A raucously entertaining, richly atmospheric SF-tinged sports fable.

GOING, GOING, GONE!

A BASEBALL NOVEL

Baseball players travel back in time to the wild major leagues of the early 20th century in this fantasy.

Hermanos’ tale follows three modern-day San Francisco Giants teammates—prima-donna star André Velez, who keeps hammering homers with the help of illicit steroids; struggling rookie second baseman Johnny Blent; and grizzled manager Bucky Martin. They get catapulted back to the year 1906 during an earthquake and wash up with the New York Giants. The trio takes in a barely recognizable sport where bats weigh 50 ounces; unkempt playing fields are studded with rocks and potholes; spitballs are legal; drunken fans routinely attack players on the diamond; and contracts pay $800 a year. Blent and Velez painfully adjust—the half Black Velez pretends to be a Native American to get into the segregated majors—to become top players. Martin, meanwhile, gets hired as manager thanks to his 21st-century sabermetrics; he gradually tames a team that likes liquor, vandalism, and gunplay better than practicing and leads the Giants from the cellar to the World Series. Unfortunately, the trio’s new timeline is warped by the presence of New Glory, a Caribbean slave empire run by Confederates who escaped to Cuba after the Civil War and are forcing Albert Einstein to build them an atom bomb. When New Glory’s baseball league challenges the Giants to a “Solar Series,” the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Hermanos’ novel mixes steampunk themes into a vivid baseball yarn that’s full of colorful period details and piquant sketches of historical figures, from wily mound genius Christy Mathewson to a blustery Theodore Roosevelt and a mad Nikola Tesla. The author’s portrait of old-time baseball steeps readers in intricate strategizing, punchy dialogue—“Phillippe, you fucking infant! Suck your thumb! Shake your rattle!” goes a typical on-field razzing—and play-by-play that’s riveting and even lyrical. (“Head down, legs churning, he senses the white light of God is emanating from second base as he races for it, the ball crossing his field of vision as he slides, the ball ticking off the second baseman’s glove, Blent popping up and zipping for third, McGraw’s fist of a face staring at the ball coming in, ‘Down! Down! Down!’ ”) Readers will stick with this riotous page-turner to the last out.

A raucously entertaining, richly atmospheric SF-tinged sports fable.

Pub Date: March 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-950301-23-2

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Inkshares

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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Honestly, who needs Nantucket. It could hardly be more fun than this book.

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THE HOTEL NANTUCKET

Bring on the fresh-baked gougères and the hydrangea-blue cashmere throws: A classic fictional setting—the grand hotel—gets the Hilderbrand treatment.

The beloved beach novelist’s 28th book is another tour de force, deploying all her usual tricks and tropes and clever points of view, again among them a character from the afterlife and the collective “we” of gossipy island residents. Our ghost is Grace Hadley, a teenage chambermaid who died under suspicious circumstances in a hotel fire in 1922. Grace’s lonely days are over when the historic property is purchased and reopened by a London billionaire. As Xavier Darling tells his general manager, Lizbet Keaton, their goal will be to get five out of five keys from Shelly Carpenter, an undercover hotel blogger who has not awarded top honors to any spot visited so far. A gorgeous remodel, a sterling staff, free treats in the minibar, and—of course, since this is Hilderbrand—an incredible restaurant where a disco ball drops from the ceiling every night at 9 p.m. and the chef is hotter than any dish on the menu are all in play as the first guests come streaming in. Which one is the hard-to-please Ms. Carpenter? Other addictive storylines include a rich kid cleaning rooms to expiate some mysterious, terrible thing he did this past spring, an evil beauty breaking up island marriages (instead of a gun in the drawer, there's a half-used Chanel eye shadow in Pourpre Brun), and the desperate attempts of Lizbet’s ex, who sexted with their wine rep, to win her back. One of the special services Lizbet creates for the guests of the Hotel Nantucket is a “Blue Book” containing all her recommended island itineraries. A real-life version is included as an appendix, giving the complete scoop on where to eat, drink, sunbathe, shop, and stay on the island, plus notes on which Hilderbrand novels happened where. If you’re ready to check out Chicken Box or to try the sandwiches on herb bread that lured the author to become a permanent island resident in 1993, the Elin Hilderbrand Bucket List Weekend really is a thing.

Honestly, who needs Nantucket. It could hardly be more fun than this book.

Pub Date: June 14, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-25867-8

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

THE BOARDWALK BOOKSHOP

Three woman who join together to rent a large space along the beach in Los Angeles for their stores—a gift shop, a bakery, and a bookstore—become fast friends as they each experience the highs, and lows, of love.

Bree is a friendly but standoffish bookstore owner who keeps everyone she knows at arm’s length, from guys she meets in bars to her friends. Mikki is a settled-in-her-routines divorced mother of two, happily a mom, gift-shop owner, and co-parent with her ex-husband, Perry. And Ashley is a young, very-much-in-love bakery owner specializing in muffins who devotes herself to giving back to the community through a nonprofit that helps community members develop skills and find jobs. When the women meet drooling over a boardwalk storefront that none of them can afford on her own, a plan is hatched to divide the space in three, and a friendship—and business partnership—is born. An impromptu celebration on the beach at sunset with champagne becomes a weekly touchpoint to their lives as they learn more about each other and themselves. Their friendship blossoms as they help each other, offering support, hard truths, and loving backup. Author Mallery has created a delightful story of friendship between three women that also offers a variety of love stories as they fall in love, make mistakes, and figure out how to be the best—albeit still flawed—versions of themselves. The men are similarly flawed and human. While the story comes down clearly on the side of all-encompassing love, Mallery has struck a careful balance: There is just enough sex to be spicy, just enough swearing to be naughty, and just enough heartbreak to avoid being cloying.

A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-778-38608-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

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