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Top Ten Tuesday 1/23/24


 

 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.   You can find each week’s topic on her site.

This week’s topic is books I meant to read in 2023.

These are in no particular order.

 

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Some Shall Break

This electrifying, chilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling thriller None Shall Sleep focuses on junior FBI consultants Travis Bell and Emma Lewis with a new case that may unravel everything they’ve been working for. 

After a harrowingly close contact with juvenile sociopath Simon Gutmunsson, junior FBI consultants Emma Lewis and Travis Bell went their separate ways: Emma rejected her Quantico offer and Travis stayed to train within a new unit of the FBI Behavioral Science division. But the unit’s latest case is feeling eerily familiar and Kristin Gutmunsson—Simon Gutmunsson’s eccentric twin—reaches out to Travis to send a warning: Emma is in peril.
 
When Travis and Kristin turn up evidence that points back to Daniel Huxton, the serial killer that Emma had escaped, things become more complicated. With a copycat on the loose, Emma returns to Quantico and is thrown back into her past traumas. Compelled to prevent more tragedy—even if it means putting herself in danger—Emma turns to Simon for help once again. But Simon is keeping secrets that could impact their entire investigation. Will the team be able to stop the Huxton copycat before time runs out for his next victims?

 

 

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Half Sick of Shadows

Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.

On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.

When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.

As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.

The Lady of Shalott reclaims her story in this bold feminist reimagining of the Arthurian myth from the New York Times bestselling author of Ash Princess.

 

 

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The It Girl

April Coutts-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.

Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the second, April was dead.

Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide… including a murder.

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of One by One returns with an unputdownable mystery following a woman on the search for answers a decade after her friend’s murder.

 

 

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Throne of the Fallen

Sinner. Villain. Wicked.

The Prince of Envy has never claimed to be a saint. But when a cryptic note arrives, signaling the beginning of a deadly game, he knows it will take more than a hint of sin to win and save his falling demon court. Riddles, hexed objects, anonymous players, nothing will stand in his way, though none of his meticulous plans prepare him for her, the frustrating artist who ignites his sin like no other…

Virtuous. Darling. Liar.

The trouble with scoundrels and blackguards is that they haven’t a modicum of honor, a fact Miss Camilla Antonius learns after one desperate mistake allows Waverly Green’s most notorious rake to blackmail her. To avoid a ruinous scandal, Camilla is forced to enter a devil’s bargain with Envy, little expecting his game will awaken her true nature . . .

Together, Envy and Camilla must embark on a perilous journey through the Underworld—from glittering demon courts to the sultry vampire realm and beyond—while trying to avoid the most dangerous trap of all: falling in love.

 

 

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Live Laugh Kidnap

From the author of Layoverland comes another bitingly clever, laugh-out-loud funny novel, about a group of teen girls going up against an exploitative megachurch in their small Montana town.

The only thing Genesis, Holly and Zoe seem to have in common is being stuck in Violet, Montana. Well, that and the fact that Hope Harvest Ministries is trying to ruin their lives.

Genesis lives on a commune that is now an echo of the New Age cult it once was. She’s witnessed power couple Pastor Jay and Ree Reaps transform their sleepy small town into a haven for online Influencers, who flock to Violet, bible in one hand and Ree’s bestselling ACT LIKE A LADY, PRAY LIKE A BOSS in the other. Now, the Reaps have decided it’s God’s Will™ that they take over Gen’s ranch.

Holly is a begrudging tourist, forced to spend the summer with her estranged father as punishment for her unsavory behavior back in LA. To Holly, Hope Harvest is nothing but a gimmicky marketing ploy, but it’s threatening to put her father’s diner out of business and, for some reason, Holly cares.

All Zoe wants is to leave Violet, working thankless shifts at the diner to scrape together enough cash to start a new life with her girlfriend. But Zoe’s mother has lost everything to the church’s multilevel marketing schemes so the little money that Zoe manages to make goes right to debt collectors.

The only solution to their problems is to scam the scammers and protect what’s theirs. It shouldn’t take much – the Reaps’ golden son, an accidental kidnapping, some light blackmail – and the Reaps’ fortune will be in the girls’ much more deserving hands. As long as everything goes according to plan…

 

 

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Nightbirds

In a dazzling new fantasy world full of whispered secrets and political intrigue, the magic of women is outlawed but four girls with unusual powers have the ability to change it all.

The Nightbirds are Simta’s best kept secret. Teenage girls from the Great Houses with magic coursing through their veins, the Nightbirds have the unique ability to gift their magic to others with a kiss. Magic—especially the magic of women—is outlawed and the city’s religious sects would see them burned if discovered. But protected by the Great Houses, the Nightbirds are safe well-guarded treasures.

As this Season’s Nightbirds, Matilde, Aesa, and Sayer spend their nights bestowing their unique brands of magic to well-paying clients. Once their Season is through, they’re each meant to marry a Great House lord and become mothers to the next generation of Nightbirds before their powers fade away. But Matilde, Aesa, and Sayer have other plans. They know their lives as Nightbirds aren’t just temporary, but a complete lie and yearn for something more.

When they discover that there are other girls like them and that their magic is more than they were ever told, they see the carefully crafted Nightbird system for what it is: a way to keep them in their place, first as daughters and then as wives. Now they must make a choice—to stay in their gilded cage or to remake the city that put them there in the first place.

 

 

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Mexican Gothic

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemí’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

 

 

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The Book of Cold Cases

In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect–a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.

Oregon, 2017Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases–a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.

They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?

A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel.

 

 

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In the Ravenous Dark

A pansexual bloodmage reluctantly teams up with an undead spirit to start a rebellion among the living and the dead.

In Thanopolis, those gifted with magic are assigned undead spirits to guard them—and control them. Ever since Rovan’s father died trying to keep her from this fate, she’s hidden her magic. But when she accidentally reveals her powers, she’s bound to a spirit and thrust into a world of palace intrigue and deception.

Desperate to escape, Rovan finds herself falling for two people she can’t fully trust: Lydea, a beguiling, rebellious princess; and Ivrilos, the handsome spirit with the ability to control Rovan, body and soul.

Together, they uncover a secret that will destroy Thanopolis. To save them all, Rovan will have to start a rebellion in both the mortal world and the underworld, and find a way to trust the princess and spirit battling for her heart—if she doesn’t betray them first.

 

 

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Dreams Lie Beneath

A story about magic and the captivating power of dreams.

A curse plagues the realm of Azenor—during each new moon, magic flows from the nearby mountain and brings nightmares to life. Only magicians, who serve as territory wardens, stand between people and their worst dreams.

Clementine Madigan is ready to take over as the warden of her small town, but when two magicians challenge her, she is unwittingly drawn into a century-old conflict. She seeks revenge, but as she secretly gets closer to Phelan, one of the handsome young magicians, secrets begin to rise. Clementine must unite with her rival to fight the realm’s curse, which seems to be haunting her every turn.

 

 

Have you read any of these?  Are any on your TBR?

 

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