The Books of Winter

Today’s post by yours truly | @ArielLawhon

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January came quickly. And it isn’t always easy to get back in the groove after a long break. Especially when the new year brings a flurry of new activity. But there is one thing that we can’t wait to do: announce the four novels we’ve selected as our Books of Winter. These novels that include historical (THE MAGICIAN’S LIE by Greer MacAllister), literary, (MERCY SNOW by Tiffany Baker), magical realism (THE DRESS SHOP OF DREAMS by Menna Van Praag), and suspense (THE GOOD GIRL by Mary Kubica). While we’ve curated a wide range of novels, they all have one thing in common: great storytelling. And we feel certain that these novels will help you get your reading resolutions off to a great start.

Five lucky readers have the chance to win all four novels in our Books of Winter series. See the entry form below.

As always we’ll be hearing from these authors over the next three months in a variety of ways: guest posts, interviews, and glimpses into their offices. We’ll hear about their writing processes and how they juggle their careers and families. This is a series we are very much looking forward to and we hope you’ll visit back frequently and join in the discussion.

But for now, a bit more about our winter book club selections:

The Magician's LieThe Magician’s Lie by Greer MacAllister

Water for Elephants meets The Night Circus in The Magician’s Lie, a debut novel in which the country’s most notorious female illusionist stands accused of her husband’s murder —and she has only one night to convince a small-town policeman of her innocence.

The Amazing Arden is the most famous female illusionist of her day, renowned for her notorious trick of sawing a man in half on stage. One night in Waterloo, Iowa, with young policeman Virgil Holt watching from the audience, she swaps her trademark saw for a fire ax. Is it a new version of the illusion, or an all-too-real murder? When Arden’s husband is found lifeless beneath the stage later that night, the answer seems clear.

But when Virgil happens upon the fleeing magician and takes her into custody, she has a very different story to tell. Even handcuffed and alone, Arden is far from powerless-and what she reveals is as unbelievable as it is spellbinding. Over the course of one eerie night, Virgil must decide whether to turn Arden in or set her free… and it will take all he has to see through the smoke and mirrors.

Read an excerpt from THE MAGICIAN’S LIE.

Add this book to your Goodreads list.

Mercy SnowMercy Snow by Tiffany Baker

“Strength and quiet beauty mark Baker’s writing . . . Mercy Snow provides an authentic universe of damaged souls and a fantastical heroine.” — Anita Shreve, Washington Post

In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake.

June McAllister is the wife of the local mill owner and undisputed first lady in town. But the Snow family, a group of itinerant ne’er-do-wells who live on a decrepit and cursed property, have brought her–and the town–nothing but grief.

June will do anything to cover up a dark secret she discovers after the crash, one that threatens to upend her picture-perfect life, even if it means driving the Snow family out of town. But she has never gone up against a force as fierce as the young Mercy Snow. Mercy is determined to protect her rebellious brother, whom the town blames for the accident, despite his innocence. And she has a secret of her own. When an old skeleton is discovered not far from the crash, it beckons Mercy to solve a mystery buried deep within the town’s past.

Read an excerpt from MERCY SNOW.

Add this book to your Goodreads list.

the dress shop of dreamsThe Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna Van Praag

For fans of Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen, and Adriana Trigiani, The Dress Shop of Dreams is a captivating novel of enduring hopes, second chances, and the life-changing magic of true love.

Since her parents’ mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta’s dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta’s charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta’s needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires.

Etta’s dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter. Cora’s studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever. Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt’s collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora. But magic spells—like true love—can go awry. After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she’s set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora’s life in extraordinary and unexpected ways.

Read an excerpt from THE DRESS SHOP OF DREAMS.

Add this book to your Goodreads list.

9780778316558_RHC_SMP.inddThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica

“I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.” 

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.

Colin’s job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems….

Read an excerpt from THE GOOD GIRL.

Add this book to your Goodreads list.

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About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of She Reads, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). She is the author of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS and the forthcoming HINDENBURG (both published by Doubleday).

89 Responses to The Books of Winter

  1. Gwyn January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Wow!! All of these books sound really good! I can’t wait to read them.

  2. Ann Bresnan January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    These all sound great!

  3. Vicki January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I’m most looking forward to The Magician’s Lie since it’s already on my TBR list.
    The other three sound really good too!

  4. Whitney W January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Looking forward to reading Jane Austin finally!

  5. Paula January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    These all sound great! Would love to win them.

  6. Donna @ OnDBookshelf January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    These all look like great reads. There are so many books I am looking forward to in 2015, it’s hard to come up with just one! I’m going to go with the new Gayle Forman book I Was Here.

