We have something truly special for all of our Thoughts on This ‘n That blog followers! We’re giving away ten of the most AWESOME books of August! These are in addition to all the books we’ve already given away this month. Read these summaries, leave a comment and YOU could be a winner.
It’s that simple!
Kindle Press, Pub. Date August 8th
I fell in love with author, Laurel Saville’s writing after reading her novel, NORTH OF HERE (LakeUnionPublishing). The characters and the description of the Adirondack Mountains had me wanting to visit such a beautiful location and meet such compelling people.
In her new novel, BENEATH THE TREES (KindlePress), an ambitious wildlife biologist, Colden McComb hikes the rugged Adirondack mountains, tracking moose and beaver, as well as navigates the halls of academia, while jockeying for a place in the male-dominated world of conservation research. Over the course of one year, she becomes entangled with a series of unsettling events that none of her scientific training can help her explain.
Laurel brings readers into the brooding back county of Upstate New York, where Colden searches for connections between petty thefts, sabotage vandalism, sexually explicit emails, office gossip, Sasquatch myths, grainy game-camera images, an elusive chimera, a teenage runaway, and the contradictions of her own heritage. Alongside her handyman father, social worker step-mother, and a lawyer with secrets of his own, Colden confronts the mysteries she finds beneath the trees, and also within her own heart.
I truly appreciate that Laurel repeatedly creates smart, ambitious female characters. In Laurel’s new novel, BENEATH THE TREES, readers meet another brilliant, caring character in Colden.
I was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1963.
I have also lived in New Jersey, Vermont, Upstate New York, and currently, on an island near Seattle, WA.
I have a BA in English Literature from New York University and an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from the Writing Seminars at Bennington College.
I have worked in marketing and taught at the graduate and undergraduate level.
I have always been a writer.
Lake Union Publishing, Pub. Date, August 22nd
I fell in love with Ann Howard Creel’s novels, after reading first, THE WHISKEY SEA, about a motherless daughter, and then again, WHILE YOU WERE GONE, the story of a baby left behind by her mother and the nurse who cares for her.
It’s strange to be reading Ann’s new novel, THE CERTAIN SEASON (LakeUnionPublishing) about The Hurricane of 1900, while Texas and Louisiana are still reeling after Hurricane Harvey. But the publishing world doesn’t follow the weather.
Betrayal is brewing on the horizon after The Hurricane of 1900 in Ann Howard Creel’s new novel, THE CERTAIN SEASON. Nineteen-year-old Grace’s golden age is just beginning. She and her mother live a privileged life. Beautiful and talented, Grace is looking forward to a pleasant summer celebrating her engagement to a wealthy young gentleman.
But when her lovely, charming, and disgraced cousin Etta arrives, Grace finds her place in society—and in her mother’s heart—threatened. Etta enchants everyone as she maneuvers to secure a station in Galveston’s upper echelons. Grace, in a reckless moment, reveals Etta’s scandalous past, and as punishment, she’s sent to work in Galveston’s back alleys, helping the poor. There, a silent waif known only as Miss Girl opens Grace’s eyes to new love and purpose. She’s determined to save this girl who lost her entire family in the hurricane and now slips along the shadows of the unfinished seawall with a mysterious resolve.
When I speak at events, attend signings, or join book clubs, invariably there is at least one aspiring writer in the audience. Many ask for advice on the writing and publishing processes, and I’m usually hesitant to give it. Encouragement yes, but specific advice on a piece I haven’t read, usually not. The course of a novel differs as greatly as the end results do, so I never know if my suggestions will work for another person. Sometimes I even break my own patterns! That said, I’ve been blogging about writing for some time now and decided to share some of my advice. Just check out my website. I hope that someone finds it helpful.
Montlake Romance, Pub. Date August 22nd
Author Jamie Beck is back with the first in this Cabot Series, BEFORE I KNEW (MontlakeRomance). On the second anniversary of her husband’s suicide, Colby Cabot-Baxter is ready to let go of her grief and the mistakes made during her turbulent marriage. Her fresh start comes in the form of A Certain Tea, a restaurant she opens. But when her executive chef quits just weeks before the grand opening, Colby is pressured to hire old family friend, Alec and old secrets are revealed. When Alec’s see the light, they might destroy the new life he and Colby have rebuilt together.
