5 February Book Releases for Children

Stars AboveTitle ~ Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection
Author ~ Marissa Meyer
ISBN ~ 978-1250091840
Publisher ~ Feiwel & Friends (February 2, 2016)
Hardcover ~ 400 pages

Description: The enchantment continues….

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.


The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.
Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….
The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.
The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.
After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.
The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess
The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.
Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century..

SaltTitle ~ Salt to the Sea
Author ~ Ruta Sepetys
ISBN ~ 9780399160301
Publisher ~ Philomel Books (February 2, 2016)
Hardcover: 400 pages

Description: In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are  Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

7 wondersTitle ~ Seven Wonders Journals: The Promise
Author ~ Peter Lerangis
ISBN ~ 978-0062238955
Publisher ~ HarperCollins (February 9, 2016)
Paperback: 112 pages

Description: Follow the threads of history back to ancient times. Two Atlantean princes, Karai and Massarym, obsessed with power and terrified of the mysterious Loculi, turned against it each other in a bitter rivalry. With the future of the world at stake and nowhere to turn for guidance, the fourteen-year-old brothers chose fear over trust, deception over truth, and violence over brotherhood, and they change the course of history forever.

In this final installment of the Seven Wonders Journals, dive into the heart of the mystery that started it all before the adventure concludes in Seven Wonders: The Legend of the Rift, the fifth and final book in the New York Times bestselling adventure series by Peter Lerangis, author of hundreds of books, including three titles in the 39 Clues series.

echoTitle ~ Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths
Author ~ Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Josee Masse
ISBN ~ 978-0803739925
Publisher ~ Dial Books (February 16, 2016)
Hardcover: 32 pages

Description: What happens when you hold up a mirror to poems about Greek myths? You get a brand-new perspective on the classics! And that is just what happens in Echo Echo, the newest collection of reverso poems from Marilyn Singer. Read one way, each poem tells the story of a familiar myth; but when read in reverse, the poems reveal a new point of view! Readers will delight in uncovering the dual points of view in well-known legends, including the stories of Pandora’s box, King Midas and his golden touch, Perseus and Medusa, Pygmalion, Icarus and Daedalus, Demeter and Persephone, and Echo and Narcissus.

These cunning verses combine with beautiful illustrations to create a collection of fourteen reverso poems to treasure.

Home runTitle ~ Baseball Great: Home Run
Author ~ Tim Green
ISBN ~ 978-0062317117
Publisher ~ HarperCollins (February 23, 2016)
Hardcover: 352 pages

Description: Perfect for fans of Mike Lupica’s sports books and Dan Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventures, New York Times bestselling author and former NFL player Tim Green gives readers a thrilling new addition to his bestselling Baseball Great series.

Josh’s life has just fallen apart. His father will no longer be coaching the travel baseball team and is moving to Florida, forcing his mom and little sister to move into a small apartment on the wrong side of town. To make matters worse, the new coach of the travel team is an unforgiving drill sergeant.

But then Benji tells Josh of a home-run derby in which the winner gets a brand-new house. All Josh has to do to qualify is hit twenty home runs during his travel-team season. With Benji and Jaden’s help, Josh is hoping to hit it out of the park and save his family, because if he strikes out, he may just lose everything.

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Four Erotica New Releases: October 1st to the 15th, 2014.

Something a little different in new releases this month; in the past I’ve stuck with the ‘safe’ releases such as children’s books, YA fiction and historical novels, but I do realise that for some readers their guilty pleasure is erotica.  For those readers here are four new releases heading your way in October.

primal desireTitle ~ Primal Desire
Author ~ Axl Goode
ISBN ~ 978-1419991073
Publisher ~ Ellora’s Cave Publishing Inc (1st October, 2014)
File Size ~ 334 KB
Print Length ~ 198 pages
Text-to-Speech ~ Enabled

Description – Financial consultant Brenley has always dated intelligent and stimulating guys who could keep up with her both mentally and in the bedroom. She’s the best in her field and she owes that to her keen insight and understanding of people. That’s why when she meets playboy actor Zane Anthony she knows instantly that he’s not worth her time. There’s more to Zane than meets the eye. He’s wealthy, intelligent and completely enthralled with the aloof blonde who seems to cut him down with her every glance. Fueled by a need he doesn’t quite understand, he’s determined to get over her walls and under the sexy suits she wears that drive him crazy. Brenley doesn’t know if she can trust Zane or the electric chemistry that sizzles between them. But when she finds herself in hot water with powerful enemies, she realizes he could be her only ally.

starlightTitle ~ By the Magic of Starlight
Author ~ Serena Gilley
ISBN ~ 978-1455584536
Publisher ~ Grand Central Publishing (7th October, 2014)

Description – Fairies Raea and Kyne are regretting their night of passion. What were they thinking? They try to promise it will never happen again, but of course they are totally hot for each other, and it takes every ounce of will-power they both have to keep their lust under control. If the Fairy Council finds out what they’ve done, they could be stripped of their magic and expelled from the Forbidden Realm forever.

Desperate to escape the council, they retreat to a cabin deep in the mountains. For now they are hidden, and safe from all the intrigue. Secluded in a haven of their own, passion takes over, and they at last are able to fully give in to their desire. They have no secrets from one another and know that whatever is to come, they will face it together.

homeboysTitle ~ Homeboys
Author ~ Shane Allison
ISBN ~ 978-1627780674
Publisher ~ Cleis Press (14th October, 2014)

Description – Shane Allison is more daring than any other gay writer today, and he pushes the boundaries further than anyone else. In Homeboys we ride shotgun with the wild and fancy-free outlaws of the streets. What happens when two horny members from LA’s notorious Crips and Bloods are involved in a secret love affair? Or when a few members of the Greasers and the Socs meet for hot group sex in an abandoned freight train? Feel what it’s like to keep it on the DL with Del, Norteños-style, and read all about how to get hazed by Asian Boyz. This bold and so-bad-it’s-good book explores the erotic lives of thugs, drug runners, mischievous miscreants, dirty cops, prison gang bangers, and warriors of the wild.

