Tuesday, February 02, 2016

March Treasures in My Closet - Part 2

There's still a wealth of treasures in my closet, books to be released in March. I always enjoy sharing these titles.

I loved Daisy Goodwin's The Fortune Hunter, so I'm looking forward to Sisi: Empress on Her Own, a novel by Allison Pataki. It's the story of Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary, known as Sisi, who was married to Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi grew restless with the strict protocols of the court. She spends time at her estate outside Budapest, where she spent time with the man she fell in love with. But tragic news sends her back to the capital, and eventually, to her own fate. (Release date is March 8.)

Chris Pavone, author of The Expats, brings us The Travelers. Will Rhodes is a travel writer who is beginning to feel he's living the wrong life. Then an assignment for an award-winning magazine takes him to Argentina where a beautiful woman makes him an offer he can't refuse. Soon Will's bad choices and dark secrets send him across Europe, and he's drawn further into a snarled web of international intrigue. It's 3:00 AM. Do you know your husband has just become a spy? (Release date is March 8.)

Miroslav Penkov's debut novel is Stork Mountain. A young Bulgarian immigrant leaves American and returns to the country where he was born, searching for his grandfather who suddenly cut off all contact with the family three years earlier. He finds himself high in the Strandja Mountains, a place of pagan mysteries, of black storks, and strange rituals. Here he finds his grandfather and falls in love. Old ghosts come back to life and forgotten conflicts blaze again. (Release date is March 15.)

In her debut, An Unrestored Woman, Shobha Rao pairs stories that hinge on one turning point in history. In 1947, the Indian subcontinent was partitioned into two countries, India and Pakistan. And, with that one decree, countless lives were changed, as people were often trapped on the wrong side of the border. Rao's book tells of the results of that decree. (Release date is March 15.)

Virginia Reeves' debut novel, Work Like Any Other, examines the life of one man in 1920s Alabama. Roscoe T. Martin saw electrical power as the wave of the future, and it became his training, his life's work. But, when his wife inherited a failing farm, he gave up his life's work, at great cost. When he used his skills to siphon energy from the state, everything seemed good again. But, everything changes when a young man is electrocuted, and Roscoe ends up in prison. As he works his way up the prison hierarchy, he has to examine his own life. (Release date is March 1.)

The Year of the Runaways is Sunjeen Sahota's novel that explores the lives of three young Indian men and one British-Indian woman as their lives converge in Sheffield, England, over one tumultuous year. (Release date is March 29.)

Since I already read Paige Shelton's first Scottish Bookshop mystery, The Cracked Spine, I can say it's a terrific series debut with a fascinating location and interesting cast of characters. Delany Nichols takes a leap of fate and moves from a quiet Kansas town to Edinburgh, Scotland, accepting a job at The Cracked Spine, a bookstore. Almost as soon as she arrives, though, her new boss, Edwin, loses a valuable artifact, and his sister. Death isn't enough to keep Delany from checking out her new surroundings while looking for a killer. This new series shows a lot of possibilities for future plots. (Release date is March 29.)

Helen Simon, author of the bestselling Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, returns with The Summer Before the War. In late summer, 1914, Beatrice Nash arrives at the coastal town of Rye to teach at the local grammar school. Fortunately, she's taken under the wing of the formidable matriarch Agatha Kent, who, along with her charming nephews, tries her best to welcome Beatrice to a town that remains resistant to the idea of a female teacher. But change is coming, and the old ways will be tested as the town prepares for the devastating realities of war. (Release date is March 22.)

The Way I Used to Be is Amber Smith's debut novel. Eden was always good at being good. But the night her brother's best friend rapes her, Eden's whole world changes. She just can't tell anyone what happened. So, she buries it instead, just as she buries the person she used to be. The novel, told in four parts, Eden's freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year, is a story of survival that reveals the deep effects of trauma. (Release date is March 22.)

It's the summer of 1988 in Cote Smith's debut novel Hurt People. Leavenworth, Kansas, a town with four major prisons, is dealing with the recent escape of a convict. Two young brothers only care about the pool in their apartment complex. While their divorced mother works at the golf course, their policeman father patrols the streets. But, the mysterious stranger who appears at their pool, and creates a rift between the two brothers, makes the younger one wonder what the visits to the pool may ultimately cost. (Release date is March 1.)

Dana Spiotta's Innocents and Others is about two women, best friends, who grow up in LA in the '80s and become filmmakers. Meadow and Carrie have everything in common - except their views on sex, power, moviemaking, and morality. Their lives collide with a woman named Jelly, a loner whose most intimate experience is on the phone. She invites powerful men to reveal themselves, and they do. (Release date is March 8.)

The Midwife and the Assassin by Sam Thomas finds his midwife Bridget Hodgson back in London in 1649. She and her deputy Martha Hawkins fled to England three years earlier. Now, they are forced into service under Jonathan Marlowe, Oliver Cromwell's chief spymaster. Marlowe assigns Bridget the job of spying upon Katherine Chidley, a notorious political radical. But, the two women become friends, and, when Katherine's husband is murdered, Bridget and Martha join forces to find the killer. The investigation reveals the killer's plans to revive the civil wars or destroy England. (Release date is March 15.)

For those of us who believe, the words describing Mark Tompkins' The Last Days of Magic, are enticing. "Today we call it myth and legend - but once, the stories were true." It's "An epic novel of magic and mysticism. Celts and Faeries. Mad kings and druids. Stalwart warriors and the goddess struggling to reign over magic's last outpost on the earth." (Release date is March 1.)

Auralee Wallace's Otter Lake mystery is Skinny Dipping with Murder. Erica Bloom isn't eager to return to Otter Lake, the site of her mother's spiritual retreat for women. "But her new-age-y, well-meaning mother is losing her grip on the business and needs Erica's help." Nothing much has changed in Erica's hometown when she arrives, except for the murders that started when she appeared in town, and makes her a prime suspect. Some who pulled a prank on Erica, leaving her near-naked during a social event are now turning up dead. And, the town sheriff is Erica's old nemesis. (Release date is March 1.)

The final novel, Jung Yun's Shelter, is a debut. Kyung Cho owns a house that he can't afford. He and his wife have always lived beyond their means, and their bad decisions are catching up with him. His parents live a few miles away in an exclusive neighborhood, but, since Kyung never received affection or kindness from his parents, he can't bring himself to ask for help. When an act of violence means his parents are unable to live on their own, he decides to take them in. It's a novel that asks "what it means to provide for one's family". (Release date is March 15.)

Did you find anything in the last two days that interests you? I'd love to know which of these books appears to be a treasure to you?


Kaye Barley said...

Mornin', Lesa!

I'm betting you can guess which of these I'm most excited about. Why, Mark Tompkins' The Last Days of Magic, of course! Can't wait!

Mark Tompkins said...

Hi Lesa,
Thanks for including The Last Days of Magic on your list. I hope you enjoy reading it!
From one believer to another.
Mark Tompkins

Glen Davis said...

I'm looking forward to the Travellers.

Lesa said...

Kaye, I'm sure Mark Tompkins is happy to read your comment.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Mark. I'm looking forward to it!

Lesa said...

Chris Pavone's books have been popular, Glen. I understand why you want to read that one.

Carol N Wong said...

I would love to put a chair in your closet and start reading!