Bookmail – December 6, 2021

Happy bookmail day! Here’s what came in recently. Thanks to the publishers who sent advanced reader copies.

Young Adult

Reclaim the Stars: Seventeen Tales Across Realms & Space edited by Zoraida Córdova – Wednesday Books (February 15, 2022)

From stories that take you to the stars, to stories that span into other times and realms, to stories set in the magical now, RECLAIM THE STARS takes the Latin American diaspora to places fantastical and out of this world.

Follow princesses warring in space, haunting ghost stories in Argentina, mermaids off the coast of the Caribbean, swamps that whisper secrets, and many more realms explored and unexplored, this stunning collection of seventeen short stories breaks borders and realms to prove that stories are truly universal.

RECLAIM THE STARS features both bestselling and acclaimed authors, and two new voices in the genres, including Vita Ayala, David Bowles, J.C. Cervantes, Zoraida Córdova, Sara Faring, Romina Garber, Isabel Ibañez, Anna-Marie McLemore, Yamile Saied Méndez, Nina Moreno, Circe Moskowitz, Maya Motayne, Linda Raquel Nieves Pérez, Daniel José Older, Claribel A. Ortega, Mark Oshiro and Lilliam Rivera.

Right Where I Left You by Julian Winters – Viking Books for Young Readers (March 15, 2022)

School’s out, senior year is over, and Isaac Martin is ready to kick off summer. His last before heading off to college in the fall where he won’t have his best friend, Diego. Where–despite his social anxiety–he’ll be left to make friends on his own. Knowing his time with Diego is limited, Isaac enacts a foolproof plan: snatch up a pair of badges for the epic comic convention, Legends Con, and attend his first ever Teen Pride. Just him and Diego. The way it should be. But when an unexpected run-in with Davi–Isaac’s old crush–distracts him the day tickets go on sale, suddenly he’s two badges short of a perfect summer. Even worse, now he’s left making it up to Diego by hanging with him and his gamer buddies. Decidedly NOT part of the original plan. It’s not all bad, though. Some of Diego’s friends turn out to be pretty cool, and when things with Davi start heating up, Isaac is almost able to forget about his Legends Con blunder. Almost. Because then Diego finds out what really happened that day with Davi, and their friendship lands on thin ice. Isaac assumes he’s upset about missing the convention, but could Diego have other reasons for avoiding Isaac?

Wings of Ebony by J Elle (Wings of Ebony #1) – Denene Millner Books (January 26, 2021)

“Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon–a hidden island of magic wielders.

Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life.

Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon–an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.

Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier – Clarion Books (November 9, 2021)

Three years ago, young Lord Cassia disappeared in the midst of war. Since then, a devastating illness has swept the land, leaving countless dead and a kingdom forever altered. Having survived war and plague, Cas, now eighteen, wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers.

His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them.

An assassin targets those closest to the queen, drawing Cas into a search for a killer. With the help of a historian-in-training named Lena, he soon realizes that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. Cas and Lena must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret–one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.

Adult

And There He Kept Her by Joshua Moehling – Poisoned Pen Press (June 14, 2022)

When two teenagers break into a house on a remote lake in search of prescription drugs, what starts as a simple burglary turns into a nightmare for all involved. Emmett Burr has secrets he’s been keeping in his basement for more than two decades, and he’ll do anything to keep his past from being revealed. As he gets the upper hand on his tormentors, the lines blur between victim, abuser, and protector.

Personal tragedy has sent former police officer Ben Packard back to the small Minnesota town of Sandy Lake in search of a fresh start. Now a sheriff’s deputy, Packard is leading the investigation into the missing teens, motivated by a family connection. As clues dry up and time runs out to save them, Packard is forced to reveal his own secrets and dig deep to uncover the dark past of the place he now calls home.

