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The Virginian

by Owen Wister

Loosely based on the Johnson County War of 1892, a bloody clash between big landowners and small ranchers in Wyoming, Owen Wister's The Virginian is the classic saga of a man who embodied the spirit of a growing nation--a novel that inspired five movie versions and the popular TV series."When you call me that, SMILE!" He wasn't looking for fame or glory. He wasn't looking for war. The man they called the Virginian was earning his way off the land, mingling his sweat and blood on the rich Montana soil as a trusted foreman for a rich man's ranch. Somewhere along the line he made an enemy, made a choice and then made a stand. . .In the eyes of a woman, he was a man of contradictions, as violent as he could be tender. In the eyes of others, he became a hero, a man who had the courage to draw his gun and use it against his enemies--and the courage to stand for justice without it. "Owen Wister has come pretty near to writing the American novel. It contains humor, pathos, poetic description, introspective thought, sentiment, and even tragedy." --New York Times

Wildfire

by Zane Grey

In a land of red cliffs and towering stone monuments, with the brooding Colorado River running through it, the unmatched Zane Gray sets his classic novel about a rancher, a blood feud, and a horse named...WildfireBostic, a powerful rancher with a strong-willed 18-year-old daughter, has lost track of Lucy's wanderings. Caught up in a feud with two families, running his empire with an iron fist, Bostic does not know that Lucy has met a man who chased a horse called Wildfire for weeks and months, hundreds of miles, across a canyon and a river... As soon as Lin Sloan, Lucy's strange rider, joins Bostic and his men, they are confronted by a brazen horse thief and an explosion of violence long coming. While Lucy has been chasing her freedom, and riding the wild horse that can only be ridden when he chooses, someone has been hunting her. Bostic and Sloan see the danger, but it's too late: Lucy's fate is in the hands of a brutal killer--and only killing can set her free. "In a changing world it is comforting. . .and entertaining to spend a little while in the company of Zane Grey." --New York Times"Zane Grey epitomized the mythical West that should have been." --True West"Grey was a champion of the men and women who tamed the Old West."--Booklist

The Last of the Plainsmen

by Zane Grey

Zane Grey is an American icon, the premier chronicler of the West, and the writer who first brought the frontier to life in all its gritty glory. In this classic western, frontier legend Buffalo Jones won't back down from the most dangerous hunt of all. . .Big, brash and fearless, Buffalo Jones is in pursuit of the greatest mountain lion ever spotted in the remote Arizona desert. Determined to bring the beast home alive, Jones leads a colorful band of brothers into a wild land, across the Colorado River to Buckskin Mountain at the red mesa rim of the Grand Canyon. But while Jones has foresworn all killing, even smashed his rifle on a wagon wheel in a vow to save the species, he and his men are entering a fight for their lives. If Apaches, stampedes of wild horses or rattlesnakes don't get them, another enemy will: roaming packs of the one beast who fears no man... "In a changing world it is comforting. . .and entertaining to spend a little while in the company of Zane Grey." --New York Times"Zane Grey epitomized the mythical West that should have been." --True West"Grey was a champion of the American wilderness and the men and women who tamed the Old West."--Booklist

The Lone Star Ranger

by Zane Grey

The premier chronicler of the American West, legendary storyteller Zane Grey has captivated millions of readers with his timeless adventures of life, death, gunfire, and justice. This is the Old West in all its glory and grandeur. Forged in blood. Enflamed by passion. Emblazoned with bullets. . .In the law of the gun, a man must shoot his way to innocence. At least that's how Captain McKelly of the Texas Rangers puts it to Buck Duane. On the run for killing a man to save his own skin, Duane must now infiltrate the deadly Chelsedine gang. These ruthless rustlers are running amok in Texas and it's going to take a matchless gunfighter to stop their rampage. With the legendary Rangers providing firepower, Duane has more than a fighting chance. Or so he thinks. When he uncovers a secret that could destroy them all, the bullet storm is biblical--and a legend rises out of the dust. "In a changing world it is comforting. . .and entertaining to spend a little while in the company of Zane Grey." --New York Times"Zane Grey epitomized the mythical West that should have been." --True West"Grey was a champion of the American wilderness and the men and women who tamed the Old West."--Booklist

