New Romance Books to Read | May 21

Looking to fall in love with some new romance reads? You’ll adore these exciting new novels! This week you can get your hands on books by bestselling authors Penelope Bloom, Roxie Noir, Lydia Michaels, Carrie Ann Ryan, and more. Enjoy your new romance books and happy reading!



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New Books to Read in Literary Fiction | May 21

Literary fiction readers are in for a treat. This week’s latest releases list is full of intriguing reads you won’t want to miss! The new releases list includes so many bestselling authors like Ethan Erechette Melanie Benjamin, Sara Collins, and many more. Enjoy your new literary fiction books. Happy reading!



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New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books | May 21

Set off on an adventure to new worlds this week! This selection of new science fiction and fantasy books will surely please! Science Fiction fans should be excited about the latest from bestselling authors Kyla Stone, Jack Campbell, Patrick S. Tomlinson, and more. If Fantasy is what your library needs, you’ll be able to pick up the latest from John Forrester, Judith Berens, Paul J. Bennett, and more. Enjoy your new science fiction and fantasy books. Happy reading!


Fantasy


Science Fiction


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New Young Adult Books to Read | May 21

Are you an avid reader of Young Adult books? This week you are in luck! With all of these new novels, you’re bound to find a new favorite book to add to your reading list. This week includes new novels from bestselling authors Claire Legrand, Arvin Ahmadi, Gillian French, and many more. Enjoy your new young adult books. Happy reading!



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New Biography and Memoir Books to Read | May 21

Looking for some new biography and memoir books for your library? There are so many new releases this week that you’re bound to find a new favorite. You can pick up new novels from Celeste Barber, Kate Mulgrew, Dan Abrams , and more. Enjoy your new biography and memoir books. Happy reading!



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Interview with Roxie Noir, Author of Enemies With Benefits

What can you tell us about your new release, Enemies With Benefits?

This book is so much fun! I had a blast writing it – Eli and Violet are former nemeses who find themselves working together, and even though they don’t like each other, they also realize that their chemistry is off the charts. I loved writing their I-want-you-but-you-drive-me-crazy dynamic, their hilarious banter… oh, and their sex scenes. Those were really fun, too.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

To be honest, I don’t really remember! I’ve been a huge reader for as long as I can remember – I used to get in trouble in elementary school for reading too much – and I think it was only natural that I started writing my own stories! Sooner or later I realized writing could be a job, and from then on, that was the goal.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Beard Science, Penny Reid
This was the first Penny book I ever read, and I was hooked! I’d never read a hero like Cletus before – he’s totally eccentric, a little weird, and has his own sort of grumpy charm. He’s not at all an over-the-top alphahole, and I love that about him! Plus, Jen is such a wonderfully drawn character even though she’s a fairly young virgin, and her voice is so strong that you can’t help but love her, too.

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
This is probably a classic answer, but only because Outlander is great. Jamie is the dreamiest, and I love that Claire is smart, determined… and older than him! Plus, those sex scenes. WOW.

When A Scot Ties the Knot, Tessa Dare
This list aside, I honestly don’t read that much historical romance! I only recently discovered Tessa Dare, but her books are so much fun! I swear, the scene in this book where Jaime MacKenzie puts on glasses to read in bed… well, I get it. I totally get it. I think I’d read the banter between Madeline and Jamie for another five novels if Tessa wrote it.

Prince Albert, Sabrina Paige
Listen. I like a good, steamy novel, and oh man does this one deliver. Is it borderline smutty? Hell yes it is. But it’s also surprisingly romantic, and most importantly, it 100% sells me on the lust-to-love storyline. When Belle shows up for the final love scene wearing a butt plug with a rainbow pony tail attached, I’m a total believer in their love.

Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan
Obviously, I like my romance light. I like it fun. I love banter. I’m not a big angst reader. I thought Nick and Rachel in this book were perfect together, and even more than that, I LOVED reading the crazy machinations of his family. This book is a total delight, through and through.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

I think I’d go with Terry Pratchett, who wrote the Discworld series, just because I want to know how he organizes everything! Enemies With Benefits is the first in a five-book series, and keeping track of everyone and everything is so hard. But Pratchett has this huge world with so many characters, and yet every flows beautifully and all the characters have these delightful, distinct voices. Basically, I want organizational tips, I think, and I’d listen to him talk about character creation any day. RIP, Terry.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love making things up. I love when I write a character who surprises me and goes off-script, does something totally unexpected. I love making a world for these characters to live in… and, even though it always wrecks my plans, I love when they throw all my plans out the window and do what they want.

What is a typical day like for you?

I have a one-year-old, so I don’t think anything is ever typical! But I do try to get a run in, write for a couple of hours, and then of course lots of family hang out time.

What scene in Enemies With Benefits was your favorite to write?

Anything with Eli and his brothers was my absolute favorite – I love, love, love writing banter and these guys constantly calling each other on their shit was just so much fun.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

“Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” – the great Ron Swanson. I’m trying, Ron. I swear.

Roxie Noir is the author of the new book Enemies With Benefits.

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The Story Behind Her Bush by Penelope Bloom

By Penelope Bloom

Planning the book

If I was explaining to a reader of mine why they should be excited about this book and I only had one sentence to do it, I’d say…

“Her Bush gets back to the roots of what made this series special.”

I feel confident in saying that because it was my number one priority while writing it. I always make a point of going through all the feedback I get with every launch and I ask myself, “how can I improve?”

My biggest takeaway from the criticisms of my previous book in the series, Her Secret, was that readers came in with expectations that weren’t met. Specifically, I think readers who were familiar with the series sat down with the expectation that it’d be a super light-hearted, fun book. At times, I think it was, but I also know I put more drama and emotion into the book, which naturally tends to detract from the comedy and lightness.

So I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice, and since this is the last book I plan on writing in the series, I really wanted to end it with a home run. The direction I needed to go seemed obvious when I stepped back and looked at everything I had in front of me. This one needed to get back to having a title that was an in-your-face, sexual innuendo. The cover needed to be bold and attention grabbing. It needed to be dirty enough at a glance that it would make some people uncomfortable. Because that’s what the series is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be in your face, bold, witty, and unapologetic. It’s fun and carefree, and all of that needs to come through just from glancing at the cover.

Writing the book

I had a lot of challenges when I was writing this book. Interestingly enough, one of them came directly from my experience working with the developmental editor Montlake assigned to my first two books with them. Going back and doing that kind of broad stroke style of editing with somebody’s guidance helped me see how much I’ve been leaving on the table in my books. There were themes and threads of characters that I had just left hanging, waiting to be pulled and developed in my books I wrote for Montlake. Naturally, I figured they would exist in this book as well.

Unfortunately, my usual method is to kind of plow forward and refuse to let myself look back until I’m mostly finished. There will occasionally be books where I realize I’ve created a big problem and I can’t just continue because I need to know how I fix it before I press on. Aside from those cases, I really try not to let myself go back until the very end. With Her Bush, I think I literally went over the first 25,000 words about 10 to 12 times before I was finally comfortable moving on.

My initial issue was that I needed a better source of tension between Nell and Harry. I felt really great chemistry between them, but it quickly became clear that they got along almost *too* well. I didn’t want to sacrifice how good that felt to me on paper, so I had to think of an external wrinkle to throw into the equation. Sometimes, characters just clash, and in those sorts of stories, I hardly need to sprinkle more tension. Just putting them in the same room can be enough.

In cases like this one, I needed an X factor. Finding the right one was a big part of my back and forth. It would be too big, then not big enough, etc.

Once I finally found that, I struggled with the ending, which is also something I don’t normally struggle with.

But one way or another, I managed to get the book finished. I’m happy to say that all the back and forth feels like it really paid off this time. I think there are more satisfying layers to this book than some of my other light-hearted stuff, but those layer’s don’t come at the cost of bogging you down, slowing the pace, or detracting from the humor.

In short, I think this book ended up being the perfect ending to a series that has literally changed my life, both as a person, and as an author. Without these books, I wouldn’t have been given all these wonderful opportunities that have come to my attention in the past six months, from getting my books translated in more than ten languages, audiobooks, and of course, a traditional publishing contract.

