Terry's Traffic Light Delights

A selection of the books Terry (tlg) loves. Terry is another cross genre omnivore, with a particular passion for entertaining characters, exotic locales, and more than a dab of romance. 

 


 

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Gone to Dust Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780765391285
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Forge - August 15th, 2017

I admit it. I am a sucker for a smart, sexy, funny, damaged private detective in a small town setting. And that is what I have found in Goldman’s excellent, engrossing debut. Niles Shapiro made a reputation for himself by solving a case that eluded the police several years ago. This, in combination with his long-time friendship with Edina Police detective Anders Ellegaard, brings him into a case involving a local woman who has been murdered in her home under unusual circumstances in the quiet town of Edina, Minnesota. Niles has lived in Edina all his life, knows his way around the frozen terrain, and is in touch with most of the locals. In fact, some of the people from his past become major suspects as he investigates this crime through the freezing and icy Minnesota winter. Goldman is an Emmy Award-winning television writer whose credits include writing for Seinfeld and Ellen. All of this makes for an entertaining and lively read. I can hardly wait for the second book in this sure-to-be-a-hit series.


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Magpie Murders Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062645227
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - June 6th, 2017

I could not be more charmed by this mystery within a mystery by a master in this genre – Horowitz. From the start, you know you are in for a treat and a mystery far beyond the latest installment from fictional English sensation Alan Conway. When Editor Susan Ryeland sits down to edit Alan’s new Atticus Pünd mystery, we are right there with her, reading along. And by the end of manuscript for this delightful/playful/somewhat satirical romp through the English countryside, we are intrigued. It will be no surprise to any mystery reader that the manuscript is incomplete, the author is dead, and our illustrious editor turns into an amateur sleuth, but the enchantment continues as we learn more about all of the characters (suspects) known by Alan Conway. Magpie Murders is fun, creative, and simply a great read.


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The Good Byline: A Riley Ellison Mystery Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781938849916
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Prospect Park Books - April 11th, 2017

This laugh-out-loud debut cozy features broken-hearted wannabe obituary writer Riley Ellison. She works in the local library by day, and tries out a dating service in her off-hours in an effort to move on with her life after her long-time sweetheart leaves her in Tuttle Corner, Virginia for greener pastures in Colorado. Riley has a reputation as a bit of a troublemaker after her grandfather (an obituary writer) died under mysterious circumstances and she pressed the town to look into his “suicide.” So when her high school friend, Jordon James “commits suicide,” Riley doesn’t believe it for a moment and begins to look into her death when she agrees to write Jordon’s obituary. All of these plot lines are wrapped around some humorous moments and some great quotes about writing obituaries. For those looking for a new cozy heroine to root for, give Jill and Riley a try.


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The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812989885
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Press - March 28th, 2017

This literary thriller is a stunner … both for its unique format and plot and for the two unforgettable characters whose lives are both heartbreaking and violent. Samuel Hawley has a turbulent and disturbing past and is the sole parent to his daughter, Loo, following the death of his wife. The circumstances surrounding the twelve bullets lodged in Hawley’s body and the story of his life is one narrative. Alternating chapters follow Loo from the age of 11 to the present day. She is precocious, brilliant, and resilient, and has inherited some of her father’s violent tendencies. After moving erratically around the country throughout their lives together, they move back to Olympus, Massachusetts, the town where her mother was raised and where her grandmother still lives. Their integration into that town is a rocky path for both of them, but ultimately brings them together in unexpected ways.

The mystery of Hawley’s past (including the death of Loo’s mother) drives both narratives in this non-stop, beautifully paced, and elegantly written novel. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.


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The Wanderers Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399574634
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 14th, 2017

In the publishing world where so many new books are compared to existing bestsellers to explain their merits, it is refreshing to read something that is new and different. In the not-too-distant future, private enterprise has seriously moved into the space exploration. The Wanderers of this title have been selected for their experience and their personality profiles to be the first astronauts to visit Mars. Before leaving for Mars, they are hired to live in a simulation that mirrors their future trip. It is somewhat shorter than the actual expedition, but contains the same time frame for traveling to, and returning from, Mars. The only difference is that that they will stay on Mars for one month during this simulation when the actual trip will consist of a one and a half year stay.

