Nifty Novels and More from Maryelizabeth

 

Publicity Manager, Events Coordinator, and MG co-owner Maryelizabeth (M'e) reads across all of our chosen genres, with an emphasis on sociological fiction. Whether a book involves werewolves, spaceships, faeries, forensics, or all of the above, her main concern is the impact of their world on the characters in it.

 

 

 

 

   

 

Staff Pick Logo
Heroine Complex Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780756410841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Daw Books - July 5th, 2016

When describing this book, my first instinct is to quote the opening to Charlie’s Angels: “Once upon a time, there were three little girls…” Except these three grew up Asian American in an alternate San Francisco where demonic invaders from another dimension periodically wreak havoc, and have invested some people with superpowers. San Francisco’s premier superheroine is Aveda Jupiter. Aveda’s assistant is her childhood BFF, Evie Tanaka, who is also the caretaker for her teenage sister, Bea. Evie’s assistant role includes managing Aveda’s public image, including wardrobe clean-up after battling demonic cupcakes, and offering measured responses to a local columnist’s mean girl comments. But when Aveda is injured, Evie must doff her cartoon duck t-shirt and don the attire of the city’s protector. Can Evie handle the spotlight? A great fun read – and did I mention there’s hot nerd romance?!


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A Hundred Thousand Worlds Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399562211
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - June 28th, 2016

This July Indie Next Pick is an Easter egg-filled examination and celebration of popular culture and fandom, and a great story. I confess I was cautious at first, concerned that with its literary imprint and blurbs, the convention circuit setting might be just a device. But Proehl rapidly reassured me with his alternate universe parallels to comics, television shows, and familiar convention inhabitants. Proehl mostly supersedes the tropes of the genre through affectionate and knowing point of view characters, from former-cult-TV-series lead actress and fugitive mother Valerie Torrey, her precocious son Alex, indie comics creators Brett and Fred, and rare-as-a-unicorn female comics writer Gail. Their stories are interwoven with tales of the AHTW universe’s comics characters, and Valerie’s retellings of episodes of her show as bedtime stories for Alex. AHTW didn’t quite push every fannish button for me, but like a really good Joss Whedon show, it succeeded so well I am loath to quibble about the shortcomings.


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Night Shift Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780425263228
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ace Books - May 3rd, 2016

I am satisfied with the events of Night Shift like Mr. Snuggly is satisfied by a full cupboard of cat food. Witch Fiji Cavanaugh, one of my favorite residents of Midnight, finds herself at the crux of the most recent crisis, with some major life decisions to face to try to avert disaster. But first, she must deal with the unexpected and unwelcome presence of her sister. I am very fond of the community that’s sprung up at the crossroads of Witch Light Road and Davy Highway, complete with all their secrets (and connections to the Charlaineverse), and hope that Charlaine will find other stories to share, if not more novels


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Sleeping Giants Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781101886694
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey Books - April 26th, 2016

A young girl running through the woods falls into a pit. At the bottom of the pit is a giant metal hand. The hand, buried for millennia, defies any explanation involving humans. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin and a team of scientists and military staff work together, under the direction of a mysterious unnamed supervisor, to seek out and assemble other body parts, and try to glean what the significance of the dismantled Titan means, and who left it to be discovered. Neuvel deals with a vast array of issues – personal and political consequences, questions of morality and manipulation – as well as fascinating scientific speculation, in a brilliantly crafted debut. A young girl running through the woods falls into a pit. At the bottom of the pit is a giant metal hand. The hand, buried for millennia, defies any explanation involving humans. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin and a team of scientists and military staff work together, under the direction of a mysterious unnamed supervisor, to seek out and assemble other body parts, and try to glean what the significance of the dismantled Titan means, and who left it to be discovered. Neuvel deals with a vast array of issues – personal and political consequences, questions of morality and manipulation – as well as fascinating scientific speculation, in a brilliantly crafted debut. 


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Momotaro Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters Cover Image
By Margaret Dilloway, Choong Yoon (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781484724873
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - April 5th, 2016

Sixth-grader Xander Miyamoto is focused on escaping his boring classroom and spending his spring break playing video games with his best friend, Peyton, as well as limited family time with his single-parent father and his Obachãn. Xander’s dad gave him a comic book about the famous hero, Musashi Miyamoto, but Xander doesn’t have much attention for it – or his teacher’s lecture about climate change, or the art he has been creating without conscious direction, or the mysterious figure observing him through the rain. All of these matters come into sharp focus when he and Peyton are suddenly drawn into a fantastic adventure with high-stakes personal consequences. Margaret’s updated story of Japan’s mythical warrior and the monstrous Oni is a great addition to the middle-grade fantasy genre.


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Future Shock Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780807526828
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Aw Teen - April 2016

Elena Martinez is a tough young woman living in present-day Los Angeles. She’s been a foster kid for years, is about to turn 18, and is facing limited options for her future, until she is selected to be among an elite group of teens sent into the future via Project Chronos by the mysterious Aether Corporation. One of Elena’s qualifications for the project is her eidetic memory, which has served as more of a hindrance than a help to date. Along with four other teens with special contributions of their own, Elena is sent on a 24-hour trip to the future (with a counting clock for chapter headers) to acquire specific information for Aether, with the strict admonition not to look into their own timelines. But when things go awry, will she become a girl without a future again, literally? 


