"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
My pick for this week:
I believe stories like this fascinate me because I getting pregnant right out of high school and being a single parent for over a decade altered the planned course of my life. (Not too keen on this cover.)
A dazzling debut novel from an exciting new voice, The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community—and the things that ultimately haunt us most. Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.
“All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.”
It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.
In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ginny Baird brings you the start of a brand new holiday series…
THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE SHOP
(Christmas Town, Book 1)
Hannah Winchester is down on her luck and disillusioned with love, but her fortunes are about to change. When Hannah inherits a defunct bakery in East Tennessee, her first thought is to sell it and settle her substantial debt. Then the townsfolk welcome her warmly and she’s taken with the joyful spirit of the place, where stores employ holiday themes and residents have surnames like Christmas and Claus. After a handsome lawman comes to her aid dressed as Santa, Hannah learns he’s more than a hot guy in a red suit and shiny black boots. Sheriff Carter Livingston has joined in the cause of rejuvenating the town, and he’s encouraging her to do her part. Hannah’s great-grandmother, Lena, sold special holiday cookies that brought hope and renewal to the people of Christmas Town. Yet Hannah has plans elsewhere and isn’t looking to stay. Can she possibly reopen the shop known for kindling romance—without sacrificing her heart?
Carter wondered what someone so young and pretty was doing in this neck of the woods. Christmas Town, Tennessee. Population: thirteen hundred. And, most of those thirteen hundred were over the age of sixty, which was probably why Carter couldn’t take his eyes off the striking brunette with warm brown eyes. Wispy raven tresses tumbled out from beneath a colorful knitted cap, framing her creamy complexion and lightly grazing her chin. She turned her eyes back on his and Carter’s heart stuttered. What was wrong with his ticker today? When he’d first laid eyes on her, it had skipped a beat. Now, it was slamming like a jackhammer. He pounded his chest with a fist to set it right before asking, “Long drive?”
She shook out her map and folded it, setting it aside. “I came here from Stafford, Virginia. Near Washington, DC.”
“Wow. What did that take you? Seven or eight hours, I’d guess?”
“Could have been less without the weather.”
“I’ll bet.” A blast of cold air roared through the lowered window and the woman shivered, gripping her arms by the elbows of her tattered pea coat. “My apologies,” Carter said, embarrassed by his attempts to detain her. “Here I am keeping you, when what you asked for was help in getting under way.”
“That’s all right.” Her pretty mouth drew up in a smile and heat warmed the back of his neck. “I’m new in town so I don’t have many friends yet.” The kittens mewed again. “Apart from those two,” she said with a laugh.
“Then you’re in for a treat. Everyone knows everyone in Christmas Town. It’s a very friendly place.”
Mirth sparked in her eyes as she lowered her window even further and stuck out her hand. “I’m Hannah, by the way. Hannah Winchester. It’s nice to meet you, Sheriff.”
“Call me Carter, please.” He latched onto her worn leather glove, thinking it felt warm and feminine in his calloused hand. Apart from patrolling, Carter did a whole lot of handyman work around town. All pro bono stuff to help the locals. Gave him something to do, since he’d only written one traffic ticket all year. Even then, he’d ultimately let the guy off with a warning.
“Staying in Christmas Town long?” He tried to downplay the hopefulness in his voice, but he wasn’t completely successful.
She blushed and withdrew her hand. “Just passing through. I’ve rented a place for a month. But I might stay two, depending.”
Carter scolded himself for nearly hitting on the woman. But nearly wasn’t doing. Nearly only counted in horseshoes and hand grenades…
Romance writer Ginny Baird has published novels in print and online and received screenplay options from Hollywood for her family and romantic comedy scripts. Whether writing lighthearted romantic comedy or spine-tingling romantic suspense, she delights in delivering heartwarming stories. She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a Top 10 Best Seller on Kindle, NOOK and iBooks, and a #1 Best Seller in several Romance and Women's Fiction categories. When she's not writing, Ginny enjoys cooking, biking and spending time with her family in Virginia. Ginny loves hearing from her readers! She invites you to visit her website and connect with her on social media.
From the critically acclaimed author of The Widow's War comes a captivating work of literary historical fiction, set in America in the years after the Revolution, that explores the tenuous relationship between the brilliant and complex founding father Thomas Jefferson and his devoted daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph.
After the early death of her mother, young Martha Jefferson accompanied her father, Thomas Jefferson, on his first diplomatic mission to Paris. Five years later, father and daughter have come home to Monticello, the family’s beloved plantation set high in the lush hills of the Virginia countryside.
