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4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 | 708-867-7828
Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM
Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM
Sun: 1PM to 5PM
4613 N Oketo Ave
Harwood Heights, IL 60706
708-867-7828

4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 708-867-7828

Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM | Sun: 1PM to 5PM

New Books: 07/02/2024

The Lion Women of Tehran by Marjan Kamali

In 1950s Tehran, seven-year-old Ellie lives in grand comfort until the untimely death of her father, forcing Ellie and her mother to move to a tiny home downtown. Lonely and bearing the brunt of her mother’s endless grievances, Ellie dreams of a friend to alleviate her isolation.

Luckily, on the first day of school, she meets Homa, a kind, passionate girl with a brave and irrepressible spirit. Together, the two girls play games, learn to cook in the stone kitchen of Homa’s warm home, wander through the colorful stalls of the Grand Bazaar, and share their ambitions for becoming “lion women.”

But their happiness is disrupted when Ellie and her mother are afforded the opportunity to return to their previous bourgeois life. Now a popular student at the best girls’ high school in Iran, Ellie’s memories of Homa begin to fade. Years later, however, her sudden reappearance in Ellie’s privileged world alters the course of both of their lives.

Together, the two young women come of age and pursue their own goals for meaningful futures. But as the political turmoil in Iran builds to a breaking point, one earth-shattering betrayal will have enormous consequences.

This Fierce People: The Untold Story of America’s Revolutionary War in the South by Alan Pell Crawford

The famous battles that form the backbone of the story put forth of American independence—at Lexington and Concord, Brandywine, Germantown, Saratoga, and Monmouth—while crucial, did not lead to the surrender at Yorktown. It was in the three-plus years between Monmouth and Yorktown that the war was won.

Alan Pell Crawford’s riveting new book tells the story of these missing three years, long ignored by historians, and of the fierce battles fought in the South that made up the central theater of military operations in the latter years of the Revolutionary War, upending the essential American myth that the War of Independence was fought primarily in the North.

Weaving throughout the stories of the heroic men and women, largely unsung patriots—African Americans and whites, militiamen and “irregulars,” patriots and Tories, Americans, Frenchmen, Brits, and Hessians, Crawford reveals the misperceptions and contradictions of our accepted understanding of how our nation came to be, as well as the national narrative that America’s victory over the British lay solely with General George Washington and his troops.

The God of the Woods by Liz Moore

Early morning, August 1975: a camp counselor discovers an empty bunk. Its occupant, Barbara Van Laar, has gone missing. Barbara isn’t just any thirteen-year-old: she’s the daughter of the family that owns the summer camp and employs most of the region’s residents. And this isn’t the first time a Van Laar child has disappeared. Barbara’s older brother similarly vanished fourteen years ago, never to be found.

As a panicked search begins, a thrilling drama unfolds. Chasing down the layered secrets of the Van Laar family and the blue-collar community working in its shadow, Moore’s multi-threaded story invites readers into a rich and gripping dynasty of secrets and second chances. It is Liz Moore’s most ambitious and wide-reaching novel yet.

Big in Sweden by Sally Franson

Paulie Johansson has never put much stock in the idea of family: she has her long-term boyfriend Declan and beloved best friend Jemma, and that’s more than enough for her. Yet one night on a lark, she lets Jemma convince her to audition for Sverige och Mig, a show on Swedish television where Swedish-Americans compete to win the ultimate prize: a reunion with their Swedish relatives. Much to her shock, her drunken submission video wins her a spot on the show, and against Declan’s advice Paulie decides to go for it.

Armed with her Polaroid camera, a beat-up copy of Pippi Longstocking, and an unquenchable sense of possibility, Paulie hops on a plane to Sweden and launches into the contest with seven other Americans, all under the watchful eye of a camera crew. At first, Paulie is certain that she and her competitors have nothing in common besides their passports and views their bloodthirsty ambitions with suspicion. Yet amid the increasingly absurd challenges—rowing from Denmark to Sweden in the freezing rain, battling through obstacle courses, competing in a pickled herring eating contest—Paulie finds herself rethinking her snap judgments about her fellow countrymen, while her growing attachment to her Swedish roots increases her resolve to win the competition herself.

Breaking the Dark: A Jessica Jones Marvel Crime Novel by Lisa Jewell

Meet Jessica Jones: Retired super hero, private investigator, loner. She tried her best to be a shiny spandex crimefighter, but that life only led to unspeakable trauma. Now she avoids that world altogether and works on surviving day-to-day in Hell’s Kitchen, New York.

The morning a distraught mother comes into her office, Jessica would prefer to nurse her hangover and try to forget last night’s poor choices. But something about Amber Randall’s story strikes a chord with her. Amber is adamant that something happened to her teenage twins while they were visiting their father in the UK. The twins don’t act like themselves, and they now have flawless skin, have lost their distinctive tics and habits, and keep talking about a girl named Belle. Amber insists her children have been replaced by something horrible, something “perfect.”

Traveling to a small village in the British countryside, Jessica meets the mysterious Belle, who lives a curiously isolated life in an old farmhouse with a strange woman who claims to be her guardian. Can this unworldly teenager really be responsible for the Randall twins’ new personas? Why does the strange little village of Barton Wallop seem to harbor dark energies and mysteries in its tight-knit community?

