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Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: 2023 Debuts in the Queue

I love the buzzy beginnings of a new reading year when we're all atwitter with excitement and anticipation about the books we're planning to read over the next 365 days. So far this year, I've made two (Part One, Part Two) Top Ten Tuesday lists of Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2023 and one about New-to-Me Authors I Want to Try in 2023. This week's prompt goes right along with its predecessors: 2023 Debut Books I'm Excited About. After digging into my TBR list and doing some Googling, I've found ten I'm looking forward to reading.

As always, this fun weekly meme is hosted by the lovely Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Give her some love, won't you? While you're there, you can get all the deets about TTT so you're ready to hop on board the TTT party bus!

Top Ten 2023 Debut Books I'm Excited About
- in order of publication - 

The Sisters We Were by Wendy Willis Baldwin (available now)—Stories about sisters always appeal to me (having three of my own) and I've heard good things about this one. It's about Ruby and Pearl Crenshaw, very different sisters who have long been estranged. Hundreds of pounds overweight, Pearl is in desperate need of some life-saving weight loss. After a devastating mistake, Ruby reluctantly reunites with her sister, forcing a reconciliation that will either bring them together or tear them apart for good.

2. The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz (available February 21)—This locked-room mystery/thriller has been getting tons of buzz. It does sound good! It's about a group of writers attending a month-long retreat in an isolated locale who receive the surprise news that they must pen an entire novel in the next 30 days. The best one will receive a lucrative publishing deal. The competition gets tense, then deadly when one of the writers mysteriously disappears in the middle of a violent snowstorm. 

3. The Last Carolina Girl by Meagan Church (available February 28)—I've read several books about eugenics in the U.S. over the last few years. It's a disturbing, but fascinating subject. This debut novel examines the topic through a 14-year-old girl on the Caroina coast whose life takes a troubling turn after her father dies. She's taken in by a wealthy family who treats her as a maid. It soon becomes apparent that the family is hiding a terrible, dangerous secret that could threaten her future and her life.

4. The Secrets of Hartwood Hall by Katie Lumsden (available February 28)—I love me a Gothic family secrets novel, so this one is right up my alley. It's about a young widow who takes a position as a governess at a remote English country house. It doesn't take long for her to notice strange things happening at the home. Hartwood Hall is full of secrets and the governess is determined to discover them all.

Ascension by Nicholas Binge (available April 25)—I'm not much for sci-fi, but this debut sounds super intriguing to me. When a giant, snowy mountain appears suddenly in the Pacific Ocean, a group of scientists is hired to investigate. As they climb the mountain, strange things start to occur. They experience odd time distortions, limbs going numb, and memories slipping away, all of which cause paranoia to set in, causing even more danger. Just what, exactly, is this mountain? A miraculous discovery that will turn them all into legends or a deadly weapon that will kill every last one of them? The premise of Ascension reminds me of Sphere by Michael Crichton. I'm down!

6. The Perfect Ones by Nicole Hackett (available May 2)—A group of popular influencers travel to Iceland for a fabulous promotional trip. One of them ends up dead. Who killed her and why? The Icelandic police are on the case. 

7. The Housekeepers by Alex Hay (available July 4)—This novel sounds clever and fun. It stars Mrs. King, the offspring of tricksters and con artists, who has escaped her checkered past to become a respected housekeeper in a posh Mayfair home. When she is unceremoniously dismissed, she vows to get revenge by robbing her former employees of all their possessions on the night of their much-anticipated costume ball. Mrs. King hires an eclectic group of women to help steal all the family's treasures—and their secrets. 

8. Her Little Flowers by Shannon Morgan (available July 25)—Billed as an "irresistible" read for fans of Kate Morton and Eve Chase (both of whom I adore), this Gothic ghost story sounds like a perfect match for me. It revolves around a 55-year-old woman who has lived in the same haunted manor house for her whole life. When her estranged sister returns home bearing unbelievable tales about their family's troubling past, everything she thought she knew is shaken to bits. Rattled to her core, she must find out the truth for herself.

