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New Mercies, by Sandra Dallas.

Natchez, Mississippi, in 1933 is a place suspended in time. The silver and china is still dented and cracked from Yankee invaders. And the houses have names...and memories. Nora Bondurant is running away--from her husband's death, from his secrets, and from the ghosts that dog her every step. When she receives a telegram informing her that she has an inheritance, Nora suddenly has somewhere to run to: a house named Avoca in Natchez, Mississippi. Now, she's learning that the lure of Natchez runs deep, and that, along with Avoca, she's inherited a mystery. Nora's aunt Amalia Bondurant was killed in a murder/suicide, and the locals are saying nothing more--except in hushed, honeyed tones. As Nora becomes more and more enmeshed in the community and in her family's history, she learns surprising things about the life and death of her aunt: kinship isn't always what it seems, loyalty can be as fierce as blood relations, and every day we are given new mercies to heal the pain of loss and love.

320 pages, with a 4.3-star rating from 43 reviews

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Judas Silver, by J.R. Rain.

Someone is stealing the cursed thirty coins paid to betray Christ. Disturbed by these events, the Vatican hires our hero, antiquities thief, Trey Jordan. Trey's mission is simple: find the coins first. And to combat the dark power contained within the cursed coins, Trey will be entrusted with a powerful weapon of his own, a weapon hidden deep with the Vatican's secret vaults.

As the adventure begins, he will team up with a past lover, the beautiful numismatist Eve Roberts, a coin collector herself and owner of one of the cursed Judas Coins. Their search begins with a famous sunken ship and will lead to a bizarre castle located in the middle of a Scottish loch. And waiting at every turn is the mysterious Draken, whose dark power multiplies with the acquisition of each new coin. In the end, when a seemingly victorious Draken brings together all thirty coins, when the Gates of Hell have been thrown wide open and the world has been plunged into darkness and chaos, a desperate Trey Jordan will unleash the ferocious power of the legendary Fourth Nail.

Acclaim for J.R. Rain:

"Gripping, adventurous, and romantic-J.R. Rain's The Lost Ark is a breakneck thriller that traces the thread of history from Biblical stories to current-day headlines. Be prepared to lose sleep!"
-James Rollins, international bestselling author of The Doomsday Key

"The Lost Ark is a wonderful adventure novel."
-Piers Anthony, international bestselling author of On A Pale Horse
126 pages, with a 4.3-star rating from reviews

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Lonely Vigil: Coastwatchers of the Solomons (Open Road Media), by Walter Lord.

In the bloodiest island combat of World War II, one group of men risked it all to fight from behind Japanese linesThe Solomon Islands was where the Allied war machine finally broke the Japanese empire. As pilots, marines, and sailors fought for supremacy in Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and the Slot, a lonely group of radio operators occupied the Solomon Islands' highest points. Sometimes encamped in comfort, sometimes exposed to the elements, these coastwatchers kept lookout for squadrons of Japanese bombers headed for Allied positions, holding their own positions even when enemy troops swarmed all around.They were Australian-born but Solomon-raised, and adept at survival in the unforgiving jungle environment. Through daring and insight, they stayed one step ahead of the Japanese, often sacrificing themselves to give advance warning of an attack. In Lonely Vigil, Lord tells of the survivors of the campaign, and of what they risked to win the war in the Pacific.
268 pages, with a 4.6-star rating from 128 reviews

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Strikers, by Ann Christy.

One hundred and twelve years after the fall, the Republic of Texas is built on two foundations: total freedom and total responsibility. A law broken means a strike against the lawbreaker. Five strikes means execution. The only hope for the law breaker is to escape Texas-to go Striker-before justice comes for them.

Sixteen-year-old Karas Quick has never had it easy. The daughter of a Striker and an alcoholic mother, she's gotten everything she has the hard way - even the strike on her neck. Yet try as Karas might to stay above-board with the authorities, there are some things you just can't plan for.

Like seeing the face of her long-lost father paraded through the town square in chains.

In the blink of an eye, Karas's life changes forever. Potential strikes be damned, she has to see her father one last time. What she discovers propels her upon an unimaginable journey, one she can only hope she'll survive.

Age 14 and up.
332 pages, with a 4.7-star rating from 48 reviews

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Pandemic, by Yvonne Ventresca.

Even under the most normal circumstances, high school can be a painful and confusing time. Unfortunately, Liliana's circumstances are anything but normal. Only a few people know what caused her sudden change from model student to the withdrawn, doomsayer she has become, but her situation isn't about to get any better. When people begin coming down with a quick-spreading illness that doctors are unable to treat, Liliana's worst fears are realized. With her parents called away on business before the contagious outbreak—her father in D.C. covering the early stages of the disease and her mother in Hong Kong and unable to get a flight back to New Jersey—

Liliana's town is hit by what soon becomes a widespread illness and fatal disaster. Now, she's more alone than she's been since the “incident" at her school months ago.

With friends and neighbors dying all around her, Liliana does everything she can just to survive. But as the disease rages on, so does an unexpected tension as Liliana is torn between an old ex and a new romantic interest. Just when it all seems too much, her living nightmare comes flooding back. Will Liliana survive the outbreak and overcome her personal demons? In this thrilling debut novel from author Yvonne Ventresca, you will follow Liliana to the brink of humanity and her own sanity. But there's no telling if you'll make it through alive.

Contemporary fiction for teens (ages 13 to 17) is growing in popularity, and parents, teachers, and librarians will find that Pandemic is a solid addition to this growing genre. Liliana is a relatable teen character who is struggling with real-life issues: friendship, identity crisis, sexual abuse, fear of death, etc. And her coming-of-age tale amid this very real-life threat is sure to resonate with teens (and even adults) interested in contemporary fiction. While the primary audience will be teenage girls, teenage boys may also be drawn to the book with its bleak plot, the realistic boy secondary characters, and the similarities between this and the movie Contagion.
352 pages, with a 4.5-star rating from 39 reviews

Happy Reading!