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The seamstress

SUMMARY: Emília and Luzia dos Santos, orphaned when they are children, grow up under the protection of their aunt in the hillside village of Taquaritinga, Brazil. Raised as seamstresses, the sisters learn how to cut, how to mend and how to conceal. Emília treasures pretty, girlish things and longs to escape from the confines of the little town. Captivated by the romances she reads in magazines, she dreams of finding love in the bustle and glamour of the city. Luzia, scarred by a childhood accident that has left her with a deformed arm, knows that for her, real life can not be romantically embroidered, and so she finds solace in her sewing and in the secret prayers to the saints she believes once saved her life. But when Luzia is abducted by a gang of rebel bandits, the sisters’ lives diverge in ways they never imagined. Whilst Luzia learns to survive in the unforgiving Brazilian outland, discovering love in the most unexpected of places, Emília meets the son of a wealthy doctor who seems to offer her everything she has always desired. But for the innocent dreamer, the excitement of her escape to the city is soon overshadowed by disillusion and loneliness. As she learns how to navigate the treacherous waters of Brazilian high society, the bandits’ campaign against the land-owning ‘Colonels’ intensifies, and when a price is placed upon Luzia’s head Emília realises she must risk everything in order to save her sister.

The Sealed Letter

SUMMARY: Miss Emily “Fido” Faithfull is a “woman of business” and a spinster pioneer in the British women’s movement, independent of mind but naively trusting of heart. Distracted from her cause by the sudden return of a once-dear friend, the unhappily wed Helen Codrington, Fido is swept up in the intimate details of Helen’s failing marriage and obsessive affair with a young army officer. What begins as a loyal effort to help a friend explodes into an intriguing courtroom drama complete with accusations of adultery, counterclaims of rape, and a mysterious letter that could destroy more than one life. Based on a scandalous divorce case that gripped England in 1864, The Sealed Letter is a riveting, provocative drama of friends, lovers, and divorce, Victorian-style.

The Sculptor

EDITORIAL REVIEW: **Killing Is An Art** In life, they were flawed. In death, they are perfect works of art–killed, preserved, and carefully molded into replicas of Michelangelo’s most celebrated creations. Only The Sculptor can bring forth their true beauty and teach the world to appreciate his gift. **He Is The Master** FBI Special Agent Sam Markham has a reputation for tracking serial killers, but this artful adversary is meticulous, disciplined, and more ruthless than any he’s encountered. The only clue is a note dedicating the latest “statue” to Cathy Hildebrant, an art historian who shares Sam’s fear that the killing has just begun. **And She Is The Perfect Subject** In a quiet Rhode Island town, The Sculptor shapes his latest macabre creation, waiting for Cathy to draw nearer so that his message can be understood at last. And the only way to save her is for Sam to unlock a psychopath’s twisted mind before his final, terrifying masterpiece is revealed. . . “Funaro provides clever plotting and plenty of suspense.” –John Lutz, *New York Times* bestselling author “Fast-paced, exciting. . .Funaro delivers gasp-out-loud terror and relentless suspense. A genuine page-turner!” –Kevin O’Brien, *New York Times* bestselling author “It reminded me of why I loved *Silence of the Lambs* so much.” –Gregg Olsen “A stone cold thrill ride! Unique and unexpected twists make this one a keeper!” –Lisa Jackson, *New York Times * bestselling author

The Scarpetta Factor

SUMMARY: It is the week before Christmas. The effects of the credit crunch have prompted Dr Kay Scarpetta to offer her services pro bono to New York City’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. But in no time at all, her increased visibility seems to precipitate a string of dramatic and unsettling events. She is asked live on the air about the sensational case of Hannah Starr, who has vanished and is presumed dead. Moments later during the same broadcast, she receives a startling call-in from a former psychiatric patient of Benton Wesley’s. When she returns after the show to the apartment where she and Benton live, she finds a suspicious package ? possibly a bomb ? waiting for her at the front desk. Soon the apparent threat on Scarpetta’s life finds her embroiled in a deadly plot that includes a famous actor accused of an unthinkable sex crime and the disappearance of a beautiful millionairess with whom Lucy seems to have shared a secret past….

