Genre: LGBTQIA Fiction

A Wyrd And Wonder #RomanceTuesdays | “Heart of Sherwood” (A gender bent story of Robin Hood) by Edale Lane

Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I never had the chance to read the first novel by Edale Lane – which I knew was a re-telling of Robin Hood with an f/f romance which is a continuous thread in all her novels. I had it in mind to read this story at different intervals over the time I’ve spent reading her initial trilogy of the Night Flyer series. When I went to sort out which books, I wanted to purchase to read during #WyrdAndWonder – “Heart of Sherwood” was at the top of the list. If you’ve visited our #bookstagram feeds recently, you now that I included all the books I’ve purchased by this author when I was celebrating ‘Best Laid Plans’ which was the first prompt of our Wyrd And Wonder Challenge. I’ll be expounding on this during my next #TopFiveSaturday post which runs this Saturday, the 7th of May.

I decided to concentrate on Fantasy Romances on Tuesdays throughout May whilst ‘taking over’ my #RomanceTuesdays featured selection of stories which are generally limited to Harlequin Heartwarming and Love Inspired (either Contemporary or Suspense) as I wanted a dedicated day to celebrating those authors, stories and series. Wherein generally speaking other Romances & Women’s Fiction stories are read and shared on Saturdays during my #SaturdaysAreBookish featured showcases. This year, as I’m participating in “The Summer Tree” RAL (readalong) whilst posting my ruminative thoughts on Saturdays and hosting @SatBookChat all four Saturdays during #WyrdAndWonder – I decided I ought to takeover my own feature on Tuesdays instead of running these on Saturday.

I was not obligated to post a review on its behalf. I am sharing my thoughts on behalf of this novel for my own edification and a continued journey of sharing my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note: I received the Press Materials from the author Edale Lane – of whom I have previously hosted during blog tours and have had her as a guest author several times on my blog. She is one of my @SatBookChat #WyrdAndWonder guest authors this year – on the 28th of May.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As fate would have it – I began my readings of Edale Lane with her Night Flyer series although I was fully aware of this novel “Heart of Sherwood” being it was her first release. It remained a curiosity to me over the past few years since I first read “Merchants of Milan” (see also Review) which of course I followed up with a hearty interview (see also Vlog Interview) as well as a guest post! The two stories I read next of course were the sequel (see also Review) and third installment (see also Review) of the series – as previously I thought it was only going to be a trilogy. I even followed all of this up with a phone interview wherein we discussed the series further.

It has only been two years since I started my journey into her worlds – wherein I also had the pleasure of meeting her in person at one point. We’ve remained in touch as I wanted to keep tabs on her new releases as well as stay in the know about the Night Flyer series. Fast forward to now – for Wyrd And Wonder’s Year 5 I decided to go BIG whilst endeavouring to read the rest of her canon of stories: “Missing In Milan” (Book 4), “Shadows Over Milan” (Book 5), “Viking Quest”, “Walks with Spirits” (her latest release!) and “Daring Duplicity” which is a Historical Victorian Suspense which I will be featuring during #CrimeFicFridays in June ahead of the sequel “Perilious Passages” releasing that same month.

And, yet — as an appreciator of Gender Bent stories – as noted through some of my readerly choices over the last nine years I’ve been blogging my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story, I never had the chance to delve into her spin on Robin Hood. Wherein she switched genders and turnt ‘Robin’ into ‘Robyn’ a feminine heroine of the people rather than the tale of old in which we are all quite familiar as it has become modern lore due to how oft its origins and story have been explored through literature, television and film.

As a Romance reader, I’ve appreciated her gently told romances with an uplifting centre of focus within their relationships – whilst it is her historical lens of representing History through different portals of entrance which has fascinated me with each story I’ve read of hers. Her romances are f/f romances which is why I was not surprised she had plans to see if romance might percolate between Robyn and Marian in this variant of the story.

Her novels were what inspired me of turning my #RomanceTuesdays into a curated showcasing of Fantasy Romance. Be sure to return on Tuesdays to see which #FantasyRomance I am exploring next and which author or story you might become tempted to read yourself in the process of reading over my ruminations. Whilst you have to admit – during the year we’re celebrating #ForestFantasy is there a better forest to explore than Sherwood!?