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Into the Dim Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780544602007
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hmh Books for Young Readers - March 1st, 2016

This debut novel of time travel, Tesla, and teenage turmoil was completely engaging, from the fascinating voice of claustrophobic, socially isolated, brilliant protagonist Hope Walton to the depictions both positive (no pollution!) and negative (hygiene, anti-Semitism, sexism) of the 12th Cantury. Admittedly I am predisposed to any book that includes Eleanor of Aquitaine as a character. I was delighted to experience Hope’s discovery of her family secret and quest to save her mother. And, hey, Diana Gabaldon (Outlander) also liked Into the Dim, and she knows whereof she blurbs!


Orphan X Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250067845
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - January 19th, 2016

Fans of Gregg’s runs writing the Batman and Punisher comics now have an original semi-vigilante protagonist’s adventures to follow with Evan Smoak, also known as The Nowhere Man, or Orphan X. Evan was recruited in his youth to be trained as part of a blacker than black ops government assassin program; after leaving the secret program, he has committed his lethal skills to helping those in need pro bono. Readers are introduced to Evan as his carefully structured life begins to go haywire, both in his professional life as his current rescue scenario becomes much more fraught than anticipated, and his personal life, as he recognizes the limitations of his ability to interact with others in a normal fashion. Another high-octane high tech ride!


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Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781476781228
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Baen Books - February 2nd, 2016

One of the many reasons I appreciate the Miles Vorkosigan saga novels is Lois McMaster Bujold’s ability to write a variety of genres within the overarching structure of her space opera universe. She has written mysteries, romances, and espionage adventures; her latest focuses on Vicereine Cordelia Naismith (of Cordelia’s Honor and more), and Admiral Oliver Jole, longtime companion and romantic interest of Cordelia’s deceased husband, Aral Vorkosigan, both prior to and after Aral and Cordelia fell in love. Granted, I am predisposed to have a positive response to a saga of adults of a certain vintage finding a fresh new love, but even if that weren’t the case, the multi-award-winning Bujold’s charming Austenesque tale of her title characters would still deserve praise. 


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Shallow Graves Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062366207
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - January 26th, 2016

Local author Kali joins teen horror subgenre authors like Gretchen McNeal, Kendare Blake, and Dan Wells with this strong debut. 17-year-old Breezy discovers a world of monsters when she awakens in her grave a year after her murder, with no clear memories of her own death, but the power to sense darkness in others – specifically those who have killed with intent – and mete out a vigilante justice of her own. Breezy has no interest in existing as a monster; she longs for a return to her time with her parents, sisters, and best girlfriend. Her search for information and assistance takes her down many a dark byway, as she encounters more monsters among both the human and non-human populace. Breezy’s struggle to define the terms of her unlife makes for a rewarding read, and there are some truly scary monsters to boot. 


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Truthwitch: A Witchlands Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780765379283
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Teen - January 5th, 2016

Welcome to the Witchlands, soon to be one of your favorite new fantastic worlds. Conservative commoner Iseult (a Threadwitch who sees the connections between the lives of others) and impulsive titled Safiya (a Truthwitch, a rare and sought-after magical trait) share a strong bond Threadsisters. Their enduring friendship is tested as the small independent nation of Nubrevna, ruled by Prince Merick (a Windwitch), is buffeted by empirical powers, and they and their allies strive to control their own destinies, and protect what matters to them. A wonderful magical land, great villains, including an infamous Bloodwitch, and solid female friendships all contribute to this superior fantasy. 


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Beat Slay Love Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780981944210
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thalia Press - September 12th, 2015

You’ll never watch the Food Network shows the same way after reading Beat, Slay, Love, as the members of the Thalia Press Author Co-Op (Lise McClendon, Katy Munger, Kate Flora, Gary Phillips, and Taffy Cannon) mix together a heady mixture of reality television, misbehaving foodies, murder most-creatively-foul, and determined sleuths. Some of my favorite scenes took place in a fictional La Jolla eatery, but I might be just a bit biased. Delicious over-the-top fun!You’ll never watch the Food Network shows the same way after reading Beat, Slay, Love, as the members of the Thalia Press Author Co-Op (Lise McClendon, Katy Munger, Kate Flora, Gary Phillips, and Taffy Cannon) mix together a heady mixture of reality television, misbehaving foodies, murder most-creatively-foul, and determined sleuths. Some of my favorite scenes took place in a fictional La Jolla eatery, but I might be just a bit biased. Delicious over-the-top fun!


