- Sand Castle Bay. Don Mills, Ont.: Harlequin Mira, 2013.
- Wind Chime Point. Don Mills, Ont.: Harlequin Mira, 2013.
- Sea Glass Island. Don Mills, Ont.: Harlequin Mira, 2013.
The Castle sisters–Emily, Gabriella, and Samantha–are the focus of this short, romantic series. The sisters love the coastal community of Sand Castle Bay, but each went out into the wider world to make a name for herself. Emily is an interior designer, Samantha is an actor, and Gabi follower her father into the pharmaceutical industry. But when they hit a patch of trouble–or when a family member needs them–they return to their little beach town.
Each novel focuses on a particular sister who is at a turning point in her life: Emily in Sand Castle Bay, Gabi in Wind Chime Point, and the eldest sister, Samantha, in Sea Glass Island. Their grandmother, Cora Jane, is a presence in each novel–not quite needing the sisters’ help, but eliciting the sisters’ concern. But Cora Jane gives much more than she receives, as she offers advice and engages in matchmaking. Although the Ocean Breeze novels contain contemporary elements such as age discrimination, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and the war in Afghanistan, at heart these are traditional novels. Unrequited love, the desire to marry and have children, and the impulse to protect family members–and to meddle in their affairs–drive the action in these nicely linked novels.
When forty-something Olivia Limoges was looking to change her life she settled on the idea of moving back to her hometown of Oyster Bay, North Carolina. The locals don’t exactly welcome her with open arms–she’s wealthy, grouchy, bossy, and has pretentious aspirations to be a writer. It’s a rocky start for Olivia, but as the Books by the Bay series unfolds, Olivia makes a place for herself in Oyster Bay. She joins a writing group and the members of the group become friends; she re-connects with her half-brother, joining him in the restaurant business; and she may even have found a new love interest in the person of Sawyer Rawlings.
Olivia comes to know Rawlings because he is the town’s chief of police, and Oyster Bay has an unusual number of murders, many of which touch Olivia in some way. The victims include a gossip columnist looking into a wealthy local family, an author of historic novels, and a local “witch” who knows a secret about Olivia’s mother. In each of these cozy mysteries, the murders reveal something about Olivia’s past or that of this seemingly-quiet little town. Readers come to know Olivia and her backstory even as they enjoy her sleuthing–in which she is often aided by her poodle, Captain Haviland.
- First Frost (e-novella). New York: Kensington Publishing, 2011.
- Touch of Frost. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2011.
- Kiss of Frost. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2011.
- “Halloween Frost” in Entangled, ed. Allison Brennan (e-short story). Authors4theCure, 2011.
- Dark Frost. New York: Kensington, 2012.
- Crimson Frost. New York, Kensington Publishing, 2013.
- Spartan Frost. New York: Kensington Books, 2013.
- Midnight Frost. New York: K-Teen, 2013.
- Killer Frost. New York: Kensington Publishing, 2014
Gwendolyn Frost is a normal teenaged girl– well, as normal as any of the teenagers attending Mythos Academy. High in the mountains of western North Carolina, the academy provides a safe place for teens like Gwen to get an education. Gifted with supernatural abilities, all of the students are the descendants of ancient warriors or mythical creatures. But Gwendolyn doesn’t think her powers are very exciting– sure, being a Gypsy with the power to find lost objects and read people’s thoughts has its uses, but it’s not like being a Spartan or a Valkyrie and being gifted with abnormal strength, speed, and agility. Gwen wishes she were as talented athletically as her peers, particularly because she has a crush on the school’s most popular and good looking boy.
Everything changes, of course, when a supernatural threat looms over the academy. Somehow Gwen finds herself at the center of the fighting– as the champion of the Greek goddess Nike herself. How does a simple Gypsy girl with no talent for swordplay become a goddess’s champion? And can she even survive? Find out in this exciting young adult series, reminiscent of Percy Jackson’s The Lightning Thief and the 1981 film Clash of the Titans.
Webb Sawyer threw away his career as a military investigator when he shot a Serbian war lord in his jail cell. Now Webb is separated from the United States Army and living in the remote Outer Banks community of Blue Heron Marsh. The ex-soldier is looking forward to a quiet life of fishing and boating that will allow him to put his personal demons behind him. But the community around him has its demons too, and when his neighbors encounter trouble they turn to Webb knowing that they’ll need his investigative skills and fearlessness. The cases they ask his help with show him again the darker elements of human nature–racism, sexual obsession, greed, the thirst for revenge. People are not always what they appear to be, and the linkage between the present and the past is not always a pleasant one. Interwoven with the search for sexual predators, serial killers, and the like are the ins-and-outs of Webb’s daily life–his attempts to develop a better relationship with his son, his on-again, off-again romance with a local pub owner, and his enjoyment of the water and natural beauty in this little part of the North Carolina coast.
- The Witcher Legacy. Baltimore, MD: PublishAmerica, 2009.
- The Devil’s Own Angel. Baltimore, MD: PublishAmerica, 2010.
- Then, Now, Forever. Baltimore, MD: PublishAmerica, 2011.
- Shadow of Doubt. Baltimore, MD: PublishAmerica, 2011.
- A Ghost of a Chance. Baltimore, MD: PublishAmerica, 2011.
- Prophecies and Destinies. Baltimore, MD: PublishAmerica, 2012.
