Defending Zara by Susan Stoker

Defending Zara by Susan StokerFor a Mountain Mercenary and a desperate woman, love becomes a dangerous refuge in New York Times bestselling author Susan Stoker’s novel of heart-gripping suspense.

Mountain Mercenary Hunter “Meat” Snow has a mission: eliminate the human traffickers scouring the barrios of Lima for vulnerable prey. But it’s Meat who’s taken down. Separated from his team and beaten within an inch of his life, he’s left for dead. When he wakes, it’s to the intimate care of a beautiful stranger who knows all about survival.

Zara Layne was a child when a brutal murder left her orphaned and abandoned in Peru. Ever since, she’s fended for herself on the streets, outrunning its predators. Trusting men is not in Zara’s blood…until it warms to the exhilarating touch of the wounded hero who promises deliverance. As each other’s rescuers, they return to Colorado for a new normal.

But when Meat disappears, Zara discovers how ruthless the past can be. With the help of the loyal Mercenaries, she’s drawing on her own skills of endurance to find him. And for Zara, there’s no danger great enough to come between her and the man she loves.

The Companions by Katie M. Flynn

The Companions by Katie M. FlynnSTATION ELEVEN meets NEVER LET ME GO in this debut novel set in an unsettling near future where the dead can be uploaded to machines and kept in service by the living.

In the wake of a highly contagious virus, California is under quarantine. Sequestered in high rise towers, the living can’t go out, but the dead can come in—and they come in all forms, from sad rolling cans to manufactured bodies that can pass for human. Wealthy participants in the “companionship” program choose to upload their consciousness before dying, so they can stay in the custody of their families. The less fortunate are rented out to strangers upon their death, but all companions become the intellectual property of Metis Corporation, creating a new class of people—a command-driven product-class without legal rights or true free will.

Sixteen-year-old Lilac is one of the less fortunate, leased to a family of strangers. But when she realizes she’s able to defy commands, she throws off the shackles of servitude and runs away, searching for the woman who killed her.

Lilac’s act of rebellion sets off a chain of events that sweeps from San Francisco to Siberia to the very tip of South America. While the novel traces Lilac’s journey through an exquisitely imagined Northern California, the story is told from eight different points of view—some human, some companion—that explore the complex shapes love, revenge, and loneliness take when the dead linger on.

The Vanishing Sky by L. Annette Binder

The Vanishing Sky by L. Annette BinderFor readers of Warlight and The Invisible Bridge, an intimate, harrowing story about a family of German citizens during World War II.

In 1945, as the war in Germany nears its violent end, the Huber family is not yet free of its dangers or its insidious demands. Etta, a mother from a small, rural town, has two sons serving their home country: her elder, Max, on the Eastern front, and her younger, Georg, at a school for Hitler Youth. When Max returns from the front, Etta quickly realizes that something is not right-he is thin, almost ghostly, and behaving very strangely. Etta strives to protect him from the Nazi rule, even as her husband, Josef, becomes more nationalistic and impervious to Max's condition. Meanwhile, miles away, her younger son Georg has taken his fate into his own hands, deserting his young class of battle-bound soldiers to set off on a long and perilous journey home.

THE VANISHING SKY is a World War II novel as seen through a German lens, a story of the irreparable damage of war on the home front, and one family's participation-involuntary, unseen, or direct-in a dangerous regime. Drawing inspiration from her own father's time in the Hitler Youth, L. Annette Binder has crafted a spellbinding novel about the daring choices we make for country and for family.

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The Victim of the System by Steve Hadden

The Victim of the System by Steve HaddenEnter for a chance to win this rare thriller with heart...Haunted by the unsolved murder of his parents, a hometown sports hero battles to save a ten-year-old genius on trial for murder.

Twenty-two years ago, Ike Rossi’s life was shattered when his parents were murdered in cold blood. He surrendered his football scholarship and returned home to find their killer and raise his nine-year-old sister.

Now, the crime of a local ten-year-old genius, Jack Cole, threatens to unearth old wounds rather than provide the closure Ike desperately wants.

When Ike meets Jack inside the Pittsburgh courthouse, he doesn’t see a murderer but instead a boy who has been victimized by a system that has left them both without justice. Despite knowing the case will resurrect the painful demons of his parents’ unsolved murders, Ike agrees to clear Jack’s name. The court of public opinion and the district attorney have an airtight case. Worse, taking Jack’s side thrusts Ike into the crosshairs of the most powerful family in Pittsburgh, the Falzones.

Now, with only days before the trial, Ike confronts the Falzones’ crumbling empire to find the shocking evidence that could save Jack. At the same time, he races to decipher a series of cryptic clues from Jack’s dead father that could hold the key to his son’s freedom. But each step closer to the truth draws them further into danger, and as three fractured families collide, Ike is forced to choose between saving Jack—and saving himself.

Cross Her Heart by Melinda Leigh

Cross Her Heart by Melinda LeighA homicide detective’s violent family history repeats itself in #1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s novel of murder, secrets, and retribution.

For more than twenty-five years, Philadelphia homicide detective Bree Taggert has tucked away the nightmarish childhood memories of her parents’ murder-suicide…Until her younger sister, Erin, is killed in a crime that echoes that tragic night: innocent witnesses and a stormy marriage that ended in gunfire. There’s just one chilling difference. Erin’s husband, Justin, has vanished.

Bree knows how explosive the line between love and hate can be, yet the evidence against her troubled brother-in-law isn’t adding up. Teaming up with Justin’s old friend, former sheriff’s investigator and K-9 handler Matt Flynn, Bree vows to uncover the secrets of her sister’s life and death, as she promised Erin’s children. But as her investigation unfolds, the danger hits close to home. Once again, Bree’s family is caught in a death grip. And this time, it could be fatal for her.

A Flock of Fun by Raven Howell

A Flock of Fun by Raven HowellEnter for a chance to win one of twenty author signed A Flock of Fun picture books! When a sleepless child attempts to count rowdy sheep and then switches to slow, boring, slimy snails, he discovers that sometimes, a little mischief-making and creativity can be the ticket to help release the day's events and doze off.

World So Wide by Alison McGhee

World So Wide by Alison McGheeA celebration of a child’s wonder-filled first experiences, and the love between parents and child, from a Pulitzer Prize–nominated, New York Times bestselling author and a talented illustrator.

Somewhere in the world
the world so far
the world so wide
someone is the youngest person alive.

What will be the first sights they see?
Sun and moon and sky…
the love in someone’s eye?

From the magic of a baby’s first sights and sounds to a wish for a far-off day, evocative text and gorgeous illustrations are imbued with the tenderness felt between parents and child. A perfect gift for new mothers and fathers and anyone who cherishes those unforgettable moments—or dreams of a time when their children will see their own little ones smile at them for the first time.

High Flying by Kaylin McFarren

High Flying by Kaylin McFarrenEnter to win one of the 100 copies of HIGH FLYING being given away. As described by Golfwell Reviews, "High Flying is an exciting, thrilling and thought-provoking story, which is excellently crafted with a very exciting ending."