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Spring Preview 2017

Spring Preview

Spring Preview 2017

The arrival of spring signals the end of our Spring Preview contests. Many thanks to all who entered --- and a big congratulations to all our winners! You can see the winners here, and below are the books that we believe you’ll be talking about over the next few months.

After the Dark: A Killer Instinct Novel by Cynthia Eden - Romantic Suspense


Former FBI agent Samantha Dark was one of the most respected profilers in the bureau, an expert on the twisted minds and dark hearts of the most depraved criminals. But when her own former lover turned out to be the serial killer she was hunting, Samantha's career was destroyed. Blamed for the FBI's failure on the complex case, Samantha left Washington, DC, for the quiet anonymity of Alabama. Now an all-too-familiar killer is hunting once again. She can catch the cunning assassin, but that means putting her trust in her former partner, Blake Gamble.

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg - Fiction


Who is Andrea Bern? When her therapist asks the question, Andrea knows the right things to say: she’s a designer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. But it’s what she leaves unsaid --- she’s alone, a drinker, a former artist, a shrieker in bed, captain of the sinking ship that is her flesh --- that feels the most true. Everyone around her seems to have an entirely different idea of what it means to be an adult: her best friend, Indigo, is getting married; her brother and sister-in-law are having a hoped-for baby; and her friend Matthew continues to wholly devote himself to making dark paintings at the cost of being flat broke. But when Andrea’s niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters.

Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout - Fiction


Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband, while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother’s happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON, Elizabeth Strout's celebrated New York Times bestseller) returns to visit her siblings after 17 years of absence.

Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh - Historical Fiction

The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. However, when her boyfriend, Roy Thornton, springs a marriage proposal on her, and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas's newest speakeasy, Doc's. When Roy discovers her secret life, he embraces it --- perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling. Maybe Bonnie can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. But her life --- like her country --- is headed for a crash. Bonnie Parker is about to meet Clyde Barrow.

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley - Thriller


On a foggy summer night, 11 people --- 10 privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter --- depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs --- the painter --- and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family. With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members, the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens.

Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley - Fiction


Jubilee Jenkins is no ordinary librarian. With a rare allergy to human touch, any skin-to-skin contact could literally kill her. But after retreating into solitude for nearly 10 years, Jubilee’s decided to brave the world again, despite the risks. Armed with a pair of gloves, long sleeves and her trusty bicycle, she finally ventures out the front door --- and into her future. Eric Keegan has troubles of his own. With his daughter from a failed marriage no longer speaking to him, and his brilliant, if psychologically troubled, adopted son attempting telekinesis, Eric’s struggling to figure out how his life got so off course.

Dimestore: A Writer's Life by Lee Smith - Memoir


Set deep in the mountains of Virginia, the Grundy of Lee Smith’s youth was a place of coal miners, tent revivals, mountain music, drive-in theaters and her daddy’s dimestore. It was in that dimestore --- listening to customers and inventing adventures for the store’s dolls --- that she became a storyteller. Even when she was sent off to college to earn some “culture,” she understood that perhaps the richest culture she might ever know was the one she was driving away from --- and it’s a place that she never left behind.

The Distance Home by Orly Konig - Fiction

Sixteen years ago, a tragic accident cost Emma Metz her two best friends --- one human and one equine. Now, following her father’s death, Emma has reluctantly returned to the Maryland hometown she’d left under a cloud of guilt and uncovers a history of lies tying her broken family to the one place she thought she could never return --- her girlhood sanctuary, Jumping Frog Farm. She finds herself drawn back to the stable after all these years, but is having a hard time winning forgiveness from her former friend, Jillian. To exorcise the past, Emma will have to release her guilt, embrace an uncertain future, and trust again in the healing power of horses.

The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton - Fiction


Mary Frances "Frankie" Lombard is fiercely in love with her family's sprawling apple orchard and the tangled web of family members who inhabit it. But she cannot help being haunted by the historical fact that some family members end up staying on the farm and others must leave. Change is inevitable, and threats of urbanization, disinheritance and college applications shake the foundation of Frankie's roots. As Frankie is forced to shed her childhood fantasies and face the possibility of losing the idyllic future she had envisioned for her family, she must decide whether loving something means clinging tightly or letting go.

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin - Fiction


Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a close relationship. But when tragedy strikes their family, they grow apart. Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are following different paths. Josie is a first grade teacher with the yearning to become a mother. Meredith is a successful attorney, married and raising a four-year-old-daughter, yet questions whether this is the life she truly desires. As the anniversary of their tragedy looms, they must confront the issues that divide them and also come to terms with their own choices.

Follow Me Down by Sherri Smith - Psychological Thriller

Mia Haas has built her life far from the North Dakota town where she grew up, but when she receives word that her twin brother is missing, she is forced to return home. Back to the people she left behind, the person she used to be, and the secrets she thought she’d buried. Once hailed as the golden boy of their town, and now a popular high school teacher, Lucas Haas disappears the same day the body of one of his students is pulled from the river. Trying to wrap her head around the rumors of Lucas’ affair with the teen, and unable to reconcile the media’s portrayal of Lucas as a murderer with her own memories of him, Mia is desperate to find another suspect. All the while, she wonders: If he’s innocent, why did he run?

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen - Psychological Thriller


Hannah Monroe's boyfriend, Matt, is gone. His belongings have disappeared from their house. Every call she ever made to him, every text she ever sent, every photo of him and any sign of him on social media have vanished. It's as though their last four years together never happened. As Hannah struggles to get through the next few days, with humiliation and recriminations whirring through her head, she knows that she'll do whatever it takes to find him again and get answers. But as soon as her search starts, she realizes she is being led into a maze of madness and obsession. Step by suspenseful step, Hannah discovers her only way out is to come face to face with the shocking truth.

