Fiction Previews, Apr. 2013, Pt. 1: Seven Best-Selling Authors, from Debbie Macomber to Lauren Willig

Bradford, Barbara Taylor. Secrets from the Past. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780312631666. $27.99. ROMANCE
After her famed photographer father’s death, American photojournalist Serena Stone leaves the business of dodging bullets and land mines in the Middle East and returns to New York to write her father’s biography. Alas, she must soon head to Europe to rescue a former lover, but as she nurses him back to health at the family home in France, she discovers a secret in her father’s photographic archive that changes the course of her life. Awarded an OBE for her work (she’s British-born but lives in New York), Bradford is here turning out her 28th book; since the first 27 were international best sellers, you know how this latest will go.

Brennert, Alan. Palisades Park. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2013. 432p. ISBN 9780312643720. $25.99. HISTORICAL FICTION
Both an Emmy and a Nebula award winner and the author of the best sellers Moloka’i and Honolulu, Brennert grew up in the shadow of Palisades Amusement Park, NJ (yes, I remember it well). He opens his story in the 1930s, as seven-year-old Antoinette (who prefers Toni) becomes entranced with the high divers at the park’s immense salt-water pool, then follows her family through Depression, World War II, and the Swinging Sixties—right up to the park’s closing in 1971. Nostalgia with a warning that the good old days weren’t always so golden; a big national tour and lots of promotion.

Dickey, Eric Jerome. A Perfect Decadence. Dutton. Apr. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780525953838. $26.95. POP FICTION
Fans, you’ll love it; this novel picks up the thread of Dickey’s popular Pleasure. Four years hence, Nia Simone Bijou has achieved success as a writer but is still striving to master the turmoil within before she moves on to the next stage of her life, marriage and motherhood. But at the pleasure palace where patrons shed their identities to try on new ones, she’s losing perspective. Responsible Nia, fantasy Nia—where’s the truth? The New York Times best-selling author is promising a surprise answer; with a five-city tour.

Macomber, Debbie. Starting Now: A Blossom Street Novel. Ballantine. Apr. 2013. 352p. 9780345528810. $26. lrg. prnt. POP FICTION
No. 1 New York Times best seller Macomber takes us back to Blossom Street, site of her popular series and a fabulous place called A Good Yarn. That’s where Libby Morgan washes up after the law job she’s sacrificed everything for comes crashing down. Libby becomes close to Good Yarn owner Lydia, her teenage daughter, and the daughter’s best friend and even has time to fall for the local doctor. She’s loving her new life until (expectedly) she faces a tough decision. Fans will clamor.

Rutherfurd, Edward. Paris. Doubleday. Apr. 2013. 528p. ISBN 9780385535304. $30. HISTORICAL FICTION
Having escorted us to New York, London, and Ireland, best-selling author Rutherfurd now takes us to the City of Light. Not surprisingly, he starts in Roman times (this author is nothing if not thorough), then sweeps along from the building of Notre Dame to the Hundred Years’ War, the glories of Versailles, the Revolution, the Belle Epoque, the remarkable Twenties, and, finally, World War II. Time travel to Paris; for all you saga lovers.  

Sheldon, Sidney & Tilly Bagshawe. Sidney Sheldon’s The Tides of Memory. Morrow. Apr. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780062073426. $26.99; eISBN 9780062073440. lrg prnt. POP FICTION
Picked by the estate of blockbuster author Sheldon to carry on his best-selling tradition, as the saying goes, Bagshawe (Adored) turns out a tale of high society, high finance, and top government circles where the glitter hides the dirt. At its heart is the De Vere family, whose members glide gracefully among grand homes in London and Oxfordshire and on Martha’s Vineyard but will soon see old family hatreds and the indiscretions of youth come damagingly to the fore. With a one-day laydown on April 9 and a 125,000-copy first printing.

Willig, Lauren. The Ashford Affair. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9781250014498. $24.99. HISTORICAL FICTION
You just have to love a book that’s said to have an Out of Africa sensibility with a Downton Abbey cast. The author of the red-hot “Pink Carnation” series departs temporarily from revolutionary France to whirl us from World War I England to present-day New York. Almost a partner at a prestigious New York law firm but discontent with her work and her life (her long hours have cost her an engagement), Clementine Evans attends grandmother Addie’s 99th birthday party and becomes intrigued with Addie’s stories of growing up in England with her aristocratic aunt and uncle. Clemmie and her outgoing cousin, Bea, were close, but you know there’s going to be trouble. I like seeing Willig try something different.


Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.