An enchantingly festive short story, Christmas Gifts at the Beach Cafe is a perfect Christmas read from Lucy Diamond. With her Cornish Beach Caf closed for the winter, Evie Flynn should be looking forward to lazy days and a happy Christmas, with nothing more pressing to think about than when to have her next mince pie. But her sister Ruth is coming to stay, in a cloud of heartbreak and bitterness following her marriage breakdown, along with her three unhappy children, and Evie knows she'll have her work cut out, trying to spread some festive cheer. Then her boyfriend Ed breaks the news that he's going to spend Christmas in London, for family reasons, and her heart sinks even further. Add in to the mix a lost dog plus the hotly contested village Christmas bake-off and before long, Evie is feeling the strain. But there are still a few surprises in store for her, that look set to make this Beach Caf Christmas the most memorable one yet... PRAISE FOR LUCY DIAMOND "Seamless, engaging, believable, fun and heartfelt" Heat "Charming, funny ... Loved it" Milly Johnson, bestselling author of Here Come the Girls "The new queen of the gripping, light-hearted page-turner" Easy Living
THE SUMMER STORY OF THREE SISTERS, ONE RESTAURANT, AND A (POSSIBLE) GERMAN SPY World War II is coming in Europe. At least that's what Frankie Baum heard on the radio. But from her small town in Maryland, in the wilting summer heat of 1939, the war is a world away. Besides, there are too many other things to think about: first that Frankie's father up and bought a restaurant without telling anyone and now she has to help in the kitchen, peeling potatoes and washing dishes, when she'd rather be racing to Wexler's Five and Dime on her skates. Plus her favorite sister, Joanie Baloney, is away for the summer and hasn't been answering any of Frankie's letters. But when some people in town start accusing her father of being a German spy, suddenly the war arrives at Frankie's feet and she can think of nothing else. Could the rumors be true? Frankie must do some spying of her own to try to figure out her father's secrets and clear his good name. What she discovers about him surprises everyone but is nothing compared to what she discovers about the world. In a heartfelt, charming, and insightful novel that is based on true events, Shawn K. Stout weaves a story about family secrets, intolerance, and coming of age that will keep readers guessing until the end. Praise for A Tiny Piece of Sky : Through warm, funny characters, Shawn Stout builds a riveting bridge from the past that sheds light on today. Wholly memorable.Rita Williams-Garcia, Coretta Scott King Author Award winner for P.S. Be Eleven Shawn Stout's Frankie Baum is that rare creation: a character so real, so true, we don't just feel we know herwe are her. Irrepressible Frankie meets issues like prejudice and loyalty head on, in a story both highly entertaining and deeply thought-provoking. She may be #3 in her family, but she'll be #1 in the hearts of all who read this book.Tricia Springstubb, author of What Happened on Fox Street At turns hilarious, at turns heartbreaking, Shawn Stout's story shows us the damage that a whisper campaign can do to a family and a community, and at the same time shows us, each of us, a way to find our hearts. Frankie Baum is a hero from a distant time and yet a hero for all times, the kind of hero who never gets old. I loved this book from the very beginning to the very end.Kathi Appelt, author of the National Book Award finalist & Newbery Honor book The Underneath "Stout uses an archly chummy direct address at several points, successfully and humorously breaking up tension in this cleareyed look at bad behavior by society....Successfully warmhearted and child-centered." Kirkus Reviews "Through Frankie's thoughtful insights, Stout addresses injustices such as racism and xenophobia without turning didactic...the conclusion is a realistic mix of bittersweet and heartwarming." Publishers Weekly "Fans of Augusta Scattergood's Glory Be as well as those of Jeanne Birdsall's Penderwicks series will enjoy this slice of history. A so
WITH EMPATHY, GRACE, HUMOR, AND PIERCING INSIGHT, THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF GODS IN ALABAMA PENS A POWERFUL, EMOTIONALLY RESONANT NOVEL OF THE SOUTH THAT CONFRONTS THE TRUTH ABOUT FAMILY, RACE, AND THE DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN PERCEPTION AND REALITY-THE STORIES WE TELL OURSELVES ABOUT OUR ORIGINS AND WHO WE REALLY ARE Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs's weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comic-book convention, the usually level-headed graphic novel artist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman. She remembers he was tall, black, and an excellent French kisser-but not much else. It turns out the Caped Crusader has left her with more than just a fond, fuzzy memory. That pink plus sign on the stick isn't wrong: she's having a baby-an unexpected but not unhappy development. She always wanted to fall in love and have a child, but as a young woman, she learned exactly what betrayal felt like. Now she's thirty-eight and dead single, having walked-no, run-away from every man she might have married, trying to avoid more loss, more regrets. Before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional lily-white Southern family, her perfect stepsister Rachel's marriage implodes. Leia wants to help, but Rachel is married to the very man who broke her heart all those years ago. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, has been hiding her rapidly progressing dementia with the help of her lifelong best friend, Wattie. Birchie is Leia's only living paternal relative, a proper yet fierce woman who has long lived by her own rules in Birchville, Alabama, the small town her family founded generations back. Now this grande dame has started a row at the church fish fry that has set every tongue wagging, pitted neighbor against neighbor, and made it plain to Leia that her grandmother needs some serious looking after. Heading seven hundred miles south, Leia plans to put Birchie's affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and break the news of her blessed event. Yet just when Leia thinks she's got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie's been hiding. Tucked away in a trunk in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family's freedom and future, and will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her unborn son and the possibilities of his absent father, and the warm and friendly-yet deeply flawed and contradictory-world she thinks she knows. Enchanting, wry, honest, and hopeful, The Almost Sisters compels us to explore our own origins and the stories we tell ourselves.
Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing , this smart, surprising, and romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine's debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love. Perfect for fans of Sarah Mlynowski, Jenny Han, and Morgan Matson. Madison Pryce thinks she's got everything figured outshe's working on a portfolio for a summer art program and hanging with her friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. But then a visit from a family friend turns Maddie's life upside down. Jesse McMann is still reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band. Then pride (and some goading from his bass player and fellow barista) forces him to find a new drummerand the inspiration to write music again. Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett, who tries out for Jesse's band, and whose girlfriend is BFFs with the cute girl who orders a chai latte after yoga every Thursday: Maddie. What Jesse and Maddie thought they knew about the secrets of attraction and the rules of romance changes once they start falling for each other.