OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “THROUGH THE EYES OF A YOUNG PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT,” BY SEAN CONROY, “THE GINSENG GANG,” BY BILL TUCKER AND “CROSSING THE BLUE LINE,” BY WILLIAM MARK CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST.
At the bottom of this post, as promised, are ten books from the Snowflakes collection that I thought might be congenial fellow travelers on a vacation trip. I’ll list ten more next month.
Note: This list is not a “best of” collection, but stems only from a gut feeling on my part that these books would be ideal for the purpose.
UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, JUNE 7-13.
“AMERICANS BOMBING PARIS,” BY THOMAS BARTLETT
Americans Bombing Paris is a romantic thriller set around 2002, back when the French and the Americans were sparring in the media over whether or not to invade Iraq. The story revolves and encircles a group of friends who undertake some low-hum protests at what they perceive to be corruption and injustice. When Johnny, the main character, meets Naya everything else falls away, but then life is not like that. Life overtakes them, dwarfs them, makes heroes and villains of them. Paris is the setting for this love story riven through with satire, comedy and politics.
Writes Thomas, now a resident of Dublin: “I lived in Paris just after the initial invasion around about 2002. I used to have a small little balcony that overlooked a plethora of houses and schools, the National Library (BNF), I’d wile away many an evening there with a book, a bottle and a smoke, day and night dreaming of planes scorching the sky above. The story germinated there and grew inside me until I got it out last year.”
“HOMETOWN HEARTACHE,” BY M.J. SCHILLER.
Writes M.J.: “I’ve always loved the idea of a broken relationship getting a second chance, an opportunity for mistakes to be corrected. Regret can eat you up. It is one of the strongest feelings you can experience, other than the hope of being given a chance to make up for those errors.
“Nash and Chloe grew up together. Cold Springs is where they found each other, and where they lost each other. This is their hometown heartache.”
OK, I usually steer away from romance novels, but this one has an interesting plot and a little edge to it.
FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY
This month, we’ll revisit “Chase,” by Sydney Scrogham, “The Rivergrass Legacy,” by John Chaplick, “Love, Loss & Longing in the Age of Reagan,” by Iris Dorbian, “The Other Side of the Blue Line,” by William Mark, “The Passion Thief,” by Anne McCarthy Strauss and “The Juno Letters,” by Larry Hewitt.
TEN BOOKS YOU MIGHT WANT TO PACK FOR YOUR VACATION
1. “Island Dogs,” by Brian Simpson. The starting point is a fantasy common to many of us — leave the unfulfilling job, the bills, the neighbors, the lawn that needs cutting and flee to the Caribbean, where life is supposedly like a year-around cruise. Of course, this quintet of likable ex-pats soon learn that hanging out in Da Limin Hut won’t solve their problems, just deaden them.
2. “Downfall,” by Deborah Teller Scott. The fun here, besides Scott’s delightful cast of eccentric characters, is the mental exercise of sorting out the killer among them. In the process, she manages to make some subtle points about the undeniable intersection of crime, the media, and the popular culture of Great Britain.
3. Boiling Point,” by Karen Dionne. As Chaitén Volcano sleeps .. two microbiologists monitor the effects of global warming in the shadow of the long-dormant volcano. A celebrity scientist and his film crew arrive at the caldera to capture Chaitén’s spectacular scenery for a television audience. And a Nobel Prize-winning scientist sits in his apartment in Paris, monitoring data on fifty-six volcanoes around the world—waiting for the one sign that his diabolical plan is about to be put into motion. Soon, their destinies will converge. For the Earth has become a pawn in the biggest gamble ever played with humanity’s future. And Chatien is about to blow.
