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End-of-the-Year Contest 2013

End-of-the-Year Celebration

End-of-the-Year Contest 2013

Congratulations to the winners of our 2013 End-of-the-Year Contest! One Grand Prize winner received all 36 of Carol Fitzgerald's Bets On picks from 2013, while 36 others won a copy of one of these titles. You can see all the winners below, along with 2013's Bets On selections.


GRAND PRIZE: Claudia from Seattle, WA

AFTER HER by Joyce Maynard:  Kelli from Macomb, IL

AND THEN I FOUND YOU by Patti Callahan Henry: Robyn from Burlington, KY

APPROACHING THE SPEED OF LIGHT by Victoria Lustbader: Andrew from Westminster, CO

THE ASHFORD AFFAIR by Lauren Willig: Kristen from Lowell, MA

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF US by Aria Beth Sloss: Kelsey from Contoocook, NH

THE AVIATOR'S WIFE by Melanie Benjamin: Mark from Lake City, KS

THE BOOK OF SOMEDAY by Dianne Dixon: Kathy from Warren, MI

THE BOY ON THE WOODEN BOX by Leon Leyson: Bernadette from Dearborn, MI

A CERTAIN SUMMER by Patricia Beard: Ria from Houston, TX

FLAT WATER TUESDAY by Ron Irwin: Paulette from Waterford, CA

THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND by Jojo Moyes: Irina from Brooklyn, NY

HEART OF PALM by Laura Lee Smith: Andra from South Bend, IN

THE HEN WHO DREAMED SHE COULD FLY by Sun-mi Hwang: Kim from East Greenbush, NY

THE HUSBAND'S SECRET by Liane Moriarty: Diane from Chesapeake, VA

IS THIS TOMORROW by Caroline Leavitt: Adam from Manistee, MI

LEAVING HAVEN by Kathleen McCleary: Anabel from Rosenberg, TX

LETTERS FROM SKYE by Jessica Brockmole: Dorothy from Bend, OR

LIFE AFTER LIFE by Jill McCorkle: Jenny from Topeka, KS

LONGBOURN by Jo Baker: Mona from Chicago, IL

ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes: Eric from Wolverine, MI

MOONRISE by Cassandra King: Donna from San Antonio, TX

MY MOTHER'S SECRET: A Novel Based on a True Holocaust Story by J.L. Witterick: Shaley from Sullivan, MO

THE OBITUARY WRITER by Ann Hood: Ann from Hixson, TN

ONCE WE WERE BROTHERS by Ronald H. Balson: Audra from Baxter Springs, KS

ORDINARY GRACE by William Kent Krueger: Elicia from Central, SC

ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline: Ralene from Portage, MI

THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion: Jeneen from Altoona, PA

PALISADES PARK by Alan Brennert: Lynne from Sunnyside, WA

THE PARADISE GUEST HOUSE by Ellen Sussman: Marla from Matawan, NJ

THE PROMISE OF STARDUST by Priscille Sibley: Elisa from Forsyth, GA

THE SILENT WIFE by A. S. A. Harrison: Lucy from Leesburg, VA

SWEET SALT AIR by Barbara Delinsky: Sarah from Indianapolis, IN

WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD by Susan Crandall: Heather from Bolingbrook, IL

THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD by Kristina Riggle: Robin from Signal Mountain, TN

THE WIDOW WALTZ by Sally Koslow: Dona from Arlington, VA

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler: Abigail from Clovis, CA

After Her by Joyce Maynard - Fiction

Loosely inspired by the Trailside Killer case that terrorized Marin County, California, in the late 1970s, AFTER HER is a poignant, suspenseful and painfully real family saga that traces a young girl's first explorations of sexuality, the loss of innocence, the bond shared by sisters, and the tender but damaged relationship between a girl and her father that endures even beyond the grave.

And Then I Found You by Patti Callahan Henry - Fiction

Katie Vaughan has a secret, something tucked away in her past. She has a strong relationship with her family, and a devoted boyfriend, Rowan, whom she wants to love with all her heart. But when she discovers a small velvet box hidden in Rowan's drawer, she panics. For the first time in her life, Katie knows that she won't fully love Rowan until she confronts the demons from her past, and it's time for her to act.

