Our NovelNetwork posse of authors has rounded up quite an impressive herd of new books for 2020! As your bookclubs plan their 2020 schedule and book selections, be sure to include these much anticipated releases from our NovelNetwork authors (listed in order by anticipated release date) and schedule an author visit to coincide with your meeting!
The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore (January 14, 2020)
They say she’s a murderess. She claims she’s innocent. But Lucy has been known to tell lies…
1855, New Hampshire. Lucy Blunt is set to hang for a double murder. Murderess or victim? Only Lucy knows the truth.
In the shadow of the gallows, Lucy reflects on the events that led to her bitter downfall—from the moment she arrived at the rambling Burton mansion looking for work and a better life to the grisly murders themselves.
In a mysterious household of locked doors and forbidden affections, Lucy slips comfortably into the shadows, where she believes the indiscretions of her past will remain hidden. But when Lucy’s rising status becomes a threat to the mistress’s current companion, the delicate balance of power and loyalty begins to shift, setting into motion a brewing storm of betrayal, suspicion, and rage.
Now, with her execution looming closer, Lucy’s allies fight to have her sentence overturned as the tale she’s spinning nears its conclusion. But how much of her story can we trust? After all, Lucy’s been known to bend the truth…
The Chocolatier by Jan Moran (January 28, 2020)
A young widow. A husband she thought she knew. On the picturesque Italian coast of Amalfi lies a chocolatier’s destiny…
San Francisco, 1953: Heartbroken over the mysterious death of her husband, Celina Savoia, a second-generation chocolatière, resolves to take their young son to Italy’s shimmering Amalfi coast to introduce him to his father’s family. Just as she embarks on a magical, romantic life of making chocolate by the sea surrounded by a loving family, she begins to suspect that her husband had a dark secret–forged in the final days of WWII–that could destroy the relationships she’s come to cherish.
While a second chance at love is tempting, the mystery of her husband’s true identity thwarts her efforts. Challenged to pursue the truth or lose the life and those she’s come to love, Celina and her late husband’s brother, Lauro, must trace the past to a remote, Peruvian cocoa region to face the deceit that threatens to shatter their lives.
In The Chocolatier, Jan Moran, bestselling author of the contemporary Summer Beach series and the historical novels, The Winemakers and Scent of Triumph, from St. Martin’s Press, offers a testament to the resilience of love, along with insights into the fascinating world of chocolate-making. The Chocolatier is available in ebook, trade paperback, audiobook, hardcover, and large print editions. For readers of Danielle Steel, Renee Rosen, Chanel Cleeton, Susan Meissner, Barbara Taylor Bradford, and Gill Paul.
Perfect Kill by Helen Fields (February 6, 2020)
He had never heard himself scream before. It was terrifying.
Alone, trapped in the darkness and with no way out, Bart Campbell knows that his chances of being found alive are slim.
Drugged and kidnapped, the realisation soon dawns that he’s been locked inside a shipping container far from his Edinburgh home. But what Bart doesn’t yet know is that he’s now heading for France where his unspeakable fate is already sealed…
DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are working on separate cases that soon collide as it becomes clear that the men and women being shipped to France are being traded for women trafficked into Scotland.
With so many lives at stake, they face an impossible task – but there’s no option of failure when Bart and so many others will soon be dead…
Get ready for a rollercoaster ride like no other, with the next gripping thriller from the number one bestselling crime author, Helen Fields. The perfect read for fans of M. J. Arlidge and Karin Slaughter.
Seabreeze Sunset by Jan Moran (February 11, 2020)
Untangling secrets at a historic beach inn has unimagined surprises.
With the high summer season underway at the Seabreeze Inn, Ivy faces a fresh round of new challenges and reasons to celebrate. She has just one season to make the inn successful enough to pay the tax bill her late husband burdened her with. And her neighbor’s lawsuit could mean an end to the Seabreeze Inn. Yet her daughter Sunny’s arrival is also a chance to renew their relationship.
While Bennett is developing deeper feelings for Ivy, new trials are weighing on their relationship. Sensing Ivy’s loss of the departure of her sister Shelly, Bennett encourages Mitch to reach out to Shelly in New York. And when Ivy’s daughter Sunny arrives in Summer Beach, she fears her mother is replacing their late father with Bennett.
Amid the turmoil, Ivy stumbles across another clue from the old house’s original owner, whose surprising, inspiring story causes everyone to reflect on what the house means to them.
Seabreeze Sunset is a sweet summer beach read and the third novel in the Summer Beach series. Book your reservation in this small beachside town of intriguing characters now. Pre-order the ebook or save to your wishlist for print books coming soon.