Bounty Cove is a small (fictional) town on the North Carolina coast. Like many other towns along the Outer Banks, it’s full of kind, proud people whose families have called this bit of shore home for generations. But unlike other towns, Bounty Cove is also a locus of unexplained phenomena and paranormal activity. Ghosts, mind control, reincarnation– it’s all in a day’s work for the residents of Bounty Cove. A series of paranormal romances designed for an audience over the age of 18, each novel begins when a girl meets a boy, but after that, readers should abandon all their assumptions regarding traditional courtship. Supernatural forces work to keep the couples apart, and to destroy their lives and families. Is love enough to prevail when someone’s demons don’t exist only in his or her mind, but in the physical world? There is plenty of mutual attraction between each couple featured, but the series does remind readers that an invisible problem can separate two people in love. In Bounty Cove, the problem just happens to be supernatural in nature more often than not!
While each book features a different love story, many characters reappear across the series. By the end of the Chronicles, readers might feel as though they themselves live in Bounty Cove, although hopefully without the vengeful spirits.
- Flat-Out Sexy. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2008.
- Hard and Fast. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2010.
- Hot Finish. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2010.
- The Chase. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2011.
- Slow Ride. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2011.
- Jacked Up. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2012.
- Full Throttle. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2013.
- Final Lap. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2014.
The motorsports industry is reported to pump $4 billion into the economy of the Charlotte metro area–that means lots of jobs beyond just racers and their pit crews. That wider circle of racing is present in Erin McCarthy’s Fast Track series. The drivers—all hot, hot, hot—share their high-pressure world with journalists, PR consultants, team owners, sponsors, hangers-on, and even a few academics. Each book features two people who are clearly attracted to each other but whose path to happily-ever-after is complicated things such as professional jealousies, previous relationships, pride, and Mars/Venus misunderstandings. Snappy repartee and sexy scenes are standard elements of this series, but some of the novels include as plot elements serious subjects such as adult illiteracy and alcoholism. The novels are loosely connected in that some characters–especially the Monroe brothers–appear in several books, but each book can stand on its own–and each one is a wild, fun ride.
Puzzles require patience, and luckily for Savannah Stone, her husband Zach knows that better than anyone. As a popular crossword puzzle designer, Savannah has a method for each of her creations that demands quiet and room for trial and error. Zach appreciates these techniques because before he retired as police chief of Charlotte, North Carolina, he employed many of them himself. Now that Zach is doing consultant work with police forces around the country, Savannah finds herself following him on his adventures (after all, she can always fax her puzzles into her syndicate). But she isn’t just along for the ride: Savannah’s penchant for cracking codes complements Zach’s detective expertise. As they work together to solve problems quickly, their love for each other is a mystery to no one.
Find all the novels in the “Mystery by the Numbers” series at the UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries by clicking on the titles listed below:
K. Robert Campbell draws on his experiences as a lawyer and a park ranger for this series of mysteries. Main character Cameron Scott’s home base is coastal North Carolina, but his cases and web of friends take him around the state. Wherever Cameron goes, trouble finds hime. Whether it’s a train ride in the mountains, or a presentation to an appeals court in Raleigh, murder and intrigue turn simple pleasures and simple cases into something else. Insurrectionists, shady corporations, and extremists of various stripes figure in the plots, as does Mother Nature who serves up hurricanes and tornadoes at the most inopportune times. Along to add a cool head and moral support is Cameron’s wife, Mary, who is a control room supervisor at a nuclear plant near the coast. The easy back-and-forth between Cameron and Mary provides a cozy element that lightens up this series of thrillers.
Set in the fictional Outer Banks town of Kiss River, Diane Chamberlain’s trilogy explores love, loss, and the power our loved ones have over our hearts and mind, even after death. The trilogy centers on the four members of the O’Neill family: father Alec, mother Annie, and the children Clay and Lacey. Although Annie O’Neill is tragically murdered in the opening pages of Keeper of the Light, her presence remains a main character throughout the entire trilogy, inspiring and at times haunting those who survived her passing. Not least of these is her daugher, Lacey. Thirteen at the time of her mother’s violent death, we watch Lacey grow from a rebellious, grieving teenager into a thoughtful young artist who must eventually grapple with motherhood in her turn. Although the books are set around new characters who come into the O’Neills’ lives, the trilogy remains focused on this family, their struggles to overcome Annie’s death, and the compelling lighthouse on the fictional Kiss River.
Author Diane Chamberlain
Eleanor Swift enjoys being the owner of A Slice of Delight, the pizzeria in her hometown, (the fictional) Timber Ridge, North Carolina. Her sister Maddy works with her, the waiters and delivery man feel like family, and Timber Ridge is a nice little mountain town. Then why are there so many murders? Eleanor’s quick temper make her the prime suspect in several of the murders, but even when she isn’t a suspect, Eleanor can’t resist sticking her nose in the crimes. Is that because her high school boyfriend is now the town’s police chief? Or is just because Timber Ridge is the kind of small town where everyone is in everyone else’s business?
As the series continues characters are add, include a love interest for Maddy and a new beau for Eleanor. These novels are clearly for readers who crave a cozy mystery. The books will satisfy pizza lovers too since they include recipes for pizza dough, sauces, and fillings. Yum!
Find all the novels in the Pizza Lovers Mystery Series at the UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries by clicking on the titles listed below: