Book Features

Sneak Peek of Divorcing Atlanta by Timmothy B. McCann

EXCERPT

CHAPTER ONE

LORENZO

After I preached the last sermon I’d ever deliver, I sat in my neon green, Honda Accord, with my dad’s Bible in one hand and a Glock 17 in the other, contemplating how to get away with a robbery. Soon, this gun will make me money, send me to prison or kill me. My once perfect life, has come down to this.

When the sun began its tiptoe across the horizon, there was nothing that triggered such a thought. When you realize that you’ve given your all—yet if you should die before you wake, no one would care; it’s a dark and solemn place to dwell. That’s where I find myself tonight. And after I reconciled the potential jail time due to what I’ve already done, at this point, it doesn’t matter.

I delivered the shortest sermon I’d ever preached. I’m sure the sixteen people in the storefront church appreciated it. Seventeen, if you counted the pregnant white girl twice. It’s hard to minister on fumes. When you’re worried about the here and now, it’s damn near impossible to expound about the hereafter. I’m full in spirit, but in every single other way, I’m empty.

What does abject hunger feel like?

When you’ve gone a week without a decent meal. When starvation trickles up your spine. When it plays tricks on your mind, you hallucinate. Bones appear in your face, in places you’ve never seen before. Instinct compels you to lick your lips for comfort from time-to-time, and before your tongue can settle in your mouth, your lips are dry and need to be re-licked. Then the cramps kick in. That’s abject hunger.

You try to go to sleep. Because if you can just go to sleep, maybe you can find rest. You can find peace. You can awaken and things will be different. But you can’t.

After the church service, I did something my dad would’ve called a moral turpitude. I bought a four pack of wine coolers. I did so to escape—if only for the moment. All I know is this: When you’ve worked this hard to build a church, to be recognized for your endeavors nationally, it’s not supposed to end this way. I wasn’t supposed to be destitute at this point in my life. Wasn’t supposed to lose my congregation the way I lost them—and I wasn’t supposed to be contemplating the unthinkable in this hour.

The wind acts as an accelerant, which causes the clouds to roll. The taste of the earth floats on the air, and before I know it, soft sprinkles dot my skin. There’s a zing that teases my nostrils in the darkness of night, in a city bustling with activity—far from ready to fall asleep. An Über crammed with co-eds stops. They spill out.  They’re laughing, half lit; enjoying the first vestiges of a new day.

From a window on the fifth floor, a man screeches profanity at the top of his lungs to a group of young men sitting in their car blasting music.

“Turn that shit down! People gotta go to work.”

He’s ignored, and even if they heard him, they knew he’d never come down. People never come down in neighborhoods like this. They scream, pout, and go back to bed.

If one painted a picture and dubbed it, “Monday Night in Atlanta,” this is what would be captured in the frame. From my viewpoint I see the best and worst of Black America. Morehouse men talking to dope boys. Pinstriped professionals stepping over vomit. Everything one could both love and loathe is confined within three city blocks of a city that will let you call her ugly because she’s far too confident to care. If you closed your eyes in this part of town, you would feel so close to heaven you could hear the key of David being played, so close to hell you’d smell souls frying.

This is where I find myself tonight.

On one side of MLK, there’s a mural of Trayvon, George, Breonna and Ahmaud. The artist has added Rayshard’s smiling face, along with three additional blank spaces and the caption, “U Next?” beneath them. On the other side, twinkles of moonlight shine on crushed takeout cups, Colt 45 cans, and discarded Swisher Sweets wrappers. There’s a homeless man or woman sleeping at the bus stop, and the scent of vomit swings haltingly low to the ground.

I decide if I am going to do this—I need to game it out. In the age of Corona everyone’s face is half-covered, so there’s no need for a ski mask. Check.

I have a Walmart bag for whatever is in the register or stashed behind the counter. Check.

Once I’m out the door, I’ll jump in the car. Then it occurs to me. My car is disabled as well. Plan B—dip into the night and deal with it later. Check.

I’m told that in neighborhoods like this, for insurance purposes, they can’t chase you. If you have a gun and get out the door, they have to let you run.

God, I pray that’s true.

I massage the back of my neck, bite the inside of my lip, reach between the center console of the car, and retrieve a keepsake from my youth—a Kingsman chess piece from my first national chess tournament. I was ranked in the top two hundred players under thirteen. I hold it to reconnect. It takes me back to the south side. But on nights like tonight, I need it for peace. There’s something about the ridges of the crown and the smooth black finish of the base that centers me and forces me to think strategically. It binds the intellectual, spiritual, and emotional man within. Never have I needed this more.

My throat is bone dry in spite of my beverage of choice. I glance at my watch, put the Bible in the back seat, and cover it with my hand.

“Father forgive me,” I murmur, “for what I’m about to do.”

I look across the street. My heartbeat settles. My breathing returns to normal. The king has done its job. I return the chessman to the console. Through clenched teeth I murmur, “It’s time.”

Across the street is the world-famous Busy Bee Café. Next to it, there’s a liquor store, followed by a pawn shop, liquor store, nail salon, comedy club, liquor store and strip club. All except for the Busy Bee are open for business. I know if I pull a gun out in a pawn shop, booty club, or liquor store, light will shine through me before I hit the ground. That leaves two options: rob the comedy club or rob a nail salon.

I exit the car. I hold the half empty wine cooler in the same sweaty and unstable hand I hold the Glock. To balance myself, I lean against my wet-from-the-rain Accord for support. It’s slippery, but it allows me to gain my composure and stop my spinning world. I’m a tad nauseous. Since I haven’t eaten, I dry heave. My body isn’t used to alcohol, even under normal conditions. Nevertheless, I wipe the creases of my mouth and stick the gun in the pit of my back under my belt as if I were on a cop show. Maybe it’s my situation. Maybe it’s the alcohol, but I don’t have a clue as to where I’m going, even if I can get my feet on one accord.

I stagger across the street and see this athletic-looking woman, no more than thirty years old. I blink a couple of times to refocus. She has a high sense of style, making her stand out in the neighborhood this time of night. As she speaks, she moves her hands rapidly and snaps her fingertips from time to time to emphasize a point. Her shoulder-length hair is in what the kids call dookie braids, and she’s dressed in a white pantsuit with a white double-breasted vest and a leopard-patterned ascot and face mask. 

The woman turns the street into a runway in Milan as she moves like a model in white stilettos. I watch her walk up to a black Audi, pull down the mask, and if my eyes aren’t deceiving me, they make an exchange. Newsflash: All drugstores haven’t been closed by the virus. She runs to the safety of her pearl white Escalade, forearm over her head to avoid getting too wet. Even though the vehicle is common in this part of Atlanta—there’s something eerily familiar about it as she gets behind the wheel and swiftly closes the door.

The comedy club, Laff-a-LotZ, is free. There’s a line to enter with a group, all wearing red Trap Music museum t-shirts and talking loudly about their visit to “The A.T.L..” If I rob the comedy club, I’ll keep it short and to the point. I’ll just tell him or her, “You know what time it is!” Then I’ll place the gun on the bar. Miss Glock can finish the conversation.

I join the line to enter. For as far as I can see down the street, trees line the road on both sides. For the most part, they’ve grown strong and healthy in the middle of this concrete jungle. I lean against one in front of the club to take shelter from the drizzling rain.

Once inside the small rectangular club, I notice the deep purple–colored walls are checkerboard with mirrors. People are talking loudly, most mouths covered with masks, trying to be heard over the thumping sound of the Mississippi Slide blasting from the speakers, which makes the walls throb. The dance floor is filled with the vibrant energy of line dancers moving as one as if they have practiced the synchronized moves before the club opened. A few people, for some reason, wear their protective masks under their nose, which makes no sense to me. I reach into my pocket and put on my KN-95 to the sound of bottles clicking and laughter all about, just before the comedian comes to the small octagonal stage off the dance floor.

It’s been months since I’ve been around this many people. Tonight, folks laugh a little louder and dance a little harder since it’s the first week A.T.L’ians have been allowed to mingle after the citywide mandatory, night club restrictions. On top of that it seems folks are tired of the daily Trump foolishness, fake evangelicals calling sins wins, Sou-sou money clubs, police killing Black men, gaining weight, R. Kelly, COVID killing everyone, gaining weight, Karen’s going wild, Kevin’s protecting Karen’s, home schooling, missing family, sweat pants, seeing too much of family, Zoom calls, looking for toilet paper, gaining even more weight and then going to sleep; and like Ground Hog Day II, having it happen the very next day.

I’m cold and damp from the rain, so I embrace myself, moving my hands up and down my biceps for warmth. I scope out the joint. That’s what they do on TV. If I make this lick and get to the door, I’ll be able to survive until I can sell another house. This has to work out.

In the murky, dimly lit back of the room, in front of a faded poster of Killer Mike, a woman is selling neon red, battery-powered roses. She moves from person to person and is rejected repeatedly. I watch her unmasked face mouth a few words, receive the rejection, and move doggedly to the next person, unfazed.

The bartender puts a stack of bills as thick as a woman’s fist in a bag. He has my attention. He tucks it in a spot behind the bar. That’s the stash house. Yeah, I used to watch The Wire.

When I move, I notice my reflection in the mirror and it’s jarring. One thing I miss about having a home is brushing my teeth in the morning. Odd, right? It’s not only about hygiene. I miss seeing my face. When your car has become your residence, there are times you forget how you look. Now my face is gaunt, and my clothes don’t fit. My eye is a puffy, but not as bad as I thought it would look. Could have been a lot worse.

When we started the church, which my ex named Compassion Central, my light brown skin—the residue of my deceased Italian father—was smooth. Now it resembles a catcher’s mitt, and my curly COVID fro is salt and pepper, in the spots where I’m not going bald. The soaking wet brown tweed, six-hundred-dollar Hugo Boss sport coat I’m wearing, brings to mind something homeless people would roll up to use as a pillow.

No wonder Bishop said he was praying for me after giving me a five dollar, “love token,” from the offering.

“Screw forty-two, I look fifty-two,” I whisper to myself with a wistful smile. My hazel eyes, which at one time would evoke questions from strangers, “Are they real?” are empty, sullen, and emit darkness. People used to ask me if I had work done on my teeth. I always replied, “I’m blessed.” Now the blessings are dingy and yellow, and when I scratch my beard, flakes of dandruff eject like an eight-track. If a person in this club knew me from when the church was open, they’d walk past without saying a word. That wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen tonight.

I find a stool at the bar, closer to my target—the stash house. A guy one seat over motions to the bartender with two fingers and a jerk of his head upward just like in the movies. Within a few minutes, the bartender, brings out two shimmering drinks. The woman selling neon roses is drawing closer. I didn’t notice her make a sale, but she’s persistent.

The guy who ordered the drinks wears a red doo rag under a spearmint green derby and has a crooked smile that exposes teeth on only one side of his mouth. From time to time, he whispers into the ear of the woman perched between his legs then leans back to peep her expression. She appears to admire every word he’s speaking.

The woman with the roses comes up to him. I can hear her pitch. “Excuse me, kind sir. Rose for the lady?”

He flicks her away with the back of his tattooed hand. And then the woman positioned between his legs removes her mask to sip the drink when he suddenly shouts, “What the fuck!” He pushes her away in disgust as if he has seen her unmasked face for the first time.

“What?” she asks. The bartender drops another thick, rubber-banded stack of bills in the burgundy bank bag. He’s getting sloppy.

The patrons banter back and forth, and my mind is on one thing. Like a heavy-handed timpani player, my heart pounds in my chest as I bounce my fist against my knee. The fact that I’m here, in this situation and facing such a dilemma is abhorrent. Can’t dwell on that now. I’m down to my last—and I’ll do what I have to do.

Slowly I stand.

The bartender walks behind the shelf of drinks and into a storage room behind him. I played basketball in high school. Even at my height I could easily jump across the bar, grab the bag, and run out. There’s no way they’d fire a gun in a club this crowded. No flipping way.

I grasp the edge of the bar and steady myself. Then, the voice poses the question.

“Just because you don’t understand, this is what we’re going to do?”

I look back toward the door. The one bouncer is on the other side of the room and although crowded there’s, there is a path to get out of here.

I bend my knees.

ABOUT THE BOOK

“(Until…) stands head and shoulders above the rest.” Eric Jerome Dickey, NY Times Bestselling Author

Pastor Lorenzo Richardson’s endeavors to fulfill the calling on his life—which is to change the world, one soul at a time, by starting in southwest Atlanta.

