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Fool Me Twice by Stephanie Black
When it comes to pleasing her twin sister, Megan O’Connor is an easy touch. She’ll do just about anything to gain Kristen’s approval, including trading places with her. After all, Kristen’s plan promises to get Megan out of a dead-end job and make them both rich. It will be a nice reward for a little genealogical investigation—something that couldn’t have happened without the help of Kristen’s new LDS acquaintances. And who could blame the twins for using a tiny bit of deceit to manipulate an inheritance out of someone as demanding as their estranged aunt Evelyn?
All Megan has to do is pretend to be Kristen, move into Evelyn’s house, and take care of the wealthy old woman until her failing health kills her. It shouldn’t take too long. It shouldn’t be too difficult. Megan’s the nice one. Except for the lie, the task is a natural fit. Everything would be perfect if she could just ignore the guilt—a feeling that only grows stronger as she spends more time with the new friends Kristen arranged for her.
But soon Megan discovers there is more to worry about. She’s living in a house of illusions where she isn’t the only one playing a part. Someone has developed a new plotline that ends with a death scene—and in this version, the victim won’t die of natural causes.
Beneath the surface of the sleepy New England town of Britteridge, deceit weaves a deadly web where turnabout is anything but fair play.
Stephanie Black: I’ve enjoyed making up stories since I was a child, when my sisters and I would play long, strange Barbie games or write and direct plays for ourselves and younger siblings. I took a creative writing class in high school, but my stories stunk, since I hadn’t yet figured out that a story needs a plot. But I finally got An Idea, and an encouraging comment from the teacher got me rolling. After a few years of writing random scenes, I decided to try writing a novel start to finish, but that led to a failed unfinished manuscript and the realization that there was a lot more to writing fiction than I’d ever understood. I began reading books about fiction technique and started over with my novel project. After a veerrrry long time of reading, writing, rewriting, more rewriting, submitting, and then—when I thought I was finished—major rewriting, my first novel, The Believer, was published by Covenant Communications in January 2005.
If you have ever heard these words, you likely have experience as a mom of young children. You are definitely not alone!
Seventeen talented LDS authors share their embarrassments and missteps of motherhood through this collection of stories and essays. They also share the love and growth that they have experienced during the daily upheavals that others never see. Each chapter is different, but the motivation is the same—the authors’ love for their children, and for the gospel. So take this humorous journey into the world of playdates, pacifiers, plenty of diapers—and the poignant moments that make it all worthwhile.
Allyson Braithwaite Condie received a degree in English teaching from Brigham Young University. She went on to teach high school in Utah and New York for several years. She loved her job because it combined two of her favorite things—working with students and reading great books. Currently, however, she is employed by her two little boys, who keep her busy playing trucks and going to the park. They also like to help her type and are very good at drawing on manuscripts with red crayon. In addition to spending time with them and with her husband, she loves reading, running, eating, and traveling.
Topaz by Jennie Hansen
It was a pretty stone that brought Charles Caswell and Hannah Waterton together. That same topaz jewel may have also brought about Hannah’s death. Now, more than five years after her murder, two unusual young men come looking for the passionate abolitionist in the small Quaker community where Charles has remained to raise their daughter Serenity. One of the men, Edward Benson, seems to know more about Hannah than Serenity does—including where the stone in her mother’s beautiful topaz ring came from. Serenity had promised her mother that she would treasure and wear the jewel. But upon Hannah’s death, the valuable ring was missing and the murderer’s motives and identity were never discovered. Soon Serenity’s world is brutally turned upside down, and she is forced into marrying a man she hardly knows. It seems the still-missing ring carries a dark legacy that will put her life in mortal peril. Now it feels impossible for the young woman to discern between true friends and those using her for their own greedy purpose. Will her never-realized inheritance destroy her? Or will blossoming love and growing faith deliver her from the evil that has taken away those closest to her?
Jennie Hansen graduated from Ricks College in Idaho, then Westminster College in Utah. She has been a freelance magazine writer, newspaper reporter, editor, and librarian. Her published novels fall in several genre categories including romantic suspense, historical, and westerns.
She was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and has lived in Idaho, Montana, and Utah. She has received numerous first and second place writing awards from the Utah and National Federation of Press Women and was the 1997 third place winner of the URWA Heart of the West Writers Contest.
Jennie has been active in community affairs. In addition to ward and stake responsibilities in the LDS church, she served a term on the Kearns Town Council, two terms on the Salt Palace Advisory Board, and was a delegate to the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services. Jennie and her husband, Boyd, live in Salt Lake County. Their five children are all married and have provided them with ten grandchildren. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, gardening, and camping.
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