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The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780316385978
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Redhook - October 20th, 2015

Max’s debut is a near-roman a clef celebration of geekdom. Dahlia Moss is succeeding at life about as well as Scott Pilgrim at the beginning of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s series. The struggling young geek is offered a substantial sum of money to track down a “stolen” item from a MMORPG; it seems a perfect match to her assorted skill set, composed largely of a vast knowledge of pop culture. The job gets deeply weird when Dahlia’s client is found murdered with a physical incarnation of the missing item. Dahlia and her friends are welcome new additions to the geek tribe


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Black Widow Forever Red Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781484726433
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Marvel Press - October 13th, 2015

One of my personal standards for superior storytelling is when the story or characters manifest in my dreams. Margaret Stohl’s tale of Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow of Avengers fame, achieved just that. This would be a great “strong female character” novel even if the character didn’t have a 50-year history in the pop culture consciousness. Natasha and Ava Orlova meet when Natasha rescues Ava from the infamous Red Room – nearly a decade later, they are both drawn to Alex Monclair, a young fencer with no apparent connection to either, who is the target of deadly interest. And yes, this is the origin story for the Red Widow.


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Sunfail Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781617754067
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Infamous Books - November 3rd, 2015

Sunfail, Akashic’s venture into speculative fiction, is a highly readable near future thriller in the vein of James Rollins. I very much liked the mix of POV characters, varied conspiracy/world mythos, and compelling storytelling, especially at a time when I am suffering a fair amount of apocalypse fiction fatigue. Savile is widely published in both suspense and SF in the UK, and this is a promising introduction for U.S. readers, even with a few stridency issues. 


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An Ancient Peace Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780756409586
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Daw Books - October 6th, 2015

Former Confederation Marine Torin Kerr and her crew, known to readers of Huff’s Valor deep space series, embark on a completely off-the-books mission in the first in this new series. Tasked with intercepting the grave robbers who are intent on acquiring Elder Race ancient artifacts for aggressive use against the dominant powers in the Confederation, the team of Younger Race sentient beings must not only determine the possible source of the artifacts and confront the criminals, but also work to determine the mastermind behind the scheme. Huff’s aliens are truly alien, and completely empathetic at once, and the interpersonal relationships between characters – both protagonists and antagonizes – would make this a must-read, even if it didn’t have a spiffy adventure plot. Highly recommended. 


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Six of Crows Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781627792127
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt & Company - September 29th, 2015

The first volume in Leigh’s Dregs duology, set in the Grishaverse, is a heart-wrenching combination of caper novel and character studies. Think “Leverage” meets “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” but in an alternate magical Russia. Six of Crows has one of the best opening sentences ever, kicking off a grand magical heist adventure with characters readers will be thrilled to cheer for. This book is so much fun!The first volume in Leigh’s Dregs duology, set in the Grishaverse, is a heart-wrenching combination of caper novel and character studies. Think “Leverage” meets “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” but in an alternate magical Russia. Six of Crows has one of the best opening sentences ever, kicking off a grand magical heist adventure with characters readers will be thrilled to cheer for. This book is so much fun!


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Silver on the Road Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781481429689
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Saga Press - October 6th, 2015

Although The Devil’s West Laura Anne Gilman is writing in stands alone, its literary trail partners include Emma Bull’s Tombstone and Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory. Isobel, aka Izzy, who has been reared in the Devil’s house in the town of Flood, deep in the mystical Territory, makes a pact on her sixteenth birthday to assume a new role as the Devil’s Left Hand. She is sent out on the road to discover the significance of her new identity, and the responsibilities and powers that accompany it, with experienced rider Gabriel, a man with secrets of his own. Izzy confront magicians, bandits, and a host of natural and supernatural threats, as well as bone-grinding exhaustion and other challenges of the trail


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Jillian Cade: (Fake) Paranormal Investigator Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781616954345
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Teen - September 1st, 2015

Jillian Cade’s father is a charlatan – but one with an international following, so when he goes largely MIA after her mother’s death, leaving the high schooler more or less independent under the loving care of her aunt, uncle, and younger cousin, Jillian decides to capitalize on his reputation and generate an income stream via “Umbra Investigations,” looking into supernatural occurrences for the gullible. The beginning of her junior year of high school is immediately complicated by two issues – a gorgeous new guy who may only be interested in her because of her dad, and a case that may not be as fake as she anticipates. Jillian’s narration is a great combination of sarcastic and pop culture young person, balanced with some real vulnerability. Comparisons to “Veronica Mars” are inevitable, and deserved


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Swerve Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781476798578
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - July 7th, 2015

Okay, so it’s the obvious metaphor, but it’s true, none-the-less: the new thriller from the best-selling urban fantasy author isn’t so much a departure from her previous story-telling, as a swerve onto a parallel path, just one without supernatural elements. Physician’s assistant Kristine Rush and her fiancé, ER surgeon Daniel Hawthorne, make a routine roadside stop to deal with a spilled beverage en route to his family home. While Kris is in the bathroom stall, she is menaced by an unseen foe – when she emerges, Daniel is gone, taken hostage, and soon Kris starts receiving directions to commit difficult and morally questionable tasks to try to rescue him, with no recourse for outside assistance. This is a breathless, one-sitting, “what would / could I do in this situation?” novel, recommended for readers who aren’t averse to “real world” darkness and violence.


