Product Description Lord Kenton is surprisingly happy to be lured to a moonlit gazebo, held at gunpoint by the delectable Cynthia Banester and forced to marry her. The only finger he's had to lift is the one that's caressed the neckline of her dress. She's claimed a title—he's secured a fortune. There are just two problems—he's not the real Lord Kenton, and she's not rich! Bound by their own deceptions, Cynthia and Jack decide to make the best of a bad deal. They may not have two coins to rub together, but consummating their vows proves deliciously satisfying…. About the Author Christine Merrill wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. During a stint as a stay-at-home-mother, she decided it was time to “write that book.” She could set her own hours and would never have to wear pantyhose to work! It was a slow start but she slogged onward and seven years later, she got the thrill of seeing her first book hit the bookstores. Christine lives in Wisconsin with her family. Visit her website at: www.christine-merrill.com
They live outside the earthly realm, creatures whose very existence is dependent on the highly erotic energy of six extraordinary men and women. . . Visions Of Ecstasy After years of searching, Mac Dugan has finally found his dream lover. But now he faces the prospect of losing Zianne forever to those holding her captive. With the fate of Zianne and all the Nyrians in the balance, Mac and his dream team enter into a realm of desire like never before. As they work together, the amazingly powerful sensuality of their carnal fantasies energizes the Nyrians, giving them the strength they need to survive. . .
“Elegant, sensual, surprising, and rich, Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots delivers a world to us, populated with indelible characters whose fates, as they become entwined, spur us to read fast, faster, except to do so would be to miss the beauty of Soffer’s language, which is to be savored.” — Dani Shapiro, author of Family History This is a story about accepting the people we love—the people we have to love and the people we choose to love, the families we’re given and the families we make. It’s the story of two women adrift in New York, a widow and an almost-orphan, each searching for someone she’s lost. It’s the story of how, even in moments of grief and darkness, there are joys waiting nearby. Lorca spends her life poring over cookbooks, making croissants and chocolat chaud, seeking out rare ingredients, all to earn the love of her distracted chef of a mother, who is now packing her off to boarding school. In one last effort to prove herself indispensable, Lorca resolves to track down the recipe for her mother’s ideal meal, an obscure Middle Eastern dish called masgouf. Victoria, grappling with her husband’s death, has been dreaming of the daughter they gave up forty years ago. An Iraqi Jewish immigrant who used to run a restaurant, she starts teaching cooking lessons; Lorca signs up. Together, they make cardamom pistachio cookies, baklava, kubba with squash. They also begin to suspect they are connected by more than their love of food. Soon, though, they must reckon with the past, the future, and the truth—whatever it might be. Bukra fil mish mish, the Arabic saying goes. Tomorrow, apricots may bloom. Amazon.com Review Amazon Exclusive: Author One-on-One with Jessica Soffer and Saïd Sayrafiezadeh Saïd Sayrafiezadeh is an American playwright and author. His short stories and personal essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, McSweeney’s, and The New York Times Magazine among other publications. In 2010, Saïd won a 2010 Whiting Writers' Award for his memoir, When Skateboards Will Be Free: A Memoir of a Political Childhood. He lives in New York City with his wife and teaches creative writing at New York University. Saïd Sayrafiezadeh: In 2009 you wrote an electrifying piece for Granta.com, which garnered a lot of attention. In the span of a just a few hundred words you track the relationship between a husband and wife from birth to death. It packs an astounding emotional punch, all the more since it's written in the second person from the man’s point of view. Being so young, how did you imagine yourself so convincingly in a different gender and age? Jessica Soffer: The structure of “Beginning End” was a bit of a fluke. I struggle with plot and so I gave myself an exercise: write a piece in which every line’s purpose is to make things happen. The bones of what I wrote were—and still are—the very typical but processive movements between birth and death: being born, going to school, falling in love, working, falling out of love, growing old, growing sick, dying. Everything built around those core