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New & Upcoming Books You Can’t Miss This Summer

Summer is here, and so are our top reading picks! Whether you’re lounging by the pool or relaxing at the beach, we’ve got new and upcoming books to keep you entertained all summer long. Plus, don’t miss out on some special editions included in our roundup…check it out!


craft: stories i wrote for the devil by ananda limaCraft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil by Ananda Lima

At a Halloween party in 1999, a writer slept with the devil. She sees him again and again throughout her life and she writes stories for him about things that are both impossible and true.

Lima lures readers into surreal pockets of the United States and Brazil where they’ll find bite-size Americans in vending machines and the ghosts of people who are not dead. Once there, she speaks to modern Brazilian-American immigrant experiences–of ambition, fear, longing, and belonging—and reveals the porousness of storytelling and of the places we call home. With humor, an exquisite imagination, and a voice praised as “singular and wise and fresh” (Cathy Park Hong), Lima joins the literary lineage of Bulgakov and Lispector and the company of writers today like Ted Chiang, Carmen Maria Machado, and Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah.

9781250344199A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows gets an updated cover design in this repackaged hardcover edition with special extras including beautiful colored endpapers and a foil stamped design under the jacket. This edition will also feature a glossary of Antari spells and Arnesian words, and a bonus short story from within the Shades Universe. The second adventure in #1 New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s beloved Shades of Magic trilogy—a dazzling world of parallel Londons where the balance of power is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another must die…

Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Essen Tach tournament, and another London is coming back to life…After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning. But magic must always live in balance—and so now, another London will fall.

the daughter's war by christopher buehlmanThe Daughters’ War by Christopher Buehlman

Galva — Galvicha to her three brothers, two of whom the goblins will kill — has defied her family’s wishes and joined the army’s untested new unit, the Raven Knights. They march toward a once-beautiful city overrun by the goblin horde, accompanied by scores of giant war corvids. Made with the darkest magics, these fearsome black birds may hold the key to stopping the goblins in their war to make cattle of mankind. The road to victory is bloody, and goblins are clever and merciless. The Raven Knights can take nothing for granted — not the bonds of family, nor the wisdom of their leaders, nor their own safety against the dangerous war birds at their side. But some hopes are worth any risk.

9781250890337Wolfsong by TJ Klune

Oxnard Matheson was twelve when his father taught him a lesson: Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then his father left. Ox was sixteen when the energetic Bennett family moved in next door, harboring a secret that would change him forever. The Bennetts are shapeshifters. They can transform into wolves at will. Drawn to their magic, loyalty, and enduring friendships, Ox feels a gulf between this extraordinary new world and the quiet life he’s known, but he finds an ally in Joe, the youngest Bennett boy. Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his heart. Violence flared, tragedy split the pack, and Joe left town, leaving Ox behind. Three years later, the boy is back. Except now he’s a man – charming, handsome, but haunted – and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

*The paperback edition features beautiful orange sprayed edges, holographic cover and a bonus short story.*

9781250900104Foul Days by Genoveva Dimova

As a witch in the walled city of Chernograd, Kosara has plenty of practice treating lycanthrope bites, bargaining with kikimoras, and slaying bloodsucking upirs. There’s only one monster she can’t defeat: her ex, the Zmey, known as the Tsar of Monsters. She’s defied him one too many times and now he’s hunting her. Betrayed by someone close to her, Kosara’s only choice is to trade her shadow—the source of her powers—for a quick escape. Unfortunately, Kosara soon develops the deadly sickness that plagues shadowless witches—and only reclaiming her magic can cure her. To find it, she’s forced to team up with a suspiciously honorable detective. Even worse, all the clues point in a single direction: To get her shadow back, Kosara will have to face the Foul Days’ biggest threats without it. And she’s only got twelve days. But in a city where everyone is out for themselves, who can Kosara trust to assist her in outwitting the biggest monster from her past? Out on 6/25!

9781250891242A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

As darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire, the once precarious balance of power among the four Londons has reached its breaking point. In the wake of tragedy, Kell—once assumed to be the last surviving Antari—begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. Lila Bard, once a commonplace—but never common—thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. An ancient enemy returns to claim a city while a fallen hero tries to save a kingdom in decay. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible. Out on 7/9!

The Sky on Fire by Jenn LyonsThe Sky on Fire by Jenn Lyons

Anahrod lives only for survival, forging her own way through the harsh jungles of the Deep with her titan drake by her side. Even when an adventuring party saves her from capture by a local warlord, she is eager to return to her solitary life. But this is no ordinary rescue. It’s Anahrod’s past catching up with her. These cunning misfits—and their frustratingly appealing dragonrider ringleader—intend to spirit her away to the dragon-ruled sky cities, where they need her help to steal from a dragon’s hoard. There’s only one problem: the hoard in question belongs to the current regent, Neveranimas—and she wants Anahrod dead. Out on 7/9!

9781250884879Masters of Death by Olivie Blake

Viola Marek is a struggling real estate agent, and a vampire. But her biggest problem currently is that the house she needs to sell is haunted. The ghost haunting the mansion has been murdered, and until he can solve the mystery of how he died, he refuses to move on.
Fox D’Mora is a medium, and though he is also most-definitely a shameless fraud, he isn’t entirely without his uses—seeing as he’s actually the godson of Death. When Viola seeks out Fox to help her with the ghost infestation, he becomes inextricably involved in a quest that neither he nor Vi expects (or wants). But with the help of an unruly poltergeist, a demonic personal trainer, a sharp-voiced angel, a love-stricken reaper, and a few mindfulness-practicing creatures, Vi and Fox soon discover that the difference between a mysterious lost love and an annoying dead body isn’t nearly as distinct as they thought.

*This paperback edition includes a special bonus story and beautiful purple sprayed edges.* Out on 7/30!

brothersongBrothersong by TJ Klune

In the ruins of Caswell, Maine, Carter Bennett learned the truth of what had been right in front of him the entire time. And then it—he—was gone. Desperate for answers, Carter takes to the road, leaving family and the safety of his pack behind, all in the name of a man he only knows as a feral wolf. But therein lies the danger: wolves are pack animals, and the longer Carter is on his own, the more his mind slips toward the endless void of Omega insanity. But he pushes on, following the trail left by Gavin. Gavin, the son of Robert Livingstone. The half-brother of Gordo Livingstone. What Carter finds will change the course of the wolves forever. Because Gavin’s history with the Bennett pack goes back further than anyone knows, a secret kept hidden by Carter’s father, Thomas Bennett. And with this knowledge comes a price: the sins of the fathers now rest upon the shoulders of their sons. Out on 7/30!

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Excerpt Reveal: Desperation Reef by T. Jefferson Parker

Desperation ReefIn this high-stakes thriller by three-time Edgar Award winner and New York Times bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker, (“A marvel…hits the high-water mark for crime fiction every time out.” —Gregg Hurwitz), a big wave surfer and her sons compete in the same contest that killed her husband many years before.

Jen Stonebreaker hasn’t entered into a big-wave surfing competition since witnessing her husband’s tragic death twenty-five years ago at the Monsters of the Mavericks. Now, Jen is ready to tackle those same Monsters with her twin sons Casey and Brock, who have become competitive surfers in a perilous sport.

When he’s not riding waves, modeling for surfing magazines, or posting viral content for his many fans, Casey Stonebreaker spends his days helping with the family restaurant — catching fish in the morning and bartending at night. Casey’s love for the ocean and his willingness to expose illegal poachers on his platforms puts him on a collision course with a crime syndicate eager to destroy anyone threatening their business.

Outspoken Brock Stonebreaker couldn’t be more different from his twin. The founder of Breath of Life, a church and rescue mission that assists with natural disasters that no one else will touch, Brock has lived an adventurous and sometimes violent life. Not everyone appreciates the work that Brock’s Breath of Life mission accomplishes, and threats to destroy his mission—and his family—swirl around him.

As the big-wave contest draws closer, a huge, late fall swell is headed toward the Pacific coastline. Jen’s fears gnaw at her — fear for herself, for her sons, for what this competition will mean for the rest of her life.

Desperation Reef will be available on July 16th, 2024. Please enjoy the following excerpt!


CHAPTER ONE

Hear Jen scream.

Jen Stonebreaker, that is, hollering over the whine of her jet ski, towing her husband into a wave taller than a four-story building.

“For you, John—it’s all yours!”

