Bradford, Arthur. Turtleface and Beyond: Stories. Farrar. Feb. 2015. 208p. ISBN 9780802123190. $25; ebk.ISBN 9780374712846. SHORT STORIES
An O. Henry Award–winning writer and Emmy-nominated filmmaker whose work has appeared in places like Esquire and McSweeny’s, Bradford has good connections that are making this book buzz. The stories are funny in a dark and wicked sort of way, featuring a man’s collision with a turtle, a hitchhiker’s collision with a snake and a wedding, and a ménage à trois at a Thai resort.
Fine, Chelsea. Best Kind of Broken. Jan. 2015. ISBN 9781455583119. Perfect Kind of Trouble. Feb. 2015. ISBN 9781455583157. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455583164. Right Kind of Wrong. Mar. 2015. ISBN 9781455583195.
ea. vol: Forever: Hachette. 336p. pap. $12. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. NEW ADULT
Fine has successfully self-published both YA paranormal and YA contemporary titles, and Forever has been publishing her New Adult series, “Finding Fate,” e-first: Best Kind of Broken appeared in March and Perfect Kind of Trouble in June, and Right Kind of Wrong will appear in September. These three titles will appear back to back in print early next year. In Broken, Pixie encounters former crush Levi while escaping an upended life by working at her aunt’s inn; in Trouble, Kayla’s estranged father has died and left her a fortune, with the unfortunate proviso that she work with his protégé, charmer Daren; and in Wrong, Jenna Lacombe is initially furious when wild one-night-stand Jack wants to hitch a ride with her to New Orleans. A big push to make this a best-selling series in a hot new genre; print runs will be between 30,000 and 40,000 copies.
Gaynor, Hazel. A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers. Morrow Paperbacks. Feb. 2015. 432p. ISBN 9780062316899. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062316905. HISTORICAL
English author Gaynor, who received the 2012 Cecil Day Lewis Award for Emerging Writers and was a guest speaker at the 2014 Romantic Novelists’ Association and Historical Novel Society annual conferences, had a New York Times best seller with The Girl Who Came Home. She cements her reputation here with a story about Tillie Harper, working in the early 1900s at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls, who discovers a diary about Victorian-era sisters who were separated with tragic results.
Heiny, Katherine. Single, Carefree, Mellow: Stories. Knopf. Feb. 2015. 240p. ISBN 9780385353632. $22.95. ebk. ISBN 9780385353649. Downloadable: Random Audio. SHORT STORIES
Lots of short story collections have been coming my way lately, and early 2015 seems especially rich in that regard. This debut collection, which bowled me over on first read, deserves a special shout out. Heiny’s ten stories feature women facing emotional conundrum: one woman meets her lover’s wife for a drink, another is rebuffed by her male roommate, while Maya, a recurring character, vacillates between her boyfriend and her veterinarian in the title story. The 50,000-copy first printing says a lot.
Hepworth, Sally. The Secrets of Midwives. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781250051899. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466852631. CD: Macmillan Audio. POP FICTION
Big in-house excitement—and big publicity plans—will help along this tale of three generations of midwives by Australian author Hepworth. Midwife Neva Bradley refuses to reveal the details of her own pregnancy (including the father’s identity), which unsettles her mother, Grace, while reminding grandmother Floss of her own situation 60 years previously. And Floss has her own secret that she doesn’t want revealed.
Kardos, Michael. Before He Finds Her. Mysterious Pr: Grove/Atlantic. Feb. 2015. 384p. ISBN 9780802123190. $25. THRILLER
Kardos’s debut novel, The Three-Day Affair, was named a Best Book of the Year by Esquire and PW and a Best Crime Fiction Book of the Year by the Miami Herald; he’s won a Pushcart Prize as well. Here he capitalizes on his success with a second novel that opens with Ramsey Miller throwing a huge block party in 1991, then reputedly murdering his wife and toddler daughter. But in fact the daughter got away and at 18 is chafing under the restrictions of the Witness Protection Program.
Marche, Stephen. The Hunger of the Wolf. S. & S. Feb. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9781476730813. $25. LITERARY
Author of the popular Esquire column “A Thousand Words About Our Culture,” a regular contributor to publications like the Atlantic, and a novelist of well-praised, edgy works like Shining at the Bottom of the Sea, Marche returns with a new book that’s decidedly au courant, blessed with a touch of the thriller, and billed as his chance to shine. When Ben Wylie, heir of a wealthy American business dynasty, is found dead in the snows of northern Canada, the son of the Wylie family housekeeper takes it upon himself to find out what happened. Naturally, there’s a dark secret that the family has maintained over three generations’ worth of building real estate, oil, and information systems businesses worth several billion dollars.
Newman, Sandra. The Country of Ice Cream Star. Ecco. Feb. 2015. 576p. ISBN 9780062227096. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062227126. LITERARY DYSTOPIAN
Newman has written fiction and nonfiction since her novel The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award in 2002, but this literary dystopian thriller comes on a wave of popular like-minded titles and should bring her a big audience. In a postapocalyptic America, where for generations everyone has died before 20 of a dread disease called Posies, 15-year-old Ice Cream Star sets out to find a rumored cure when her brother shows signs of the disease. Touted as good YA crossover, with references being made (obviously) to Suzanne Collins’s lodestar “The Hunger Games” trilogy, though the comparison made to Uzodinma Iweala’s Beasts of No Nation is more telling.
Sumell, Matt. Making Nice: Stories. Holt. Feb. 2015. 240p. ISBN 9781627790932. $25. ebk. ISBN 9781627790949. SHORT STORIES
An MFA graduate of the University of California at Irvine, where he received a Glenn Schaeffer Award and an Arlene Cheng Fellowship, Sumell offers a first collection linked by antihero Alby, who does anything but make nice. Destroyed by his mother’s death, he takes out his feelings on other family members, slow drivers, children, old ladies—anyone who gets in his way. Not a portrait of nastiness but of how sometimes we can be utterly bent by grief and rage.
Tedrowe, Emily Gray. Blue Stars. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9781250052483. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466854581.CONTEMPORARY WOMEN’S
Tedlowe’s 2010 novel, Commuters, was named a Best New Paperback by Entertainment Weekly, so watch this hardcover breakout closely. The topic is timely. When literature professor Ellen’s legal ward, Michael, and army wife Lacey’s husband, Eddie, are both injured in Iraq, the two women meet and bond at the Walter Reed Army Hospital.