Broiler by Eli Cranor

Gabriela Menchaca and Edwin Saucedo are hardworking, undocumented employees at the Detmer Foods chicken plant in Springdale, Arkansas, just a stone’s throw away from the trailer park where they’ve lived together for seven years. While dealing with personal tragedies of their own, the young couple endures the brutal, dehumanizing conditions at the plant in exchange for barebones pay.

When the plant manager, Luke Jackson, fires Edwin to set an example for the rest of the workers—and to show the higher-ups that he’s ready for a major promotion—Edwin is determined to get revenge on Luke and his wife, Mimi, a new mother who stays at home with her six-month-old son. Edwin’s impulsive action sets in motion a devastating chain of events that illuminates the deeply entrenched power dynamics between those who revel at the top and those who toil at the bottom.

Evenings and Weekends by Oisín McKenna

Summer in London stops for no one. Not the half-naked drunks and stoners, the bachelorette parties glugging from bejewelled bottles, the drag queens puffing on hurried cigarettes. It’s June 2019, and everyone has converged on the city’s parks, beer gardens, and street corners to revel in the collective joys of being alive.

Everyone but Maggie. She’s 30, pregnant, and broke. Faced with moving back to the town she fought to escape, she’s wondering if having a baby with boyfriend Ed will be the last spontaneous act of her life. Ed, meanwhile, is trying to run from his past with Maggie’s best friend Phil and harboring secret dreams of his own.

Phil hates his office job and is living for the weekend, while falling for his housemate, Keith. But there’s a problem: Keith has a boyfriend and there might not be room for three people in the relationship. Then there’s Rosaleen, Phil’s mother, who’s tired of feeling like a side character in her own life. She’s just been diagnosed with cancer and is travelling to London to tell Phil, if she can ever get hold of him.

Masquerade by O.O. Sangoyomi

Òdòdó’s hometown of Timbuktu has been conquered by the warrior king of Yorùbáland, and living conditions for the women in her blacksmith guild, who were already shunned as social pariahs, grow even worse.

Then Òdòdó is abducted. She is whisked across the Sahara to the capital city of Ṣàngótẹ̀, where she is shocked to discover that her kidnapper is none other than the vagrant who had visited her guild just days prior. But now that he is swathed in riches rather than rags, Òdòdó realizes he is not a vagrant at all; he is the warrior king, and he has chosen her to be his wife.

In a sudden change of fortune, Òdòdó soars to the very heights of society. But after a lifetime of subjugation, she finds the power that saturates this world of battle and political savvy too enticing to resist. As tensions with rival states grow, revealing elaborate schemes and enemies hidden in plain sight, Òdòdó must defy the cruel king she has been forced to wed by reforging the shaky loyalties of the court in her favor, or risk losing everything―including her life.

Midnight Rooms by Donyae Coles

England, 1840. Orabella Mumthrope spies an unexpected visitor in her uncle’s parlor. Scruffy in appearance yet claiming to be the scion of a fabulously wealthy family, Elias Blakersby declares a deep desire to make Orabella his wife. The orphaned daughter of a white man and a Black woman—an outsider with no fortune or connections—Orabella never expected to marry. But her uncle has many debts, and Orabella, curious about the seeming devotion Elias bestows upon her, agrees.

The new bride is quickly whisked away to Korringhill Manor, the Blakersby family estate, and far from everything she knows. Expecting splendor, Orabella is shocked to find decay, skittish servants, and curt elders. But her kind new husband’s loving touch, promises of a happy life together, and his assurances she’ll never want for anything soothe her concerns.

Yet there is a darkness deep within this house. Rooms are locked or hidden away, and the walls seem to thrum with secrets. Orabella can never venture outside unattended; she spends her days having tea with a catatonic sister-in-law and evenings at Elias’s side, dutifully hosting lavish dinners. The darkness soon begins to engulf her, too. Becoming dizzy and drowsy after dinner, she falls into a fitful sleep filled with macabre dreams, and is awakened by blood-curdling screams in the night. In the morning she rises from her bed covered in mysterious bruises. Confused and terrified, she begins to question where her dreams end and reality begins. The longer Orabella stays in this place, the more she loses parts of herself . . . how long until she no longer exists?

Sharing Space: An Astronaut’s Guide to Mission, Wonder, and Making Change by Cady Coleman

In 2010, Cady Coleman boarded a rocket and blasted off into space for her third NASA mission, a six-month expedition to the International Space Station where she was the only woman on her six-person crew. After years spent overcoming obstacles in competitive and elite environments, including grappling with her own doubts and needing to overturn the expectations of others, Coleman became a success story in a role that wasn’t built with her in mind—a mother who is also an astronaut, scientists, Air Force pilot, and leader. Her determination and her amazing experiences give her a unique perspective on how to set yourself up for success, and on life here on Earth.

In Sharing Space, Cady shares counterintuitive insights integral to her success, such as how to leverage insecurities to beat expectations, how to know when to adapt and when to instead press for change, and how to be the glue that holds a disparate team together so it can be shaped to thrive. Illustrated with stories from her life and training, Cady takes readers from meteorite hunting in Antarctica to launching a $1.6 billion telescope into space to the wonder of spending six months living and working in zero gravity. This book will inspire anyone eager to escape a box in which they have been (unfairly) placed or to develop the confidence to succeed, even when they’re not an obvious “fit.”