As 2Pac says, it’s all about “Snatchin’ hearts and jackin’ marks.”

darkerTitle ~ Darker Edge of Desire: Gothic Tales of Romance
Author ~ Mitzi Szereto
ISBN ~ 978-1940550008
Publisher ~ Tempted Romance (14th October, 2014)

Description – Love, passion and sex…it’s all here in Darker Edge of Desire.

Gothic literature has always possessed a dark attraction ripe with the promise of the forbidden and the sensual. In Darker Edge of Desire, Mitzi Szereto takes the sexualized Gothic and ratchets it up a few notches into the danger zone, opening the door into the darker side of lust and love that only the courageous dare to venture through. Venturing even further into the world of mystery and romance than she did in the critically acclaimed Red Velvet and Absinthe, Szereto creates an atmosphere with a distinct Gothic flavor where we explore our more forbidden desires. In these tales, love and lust (and kink!) know no boundaries, and all nature of beings—from vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, ghosts, succubae—abound.

Tread carefully, danger and desire lie ahead!

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Five September Non-Fiction Book Releases

It’s been a while since I posted new book releases and, with fall just around the corner bringing with it cozy book reading weather, I decided now was a good a time as any to let everyone know what is coming our way in the non-fiction genre.

smokeTitle ~ Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory
Author ~ Caitlin Doughty
ISBN ~ 978-0393240238
Publisher ~ W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date ~ September 15th 2014
Description ~ A young mortician goes behind the scenes, unafraid of the gruesome (and fascinating) details of her curious profession.

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.

Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?

Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin’s engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).

sally rideTitle ~ Sally Ride: Life on a Mission
Author ~ Sue Macy
ISBN ~ 978-1442488540
Publisher ~ Aladdin
Release Date ~ September 9th 2014
Description ~ Sally Ride was more than the first woman in space; she was a real-life explorer and adventurer whose life story is a true inspiration for all those who dream big.

Most people know Sally Ride as the first American female astronaut to travel in space. But in her lifetime she was also a nationally ranked tennis player, a physicist who enjoyed reading Shakespeare, a university professor, the founder of a company that helped inspire girls and young women to pursue careers in science and math, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

From Sally Ride’s youth to her many groundbreaking achievements in space and beyond, Sue Macy’s riveting biography tells the story of not only a pioneering astronaut, but a leader and explorer whose life, as President Barack Obama said, demonstrates that the sky is no limit for those who dream of reaching for the stars.

unspeakableTitle ~ Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution
Author ~ Laurie Penny
ISBN ~ 978-1620406892
Publisher ~ Bloomsbury USA
Release Date ~ September 16th, 2014
Description ~ Smart, clear-eyed, and irreverent, Unspeakable Things is a fresh look at gender and power in the twenty-first century, which asks difficult questions about dissent and desire, money and masculinity, sexual violence, menial work, mental health, queer politics, and the Internet.

Celebrated journalist and activist Laurie Penny draws on a broad history of feminist thought and her own experience in radical subcultures in America and Britain to take on cultural phenomena from the Occupy movement to online dating, give her unique spin on economic justice and freedom of speech, and provide candid personal insight to rally the defensive against eating disorders, sexual assault, and internet trolls. Unspeakable Things is a book that is eye-opening not only in the critique it provides, but also in the revolutionary alternatives it imagines.

Killing pattonTitle ~ Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General
Author ~ Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard
ISBN ~ 978-0805096682
Publisher ~ Henry Holt and Co.; First Edition
Release Date ~ September 23rd 2014
Description ~ Readers around the world have thrilled to “Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy,” and “Killing Jesus”–riveting works of nonfiction that journey into the heart of the most famous murders in history. Now from Bill O’Reilly, anchor of “The O’Reilly Factor,” comes the most epic book of all in this multimillion-selling series: “Killing Patton.”

General George S. Patton, Jr. died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost seventy years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident–and may very well have been an act of assassination. “Killing Patton” takes readers inside the final year of the war and recounts the events surrounding Patton’s tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced.

MinecraftTitle ~ Minecraft: Construction Handbook: An Official Mojang Book
Author ~ Scholastic Inc.
ISBN ~ 978-0545685177
Publisher ~ Scholastic Inc.
Release Date ~ September 30th 2014 (first published April 29th 2014)
Description ~ If you can dream it, you can build it in Minecraft! This OFFICIAL guide will give you tips and tricks on how to be a creative genius!

You can make theme parks with incredible waterslide rides, or entire pirate coves complete with galleons! Is there nothing that can’t be achieved in Minecraft? Here the experts talk you through amazing constructs which range from awe-inspiring cathedrals to wacky inventions–like the hilarious animal cannon that catapults cows out to sea! Find out which are Notch’s personal favorites and get step-by-step instructions to fuel your own creative genius. Be ORE-some!

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10 Worthwhile Indie Reads for May

All the light we cannot seeTitle ~ All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
Author ~ Anthony Doerr
ISBN ~ 9781476746586
Publisher ~ Scribner

Description – Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.

 

Natchez BurningTitle ~ Natchez Burning: A Novel
Author ~ Greg Iles
ISBN ~ 9780062311078
Publisher ~ William Morrow

Description ~ #1 New York Times bestselling novelist Greg Iles returns with his most eagerly anticipated book yet, and his first in five years – Natchez Burning, the first installment in an epic trilogy that weaves crimes, lies, and secret past and present into a mesmerizing thriller featuring Southern mayor and former prosecutor Penn Cage.

 

the steady runningTitle ~ The Steady Running of the Hour: A Novel
Author ~ Justin Go
ISBN ~ 9781476704586
Publisher ~ Simon & Schuster

Description ~ In this mesmerizing debut, a young American discovers he may be heir to the unclaimed estate of an English World War I officer, which launches him on a quest across Europe to uncover the elusive truth.

