Saturday, April 18, 2015

Prep-School Mystery Book List

Prep-School mysteries something that you like? Want more? Check out this book list...





1) "Prep School Confidential" by Kara Taylor

Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne could care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate, Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school. When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.


2) "Very Bad Things" by Susan McBride

Born into a life of privilege and secrets, Nora Blakely has everything any nineteen-year-old girl could desire. She's an accomplished pianist, a Texas beauty queen, and on her way to Princeton after high school. She's perfect. Or is she?

Leaving behind her million-dollar mansion and Jimmy Choos, she changes the course of her life, becoming a girl hell-bent on pushing the limits with alcohol, drugs, and meaningless sex.

Then through a chance encounter, she meets her soulmate. But he doesn't want her.

When it comes to girls, twenty-five-year-old Leo Tate has one rule: never fall in love. His gym and his brother are all he cares about...until he meets Nora. He resists the pull of their attraction, hung up on their six year age difference.

As they struggle to stay away from each other, secrets will be revealed, tempers will flare, and hearts will be broken.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy...where sometimes, the best things in life are Very Bad Things.


3) "Private" by Kate Brian

Tradition, Honor, Excellence...and secrets so dark they're almost invisible

Fifteen-year-old Reed Brennan wins a scholarship to Easton Academy -- the golden ticket away from her pill-popping mother and run-of-the-mill suburban life. But when she arrives on the beautiful, tradition-steeped campus of Easton, everyone is just a bit more sophisticated, a bit more gorgeous, and a lot wealthier than she ever thought possible. Reed realizes that even though she has been accepted to Easton, Easton has not accepted her. She feels like she's on the outside, looking in.

Until she meets the Billings Girls.

They are the most beautiful, intelligent, and intensely confident girls on campus. And they know it. They hold all the power in a world where power is fleeting but means everything. Reed vows to do whatever it takes to be accepted into their inner circle.

Reed uses every part of herself -- the good, the bad, the beautiful -- to get closer to the Billings Girls. She quickly discovers that inside their secret parties and mountains of attitude, hanging in their designer clothing-packed closets the Billings Girls have skeletons. And they'll do anything to keep their secrets private.


4) "Hysteria" by Megan Miranda

Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can't remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn't charged. But Mallory still feels Brian's presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her . . . or anything about her past.But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others.

In another riveting tale of life and death, Megan Miranda's masterful storytelling brings readers along for a ride to the edge of sanity and back again.


5) "Conversion" by Katherine Howe

It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.

First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joan’s buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.

Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—who’s been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago ...


6) "The Liar Society" by Lisa Roecker

Since when do the dead send emails?

Kate Lowry's best friend Grace died a year ago. So when she gets an email from her, Kate's more than a little confused.

To: KateLowry@pemberlybrown.edu
From: GraceLee@pemberlybrown.edu
Subject: (no subject)
Kate,
I'm here... sort of.
Find Cameron. He knows.
I shouldn't be writing.
Don't tell. They'll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace's death was more than just a tragic accident. She teams up with a couple of knights-in-(not-so)-shining armor-the dangerously hot bad boy, Liam, and her lovestruck neighbor, Seth. But at their elite private school, there are secrets so big people will do anything to protect them-even if it means getting rid of anyone trying to solve a murder...


7) "The Name of the Star" by Maureen Johnson

The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree of more than a century ago. Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him--the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target. In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.


8) "New Girl" by Paige Harbison

Welcome to Manderley Academy
I hadn't wanted to go, but my parents were so excited…. So here I am, the new girl at Manderley, a true fish out of water. But mine's not the name on everyone's lips. Oh, no.

It's Becca Normandy they can't stop talking about. Perfect, beautiful Becca. She went missing at the end of last year, leaving a spot open at Manderley—the spot that I got. And everyone acts like it's my fault that infallible, beloved Becca is gone and has been replaced by not perfect, completely fallible, unknown Me.

Then, there's the name on my lips—Max Holloway. Becca's ex. The one boy I should avoid, but can't. Thing is, it seems like he wants me, too. But the memory of Becca is always between us. And as much as I'm starting to like it at Manderley, I can't help but think she's out there, somewhere, watching me take her place.

