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It’s never ending!!!

Yes, another round of new books is about to be released! For your edification, here are a few of the upcoming books that are coming to a store/library/whatever near you. The release date for these are between June 15 and July 14, 2015.

Historical Romances take place before 1945. A heavy emphasis is placed on the development of a romantic relationship. Subgenres include medievals, American West and regencies.

h_bittner

Rosanne Bittner

Do Not Forsake Me
Outlaw Hearts series
July 7

h_feather

Jane Feather

Trapped by Scandal
Trapped series
June 23

h_hawkins

Alexandra Hawkins

A Duke But No Gentleman
Masters of Seduction series
June 30

h_lindsey

Johanna Lindsey

Wildfire in His Arms
spinoff of One Heart to Win
June 16

h_warner

Kaki Warner

Home by Morning
Heroes of Heartbreak Creek trilogy
July 7

h_wine

Mary Wine

A Sword for His Lady
Courtly Love series
July 7

Historical Fiction normally takes place before 1945. Focus is on the lives, scandals and issues facing the characters, light emphasis on romance. A large percentage of these stories are fictionalized stories of real people. Phillipa Gregory is a HF author.

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Lisa Chaplin

The Tide Watchers
June 30

hf_williams

Beatriz Williams

Tiny Little Thing
June 23

Contemporary Romance is in modern times; these stories place an emphasis on the development of a romantic relationship. Vary in tone, sensuality and content – may contain light suspense. Settings vary, but most take place in North America.
Mainstream Fiction are usually set in the present day, though occasionally will be set at any time after WWII, and the development of a romantic relationship is not a main focus of the plot. Subgenres include women’s fiction, chick lit, lad lit and literary fiction.

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Kristen Ashley

Ride Steady
Chaos Motorcycle Club series
Contemporary Romance
June 30

c_billingsley

ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Mama’s Boy
Mainstream
July 7

c_collins

Jackie Collins

The Santangelos
Santagelos series
Mainstream
June 16

c_green

Jane Green

Summer Secrets
Mainstream
June 30

c_henry

Patti Callahan Henry

The Idea of Love
Mainstream
June 23

c_kelly

Erika Kelly

I Want You to Want Me
Rock Star series
Contemporary Romance
July 7

c_mallery

Susan Mallery

Kiss Me
Fool’s Gold series
Contemporary Romance
June 30

c_michaels

Fern Michaels

In Plain Sight
Sisterhood series
Mainstream
June 30

c_nicholas

Erin Nicholas

Getting Lucky
Sapphire Falls series
Contemporary Romance
June 23

c_quick

Matthew Quick

Love May Fail
Mainstream
June 16

c_ridgeway

Christie Ridgway

Can’t Fight This Feeling
Cabin Fever series
Contemporary Romance
June 30

c_shalvis

Jill Shalvis

Second Chance Summer
Cedar Ridge series
Contemporary Romance
June 30

Mysteries take place in different settings and time periods, but solving a mystery (often, but not always a murder) is the main focus of the plot.
Thrillers take place in all different locations and time periods. The primary focus of the plot revolves around a major threat. Usually there is a time limit in which lives must be saved. These books may include a romantic subplot, but it does not drive the main story.
Suspense takes place in all different settings and time periods. Like mysteries, there is a truth to uncover or a criminal to find, but the why is emphasized as opposed to the who. Romance may be included, but is not the focus.
Romantic Suspense places a heavy emphasis on the development of a romantic relationship as jeopardy, lies, deceit and killers often stalk the hero or heroine. The sensuality and violence varies from book to book depending on the author.

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Paul Doiron

The Precipice
Mike Bowditch series
Mystery
June 16

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Roy Johansen and Iris Johansen

The Naked Eye
Suspense
July 14

m

Lisa Renee Jones

Infinite Possibilities
The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series
Romantic Suspense
July 7

m_kaye

Laura Kaye

Hard to Let Go
Hard Ink series
Romantic Suspense
June 30

m_kuhn

Eleanor Kuhns

Death in Salem
William Rees Mystery series
Mystery
June 16

m_lee

Patrick Lee

Signal
Sam Dryden series
Thriller
July 7

m_lynds

Gayle Lynds

The Assassins
Mystery
June 30

m_thrulo

Aimee and David Thurlo

Looking Through Darkness
Trading Post series
Romantic Suspense
July 7

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Kate White

The Wrong Man
Suspense
June 16

Paranormal Romance takes place in all different settings and time periods. The focus of the plot is on the effect of supernatural or paranormal elements on the characters’ lives as they pursue a romantic relationship. Usually vampire, werewolf, shapeshifters, ghosts involved in romance.
Fantasy takes place in all different settings and time periods. The focus of the plot is primarily on the effect of magical elements on the characters’ lives, often while the characters are on a quest. Some popular themes are historical fantasy, mythical creatures and magical abilities.
Science Fiction takes place in all different settings and time periods. The focus of the plot is primarily on the effect of science innovations, or imagined scientific principles, on the characters lives.
Urban Fantasy are most often told in first-person narration. This person has to deal with supernatural and paranormal elements that are incorporated into our own world. The tales usually continue throughout a series rather than being finished in a single book. These novels are most frequently set in contemporary times, often in large urban areas. Strong women are a feature in this genre.

