When seventeen-year-old Valerie Russell runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city's labyrinthine subway system. But there's something eerily beguiling about Val's new friends. Impulsive Lolli talks of monsters in the subway tunnels they call home and shoots up a shimmery amber-colored powder that makes the shadows around her dance. Severe Luis claims he can make deals with creatures that no one else can see. And then there's Luis's brother, timid and sensitive Dave, who makes the mistake of letting Val tag along as he makes a delivery to a woman who turns out to have goat hooves instead of feet. When a bewildered Val allows Lolli to talk her into tracking down the hidden lair of the creature for whom Luis and Dave have been dealing, Val finds herself bound into service by a troll named Ravus. He is as hideous as he is honorable. And as Val grows to know him, she finds herself torn between her affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming. Bestselling author Holly Black follows her breakout debut, Tithe, with a rich, harrowing, and compulsively readable parable of betrayal, abuse, friendship, and love.
NO RETREAT… Lawyer Ryan Matthews wanted sexy Jessica Newman the moment he saw her. And she seemed to want him, too, but something was holding her back. So now Ryan decides it's time to launch a sensual assault. He is going to have Jessica in his bed, and he isn't above tempting her with her own forbidden fantasies to do it! ABSOLUTE SURRENDER… Jessica isn't really playing hard to get. In fact, she's pretty sure a relationship with Ryan wouldn't work… although faced with Ryan's plan to seduce her senseless, she can't exactly remember why. She's constantly on edge, wondering what sensual scheme, what erotic pleasure Ryan has in store for her. She's definitely enjoying the chase, but does she dare let Ryan catch her?
The Book and The Sword
In the Book and Sword, Louis Cha revives the legend about the great eighteenth-century Manchu Emperor Qianlong which claims that he was in fact not a Manchu but a Han Chinese as a result of a "baby swap." The novel is panoramic in scope and includes the fantastical elements for which Cha is well-known: secret societies, kungfu masters, a lost desert city guarded by wolf packs, and the mysterious Fragrant Princess. *** Like the martial art heroes that he writes about, Louis Cha is a legend in his own time. Better known to his Chinese fans by his pen name of Jin Yong, Cha is the unrivaled giant of the modern martial arts (wuxia) genre. His novels were initially written for serialization in his own Ming Pao newspaper, which was published in Hong Kong. However, they became so popular that they were reprinted in Chinese newspapers around the world. His novels, which total fourteen, were subsequently published in book form. His accomplishment was magnified by the fact that during this time Mainland China was a literary desert because Communist rigidity only allowed publication of titles that conformed to socialist realism, i.e, it had to help build socialist ideals. Definitely, no room for escapist kung fu adventures there. Alas, in spite of his stature, his works were only accessible to Chinese readers. Although the novels were initially written between 1955 and 1972, it was not until 1997 that the English translation of "The Deer and the Cauldron" was published by Oxford University Press (and that was only the first volume of three!). Although that translation of Cha's last and, many argue, his best novel was excellent, it still left something to be desired because "The Deer and the Cauldron" was not representative of the genre. Therefore, it is with great excitement that we awaited the publication of the "The Book and the Sword", Cha's first novel earlier this year. The novel was initially translated and published on the web by Graham Earnshaw in 2001 but it was picked up by Oxford University Press in 2003 and edited by Rachel May and John Minford. Mindford was the translator for "The Deer and the Cauldron". The book finally became available earlier this year. "The Book and the Sword" takes place during the reign of Emperor Qian Long (1735-1795) of the Qing dynasty. The Qing dynasty had been founded by the Manchus almost 100 years earlier. By this time the Manchu rulers, whose homeland was in the north east of present day China, had been thoroughly sinicised. Qian Long himself was a great patron and practitioner of Chinese culture. Nevertheless, there were still resistance groups formed by the Han majority. The story follows one of these secret societies, the Red Flower Society, whose members are determined to overthrow the Qing. The members of the society are a colorful bunch of characters, most of whom are men but they also include several women in their ranks (the woman are all beautiful and deadly, of course). The members come from a cross section of the society but have been brought together by their wilingness to risk life and limb to protect the weak and fight for justice. The newly elected leader of the society, Helmsman Chen, is an unlikely hero whose manners and knowledge reveal a priviledged upbringing as the son of a former prime minister. We join the group as they repeatedly fail to free one of their own, Rolling Thunder Wen, who is being escorted to the capital under heavy guard. Rolling Thunder, you see, happens to know about a deadly secret: that the emperor was actually born to a Han family but swapped with a Manchu baby girl. Helmsman Chen discovers this secret himself soon enough and hopes to convince the emperor himself to evict the Manchus. What Chen doesn't know, however, is that the origin