Take a look at some of the latest additions to our New and Featured Fiction collections! We check in new books nearly every day—check out the First Floor's LibraryThing account where we log all of our newest arrivals!
New Fiction - December 2013
At Night We Walk in Circles
The breakout book from a prizewinning young writer: a breathtaking, suspenseful story of one man’s obsessive search to find the truth of another man’s downfall. Nelson’s life is not turning out the way he hoped. His girlfriend is sleeping with another man, his brother has left their South American country, leaving Nelson to care for their widowed mother, and his acting career can’t seem to get off the ground. That is, until he lands a starring role in a touring revival of The Idiot President, a legendary play by Nelson’s hero, Henry Nunez, leader of the storied guerrilla theater troupe Diciembre. And that’s when the real trouble begins. The tour takes Nelson out of the shelter of the city and across a landscape he’s never seen, which still bears the scars of the civil war. With each performance, Nelson grows closer to his fellow actors, becoming hopelessly entangled in their complicated lives, until, during one memorable performance, a long-buried betrayal surfaces to force the troupe into chaos. Nelson’s fate is slowly revealed through the investigation of the narrator, a young man obsessed with Nelson’s story—and perhaps closer to it than he lets on. In sharp, vivid, and beautiful prose, Alarcón delivers a compulsively readable narrative and a provocative meditation on fate, identity, and the large consequences that can result from even our smallest choices.
The Joshua Stone
Some secrets belong to the past. Others refuse to stay there . . . In 1959, in an underground laboratory in a remote region of West Virginia, a secret government experiment went terribly awry. Half a dozen scientists mysteriously disappeared, and all subsequent efforts to rescue them failed. In desperation, President Eisenhower ordered the lab sealed shut and all records of its existence destroyed. Now, fifty-four years later, something from the lab has emerged. When mysterious events begin occurring along the New River Valley in West Virginia, government agents Mike Califano and Ana Thorne are sent to investigate. What they discover will shake the foundations of science and religion and put both agents in the crosshairs of a deadly, worldwide conspiracy. A powerful and mysterious force has been unleashed, and it's about to fall into the wrong hands. To prevent a global catastrophe, Califano and Thorne must work together to solve a biblical mystery that has confounded scholars for centuries. And they must do so quickly, before time runs out . . . forever.
Thursdays in the Park
Thursdays in the Park was a runaway best-seller in the united Kingdom. Boyd's debut novel is a touching, romantic tale of new attraction and old loyalties. Jeanie is on the brink of turning sixty, and the man she's been married to for more than half of her life has suddenly abandoned the marital bed. When Jeanie's husband George retreats from his conjugal duties, she is deeply hurt and very confused: Has she done something wrong? Is he in love with someone else? Her pained bewilderment turns to anger as he remains unable, or unwilling, to provide answers. The bright spot of Jeanie's week is Thursday, the day she takes her granddaughter to the park. There, one day, she meets Ray — age-appropriate, kind-hearted, easygoing, and downright sexy. In short, he is everything that George is not. As her relationship with Ray begins to blossom and she begins to think that her life might hold in store a bold second act, she begins to wonder if she has the courage to take a step off the precipice of routine and duty and into the swirling winds of romance.
Welcome to Wayward Pines, population 461. Nestled amid picture-perfect mountains, the idyllic town is a modern-day Eden . . . except for the electrified fence and razor wire, snipers scoping everything 24/7, and the relentless surveillance tracking each word and gesture. None of the residents know how they got here. They are told where to work, how to live, and who to marry. Some believe they are dead. Others think they're trapped in an unfathomable experiment. Everyone secretly dreams of leaving, but those who dare face a terrifying surprise. Ethan Burke has seen the world beyond. He's sheriff and one of the few who knows the truth—Wayward Pines isn't just a town. And what lies on the other side of the fence is a nightmare beyond anyone's imagining.
Kate's latest failure on the London dating scene leads her to escape to an idyllic Exmoor, West Country village where she finds her 'Cinderella Project' - a run-down cottage on the edge of the moors. Her attempt to lead a quiet life there is, however, thwarted by a town seething with passion and intrigue. Competition for her affections leads to her entanglement with the Blackmore family, the local landowners consisting of the hostile and brooding Ed; his gorgeous, divorced, playboy brother Jack; and their flighty, shopaholic step-mother Camilla. Kate's new life is threatened to be turned upside-down by something rotten in the Blackmore estate. Will she be forced to scuttle back to London or prevail and find serenity and happiness in renovating her cottage? It seems that, between them, Jack and Ed may hold the key.
