Authors should be paid for their work!

May 23, 2017

I read this very upsetting article in The Guardian –

Cheap books, high price: why’s ‘one-click’ sales can cost authors dear

US sales on the web giant have recently begun defaulting to secondhand merchants, meaning writers receive nothing at all from purchases

It is a hard sell: the idea that cheaper books might be a bad thing. But an adjustment to how Amazon sells books on its site is being attacked by authors’ groups, which claim secondhand copies of new books sold at rock-bottom prices are selling in such high quantities from the retailer that authors are unable to earn a living.

A week ago, buyers on, the US site, began seeing heavily discounted secondhand copies of books sold by third-party sellers being presented as the default buying option, instead of new copies supplied to Amazon by publishers. Using that “buy-in-one-click” button for, say, George Saunders’s novel Lincoln in the Bardo, you’ll get it for a bargain $10.52 – but that’s an “as-new” copy from a secondhand seller, not a new copy sourced by (which will cost you $14.64).

Read the rest here:

I link all my reviews to Amazon because I try and make enough money to pay for my website, and I usually just about break even. But it is upsetting to learn that if you buy a “used” new book from a third party seller, the author doesn’t make a dime. I like cheap books as much as anyone, but authors deserve to get paid. This practice doesn’t seem to affect anyone else – the publisher still makes their money, so why shouldn’t the author?

So if you are going to buy a book on my recommendation, please click through the link I provide – usually in the book cover. Then make sure you are purchasing a NEW copy, if that is what you want, directly from Amazon and not from a second party seller.

Climbing off my soapbox now.


New Jewish Fiction Jan-June 2017

May 22, 2017

I recently did a presentation on new Jewish fiction at my library and thought I’d share the list here as well. These are books by Jewish authors or about Jewish subjects that have been published from January through June, 2017.


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Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan by Ruth Gilligan: Interweaves the experiences of a young Lithuanian emigrant in Ireland at the start of the twentieth century, the unlikely friendship between a
young Irish deaf boy and a lonely caretaker in 1958, and the identity crisis of an Irish journalist in the present day. “Gilligan makes a stellar U.S. debut with this wistful and lyrical multigenerational tale linking the struggles of two immigrant Jewish families in Dublin with an Irish Catholic woman’s complicated relationship with her Jewish lover.” Publisher’s Weekly


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The Patriots by Sana Krasikov: Three generations of a Jewish-American family endure the difficult challenges of the Depression and the Cold War while pursuing dreams of better lives and reflecting on painful experiences from their earlier lives in Moscow. “In a galvanizing tale of flawed and courageous protagonists, erotic and political passion, and harrowing struggles for survival, Krasikov masterfully and devastatingly exposes the “whole dark clockwork” of totalitarianism and asks what it means to be a hero, a patriot, a human being.” Booklist



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A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman: An Israeli comedian, a bit past his prime, conveys with semi-questionable humor anecdotes from his violence stricken youth during a night of standup. Meanwhile, while a judge in the audience wrestles with his own part in the comedian’s losses. “Grossman brings real humanity to this heart-wrenching and well-written novel, offering insight into one man’s psychological makeup and how society has damaged him. An excellent translation; highly recommended.” Library Journal


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We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter: A novel based on the true story of a Jewish-Polish family recounts how the Kurcs are scattered throughout the world by the horrors of World War II and fight respective hardships to survive, reach safety and find each other. “First-time novelist Hunter got the idea for this book in conversations with her grandmother after unearthing family history of which she’d been ignorant…engrossing read is best recommended for those who enjoy fiction set during World War II and sprawling family sagas.” Library Journal


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The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff: The Nightingale meets Water for Elephants in this powerful novel of friendship and sacrifice, set in a traveling circus during World War II. Sixteen-year-old Noa, forced to give up her baby fathered by a Nazi soldier, snatches a child from a boxcar containing Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp and takes refuge with a traveling circus, where Astrid, a Jewish aerialist, becomes her mentor. “Against the backdrop of circus life during the war, the author captures the very real terrors faced by both women as they navigate their working and personal relationships and their complicated love lives while striving for normalcy and keeping their secrets safe.” Publisher’s Weekly

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On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman: Living in her suburban hometown, while her fiance is off on a crowdfunded cross-country walk, Faith discovers mysterious artifacts in her home’s attic that
make her question a promising new relationship and everything she believes. “Lipman is known for her dialogue, so snappy, funny, and real that it cancels out any dubiousness about the kooky mystery plot. Warm, clever, a little silly, a lot of fun.” Kirkus Reviews



