The Sleep Walkers Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacobs. Published by Random House

Amina reluctantly leaves her job and home in Seattle to return home after her mother’s panicked message. Kamala says that Amina’s father, brain surgeon, Thomas Eapen has been talking to dead relatives like they were guests stopping by for a visit. Amina believes her father’s strange behavior is the result the of a trip the family took to India 20 years before. Thomas will not elaborate, Amina has found bizarre things buried in her mother’s garden and professional caregivers look askance at Thomas. Amina realizes she will have to help her father – and the rest of her family – face their past if Thomas is to ever recover.

A blowout of a novel about family secrets, honor and old world beliefs. This book is so beautifully written, so absorbing, so very good that I am encouraging everyone I know to read it

For All Time by Jude Deveraux. Published by Random House

Hoping to have a little time away from all his obligations, Graydon attends the wedding of his cousin Jared on Nantucket. When he meets bridesmaid Toby, he’s blown away. Sure, she gorgeous and intelligent, but it’s the fact that she can tell him apart from his identical twin Rory that floors Graydon. He has been told that the woman who can do that is bound to be his soul mate. But she is not of royal blood and he is. As heir to the Lanconian throne, Graydon must marry a noble woman. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to spend some time together, just to take a break from all his title dictates. The time they spend together on the island is magical, it seems almost like they are destined to be together……

Jude Devereaux has been thrilling readers for years now. Her romances are filled with strong men and courageous, independent women, and always a happy ending. Tremendous fun

A History of the Future by James Howard Kuntsler. Published by Grove Atlantic

In the not so distant future, mankind has gone back to a simple way of life. War and disease have taken their toll on the United States and now people live simply, off the land. There are no automobiles, airplanes or computers. People travel by foot and communication is done in person. On Christmas Eve one of Union Grove’s own returns from a trip through what is left of the United Stated. As he recovers from illness he tells the villagers the harrowing tale of the time he spent in Tennessee, headquarters of the new Foxfire Republic and it’s new and frightening leader, a hell-fire preacher/tyrant. At the same time, the normally placid little town is rocked by murders. Maybe people have learned as much as they should have after all.

Kuntsler paints such a vivid picture of Union Grove that it seems completely authentic, as do all the reasons for its existence. I love this series because it shows a much more realistic look at life after the collapse of civilization than so many of the dystopian novels out there. This is all the more chilling because it is so real.

Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst. Published by Random House

Christian Ferrar, is an attorney who has been approached by a secret organization that wants his help acquiring weapons for the Spanish Republic as they battle off the Axis powers in 1937. The group is composed of a wide range of people from all walks of life, wealthy idealists, gun runners and spies. Christian is most interested in the enigmatic American woman, Eileen Moore and it’s not long before he falls head over heels for her. Can their love survive? Can they survive? A mesmerizing story of the early days of World War II that travels from New York to Paris and to Istanbul. Readers will be rapt in this amazing story, filled with unforgettable characters. Highly recommended

The Kitchen Magpie by James Steen. Published by Icon

An absolute gem of a book for anyone who loves food and cooking! Readers will learn the history of food, its origins and how it came to be accepted or rejected. Read how faith, nationality and location affected what people ate.  Where did coffee and tea come from? How about your oven and fridge? Told with humor and an acerbic wit. I could not put this book down – fascinating. Highly recommended

All Desires Known by Tanya van Hasselt. Published by Matador

Nell’s life is torn to shred when she discovers her husband has been having an affair with her best friend and that her daughter suffers from anorexia. She turns to friend and the subject of the painting she is working on, Martin, for support. Martin is struggling with problems of his own; he’s still trying to come to terms with the abuse he suffered as a child when he discovers the man who preyed upon him is back. Nell, meanwhile falls for the psychiatrist who is treating her daughter. In the midst of the chaos, Nell and Martin try to find a sense of peace as they search for answers and try to do the right thing.

A powerful novel about secrets, marriage, teen-age angst and betrayal. Compelling.

Dark Aemilia by Sally O’Reilly. Published by MacMillan

Aemilia Bassano lived a life of ease in luxury in the court of Queen Elizabeth I. One of Elizabeth’s favorites, she had plenty of time for dalliances and the poetry she so loved. But a decade later, with the Queen dead and Aemilia in unhappy marriage, her life revolves around her son. When plague strikes the city, Aemilia is terrified something will happen to her child, and when he falls ill, she will do whatever it takes to save him. She will even ask for favour from an old lover – William Shakespeare.

It is believed by many, that Aemilia is the dark mistress in Shakespeare’s sonnets. Whether that is true or not, O’Reilly pens an amazing, absorbing novel that pulls readers into the grandeur and the squalor that was the Elizabethan era. Impossible to put down