Amazon First Reads – November 2021

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can get one free Kindle e-book from the selection provided every month by Amazon book editors choices. There are usually nine genres represented. From my experience, the books tend to be from small/indie publishers or new authors, as well as Amazon’s publishing entities. The books are early release copies.

For November, the choices are as followed:

At First Light (Dr. Evan Wilding Book 1) by [Barbara Nickless]

Choice 1 – Mystery
Title: At First Light (Dr. Evan Wilding Book 1) by Barbara Nickless
Summary: On the muddy banks of the Calumet River, a body has been found posed next to a series of mysterious glyphs and bearing wounds from a ritualistic slaying. Chicago detective Addie Bisset knows only one man who can decipher the message left by the killer: her friend Dr. Evan Wilding. A brilliant forensic semiotician, Evan decodes the etchings as Viking Age runes. They suggest either human sacrifice or righteous punishment. But to what god? And for what sins? Only one thing is clear from the disturbing runic riddles: there are more victims to come. As Evan races to determine the identity of the Viking Poet, he and Addie uncover the killer’s most terrifying secret yet: the motive. This startling discovery puts Evan’s life in mortal danger, and verse by ancient verse, time is running out.

Choice 2 – Book Club Fiction
Title: Three More Months by Sarah Echavarre
Summary: What if you woke up one day and the loved one you’d lost was suddenly, inexplicably alive again? Chloe Howard’s devotion to her job has come at a cost: spending time with the most important person in her life—her mother. Vowing to change, she plans a trip home. Sadly, hours before she arrives, her mother passes away, leaving Chloe without a goodbye and riddled with grief and regret. But maybe…maybe it’s not too late. Just days before the funeral, Chloe finds her mother unaccountably alive and well. And it’s no longer May; she’s been transported back in time to March. No one—not Chloe’s brother, friends, or colleagues—understands why Chloe is so confused. How can she make sense of this? It’s impossible. But Chloe is going to make the most of it. She’s going to do everything differently: repair family rifts, forge new bonds, tell her mother every day how much she loves her, and possibly prevent the inevitable. This is a second chance Chloe never saw coming. She’s not wasting a minute of it.

Choice 3 – Domestic Suspense
Title: Into the Sound by Cara Reinard
Summary: A terrified voice on the phone. The line goes dead. The mystery begins. During a superstorm, Holly Boswell receives a panicked call from her sister, Vivian: Come get me…There’s somebody coming. But when Holly arrives at a Long Island marina, there’s only her sister’s abandoned car. Vivian is gone. It’s all eerily familiar. Holly and Vivian used to play hide-and-seek as children. It was a reprieve from the mental abuses of their parents, psychology professors who raised the siblings as if it were research. Decades later, Holly is reminded of their childhood games. In her relentless search for the answers, Holly is reading between the lines in Vivian’s journals. She’s untangling clues in their mother’s diary and discovering secrets from her sister’s private world that are casting a dangerous shadow. Maybe Vivian has reasons for wanting to disappear from her well-to-do life. Or is it something more sinister? As Holly follows Vivian’s trail, she can’t shake the feeling that someone might be following her.

Choice 4 – Historical Fiction
Title: The Last Rose of Shanghai by Weina Dai Randel
Summary: In Japanese-occupied Shanghai, two people from different cultures are drawn together by fate and the freedom of music… Aiyi Shao is a young heiress and the owner of a formerly popular and glamorous Shanghai nightclub. Ernest Reismann is a penniless Jewish refugee driven out of Germany, an outsider searching for shelter in a city wary of strangers. He loses nearly all hope until he crosses paths with Aiyi. When she hires Ernest to play piano at her club, her defiance of custom causes a sensation. His instant fame makes Aiyi’s club once again the hottest spot in Shanghai. Soon they realize they share more than a passion for jazz—but their differences seem insurmountable, and Aiyi is engaged to another man. As the war escalates, Aiyi and Ernest find themselves torn apart, and their choices between love and survival grow more desperate. In the face of overwhelming odds, a chain of events is set in motion that will change both their lives forever. From the electrifying jazz clubs to the impoverished streets of a city under siege, The Last Rose of Shanghai is a timeless, sweeping story of love and redemption.