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As Night Falls Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780553394818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - June 30th, 2015

This intense thriller from the Mary Higgins Clark Award–winner pits two escaped convicts on the run against a nuclear family in their wintery Adirondacks cabin. Sociopath Nick Muncey and his giant companion, Harlan, menace Sandy Tremont and her husband, wilderness guide Ben, and teenage daughter, Ivy, in the claustrophobic environs of their isolated home. Emotions run high as Jenny crafts insights not just into the Sandy and her family’s fears, and Nick and Harlan’s desperation, but also into family dynamics, spousal relationships, and more. A great chilling read for a hot summer’s night.


I Am Princess X Cover Image
By Cherie Priest, Kali Ciesemier (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780545620857
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - May 26th, 2015

Princess X offers readers the very best kind of “purple prose,” in its tale of BFFs May and Libby, who create the title character on a playground during a quiet moment in grade school. May continues to tell tales of the sword-wielding, sneaker-wearing princess, illustrated by Libby – until Libby’s tragic accidental death. When the lonely teenaged May sees fan art and a webcomic appear with their character, she is surprised … and as she explores the mystery behind the reemergence of her creation, she begins wondering if Libby is dead after all. The story’s prose / sequential art combination, supported by an active website for iamprincessx.com provide a fully immersive experience for true believers in female friendship


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The Water Knife Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780385352871
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 26th, 2015

The Water Knife takes readers on a grim look at an all too likely future of the American Southwest, concentrated in what remains of Phoenix, AZ, examining water management responsibilities in an effective thriller that will have readers thinking twice before casually refilling their next glass from the faucet. While Paolo clearly feels passionately about the facts of the arid overpopulated landscape and the consequences of a society that is largely disconnected from the infrastructures that support it, his story of running out of water in the West, and the extremes individuals will go to to control the flow of water and power, has enough action and emotional quandaries to satisfy the most demanding reader. – Maryelizabeth


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Day Shift: A Novel of Midnight, Texas Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780425263198
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ace Books - May 5th, 2015

Charlaine’s Midnight, TX, continues to be the crossroads of her fictional universes; in Day Shift, not only do the residents of the anti-Cheers town (where no one knows your name or your business, unless you choose to share…) incur an influx of extraordinary visitors, but several also are required to make excursions outside of Midnight. The lynchpin event is psychic Manfred Bernardo’s difficulties – when a kindly client dies under suspicious circumstances during a meeting with Manfred in a Dallas hotel, Manfred is accused of having a hand in her murder and the disappearance of her valuables. The deadly Olivia and magic-wielding Fiji lend Manfred a hand, both out of varying degrees of affection, and a strong desire to see outof-town law enforcement remove their attention from Midnight and its denizens. Charlaine’s multiple point of view approach gives readers insight into a number of residents, both decreasing and increasing the mysterious atmosphere of the community surrounding Witch Light Road. Great fun – I look forward to my next visit to Midnight!


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Magonia Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062320520
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - April 28th, 2015

Magonia is a truly fantastic work in all senses of the word. The novel’s richly imagined world takes readers into a strange and fierce world of airships and cities that reside above the clouds, and the avian metahumans who live there in secrecy — and in competition for resources with homo sapiens. Teenage Ava has struggled for breath on a daily basis; she is less surprised when she believes she asphyxiates and dies, than she is by her transportation to the world of Magonia, where it’s revealed she is inhuman and the changeling daughter of the captain of one of the airships. But will Ava align with her newfound people against the family and BFF / romantic interest who raised, nurtured, and loved her? The gorgeous, messy, and often laugh-out-loud funny narrative is perfectly suited to teen readers, and to those who remember the feelings of alienation during adolescence.


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Monday's Lie Cover Image
$26.24
ISBN: 9781476774459
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - February 3rd, 2015

Like Jamie’s stellar debut, Three Graves Full, Monday’s Lie is also a stand-alone thriller. Dee’s mother, Annette, not only was a professional spy, but also passed along her skills of observation and problem-solving to her offspring. Dee has aspired to lead a completely pedestrian, mundane, and conventional life as an adult, including her choice of spouses. When Dee’s husband, Patrick, begins to display some questionable mannerisms, her childhood training serves her well; she also brings her talents to bear to dig deeper into the mystery of her mother’s career. A fun suspense ride.


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The Hawley Book of the Dead Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780345545022
Availability: Special Order
Published: Ballantine Books - September 23rd, 2014

Speculative Fiction

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Chrysler who loved to read and grew up to be a bookseller and an author. Another little girl named Maryelizabeth who loved to read and also grew up to be a bookseller read Chrysler’s debut, The Hawley Book of the Dead, and found it full of the special magic of storytelling. The titular Hawley Book of the Dead is part of magician and widow Revelation Dyer’s matriarchal family heritage of witchcraft, a part that holds both answers to the danger that pursues Reve and her daughters, but simultaneously presents a danger to her and the powerful women in her clan. An intricate and engaging book recommended for fans of thoughtful contemporary fantasy.

