her indentured servitude in 1796, and bringing her back to his century, Mark has assumed responsibility for Susanna. He cannot see himself moving over three hours away from her for four years. But, the choice may be taken out of Mark’s hands when Susanna makes some decisions of her own.

While Mark has his worries, Susanna believes that she is becoming accustomed to her new life. She now lives with Melissa, Mark’s sister, and pays her own way with chores and a fourth of the rent money. Also, Susanna has found a job bussing tables in a restaurant and is making friends. But, Mark is quick to show his disapproval of Susanna’s new job and of her new male friend. These controversies leave Susanna not as sure in her relationship with Mark as she usually is, and she soon finds herself seeking out the familiar in the only way she knows how. Susanna takes a trip to the archives. Soon Susanna has more to worry about than Mark. There is a storm that will come through Susanna’s hometown of Worthville and result in many deaths. Susanna combs the archives for mention of Dorcas, one of the children she used to take care of and her closest friend, any time after the storm. When information is not there, Susanna decides to take things into her own hands and comes up with a plan that will ensure that Dorcas survives the storm. The only problem is that this plan will cost Susanna her freedom and maybe even her life.

Mark and Susanna are coming up on a year since they met and developed a bond that crossed centuries. Much has happened in the past year and there is much to come in the next few months. The question is, will Mark and Susanna’s bond be able to cross centuries once again?

Whispers from the Past is the third novel in the Whisper Fall series. Susanna and Mark first met in Whisper Falls, and their story of a magical waterfall and transcendent love continued in Whisper in Time and is finalized in this novel.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Children & Young Adults, Historical, Langston, Elizabeth, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Wake

Ellie Grant. Treacherous Tart. New York: Pocket Books, 2014.

treacherous tartMaggie Grady has been enjoying seeing her Aunt Clara celebrate the wonders of Christmastime in Durham, North Carolina with her new love, Donald Wickerson. So it is no wonder that Maggie’s Christmas mood is completely ruined when her boyfriend, Durham Weekly newspaper reporter Ryan Summerour, presents Maggie with evidence that Donald is not what he seems. Instead of being the caring and trustworthy man that he presents himself to be, Donald is a male black widow. Donald has had six wives in the past and all of them suffered suspicious deaths. He has been investigated for every death, but has escaped charges. However, the evidence against him is condemning.

Faced with breaking her Aunt Clara’s heart, Maggie just doesn’t know what to do. When Maggie finally gets up the courage to tell Aunt Clara, she won’t hear any of it. Her wonderful Donald could never do such a thing. Wouldn’t Maggie be upset if Aunt Clara suggested Ryan was capable of hurting someone? The news spreads when Ryan puts a picture in the paper with his article on Donald’s philandering ways. It looks like someone must have believed it because that same day Donald stumbles into Maggie and Clara’s shop, Pie in the Sky, bleeding from a bullet wound.

Now, as the girlfriend of the victim, Aunt Clara is under suspicion for Donald’s death. Maggie isn’t going to let her aunt end up in jail over a murderous scoundrel, so she and Ryan start digging for more information on Donald and for possible suspects. They soon find out that there are a lot of people who could have wanted Donald dead seeing as he was dating more than Aunt Clara at the time of his death, not to mention the family of Donald’s supposed victims. Just when it looks like Ryan and Maggie are onto something, another crime is carried out. Will Maggie be able to find the murderer before anyone else gets hurt? Also, Donald wasn’t the only person in town with something to hide. Will the secrets uncovered shed light on the crimes committed or will they only add to the confusion?

Treacherous Tart is the second book in the Pie in the Sky mysteries.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Grant, Ellie, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Wake

Ellie Grant. Plum Deadly. New York: Gallery Books, 2013.

plumImagine being accused of theft by your employer and being escorted from your office that very day. And having all your accounts frozen. And having a guard stationed at your apartment to keep you from selling any valuable possessions. All this happens to Maggie Grady, the main character in Plum Deadly, the first book in a new series of cozy mysteries set in Durham, North Carolina.

With not much more than the clothes on her back, Maggie leaves the Big Apple and heads to Durham where her Aunt Clara welcomes her with open arms. Aunt Clara and Uncle Fred raised Maggie after her parents died in a car crash, but once Maggie left for New York, she didn’t keep in touch with her aunt and uncle. Maggie’s guilt about this is almost crushing, but Aunt Clara doesn’t acknowledge the slight. Since Uncle Fred died, Clara has been struggling to keep her bake shop open. Maggie’s reappearance is a pure blessing to Clara. In no time at all, Maggie has brought order to Clara’s accounts and cleaned up both the shop and Clara’s house.

Maggie is just about ready to take on the developer who wants to buy Aunt Clara’s building when trouble strikes. Her former boss, Lou, appears at the pie shop to tell Maggie that he knows that she is innocent and who actually stole the $3,000, 000. But hours after Lou makes this startling announcement, his body is found in the alley behind the pie shop. He’s been poisoned. Now Maggie looks to be not just a thief, but a murderer too. Rather than helping Aunt Clara with the business,  Maggie’s presence is hurting it. But that just provides added motivation for Maggie to clear her name. Will this crisis bring the two women closer together–and will the pie shop survive? Readers who try the recipes at the end of the book will no doubt be rooting for Maggie and Clara to prevail.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Durham, Grant, Ellie, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont

Kathy Reichs. Bones Never Lie. New York: Bantam Books, 2014.

bonesAs Bones Never Lie opens, Temperance Brennan’s life is quite, if a bit lonely. She is teaching at UNC-Charlotte and her mother is fairly close by in a private psychiatric clinic in the mountains. Tempe misses her former partner Andrew Ryan, and is hurt at the way he took off to nurse his sorrow after his daughter’s death.  Tempe doesn’t know if she’d want him back, but she is forced to find him when police in Vermont and Charlotte are confronted with murders that may be linked to crimes that Tempe and Ryan investigated in Montreal over a decade ago.

Tempe is still haunted by images from a basement in Montreal where Anique Pomerleau tortured and starved several young girls.  As the police were closing in, Pomerleau torched the building and escaped. Although Pomerleau was not captured, Montreal authorities had her DNA from an earlier arrest.  Now her DNA has turned up on a corpse in Vermont and one in Charlotte.  Detective Umpie Rodas from Vermont brings this information to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Force the very week that another Charlotte girl–similar in age and appearance to the dead girls–goes missing.  Both the CMPD and the State Bureau of Investigation are on the case, which will have some unexpected and unsettling twists and turns.  Longtime readers will appreciate the way that Reichs fleshes out some of the lesser characters from earlier books, especially Skinny Sliddell and Tempe’s mother, Daisy.  Readers who know Charlotte will particularly enjoy following Tempe through the city’s neighborhoods and streets.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Mecklenburg, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Reichs, Kathy

D. D. Ayres. Irresistible Force. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2014.

irresistOfficer James Cannon is on a mission to find his missing partner. Bogart, James’s partner, was kidnapped a month ago, and James has a lead on his location. Even knowing that going out on his own could land him in trouble, James can’t help but confront the kidnapper when he sees Bogart come running out of a cabin in Lake Gaston, North Carolina.

Shay Appleton is a wounded woman. Dealing with an abusive ex who just doesn’t know how to let go has taken its toll on Shay. However, her adoption of a stray dog, Prince, and escape to a cabin at Lake Gaston have brightened her life – the fact that Prince will make a great watch dog is just an added bonus. This bright spot is threatened when Officer James Cannon, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, shows up claiming that Prince’s real name is Bogart and that he is a trained police K-9. Faced with this threat, that is more painful than the thought of her ever-present ex, Shay has no idea what to do.

Shay’s reaction to losing Bogart touches James for some reason he can’t explain. When he realizes that Shay’s tale of Bogart being abandoned at a shelter is true, James decides to bring Bogart back for one night so that Shay can have time to say goodbye. James and Bogart walk into a scene that convinces James that Shay needs more than a guard dog. Shay’s abusive ex has found her and has shown himself willing and able to follow through with his threats.

As James and Shay’s lives intertwine, it becomes clear that Shay has more to fear than just her ex. Also, James may have to confront his own personal fears when it begins to look like Shay has stolen more than just Bogart’s affection – she may just have stolen James’s heart as well. When sealed records from Shay’s past are unveiled, will Shay trust James with her story? Is James willing to risk his reputation within the police force to protect Shay?

Irresistible Force is the first novel in a series about lawmen, their loyal K-9 partners, and the women they both fall for.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Ayres, D. D., Mecklenburg, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Wake

Melissa Marr. Made for You. New York: Harper Teen, 2014.

madeforyouEva Cooper-Tilling is the town darling of fictional Jessup, North Carolina. As the granddaughter of a prominent minster and a girl born into a family with wealth and status, Eva is very popular and above reproach to most of her peers. So, it is big news when Eva is the victim of a hit-and-run, and it’s even bigger news when evidence points to the accident being a deliberate act.

While in the hospital, Eva refuses to see anyone but her closest friend Grace. But during her stay, Eva runs into her old friend Nate and the two are soon on their way to redeveloping their old friendship, but with new feelings. However, Nate and Eva’s renewed closeness only seems to make the would-be killer even more upset. The bodies of Eva’s peers start showing up with messages to Eva.

A stalker-killer and amorous feelings for Nate aren’t all Eva is dealing with after the hit-and-run. Whenever someone touches Eva she receives a vision of their death. In order to avoid these flashes, she must initiate contact with the person before they touch her. Eva confides in Grace, who is skeptical, and in Nate, who believes her. When Eva realizes that the killer will continue to go after her peers to get his message across, she quickly decides to use her new ability to her advantage. Will she be able to discover the killer before he gets his hands on her?

Throughout Made for You, readers are provided with insights into the mind of the killer, who thinks of himself as “Judge.”  This tale is a great suspenseful thriller that will capture the minds of teenagers and older readers. Do you think you can figure out who the killer is before all is revealed?

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Children & Young Adults, Marr, Melissa, Mystery, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Suspense/Thriller

Michele Summers. Find My Way Home. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2014.

findmywayhomeJust three weeks before interior designer Bertie Anderson is supposed to move from Harmony, North Carolina to a new job in Atlanta, Georgia, Keith Morgan appears looking for a designer to fix up the big Victorian he just bought. Getting the chance to work on this house has always been a dream of Bertie’s. She didn’t even know someone had bought the property. Staying in Harmony to do this renovation looks even sweeter when Francesca Balogh, Bertie’s surrogate aunt, offers Bertie a $150,000 bonus for getting the work done in three months. Bertie could use that money to help Dwelling Place – a charity that builds homes for those who cannot afford to do so on their own. Even though Bertie must turn down the Atlanta offer in order to complete this new job, she still plans to move out of Harmony when the Victorian house is finished. Bertie never expected to find herself falling in love with the owner, Keith, and his ten-year old daughter Maddie.

Keith Morgan is a retired pro tennis player who has given up the fast-paced Miami life in order to provide his daughter, Maddie, with the best environment, which is how he ended up in the small town of Harmony. After the death of his wife in a car accident–she was driving drunk– Keith sought to lose himself in the fast life filled with partying and women. However, his mother’s sister, Francesca Balogh, threatened Keith with an ultimatum. Keith must straighten up for Maddie or Aunt Franny will fight for custody. Since Keith’s lifestyle choices have been plastered all over the media, Aunt Franny stands a good chance of winning a custody battle.

