Highlights September 2018

Happy Labor Day! The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are getting cooler, and some of us are very sad to say goodbye to summer. But others can’t wait to break out the Halloween decorations and pumpkin pie! You take the good with the bad. But, as always, we have some exciting books to look forward to regardless of our opinions on cooler weather.

Serena’s Picks

37588503Book: “A Spark of White Fire” by Sangu Mandanna

Publication Date: September 11, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’m always on the lookout for new science fiction, so I was super excited when I saw this book listed. Much of the story sounds very familiar to other fantasy books: an exiled princess, a stolen throne, a fight to reclaim one’s inheritance. But add to that sentient warships and dark moons, and you’ve got yourself what sounds like an intriguing space opera! What makes it all the more appealing is the fact that the story is loosely based on ancient Indian folklore. All together, it sounds like an intriguing mix!

32824058Book: “Strange Grace” by Tessa Gratton

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Well, first off, look at that cover! Is that gorgeous or what? This is definitely one of those cases where I clicked through to read more about this title based simply on the lovely cover art. But then I read the synopsis and was even more in. The story is that of a town where long ago something terrible happened (or was it love?) between a witch and a demon. Either way, the result is every few years the town must sacrifice its best boy to the forest. At its heart are our three protagonists and what looks like the set-up of some complicated relationship drama. There’s also a good chance that Kate should probably read this, too, what with the witchcraft angle and the representation.

37854049Book: “The Sisters of the Winter Woods” by Rena Rossner

Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Another beautiful cover! Plus, a fairytale-esque fantasy novel featuring sisterhood. Of course I’m all over this one! Liba and Laya are two Jewish sisters, and while they’ve heard of their people have troubles at other villages, in their small home, the community has lived together in peace. But the arrival of a strange band of young men begins to stir unrest, and Liba and Laya discover startling truths about their own heritage and that what were once fairytales may in fact be histories. Even that brief description pretty much checks all of my boxes, so I’m sure there will a review for this one coming up shortly!

Kate’s Picks

34810320Book: “Sadie” by Courtney Summers

Publication Date: September 8, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’ve read another of Courtney Summer’s books, “Some Girls Are”, and I found it to be an interesting and gritty story. “Sadie”, on the other hand, makes “Some Girls Are” sound like child’s play. As someone who loves her share of true crime podcasts, I’d me remiss to pass this one by. After her younger sister is murdered, Sadie is on the trail of the man she believes killed her. Meanwhile, a podcaster has taken interest in Sadie’s story, and is trying to figure out where she disappeared to. This book is getting a lot of advanced praise, and it sounds like a realistic and rough look at violence towards women, and how our culture tries to capitalize on it.

377158591Book: “We Sold Our Souls” by Grady Hendrix

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Because who doesn’t love a little satire, a little heavy metal, and a really badass female protagonist? Given how much I loved “My Best Friend’s Exorcism”, it was a sure thing that I was going to get my ands on whatever novel he came out with next. And lo and behold, his follow up was about a washed up heavy metal player, an old grudge she has for a former bandmate, and the possibility that her soul was sold without her permission. Since I have a special place in my heart for metal music, and since Hendrix is a fun author whose books have some scares but a whole lot of heart, I am very much looking forward to “We Sold Our Souls”.

38255342Book: “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein” by Kiersten White

Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Why I’m Interested: You all know how much Serena loves White’s “Conquerer’s Saga”, but now it’s my turn to see her take on a classic tale and twist it into her own thing. I do enjoy “Frankenstein” quite a bit, but I’ve always felt bad for Victor’s doomed ladyfriend Elizabeth. SO color me interested in “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein”, as it sounds like it’s going to give this character more of a voice. While I’m sure that this story will be as emotionally devastating for me as “The Conquerer’s Saga” was for Serena, I am very excited to see what White does to this classic story, and the places she takes it.

What books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments!