Teddy by Emily Dunlay

It is the summer of 1969 and Rome is awash with glamour and intrigue: the stars of Cinecittà are drinking and dancing along the paparazzo-lined Via Veneto, where royalty, American expats, and the occasional Russian spy rub shoulders.

Teddy Huntley Carlyle has just arrived in Italy from Dallas, Texas, eager for a fresh start with her new husband, a diplomat assigned to the American embassy. After years of “spoiling like old milk,” in the words of her controlling, politically-minded uncle, Teddy vows to turn over a new leaf. She will be the soul of discretion; she will be conservative, proper, and polite. She will be her most beautiful, luminous self, wearing the right clothes and the perfect lipstick, and she will be good. She will charm her husband’s colleagues at the embassy, and no one will have a word to say against her.

Teddy keeps her promise, more or less—until the Fourth of July, when her new life explodes as spectacularly as the colorful fireworks lighting the Roman sky over the embassy grounds. Now, Teddy is in the middle of a mess that even her powerful connections and impeccable manners can’t contain.

The Cliffs by J. Courtney Sullivan

On a secluded bluff overlooking the ocean sits a Victorian house, lavender with gingerbread trim, a home that contains a century’s worth of secrets. By the time Jane Flanagan discovers the house as a teenager, it has long been abandoned. The place is an irresistible mystery to Jane. There are still clothes in the closets, marbles rolling across the floors, and dishes in the cupboards, even though no one has set foot there in decades. The house becomes a hideaway for Jane, a place to escape her volatile mother.

Twenty years later, now a Harvard archivist, she returns home to Maine following a terrible mistake that threatens both her career and her marriage. Jane is horrified to find the Victorian is now barely recognizable. The new owner, Genevieve, a summer person from Beacon Hill, has gutted it, transforming the house into a glossy white monstrosity straight out of a shelter magazine. Strangely, Genevieve is convinced that the house is haunted—perhaps the product of something troubling Genevieve herself has done. She hires Jane to research the history of the place and the women who lived there. The story Jane uncovers—of lovers lost at sea, romantic longing, shattering loss, artistic awakening, historical artifacts stolen and sold, and the long shadow of colonialism—is even older than Maine itself.

The Gilded Crown by Marianne Gordon

Since she was a little girl, Hellevir has been able to raise the dead. Every creature can be saved for a price, a price demanded by the shrouded figure who rules the afterlife, who takes a little more from Hellevir with each soul she resurrects.

Such a gift can rarely remain a secret. When Princess Sullivain, sole heir to the kingdom’s throne, is assassinated, the Queen summons Hellevir to demand she bring her granddaughter back to life. But once is not enough; the killers might strike again. The Princess’s death would cause a civil war, so the Queen commands that Hellevir remain by her side.

But Sullivain is no easy woman to be bound to, even as Hellevir begins to fall in love with her. With the threat of war looming, Hellevir must trade more and more of herself to keep the Princess alive.

But Death will always take what he is owed.

The Haters by Robyn Harding

Camryn Lane is living her dream. After years of struggle and rejection, her first novel has finally been published. Her editor is happy; her teenage daughter is proud; and her boyfriend and friends are all excited for her. She’s on top of the world—until she receives a disturbing message from an unknown sender.

Rattled by the accusations she finds there, Camryn swallows the sick feeling in her stomach and resolves to put the missive out of her mind. But when she checks her ratings on a popular book site, she finds a scathing one-star review. The reviewer is so articulate and convincing that soon, Camryn’s book is flooded with bad reviews. Could the reviewer be the same person who sent the ugly email? And why do they want to ruin her?

As the online harassment creeps into Camryn’s personal life, she vows to find out who’s behind it. Is it really a disgruntled reader? Or could it be someone she knows? The troll’s actions are escalating, and when the abuse turns deadly, it will take everything Camryn has to unmask the enemy so intent on destroying her—and finally learn why she’s being targeted.

The Night Ends with Fire by K. X. Song

The Three Kingdoms are at war, but Meilin’s father refuses to answer the imperial draft. Trapped by his opium addiction, he plans to sell Meilin for her dowry. But when Meilin discovers her husband-to-be is another violent, ill-tempered man, she realizes that nothing will change for her unless she takes matters into her own hands.

The very next day, she disguises herself as a boy and enlists in her father’s place.

In the army, Meilin’s relentless hard work brings her recognition, friendship—and a growing closeness with Sky, a prince turned training partner. But has she simply exchanged one prison for another? As her kingdom barrels toward destruction, Meilin begins to have visions of a sea dragon spirit that offers her true power and freedom, but with a deadly price.

With the future of the Three Kingdoms hanging in the balance, Meilin will need to decide whom to trust—Sky, who inspires her loyalty and love; the sea dragon spirit, who has his own murky agenda; or an infuriating enemy prince who makes her question everything she once knew—about her kingdom and about her own heart.

The Road to the Salt Sea by Samuel Kolawole

Able God works for low pay at a four-star hotel where he must flash his “toothpaste-white smile” for wealthy guests. When not tending to the hotel’s overprivileged clientele, he muses over self-help books and draws life lessons from the game of chess.