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The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan: “Just because the men have gone to war, why do we have to close the choir? And precisely when we need it most!” Letters and journals reveal the struggles, affairs, deceptions and triumphs of five members of a village choir during World War II as they band together to survive the upheavals of war and village intrigue on the English home front. ” Ryan’s novel, reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, captures the experience of the war from a woman’s perspective. Readers may have come across this kind of story before, but the letter/diary format works well and the plot elements satisfyingly come together.” Publisher’s Weekly

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The Fortunate Ones by Ellen Umansky: One very special work of art—a Chaim Soutine painting —will connect the lives and fates of two different women, generations apart, in this enthralling and
transporting debut novel that moves from World War II Vienna to contemporary Los Angeles. “Umansky’s richly textured and peopled novel tells an emotionally and historically complicated story with so much skill and confidence it’s hard to believe it’s her first.” Kirkus Reviews



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The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck: Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. At the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, three widows’ lives and fates become intertwined. “Haunting, a beautifully written and painfully vivid glimpse into one of the most horrific times in world history.” Bookpage


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What To Do About The Solomons by Bethany Ball: Reminiscent of Nathan Englander’s For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, and told with razor-sharp humor and elegant acuity, What to Do About the Solomons is an exhilarating first book from a bright new star in fiction. A humorous multigenerational family saga set in Israel, New York, and Los Angeles explores the secrets and gossip-filled lives of a kibbutz near Jerusalem. “For all its humor, penetrating disillusionment underlies Ball’s memorable portrait of a family, once driven by pioneer spirit, now plagued by overextension and loss of direction, unsure what to do with its legacy, teetering between resentment, remorse, and resilience.” Publisher’s Weekly

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All the Rivers by Dorit Rabinyan: A controversial, award-winning story about the passionate but untenable affair between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man, from one of Israel’s most acclaimed novelists. When an Israeli translator named Liat goes to New York for six months of study, she meets Hilmi, a charismatic and kind Palestinian born in Hebron, and their passionate affair grows into something more, forcing them to choose between love and duty. “Bernstein Prize winner Rabinyan’s modern take on forbidden love between young dreamers on opposite sides of a bitter cultural conflict enthralls and delights.” Publisher’s Weekly


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The Awkward Age by Francesca Segal: “They’ve chosen the one thing that will make our family life impossible. It’s genius really, when you think about it. It’s the perfect sabotage.” After her daughter, Gwen, has trouble adjusting to her new beau, James, Julia Alden must do her best to unite two households, but when Gwen turns for comfort to James’ 17-year-old son, Nathan, the consequences will test her mother’s loyalty and threaten their fragile new happiness. ” In finely wrought prose, with characters who seem to walk beside us and speak aloud, Segal’s latest novel is a sympathetic portrait of the difficulties in finding love and raising teenagers.” Kirkus Reviews


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Shtum by Jem Lester: After strategically faking a separation with his wife to influence a tribunal’s decision about the future of his severely autistic son’s education, Ben Jewell moves in with his elderly and cantankerous father and learns harsh lessons about accountability. Funny and heartbreaking in equal measure, Shtum is the impassioned debut novel about fathers and sons and autism with all the heart and verve of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. “Lester’s debut, based on his experience of raising a child with autism, is an emotional and uplifting tale of love and sacrifice.” Publisher’s Weekly



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The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish: A mysterious collection of papers hidden in a historic London home sends two scholars of Jewish history on an unforgettable quest….”Kadish’s characters are memorable…Kadish leaves no stone unturned in this moving historical epic. Chock-full of rich detail and literary intrigue.” Kirkus Reviews




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The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor: A historical novel of love and survival inspired by real resistance workers during World War II Austria, and the mysterious love letter that connects generations of Jewish families. A heart-breaking, heart-warming read for fans of The NightingaleLilac Girls, and Sarah’s Key. “Excellent writing, unusual storytelling, and sympathetic characters make a winning combination.” Kirkus Reviews



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The Songs by Charles Elton: Iz Herzl, famed political activist and protest singer, has always told his children that it is the future not the past they should concentrate on. Now, at 80, an almost forgotten figure, estranged from everyone who has ever loved him, his refusal to look back on his extraordinary life leaves his teenage children, the brilliant Rose and her ailing younger brother, Huddie, adrift in myths and uncertainty that cause them to retreat into a secret
world of their own. “A heartbreaking read. Recommended for fans of literary fiction.” Library Journal

Tribute to Elizabeth Bennet from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

April 18, 2017
It’s part of a video series from Penguin Random House called Kick-a** Characters, which are salutes to some favorite characters in literature. I will warn you ahead of time it’s a two minute video, and can’t possibly include every plot point from Pride and Prejudice, but I think it functions as a good overview!

Brit Bennett: 8 Great Questions

April 11, 2017

Brit Bennett (author of The Mothers) | 8 Great Questions – Author Brit Bennett answers eight great book-y questions! 

THE MOTHERS by Brit Bennett

NBCC John Leonard First Novel Prize Finalist
PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction Finalist
New York Public Library Young Lions Award Finalist
An NPR Best Book of 2016
An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016
A Vogue Magazine Best Book of the Year
A Goodreads Choice Award Finalist
One of’s Best Books of the Year

“Ferociously moving … despite Bennett’s thrumming plot, despite the snap of her pacing, it’s the always deepening complexity of her characters that provides the book’s urgency.” –The New York Times Book Review

“Luminous… engrossing and poignant, this is one not to miss.” –People, Pick of the Week

“Fantastic… a book that feels alive on the page.” –The Washi

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ngton Post

A dazzling debut novel from an exciting new voice, The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community—and the things that ultimately haunt us most.

Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.

“All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.”

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.

Author Cole Horton on his early writing and bookstore shopping

April 9, 2017

Author Cole Horton (STAR WARS: THE VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA) discusses writing college history papers, avoiding social media when working, and why he reads every Star Wars book he can find.

STAR WARS: THE VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA by by Adam Bray and Cole Horton

Covering more than 2,500 characters, creatures, planets, vehicles, Droids™, weapons, technology, and more from the Star Wars™

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universe, this visual tour is the ultimate compendium for the epic saga and beyond.

Take a stunning visual tour of Star Wars with DK’s comprehensive pictorial guide to the galaxy far, far away!

From lightsabers to beasts to food and clothing, Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia is a virtual museum in a book. Explore beautiful galleries with more than 2,500 images, and discover facts about Star Wars culture, science, and geography.

With a full history of the galactic politics, the Jedi Council, and the Empire, Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia walks fans through the entire timeline of Star Wars.  See the blasters of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope™, look at the stormtroopers of Star Wars: The Force Awakens™, and study the geography of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story™.

Each section of the book focuses on different topics to dedicate special attention and detail to every part of the universe, no matter how small. From the planets in the outer rim to Padmé’s bridal wear, nothing is missed.

A celebration of all things Star Wars, this compendium is the perfect addition to any fan’s bookshelf.

The story of Sri Lankan elephants

April 7, 2017

Author John Gimlette – Sri Lanka is home to 7,500 elephants. Author John Gimlette (ELEPHANT COMPLEX) looks at what makes this species unique, and how they reflect the character and history of Sri Lanka.

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Travels in Sri Lanka

“Brilliant.” —The Daily Telegraph

No one sees the world quite like John Gimlette. In Elephant Complex, he ventures into Sri Lanka, a country only now emerging from twenty-six years of civil war.

Beginning in the exuberant capital, Colombo, Gimlette ventures out in all directions: to the dry zones where the island’s 5,800 wild elephants congregate around ancient reservoirs; through cinnamon country with its Portuguese forts; to the “Bible Belt” of Buddhism; then up into Kandy, the country’s eccentric, aristocratic Shangri-la. In the course of his journey, Gimlette meets farmers, war heroes, cricketers, terrorists, a former president, survivors of great massacres—and perhaps some of their perpetrators. That’s to say nothing of the island’s beguiling fauna: elephants, crocodiles, snakes, storks, and the greatest concentration of leopards on Earth.

Here is a land of beauty and devastation, a place at once heavenly and hellish—all brought to vibrant, fascinating life here on the page.


April 4, 2017

The innovation technique Disney used to rewrite FROZEN | Charles Duhigg – Charles Duhigg (author of SMARTER FASTER BETTER) looks at the creative process Disney used when rewriting FROZEN, making it into a huge success.

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Power of Habit comes a fascinating book that explores the science of productivity, and why managing how you think is more important than what you think—with an appendix of real-world lessons to apply to your life.

At the core of Smarter Faster Better are eight key productivity concepts—from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making—that explain why some people and companies get so much done. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics—as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters—this painstakingly researched book explains that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently.

They view the world, and their choices, in profoundly different ways.

A young woman drops out of a PhD program and starts playing poker. By training herself to envision contradictory futures, she learns to anticipate her opponents’ missteps—and becomes one of the most successful players in the world.

A group of data scientists at Google embark on a four-year study of how the best teams function, and find that how a group interacts is more important than who is in the group—a principle, it turns out, that also helps explain why Saturday Night Live became a hit.

A Marine Corps general, faced with low morale among recruits, reimagines boot camp—and discovers that instilling a “bias toward action” can turn even the most directionless teenagers into self-motivating achievers.

The filmmakers behind Disney’s Frozen are nearly out of time and on the brink of catastrophe—until they shake up their team in just the right way, spurring a creative breakthrough that leads to one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.

What do these people have in common?

They know that productivity relies on making certain choices. The way we frame our daily decisions; the big ambitions we embrace and the easy goals we ignore; the cultures we establish as leaders to drive innovation; the way we interact with data: These are the things that separate the merely busy from the genuinely productive.

In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charles Duhigg explained why we do what we do. In Smarter Faster Better, he applies the same relentless curiosity, deep reporting, and rich storytelling to explain how we can improve at the things we do. It’s a groundbreaking exploration of the science of productivity, one that can help anyone learn to succeed with less stress and struggle, and to get more done without sacrificing what we care about most—to become smarter, faster, and better at everything we do.

Praise for Smarter Faster Better

“A pleasure to read . . . Duhigg’s skill as a storyteller makes his book so engaging to read.”The New York Times Book Review

“Not only will Smarter Faster Better make you more efficient if you heed its tips, it will also save you the effort of reading many productivity books dedicated to the ideas inside.”Bloomberg Businessweek

“Duhigg pairs relatable anecdotes with the research behind why some people and businesses are not as efficient as others.”Chicago Tribune

“The book covers a lot of ground through meticulous reporting and deft analysis, presenting a wide range of case studies . . . with insights that apply to the rest of us.”The Wall Street Journal

2017 RITA and Golden Heart Finalists

April 2, 2017

Romance Writers of America Announces 2017 Contest Finalists

Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for romance fiction authors, announces the finalists for the 2017 RITA® and Golden Heart® Awards. The RITA — the highest award of distinction in romance fiction — recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas. The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.

Up to 2,000 romance novels are entered in the RITA competition. A novel may be entered either by the author or by the book’s publisher in one of the contest categories. After the first round of judging by published romance authors, entries that meet the qualifications to become a finalist then advance to the final round.

The winners will be announced July 27 at the 2017 RWA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Congratulations to the finalists!

RITA Finalists

Best First Book
Alterations by Stephanie Scott

Before Goodbye by Mimi Cross

Close to You by Kara Isaac

The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt

Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison

Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods


Contemporary Romance: Long
Always a Bridesmaid by Lizzie Shane

Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long

Make Me Sin by J. T. Geissinger

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Pansies by Alexis Hall

Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne

Tender Is the Night by Barbara Freethy


Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length
Back in the Saddle by Karen Templeton

Barefoot at Midnight by Roxanne St. Claire

Carolina Dreaming by Virginia Kantra

Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Lone Heart Pass by Jodi Thomas

Off the Hook by Laura Drewry

Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison

Tell Me How This Ends by Victoria De La O

The Turning Point by Marie Meyer

Wanderlust by Roni Loren


Contemporary Romance: Short
APB: Baby by Julie Miller

Breaking Good by Madeline Ash

Christmas on Crimson Mountain by Michelle Major

Falling for the Rancher by Tanya Michaels

Far from Home by Lorelie Brown

His Stolen Bride by Barbara Dunlop

A Malibu Kind of Romance by Synithia Williams

Overwhelming Force by Janie Crouch

Searching for Disaster by Jennifer Probst

Two Doctors & a Baby by Brenda Harlen


Erotic Romance
The Dirty Secret by Kira A. Gold

The Master by Tara Sue Me

Off the Clock by Roni Loren

Ravenous by M. S. Force

Three Sweet Nothings by Nikki Sloane


Historical Romance: Long
Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington

No Mistress of Mine by Laura Lee Guhrke

Susana and the Scot by Sabrina York


Historical Romance: Short
Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen

Left at the Altar by Margaret Brownley

The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries

Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrick


Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance
The Color of a Promise by Julianne MacLean

The Depth of Beauty by A. B. Michaels

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel

Now That It’s You by Tawna Fenske


Paranormal Romance
Bayou Shadow Hunter by Debbie Herbert

The Beast by J R Ward

The Champion of Barésh by Susan Grant

Enchanted Warrior by Sharon Ashwood

Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella

The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre

The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy

Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper


Romance Novella
Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan

“The Husband Maneuver” by Karen Witemeyer

Let It Snow by Jeanette Grey

“Let Us Dream” by Alyssa Cole

Searching for Mine by Jennifer Probst

Tycoon by Joanna Shupe

Wild in Rio by Lyssa Kay Adams


Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements
Close to You by Kara Isaac

Keeper of the Stars by Robin Lee Hatcher

My Hope Next Door by Tammy L. Gray

Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post


Romantic Suspense
All the Dead Girls by Rita Herron

Atone by Beth Yarnall

Field of Graves by J. T. Ellison

Killer Countdown by Amelia Autin

Mr. and Mr. Smith by HelenKay Dimon

One Minute to Midnight by Nico Rosso

Repressed by Elisabeth Naughton

Tall, Dark and Damaged by Sarah Andre


Young Adult Romance
Affective Needs by Rebecca Taylor

The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods


Golden Heart Finalists

Contemporary Romance
“Always Sunny” by Kimberly MacCarron

“Far-Fetched Love” by Priscilla Cook

“Framed” by Susan J. Bickford

“Mounting the Marquis” by Kelli Newby

“No Man Left Behind” by Penelope Leas

“Sometimes You Need a Sexy Scot” by Melonie Johnson

“Take the Lead” by Alexis Daria

“Tempting Fate” by Jeri Black

“Things I’ll Never Say” by Christina Hovland

“This Child Is Mine” by Jo Anne Banker


Contemporary Romance: Short
“Job Opening: Billionaire’s Wife” by Susannah Erwin

“A Love Wide Open” by JoAnn Sky

“Princess of Meridian” by Catherine Stuart

“What Would Ginger Do?” by Kimberly MacCarron


Historical Romance
“Confess, Your Grace” by Scarlett Peckham

“The Governess’s Glance” by Jennifer Henderson

“How to Train Your Baron” by Diana Lloyd

“Lord Lion and the Lady Publisher” by Laurel Kerr

“The Lost Chord” by Suzanne M. Turner

“The Price of Desire” by Emily Sullivan

“Unmasked” by Elizabeth Rue

“With Love in Sight” by Christina Britton

Paranormal Romance

“Beryl Blue, Time Cop” by Janet Halpin

“Bless Your Heart and Other Southern Curses” by Heather Leonard

“Constant Craving” by Kari W. Cole

“Fire’s Rising” by Grace Adams

“The Mer Chronicles: Love’s Diplomatic Act” by Kate Ramirez

“Soul Affinity” by A. Y. Chao


Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements
“Dangerous Exposure” by Dianna Shuford

“Fair Haven” by Laura Conner Kestner

“Wings of Love” by Pamela Ferguson


Romantic Suspense
“The Fire Beckons” by Lynnette Labelle

“The Guide” by Sarah Morgenthaler

“Seductive Strokes” by Patty Hoffman

“Semper Fi” by Meta Carroll

“Shot Down” by Tracy Brody

“Vengeance” by Diana Belchase


Young Adult Romance
“All the Feels” by Kimberly MacCarron

“Listen” by Jennifer Camiccia

“Mouthful” by C R Grissom

“Swimming through Fog” by Nicole Hohmann

Debut Novels | Six Picks

March 24, 2017

Read It Forward editors Abbe and Emma give six recommendations for debut novels! If you’re not familiar with the website, you really should check it out, there is some great content there for readers.

SYMPATHY by Olivia Sudjic

A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE by Brittany Cavallaro

RICH AND PRETTY by Rumaan Alam

THE NEST by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney


DODGERS by Bill Beverly


Author Shorts – Andrea Davis Pinkney

March 19, 2017

Author Andrea Davis Pinkney on her career before writing, and writing process | Author Shorts– Author Andrea Davis Pinkney (A POEM FOR PETER) discusses her job as an editor at a mechanics magazine and where she finds inspiration for her characters.

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A POEM FOR PETER by Andrea Davis Pinkney

The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day


Illustrated by Steve Johnson

A celebration of the extraordinary life of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of The Snowy Day.

The story of The Snowy Day begins more than one hundred years ago, when Ezra Jack Keats was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. The family were struggling Polish immigrants, and despite Keats’s obvious talent, his father worried that Ezra’s dream of being an artist was an unrealistic one. But Ezra was determined. By high school he was winning prizes and scholarships. Later, jobs followed with the WPA and Marvel comics. But it was many years before Keats’s greatest dream was realized and he had the opportunity to write and illustrate his own book.

For more than two decades, Ezra had kept pinned to his wall a series of photographs of an adorable African American child. In Keats’s hands, the boy morphed into Peter, a boy in a red snowsuit, out enjoying the pristine snow; the book became The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, the first mainstream book to feature an African American child. It was also the first of many books featuring Peter and the children of his — and Keats’s — neighborhood.

Andrea Davis Pinkney’s lyrical narrative tells the inspiring story of a boy who pursued a dream, and who, in turn, inspired generations of other dreamers.

A POEM FOR PETER by Andrea Davis Pinkney. Viking Books for Young Readers (November 1, 2016).  ISBN 978-0425287682. 60p.