Tuesday, March 30, 2021

March 30th 2021 LIBERTIE by Kaitlyn Greenidge @algonquinbooks, @surlybassey

Publisher : Algonquin Books (March 30, 2021)
Language : English
Hardcover : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 1616207019

The critically acclaimed and Whiting Award–winning author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman returns with Libertie, an unforgettable story about one young Black girl’s attempt to find a place where she can be fully, and only, herself.

Coming of age as a freeborn Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson is all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, has a vision for their future together: Libertie is to go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie, drawn more to music than science, feels stifled by her mother’s choices and is hungry for something else—is there really only one way to have an autonomous life? And she is constantly reminded that, unlike her mother, who can pass, Libertie has skin that is too dark. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it—for herself and for generations to come.

Inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States and rich with historical detail, Kaitlyn Greenidge’s new and immersive novel will resonate with readers eager to understand our present through a deep, moving, and lyrical dive into our complicated past.

Named One of the Most-Anticipated Books of 2021 by:

O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, The Millions, Refinery29, Publishers Lunch, BuzzFeed, The Rumpus, BookPage, Harper's Bazaar, Ms., Goodreads, and more

The #1 Indie Next Pick for April!
A March LibraryReads Selection

“Pure brilliance. So much will be written about Libertie—how it blends history and magic into a new kind of telling, how it spins the past to draw deft circles around our present—but none of it will measure up to the singular joy of reading this book.”
—Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk

“This is one of the most thoughtful and amazingly beautiful books I’ve read all year. Kaitlyn Greenidge is a master storyteller.”
—Jacqueline Woodson, author of Red at the Bone

A Roxane Gay Audacious Book Club Selection (May)
A For Colored Girls Book Club Selection (April)
A Well-Read Black Girl Book Club Selection (May)

“Greenidge follows up her highly successful debut novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman, with the heart-wrenching fictional story of the young daughter of one of the first female physicians in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, a stunning look at what freedom really means.”
—Adrienne Gaffney, The New York Times

“With Libertie . . . Greenidge is making a stylistic leap with an intricately researched and lushly imagined coming-of-age story set in 19th-century Brooklyn and Jacmel, Haiti . . . Both epic and intimate.”
—Alexandra Alter, The New York Times

“From the first page, Greenidge catapults us into a masterfully crafted story in which the possibilities, limitations and shifting contours of freedom for Black people take center stage. Inspired by the true story of Susan Smith McKinney Steward, the first Black woman to become a doctor in the state of New York, and her daughter, Greenidge breathes powerful life into this lesser-known history. She conjures a fiercely gorgeous, complex portrait of life for Black women during the Reconstruction era. It is a story that’s at once politically weighted and intimately resonant . . . Greenidge perfectly weds the precision of historical details and context with fantastical elements of myth and magic to illuminate the enduring questions: What does freedom mean for Black girls and women? What does it look, smell, feel, sound and taste like? Libertie is a beautifully written meditation on Black liberation and imagination. It is exquisite historical fiction that lovingly reminds us to reassess our own present-day commitments to fighting for, and practicing, freedom.”
—Ms. magazine

“Spectacular . . . A revelatory and enchanting piece of historical fiction.”

“Greenidge’s immersive story . . . heralds a blossoming literary career.”
—Bethanne Patrick, Los Angeles Times


One of the most enjoyable experience for me is reading about coming of age stories that follow a character from the time of youth to adulthood, and where the character arc is evident through a masterful storytelling. I thought Greenidge accomplished and captured the voice of Libertie beautifully.

Libertie is a story set in the Reconstruction era post American Civil War circa 1865 that is focused on Libertie Sampson, the daughter of the first practicing black female physician in Brooklyn. Since a child, Libertie has seen what her mother could accomplish as a physician in her community so much so believing that her mother can raise the dead after seeing a very sick man in a casket brought in to her home clinic. Of course her mother idealized for Libertie to follow suit in practicing alongside her by sending Libertie to college and hopefully medical school to see her daughter practice side by side with her. However, Libertie is drawn to music and matters of the heart rather than physical science. The book is beautifully told as one freeborn black woman whose skin is just a bit too dark navigates her freedom from girlhood to womanhood as complex themes of racial identity, slavery, womanhood and class is addressed in this fantastic work of fiction based on true life events. 

A truly mesmerizing book about all forms of freedom one wants to achieve in a beautiful story about the complexities of a mother and daughter relationship. I highly recommend this read.


Kaitlyn Greenidge's debut novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman, was one of the New York Times Critics’ Top 10 Books of 2016 and a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times, and her writing has also appeared in Vogue, Glamour, the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her second novel, Libertie, will be published by Algonquin Books on March 30, 2021. Greenidge lives in Brooklyn, New York.

03.30.2021 FLIGHT (The Texas Murder Files Book 2) by Laura Griffin Berkley Mass Market Paperback

Publisher : Berkley (March 30, 2021)
Language : English
Mass Market Paperback : 352 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593197348

One tenacious local detective can only get the help he needs from a former forensic photographer with a serial killer on the loose in the new romantic thriller from New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin.
When former forensic photographer Miranda Rhoads moves to the seaside town of Lost Beach, she's decided to make her living as a wildlife photographer and put crime scenes behind her. But her plans are quickly upended when one morning, she comes across a couple sleeping in a canoe, entwined in an embrace. Looking closer, she realizes the man and woman aren't asleep--they've been murdered.

