Friday, July 30, 2021

July 30, 2021 - Staff Reviews


The Rivals
By Vi Keeland
Release Date: July 13, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3.5 Stars - A spiteful but sexy story that is an ultimate hate-to-love romance. Weston Lockwood and Sophia Sterling are at odds with each other from the first page, and I dare say are downright mean to each other for quite awhile. But about halfway through, the walls wear down, and these two make a fiery and fun couple.

I really was not hooked by the first few chapters of this. In fact, I think I quit it twice and returned to it. The beginning comes off like this is a comedy with a hard edge, but it's really not. Weston and Sophia both had a cold, rough childhood with their families. They are wealthy in money only, showing, in my opinion, that privilege is relative. Weston's hang ups and sordid past were pretty understandable. But he does manages to overcome them. Sophia is a bit harder to like but under her brash exterior is a sweet center.

This novel is full of harsh attitude and some R rated sexy scenes, I should probably note. But underneath that exterior is a lot of heart, much like the two leads. I loved Weston's relationship with his sponsor. Scarlett's brashness contrasted well with Sophia's uptightness. Everyone was easy to root for in this one. Vi Keeland is hit and miss with me. I either love her book or I hate. A lot of the hero types and tropes she uses, I don't care for. And I am never satisfied with her books with Penelope Ward. But her characters always have a lot of personality, and sometimes the plots don't have much danger but manage to be exciting. And her writing style has a great flow. I almost never get bored once I'm hooked and could read the rest straight through. I'd recommend trying to slog through the first few chapters if this author or this plot intrigues you as a reader.


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021 - Staff Reviews


Shielding Aspen
By Susan Stoker
Release Date: October 20, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - Great entry in this short Stoker series. Aspen is an easy heroine to cheer for since she's brave, self-aware, and sweet. Her counterpart Kane is an excellent match, and these two kick some serious butt together. A very military story in this romantic suspense saga. If not for the disappointing final scenes, I'd have ranked this one a bit higher.

Aspen's career as a medic seemed a little... stretched, but it made for a really entertaining set up. I'm not sure the whole women in combat praise was as effective as it could have been. The girl has a lot of heart though so I won't harp on that subject. Brain's got the same physical attributes as her typical heroes (strong, medium-tall, beard). But he's definitely not as "alpha" and protective as the others. His willingness to stand back so Aspen could shine was sweet. But his lack of self-confidence and charisma felt off.

There's a sameness to all of Stoker's novels, but this one grabbed me more than a lot of her recent ones. I was hooked by the first page by their little meet-cute, insta-love style moment. It's definitely not an insta-love story though. And I was pleased to see this was a full-size novel when Stoker has so many short ones. It was easy to keep reading and it was hard to put down in the middle. Things slogged a bit after that though. Worth noting, there's almost no steamy scenes, unusual for this series. And the one about 3/4 through the book is awkward. There's lots of military action in this, thought it felt over the top at times. Usually Stoker is more careful I think about these details and plot points. Like I wasn't buying Derek's power trips. The ending's drama, the last chapters, really lost this one for me though. So overall, Kane and Aspen are a cute couple, a nice addition for all the hardcore Stoker fans out there. But this falls slightly short of fabulous.


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021 - WV Author of the Month

Carlene Thompson is the author of Last Whisper, Black for Remembrance, Nowhere to Hide, and Don’t Close Your Eyes, among other books. She attended college at Marshall University and earned her Ph.D. in English from Ohio State University. She taught at the University of Rio Grande, before leaving to focus on her writing full-time. Besides writing, she spends her time caring for the many dogs and cats she's adopted. A native West Virginian, she lives with her husband Keith in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

Carlene Thompson is an American author of suspense thriller novels. Her first book, Black for Remembrance, was published in 1990 by Little, Brown and was well received. Her books are suspense novels, often with romantic elements and many take place in Thompson's home state of West Virginia.

A huge animal lover, she tries to include at least one of her pets into each book she writes, which to her is a way to immortalize them. Carlene Thompson came up with the idea for first published novel, Black for Remembrance, when she was walking her dogs in the woods. 

Her latest novel is Praying for Time. Published in 2020.

"She thought her prayers had been answered. Now she’s praying for time. Vanessa Everly is a successful actress in Los Angeles, but she’s still traumatized by the night that ripped her world apart."

Have you read any of Ms. Thompson's stories? Let us know! Also don't forget to check out some of her novels if you haven't already. There are many available at both our locations or on our ebook site WV Reads!

Images and info courtesy of Google and author/publisher webpages.


Monday, July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021 - New Arrivals

July 26, 2021

Adult Fiction

The President’s Daughter by Bill Clinton & James Patterson.
"Matthew Keating, a one-time Navy SEAL--and a past president--has always defended his family as staunchly as he has his country. Now those defenses are under attack. A madman abducts Keating's teenage daughter, Melanie--turning every parent's deepest fear into a matter of national security. As the world watches in real time, Keating embarks on a one-man special-ops mission that tests his strengths: as a leader, a warrior, and a father."-- Provided by publisher.


The Last Green Valley by Mark Sullivan.