Waiting to take it back.


9) "Thorn Abbey" by Nancy Ohlin

Becca was the perfect girlfriend: smart, gorgeous, and loved by everyone at New England’s premier boarding school, Thorn Abbey. But Becca’s dead. And her boyfriend, Max, can’t get over his loss.

Then Tess transfers to Thorn Abbey. She’s shy, insecure, and ordinary—everything that Becca wasn’t. And despite her roommate’s warnings, she falls for brooding Max.

Now Max finally has a reason to move on. Except it won’t be easy. Because Becca may be gone, but she’s not quite ready to let him go…


Thursday, April 16, 2015

New Historical Fiction for 2015 Continues

Enjoy Historical Fiction? Want to know what is coming out this year? Check out this book list...



1) "A Memory of Violets" by Hazel Gaynor

In 1912, twenty-year-old Tilly Harper leaves the peace and beauty of her native Lake District for London, to become assistant housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. For years, the home has cared for London’s flower girls—orphaned and crippled children living on the grimy streets and selling posies of violets and watercress to survive.

Soon after she arrives, Tilly discovers a diary written by an orphan named Florrie—a young Irish flower girl who died of a broken heart after she and her sister, Rosie, were separated. Moved by Florrie’s pain and all she endured in her brief life, Tilly sets out to discover what happened to Rosie. But the search will not be easy. Full of twists and surprises, it leads the caring and determined young woman into unexpected places, including the depths of her own heart.


2) "The Dream Lover" by Elizabeth Berg

At the beginning of this powerful novel, we meet Aurore Dupin as she is leaving her estranged husband, a loveless marriage, and her family’s estate in the French countryside to start a new life in Paris. There, she gives herself a new name—George Sand—and pursues her dream of becoming a writer, embracing an unconventional and even scandalous lifestyle.

Paris in the nineteenth century comes vividly alive, illuminated by the story of the loves, passions, and fierce struggles of a woman who defied the confines of society. Sand’s many lovers and friends include Frédéric Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugène Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Marie Dorval, and Alfred de Musset. As Sand welcomes fame and friendship, she fights to overcome heartbreak and prejudice, failure and loss. Though considered the most gifted genius of her time, she works to reconcile the pain of her childhood, of disturbing relationships with her mother and daughter, and of her intimacies with women and men. Will the life she longs for always be just out of reach—a dream?

Brilliantly written in luminous prose, and with remarkable insights into the heart and mind of a literary force, The Dream Lover tells the unforgettable story of a courageous, irresistible woman.


3) "The Seven Sisters" by Lucinda Riley

Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings.

Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to complete his vision. Izabela—passionate and longing to see the world—convinces her father to allow her to accompany him and his family to Europe before she is married. There, at Paul Landowski’s studio and in the heady, vibrant cafes of Montparnasse, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again.

In this sweeping, epic tale of love and loss—the first in a unique, spellbinding series of seven novels—Lucinda Riley showcases her storytelling talent like never before.


4) "Mist of Midnight" by Sandra Byrd

In the first of a brand-new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands.

Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her...and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca's name, but her home and incomes.

That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father's investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?

A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless.


5) "A Touch of Stardust" by Kate Alcott

When Julie Crawford leaves Fort Wayne, Indiana, for Hollywood, she never imagines she’ll cross paths with Carole Lombard, the dazzling actress fromJulie’s provincial Midwestern hometown. The young woman has dreams of becoming a screenwriter, but the only job Julie’s able to find is one in the studio publicity office of the notoriously demanding producer David O. Selznick, who is busy burning through directors, writers, and money as he films Gone with the Wind.

Although tensions run high on the set, Julie finds she can step onto the back lot, take in the smell of smoky gunpowder and the soft rustle of hoop skirts, and feel the magical world of Gone with the Windcome to life. Julie’s access to real-life magic comes when Carole Lombard hires her as an assistant and invites her into the glamorous world Carole shares with Clark Gable, who is about to move into movie history as the dashing Rhett Butler. 