But Able’s ordinary life is upended when an early morning room service order leads him to interfere with Akudo, a sex worker involved with a powerful but dangerous hotel guest. Suddenly caught in a web of violence, guilt, and fear, Able must run to save himself—a journey that leads him into the desert with a group of drug-addled migrants, headed by a charismatic religious leader calling himself Ben Ten. The travelers’ dream of reaching Europe—and a new life—is shattered when they fall prey to human traffickers, suffer starvation, and find themselves on the precipice of death, fighting for their lives and their freedom.

As Able God moves into the treacherous unknown, his consciousness becomes focused on survival and the foundations of his beliefs—his ideas about betterment and salvation—are forever altered.

The Same Bright Stars by Ethan Joella

Three generations of Schmidts have run their family’s beachfront restaurant and Jack has been at the helm since the death of his father. Jack puts the demands of the restaurant above all else, with a string of failed relationships, no hobbies, and no days off as proof of his commitment to the place. He can’t remember the last time he sat on the beach, or even enjoyed a moment to himself.

Meanwhile, the DelDine group has been gradually snapping up beloved eateries along this stretch of coast and are pursuing Jack with a very generous offer to take Schmidt’s off his hands.

Jack craves companionship and maybe even a family. He wonders if closing the door on the restaurant might open a new window for him. But who would he be without Schmidt’s, and can he trust DelDine’s claims that they will continue to employ his staff and honor his family’s legacy?

When he receives startling news from the past, Jack begins to reshape his life and forge unexpected new friendships. But will he really let go of the very things that have defined him?

The Townsend Family Recipe for Disaster by Shauna Robinson

Mae Townsend has always dreamed of connecting with her estranged Black family in the South. She grew up picturing relatives who looked like her, crowded dinner tables, bustling kitchens. And, of course, the Townsend family barbecue, the tradition that kept her late father flying to North Carolina year after year, despite the mysterious rift that always required her to stay behind.

But as Mae’s wedding draws closer, promising a future of always standing out among her white in-laws, suddenly not knowing the Townsends hits her like a blow. So when news arrives that her paternal grandmother has passed, she decides it’s time to head South.

What she finds is a family in turmoil, a long-standing grudge intact, a lost mac & cheese recipe causing grief, and a family barbecue on the brink of disaster. Not willing to let her dreams of family slip away, Mae steps up to throw a barbecue everyone will remember.

The Villain Edit by Laurie Devore

Romance novelist Jacqueline Matthis’s big career has gone bust and she’s ditched the bright lights of New York City for her more affordable South Carolina hometown. Desperate, Jac dreams up a comeback plan—she is going to be a contestant on the 1, the most obsessively watched reality dating show in the world.

After all Jac is a romance writer—she knows how to pull off a meet-cute and create a spicy plotline.

On set, Jac quickly establishes herself as a front-runner for bachelor Marcus’s heart, but she’s shocked to discover who’s actually pulling the strings. How was she to know that Henry Foster, her last one-night stand before the show, was actually a longtime producer on the 1? Henry is just as horrified…but they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other.

As Jac plays the game and the show unfurls, she slowly discovers that she’s getting the villain edit. They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but as Jac’s secret plan begins crumbling around her, she’s not so sure. What happens if Marcus chooses her? Worse, what happens if her affair with Henry comes to light? What if, in trying to save her career, Jac has ruined her life?

The World After Alice by Lauren Aliza Green

When Morgan and Benji surprise their families with a wedding invitation to Maine, they’re aware the news of their clandestine relationship will come as a shock. Twelve years have passed since the stunning loss of sixteen-year-old Alice, Benji’s sister and Morgan’s best friend, and no one is quite the same. But the young couple decide to plunge headlong into matrimony, marking the first time their fractured families will reunite since Alice’s funeral.

As the arriving guests descend upon the tranquil coastal town, they bring with them not only skepticism about the impromptu nuptials but also deep-seated secrets and agendas of their own. Peter, Morgan’s father, may be trying to dissuade his daughter from saying “I do,” while Linnie, Benji’s mother, introduces a boyfriend who bears a tumultuous past of his own. Nick, Benji’s father, is scheming to secure a new job before his wife—formerly his mistress—discovers he’s lost his old one. Morgan, too, carries delicate secrets that threaten to jeopardize the happiness for which she has so longed. And as for Benji—well, he’s just trying to make sure the whole weekend doesn’t implode.

As the whirlwind weekend unfolds, old passions reignite, deep wounds resurface, and unearthed secrets threaten to shatter the fragile peace the wedding promises. With each new revelation, the to-be-weds and their complicated families are forced to question just how well they know the ones they hold dear.

Welcome to Glorious Tuga by Francesca Segal

Passionate about conservation and fleeing an argument with her mother, newly qualified London vet Charlotte Walker has taken up a fellowship on the tiny South Atlantic island of Tuga de Oro to study the endangered gold coin tortoises in the jungle interior. She can claim the best of reasons for this year in paradise—What better motivation than to save a species?—but the reality is more complex. For Charlotte has secretly come to believe that she has her own connection to this remote and eccentric community, and she is finally determined to solve the mystery that has dominated her life.

But she will have little time for any of her declared or covert investigations. She is inconveniently attracted to the new island doctor. And not only do Tuga’s tortoises need attention but so too do the island’s dogs, goats, and donkeys—not to mention the islanders themselves, determined to win Charlotte over with cake and homemade jam until she relents and becomes vet to all their animals.