This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann (March 1, 2020)
From the bestselling author of The Forgotten Hours comes an unforgettable story of one woman’s journey to reclaim what she lost in a country torn apart by the devastating legacy of WWII.
On the windswept shores of an East German island, Bettina Heilstrom struggles to build a life from the ashes. World War II has ended, and her country is torn apart. Longing for a family, she marries Werner, an older bureaucrat who adores her. But after joining the fledgling secret police, he is drawn deep into its dark mission and becomes a dangerous man.
When Bettina falls in love with an idealistic young renegade, Werner discovers her infidelity and forces her to make a terrible choice: spend her life in prison or leave her home forever. Either way she loses both her lover and child.
Ten years later, Bettina has reinvented herself as a celebrated photographer in Chicago, but she’s never stopped yearning for the baby she left behind. Surprised by an unexpected visitor from her past, she resolves to return to her ravaged homeland to reclaim her daughter and uncover her beloved’s fate, whatever the cost.
Raphael, Painter in Rome by Stephanie Storey (April 7, 2020)
Another Fabulous Art History Thriller by the Bestselling Author of Oil and Marble, Featuring the Master of Renaissance Perfection: Raphael!
Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling is one of the most iconic masterpieces of the Renaissance. Here, in Raphael, Painter in Rome, Storey tells of its creation as never before: through the eyes of Michelangelo’s fiercest rival—the young, beautiful, brilliant painter of perfection, Raphael. Orphaned at age eleven, Raphael is determined to keep the deathbed promise he made to his father: become the greatest artist in history. But to be the best, he must beat the best, the legendary sculptor of the David, Michelangelo Buonarroti. When Pope Julius II calls both artists down to Rome, they are pitted against each other: Michelangelo painting the Sistine Ceiling, while Raphael decorates the pope’s private apartments. As Raphael strives toward perfection in paint, he battles internal demons: his desperate ambition, crippling fear of imperfection, and unshakable loneliness. Along the way, he conspires with cardinals, scrambles through the ruins of ancient Rome, and falls in love with a baker’s-daughter-turned-prostitute who becomes his muse.
With its gorgeous writing, rich settings, endearing characters, and riveting plot, Raphael, Painter in Rome brings to vivid life these two Renaissance masters going head to head in the deadly halls of the Vatican.
Queen of the Owls by Barbara Linn Probst (April 7, 2020)
A chance meeting with a charismatic photographer will forever change Elizabeth’s life.
Until she met Richard, Elizabeth’s relationship with Georgia O’Keeffe and her little-known Hawaii paintings was purely academic. Now it’s personal. Richard tells Elizabeth that the only way she can truly understand O’Keeffe isn’t with her mind―it’s by getting into O’Keeffe’s skin and reenacting her famous nude photos.
In the intimacy of Richard’s studio, Elizabeth experiences a new, intoxicating abandon and fullness. It never occurs to her that the photographs might be made public, especially without her consent. Desperate to avoid exposure―she’s a rising star in the academic world and the mother of young children―Elizabeth demands that Richard dismantle the exhibit. But he refuses. The pictures are his art. His property, not hers.
As word of the photos spreads, Elizabeth unwittingly becomes a feminist heroine to her students, who misunderstand her motives in posing. To the university, however, her actions are a public scandal. To her husband, they’re a public humiliation. Yet Richard has reawakened an awareness that’s haunted Elizabeth since she was a child―the truth that cerebral knowledge will never be enough.
Now she must face the question: How much is she willing to risk to be truly seen and known?
Pretty Things by Janelle Brown (April 21, 2020)
Two wildly different women—one a grifter, the other an heiress—are brought together by the scam of a lifetime in a page-turner from the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear.
“Pretty Things is awesome. Simple as that. I loved every page. Janelle Brown is your new must-read author.”—Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author of Run Away
Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. But when her mom gets sick, Nina puts everything on the line to help her, even if it means running her most audacious, dangerous scam yet.
Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer—traveling the globe, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy. After a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family’s sprawling mountain estate, Stonehaven: a mansion of dark secrets not just from Vanessa’s past, but from that of a lost and troubled girl named Nina.
Nina’s, Vanessa’s, and Lachlan’s paths collide here, on the cold shores of Lake Tahoe, where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge.
This dazzling, twisty, mesmerizing novel showcases acclaimed author Janelle Brown at her best, as two brilliant, damaged women try to survive the greatest game of deceit and destruction they will ever play.
