Redeeming Brother Murrihy: The River To Hiruharama by Antony Millen

Conrad Murrihy’s mother is dying and she has one final wish: to see her eldest son Francis who has not contacted home in two years.
In a race to find him and return home to his mother, Conrad travels far from his native Nova Scotia, Canada and through the heart of rural North Island, New Zealand following leads to Taumarunui, Auckland, Whanganui, Ratana and, finally, on an epic journey up the Whanganui River.
Along the way, Conrad discovers his brother has been living multiple lives – as a Catholic brother, a spoken-word poet, a suspected criminal and a new kind of poropiti for iwi Maori.
Conrad’s search forces him to confront issues in his own life – issues of commitment, family loyalties, reconciliation with the past and openness to future possibilities – brought on by his encounters with the people, places and spirits of New Zealand.
In this, his first novel, Antony Millen explores the complex spiritual fabric of New Zealand while still telling a simple story of a man trying to mend his family. Continue reading

No Irish Need Apply by Edward C. Patterson

Kevin Borden has a secret, and that secret is about to shake the world around him – a tame and suburban world ruled by his widow mother, Sarah and peppered by his study-mate, Louis. Teenagers sometimes do the darndest things, but in Kevin and Louis’ case, it’s a stroke of wisdom wrapped in fool’s gold. In a time not so long ago, in the days of JIM CROW and NO IRISH NEED APPLY signage, the world made it clear to those regarded as the fringe. “Stay away.” To those who know no better – or perhaps know best, such lines are only meant to be crossed, or why else would they be drawn. Continue reading

Drop Out by Neil Ostroff

When the Twin Towers fell, Nathan Cruz saved the lives of dozens of strangers but the one life he could not save was that of his pregnant fiancé. Wracked with survivor’s guilt and unresolved goodbyes, Nathan drops out of society where he lives self-sufficiently on a houseboat in Florida.

A twist of fate lands him into the home of Miriam Kanter, a young, fiercely independent woman with a shocking secret. Alone together in the midst of a raging hurricane, Nathan discloses the nearly unbearable sorrows of his past and finds strength to piece his shattered life back together. Being with Miriam, he feels the connection he’d been missing, stirring up feelings buried long ago. But will Miriam’s own life cut short and plunge Nathan back into his world of reclusive isolation?
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The Midwife’s Secret: The Legend of ‘La Belle Ecossaise’ by Linda Root

When Marie Stuart, Queen of Scots, surrendered to the knight Kirkcaldy of Grange at Carberry Hill in 1567, she was noticeably pregnant, ostensibly with twins conceived before her marriage to the Earl of Bothwell, and that she miscarried them while imprisoned at Loch Leven. But after her escape and flight to England, rumors emerged that one of the twins survived, a daughter who was smuggled to France where she later became a nun. In June of 1588, a year after Marie Stuart’s execution, a novice name Marguerite Kircaldie was ordained at Saint Pierre les Dames in Rheims, and later became its abbess. During her youth, her origin was a secret and when visitors came to the convent, she was hidden away in cellars or holes. Some said that she was the love child of the executed traitor Kirkcaldy of Grange, but Kirkcaldy had only one legitimate daughter who died mysteriously in London in 1572. The residents at Saint Pierre were told that the child who they called ‘La Belle Ecossaise’ was kept hidden from outsiders because of her exceptional beauty. Others suspected that the true reason was the resemblance she bore to the Dowager Queen of France, Marie Stuart, who was the anointed Queen of Scots, a possibility that made her a pawn in the politics of nations and put her life at risk. Continue reading

Euthanasia by Mack Mulluncey

She lies on the cold, metal table—clad in a loose, white paper dress—waiting, waiting, waiting, as her lover claims his next victim.

When Alex left the clinic that day, she thought she could move on from the rape that left her pregnant and the agonizing decision to have an abortion. That is, until the child she thought she left behind contacts her. Terrorized by mysterious phone calls and guilt, Alex feels her sanity slipping away as she becomes convinced that she must find the man who brutalized her to make a family for her dead daughter.

Anti-abortion crusader Tobin Bartell wouldn’t have it any other way. As The Leader of The Movement, when he’s not organizing protests or giving speeches, he’s orchestrating a campaign of harassment against women like Alex…and plotting to kill the local abortion doctor.

And Tobin has no shortage of candidates for the job: Paige wants money, Courtney wants love, Derek wants to belong. Tobin just wants it done…and it doesn’t matter to him who does it.

Life. Death. Murder. It’s all the same to them. Continue reading

The 41st Sermon by Randy Attwood

Episcopalian priest Christopher Talley leaves for his yearly retreat, a week alone at a fishing resort where he writes the outlines for the sermons of the future year, and where – away from his childless wife and his demanding parishioners – he indulges in his desire for alcohol and strip club hookers. But most addictive is reliving the memories of his first true love he brought to the resort years ago.

Danger arrives when the blonde parishioner he encounters tells him she has run away from her husband. But the beautiful Molly is really hiding out as part of a phony kidnap plot. Sex with this disturbed and thrill-seeking parishioner opens him to joys of physicality besides which the reality of religion is dull indeed. Fr. Talley learns Molly’s mother is that first true love he still fantasizes about. He manipulates Molly to entice her mother to the resort.

Satan’s complications are never easy; God’s grace is never free.
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The Girl on the Mountain by Carol Ervin

When her husband disappears, young May Rose is stranded in a rough town owned by a company logging the last of West Virginia’s virgin forest. It’s 1899, and a woman alone has few options. As she struggles to sustain herself, she discovers people are not what they seem–not the husband who wooed her with stories and songs, not the wild, dirty child, the sullen cook, nor the stiff boardinghouse proprietor, and certainly not the company manager, pillar of the town. But May Rose is also not the obedient woman she once was. She’s been scorned as the girl on the mountain, the subject of shocking stories, yet there’s more to her than anyone expected. To survive, she must defend herself from predatory men and boys, and prove herself a person of value. Most important, she must believe that love is never wasted. Continue reading

Like Mayflies in a Stream by Shauna Roberts

Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, epitomizes masculine physical perfection, but his character falls far short of the mark. His subjects fear him because he’s become a tyrant. Priestess Shamhat wants to free Uruk from oppression, but she fears the repercussions if she acts against the brutal king. Then Uruk hears of a desert wild man, Gilgamesh’s equal in size and strength. Gilgamesh thinks the man, Enkidu, can relieve his boredom; Shamhat hopes Enkidu can humble the king. Enkidu becomes a pawn in the struggle between Gilgamesh and Shamhat, and the future of Uruk hangs in the balance. Continue reading