Happy 2023 (in books!)

Happy New Year! In something that’s becoming a bit of a tradition, below is a wrap up of books I’ve edited coming out in 2023. As always, there’s room for a surprise or two along the way, but I’m editing books for 2024 and buying for late 2024 and beyond, so my list should be pretty settled.

I’m organizing this by pub dates, which are subject to change due to various factors (supply chain delays, printing times, carton shortages, fun secret news—which one doesn’t fit here?), but shouldn’t change much. So here’s what I worked on in 2022 for your enjoyment in 2023!

January 2023

THE REUNION by Kayla Olson, January 17

To address the obvious joke—Kayla Olson is not my penname! Although we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of that coincidence. Kayla’s rom-com debut is as delightful and effervescent as a glass of champagne. The story follows costars from a teen TV show who reunite years later for a reunion special and find that the romantic connection they ignored years ago is just as strong. The book has won over many fans pre-pub and is a Book of the Month selection for January and an Indie Next pick for February.

THE TWYFORD CODE by Janice Hallett, January 24

You may remember Janice from a couple of posts about her debut novel THE APPEAL last year. This year, she’s back with THE TWYFORD CODE (released in 2022 in the UK). Told entirely in voice memo transcriptions, this novel about an ex-con who goes back to investigate a possible code in a forgotten children’s books and his teacher’s disappearance more than forty years ago, has one of my favorite twists—both shocking and moving. It has racked up three starred trade reviews and was a major bestseller in the UK.

February 2023

ICEBREAKER by Hannah Grace, February 7

New year, new TikTok sensation! In what’s becoming something of an annual tradition, I’m kicking off February with a new edition of a self-published novel that blew up on TikTok. This one is Hannah Grace’s ICEBREAKER, which is about a competitive ice skater and a hockey team captain who are forced to share a rink (an obviously chemistry) after a college facilities mishap. Important note: this one is definitely 18+. Lots more from Hannah to come!

March 2023

ALL THE QUEEN’S SPIES by Oliver Clements, March 14

The third installment of Oliver Clements’ exhilarating and adventurous Agents of the Crown series, about John Dee and Elizabeth I’s team of spies. This latest volume takes place primarily in England and Prague, where John Dee infiltrates the court of Rudolf II with help from his wife Jane, a Polish count, and Christopher Marlowe.

April 2023

TO SWOON AND TO SPAR by Martha Waters, April 11

This is a year of continuing series and many returning authors for me! Martha Waters’s books have delighted me since her debut TO HAVE AND TO HOAX, which kicked off her Regency Vows series. And the madcap antics of a group of hysterical friends in Regency England are back here, with a little more bite (and haunting) than usual. This novel follows Penvale (Diana’s brother) and his new wife Jane, who stages a fake haunting as his Cornwall manor in the hopes that she can scare him back to London. Also a gentle send-up of Gothic novels, this is one of my favorites in the series.

May 2023

HAVE YOU SEEN HER by Catherine McKenzie, May 23

I have many memories of trips to Yosemite, and so I was delighted—and a little unnerved—to be editing a thriller set there. The awe-inspiring scenery only enhances the danger experienced by Cassie, who has returned after a ten-year absence on the Search and Rescue team, and two other women whose paths collide with hers, with terrifying consequences. If you follow true crime, this is one for you.

JUNE 2023

THE LONG WAY BACK by Nicole Baart, June 13

A fellow author called Nicole “the queen of the family thriller,” which I’m only mentioning here because I think it’s apt. Nicole’s novels center family in a really interesting way, and this mother-daughter story about an Instagram-famous teen who disappears while boating with her mother one afternoon blazes its own path. It’s timely, arresting, and thought-provoking for anyone who puts their life online.

JULY 2023

THICKER THAN WATER by Megan Collins, July 11

Speaking of writers who chronicle family drama well! Megan Collins’s last book tells the story of sisters-in-law—and best friends—whose tight bond is tested when the man that connects them is accused of a horrific crime. Megan gets better with every book, and I can’t wait to see the audience who came to THE FAMILY PLOT return for this next novel.

