Books

5 new, upcoming book releases from Lexington, KY authors

Lexington author Shawn Pryor's latest book, The Gamer: Bandit Battle, will hit shelves next month.  Here's what other authors with ties to Lexington are publishing.

Lexington author Shawn Pryor’s latest book, The Gamer: Bandit Battle, will hit shelves next month. Here’s what other authors with ties to Lexington are publishing.

In this unbearable heat, being outside isn’t ideal. We suggest you stay in the air condition, pour a glass of lemonade and cozy up to a book to make the most of your day.

What type of book is best, you ask? Look no further than this list to find out.

A number of Lexington authors have recent or upcoming releases, and it’s worth taking a look at this guide of authors in the city and their latest work.

Horror, fantasy and superhero fiction take on new lives in these young adult, graphic novel and parody books.

You’re sure to find everything you need to update your book reading bucket list.

The Date from Hell, Gwenda Bond

Gwenda Bond is no stranger to the world of fiction. Her latest novel, “The Date from Hell,” debuted April 5.

The book is a part of her fantasy romance comedy series that began with “Not Your Average Hot Guy.”

The series follows protagonist Callie, who, along with her best friend, summons a handsome demon dressed in a leather jacket named Luke. Callie and Luke proceed on a journey to stop a satanic cult from destroying the world…and maybe fall in love along the way.

Plot twist? Luke happens to be the devil’s son and the prince of Hell.

In The Date From Hell, readers revisit the world of Callie and Luke as Bond, a New York Times-bestselling author, brings their journey to a close.

From the book’s description: “After saving the world and stopping the apocalypse, Callie and Luke are looking forward to a quiet, romantic weekend together. When you’re human and dating the Prince of Hell, quiet moments are hard to come by. But their romantic weekend in Hell takes a turn when Lucifer tasks Callie and Luke with chasing a wayward soul around the world. If they can prove it’s possible to redeem a soul, Lucifer will allow the two of them to make some changes in Hell.”

Readers may purchase the book in a paperback, e-book and audio format on Bond’s website.

Bond lives in a 100-year-old house in Lexington. Her books include Suspicious Minds, the first official Stranger Things novel, which tells the story of Eleven’s mother, and the Lois Lane series, among other titles.

Wake the Bones, Elizabeth Kilcoyne

Next on the list is “Wake the Bones” by Elizabeth Kilcoyne.

Arriving on bookshelves July 12, Wake the Bones follows protagonist Laurel Early as she navigated life in her sleepy town after leaving college in this dark novel.

From the book’s description on Macmillan Publishers: “The sleepy little farm that Laurel early grew up on has awakened. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile just stood up and walked away. After dropping out of college, all she wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can’t help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to her court, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed.”

Kilcoyne is an author, playwright and poet born and raised in Kentucky. She lives in Lexington and enjoys gardening, serves on the organizational team for a local community vegetable market and teaches writing at The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, according to her website.

Feel the Bern: A Bernie Sanders Mystery, Andrew Shaffer

Feel the Bern by Andrew Shaffer may be the most eccentric title you find on this list.

A combination of mystery, thriller and humor, readers can lose themselves in this adventurous tale re-imagining the life of American politician Bernie Sanders as an amateur investigator starting Nov. 22.

A local farmer’s body washes on shore at the Summer Jazz Festival, according to the book’s description. When the sheriff declares the death an accident, Bernie isn’t surprised because corruption is everywhere, even in rural Vermont. He’s not about to let it slide, though.

More from the book’s description: “Bernie has been fighting for justice for over half a century. There’s only so much that one can do via legislation, however. It’s time for the mittens to come off…not only because it’s summer, but because it’s time for evil-doers to FEEL THE BERN.”

An Iowa native, Shaffer is a New York Times-bestselling author who teaches and mentors writers in person and online at Lexington’s Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning and at Louisville Literary Arts, according to his website.

Shaffer’s other books include “Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery‘the parody’Fifty Shames of Earl Gray” and ”How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters.”

Feel the Bern: A Bernie Sanders Mystery is available for pre-order on Shaffer’s website.

I Loved You in Another Life, David Arnold

Next on the list is “I Loved You in Another Life” by Lexington-based author David Arnold.

Told in an alternating point-of-view, the coming-of-age young adult love story is planned to be released in fall 2023.

According to a description Arnold posted on his Instagram: “The story follows Shosh and Evan, the only two people who hear the voice of a mysterious singer, whose lyrics bring their souls together time and again, through the ages.”

Arnold lives here in the city with his wife and son. Per his Penguin Random House biography, his previous jobs include freelance musician and producer, a stay-at-home dad and a preschool teacher.

You can find his other books like “Mosquitoland,” “Kids of Appetite,” “The Electric Kingdom” and more on his website.

Fast Break, Shawn Pryor

Although he has a day job, Shawn Pryor is a comic book and graphic novelist by night. His next book, “Fast Break,” will come to a bookstore near you in fall 2023.

According to the book’s description on Twitter: “Seventh grade basketball prodigy Mikayla Thomas is denied a spot on her new school’s team and ends up joining the motley co-ed Firebirds–not exactly the team she was looking for, but maybe exactly where she belongs.”

Pryor’s latest project, “The Gamer: Bandit Battle,” will hit shelves in late July.

According to the book’s description on Goodreads: “Criminal mastermind Cynthia Cyber ​​recruits a video game super-villain named Bandora Bandit to battle The Gamer. When the Bandit tracks down The Gamer, she transports him to her own video game world for a Wild West showdown! Will The Gamer defeat the super-powered villain and find his way back home?”

Pryor’s other titles include the middle-grade graphic novel series “Cash and Carrie,” the 2019 Glyph-nominated sports graphic novel “Force,” “Nat Turner’s Rebellion” and more.

Pryor enjoys reading, cooking, listening to streaming music playlists and talking about why Zack from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is the greatest Black superhero of all-time, according to his website.

You can find more of his books and content at is site.

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