Wednesday, September 28, 2022

September 28, 2022 - Staff Review


You Don't Own Me
By Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Audiobook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - Another suspenseful tale from this talented writing duo. Laurie was easy to like though, a widow whose a smart investigator and single mom. On the flip side, we had Kendra who was much more of a mystery of course. Is she or is she not a victim? 

I hadn't been reading this series but Laurie's character makes this a formidable standalone. My biggest issue here was a lot of repeated information. This wasn't quite a quick, sharp story. Laurie's got a fascinating backstory, willing to stand her ground and tossing a few quips. Laurie's fiancee and family were fun too. Kendra was harder to like, seeming nearly impossibly naive. But she's definitely relatable for any woman who has struggled with the balance of marriage, children, and a career.

So, Clark's trademark on and off screen villians were great here. And Burke seems to contribute a modern touch to the writing. This felt very true to Clark's old form and format, moving her very 90s heroines into today's world with emojis and such. For me, the story dragged in places though. Alex was a very intriguing character who wasn't well used in the beginning. A former defense attorney turning judge could be a book itself. Also, the "stalker" element wasn't used to its potential. The full explanation of the term Gaslighting was a perfect example of a useless and boring info dump. If you haven't seen the movie, you still know the term. And if the book had actually started out and hit a fast-pace, moments like that wouldn't have come off so dull. Suspension of disbelief I think is required involving Kendra as well. Is she clueless? Is she lying to us and herself? I suppose it all added to the mystery. This was a quick though slightly less intense story better suited to casual reading than high thrills.


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

September 27, 2022 - BCPL Young Adult Series of the Month

Welcome back, readers! We're excited this September to share a favorite Young Adult series from our collection. It's The Selection series by Kiera Cass. With five main novels and numerous spin-offs, there's plenty of characters, intrigue, and romance to get lost in for teens and other readers.

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Warner Bros. bought the film rights for the book The Selection in 2015. The script was written by Katie Lovejoy. Director Thea Sharrock was attached to film the movie. For the article, click here. Eventually, the movie was not produced.

Netflix bought the film rights for the first book in the series in 2020. It will be directed by Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour. 

The dress of the cover was originally purple-gray, but then it was tweaked into a teal-blue color.

About the author - Kiera Cass was born on May 19, 1981.

She began writing after a local tragedy in 2007,leasing the self-published book The Siren in 2009 while she was pregnant with her first son.

Three years later, she got HarperTeen to take on The Selection, which came out on April 19, 2012. The second book in the series, The Elite, was released on April 23, 2013. The third and originally last book to the series, The One, was released on May 6, 2014. A new book, The Heir, about the Selection of Eadlyn Schreave (Prince Maxon's and America's daughter), was released on May 5, 2015. The final book, The Crown, was released on May 3, 2016.

Along with her books, she wrote two companion novels to The Selection: The Prince and The Guard, plus The Selection Stories, a combination of the two digital novellas. She wrote two more novellas: The Queen, released on December 2, 2014, about Queen Amberly's Selection and The Favorite, in Marlee Tames's point of view. All already published novellas and new ones were released in an illustrated hardcover, Happily Ever After on October 13, 2015.

The Siren was re-released by HarperTeen on January 26, 2016, with a new cover and content.

Her first post-Selection YA novel is The Betrothed, "an epic royal romance" with a new world and characters. It focuses on Hollis Brite, a daughter of nobility who has captured the heart of the king, yet she fells in love with a commoner. The book was published on May 5, 2020 and it is the first in a new duology.

She is married to Callaway Cass. They have two children, a son named Guyden and a daughter named Zuzu.

Author Kiera Cass included in her bio - 100 Things I Love:

Being married. Cake. The smell of Autumn. Motherhood. Books. Elephants. Back rubs. On demand movies. Actually going out to movies. Faith. Cinnamon rolls. My family. Butterflies. When my kitchen is clean. Crayons. Pink. Tote bags. Dancing. Organizing via color coordination. That my wedding dress was tea length, not floor. Baking. My house. Writing utensils. Paper. India. The sound of water. Making videos. Buttons. The word Episcopalian. Making people laugh. Layering clothes. British accents. Pinterest. Animation. Fireworks. The smell of the Ocean. My wedding rings. Aprons. Reasons to get dressed up. Sex. Pop music. Stars. Taking walks. Daydreaming. Stickers. School Spirit. My friends. Living in a small town. Japan. Singing. Painting my toenails. Pranks/ practical jokes. Painting. Stretch canvas. Costumes. Dipping my fingers in melted wax. Style. Soda. Spending an hour typing at a coffee shop. Musicals. Back to school season. Mopeds. Good hair days. Naps. Not walking up but looking at a beautiful staircase. Driving alone. My ankles. Playlists. Spending entire days in pajamas. Holidays. Telling stories. Spontaneity. Theme parks. Bookshelves. The word copacetic. Boxes. Empty journals. Surprises. Doing things in groups. Doing things alone. Getting real mail. Decorating. Small forks. A good hug. Gift cards. New Years Goals. Going out to dinner. When someone else remembers some great story about me/us that I’ve forgotten. Toy stores. Fireplaces. Breakfast foods. Journaling. Crying for a good reason. Doorbells. Pointless adventures. Voting. My birthday. Reasons to make wishes. Recycling.

