All posts filed under: Fiction

septembersky

September Sky by John A. Heldt

John Heldt, author of the Northwest Passage stories, is back with the first in a new time-travel series that touches on love, mystery, and family dynamics. September Sky chronicles the story of a father and son trying to recover their common ground, one a man on a path to redemption and the other a lost soul on a journey to rediscover his passion. When recent unemployed journalist Chuck Townsend convinces his son, recent college dropout Justin, to join him on a much-needed cruise holiday, Mexico is the only exotic destination they expects to visit. Instead, Chuck and Justin find their paths crossing with Professor Bell, a veritable Willy Wonka whose chocolate factory of choice is, in fact, a time-travel portal in one of Los Angeles’ remaining Painted Ladies. In cahoots with the professor, Chuck and Justin arm themselves with history and return to 1900 Galvaston, Texas, where a distant relative is about to be sent to the gallows for a murder he didn’t commit and an monumental hurricane is about to devastate an unsuspecting island. …

swindletown

Swindle Town by Molly Greene

Sassy, spunky private eye Gen Delacourt is back in a new mystery from Molly Greene that finds the amateur detective up to her ears in secrets, lies – and wine. Molly Greene’s Gen Delacourt mysteries have been among my favorites since the series began several years ago. Over the course of four novels readers have followed Gen on her adventures in San Francisco as she works to uncover truths, catch bad guys, and keep herself alive in the process. In her fifth outing, Swindle Town, Gen is hired to track a series of disappearing empty wine bottles that ultimately leads her into the employment – or maybe the clutches – of a secret high-society wine club where membership fees are in the thousands and a good vintage may be worth killing over. Working the case becomes complicated for Gen when she uncovers connections that hit close to home for her boyfriend, SFPD detective Mack Hackett. Charged with keeping her investigation a secret, she’ll have to put her all into unraveling a mysterious series of threats …

mistressfirebrand

Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland

In Mistress Firebrand, author Donna Thorland continues her Renegades of the American Revolution series with a story full of rich history and pulsating romance. America is deep in the throes of its search for independence from Britain in 1777, and to Jennifer Leighton it seems there are turncoats, spies, and dangers at every corner. An aspiring playwright determined to make her way to London and high success on Drury Lane, Jenny is in pursuit of a patron to support her as did her Aunt Frances, known to all as the iconic star of the stage, The Divine Miss Fanny. Together, Jenny and Frances are plotting to catch the attentions of a British general who could be the makings of Jenny’s career. Instead, Jenny finds herself embroiled in trouble, and the only man who can help her is an American-born British soldier, the charming – and, rumor has it, decidedly lethal – Severin Devere. Scorned by his father for his bastard beginnings, Severin has lived his life in a constant attempt to deny the Indian heritage …

stardust

A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott

In her new novel, Kate Alcott takes readers back in time to Hollywood in 1939 and the tumultuous filming of Gone with the Wind. A Touch of Stardust blends fact and fiction, combining newly imagined original characters with unforgettable icons of Hollywood’s Golden Age, as Kate Alcott explores the topsy-turvy world of cinematic glamour and its impact on human nature. Julie Crawford, Alcott’s fictitious protagonist, is a bright-eyed, sensible girl from Fort Wayne, Indiana; a graduate of Smith College, she’s determined to pursue her dream of writing screenplays, walking in the footsteps of her hero, Francis Marion. When she arrives on the set for the menial publicity job that’s granted her passage into the glamorous, cutthroat world of Hollywood she’s swept up into the drama and grandeur of David O. Selznick’s seemingly ill-fated, all-consuming project: adapting Margaret Mitchell’s beloved novel, Gone with the Wind. On the set, Julie witnesses burning sets and fiery tempers as catastrophe after catastrophe threatens to derail what Selznick believes will be the best film in motion picture history. She meets …

luckyalan

Lucky Alan and Other Stories by Jonathan Lethem

Prolific writer Jonathan Lethem explores the absurb and the arcane in his new short story collection, Lucky Alan. Jonathan Lethem’s career in writing has garnered him much praise for his ingenuity and his handling of both the novel and short form. More than anything, his new collection, Lucky Alan, is an example of his diversity as a storyteller, or rather of his refusal to adhere to rules and structure. With a Salingerian total of nine stories, the new book charts a rambling journey across surrealism and pop culture, through sharp observations and comic absurdity alike. Its diversity is both its strength and weakness insofar as it shows off much of Lethem’s literary scope, yet requires much commitment and elasticity from the reader. The first story, which takes its name from the collection’s title, finds the narrator entranced by a famous theater director named Sigismund Blondy, with whom he begins to develop a comfortable camaraderie over bad films and wine bars. Blondy is an elusive figure who radiates a certain New York brand of charm. When …

poisonbay

Poison Bay by Belinda Pollard

Belinda Pollard’s debut novel tells the story of eight friends whose lives were shattered one fateful night ten years ago, when one of their own made a tragic decision. Reuniting in New Zealand for a hike to commemorate their mutual loss, Callie finds herself looking into the familiar faces she hasn’t seen in a decade. Conservationist Bryan is heading the group, with outdoorsman Adam and handsome lawyer Kain among the crew, as well as Jack, now a reverend, whom no one ever gave much thought to; there’s also petite nurse Erica, sweet-tempered Rachel, and dowdy, unassuming Sharon. What begins as a hopeful tribute and quirky reunion, however, soon becomes a crusade of nightmarish proportions as betrayals are revealed and someone among their group dies. Thrown into shock and at the mercy of the harsh mountain elements, Callie and her seven companions will risk everything to survive as loyalties are tested, truths are revealed, and the stark tragedy of their past finally catches up with them. Poison Bay is the rare debut that feels as though …

the-nightingale

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

In her new novel, The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah shows readers a Nazi-occupied France through the eyes of the women kept prisoner in their own homeland. Kristin Hannah’s newest novel is the story of sisters Isabelle and Viann, young women still feeling the aftershocks of the First World War, which uprooted their lives and made their father a stranger to them. After their mother’s death, the ties that bound their family seemed altogether severed; Isabelle was sent off to boarding school after boarding school while Viann married the young love of her life and began trying to stitch together a new story for her new family in the country. But when World War II erupts in Europe and Nazi officers begin occupying France, Viann and Isabelle’s lives are pushed and pulled again – joined together, ripped apart, even as they both fumble with the ultimately indestructible tatters of their sisterhood. There’s so much to The Nightingale that touches the heart – so much sorrow, so much courage, so much importance – that it becomes a bit …

damaged-goods

Damaged Goods by Jack Everett and David Coles

Having penned five novels together, authors David Coles and Jack Everett are back with the first in their new Inspector White series. Damaged Goods intertwines the stories of a tortured American soldier on a rampage and the crafty British cop on his trail, two very different men whose paths cross in the ultimate test of will. DI Stewart White, newly arrived in Leeds to head up the area police office, is investigating a string of murders that seemed to have been committed by a preternaturally skilled warrior. Robert Cleghorn, a former Special Forces operative governed by severe mental and emotional trauma, is determined to reunite with the British woman who stole his heart – whatever, or whomever, the cost. As Cleghorn tears his way through the country, the clock is counting down for White to figure out his motive, his identity, and his ultimate end-game. Damaged Goods is a superb start to a promising new series, with a consistently engaging story from beginning to end. The authors write from several different angles in this novel: …