Though Monticello has suffered from her father’s absence, Martha finds it essentially unchanged, even as she has been transformed. The sheltered girl that sailed to Europe is now a handsome seventeen-year-old woman with a battle-scarred heart, who sees a world far more complicated than it once seemed.
Blessed with her father’s sharp mind and independent spirit, Martha has long abhorred slavery and yearned for its swift end. Yet she now discovers that the home she adores is burdened by growing debt and cannot survive long without the labor of its slaves. Her bonds with those around her are shifting, too. As the doting father she has idolized since childhood returns to government, he becomes increasingly distracted by tumultuous fights for power and troubling attachments that pull him further away. And as Martha begins to pay closer attention to Sally Hemings—the beautiful light-skinned slave long acknowledged to be her mother’s half-sister—she realizes that the slave’s position in the household has subtly changed. Eager for distraction, Martha welcomes the attentions of Thomas Randolph, her exotic distant cousin, but soon Martha uncovers burdens and desires in him that threaten to compromise her own.
As her life becomes constrained by the demands of marriage, motherhood, politics, scandal, and her family’s increasing impoverishment, Martha yearns to find her way back to her childhood home; to the gentle beauty and quiet happiness of the world she once knew at the top of her father’s “little mountain.”
An irresistible blend of emotional drama, historical detail, and vivid atmosphere, Monticello skillfully brings to life Martha Jefferson Randolph, a strong and compelling woman who influenced -- as much as she was influenced by -- one of the most intriguing figures in American history.
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (September 6, 2016)
My Heart’s Desire
by Andrea Kane
on Tour September 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Number of Pages: ~ 402
Series: Book 1 in "Barrett Family Series"
Purchase My Heart’s Desire at: AmazonBarnes & Noble or Add it to your reading list on: Goodreads
Lady Alexandria Cassel scorned London's frivolous social whirl, seeking adventure as a stowaway aboard a merchant ship. Drake Barrett was the vessel's powerful captain—and a cynical duke who disdained a noble's shallow life. At sea he revealed neither his origins nor his wealth, and to Alexandria he was simply a man who made her cool reserve fly with the winds… whose desire for her was as wild as the ocean they sailed.
Caught in the crossfire of war, they were shipwrecked on an idyllic island, where they tasted perfect passion… and tenderness. But Drake dreaded the day of their rescue—when his love would discover that the virile man she adored was at the pinnacle of the aristocracy she despised. Hardly did they suspect the base treachery that would soon threaten them… and the dangers each would brave to join forever their hearts and lives!
Read an excerpt:
"WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY CLOTHES?"
No storm could be as fierce as the one that raged in Alexandria’s flashing eyes as she faced Drake across the cabin. Her expression was murderous, her small hands clenched at her sides, her tone lethal.
Drake closed the door behind him with a firm click. “By ‘your clothes’ I presume you mean that dusty gown and shredded chemise you discarded on my cabin floor?” He leaned nonchalantly against the wall, regarding her with amusement.
Alex was too angry to be shocked at his casual mention of her undergarment. “You know damned well what clothes I mean!”
“Now, now … such language, my lady. I am truly shocked.”
She looked as though she might strike him.
“I demand that you return my things at once!”
His brows went up. “You demand? Careful, princess, your snobbish airs are showing. Remember, on this ship the only one who demands is me.” He crossed the room, ignoring her as if she were no more than an annoying child.
She stepped in front of him, blocking his way.
“Did you want something, my lady?” He paused, studying her livid expression. She was as transparent as glass, her anger and exasperation clearly evident on her beautiful face.
Drake grinned. “Your clothes are no longer with us.”
The color in her face deepened. “What?”
“They were torn from your adventure.”
“Liar!” she shot back. “There was no reason for you to discard them … at least not for the reason you just gave.”
Her accusing tone made him chuckle. “You are quite correct, princess. The real reason is that I cannot have you parading around in your finery. My men are already lusting after you quite openly. We wouldn’t want to further intoxicate their senses, now would we?”
“The only one on this ship who has treated me with any disrespect is you!” she retorted.
“Then be grateful that I have limited you to men’s attire. Perhaps you will be safe from my lecherous advances.”
Drake moved away, and Alex turned her back as he took off his shirt and tossed it carelessly onto the chair. Tossing his breeches next to his shirt, he put an end to her torment by climbing into his berth.
The cabin was silent. Drake could sense Alex’s presence nearby, and he knew instinctively that she was not in bed.
He heard her jump. “What is it?”
He cleared his throat. “Is there some problem?”
“No … yes …” She paused. “May I use your basin and some water to wash the dirt from my face?”
Drake smiled in the darkness. “Go right ahead. And, princess … if you can find your way around in the dark, help yourself to one of my shirts. They are clean and more than large enough to protect your modesty.”
