The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place and the Mysterious Howling, by Maryrose Wood

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Miss Penelope Lumley is a governess at the home of the honorable Lord Ashton, watching over three very peculiar but remarkable children. Beowulf, Cassiopeia, and Alexander were found in the woods attached to the Ashton Estate, and were rumored to have been, until the day that they were discovered, raised by wolves. Despite their distinctive canine behavior and habits, they are excellent pupils and quite gifted in many ways.

The children are not the only peculiar things living at Ashton Place, Lord Ashton comes from a line of Lords who have a strange genetic illness which causes them to make strange howling noises whenever there is a full moon…And the matriarch of the family has decided to visit Ashton Place with her new beau, an ex-Admiral who dreams of starting an Ostrich-racing business with the widow Ashton’s money.

Penelope suspects that the Admiral is bad news for the Ashtons, and devises a very unorthodox and supernatural solution…

Can Penelope prove to the Ashtons that the Admiral is not who he seems to be? Can she discover the real secret behind Lord Ashton’s full moon illness? And what about the strange origins of the incorrigible children?

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: the Mysterious Howling, by Maryrose Wood,  is an amusing middle grade novel which is the first in a series of books. The writing is light and amusing, and this could be a good novel to read aloud to an elementary aged child. If you would like a darker twist on the Mary Poppins-like stories, then give this series a try.

Up at Butternut Lake (The Butternut Lake Trilogy #1)

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Up at Butternut Lake, by Mary McNear, is a great read to start off your summer vacation. Widowed single mother Allie Beckett decides to pick up everything and leave her old life, full of painful memories, behind for good… She heads for a cabin that she remembers from her childhood, on Butternut lake in Minnesota…But when she arrives, she starts to wonder if she has bitten off more than she can chew. Raising a young son on a remote lake is not without its challenges, and small town life isn’t as anonymous as she originally thought… Not to mention, the only neighbor for miles is an arrogant, annoying male who seems to find her irresistible.

Will Allie find peace at Butternut lake? Will she find the strength to move on with her life? Will she find love again?

Up at Butternut Lake is a novel about second chances, healing and learning to appreciate the simple things in life. If you like reading romantic trilogies, there are two more books set to come out following Up at Butternut Lake, so keep an eye out for Mary McNear on the bookshelves (and maybe here on my site).

The Widows of Braxton County by Jess McConkey

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Kate has finally escaped from her miserable life and found the man of her dreams (on the internet, of course), and after a passionate courting, she finds herself married and moving to Iowa to be the lady of his farmhouse. Except when she arrives, she has a rude awakening. Her new husband Joe wasn’t as forthcoming about his living situation as she would have desired. Her marriage is off to a very rocky start, people keep insinuating that her home is haunted, and she is about to learn that the wives of Braxton County face struggles that she never could have imagined, going back generation after generation.

Can Kate solve the mystery of the farmhouse and the murder that once occurred within its walls? Will she face the same fate as the previous owners? Is the family cursed? Can she find her place in Braxton County, or will she be defeated? What secrets are locked away, just out of Kate’s reach?

The Widows of Braxton County, by Jess McConkey, is a novel about old family secrets, the trials of marriage and the complicated relationships between women, and asks a very serious question : Is it possible for a man to avoid becoming his own father, in the end?