 

Highlights: August 2018

Summer is starting to wind down, but we are going to cling to it until it’s forcibly removed from our cold dead hands. It’s been a busy season this year, but we always have time (and make the time) for reading. So here are some of the titles that we are looking forward to that are coming out this month!

Serena’s Picks

294220911Book: “These Rebel Waves” by Sara Raasch

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’ve really enjoyed the sea-based fantasy adventures I’ve read recently, so I was excited when I saw several more coming down the line! This one features three main characters: a solider, a pirate, and a prince. All coming from very different backgrounds, they all must discover who they truly are and what is important to them in a fight to control the plant-based magic that is forbidden in their world. I’m not usually a huge fan of duel narratives, let a lone three, but I’m intrigued by what sounds like a pretty unique magic system that is focused on water plants.

37822534Book: “Seafire” by Natalie C. Parker

Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Why I’m Interested: See? I told you that these pirate-based fantasy stories were hitting some type of peak! What makes this one stand out is the fact that it’s about a pirate ship with a captain and crew made up entirely of women. You know how I love stories with female friendship and sisterhood! I mean, look at that tagline! “Sisterhood is survival.” I’m definitely all over this one. It also seems that this sisterhood of pirates is out for revenge against an all-male raider group, so that could be interesting as well. I’m a bit nervous that it might slip into some weird gender stereotypes what with the segregated ships and all, but I’m still definitely curious to see where this could go!

Magic_Triumphs.inddBook: “Magic Triumphs” by Ilona Andrews

Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Gah, I was all geared up and ready to go last spring when this was originally set to be published in March or April. And then one day, I casually check on it and what do I see?? Not until August now! But, finally, August has arrived and I’m so excited to read this book! This is the final book in the Kate Daniels series and my expectations are through the roof. I only really follow two urban fantasy series right now, this and the “Mercy Thompson” series (and we all know my feelings on where that has been head cough“Burn Bright”cough). So that leaves a lot on the shoulders of this book to not only stick its own landing, but prove that yes, some urban fantasy series can not implode under their own nonsense. Plus, the showdown that’s been building over the last few books has been intense. I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so excited.

Kate’s Picks

29749098Book: “Catwoman: Soulstealer” by Sarah J Maas

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Why I’m Interested: UHHHHH, CATWOMAN, QUITE OBVIOUSLY. I’ve also quite enjoyed the “DC Icons” series as of now, which helps. I am always eager to find new Catwoman material, and so I was pretty happy that she was getting her own time to shine in this series, causing trouble for Luke Fox as he’s holding down the fort for Batman. My ONE qualm is that the author is Sarah J Maas, whose works I haven’t been impressed with in the past (we read “Throne of Glass” for book club and boy was I not a fan of it), but my hope is that Selina Kyle is an interesting enough character that Maas will be able to do her justice. And of COURSE Selina is. Bonus: Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are in this as well, so my dreams of a bad girl power trio might be met!

36426163

Book: “Toil and Trouble” by Tess Sharpe (Ed.)

Publication Date: August 29, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I am, of course, a huge fan of stories about witches and witchcraft. It doesn’t even have to be a scary story about witches for me to get my kicks; I just love books and stories about witchy women living their lives. “Toil and Trouble” is a short story collection from a number of different authors that all involve witchcraft and witches. Some are scary, some are romantic, all sound like they are going to be teeming with spells and magic. There are a couple of authors in this book that I’ve enjoyed in the past (Brandy Colbert, Zoraida Córdova), and perhaps I’ll find other authors that I will add to my list of favorites.

35403058Book: “City of Ghosts” by Victoria Schwab

Publication Date: August 29, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I have been meaning to read something by Victoria Schwab for a bit now, though it hasn’t been my priority because so much of her work is based in strictly fantasy settings. But her upcoming novel, while still in fantasy for the most part, involves GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS! So you know that I’m interested. When Cassidy Blake, the daughter of ghost hunters, goes to Scotland to see a haunted castle, her actual ability to see ghosts comes into play. Apparently, her power plays a very specific purpose to the ghost world. This is a kid’s story, but I do enjoy middle grade novels when they fit my tastes, and this sounds like it’s REALLY going to fit my tastes. So here I come, Victoria Schwab! And I’m more than ready!

