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It points out lower median earnings, less preventive health care and fewer female-owned businesses plus high rates of women living in poverty and a high female homicide rate WalletHub put us at No. And this news comes on a Thursday - they just ruined Ladies' Night. Calling out factors like high crime rates and poor healthcare, Louisiana ranked as the fifth worst state for retirement not to mention it's hot, the study says. With our economy, who has time to plan for retirement anyway?

Charles Boustany is accusing the Obama administration of forcing offshore refueling sites to fuel federal helicopters against their will and is calling for investigation. Look on the bright side: maybe they will have to buy more gas and this will drive up gas prices. Probably not though. From a big money business man who was a bad dad and husband to joining the police force in Opelousas. For his fans, the humbling interview is a must listen. Meanwhile , family members of the Gremlins gang are at it again. This time, they claim there is no such thing as the gang.

One civil rights activist - John Barnett - claims they are being denied due process. But, who are you going to believe; the cops or Barnett, who thinks we have counties here in Louisiana? Louisiana Voice features a guest column by an associate professor at SLU who take issue with Jeff Sadow's claim that Louisiana ranks above the national per capita for spending. Michael Kurt Corbello says that is not just fuzzy math, it is not math at all. He claims Sadow, columnist for the Advocate and a professor himself, is just making numbers up.

Unethical journalists in Louisiana? Get out of here! Say, did I ever tell you about the time John Bel Edwards stole candy from my baby? Dear David, please go away. Every time you try to insert yourself into national politics, we get a reminder of our stupidity. I don't care who you are endorsing.

Hey, Lafayette ain't got no sign on Interstate 10! What's up with that? Now is the time to buy that thing you've been Googling - you know the one that ads for keep showing up in your email and on every site you visit because you haven't changed your cookie setting. The state is looking at imposing sales taxes on internet purchases. The only bright side is that it might help local businesses compete.

Tell that to me after I buy this go-kart online. Although this Advocate piece says early voter turnout is high, it really isn't. Some , voters have already cast their votes in Louisiana. That's half as much as early voter numbers in the governor's election - which was open to include any party affiliation.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler predicts that 20 to 25 percent voter turnout. While this is good for Louisiana, it is a joke. What a state we live in where we are proud of 20 to 25 percent! That's an F on any grade scale! JR Ball goes after the budget again, this time railing against the money we don't collect because of exemptions. Who is to blame? Yup, its always the lobbyists. That and the legislators they bend to their will like sunflowers to the sun. What I like to call them has a lot less letters.

However he is not looking for it from the state treasurer. JBE went after John Kennedy, who has been going after JBE, accusing him of wasting state money on his office when he could save by bringing his staff into state owned buildings. Could this piece tie Trump to Long, thereby turning conservative voters away from the sideshow trap buffoon vote diversion unelectable candidate that he is? There's a lots of stuff here, including an anecdote about Long and Franklin Roosevelt and a drive-by comparison between Long and Trump, but it really falls short of what I wanted. Look, Trump has no real shot in the November election.

If you really want a conservative to win, pick someone who actually has a chance - anyone but Trump. LSU President F. King Alexander says that the budget scare over Tiger football is not as empty a threat as some are making it out to be. Somehow, this will all be Les Miles' fault. LSU students spoofed the bear attack scene in The Revenant to raise awareness about arts funding.

Wait, this was shot in one take? The last contractor to publicly sign on to remove New Orleans' Confederate monuments had his Lamborghini torched. Now, the city has removed the names of potential contractors to do the job from a web site. Yeah, that's a pretty good idea. In other news: man, that city The Senate - not John Bel Edwards - changed the 1 cent sales tax hike from an month fix to one with a five-year lifespan. Just making sure you know who you are going to pelt with rotten fruit. Donald Trump blames a very bad ear piece for dodging a question about David Duke's support for his campaign.

Bad ear piece? What about that terrible hair piece? Who do you blame for that? Jay, there's a lot better ways to spend 7 figures on Charity Hospital. Like, I don't know, services? John Kennedy is just a pain. This piece looks at how the treasurer has often butted heads with governors. Could this have something to do with all the failed runs he has made for Senate? In his defense, at least he is a bi-partisan pain.

It accuses him of a lack of ethics. In response, Aswell puts together 15 points to make about the scandals plaguing LSTA and how it is not his doing, including the hiring of Senate President John Alario's wife and son. Tom, that's great but just didn't get pulled over. The Cajun John Wayne is no more. Clay Higgins has resigned from his job with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Department. But, chances are you will see him down the road.

Let's face it - people love Higgins. Oh, excuse me, alleged criminals. Someone is going to cash in on that. Has Donald Trump selected a running mate yet? I heard Paul Simon and Sting might show up too. Don't think Bobby Jindal failed us? He put tax payer money into it and guess what? It was a bust. Further damning, during the process of funding it, funds for the developmentally disabled were cut so we could make the track a reality.

Even worse, it drops this bombshell: "Every year, the state gives away millions of dollars of money just like this to events, projects with little analysis. Now, we have a tax to fix it. Want to fix it both? Vote them out. Here's a breakdown to the taxes that were passed through the House last week. There's also link to who voted for and against them - in case you are sharpening your pitchfork.

Also, here's a piece that says it wont be enough. Keep grinding, guys. If the US ends our embargo with Cuba, it would be a boost to Louisiana's economy. According to this piece, the port of New Orleans used to be the number one port for doing business with the land of grilled and pressed sandwiches. Opening up our trade could impact our economy via more agricultural and petrochemical exports and increased tourism.

Don't tell Obama. He might just shut this down as it would only benefit us. In the wake of Moody's Investors Service's credit downgrade to the state of Louisiana - not just the eight universities but the state, which impacts us when we borrow money - Treasurer John Kennedy has some interesting comments. Kennedy said he was assured the agency would give the state and new governor a chance and not move our rating for a few years. Cause that's what you have done in John Bel Edwards' two months in office, right?

You have given him and our fix to the budget a chance? Get your talking points straight. For a look at the implications of the downgrade, check out this Advocate piece. If you know your history, that's a rather profound statement. Somewhere, Richard Leche must be smiling. Saints Tight End Ben Watson was interviewed by The Source - if you don't know what The Source is, congrats: you are white - about his book and some of the things he has said on social media about race relations. He drops science like this, in regards to things like Ferguson, Missouri " Not just for this team or the city but the country.

Read this. Hey, Tom Benson's all right! He can run the Saints and the Pelicans! Kinda makes your grandpa who can't work the remote look bad, eh? David Vitter is still in office, y'all. And he wants people who send money out of the country to prove they are citizens or pay a fee, which would be used to finance border security.

People are talking about the possibility of marijuana being legalized in Louisiana. Whether or not that will happen is one thing, but this column says even if it dd make it into law soon, it wouldn't come in time to close this year's budget hole. I guess we should have know: people who smoke the ganja aren't known for being on time. Um, what happened to public education being off the table for cuts?

I don't know what makes me feel older: liking something Walt Handelsman did or knowing the s song he parodied in this cartoon. The national daily distraction involving the Apple vs FBI hits home as CBS looks at a Louisiana case where a pregnant woman was murdered and her locked smart phone might hold clues. This one is a toughie, or maybe not - the privacy of a dead woman vs catching her killer. If something ever happens to me, please feel free to hack my phone. You won't find much other than about pics of my kids, notes that might mean something only to me and the dimensions for my air conditioner filter.

Better yet, no, don't open it. This is one issue that seems to unite Liberals and Conservatives. Let us rejoice in this one moment of unity ans use it to distract ourselves from all that we should be thinking about. Arizona did the same and Anderson goes to the prisons to cook for inmates. She says she would do the same here I'm sure the prisoners would have liked that like, say, 20 years ago.

While the state's correction department says no thanks - prisoners were ticked when we took away their cigarettes, let's not make it worse by removing meat - they should reconsider.