Feels Like Falling by Kristy Woodson Harvey (April 28, 2020)
From “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand) and the bestselling author of the Peachtree Bluff series comes an odd couple tale of friendship that asks just how much our past choices define our happiness.
It’s summertime on the North Carolina coast and the livin’ is easy.
Unless, that is, you’ve just lost your mother to cancer, your sister to her evangelical husband, and your husband to his executive assistant. Meet Gray Howard. Right when Gray could use a serious infusion of good karma in her life, she inadvertently gets a stranger fired from her job at the local pharmacy.
Diana Harrington’s summer isn’t off to the greatest start either: Hours before losing her job, she broke up with her boyfriend and moved out of their shared house with only a busted Impala for a bed. Lucky for her, Gray has an empty guest house and a very guilty conscience.
With Gray’s kindness, Diana’s tide begins to turn, but when the one that got away comes back, every secret from her past seems to resurface all at once. And, as Gray begins to blaze a new trail, she discovers, with Diana’s help, that what she envisioned as her perfect life may not be what she wants at all.
In her warmest, wittiest, and wisest novel yet, Kristy Woodson Harvey delivers a discerning portrait of modern womanhood through two vastly different lenses. Feels Like Falling is a beach bag essential for Harvey fans—and for a new generation of readers.
A Veil Removed by Michelle Cox (April 30, 2020)
Murder is never far from this sexy couple . . . even during the holidays!
Their honeymoon abruptly ended by the untimely death of Alcott Howard, Clive and Henrietta return to Highbury, where Clive discovers all is not as it should be. Increasingly convinced that his father’s death was not an accident, Clive launches his own investigation, despite his mother’s belief that he has become “mentally disturbed” with grief. Henrietta eventually joins forces with Clive on their first real case, which becomes darker―and deadlier―than they imagined as they get closer to the truth behind Alcott’s troubled affairs.
Meanwhile, Henrietta’s sister, Elsie, begins, at Henrietta’s orchestration, to take classes at a women’s college―an attempt to evade her troubles and prevent any further romantic temptations. When she meets a bookish German custodian at the school, however, he challenges her to think for herself . . . even as she discovers some shocking secrets about his past life.
Little Tea by Claire Fullerton (May 1, 2020)
One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava, and Californian Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship and head back to the South. For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed.
When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia revisits the life she’d tried to outrun. As the idyllic coming of age on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept what happened in young adulthood than in this circle of introspective friends who have remained beside her throughout the years.
Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, even Celia’s great heartbreak over the loss of her childhood friend, Little Tea. But changing times are full of surprises. From them, will Celia learn that friendship has the ability to triumph over history?
The First Emma by Camille Di Maio (May 5, 2020)
Camille Di Maio’s fifth novel THE FIRST EMMA is the true story of Emma Koehler, whose tycoon husband Otto was killed in a crime-of-the-century murder by one of his two mistresses—both also named Emma—and her unlikely rise as CEO of a brewing empire during Prohibition. When a chance to tell her story to a young teetotaler arises, a tale unfolds of love, war, beer, and the power of women.
Running by Natalia Sylvester (May 5, 2020)
When fifteen-year-old Cuban American Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president, Mari starts to see him with new eyes. A novel about waking up and standing up, and what happens when you stop seeing your dad as your hero—while the whole country is watching.
In this authentic, humorous, and gorgeously written debut novel about privacy, waking up, and speaking up, Senator Anthony Ruiz is running for president. Throughout his successful political career he has always had his daughter’s vote, but a presidential campaign brings a whole new level of scrutiny to sheltered fifteen-year-old Mariana and the rest of her Cuban American family, from a 60 Minutes–style tour of their house to tabloids doctoring photos and inventing scandals. As tensions rise within the Ruiz family, Mari begins to learn about the details of her father’s political positions, and she realizes that her father is not the man she thought he was.
But how do you find your voice when everyone’s watching? When it means disagreeing with your father—publicly? What do you do when your dad stops being your hero? Will Mari get a chance to confront her father? If she does, will she have the courage to seize it?
Glorious Boy by Aimee Liu (May 12, 2020)
It’s 1942. The Japanese have invaded Burma and are closing in on India. After five years in the remote Andaman Islands, aspiring anthropologist Claire Durant and her husband Shep, a civil surgeon, must evacuate with their beloved but mysteriously mute four-year-old, Ty. They cannot, however, take Naila, the local girl whose ability to communicate with Ty has made them dangerously dependent on her. The morning of the evacuation, both children disappear. With time running out, Shep forces Claire onto the ship while he stays behind to find their son. But just days after landing in Calcutta, Claire learns that the Japanese have taken the Andamans—and cut off all access to her missing family. In the desperate odyssey that follows, Claire, Shep, and Naila will all take unimaginable risks while drawing deeply from their knowledge of these unique islands to save their beloved “glorious boy.”
