Thursday, April 11, 2024

Blog Tour. The good ones are Taken by Taj McCoy

 


Title:  The Good Ones Are Taken

Author:  Taj McCoy

Genre: Contemporary romance 

Publication Date: April 23, 2024

Publisher:  Harper Collins 



About the Book

When Maggie's best friend admits he's in love with her, she'll have to decide whether it's worth giving up something good for something that could be amazing in this laugh-out-loud friends-to-lovers rom-com. 

After a bad breakup, Maggie wants to find her Prince Charming, but all she’s finding are frogs. When her best friends, Savvy and Joan, apply pressure and demand she find a date worthy of attending their respective weddings, she agrees to take her own advice and try online dating. Since she's the maid of honor for both weddings, her bridal party duties are massive, but both brides insist that Maggie prioritize finding a date. After an onslaught of maybes, noes and hell noes, she’s close to giving up, when she meets a handsome doctor at the gym who just might be the one.

Meanwhile, her college bestie, Garrett, throws salt in everyone’s game. At every turn, he points out the red flags and tells Maggie to keep looking. Things come to a head when Maggie demands that Garrett be happy for her, and he finally admits that he can’t. Not when he’s not with her. When he blurts out his feelings, Maggie’s world is turned upside down. Now she must choose between the perfect guy and a friendship that is the foundation for everything she’s ever wanted.


My thoughts

The author did her thing again with this book.  I absolutely enjoyed this story, not to mention catching up with the characters.  Maggie went through a lot, and the scenes with her going on dates are so accurate.   This story had me laughing out loud in public, including when I was at the laundromat.   I loved the way this story flowed.  Not only was this such a great romance, it shoecased what can happen when you have a good and accountable friend group.  I am team Garrett.  Great job and I can't wait for the next book.


About the Author 


Oakland-born law grad, Taj McCoy, is committed to writing stories championing Black and biracial women of color, plus-sized protagonists, Black love, Black joy, and characters with a strong sense of sisterhood and familial bonds.

Taj started writing as a small child, enjoying the success of her first publications in elementary school. Since then, her dream has always been to become a professional writer. As a law student, she attempted her first novels and joined the Twitter writing community. Though Taj has spent more than ten years working in higher education administration, she continued to pursue her goal and ultimately finished her first novel in 2018, securing her agent in 2019.

When she’s not writing, Taj may be on Twitter boosting other marginalized writers, trying to zen out in yoga, sharing recipes on her website, binge-watching her favorite reality tv, or cooking private supper club meals for close friends. Catch her producing and co-hosting the Fat Like Me Podcast, which celebrates body diversity in publishing and entertainment, or watch her join forces with several writer friends on Sundays for the Better Than Brunch video podcast. When time permits, she serves as the #DVdebut Program Manager for Diverse Voices, Inc. and as a mentor for 2020 Pitch Wars.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Blog Tour: Songs of Lost Things Sonata for the Sun by Monica Mccollough

 Title:  Songs of Lost Things

Author:  Monica McCollough

Genre: Coming of Age

Publisher: The Writing Tree LLC

Publication Date: September 11, 2023

Rating: 💥💥💥💥💥


About the Book

The summer Lavender turned twelve, she was eager to dip her toes into the world of make-out sessions with her school crush and late-night misdeeds with her best friend in their raucous Newark, NJ neighborhood. Instead, her father had other plans…musical plans. He wanted to continue cultivating her gifted melodic mind and nudge her to begin preparing to apply to the local Arts Magnet High School.

Lavender suddenly finds herself cast into an unrecognizable and dispiriting world where she fights to maintain her sense of self, connection to her musical gifts, and footing inside her own family dynamics.

Years later, as a woman in her thirties who never reckoned with how much of herself she’d relinquished in her tumultuous adolescence, Lavender meets a younger man who reminds her of what she’s lost…and what she’s surrendered. Captivated by his charm, yet apprehensive of his interest, she’s upended in unexpected ways. The mental health struggles she’s managed to mildly overcome is ever present as ghosts from her past continuously appear. Love tries to find her as she finds herself.