She’s twenty-one years old, stout and well-muscled, with a cute face, a freckled nose, and an inverted bowl of thick orange hair she’s had since she was ten.

She’s a versatile young woman, too—the high school swim, water polo, and surf team captain. The class valedictorian. A former Miss Laguna Beach. With a UC Irvine degree in creative journalism from the School of Humanities, honors, of course.

Right now, though, Jen is bucking an eight-hundred-pound jet ski on the rising shoulder of a fifty-foot wave, her surf-star husband, John, trailing a hundred feet behind her on his signature orange and black “gun” surfboard, rope handle tied to the rescue sled, which skitters and slaps behind her.

Welcome to Mavericks, a winter break in the cold waters just south of San Francisco, with occasionally gigantic waves, sometimes beautifully formed, but always potentially lethal. These things charge in and hit Mavericks’ shallow reef like monsters from the deep. A surfer can’t just paddle into one; he or she has to be towed in by a jet ski or a helicopter. One of the scariest breaks on Earth. Ask any of the very few people who ride places like this. Not only the jagged, shallow rocks, but sharks, too, and water so cold you can barely feel your feet through neoprene boots.

Mavericks has taken the lives of professional, skilled, big-wave riders.

Riders not unlike the Stonebreakers, Jen now gunning her jet ski across the rising wave, looking for smooth water to deliver John into the steepening face of it, where he will toss the rope and—if all goes well and the gods are smiling—drop onto this wall and try to stay on his board, well ahead of the breaking barrel that, if it gets its chance, will crush him to the rocky bottom like a bathtub toy.

He throws aside the tow rope.

Jen guns her two-hundred-fifty horses, roaring and smoking, up and over the wave’s huge back, and lands momentarily beyond its reach, the rescue sled bobbing behind her.

She’s got a good angle to watch John and help him if he wipes out.

She feels the tremendous tonnage of water trying to suck her back onto the wave and over the falls.

Thinks: Nope.

Throttles hard and away.

Steadies herself on the bucking machine, off to the side and safely out of the way of the monsters, where she can watch John do his thing. The next wave lumbers in—she’s always startled by how fast they are—and she sees John astride his big board, racing down the smooth blue face of his wave, legs staunch but vibrating, feet locked in the thick rubber straps glued to his board. He carves out ahead of the lip then rises, backing up into the barrel, casually trailing a hand on the cylinder as he streams along just ahead of the crushing lip—John’s signature move; he’s one of the few guys who does this daredevil-in-the-barrel thing, looking cool on a fifty-footer. He’s twenty-six years old, one of

the top ten big-wave riders in the world.

Jen hears the barrel roaring closed behind him. Like a freight train or a stretched-out thunderclap.

Jen smiles.

Jen and John. John and Jen.

Look at him, she thinks. This is it. This is why we do it. Nothing we’ll ever do will match it. Not love. Not sex. Not being a mother or a father. Not seeing God. Not mountains of money. Nothing. Nothing can touch this speed, this perilous grace, this joy, this high.

Then it all goes wrong.

The thick lip lunges forward like a leopard, taking him by the head and off his board.

The sharp orange-and-black gun hangs in the air above him, the leash still fastened to John’s ankle, then the fins catch and the board spears past John, missing him by inches.

He’s lifted high above the ribs of the wave, then pitched over the falls, pulled down by his board, into the raging impact zone.

Jen checks the next wave—well fuck, it’s bigger than this one—then steers the jet ski closer to the wall of whitewater that owns her husband. A bright red rescue helicopter swoops down, close enough to tear foam off the crest of that wave.

Two rescue skis cut wide semicircles around the impact zone, their drivers looking for a way in.

And two more of the tow ski drivers, bucking the chop in search of John.

The seconds zip by but John doesn’t surface. His broken board launches from the whitewater, just two halves hinged by fiberglass. No leash attached. Which, in spite of John’s quick-release coupling, could mean the absolute worst for him—the damned leash is still fastened to his ankle, virtually unbreakable, easily caught on the sharp reef boulders lurking just feet below the surface.

Jen watches for any flash of shape or color, his black trunks, his orange helmet—anything that’s not whitewater, swirling sand, and rocks. Anything . . .

She knows with the wave closing fast behind her it’s time to plunge into the mayhem.

Feels the monster pull of it drawing her up.

Circling tightly, checking the rescue sled, getting ready to go in, she pauses one fraction of a second and thinks—among darker thoughts: I love you more than anything in the world . . .

And in that split second, the next wave lifts her from behind and Jen feels the terrible vertigo of a coming fall while clinging to an eight- hundred-pound personal watercraft.

Her personal deathtrap.

She cranks the ski throttle full open, digs a hard U-turn into the face of the wave. Jumps the lip and flies over.

She’s midair again on the smoking contraption. Below her, no John in sight. Just his shattered board bouncing in the foam on its way to shore.

She lands behind the wave and speeds a wide arc to something like safety. Rooster-tails to near where John went down. Can’t get all that close.

She’s lost precious time. Precious seconds. A lot of them.

She grinds through the whitewater as best she can, crisscrossing the worst of it. A surge of heavy foam catches the jet ski broadside and flips it. She keeps hold, lets another wall of whitewater crash over her before she can find the handles, right the beast, and continue searching her blinding world of foam and spray.

Smacked by the chop and wind, she clamps her teeth and grimaces to draw air instead of brine.

In shallower water, she searches the rocks below. Hears the scream of the other watercrafts around her, voices calling out. The big-wave people mostly look out for each other; they’re loose-knit and competitive but most of them will lose contests and miss waves to help someone in trouble—even of his own making, even some reckless trust-funder wannabe big-wave king with his own helicopter to tow him in and pro videographers to make him famous.

It’s what watermen and waterwomen do.

Jen keeps waiting to feel him behind her, climbing aboard the rescue sled. She knows it’s possible: John has trained himself to hold his breath for up to three minutes underwater.

But not being pounded like this . . .

As the minutes pass, hope and fear fight like dogs inside her—a battle that will guide the rest of her life.

We are small and brief.

We are the human passion to stay alive, made simple.

She helps work John’s body out of the rocks.


Click below to pre-order your copy of Desperation Reef, available July 16th, 2024!

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Every Book Coming from Tor This Summer 2024

Ready to discover the hottest reads of summer? Get ready, because this year, our list is SMOKIN’. Check out everything coming from Tor Books in Summer 2024 here!


June 25

 

The Daughter's WarThe Daughter’s War by Christopher Buehlman

Galva — Galvicha to her three brothers, two of whom the goblins will kill — has defied her family’s wishes and joined the army’s untested new unit, the Raven Knights. They march toward a once-beautiful city overrun by the goblin horde, accompanied by scores of giant war corvids. Made with the darkest magics, these fearsome black birds may hold the key to stopping the goblins in their war to make cattle of mankind. The road to victory is bloody, and goblins are clever and merciless. The Raven Knights can take nothing for granted — not the bonds of family, nor the wisdom of their leaders, nor their own safety against the dangerous war birds at their side. But some hopes are worth any risk.

9781250877314Foul Days by Genoveva Dimova

As a witch in the walled city of Chernograd, Kosara has plenty of practice treating lycanthrope bites, bargaining with kikimoras, and slaying bloodsucking upirs. There’s only one monster she can’t defeat: her ex, the Zmey, known as the Tsar of Monsters. She’s defied him one too many times and now he’s hunting her. Betrayed by someone close to her, Kosara’s only choice is to trade her shadow—the source of her powers—for a quick escape. Unfortunately, Kosara soon develops the deadly sickness that plagues shadowless witches—and only reclaiming her magic can cure her. To find it, she’s forced to team up with a suspiciously honorable detective. Even worse, all the clues point in a single direction: To get her shadow back, Kosara will have to face the Foul Days’ biggest threats without it. And she’s only got twelve days. But in a city where everyone is out for themselves, who can Kosara trust to assist her in outwitting the biggest monster from her past?

July 9

 

The Sky on Fire by Jenn LyonsThe Sky on Fire by Jenn Lyons

Anahrod lives only for survival, forging her own way through the harsh jungles of the Deep with her titan drake by her side. Even when an adventuring party saves her from capture by a local warlord, she is eager to return to her solitary life. But this is no ordinary rescue. It’s Anahrod’s past catching up with her. These cunning misfits—and their frustratingly appealing dragonrider ringleader—intend to spirit her away to the dragon-ruled sky cities, where they need her help to steal from a dragon’s hoard. There’s only one problem: the hoard in question belongs to the current regent, Neveranimas—and she wants Anahrod dead.

