The Measure by Nikki Erlick

The Measure by Nikki Erlick

Age of Miracles meets The Immortalists in this spirit-lifting, high-concept blockbuster debut set in a world where people can find out how much time they have left to live.

Would you choose to find out the length of your life?

One spring day, small wooden boxes arrive for every person, all over the world, from suburban doorsteps to desert tents. All the boxes feature the same inscription, “The measure of your life lies within,” and vary in only two ways: the name of the recipient and the length of the single string inside. Instantly, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy, first to ascertain their origin and meaning, and then to confront the truth of the strings.

Told through multiple perspectives, The Measure introduces an unforgettable cast of characters whose lives weave and interlock with one another upon the arrival of the strings: a doctor who cannot save himself, a couple who thought they didn’t have to rush, best friends whose dreams are forever entwined, pen pals finding refuge in the unknown, and a politician whose string becomes a powder keg in an increasingly turbulent world.

As society divides itself, the truth has the power to unravel their long-held beliefs and relationships all while forging new alliances and philosophies about our time on this earth and our place in the community. Both heartbreaking and profoundly uplifting, The Measure is a sweeping, ambitious meditation on life, family, and society that challenges us to consider the best way to live life to the fullest.

X by Davey Davis

X by Davey Davis

A thrilling portrait of political terror and the violent pleasures found in warehouses, bathrooms, and dungeons across New York City, X is a novel that delves into the psyches of characters on the margins

The world is ending, and down-and-out sadist Lee spends their days working for a big corporation and their nights wandering the streets of Brooklyn listening to true crime podcasts. But everything changes when Lee is dragged to a warehouse party by their best friend, where they find themself in the clutches of the seductive and bloodthirsty X. When Lee seeks her out again, she’s nowhere to be found.

Amid the steady constriction of civil rights and the purging of migrants and refugees, the U.S. government has recently begun encouraging the semi-voluntary “exporting” of undesirable citizens—the radicalized, the dissident, and the ungovernable. Word has it that X may be among those leaving. If Lee doesn’t track her down soon, she may be gone forever.

Dead Letters from Paradise by Ann McMan

Dead Letters from Paradise by Ann McMan

A spinster postal investigator for the Winston-Salem Dead Letter Office finds herself enmeshed in the mystery of solving who is sending undeliverable letters to the town’s 18th-century hortus medicus.

Two-time Lambda Literary Award-winning author Ann McMan introduces readers to a spinster postal investigator for the Winston-Salem Dead Letter Office who finds herself enmeshed in the mystery of solving who is sending undeliverable love letters to the town’s 18th-century hortus medicus.

The year is 1960, and Gunsmoke is the most popular show on TV. Elvis Presley tops the Billboard charts, and a charismatic young senator named John F. Kennedy is running for president. And, in North Carolina, four young Black men sit down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter and demand service.

Enter Esther Jane (EJ) Cloud, a forty-something spinster who manages the Dead Letter Office at the Winston-Salem post office. EJ leads a quiet life in her Old Salem ancestral home and spends her free time volunteering in the town’s 18th-century medicinal garden.

One sunny Spring morning, EJ’s world is turned upside down when she is handed a stack of handwritten letters that have all been addressed to a nonexistent person at the garden. This simple act sets in motion a chain of events that will lead EJ on a life-altering quest to uncover the identity of the mysterious letter writer—and into a surprising, head-on confrontation with the harsh realities of the racial injustice that is as deeply rooted in the life of her community as the ancient herbs cultivated in the Moravian garden.

When EJ is forced to read the letters to look for clues about the anonymous sender, what she discovers are lyrical tales of a forbidden passion that threaten to unravel the simple contours of her unexamined life. EJ’s official quest soon morphs into a journey of self-discovery. Her surprising accomplice on this quest becomes a savvy, street smart ten-year-old wielding an eye patch and a limitless supply of aphorisms. Together, the unlikely duo makes pilgrimages to a tiny town called Paradise to try and crack the case—while ultimately learning better ways to navigate the changing world around them.

The Truth About Ben and June : A Novel by Alex Kiester

The Truth About Ben and June : A Novel by Alex Kiester

Perfect for fans of EVVIE DRAKE STARTS OVER and reminiscent of FATES AND FURIES, this propulsive debut novel explores the complexity of a modern-day marriage and motherhood, when a new mother vanishes one morning, and her husband must retrace events of their recent past to bring her home.