Categories: Adults, Blog, and New Adult Books.

New Books: 07/02/2024

The Lion Women of Tehran by Marjan Kamali

In 1950s Tehran, seven-year-old Ellie lives in grand comfort until the untimely death of her father, forcing Ellie and her mother to move to a tiny home downtown. Lonely and bearing the brunt of her mother’s endless grievances, Ellie dreams of a friend to alleviate her isolation.

Luckily, on the first day of school, she meets Homa, a kind, passionate girl with a brave and irrepressible spirit. Together, the two girls play games, learn to cook in the stone kitchen of Homa’s warm home, wander through the colorful stalls of the Grand Bazaar, and share their ambitions for becoming “lion women.”

But their happiness is disrupted when Ellie and her mother are afforded the opportunity to return to their previous bourgeois life. Now a popular student at the best girls’ high school in Iran, Ellie’s memories of Homa begin to fade. Years later, however, her sudden reappearance in Ellie’s privileged world alters the course of both of their lives.

Together, the two young women come of age and pursue their own goals for meaningful futures. But as the political turmoil in Iran builds to a breaking point, one earth-shattering betrayal will have enormous consequences.

This Fierce People: The Untold Story of America’s Revolutionary War in the South by Alan Pell Crawford

The famous battles that form the backbone of the story put forth of American independence—at Lexington and Concord, Brandywine, Germantown, Saratoga, and Monmouth—while crucial, did not lead to the surrender at Yorktown. It was in the three-plus years between Monmouth and Yorktown that the war was won.

Alan Pell Crawford’s riveting new book tells the story of these missing three years, long ignored by historians, and of the fierce battles fought in the South that made up the central theater of military operations in the latter years of the Revolutionary War, upending the essential American myth that the War of Independence was fought primarily in the North.

Weaving throughout the stories of the heroic men and women, largely unsung patriots—African Americans and whites, militiamen and “irregulars,” patriots and Tories, Americans, Frenchmen, Brits, and Hessians, Crawford reveals the misperceptions and contradictions of our accepted understanding of how our nation came to be, as well as the national narrative that America’s victory over the British lay solely with General George Washington and his troops.

The God of the Woods by Liz Moore

Early morning, August 1975: a camp counselor discovers an empty bunk. Its occupant, Barbara Van Laar, has gone missing. Barbara isn’t just any thirteen-year-old: she’s the daughter of the family that owns the summer camp and employs most of the region’s residents. And this isn’t the first time a Van Laar child has disappeared. Barbara’s older brother similarly vanished fourteen years ago, never to be found.

As a panicked search begins, a thrilling drama unfolds. Chasing down the layered secrets of the Van Laar family and the blue-collar community working in its shadow, Moore’s multi-threaded story invites readers into a rich and gripping dynasty of secrets and second chances. It is Liz Moore’s most ambitious and wide-reaching novel yet.

Big in Sweden by Sally Franson

Paulie Johansson has never put much stock in the idea of family: she has her long-term boyfriend Declan and beloved best friend Jemma, and that’s more than enough for her. Yet one night on a lark, she lets Jemma convince her to audition for Sverige och Mig, a show on Swedish television where Swedish-Americans compete to win the ultimate prize: a reunion with their Swedish relatives. Much to her shock, her drunken submission video wins her a spot on the show, and against Declan’s advice Paulie decides to go for it.

Armed with her Polaroid camera, a beat-up copy of Pippi Longstocking, and an unquenchable sense of possibility, Paulie hops on a plane to Sweden and launches into the contest with seven other Americans, all under the watchful eye of a camera crew. At first, Paulie is certain that she and her competitors have nothing in common besides their passports and views their bloodthirsty ambitions with suspicion. Yet amid the increasingly absurd challenges—rowing from Denmark to Sweden in the freezing rain, battling through obstacle courses, competing in a pickled herring eating contest—Paulie finds herself rethinking her snap judgments about her fellow countrymen, while her growing attachment to her Swedish roots increases her resolve to win the competition herself.

Breaking the Dark: A Jessica Jones Marvel Crime Novel by Lisa Jewell

Meet Jessica Jones: Retired super hero, private investigator, loner. She tried her best to be a shiny spandex crimefighter, but that life only led to unspeakable trauma. Now she avoids that world altogether and works on surviving day-to-day in Hell’s Kitchen, New York.

The morning a distraught mother comes into her office, Jessica would prefer to nurse her hangover and try to forget last night’s poor choices. But something about Amber Randall’s story strikes a chord with her. Amber is adamant that something happened to her teenage twins while they were visiting their father in the UK. The twins don’t act like themselves, and they now have flawless skin, have lost their distinctive tics and habits, and keep talking about a girl named Belle. Amber insists her children have been replaced by something horrible, something “perfect.”

Traveling to a small village in the British countryside, Jessica meets the mysterious Belle, who lives a curiously isolated life in an old farmhouse with a strange woman who claims to be her guardian. Can this unworldly teenager really be responsible for the Randall twins’ new personas? Why does the strange little village of Barton Wallop seem to harbor dark energies and mysteries in its tight-knit community?