Just after graduating college, Tristan Campbell receives a letter delivered by special courier to his apartment in San Francisco. It contains the phone number of a Mr. J.F. Prichard of Twyning Hooper, Solicitors, in London and news that could change Tristan’s life forever.

In 1924, Prichard explains, an English alpinist named Ashley Walsingham died attempting to summit Mt. Everest, leaving his fortune to his former lover, Imogen Soames-Andersson. But the estate was never claimed. Information has recently surfaced suggesting Tristan may be the rightful heir, but unless he can find documented evidence, the fortune will be divided among charitable beneficiaries in less than two months.

In a breathless race from London archives to Somme battlefields to the Eastfjords of Iceland, Tristan pieces together the story of a forbidden affair set against the tumult of the First World War and the pioneer British expeditions to Mt. Everest. Following his instincts through a maze of frenzied research, Tristan soon becomes obsessed with the tragic lovers, and he crosses paths with a mysterious French girl named Mireille who suggests there is more to his quest than he realizes. Tristan must prove that he is related to Imogen to inherit Ashley’s fortune but the more he learns about the couple, the stranger his journey becomes.

 

OrendaTitle ~ The Orenda: A Novel
Author ~ Joseph Boyden
ISBN ~ 9780385350730
Publisher ~ Knopf

Description ~ A visceral portrait of life at a crossroads, The Orenda opens with a brutal massacre and the kidnapping of the young Iroquois Snow Falls, a spirited girl with a special gift. Her captor, Bird, is an elder and one of the Huron Nation’s great warriors and statesmen. It has been years since the murder of his family and yet they are never far from his mind. In Snow Falls, Bird recognizes the ghost of his lost daughter and sees the girl possesses powerful magic that will be useful to him on the troubled road ahead. Bird’s people have battled the Iroquois for as long as he can remember, but both tribes now face a new, more dangerous threat from afar.

Christophe, a charismatic Jesuit missionary, has found his calling amongst the Huron and devotes himself to learning and understanding their customs and language in order to lead them to Christ. An emissary from distant lands, he brings much more than his faith to the new world.

As these three souls dance each other through intricately woven acts of duplicity, small battles erupt into bigger wars and a nation emerges from worlds in flux.

 

The serpent of veniceTitle ~ The Serpent of Venice: A Novel
Author ~ Christopher Moore
ISBN ~ 9780061779763
Publisher ~ William Morrow

Description ~ Venice, a long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy of Britain and France, and widower of the murdered Queen Cordelia: the rascal-Fool Pocket.

This trio of cunning plotters-the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Montressor Brabantio; and the naval officer, Iago-have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising an evening of sprits and debauchery with a rare Amontillado sherry and Brabantio’s beautiful daughter, Portia.

But their invitation is, of course, bogus. The wine is drugged. The girl isn’t even in the city limits. Desperate to rid themselves once and for all of the man who has consistently foiled their grand quest for power and wealth, they have lured him to his death. (How can such a small man, be such a huge obstacle?). But this Fool is no fool . . . and he’s got more than a few tricks (and hand gestures) up his sleeve.

 

RubyTitle ~ Ruby: A Novel
Author ~ Cynthia Bond
ISBN ~ 9780804139090
Publisher ~ Hogarth

Description ~ Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby, “the kind of pretty it hurt to look at,” has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York. Ruby quickly winds her way into the ripe center of the city–the darkened piano bars and hidden alleyways of the Village–all the while hoping for a glimpse of the red hair and green eyes of her mother. When a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, thirty-year-old Ruby Bell finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood. With the terrifying realization that she might not be strong enough to fight her way back out again, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town’s dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy.

 

TroikaTitle ~ Troika: A Novel
Author ~ Adam Pelzman
ISBN ~ 9780399167485
Publisher ~ Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam

Description ~ Perla is a beautiful young Cuban-American woman who lives with her mother in a modest house in Miami’s Little Havana. After her father’s death, she finds herself leading a secret life.
Julian is from Russia. His father was a legendary Siberian hunter who fell victim to his own bravery. When Julian is forced into an orphanage, he discovers that he has more in common with his father than he originally thought. Taken under the wing of a gruff, elderly businessman, Julian makes his way to New York City . . . and, years later, into the club where Perla is dancing. Soon after they meet, Perla is on a plane to Manhattan at the mysterious request of Julian’s friend—a journey that will change the course of her life.

 

WonderlandTitle ~ Wonderland: A Novel
Author ~ Stacey D’Erasmo
ISBN ~ 9780544074811
Publisher ~ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Description~ Anna Brundage is a rock star. She is tall and sexy, with a powerhouse voice and an unforgettable mane of red hair. She came out of nowhere, an immediate indie sensation. And then, life happened.Anna went down as fast as she went up, and then walked off the scene for seven years. Without a record deal or clamoring fans, she sells a piece of her famous father’s art to finance just one more album and a European comeback tour.

Anna is forty-four. This may be her last chance to cement her place in the life she chose, the life she struggled for, the life she’s not sure she can sustain. She falls back easily into the ways of the road—sex with strangers, the search for the perfect moment onstage. To see Anna perform is something—watch her find the note, the electric connection with the audience, the transcendence when it all comes together and the music seems to fill the world.

 

All the birds singingTitle ~ All the Birds, Singing: A Novel
Author ~ Evie Wyld
ISBN ~ 9780307907769
Publisher ~ Pantheon

Description ~ Jake Whyte is living on her own in an old farmhouse on a craggy British island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. Her disobedient collie, Dog, and a flock of sheep are her sole companions, which is how she wanted it to be. But every few nights something—or someone—picks off one of the sheep and sets off a new deep pulse of terror. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, rumors of an obscure, formidable beast. But there is also Jake’s past—hidden thousands of miles away and years ago, held in the silences about her family and the scars that stripe her back—a past that threatens to break into the present. With exceptional artistry and empathy, All the Birds, Singing reveals an isolated life in all its struggles and stubborn hopes, unexpected beauty, and hard-won redemption.