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Amanda Carlson

Pure Blooded
Jessica McCain series
Urban Fantasy
June 16

p_chu

Wesley Chu

Time Salvager
Paranormal
July 7

p_feehan

Christine Feehan

Earth Bound
Sea Haven series
Paranormal
July 7

p_gilman

Carolyn Ives Gilman

Dark Orbit
Science Fiction
July 14

p_graham

Heather Graham

The Silenced
Krewe of Hunters series
Paranormal
June 30

p_griffin

Clay and Susan Griffin

The Undying Legion
Crown and Key series
Urban Fantasy
June 30

p_pacat

C.S. Pacat

Prince’s Gambit
Captive Prince series
Paranormal
July 7

p_saintcrow

Lilith Saintcrow

Trailer Park Fae
Gallow and Ragged series
Urban Fantasy
June 23

p_walton

Jo Walton

The Philosopher Kings
The Just City series
Fantasy
June 30

Young Adult books generally focus on teenage heroes and heroines and can be part of any subgenre.

ya_bloom

M. Beth Bloom

Don’t Ever Change
July 7

ya_caine

Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone
The Great Libraries series
July 7

ya_cooney

Caroline B. Cooney

No Such Person
July 14

ya_sun

Amanda Sun

Storm
The Paper Gods series
Fantasy
June 30

Erotica takes place in different settings and time periods. The focus of the story is evolves around a variety of sexual exploits and not always is there a “happily ever after.”

e_cole

Regina Cole

Sex Becomes Her
June 30

e_dane

Lauren Dane

Opening Up
Ink and Chrome series
June 16

e_james

Lorelei James

Caged
The Mastered series
July 14

e_murphy

Monica Murphy

Taming Lily
Fowler Sisters series
July 7

e_petrova

Em Petrova

Ropin’ Hearts, ebook
Boot Knockers Ranch series
June 9

e_rylon

Jayne Rylon

Long Time Coming
Hot Rods series
July 7

Inspirational Fiction take place across many different time periods and genres. Most contain strong religious themes and are predominantly Christian. Rarely are sex scenes included in these stories. However, some novels in the subcategories of suspense and thriller may contain some scenes of violence.

i_alexander Tamera Alexander
Dorothy Love
Shelley Gray
Elizabeth Musser
Among the Fair Magnolias
Historical anthology
July 14
i_jebber

Molly Jebber

Change of Heart
Historical
June 30

i_ladd

Sarah E. Ladd

The Curiosity Keeper
The Treasures of Surrey Novel series
July 7

i_mcneill

Laura McNeill

Center of Gravity
Suspense
July 14

i_wiseman

Beth Wiseman

Her Brother’s Keeper
Amish Secrets Novel series
July 7

Memorial Day

All Allen Count Public Libraries will be closed on Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day.

We give our sincere thanks to all who have served, especially those who gave the greatest sacrifice.5821312549_fc0291ee4a_z

Tidy Up

I admit I am a saver. Savers keep things for nostalgic reasons, procrastination (clutter is delayed decisions), or practical value–the ol’ “I might need this someday” reason. Fortunately, I’m not a hoarder. Hoarding Disorder, in a new group of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, is recognized in the newest edition of the DSM-5 Manual for diagnosing mental and behavior disorders.

life-changing magic of tidying upBut saving can lead to clutter, and that’s why I checked out the phenomenally best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo. Kondo’s method, arrived at through much trial and error and research, is drastic. Discard first, then organize. She says, “Tidying brings visible results. Tidying never lies. The ultimate secret of success is this: If you tidy up in one shot, rather than little by little, you can dramatically change your mind-set.” She warns that any other method causes rebound, a drift back to old ways. Have mercy! Discarding is the hardest part! As I read on, Kondo does allow 6 months for the discarding process, by item type–clothes, books, etc. Kondo does aim for perfection but she has a good explanation for why that should be the goal.

love the home you haveWondering if I had the desire or will power to tackle Kondo’s strict method, I came across a different, gentler book, Love the Home You Have, by Melissa Michaels. Michaels has a blog, The Inspired Room, and was the 2014 “Better Homes and Gardens” Readers’ Choice Decorating Blog winner. While Kondo grew up tidying and organizing not only her room, but those of her siblings’, the family kitchen, bathroom, and hallway storage; Michaels grew up drawing floor plans and picturing her ideal home. Later, married to a minister and moving often to various parsonages, she realized her perfect home would always be just over the horizon. Since each house has its quirks, surprises, and possibilities, Michaels parlayed those ideal house dreams into a philosophy that “home is right where you are.” Michaels talks about goals, but her emphasis is on the process of creating, experimenting, and refining your style. Organizing and cleaning are interwoven into the discussion of creation and contentment. Doing something as quick and simple as hanging a favorite picture on a wall can bring new meaning and ambiance to a room.