So when he loses people in his circle unexpectedly, the ministry he dedicated his life to fails, and his wife is embroiled in an adulterous public affair with a notable public figure. Pastor Richardson is at the end of his rope and decides to change the world he lives in forever.

Divorcing Atlanta is a moving yet timely account that will resonate with readers who believe in the unyielding power of redemption, choose love and hope over hurt and fear, and fight for what truly matters in their lives.

AVAILABLE ON

AMAZON

ABOUT TIMMOTHY B. MCCANN

Timmothy B. McCann was born to tell stories. What began as penning love letters for a fee, grew into his national bestselling debut entitled, Until. Since then, he has amassed an insatiable and dedicated worldwide readership.

The former collegiate football player, educator, and owner of a financial planning firm is now a commercial real estate broker. In 2018, he founded First Day Christian Center. A ministry dedicated to helping those in need in Atlanta.

In his downtime, Timmothy is a self-proclaimed political junkie, golfer, movie buff and community activist who also loves spending time with the two most adorable grandchildren in the world.

AUTHOR LINKS

WEBSITE/ NEWSLETTER/ FACEBOOK

Book Features, Giveaways

Sneak Peek of Tell Me You Love Me by Kathleen Stone

I don’t remember my father. He died shortly after my birth in 1960 and my mother took that as license to pretend he never existed. Sometimes I fantasized that I was the product of magic, or that I would grow up to be a fairy princess, or perhaps a world-renowned dragon trainer. And on my fifth birthday she turned my world upside down by marrying a somewhat older man she’d known for two weeks. His name was Clark Fairbanks, and with him came his five-year-old son, August.

It was a simple ceremony at the courthouse, and my mother looked beautiful in her light blue dress with matching jacket and pumps. Her short blonde hair was topped with a pillbox hat adorned with a small, pearl accented veil and she wore just the right shade of pink lipstick. Clark was dressed in a fancy black suit, his son August dressed the same, but I paid little attention to them as I only had eyes for my mother. I had never seen her look so happy before. She had a glow radiating from her face that I knew I didn’t put there. Even at five years old I knew this man must have been something special, but I was far too young to understand. All I knew was my intimate family of two had increased to four — including two males no less — and I felt like I was adrift at sea never to find shore again.

Clark took all of us out to a fancy restaurant for lunch after he and my mother were married and I sat rigid in my chair, trying to keep the itchy material of my brand new dress from scratching my skin every time I moved. August was sitting across from me and had not spoken a single word. His short, dark blond hair was combed neatly away from his face, revealing a spray of freckles over his nose. He scowled at me, his piercing blue eyes sending chills over my skin. Suddenly he kicked his leg out under the table, connecting with my shin and sending me into meltdown mode. I began to cry in that silent way you know a child is in true distress, tears streaming down my cheeks but no sound coming out of my mouth.

“Shut up, crybaby,” August mocked me.

Clark immediately grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and hissed, “Auggie, you apologize this instant!”

He continued to scowl at me but said nothing. Clark stood up and yanked him off his chair, disappearing. My mother pulled me into her arms and petted my hair lovingly.

“He’s confused, April,” she said. “Just like you are. We’ll get through this. We’re a family now.”

The shock and pain of his kick subsided a bit and I found my vocal cords once again. “He’s mean, Mommy, I don’t like him,” I cried.

“You only met him an hour ago,” she said, wiping my tears away with a napkin. “I promise it’ll get better.”

I was still sniffling when Clark returned with a red-faced August, who stood in front of me and said, “I’m sorry.”

“What are you sorry for, Auggie?” Clark asked.

“I’m sorry I kicked you,” he grumbled.

I just nodded acceptance and hugged my knees to my chest, having no idea what else to do. My mother immediately pushed my legs down and reminded me I was wearing a dress. Clark and August returned to their chairs and I continued to pick at the food on my plate, not interested in any of it.

After lunch we were whisked away to Clark’s expansive estate in Beverly Hills, our new home. Clark and my mother each held one of my hands as they led me through the house to my bedroom, which not only housed the few personal items from our old apartment, but dolls, toys and clothes beyond my wildest imagination. I was far too young to understand any of it and I just wanted to go back to our apartment and play in my old room. No Clark. No August.

