The seasons are changing and the harvest of new book releases in the second half of 2021 is bountiful! As we close out the summer and look forward to cozying up with a good book this fall and winter (and yes, start planning holiday gift lists), we hope you will consider your reading options, either for yourself, or for your book club(s). Take a sneak peek below at some exciting releases published (or publishing) after August 1, 2021, by our NovelNetwork authors. From women’s fiction to memoir, historical fiction and even a thriller/mystery pick or two, there’s something that every reader and book club will enjoy. We hope you will choose some of these exciting new books to read and schedule a FREE virtual visit with the author(s) to help make the season brighter!
You Can Never Tell by Sarah Warburton
Perfect for fans of Melanie Golding and Joshilyn Jackson, Sarah Warburton’s chilling thriller, inspired by the Moors Murders, explores the twisted side of suburbia.
Framed for embezzlement by her best friend Aimee, museum curator Kacy Tremain and her husband Michael move from New Jersey to a charming Texas suburb to escape their past. Kacy quickly makes new friends–preppy, inscrutable Elizabeth, chatty yet evasive Rahmia, and red-headed, unapologetic Lena. But good friends aren’t always what they seem.
As she navigates the unexpectedly cutthroat social scene of her new town, Kacy begins to receive taunting postcards–and worse, discovers cameras hidden in the wall of her home. Lena and her husband, Brady, reassure her that the cameras are just relics of the paranoid previous homeowner . Once the cameras are removed and Kacy’s fears are quelled, Kacy and Michael make the happy discovery that they are going to be new parents.
Months after the birth of their daughter, Michael accidentally makes a shocking discovery about Brady’s past. And when Lena suddenly goes missing, Kacy and Michael begin to uncover the truth about their neighbors–and it’s more terrible than anyone could have imagined.
Interlaced with transcripts of a chilling “true crime” podcast that follow the tangled threads of the drama, You Can Never Tell is a taut and complex psychological thriller that never lets up until its breathless conclusion.
Release Date: 8/10/2021
The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison
Nicola Harrison’s The Show Girl gives a glimpse of the glamorous world of the Ziegfeld Follies, through the eyes of a young midwestern woman who comes to New York City to find her destiny as a Ziegfeld Follies star.
It’s 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more―even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along the way.
Then she meets Archie Carmichael. Handsome, wealthy―the only man she’s ever met who seems to accept her modern ways―her independent nature and passion for success. But once she accepts his proposal of marriage he starts to change his tune, and Olive must decide if she is willing to reveal a devastating secret and sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves.
Release date: 8/10/2021
The Bookseller’s Secret by Michelle Gable
ARISTOCRAT, AUTHOR, BOOKSELLER AND SPY—A THRILLING NOVEL ABOUT THE ICONIC NANCY MITFORD DURING WWII
In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics.
Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay.
Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present…
Release date: 8/17/2021
In Polite Company by Gervais Hagerty
Tourists think they see the real Charleston, but Simons Smythe knows there’s more to her hometown than sweet tea and Southern hospitality. Behind the walled gardens, inside the fabled historic homes, live Charleston’s elite. Simons was born into this powerful aristocracy that has quietly ruled the city for centuries.
Simons’s family has a banner year ahead; Her older sister will give birth to her second child, and her younger sister will make her debut—a series of cocktail parties and balls to introduce her to society. And in one year, Simons plans to marry Trip. She hopes that’s enough time to fall back in love.
Simons produces the news at a local TV station, a job that increasingly tests her loyalty to her family and friends. On her days off, Simons surfs the waves of Folly Beach, crabs the salty rivers of Edisto Island, and follows her wayward heart to King Street bars. The one touchstone in this confusing time is her elegant and secretive grandmother, Laudie, who—repeatedly and mysteriously—urges Simons to “be brave”.
In this sparkling novel, Simons unlocks riddles from the past, flirts with a new future, and discovers that some rules are made to be broken.
Release date: 8/17/2021
The Last Debutantes by Georgie Blalock
They danced the night away, knowing their world was about to change forever. They were the debutantes of 1939, laughing on the outside, but knowing tragedy— and a war—was just around the corner.