Both authors talk about visualizing what makes you happy and what you want your house to convey. Different methods are presented. As I continue to read both books, I hope to find what will work for me. How about you? Are you up for a tidying challenge?

This is like a broken record in more ways than one. Suzanne Enoch latest Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid is the latest inh_enoch the Scandalous Highlanders series. This one is about Rowena, the sister in the MacLawry family. And, as we are told 500 gazillion times in this book she’s a fierce highland lass. The hero of this story is Lachlan MacTier, Viscount Gray, who, by the way, just may be in the running for the Bonehead hero award.

I have enjoyed the other stories in this series and I especially loved Ranulf’s story, A Rogue with a Brogue. That’s a good thing, because let me tell you Ranulf was a big pain in the bahooky this time around. Yes, I know he’s a controlling older brother who has all the responsibilities of his land, brothers, sister, neighbors, clan, wife and sheep on his big brawny shoulders. Yes, he is not the only controlling older brother I’ve ever seen in a Romanceland novel, but usually there is also a gentleness revealed just below the surface in most of those guys, which seemed to be lacking in this presentation of Ranulf. That’s too bad, because it was one of the things that darkened my enjoyment of this book. Though that wasn’t the only thing that caused a shadow here and there.

Let’s start with Rowena. She’s very young. I mean really young and not just chronologically but she’s really, really immature. She has always luved Lachlan, followed him around when they were wee bairns, ye ken. He has totally ignored her. She is like a mosquito buzzing around his head. Well, when she turns seventeen she decides to run off to London, which is actually Ranulf and Charlottes story. Well, now she has turned eighteen and she’s allll grown up and she has men tripping all over her and she is going to return to Scotland to attend her brother’s wedding and she’s going to bring her London friends with her and she’s not going to talk with a Scottish brogue and she’s going to like totally ignore that big oaf Lachlan. Rowena was a real irritating character; she was, like, totally into herself, she was like embarrassed of the sheep. Ehmagawd! Being a highlander was totally uncool. It wasn’t till she was kidnapped that I had any fondness for her, but, by that time I had only a few chapters left.

Then we have Mr. Bonehead – Lachlan. For years and years he ignores Rowena – she is nothing but a big irritate in his manly life and then she shows up with her London friends and bumps on her chest! Now he sees her! She’s got gazongas! She’s a fierce highland lassie! She’s fierce, fierce, fierce and he must hae the wee bonnie lass! He must sneak into her bedroom at night and coerce her into a kiss! He must trip up all the other guys so he will be the only one left. He must navigate around his best friends in the whole world, her brothers, take her innocence and then lie about it. Phew, I’m fair puckled!

I’ve read Suzanne Enoch since the beginning of time and I will always read her books. I love a lot of her stories; if I didn’t I wouldn’t still be reading her. However, every once in a while there is one book that doesn’t live up to the rest of the books in the series and for me Mad, Bad, and Dangerous falls short, ye’ ken?

Time/Place: 1820ish Scotland

bicyclebeer

The Brew Pub craze is upon us!  I am sobered by the thought of the casualties we shall soon see.  Here’s what I mean: Six or seven years ago my friend and I decided to try and visit the 28 breweries scattered across the entire state of Indiana.  We did pretty well, getting 90 percent of them or so over the course of a year, but here’s the thing: if you were to attempt something like that now, you would have to visit 28+ breweries just in the city of Indianapolis, not to mention the handful of breweries in Bloomington, the smattering down by the Ohio River, and the (let’s be honest) plethora up around Lake Michigan.  Oh, and don’t forget Ft. Wayne.  There’s 3 or so now and within the next two years that could easily double.  The fuel bill and the miles on one’s liver alone discourage anything as optimistic as an exhaustive “State of Indiana” brew tour.  And I haven’t even gotten to the local economies.  How many delicious, homes of hand-crafted beer can any one populace support?  (Here’s where the casualties come in.)  Sure, the brew pubs in Ft. Wayne might double in two years, but in two more years, in 3?  Buy those limited edition pint glasses now is all I can say, before the delightful ideas of local entrepreneurs meet with the reality of the locals’ unwillingness and even inability to purchase that many premium adult beverages.  Some are gonna make it, some are going to bite it.  This summer and next, however, I’m going to make the most of it.

