I’ll admit that one thing we do is enjoy summer movies. As our family changes, we’ve gone from scary date films (my husband is a fan of Jaws and Halloween) to safe G and PG-rated films, and then back to the R-rated films for date nights. So, summer is always a bit exciting as we plan family trips to the movies. We’re lucky in our town to have access to a few new theaters that combine great watching technology with fantastic food choices; now you can get a really nice meal and wine. But my husband and I do have a major conflict about films: I like the ones with witty dialogue and he’s big on action and special effects. Fortunately, this month we can indulge in both: the glitter of The Great Gatsby and the wonder of computer generated effects in the reboot of Star Trek: Into Darkness.

The beginning of summer is also when tempting new series and books are released, and this year we seem to have more choices than usual. Sure, we’ve got some regular author releases that we wait for impatiently, buying as soon as the books were listed for pre-order, but May is also the time to discover some debut authors as well as to make sure we don’t miss anything: In other words, it’s time to stock up for summer reading.Stealing Home

My first stab at making a list of books to read for summer usually involves turning to old faithful authors. Fortunately, Sherryl Woods has started a new trilogy for the summer. Located near the sea and a perfect vacation retreat, Ocean Breezes is set on the North Carolina coast, a new community for Woods, and focuses on three sisters and their loves. The first book is Sand Castle Bay (MIRA, April 2013) which introduces us to the three sisters and the town. The second book in the series is Wind Chime Point  (MIRA, May 2013), which, according to our reviewer, is “beautifully written with wonderfully witty and warm repartee between siblings.” So, get ready to read about Gabi Castle as she returns home to lick her wounds and must make some hard decisions. But Woods manages to include a little romance for the older generation as well to round out the middle story in the trilogy which will conclude in June with Sea Glass Island.

As the weather heats up, it’s time for a baseball game or two, and what could be better than a debut author introducing a brand new series revolving around the national sport? Jennifer Seasons kicks off Diamonds and Dugouts with Stealing Home (Avon Impulse, May 2013). “An excellent debut novel and a must read for fans of contemporary romance,” Seasons introduces us to a baseball catcher with a problem: an angry ex who hires a thief to steal her ex-bf’s good-luck charm. Now, we all know athletes are a superstitious bunch, so it’s not hard to believe this plot. What makes Stealing Home so fun is the connection of the characters in all the guises. Definitely a series to follow and Seasons is an author to watch. And the price of $1.99 (e-book) makes it an easy choice for your reading budget. 

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For when you have a little extra time and are looking for something fun—humor, romance and perhaps a sprinkle or two of the paranormal—then dive into the “witty, sexy and wild” world of Cathy Yardley’s Temping is Hell (Entangled Publishing, February 2013). If you’ve ever held a temporary job, you know the pitfalls and drudgery of being a “temp,” so when Yardley twists it just a little and makes the temp office purgatory, fellow workers “demons” and a boss from, you-know-where, Temping is Hell is just plain fun!

Or, if you’re ready for an emotional, roller coaster of a read, then grab Hopeless by Colleen Hoover (Atria, May 2013). “I anticipated some heartbreak, but never to this level. I cried, sobbed, wept and by the end Hopelessof it all, my chest physically hurt from the emotional reaction this book evoked from me. HOPELESS gutted me,” was the reaction of our reviewer. And this is just the heroine’s side of the story. In July, the hero, Holder, gets to tell his side in Losing Hope (Atria, e-book, July 2013; paper, September 2013). Hoover is one of the New Adult authors who hit e-readers in 2012 and has been riding to the top of the charts ever since. Her writing and storytelling is fresh and very emotionally engaging. Better save Hopeless for the days when you have the time to do a little wallowing.

As the days get longer and warmer, what are you planning for your summer reading? Are you checking out your friends’ summer lists? Watching the morning shows for the books not to miss? Or do you plan on sticking with the best-sellers? We’re always looking for new authors and books to add to our list, so I hope you’ll share. Oh, and if you get to see Star Trek: Into Darkness before me, please no spoilers!

Sara Reyes is the founder and partner at FreshFiction.com a popular fiction web site for today's reader with new titles, contests, over 50,000 genre fiction author profiles with backlists, and permanently archived reviews, plus all the industry buzz. Fresh Fiction has a biweekly segment (Buy the Book) on WFAA Channel 8 Good Morning Texas to talk about new books not to miss. Believing face-to-face interaction is as important as virtual communities, Fresh Fiction sponsors an annual author reader tea in June, a readers conference in November, monthly literary events, and book clubs. Follow Sara at @FreshFiction on Twitter or Facebook.com/FreshFiction.