When Valerie de Vere Cole, the niece of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, makes her deep curtsey to the King and Queen of England, she knows she’s part of a world about to end. The daughter of a debt-ridden father and a neglectful mother, Valerie sees firsthand that war is imminent.
Nevertheless, Valerie reinvents herself as a carefree and glittering young society woman, befriending other debutantes from England’s aristocracy as well as the vivacious Eunice Kennedy, daughter of the U.S. Ambassador. Despite her social success, the world’s troubles and Valerie’s fear of loss and loneliness prove impossible to ignore.
How will she navigate her new life when everything in her past has taught her that happiness and stability are as fragile as peace in our time? For the moment she will forget her cares in too much champagne and waltzes. Because very soon, Valerie knows that she must find the inner strength to stand strong and carry on through the challenges of life and love and war.
Release date: 8/24/2021
Feral Creatures by Kira Jane Buxton
Once upon an apocalypse, there lived an obscenely handsome American crow named S.T. . . .
When the world last checked-in with its favorite Cheeto addict, the planet had been overrun by flesh-hungry beasts, and nature had started re-claiming her territory from humankind. S.T., the intrepid crow, alongside his bloodhound-bestie Dennis, had set about saving pets that had become trapped in their homes after humanity went the way of the dodo.
That is, dear reader, until S.T. stumbled upon something so rare—and so precious—that he vowed to do everything in his power to safeguard what could, quite literally, be humanity’s last hope for survival. But in a wild world plagued by prejudiced animals, feather-raising environments, new threats so terrifying they make zombies look like baby bunnies, and a horrendous dearth of cheesy snacks, what’s a crow to do?
Why, wing it on another big-hearted, death-defying adventure, that’s what! Joined by a fabulous new cast of animal characters, S.T. faces many new challenges plus his biggest one yet: parenthood.
Release date: 8/24/2021
The Stolen Lady by Laura Morelli
At the dawn of World War II, Anne Guichard, a young archivist employed at the Louvre, arrives home to find her brother missing. While she works to discover his whereabouts, refugees begin flooding into Paris and German artillery fire rattles the city. Once they reach the city, the Nazis will stop at nothing to get their hands on the Louvre’s art collection. Anne is quickly sent to the Castle of Chambord, where the Louvre’s most precious artworks—including the Mona Lisa—are being transferred to ensure their safety. With the Germans hard on their heels, Anne frantically moves the Mona Lisa and other treasures again and again in an elaborate game of hide and seek. As the threat to the masterpieces and her life grows closer, Anne also begins to learn the truth about her brother and the role he plays in this dangerous game.
House servant Bellina Sardi’s future seems fixed when she accompanies her newly married mistress, Lisa Gherardini, to her home across the Arno. Lisa’s husband, a prosperous silk merchant, is aligned with the powerful Medici, his home filled with luxuries and treasures. But soon, Bellina finds herself bewitched by a charismatic monk who has urged Florentines to rise up against the Medici and to empty their homes of the riches and jewels her new employer prizes. When Master Leonardo da Vinci is commissioned to paint a portrait of Lisa, Bellina finds herself tasked with hiding an impossible secret.
When art and war collide, Leonardo da Vinci, his beautiful subject Lisa, and the portrait find themselves in the crosshairs of history.
Release date: 9/21/2021
The Happy Accidents by Jamie Beck
Three women wake up to the consequences of one impulsive pact in an insightful novel about friendship, love, and fulfillment by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jamie Beck.
While at a casino to celebrate her birthday, Jessie Clarke proposes a pact to her reserved sister, Liz, and their childhood friend Chloe: the three women will say yes to any adventure that comes their way. Jessie is mourning her recent divorce, so the other two reluctantly agree. Twelve hours later, they awaken to the shocking consequences of their behavior.
A viral video throws Liz’s career and reputation into question. A major loss at the craps table rocks the foundation of Chloe’s staid marriage. And Jessie’s desperate bid to unblock her artistic creativity results in a life-changing choice. Staring down the crossroads, each woman finds her relationships―with herself, with each other, and with loves both old and new―tested. At every turn, they struggle not to let fear decide their fates. Will they give in, or will their misadventures lead to the greatest fulfillment of all?