Approaching the Speed of Light by Victoria Lustbader - Fiction

Jody is a likable young man getting by in New York City at the turn of the millennium. On the surface, he seems to have it together. But a secret history has left him scarred and broken inside, lacking faith in the future or himself. Jody’s buried secrets hold him back until his trajectory crosses the path of three very different women, who, in their own ways, hold out the tantalizing possibility of healing, connection…or self-destruction.

The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig - Historical Fiction

As a lawyer in a large Manhattan firm, just shy of making partner, Clementine Evans has finally achieved almost everything she’s been working towards --- but now she’s not sure it’s enough. Her long hours have led to a broken engagement, and she feels her messy life crumbling around her. But when the family gathers for her grandmother Addie’s 99th birthday, a relative lets slip hints about a long-buried family secret, leading Clemmie on a journey into the past that could change everything.

Autobiography of Us by Aria Beth Sloss - Fiction

In 1960s California, Rebecca Madden and her friend Alex dream of lives beyond their mothers' narrow expectations. Their struggle to define themselves against the backdrop of an American cultural revolution unites them early on, until a single act of betrayal changes everything. Decades later, Rebecca’s haunting meditation on the past reveals the truth about that night, the years that followed, and the friendship that shaped her.

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin - Historical Fiction


Melanie Benjamin pulls back the curtain on the marriage of one of America’s most extraordinary couples: Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Drawing on the rich history of the 20th century and featuring cameos from such notable characters as Joseph Kennedy and Amelia Earhart, THE AVIATOR'S WIFE is a vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage --- revealing both its dizzying highs and its devastating lows.

The Book of Someday by Dianne Dixon - Fiction


California girl Livvi Gray has always been haunted by a terrifying nightmare of an eerily beautiful stranger in a shimmering silver dress. Shortly before Livvi’s 30th birthday, she will come face to face with the stranger from her dream, an encounter that will not only alter Livvi’s future, but change much of what she thinks she knows about the past.

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson, with Marilyn J. Harran and Elisabeth B. Leyson - Memoir


Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only 10 years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man named Oskar Schindler who saved Leon’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list --- a list that became world-renowned: Schindler’s List.

A Certain Summer by Patricia Beard - Historical Fiction


Set in 1948 at an idyllic beach community called Wauregan, this debut novel introduces readers to Helen Wadsworth, whose husband has been declared missing since an OSS operation in France during World War II. She is currently vacationing with her 14-year-old son, Jack, as they always have done. While she waits for news about what happened to her husband and longs for his return, two other men fall for her, which brings drama to the summer.

Flat Water Tuesday by Ron Irwin - Fiction

At age 19, Rob Carrey, the son of a cabinetmaker, spent his senior year at Connecticut’s prestigious Fenton boarding school to help the rowing team known as the God Four break its losing streak in the annual Tuesday race against rival Warwick. Fifteen years later, Rob is a documentary filmmaker for National Geographic. When he receives an unexpected letter from a troubled Fenton classmate, Rob is forced to revisit memories he had hoped to forget.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes - Fiction

Artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his young wife, Sophie, to fight at the front. When their small town falls to the Germans in the midst of World War I, Edouard’s portrait of Sophie draws the eye of the new Kommandant. As the officer’s dangerous obsession deepens, Sophie will risk everything to see her husband again. Almost a century later, Sophie’s portrait is given to Liv Halston by her young husband shortly before his sudden death, and a battle begins for who its legitimate owner is.

Heart of Palm by Laura Lee Smith - Fiction

Utina, Florida is a small, down-at-heels southern town about to meet the tide of an economic growth that it hasn't seen in decades. The Bravos, a local family held together in equal measure by love, unspoken blame, and tenuously brokered truces, have been complacent with the stagnant ways of the sleepy town. So when opportunity knocks, tempers ignite, secrets are unearthed, and each of the Bravos is forced to confront the tragedies of their shared past.

