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#TIKTOKTUESDAY - POST #3 THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE BY V.E. SCHWAB

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

2022 Christy Awards

The Christy Awards are given each year to Christian fiction novels to honor "novels of excellence, imagination, and creativity." The award has been given since 1999, and is named for Catherine Marshall’s novel, "Christy". This year's finalists were recently announced, and they are: 

Book of the Year | General Fiction:

#TikTokTuesday - Post #1

A new blog series where Arielle has decided to read a number of different books in a number of different genres that have gone viral after being featured on BookTok and see if they are worth the hype.

New blog series - TikTok Tuesday

A new blog series where Arielle has decided to read a number of different books in a number of different genres that have gone viral after being featured on BookTok and see if they are worth the hype.

A Spool of Blue Thread (Tyler)

“It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon. . .” This is how Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture. Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their anchor. Brimming with all the insight, humor, and generosity of spirit that are the hallmarks of Anne Tyler’s work, A Spool of Blue Thread tells a poignant yet unsentimental story in praise of family in all its emotional complexity. It is a novel to cherish.

Love on the Santa Fe (Series by Tracie Peterson)

Along the Rio Grande: Recently widowed Susanna Jenkins has decided to follow her family to the booming town of San Marcial, New Mexico, for a fresh start and to aid in her family's sudden change in fortune. They are tasked with managing her uncle's new Grand Hotel, and it takes all her patience to try to help her parents see the good of their circumstances and relinquish their sense of entitlement. Owen Turner works as a boilermaker for the Santa Fe's train shops in San Marcial. He's immediately attracted to Susanna upon meeting her, but he hesitates to risk opening his heart again. Especially as painful memories are stirred up of his own late sibling when Susanna's brother is assigned to work under him. When misguided choices put Susanna's family in an even more precarious situation, she needs someone to rely on. But if Owen can't face the past, he'll miss out on his greatest chance at love. ************************************** Beyond the Desert Sands: After living an opulent life with her aunt for the last few years, the last thing twenty-five-year-old Isabella Garcia wants is to have to celebrate Christmas in the small silver-mining town her father and mother founded in the desert. She'd rather stay in California with the handsome Diego Morales who is courting her. Isabella is further miffed to have to bear the company of Aaron Bailey, a businessman with the Santa Fe Railroad, whom her father has sent to escort her safely home. Aaron finds Isabella spoiled, and she finds him judgmental. But she is surprised to see how much the town of Silver Veil has grown and how fragile her father's health has become. Then Diego shows up with news that her aunt has died. Isabella is saddened by the loss of not only her aunt, but also her place of escape. Faced with all these changes, she struggles to sort through her future and who she wants to be. But trouble is brewing, and there are those who hope Isabella stays just as she is, even if it costs her everything. **************************************** Under the Starry Skies: Sensible and independent, Cassandra Barton never anticipated being on her own at thirty-two. But after the death of her father and the marriage of her sister, she's found joy in her work as a seamstress. When a minor accident leaves her incapacitated, she decides to use her time to compile a book of stories about the men working on the Santa Fe Railroad. But worry begins to grow in San Marcial as Mexican revolutionaries set out to destroy the railroad--and put many lives in danger. With Europe at war and his longtime friend Cassie injured, railroad worker Brandon Dubarko is burdened by his troubles. And when a vengeful man reappears in Brandon's life intent on causing conflict, Brandon must face his past before he can move forward. As the danger intensifies, Cassie and Brandon must rely on their faith to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of a brighter future.

The Diamond Eye (Quinn)

In 1937 in the snowbound city of Kiev (now known as Kyiv), wry and bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son--but Hitler's invasion of Ukraine and Russia sends her on a different path. Given a rifle and sent to join the fight, Mila must forge herself from studious girl to deadly sniper--a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. When news of her three hundredth kill makes her a national heroine, Mila finds herself torn from the bloody battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America on a goodwill tour. Still reeling from war wounds and devastated by loss, Mila finds herself isolated and lonely in the glittering world of Washington, DC--until an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and an even more unexpected connection with a silent fellow sniper offer the possibility of happiness. But when an old enemy from Mila's past joins forces with a deadly new foe lurking in the shadows, Lady Death finds herself battling her own demons and enemy bullets in the deadliest duel of her life. Based on a true story, The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever.

