Whether you’re looking to start a book club, read with your little ones, or curl up on the couch for some quiet time, Cobb County is home to talented authors who have written stories to take you on a journey you’ll never forget – even while social distancing!
CAM AND THE BIG MEAN DUCK
Author: Kathleen Rouse – Marietta, GA
Feeding the ducks always puts Cam in a good mood. But what happens when she meets a big mean duck who steals all the food?
THE BEE BULLY
Author: Angela Muse – Acworth, GA
This is the tale of a grumpy little bee who learns the error of his wicked ways. This bee soon finds out that treating others with kindness is the best way to earn friends.
THE MYSTERY OF THE LOST MAP
Author: Jim Rhoden – Marietta, GA
Cowboy Little and Cowboy Small live an idyllic life on the Circle R Ranch with their parents, grandparents, and two older brothers. One fateful day, the young cowboys set off on a camping trip at the edge of their family’s land. They are hoping to go exploring to find arrowheads but when they arrive, things at their campsite don’t seem right. There is garbage everywhere and the fire pit has been destroyed. As they boys set out to clean things up, they come across a saddlebag that appears to have been forgotten by whoever was last using their campsite. The boys look into the bag and discover gold pieces, a medical dictionary, some letters, and an old map that is close to falling apart. Thus, begins the mystery that will consume their imaginations for several months.
PIGGY IS SAD
Author: Sawyer Warren – Marietta, GA
This children’s picture book has a unique perspective on moving to a new home told from a young author’s view. We find Piggy at the beginning of our story very sad because she has to move away from her original home. Kids can expand their imagination and relate to this difficult feeling as they too may be moving and feeling sad just like Piggy.
YOUNG ADULT NOVELS
THE MAZE RUNNER
Author: James Dashner – Austell, GA
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone. Outside the towering stone walls that surround them is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive. Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying. Remember. Survive. Run.
THE STARLIGHT CHRONICLES
Author: C.S. Johnson – Acworth, GA
The Starlight Chronicles introduces the story of teenager Hamilton Dinger, who leads a charmed life, and believes only in himself. With his athletic prowess, good looks, and top grades, there is no reason to believe he needs to believe in anything else. Ideas like ‘good’ and ‘evil’ don’t matter to him. And why should they? They aren’t important to him. That is, until a meteor crashes into his city, unleashing the Seven Deadly Sinisters and their leader, Orpheus, who are determined to acquire power by taking Soulfire, the energy of individual souls. With their arrival, Hamilton learns of his own supernatural powers, and his connection to the Prince of Stars, the leader of the First Light Stars who fight against Orpheus and others like him.
60 CENTS: SECRETS AND TALES IN A SMALL TOWN
Author: Brad Hulsey – Powder Springs, GA
Growing up in a small Southern town can be a phenomenal experience for a young boy who has any measure of curiosity and imagination. Whimsical tales of youthful frolic and childish nonsense provide a jovial flair to memories of yesteryear. But when a shameful secret of monumental magnitude rears its ugly head and penetrates the soul of a young man, it causes him to wonder who he really is – and, if who his very own father claimed to be was, in fact, reality.
A FINE IMITATION
Author: Amber Brock – Smyrna, GA
Vera Bellington has beauty, pedigree, and a penthouse at The Angelus – the most coveted address on Park Avenue. But behind the sparkling social whirl, Vera is living a life of quiet desperation. Her days are an unbroken loop of empty socializing, while her nights are silent and cold, spent waiting alone in her apartment for a husband who seldom comes home.
Then Emil Hallan arrives at The Angelus to paint a mural. The handsome French artist moves into the building, shrouds his work in secrecy, and piques Vera’s curiosity, especially when the painter keeps dodging questions about his past. When the dangerous mysteries of Emil’s past are revealed, Vera faces an impossible choice–whether to cling to her familiar world of privilege or risk her future with the man who has taken her heart.
A MOVING SCREEN
Author: Kris Allis – Powder Springs, GA
On June 16, 2005 the body of a female is discovered in the smoking shell of a house fire in Atlanta, GA. Without clues to identify the victim or the person responsible for what is ruled arson and murder, Dennis Cane, lead detective, decides to take one last look at the crime scene, and finds only a single black thread.
Over the next three years, more murders occur. Literally clinging to threads, Cane begins to see a pattern: women are dying twice a year on June 16 and 24 at the hands of a serial killer. Racing against time, he sets out on a quest that will bring him in contact with more evil than he could have ever imagined.
Author: Linda Joyce – Kennesaw, GA
Branna Lind’s self-esteem rests at the bottom of the Mississippi River. She canceled her “wedding of the decade,” though she isn’t saying why. She wants life on her own terms, no ready-made job in the family business, no safety net of close-knit kin, and no more betrayal. College professor James Newbern prizes his bachelorhood. Experience has taught him beautiful women are high-maintenance trouble and Branna fits that type. He is happy to avoid her until the college vice president assigns him to mentor the newest hire – Branna. Branna is on her way to a new life, but will the scars of the past send her running from love? Even if she stands her ground, can she convince James that she truly is his “type”?
BEFORE I GO
Author: Colleen Oakley – Smyrna, GA
On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.
NOT A BLUEPRINT: IT’S THE SHOE PRINTS THAT MATTER
Author: Nina Norstrom – Austell, GA
Allowing us to learn lessons, let go of toxicity, and gain insight, relationships can play a powerful role in our lives. Whether toxic or nontoxic, relationships are an integral component of daily living. In this book, Norstrom explores the effects that her relationships with grief, pain, trauma, and forgiveness have had on her life. This tale exposes a mother’s struggle to escape her world of toxicity, her journey out of the clutches of diseased relationships, and the shoe prints the experiences have left on her family’s history. This story in its raw form projects a remarkable voice to the heroic fight, courage, and bravery gained when striking back to wipe out toxic relationships.