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang - Fiction


This bestselling modern fable from Korea is the story of a hen named Sprout. No longer content to lay eggs on command, only to have them carted off to the market, she glimpses her future every morning through the barn doors, where the other animals roam free, and comes up with a plan to escape into the wild --- and to hatch an egg of her own.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty - Fiction


Cecilia Fitzpatrick unearths a Pandora's box when she discovers a letter from her husband, John-Paul, to be opened only after his death. Despite her still-very-much-alive husband's plea not to read the letter, she ultimately can't resist. Sadly, the secrets within have the power to decimate her life.

Is This Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt - Historical Fiction


In 1956, Ava Lark rents a house with her 12-year-old son, Lewis, in a desirable Boston suburb. Lewis yearns for his absent father, befriending the only other fatherless kids: Jimmy and Rose. One afternoon, Jimmy goes missing. Years later, when Lewis and Rose reunite to untangle the final pieces of the tragic puzzle, they must decide: Should you tell the truth even if it hurts those you love, or should some secrets remain buried?

Leaving Haven by Kathleen McCleary - Fiction


Georgia longs for a baby, but she has had miscarriage after miscarriage since her daughter was born more than a decade ago. Through a miraculous egg donation, Georgia is thrilled to find herself pregnant --- until she makes a startling discovery that changes her mind about how much she really wants the baby.

Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole - Historical Fiction

When was the last time you wrote a letter? Not an email or a Facebook message, but an actual handwritten letter sent through the mail? If it's been a while, then LETTERS FROM SKYE might just convince you to put pen to paper again. Jessica Brockmole's debut novel, an epistolary romance that spans several decades and two world wars, is a testament to the power of love to overcome great adversity.

Life After Life by Jill McCorkle - Fiction


Jill McCorkle’s first novel in 17 years is alive with the daily triumphs and challenges of the residents and staff of Pine Haven Estates, a retirement facility now home to a good many of Fulton, North Carolina’s older citizens. As she connects their lives through their present circumstances, their pasts, and, in some cases, their deaths, McCorkle celebrates the blessings and wisdom of later life and infuses this remarkable novel with hope and laughter.

Longbourn by Jo Baker - Historical Romance

In Jo Baker's reimagining of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, Sarah, an orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - Romance

Louisa Clark takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life and is pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Louisa refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

Moonrise by Cassandra King Conroy - Southern Gothic/Romance


When Helen Honeycutt falls in love with Emmet Justice, a charismatic television journalist who has recently lost his wife in a tragic accident, their sudden marriage creates a rift between her new husband and his oldest friends, who resent Helen’s intrusion into their tightly knit circle. Someone is clearly determined to drive her away, but who wants her gone, and why? When she stumbles on the secret behind her predecessor’s untimely death, Helen must decide if she can ever trust --- or love --- again.

My Mother's Secret: A Novel Based on a True Holocaust Story by J.L. Witterick - Historical Fiction

Providing shelter to Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland is a death sentence, but Franciszka and her daughter, Helena, do exactly that. In their tiny home in Sokal, they hide a Jewish family in a loft above their pigsty, a Jewish doctor with his wife and son in a makeshift cellar under the kitchen, and a defecting German soldier in the attic. For everyone to survive, Franciszka will have to outsmart her neighbors and the German commander.

The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood - Historical Fiction


Claire struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless marriage or follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier, in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover who disappeared in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 --- Vivien helps others cope with their grief and begins to understand the devastation of her own terrible loss. The connection between Claire and Vivien will change the life of one of them in extraordinary ways.

Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson - Historical Fiction


Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader and wealthy philanthropist, is accused of being a former Nazi SS officer named Otto Piatek, the Butcher of Zamosc. Although the charges are denounced as preposterous, his accuser, Solomon, encourages attorney Catherine Lockhart to bring Rosenzweig to justice, revealing that the true Piatek was abandoned as a child and raised by Solomon's own family, only to betray them during the Nazi occupation. But has Solomon accused the right man?