9. Into the Sunken City by Dinesh Thiru (available Fall 2023)—This YA dystopian adventure is a retelling of Treasure Island "with an Ocean's 11 twist." Count me in! It's about two sisters who are just trying to survive in their harsh world. When a mysterious stranger clues them in to a massive treasure to be found under the sunken ruins of a Las Vegas casino, they vow to make it theirs.

10. Up in Flames by Hailey Alcaraz (available October 3)—When a California wildfire destroys everything wealthy, entitled Ruby Ortega has, she is forced to confront a much different reality than anything she's previously known. Her family and her hometown are in desperate need of help. Can self-centered Ruby step outside herself long enough to help rebuild their ravaged world? This timely YA novel riffs on themes of resilience, change, and compassion.

There you are, ten 2023 debuts I'm excited to read. Have you read any of them? What did you think? Which debuts are you looking forward to? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog. 

Happy TTT!


  1. Oooo The Secrets of Hartwood Hall sounds intriguing! I love a good family/house mystery. Oh and The Perfect Ones reminds me of The Writer's Retreat but for influencers! Adding that. Happy reading!

    1. Same. Give me all the creepy old house books! I'm excited for all of these, so hopefully they're all as good as they sound.

      Thanks for popping in, Molly!

  2. I’m curious about The Writing Retreat, too. Hope you like all of these!

    My post:

    1. A lot of these type of closed-room mysteries are being published lately. I love them, but they're starting to all feel the same. Hopefully, THE WRITING RETREAT brings something new to the table!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

  3. I hadn't come across any of these before! Love some of the covers and descriptions -- looking forward to hearing how they turn out!

    1. I'm hoping I'll enjoy them all. I started HER LITTLE FLOWERS yesterday and I'm liking it so far, so that bodes well.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lisa!

  4. UM...That blurb for #5 creeps me out big time! I hope it (an the rest of these) are good reads for you!

    1. Ha ha. Right? It's so deliciously creepy!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

  5. I have Ascension on my list too! I added 2 of yours to my TBR: Her Little Flowers and Last Carolina Girl - both look really good. Have a terrific week.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

    1. I just started HER LITTLE FLOWERS and it's intriguing so far. It's definitely keeping my attention!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Terrie!

  6. I keep wanting to try Gothic stories and just never get around to it, so I might look more into The Secrets of Hartwood Hall. I haven't really heard of any of these, but several of them actually sound intriguing. I hope you're able to read and enjoy all of them!

    1. I love a good Gothic novel! I enjoy books with a creepy, atmospheric setting that aren't TOO scary so they generally work really well for me.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Holliehocks!

  7. The Writing Retreat sounds like a book I'd love...if I wasn't such a scaredy-cat! Still, maybe I'll give it a try.

    1. Ha ha. It definitely sounds intense! I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a go.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deb!

  8. Three of your books have gone onto my 'want to read' list, The Writing Retreat, Ascension and Into the Sunken City. The author of Secrets of Hartwood Hall, Katie Lumsden, has a bookish Youtube channel that I've been following for about a year now. She's such an expert on Victorian lit and I love her enthusiasm for all books.

    1. Oh, really? I hadn't heard of her before I learned about her novel. I've never really explored to the world of BookTube. Maybe I've been missing out??

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cath!

  9. I've seen The Writing Retreat on several lists, and The Secrets of Hartwood Hall sounds like a good one, too. On my list they go! I hope you love all of these, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

    1. I'm glad you found some titles to pique your interest! I hope we both enjoy THE WRITING RETREAT and THE SECRETS OF HARTWOOD HALL.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!

  10. I only ever know a few books that are going to come out soon, just from some of those authors who haven't written much and where I desperately wait for the next one. LOL

    1. I don't really go actively looking for new releases that sound good, but I still seem to find them via other blogs, bookish magazines, publicist emails, etc. I really should ignore all the new books and just tackle the hundreds (maybe thousands) that are already on my TBR list, but you know how that goes...LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marianne!

    2. Same here, Susan, we don't have to go exploring, those books just come to us, right?

  11. Her Little Flowers sounds SO GOOD! This is a great list, and I've added a few to my TBR.

    1. I'm enjoying it so far. It's not exactly what I expected, but it's defintiely got me intrigued!

      Thanks for popping by, Kaitlin!

