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‘Haunt Your Heart Out’ by Amber Roberts | LJ Review of the Day

‘A Dark and Drowning Tide’ by Allison Saft | LJ Review of the Day

‘The Cottage Around the Corner’ by D.L. Soria | LJ Review of the Day

LJ Talks Vampires and Centering Women in Stories with Rachel Harrison, Author of ‘So Thirsty’

'The Naming Song' by Jedediah Berry | SFF Pick of the Month

Read-Alikes for ‘The Briar Club’ by Kate Quinn | LibraryReads

Historical Fiction | Prepub Alert, January 2025 Titles

Romantasy | Prepub Alert, January 2025 Titles

Haunting Love | Two Spooky and Swoony Reads

Literary Fiction | Prepub Alert, January 2025 Titles

'I Dreamed of Falling' by Julia Dahl | Mystery Pick of the Month

Fiction Shows Its Fangs | Horror Fiction Preview 2024

2024 Stars So Far | Historical Fiction

2024 Stars So Far | Contemporary Fiction

2024 Stars So Far | Christian Fiction

2024 Stars So Far | Literary Fiction

2024 Stars So Far | Romance

2024 Stars So Far | Horror

2024 Stars So Far | Suspense & Thrillers

2024 Stars So Far | Mystery

2024 Stars So Far | Science Fiction

2024 Stars So Far | Fantasy

Display Shelf | Private Eye July

‘The Volcano Daughters’ by Gina María Balibrera | LJ Review of the Day

'I’ll Have What He’s Having' by Adib Khorram | Romance Pick of the Month

‘Mina’s Matchbox’ by Yoko Ogawa | LJ Review of the Day


All This and More

Readers who relish novels of self-discovery and those who like plotting their own course through a story will enjoy this unusual book by the always-inventive Shepherd (The Cartographers).


The final installment in “The Glacian Trilogy” (after Chasm) is a worthy conclusion, intricate and surprising, and arguably the best in the series. Recommend to fantasy and romantasy readers who enjoy books with resilient heroines, such as Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros.

The Naming Song

Fans of Patricia A. McKillip’s The Forgotten Beasts of Eld or Marie Brennan’s Driftwood will be in awe of Berry’s (The Manual of Detection) wonderfully odd ode to language, story, and family.

Pride and Prejudice in Space

Lampley’s (The Onyx Vial) adult debut is an eye-catching creation that will charm Austen lovers and fans of soft sci-fi romance.

What We Sacrifice for Magic

Readers who enjoyed the witchy cross-generational squabbles in Hazel Beck’s “Witchlore” series, lovers of Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, and anyone who adored the setting and the family dynamics of The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal but wished it had a touch of magic will fall hard for DeWerd’s debut, a coming-of-age and coming-into-power story about sacrifice and sisterhood.

Dark Space

This clever science-fiction novel is a perfect choice for readers looking for a perilous adventure with a dash of coziness.

New Adventures in Space Opera

SF readers used to seeing space opera as multi-doorstop series will find a lot to love in this collection of skillful short works in a popular subgenre. Fans of the featured authors will love seeing their favorites’ work in shorter forms.

The Enchanted Lies of Céleste Artois

An expansive fantasy full of vivid descriptions and a large cast of characters. Recommended for readers who enjoy lush worlds where some aspects of the plot remain gauzy like the shadows lingering throughout this book.

A Dark and Drowning Tide

Take the deadly mystery and vicious academic politics of The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older, stir in the magic and the romance of the “Emily Wilde” series by Heather Fawcett (but make it sapphic), add several drops of the political shenanigans of epic fantasy, and stir with a sharp, prickly thorn of a main character to get this fraught enemies-to-lovers fantasy. YA author Saft’s (A Fragile Enchantment) adult debut is highly recommended.

The Ancients

This thought-provoking novel from Larison (Whiskey When We’re Dry) is perfect for fans of Andrew Krivak’s The Bear.

Fear the Flames

Originally self-published and now receiving a special edition with additional content from a big publisher, this debut novel and Book Tok sensation is highly recommended for romantasy lovers, especially fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and The Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros.

