Tag Archives: Families

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

Felicia Mason. Hidden Riches. New York: Kensington, 2014.

hiddenrichesAna Mae Futrell spent her life taking care of others. Now it’s her siblings and loved ones turn to return the favor by carrying out Ana Mae’s last wishes outlined in her will. This involves a reluctant return, and longer stay than expected, in Drapersville, North Carolina – a fictional town near Ahoskie, North Carolina.

There is a lot that Ana Mae’s siblings don’t know about her, such as she’d won big on a lottery ticket and she had a son, but they’re going to learn about Ana Mae now. Ana Mae’s estate consists of 3.8 million dollars and she has left clues that must be solved in order to claim the money. The clues are sewed onto a quilt and the first to uncover all the clues and discover the meaning of the quilt will inherit the millions. If the siblings cannot determine the meaning of the quilt or are unwilling to play by Ana Mae’s rules, then the money goes to Diamond Jim and Bay Sue – Ana Mae’s Cats – and “Too Sweet,” better known as Reverend Toussaint, with whom Ana Mae shared a special past. Ana Mae was a virtuous woman – one who believed in God and family. This quest will bring her family closer than they have been in years.

Let’s meet the siblings.

The oldest of the siblings is Marguerite, better known in her hometown as “Delcine”. Delcine and her husband, Winslow, both work for the government, and are pretty well off, or so it would seem. In reality, Delcine and Winslow are no longer taking exotic trips and can barely afford to rent a hotel for their stay in North Carolina. Actually, they can’t even afford to do that as they are bankrupt, and Winslow is facing an indictment. Delcine is determined to get this money for her family.

Next up is Josephine, who goes by JoJo. JoJo is trying to escape the fast life of Las Vegas along with her good-for-nothing husband Lester. JoJo made it big for a while as a showgirl, but now that she’s older and gained a few pounds, she’s just ready to settle down. That can’t happen with Lester around, and now that he’s caught the scent of millions she might never be rid of him. Moving back home to North Carolina is looking like a great idea. JoJo misses the simplicity and knows Lester won’t be able to stand being in such a slow paced environment. JoJo wants the money so that she can begin a new life and doesn’t mind sharing it with her siblings. Along the journey, JoJo just might learn some things about Ana Mae that help her to see herself in a new light.

Lastly is Clayton, the baby boy of the family and the most successful of them all. Clayton is a doctor married to a lawyer. The only catch is he’s married to a male lawyer, Archer. Anyone from a small Southern town knows that most of the people aren’t accepting of those who are different. A gay black boy was the epitome of different when Clay was growing up, and he couldn’t wait to escape North Carolina. Clay and Archer don’t need the money, but they soon discover that this quest is about more than money. It’s about getting to know the woman that was Ana Mae–and Clay may have more to learn than his siblings.

Hidden Riches is a tale of family, the changes that can occur, and the differences that can get in the way. This is a novel that many families can relate to.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Coastal Plain, Hertford, Mason, Felicia, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Jennifer Estep. Killer Frost. New York: Kensington Publishing, 2014.

killerfrost“Self-sacrifice is a very powerful thing, especially if you do it of your own free will.”

Gwen Frost is just settling down from her last battle with the Reapers, in which her boyfriend Logan was possessed and forced to turn against her. Now Logan and Gwen are out on a double date with Gwen’s best friend Daphne and her boyfriend Carson, and everything is becoming normal again. Nevertheless, there is one moment that dampens the mood – apparently other students at Mythos Academy are betting on when the Reapers will show up next and if Gwen will be able to stop them. As the goddess Nike’s chosen champion, it is Gwen’s duty to kill the god Loki and stop his Reapers from taking over the magical world. However, Gwen has not shared this bit of information with her friends.

The reoccurring bet is that the Reapers will show up at the Valentine’s Day dance, but Gwen thinks it has been too quiet and is expecting something to occur before then. She turns out to be correct. The Reapers attack while Gwen and her friends, along with the Protectorate, are transporting artifacts to Mythos Academy. When Gwen foils their plans, Vivian, the champion of Loki, and her mentor Agrona strike back at Gwen – and they make things personal.

Gwen is forced to make a hard decision – to lose yet another person she loves or to risk the lives of everyone in the magical world by giving Loki an artifact that could bring him back to full strength. If you’ve been following the series and know Gwen, it’s not hard to guess what path she chooses. With Gwen’s choice, the final battle between Gwen and Loki begins. Gwen’s destiny is to kill Loki, but she can’t envision how to do so without losing herself. Before this tale ends, Gwen will have another difficult choice to make–she must choose her fate.