Sea of Hooks
Sea of Hooks is a novel structured to reflect the interweaving of the two worlds inhabited by its main character, Christopher Westall. Christopher holds the spheres of ordinary days and weeks in precarious balance with the shifting field, of images and voices, that lies behind it. A series of traumas shatters this balance and propels him toward great danger but, also, the possibility of spiritual revelation. Sea of Hooks recounts the parallel narratives of Christopher's youth in San Francisco, where he struggles within the icy Victorian household of his mother, and his quest, in Bhutan, for answers to the questions that haunt him. The book is comprised of the shattered fragments of Christopher's world and is driven by the forces that compel him to reassemble it at any cost.
Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven. So begins the tale of a postman who encounters a fledgling raven while on the edge of his route and decides to bring her home. The unlikely couple falls in love and conceives a child—an extraordinary raven girl trapped in a human body. The raven girl feels imprisoned by her arms and legs and covets wings and the ability to fly. Betwixt and between, she reluctantly grows into a young woman, until one day she meets an unorthodox doctor who is willing to change her. One of the world’s most beloved storytellers has crafted a dark fairy tale full of wonderment and longing. Complete with Audrey Niffenegger’s bewitching etchings and paintings, Raven Girl explores the bounds of transformation and possibility.
Men in Miami Hotels
In Men in Miami Hotels, Smith tells the story of Cot Sims, a listing Miami gangster who returns to Key West aiming to—among other things—save his fool-proof mother from homelessness after a recent hurricane. For love, for cash, and for the hell of it, he snatches a trove of emeralds that his boss, the relentlessly vicious Albertson, keeps hidden on a small island. And then trouble, which has been coiling around him for years like a snake, bites. Cot has forty-eight hours to return the emeralds before items of equal or greater value—namely, the lives of everyone he loves—are repossessed by Albertson and his army of hired gunmen. Fleeing across the Caribbean, Cot blazes a trail of survival, skeltering between the narrowing walls of fate. Charlie Smith has been called a novelist of "appalling brilliance" on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. Critics have praised his work with the fervor of converts. And his prose, as radiant and dynamic as it has ever been, "lands him in the ranks of America's greatest contemporary fiction writers" (Houston Chronicle).
The Melody of Secrets
Jeffrey Stepakoff's The Melody of Secrets is an epic love story set against the 1960s U.S. space program, when deeply-buried secrets could threaten not just a marriage, but a country. Maria was barely eighteen as WWII was coming to its explosive end. A brilliant violinist, she tried to comfort herself with the Sibelius Concerto as American bombs rained down. James Cooper wasn't much older. A roguish fighter pilot stationed in London, he was shot down during a daring night raid and sought shelter in Maria’s cottage. Fifteen years later, in Huntsville, Alabama, Maria is married to a German rocket scientist who works for the burgeoning U.S. space program. Her life in the South is at peace, purposefully distanced from her past. Everything is as it should be—until James Cooper walks back into it.
The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
New Science Fiction and Fantasy - December 2013
Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey creates a wonderful, stand-alone dark fantasy. After her father's funeral, Zoe moved to the big city with her mother to start over. But change always brings trials, and life in the city is not so easy. Money is tight, and Zoe's only escape, as has always been the case, is in her dreams—a world apart from her troubled real life where she can spend time with her closest companion: her lost brother, Valentine. But something or someone has entered their dreamworld uninvited. And a chance encounter at a used record store, where the vinyl holds not music but lost souls, has opened up a portal to the world of the restless dead. It's here that the shop's strange proprietor offers Zoe the chance to commune with her dead father. The price? A lock of hair. Then a tooth. Then . . .
