“River of January: Figure Eight” by Gail Chumbley (Garden Valley); Get Around Publishing ($17.99)
Part Two of the “River of January” series. Ambition, peril and longing color each page of “River of January: Figure Eight.” 1936 America inches closer to world war yet remains willfully indifferent to Fascist and Japanese aggression abroad. Dancer Helen Thompson awaits the arrival of her fiancé, Mont “Chum” Chumbley, from South America for their anticipated wedding. But he travels north unaware Helen’s mother vehemently opposes the engagement, pressing her daughter to focus on show business.
Navigate through time and place with Chum and Helen: Follow his flights in peacetime and war, and her reinvention as wife, mother and professional skater. Seaplanes course over war-torn Pacific islands, and flashing ice skates glide across silvery rinks — this true story takes readers back to an America tested by war, followed by unprecedented prosperity.
“No Mistress of Mine” by Laura Lee Guhrke (Boise); Avon ($7.99)
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After spending his youth as one of the wildest rakes in the ton, Lord Denys Somerton has devoted the past six years to putting his past behind him. He is determined to fulfill his duties, find a suitable wife and start a family, but that plan changes when Lola Valentine—the red-haired temptress from his past—returns to London, sparking the same irresistible desires that almost ruined his life once before.
Lola is a woman with no romantic illusions. She knew love would never be enough for a British lord and an American girl from the wrong side of the tracks. For Denys’ sake, she walked away from him and the glittering life he offered. But when an unexpected inheritance brings her back to London, Lola discovers the passion between them is as hot as ever. Can they vanquish it, or will it burn out of control again and destroy them both?
“The Presidents and Their Faith” by Darrin Grinder and Steve Shaw (Northwest Nazarene University professors); Elevate Faith ($16.95)
The old adage, “never discuss religion and politics,” is roundly rejected in this incisive exploration of presidential history and religious faith.
This newly updated 2016 edition of “The Presidents & Their Faith” is a fascinating and informative look at how all U.S. presidents exercised their personal faith, exerted presidential power and led a religiously diverse nation.
Has there ever been a stranger prayer than Truman’s, offered upon America’s successful development of the atom bomb: “We pray that He may guide us to use it in His ways and for His purposes”?
At the nation’s founding, Northeast Presbyterians demanded explicit mention of Jesus in the Constitution. George Washington refuted them, saying that religious piety “was a matter best left between an individual and his God; religious instruction was the responsibility of religious societies, not the civil state.” What drove Washington to make that argument, and what if he had lost?
Who wouldn’t feel like the exasperated FDR when he said, “I can do almost everything in the ‘Goldfish Bowl’ of the President’s life, but I’ll be hanged if I can say my prayers in it. It bothers me to feel like something in the zoo being looked at by all the tourists in Washington when I go to church. ... No privacy in that kind of going to church, and by the time I have gotten into that pew and settled down with everybody looking at me, I don’t feel like saying my prayers at all.”
But even more importantly, what’s real, what’s a show, and why does it matter when it comes to faith and politics?
These questions and more are unpacked and examined, leading to a whole new understanding of how religion and politics interfaced through America’s history, and how they will play out in our future.
In this climate of religious and political tensions, “The Presidents & Their Faith” casts a civil, entertaining and insightful spotlight on the unique mix (and frequent mix-ups) of politics and religion in America.
From the publishers