This summer’s must-read debuts

052118 Summer reads

Some of the best new books are those written by new and talented authors. These six debut summer releases are definite must-reads as the weather heats up.

The Sleeping Lady by Bonnie C. Monte

Rae Sullivan is content with her life as a business owner in the Bay area but a shocking confession from business partner, Thalia will turn Rae’s world upside downThalia has a secret lover and someone else knows about the affair, blackmailing her for her infidelities. When Thalia confronts the person threatening her, she ends up dead and now a secret from Rae’s life will catch the eye of detectives, making her a prime suspect in the murder case.


The Ensemble by Aja Gabel out in May

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

Four unlikely friends will find their way to an everlasting bond and music success in this debut from Aja Gabel. Jana, Brit, Daniel and Henry all have dreams of making a name for themselves in the classical music world but little did they know, each of them is in need of something else: true friendship. This novel details the ways in which others can guide you through the most instrumental parts of life and how a simple love for music can blossom into something much bigger.


A Lucky Man: Stories by Jamel Brinkley

In this collection, Jamel Brinkley includes nine stories of friends, family and the mistakes that humans make. From a story of a young man from the Bronx to stories of brotherhood and growing up, A Lucky Man provides clarity into the lives of young black men who are thrown curve balls due to class, gender and race.


Manifesting Me by Leah E. Reinhart

In this intriguing debut memoir, Leah Reinhart reflects on her time growing up in Oakland, California and the dramatic change that came out of the family’s move from a quaint country town. As a white girl in a predominantly black community, she knew she’d have to own up to her fears or forever lose herself to the sprawling city. In this self-exploration, Reinhart recounts the moments that made her the woman she is today.


What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan

The Zhen family has just moved back to Shanghai, joining a new community of wealthy and well-educated Chinese-born citizens. Lina is questioning her arranged marriage to Wei and her unresolved feelings for his brother Qiang. When Qiang returns after being on the run with a gang, the family will have to reckon with the past and figure out their futures. This debut is perfect for fans of family drama.


The Secret Lives of Royals by Shalini Dua

Just as Olivia is about to give up on her big city dreams, she is offered a job that could change everything for her. When she finds out that she’s being invited to join a secret society that is controlled by the Royal lineage, she has to wonder if she’s up for what lies ahead.

Ashley Johnson

Ashley has always been a writer at heart, receiving a diary from her mother at a very young age. Supportive book-buying parents influenced her love of literature and storytelling as she grew up. Her love for songwriting led the way to creating short stories and the start of her own blog where she documented her life as a college student. A fan of dark plot lines, Ashley picked up Stephen King’s It and never looked back. When she is not working on her first novel or new story ideas, Ashley can be found curled up with her rescue chihuahuas or reviewing the newest liquid lipstick formula on her YouTube channel.

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