Switchboard Soldiers (Chiaverini)

In June 1917, General John Pershing arrived in France to establish American forces in Europe. He immediately found himself unable to communicate with troops in the field. Pershing needed operators who could swiftly and accurately connect multiple calls, speak fluent French and English, remain steady under fire, and be utterly discreet, since the calls often conveyed classified information. At the time, nearly all well-trained American telephone operators were women--but women were not permitted to enlist, or even to vote in most states. Nevertheless, the U.S. Army Signal Corps promptly began recruiting them. More than 7,600 women responded, including Grace Banker of New Jersey, a switchboard instructor with AT&T and an alumna of Barnard College; Marie Miossec, a Frenchwoman and aspiring opera singer; and Valerie DeSmedt, a twenty-year-old Pacific Telephone operator from Los Angeles, determined to strike a blow for her native Belgium. They were among the first women sworn into the U.S. Army under the Articles of War. The male soldiers they had replaced had needed one minute to connect each call. The switchboard soldiers could do it in ten seconds. The risk of death was real--the women worked as bombs fell around them--as was the threat of a deadly new disease: the Spanish Flu. Not all of the telephone operators would survive. The women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps served with honor and played an essential role in achieving the Allied victory. Their story has never been the focus of a novel...until now.

The Master Craftsman (Stuart)

In 1917, Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in The House of Fabergé, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history--an unknown Fabergé Egg that Peter Karl Fabergé secretly created to honor his divided allegiance to both the people of Russia and the Imperial Czar's family. When Alma and her husband escaped Russia for their native Finland in 1921, she took the secret with her, guarding her past connection to the Romanov family. Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance--and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined. This modern-day treasure hunt from award-winning author Kelli Stuart transports you into the opulent and treacherous world of the Russian Revolution to unearth mysteries long buried.

The Darkest Minds - The Darkest Minds #1 (Bracken)

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control. Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Long Way Home (Austin)

Peggy Serrano couldn't wait for her best friend to come home from the war. But the Jimmy Barnett who returns is much different from the Jimmy who left, changed so drastically by his experience as a medic in Europe that he can barely function. When he attempts the unthinkable, his parents check him into the VA hospital. Peggy determines to help the Barnetts unravel what might have happened to send their son over the edge. She starts by contacting Jimmy's war buddies, trying to identify the mysterious woman in the photo they find in Jimmy's belongings. Seven years earlier, sensing the rising tide against her people, Gisela Wolff and her family flee Germany aboard the passenger ship St. Louis, bound for Havana, Cuba. Gisela meets Sam Shapiro on board and the two fall quickly in love. But the ship is denied safe harbor and sent back to Europe. Thus begins Gisela's perilous journey of exile and survival, made possible only by the kindness and courage of a series of strangers she meets along the way, including one man who will change the course of her life.

Second First Impressions (Thorne)

Distraction (n): an extreme agitation of the mind or emotions. Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center. Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too. Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin. Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade. From the USA Today bestselling author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine comes the clever, funny, and unforgettable story of a muscular, tattooed man hired as an assistant to two old women—under the watchful eye of a beautiful retirement home manager.

The Last Hope - The Raging Ones #2 (Ritchie)

A stunning conclusion to the sci-fi romance duology by writing duo Krista & Becca Ritchie, The Last Hope is filled with twists and turns you'll never see coming. Sacrifice all you have to survive. Imprisoned for weeks on an enemy starcraft, Franny, Court, and Mykal have sat with an unfathomable revelation. But as they fight to stay alive, escaping prison means trusting a young mysterious stranger. He knows everything about their lost histories, and when answers aren’t given freely, the bonded trio are forced to join a mission. One that will determine the fate of humanity. Legend says, a baby—the first of her species—has the power to cloak and teleport planets. Tasked with retrieving the infant, Court fears the baby is just a myth, and if they fail, they’ll never find the truth about their origins. As Court and Mykal grow closer, their linked bond becomes harder to hide, and dynamics change when Franny begins to fall for someone new. Vulnerable and with no choice, the hunt for the baby sends the trio on a dangerous path to Saltare-1: a water world where their enemies can’t die and survival comes at a high cost.

The Raging Ones - The Raging Ones #1 (Ritchie)

In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds. Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday. Until the day she does. Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him. Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny. With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.