– Maryelizabeth


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The Clockwork Dagger Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062313843
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Voyager - September 16th, 2014

Speculative Fiction

One doesn’t need to be particularly invested in the steampunk genre to find a lot to like in this debut fantasy, which offers a fascinating medical / magical system; a world with conflicts between nature and faith and “scientific progress” as well as political alliances; and the mystical Lady, who is the source of healing, but whose powers also can hold a darker intent. When Medician Octavia Leaneder leaves the refuge of her training academy to make her way in the world, she does not realize she will be a focus for divergent forces, and a fulcrum for the fate of her land. Octavia displays admirable resilience and creativity in her encounters with the intriguing apprentice Clockwork Dagger (espionage agent) Alonzo Garret, and various allies and adversaries. I am eager to spend more time in their company.

– Maryelizabeth


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Soda Pop Soldier Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062210227
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Voyager - August 12th, 2014

Speculative Fiction

I should confess up-front that I rarely play video games – while I am intrigued by the story telling possibilities the medium offers, I don’t fare well with the vertigo all but the tamest action games induce. Soda Pop Soldier provided a great way to virtually immerse myself (sometimes to vertigo-inducing degrees) in a gaming universe. Join übergamer PerfectQuestion in Nick’s near future technonoir novel, as he strives to uncover the deeper agenda behind the assignment he and his fellow gamers are given to battle as soldiers for mega corporations competing for the prize of advertising space on a significantly damaged world. I suspect video game aficionados will have an even greater appreciation for Nick’s adventure.

– Maryelizabeth


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The Magician's Land Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780670015672
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books - August 5th, 2014

Speculative Fiction 

From its magical opening scene in a largely mundane New Jersey bookstore, to its conclusion leaving readers with appropriate-to-the-story if not necessarily happy “good-byes” to Quentin Coldwater, flawed magician, and his compatriots, The Magician’s Land fulfils Lev’s unspoken contract with his readers to both honor and build on the classic tales of adventures at its foundation. After the losses of The Magician King, Quentin gradually develops more self-awareness and grace, while undertaking fabulous magical adventures, of course! Strongly recommended.

– Maryelizabeth

Signed copies available, while they last.


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Dear Daughter Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780670016389
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books - July 31st, 2014

Suspense

Janie Jenkins has a lot going for her, including her fierce dedication to being a self-protective bitch. She also has a lot of challenges, including being released after a decade in prison after being convicted for the murder of her mother; being hounded by celebrity stalkers and the media; and the nagging sensation that perhaps the conviction was valid, as her memories of the night of her mother’s killing are less than clear. The sharp and prickly Jane assumes a low-profile persona to conduct an investigation based on the thinnest of clues from her mother’s past in strange twinned small towns in South Dakota. Jane may not be likable or pleasant, but she is unforgettable.

– Maryelizabeth

An August Fantastic Firsts Pick!   


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The Lost Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780778317111
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mira Books - May 27th, 2014

Speculative Fiction 

Sarah Beth Durst’s first adult novel bears her trademark unique fantastic stamp – in this case, artist Lauren Chase is driving in the desert with no destination in mind, other than the desire to escape the reality of her mother’s terminal illness, when her circumstances draw her to the surreal town of Lost. By incorporating both themes of those who are lost and those who have suffered losses, set among the minutia of the lost — those stray socks, toys, shopping lists, etc. that we are all familiar with — Sarah Beth adds depth and dimension to her “Wizard of Oz”-like story. Recommended to fans of Seanan McGuire’s Sparrow Hill Road: Lost could be encountered along similar pathways.

– Maryelizabeth 


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The Good Girl Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780778316558
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mira Books - July 29th, 2014

Suspense 

Overlapping narrators, a non-linear story line, and a slow reveal all contribute to elevate this debut suspense novel. In her early 20’s, Mia Dennett still strives to rebel against her parents’ affluent Chicago lifestyle, making her perhaps an unlikely target for someone seeking revenge against her father, an influential judge. Colin, more of a criminal by economy than intent, kidnaps Mia, but then diverts for his instructions, hiding both of them in a remote severely underequipped cabin in the Minnesota woods. Mia is returned, to the relief of her mother, Eve, and the Detective on the case, Gabe Hoffman, but her physical presence only serves to deepen the emotional and psychological puzzle behind her abduction.

– Maryelizabeth  


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I See You Made an Effort: Compliments, Indignities, and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50 Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780399166181
Availability: Special Order
Published: Blue Rider Press - March 6th, 2014

Curated Fiction

Comedian and actress Annabelle’s collection of 16 essays on hitting the half-century mark hold humor and resonance whether dealing with the universal concepts of issues like those pillow lines that used to immediately disappear in the morning and now linger into one’s day, or the more specialized issues facing a woman working in Hollywood. Annabelle doesn’t shy away from difficult topics like the increasing number of one’s friends facing serious or terminal health issues, or the struggles of the sandwich generation. Reading I See You Made an Effort is like having a refreshing gab session with one’s girlfriends. Don’t miss Annabelle at the July 20 Smart Summer Reads event in Redondo Beach!