The Treasury of the Fantastic
The fantastic, the supernatural, the poetic, and the macabre entwine in this incomparable culmination of storytelling. Imaginative stories of wit and intelligence weave through vivid landscapes that are alternately wondrous and terrifying. Bringing together major literary figures from the 19th and 20th centuries—from Alfred Lord Tennyson and Edith Wharton to Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde—these masters of English and American literature created unforgettable tales where goblins and imps comingle with humans from all walks of life. This deftly curated assemblage of notable classics and unexpected gems from the pre-Tolkien era will captivate and enchant readers. Forerunners of today's speculative fiction, these are the authors that changed the fantasy genre, forever.
From Robert Charles Wilson, the author of the Hugo-winning Spin, comes Burning Paradise, a new tale of humans coming to grips with a universe of implacable strangeness. Cassie Klyne, nineteen years old, lives in the United States in the year 2015—but it’s not our United States, and it’s not our 2015. Cassie’s world has been at peace since the Great Armistice of 1918. There was no World War II, no Great Depression. Poverty is declining, prosperity is increasing everywhere; social instability is rare. But Cassie knows the world isn’t what it seems. Her parents were part of a group who gradually discovered the awful truth: that for decades—back to the dawn of radio communications—human progress has been interfered with, made more peaceful and benign, by an extraterrestrial entity. That by interfering with our communications, this entity has tweaked history in massive and subtle ways. That humanity is, for purposes unknown, being farmed.
Winter Well: Speculative Novellas about Older Women
Disaster upon catastrophe forces an unlucky engineer to become someone more adventuresome. A tech-savvy private investigator stalks organ traffickers across a toxic cityscape. International hostilities on an alien planet turn a human architect into a dogged emissary for peace. Enslaved by a monstrous lord, a sage seeks answers in the stars and finds more... desirable problems. Older women take center stage in these four novellas. They may be wives, mothers, wise women or healers, but those archetypes are not their defining characteristics. Their motivations are their own, and theyre not interested in living in the background of someone else's epic yarn.
New Mysteries - December 2013
Behind the Shattered Glass: A Lady Emily Mystery
A ruined abbey on a beautiful estate in Derbyshire, a murdered peer, and a most unlikely romance make New York Times bestseller Tasha Alexander's new novel absolutely irresistible. Anglemore Park is the ancestral home of Lady Emily Hargreave's husband Colin. But the stately calm of country life is destroyed when their neighbor, the Marquess of Montagu, bursts through the French doors from the garden and falls down dead in front of the shocked gathering. Who has a motive for murdering the young aristocrat? — The lovely cousin who was threatened by his engagement? — The Oxford friend he falsely accused of cheating? — The scheming vicar's daughter he shamelessly seduced? — Or the relative no one knew existed who appears to claim the Montagu title? And who is the mysterious woman seen walking with him moments before he was brutally attacked? The trail takes readers into the gilded world of a British manor house and below stairs to the servants who know all the secrets. One family's hidden past and a forbidden passion are the clues to a puzzle only Lady Emily can solve.
The Price of Innocence
Called out to investigate a suspected suicide in a luxury high-rise apartment, forensic scientist Theresa MacLean only just escapes with her life when the building is blown to smithereens. An accident - or something more sinister? A mostly empty block of trendy apartments in downtown Cleveland seems an unlikely terrorist target. The following day, Theresa is examining another suspected suicide in a wealthy neighbourhood when the cop accompanying her is shot dead by an unseen assailant. Could the two events be connected? As Theresa painstakingly pieces the clues together she uncovers evidence of a dark secret in the murdered cop's past.
This anthology of short stories from some of Britain’s most prominent crime writers provides an ideal way to give readers a taste of the best of British crime fiction. All except one of the stories were written this year, and every one offers something intriguing, weird, macabre, or shocking to tantalize the reader. One of the highlights is David Hewson’s “Last Exit to Fuengirola,” in which an ex-con finally gives in to revenge. However, Hewson keeps the reader in the dark until the very end about some key facts that shed a whole different light on the ex-con and the motives behind his actions. “Angela’s Alterations,” by the redoubtable Peter Lovesey, is both dark and very funny, and “Night Nurse,” by Cath Staincliffe, tells the sinister story of a murderer with only the finest of motives. All in all, an excellent collection—every one of the stories is a treat to read—and a fine introduction to British crime fiction.