"In late March 1944, as Stalin's forces push into Ukraine, young Emil and Adeline Martel must make a terrible decision: Do they wait for the Soviet bear's intrusion and risk being sent to Siberia? Or do they reluctantly follow the wolves - murderous Nazi officers who have pledged to protect "pure-blood" Germans? The Martels are one of many families of German heritage whose ancestors have farmed in Ukraine for more than a century. But after already living under Stalin's horrifying regime, Emil and Adeline decide they must run in retreat from their land with the wolves they despise to escape the Soviets and go in search of freedom. Caught between two warring forces and overcoming horrific trials to pursue their hope of immigrating to the West, the Martels' story is a brutal, complex, and ultimately triumphant tale that illuminates the extraordinary power of love, faith, and one family's incredible will to survive and see their dreams realized."-- Provided by publisher.


The Cottage on Lighthouse Lane by T. Davis Bunn.

"Billy Walker is a North Carolina boy whose Hollywood star is beginning to shine. His rough past is in the rearview. Now seeing the world from the back seat of a limousine, Billy has no regrets about what he had to do, and the choices he made, to get there. But all it takes is one death-defying moment for Billy's world to shift. When an on-set accident leaves him shaken and plagued by haunting dreams, he's in desperate need of a rest cure. Given keys to a getaway cottage on Lighthouse Lane in Miramar Bay, he'll regroup, relax, and recover. Yet as Billy's dreams grow darker and more fearful, his only promise for light is in a stunning, mysterious, and uniquely gifted stranger. . . Mimi has never forgotten her tragic childhood in eastern Ukraine. Violence, a vanished family, abandonment, and a hard-won struggle to escape. Miramar Bay couldn't be a more beautiful or unexpected refuge. In yoga and dance, and imbued with a talent to read the unrestful visions of others, Mimi has a seemingly divine ability to comfort. She may be everything Billy desires, but Mimi knows what Billy needs. He must confront his troubling past - and not just in his dreams. As their connection deepens, Billy finds himself falling in love, and waking up to something he's never felt before. But when the real world comes calling again, how can he say goodbye to a woman who's changing his life one illuminating sunrise at a time?"-- Provided by publisher.


Adult Non-Fiction

The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson.

When Jennifer Doudna was in sixth grade, she came home one day to find that her dad had left a paperback titled The Double Helix on her bed. She put it aside, thinking it was one of those detective tales she loved. When she read it on a rainy Saturday, she discovered she was right, in a way. As she sped through the pages, she became enthralled by the intense drama behind the competition to discover the code of life. Even though her high school counselor told her girls didn't become scientists, she decided she would. Driven by a passion to understand how nature works and to turn discoveries into inventions, she would help to make what the book's author, James Watson, told her was the most important biological advance since his co-discovery of the structure of DNA. She and her collaborators turned ​ a curiosity ​of nature into an invention that will transform the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions. The development of CRISPR and the race to create vaccines for coronavirus will hasten our transition to the next great innovation revolution. The past half-century has been a digital age, based on the microchip, computer, and internet. Now we are entering a life-science revolution. Children who study digital coding will be joined by those who study genetic code. Should we use our new evolution-hacking powers to make us less susceptible to viruses? What a wonderful boon that would be! And what about preventing depression? Hmmm...Should we allow parents, if they can afford it, to enhance the height or muscles or IQ of their kids? After helping to discover CRISPR, Doudna became a leader in wrestling with these moral issues and, with her collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the Nobel Prize in 2020. Her story is a thrilling detective tale that involves the most profound wonders of nature, from the origins of life to the future of our species.


Think Again by Adam Grant.

Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there's another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. In our daily lives, too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. The result is that our beliefs get brittle long before our bones. We think too much like preachers defending our sacred beliefs, prosecutors proving the other side wrong, and politicians campaigning for approval--and too little like scientists searching for truth. Intelligence is no cure, and it can even be a curse: being good at thinking can make us worse at rethinking. The brighter we are, the blinder to our own limitations we can become.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

The Echo Park Castaways by M. G. Hennessey.  J

Nevaeh, Vic, and Mara are veterans of the Los Angeles foster care system. For over a year they've been staying with Mrs. K in Echo Park. Vic spends most of his time living in a dream world, Mara barely speaks, and Nevaeh is forced to act as a back-up parent. Though their situation isn't ideal, it's still their best home yet. Then Child Protective Services places Quentin in the house, and everything is turned upside down. Nevaeh really can't handle watching over anyone else, especially a boy on the autism spectrum. Meanwhile, Quentin is having trouble adjusting and attempts to run away. So when Vic realizes Quentin just wants to see his mom again, he plans an "epic quest" to reunite them. It could result in the foster siblings getting sent to different group homes. But isn't family always worth the risk?

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Ryan North, & Albert Monteys.  GN

An American classic and one of the world's seminal antiwar books, Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five is faithfully presented in graphic novel form for the first time from Eisner Award-winning writer Ryan North (How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler) and Eisner Award-nominated artist Albert Monteys (Universe!).

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860

Thursday, July 22, 2021

July 22, 2021 - Staff Reviews

House on Fire
By Joseph Finder
Release Date: January 21, 2020
Audiobook Available from WV Reads!

2.5 Stars - Slightly disappointing thriller from Finder's Nick Heller series. The story  was okay but it felt a bit more convulted than twisty. But Nick's fun to read about, and he gets in some fabulous scrapes. Women throw themselves at him a lot. He's filling in as a father figure to boys. Gotta say... There's hardly a dull moment in Nick's life or this book.