What is unique about this book is that it is less about the expedition itself and more about the personalities and personal lives of Helen Kane, Sergei Kuznetsov, and Yoshihiro Tanaka … and some of their family members. In this way, it is more of an SF psychological thriller than a space adventure, and in the end, it is about their personal journey and transformation.


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The Lonely Hearts Hotel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735213739
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Published: Riverhead Books - February 7th, 2017

I am sure that comparisons will be made between The Lonely Hearts Hotel and The Night Circus. Both have a sense of magic hovering in the background and introduce fascinating protagonists with unique talents and personalities. In The Lonely Hearts Hotel, Pierrot and Rose are raised in an orphanage in Montreal in the middle of the Great Depression. Both suffered early childhood trauma at the hands of the nuns who ruled the orphanage with iron fists. But in the midst of dire despair, they find each other, discover their (almost magical) gifts, and make plans for their future. None of this plays out smoothly and their lives take discouraging turns and twists away from each other and into the depths of the Montreal criminal underworld. Ultimately, they will reunite and move toward their dream of creating entertainment that will wow their world. This book is captivating and joyful and romance rules much of the plot despite some of the dark subject matter.


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The Impossible Fortress Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781501144417
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 7th, 2017

Near the end of the 1987 school year, 14-year-old Billy Marvin, and his two best friends, Alf and Clark, are obsessed with Vanna White. This obsession drives these three boys to concoct a scheme to obtain copies of the recent edition of Playboy with her pictures in it and make a small business out of reproducing the content. The results are hilarious and a blast to the past.

Billy lives with his single mother in an old, rundown house in Wetbridge, New Jersey, where his other passion is coding with the latest computer (a Commodore 64) to create a winning entry in a computer game contest. In the midst of trying to create the game of his dreams, where the hero rescues a damsel from an impossible fortress guarded by a mountain filled with ogres, along comes Mary Zelinsky, the smartest girl in town, who also loves coding and is very good at it.

Laugh along in a stream of nostalgia, wonder if the hero will rescue the girl, the boys will get their magazine, and what the future holds for Billy and Mary. For all ages.


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A Narrow Bridge Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781938849824
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Published: Prospect Park Books - February 14th, 2017

I couldn’t put this book down, beginning by being drawn in by one of the most compelling first lines I have ever read. This multi-cultural debut is about two very different people, from very diverse circumstances and backgrounds.

Jacob Fisher is a devout Jew living and working in his orthodox Brooklyn neighborhood. He has a troubled past, but a miraculous current life, until the unthinkable happens and his family is killed in front of his eyes. Rosie grew up in the rural south and has returned to her hometown in Alabama following the breakup of her marriage. She works very hard to reestablish herself and reclaim her life.  It takes her a very long time to warm up to this newcomer who has no place in her community.

Ultimately, this is a beautiful examination of human connection and finding a reason to live again after all hope is gone.
J.J. Gesher is the pen name for co-authors Joyce Gittlin and Janet B. Fattal. This is their debut novel together following their successful careers in screenwriting.


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Lucky Boy Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781101982242
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 10th, 2017

Lucky Boy is a timely and heartbreaking immigration story, and a masterful debut. There are two immigrant families at the heart of this accomplished novel. Young marrieds, Kavya and Rishi Reddy, are second generation Indian Americans who live in Berkeley and want to become parents. Their attempts to get pregnant have not been successful and they find themselves on the road to adoption.

Solimar (Soli) Castro-Valdez's story is one with which we are all too familiar. She traveled from central Mexico to Berkeley where her cousin helped her find a job and provides her with a way to begin her life as an illegal immigrant. When she finds herself pregnant, she incorporates her son into her new life as a nanny for a young family. When her life unravels, the interests of these two families intersect after Soli is detained and her son (Iggy) goes into foster care with the Reddys.

The collision course these two families are traveling toward is almost too terrifying to read. All three parents love Iggy unconditionally. There is no singular winner in this race to claim a beloved son.  This is a current and important story of our time.