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A Wyrd And Wonder #RomanceTuesdays | “Heart of Sherwood” (A gender bent story of Robin Hood) by Edale LaneHeart of Sherwood
by Ms Edale Lane
Source: Purchased | Personal Library

What if there had been a real Robin Hood, but instead of being a "he" the heroic outlaw was a "she"?

When Robyn's father and brother are killed in the Third Crusade, she is banished from her manor home and branded a traitor by the Sheriff of Nottingham. Disguised as a boy, she joins Little John and the rest of the gang in Sherwood Forest and soon finds herself their leader.

Queen Eleanor suspects Prince John is up to no good, and colluding with Sir Guy and the Sheriff of Nottingham. To learn more, she engages Maid Marian as a spy, reuniting Marian with her childhood friend, Robyn. Together, the women defy the evil sheriff, help the queen free King Richard, and perhaps fall in love along the way.

Winner of Rainbow Awards Best Historical Lesbian Romance, 2018-2019
Relive the classic tale told from a new perspective in Heart of Sherwood!

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction, Fantasy Romance



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1087282046

Also by this author: Chaos in Milan

Published by Past & Prologue Press

on 19th October, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 312

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Published by: 1st edition published by Less than Three Press

2nd edition published by Past and Prologue Press

Converse via: #FairytaleRomance, #FantasyRomance & #WyrdAndWonder
#RobinHood Retelling and Gender Bent Fairytale

About Ms Edale Lane

Edale Lane

Edale Lane is the author of an award winning 2019 debut novel, Heart of Sherwood. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Vlad a Novel, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie as the case may be) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2022 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, 12th Century, After the Canon, Book Review (non-blog tour), Classical Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Re-Told Tales, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

A #WyrdAndWonder Anthology Review | “SIRENS” (Rhonda Parrish’s Magical Menageries, Collection 4) edited by Rhonda Parrish

Posted Sunday, 22 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review Year 5 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I never had the chance to finish reading this particular anthology series which I fell in love with by the Indie publisher World Weaver Press. Sadly, after I purchased “Sirens” and “Equus” I learned the sad news this publisher was only going to release one new anthology which debuted during Wyrd And Wonder (ie. “Mothers of Enchantment”) but there will be no new releases moving forward. I was thankful I have a few years at least to gather copies of the rest of their anthologies I would like to read (especially as they have an impressive collection of Solarpunk!) whilst sorting which other titles aside from “Mothers of Enchantment” I would also like to purchase before they close their doors forever without a way of acquiring their titles. I highly recommend you back-read through my reviews for this publisher and see which titles you’d like to gather yourself, too.

On a happier note, I purchased “Sirens” and “Equus” to continue my journey into the vision Ms Parrish had for her Magical Menageries series of anthologies – as I began this adventure within the pages of “Fae” (see also Review), then “Corvidae” (see also Review) and “Scarecrow” (see also Review). It has been such an incredible and thrilling ride!! Especially as I have found such depth of centre within the stories I’ve blogged about as I made my way through each anthology – those writers captured me truly by the ways in which short fiction can truly transcend the shortness of its tales.

I was not obligated to post a review on its behalf. I am sharing my thoughts on behalf of this anthology for my own edification and a continued journey of sharing my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note: I received the Press Materials from the publisher World Weaver Press after requesting to use them for Wyrd And Wonder whilst I shared my reviews for both Sirens and Equus which would complete my journey with this anthology series edited by Rhonda Parrish.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

It has been about six years since I was caught inside the JOY of reading this anthology series which had bewitched my imagination and endeared me to the artfulness of how anthologists put together their anthologies! Yet, it was with a heavier heart I realised after contacting this publisher about the press materials, I would have to seek out titles I had planned to purchase within a shorter time-frame lest they go out of print before I have the chance to read them. Whilst at the same time, I’ve been a book cheerleader for the publisher ever since (2015) when I first read FAE. The anthology which started my journey into the Magical Menagaries series.