Aunt Franny may have given Keith a kick-start, but he also wants what is best for Maddie and knew a change was needed. However, Aunt Franny takes it too far when she demands that Keith find a wife and mother for Maddie in three months. The whole town has heard the news and every lady in the town is after Keith. In travels to Raleigh, Keith believes that he has met the perfect mother for Maddie; Gail is sweet and loves children. So why can’t Keith keep his mind off of one seductively gorgeous interior designer? Keith has had the seductive, fashion forward type before in his first wife and he’s not looking to add a “Betty Boop” look-alike into the mix.

Everyone in Harmony, including his own daughter, can see what a catch Bertie would be for Keith. Nevertheless, Keith denies it all, even when Bertie admits her love for him. Will Bertie be able to complete her dream renovation while feelings for her client burn unrequited? Does Keith have the sense to see the gift that is staring him in the face, or will he ruin his chance at the perfect family?

Find My Way Home is the first novel in the Harmony Homecoming series. A series that is shaping up to be a look into how home definitely can prove to be where the heart is, in more ways than one.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Iredell, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship

Michelle Major. A Brevia Beginning. Don Mills, Ontario: Harlequin, 2014.

aBreviabeginning“Something had changed in her when she’d chosen her act of rebellion. From the start, she’d known he’d find out, and she’d understood there would be hell to pay. She also believed it couldn’t be worse than the hell she called a life.”

From the day she was adopted at six years old, Lexi Preston has done everything she can to be the perfect daughter to her adopted father, Robert Preston – this includes following in his footsteps to become a lawyer in his firm. All of that ended when Lexi went behind her father’s back and gave the opposing client information. The Prestons’ clients, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, were trying to dig up dirt on Julia Morgan, the mother of their grandchild, so that they could gain custody of their grandson Charlie. Taking note of how Julia kept fighting even with all the odds piled against her, Lexi decided to help her out, knowing that it would mean “hell to pay.” When Robert Preston found out, he publicly humiliated Lexi and kicked her out of his life. With nowhere else to turn, Lexi travels to Brevia, North Carolina in search of Julia, who is now Julia Callahan and married to the police chief of Brevia. Julia isn’t too keen on helping out the woman who made her life a living hell during the custody battle, but she wouldn’t have ended up being able to keep her son Charlie if it wasn’t for Lexie. So, she offers to get Lexie a job working at Riley’s Bar.

United States Marshal Scott Callahan is in need of some time away from it all after losing his partner during a botched arrest. Not ready to face the interrogation from the Marshals office or the constant questions from others, Scott finds himself at Riley’s Bar in the hometown of his father, Joe, and brother, Sam. Also not ready to face his family, Scott decides to drown his sorrows for a while. Scott ends up in an argument with the bar owner which results in Scott buying the bar, with the help of a legal contract drawn up by one of the waitresses, Lexi Preston. Lexi is the worst waitress the town has ever seen. After Scott recovers from his drunken night, he and Lexi make a deal – Scott gets to share her two bedroom apartment and Lexi won’t hear mention of her getting fired for the month she plans to stay.

Sparks flew between the two on the night they first met; the close quarters instituted by both working at the bar together and living together only adds fuel to the fire. However, this arrangement is only temporary. Scott knows his greatest talent is the ability to mess everything up. He can’t expect to ever be good enough for Lexi. On the other hand, Lexi has never been on her own. She doesn’t know if she can make a life without her father, but this may be just an adventure that will end when her father is ready to take her back. When Lexi stands up to her father, letting him know that she won’t be coming back, will Scott be able to give up the action of U.S. Marshals Service and settle into the small-town life?

