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Book Beat: Cats, Whitney, & More

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Welcome to Book Beat!

Book Beat aims to highlight other books that we may hear about through friends, social media, or other sources. We could see a gorgeous ad! Or find a new-to-us author on a list of underrated romances! Think of Book Beat as Teen Beat or Tiger Beat, but for books. And no staples to open to get the fold-out poster.

The Debutante’s Code

The Debutante’s Code by Erica Vetsch

Author: Erica Vetsch
Released: December 7, 2021 by Kregel Publications
Genre: Historical: European, Inspirational, Mystery/Thriller
Series: Thorndike and Swann Regency Mysteries #1

Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series

Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn’t spent much time with her parents, and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love. But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They’ve been living double lives as government spies–and they’re only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family’s legacy.

Now Lady Juliette is determined to continue their work. Mentored by her uncle, she plunges into the dangerous world of spy craft. From the glittering ballrooms of London to the fox hunts, regattas, and soirees of country high society, she must chase down hidden clues, solve the mysterious code her parents left behind, and stay out of danger. All the while, she has to keep her endeavors a secret from her best friend and her suitors–not to mention nosy, irritatingly handsome Bow Street runner Daniel Swann, who suspects her of a daring theft.

Can Lady Juliette outwit her enemies and complete her parents’ last mission? Or will it lead her to a terrible end?

Best-selling author Erica Vetsch is back with a rollicking, exciting new series destined to be a hit with Regency readers who enjoy a touch of mystery in their love stories. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, and Anne Perry will love the wit, action, and romance.

Source: Goodreads ads!

It says “Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes,” which seems right up the Bitchery’s alley. I will note that many Goodreads users shelved this one as “Christian fiction.”

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Didn’t We Almost Have It All

Didn’t We Almost Have It All by Gerrick Kennedy

Author: Gerrick Kennedy
Released: February 1, 2022 by Abrams Press
Genre: Nonfiction

A candid exploration of the genius, shame, and celebrity of Whitney Houston a decade after her passing.

On February 11, 2012, Whitney Houston was found submerged in the bathtub of her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. In the decade since, the world has mourned her death amid new revelations about her relationship to her Blackness, her sexuality, and her addictions. Didn’t We Almost Have It All is author Gerrick Kennedy’s exploration of the duality of Whitney’s life as both a woman in the spotlight and someone who often had to hide who she was. This is the story of Whitney’s life, her whole life, told with both grace and honesty.

Long before that fateful day in 2012, Whitney split the world wide open with her voice. Hers was a once-in-a-generation talent forged in Newark, NJ, and blessed with the grace of the church and the wisdom of a long lineage of famous gospel singers. She redefined “The Star-Spangled Banner.” She became a box-office powerhouse, a queen of the pop charts, and an international superstar. But all the while, she was forced to rein in who she was amid constant accusations that her music wasn’t Black enough, original enough, honest enough.

Kennedy deftly peels back the layers of Whitney’s complex story to get to the truth at the core of what drove her, what inspired her, and what haunted her. He pulls the narrative apart into the key elements that informed her life—growing up in the famed Drinkard family; the two romantic relationships that shaped the entirety of her adult life, with Robyn Crawford and Bobby Brown; her fraught relationship to her own Blackness and the ways in which she was judged by the Black community; her drug and alcohol addiction; and, finally, the shame that she carried in her heart, which informed every facet of her life. Drawing on hundreds of sources, Kennedy takes readers back to a world in which someone like Whitney simply could not be, and explains in excruciating detail the ways in which her fame did not and could not protect her.

In the time since her passing, the world and the way we view celebrity have changed dramatically. A sweeping look at Whitney’s life, Didn’t We Almost Have It All contextualizes her struggles against the backdrop of tabloid culture, audience consumption, mental health stigmas, and racial divisions in America. It explores exactly how and why we lost a beloved icon far too soon.

Source: Tara!

The foreword is done by Brandy!

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Flesh and Stone

Flesh and Stone by Emily Hemenway

Author: Emily Hemenway
Released: September 30, 2021
Genre: Paranormal, Novella, Romance

When Thomas travels to America to capture an evil witch, he quickly discovers that his training as a Supernatural Investigator has not prepared him for how powerful she is. Transformed into a gargoyle and cursed to spend eternity in a hellish alternate reality, he has little hope of ever returning to the real world or finding happiness again.

Hannah’s first week after moving to New York City is filled with sightseeing and tourist traps. After dragging her best friend all around the city, she finds herself drawn to an ornate local cathedral. When she touches an alluring stone gargoyle, however, her life is thrown into chaos when he suddenly comes alive.

Now he’s crashing at her new apartment and things are heating up. Not only does this monster have a charming British accent, but he’s also kind, considerate, and has one hell of a tongue. Can she help him adjust to the 21st century? Or, will his past bring even more trouble into her life?

Source: Twitter (probably)

Not sure how this one got on my radar, but Shana and I had this exchange:

Amanda: Gargoyle romance everyone

Shana: I have to apologize, Amanda. My first instinct was to doubt you: She can’t mean a romance where someone is a literal gargoyle. But oh yes, it is true. I’m woman enough to admit when I was wrong.

Amanda: I would never joke about a gargoyle romance, Shana!

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Star Trek Discovery: The Book of Grudge

Star Trek Discovery: The Book of Grudge by Robb Pearlman

Author: Robb Pearlman
Released: January 4, 2022 by Hero Collector
Genre: Humor, Science Fiction/Fantasy

New York Times bestselling author Robb Pearlman focuses on STAR TREK: DISCOVERY’s breakout star, Grudge the cat. Full of cat photos and whimsical illustrations!

Sharper than a claw and more stunning than a phaser blast, The Book of Grudge’s Prime Directive features her take on everything from space travel to the proper care and training of an array of alien species, STAR TREK-inspired quotes, and haiku meditations on Grudge’s most favorite things, including napping and people (as long as they’re far enough away).

Make no mistake, Cleveland Booker’s massive – and massively cool – cat, Grudge is no mundane mouser. This taciturn tabby is, in fact, “a Queen.” She knows it, and everyone aboard the Discovery knows it, too… though some realize it just a bit too late!

Source: Indiebound newsletter!

Look, I will always post books at the intersection of nerdery and cats.

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