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IQ Cover Image
By Joe Ide
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316267724
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mulholland Books - October 18th, 2016

This may be the most unique detective to grace the pages of a Los Angeles mystery novel. Ide’s debut is captivating in its setting, character, timing, and beautiful prose. Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) is uniquely qualified to solve crimes no police force in Los Angeles would touch. He helps the underserved in his community find the answers they seek while maintaining a solemn and solitary lifestyle in his fortified South Central LA apartment. In the first entry of what is sure to be a winning series, IQ introduces Isaiah’s background and the people who influenced him in chapters that alternate with his present life. In the current day, he has a problem to solve that brings him full circle to his childhood world of rap, murder for hire, and a lot of money. Blending authentic characters with the plot and pacing of a pro makes Ide an author to watch.


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A Gentleman in Moscow Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780670026197
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - September 6th, 2016

I cannot rave enough. And rave, rave, rave is what I truly want to do here. Towles sophomore effort is destined to be a classic. He has captured the sensibility and the timing of a classic Russian novel while maintaining insight and humor in the story of Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, who has been sentenced to house arrest in Moscow’s Hotel Metropol for an undetermined time, for being a member of the Russian aristocracy. He is a man who maintains his dignity and the lifestyle to which he was born, even as the borders of his life are now defined by this hotel and its inhabitants. The sentence itself is somewhat comical, as the Metropol is the most luxurious hotel in Moscow and the Count has full rein of the hotel and its amenities. It is within the Count’s daily activities that we appreciate his discipline and the life he creates within these confines. His past and his present are presented in seamless form, written with prose that will take your breath away.
You will not be surprised to hear that I did not want this book to end and I am truly envious of those of you who have yet to treat yourself to these pages. 
 


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Leave Me Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616206178
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Published: Algonquin Books - September 6th, 2016

In this “un-putdown-able” adult debut from Forman (If I Stay, etc.), 43-year-old Maribeth Klein does not have time for the heart attack she is having. She has deadlines at work, four-year-old twins, and a husband who is incapable of managing any of the household chores. Nonetheless, she ends up in the hospital having a double bypass. She has no chance to recover from her ordeal; her demanding home life does not let up even as her need to convalesce becomes more serious. She takes matters into her own hands, reclaims her life in a very unpredictable way, and then tries to deal with the aftermath of her decision. At times you will sympathize with her, and at other times you question the path she has taken, but there is no question that you will not put this book down until the last satisfying page. 


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Nothing Short of Dying: A Clyde Barr Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501124143
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - August 16th, 2016

Clyde Barr makes his way on to the page for an adrenaline-drenched first outing.  Within days of Clyde’s return to Colorado from a three year stay in a Mexican prison, his youngest sister, Jen, calls him for help. She knows that she will be murdered in just a few days, after she helps her captor get something he wants from her workplace. This is all the information that Clyde needs to step into the action and run to her rescue.
Clyde once lived with his three sisters, his drug-addicted mother, and an assortment of abusive men who came in and out of their lives. The backstory of this family forms the bonds and the conflicts which make Clyde who he is today. In fact, 16 years earlier, Clyde left his sisters behind and found action and adventure across multiple continents while he has worked as a handyman, hunter, soldier of fortune, and much more.
Back in the states, he believes he is equipped to handle some truly terrifying bad guys and reconnect with his past to help him accomplish his impossible task. It all happens at break-neck speed, including the pace at which you will be turning the pages. 
 


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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250074133
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Published: Thomas Dunne Books - August 9th, 2016

If I told you the storyline of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, you may not think this is a book for you. But if I tell you how much love and compassion are poured into the characters and the writing, you may change your mind. Despite the setting, many taboo subjects, and the huge age gap between the two main characters, this is a love story that will draw you in and stick with you long after you turn the last page.

Wavy meets Kellen when she is just 8 years old and Kellen is a young man of 21. They both have complicated and violent backgrounds and are immediately attracted to one another. Wavy’s parents are drug addicts and meth dealers who are beyond inept in taking care of both Wavy and her younger brother, Donal. As a result of her childhood abuse, Wavy refuses to communicate with almost everyone in her small world of family and school. Kellen was brought up in a life of violence and drugs, but has a heart of gold and intelligence that few notice or care about. They form an unbreakable bond through their shared history and the circumstances that make up their lives. This bond is strengthened and tested in ways beyond imagining and this is the storyline of this dazzling, page-turning debut.