points was an attempt to justify and contextualize them—and make them matter. I’ve found that I gravitate towards nostalgic characters perhaps because nostalgia is such a familiar sentiment. Death and grief and regret are themes that I keep coming back to. I feel at home writing in the voice of someone much older than me because it affords me the opportunity to explore those themes nostalgically, and without being constrained by my own limited experience. Through fiction, I can make everything bigger, better, than me. SS: Your father, Sasson Soffer, was an accomplished Iraqi Jewish abstract painter and sculptor who died in 2009. (You write about him in the February 2013 issue of Vogue.) Your mother is Stella Sands, editor, author, playwright. It’s easy, of course, to track the connection between your mother’s craft and yours, but how does your father’s art play into your work? JS: Perhaps the most explicit connection I can draw has to do with lifestyle. Both my parents were/are great proponents of creativity, which was distinctly evident in my childhood: art and drafts and maquettes and red pens and paint splatter and books everywhere, except for coloring books which were banned. They believed in finding ways to pursue a creative life: my father was a landlord so that he could be an artist, my mother an editor so she could write. Once my love for words, for reading and writing, became apparent, it didn’t feel far-fetched to imagine how I might route that into a career (far-fetched would have been a career in finance or medicine)—I just had to find a way, as they did, to make it work. SS: Your novel has food and cooking as one of its central themes. Where did the inspiration for this come from? Do you spend time cooking in your personal life? JS: Apricots focuses particularly on the cuisine of my father’s culture: Iraqi Jewish. His memories of his homeland were deeply rooted in food and I’ve always wanted to honor that in some way. His sister is an incredible cook and visiting her home as a child, eating her delicious stews and almond milks and cookies, directly inspired this book: all the scents and flavors. I love to cook. It’s a useful counterpart to writing: chopping, stirring, focusing on the consistent whir of the food processor. But I never write on a full stomach. It makes me sluggish, and the narrative follows suit. SS: You teach creative writing at Connecticut College. As a young writer yourself, you no doubt serve as something of an inspiration for your students. What advice might you give to those who aspire to create a career in writing? JS: Read. Read. Read. Find voices that inspire you. Don’t show work to the light too soon. Grammar is not underrated. Read. Read. Read. Nathan Englander says that writing is a moral act. It is. You are delivering something brand-new into the world. Let the gravity of that inspire and motivate you. And read. Read. Read. Photo Jessica Soffer ©Beowulf Sheehan From the Kitchen of Jessica Soffer: Recipes from the Book * Click here for recipes of dishes from the book [PDF] Review "Soffer's breathtaking prose interweaves delectable descriptions of food with a profoundly redemptive story about loss, self-discovery, and acceptance." —O: The Oprah Magazine "Teenage Lorca, who has been cutting herself since she was six, still can’t win the attention she craves from her beautiful and inaccessible mother, and so she concocts an impossible scheme to save herself from being sent to boarding school: She’ll re-create the best dinner her mother ever ate, featuring an Iraqi dish called masgouf that here is as fraught with significance as Babette’s feast. Lorca is a diligent dreamer, enlisting the help of a bookstore clerk named Blot and cooking lessons from a grieving Iraqi widow. But in this novel of shifting point of views, you want to linger longest with Lorca; both her shortcomings and her desires are so identifiable you can’t help but root for her." —Vogue.com "TOMORROW THERE WILL BE APRICOTS is an astounding accomplisment for a young, new voice. Undoubtedly this is the beginining of a spectacular career." —Woodbury Magazine "Told in Victoria and Lorca's alternating first-person voices, the character driven novel… offers fully realized, multidimensional characters who invite empathy and compassion." —Booklist "An unhappy teen and a shellshocked widow make a vital connection, though not the one they initially think, in Soffer’s somber debut....Well-written and atmospheric." —Kirkus "This powerful debut sheds light on the meaning and power of family, whether its members are blood-related or “created” by nonrelatives. Food is what strengthens relationships here, particularly the search for specific recipes. Young, troubled Lorca