Carole Lombard, happily profane and uninhibited, makes no secret of her relationship with Gable, which poses something of a problem for the studio because Gable is technically still married—and the last thing the film needs is more negative publicity. Julie is there to fend off the overly curious reporters, hoping to prevent details about the affair from slipping out. But she can barely keep up with her blond employer, let alone control what comes out of Carole’s mouth, and—as their friendship grows—Julie soon finds she doesn’t want to. Carole, both wise and funny, becomes Julie’s model for breaking free of the past.

In the ever-widening scope of this story, Julie is given a front-row seat to not one but two of the greatest love affairs of all time: the undeniable on-screen chemistry between Scarlett and Rhett, and offscreen, the deepening love between Carole and Clark. Yet beneath the shiny façade, things in Hollywood are never quite what they seem, and Julie must learn to balance her career aspirations and her own budding romance with the outsized personalities and overheated drama on set. Vivid, romantic, and filled with Old Hollywood details, A Touch of Stardust will entrance, surprise, and delight.


6) "The Race for Paris" by Meg Waite Clayton

The New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Sisters returns with a moving and powerfully dynamic World War II novel about two American journalists and an Englishman, who together race the Allies to Occupied Paris for the scoop of their lives.

Normandy, 1944. To cover the fighting in France, Jane, a reporter for the Nashville Banner, and Liv, an Associated Press photographer, have endured enormous danger and frustrating obstacles—including strict military regulations limiting what women correspondents can. Even so, Liv wants more.

Encouraged by her husband, the editor of a New York newspaper, she’s determined to be the first photographer to reach Paris with the Allies, and capture its freedom from the Nazis.

However, her Commanding Officer has other ideas about the role of women in the press corps. To fulfill her ambitions, Liv must go AWOL. She persuades Jane to join her, and the two women find a guardian angel in Fletcher, a British military photographer who reluctantly agrees to escort them. As they race for Paris across the perilous French countryside, Liv, Jane, and Fletcher forge an indelible emotional bond that will transform them and reverberate long after the war is over.

Based on daring, real-life female reporters on the front lines of history like Margaret Bourke-White, Lee Miller, and Martha Gellhorn—and with cameos by other famous faces of the time—The Race for Parisis an absorbing, atmospheric saga full of drama, adventure, and passion. Combining riveting storytelling with expert literary craftsmanship and thorough research, Meg Waite Clayton crafts a compelling, resonant read.


7) "Things Half in Shadow" by Alan Finn

Postbellum America makes for a haunting backdrop in this historical and supernatural tale of moonlit cemeteries, masked balls, cunning mediums, and terrifying secrets waiting to be unearthed by an intrepid crime reporter.

Edward Clark is a successful young crime reporter in comfortable circumstances with a lovely, well-connected fiancée. Then an assignment to write a series of exposés on the city’s mediums places all that in jeopardy.

In the Philadelphia of 1869, photographs of Civil War dead adorn dim sitting rooms, and grieving families attempt to contact their lost loved ones. Edward’s investigation of the beautiful young medium Lucy Collins has unintended consequences, however. He uncovers her tricks, but realizes to his dismay that Lucy is more talented at blackmail than she is at a medium’s sleights of hand. And since Edward has a hidden past, he reluctantly agrees that they should collaborate in exposing only her rivals.

The mysterious murder of noted medium Lenora Grimes Pastor as Lucy and Edward attend her séance results in a plum story for Edward—and a great deal more. The pair want to clear themselves from suspicion, but a search spanning the houses of the wealthy to the underside of nineteenth-century Philadelphia unearths a buzzing beehive of past murder, current danger, and supernatural occurrences that cannot be explained…


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Day In History

Learn something new about today...


Significant Events

1755- Samuel Johnson's "A Dictionary of the English Language" published in London.1877 - 1st telephone installed: Boston-Somerville, Mass

1896 - 1st Olympic games close at Athens, Greece

1912 - RMS Titanic sinks at 2:27 AM off Newfoundland as band plays on

2013 - 3 people are killed and 183 are injured after two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon

Historical Events

69-Battle at Bedriacum, North-Italy1205 - Battle at Adrianople: Bulgaria beats Emp Boudouin of Constantinople

