THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY
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by Alissa Grosso
Sisters uncover an unbelievable family secret
Barbara "Babie" Bunting is constantly mistaken for her sisters, but she's determined not to end up like her family. She doesn't plan to stick around Shallow Pond after graduation, and she certainly won't be ruined by a broken heart. That is, until fellow orphan Zach Faraday walks into the picture, and Babie can't deny their chemistry.
When her oldest sister, Annie, comes down with a mysterious illness--initially dismissed as "love sickness'--Babie and Zach start investigating what exactly killed the girls' mother and why their late father became so consumed by grief. What they find changes everything.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Shallow Pond?
Well, not to be too vague, but I think my favorite thing about Shallow Pond is the characters. Of course, I have a soft spot for Barbara, the novel's protagonist, but I also enjoyed creating some of the other characters that people this book: Zach, Annie, Gracie and Cameron. One thing that makes this a little different from my other books is that there are quite a few adult characters. There's probably a good reason for that.
Before Shallow Pond was a novel it was a short story, and it was told from a completely different perspective. Cameron, who is still in the novel, was the short story's protagonist. I reworked the story several times trying to get it right, until I suddenly realized that Cameron was the wrong character to tell the story. Everything came together when I decided to put Barbara in charge. Then this short story got a bit more complicated and turned into a novel.
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Plague in the Mirror
by Deborah Noyes
Advance Reader Copy Giveaway
In a sensual paranormal romance, a teen girl's doppelganger from 1348 Florence lures her into the past in hopes of exacting a deadly trade.
It was meant to be a diversion -- a summer in Florence with her best friend, Liam, and his travel-writer mom, doing historical research between breaks for gelato. A chance to forget that back in Vermont, May's parents, and all semblance of safety, were breaking up. But when May wakes one night sensing someone in her room, only to find her ghostly twin staring back at her, normalcy becomes a distant memory. And when later she follows the menacing Cristofana through a portale to fourteenth-century Florence, May never expects to find safety in the eyes of Marco, a soulful painter who awakens in her a burning desire and makes her feel truly seen. The wily Cristofana wants nothing less of May than to inhabit each other's lives, but with the Black Death ravaging Old Florence, can May's longing for Marco's touch be anything but madness? Lush with atmosphere both passionate and eerie, this evocative tale follows a girl on the brink of womanhood as she dares to transcend the familiar -- and discovers her sensual power.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Plague in the Mirror?
I think Cristofana was my favorite part of the book. She's dark and sly and kept me guessing. I love the idea of having a twin out there in what she calls "the wilds of time" who's also your opposite, the yin to your yang. May, the main book's main character, is a self-proclaimed good girl used to doing what's right and expected. But she also takes her life for granted. It's like a part of her is sleeping. And Cristofana is wide awake. She's selfish and mean but passionate and brave, too, unafraid to go after what she wants, and May has something to learn from that, just as Cristofana learns about loyalty and family from May. A lot of dualities -- good and evil, light and dark -- are extremes, but I think what the universe wants from us, in the end, is balance. May and Cristofana complete each other.
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by Geoffrey Girard
Advance Reader Copy Giveaway
Simon & Schuster
Fifteen-year-old Jeff Jacobson had never heard of Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer who brutally murdered seventeen people more than twenty years ago. But Jeff's life changes forever when the man he'd thought was his father hands him a government file telling him he was constructed in a laboratory only seven years ago, part of a top-secret government cloning experiment called "Project CAIN".
There, he was created entirely from Jeffrey Dahmer's DNA. There are others like Jeff--those genetically engineered directly from the most notorious murderers of all time: The Son of Sam, The Boston Strangler, Ted Bundy . . . even other Jeffrey Dahmer clones. Some raised, like Jeff, in caring family environments; others within homes that mimicked the horrific early lives of the men they were created from.
When the most dangerous boys are set free by the geneticist who created them, the summer of killing begins. Worse, these same teens now hold a secret weapon even more dangerous than the terrible evil they carry within. Only Jeff can help track the clones down before it's too late. But will he catch the "monsters" before becoming one himself?
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Project Cain?
PROJECT CAIN started as a teen novel about cloned serial killers with a strange first-person-but-not narration that my agents asked me to rewrite into an adult thriller. Which I did (CAIN'S BLOOD), and we all liked, but then they asked: "Hey, we loved this Jeff character. Any interest in doing a YA novel just about him?" Absolutely! In PROJECT CAIN, Jeff Jacobson is the first-person protagonist and teenage clone of the murderer Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer at sixteen was a shy midwest kid, book smart, Boy Scout, interested in science and lifting weights, fighting depression alone, not quite sure how to make friends, parents always fighting, realizing he was homosexual in a time/place even way more difficult than it can be today. THAT kid I kinda liked. THAT kid was breaking my damn heart. Fiction is all about What Ifs. My favorite thing about PROJECT CAIN is that I got to get into the head/heart of THAT kid as Jeff Jacobson ultimately became the "idealized" version of what Dahmer could/should have been. Those same frailties, temperament, and promise. What If Dahmer's parents had simply divorced sooner instead of screaming at each other for a decade? What if a concerned teacher'd noticed he was showing up to school drunk? What if Dahmer were raised in the 2000s and there were a couple more people around to say: "You're homosexual, huh? You'll find much love here too and it's the most natural thing in the world." What if he'd gotten some therapy, been put on the right depression meds, etc. I've rarely written in first-person, but the opportunity to speak as Jeff Jacobson and explore this curious "What If?" and his own search for self was very much welcomed.
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by Shaun David Hutchinson
There's more than one way to get the girl in this fun and fast-paced novel about one epic party and a kiss that could change everything.
Tonight's the night: Simon's big chance to finally get with Cassie. Cassie, who he's loved for ages. Cassie, who is newly boyfriend-free. Cassie, who just happens to be throwing the biggest party of the year. Simon's plan is simple: He'll go to the party, she'll fall in love with him, they'll make out like crazy, and the night will be a complete success.
But things don't ever go as planned--especially when it comes to Cassie.
In two alternating plotlines, Simon goes after the girl of his dreams and stumbles toward his destiny. It's one night, one party, and a thousand ways for things to go wrong--but a million ways for them to go right.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about fml?
There are so many things to love about FML that it's nearly impossible to choose just one. For a book about a party, where the stakes are simply one guy's quest to secure a kiss, there's a lot of my heart in these pages. I think that's what I love most about it. The heart.
FML is made up of characters who all have a lot of heart. There are no stereotypes here. Readers may think they know who the characters are at first glance, but every character in FML will surprise them.
The biggest and most important lesson I learned in high school is that no one is what they seem to be. That jerk who pushed you around might have his reasons. That girl you like might not be the best person for you. That geek you make fun of might be the coolest kid you'll ever know. Everyone has issues no one else knows about, everyone has the potential to be the hero in the story of their own life.
Heart. These characters have it. Simon and Cassie and Ben & Coop and Stella and Aja and Eli. They're all so different and amazing. They can all be jerks at times, but they can also be awesome.
Writing FML was like being at a party I never wanted to end.
In a way, I guess it never will.
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by Sara Grant
Signed Bookplate (2)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
I learned that surviving isn't all it's cracked up to be. If you survive, you've got to live with the guilt, and that's more difficult than looking someone in the eye and pulling the trigger. Trust me. I've done both. Killing takes a twitch of the finger. Absolution takes several lifetimes.
Seventeen-year-old Icie's parents have given her $10,000 in cash, a map of a top-secret bunker, and instructions to get there by any means necessary. They have news of an imminent viral attack and know that the bunker is Icie's only hope for survival. Along with three other teens, she lives locked away for months, not knowing what's happening in the outside world or who has survived. And are they safe in the bunker after all?
Generations in the future, a mysterious cult worships the very mountain where Icie's secret bunker was built. They never leave the mountain, they're ruled by a teenager...and they have surprising ties to Icie.
This high-stakes, original, and thought-provoking adventure from Sara Grant follows two unlikely heroes, hundreds of years apart, as they fight to survive.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Half Lives?
I wrote Half Lives as two separate, yet interlocked, novels. I loved the challenge of revealing the complete story only when both narratives were read together. I created a matrix to outline each, noting the points of connectivity. I wanted to orchestrate the give and take of information between the stories. I wrote Icie's story first and then Beckett's. Once I was satisfied with each story, I knitted them together and considered them as a whole. Editing even a line in one story could create a ripple of changes in the other. This writing and revising--ripping the two stories apart and then putting them back together again--was a challenge, but I hope readers agree that it's worth the effort.
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LAST WEEK'S GIVEAWAY WINNERS
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by Cindy Miles
On a misty cliffside, mystery and romance await. . . .
Ivy Calhoun's life has been turned upside down. Her new stepdad has uprooted Ivy and her mom, bringing them to live in an actual castle in the misty Scottish countryside. There are stone-faced servants and shadowy corridors, and the ancient walls seem full of secrets. Ivy is at once frightened and intrigued.
