Commercial Fiction from Emily Giffin, Richard Paul Evans, Darynda Jones, & More | Fiction Previews, May 2014, Pt. 3

Andrews, Mary Kay. Save the Date. St. Martin’s. May. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9781250019691. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250019684. CD: Macmillan Audio. POP FICTION
Why must Cara Kryzik find the bride-to-be gone missing? Because the wedding had promised to make Cara’s name as a florist, and she also needs to figure out whether she really believes in love. The popular Andrews (who has over 102,000 Facebook followers) outdid herself with her last title, Ladies Night.

Cargill, Robert. Queen of the Dark Things. Morrow. May 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780062190451. $24.99. FANTASY
Filmmaker/critic Cargill, who won uniformly excellent prepub reviews for his debut, Dreams and Shadows, returns with a sequel. At the same time that the wizard Colby has lost his best friend to the Limestone Kingdom faeries, he’s outted himself by throwing the faeries from Austin. Now old enemies are coming to the fore. With a 50,000-copy first printing; pushed back from February.

Domingue, Ronlyn. The Chronicle of Secret Riven: Keeper of Tales Trilogy: Book Two. Atria. May 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781451688917. $24. FANTASY
In The Mapmaker’s War, uncannily smart 12-year-old Aoife is apprenticed to her kingdom’s venerable mapmaker. In this sequel (second in a trilogy), set 1000 years after the first book, uncannily smart 12-year-old Secret masters an ancient language and is apprenticed to a translator. Mapmaker got strong reviews; check out this new book.

Evans, Richard Paul. Walking on Water. S. & S. May 2014. 272p. ISBN 9781451628319. $19.99. POP FICTION
Seattle advertising executive Alan Christoffersen, devastated by the loss of his wife, business, and home, started walking across America. Now, after four books (starting with The Walk), he’s reached his destination. With an eight-city tour including Boise, Chicago, Dayton, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, and more.

Giffin, Emily. The One and Only. Ballantine. May 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780345546883. $28. CD: Random Penguin Audio. POP FICTION
Starlit Lucy isn’t just modest Drew’s best friend; Lucy’s parents—former cheerleader mom and trophy-winning coach dad—have become Drew’s surrogate parents, and even her brother seems slated for marriage to Drew. Then Lucy’s mom dies suddenly of cancer, and the world cracks apart. Griffin’s books typically sell in the 400,000-copy range for hardcover and ebook alone, so don’t be shy about ordering.

Guinn, Jeff. Glorious. Putnam. May 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780399165412. $26.95. WESTERN
Best-selling fiction and nonfiction author Guinn, an Edgar Award nominee for The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde, was serious about creating authentic detail for this Western, set in the late 1800s. He even mined for silver and ate the kind of food cowboys ate back then (undoubtedly better than MacDonald’s). His protagonist, Cash McLendon, has come up from St. Louis’s dusty streets, but circumstances force him to flee—all the way to a town named Glorious in the Arizona Territory.

Jenson, Lisa. Alias Hook. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. May 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781250042156. $24.99. FANTASY
Capt. James Benjamin Hook may be charming and well educated for a privateer, but he’s stuck having to fight off a pack of rather nasty little boys who just won’t grow up. Then a grown woman named Stella Parrish manages to sneak herself into Peter Pan’s realms. A longtime film critic and columnist on the West Coast, Jenson has dreamed up a story that is seen as having real sleeper potential.

Jones, Darynda.Sixth Grave on the Edge. St. Martin’s. May. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781250045638. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466845268. CD: Macmillan Audio. FANTASY
Grim Reaper Charley Davidson has a lot on her plate in her sixth outing from RITA Award winner Jones. Bad guys want her to find a witness set to testify against a crime kingpin, and if she doesn’t, her loved ones will start dying. Meanwhile, she must help a man seeking the soul he lost in a card game, a woman seeking the ghost of her son, and a deaf boy suddenly able to see the departed. Oh, and she needs to do a background check on fiancé Reyes Farrow, the really hot son of Satan.

Juska, Elise. The Blessings. Grand Central. May 2014. 272p. ISBN 9781455574032. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781455574018. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455552054. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. POP FICTION
This tale of an extended Irish Catholic family in Northeast Philadelphia opens with the death of John Blessing, who leaves behind a young widow and two small children, then follows the family and assorted in-laws over 20 years. Juska’s an interesting writer, having published work in venues as varied as Ploughshares and Good Housekeeping; the 75,000-copy first printing suggests big in-house enthusiasm.

Lowell, Elizabeth. Night Diver. Morrow. May 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780062132826. $26.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
When her family’s treasure-hunting enterprise looks to be going under and needs her help, Kate Donnelly returns home to the Caribbean island she thought she had left forever. Meanwhile, in his new civilian job, British military diver Holden Cameron must investigate the family’s suspicious behavior while on its latest dive. Kate and Holden wouldn’t seem to be natural allies, but they get together when divers start disappearing. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

McGarrity, Michael. Backlands. Dutton. May 2014. 592p. ISBN 9780525953241. $28.95. HISTORICAL
Second in a trilogy that started out with the New York Times best-selling Hard Country, which also spawned the popular Kevin Kerney crime novels, this book takes us to 1920s–40s New Mexico to continue the story of Patrick Kerney; his ex-wife, Emma; and their young son, Matthew—all shattered by the death of older son CJ on a World War I battlefield. It’s especially hard for Matthew, who must grow up really fast.

Moon, Elizabeth. Crown of Renewal. Del Rey. May 2014. 560p. ISBN 9780345533098. $26. FANTASY
Here’s the wrap-up to the Nebula Award–winning Moon’s grand, New York Times best-selling fantasy, set in the Eight Kingdoms and the revelation of ancient secrets—not always for the best. Fans are starting to line up.

Roby, Kimberla Lawson. The Prodigal Son. Grand Central. 336p. ISBN 9781455526130. $26. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. POP FICTION
Even as the wife of the Rev. Curtis Black worries that Curtis’s long-lost son, Dillon, is trying to show aside their son Matthew, Matthew has dropped out of Harvard to be with girlfriend Racquel and their new baby. He just isn’t finding being a faithful stay-at-home guy very easy. Eleventh in the popular series (Roby has had nine consecutive New York Times best sellers); with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Willig, Lauren. A Summer Engagement. St. Martin’s. May 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781250014504. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466851474. POP FICTION
Having made her name with the best-selling “Pink Carnation” series, Willig turned out a standalone titled The Ashford Affair that did very nicely, thank you. This second standalone leaps between 2009, when Julia Conley returns to England to find a pre-Raphaelite painting secreted away at the house she has just inherited, and 1849, when Imogen Grantham’s cold and lonely life suddenly lights up after her much older husband asks the young and uncannily perceptive Gavin Thorne to paint her portrait. A big book-club pitch.

Williams, Beatriz. The Secret Life of Violet Grant. Putnam. May 22014. ISBN 9780399162176. $26.95. POP FICTION
Williams’s twisty, engrossing debut, Overseas, won two Romance Writers of America contests before publication; the follow-up, A Hundred Summers, was a New York Times best seller. All of which bodes well for this third novel, which shifts between 1964 Manhattan and 1914 Berlin. Vivian Schuyler is about to defy her classy family by taking a slick magazine job when she receives a package that leads her to investigate the life of an aunt she never knew. Violet Schuyler Grant had remained in a loveless marriage to a venerable scientist because he’s helped her maintain a place as a young American woman physicist in prewar Germany. A former student, now in the British military, might help free her—but does he have ulterior motives?

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.