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Sweetwater Fiction: Originals

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Sweetwater Fiction: Originals

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Lebanese Blonde

Joseph Geha

Lebanese Blonde takes place in 1975-76 at the beginning of Lebanon's sectarian civil war. Set primarily in the Toledo, Ohio, "Little Syria" community, it is the story of two immigrant cousins: Aboodeh, a self-styled entrepreneur; and Samir, his young, reluctant accomplice. Together the two concoct a scheme to import Lebanese Blonde, a potent strain of hashish, into the United States, using the family's mortuary business as a cover. When Teyib, a newly arrived war refugee, stumbles onto their plans, his clumsy efforts to gain acceptance raise suspicion. Who is this mysterious "cousin," and what dangers does his presence pose? Aboodeh and Samir's problems grow still more serious when a shipment goes awry and their links to the war-ravaged homeland are severed. Soon it's not just Aboodeh and Samir's livelihoods and futures that are imperiled, but the stability of the entire family.

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A Spell on the Water

Marjorie Kowalski Cole

"I couldn't put it down." ---Barbara Kingsolver In 1955, Mary and Jim Leader have the American dream: careers in medicine; a young and healthy family; and even a vacation home---a shabby resort far from bustling Chicago. But one hot afternoon changes everything. Mary, now a widow, must find a path out of her grief into a future for herself and five small children. In Michigan to sell the resort, Mary sees seven hawks riding the storm winds over the lake. This place, she thinks, can heal them with its wild beauty, so she moves her family to the northern lakeshore. But Mary has forgotten what it's like to live in a tiny rural community, where almost everyone has a stake in maintaining the status quo. Secrets are kept at great cost as Mary's children often struggle to raise themselves. A coming-of-age story for each member of the family, this is a novel of quiet heroism and the power of personal freedom. Praise for Marjorie Kowalski Cole and her previous novel, Correcting the Landscape: ". . . her writing is simple, vivid and gorgeous." ---Eugene Register-Guard ". . . a remarkable new talent. Critics have lined up to praise the book." ---Tucson Citizen "Cole's style is subtle but engrossing . . . It is quite a debut." ---Booklist Cover illustration: ŠiStockphoto.com/ImagineGolf

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Where No Gods Came

Sheila O'Connor

Winner 2003 Michigan Literary Fiction Award for original novel "Written with precision and perception, this is a highly recommended work from a writer to watch." ---Library Journal "O'Connor . . . remains a consummate artist, true to her vision of a work that is bleak, truthful, and lacking any overt sentimental overtures. Her eye, a poet's eye, misses nothing." ---three candles ". . . a touching odyssey of a girl poised between the emotional abyss and the reader's heart." ---Minneapolis Star-Tribune "A sensitive, often disquieting book that rings true throughout. . . . It's the skill of an accomplished writer that we see Faina's extraordinary spirit, while simultaneously experiencing her pain and despair. The end result is an uplifting, even inspiring book without any of the sugarcoating often found in stories like this." ---California Literary Review Where No Gods Came is author Sheila O'Connor's compelling story of Faina McCoy, a young girl caught in a perilous scheme of elaborate lies created for her own harrowing system of survival. Enmeshed in a tangled family web, Faina is abruptly uprooted against her will from her father and finds herself half a continent away on the doorstep of a mother who abandoned her years before-but who can't live without Faina now. Alone, persecuted, and exploited, Faina must fend for herself as she searches for love and answers, navigating the streets of a strange city and forging bonds of feeling with liars and outlaws.

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