I was going to add a few lines about my Fall books, but titles/covers are still in the works for the majority, and I don’t want to say anything when pub dates aren’t yet final. For now, I’ll tell you that there are three in Fall 2023, and I’ll plan to pop in here in Summer/early Fall to share about them and my holiday books.

Happy Reading!

Some Holiday Reading

A few people asked if I’d update with information about my fall books to give as holiday gifts, which makes sense this year because I have so many of them! Because my list is heavy on commercial and upmarket fiction, I traditionally frontload books in the spring and summer seasons. In publishing, fall is typically the time to publish major literary fiction and newsworthy non-fiction in hardcover. But, paradoxically, because of that, it’s also a great time to publish paperbacks for holiday shoppers at Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, etc. So, in addition to Elena Armas’s The American Roommate Experiment—already a major New York Times bestseller—here’s what I’m concentrating on this fall.

KISS HER ONCE FOR ME by Alison Cochrun (out November 1)

In this queer holiday rom-com, a struggling animator (and current barista) agrees to a fake engagement to her shop’s landlord to collect an inheritance, only to fall for his sister, with whom she had a whirlwind one-day romance the previous Christmas. It has a family holiday chalet, a dog called Paul Hollywood, and a love trapezoid. Is this enough to pick it up?

THE APPEAL by Janice Hallett (out November 1 in paperback)

This paperback of Janice’s spectacular UK bestseller THE APPEAL comes out this November, and I can’t wait for it to take the US by storm. Janice is writing some of the most inventive crime fiction today, and THE APPEAL’s paperback leads right into our publication of her next novel THE TWYFORD CODE in January. Written entirely in emails and WhatsApp messages, THE APPEAL moves at breakneck pace between members of a theatre troupe (and a few young lawyers searching for clues) with one dead body, fifteen suspects, and a killer possibly still at large.

FLIGHT RISK by Cherie Priest (out November 15)

Cherie’s Booking Agents series is pure fun. I’m not often drawn to anything supernatural in my novels, but psychic Leda Foley was so charming I just couldn’t resist. In this sequel to GRAVE RESERVATIONS, Leda and her unofficial crime-solving partner Grady, a Seattle PD detective, once again team up to solve interconnected crimes about a missing wife and a severed leg retrieved by Grady’s lost dog on a mountain trail. Don’t worry, it’s not as gruesome as it sounds! (And zero dogs are harmed in the course of this book.)

Fall is in full swing here in New York. Submissions are rushing in. The city’s cultural centers are bustling. Publishing parties are back! We haven’t even hit Halloween yet, and I found holiday decorations out at Target this afternoon. And so in that spirit, a few favorites of mine to give for the holidays.

SALT FAT ACID HEAT by Samin Nosrat

I hoard copies of this cookbook to give as a gift. Birthdays, housewarmings, holidays: the occasion truly doesn’t matter. This one is really about the basics of good cooking. There are plenty of recipes, but actually sitting down and reading it has also made me a better cook. I have my rice-to-liquid ratios down pat, know what salt to use on what, and finally understand why heat matters. Any home cook, from beginner to expert, can benefit from it.


This is among my favorite novels read in the last five years (although it came out in 2011). Set over the course of a year in 1938, it follows a young secretary making her way through New York society who becomes wrapped up with a mysterious and charismatic young banker. But is really about choices–the ones we make, the ones we don’t, and who we become as a result. I’m fascinated by the concept of “right” choices, and this novel mirrored much of my own philosophy in its prologue and epilogue, both set at a gallery opening in 1966. This is my personal favorite of Amor Towles’s novels, and I think there’s something in it to appeal to a wide swath of people.


My dad and I loved watching Secrets of Great British Castles last year, which is hosted by historian Dan Jones. I picked up a copy of THE PLANTAGENETS for my dad last year, knowing that we both loved Dan Jones’s engaging and accessible style. And although I did give it to my dad for Christmas, I immediately proceeded to “borrow” it for the next week. There are plenty of history books aimed at very specific interests, but I thought this was a good overview (although I also happen to be fascinated by the Plantagenets).

Happy Reading! I am off to continue reading Beatriz Williams’s OUR WOMAN IN MOSCOW and snack on a maple bacon biscuit with my dinner.

Happy 2022 (in books)!