It had been a long, exhausting day, and my mother and I were finally alone when she got me ready for bed that evening. She tucked me into bed and kissed my forehead and I asked, “Mommy, when are we going home?”

“This is our new home, honey,” she replied with a smile. “Clark and August are our new family now.”

I looked around my new bedroom with wide eyes; everything looked disproportionately huge in my young mind, with frightening windows and drapes and doors that looked like they wanted to trap me inside without a way of escape.

“I don’t like it here,” I whispered, terrified.

“It’ll be strange for a while, but I promise everything will be all right,” she insisted. “Clark is a very nice man and he’s going to take care of us.”

I burst into tears and my mother pulled me into her arms, caressing my hair and promising that everything was going to be okay.

Tell Me You Love Me

by Kathleen Stone

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

What would you sacrifice to protect someone you love?

In 1965 April Toulane’s life is turned upside down on her fifth birthday when her mother marries a man she’s known for only two weeks. The life she’d known is forever changed with the addition of a stepfather and a five-year-old stepbrother who terrorizes her on a daily basis. After a family tragedy the young siblings are thrust into the Hollywood spotlight, surrounded by people whose very foundation is based on secrets and lies. Struggling to grow up and find their way in a world where child stars are forever manipulated and exploited, the siblings form an unbreakable bond vowing to always protect each other when the adults entrusted to take care of them fail at every turn. “Tell Me You Love Me” is the story of April and Auggie Fairbanks, the most sought after faces in show business throughout the sixties and seventies, maneuvering their way through the lies and corruption to learn the truth about their parents and searching for the love and acceptance they so desperately crave.

Goodreads * Amazon

Kathleen has been a freelance writer since 1999 and now writes full time. Her work has appeared in Doll World Magazine, Apolloslyre.com, The Lake County Journals, Trails.com; USA Today (travel), Livestrong.com (lifestyle), Essortment, eHow, Answerbag, Examiner.com, Suite101 and YahooVoices. She is the author of the award-winning novel Whispers On A String, the Head Case Rock Novel Series (Head Case, Whiplash and Haven) and Tell Me You Love Me. She also has short stories published in the Secrets: Fact or Fiction I & II anthologies.

Author Links

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

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Bookish News

My February Book Haul & Wrap Up

I purchased four books in February and two are from my February anticipated releases list. In this post, I’ll share the books I purchased and the books I read for the month.

My February Book Haul

Let’s start with the ones I purchased.

Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston

The Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutanto

The Afterlife of the Party by Marlene Perez

The Haunting of Locker 31 by Deidre Bjorson

End of the month Stats

Total Books Read: 13

Genres Read: 3 Thrillers, 5 Fantasy, 1 Historical, 1 Romance, 3 Contemporary  (8 young adult, 4 adult and 1 middle grade).

Genders: 12 books by females and 1 by males.

Formats Read: 6 paperbacks, 5 hardbacks and 2 audiobooks.

Ratings: 4 (3 Stars), 4 (4 Stars), 5 (5 Stars)

New Authors To Me

Rena Barron

W. R. Gingell

Jim Butcher

K. J. Sutton

Randi Pink

Talia Hibbert

Frankie Y. Bailey

J. Elle

Jewell Parker Rhodes

Books DNF’d

I didn’t DNF any books this month, which is a good thing.

February was good reading month for me. The majority of the books I read were by authors new to me and I love it. I listened to more audiobooks than usual this month. I’m trying to give them a chance and out of the three I listened to, The Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson was my favorite.

I also completed the short story I’ve been working on and more editing for my upcoming book.

What books did you read in February? Which books are you anticipating in March?

 

Bookish News

My February Anticipated Releases

There are so many books releasing in the month of February. It is a little overwhelming. I’m just sharing the ones I’m most likely to purchase and read.

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Releases: February 9, 2021

Purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

Nubia: The Real One by L. L. McKinney

Releases: February 23, 2021

Purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon

Can you be a hero…if society doesn’t see you as a person?

