The end of fall and beginning of winter is generally a slow time for publishing, as evidenced by this month’s small list of titles by debut authors. There aren’t too many more than the ones here, but if you’re interested in a (slightly) longer list of debut titles for November, please visit our catalog.
“The Bromance Book Club” by Lyssa Kay Adams
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. Four weeks ago, he discovered a humiliating secret: his wife has always faked the Big O. When he blows up and then emotionally checks out, that’s the final straw in their strained relationship for Thea, who asks him to move out. Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance-reading club of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the boys aim to coach Gavin into enticing Thea to give him another chance.
“The Poppy Wife” by Caroline Scott
1921. Survivors of the Great War are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. Francis is presumed to have been killed in action, but Edie believes he might still be alive.
Harry, Francis’s brother, was there the day Francis was wounded. He was certain it was a fatal wound — that he saw his brother die — but as time passes, Harry begins questioning his memory of what happened. Could Francis, like many soldiers, merely be lost and confused somewhere? Hired by grieving families, Harry returns to the Western Front to photograph gravesites. As he travels through battle-scarred France and Belgium gathering news for British wives and mothers, he searches for evidence of Francis.
When Edie receives a mysterious photograph of Francis, she is more convinced than ever he might still be alive. And so, she embarks on a journey in the hope of finding some trace of her husband. Is he truly gone? And if he isn’t, then why hasn’t he come home?
As Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to the truth about Francis and, as they do, are faced with the life-changing impact of the answers they discover.
“Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung” by Nina MacLaughlin
I am the home of this story. After thousands of years of other people’s tellings, of all these different bridges, of words gotten wrong, I’ll tell it myself.
Seductresses and she-monsters, nymphs and demi-goddesses, populate the famous myths of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses.” But what happens when the story of the chase comes in the voice of the woman fleeing her rape? When the beloved coolly returns the seducer’s gaze? When tales of monstrous transfiguration are sung by those transformed? In voices both mythic and modern, “Wake, Siren” revisits each account of love, loss, rape, revenge, and change. It lays bare the violence that undergirds and lurks in the heart of Ovid’s narratives, stories that helped build and perpetuate the distorted portrayal of women across centuries of art and literature.
“The Mutations” by Jorge Comensal
Ramón Martinez is a militant atheist, successful lawyer, and conventional family man. But all of that changes when cancer of the tongue deprives him of the source of his power and livelihood: speech.
“The Mutations,” by Jorge Comensal, is a comedy tracing the metastasis of Ramón’s cancer through his body and in the lives of his family members, colleagues, and doctors, dissecting the experience of illness and mapping the relationships both strengthened and frayed by its wake. Mateo and Paulina, his teenage children, struggle with the temptations of masturbation and binge eating, respectively. Ramón’s melancholic oncologist is haunted by the memory of a young patient whom he was unable to save. His selfish pathologist believes Ramón’s tumor holds the key to a major scientific breakthrough. And then there’s Elodia, Ramón’s pious maid, who brings him a foulmouthed parrot as a birthday gift. This lewd bird becomes Ramón’s companion, confidant and unlikely double.