The Nanny Diaries
By Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
368 pages
List Price: $7.99
My Price: $3.50

First Paragraph:
Every season of my nanny career kicked off with a round of interviews so surreally similar that I'd ofthen wonder if the mothers were slipped a secret manual at the Parents League to guide them through. This initial encounter became as repetitive as religious ritual, tempting me, in the moment before the front door swung open, either to kneel and genuflect or say, "Hit it!"

The Back Cover:
Nanny is a struggling grad student with no visible piercings. Mrs. X, of Park Avenue, doesn't work, clean, cook, or raise her own child. She makes appointments and lists. Nanny needs a job. Mrs. X needs someone accomodating. Nanny and Mrs. X need each other. In return, Nanny is subjected to erratic shifts irregular paychecks, and the sullen moods of her four-year-old charge. Sentenced to every playdate known to Central Park, and every gourmet-snack run she can handle, Nanny needs a diversion that an afternoon martini can't fulfill. Then she discovers a secret about Mr. X. Navigating a marriage on the rocks and the increasingly paranoid, impossibly demanding attitude of her employer, Nanny is redefining servitude. Because now, Nanny has something worth more than Mrs. X's ill-fitting Prada castoffs as a thankless bonus. Nanny's acquiring the power of revenge...

The Godmother
By Carrie Adams
464 pages
List Price: $14.95
My Price: $7.50

First Paragraph:
I knew my luck had changed when I was upgraded to business class on my return journey. My curious gold-encrusted traveling companion made the long flight pass too quickly. He turned towards the transit lounge with the unforgettable words, "If you're ever passing through Vladivostok..." I waved him off, set my wheelie bag on the ground and, after five wound-licking, soul-searching weeks away, headed for home.

The Back Cover:
Nothing scares Tessa King more than the thought she will never have children. It doesn't matter how good her life is, and it is, it never feels good enough. She has four godchildren and dozens of friends, yet love eludes her. She knows how good a mother she could be, if only she had the chance. And then one terrible day she does, and Tessa learns firshand that life on the other side of that white picket fence is more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

Heartwarming, funny, and genuine, The Godmother speaks to anyone who has wondered about the next step and reminds us that happily-ever-after is just the beginning of the story.

The Mourning Dove: A Story of Love
By Larry Barkdull
84 Pages
List Price: $9.95
My Price: $5.00


First Paragraph:
I was named Hannibal for the small town on the Mississippi that was central to my grandfather's favorite book, Tom Sawyer.

The Inside Flap:
The year is 1959, in Boise, Idaho. Nine-year-old Hannibal has lost his parents and moves in with his recently widowed grandfather, Pop. Hannibal grows up under the loving guidance of Pop, who subtly imparts life's important lessons: the responsibility that comes with love, the nature of charity, respect for all living things, and the danger in telling a lie.

Both funny and poignant, The Mourning Dove is filled with powerful virtues and life-altering choices that are lived, not preached, by its characters. Pop is a humble man whose loving example extends far beyond his small circle. While he has attained no social recognition or position, the ripple effect of his example reaches generations into the future. With simple storytelling and honest sentiment, The Mourning Dove answers the question, "What is the worth of one person?"

The Freedom Writers Diary
By The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell
277 Pages
List Price: $13.95
My Price: $4.00

First Paragraph:
Entry 1 - Ms. Gruwell

Tomorrow morning, my journey as an English teacher officially begins. Since first impressions are so important, I wonder what my students will think about me.Will they think I'm out of touch or too preppy? Or worse yet, that I'm too young to be taken seriously? Maybe I'll have them write a journal entry describing what their expectations are of me and the class.

Back Paragraph:
As an idealistic first-year English teacher at Wilson High School in Long Beach, California, Erin Gruwell confronted a room of "unteachable, at-risk" students. One day she intercepted a note with an ugly racial caricature and angrily declared that this was preciesely the sort of thing that led to the Holocaust--only to be met by uncomprehending looks. So she and her students, using the treasured books Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo as their guides, undertook a life-changing, eye-opening, spirit-raising odyssey against intolerance and misunderstanding. They learned to see the parallels in these books to their own lives, recording their thoughts and feelings in diaries and dubbing themselves "The Freedom Writers" in homage to the civil rights activists "The Freedom Riders."

With funds raised by a "Read-a-thon for Tolerance," they arranged for Miep Gies, the courageous Dutch woman who sheltered the Frank family, to visit them in California, where she declared that Erin Gruwell's students were "the real heroes." Their efforts have paid off spectacularly, boht in terms of recognition--appearnces on Primetime Live, The View, and All Things Considered, coverage in People magazine and major newspapers, a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley--and educationally. Through the application of the innovative Freedom Writers Method, Erin's students graduated from high school in 1998.

With powerful entries from the students' own diaries and a narrative text by Erin Gruwell, The Freedom Writers Diary is an uplifting, unforgettable example of how hard work, courage, and the spirit of determination changed the lives of a teacher and her students.