What books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments!

Highlights: July 2018

We hope that you are all still enjoying summer time! As we start to enter the dog days of the season, our book piles keep growing, giving us lots of options to take to the pool or the lake or the park. Here are some of our most anticipated releases of July!

Serena’s Picks

22817368Book: “Bright We Burn” by Kiersten White

Publication Date: July 10th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Oh man, oh man, oh man. I’m so nervous!! I absolutely loved the first two books in this series that is re-imaging history through the perspective of Lada, a female version of Vlad the Impaler, and her brother, Radu. There were real tears in the last book and I was constantly vacillating between fear and anger as I watched my precious characters be raked across the coal again and again. And by the end, everything was even more broken than it had been to start. How can this end in anything other than gallons of even more tears?? It’s rare for me to be excited for a book that is sure to be heart-wrenching, but the masterful characterization and historical detail have carried this series so far. It’s kind of a “put me out of my misery” situation going on over here, but of the very best variety.

36896898Book: “Spinning Silver” by Naomi Novik

Publication Date: July 10th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I absolutely adored “Uprooted” when it came out several years ago. Not only was it a completely unique fairytale that was only loosely connected to familiar stories, but it was the magical white stag in fantasy fiction: a stand alone book. So it’s weird to then be excited by a…sequel? But it’s not a sequel? But the cover art is clearly trying to pair the two together? Really, I think it’s only the cover art and the fact that this is also a fairytale that tie these two together because nothing in the description even distantly refers to events/characters from “Uprooted.” (Mostly, I’m calling “publishing shenanigans” on this one, with publishers just wanting to bank on the success of that book.)  Instead, it looks like this is going to be some type of “Rumpelstiltskin” interpretation. But, just like “Uprooted” had only minuscule parallels to “Beauty and the Beast,” I’m looking forward to what I hope will be another mostly new story with only the loosest similarities.

36518517Book: “Dreadful Company” by Vivian Shaw

Publication Date: July 31, 2018

Why I’m Interested: “Strange Practice” was a quirky little novel that completely took me by surprise last year. I don’t read that much urban fantasy, and the two series I do follow are fairly typical of the genre. So this one, set in London and featuring a heroine who serves as a doctor to the supernatural beings in her city was like a breath of fresh air! I enjoyed the many winks to classical monster/supernatural cliches and the neat tie-ins to the type of “ailments” these beings might suffer from. Gretta herself was a strong leading lady and not prone to some of the more irritating tendencies that befall other urban fantasy heroines (like rushing in even when they’re much more under-powered than their colleagues). The story also neatly tied things up in one book, but left just enough room for the story to grow. In this second outing, I’m particularly interested in who the new big bad will be and whether or not Gretta will make any inroads on the romance side of things.

Kate’s Picks

36750068Book: “The Last Time I Lied” by Riley Sager

Publication Date: July 10th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I greatly enjoyed Sager’s debut novel “Final Girls”, so when I found out that he had a new one coming out I was all over it. While that one seemed to be an homage to the slasher killer girls of cinema, “The Last Time I Lied” seems like it’s a loving tribute to Nancy Drew and intrepid girl detectives. Our main character Emma was at Camp Nightingale when her bunkmates disappeared mysteriously. As an adult Emma is invited to come back and be a counselor at the reopened camp. But when she gets there in hopes of getting some closure, instead she finds that her friends may have been involved in a mystery… and that she may have a new, scarier one to contend with. This hits so many of the themes I love in a thriller mystery, so you know that I’m very excited for this one.

