Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Florida Woman

The 2022 Debut Florida Woman, by Deb Rogers, launches July 5th. Florida Woman Jamie wears cutoffs, thrives in humidity, and now, after going viral for an outrageous crime she never even meant to commit, she's a headliner. But when the chance comes for her to do community service at a wildlife refuge for rescued monkeys, it seems like just the fresh start Jamie needs. Until it’s not. Something weird is going on at Atlas. As Jamie ventures deeper into the sanctuary's offbeat world and rituals, her summer soon becomes material for a stranger Florida headline than she could ever have imagined.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Embers on the Wind

Embers on the Wind, by Lisa Williamson Rosenberg, is a 2022 Debut novel launching July 5th. In 1850, Whittaker House was a Massachusetts stop on the Underground Railroad. Two freedom seekers, Little Annie and Clementine, died in a fire there while hiding, and while Whittaker House remained standing, Little Annie and Clementine lingered, not yet free. Many years later, Whittaker House is a vacation rental that draws seekers of another kind, Black women who only appear to be free. Dominique, a single mother, comes in search of an ancestor. Michelle, Dominique’s lover, comes to heal her own traumas. Kaye, Michelle’s sister, is a seer whose visions reveal the secrets of the former safehouse--and her own.

Embers on the Wind was inspired by the author's father-in-law’s home, where a female escapee was rumored to have died. As the only adult of color who visited, Lisa Williamson Rosenberg has always wondered what the woman's spirit would think about her own presence.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Autographed Copies at Beavercreek Barnes & Noble

Dayton-area residents who missed my June book events can still get autographed copies of In Search of the Magic Theater at the Beavercreek Barnes & Noble. Here are some comments from a recent local reader:
...The story revolves around art. Which is another delightful part of the book. Through Sarah’s cello playing and Kari’s experience working in the theater, the reader gets exposed to the inner workings of a musician and a theater person. It is evident that the author has great passion and knowledge about both subjects, as well as art in general, for she slowly and gently exposes the reader to many of the nuances of the arts. It was a welcomed lesson in areas that I had very little knowledge. ...

The story line accelerates very quickly at the very end of the story to the inevitable and surprising denouement. It took turns where I didn't anticipate. By the time I got to the end of the story, I found myself attached to and involved with both characters as well as being surprised at the ending.

This novel works on many levels for the reader. The mix of the story, the knowledge, and the characters lead the reader into this world of the Magic Theater, where they find themselves in a most magical place.
It's always a pleasure to learn of readers for whom the book really resonated!

Friday, July 1, 2022

This Way Out

Tufayel Ahmed's 2022 Debut novel This Way Out tells the story of what happens when protagonist Amar makes the mistake of using a WhatsApp family group chat to announce that not only is he gay but he's marrying a white man named Joshua. He's so eager to relay his good news that it hasn't quite occurred to him that his strict Muslim Bangladeshi family might not be happy to hear it. Will his relationship with Joshua survive, and will they be able to reconcile his family to their love?

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Blithedale Canyon

Blithedale Canyon, by Michael Bourne, launches June 30th from Regal House. You can order it in either paperback or a special-edition hardback. From the Regal House website:
Trent Wolfer has blown it, in every possible way, over and over and over. And now he’s blowing it again. Fresh out of rehab, he’s back in his hometown working a dead-end job at a fast food joint and cutting out on his breaks to sneak airplane bottles of vodka and gin when he looks up from his register one day to see Suze Randall, his closest friend from high school, now a radiant blonde single mother of two. Set in a small, sun-drenched Northern California town shifting from hippie haven to moneyed paradise, Blithedale Canyon asks whether a man who has spent his whole life screwing up can stop long enough to avoid destroying the woman he loves. Michael Bourne’s funny, edgy debut is a literary love story for every man who has ever wondered why he keeps smashing up the things he cares about, and for every woman who’s ever wondered just what was going on in the head of that guy she spent her twenties trying to fix.

As a former inhabitant of Mill Valley myself (Blithedale is a main road), I'm eager to read this and see the author's take on the area!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Podcast with Yvonne Battle-Felton Coming Up!

This afternoon I had the pleasure of recording a podcast episode with writer Yvonne Battle-Felton. Yvonne, the author of Remembered, is an American writer living in the UK whose writing has been published in literary journals and anthologies. Remembered was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (2019) and shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize (2020). She also writes for children and has three titles in Penguin Random House’s Ladybird Tales of Superheroes and three in the forthcoming Ladybird Tales of Crowns and Thrones. A Lecturer in Creative Writing and Creative Industries at Sheffield Hallam University, Yvonne is very involved in hosting and chairing events, interviewing authors, giving workshops, and collaborating on interesting projects.

For her Book-Able Space podcast, Yvonne asked me some questions about my writing, and asked me to read three short selections from In Search of the Magic Theater. I'll be posting a link to the podcast once it's live!

It's 1910 and Philadelphia is burning. Spring's son has been beaten by police for a crime he may or may not have committed. In order to lead her dying son home, Spring, with the help of her dead sister, must relive a painful past in order to bring her dying son home. It's a story about motherhood, mothering, family, community, identity, and the trauma of slavery.

Remembered, Yvonne Battle-Felton's debut novel, is available in hardback, ebook, and audio.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Bartender's Cure

Launching June 28th, The Bartender's Cure, a 2022 Debut novel by Wesley Straton, tells the story of Samantha Fisher, a reluctant young bartender at beloved Brooklyn bar. Should Sam return to San Francisco and her law-school plans, or is her new life in a welcoming community the better choice?