Release date: 9/21/2021
Seabreeze Book Club by Jan Moran
A new bookshop on the beach. A sizzling summer ahead. Join a new book club at the Seabreeze Inn.
When sisters Ivy and Shelly Bay form a book club to help support a local bookshop on the beach, friends and guests of the inn are eager to join. Yet nothing is quite as it seems in the book club.
Meanwhile, a discovery in the historic beach house inn causes a stir. Ivy and Bennett start a new project, while Shelly and Mitch consider their future. Discover the latest chapter in the Summer Beach series set on sunny California shores.
Find out why readers say, “Life is better in Summer Beach.” Available soon in ebook, paperback, hardcover, large print, and audiobook.
Release date: 9/28/2021
Woodrow on the Bench: Life Lessons From a Wise Old Dog by Jenna Blum
The New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Those Who Save Us pays tribute to her beloved black Lab, Woodrow, in this beautiful memoir that recalls the last six months of his life and the ways in which he taught her to live.
“For anyone who’s ever loved an old dog.”
Since she adopted him as a puppy fifteen years earlier, Jenna Blum and Woodrow have been inseparable. Known to many as “the George Clooney of dogs” for his good looks and charm, Woodrow and his “Mommoo” are fixtures in their Boston neighborhood.
But Woodrow is aging. As he begins to fail, the true nature of his extraordinary relationship with Jenna is revealed. Jenna may be the dog parent, but it is Woodrow, with his amazing personality and trusting nature, who has much to teach her. A divorcée who has experienced her share of sadness and loss, Jenna discovers, over the months she spends caring for her ailing dog, what it is to be present in the moment, and what it truly means to love.
Aided by an amazing group of friends and buoyed by the support of strangers, Jenna and Woodrow navigate these precious final days together with kindness, humor, and grace. Their unforgettable love story will reaffirm your belief in kindness, break your heart, and leave your spirit soaring.
Release date: 10/26/2021
Christmas in Peachtree Bluff by Kristy Woodson Harvey
When the Murphy women are in trouble, they always know they can turn to their mother, Ansley. So when eldest daughter Caroline and her husband, James, announce they are divorcing—and fifteen-year-old daughter Vivi acts out in response—Caroline, at her wits end, can’t think of anything to do besides leave her with Ansley in Peachtree Bluff for the holidays. After all, how much trouble can one teenager get into on a tiny island?
Quite a lot, as it turns out.
As the “storm of the century” heads toward Peachtree Bluff, Ansley and her husband, Jack, with Vivi in tow, are grateful they’re planning to leave for the trip of a lifetime. But Vivi’s recklessness forces the trio to shelter in place during the worst hurricane Peachtree has ever seen. With no power, no provisions, and the water rising, the circumstances become dire very quickly…and the Murphy sisters, who evacuated to New York, soon realize it’s up to them to conduct a rescue mission. With the bridges closed and no way to access Peachtree Bluff by land or air, they set sail on Caroline’s boat, The Starlite Sisters, determined to rebuild their beloved town—as well as their family.
In “pitch perfect tones” (Publishers Weekly) and written with her signature Southern charm, New York Times bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey explores the magic of Christmas, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of family in a tale that reminds us that, no matter the circumstances, home is always where we belong—especially during the holidays.
Release date: 10/26/2021
The Burning Light of Two Stars: A Mother-Daughter Story by Laura Davis
This riveting memoir by Laura Davis, the author of The Courage to Heal, examines the endurance of mother-daughter love, how memory protects and betrays us, and the determination it takes to fulfill a promise when ghosts from the past come knocking.
When she published The Courage to Heal in 1988, Laura Davis helped more than a million women work through the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. But her decision to go public with her grandfather’s incest deepened an already painful estrangement with her mother, Temme.
Over the next twenty years, from a safe distance of three thousand miles, Laura and Temme reconciled their volatile relationship and believed that their difficult past was behind them. But when Temme moves across the country to entrust her daughter with the rest of her life, she brings a faltering mind, a fierce need for independence, and the seeds of a second war between them. As the stresses of caregiving rekindle Laura’s rage over past betrayals, they threaten her intention to finally love her mother “without reservation.” Will she learn what it means to be truly openhearted before it’s too late?
