New year, new authors. These up-and-coming authors are serving us dazzling debut novels to keep us entertained throughout the year. Like many of us, these characters are hoping for a fresh start. An opportunity of a lifetime sends Alex to an estate and on the road to becoming the author she’s always dreamed of. Maya thought she could forget about her past and live in Boston with her boyfriend. Clare arrives in Edinburgh to reinvent herself and becomes a part of an exclusive circle. But these characters find out that attaining their dreams isn’t as sweet as they thought it to be. As they get closer and closer to the truth, something more sinister comes to light. With masterful prose and thrilling plots, these new additions to your bookshelf will make 2023 all the better.
A college grad with the six-figure debt to prove it, Ethan Block views San Francisco as the place to be. Yet his job at hot new dating app DateDate is a far cry from what he envisioned. Instead of making the world a better place, he reviews flagged photo queues, overworked and stressed out. But that's about to change.
Reeling from a breakup, Ethan decides to view his algorithmically matched soulmate on DateDate. He overrides the system and clicks on the profile. Then, he disappears. One minute, he’s in a windowless office, and the next, he’s in a field of endless grass, gasping for air. When Ethan snaps back to DateDate HQ, he’s convinced a coding issue caused the blip. Except for anyone to believe him, he’ll need evidence. As Ethan embarks on a wild goose chase, moving from dingy startup think tanks to Silicon Valley’s dominant tech conglomerate, it becomes clear that there’s more to DateDate than meets the eye. With
Katrina Kim’s obsession with Kurt, her co-worker, is just one of her coping mechanisms from the life of a slightly unhinged, broke, woman who’s the black sheep of her family. Like her constant shape and number ritual. Or how scenes from her favorite children’s book bleed into her vision when she’s anxious or stressed. Her life crumbles when she receives a cryptic message from Kurt, implying that he’s aware of her surveillance. She accidentally becomes a witness to Kurt’s suicide but not before he tells her that his death is all her fault. Horrified, Katrina combs through the clues she’s collected about Kurt and realizes he’s been watching her just as much as she has of him. Liar, Dreamer, Thief, is an intimate portrayal of life’s complexities and a sensitive exploration of mental health.
Alex had given up on her dreams of becoming a published author. But she gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend an exclusive month-long writing retreat at the feminist horror writer Roza Vallo’s estate. When Alex and the other attendees arrive, Roza surprises them with a challenge that will reap the winner's huge rewards. During the retreat, they must all complete an entire novel from scratch and the best novel will receive a seven-figure publishing deal. Although seemingly impossible, Alex buckles down to write and tries to ignore strange happenings—Roza’s erratic behavior, her rival, Wren’s, mind games, and the alleged mansion’s hauntings. Then a writer vanishes during a snowstorm, and Alex must find the truth to save herself before the clock runs out.
Clare arrives in Edinburgh, Scotland, the perfect destination for someone who wants to reinvent herself. There, she meets Tabitha, a beautiful, charismatic, and rich girl from her art history class. Clare becomes part of an exclusive circle and the new life she’s envisioned for herself finally seems to begin. Tabitha reveals a little project she’s working on and ropes Clare into helping her, even though it goes again everything Clare has tried to repent for. Clare slowly realizes what her new friends are capable of but too late for her to turn back.
When thirteen-year-old Ruthy disappeared after track practice without a trace, her family was left scarred and scrambling. Twelve years later, her older sister Jessica spots a woman on TV in Catfight. She calls herself Ruby but has a beauty mark under her left eye that’s instantly recognizable. Could it be Ruthy? The women in the Ramirez family, Dolores, Jessica, and Nina, go on a family trip to search for their long-lost sister. On this journey, they’ll be forced to reckon with their past and future and the bonds that hold these women together.
Ashe and Pretorius’ Carnivale of Curiosities is a show everyone’s trying to get a ticket for. But the real show begins behind the curtain. There are rumors of the show’s proprietor, Aurelius Ashe, is more than an average magician. For the right price, he can make any wish come true. But Ashe is tempted to refuse when Odilon Rose, one of the most notorious men in London, comes knocking on his door with a proposition regarding his young, beautiful charge, Charlotte. Rose holds a secret that threatens the security of the troupe’s most vulnerable members, and Ashe has no choice but to accept the insidious contract. The stakes grow even higher when Lucien, the Carnivale’s star attraction, finds himself drawn to Charlotte. Grave secrets and what it means to be a family come to a head in this vividly imagined spectacle.