As Europe prepares for the Nuremberg trials, a killer stalks a broken city. Nuremberg is a dead city. In the aftermath of World War II, two-thirds of its population has fled or is deceased, with thirty thousand bodies turning the ruined industrial center into a massive open grave. Here, the vilest war criminals in history will be tried. But in Nuremberg’s dark streets and back alleys, chaos rules. Captain Nathan Morgan is one of those charged with bringing order to the home of the war crime trials. A New York homicide detective who spent the war in Army intelligence, he was born to be a spy—and now, in 1945, there is no finer place for his trade than Nuremberg. As the US grapples with the Soviets for postwar supremacy, a serial murderer targets the occupying forces. Nathan Morgan may be the perfect spy, but it’s time for him to turn cop once more.
New Horror - December 2013
The n-Body Problem
In the end, the zombie apocalypse was nothing more than a waste disposal problem. Burn them in giant ovens? Bad optics. Bury them in landfill sites? The first attempt created acres of twitching, roiling mud. The acceptable answer is to jettison the millions of immortal automatons into orbit. Room enough and a view. Soon, earth's near space is a mesh of bodies interfering with the sunlight, having an effect on our minds that we never saw coming. Aggressive hypochondria, rampant depressive disorders, irresistible suicidal thoughts resulting in teenage suicide cults, who want nothing more than to orbit the earth as living dead. Life on earth has slowly became not worth living. And death is no longer an escape. Heaven had moved in too close. We all knew where we were going and it was just up there, just far enough to never, ever leave.
Eloise has nods to Daphne du Maurier and Emily Brontë in its vividly evoked Cornwall setting and story of a woman haunted in her dreams by the best friend who died of cancer. No vanity project this, Judy deserves to be taken seriously as a writer of thoughtful, descriptive fiction.
New World Fiction - December 2013
It is a cold wintry morning in the picturesque port town of Visby when art dealer Egon Wallin's battered and naked body is found hanging from a gate in the town's old city walls. His was a very public death, but who killed him and why? As Inspector Knutas begins his investigation, Egon's secrets quickly begin to come to the surface. He died on the eve of leaving his wife. Is his death a spurned lover's revenge? And when a painting by a new cause-celebre artist is stolen from his gallery, more questions are raised. Another theft and another death, this time in Stockholm, widens the search for the killer. As the police piece together the clues, one scandal is followed by another and Inspector Knutas will discover that beneath the patina of glamour, the high-society world of art collecting hides many secrets - some worth killing for.
The Last Man Standing
GQ (Italy) called Davide Longo, "the most talented and intense Italian novelist of his generation." In this dystopian, post-apocalyptic literary novel, Italy is on the brink of collapse: borders are closed, banks are refusing to distribute money to their clients, the postal service is shuttered, and food supplies are running short. Armed gangs of drug-fueled youth rampage through the countryside as the nation descends into chaos. Leonardo was once a famous writer and professor before a sex scandal ended his marriage and his career. With society collapsing around them, his ex-wife leaves their daughter and son in his care as she sets off in search of her new husband, who is missing. Ultimately, Leonardo is forced to evacuate and take his children to safety, but to do so he will have to summon a quality he has never exhibited before: courage.
The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons: Selected Stories
Rich in characters both whimsical and deeply poignant, humorous and real, the stories of Goli Taraghi have made her one of the world's most beloved contemporary writers from Iran. A best-selling author in her native country and widely anthologized in the United States and around the world, Taraghi's work is now made fully accessible to an English-speaking audience in this standout and long-awaited volume of selected stories. Drawing on childhood experiences in Tehran during the reign of the Shah, her exile in Paris, and her subsequent visits to Tehran after the revolution, Taraghi develops characters and tales that linger in one's mind. In the title story, a woman traveling from Tehran to Paris is obliged to help an old woman-the Pomegranate Lady-find her way to her fugitive sons in Sweden. In "The Gentleman Thief," a new kind of polite, apologetic thief emerges from the wreckage of the revolution. In "Encounter," a woman's world is upended when her former maid becomes her jailer. And in "The Flowers of Shiraz," a group of teenagers finally manages to coax a shy schoolmate out of her shell-only to once again encounter tragedy. Reminiscent of the work of Nadine Gordimer and Eudora Welty, Taraghi's stories capture universal experiences of love, loss, alienation, and belonging-all with an irresistible sense of life's absurdities.
