Books of the Month July 2023
As 2023 enters its second half the number of quality books available to readers continues to grow. The seventh month of the year once again had a large assortment of great titles for readers to choose from. Here are some of the best ones across all genres as chosen by our readers.
By Jill Sanders
Finding Pride is the first book in the Pride Series of romance novels by Jill Sanders and is the story of a couple overcoming the odds. Megan Kimble moves across the country to live in her brother's house and take over his new business after he suddenly dies. It’s her chance to finally start a new life and figure out what she wants after freeing herself from years of abuse at the hands of her ex. The only catch is that she finds herself charmed by her departed brother’s best friend and business partner, Todd Jordan. Tod also finds himself falling for Megan but has to prove to her that all men are not the same while she learns to trust again.
Best Action & Adventure
By David DeLee
Facing the Storm is the first novel in the Brice Bannon Seacoast Adventure series. Brice Bannon served fifteen years in the Coast Guard, but after retirement remained in the Reserves. Due to his skills and experience, he is recruited by the Secretary of Homeland Security to lead a small, secretive team of operatives to take care of threats that cannot be effectively handled by standard operating means. However, Brice is also capable of getting in big trouble of his own along with his two best friends and teammates as an owner of a bar in the resort town of Hampton Becah and operator of a small town private investigation service.
Best Mystery & Thriller
By C.M. Sutter
Run For Your Life is the first novel in the Mitch Cannon Savannah Heat Thriller Series by C.M. Sutter. Mitch is a Homicide Detective looking for a weekend date with his beautiful, edgy, outspoken, and somewhat odd new friend Liza. Unfortunately, his sister Marie goes missing without a trace, followed by Mitch’s partner Devon and even Liza going missing shortly afterward. Mitch gets an anonymous call from someone saying “Ticktock, ticktock” which is his only clue to getting his sister, partner, and new friend back safely before time runs out.
By Pippa Pralen
Unvanquished by Pippa Pralen features eyewitness accounts from more than 50 diaries of southern women, including slave women, who lived through the hardships of the American Civil War. The war plunged both genteel wives and southern aristocracy alike out of their cozy worlds of privilege into one where they had to endure humiliation, terror, and grief. This book also explains how they devised ways to feed their children while on the brink of starvation, including their frugal recipes such as oatmeal pie and cabbage stew.
Best Children’s Book
By R. L. Ullman
Unlegendary Dargon by R.L. Ullman is the story of Connor Pendridge, a 12-year-old who is moving… again. Connor is not keen on being the “new kid” at yet another new school, but his mother thinks that their lives would be better in the sleepy island town of Lore. However, Lore doesn’t turn out to be as boring as it seems as Connor finds himself being chased by mythological monsters only he can see. He also finds out that his arrival in Lore was no accident after receiving an amulet from a mysterious woman. This amulet contains the magic of King Arthur’s legendary sword, Excalibur, and can transform Connor into a mighty dragon. Doing so will allow him to try and stop an evil sorceress from conquering the world, but Connor doesn’t know the first thing about being a dragon, so, fortunately, he has a team of magical misfits to guide him.
Best Young Adult
By L.A. Kelley
Rimrider is book one in the Rimrider Adventures series by L. A. Kelley. It follows the adventures of Jane Benedict, a teenager who was ordered to memorize a mysterious code by her father shortly before his death. This leaves Jane and her brother Will as wards of the United Earth Corporation. Desperate to avoid the company’s murderous clutches and figure out what the code means, Jane and Will board a Freetrader smuggler ship, Solar Vortex. After saving the life of a young smuggler, Jane learns the meaning of her father’s code. However, what it leads to could mean the end of the entire Freetrader cause as well as the extinction of an alien race.
By J.S. Malcom
Realms of Ghosts and Magic is the first book in the Fae Witch Chronicles by J.S. Malcom. Cassie is a veil witch who has turned her knack for dealing with pests into a paranormal cleanup business. However, things get strange even for her line of business after she accidentally breaches the faerie realm only to encounter a girl who was recently reported as missing. Things get even stranger when Cassie starts seeing the ghost of a witch whose disappearance has never been solved and discovers a Book of Shadows that only opens for her. Unfortunately, she knows that there are consequences to opening doors in the supernatural world, and in her case, it might mean never being heard from again if she’s not careful.
Best Historical Fiction
By Jack Carnegie
The Auschwitz Protocol is the first book in The Sikora Files series by Jack Carnegie. Emil Janowitz is a retired US detective who lost his entire family whilst an inmate of Auschwitz-Birkenau. However, instead of facing up to the demons buried deep inside, Emil chose to invent a past and lie to his wife for nearly forty years. During a European vacation for their anniversary, Emil visits Auschwitz as a tourist with his wife, but regrets not getting a chance to see the wall of photos showing those who were imprisoned and died while he was at the camp. When Emil arrives home he receives a letter from a man named Alesky with information about this wall that leads to a voyage of discovery, denunciation, and confrontation with the past.
By Sean O’Connor
Blood Ever After by Sean O’Connor sees a man named Tyler struggling to cope with the death of his brother Joshi. It’s been two years since Joshi committed suicide, but Tyler still suffers from panic attacks, depression, and regret. Tyler wants nothing more than to see Tyler one more time and hug him while telling him that he loves him. Then the impossible happens and the apocalypse occurs, which causes the dead to rise one more time. With them is Tyler’s brother, which gives him the opportunity to be with him forever.
Best Literary Fiction
By Yossi Ovadia
The Book of Arkovia by Yossi Ovadia is set in the country of Arkovia where the the last words of their spiritual leader have caused them to close their gates to everyone outside their borders. The Arkovians remained segregated from their neighbors until one of their own dared to think differently and disobey the rules.
Best Science Fiction
By Daniel Arenson
The Earthling is the first book in the Soldiers of Earthrise series by Daniel Arenson. It sees an Earthling named Jon Taylor joining the army after the death of his brother on a war-torn planet many light-years away. After learning to kill, Jon flies to Bahay, the planet where his brother died intending to avenge him. However, Bahay is a place of strange dreams and secrets and as Jon hunts the man who kills his brother he finds that revenge always comes with a price.
By Pippa Pralen
American Immigrant: Why We Left, Why We Came by Pippa Pralen features eyewitness stories of those who left the “old world” to go to America. These accounts feature everything from victims of pogroms to slave accounts of capture and arrival as well as steerage passengers and indentured servants. It covers the period between the 1600s and the 21st century with stories from many nationalities. The book also covers why it is better in America and why so many risked their lives to go there.