  12. The Writing Retreat is one I have seen everywhere on TTT this week. I totally had to add it to my TBR!

    1. Right? It has been very popular this week. I hope it lives up to all the hype it's been getting!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leslie!

  13. The Writing Retreat looks cool! It's not on my TBR but I might be reading it for a book club!

    1. Nice! I need to get my book club to read more mysteries and thrillers. I hope you enjoy it if you read it.

      Thanks for stopping in, Kappa!

  14. These all sound really good! I had to add The Perfect Ones and The Last Carolina Girl to my TBR!

    1. I'm glad you found some titles to pique your interest! I hope we both enjoy these.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leah!

  15. I'm really looking forward to The Secrets of Hartwood Hall too!

    1. It sounds so good, doesn't it? I hope we both love it!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Louise!

  16. Added a couple of these to my wish list this morning, a few people have mentioned Her Little Flowers and The Writing Retreat.

    1. THE WRITING RETREAT has been getting lots of buzz. I hope it lives up to the hype. I haven't seen as much about HER LITTLE FLOWERS. I'm enjoying it so far.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Alex!

  17. Ascension sounds so good. I’m adding it to my TBR.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you for stopping by earlier.

    1. Right? I'm SOOO intrigued by that premise! I hope we both love it.

      Thanks for popping by, Astilbe!

  18. Excellent choices! Several are going on the TBR ASAP! Thanks!

    1. Oh, good! I'm glad you found some titles ot pique your interest. I hope you enjoy them when you read them.

      Thanks for stopping in, Holley!

  19. The Writing Retreat seems to have been absolutely everywhere this week!

    1. I know! I hope it's as good as it sounds and that we all love it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting!

  20. The Writing Retreat made my list this week too and I have a feeling I'm going to be adding a bunch from your list to my TBR. I hope they're all great reads for you. :)

    1. These kinds of TTT lists are brutal on my already overwhelming TBR list, but I don't mind! It's always fun to know what's up-and-coming :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suzanne!

  21. I didn't realize Wendy Willis Baldwin is a debut author! I just added Up in Flames by Hailey Alcaraz to my tbr

    1. As far as I can tell, she is. It's hard to know sometimes, isn't it? UP IN FLAMES sounds like a good life lesson kind of novel. I hope we both enjoy it!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Wendy!

  22. Oh, thanks for this! I already have a copy of The Writing Retreat, but I've made note of two or three others. Yay!

    1. I'll be interested to see what we all think of THE WRITING RETREAT. You never know with buzzy books! I usually tend to avoid them, but I can't help but get caught up in the excitement over this one :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kay!

  23. Adding Up in Flames by Hailey Alcaraz to my tbr. Great list, I didn't know most of those titles

    1. It sounds good, doesn't it? I hope we both enjoy it!

      Thanks for popping by, Vero!

  24. The Writing Retreat has been on my TBR too. I just can't pass up a good thriller!

    1. Me neither and I always love a locked-room mystery set during a storm. All that tension just makes for a thrilling read! I hope we both enjoy THE WRITING RETREAT.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Ethan!

  25. The Writing Retreat sounds a bit like NaNoWriMo gone wrong!

    1. Oh my goodness, it does, doesn't it? LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

  26. Oooh, I'm intrigued by The Perfect Ones! Happy reading!

    1. It does sound intriguing, doesn't it? I got an e-ARC of it from NetGalley, so hopefully I'll be able to read it soon.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by andc ommenting, Dedra!

  27. I love your list! I have The Writing Retreat on my TBR as well.

  28. Wel this is the third time I see The Writing Retreat so clearly I must look into it now.

  29. There's something to enjoy in each of your choices for me, so I was really excited reading through it and then I hit The Housekeepers and I might have gone 'ohhhhh' out loud, its so good!

  30. Hope you enjoy all of these. I don't think I recognize any, but love discovering some possible new books to read up on. :) Thanks so much for visiting my website last week.

  31. I'm curious about The Writing Retreat too. Hope you'll enjoy all of these!


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