February 9, 2016 Debuts

In this stunningly creative debut, Nicole Castroman reimagines the origins of history’s most infamous pirate—Blackbeard—and tells the story of the girl who captured his heart and then broke it, setting him on a path to destruction.

When Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, returns home from a year at sea, he finds his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, all Teach wants is to return to the vast ocean he calls home. There’s just one problem: he must convince his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following the death of her parents, Anne Barrett is left penniless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne takes a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks and Anne longs to escape the confines of her now mundane life. How will she ever achieve her dream of sailing to Curaçao—her mother’s birthplace—when she’s trapped in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn together by a shared desire for freedom, but kept apart by Teach’s father, their love is as passionate as it is forbidden. Faced with an impossible choice, Teach and Anne must decide whether to chase their dreams and leave England forever—or follow their hearts and stay together.


Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe

G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Fenway is an excitable and endlessly energetic Jack Russell terrier. He lives in the city with Food Lady, Fetch Man, and—of course—his beloved short human and best-friend-in-the-world, Hattie. 

But when his family moves to the suburbs, Fenway faces a world of changes. He’s pretty pleased with the huge Dog Park behind his new home, but he’s not so happy about the Evil Squirrels that taunt him from the trees, the super-slippery Wicked Floor in the Eating Room, and the changes that have come over Hattie lately. Rather than playing with Fenway, she seems more interested in her new short human friend, Angel, and learning to play baseball. His friends in the Dog Park next door say Hattie is outgrowing him, but that can’t be right. And he’s going to prove it!

Get a dog’s-eye view of the world in this heartwarming, enthusiastic “tail” about two best friends.

"Coe, making her children’s book debut, describes the trauma of the move and Hattie growing up through the excitable dog’s eyes, nose, and playful vocabulary (thunder is “boom-kabooms” and Hattie’s parents are “Fetch Man” and “Food Lady”) turning Fenway’s everyday routines into a fun, fresh frolic that animal-loving kids are sure to enjoy."
-- Publisher's Weekly

My review:  TRUE CONFESSION: I am not a dog person. I am a cat person.

But this book is so ridiculously adorable and funny I might be rethinking my entire life's philosophy. Fenway is the sweetest, bravest, most charming little canine protector a small human could have, and Hattie is a wonderful little girl just trying to grow up and adjust to changes in her life, and squirrels are, in fact, 100% pure evil. I laughed out loud several times and "awwwwwww"'d out loud several times more. I won't ever be able to look at dogs walking happily down the street the same again, not now that I know what they're thinking. (Spoiler alert: Food. And evil. They are thinking about food and evil.)

Highly recommended for dog-lovers and squirrel-haters and small and large humans alike.


Evelyn has no interest in marriage and even the dashing Mr. Kent can’t make her want to live up to society’s expectations. She’d much rather assist her beloved sister Rose in achieving her radical dream of becoming a doctor. But everything changes the night she meets Sebastian Braddock –- not only is the reclusive gentleman both vexing and annoyingly attractive, he’s also quite possibly mad, and his interest in Rose is galling. So when Evelyn wakes up to discover that Rose has disappeared, she immediately suspects Sebastian.

But then she discovers that Sebastian’s strange tales of special powers are actually true, and that Rose’s kidnappers have worse in mind for her than simply ruining her reputation. Surrounded by secrets, lies, and unprecedented danger, Evelyn has no choice but to trust Sebastian, yet she can’t help but worry that Sebastian’s secrets are the most dangerous of all…

Jane Austen meets X-Men in this thrilling Victorian adventure!


Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse

Kathy Dawson Books/Penguin Random House

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Perfect for fans of innovative storytelling, like Marcus Sedgwick’s The Ghosts of Heaven and David Mitchell’s The Bone ClocksWhere Futures End is a collection of five time-spanning, interconnected novellas that weave a subtly science-fictional web stretching out from the present into the future, presenting eerily plausible possibilities for social media, corporate sponsorship, and humanity, as our world collides with a mysterious alternate universe.
 
Five teens, five futures. Dylan develops a sixth sense that allows him to glimpse another world. Brixney must escape a debtor colony by finding a way to increase the number of hits on her social media feed so she’ll attract corporate sponsorship. Epony goes “High Concept” and poses as an otherworldly being to recapture her boyfriend’s attention. Reef struggles to survive in a city turned virtual gameboard. And Quinn uncovers the alarming secret that links them all. 
 
These are stories about a world that is destroyingitself, and about the alternate world that might be its savior.  Unless it’s just the opposite.

"Cunningly set in a moving future (“one year from now”; “ten years from now”), with stories that look back to one another, these novellas each portray a specific moment while also contributing to a thematic look at missed connections and toxic connections among both individuals and entire parallel worlds... Strange and compelling, this won’t be for every reader; the ones who love it will feel transported to another place. "
-- Kirkus starred review
"Peevyhouse does not spoon-feed her readers; instead she challenges them to bring their critical thinking skills to bear to adequately appreciate the work. While not necessarily for reluctant readers, this title has an audience... This thoughtful, idea-driven read will be appreciated by those who like their dystopian fiction to be a bit more literary."
-- School Library Journal