Growing up we're all asked, "What's your dream job?" I went from astronomer to movie star to working in the film industry. I packed up and made the long journey from Petoskey to Los Angles, where I got a job working in the production industry. Hop in the Tardis and travel forward in time 7 years and I realized I finally found the answer to that ever lingering question, my dream job was to work at a bookstore and not just any bookstore but back home at McLean & Eakin. When not working at my dream of all jobs, you can find me curled up with my cat Tyrion devouring a book or two...or three. I'm an obsessive fantasy/sci-fi nerd and also enjoy all things fiction, historical fiction and a good horror novel every now and then. When I'm not reading, I'm either cooking or playing video games and rejoicing to be back in the magical state that is Michigan doing what is truly the best job in the galaxy. 

Sunflower Sisters: A Novel (Woolsey-Ferriday) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524796402
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - March 30th, 2021

Martha Hall Kelly delivers again in her newest historical fiction novel, Sunflower Sisters. This time she takes us to the Civil War Era. True to form, we journey through the book with three perspectives from three very different women, all of whose lives are intertwined. The Woolsey family is back again, this time with: Georgeanna “Georgy” who volunteers as a nurse during the war; Anne-May, the owner of Peeler Plantation in Maryland, whose husband goes off to fight for the Union army; and Jemma, a young girl who is enslaved on the Peeler Plantation. As a lover of all things historical fiction, this did not disappoint me. I find that I read a TON of WWII fiction, so this was a refreshing read that stands up to some of the recent WWII novels like Lilac Girls, The Nightingale, and All the Light We Cannot See. If you enjoyed those books, you'll want to pick up this one next!

The Witch's Heart Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593099940
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ace - February 9th, 2021

I’m a sucker for a good cover, so when my eyes locked on this book, I was already intent on loving it. The good news is that the story is just as beautiful and enticing as the cover. Rooted deeply in Norse mythology is the tale of Angrboda, a witch whose power of future sight outmatches all other's. Odin (yes THAT Odin for all you Avengers/Thor fans) comes to her and demands she tell him how he and all the other Gods will end (aka Ragnarok). She refuses, so Odin being Odin and not liking being told no, burns her three times and removes her heart. IImmortal but badly injured, Angrboda retreats to the far edge of the world, where she plans to remain hidden and forgotten for the rest of time. Until one fateful day a man approaches with, of all things, her heart. This is no ordinary man, but Loki, "The God of Mischief," and thus begin the events that will bring upon Ragnarok. This is a page turner that you will not want to put down and will leave you wanting to read it all over again when you finish.

The Four Winds: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250178602
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 2nd, 2021

Kristin Hannah has done it again! I’ve read so many of her books and after reading the Great Alone the bar was set as high as I thought it could go, after reading The Four Winds that assessment has now changed and the bar has risen to new heights! 


The book takes place in the 1930’s on the Great Plains where land is all that matters and that very land is rising up against those who stake their lively-hoods on it. The Dust Bowl era has come bringing with it brutal winds, cracks in the earth and dust that threatens to bury everything. Smothered beneath the layers of dust are the people of the Plains suffering from starvation, poverty and a complete loss of one's self. Elsa Martinelli and her family are amongst the many Americans faced with the brutal decision, stay and endure the dust at risk of losing everything, even one's life? Or to pack up and leave all that they have known, to travel west to California, the land of sunshine, where jobs are plentiful and all are welcome, or so they’ve heard. 


Hannah’s writing weaves magic that transports readers in such a way that you can’t help but feel the dust filling your lungs, the warm California sun on your face and the vivid images of the dry blustering landscape. At its core it’s a mother daughter story deeply rooted in the relationship that a mother has with her daughter and visa versa. It hits home on so many emotional levels that it had me ugly crying and calling my mom to apologize for the teenage years. Both Elsa and her daughter Loreda are characters that I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of connection to. Raised with a sense of adventure, a powerful imagination, a stubborn or should I say strong will and a love of reading, both mother and daughter are dreamers in their own way who crave to know what the great wide world has to offer. Their experiences in life teach them an all too relatable fact that no matter where you go in this world there really is no place like home. 


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The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385345620
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Clarkson Potter - September 30th, 2014

I LOVE to cook. If my 17-year-old self would have seen me typing these words, she would have thought we were just plain out of my mind. Cooking was never my thing growing up. While my family always sat down at the dinner table each night to eat a home cooked meal, (usually prepared by my dad...sorry mom) the process of cooking was never something that interested me - too much time spent chopping, boiling, juicing and cleaning afterwards when I could be reading!
Having a house/kitchen of my own sparked my interest, and now I can't go a night without cooking something up for dinner. It's become my version of meditation at the end of each day. My go-to cookbook is the Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor by Gina Homolka. At least 2-3 meals per week in our house are pulled from this cookbook OR
 one of her cookbooks. All the recipes are relatively easy to make, and even better, they are at a lower number of calories which, I kid you not, you can't even tell the difference! They're that out of this world! I've never been a calorie counter, and at this point in life don't think, I ever will get in the habit, but knowing that the recipes that I'm cooking and eating are on the healthier side leaves not only my mind feeling good but my body as well.
Some of my favorite recipes to cook from this book are: Chicken Marsala on the Lighter Side (my boyfriend now refuses to have any other kind of chicken marsala than this specific one, it's constantly in our weekly meal rotation), Make-Ahead Western Omelette Muffins, Coconut Chicken Salad with Warm Honey Mustard Vinaigrette, Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken and Broccoli, So-Addicted Chicken Enchiladas, and My House Salad Filled With Love. You really can't go wrong with any recipe in this book. They're all incredible and will leave your taste buds rejoicing with glee!

— Maris

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Yellow Wife: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982149109
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 12th, 2021

I will always and forever be a fan of historical fiction. I try to devour as much as I can... on top of all the other great genres! From the very first page of Yellow Wife, I was completely enthralled, and I found that I could not stop thinking about it - which to me has always been a sign of a great read!
The book takes place in Virginia in the 1850s. Pheby Delores Brown is living on a plantation with her mother and has been promised her whole life that when she reaches the age of 18 she will be granted her freedom and no longer be a slave. When unforeseen events occur, the promise of Pheby’s freedom is broken, and she is sold as a slave to the owner and jailer of the infamous jail, "The Devil's Half-Acre," a real-life version of hell on earth. Pheby is forced to become the jailer's mistress and raise a family with him while all hopes of her freedom slip from her grasp.
This is a book that will stick with you after it's finished. Every page was a stark reminder of where our country once was, and it is hard to believe that these events truly happened and that people were treated in this horrific manner. It’s a haunting tale that touches on so many emotions from resentment and fright to hate and love. It truly is not a book to be missed.

— Maris




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