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Dark Matter Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781101904220
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Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - July 26th, 2016

As booksellers, we are always looking for something new; a book that explores unchartered territory where others have not yet gone. We found it.
What is Dark Matter? Some of that answer is for scientists and others much smarter than me to explain, though this extraordinary novel does a great job initiating readers to the concept of a window into the fifth dimension.
Jason Dessen is a very smart man. He is also a very content man, who lives a simple life as college physics professor with his wife, Daniela, and teenage son, Charlie, in suburban Chicago. He often wonders where his life would have led him if he had made different choices, like pursuing his theories about quantum mechanics. When he finds out, the results are not what he or anyone else could have predicted. I don’t want to ruin this wild ride of a novel with any of the plot lines; I just suggest that you run to Mysterious Galaxy and pick up this book immediately. Just don’t plan to do anything else until you have turned the last page.

Our August Fantastic Firsts SF Selection. Signed first editions available while supplies last.


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The Second Life of Nick Mason Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399574320
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - May 17th, 2016

Hamilton is a master at his craft and this series starter proves this yet again. Minutes after Nick Mason is released from a maximum security prison after serving five years of his 25-year sentence, his freedom is taken once again. Though no longer behind bars, he finds himself at the beck and call of Darius Cole, a criminal mastermind who is serving a double-life term, but who has the financial power to rule those who serve him from his prison cell. Nick finds himself caught between two lives: the one where he was once a husband, a father, and a petty thief ... and a second life waiting for phone calls dictating his movements into a life of crime he never imagined for himself. I am waiting breathlessly for the next installment!


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Before the Fall Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781455561780
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - May 31st, 2016

Right from the start of Hawley’s page turner, you know you are reading something extraordinary. The characters are beautifully drawn, the story is tight and compelling, and you will have a hard time putting down this sure-to-be-a-hit thriller.

Scott Burroughs is a painter who is just starting to make a “splash” in the art world when he accepts a ride on a private plane from Martha’s Vineyard to Manhattan. Also on the plane are business man, media mogul, and millionaire David Bateman, his wife, and two children, Rachel, age nine, and JJ, age four. Completing the passenger list is Bill Cunningham, a stock broker who may be in trouble with the SEC, and his wife, Sarah. Fifteen minutes into the flight, the plane crashes into the ocean. Scott and JJ are the only survivors.

Scott manages to swim himself and the young boy to safety, only to find themselves (and the incident) under intense media scrutiny. Much of the novel is the back story of each passenger on the plane, building a link between the present and what actually happened in the minutes before the plane crash. Before the Fall combines the investigation into the accident and the relationship between Scott and JJ to create a compelling drama in the midst of a media circus. Noah Hawley is an Emmy, Golden Globe, PEN, and Peabody Award-winning author, screen writer, and producer and this debut thriller is sure to be another winner.


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Maestra Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399184260
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 19th, 2016

Maestra is the first in a trilogy featuring 24-year-old Judith Rashleigh, a character so bold and fearless you won’t know whether to slap or admire her. She was educated at Oxford as an art historian after being brought up in a lower class home with an abusive mother. Her ambitions and resourcefulness have taken her to some pretty risky places, while she simultaneously tries to make it in London’s Art World and make enough money to live on. When her plans unravel, she finds herself inside the world of the über-wealthy as the companion to a young businessman and begins to use her unique skills to maintain her lifestyle there. Maestra takes many unexpected turns and twists, and took me by surprise time and again. It is like nothing I have read before … and I look with anticipation to the sequel.

I am not the only Maestra fan. Prior to publication, it was optioned for a movie and sold in 43 countries. 


