Tara Pettit

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Growing up, Thayer Wentworth knew three things about herself: She was an untamable, wild force, at least by her mother’s standards; her only true confidante was her exotic grandmother; and wherever she went, magic followed her. Although her elitist Southern belle mother attempted to reconcile Thayer to a life where society dictated every last aspect, Thayer escapes every summer to Camp Edgewood on Burnt Mountain.

On Burnt Mountain, Thayer immersed herself in the magic that was embedded in the fibers of the camp—a place where she was free to experience the magic of nature, mountain life and first love. Thayer’s summer romance with Nick Abrams burned passionately while it lasted, with promises of forever once he returned from a trip to France. However, after not receiving the much-anticipated phone calls and letter from her fiancé-to-be, Thayer plunges into a deep sadness that steals the magic away from her world and forces her to deal with the cruel realities of life.

Years later, Thayer marries and begins her dream life with a man she loves and trusts, and the magic of life is fully restored to her world. But when her husband starts a new career as a mythological storyteller at her beloved camp, it sends Thayer’s life into chaos. She discovers her husband is a man of disturbing obsessions, forcing her to face her own secrets involving her family and Nick. These revelations challenge her to take another look at the outcome of her life—and force her to decide where, or to whom, she might run.

Best-selling author Anne Rivers Siddons brings to life the traditional Old South culture in Burnt Mountain, a modern-day tale of heartbreak, love and, ultimately, self-discovery. Siddons captures readers from the start with elegant, flowing prose. We are left with the haunting reality that the true magic of life manifests itself in our adaption to its changing storms—and in who we become after weathering our own personal tragedies.

Growing up, Thayer Wentworth knew three things about herself: She was an untamable, wild force, at least by her mother’s standards; her only true confidante was her exotic grandmother; and wherever she went, magic followed her. Although her elitist Southern belle mother attempted to reconcile Thayer to a life where society dictated every last aspect, […]
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It is a time of virtual vacations and robotic surgeries, “intelligent” electric cars and universal healthcare—which has resulted in endless waiting lines and sky-high premiums. In light of new scientific discoveries, cancer can be cured, bones can be regenerated and humans are living longer lives. Welcome to America in 2030, where the first Jewish president is in office and the national debt surpasses $200 trillion. In 2030, America’s most powerful lobbyist is the AARP and the preservation of life quality is reserved for the over-50 population, leaving little to no jobs, benefits or future security for younger generations. When the under-50 crowd decides enough is enough and begins initiating terrorist attacks on the “olds,” America finds itself in a period of extreme civil unrest. Add to the attacks the world’s worst earthquake ever—which levels Los Angeles—and the fate of America looks bleaker than ever.

When the government decides to offer China half ownership of L.A. in exchange for the $20 trillion needed to rebuild the city, America enters a new age where its power no longer holds up, its citizens can no longer pursue the lives their grandparents once lived and the country’s fate is undeniably uncertain. Is America selling the very dream that once defined the nation?

In his literary debut, 2030, legendary director and actor Albert Brooks creates a satiric, futuristic narrative in true Orwellian fashion. Instead of making gigantic hypothetical leaps to a completely robotic world where cars sail through the skies, Brooks leads his narrative down a more plausible path. Given America’s present issues, 2030 allows readers a glimpse into a possible future for America. It’s not exactly light reading, but Brooks’ thoughtful, provocative novel will give you plenty to talk about over cocktails this summer.

It is a time of virtual vacations and robotic surgeries, “intelligent” electric cars and universal healthcare—which has resulted in endless waiting lines and sky-high premiums. In light of new scientific discoveries, cancer can be cured, bones can be regenerated and humans are living longer lives. Welcome to America in 2030, where the first Jewish president […]
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“Deer can jump fences, but antelope can’t . . . it’s a failing that almost costs them their lives,” Willy Blunt once told Judith Whitman. For Judith, it’s little tidbits like this—and other cherished memories from her past—that don’t bear their full weight until life comes full circle nearly 30 years after she left her childhood home. What—and who—Judith chose to leave behind in Rufus Sage, Nebraska, leaves her wondering if she’s missed her chance at real happiness.

Judith begins withdrawing from her meticulous California life to revisit her past in Rufus Sage. While reinventing parts of her past years, Judith travels back to a period where love and living were simpler. These times were filled discussing literature with her caring father and spending lazy afternoons at the lake with her first love, Willy. The lifelong regret Judith feels from leaving Willy when she went to college inspires her to pack up and re-experience life with him. With one phone call, she abruptly leaves her husband, her teenage daughter and her life on the West Coast to return to Rufus Sage and spend time with Willy. Little does Judith realize that bridging the gap between the past and present is always more complicated than it seems.

To Be Sung Underwater beautifully sings the story of one woman’s wrestling with the present realities of a life she created after shedding her hometown skin and abandoning the lover who knew her best. Author Tom McNeal (Goodnight, Nebraska) intricately develops the emotional ties between his characters, capturing the essence of the human heart while rejoicing in the restorative power of reconnection. The novel shows that we may not be able to bring our past with us into the present, but by looking back, we might see just where we are truly meant to be.

“Deer can jump fences, but antelope can’t . . . it’s a failing that almost costs them their lives,” Willy Blunt once told Judith Whitman. For Judith, it’s little tidbits like this—and other cherished memories from her past—that don’t bear their full weight until life comes full circle nearly 30 years after she left her […]
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First loves are not easily forgotten—nor do they typically fail to make a lasting impact on the course of one’s life. Clara Lugo’s experience with first love burned passionately while it lasted, but abruptly ended as life circumstances took Clara far away from Tito, her family and her Manhattan Dominican Republican enclave.

Fifteen years after that fateful summer, Clara effectively shed her cultural roots for the American Dream with a white archivist she met in college. However, the life she thought she left behind finds its way into her New Jersey suburb, forcing her to look into her hurtful past for answers to the future. For Clara, what remained of the romance between her and Tito is left back at home, except for the one secret she has kept that will forever link her to her past.

It’s not until Tito comes back into her life that Clara arrives at the crossroads of her past and future. Tito’s love for Clara forces her to face the reality of her abandoned ethnicity, the trappings of a an unfulfilled life and what it may have looked like had she chosen differently.

Jon Michaud perfects a tale as old as time in When Tito Loved Clara—when young love fails to conquer the tumultuous environment it battles. In his narrative he intertwines the struggles of living an immigrant life and the heartbreak of losing a first love when another life path beckons.

Michaud calls into question the perceived happiness associated with achieving the American Dream, bringing to life the realities people face in the midst of deciding moments that ultimately determine the rest of one’s life.

By alternating the narrating perspective in each chapter, Michaud cleverly looks at Clara’s past, present and future through her eyes and through those involved in the decisions she had made over the years. The narrative comes to life by weaving in and out of the minds and hearts of lovers, family and friends.

When Tito Loved Clara invites readers to take an introspective look at their own lives, as they will find parts of themselves in the events surrounding Tito and Clara’s young love, separation and later reunion as life takes its inevitable course.

 
First loves are not easily forgotten—nor do they typically fail to make a lasting impact on the course of one’s life. Clara Lugo’s experience with first love burned passionately while it lasted, but abruptly ended as life circumstances took Clara far away from Tito, her family and her Manhattan Dominican Republican enclave. Fifteen years after […]

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