Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson was all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, had a vision for their future together: Libertie would go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie, drawn more to music than science, feels stifled by her mother’s choices and is hungry for something else—is there really only one way to have an autonomous life? And she is constantly reminded that, unlike her mother, who can pass, Libertie has skin that is too dark.
When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it—for herself and for generations to come.
Inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States and rich with historical detail, Kaitlyn Greenidge’s new novel resonates in our times and is perfect for readers of Brit Bennett, Min Jin Lee, and Yaa Gyasi.
Libertie: Author Information
Kaitlyn Greenidge’s debut novel is We Love You, Charlie Freeman (Algonquin Books), one of the New York Times Critics’ Top 10 Books of 2016. Her writing has appeared in Vogue, Glamour,the Wall Street Journal, Elle.com, Buzzfeed, Transition Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, American Short Fiction and other places. Kaitlyn is the recipient of fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study other places. She was a contributing editor for LENNY Letter and is currently a contributing writer for The New York Times. Her second novel, Libertie, will be published by Algonquin Books on March 30, 2021. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Libertie is a free born Black woman, destined to follow her mother’s footsteps. Dr. Catherine Sampson is a Black female physician, and Libertie learns from her as she matures. Cathy wants her daughter to lead a life of medicine; however, mother and daughter face a divide based on skin tone. Libertie endures discrimination based on her skin tone, while Cathy avoids this barrier due to a lighter skin tone.
Libertie’s story takes us across several regions in the US and to the Caribbean. She searches for strength as a young, ambitious Black woman. She tells her story through poetry and song. Familial bonds are put to the ultimate test as Libertie longs to connect through her emotion and wants out of life.
While reading Libertie, I was swept up by the historical events of the US after the Civil War era. Both Libertie and Cathy fight to make their names established, while struggling to maintain their bonds as mother and daughter. This is definitely a captivating Historical Fiction tale!
Thank you so much to Algonquin Books for the gifted copy!
It’s my tour stop for ‘The Place Below’ Book Tour! This is the exciting conclusion of The Maer Cycle trilogy. Thank you to Storytellers on Tour for allowing me to take part! Click on the introduction post for more information.
‘The Place Below‘ Book Information
The Place Below by Dan Fitzgerald Book 3 in the Maer Cycle trilogy Publisher: Shadow Spark Publishing Length: 291 pages Age Group: Adult Release Date: March 4, 2021
It’s been twenty-five years since the Battle for the Archive. Peace reigns over the Silver Hills, and humans and Maer are preparing to sign their first trade agreement. Even warring tribes of the Free Maer have set aside old quarrels.
Sasha is a young scholar of mixed Maer and human parentage, traveling throughout the Maer lands collecting stories of the Ka-lar, the buried Forever Kings. She finds a reference in the Archive to a Ka-lar named Kuun, a scholar in life, who was laid down in an ancient brightstone mine, beneath a mountain said to be the home of the fabled Skin Maer. The lure of the tale is too strong to resist. Joined by some old friends, Sasha sets out to uncover secrets that have lain buried for over a thousand years.
In The Place Below, the Maer Cycle comes to a close as the darkest mysteries of the Maer are at last brought into the light.
The Place Below: Author Bio
Dan Fitzgerald is a fantasy author living in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC with his wife, twin boys, and two cats. When he is not writing, he might be gardening, taking photographs of nature, doing yoga, cooking, or listening to French music. The Maer Cycle is his debut trilogy, with Hollow Road and The Archive on several book bloggers’ best-of lists for 2020, and The Place Below coming March 4 2021. His upcoming duology, The Weirdwater Confluence, will be published in October 2021 and January 2022. All books published by Shadow Spark Publishing.
I’m happy to dive into the world of the Silver Hills once again! In this installment, a new character named Sasha sets out to explore the history of stories of old. Although a new band of characters join Sasha, it was refreshing to see some familiar faces from previous books on her journey.
I love that a time jump takes place in this installment. This portrays a renewed look in Silver Hills. New ways of living are established. Both humans and Maer work toward a deeper understanding. Additionally, characters from earlier books emerge, yet they clearly made their own life paths. This is wonderful way to wrap up one groups’ exploration while following some fresh faces in their adventures.