 

LoversTitle ~ Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932: A Novel
Author ~ Francine Prose
ISBN ~ 9780061713781
Publisher ~ Harper

Description ~ A richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love, art, and betrayal, set in Paris from the late 1920s into the dark years of World War II, that explores the genesis of evil, the unforeseen consequences of love, and the ultimate unreliability of storytelling itself

Emerging from the austerity and deprivation of the Great War, Paris in the 1920s shimmers with excitement, dissipation, and freedom. It is a place of intoxicating ambition, passion, art, and discontent, where louche jazz venues like the Chameleon Club draw expats, artists, libertines, and parvenus looking to indulge their true selves. It is at the Chameleon where the striking Lou Villars, an extraordinary athlete and scandalous cross-dressing lesbian, finds refuge among the club’s loyal patrons, including rising Hungarian photographer Gabor Tsenyi, socialite and art patron Baroness Lily de Rossignol; and caustic American writer Lionel Maine.

As the years pass, their fortunes-and the world itself-evolve. Lou falls desperately in love and finds success as a racecar driver. Gabor builds his reputation with startlingly vivid and imaginative photographs, including a haunting portrait of Lou and her lover, which will resonate through all their lives. As the exuberant 20s give way to the Depression of the 30s, Lou experiences another metamorphosis-sparked by tumultuous events-that will warp her earnest desire for love and approval into something far more sinister: collaboration with the Nazis.

Told in a kaleidoscope of voices that circle around the dark star of Lou Villars, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 evokes this incandescent city with brio, humor, and intimacy. Exploring a turbulent time defined by terror, bravery, and difficult moral choices, it raises critical questions about truth and memory and the nature of storytelling itself.

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Ten Teen and Young Adult April Book Releases

I know I’m late with this post this month, but believe me the ten Teen/YA books due for release during the last two weeks of this month are well worth the delay.  Some are hard-hitting, some are scary and some just make you want to chuckle out loud.  Whatever your tastes, I hope there will something listed here that will make you either reserve a copy at your library or make them a permanent resident on your bookshelves, I know there are a couple I’m going to be reading.

not invisibleTitle ~ She Is Not Invisible
Author ~ Marcus Sedgwick
ISBN ~ 978-1596438019
Publisher ~ Roaring Brook Press (April 22, 2014)
Age Range ~ 12 – 17 years
Grade Level ~ 7 and up

Description – Laureth Peak’s father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers–a skill at which she’s remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.

SummerTitle ~ Summer State of Mind
Author ~ Jen Calonita
ISBN ~ 978-0316091152
Publisher ~ Poppy (April 22, 2014)
Age Range ~ 12 and up
Grade Level ~ 7 and up

Description – Summer has finally arrived and fifteen-year-old Harper McCallister intends to spend her days at the mall shopping or by the pool at her country club. But after receiving her latest heart-stopping credit card bill, Harper’s parents makes other plans, and ship her off to camp.

Suddenly, the clueless yet ever-popular Harper is the new girl at the bottom of a social ladder she can’t climb in wedge sandals and expensive clothes. She seems to be winning over super-cute camp “Lifer” Ethan, though, and if she can manage to make a few friends–and stay out of trouble–she just might find a whole new summer state of mind.

InventorsTitle ~ The Inventor’s Secret
Author ~ Andrea Cremer
ISBN ~ 978-0399159626
Publisher ~ Philomel (April 22, 2014)
Age Range ~ 12 and up
Grade Level ~ 7 and up

Description – Sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth they have their health (at least when they can find enough food and avoid the Imperial Labor Gatherers) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape from the coastal cities or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp he brings new dangers with him and secrets about the terrible future that awaits all those who have struggled has to live free of the bonds of the empire’s Machineworks.

The Inventor’s Secret is the first book of a YA steampunk series set in an alternate nineteenth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery

Night and fogTitle ~ Prisoner of Night and Fog
Author ~ Anne Blankman
ISBN ~ 978-0062278814
Publisher ~ Balzer + Bray (April 22, 2014)
Age Range ~ None listed
Grade Level ~ None listed

Description – In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.  And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she’s always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

TalkerTitle ~ Talker 25
Author ~ Joshua McCune
ISBN ~ 978-0062121912
Publisher ~ Greenwillow Books (April 22, 2014)
Age Range ~ None listed
Grade Level ~ None listed

Description – It’s a high school prank gone horribly wrong-sneaking onto the rez to pose next to a sleeping dragon-and now senior Melissa Callahan has become an unsuspecting pawn in a war between Man and Monster, between family and friends and the dragons she has despised her whole life. Chilling, epic, and wholly original, this debut novel imagines a North America where dragons are kept on reservations, where strict blackout rules are obeyed no matter the cost, where the highly weaponized military operates in chilling secret, and where a gruesome television show called Kissing Dragons unites the population. Joshua McCune’s debut novel offers action, adventure, fantasy, and a reimagining of popular dragon lore.

shadowsTitle ~ In the Shadows
Author ~ Kiersten White
ISBN ~ 978-0545561440
Publisher ~ Scholastic Press (April 29, 2014)
Age Range ~ 12 and up
Grade Level ~ 7 and up

Description – From the remarkable imagination of acclaimed artist Jim Di Bartolo and the exquisite pen of bestselling author Kiersten White comes a spellbinding story of love, mystery, and dark conspiracy, told in an alternating narrative of words and pictures.

Cora and Minnie are sisters living in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch.

Thomas and Charles are brothers who’ve been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it . . . but they can’t.

drowningTitle ~ The Drowning
Author ~ Rachel Ward
ISBN ~ 978-0545627719
Publisher ~ Chicken House (April 29, 2014)
Age Range ~ None listed
Grade Level ~ None listed

Description – Water, water, everywhere: His brother has drowned, but Carl can’t remember a thing. Until it all comes flooding back…with a vengeance.

