Hi friends!

Hard to believe Christmas is less than a week away. For everyone who celebrates, I hope it’s merry and bright.

As you know, if you follow this space at all, it’s been a bit of “a year,” as they say, this 2018. I haven’t done my “best of” list yet, because I can’t seem to garner the energy to go back through all my notes and posts to figure them out. Instead, this week I thought I’d highlight some great books coming out in January. A good way to start the New Year, yes?

I’ve already written about Amanda Bouchet’s awesome NIGHTCHASER (starred review) in a recent post. It releases Jan 1.

The One You Fight For Also releasing on Jan 1 is Roni Loren’s THE ONE YOU FIGHT FOR (also a starred review), the third in her terrific The Ones Who Got Away series, which revolves around four friends who survived a school shooting. These books are just so good, and explore so many complicated emotions. The first title, THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY (starred review) was named one of Kirkus' Best Books of 2018, and they all share the same intensity and complexity. I don’t think you need to read them in order, necessarily, though if you prefer a distinct chronology you’ll want to.

From the back cover:
How hard would you fight for the one you love?
Taryn Landry was there that awful night fourteen years ago when Long Acre changed from the name of a town to the title of a national tragedy. Everyone knows she lost her younger sister. No one knows it was her fault. Since then, psychology professor Taryn has dedicated her life's work to preventing something like that from ever happening again. Falling in love was never part of the plan...

Shaw Miller has spent more than a decade dealing with the fallout of his brother's horrific actions. After losing everything—his chance at Olympic gold, his family, almost his sanity—he's changed his name, his look, and he's finally starting a new life. As long as he keeps a low profile and his identity secret, everything will be okay, right?

When the world and everyone you know defines you by one catastrophic tragedy...
How do you find your happy ending?

Untouchable Finally, on Jan 8, the great Jayne Ann Krentz releases UNTOUCHABLE (another starred review) and wraps up her recent Cutler, Sutter, and Salinas series with the downfall of Quentin Zane, the cult leader who killed most of his followers in a fire. The most enigmatic survivor, Jack Lancaster, has made a career of solving cold cases, especially arson, and recent activity in his lucid dreaming tells him Zane is back—and coming for him. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed this whole series, but this one may be the best. Krentz fans will love it, but the use of lucid dreaming and hypnotism adds an extra dimension to an already fascinating story. And Winter is a perfect match for the complicated Jack.

Quinton Zane is back.

Jack Lancaster, consultant to the FBI, has always been drawn to the coldest of cold cases, the kind that law enforcement either considers unsolvable or else has chalked up to accidents or suicides. As a survivor of a fire, he finds himself uniquely compelled by arson cases. His almost preternatural ability to get inside the killer's head has garnered him a reputation in some circles–and complicated his personal life. The more cases Jack solves, the closer he slips into the darkness. His only solace is Winter Meadows, a meditation therapist. After particularly grisly cases, Winter can lead Jack back to peace. 

But as long as Quinton Zane is alive, Jack will not be at peace for long. Having solidified his position as the power behind the throne of his biological family's hedge fund, Zane sets out to get rid of Anson Salinas's foster sons, starting with Jack.

So if you’re looking for some great reads to kick off 2019, you may want to start there.