During the last year of high school, Aubrey, Maya’s best friend, mysteriously dropped dead in front of Frank, an enigmatic man they’d been hanging out with all summer. Seven years later, Maya lives with her loving boyfriend in Boston and is kicking a secret addiction that’s helped her work through what happened years ago. That is until she stumbles across a recent YouTube video of a young woman who dies in a diner and sitting across none other than Frank. Maya retreats back to her Berkshires hometown to look for answers. And all roads seem to lead back to Frank’s cabin…
Instagram influencer Alabama Wood goes missing two days after arriving in Iceland for a promotional trip. With no leads, the police focus on the two influencers that were closest to Alabama on the trip: Celeste Reed, Alabama’s best friend of ten years, and Hollie Goodwin, Alabama’s idol. Celeste and Alabama have recently grown apart, and although Hollie sees to have everything, Alabama may have been the only person who suspected something was amiss. Loyalties are tested as secrets unravel to ask whether we really have control over our online image or not.
Alex has all but given up on her dreams of becoming a published author when she receives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: attend an exclusive, month-long writing retreat at the estate of feminist horror writer Roza Vallo. Even the knowledge that Wren, her former best friend and current rival, is attending doesn’t dampen her excitement.
But when the attendees arrive, Roza drops a bombshell—they must all complete an entire novel from scratch during the next month, and the author of the best one will receive a life-changing seven-figure publishing deal. Determined to win this seemingly impossible contest, Alex buckles down and tries to ignore the strange happenings at the estate, including Roza’s erratic behavior, Wren’s cruel mind games, and the alleged haunting of the mansion itself. But when one of the writers vanishes during a snowstorm, Alex realizes that something very sinister is afoot. With the clock running out, she’s desperate to discover the truth and save herself.
Like any enterprising woman, Bea knows what she’s worth and is determined to get all she deserves—it just so happens that what she deserves is to marry rich. After a lifetime of forced instruction in the art of swindling men by her mother, Bea wants nothing more than to escape her shadow, close the door on their sordid past, and disappear safely into old-money domesticity.
When Bea finds her final mark in the perfectly dull blue-blooded Collin, she’s ready to deploy all her tricks one last time. The challenge isn’t getting the ring, but rather the approval of Collin’s family and everyone else in their tax bracket, particularly his childhood best friend Gale. Going toe-to-toe with Gale isn’t a threat to an expert like Bea, but what begins as an amusing cat-and-mouse game quickly develops into a dangerous chase. As the truth of Bea’s past threatens to come roaring out, she finds herself racing against the clock to pass the finish line before everything is exposed.
It's 1852 and Margaret Lennox, a young widow, attempts to escape the shadows of her past by taking a position as governess to an only child, Louis, at an isolated country house in the west of England.
But Margaret soon starts to feel that something isn't quite right. There are strange figures in the dark, tensions between servants, and an abandoned east wing. Even stranger is the local gossip surrounding Mrs. Eversham, Louis's widowed mother, who is deeply distrusted in the village.
Lonely and unsure whom to trust, Margaret finds distraction in a forbidden relationship with the gardener, Paul. But as Margaret's history threatens to catch up with her, it isn't long before she learns the truth behind the secrets of Hartwood Hall.
Production for the tenth season of Bake Week is ready to begin at the gothic estate of host and celebrity chef Betsy Martin, and everything seems perfect. The tent is up, the top-tier ingredients are aligned, and the crew has their cameras at the ready.
The six contestants work to prove their culinary talents over the course of five days, while Betsy is less than thrilled to share the spotlight with a new cohost—the brash and unpredictable Archie Morris. But as the baking competition commences, things begin to go awry. At first, it’s merely sabotage—sugar replaced with salt, a burner turned to high—but when a body is discovered, everyone is a suspect.
To save humanity, they left everything behind—except their differences.
It is the eve of Earth’s environmental collapse. A single ship carries humanity’s last hope: eighty elite graduates of a competitive program, who will give birth to a generation of children in deep space. But halfway to a distant but livable planet, a lethal bomb kills three of the crew and knocks The Phoenix off course. Asuka, the only surviving witness, is an immediate suspect.
Asuka already felt like an impostor before the explosion. She was the last picked for the mission, she struggled during training back on Earth, and she was chosen to represent Japan, a country she only partly knows as a half-Japanese girl raised in America. But estranged from her mother back home, The Phoenix is all she has left.
With the crew turning on each other, Asuka is determined to find the culprit before they all lose faith in the mission—or worse, the bomber strikes again. Now, in order to survive, she must burn brighter than the stars that surround her.
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Emily Hoang is a writer and editor, who is obsessed with haunted houses, ghosts, and dreams. More info can be found on her website.