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The Nest Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062414212
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - March 22nd, 2016

Family angst. Financial woes. Interconnected lives. The New York Literary scene. Coming of Age. Surprises, turns, and twists. This is The Nest, an engaging debut about one family told from multiple points of view, centered on the four siblings in the Plumb family. The oldest is Leo, who is the catalyst for the current financial woes of his family. Leo’s appetite for excess, driven by an unhappy marriage, results in tragedy for an unsuspecting woman. When the inheritance their father left  (nicknamed “The Nest”) is used to bail Leo out of the resultant mess, his siblings struggle with the prospect of losing the funds they have planned on inheriting -- and in some cases, already spent -- for years.

The question of whether Leo will reimburse his siblings leads the narrative, but it is the journey and ultimate growth of each family member that makes this an endearing story to treasure. The buzz is already in the air and this is a book and author to watch.  


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The Madwoman Upstairs Cover Image
$28.59
ISBN: 9781501124211
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Published: Touchstone Books - March 1st, 2016

The Madwoman Upstairs is both a reference to the insane first wife of Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre, and to Samantha Whipple, who is the last remaining descendant of the Brontë sisters. It is not a coincidence that Samantha finds herself living in the Tower of Extinction (originally built to house quarantine victims of the plague in 1361) at Oxford University. She is studying English literature with a (also not coincidentally) good-looking, older English professor who is strictly off limits to her officially, intellectually, and due to their age discrepancy. Like her foresisters before her, she is young, inexperienced, and totally out of her league here. She was home schooled by her father and is attending Old College at his request, though he died seven years prior (not coincidentally) in a fire which claimed all of his literary pursuits. This exciting literary debut is in part a study of literature, specifically the Brontë sisters’ works, and in part the mystery of their legacy. Samantha cannot escape her past history with their work, the world’s interest in her inheritance of previously undiscovered family treasures, and the current puzzle of artifacts mysteriously appearing in her room … which may or may not answer some of her questions. For mystery and Brontë fans alike, this is a delightful romp and an (very clever) author to watch. 


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The Passenger Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781451686630
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 1st, 2016

A March Fantastic Firsts Pick!

I didn’t know what to expect when I started Lutz’s first standalone thriller. Everyone who knows my reading tastes knows that I am a big fan of Lisa’s, but this is new territory. Or is it? The Passenger combines Lutz’s signature humor and talent for pacing and dialog with a page turning adventure of a young woman we first get to know as Tanya Dubois. Very soon, we find out that she has at least one other identity, as she travels from her current life in Waterloo, Wisconsin, the recent widow of a bar owner (she says she didn’t do it!) to Austin, Texas, where she befriends a woman named Blue. They recognize in each other kindred spirits of women on the run … with many secrets to keep. The real mystery is what Nora Glass (Tanya Dubois’ real name) is running from, and why she has stayed away from her home town of Bilman, Washington, for the past 10 years. And that is just the beginning of this fast-paced adventure that I dare you to put down. Lutz has done it again.  

 

Meet Lisa Lutz along with Alison Gaylin in San Diego on March 10th!


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Breaking Wild Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780425283783
Availability: Special Order
Published: Berkley Books - February 9th, 2016

While the story line is about a missing hunter in the Colorado mountains and the search effort to find her, it is more poignantly about two women whose pasts are complicated and parallel in many ways. Amy Raye Latour has come to the mountains with two friends to hunt elk. She sets off early one morning, with a bow and arrow and a few other supplies, while her fellow hunters are sleeping, and makes her way to a specific place with a specific plan for making her last kill of the season. We know that she is running both to and from her past and it is this backstory that joins the narrative about her experience hunting and ultimately getting lost in the mountains. 

Pru Hathaway is a single mom whose 17-year-old son lives with her in Rio Mesa, Colorado. Her job working for the Bureau of Land Management as an archaeological law enforcement ranger also qualifies her to do search and rescue missions. And, like Amy Raye, she has been brought up in the outdoors and is comfortable and competent in nature and survival. Her backstory of love, loss, and hope is also intertwined with the current mission to find Amy.

The wilds of Colorado are as much a character as a backdrop to this adrenaline-rich race against time, not just to find Amy Raye, but for both women to find themselves.  


