April is scooting right along! Before you know it, it will be too hot to function. I was clearly very hungry when I made this post, as I was inspired to put cupcakes as the featured image instead of a book? Maybe we’ll start a new series of book/ cupcake pairings and everything will be right with the world.
The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey (Fantasy, April 19, 2016, Harper Voyager) 2000 B.C. A beautiful, ambitious angel stands on a mountaintop, surveying the world and its little inhabitants below. He smiles because soon, the last of humanity who survived the great flood will meet its end, too. And he should know. He’s going to play a big part in it. Our angel usually doesn’t get to do field work, and if he does well, he’s certain he’ll be get a big promotion. And now it’s time . . . The angel reaches into his pocket for the instrument of humanity’s doom. Must be in the other pocket. Then he frantically begins to pat himself down. Dejected, he realizes he has lost the object. Looking over the Earth at all that could have been, the majestic angel utters a single word. “Crap.” 2015 A thief named Coop-a specialist in purloining magic objects-steals and delivers a small box to the mysterious client who engaged his services. Coop doesn’t know that his latest job could be the end of him-and the rest of the world. Suddenly he finds himself in the company of the Department of Peculiar Science, a fearsome enforcement agency that polices the odd and strange. The box isn’t just a supernatural heirloom with quaint powers, they tell him. It’s a doomsday device. They think. . . And suddenly, everyone is out to get it.
Under the Bali Moon by Grace Octavia (Romance, Harlequin Kimani, April 19, 2016) Exotic Bali is the perfect place to stage a wedding. If ambitious attorney Zena Shaw has her way, it’ll also be the perfect place to prevent one. Zena loves her younger sister too much to watch her rush into a marriage she’ll later regret. But Zena’s mission hits an obstacle in the form of gorgeous Adan Douglass, the groom-to-be’s brother—and the man who once broke Zena’s heart. Adan was just a college kid when he chose career ambition over love, but years later he regrets it. Now he’s hoping to persuade the beautiful workaholic to join him at their siblings’ union…and think about rekindling their own. From stunning beaches to magnificent temples, he’ll show her everything this lush island has to offer—and hope these magical nights are only the beginning of forever…
Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice (The Austen Project #4) by Curtis Sittenfeld (Contemporary, Random House, April 19, 2016) This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray. Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches. Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.
His Love Lesson by Nicki Night (Romance, Harlequin Kimani, April 19, 2016) After finally dumping her controlling fiancé, Chey Rodgers is ready to live life on her own terms. Moving to New York to complete her undergrad degree is step one—but getting snowed in with a sensual stranger isn’t part of the plan! Now Chey can’t stop fantasizing about the incredible lover she never expects to see again. Until her new professor walks into the classroom… Successful corporate attorney Hunter Barrington has one semester to prove himself at his alma mater. He’s put to the test when the sultry beauty who shared his bed at a Utah ski resort reappears in his life. A secret romance with his student could cost Hunter his academic future—especially when a scheming colleague sets her sights on the eligible lawyer. Will Hunter and Chey be able to avoid scandal and attain their dreams without sacrificing their passion?
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer (Non-fiction, Simon & Schuster, April 19, 2016) To save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven. In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu, later became one of the world’s greatest and most brazen smugglers. In 2012, thousands of Al Qaeda militants from northwest Africa seized control of most of Mali, including Timbuktu. They imposed Sharia law, chopped off the hands of accused thieves, stoned to death unmarried couples, and threatened to destroy the great manuscripts. As the militants tightened their control over Timbuktu, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali. Over the past twenty years, journalist Joshua Hammer visited Timbuktu numerous times and is uniquely qualified to tell the story of Haidara’s heroic and ultimately successful effort to outwit Al Qaeda and preserve Mali’s—and the world’s—literary patrimony. Hammer explores the city’s manuscript heritage and offers never-before-reported details about the militants’ march into northwest Africa. But above all, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu is an inspiring account of the victory of art and literature over extremism.
Provocative Attraction by AlTonya Washington (Romance, Harlequin Kimani, April 19, 2016) Viva Hail always dreamed of a world far away from her struggling Philadelphia roots. It ended up costing her the man she loved. Now Rook Lourdess is back in her life in a big way. As her personal bodyguard, the world-renown
ed security expert sweeps her off to his chalet in Italy, rekindling a desire that could forgive the mistakes of the past. Rook is finally ready to put his obsession with Viva behind him. But when the celebrated actress becomes an eyewitness to a dangerous money-laundering operation, he’s her best hope of survival. What better cover than the Hollywood star running off with her ex-lover? Will their reignited passion offer a chance to write a new ending, or is Rook giving in to a temptation that could break his heart once again?
Dirty (Dive Bar #1) by Kylie Scott (Romance, St. Martin’s Griffin, April 19, 2016) The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her. Lydia Green doesn’t know whether to burn down the church or sit and cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it’s with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later. Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she’d marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he’s all wrong-maybe it’s time to give Mr. Right Now a chance. After all, what’s wrong with getting dirty?
Original Fake by Kirstin Cronn-Mills, E. Eero Johnson (Middle grade graphic novel, April 19, 2016, G.P. Putnam & Sons Books for Young Readers) Introvert Frankie Neumann hates his life, and understandably so. He’s got a weird, tutu-wearing sister, Lou, and even weirder parents, Bridget and Brett—Frank Sinatra and Dr. Frank-N-Furter impersonators, respectively. And, he’s just the guy who makes pizza at Pizza Vendetta. Though he has secret artistic aspirations of his own, his over-the-top family makes him want to stay in the background. But Frankie’s life is about to change—becoming way more interesting, even a little dangerous, but definitely cool. After his shift at the pizzeria one night, Frankie meets David and Rory, cousins and errand runners for the mysterious Uncle Epic, a legendary anonymous street artist and Frankie’s absolute idol. Little could Frankie dream that his new adventures with Uncle Epic would lead to the perfect opportunity to strike back at his insufferable sister for a lifetime of torture. But things go haywire quicker than you can say “street art kicks righteous ass,” and the lines are suddenly blurred between art and Frankie’s real life.
The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) by Renee Ahdieh (YA Fantasy, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, April 26, 2016) In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan. While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (YA Fantasy, St. Martin’s Griffin, April 26, 2016) Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen? Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire… But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.
Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel (Sci-fi, Del Rey, April 26, 2016) A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand. Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected. But some can never stop searching for answers. Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?