9781250344458A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab (new edition)

Londons fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies.

July 16

 

9781250837929Blood Jade by Julia Vee and Ken Bebelle

Emiko Soong, newly minted Sentinel of San Francisco, just can’t catch a break. Just after she becomes the guardian for a sentient city, a murder strikes close to home. Called by the city and one of the most powerful clans to investigate, she traces the killer whose scent signature bears a haunting similarity to her mother’s talent. The trail will lead her back to Tokyo where the thread she pulls threatens to unravel her whole world and bring dark family secrets to light. Meanwhile, the General rises in the East and Emiko must fight the hidden enemies of his growing army who are amped up on Blood Jade, while keeping her promises to her brother Tatsuya as he prepares for his tourney. Her duties as Sentinel and her loyalties collide when she must choose between hiding her deepest shame or stopping the General’s relentless march.

July 23

 

9781250871282Gravity Lost by L. M. Sagas

After thwarting a space station disaster and planetary destruction, the Ambit crew thought turning Isaiah Drestyn over to the Union would be the end of their troubles. Turns out, it’s only the start. Drestyn is a walking encyclopedia of dirty secrets, and everyone wants a piece of him—the Trust, the Union, even the Guild. Someone wants him bad enough to kill, and with the life of one of their own on the line, the Ambit crew must jail-break the very man they helped capture and expose some of the secrets he’s been keeping before it’s too late. In the Spiral, everything has a price. In their fight to protect what they love, Eoan, Nash, Saint, and Jal will confront some ugly truths about their enemies, and even uglier truths about their friends. But nothing will come close to the truths they’ll learn about themselves. You can’t always fix what’s broken … and sometimes, it’s better that way.

July 30

 

9781250890375Brothersong by TJ Klune

In the ruins of Caswell, Maine, Carter Bennett learned the truth of what had been right in front of him the entire time. And then it—he—was gone. Desperate for answers, Carter takes to the road, leaving family and the safety of his pack behind, all in the name of a man he only knows as a feral wolf. But therein lies the danger: wolves are pack animals, and the longer Carter is on his own, the more his mind slips toward the endless void of Omega insanity. But he pushes on, following the trail left by Gavin. Gavin, the son of Robert Livingstone. The half-brother of Gordo Livingstone. What Carter finds will change the course of the wolves forever. Because Gavin’s history with the Bennett pack goes back further than anyone knows, a secret kept hidden by Carter’s father, Thomas Bennett. And with this knowledge comes a price: the sins of the fathers now rest upon the shoulders of their sons.

August 6

 

A Sorceress Comes to CallA Sorceress Comes to Call by T. Kingfisher

Cordelia knows her mother is . . . unusual. Their house doesn’t have any doors between rooms—there are no secrets in this house—and her mother doesn’t allow Cordelia to have a single friend. Unless you count Falada, her mother’s beautiful white horse. The only time Cordelia feels truly free is on her daily rides with him. But more than simple eccentricity sets her mother apart. Other mothers don’t force their daughters to be silent and motionless for hours, sometimes days, on end. Other mothers aren’t evil sorcerers. When her mother unexpectedly moves them into the manor home of a wealthy older Squire and his kind but keen-eyed sister, Hester, Cordelia knows this welcoming pair are to be her mother’s next victims. But Cordelia feels at home for the very first time among these people, and as her mother’s plans darken, she must decide how to face the woman who raised her to save the people who have become like family.

9781250269362Devil’s Gun by Cat Rambo

Life’s hard when you’re on the run from a vengeful pirate-king…

When Niko and her crew find that the intergalactic Gate they’re planning on escaping through is out of commission, they make the most of things, creating a pop-up restaurant to serve the dozens of other stranded ships. But when an archaeologist shows up claiming to be able to fix the problem, Niko smells something suspicious cooking. Nonetheless, they can’t pass up the chance to find the weapon that could stop Tubal Last before he can take his revenge. There, in one of the most dangerous places in the Known Universe, each of them will face ghosts from their past. Meanwhile, the ship, You Sexy Thing, contemplates what it wants from life—which may be very different from Niko and the rest of the crew.

August 13

 

9780765382924Glass Houses by Madeline Ashby

Luckily, those who survived have found a beautiful, fully-stocked private palace, with all the latest technological updates (though one without connection to the outside world). The house, however, has more secrets than anyone might have guessed, and a much darker reason for having been built and left behind. Kristen, the hyper-competent “chief emotional manager” (a position created by her eccentric, boyish billionaire boss, Sumter) is trying to keep her colleagues stable throughout this new challenge, but staying sane seems to be as much of a challenge as staying alive. Being a woman in tech has always meant having to be smarter than anyone expects–and Kristen’s knack for out-of-the-box problem-solving and quick thinking has gotten her to the top of her field. But will a killer instinct be enough to survive the island?

The Doors of MidnightThe Doors of Midnight by R.R. Virdi

Some stories are hidden for a reason. All tales have a price. And every debt must be paid.

I killed three men as a child and earned the name Bloodletter. Then I set fire to the fabled Ashram. I’ve been a bird and robbed a merchant king of a ransom of gold. And I have crossed desert sands and cutthroat alleys to repay my debt. I’ve stood before the eyes of god, faced his judgement, and cast aside the thousand arrows that came with it. And I have passed through the Doors of Midnight and lived to tell the tale. I have traded one hundred and one stories with a creature as old as time, and survived with only my cleverness, a candle, and a broken promise. And most recently of all, I have killed a prince, though the stories say I have killed more than one. My name is Ari. These are my legends. And these are my lies.

September 3

 

9781250319722Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

It is 83 years after the last thinking machines were destroyed in the Battle of Corrin, after Faykan Butler took the name of Corrino and established himself as the first Emperor of a new Imperium. The war hero Vorian Atreides has turned his back on politics and Salusa Secundus. The descendants of the disgraced Abulurd Harkonnen have sworn vengeance against Vor, blaming him for the downfall of their noble family. Raquella Berto-Anirul has formed the Bene Gesserit School and, through a terrible ordeal, has become the first Reverend Mother. The descendants of Aurelius Venport and Norma Cenva use mutated, spice-saturated Navigators who fly precursors of Heighliners. And Gilbertus Albans, ward of the hated thinking machine Erasmus, is teaching humans to become Mentats…while hiding an unbelievable secret. Led by the fanatic Manford Torondo, the Butlerian movement, fiercely opposed to all forms of “dangerous technology,” sweeps across the known universe in mobs, millions strong, destroying everything in its path.

September 10

 

9781250357243The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (new edition)

A beautiful new hardcover edition of one of the best-loved and best-selling fantasy novels of the past decade, New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, featuring aqua sprayed edges!

9781250881205Somewhere Beyond the Sea by TJ Klune

Featuring gorgeous golden yellow sprayed edges! Somewhere Beyond the Sea is the hugely anticipated sequel to TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, one of the best-loved and best-selling fantasy novels of the past decade.

A magical house. A secret past. A summons that could change everything.

Arthur Parnassus lives a good life, built on the ashes of a bad one. He’s the headmaster of a strange orphanage on a distant and peculiar island, and he hopes to soon be the adoptive father to the six magical and so-called dangerous children who live there.
Arthur works hard and loves with his whole heart so none of the children ever feel the neglect and pain that he once felt as an orphan on that very same island so long ago. And he is not alone: joining him is the love of his life, Linus Baker, a former caseworker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth; Zoe Chapelwhite, the island’s sprite; and her girlfriend, Mayor Helen Webb. Together, they will do anything to protect the children. But when Arthur is summoned to make a public statement about his dark past, he finds himself at the helm of a fight for the future that his family, and all magical people, deserve. And when a new magical child hopes to join them on their island home—one who finds power in calling himself monster, a name Arthur worked so hard to protect his children from—Arthur knows they’re at a breaking point: their family will either grow stronger than ever or fall apart.

Welcome back to Marsyas Island. This is Arthur’s story.

September 24

 

9781250269393Rumor Has It by Cat Rambo

The crew of the You Sexy Thing have laid a course for Coralind Station, hoping the station’s famed gardens will provide an opportunity to regroup, recoup, and mourn their losses while while finding a way to track down their enemy, pirate king Tubal Last. All Niko wants to do is pry their insurance money from the bank and see if an old friend might be able to help them find Last. Unfortunately, old friends and enemies aren’t the only unreliable elements awaiting her and the crew at Coralind. Each will have to face themselves—the good and the bad—in order to come together before they lose everything.

