You've likely heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps you've seen their pickets on the news, the members holding signs with messages that are too offensive to copy here, protesting at events such as the funerals of soldiers, the 9-year old victim of the recent Tucson shooting, and Elizabeth Edwards, all in front of their grieving families. Since no organized religion will claim affiliation with the WBC, it's perhaps more accurate to think of them as a cult. Lauren Drain was thrust into that cult at the age of 15, and then spat back out again seven years later.
"Get Thee Behind Me Phelps"
Clarissa Sullivan dreams for more from life than sipping tepid tea in stifling parlors in Victorian Boston. She defies her family's wishes, continuing to teach poor immigrant children in Boston's West End, finding a much-needed purpose to her life. As a suffragette, Clarissa is considered a firebrand radical no man would desire. For why should women want the vote when men have sheltered women from the distasteful aspects of politics and law?
In a spectacular feat of daring and magic, Elena and her army of outlaws and rebels have defeated evil's minions and released the mystic secrets of the Blood Diary. But the malevolent Dark Lord has unleashed the Weirgates - black wells of ferocious energy that are his greatest source of power. Now Elena's bravest allies are sent to find and destroy the Gates, as windships carry the fight north to the frigid woodlands, south to the burning desert sands, and east to the blasted regions of dread Gul'gotha.
In her hands, the young wit'ch Elena holds the awesome energies of blood magick - and more. For the fate of all Alasea hinges on her recovery of the Blood Diary, a potent talisman forged five hundred years ago, then locked away behind wards too strong for any mage to break. But only with the secrets recorded in its pages can Elena defeat the evil magicks of the Dark Lord.
Only a mistress of blood magick can stand against the foul minions and all-corrupting evil of the Dark Lord. But Elena is not yet the mistress of her magick. Protected by an ageless warrior and a band of renegades, she quests for a lost city where prophecies speak of a mystic tome that holds the key to the Dark Lord's defeat. But if the Dark Lord finds her first, Elena will become his most fearsome weapon.
"Better and Better"
In a stand-alone series set in the world of Muirwood, eighteen-year-old Maia is the exiled princess of Comoros and heir to the throne. As a result of her father's ceaseless need for authority, she was left disinherited and forced to live as a servant in her enemy's home. When the king invites chaos into the land by expelling the magical order known as the Dochte Mandar, Maia finds herself on a perilous quest to save her people. To survive, she must use magic she has learned in secret - despite the fact that women are forbidden to control it.
"I love the Muirwood series"
The three deadly Weirgates are destroyed but the threat of the Dark Lord remains. And so Elena and her companions have gone their separate ways to prepare for what is yet to come. Elena herself has journeyed to the beautiful city of A'loa Glen, there to recover her strength and spirit. Enter Harlequin Quail. Some might call him a fool, but the little man in the jester's suit claims to be a spy. And he comes fresh from the foul fortress of Blackhall itself, where the Dark Lord dwells.
Committed...to living a life she desires with the man she loves, Clarissa Sullivan continues to teach poor immigrant children and to agitate for the vote for women as she awaits Gabriel's return to Boston. Will her stepmother leave her in peace, or is her life about to change again in unforeseen ways?
While vacationing at the stately Cumberforge Manor in Bellwood, England, Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen attend an elegant dinner party hosted by her uncle, Paul Lyons, and his aristocratic wife, Sara. Before the evening ends, a priceless collection of Morris Graves' paintings is stolen from her uncle's popular gallery, throwing all suspicion onto his wife's missing granddaughter.
On a fateful night five centuries ago, three mages made a desperate last stand, sacrificing everything to preserve the only hope of goodness in the beautiful, doomed land of Alasea. Now, on the anniversary of that ominous night, a girl-child ripens into the heritage of lost power. But before she can even comprehend her terrible new gift, the Dark Lord dispatches his winged monsters to capture her and bring him the embryonic magic she embodies.
"An Amazing Journey"
When the Queen of the Fallen Angels came to earth again she took the dead body of a 10-year-old native girl on an island. It was the 1200s and life was primitive, but Angelique managed to rule the people for 200 years until Columbus arrived. Escaping her island home, the little angel with her malevolent intent, wandered through the world using humans to do her biding as her parents and guardians. Then she brought down Nisroc, an angel she trusted to be her partner and helpmate. The problem was, Nisroc wasn't like Angelique. Nisroc learned to love....
"Barred From Baseball: Others Banished From the Game" is from the Sports section of The New York Times. It was written by Victor Mather and narrated by Fleet Cooper.