Stravaganza: City of Secrets

Set in Talia, a parallel-world version of Italy, the Stravaganza series combines Renaissance court intrigue with time travel, subterfuge, romance, and revenge.  In this new story arc, we meet Matt, a painfully dyslexic and insecure boy (despite a beautiful and clever girlfriend!). Matt has just discovered that he is a Stravagante – someone capable of traveling between two worlds. A leather-bound book transports Matt from our world to Talia, where he meets Luciano.  Luciano has killed the head of the powerful di Chimici family in a duel, and has gone into hiding. The di Chimici are on the verge of making a terrifying breakthrough into our world, and it will fall to Matt, Luciano, and the other Stravaganti to stop them.

A Parcel of Patterns (Plus)

parcel“A parcel of patterns brought the plague to Eyam. A parcel sent up from London to George Vicars, a journeyman tailor, who was lodging with Mrs. Cooper in a cottage by the west end of the churchyard.

So begins Mall Percival’s account of how her village of Eyam struggled against the plague. George Vicars dies on September 6, 1665, and by the end of October, twenty-five more townsfolk have been buried. As the deaths continue, the villagers, including Mall, begin to panic–helpless to fight off the disease. Uncertain as to how it is contracted and passed from one person to another, Mall forces herself to make a sacrifice that radically changes her life–she decides to stops seeing Thomas Torre, a man from another village, the man she hopes to marry. In June of 1966, at their minister’s urging, the entire village makes a pact to protect those who live in the surrounding countryside by staying within the boundaries of Eyam. Although Mall longs to see Thomas, she remains steadfast in her resolution, until one day Thomas runs into the center of Eyam, knowing that he will not be allowed to leave, yet fearing that Mall has died. Mall and Thomas marry, but their happiness is short-lived. Finally, in October of 1666, the pestilence subsides. Mall, overwhelmed by grief and sorrow, decides to write a chronicle of all she has witnessed in Eyam, hoping that it will set her free.

Divine Wind

In 1946, in the northern Australian fishing town of Broome, Hart Penrose remembers. He remembers his parents ­ his silent English mother and bluff Australian father. He remembers the storm that tore open is leg, and his sister Alice, whose exuberance and strength brought him out of despair. He remembers the racism and hatred that roiled Broome in the days before WW2, the unwarranted suspicions of the native Japanese that pulled the town apart. Most of all, he remembers Misty Sennosuke, the warm and beautiful girl next door, the girl he loved, the one he betrayed.

Everything Beautiful

Riley Rose, atheist and bad girl, has been tricked into attending Spirit Ranch, a Christian camp. There she meets Dylan Kier, alumni camper and recent paraplegic, who arrives with a chip on his shoulder and a determination to perfect all of his bad habits. United in their personal suffering and in their irritation at their fellow campers, they turn the camp inside out as they question the meaning of belief systems, test their faith in each other, and ultimately settle a debate of the heart.

Getting The Girl

Cameron Wolfe is a loser. He knows it. He’s the quiet one, not a soccer star like his brother Steve or a charming fighter with a new girl every week like his brother Rube. Cam would give anything to be near one of those girls, to love her and treat her right. He especially likes Rube’s latest, Octavia, with her brilliant ideas and bright green eyes. But what woman like that would want a loser like him? Maybe Octavia would, Cam discovers. Maybe he’d even have something to say. And those maybes change everything: winning, loving, losing, the Wolfe brothers, and Cameron himself.

I Need You More Than I Love You And I Love You To Bits

When Morris meets Betty, love is unavoidable. In short prose
passages, we follow the course of their passionate first love. A
confident debut written in a surprising form, which gives the story intelligence and depth.

Morris feels like Betty can see everything he’s thinking. Betty
believes Morris understands her like no one ever before. She tells him everything, even about the dried-up worm that she saw on the sidewalk on the way to school. But sometimes the darkness closes in on Morris. His father is manic-depressive and his mother is always talking about dreams and poetry and her new boyfriend. Morris begins to wonder if crazy people are drawn to each other. Betty points out that he is like his father. As their love grows, it almost consumes them. Soon it’s as if they are always trying to escape
themselves until they ask, “How do you know when it’s over?”

The Juliet Club

Italy . . . Shakespeare . . . but no romance?

Kate Sanderson inherited her good sense from her mother, a disciplined law professor, and her admiration for the Bard from her father, a passionate Shakespeare scholar. When she gets dumped, out of the blue, for the Practically Perfect Ashley Lawson, she vows never to fall in love again. From now on she will control her own destiny, and every decision she makes will be highly reasoned and rational. She thinks Shakespeare would have approved.

So when she is accepted to a summer Shakespeare symposium in Verona, Italy, Kate sees it as the ideal way to get over her heartbreak once and for all. She’ll lose herself in her studies, explore ancient architecture, and eat plenty of pasta and gelato. (Plus, she’ll be getting college credit for it—another goal accomplished!) But can even completely logical Kate resist the romance of living in a beautiful villa in the city where those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet met and died for each other? Especially when the other Shakespeare Scholars—in particular Giacomo, with his tousled brown hair, expressive dark eyes, and charming ways—try hard to break her protective shell?

“In fair Verona, where we lay our scene . . . ”

The Queen’s Soprano

Seventeen-year-old Angelica Voglia has the voice of an angel. But in seventeenth-century Rome, the pope has forbidden women to sing in public. To make matters worse, her controlling mother is determined to marry her off to a wealthy nobleman, even though Angelica is in love with a poor French artist. Angelica’s only hope to sing before an audience—and escape a forced marriage—is to flee to Queen Christina’s court, where she will become the queen’s soprano. But she soon discovers that the palace walls are not completely secure . . . and her freedom will require even greater sacrifice than she imagined.

Ophelia

He is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; she is simply Ophelia. If you think you know their story, think again.

In this reimagining of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, it is Ophelia who takes center stage. A rowdy, motherless girl, she grows up at Elsinore Castle to become the queen’s most trusted lady-in-waiting. Ambitious for knowledge and witty as well as beautiful, Ophelia learns the ways of power in a court where nothing is as it seems. When she catches the attention of the captivating, dark-haired Prince Hamlet, their love blossoms in secret. But bloody deeds soon turn Denmark into a place of madness, and Ophelia’s happiness is shattered. Ultimately, she must choose between her love for Hamlet and her own life. In desperation, Ophelia devises a treacherous plan to escape from Elsinore forever . . . with one very dangerous secret.

Lisa Klein’s Ophelia tells the story of a young woman falling in love, searching for her place in the world, and finding the strength to survive. Sharp and literary, dark and romantic, this dramatic story holds readers in its grip until the final, heartrending scene.