Nostradamus, a 16th century self-proclaimed “prophet” with a batting average of about .500, predicts that in 2048:
“a string of political assassinations would push the world toward chaos, godlessness, and possible extinction. People would be imprisoned by their own fears, and their helplessness would allow others to strip them of their humanity.”
That’s the basic premise for this fast-paced political thriller. The action revolves around a tooth-and-nail race for student body president at Hawthorn High, a struggling school in a struggling town in Nowheresville, Indiana.
If you’re looking for a “travel guide” bulging with “must-see” destinations and tips on where to eat, what to see, and what to do, this isn’t it. But if you want to step into a year-long trip with a gentle, authentic narrative covering adventures in nine countries and two continents, managing diabetes Type 1, and rekindling romance along the way, then dip your toe into Braving the World: Adventures in Travel and Retirement.
The author describes how she and her husband’s Bel Sogno – Beautiful Dream – of living in Italy and traveling for a year originated and came to fruition, and what they learned in the process, both as individuals and as a couple.
Meet my new bud, Nola. You’ll get that when you read The Disappearance of Emily (Better Beginnings, 2021 ). It’s Book 2 in the Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic series by Elizabeth Pantley.
Just don’t tell Kimber about Miss Fancy Feline, okay?
Not on a Map
Anyway, Destiny Falls is a magical place. You won’t find it on a map. You can’t get there on your own. You have to be called by either the town or the “cozy, mansion-sized mountain cabin” family home of Caldwell Crest. And oh yeah. Once you’re “called” to Destiny Falls, you’re kinda stuck. You can’t choose to leave, as young Hayden, formerly of Seattle, finds out in this delightful sequel to Falling Into Magic. (See my full review here.)
Young Hayden is minding her own biz, enjoying a nice hot cuppa with her bro Axel when she’s suddenly accosted by a ferry boat captain, Nakita. The captain delivers a vague, mysterious message about meeting the day after tomorrow. Nakita says it’s a matter “of life and death.” She insists Hayden come alone and “tell no one.”
We discovered C.J. Box a year or two ago at The Book Place. By accident. Mom was reaching for another title when she accidentally bumped a C.J. Box book. It plopped onto the floor. Mom picked it up. Read the synopsis. Checked it out. We really liked the American west/great outdoors settings. Read our first Box book, The Bitterroots, cover to cover in one sitting. (See our full review of that first C.J. Box novelhere.)
Same thing with a couple subsequent Box mystery-thrillers, Paradise Valley and Wolf Pack. Only this time mom made the mistake of starting the former in the evening. Pro tip:Don’t do that unless you can stay up all night reading. Cuz it’s a barn burner from the get-go.
Rugged outdoor settings and strong female leads make Paradise Valley a dual stand-out in the genre. Like investigator and Montana native Cassie Dewell. Now in Bakken County, North Dakota, she’s been trailing a serial killer for years. He haunts highways and truck stops. Anyone he picks up or grabs vanishes.
Mom and I? We get it. We’re supposed to go gaga over every new Kristin Hannah novel that comes down the cat. Yes, Hannah is one of our favorite writers. She proves her mettle once again in The Great Alone. So what happened with The Four Winds?
I’ll let Mom explain. (You know how Mom is, right?):