1250 - Pope Innoncent III refuses Jews of Cordova Spain to build a synagogue

1450 - French defeat English at Battle of Formigny in 100 Years' War

1493 - -20/4 Barcelona] Columbus meets with King Ferdinand & Isabella

1528 - Pánfilo the Narváez, Spanish conquistador arrives in Florida with 350 men to a hostile reception from native Indians

1534 - Thomas Cromwell is appointed Chief Secretary to King Henry VIII

1581- Cortes van Thomar accepts Philip II as king of Portugal1594 - Fleming Pieter Stevens appointed royal painter of Rudolf II (Prague)

1621 - Hugo the Great arrives in France

1632 - Battle of Rain; Swedes under Gustavus Adolphus defeat Count Tilly of the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years' War.

1654 - England & Netherlands sign peace treaty

1689 - French King Louis XIV declares war on Spain

1697 - Charles XII succeeds Charles XI as King of Sweden

1715 - Pocotaligo Massacre triggers the start of the Yamasee War in colonial South Carolina.

1716 - Russian & Prussian troops occupy Wismar

1729 - Johann Sebastian Bach's "St Matthew Passion" premieres in Leipzig

1738 - Bottle opener invented

1738 - Premiere in London of "Serse", an Italian opera by George Frederic Handel.


1755-  Samuel Johnson's "A Dictionary of the English Language" published in London.1776 - Duchess of Kingston found guilty of bigamy

1788 - Britain, Netherlands & Prussia sign peace treaty

1793 - Bank of England issues first £5 note

1802 - William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy see a "long belt" of daffodils, inspiring the former to pen "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud".

1817 - 1st American school for the deaf opens (Hartford Conn)

1850 - City of San Francisco incorporated

1851 - Earl G Andressy sentenced to death in Hungary

1853 - Protestant church questions king Willem III RC bishops

1858 - Battle of Azimghur, Mexicans defeat Spanish loyalists

1861 - Federal army (75,000 volunteers) mobilized by US President Lincoln (US Civil War)


Famous Weddings

1595 - Willem I's daughter of Elisabeth of Nassau marries duke Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne of Broth

1909 - Mien Wenneker, Dutch prince Henry's lover, weds Uncle Cornelis Abbo

1925 - Russian writer ("Lolita") Vladimir Nabokov (26) marries fellow Russian writer Vera Evseevna Slonim (23) in Berlin

1953 - Ice hockey player Gordie Howe (25) weds sports agent Colleen Joffa (20) at Calvary Presbyterian Church

1978 - Novelist Danielle Steel (30) weds William George Toth

Famous Divorces 

1994 - Robert F Kennedy Jr (21 days after his divorce) weds Mary Richardson

2011 - Grammy-winning pop singer Christina Aguilera (29) divorces music executive Jordan Bratman (33) due to irreconcilable differences after 5 years of marriage

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Regency and Victorian Mystery Book Lists

Enjoy Victorian Mysteries? Want more? Check out this book list...



1) "Silent in the Grave" by Deanna Rayburn

"Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave."

These ominous words are the last threat that Sir Edward Grey receives from his killer. Before he can show them to Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent he has retained for his protection, he collapses and dies at his London home, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests.

Prepared to accept that Edward's death was due to a long-standing physical infirmity, Julia is outraged when Brisbane visits and suggests that her husband was murdered. It is a reaction she comes to regret when she discovers damning evidence for herself, and realizes the truth.

Determined to bring the murderer to justice, Julia engages the enigmatic Brisbane to help her investigate Edward's demise. Dismissing his warnings that the investigation will be difficult, if not impossible, Julia presses forward, following a trail of clues that lead her to even more unpleasant truths, and ever closer to a killer who waits expectantly for her arrival.


2) "What Angels Fear" by C.S. Harris

It's 1811, and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III's England. Then a beautiful young woman is found savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey. A dueling pistol found at the scene and the damning testimony of a witness both point to one man-Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic Wars.


3) "And Only to Deceive" by Tasha Alexander

For Emily, accepting the proposal of Philip, the Viscount Ashton, was an easy way to escape her overbearing mother, who was set on a grand society match. So when Emily's dashing husband died on safari soon after their wedding, she felt little grief. After all, she barely knew him. Now, nearly two years later, she discovers that Philip was a far different man from the one she had married so cavalierly. His journals reveal him to have been a gentleman scholar and antiquities collector who, to her surprise, was deeply in love with his wife. Emily becomes fascinated with this new image of her dead husband and she immerses herself in all things ancient and begins to study Greek.