lives in New York City; her distracted mother, a chef, is rather uninterested in Lorca’s psychological troubles; her estranged father lives in New Hampshire. Researching how to prepare an unusual meal, Lorca feels she can win her mother’s interest and love if she can prepare this delicacy. She meets Victoria, who once owned a restaurant specializing in Iraqi meals. Their cooking lessons lead to confided morsels of their own pasts. However, it is not just the love of food but understanding and acceptance that help to make this such a lovely novel." —STARRED, Library Journal "Lovers of food-centered fiction should find some nourishment in Soffer’s debut." —Publishers Weekly "This first novel by Jessica Soffer is a work of beauty in words. There is no dead wood in this story; not a word is indispensable. Ms. Soffer is a master artist painting the hidden hues of the human soul. Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots is an intelligent work in the vein of Azar Nafisi where the humanity of the characters transcends cultural or national differences and illustrates commonalities." —New York Journal of Books "Tomorrow there will be Apricots is not a fairytale and just when it seems things are going to be neatly resolved, Soffer reminds us that life doesn’t work that way. What is expected is not so, and people revert to the behaviors they know. The book, like life, is messy and unpredictable and does not go the way the reader may want, but it is powerful and true and ultimately, beautiful." —Gilmore Guide to Books "Soffer’s wonderful debut paints an elegant portrait of two women lost in the crush, who find themselves and each other through food. Delicious in more ways than one." —Flavorwire "TOMORROW THERE WILL BE APRICOTS by Jessica Soffer tells a poignant story of love, acceptance and memory in the unusual pairing of an Iraqi Jewish widow haunted by the daughter she had given away four decades before and a young teen-age girl who yearns to bring satisfaction to her mother by learning to make a dish she seemed to yearn for. The two meet improbably and feed off of each other’s hopes and desires, as well as a over a mouth-watering menu of Iraqi culinary specialties. Beautifully written with a deep understanding of both woman and girl, the book is a first novel for Jessica Soffer, daughter of an Iraqi Jewish artist, whose imagination and versatility bode well for her future." —Moment Magazine "Lush and layered...This is story about family and love, and how food feeds both of these, but also a story of loss and pain and the empty stomachs of those still learning how to feel. For that I find it, much like life, alive and sobering, buoyant and blue, at times dark, but only until the light fills the room." —The Millions “[A story] of love, craving and family lost and gained, all through the experience of food — particularly the tangy, smoky, cardamom and saffron-spiced dishes of the Persian Gulf....[Soffer's] writing is as painful as it is exquisite, and [her book] exposes the raw power of love." —The Forward "What makes a family? Where do we find our sustenance? Jessica Soffer examines the often debated questions with artful storytelling. She calls on all of our senses to consider the age old issue of nature vs. nurture. But food, laden with history and culture, the legendary path to the heart, is the medium. Mix in a very needy cast of characters and the recipe for a good tale is perfected." —Jewish Book World "A profound and necessary new voice. Soffer's prose is as controlled as it is fresh, as incisive as it is musical. Soffer has arrived early, with an orchestra of talent at her disposal." —Colum McCann "Lit by prose of startling beauty and originality, Jessica Soffer’s novel of loss, love, food, and finding family is insightful and, as the story unfolds, increasingly moving. This is that rare debut with the capacity to genuinely satisfy the broadest swath of readers—from foodies to poets, mothers to daughters, solitary souls to friends debating subjects close to their hearts. She is a writer to watch; this is a story that matures and expands with each page." —Nicole Mones, author of The Last Chinese Chef "This lovely book is the story of lost souls hanging on to each other for dear life, then finding hope and healing. An emotional page-turner with characters who touched my heart and soon felt like old friends, it commandeered my time until the sweet and satisfying ending. Hard to believe such a wise book is a first novel. Here’s hoping there's much more to come from this wonderful writer." —Bo Caldwell, author of The Distant Land of My Father and City of Tranquil Light "This beautiful, beautiful book calls to mind The Elegance of the Hedgehog, for