With a jolt, Carl opens his eyes. He’s on the bank of a lake, soaked to the bone. Rob, his brother, is being zipped up in a body bag. And a girl, drenched and trembling, is talking to the police. Who is she? What happened in the water? And why can’t he remember any of it?
“Bring her to me . . .”
At first Carl thinks it’s his grief speaking. Remembering Rob. The sound of his voice, things he used to say.
“Bring her to me . . .”
But then Carl starts to see him. Rob’s face in the water before it washes down the drain. His ghost rising up from the puddles. His hands clawing out of the moldy, rain-rotted walls. Like a dripping tap, he won’t stop.
“Bring her to me!”
Rob may be dead. But he’s not gone. Because he wants to finish what he started, and he won’t go under alone.

teaseTitle ~ Tease
Author ~ Amanda Maciel
ISBN ~ 978-0062305305
Publisher ~ Balzer + Bray (April 29, 2014)
Age Range ~ None listed
Grade Level ~ None listed

Description – Emma Putnam is dead, and it’s all Sara Wharton’s fault.

At least, that’s what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma’s shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who’s ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media.

During the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her role in an undeniable tragedy. And she’ll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

In this powerful debut novel inspired by real-life events, Amanda Maciel weaves a narrative of high school life as complex and heartbreaking as it is familiar: a story of everyday jealousies and resentments, misunderstandings and desires. Tease is a thought-provoking must-read that will haunt readers long after the last page.

sleepTitle ~ Sleep No More
Author ~ Aprilynne Pike
ISBN ~ 978-0061999031
Publisher ~ HarperTeen (April 29, 2014)
Age Range ~ None listed
Grade Level ~ None listed

Description – Oracles see the future but are never supposed to interfere. Charlotte learned that the hard way. If she hadn’t tried to change one of her childhood visions, her father would still be alive. Since the accident, Charlotte has suppressed her visions to avoid making the same mistake. But when she receives a premonition of a classmate’s murder, she can no longer ignore her powerful gift.

Then Charlotte meets someone who not only knows her secret but who also has a way for her to stop the killer. He offers to teach her how to manipulate her visions to change the future. But doing so will put Charlotte in the path of the murderer.…

takingTitle ~ The Taking
Author ~ Kimberly Derting
ISBN ~ 978-0062293602
Publisher ~ HarperTeen (April 29, 2014)
Age Range ~ None listed
Grade Level ~ None listed

Description – A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

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Historical Novels, Author Events – February 2014

The following list of Historical Novel Author Events is provided courtesy of the Historical Novel Society

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4 February
Janet Oakley gives a talk on Hiking Clubs and CCCs and how they shaped recreation in the North Cascades; 7:30 – 8:30pm at the Bellingham Public Library, Bellingham WA.
http://whatcomreads.libcal.com/event.php?id=488008J

5 February
Petrea Burchard joins the Brown Bags & Books book club at Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse in Flintridge, CA, at 1:00pm, to discuss her novel, 
Camelot & Vine.

8 February
Janet Oakley gives a talk on Hiking Clubs and CCCs and how they shaped recreation in the North Cascades; 1:00 – 2:30pm at the Blaine Library, Blaine WA.
http://whatcomreads.libcal.com/event.php?id=488008J

12th February 
Margaret Skea speaking about /reading from Turn of the Tide at Heiton Village, Scottish Borders United Kingdom

February 17 – 24
The Bellingham One-Act Theatre (BOAT) Festival is back! Enjoy a healthy slate of plays, many of which are original works being staged for the first time. .Tree Soldier: A Reader’s Theater. will be staged at 9:00 pm each evening.  Pass tickets are $10:00
http://www.bellinghamtheatreguild.com/

 

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Ten January Book Releases

If you are looking for something new to kickstart your reading in 2014, here is a very small selection of what is available this month:

Stone Cold DeadTitle – Stone Cold Dead
Author – Catherine Dilts
ISBN 13– 978-1432827434
Pub Date – January 8th, 2014
Publisher – Five Star

Description – When her brother abandons the family rock shop, recently widowed Morgan Iverson reluctantly becomes the manager. Business is as dead as the fossils cluttering the dusty shelves. While rounding up a runaway donkey, Morgan discovers the body of a Goth teen. When a newspaper article hits the streets hinting that Morgan witnessed the murder, she becomes the victim of escalating threats that make it clear the killer thinks she holds a clue to the teen’s murder. Morgan knows her life won’t be worth a pile of fossilized dinosaur dung unless she can dig up the murderer. Stone Cold Dead is an amateur sleuth mystery set in a mountain tourist town populated with lively western characters and two determined donkeys.

 

Hero worshipTitle – Hero Worship
Author – Christopher E. Long
ISBN 13– 978-0738739090
Pub Date – January 8th, 2014
Publisher – Flux

Description – Marvin Maywood only wants one thing in life—to join the heroes of the Core. But he can’t follow his dream because his powers are fed by fear, which is against the Core’s standards. So he lives on the streets and watches the elite team of costumed crime fighters from afar.

After Marvin performs an illegal act of heroism, he meets Roisin, one of the Core’s heroes, and it seems like his chance to join the team has finally come. As she guides him through his tryout, he starts investigating some strange happenings within the Core. And when Marvin realizes that the idyllic hero life he imagined is a mask for the ugly reality lurking beneath it, he becomes caught in a corrupt web of secrets, lies, and death.

Comments ~ Ages 12 and up

 

The forgotten SisterTitle – The Forgotten Sister: Mary Bennet’s Pride and Prejudice
Author – Jennifer Paynter
ISBN 13– 978-1477848883
Pub Date – January 14th, 2014
Publisher – Lake Union Publishing

Description – As a middle child flanked by two pairs of closely bonded sisters, marginalized by her mother, and ridiculed by her father, Mary Bennet feels isolated within her own family. She retreats to her room to read and play the pianoforte and, when obliged to mix in society, finds it safer to quote platitudes from books rather than express her real opinions. She also finds it safer to befriend those who are socially “beneath” her. When wealthy Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley glide into her sisters’ lives, Mary becomes infatuated with an impoverished young musician, the son of her old wet-nurse, who plays the fiddle at the Meryton assemblies.

