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Comedy, Fantasy, GLBT, Mysteries, Nicola

New Fiction

16.07.14 | Comment?

nullThe year of the rat, Clare Furniss (305 pages)
The world can tip at any moment…a fact that fifteen-year-old Pearl is all too aware of when her mom dies after giving birth to her baby sister, Rose. Rose, who looks exactly like a baby rat, all pink, wrinkled, and writhing. This little Rat has destroyed everything, even ruined the wonderful relationship that Pearl had with her stepfather, the Rat’s biological father.Mom, though…Mom’s dead but she can’t seem to leave. She keeps visiting Pearl. Smoking, cursing, guiding. Told across the year following her mother’s death, Pearl’s story is full of bittersweet humor and heartbreaking honesty about how you deal with grief that cuts you to the bone, as she tries not only to come to terms with losing her mother, but also the fact that her sister—The Rat—is a constant reminder of why her mom is no longer around. (Goodreads)

First lines: The traffic light glows red through the rainy windscreen, blurred, clear, blurred again, as the wipers swish to and fro. Below it, in front of us, is the hearse. I try not to look at it.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTorn away, Jennifer Brown (276 pages) Born and raised in the Midwest, Jersey Cameron knows all about tornadoes. Or so she thinks. When her town is devastated by a twister, Jersey survives — but loses her mother, her young sister, and her home. As she struggles to overcome her grief, she’s sent to live with her only surviving relatives: first her biological father, then her estranged grandparents. In an unfamiliar place, Jersey faces a reality she’s never considered before — one in which her mother wasn’t perfect, and neither were her grandparents, but they all loved her just the same. Together, they create a new definition of family. And that’s something no tornado can touch. (Goodreads)

First lines: Marin wanted to teach me the East Coast Swing. It was pretty much her only goal in life. She was constantly pulling on my arms or standing in front of the TV, her hands on her square little hips, sparkle nail polish glinting and ratty rose-colored tutu quivering.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAfter the end, Amy Plum (322 pages)World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They’ve survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there. At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.
When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie. Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she’s trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past. (Goodreads)

First lines: I crouch low to the ground, pressing my back to the ancient spruce tree, and raise my crossbow in one hand. Keeping my eye on the precious shard of mirror embedded in my weapon, I inch it out from behind the tree. In the reflection, I spot something moving behind a cedar across the snowy clearing.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTake me on, Katie McGarry (455 pages)Champion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help. West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future. Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for. (Goodreads)

First lines: A door squeaks open at the far end of the barren hallway and the clicking of high heels echoes off the row of mteal post-office boxes. I attempt to appear causual as I flip through the mail. All of it leftovers from our previous life: my brother’s mixed martial arts magazine, an American Girl doll catalog for my sister, another seed and gardening catalog for my mother. Collection notices for my father.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDangerous creatures, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (327 pages)Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she’s a bad girl. She’s Dark. She’s a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she’s around. Lucky for her, Wesley “Link” Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn’t hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay. (Goodreads)

First lines: There are only two kinds of Mortals in the backwater town of Gatlin, South Carolina-the stupid and the stuck. At least, that’s what they sat. As if there are any kinds of Mortals anywhere else. Please. Luckily, there’s only one kind of Siren no matter where you go in this world or the Otherworld.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMoon at Nine, Deborah Ellis (214 pages)Fifteen-year-old Farrin has many secrets. Although she goes to a school for gifted girls in Tehran, as the daughter of an aristocratic mother and wealthy father, Farrin must keep a low profile. It is 1988; ever since the Shah was overthrown, the deeply conservative and religious government controls every facet of life in Iran. If the Revolutionary Guard finds out about her mother’s Bring Back the Shah activities, her family could be thrown in jail, or worse.
The day she meets Sadira, Farrin’s life changes forever. Sadira is funny, wise, and outgoing; the two girls become inseparable. But as their friendship deepens into romance, the relationship takes a dangerous turn. It is against the law to be gay in Iran; the punishment is death. Despite their efforts to keep their love secret, the girls are discovered and arrested. Separated from Sadira, Farrin can only pray as she awaits execution. Will her family find a way to save them both? (Goodreads)