This fifth year of #WyrdAndWonder marks my final year reading the series but also marks the end of the publisher’s presence in our lives with exciting new releases which never fail to captivate our hearts, invigorate our joy of reading Fantasy, Cosy Horror or Science Fiction and give us new writers to appreciate discovering along the way. Of the three Indie publishers I read anthologies by regularly (ie. Seventh Star Press, World Weaver Press and Xchyler Publishing) World Weaver Press has had the consistency and choice of thematic to explore which I have appreciated the most. I know now I have to start to seek out new small press and Indie publishers to journey after in search of what I thought was going to be a longer lasting presence in Speculative Fiction by this publisher and that was the hardest part to reconcile this May. 

Blessedly, the anthologist herself (Rhonda Parrish) has heaps of new lovelies (ie. anthologies) for me chase after next and quite a few of them are released into print which is good news for me! Several of hers are strictly Digital First from what I can gather online but I am just thankful after I conclude my readings of both SIRENS and EQUUS there will be other collections out there by her I will be able to read and enjoy. She has become a favourite anthologist of mine and knew I wanted to continue to follow her publishing career post-Wyrd And Wonder this year.

One interesting bit to disclose is that I never used to be as curious about reading Mythological Fantasy or Mythologically influenced stories as I have been these last years since Louise @foxesfairytale introduced me to the JOY of this pursuit with her own event @Mythothon which I have had to unfortunately step out of participating in whilst the cycles have been live and ongoing. I hope one day to resume my readings rooted in those cycles and take a journey into the heart of which theme she had selected as I pursue my own journey of story and adventure therein. For now, it is her inspiration and influence of suggesting a new path of entry into this side of SpecFic which has made all the difference in me as a reader. Without that first year of #Mythothon, I am not sure if I would have been as keenly invested into this sub-niche of Fantasy as much as I am and for that, I am forever grateful.

I broach this because SIRENS plays off what we know about sirens and what we haven’t yet learnt – they were the beguiling creatures in Greek Mythos which had the reputation of luring men to their death and of making seafaring life a bit more arduous to undertake if they were within range of being heard. Although I knew about sirens, this was the first time I was interested in reading more about them and in effect learning more about the Mythos behind their original stories. As that is one grace of reading these kinds of curated anthologies – you get to learn more about the original subject of interest as much as viewing the vision the new writers of today have given the legends, lore and fables within that scope of exploration.

If you’re as keenly interested in short stylised fiction as much as I am, I hope you’ll consider SIRENS, EQUUS or any of the other lovely editions of the Magical Menagaries series to be your #nextread!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A #WyrdAndWonder Anthology Review | “SIRENS” (Rhonda Parrish’s Magical Menageries, Collection 4) edited by Rhonda ParrishSirens
by (Editor) Ms Rhonda Parrish
Source: Purchased | Personal Library

Sirens are beautiful, dangerous, and musical, whether they come from the sea or the sky. Greek sirens were described as part-bird, part-woman, and Roman sirens more like mermaids, but both had a voice that could captivate and destroy the strongest man. The pages of this book contain the stories of the Sirens of old, but also allow for modern re-imaginings, plucking the sirens out of their natural elements and placing them at a high school football game, or in wartime London, or even into outer space.

Featuring stories by Kelly Sandoval, Amanda Kespohl, L.S. Johnson, Pat Flewwelling, Gabriel F. Cuellar, Randall G. Arnold, Michael Leonberger, V. F. LeSann, Tamsin Showbrook, Simon Kewin, Cat McDonald, Sandra Wickham, K.T. Ivanrest, Adam L. Bealby, Eliza Chan, and Tabitha Lord, these siren songs will both exemplify and defy your expectations.

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Short Story or Novella, Fantasy Fiction, Mythological Fantasy, Greek Mythos | Legacies, LGBTQIA Fiction



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0692687208

Published by World Weaver Press

on 12th July, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 263

Published By: World Weaver Press (@WorldWeaver_wwp)

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Collection No.1 in this series is FAE | Info on Editor’s Blog | Info on Pub

Collection No. 2 in this series is Corvidae | Info on Pub

Collection No.3 in this series is Scarecrow | Info on Editor’s Blog | Info on Pub

Collection No. 4 in this series is SIRENS | Info on Pub

Collection No. 5 in this series is EQUUS | Info on Pub

Converse via: #DiverseSFF, #SFF, #SciFi, #Fantasy & #Anthology

+ #MagicalMenageries (the series tag!)

