Forthcoming fiction – my pick of the titles published up to 27th December.

As we are fast approaching Christmas, the number of new titles has, not unsurprisingly, decreased. Consequently I’ve rolled up the next two weeks into one post. This will give us all a short break to catch up on the books we’ve already bought and to enjoy the books you might have been gifted. Then next post will appear on 28th December and will herald in the New Year offerings. If you’ve got Christmas money to spend, there are some cracking titles coming up in January so be warned!

(NB As an Amazon Associate, Bookshop and Hive Affiliate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases)

The Last Goodbye by Fiona Lucas

How can you ever move on, if you can’t let go?

Anna’s world was shattered three years ago when her husband Spencer was killed in a tragic accident. Her friends and family think it’s time she moved on, but how can she when she’s lost her soulmate?

On New Year’s Eve, Anna calls Spencer’s old phone just to hear his voicemail greeting. But to her surprise someone picks up. Brody answers and is the first person who truly understands what Anna is going through. As they begin to speak regularly, Anna finds herself opening up and slowly she discovers how to smile again, how to laugh, even how to hope.

But Brody hasn’t been entirely honest with Anna. Will his secret threaten everything, just as it seems she might find the courage to love again?


I Give it a Year by Helen Whitaker

I Give It A Year: A moving and emotional story about love and second chances... by [Helen Whitaker]

Her husband’s moved out – and her dad’s moved in…

It’s New Year’s Eve, and Iris has just found out that her husband, Adam, is cheating on her. Furious, she kicks him out, and enlists her Dad to move in and help with the children whilst she tries to mend her broken heart.

But her Dad soon starts to display signs of Alzheimer’s, and Iris realises that if she loses her partner, she’ll be managing an awful lot on her own. Soon, she realises that Adam wasn’t the only one taking their marriage for granted, and for the sake of the children she decides to give him one more chance.

But is it braver to stay than to run? And can anyone fall in love with the same person twice?


The Birthday Weekend by Lesley Sanderson

The Birthday Weekend: A totally unputdownable psychological thriller by [Lesley Sanderson]

Dear Louise. It’s time we all put the past behind us. We’re meeting for my birthday. I want you there. Love, Amy. X

When Louise receives an invitation to her old friend Amy’s birthday weekend in a cottage next to the woods near their old university campus, a chill runs down her spine.

Fifteen years ago, Hannah walked into those same woods and never came back. Her death destroyed her friends. They’ve not met as a group since. Until now.

As the party gets underway and old grudges are uncovered, a game of truth or dare is proposed. It’s clear one person has questions about their friend’s death – and now they want answers. And nothing will stop them.

When everyone has buried secrets, digging for the truth is going to get dangerous.


Miracles in Wild Rose Bay by Susanne O’Leary

Miracles in Wild Rose Bay: A completely uplifting Irish romance full of family secrets (Sandy Cove Book 6) by [Susanne O'Leary]

Arriving in Sandy Cove to views of the shimmering ocean, Tara O’Rourke is excited to get to work. She’s been sent from New York City to take photos of Ireland for a travel magazine, and she knows the perfect area to visit: the mysterious, picturesque Wild Rose Bay.

Staying in her sister Kate’s sweet little cottage, the long nights and beach strolls inspire Tara. But Kate isn’t pleased with Tara’s assignment: she doesn’t want the untouched beauty of the area spoiled by tourists. And when Tara ignores Kate and heads out on her own, she encounters more opposition from Kate’s handsome friend Mick O’Dwyer.

Despite their differences, Tara soon finds herself captivated by Mick, and as he helps her research the area, they uncover a tumbledown farmhouse that holds a secret about Tara’s family. Soon Tara is forced to make a choice: should she give up her story and the career she’s always wanted, or the man and the country she’s falling in love with?