Think about how much of a crime deterrent this would be: if you go to prison you have to be a vegan! John Bel Edwards accused John Kennedy of using our budget issues as a way to further his Senate campaign, or, as the Advocate puts it, Edwards is "ratcheting up" their feud. Uhm, you just noticed this JBE? You might as well enter the race because John Kennedy is running against you even though you aren't even running.

Looks like we know who is going to main event Wrestlemania. Good News: it was only eight. This will fix the budget. Legalize the herb, tax it and they will smoke it. We are talking serious green, son. N alienz cos they invnted earth bruh Remember how Bobby Jindal gave all those tax breaks in the name of attracting business to our state? And how he said it would all pay dividends in end? Yeah, that was wrong. So, like that kid who tries to hard to be your friend, we may be business friendly but apparently no one wants to be friends with us. On the other hand, this guest editorial says our tax incentives have brought us business.

The flap up about Capt. Sheriff, you don't cuddle with Higgins - you strap yourself in and feel the Gs! Meanwhile, JR Ball says let's be like Texas - property taxes should be raised instead of sales taxes. Uhm, you talking about my lot and a half, man? Sheriff Newell Normand may have just started his bid for governor. Normand takes on the Republicans who blame John Bel Edwards - one month and half into office - for our mess and whine about Obama. He notes the problems we will now face because leaders have pledged to not raise taxes and says to hell with Grover Norquist.

Lamar White posts his entire speech. It is a great read. While everyone was running for cover from Tuesday's storm, Louisiana's Ways and Means Committee sent 31 bills to the House for a vote. Today, that vote will happen. This could be the crucial moment in our budget crisis. Will taxophobic Republicans balk on passing new taxes or will they bite the bullet to ensure there is a state in which to seek reelection?

This piece gives a rundown on the issues that were forwarded - pointing out which ones the committee saw as favorable and which ones they saw as unfavorable. If it doesn't work, there will be more sessions and bills and deeper cuts and more taxes? Do it right the first time and there never has to be a second. This blog looks at who was the bigger bust : Brandon Browner or Jairus Byrd. Surprisingly, it picks Byrd. Yeah, he had injury issues that stopped us from getting the most out of him but who hurt us more on the field?

Meanwhile, news is breaking that the Saints will part ways with Marques Colston. A writer for The Lens notes that the recent scare concerning TOPS makes middle class folks feel what it is like to be from a low income family in New Orleans. And, the given the earning power of college graduates, especially when it comes to low income students it is akin to de-funding primary schools. In Other words, It's really bad.

Louisiana Voice continues to fight the good fight against the leadership at the Louisiana State Police. Tom Aswell says sheriffs' relatives are hired as investigators, where they are paid more than troopers with more experience and given promotions and raises faster than non-connected troopers. Mike Edmonson, LSP's commander. Cronyism in Louisiana? Couldn't be. Early voter turnout reports are showing that people aren't getting it over with before the big day. And, we have hired extra workers for this.

Here's a thought - make all voting early voting. It would probably save us a few bucks and it's not like we actually vote anyway. You know what's a great idea during the times of a budget crisis? Paying a guy to not work while replacing him and paying his replacement. That's what we will do as Burl Cain steps away from Angola. True, it is nothing illegal but it is a practice that needs to be stopped. How this practice has continued for as long as it has is why he have problems with money in this state. The Hayride says to get what he wanted in terms of schools, John Bel Edwards should have gone with a Republican for speaker of the House.

It argues he should have backed Lafayette's own Nancy Landry. Stepping across party lines is great, but I have a feeling that no matter what JBE would have done, The Hayride would have pooh-poohed it. Don't worry: this story is totally SFW. Maybe we can have 32, more of this to solve the budget problems. That's a whole lotta drawers. After seeing the video about the Gremlins street gang, the accused criminals' mamas and grandmas went to KATC complaining about how Capt.

Clay Higgins said he would return fire on them if they raised a weapon against him. They also say they will write a letter to the Justice Department about it. Thanks, Granny, you just ruined our street cred! Now we are going to have to change our names to The Critters. Movie Mania. One lawmaker wants metal detectors mandatory at movie theaters why not make them mandatory everywhere while you are at it? A man in a coat caused a stampede at The Grand not the site of the shooting by pacing and muttering to himself during a showing of Deadpool maybe he was upset by the laziness of breaking the fourth wall.

Vigilance is great and all, but hysteria and paranoia are the first steps to a police state. Oh wait, the first step is actually having Donald Trump as a top contender for preidency. He's got a campaign office opening across from the other Grand, y'all. Probably the only thing making Bobby Jindal smile right now is that one freshman senator brought the Bible into the budget crisis and prayed for Jesus' help in the mess. That smile probably turned upside down when Rep. Beryl Amedee chastised the lawmakers for the bad job they did putting us in this mess.

That kind of talk makes baby Bobby cry in his manger. John Bel Edwards: "Hurry up, Rumpelstiltskin, and spin that hay into gold! It takes time to fix the problems we made for ourselves! Bloomberg Business looks at John Bel Edwards' threat of no LSU football in the fall with a good bit of depth into the budget crisis, examining bonds, credit ratings, oil prices and the like. We all know we are in a mess, but this is the most economically intensive look at what caused it.

That GoFundMe effort to pay off the budget gained a little credibility as one legislator proposed a bill that would allow such donations. However, unlike the state - which apparently will now take crowd funding money - West says he won't touch the money. So, Louisiana 0, West: 1. Just shoot me.

What did it do again? Oh, yeah, it was a bullet point on Bobby Jindal's presidential resume. Hmmmm, so it was worth less than the nonexistent paper on which it wasn't printed? Yeah, die a quick death please. Gambit and James Carville weigh in on the budget crisis. How do they feel about the legislators who put us where we are? Here's a hint: they say we should wrap the capitol in crime scene tape. Jeff Sadow calls out John Bel Edwards as taking political hostages in the budget crisis.

Meanwhile, a Pennsylvania paper says their governor should come out blazing and being blunt about cuts and hikes to fix their budget woes. In the face of budget cuts, one Louisiana couple looks to divorce so they could get better coverage for their child with a severe disability. How's that family values thing working out for you, Bobby Jindal?

Long invented our civil service system. Just no. Civil service was created and expanded by later governors in response to the jobs Long gave to his supporters and cronies. Next, please tell us about the time Edwin Edwards only served one term as governor. After Higgins' latest Crime Stoppers video - the one where he dons full battle gear and a gun that would make Charlton Heston blush - the executive director is taking issue with Higgins' statement that he will hunt down the Gremlins - that street gang out of Abbeville that now appears to be moving into St.

Landry but only because someone fed them after midnight. You don't catch Dog: The Bounty Hunter in your ivory tower, lady? He's not hunting them for sport, he's hunting them because St. Landry is the wilderness. This is Clay Higgins - he says ma'am and sir and he keeps planets in orbit, son. If the Gremlins - like the one Higgins says he could dumbbell press that's with one hand, folks - are smart, they won't make Higgins hunt them However, one former Gremlin - Gizmo , who helped start the gang - says Higgins has it all wrong - they have gone straight.

The Times-Picayune also started a series on how guns make it into the hands of criminals in New Orleans. This installment looks at three stolen guns that became weapons in three separate crimes. It's a good read that begs the goes after the often ignored variable in the gun control argument: stolen guns.

Though they only account for 10 to 15 percent of guns used in crimes, the role they play can't be ignored. The TImes-Picayune started a five part series by looking at potential changes to the state's income tax structuring. It's a thorough piece that breaks down the ups and downs of changing the system, written in common sense language that doesn't require a translation from someone fluent in ese. Still, it is hard to say at this point whether or not your refund check will shrink.

The Hayride has "Bad Blood" with Taylor Swift's actions at the Grammys, saying something or another about how she cheered for other people when they won an award. It argues that her behavior is why sexism "Never Goes Out of Style. Why does he have to be so "Mean? The Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw residents have been living on what used to be a 22, acre island for generations.