Happy 2022! I’m welcoming the new year as I do most years—with a little hope, a little trepidation, and a wish for every year to be a little bit kinder than the last. Beyond that, I haven’t done much thinking about what the new year will bring, since longtime friends and readers know that I make resolutions for my birthday rather than January 1.

But while safely home for the holidays, I’ve had lots of questions about what my year in new books looks like, and while my mother’s email list is extensive, I thought it might be fun and easier to put them here in one place. So here’s what I worked on last year-—for you to read this year.

January 2022

THE APPEAL by Janice Hallett, January 25

The crime debut of the year in the UK (if you go by the Sunday Times, as I do), a very modern epistolary novel about an amateur theatre group who rallies to raise money for a family in need, but when one person turns up dead, everyone’s motives are in question. This is one of the most inventive novels I’ve read in years, and although it came out last year in the UK, Americans should fall in love, too! (Janice’s next book, THE TWYFORD CODE, will be out in 2023 here).

February 2022

THE SPANISH LOVE DECEPTION by Elena Armas, February 1

A breakout TikTok sensation in 2021, we’re publishing a new edition February 1, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Readers have continued to flock to this romance, which won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Debut Novel, and we have a sequel coming later in the year (find it below)!

March 2022

A GIRL DURING THE WAR by Anita Abriel, March 1

A heartfelt novel set during Italy in WWII about a young art student who flees to Florence and finds herself torn between a young partisan and her work, with hope for what her life will be after the war.

April 2022

TO MARRY AND TO MEDDLE by Martha Waters, April 5

Martha’s previous novels, TO HAVE AND TO HOAX and TO LOVE AND TO LOATHE, belong to the growing trend of Regency rom-coms—set in a historical context, but with the modernity of a contemporary rom-com—that has only grown since Bridgerton graced our screens. They are some of my favorite novels to edit, and with Emily and Belfry’s marriage of convenience, she’s turned what could be a very staid and traditional take on the trope on its head.


THE PATRON SAINT OF SECOND CHANCES was the funniest book I read in 2021. Set in a small town in Calabria, the self-appointed mayor (and vacuum repairman) of his village invents a rumor that a famous movie star will be filming his next role in town. Things spin wildly and hilariously out of control. A true delight about the power of community and connection.

May 2022

PLEASE JOIN US by Catherine McKenzie, May 24

Catherine has written a number of heart-pounding thrillers, but this one is truly exceptional. A lawyer on the cusp of 40 receives an invitation to join a women’s networking group at a pivotal time; her husband thinks there’s something fishy about it, but when she attends their retreat, she finds it’s all it promises to be. Until she’s called to a congresswoman’s apartment late one night and asked to help dispose of a body.

June 2022

MEANT TO BE MINE by Hannah Orenstein, June 7

Young women flock for Hannah’s books for tales of young professional women dating in New York, and this one is no exception—but with a twist. The protagonist’s grandmother predicts the day everyone in the family meets the love of their life, and on her predestined day, she finds herself seated next to a handsome musician on a plane. Can you really predict love?

Fall 2022


Remember THE SPANISH LOVE DECEPTION? Its sequel, THE AMERICAN ROOMMATE EXPERIMENT, about Lina’s best friend Rosie and her cousin Lucas will be out this fall. And that’s about all I’m allowed to tell you about it.

FLIGHT RISK by Cherie Priest, Fall 2022

Cherie Priest’s rollicking romp of a mystery GRAVE RESERVATIONS introduced us to Leda Foley, a travel agent and inconsistent psychic who teams up with Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt to solve a cold case. Leda, Grady, and the gang are back here in another PNW mystery featuring two cases—a husband and wife—that may or may not be connected. I predict it will thrill.

KISS HER ONCE FOR ME by Alison Cochrun, Fall 2022

Alison’s debut, THE CHARM OFFENSIVE, ended up on a number of “best of” lists, and KISS HER ONCE FOR ME delivers another great love story about a young barista who gets involved in a fake engagement scheme with her landlord—only to fall for his sister. Perfect for the holidays, and to end the year on a high note.

And now I’m off to edit for 2023! May 2022 be bright.

Weekend Reads- Sex and Vanity

Good morning! And happy long weekend!