 

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Excerpt Reveal: A Certain Kind of Starlight by Heather Webber

A Certain Kind of StarlightIn the face of hardship, two women learn how to rise up again under the bright side of the stars in A Certain Kind of Starlight, the next book from USA Today bestselling author Heather Webber, “the queen of magical small-town charm” (Amy E. Reichert)

Everyone knows that Addie Fullbright can’t keep a secret. Yet, twelve years ago, as her best friend lay dying, she entrusted Addie with the biggest secret of all. One so shattering that Addie felt she had to leave her hometown of Starlight, Alabama, to keep from revealing a devastating truth to someone she cares for deeply. Now she’s living a lonely life, keeping everyone at a distance, not only to protect the secret but also her heart from the pain of losing someone else. But when her beloved aunt, the woman who helped raise her, gets a shocking diagnosis and asks her to come back to Starlight to help run the family bakery, Addie knows it’s finally time to go home again.

Tessa Jane Wingrove-Fullbright feels like she’s failing. She’s always been able to see the lighter side of life but lately darkness has descended. Her world is suddenly in shambles after a painful breakup, her favorite aunt’s unexpected health troubles, and because crushing expectations from the Wingrove side of her family are forcing her to keep secrets and make painful choices. When she’s called back to Starlight to help her aunt, she’s barely holding herself together and fears she’ll never find her way back to who she used to be.

Under the bright side of the stars, Addie and Tessa Jane come to see that magic can be found in trusting yourself, that falling apart is simply a chance to rise up again, stronger than ever, and that the heart usually knows the best path through the darkness.

A Certain Kind of Starlight will be available on July 23rd, 2024. Please enjoy the following excerpt!


CHAPTER ONE

From the Kitchen of Verbena Fullbright

Sweet without salty is like hooting without hollering. They’re best together. Salt brightens flavors and lifts the texture of a cake, helping it stand tall and proud. Doesn’t everyone need a boost up every now and again?

ADDIE

Rooted deep within a woman’s complex DNA was the right to pick and choose the traditions and societal conventions she followed. This was especially true for matriarchs, the backbones, the older women who had seen it all, heard it all, dealt with it all, and no longer gave a flying fig what others thought. After years of living, of giving, of conforming, she now played by a set of rules carefully crafted from experience.

I personally believed southern women took this notion to a whole other level and kept that in mind as I studied my daddy’s older sister, Verbena Fullbright, fondly known by those closest to her as Bean.

Sitting primly, properly, on a stool pulled up to a stainless steel counter, Aunt Bean had her rounded shoulders drawn back, her head held high. Earlier today she’d been to see her lawyer, old Mr. Stubblefield, so she wore a long-sleeved leopard-print maxi dress and leather slingbacks instead of her usual baking attire. Her hairstyle was a cross between a pixie cut and a pompadour, the color of merlot. Her fingernails were painted black, a polish that would surely raise eyebrows around town if the people here didn’t know her and her funky style so well.

It was clear that even while feeling puny, Aunt Bean had stuck to her own particular notions of what was right and proper. She’d never attend a business meeting without wearing heels, even if her swollen feet had to be wedged into the shoes.

“Lordy mercy, those pearly gates are in for a mighty reckoning when I come calling. The heavens will be shaking,” Bean said theatrically, humor vibrating in her loud voice.

Her spirited statement was punctuated by two quick thumps of her wooden walking stick on the cement floor, the dramatic effect unfortunately mellowed by the stick’s thick rubber tip.

“Quaking, even,” Delilah Nash Peebles said as she removed a cake pan from an oven and slid it onto a multi-level stainless steel cooling rack that was taller than she was. She glanced at me, the crow’s feet at the corners of her eyes crinkling. “We all know Bean won’t be knocking politely. She’ll thunder on in and try to take over running the place.”

Mid-January sunshine poured in through the glass front door and tall windows of the converted big red barn on Aunt Bean’s vast property. It was the temporary home of the Starling Cake Company while the bakery’s Market Street location underwent a massive renovation.

I’d arrived a half hour ago and had been feeling a sense of déjà vu since—because this space had previously housed the bakery when it had been a home-based business. The air was once again scented with Aunt Bean’s homemade vanilla extract—along with a hint of chocolate and coffee from the mocha cakes currently baking—and everything looked the same as it used to when I was a little and practically glued to her apron strings. Three double ovens on one wall. Two stainless steel workstations. Four stand mixers. The decorating corner. An old range. Two massive refrigerators. A large bakery case.

And just like old times, I fell straight into helping where help was needed. Currently, I was dusting greased cake pans with cocoa powder while trying not to flat-out panic about my aunt’s health issues.

“Plus,” Bean sniffed loudly, indignantly, “I have a few grievances that need airing. Saint Peter’s going to get himself a right earful.”

Delilah added two more pans to the rack. “It’s no secret that you have a knack for speaking your mind. If I had a dollar for every time you’ve fussed about fondant, I’d be a rich woman. Poor Petal was fixin’ to pitch a hissy fit when you told her you wouldn’t use it for her wedding cake.”

“Petal Pottinger?” I asked. “She’s getting married?”

I felt a deep ache, one I had become familiar with since moving away from Starlight, from home, twelve years ago. It came from feeling like I was missing out. Mostly because I was.

“Sure enough. She’s getting hitched to Dare Fife next weekend in the ballroom at the Celestial Hotel,” Delilah said. “I’m convinced he’s the only good apple to fall from his crooked family tree. He’s almost twenty-two and hasn’t been thrown in jail yet, unlike the rest of the men in his family. Has himself a good job, too, at the flour mill.”

Dare Buckley Fife. My stomach rolled with worry for Petal, because around here, the Buckley name was synonymous with danger, with dishonor, with damage.

Bean shifted on the stool. “That Dare’s a good boy, so Petal might be all right at picking men, but God love her, she ain’t got the sense God gave a goose when it comes to cake. I call it fondon’t for a reason. And I’ll keep on saying it until my very last breath.”

“Can we not?” I asked, releasing a pent-up sigh. “We don’t need to be talking like you’re standing on death’s door, Aunt Bean.”

Because she wasn’t. She wasn’t.

“Now, Addie, it’s just talk,” she said. “But you know how I feel about dyin’. I’m not the least bit scared of it, though I hope it’ll hold off a good while. I’ve still got some livin’ to do.”

She might not be scared, but I sure was.

I’d known Bean hadn’t been feeling well for months now. After a bout with the flu last November, she’d started having trouble standing for long periods of time and walking distances without feeling out of breath and woozy—which was why she’d gotten the walking stick. I’d chalked up her slow healing simply to getting older. She was closing in on sixty-four, an age when most would be thinking about retiring. But not Aunt Bean.

Like generations of Fullbright women before her, she’d devoted her life to baking. To sharing with others, through cake, the ability to see the bright side of life and its possibilities.

When people tasted one of her confections, they were flooded with pleasant sparks of warmth and happiness as glimmers of hope and optimism, comfort and contentment filled emotional cracks created by life’s trials and stresses. Her cakes healed the soul and enhanced the inner light that helped guide people through hard times and enabled them to find silver linings in even the toughest situations.

For the bakery’s customers, the effects of the cakes lasted a good long while. Weeks. Sometimes months.

For the women in our family, the ability to see a bright side and all that came with it was a near constant in our lives, first appearing almost two hundred years ago after a star fell from the sky onto family land. Legend was that somehow the fallen star with its special glow had given us the gift, and we felt honor bound to use it to bring light and hope and brightness to others.

But beyond the glimmers, our bright sides also included the ability to see the good in a person, something that was revealed when we looked deeply into someone’s eyes. The glow of an inner light showed us the people who were kind, decent. And warned of those who were not.

Right now, though, as I sat in the barn kitchen, I was struggling to see any kind of light. There was no silver lining to be had.

When Bean had called this morning, telling me to get myself immediately back to Starlight for an emergency family meeting about her future plans, I’d felt an ominous chill that couldn’t possibly be related to retirement. A dark cloud descended.

Gloom followed me as I made the hour and forty-five–minute trip southeast from my apartment in Birmingham to the property that had been in our family for generations. The cloud had lifted only slightly when I’d found Aunt Bean waiting to welcome me with open arms.