One morning, Ben Gilmore wakes to the sound of his crying baby and quickly realizes that his wife isn’t home. Her suitcase is gone, but there’s no clue to where she’s gone. As he attempts to put the pieces of her disappearance together by questioning her new friends, they mention things he knows nothing about —a mysterious petition, June’s falling out with another mom, her strange fixation on a Greek myth. The more Ben uncovers about his wife, he comes to realize how distant he’s been. And the only way to bring June home, is to understand why she left.

Before Ben and June moved to Maplewood, New Jersey to start their family, June had been a competitive dancer. After an unexpected pregnancy, June decided she wanted to do both – have a career and be a mom. Her own mother, who is now deceased, was also a gifted dancer and made it look easy – she lovingly raised June while opening her own dance studio. But sleep deprived and struggling to keep up with the other Maplewood moms, June wishes she could ask her mom for advice. The more June’s identity as a dancer slips from her grasp, the tighter she holds onto what could have been if she hadn’t walked away from the role of a lifetime as Medea, the lead in a famous ballet. Desperate for guidance, she writes her mother in her journal, hoping for a sign of what she should do next.

Emotional, entertaining, with stunning revelations, The Truth About Ben and June is told through alternating perspectives between husband and wife, as they reckon with their marriage and the distance that has crept between them. With a deeply satisfying ending, The Truth About Ben and June shows that love isn’t something that happens to you; it’s something you must choose every day.

After Everyone Else by Leslie Hooton

After Everyone Else by Leslie Hooton

In After Everyone Else, Bailey and her marriage are tested by a demanding job, new challenges in motherhood, and murder charges when her ex-husband who she hasn’t seen in 20 years turns up dead and she becomes the primary suspect in the investigation.

From the acclaimed author of Before Anyone Else comes a captivating new novel about the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.

Bailey thought she’d gotten her happy ending. She is married to the man she loves, she has started a family, and her design business is flourishing. But when Bailey’s ex-husband, a famous TV chef, is found murdered with her DNA all over his apartment and body, she is suddenly facing murder charges in a high-profile case. Already burdened by the demands and challenges of marriage, motherhood, and her career, Bailey now must do everything she can to prove her innocence. But it’s the ones she thought would surely be on her side—her enigmatic lawyer and her husband—who might be doubting her innocence the most.

Alternating between the past and present, After Everyone Else chronicles the grip of the past, the challenges of forgiveness, and the resilient love we save for the person we love after everyone else.

The Sky Club by Terry Roberts

The Sky Club by Terry Roberts

Jo Salter, a mathematical prodigy from the mountains of North Carolina, remakes herself from a bank teller to a nightclub owner and bootlegger when the Great Depression upturns her life.

“When I’m dead and buried . . . you get the hell out of here . . . Make a life somewhere else . . . a life that I can’t even imagine.”

Jo Salter, a woman from the North Carolina mountains, sets about constructing a new life for herself in Asheville in the wake of her mother’s death. A life that no one—including her mother—could have imagined.

Jo has a gift. She is a mathematical prodigy—a woman who sees and thinks in numbers. She secures a job as a teller at Central Bank & Trust, where she recreates herself as a modern woman and rises through the professional ranks. While working at the bank, Jo becomes fascinated by Levi Arrowood, the dark and mysterious manager of the Sky Club, an infamous speakeasy and jazz club on the mountainside above town.

When the Great Depression brings Central Bank & Trust down in a seismic crash, Jo is forced to find a new home and job. She finds both at the Sky Club, where she strikes a partnership with the alluring Arrowood as she is drawn deeper into a glamorous and precarious life of bootlegging, jazz, and love.

The Sky Club is the story of money, greed, and life after the crash from the eyes of one remarkable woman as she creates her own imagined life.

The Path of Thorns by A.G. Slatter

The Path of Thorns by A.G. Slatter

A lush and twisted dark fairy tale suffused with witchcraft, dark secrets and bitter revenge from the award-winning author. Exquisite, haunting and at times brutal, readers of Naomi Novik and Erin Morgenstern will be entranced.

Asher Todd comes to live with the mysterious Morwood family as a governess to their children. Asher knows little about being a governess but she is skilled in botany and herbcraft, and perhaps more than that. And she has secrets of her own, dark and terrible – and Morwood is a house that eats secrets. With a monstrous revenge in mind, Asher plans to make it choke. However, she becomes fond of her charges, of the people of the Tarn, and she begins to wonder if she will be able to execute her plan – and who will suffer most if she does. But as the ghosts of her past become harder to control, Asher realises she has no choice.

From the award-winning author of All the Murmuring Bones, dark magic, retribution and twisted family secrets combine to weave a bewitching and addictive tale.

My Name Is Jason. Mine Too by Jason Reynolds, Jason Griffin

My Name Is Jason. Mine Too by Jason Reynolds, Jason Griffin

A stunning visual autobiography of two crazy-talented besties, bestselling and award-winning author Jason Reynolds and painter Jason Griffin, who could never be who they are singularly if they weren’t who they were together.

Once upon a time in America, there were two Jasons. Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin. One a poet. One an artist. One Black. One white. Two voices. One journey in mind: to move to New York, the city of dreams, to make their own dreams come true. Willing to have a life not un-hard, so long as it wasn’t unhappy. Willing to let the city swallow them whole, so long as it gives them their chance. They had each other. “What if painting was a sin, and the poetry became taboo. And no one ever clapped for me again. My question is, would you?”

They clapped. Oh, they clapped. And aren’t we glad?

Grain and Fire : A History of Baking in the American South by Rebecca Sharpless

Grain and Fire : A History of Baking in the American South by Rebecca Sharpless

A coconut cake is not always just a coconut cake

While a luscious layer cake may exemplify the towering glory of southern baking, like everything about the American South, baking is far more complicated than it seems. Rebecca Sharpless here weaves a brilliant chronicle, vast in perspective and entertaining in detail, revealing how three global food traditions—Indigenous American, European, and African—collided with and merged in the economies, cultures, and foodways of the South to create what we know as the southern baking tradition.

Recognizing that sentiments around southern baking run deep, Sharpless takes delight in deflating stereotypes as she delves into the surprising realities underlying the creation and consumption of baked goods. People who controlled the food supply in the South used baking to reinforce their power and make social distinctions. Who used white cornmeal and who used yellow, who put sugar in their cornbread and who did not had traditional meanings for southerners, as did the proportions of flour, fat, and liquid in biscuits. By the twentieth century, however, the popularity of convenience foods and mixes exploded in the region, as it did nationwide. Still, while some regional distinctions have waned, baking in the South continues to be a remarkable, and remarkably tasty, source of identity and entrepreneurship.

Beasts & Creatures Myths & Tales: Epic Tales, forward by Tok Thompson

Beasts & Creatures Myths & Tales: Epic Tales, forward by Tok Thompson

Mythological beasts and creatures come in every shape and size, sometimes good, sometimes evil, but often indifferent to the needs of humankind. A beautiful new collection of tales from many different traditions: Norse to Celtic, Greek to Indian, Japanese to Egyptian.

With their weird combination of animal limbs, or distorted visions of human perception, beasts and creatures can be found in all myths and legends of the world, often used to demonstrate moral or fabulistic stories, and explain extreme natural phenomena. An ideal companion to Gods & Monsters Myths & Tales, this new collection includes more of the most famous and recognizable beasts, with some insight too into the rare and the little known: the Simurgh – the gigantic mythical bird of Persian mythology and literature – mingles with the monstrous Great Head of Iroquois folklore; the Kraken of originally Scandinvavian legend can be found alongside North America’s Bigfoot, or Sasquatch if you prefer. Of course, from the Greek and Celtic mythologies come the Phoenix, Scylla and Charybdis, the Unicorn, Satyrs and Fauns, Centaurs and Minotaurs, the Basilisk and the Griffin. And let’s not forget the goblins of the Norse, the ogreish monsters of Japanese mythology, the Oni, and the nymphs, fairies and sprites that appear in many different mythological traditions. This truly is a wonderful collection of tales.

The Flame Tree Gothic Fantasy, Classic Stories and Epic Tales collections bring together the entire range of myth, folklore and modern short fiction. Highlighting the roots of suspense, supernatural, science fiction and mystery stories the books in Flame Tree Collections series are beautifully presented, perfect as a gift and offer a lifetime of reading pleasure.

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