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Pick of the Month

Winter's Tale

by Mark Helprin

Mark Helprin's acclaimed novel is now a major motion picture starring Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint, and Russell Crowe. Written and directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind).

New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality. One night in winter, Peter Lake - orphan and master-mechanic, attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side.

Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the love between Peter Lake, a middle-aged Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn, a young girl, who is dying.

Peter Lake, a simple, uneducated man, because of a love that, at first he does not fully understand, is driven to stop time and bring back the dead. His great struggle, in a city ever alight with its own energy and beseiged by unprecedented winters, is one of the most beautiful and extraordinary stories of American literature.

Kat's Pick of the Month

The Wrong Girl

by Zoe Foster

I'm predicting a resurgence of chick-lit with happy romantic endings, and Zoë Foster's upcoming book, The Wrong Girl, fits right into this category. First of all, I love balloon covers! (Is that weird?) And this book definitely delivers on that!

After a disastrous morning-after involving a severe hangover and a now ex-best guy friend, Lily makes a pact with her roommate to go on a man detox. Which is just as well, because Lily is producing a successful cooking show and she's up for a promotion - and must not get distracted by her extremely distracting celebrity chef, Jack.

This book has all the elements we love about chicklit - single women grabbing life by the mojitos - with a bit of romance on the side. You won't find any shoe shopping in this book, but you might salivate at Jack's delicious...concoctions!

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Love is in the Air - an open letter from Mandy Magro

Bestselling author of rural romance Mandy Magro writes an open letter about the importance of love, in fiction and in everyday life...

Let me begin by saying I love writing about love…no, actually, I’m obsessed with it! I write about it, I read about it, I watch it, and I live it! I’m a firm believer in true love, and that there is a soulmate out there for each and every one of us. So if you haven’t found him or her yet, or your busy lifestyle isn’t allowing you time to be romantic with your soulmate…don’t give up!

Being a true romantic at heart, I reckon there is always time in our busy lives to 'stop and smell the roses'. That flame we all feel when we first meet someone can always be rekindled, if we just grant ourselves time away from the everyday demands of life to spend some quality time with our beloved. It’s amazing what a romantic getaway can achieve, even if it means sleeping in a tent in the back yard to get away from the kids, a couple of candles lit for the ambience. Just make sure you don’t burn the tent down!

I feel so very blessed to be a published romance author, my written words touching many reader’s hearts. To be able to express on paper the way two people are falling in love, and in turn evoke a wide range of emotions from my reader, is a very powerful thing.

I love the journey my characters take me on in my novels, the highs of falling in love, the ups and downs of their relationship along the way, the all important first kiss, and of course, the very first time they make love. I’m a 'leave the bedroom door wide open' style of writer, these scenes being my favourite to write.

Romantic fiction is one of the biggest selling genres in the world. Some might ask why, others know precisely why. It’s human nature to want to feel loved, to be in love… the kind of 'take your breath away' love sought after by billions all over the world. So let’s share the love by reading romance, because let’s face it, love is what makes the world go round!

Cheers,

Mandy Magro

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Reader Review of the Month

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - a reader review by Michelle Wollaston.

Before I read The Fault in Our Stars, I was told by a teenage girl that it made her "soul cry" and I can certainly see why. It tells the story of the highs and lows experienced by a group of teenage cancer sufferers as they face love and loss which makes it a confronting read for teenagers who rarely consider their own mortality.

The protagonist is Hazel, a very unwell but feisty young lady who falls in love with Augustus whom she meets at a cancer support group. As the title suggest, though, their story parallels that of Romeo and Juliet.

In fact, John Green references many other stories and this intertextuality is delightful. In addition, the plot revolves around a fictional author, Peter Van Houten, and his book "An Imperial Affliction" which sustains Hazel through its insights into pain and suffering.

It’s difficult to believe that Green has written this without first-hand experience of terminal illness but the book begins with an Author’s Note reinforcing the fact that it is a work of fiction.

He certainly created a beautiful book which made me laugh out loud. This is a major feat given the seriousness of the subject matter and I’m looking forward to reading more of his work.

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