29569206Book: “Give Me Your Hand” by Megan Abbott

Publication Date: July 17th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: While I’ve had a hit or miss time with Megan Abbott up until now, her most recent book “You Will Know Me” was a definite hit for me. Abbott has a talent for writing a pretty twisted up mystery with compelling characters, and so I’ve had high hopes for “Give Me Your Hand”, her newest novel. While we aren’t dealing with gymnasts and driven teenagers this time, instead we have Diane and Kit, two women who were friends as teens, and now are pitted against each other as adults in a working environment. Even worse, Diane divulged a terrible secret to Kit when they were teens, a secret that has haunted Kit ever since. A lot of fans of thrillers have been waiting for this book, so you know the buzz is a din for it.

32928987Book: “Scream All Night” by Derek Milman

Publication Date: July 24th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: You all know that I love horror movies like whoa, and so when I heard about a book that has themes of old horror movies, a film studio, and an emancipated youth having to revisit his horror movie past, I was absolutely interested. While I’m not sure if this is something that can REALLY be classified as horror (the description makes me wonder, but what do I know, I am sure that “Scream All Night” is going to have a lot of fun horror easter eggs that I will enjoy spotting. Hell, even the main character’s first name is Dario, and that alone made me smile. Even if this doesn’t end up being a ‘true’ horror novel, the themes of going home again, horror cinema, and quirky characters is enough to make me truly intrigued by this book.

What books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments!

 

Highlights: June 2018

Summer is here!!! Cook outs, volleyball, walks around the many lakes, you name a summer activity and the odds are one of us is taking advantage of it! And who can forget finding a nice sunny (or shady in Kate’s case) spot to read outside. Here are the books we’re most looking forward to in June!

Serena’s Picks

34519536Book: “Whisper on the Tide” by Sarah Tolcser

Publication Date: June 5th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I just finished up the first in this series  and I’m definitely geared up for the second! I absolutely loved the romping adventures on the high seas from the last book, and am excited to find out what will come of our two protagonists. Will Caro finally begin to understand her place in the world? Will Markos continue his streak of not being an arrogant nincompoop? And, most importantly, will we continue to get all the sailing facts?? I love sailing facts.

34357122Book: “Starless” by Jacqueline Carey

Publication Date: June 12, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’ve had a very hit and miss relationship with Carey’s work. I absolutely loved her Kushiel’s Dart series and really enjoyed her Naamah Kiss trilogy. Both had incredible world-building and two fantastic heroines at their heart. But I’ve also read some of her urban fantasy, and I absolutely couldn’t stand it. It’s still hard for me to reconcile the fact that one author could spark such extreme opposite reactions. I’m hoping that this return to high fantasy, with a young hero who fights in a world where a dark god is rising, will be the key to my enjoyment of this author once again.

36301023Book: “My Plain Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Publication Date: June 26th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I absolutely loved the super quirky, super weird, but super lovely “My Lady Jane” that these authors penned a few years ago, retelling the would-be-tragic story of Lady Jane Grey. Here, they tackle another famous Jane, this time pulling from literature rather than history. That’s right folks, it’s a Jane Eyre adaptation! My excitement for this book is completely out of control, but after having my doubts put in place so firmly with their handling of the first book, I can’t help but have high hopes for their take on one of my favorite novels!

Kate’s Picks

35226186Book: “Providence” by Caroline Kepnes

Publication Date: June 19th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I love Caroline Kepnes and her “Joe Goldberg” series so, so much, that I of COURSE am putting her newest book, “Providence” on my list. Two teenagers have a deep connection, until one is kidnapped. When he resurfaces a few years later, he has been forcibly changed, and has gained ‘powers’ that he has no control over, powers that can hurt others. Kepnes always does such a good job of pulling complexity from all of her characters, and with themes of love, friendship, and H.P. Lovecraft being prevalent in this newest book lord knows she’ll be able to create something very special and very unique. It may be a bit of a departure from the thriller genre (with a gallows humor twist) that her devoted fans are used to, but if she can make someone like Joe Goldberg appear to have actual depth and feelings, think of what she can do with characters who AREN’T sociopathic creepazoids.