Frank, tender, and brutally funny, Dimitri Verhulst's semi-autobiographical story details the vibrantly entertaining journey of a boy growing up in a family of alcoholics in Belgium. Sobriety and moderation are alien concepts to the men in Dimmy's family. Useless in all other respects, his three uncles have a rare talent for drinking, a flair for violence, and an unwavering commitment to the pub. And his father Pierre is no slouch either. Within hours of his son's birth, Pierre plucks him from the maternity ward, props him on his bike, and takes him on an introductory tour of the village bars. His mother soon leaves them to it and as Dimmy grows up amid the stench of stale beer, he seems destined to follow the path of his forebears and make a low-life career in inebriation, until he begins to piece together his own plan for the future. Bringing to life the shambolic upbringing that The Guardian describes as, "the odd, ugly, excremental poetry of their grubby lives," The Misfortunates "can be unexpectedly tender as well as uncomfortably funny . . . this novel continually surprises and intrigues."
New GLBT Fiction - December 2013
Heiresses of Russ 2013: The Year's Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction
In this, the third release in the annual Heiresses of Russ series, editor Tenea D. Johnson joins Steve Berman in choosing the best of the prior year's published speculative fiction with lesbian themes. A soothsayer predicts that a princess finding her true love will bring the downfall of her father; a lost soul visits a back-country wise woman to find out the truth of what haunts her; night on a summer fairground tour in a small and dusty future a pair of mech pilots struggle with their own stupors. These stories and more showcase the breadth and depth of lesbian fantasy and science-fiction written today.
A Stone Boat
A finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction prize, A Stone Boat is an achingly beautiful, deeply perceptive story of family, sexuality, and the startling changes wrought by grief, loss, and self-discovery. Harry, an internationally celebrated young concert pianist, travels to Paris to confront his glamorous and formidable mother about her dismay at his homosexuality. Before he can give voice to his hurt and anger, he discovers that she is terminally ill. In an attempt to escape his feelings of guilt and despair over the prospect of her death, he embarks on several intense affairs—one with a longtime female friend—that force him to question his capacity for love, and finally to rediscover it. Part eulogy, part confession, and part soliloquy on forgiveness, A Stone Boat is a luminous evocation of the destructive and regenerative, all-encompassing love between a son and his mother, by America's foremost chronicler of personal and familial resilience.
Just Between Us
17-year-old Luke Chesser is trying to forget his spectacular failure of a love life. He practises marching band moves for hours in the hot Texas sun, deals with his disapproving father and slyly checks out the new band field tech, Curtis Cameron. Before long, Luke is falling harder than he knew he could. And this time he intends to play it right. Since testing positive for HIV, Curtis has careered between numbness and fear. And Luke - more tempting than he realises - won't take a hint. J.H. Trumble renders a modern love story as sweet, sharp and messy as the real thing.
Playing with Fuego
Daphne Maddox passed up a plum corporate job in Boston to follow the love of her life to Miami. Three years later, the girl and her dreams long gone, Daphne is eking out a living as a coordinator for a nonprofit home builder. Heaven help the next woman who dangles empty promises. Maribel Tirado Léon's "anger issues" have earned her community service on Daphne's jobsite, and their mutual misery makes them unlikely friends. Daphne can't help her fascination with the exotic Mari, who moves in the powerful circles of the white-hot Latin side of Miami. Yachts on Biscayne Bay, glitzy clubs in South Beach...Mari's access to money seems endless. But just when answers might save her wary heart questions are the last thing on Daphne's mind.
New African-American Fiction - December 2013
The Wedding Gift
When prestigious plantation owner Cornelius Allen gives his daughter Clarissa's hand in marriage, she takes with her a gift: Sarah--her slave and her half-sister. Raised by an educated mother, Clarissa is not a proper southern belle she appears to be with ambitions of loving who she chooses and Sarah equally hides behind the façade of being a docile house slave as she plots to escape. Both women bring these tumultuous secrets and desires with them to their new home, igniting events that spiral into a tale beyond what you ever imagined possible and it will leave you enraptured until the very end. Told through alternating viewpoints of Sarah and Theodora Allen, Cornelius' wife, Marlen Suyapa Bodden's The Wedding Gift is an intimate portrait that will leave readers breathless.