My childhood writing dreams featured a Hollywood career in the television or film industries. I’d finish watching a dramatic family saga or love story and think, “I want to write something like this!” But a creative writing career seemed like a pipe dream. Ultimately, I earned a joint law/M.B.A. degree and practiced commercial real estate and lending law for a decade in my hometown of Pittsburgh (Go Steelers!). I learned so much during that decade, but was never passionate about the work. When my husband’s career took us to Connecticut, I opted to stay at home to raise our two young children. That decision presented a second chance to revisit the idea of writing. (GOOD CHOICE)
When I’m not writing, you can find me dancing around my kitchen while cooking, and hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. I love hearing from readers, so please write to me or follow me on any of my social media sites. ”
Grand Harbor Press, Pub. Date August 22nd
CHANCER: How One Good Boy Saved Another (GrandHarborPress) is Donnie Kanter Winokur’s memoir about how a service dog enters into their family at the exact time he is needed most. Donnie and her husband, Harvey adopt two infants from Russia who arrive with so many needs, they threaten to tear the new family apart. Donnie comes up with an innovative, untested, four-pawed solution: a golden retriever service dog named, Chancer. Chancer is specially trained to give Iyal a unique love he desperately needs. But in this true-life tale infused with moments of despair, tenderness, and humor, Chancer turns out to be what the entire family has needed to stay—and grow—together.
Donnie Kanter Winokur is a writer, speaker, and human rights advocate. A native of New Jersey, she studied theatre at Catholic University and earned a degree in psychology from Emory University in Atlanta. After honing her skills writing and producing advertising campaigns for clients throughout the Southeast, she created award-winning projects for Discovery, the Smithsonian Institute, and Broderbund/Random House. Donnie has authored two award-winning children’s books and contributed to national and international magazines and journals. Donnie’s story was featured in “Wonder Dog” for the New York Times Magazine. Donnie and her husband, Harvey, the founding rabbi of a reform synagogue, live north of Atlanta with their son, Iyal, and daughter, Morasha.
Knopf, Pub. Date August 22nd
Ayobami Adebayo’s debut novel, STAY WITH ME (Knopf) arrives with great fanfare from the publishing industry. It asks how much can we sacrifice for the sake of our family. STAY WITH ME is set in Nigeria, where it gives voice to both husband and wife as they tell the story of their marriage, and the forces that threaten to tear it apart.
Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university. Though many expected Akin to take several wives, he and Yejide have always agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage, Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time–until her family arrives on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin’s second wife. Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant.
Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀’s stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth short story competition. She holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife and has worked as an editor for Saraba magazine since 2009. She also has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia where she was awarded an international bursary for creative writing. Ayobami has received fellowships and residencies from Ledig House, Sinthian Cultural Centre, Hedgebrook, Ox-bow School of Arts, Ebedi Hills and Siena Art Institute. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria.
STAY WITH ME has been shortlisted for the prestigious Bailey Prize.
Scout Press, Pub. Date August 22nd
“I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”
So begins Liz Nugent’s astonishing debut novel. UNRAVELLING OLIVER(Scout) is a chilling, elegantly crafted, and psychologically exploration of evil.
Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.
With its alternating points of view, UNRAVELLING OLIVER is a fast-paced page-turner that details how an ordinary man can transform into a sociopath.
Liz was born in Dublin, where she now lives with her husband, musician and sound engineer Richard McCullough.
Since first writing for broadcast in 2003, Liz has gone from strength to strength. Between 2003 and 2013, Liz worked as a Story Associate on the popular television soap opera Fair City. In addition, Liz’s first novel UNRAVELLING OLIVER was published to critical and popular acclaim in Ireland in March 2014. It quickly became a firm favourite with book clubs and reader’s groups. In November of that year, it went on to win the Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards.