Paging Aphrodite
By Kim Green
356 Pages
List Price: $12.00
My Price: $3.00

First Paragraph:
My real name is Rosie, but my life is not. Even though I'm thirty-two and should know better, I can't help but blame my parents for the mess I'm in. If they hadn't named me Rosie Meadow Glass, I might not have spent the past three decades quietly rectifying every little error that wafted under my magnifying glass in a vain attempt to right the original wrong, and missed the Big Mistake that lay, lazy and engorged, right under my nose. Of course, it could have been worse, My sisters are called Cardomom and Tarragon. Carda and Tarra. If Leo and Sue hadn't managed to conceive me during a pink-hued dawn while camping in Yosemite's Valley Meadow, they might haved birthed an entire spice rack before someone thought to give Dada a vasectomy. As it is, I was never a Rosie. Not from day one. Like most kids, I spent a great deal of time plotting my rebirth to parents of my own choosing. Parents who let you eat refined sugar and watch TV and name you something normal and anonymous like Jane or Sarah or Chris. And so, one day when I was eight, I had the good fortune to catch a Hardy Boys pilot at a friend's, took one look at Parker Stevenson's handsome blue eyes and fluffy hair, and became Parker. The fact that he was a boy, and I a girl, didn't concern me in the slightest. He seemed very clean and wore a tie. He was going somewhere in life. I approved.

Back Cover:
Four women. An exotic Greek island. A novel about love, life, friendship... and finding Dionysus, wherever he may be....

- Dumped by her husband of eleven days, San Francisco interior designer Parker Glass heads for Corfu on a honeymoon for one--with a summer's supply of Valium and attitude to spare....

- Aspiring novelist Kelah Morris has a bad case of writer's block and a seriously dysfunctional family, not to mention a going-nowhere job--it's no wonder this twenty-something is saying good-bye to London and looking for a miracle on Mt. Olympus....

- Anya Soberanes was born to be a bride--all she needs is a groom who will have her. Now the good Catholic career girls is finally facing her hopes and fears--and revealing the childhood secret that threatens to destroy her life....

- With two grown sons, a long-dead singing career, and acheating husband, Claire Dillon feels like a middle-aged cliche. When she takes off for Corfu, everyone says she's gone mad--and she's out to prove them right!

White Sandy beaches...dark, sexy men...old loves...true loves...From California, Australia, and England, they're converging on this tiny island, rewriting their dreams, reinventing themselves, forging a sisterhood in an extraordinary place where each is about to discover that sometimes life's detours take you exactly where you need to go....

The Shunning
Book One of The Heritage of Lancaster County Series
By Beverly Lewis
282 Pages
My Price: $2.75

Note: There's a small tear on the front cover. It's visible in the photo to the right of the author's name.

First Paragrah:
If the truth be known, I was more conniving than all three of my brothers put together. Hardheaded, too.

Back Cover:
In the quiet Amish community of Hickory Hollow, Pennsylvania, time has stood still while cherished traditions and heartfelt beliefs have flourished. But a secret lies buried that could shatter the tranquility its inhabitants have grown to love.

When Katie Lapp stumbles upon a satin infant gown in the dusty leather trunk of her parents' attic, she knows it holds a story she must discover. Why else would her Amish mother, a plain and simple woman who embraces the Old Order laws, hide the beautiful baby dress in the attic?

On the eve of Katie's wedding to widower Bishop Jowhn, startling news staggers out of her anguished parents, and nothing prepares Katie for the devastation their confession brings. Feeling betrayed, Katie watches as the only life she has ever known begins to unravel, leaving in its wake a furrow of pain...and a future of hope.

The Reckoning
Book Three of The Heritage of Lancaster County Series
281 Pages
My Price: $3.00

First Paragraph:
Years ago, as a young Amish girl, I decided that I would age very gradually. Cheerfully, too. I'd become the kind of old grandmother who finds contentment in sowing simple, straight rows in her vegetable garden, whispering proverbs to her rutabagas.

Back Cover:
Katherine Mayfield, the new Mistress of Mayfield Manor, always dreamed of a fancy "English" life. But as the seasons pass, she finds herself grieving the loss of her Amish family and her dearest friend, Mary Stoltxfus. Shunned from the Plain life she once knew, Katherine finds solace in volunteer work with hospice patients--a labor of love she hopes will bring honor to the memory of her birth mother.

Unkown to Katherine, her long-lost love, Daniel Fisher, is desperate to locate his "Sweetheart girl," only to be frustrated at nearly every turn. Meanwhile, she delightes in the modern world--once forbidden--cherishing the attention of Justin Wirth, her handsome suitor.

Her childhood entwined with Daniel's, yet her present life far removed from Lancaster County, Katherine longs for the peace that reigned in her mother's heart. And once again, she is compelled to face the heritage of her past.