The Awesome Girl's Guide to Dating Extraordinary Men
Four women. Two years. A friendship to last a lifetime. The only things that Sharita, Thursday, Risa, and Tammy have in common are their disastrous love lives. But the year three of them turn 30 will be different, they swear! Sharita, a plump and conservative accountant wants to make partner at her firm and find the man of her dreams. Thursday, the daughter of a formerly chart-topping political rapper, wants to stop being a serial one-month stander, and settle down into a stable life with a stable boyfriend. Risa, a skinny and audacious electronica punk rocker, wants to finally land an album deal, which she feels is the only way to win back the heart of her on-again-off-again closeted girlfriend. And after getting fired as the spokesmodel for her family's hair company, sweet and gorgeous Tammy wants to prove that she has what it takes to make it on her own. None of these women get what they want, but over the course of two years, they get exactly what they need. And that proves to be the best thing after all.
They Never Told Me: And Other Stories
In this collection, award-winning author Austin Clarke has caught, in his characters, a sweet longing for youth and an anxiety-stricken rage at old age; an immigrant's longing for a placid, lost home and his lust for a new high-speed motorcar life; and an intellectual's sense of empowerment by black history even as he watches what little he knows about such history engulf him. These are intense and private lives made public by the force of their individual voices, voices that may be rambunctious and fractious but that are, nonetheless, elegant in their intent and humor and their acceptance that is never acquiescence. The volume also includes a prose portrait of Austin Clarke by acclaimed author Barry Callaghan.
Airtight Willie and Me
In this collection of six gritty tales from the underground, Iceberg Slim creates a tribute to the streets and those forced to try to survive them. From slick con men, classic tales of revenge, to a heist gone awry, Robert Beck, the man many know as Iceberg Slim, brings us on a ride through the terrifying urban streets. With the same unforgettable and distinctive prose, Airtight Willie & Me is further evidence that Iceberg Slim is the only author capable of capturing the language of the streets. Compelling always, funny sometimes, and typically bleak at their ends, Slim gives us six slices of city life that will leave you thirsting for more.
New Historical Fiction - December 2013
The Outlaw Knight
He should have known better than to fight with the future King John. Ruthless and feared, John is not one to forget or forgive. But Fulke FitzWarin couldn't help himself, and now the vindictive John has insured that Fulke will never become lord of the castle he loves. Instead of accepting his fate, Fulke rebels. He begins an affair with Maude Walter, the wealthy widow desired by John himself. Negotiating a maze of deceit, treachery, and shifting alliances, Fulke's route to success is blocked at every turn. And when the turmoil of the Magna Carta rebellion combines with a shocking tragedy, everything Fulke has fought for is thrown into the path of destruction.
In the tradition of Wide Sargasso Sea, Havisham is the astonishing prelude to Charles Dicken's Great Expectations. Before she became the immortal and haunting Miss Havisham of Great Expectations, she was Catherine, a young woman with all of her dreams ahead of her. Spry, imperious, she is the daughter of a wealthy brewer. But she is never far from the smell of hops and the arresting letters on the brewhouse wall—HAVISHAM—a reminder of all she owes to the family name and the family business. Sent by her father to stay with the Chadwycks, Catherine discovers elegant pastimes to remove the taint of her family's new money. But for all her growing sophistication, Catherine is anything but worldly, and when a charismatic stranger pays her attention, everything—her heart, her future, the very Havisham name—is vulnerable. In Havisham, Ronald Frame unfurls the psychological trauma that made young Catherine into Miss Havisham and cursed her to a life alone, roaming the halls of the mansion in the tatters of the dress she wore for the wedding she was never to have. A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013
A brilliant, lush, sweeping historical novel about the rise of the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages: Hild. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods are struggling, their priests worrying. Hild is the king’s youngest niece, and she has a glimmering mind and a natural, noble authority. She will become a fascinating woman and one of the pivotal figures of the Middle Ages: Saint Hilda of Whitby.
