Reading Recommendations: The Steel Wave, a novel on World War II, Jeff Shaara.
Jeff Shaara, America's premier author of military historical fiction, brings us the centerpiece of his epic trilogy of the second World War. Told through the points of view of some of history's most colorful and dynamic characters, this is the story of D-Day, the Allie's invasion of France.
General Dwight Eisenhower once again commands a diverse army that must find its single purpose in the destruction of Hitler's European fortress. His primary subordinates, Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery, must prove that this unique blend of Allied armies can successfully confront the might of Adolph Hitler's forces, who have already conquered Western Europe. On the coast of France, German commander Erwin Rommel fortifies and prepares for the coming invasion, acutely aware that he must bring all his skills to bear on a fight his side must win. But Rommel's greatest challenge is to strike the Allies on his front, while struggling behind the lines with the growing insanity of Adolph Hitler, who thwarts the strategies Rommel knows will succeed.
If Rommel's Atlantic Wall holds, the Germans could win the war. If the Allies can secure their beach-heads and drive the Germans back, they will open the door for a massive thrust by Eisenhower's most controversial general, George Patton, who waits in England, eager for his opportunity to secure the destiny he believes he deserves.
Meanwhile, Sergeant Jesse Adams, a no-nonsense veteran of the 82nd Airbourne, parachutes with his men behind German lines into a chaotic and desperate struggle. And as the invasion force surges toward the beaches of Normandy, Private Tom Thorne of the 29th Infantry Division faces the horrifying prospects of fighting his way ashore on a stretch of coast more heavily defended than the Allied commanders anticipate, Omaha Beach.
From G.I. to general, this story carries the reader through the war's most crucial juncture, the invasion that altered the flow of the war, and, ultimately, changed history.
And, Something Very Wild, New Orleans Legacy, Mary Zelinsky.
Chloe Galen, the family wild child, has been expelled from college for the third time and returns to New Orleans with her tail between her legs. That's one time too many for her society matriarch mother. When Mama cuts the purse strings, Chloe sets out to prove she can finish college on her own. Using her passion for art and creative ability to stay alive, she takes a job in a gallery and lands in the middle of international art fraud, unaware her fellow students and co-workers aren't as honest as they appear.
Meeting a sexy, new student who likes the woman she is now, not the spoiled brat she once was, is her dream come true. Too bad he has his own skeletons in the closet and a hidden agenda that could bring down everybody she holds dear.
FBI agent Aaron Porter has come home to help local law enforcement crack a sophisticated ring that's selling fakes as works of art. Distrustful of the rich, he woos Chloe to infiltrate the scam, never suspecting the starving artist isn't whom she appears to be. Falling in love with her is easy, deciding whether to protect her or arrest her proves to be the toughest challenge of this career.
Set in the exotic, ever changing French Quarter, Something Very Wild serves up passion, murder, and mystery as the daily special in this fast-paced romantic suspense.
And, The School of Essential Ingredients, Erica Bauermeister.
Once a month on Monday night, eight students gather in Lillian's restaurant for a cooking class. Among them is Claire, a young woman coming to terms with her new identity as a mother; Tom, a lawyer whose life has been overturned by loss; Antonia, an Italian designer adapting to life in America; and Carl and Helen, a long married couple whose union contains surprises the rest of the class would never suspect.
The students have come to learn the art behind Lillian's soulful dishes, but it soon becomes clear that each seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. One by one they are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of what they create, including a white-on-white cake that prompts wistful reflections on the sweet fragility of love, and a garlic and red sauce that seems to spark one romance but end another. Over time, the paths of the students mingle and intertwine, and the essence of Lillian's cooking expands beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of their lives, with results that are often unexpected, and always delicious.
See you at Rylander!