Detective Joel Breda sets out to find answers--not only about the unidentified victims in the marshy death scene, but also about the aloof and beautiful photographer who seems to know more about his investigation than he does.

As they begin to unravel the motivation of a merciless serial killer, Miranda and Joel must race against the clock to make an arrest before the killer can find them first.


Praise for Laura Griffin and her novels

"Griffin never disappoints with her exciting, well-researched, fast-paced romantic thrillers."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Gritty, imaginative, sexy! You must read Laura Griffin."--New York Times bestselling author Cindy Gerard

"Top-notch romantic suspense! Fast pace, tight plotting, terrific mystery, sharp dialogue, fabulous characters."--New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan

"A gripping, white-knuckle read. You won't be able to put it down."--New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak

"An emotional, exciting page-turner. Griffin deftly balances the mystery and the love story."--The Washington Post


RITA award winner Laura Griffin delivers another five-star read on this second installment of the Texas Murder Files. I read Hidden last fall and really enjoyed the fast-paced romantic suspense and that edge of your seat type thriller. Griffin I believe writes the best mix of suspense and romance. She has quickly become a favorite of mine since reading Hidden. Her books are very readable, has that surprising twists I just love in a murder mystery and of course that touch of romance set in her hometown, Texas.

In this second book, we follow forensic photographer turned wildlife photographer Miranda Rhoades who discovers a pair of bodies entwined in an embrace. Moving to the seaside town of Lost Beach, Miranda thought she could start a new life and put the crime scenes behind. Little did she know that her expertise would be put to great use especially working with Detective Joel Breda. The whole process of how the culprits unravel is the true joy of reading this novel. The police procedural was on point and really takes us through the whole investigation of this crime thriller.

I really enjoyed this book and the series so far. The writing is so immersive, and Laura Griffin just knows how to set the stage for her stories and truly immersing the readers into the beautiful Texan backdrop of her stories. The characters are also quite compelling to read with amazing back stories that make this book a riveting read.

About the Author

Laura Griffin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty-five books and novellas. She is a two-time RITA® Award winner as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021



A Little Birdie Told Me…

It’s 1988. The era of young love, with Scott and Charlene melting hearts in Neighbours, and a new princess for the Royal Family. With Bros, Madonna and Wet Wet Wet in the charts, and children hoping for Ghostbusters’ toys in their stockings.

But it’s not all fun for Belinda. If her life was a board game, she’s losing at snakes and ladders. Once she’d been working her way up one of those ladders but, thanks to her snake-like polytechnic lecturer, she’s toppled from the rungs. Now she works in an old people’s home, where her chief duties involve cleaning toilets and emptying commodes.

At least her lovely colleague, Joe, offers excitement in her otherwise dreary life. But Belinda can’t believe he'd be interested in someone like her. Not when her pretty friend, Tracey, only has to glance at a man to have him fall for her.

But just when it seems things are looking up for Belinda, the residents’ precious possessions start to go missing. Then she witnesses a disturbing incident and doesn’t know what to do. Luckily, Belinda has Joe to guide her – until she discovers that he’s hiding a secret, one that forces her to make an agonising decision.

Will she continue to hide in the shadows, never speaking out – or will she put her future on the line to stand up for what is right? After all, she’s caring for a generation that's lived through two wars. Now it’s time to fight for them.


When I read the blurb of this book, I knew I wanted to read this for the flashback and reminiscing of the 80's and for Belinda whose character I really loved reading about - I mean I related to her story of her being a nurse and she works in a care home. I sat down with this book thinking I can read a few chapters in one afternoon, but what happened next is that my nose got stuck in this book until the very very end. 

This really was delightful and a great escape read I really enjoyed.

Thank you for bringing me back to the past in this amazing nostalgic read that I highly recommend.

Purchase Links

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Birdie-Told-intriguing-heartwarming-ebook/dp/B08TZV5385/

US - https://www.amazon.com/Little-Birdie-Told-intriguing-heartwarming-ebook/dp/B08TZV5385/

Author Bio –

Sharley Scott is the author of the Devon Seaside Guesthouse novels – Bedlam & Breakfast and B&Bers Behaving Madly – and the Maddie Meadows series.

Sharley is a guesthouse owner in South Devon. She is thankful to have been blessed with lots of amazing and kind-hearted guests, who are nothing like some of the fictional characters featured in the Devon Seaside Guesthouse series.

The Two Lives of Maddie Meadows – and its sequel The Gift of a Rose – portray the life of a working single mum. Some of the mischief Maddie's little one, Josh, gets up to will be familiar to all parents. In real life, Sharley has carried out the threats she made to her son decades ago and now gets her own back him by telling tales to his girlfriend (some of the incidents in the books are inspired by him), although he returns the favour by recounting utterly embarrassing stories about his mum.

