“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Random Acts of Kindness,” edited by Amy Newmark; contributors include Nancy Noel Marra (Boise); Chicken Soup for the Soul ($14.95)
“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Random Acts of Kindness” includes 101 stories about a wide variety of good deeds, acts of compassion and heroic people. The key messages resound, namely that: 1) people are willing to help if you ask, and even if you don’t; 2) there’s a deep reservoir of understanding and compassion out there; 3) the beneficiaries of good deeds have long memories and are looking for their own opportunities to reciprocate or pay it forward; and 4) even a few well-timed kind words can turn a life around.
It’s easy to create miracles for yourself and others. Just think outside the box and look around — you’ll see the need. So dive into these stories, from the everyday to the extraordinary. According to author and editor-in-chief Amy Newmark: “Each story is unique, but we learn this universal lesson from all of them: We are all capable of both needing help and providing help. And it is this give and take, the ability to be a provider and a recipient depending on our circumstances, that make us part of a united community of people who really do care about one another. No matter what divides us, our basic humanity reunites us.”
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“Presumed Dead” by Angela Ruth Strong (Meridian); Harlequin ($5.99)
Framed for a sabotaged military operation, Preston Tyler has allowed everyone to believe he’s dead — until he witnesses someone planting a bomb in his childhood sweetheart’s cabin. To save Holly Fontaine’s life, he must blow his cover. Holly is shaken — both by the explosion and the sudden appearance of a man she thought she’d lost forever. But their reunion is short-lived when the bomb planter returns, forcing their escape into Lake Tahoe’s wilderness. As they struggle to survive, memories of their shared past reignite old feelings. With their pursuer closing in, will the ultimate betrayal tear them apart for good?
“Fat Fridays” by Judith Keim (Boise); LakeUnion Publishing ($14.95)
When Sukie’s husband shacks up with her Pilates instructor, her domestic drama becomes the talk of her small Georgia town. Friends from her married life prove fickle, and Sukie hides at home, terrified of encountering the town gossips at the grocery store. Betsy, Sukie’s neighbor, invites her to join “Fat Fridays,” a weekly gathering at a local café where the women order whatever they crave — no calories counted. Over sausage pizza and sage advice, Sukie gets a grip on her new life and learns to love her freedom.
Judith Keim’s warm, funny novel offers moving glimpses into each of the five women’s very different lives. As they struggle to deal with cruel exes, frustrating families and forbidden love, the women offer one another the kind of friendship that is as rich and nurturing as their Friday feasts.
Provided by the publisher