The Savage Altar

SUMMARY: Innocence will be sacrificed… On the floor of a church in northern Sweden, the body of a man lies ritually mutilated and defiled and in the night sky, the aurora borealis dances as the snow begins to fall. Rebecka Martinsson is heading home to Kiruna, the small town shers”d left in disgrace years before. A Stockholm tax lawyer, Rebecka has a good reason to return: her friend Sanna, whose brother has been horrifically murdered in the church of the cult he helped create. Beautiful and fragile, Sanna needs someone like Rebecka to remove the shadow of guilt that is engulfing her, to forestall an ambitious prosecutor, and to confront the rumours circulating in a closed and frightened community. But to help her friend, and to find the real killer of a man she once adored and is now not sure she ever knew, Rebecka must relive the darkness she left behind in Kiruna, delve into a sordid conspiracy of deceit, and confront a killer whose motives are dark and impossible to guess…

The Saint of Dragons

EDITORIAL REVIEW: The ancient dragons — of the time of the legendary Saint George and earlier — have never disappeared entirely. Instead, they’ve moved undercover — and into human society. Now one lonely schoolboy is about to learn where the dragons have gone … Educated at boarding schools, Simon St. George has never met his parents. When a ragged-looking man shows up claiming to be his father, Simon is skeptical, and when the man kidnaps him, he’s indignant to say the least. Then the man claims to be a descendant of England’s Saint George and a career dragon fighter. Why should Simon believe any of this nonsense? But what if the man is telling the truth? What if the dragons know he’s out there? Rich with the dragon lore of legend, the saint of dragons continues and enlarges on the tale of the centuries-old conflict between dragons and humans that rages even today.

The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart

SUMMARY: In the plague-wracked and devil-haunted darkness of Medieval Europe, an elite few enjoy opulent lives while the majority eke out a miserable existence in abject poverty. Hungry creatures stalk the deep woods and desolate mountains, and both sea and sky teem with unspeakable horrors. For those ill-fated masses not born into wealth, life is but a vicious trial to be endured before the end of days.Hegel and Manfried Grossbart could give a toss. Being of low birth means little, after all, when the riches of the mighty wait just inside the next crypt. The grave-robbing twins know enough about crusading to realise that if one is to make a living from the dead, what better destination than the fabled tomb-cities of Egypt?But the Brothers Grossbart are about to discover that all legends have their truths, and worse fates than death await those who would take the red road of villainy . . .

The Russian Concubine

SUMMARY: A sweeping novel set in war-torn 1928 China, with a star-crossed love story at its center. In a city full of thieves and Communists, danger and death, spirited young Lydia Ivanova has lived a hard life. Always looking over her shoulder, the sixteen-year-old must steal to feed herself and her mother, Valentina, who numbered among the Russian elite until Bolsheviks murdered most of them, including her husband. As exiles, Lydia and Valentina have learned to survive in a foreign land. Often, Lydia steals away to meet with the handsome young freedom fighter Chang An Lo. But they face danger: Chiang Kai Shek’s troops are headed toward Junchow to kill Reds like Chang, who has in his possession the jewels of a tsarina, meant as a gift for the despot’s wife. The young pair’s all-consuming love can only bring shame and peril upon them, from both sides. Those in power will do anything to quell it. But Lydia and Chang are powerless to end it.

The Road to Rome: A Forgotten Legion Chronicle

SUMMARY: The third novel in The Forgotten Legion trilogy takes the main protagonists from North Africa back to Rome in the build-up to the assassination of Julius Caesar. Having survived the perils of a journey across half the world, Romulus and Tarquinius are press-ganged into the legions, which are under imminent threat of annihilation by the Egyptians. Meanwhile in Rome, Romulus’ twin sister Fabiola lives in fear for her life, loved by Brutus, but wooed by Marcus Antonius, his deadly enemy. Back in Egypt, Romulus fights at Zela, the vicious battle where Caesar famously said, ‘Veni, vidi, vici’. Tarquinius, separated from Romulus in the chaos of war, hides in Alexandria, searching for guidance. But mortal danger awaits them both. From the battlefields of North Africa and Spain, to the lawless streets of Rome and the gladiator arena, they face death daily, until on the Ides of March, the twins are reunited and must decide either to back or to betray Caesar on his day of destiny.

The River Kings’ Road

Review

“The River Kings’ Road is the intriguingly twisted tale of treachery and magic behind a brutal massacre and the impacts this unspeakable act has on the two survivors, on those who perpetrated it, on those who investigated it, and on those who tried to turn it to even more evil ends. It’s also a tale that examines unsparingly the issue of to what degree the ends justify the means . . . or not.”

