10 New Releases to Look Forward to in December

Ack! We’re at the end of the year somehow. This year has been a wild ride for so many people. Thankfully, we have books to carry us through. This month’s post was hard for me because there are quite a few book 2s that I’m super excited about, which I don’t typically include because it’s dependent on having read book 1, which not everyone does. I will include a couple at the bottom.

December 1

The Widow, Kaira Rouda
Thriller
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

About the Book
Jody Asher had a plan. Her charismatic husband, Martin, would be a political icon. She, the charming wife, would fuel his success. For fifteen congressional terms, they were the golden couple on the Hill. Life was good. Until he wasn’t.

Martin’s secret affair with a young staffer doesn’t bother Jody personally. But professionally? It’s a legacy killer. Soon a reporter gets word of this scandal in the making, and Martin’s indiscretions threaten to ruin everything Jody has accomplished.

When Martin suddenly dies, it’s a chance to change the narrative—but the reporter won’t let go of his lead. As the balance of power shifts in the Asher house and on the Hill, it’s time for Jody to take control. And there’s nothing the ruthless widow won’t do to secure the future she’s entitled to. Even if she has a secret of her own.

December 6th

A History of Fear, Luke Dumas
Horror/Thriller
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

About the Book
The Devil is in Scotland.

Grayson Hale, the most infamous murderer in Scotland, is better known by a different name: the Devil’s Advocate. The twenty-five-year-old American grad student rose to instant notoriety when he confessed to the slaughter of his classmate Liam Stewart, claiming the Devil made him do it.

When Hale is found hanged in his prison cell, officers uncover a handwritten manuscript that promises to answer the question that’s haunted the nation for years: was Hale a lunatic, or had he been telling the truth all along?

Unnervingly, Hale doesn’t fit the bill of a killer. The first-person narrative that centers this novel reveals an acerbic young atheist, newly enrolled at the University of Edinburgh to carry on the legacy of his recently deceased father. In need of cash, he takes a job ghostwriting a mysterious book for a dark stranger, but has misgivings when the project begins to reawaken his satanophobia, a rare condition that causes him to live in terror that the Devil is after him. As he struggles to disentangle fact from fear, Grayson’s world is turned upside-down after events force him to confront his growing suspicion that he’s working for the one he has feared all this time—and that the book is only the beginning of their partnership.​​

A History of Fear is a propulsive foray into the darkness of the human psyche, marrying dread-inducing atmosphere and heart-palpitating storytelling.

The Light Pirate, Lily Brooks-Dalton
SciFi/Dystopian
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

About the Book
Florida is slipping away. As devastating weather patterns and rising sea levels wreak gradual havoc on the state’s infrastructure, a powerful hurricane approaches a small town on the southeastern coast. Kirby Lowe, an electrical line worker, his pregnant wife, Frida, and their two sons, Flip and Lucas, prepare for the worst. When the boys go missing just before the hurricane hits, Kirby heads out into the high winds in search of his children. Left alone, Frida goes into premature labor and gives birth to an unusual child, Wanda, whom she names after the catastrophic storm that ushers her into a society closer to collapse than ever before.

As Florida continues to unravel, Wanda grows. Moving from childhood to adulthood, adapting not only to the changing landscape, but also to the people who stayed behind in a place abandoned by civilization, Wanda loses family, gains community, and ultimately, seeks adventure, love, and purpose in a place remade by nature.

Told in four parts—power, water, light, and time—The Light Pirate mirrors the rhythms of the elements and the sometimes quick, sometimes slow dissolution of the world as we know it. It is a meditation on the changes we would rather not see, the future we would rather not greet, and a call back to the beauty and violence of an untamable wilderness.

The Poison Season, Mara Rutherford
YA/Fantasy
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

About the Book
Outsiders are always given a choice: the Forest or the lake. Either way, they’re never heard from again.


Leelo has spent her entire life on Endla, coexisting with the bloodthirsty Forest and respecting the poisonous lake that protects her island from outsiders who seek to destroy it. But as much as Leelo cares for her community, she struggles to accept that her younger brother will be exiled by his next birthday, unless he gains the magic of enchanted song so vital to Endla.

When Leelo sees a young outsider on the verge of drowning in the lake, she knows exactly what she’s supposed to do. But in a moment that will change everything, Leelo betrays her family, her best friend, and Endla by making an unthinkable choice.

Discovery could lead to devastating consequences for both Leelo and the outsider, Jaren, but as they grow closer, Leelo realizes that not all danger comes from beyond the lake—and they can only survive if Leelo is willing to question the very fabric of her society, her people, and herself.

The Ingenue, Rachel Kapelke-Dale
Thriller
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

About the Book
When former piano prodigy Saskia Kreis returns home to Milwaukee after her mother’s unexpected death, she expects to inherit the family estate, the Elf House. But with the discovery that her mother’s will bequeathed the Elf House to a man that Saskia shares a complicated history with, she is forced to reexamine her own past––and the romantic relationship that changed the course of her life––for answers. Can she find a way to claim her heritage while keeping her secrets buried, or will the fallout from digging too deep destroy her?

