Z is for Zoya by Danielle Steel
Blurb (from Goodreads): Against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution and World War I Europe, Zoya, young cousin to the Tsar, flees St. Petersburg to Paris to find safety. Her entire world forever changed, she faces hard times and joins the Ballet Russe in Paris. And then, when life is kind to her, Zoya moves on to a new and glittering life in New York. The days of ease are all too brief as the Depression strikes, and she loses everything yet again. It is her career, and the man she meets in the course of it, which ultimately save her, as she rebuilds her life through the war years and beyond. And it is her family that comes to mean everything to her. From the roaring twenties to the 1980’s, Zoya remains a rare and spirited woman whose legacy will live on.
Y is for Yvette by Guy de Maupassant
From Goodreads: Henri Rene Albert Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) was a popular 19th-century French writer. He is one of the fathers of the modern short story. As a protege of Flaubert, his short stories are characterized by their economy of style and their efficient effortless denouement. In 1880 he published his first masterpiece, Boule de Suif, which Flaubert characterized it as “a masterpiece that will endure. ” This was Maupassant’s first piece of short fiction and was followed by short stories such as Deux Amis (1882) and Mademoiselle Fifi (1882). He also wrote six short novels. A number of his stories often denote the futility of war and the innocent civilians who, caught, emerge changed – many are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s. In his novels, he concentrated all his observations scattered in his short stories. His second novel was Bel-Ami; or, The History of a Scoundrel, which came out in 1885. His other works include: La Maison Tellier (1881), Une Vie (1883), Miss Harriet (1884), Mont-Oriol (1887), Pierre et Jean (1888), Fort Comme la Mort (1889) and Notre Coeur (1890).
X is for Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
Blurb (from Goodreads): The war for survival of the planet Lusitania will be fought in the hearts of a child named Gloriously Bright.
On Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and pequininos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground at last. Or so he thought.
Lusitania also harbors the descolada, a virus that kills all humans it infects, but which the pequininos require in order to become adults. The Starways Congress so fears the effects of the descolada, should it escape from Lusitania, that they have ordered the destruction of the entire planet, and all who live there. The Fleet is on its way, and a second xenocide seems inevitable.
W is for Wedlocked by Bonnie Trachtenberg
Blurb (from Goodreads): On what should be the happiest day of her life, Rebecca Ross is panic-stricken. Rebecca has just wed Craig Jacobs, but she realizes she put more thought into choosing her florist than she did in choosing the man she’s just pledged to love for the rest of her life.
Before Craig, Rebecca, a talented Long Island girl, dreamed of following in her grandmother’s footsteps with an acting career. Unfortunately, she was cut down to size by years of disappointment, and by her first love-a Hollywood director. She returned to Long Island a lost and broken woman, and ended up in the last place she ever wanted to be: her old bedroom at her parents’ house.
But Rebecca’s mother, an overzealous convert to Judaism, has a long-held dream, too: marry off her three daughters to Jewish men. No one is more thrilled when Rebecca meets and marries bon vivant Craig Jacobs, the man who has won over the whole family. Too bad they’re all about to discover that underneath his charismatic shell, this Prince Charming is anything but!
“Wedlocked is a funny, warm, and engaging story about life, love, marriage, and family. This page-turner is the perfect summer read!” -Wendy Walker, bestselling author of Social Lives
V is for Victoria and the Ghost by Janet K. Brown
Blurb (fromAmazon): When her mother leaves the family to become a Dallas trophy wife, Victoria’s dad moves her and her sister to a North Texas farm to herd cattle and raise chickens. Refusing to believe this is more than a temporary set-back, Victoria tries to make new friends which isn’t an easy task. The first one stabs her in the back with gossip and a sharp tongue. Meanwhile, her new stepsister takes Victoria’s place in her mother’s heart. Rejection and anger stalk Victoria like a rattlesnake in the cemetery. Good thing she makes friends with a ghost and through him, a good-looking teenaged cowboy.
