Skip to main content

One to Watch Author Spotlight

One to Watch is our promotion where we look at authors whose books are making news, or making noise, but whose work does not fall in a specific genre like suspense/thriller or mystery. Typically the books here will be fiction, but if we spot a nonfiction title we love, we will be quick to feature it as well. Some of these books will be debuts, but not all. They all will be books we want to scream about and share.

Garth Stein, author of A Sudden Light

In the summer of 1990, 14-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. The legendary mansion is built of giant, whole trees, and Trevor’s father --- in a trial separation with his wife --- wants to sell it. Trevor soon discovers the ghost burdened by the final wishes of the Riddell patriarch, Elijah: that the mansion is returned to untamed forestland as penance for the trees harvested by the Riddell Timber Company. Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future.

Wayne Harrison, author of The Spark and the Drive

Justin Bailey is 17 when he arrives at the shop of legendary muscle car mechanic Nick Campbell. Anguished and out of place among the students at his rural Connecticut high school, Justin finds in Nick, his captivating wife Mary Ann, and their world of miraculous machines the sense of family he has struggled to find at home. But when Nick and Mary Ann’s lives are struck by tragedy, Justin’s own world is upended.

Rosie Thomas, author of The Illusionists

Over the course of a brilliant career, bestselling novelist Rosie Thomas has earned an untold number of awards and the devotion of millions of loyal readers. Her new novel, THE ILLUSIONISTS, set in London in 1870, is a thrilling step forward --- a captivating tale of passion and intrigue in the theater world.

Pia Padukone, author of Where Earth Meets Water

Karom Seth should have been in the Twin Towers on the morning of 9/11, and on the Indian shores in 2004, when the tsunami swept his entire family into the ocean. Karom can’t be sure if it’s a curse or a blessing, but his absence from these disasters has left him with crushing guilt --- and a belief that fate has singled him out for invincibility. Will he ever be able achieve the clarity he’s been looking for all these years?

Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs

Hank, Leland, Kip and Ronny were all born and raised in the same Wisconsin town --- Little Wing --- and are now coming into their own (or not) as husbands and fathers. Seamlessly woven into their patchwork is Beth, whose presence among them --- both then and now --- fuels the kind of passion one comes to expect of lovesongs and rivalries. Now all four are home, in hopes of finding what could be real purchase in the world.

Rosie Thomas, author of The Kashmir Shawl

During World War II, Nerys Watkins accompanies her husband on a missionary posting to India. When he leaves her in the exotic lakeside city of Srinagar to take on a complicated mission, Nerys discovers a new world --- and by the time she is reunited with him, she is a different woman. Years later, when Mair Ellis clears out her dead father's house, she finds an exquisite shawl. Tracing her grandparents' roots back to Kashmir, Mair embarks on a quest that will change her life forever.

Ian McEwan, author of Sweet Tooth

Set in 1972 during the Cold War, England's legendary intelligence agency MI5 embarks on an operation code-named "Sweet Tooth" to fund writers whose politics align with those of the government. Cambridge student Serena Frome is hired to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer named Tom Haley. But when she begins to fall in love with him, she wonders how long she can conceal her undercover life.

Vaddey Ratner, author of In the Shadow of the Banyan

For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins the night her father comes home bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the remaining vestige of childhood --- the mythical legends and poems her father told her.

Nelle Davy, author of The Legacy of Eden

For generations, Aurelia was the crowning glory of the Hathaways --- thousands of acres of Iowa farmland and golden cornfields. Now the last inhabitant of the decaying old home has died --- alone. None of the surviving family members want anything to do with the farm, the land or the memories. But with the receipt of a pleading letter, Meredith Pincetti is again thrust into conflict with the legacy that destroyed her family's once-great name. Back at the farm, Meredith must confront the rise and fall of Aurelia…and her own part in its mottled history.

Hillary Jordan, author of When She Woke

WHEN SHE WOKE is a fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of a not-too-distant future --- where the line between church and state has been eradicated and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned and rehabilitated but chromed and released back into the population to survive as best they can.