I'll say this series may be better read in order and as they are released. But I'm just not a big enough fan of Finder's work, and I prefer a series I can pop around in. Heller has that everyday guy personality despite his really colorful past. He's a private investigator but not in the old school sense. Also, Nick's father is a real piece of work. He has a good, in depth background that opens up a lot of plot possibilities. But sometimes I think Finder threw in too many angles and stepping stones and investigation points, etc. Holter Graham is an excellent narrator for Nick's perspective, if a touch dramatic at times.

This had many shades of the movie Knives Out. A factor that I really did not enjoy was Maggie's piece of the story. I can't say much without spoilers but all the flashbacks were very unsatisfactory for me, felt like a sad distraction. But it was an entertaining subplot that could have been better as its own book. Then, another other damsel in this story, the widow of a friend, has a really weird relationship with Nick. They have sparks, supposedly, but mostly she seems to just whine to him. Everyone handles hard deaths differently but she didn't seem very tactful with her own kids. This whole thing made the numerous touchy-feely scenes awkward for me. Also, we have the odd, naive Sookie. Her motivations are really admirable but she can be annoying too, and her disloyalty to her family rings hollow at times. And the mysterious Russian beauty Natalie whose motives are the murkiest. At times I felt like there were so many characters I couldn't possibly guess who was doing what. 


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

July 21, 2021 - A Book & A Recipe

Good morning, book and food lovers! 

Brooke County Libraries July feature for dinner & a recipe is Mama's Pimento Cheese from the Liz Talbot series by Susan M. Boyer. This delicious Southern dish is perfect for a snack or an addition to any dinner.

Prep time - 30 min

Yields 2 1/2 cups

1 4 oz jar diced pimentos
3 oz cream cheese, soft
3/4 cup mayo
4 tablespoons sour cream
1/8 sweet onion shredded (pulpy - keep the juice)
1/4 tsp of sea salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
8 oz medium cheddar cheese or hoop cheese
4 oz Vermont white cheddar
6 oz sharp nutty white aged Cheddar such as Costco Lake Country
2 oz Cabot Extra Sharp Yellow Cheddar
3/4 table spoon of chopped chives

1. Drain the pimentos in very fine strainer
2 Place the cream cheese in bowl of an electric mixer and beat until fluffy. Add the mayo and blend. Add the sour cream and blend. Add the onion and juice and blend. Add salt, peppers, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder and blend.
3. Shred hoop cheese and cheddar cheeses and mix in a large bowl. Pour cheese mix over shredded cheeses and stir gently until all the cheese is moist and spread is uniform in appearance. Stir in strained pimentos and chives.
4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Notes from Mama...
1. Don't buy pre shredded cheese.
2. It's best to let it refrigerate for 4 hours at least but overnight the consistency will firm considerably. 
3. It will keep for a few weeks. Feel free to share!

Check out the Liz Talbot mystery series on WV Reads!

Monday, July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021 - New Arrivals

July 19, 2021

Adult Fiction

Unfinished Business by J. A. Jance.

Mateo Vega, a one-time employee of Ali Reynold's husband, B. Simpson, has spent the last sixteen years of his life behind bars. According to the courts, he murdered his girlfriend. But Mateo knows that her real killer is still on the loose, and the first thing he's going to do when he gets a taste of freedom is track him down. After being granted parole, a wary Mateo approaches Stu Ramey of High Noon Enterprises for a reference letter for a job application, but to his surprise, Stu gives him one better: He asks him to come on board and work for B. once again. Just as Mateo starts his new job, though, chaos breaks out at High Noon--a deadbeat tenant who is in arrears has just fled, and tech expert Cami Lee has gone missing. As Ali races to both find a connection between the two disappearances and help Mateo clear his name with the help of PI J.P. Beaumont, tragedy strikes in her personal life, and with lives hanging in the balance, she must thread the needle between good and evil before it's too late.


Hidden by Fern Michaels.

At first glance, few would guess that Luna and Cullan Bodman are siblings. Cullan, efficient and serious, is rarely out of a business suit. Luna reads palms and tarot cards, and loves flowing skirts and dangling jewelry that matches her unconventional spirit. Still, her artistic eye is an asset to the family's furniture restoration business. When Cullan stumbles across something unexpected in a piece he just acquired, and a client of Luna's reveals more than they should in a reading, the two put aside their differences to right a wrong. At stake is the future of a billion-dollar corporation, and as Luna and Cullan quickly discover, there are people who will stop at nothing to get what they believe they're owed.


This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens.

Minnie Cooper knows two things with certainty: that her New Year's birthday is unlucky, and that it's all because of Quinn Hamilton, a man she's never met. Their mothers gave birth to them at the same hospital just after midnight on New Year's Day, but Quinn was given the cash prize for being the first baby born in London in 1990--and the name Minnie was meant to have, as well. With luck like that, it's no wonder each of her birthdays has been more of a disaster than the one before. When Minnie unexpectedly runs into Quinn at a New Year's party on their mutual thirtieth birthday, she sees only more evidence that fortune has continued to favor him. The gorgeous, charming business owner truly seems to have it all--while Minnie's on the brink of losing her pie-making company and her home. But if Quinn and Minnie are from different worlds, why do they keep bumping into each other? And why is it that each fraught encounter leaves them both wanting more?