  7. Katie @ Doing Dewey January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I’m particularly looking forward to First Frost by SAA and Dead Wake by Erik Larson 🙂

  8. Kathy January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I always enjoy reading the reviews of the books recommended on your site. Seems there are a couple of them that pique my interest. Great selections that I know will be super for a winter’s night read.

  9. Gina January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    What a great start to this year’s reading list!

  10. Joyce January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I am really looking forward to reading these books! What great selections!

  11. Melissa Crytzer Fry January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Do I have to pick just one book I’m looking forward to reading this winter? 🙂 Santa brought me some books that are teetering on my ginormous stack of TBRs (and that doesn’t include all that I want to read, listed on my Goodreads shelves): Fourth of July Creek; All the Birds, Singing; Wake … And I can’t wait to read 2015 release of Sarah McCoy’s The Mapmaker’s Children!

  12. Carl January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    One book that I haven’t read yet and I’m looking forward to is All the Light We Cannot See. Thanks for the chance to win this excellent set. HNY!

  13. Sharon Chance January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I am so looking forward to reading The Dress Shop of Dreams. I loved Meena Van Praag’s previous book, The House At The End of Hope Street and can’t wait to read her new work!

  14. Susan G. January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Yes! Four more terrific books to add to my ever-growing ‘books to read’ list!
    Missed you over the holidays She Reads!
    But I was reading…

  15. Laurie January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Looking forward to reading these titles! Also looking forward to the upcoming discussions here. Thank you!

  16. Barb from CNY January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    These sound SO good! Mercy Snow and the Good Girl are being added to my what to read next list! Thanks for highlighting these, and for the chance to win them!

  17. Bonnie K. January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I’ve heard a lot about The Good Girl and hope to read it this year. All of your books listed above look good. I’ve added all of them to my goodreads list.

  18. Kathy Mathews January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I cannot wait to read the Dress Shop, right up my alley!

  19. Sandra January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    They all look interesting, but the Dress Shop of Dreams would be my first choice!

  20. Kathryn@Book Date January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    The Dress Shop of Dreams really appeals.

  21. Emily Biegel January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    These look great. I can’t wait to share with my book club!

  22. Michelle January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Another fantastic group of selections. All have been added to my Goodreads to-read list. Thanks for another great giveaway!

  23. B J Apsley January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I’m adding the Dress Shop of Dreams to my TBR list for sure! Thanks./bj

  24. B J Apsley January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I commented and visited She Reads facebook page. I just finished reading today, The Silent Sister from the Fall reading selections. Wow, what a great read! Also read Ariel’s book. Enjoyed that one very much also. I’ve been through this site and made a very long list to add to my TBR pile. Also recently read The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane and loved it! Got that recommendation from this site also. Keep them coming.

  25. Jen January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    The Magician’s Lie is on my TBR list.

  26. Melinda January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    The Dress Shop of Dreams looks intriguing!

  27. Leslie January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Great winter book choices!

  28. Nise' January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I am looking forward to The Good Girl! I loved Mercy Snow.

  29. pat @ Posting For Now January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I’ve been looking forward to this list and look forward to reading some of these!

  30. Carmen January 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Both THE MAGICIAN’S LIE and THE DRESS SHOP OF DREAMS were already on my list!

  31. Kimberly V January 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I’m really looking forward to reading The Magician’s Lie.

  32. Patricia Miller January 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I heard good things about The Good Girl. I’m excited to read it!

  33. Tracy D. January 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Can’t wait for Sarah Addison Allen’s book First Frost!

  34. Katie Hicks January 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    These all look great, but I’m a fan of The Night Circus, so I”m intrigued by The Magician’s Lie.

  35. Ellen S. January 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    The big question is: Which one to read first?

  36. Glynis January 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    The Dress Shop has me completely intrigued. These books all look great!

  37. Lana January 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Time for some great winter reading!

  38. Becky January 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    More great books to add to my list!! I am reading Butternut Summer by Mary McNear right now & looking forward to the Christmas novella she wrote as well (even if it is after Christmas). Also looking forward to Unwritten & Life Intercepted by Charles Martin, First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen, and After the War is Over by Jennifer Robson…and the list goes on!

  39. Letty Blanchard January 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    All these sound great! The book I’m looking forward to reading is At the Water’s Edge: A Novel by Sara Gruen

  40. Mel chitwood January 7, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Ready to read

  41. Skavka January 7, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    These books sound like perfect winter reading material!

  42. Christi Craig January 7, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    These all sound wonderful, but Mercy Snow caught my eye today. Thanks for offering the giveaway!

  43. Nicole January 7, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    The good books just keep a-comin! Looking forward to some Winter reads!

  44. LuAnn Braley January 7, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Of the four listed, I think I’d probably pick up Dress Shop of Dreams first.