Sharley's latest novel ‘A Little Birdie Told Me…’ is being published in February 2021. This book goes back in time to the late eighties: a time of fun music, interesting fashion, strange hairstyles and no internet or mobile phones. Fancy having to talk to each other! (Says the author who frequents Facebook too often).
W ith that in mind, Sharley can be found on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SharleyScott3/
Or follow Sharley on Twitter: @SharleyScott

Social Media Links –



Tuesday, March 23, 2021

03.23.2021 MEET ME IN PARADISE By Libby Hubscher; Berkley Jove Trade Paperback

Publisher : Berkley 
Publication date : March 23, 2021
Language : English

Marin Cole has never:Seen the ocean
Climbed a mountain
Taken a risk on love
....But if her sister's plan works, she just might do all three.

Ever since her journalist mother died on assignment, Marin has played it safe, refusing to set foot outside the state of Tennessee. Her wild-child younger sister, Sadie, has trotted the globe as a photographer, living off of art and adrenaline.

When Sadie returns from a tough assignment abroad and looks a little worse for wear, Marin reluctantly agrees to a sisters' spa weekend on the tropical island of Saba. But her lifelong fear of travel is affirmed when Sadie misses the flight, Marin's luggage gets mixed up with another passenger's, and an episode of turbulence sends her hurtling into the lap of Lucas Tsai, the handsome stranger who stole her sister's seat.

For the first time in a long time, Marin has to step outside of her comfort zone as she explores the island with Lucas and learns what she's been missing out on. With each breathtaking new experience, Marin gets closer to her real self, the man she’s falling for, and the heart-wrenching truth about why she’s there in the first place.


“Fun beach read + heartfelt sister bonds + self-discovery journey + slow burning romance = 100% pure pleasure!” —Priscilla Oliveras, USA Today Bestseller, on Meet Me in Paradise

Praise for Meet Me in Paradise

“Meet Me in Paradise is such a compelling read! By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, Libby Hubscher truly takes us on a journey as Marin learns to find happiness on her own terms. Her adventures are brought so vividly to life that I want to start a #ProjectParadise of my own!”—Jen DeLuca, author of Well Played

“Meet Me In Paradise is a stunning tale of love, loss, and the capacity for wonder. Marin's adventure will touch anyone who has ever felt adrift in a sea of responsibility and decided to swim toward the shore. Hubscher expertly crafts a delicious blend of humor, whimsy, and raw emotion that left me laughing, crying, and unable to put it down.”—Denise Williams, author of How to Fail at Flirting

“Both a romantic escape and an ode to sisterhood, Meet Me in Paradise made me swoon, laugh, and then sneaked up on me and made me cry. Marin and Sadie are the beating heart of this story—I adored them in all their wild, wonderful messiness. A radiantly hopeful book.”—Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of The Ex Talk

“Meet Me in Paradise will sweep you off your feet. Marin’s leap into the unknown is full of love, romance and adventure, and I felt like I was right there with her on the pristine beaches of Saba as she climbs mountains, dives for pearls, and learns how to open herself up to the possibilities of love.”—Sonya Lalli, author of Serena Singh Flips the Script --

My Review:

I really enjoyed this surprising gem of a read by Libby Hubscherm a molecular toxicologist who pens this amazing and beautiful story that touched my heart and soul. 

Meet Me In Paradise is an emotionally heart wrenching read about families, sisterhood and a touch of love and romance. I love the way Hubscher delivered the characters' backstories and learning more about sisters Marin and Sadie - who are complete polar opposites. Marin plays it safe while Sadie lives life to the fullest. All this had to do with the death of their mother where Marin is traumatized and her younger sister Sadie well protected from the tragedy. Sadie encourages Marin for a holiday getaway and Sadie misses her flight, which leaves Marin stuck with Lucas Tsai a hotel tycoon. 

The writing is simply superb! I loved the way the story paced and how the secondary characters of the book made such an impact on this amazing story. All the characters were great and had heart. I am simply captivated by the location of Saba Island, and what a great place to find yourself, find love, and maybe even be carefree and get lost in enjoying life and the gift of it. 

I highly recommend this great read with Asian representation and just a beautiful way to handle serous themes in such a hopeful and positive ways. Reading this brought me joy despite all the tears. I loved this book! Go read it! 

About the Author:

Libby Hubscher is an author and scientist. She studied biology at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine and holds a doctor of philosophy in molecular toxicology from North Carolina State University. Her work has appeared online and in textbooks, scientific journals, and literary journals. Her short story "The Unwelcome Guest" was long-listed for the Wigleaf Top 50 in 2018. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two young children, and a menagerie of pets.

03.23.2021 KIDS ON THE MARCH by Michael G. Long @algonquinyr, @MichaelGLong1

Publisher : Algonquin Young Readers (March 23, 2021)
Language : English
Hardcover : 304 pages

From the March on Washington to March for Our Lives to Black Lives Matter, the powerful stories of kid-led protest in America.  
Kids have always been activists. They have even launched movements. Long before they could vote, kids have spoken up, walked out, gone on strike, and marched for racial justice, climate protection, gun control, world peace, and more. 

Kids on the March tells the stories of these protests, from the March of the Mill Children, who walked out of factories in 1903 for a shorter work week, to 1951’s Strike for a Better School, which helped build the case for Brown v. Board of Education, to the twenty-first century’s most iconic movements, including March for Our Lives, the Climate Strike, and the recent Black Lives Matter protests reshaping our nation.