—L. E. Modesitt, Jr., New York Times bestselling author of The Saga of Recluce series

“The River Kings’ Road drew me in with the characters, all of whom felt real and reacted realistically for the setting. . . . The heroes are heroic because of the choices they make on their journey, choices that would test the very best . . . and worst . . . in all of us. . . . It’s a story where the simplest choice could have drastic consequences, and where the lowliest of peasants can change the fate of a kingdom.”

—Joshua Palmatier, author of The Vacant Throne

Product Description

A thrilling new voice in fantasy makes an unforgettable debut with this “intriguingly twisted tale of treachery and magic” (_New York Times _bestselling author L. E. Modesitt, Jr.). Liane Merciel’s The River Kings’ Road takes us to a world of bitter enmity between kingdoms, divided loyalties between comrades, and an insidious magic that destroys everything it touches. . . .

The wounded maidservant thrust the knotted blankets at him; instinctively, Brys stepped forward and caught the bundle before it fell. Then he glimpsed what lay inside and nearly dropped it himself.

There was a baby in the blankets. A baby with a tear-swollen face red and round as a midsummer plum. A baby he knew, even without seeing the lacquered medallion tucked into the swaddling—a medallion far too heavy, on a chain far too cold for an infant who had not yet seen a year.

A fragile period of peace between the eternally warring kingdoms of Oakharn and Langmyr is shattered when a surprise massacre fueled by bloodmagic ravages the Langmyrne border village of Willowfield, killing its inhabitants—including a visiting Oakharne lord and his family—and leaving behind a scene so grisly that even the carrion eaters avoid its desecrated earth. But the dead lord’s infant heir has survived the carnage—a discovery that entwines the destinies of Brys Tarnell, a mercenary who rescues the helpless and ailing babe, and who enlists a Langmyr peasant, a young mother herself, to nourish and nurture the child of her enemies as they travel a dark, perilous road . . . Odosse, the peasant woman whose only weapons are wit, courage, and her fierce maternal love—and who risks everything she holds dear to protect her new charge . . . Sir Kelland, a divinely blessed Knight of the Sun, called upon to unmask the architects behind the slaughter and avert war between ancestral enemies . . . Bitharn, Kelland’s companion on his journey, who conceals her lifelong love for the Knight behind her flawless archery skills—and whose feelings may ultimately be Kelland’s undoing . . . and Leferic, an Oakharne Lord’s bitter youngest son, whose dark ambitions fuel the most horrific acts of violence. As one infant’s life hangs in the balance, so too does the fate of thousands, while deep in the forest, a Maimed Witch practices an evil bloodmagic that could doom them all. . . .

The River

From Publishers Weekly

In a boxed review, PW praised the “terse, heart-stopping prose” of this follow-up to Hatchet : “The new adventure is as riveting as its predecessor . . . the psychological terrain of the sequel is fresh and distinct.” Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A sequel to the most popular of Paulsen’s three Newbery Honor books (Hatchet, 1987), based on an unlikely premise– government researchers want Brian to reenact his northwoods survival so that his strategies can be observed and taught to others. Derek, a young psychologist, and Brian are dropped off at another Canadian lake, near the first one, equipped only with knives and a radio that Derek has promised not to use except in a dire emergency. Everything goes all too smoothly until their camp is struck by lightning, zapping the radio and leaving Derek in a coma. Brian manages to float Derek 100 miles down a river to a trading post, thus saving his life. The lyrically described details of Brian’s adventure– building a fire, making a raft–are of most interest here; for all its graphically evoked perils (rapids, the craft’s unwieldiness, exhaustion), the journey’s successful outcome seems less in doubt than did the outcome of the compelling autobiographical wilderness experiences described in Woodsong (1990). In Hatchet, Brian discovered his own strength, adding depth, complexity, and tension to the story; here, that strength is a given–as he himself points out. Perfunctory in design but vividly written, a book that will, as intended, please the readers who hoped that Paulsen, like Brian, would do it again.” (Fiction. 11-14) — Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

The Rise and Fall of a Dragonking

SUMMARY: The much-feared sorcerer-king of Urik, Hamanu joins a plot to force a transmutation that will allow him to avoid his own corruption but that will destroy all of Urik in the process. Original. 65,000 first printing.