Like always.

Immediately I’d noticed the physical changes in her. She’d puffed up a bit since I’d last seen her at Christmastime. Swelling. Edema. Then she told me she’d been to see a cardiologist in Montgomery earlier this week and he’d run a test that was worrisome.

I didn’t know how to process the information. Not the shock of it and certainly not the sprightly tone Bean and Delilah were using in talking about her possible death, of all things.

I lifted a cake pan, holding it carefully as I turned it this way and that, coating the surface in cocoa powder while I tried to think of something to say. Anything. But all the questions, all the love I had for my beloved aunt, were tangled up in a painful lump in my throat.

Currently, Delilah worked at my side, scooping dark batter from a stainless steel bowl into the pans I’d already set aside. Aunt Bean’s Moonlight Mocha cake was my favorite, rich and fudgy with a decadent mocha filling and frosting.

The massive kitchen, which took up the whole ground floor of the barn, was quiet this afternoon, a rarity for a Friday. I was surprised the other two Sugarbirds—the collective nickname of the bakery’s employees, not including Aunt Bean—weren’t here working. Then I realized Aunt Bean had planned it that way. So she could have this talk with me without everyone butting in.

“I need your help, Addie.” Aunt Bean’s gaze leveled on me, light yet serious. “With my plans for the future, now that I’m dealing with this heart dropsy.”

Heart dropsy. Such a cutesy term for heart failure.

It’s what the preliminary test suggested. The doctor had prescribed medications, but a more aggressive treatment plan wouldn’t be decided until other tests were completed.

Delilah flashed me a sympathetic look as Aunt Bean said, “You know I’m a planner at heart.”

She always had been. She was a list maker, an organizer, a get-it-done and do-it-right kind of woman.

“In light of my current health issues,” she said, “I thought it best to do some advanced planning for the family businesses. Just in case.”

Just in case.

Wrapped tightly in sweet vanilla, the words whirled around as I pieced together what she truly meant: Just in case her prognosis was poor. Her heart incurable. Her condition terminal.

Pulling over a stool, I sat down before my knees gave way.

While there were two family businesses, the Starling Cake Company and Starlight Field, the bakery had always been my happy place growing up. Working alongside Aunt Bean and the Sugarbirds and my best friend Ree had been a joy. It was a place filled with love and happiness. A place to create and share. It was where I started to heal after my daddy’s death. Where possibilities seemed endless. Where hope was always in the air, along with the scent of vanilla.

One of the hardest things I’d ever done was walk away from it.

From this whole town, really.

“Though I’ve had plans in place for a long time now,” Bean said, “it’s been a minute since they’ve been updated. They weren’t nearly as detailed as I’d have liked them to be with itemization and whatnot.”

“Sure am glad I’m not George Stubblefield today.” Delilah let out a small laugh as she referred to our family’s lawyer, but I noticed mournfulness now glistened in her dark gaze, nearly hidden behind a pair of hot-pink cat eye glasses.

I was relieved to see the sadness, consoled by the fact that I wasn’t the only one devastated by Bean’s health troubles. Delilah had only been putting on a brave face.

I suspected Aunt Bean was doing the same. There was no way, none at all, that she was taking this situation blithely. Aunt Bean was simply trying to find the light in this darkness, something that came as naturally to her as breathing.

But sometimes there was no bright side to life’s most painful moments.

I knew that better than most anyone.

“Hush now.” Aunt Bean waved her off. “There are still directives that need to be fine-tuned, but for now I’m satisfied with the progress.”

Plans. Directives. She was talking about her will.

“Oh lordy.” Delilah filled another cake pan. Her silvery-black hair sat atop her head in a braided crown, and there was a smudge of flour on her dark nose. “No doubt there are spreadsheets.”

Aunt Bean said, “Of course there are spreadsheets.”

She rested her hands atop the walking stick. On her wrist was a simple gold watch that had a tiny blue sapphire set into its face. It was a throwback to another time with its narrow shape and crown and needed winding every day. Some of the links were shinier than others—recent additions, I realized, most likely to accommodate the swelling.

Trying to distract myself, I grabbed another stack of pans to grease and flour. I knew from experience that tonight the baked cake layers would be crumb coated and refrigerated. Tomorrow morning, they would then be fully frosted and decorated. The take-out window would open at ten A.M. and because the cakes were sold first come, first served, without a doubt, by nine thirty there would be a line of cars flowing down the driveway and along the county road, hazard lights flashing as people patiently waited to for a taste of magic to heal their souls.

Aunt Bean went on, saying, “I’m not worried about the fate of the bakery. It’s the field that concerns me.”

At the mention of the field I vehemently shook my head and reached for the star-shaped sapphire pendant that hung from a long chain around my neck. It had been a gift from Aunt Bean when I was little, and holding it had always brought a small measure of comfort—something I needed desperately right now.

“All right, punkin. We won’t talk about it right now, but it has to be discussed soon.” Her voice was steady, strong. “We must plan ahead to ensure that Winchester Wingrove does not gain possession of the starlight field.”

The field was the site where a star had fallen in 1833 during a massive meteor shower, creating a shallow crater, a star wound. On days when the sun shone brightly, come nighttime in that grassy, bowl-shaped field, glowed a certain kind of starlight. It rose from the ground, a shimmery curtain of blue and yellow and silver and green that danced across the earth like aurora. In that magical light, those in need of guidance received the gift of clarity.

“Winchester, the greedy, self-serving money-grubber, will do everything in his power to get his hands on the field.” Bean’s walking stick once again banged the floor, two quick bursts, the sound still disappointingly muffled in comparison to her vehemence. “Particularly since Constance Jane has passed on, God bless her soul. She was the only thing keeping him in line for so long.”

Winchester’s wife, Constance Jane Cobb Wingrove, had been able to keep him in line because, as one of the heirs to the Cobb Steel fortune, she controlled the family purse strings. Strings he had very much been attached to. Everyone knew he’d only married her for her money. When she’d passed away two years ago, she’d left Winchester a very wealthy—and untethered—man.

“If he excavates the starlight crater, all its light will disappear.” Aunt Bean shook her head as if she could not conceive of that level of stupidity. “I—we—cannot let that happen.”

Winchester, who came from a long line of notorious conmen, cardsharps, counterfeiters, pickpockets, gamblers, and thieves, had become captivated with the starlight field as a young man who’d been in and out of trouble with the law. That was when he discovered an old family journal containing a recounting of the night the star fell, one that spun a fanciful story of how the star had shattered into diamonds when it hit the ground.

That same journal also revealed a long-forgotten fact: the starlight field had once belonged to his family. The knowledge ignited within him a powerful jealousy, lighting a fire that still burned to this day. He made no secret of wanting the land back, of wanting to explore the diamond legend, and vowed that he wouldn’t rest until the field was his.

He’d been a thorn in side of the Fullbright family for decades.

Bean rubbed the face of her watch, her gaze steady on me. “The issue at hand, as you might have surmised, is Tessa Jane.”

I dug my nails into my palms. Tessa Jane was Winchester’s only granddaughter—and also, thanks to an extramarital relationship the family didn’t like to talk about, Aunt Bean’s niece. For a while, Tessa Jane and her mother, Henrietta, had lived with Constance Jane and Winchester here in Starlight. But when Tessa Jane was eleven, her mama, for reasons unknown, had packed up their Cadillac and moved them six hours away to Savannah, Georgia.

It was a move that had confused many around here, considering how close Henrietta was with her mama.

But for me, I’d felt nothing but relief.

Aunt Bean was worried now because half the starlight field belonged to Tessa Jane. It was currently being held in trust but would be released at the end of February, on her twenty-fifth birthday.

“I hardly imagine Tessa Jane would disregard your recommendations, Aunt Bean,” I said carefully, trying to keep my own feelings for Tessa Jane out of my voice. “She adores you. And she loves the field.”

Once, when she was all of nine or ten, Tessa Jane had insisted Aunt Bean buy all the single bananas at Friddle’s General Store instead of a complete bunch because she hadn’t wanted the single bananas be lonely. That was the kind of person she was. She had always been a soft, gentle soul in a world full of sharp, hurtful edges.

I added, “Has she said anything that would make you question her desire to keep the land?” Tessa Jane certainly hadn’t said anything to me, as I hadn’t seen or talked to her in more than a dozen years. To say that we had a complicated relationship was putting it mildly.

