Category Archives: Novels in Series

2. Novels in Series

Elizabeth Langston. Whispers from the Past. Contoocook, NH: Spencer Hill Press, 2014.

whisperspastMark Lewis is in his last year of high school in modern-day Raleigh, North Carolina, and graduation is fast approaching. Mark had originally planned to send in applications to three schools, with Newman College in Virginia being his first choice; the main reason being that the campus is perfect for his passion of mountain bike riding. However, Mark has now added a fourth school to the list. Mark is applying to Duke University because of its close proximity to home and to his girlfriend Susanna Marsh. In the past year, Susanna has become Mark’s passion. After saving Susanna from the horrific circumstances of her indentured servitude in 1796, and bringing her back to his century, Mark has assumed responsibility for Susanna. He cannot see himself moving over three hours away from her for four years. But, the choice may be taken out of Mark’s hands when Susanna makes some decisions of her own.

While Mark has his worries, Susanna believes that she is becoming accustomed to her new life. She now lives with Melissa, Mark’s sister, and pays her own way with chores and a fourth of the rent money. Also, Susanna has found a job bussing tables in a restaurant and is making friends. But, Mark is quick to show his disapproval of Susanna’s new job and of her new male friend. These controversies leave Susanna not as sure in her relationship with Mark as she usually is, and she soon finds herself seeking out the familiar in the only way she knows how. Susanna takes a trip to the archives. Soon Susanna has more to worry about than Mark. There is a storm that will come through Susanna’s hometown of Worthville and result in many deaths. Susanna combs the archives for mention of Dorcas, one of the children she used to take care of and her closest friend, any time after the storm. When information is not there, Susanna decides to take things into her own hands and comes up with a plan that will ensure that Dorcas survives the storm. The only problem is that this plan will cost Susanna her freedom and maybe even her life.

Mark and Susanna are coming up on a year since they met and developed a bond that crossed centuries. Much has happened in the past year and there is much to come in the next few months. The question is, will Mark and Susanna’s bond be able to cross centuries once again?

Whispers from the Past is the third novel in the Whisper Fall series. Susanna and Mark first met in Whisper Falls, and their story of a magical waterfall and transcendent love continued in Whisper in Time and is finalized in this novel.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Children & Young Adults, Historical, Langston, Elizabeth, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Wake

Elizabeth Craig. Shear Trouble. New York: Penguin Group, 2014.

sheartroubleIn order to ensure that quilts are finished in time for the upcoming quilting show, the Village Quilters of Dappled Hills decide to have a quilting party. However, the party is unexpectedly interrupted by Beatrice Coleman’s discovery of Jason Gore with Phyllis Stitt’s shears sticking out of his body. The same shears that Phyllis was just complaining about having lost and that Beatrice set out to find. Phyllis shouldn’t have even been at the quilting party!

Phyllis is actually the member of a rival quilting team, the Cut-Ups, and she wanted to come to the quilting party in the hopes that she could join the Village Quilters since her fellow Cut-Up member, Martha Helmsley, is now dating Phyllis’ ex-fiancé Jason Gore. But, Phyllis was not to escape the couple as Martha decided to join the quilting party as well and have her fiancé stop by. Everyone seems shocked to learn of Jason’s murder occurring, but none are surprised that someone would want to murder him.

Jason has just returned to Dappled Hills after having been gone for quite some time. The first time he came to Dappled Hills, he ended up running out on Phyllis after scamming people out of their money. Because of this, there are quite a few suspects for Jason’s murder. Beatrice’s best friend Meadow is soon encouraging Beatrice to use her sleuthing skills to uncover the truth, but what Beatrice finds might just end up costing her life.

One finding is that there is an eyewitness, but he refuses to go to the cops. Maybe he doesn’t even know anything. Nevertheless, when this claimed eyewitness ends up murdered as well, Beatrice must admit that he might have been on the right track. As Beatrice continues on the hunt for the culprit, it becomes clear that this killer will halt at nothing to get away with these murders, even if that means committing another.

