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When She's on Top by C. X Brooks coming Sat. 4/14 from

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Love Is Love!!! (GLBT Book Month Bonus Reviews)

Conscious Bias (Monica Spade #1)
Alexi Venice
Contemporary legal thriller(ish)  May 2019

Monica Spade is keeping a secret. To protect her chances of someday making partner at the prestigious law firm controlled by men whose attitudes are trapped in the homophobic hysteria of earlier centuries, she’s not “out” in her professional life. Conscious Bias mixes workplace drama, personal crossroads, small-town politics and quirky humor into serious social commentary about identity and power. Recurring minor comedic threads add lighthearted elements to this tale of many flawed aspects in the pursuit of justice in the United States. Some missing connective tissue in transitions and sudden swings in tone will likely smooth out in the second entry in this series that shows potential for greatness.

CrossFit, the irresistible allure of baked goods and alcoholic beverages, along with searching for love occupy Monica’s thoughts when she’s not negotiating through a minefield of sexism, homophobia, a…

Binge-Worthy Beach (or Anywhere) Reads*

The McClain Brothers, Books 1—4:
Let Me Love You, Let Me Hold You, Let Me Show You, Let Me Free You
By Alexandria House
contemporary romance
Pink Cashmere Publishing  2018

Pineapples. Sextricity.
Just two of the terms Alexandria House spins into hilarious, steamy fun as Everett, Nolan, Neil, and Leland stumble their way into love with complicated, independent women—Jo, Bridgette, Sage, and Kim—who motivate each other to grow up and to step up. Beneath the outrageous raunch, melodrama, and high-frequency usage of ni**a and m-f, poignant overlapping threads about grief, child custody issues, domestic violence, infidelity, delusional obsession, substance abuse, low self-esteem, immigration status, and more create a compelling narrative tapestry. There are distinctive nuances in the characters’ voices shaped by region, age, experience, and personality. Multifaceted emotional authenticity fills each scene.

It’s so refreshing to read about an assortment of strong male characters whose disp…

If Loving You Is Wrong... Outlawed, Forbidden, Taboo Lovers

Enemies in Love by Alexis Clark A German POW, a Black Nurse, and an Unlikely Romance Non-fiction biography, sociopolitical and military history The New PressMay 2018

Decades before Loving v. Virginia, African-American U.S. Army nurse Elinor Powell and German POW Frederick Albert defied the military, Jim Crow, society’s expectations, and many other challenging circumstances in order to love each other. Enemies in Love tells their harrowing personal tale in the global context of the aftermath of World War I, Hitler’s rise to power, and illogical racial contradictions in everyday civilian life and in the U.S. military during World War II and afterward.
Elinor and Frederick’s story reads like an exquisitely researched historical novel. Family drama, personal demons, war, forbidden attraction, clandestine meetings, and a constant struggle to find a safe place for their superficially unconventional family to settle and to thrive are woven among rarely promoted facts such as the following: The …

Bookish Fun in Phoenix at Metro Barnes & Noble

Go west, young (at heart) authors!

MARC train, then free shuttle to BWI? Check.

Easy bag drop-off at Frontier Airlines? Check.

Enthusiastic pat down from a dedicated TSA agent makes me think maybe we're engaged--or at least dating!

Smooth boarding process. New, clean cabin interior. Window seat. Restful snooze until arrival. (Many thanks to the adorable toddler who waited until we were deplaning to melt down in spectacular fashion.)

Metro Valley mass transit from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Authorpalooza for good times with booklovers, talented authors, and a team of phenomenal booksellers led by a visionary store manager who supports creatives and the arts in dynamic ways.

It was a pleasurable privilege to participate with panelists on the Saturday 5/4 group at 6 p.m.: Virgil Alexander, Ellsworth James, Timothy Moore, and Keith Mueller. Fellow Black Opal Books author John Beyer was in the 2 p.m. session.

Lively book chat, a couple of rounds of Tic Tac Trope (with a community&#…

Black Women Energy at Goucher College Sunday, April 28, 2019

Many thanks to J. for organizing a dynamic and engaging Black Women Energy event at Goucher College yesterday with a variety of  workshops, vendors, artisans, and performers. It was a fun, enlightening occasion that deserves to become an annual event. [hint, hint:-]

More thanks to everyone who stopped by my table to chat, to play quick rounds of Tic Tac Trope, and to try their luck at the hourly raffles.

My book geeky hand-decorated kicks made their debut, but no one could see them hidden under the table. It still made me happy just to wear them.

Happy reading, writing, creating, healing!

Howl At the Moon, Give Yourself a Break & Get Your Freak On

Forever Wolf by Maria Vale Sourcebooks Casablanca  March 2019
While comparisons to Patricia Briggs and Kelley Armstrong are appropriate, Maria Vale establishes a distinctive depth and range of storytelling excellence in her Legend of All Wolves series that is unique in its artistry. As the third entry, Forever Wolf continues the pattern of transcending the boundaries of the paranormal shape-shifting genre by creating more poignant character sketches of compelling individuals who embody a variety of multifaceted points of view about how to survive. That shared intention is just one of many ways in which Forever Wolf exudes its primal energy.
Varya and Eyulf’s story progresses like a heartrending blend of ballad, dirge, and warriors’ battle cries.

Seraphina Does Everything by Melissa Gratias; Sue Cornelison, illus. National Center for Youth Issues  April 2019
At a time when privileged kids are over-scheduled and internalizing society’s constant, demanding pressure to excel in all endeavo…

Upcoming April 2019 Events

It's Poetry Month!

Check out the scheduled events at your local library branch, favorite bookstore or community gathering place.

Come listen to talented wordsmiths - or perform your own work, then play Tic Tac Poe(try) for a chance to win an "I <3 Books" t-shirt at these free events in gorgeous Prince George's County.