Peach Blossom PavilionPeach Blossom Pavilion by Mingmei Yip

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In a sunny California apartment, a young woman and her fiancé arrive to record her great-grandmother’s story. It is the story of a girl, Xiang Xiang, who rose from a childhood of shame to become one of the most successful courtesans in early twentieth-century China—under the name Precious Orchid.
 
After Xiang Xiang’s father is falsely accused of a crime, he is executed, leaving his family a legacy of dishonor. Her mother’s only option is to enter a Buddhist nunnery, so she gives her daughter over to the care of her sister in Shanghai.
 
At first, life at Peach Blossom Pavilion feels like a dream. Surrounded by exotic flowers, murmuring fountains, colorful fishponds, and bamboo groves, Precious Orchid sees herself thriving. She is schooled in music, literature, painting, calligraphy, and, to her innocent surprise, the art of pleasuring men. For the beautiful Pavilion hides its darker purpose as an elite house of prostitution. And even as she commands the devotion of China’s most powerful men, Precious Orchid never gives up on her dream to escape, reunite with her mother, avenge her father’s death, and find true love. As the richest, most celebrated Ming Ji—or “prestigious courtesan”—in all of China, she just might have her way, even if it comes with a devastating price…

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Nonfiction, Contemporary Fiction, Action & Adventure, Romantic Comedy, Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Mystery, Historical Romance… today’s featured books have a little something for everyone!

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The Mistress of Paris: The 19th-Century Courtesan Who Built an Empire on a Secret Catherine Hewitt’s The Mistress of Paris is a fantastically readable biography of a nineteenth-century Parisian courtesan who harbored an incredible secret.

Comtesse Valtesse de la Bigne was painted by Édouard Manet and inspired Émile Zola, who immortalized her in his scandalous novel Nana. Her rumored affairs with Napoleon III and the future King Edward VII kept gossip columns full. But her glamorous existence hid a dark secret: she was no comtesse.

Valtesse was born into abject poverty, raised on a squalid backstreet among the dregs of Parisian society. Yet she transformed herself into an enchantress who possessed a small fortune, three mansions, fabulous carriages, and art the envy of connoisseurs across Europe. A consummate show-woman, she ensured that her life—and even her death—remained shrouded in just enough mystery to keep her audience hungry for more.

Spectacularly evoking the sights and sounds of mid- to late nineteenth-century Paris in all its hedonistic glory, Catherine Hewitt’s biography tells, for the first time ever in English, the forgotten story of a remarkable woman who, though her roots were lowly, never stopped aiming high.

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What Holds Us Together From the author of The Astonishing Thing and Something Worth Saving comes a tender, wise, and insightful novel of a family cat, a second chance, and the love that persists through the deepest heartache…

They say that cats don’t like change. But Luna, an imaginative tabby, understands that sometimes it’s necessary. When her owner, Annika, moved back to her small New England hometown six months ago along with her sixteen-year-old twins, Luna knew it was for the best. Ever since Annika’s husband, Peter, died suddenly, the family has been floundering. Luna, too, is guilt-ridden, sure she could have done more to save her favorite person. Luna also knows something the others don’t know. Peter’s spirit is still with them, and Luna believes there is something he needs her help to do…

Annika has been struggling to move on. It doesn’t help that her son, Donovan, blames her for his father’s death. Peter always told Annika that they had the best love story going, yet the fact is that much of their story has been hidden away, even from their children. When Annika’s first love, Sam, arrives to plow them out during an intensifying storm, the truth begins to emerge at last. And Luna—watchful and unwavering in her affection—may be her family’s best hope of learning how to forgive and to heal…

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True Fiction (Ian Ludlow Thrillers Book 1)
Over 1,500 5-Star Reviews!

#1 New York Times and Amazon Charts bestselling author Lee Goldberg hits the ground running in a breakneck thriller where truth and fiction collide for the unluckiest writer alive.

When a passenger jet crashes onto the beaches of Waikiki, bestselling thriller writer Ian Ludlow knows the horrific tragedy wasn’t an accident.

Years before, the CIA enlisted Ian to dream up terrorism scenarios to prepare the government for nightmares they couldn’t imagine. Now one of those schemes has come true, and Ian is the only person alive who knows how it was done…and who is behind the plot. That makes him too dangerous to live.

Ian goes on the run, sweeping up an innocent bystander in his plight—Margo French, a dog walker and aspiring singer. They are pursued by assassins and an all-seeing global-intelligence network that won’t stop until Ian and Margo are dead. Ian has written thrillers like this before, but this time he doesn’t know how it’s going to end—or if he will be alive to find out.

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Love By Design Design Intervention, starts the second season with its own surprise makeover. Interior designer Victoria Bryce must break in her temporary co-host, Aussie Russ Rowland.

Victoria, former socialite wild child hopes the reality show will give her the clout to launch her own design line without her family connections. Russ, former bad boy Australian TV star is using the show to launch his acting career in the States.

Sparks fly on camera as they argue over paint colors and measurement mishaps leading to passions igniting behind the scenes. But when their pasts collide with the present will the foundation they built withstand the final reveal?

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The Blind Assassin: A Novel Over 300 5-Star Reviews!

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Handmaid’s Tale.