The Half Wives by Stacia Pelletier - Historical Fiction


Over the course of one momentous day, two women who have built their lives around the same man find themselves moving toward an inevitable reckoning. Former Lutheran minister Henry Plageman is a master secret keeper and a man wracked by grief. He and his wife, Marilyn, tragically lost their young son, Jack, many years ago. But he now has another child --- a daughter, eight-year-old Blue --- with Lucy, the woman he fell in love with after his marriage collapsed. THE HALF WIVES follows these interconnected characters on May 22, 1897, the anniversary of Jack’s birth.

Hard-Hearted Highlander: The Highland Grooms, Book 3 by Julia London - Historical Romance


An ill-fated elopement cost English-born governess Bernadette Holly her reputation, her unsuitable lover and any chance of a future match. She has nothing left to fear --- not even the bitter, dangerously handsome Scot due to marry her young charge. Naive wallflower Avaline is terrified to wed Rabbie Mackenzie, but if he sends her home, she will be ruined. Bernadette's solution: convince Rabbie to get Avaline to cry off…while ignoring her own traitorous attraction to him.

The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman - Fiction


Ever since she was diagnosed with ALS, fiercely independent Mattie doesn’t feel like herself. Her devoted husband, Don, doesn’t want to imagine life without his wife of nearly 50 years, but Mattie isn’t likely to make it past their anniversary. But when Rose, Mattie’s new caretaker, and her young daughter, Jeri, enter the couple’s life, happiness and the possibility for new memories return. Together they form a family, and Mattie is finally able to pass on her memories from the hope chest she received from her mother.

The Horse Dancer by Jojo Moyes - Fiction

When Sarah’s grandfather gives her a beautiful horse named Boo --- hoping that one day she’ll follow in his footsteps to join an elite French riding school, away from their gritty London neighborhood --- she quietly trains in city’s parks and alleys. But then her grandfather falls ill, and Sarah must juggle horsemanship with school and hospital visits. Natasha, a young lawyer, is reeling after her failed marriage: her professional judgment is being questioned, her new boyfriend is a let-down, and she’s forced to share her house with her charismatic ex-husband. Yet when the willful 14-year-old Sarah lands in her path, Natasha decides to take the girl under her wing. But Sarah is keeping a secret --- a secret that will change the lives of everyone involved forever.

If Not for You by Debbie Macomber - Fiction

If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved to Portland, Oregon, where she’s reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher. If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts. Sam is everything Beth is not --- and her parents’ worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who’s rough around the edges. When shocking secrets from Sam’s past are revealed, Beth struggles to reconcile her feelings. But when Beth goes a step too far, she risks losing the man and the life she’s come to love.

My Last Lament by James William Brown - Historical Fiction


Aliki is one of the last of her kind, a lamenter who mourns and celebrates the passing of life. She is part of an evolving Greece, one moving steadily away from its rural traditions. To capture the fading folk art of lamenting, an American researcher asks Aliki to record her laments, but in response, Aliki sings her own story. It begins in a village in northeast Greece, where Aliki witnesses the occupying Nazi soldiers execute her father for stealing squash. Taken in by her friend Takis’ mother, Aliki is joined by a Jewish refugee and her son, Stelios. When the village is torched and its people massacred, Aliki, Takis and Stelios are able to escape just as the war is ending. They’re bound by friendship and grief, but torn apart by betrayal, madness and heartbreak.

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens - Psychological Thriller


Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband, Andrew, was sent to jail, and Lindsey started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with her own business and a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When Andrew is finally released from prison, Lindsey believes she has cut all ties and left the past behind her. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her, tracking her every move. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But has he really changed? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood - Fiction


The story of your life never starts at the beginning. Don't they teach you anything at school? So says 104-year-old Ona to the 11-year-old boy who's been sent to help her out every Saturday morning. As he refills the bird feeders and tidies the garden shed, Ona tells him about her long life, from first love to second chances. Soon she's confessing secrets she has kept hidden for decades. One Saturday, the boy doesn't show up. Ona starts to think he's not so special after all, but then his father arrives on her doorstep, determined to finish his son's good deed. The boy's mother is not so far behind. Ona is set to discover that the world can surprise us at any age, and that sometimes sharing a loss is the only way to find ourselves again.

The Secrets You Keep by Kate White - Psychological Thriller


Bryn Harper, an accomplished self-help author, already has plenty to deal with. She’s still recovering from a devastating car accident that has left her haunted by recurring, smoke-filled nightmares. Worse still, she can’t shake the ominous feeling that her dreams contain a warning. In the beginning, Bryn’s husband Guy couldn’t have been more supportive. But after moving into a new house together, disturbing incidents occur, and Guy grows evasive and secretive. Then a woman hired to cater their dinner party is brutally murdered. As Bryn’s world unravels --- and yet another woman in town is slain --- she must summon her old strength to find answers and protect her own life.

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg - Fiction


For the past six months, Arthur Moses’ days have looked the same: He tends to his rose garden and to Gordon, his cat, then rides the bus to the cemetery to visit his beloved late wife for lunch. Eighteen-year-old Maddy Harris is an introspective girl who often comes to the cemetery to escape the other kids at school and a life of loss. She’s seen Arthur sitting there alone, and one afternoon she joins him --- a gesture that begins a surprising friendship between two lonely souls. Moved by Arthur’s kindness and devotion, Maddy gives him the nickname “Truluv.” As Arthur’s neighbor Lucille moves into their orbit, the unlikely trio bands together, helping one another, through heartache and hardships, to rediscover their own potential to start anew.

The Thing About Love by Julie James - Romance


FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army Ranger clashed during their training at Quantico and gladly went their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to be assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting. Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office, and John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. They’ll have to find a way to work together --- a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic beachfront resort as part of the investigation.