Lorna Landvik coming to the library this Saturday!

llandvikCome hear Minnesota resident, author and comedian Lorna Landvik this Saturday, February 28, at 10am in the library’s Foot Room. Landvik’s latest book, Best to Laugh, was described by Booklist as “”[f]illed with historical lore about Hollywood’s glory days, inside observations about the chauvinism that pervades the comedy boys’ club, and a bevy of secondary characters straight out of central casting, Landvik’s homage to funny ladies everywhere is a joyful, breezy trip down memory lane.” You will learn about writing from a talented and highly successful author – but be sure to bring tissues to wipe away your tears (of laughter!) because she is hilarious!


The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams

secret lifeNew York City, 1964.
When budding journalist Vivian Schuyler rushes to the post office at noon on a Saturday to pick up a mysterious parcel, she doesn’t expect to fall in love.  Nor does she expect to discover the existence of a fifty-year-old long-buried family scandal, in the form of a battered suitcase belonging to a great-aunt whose existence has been kept secret until now.  But there you have it.

Berlin, 1914.
Scientist Violet Grant, married to the decades-older, brilliant and eminent nuclear physicist Dr. Walter Grant, is not expecting to fall in love either.  Her marriage to Walter is more of a partnership of equal minds (or so she has convinced herself), and love is not a factor in the equation of her life.  Until Lionel Richardson prowls into her laboratory and her life in the spring before the assassination of the Hapsburg heir.  Now a soldier,  Lionel was an old student of Walter’s and is in Berlin recovering from a war injury.  Taking an opportunity to indulge his old hobbies, he begins to work closely with Violet in her quest to understand the inner workings of the atom.

When Vivian’s mother informs her that the suitcase belonged to her great-aunt Violet, who first committed the unspeakable crime of becoming a scientist, then murdered her husband and disappeared with her lover in the days before the breakout of World War I, Vivian knows she has a delicious story on her hands that could make her career.  But untangling the threads of her own family history – and breaking into the suitcase to discover its contents – prove more difficult than she could have imagined.  Especially when the Schuylers would prefer the past, and Violet, stay buried.

Sublimely scandalous, with a sweeping scale and epic love affairs, and generously peopled with some of the most famous scientists of the time – who wouldn’t want to spend an evening making music with Dr. Einstein? – the author of A Hundred Summers (fans will cheer at Lily and Nick’s cameo appearance) and Overseas has written another fabulous novel soaked in champagne and rich with the glamour of 1914 prewar Berlin and the glossy high-society world of 1960s New York.  But the best part of this glittering confection?  Violet and Vivian, who, fifty years apart, fight for the right not just to be seen, but to be seen as equal – Violet, in her role as one of the first female scientists of her time, and Vivian as a journalist.  Delicious!

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

this shatteredWhen Captain Jubilee Chase takes the night off to chill at Molly’s pub, the last thing she expects is to be kidnapped at gunpoint by one of the swamp rebels.  Stationed on Avon to keep the peace between TerraDyn’s scientists, the civilian workers in town, and the fighters hiding deep in the swamps that cover the planet’s surface, Lee has made it planetside longer than any other soldier.  Infamously tough, strong, and fierce, and the only off-worlder to have never succumbed to Avon’s terrifying (and deadly) Fury, Captain Chase is untouchable – until Flynn swaggers into her bar.

Flynn Cormac is the younger brother of the most celebrated freedom fighter the Fianna has produced – and that TerraDyn has ever executed.  But Flynn is a different sort of rebel than his sister was.  He’s a rebel who wants peace.  Peace with TerraDyn, the powerful terraforming corporation who has failed to transform Avon’s swamps and endless clouds into a haven, and peace with the military who enforces their rule.  But he also wants the truth about why Avon is failing to transform – and he knows Captain Chase has answers.  And if she doesn’t, Flynn knows TerraDyn’s most prized soldier is a prime bargaining chip in his gamble for independence.

Lee expects to be taken back to the Fianna’s compound and tortured for information.  Instead, her captor takes her east, into no-man’s-land.  East, into the swamps where rumors of will o’the wisps leading the unsuspecting to their deaths in the dark, unmappable waters rule.  East, to an island where Flynn swears the military has installed a top secret base, a base he wants access to.  Except, when they get to the island, there’s nothing there.  Just bare rock.  And one small, outdated identity chip with LaRoux Industries’ iconic lambda inscribed on its surface.

Join Flynn and Lee as they uncover a deeper, more twisted conspiracy than either could ever have dreamed up – and, oh yeah, some intense romance too.  Caught in an unending war, these two battle-scarred veterans from two different worlds (literally!) must learn to work together to find answers in this action-packed, adrenaline-fueled planetside adventure delivers everything I want my teens-in-space sci fi to be.  This is starstruck awesome sandwiched between two covers – don’t miss it!

And you don’t have to have read the companion novel, These Broken Stars, first, but make sure you catch up with all the nefarious doings of LaRoux Industries when you’re done with this installment in the Starbound space opera – you won’t regret a single second you spend in the gravitational pull of this series.

Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

stitching snowEight years ago, nine-year-old Princess Snow vanished from the capitol city on Windsong, kidnapped by traitorous Exiles able to body-hop into another’s consciousness.  Her father, King Matthias, is devastated, and will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter and only heir back, including start a war.

Essie lives on the planet Thanda, outermost from the sun in her solar system and far from the war between Windsong and Candara.  A frozen wasteland, the only thing Thanda has going for it is its merinium mines.  Handy with tech, brilliant with code, and a good hand with drones, Essie is one of few girls tough enough to live in Mining Settlement Forty-Two.  The only one, actually.

When a shuttle crash lands near Forty-Two, Essie is the one with the skills to help its way-too-good-looking treasure-hunting pilot, Dane, with his repairs and get him out of the settlement before the immigration authorities show up asking all kinds of questions, the kinds of questions Essie isn’t too interested in answering.  But Dane isn’t hunting any ordinary kind of treasure… and by the time Essie realizes he’s after more than just her tech patches and drone protocols, it’s too late.

If you love The Lunar Chronicles but have cleaned through all of them (twice), read the newly released prequel, and already preordered Winter, this is the book to read while you’re waiting!  Stitching Snow reads like a fabulous mashup of Cinder, Star Wars, Firefly and Avalon, but has a heart and a world all its own.  Dane will keep you on your is-he-a-good-guy-or-bad-guy-or…? toes, you’ll want Essie for your bestie and your tech support crew, and her seven upgraded mining drones, especially the aptly name Dimwit, will steal your heart faster than R2D2 can face-plant on Tatooine.  If you love a fairy tale with a sci fi techie twist, make sure you grab Snow from the shelf!