Band of Sisters
Maureen O’Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hope of claiming the life promised to their father over twenty years before. After surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died. His family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. Despite her family’s disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father’s debt but can’t find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, whom Olivia begins to see as more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he’s hiding. As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen take a stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters.
When Henry Hatten wangles a job as communications director for Nebraska SenatorTom Peele’s presidential campaign, he breathes a huge sigh of relief. Smarting over a recent gubernatorial campaign in which his pulling a political punch may have cost his boss the race, he’s thrilled to be back in action. This time around, Henry is determined to shuck his ethical qualms. But he soon finds he’s facing more than he imagined. The new gig turns out to be rife with scandal and corruption just the kind of politics Henry so fervently sought to banish. But when someone close to the campaign is murdered, Henry can no longer turn a blind eye. As he conducts his own covert investigation, still more secrets emerge. So deeply entrenched in the politics and manipulation, Henry must face a staggering reality in which his values are no longer his own.
The Forgetting Tree
When Claire Nagy marries Forster Baumsarg, the only son of prominent California citrus ranchers, she knows she’s consenting to a life of hard work, long days, and worry-fraught nights. She embraces the life of the ranch, succumbing to its intoxicating rhythms and bounty until her love of the land becomes a part of her. Not even the tragic, senseless death of her son Joshua at kidnappers’ hands, her alienation from her two daughters, or the dissolution of her once-devoted marriage can pull her from the ranch she’s devoted her life to preserving. But despite having survived the most terrible of tragedies, Claire is about to face her greatest struggle: an illness that threatens not only to rip her from her land but take her very life.
In Between Days
The Harding family is teetering on the brink. Elson-once one of Houston’s most promising architects-is recently divorced from his wife of thirty years, Cadence. Their grown son, Richard, is still living at home: driving his mother’s minivan, working at a local coffee shop, resisting the career as a writer that beckons him. But when Chloe Harding gets kicked out of her East Coast college, for reasons she can’t explain to either her parents or her older brother, and returns to Houston, the Hardings’ lives begin to unravel.
John Saturnall’s Feast
John Saturnall was tutored by his mother, an herbalist believed to be a witch, to assist her and understand the subtleties of the kitchen. Upon her death, John is dispatched to the estate of Sir William Fremantle, where his mother once worked. As he rises in the ranks from scullery boy to assistant master cook, he catches the eye of Sir William’s feisty daughter, Lucretia. When she is promised in marriage to the loathsome Piers Callock, whose family’s close connection will ensure the estate’s inheritance, she launches a hunger strike in protest. John is presented with the challenge of creating food that will persuade her to eat. The two fall in love, but the English Civil War ensues, and Lucretia is already promised in marriage.
Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures
In 1920, Elsa Emerson is born in idyllic Door County, Wisconsin. Her family owns the Cherry County Playhouse, and more than anything, Elsa relishes appearing onstage. But when tragedy strikes her family, her acting becomes more than a child’s game of pretend. While still in her teens, Elsa marries and flees to Los Angeles. There she is discovered by Irving Green, one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, who refashions her as a serious, exotic brunette and renames her Laura Lamont. Irving becomes Laura’s great love; she becomes an Academy Award-winning actress-and a genuine movie star. And she experiences all the glamour and extravagance of the heady pinnacle of stardom in the studio-system era, but ultimately her story is a timeless one of a woman trying to balance career, family, and personal happiness, all while remaining true to herself.