Powerfully told and inspiring, Kids on the March shows how standing up, speaking out, and marching for what you believe in can advance the causes of justice, and that no one is too small or too young to make a difference.


"Readers will be inspired by the advocacy, leadership, and determination of the young change agents. The stories are accompanied by photos and primary source documents, breathing life into the subjects and showing a clear connecting thread between young people of different generations."
—Kirkus Reviews

“As Long gives background information on each protest, he makes the accounts engaging with a storylike narrative filled with quotes from some of the young protestors. Plenty of period photos help readers imagine the events. … Both historical and timely.”

“Calling all young revolutionaries and historians! This book is for you.”
—Youth Services Book Review


Kids on the March: 15 Stories of Speaking Out, Protesting, and Fighting for Justice By Michael Long

This book was simply amazing! I loved how powerful and truly impactful this read is, where Michael Long deftly tells the stories of how children's voices do make a difference in the world we live in. The stories include marches in Washington to Black Lives Matter and other kid-led activism stories and protests against injustices in the world.

Through inspirational stories that span from the early 1900's to the current, we learn about the changes and impact kids have done through activism and having their voices heard. There are so many social issues and social justice topics on-going now such as the increasing violence and hate against Asians that this book will really inspire and motivate children and adults alike today.

I found the writing and the organization of the book easy to read for young readers. The fifteen stories mentioned were wonderfully curated that shares the themes of civil rights, immigration, gun violence, climate issues and a whole slew of other important topics. This should be a required reading for adults and children alike. 

Thank you Algonquin Young Readers and Michael Long for this advanced readers copy. My reviews and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Michael G. Long is the author and editor of many books on civil rights, peaceful protest, and politics. Kids on the March is his first book for younger readers.

Monday, March 22, 2021



Project Kaitlyn

Publisher : Farcical Press (January 21, 2021)
Publication date : January 21, 2021
Language : English

Meet Kaitlyn Colby, a clumsy, inappropriate blurter with self-esteem issues, but also quite handy with an axe. She's certainly no superhero, but she fights the battles of a single mom with sweet snarkasm. Between work and pining for and co-parenting with her man-child ex (is there any other kind?), Kaitlyn has no time to find that special someone. And if she did, would he really want her anyway? Kaitlyn's sister and friends (The Sweet Water Circle) say yes, so following a typical Kaitlyn slip up, The Circle intervenes to force her out of the funk that she fell into following her unwanted divorce.


When Kaitlyn makes a decision to pursue her advertising career over love, she tumbles (like no tumble you've ever seen…or heard) into the life of hunky, bay breeze-drinking Hunter Dixon, an ad exec who is intrigued enough by Kaitlyn that he hires her firm to revive a struggling project, much like herself.


Can Kaitlyn become the woman she needs to be to land the man of her dreams? Maybe. Maybe not. But you'll laugh out loud as she tries. There's no doubt you'll be rooting for the lovable, hilarious, and relatable Kaitlyn. And you'll probably love her friends, too, which is good, because their stories are ready to be told in the Sweet Water Circle series!


Project Kaitlyn could be the funniest book you ever read. It's a hilarious romantic comedy that speaks the truth (well, most of the time) about life and love, and…hiking thongs? What the heck is that? Well, you'll just have to read it to find out!


Project Kaitlyn

Grayson Avery


A hilarious chicklit that had me laughing out loud. I really enjoyed this fantastic read by Grayson Avery about the realities of womanhood and motherhood amidst divorce, dating and co-parenting. I loved our main character, Kaitlyn Colby who is fun to read about and who gets into the most precocious of situations. Thank goodness for her fantastic support group, the ladies of The Sweet Water Circle help Kaitlyn out of a slump post divorce and hopefully into the arms of the every so handsome exec Hunter Dixon.

In a very funny and light hearted read, I devoured this book while swooning all the way. This was the perfect read for the amazing fun characters, and an overall great story full of heart.


Purchase Links






Author Bio – 

Grayson Avery is the author of The Sweet Water Circle Series, a romantic comedy series that focuses on childhood friends in their 30's and 40's as they help each other navigate the stormy waters of dating, marriage, divorce, and a whole lot of inappropriate, naughty, and downright hysterical situations.


Social Media Links –





Saturday, March 20, 2021

20th March 2021 THE GIRL IN THE PAINTING By Tea Cooper @HFVBT


The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

Publication Date: March 9, 2021 Thomas Nelson Paperback & eBook; 384 pages Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery     A young prodigy in need of family. A painting that shatters a woman’s peace. And a decades-old mystery demanding to be solved. Australia, 1906 Orphan Jane Piper is nine years old when philanthropist siblings Michael and Elizabeth Quinn take her into their home to further her schooling. The Quinns are no strangers to hardship— having arrived in Australia as penniless immigrants, they now care for others as lost as they once were. Despite Jane’s mysterious past, her remarkable aptitude for mathematics takes her far over the next seven years, and her relationship with Elizabeth and Michael flourishes as she plays an increasingly prominent part in their business. But when Elizabeth reacts in terror to an exhibition at the local gallery, Jane realizes no one knows Elizabeth after all—not even Elizabeth herself. As the past and the present converge and Elizabeth’s grasp on reality loosens, Jane sets out to unravel Elizabeth’s story before it is too late. From the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, this compelling novel takes us on a mystery across continents and decades as both women finally discover a place to call home.

