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  • Writer's picturegigi gregg

BookBites: Diverse Selection of Reading Ideas as We Approach the Holidays


"The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives"

by Tim Darcy Ellis

It is 1522 in The Spanish Netherlands. Juan Luis Vives, a renowned academic, has fled Spain to avoid the fires of the Inquisition. In England, he takes on the role of tutor to Mary, daughter of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII. While publicly navigating life as a "New Christian," Vives is quickly drawn into the dangerous world of London's Jewish community.

With a foot in each world, he is torn between the love of two women. The king and queen separately seek Vives's assistance to support their opposed demands. He must betray one to help the other, knowing his decision could cost him his life. Purchase at

"The North Wind Descends"

by N.L. Holmes

Hani doesn't know what to make of it when the king starts honoring him, but he must still find the man who killed a foreign ambassador right under the roof of the Egyptian commissioner in Kumidi -- a man whose past intersects bizarrely with Hani's.

And then, the queen of the new coregent has a special task for him which may involve dragging Hani's nineteen-year-old daughter into court politics. He must find a way to see justice done and yet protect his family… and his conscience. Purchase at

"Memories in the Drift"

by Melissa Payne

Ten years ago, Claire lost her unborn child -- and her short-term memory -- following a heartrending tragedy. With fractured pieces of the past and her father's support, Claire makes it through each day. As determined as Claire is to regain all that's disappeared, she'd prefer to live without some memories of her before life -- especially those of her mother, Alice, who abandoned her, and Tate, the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart.

But when Alice and Tate return, there'll be so much more for Claire to relive -- and discover. Claire may realize that what's most important might not be re-creating the person she was, but embracing the person she is. Purchase at

"The Dentist"

by Tim Sullivan

Who was the unknown man whose weather-beaten body is discovered on Clifton Downs? Did the tragedy that led to a life on the streets also lead to his death? His police colleagues may dismiss it as a squabble among Bristol's homeless community, but Detective Sergeant George Cross is not convinced. As he delves into the dead man's past, Cross becomes convinced that to catch this killer, he needs to solve a cold-case murder from years before that someone thinks they've gotten away with. Purchase at

NOTE: BookBites is a continuing series bringing readers information and ideas for their next read. For more reading ideas, visit and subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

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