Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore

Valentine by Elizabeth WetmoreWritten with the haunting emotional power of Elizabeth Strout and Barbara Kingsolver, an astonishing debut novel that explores the lingering effects of a brutal crime on the women of one small Texas oil town in the 1970s.

Mercy is hard in a place like this . . .

It’s February 1976, and Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. While the town’s men embrace the coming prosperity, its women intimately know and fear the violence that always seems to follow.

In the early hours of the morning after Valentine’s Day, fourteen-year-old Gloria Ramírez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whitehead’s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager had been viciously attacked in a nearby oil field—an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, one of the town’s women decides to take matters into her own hands, setting the stage for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences.

Valentine is a haunting exploration of the intersections of violence and race, class and region in a story that plumbs the depths of darkness and fear, yet offers a window into beauty and hope. Told through the alternating points of view of indelible characters who burrow deep in the reader’s heart, this fierce, unflinching, darkly funny, and surprisingly tender novel illuminates women’s strength and vulnerability, and reminds us that it is the stories we tell ourselves that keep us alive.

The Binder of Lost Stories by Cristina Caboni

The Binder of Lost Stories by Cristina CaboniFrom international bestselling author Cristina Caboni comes an exquisite and engrossing novel of two women, centuries apart, bound by a love of books and a longing for self-discovery.

With her delicate touch, Sofia Bauer restores books to their original splendor. In this art she finds refuge from her crumbling marriage and the feeling that her once-vibrant life is slipping away. Then an antique German edition takes her breath away. Slipped covertly into the endpapers is an intriguing missive, the first part of a secret…from one bookbinder to another.

Two hundred years ago, Clarice von Harmel defied the constraints of family and society to engage in a profession forbidden to women. Within three separate volumes, Clarice bound her own hidden story filled with pain, longing, and love beyond all reason. A confession that now crosses centuries to touch the heart of a stranger.

With the help of book collector Tomaso Leoni, Sofia connects the threads of Clarice’s past, page by page, line by line, town by town. She’s determined to make Clarice’s voice heard. With each new revelation, Clarice is giving Sofia the courage to find her own voice and hope for the future she thought was lost.

Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim

Paper Wife by Laila IbrahimI'm starting the New Year with a giveaway. Enter to win a copy of Paper Wife.

4.5 stars and 850+ ratings

From the bestselling author of Yellow Crocus comes a heart-wrenching story about finding strength in a new world.

Southern China, 1923. Desperate to secure her future, Mei Ling’s parents arrange a marriage to a widower in California. To enter the country, she must pretend to be her husband’s first wife—a paper wife.

On the perilous voyage, Mei Ling takes an orphan girl named Siew under her wing. Dreams of a better life in America give Mei Ling the strength to endure the treacherous journey and detainment on Angel Island. But when she finally reaches San Francisco, she’s met with a surprise. Her husband, Chinn Kai Li, is a houseboy, not the successful merchant he led her to believe.

Mei Ling is penniless, pregnant, and bound to a man she doesn’t know. Her fragile marriage is tested further when she discovers that Siew will likely be forced into prostitution. Desperate to rescue Siew, she must convince her husband that an orphan’s life is worth fighting for. Can Mei Ling find a way to make a real family—even if it’s built on a paper foundation?

Losing Jon by David Parrish

Losing Jon by David  ParrishENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF LOSING JON BY DAVID PARRISH!

In 1990, Jon and Mickey Bowie, 19 year-old identical twin brothers, met up with friends to drink beers and party at a Red Roof Inn outside of Columbia, Maryland. There were fifteen teenagers and two cases of beer and the music was probably louder than it should have been. Police came to break up the party and while doing so violently beat the twin brothers, leaving their faces bloody and eyes swollen shut. Outraged, the Bowie brothers pressed charges against the police officers for excessive force. These charges led to months of harassment and intimidation by the police. Just before the brothers were to appear in court to face the police, Jon Bowie turns up dead, his body discovered on top of the backstop at the high school baseball field, and his death was immediately declared a suicide. However, as witnesses stepped forward and the events of the weeks and days leading up to Bowie's death are discovered, it became clear that this was no suicide.