Again, silence. Then, “Thank you, Captain.”
Her bare feet padded across the room. Drake listened to her opening the heavy chest, taking out one of his shirts, and slipping it on. Splashing sounds told him she was washing, followed by her soft footsteps as she returned to her cot. Then a thud and a cry of pain.
Drake was out of bed in an instant, moving toward the sound of her choked cry.
“Alexandria? What is it?”
“I walked into the cot,” she whimpered.
“Are you badly hurt?”
In truth she was not. It had been a sudden painful blow, yet already the pain was subsiding to a dull throb. But it was more than she could withstand after her emotionally taxing day. Hot tears filled her eyes, spilled down her cheeks. Try though she would, she could not control the sobs that shook her.
“I’m sorry,” she gasped. “I never cry … and it is not that bad a bruise … I just can’t …” She shook her head helplessly, covering her eyes with trembling hands.
There was no forethought. Drake reacted instantly, pulling her into his arms.
“Shhh,” he soothed, pressing her head against his chest. He felt her tears drenching his bare skin, her narrow shoulders shaking. “It’s all right, sweetheart … don’t cry,” he murmured, raising her chin with his forefinger, wishing he could see her face. He stroked his other hand down her back, pressing her closer to him.
They became aware of each other at the same moment. He was totally naked. She was clad only in a thin white shirt. She needed comfort. He needed more.
Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, including thirteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles.
With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping her readers up all night.
Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, The Last Duke, and Wishes in the Wind.
With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.
Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan. Otherwise, she’s either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who does his best to keep her from writing.
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for Andrea Kane. There will be 5 US winners of one (1) eBook copy of My Heart’s Desire by Andrea Kane. The giveaway begins on August 31st and runs through September 30th, 2016.
A brutal crime is haunting detective Dale Morgan. A young woman has been murdered on the city’s outskirts, and her blood drained. Dale suspects the leader of a depraved cult may be to blame. Yet with barely a shred of evidence at the crime scene, Dale will have to turn to the one person despises almost as much as the killers he puts behind bars.
A woman with secrets
To humans, Saba Venn is a psychic, but she’s Albah, a race long forgotten by humans but who live amongst them, her powers fueled by blood and silver. She agrees to help Detective Morgan, if it means stopping the vampire cult she believes is behind the killing. But the attraction she feels with Dale is immediate, and as their relationship intensifies she begins to doubt she can keep her secret from him.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Romance author Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back. With over forty published stories, ranging from sensual to scorching, she writes contemporary, paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi romance.
Katerina inherits a scented, wooden spice box after her grandmother Mariam dies. It contains letters and a diary, written in Armenian. As she pieces together her family story, Katerina learns that Mariam's childhood was shattered by the Armenian tragedy of 1915.
Mariam was exiled from her home in Turkey and separated from her beloved brother, Gabriel, her life marred by grief and the loss of her first love. Dissatisfied and restless, Katerina tries to find resolution in her own life as she completes Mariam's story – on a journey that takes her across Cyprus and then half a world away to New York.
Miracles, it seems, can happen—for those trapped by the past, and for Katerina herself.
PRAISE FOR THE SPICE BOX LETTERS
"The Spice Box Letters takes readers on a compelling journey through love and war, continents and centuries, into the heart of what it means to be family." —Helen Klein Ross, author of What Was Mine?
"Reading The Spice Box Letters is like sitting down to a delicious Armenian dinner hosted by an ebullient family with a riveting and sorrowful tale to tell. Makis' story goes to some dark places, but her warmth and light touch keeps this engaging novel aloft. You will come away impressed by the resilience of her wonderful characters—and craving Armenian delicacies. (I devoured a chunk of halva while reading this book.) I deeply enjoyed this novel." —Sharon Guskin, author of The Forgetting Time
"With humor, heartbreak and lyrical prose, Eve Makis has woven a moving tale of resilience in the face of tragedy. I thoroughly enjoyed The Spice Box Letters." —Maggie Leffler, author of The Secrets of Flight
"The Spice Box Letters is a beautifully evocative novel that moves from past to present and affirms the enduring love of family and explores the tragic, unsettling wake of the Armenian genocide. Eve Makis has written a novel that should be read, contemplated, and read again." —Peter Golden, author of Wherever There Is Light
"Heartwarming, funny, tragic, and uplifting...the story has a feel good factor to equal My Big Fat Greek Wedding." —Narinder Dhami, author of Bend It Like Beckham
EVE MAKIS studied at Leicester University and worked as a journalist and radio presenter in the UK and Cyprus before becoming a novelist. Eve is a part time tutor in creative writing at Nottingham University. She is married with two children and lives in the UK and Cyprus.