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Opening Belle Cover Image
$27.50
ISBN: 9781501110627
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Published: Simon & Schuster - February 2nd, 2016

Isabelle (Belle) McElroy is one smart lady. She is smart enough to be one of the few managing directors at her Wall Street firm. She seems to have it all, including three beautiful children and a handsome husband who is spending more time managing the home front than working, because she is the major bread winner in her household. But in her world, women are at an extreme disadvantage. Their talents and brains are often overlooked as their appearance receives overt attention in this testosterone-fueled business. Belle tends to overlook the oversights and sexual innuendoes encountered in her rise to the top of her profession and earning capacity, but some of the firm’s women are not as passive and are insisting that she join their ranks of resistance in their Glass Ceiling Club. Their activities are starting to be noticed just as Belle’s talents bring her to the forefront of some very big deals and very big money. Enter Belle’s ex-fiancé, a man who trounced on her heart many years ago. He is now working for one of her biggest clients. And then the financial crisis of 2008 hits. I simply could not put this down. 


Nightfall Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399175800
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - September 22nd, 2015

This adrenaline-rush of a novel takes place on an island where a single cycle of sun occurs every 28 years. This means that there are 14 years of daylight and 14 years of Night. When the sun sets, everyone on the island packs up their house in a very specific way, following years of traditions, and sets sail for the Desert Lands where other customs rule. Marin, Kana, and Line have only known life on the island and find many of their questions about leaving and their new home unanswered by the adults around them. When the three teens find themselves left on the island as Night falls, the tide retreats, and unknown terrors abound. Their only salvation is to find a way off the island. Their perils are real -- and terrifying -- as they try to escape before it is too late. In the meantime, they find answers to questions they didn’t know to ask. 


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The Gates of Evangeline Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780399174001
Availability: Special Order
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - September 1st, 2015

Debut author Hester Young has taken Southern gothic to a whole new level with her complex heroine, whose heartache is genuine and palpable. Charlotte (Charlie) Cates is a broken-hearted divorcee who has suffered unimaginable loss in her life; her mother left when she was a baby, her father died in a car accident, and her 4-year-old son died of a brain aneurysm. Her saving grace has been her friendship with fellow mother, Rae, and her love for her grandmother, with whom she has lived since she was 14 years old. It turns out that Charlie and her grandmother have more in common that she knew. They both have visions which enable them to see the future. When one such vision coincides with a job offer to research a cold case of a missing child, Charlie travels to Chicory, Louisiana to reside in an old southern mansion called Evangeline. Once there, she meets the Deveau family, complete with evil sisters, a brother with secrets, thier dying mother, and a fellow visitor who is working to restore the grounds of their estate to their former beauty. As Charlie learns more about the inhabitants of this house, she finds herself immersed in the history and mystery of this family. In the end, she will find the answers she seeks, both about the Deveau family … and about herself.


Fishbowl Cover Image
$27.49
ISBN: 9781250057808
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - August 4th, 2015

Who doesn’t enjoy a sneak peek into the lives of others? A goldfish named Ian certainly falls into the category of interested onlooker, even as he plunges 27 stories from his fishbowl on the balcony of “Villain Connor Radley’s” apartment. Ian’s astute observations of his own situation as well as those he passes on his way will leave a smile on your face. As he will tell you, this story actually starts 30 minutes before his plunge and involves multiple glimpses into the lives of the inhabitants of Seville on Roxy, an apartment building in a nameless city that feels a lot like New York City. Ian’s trip is breathtaking, as are the big reveals in the lives of Connor, his girlfriend Katie, building superintendent Jemenez, the very pregnant Petunia Delilah, and a handful of others. Filled with insight and humor, (and a creative page layout!) this is a debut novel from an author to watch.