“Not in the slightest,” Aunt Bean said. “She’s been rather preoccupied as of late.”

I fought through a wave of guilt for not being more involved in Tessa Jane’s life and slid a cake pan down the counter. “Then you have nothing to worry about.”

“We all know that when it comes to the Wingroves nothing is ever that easy, especially when Winchester holds so much sway with her. But I’ve done come up with a plan to head him off at the pass. A fair one, I believe.”

I suspected she had many plans, all stored up like the alluring jars of colorful sprinkles, dusting sugars, nonpareils, and edible confetti that sat on the long shelves in the cake decorating corner. Enchanting, yes, but also incredibly messy and frustrating if you weren’t careful.

Aunt Bean said, “But my plan is complex, which is why I need your help.”

Delilah snorted. “Her plan has more layers than an apple stack cake.”

Aunt Bean threw her dear friend a droll look, then in a supremely measured tone that set off high-pitched alarm bells in my head, said, “It must be completed in stages. In order to help me with those stages, Addie, you’ll need to move back to Starlight for a spell.”

My hand froze and cocoa powder drifted like dark snow onto the cement floor. “Move back?”

Emotionally, it had been hard enough visiting Aunt Bean and the Sugarbirds. Every few months, I’d arrive like a whirlwind to catch up with everyone, indulge in the local gossip, visit the shops, and soak up all the love and affection I could, tucking it away for the lonely days ahead. But I never stayed longer than a day or two. And each time I left, it was with tears in my eyes and wishes that I could stay.

Even thinking about moving back stirred up all kinds of emotions I’d tamped down for years, making me lightheaded and queasy.

I’d left for a reason. And that reason hadn’t changed in all the time I’d been gone.

Bean’s gaze held steady. “As much as I feel like I’m Superwoman most days, I know that whatever is ahead for me, health-wise, is best conquered with all the help I can get. I’m going to need extra assistance with the bakery, plus rides to and from doctor’s appointments and such.”

Knots formed in my stomach as a long-kept secret perched on my lips. I clamped my mouth shut to keep from speaking. I couldn’t blow it now, after all this time. It had been kept safe nearly twelve years, ever since the warm summer day Ree had taken her last breath.

But no one knew why I left. So Aunt Bean didn’t know what she was asking of me.

“You can work from anywhere, so why not move back here?” she asked, calmly, reasonably, as if she had anticipated any potential excuses. “We do have internet. This isn’t some backwoods, Podunk, one-stoplight town.”

Starlight, Alabama, had all of two stoplights. And though it was off the beaten path, it was hardly unimportant like Podunk suggested. Tourism was the main industry of this town, drawing crowds from all over the world. It thrived on legend, on folklore, on starshine.

I stood and made my way to a back window. Over a low fence, down the slope of a gentle hill, and beyond a stretch of pasture, there was a grass-covered indent in the earth. It was where, all that time ago, the fallen star had hit the ground.

During the day, there was nothing to suggest this land was special. But at night, when the starlight rose from the crater, swirling and twirling, there was no denying it was pure magic.

The starlight drew dozens of visitors every night. Even on cloudy days when the aurora was lackluster, it was still bright enough to be a guiding light, to provide clarity to those in need.

But I didn’t need the starlight to know what I wanted.

I already knew. I’d longed to come home for a good while now.

Yet, how could I possibly keep quiet if I moved back? I couldn’t keep a secret to save my life, which was why I’d left in the first place. It had been the only way to safeguard what had been shared with me—information that would destroy the lives of people I cared for. People I loved.

With an ache in my chest, I looked upward and saw a flock of silvery starlings flying toward the farmhouse. Usually the birds stayed in the trees that bordered the starlight field, but in times of trouble they flew nearer, as a reminder that they were always keeping watchful eyes over the family. I wasn’t surprised to see them now, considering Bean’s health worries—and her current request.

“You can set up a sound studio in the storage room upstairs here. Or,” Bean said, oozing practicality, “in a closet in the farmhouse.”

She was right. I was a voice actor. I owned all the equipment I needed and often worked out of a converted closet in my apartment. But moving here would mean taking time off in order to get a studio set up and ready to record. It would be a headache but doable.

“It’s not forever,” Aunt Bean added, her tone light in a desperate attempt to brighten the darkness.

The meaning hiding behind it’s not forever tore open my heart and made me suddenly wonder if she knew more about her condition than she was letting on.

I turned away from the window and glanced at Delilah, looking for confirmation that Aunt Bean was sicker than she’d told me, but Delilah had her back to me as she placed a cake into one of the ovens.

Aunt Bean tapped her stick again, twice. “What say you, Addie?”

I took deep, even breaths, trying to fight the surge of panic threatening to swallow me whole. My gaze fell on the cake pans lined up on the shelves. It lingered on jars of rainbow sprinkles. I studied the bottles of vanilla extract that Bean had made herself, focusing on the long, dark vanilla beans soaking in bourbon. Then my gaze dropped to the head of my aunt’s walking stick, which was shaped like a starling. The carving was intricate and delicate yet somehow able to bear her weight, her troubles.

Moving back to Starlight was going to be challenging, but I couldn’t turn down Aunt Bean. Not after all the years she’d held me close, kept me safe, helped me through the darkest times of my life.

No one knew me like she did. My daddy and I had moved in with her when I was just four years old—right after my mama left town. Left us. And after Daddy’s death when I was ten, I’d stayed put, my mama too happy living a carefree life by then to return to mothering.

I’d do anything for Aunt Bean.

“Of course I’ll come back.”

She smiled, the melancholy in her eyes shining as bright as the stars she loved so much. “That’s my girl.”

Outside, car tires crunched on the chipped-slate driveway, and I hoped it was another Sugarbird arriving to assist with the massive workload still to complete. Help was more than welcome to clear the production list and also, hopefully, rid the air of its heaviness. All the talk of Bean’s plans and uncertain future could be tucked away for another time, after I let it sink in. Settle.

A moment later the front door creaked open. Warm wind whistled in, and out of the corner of my eye, I caught a flash of light I hadn’t seen in years as Tessa Jane tentatively stepped inside.

“Hello,” she said, her gaze searching our faces. “I’m not too early for the family meeting, am I?”

I’d have recognized her anywhere with her big blue eyes, pale blond hair, and the dreamy ethereal haze that had surrounded her since the day she’d been born, like she’d been dropped straight out of the heavens and into a bassinet at the Coosa County hospital. I stifled the shock wave at seeing her and threw a look at Aunt Bean, who was already greeting Tessa Jane with an effusive hug.

Slowly, I stepped forward and mentally prepared myself to greet the last person I’d ever expected to see today.

Tessa Jane Cobb Wingrove Fullbright.

My half sister.


Click below to pre-order your copy of A Certain Kind of Starlight, available July 23rd, 2024!

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The Devil Made Me Do It (Read a Book)

Are you ready to make a deal with the devil?

Dive into our list of devilishly good reads that feature devils, demons, and all things dark and mysterious. Prepare to be enchanted, horrified, and thoroughly entertained!


craft: stories i wrote for the devil by ananda limaCraft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil by Ananda Lima

At a Halloween party in 1999, a writer slept with the devil. She sees him again and again throughout her life and she writes stories for him about things that are both impossible and true. Lima lures readers into surreal pockets of the United States and Brazil where they’ll find bite-size Americans in vending machines and the ghosts of people who are not dead. Once there, she speaks to modern Brazilian-American immigrant experiences–of ambition, fear, longing, and belonging—and reveals the porousness of storytelling and of the places we call home.

ebony gate by julia vee & ken bebelleEbony Gate by Julia Vee and Ken Bebelle

Emiko Soong belongs to one of the eight premier magical families of the world. But Emiko never needed any magic. Because she is the Blade of the Soong Clan. Or was. Until she’s drenched in blood in the middle of a market in China, surrounded by bodies and the scent of blood and human waste as a lethal perfume. The Butcher of Beijing now lives a quiet life in San Francisco, importing antiques. But when a shinigami, a god of death itself, calls in a family blood debt, Emiko must recover the Ebony Gate that holds back the hungry ghosts of the Yomi underworld. Or forfeit her soul as the anchor. What’s a retired assassin to do but save the City by the Bay from an army of the dead? Out now in paperback!

addie la rueThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Zero Sum GameLight From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six. When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She’s found her final candidate. But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn’t have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan’s kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul’s worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.

