Rapid Reads

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Rapid Reads are short novels and nonfiction books for adult readers. They are intended for a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy and anyone who wants a high-interest quick read.


Him Standing
Content Territory: Ojibway
Format: Paperback
When Lucas Smoke learns the Ojibway art of carving from his grandfather, he proves to be a natural. He can literally make people come to life in wood. Then Lucas's growing reputation attracts a mysterious stranger, who offers him a large advance to carve a spirit mask.
This mask is to represent the master, but Lucas must find its face in his dreams. As his dreams become more and more disturbing, he feels himself changing. And the mask takes control of his life. Then a chance encounter with an old woman introduces him to the identity of the master. He is an ancient sorcerer named Him Standing, a powerful and dark wizard. The more Lucas works on the mask, the closer Him Standing comes to emerging from the dream world to walk the earth again. What follows is a race against time and the forces of evil in this supernatural thriller.
$9.95

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Love You to Death
Author: Gail Bowen
Format: Paperback
Charlie D is the host of a successful late-night radio call-in show. His listeners have a particularly intimate relationship with him and often reveal much about themselves, confident that he will honor their trust and that he can save them. In their minds, he is perfect: one of life's winners. But Charlie feels he's something of a fake. His easy confidence on-air belies the reality for a man born with a wine-colored birthmark that covers half his face. Love You to Death covers one hour on ""The World According to Charlie D""--an hour during which he must both discover the long-time listener who is killing the people who trust him and attempt to come to terms with the man behind the birthmark.
$9.95

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One Fine Day You're Gonna Die (Rapid Reads)
Author: Gail Bowen
Format: Paperback
It will take all of Charlie D's skills to keep this Halloween from being another "Day of the Dead."
Charlie D is back doing his late-night radio call-in show. It's Halloween' The Day of the Dead. Not a day filled with good memories for Charlie, but the show must go on. His studio guest this evening is Dr. Robin Harris, an arrogant and ambitious "expert in the arts of dying and grieving," who also seems to be auditioning for her own radio talk show. Charlie and Dr. Harris do not hit it off. Things go from bad to worse when the doctor's ex-lover, Gabe, goes on air to announce that he's about to end his life. Dr. Harris is entirely unsympathetic until she learns that Gabe also has her daughter Kali and plans to poison her too. It will take all of Charlie D's on-air skills to save both Gabe and Kali.
$9.95

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That Dog Won't Hunt (Rapid Reads)
Author: Lou Allin
Format: Paperback
Sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Cowboy drifter Rick Cooper is on the run in the California desert when he meets Gladys Ryan, an eccentric widow who offers him a ride in her classic 1970 Mustang. Before long she convinces him to accompany her to Northern Ontario to help refurbish her hunting lodge, promising him a share of the upcoming season's profits and hinting at more. The offer is too good to pass up. Rick takes to life in the bush, working hard to make the lodge successful. In his free hours he hunts birds, reluctantly taking Bucky, Gladys' ancient golden retriever along with him.

But when the lucrative season comes to an end, Gladys refuses to share the profits, instead offering the hired man a few thousand dollars in wages. In the middle of a drinking bout, an argument ensues. Rick shoves Gladys and she falls and hits her head and dies. He takes her body into the remote bush and disposes of her trademark Mustang, telling anyone who asks that she has gone off on her annual snowbird vacation. No one seems suspicious and it looks like the perfect crime. Rick seems to have it all figured out…except what to do with Bucky…
Authentic Canadian Content
$9.95

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The Barrio Kings (Rapid Reads)
Format: Paperback
"Look, man, real life is not always pretty. Sometimes you gotta do hard things. You have to protect what's yours in this life. No one else can do that for you."
Rosario Gomez gave up gang life after his brother was killed in a street fight. Now all he wants to do is finish night school, be a good father and work hard enough at his job at the supermarket to get promoted. But when an old friend shows up to ask him why he left the gang, Rosario realizes he was fooling himself if he thought his violent past would just go away. When his pregnant girlfriend is hit in a drive-by shooting, Rosario has to make some hard choices. Revenge means a return to his old ways, something he swore he would never do. But unless he takes action, his enemies will not rest until they've settled the score against him.
$9.95