The Last to See Her by Courtney Evan Tate

A woman disappears into the dark city night…

Gen is on the verge of a divorce from her cheating husband. When her sister, Meg, has a convention to attend in the Big Apple, she invites Gen along to celebrate her newly found freedom. But the perfect sisters’ getaway quickly goes awry when a tipsy Gen defiantly throws her wedding ring off the hotel room’s balcony. Then, wanting some fresh air, she decides to take a late-evening walk alone and vanishes without a trace.

The investigation that follows uncovers secrets–and betrayals–between sisters and spouses that will twist the truth in on itself until nothing is clear.

What really happened to Gen and who, besides Meg, was the last to see her?


Smoke Screen by Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger

Smoke Screen (Blix & Ramm) by [Thomas Enger, Jørn Lier Horst, Megan Turney]

Oslo, New Year’s Eve. The annual firework celebration is rocked by an explosion, and the city is put on terrorist alert.

Police officer Alexander Blix and blogger Emma Ramm are on the scene, and when a severely injured survivor is pulled from the icy harbour, she is identified as the mother of two-year-old Patricia Smeplass, who was kidnapped on her way home from kindergarten ten years earlier … and never found.

Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the unsolved case, as public interest heightens, the terror threat is raised, and it becomes clear that Patricia’s disappearance is not all that it seems…


The Ice Daughters by DE White

THE ICE DAUGHTERS an addictive crime thriller with a fiendish twist (Detective Dove Milson Book 2) by [D. E. WHITE]

AS THE TEMPERATURE DROPS, THE BODY COUNT RISES

Firefighters race to put out a blaze at a remote farmhouse. They discover two young girls alone in the house.

Their mother is gone — and in her place is the dead body of a man, frozen naked in the foetal position. Two chess pieces made of ice have been left on the doorstep.

Then it happens again.

A missing woman. A frozen body. Chess pieces made of ice.

Detective Dove Milson and her team are on the case, but time is running out to stop a serial killer. Then ice sculptures are left outside Dove’s front door.

Is this check or checkmate?

In this utterly gripping thriller, what’s frozen in the past may destroy the present.


Don’t Wake Me by Martin Kruger

Don't Wake Me by [Martin Krüger, Jozef van der Voort]

She came to the island to escape what she did. But the island won’t let her forget.

It was a terrible, terrible accident. Jasmin Hansen knows she hit something. It must have been a deer—that’s what her husband keeps telling her. But Jasmin saw a man’s face, and the nightmares won’t stop.

Some time out at their holiday home on the remote island of Minsøy seems the ideal solution for Jasmin and her five-year-old son, Paul. But you can’t hide from your memories, and Jasmin is haunted at every turn. When mysterious messages begin to arrive at her isolated cottage, it becomes clear that she isn’t the only one who knows what happened that night. Somebody wants her to pay. And when Jasmin uncovers the island’s shocking long-held secret, she realises there isn’t a single person she and Paul can trust.

As the island closes in on her and the threats against her escalate, can Jasmin discover who knows the truth of what she did before it’s too late?


Wilful Changes in Lower Dimblebrook by Julie Butterfield

Wilful Changes in Lower Dimblebrook: A delightful cozy mystery about gossip, village life and murder! (Isabelle Darby Cozy Village Mysteries Book 2) by [Julie Butterfield]

As a relative newcomer to cosy village of Lower Dimblebrook, Issie is one of the few people who has shown friendship to the disliked Della Burrows. Suspected of killing off her new husband and trying to steal his daughter’s inheritance, Della has made only enemies in the village and when her body is found only a few days after her husband’s funeral, the main question on everybody’s lips is whether she was successful and what was written in Vincent Burrows’ will. But it’s never that simple in Lower Dimblebrook and as the mystery of Della’s secretive past begins to emerge, Issie finds herself a suspect in her murder, which of course means the return of the delicious DI Wainwright, which Issie finds even more disturbing!


A Snowball’s Chance in Hell by JD Kirk

A Snowball's Chance in Hell: A Scottish Murder Mystery (DCI Logan Crime Thrillers Book 9) by [JD Kirk]

Which list are you on?