Stan Lee's The Devil's Quintet: The Armageddon CodeStan Lee’s The Devil’s Quintet: The Armageddon Code by Stan Lee and Jay Bonansinga

Stan Lee, the world-famous architect of the Marvel Universe, teams up with New York Times bestselling author Jay Bonansinga to unleash a bold new superhero series on the world in Stan Lee’s The Devil’s Quintet: The Armageddon Code. A five-person special ops unit, composed of a diverse assortment of former Navy SEALS from all walks of life, are responding to a terrorist threat deep in the Caucasus Mountains when their mission goes south in a big way. Facing certain death and torture, they’re unexpectedly offered a Faustian bargain by the Devil himself, who grants them unearthly powers in order to send evildoers to Hell on his fiendish behalf. But “The Devil’s Quintet” do things their own way, fighting to protect America and the world, while trying their best not to let their hellish new abilities corrupt them beyond redemption . . .

ruin of kingsThe Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

When destiny calls, there’s no fighting back.

Kihrin grew up in the slums of Quur, a thief and a minstrel’s son raised on tales of long-lost princes and magnificent quests. When he is claimed against his will as the missing son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds himself at the mercy of his new family’s ruthless power plays and political ambitions. Practically a prisoner, Kihrin discovers that being a long-lost prince is nothing like what the storybooks promised. The storybooks have lied about a lot of other things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, and how the hero always wins. Then again, maybe he isn’t the hero after all. For Kihrin is not destined to save the world. He’s destined to destroy it.

To Reign in Hell To Reign In Hell  by Steven Brust

The time is the Beginning. The place is Heaven. The story is the Revolt of the Angels—a war of magic, corruption and intrigue that could destroy the universe.

To Reign in Hell was Steven Brust’s second novel, and it’s a thrilling retelling of the revolt of the angels, through the lens of epic fantasy.

 

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Summer of Sci-fi: 6 Tales to Beat the Heat

by Merlin Hoye

🎵 It’s getting hot in here, so read a sci-fi book 🎵 

Summer is BACK and so is this list of Sci-Fi books we recommend you dive into this season! Check em’ out!


Fractal NoiseFractal Noise by Christopher Paolini

The perfect page turner to take to the beach as long as you like your beach reads existentially terrifying, which we do. Fractal Noise is about a space crew that travels to a harsh planet to investigate a mysterious dark hole, known only as the Anomaly.  Set in the same universe as Paolini’s bestselling sci-fi epic To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, this fever-dream of a novel is a perfectly bone-chilling entry point to the series. Out now in paperback!


The Terraformers by Annalee NewitzThe Terraformers by Annalee Newitz

Talking animals, a lost city, and a pissed off cyborg cow. Intrigued? The Terraformers is a smart, interplanetary adventure about a scientist, her moose, and an ecosystem collapse in the face of corporate greed. Despite the heavy subject matter, it’s so much fun and somehow… cozy? Don’t ask us how, but it is.


The Genesis of Misery by Neon YangThe Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang

Joan of Arc but make it space opera. Need I say more? No, no—I will. This is an epic space fantasy adventure with a gender-queer protagonist who starts a civil war after an angel appears to them with an important message. Locked Tomb fans need to hop aboard the Misery Nomaki train ASAP. They’ll be just your cup of tea. Iced tea of course.


Exadelic by Jon EvansExadelic by Jon Evans

Exadelic is essential reading to prepare you for the day artificial intelligence hacks our reality and decides we are the biggest threat to its existence. This is a gloriously insane story of black magic, mayhem, AI, and adventure and it is SO. MUCH. FUN. Also, uncannily relevant. But we won’t think about that now. It’s summer time, baby!


Dune: The Heir of Caladan by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. AndersonDune: The Heir of Caladan by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson

If you’re looking for an escape from the hot summer sun, Dune: The Heir of Caladan isn’t going to give you that longed for reprieve. The third installment in the Dune prequel series, The Caladan Trilogy, follows Paul and his parents before they arrive on Arakis and in typical Dune fashion, this is a story full of heat, sand, and adventure. Soak up that vitamin D while you still can!


sandymancer by david edisonSandymancer by David Edison

If you finish Dune and crave some more hot, desert-y sci-fi vibes, we offer you Sandymancer. This is a genre-defying tale about a girl, her sand magic, and the god-king she summons with said magic. When the god-king steals her best friend’s body, things go south fast. This adventure has the feeling of a classic sci-fi novel and is the perfect end of summer treat. 

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Forge’s Summer 2024 Preview!

Summer is finally here! With it comes bright, sunny days and lots of time to relax by the pool, at the beach, or in the comfort of the AC! If you’re looking to take a vacation from your daily stressors by getting lost in gripping books that’ll keep you on the edge of your (beach) chair, we’ve definitely got you covered like sunscreen. Catch the wave of all these incredible books coming from Forge this summer!


Masquerade by O.O. Sangoyomi

Masquerade

Set in a wonderfully reimagined 15th century West Africa, Masquerade is a dazzling, lyrical tale exploring the true cost of one woman’s fight for freedom and self-discovery, and the lengths she’ll go to secure her future.

Coming 7.2.24!

Desperation Reef by T. Jefferson Parker

Desperation Reef

In this high-stakes thriller by three-time Edgar Award winner and New York Times bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker, (“A marvel…hits the high-water mark for crime fiction every time out.” —Gregg Hurwitz), a big wave surfer and her sons compete in the same contest that killed her husband many years before.

Coming 7.16.24!

A Certain Kind of Starlight by Heather Webber

A Certain Kind of Starlight

In the face of hardship, two women learn how to rise up again under the bright side of the stars in A Certain Kind of Starlight, the next book from USA Today bestselling author Heather Webber, “the queen of magical small-town charm” (Amy E. Reichert)

Coming 7.23.24!

A Farewell to Arfs by Spencer Quinn

A Farewell to Arfs

Spencer Quinn’s A Farewell to Arfs is a return to the adventurous New York Times and USA Today bestselling series that Stephen King calls “without a doubt the most original mystery series currently available.”

Coming 8.6.24!

Passion for the Heist by K’wan

Passion for the Heist

Two broken souls find themselves inescapably drawn into each other’s orbits, and begin their journey of finding lives outside the ones of poverty and sorrow that their worlds had condemned them to. But when shadows from both their pasts threaten their happiness, Passion and Pain set out on an adventure that would make them hunted by law enforcement and celebrated by the underworld. What initially starts out as a mission of vindication quickly turns into a fight for survival.

Coming 8.27.24!

And here are some great books coming out in paperback!

At the Coffee Shop of Curiosities by Heather Webber

At the Coffee Shop of Curiosities

From the USA Today bestselling author of In the Middle of Hickory Lane comes Heather Webber’s next enchanting novel, At the Coffee Shop of Curiosities! A mysterious letter. An offer taken. And the chance to move forward.

Coming 7.2.24!

Mrs. Plansky’s Revenge by Spencer Quinn

Mrs. Plansky's Revenge

Mrs. Plansky’s Revenge is bestselling author Spencer Quinn’s first novel in a new series since the meteoric launch of Chet and Bernie–introducing the irresistible and unforgettable Mrs. Plansky, in a story perfect for book clubs and commercial fiction readers.

Coming 7.9.24! 

Reliquary by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Reliquary

From #1 New York Times bestselling authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child comes the second spine-chilling novel featuring Special Agent Pendergast.

Coming 7.23.24!

One Wrong Word by Hank Phillippi Ryan

One Wrong Word

A heart-racing psychological thriller from USA Today bestselling and multiple award-winning author, Hank Phillippi Ryan.Gossip. Lies. Rumors. Words like that can hurt you. And Arden knows the reality. Sometimes one wrong word can kill.

Coming 8.6.24!

A Winter’s Rime by Carol Dunbar

A Winter's Rime

A harrowing and emotional novel set in rural Wisconsin—A Winter’s Rime explores the impact of generational trauma, and one woman’s journey to find peace and healing from the violence of her past.

Coming 8.13.24!

Fingal O’Reilly, Irish Doctor by Patrick Taylor

Fingal O'Reilly, Irish Doctor

The beloved Irish Country series continues in Fingal O’Reilly, Irish Doctor, an enchanting novel by New York Times, USA Today, and Globe and Mail bestselling author Patrick Taylor.

Coming 8.13.24!