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger - Historical Mystery

In 1961 New Bremen, Minnesota, all is quiet and serene. The Minnesota River flows through the countryside, the town barber knows everyone’s name, and folks dutifully attend church every Sunday. But that serenity is thrown into turmoil as a series of tragic deaths lead 13-year-old Frank Drum and his family on a hunt for terrible truths. But at what cost comes wisdom?

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline - Fiction


A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly Ayer out of juvie and worse. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that they aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life --- answers that will ultimately free them both.

Palisades Park by Alan Brennert - Historical Fiction


Growing up in the 1930s, there is no more magical place than Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey --- especially for seven-year-old Antoinette (nicknamed “Toni”) and her brother, Jack. However, both their father and Jack face the dangers of war, while their mother has ambitions of her own --- and Toni is determined to take on a very different kind of danger in impossible feats as a high diver. Yet they are all drawn back to each other --- and to Palisades Park --- until the park closes forever in 1971.

The Paradise Guest House by Ellen Sussman - Fiction


Returning to the scene of the terrorist bombing that she lived through in Bali one year previously, adventure travel guide Jamie faces down her negative memories of the past and creates positive new experiences that lead her to a hopeful new future.

The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley - Fiction


Priscille Sibley’s debut novel is a love story about a family torn apart by a medical crisis and the ethical dilemma of keeping a pregnant woman with no chance of recovery on life support for months in an attempt to give her unborn baby a chance.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - Romance/Humor

Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a 16-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers. Rosie Jarman is all these things. But while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father.

The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison - Psychological Thriller

Investigating the killing of a prisoner during a riot inside a state penitentiary, GBI investigator Will Trent is confronted by an inmate who claims he is innocent of a brutal attack for which he has always been the prime suspect. The man insists that he was framed by a corrupt law enforcement team led by Jeffrey Tolliver and that the real culprit is still out there --- a serial killer who has been preying on women across the state for years. If Will reopens the investigation the opportunistic convict is willing to provide the information GBI needs about the riot murder. As Will Trent digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the cold case in order to find the answer. But Will can’t crack either mystery without the help of the one person he doesn’t want involved: his girlfriend and Jeffrey Tolliver’s widow, medical examiner Sara Linton.
Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky - Fiction

Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together in Nicole's family's island house, but they have since grown apart. When Nicole returns to the island house, she invites her old friend Charlotte for both sentimental and practical reasons. But what both women don't know is that they are each holding a secret that may change their relationship forever. Are the bonds of friendship strong enough to weather past indiscretions and betrayals? Can love survive an honest mistake?

Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall - Historical Fiction

Susan Crandall’s latest novel takes place in the summer of 1963 and introduces readers to nine-year-old Starla Claudelle, who runs away from home to be with her mother in Nashville and is offered a ride by a black woman who is traveling with a white baby. As the two unlikely companions make their long and sometimes dangerous journey, Starla’s eyes are opened to the harsh realities of 1963 southern segregation.

The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle - Fiction


Seventeen-year-old Morgan Monetti shocks her parents and her community with one simple act: She chooses to stand by the man everyone else believes has exploited her --- popular high school teacher TJ Hill. Quietly walking across a crowded courtroom to sit behind TJ, and not beside her parents, she announces herself as the adult she believes herself to be.

The Widow Waltz by Sally Koslow - Fiction

Ben Silver had it all --- a successful law practice, a New York apartment overlooking Central Park, a beach house, fine art, club memberships. Yet when a massive coronary fells him while training for the New York City Marathon, it’s revealed that his life was a lie. He’s left his wife, Georgia Waltz, and their two daughters almost penniless. Georgia must now rally to support her family while mourning a husband whose private enigmas keep surfacing.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler - Historical Fiction

Before F. Scott Fitzgerald was a literary darling, he was a young WWI army lieutenant who fell hard for a spirited Southern belle named Zelda Sayre. The life he and Zelda would lead together in New York, Long Island, Paris, Hollywood, and on the French Riviera made them legends even in their own time. Set amidst the glamour of the Jazz Age and The Lost Generation’s vivid world abroad, Z brings Zelda and Scott’s romantic, tumultuous, extraordinary journey to life.