Number one New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury delivers an instant classic with this heartwarming Christmas story about a hundred-year flood, lost love, and the beauty of enduring friendships.
Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but she left her heart back in Tennessee with a man she walked away from five years ago. They had a rare sort of love she hasn’t found since.
Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville after a broken engagement and several years on the road touring with a country music duo. He can still hear Molly’s voice encouraging him to follow his dreams; Molly, whose memory stays with him. At least he can visit The Bridge—the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin—and remember the hours he and Molly once spent there.
For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books—even through dismal book sales and the rise of digital books. Then in May, the hundred-year flood swept through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store.
Now the bank is pulling the lease on The Bridge. Despondent and without answers, Charlie considers the unthinkable. Then tragedy strikes, and suddenly, everything changes. In the face of desperate brokenness and lost opportunities, could the miracle of a second chance actually unfold?
The Bridge is a love story set against the struggle of the American bookstore, a love story you will never forget.
Someone Like You is a sweet romance about love and healing. It doesn’t contain sex scenes or profanity.
There are no knights in shining armor, at least not for Nicole. She tries to choose good guys, but always ends up with liars, cheats, or worse. Her childhood friend Sean is the only man that ever treated her right, but she hasn’t seen him since they were children, and right now she just needs a way to look like she’s dating without engaging her heart. Enter Club Blue, an escort agency full of stunning men that can’t break your heart because it’s simply business. It’s the perfect plan and the perfect club, until one of the men is dark, handsome, and oddly familiar.
If there was an award for being in the friend box, Sean would be the winner- thirteen years running. But he’s no longer the little boy that Nicole used to rescue from playground bullies. He’s tall, strong, and ready to do whatever it takes to protect his best friend from the bad men she can’t seem to see. Even if it means swapping out his black belt in Tae Kwon Do for something Armani. Too bad he’s better at fighting than flirting, because it’s only a matter of time before Nicole figures out who the grumpy new escort at Club Blue really is, and ejects him from her life.
But Sean’s going to do his best to master the use of hair gel and matching socks, because Nicole’s wounds are deeper than he thought. It’s going to take time convince the girl of his dreams that love can heal anything.
This is the second edition and approximately 50,800 words long.
You can find more info at blueclubbooks.com.
The Blue Club Series in order
1. Someone Like You
2. Into the Blue
If you like John Grisham’s courtroom suspense and James Patterson’s crime novels, you’ll love Joel Goldman’s new legal thriller Stone Cold! “In Stone Cold, Joel Goldman delivers an edge-of-your-seat legal thriller. This is suspense at its very best.” Libby Fischer Hellmann, Author of A Bitter Veil” After Public Defender Alex Stone wins an acquittal for a client accused of murder, her client threatens Alex’s lover and becomes the prime suspect in a murderous rampage. Find out how far Alex Stone goes to protect her lover, save the innocent and speak for the dead in Stone Cold, the first book in Joel Goldman’s Alex Stone Thriller series. “A powerful blend of tension and courtroom tradecraft, Stone Cold delivers the threat and suspense of Cape Fear with the forensic legal precision of Law & Order.” – Stephen Gallagher, Author of The Bedlam Detective “Joel Goldman is the real deal!” – John Lescroart, NYT Bestelling author
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW FOR THE AMAZON BREAKTHROUGH NOVEL CONTEST:
Hotshot investigative reporter Steve Flaherty takes on a powerful real estate developer, corrupt politicians, and an ill-tempered city editor who hates his guts in this tightly plotted crime fiction novel set in a mid-size Michigan city .
Two construction workers who specialize in high-rise welding have plummeted to their deaths in a gruesome crane accident at the city’s almost-completed sports stadium and within minutes there are rumors that someone on the work site knew the enormous crane was going to fall. Flaherty, ordered to stay away from the breaking story by editors who felt his previous coverage of the stadium developer had been too critical, protests and is suspended from his job. He nevertheless races to the scene, and is grudgingly reinstated based on the authoritative story he calls in. The fast-paced plot follows Flaherty’s investigation into the two deaths and into the odd behavior of two other construction workers who, after witnessing the crane collapse, got in their truck and fled home to Wyoming .
