"She had imagined many things about Li Ban but she shuddered at his death. He had tried to outrun the Black Dragon and failed.
Each year young men ran before the great wave that sweeps up the Quintang River on the full moon. It was foolish and daring. Li Ban had tripped then fallen. For a second, her courtiers had told her, he lay there in his fine clothes face down in the mud then the brown waters churned over him. His body was not recovered.
The court counsellors were quick to read this sign. "It was not meant to be, this marriage - he was full of bad luck. "
But one of her handmaidens, Precious Jade, had said he was handsome and elegant.”
The Blue Dragon
"Her hero from her book was a rich and magical youth who wandered the world collecting tales wherever he could and retelling them. She shut herself up in her room for long periods to read about him and his adventures.
In his stories he told, not just of beautiful princesses, but of jealous princesses, naïve princesses, frisky princesses, demanding princesses, cursed princesses, brainy princesses, warrior princesses, healing princesses, coquettish princesses, enlightened princesses, even sleeping princesses, but he never, ever, mentioned her type of princess, a hidden princess, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be loved, lost in the tentacles of time.
Then one day she read a mysterious story he had written himself.
"If a person wants some thing, or another, they have only to ask” said the character in that tale. "The way,” he continued, "that the universe works, a person can send out a signal into the ether and it will most often be answered.”
What had she done? How had she offended the Pharoah? His was absolute power. This was his, the land of Egypt, the crops, the labourers, the priests and scribes, the royal wives and the royal concubines"
Plus the story of The Golden Fish, a story from India of magic and the soul out of the body. Retold from the Golden Bough.
But surely he wouldn’t.... he might. Men were unpredictable. If she, Valentina, was interested in Nikolay she would have to act. But then her boss’s words came back to her "be tentative.” Perhaps that was what her mother was being, by inviting him here for this meal, this was her opening gambit, her tentative approach. Valentina gripped the basin."Now Valentina," she said to herself, "get back in there and be tentative." She took a deep breath and returned to the kitchen. Andreyushka was talking to Nikolay about his work as Yelena cleared away some of the dishes. Valentina helped her; her mother whispered to her,
"He’s nice isn’t he?
"Yes Mama.” said Valentina being tentative. They returned to the table."
Andreyushka had by now pulled out his cartoons and was showing Nikolay the story board for the "Beast of Moscow. "
"What do you think? Said Yelena, "Is it really out there?
"If it is,” said Nikolay, "it is probably afraid and doesn’t know where to turn. It will be lonely and feel lost in this big city.”
He said this with such feeling that Valentina could feel her heart melting, for surely, this was how he Nikolay was feeling.
The evening drew to a close. As they stood in the door Valentina took her chance, reached up and gave Nikolay the double hug. She lingered in that embrace just a fraction longer than was normal. She wanted him to feel her warmth, smell her perfume, to feel enveloped, protected.
Her mother had turned away just before this point to re-enter the flat so did not sense this moment but Nikolay did. He seemed a little flustered. He hadn’t been held for a long time not like this. He mumbled goodbye and went off down the stairwell. Valentina watched him go. A bird under her breast was singing. She went to bed early, to savour this new feeling of wanting to care for someone, to want to wrap yourself around them. When her mother came to bed, Valentina was lying with her arms around a pillow in what looked like a passionate embrace"
Their leader Gaythelos was a handsome man, a round face with a fine nose in proportion to his face, dark eyebrows over blue eyes, a rarity in Egypt, and his hair long, braided then swept back and held by a silver clasp.
Nefer’neferure, like the other daughters of the Pharaoh had admired him greatly"
Yet here, with links to international events, unfolded a plot that brought personal tragedy to the narrow streets and harbour of the small Ligurian town.
It also revealed the courage of ordinary Italians.
"In 2012, against conservation rules, two large non-Mediterranean fleets were spotted in some of the main Mediterranean fishing grounds. The substantial presence of irregular foreign vessels in the Mediterranean, added to an evident decrease in the control zeal of nations involved in this fishery, is a reminder of the situation created by recent conflict in Libya.
One of the fleets consisted of several Chinese ships (none of which is authorized to fish here), with the other comprised of several ships of unknown registry.
The Chinese fleet entered the Mediterranean via the Suez canal, leaving the region via the Straights of Gibraltar reportedly heading to Mauritania.