Adult Non-Fiction

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman.

On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Taking the stage after the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, Gorman captivated the nation and brought hope to viewers around the globe with her call for unity and healing. Her poem "The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country" can now be cherished in this special gift edition, perfect for any reader looking for some inspiration. Including an enduring foreword by Oprah Winfrey, this remarkable keepsake celebrates the promise of America and affirms the power of poetry.


The Art of Her Deal by Mary Jordan.

Based on interviews with more than one hundred people in five countries, The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump draws an unprecedented portrait of the first lady. While her public image is of an aloof woman floating above the political gamesmanship of Washington, behind the scenes Melania Trump is not only part of President Trump's inner circle, but for some key decisions she has been his single most influential adviser. Throughout her public life, Melania Trump has purposefully worked to remain mysterious. With the help of key people speaking publicly for the first time and never-before-seen documents and tapes, The Art of Her Deal looks beyond the surface image to find a determined immigrant and the life she had before she met Donald Trump. Mary Jordan traces Melania's journey from Slovenia, where her family stood out for their nonconformity, to her days as a fledgling model known for steering clear of the industry's hard-partying scene, to a tiny living space in Manhattan she shared platonically with a male photographer, to the long, complicated dating dance that finally resulted in her marriage to Trump. Jordan documents Melania's key role in Trump's political life before and at the White House, and shows why he trusts her instincts above all. The picture of Melania Trump that emerges in The Art of Her Deal is one of a woman who is savvy, steely, ambitious, deliberate, and who plays the long game. And while it is her husband who became famous for the phrase "the art of the deal," it is she who has consistently used her leverage to get exactly what she wants. This is the story of the art of her deal.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

The Long Ride by Marina Budhos.  J

Jamila Clarke. Josie Rivera. Francesca George. Three mixed-race girls, close friends whose immigrant parents worked hard to settle their families in a neighborhood with the best schools. The three girls are outsiders there, but they have each other. Now, at the start seventh grade, they are told they will be part of an experiment, taking a long bus ride to a brand-new school built to "mix up the black and white kids." Their parents don't want them to be experiments. Francesca's send her to a private school, leaving Jamila and Josie to take the bus ride without her. While Francesca is testing her limits, Josie and Jamila find themselves outsiders again at the new school. As the year goes on, the Spanish girls welcome Josie, while Jamila develops a tender friendship with a boy--but it's a relationship that can exist only at school.


Tiffky Doofky by William Steig.  E

Tiffky Doofky, garbage collector for the town of Popville, is proud of his calling, and quite a gay dog into the bargain. One fine spring morning, while he's making his rounds, it comes to him that something special is going to happen. Madame Tarsal, the fortuneteller, confirms his hunch and predicts that he will meet his true love that very day--before the sun goes down "Nothing you can do can keep it from happening," she quacks, and the excited Tiffky kisses her right on the bill. The day turns out to be far from ordinary, but not in the way Tiffky Doofky, or even Madame Tarsal, had expected. A bad-tempered witch is at work here, though she looks just like a harmless old biddy, with her bicycle and red babushka. Tiffky's adventures under her spell take him so far from Popville and so close to sunset that he begins to despair of ever meeting his beloved. He even decides that Madame Tarsal ought to get a new crystal ball. But just as the sun is touching the horizon, Tiffky has his most perilous encounter, and it brings an ending entirely satisfactory to all.

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860

Thursday, July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021 - BCPL Resume Tips

Brooke County Libraries - Resume Tip #9

Add an Objective/Goal

Employers are actually interested in why you want to be employed by them. Go figure! It's a frequent interview question, which should be answered by "to make money of course". It's a big question when they compare you with other candidates.

An objective can be an excellent introduction to begin your resume. It can be brief and to-the-point. No need to make it personal, just a professional goal or next-step you are looking to achieve. 

Here are a few sample objectives that are easily tailored to your own resume or career path.

Seeking full time position where I can use my creativity and talents to enrich customer or client experiences.

Looking for part time hours to boost not only my income but fill my time with a new challenge.

Seeking employment with a loyal employer where I can become asset with my customer service experience.

To obtain a position with steady hours where I can utilitize my experience in the industrial field.

Looking for a full time job where I can both use my education and expand my knowledge base with hands on tasks and new perspective.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021 - Staff Reviews

The Wife Upstairs
By Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Audiobook Available from WV Reads!

1.5 Stars - Really disappointing Jane Eyre twisted tale that didn't even touch my expectations. Anyone who gobbles up classic literature retellings or domestic thrillers may find this entertaining but I was bored silly most of the time I was listening to it. And the narration wasn't helping.

First, the robo voice narration style isn't doing mysteries like this any favors. Our main character came off sounding nasally and whiny, though she really was sort of both on the page anyway. Even at a short eight hours of running time, I was over this gimmick quick. Now, I'll do my best to voice my complaints without spoilers. Jane was completely unlikable to me. She has no life, no background, and barely any personality except for maybe a love of foul language. I don't mind swearing, sex, or violence in my books at all but it has to serve some purpose.