– Maryelizabeth


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Ruin and Rising Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780805094619
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt & Company - June 17th, 2014

Young Adult

Tsarpunk and conflict and power reach an epic and satisfying and costly conclusion in Ruin & Rising, the final installment in Leigh’s Grisha Trilogy, as Alina – Sun Summoner, Saint, orphan, and fulcrum for the fate of her world – and her allies marshal their limited forces in a final confrontation with the Darkling. My friend Molly helped me coin the term “Darklinghosen” to describe Ruin & Rising – meaning “so good and with just the right amount of tragedy and sacrifice.”

– Maryelizabeth

 


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How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky Cover Image
$27.29
ISBN: 9781250047021
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - July 1st, 2014

Speculative Fiction

 

The characters in the new novel from the author of Shine Shine Shine share some of the same unique characteristics – they are unlike characters who populate anyone else’s writing that I can think of, while still being identifiable to the reader – in a story about connections, family, and the forces of fate. George and Irene are destined to be together, according to the stars, aligned from conception by the machinations of their mothers. Can they resist their fate? Should they? Readers may find themselves examining the roles psychology, astronomy, philosophy and family play in their own lives. Recommended for those who thrive on quirky and informed fiction.

– Maryelizabeth


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Midnight Crossroad Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780425263150
Availability: Special Order
Published: Ace Books - May 6th, 2014

 

Speculative Fiction

 

Welcome to Midnight Pawn, one of the few businesses in a small West Texas community marked by the stoplight at the corner of Witch Light Road and the Davy Highway. Few pass through, and fewer stay – and most of the latter share two traits: a craving for privacy and secrets to hide.  Newcomer (familiar to readers of the Harper Connelly series) Manfred Bernardo, who has just relocated to the rental house next to the pawnshop, empathizes with his neighbor’s concerns even as he endeavors to transition from outsider to resident. Readers and Manfred learn much more when the discovery of a murdered corpse and resultant official and unofficial investigations bring a number of hidden stories to light. Recommended for fans of Charlaine’s supernatural and suspense stories.

 

—Maryelizabeth

 


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Sparrow Hill Road Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780756409616
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Daw Books - May 6th, 2014

Speculative Fiction

 

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Seanan offers her own take on urban legends and ghost stories with the tale of Rose Marshall, the Dead Prom Date, who’s haunted the highways and byways of America since she was killed in the early 1950s. Rose has found a pastime in her afterlife, guiding others as needed, sometimes onto the ghostroads and sometimes onto a detour until a later date. And she’s been evading Bobby Cross, a man who fuels his immortality through the sacrifice of others – including Rose on that fateful night – for decades. But she can’t outrun him forever… Pull up a stool, sip on a milkshake, and enjoy the mythology of midnight America.

– Maryelizabeth

 


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Rebel Belle Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399256936
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Putnam Publishing Group - April 8th, 2014

Normal 0 Young Adult

Discover the fun that can be had when immensely popular Southern belle Harper Price is diverted from her Cotillion lessons and quality time with her equally popular boyfriend by the unpleasant interjection of her responsibilities as a Paladin. Not only does being a Paladin mean adapting fashion accessories into lethal weapons, but also forging a relationship with her high school arch nemesis, neither of which are likely to help her maintain her Queen Bee position. Snarky and silly but still touching. Check it out!

– Maryelizabeth


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Ruin Falls Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780345549075
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - April 22nd, 2014

Normal 0 Mystery & Suspence

Spouses Liz and Paul Daniels and their six- and eight-year old children are en route to Paul’s largely estranged parents’ home for a visit, when the children disappear from their hotel room during an overnight stop. Liz and the police quickly come to the inescapable conclusion that her college professor and ardent environmentalist husband is responsible – and in the state of New York, his abduction of their children is not a police matter. Liz, who has become comfortable in her supportive wife role with a few small rebellious exceptions must bloom into a fierce, more-capable woman as her search for their children leads all of them into danger. Jenny will be visiting Southern CA and MG in early June!

– Maryelizabeth


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Blood Always Tells Cover Image
$27.29
ISBN: 9780765333544
Availability: Special Order
Published: Forge - April 15th, 2014

Normal 0 Mystery & Suspence

You know that moment when you’ve briefly reunited with and sorta drugged your cheating-on-his-wife boyfriend in hopes of capturing his revealing secrets and blackmailing the annoying sonofagun, and then you are both kidnapped? But he claims it’s all okay, because it’s part of his elaborate plot to have an unbreakable alibi when something fatal happens to said wife? But somehow you get the feeling the hostage-takers and your boyfriend aren’t working from the same script? And then things get complicated? Yeah, that’s what Blood Always Tells is like. A great thriller about the importance of siblings.

– Maryelizabeth


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The Winter People Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780385538497
Availability: Special Order
Published: Doubleday Books - February 11th, 2014

Mystery & Suspence

Jennifer excels at stories of people haunted by the past, by regrets, and by their passions, all of which are in play in The Winter People. Sara Harrison Shea and her husband and daughter are eking out a living in small town Vermont in 1908 – when Sara’s daughter is murdered, Sara turns to the tales told by her “aunt” of a process to bring one’s loved ones back to life, even if only briefly and at a terrible cost. A century later, teenager Ruth and her younger sister, Fawn, live on the Shea farm in the shadow of the Devil’s Hand outcropping, with their mother, who vanishes overnight. Jennifer weaves the two timelines together, along with perspectives of others touched by loss and seeking gain, in a creepy suspenseful thriller.