Want to check out some of the titles in this series or by Kiera Cass? We've got a handful on our ebook site WV Reads that are available. 

Did you read this series and adore it? Maybe it wasn't your style but you like the author's other works? Be sure to let us know what you think. We love to hear from readers in the comments or on our social media pages.

Images and info are courtesy of Google, Wikipedia, Author Webpages, WV Reads, Goodreads, etc.


Monday, September 26, 2022

September 26, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

The Paris Showroom by Juliet Blackwell.

"Capucine Benoit works alongside her father to produce fans of rare feathers, beads, and intricate pleating for the haute couture fashion houses. But after the Germans invade Paris in June 1940, Capucine and her father must focus on mere survival - until they are betrayed to the secret police and arrested for his political beliefs. When Capucine saves herself from deportation to Auschwitz by highlighting her connections to Parisian design houses, she is sent to a little-known prison camp located in the heart of Paris, within the Lévitan department store. There, hundreds of prisoners work to sort through, repair, and put on display the massive quantities of art, furniture, and household goods looted from Jewish homes and businesses. Forced to wait on German officials and their wives and mistresses, Capucine struggles to hold her tongue in order to survive, remembering happier days spent in the art salons, ateliers, and jazz clubs of Montmartre in the 1920s. Capucine's estranged daughter, Mathilde, remains in the care of her conservative paternal grandparents, who are prospering under the Nazi occupation. But after her mother is arrested and then a childhood friend goes missing, the usually obedient Mathilde finds herself drawn into the shadowy world of Paris's Résistance fighters. As her mind opens to new ways of looking at the world, Mathilde also begins to see her unconventional mother in a different light."-- Provided by publisher.


The Cartographer’s Secret by Tea Cooper.

"The Hunter Valley, 1880. Evie Ludgrove loves to chart the landscape around her home--hardly surprising since she grew up in the shadow of her father's obsession with the great Australian explorer Dr. Ludwig Leichhardt. So when an advertisement appears in The Bulletin magazine offering a thousand-pound reward for proof of where Leichhardt met his fate, Evie is determined to use her father's papers to unravel the secret. But when Evie sets out to prove her theory, she vanishes without a trace, leaving behind a mystery that haunts her family for thirty years. Letitia Rawlings arrives at the family estate in her Ford Model T to inform her great-aunt Olivia of a loss in their family. But Letitia is also escaping her own problems--her brother's sudden death, her mother's scheming, and her dissatisfaction with the life planned out for her. So when Letitia discovers a beautifully illustrated map that might hold a clue to the fate of her missing aunt, Evie Ludgrove, she sets out to discover the truth. But all is not as it seems, and Letitia begins to realize that solving the mystery of her family's past could offer as much peril as redemption."-- Provided by publisher.


The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock.

"The entire Roanoke colony had vanished in the late sixteenth century and "The Dare Stone," as it came to be called, seemingly revealed the sorry fate of the colonists as well as that of Eleanor, who miraculously survived. War widow Alice Young knew the secret of the Dare Stone long before the carved rock became frontpage news because the stone had sat, for centuries, at Evertell, her family's estate outside of Savannah, until it disappeared during the summer she turned thirteen. The story of Eleanor Dare's miraculous survival is Young family lore, long preserved in both a singsong verse Alice learned as a child and in a book passed down through the generations of women descended from Eleanor and her daughter, Agnes. Alice had been next in line to receive the book that long-ago summer, but everything changed when the stone and book vanished. Her mother became gripped by a mania that hurtled her toward a tragic death, and rambling old Evertell, a too-painful reminder for Alice's father, was abandoned and sold and they moved away. When her father dies, Alice, now thirty-two, learns that Evertell was never sold and the deed to it is hers. Her own thirteen-year-old daughter, Penn, is enamored with the idea of exploring the family history she never knew she had, and Alice decides they will visit the estate just long enough to sell it and start over. But soon Alice learns that leaving one's past behind isn't nearly as important as embracing one's truth."-- Provided by publisher.


Adult Non-Fiction

Work Jerks by Louise Carnachan.