The Great When

This is a lavishly crafted urban fantasy tale with a caustic and colorful cast, perfect for fans of Susanna Clarke.

A Cold, Cold World

The weather conditions are an essential component in this sequel to All We Buried. Readers who appreciate the strong woman police chief in Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder books or the vivid landscapes of Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire mysteries will appreciate Taylor’s riveting crime novel.

A Very Woodsy Murder

Byron (“Cajun Country” mysteries), an award-winning novelist and sitcom writer, has written a model cozy with delightful, slightly inept sleuths, quirky characters, and an entertaining mystery.

Fatal Intrusion

Deaver’s (“Lincoln Rhyme” series) interest in social media and Maldonado’s (“Nina Guerrera” series) law enforcement background blend well in this fast-paced crime novel. For readers who enjoy serial killer chase stories.

Ashes Never Lie

The sequel to Malibu Burning unites Goldberg’s Ronin and Pavone police team (last seen in 2024’s Dream Town) with his arson investigators Sharpe and Walker in a clever, complicated story. With its witty banter and well-developed characters, Goldberg’s latest procedural is tailor-made for readers who enjoy shrewd investigators in fast-paced dramas.

After Oz

Far more than Wizard of Oz fan fiction, this novel by McAlpine (Holmes Entangled) is an exploration of the hypocritical treatment of outsiders and nonconformers. Told from alternating perspectives, the narration weaves together the firsthand account of Dr. Wilford with the collective interpretation of the townspeople. A fast and engaging story for readers familiar with The Wizard of Oz .

I Dreamed of Falling

The devastating crime novel will appeal to readers who appreciate tragic family stories and fans of Julia Keller’s Bell Elkins books.

The Many Lies of Veronica Hawkins

The setting, characters, and structure of the novel are compelling, and, as the title suggests, there are secrets and lies aplenty. For fans of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid and The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins.

I’ll Have What He’s Having

With an eminently likable group of characters, a generous helping of wine and foodie culture, and an extra steamy and tender love story, YA author Khorram’s (The Breakup Lists) first foray into adult fiction will warm readers’ hearts.

Hers for the Weekend

Fans of Greer’s will enjoy this must-read novel, with its engaging plot, supportive side characters, and inclusive depiction of a lesbian relationship.

Perfectly Wicked

This wickedly charming and sexy romance from Lovise (Never Blow a Kiss) is perfect for fans of witchy romances from Erin Sterling, Hazel Beck, and Lana Harper.

The Break-Up Pact

The richly drawn setting and characters make this sweet, steamy slow-burn the perfect small-town romance for summer. Recommend YA author Lord’s (The Getaway List) adult debut to fans of Sarah Adams and Emily Henry.

The Wedding Engagement

Allison (The Ex-Mas Holidays) writes a cozy and romantic romp in Scotland that will suit readers looking for friends-to-lovers romances in the vein of B.K. Borison’s “Lovelight” series.

Hot Earl Summer

Ridley once again showcases her skills crafting interesting characters and fun-reading plots, which stress accepting and supporting people in the ways they want.

Double Apex

Juniper’s (Chaos Is My Brand) literary escapade catapults readers into a world where speed and passion collide and gives fans of Simone Soltani’s Cross the Line another installment in the racing sports romance subgenre to devour.

Adam & Evie’s Matchmaking Tour

In Nguyen’s (author of Banyan Moon writing as Thao Thai) first dive into romance, she offers a sexy tale that has relatable characters and a lush setting.

Marriage & Masti

In this final installment of the delightful trilogy of retellings, Sharma (Tastes Like Shakkar) features her entertaining mainstay of close friendships, sexy storylines, and boisterous family members set within a tight-knit and elite South Asian community.

Love Lessons

Halston (The Valentine’s Hate) has a knack for banter and humor that will appeal to fans of Meg Cabot, with the cozy rom-com feel of Jenn McKinlay’s novels.

The Trouble with Inventing a Viscount

In this fast-paced romance with a bit of mystery, the second book in the “Liar’s Club” series (following It Had To Be a Duke), Lorret alluringly creates passion between the protagonists, and readers will be excited to watch their love story develop.

