Fiction Previews, May 2013, Pt. 2: From Richard Paul Evans to Fay Weldon

Evans, Richard Paul. A Step of Faith. S. & S. May 2013. 272p. ISBN 9781451628296. $19.99; eISBN 9781451628340. CD: S. & S. Audio. POP FICTION
Having lost his wife, his business, and his home, Alan Christoffersen determines to heal by launching on a cross-country journey that will take him from Seattle to Key West. So far, this journey has taken him through three “Walk” books: The Walk, Miles To Go, and Road to Grace. Now, however, the walk may be in danger. Maybe not The Christmas Box, but Evans’s books are perennial best sellers.

Feist, Raymond E. Magician’s End. (Chaoswar Saga, Bk. 3). Morrow. May 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780061468438. $29.99. FANTASY
Feist here wraps up the Chaos Wars, climax of his Riftwar Cycle, begun 30 years ago with his first novel, Magician. That book recounted how the orphan Pug became a Master Magician. Now, to destroy the ultimate evil and save millions of lives, he’ll have to  make a huge sacrifice. With a six-city tour to Cleveland, Houston, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, and Seattle, a ten-stop blog tour, and a 75,000-copy first printing; obviously a big deal in the fantasy market.

Lowell, Elizabeth. Dangerous Refuge. Morrow. May 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780062132710 $26.99. lrg. prnt. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Big-city cop Tanner and Shaye, who works for an environmental conservancy that acquires old ranches, meet up at the legendary Davis family ranch when Tanner returns to settle his uncle’s estate. Shaye’s preservation goals lead to conflict, but the two join forces to investigate the troublesome death of Tanner’s uncle, and that leads to sparks. With a one-day laydown on April 30 and a 150,000-copy first printing; Lowell always hits bestsellerdom.

Percy, Benjamin. Red Moon. Grand Central. May 2013. 544p. ISBN 9781455501663. $25.99. lrg. prnt. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. LITERARY HORROR
Some things wicked this way come; in fact, they’re here, living among us as our friends and lovers and relatives. They’ve been controlled by drugs and strictly enforced law, but that will change when the red moon rises. Billed as literary horror—think Joe Hill and Justin Cronin—and in fact, like Cronin, Percy has impeccable literary credentials; he’s won a Whiting, a Plimpton, and two Pushcart Prizes; preempted or auctioned in eight countries.

Roberts, Nora. Whiskey Beach. Putnam. Apr. 2013. 496p. ISBN 9780399159893. $27.95. lrg. prnt. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Here I am backtracking to April so fans won’t miss this latest from Roberts. Eli Landon and his wife had just about split when she’s murdered and he’s accused of the crime. He’s not arrested, though, and takes refuge at Bluff House, the family home above rugged Whiskey Beach. There, housekeeper Abra Walsh—into yoga, jewelry making, and massage therapy—would be helping him heal peacefully were it not for a secret from the past that someone is using to make his life hell.

Roby, Kimberla Law. A House Divided. Grand Central. May 2013. 336p. ISBN 9781455526062. $24.99. lrg. prnt. POP FICTION
Five-time winner of Female Author of the Year at the African-American Literary Award Show, Roby returns with the tenth in the Reverend Curtis Black series, the mere mention of which once inspired a roar from the audience when I introduced her at an ALTAFF panel at the American Library Association. Here, Charlotte and Curtis Black’s son, Matthew, is expecting a baby with girlfriend Raquel, but antagonism between the two grandmothers-to-be causes Raquel to go into early labor. With a five-city tour to Cleveland, Houston, Richmond, Augusta, and Little Rock.

Tarttelin, Abigail. Golden Boy. Atria: S. & S. May 2013. 352p. ISBN 9781476705804. $24.99; eISBN 9781476705835. POP FICTION
Max Walker is the golden boy—smart, popular, athletic, and nice—but for one complication. Born with 46 XX chromosomes and 46 XY chromosomes (the normal count would be 23 pairs of chromosomes, 22 pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes), he is actually intersex but identifies as a boy. Then a friend from the past betrays his secret, and Max’s sense of self and security is rudely tipped over.  Interesting to watch; the 24-year-old author, book editor for the UK’s Phoenix magazine, is being called a rising star.

Weldon, Fay. Long Live the King. St. Martin’s. May 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781250028006. $25.99. CD: Macmillan Audio. HISTORICAL
Hankering for the tale of an aristocratic English family? No, I’m not talking about Downton Abbey but the trilogy Weldon launches this January with Habits of the House, already pretty much a surefire hit. The story continues in May with this volume, set on the eve of Edward VII’s coronation. Spoiler alert: the Dilberne fortune has been saved, and rich American Minnie has married Lord Robert’s son. Now she must figure out how to be lady of the manor, even as the family debates what to do about a recently orphaned niece.

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.