You'll Never Find My Body

by Don Lasseter Bowers Ronald E

No Evidence. . . On April 22, 1991 three young children waited for their mother, Ann Racz, to return with a takeout dinner. Instead, their father showed up with a small bag of cold French fries and said their mother had gone away. Ann's children didn't believe it. Neither did her friends. And neither did the police. But there was zero evidence that anything had happened to Ann. No Body. . . Los Angeles detectives dug furiously into the case, grilling John Racz and searching for clues. But without a body, the investigation stalled, and three children grew up wondering what had happened to their loving mother--and if their father had killed her. And A Killer In Plain Sight. . . Fourteen years later, a brilliant female prosecutor defied the legal establishment and delved into the cold case, uncovering shocking information about Ann and her relationship with John. Suddenly, a crusading prosecutor was up against the most difficult kind of murder case of all: to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that John Racz had murdered his wife--despite the fact that her body was never found. . . With 16 pages of photos

Matt Jensen, The Last Mountain Man #2:

by William W. J. A. Johnstone

William W. Johnstone's breathtaking Mountain Man series set the standard for Western adventure. Now, a new saga begins, as Matt Jensen, the adopted son of Smoke Jensen, blazes a name for himself on the lawless frontier. . . The Way Of The Gun He'd done the old man proud. By leaping into the path of danger, Matt Jensen foiled a train robbery in Colorado, and the governor himself presented him with a public reward. But what started on the rails has stayed on the rails--and taken on a life of its own. Now, a frustrated outlaw and his murderous posse have struck again--this time kidnapping the governor's niece. With the power of the law behind him, Matt Jensen, the last mountain man, is riding toward a town called Braggadocio. That's where Matt will learn how to put a bad man down--and to make sure he stays that way. . .

Riders of the Purple Sage

by Zane Grey

Over 40 Million Copies Of Zane Grey's Novels Sold The premier chronicler of the American West, legendary storyteller Zane Grey has captivated millions of readers with his timeless adventures of life, death, gunfire, and justice. This is the Old West in all its glory and grandeur. Forged in blood. Enflamed by passion. Emblazoned with bullets. . . Riders Of The Purple Sage Cottonwoods, Utah. 1871. A woman stands accused. A man, sentenced to whipping. Into this travesty of small-town justice rides the one man the town elders fear. His name is Lassiter, a notorious gunman who's come to avenge his sister's death. It doesn't take Lassiter long to see that this once-peaceful Mormon community is controlled by the corrupt Deacon Tull--a powerful elder who's trying to take the woman's land by forcing her to marry him, branding her foreman as a dangerous "outsider." Lassiter vows to help them. But when the ranch is attacked by horse thieves, cattle rustlers, and a mysterious Masked Rider, he realizes they're up against something bigger, and more brutal, than the land itself. . . In this battle, no man rides alone. "Zane Grey epitomized the mythical West that should have been. . . the standout among them is Riders of the Purple Sage." --True West "Grey was a champion of the American wilderness and the men and women who tamed the Old West." --Booklist

Missing Pieces

by Meredith Tate

"Your family is the most important part of your life. Your families are the people you love, and love is what separates us from scoundrels and criminals. It maintains order. Your parents, your sibling, and your Partner, are the ones you love. There should never, ever, be anyone else who comes close to that bond. You have only one best friend, and that is the person you'll be marrying someday. We must learn to differentiate the relationships in our lives: the people we love, and the ones we don't. It's inappropriate, it's foolish, and it's forbidden to think otherwise." Trace Bailey's mouth is her worst enemy - somehow it always gets her in trouble. Luckily, she has a partner in crime - her best friend and neighbor since age seven, Piren Allston. He can't get enough of her crazy sense of humor, and she loves that he's always up for another adventure. They can't be friends, though, not in their world. Trace and Piren were Assigned to other people at the age of six, and they're supposed to marry their Partners when they turn twenty-four. Failure to comply leads to Banishment, a fate worse than death. Worse still is the growing realization that their bond is stronger than just friendship. In a world without freedom, there are still choices to be made. Following their hearts means losing their family, but following the law means losing each other. Forever.

Nothing Is Hidden

by Barry Magid

In this inspiring and incisive offering, Barry Magid uses the language of modern psychology and psychotherapy to illuminate one of Buddhism's most powerful and often mysterious technologies: the Zen koan. What's more, Magid also uses the koans to expand upon the insights of psychology (especially self psychology and relational psychotherapy) and open for the reader new perspectives on the functioning of the human mind and heart. Nothing Is Hidden explores many rich themes, including facing impermanence and the inevitability of change, working skillfully with desire and attachment, and discovering when "surrender and submission" can be liberating and when they shade into emotional bypassing. With a sophisticated view of the rituals and teachings of traditional Buddhism, Magid helps us see how we sometimes subvert meditation into just another "curative fantasy" or make compassion into a form of masochism.