And This Is How to Stay Alive by Shingai Njeri Kagunda – Neon Hemlock Press (October 26, 2021)

In & This is How to Stay Alive by Shingai Njeri Kagunda, Nyokabi’s world unravels after her brother Baraka’s death by suicide. When an eccentric auntie gives Nyokabi a potion that sends her back in time to when Baraka was still alive, it becomes her only goal to keep him that way. Nyokabi learns that storytellers may be the carriers of time, but defying the past comes with its own repercussions.

The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson (The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek #2) – Sourcebooks Landmark (May 3, 2022)

In the ruggedness of the beautiful Kentucky mountains, Honey Lovett has always known that the old ways can make a hard life harder. As the daughter of the famed blue-skinned, Troublesome Creek packhorse librarian, Honey and her family have been hiding from the law all her life. But when her mother and father are imprisoned, Honey realizes she must fight to stay free, or risk being sent away for good.

Picking up her mother’s old packhorse library route, Honey begins to deliver books to the remote hollers of Appalachia. Honey is looking to prove that she doesn’t need anyone telling her how to survive. But the route can be treacherous, and some folks aren’t as keen to let a woman pave her own way.

If Honey wants to bring the freedom books provide to the families who need it most, she’s going to have to fight for her place, and along the way, learn that the extraordinary women who run the hills and hollers can make all the difference in the world.

The Double Life of Katharine Clark: The Untold Story of the American Journalist Who Brought the Truth about Communism to the West by Katharine Gregorio – Sourcebooks (March 15, 2022)

Meticulously researched and written by Clark’s great-niece, Katharine Gregorio, The Double Life of Katharine Clark is historical narrative nonfiction at its finest. It is a fascinating Cold War adventure story about a remarkable woman who pioneered a career in a man’s profession, vividly illuminating a largely untold chapter of the twentieth century.

In 1955, Katharine Clark became the first female American wire reporter behind the Iron Curtain, providing essential eyewitness reports of post-war Europe and the revolutions in Poland and Hungary to the American public. It was while on assignment in Belgrade, Yugoslavia that she befriended Milovan Djilas, a high-ranking Communist leader and intellectual, who became disillusioned with Communism and published a number of newspaper articles criticizing the practices of the regime. He was stripped of his duties and arrested before being released under the watchful eye of the Yugoslavian secret police.

Clark risked her life to ensure Djilas’s articles made it to the West, and she was single-handedly responsible for smuggling his scathing anti-Communism manifesto, The New Class, out of Yugoslavia and into the hands of American publishers. The New Class would go on to sell three million copies worldwide, become a New York Times bestseller, translated into over 60 languages, and be used by the CIA in its covert book program.

The Double Life of Katharine Clark shows how a strong-willed, fiercely independent woman with an ardent commitment to truth, justice, and freedom put her life on the line to share ideas with the world, ultimately reshaping both herself–and history–in the process.

For Those Who Are Lost by Julia Bryan Thomas – Sourcebooks Landmark (June 14, 2022)

Ava and Joseph Simon reluctantly put their 9-year-old son, Henry, and four-year-old daughter, Catherine, in the care of their son’s teacher, who will escort them on a boat to mainland England. Just as the ferry is about to leave, the teacher’s sister, Lily appears. The two trade places: Helen doesn’t want to leave Guernsey, and Lily is desperate for a fresh start.

Lily is the one who accompanies the children to England, and Lily is the one who lets Henry get on a train by himself, deciding in a split second to take Catherine with her and walk the other way. That split-second decision lingers long after the war ends, impacting the rest of their lives.

The Haunted Quill edited by Kate Francia – Megara Publishing Inc. (December 1, 2021)

A young girl in a mining town hears three knocks at her door on a dark night. Two Viking warriors, haunted by grief, enter a cursed forest of iron trees. A mysterious orphan girl hides in the rafters high above the stage of the Opéra le Peletier. A widowed mother and a ghost fight to save her homestead.

