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Originally published Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 6:27 AM

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NW Books: 'A Fool's Gold Christmas,' 'Foxfire,' 'Closer to the Ground'

New books of Seattle interest: a dancer breaks her leg and looks for a different future; a family moves from a Seattle high-rise to the woods to get closer to nature; a shape-shifter travels to Japan to try to uncover the secret to cure her boyfriend; and a talking Chihuahua investigates the death of a Microsoft millionaire.

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New releases

"A Fool's Gold Christmas," by Susan Mallery (Harlequin, $16.95). Evie has seen her share of miserable Christmases and the one dead ahead looks like it might be the worst yet. A broken leg has ended her career as a dancer and she finds herself back in the clutches of her previously estranged family in the small town of Fool's Gold, Calif. She starts a new life as a dance teacher but falls for the one man in town who vows to never fall in love because it is too dangerous. Mallery, who previously has appeared on The New York Times' best-seller lists, lives in Seattle (www.SusanMallery.com).

"Closer to the Ground: An Outdoor Family's Year on the Water, in the Woods, and at the Table," by Dylan Tomine (Patagonia Books, $29.95). A father moves his wife and young children from a Seattle high-rise to a house in the woods to more closely experience nature. Part memoir, part food narrative, the book follows the family as it travels through four seasons of foraging, cooking and eating. Tomine, a conservation advocate and outdoor writer who runs Bainbridge Island Blueberry Co., a U-pick farm, will appear at these area locations: 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Eagle Harbor Book Co. on Bainbridge Island (206-842-5332 or www.eagleharborbooks.com), and at 2 p.m. Sunday at Seattle's Elliott Bay Book Co. (206-624-6600 or www.elliottbaybook.com).

"Foxfire," by Karen Kincy (Flux, $9.99). In the third book of the "Other" series, shape-shifting heroine Gwen and boyfriend, Tavian, travel to Japan to track down his fox spirit mother who abandoned him. Their hope is that Tavian's mother, also a shape-shifter, may know how to cure his illness. Kincy's debut novel, "Other," was named the American Library Association's Top 10 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults in 2011. She lives in Redmond and can be found online at www.KarenKincy.com.

"Dial C for Chihuahua," by Waverly Curtis, (Kensington Books, $7.99). A set-in-Seattle mystery featuring the canine detective, Pepe, who shocks his new owner when he begins talking in a mixture of Spanish and English. In this, the first of three novels, Pepe, is on the investigation into the death of a Microsoft millionaire. Waverly Curtis is a pseudonym for the writing team of Waverly Fitzgerald and Curt Colbert, who live in Capitol Hill and Mountlake Terrace, respectively. www.thepepenovels.com. The authors will sign books at noon Saturday at Seattle Mystery Bookshop (206-587-5737 or www.seattlemystery.com).

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