Where does the time go. Friday again? Good gravy, can we get a hallelujah? Here’s this week’s list of brand new books just in time for a little weekend reading.
The Dragon Loremaster by Marc Secchia (YA Fantasy)
What is darkness?
“How may a soul pine for that which it has never known? For a sightless person, to be seen is a miracle that defies imagination.”
Auli-Ambar, a girl born blind and with severe facial deformities, has risen from the ashes of her meagre beginnings to grasp a new destiny amongst the Dragons of Gi’ishior. Yet the scourge of her heritage burns lambent within her bones.
Many wish such an accursed creature nothing but ill; none could imagine the crucible of darkness through which she must pass. A crushing misfortune, an unthinkable diagnosis, a cabal of murderers and an impossible duality of magic that threatens to tear her apart, are only some of the challenges facing one who must defy all the odds to live.
She will journey to the soul’s very nadir, and find hope beyond. For Auli-Ambar is a survivor. Enigma. Protector of Dragons, and confidante of Arkurion the Mercury Blue. She is the Dragon Loremaster.
Let darkness flee!
The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea (Thriller)
A chilling murder in a prestigious prep school is at the heart of this riveting new novel from acclaimed author Charlie Donlea, featuring forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore and her psychologist partner, Lane Phillips.
Inside the walls of Indiana’s elite Westmont Preparatory High School, expectations run high and rules are strictly enforced. But in the woods beyond the manicured campus and playing fields sits an abandoned boarding house that is infamous among Westmont’s students as a late-night hangout. Here, only one rule applies: don’t let your candle go out—unless you want the Man in the Mirror to find you. . . .
One year ago, two students were killed there in a grisly slaughter. The case has since become the focus of a hit podcast, The Suicide House. Though a teacher was convicted of the murders, mysteries and questions remain. The most urgent among them is why so many students who survived that horrific night have returned to the boarding house—to kill themselves.
Rory, an expert in reconstructing cold cases, is working on The Suicide House podcast with Lane, recreating the night of the killings in order to find answers that have eluded the school, the town, and the police. But the more they learn about the troubled students, the chillingly stoic culprit, and a dangerous game gone tragically wrong, the more convinced they become that something sinister is still happening. Inside Westmont Prep, the game hasn’t ended. It thrives on secrecy and silence. And for its players, there may be no way to win—or to survive. . . .
Nest of Ashes by G. Lawrence (Historical/Biographical fiction)
At a time of most supreme triumph, the moment of her greatest glory, security and power, a Queen of England lies dying.
Through dreams of fever and fantasy, Jane Seymour, third and most beloved wife of King Henry VIII remembers her childhood, the path forged to the Tudor Court; a path forged in flame and ashes. Through the fug of memory, Jane sees herself, a quiet, overlooked girl, who to others seemed pale of face and character, who discovered a terrible secret that one day would rain destruction upon her family.
Nest of Ashes is Book One in The Phoenix Trilogy: Story of Jane Seymour, by G. Lawrence.
The Stories Stars Tell by C.L. Walters (YA Romantic Comedy)
Emma-Christian daughter of Mo and Amy Matthews, big sister to Shelby, lover of John Hughes films, and Salutatorian of the senior class-has spent her entire high school career playing it safe because she stifles her risk-taking gene for perfectionism instead. This behavior isn’t necessarily because that’s who she is, but because of all of those external expectations wrapped up in her parents’ approval and the religious messages she’s grown up believing. She’s not a perfect girl; she just feels like she’s supposed to be. Now, she’s headed to college in the fall ill-equipped to face the challenges of real life. Though that one time junior year when she got drunk for the liquid courage to coerce Tanner James into kissing her might be an outlier, unlike most of her well-laid plans (even if she got what she wanted), she took the calculated risk to squash her infatuation for Tanner and it didn’t work. She still wants to have sex with him.
Like Emma, Tanner hasn’t forgotten that kiss junior year either, but for entirely different reasons. Party f-boy extraordinaire has reached high school graduation without options-a dead end. He’s made choices rooted in the expectations of his friends and their pact: the Bro Code. Except, he’s tired of the party life and the Nowhere it leads. That junior-year kiss changed something in him, and now he’d rather be at home reading his favorite book. As graduation and the great empty beyond looms, Tanner questions every choice he’s made. This upheaval unravels the protective box he’s built to insulate himself for all the real stuff he’s been avoiding, namely his older brother’s death and the volatile divorce of his parents.
One week before high school graduation, Emma and Tanner find themselves face-to-face at the edge of a cliff at the Quarry when it’s time for the partner-jump during the traditional Senior Send Off. Under the light of the stars, they both face the terrifying adventure of making a different choice. Tanner asks Emma to be his partner; Emma says, “yes,” both risking everything to write a new story they’d thought had already been written. It’s just that change always has a price.
RomeAntically Challenged by Marina Adair (Romance)
Growing up the lone Asian in a community of WASPs, Annie has always felt out of place. Her solution? Start a family of her own. Not easy when every man she’s dated, including her ex-fiancé, finds “his person” right after breaking up with Annie. Even worse than canceling the wedding eight weeks beforehand? Learning the “other woman” plans to walk down the aisle wearing her wedding gown. New plan—find a fresh, man-free start. Too bad her exit strategy unexpectedly lands her working at a hospital in Rome, Rhode Island, rather than Rome, Italy, and sharing a cabin with a big, brooding, and annoyingly hot male roommate.
Home on medical leave after covering a literally explosive story in China, investigative photojournalist Emmitt embarks on his most important assignment—cementing his place in his daughter’s life. Three men and a baby might work in the movies, but with a stepdad and devoted uncle competing for Paisley’s attention, Emmitt has lost his place at the family table. Then there’s the adorably sexy squatter in his cabin, who poses another problem, one he’d very much like to solve up close and personal. But he can’t win—Annie has sworn off men, Paisley’s gone boy crazy, and Emmitt’s estranged father reappears with a secret that changes everything.
Annie and Emmitt are about to discover love comes in many forms, and sometimes the best families are the ones we make.
Ashes of the Sun by Django Wexler (authurian fantasy)
Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.
Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.
A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher (YA Fantasy)
Fourteen-year-old Mona isn’t like the wizards charged with defending the city. She can’t control lightning or speak to water. Her familiar is a sourdough starter and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt’s bakery making gingerbread men dance.
But Mona’s life is turned upside down when she finds a dead body on the bakery floor. An assassin is stalking the streets of Mona’s city, preying on magic folk, and it appears that Mona is his next target. And in an embattled city suddenly bereft of wizards, the assassin may be the least of Mona’s worries…