She is very pleased to be in the editorial hands of Jackie Cantor.
Touchstone, Pub. Date August 22nd
Maja Lunde’s, debut novel, THE HISTORY OF BEES (Touchstone) follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees—and to their children and one another—against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.
England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive—one that will give both him and his children honor and fame.
United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation.
China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao’s young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.
THE HISTORY OF BEES joins these three very different narratives into one gripping and thought-provoking story about our unique relationship with nature and humanity.
Maja Lunde is an author and screenwriter. She is an educated media specialist with a master’s degree from the University of Oslo. She has written nine children’s and young adult books, including “Battle”, “Across the Border” and the series “The Coolest Gang in the World”. She has also written the script for the TV series “Children’s Supershow”, the drama series “Home” and the humor series “Side by Side”, among others. All of these were huge successes. THE HISTORY OF BEES (2015) was her first novel for adults. So far, publication rights have been sold in 25 countries and received several prizes, including the prestigious Bokhandlerprisen (Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize).
Lake Union Publishing, Pub. Date, August 29th
Bestselling Wall Street author, Emily Bleeker is back with another compelling novel. WORKING FIRE (LakeUnionPublishing) is a story about sisters, whose bond is tested by tragedy.
Ellie Brown thought she’d finally escaped her stifling hometown of Broadlands, Illinois; med school was supposed to be her ticket out. But when her father has a stroke, she must return home to share his care with her older sister, Amelia, who’s busy with her own family. Working as a paramedic, Ellie’s days are monotonous, driving an ambulance through streets she’d hoped never to see again.
Until a 911 dispatch changes everything. The address: her sister’s house. Rushing to the scene, Ellie discovers that Amelia and her husband, Steve, have been shot in a home invasion. After Amelia is rushed to the hospital, Ellie tries to make sense of the tragedy. But what really happened inside her sister’s house becomes less and less clear. As Amelia hangs on in critical condition, Ellie uncovers dark revelations about her family’s past that challenge her beliefs about those closest to her and forces her to question where her devotions truly lie.
I’m a mom of four, an author and Chicagoland native. My first novel, WRECKAGE, was released by Lake Union Publishing March 2015. My second book, WHEN I’M GONE, hit shelves March 2016 and is a Wall Street Journal bestseller. My third book, WORKING FIRE is available now. I love all my book babies! I’m learning to balance life as a stay-at-home mom with my life as a writer. Both come with a lot of laughter, tears and a shocking amount of Diet Coke.
Thomas Dunne Books, Pub. Date August 29th
Author, Daren Wang’s novel, THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF NORTHERN FIRES (ThomasDunneBooks) is a timely novel rooted in the history of the only secessionist town north of the Mason Dixon Line. It tells a story of redemptions admist a war that tore families and the country apart.
Mary Willis has always been an outcast, an abolitionist in a town of bounty hunters and anti-Union farmers. After college, she dreams of exploring the country, but is obligated to take over the household and helping runaways is the only thing that makes her life Town Line bearable.
As the countryside is riled by the drumbeat of civil war, rebels and soldiers from both sides bring intrigue and violence of the brutal war to the town and the farm, and threaten to destroy all that Mary loves.
Daren Wang was born in Buffalo, New York. In 1971, his parents bought the Willis property in Town Line, New York, which is the setting for his novel. They made the family home in the converted barn and rented out the main house.
He is a graduate of Cornell University and lives in Decatur with his wife Eva.
Riverhead Books, Pub. Date August 29th
Gabriel Tallent’s novel, MY ABSOLUTE DARLING (RiverheadBooks) is a read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.
Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the care of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father.
Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her.
Gabriel Tallent was born in New Mexico and raised on the Mendocino coast by two mothers. He received his B.A. from Willamette University in 2010, and after graduation spent two seasons leading youth trail crews in the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest. Tallent lives in Salt Lake City.
So, we’ve told you about ten brilliant novels. In the comments section, up above, write which one looks the most interesting to you and we’ll choose winners next week.