I’m so excited to start reading reviews and seeing what people think. As always, I’ll be paying close attention to the feedback and looking for ways to keep improving as an author as I go forward.

Thanks for reading!
xx
Penelope

Penelope Bloom is the author of the new book Her Bush

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Her Bush (Objects of Attraction)

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FORGIVEN ARE THE STARRY EYED by CHRISTINE DORE MILLER

‘I told myself I had very few options now. I could just exist and accept that this was my life from now on. I’d be broken, but at least I’d be alive.’

The writing is superb and has an undercurrent of hopelessness and dejection. We are in awe that this is the first book by this debut Author, it was well written and touched on hard-hitting topics.

This Teen YA story deals with horrifically sensitive and extremely pertinent issues in today’s society. You’ve only got to turn on the news or scroll through social media to find stories like these on an almost regular basis. And those are only the ones we know or hear about or have been publicised. There’s still a dreadful silence and uncomfortable avoidance where topics of relationship abuse, violence, and sexual aggression are concerned. However, with the #metoo campaign, hopefully, awareness and support will be given, become a right and a deterrent.

Read more here:
FORGIVEN ARE THE STARRY EYED by CHRISTINE DORE MILLER

Interview with Ethan Frechette, Author of A Civil War Within

What can you tell us about your new release, A Civil War Within?

The book is about three young men in high school who are taken on a camping trip. The purpose of the camping trip is to help these young men find their “name, their identity in life. Through the power of storytelling these boys are able to find peace within their own identity and are able to understand the reality of being an adult in this world. A Civil War Within is meant to help, but also push, people take responsibility for themselves, their lives, and their identities. This coming of age tale ends with the three boys being ushered into manhood through a ceremony with their fathers.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I have always enjoyed writing, even as a child. The first book I wrote was in Middle School and I haven’t stopped telling stories since. A Civil War Within was motivate by my now four year old son. The idea and motivation to write this book started before he was born. I was working a very boring nine-to-five desk job with plenty of time to reflect on life. By doing so, I was about to work through many of the same issues you find in this book. I wanted to write something for my son that would explain what I had learned from life. I wanted him to learn from my mistakes, from my story, so that he wouldn’t have to repeat them.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

  • A Gentlemen in Moscow
  • The Pale Blue Eye
  • Eat, Pray, Love
  • Autobiography of a Yogi
  • One, None, and One Hundred Thousand

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

My first guest would be Amor Towles, the author of A Gentlemen in Moscow. My question to him would be “when writing historical fiction what do you believe is your obligation to the events that actually happened? Your main character, Count Rostov, has a very influential role in the novel with many important historical figures. What is your obligation to those historical figures and the accuracy of events while portraying a historical fiction novel?”

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

My favorite thing about writing is being able to convey complex emotions that we face in life, like identity, through the art of storytelling. A Civil War Within is a fictional story yet the ideas and concepts behind the story are real. They are raw emotions that penetrate the intellectual mind and help the reader empathize with the characters. Writing helps readers draw parallels with their own life, their own story, and overcome those obstacles in their life.

What is a typical day like for you?

I am a nurse working with Parkinson’s and Movement Disorder patients. So my typical day is working and desperately trying to bring love and comfort to patients with these chronic diseases. After work, I go home and spend time with my beautiful wife and child. Often riding the bike with my son for several hours and ending the day on the porch of my apartment with my wife, listening to bird songs.

What scene in A Civil War Within was your favorite to write?

There is a scene where the character, Saul Treeborn, is forced to face his father during the Battle of Bull Run. The emotions in this scene are quite intense and was a very exciting scene to write and work through.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

“Be afraid but do it anyway”. I don’t remember where I heard this quote but I have held onto the majority of my life making it my life motto. Fear is something that has the potential to cripple you, to bring stagnation into your life. This motto reminds me that life is scary but it is our duty to wake up every morning and “do it anyways”.

Ethan Frechette is the author of the new book A Civil War Within.

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A Civil War Within

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