  • Will she reemerge from it all with her full self: stable, whole, and accepting of the love she deserves?
  • Or will she fall back into the cycle of old habits and questionable choices that persisted and framed her reality for decades?

If you’re looking for a coming of age story focused on self-acceptance, overcoming trauma, and letting go of the past to move forward to the future, then this is the book for you!


My Thoughts:


This book was beautifully written and heartbreaking.  Lavender had to go through so much, and I think It truly stunted her.  And unfortunately this happens to a lot of black girls, especially if they are the oldest/only daughter. Many times throughout the story, she had to be older than she really was, and some of her childhood was taken away from her, although it wasn't her fault.   I felt like I was going along the journey with Lavender.  Many parts of the story made me sad and teary.  I could not put this book down.  I engulfed it in one day.  If you're looking for an emotionally charged read, then this is the book for you



About the Author:






Monica "MG" McCollough is a visual artist and emerging author. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, and a native of Alabama, Monica enjoys steeping much of her fiction writing and artwork in Black southern heritage and its ties to modern culture. As a student of history, she aspires to convey the connecting fibers of the past and the present and how they coexist within the contemporary human condition. Whether in a spirit of rebellion against systems or reflected in the psychological struggles we carry and struggle with daily. “Songs of Lost Things...” is her first novel and will also feature a series of original art pieces to accompany the story and its themes.

Instagram: @moni_shywriter
TikTok: @moni_shywriter
Facebook: @moni.shywriter
Website: www.monicamccollough.com

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Blog tour and Review: Maya's Laws of Love by Alina Khawaja

 




Title:  Maya's Laws of Love

Author:  Alina Khawaja

Genre:  Romance

Publisher:  MIRA

Publication Date:  March 26, 2024

Rating:  💥💥💥💥💥



About the Book

A bride-to-be convinced she’s cursed in romance finds her luck changing—at exactly the wrong time.

Maya Mirza is so convinced she’s unlucky in love that she’s come up with a list of laws to explain it. Most importantly…

  • Maya’s Law #1: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.


But that’s about to change. Maya’s headed to Pakistan for an arranged marriage with a handsome, successful doctor who ticks all the right boxes. First comes marriage, then comes love—she’s sure of it. Except…

  • Law #4: When you think you’re lucky, think again.


From the start, Maya's journey is riddled with disaster, and the cynical lawyer seated next to her on the plane isn’t helping. When a storm leaves them stranded in Switzerland, she and Sarfaraz become unlikely travel companions through bus breakdowns and missed connections.

  • Law #6: Trips are never smooth sailing.


And before long, Maya’s wondering whether she’s just experienced the ultimate in misfortune—finally meeting the right man a few days before she marries someone else. And Maya might just be the worst person to keep a secret.

  • Law #18: If you’re overtired, you’ll always spill your guts.


But maybe, if she’s willing to bend some laws, this detour could take her somewhere totally—and wonderfully—unexpected.


My Thoughts

This was such a heartwarming and romantic read.  I really enjoyed Maya's growth and her realizing the strength she had and how she finally realized it.  In standard romcom fashion, there were a lot of laughs and surprising moments.  I especially love how going to therapy is normalized and not villianized, like in some stories.  And that the characters represent their culture unapologelically.  The author kept me engaged from beginning to end and I could not put it down until I was finished, then had to sleep on it  so   could let the story marinate in my thoughts.  This author is now on my radar and I will be looking for more works from her in the future.  