33918887Book: “Bruja Born” by Zoraida Córdova

Publication Date: June 5th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: So if you remember I read Córdova’s first “Brooklyn Brujas” book “Labyrinth Lost” and was mildly entertained by not completely enthralled. But when I found out that it was going to be the start of a series I knew I’d keep going, and THEN when the second in the series sounded like a mix of “American Horror Story: Coven” and “Pet Sematary”, I was SOLD!!! The second in this unique series follows Lula Mortiz, the sister of our first protagonist Alex. When her boyfriend dies, she tries to bring him back using her magic. And, as one might expect, there are unintended consequences. Given that I wanted to learn more about the Mortiz sisters within their home turf of Brooklyn, this book is going to give me all that AND more. I’m looking forward to a darker tale of love and loss and magic.

36381091Book: “The Cabin at the End of the World” by Paul Tremblay

Publication Date: June 26th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Much like Caroline Kepnes, Paul Tremblay is one of my favorite authors writing at the moment. Both “A Head Full of Ghosts” and “Disappearance at Devil’s Rock” messed me up but good, both in terms of fear and sadness, so I have no doubt in my mind that “A Cabin at the End of the World” will do the same. It sounds like a combination of “Funny Games” and countless apocalypse stories, as a girl and her fathers are trapped in a cabin the woods with a doomsday cult that invades their living space, saying that a horrible and personal sacrifice must be made to prevent the end of days. So not only do we have a home invasion and an innocent family in danger, we also have the fact that Paul Tremblay knows how to twist the emotional knife relentlessly. So of course I’m all about it.

 What books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments!

Highlights: May 2018

Okay, so after a bit of a false start that led to multiple snow storms in April (including an honest to God BLIZZARD), May is here and now, NOW, spring is finally here. We’re celebrating by exploring the outdoors, opening the windows, and anticipating a number of new books. Here are the titles we’re looking forward to this month!

Serena’s Picks

35842338Book: “The Surface Breaks” by Louise O’Neill

Publication Date: May 3rd, 2018

Why I’m Interested:  “Beauty and the Beast” will always be my favorite fairytale, but as a young girl, I also had a special place in my heart for “The Little Mermaid.” However, unlike “Beauty and the Beast,” that story has become a bit harder to swallow as I’ve gotten older. I mean, everything else aside…she’s sixteen!!! At least they don’t put an age on Belle! But, all of that said, I love fairytale retellings and ‘The Little Mermaid” doesn’t really have a ton of them. I’m a little wary about the “groundbreaking feminism” that this book is hyped to have (I’m now wary of much hype about anything it seems), but I’m excited to check it out and judge for myself. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, if nothing else!

36039814Book: “The Queen of Sorrow” by Sarah Beth Durst

Publication Date: May 15, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Well, this is kind of a strange pick because it’s book three in a trilogy of which I’ve only read the first, “The Queen of Blood.” But I loved that book with its original fantasy world made up of cities built in trees and deadly spirits that only the most powerful queen can control. I’m trying to avoid looking too closely at the plot description of this story, since I haven’t gotten to book two yet, but it seems that Daleina is still queen and is now beginning to go head-to-head with her old school frenemy, Merecot. Merecot was only in the first book for a very short portion, but I really loved what we got from her there. She was incredibly powerful, witty, and a bit sociopathic. But there was also a strange bond between her and Daleina. Will be a bit until I finally get to this, but it’s always nice when a trilogy/series is already finished when you’re reading it and therefore don’t have to deal with any waiting!