Here is my book: Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

And here is my breakfast: Bagel and lox from my local café

What a strange Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. It is overcast and on the nippy end in New York today, after some glorious weather Friday and an upcoming week in the 70s. In an alternate version of 2020, I was supposed to be in Santa Barbara this weekend celebrating my cousin Joe’s wedding. I’d been looking forward to it for over a year. My plane ticket was booked, my outfits had been selected, and then the world halted. Compared to what many have gone through, this is nothing but a sad blip, and we’ll gather next year instead–same venue, same weekend, same outfits.

I’m very excited to settle into Kevin Kwan’s latest novel, given my well documented love of the Crazy Rich Asians series. (Thank you, Doubleday!) I logged into my long dormant NetGalley account this weekend and have had lots of fun browsing the options. Sex and Vanity is among my most anticipated of 2020 (out June 30) and given that I would very much like to attend a wedding on Capri right now, I think this will be a perfect pick-me-up. I’d tell you more about it, but I’ve barely started!

I have a new writing project I’m excited about, although it requires much more research than anything I’ve written previously, but I have a solid base knowledge to work with (why didn’t I think of this years ago?!). Everything is slow going in the early stages, but now that I’m nearly finished with the Italian course on Duolingo, I’m ready for a new quarantine hobby.

Wishing you a safe and happy weekend!


Weekend Reads- Wow, No Thank You

Good morning!


Here is my book: Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

(Is this the first time someone has read Italo Calvino and Samantha Irby simultaneously?)

And here is my breakfast: A maple bacon biscuit (the last one of the batch!) and coffee

I haven’t read as I thought I would during quarantine. I have the attention span of a gnat. I have lots of submissions that don’t seem to catch my interest (but several that have!). I’ve been using this indeterminable time to read things that I’ve meant to get to—Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, Italo Calvino’s Le città invisibili. (Italians, apparently, since I’ve been learning Italian.) I’ve also read a few other things for fun: The Hotel Neversink, Sometimes I Lie, Watch Me Disappear, The Forbidden Kingdom, all of which were winners.

But Samantha Irby and Wow, No Thank You is honestly the most fun I’ve had reading in a long time. I laughed out loud at least every page and spat my drink out several times. It was exactly the balm I needed right now. Many have mourned the fact that books coming out during the pandemic may get less attention—which I don’t think is entirely true, given the resources that have popped up to support them—and author tours are certainly impossible, but I do think this humorous essay collection happened to come out at the perfect time. I admire the confessional style here, although it’s something I think I’d rarely attempt on my own. But I was inspired by it! So expect a less writing and editing-focused post about quarantine soon.

Honestly, aside from the laughs, my self-directed takeaway was that there’s no one right way to live a life, a comforting thought now more than ever.

Weekend Reads- In the Dream House

Here is my book: In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

Here is my breakfast: Eric Kayser baguette and coffee


I’ve been following Carmen Maria Machado’s career for a few years, ever since the submission for Her Body and Other Parties came around. The book went on to receive much deserved attention and awards. I’m drawn to fiction with an element of fabulism and folklore, which comes from a personal desire, I think, to understand how and why we tell stories as well as why certain stories transcend time. I believe, too, that sometimes an unreality–metaphors turned literal–can better illustrate a moment or emotion.

Parul Sehgal wrote a stunning review of this book in the New York Times, explaining the magic of this book in ways much more articulate than I can.

But this isn’t entirely fiction. This memoir, for lack of a better term for this genre-bending work, was one of the most hotly anticipated books of the year for me. Machado employs a number of different narrative forms, genres, and tropes as she unfurls the story of her abusive relationship. It is smart and witty; shocking and sad. A bundle of contradictions, just the way I love my books. I admiredthe way she integrates the archival silence of domestic abuse in queer relationship into the larger narrative, using her personal story as a way to explore how and why certain stories are told (a topic of great discussion in the literary world this week) and endure.

I’m a form nut, so seeing her manipulate her personal story into various literary genres, fascinated me. Form provides the lens through which we view the story, setting up our expectations, which Machado then subverts. It’s amazing to see this done so skillfully–because it takes incredible skill to pull off this stitching of forms.

But I also enjoy reading Carmen Maria Machado’s work for her language–the pure joy of reading. I’ll leave with the last paragraph of “Dream House as Folktale Taxonomy.”

“There is a Quichua riddle: El que me nombra, me rompe. Whatever names me, breaks me. The solution, of course, is ‘silence.’ But the truth it, anyone who knows your name can break you in two.”

Highly recommending this one for fans of literary fiction, fabulism, and anyone interested in narrative form.

Introducing FILL ME IN!

It’s been a while since I’ve written here—partly because of fall submissions season, partly because of work changes, and partly because my reading has felt a little uninspired lately.

But today I get to write about something I love, FILL ME IN, a journal I created with the rest of the Touchstone team. Today is its publication day!


This book started with the germ of an idea a year and a half ago. It was May 2017, and I’d gone to a friend’s apartment with a group of people I thought I knew well. We opened one of those question chat packs and went around answering increasingly personal questions for hours. We had the best time, and I learned a lot about everyone else in the process.

May also means graduation season, and as I saw photos of newly minted graduates in their robes, I remembered my own graduation festivities. The night before we graduated college, my friends and I sat down and wrote out predictions for the rest of our lives—where we’d live, in what order we’d marry, whether we’d have children. As the unofficial group secretary, I took the notes and became the keeper of the document (and bets).


I wondered why there were no friendship journals for adults, the kind I wanted with my friends. So, after thinking it over for a week, I walked into a coworker’s office and asked if this idea for an adult friendship journal-—part memories, part predictions—was crazy. She didn’t think so, and I brought it up at a meeting our editor-in-chief held for young editors. No one there thought it was crazy either.

So I went ahead and made the friendship journal I wanted myself. The content was written and workshopped with much of the Touchstone team (and at dinner with friends). We hired the fabulous Jo Harrison to create illustrations to accompany several of the questions. Our production and design teams outdid themselves to make our vision a reality. I am so, so grateful.


Getting a book from idea to finished product is hard; I’ve shepherded enough of them to know. Creating the content, trusting my instincts in package and design was hard, but this book was also a lot of fun—pure joy when so much of the rest of the world has felt dark.

There’s a short introduction at the beginning of the book that I’ll quote in part here: “I’m sure all your friends are great, but mine are the best.”

I hope you’ll share it with yours.

x Kait

P.S. You can purchase a copy here on Amazon. If you love it, find us on Instagram @fillmeinjournal. All photos here by our fabulous marketer and Instagram queen Isabel DaSilva.


Books for a Long Plane Ride

An old friend texted me out of the blue a few weeks ago. We live in different cities, so we don’t see each other often, but last summer we were both in New York for several months, and I lent her some of my favorite recent reads. A month ago, she was traveling and had several long plane rides. She liked my recommendations last summer, did I have any more for her?

I tried to keep my reads within the last year (with an exception for a series). And two books that I recently read and wanted to recommend aren’t yet out, but are listed below.

EDUCATED by Tara Westover- This memoir had been on my radar for a while before it was released in February, and I’d heard from a number of readers I trust that it was a gripping read. The general premise is almost hard to believe–a young woman from a survivalist family in Idaho, whose homeschooled education has been largely ignored, teaches herself enough math, science, and English to take the SAT and get into BYU. From there, she goes on to get graduate degrees from Harvard and Cambridge while struggling to reconcile her new intellectual life with her upbringing. I found the latter half–her (fraught) assimilation into higher education–most interesting, but Westover’s writing about the rural landscape around her and the complicated dynamics of her family is worth the read alone.

THE IMMORTALISTS by Chloe Benjamin- I read this over my holiday break–another book that had been on my radar for a long time. Another startling premise (this one fictional): four siblings visit a fortune teller on the Lower East Side and learn the dates they will die, with huge implications for how they live their lives. I fell hard for the Golds. Simon and Klara, the youngest siblings, move to San Francisco in the ’80s and find work as a dancer and magician, respectively. The elder two siblings, Daniel and Varya, finds respectable jobs in science. I was most drawn to Simon and Klara, younger and more vivid in the novel itself, but I wonder if that’s more a symptom of my age and experience than anything else. This is a spellbinding novel about fate, purpose, and how to live a meaningful, engaged life, whether or not you know exactly how much time you have.