If you're stressed and unhappy because of problems with a boss or colleague, you pay a price. Not only can your mental and physical health suffer, your nearest and dearest get sick of hearing about it. Going to bed angry and waking up only to dread a new workday is a terrible way to live. Remote work may have lessened the impact of annoying colleagues for a while, but they can still find ways to irritate. If you're co-located, the "mute" and "stop video" buttons don't exist to diminish your exasperation. Not all jerks are the same; the person you find to be a nightmare may be perfectly acceptable to others. And, astonishingly, someone else may even think you're the jerk! Author Louise Carnachan has the credentials and experience to make her an expert in this area, but more importantly, she's been in the trenches herself. With an emphasis on the positive actions you can take while being attentive to your specific situation, Work Jerks provides practical advice on how to deal with a variety of problematic coworkers--whether in-person or remotely--so work can stop being something you dread and start being something you enjoy.


The Gates of Europe by Serhii Plokhy.

As Ukraine is embroiled in an ongoing struggle with Russia to preserve its territorial integrity and political independence, celebrated historian Serhii Plokhy explains that today's crisis is a case of history repeating itself: the Ukrainian conflict is only the latest in a long history of turmoil over Ukraine's sovereignty. Situated between Central Europe, Russia, and the Middle East, Ukraine has been shaped by empires that exploited the nation as a strategic gateway between East and West--from the Romans and Ottomans to the Third Reich and the Soviet Union. In The Gates of Europe, Plokhy examines Ukraine's search for its identity through the lives of major Ukrainian historical figures, from its heroes to its conquerors. This revised edition includes new material that brings this definitive history up to the present. As Ukraine once again finds itself at the center of global attention, Plokhy brings its history to vivid life as he connects the nation's past with its present and future.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Who Was E. B. White? by Gail Herman.  J NF

Today, most people remember E. B. White as the beloved children's book author who gave us Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, but did you know that most of his career was spent writing for famous magazines like The New Yorker? His lifelong dream to write a children's book about a mouse would take years to get published before it became the classic book we know and love today. A few years later, White would publish yet another children's book inspired by a pig he had raised and a spider whose webs he loved to admire in his barn.


How to Find What You’re Not Looking For by Veera Hiranandani.  J

Twelve-year-old Ariel Goldberg's life feels like the moment after the final guest leaves the party. Her family's Jewish bakery runs into financial trouble, and her older sister has eloped with a young man from India following the Supreme Court decision that strikes down laws banning interracial marriage. As change becomes Ariel's only constant, she's left to hone something that will be with her always--her own voice.

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

Thursday, September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022 - Staff Reviews


Shielding Sierra
By Susan Stoker
Release Date: January 4, 2022
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

2 Stars - Not bad but underwhelming ending to Stoker's later Delta series. Sierra and Fred are likable on their own and make for a sweet couple. The pacing is off in this one though and a bit too repetitive of previous stories for those following this big and bad team. But if heart-wrenching, slow-burn romances are a favorite, this one might suit you just fine.

Some of Stoker's best writing skills and assets are on display here. Her ability to show everyday women overcoming obstacles and surviving harrowing experiences is front and center. Her touch with sentimental scenes and quickly forging a strong bond between the couple with friendship is showcased too. But Sierra is almost too perfect. She's small but mighty. If anything, she's a bit distant and whiny. But who could blame her after so much time in captivity? Fred aka Grover is an excellent hero as well. Willing to put himself in danger for her or his friends without a second thought. 

I had to agree with a few reviews I read myself that the timeframe of captivity was too long. Sierra's been held for a full year and is still basically healthy. Why not make it 3 months? It would have been equally traumatic but more realistic. I suppose this was to show Grover's dedication to her but that aspect flopped. Also Stoker has sort of started incorporating her politics into her romances. I can't say that I approve. I love political thrillers but that's not what these books are so leave out the messaging. The first quarter of the book where Sierra and Grover are respectively rescued is hard to put down. But in terms of plotting, this was sort of like putting the cart before the horse. There's a lot of awkwardness after that, which isn't uncommon in Stoker's romances. Sometimes she uses it wisely but here it was just uncomfortable. Why wouldn't these two just go ahead and start up a relationship? Either way, these two are cute enough together to keep the story plodding along. Lots of shoutouts to all the other Stoker stories as well. Readers may either want to test the waters here or skip this one.


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

September 21, 2022 - A Book & a Recipe

We've got a fun, Fall recipe to share with you today, readers! Thanks for checking in to get our September idea for dinner and a good read.

Today, we're featuring Cheddar Beer Soup from Susan Wigg's novel Family Tree.

Let's get started!

