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Solo by Kwame Alexander, with Mary Rand Hess, tells the story of 17-year-old Blade Morrison, who is being crushed between the tabloids exposing his former rock-star-father's addition and a protected secret that threatens his own identity. Thrown into a tailspin, Blade decides that the only way he will understand his past and begin his future is to find out the truth behind the music and himself. He sets out on a journey that lands him in Ghana, where he discovers a friendship he couldn't have ever imagined, a people founded in family and community and a reconciliation he never expected.

Written in poetic verse, Kwame Alexander explores what it truly means to finally come home.

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Can a railroad man and a Southern Belle turned teacher find a way to work together to achieve their dreams in the new reality of the post-Civil War South?

Sylas Rutledge, former gambler and new owner of the East Line Railway, invests everything he has into this venture, partly to see if he can do it but mostly to avenge his father. One man holds the key to the railway s success General William Giles Harding of Nashville s Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sylas Rutledge is beer and bullocks. Sy needs someone to help him maneuver in high society, and when he meets Alexandra Donelson, he quickly decides he s found his tutor.

Spurning her family s wishes that she marry, Alexandra Donelson is pursuing her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen s university in the United States. But her family does not approve, and ultimately, her father expels her from the family home and cuts her off completely.

Through her friendship with Mary Harding, Alexandra is thrown together with both General Harding and Sylas Rutledge. And she soon finds herself falling in love with a man whose roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility.

Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win the hand of the woman he loves. What he doesn t count on is having to wager her heart to do it.

Set at Nashville s historic Belle Meade Plantation, To Wager Her Heart is a sweeping Southern love story about a nation mending after war, the struggle to move a country forward, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves for who they truly are and can be with each other.

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What s a woman to do if her life is not taking shape the way that she thought that it would? What happens when she looks at herself in the mirror, lingering just a little longer than usual and realizes that she no longer recognizes the person staring back at her? What does she do when she sees that, somehow, her life has drifted away from all her original hopes, dreams, or plans?

Speaker, blogger and writer Chrystal Evans Hurst wrote this book because she was that woman. One day she realized that she had somehow wandered away from the life that she had purposed to live a long time ago.

Chrystal since discovered that this moment of awareness happens to lots of women at different seasons of their lives. Poor decisions, a lack of intentionality or planning, or a long-term denial of deep hopes and dreams can leave a woman, old or young, reeling from the realization that she is lost, disappointed, or simply numb.

And she just needs encouragement.

This woman simply needs someone to hold her hand, to cheer her on, and to believe with her that she is capable of still being the person she intended to be or discovering the girl she never knew was there in the first place.

Chrystal uses her poignant story of an early and unexpected pregnancy, as well as other raw and vulnerable moments in her life, to let readers know she understands what it s like to try and find your way after some missteps or decisions you didn t plan on. In She s Still There Chrystal emphasizes the importance of the personal process and the beauty of that path as it is shared authentically from one girlfriend to another. It s a book of me toos, reminders of the hoped for, and challenges for the path ahead to find direction, purpose, and true satisfaction.

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This story is not about avoiding death. It's about living life.

Immerse yourself in the amazing story of Edie Littlefield Sundby, who, after being told she had only 3 months to live, survived 79 rounds of chemotherapy, radical liver and lung surgeries, and then walked 800 miles along the California Mission Trail, averaging 14 miles a day, and stopping at life-giving missions to revive her body and her soul.

When she finished she yearned to walk the mission trail from its start in Mexico. But no one had traversed that trail in 250 years.

As you will learn in the pages of this book, Edie doesn't care about what some deem impossible. It is that spirit that has allowed her to live, despite the odds.

With fading strength and only one lung, she walked another 800 miles through the rugged mountains and deserts of Baja Mexico to the California border. In a walk of triumph, of harrowing adventure, and of spiritual enlightenment, she carried her mortality in every step and in the process opened up a profound communion with God and his creation, and the true meaning of life.

And all of this with a terminal cancer that was chasing her every step of the way. It still is, and she continues to walk with it every day.

For me, walking is a transcendent physical, emotional, and spiritual experience, like dancing. "If I can move, I am not sick. That is my alternate reality. And I believe with all my will in that reality. So when cancer strikes again and again, I walk to stay alive. Life is the greatest adventure there is. Why stop our adventuring because someone says the end might be near?"

For those who crave a spirit of adventure, who ache like Edie to know what our bodies and spirits are truly capable of, this book is a must-read. A true testament to faith, courage, and the power of hope.

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When will we learn?

With every sunrise we are given plenty of new examples of people Hitting Send and soon regretting it. Social media means what it says: it is social Our methods of communication today allow for something to potentially be broadcast to everyone from Pekin, Illinois to Peking, China. But it s not only Twitter fanatics who can find themselves in trouble. Every single one of us is capable of falling prey to this growing plague.

Every day we have the potential of both verbal and written blunders. It makes no difference if we are talking to a stranger over a meat counter, chatting on a cell phone with our mother, or sending an e-mail to a coworker; we can and do miscommunicate and people can and do get the wrong idea. When we don't pause long enough to think before speaking or writing, it commonly yields a misunderstanding and leads to a clash. We end up being the person who said, You know that sphere of the brain that stops you from saying something that you shouldn't? Well, I don t have one of those.

This book is about preventing that misunderstanding and allowing for understanding. Said another way, preempting people from getting the wrong idea and enabling them to get the right idea We all need work in this area in far more ways than just glancing through a checklist.

From external examples to internal turmoil, Before You Hit Send is about the four things we must think through before communicating. In all things we wish to say or write, we would be wise to ask ourselves,

  • Is it true?
  • Is it kind?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it clear?

When we ask and answer these four questions honestly, we will be thinking wisely before we speak. But to explore this fully, we need to find out a whole lot more about ourselves and uncover why we consciously and subconsciously get into these communication disasters to begin with. You may be surprised what you discover about yourself. Shall we begin?

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New York Times bestselling author Jen Hatmaker, with playful hilarity, shameless honesty, and refreshing insight, assures readers they have all the pluck they need for vibrant, courageous, grace-filled lives.

Jen Hatmaker believes backbone is the birthright of every woman. Women have been demonstrating resiliency and resolve since forever. They have incredibly strong shoulders to bear loss, hope, grief, and vision. She laughs at the days to come is how the ancient wisdom writings put it.

But somehow women have gotten the message that pain and failure mean they must be doing things wrong, that they messed up the rules or tricks for a seamless life. As it turns out, every last woman faces confusion and loss, missteps and catastrophic malfunctions, no matter how much she is doing right. Struggle doesn t mean they re weak; it means they re alive.

Jen Hatmaker, beloved author, Big Sister Emeritus, and Chief BFF, offers another round of hilarious tales, frank honesty, and hope for the woman who has forgotten her moxie. Whether discussing the grapple with change ( Everyone, be into this thing I m into Except when I m not. Then everyone be cool. ) or the time she drove to the wrong city for a fourth-grade field trip ( Why are we in San Antonio? ), Jen parlays her own triumphs and tragedies into a sigh of relief for all normal, fierce women everywhere who, like her, sometimes hide in the car eating crackers but also want to get back up and get back out, to live undaunted in the moment no matter what the moments hold.

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