Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler. Published by Twenty7

After a long day and terribly sad at the hospital where she works, Alex Taylor is anticipating a special date with her boyfriend, but she never makes it past the parking lot, or does she? The next thing Alex knows, she’s waking up in an operating room where she’s been restrained and placed in a very uncomfortable position. The “doctor” that enters the room threatens to do some terrible things to her and then administers a strong sedative. The nest time Alex opens her eyes, she in her own hospital, surrounded by her work friends who tell her she was found unconscious in the parking lot. It looks like she was struck in the head by a fallen branch. But Alex remembers every detail of her terrifying ordeal, and insists she was sexually assaulted…and worse. The examination she’s given shows no sign of the trauma she remembers and no one seems to believe her. They think shes’s hallucinating after hitting her head. What the hell really happened, and is it going to happen again? The single most terrifying opening to any book I have ever read

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The Naturalist’s Notebook by Nathaniel T. Wheelwright. Published by Storey

A good portion of this book is a planner for the reader, a calendar to keep track of all the wondrous things they encounter in the natural world. The author also explains the art of mindfulness, of being still, of being observant, of being present in the natural world. The illustrations are exquisite, the kind you can lose yourself in. A must have for nature lovers

The Backyard Homestead Seasonal Planner by Ann Larkin Hansen. Published by Storey

Arranged according to season, this book has worksheets to help property owners sort out the chores that need tending at different times of the year as well as specific topics relevent to that season – like bee-keeping, making hay, or maintaining and harvesting an orchard. This is no coffee table book, rather a serious guide to maintaining a home and land.

Single Minded by Lisa Daly. Published by St. Martins

Alex has been in love with Michael since they were toddlers and they seemed to have the fairy tale life – great jobs, a gorgeous home,  Alex never suspected Michael was unhappy. It turns out that Michael is actually gay. What the hell do you do with that? For Alex, there’s no easy answer. She wants children, a home and a husband to go along with her career, so what’s she supposed to do now? How on earth is she supposed to enter the world of dating? It’s not going to be easy, luckily she has some interesting friends (including her ex) more tha willing to give her advice on how to score the perfect guy. This was a funny, bittersweet novel about losing it all and finding the strength to find it again

Asking for Truffle by Dorothy St. James. Published by Crooked Lane

When Charity Penn gets a letter telling her she won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina to learn the art of chocolate making at The Chocolate Box, she’s confused; she never entered any kind of contest. When an old friend investigating the “prize” on her behalf is found dead in a chocolate vat, Charity heads to Camellia Beach to find out what happened. She’s quickly caught up in the charm of the town and its residents and even discovers she has a talent for making chocolates. But not everything is so sweet in this little town, someone wants to see the village destroyed. Can Charity and her new friends save Camellia Beach? Fans of Diane Mott Davidson will love this foodie mystery

Meet Me at Wisteria Cottage by Teresa F. Morgan. Published by Harper Collins UK

Maddy Hart isn’t too crazy about her new neighbor, Harry, and the feeling appears to be mutual. Still, when Maddy’s house catches fire, it’s handsome Harry, the firefighter, who comes to her rescue. He even takes Maddy and her cat into his own home while her own is being sorted out. The two soon become aware that their initial dislike for each other masked a smoldering attraction. And while Harry seems only to willing to explore the physical side of that attraction, his past is strictly off-limits. This was a sweet love story that put  a smile on my face. Any man who will take on a homeless cat is a hero in my book!

The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb. Published by Lake Union

After years of working the crime beat for a major newspaper, Eleanor Harper is suffering from PTSD. The ugly things she’s seen over the years have taken their toll and she leaves her job. She takes a new position as director of an artists retreat known as Cliffside Manor, a beautiful old mansion that once held patients stricken with tuberculosis. While the setting is ideal, Eleanor is overcome with feelings of dread and apprehension and begins to believe the former director chose the current group of artists for a reason that has nothing to do with art, something much more sinister. Does the mansion hold the souls of those who died there so many years ago? Webb is a modern Victoria Holt, a Gothic writer who can spin a spell of enchantment over readers