First lines: Ancient demons roam an ancient land. They dwell in the valleys of lurk in the mountains. They hide among the grains of sand and sleep beside the scorpions. They watch the humans go on about their insignificant business 0 shopping in the markets, heeding the call to prayer, taking care of their children. The humans are busy. The demons go unnoticed.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe other side of nowhere, Steve Johnson (209 pages)When Johnno and his friends survive the freak storm that rips apart their yacht, they’re just glad to be alive. That is, until reality hits: they’ve washed up on an uninhabited island with few supplies, no phone and no way to get home. The situation becomes even more desperate when the four teenagers discover they are not alone on the island. There’s a hideout where men with guns are covering up a dark secret that they will protect at any cost. With nowhere to run, Johnno and his friends are forced into a dangerous game with the criminals as they fight to save one of their own. (Goodreads)

First lines: “Matty?” I puffed. “You still alive back there?” I could see him out of the corner of my eye, his head down and tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth. “Course I am,” he wheezed back, “Doing better than you.”

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Minnow, Diana Sweeny (263 pages)Tom survived a devastating flood that claimed the lives of her sister and parents. Now she lives with Bill in his old shed by the lake. But it’s time to move out—Tom is pregnant with Bill’s baby. Jonah lets her move in with him. Mrs Peck gives her the Fishmaster Super Series tackle box. Nana is full of gentle good advice and useful sayings. And in her longing for what is lost, Tom talks to fish: Oscar the carp in the pet shop, little Sarah catfish who might be her sister, an unhelpful turtle in a tank at the maternity ward. And the minnow. (Goodreads)

First lines: “I think Bill is in love with Mrs. Peck,” I confide to an undersized blue swimmer crab that has become all tangled up in my line. The little crab doesn’t appear to be the slightest bit interested, so I finish pulling it free and toss it over the side of Bill’s dinghy.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsZero Hour, Will Hill (700 pages)When Jamie Carpenter’s mother is kidnapped by strange creatures, he finds himself dragged into Department 19, the government’s most secret agency.
Fortunately for Jamie, Department 19 can provide the tools he needs to find his mother, and to kill the vampires who want him dead. But unfortunately for everyone, something much older is stirring, something even Department 19 can’t stand up against…(Goodreads)

First lines: Eight black-clad Operators made their way silently over the lip of the canyon, spacing themselves evenly out along the length of the ridge. They bristled with weaponry, although not the kind they were used to carrying; they wore no stakes on their belts, no ultraviolet grenades or beam guns, no T-Bones.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsShadows, Paula Weston (387 pages)It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.
And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares. Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?(Goodreads)

First lines: I’m running along the boardwalk, wind and sand stinging my arms. It’s after work and I have the track to myself. A handful of surfers are battling the choppy waves, and the Williamsons are walking on the beach like they do every morning in their matching sports gear and orthopedic shoes. Their silver heads are bowed against the wind, but they’re still holding hands. It makes me feel emptier than usual.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMy brother’s keeper, Tom and Tony Bradman (106 pages) Alfie signs up for the army aged just 15, carried away by patriotic fervour at the start of the Great War. But life in the trenches is very far from his dreams of glory. It’s hard, and cold, and it’s boring. Alfie is desperate to see some action. But when he volunteers for a raid on the German trenches, against the advice of his comrades, Alfie begins to understand what war means, and to see the value of the lives that are being thrown away on the Western Front every day…(Goodreads)

First lines: Alfie Barnes peered into the darkness shrouding no-man’s land and wished he were taller. Like the rest of the men in his section he was in position on the trench’s fire-step, but he could only just get his head up to the level of the sandbagged parapet.


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