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Summer Reads Quiz 2024

Summer is here, and it’s time for some fresh reads! Answer a few questions, and we’ll help you find the perfect book for your summer adventures.

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Celebrate Pride with These 2024 Queer Lit Gems 🏳️‍🌈

Happy Pride Month! 🎉 We’re back and ready to celebrate with a re-up of our favorite new and upcoming queer reads that you won’t want to miss. Let’s dive back into some of the amazing queer books we have coming your way for the rest of the year. Get ready to add these gems to your reading list!  😎🏳️‍🌈


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Wolfsong by TJ Klune

The Bennett family has a secret: They’re not just a family, they’re a pack. Wolfsong is Ox Matheson’s story. Oxnard Matheson was twelve when his father taught him a lesson: Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then his father left. Ox was sixteen when the energetic Bennett family moved in next door, harboring a secret that would change him forever. The Bennetts are shapeshifters. They can transform into wolves at will. Drawn to their magic, loyalty, and enduring friendships, Ox feels a gulf between this extraordinary new world and the quiet life he’s known, but he finds an ally in Joe, the youngest Bennett boy. Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his heart. Violence flared, tragedy split the pack, and Joe left town, leaving Ox behind. Three years later, the boy is back. Except now he’s a man – charming, handsome, but haunted – and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them. This paperback edition features beautiful orange sprayed edges and a bonus short story. Available now! 

brothersong by TJ Klune

Brothersong by TJ Klune

In the ruins of Caswell, Maine, Carter Bennett learned the truth of what had been right in front of him the entire time. And then it—he—was gone. Desperate for answers, Carter takes to the road, leaving family and the safety of his pack behind, all in the name of a man he only knows as a feral wolf. But therein lies the danger: wolves are pack animals, and the longer Carter is on his own, the more his mind slips toward the endless void of Omega insanity. But he pushes on, following the trail left by Gavin. Out on 07/30/2024!

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Somewhere Beyond the Sea by TJ Klune

Arthur Parnassus lives a good life built on the ashes of a bad one. He’s the headmaster of a strange orphanage on a distant and peculiar island, and he hopes to soon be the adoptive father to the six dangerous and magical children who live there. Arthur works hard and loves with his whole heart so none of the children ever feel the neglect and pain that he once felt as an orphan on that very same island so long ago. He is not alone: joining him is the love of his life, Linus Baker, a former caseworker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. And there’s the island’s sprite, Zoe Chapelwhite, and her girlfriend, Mayor Helen Webb. Together, they will do anything to protect the children. But when Arthur is summoned to make a public statement about his dark past, he finds himself at the helm of a fight for the future that his family, and all magical people, deserve. Out on 09/10/2024!

9781250269393Rumor Has It by Cat Rambo

The crew of the You Sexy Thing navigates the aftermath of facing down a pirate king and the relationships that they have created with one another in Cat Rambo’s action adventure science fiction Rumor Has It, the third book in the Disco Space Opera. The crew of the You Sexy Thing have laid a course for Coralind Station, hoping the station’s famed gardens will provide an opportunity to regroup, recoup, and mourn their losses while while finding a way to track down their enemy, pirate king Tubal Last. All Niko wants to do is pry their insurance money from the bank and see if an old friend might be able to help them find Last. Unfortunately, old friends and enemies aren’t the only unreliable elements awaiting her and the crew at Coralind. Each will have to face themselves—the good and the bad—in order to come together before they lose everything. Out on 9/24/2024!

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Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

After a lifetime of bounties and bloodshed, Viv is hanging up her sword for the last time. The battle-weary orc aims to start fresh, opening the first ever coffee shop in the city of Thune. But old and new rivals stand in the way of success — not to mention the fact that no one has the faintest idea what coffee actually is. If Viv wants to put the blade behind her and make her plans a reality, she won’t be able to go it alone. But the true rewards of the uncharted path are the travelers you meet along the way. And whether drawn together by ancient magic, flaky pastry, or a freshly brewed cup, they may become partners, family, and something deeper than she ever could have dreamed. For the first time in hardcover, this luxe edition of the New York Times bestselling Legends & Lattes will feature new chapter art, beautiful new endpapers, and special stenciled edges. Out on 10/29/2024

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Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

Set in the world of New York Times bestselling Legends & Lattes, Travis Baldree’s Bookshops & Bonedust takes us on a journey of high fantasy, first loves, and secondhand books. Viv’s career with the notorious mercenary company Rackam’s Ravens isn’t going as planned. Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, she’s packed off against her will to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk—so far from the action that she worries she’ll never be able to return to it. What’s a thwarted soldier of fortune to do? Spending her hours at a beleaguered bookshop in the company of its foul-mouthed proprietor is the last thing Viv would have predicted, but it may be both exactly what she needs and the seed of changes she couldn’t possibly imagine. Still, adventure isn’t all that far away. A suspicious traveler in gray, a gnome with a chip on her shoulder, a summer fling, and an improbable number of skeletons prove Murk to be more eventful than Viv could have ever expected. For the first time in hardcover, this luxe edition of the #1 New York Times bestselling Bookshops & Bonedust will feature new chapter art, beautiful new endpapers, and special stenciled edges. Out on 10/29/2024

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Witch Queen of Redwinter by Ed McDonald

Witch Queen of Redwinter is the third book in Ed McDonald’s Redwinter Chronicles, full of shady politics, militant monks, ancient powers… and a young woman navigating a world in which no one is quite what they seem. Out on 11/12/2024! 

 

the atlas complex by olivie blake-1The Atlas Complex by Olivie Blake

An explosive return to the library leaves the six Alexandrians vulnerable to the lethal terms of their recruitment. Old alliances quickly fracture as the initiates take opposing strategies as to how to deal with the deadly bargain they have so far failed to uphold. Those who remain with the archives wrestle with the ethics of their astronomical abilities, while elsewhere, an unlikely pair from the Society cohort partner to influence politics on a global stage. And still the outside world mobilizes to destroy them, while the Caretaker himself, Atlas Blakely, may yet succeed with a plan foreseen to have world-ending stakes. It’s a race to survive as the six Society recruits are faced with the question of what they’re willing to betray for limitless power—and who will be destroyed along the way.

heartsong by tj kluneHeartsong by TJ Klune

All Robbie Fontaine ever wanted was a place to belong. After the death of his mother, he bounces around from pack to pack, forming temporary bonds to keep from turning feral. It’s enough—until he receives a summons from the wolf stronghold in Caswell, Maine. Life as the trusted second to Michelle Hughes—the Alpha of all—and the cherished friend of a gentle old witch teaches Robbie what it means to be pack, to have a home. But when a mission from Michelle sends Robbie into the field, he finds himself questioning where he belongs and everything he’s been told.

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Necrobane by Daniel M. Ford

Aelis de Lenti, Lone Pine’s newly assigned Warden, is in deep trouble. She has just opened the crypts of Mahlgren, releasing an army of the undead into the unprotected backwoods of Ystain. To protect her village, she must unearth a source of immense Necromantic power at the heart of Mahlgren. The journey will wind through waves of undead, untamed wilderness, and curses far older than anything Aelis has ever encountered. But as strong as Aelis is, this is one quest she cannot face alone. Along with the brilliant mercenary she’s fallen for, her half-orc friend, and a dwarven merchant, Aelis must race the clock to unravel mysteries, slay dread creatures, and stop what she has set in motion before the flames of a bloody war are re-ignited.

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Download a Free Digital Preview of Glass Houses by Madeline Ashby

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A masterful near future whodunit for fans of Glass Onion and Black Mirror; join a stranded start-up team led by a terrifyingly realistic charismatic billionaire, a deserted tropical island, and a mysterious AI-driven mansion–as the remaining members disappear one by one.

A group of employees and their CEO, celebrating the sale of their remarkable emotion-mapping-AI-algorithm, crash onto a not-quite-deserted tropical island.

Luckily, those who survived have found a beautiful, fully-stocked private palace, with all the latest technological updates (though one without connection to the outside world). The house, however, has more secrets than anyone might have guessed, and a much darker reason for having been built and left behind.

Kristen, the hyper-competent “chief emotional manager” (i.e., the eccentric boyish billionaire-CEO Sumter’s idea of an HR department) is trying to keep her colleagues stable throughout this new challenge, but staying sane seems to be as much of a challenge as staying alive. Being a woman in technology has always meant having to be smarter than anyone expects….and Kristen’s survival skills are more impressive than anyone knows.

Download Your Free Digital Preview:

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