Now, at only acres because of coastal erosion, it can not accommodate them. They will resettle with federal help. Wow, so the federal government is aware that Louisiana is fading away? Are you sure? Bayou Buzz pulled no punches when it asserted that Bobby Jindal raped Louisiana and John Bel Edwards - oddly identified here as Jon - is getting thanked for it via recall petitions.

I'll take another metaphor: Jindal wrecked your car. Totaled it. Distracted driving and such. Edwards is the repair man. You don't like his bill but you are OK with the guy who crashed it. Sure, it isn't pleasant but this is what happens when you run for president while driving in rush hour traffic. Don't you wish we had insurance? This is great. Opponents including a lawmaker who owns convenience stores of the cigarette tax - which would raise the taxes on cigarettes by 22 cents a pack - says it is unfair to smokers and might make them cross state lines to buy smokes in Mississippi, where the taxes are lower.

You would go into Mississippi for 22 cents? That's a sign you have more problems that smoking. On second thought, I guess gas is pretty cheap these days …. The piece follows the plan from its initial students to what it is today: the tuition lifeblood of perhaps too many college students.

Why too many? Looking at it for a few local schools, the numbers were in the percent range. Perhaps this is why the program requires so much dough: it might just be too easy to get.

Do 60 percent of the kids you know in high school deserve a scholarship? Better yet, do students with a C average deserve a free ride? Sorry, no. Louisiana Voice says lawmakers who are upset over the squawking done by higher education officials might want to keep quiet. Conrad Appel - profited from what amounts to insider trading. Great job, guys. You sure are making us proud. Tell us again how we should be quiet about being critical about the mess in which you have put us!

It's bleak times. In effort to do what media is supposed to do - oh look something about pandas - every day you will see a story here that is just that: a distraction. Some days, it will have ties to this great state, some days it will be - oh, look kitties - bull crap. Today, it's this: here are two lists that Drew Brees will not see himself on - the most overrated Saint list and players cut by the Saints. The Saints are expected to reach a contract extension with Brees. Who was it for the Saints? Not telling you, but here's a hint: he used to hold a Heisman Trophy and a Kardashian. Thanks, Hayride, for this handy three-step process to recalling John Bel Edwards.

Only one problem: you are a few years too late on your effort. How bad are the looming cuts? So bad a high school student can tell you that the future of higher education is on shaky ground in Louisiana. Johnathan Jones, a wide receiver out of Evangel who comitted to Louisiana Tech, has now de-committed citing the recent budget cuts colleges are looking at making. Well, why else would he not want to go to Tech?

It's soooo much fun. All kidding aside, could this be a harbinger for problems in schools across the state? Will the top-rated recruiting class at LSU suffer because of this? That's what's important in this state, right. LSU football? Maybe somebody should fix this mess.

Not to brag, but I actually had this idea the other day. Someone has started a Go Fund Me page for Louisiana's budget crisis. So, we are struggling but these freeloaders got paid? At current, the same amoutn that has been raised for us has been raised to save someone's relationship. Let that sink in for a minute. Speaking of bad math, turn out the state misused, misspent, misappropriated or is missing millions of dollars. That's more misses than a polygamist sect. I'm sure someone is going to pay for this.

Here's a hint: it's you and me! John Kennedy is wrong in his assertion that our problem is wasteful spending, asserts Lamar White, Jr. Here, White caught Kennedy in some of his numbers. White points out that some of the issues Kennedy made hay over was actually uncollected fracking revenues. Nice catch! Now, can you do my taxes? A new poll is out and it is not good news for John Bel Edwards, yet it is not as bad as it could be. Out of those polled, John Kennedy on the other hand, took a 48 percent favorable rating, putting him at the top of the Senate race.

Apparently, Saudi Arabia and Russia have more sympathy for us than our president. According to reports, the two oil producers have agreed to freeze their output. This will help stabilize the oil industry. Unfortunately, it will not pick up prices at this time. For that to happen, the oil supply must drop. I guess this gives you another reason - other than low prices - to top off the tank. Keep on driving us back to the black, America!

Just make it stop already! Bobby Jindal's administration used some fuzzy accounting and payment plans to keep the budget can kicked down the road. Not to mix metaphors, but the chickens have come home to roost and they aren't laying eggs. That money pushes up the deficit again.

Sometimes, I feel like this show called Louisiana is in its last season and the writers are just piling on the cliffhangers and disasters to shake us up and get ratings. Here's a case of who are you going to believe - higher education officials or the legislators that put us in this mess? Two senators - Conrad Appel, R-Metarie, and Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe - lashed out at higher education officials for reacting to the budget cuts in a way that they say dominates the news cycle.

They shrugged it off, noting it was only day one of the special session. Officials from Nicholls have said maybe - just maybe - the schools will have to shut down for two weeks in light of the cuts. These two legislators have a point: we should just trust in them and have faith they will work this all out. Hmmm, isn't that how we got in this mess? Here's a clue you don't even have to buy: stop worrying about the news cycle and do your job! In slightly distracting news, Caroline Fayard is the first "major" Democrat to announce a run for David Vitter's Senate seat.

Yeah, not distracting enough. Bayou Buzz uses an analogy involving eating two steaks to dissect the commercial calling John Bel Edwards a liar. Uhm, who told you we could afford two steaks? This state is on a Manwich Meal diet. After the Louisiana Republican party created a commercial urging against John Bel Edwards raising taxes - citing campaign trail promises - Lamar White, Jr. It seems Chase and I are alone. It comes to a screeching halt. I turn and place my hands on my hips in a defensive pose.

Chase is leaning against one of the pillars next to us, his arms crossed over his chest. His eyes fill with mirth to accompany that sexy grin on his smug face. All I can think about is gobbling him up, starting at the delectable patch of skin slick with sweat right under his hip bone. Maria was right, I need to get laid. Makes his offer last night seem even more desirable. I blow out a harsh breath and pull on my ponytail holder. My auburn hair falls around my shoulders. Chase watches me like a hawk. His eyes tracking my clunky movements. I pull my hair back up, and sweep the length into a messy bun piled on top of my head.

His eyes roam over my form, but he says nothing. His gaze is fierce, and he takes in every inch of me, from the bottom of my Nikes, up my bare calves and tight workout shorts, over my naked midriff to my sports bra, and back to my eyes. I tremble under his scrutiny. I wonder if he finds me lacking. The Nike swoosh is suddenly the most interesting thing in the world.

Those aqua eyes are steely. When a man grips a woman, he means business. He searches my eyes once more and releases my chin. The hands at my waist clench into fists, and my gut churns. Last time a man did that to me, it was to check his handiwork. Breathe, Gigi. I promised myself I would start trusting men again. Start allowing them to touch me.

I force myself to relax and take a clarifying breath. That small grin is lethal. So much so, I want to see it on his face again and again, preferably while naked. He shakes out the tank top he is holding, adjusts it, and lifts his long arms over his head to pull it on. It feels like it happens in slow motion. I stare at his muscles as they ripple and stretch while he pulls the tank top over his wide expanse of chest. My body thrums, nipples growing erect and press tightly against the flexible fabric of my sports bra.

His gaze pierces mine. I take a slow breath and lick my lips. His large hand cradles my neck. I inhale and crane my head to the opposite side, offering the white column for his taking. The move is instinctual. His hand glides down my neck, over my shoulder, as his fingertips trail feather-light along my arm.

Quite the opposite. His pink tongue barely juts out to wet perfectly plump lips. Gooseflesh spreads along my arm. His hand stops at my wrist, and he caresses the pulse point there slowly in a figure eight. Over and over. The action makes me twitchy, needy, and on edge. Chase likes to touch, and often. A new sheen of sweat breaks along my skin, heat building white hot within my core.

Does he want to fuck me? Something deep in my conscious awakens to remind me of my goals. Here I am, hanging on every word, every tilt of his perfect face, losing myself in his eyes. But what do I really have against sex? No, fucking. Frankly, it scares the hell out of me. What if he needs to throw me against a wall and take me against my will?