Deeply researched. Emotional. Atmospheric and alive. . . Tea Cooper transports the reader to a sweeping landscape of turn of the twentieth century Australia—from the raw realities of the Australian goldfields to the sophisticated institutions of Sydney—and does so with an expert pen. Combining characters that are wonderfully complex with a story spanning decades of their lives, The Girl in the Painting is a triumph of family, faith, and long-awaited forgiveness. I was swept away!” —Kristy Cambron, award-winning author of The Paris Dressmaker and the Hidden Masterpiece novels


The Girl In The Painting

By Tea Cooper


The Girl In The Painting by Tea Cooper is an amazing historical fiction full of mystery and rich historical details. I hardly ever read books set in Australia so I was quite fascinated with this one, and also the first book I have picked up from Tea Cooper which was quite fascinating.


This was a stunning historical fiction read that spans continents and decades in a mystery that will have you turning those pages to find out what happens next.


Siblings Michael and Elizabeth Quinn who emigrated to Australia from the United Kingdom as children to follow their families during the gold rush. Having achieved success in their business, they decide to become benefactors to Jane Piper, an orphan and a child mathematics prodigy. In a mysterious turn of events, an exhibition in a gallery causes severe trauma to Elizabeth which is a mystery to be solved or off to the asylum she goes.


A beautifully written story that was hard to put down, quite the intriguing and immersive read, with wonderfully developed characters.


This was simply a stunning read. 

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Tea is an award-winning Australian author of historical fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, a journalist, and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling. She is the bestselling author of several novels, including The Horse Thief, The Cedar Cutter, The Currency Lass, The Naturalist's Daughter, The Woman in the Green Dress, and The Girl in the Painting.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, March 9 Guest Post at Novels Alive Wednesday, March 10 Review at Crystal's Library Thursday, March 11 Review at Pursuing Stacie Review at McCombs on Main Friday, March 12 Review at Jessica Belmont Monday, March 15 Review at Gwendalyn's Books Tuesday, March 16 Review at Bibliostatic Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile Wednesday, March 17 Review at the.b00kreader Thursday, March 18 Review at Novels Alive Review at Book Drunkard Friday, March 19 Review at The Lit Bitch Review at View from the Birdhouse Saturday, March 20 Review at Nursebookie Review at Reading is My Remedy Monday, March 22 Review at Books, Cooks, Looks Tuesday, March 23 Review at Heidi Reads Wednesday, March 24 Review at Library of Clean Reads Thursday, March 25 Review at Read Review Rejoice Friday, March 26 Review at Hallie Reads Saturday, March 27 Excerpt at Passages to the Past Monday, March 29 Review at Bookworlder Review at Jorie Loves A Story Tuesday, March 30 Review at Rachelle Loves Books Wednesday, March 31 Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary


Enter to win a paperback copy of The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper! The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on March 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter. The Girl in the Painting

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

03.16.2021 Silence is a Sense by Layla AlAmmar @algonquinbooks and @Laylaalammar_author

Praised as “full of personality and touches of humour” by The Guardian and as “fascinating… nuanced and understanding” by The Observer, Layla AlAmmar’s 2019 The Pact We Made debuted in the UK to tremendous coverage, hailed as a Kuwaiti #MeToo novel that “asks us to reimagine the lives of modern Muslims as they struggle to reconcile the freedom of choice with the customs of their faith” (BBC Radio 3).

Now, Algonquin is thrilled to introduce AlAmmar to American audiences with her first novel in the U.S., SILENCE IS A SENSE (Publication Date: March 16, 2021; Hardcover; $25.95). Profound and life-affirming, this novel follows a mute Syrian refugee grappling with her experiences during the Syrian Civil War and as a refugee traveling through Europe as she is gradually and unwillingly drawn into the lives of her neighbors. “SILENCE IS A SENSE opens the door on lives we need to hear more about,” says Tracy Chevalier, bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring and A Single Thread. “Lyrical, moving, and revealing, it made me understand better the very human need for safety and contact.”

A young woman sits in her apartment in an unnamed English city, absorbed in watching the small dramas of her neighbors through their windows across the way. Traumatized into muteness after a long, devastating trip from war-torn Syria to the UK, she feels herself sinking deeper into isolation, moving between dreams, reality, and memories of her absent boyfriend, her family, and her homeland. At the same time, she begins writing for a magazine under the pseudonym “the Voiceless,” trying to explain the refugee experience without sensationalizing it—or revealing anything about herself. Gradually the boundaries of her world expand as she ventures to the corner store, to a gathering at a nearby mosque, and to the bookstore and laundromat. When an anti-Muslim hate crime rattles the neighborhood, she has to make a choice: Will she remain a voiceless observer, or become an active participant in a community that, despite her best efforts, is quickly becoming her own?