Broiler by Eli Cranor

Gabriela Menchaca and Edwin Saucedo are hardworking, undocumented employees at the Detmer Foods chicken plant in Springdale, Arkansas, just a stone’s throw away from the trailer park where they’ve lived together for seven years. While dealing with personal tragedies of their own, the young couple endures the brutal, dehumanizing conditions at the plant in exchange for barebones pay.

When the plant manager, Luke Jackson, fires Edwin to set an example for the rest of the workers—and to show the higher-ups that he’s ready for a major promotion—Edwin is determined to get revenge on Luke and his wife, Mimi, a new mother who stays at home with her six-month-old son. Edwin’s impulsive action sets in motion a devastating chain of events that illuminates the deeply entrenched power dynamics between those who revel at the top and those who toil at the bottom.

Evenings and Weekends by Oisín McKenna

Summer in London stops for no one. Not the half-naked drunks and stoners, the bachelorette parties glugging from bejewelled bottles, the drag queens puffing on hurried cigarettes. It’s June 2019, and everyone has converged on the city’s parks, beer gardens, and street corners to revel in the collective joys of being alive.

Everyone but Maggie. She’s 30, pregnant, and broke. Faced with moving back to the town she fought to escape, she’s wondering if having a baby with boyfriend Ed will be the last spontaneous act of her life. Ed, meanwhile, is trying to run from his past with Maggie’s best friend Phil and harboring secret dreams of his own.

Phil hates his office job and is living for the weekend, while falling for his housemate, Keith. But there’s a problem: Keith has a boyfriend and there might not be room for three people in the relationship. Then there’s Rosaleen, Phil’s mother, who’s tired of feeling like a side character in her own life. She’s just been diagnosed with cancer and is travelling to London to tell Phil, if she can ever get hold of him.

Masquerade by O.O. Sangoyomi

Òdòdó’s hometown of Timbuktu has been conquered by the warrior king of Yorùbáland, and living conditions for the women in her blacksmith guild, who were already shunned as social pariahs, grow even worse.

Then Òdòdó is abducted. She is whisked across the Sahara to the capital city of Ṣàngótẹ̀, where she is shocked to discover that her kidnapper is none other than the vagrant who had visited her guild just days prior. But now that he is swathed in riches rather than rags, Òdòdó realizes he is not a vagrant at all; he is the warrior king, and he has chosen her to be his wife.

In a sudden change of fortune, Òdòdó soars to the very heights of society. But after a lifetime of subjugation, she finds the power that saturates this world of battle and political savvy too enticing to resist. As tensions with rival states grow, revealing elaborate schemes and enemies hidden in plain sight, Òdòdó must defy the cruel king she has been forced to wed by reforging the shaky loyalties of the court in her favor, or risk losing everything―including her life.

Midnight Rooms by Donyae Coles

England, 1840. Orabella Mumthrope spies an unexpected visitor in her uncle’s parlor. Scruffy in appearance yet claiming to be the scion of a fabulously wealthy family, Elias Blakersby declares a deep desire to make Orabella his wife. The orphaned daughter of a white man and a Black woman—an outsider with no fortune or connections—Orabella never expected to marry. But her uncle has many debts, and Orabella, curious about the seeming devotion Elias bestows upon her, agrees.

The new bride is quickly whisked away to Korringhill Manor, the Blakersby family estate, and far from everything she knows. Expecting splendor, Orabella is shocked to find decay, skittish servants, and curt elders. But her kind new husband’s loving touch, promises of a happy life together, and his assurances she’ll never want for anything soothe her concerns.

Yet there is a darkness deep within this house. Rooms are locked or hidden away, and the walls seem to thrum with secrets. Orabella can never venture outside unattended; she spends her days having tea with a catatonic sister-in-law and evenings at Elias’s side, dutifully hosting lavish dinners. The darkness soon begins to engulf her, too. Becoming dizzy and drowsy after dinner, she falls into a fitful sleep filled with macabre dreams, and is awakened by blood-curdling screams in the night. In the morning she rises from her bed covered in mysterious bruises. Confused and terrified, she begins to question where her dreams end and reality begins. The longer Orabella stays in this place, the more she loses parts of herself . . . how long until she no longer exists?

Sharing Space: An Astronaut’s Guide to Mission, Wonder, and Making Change by Cady Coleman

In 2010, Cady Coleman boarded a rocket and blasted off into space for her third NASA mission, a six-month expedition to the International Space Station where she was the only woman on her six-person crew. After years spent overcoming obstacles in competitive and elite environments, including grappling with her own doubts and needing to overturn the expectations of others, Coleman became a success story in a role that wasn’t built with her in mind—a mother who is also an astronaut, scientists, Air Force pilot, and leader. Her determination and her amazing experiences give her a unique perspective on how to set yourself up for success, and on life here on Earth.

In Sharing Space, Cady shares counterintuitive insights integral to her success, such as how to leverage insecurities to beat expectations, how to know when to adapt and when to instead press for change, and how to be the glue that holds a disparate team together so it can be shaped to thrive. Illustrated with stories from her life and training, Cady takes readers from meteorite hunting in Antarctica to launching a $1.6 billion telescope into space to the wonder of spending six months living and working in zero gravity. This book will inspire anyone eager to escape a box in which they have been (unfairly) placed or to develop the confidence to succeed, even when they’re not an obvious “fit.”

