Top Ten Tuesday: 2023 Debut Books I’m Excited About

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Check out upcoming Top Ten themes on Jana’s blog and go here to see what others have on their Top Ten Tuesday lists!

A couple of weeks ago, the Top Ten was about authors new to me in 2022. This week, we’re talking about 2023 debuts I’m looking forward to! These may be authors writing their first book, authors moving into a new genre (like mystery to romance), or authors changing the age group of their work (like middle grade to YA). I didn’t quite make ten on the list, but these are books I’m very excited about.

Drinks and Sinkholes by S. Usher Evans

This is number one on my “most anticipated debut” list by a large margin! I have a whole shelf dedicated to the works of S. Usher Evans. Her Razia series (a space opera with my favorite bitchy pirate) is what kicked off my love for her books. And now she’s moving into a new genre: cozy fantasy! The first in her Weary Dragon Inn series is slated to release September 5, 2023, and I CANNOT WAIT. Now go pre-order it, okay?

Bev may not know who she was before she showed up in the quaint village of Pigsend five years ago, but that doesn’t bother her much. She’s made a tidy little life for herself as the proprietor of the Weary Dragon Inn, where the most notable event is when she makes her famous rosemary bread. 

But when earthquakes and sinkholes start appearing all over town, including near Bev’s front door, she’s got to put on her sleuthing hat to figure out what—or who—might be causing them before the entire town disappears. 

Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati

Release date: March 2, 2023

Genre: Historical Fiction, Greek Mythology

As for queens, they are either hated or forgotten. She already knows which option suits her best…

You were born to a king, but you marry a tyrant. You stand by helplessly as he sacrifices your child to placate the gods. You watch him wage war on a foreign shore, and you comfort yourself with violent thoughts of your own. Because this was not the first offence against you. This was not the life you ever deserved. And this will not be your undoing. Slowly, you plot.

But when your husband returns in triumph, you become a woman with a choice.

Acceptance or vengeance, infamy follows both. So, you bide your time and force the gods’ hands in the game of retribution. For you understood something long ago that the others never did.

If power isn’t given to you, you have to take it for yourself.

The Deep Sky by Yume Kitasei

Release Date: July 18, 2023

Genre: Science Fiction

They left Earth to save humanity. They’ll have to save themselves first.

It is the eve of Earth’s environmental collapse. A single ship carries humanity’s last hope: eighty elite graduates of a competitive program, who will give birth to a generation of children in deep space. But halfway to a distant but livable planet, a lethal bomb kills three of the crew and knocks The Phoenix off course. Asuka, the only surviving witness, is an immediate suspect.

Asuka already felt like an impostor before the explosion. She was the last picked for the mission, she struggled during training back on Earth, and she was chosen to represent Japan, a country she only partly knows as a half-Japanese girl raised in America. But estranged from her mother back home, The Phoenix is all she has left.

With the crew turning on each other, Asuka is determined to find the culprit before they all lose faith in the mission—or worse, the bomber strikes again.

House of Cotton by Monica Brashears

Release Date: April 4, 2023

Genre: Mystery, Horror

Nineteen years old, broke, and effectively an orphan, Magnolia doesn’t have much to look forward to. She feels stuck and haunted: by her overdrawn bank account, by her predatory landlord, by the ghost of her late grandmother Mama Brown.

One night while working at her dead-end gas station job, a mysterious, slick stranger named Cotton walks in and offers to turn Magnolia’s luck around. He offers her a lucrative “modeling” job at his family’s funeral home. Magnolia accepts. But despite things looking up, Magnolia’s problems fatten along with her wallet. When Cotton’s requests become increasingly weird, Magnolia discovers there’s a lot more at stake than just her rent.

Sharp as a belted knife, this sly social commentary cuts straight to the bone, revealing the aftermath of the American plantation and what it means to be poor, Black, and a woman in the God fearing south.

Nightbirds by Kate J. Armstrong

Release Date: February 28, 2023

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

The Nightbirds are Simta’s best kept secret. Teenage girls from the Great Houses with magic coursing through their veins, the Nightbirds have the unique ability to gift their magic to others with a kiss. Magic—especially the magic of women—is outlawed and the city’s religious sects would see them burned if discovered. But protected by the Great Houses, the Nightbirds are safe well-guarded treasures.

As this Season’s Nightbirds, Matilde, Aesa, and Sayer spend their nights bestowing their unique brands of magic to well-paying clients. Once their Season is through, they’re each meant to marry a Great House lord and become mothers to the next generation of Nightbirds before their powers fade away. But Matilde, Aesa, and Sayer have other plans. They know their lives as Nightbirds aren’t just temporary, but a complete lie and yearn for something more.

When they discover that there are other girls like them and that their magic is more than they were ever told, they see the carefully crafted Nightbird system for what it is: a way to keep them in their place, first as daughters and then as wives. Now they must make a choice—to stay in their gilded cage or to remake the city that put them there in the first place.

The Remarkable Retirement of Edna Fisher by E. M. Anderson

Release Date: April 1, 2023

Genre: Fantasy, Cozy Mystery

When you’re a geriatric armed with nothing but gumption and knitting needles, stopping a sorcerer from wiping out an entire dragon-fighting organization is a tall order. No one understands why 83-year-old Edna Fisher is the Chosen One, destined to save the Knights from a dragon-riding sorcerer bent on their destruction. After all, Edna has never handled a magical weapon, faced down a dragon, or cast a spell. And everyone knows the Council of Wizards always chooses a teenager—like the vengeful girl ready to snatch Edna’s destiny from under her nose.

Still, Edna leaps at the chance to leave the nursing home. With her son long dead in the Knights’ service, she’s determined to save dragon-fighters like him and to ensure other mothers don’t suffer the same loss she did. But as Edna learns about the abuse in the ranks and the sorcerer’s history as a Knight, she questions if it’s really the sorcerer that needs stopping—or the Knights she’s trying to save.

Were any of these already on your list? If not, are any of them on your list now? Leave a comment!

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8 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: 2023 Debut Books I’m Excited About

  1. These all sound good. I hope they are!

  2. Cindy Davis says:

    I hope you enjoy all of these when you get an opportunity to read them. Have a great day!

  3. This is the second time I’ve seen The Deep Sky and Clytemnestra today. They sound super interesting! I’ll had to add them to my TBR.

    My TTT:

  4. Jo says:

    Clytemnestra is one I added to my TBR a while back, I think when we did the most anticipated releases topic last month. The Edna Fisher book sounds fun, I love the idea of a story where an old woman is the hero!
    My TTT:

  5. Poinsettia says:

    Several of these sound intriguing! I hope they live up to your expectations.
    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

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