U is for Unsafe Acts by Bill Kirton
Blurb (from Goodreads): An offshore platform in the turbulent North Sea is a dangerous place…
…there’s the isolation, the machinery and the constant battle with the whims of nature. For Ally Baxter, a safety officer on Falcon Alpha, those whims take a deadly turn. When his workmates decide he’s gay, an evening ashore turns ugly as they indulge in some drunken queer-bashing. Later his body is found along the route the group followed.
For DCI Jack Carston, the case seems simple enough until a second murder is discovered. This time it’s the prostitute Ally always visited—a young mother with a baby son. Complications mount as Carston, in addition to his investigations, has to deal with an inexperienced officer under his command and a disciplinary charge brought against Carston himself by a vindictive superior officer.
The obstacles keep piling up, but more is to come when he finds evidence of a plot to wreck the platform itself.
T is for Tall, Dark and Kilted by Lizzie Lamb
Blurb (from Goodreads): Notting Hill Meets Monarch of the Glen . . . Fliss Bagshawe longs for a passport out of Pimlico where she works as a holistic therapist. After attending a party in Notting Hill she loses her job and with it her dream of one day being her own boss. When she’s offered the chance to take over a failing therapy centre, she grabs it with both hands. But there’s a catch – the centre lies five hundred miles away – in Wester Ross, Scotland. Fliss’s romantic view of the highlands populated by hunky Men in Kilts is soon shattered when she has an up close and very personal encounter with the Laird of Kinloch Mara, Ruairi Urquhart. He’s determined to pull the plug on the business, bring his eccentric family to heel and eject undesirables from his estate – starting with Fliss. Faced with the dole queue once more, Fliss resolves to make sexy, infuriating Ruairi revise his unflattering opinion of her, turn the therapy centre around and sort out the dysfunctional Urquhart family. Will Fliss tame the Monarch of the Glen and find the happiness she deserves?
S is for 7 Years Bad Sex by Nicky Wells
Blurb (from Goodreads): One wedding. One curse? Disaster ever after…
A seven-years-bad-sex curse? Surely not! Yet something went wrong when rock singer Casey and drummer Alex got married on that beautiful yacht anchored off St Tropez in the south of France. Something went badly wrong. For even on their wedding night, the young couple discovers a complete and somewhat surprising inability to make love. Muddling through their honeymoon with a string of thin excuses for their predicament, the lovers defer finding a solution (and panicking) until the return to their home in London. After all, they married for life and to make rock music, not for the love of sex. Right?
But when they resume life as normal in London, all hell breaks loose. Increasingly frantic in their quest for release, the unhappy newlyweds embark on a string of hilarious and occasionally harmful antics that drives them, their band, and an assortment of random strangers to the brink of despair. But it ain’t over ‘til it’s over or, in this case… it ain’t over ‘til the newlyweds sing.
Other “S” books by the same author – Sophie’s Turn, Sophie’s Run, Sophie’s Encore, and Spirits of Christmas.
R is for (The) Rest of my Life by Sheryl Browne
Blurb (from Goodreads): You can’t run away from commitment forever …
Adam Hamilton-Shaw has more reason than most to avoid commitment. Living on a houseboat in the Severn Valley, his dream is to sail into the sunset – preferably with a woman waiting in every port. But lately, his life looks more like a road to destruction than an idyllic boat ride…
Would-be screenplay writer Sienna Meadows realises that everything about Adam spells trouble – but she can’t ignore the feeling that there is more to him than just his bad reputation. Nor can she ignore the intense physical attraction that exists between them.
And it just so happens that Adam sees Sienna as the kind of woman he could commit to. But can he change his damaging behaviour – or is the road to destruction a one-way street?
Q is for Quentins by Maeve Binchy
Blurb (from Goodreads): Is it possible to tell the story of a generation and a city through the history of a restaurant?
Ella Brady thinks so. She wants to film a documentary about Quentins that will capture the spirit of Dublin from the 1970s to the present day. And Quentins has a thousand stories to tell: tales of love, of betrayal, of revenge; of times when it looked ready for success and times when it seemed as if it must close in failure. But as Ella uncovers more of what has gone on at Quentins, she begins to wonder whether some secrets should be kept that way…
With Quentins, Maeve Binchy follows her bestselling Scarlet Feather with a new book that delivers the hallmark storytelling that has kept millions of her readers happy for more than twenty years.