1 tbsp butter.
1 tbsp olive oil.
1 rib celery.
1 carrot.
1 small onion.
1 med. sweet potato, peeled.
1 clove of garlic, minced.
1 tart apple, such as granny smith apples.
1-2 potatoes, diced.
1 sprig fresh thyme.
1 bottle of beer (recommended a good Vermont microbrew).
1/2 cup of cider, fresh or hard.
1 qt vegetable or chicken stock.
1 cup shredded Vermont sharp cheddar.
1 cup half-and-half or cream

1. Clean and dice the veggies and apples. The sweet potato should be peeled.
2. Warm the butter and olive oil in a heavy bottom pan.
3. Saute the onion approx. 5 minutes, then add the veggies, apple, and thyme.
4. When slightly caramelized, add the beer and bring to low boil.
5. Add the stock and bring to simmer.
6. Cover and simmer for approx. 30 minutes, until veggies are tender.
7. Puree in blender with lid/cover. (Can do this in batches).
8. Blend on low while adding cheese a bit at a time.
9. Return the puree to the pot and whisk in the cream. Do not let it boil.
10. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: recipe originally adapted from a Hampton Winds Restaurant.

Does that sound like a delicious Fall dish? Are you brave enough to try it? If you are, please let us know! We'd love to hear from you in our comment section below or on any of our social media pages.

Interested in the story in Family Tree? Check out our ebook copy available from WV Reads!

As always, images and info are courtesy of Google, WV Reads, author webpages, etc.


Monday, September 19, 2022

September 19, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

An Unlikely Match by Beth Wiseman.

When sparks fly between a good Amish girl and a hunky member of the Hollywood elite, even matchmaking innkeepers Esther and Lizzie know better than to fan the flames. Evelyn Schrock has dismissed the attempts of every young man in her small Amish community to court her. She's willing to wait for a suitor who shares her curiosities about life and faith. The only reason Jayce Clarkson is in Amish country hefting equipment for his famous father's movie production company is for the paycheck. The homestyle cooking at the Peony Inn is a perk though, as is his friendship with Evelyn Schrock. If Jayce can endure his dad's put-downs for a month, he'll finally be in a position to make a fresh start--somewhere away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and the shadow of his checkered past. To matchmakers Esther and Lizzie, the widowed sisters who operate the inn, Jayce seems like a good man stuck in a life he doesn't want. But the boy isn't Amish, and that leaves far too much room for broken hearts. Despite that, Jayce and Evelyn start to realize that they can't deny their growing attraction. Any path forward seems impossible, and they will have to learn what the future will look like when they leave their fate in Gott's hands.


Armored by Mark Greaney.

Joshua Duffy is a Close Protection Agent--a professional bodyguard--and he's one of the world's elite operatives. That is, he was until his last mission in Lebanon. Against all odds, Josh got his primary out alive, but the cost was high. Josh lost his lower left leg. There's not much call for an elite bodyguard with such an injury. So, Josh has to support his family working as a mall cop in New Jersey. For a man like Josh, this is purgatory on earth, but miracles can occur even in Paramus. A lucky run-in with an old comrade promises to get Josh back in the field for one last job. The UN is sending a peace mission into the Sierra Madre mountains in Mexico, an area so dangerous it's known as Espinazo del Diablo-- the Devil's Spine. Only a fool would think they could broker peace between the homicidal drug cartels in the region, and only a madman would sign on to keep those fools alive.


The Sweet Remnants of Summer by Alexander McCall Smith.

When Isabel is invited to serve on the advisory committee of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, her husband, Jamie, expresses concern about the demands on her time. Never one to duck an obligation, however, Isabel says she'd be happy to join. There she meets a woman named Laura, whose husband--a prominent wine merchant from an illustrious family--and son are at odds. Laura asks whether Isabel might arbitrate between them. Isabel is reluctant to intervene in a familial drama but, always one for practical and courteous solutions to theoretical problems, she feels obligated to help. Will the demands on her moral attention never cease? Meanwhile, having criticized Isabel for getting involved in the affairs of others, Jamie does precisely that himself. He's helping to select a new cellist for his ensemble but suspects that the conductor's attention may be focused on something other than his favored candidate's cello skills. Jamie feels it's important that the most qualified applicant gets the job--but how to determine whether the conductor has the right qualifications in mind? With so many complicated and fraught issues demanding their attention, Isabel and Jamie will have to tap deep into their reserves of tact and goodwill as they navigate the tricky and turbulent waters of these emotional matters.


Adult Non-Fiction

The New Retirement by Jan Cullinane.

In the newly revised Third Edition of The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life, best-selling and award-winning retirement author Jan Cullinane delivers an organized, engaging, and holistic treatment of retirement planning. With extensive updates and additions throughout, the book includes surveys, questionnaires, and worksheets to help readers understand and apply the critical steps affecting retirement planning.


iPad Manual for Beginners and Seniors by Thomas Cooper.