Bull Mountain Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780399173967
Availability: Special Order
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - July 7th, 2015

From its atmospheric setting in the Georgia Appalachian Highlands, to a multi-generational dynasty of dysfunctional men who have made their living off Bull Mountain (in mostly illegal ways), to a current-day national investigation into the family business … this debut will engross you. Clayton Burroughs is the McFalls County Sheriff and brother to Hal, the head of the “family business.” Hal is a violent and unpredictable man who rules Bull Mountain with a tight rein. When Agent Simon Holly visits Clayton with a proposal to solve some of the problems he faces with the criminal elements of his community, a series of events is triggered with devastating consequences. As the vast network of co-mingled activities involving guns, drugs, and violence is revealed, so are multiple generations of Burroughs which form the core of this mountain community. This is the story of family and the far reaching consequences of generations of dysfunctional relationships. Prepare to be skillfully drawn into the dark side of Bull Mountain as we welcome debut author Panowich, who will surely become a household name in no time


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How to Start a Fire Cover Image
$27.50
ISBN: 9780544411630
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - May 12th, 2015

With Lutz’s trademark humor, quippy dialogue, and quirky characters, she introduces readers to three college friends who met in Santa Cruz where they all began attending college in 1993. Anna is a take-charge, wild, adventurous soul raised in an affluent family in Boston.  Her desire to escape her background, her family, and her emotions at every opportunity, even as a child, continues to define her as an adult. Kate was raised by her grandfather after both of her parents died when she was eight years old. She was raised in Santa Cruz and never wanted to leave, her only ambition to manage her grandfather’s restaurant. Life has other plans for her. George is a tall, beautiful basketball player who hails from the midwest and had a less catastrophic upbringing than the other two, but who has a penchant for men who are bad for her.

Told from multiple viewpoints, points in time, and locations,  the story leads readers to learn about all three girls from college to graduate school … through failed marriages, career decisions, and life cycles … and about the men that revolve around their worlds. Fans of Lutz will fall in love all over again. Readers who are new to her will race to their bookstores to begin reading about the Spellmans.


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A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781476730752
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 7th, 2015

It’s simple. It’s groundbreaking. It’s an entertaining peek into Hollywood and the makings of a successful talent. It is also a very serious way to begin thinking about how you can change your life; your work life, your social life, and maybe even your personal outlook. Brian Grazer has subtitled his first book The Secret to a Bigger Life … and this just may be it.

Brian is a very successful film and TV producer who teamed up with Ron Howard at the beginning of his career to make a “splash” in movie theaters and in our homes, but that is not what makes this book compelling (though it does add to the entertainment value). What makes this book life-changing is that it teaches us to use curiosity in a way that can actually improve our lives, inspire innovation and creativity, and give us a reason dig deeper to find the bigger truths in work and in life. The trait that has led Grazer to success, understanding, and happiness has been his curiosity and his persistence to find answers to his questions.

Grazer also talks about how important it is to understand what it means to walk in someone else’s shoes and how we must understand our competitors’ perspective in order to anticipate their next move and improve on it. He calls this “disrupting your own point of view” by anticipating what customers will want by who they are and how they behave. He gives us plenty of examples of ways he has used these techniques, and how others in industry and life have used them too.

Grazer wrote A Curious Mind to share his life perspective and to lead us in a direction that may add value to our lives. This may, in fact, be one of the most important business/life books of our time. 


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A First Date with Death Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780425271681
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - March 3rd, 2015

A First Date with Death is an entertaining look behind the scenes of a reality dating show, featuring ex-cop Georgia Thornton as a woman looking for love. Talked into doing the show by her BFF, show assistant producer Becca, Georgia immediately regrets her decision, and not just because the first date is a disaster with dire consequences. Additionally, her ex-fiancé enters the show, she spots a crew member that may just be someone she sent to prison, and one of her dates commits suicide. She is convinced that there is a homicide (or two) that needs investigating as she struggles her way through the show, where the guys are keeping her guessing. She also has to figure out who is on the show to find love, since half the guys are only there playing for money. It's a fast-paced romp with an enduring female lead we look forward to seeing again in the next installment. A March Fantastic First Pick. 


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The Memory Painter: A Novel of Love and Reincarnation Cover Image
$28.60
ISBN: 9781250053039
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - April 28th, 2015

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The Empire of the Senses Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781101870075
Availability: Special Order
Published: Pantheon Books - March 17th, 2015

This luscious debut is a breath-taking, beautiful piece of fiction set in war-torn Europe during WWI and its aftermath. I was quickly drawn into the life of Lev Pearlmutter, an assimilated German Jew, at odds with himself and his world at this momentous time in our history. After joining the military in 1916, Lev is posted to the Eastern Front. It is while serving there that he meets and falls for Leah, a beautiful young Jewish woman who lives with her extended family. Lev’s exposure to her way of life becomes a life-changing experience for him.