Choice 5 – Memoir
Title: Flying on the Inside: A Memoir of Trauma and Recovery by Rachel Gotto
Summary: When her six-year-old daughter found her collapsed on the kitchen floor, Rachel had no idea how much her life was about to change. A brain scan revealed a dark shadowy mass, a huge abnormal growth of tissue that, whilst benign, was still growing and would surely kill her. It was too big to operate on. It needed to be ‘managed’, and Rachel had, at best, two years to live. Refusing to accept the bleak prognosis, Rachel was determined to stay alive. She had already lost far too much. She had already watched her brother succumb, at only twenty-eight, to cancer. She had already lost her beloved husband in a terrible scuba diving accident when she was six months pregnant. So she did the only thing she knew how to do. She fought for her life. This gripping and inspiring memoir about overcoming tragedy and trauma charts one tenacious woman’s incredible fight to find light in the darkest of journeys. It is a life-affirming tale of positivity and hope in the face of the most difficult of human experiences.

Choice 6 – Literary Fiction
Title: Bed Stuy: A Love Story by Jerry McGill
Summary: Rashid is a young Black man from Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, with a complicated life. Looking for an escape from a neighborhood few ever leave, he finds it in Rachel—married, twenty years his senior, and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. It begins with a flirtation and a tryst. It becomes an intense romance, exhilarating and enriching, that defies the expectations of Rashid’s friends and family. What draws Rachel to Rashid is his curiosity, his need for intimacy, and his adoration—everything lacking in her crumbling marriage. But as the fault lines of their relationship become more prevalent, so do the inevitable choices one makes when falling in love.

Choice 7 – Contemporary Romance
Title: Read Between the Lines by Rachel Lacey
Summary: Books are Rosie Taft’s life. And ever since she took over her mother’s beloved Manhattan bookstore, they’ve become her home too. The only thing missing is her own real-life romance like the ones she loves to read about, and Rosie has an idea of who she might like to sweep her off her feet. She’s struck up a flirty online friendship with lesbian romance author Brie, and what could be more romantic than falling in love with her favorite author? Jane Breslin works hard to keep her professional and personal lives neatly separated. By day, she works for the family property development business. By night, she puts her steamier side on paper under her pen name: Brie. Jane hasn’t had much luck with her own love life, but her online connection with a loyal reader makes Jane wonder if she could be the one. When Rosie learns that her bookstore’s lease has been terminated by Jane’s family’s business, romance moves to the back burner. Even though they’re at odds, there’s no denying the sparks that fly every time they’re together. When their online identities are revealed, will Jane be able to write her way to a happy ending, or is Rosie’s heart a closed book?

Choice 8 – Historical Fantasy
Title: Innate Magic by Shannon Fay (#1 of series)
Summary: Delightfully cheeky, unquestionably charming, and sometimes maddeningly naive, cloth mage Paul Gallagher is desperately trying to make a name for himself in a reimagined postwar London. But in a world where magic is commonplace, sewing enchanted clothes is seen as little more than a frivolous distraction. Paul is hiding a secret, however: he possesses a powerful—and illegal—innate magic that could help him achieve his wildest dreams. Unfortunately, Paul confides in the wrong person—his latest crush, Captain Hector Hollister—and is drawn into a sinister plot that risks reigniting the machinery of war. To make matters worse, the pretty American gossip reporter Paul just met reveals her personal quest to expose a government cover-up may be related to Hollister’s magical goals. When Hollister threatens the life of Paul’s dearest friend, he realizes that his poor judgement has put not only his family and friends in danger, but also the whole world. The only way to set things right may be for Paul to undergo the dangerous ritual to become Court Magician—the most powerful magician in the country. But is becoming part of the institution the best way to enact change in a terribly unjust society?

Choice 9 – Children’s Picture Book
Title: Dancing with Daddy by Anitra Schulte
Summary: Elsie can’t wait to go to her first father-daughter dance. She picked out the perfect dress and has been practicing swirling and swaying in her wheelchair. Elsie’s heart pirouettes as she prepares for her special night. With gestures, smiles, and words from a book filled with pictures, she shares her excitement with her family. But when a winter storm comes, she wonders if she’ll get the chance to spin and dance her way to a dream come true.

My choice was the historical fiction! Have fun 🙂

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