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January 2, 2004

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Brand New Fiction

Sanyat Sattar

It's a brand new year and there are plenty of new arrivals in
the world of fiction. For the fiction-inclined...


The Honey Well
Gloria Mallette
Kensington Pub Corp; November 2003
ISBN: 075820468X

When Esther coerced her teenage daughter, Arnell, into sleeping with the landlord to keep a roof over their heads after her husband's death, her life as a Madame began. As business prospered, Esther purchased the 16-room mansion her mother worked in as a housekeeper. The men call the residence the Honey Well, and rooms are rented to tenants affectionately referred to as ladies of charm. Esther promised Arnell that once she completed college she could stop performing favours. Yet she continues to make demands, and Arnell can never seem to say no to her requests. When Arnell becomes engaged to the son of a prominent minister, her struggle to break free of her mother becomes even more intense. Esther uses their secrets to blackmail her daughter into staying in the business, but she is soon forced to accept responsibility for her unsavoury actions. The relationship between mother and daughter, as they struggle to balance love and hate, and the intertwining of sex and money make Mallette's tale both entertaining and unsettling

Robert Harris
Random House; November 2003
ISBN: 0679428895

Popular thriller writer Harris (Enigma, 1995) sets his sights on one of the most famous natural disasters in history: the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. It starts innocently enough: two days before the eruption, Marcus Attilius Primus, the engineer in charge of the massive Aqua Augusta Aqueduct, is summoned to the estate of Ampilatus. He is in the process of executing a slave for killing his fish. Attilius finds sulfur in the water and immediately realizes the problem is bigger than a few dead fish. With the approval of the famous admiral Pliny, Attilius sails to Pompeii and treks to the heart of the Aqua Augusta at the base of Mount Vesuvius. Attilius discovers the blockage that threatens to deprive a large chunk of the empire of water, but he is also troubled by the strange natural occurrences that may portend something far more serious than a blocked water supply. With rich historical details and scientific minutiae, Harris vividly brings to life the ancient world on the brink of unspeakable disaster.

Charmed Destinies
Mercedes Lackey, Rachel Lee & Catherine Asaro
Silhouette; November 2003
ISBN: 0373218338

This is a wonderful compilation of stories written by three prolific and popular American authors: Mercedes Lackey, Rachel Lee and Catherine Asaro. "Counting Crows" by Lackey is the story of Lady Gwynhefar. In Lady Gwynhefar's dark, lonely court, her only ally was noble Sir Elloran, a warrior willing to fight for her honour. But would her powerful spell capture his heart -- or tumble the kingdom into chaos? USA Today's Best selling author Rachel Lee's "Drusilla's Dream" is a story where every night Drusilla Morgan dreams of courageous and handsome Miles Kennedy. Their quest: to battle evil and find true love. Yet question arises, when the sun rose will Drusilla's fantasy man become a reality? Nebula Award-winning author Asaro in her "Moonglow" describes a world where kings marries for magic. Iris Larkspur is required to wed the prince -- despite the spell that kept him deaf, mute and blind. Healing her bridegroom would take a power greater than any she had ever known! .




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