Not a chance. Since the moment I met this man, my libido has been in overdrive. All I think about is what it would be like to be surrounded by this perfect male specimen. I know this is dangerous and he could easily break me, but, yet, I still want him beyond reason. Bat-shit crazy. Perfect even teeth sparkle and shine under the harsh fluorescent lights of the gym. Do not be late. He bites his lip.

Did that just happen? What is it about Chase Davis that continues to stupefy me? Is it as simple as being wildly attracted to him? A connection perhaps? I spend the next few minutes going over our two encounters again. My mind wanders as I enjoy the view from the windows overlooking the Chicago skyline. This hotel provides for extreme luxuries. Patrons are able to view the entire city while they burn calories on a treadmill or elliptical. What if I was his? The simple thought makes my belly go warm. I squeeze my thighs together to relieve some of the pressure building between them.

Definitely the type of man who can take care of himself. And me. My mother taught me long ago to never count on a man. You see that person? Never expect a man to be your everything. He will fail miserably. If you want something in life, you must go after it. Men have done nothing but harm and prevent me from reaching my goals and dreams. Not anymore. My cellphone alarms on the treadmill. Scurrying out of the gym, I leave my thoughts of Chase for the birds.

After a lightning fast shower, I dry off and pull out the clothing I set aside for the meeting. I look at myself in the floor length mirror in my room. It fits like a glove. I turn to view my backside. The slit up the center of the back hits midthigh. Respectable, yet feminine. My hair is up and away from my face in a sleek chignon, leaving a delicate swooping layer of hair running across my forehead like a strip of fiery red across a white canvas. I slip stocking feet into black suede, four inch Guess heels. They have this enticing cutout right at the arch which makes me feel innately sexy, even though the outfit puts off a smart vibe.

His large form sits sideways in one of the small chairs and his hand encircles a white foam cup. It is barely visible under his large paw. I love working with Taye. We make a great team and have been very successful. In that short time, we have found an easy partnership in our charitable work. He checks his watch and looks up with a big smile.

Taye smiles wide. When his wife is mentioned, he gets this cheesy grin across his face. He truly loves her. I want to bow down and worship the Starbucks Gods for making such a perfect combination of espresso, cream, and vanilla goodness. Well, almost. Not exactly the best manners, but Taye is used to it. Most big men make me uncomfortable; Taye has always made me feel the exact opposite. I feel safe around him. He shuffles through his briefcase and hands me a copy of something. Then lunch, Contributions, and the Volunteer Department will go over their recent cases.

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This morning I tripped and almost killed myself on the treadmill. He shoots me a worried look. Did you hurt yourself? A man caught me. He keeps popping to the surface of my mind. Taye continues to stare, assessing my mood. Not this time. You have the Midas touch when it comes to direct mail and tele-fundraising. Just be yourself? Did you not eat your Wheaties this morning, big guy? You ready? From what I remember, the Chairman despises people who are late.

We grab our things and shuffle towards the large bank of elevators. The board room is on the third floor with the other convention and meeting rooms. Then the board member had to apologize to the entire room for being late. The Chairman treats a colleague like an errant child? Forty million annually. We protect and help battered women. I shake my head before going back to my indignation.

You know, he pays for all the board members to stay here in the lap of luxury? Would ruin his image. The Chair sounds like a barbarian. We make our way to the open door at the end of the corridor. Several men and women in dark suits of varying shades of black and grey mill around the entrance. It makes the emerald green I chose pop in contrast to the funeral vibe. Taye introduces me to four men and two women in the span of fifteen seconds. I shake their hands and smile politely. He ushers me into a large room where more individuals, also in sharp suits, are already seated, preparing for the meeting.

We find place cards with our names and take a seat. I want to make a good impression. My future with the Safe Haven Foundation depends on it. I fill two small coffee cups with decaf. Each cup has a tiny gold trim along the rim. Everything in the hotel seems top notch. Even if the Chairman is paying the bill, it seems frivolous. Turning, coffee in hand, I take one step into a rock solid chest.

Oh no! Aquamarine orbs prettier than an open blue sky bore into mine. The beauty steals my breath. Excitement and fear scream through my veins in equal parts. Rigid hands hold me by the waist. His presence surrounds me and the room fades into nothing but him. Based on his obvious knowledge of Taye, and now me, he had to have known who I was when we met at the bar last night.

He never said a word. Frustration and anger war within me. Chase grasps my hand and brings it to those plump lips. Electricity zaps me the second his lips touch my knuckles. His expressive eyes darken, pupils dilating. I swear I feel the lightest sweep of his tongue in between my middle and ring finger with that kiss. I gasp, and his eyebrows rise. He watches me intently, sending me crazy mixed signals. His body dwarfs mine by a good half foot, even in heels. My focus zeroes in on the bit of flesh still pressed against my hand. Finally he lets go as Taye joins us.

I look at Chase, certain my bafflement shows in my widened eyes. I am so screwed! How the hell did I not know this? Recognition slaps me against the forehead. I sigh. So stupid! I should have been smart enough to put two and two together. Jefferson, good to see you again. Chase looks at me. His eyes discreetly skim me from head to heeled toe. A flicker of heat fills his blue gaze. I look forward to your presentation this afternoon, Miss Callahan.

Technically, nothing has…besides a few caresses and a near kiss. I cannot believe my luck. My mystery man, my tall dark and handsome, is the Chairman of the Board of my Foundation. I want to crawl under a rock and die. Instead, I pick up my bootstraps. This is not the time to crumble. This is but a bump in the road. A sexy-as-sin-man is just gum on the bottom of my shoe.

Taye grasps my elbow and leads me to our table, closer to the end of room. I fall into my seat rather clumsily. Chase starts the meeting and I hunker down, taking notes and trying desperately to clear my foggy mind of all things sexy—man-in-nothing-but-workout-sweats-and-washboard-abs-you-could cracka-tooth-on. The rest of the meeting is spent paying close attention and doing my best to avoid looking at Chase. I already feel better about my decision to blow him off. We break for fifteen minutes, and I rush out of the room. I need the space. The washroom has a quaint sitting area with large puffy couches.

A mirror spans an entire wall. A large square sink fills the space, almost like an ornate trough. Turning on the water, I chill my hands, wrists, and the crook of my elbow like my Mother used to when I was child. The cooling of my pressure points does wonders at calming rankled nerves.

I refrain from slamming my head against the mirror to knock the stupid out of me. Break all ties and run. Behind me, I hear two women enter the sitting area giggling. Makes you just want to wrap your legs around that cowboy and ride him into morning! He seems to like tall blondes. Peering around the wall that separates the two spaces, I see Claire Dalton, the board member from Texas. They adjust their hair and makeup in the vanity mirror. I plaster myself along the wall staying out of sight and listen.

No, no, no, no! I want to scream! My job at the Foundation is more than just a position or somewhere I pull a salary. The past few years have been rife with hard work while trying to piece my life back together after the Justin Period. Especially not a man. Nothing matters except securing my future. The two women leave the sitting area. My fifteen minutes of freedom are up. Sighing, I square my shoulders. I can do this. She and Chase are standing not ten feet from the bathroom door.

His back is to me and Claire is laughing, batting those long eyelashes of hers. I inch my way around the two of them, careful not to interrupt. A firm hand grasps my wrist and tugs me to a halt. I have an evil desire to stick my tongue out at her retreating form.

He wants me. Not the frame of mind I need to have right now. The man is constantly touching me. It needs to stop. I knot my fingers together and look down at my heels to calm my nerves. I fully expected him to come to the conclusion I had. Our pseudo date was a no-go. I inhale sharply and shake my head. His eyes graze over my body like a caress. The rest of the group has returned to the meeting room, leaving us alone. The pace of my heart picks up. He leans, and his lips lightly stroke the shell of my ear.

A tremble runs from my head to my toes. A warm wet sensation tickles the curved flesh of my ear. His tongue. Liquid fire spreads from my ear down my neck, through my chest, settling in my belly. The tender space between my legs feels heavy, aching to be touched. I clench my thighs, zings of pleasure shoot through my body. I could easily get lost in them. I steady myself against the solid wall of his chest with a shaking hand.