This universal iPad manual for beginners and seniors explains in detail how to use your new iPad effectively. In this user guide, you'll learn about all the new and already familiar features provided by iPadOS 15, and will be able to use any of them. Detailed step-by-step instructions with illustrations will help you understand and set up the iPad of any generation. This manual is based on iPadOS 15 and explains every feature that will or will not work for your iPad. This way, you'll get the most out of your iPad, get better control of every feature and app, and more. Even if you don't know much about iPads, this iPad user manual will take you from dummies to experts with ease


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

What is the Supreme Court? by Jill Abramson.  J NF

Ever since it was established in 1789, the United States Supreme Court has had a major impact on the lives of all Americans. Some of its landmark decisions have helped end segregation, protected a person's privacy, and allowed people to marry whomever they love. Best-selling author, former executive editor of The New York Times, and self-confessed political junkie, Jill Abramson has written a detailed and fascinating book that explains how the highest court in the United States works, who gets to serve on it, which cases have had the greatest impact on the country, and why the US justice system is so vital to democracy.


The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera.  J

A girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children - among them Petra and her family - have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet - and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard - or purged them altogether. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?

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

Friday, September 16, 2022

September 16, 2022 - Staff Reviews


Rogue Asset
By WEB Griffin/Andrews & Wilson
Release Date: December 7, 2021
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

2.5 Stars - I don't think I ever truly got immersed in this reimagining of the Presidential Agent series. It's definitely a reimaging not a sequel. This dynamic writing duo certainly knows their stuff. And here we've got an entertaining military rescue mission with decent dialouge a likable hero. But his name is McCoy not Castillo. This one is a solid series start but bound to disappoint some Griffin fans.

Griffin (and son) left off the Presidential Agent series in less than fantastic fashion nearly a decade ago. The ending of book eight was so abrupt, I called a bookstore to make sure I wasn't missing final pages. Charley's life was heading for retirement and family life, well-deserved and all. But the last mission was a bit hectic and rushed. Andrews & Wilson have a great reputation for their military authenticity in the action thriller genre. They definitely bring that aspect here, but they didn't do much with Charley. McCoy appears to be a fun and capable lead. And I'll say I love the concept of Charley mentoring him and showing him the ropes. More long-running series need to perfect this idea to keep things going!

So what we have here is a great set-up that's not sharply executed. This writing team is efficient with their word count and can write some solid dialouge, but I always feel like they struggle to really advance the plot. Even with their other series I've tried, they pace it like a movie, not a novel. But it does seem to be popular with many readers so it can work! Here though, we're just missing the fundamentals of Griffin's brillance. The stories were always long and dry, but characters were the fuel. Charley's friends are nowhere to be seen. And their antics and badass moves were a blast. His wife Svetlana was a great addition at the peak of the series and she isn't mentioned, to say nothing of their kid(s)? His grandmother shows up for a minute at an impossible age. Why even bother? The setting details used to appear frequently and there were several scenes per chapter, ending on cliffhangers. This doesn't flow that way at all. I think Putnam & Sons would have been smarter to write Charley into McCoy's new series and not the other way around. But if you're just looking for a military style story with smooth operator 
authors doing their own thing, give it a try.


Thursday, September 15, 2022

September 15, 2022 - BCPL Resume Tips

We're sharing another resume tip this September from Brooke County Libraries! Thanks for checking in with us.

 Resume Tip #23 - Consider using a summary.

A summary can be a helpful addition to your one-page resume for potential employers. The summary should be no more than 3-5 lines or one small paragraph. This could be located at the top or bottom of the document, preferrably the top, but ensure that it does not cause your resume to go over one page.

This is an easy and brief glimpse into your experience, education, and even personality. This would be the only appropriate place to quickly mention or personal life or gaps in work history.

For example:
With ten years plus of customer service experience, I am a mother of two toddlers seeking part-time employment with a trusted company.


After a hiatus from work due to injury, I am seeking to rejoin the industrial workforce in a position where I can use my five plus years experience with heavy equipment and my applicable certifications.

Again, this should not be an introduction or a way to fill too much space on the one-page. But a quick read to give the employer an insight into your potential that may not fit into the standard resume format boxes. 

That's all for this month, folks! Please check in again in October and see if we can help you jazz up your resume or CV. And remember you can always check with local library for plenty of job hunt tips and resources.

Monday, September 12, 2022

September 12, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Beyond the Desert Sands by Tracie Peterson.

Accustomed to an opulent life with her aunt, the last thing twenty-five-year-old Isabella Garcia wants is to celebrate Christmas in her parents' small silver-mining desert town, leaving her handsome beau, Diego Morales, behind in California. Adding insult to injury, she must bear the company of Aaron Bailey, the disapproving Santa Fe Railroad businessman her father has sent to escort her home, who clearly finds her spoiled. But she is surprised to see how much the town of Silver Veil has grown and how fragile her father's health has become. Then a surprise visitor shows up with news that entirely upends the comfortable life she's been leading. Faced with all these changes, Isabella struggles to sort through her future and who she wants to be. But trouble is brewing, and there are those who hope she stays just as she is, even if it costs her everything.


The Vanishing Girl by Dan Padavona.