Kiro's Emily

by Abbi Glines

The year is 1992, and no one on the rock music scene is hotter than Kiro Manning, the lead singer of Slacker Demon. With a multi-platinum record, total ownership of the Billboard charts, sold-out concerts, and sinful amounts of money, Kiro can have anything--and anyone--he wants. So when a dark-haired, conservative beauty rebuffs him at a concert after-party, his first thought is, "Who the hell does she think she is?" His second thought: "How do I make her mine?" Kiro has always loved a good challenge, but not every girl wants to get involved with a rock god. Especially this girl.He let her go that night, but he never forgot her. And when they met again, he vowed not to give up again so easily.As the world worshipped Kiro, he came to worship the girl, who became everything he never knew he needed. The only girl he would ever love. His Emily. From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes a heart-wrenching e-novella in the Rosemary Beach series about the star-crossed romance between Kiro and Emily, first introduced in Take a Chance. This is Abbi's holiday gift to the devoted fans of the series.

War and Peace: With bonus material from Give War and Peace A Chance by Andrew D. Kaufman

by Leo Tolstoy Andrew D. Kaufman

War and Peace broadly focuses on Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both men. A s Napoleon's army invades, Tolstoy brilliantly follows characters from diverse backgrounds--peasants and nobility, civilians and soldiers--as they struggle with the problems unique to their era, their history, and their culture. And as the novel progresses, these characters transcend their specificity, becoming some of the most moving--and human--figures in world literature.

Desert Gold

by Zane Grey

Over 40 Million Copies Of Zane Grey's Novels SoldThe premier chronicler of the American West, legendary storyteller Zane Grey has captivated millions of readers with his timeless adventures of life, death, gunfire, and justice. This is the Old West in all its glory and grandeur. Forged in blood. Enflamed by passion. Emblazoned with bullets. . . Desert GoldA border town like Casita is no place for a drifter--especially a rich man's son looking for adventure. From the moment Dick Gale steps into this stinking, sun-baked hellhole of gambling and corruption, revolution, and revenge, he gets more than he bargained for. His old friend Thorne is in love with a beautiful señorita who's been targeted by the Mexican rebel Rojas. A bold, sneering devil of a man, feared, envied, and idolized by his people, Rojas spends gold like he spills blood--and collects women like trinkets. Gale knows that defying such a man could be suicide. Defeating him is his only chance to survive--in a brutal one-on-one battle on the parched desert cliffs. . . Man to man. Hunter and hunted. To the death. . .

Hamlet

by William Shakespeare

Hamlet is Shakespeare's most popular, and most puzzling, play. It follows the form of a "revenge tragedy," in which the hero, Hamlet, seeks vengeance against his father's murderer, his uncle Claudius, now the king of Denmark. Much of its fascination, however, lies in its uncertainties. Among them: What is the Ghost--Hamlet's father demanding justice, a tempting demon, an angelic messenger? Does Hamlet go mad, or merely pretend to? Once he is sure that Claudius is a murderer, why does he not act? Was his mother, Gertrude, unfaithful to her husband or complicit in his murder? The authoritative edition of Hamlet from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, is now available as an eBook. Features include: · The exact text of the printed book for easy cross-reference · Hundreds of hypertext links for instant navigation · Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play · Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play · Scene-by-scene plot summaries · A key to famous lines and phrases · An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language · Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books · An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

The Right Thing

by Amy Connor

On a scorching August day in 1963, seven-year-old Annie Banks meets the girl who will become her best friend. Skinny, outspoken Starr Dukes and her wandering preacher father may not be accepted by polite society in Jackson, Mississippi, but Annie and Starr are too busy sharing secrets and playing elaborate games of Queen for a Day to care. Then, as suddenly as she appeared in Annie's life, Starr disappears.Annie grows up to follow the path ordained for pretty, well-to-do Jackson women--marrying an ambitious lawyer, filling her days with shopping and charity work. She barely recognizes Starr when they meet twenty-seven years after that first fateful summer, but the bond formed so long ago quickly reemerges. Starr, pregnant by a powerful married man who wants her to get out of town, has nowhere to turn. And Annie, determined not to fail her friend this time, agrees to drive Starr to New Orleans to get money she's owed. During the eventful road trip that follows, Annie will confront the gap between friendship and responsibility; between her safe, ordered existence and the dreams she's grown accustomed to denying. Moving, witty, and beautifully told, The Right Thing is a story of love and courage, the powerful impact of friendship, and the small acts that can anchor a life--or, with a little luck, steer it in the right direction at last. "Mix Fannie Flagg, Rebecca Wells, Kathryn Stockett, then add just a dash of Flannery O'Connor, and you'll wind up with the wholly original voice that is Amy Conner's. In this deceptively breezy novel of Southern women and the disaster and triumph of long-term friendships (not to mention racetracks and horses), Ms. Conner has staked a claim to her own Southern turf." --Bret Lott, New York Times bestselling author of Jewel"This riveting debut novel shows how true friendship can span a social gulf and endure even across a chasm of time. The Right Thing is a page-turner that gripped me from the beginning." --Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August"Before you read this book, make some coffee, grab the chocolate, sit down in front of the fire, and don't plan on getting up for a long, lovely time." --Cathy Lamb, author of If You Could See What I See"Amy Connor has combined all of the right elements to make The Right Thing a fantastic read. She's written a touching story about a woman's search for herself and the endurance of a childhood friendship, outlined it in humor, and delivered it with beautiful prose. A wonderful debut!" -- Mary Simses, author of The Irresistible Blueberry Bake Shop & Café"Told with natural Southern lyricism, and full of surprises both quirky and heartfelt, The Right Thing is a compassionate reminder about how every choice at every fork in the road has the power to change the rest of our lives-- sometimes far better than we ever could have imagined." -- Kaya McLaren, author of How I Came to Sparkle Again

A Change in Altitude

by Cindy Myers

In this latest novel from acclaimed author Cindy Myers, big changes are afoot in the warm-hearted small town of Eureka, Colorado. . .With local Maggie Stevens' baby on the way--not to mention her wedding to Jameso Clark in the works--spring in Eureka promises to be a time of rebirth in more ways than one. To add to the excitement, and refill the town's depleted coffers, Lucille, the mayor, has wooed a movie producer to Eureka, throwing folks into a tizzy--and inspiring some to reach for the stars. As if that weren't enough, the bogus Lucky Lady mine the town partially sold turns out to really have gold in it--and possibly a ghost to boot. But with each silver lining, there seems to be a cloud. . .With Eureka's financial future at stake, Lucille will have to wrangle Lucky Lady's greedy half-owner to regain control. Meanwhile, just as Jameso is getting comfortable with the imminent role of husband and father, his wayward sister, Sharon, comes to Eureka to escape a troubled marriage. Can the residents of Eureka find the courage to stand up to ghosts of all kinds and get their beloved town back on its feet in time to welcome their newest addition--and celebrate the gifts of spring. . .? Praise for The View From Here"Cindy Myers strikes gold with this warm-hearted novel about friendship, family, and second chances." --Deborah Smith, New York Times bestselling author "I loved this novel! It shines like a jewel. . .like solid gold." --Pamela Morsi, USA Today bestselling author"This novel is definitely one to add to your keeper shelf." ??RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 Stars"Myers has found an ideal setting in this goldmining backwater." --Publishers Weekly

Death of a Christmas Caterer

by Lee Hollis

Who better than food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell to book a caterer for the Island Times holiday party? But Hayley's quest for a cook turns into the pursuit of a killer who caters to no one. . .Office Christmas parties can sometimes mean career suicide--but they rarely lead to murder. Hayley thought Garth Rawlings would be the perfect caterer for this year's bash, but when the gourmet sees her budget, he goes galloping. Unfortunately his run is short-lived. Garth is found dead on the floor of his kitchen, with his delectable creations burning in the oven. Faced with a spread of suspects, Hayley is determined to discover who would want to take out the Christmas caterer, because--no matter what the season--justice must be served. . .Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley's kitchen!Praise for Death of a Coupon Clipper"Hayley is a likable heroine that readers will cheer for as she manages to save the day and pay her bills." --Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Death of a Chocoholic

by Lee Hollis

Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell is not looking for love this Valentine's Day. Of course she also isn't planning on looking for a murderer. . .Fed up with dating after a disastrous setup, the only thing Hayley wants to snuggle up to is a box of made-to-order chocolates from plus-sized, plus-mouthed chocolatier Bessie Winthrop. But when Bessie is found dead in her kitchen, only Hayley suspects that Bessie's "heart attack" might actually be a candy-coated murder. Turns out Bessie had more enemies than a boxful of chocolates, each one a suspicious flavor. It's sticky business juggling a job, two teenagers and finding a killer, but it's better than letting a killer find Hayley first. . .Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley's kitchen!Praise for Death of a Country Fried Redneck"Snappy pace, fun characters, and a clever plot. A tasty entrée for the culinary cozy crowd." --Library Journal

