In the non-paranormal area, two other novels, each part of a trilogy, deserve notice this month as well. The first is a thrillingly fast adventure tale set in medieval Scotland, Captive Heart by Sarah McKerrigan, which focuses on Helena of Rivenloch, a proud warrior lass determined to save her sister from a fate worse than death marriage. A good-humored, action-packed escape. If suspense is your fare on a moonless night, try Cutline by Bonnie Hearn Hill. New reporter Geri LaRue has come to the city to share the apartment of an acquaintance who has disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and only therapist Malcolm Piercy seems to have any clues, but he has secrets of his own to protect. Despite a few confusing shifts in the narrative's point-of-view, this is a fresh, intriguing book that's hard to put down.

Colorado writer Barbara Samuel won a 2006 RITA Award for her novel Lady Luck's Map of Vegas (Ballantine).

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