When a young man is found frozen to death on a Highland street in mid-December, DCI Jack Logan initially puts it down to a Christmas night out gone tragically wrong.

But, when a post mortem reveals something more sinister, Jack discovers he is dealing with a cold, calculating killer with a long line of victims, a talent for torture, and a perverse sense of justice.

Half a decade ago, the press dubbed him ‘The Iceman’ – a twisted vigilante who successfully evaded capture for two years, before melting away into the night.

Now, The Iceman has come back. His naughty list is longer than ever.

And it contains some worryingly familiar names…


In Pursuit of Happiness by Freya Kennedy

In Pursuit of Happiness: The perfect uplifting romantic read for 2021 by [Freya Kennedy]

The world is waiting…but just outside of your comfort zone.

Jo Campbell is perfectly content in a perfectly structured life.

Nothing ever changes in Jo’s life, and she likes it that way.

Or at least, she tells herself she does.

Most of the time, she manages to push down the tiny voice that tells her to chase her dream and maybe, just maybe, open her battered and bruised heart up to love.

But to chase her dreams she needs to take chances that are way out of her comfort zone and learn to not put other people’s happiness above her own.

Most of all she has to learn to trust her heart, which may just be the biggest challenge of all.


A Brambleberry Manor Christmas by Rosie Green

A Brambleberry Manor Christmas: (Little Duck Pond Cafe, Book 14) by [Rosie Green]

After the heart-breaking events of the previous festive season, Jenny Wilkes is dreading Christmas. The one bright spot is that her brand new business, ‘Dining In’, seems to be thriving. She’s won a contract to cater for a week-long Christmas house party at Brambleberry Manor, culminating in the sparkling Cinderella Ball, and she’s determined to do a first rate job. Meeting Noah, one of the guests, gives Jenny a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. But with a stroppy step-daughter determined to stand in the way of her happiness, will love really be able to conquer all?


After the Storm by Isabella Muir

After the Storm (A Giuseppe Bianchi mystery Book 2) by [Isabella Muir]

When a violent storm blasts England’s south coast, it’s up to retired Italian detective Giuseppe Bianchi to sift through the devastation and piece together the tragic events left behind in the storm’s wake.

Giuseppe Bianchi’s brief visit to Bexhill-on-Sea has become an extended stay. He is loath to return to his home in Rome because of the haunting images that made him leave in the first place. 

During his morning walks along the seafront with Beagle, Max, he meets Edward Swain, who becomes Giuseppe’s walking companion. They form a friendship of sorts and find they have a similar outlook on life.

But the devastating events of a single night lead Giuseppe to question the truth about Edward Swain. Teaming up with young journalist, Christina Rossi – his cousin’s daughter – Giuseppe learns about the brutal reality lurking behind the day-to-day life of families in the local community. And as the story unravels Giuseppe is reminded how anger and revenge can lead to the most dreadful of crimes.


The Postmistress by Maggie Sullivan

The Postmistress (Our Street at War, Book 1) by [Maggie Sullivan]

One ordinary street in Lancashire is getting ready for war, who knows what else is going on behind the net curtains?
Vicky Parrot wanted more out of life than working all hours in her father’s Post Office. Her dreams were ruined when tragedy came calling, and now happiness seems impossible.
The other townsfolk have their problems too. Sylvia Barker runs the haberdashery shop and she’s hiding more than a few secrets behind the bales of wool in the shop window. Her daughter Rosie wants more out of life than needles and cotton, but her headstrong ways are about to get her into trouble.
Life goes on for the people of Greenhill, what they can’t know is that their world is about to change forever…

That’s all for now. Thanks to all who join me each week for these posts. I hope you find something to tempt you often enough to keep you in books (I’m certain you’ll never be short of reading either way). Hope that you find something bookish coming your way for Christmas, and if not, never fear I’ll be back to tempt you soon so you can choose your own.

Have a peaceful Christmas, however you choose to mark it and see you on the other side.

Happy Reading!!

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