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Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

Genre(s): Fantasy | Sirens | Mythology | Short Stories
(Inspired by) The Odyssey | LGBTQ+ | Anthology

About (Editor) Ms Rhonda Parrish

Rhonda Parrish

Like a magpie, Rhonda Parrish is constantly distracted by shiny things. She’s the editor of many anthologies and author of plenty of books, stories and poems. She lives with her husband and three cats in Edmonton, Alberta, and she can often be found there playing Dungeons and Dragons, bingeing crime dramas or cheering on the Oilers. To stay in touch her website is updated regularly and her Patreon is updated even more regularly.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Sunday, 22 May, 2022 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, After the Canon, Anthology Collection of Stories, Classical Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Novellas or Short Stories, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

An #Audiobook Spotlight | feat. an #audiobook review of “Kate in Waiting” by Becky Albertalli

Posted Tuesday, 27 April, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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Borrowed Book By: Wickedly as soon as I read the premise for “Kate in Waiting” I knew I wanted to read it – and yet, I wasn’t sure if I could as most of #TheWriteReads blog tours feature novels which are a bit delayed reaching publication here stateside. Sometimes, like this particular blog tour, I was able to get a bit lucky and the pub dates were mutually beneficial for UK/Europe and American book bloggers – thereby, as I wasn’t sure which library of mine would be carrying the book itself – as I hadn’t yet connected the dots about the author’s previous canon of novels – I happily found it on order via my local library! I ended up first in the queue to receive it – but *five days!* from my tour date, I was growing worried. Would it arrive in time? Thereby I checked my regional library and *blessedly!* guess who bought the audiobook and the ebook? Mind you, I can’t read the ebook but I borrowed the audiobook immediately!!!

Therefore I borrowed the audiobook edition for “Kate in Waiting” via my regional library and was not required to post a review on behalf of the story or the audiobook version of the novel. In fact, I had to modify my tour stop as with three weeks of health afflictions (ie. extreme pollen allergies and a difficult bout of migraines) this April – I was just thankful I could find some joy in reading again by the weekend of the 23rd! The following spotlight review is being shared with my readers and the tour visitors for my own edification in continuing to share my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. Whilst I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I love being part of the community of #TheWriteReads and I hope in future to continue hosting the authors on their blog tours – I keep an eye out on the stories I most desire to be reading in order to host a guest feature as print copies are a bit rare for these tours to request. I love hosting the conversations because it helps me feel a bit more rooted in the stories and I hope you’ll have the same takeaway yourself. Although when a conversation isn’t available to host, I like featuring the stories themselves to help give them a signal boost in case one of my readers and followers hasn’t yet discovered the story (or series) which has caught my bookish eye!

When I realised my local library purchased the print edition & my regional library had the audiobook – you could say I was wicked tickled silly! I mean, I could *finally!* read and/or listen to a novel everyone else was planning to read themselves — I’ve been a part of #TheWriteReads community for a few years now – however, I am not always able to host the blog tours.

I also have a lot to shoulder IRL between health & life as it evolves (as we all do!) – I don’t oft get the chance to visit the posts being featured on the Twitter feeds for the community – which is why if you’re part of #TheWriteReads community and your stopping by my review today – first off, bless you & thank you! (leave a note in my comments so I can visit your post if your on the same tour!) – this is why you might not see me sharing a lot of posts in the community. The past few years especially have been difficult off/on for health reasons and with my father’s recovery from his stroke in late 2016. This year, as ever, I am trying to be mindful of sharing content of others – whilst also finding time to visit with the book bloggers I regularly follow.

I had originally planned to host a respun Top Ten Tuesday today — but unfortunately for me, my mind wasn’t feeling creative this April as it battled through those health afflictions and I was more comfortable sharing a review than trying to put together a post worthy of one of my respun meme features! I hope you all won’t mind I deviated a bit from what I previously planned as I gave the story a bit of a go and decided to spotlight this novel instead of writing a full review as it turnt out it wasn’t my cuppa of tea as a reader.

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An #Audiobook Spotlight | feat. an #audiobook review of “Kate in Waiting” by Becky AlbertalliKate in Waiting
Subtitle: Break a leg, not your heart
by Becky Albertalli
Source: Borrowed from local library's CloudLibrary
Narrator: Bebe Wood

From bestselling YA Rom-Com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.