I love following the Maer Cycle trilogy, and I felt that it was a satisfying conclusion. I look forward to seeing more of what Dan Fitzgerald writes next!
The Maer Cycle Giveaway
It’s Giveaway Time!!! One lucky winner will receive signed copies of Hollow Road, The Archive,and The Place Below!You’ll also receive some artwork and Hollow Road character cards!
Raised in the shadow of a mother who defied convention, but won’t allow her own daughter the right to make the same choices, heiress Evangeline Lindenmayer has been groomed since childhood to marry into the British aristocracy.
When Lindy challenges her mother’s long-laid plans by falling in love with a poor seminary student, the explosion is bigger than the Brooklyn Bridge fireworks on Independence Day.
The Test of Gold | Author Bio
Renee Yancy is a history and archaeology nut who writes the kind of historical fiction she loves to read – stories filled with historical detail that immerse you in another place and time. When she isn’t writing historical fiction or traveling to see the places her characters have lived, she can be found in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband and two rescue mutts named Ellie and Charlie.
Jack glanced at the empty dining chair across the table. For the last fortnight, his mother hadn’t been strong enough to come downstairs for supper and grew steadily weaker. The windows of the dining room were open to the spring air, and the fresh scent of newly-turned flower beds drifted through. Children played on the street outside as the days grew longer. But in this room with his uncle, silence lay heavy like a tomb. Only the clink of silverware against the china gave any evidence of life.
Jack’s thoughts went to the library in the Lindenmayer mansion, where earlier this afternoon, Miss Lindenmayer had shared some details of her life with him. Funny, he’d never thought about what life might be like for the high society young women in the church. That they would marry a man of their parent’s choosing. But what about love? His parents had married for love. And then his father had died young, leaving his mother in a precarious position with no means of support. If it weren’t for his uncle…
“Have you no conversation this evening?” His uncle glowered at him, his lower lip thrust out in a most unpleasant way. His surliness had increased in direct proportion to his mother’s worsening condition.
Startled, Jack tore his thoughts back to the present. “I’m sorry, Uncle.”
“What are you thinking about?” Do I dare answer honestly? He laid his fork down. “My parents actually. Their marriage.”
He faces challenge from the start…
His uncle’s face screwed up into a frown. “A mistake from the start.”
Jack blinked, not expecting such a blatant statement of disapproval. “Pardon me, sir? A mistake?”
“They were never suited.” His uncle chomped viciously on a piece of beef, swallowed it, and speared another piece. “Never should have been allowed.
“Never should have been allowed?” Jack choked out.
“Stop repeating everything I say. You heard me.”
“My mother would never say that. She loved him. And he her.”
His uncle glared at him. “She was too young to see how shallow he was. My brother swept her away with his smooth charm and pretty words. And then what does he do? Goes out and gets himself killed.”
“He could hardly have planned that,” cried Jack, fury rising in him.
“Stop shouting.” His uncle helped himself to another serving of beef. “It’s fortunate for you and your mother I took you in.”
Jack swallowed hard. Calm down. Don’t rise to the bait. His uncle would never have voiced these thoughts if Mother had been at the table. Until now, he’d never realized how much of a buffer she’d always been between them. And as her illness worsened, the crotchetier his uncle became.
Curious to learn more? Then don’t hesitate to pick up The Test of Gold! Available now for purchase!
Alyce Bradley has few choices when her father decides it is time she marry as many refuse to see her as other than the girl she once was–unruly, outspoken and close to her grandmother, a woman suspected of witchcraft.
Thomas Granville, an ambitious privateer, inspires fierce loyalty in those close to him and hatred in those he has crossed. Beyond a large dowry, he is seeking a virtuous and dutiful wife. Neither he nor Alyce expect more from marriage than mutual courtesy and respect.