I have no idea what the Jane Eyre plot concept was supposed to be. It's like the suggestion was "What about Jane Eyre as a modern Netflix scary movie? Yes! Let's go with it." And it ended at that. Worse yet, it's labeled as Southern Gothic and it could not be further from it. In the beginning, I was practically picturing brick brownstone townhouses in a city where Jane starts off the book as a dog walker. There's no small town charm, no steamy heat, hardly any skeletons in the family closet concepts. Even though the author hails from Alabama. The writing here is droll, and I suspect Hawkins hasn't found her footing yet outside of the young adult genre. Like she tried to sound/write "all grown up" for a change and as a result the details and the characters came off dull. I can't say I'd recommend this one unless you're really intrigued by this idea, genre, or Hawkins other works maybe. And definitely don't one-click this on Amazon if you're a Jane Eyre fan, maybe hold out for a library or borrowed copy.


Monday, July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021 - New Arrivals

July 12, 2021

Adult Fiction

Jackpot by Stuart Woods.

When Peter Barrington and Ben Bachetti come under threat while working at a film festival abroad, Teddy Fay is lured to the glittering city of Macau to resolve the problem. He'll soon come to find that world of posh casinos, luxurious developments, and boundless wealth has a dark underbelly of crime and political intrigue . . . and that the biggest players behind the scenes may be far closer to home than anticipated. With international deals and private vendettas at stake, the villains behind the plot aren't about to let Teddy stand in their way. What they don't know is that this seemingly harmless film producer has more than a few tricks up his sleeve.


Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand.

On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she's assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three "nudges" to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently "off again" with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she'll have to think carefully where to use them. From the Beyond, Vivi watches "The Chief" Ed Kapenash investigate her death, but her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her own youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. But when hidden truths come to light, Vivi's family will have to sort out their past and present mistakes--with or without a nudge of help from above--while Vivi finally lets them grow without her.


Kiss My Boots by Harper Sloan.
"New York Times bestselling author Quinn Davis prefers to live her life quietly. She's the stereotypical tomboy with two overprotective big brothers who have always been there to protect her, especially from devilishly handsome cowboys with silver tongues. That is, until Tate Montgomery comes riding back into town. After nine years of silence, their first meeting is far from something out of a fairy tale and only further convinces Quinn that men aren't worth her time. The only place Tate Montgomery ever truly felt at home growing up was during the long, sweltering summer months he spent at his Gram and Paw's farm in Pine Oak, Texas. Now, Tate has returned to his childhood sanctuary seeking a fresh start - but if he's being entirely honest, he's not just back for the wranglers and Stetsons. During those summers, Quinn was a friend-turned-young-love who Tate lost when life threw him a curveball and he cut all ties to his past. But all it takes is one glance at the raven-haired beauty for him to realize just how much he's been missing..."-- Provided by publisher.


Adult Non-Fiction

The Man I Knew by Jean Becker.

As chief of staff, Jean Becker had a ringside seat to the never-boring story of George Herbert Walker Bush's life post-presidency, including being at his side when he died and subsequently facing the challenge-and great honor-of being in charge of his state funeral. Full of heart and wisdom, THE MAN I KNEW is a vibrant behind-the-scenes look into the ups and downs of heading up the office of a former president by one of the people who knew him best. This book tells the story of how, after his devastating loss to Bill Clinton in 1992, President George H.W. Bush rebuilt his life, found a way to make a difference, and how, by the time he died in November 2018, was revered by his country and the world. Bush's post-presidency journey was filled with determination, courage, love, hope, humor, fun, and big ideas. He became best friends with the man who defeated him; developed the odd habit of jumping out of airplanes; and learned how to adjust to life in a wheelchair, after having lived most of his life as a high-energy athlete. He joyously saw two sons become governors of their states, one of whom would go one to become President of the United States.


The Craft by John Dickie.

Founded in London in 1717 as a way of binding men in fellowship, Freemasonry proved so addictive that within two decades it had spread across the globe. Masonic influence became pervasive. Under George Washington, the Craft became a creed for the new American nation. Masonic networks held the British empire together. Under Napoleon, the Craft became a tool of authoritarianism and then a cover for revolutionary conspiracy. Both the Mormon Church and the Sicilian mafia owe their origins to Freemasonry. Yet the Masons were as feared as they were influential. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, Freemasonry has always been a den of devil-worshippers. For Hitler, Mussolini and Franco, the Lodges spread the diseases of pacifism, socialism and Jewish influence, so had to be crushed. Freemasonry's story yokes together Winston Churchill and Walt Disney; Wolfgang Mozart and Shaquille O'Neal; Benjamin Franklin and Buzz Aldrin; Rudyard Kipling and 'Buffalo Bill' Cody; Duke Ellington and the Duke of Wellington. John Dickie's The Craft is an enthralling exploration of the world's most famous and misunderstood secret brotherhood, a movement that not only helped to forge modern society, but has substantial contemporary influence, with 400,000 members in Britain, over a million in the USA, and around six million across the world.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy.  E

From the wheels of a bicycle to the robe on Thurgood Marshall's back, Black surrounds our lives. It is a color to simply describe some of our favorite things, but it also evokes a deeper sentiment about the incredible people who helped change the world and a community that continues to grow and thrive.