The Haunted Quill contains eight short stories that explore the strange and uncanny corners of history. Featuring original stories and reprints from new and established writers of speculative fiction, including: Jordan Taylor, Laura Hennessey DeSena, Stephen K Pettersson, Henry Herz, LH Moore, Jane Nightshade, Colleen Ennen, and Caren Gussoff Sumption.

The Secret Skin by Wendy Wagner – Neon Hemlock Press (October 26, 2021)

The Secret Skinby Wendy N. Wagner is a sawmill gothic that begins with June Vogel’s return to Storm Break, her family’s estate. Things in the great house aren’t what they used to be. Doors slam in the night. Faucets turn on, untouched. Something is always watching, whatever June does. And when her brother returns with his new bride, deceit and betrayal threaten to destroy everything she loves.

Shadows of Berlin by David Gillham – Sourcebooks Landmark (April 19, 2022)

1955 in New York City: the city of instant coffee, bagels at Katz’s Deli, new-fangled TVs. But in the Perlman’s walk-up in Chelsea, the past is as close as the present. Rachel came to Manhattan in a wave of displaced Jews who managed to survive the horrors of war. Her Uncle Fritz fleeing with her, Rachel hoped to find freedom from her pain in New York and in the arms of her new American husband, Aaron.

But this child of Berlin and daughter of an artist cannot seem to outrun her guilt in the role of American housewife, not until she can shed the ghosts of her past. And when Uncle Fritz discovers, in a dreary midtown pawn shop, the most shocking portrait that her mother had ever painted, Rachel’s memories begin to terrorize her, forcing her to face the choices she made to stay alive–choices that might be her undoing.

Sundial by Catriona Ward – Tor Nightfire (March 1, 2022)

All Rob wanted was a normal life. She almost got it, too: a husband, two kids, a nice house in the suburbs. Far from her childhood home, Sundial, hidden deep in the wild Mojave Desert.

But beneath the veneer, Rob is terrified for her oldest daughter, Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her too much of the family she left behind.

Running from her past has led her directly back to it — what’s buried at Sundial could never stay a secret forever, and Rob must risk one last trip out there to protect her family, and her future.

Trouble the Waters: Tales from the Deep Blue edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Pan Morrigan, Troy L. Wiggins – Third Man Books (January 18, 2022)

Trouble the Waters gathers the tidal force of bestselling, renowned writers from Lagos to New Orleans, Memphis to Copenhagen, Northern Ireland and London, offering extraordinary speculative fiction tales of ancient waters in all its myriad forms. Meet techno savvy water spirits, bayou saints and sirens, robots and river rootwomen, a pod of joyful space whales, and a castle of water-born terrors and mysteries. Including work by Nalo Hopkinson, Jaquira Diaz, Andrea Hairston, Linda D. Addison, Rion Amilcar Scott, Marie Vibbert, Maurice Broaddus, and other breakout beautiful voices, these stories and poems celebrate the most vital of elemental forces, water.

Widowland by C.J. Carey – Sourcebooks (August 9, 2022)

Thirteen years have passed since a Grand Alliance between Great Britain and Germany was formalized. George VI and his family have been murdered and Edward VIII rules as King. Yet, in practice, all power is vested in Alfred Rosenberg, Britain’s Protector. The role and status of women is Rosenberg’s particular interest.

Rose Ransom belongs to the elite caste of women and works at the Ministry of Culture, rewriting literature to correct the views of the past. But now she has been given a special task.

Outbreaks of insurgency have been seen across the country; graffiti daubed on public buildings. Disturbingly, the graffiti is made up of lines from forbidden works, subversive words from the voices of women. Suspicion has fallen on Widowland, the run-down slums where childless women over fifty have been banished. These women are known to be mutinous, for they have nothing to lose.

Before the Leader arrives for the Coronation ceremony of King Edward and Queen Wallis, Rose must infiltrate Widowland to find the source of this rebellion and ensure that it is quashed.

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