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The Middle Ground (Rapid Reads)
Author: Zoe Whittall
Format: Paperback
When everything goes wrong at once, Missy Turner begins to make some unusual choices.
Missy Turner thinks of herself as the most ordinary woman in the world. She has a lot to be thankful for—a great kid, a loving husband, a job she enjoys and the security of living in the small town where she was born. Then one day everything gets turned upside down—she loses her job, catches her husband making out with the neighbor and is briefly taken hostage by a young man who robs the local café. With her world rapidly falling apart, Missy finds herself questioning the certainties she's lived with her whole life.

Reviews
CM Magazine - April 30, 2010
"Whittall's prose demonstrates vitality and humour as she includes the minutiae of daily life among the bizarre events in Missy's adventure…An entertaining read. Recommended."
$5.00

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The Next Sure Thing
Format: Paperback
Cree Thunderboy wants nothing less than to be the next great blues man. But, playing to tiny audiences in shabby rooms like Shelly's Crab Shack, his career is stalled. Then at the race track he meets Win Hardy, a seemingly charming rogue who spots Cree's knack for picking winning horses. He offers to record his first CD and send him on tour, as long as Cree can keep coming up with the hot tips at the track.

Things are looking good for Cree until he discovers Win's connections to the mob and his violent response to anything that doesn't go his way. And when things inevitably go bad, Cree discovers that in life and in gambling there is never really the next sure thing.
$9.95

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The Spider Bites (Rapid Reads)
Author: Medora Sale
Format: Paperback
The long walk gave me time to think. It looked like I was through as a cop. Suspended from the force. Under investigation for corruption. Even if I got off on that charge, the slime would stick to me.
My name is Rick Montoya. But you can call me the Spider. Other people do.
When detective Rick Montoya returns to the city to try to clear his name after being accused of taking a bribe, he discovers someone is living in his apartment. Before he can find out who it is, the apartment house gose up in flames. Rick watches covertly as the police remove two bodies. Was the firebombing meant for him? Who exactly was killed in the fire? And why? What was his landlady Cheryl doing at home in the middle of the afternoon? And why is her daughter Susanna acting strangely? Then his estranged wife arrives at the scene of the fire. The questions mount up, along with the suspects.

Reviews

CM Magazine - April 16, 2010
"A well-written and exciting novel. The time frame is condensed, and there are no flashbacks to confuse the action. The language is simple and the sentences short…The Spider Bites is one of the first entries in what may well become a large and popular series of easy-read novels. Highly recommended."

Read and Blog website - June 21, 2010
"A great story with all the traditional and exciting elements of mystery held within a smaller package…This book will hold your attention to a satisfying close."
$9.95

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The Way It Works (Rapid Reads)
Format: Paperback
Can Walter Davis succeed when the odds are stacked against him?
Walter Davis is young, handsome, intelligent, dynamic and personable. The product of a bi-racial marriage but abandoned by his father as a young child, he prides himself on three things: his drive to succeed, his fine clothes and never having been late for anything in his life. Walter is also homeless. The medical expenses that came with his mother's brief and unsuccessful battle against cancer have left him destitute. Still, ever the optimist, Walter believes that if he lives in his car for a few months, he will have the time he needs to find a good job in the business world and turn his life around. His situation gets more complicated when he finds himself attracted to a girl he meets at the mailing center where he keeps a post box. But trying to impress a girl when you have no fixed address proves difficult, and when he's caught in a lie, she shuns his company. Walter's struggles grow when his car is impounded and he can't afford to pay the fine. Only resilience, ingenuity and his drive to succeed can bring Walter back from the brink of despair.
$9.95

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