The Serpent and the Pearl
One powerful family holds a city, a faith, and a woman in its grasp—from the national bestselling author of Daughters of Rome and Mistress of Rome. The year is 1492. The place, Rome. The Holy City is drenched with blood and teeming with secrets. A pope lies dying and the throne of God is left vacant, a prize awarded only to the most virtuous—or the most ruthless. The Borgia family begins its legendary rise, chronicled by an innocent girl who finds herself drawn into their dangerous web…
New Short Stories - December 2013
Once upon a Time: New Fairy Tales
Eighteen extraordinary authors devise all-new fairy tales: imaginative reinterpretations of the familiar, evocative new myths, speculations beyond the traditional realm of "once upon a time." Often dark, occasionally humorous, always enthralling, these stories find a certain Puss in a near-future New York, an empress bargaining with a dragon, a princess turned into a raven, a king's dancing daughters with powerful secrets, great heroism, terrible villainy, sparks of mischief, and a great deal more. Brilliant dreams and dazzling nightmares with meaning for today and tomorrow...
The Unrest-Cure and Other Stories
The whimsical, macabre tales of British writer H. H. Munro—better known as Saki—skewer the banality and hypocrisy of polite English society between the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of World War I. Saki's heroes are enfants terribles who marshal their considerable wit and imagination against the cruelty and fatuousness of a decorous and doomed world. Here, Saki's brilliantly polished dark gems are paired with illustrations by the peerless Edward Gorey, available for the first time in an English-language edition. The fragile elegance and creeping menace of Gorey's pen-and-ink drawings perfectly complements Saki's population of delicate ladies, mischief-making charges, spectral guests, sardonic house pets, flustered authority figures, and delightfully preposterous imposters.
The Isle of Youth
Laura van den Berg's gorgeous new book, The Isle of Youth, explores the lives of women mired in secrecy and deception. From a newlywed caught in an inscrutable marriage, to private eyes working a baffling case in South Florida, to a teenager who assists her magician mother and steals from the audience, the characters in these bewitching stories are at once vulnerable and dangerous, bighearted and ruthless, and they will do what it takes to survive. Each tale is spun with elegant urgency, and the reader grows attached to the marginalized young women in these stories—women grappling with the choices they've made and searching for the clues to unlock their inner worlds. This is the work of a fearless writer whose stories feel both magical and mystical, earning her the title of "sorceress" from her readers. Be prepared to fall under her spell.
Think of Me and I'll Know
The characters in Think of Me and I'll Know, Anthony Varallo's probing new collection of stories, face moments in which insight comes too late, or proves insufficient, often to humorous effect. The characters approach the edge of learning something about themselves or about their relationships with other people, only to be left with knowledge that is not particularly useful. Varallo ably captures the often confused and heartrending perspective of adolescents discovering the world, such as in "No One at All," in which an eleven-year-old boy comes to see that another boy, two years older, is something less than a reliable friend. The author also captures the complications of family dynamics, such as the three generations of women in the related stories "Lucky Us" and "Tragic Little Me." The stories in Think of Me and I'll Know show that we are perhaps not much more comprehensible to ourselves than others are to us.
New Romance - December 2013
Mine to Hold
Tyler Murphy was an LAPD detective, single and happy—until a near-fatal tragedy crippled his friend, fellow detective Eric Catalano. While Tyler supported Eric, he also became a shoulder for Eric's wife, Delaney, to lean on. But with one naughty suggestion from Eric, a drunken night with Delaney spilled into erotic abandon. Before it was over, Tyler saw his best friend's wife as a woman and yearned for more. When Eric struggled to deal with the aftermath, Delaney begged Tyler to leave. Crushed, he fled to Louisiana, hoping to escape his longing for the one woman he could never have again . . . and unaware of what he'd left behind. After two years of living with regret, Tyler finds Delaney on his doorstep, her husband having abandoned her long ago. She's protecting a shocking secret and desperately needs refuge from a stalker determined to see her dead. As they fight to stay alive and catch the killer, they struggle to resolve the guilt of their past pleasures. But they can't deny that what was once a spark is now a flame burning out of control.