Killer Frost is the sixth and final installment in the Mythos Academy series. Estep continues to make her characters relatable – what teenager could sentence a loved one to death for the good of all? These supernatural characters are still everyday teenagers, and this is just one of the appeals of this series. In this sixth novel, readers will learn what exactly is needed to defeat an evil such as Loki.

Young adult readers ages 13 and up will enjoy this mythological urban fantasy series.

Are you new to the series? Then check out our post on the first novel in the Mythos Academy series, Touch of Frost. Or, check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Buncombe, Children & Young Adults, Estep, Jennifer, Mountains, Novels in Series, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Marybeth Whalen. The Bridge Tender. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014.

thebridgetender“Don’t forget, you made a promise and I’m going to hold you to it.”

In July of 2001, Emily Shaw made her first trip to Sunset Beach, North Carolina with her husband Ryan. It was a magical honeymoon, so magical that the two made a promise to someday have a house there.

It is presently March 3, 2006, and Ryan and Emily have never made it back to Sunset Beach. This date has not been of past importance to Emily, but now, in 2006, it has become one of the worst days of her life–one that will forever be branded into her memory. Today is the day that she must say goodbye to her husband. Emily was so sure, up until the very end, that Ryan would win the battle against cancer. She has no idea how she is going to go on without him, and is nowhere near ready to let him go. So, when Paul Griffin, a lawyer, comes to Emily stating that he has information left for her by Ryan, she jumps at the chance to have this last connection with him.

Griffin reveals that Ryan had another insurance policy, one that he kept secret from Emily. He gives Emily a letter from Ryan which details that the policy must be used for one thing, to buy a home in Sunset Beach where a future awaits, “…bright as that sunshine we walked in, as warm as those days we spent on the beach together, as happy as you’ve made me[Ryan].” Emily’s best friend Marta eagerly pushes her to go, but it isn’t until a year later that Emily forces herself to return to Sunset Beach so that she can keep her promise.

During her search, Emily meets a kindred spirit, another woman tied to a promise made long ago. This marks the start of many new meetings and developing friendships that will show Emily she is needed, there is hope, and that she is loved and can learn to love again.

The Bridge Tender is fourth in the Sunset Beach series, a series filled with love lost, hope renewed, and chances taken. Check out The Bridge Tender’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog. If you’re new to the series, check out our blog post on the first title The Mailbox.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Brunswick, Coast, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship, Whalen, Marybeth

Colleen Coble. Seagrass Pier. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2014.

seagrasspierElin Summerall is taking it easy after a life-saving heart transplant. However, her new heart seems to have other ideas. Elin is having violent dreams – dreams that are flashbacks to her donor’s murder. Elin can’t stand idly by and keep quiet about what she knows, which leads to unwanted attention from the press and unbelief from the authorities. Not to mention that the killer is now stalking Elin. Having lost her husband, Elin is living on her own with her young daughter and aging mother. After a break-in at her house, Elin decides it’s time to get away and takes off to Hope Island, on the North Carolina coast.

The police are doubtful of Elin’s claims that she is having flashbacks to the murder of her donor, but one off-duty FBI agent, Marc Everton, is willing to try anything that may lead to solving this case. Marc’s best friend was murdered while investigating the case. When Marc finds out that Elin received the victim’s heart, he searches her out to get some answers. Captivatingly, Marc and Elin have a history – a history that catches up to Marc when he sees Elin’s five-year old daughter for the first time and realizes that she is his daughter as well. Elin kept his daughter from him for five years, but he doesn’t plan on missing out on any more of her life. Marc doesn’t know if he’ll ever be able to forgive Elin. However, Marc must put his feelings aside and solve this case so that he can keep Elin and their daughter safe. To do this, he’ll have to follow Elin to Hope Island.

Marc lives with Elin and her family on Hope Island while they work together to discover what Elin knows that could lead to her donor’s killer. Living in such close proximity soon causes forgotten passions to rise between the two. Before long, Marc is faced with the option of stepping into a ready-made family, and Elin is hoping for the chance at a love-filled marriage. Nevertheless, someone doesn’t want them together–someone is seeking to silence Elin before she can reveal what she’s discovered. Marc and Elin are in a race against time to unearth the secrets held in Elin’s new heart. Will the couple unearth more than what they are looking for? Is Marc ready to forgive Elin and possibly gain more than just a cordial relationship with the mother of his child? Is Elin ready to take another chance on love?

Seagrass Pier is the third novel in the Hope Beach series. Interested readers should consult our blog posts on the first two novels in the series, Tidewater Inn and Rosemary Cottage.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Coast, Coble, Colleen, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship

Jodie Bailey. Quilted by Christmas. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2014.

quiltedIt has been twelve years. Twelve years since that fateful night when Taryn McKenna pushed Justin Callahan, her high school sweetheart, to take the next step in their relationship. Taryn hasn’t seen him since. Reeling from the breakup and guarding a secret that must never come to light, Taryn went off to school, but soon found herself back home and is now a teacher in fictional Hollings, North Carolina.