A Brevia Beginning is the third novel set in the fictitious town of Brevia North Carolina. The series continues to show that small-towns can have big-city action.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Major, Michelle, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship

E. C. Hanes. Billy Bowater. Winston-Salem, NC: Rane Coat Press, 2014.

billyIt’s 1990 and an art exhibit on a college campus provides just the kind of issue that Senator Wiley Hoots’s campaign staff wants.  Hoots is the senior senator from North Carolina.  He’s a conservative true believer and a rough campaigner.  Seniority has put Hoots in line to head the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  This fits with Hoots’s recent view of himself as a senior statesman, but clout in foreign affairs is not enough to turn out the voters, or to get the flood of small donations that have always floated the senator’s campaigns.  No, the campaign needs an issue that will make voters mad and scared, something that will get them talking to their friends, yelling at the TV, and writing checks to the senator’s campaign committee. The senator’s daughter provides the issue when she writes to her father to complain about an exhibit on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.  Photos of naked girls embracing, a painting showing public urination, and so many other examples of bad taste and moral chaos!  At a public university–and paid for with tax dollars.  Bingo! A campaign issue is born.

The late Senator Jesse Helms’s crusade against the National Endowment for the Arts is clearly the inspiration for this plot, but the novel doesn’t focus on the senator.  Rather, we see the campaign–all the scheming, in-fighting, spinning, and collateral damage–through the eyes of the senator’s chief administrative assistant, Billy Bowater.  Billy, a member of an esteemed eastern North Carolina family, has been with Senator Hoots for five years.  His father, a politically connected lawyer, got the placement for Billy when Billy’s drinking and boredom with small town lawyering threatened the family’s reputation.  Billy has thrived in Washington–the bright lights, the intrigue, the nearness to power thrill him.  That thrill allows him to ignore his dislike for the senator, his politics, and the other members of the senator’s team.  Billy’s true feelings bubble up from time to time, especially when he is with Lucy Sue Tribble, a reporter for the Raleigh paper.  Readers follow Billy as the campaign swings into high gear.  This likely won’t be the senator’s last campaign, but will it be Billy’s?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Coastal Plain, Hanes, E. C., Piedmont

Carla Cassidy. Her Secret, His Duty. Don Mills, Ontario: Harlequin, 2014.

hersecret,hisdutyThat can’t be! Debra Prentice can’t be pregnant, but thinking back six weeks ago to that passionate one night stand proves that she can. Debra has no intentions of giving her baby up; she’ll just have to keep the baby’s father a secret forever. Because, even though Debra has had a crush on the man for years, she knows that she isn’t right for him – that she isn’t the kind of woman that a man of his standing needs beside him. As the product of an affair between a married man and a drunk, Debra’s background is not one that could boost Trey Winston up the political ladder that he is seeking to climb in Raleigh, North Carolina. Not to mention that he is her boss’s son.

Trey Winston has just announced to his family that he is planning on running for United States Senate. Everyone knows he has it in him, as he is the product of a political family. Trey’s father was a politician up until the day he died, and his mother still is one. Kate Winston, Trey’s mother, has served as an ambassador to France and was also the first female vice president. With a legacy like that, Trey can win this race. Of course, he would appeal to voters more if he was married. Trey has the perfect candidate in mind to be his wife, Cecily McKenna. Cecily comes from old money and has everything it takes to be the perfect politician’s wife – including the ability to set aside her emotions. Everyone expects that Trey will propose to Cecily very soon in order to cement his candidacy. The only problem is that Trey can’t get his mind off of Debra. Trey hasn’t even touched Cecily since the night with Debra that is forever burned into his mind.

When Kate Winston, Debra’s boss, asks Debra to help Trey with his announcement gala, the two will have to spend a lot of time together. Seeing how much Trey is invested in running for the Senate, Debra’s determination to keep the father of her baby a secret only grows. However, the more time Trey spends with Debra, the more he realizes that he can’t marry Cecily because he is in love with Debra. After attacks on Debra’s life, Trey resolves to keep her safe–but is he only putting her in more danger?

Her Secret, His Duty is the first novel in The Adair Legacy series. This series is the tale of a family steeped in politics, and how love can help to heal all wounds.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Cassidy, Carla, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Wake