As the King of Spain launches his great armada and England braces for invasion, Alyce must confront closer dangers from both her own and Thomas’s past, threats that could not only destroy her hopes of love and happiness but her life. And Thomas is powerless to help.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
Catherine Meyrick is a writer of historical fiction with a particular love of Elizabethan England. Her stories weave fictional characters into the gaps within the historical record – tales of ordinary people who are very much men and women of their time, yet in so many ways are like us today. These are people with the same hopes and longings as we have to find both love and their own place in a troubled world.
Catherine grew up in regional Victoria, but has lived all her adult life in Melbourne, Australia. Until recently she worked as a customer service librarian at her local library. She has a Master of Arts in history and is also an obsessive genealogist. When not writing, reading and researching, Catherine enjoys gardening, the cinema and music of all sorts from early music and classical to folk and country and western and, not least of all, taking photos of the family cat to post on Instagram.
Alyce walked into the parlour, surprised to see Isabel sitting by the window, staring down into the garden.
She turned in her seat, smiling happily. ‘Good morrow, Alyce. Mother asked me to help with cutting out your new gowns.’ She ran her eye over Alyce’s gown. ‘That gown is pretty, but Mother said—’
‘I came back with next to naught,’ Alyce finished for her. She brushed her hand down the moss green worsted of the skirt. ‘Mother had it put away. I did not take it with me to Dalstead.’ She took a bolt of cloth from the chest in the corner of the parlour and spread it on the table. ‘It fits well enough, though it is a mite too short, but I am not going anywhere today.’
Isabel took out the sewing box their mother had stored in the chest. ‘Mother should get a tailor to do this for you. You do not want to spend your whole time sewing.’
‘I like to be busy.’ Alyce straightened the cloth and took the measuring stick from the box.
‘Did you know,’ Isabel handed Alyce a piece of chalk to mark the cloth, ‘old Sir Henry Crabbe is looking for a new wife?’
‘Sir Henry Crabbe,’ Alyce’s eyes widened in horror, ‘but he must be ninety at least.’
‘Seventy-five. And he has buried three wives.’
‘But he is old and fat and bald and…’ she shuddered, ‘… and hideous.’
Isabel giggled. ‘He is indeed.’
‘Father would not…?’ Alyce stood rigid, the chalk crumbling in her hand. ‘I would rather die.’
‘Of course they would not. Mother and Father do want someone you can be content with.’ She smiled brightly. ‘Would Thomas Granville do?’
There was something about Granville. Perhaps it was that he was courteous and one of the few men she had met who listened when she spoke.
‘He was definitely watching you yesterday, and it was more than that he was entranced by your lute playing.’
‘I think it was more the discordant notes I plucked,’ Alyce lied. He had been watching her, but she doubted it was as simple as Isabel imagined.
‘He is old and not so pretty any longer. And there are the numerous women he has debauched. Hundreds, if the stories are all true.’
Alyce did not want to believe that of him. ‘Not all stories are true, Isabel.’
‘Perhaps not all.’ Isabel shrugged. ‘But tales always begin with some grain of truth.’ She frowned, her eyelashes fluttering with thought. ‘Well, what about Robin Chapman?’
‘You must want to marry…all women do…‘
‘He is rather handsome. I wonder why he is not married. He has only kept company with one girl for any length of time, Maude Middleton’s maid, Susan, and that ended a few months ago.’ Her eyes twinkled. ‘Perhaps he’s been keeping himself for you.’
Alyce glared at her. ‘You do realise Chapman believes he will be the only one to offer for my hand?’ She blinked against threatening tears. ‘He said I would get no better offer.’
‘He what?’ Isabel gaped. ‘The presumption of him! The only person to benefit would be Robin himself.’ Colour flooded her face. ‘Be assured, no matter what Father might think, Mother would not stand for it. Nor would I. I will have something to say to Father, and Robin Chapman too, if such a ridiculous proposal is taken seriously.’
Isabel put her arms around Alyce, pulling her close. ‘It was a foolish jest on my part.’
‘You have your grandmother’s gifts’…
Alyce gave herself up to comfort and laid her head on her sister’s shoulder.
‘You are worthy of a man of far higher standing than Robin. And remember, Father said you would decide.’
Alyce moved away from her and dropped into a chair. ‘Service in a pleasant household would be easier.’
‘But you must want to marry—all women do.’