Mind Your Own Business

by Lutishia Loveley

"A great new taste in the literary world." --Carl WeberLutishia Lovely dishes up a sizzling helping of love, lust, and temptation in this sexy, scandalous tale of a family and their soul food dynasty... Life is sweet for the Livingstons. Their booming restaurant business, Taste of Soul, is launching a West Coast division, and Bianca Livingston and her brother, Jefferson, are vying to head it up. And while their cuisine may be spicy, their personal lives are even hotter. . .Bianca recently completed a culinary course in Paris--along with a steamy love affair. So her parents' insistence that she marry a man of their choosing only fuels her hunger for freedom and her thirst for success. Meanwhile, Jefferson wants to spend more time with his secret L.A. love--a relationship his family would never approve. Extended members of this close-knit clan are trying to get all up in the siblings' romantic business. But Jefferson, Bianca, and others. . .wish everyone would mind their own business. . . "One big dramatic tale." --RT Book Reviews

The Benedict Bastard

by Cate Campbell

"Recommended for fans of Downton Abbey." --Parkersburg News & SentinelSet against the vibrant and colorful backdrop of 1920s Seattle, Cate Campbell's latest Benedict Hall novel brings the tumultuous, changing world of a privileged family to vivid life. . .Though born into one of Seattle's most prestigious families, Margot Benedict has fought to claim all the independence offered to young women in 1923. Where her brother Preston embraced a life of debauchery, Margot has a thriving medical practice. Working at a local orphanage, she's shocked to see a young boy who looks every inch a Benedict. But though she's convinced this is the illegitimate child Preston once mentioned, Margot has no way to prove any family connection. At sixteen, Bronwyn Morgan fell in love with dashing Preston Benedict. Seduced and abandoned, she's arrived at Benedict Hall determined to find the son she was forced to give away. Aging matriarch Edith takes the fragile girl under her wing, but Edith's own delicate state and Preston's dangerous animosity collide, jeopardizing not only a child's future, but the Benedict legacy itself. Praise For Benedict Hall"Entertaining, with a well-drawn backdrop." --RT Book Reviews"Full of drama...great characters with warm chemistry the reader will want to see together." --Parkersburg News & Sentinel"Intriguing and colorful." --The Seattle Times

Hall of Secrets

by Cate Campbell

In Cate Campbell's sumptuously detailed, page-turning series set in 1920s Seattle, the once-secure lifestyle of the wealthy Benedict family--and their household staff--must contend with the radical, roaring Jazz Age. . .For generations, the Benedicts have been one of Seattle's most distinguished families, residing in the splendid Queen Anne mansion known as Benedict Hall amid a host of loyal servants. But the dawn of the 1920s and the aftermath of the Great War have brought dramatic social conflict. Never has this been more apparent than when daughter Margot's thoroughly modern young cousin, Allison, comes to stay. But Margot is also shocking many of Seattle's genteel citizens, and her engineer beau, by advocating birth control in her medical practice. For amid a tangle of blackmail, manipulation, and old enmities, the Benedicts stand to lose more than money--they may forfeit the very position and reputation that is their only tether to a rapidly changing world. Praise For Benedict Hall"Entertaining, with a well-drawn backdrop." --RT Book Reviews"Recommended for fans of Downton Abbey, this story is full of drama and is plenty enjoyable, especially because of the time period...great characters with warm chemistry the reader will want to see together." --Parkersburg News & Sentinel