Shear Trouble is the fourth novel in novelist Elizabeth Craig’s A Southern Quilting Mystery series. If you are interested in starting at the beginning of the series, take a look at our blog post on the first novel in the series, Quilt or Innocence. Check out this, Shear Trouble,  title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Craig, Elizabeth Spann, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Denise Grover Swank. The Curse Breakers. Seattle, WA: 47North, 2014.

thecursebreakersEllie Lancaster has been confronted with the horrible reality of the curse that she spent her whole life denying. At twenty-three, Ellie has always lived in the small town of Manteo, on Roanoke Island. Like many young people she oftentimes felt out of place, like she would never fit in, and she would never find her purpose. That is until she met Collin Dailey and realized the four hundred year old curse that her father kept muttering about is real, and she and Collin are the two Curse Keepers.

Meeting Collin was fate and their loved seemed like fate too, a bond that couldn’t be broken, but then Collin betrayed Ellie. Instead of fighting alongside Ellie to maintain the curse and the keep the spirits locked away so that the world would remain safe, Collin tricked Ellie into breaking the curse. Now all the spirits have been released and they want Ellie’s soul. Even worse, Ellie’s father sacrificed himself to close the gate to the underworld, so Ellie is left on her own to figure out how to save herself and the rest of the world. Her first step in doing so is to find the mark of Ahone so that she can permanently tattoo it upon herself. This will protect her soul from being taken by the malevolent spirits, but will it protect her from death at their hands? And why won’t Ahone reveal his mark to her?

Not only is Ellie facing malevolent spirts, but she is also being hunted by men that she and Collin sold some items to. Thanks to Collin, they believe that Ellie knows something about a stolen artifacts shipment and will stop at nothing to get the information out of her.

The one good thing going for Ellie right now is the fact that she might have found someone who can help her. She tracked down a Native American Studies professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. David Preston, and has convinced him to help her. Then again, the last time she thought a guy was helping her, he was actually using her. Can she trust David or will he turn on her just as Collin did? When Ellie finds herself attracted to David, she must make the choice to take a chance on him or to push him out of her life. Will she be able to take that chance when her soul is entwined with Collin’s? Whether she does or not, there is still evil to be fought and Ellie must prepare to face her destiny.

In this second novel in the Curse Keeper series, Ellie is getting ready to fight the battle of a lifetime while struggling with her own internal wars. If you’re new to the series check out our blog post on the first novel The Curse Keepers.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Coast, Dare, Novels in Series, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Swank, Denise Grover

Ellie Grant. Treacherous Tart. New York: Pocket Books, 2014.

treacherous tartMaggie Grady has been enjoying seeing her Aunt Clara celebrate the wonders of Christmastime in Durham, North Carolina with her new love, Donald Wickerson. So it is no wonder that Maggie’s Christmas mood is completely ruined when her boyfriend, Durham Weekly newspaper reporter Ryan Summerour, presents Maggie with evidence that Donald is not what he seems. Instead of being the caring and trustworthy man that he presents himself to be, Donald is a male black widow. Donald has had six wives in the past and all of them suffered suspicious deaths. He has been investigated for every death, but has escaped charges. However, the evidence against him is condemning.

Faced with breaking her Aunt Clara’s heart, Maggie just doesn’t know what to do. When Maggie finally gets up the courage to tell Aunt Clara, she won’t hear any of it. Her wonderful Donald could never do such a thing. Wouldn’t Maggie be upset if Aunt Clara suggested Ryan was capable of hurting someone? The news spreads when Ryan puts a picture in the paper with his article on Donald’s philandering ways. It looks like someone must have believed it because that same day Donald stumbles into Maggie and Clara’s shop, Pie in the Sky, bleeding from a bullet wound.