My fingers curl around his tie and I tug him toward my mouth. All rational thought is gone. I want him more than I want my next breath. I reach up on my toes to bring our mouths closer. He pulls away, the silky fabric slipping through my fingers. Reality crashes in and once again the spell is broken. I was going to kiss him! Right here. Right where anyone could see us. This is not who I am. He makes me feel needy, wanton, and sexually depraved. I can feel the prickles of embarrassment coating my skin scarlet. Thank God one of us has their wits about them.

Chase sets his hand against my lower back as he leads me towards the board room. His hand falls away as I enter the room to take my seat. Howe, for your update. Taye smiles confidently. Taye notices my mood and pats my shoulder. I nod and smile. When I look up, Chase is blatantly staring at me, his features pinched.

He seems to be assessing the communication between Taye and me. Watching Chase in action today has been quite a treat. The questions he asks each presenter are calculated, to the point, and innately brilliant. His expectations of his peers and the Foundation staff are high, ones he seems to have also given himself. A hotel server sets a silver tray in front of me. The muffin this morning was tasty but pales in comparison to this feast. Must have been prior to my Mom passing. She always did love the finer things in life.

I take a bite and the taste explodes like a firecracker on the fourth of July. The texture of the meat is utter perfection. I moan in contentment, closing my eyes to enjoy the experience. When I open them, Chase has his eyes on me, but they are no longer the stunning blue of the ocean, they are black as night. He shakes his head and tunnels his fingers through his hair haphazardly, giving it that sexy, tussled, just got out of bed look.

As much as I need to avoid starting anything with him, the sexual tension I feel in his presence is stifling. I bite my lip and look anywhere but at his heated gaze. Taye gives his update on major giving donors and quite a few of the board members seem impressed. Davis, we request that you sit down face-to-face with the donor. It would be at a time and place of your choosing, based on your schedule.

Chase looks at a hulk of a man standing near the door. Looks like an NFL football player. Slicked back black hair adds to his very Italian mafia type features. I release my breath in a whoosh. Taye got him. Slam dunk! I was proud. The Leadership Society would move forward. Great work. I look forward to seeing how this pans out. Over the next thirty minutes, I dazzle them with glossy charts and graphs showing in great detail how the Contributions Department has met their revenue goals for the fiscal year in charitable gifts. Not only met, but exceeded it by forty five percent.

Conrad, I took a different approach. However, it lacked sincerity. The stories of the women who so desperately need our help on a regular basis show a more personal aspect. It spoke volumes to the donors.

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The Foundation helped her cut ties with her attacker and to start a new life. Tears blur my vision. I dab at them before taking a deep breath. Chase stood, went to the drinks table, and brought me a glass of water. I gently sipped while getting my emotions in check. Now was not the time to relive the past.

Need a moment? I nod and plaster on the fakest smile I can muster. The last thing I need is to breakdown in the middle of the most important presentation of my career. I feel nothing but a deep respect for him in that moment. I nod my head and set down the glass of water. Please continue with your presentation.

He focuses solely on me as he gracefully sits. We will take a vote at the next meeting. Taye nudges my shoulder as I sit down.

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His full pearly white smile beams, the one he says is the only way to find him in the dark. Under the table, he holds out his hand. I smack it lightly. We both quietly snap. I wave off Taye and feel the jolt like two magnets reaching for each other. My body flows towards his so easily. My bodyguard, driver, my safety net. He will be picking you up this evening. Instead of taking it, Jack looks me up and down. I tilt my chin defensively and place my hands on my hips.

Chase laughs a full bellied laugh as he leads me away from the mob boss. Strange company Chase keeps. A girl could get used to being led by Superman. Jack comes and stands in front of the door and guards the entrance. And without question, I do trust him. The man has done nothing but put me off kilter since the moment our eyes met across the bar last night. As my eyes adjust to the dark, I notice a normal sized conference table with a bunch of cushy leather office chairs. A protest sits on the edge of my lips until his mouth envelops mine. I lose all thought. His fingers intertwine with mine, palm to palm.

Electricity sizzles between our clasped hands as he holds them over my head, pressing his large body against mine. The power behind his kiss, the wet heat, fingers clutching, chest pinning me to the door is exhilarating. The forbidden nature of his passion has my mind in a drunken tizzy. His lips nibble and pluck and a delicious sensation ricochets through every pore as sparks of lust race through me.

I need more. Of him. The target is one of the toughest to reach. The result could be momentous or it could be Armageddon. There is no margin for error. The eye in the door Pat Barker The Eye in the Door is the second installation of Pat Barker's acclaimed and haunting historical fiction trilogy about British soldiers traumatized by World War I trench warfare and the methods used by psychiatrist William Rivers to treat them. Here, Lieutenant Billy Prior is tormented by figuring out which side of several coins does he live -- coward or hero, crazy or sane, homosexual or heterosexual, upper class or lower.

He represents the upheaval in Britain during the war and the severe trauma felt by its soldiers. The ghost road Pat Barker This prize-winning tale completes the author's exploration of the First World War, and is a timeless depiction of humanity in extremis. Winner of the Booker Prize, Regeneration Pat Barker In , decorated British officer and poet Siegfried Sassoon wrote a declaration condemning the war.

Instead of a court-martial, he was sent to a hospital for other "shell-shocked" officers where he was treated by Dr. William Rivers, noted anthropologist and psychiatrist. Author Barker turns these true occurrences into a compelling and brilliant antiwar novel. Sassoon's complete sanity disturbs Dr.

Rivers to such a point that he questions his own role in "curing" his patients only to send them back to the slaughter of the war in France. This novel is based on Arthur Conan Doyles extraordinary real-life fight for justice. Arthur and George grow up worlds and miles apart in late nineteenth-century Britain: Arthur in shabby-genteel Edinburgh, George in the vicarage of a small Staffordshire village. As he leads us on an investigative trip through France and through the past, we are offered a glimpse of the writer who so fascinates him.

At the same time the layers of Braithwaite's own past are peeled away to reveal someone infinitely more troubled than he first seemed. The lemon table Julian Barnes Julian Barnes has created characters whose passions and longings are made all the stronger by the knowledge that, for them, time is almost at an end. Levels of life Julian Barnes Julian Barnes's new book is about ballooning, photography, love and grief; about putting two things, and two people, together, and about tearing them apart. One of the judges who awarded him the Man Booker Prize described him as?

This book confirms that opinion. In Love, etc, Julian Barnes revisits Stuart, Gillian, and Oliver, using the same intimate technique of allowing the characters to speak directly to the listener, to whisper their secrets, to argue for their version of the truth Metroland Julian Barnes The adolescent Christopher and his soul mate Toni had sneered at the stifling ennui of Metroland, their cosy patch of suburbia on the Metropolitan line. They had longed for Life to begin - meaning Sex and Freedom - to travel and choose their own clothes.

Then Chris, at thirty, starts to settle comfortably into bourgeois contentment himself. Luckily, Toni is still around to challenge such backsliding. Pulse Julian Barnes Sharp, witty and incisive stories in a collection where characters gather over dinner to share insights and gossip. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit.

Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is in middle age. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce.

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He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Talking it over Julian Barnes This story concerns a love triangle in which each of the three people concerned and occasionally others take it in turns to tell the story from their perspective using first person narrative. Stuart and Oliver have been best friends since school but are opposite in character, Stuart is insecure and slightly nerdy, Oliver is a flamboyant loser prone to elaborate witticisms. But it is Stuart who gets the girl, Gillian. At their wedding though, best man Oliver falls in love with her and plots to win the end-game. Breaking news : sex, lies and the Murdoch succession Paul Barry At the age of 82, Rupert Murdoch is divorcing his third wife Wendi Deng and gearing up for the toughest challenge of his life: to hand his empire on to his children.