About the Author

Alina Khawaja is a Canadian-Pakistani author. A graduate from the University of Toronto with a BA in English, History and Creative Writing and from Toronto Metropolitan University with an MA in the Literatures of Modernity, it’s been clear from day one that the only thing Alina could be is a storyteller. Alina lives in Ontario, Canada, where she spends the summer at theme parks and the winter cozying up inside with a ridiculously expensive coffee. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading or trying to keep up with her endless list of k-dramas.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Blog tour and review: Nearly all the men in Lagos are mad by Damilare Kuku

 Title:  Nearly All The Men In Lagos Are Mad

Author:  Damilare Kuku

Genre:  Short Stories

Publisher:  Harper Collins

Rating: 💥💥💥💥



About the Book:

The anti-rom-com debut collection that took Nigeria by storm, featuring twelve bewitching and revelatory (The New York Times) and ridiculously entertaining (Booklist starred review) stories about the perils and pitfalls of dating men in Lagos, from a rising star of Nollywood

“Sharply observational, funny and profound, this book is dynamic sociological satire that is as universal as it is specific.” —Bolu Babalola, author of Reese's Book Club pick and national bestseller Honey and Spice

*INCLUDES A NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN SNEAK PEEK OF DAMILARE KUKU'S FORTHCOMING NOVEL*

One night, you will calmly put a knife to your husband's private part and promise to cut it off. It will scare him so much that the next day, he will call his family members for a meeting in the house. He will not call your family members, but you will not care. You won’t need them.

 In this remarkable short story collection, Damilare Kuku takes us deep into the heart of modern Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, and the lives of a collection of audacious women who cope with romantic difficulties by brilliantly turning the tables on the men who wrong them.

One hardworking married woman calmly threatens sharp-edged revenge on her lazy, hypocritical husband. Another skillfully protects her own business interests by shielding her pastor-husband from allegations of cheating that may or may not be true. A group of wealthy wives deceived by their husbands join forces in a WhatsApp support group called the Virtuous Wives Guild. And a discerning dater fed up with Nigerian men makes a vow to date only oyibos before discovering that white men can act just as badly.

A bestseller in Damilare Kuku’s native Nigeria, Nearly All the Men in Lagos Are Mad is a raunchy, satisfying, and outrageous read steeped in the chaos and allure of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest city. It’s also a love letter to Nigerian women: the women in these stories may be confronted at every turn with liars, scammers, and cheaters in their quests for love, but they always figure out how to come out victorious.

My thoughts

These were some interesting stories.  Some thought provoking, all of them injected with a bit of humor and are showing women that they don't have to stay stuck and several red flags to run from.  My favorite stories are Cuck Up, Ode-Pus Complex and First times.  I really enjoyed.  The stories evoked all kinds of emotions as I was reading and I was not able to put it down until I was completely finished 


About the Author


Damilare Kuku has worked as a radio presenter, scriptwriter, film producer, actor and director. She holds bachelors and masters degrees in the arts. Her debut collection of stories, Nearly All the Men in Lagos Are Mad, became a runaway bestseller in Africa upon its release in 2021, and was named the bestselling fiction title of 2022 in Nigeria, with international editions following in the UK (Swift Press), US (HarperVia) and Germany (Peter Hammer Verlag). Her first novel, Only big bumbum matters tomorrow, will be published in July 2024 by HarperVia in the US and Simon & Schuster in the UK.

According to Damilare- "Stories make the world a little less lonely. This is why I love storytelling."

Friday, March 15, 2024

Blog tour: Handsome Devil by Delaney Diamond

 



Handsome Devil

by Delaney Diamond
(Quicksand, #7)
Publication date: February 29th 2024
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance




Synopsis:

They might both get what they want in this marriage of convenience—if they don’t kill each other first.

Annabelle Buchanan waltzes into Dante Escarra’s office with a singular goal—to persuade him to accept her audacious one-year marriage proposal. Her objective? Taking control of her father’s real estate empire. But Dante is her ex-husband, and their past is littered with hurt and anger.

Dante never once contemplated reuniting with Annabelle, because she broke his heart and left him devastated years ago. But her offer is a tantalizing chance to add an iconic Houston building to his real estate portfolio—a prize he covets more than he’s willing to admit.

As they pursue their respective goals, the lines between business and heart blur. Can they make their marriage work the second time around, or will they both end up with broken hearts—again?


GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
  • $25 Amazon gift card


AUTHOR BIO:



Delaney Diamond is the USA Today Bestselling Author of black romance and interracial romance in the contemporary romance and romantic suspense genres. She reads romance novels, mysteries, thrillers, and a fair amount of nonfiction. When she’s not busy reading or writing, she’s in the kitchen trying out new recipes, dining at one of her favorite restaurants, or traveling to an interesting locale. To get sneak peeks, notices of sale prices, and find out about new releases, visit her website and join her mailing list. Enjoy free stories on her website at www.delaneydiamond.com.

Author links:
-Website: https://delaneydiamond.com/
-Mailing list: http://bit.ly/DelDiam
-Readers group: https://bit.ly/3sRgyh5
-Facebook: facebook.com/delaneydiamond
-Twitter: twitter.com/DelaneyDiamond
-Pinterest: pinterest.com/delaneydiamond
-Podcast: http://podcast.delaneydiamond.com
-Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/delaneydiamondbooks/
-Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/stores/author/B004HU9G3G

Friday, March 8, 2024

Blog tour and review: Love on the ninth floor by Aries Skye

 Title:  Love on The Ninth Floir

Author : Aries Skye

Genre:  Romance

Publisher: Black Odyssey Media

Publication Date:  October 24, 2023

Rating:  💥💥💥💥💥



About the book 

Trending on TikTok takes on an entirely new meaning when the ‘for you’becomes a viral love story in the making. Aries Skye makes a sizzling debut in this flirty feel-good romance, perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory and Farrah Rochon.

Zany and vivacious Nissi Richards always had her sights set on one goal—her career. As the youngest doctor at Optimal Dentistry, Nissi is the epitome of Black Girl Magic and a #GoalCrusher. Dating, however, was a different topic, or rather more of a non-existent headline. Despite her best friend's botched matchmaking attempts and her meddlesome sisters who insist she hook a man, love and marriage were never on Nissi's to-do list—at least not that she'd admit.
 
Kannon Jordan was a man of simplicity. Unimpressed with the whims of every short skirt that flitted by, or the sexy social media prospects, the ravishing fireman was content with the bachelor's life. A cosmic shift in his beliefs takes a nosedive once he crosses paths with a dazzling doctor in distress.
 
When Kannon rescued Nissi from a malfunctioned elevator, she never thought she'd see the handsome fireman again. Suddenly, when a TikTok video goes viral, the two strangers are miraculously reconnected. Will Nissi and Kannon surrender to their feelings, or will they deny their chemistry and the possibility of love at first sight?
 
“You will root for Aries Skye’s swoon-worthy characters in this powerful testament to kindred connections and destined love!”N’TYSE, national bestselling author and film producer


My thoughts

First off, I had no idea this was based off a true event.  I flew through this story.  It was a fun read and such a wild ride.  And it had plenty of banter and funny moments.  I especially loved how she incorporated how things like this can go viral on social media.  And the family drama and the chemistry between the main characters , baby there was plenty of it.  I will be looking for more works in the future from the author.


About the Author

This fiery Aries lady—Aries Skye, believes in the power of black love. She sets her focus on highlighting the realities of beautiful black individuals finding their way in life through love. That’s exactly what her #SkyeStories bring—penning the beauty in Black romance. A natural-born writer, Aries Skye has been crafting stories since she was a preteen and went on to major in English – Creative Writing at ASU. When she’s not wielding her magical black girl pen, she’s cocooned in the peace and comfort of her family with her adoring husband of two decades and their four energetic and artistic womb fruits.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Blog Tour And Review: The American Queen by Vanessa Miller

 


Title: The American Queen 

Author:  Vanessa Miller

Genre:  Historical Fiction 

Publication Date:  January 30, 2024

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

Rating:  💥💥💥💥💥


About the Book 

There is only one known queen who truly ruled a kingdom on American soil.

Transformative and breathtakingly honest, The American Queen is based on actual events that occurred between 1865 - 1889 and shares the unsung history of a Black woman who built a kingdom as a refuge for the courageous people who dared to dream of a different way of life. As seen on Good Morning America: GMA 15 New Books to Read!

Over the twenty-four years she was enslaved on the Montgomery Plantation, Louella learned to feel one thing: hate. Hate for the man who sold her mother. Hate for the overseer who left her daddy to hang from a noose. Hate so powerful there's no room in her heart for love, not even for the honorable Reverend William, whom she likes and respects enough to marry.

But when William finally listens to Louella's pleas and leads the formerly enslaved people off the plantation, Louella begins to replace her hate with hope. Hope that they will find a place where they can live free from fear. Hope that despite her many unanswered prayers, she can learn to trust for new miracles.

Soon, William and Louella become the appointed king and queen of their self-proclaimed Kingdom of the Happy Land. And though they are still surrounded by opposition, they continue to share a message of joy and goodness--and fight for the freedom and dignity of all.

The American Queen weaves together themes of love, hate, hope, trust, and resilience in the face of great turmoil. With every turn of the page, you will be transported to a pivotal period in American history, where oppressed people become extraordinary heroes.


My Thoughts 

I am a historical girlie, and trust, every one I have read has been hitting, including this one. This was such a great book. Although not much is known about the actual area, the author has given us such a vivid story that was so well written. I really loved reading about most of the Characters, and Queen Louella's Journey. There were many things I was surprised about as I was reading the story. I was so happy to read this book and black authors showing us our history that is constantly being challenged and erased. I was captivated from beginning to and and It took me on such an emotional ride.


About the Author 



Vanessa Miller is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, playwright, and motivational speaker. She started writing as a child, spending countless hours either reading or writing poetry, short stories, stage plays and novels. Vanessa’s creative endeavors took on new meaning in1994 when she became a Christian. Since then, her writing has been centered on themes of redemption, often focusing on characters facing multi-dimensional struggles.

Vanessa’s novels have received rave reviews, with several appearing on Essence Magazine’s Bestseller’s List. Miller’s work has receiving numerous awards, including “Best Christian Fiction Mahogany Award” and the “Red Rose Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction.” Miller graduated from Capital University with a degree in Organizational Communication. She is an ordained minister in her church, explaining, “God has called me to minister to readers and to help them rediscover their place with the Lord.”

· Essence Bestsellers’ List March 2008; May 2008 (Former Rain)

· Essence Bestsellers’ List September 2008 (Rain Storm)

· Black Expressions Book Club Alternate Selection 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010

· #1 Ebook for fiction on Amazon.com November 2010 (Long Time Coming)

· #1 on BCNN/BCBC Bestsellers’ List November 2010 (Long Time Coming)

She has worked with numerous publishers: Urban Christian, Kimani Romance (Harlequin), Abingdon Press and Whitaker House. She is currently working on Something Good with Thomas Nelson (HarperCollins) which releases in March 2022.

In 2016, Vanessa launched the Christian Book Lover’s Retreat in an effort to bring readers and authors of Christian fiction together in an environment that’s all about Faith, Fun & Fellowship. To learn more about Vanessa, please visit her website: www.vanessamiller.com. If you would like to know more about the Christian Book Lover’s Retreat that is currently held in Charlotte, NC during the last week in October you can visit: http://www.christianbookloversretreat.com/index.html

Vanessa lives in North Carolina with her husband and family. She graduated from Capital University with a degree in Organizational Communication.

Most of Vanessa’s published novels depict characters that are lost and in need of redemption. The books have received countless favorable reviews.

“. . . Heartwarming, drama-packed and tender in just the right places.”—Romantic Times Book Review.

“Recommended for readers of redemption stories.” –Library Journal.

www.vanessamiller.com

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