Red Sky Over Hawaii by Sara Ackerman (May 26, 2020)
Inspired by real places and events of WWII, Red Sky Over Hawaii immerses the reader in a time of American history full of suspicion and peril in this lush and poignant novel about the indisputable power of doing the right thing against the odds.
The attack on Pearl Harbor changes everything for Lana Hitchcock. Arriving home on the Big Island too late to reconcile with her estranged father, she is left alone to untangle the clues of his legacy, which lead to a secret property tucked away in the remote rain forest of Kilauea volcano. When the government starts taking away neighbors as suspected sympathizers, Lana shelters two young German girls, a Japanese fisherman and his son. As tensions escalate, they are forced into hiding—only to discover the hideaway house is not what they expected.
When a detainment camp is established nearby, Lana struggles to keep the secrets of those in her care. Trust could have dangerous consequences. As their lives weave together, Lana begins to understand the true meaning of family and how the bonds of love carry us through the worst times.
The Last Flight by Julie Clark (June 2, 2020)
Two women. Two Flights. One last chance to disappear.
Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of ten, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns as bright as his promising political career, and he’s not above using his staff to track Claire’s every move, making sure she’s living up to his impossible standards. But what he doesn’t know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish.
A chance meeting in an airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision to switch tickets ― Claire taking Eva’s flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. They believe the swap will give each of them the head start they need to begin again somewhere far away. But when the flight to Puerto Rico goes down, Claire realizes it’s no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva’s identity, and along with it, the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden.
For fans of Lisa Jewell and Liv Constantine, The Last Flight is the story of two women ― both alone, both scared ― and one agonizing decision that will change the trajectory of both of their lives.
We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall (June 16, 2020)
Set during the iconic 1939 New York World’s Fair, Susie Orman Schnall’s We Came Here to Shine features two intrepid young women―an aspiring journalist and a down-on-her-luck actress―who form an unlikely friendship as they navigate a world of endless possibility, stand down adversity, and find out what they are truly made of during the glorious summer of spectacle and opportunity…
“An ode to female friendship that pulses with momentum and left me breathless.” ―Fiona Davis, national bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls
“A remarkable novel about the challenges women face and the courage they must summon in order to lead the lives they deserve.” ―Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Two-Family House
Vivi Holden is closer than she’s ever been to living her dream as a lead actress in sun-dappled L.A., but an unfair turn of events sends her back to New York, a place she worked so hard to escape from. She has one last chance to get back to Hollywood―by performing well as the star of the heralded Aquacade synchronized swimming spectacular at the World’s Fair. Everything seems to be working against her, but her summer in New York will lead to her biggest opportunity to find her own way, on her own terms…
Maxine Roth wants nothing more than to be a serious journalist at the iconic New York Times, but her professor has other plans. Instead, she’s landed a post at the pop-up publication dedicated to covering the World’s Fair―and even then, her big ideas are continually overlooked by her male counterparts. Max didn’t work this hard to be the only―and an unheard one at that―woman in the room.
When Max and Vivi’s worlds collide, they forge an enduring friendship. One that shows them to be the daring, bold women they are, and one that teaches them to never stop holding on to what matters most, in the most meaningful summer of their lives.
She’s Faking It by Kristin Rockaway (June 30, 2020)
You can’t put a filter on reality.
Bree Bozeman isn’t exactly pursuing the life of her dreams. Then again, she isn’t too sure what those dreams are. After dropping out of college, she’s living a pretty chill life in the surf community of Pacific Beach, San Diego…if “chill” means delivering food as a GrubGetter, and if it means “uneventful”.
But when Bree starts a new Instagram account — @breebythesea — one of her posts gets a signal boost from none other than wildly popular self-help guru Demi DiPalma, owner of a lifestyle brand empire. Suddenly, Bree just might be a rising star in the world of Instagram influencing. Is this the direction her life has been lacking? It’s not a career choice she’d ever seriously considered, but maybe it’s a sign from the universe. After all, Demi’s the real deal… right?
Everything is lining up for Bree: life goals, career, and even a blossoming romance with the chiseled guy next door, surf star Trey Cantu. But things are about to go sideways fast, and even the perfect filter’s not gonna fix it. Instagram might be free, but when your life looks flawless on camera, what’s the cost?