The Royals Upstairs

Halle (The Royals Next Door) ties this into her “Nordic Royals” series while continuing with the fun premise of featuring the romantic entanglements of people working for royalty.

How To Fall for a Scoundrel

Fluid pacing, companionable characters, plenty of spy/PI action, and a lovely sensibility all combine in a historical that will please many readers, from fans of Erica Ridley to Tessa Dare.

Good Duke Gone Wild

This series starter shows strong promise for the next entry.

Haunt Your Heart Out

Featuring wonderfully developed characters and fluid, well-paced writing, Roberts’s (Text Appeal) latest is highly recommended for fans of small-town and supernatural romances.

Morbidly Yours

With a fantastic Irish setting; sensitive portrayals of demisexuality, grief, and workplace misogyny; and a sexy friends-to-lovers romance, Fairbanks makes an excellent debut.

Pay the Piper

For fans of both Kraus’s novels and Romero’s films, this bloody Southern story highlights the strengths of both auteurs.

Blood Like Mine

Fans of monster-themed books like Liz Kerin’s “Night’s Edge” series and Neville’s other mysteries and thrillers should give this novel attempt at horror a taste.

So Thirsty

With a realistic protagonist who faces choices that are sometimes scarier than monsters, this book will have readers sinking their teeth in.

I Was a Teenage Slasher

Even those well versed in slashers and their tropes will be surprised by the directions Jones takes. Readable both as representative of slasher films and book and as an exploration of the rules of the genre, this novel will have wide appeal to readers who are new to Jones’s work as well as established fans. Recommended as a contrast for fans of recent “final girl” books like the ones by Grady Hendrix and Riley Sager and readers who enjoyed The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay.


A late-act reveal helps this story stand out among other technology-going-bad tales, and those who like the trope, or enjoy a good techno-thriller, will want to watch William play with his human toys.

House of Bone and Rain

In his most accessible work to date, Iglesias has crafted a coming-of-age story that blends friendship, vengeance, and mysticism in beautifully written prose that demonstrates the thinness of the boundary between the spiritual world and grim reality. Recommended for fans of S.A. Cosby and Stephen Graham Jones and those who enjoy Nordic noir, with its strong sense of place and of the power of weather.

Beyond Ivy Walls

With echoes of Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast, this turn-of-the-20th-century tale is sure to resonate with fans of historical romance. Fordham (The Letter Tree) pens characters whom readers will want to root for and intersperses fun historical details within a sweet love story.

The Christmas Tree Farm: A Christmas Novella

This satisfying Christmas novel will find year-round fans, as Carlson (Just for the Summer) brings her relationship insight to another unique tale set in the Pacific Northwest. Readers looking for a fast, charming read with hints of faith will enjoy this novella.

Between the Sound and Sea

Will draw fans of redemptive family sagas that cross time and space, such as Amanda Dyke’s Set the Stars Alight and Heidi Chiavaroli’s Hope Beyond the Waves. Cox (He Should Have Told the Bees) is fast becoming an auto-buy for library collections.

The Color of Home

For fans of romances that also deal in hard truths, such as Looking for Leroy by Melody Carlson and Pixels and Paint by Kristi Ann Hunter.

What We Hide

This is an explosive beginning to a new series and a dynamic author partnership between Coble (“Pelican Harbor” series) and practicing lawyer Acker. Will appeal to fans of the legal thrillers of Randy Singer and Robert Whitlow.

The Hidden Book

A crucial reminder of past injustices, this poignant novel from Manning (The Paris Mystery) successfully fictionalizes the history of a forgotten yet profoundly significant photobook.

The Days I Loved You Most

With many recent novels focusing on the pandemic, Neff’s is a reminder of the historical events that stunned Americans and uprooted daily life prior to 2020. Recommended for women’s fiction discussion groups.

And So I Roar

Eye-opening, evocative, exquisite; this title will resonate with Daré’s fans and readers drawn to themes around women’s empowerment, educational rights, choices, and cultural customs.

