Books Worth Buying in 2013

Ellen Oh

Two friends have novels that will hit bookstores in 2013, and I’m THAT excited!

Ellen Oh has been an online friend for years, and I’ve always been impressed with her kindness, thoughtfulness, patience, and intelligence. When she landed a three-book deal with HarperTeen to bring The Dragon King Chronicles to North Americans readers, I literally did a happy dance.

I’m not kidding. I’d be hard-pressed to find a more deserving writer. It lands on January 2.

Will Ellen’s first book — The Prophecy — be your cup of tea? I had a happy thought recently, that if had to endure another surgery in the New Year, then Ellen’s novel could be my hopsital book.

Now that is a silver lining.

So go, go now. Pre-order it on Amazon.


The greatest warrior in all of the Seven Kingdoms . . . is a girl with yellow eyes.

Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and she’s also the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope. . . .

Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King’s prophecy, but the legendary lost ruby treasure just might be the true key to victory. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, an evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.

Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.

Jennifer Zobair

What can I say about Jennifer Zobair? She’s the perceptive, gracious, talented woman who asked hard questions of me last winter as I prepared to go under the knife, and then rallied friends to launch a online fundraiser that got us through a couple of brutal months.

I will never forget that act of kindness, nor the support of a community that pulled me from the mire, and sparked optimism that maybe it would all work out, in the end.

Amusingly, we met during an online writing contest where we both finished well back. Yet we were both so mpressed with each other’s entries that we voted for them. I’m pretty sure it’s the only vote I received.

How could we not become friends after that?

Jennifer is a wonderful writer, and I know — I just know — that this will be a fabulous book.

Painted Hands will hit bookstores on June 11, but I think you need to buy it now.

Painted hands

“A debut with an original and refreshing premise—Jennifer Zobair’s novel is about high-flying Bostonian women who struggle with their demanding careers, relationships, friendships and families, and who also happen to be Muslim. A positive portrait of modern Muslim women, prominent in their professions and at large within their communities, written with affection and detail.”—Roopa Farooki, Orange Prize finalist and author of The Flying Man.

“In Painted Hands, Jennifer Zobair lifts the veil on three American Muslim women, taking readers into a world that will challenge their assumptions. Her debut novel is an important addition to the canon of ethnic fiction, showcasing the difficulty of being both American and Muslim.”—Anne Cherian, author of The Invitation and A Good Indian Wife.

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3 Responses to Books Worth Buying in 2013

  1. Aw, thanks, Richard! This is really kind of you.

    Ellen’s novel sounds great! And maybe you’ll get to read it at home, after they tell you you don’t need another surgery. One can hope, right?


  2. Ellen Oh (@elloecho) says:

    Oh Richard! You are the kindest and most supportive friend and what I hope for is that in the coming new year, that I will get a chance to meet you in person!

    I’m going to second Jennifer (who’s book sounds terrific, btw!) and say, let’s hope you get to read it at home and no surgery is needed because you’ve beaten back that nasty thing! that’s what I’m praying for!


  3. Morgan Shamy says:

    Both of these books look fabulous—thanks for highlighting them, Richard. You’ve got a wonderful site here. Glad I stumbled across. (And Nova Scotia is my favorite place on earth, btw! Magic.) Hope your projects are going well!

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