But is this the end of the Murdoch dynasty? Lachlan doesn't want to succeed him. James is in disgrace. And Elisabeth is not a serious contender. His grip on the group has also been weakened by scandal. His British tabloids have been caught hacking phones and bribing officials on an industrial scale. At least twenty journalists will soon face trial for hacking and corruption and could be jailed.

But Rupert thrives on crisis. So can he win this one last battle and keep it all in the family?. Two across. Jeffrey Bartsch Stanley and Vera, academically precocious but awkward teenagers, form a bond when they tie for first place in the National Spelling Bee. Though their mothers have big plans for them-Stanley will become a senator, Vera a mathematics professor-neither wants to follow these pre-determined paths. So Stanley hatches a plan to marry Vera in a sham wedding for the financial freedom to pursue his one true love: crossword puzzle construction Jungle drums Graeme Base Little Ngiri is the smallest Warthog in Africa.

Tired of being teased by his bigger brothers and sisters, he wishes things could be different. When Old Nyumbu the Wildebeest gives Ngiri a set of magic drums, he is sure his wish is about to come true. But all the animals of the jungle are in for a big surprise as Ngiri's wish is granted in a most unexpected way. Truckdogs Graeme Base In a far-off desert world remarkably similar to outback Australia, evolution has taken an unexpected turn.

The dominant life form is a creature covered in fur but with living steel panels beneath. It gnaws on bones and sniffs lamp posts but fills up on oil, brake fluid and petrol. And it's wonderfully clever with its wheels and wing mirrors - able to do just about anything, in fact - which is lucky since it hasn't got any arms or legs. It's an animal with an engine. Or is it a car with floppy ears and a wet nose?

This is the world of TruckDogs. Alibi Sydney Bauer Jessica Nagoshi, the beautiful heiress to her father's billion dollar empire, is being groomed, along with her brother Peter, to take control of Nagoshi Inc. That is, until she is brutally murdered in the greenhouse of her father's extensive Wellesley estate. Boston criminal defence attorney David Cavanaugh is thrust into this high-society case when James Matheson, a wealthy, connected but unaffected law student is arrested for Jessica's murder.

Gospel Sydney Bauer It has been ten years since Boston attorney David Cavanaugh has spoken to his ex-wife Karin, and twelve years since she left him for another man, a man of power and influence. Now, she has called to ask the impossible. She wants him to represent her husband in the case of the century; the charge - murder, the victim - the Vice President of the United States.

Matter of trust Sydney Bauer When attorney David Cavanaugh takes a distressed call from an old friend in New Jersey, he immediately offers to help. Chris Kincaid is now a US Senator and his dilemma concerns the disappearance of another member of their childhood gang - Marilyn Maloney - who the now-married Senator used to date. Move to strike Sydney Bauer Doctor Jeffrey Logan has a top-rating talk show and a beautiful family with his talented lawyer wife, Stephanie.

But this image of domestic bliss is shattered when Stephanie is killed in the family's pristine Beacon Hill kitchen. Now Boston criminal defence attorney David Cavanaugh faces his most gruelling case to date. With the Logan children unwilling to reveal what really happened, and Doctor Jeff always one step ahead of his defence team, Cavanaugh must race to uncover the truth, before more lives, including those closest to him, are lost.

A death at the palace. He's got other concerns, not least an anti-immigration group spreading hate across Tottenham, and a string of attacks on young women at the local beauty spot, Alexandra Palace. But when Rex himself becomes a suspect, he is forced to seek answers. Beneath the dark ice Greig Beck When a plane crashes into the Antarctic ice, exposing a massive cave beneath, a rescue and research team is dispatched.

Twenty-four hours later, all contact is lost. Captain Alex Hunter and his highly trained squad of commandos are fast-tracked to the hot zone to find out what went wrong and to follow up the detection of a vast underground reservoir. Black Mountain Greig Beck Alex Hunter, code named Arcadian, wakes up with no knowledge of who he is, in the care of a woman he doesn't recognise, in a country not his own.

But there is a calling deep within him, to return home to Black Mountain. Formed a billion years ago, the Appalachian's Black Mountain hosts a terrible legend.


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Only one elder remains to guard its long-forgotten, deadly secret and there is a fear that there is evil lurking again Book of the dead Greig Beck Massive sinkholes are opening across the country - each larger and deeper than the previous one. First the family pets go missing, and anyone living near one of the pits, is reporting strange phenomena - the vibrations, sulphurous odours and strange sounds rising up from the stygian depths. Dark rising Greig Beck When a massive amount of gamma radiation is detected beneath the desert of Iran, the world is on edge.

Is it a nuclear weapon - or worse? Alex Hunter and his highly trained incursion team are sent to find out. When they arrive at the ruins of Persepolis, they find an underground facility but no weapons, no scientists - not even radiation. The first bird. Episode I Greig Beck When a fame-hungry scientist brings an impossible, living specimen of a creature long thought extinct back from the wild jungles of South America he unwittingly brings along a passenger.

In its dark heart is an ancient crater basin, sealed in by a living cage, making it a time capsule for an ancient, deadly ecosystem. Matt Kearns, Carla Nero and a team of scientist explorers have found their way in. Modern medicine has failed to halt the spread of the flesh-consuming parasite, and humans have been forced to hide, even from each other. The infected roam the cities and suburbs of a ruined nation. But the devastating effects on human physiology are only the beginning. Gorgon Greig Beck An ancient evil awakens Alex Hunter has been found - sullen, alone, leaving a path of destruction as he wanders across America.

Only the foolish get in the way of the drifter wandering the streets late at night. Across the world, something has been released by a treasure hunter in a hidden chamber of the Basilica Cisterns in Istanbul. The petrobiologist has found what she was looking for - a unique microorganism in a natural gas deposit - but it proves to be more destructive than anyone could have imagined. A contagion is striking down all in its wake. The last leaves falling Sarah Benwell And these are they. My final moments. They say a warrior must always be mindful of death, but I never imagined that it would find me like this Lonely and isolated, Sora turns to the ancient wisdom of the samurai for guidance and comfort.

After America John Birmingham Four years after an inexplicable wave of energy decimated the American mainland, and then just as inexplicably disappeared a year later, US President James Kipper is no closer to explaining the catastrophe to the traumatised survivors. Born of chaos and madness. Remember that if nothing else. Jed Culver, President Kipper's right hand man, knows that what is right and what is best, is rarely the same thing. Can he go against the President's wishes?

Ascendance John Birmingham There were too many of them. Lucille was nowhere Dave could see and only a faint mournful sigh reached him from where she lay It was time to die, the hero's journey over. New York is on fire, the streets are overrun, and the Demon Horde is feasting. Emergence John Birmingham Dave Hooper has the hangover from hell, a demonic ex-wife and the claws of the tax office sinking into him. So the last thing he needs is an explosion at the off-shore oil rig where he works. But this is no ordinary industrial accident, and despite the news reports, Dave knows that terrorists aren't to blame for the disaster.

He knows because he has killed one of the things responsible. He died with a felafel in his hand John Birmingham These hilarious tales of urban terror reveal the dark truth hidden behind three seemingly innocent words - a phrase that you have seen a hundred times before but will never view in the same light again - WANTED TO SHARE John Birmingham's rendering of a life in share houses will leave you laughing, cringing and reminiscing about your own brushes with the mad, bad residents of flat mate hell. Resistance John Birmingham A dragon brings down the Vice President's plane, a monster army is camped outside Omaha, and an empath demon springs an undercover operation in New York.

New Orleans was just the beginning. New and different demons are breaking through all over America, and Dave Hooper has a new enemy with more guile and guts than the celebrity superhero, still stumbling in his role as Champion. Without warning John Birmingham A wave of inexplicable energy has slammed into America. And destroyed it. What will the world do without its last Superpower?

For the jihadists, Allah has performed a miracle. For the US and its allies, Armageddon has arrived. Australasia, far from the noxious waste darkening Europe's skies, beckons as a possible oasis. Who and what will fill the void? Not Callum Hunt. Call has been told his whole life that he should never trust a magician. And so he tries his best to do his worst but fails at failing.