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman- The joy in this novel is in how it all unfolds for the reader. I have to confess to have mixed feelings about this one; I loved it all the way until the end, when one twist made me throw the book across the room. But the read was good enough to make it on here. It’s hard to talk about this book without giving much away; Eleanor Oliphant lives a very ordinary, solitary life (with the exception of phone calls from her “mummy”), that is never better than “fine,” until she falls in love with a musician who doesn’t know she exists and meets a new friend from IT. The plot doesn’t sound like a page-turner until you realize that the real story is Eleanor’s mysterious past. I had some doubts until I got about 40 pages in, and it slowly dawned on me–oh, this is going to be messed* up.

*Fine, I used a different term, but my parents read this blog

CRAZY RICH ASIANS Series by Kevin Kwan- My CRAZY RICH ASIANS (and CHINA RICH GIRLFRIEND and RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS) obsession has been well documented on this blog. These books are perfect plane fare: funny, smart, jet-setting. They’re not slim tomes, so one volume might last you one cross-country flight, but if you’re headed to Asia, I’d go ahead and bring the whole set.

BONUS: The two books I wanted to recommend but are not yet out:

THE LOST QUEEN by Signe Pike (pub date: Sept. 4, 2018): Full disclosure, I work on this one, and when I describe it to people I always start out the same way: Did you know that Merlin of Arthurian legend had a twin sister? This is historical fiction set in sixth century Scotland–I time I’ll admit I’m not particularly passionate about, except here–about Languoreth, the twin sister of the man who served as the historical inspiration for Merlin. The children of a powerful chieftain, Languoreth went on to become a powerful queen in her own life, but has gone mostly unnoticed in history.

SOCIAL CREATURE by Tara Isabella Burton (pub date: June 5, 2018): I’ve been recommending this book to almost everyone in New York. Pitched as a Mr. Ripley for the digital age, it delivers exactly that. It’s effervescent, beguiling, almost aspirational until it isn’t. The New York references (some lightly disguised) make you feel like you’re in on some inside joke. It’s unlike anything else I’ve read recently.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

I’ve been in something of a reading slump this fall, and I was counting on my winter vacation to pull me out of it. The last novel I read I had loved–until I got to the last five pages, when a late (unnecessary) plot twist had me ranting for days. But that’s a different book.


The Immortalists at The Magic Castle

The Immortalists had been sitting on my shelf since BEA way back in June, and by the time I reached the end, I wondered why I waited so long. (But a note of warning: reading on an airplane while trying not to cry is perhaps not the best place.)

The setup requires you to suspend disbelief for a while, but it’s simple enough. Four siblings, ranging from ages 7 to 13, visit a fortune teller and learn the day that each will die. From there the story spins off into four parts, following each of the Gold siblings as their lives diverge and intersect in places you might not have expected. The narrative runs chronologically from 1978 to the present day, but so much of it feels timeless. But the big questions always have a way of feeling present, don’t they? This is a novel about how we live our lives in the face of inevitable loss; about how we tether ourselves to our families; and how we grapple with knowledge we’d rather just forget.

I was most drawn in by Simon and Klara, the two youngest siblings, who narrate the first half of the novel. Creative, unconventional free spirits, I thought they made for the most intriguing characters. Once I finished, though, I wondered if I might identify more with Daniel or Varya if I read this at a different point in my life. That’s some of the magic of this novel.

And speaking of magic–as a longtime lover of magic, having spent many evenings at The Magic Castle–I’m a sucker for a novel about magicians. Klara begins as a close up and parlor magician, but makes her name as a mentalist, specializing in a trick called Second Sight (which I’ve seen done at The Magic Castle), which she and her partner perform by using synchronized counting. Her narrative offers some of my favorite passages in the book, including this one:

“Most adults claim not to believe in magic, but Klara knows better. Why else would anyone play at permanence–fall in love, have children, buy a house–the the face of all evidence there’s no such thing? The trick is not to convert them. The trick is to get them to admit it.”

But the magic in this book, like so many books I love, is in the telling. It’s perfect for those who love a family saga, nuanced characters, and an elegant structure. It’s the “what if” that matters here–what if the psychic was right?