    I also tried to follow you on Twitter, but I’m at my limit until I get more followers or pay them some money or something like that. :/

  45. Kathy January 7, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Mercy Snow sounds like a book that is worth a read. I am finding that many stories based on history can be inspirational and full of wisdom.

  46. Shannon J January 7, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Of these four, I’m most looking forward to The magician’s lie, as I am from and currently reside in Waterloo, Iowa. I’m so curious to see why the author chose that as the locale, and of course, as a local, to see if the author got it “right,” as it’s the first fiction book I’ve read set in my hometown. 🙂

  47. Margie January 7, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Looking forward to reading Orphan Train.
    Thanks for this great giveaway.

  48. Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories January 7, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I’m looking forward to finishing The Poisonwood Bible, The Last Breath and after this last SheReads chat, The Dress Shop of Dreams!

  49. Gina January 8, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Mercy Snow looks amazing! I’d love to add them all to my bookshelf!!

  50. Kristie January 8, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I’ve been anxiously awaiting this list. Always love your recommendations and my TBR list always grows, but that’s a good thing!

  51. BermudaOnion(Kathy) January 9, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I can’t wait to read The Secret Wisdom of the Earth!

  52. Joye January 9, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I am looking forward to reading the new books by Sandra Brown this year.

  53. Anita Yancey January 9, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I am looking forward to reading Down Under by James Patterson.

  54. Suzy January 9, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Awesome books! I’m really looking forward to The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

  55. Deanna S January 9, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    The Magician’s Lie by Greer MacAllister would be on my list. The one I’m reading now is The Heretic.

  56. Davida Chazan January 10, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    NetGalley approved me to get The Magician’s Lie, so I’m looking forward to reading that soon. However, I have a few other books to read first!

  57. Dorothy Newmark January 10, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I can’t wait to read The Magician’s Lie!!

  58. Raelynn January 10, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    these all look amazing!

  59. Melanie Backus January 10, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Great books! Keeping my fingers crossed!!!!!

  60. Debbie D January 12, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Mercy Snow and The Good Girl both look interesting. Well, they all do actually! Would love to read all of them! On my short list for this winter are also: The Rosie Project and Wild (I know I am probably the only person who hasn’t read it yet – and I want to read it before seeing the movie!) and a few others!

  61. Deby January 12, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I hope you all pick me for these books!
    Happy Reading!
    Deby

  62. Janet Senk January 13, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I am waiting to read The Three Sisters.

  63. Deanna S January 13, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Mercy Snow sound like one I’d want on my TBR list. I’m excited about reading The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron this Winter..

  64. Diana Silva January 13, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    amazing collection

  65. Reeca elliott January 15, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I want to read them all!!!!

  66. Rhonda January 20, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Lovely way to start the book new year.

  67. Birgitta January 20, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I’m very curious about the Magician’s lie but want to read them all!

  68. Aimee January 21, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    The Magician’s Lie looks very interesting…but looking forward to enjoying them all.

  69. Melanie2006 January 22, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    All of these are now on my wishlist – especially The Magician’s Lie and Mercy Snow. As for books not included in this list, I have been looking forward to reading The Girl on the Train.

  70. stacybuckeye January 23, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Just finished The Dress Shop of Dreams! So charming.

  71. Katherine Jones January 27, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    As always, much to look forward to here.

  72. Rita @ View From My Home January 28, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks for sharing these and congrats to whoever wins these great books. I have all of them on my wishlist, but haven’t read any of them yet. 🙂

  73. Melanie2006 February 18, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I just found out I won! Thank you. I can’t wait to read them all.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. SheReads: Books of Winter Selections: 2015! - January 5, 2015

    […] SheReads has posted their list of Books of Winter.  Visit their page to read more about their selections and enter their giveaway contest to win all four books @ 2015 She Reads’ Books of Winter. […]

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  3. Be Our Guest Fridays {14}: New Year's Resolutions by Mary Kubica - Mom's Small VictoriesMom's Small Victories - January 8, 2015

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  4. Be Our Guest Fridays [14]: Mary Kubica talks New Year's Resolutions - My Novel OpinionMy Novel Opinion - January 8, 2015

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  7. Book Review: The Dress Shop of Dreams - - January 13, 2015

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  8. Mercy Snow, book review - January 28, 2015

    […] I read this book: As a She Reads reviewer, I chose it (one of their four Books of Winter selections) because I was intrigued by the setup, the mystery, and the promise of conflict between […]

  9. Book Review: Mercy Snow - - January 29, 2015

    […] Five lucky winners will receive the set of She Reads Books of Winter of which includes Mercy Snow. ENTER HERE by January 30th, 2015 {that’s tomorrow folks!}  The complete set includes The Dress Shop of […]

  10. Review: Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker - January 30, 2015

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