Now he must enter the Magisterium. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister. The Flynns, proud Catholics to the core, spend their working days in the factories and laundry houses of industrial Glasgow. However, as the Great War fades from memory and discontent seeps in, both the Seatons and the Flynns grow restless and allow temptation to gain hold They were due to elope to Gretna Green the following week, and their happiness was complete with the news that Beth is pregnant.

But now, alone and unmarried and with a baby on the way, Beth must survive by herself in war-torn Glasgow. When Beth meets handsome Canadian Gene, a friendship begins; for the first time since Steve's death Beth finds happiness. The daffodil sea Emma Blair On the day of St Petroc's autumn fair, Roxanne runs away to seek fame and fortune in the bright lights of London. There she stumbles across suave and sophisticated music-hall fixer Harry Bright, who persuades her to adopt the stage-name Annie Breeze. The popular double act Bright and Breeze is born.

But, at the height of her career, disaster strikes, forcing her to make a heart-rending decision. Returning to Devon, Roxanne carves out a new life for herself on her peaceful and beautiful daffodil farm. It's a life where love cannot penetrate. Or can it? Finding happiness Emma Blair It is and Sandy McLean is training to be a doctor to follow in his father's footsteps. He would rather be an artist, but feels he has no choice. When a French girl offers to pose for him, he begins an affair - and a rebellion against his father - that will lead to his departure to Montmartre.

Their mother is dead and their father, Murdo, has a heart condition. The war takes its toll on them all, as the men become soldiers and the women nurses. Andrew is in Ireland and involved in the Easter uprising. When his girlfriend and her family are killed by an Irish militant, he takes revenge by killing the man who ended his lover's life, as well as his family and six others. Geoffrey is wounded, and soon becomes depressed. Forget me not Emma Blair Minna runs a small boarding house in Torquay and brings up her son, Tim, who becomes a journalist until the the Great War disrupts his life.

Sent home after a breakdown, he discovers his true love, but she is pressured to marry another. Half Hidden Emma Blair Working as a nurse on Nazi-occupied Jersey, and forced to work alongside the race responsible for Martin's death, Holly struggles to cope with her grief. Peter, a German doctor, befriends her as they work in the hospital's operating theatre, and as friendship turns to love, Holly wrestles with her loyalty to Martin's memory.

But the will to love is powerful and Holly and Peter find the perfect meeting place - a deserted house called Half Hidden, deep in the countryside. Can their love survive the future together, or will the war destroy all their hopes and dreams? Jessie Gray Emma Blair Then she was the sheltered, dreamy minister's daughter, determined to take a bite out of life. And he was the fighter from the wrong side of the tracks, hell-bent on proving himself in the world. They had nothing in common, separate destinies.

But in the world was about to move into new decades of turbulence and change - and it was only the fighters and the dreamers who would make it theirs. Little white lies Emma Blair But for Lizzie's father, who has just lost his job, Glasgow offers employment. It also enables Lizzie to work in a factory as a seamstress, and it opens her horizons to new friends as well. Especially Pearl, who introduces Lizzie to her boyfriend, Willie, and her cousin, the handsome, happy-go-lucky Jack.

And Jack is a real bobby-dazzler. Although she struggles on without him, Maggie eventually realises her place is by his side and journeys to Spain to join him. But the newly promoted Nevil has become distant and ruthless, and is fiercely jealous of her new friendship with American journalist Howard Taft. But life for a black family in inter-war London isn't easy. And when the Nazi bombs arrive, life gets tougher still. Desperate to recover his past, he little realises that things are never quite what they seem. Scarlet ribbons Emma Blair On her way to a Dr Barnardo's home, Sadie's mother buys her a pair of scarlet ribbons which bring her solace in the difficult years ahead.

This side of heaven Emma Blair Sheila Beattie had her life planned out. She would marry her childhood sweetheart and raise a family in the small fishing village where they had both been born. But she discovered there is nothing certain in this world but change.

Three bites of the cherry Emma Blair It's Georgie's close-knit family who helps her get through that terrible time. But three years after John's death, love comes once more into Georgie's life. Charlie Gunn saves her life after an explosion in the factory where they work. As their relationship blossoms into marriage, it seems to Georgie that this second chance is almost too good to be true. It is. Made redundant from his factory job, he and his family only hold together through the determination of his ambitious wife, Madge Beginning a new life, John finds working conditions in the copper mines almost intolerable and turns increasingly to the church A French soldier stays at the hotel after Dunkirk and she becomes pregnant.

After he leaves for France she realises she can't follow him. He loves to play jokes, tricks and set traps for his friends - but once in a while, they beat him at his own game! This collection of timeless stories of the briar patch trickster and his friends are re-told in Blyton's hugely popular and successful style The Brer Rabbit book Enid Blyton Brer Rabbit will never learn!

Brer Rabbit's a rascal! Enid Blyton Brer Rabbit will never learn! These timeless stories of the briar patch trickster are re-told in Blyton's hugely popular and successful style.. Their real adventures begin when they all climb up and discover the most exciting and peculiar lands that exist beyond the clouds at the top of the tree.

Together the children climb the tree and meet the magical friends, and visit the mysterious Land of Secrets, the Land of Giants, the Land of Tea Parties and the Land of Enchantments. After a few marvellous adventures, Connie is enthralled by the Faraway Tree and the folk who inhabit it.

Their new friends show them an exciting secret how to visit lots of strange and magical lands, where they have many thrilling adventures. Joe's fruit shop and milk bar Zoe Boccabella Leaving the small village of Fossa in Italy in to meet a father he barely remembered in a place that was far from everything he knew, fifteen-year-old Annibale Boccabella arrived in Australia determined to make a go of it. It was a time when everything was changing and anything seemed possible. Life was tough but you could still chase your dreams. Mezza Italiana Zoe Boccabella Growing up in Brisbane in the s and 80s Zoe Boccabella knew if you wanted to fit in, you did not bottle tomatoes, have plastic on the hallway carpet or a glory box of Italian linens.

Though she tried to be like 'everyone else, refusing to learn Italian and even dyeing her dark hair blonde, Zoe couldn't shake the unsettling sense of feeling 'half-and-half' - half Australian, mezza italiana - unable to fit fully into either culture, or merge the two. Years later, she travels to her family's ancestral village of Fossa in Abruzzo. Keith Richards : the unauthorised biography Victor Bockris In , Victor Bockris's celebrated biography was the first to recognise Richards's pivotal role in the legend of the Rolling Stones. Now that book on rock's most incredible survivor has been expanded.

Here are the true facts behind Richards' battles with his demons: the women, the drugs and the love-hate-relationship with Jagger. His struggle with heroin and his status as the rock star most likely to die in the s. His scarcely believable rebirth as a family man in the s. Illuminated with revealing quotes and thoughtful insights into the man behind the band that goes on forever. Can they escape the evil pirate, Maude the Marauder - the worst grandmother in the world?. The night strangers : a novel Christopher A. Bohjalian It begins with a door in a dusky corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire.

A door that someone has sealed it shut with thirty-nine enormous carriage bolts. The home's new owners are Chip and Emily Linton and their twin daughters. Chip was an an airline pilot until he was forced to crash land on a remote lake the jet he was flying after double engine failure. Thirty-nine people aboard Flight died that day - a coincidence not lost on Chip when he discovers the number of bolts in that basement door The sandcastle girls Christopher A. Bohjalian When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke College, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language.

The First World War is spreading across Europe, and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian genocide. Secrets of Eden Christopher A. Just a few short hours later, Alice is dead, shot by her abusive husband who turned the gun on himself soon after. Tortured by the cryptic finality of that short utterance, Reverend Drew feels his faith in God slipping away as he tries to unearth the truth behind Alice's death. Skeletons at the feast Christopher A. Bohjalian In January , in the waning months of World War II, a small group of people begin the longest journey of their lives: an attempt to cross the remnants of the Third Reich, from Warsaw to the Rhine if necessary, to reach the British and American lines.