Set against a post #MeToo landscape, Rachel Kapelke-Dale’s The Ingenue delves into mother-daughter relationships, the expectations of talent, the stories we tell ourselves, and what happens when the things that once made you special are taken from you. Moving between Saskia’s childhood and the present day, this dark, contemporary fairy tale pulses with desire, longing, and uncertainty, as it builds to its spectacular, shocking climax.

Anastasia, Sophie Lark
Historical Fantasy
Goodreads, Amazon

About the Book
Anastasia is the princess no one needs: the fourth daughter born to an emperor without a son, and the only royal lacking a magical gift.

Until she collides with a young Cossack rebel, changing both their lives forever.

Damien is taken from everything he knows and raised as a ward of the Romanovs.

Anastasia develops a strange kind of magic shared only by the Black Monk Rasputin.

While her power grows in secret, boosted by forbidden contact with Damien, Anastasia makes a mistake with terrible consequences.

Fate grants her a single chance to set it right… but saving what she lost may cost everything she loves.

Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion, Bushra Rehman
Contemporary/LGBTQ
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

About the Book
Razia Mirza grows up amid the wild grape vines and backyard sunflowers of Corona, Queens, with her best friend, Saima, by her side. When a family rift drives the girls apart, Razia’s heart is broken. She finds solace in Taslima, a new girl in her close-knit Pakistani-American community. They embark on a series of small rebellions: listening to scandalous music, wearing miniskirts, and cutting school to explore the city.

When Razia is accepted to Stuyvesant, a prestigious high school in Manhattan, the gulf between the person she is and the daughter her parents want her to be, widens. At Stuyvesant, Razia meets Angela and is attracted to her in a way that blossoms into a new understanding. When their relationship is discovered by an Aunty in the community, Razia must choose between her family and her own future.

Punctuated by both joy and loss, full of ’80s music and beloved novels, Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion is a new classic: a fiercely compassionate coming-of-age story of a girl struggling to reconcile her heritage and faith with her desire to be true to herself.

December 27

The Book of Everlasting Things, Aanchal Malhotra
Historical Fiction
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

About the Book
On a January morning in 1938, Samir Vij first locks eyes with Firdaus Khan through the rows of perfume bottles in his family’s ittar shop in Lahore. Over the years that follow, the perfumer’s apprentice and calligrapher’s apprentice fall in love with their ancient crafts and with each other, dreaming of the life they will one day share. But as the struggle for Indian independence gathers force, their beloved city is ravaged by Partition. Suddenly, they find themselves on opposite sides: Samir, a Hindu, becomes Indian and Firdaus, a Muslim, becomes Pakistani, their love now forbidden. Severed from one another, Samir and Firdaus make a series of fateful decisions that will change the course of their lives forever. As their paths spiral away from each other, they must each decide how much of the past they are willing to let go, and what it will cost them.

Lush, sensuous, and deeply romantic, The Book of Everlasting Things is the story of two lovers and two nations, split apart by forces beyond their control, yet bound by love and memory. Filled with exquisite descriptions of perfume and calligraphy, spanning continents and generations, Aanchal Malhotra’s debut novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

All the Dark Places, Terri Parlato
Mystery/Thriller
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

About the Book
Snow falls softly outside Molly Bradley’s home on a frigid January night. Inside, half a dozen close friends are gathered to  celebrate the fortieth birthday of Molly’s psychologist husband, Jay. Candlelight gleams against dark wood, wine flows, and the  house rings with laughter. Everybody loves Jay, Molly most of all. Yet next morning, Molly discovers Jay dead on the floor of his  office, his throat brutally slashed.

After decades working with the Boston PD, Detective Rita Myers has grown accustomed to the banality of evil—the murders that make no sense beyond bad luck or a tragic brush with the worst of humanity. But Jay Bradley’s murder isn’t random, or a mere crime of opportunity. Rita is convinced that someone in the couple’s small circle killed him. Someone who was celebrating with them that night.

Devastated, Molly tries to make sense of her husband’s death. Jay was her rock, the only person who really understood the nightmare she lived through long ago. He knew the horrors she’s kept hidden even from her friends. But shocking revelations are making her question if Jay was all he seemed to be—and whether someone else knows her past too. And until Molly figures out who she can really trust, she won’t be able to stop herself becoming the next target . . .

Ms. Demeanor, Elinor Lipman
Romance
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

About the Book
Jane Morgan is a valued member of her law firm–or was, until a prudish neighbor, binoculars poised, observes her having sex on the roof of her NYC apartment building. Police are summoned, and a punishing judge sentences her to six months of home confinement. With Jane now jobless and rootless, trapped at home, life looks bleak. Yes, her twin sister provides support and advice, but mostly of the unwelcome kind. When a doorman lets slip that Jane isn’t the only resident wearing an ankle monitor, she strikes up a friendship with fellow white-collar felon Perry Salisbury. As she tries to adapt to life within her apartment walls, she discovers she hasn’t heard the end of that tattletale neighbor–whose past isn’t as decorous as her 9-1-1 snitching would suggest. Why are police knocking on Jane’s door again? Can her house arrest have a silver lining? Can two wrongs make a right?

Notable Book 2’s:

Stella Maris, Cormac McCarthy, releasing December 6th
A Fire Endless, Rebecca Ross releasing December 6th


What December releases are you most looking forward to?

2 thoughts on “10 New Releases to Look Forward to in December

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