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Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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Annie Hewitt is out of options. She returns to her mother’s cottage on Maine’s Peregrine Island with a mountain of debt, no real job prospects, and only her amazing puppet skills to sustain her. Going into a harsh winter, both her future and the landscape look bleak.

The forbidding house at the top of the hill houses a man who traumatized her as a teen, a friend in need, and a little girl who has lost her voice among the waves. In this modern Gothic, Annie’s time on the island will be marked with mystery, romance, thrills, love, and the sense of belonging she has always wanted – from the people she thought least likely to provide it.

Contributor: Stephanie

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert

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After chef Elizabeth “Lou” Johnson finds her fiancée half-naked with another woman, she tries to distract herself with cooking—only to serve the worst meal of her life to Milwaukee’s meanest food critic, Al Waters, aka A. W. Wodysky. A chance meeting brings them together in a bar that night, and—unaware of each other’s true identity—Al challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee. As Al falls in love with Milwaukee and Al and Lou begin to fall for each other, Lou’s restaurant begins a slow spiral toward failure, kicked off by Al’s review. Al will have to decide whether to reveal the truth to Lou, and Lou will have to find out if she’s strong enough to keep pursuing her dreams.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake features delicious description of Milwaukee’s food scene and a sweet, slow-burn romance amid an entertaining cast of secondary characters, perfect for readers who love food and romance.

The Drop by Dennis Lehane

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I had something once…I was respected, I was feared,” says Cousin Marv. Like Marv, other longtime residents and business owners are faced with a changing landscape as a new syndicate moves into a bleak and impoverished part of Boston. Lehane packs a lot of action, drama, and flawed yet interesting characters into this short novel. A twisting plot, edgy dialogue, and poignant, even humorous, insights make this a very enjoyable and quick read. 

Picture Book Selection: No Ordinary Family

The parents of a bandit family split up.  The Dad bandit marries a princess and brings all of her royal children into the hideaway, which makes the bandit kids unhappy.  Can they all get along and live together?  This is a fun story about blending families of bandits, prince and princesses, and even dragons for ages 4 and up.  

For Teen Fantasy Fiction Lovers: Lark Rising

Shy, sixteen-year-old Lark is happiest close to home, tending her garden and gathering herbs for medicines. When Lark has visions that warn her that monsters called Troths will soon invade her village, she is summoned on a journey to seek help from the legendary Riders of Tarnec. The journey will make her visions reality and bring her closer to knowing her inner strength.  

Juvenile Fiction Selection: Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff

Trent is about to start middle school and is looking for a fresh start. Less than a year ago there was an accident at Cedar Lake when a hockey puck Trent hits causes the death of another boy. Filled with guilt and sure everyone else hates him, Trent starts to really mess things up by making everyone around him angry with him, which is what he believes he deserves. Afraid to play sports again and in a place where his fears turn to rage, Trent is drowning in his thoughts. Tensions grow at home and in school when he refuses to participate in class and gym, and he stops wanting to visit his father and step-mother who have just started a family of their own. Then comes Fallon Little, fellow sixth-grader with a mysterious scar across one side of her face. Fallon has always been on the outside socially and Trent finds himself slowly becoming friends with this strange girl. When an event seems like it will come between him and Fallon forever, Trent has to make the choice to change and to learn to control his anger and maybe even get his fresh start.  (Grades 4-8 School Library Journal)

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