The second fleet refused to respond to attempts to communicate. The high prices paid for swordfish and tuna in the Japanese market mean that quota levels are continually not set low enough to allow the fish to recover, as well meaning that there is extensive illegal fishing going on. Single fish can sell for over $100,000. adapted from " treehugger."
Kee.á, a Native American girl, sets out on a spirit journey to seek her father in the wilderness of the Pacific North West.
The Huldu Woman
In the Faroes, before the Norse settlers arrived, there was another people, the Huldu folk living there. They were tall slender with black hair and clad in grey. They could make themselves and their dwellings disappear and reappear.
Lotta of the Wild Horses
Imagine deeptime, when there were no people, only birds, furry creatures, and horses, wild horses.
This abrupt turfing out thrust them back to a reality they had escaped for a moment.
Tanya watched the dark figures in ones and twos disperse along the street.
Behind her the door shut with a bang. Semeon turned the lock.
That sound, the sound of the bolt shooting home, clutched at her heart.
There were two cold places, the physical cold and the cold of her relationship.
The ground was rock at 40 below; lakes and streams still and solid; icicles daggering from eaves. A tree could explode like a pistol shot as it’s freezing sap burst out its body. Birds could literally fall out of the sky, their heart muscle finally stiff and cold.
In the forest green things had retreated inwards, underground, sleeping, waiting.
Like the forest she had retreated deep into herself, trying to keep some of her spirit alive."
How would I describe the Orkney Islands? "A woman, lying part submerged, bathing in a shallow sea of turquoise; her smooth rounded hills rising from the ocean, bringing forth an archipelago of islands in the blue water.” This would be true.
Yet this is the North of Britain, the real North where gales and rain lash the treeless landscape and the sea pounds the cliffs. This also would be true.
Against this backdrop people make their lives here much as anywhere, they live, they die, they love, they give birth. They reach for things beyond themselves."
The novellas are in sequence, Bennibister, The Wedding at Bennibister. The Third Norn (at Bennibister).
She got his espresso with slow deliberate movements, from cup rack to coffee machine. She knew he was watching, knew his eyes followed her body as she stretched down for the cup then up to the lever.
It was a show, she was the performer. There was no eye contact until she turned and pushed the coffee towards him touching his hand with hers. It was hot and moist.
Then she looked straight at him, her face framed in vibrant red hair, her lips parting to say the price."
On the Isle of Mull, early in the chieftainship of the Macleans, a jealous spat finds one woman fighting for her life.
It is 1014 and some of the Vikings, in the fleet bound from Orkney to Ireland for the great battle of Clontarf, take a detour to deprive a woman of her rightful inheritance.
He knew she had been fighting in the jungle for twelve years
She studied him. Handsome, his Indian features were rugged; the eyes small, dark, with thick eyebrows above, hair cut short in the military style. She had not been near a man in an intimate way in months.
Her life in the guerrillas meant rough food, rough quarters, and the only perfumes the smell of corpses and fresh blood. They measured themselves in deaths.
How many did they have to kill to succeed?
"Eternal Revolution" the leader had said, but something in her craved for stability - a hearth like this one, her own hut.
She looked into his eyes and saw the same need"
At the farm they collected on trailers and were tractored out to the fields. The ground was wet, slimy, so when the field workers got down their boots were soon clogged and heavy with thick clay. A drizzle had set in.
As she bent and stretched Irene recalled yesterday morning.
It had been bright and sunny.
A young man heading for the train station had smiled at her as she tried to look invisible. She regretted that. At home she would have smiled, flashed her eyelashes. She smiled now at the thought of it. Ilona caught her look saying "And what are you thinking of.” Irena laughed, "Guess.”
"Men of course,” replied Ilona, stooping to cut a stalk. "Of course,” said Irena.
The gang boss couldn’t stop them from dreaming"
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Soon to be a miniseries from Hulu starring James Franco
ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTS RANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENT KENNEDY DIED, AND THE WORLD CHANGED. WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE IT BACK?
In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.
It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.
So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.
One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.
Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens -- town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -- even murder -- to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.
At last, mega-bestselling author Sister Souljah delivers the stunning sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever. Fierce, raw, and filled with adventure and emotional intensity, A Deeper Love Inside is an unforgettable coming-of-age story in the words of Porsche Santiaga, Winter’s younger sister.
