The Outcast Oracle is about a teenage girl, but it’s a book for any adult who remembers the traumas of adolescence and the shock of discovering that religion is not all it’s cracked up to be.
On the shores of New York’s Lake Ontario in 1959, 14-year-old Charlene Beth Whitestone has been deserted by her parents, leaving her in the custody of her grandfather, C.B. Although he loves Charlie, he is a charming con artist, moonshiner, and religious fraud who inducts her into his various enterprises yet also encourages her dreams of becoming a writer. When C.B. suddenly dies, Charlie is left alone and must use her wits and resourcefulness to take charge of her life, all the while wrestling with the morality of continuing her grandfather’s schemes. When a handsome cowboy-stranger, Blake, arrives, he insinuates himself into C.B.’s religion business and into Charlie’s heart. Despite her resistance, Blake mounts a lucrative PR campaign, touting Charlie as an “oracle” and arranging for her to perform miracles.
“It’s this highly literary, easily accessible writing that lifts this story to the very top of the heap,” the Kirkus review concluded.
Laury A. Egan is the author of Jenny Kidd, a psychological suspense novel, and Fog and Other Stories, which was short-listed for a UK Saboteur Award. In addition to writing fiction, two poetry collections, Snow, Shadow, a Stranger and Beneath the Lion’s Paw, were issued by FootHills Publishing as well as a chapbook, The Sea & Beyond. Her work has appeared in over 35 literary journals and anthologies and has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, Best of the Web, and Best of the Net.
Like others in showbiz, Gil is dying to become famous on the New York operatic stage; unfortunately, he might get his wish when he lands a lead role in a dream production that also happens to be targeted for total destruction by a vengeful, female gangster.
Suddenly, happy-go-lucky Gil finds himself stranded in the middle of Mobster Boulevard, aflutter in heels, dresses, and wigs, with only his wits for protection and a new romance for inspiration.
Fifteen years ago, in Mitch Albom’s beloved novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the world fell in love with Eddie, a grizzled war veteran- turned-amusement park mechanic who died saving the life of a young girl named Annie. Eddie’s journey to heaven taught him that every life matters. Now, in this magical sequel, Mitch Albom reveals Annie’s story.
The accident that killed Eddie left an indelible mark on Annie. It took her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Injured, scarred, and unable to remember why, Annie’s life is forever changed by a guilt-ravaged mother who whisks her away from the world she knew. Bullied by her peers and haunted by something she cannot recall, Annie struggles to find acceptance as she grows. When, as a young woman, she reconnects with Paulo, her childhood love, she believes she has finally found happiness.
As the novel opens, Annie is marrying Paulo. But when her wedding night day ends in an unimaginable accident, Annie finds herself on her own heavenly journey—and an inevitable reunion with Eddie, one of the five people who will show her how her life mattered in ways she could not have fathomed.
Poignant and beautiful, filled with unexpected twists, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven reminds us that not only does every life matter, but that every ending is also a beginning—we only need to open our eyes to see it.