Emily's intellectual pursuits and her desire to learn more about Philip take her to the quiet corridors of the British Museum, one of her husband's favorite places. There, amid priceless ancient statues, she uncovers a dark, dangerous secret involving stolen artifacts from the Greco-Roman galleries. And to complicate matters, she's juggling two very prominent and wealthy suitors, one of whose intentions may go beyond the marrying kind. As she sets out to solve the crime, her search leads to more surprises about Philip and causes her to question the role in Victorian society to which she, as a woman, is relegated.


4) "The Cater Street Hangman" by Anne Perry

While the Ellison girls were out paying calls and drinking tea like proper Victorian ladies, a maid in their household was strangled to death. The quiet and young Inspector Pitt investigates the scene and finds no one above suspicion. As his intense questioning causes many a composed facade to crumble, Pitt finds himself couriously drawn to pretty Charlotte Ellison. Yet, a romance between a society girl and so unsuitable a suitor was impossible in the midst of a murder....


5) "The Secret History of the Pink Carnation" by Lauren Willig

Nothing goes right for Eloise. The one day she wears her new suede boots, it rains cats and dogs. When the subway stops short, she’s always the one thrown into some stranger’s lap. Plus, she’s had more than her share of misfortune in the way of love. In fact, ever since she realized romantic heroes are a thing of the past, she’s decided it’s time for a fresh start.

Setting off for England, Eloise is determined to finish her dissertation on that dashing pair of spies, the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. But what she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: the secret history of the Pink Carnation—the most elusive spy of all time. As she works to unmask this obscure spy, Eloise stumbles across answers to all kinds of questions. Like how did the Pink Carnation save England from Napoleon? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly escape her bad luck and find a living, breathing hero all her own?


6) "The Hanover Square Affair" by Ashley Gardner

London, 1816 Cavalry captain Gabriel Lacey returns to Regency London from the Napoleonic Wars, burned out, fighting melancholia, his career ended. His interest is piqued when he learns of a missing girl, possibly kidnapped by a prominent member of Parliament. Lacey's search for the girl leads to the discovery of murder, corruption, and dealings with a leader of the underworld. At the same time, he faces his own disorientation transitioning from a soldier's life to the civilian world, redefining his role with his former commanding officer, and making new friends--from the top of society to the street girls of Covent Garden.


7) "The Dante Club" by Matthew Pearl

Boston, 1865. A series of murders, all of them inspired by scenes in Dante’s Inferno. Only an elite group of America’s first Dante scholars—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, and J. T. Fields—can solve the mystery. With the police baffled, more lives endangered, and Dante’s literary future at stake, the Dante Club must shed its sheltered literary existence and find the killer.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Self-Publishing Young Adult Author Book Lists

Enjoy authors who self-publish? Enjoy young adult books? Like a combination of the two? Check out this book list...




1) "Bridger" by Megan Curd

In this captivating young adult novel, Ashlyn McVean is thrown into the crosshairs of grudges her grandmother created long ago when she finds out she is one of two people able to cross between faerie realms. Never having believed in fairy tales, Ashlyn is faced with trying to understand her abilities, while navigating a new relationship with her boyfriend, Liam. As if being on a centuries old hit list and dealing with crazed pixies isn’t enough, her new abilities mean danger for Liam and everyone else she loves. Ashlyn must decide what’s more important to her—her regular life with friends and family or her life within the faerie realms.


2) "Cross My Heart" by Katie Klein

True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Jaden pretending not to notice. . . . Jaden McEntyre and Parker Whalen are a wrong fit from the start. Jaden is driven and focused, Harvard Med School within reach. Parker has a past—a reputation—and the rumors about his mysterious habits abound. So there’s no reason why, when they're assigned to work together on a project in English, they should discover they have anything in common, or even like each other, and they definitely shouldn't be falling in love. As they bond over Edith Wharton’s tragic novella, Ethan Frome, the “bad boy” vibe Parker plays begins to dissipate. Soon, Jaden finds herself shedding her own “good girl” image: sneaking around to be with him, confiding in him, and ultimately falling hard for this leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving loner who plays into the rebel stereotype. Still, Jaden can't shake the feeling that there's more to Parker than he's letting on. He's hiding something from her, and discovering the truth means reconciling the Parker she's grown to love with the person he really is. Because it's possible that his life inside the classroom—everything Jaden knows—is one, massive lie.


3) "Jenny Pox" by J.L. Bryan

Eighteen-year-old Jenny Morton has a horrific secret: her touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague, the "Jenny pox." She lives by a single rule: Never touch anyone. A lifetime of avoiding any physical contact with others has made her isolated and painfully lonely in her small rural town.

Then she meets the one boy she can touch, and her life begins to change. Jenny feels herself falling for him, but first Jenny must learn to use the deadly pox inside her to confront her new enemy, a girl who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.


4) "Overprotected" by Jennifer Laurens

Ashlyn: A lonely society princess living in New York City. Daddy hired you to be my bodyguard. Colin: Childhood enemy, now her protector. Daddy thought I d be safe. He thought I d never fall in love. He thought he could keep me forever. Charles: obsessed with keeping her safe, keeping her his, he hires the one person he knows she could never fall in love with: Colin. Daddy was wrong. A kidnapping leaves a father fanatical about his only child's safety. A story of obsessive love and the quest for independence.


5) "Unloveable" by Sherry Gammon

Eighteen year-old senior Maggie Brown is the poster child for Heroin Chic, complete with jutting bones and dark-ringed eyes. But drugs are not Maggie's problem; her mother is. Maggie's struggling with her growing feelings for the new guy at school, Seth Prescott, and fears he is just another person who will let her down, like everyone in her life has done so far. 

Seth Prescott is an undercover cop assigned to Port Fare High, and despite his job, he's developed strong feelings for Maggie. While Seth's working tirelessly to flush out the sadistic drug peddlers that have invaded the small town of Port Fare, New York, Maggie's fighting to stay alive as the fight turns deadly.


6) "Airborne" by Constance Sharper

Avery knew she had a knack for attracting trouble, but even she is shocked when a six-foot-something harpie shows up on her doorstep. Coping with the existence of a mythological race? Okay. Unwittingly finding herself in the middle of a vicious harpie conflict? A little less okay. Having to rely on an arrogant harpie boy who gets under her skin? Now that is something Avery isn’t sure she can handle.


7) "Destined" by Jessie Harrell

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear. As she feels herself slipping closer to the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist, and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: YOU CANNOT ESCAPE WHAT IS DESTINED. Destined is a fresh and heart achingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist Jessie Harrell.


8) "The Legend of the Firewalker" by Steve Bevil

A black hooded figure suddenly appeared behind her. She gasped and her brown eyes grew wide. Nathan watched helplessly as a small trickle of blood fell from her mouth. Other hooded figures appeared; their silver swords clutched upright against their chests. Nathan held tight to her lifeless body while trying to fight back the tears that swelled in his eyes. “No,” he cried. “No!” Nineteen-year-old Nathan Urye is supposed to be having a relaxing summer as a camp counselor but ever since he started having nightmares about a beautiful girl being hunted by flesh-clawing monsters, his life has been anything but normal. Soon, Nathan discovers that the sleepy college town of Cahokia Falls is far from ordinary when two unexplained deaths rock the town and campus. Who or what is behind the murders? Does it have anything to do with the newly-discovered cave symbol? And what about the spine-chilling campfire stories about ancient tribal beliefs and mystical legends? For Nathan Urye, things just keep getting creepier and creepier, and now it appears that everyone at camp is in danger…


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Middle-Schoolers Come Read! Book List

Want your child to read more? Need some inspiration get them going? Check out this book list...



1) "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.


2) "Minno" by James Barlog

It isn't easy being 13 ...

And being raised by your grandfather ... and having a name like Minno ... and then having to journey through a strange land to rescue your parents. But Minno is doing the best she can.

For all her young life Minno believed her parents were dead. Then she learns they're alive, but they're in grave danger.