4. “When Clouds Gather,” by Ryan Jo Summers. Darby Adams has a full, happy life in Driftwood Shores with a successful Bed and Breakfast Inn, The Brass Lamplighter, and her teenage son, Matt. Until a guest is found dead in one of her rooms. Suddenly, she is the number one suspect. With her world rapidly spinning out of control, Darby desperately needs a friend. The surviving family wants answers—and prosecution—so they hire Private Investigator Sam Golden to unquestionably prove Darby’s guilt. Busy with his disobedient, willful teenage daughter, Sam still takes the case. He starts in the dual role as a sympathetic ally to Darby while searching for the evidence needed to send her to prison. It should be an easy case to close, until strange things begin happening at the B & B, Scary things.
5.“Whispers in the Attic,” by Cheryl Alsippi. Life for Claire Swenson is good. She is a college girl with a wonderful boyfriend, a job, and a new roommate. It’s all a girl could want—until the moment she first sees the beautiful young woman with auburn hair and oddly out-of-date clothing standing outside of her apartment building. Whispers in the Attic unfolds with the delicacy of soft, dense fog creeping in from the sea. Claire, though perplexed by the sight of the young woman—whom no one else seems to notice—has never given serious thought to the supernatural. Even growing up near Salem, Massachusetts, with its witch trial legacy failed to interest her in the paranormal in any serious way. But something has been unleashed and now forces are coming to bear upon Claire that she will not be able to resist.
6. “Beneath the Stones,” by Susan Coryell. Ashby Overton has everything to look forward to, including a promising writing career and her wedding at summer’s end. But, Overhome, her beloved historic family estate in Southern Virginia, is in financial peril and it is up to Ashby to find a solution. Interfering with Ashby’s plans is a dark paranormal force that thwarts her every effort to save Overhome. Supernatural attacks emanate from an old stone cottage on the property rumored to be a slave overseer’s abode, prior to the Civil War. As the violence escalates, Ashby begins to fear for her life. Who is this angry spirit and why is his fury focused on her?
7. “Heart, Soul and Rock and Roll,” by Janet Stafford. Heart, Soul & Rock n’ Roll is the story of the growing relationship between Lindsay Mitchell and Neil Gardner. Lindsay (“Lins”) serves as an assistant minister at Church of the Epiphany in central New Jersey. She loves where she works, but upon hitting the big 4-0 begins to wonder if perhaps she might need a change. Memories of her college days leading a rock band keep pestering her. “I just want to rock out one more time before I die,” she moans to friends Patti and Sue. Patti, her former bandmate, thinks she has the cure for Lins: spend three weeks’ vacation with her at Point Pleasant Beach — where she meets Neil Gardner, who just happens to have a real rock band and likes the sound of Lins’ voice.
8. “Enchanting the Swan,” by John Schwartz. A graduate student who is a classical pianist loses his ability to perform when his musical soul mate marries someone else. When her marriage crashes he risks all to renew their love for each other and for their music.
9. “Sputnik Summer,” by Paul Castellani. A teenager’s testimony about a homicide rips apart an Adirondack resort town. It’s only a month into the summer of 1958, and 17-year old Kevin Boyle is already in trouble with an older girl. And a priest who’s zeroing in on Communists and degenerate books in the library is way too interested in his sex life. When he thinks nothing else can go wrong he sees his best friend’s brother shove a tourist to his death at a lakeside hangout. Or did he? By the time the coroner’s inquest comes around, half the town thinks he’s caused the drop in tourism. The other half thinks he’s mixed up with the suspect librarian, and his friends are sure he’s sold out to the lawyer who’s dangling a college scholarship and loan to his financially-strapped parents for the right testimony. Whatever Kevin says at the inquest will change his life.
10. “Ocean City Coverup,” by Kim Kash. Euro-trash collides with American gangsta in Maryland’s gleefully cheesy beach resort. Reporter Jamie August befriends a spoiled heiress who is being pursued by Russian mobsters—and a chart-topping rap star. Meanwhile, a raging crime spree is keeping Jamie busy—and so is a hot new boyfriend and a strict jogging and frozen custard fitness plan. Action careens from OC to Dubai, from the wild shores of Assateague to a wild-west campground. Will Jamie survive to debut her fringed leopard-print bikini?