Flaherty’s style is a mix of shrewd, gutsy reporting and horrendously bad career moves and personal gaffes (pursued by a female reporter who finally gets him into her bed, he ham-handedly extricates himself from the fling, only to learn that she’s been promoted – to be his editor). Flaherty’s constant whiny self-deprecation and social cluelessness make him a hard protagonist to warm up to, but the story – trim and taut and filled with strong, memorable characters – never lets you down.
Robert B. Parker meets early Nick Hornby
Reporter Steve Flaherty is a screw-up. Relationships blow up in his face. Newsroom diplomacy is a language he doesn’t understand. But he knows a good story when he sees one, and when an industrial accident at a stadium kills two ironworkers, Flaherty wants a piece of it.
Then an editor named Keri pays him a morning visit bearing banana bread. Flaherty hates banana bread, and he hates girls who make banana bread. On the other hand, she’s interesting, she’s real, and she’s sitting right there. When she looks at him frankly, Flaherty is thrown into crisis, beginning with whether to put on his pants.
Divided three ways about most things, fretting over every decision, an obsession with falling overtaking him, Flaherty pursues answers to the crime at the stadium, and seeks solace for his obdurate heart.
An invaluable CIA asset has gone missing, and with him, secrets that in the wrong hands could prove disastrous. The only question is: Can Mitch Rapp find him first?
Joe Rickman, head of CIA clandestine operations in Afghanistan, has been kidnapped and his four bodyguards executed in cold blood. But Mitch Rapp’s experience and nose for the truth make him wonder if something even more sinister isn’t afoot. Irene Kennedy, director of the CIA, has dispatched him to Afghanistan to find Rickman at all costs.
Rapp, however, isn’t the only one looking for Rickman. The FBI is too, and it quickly becomes apparent that they’re less concerned with finding Rickman than placing the blame on Rapp.
With CIA operations in crisis, Rapp must be as ruthless and deceitful as his enemies if he has any hope of finding Rickman and completing his mission. But with elements within his own government working against both him and American interests, will Rapp be stopped dead before he can succeed?
Highland warrior Gavin Mackinnon has found the woman that he wants to spend the rest of his life with – now he is forced by the evils of war to leave her behind.
English beauty Emma Abernathy is high-spirited and feisty – the perfect match for Gavin. Together they discover a love so deep that it threatens to consume them.
With no time for a proper wedding, Gavin seeks to protect Emma with the safety of his name, also giving her his heart to safe-keep. They are handfasted, bound together in marriage for a year and a day. Gavin and Emma share one precious night together before he leaves for war – losing themselves in the depths of their passion and savoring the joy of their love.
Gavin vows to fight with every shred of his being to return safely home to Emma.
Will the strength of Emma’s love be enough to bring her husband back from the horrors of war?
Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered.
Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.
Who is the Racketeer? And what does he have to do with the judge’s untimely demise? His name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? The Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland.
On paper, Malcolm’s situation isn’t looking too good these days, but he’s got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge’s body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied.
What was in the safe? The FBI would love to know. And Malcolm Bannister would love to tell them. But everything has a price—especially information as explosive as the sequence of events that led to Judge Fawcett’s death. And the Racketeer wasn’t born yesterday . . .
Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.
With a swift shoulder shove I force open the front door. Like an intruder, sunlight breaks into the dingy townhouse sending cockroaches scattering over dusty floorboards. I step inside, my eyes surveying the scene. Some might focus on the crumbling walls, the pigeons flying about, or the time and resources renovation projects demand. But I envision a $120,000 payday.
Property renovation can be frustrating or rewarding – the difference being preparation. To create income renovating real estate I created a system I call FREEhabbing, which allows me to renovate fast, easy and with little to no money down. Here’s how it works:
“Eyeballing” the Project
Crucial to your pre-contract negotiation with the seller is your ability to identify to determine potential cash flow or equity. Look for Value Deficiencies – deficiencies in the property that create value to you, the buyer. On a yellow legal-size pad and clipboard, list items that need attention and their approximate cost. By doing so, you will better understand the scope of the project and gain negotiating leverage. Consider bringing someone along who knows renovation until you develop cost estimating proficiency.
Controlling the Property
If you determine rehab. profit potential, your next step is to control the property with a contract. The easiest way to do so is a straight cash purchase, but there are also creative alternatives such as negotiating a lease with option, short-term annuity, partnership, and/or delayed settlement. Using these methods, you can put off payment for the property until your rehab is complete.
