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Check These Out! Titles to Look for at the Library

Daryl M., Librarian, West Valley Regional Branch Library,
3 new book covers

At Check These Out!, each month you will find a few recently published or upcoming titles that are worth “checking out” from the library. All titles are either currently available or have a record in the catalog where you can place a hold and be among the first to read them when they hit the library's shelves. For many of these titles, you will also find interviews with the author on the LAPL Blog and/or a longer, more in depth review on LAPL Reads.

Waldherr, Kris

When a famous, and some would claim infamous, poet dies, his final request is to be laid to rest next to his wife in a chapel of stained glass he had built for her when she passed. Robert Highstead, the poet’s cousin, accompanies the body to Weald House, the site of “Ada’s Folly,” as the chapel has become known, and where Isabelle, the poet’s remaining heir, lives in seclusion. She is mysteriously resistant to allow the internment and finally agrees only if Highstead will listen to her recount the life of the poet’s wife and have it published. But, as Isabelle tells her tale, it becomes clear that everything is not as it seems and how will Highstead determine the truth in the midst of such strongly guarded secrets? The Lost History of Dreams is a haunted tale of love discovered and lost, and the shackles that can bind those who love together even after death. It is a classic Gothic tale, in the tradition of Wuthering Heights, complete with lush descriptions of the period and locations, along with era perfect poetry. This is a gripping and atmospheric read.

McQuiston, Casey

Alex Claremont-Diaz is the 21-year-old First Son Of The United States (FSOTUS). His Royal Highness (HRH), Prince Henry, is the youngest of the three royal siblings in Great Britain. At a royal wedding, Alex confronts Henry after a bit too much champagne, ending in the two destroying the £75,000 wedding cake. This is a PR nightmare, especially since it happens as President Claremont is heading into a grueling re-election campaign. The solution: Alex and Henry are to become friends, best friends, inseparable companions, attending each other’s public functions and be seen spending personal time together as well (followed and documented by the press in both countries, of course). The plan works brilliantly. Actually, it works better than anyone, including Alex and Henry, would have dreamed because the more time they spend together, the more they realize that neither is who they thought the other to be. And then, one night in a quiet moment at a party, there is a kiss. And now there is another complication. While their quarreling was a political problem, it still sold papers and airtime. But the idea that FSOTUS and HRH might be “involved” romantically could cause an international incident and derail Alex’s Mother’s re-election campaign. Can two young men, who spend their entire lives in front of probing cameras, keep this a secret? Red, White & Royal Blue is a fairy tale, with TWO princes and a very happy ending, and it is the perfect summer/beach read for the coming season!

Gailey, Sarah

When the Health instructor at Osthorne Academy for Young Mages is found in the school library bisected from head to toe cleanly down the middle, and the National Mage Investigative Service (NMIS) concludes that her death was an accident, the Headmaster of the school doesn’t agree with their conclusions and reaches out to Ivy Gamble, a bay area Private Investigator. Ivy specializes in small time cases, but she is also the estranged twin sister of Osthorne’s Theoretical Magic teacher, which makes Ivy an outsider who is aware of the magical community with the right skill set to solve a mystery. Suddenly, Ivy finds herself at Osthorne Academy, where everyone assumes, being the sister of a member of the faculty, that she too has magical abilities. But this is far from an open and shut case. From the start there are multiple suspects among the staff, faculty and, especially, the students. While Ivy cannot perform magic, she may be the only person that can uncover the truth about how the Health instructor died. Magic for Liars is part noir-mystery, part urban fantasy, part Harry Potter and part Mean Girls, and the result is, to pardon the phrase, magical!

If you like this type of advance, or near advance, notice about upcoming titles, you can send a comment through the Contact Us page at and let us know. Also, if you read one of the recommended titles, send a comment and let others know what you thought of the book. In both cases, be sure to put Check These Out! in your message.