Sharp-tongued, quick-witted Porsche worships her sister Winter. Cut from the same cloth as her father, Ricky Santiaga, Porsche is also a natural-born hustler. Passionate and loyal to the extreme, she refuses to accept her new life in group homes, foster care, and juvenile detention after her family is torn apart. Porsche—unique, young, and beautiful—cries as much as she fights and uses whatever she has to reclaim her status. Unselfish, she pushes to get back everything that ever belonged to her wealthy, loving family.
In A Deeper Love Inside, readers will encounter their favorite characters from The Coldest Winter Ever, including Winter and Midnight. Sister Souljah’s soulful writing will again move your heart and open your eyes to a shocking reality.
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).
Colin Hancock is giving his second chance his best shot. With a history of violence and bad decisions behind him and the threat of prison dogging his every step, he's determined to walk a straight line. To Colin, that means applying himself single-mindedly toward his teaching degree and avoiding everything that proved destructive in his earlier life. Reminding himself daily of his hard-earned lessons, the last thing he is looking for is a serious relationship.
Maria Sanchez, the hardworking daughter of Mexican immigrants, is the picture of conventional success. With a degree from Duke Law School and a job at a prestigious firm in Wilmington, she is a dark-haired beauty with a seemingly flawless professional track record. And yet Maria has a traumatic history of her own, one that compelled her to return to her hometown and left her questioning so much of what she once believed.
A chance encounter on a rain-swept road will alter the course of both Colin and Maria's lives, challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and ultimately, themselves. As love unexpectedly takes hold between them, they dare to envision what a future together could possibly look like . . . until menacing reminders of events in Maria's past begin to surface.
As a series of threatening incidents wreaks chaos in Maria's life, Maria and Colin will be tested in increasingly terrifying ways. Will demons from their past destroy the tenuous relationship they've begun to build, or will their love protect them, even in the darkest hour?
Rich in emotion and fueled with suspense, SEE ME reminds us that love is sometimes forged in the crises that threaten to shatter us . . . and that those who see us for who we truly are may not always be the ones easiest to recognize.
It is now being developed as one of the most ambitious television miniseries of all time. Executive Producer Sam Raimi (director of the three Spider-Man movies), in collaboration with Disney/ABC, is creating a 22-episode adaptation of the book to be filmed in New Zealand.
Richard and Kahlan’s story unfolds over ten more novels, collectively known as the Sword of Truth series, concluding with Confessor in 2007. Placing Goodkind in the elite club of #1 New York Times bestselling authors, the series has sold more than twenty million copies to date worldwide.
In Wizard’s First Rule, Goodkind introduced the world to an ordinary forest guide, Richard Cypher, and the mysterious, powerful woman he comes to love, Kahlan Amnell. Learning his true identity, Richard accepts his destiny as the one man who can stop the bloodthirsty tyrant Darken Rahl. Hunted relentlessly, betrayed and alone, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword and invoke something more noble within himself as the final confrontation with Darken Rahl looms.
The importance of Wizard’s First Rule is sourced in Goodkind taking on the toughest of all literary challenges: to tell an electrifying story of action, violence, and adventure that also makes people think, and that would influence the choices and actions of its readers.
After being caught in the middle of a love triangle that led to a devastating betrayal, Kiera pledged to learn from the mistakes she’d made. She was determined to never again inflict that kind of pain on anyone, especially the soulful, talented man who held her heart. But life offers new challenges for every relationship, and when Kiera’s love is put to the ultimate test, will it survive? Love is easy…trust is hard.
Creating "true narrative magic" (The Washington Post) at every revelatory turn, Stephen King surpasses all expectation in the stunning final volume of his seven-part epic masterwork. Entwining stories and worlds from a vast and complex canvas, here is the conclusion readers have long awaited—breathtakingly imaginative, boldly visionary, and wholly entertaining.
Roland Deschain and his ka-tet have journeyed together and apart, scattered far and wide across multilayered worlds of wheres and whens. The destinies of Roland, Susannah, Jake, Father Callahan, Oy, and Eddie are bound in the Dark Tower itself, which now pulls them ever closer to their own endings and beginnings...and into a maelstrom of emotion, violence, and discovery.