It is only after her sisters tease her about her “beau with the bow” that Mary is forced to examine her real feelings and confront her own brand of pride and prejudice.
 

Saints of the shadow bible

Title – Saints of the Shadow Bible
Author – Ian Rankin
ISBN 13– 978-0316224550
Pub Date – January 14th, 2014
Publisher – Little, Brown and Company

Description – Rebus and Malcolm Fox go head-to-head when a 30-year-old murder investigation resurfaces, forcing Rebus to confront crimes of the past.

Rebus is back on the force, albeit with a demotion and a chip on his shoulder. He is investigating a car accident when news arrives that a case from 30 years ago is being reopened. Rebus’s team from those days is suspected of helping a murderer escape justice to further their own ends.

Malcolm Fox, in what will be his last case as an internal affairs cop, is tasked with finding out the truth. Past and present are about to collide in shocking and murderous fashion. What does Rebus have to hide? And whose side is he really on? His colleagues back then called themselves “The Saints,” and swore a bond on something called the Shadow Bible. But times have changed and the crimes of the past may not stay hidden much longer — and may also play a role in the present, as Scotland gears up for a referendum on independence.

Allegiances are being formed, enemies made, and huge questions asked. Who are the saints and who the sinners? And can the one ever become the other?
 

Galaxy Rand

Title – Galaxy Rand
Author – M.R. Tighe
ISBN 13– 978-1627870306
Pub Date – January 15th, 2014
Publisher – Wheatmark

Description – Galaxy Rand is one tough fem. A hard-drinking, two-fisted recoup agent, she’s used to dealing with space-scum like hijackers and smugglers. But when she stumbles across a discarded robot, she’s thrown for a loop. Not only is Tin Man obnoxious, but he’s denser than a ton of spectromium! Rand’s unsavory past comes back to haunt her; she finds a price on her head and a target on her back. As for Tin Man, he has secrets of his own. To save her life and her job, and to earn the five-million credit reward offered by multi-billionaire Roman Aguilar, Rand is forced to do the one thing she always swore she’d never do: go back to Esperance — the Death Planet!
 

Mr Peabody

Title – Mr. Peabody & Sherman Big Golden Book
Author – Erica David
ISBN 13– 978-0385371421
Pub Date – January 21st, 2014
Publisher – Golden Books

Description – Mr. Peabody is the world’s smartest person who just so happens to be a dog. When his “pet” boy, Sherman, uses their time-traveling WABAC machine without permission, the events in history spiral out of control to disastrous and comical results! It’s up to this most unexpected of father-son teams to put things back on track.

Comments – Ages 5 – 9 years

 

Neferata

Title – Neferata (Time of Legends)
Author – Josh Reynolds
ISBN 13– 978-1849705370
Pub Date – January 21st, 2014
Publisher – Games Workshop; Original edition

Description – The vampire queen Neferata plots to create a new empire.

Neferata is a queen without a kingdom. Lahmia has fallen, her vampire children have scattered and she is reduced to draining blood from the beasts of the mountains. After a chance encounter with a party of dwarfs, she sets her sights on a capital for her new empire – the stronghold of Silver Pinnacle. She calls her allies to battle – but can she truly trust Ushoran, Lord of Masks, and his bestial Strigoi vampires?

Comments – Part of the Time of Legends Series

 

Moriarty

Title – Moriarty Returns a Letter: A Baker Street Mystery (Baker Street Letters)
Author – Michael Robertson
ISBN 13– 978-1250016461
Pub Date – January 28th,  2014
Publisher – Minotaur Books

Description – Michael Robertson has delighted mystery readers and Sherlock Holmes aficionados everywhere with his charming and innovative Baker Street mystery series, where brothers Reggie and Nigel Heath are charged with answering letters to Holmes that arrive at their law office, located at 221B Baker Street. Now, Reggie and Nigel are back in a case that would confound even Sherlock himself. An exhibition of vintage Sherlock Holmes letters has opened at the Marylebone Hotel. As Reggie and his beloved Laura embark on a pre-wedding trip, someone from Reggie and Nigel’s past—someone whom they thought was long gone—reappears, causing a whole slew of new problems for the brothers. Written with Robertson’s characteristic charm, Moriarty Returns a Letter is a standout mystery in a much-loved series, perfect for fans of the smash hit television shows “Sherlock” and “Elementary.”

Comments ~ To be reviewed in 2014

 

Lockdown

Title – Star Wars: Maul – Lockdown
Author – Joe Schreiber
ISBN 13– 978-0345509031
Pub Date – January 28th,  2014
Publisher – LucasBooks

Description – It’s kill or be killed in the space penitentiary that houses the galaxy’s worst criminals, where convicts face off in gladiatorial combat while an underworld gambling empire reaps the profits of the illicit blood sport. But the newest contender in this savage arena, as demonic to behold as he is deadly to challenge, is fighting for more than just survival. His do-or-die mission, for the dark masters he serves, is to capture the ultimate weapon: an object that will enable the Sith to conquer the galaxy.

Sith lords Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious are determined to possess the prize. And one of the power-hungry duo has his own treacherous plans for it. But first, their fearsome apprentice must take on a bloodthirsty prison warden, a cannibal gang, cutthroat crime lord Jabba the Hutt, and an unspeakable alien horror. No one else could brave such a gauntlet of death and live. But no one else is the dreaded dark-side disciple known as Darth Maul.

 

UnboundTitle – The Unbound
Author – Victoria Schwab
ISBN 13– 978-1423178200
Pub Date – January 28th, 2014
Publisher – Disney-Hyperion

Description – Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace,and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

Comments ~ Part of The Archived series; to be reviewed in 2014

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Review: The Keep (The Adversary Cycle #1) ~ F. Paul Wilson

The Keep“Something is murdering my men.”

