Category Archives: Best Books

Long Way Home (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Angel Unseen) (Bk. 3)

This title concludes a three-volume crossover series which uses characters and settings from both Buffy and Angel. Buffy and Angel are stuck in an alternate reality where dragons and monsters rule. In the homeworld chaos is rife, Buffy and Angel must find a way home before it’s too late.

Long Way Home (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Angel Unseen) (Bk. 3)
Source: http://shadesofgrayshop.com

A Long Way From Home

From Connie Briscoe, the New York Times bestselling author of Sisters & Lovers and Big Girls Don’t Cry, comes a lyrical and moving tour de force that is her most daringly ambitious novel to date–a multigenerational story of slavery freedom, and the indestructible bonds of love and family witnessed through the lives of three unforgettable African-American women.

Shimmering with heartache and hope, A Long Way from Home recounts the joys, pain, and ultimate triumph of three generations: Susie; her daughter, Clara; and her granddaughter, Susan. Born and reared as house slaves on Montpelier, the Virginia plantation of President James Madison and his wife, Dolley Madison, they are united by love, by a fierce devotion to each other and their fellow slaves, and by a growing desire for freedom–a dream that will finally come to fruition for Susan at the end of the Civil War.

This hauntingly beautiful novel opens in the peaceful Piedmont area of Virginia. Trained as a house slave since childhood, Susie enjoys the privileges that her position as maid to Miss Dolley provides her and Clara. For Susie life holds no mystery, no promise beyond the boundaries of the plantation itself–a lesson she tries to impart to the dreamy Clara, who longs to control her own destiny despite her mother’s frightening admonition: “You don’t know a thing about freedom, ’cause I don’t know anything about it. It takes money and know-how to live free. You don’t just up and do it.”

Life will change for both mother and daughter, though, with the death of James Madison and the departure of his wife for her town house, events that leave the estate in the hands of Dolley’s profligate son, Todd. As a result of his neglectful stewardship, the plantation soon falls to a series of owners, each posing a new threat to Susie and Clara, and the other longtime Madison slaves with whom the two women have shared their entire lives.

Amidst these devastating changes, Clara grows into womanhood and becomes a mother herself, giving birth to two light-skinned daughters, Ellen and Susan. Yet the threat of separation that has shaped her life is soon a reality when her younger daughter, Susan, is sold to a wealthy businessman in Richmond. Susan must create a new life for herself in this bustling city, a life that will be filled with both terror and hope . And it is in Civil War-torn Richmond that she will find love and realize the long-held dream of her ancestors: freedom.

In A Long Way from Home, Connie Briscoe vividly recreates Southern life and the ambivalent, shifting relationships on both sides of the color divide, from the cruelty and insidious benevolence of white owners to the deep yearnings and complex emotions of the slaves themselves. This poignant, powerful story pays homage to the African-American experience and to the ancestors, both black and white, whose lives and histories are indelibly entwined with our own.

In Connie Briscoe’s third novel, the connotations of home are anything but heartwarming. For an enslaved mother, daughter, and grandmother, Montpelier plantation in Virginia is a living hell–and the proprietor, at least initially, is none other than President James Madison. A Long Way from Home opens during Madison’s lifetime, when Susie and her daughter Clara serve the First Couple as house slaves. Yet even this regime seems civilized compared to the havoc unleashed by Madison’s brutal stepson. As Clara fends off (and ultimately succumbs to) the sexual advances of one master after another, the author conjures up the entire world of the “peculiar institution.”

It is Susie’s granddaughter and namesake, Susan, who first leaves Montpelier. Not, of course, voluntarily: she is sold to a family living in Richmond. Chained in the back of a departing wagon, she “clenched her teeth and stared at the sky. How dare the day be so clear, so beautiful, on this, the worst day of her life.” But as the Civil War erupts, Susan ponders the possibility of a more joyous liberation. As Briscoe makes clear, the prospect elicited a complex blend of emotions from many slaves–Susan, for example, has been lulled into considering herself a part (if a diminished part) of her white master’s family. A Long Way from Home does occasionally fall back on the pat formulas of the television miniseries, and Briscoe doesn’t manage to quite ignite Susan’s conflicted feelings about bondage and freedom. But Susan’s postwar travails do convey the reality that Reconstruction was not only a political process but also a painfully personal one. –Katherine Anderson

A Long Way From Home
Source: http://shadesofgrayshop.com

The Truth of the Matter (The Homelanders)

“Never give in.”

Ever since he woke up in a terrorist torture chamber―with a year of his life erased from his mind―Charlie West has been on the run. He has one desperate hope of getting his life back: track down the mysterious agent named Waterman. But in fact, reaching Waterman―and recovering the secrets lost in his own memory―will only increase his danger. Because a team of ruthless killers is rapidly closing in on him, determined to stop him from finding the answers. And the truth of the matter is more incredible . . . and more deadly . . . than he could ever imagine.

“Action sequences that never let up . . . wrung for every possible drop of nervous sweat.”

