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Big Kids Table: More than Just Romance

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Welcome! How is it the last day of April already? Didn’t I just take my Christmas decorations down? I’m flabbergasted by how fast this year is flying so far. But the end of the month does mean BIG KIDS’ TABLE and I do love working on this feature. Big thanks to those of you who gave me positive feedback on last month’s Receipt Recommendations; I will hopefully be doing another one sometime in the future. (But I really must take a break from buying book so sit tight.)

Today, though, today I am focusing on Harlequin. Yep. You read that right. Now raise your hand if you hear Harlequin and think of romances. It’s okay. No one will throw tomatoes or hardcovers at you, I promise! Because, for a long time, I didn’t know there was more to Harlequin than romance either. Don’t get me wrong — I love Harlequin romance writers like Kristan Higgins and Susan Mallery but last year I was psyched to discover writers like Jason Mott (The Returned) and Paula Treick DeBoard (The Mourning Hours) — a supernatural and thriller, respectively — from the MIRA imprint.

So this year, I’m anxiously looking forward to the non-romance titles being released from Harlequin in hopes I have similar reading luck! Here are a few that have caught my eye…

Where Earth Meets Water by Pia Padunke (paperback release date: April 29, 2014)

Where the Earth Meets Water

Karom Seth should have been in the Twin Towers on the morning of 9/11, and on the Indian shores in 2004, when the tsunami swept his entire family into the ocean. Whether it’s a curse or a blessing, Karom can’t be sure, but his absence from these disasters has left him with crushing guilt—and a belief that fate has singled him out for invincibility.

Karom’s affliction consumes everyone around him, from his best friend, Lloyd, to his girlfriend, Gita, who hopes that a trip to India will help him find peace. It is in Delhi that he meets Gita’s grandmother, Kamini—a quirky but wise woman with secrets of her own. At first Karom dismisses Kamini, but little does he realize that she will ultimately lead him to the clarity he’s been looking for. 

Estelle notes: It’s so rare for me to read a book that includes a trip to India. (My mind always moves toward The Namesake, which I loved.) Definitely want to check out another.

Empire Girls by Suzanne Hayes + Loretta Nyhan (release date: May 14, 2014)

Empire Girls

Ivy and Rose Adams may be sisters, but they’re nothing alike. Rose, the eldest, is the responsible one, while Ivy is spirited and brazen. After the unexpected death of their father, the women are left to reconcile the estate, when they make a shocking discovery: not only has their father left them in financial ruin, but he has also bequeathed their beloved family house to a brother they never knew existed. With only a photograph to guide the way, Ivy and Rose embark to New York City, determined to find this mysterious man and reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

Once in New York, temptations abound at every turn, and soon the sisters are drawn into the glitzy underbelly of Manhattan, where they must overcome their differences and learn to trust each other if they’re going to survive in the big city and find their brother. Filled with unforgettable characters and charm, Empire Girls is a love letter to 1920s New York, and a captivating story of the unspoken bond between sisters.

Estelle notes: NEW YORK + THE 1920s? Sign me up.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica (release date: July 29, 2014)

The Good Girl

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life. 

Colin’s job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter. 

Estelle Notes: Thrillerrrrr. If this book is anything like The Mourning Hours, I will be reading it under my desk at work. (Um, no. Just kidding. I did not do that. Okay fine… I did but it was a Friday afternoon in the summer!)

And, two of my most anticipated this year, bring us right back to the beginning of this post. Jason Mott is releasing a new book in September called The Wonder of All Things:

The Wonder of All Things

On an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators, killing and injuring dozens. But when the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds miraculously disappear.

Ava has a unique gift: she can heal others of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a secret. But now the whole world knows, and suddenly Ava is thrust into the spotlight. People from all over the globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager to glimpse the wonder of a miracle. But Ava’s unusual ability comes at a great cost—her own health—and as she grows weaker with each healing, Ava begins searching for an escape. Wash agrees to help Ava, but little does she know he has his own secret he’s been harboring, and soon Ava finds herself having to decide just how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to save the one she loves most.

And so does Paula Treick DeBoard with The Fragile World (October 2014):

The Fragile World

The Kaufmans have always considered themselves a normal, happy family. Curtis is a physics teacher at a local high school. His wife, Kathleen, restores furniture for upscale boutiques. Daniel is away at college on a prestigious music scholarship, and twelve-year-old Olivia is a happy-go-lucky kid whose biggest concern is passing her next math test.

And then comes the middle-of-the-night phone call that changes everything.Daniel has been killed in what the police are calling a freak accident, and the remaining Kaufmans are left to flounder in their grief. The anguish of Daniel’s death is isolating, and it’s not long before this once perfect family find themselves falling apart. As time passes and the wound refuses to heal, Curtis becomes obsessed with the idea of revenge, a growing mania that leads him to pack up his life and his anxious teenage daughter and set out on a collision course to right a wrong.

So there ya go — five new books for the price of one post. Hope there’s something here that floats your boat!
As you can probably tell my boat is pretty much forever floating. 😉

Happy reading!

P.S. If you read any non-YA titles this month, definitely let me know! It’s only fair 😉

May 3, 2014 - 2:23 pm

Alexa S. - I always enjoy these posts because I get stellar recommendations from you! I actually have Empire Girls for review, and I’m pretty psyched because (1) sisters, (2) New York and (3) 1920s! I shall report back 😉

May 1, 2014 - 3:59 pm

Lucy @ The Reading Date - Harlequin does have a good mix of non-romance titles and I’m happy to see them featured here! And ohhh Earth Meets Water definitely caught my eye.

May 1, 2014 - 2:08 pm

Jamie - OH, E! You kill me. And by kill me I mean, now I’m off to Goodreads!

April 30, 2014 - 11:56 am

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - Jason Mott = NC author. LOVE his imagination and the covers of his books. LOVE.

April 30, 2014 - 11:53 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Empire Girls sounds really good. Recently in my social studies class we’ve been discussing NYC (and other areas of the US) during the 1920s. That time really fascinates me. I bet this book would be good as a movie, or maybe even a TV mini series.

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