of the emperor is related to his own selection as the leader of the Red Flower Society. Much of the action actually takes place in the western border of China in present day Xinjiang, home of the Uighurs, whom Helmsman Chen befriends and helps on various occasions. Since Qian Long was in the process of bringing the Uighur land under his empire, the Uighurs and Chen had a common enemy in the emperor. It is through these relationships with the Uighurs that Chen encounters the book and sword of the title. Although these two items are not directly related to his quest for the Manchu overthrow, they do lead him to two beautiful Uighur sisters and later painful choices between love for a woman and love for country. Those who have never read a wuxia novel are in for a surprise. Although frequent fight scenes featuring incredible acrobatics, swordmanship, and good old kung fu skills are present as expected, they are really not the most important part of the story. In fact, the book is very much like a typical Hong Kong movie where the movie director has never bothered to decide whether the movie is a comedy or drama, a kung fu spectacular or a tender love story, an uplifting message-filled narrative or horror movie. It is simply all of that and it switches between them at great speed. In this case, "The Book and the Sword" features several romantic pairings between leading characters. A theme central to all wuxia novels, that of loyalty, is tightly woven into the novel. Not just loyalty to the cause but also to the group and to one's kung fu master. The plot moves a mile a minute across various locales throughout China and spends quite a bit of time in the desert of Xinjiang, a area featured quite prominently in the "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Hero" movies. Louis Cha clearly is a student of Chinese history and has interwoven several real life personalities of the time, including the legendary Fragrant Princess, an Uighur girl so enchantingly beautiful that she naturally smelled like flowers. The core of plot itself, that Qian Long was a Han Chinese, is a well-known but unsubstantiated rumor. I only wish that Cha had spent more time describing Qian Long's own struggle with his new found identity. At it is, he seems to be too eager to sweep it under the rug, which seems incongruous with the historical fact that he became a great emperor admired by all Chinese. In contrast, Cha presents Emperor Kang Xi (Qian Long's grandfather) in a more positive light in "The Deer and the Cauldron". In summary, we strongly recommend "The Book and the Sword" to all readers. The book is about 500 pages long which is much more accessible than the three-volume "The Deer and the Cauldron". The long wait has not been in vain. Now if they would just hurry up and finish translating the other twelve novels. In my lifetime.
A clandestine government organization called Invictus "recruits" outstanding athletes for secret projects. But their top agent Jackson Holt has special, almost preternatural, qualities not even the Organization can explain. Olivia Gant, professor of Ancient Studies at a private college in California, was once Jack's childhood sweetheart. But when he deserted her, he left her alone to combat her stepfather's drunken attentions and her mother's careless neglect. Nearly twenty years later, their paths cross in a mission to fight a bizarre religious serial killer whose methods include crucifixion and burial alive. Olivia and Jack battle for happiness against years of secrecy and distance as they use Olivia's expertise in Latin and Jack's special gifts to track a brutal killer. Can Olivia forgive Jack for his long-ago betrayal? Can Jack allow Olivia to witness the terrible Change that makes him such an effective killing machine? Short Version Jackson Holt is the top agent for a clandestine government organization called Invictus. He has special, almost preternatural, abilities not even they can explain. Olivia Gant, professor of Ancient Studies, was once Jack's childhood sweetheart, but he deserted her. Twenty years later, their paths cross as they track a bizarre religious killer whose murders include crucifixion and burial alive.
While investigating a sorority member's death at her daughter's college, Claire Malloy discovers the sorority sisters are participants in many bizarre rituals and illegal activities-the kind Claire would not want her daughter to be caught dead in.
A surprising and moving novel of fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption, set in the world of Major League Baseball…Whatever happened to Calico Joe? It began quietly enough with a pulled hamstring. The first baseman for the Cubs AAA affiliate in Wichita went down as he rounded third and headed for home. The next day, Jim Hickman, the first baseman for the Cubs, injured his back. The team suddenly needed someone to play first, so they reached down to their AA club in Midland, Texas, and called up a twenty-one-year-old named Joe Castle. He was the hottest player in AA and creating a buzz. In the summer of 1973 Joe Castle was the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen. The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas dazzled Cub fans as he hit home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shattered all rookie records. Calico Joe quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe, Paul was in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his Dad. Then Warren threw a fastball that would change their lives forever… In John Grisham’s new novel the baseball is thrilling, but it’s what happens off the field that makes CALICO JOE a classic.
Smart, socially gifted, and chronically impatient, Adam and Cynthia Morey are so perfect for each other that united they become a kind of fortress against the world. In their hurry to start a new life, they marry young and have two children before Cynthia reaches the age of twenty-five. Adam is a rising star in the world of private equity and becomes his boss's protégé. With a beautiful home in the upper-class precincts of Manhattan, gorgeous children, and plenty of money, they are, by any reasonable standard, successful. But the Moreys' standards are not the same as other people's. The future in which they have always believed for themselves and their children – a life of almost boundless privilege, in which any desire can be acted upon and any ambition made real – is still out there, but it is not arriving fast enough to suit them. As Cynthia, at home with the kids day after identical day, begins to drift, Adam is confronted with a choice that will test how much he is willing to risk to ensure his family's happiness and to recapture the sense that the only acceptable life is one of infinite possibility. The Privileges is an odyssey of a couple touched by fortune, changed by time, and guided above all else by their epic love for each other. Lyrical, provocative, and brilliantly imagined, this is a timely meditation on wealth, family, and what it means to leave the world richer than you found it.
Darcy and Anne
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Lady Catherine will never find a husband for Anne… When a fortuitous accident draws Anne away from Rosings and her overbearing mother's direct influence, she is able to think and act for herself for the first time ever. In the society of her cousins Darcy and Georgiana, and, of course, the lively Mrs. Darcy, Anne reveals a talent for writing and a zest for life. Meanwhile, Lady Catherine is determined to choose a husband for Anne. But now that Anne has found her courage, she may not be so easy to rule. Anne de Bourgh is a sympathetic character whose obedience and meekness were expected of women in her day. As she frees herself from these expectations, Anne discovers strength, independence, and even true love in a wonderfully satisfying coming-of-age story.
Body In The Belfry
During her years spent in New York City. Faith Fairchild was convinced she had seen pretty much everything. But the transplanted caterer/minister's wife was unprepared for the surprises awaiting her in the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford. And she is especially taken aback by the dead body of a pretty young thing she discovers stashed in the church's belfry. The victim, Cindy Shepherd. was well-known locally for her acid tongue and her jilted beaux, which created a lot of bad blood and more than a few possible perpetrators -- including her luckless fiance, who had neither an alibi nor a better way to break off the engagement. Faith thinks it's terribly unfair that the police have zeroed in on the hapless boyfriend, and so she sets out to uncover the truth. But digging too deeply into the sordid secrets of a small New England village tends to make the natives nervous. And an overly curious big city lady can become just another small town death statistic in very short order. From Publishers Weekly Page's first novel lacks professional polish and a likable heroine, flaws not compensated for by vivid evocations of a New England autumn in Aleford, Mass. This is home to Faith Fairchild, a native New Yorker, now the wife of the town minister, Tom, and mother of their baby Benjamin. Although she loves her husband and child, Faith belittles the stodgy townspeople, except for a few friends. Eager to help good neighbors Patricia and Robert Moore, the minister's wife throws herself into investigating the murder of their niece, Cindy Shepherd, whose body Faith discovers in the church belfry. Cindy had been an embarrassment to the Moores, her guardians after the death of her parents; a promiscuous young woman, she had upset virtually everyone, even her pathetic fiance, Dave Svenson. When the police arrest Dave, the logical suspect, Faith goes on sleuthing while Tom tries to help the youth and his family. The self-appointed detective pries into the affairs of numerous suspects, risking her life as well as the lives of Benjamin and another child. Perhaps Faith's continued adventures will find her less snobbish and almost as cute as she thinks she is.
In a world of sorcery and seduction, the nights bring out the beautiful, the damned, and the desired. Here, Riley Jenson is on her own — half werewolf, half vampire, working for an organization created to police the supernatural races. Trusting her superiors and lovers barely more than she trusts her worst enemies, Riley plays by her own set of rules. Her latest mission: to enter the heavily guarded pleasure palace of a criminal named Deshon Starr — a madman-scientist who's been messing around in the gene pool for decades. With two sexy men — a cool, seductive vampire and an irresistibly hot wolf — vying for her attention, Riley must keep focused. Because saving the world from Deshon Starr will mean saving herself — from the trap that's closing in around her. . .
Hotter Than Hell
Beyond the boundaries of the everyday is an unseen realm where anything you imagine is possible. Your demon lover is waiting for you in the shadows, ready to fulfill your secret wishes and most dangerous fantasies. Here passion has a face and form both titillating and terrifying — and love has teeth and claws. Get ready to give in to your craving for something exquisitely dark . . . and different. Hotter Than Hell gathers together a baker's dozen of today's boldest and best authors of supernatural fiction and paranormal romance in a breathtaking anthology that blends black magic with red-hot desire. From the tantalizing tale of a conflicted psychic vampire driven by a powerful, savage love to the strange saga of a Greek warrior woman battling to save the world, these are stories outside the limits, as hypnotic as the full moon . . . and hotter than the sun.
The bonds of love. The bonds of matrimony. The bonds between husband and wife. Let's face it — some bonds are made to be broken. Here, for the first time ever, are four stories from today's most provocative authors that take the classic idea of the 'faerie tale wedding' and give it a swift kick in the bustle.