Nubia has always been a little bit…different. As a baby she showcased Amazonian-like strength by pushing over a tree to rescue her neighbor’s cat. But despite her having similar abilities, the world has no problem telling her that she’s no Wonder Woman. And even if she were, they wouldn’t want her. Every time she comes to the rescue, she’s reminded of how people see her: as a threat. Her moms do their best to keep her safe, but Nubia can’t deny the fire within her, even if she’s a little awkward about it sometimes. Even if it means people assume the worst.

When Nubia’s best friend, Quisha, is threatened by a boy who thinks he owns the town, Nubia will risk it all–her safety, her home, and her crush on that cute kid in English class–to become the hero society tells her she isn’t.

From the witty and powerful voice behind A Blade So Black, and with endearing and expressive art by Robyn Smith, comes a vital story for today about equality, identity, and kicking it with your squad.

The Project by Courtney Summers

Releases: February 2, 2021

Purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon

“The Unity Project saved my life.”

Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died, Lo’s sister, Bea, joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo in the care of their great aunt. Thanks to its extensive charitable work and community outreach, The Unity Project has won the hearts and minds of most in the Upstate New York region, but Lo knows there’s more to the group than meets the eye. She’s spent the last six years of her life trying―and failing―to prove it.

“The Unity Project murdered my son.”

When a man shows up at the magazine Lo works for claiming The Unity Project killed his son, Lo sees the perfect opportunity to expose the group and reunite with Bea once and for all. When her investigation puts her in the direct path of its charismatic and mysterious leader, Lev Warren, he proposes a deal: if she can prove the worst of her suspicions about The Unity Project, she may expose them. If she can’t, she must finally leave them alone.

But as Lo delves deeper into The Project, the lives of its members, and spends more time with Lev, it upends everything she thought she knew about her sister, herself, cults, and the world around her―to the point she can no longer tell what’s real or true. Lo never thought she could afford to believe in Lev Warren . . . but now she doesn’t know if she can afford not to.

Welcome to The Unity Project.

Reaper of Souls by Rena Barron

Releases: February 16, 2021

Purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon

After so many years yearning for the gift of magic, Arrah has the one thing she’s always wanted—but it came at too steep a price. Now the last surviving witchdoctor, she’s been left to pick up the shattered pieces of a family that betrayed her, a kingdom plunged into chaos, and a love that can never be.

While Arrah returns to the tribal lands to search for survivors of the demons’ attack, her beloved Rudjek hunts down the remnants of the demon army—and uncovers a plot that would destroy what’s left of their world.

The Demon King wants Arrah, and if she and Rudjek can’t unravel his schemes, he will destroy everything, and everyone, standing in his way.

Set in a richly imagined world inspired by whispered tales of voodoo and folk magic, the Kingdom of Souls trilogy has been optioned for film by Michael B. Jordan and his Warner Bros. production company, Outlier Society.

Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson

Releases: February 2, 2021

Purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon

Weeks ago, Andre Cobb received a much-needed liver transplant.

He’s ready for his life to finally begin, until one night, when he passes out and wakes up somewhere totally unexpected…in 1969, where he connects with a magnetic boy named Michael.

And then, just as suddenly as he arrived, he slips back to present-day Boston, where the family of his donor is waiting to explain that his new liver came with a side effect―the ability to time travel. And they’ve tasked their youngest son, Blake, with teaching Andre how to use his unexpected new gift.

Andre splits his time bouncing between the past and future. Between Michael and Blake. Michael is everything Andre wishes he could be, and Blake, still reeling from the death of his brother, Andre’s donor, keeps him at arm’s length despite their obvious attraction to each other.

Torn between two boys, one in the past and one in the present, Andre has to figure out where he belongs―and more importantly who he wants to be―before the consequences of jumping in time catch up to him and change his future for good.

Some Other Now by Sarah Everett

Releases: February 23, 2021

Purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon

This Is Us for teens, this luminous and heartbreaking contemporary novel follows a girl caught between two brothers as the three of them navigate family, loss, and love over the course of two summers. For fans of Far From the TreeEmergency Contact, and Nina LaCour.

