|Photo by Jason Schott.|
As the calendar turns to May, it is a good time to keep reading as the quarantine continues. The month's arrival comes with the debut of three compelling new novels - Meadowlark, by Melanie Abrams, and The Girl Beneath The Sea, by Andrew Mayne.
By Melanie Abrams
Little A; hardcover, $24.95; paperback, $14.95; ebook, $5.99; available Friday, May 1
Melanie Abrams is an editor and photographer, as well as a writing teacher at the University of California, and Meadowlark is her second novel. It is a haunting story about the lasting effects of childhood trauma and the resulting choices we make for our children.
Simrin and Arjun are two teenagers who grew up in an austere spiritual compound, who escape and go their separate ways. Years later, Arjun sends an email to Simrin, to inform him thathe has become the charismatic leader of Meadowlark, a commune in the Nevada desert that allows children to discover their "gifts."
Despite their relationship being fractured, Simrin, who is a photojournalist, agrees to visit Meadowlark to document its story. She arrives at the compound with her five-year-old daughter, and soon realizes their is something disturbing about what Arjun believes when it concerns children and their unusual abilities.
When Simrin discovers that the commune is in the midst of a criminal investigation, her unease increases. As tension with the police builds, Arjun's wife begins to make plans of her own, fearing the exposure the investigation might bring for her and her children.
Both mothers are caught up in a desperate situation, and as the conflict escalates, everyone involved must make painful, and possibly tragic, choices that could change their worlds forever.
The Girl Beneath The Sea
By Andrew Mayne
Thomas & Mercer; paperback, $15.95; available Friday, May 1
In addition to being an Edgar-nominated author, Andrew Mayne is a wildly innovative illusionist, and he turns to his roots growing up in the waters of South Florida, his love of scuba diving and the ocean, and his family backgroun in law enforcement for his new Underwater Investigative Unit thriller series, launching with The Girl Beneath The Sea.
Sloan McPherson is tough, resilient, and resourceful. Growing up with a faimly who dedicated their lives to the sea, she knows the ins and outs of every South Florida body of water more than most people do. She has even made a career out of her passion for all things underwater, working as the go-to diver for evidence recovery for Lauderdale Shores Police Department.
Dedicating herself to fighting crime is Sloan's way of distancing herself and her young daughter from some of her scandalous relatives, who made their living as treasure hunters and drug smugglers.
When Sloan encounters a woman's body floating in a canal, and her untimely death seems connected to her own past, she finds herself in her own department's crosshairs as a possible suspect. As she seeks the truth, she must stay one step ahead of the real killer, who is backed by a ruthless cartel searching for a lost fortune.
Sloan's sole ally is George Solar, the legendary DEA agent who put her uncle behind bars. He has first-hand intelligence on just how deep the corruption runs, and the kind of danger Sloan is in. Sloan forms a reluctant partnership with Solar as they race to stay a step ahead of their murderous foes.
With underwater descriptions so vivid, readers will feel like they're on the beaches in South Florida, giving this book a fresh milieu and engaging heroine.
About the Author: Andrew Mayne
Andrew Mayne is an Edgar-nominated author, Thriller award finalist, star of Shark Week and A&E television's Don't Trust Andrew Mayne. He's the author of more than a dozen thrillers, works of science fiction, and books on writing. His recent novel, The Naturalist, was an Amazon Charts bestseller and spent six weeks as the #1 book on Amazon.
A wildly innovative illusionist, as the star of Don't Trust Andrew Mayne he's performed his unique brand of magic on five continents, his YouTube videos have millions of views, and he's cultivated thousands of fans who call themselves "Mayniacs." He created his own stule of magic called "Shock Magic," combining the impact of large-scale illusion with the in-your-face approach of street magic. It's fun, it's irreverent, it's the next evolution in magic. Andrew's effects range fro making ghosts appear on cell phones, shrinking himself to one foot tall and making a town think they were besieged by UFOs. His magic has even been performed for astronauts on the Internaitonal Space Station. Andrew has invented over 400 magic effects and published 45 books and videos on the art of illusion. On the leading edge of magic and pop culture, he was among the first to invent magic for the iPhone (even before there were apps) via his website iPhoneTrick.com - that's since been performed on millions of people.
Andrew started his first world illusion tour while he was a teenager and was soon headlining in resorts and casinos around the world. With the support of talk show host and amateur magician Johnny Carson, Andrew Mayne started a program to use magic to teach critical thinking skills in public schools for the James Randi Educational Foundation. Andrew's Wizard School segments, teaching magic and science to children, aired nationwide on Public Television. He's worked behind the scenes creatively for David Copperfield, Penn & Teller and David Blaine.
Andrew Mayne grew up in South Florida and was always in and out of the water - swimming, diving and exploring. He now lives in Los Angeles, California.
|Andrew Mayne in his scuba gear. Courtesy of Discovery.|