Could a charge of excessive force be enough to convince a police officer to murder a teenager?

The Girl with the Golden Scissors by Julia Drosten

The Girl with the Golden Scissors by Julia DrostenFrom the bestselling author of The Lioness of Morocco and The Elephant Keeper’s Daughter, the story of an ambitious young woman discovering friendship, love, and her own identity on the eve of World War I.

Christmas 1889. A baby is born in the early hours at Vienna General Hospital, only to be abandoned by her unwed mother and entrusted to a foundling home and its loving caretaker.

Fanny Schindler grows from a precocious girl into a strong-willed young woman. Undeterred by the rules of her station, she’s determined to rise above her humble origins and pursue her dreams at all costs, becoming an apprentice to one of the most glamorous fashion houses in Austria-Hungary. All the while, as Fanny searches for a sense of belonging, her path crosses with those of three people who will change her future. To one, she is a cherished friend. To another, a confidant. And to a handsome career soldier, something more.

When hostilities in Europe burst into flame as a brutal world war, the future of the dual monarchy is at stake, friendships are strained, loyalties are tested, and everything is at risk. And when long-buried secrets about Fanny’s past come to light, she must decide what truly matters—and what is worth fighting for in a new world of infinite possibilities.

The Anthill by Julianne Pachico

The Anthill by Julianne Pachico*GALLEY GIVEAWAY*

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For readers of The Vegetarian and Friday Black, The Anthill is an intoxicating literary ghost story about a young woman returning home to seek redemption.

Lina has come home to the country of her childhood. Sent away from Colombia to England after her mother's death twenty years before, she's searching for the one person who can tell her about their shared past. She's never forgotten Matty, her childhood friend and protector, who now runs The Anthill, a day care refuge for the street kids of Medellín. Lina begins volunteering there, but her reunion with Matty is not what she hoped for. Medellín is entering a new era, and Matty appears to have taken the city's attempts to redefine itself post-conflict to heart. He has no interest in discussing the past and his enigmatic behavior puts Lina on guard. And then, strange happenings start taking place at The Anthill: violent scratches appear on the inside of the supply closet door, kids make disturbing crayon drawings and insist they've seen a small boy with pointy teeth roaming around the yard. Could Lina have brought these disturbances with her? Is this a vision of the boy she once knew, or something more sinister? And what will her search for atonement cost Matty?

Scorched Grounds by Debbie Herbert

Scorched Grounds by Debbie HerbertFrom bestselling author Debbie Herbert comes a chilling, fast-paced story about family tragedy and confronting what terrifies us most.

In the eighteen years since her father went to prison for killing her mother and brother, Della Stallings has battled a crippling phobia. Her fear only grows when her father’s released. She still believes he killed her family, but the police don’t have enough evidence to arrest him again.

When new grisly murders occur—each bearing the telltale signs that seem to implicate her father—Della begins to wonder if the real murderer is still out there. Could her father have been framed?

To find the truth, Della must face her greatest fears and doubts—not only to find justice for her family but to ensure her own survival.

Catastrophically Consequential by Stephen C. Bird

Catastrophically Consequential by Stephen C. BirdThe kindred spirit / doppelgänger / protégé of "Hideous Exuberance". Incorporates non-linear plots, comical rants, unsettling inner monologues; stream of consciousness dream sequences, surrealistic scenarios and time-traveling characters. Revel in the chaotic confusion of sociopathic celebrities, suburban swingers, suicidal trust fund girls, decadent jet setters; medieval princesses, "Evilangelists", D-list standup comics and disreputable, vindictive lost souls that search in vain for metaphysical clarity.

Please refer to the Blog Posting on the Stephen C. Bird Author Profile Page for Reviews and Quotes from Goodreads Reviews for "Catastrophically Consequential".