Before she kissed one of the Cohen boys, seventeen-year-old Jessi Rumfield knew what it was like to have a family—even if, technically, that family didn’t belong to her. She’d spent her childhood in the house next door, challenging Rowan Cohen to tennis matches while his older brother, Luke, studied in the background and Mel watched over the three like the mother Jessi always wished she had.

But then everything changed. It’s been almost a year since Jessi last visited the Cohen house. Rowan is gone. Mel is in remission and Luke hates Jessi for the role she played in breaking his family apart. Now Jessi spends her days at a dead-end summer job avoiding her real mother, who suddenly wants to play a role in Jessi’s life after being absent for so long. But when Luke comes home from college, it’s hard to ignore the past. And when he asks Jessi to pretend to be his girlfriend for the final months of Mel’s life, Jessi finds herself drawn back into the world of the Cohens. Everything’s changed, but Jessi can’t help wanting to be a Cohen, even if it means playing pretend for one final summer.

The Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutano

Releases: February 2, 2021

Purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon

A classic sort of love story…except somebody might wind up dead.

Nobody knows Delilah like Logan does. Nobody. He makes sure of it by learning everything he can through her social media and watching her through a hidden camera he has trained on her house. Some might call him a stalker. Logan prefers to be called “romantic”.

But after Logan sees Delilah killing her abusive stepfather, he realizes there’s still more about her to discover. His sweet, perfect Delilah isn’t so perfect after all.

Delilah knows she should feel guilty, but all she feels is free. She’s so over the men in her life controlling her. Except Logan saw what she did, and he won’t let her forget it.

Delilah is done being the victim. And she refuses to be a character in Logan’s twisted fantasy. If Logan won’t let her go…she’ll make him.

Love is A Revolution by Renee Watson

Releases: February 2, 2021

Purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon

When Nala Robertson reluctantly agrees to attend an open mic night for her cousin-sister-friend Imani’s birthday, she finds herself falling in instant love with Tye Brown, the MC. He’s perfect, except . . . Tye is an activist and is spending the summer putting on events for the community when Nala would rather watch movies and try out the new seasonal flavors at the local creamery. In order to impress Tye, Nala tells a few tiny lies to have enough in common with him. As they spend more time together, sharing more of themselves, some of those lies get harder to keep up. As Nala falls deeper into keeping up her lies and into love, she’ll learn all the ways love is hard, and how self-love is revolutionary.

In Love Is a Revolution, plus size girls are beautiful and get the attention of the hot guys, the popular girl clique is not shallow but has strong convictions and substance, and the ultimate love story is not only about romance but about how to show radical love to the people in your life, including to yourself.

The Afterlife of the Party by Marlene Perez

Releases: February 2, 2021

Purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon

I didn’t even want to go to the party.

Seriously, I’d rather have stayed home with my librarian-witch grandmother and her mystical book club than go. But my best friend Skyler begged me. So I went.

And it was the worst party of my life. Actually, it was the last party of my life.

Not only was there something very strange about the band, but the lead singer bit me afterwards. And then took off with Skyler.

Now I’m chasing down a band of dangerous vamps with my best guy friend Vaughn―the boy I’ve been secretly crushing on forever.

But anything can happen on the road.

I thought all I wanted was for things to change with Vaughn. For him to finally see the real me. But this wasn’t what I had in mind…

Let the afterlife begin.

The Afterlife series is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order:
Book #1 The Afterlife of the Party
Book #2 I’m with the Banned

The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis

Releases: February 23, 2021

Purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon

Tress Montor’s family used to mean something—until she didn’t have a family anymore. When her parents disappeared seven years ago while driving her best friend home, Tress lost everything. The entire town shuns her now that she lives with her drunken, one-eyed grandfather at what locals refer to as the “White Trash Zoo.”

Felicity Turnado has it all: looks, money, and a secret. One misstep could send her tumbling from the top of the social ladder, and she’s worked hard to make everyone forget that she was with the Montors the night they disappeared. Felicity has buried what she knows so deeply that she can’t even remember what it is . . . only that she can’t look at Tress without feeling shame and guilt.

But Tress has a plan. A Halloween costume party at an abandoned house provides the ideal situation for Tress to pry the truth from Felicity—brick by brick—as she slowly seals her former best friend into a coal chute. Tress will have her answers—or settle for revenge.

 

What books are you anticipating in February?