Fast Girls: A Novel of the 1936 Women’s Olympic Team by Elise Hooper (July 7, 2020)
Acclaimed author Elise Hooper explores the gripping, real life history of female athletes, members of the first integrated women’s Olympic team, and their journeys to the 1936 summer games in Berlin, Nazi Germany.
This inspiring story is based on the real lives of three little-known trailblazing women Olympians. Perfect for readers who love untold stories of amazing women, such as The Only Woman in the Room, Hidden Figures, and The Lost Girls of Paris.
In the 1928 Olympics, Chicago’s Betty Robinson competes as a member of the first-ever women’s delegation in track and field. Destined for further glory, she returns home feted as America’s Golden Girl until a nearly-fatal airplane crash threatens to end everything.
Outside of Boston, Louise Stokes, one of the few black girls in her town, sees competing as an opportunity to overcome the limitations placed on her. Eager to prove that she has what it takes to be a champion, she risks everything to join the Olympic team.
From Missouri, Helen Stephens, awkward, tomboyish, and poor, is considered an outcast by her schoolmates, but she dreams of escaping the hardships of her farm life through athletic success. Her aspirations appear impossible until a chance encounter changes her life.
These three athletes will join with others to defy society’s expectations of what women can achieve. As tensions bring the United States and Europe closer and closer to the brink of war, Betty, Louise, and Helen must fight for the chance to compete as the fastest women in the world amidst the pomp and pageantry of the Nazi-sponsored 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
Side Trip by Kerry Lonsdale (July 7, 2020)
An unforgettable and breathtaking novel of love, loss, and the unexpected routes that life takes from Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kerry Lonsdale.
With her deceased sister’s Route 66 bucket list in hand, California girl Joy Evers sets out on a cross-country road trip to meet up with her fiancé, checking off the bullets along the way.
Singer-songwriter Dylan Westfield has a serious case of wanderlust and a broken-down car. Stuck at a diner between LA and Flagstaff, he meets Joy, his complete opposite. She’s energetic. He’s moody. She’s by the book. He’s spontaneous. She believes in love at first sight. He thinks love is a complicated mess. But Joy has a brand-new convertible.
They strike a deal. She’ll drive him to New York. He’ll pay for gas. Only three rules apply: no exchanging of last names; what happens on the road, stays on the road; and if one of them wants to take a side trip, they both must agree.
A heart-stirring love story that spans a decade, Side Trip explores what-if. What if Joy and Dylan had exchanged last names? What if he’d told her she made him believe love was worth the risk? And what if they hadn’t made that second deal when they couldn’t say goodbye?
How to Save a Life by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke (July 14, 2020)
The bestselling authors of The Good Widow deliver a modern, suspenseful twist on Groundhog Day that asks the question: How far are you willing to go to save the life of someone you love?
Dom is having a very bad day—one he literally can’t escape.
When Dom bumps into Mia, his ex-fiancée whom he hasn’t seen in almost a decade, he believes they’ve been given a second chance and asks her out. When Mia dies tragically on their date, Dom makes a desperate wish: to be given the chance to save her life. And when he wakes the next morning to the shock that she’s alive, he thinks his wish may have been granted. But day after day, no matter what he changes about their time together, she still meets a terrible fate.
Dom frantically searches for answers to save his beloved Mia and rekindle their former love. But the further he digs, the more obsessed he becomes, making him realize that slowing down time may be the only way to see things clearly. As he’s forced to confront the truth about himself and those he’s closest to, Dom vows that he’ll watch Mia die a thousand times if it means he can save her once.
The Woman in Red by Diana Giovinazzo (August 4, 2020)
Experience the epic life story of Anita Garibaldi, the courageous, headstrong revolutionary who fought for freedom and self-determination in 19th-century Brazil, Uruguay, and Italy — and had one of the most passionate love affairs in history.
Destiny toys with us all, but Anita Garibaldi is a force to be reckoned with. Forced into marriage at a young age, Anita feels trapped in a union she does not want. But when she meets the leader of the Brazilian resistance, Giuseppe Garibaldi, in 1839, everything changes.
Swept into a passionate affair with the idolized mercenary, Anita’s life is suddenly consumed by the plight to liberate Southern Brazil from Portugal — a struggle that would cost thousands of lives and span almost ten bloody years. Little did she know that this first taste of revolution would lead her to cross oceans, traverse continents, and alter the course of her entire life — and the world.
At once an exhilarating adventure and an unforgettable love story, The Woman in Red is a sweeping, illuminating tale of the feminist icon who became one of the most revered historical figures of South America and Italy.