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When twelve-year-old Florence boards the horse-drawn coach in London, she looks forward to a new life at Crutchfield Hall, her great-uncle's manor house in the English countryside. Anything will be better, Florence thinks, than the grim London orphanage she has just left. Florence doesn't reckon with the eerie presence that haunts the cavernous rooms and dimly lit hallways of Crutchfield. It's the ghost of her cousin Sophia, who died the year before. Sophia's ghost seeks to recreate the scene of her death and cause someone else to die in her place so that she will be restored to life. And she intends to force her newly arrived cousin to help her. Blending elements from classic ghost stories of the past, Mary Downing Hahn pays homage to such renowned writers as Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens while creating a bone-chilling new story of her own.
Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity. The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden's killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown. But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin's hellhounds has escaped, a pixie dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is a malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae?unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.
Elodie journeys to the town of Two Castles to become a mansioner ? an actress ? but the master of the troupe turns her away. Brilliant dragon Meenore takes her in, then sends her on a dangerous mission within an ogre's castle. There, disguised as a kitchen maid, she plays the role of a lifetime, pitted against a foe intent on murder. Black-and-white cats, a handsome cat trainer, a greedy king, a giddy princess, a shape-shifting ogre, a brilliant dragon . . . Elodie must discover which of them is kind, which is cruel, and, most of all, which is the one who deserves her trust. Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine weaves an entrancing tale of a fearsome ogre, a dragon detective, and a remarkable heroine who finds friendship where she least expects it, learns that there are many ways to mansion, and discovers that goodness and evil come in all shapes and sizes.
For generations, Arienh's people have feared the Viking raids. She knows all too well the terrible toll the Northmen have taken on the Celts, having lost most of her own family to their swords. So one stormy night when she encounters and wounds a Viking warrior, she has every right to want him dead. And yet she hesitates? Ronan knows Arienh doesn't recognize him. He was just a boy when his kinsmen raided her village and Ronan risked his own life to protect her. Now he has returned to claim the beautiful girl who captured his heart years before. But wooing a Celtic woman is no easy task. And no one has a heart more guarded than Arienh, who has sacrificed her own happiness for the good of her village. She and Ronan are unlikely lovers, forged in dangerously opposite worlds ? yet bound together by strength, sacrifice, and an undeniable passion. ...Masterpiece ? ? Romantic Times, 4? Stars
Imagine an alternate universe where romance and technology reign. Where tinkerers and dreamers craft and recraft a world of automatons, ornate clockworks, calculating machines, and other marvels that never were. Where scientists and schoolgirls, fair folk and Romans, intergalactic bandits, Utopian revolutionaries, and intrepid orphans ? decked out in corsets, clockwerk suits, and tall black boots ? solve dastardly crimes, escape from monstrous predicaments, consult oracles, and hover over volcanoes in steam-powered airships. Here, in the first major steampunk anthology for young adults, fourteen masters of speculative fiction, including two graphic storytellers, embrace the genre's established blend of sci-fi and fantasy, action and adventure, history and romance, and refashion it in surprising ways and in settings as diverse as Canada, New Zealand, Appalachia, Wales, ancient Rome, future Australia, and alternate California. Visionaries Link and Grant have invited all-new interpretations, explorations, and expansions, taking a genre already rich, strange, and inventive in the extreme and challenging contributors to remake it from the ground up. The result is an anthology that defies even as it defines the genre.
A Desperate Choice Lady Grace Warren will do anything to protect her sisters, even betroth herself to a man so depraved that all of London fears him. Faced with a lifetime of misery, Grace has only one chance for escape: to relinquish her virtue before her wedding. Such abandon will destroy her reputation ? and ensure her freedom. But when she disguises herself as courtesan to lure a handsome nobleman, she cannot anticipate the tender surprise destiny has in store? A Twist of Fate Vincent Germaine, Duke of Raeborn, has lost two wives in childbirth and still has no heir. Racked by guilt and grief, he seeks comfort in the arms of an enchanting stranger. But when he realizes their night of passion may have resulted in another dangerous pregnancy, he sets out to track down the innocent female ? only to find his heart captured by a woman of incomparable courage and beauty.
A High-Stakes Courtship When Jonah Armstrong, the Earl of Haywood, returns to London after a three year absence, his plan is simple: reenter society, find a wealthy bride, and save the Haywood name from ruin. He has no time for distractions. Yet when he encounters Lady Cecelia Randolph, Jonah can't resist a flirtation. After all, his feud with her brother, the Duke of Hadleigh, necessitated Jonah's recent exile; he's entitled to his revenge. But within seconds Jonah realizes he's underestimated Cecelia. The gangly girl he once knew has blossomed into a beauty of rare intellect and character. He can't possibly marry the Duke of Hadleigh's sister?can he? A Gamble of the Heart Cecelia has loved Jonah forever, but she's no fool. His attentions are motivated not by passion but by her generous dowry ? and his thirst for vengeance against her brother. Yet when Jonah risks everything to protect her from her brother's crazed fury, Cecelia dares to hope true love is within her reach at last.
Defiant Highland beauty Fiona Sinclair is shocked by her brothers? treachery. To seal a fragile truce, they have traded her hand in marriage to their sworn enemy, a man she has never met, a man she was raised to despise. With no choice but to wed, Fiona makes her own private vow: though she may sacrifice her freedom, she will never surrender her heart. Commanded into marriage by the king, Myles Campbell is no more willing than his reluctant bride. Still, she is a rare beauty, passionate enough to warm even the coldest marriage bed. But Myles quickly realizes Fiona Sinclair isn't some common wench: she has a warrior's spirit and a fierce pride that only a fool would try to tame. And Myles Campbell is no fool. Their marriage was meant to unite warring clans. They never imagined it would ignite a once-in-a-lifetime love?
The laughter of summer lawn parties fades for the men and women of Summerset Abbey, as the rumble of cannon-fire sweeps across Europe. In a changing world, they soon find that only one thing is certain: none of them will ever be the same.
The female pilot's upcoming wedding to Sebastian Billingsly is the talk of society. Rowena loves her kind, handsome fianc?, but memories of a dangerously passionate affair with a dashing flier still stir her heart?. Accepting a daring mission transporting British planes, she encounters the man whose touch sent her reeling?and whose return into her life may have disastrous consequences for her and Sebastian's future.
The defiant suffragette raises eyebrows once again by living on her own in London as a lady bachelor. Kit Kittredge is the one man who understands and adores Victoria's fiery spirit?but she rebuffs her best friend's offer of marriage time and again, choosing to join the war effort as a volunteer nurse. And on the battlefields of France, she will learn the true meaning of love and sacrifice.
After a stinging betrayal at Summerset Abbey, Prudence has found love and contentment in working-class Camden Town as Mrs. Andrew Wilkes. But when Andrew enlists, everything that Pru cherishes is at risk?and she crosses a line attempting to protect him. Has she irreparably damaged their loving bond of trust?
Lady Minerva Sharpe has the perfect plan to thwart her grandmother's demands: become engaged to a rogue! Surely Gran would rather release her inheritance than see her wed a scoundrel. And who better to play the part of Minerva's would-be husband than wild barrister Giles Masters, the very inspiration for the handsome spy in the popular Gothic novels she writes? The memory of his passionate kiss on her nineteenth birthday has lingered in Minerva's imagination, though she has no intention of really falling for such a rakehell, much less marrying him. Little does she know, he really is a covert government operative. When they team up to investigate the mystery behind her parents? deaths, their fake betrothal leads to red-hot desire. Then Minerva discovers Giles's secret double life, and he must use all the cunning tricks of his trade to find his way back into her heart.
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