its artistry and heart, and for its two unlikely soul mates—one old, one young, both harboring private grief, shaping their lives around what is missing, looking for families fate has denied them. A gifted storyteller, Soffer writes with a rare combination of fearlessness and compassion; she has a sage's ability to find absurdity and humor in sorrow. Her characters, as familiar as our own imperfect faces in the mirror, remind us to forgive ourselves our foibles: after all, hope—and the need for human connection—makes fools of us all. I dare anyone to barricade their heart against this enchanting novel." —Stephanie Kallos, author of Broken for You and Sing Them Home "I devoured this mouth-watering story of self-discovery, one as deep-rooted as an ancient fruit tree perpetually blossoming anew. With prose sharp as a paring knife, Soffer shows us that love transcends cultural boundaries, age, old wounds and new seasons. So, too, does this novel. A savory debut!" —Sarah McCoy, author of The Baker's Daughter "Jessica Soffer's gorgeous and word-wise novel shows us how a single sentence can contain wonders, and a kitchen can contain epics; this is a fantastic debut." —Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances "Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots is elegant, sensual, surprising and rich. Jessica Soffer delivers a world to us, populated with indelible characters whose fates, as they become entwined, spur us to read fast, faster, except to do so would be to miss the beauty of Soffer's language, which is to be savored. This is a superb debut." —Dani Shapiro
SOME CAME DESPERATE is a spell-binding interracial romance saga that tells the story of two sisters and their white lovers in contemporary Miami. Simone is drawn to Nick Perry, a gorgeous, high-powered attorney who develops a long-lasting, sweet and enduring friendship with Simone. But when their platonic relationship turns sexual, and Simone discovers a secret about Nick’s life that renders her nearly suicidal, she knows something has to change. She leaves Miami, becomes a successful business owner in Atlanta, Georgia, and only return years later when her kid sister Shay is in trouble. Simone reunites with Nick and discovers that there is no will power within her that is strong enough to keep her from the man she loves too much. Jules, the older sister, believe she’s found the answer to her dreams when she becomes Jeremy Druce’s one and only. He’s talented, great looking, and a renowned surgeon. He’s also abusive, possessive, and an alpha-male who wants nothing more than to parade Jules around as if she was a trophy he had won. But Jules endures his less-than-stellar treatment because her own ambitions, and her blind love for him, cannot allow her to move on. In a continuing story of love’s ups and downs, SOME CAME DESPERATE chronicles interracial love in its barest human form, and takes the reader on a ride that can only be described as tumultuous. In Jules and Jeremy, Simone and Nick, we find four people determined to stay together despite overwhelming odds against them. And despite their own secrets and lies.
Product Description Nuala is descended from ancient witch folk, eternally bound to help others find love. But after the death of her husband, she harbors no such dreams for herself. Then she meets Sinjin, the Earl of Donnington, and feels something stir within her for the first time in centuries…. Handsome and scandalously tempting, Sinjin has never met a woman he couldn't seduce. Yet from the moment he sees the stunning young widow, he knows he wants more than just one night of sin—and even the discovery of the dark secret they share won't stop him from trying to possess her forever. But first he must free her from her immortal bondage, which means robbing her of her magic for all time…. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. The Royal Academy was hot and crowded, even though the Season had scarcely begun. It was supposed to be a private viewing, open only to the best and brightest of Society, but that seemed to include half of London. St. John, the Earl of Donnington, yawned behind his hand and glanced at the paintings with only the mildest interest. He was far more intrigued by Lady Mandeville's backside. Unfortunately, she was very happily married, unlike a great many of the peerage, and her husband was a rather large man. Sinjin strolled the Exhibition Room, seeking more amenable prey. There was Mrs. Laidlaw, whose husband was known to be involved with Lady Winthrop. She was quite acceptable in every way but her hair. It was blond, and that was anathema to him. Lady Andrew, on the other hand, was dark-haired, and her gown was very tight in the bodice, the