Again, here’s what I mean.  With so many brew pubs in so many places, so densely packed, it is becoming possible to eliminate one of the hurdles to the traditional “brew tour”; the fuel bill.  Consider biking from pub to pub!  Fresh air, aerobic exercise, and a hundreds-year-old beverage; quite the combination.

For starters you can travel two hours northwest to Goshen, IN and begin at the soon to be opened (should open next month, fingers crossed) Goshen Brewing Co.  After a pint of their finest, stride out the door and mount your bicycle to bike farther northwest to Elkhart and the Iechyd Da Brewery, only 23 miles round trip via the combined powers of the Maple City Greenway and MapleHeart Trail.

Or…travel south to Indianapolis and down to Fountain Square.  Visit the aptly named Fountain Square Brewery (I recommend the Preacher’s Daughter Amber), then scoot on over to the Pleasant Run Trail and follow the river up to Ellenberger Park.  The nearby Black Acre Brewing Co. offers a reputedly pleasant watering hole experience and “sandwiches”.  Only 5 miles.  One way.

And, boy, if Trubble (or is it Trouble?) Brewing opens in Fort Wayne this summer (like they are saying they will), you won’t even have to leave town to do a bike and brew tour.  Just start out at Trubble’s Broadway location, make a quick connection with the Rivergreenway at Foster Park, and roll all the way up and around to Anthony and Berry to stop in at Summit City Breworks, which has more taps than I care to shake a stick at.

Whatever you choose to do this summer (destination shopping, amusement parks, beer tourism) just remember you’re going to see a lot of new breweries popping up.  Even if you don’t stop in and have a pint, try and absorb a little bit of the local color, the pioneering spirit, and the commitment to a good time that these establishments represent.  And consider going around on your bike.  There’s nothing quite like earning your vacation from the back of a machine that gives as much as it takes and turns whatever you’ve been drinking into something practical, even enlightening, like perspiration.  Ask Roff Smith (see above).  Cheers!

Here’s a quick look at some books we’ve recently added to the collection.  Something catch your eye?  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that!

If you’d like weekly updates on new additions to our collections, sign up for our New Arrivals newsletter by clicking here and following three easy steps.  Warning:  you may have to bring a couple of bookbags with you on your next visit!

outside living  building outdoor kitchens  grilling
 summer table  porches shed decor
 outdoor living  invitation to the garden  picnic
paris

image via Google Maps

The 15-Minute Pulitzer

Upon re-reading my original, several-weeks-old notes for the construction of this post, I’ve come to the conclusion that I did not like this book, this Street of the Three Friends by Myron Brinig, which was considered for the 1954 Pulitzer.  Now, I’m making myself a little vulnerable here by distinctly declaring actual dislike for a novel associated with the Pulitzers, something I have absolutely avoided up to this point (haven’t I?), but I felt this was a milestone, something needing called attention to simply because my notes were just that drab and disconsolate.  Still, I hesitate.  I mean, the book was considered for a Pulitzer. But then…it didn’t win, did it?  Tee-hee.

So, okay, the novel does open on a semi-interesting character, a college professor from Illinois who’s in Paris, you know, Paris, ooh-la-la.  Why is he in Paris?  I don’t remember, I wasn’t very interested.  But anyway, he meets a woman at a cocktail party, a charming 40-something from Oklahoma who lives in Paris…ooh-blah-blah, and what follows feels like some sort of personal authorial record of a few scenes and characters Brinig had thought at one time were notable and should be recorded in some larger document and literary context.  I mean there’s so little at stake in the book.  The difficulties the characters have experienced are in the past and they seem to be pretty resolved, not to mention that those past difficulties actually seem rather frivolous and the sufferings seem like probable exaggerations.  Ugh. The best part of this book was a joke it makes about Texans and the story about the mother who loves funerals.  Now, I do have to say, it did confirm in me a desire to visit Venice and Bring did quote my favorite Walt Whitman line, “Do I contradict myself.  I contradict myself.  I contain multitudes.”  But really?  The main character, our professor from Illinois, falls for that woman, that 40-something from Oklahoma?  She’s clearly a man-eater, I mean, pretty clearly, I mean … ok, so I might be able to see her charm.  Ugh.  I make me sick.

Myron Brinig did leave quite a legacy.  He wrote 21 novels during his 29 year career, many of them about life in Montana.  He saw one of his novels The Sisters made into a film starring Bette Davis and Errol Flynn (speaking of ooh-la-la).  He read Whitman, studied at New York University, almost made good with Columbia University (that would be a Pulitzer Prize reference), and lived through most of the 20th century.  I don’t envy him the GI bleed that seems to have taken his life, but he did at least get to go out in the bosom of modern medicine.  And people are still reading his book(s).  Ok, so I am.  Reluctantly.  With some grousing, that bitterest of joys.  “Do I contradict myself?”

Craig is reading all the Pulitzer-prize winning novels in chronological order.  Begin following his journey here.

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