[PRINCIPAL CAST LIST]

Kate Garfield
Anderson Walker

Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:

Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient.
Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment.
Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.

But when Kate and Andy's latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script.

Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson

He is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.

Turns out, communal crushes aren't so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson's friendship...

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), LGBTQIA Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Upper YA Fiction, YA Contemporary



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780062643834

ASIN: B08JH8PJ5P

Published by Balzer and Bray

on 20th April, 2021

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 9 hours and 10 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Egmont Books (@egmontbooksuk)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers UK

?? Follow the narrator Bebe Wood (@BebeWood)

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NOTE: I would definitely consider this an Upper YA or New Adult novel.

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Available Formats: Hardback, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #Contemporary #UpperYA as well as #TheWriteReads & #KateInWaiting

About Becky Albertalli

Becky Albertalli

Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It's Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta.

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Posted Tuesday, 27 April, 2021 by jorielov in #TheWriteReads, 21st Century, Audiobook, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Fly in the Ointment, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), School Life & Situations, Upper YA Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Book Tour | A Poetic Memoir within the poetry collection of “Who’s Your Daddy” by Arisa White

Posted Wednesday, 21 April, 2021 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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Acquired Book By:

I have been hosting for Poetic Book Tours for a few years now, where I am finding myself encouraged to seek out collections of poetry or incredible fiction being published through Small Trade publishers and presses. I have an Indie spirit and mentality as a writer and I appreciate finding authors who are writing creative works through Indie resources as I find Indies have a special spirit about them. It is a joy to work with Poetic Book Tours for their resilience in seeking out voices in Literature which others might overlook and thereby, increasing my own awareness of these beautiful lyrical voices in the craft.

I received a complimentary copy of “Who’s Your Daddy” direct from the publisher Augury Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Re-visiting what I loved about reading Arisa White’s poetry:

As you disappear into the mind of Ms White – you see how raw and visually acute she leaves behind her impressions of not only sexuality but of life – of the differences between cultures and the mindfulness of sensing what is not yet spoken aloud. She has a way of intuiting what is meant to be understood out of the recesses of memory whilst augmenting her own experiences against that of what is perceived by others of being a truth they could accept by their own observations. She tucks into the hearty topics of our world – whilst owning the rawer bits that are not always spoken about – in poetry or in everyday conversations.

White etches out her own authentic truth and the truth of everyone seeking to find love, compassion, acceptance and beauty in their life. She humbling approaches her poetry with the intrinsically of a woman who breathes a lifeblood of passion for living and the joy of embracing each new day as one full of possibility. Some of the poems are hard to read due to their emotional conviction and others, are a bit more sublime in how they can articulate the moment of life being captured within their poetic home. There is an umbrage of living narrative running throughout the collection that celebrates how life is lived and deeply felt whilst granting us a view of a passage of life different from our own.

-quoted from my review of You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened

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Blog Book Tour | A Poetic Memoir within the poetry collection of “Who’s Your Daddy” by Arisa WhiteWho's Your Daddy
by Arisa White (2021)
Source: Publisher via Poetic Book Tours

A lyrical, genre-bending coming-of-age tale featuring a queer, Black, Guyanese American woman who, while seeking to define her own place in the world, negotiates an estranged relationship with her father.

Genres: LGBTQIA Fiction, Non-Fiction, Memoir, Poetry & Drama



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781936767618

Published by Augury Books

on 1st March, 2021

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 137

Published By: Augury Books (@augurybooks)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #Poetry

About Arisa White (2021)

Arisa White Photo Credit: by Nye Lyn Tho

Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow and an assistant professor of creative writing at Colby College. She is the author of four books, including the poetry collection You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, and coauthor of Biddy Mason Speaks Up, winner of the Maine Literary Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the Nautilus Book Award Gold Medal for Middle Grade Nonfiction. She serves on the board of directors for Foglifter and Nomadic Press.

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Posted Wednesday, 21 April, 2021 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Introspective Literary Fiction, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Memoir, Modern Day, Non-Fiction, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry, Vignettes of Real Life, Vulgarity in Literature