impressive curve of her bosom all the more accentuated by the severity of her garments. Her husband was a known philanderer, making her ripe for the plucking. As if she felt his stare, Lady Andrew turned. Her eyes widened as she saw him, and he wondered what was going through her pretty head. The Earl of Donnington. Wealthy, handsome, possessed of every grace a peer ought to display. Impeccable clothing. The bearing of an Indian prince. Sinjin laughed to himself. Ah, yes. The very pinnacle of perfection. And London's most notorious bachelor rake. He smiled at Lady Andrew. Her lips curved tentatively, and then she turned back to the painting. It was enough. She was interested, and when it wasn't so damned hot, he might choose to pursue the opportunity that had so readily presented itself. Out of habit, he continued his hunting. Far too many blondes. But here, a little beauty with soft brown hair, a figure too abundant to be fashionable, and a much older husband by her side. There, an Amazon with shining black tresses and the confident manner of a woman who has been desired. And across the room, standing before one of the new Alma-Tademas… A mass of curling ginger hair that couldn't quite be contained in the tightly wrapped styles of the day, a height neither petite nor tall, a figure neat and fine, a dress so unobtrusive that it made her fiery head all the more striking. Ginger hair was not fashionable. But it drew Sinjin like a roaring hearth in winter. It collected all the heat in the room and crackled with light. "Ah. You noticed her, too." Mr. Leopold Erskine joined Sinjin, his tie somewhat wilted, his auburn hair disheveled and his tall, rangy body bent as if the heat were a physical burden riding on his shoulders. The second son of the Earl of Elston, Leo had been one of Sinjin's best friends since their first meeting ten years ago as hopelessly foolish and naive young men. They'd spent considerable time together since, and Sinjin valued Leo's opinion—though in many ways Erskine had never quite grown up. He spent months at a time either traipsing around the deserts of North Africa and Arabia, or with his head buried in one of his incomprehensible scholarly books. He had also declined to become a member of the confirmed bachelor set of which Sinjin was undisputed leader. Erskine was constitutionally incapable of being a rake; he actually regarded women as friends and equals. "Quite a beauty, isn't she?" Leo commented, squinting his curious gray eyes. Sinjin chuckled. "How can you tell? All I see is the back of her. And you've left off your spectacles." "It was you who advised me not to wear them. ‘Too bookish,' you said." "So I did." He slapped Leo's back. "Someone must look after you, Erskine. You're a little lost lamb. You ought to join one of our gatherings… you might even enjoy it." "Not I. I should rather read in my library." "Of course. How foolish of me to suggest it." Leo began to speak again, but Sinjin's attention had already wandered back to the fire maiden. She had turned slightly, but her face was still not visible. Yet there was a lightness and grace about her movements as she bent her head to listen to one of the ladies standing beside her… a tall, dark-haired woman Sinjin recognized. "I see that the lady in question keeps company with the widows," Sinjin remarked. "Widows?" "You haven't been living in a cave, Erskine. Those widows. The untouchables." "Ah, yes. I believe they call themselves the ‘Widows' Club.'" "The Witches' Club," or so some liked to call them: a half-dozen wealthy, well-bred and eccentric ladies who had vowed never to marry again. Sinjin felt a flicker of disappointment. "Are you acquainted with them?" Erskine asked. "One would be hard-pressed not to be aware of the dowager Duchess of Vardon," Sinjin said. "She believes she is some sort of ancient princess." Erskine pinched the bridge of his nose as if he were pushing up his missing spectacles. "Eccentric she may be, but she is a renowned hostess. For the past two years she has wielded considerable power in Society." "Ha! As usual, you know far more than you let on." "As you said, I have not been living in a cave." Leo smiled knowingly. "Even you cannot scorn such a formidable lady, Donnington." "I won't kowtow to any woman, not even a former duchess." "It would nevertheless be unwise to let her know that you despise her, or her chosen companions, because of their sex." Sinjin ignored Erskine's comment. With increased interest, he let his gaze wander over the other women standing near the fire maiden. There was another ginger-haired girl pressed so close to the painting that her nose almost touched it; she wore one of those odd Aesthetic dresses without bustle or