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Original Essays | September 4, 2014

Edward E. Baptist: IMG The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism

My new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, is the story of two bodies. The first body was the new... Continue »
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The Prince Who Loved Me (Oxenburg Princes) by Karen Hawkins
The Prince Who Loved Me (Oxenburg Princes)

Larena, September 22, 2014

Historical, Romance

A handsome prince who is also a rake and doesn’t believe in true love meets a lass that is stubborn and who won’t settle for less.

Prince Alexsey Romanovin enjoys a carefree life with flirting and more with any lady that crosses his path. Then the interfering Grand Duchess Natasha decides it is time for Alexsey, her grandson, to wed. Alexsey soon finds himself in Scotland determined to put an end to those plans. Bronwyn Murdoch seems the perfect answer as she isn’t to the duchess’s taste at all as she is brainy, bookish and bespectacled.

Bronwyn has little time for a handsome flirt when she is at the beck and call of her ambitious stepmother and her social butterfly stepsisters. She is sure no spoiled arrogant prince would be seriously interested in a firm-minded female like herself. Now she is determined to have some fun and turn the prince’s game around on him and show him that an ordinary woman can bring a prince to his knees.

This is a fun story that takes the fairy tale of Cinderella and turns it into a Scottish tale that has a lot of humor in it. The characters are fun and interesting and keep the reader glued to the pages as they see just what will happen next and if Bronwyn will get a happily-ever-after. This a great start to a new series that if the rest of the stories prove to be as original as this one it is going to be one series that will be a lot of fun and will pull at readers’ heartstrings. Readers will also never look at Cinderella the same again after reading this one. It will also have readers wondering just what fairy tale will be next that will get it own twist.

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Sway by Kat Spears

Larena, September 17, 2014

Contemporary, Young Adult

Each one bought their popularity and he now owned their secrets. Now the question is will it cost him the one person he loves the most.

Jesse Alderman is also known as Sway. He is the one person that can get things people want for them. He is also a high school senior that is emotionally detached. He knows what he wants until he meets Bridget Smalley, the girl of his dreams. Now he is out of his element and in uncharted territory.

This is a modern day Cyrano de Bergerac that is told with unapologetic truth and biting humor. It also proves to be a book that once the reader starts it they will have a hard time putting it down. The high school world comes to life with every word that is read. The characters and what they are dealing with in each of their lives and how those lives intersects in powerful ways that will prove to be a very hard book to forget long after the reader has finished reading it. It is also interesting to see how Jesse starts out one way and how over the course of dealing with others his true self comes out. The story is rich in detail and will pull at the reader’s emotions as they go through each part of Jesse’s life. This is a book that will have readers wanting to read more by this author as she paints a picture that feels real with each word that is read. This is one book that is worth reading and should be put on the keeper shelves of readers. This is a story that will pull at reader’s emotions and will have them looking at the world around them a little bit differently.
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The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)

Larena, September 17, 2014

Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult

Henrietta, Virginia

Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother every year on St. Mark’s Eve. Blue’s mother sees the soon-to-be dead as they walk past them. Blue has never seen them until this year when she sees a boy emerge from the dark and speak to her.

A rich student at Aglionby, a private school, Gansey is that boy. Blue has always stayed away from the Aglionby boys also known as Raven Boys as they can only mean trouble.

For the first time ever she ignores her policy of staying away as Blue is drawn to Gansey in ways she can’t completely explain. He is on a quest that has drawn three other Raven Boys into it. Adam is a scholarship student that resents the privilege around him. Ronan whose soul has emotions ranging from anger to despair. And Noah the watcher who notices everything but says very little.

All her life as long as she can remember Blue was told that she would cause her true love to die. She never thought it would be a problem as she doesn’t believe in true love. Now her life is caught in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. Blue isn’t so sure of anything anymore.

This is a start to a series that with this story proves to be very intriguing. While it starts a little slow the pace picks up and moves at a faster pace that pulls the reader into a world where the possibility of magic makes for a book that is very engrossing. The characters prove to be complicated and fascinating as they each deal with their pasts that aren’t as simple as they would wish. The emotional roller coaster that each character takes sucks in the reader as they get lost in each one’s struggle to overcome the obstacles that are in their way. While it ends with a cliff hanger of sorts it proves to be a good way to end the book and will have readers wanting to read the next book to see what is going to happen next and just how it will all play out.
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Shadow Falls: The Beginning: Born at Midnight and Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls Novel) by C C Hunter
Shadow Falls: The Beginning: Born at Midnight and Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls Novel)

Larena, September 10, 2014

Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult

Fallen, Texas

Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party with the wrong people and that one night changes her life forever. Now her mother has sent her to Shadow Falls, a camp for troubled teens. Kylie quickly realizes that this is one camp where the kids are far from ordinary. They are supernatural and they are trying to harness their power, control their magic and still be able to function in the normal world. Kylie may have never felt normal but she doesn’t belong with paranormal freaks either. Or maybe she does. They insist that Kylie is one of them. She was brought there for a reason and now she has to figure out what that is.

Kylie doesn’t think life can get any more complicated until Derek and Lucas enter her life. Derek is half-fae and wants to be her boyfriend. Lucas is a hot werewolf that Kylie shares a secret past with. Derek and Lucas both have a strong hold on her heart and yet they couldn’t be more different. Kylie struggles to figure out her new abilities and at the same time figure out her emotions. Now she is finding out about the dark side of the supernatural world. There is an evil enemy in the shadows that is threatening everything that means anything to Kylie and it is also bringing her closer to her destiny.

This is actually the first two books in the series in one book. It also proves just how addictive this series is going to prove to be. Once the reader enters this world they will find themselves extremely reluctant to leave it. The characters and story arc proves to be unique and very hard to put down once the reader starts. Watching Kylie discover herself and her abilities proves to be interesting as she goes through the obstacles that help her grow and learn. If the rest of the books in the series live up to the first two this is going to put on a lot of keeper shelves to be taken down again and again for many re-reads. This is a series that pulls you in and doesn’t let you leave even after the very last page.

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Death and the Girl He Loves (Darklight) by Darynda Jones
Death and the Girl He Loves (Darklight)

Larena, September 10, 2014

Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult

Banger, Maine & Riley’s Switch, New Mexico

Most girls wouldn’t want the fate of the world resting on their shoulders and Lorelei McAlister is no different. Unfortunately for her the fate of the world rests completely on her shoulders. Lorelei has seen the horrors that lie beneath the everyday world. Those horrors are also getting her friends killed. To protect those she loves she agrees to leave the sanctity of her hometown and is sent to a world that is completely different. Boarding school. Though she is still being watched even in her new world. Someone knows who she is and just what she carries in her soul. She is also seeing visions but that is nothing new for her.

Lorelei must now face the fact that no matter where she goes there are people that want her dead. No matter how far she goes her friends and family will still be in danger. Lucky for her those friends include the handsome Angel of Death and a fiercely protective half-angel. Not to mention the ragtag group of loyal supporters that are more than willing to get a little dirty to fight pure evil.

This brings to an end a trilogy that is wonderfully written and will have readers hating to leave the world that has Lorelei McAlister and friends in it. The action is explosive and will keep readers wondering what is going to happen next and where it will come from. The characters are well written and readers will find them easy to relate to. This one will also have readers wishing for more from this world but it is wrapped up very nicely and ties up all the loose ends. It is also a trilogy that readers will want to re-read just to revisit the great characters that occupy this world. This story will take readers on an emotional roller coaster that will leave them happy with the ending.
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