By Gina Webb
Happy New Year, readers! We could not imagine better timing than Day 1 of 2012 for a first look at the hottest upcoming titles set in the South or written by Southerners, including two much-anticipated music books and novels by emerging authors you won’t want to miss.
“A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty,” Joshilyn Jackson (Grand Central, $25.99).
Just as Mosey Slocumb turns 15, a long-hidden grave unearthed in the backyard threatens to ruin everything her grandmother has struggled to win for the teen since Mosey’s drug-addicted mother brought her home to Mississippi. Jackson’s signature style — the feisty, bighearted voice of “Gods in Alabama” and “Backseat Saints” — propels this funny, dark whodunit, where strong women who’ve made bad choices band together to come out on top.
“The Evening Hour,” A. Carter Sickels (Bloomsbury, $15).
Intense, edgy storytelling and a distinctive voice mark newcomer Sickels’ novel, set in a