There Are Rivers in the Sky

Drawing on historical events, Shafak vividly narrates the theft of artifacts, war, colonialism, environmental crises, and genocide. From her extensive research, she raises critical questions about one’s connection to and responsibility for the past in this highly readable and engrossing novel.

The Booklover’s Library

A hopeful, compelling and well-written read about the redemptive power of books, libraries, friendship, and love.

The Thirteenth Husband

This would be a good addition to most libraries’ popular fiction sections and is sure to be a hit with fans of the work of Marie Benedict, Alison Pataki, and Susan Meissner.

State of Paradise

An unputdownable novel of a world spinning rapidly out of control.


Award-winning Bieker’s (Godshot; Heartbroke) psychological exposé unfolds as an imaginary letter that C is writing to her mother, through which Bieker explores the results of domestic abuse on a family. The surprise ending supplies a satisfying but somewhat unrealistic resolution to C’s conflict.

The Volcano Daughters

A devastating story of sisterhood, community, and memory, quietly magical and utterly unforgettable.

The Goodbye Process: Stories

Short story fans might just discover their new favorite author in this arresting collection, a must-have.

The Best Short Stories 2024: The O. Henry Prize Winners

This must-have anthology is a treasure trove not to be missed.

A Thousand Times Before

Readers who enjoy the work of Nadia Hashimi and E.M. Tran are likely to embrace this deeply engaging and satisfying tale. Thanki is a new voice to definitely keep an eye on.


Five-Star Stranger

An emotional character study that doesn’t rely on easy answers to complicated questions of identity, isolation, and familial love. Recommended for most collections and especially for book discussion groups.

The Cottage Around the Corner

Soria’s newest book will wrap readers into a cozy world that they won’t want to leave. This fantasy romance is sure to enrapture readers looking for an atmospheric and lovable read, much like Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree and Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett.

This Will Be Fun

Recommended for fans of cozy fantasy and romance, where the stakes are not too high, and the story makes for a quick read.

The Village Library Demon-Hunting Society

Waggoner’s (The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry) latest is recommended for readers of cozy mysteries, fantasy mysteries, and anyone looking for a gateway between the two.

Blood Over Bright Haven

Vibrant, raw, and deeply emotional, this novel is a manifesto about justice as much as it is a thrilling work of fiction. This self-published title, picked up by a big publisher, will have wide appeal beyond fans of science fiction and fantasy.

The Sequel

The narrative starts slowly but by the end, it steams along. This book will fly off the shelves.

The Gardener’s Plot

Cozy readers who garden will enjoy this descriptive debut mystery, winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel competition.

Given Our History

Miller’s (Seven Rules for Breaking Hearts) latest is an enjoyable read that will appeal to fans of academic settings and second-chance romance.

The Duchess

This audio will appeal to listeners seeking a richly detailed Regency romance about scandal and self-reliance. Recommended for fans of J.J. McAvoy, Martha Waters, and Joanna Lowell.

There’s Going To Be Trouble

A well-plotted, character-driven novel that thrusts listeners into the emotionally fraught landscape of antiwar and antiestablishment protests. The dual star-crossed lovers add another level of enjoyment, making this a solid recommendation for listeners seeking literary fiction blended with politics, romance, and intrigue.


While this title may appeal to fans of 2034, the sequel doesn’t quite live up to the hype. An optional purchase for most libraries.

Wild and Distant Seas

The quest for family is deep-rooted. Listeners will enjoy this tale of the search for the elusive Ishmael.

The Alternatives

A haunting and timely novel, deftly exploring the intersection of family dynamics, environmental politics, and a love of the land.

Funny Story

An essential purchase and a must-listen for all contemporary rom-com fans.

The Murder of Mr. Ma

A fast-paced, vibrantly narrated novel, offering a cracking-good mystery and a thought-provoking glimpse into the challenges experienced by Chinese immigrants in 1920s London.

Bad Animals

An intriguing look at one woman’s psyche as her once-secure life goes off the rails. Listeners who enjoy drama and relational conflict with books and libraries sprinkled in will not want to miss this.

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