Her friend Hailey thought she was having a sleepover at her friend's house. Now she's Minno's ally and partner on their incredible quest.

The girls embark on the adventure of a lifetime to face a veritable menagerie of strange creatures, both friendly and unfriendly to their cause.

Oh, yeah, there's also one evil high minister Craveaux, who must stop Minno while he steals all the magic in the kingdom for his own sinister purposes.

Minno has to save her parents and along the way discover who she really is.


3) "Ella Enchanted" by Gail Carson Levine

How can a fairy's blessing be such a curse?

At her birth, Ella of Frell was given a foolish fairy's gift—the "gift" of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day or chopping off her own head!

But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. She goes on a quest, encountering ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, fairy godmothers, and handsome princes, determined to break the curse—and live happily ever after.


4) "Island of the Blue Dolphins" by Scott O'Dell

This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away.


5) "A Crooked Kind of Perfect" by Linda Urban

Ten-year-old Zoe Elias has perfect piano dreams. She can practically feel the keys under her flying fingers; she can hear the audience's applause. All she needs is a baby grand so she can start her lessons, and then she'll be well on her way to Carnegie Hall.

But when Dad ventures to the music store and ends up with a wheezy organ instead of a piano, Zoe's dreams hit a sour note. Learning the organ versions of old TV theme songs just isn't the same as mastering Beethoven on the piano. And the organ isn't the only part of Zoe's life in Michigan that's off-kilter, what with Mom constantly at work, Dad afraid to leave the house, and that odd boy, Wheeler Diggs, following her home from school every day.

Yet when Zoe enters the annual Perform-O-Rama organ competition, she finds that life is full of surprises--and that perfection may be even better when it's just a little off center.


6) "Lug, Dawn of the Ice Age" by David Zeltser

Lug is a caveboy who would rather paint than club other caveboys. The clan even mocks him, calling him "Little Slug." Like all the other caveboys, Lug must enter the contest to become the clan's next Big Man and attempt to catch the Biggest Beast--even though he would much rather spend his days painting in his secret art cave. When Lug is banished for failing to catch a jungle llama, he thinks he is alone in the world but finds others who believe in him: his clanmate Stony and a new friend, Echo, a girl from a rival clan who can talk to animals and just may be prehistory's first vegetarian/animal rights activist. Together they face even bigger challenges--Lug discovers the Ice Age is coming and he has to bring the warring clans together to save them not only from the freeze but also from a particularly unpleasant migrating pride of saber-toothed tigers. It's no help that the elders are cavemen who can't seem to get the concept of climate change through their thick skulls. With both funny, anachronistic humor, charming characters, and strong themes, Lug, Dawn of the Ice Age is sure to be a hit with many readers.


7) "When You Reach Me" by Rebecca Stead

This remarkable novel holds a fantastic puzzle at its heart.

By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, and they know who to avoid. Like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a kid on the street for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives, scrawled on a tiny slip of paper. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she's too late.


8) "The Ghost in Me" by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger

One girl...
with a nightmare to live through.
One ghost...
with a dream to live.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Quirky Movie List

Enjoy a movie that is completely different from everything currently playing? Want something wild and fun? Check out this movie list...



1) The Way Way Back

Duncan (Liam James) is not a popular kid and it doesn't look like the summer is going to offer anything better for him. His mother's boyfriend has invited them to his beach house where Duncan is expected to improve his personality and physical appearance, and meet girls. But his would-be step-sister doesn't want anything to do with him and his shy demeanor makes it difficult for him to meet anybody new. When Duncan wanders into the Water Wizz, the local water park, he meets adult employees who are just having fun. Owen (Sam Rockwell) lets Duncan work with him and their new-found bond will help each other mature and find their place in life. Which for Duncan means standing up to his would-be step-father, having a conversation with the girl next door and being more comfortable with who he is.

Directors: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Writers: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney |See full cast and crew »
Released: 2013


2) Garden State

Andrew Largeman is a semi-successful television actor who plays a intellectually disabled quarterback. His somewhat controlling and psychiatrist father has led Andrew ("Large") to believe that his mother's wheelchair bound life was his fault. Andrew decides to lay off the drugs that his father and his doctor made him believe that he needed, and began to see life for what it is. He began to feel the pain he had longed for, and began to have a genuine relationship with a girl who had some problems of her own.

