Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas

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Hardcover, 304 pages

Published: February 21, 2012  by St. Martin’s Press

Setting: Colorado

Literary Awards:  WILLA Literary Award Nominee for Historical Fiction (2011)

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Tragedy strikes Swandyke, a small Colorado mining town, snatching up a group of schoolchildren in its wake. This crisis brings together an unlikely group of people.

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Vivaldi’s Virgins

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 Vivaldi's Virgins by Barbara Quick

Vivaldi’s Virgins by Barbara Quick

Hardcover, 304 pages

Published: July 3, 2007 by Harper (1st published June 26, 2007)

Setting: 17th Century Venice

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Anna Maria was abandoned as an infant at the Ospedale della Pieta in Venice, a foundling home and music school, where she is being raised with the other orphans. Because of her remarkable musical talent, she is spared a life of drudgery and devotes herself to becoming an accomplished violinist. As part of the figlie di coro, “daughters of the choir,” she performs for kings and nobles as well as priests.

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The Cold, Cold Sea by Linda Huber

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Kindle Edition, 320 pages

Published: May 1, 2015 by Legend Times Group (1st published August 1, 2014)

Setting: England

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Recovering from a devastating loss is an agonizing, labyrinthine process that can take a lifetime. Grief — along with the myriad forms it takes — is the theme of this absorbing suspense novel by Glaswegian author Linda Huber.

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Choke by Chuck Palahnuik

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Paperback, 293 pages

Published: June 2002 by Anchor Books (1st published May 2001)

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This is the first book I’ve read by Chuck Palahnuik, who is not only a critically acclaimed bestselling author but, according to my daughter, a bit of a cult phenomenon. Well. I am not puritanical; I enjoy a bit of steamy literary smut as much as the next person. But after finishing Choke, I felt like getting rid of the book then taking a scorching hot shower.

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Guest House by Barbara K. Richardson

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Paperback, 226 pages

Published: March 16, 2010 by Bay Tree Publishing

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Melba is in her fifties, long divorced and estranged from her family of origin. Raised by a harsh, joyless father, she rejected her Mormon faith, when she came of age, and left home. She has enjoyed her hard-won independence for over thirty years and has become a tremendously successful real estate agent. Her life changes when she witnesses a fatal accident. She gives up her career and stops driving, launching into a simpler life.

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Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

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Hardcover, 384 pages

Published: August 10, 2010 by Doubleday

Setting: Victorian England

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Ah … Dracula. The vampire who held his English solicitor, Jonathan Harker, hostage in his Transylvanian castle and preyed on innocent virgins, imbibing their blood. The eerie, unforgettable villain of Bram Stoker’s Victorian classic and a staggering number of film adaptations.

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Blackout by Connie Willis

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Series: All Clear #1, Oxford Time Travel #3

Hardcover, 491 pages

Published: January 1, 2010 by Ballantine Books

Setting: England

Literary Awards: Hugo Award for Best Novel (2011), Nebula Award for Best Novel (2010), Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (2011), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Science Fiction (2010)

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In the year 2060, time travel has been perfected and harnessed by academia. At Oxford University, historians travel back in time to study the past first hand. Three scholars find themselves in World War II England. While studying the Blitz, the German bombing of London, Polly works as a shop girl in a London department store. She spends her nights with neighbors in a bomb shelter. Her days are spent among stores that have been shattered by bombs but are still open for business, watching Londoners courageously trying to continue with the flow of their lives, refusing to give in to their terror.

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