Trying to piece her shattered life together, ex-FBI profiler Darcy Gellar clings to a struggling relationship with Detective Julian Haines. Then a new case forces her to act when Julian's niece vanishes from a private college in Upstate New York. But Julian's niece has a dark secret. And the understaffed sheriff's department lacks the expertise to find the missing girl. Darcy empathizes with Julian's sister. She knows what it's like to lose a child to a deranged kidnapper. But when they search the countryside, Julian exhumes a dead teenage girl from the forest. Her face is too disfigured to identify. Is this Julian's niece? As Darcy and Julian investigate the murder, new suspects come to light. And more victims. She thought the nightmare was over, but a new serial killer stalks the night. And Darcy is his next target. Is Darcy prepared to unearth the truth about the vanishing girl's disappearance, even if it tears Julian apart?


Child of Awareness by Abigail Silver.

Fire is part of who I am. A touch of anger and the flames leap around my shoulders like an inconvenient blush. But the conversations with my dead sister, Ariel? Well… she’s always been my little secret. I’m not sure why I kept her from Dad. Perhaps the mortal’s fear of my fire traumatized me. As if I weren’t isolated enough as a terrified six-year-old in that government group home. If controlling fire is rejection worthy, seeing ghosts has to be a whole new level of abomination. Dad’s like me, though – an Usuriel with his own pyrokinetic abilities and plenty of other psi I can only dream of. He’s the one who gave me a home, a family, and made me feel like I belong. He has a fair share of secrets, so maybe that’s why. If Dad taught me anything by example, it’s how to keep my mouth shut. Looking back on it, that should have been my first sign keeping secrets was going to get me into trouble.


Adult Non-Fiction

This Boy We Made by Taylor Harris.

One morning, Tophs, Taylor Harris's round-cheeked, lively twenty-two-month-old, wakes up listless, only lifting his head to gulp down water. She rushes Tophs to the doctor, ignoring the part of herself, trained by years of therapy for generalized anxiety disorder, that tries to whisper that she's overreacting. But at the hospital, her maternal instincts are confirmed: something is wrong with her boy, and Taylor's life will never be the same. With every question the doctors answer about Tophs's increasingly troubling symptoms, more arise, and Taylor dives into the search for a diagnosis. She spends countless hours trying to navigate health and education systems that can be hostile to Black mothers and children; at night she googles, prays, and interrogates her every action. Some days, her sweet, charismatic boy seems just fine; others, he struggles to answer simple questions. A long-awaited appointment with a geneticist ultimately reveals nothing about what's causing Tophs's drops in blood sugar, his processing delays--but it does reveal something unexpected about Taylor's own health. What if her son's challenges have saved her life?


Gardening for Kids by The Garden Architect.

"Do you want to feel proud of being in a beautiful garden created by your children and you? Then keep reading… You want your kids to start gardening, but you don't know anything about gardening...You might also have some excuses to get over. Before you get to the point of deciding to take action and wanting to have that beautiful garden made by you and your kids....In Gardening For Kids, you'll discover how easy it is to take away all those excuses and turn your garden into a place you and your family can enjoy. You'll finally get to know how to take the RIGHT action instead of being left clueless and miserable like I once was. "Why is it called Gardening for Kids if I'm the one that's being spoken to?" Well, Kids usually need a little push when starting something new, like gardening. And that's why after years of helping hundreds of families create their perfect garden and making gardening my full-time Job. I've created a parent's guide so you can also start gardening with your children."--From


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

The Flash by Showcase.  GN

Over 500 pages of classic adventures are included in this value-priced volume! The Fastest Man Alive stars in these fantastic tales from late 1950s and into the 1960s! This collection features The Flash in battle against the Mirror Master, the Trickster, Captain Cold and many other villains!


The Fowl Twins Get What They Deserve by Eoin Colfer.  J

For almost two years, Lord Teddy Bleedham-Drye, the Duke of Scilly, has been plotting revenge against the Fowl Twins, who humiliated him in Book One. Teddy plans to give them exactly what they deserve: permanent death. He threatens Myles with his weaponized jet and Beckett and Specialist Lazuli succeed in disarming the aircraft and causing an accident that kills the duke. But does it really? Ghosts, clones, and fairy magic come to play in this ultimate and ridiculous showdown between the twins and their worst enemy.

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

Thursday, September 8, 2022

September 8, 2022 - Staff Reviews

The Secret
By Kristen Proby
Release Date: March 22, 2022
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - Proby's new series started off with a bang here. She wastes no time sending the sparks flying between Olivia and Vaughn. There's a lot of connecting points between the old and new series. But this couple manages to steal the spotlight even in this famous family.

So I've read many of Kristen Proby's novels, as evidenced by the reviews on the blog, and even I was a bit confused at the start of this book. I felt like I must have been missing something and struggled a bit to remember which kids belonged to which adults. Still, I was very excited to see the next set of Seattle family members getting their happily ever afters. The whole struggle with Luke and Olivia and Vaughn felt a tad contrived. The secrecy didn't really seem possible but then again this is basically Hollywood/movie star romance. They can both be a more overdramatic but they're both loyal and dedicated to their jobs and families.

Proby certainly brings her trademark sparkle and Seattle setting to life here. The steam levels might be a bit high for anyone looking for a more serious story. Most of the conflict is just trumped up for struggle value. And there is a lot of Montgomery family revisits in the second half, but they are mostly well woven into the story. Unfortunately, the hints at Josie's and Stella's upcoming stories didn't strike my interest so those might get skipped. Seeing Luke and Natalie's relationship with Olivia was a lot of fun and felt like a long time coming. It's been so long since the first Seattle story! Vaughn turned out to be a lot like Luke, which was a cool surprise. Although other than some fun dates, there wasn't much for this couple to do. There's no suspense, no ex-drama, no single parent strife. So, if you're looking for a light and easily entertaining romance, look no further. However, if you want something to really sink your teeth into, save this for a mindless reading day.


Tuesday, September 6, 2022

September 6, 2022 - Book Club Preview

Welcome back to our monthly book club preview! This month at BCPL, we're reading The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, September 29th at 5 pm. It will be held in person and virtually as able. Please call us for more information.

About the book -
Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman’s struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel.

Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does. 

About the author -
From her bio - "There comes a point in every daughter's life when she begins seeing her mother as a person separate from her family, someone who has an identity outside of motherhood. That was the moment I began re-imagining my mother's life, and that re-imagining became THE HENNA ARTIST. I was born in Rajasthan, India, and moved with my family to the U.S. when I was nine. Even after graduating from Stanford University, and working in advertising and marketing, I never considered becoming an author. But taking my mother to India in her later years changed all that. In 2011, I got my MFA in Creative Writing from the California College of Arts in San Francisco, California. It took 10 years, a lot of research, and many trips to India to complete my debut novel, and I'm thrilled to share my writing and publishing process on YouTube:

I live on the Monterey Peninsula with my husband and two misbehaving pups, so let me know if you're going to be in the neighborhood. "

Interested in The Henna Artist? Check out our ebook copy, available on WV Reads!

Did you enjoy this book or other works by this author? Let us know in the comments or on any of our social media pages!

 Images and info are courtesy of Goodreads, WV Reads, Google, etc.

Monday, September 5, 2022

September 5, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Where the Sky Begins by Rhys Bowen.

London, 1940. Bombs fall and Josie Banks's world crumbles around her. Her overbearing husband, Stan, is unreachable, called to service. Her home, a ruin of rubble and ash. Josie's beloved tearoom boss has been killed, and Josie herself is injured, with nothing left and nowhere to go. Evacuated to the English countryside, Josie ends up at the estate of the aristocratic Miss Harcourt, a reluctant host to the survivors of the Blitz. Awed as she is by the magnificent landscape, Josie sees opportunity. Josie convinces Miss Harcourt to let her open a humble tea shop, seeing it as a chance for everyone to begin again. When Josie meets Mike Johnson, a handsome Canadian pilot stationed at a neighboring bomber base, a growing intimacy brings her an inner peace she's never felt before. Then Stan returns from the war. Now a threat looms larger than anyone imagined. And a dangerous secret is about to upend Josie's life again. Her newfound courage will be put to the test if she is to emerge, like a survivor, triumphant.


Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner.

"Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare bookstore that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager's unbreakable fifty-one rules. But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans: Vivien Lowry: Single since her aristocratic fiancé was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances--most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction. Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she's been working to support the family following her husband's breakdown in the aftermath of the war. She's torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own. Evie Stone: In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she's working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future. As they interact with various literary figures of the time--Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others--these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals, and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow."-- Provided by publisher.


Drown Her Sorrows by Melinda Leigh.

"When Sheriff Bree Taggert discovers the body of a young woman floating near the bank of the Scarlet River, a note in her abandoned car suggests suicide. The autopsy reveals a different story. Holly Thorpe was dead long before she dropped off the bridge and hit the water. As Bree and her investigator Matt Flynn delve into the case, secrets in Holly's personal life complicate their efforts to solve the murder. Holly left behind a volatile marriage, an equally divisive relationship with her sister, and an employer whose intimate involvement with Holly was no secret. Each one has a motive for murder. When Holly's sister is terrorized by a stalker's sick prank, and the prime suspect turns up dead, everything Bree was sure of is upended and her case goes off the rails. When the killer strikes close to home, Bree and Matt must race to solve the murders before one of their own becomes the next victim."-- Provided by publisher.


Adult Non-Fiction

This Will Not Pass by Jonathan Martin & Alexander Burns.

This is the authoritative account of an eighteen-month crisis in American democracy that will be seared into the country's political memory for decades to come. With stunning, in-the-room detail, New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns show how both our political parties confronted a series of national traumas, including the coronavirus pandemic, the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and the political brinksmanship of President Biden's first year in the White House. From Donald Trump's assault on the 2020 election and his ongoing campaign of vengeance against his fellow Republicans, to the behind-the-scenes story of Biden's selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate and his bitter struggles to unite the Democratic Party, this book exposes the degree to which the two-party system has been strained to the point of disintegration. More than at any time in recent history, the long-established traditions and institutions of American politics are under siege as a set of aging political leaders struggle to hold together a changing country. Martin and Burns break news on most every page, drawing on hundreds of interviews and never-before-seen documents and recordings from the highest levels of government. The book asks the vitally important (and disturbing) question: can American democracy, as we know it, ever work again?


Dr. Sebi Alkaline & Antinflammatory Diet for Beginners by Marcel Greeny.

The Alkaline and Anti-Inflammatory Diet is now a very viable natural cure to drastically relieve the days' stress. Learning which foods are best for your body in certain situations and which ones to avoid can make all the difference. In this book, these topics and all the possible benefits of the alkaline diet are discussed in depth....All benefits related to this simple but effective diet are deepened and clearly exposed in the pages of this book. In addition, inside, you will find a meal plan built following the national dietary guidelines that respect every aspect of the correct nutritional values."--From


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Fearbook Club by Richard Ashley Hamilton & Marco Matrone.  J GN

When shy 6th-gradeshutterbug Whit Garcia starts middle school, he's forced to join a yearbook club with three other weirdos who will never be voted "most likely to succeed." But after the ghosts of missing students start haunting them, Whit, Hester, Hillary and Press must solve the supernatural secret behind these spirits - or their yearbook club will be voted most likely to join them. But are these ghostly students the real bad guys? Or are they just warning Whit and his friends? Warning them about a darkness beyond their schoolyard...a darkness that threatens to swallow the school - and its occupants - whole.


Ghost Hunters Adventure Club and the Express Train to Nowhere by Dr. Cecil H. H. Mills.  YA

Hey kid, do you wanna get rich? I'm talking real rich, real quick. It's easy, and to do it, all the info you need is contained within this book. Keep reading. Listen, my name is Dr. Cecil H.H. Mills. I'm the author of this book as well as many other better books that you may not have heard of. But this one is fine, I suppose--especially if you want to one day own a yacht. This is a story about three idiot wannabe detectives: J.J. and Valentine Watts and their new friend Trudi de la Rosa. Again, they're idiots, but in a fun way where they go on adventures and occasionally use swear words. In this book, they're riding a train on official Ghost Hunters Adventure Club business when an old friend from the past shows up to ruin everything. It's up to our three young adventurers to solve the mystery of the Express Train to Nowhere before they're locked away forever for a crime they didn't even commit. There's action, there's humor, there's suspense, but most importantly there is a detailed set of instructions hidden within these pages that will help both you and me get rich beyond our wildest dreams. Just buy the book and start reading. You'll learn everything about the Ghost Hunters Adventure Club and my personal get-rich-quick Yacht Plan soon.

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

Friday, September 2, 2022

September 2, 2022 - Staff Reviews

One Summer Weekend
By Shannon Stacey
Release Date:
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3.5 Stars - A surprisingly in depth romance for the short length. If you're looking for an easy weekend read with plenty of sun, sand, and some sparking relationship drama, look no further. Noah and Carly have been besties since childhood. They start to realize the depth of their connection over a wedding trip. Somewhat unoriginal sure but it definitely works! These two were great together.

Shannon Stacey is a usually overlooked romance author on par with Carly Phillips and Lori Foster. She's got a fun and flirty style with a steamy scene or two thrown in now and then. Noah and Carly in this little story are so easy to get to know and like. Most of the time, novellas fail to capture personality in characters in full. Not so here. Noah's a bit clueless, inventing a fake girlfriend to a boss he's unusually close to. But he's talking about his best friend: mild-mannered book store owner Carly. She indulges his little lie until they both just indulge too much in general.

Noah and Carly have a really cute backstory and loads of childhood and young adult tales. They've been through everything together, and you can't help but root for them. It seems wild that they wouldn't see what was right in front of them all this time, but it just seems to prove that falling in love doesn't have to be about the physical side of a relationship. Of course, once things get steamy between them, they both have some crazy notions and silly doubts. The couple is always the last to see what everyone else knows. But they manage to pull it off in a believable way. Most of their hang ups are in regard to Noah's commitment aversion and Carly's desire for the family dream. Once they figure it out, it's the most adorable little epilouge scene. This novella covers so much ground in short amount of time and pages. Easy to recommend for any romance fan or the passing summer reader.