Not too long before Christmas, Taryn finds her calm and quiet existence disrupted by Justin’s return from the army. But, he’s not back for a short visit; Justin has retired and come home to Hollings for good. Now, Justin’s words, “You’re needy. Manipulative. You used me,” are ringing in Taryn’s head once again. Moreover, not only does she have to face him in town, but Taryn’s Grandma Jemma has hired Justin to do some work around Jemma’s house. What is Taryn to do when her only haven has been invaded by a man she has done everything to forget?

When Grandma Jemma is rushed to the hospital, Taryn must admit that it isn’t feeling a lot like Christmas, though this new event does show Taryn exactly the kind of man that Justin has grown into. Before her stint in the hospital, Grandma Jemma was working on a hand-stitched quilt as a wedding present for Taryn’s cousin. It is a tradition for a hand-stitched quilt containing an Irish chain to be made for every new McKenna bride. With Jemma in the hospital, it is Taryn’s duty to finish the quilt. Nevertheless, fate must be working against the McKenna’s because there is no way that Taryn will finish this quilt on her own. When Justin offers to commit his quilting skills to the cause, will Taryn be able to set her feelings aside? Even more importantly, will Taryn recognize the opportunities for healing that God is placing in front of her?

Quilted by Christmas is the twenty-second title in the Quilts of Love series. This series is made up of a multitude of books written by various authors to share their stories of “love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings.” This is much like how a quilt is made up of many tiny stiches that are assembled together to tell a story.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Bailey, Jodie, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship

Charles Dodd White. A Shelter of Others. Peninsula, OH: Fiddleblack, 2014.

As they came into the foothills and later the mountains, the trees nudged in closer, attending him, constricting the passage into some form he could reasonably suffer.  So different than the unfamiliar world of the piedmont, a place that was crushed, dimensionless.  Here there was a grip and hold, a country with legacies not easily slipped.

So it seems to Mason Laws, returning to his home base in western North Carolina after a term in prison.  His wife Lavada and aged father Sam are here, but Mason isn’t sure that he wants to resume his life with either of them. Lavada has been living with the old man, juggling her work in a dinner with the increasingly sad and frightening work of keeping Sam cared for and safe while his mind slips away.

Mason choose first to bunk with his Cousin Ray-Ray rather than with Lavada and his father.  Soon he gets work and a place to stay and the space he needs to reflect on his life.  But Mason isn’t much for keeping his probation officer informed of his whereabouts.  The resulting intrusion of  law enforcement into Sam’s life, combined with Sam and Mason’s history and Lavada’s feelings of obligation to the two men, brings grief to the people in this taut, dark story.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Mountains, White, Charles Dodd

Emilie Richards. No River Too Wide. Don Mills, Ontario: Harlequin Mira, 2014.

noriverJanine Stoddard has spent years of her life trying to please her abusive husband Rex. In the early years of their marriage, she thought he would change, but then Janine switched her behaviors to try to avoid his rage. Later she tried to draw his attention, in hopes of protecting their children from the brunt of his wrath. Now that both kids are out of Rex’s reach, Janine has been preparing for the day when she could make her escape. Tonight is the night! Rex has been gone for a while and it looks like he won’t be coming back this night. With the help of the group, Moving On – a collection of lady truckers who help women get out of these situations – Janine is ready to run.

The plan is for Janine to go somewhere where Rex won’t be able to find her. However, Janine can’t resist the chance to make her way to Asheville, North Carolina to see her daughter Harmony and granddaughter Lottie.  Once Harmony has her mother back, she isn’t ready to let her go. Janine is not too keen on giving up their relationship herself, so she agrees to stay, but first, they need a plan. Taylor Martin, a close friend of Janine’s, stumbles upon their reunion. Taylor offers to help Janine, just as Harmony helped Taylor’s mother when Taylor was unable to do so. Taylor opens her home to Janine, who has now taken on the name of Jan Seaton.

Opening her home isn’t the only new adventure Taylor will be taking on. Another newcomer, Adam Pryor, will have Taylor opening up her heart as well. Nevertheless, Adam is keeping a secret that could destroy his and Taylor’s relationship, and tear apart Janine and Harmony’s mother-daughter reunion. Will Janine and Harmony be able to work on reconnecting with the threat of Rex still hanging over their heads? Will Adam share his secret in time or will he shatter all four of their lives?

No River Too Wide is book three in the Goddesses Anonymous series – a series filled with tales of betrayal, love, and the hope of forgiveness.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Buncombe, Mountains, Novels in Series, Religious/Inspirational, Richards, Emilie, Romance/Relationship

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