34739766Book: “Onyx & Ivory” by Mindee Arnett

Publication Date: May 15, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Yet another new fantasy series to start! At least I’m guessing it’s a series/trilogy, though I’d love to be proven wrong as standalone fantasy stories are rare gems. This story features Kate, a young woman attempting to live her life under the radar for two reasons. Her father was a traitor to the crown, attempting to assassinate his close friend the King, and she possesses a rare, and outlawed, magical skill to command animals. Corwin is the King’s second son. While the traditions of the land say that he and his brother are both viable heirs for the throne, Corwin has never felt worthy.  Partly due to his perceived abandonment of his childhood friend and young love, Kate, after her father’s actions and execution. But, of course, they’re thrown together once again and their futures are not what they had planned.

Kate’s Picks

36000789Book: “The Outsider” by Stephen King

Publication Date: May 22nd, 2018

Why I’m Interested: This is probably obvious from the get go, but given that Stephen King is one of my favorite authors I would be remiss to leave his newest book, “The Outsider”, unacknowledged. This one is more like the “Mr. Mercedes” canon, with more emphasis on evils of a non-supernatural kind, in which a child is murdered and someone is falsely accused for it, while the real killer continues on a spree and remains undetected. King is always going to be a priority for me and my reading list, and while he has his ups and downs, I always enjoy the journey that he takes me on. While I did like “Sleeping Beauties” enough, I’m excited to see King back on his own.

36347888Book: “Our Kind of Cruelty” by Araminta Hall

Publication Date: May 8th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: As you guys know, the Joe Goldberg Duology (please be a series!) by Caroline Kepnes is one of my favorite reads lately, potentially all time. Though a lot of that is because of the humorous voice that Joe has, it’s also the creepy stalker perspective that I enjoy. So I am very intrigued and interested in Araminta Hall’s new book “Our Kind of Cruelty”. This one involves Mike, who knows that he and Verity are meant to be together even if she doesn’t know it. So he figures that if he just keeps track of every move she makes, he’ll know the right time to ‘win’ her back. While I have a feeling it’s not going to be as ‘fun’ as “You” or “Hidden Bodies”, I’m ready to be scared by this kind of tale again.

36373481Book: “The Death of Mrs. Westaway” by Ruth Ware

Publication Date: May 29th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: While it’s true that “The Lying Game” left me a bit underwhelmed, I still like Ruth Ware and her thriller writing skills and am excited about her newest book “The Death of Mrs. Westaway”. In her newest thriller, a woman named Hal is accidentally left an inheritance meant for someone else. Hal, a cold reader who scams people with tarot readings, thinks that she can probably fake her way into getting the money, and goes to claim the inheritance. But, of course, it becomes quite clear that things are very, very wrong. I’m down for a return to a gothic thriller with questionable characters and strange circumstances, and if this can return to “In a Dark Dark Wood” levels of excellence I will be completely stoked.

What are some books you are looking forward to that are coming out this month? Let us know in the comments!

Highlights: April 2018

Spring is basically here in the Star of the North (barring any last moment snowstorms. Fingers crossed)! Both of us really love spring, as it lets us open our windows, get outside, and experience rain, flowers, and the outdoors. So with the turning of the season, here are the books we are looking forward to in April!

Serena’s Picks

33816845Book: “Stormcaster” by Cinda Williams Chima

Publication Date: April 3rd, 2018

Why I’m Interested: While I still haven’t fallen in love with the “Shattered Realms” series in quite the same way I did with the first series (“Seven Realms”), it has had an upwards trajectory. I quite liked “Shadowcaster” overall and had a terrible time with that cliffhanger-esque ending! I do have concerns though. In my review of the last book, I touched on the fact that there have now been upwards of 5-6 POV narrators, and from the looks of this book, we’ll be getting even more! I mean, there’s a reason I stopped reading “Game of Throne.” Most stories simply can’t support that number of protagonists and the simple fact is, not all characters are created equal, and less strong POVs then actively undermine a story where readers are desperate to get back to their favorites. But, concerns aside, there’s no doubt I’ll be picking this one up as soon as possible!

35140574Book: “The Diminished” by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson

Publication Date: April 10th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: For one thing, I really like that cover. I will ALWAYS prefer covers that don’t have models, but this one really takes good advantage of a solid font choice and simple colors. Well done! The premise sounds kind of familiar: a world where everyone is born as twins. Rare single children are destined to rule. People whose twin dies are “diminished.” But I feel like the other examples I’ve come across were vaguely sci-fi/dystopia, where as this is a solid other world fantasy, featuring two protagonists: Bo, a born single destined to rule and Vi, a “diminished” with few prospects before her. Sounds intriguing!

34726469Book: “Sky in the Deep”

Publication Date: April 24th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Look, I live in Minnsota. Vikings are kind of our thing. So when I saw this cover and realized it was a YA Vikings story featuring a badass warrior heroine? I was there. What’s more there looks to be some good sibling drama, another favorite topic of mine, when our main character Eelyn discovers her thought-to-be-dead brother fighting against on the side of her clan’s mortal enemies. This one looks action-packed and full of high stakes, both physically and emotionally. Plus, like I said, Vikings. I love me some fairytales and dark fantasy books, but it will be a breath of fresh air to read a story like this!

Kate’s Picks

30223025Book: “Dread Nation” by Justina Ireland

Publication Date: April 3rd, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Uhhhh, ZOMBIES FOR ONE!!! I do love a good zombie story, after all. But along with that, Justina Ireland has taken a historical time period we see a lot (the Civil War), a protagonist that we don’t see as much during that time period (an African American teenage girl), and an alternate history twist to make a super fascinating book description. Jane was born during the Civil War, two days before the dead began to walk and changed America. Black and Native children are trained and used to fight the zombie hordes, and Jane is training to become a warrior against the zombies. But zombies aren’t the only things to be wary of, as Jane soon finds herself in a very human conspiracy. THIS is at the top of my anticipation list to be sure!!

35230481Book: “All the Beautiful Lies” by Peter Swanson

Publication Date: April 3rd, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Swanson’s previous two books (“The Kind Worth Killing” and “Her Every Fear”) were both home runs for me when it came to thriller novels, so of course I wanted to read his next offering. This one kind of has a salacious squick factor, as it involves a man who returns home for his father’s funeral only to mayhaps get tangled up in a dangerous relationship with his stepmother. So while that is definitely yucky, it makes for a creepy and unsettling plot for a thriller novel, so therefore BRING IT ON! Given that Swanson has really impressed me this far, I’m really hoping that this will be the next in a series of being stellar fiction from this mystery author!

35939533Book: “DC Bombshells (Vol.6): War Stories”

Publication Date: April 3rd, 2018

Why I’m Interested: NOOOOOOO, BOMBSHELLS IS OVER!!!!!! I had no idea until I delved into this description! This is hands down my favorite DC Series, and it has come to an end!!!!???? Apparently even the new series that was supposed to come after it got cancelled prematurely, so FUCK YOU, DC, GOD DAMMIT YOU MAKE IT SO HARD TO ROOT FOR YOU!!!! So in this final collection, I have to start to say goodbye to my girls and their wonderful, well plotted and well told alternate timeline stories!!! I DON’T WANT TO SAY GOODBYE!!!! But knowing that I must, I, of course, need to see how it all ends for all my favorite ladies. Will they defeat the Nazis? Will the Batgirls be able to hold down the home front? Harley and Ivy get their happily ever after? Will we see Batgirl and the Suicide Squad again????? So many questions, and I can’t wait for some answers. So we start the beginning of the end with “War Stories.”

What are some books you are looking forward to that are coming out this month? Let us know in the comments!

Highlights: March 2018

In like a lion, out like a lamb! That’s what they say about March. Up here in Minnesota it’s still a bit hard to know if it’s going to be brisk and temperate, or cold and snowy. But with each day we move closer to Spring, so we have that going for us! And since it’s a new month, that means we have some new books we’re looking forward to!

Serena’s Picks

36194120Book: “Burn Bright” by Patricia Briggs

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Why I’m Interested: While I haven’t quite loved the “Alpha & Omega” offshoot as much as the original “Mercy Thompson” series, I still never turn down an opportunity to read a new Briggs novel! I don’t really ready a lot of urban fantasy, having had a pretty hit/miss history with the genre. However, Briggs’ world of paranormal beings and snappy heroines always seems to hit the spot. Anna herself can be a bit too perfect at times, but let’s be real, I’m here for Charles, her hunky werewolf husband! It looks as if this book will take place during the events of the last Mercy Thompson book which found Mercy and Co. running around Europe. Which means….what shenanigans were being gotten into back home? We shall find out!

35297394Book: “The Wicked Deep” by Shea Ernshaw

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Why I’m Interested: The book description lists one for fans of “Practical Magic” and “Hocus Pocus.” So…yeah, I’m there. From the description, it also sounds quite a lot like it’s drawn inspirations from sirens, with three witches who were drowned many centuries ago, returning to lure boys to their deaths in the sea each summer. Of course, we have our heroine, a local girl. And our hero, a poor unsuspecting boy who wanders into the wrong town during the wrong part of the year. This book could either be fantastic or trope-ridden. I have hopes for the former, but whenever there are descriptions of “weak-willed” girls being temptresses, I’m also a bit hesitant about what exactly we’re getting at.

33918881Book: “The Heart Forger” by Rin Chupeco

Publication Date: March 20, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Really, Kate and I are both interested! We both read and enjoyed “The Bone Witch,” and I’m so excited to get to this book! The first one didn’t exactly end on a cliff hanger, but there is still a significant jump in time between the main narrative of Tea’s life as an Asha, and her older self’s reflections and actions. What happened between these periods of time?!? I have to know! The author has also found the magical equation where I both dread and look forward to events to come, knowing the outcomes, at least to some extent. The world-building and magical system are intricate and intriguing, and Tea pretty much has a pet dragon, so that’s pretty awesome.

Kate’s Picks

35533431Book: “The Broken Girls” by Simone St. James

Publication Date: March 20, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I am a huge fan of Gothic fiction, and I am always excited to see new tellings of this genre that have been updated for a more modern time. “The Broken Girls” has narratives that take place in and around an old school in the middle of the Eastern U.S. countryside. This is the place that parents would send their daughters that they didn’t want to deal with, and since they’re seen as ‘broken’ no one really cared when one went missing. But when a body is found in a well on the property, a modern day reporter (still haunted by her older sister’s murder years earlier) becomes invested in the outcome. It sounds haunting and timely given the way abuse and harassment towards women has been in the news.

35857495Book: “Bring Me Back” by B.A. Paris

Publication Date: March 8, 2018

Why I’m Interested: While “The Breakdown” was a bit of a slog at first, it completely changed the game in the last fourth, and blew me away. Then and there I knew that I was going to assuredly read anything else that B.A. Paris came out with next. This one involves a husband who leaves his wife in the car while he goes to get gas on a French vacation, and when he comes back she’s gone, never to be seen again. A few years later, he and his new wife (who is his former sister in law) find an object that may be connected to the woman they both loved. This just sounds creepy and paranoia inducing, and I am definitely expecting it be totally knocked off my feet by this in the end. At least I’m hoping to be.

34728667Book: “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeymi

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Not only does this sound like it’s going to be some mythology based fantasy with dark themes, it’s also a diverse title in a genre that has a serious need of more diversity!! I do admit that this could have the potential for teetering a bit too towards high fantasy for me, but I am totally willing to give it a go because it sounds action packed and unique in a lot of ways. And plus it sounds like there’s some business about reaping souls, and oh goodness gracious is that right up my alley. I also saw an excellent video of Adeymi unwrapping her first copy of this book, and her pure unadulturated joy made me all the more excited to read this book.