Thus reads the message received from a Nazi commander stationed in a small castle high in the remote Transylvanian Alps. Invisible and silent, the enemy selects one victim per night, leaving the bloodless and mutilated corpses behind to terrify its future victims.

When an elite SS extermination squad is dispatched to solve the problem, the men find something that’s both powerful and terrifying. Panicked, the Nazis bring in a local expert on folklore–who just happens to be Jewish–to shed some light on the mysterious happenings. And unbeknownst to anyone, there is another visitor on his way–a man who awoke from a nightmare and immediately set out to meet his destiny.

The battle has begun: On one side, the ultimate evil created by man, and on the other…the unthinkable, unstoppable, unknowing terror that man has inevitably awakened.

4 Thumbs-UpThis is an unusual book for three reasons; it is the first book in The Adversary Cycle, which is also part of a bigger series of books by this Author called The Secret History of the World, it is also a very good standalone read if you don’t want to find yourself tied to yet another collection.

As much I loved this book I did feel that so much more could have been done with the character development of, what I feel were the three major players in this book.  However, having said that, it could easily be argued that there are no main protagonists in this read at all as there are so many characters that are woven into this novels pages, and they are written in such a manner that they interact with each other flawlessly.  From a standalone read viewpoint this lack of development may mar some readers enjoyment of the book and leave it lacking in their opinion, but for me I didn’t mind at all and it made me wonder if, as part of not one but two series, if these characters would be revisited and explained a little more in-depth.  I wanted to know more about the mysterious red-haired man, and why the female protagonist dressed the way she did, but I didn’t find it in the pages of this instalment.  The ‘evil’ in the novel is well written, both the seen and unseen coming off the page and hitting the reader right between the eyes, and at times making it even harder to put this book down.

Despite the lack of character development, this is really a gripping and page turning read.  The Author skilfully depicts the location filling each page with menace and dread to the point where the reader begins to feel a chill in the bones.  It is not the usual run of the mill horror/supernatural story, and the only thing that sparkles in this book is the reflection of the sun off the river.  As the storyline progresses the Author makes the reader feel as if they know the kind of evil that the characters are dealing with, even throwing in some references to bygone images of the vampire; but are we really reading about a vampire, or is it just an impression the reader is given because it is easier for them to visualise this kind of creature?

My real complaint about this book was that midway through all the gore and violence, the Author suddenly decided to throw into the mix an unnecessary, in my opinion, sexual liaison between two of the characters.  Although it didn’t take anything away from the book, it certainly didn’t add any new dimension or understanding to it either, and it made me feel as if the Author had reached some kind of block, and needed something to squeeze into this space until their creative juices started flowing again.  The relationship could have been expressed in a lot more subtle and tension ladened way, given the circumstances and time the novel was set in, with no real need to resort to the easy out of ‘let’s throw them between the sheets’.  I really enjoyed the thought-provoking pages when the ‘cross’ is discussed as it made me think more about the power we let objects have over us, and I do enjoy books that make me think.

If you are looking for sparkly vampires, fluffy werewolves and a neat and tidy stake through the heart ending to make you feel good, this novel is not for you at all.  However if you enjoy reading something that makes you think outside the box, and will keep you captivated well beyond bedtime, pick this up and give it a read.  I would highly recommend this novel to lovers of the non-fluffy horror and supernatural genre, and I will most definitely be reading more by this Author.

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Six November Book Releases

November is usually the last month of the year for notable book releases, and the last chance we get to pick out something from a genre we may not have read before; November is also the slowest month for new releases.  As we head, full steam, into the holiday season here are six new releases that I feel may be worth your time to pick up:

valley_of_amazementTitle – The Valley of Amazement
Author – Amy Tan
ISBN 13– 978-0062107312
Pub Date – November 5 2013
Publisher – Ecco

Description – Moving between the dazzling world of courtesans in turn of the century Shanghai, a remote Chinese mountain village, and the rough-hewn streets of nineteenth-century San Francisco, Amy Tan’s sweeping new novel maps the lives of three generations of women connected by blood and history-and the mystery of an evocative painting known as “The Valley of Amazement.”

Violet is one of the most celebrated courtesans in Shanghai, a beautiful and intelligent woman who has honed her ability to become any man’s fantasy since her start as a “Virgin Courtesan” at the age of twelve. Half-Chinese and half-American, she moves effortlessly between the East and the West. But her talents belie her private struggle to understand who she really is and her search for a home in the world. Abandoned by her mother, Lucia, and uncertain of her father’s identity, Violet’s quest to truly love and be loved will set her on a path fraught with danger and complexity-and the loss of her own daughter.

Lucia, a wilful and wild American woman who was once herself the proprietress of Shanghai’s most exclusive courtesan house, nurses her own secret wounds, which she first sustained when, as a teenager, she fell in love with a Chinese painter and followed him from San Francisco to Shanghai. Her search for penance and redemption will bring her to a startling reunion with Flora, Violet’s daughter, and will shatter all that Violet believed she knew about her mother.

Spanning fifty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement is a deeply moving narrative of family secrets, the legacy of trauma, and the profound connections between mothers and daughters, that returns readers to the compelling territory Amy Tan so expertly mapped in The Joy Luck Club. With her characteristic wisdom, grace, and humor, she conjures a story of the inheritance of love, its mysteries and senses, its illusions and truths

Comments – Author of The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God’s Wife

All Fudged UpTitle – All Fudged Up (Candy-Coated Mystery with Recipes)
Author – Nancy Coco
ISBN 13– 978-0758287106
Pub Date – November 5 2013
Publisher – Kensington

Description – Welcome to the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop–where life is sweet, revenge is sweeter, and murder is here to stay…

You Can’t Fudge An Alibi.