Especially when she meets Logan, a gorgeous, elusive ghost who has haunted the castle grounds for decades. Ivy is immediately drawn to him . . . but Logan is not the only spirit around. Something dark and deadly is afoot, and soon Ivy finds herself in mortal danger.
Is Logan exactly what he seems? Could his mysterious past be tied to Ivy's present? And can Ivy stop herself from falling in love with him?
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Forevermore?
It's so difficult to pin-point one single favorite thing about Forevermore! But the setting is definitely up there in the top two. I LOVE Scotland, and the history there, the crumbling old castles, the people, how it smells, the BROGUE...it all inspires me, every single time I visit. I never tire from it. That Forevermore is set in the Highlands of Scotland, in a creepy old haunted castle, is one of my most favorite things. And of course, the handsome Scottish ghost! :)
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This is W.A.R
by Lisa and Laura Roecker
Winner: The Magic Violinist
This is W.A.R. begins with a victim who can no longer speak for herself, and whose murder blossoms into a call-to-arms. Enter four very different girls, four very different motives to avenge Willa Ames-Rowan, and only one rule to start: Destroy James Gregory and his family at any cost. Willa's initials spell the secret rallying cry that spurs the foursome to pool their considerable resources and deliver their particular brand of vigilante justice. Innocence is lost, battles are won--and the pursuit of the truth ultimately threatens to destroy them all.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about This is W.A.R?
Our favorite thing about THIS IS W.A.R. is the first and last chapter. It was very important for us to share Willa's voice and those passages gave us the freedom to do that. THIS IS W.A.R. is truly Willa's story despite the fact that her friends are the ones telling it.
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IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS
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by Darren Shan
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
After spending the last few months wandering around London--a city filled with the dead--B Smith has given up hope for any sign of normal human existence. But then B finds strange signs all over the city--a "Z" plus red arrows. Following them, B finds The Angels-- a group gathered in the hopes of combating the evil dead and the forces that introduced them. But all is not as it seems and it's up to B to find out: what battle are they truly waging?
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Zom-B Angels?
My favorite thing about Zom-B Angels is that it starts to provide us with answers. The first three books of the series dropped us straight into the action of a zombie apocalypse. Readers had no idea why the dead were coming back to life, who the mysterious guy with very large eyes was, where the
psychotic clown and his army of mutants had come from, why some zombies regained their memories while most did not. Zom-B Angels answers these questions and many more besides. It's a grounding book, in much the same way that "Vampire Mountain" was in my "Cirque Du Freak" series, so it's not as pacy and action-packed as the rest of the books, but after the breathless opening 1-2-3 flurry, I think that's a good thing! This is a chance for readers to pause, draw their breath, find out what exactly is going on, before powering forward with the rest of the series without ever slowing down again!!!
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Who Needs Magic?
by Kathy McCullough
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
The sequel to DON'T EXPECT MAGIC! Now that Delaney Collins knows she's a fairy godmother, she's ready to make magic happen. But first, she has to find her next client. And it's not as easy as she thought it would be.
Delaney's spending the summer working at Treasures, a secondhand store at the mall, surrounded by cool vintage boots--and potential clients. But when she finally feels a connection with Jeni, a girl who needs a life-changing, happily-ever-after wish . . . Jeni doesn't want her help. And to make matters worse, Delaney finds herself competing with another f.g. Glittery, sparkly Ariella is an uber-f.g., granting wishes with a flick of her lemon candy stick, while Delaney can't seem to make anything happen. Not even a summer romance with her boyfriend, Flynn.
It takes more than waving a chopstick to make big wishes come true. But what good is being an f.g. if you can't make the boy you like want to be with you as much as you want to be with him?
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Who Needs Magic??
To be honest, my favorite thing about Who Needs Magic? is that it's done! Books go through so many, many revisions, not to mention line edits and copy edits and proofs, that it's a huge relief to get to the end of the process. Of course, then you're back to the blank page... (gulp!)
Seriously, though, if I were to come up with my favorite part of the new novel in terms of the story, I'd have to say it would be Ariella Patterson, Delaney's perky, sparkly rival. Delaney is such a force of nature, she really dominates Don't Expect Magic. It was a goal -- and a challenge -- to create a character who could match Delaney's energy, and the seemingly sweet but secretly sinister Ariella managed to do just that. She was a lot of fun to spend time with while I was writing, and her run-ins with Delaney in Who Needs Magic? really did "write themselves."
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45 Pounds (More or Less)
by Kelly Barson
Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi's life:
She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 8 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in two months.
Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, terrifying wedding dance lessons, endless run-ins with the cutest guy Ann's ever seen--and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.
And there's one more thing. It's all about feeling comfortable in your own skin -- no matter how you add it up!
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about 45 Pounds (More or Less)?
I think my favorite thing about 45 POUNDS (More or Less) is my main character Ann. Over the years her story--and title--has changed many, many times, but overall character has not. The first draft included online chat rooms and ridiculous user names and a sick grandmother. None of those things made it to the submitted draft, but Ann's self-conscious, often humorous and awkward, obsession with weight remained steadfast through every draft. I love Ann and her weird family, so no matter how many times the plot evolved, I kept coming back to same flawed cast.
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Some Quiet Place
by Kelsey Sutton
I can't weep. I can't fear. I've grown talented at pretending.
Elizabeth Caldwell doesn't feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They've all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn't succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one--Fear. He's intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth's life as she is herself.
Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Some Quiet Place?
My favorite thing about SOME QUIET PLACE would have to be the concept itself. It was incredibly fun and challenging to integrate emotions as physical beings into a story. I gave each one a unique appearance and certain personality traits that fit the actual emotion that the being represents. Yet somehow, they're also individuals, as well.
I also enjoyed the contrast of having these Emotions present around a character that can't be influenced by them. I think it made their traits emerge that much more, from a point of view that isn't biased or clouded. Elizabeth is able to observe that Emotions are extremely meddlesome and unapologetic. Maybe that's what makes them so entertaining!
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Only Ever Always
by Penni Russon
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Have you ever woken from a dream feeling it was more real than your world? Could there be someone exactly like you living another life? Claire lives in an ordinary world where everything is whole. But now she feels broken into pieces as her world is suddenly shattered with grief. The silvery notes of her music box help her escape from her pain into a dream world, into Clara's world. Clara's world has always been broken. Her fragmented life revolves around scavenging and swapping objects to survive. She is determined to face the sinister side of her cracked reality to save the only family she has ever known. But the cost may be more than she bargained for. Though Claire and Clara live in different worlds, their paths are set to collide when the people they love most are faced with death. But which world is the dream? Who is the dreamer? Penni Russon has written a spellbinding tale that stretches the imagination about what is possible.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Only Ever Always?
My favourite thing about Only Ever Always is the language. The dystopian world Clara inhabits was born of a language that just seemed to flow out of me. Clara is constructing language as she speaks, cherrypicking what she needs out of found objects and curiosities. While it was mostly instinctive, I also deliberate constructed some of it. For example one of the characters tells fortunes in "Form Guide" speak (from the horse racing section of the newspaper): "Teatime tattle. Looks genuine improver. Hidden Strings. Chance in harder event. Must come into contention. Will appreciate rise in distance." This came from a writing exercise I did with Australian author Carrie Tiffany, who recently won two of our top literary awards, the Miles Franklin and the inaugural Stella Prize, with her novel Mateship with Birds.
Because this language was so strong and distinctive I struggled initially to balance it with the portrayal of the ordinary, suburban world Claire dwells in. After A LOT of experimentation, tinkering with character, voice and points of view, I tried rewriting a part of my novel in second person, and I just fell in love with it.
Only Ever Always is a cryptic, philosophical and psychological puzzle that asks a lot of the reader, so I tried to reward the reader with clear, precise imagery in beautiful language.
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MORE RELEASES IN STORES NEXT WEEK
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In Too Deep
by Coert Voorhees
Hyperion Book CH
Annie Fleet, master scuba diver and history buff, knows she can't fight her nerd status as a freshman at her Los Angeles private school. And she doesn't care--except for the fact that her crush, Josh, thinks she's more adorable than desirable. Annie is determined to set him straight on their school trip to Mexico. But her teacher has other plans: he needs Annie to help him find Cortez's lost-long treasure.
Suddenly, Annie finds herself scuba diving in pitch-black waters, jetting to Hawaii with Josh, and hunting for the priceless Golden Jaguar. But Annie and Josh aren't the only ones lured by the possibility of finding the greatest treasure ever lost at sea. Someone else wants the gold--and needs Annie dead. In deeper danger than she ever imagined, can Annie get the boy and find the Jaguar, or is she in over her head?
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by Juliet Marillier
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Neryn has finally found the rebel group at Shadowfell, and now her task is to seek out the elusive Guardians, vital to her training as a Caller. These four powerful beings have been increasingly at odds with human kind, and Neryn must prove her worth to them. She desperately needs their help to use her gift without compromising herself or the cause of overthrowing the evil King Keldec.
Neryn must journey with the tough and steadfast Tali, who looks on Neryn's love for the double agent Flint as a needless vulnerability. And perhaps it is. What Flint learns from the king will change the battlefield entirely—but in whose favor, no one knows.
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The Theory of Everything
by Kari Luna
One part Libba Bray's GOING BOVINE, two parts String Theory, and three parts love story equals a whimsical novel that will change the way you think about the world.
Sophie Sophia is obsessed with music from the late eighties. She also has an eccentric physicist father who sometimes vanishes for days and sees things other people don't see. But when he disappears for good and Sophie's mom moves them from Brooklyn, New York, to Havencrest, Illinois, for a fresh start, things take a turn for the weird. Sophie starts seeing things, like marching band pandas, just like her dad.
Guided by Walt, her shaman panda, and her new (human) friend named Finny, Sophie is determined to find her father and figure out her visions, once and for all. So she travels back to where it began--New York City and NYU's physics department. As she discovers more about her dad's research on M-theory and her father himself, Sophie opens her eyes to the world's infinite possibilities--and her heart to love.
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Right of Way
by Lauren Barnholdt
Can a road trip repair a romance gone wrong? Find out in this standalone companion to Lauren Barnholdt's Two-way Street.
Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It's awesome, it's easy, it's romantic. This is the real deal.
Unless it isn't. Because when you're in love, you don't just stop calling one day. And you don't keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you're supposed to have the other person to lean on.
Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what's coming on the road ahead.
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Shadow of the Mark
by Leigh Fallon
Leigh Fallon's Shadow of the Mark, the sequel to Carrier of the Mark, is a captivating love story set against the lush backdrop of Ireland.
Megan knew she was destined to be with Adam from the first moment she saw him and now they are determined to be together. But Megan and Adam are Marked Ones, and a romance between two Marked Ones is strictly forbidden...and could cause worldwide devastation.
Leigh Fallon's Shadow of the Mark is a great choice for readers who love Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush.
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Quarantine: The Saints
by Lex Thomas
A cross between the Gone series and Lord of the Flies, Quarantine #2: The Saints contunues this frenetically paced and scary young adult series that illustrates just how deadly high school can be.
Nothing was worse than being locked in—until they opened the door...
McKinley High has been a battle ground for eighteen months since a virus outbreak led to a military quarantine of the school. When the doors finally open, Will and Lucy will think their nightmare is finished. But they are gravely mistaken.
As a new group of teens enters the school and gains popularity, Will and Lucy join new gangs. An epic party on the quad full of real food and drinks, where kids hookup and actually interact with members of other gangs seemed to signal a new, easier existence. Soom after though, the world inside McKinley takes a startling turn for the worse, and Will and Lucy will have to fight harder than ever to survive.
The Saints brings readers back to the dark and deadly halls of McKinley High and the QUARANTINE series.
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by Melinda Taub
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Romeo and Juliet are gone. Will love live on? Despite the glooming peace that's settled on Verona after the recent tragedy, Montagues and Capulets are brawling in the streets. Faced with more bloody battles, Prince Escalus concludes that the only way to truly marry the fortunes of these two families is to literally marry them together. Everyone is skeptical, but none more so than the pair selected, for the most eligible Montague bachelor is Benvolio, Romeo's best friend, still anguished by the loss of his companions, and the chosen Capulet maid is Juliet's older cousin Rosaline, the girl Romeo first loved and whose refusal of Romeo's affection paved the way for bloodshed. Contrary to their late cousins, there's no love lost between Benvolio and Rosaline, yet they forge a bond to end the renewed feud not only to escape their forced betrothal, but to save their lives and the city of Verona itself.
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by Nancy Hartry
Nothing in Kerry's life prepares her for her first summer job. Stationed as far north from Toronto as Florida is south, unqualified and inexperienced, she perceives hazards around every tree. What does she know about fieldwork? Or black bears? Or men? Absolutely nothing--all shess done with her life so far is competitive dance. If her mother only knew what this job required!
Kerry's new partner, Yvette, is unlike anyone she's ever met and something about her doesn't add up. Her boss is a chauvinist pig and out to get them. When forest fires break out, Kerry and Yvette are drafted for fire duty and sent deeper into the bush--even closer to the fire. As all of northwestern Ontario goes up in flames, Kerry vows to find out what is really going on--and uncovers a crime of international scope and scale that will threaten her life.
Smokescreen is an adrenalin pumping adventure, pitting two resourceful young women against nature and man at their most greedy. Truth and lies. Fire and darkness. Who will triumph when nothing is what it seems?
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