Who is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? by James Buckley, Jr.  J NF

A biography that details superstar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's legendary career from the ring to the big screen.

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860

Thursday, July 8, 2021

July 8, 2021 - Book Club Preview

Brooke County Public Libraries present the July 2021 Book Club pick!

The Blue Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee from Carolyn Brown.

Meeting is scheduled for Thursday July 29th at 5 pm.

Discussions are available virtually!

About the book...

Miss Clawdy's Café has won the Jubilee blue ribbon every year since the dawn of time. This year, town matron Violet Prescott is going after that ribbon with an iron-clad determination only thinly disguised by her perfect coiffure and flawless manners, bless her heart.


It's time for café owners Cathy and Marty and their best friend Trixie to pull out their secret weapon. And this is where a lifetime of friendship, combined with just the right recipe at just the right time, might carry the day―or blow everything to smithereens.


Welcome to Cadillac, Texas, where the jalapeños are hot, the gossip is hotter, and at the end of the day, it's the priceless friendships that are left standing...

About the author...

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Brown was born in Texas and raised in southern Oklahoma. These days she and her husband make their home in Davis, Oklahoma, a small town of less than three thousand people where everyone knows everyone, knows what they are doing and with whom, and read the weekly newspaper to see who got caught.

Images and info courtesy of Google, Wikipedia, and author web page.


Wednesday, July 7, 2021

July 7, 2021 - Staff Reviews

Cooper's Charm
By Lori Foster
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - Another light, summery romance from Lori Foster than lacks some of the intrigue of her older titles. The two sisters Ridley and Phoenix try to resist the charms of a couple alpha males Cooper and Baxter. An easy, lazy read here with a smooth story and a fun, warm atmosphere great for the beach or a long weekend.

Foster's writing style is tried and true, no change here. Her dialouge is still natural, her descriptions sparse but detailed, and her characters are down to earth. I just didn't find much to get excited about here and found it so similar to her 2020 release The Somerset Sisters (though this one came first). Except this time the sisters are more alike in personality. Phoenix is struggling to overcome a random attack that left her untrusting and jumpy. Ridley is more grounded, yet no less reluctant and scarred. Both are sweet, creative, and self-sufficient. The men are confident men who are avoiding commitment for various reasons.

A few minor things about this book got on my nerves. Both sisters have body issues and I generally avoid stories with this trope. They think they're thick/chubby while the heroes are excited they're a "handful" of woman or whatever. It's just an over-used character trait to me in romance that adds little to the story. At least Phoenix wore glasses. The guys end up testing the sparkly waters of a relationship with these girls they find hot, amusing, and in need of protection. I could have done without Cooper's wife's ghost sort of skirting the edge of the pages where she's mentioned. And with the set up of both sisters having possible enemies lurking made me wish for more suspense. But there was a little at the end. Plus the sister bond Foster writes so well is here, and there's a sexy scene or two to appreciate. Throw in an adorable puppy in need of a home. This is a good read overall that maybe just didn't fit my mood the day I picked it up. Plenty of favorite tropes are here for the enjoyment of both long time fans and newcomers to Foster's work.


Monday, July 5, 2021

July 5, 2021 - New Arrivals

July 5, 2021

Adult Fiction

Country Proud by Linda Lael Miller.

First love always burns brighter...Sheriff Eli Garrett is grateful for the good things in this life. Like his two best friends since childhood. A job that he loves. Enough land under the big skies of Montana to make a man feel free. And Brynne Bailey, finally back home in Painted Pony Creek to stay. Brynne was his high school sweetheart--and the girl he'd betrayed all those years ago. But now, with a new year right around the corner, it's time to make amends and see what the future might hold...if she'll let him. Brynne has one rule for herself: never date another cop. She made that mistake once before, and her heart still hasn't recovered from losing the kids she'd started to think of as her own. So she's happy to put the past behind her and be Eli's friend. Anything else is out of the question...until one electric kiss changes everything between them. But when a case blows wide open, putting Eli in danger, Brynne will confront her biggest fear.


A Simple Murder by Linda Castillo.
"New York times bestselling author Linda Castillo is known as a 'master of the genre' (People) for her pulse-pounding mystery series set in Amish country. Now, together for the first time in print, 'A Simple Murder' features six original short stories starring whip-smart chief of police, Kate Burkholder."-- Provided by publisher.


The Bullet by Iris Johansen.

Diane Connors is a dedicated doctor with the world's biggest secret, a discovery that could have shocking global ramifications.  But while conducting private research trials, word has gotten out. The wrong people have heard the news and now want to hide Diane's achievement for their own ends. With nowhere else to turn, Diane finds herself on the doorstep of the last man she wants to ask for help: her ex-husband, Joe Quinn. Joe has remarried, and he and his wife, Eve Duncan, seem blissfully happy in their quiet, rural life until they are faced with the challenge of risking it all--even their marriage itself--for the greater good...Now Eve is trapped in a web of murder and deceit as powerful enemies rush to cover up the truth, determined that Diane's discovery goes with her to the grave--even if Eve and Joe get buried with her.


Adult Non-Fiction

Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You) by Justin McElroy.