– Maryelizabeth


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Hild Cover Image
$28.35
ISBN: 9780374280871
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - November 12th, 2013

2013 Pick

Big. Rich. Dense. Chewy. Immersive. Thoughtful.
Hild is the double-chocolate cheesecake novel of the year.


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The Little Mermaid: A Pop-Up Adaptation of the Classic Fairy Tale Cover Image
By Robert Sabuda, Robert Sabuda (Illustrator)
$29.99
ISBN: 9781416960805
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Simon - October 1st, 2013

2013 Pick

A wonderful rendition of the story and the world, true to Hans Christian Andersen's melancholy original.


The Mysterious Madam Morpho Cover Image
$0.99
ISBN: 9781451687682
Availability: Available Now
Published: Pocket Books - October 2nd, 2012

2013 Pick

One of the great joys of my ereader has been rediscovering the pleasures of shorter works -- short stories, novellas, etc. Delilah's Blud novellas top my list!

 


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Antigoddess Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780765334435
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - September 10th, 2013

2013 Pick

One of my favorites of the year! Kickass teens and mythology FTW!

 

Young Adult

Eternity is winding down at an accelerating pace for the gods and demi-gods of ancient Greece – each suffering in a horrible fashion tied to their spheres of influence. Perpetually dedicated virgin goddess Athena is manifesting owl feathers inside her body – so far non-lethally, but it’s only a matter of time and location. Similar fates are befalling her fellow deities; and once again, a young woman named Cassandra will find herself at the heart of a war, as the gods take sides again, this time with far more than pride and a fruit of precious metal at stake. Kendare blends legend, contemporary life, horror and a dark streak of karma in the first of this intriguing series. Recommended to readers with all levels of familiarity with the Trojan War.

– Maryelizabeth

 


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Ordinary Grace Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781451645828
Availability: Special Order
Published: Atria Books - March 26th, 2013

2013 Pick

An extraordinary exceptional book -- the best book I read all year.

Curated Fiction

Kent Krueger’s novel belongs on the shelves of readers’ hearts and minds somewhere between Stephen King’s “The Body” and Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine.  At the turn of the 21st Century, Frank Drum reminisces about the summer of his 13th year, growing up the son of a Methodist minister in a small Minnesota River Valley community. A series of events, including accidental deaths, murder, and the revelations of deeply-held secrets, test the characters’ faith and family bonds. Kent creates prose that resonates with readers who will care passionately about this story, even if they have no personal connection to the mid-Century middle America of the setting.

– Maryelizabeth


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Sea Change Cover Image
$26.24
ISBN: 9780765333148
Availability: Special Order
Published: Tor Books - June 18th, 2013

2013 Pick

Intriguing, moving, unlike any other fantasy novel out there.

Speculative Fiction 

The synopsis on this book captured my attention when it mentioned a talking kraken, and I confess I was smitten by the charms of Octavius (named by a child, be kind!) and his human friend, Lilly. When Octavius is captured and sold as an exhibit at a circus, Lilly begins a quest to rescue him that is firmly rooted in the tradition of fairy tales with its series of challenges or requests to meet for numerous characters. At the same time, Wheeler explores gender and emotional issues with a modern sensibility that exerts a subtle undertow to the traditional elements of her tale. Recommended to the thoughtful reader.

– Maryelizabeth

 


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Six Months Later Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781402285516
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Fire - October 2013

Young Adult

 

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Chloe believed she was an average, but not exceptional high school junior, with a lifelong best friend, an inaccessible crush, and mostly supportive parents. Now she’s a high school senior with outstanding academics, dating Mr. Super Popular, and her BFF’s not on speaking terms with her any more. The only time she can remember anything about the period in between is when she’s in contact with local bad boy Adam. One of my favorite things about this contemporary YA thriller was the value Chloe places on mending her relationship with Maggie, as she tries to discover what’s happened and why. Recommended.

– Maryelizabeth

 

 

 


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Parasite Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780316218955
Availability: Special Order
Published: Orbit - October 29th, 2013

Speculative Fiction

Mira Grant’s work is not for the faint-hearted. It’s not just her devotion to conveying how near future science and nature can work together in both wonderful and terrifying ways; it’s also her willingness to have a high emotional cost to her characters and readers. Sally Mitchell should not have recovered from her car accident; having done so with the assistance of her bio-engineered tapeworm makes her a medical anomaly, one who is closely studied by the SymbioGen staff, who created the “beneficial parasites.” Mira takes Sally and the reader on a journey of discovery, as she tries to adjust to being the “new Sally,” with no memories of her previous self. Another great work of the consequences of (mostly) well-intentioned science.

