A world-famous actor (a former Disney Channel star who’s back for a reunion special—think Ryan Gosling meets Justin Timberlake) walks into the small-town Florida bar where three 19-year-old friends are drinking their way through another dull night.
K.T. Medina’s debut novel, White Crocodile, is a harrowing venture into the deadly fields of Cambodia, a Southeast Asian nation of volatile politics, poverty and danger. The author is a former member of the British armed forces, well qualified to describe the conditions in that small country where, during three decades in the 1970s, hostile political groups planted thousands of land mines that have victimized the native population to the present day.
Most readers probably imagine their favorite author as thoughtful and deep—someone bursting with insight into life and empathy for all creation. From the outside, that’s what Henry Hayden appears to be. Modest despite the five-and-counting bestsellers that bear his name, he seems to be devoted to his wife, loyal to his friends and eager to sign books for the fans who travel to his remote village just to meet him. But he’s a fraud: Every word of his novels was written by his publicity-shy wife, Martha.
Simon Watson lives on a precipice: His family’s old house on the Long Island Sound is slowly dying, leaning closer to the sea with every storm, and his job as a librarian is in peril thanks to looming budget cuts. In the midst of all this uncertainty, a bookseller sends a curious book to his doorstep—a journal kept by the proprietor of a traveling carnival. Full of sketches and damaged by water, the book has been passed down and annotated for centuries, and Simon is surprised to find the names of his grandmother and other ancestors within its pages.
Jean Perdu is a self-described literary apothecary. From his barge-turned-bookshop on the Seine, he doesn’t just sell books; he prescribes them as a pharmacist prescribes medicines, matching books to their perfect readers to help customers overcome life’s difficulties. And he does so with near perfect success. The only exception to the rule is Perdu himself.
When eight-year-old Carolyn stood in the kitchen in her home, helping her mother make potato salad for a Labor Day picnic, she had no idea her life was going to change drastically in a few short hours. Soon, she and several other children from her quiet suburban neighborhood of Garrison Oaks would be orphaned and forced into apprenticeships with a man who could raise the dead and make light from darkness.
Attention vacationers: Award-winning author Dean Bakopoulos (Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon) has served up a sultry story that fits perfectly in your carry-on.
English audiologist-turned-author S.J. Watson made a big splash with his debut thriller, Before I Go to Sleep, in 2011. The book chronicled the struggles of a woman who suffers from an acute form of amnesia, and has to reconstruct the details of her life every day when she wakes up. Nicole Kidman starred in the much-anticipated (though tepidly received) big-screen version of Watson’s book, which was translated into over 40 languages.
After 15 years and 18 books, best-selling author Meg Cabot rewards loyal readers with what they’ve been waiting for—the wedding of Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia and Michael Moscovitz in her latest novel, Royal Wedding.
Does a spy thriller written by a former CIA officer offer an unbiased view of the world of espionage? Who knows, but it seems the answer may be both yes and no.