"From the McElroy Brothers, creators and comedic forces behind the hit podcasts My Brother, My Brother and Me, The Adventure Zone, and many others, comes a helpful and sometimes hilarious how-to podcast guide covering everything you need to know to make, produce, edit, and promote a podcast...and get rich* doing it! (*Results not guaranteed)"-- Provided by publisher.


Crisis of the Two Constitutions by Charles R. Kesler.

American politics grows embittered because it is increasingly torn between two rival constitutions, two opposed cultures, two contrary ways of life. American conservatives rally around the founders' Constitution, as amended and as grounded in the natural and divine rights and duties of the Declaration of Independence. American liberals herald their "living Constitution," a term that implies that the original is dead or superseded, and that the fundamental political imperative is constant change or transformation (as President Obama called it) toward a more and more perfect social democracy ruled by a Woke elite. Crisis of the Two Constitutions details how we got to and what is at stake in our increasingly divided America. It takes controversial stands on matters political and scholarly, describing the political genius of America's founders and their efforts to shape future generations through a constitutional culture that included immigration, citizenship, and educational policies. Then it turns to the attempted progressive refounding of America, tracing its accelerating radicalism from the New Deal to the 1960s' New Left to today's unhappy campus nihilists. Finally, the volume appraises American conservatives' efforts, so far unavailing despite many famous victories, to revive the founders' Constitution and moral common sense. From Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump, what have conservatives learned and where should they go from here? Along the way, Charles R. Kesler argues with critics on the left and right, and refutes fashionable doctrines including relativism, multiculturalism, critical race theory, and radical traditionalism, providing in effect a one-volume guide to the increasingly influential Claremont school of conservative thought by one of its most engaged, and engaging, thinkers.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Spell Trouble by P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast.  YA

Hunter and Mercy Goode are twin witches, direct descendants of the founder of their town of Goodeville. As their ancestors have done before them, it is now time for the twins to learn what it means to be Gatekeepers-the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds, ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and nightmares come to life. When their mother becomes the first victim in a string of murders, the devastated sisters vow to avenge her death. But it will take more than magic to rein in the ancient mythological monsters who've infected their peaceful town. Now Hunter and Mercy must come together and accept their destiny or risk being separated for good.


Rescue by Jennifer Nielsen.  J

Six hundred and fifty-seven days ago, Meg Kenyon's father left their home in France to fight for the Allies in World War II, and that was the last time Meg saw him. Recently, she heard he was being held prisoner by the Nazis, a terrible sentence from which Meg fears he'll never return. All she has left of him are the codes he placed in a jar for her to decipher, an affectionate game the two of them shared. But the codes are running low, and soon there'll be nothing left of Papa for Meg to hold on to at all. Suddenly, an impossible chance to save her father falls into Meg's lap. After following a trail of blood in the snow, Meggie finds an injured British spy hiding in her grandmother's barn. Captain Stewart tells her that a family of German refugees must be guided across Nazi-occupied France to neutral Spain, whereupon one of them has promised to free Meg's father. Captain Stewart was meant to take that family on their journey, but too injured to complete the task himself, he offers it to Meg, along with a final code from Papa to help complete the mission -- perhaps the most important, and most difficult, riddle she's received yet. As the Nazis flood Meg's village in fierce pursuit, she accepts the duty and begins the trek across France. Leading strangers through treacherous territory, Meg faces danger and uncertainty at every turn, all the while struggling to crack her father's code. The message, as she unravels it, reveals secrets costly enough to risk the mission and even her own life. Can Meg solve the puzzle, rescue the family, and save her father?

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860

Friday, July 2, 2021

July 2, 2021 - Staff Reviews


Total Power
By Kyle Mills
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Audiobook Available from WV Reads!

3.5 Stars - A fast-paced, easy listen for any action thriller fans. Personally, I think Mills has taken Flynn's series over in a great way. Maybe a bit colder, more concise stories but still a lot of fun. This one will have the reader ready to stockpile supplies and remembering we don't always have enough friends in high places. At least, Rapp's here to help save the day of course.

Vince Flynn has written some of my favorite thrillers but I haven't tapped into the huge Mitch Rapp series in awhile. I actually saw this tagged as a prequel and was a little lost when details of Rapp's life made it clear I had missed a lot. Never the less, I was able to follow the plot and get back into the all the high intensity action that makes up his every day. He's a highly skilled operator but always manages to have a human side too, an everyday guy side that makes him easy to read about and even like. Guidall's voice performance is excellent as always.

Mills has easily transitioned all the familiar Flynn character faces to his own. Many I recognized like Scott Coleman, Irene Kennedy, and Marcus Dumond but there were some new to the story and series too. A few were obviously recent additions I was unfamiliar with but only a few. I figure this plot was written prior to all the craziness of 2020 but man, did it end up feeling real. No matter your political beliefs, I think we're tired of the government telling us how live our lives when they don't accomplish much themselves. Of course the power outage scenario is not entirely original but as Mills' author note points out, it's extremely relevant. All this said, post apolocalypse stories are not my favorites. Everyone turning on each other, stockpiling, and all that is interesting but all the danger elements end up the same so. The description had me thinking they were stopping this attack but in fact, everyone spends plenty of time in the dark. Still, it's fun to see Mitch and his friends dealing with the kind of crisis that could befall us any day.