After leaving a restrictive religious community, Rachel Hill is on a mission to divest herself of her virginity. Newly independent and struggling to establish herself, she's not looking for anything complicated. She bids on sexy SWAT officer Ben Harris at a bachelor auction, confident he'll give her the night of her life and nothing more. But Ben is jaded and detached, living his life in an endless cycle of danger-fueled adrenaline jags, drinking, and sex. When he misses the fact that his bachelor auction hookup is a virgin, he's shocked by his obliviousness, and by the risk she took. To make amends, Ben offers Rachel all he can: a no-strings-attached sexual education. Ben's lessons introduce Rachel to down and dirty passion, but she's searching for something more profound than sex, and she's willing to walk away to find it. Ben can't get Rachel out of his head, but will he come to terms with his troubled past and learn to love?
Play by the rules and you'll never get what you deserve. Tyler Golden is all about control. It's an attitude that helped him and his brother build Haven, a boutique hotel in Philadelphia. The only thing Tyler couldn't control was his fiancée's death. It left him emotionally guarded, and willing to go only so far with women: satisfying his sexual needs. Kate Song knows the feeling. Her sole focus is her dream to be a lingerie designer. She's not about to be distracted by any man. No matter who he is. Or how demanding. Or forceful. Or captivatingly sexy. Or so she thought. Tyler has the power to make her dream come true. Who can say no to such a dominating personality? Who would want to? Not Kate. Offering her body for submission is one thing. But giving her heart and soul is another. Now Tyler may discover that the one woman who taught him to love again is the one woman he might not be able to keep.
Down to You
One girl. Twin brothers. An uncommon triangle. When college student Olivia Townsend returned home to help her father run his business, she never imagined a complication like Cash and Nash Davenport—twin brothers different in so many ways but with one thing in common: an uncontrollable desire for Olivia. Cash is dangerous, sexy, and bad to the bone—a man whose kisses make Olivia forget she is playing with fire. Nash is successful, reliable and intensely passionate—and already taken. But all it takes is one soft stroke to make Olivia forget he belongs to someone else. However, Olivia is in for a surprise. These boys have a secret that should make her run away as far and as fast as she can. If only it wasn’t too late. A sensual game between three players has begun, and it’s about to spin deliriously out of control.
New Inspirational Fiction - December 2013
A Bride for Noah
Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith, beloved authors of the Amish of Apple Grove series, team up again in an exciting new series for devoted fans and new readers. It's 1851, and Evie Lawrence is penniless and heartbroken after a failed romance. When a kind elderly man announces his plan to move west and make his fortune, Evie jumps at the chance to go with him and start a new life. She says goodbye to the only home she's ever known and sets out for the Northwest. There she meets Noah Hughes, a handsome young man who has gambled everything he owns on the chance to make a fresh start. Living the rugged life of a lumberjack, he too is determined to one day make his fortune. The last thing he's looking for is a bride...so why can't he get Evie out of his mind? In this first book of the Seattle Brides series, two people learn what it means to move beyond their expectations and embrace the very best God has for them.
A talented runner fully committed to Olympic dreams, Sabrina Rice's future was shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she has new goals and dreams that have nothing to do with running—something that's become far too painful to think on. Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the community college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world-class speed, and it's all the more painful that it belongs to a teenage graffiti artist. When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina becomes Brandy's best hope for staying out of juvenile hall. Soon, Sabrina begins to feel an uncomfortable nudge that her new life is just about to be toppled...that God may be calling her to minister to this talented but troubled girl.
A Marriage in Middlebury
Charlotte Rose Hill has been serving up country delicacies, uniquely blended teas, and matchmaking advice for her quirky but beloved customers for more than 10 years. But for her, marriage seems like an elusive butterfly, always out of reach. At 18, Charlotte fell in love with a young man, Sam Wilder, but his family convinced her to walk away from their relationship. She did, and then became engaged to another man, who later died before they were married. Now, more than a decade later, Charlotte finds that she still has feelings for her first love. Initially thrilled to learn that Sam has come home to Middlebury, Texas, Charlotte is devastated to learn that he's brought someone with him: his fiancée. But all is not lost when the townsfolk decide to get involved. Will Charlotte and Sam find their way back to each other?
Stones for Bread
"A solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity." Liesl McNamara's life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft. But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits Liesl's recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour—a single father with strange culinary habits—seems determined to win Liesl's affection. When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family's past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life. Filled with both spiritual and literal nourishment, Stones for Bread provides a feast for the senses from award-winning author Christa Parrish.