Upon his return to Berlin, Lev must deal with his distant wife, his treasured daughter, and his difficult son while he tries to reconcile his feelings for Leah and his Jewish identity to the life he currently lives. This period piece is so well-drawn that you feel yourself walking the streets with Lev and his family, experiencing their emotions, fear, and fates. Despite all that has been written of this era, your understanding of this time and this place and what it meant to be Jewish in Berlin between the two World Wars will stay with you long after your turn the last page


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Lost & Found Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780525954682
Availability: Special Order
Published: Dutton Books - January 22nd, 2015

This is literally the story of life and death. Life following death. Death following life. It centers on seven-year-old Mille Bird who contemplates death … a lot. The death of her dog, Rambo, is only the first entry in her “List of Dead Things.” Unfortunately, her father is also on her list, which results in a journey that begins with abandonment, turns into an adventure (of sorts), and introduces her to Karl the Touch Typist and Agatha Pantha, two elderly citizens in her town who have suffered losses of their own.

As Millie tries to uncover the truth about death, she ultimately helps Karl and Agatha find more life in their lives. This promising debut has some life (and death) lessons for all of us. A Fantastic Firsts Pick in February


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Among Thieves Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781250047243
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Minotaur Books - February 3rd, 2015

There are a bunch of very bad guys in and around New York City and the surrounding boroughs. “Our” bad guys met in prison serving time for a range of illegal activities which have prepared them to arm and protect themselves to ensure that they don’t return to a life behind bars. James Beck, Demarco Jones, Manny Guzman, and Ciro Baldassare live off the grid and on guard, as a close knit family in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. Their relatively peaceful existence comes to a grinding halt when Manny’s niece calls in for protection after she is threatened and fired from her job in a securities firm. At first it seems like a simple matter getting justice for her, but quickly turns into something quite different when a Russian arms dealer enters the picture. And then things get complicated and messy… and worse. Among Thieves is for fans of Lee Child, Ocean’s 11, and books with lots of action, and not a little bloodshed. This is a great kickoff for what we hope will become a series, with smart plotting and characters we would like to know better. 


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The Magician's Lie Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781402298684
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - January 13th, 2015

Curated Fiction

 

The Magician’s Lie is a compelling old-fashioned story with a magical twist from debut author Greer Macallister. Told in two timelines set 13 years apart, the story draws readers into the lives of the most famous female illusionist of her day, The Amazing Arden, and Virgil Holt, a young policeman who is fighting for his livelihood after suffering the aftermath of being shot in the back. The story begins with Virgil attending the performance of the illusionist; shortly thereafter, Arden’s husband is found dead and Virgil encounters the performer just as he is leaving a neighborhood tavern. They proceed to his police station where through the course of one evening she tells him the story of her life, and he has to make a determination of her guilt or innocence. The Magician’s Lie is an intriguing, and engrossing journey beginning in 1892 New York that travels around turn of the century America at a hypnotic pace.

– Terry


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When Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781484700082
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - January 13th, 2015

Y - Factor ... Young Adult Novels

 

Laurie’s first entry into the world of young adults brings her trademark psychic sensibilities to a contemporary high school setting featuring a young teen who tries to stay under the radar, but instead finds herself a target for more than just the local school bullies. Madelyn (Maddie) Fynn is the sixteen year-old daughter of an alcoholic mother, whose father was killed on the job, but those are _ not her biggest problems. It is her ability to perceive “death dates” printed on people’s foreheads that cause her no end of distress. When she reads the death date of a child in a picture a visiting client shows her, and the child in the picture turns up murdered, her problems begin in earnest. When the body count rises and Maddie herself is a possible suspect, her life becomes even more unbearable.

Laurie’s breathless pacing will keep you glued to the pages as Maddie fights for her life and for who she is … in the midst of a sea of relentless odds stacked against her. This is a protagonist that you will root for … and feel for … and fear for … up until the very last page. And then you will miss reading her … and hope that she will return. A Fantastic First pick for January 2015.

– Terry