– Maryelizabeth


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Cursed Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780425263297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roc - October 1st, 2013

Paranormal Romance

Part of Siren Emma Monroe’s dedication to her work with missing-persons cases for the FBI’s San Diego unit is driven by penance – she has spent centuries trying to accumulate enough good acts for the goddess Demeter, who holds Emma and her fellow Sirens significantly responsible for the whole Persephone / Hades relationship disaster, to forgive her. In the meantime, she has a strict no romantic commitments policy, as nothing triggers Demeter’s sense of vengeance like a potential love. When sexy lycanthrope Special Agent Zack Armstrong is transferred to America’s Finest City, can he and Emma reignite their brief affair without distracting from their casework or drawing Demeter’s wrath? A great sexy series starter for Urban Fantasy fans!

– Maryelizabeth

SIGNED copies of this Fantastic First Pick are here! Order Now! 


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The Creature Department Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781595146854
Availability: Special Order
Published: Razorbill - November 5th, 2013

Young Adult

This inventive middle-grade book is pure fun, from its glow-in-the-dark cover to its wild and wooly look behind the scenes at the otherworldly inventors behind the gadgets at the mysterious DENKi-3000 factory. It’s Willy Wonka meets Jim Henson with a significant dose of bodily-function jokes. The book is produced by the team-up of an award-winning author and an acclaimed visual effects studio – with perhaps just a touch of intangible essences? Be sure to check out the Department’s website! thecreaturedepartment.com  

– Maryelizabeth

 


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Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781596438132
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - August 27th, 2013

Interested in sword play? Explosions? Tea? Then this grand graphic novel adventure, packaged in First Second's great paper and French flaps, is for you!


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Elisha Barber Cover Image
$26.20
ISBN: 9780756408350
Availability: Special Order
Published: Daw Books - July 2nd, 2013

Speculative Fiction

Ambrose offers the darkest and grimmest of dark fantasy with this saga of Elisha Barber, a healer in 14th Century England. As a child, Elisha witnessed the church’s execution of a witch – or was she an angel?, setting him on his path to being a barber (who cuts hair and beards, and also performs surgeries). At the same time, he holds himself at an emotional distance from others, not knowing he is a magus gifted with sensitivity, among other magical skills. The story begins with family tragedy following his sister-in-law’s difficult delivery, and includes horrendous injuries of body and soul. Compelling, but not for the faint-hearted.

–Maryelizabeth


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Help for the Haunted Cover Image
$28.34
ISBN: 9780060779634
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - September 17th, 2013

Mystery & Suspense

 

Maryland teen Sylvie Mason has always been the good child in her family. After her demonologist parents are mysteriously gunned down after a nighttime call to a church, as Sylvie waited in their car, leaving her in the care of her confrontational and rebellious older sister, Sylvie tries to balance her desire for truth with her fears that a closer examination of their lives will only lead to more tragedy. Recommended for fans of Laura Lippman and Jennifer McMahon.

-Maryelizabeth


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Havana Lost Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781938733383
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Elizabeth F Hellmann - August 16th, 2013

Mystery & Suspense

 

The experiences of three generations of a Cuban – American crime family provide the framework for a story spanning from the early days of the Cuban revolution to the near present. Mobster’s daughter Francesca Pacelli falls for Cuban revolutionary Luis; although her father successfully separates the two, she is pregnant with their son. Luis and the man who betrayed them are among the thousands of Cuban fighters in Angola, where they stumble upon a valuable secret, one that will have devastating consequences for the family. Romance, family values, and greed all play a role in shaping the outcome.

– Maryelizabeth


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The Dead Run Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780062199652
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Voyager - September 24th, 2013

Horror

 

Adam’s contribution to supernatural border noir is a spicy mix of Aztec mythos, contemporary border and cult drama, and a man who’s no better than most, but with a penchant for helping defend others even under the worst circumstances.  American Jess Galvan’s border-runner activities are interrupted when a bar brawl sends him to Ojos Negros Prison. His escape is effected by a centuries old priest, who tasks him with delivering a precious cargo to the priest’s son, a Texas cult leader. With a still beating heart of a virgin girl wired to his chest, Jess ‘s not only motivated by his survival, but also the goal of rescuing his daughter from the clutches of the cult. Supporting characters including the priest’s supremely irate slaughtered by him wife, her undead army of sacrificed virgins, an overextended sheriff with an unlimited sense of humor, and more make this a high octane adventure.

–Maryelizabeth


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Broken Cover Image
$17.84
ISBN: 9781402285455
Availability: Special Order
Published: Sourcebooks Fire - November 5th, 2013

Young Adult

Being the new girl in school can be a challenge under any circumstances. Being the new girl who starts three weeks late, has not attended public school before, must carry a portable defibrillator with her, and whose stepmom is the hovering school nurse would be a challenge for the most stout-hearted, let along Scarlet Killian, whose heart is literally broken. All Scarlet wants is to be able to enjoy as normal a life as possible – makefriends, take classes, etc. But can she survive, even with the help of her peer support group? Or will high school be the death of her? Readers will enjoy spending time with Scarlet, who is observant with an appropriately dark sense of humor.

–Maryelizabeth