Once your purchase or option agreement is ratified, you’re ready to begin FREEhabbing! Begin by purchasing drawings and a “Spec’s Book” from a local architect. The drawings will give your contractor a guide for layout, and the specifications book will tell the contractor exactly what materials will be used, the color of paint, etc. For standardization, I use the same Spec’s Book for all of my projects. (Buy it for $99.)
Select a Contractor
Your Spec’s Book is an essential tool because it allows you to collect apples-to-apples bids from contractors. Set an appointment at the property to meet three to five general contractors. Give each contractor a copy of your Spec’s Book and drawings, a deadline for the project, and a two or three week deadline to turn in their bid.
As bids come in, perform your due diligence. Study each contractor carefully. Is their bid complete? Was it presented on time? Are they professional and polite? Do they have business cards and stationery? Visit their current project. Note the condition of their clothing, truck, and tools. Call references and explore past relationships in detail. Verify their license and complaint history with the licensing board, and their bond with their insurance company. Ask for a copy of their credit report. Have a detective run a criminal background search. You will be married to the contractor for 2-6 months, so be sure before you say, “I do.”
In addition to the due diligence above, the best way to protect yourself from financial losses is to PAY UPON COMPLETION. “Will anyone do that?” people ask in my seminars, “What about a third up front?” Actually, payment upon completion is standard in the commercial contracting realm; the investor can simply refinance the property when the job is done to pay off the contractor – no money needed. At that most, I would consider paying upon completion of phases. Ignore this advice at your own peril!
A final note about selecting a contractor – don’t be your own G.C. You might save a little money, but you will lose time that could be used to put together other deals.
Once your contractor is on board, hold him or her accountable by diligent project management. Verify exactly how work will progress, and make both scheduled and unscheduled appearances at the job site.
Usually, the Schedule of Work begins with the Alarm and Roof phases to secure the building. An alarm can be installed even without a phone line. Board up ground level windows to keep out would-be thieves.
Next, move on to the Demolition phase. Create a clean and efficient job site by removing all debris at once. If there is a considerable amount, the cost of a dumpster is usually cheaper than paying per truckload. Some municipalities will even provide and remove a dumpster for the block at no cost. Once the walls are “open,” assess the structural condition of the Sub-Floors. If floors are not level, repair or replacement of joists may be necessary to create a solid foundation on which to build.
Heating, Cooling, Ducts, Plumbing in Rough, and Electrical phases are performed together. Regarding heating, radiant heat is the most efficient so if it’s fairly new, there is no need for replacement. If you’re adding central air, you will need to install ducts and possibly upgrade the electric. Make sure to size the A/C unit properly, (1 ton effectively cools 600sf). Convert fuses to breakers, and test plumbing before closing in walls.
When the house can sustain a temperature of 65 degrees, joint compound can cure, so begin Framing, Drywall, Doors and Interior Painting. When you reach the Floors, Stairs, Trim phase you’re halfway done! Because I hold my projects for rental, I prefer hardwood and tile over carpet and vinyl; they look better, are more durable, and add greater value to the property.
The Kitchens, Bathrooms, Fixtures and Exterior phases can be completed simultaneously. Make sure to tell your architect to design the kitchen with pre-built standard-size cabinets in mind. You might also consider using tile on the countertop which saves money, and looks better than laminates. Unless you plan to Landscape, Punchout is the last phase, and consists of addressing any items which still need work.
Whether you intend to lease or sell, consider signing an agreement and taking a deposit from your tenant or buyer prior to completion, so when the job‘s done, you can profit immediately.
They say renovation projects always take twice as long and cost twice as much as projected. If that were true, Mr. Trump, Mr. Rockefeller and Mr. Rouse would be poor men indeed! But look at the tremendous failure of “The Big Dig” subway project in Boston – millions over budget and years behind schedule. The difference between the two is preparation. So the next time you walk into a crumbling building, what will YOU see?
Investors United School of Real Estate is America’s first professional school dedicated exclusively to real estate investment training. With personal mentoring, state-of the-art resources, and a practical hands-on approach, members “earn while they learn.”
