While this lengthy winter has clearly not been the most joyful time for many of us (sending good thoughts to those afflicted in Texas these days), at least we know that this persistently chilly precipitation will eventually end.
As you look forward to brighter days in more ways than one, another seasonal pleasure awaits you in the form of new books. My small list of upcoming titles for March and April should make for a lovely bookish bouquet or a nice addition to your literary garden:
SURE TO BEE A FRIENDLY READ:
Eileen Garvin's debut novel, The Music of Bees, introduces us to a trio of unlikely friends who band together for a cause near and dear to their hearts.
Widowed beekeeper Alice literally runs into Jake, a troubled wheelchair bound teen in need of a new home in order to get away from his cruel father. Alice surprised herself by taking Jake in as well as hiring a new handyman, Harry, to fix up her place. She's not much of a people person to begin with yet it's clear that she needs more than her beloved bees for company.
Upon leaving her regular job due to being overlooked for a promotion yet again, Alice decides to focus on protecting the declining bee population not only of her Oregon small town but numerous other states as well from SupraGro, a pesticide that is doing such damage to nature.
With the help of Jake and Harry, Alice hopes to find true purpose in her life but the key to solving that problem may be closer at hand than she thinks. This sounds like a good heartwarming story that we all need right now which is not cloying sweet, more like a down to earth flavor that showcases the fragile yet resilient nature of life and love(April):
COZY COMFORT MYSTERY DISHES:
Author Abby Collette gives us a second scoop of her Ice Cream Parlor mystery series with A Game of Cones that has Bronwyn "Win" Crewse solving a murder right along side creating new ice cream flavors for customers old and new at her family run ice cream shop.
Attending her first meeting of local business owners, a ruckus occurs when Zeke Reynolds, spokesman for a Texas based corporation, announces his company's plans to open up a shopping mall in their area. That proposal does not go over well with anyone, even causing one of Win's good friends, Riya, to throw a shoe at Zeke in response!
That furious outcome gets worse as Zeke is found dead the next day, making just about every store owner a suspect in his untimely demise. Win teams up with Riya and Maisie, her murder mystery show obsessed friend, to find the killer but another new arrival in town offers Win a chance to reclaim her past life back in New York. Will she go back to that fast paced world or stay with her small town shop with a side dish of crime solving?
I did enjoy the first entry in this series(A Deadly Inside Scoop) and have been looking forward to this next book with the anticipation that one has for a special new brand of frosty goodness during a warm summer's day(March).
Meanwhile, there's another delicious new entree on Vivien Chien's cozy mystery menu on the way with Fatal Fried Rice.
While Lana Lee is great at managing her family's restaurant, her own cooking skills wouldn't pay the bills if push came to shove. To stop family and friends from mocking her lack of culinary arts, she decides to take a cooking class in secret, planning to surprise everyone with a great meal made by hand.
However, it's Lana who is surprised by discovering the dead body of her cooking teacher Margo Chan. In order to clear her name, Lana has to hide her private investigation from police detective boyfriend Adam but will this secret plan backfire as badly as the one that got her into this mess in the first place?
Although this series doesn't include recipes, I do consider it a culinary cozy with strong retail vibes(which I do relate to). Even if Lana doesn't have any kitchen challenges ahead of her in the next book(Hot and Sour Suspects, due out this summer), her adventures always prove to be tasty experiences indeed(March):
VERY DIFFERENT BLASTS FROM THE PAST
Set in New York during the 80s, Astrid Sees All by Natalia Standiford has it's two lead gal pals find themselves a reasonably affordable place to live, due to a boyfriend landing in jail for drug dealing, and the chance to figure out who they want to be .
Phoebe has always admired Carmen since their college days and her main motive for moving to NYC from Baltimore was to be her orbit. Carmen's party girl ways tend to leave Phoebe one step behind but upon the death of her father, she chooses to do more than keep up.
Calling herself Astrid, Phoebe turns herself into a fortune teller who uses movie tickets as her tarot cards, which allows her to stay within Carmen's social range. However, by dating one of her friend's boyfriends, that relationship becomes threatened, almost as threatened as the possibility of Phoebe being followed by a mysterious stranger.
Standiford is best known for her YA novels but I 'm sure that this change of shelf space will not turn off her regular readers; in fact, it may add some newcomers to her literary mix. Whether it be adults or teens, friendships are tricky to balance if someone has to be top dog instead of even steven and Standiford seems to know how well to keep those character plot point plates spinning in the air(April):
A new marriage comes with unexpected baggage in Peter Swanson's Every Vow You Break as Abigail is worried about keeping her bachelorette party fling a secret from her groom-to-be Bruce.
Trouble is, that intended one night stand Scottie insists on being a permanent part of her life to the point of demanding she call the wedding off. Refusing that request, Abigail hopes that her honeymoon will be a well earned break from such stalker antics.
No such luck as Scottie shows up at the remote Maine island where she and Bruce are staying, turning what should be a romantic time in Abigail's life to one that may threaten the end of her time on earth.
Swanson does have a knack for creating tension filled dramas that can turn on a dime plot wise and this latest story ought to have it's share of page turning surprises indeed(March):
It may take a little more time for sunny skies to appear again but being patient does pay off eventually and having a good book on hand will help to make that time pass quickly.
Plus, a good read is a great excuse for unplugging from the online world for a little while. Technology is a big part of our modern lives but taking a break from all of that is important for necessary emotional downloading and refreshing your spirit, which is also a big part of spring to boot: