1. X is for… [Unannounced] by Sue Grafton
This was a breeze to conjure up. Book number 24 in Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series is due out in August. I scream inside; as we all know I idolize Grafton and her smart-mouthed P. I., Kinsey. The series releases bi-yearly, so it’s right on time after 2013's W is for Wasted hit shelves that September. I just wonder what in the hell could the “X” in this title stand for, besides “Xylophone” or “Xenophile”? And besides the full title, I haven't a clue what this one is about. What's Kinsey's next case? Where's Kinsey going to go next in her trapped-in-the-80s narrative. I kind of like it that way, though. The uncertainty, while having the utmost faith that it's going to be something incredibly sweet and fulfilling because Grafton and her protagonist is just that damn close to me now. I’m waiting desperately for you Mrs. Grafton! And while I don't re-read books, I suddenly want to take this series down again. From start to finish! A to X. One Kinsey Millhone one-liner after another. I bask...
2. Devoted in Death by J. D. Robb
Well, it’s obvious at this point that I've stopped denying my need for J. D. Robb books. Yep. That’s over with. So I wait anxiously for September 8th when book number 41 in Robb’s Eve Dallas In Death series releases. Apparently, Devoted has a sort of Bonnie and Clyde setup. Two committed lovers on a cross-country killing spree. Sign me up for it!
3. The Moon Tells Secrets by Savanna Welles
Yes, yes, yes. Mrs. Welles is another pen name for author Valerie Wilson Wesley. And yes, sometimes I desire a little more out of her writing. Nonetheless, I somewhat enjoyed Welles’ first Gothic thriller, When the Night Whispers. Therefore, I'm willing to follow Wesl–err–Welles into The Moon Tells Secrets. It’s coming out on March 24, and that’s right around the corner. Apparently, The Moon Tells Secrets is about a woman raising her adopted son, a son with the ability to shift into animals. In turn, he’s hunted down by something called “skinwalker." Crazy, right? Well, the thrill to this–for me anyway–is that the cast is Black. I’m always, always there for Black characters featured in stories outside of contemporary fiction. As well as the Black writers who take the dive to tell these unique stories. As far as I'm concerned, Black authors can do crime fiction and paranormal just as well. Needless to say, Tuesday, I'll be at Barnes and Nobles for this one. Support.
4. Disciple of the Wind by Steve Bein
I've waited an entire year for book number 3 in Steve Bein’s Fated Blades series, one of the remaining remnants of urban fantasy series I find worth reading. And I’m less than a month away from its April 7th release. Color me all kinds of happy! I can’t wait to go back to Tokyo with Bein's Detective Sergeant, Mariko Oshiro, and her infamous Inazuma blade. I just adore this series; from its protagonist to the way Bein jumps the reader back and forth through time via stories surrounding ancient Japanese blades. However, I'm hoping Bein offers Mariko a lot more spotlight this go-round. I enjoyed the last book, Year of the Demon, tremendously. Nevertheless, I thought Mariko’s story got diluted by the time hopes to ancient Japan. And believe me when I say that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. If you're into stories that tap into realms like legends, superstitions and Edo period Japanese tales, Bein delivers.
5. Last First Snow by Max Gladstone
Gladstone and Bein go hand-in-hand with me now, as both authors are my ports into the urban fantasy genre. Anyway, Last First Snow is book number 4 in Gladstone’s Craft Sequence series. It'll be out in July. I don’t have too much information on the story; quite honestly, the big brute man on the cover has me worried. Nonetheless, as more details come about, I’m sure my excitement for this book will rise until I rush through the bookstore to grab it with little hesitation.
6. God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
God Help the Child releases April 21. Now here’s the thing: I love Toni Morrison. I really do. However, as I mentioned before, I love her work pre-90s. Afterward, I found it difficult to get through her material. It almost feels like all the accolades and whatnot that Beloved garnered had shifted something in her writing. And while I managed through a few of her works then forward, it’s books like A Mercy that just makes me scratch my head in wonder. I never managed to finish that book, but hold on to it for the next attempt. I just never quite understood who and where that book took a claim to. And apparently I’m not the only one. Nonetheless, I do have hopes for God Help the Child. So much so that maybe I can go back and read Morrison’s Home, her 2012 release. I suppose I'm hoping God Help the Child get me back on track with her. It looks promising.
7. Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
All right, despite a few problems, I did enjoy the first book in Harris’ new series, Midnight Crossroad. I enjoyed the dust town and small-town cast of unique characters, and do intend to return to it all this May in Day Shift. I'm excited to see what these crazy-ass people (among other things) do next. Unfortunately, as Amazon is my only source at the immediate moment, I don’t have much information on what Day Shift is about. However, I'm still excited. As I said before, Harris is just ruthless with her characters. You never know what they'll do in her books. She surprises me time and time again, and I like that.
8. Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen
Gerritsen just announced her October release on her blog, and it’s called Playing with Fire. In the same vein as her book, The Bone Garden, Playing with Fire jumps back and forth through time. It’s the story about a violinist, and how her 3-year-old daughter turns violent at the sound of a particularly piece the violinist plays. It's a piece of music she traces back to 1940’s Venice. So no, this is not a Rizzoli and Isle entry. Which is okay with me because its sounds just as Gerritsen and just as nuts.
9. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
I almost forgot this one! Somebody beat me in the head because I don't understand how this one slipped me. Well, I'm sure many more 2015 releases have already slipped around me. Nonetheless, on to China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan. China Rich Girlfriend is the sequel to Kwan's breakout debut, Crazy Rich Asians. I thoroughly enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians when I finally got my hands on it the winter before last. Evidently, China Rich Girlfriend picks up on Chinese-Singaporean, Nicholas Young (heir to a magnificent fortune), and his relationship with ABC (American Born Chinese) girlfriend Rachel Chu. After all of the gossiping, family coups, and destructive intentions to break the two apart, it appears the two are continuing forth with their wedding. This, of course, only invites more drama. Needless to say, I can't wait to get my hands on it in June. For anyone who indulges in the melodrama that makes up Asian soaps, this is the author to get into!
Okay. Off the top of my head, that’s it for now. I got a few fence-riders I’ll like to mention next.
10. Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell
This is book number 23 in Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta forensic thriller series. After last year’s awfulness of Flesh and Blood, I'm not sure (that’s a lie because Depraved Heart will be sought) how this one will go. I think I just want to hear myself say lie to myself, but I am worried about whether this book is going to be as awful as Flesh and Blood. Will I have to abandon it, just as I did Flesh and Blood? Well, we'll see in November when this book releases.
11. One Night by Eric Jerome Dickey
I used to be totally in love with this guy. Then he didn't release a book for an entire year, came back, and broke my heart. The book that threw me over was An Accidental Affair (2012); this torrent story about some guy finding his girlfriend (or was it his wife?) was having an affair. So what does he do, run out and sleep with just about every woman who takes an interest in him. I didn't make it through that book before I, to be perfectly honest, returned it. The following year I bought Decadence. This featured the return of Dickey's sex-crazed protagonist Nia Simon Bijou. Needless to say, I never even cracked it. I gave the book to my mom, as I just didn't care to read about Nia and her orgies again. I think those two books just weren't written for me, or maybe I just grew tired of this sudden slip of sex over plot. However, last year’s A Wanted Woman looked promising, but by then I was already too hurt to try. I just didn’t feel like another erotic action thriller. Which is odd because it’s a book about a hit-woman, and y‘all know I love books featuring women with guns. Nonetheless, the idea is that I'll go back to A Wanted Woman before I return to what seems like classic Dickey in One Night. Who knows? Here's to One Night's April 21th release.
Drum, But No Drum
12. The Drafter by Kim Harrison
The Drafter is first in Kim Harrison’s new series, and seeing I've somewhat abandoned her Rachel Morgan series, I don't see The Drafter happening. Nonetheless, it’s on my radar. How’s that for September possibilities?
13. Dead Ice by Laurell K Hamilton
My ultimate guilty pleasure. The series that I love to hate. And hate more than I love, yet find myself bewitched after Hamilton waved her wand over readers from book 1-9. I’m locked into Anita Blake and her story. Even as I want to throw up at the ridiculousness of it along the way. Here's to gathering my pail in June.
Off Subject, But Not
Why do I want to read Nora Roberts’ Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy? Is it the covers? I don’t know, but for some reason, I really want to read these books. Help me, Jesus.
So what new releases are you guys looking for this year?