Born in the US and raised in Kuwait, Layla AlAmmar has written for The Guardian and ArabLit Quarterly, with short stories published in the Evening Standard, Quail Bell Magazine, the Red Letters St. Andrews Prose Journal, and Aesthetica Magazine. Having watched the Arab Spring unfold in early 2011 with a disquieting mix of hope and trepidation, she explains, “It seemed this revolution transcended the touchstones of conflict we’re used to—religion and sect, tribe and origin, liberal and conservative. It felt like a call for an uncompromising dignity that extended to all areas of life. And yet: what comes after the revolution? The question left me unnerved, confused, and almost unbearably sad. So I did what I always do: I put it to a story. Not to try and make sense of things—for there is, I think, no way of making sense of the horror humans are capable of inflicting on one another—but because I needed a repository for the thoughts and feelings that assailed me.”

A brilliant, poetic meditation on identity, memory and the speakability of trauma, SILENCE IS A SENSE explores what it means to be a refugee and to need asylum, and how fundamental human connection is to our survival.


The Millions: “Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2021 Book Preview”

Electric Lit: “43 Books by Women of Color to Read in 2021”

Palm Beach Daily News: “Enter the New Year With These Books On Your List”


Silence is a Sense is an utterly emotional and one of the most compelling novels I have read this year. I absolutely loved this book for the evocative themes that we all need to know about the complicated identity and harrowing trauma of being Muslim, a refugee, an immigrant, and when everything just feels taken from you that you lose your voice, and the eventual healing to find it again.

This profound novel is centered on a young refugee woman from war-torn Syria, who is traumatized into muteness. As we are drawn in to this fragment of her life, we become privee to her acute observations of her new community, her neighbors, and what is slowly becoming her new home. In that sense, as a refugee in a new country she mourns the loss of her old life and what was once the place she called home. In the process she writes under the pseudonym, “The Voiceless, where she depicts her experiences and journey from Syria to England.

Layla AlAmmar, a Kuwaiti writer and a citizen of the world, delivered giving voice to those whose lives have been upended due to violence and hatred, and seeking asylum to start a new life. A new life where they are able to experience freedom from hate, to glean happiness after escaping horrors, and the safety of being who you are without prejudice or judgement. Or did our protagonist just escape one violence and hatred for another?

This novel was truly a thought provoking book that is not to be missed.

This was simply brilliant.


Layla AlAmmar is a writer and academic from Kuwait. She has a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh. Her short stories have appeared in the Evening Standard, Quail Bell Magazine, the Red Letters St. Andrews Prose Journal, and Aesthetica Magazine, where her story "The Lagoon" was a finalist for the 2014 Creative Writing Award. She was the 2018 British Council international writer in residence at the Small Wonder Short Story Festival. Her debut novel, The Pact We Made, was published in 2019. She has written for The Guardian and ArabLit Quarterly. She is currently pursuing a PhD on the intersection of Arab women's fiction and literary trauma theory.


“A fierce novel. The prose is ferocious, the pace is ferocious and the beguiling central character, known as The Voiceless, conceals behind her inability—or reluctance—to speak, a striking, visceral intensity. Layla AlAmmar has skillfully woven a narrative of memory and grief with an illuminating social critique of the position of asylum seekers within contemporary British society. It is daring and devastating.”

—Fiona Mozley, Booker-finalist author of Elmet and Hot Stew

“Kuwaiti writer AlAmmar explores trauma and voicelessness through fragmented narrative form and a mute protagonist who has survived the war in Syria and is now living in isolation in the UK.”

—The Millions

“With a powerful prose, AlAmmar pens a story about a young woman traumatized into muteness after a dangerous trip from war-torn Syria to the UK.”

— Palm Beach Daily News

“Evocative… The conflicts over immigration and racism are brilliantly distilled, and they dovetail seamlessly with the narrator’s lyrical, increasingly defiant narration. Patient readers will find much to ponder.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Silence is a Sense opens the door on lives we need to hear more about. Lyrical, moving, revealing, it made me understand better the very human need for safety and contact.”

—Tracy Chevalier, bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring and A Single Thread


“[A] fascinating glimpse into the complex and contradictory life of a modern Kuwaiti woman... full of personality and touches of humour.”


“[A] fascinating debut ... nuanced and understanding.”


“Set in contemporary Kuwait, AlAmmar asks us to reimagine the lives of modern Muslims as they struggle to reconcile the freedom of choice with the customs of their faith.”

—BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking

“So beautifully written and so important, and so cleverly crafted, it can’t be a debut. But it is.”

—Joanna Cannon

“A Kuwaiti #MeToo novel of muffled suffering and a bid for freedom—absorbing, brave and compelling.”

—Leila Aboulela

“Truthful and courageous, radical and lyrical. I loved it.”

—Hanan Al-Shaykh

“Brilliant book about the pressures of being a 30 year old unmarried woman in Kuwait—the struggle for modernity amidst patriarchal tradition—and the cultural failure to acknowledge trauma. What a debut.”

—Pandora Sykes

“The Pact We Made deals with one woman’s search for independence.”


03.16.2021 THE DATING PLAN by Sara Desai - Berkley Jove Trade Paperback BLOG TOUR


Even with a step-by-step plan, these fake fiancés might accidentally fall for each other in this hilarious, heartfelt romantic comedy from the author of The Marriage Game.

Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. With her life all planned out, and no interest in love, the one thing she can't give her family is the marriage they expect. Left with few options, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiancé.

Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend's little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy's matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandfather's will. If only he hadn’t broken her tender teenage heart nine years ago…

Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize that very little is convenient about their arrangement. History and chemistry aren't about to follow the rules of this engagement.


Sarah Desai’s The Dating Plan is one enjoyable read in the fake dating, fake fiancée, and second chance at love trope that I really do personally enjoy in the romcom genre. The characters were great especially our main lead, Daisy Patel who represents STEM as a talented software engineer with a slight marvel obsession. At a conference, Daisy meets Liam, her childhood crush, who was also the same guy who stood her up on her senior prom night. They both have something to gain by pursuing their fake relationship – Liam can secure his inheritance and Daisy can get her meddling aunties off her back.

I found the story so endearing and a true joy to read. I was swooning right from the start for Daisy and Liam’s obvious chemistry and attraction. I love the STEM representation as well as multiracial couple, and I can totally relate with the meddling aunties. I have not read Sarah’s previous book, and now I am certainly a huge fan. What a fun and entertaining book I simply adored.

About Sara Desai

Sara Desai has been a lawyer, radio DJ, marathon runner, historian, bouncer and librarian. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, kids and an assortment of forest creatures who think they are pets. Sara writes sexy romantic comedy and contemporary romance with a multicultural twist. When not laughing at her own jokes, Sara can be found eating nachos. 
Visit Sara at www.saradesai.com

Saturday, March 13, 2021

13th March 2021 The Choice I Made by Cynthia Ellingsen @BOOKOUTURE


Publisher : Bookouture (March 5, 2021)
Language : English
Paperback : 314 pages
ISBN-10 : 1800192347

We all make hard decisions for love. Ones that can tear our heart out and leave us begging for answers. The most painful choice I’ve ever made, my darling child, was to say goodbye to you…

When Julie’s mother falls ill, she has no choice but to return to her parents’ Wisconsin resort, Wood Violet, for the summer. Away from the pressures of city life, Julie also hopes the trip will give her and husband Tristan the chance to heal after the heartbreak of another miscarriage.

Back home, surrounded by nature and old friends, Julie starts to feel a sense of calm she’d thought she’d lost forever. But her fragile peace is shattered when she stumbles upon an eighteen-year-old girl hiding out in an abandoned cabin. The girl, Margaret, seems lost in the world and Julie wants to help her—but when she finds letters in the girl’s backpack, Julie realizes Margaret isn’t telling the whole truth about why she’s here.

If Margaret finds what she’s looking for, it could expose a long-buried secret that could destroy the resort’s reputation and tear Julie’s family apart. And as the summer draws to a close, Julie must make a choice: will she return to Chicago with the man she married, or stay and fight for her parents and the home she loves?

Lose yourself in a life-affirming tale about love, betrayal and finding your true home, from the bestselling author of The Lighthouse Keeper. Fans of Mary Ellen Taylor, Barbara O’Neal and This is Not How it Ends will adore Cynthia Ellingsen’s captivating novel.

What readers are saying about The Choice I Made:

“Phenomenal! Her writing immediately pulled me into the story and I couldn’t set the book down until I’d finished…. This will be one of those books that I reach for time and again.” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

“Kept me turning the pages... I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a day!... feels like a warm hug.” Goodreads reviewer

“I loved this book! It was heartwarming and strong. It was exactly what I needed with everything going on in the world! A happy little escape!” @aliciagoeser

“Such a wonderful story to read! I enjoyed the writing of this book! And I'm looking forward to finding more books by her! I just loved her writing style! The characters were so easily lovable! And fun to read about!” @oh.happy.reading

“The characters feel like old friends. There's love for family, friends and husbands along with a bit of mystery and a beautiful setting.” Nicki’s Book Blog, 5 stars


Cynthia Ellingsen deftly writes a beautiful story about a woman at a crossroads and at the verge of a life changing decision making to continue the what is, or to make a change possiblevat a second chance and re-explore a new possibility for the future. 

Julie's mother falls ill suffering a stroke, so she returns to Wisconsin to help with their family's resort, Wood Violet and help care for her mother, despite her husband Tristan's objections and who is anxious for them to go back to their busy lives in Chicago. Julie decides that she must stay given the condition of her mother and the failing resort. While there she reconnects with her old friend Chase and discovers a young teen Margaret living in one of the abandoned cabin who is in search of her biological mother. 

I loved the story and I immediately became invested with the family drama, the characters and the situation our protagonist finds herself in. 

As a stroke nurse myself, I thought that how the family experienced a life-changing diagnosis was so well written by Ellingson. She captured how the family dynamics change after a life changing event, especially something like a stroke. I thought it was very well done. 

Overall I really enjoyed Cynthia Ellingson's writing. As a new author for me, she is someone I will definitely keep an eye out on for her future novels. In this novel, she really captured very well on the themes of family, love, second chances, and how sometimes finding yourself is through giving yourself to the service of others. 

Author Bio:

Cynthia Ellingsen is an Amazon Charts bestselling author of contemporary women’s fiction. Her books feature heartwarming characters and strong family connections, often with a touch of mystery. The Starlight Cove series, her best-known work, is available on audio and has been translated into several languages.

Cynthia began her writing career as a screenwriter in Los Angeles and now lives in Kentucky with her family.




