NEW ON THE LIST AND IN PUBLISHING
Breezy reading: Elin Hilderbrand’s latest beach read, The Identicals (Little, Brown), debuts at No. 2 on USA TODAY BestSelling Books list this week. It is the highest debut and rank for the author, who has previously had 13 novels and one short story make the list. Often dubbed the “Queen of Summer,” Hilderbrand’s books are becoming a seasonal staple, as important to beach reading as sunscreen and sand. Inspired by watching The Parent Trap with her daughter, Hilderbrand did a little island hopping this time around, setting the book on both Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
The Identicals is about estranged adult twin sisters raised separately after their parents’ divorce who must decide whether to reconcile when their father dies.
The Empire’s side: Tales of Star Wars’ greatest good guys — Han, Luke, Leia and the rest — are now legend, but there were heroes on the other side as well. The new novel Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad (Del Rey Books, out July 25) focuses on Iden Versio and other Imperial soldiers whose nobility depends on if you’re a part of the Rebel Alliance or fancy yourself a devotee of Darth Vader. “It was wonderful to be able to explore the Empire’s side of things through the eyes of someone who is a strong, likable person who firmly believes in what she’s been taught the Empire espouses,” says author Christie Golden ( Star Wars: Dark Disciple). Read an exclusive excerpt from the prequel to the Battlefront II video game at life.usatoday.com.