stays. It would, he reflected, be a good deal easier to get a woman out of such a garment, especially if one were in a hurry. But his gaze passed over her, pausing only briefly on the stiffly upright young woman in the severe gray suit, the plump blonde, the brown-haired girl in an unbecoming and out-of-fashion dress and the older woman with a good figure and what might accurately be called a "handsome" face. He lingered a moment on the very young girl with black hair and dull gray dress: she must be still in mourning. Too young, in any case. And that brought him back to the fire maiden. If she didn't have a horse's face or spots, she would be nearly perfect. You may have vowed not to marry again, my dear, he thought. But that does not preclude a little entertainment on the side. "What do you know of her, Leo?" Erskine didn't ask which "she" he meant. "Lady Charles, wife of the late Lord Charles Parkhill." "Parkhill? Charles is dead?" "Two years ago, of a longstanding illness." Sinjin shook his head. "I'm very sorry to hear it. I knew him at Eton… even then he was often in ill health." "Yes. Poor fellow—after so many years of isolation at his estate, he had few people but his family to mourn him when he passed on." "I didn't know he had married." "Only six months before his passing. Lady Charles cared for him until the end. She was completely devoted to him and never left his side. Even after she was widowed, she remained in the country until this Season." "She is newly come to London?" Sinjin asked, surprised. "Yes. The dowager Duchess of Vardon and the dowager Marchioness of Oxenham have been introducing her around town, but I understand that she has remained somewhat reclusive." "Who are her family?" he asked. "That, I have not heard." Erskine frowned. "Are you thinking of pursuing her?" "I might have done, if not for Charles. I owe him a certain respect in light of our time together at Eton." "You owe him respect, but not his widow." "She does not seem particularly stricken." "You know nothing about her except what little I have told you." "Have you an interest, Erskine?" "I need not be a member of your set to decline the pleasure of marriage," Erskine said. "And you would consider nothing less." "I am hopelessly old-fashioned, as you have so often reminded me." Sinjin snorted. "Someday your virtue will take a tumble, my friend." "And one of these days, old chap, you may find a woman who is your equal." "If such a creature existed, I would marry her on the spot." "May I take you at your word, Sin? Shall we make a friendly wager of it?" Leo suggested. "You aren't a gambling man." "The study of human nature is one of my favorite occupations." "I don't know that I wish to be an object of study." Leo produced his wallet and counted out twenty pounds. "Surely you can afford this much. But if you are afraid…" "Afraid of a woman?" Sinjin thrust out his hand. "Done." "Then I shall leave you to it," Erskine said, smiling with an artless warmth that made Sinjin remember why they were friends. The tall man stalked away like an amiable giraffe and was lost in the crowd. Throwing off a peculiar chill of unease, Sinjin returned his attention to the fire maiden. She was gone. He moved closer to the line of people observing the paintings and followed the flow. There. She had stopped again and was examining a Frith with her head slightly cocked and her profile clearly visible. No horse's face, and no spots. Sinjin didn't need to see the rest of her features to know she was lovely. He realized that her profile was familiar; he must have met her before he went to India, but he couldn't remember the place or time. How could he not have noticed her then? He began to move in her direction, walking parallel to the queue of observers. The second ginger-haired girl was expounding on some aspect of the painting, her hands animated. The plump blonde nodded. The fire maiden suddenly turned around to face in Sinji...
HE SENSATIONAL NEW THRILLER FROM THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE PRINCESS OF BURUNDI Uppsala, Sweden. Sven-Arne Persson suddenly walks out of a business meeting and disappears, leaving behind his wife - no trace is found of him. Inspector Ann Lindell is investigating the discovery of a dismembered foot washed up on the beach. Ann's boss, Berglund, is delving into a cold case - a man beaten to death - an unsolved mystery that he finds impossible to forget. What connects the three? It will be a challenge for Ann Lindell to unravel the knots and discover what ties bind the cases together. Kjell Eriksson is the winner of two Crime Novel awards in Sweden and one of Scandinavia's top selling authors. Translated by Let the Right One In's Ebba Segerberg