Among the group is eighteen-year-old Anna Emmerich, the daughter of Prussian aristocrats. There is her lover, Callum Finella, a twenty-year-old Scottish prisoner of war who was brought from the stalag to her family's farm as forced labour. A dangerous secret Ian Bone When Hamish wrote an embarrassing essay about how movies meant more to him than real life, he thought only a teacher would read it. But he wasn't counting on nosy classmates, a smarmy bursar, and a mysterious note in his locker saying, 'You have been chosen to fight evil.

This is not a prank! Philomena Wonderpen is a school camp star Ian Bone Philomena jiggled with excitement. Today wasn't any ordinary school day. Her class was going on a camp for two whole days and one night. It was going to be the best fun ever Philomena can't wait for school camp. She's sharing a hut with two of her best friends, Angie and Minna, and they'll stay awake all night and whisper.

And then Philomena will surprise them with a special midnight feast! But when they get to camp, nothing quite goes to plan. In fact, the whole camp seems like a disaster. Can Philomena's wonderful wonder pen save the day?.

Dunford's Bookshelf

A silver ticket has been hidden in the store. And whoever finds it wins a mountain of toys! Philomena and her friends have a plan to find the silver ticket. But then Philomena gets stuck looking after her little brother Tobias. If only she had some magic way to catch up with her friends Then she remembers her wonder pen and draws herself some rocket shoes. She says the magic words - 'I wish! Will they ever get back to normal size?. Scarlett's bat Ian Bone Scarlett Finnegan loves to bat.

Cricket is her favourite game, but she never gets to play on the team. Then one day she finds a special bat that changes everything The name of this book is secret. Bosch Self-described survivalist Cass sees potential disaster everywhere, so no one believes her when a classmate is kidnapped by the dazzling but dangerous Dr L and Ms Mauvais. No one except super-talkative misfit Max-Ernest. Cass and Max-Ernest team up to solve the mystery of the magician's notebook and the Symphony of Smells, discover a secret lost to the ages, and rescue their classmate before his brain is sucked out through a straw.

Along the way they must solve puzzles and word games and face incredible danger. Death wave. Ben Bova In Ben Bova's previous novel New Earth, Jordan Kell led the first human mission beyond the solar system, where they discovered the ruins of an ancient alien civilization. But one alien AI survived, and it revealed to Jordan Kell that an explosion in the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy has created a wave of deadly radiation, expanding out from the core toward Earth.

Unless the human race acts to save itself, all life on Earth will be wiped out. When Kell and his team return to Earth many years after their departure, they find that their world has changed almost beyond recognition. Not only has a second wave of greenhouse flooding caused sea levels to rise, but society has been changed by the consequences of the climate shift.

Few people want to face Jordan Kell's news. He must convince Earth's new rulers that the human race is in danger of extinction unless it acts to forestall the death wave coming from the galaxy's heart. New Earth. The entire world is thrilled by the discovery of a new Earthlike planet. Advance imaging shows that the planet has oceans of liquid water and a breathable oxygen-rich atmosphere.

Eager to gain more information, a human exploration team is soon dispatched to explore the planet, now nicknamed New Earth. All of the explorers understand that they are essentially on a one-way mission. The trip takes eighty years each way, so even if they are able to get back to Earth, nearly years will have elapsed. They will have aged only a dozen years thanks to cryonic suspension, but their friends and family will be gone and the very society that they once knew will have changed beyond recognition. The explorers are going into exile, and they know it. They are on this mission not because they were the best available, but because they were expendable.

Upon landing on the planet they discover something unexpected: New Earth is inhabited by a small group of intelligent creatures who look very much like human beings. Who are these people? Antarctica and back in 60 days Tim Bowden When the ABC's Tim Bowden went to the Antarctic he took his tape recorder to make radio programs, kept a daily diary, and, like all the 'Voyage Sixers' aboard Iceberg, took photographs of everything. The result was a number of outstanding radio documentaries and this book, which offers to all who read it an opportunity to know what it is really like to spend some time in the southernmost part of the world, crossing the Southern Ocean and visiting Australia's Antarctic bases.

Antarctica and Back in Sixty Days is characterised by Bowden's well-honed sense of the absurd and his story is told in the effortless way which has assured his success as both writer and broadcaster. It contains descriptions of exciting and dangerous episodes, crazy practical jokes, overwhelming beauty and the hilarious incidents which punctuated his journey.

Australians in Antarctica Tim Bowden Australia claims about 42 percent of the land mass of the Antarctica Continent - largely based on the exploration voyages led by Sir Douglas Mawson in the first half of this century. Yet by they had no permanent bases on the Antarctic continent.

Australians in Antarctica reviews Australia's post war push south, with the establishment of permanent stations on the sub-Antarctic islands of Heard and Macquarie in , and the first settlement on the Antarctic mainland - Mawson Station - achieved by The six documentaries draw on extensive oral history interviews with the men there were no wintering women expeditioners until who pioneered the polar exploration and scientific programmes from through to the s - including Dr Phillip Law, who was the Director of ANARE Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions from Connolly and Anderson recount to presenter Tim Bowden the devastating effects that blind ambition, welfare, destruction and grief have on human beings - and how they managed to record 60 hours of footage while living in a grass hut with their 2-year-old daughter Catherine.

Inside stories Tim Bowden Australian foreign correspondents talk about their lives and work with Tim Bowden. One crowded hour : Neil Davis - combat cameraman Tim Bowden The bestselling biography of one of the world's greatest cine-cameramen and an extraordinary Australian. Always at the battle front, he brought enduring images of the full horror of modern war to the world. Ironically, in September , having survived so much war, Neil Davis was killed filming an attempted coup in the streets of Bangkok. Deprivation here was so extreme that there really was a fate worse than death.

Stubborn Buggers is the story of twelve Australian POWs who fought and survived the battle for Malaya, then captivity and slave labour, followed by the unimaginable hardships of Outram Road Gaol. It is a story of how they dealt with the brutality of the Japanese military police, the feared Kempeitai. And it is the story of how they found a way to go on living even when facing a future of no hope and slow death.

But Stubborn Buggers is about more than suffering and brutality. It is also a story of grit, determination and larrikin humour. It is very much about the triumph of the human spirit. Survival Tim Bowden In the following documentary first broadcast on ABC Radio, seven men and one woman tell extraordinary stories of endurance during their time as prisoners-of-war of the Japanese during World War Two.

They survived brutal interrogations, and physical and psychological torture in conditions of starvation, illness and near-death. These are stories of horrific conditions, but also of triumphs of the human spirit. This massive undertaking involved the recording of hours of tape recorded interviews with Australians and Papua New Guineans who had been involved with Australia's colonial administration which ended with self government and independence in The result is a superb 24 program social history, so evocative of a time and place, revealed through a tapestry of voices from those who lived through it.

These are first-hand accounts of the pre-war history in the early s, the masta-boi relationships, the gold rush and the exploration of the highlands. In Taim Bilong Masta, Australian men and women who spent so many years living and working in Papua New Guinea before independence in can be heard again, telling their own stories. During his travels he recorded interviews from other travellers and locals, collecting stories from the outback.

The resulting series of radio specials were presented on ABC Radio in the s with original music by bush musician Ted Egan. The way my father tells it : the story of an Australian life Tim Bowden It isn't easy to reminisce, alone, into a tape recorder. Yet that is what I asked my father, John Bowden, to do when, in the late s I suggested he should not only record our family history, but reflect on a life that embraced almost the entire twentieth century.

Then in , at the age of 91, Father 'woke up dead' in his own bed, in his own house which he never wanted to leave , not long after adding a postscript - a final chapter to his life story The Way my Father Tells It is a story of the joys and sorrows of childhood and adolescence, of falling in love, going to war and returning to re-establish a family life. It is filled with wry charm and self-effacing humour and is a wonderful evocation of an Australia now changed beyond recognition.

The west coasters Tim Bowden The west coast of Tasmania has always held true to a distinct identity which endures to this day. It is based on geography and a history of isolation from the rest of the island.