In The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood weaves together strands of gothic suspense, romance, and science fiction into one utterly spellbinding narrative.

The novel begins with the mysterious death—a possible suicide—of a young woman named Laura Chase in 1945. Decades later, Laura’s sister Iris recounts her memories of their childhood, and of the dramatic deaths that have punctuated their wealthy, eccentric family’s history.

Intertwined with Iris’s account are chapters from the scandalous novel that made Laura famous, in which two illicit lovers amuse each other by spinning a tale of a blind killer on a distant planet.

These richly layered stories-within-stories gradually illuminate the secrets that have long haunted the Chase family, coming together in a brilliant and astonishing final twist.

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Everyday Watercolor: Learn to Paint Watercolor in 30 Days Over 250 5-Star Reviews!

A contemporary paint-every-day watercolor guide that explores foundational strokes and patterns and then builds new skills upon the foundations over the course of 30 days to create finished pieces.

This beautifully illustrated and inspiring guided watercolor-a-day book is perfect for beginning watercolor artists, artists who want to improve their watercolor skills, and visual creatives. From strokes to shapes, this book covers the basics and helps painters gain confidence in themselves along with inspiration to develop their own style over the course of 30 days.

Featuring colorful contemporary art from Mon Voir design agency founder and Instagram trendsetter Jenna Rainey, this book’s fresh perspective paints watercolor in a whole new light.

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Body Suit (The Silvarian Trilogy Book 1) A riches to rags adventure of a clever woman in a high-tech suit versus a hostile AI.

Silvariah Frandelle, a clever business woman, falls from wealth and success into exile and poverty, indentured–barely one step above slavery–as an off-world laborer to escape prison. Her last calculated risk as a free woman, paid for with years of service, becomes the key to surviving hostile environments.

Space, gravity, and Mars wastelands were expected. Intrusive AIs, obscure experiments and shadowy foes were not.

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Dear Rosie Hughes: This is the most feel good, page-turning and emotional novel you will read this year! Jojo Moyes meets The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in this powerfully moving novel!

The best friendships are worth fighting for…

It’s been fifteen years since Aggie’s friendship with Rosie Hughes ended abruptly. But now she’s heard from the village rumour mill that Rosie is off to war, she knows her best friend needs her more than ever – despite what’s happened between them in the past.

As Rosie faces a desert full of danger and Aggie falls further from the path to love she’ so wants, the two friends write each other letters.

The comfort in their shared words is an anchor to the life they knew before…and the only constant in a world as increasingly unpredictable as the wind.

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Killing Dylan Someone is trying to kill celebrated author Dylan St James. But who would want him dead? And why? And who the hell shoots someone with a harpoon, anyway?

Disgruntled, failed crime writer, Freddie Winters, spends his days conning old ladies, setting up fake book signings, sneaking into literary festivals uninvited and lamenting his lack of success. When his old Friend, Dylan, turns to him for help, Freddie agrees to use his own limited detective skills to find out who’s behind the murder attempt.

With a group of suspicious ex-wives, a jealous rival, a crazed stalker fan and an exploding postman to deal with, Freddie soon stumbles upon a catalogue of crazy behaviour and a truly bizarre motive for murder. But can he stop the killer before it’s too late?

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Wild (Medieval Wedding Trilogy Book 2) For years Teleri of the Woods, shunned by superstitious villagers, has lived her life in solitude among the creatures of the forest. But when she discovers a man ambushed and left for dead in her woods, she must try to save him with her healing skills. She does not know he is a knight charged by the King of England to establish a stronghold and build a castle nearby, only that he is the same knight who chased her once before.

Sir Roger FitzAlan awakes to discover that none of his fabled diplomacy and skills of war will help him with his most immediate problem–a madwoman who has tied him to stakes in a small woodland cottage. Teleri is his match in wit and will, but she opens his eyes to the wonder of a simple world he has never known.

As Roger recovers and fomulates his plan for catching his would-be-murderer, he realizes something else: his real challenge won’t be taming the borderlands but taming and winning over his wild Welsh healer. But when he understands that he cannot live in her world and she may not survive in his, he knows he must teach her to trust him, even though he threatens all she holds dear.

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How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine BrainHow Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
by Gregory Berns

Over 1,200 5-Star Reviews!

The powerful bond between humans and dogs is one that’s uniquely cherished. Loyal, obedient, and affectionate, they are truly “man’s best friend.” But do dogs love us the way we love them?

Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns had spent decades using MRI imaging technology to study how the human brain works, but a different question still nagged at him: What is my dog thinking?

After his family adopted Callie, a shy, skinny terrier mix, Berns decided that there was only one way to answer that question—use an MRI machine to scan the dog’s brain. His colleagues dismissed the idea. Everyone knew that dogs needed to be restrained or sedated for MRI scans. But if the military could train dogs to operate calmly in some of the most challenging environments, surely there must be a way to train dogs to sit in an MRI scanner.

With this radical conviction, Berns and his dog would embark on a remarkable journey and be the first to glimpse the inner workings of the canine brain.

How Dogs Love Us answers the age-old question of dog lovers everywhere and offers profound new evidence that dogs should be treated as we would treat our best human friends: with love, respect, and appreciation for their social and emotional intelligence.

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