Director: Zach Braff
Writer: Zach Braff
Stars: Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard, Natalie Portman |See full cast and crew »
Released: 2004


3) The Science of Sleep

Following the death of his father in Mexico, Stéphane Miroux, a shy insecure young man, agrees to come to Paris to draw closer to his widowed mother Christine. He lands a boring job at a calendar-making firm and falls in love with his charming neighbor Stéphanie. But conquering her is no bed of roses for the young man and the only solution he finds to put up with the difficulties he is going through is escape into a dream world...

Director: Michel Gondry
Writer: Michel Gondry
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Miou-Miou | See full cast and crew »
Released: 2006


4) Whatever Works

Attempting to impress his ideologies on religion, relationships, and the randomness (and worthlessness) of existence, lifelong New York resident Boris Yellnikoff rants to anyone who will listen, including the audience. But when he begrudgingly allows naive Mississippi runaway Melodie St. Ann Celestine to live in his apartment, his reclusive rages give way to an unlikely friendship and Boris begins to mold the impressionable young girl's worldly views to match his own. When it comes to love, "whatever works" is his motto, but his already perplexed life complicates itself further when Melodie's parents eventually track her down.

Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Larry David, Henry Cavill |See full cast and crew »
Released: 2009


5) The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Based on the novel written by Stephen Chbosky, this is about 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), an endearing and naive outsider, coping with first love (Emma Watson), the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while struggling to find a group of people with whom he belongs. The introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors, Sam and Patrick, who welcome him to the real world.

Director: Stephen Chbosky
Writers: Stephen Chbosky (screenplay), Stephen Chbosky(book)
Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller |See full cast and crew »
Released: 2012


6) The Puffy Chair

Josh and Emily are in a relationship, but he can be inattentive and unromantic and she can shift her focus from small things to emotional issues in a moment. He invites her to drive from New York City to somewhere in Virginia to pick up a chair that he's bought on eBay for his father's birthday. On the way, he stops at his brother Rhett's, outside Philly, and invites him along. Josh tries to save money at a motel, has to negotiate with the seller of the chair and with an upholsterer, and faces tough questions from Emily. He calls her "Dude," he's moody, and it looks as if the relationship will end soon. Is there more than meets the eye here? How do people decide?

Directors: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass (uncredited)
Writers: Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass
Stars: Mark Duplass, Katie Aselton, Rhett Wilkins |See full cast and crew »
Released: 2005


7) Lost in Translation

Bob Harris is an American film actor, far past his prime. He visits Tokyo to appear in commercials, and he meets Charlotte, the young wife of a visiting photographer. Bored and weary, Bob and Charlotte make ideal if improbable traveling companions. Charlotte is looking for "her place in life," and Bob is tolerating a mediocre stateside marriage. Both separately and together, they live the experience of the American in Tokyo. Bob and Charlotte suffer both confusion and hilarity due to the cultural and language differences between themselves and the Japanese. As the relationship between Bob and Charlotte deepens, they come to the realization that their visits to Japan, and one another, must soon end. Or must they?

Director: Sofia Coppola
Writer: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi |See full cast and crew »
Released: 2003


8) Charlie Barlett

Although cheerful, friendly, intelligent, well-dressed, authentic and wealthy, Charlie Bartlett has problems. With his father gone and his mother loopy and clueless, he's been expelled from every private school for his victimless crimes. Now he's in a public school getting punched out daily by the school thug. He ever longs to be popular - the go-to guy - and the true crux of his troubles is that he invariably finds the means to this end, whatever that might be. At Western Summit High, he makes peace with his tormentor by going into business with him - listening to kids' problems and selling them prescription drugs. Charlie's a hit, but attraction to Susan (daughter of the school's laissez-faire principal), new security cameras on campus, a student's overdose, and Charlie's open world view all converge to get him in serious trouble. Can this self-made physician possibly heal himself and just be a kid?

Director: Jon Poll
Writer: Gustin Nash
Stars: Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis |See full cast and crew »
Released: 2007