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Old 11-04-2012, 11:34 AM   #14
arcadata
Grand Sorcerer
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The Kings’ Mistresses: The Liberated Lives of Marie Mancini, Princess Colonna, and Her Sister Hortense, Duchess Mazarin by Elizabeth C. Goldsmith from PublicAffairs is $2.49

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The Mancini Sisters, Marie and Hortense, were born in Rome, brought to the court of Louis XIV of France, and strategically married off by their uncle, Cardinal Mazarin, to secure his political power base. Such was the life of many young women of the age: they had no independent status under the law and were entirely a part of their husband’s property once married.

Marie and Hortense, however, had other ambitions in mind altogether. Miserable in their marriages and determined to live independently, they abandoned their husbands in secret and began lives of extraordinary daring on the run and in the public eye. The beguiling sisters quickly won the affections of noblemen and kings alike. Their flight became popular fodder for salon conversation and tabloids, and was closely followed by seventeenth-century European society. The Countess of Grignan remarked that they were traveling “like two heroines out of a novel.” Others gossiped that they “were roaming the countryside in pursuit of wandering lovers.”

Their scandalous behavior—disguising themselves as men, gambling, and publicly disputing with their husbands—served as more than just entertainment. It sparked discussions across Europe concerning the legal rights of husbands over their wives.Elizabeth Goldsmith’s vibrant biography of the Mancini sisters—drawn from personal papers of the players involved and the tabloids of the time—illuminates the lives of two pioneering free spirits who were feminists long before the word existed.
The Dance of Time by Michael Judge from Arcade Publishing is $1.24

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Did you know that the ancient Romans left 60 days of winter out of their calendar, considering these two months a dead time of lurking terror and therefore better left unnamed? That they had a horror of even numbers, hence the tendency for months with an odd number of days? That robed and bearded druids from the Celts stand behind our New Year’s figure of Father Time? That if Thursday is Thor’s day, then Friday belongs to his faithful wife, Freya, queen of the Norse gods? That the name Easter may derive from the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, Eostre, whose consort was a hare, our Easter bunny?

Three streams of history created the Western calendar-from the East beginning with the Sumerians, from the Celtic and Germanic peoples in the North, and again from the East, this time from Palestine with the rise of Christianity. Michael Judge teases out the contributions of each stream to the shape of the calendar, to the days and holidays, and to associated lore. In them he finds glimpses of a way of seeing before the mechanical time of clocks, when the rhythms of man and woman matched those of earth and sky, and the sacred was born.
Devil of the Highlands by Lynsay Sands from HarperCollins is $1.99

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They call him the Devil . . .

He is the most notorious laird of Scotland: fierce, cold, deadly . . . and maybe even worse. Yet Evelinde has just agreed to wed him. Anything, she thinks, is better than her cruel stepmother. Though Evelinde should be wary of the rumors, she can’t help but be drawn to this warrior . . . for the Devil of the Highlands inspires a heat within her that is unlike anything she has ever known.

They may call him whatever they wish, but Cullen, Laird of Donnachaidh, cares only for the future of his clan. He must find a wife, a woman to bear him sons and heed his commands. He has no need for beauty or grace, but one taste of his lovely bride’s sweet lips and the sultry feel of her skin arouse an untamed passion. Perhaps there’s more to marriage than he thought . . .
The Keeper by Sarah Langan from HarperCollins is $0.99

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Some believe Bedford, Maine, is cursed. Its bloody past, endless rain, and the decay of its downtown portend a hopeless future. With the death of its paper mill, Bedford’s unemployed residents soon find themselves with far too much time to dwell on thoughts of Susan Marley. Once the local beauty, she’s now the local whore. Silently prowling the muddy streets, she watches eerily from the shadows, waiting for . . . something. And haunting the sleep of everyone in town with monstrous visions of violence and horror.

Those who are able will leave Bedford before the darkness fully ascends. But those who are trapped here—from Susan Marley’s long-suffering mother and younger sister to her guilt-ridden, alcoholic ex-lover to the destitute and faithless with nowhere else to go—will soon know the fullest and most terrible meaning of nightmare.
The Missing by Sarah Langan from HarperCollins is $0.99

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A remote and affluent Maine community, Corpus Christi was untouched by the environmental catastrophe that destroyed the neighboring blue-collar town of Bedford. But all that will change in a heartbeat . . .

The nightmare is awakened when third-grade schoolteacher Lois Larkin takes the children on a field trip to Bedford. There in the abandoned woods, a small, cruel boy unearths an ancient horror—a contagious plague that transforms its victims into something violent, hungry . . . and inhuman.

The long, dark night is just beginning. And all hope must die as the contagion feeds—for the malevolence will not rest until it has devoured every living soul in Corpus Christi . . . and beyond.
A Night Like This (Smythe-Smith Quartet) by Julia Quinn from Avon/HarperCollins is $1.99

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Anne Wynter might not be who she says she is . . .
But she’s managing quite well as a governess to three highborn young ladies. Her job can be a challenge—in a single week she finds herself hiding in a closet full of tubas, playing an evil queen in a play that might be a tragedy (or might be a comedy—no one is sure), and tending to the wounds of the oh-so-dashing Earl of Winstead. After years of dodging unwanted advances, he’s the first man who has truly tempted her, and it’s getting harder and harder to remind herself that a governess has no business flirting with a nobleman.

Daniel Smythe-Smith Might be in mortal danger . . .
But that’s not going to stop the young earl from falling in love. And when he spies a mysterious woman at his family’s annual musicale, he vows to pursue her, even if that means spending his days with a ten-year-old who thinks she’s a unicorn. But Daniel has an enemy, one who has vowed to see him dead. And when Anne is thrown into peril,he will stop at nothing to ensure their happy ending . . .
Insignia (Insignia Trilogy) by S. J. Kincaid from Katherine Tegen Books is $2.99

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More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom’s drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.

Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone’s been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he’s offered the incredible—a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom’s instincts for combat will be put to the test and if he passes, he’ll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War III. Finally, he’ll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom’s always wanted—friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters—but what will it cost him?

Gripping and provocative, S. J. Kincaid’s futuristic thrill ride of a debut crackles with memorable characters, tremendous wit, and a vision of the future that asks startling, timely questions about the melding of humanity and technology.
A Song for My Mother by Kat Martin from Vanguard Press is $3.33

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In this charming novel, Kat Martin brings readers back to the town of Dreyerville for another compelling story of love, loss, hope, and second chances…

Years after running away with her boyfriend in her junior year of high school, Marly Hanson returns to Dreyerville at the request of her daughter, Katie, who has recently been treated for brain cancer. Katie has never met her grandmother, Marly’s mother, Winnie. But Marly and Winnie have been estranged for years, and confronting the past for each of them is painful. The homecoming is bittersweet, but revisiting the conflict between them is crucial if Marly and her mother are ever to find the bond they shared before Marly left Dreyerville.

To complicate matters, living next door to Winnie is handsome sheriff and widower Reed Bennett, and his son, Ham, who is close to Katie’s age. Ham and Katie become fast friends, while the parents find their attraction to one another going deeper than mere friendship. But Marly’s time in Dreyerville is limited and risking her heart isn’t something she’s willing to do.

As the days slip past, and though she tries to avoid it, Marly and Reed become more deeply involved. Can she risk loving the handsome sheriff and giving up the future she worked so hard to forge for herself and her daughter? Can she make a life in Dreyerville after what happened all those years ago?

Will Marly finally realize that her true destiny and ultimate happiness lies in coming to terms with her past?
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