Buy Links:

Amazon: https://bit.ly/2PwDulR

Apple: https://apple.co/2IOUVem

Kobo: https://bit.ly/34arE59

Google: http://bit.ly/3qfMHvs

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

March 10, 2021 COSMIC QUERIES StarTalk's Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We're Going By Neil DeGrasse Tyson and James Trefil


  • Publisher : National Geographic (March 2, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 312 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1426221770

In this thought-provoking follow-up to his acclaimed StarTalk book, uber astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles the world's most important philosophical questions about the universe with wit, wisdom, and cutting-edge science.

For science geeks, space and physics nerds, and all who want to understand their place in the universe, this enlightening new book from Neil deGrasse Tyson offers a unique take on the mysteries and curiosities of the cosmos, building on rich material from his beloved StarTalk podcast.

In these illuminating pages, illustrated with dazzling photos and revealing graphics, Tyson and co-author James Trefil, a renowned physicist and science popularizer, take on the big questions that humanity has been posing for millennia--How did life begin? What is our place in the universe? Are we alone?--and provide answers based on the most current data, observations, and theories.

Populated with paradigm-shifting discoveries that help explain the building blocks of astrophysics, this relatable and entertaining book will engage and inspire readers of all ages, bring sophisticated concepts within reach, and offer a window into the complexities of the cosmos.

For all who loved National Geographic's StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: Possible Worlds, and Space Atlas, this new book will take them on more journeys into the wonders of the universe and beyond.


My first books I have ever had as a child were the Encyclopedia Britannica sets every family had in the 80's. I loved learning about the vast universe, the unknowns and what is beyond the skies or what it's like in other planets and outer space. I was very curious not just about the cosmos but also about things beyond what we can see with our naked eye. 

When I received an opportunity to become one of the early readers for Cosmic Queries by Neil DeGrasse Tyson I was beyond excited. I devoured this book and the beautiful pages with its fantastic and stunning photographs within the book. The illustrations really captures what may be a heavy read into a more pleasant learning experience. The hard copy book is hefty and the pages just gorgeous. This is definitely going to be a star in my collection. 

The information presented are for anyone with interest in the science world, curious about astrophysics and have no experience with the lingos of quantum mechanics. So if you ever want to be in the know about Big Bang, the dark matter, and other fascinating queries you didn't even know you wanted and needed to know, this is the book for you. 

I highly recommend this book for everyone with curiosity no matter the age.


In the gulf between the depths of human curiosity and the limits of human ignoranceis a space to ask questions, write astrophysicist Tyson (StarTalk) and physicist Trefil (Imagined Life) in this breezy survey of physics's curiosities. . . . Lay readers curious about the mysteries of the universe will want to take a look.

Based on the popular talk show and podcast StarTalk, this collection of essays explores many of the universe's most intriguing mysteries. From dark matter, the Big Bang, and other space oddities to quarks, multiverses, and other quantum curiosities, Hayden Planetarium director Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry) and Trefil (physics, George Mason Univ.; The Story of Innovation) tackle a variety of topics [and] break down these subjects into interesting stories and fun facts, making them readily accessible to a general audience with little or no familiarity with astrophysics and quantum mechanics. Asking how old the universe is, or what the building blocks of life are, among other queries, the authors invite readers to contemplate these fascinating questions which scientists have pondered for centuries. As expected from National Geographic publications, the book is beautifully illustrated. Its stunning color photographs enhance the enjoyment of this cosmic reading journey.

Based on the popular talk show and podcast StarTalk, this collection of essays explores many of the universe’s most intriguing mysteries. From dark matter, the Big Bang, and other space oddities to quarks, multiverses, and other quantum curiosities, Hayden Planetarium director Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry) and Trefil (physics, George Mason Univ.; The Story of Innovation) tackle a variety of topics [and] break down these subjects into interesting stories and fun facts, making them readily accessible to a general audience with little or no familiarity with astrophysics and quantum mechanics. Asking how old the universe is, or what the building blocks of life are, among other queries, the authors invite readers to contemplate these fascinating questions which scientists have pondered for centuries. As expected from National Geographic publications, the book is beautifully illustrated. Its stunning color photographs enhance the enjoyment of this cosmic reading journey.

“In the gulf between the depths of human curiosity and the limits of human ignorance” is a space to ask questions, write astrophysicist Tyson (StarTalk) and physicist Trefil (Imagined Life) in this breezy survey of physics’s curiosities. . . . Lay readers curious about the mysteries of the universe will want to take a look.

About the Author

Legendary astrophysicist NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON is the host of the popular podcast StarTalk Radio and Emmy award-winning National Geographic Channel shows StarTalk and Cosmos. He earned his BA in physics from Harvard and his Ph.D. in astrophysics from Columbia. The author of more than a dozen books, including the best-selling Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Tyson is the first Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children. Facebook: Neil deGrasse Tyson. Instagram: @neildegrassetyson. Twitter: @neiltyson.

JAMES TREFIL, Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Physics at George Mason University, is internationally recognized not only as a distinguished scientist but also as an expert in making complex scientific ideas understandable. He is the author of numerous magazine articles and books on science for the general public, including both editions of National Geographic's highly successful Space Atlas. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with his wife.

12/5/2022 WITCHA GONA DO By Avery Flynn

  Publisher: Berkley (December 6, 2022) An unlucky witch and her know-it-all nemesis must team up in the first of a new, hot romantic comedy...