―Booklist review of The Long Way Home

The Truth of the Matter (The Homelanders)
Source: http://shadesofgrayshop.com

The Long Way Home: One Mom’s Journey Home from War

My name is Jessica Scott. I am a soldier. I am a mother. I am a wife. In 2009, Army second lieutenant Jessica Scott deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. She thought deploying was the hardest thing she’d ever do. She was wrong. This is the story of a mother coming home from war and learning to be a mom again. This is the story of a lieutenant making the grade and becoming a company commander. This is the journey of a writer persevering through a hundred rejections. This is the story of a soldier learning to be a woman again. This is the story of a wife waiting for the end of a war. This is the journey as it happened, without commentary. This is her blog. There are many blogs from the Iraq war, but this one is hers.

The Long Way Home: One Mom’s Journey Home from War
Source: http://shadesofgrayshop.com

The Nature of the Beast: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

Hardly a day goes by when nine year old Laurent Lepage doesn’t cry wolf. From alien invasions, to walking trees, to winged beasts in the woods, to dinosaurs spotted in the village of Three Pines, his tales are so extraordinary no one can possibly believe him. Including Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache, who now live in the little Quebec village.

But when the boy disappears, the villagers are faced with the possibility that one of his tall tales might have been true.

And so begins a frantic search for the boy and the truth. What they uncover deep in the forest sets off a sequence of events that leads to murder, leads to an old crime, leads to an old betrayal. Leads right to the door of an old poet.

And now it is now, writes Ruth Zardo. And the dark thing is here.

A monster once visited Three Pines. And put down deep roots. And now, Ruth knows, it is back.

Armand Gamache, the former head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec, must face the possibility that, in not believing the boy, he himself played a terrible part in what happens next.

The Nature of the Beast: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
Source: http://shadesofgrayshop.com

Take the Long Way Home

All across the world, people suddenly vanish in the blink of an eye. From their cars during the rush hour commute. From the shopping malls. Their homes. Their beds. Even from the arms of their loved ones. Airline pilots. World leaders. Teachers. Parents. Children. Gone.

Steve, Charlie and Frank were just trying to get home when it happened. Now they find themselves left behind, and wishing they’d disappeared, too. Trapped in the ultimate traffic jam, they watch as civilization collapses, claiming the souls of those around them. God has called his faithful home, but the invitations for Steve, Charlie and Frank got lost. Now they must set off on foot through a nightmarish post-apocalyptic landscape in search of answers. In search of God. In search of their loved ones. And in search of home.

Deadite Press is proud to make Brian Keene’s long out-of-print critically-acclaimed Take The Long Way Home available to readers once again! Includes an introduction by New York Times-bestselling author John Skipp!

Take the Long Way Home
Source: http://shadesofgrayshop.com

Long Way Home

The start of a stunning new crime series from a new young talent: DI ZIgic and DS Ferreira from Peterborough’s underfunded Hate Crimes Unit are called in when a man is burnt to death in a garden shed.
     The locals call it Englandistan. It lies just north of Peterborough’s city centre. It’s where the migrants who build your houses, clean your offices and pick your food live. Where gang leaders and slum landlords abuse cheap foreign labour. Where a man can be burned to death in a garden shed without the owners raising the alarm.
     DS Ferreira dn DI Zigic from the underfunded Hate Crimes Unit are both representatives of earlier waves of migration to the UK; their experiences give them a personal understanding of the issues involved, but does it also risk clouding their judgement? Against a background of simmering racial tension, Ferreira and Zigic must work with both victims and villains alike in this brilliantly written debut from a new crime writing talent.

Long Way Home
Source: http://shadesofgrayshop.com

Still Life

Winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.

Still Life introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces–and this series–with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.

Still Life
Source: http://shadesofgrayshop.com

The Long Way Home: One Woman’s True Story of a Love Lost and Another One Found

Meeting again after 55 years at a high school reunion brought two lonely people together to share their late years with the ardor of young love.

The Long Way Home is a beautiful and inspiring story of a woman who loses her first love but finds her second love after many years. Marvin’s first marriage was for 52 wonderful years; Clara’s for l7, dominated by abusive alcoholism, causing her to escape with her 4 young daughters with only $70, no car, and clothes in brown paper bags.

Clara’s unusual life of determination and faith introduced her to famous people. Trips from Vienna into an Iron Curtain country to smuggle in gold and money show her courage and determination

Meanwhile, Marvin witnessed the carnage and loss of The Korean War. He loses his legs but not his will to live. Many years later, these two high school friends meet and decide to spend the rest of their lives together.

God’s hand can be seen throughout this amazing story of pain, sacrifice, determination, suffering and love. A manuscript reader wrote, “…in this age of technology, this book reminds me of what I have been missing…the honesty, the humor of a true love story…”

The Long Way Home: One Woman’s True Story of a Love Lost and Another One Found
Source: http://shadesofgrayshop.com