Now, as the girlfriend of the victim, Aunt Clara is under suspicion for Donald’s death. Maggie isn’t going to let her aunt end up in jail over a murderous scoundrel, so she and Ryan start digging for more information on Donald and for possible suspects. They soon find out that there are a lot of people who could have wanted Donald dead seeing as he was dating more than Aunt Clara at the time of his death, not to mention the family of Donald’s supposed victims. Just when it looks like Ryan and Maggie are onto something, another crime is carried out. Will Maggie be able to find the murderer before anyone else gets hurt? Also, Donald wasn’t the only person in town with something to hide. Will the secrets uncovered shed light on the crimes committed or will they only add to the confusion?

Treacherous Tart is the second book in the Pie in the Sky mysteries.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Grant, Ellie, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Wake

Ellie Grant. Plum Deadly. New York: Gallery Books, 2013.

plumImagine being accused of theft by your employer and being escorted from your office that very day. And having all your accounts frozen. And having a guard stationed at your apartment to keep you from selling any valuable possessions. All this happens to Maggie Grady, the main character in Plum Deadly, the first book in a new series of cozy mysteries set in Durham, North Carolina.

With not much more than the clothes on her back, Maggie leaves the Big Apple and heads to Durham where her Aunt Clara welcomes her with open arms. Aunt Clara and Uncle Fred raised Maggie after her parents died in a car crash, but once Maggie left for New York, she didn’t keep in touch with her aunt and uncle. Maggie’s guilt about this is almost crushing, but Aunt Clara doesn’t acknowledge the slight. Since Uncle Fred died, Clara has been struggling to keep her bake shop open. Maggie’s reappearance is a pure blessing to Clara. In no time at all, Maggie has brought order to Clara’s accounts and cleaned up both the shop and Clara’s house.

Maggie is just about ready to take on the developer who wants to buy Aunt Clara’s building when trouble strikes. Her former boss, Lou, appears at the pie shop to tell Maggie that he knows that she is innocent and who actually stole the $3,000, 000. But hours after Lou makes this startling announcement, his body is found in the alley behind the pie shop. He’s been poisoned. Now Maggie looks to be not just a thief, but a murderer too. Rather than helping Aunt Clara with the business,  Maggie’s presence is hurting it. But that just provides added motivation for Maggie to clear her name. Will this crisis bring the two women closer together–and will the pie shop survive? Readers who try the recipes at the end of the book will no doubt be rooting for Maggie and Clara to prevail.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Durham, Grant, Ellie, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont

Jennifer Estep. Killer Frost. New York: Kensington Publishing, 2014.

killerfrost“Self-sacrifice is a very powerful thing, especially if you do it of your own free will.”

Gwen Frost is just settling down from her last battle with the Reapers, in which her boyfriend Logan was possessed and forced to turn against her. Now Logan and Gwen are out on a double date with Gwen’s best friend Daphne and her boyfriend Carson, and everything is becoming normal again. Nevertheless, there is one moment that dampens the mood – apparently other students at Mythos Academy are betting on when the Reapers will show up next and if Gwen will be able to stop them. As the goddess Nike’s chosen champion, it is Gwen’s duty to kill the god Loki and stop his Reapers from taking over the magical world. However, Gwen has not shared this bit of information with her friends.

The reoccurring bet is that the Reapers will show up at the Valentine’s Day dance, but Gwen thinks it has been too quiet and is expecting something to occur before then. She turns out to be correct. The Reapers attack while Gwen and her friends, along with the Protectorate, are transporting artifacts to Mythos Academy. When Gwen foils their plans, Vivian, the champion of Loki, and her mentor Agrona strike back at Gwen – and they make things personal.

Gwen is forced to make a hard decision – to lose yet another person she loves or to risk the lives of everyone in the magical world by giving Loki an artifact that could bring him back to full strength. If you’ve been following the series and know Gwen, it’s not hard to guess what path she chooses. With Gwen’s choice, the final battle between Gwen and Loki begins. Gwen’s destiny is to kill Loki, but she can’t envision how to do so without losing herself. Before this tale ends, Gwen will have another difficult choice to make–she must choose her fate.

Killer Frost is the sixth and final installment in the Mythos Academy series. Estep continues to make her characters relatable – what teenager could sentence a loved one to death for the good of all? These supernatural characters are still everyday teenagers, and this is just one of the appeals of this series. In this sixth novel, readers will learn what exactly is needed to defeat an evil such as Loki.

Young adult readers ages 13 and up will enjoy this mythological urban fantasy series.

Are you new to the series? Then check out our post on the first novel in the Mythos Academy series, Touch of Frost. Or, check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Buncombe, Children & Young Adults, Estep, Jennifer, Mountains, Novels in Series, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Kathy Reichs. Bones Never Lie. New York: Bantam Books, 2014.

bonesAs Bones Never Lie opens, Temperance Brennan’s life is quite, if a bit lonely. She is teaching at UNC-Charlotte and her mother is fairly close by in a private psychiatric clinic in the mountains. Tempe misses her former partner Andrew Ryan, and is hurt at the way he took off to nurse his sorrow after his daughter’s death.  Tempe doesn’t know if she’d want him back, but she is forced to find him when police in Vermont and Charlotte are confronted with murders that may be linked to crimes that Tempe and Ryan investigated in Montreal over a decade ago.

Tempe is still haunted by images from a basement in Montreal where Anique Pomerleau tortured and starved several young girls.  As the police were closing in, Pomerleau torched the building and escaped. Although Pomerleau was not captured, Montreal authorities had her DNA from an earlier arrest.  Now her DNA has turned up on a corpse in Vermont and one in Charlotte.  Detective Umpie Rodas from Vermont brings this information to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Force the very week that another Charlotte girl–similar in age and appearance to the dead girls–goes missing.  Both the CMPD and the State Bureau of Investigation are on the case, which will have some unexpected and unsettling twists and turns.  Longtime readers will appreciate the way that Reichs fleshes out some of the lesser characters from earlier books, especially Skinny Sliddell and Tempe’s mother, Daisy.  Readers who know Charlotte will particularly enjoy following Tempe through the city’s neighborhoods and streets.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Mecklenburg, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Reichs, Kathy

Colleen Coble. Seagrass Pier. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2014.

seagrasspierElin Summerall is taking it easy after a life-saving heart transplant. However, her new heart seems to have other ideas. Elin is having violent dreams – dreams that are flashbacks to her donor’s murder. Elin can’t stand idly by and keep quiet about what she knows, which leads to unwanted attention from the press and unbelief from the authorities. Not to mention that the killer is now stalking Elin. Having lost her husband, Elin is living on her own with her young daughter and aging mother. After a break-in at her house, Elin decides it’s time to get away and takes off to Hope Island, on the North Carolina coast.

The police are doubtful of Elin’s claims that she is having flashbacks to the murder of her donor, but one off-duty FBI agent, Marc Everton, is willing to try anything that may lead to solving this case. Marc’s best friend was murdered while investigating the case. When Marc finds out that Elin received the victim’s heart, he searches her out to get some answers. Captivatingly, Marc and Elin have a history – a history that catches up to Marc when he sees Elin’s five-year old daughter for the first time and realizes that she is his daughter as well. Elin kept his daughter from him for five years, but he doesn’t plan on missing out on any more of her life. Marc doesn’t know if he’ll ever be able to forgive Elin. However, Marc must put his feelings aside and solve this case so that he can keep Elin and their daughter safe. To do this, he’ll have to follow Elin to Hope Island.

Marc lives with Elin and her family on Hope Island while they work together to discover what Elin knows that could lead to her donor’s killer. Living in such close proximity soon causes forgotten passions to rise between the two. Before long, Marc is faced with the option of stepping into a ready-made family, and Elin is hoping for the chance at a love-filled marriage. Nevertheless, someone doesn’t want them together–someone is seeking to silence Elin before she can reveal what she’s discovered. Marc and Elin are in a race against time to unearth the secrets held in Elin’s new heart. Will the couple unearth more than what they are looking for? Is Marc ready to forgive Elin and possibly gain more than just a cordial relationship with the mother of his child? Is Elin ready to take another chance on love?