Release Date: 10/26/2021
The Attic on Queen Street by Karen White
Return to the house on Tradd Street one last time in this hauntingly spectacular finale to the bestselling series featuring psychic medium Melanie Trenholm.
After the devastating events of the past few months, the last thing Melanie Trenholm wants is to think about the future. Why, when her husband, Jack, has asked for a separation—a separation that might have been her fault? Nevertheless, with twin toddlers, a stepdaughter leaving for college soon, a real estate career to resume and a historic home that is still being restored, Melanie doesn’t have much time to wonder where it all went wrong—but that doesn’t stop her from trying to win her husband back.
Their relationship issues are pushed aside, however, when longtime nemesis, Marc Longo, comes to them with a proposition: allow their Tradd Street house to be used as the filming location for the movie adaptation of Marc’s bestselling book, and he will help Jack re-establish his stalled writing career. Despite Melanie’s hesitation, Jack jumps at the chance. But Melanie’s doubts soon prove to be well founded when she uncovers ulterior reasons for Marc wanting to be back in their house—reasons that include a hidden gem so brilliant that legend links it to the most infamous jewel of all, the Hope Diamond.
But Melanie has an unexpected ally in protecting the house and its inhabitants—the ghost of a Civil War era girl warns her of increasing threats to her family. But she’s not the only spirit who is haunting Melanie. A malevolent ghost seems determined to stop Melanie from investigating the decades-old murder of a friend’s sister, and this spirit will stop at nothing to protect its secrets—even from beyond the grave.
Melanie and Jack must work together to find the answers before evil spirits of past and present destroy everything they love.
Release date: 11/2/2021
The Seventh Queen by Greta Kelly
After the gasp-inducing cliffhanger ending of The Frozen Crown, the exciting conclusion to the epic story of Askia—a warrior, witch, and queen-to-be—as she confronts the monster that stole her throne…and is holding her prisoner to steal her magic.
The Empire of Vishir has lost its ruler, and the fight to save Seravesh from the Roven Empire is looking bleak. Moreover, Askia has been captured by power-hungry Emperor Radovan, who plans on making her his wife simply so he can take her magic as his own, killing her in the process. Aware of his ex-wives’ fates, Askia must find a means of avoiding this doom, not only for the sake of Seravesh, but now for Vishir as well. She must put both nations first and remember Ozura’s advice: you must play the game in order to survive. Askia was born a soldier, but now it’s time to become a spy.
But it’s hard to play a game where the only person who knows the rules wants to kill her.
And time is a factor. The jewel Radovan has put around her neck will pull her power from her in thirty days. Worse, Vishir might not even have that long, as the two heirs to the throne are on the verge of civil war. Without any hope for help from the south, without any access to her magic, alone in a hostile land, Askia is no closer to freeing her people than she was when she fled to Vishir. In the clutches of a madman, the only thing she’s close to is death.
Yet she’d trade her life for a chance to save Seravesh. The problem: she may not have that choice.
Release date 11/2/2021
Last Redemption by Matt Coyle
Will Rick Cahill survive an insidious disease long enough to see his first-born child—or will sadistic killers murder him first?
Rick Cahill is finally living a settled, happy life. His fiancée, Leah Landingham, is pregnant with their first child and he is doing PI work that pays well and keeps him out of danger. Then a doctor gives him the bad news about the headaches he’s been suffering—CTE, the pro football disease that leads to senility and early death—a secret he keeps from Leah and his best friend Moira MacFarlane.
When Moira asks him to monitor her son, Luke—who’s broken a restraining order to stay away from his girl-friend—a simple surveillance explodes into greed, deceit, and murder. Luke goes missing, and Rick’s dogged determination compels him to follow clues that lead to the exploration of high finance and DNA cancer research.
Ultimately, Rick is forced to battle sadistic killers as he tries to find Luke and stay alive long enough to see the birth of his child.
Release date: 11/30/2021