Thursday, July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021 - Stories of the South

Suggestions here for curling up on a steamy Summer afternoon with a tall glass of a sweet tea! Here's a selection of charming Southern stories all available at Brooke County Libraries.

In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead by James Lee Burke
When Hollywood invades New Iberia Parish to film a Civil War epic, restless specters waiting in the shadows for Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux are reawakened—ghosts of a history best left undisturbed. Hunting a serial killer preying on the lawless young, Robicheaux comes face-to-face with the elusive guardians of his darkest torments— who hold the key to his ultimate salvation. . . or a final, fatal downfall. 

Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
Hardy Cates is self-made, charming - and determined to carry out his private revenge against the Travis family. So when he crashes a Travis family wedding, the last thing he expects is to find himself kissing his adversary Haven Travis in a dark corner. Hardy has done many things in his life he's not proud of, but now he's trying to rid himself of his roughneck past, which doesn't mean falling in love with a rival - no matter how beautiful she is. Haven, likewise, vows to stay far away from Hardy. Having had her heart quite recently broken - and her body battered and bruised by the man she thought she had loved - she's through with men. That is, until she discovers that the temptation of a tender-hearted, blue-eyed devil is hard to resist.

Nightwalkers by PT Deutermann
Cam Richter, needing a break from his too-eventful detective career, is in search of more peaceful pastures in the North Carolina countryside. He buys a seven hundred acre ante-bellum plantation, but it doesn't take long for him to discover that his new locale is not as quiet as he'd hoped. Almost immediately, Cam finds himself caught up in mischievous pranks around his land, the site of a Civil War-era massacre. When the pranks turn hostile, however, he realizes he's been targeted by a killer who holds him responsible for something Cam is pretty sure he never did. As he tries to find out why someone wants him dead, he begins to uncover the secrets of his plantation and how the land's tragic history is still tangled up in the present.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
he story is set in Clayton County and Atlanta, both in Georgia, during the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era. It depicts the struggles of young Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of poverty following Sherman's destructive "March to the Sea".

The Revelators by Ace Atkins
Quinn Colson returns to take down a criminal syndicate that has ravaged his community, threatened his family, and tried to have him killed. Shot up and left for dead, Sheriff Quinn Colson has revenge on his mind. With the help of his new wife Maggie, rehabilitation, and sheer force of will, he's walking again, eager to resume his work as a southern lawman and track down those responsible for his attempted murder. But someone is standing in his way: an interim sheriff, appointed by the newly elected Governor Vardaman, the man who Quinn knows ordered his murder. 

Lowcountry Summer by Dorothea Benton Frank
When Caroline Wimbley Levine returned to Tall Pines Plantation, she never expected to make peace with long-buried truths about herself and her family. The Queen of Tall Pines, her late mother, was a force of nature, but now she is gone, leaving Caroline and the rest of the family uncertain of who will take her place. In the lush South Carolina countryside, old hurts, betrayals, and dark secrets will surface, and a new generation will rise along the banks of the mighty Edisto River.

The Bourbon Kings by JR Ward
An enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal. . . . Upstairs on the sprawling estate of Easterly, the kings of the bourbon capital of the world—the Bradford family—appear to play by the rules of good fortune and taste. Downstairs, the staff works tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet. For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing she intended—and their breakup proved her instincts right. Now, after two years, Tulane is coming home.

Redemption Road by John Hart
Imagine: A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother. A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting. After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free as deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, a body cools in pale linen… This is a town on the brink.

A Time to Kill by John Grisham
In this searing courtroom drama, best-selling author John Grisham probes the savage depths of racial violence, as he delivers a compelling tale of uncertain justice in a small southern town, Clanton, Mississippi. The life of a ten-year-old girl is shattered by two drunken and remorseless young men. The mostly white town reacts with shock and horror at the inhuman crime. That is, until her black father acquires an assault rifle and takes matters into his hands. For ten days, as burning crosses and the crack of sniper fire spread through the streets of Clanton, the nation sits spellbound as young defense attorney Jake Brigance struggles to save his client's life, and then his own.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast begins the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned from the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories...until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.

Ain't She Sweet? by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
The girl everybody loves to hate has returned to the town she'd sworn to leave behind forever. As the rich, spoiled princess of Parrish, Mississippi, Sugar Beth Carey had broken hearts, ruined friendships, and destroyed reputations. But fifteen years have passed, and life has taught Sugar Beth its toughest lessons. Now she's come home -- broke, desperate, and too proud to show it. The people of Parrish don't believe in forgive and forget. 

Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
Talk about unlucky sevens. An hour ago, seventeen-year-old, seven months pregnant Novalee Nation was heading for California with her boyfriend. Now she finds herself stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, with just $7.77 in change. But Novalee is about to discover hidden treasures in this small Southwest town--a group of down-to-earth, deeply caring people willing to help a homeless, jobless girl living secretly in a Wal-Mart. From Bible-thumping blue-haired Sister Thelma Husband to eccentric librarian Forney Hull who loves Novalee more than she loves herself, they are about to take her--and you, too--on a moving, funny, and unforgettable journey to . . . Where the Heart Is.

Did we forget any of your favorites? How many of these have you read? Let us know what you think! We love to hear from our readers either in the comments section or on any of our social media pages.