Family, Friends, Lovers: Fiction Previews, Oct. 2022, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Books for (and sometimes about) the holidays. 

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Backman, Fredrik. The Winners. Atria. Oct. 2022. 688p. ISBN 9781982112790. $28.99. lrg. prnt. CD. CONTEMP

Cousens, Sophie. Before I Do. Putnam. Oct. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780593539873. pap. $17. Downloadable.

Deveraux, Jude & Tara Sheets. Thief of Fate. Mira: Harlequin. Oct. 2022. ISBN 9780778333586. $28.99; pap. ISBN 9780778386551. $17.99. CD. ROMANCE

Hilderbrand, Elin. Endless Summer: Stories. Little, Brown. Oct. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780316460910. $29. CD/downloadable. CONTEMP

Kennedy, Deborah E. Billie Starr’s Book of Sorries. Flatiron: Macmillan. Oct. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781250138439. $27.99. FAMILY LIFE

Macomber, Debbie. The Christmas Spirit. Ballantine. Oct. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9780593500101. $22. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable. ROMANCE

Mallery, Susan. Home Sweet Christmas. HQN. Oct. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781335449986. $28.99; pap. 384p. ISBN 9781335934000. $17.99. CD. ROMANCE

Martin, Celestine. Witchful Thinking. Forever: Hachette. Oct. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781538738078. pap. $15.99. ROMANCE

Nwabineli, Onyi. Someday, Maybe. Graydon House: Harlequin. Oct. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781525899805. $26.99. CD. CONTEMP

Patterson, James & Tad Safran. The Twelve Long, Hard, Topsy-Turvy, Very Messy Days of Christmas. Little, Brown. Oct. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9780316405904. $25. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable. HOLIDAYS

Picoult, Jodi & Jennifer Finney Boylan. Mad Honey. Ballantine. Oct. 2022. 464p. ISBN 9781984818386. $29.99. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable. CONTEMP

Steel, Danielle. The High Notes. Delacorte. Oct. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781984821744. $28.99. lrg. prnt. CONTEMP

Backman’s The Winners revisits the small but tough rural community first seen in the multi-best-booked Beartown, inspiration for the HBO original. From Cousens (This Times Next Year), Before I Do features Audrey, who’s about to marry dependable Josh when his sister turns up with the guy Audrey always wanted. With Thief of Fate, Deveraux and Sheets wrap up a trilogy about an 1840s Irish thief in contemporary Providence Falls, NC, who is tasked by the angels with righting the wrong of having lured away Cora from her intended (75,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). Hilderbrand’s Endless Summer offers nine stories serving as prequels, sequels, and interim chapters illuminating her beloved novels (375,000-copy first printing). In Edgar-nominated Kennedy’s Billie Starr’s Book of Sorries, down-on-her-luck Jenny Newberg (mother of the eponymous Billie) unwisely accepts money to seduce the so-called Candidate (75,000-copy first printing). Macomber gets us in The Christmas Spirit with the story of two friends, a bartender and a pastor, and what they learn when they trade places for the holidays. Second in a series set in Wishing Tree, WA, Mallery’s Home Sweet Christmas features two women—one a town newbie, another home temporarily—with Christmas surprises in store (250,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). Bringing together stay-at-home witch Lucy Caraway and merman Alex, out of his element in Freya Grove, NJ, Martin’s Witchful Thinking launches a series featuring Black characters, with books already slated for publication in 2023 and 2024 (45,000-copy first printing). Nigerian British Nwabineli debuts with Someday, Maybe, about a young woman struggling to recover from her husband’ suicide (75,000-copy first printing). Thanks to Patterson and coauthor Safran, lonely widower Henry Sullivan and children Will and Ella end up welcoming a raucous bunch of animals and houseguests to their Harlem brownstone during The Twelve Long, Hard, Topsy-Turvy, Very Messy Days of Christmas (125,000-copy first printing). Picoult and Boylan’s Mad Honey stars a wealthy wife returning to her New Hampshire hometown after discovering her husband’s ugly side. In Steel’s latest, a sensational young singer who hits all The High Notes must wrestle freedom from those who would exploit her, including her father.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; winner of ALA's Louis Shores Award for reviewing; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle, which awarded her its inaugural Service Award in 2023.

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