Here are just a few of the many novels by debut authors that are coming to our shelves in February. For a complete list, please visit our catalog.
“Winter’s Orbit” by Everina Maxwell
A famously disappointing minor royal and the Emperor’s least favorite grandchild, Prince Kiem is summoned before the Emperor and commanded to renew the empire’s bonds with its newest vassal planet. The prince must marry Count Jainan, the recent widower of another royal prince of the empire.
But Jainan suspects his late husband’s death was no accident. And Prince Kiem discovers Jainan is a suspect himself. But broken bonds between the Empire and its vassal planets leaves the entire empire vulnerable, so together they must prove that their union is strong while uncovering a possible conspiracy.
Their successful marriage will align conflicting worlds.
Their failure will be the end of the empire.
“How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House” by Cherie Jones
In Baxter’s Beach, Barbados, Lala’s grandmother Wilma tells the story of the one-armed sister. It’s a cautionary tale about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers and go into the Baxter’s Tunnels. When she’s grown, Lala lives on the beach with her husband, Adan, a petty criminal with endless charisma whose thwarted burglary of one of the beach mansions sets off a chain of events with terrible consequences. A gunshot no one was meant to witness. A new mother whose baby is found lifeless on the beach. A woman torn between two worlds and incapacitated by grief. And two men driven into the Tunnels by desperation and greed who attempt a crime that will risk their freedom — and their lives.
“The Witch’s Heart” by Genevieve Gornichec
Angrboda’s story begins where most witches’ tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.
Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life — and possibly all of existence — is in danger.
With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family … or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss and hope for the modern age.
“The Downstairs Neighbor” by Helen Cooper
From her downstairs apartment in suburban London, Emma has often overheard the everyday life of the seemingly perfect family upstairs — Steph, Paul and teenage daughter Freya — but has never got to know them. Until one day, she hears something that seizes her attention: Freya has vanished and the police are questioning Steph and Paul about their life. Do either of you have any enemies? Anyone who might want to harm or threaten you?
The effects of Freya’s disappearance ripple outward, affecting not just her parents, but everyone who lives in the building, including Emma and local driving instructor Chris, who was the last person to see the teenager before she went missing. Each character’s life is thrown into sharp focus as devastating mistakes and long-held secrets are picked apart and other crimes come to light — including a child gone missing 25 years earlier, and a shocking murder — that make clear that the past never stays where we leave it, and that homes can be built on foundations of lies.