An Unexpected Grace

by Kristen Von Kreisler

From bestselling author Kristin von Kreisler comes a poignant, uplifting novel of one woman's journey to healing, and the surprising soul mate that helps guide her there.Lila Elliot knows she's lucky. A shooting rampage at her office left several colleagues dead and others seriously wounded. Lila's injuries will heal in time. Yet though she gratefully retreats to her best friend's house to recuperate, Lila can't quite move past her fear and anger. Being drafted into caring for Grace--a shaggy, formerly abused golden retriever--only adds to her stress. Lila has been terrified of dogs since childhood. But Grace, like Lila, needs time and space to recover. Grace keeps her distance, sensing Lila's wariness, and only perks up for Adam, the neighbor who rescued her. Though struggling to make sense of her recent tragedy, Lila, an accomplished artist, begins to see beauty in Grace's wisps of fur and haunted eyes. As Adam points out, Grace, too, has suffered through no fault of her own. And in helping Grace to trust, Lila is being gently nudged toward the courage she needs to do the same. Rich in warmth and humor, An Unexpected Grace is a story of compassion and connection, and of finding that what truly makes us whole again may be the love we give away. Includes Reading Group Guide

Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook

by Joanne Fluke

Joanne Fluke Invites You To Celebrate The Holidays With Hannah Swensen And All The Wonderful Folks Of Lake Eden, At The Annual Cookie Exchange. . .All-New Recipes Included!It's a picture postcard December in Minnesota, and Main Street is brimming with festive holiday decorations. Best of all, it's time for the annual Holiday Cookie Exchange at the Community Center--catered by none other than The Cookie Jar! Gathered together for the delicious event, the Swensen clan and their friends share their favorite juicy tales of Lake Eden--and their favorite scrumptious cookie and luncheon recipes, including: Candy Cane Cookies Heavenly Eggnog Cookies Little Snowballs Merry Berry Cookies Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies Regency Ginger Snaps Norwegian Pizza Razzle Dazzle Champagne Cocktails. . .plus all the recipes from Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder to Carrot Cake Murder. Now you can bring the irresistible flavors of The Cookie Jar into your very own kitchen! "Joanne Fluke is the doyenne of deadly desserts with her deliciously popular Hannah Swensen series." --I>Publishers Weekly

The Man with a Load of Mischief

by Martha Grimes

Long Piddleton had always been wary of newcomers. But the quiet town was stunned when the first stranger was found dead, upended in a butt of ale in the cellar of the Men with a Load of Mischief. Then the second body appeared, swinging in place of the mechanical man above the door of the Jack and Hammer. Suddenly Long Piddleton had good reason to be wary of everyone! Its cozy pubs and inns with their polished pewter and blazing hearths had become scenes of the most bizarre crimes. Who were the victims? And who was the murderer? A stranger? A maniac? Or the disarmingly friendly man next door?

Jerusalem Inn

by Martha Grimes

From the rough but colorful pub that provides the book's title, to the snowboard Gothic estate nearby, the chilly English landscape has never held more atmosphere--or thwarted romance. And Jury will never have a more mysterious Christmas. Five Days Before Christmas: On his way to a brief holiday (he thinks) Jury meets a woman he could fall in love with. He meets her in a snow-covered graveyard--not, he thinks, the best way to begin an attachment. Four Days Before Christmas: Jury meets Father Rourke, who draws for him the semiotic square--"a structure that might simplify thought," says the priest, but Jury's thoughts need more than symbols. Three Days Before Christmas: Melrose Plant, Jury's aristocratic and unofficial assistant, arrives at Spinney Abbey, now home to a well-known critic. Among the assembled snowbound guests he meets--Lady Assington, Beatrice Sleight, and the painter Edward Parmenger. When they all assemble in the dining room, Lady Assington announces, "I think we should have a murder."

The Eggnog Chronicles

by Carly Alexander

They've Made Their Lists. . . Celeb obituary writer Jane Conner can sum up a person's life in three hundred words. She could sum up her love life in even less: Great sex = great time. Commitment = annoyance overload. But with the holidays bearing down like a freight train from You Screwed Up-ville, Jane's about to get a second chance she never expected. . . ...Checked 'Em Twice. . . Ricki Conner has run her life on signs from the universe, and right now, she's looking for guidance about her boyfriend, Nate. He keeps reassuring her that his divorce will be final by Christmas. So why is there still no ring on Ricki's finger? . . .But Who Says "Naughty" Can't Be Nice? When the pregnancy test turns pink, it's a good sign. . .unless you've had wild ex-sex with your former boyfriend while the current one was out of town. Now, Emma Dee gets to ladle out the eggnog while saying, oh by the way, I'm pregnant with another man's baby--drink up, everybody! Christmas. It's a time for going into debt, dates from hell, and maybe even a miracle or two. And for three women on the brink of potential holiday disaster, it just may be the season to toast the best times of their lives. . .

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