Allie McMurphy is up to her neck in renovations at the grand old hotel that’s been in her family for generations. With its quaint Victorian charm–and world-famous fudge shop–the place is one of Mackinac Island’s most beloved landmarks.

Sure, every family has a skeleton or two in the closet. But Allie didn’t expect to find an actual corpse inside hers, especially one Joe Jessup, who had a long-running feud with her dear departed grandfather. Which makes Allie the number-one suspect.

Can she sniff out the culprit before another victim checks in?

HildTitle – Hild: A Novel
Author – Nicola Griffith
ISBN 13– 978-0374280871
Pub Date – November 12 2013
Publisher – Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Description – Hild is born into a world in transition. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, usually violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods’ priests are worrying. Edwin of Northumbria plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief.

Hild is the king’s youngest niece. She has the powerful curiosity of a bright child, a will of adamant, and a way of seeing the world—of studying nature, of matching cause with effect, of observing human nature and predicting what will happen next—that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her. She establishes herself as the king’s seer. And she is indispensable—until she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, her family, her loved ones, and the increasing numbers who seek the protection of the strange girl who can read the world and see the future.

Comments – Will be reviewed at a later date

 
Black HairTitle – Death of the Black-Haired Girl
Author – Robert Stone
ISBN 13– 978-0618386239
Pub Date – November 12 2013
Publisher – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Description – In an elite college in a once-decaying New England city, Steven Brookman has come to a decision. A brilliant but careless professor, he has determined that for the sake of his marriage, and his soul, he must extract himself from his relationship with Maud Stack, his electrifying student, whose papers are always late and too long yet always incandescent. But Maud is a young woman whose passions are not easily contained or curtailed, and their union will quickly yield tragic and far-reaching consequences.

As in Robert Stone’s most acclaimed novels, here he conjures a complex moral universe where nothing is black and white, even if the characters—always complicated, always compelling—wish it were. The stakes of Brookman and Maud’s relationship prove higher than either one could have anticipated, pitting individuals against one another and against the institutions meant to protect them.

Comments – Author of Dog Soldiers

Permanent memberTitle – A Permanent Member of the Family
Author – Russell Banks
ISBN 13– 978-0061857652
Pub Date – November 12 2013
Publisher – Ecco

Description – Suffused with Banks’ trademark lyricism and reckless humor, the twelve stories in A Permanent Member of the Family examine the myriad ways we try—and sometimes fail—to connect with one another, as we seek a home in the world. In the title story, a father looks back on the legend of the cherished family dog whose divided loyalties mirrored the fragmenting of his marriage. In “Christmas Party,” a young man entertains dark thoughts as he watches his newly remarried ex-wife leading the life he once imagined they would share. “A Former Marine” asks, to chilling effect, if one can ever stop being a parent. And in the haunting, evocative “Veronica,” a mysterious woman searching for her missing daughter may not be who she claims she is.

Comments – Author of Rule of the Bone

First Phone callTitle – The First Phone Call from Heaven: A Novel
Author – Mitch Albom
ISBN 13– 978-0062294371
Pub Date – November 12 2013
Publisher – Harper

Description – The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out. An allegory about the power of belief–and a page-turner that will touch your soul–Albom’s masterful storytelling has never been so moving and unexpected.

Comments – Author of The Five people You Meet in Heaven

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Historical Novels, Author Events – October 2013

The following list of Historical Novel Author Events is courtesy of the Historical Novel Society

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8th October:
Alana White, “The Sign of the Weeping Virgin,”
Green Hills Branch Nashville Public Library, 6:30-7:30p. Nashville, TN.

11-19th October:
Sharman Burson Ramsey; Nashville Festival of the Book.

12th October:
Alana White, “The Sign of the Weeping Virgin,” and Alison Atlee, “The Typewriter Girl,”
Southern Festival of Books, 11a-NOON, Nashville, TN. Legislative Plaza.  (SFOB dates are Oct. 11-13.)

12th October:
Blog tour stop at Fly High for Castles, Customs & Kings

12th October:
JL Oakley, CCCs in the Washington talk/book signing for Tree Soldier, Burien library 2-3 PM

12 October:
10am-4pm EDT – Books by the Banks Festival, Duke Energy Center, Cincinnati, OH – Many Authors including Anna Lee Huber

12 October:
Peni Jo Renner book signing for “Puritan Witch” 
Book Warehouse of Gettysburg, 1863 Gettysburg Village Drive, Gettysburg, PA, US, Noon-5pm EDT

17 October:
Publication of Alison Morton‘s alternate history thriller, ‘PERFIDITAS”, the sequel to ‘INCEPTIO”.

24 October:
Susan McDuffie, talk and book signing for “The Study of Murder”
COLLECTED WORKS BOOKSTORE, Santa Fe, NM 6PM

24 October:
Peni Jo Renner book signing/presentation for “Puritan Witch”
Smithsburg Library, 66 West Water St., Smithsburg, MD, 6pm EDT

25 October:
Release of “Elly Hays” by Lori Crane. (The third in the Okatibbee Creek Series.)
Kim Headlee talk & book signing of “Dawnflight, Morning’s Journey, and Liberty” (writing as Kimberly Iverson)
Rising Star 22, Bluefield State College, Bluefield, WV, 7 p.m. to midnight ET.

26 October:
Kim Headlee panel appearance & book signing of “Dawnflight, Morning’s Journey, and Liberty” (writing as Kimberly Iverson)
Rising Star 22, Bluefield State College, Bluefield, WV, 10 a.m. to midnight ET.

29 October:
Event on Facebook for the launch of “Morning’s Journey” (The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, vol. 2, sequel to Dawnflight) by Kim Headlee, 12 noon to 4 p.m. ET.
Kickoff of the blog tour for “Morning’s Journey”. Everyone invited!

30 October:
Peni Jo Renner presentation/book signing for “Puritan Witch”
153 Academy Road North Andover, MA 01845 7:30 EDT

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