Teddy by Emily Dunlay

It is the summer of 1969 and Rome is awash with glamour and intrigue: the stars of Cinecittà are drinking and dancing along the paparazzo-lined Via Veneto, where royalty, American expats, and the occasional Russian spy rub shoulders.

Teddy Huntley Carlyle has just arrived in Italy from Dallas, Texas, eager for a fresh start with her new husband, a diplomat assigned to the American embassy. After years of “spoiling like old milk,” in the words of her controlling, politically-minded uncle, Teddy vows to turn over a new leaf. She will be the soul of discretion; she will be conservative, proper, and polite. She will be her most beautiful, luminous self, wearing the right clothes and the perfect lipstick, and she will be good. She will charm her husband’s colleagues at the embassy, and no one will have a word to say against her.

Teddy keeps her promise, more or less—until the Fourth of July, when her new life explodes as spectacularly as the colorful fireworks lighting the Roman sky over the embassy grounds. Now, Teddy is in the middle of a mess that even her powerful connections and impeccable manners can’t contain.

The Cliffs by J. Courtney Sullivan

On a secluded bluff overlooking the ocean sits a Victorian house, lavender with gingerbread trim, a home that contains a century’s worth of secrets. By the time Jane Flanagan discovers the house as a teenager, it has long been abandoned. The place is an irresistible mystery to Jane. There are still clothes in the closets, marbles rolling across the floors, and dishes in the cupboards, even though no one has set foot there in decades. The house becomes a hideaway for Jane, a place to escape her volatile mother.

Twenty years later, now a Harvard archivist, she returns home to Maine following a terrible mistake that threatens both her career and her marriage. Jane is horrified to find the Victorian is now barely recognizable. The new owner, Genevieve, a summer person from Beacon Hill, has gutted it, transforming the house into a glossy white monstrosity straight out of a shelter magazine. Strangely, Genevieve is convinced that the house is haunted—perhaps the product of something troubling Genevieve herself has done. She hires Jane to research the history of the place and the women who lived there. The story Jane uncovers—of lovers lost at sea, romantic longing, shattering loss, artistic awakening, historical artifacts stolen and sold, and the long shadow of colonialism—is even older than Maine itself.

The Gilded Crown by Marianne Gordon

Since she was a little girl, Hellevir has been able to raise the dead. Every creature can be saved for a price, a price demanded by the shrouded figure who rules the afterlife, who takes a little more from Hellevir with each soul she resurrects.

Such a gift can rarely remain a secret. When Princess Sullivain, sole heir to the kingdom’s throne, is assassinated, the Queen summons Hellevir to demand she bring her granddaughter back to life. But once is not enough; the killers might strike again. The Princess’s death would cause a civil war, so the Queen commands that Hellevir remain by her side.

But Sullivain is no easy woman to be bound to, even as Hellevir begins to fall in love with her. With the threat of war looming, Hellevir must trade more and more of herself to keep the Princess alive.

But Death will always take what he is owed.

The Haters by Robyn Harding

Camryn Lane is living her dream. After years of struggle and rejection, her first novel has finally been published. Her editor is happy; her teenage daughter is proud; and her boyfriend and friends are all excited for her. She’s on top of the world—until she receives a disturbing message from an unknown sender.

Rattled by the accusations she finds there, Camryn swallows the sick feeling in her stomach and resolves to put the missive out of her mind. But when she checks her ratings on a popular book site, she finds a scathing one-star review. The reviewer is so articulate and convincing that soon, Camryn’s book is flooded with bad reviews. Could the reviewer be the same person who sent the ugly email? And why do they want to ruin her?

As the online harassment creeps into Camryn’s personal life, she vows to find out who’s behind it. Is it really a disgruntled reader? Or could it be someone she knows? The troll’s actions are escalating, and when the abuse turns deadly, it will take everything Camryn has to unmask the enemy so intent on destroying her—and finally learn why she’s being targeted.

The Night Ends with Fire by K. X. Song

The Three Kingdoms are at war, but Meilin’s father refuses to answer the imperial draft. Trapped by his opium addiction, he plans to sell Meilin for her dowry. But when Meilin discovers her husband-to-be is another violent, ill-tempered man, she realizes that nothing will change for her unless she takes matters into her own hands.

The very next day, she disguises herself as a boy and enlists in her father’s place.

In the army, Meilin’s relentless hard work brings her recognition, friendship—and a growing closeness with Sky, a prince turned training partner. But has she simply exchanged one prison for another? As her kingdom barrels toward destruction, Meilin begins to have visions of a sea dragon spirit that offers her true power and freedom, but with a deadly price.

With the future of the Three Kingdoms hanging in the balance, Meilin will need to decide whom to trust—Sky, who inspires her loyalty and love; the sea dragon spirit, who has his own murky agenda; or an infuriating enemy prince who makes her question everything she once knew—about her kingdom and about her own heart.

The Road to the Salt Sea by Samuel Kolawole

Able God works for low pay at a four-star hotel where he must flash his “toothpaste-white smile” for wealthy guests. When not tending to the hotel’s overprivileged clientele, he muses over self-help books and draws life lessons from the game of chess.

But Able’s ordinary life is upended when an early morning room service order leads him to interfere with Akudo, a sex worker involved with a powerful but dangerous hotel guest. Suddenly caught in a web of violence, guilt, and fear, Able must run to save himself—a journey that leads him into the desert with a group of drug-addled migrants, headed by a charismatic religious leader calling himself Ben Ten. The travelers’ dream of reaching Europe—and a new life—is shattered when they fall prey to human traffickers, suffer starvation, and find themselves on the precipice of death, fighting for their lives and their freedom.

As Able God moves into the treacherous unknown, his consciousness becomes focused on survival and the foundations of his beliefs—his ideas about betterment and salvation—are forever altered.

The Same Bright Stars by Ethan Joella

Three generations of Schmidts have run their family’s beachfront restaurant and Jack has been at the helm since the death of his father. Jack puts the demands of the restaurant above all else, with a string of failed relationships, no hobbies, and no days off as proof of his commitment to the place. He can’t remember the last time he sat on the beach, or even enjoyed a moment to himself.

Meanwhile, the DelDine group has been gradually snapping up beloved eateries along this stretch of coast and are pursuing Jack with a very generous offer to take Schmidt’s off his hands.

Jack craves companionship and maybe even a family. He wonders if closing the door on the restaurant might open a new window for him. But who would he be without Schmidt’s, and can he trust DelDine’s claims that they will continue to employ his staff and honor his family’s legacy?

When he receives startling news from the past, Jack begins to reshape his life and forge unexpected new friendships. But will he really let go of the very things that have defined him?

The Townsend Family Recipe for Disaster by Shauna Robinson

Mae Townsend has always dreamed of connecting with her estranged Black family in the South. She grew up picturing relatives who looked like her, crowded dinner tables, bustling kitchens. And, of course, the Townsend family barbecue, the tradition that kept her late father flying to North Carolina year after year, despite the mysterious rift that always required her to stay behind.

But as Mae’s wedding draws closer, promising a future of always standing out among her white in-laws, suddenly not knowing the Townsends hits her like a blow. So when news arrives that her paternal grandmother has passed, she decides it’s time to head South.

What she finds is a family in turmoil, a long-standing grudge intact, a lost mac & cheese recipe causing grief, and a family barbecue on the brink of disaster. Not willing to let her dreams of family slip away, Mae steps up to throw a barbecue everyone will remember.

The Villain Edit by Laurie Devore

Romance novelist Jacqueline Matthis’s big career has gone bust and she’s ditched the bright lights of New York City for her more affordable South Carolina hometown. Desperate, Jac dreams up a comeback plan—she is going to be a contestant on the 1, the most obsessively watched reality dating show in the world.

After all Jac is a romance writer—she knows how to pull off a meet-cute and create a spicy plotline.

On set, Jac quickly establishes herself as a front-runner for bachelor Marcus’s heart, but she’s shocked to discover who’s actually pulling the strings. How was she to know that Henry Foster, her last one-night stand before the show, was actually a longtime producer on the 1? Henry is just as horrified…but they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other.

As Jac plays the game and the show unfurls, she slowly discovers that she’s getting the villain edit. They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but as Jac’s secret plan begins crumbling around her, she’s not so sure. What happens if Marcus chooses her? Worse, what happens if her affair with Henry comes to light? What if, in trying to save her career, Jac has ruined her life?

The World After Alice by Lauren Aliza Green

When Morgan and Benji surprise their families with a wedding invitation to Maine, they’re aware the news of their clandestine relationship will come as a shock. Twelve years have passed since the stunning loss of sixteen-year-old Alice, Benji’s sister and Morgan’s best friend, and no one is quite the same. But the young couple decide to plunge headlong into matrimony, marking the first time their fractured families will reunite since Alice’s funeral.

As the arriving guests descend upon the tranquil coastal town, they bring with them not only skepticism about the impromptu nuptials but also deep-seated secrets and agendas of their own. Peter, Morgan’s father, may be trying to dissuade his daughter from saying “I do,” while Linnie, Benji’s mother, introduces a boyfriend who bears a tumultuous past of his own. Nick, Benji’s father, is scheming to secure a new job before his wife—formerly his mistress—discovers he’s lost his old one. Morgan, too, carries delicate secrets that threaten to jeopardize the happiness for which she has so longed. And as for Benji—well, he’s just trying to make sure the whole weekend doesn’t implode.

As the whirlwind weekend unfolds, old passions reignite, deep wounds resurface, and unearthed secrets threaten to shatter the fragile peace the wedding promises. With each new revelation, the to-be-weds and their complicated families are forced to question just how well they know the ones they hold dear.

Welcome to Glorious Tuga by Francesca Segal

Passionate about conservation and fleeing an argument with her mother, newly qualified London vet Charlotte Walker has taken up a fellowship on the tiny South Atlantic island of Tuga de Oro to study the endangered gold coin tortoises in the jungle interior. She can claim the best of reasons for this year in paradise—What better motivation than to save a species?—but the reality is more complex. For Charlotte has secretly come to believe that she has her own connection to this remote and eccentric community, and she is finally determined to solve the mystery that has dominated her life.

But she will have little time for any of her declared or covert investigations. She is inconveniently attracted to the new island doctor. And not only do Tuga’s tortoises need attention but so too do the island’s dogs, goats, and donkeys—not to mention the islanders themselves, determined to win Charlotte over with cake and homemade jam until she relents and becomes vet to all their animals.

Categories: Adults, Blog, and New Adult Books.