Seagrass Pier is the third novel in the Hope Beach series. Interested readers should consult our blog posts on the first two novels in the series, Tidewater Inn and Rosemary Cottage.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Coast, Coble, Colleen, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship

Jodie Bailey. Quilted by Christmas. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2014.

quiltedIt has been twelve years. Twelve years since that fateful night when Taryn McKenna pushed Justin Callahan, her high school sweetheart, to take the next step in their relationship. Taryn hasn’t seen him since. Reeling from the breakup and guarding a secret that must never come to light, Taryn went off to school, but soon found herself back home and is now a teacher in fictional Hollings, North Carolina.

Not too long before Christmas, Taryn finds her calm and quiet existence disrupted by Justin’s return from the army. But, he’s not back for a short visit; Justin has retired and come home to Hollings for good. Now, Justin’s words, “You’re needy. Manipulative. You used me,” are ringing in Taryn’s head once again. Moreover, not only does she have to face him in town, but Taryn’s Grandma Jemma has hired Justin to do some work around Jemma’s house. What is Taryn to do when her only haven has been invaded by a man she has done everything to forget?

When Grandma Jemma is rushed to the hospital, Taryn must admit that it isn’t feeling a lot like Christmas, though this new event does show Taryn exactly the kind of man that Justin has grown into. Before her stint in the hospital, Grandma Jemma was working on a hand-stitched quilt as a wedding present for Taryn’s cousin. It is a tradition for a hand-stitched quilt containing an Irish chain to be made for every new McKenna bride. With Jemma in the hospital, it is Taryn’s duty to finish the quilt. Nevertheless, fate must be working against the McKenna’s because there is no way that Taryn will finish this quilt on her own. When Justin offers to commit his quilting skills to the cause, will Taryn be able to set her feelings aside? Even more importantly, will Taryn recognize the opportunities for healing that God is placing in front of her?

Quilted by Christmas is the twenty-second title in the Quilts of Love series. This series is made up of a multitude of books written by various authors to share their stories of “love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings.” This is much like how a quilt is made up of many tiny stiches that are assembled together to tell a story.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Bailey, Jodie, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship

D. D. Ayres. Irresistible Force. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2014.

irresistOfficer James Cannon is on a mission to find his missing partner. Bogart, James’s partner, was kidnapped a month ago, and James has a lead on his location. Even knowing that going out on his own could land him in trouble, James can’t help but confront the kidnapper when he sees Bogart come running out of a cabin in Lake Gaston, North Carolina.

Shay Appleton is a wounded woman. Dealing with an abusive ex who just doesn’t know how to let go has taken its toll on Shay. However, her adoption of a stray dog, Prince, and escape to a cabin at Lake Gaston have brightened her life – the fact that Prince will make a great watch dog is just an added bonus. This bright spot is threatened when Officer James Cannon, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, shows up claiming that Prince’s real name is Bogart and that he is a trained police K-9. Faced with this threat, that is more painful than the thought of her ever-present ex, Shay has no idea what to do.

Shay’s reaction to losing Bogart touches James for some reason he can’t explain. When he realizes that Shay’s tale of Bogart being abandoned at a shelter is true, James decides to bring Bogart back for one night so that Shay can have time to say goodbye. James and Bogart walk into a scene that convinces James that Shay needs more than a guard dog. Shay’s abusive ex has found her and has shown himself willing and able to follow through with his threats.

As James and Shay’s lives intertwine, it becomes clear that Shay has more to fear than just her ex. Also, James may have to confront his own personal fears when it begins to look like Shay has stolen more than just Bogart’s affection – she may just have stolen James’s heart as well. When sealed records from Shay’s past are unveiled, will Shay trust James with her story? Is James willing to risk his reputation within the police force to protect Shay?

Irresistible Force is the first novel in a series about lawmen, their loyal K-9 partners, and the women they both fall for.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Ayres, D. D., Mecklenburg, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Wake