Republican presidential candidate Willard Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947. He was named for his father’s best friend, hotel businessman J. Willard Marriott and Milton “Mitt” Romney, a relative who played football for the Chicago Bears. His father, George W. Romney, was a former Michigan governor, Housing and Urban Development Secretary, American Motors chairman and presidential candidate. His mother, Lenore, was an unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidate in 1970. Romney married his high school sweetheart, Ann Davies, in 1968. They have five sons, Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben and Craig and ten grandchildren. Ann Romney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998.
Romney grew up Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, along with his three siblings, Lynn, Jane and G. Scott. After attending Stanford University for two semesters, Romney took a leave from school to serve a 30-month mission in France as an LDS missionary. When he returned to the states, he transferred to Brigham Young University, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1971. In 1975, he graduated from a joint JD/MBA program between Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.
Born: March 12, 1947
Famous For: Republican candidate in 2008 presidential election. As governor of Massachusetts, he achieved a balanced budget every year.
Significant Quote: “It’s time for innovation and transformation in Washington. It’s what our country needs. It’s what our people deserve.” (announcing his candidacy for President)
Fun Quote: “No, I represent the people. You represent the media. You’re supposed to be unbiased.”
After college, Romney spent some time working for the Boston Consulting Group before becoming a vice president at Bain & Company, another Boston-based management consulting firm. In 1984, he left the company to co-found Bain Capital, which soon grew into a highly successful private equity investment firm.
In 1990, Romney was asked to return to Bain & Company, which was facing financial collapse. Within one year, he led Bain & Company through a highly successful turnaround and returned the firm to profitability. After that year, he returned to Bain Capital. During Romney’s time there, the firm founded or invested in companies such as Staples, Brookstone, Domino’s and The Sports Authority. He left Bain Capital in 1998 to head the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee. In 1999, Romney was hired as the president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. He contributed $1 million to the Olympics and donated his $825,000 salary to charity. It was here that Romney first gained national recognition.
In 1994, Romney won the Massachusetts Republican Party’s nomination for U.S. Senate, but Senator Ted Kennedy went on to win the election with 58% of the votes to Romney’s 41%.
In 2002, after a battle over residency requirements, Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts with 50% of the vote over the Democratic candidate. He did not seek re-election. Instead, on January 3, 2007 (just two days before he stepped down as governor), he announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee. On February 13, 2007, Romney officially announced his presidential candidacy.
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney supported education reform and abortion rights, but has since described himself as pro-life. He supports the death penalty and advocates making health care more affordable.
Romney is one of only a few Mormons, including his father and Orrin Hatch, to run for president.
Mitch Mueller writes on a variety of web topics, always trying to make it easy for folks to use the web to better their lives.
And what does one do with an MBA anyway? What kind of role does an MBA typically fill? What kind of tasks is he/she responsible for? Who are the more popular recruiters?
Below are three commonly filled roles by newly minted MBAs. Keep in mind that these are broad categories and there are many types of opportunities available inside and outside of these descriptions. Still, the companies listed below hire MBAs year after year and are used to offering the kind of exposure, experience, and compensation that an up and coming executive expects.
oManagement Consulting. These firms help solve high level strategic problems at the nation’s top companies. The executives will ask you a tough question that challenges their business and you will work hard to find the answer. Market research, competitor analysis, and historical trend research are some of the tasks involved in this role. Top firms in this area are McKinsey & Company, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Bain & Company, The Boston Consulting Group, and Accenture.
oInvestment Banking. These firms advise companies on issues of financial strategy. They help companies trade securities, raise money, and manage financial assets. Accounting knowledge is very important because “bankers” are excellent at understanding how money flows through a company and pointing out a company’s financial pain points. Examples of top companies are Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Goldman Sachs.
oBrand Management. These companies make many of the consumer products you use everyday. Kraft, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, Nestle, and Coca-Cola are examples of large firms in this area. This role functions a lot a like a general manager where you are responsible for the profit and loss of a certain product line. Your job is to understand the vision for the particular “brand” and work with your team of experts to create promotions, extensions, and ultimately a profitable product line.
These three roles are very popular career choices amongst MBAs. The companies listed here recruit MBAs on an annual basis from top MBA programs. If you are interested in an MBA degree these are the kind of positions you can look forward to. Study the companies included in this article to see which company makes the most sense for you.
Did you find this information on MBA jobs useful? What MBA job are you looking for? Do you know where MBAs typically struggle in their career? Find out for free at http://www.EvenBetterConsulting.com