‘I do not know that I do. When I was young, I supposed I would. Now I no longer care.’
‘Well,’ Isabel screwed up her face, ‘let us pretend. If we lived in a perfect world, what would the husband of your dreams be?’
‘I abandoned foolish dreams a long time ago.’
‘I do not believe you.’ Isabel pulled out a chair at the side of the table. ‘We all dream of something. I dream of children. Alyce,’ she lowered her voice, ‘I have a secret. I will tell you if you promise not to tell a single soul, not even Mother.’
‘I promise,’ Alyce said warily.
‘I think I am with child. Every morning I awaken feeling queasy.’ Her face glowed with happiness. ‘I have been married nearly three years, and it has never been like this before. I have hoped I was with child many times but always, whether it is a few days or a week later, the bleeding comes.’ Her lashes glistened. ‘But now it has been two whole months and you are here.’
‘What difference do I make?’
‘You have Grandmother’s gifts.’
‘Isabel,’ Alyce spoke slowly, ‘Grandmother had no special gifts. She knew much of herbs and healing. The help she offered was no different from the apothecary or a housewife tending to the physic of her family.’
‘That is not what most people say.’
A shiver ran down Alyce’s back. ‘Most people are wrong.’ The sight of her grandmother’s friend dancing on the gallows was one that would never leave her. No doubt some had thought Bridget Mason had special gifts too.
Click on the Banner to view the other fabulous presenters on this tour!
I’m excited to show the cover for The Art of Running Away by Sabrina Kleckner! Thank you to Jolly Fish Pressfor letting me take part!
Are you ready to find out more about Maisie’s adventure? Keep reading…
The Art of Running Away: Synopsis
Twelve-year-old Maisie is an artist. When she’s in front of her sketchbook or apprenticing at Glenna’s Portraits, the family-run art shop her grandmother started, the world makes sense. She doesn’t think about Calum, her brother who mysteriously left home and cut ties with her family six years ago. Also, she ignores her parents’ insistence that she “broaden her horizons” and try something new—something that isn’t art.
However, Glenna’s Portraits falls on hard times. Maisie’s plan to take over the shop when she’s older and become a lifelong artist starts to crumble. In desperation to make things right, Maisie runs away to London to reconnect with her adult brother, hoping he might be the key to saving the shop. But as Maisie learns about her family’s past from Calum, she starts to rethink everything she’s ever known. Maisie must decide not only if saving her family’s art shop is worth it, but if she can forgive her parents for the mistakes they’ve made.
Sabrina Kleckner is the author of The Art of Running Away, a middle grade contemporary novel about family and identity. She began writing at the age of twelve. Sabrina is grateful to not be debuting with the angsty assassin book she toiled over in her teens. When she is not writing, she can be found teaching ESL or gushing about her three cats to anyone who will listen.
Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week readers answer a bookish prompt. This way fellow book lovers find a way to connect and communicate with each other!
This Week’s Question
What Is Your Go-To Book Recommendation for Some Who Doesn’t Read Often? (Submitted by Amanda @Give Me Coffee and Books)
I recommend A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney. It’s an exciting ‘Alice in Wonderland’ retelling. It features a strong Black female character navigating Wonderland. It’s non-stop action!
The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she battles monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland. Alice wields magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.
Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job.
However, when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.
I also recommend Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. Jacqueline writes this powerful book in poetic verse. I read this story fairly quickly!
Jacqueline Woodson, one of today’s finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.
Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
What are your go-to Book Recommendations? Share your thoughts below!
Happy Monday everyone! I hope your week is off to a good start! I’m slowly returning to the blogging mode, since I’ve been away from posting for a while. I hope this is the return of something consistent for me!
Goodreads Monday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. You highlight a book from your Goodreads TBR that you can’t wait to read! Since not many people love Goodreads, this may count toward your personal TBR pile!
This Week’s ‘Goodreads Monday’ Choice
Machinehood by S.B. Divya
Machinehood is on my radar for intense reading! It has both SFF elements and a intense plot. I’m excited to begin this book!
Welga Ramirez, executive bodyguard and ex-special forces, is about to retire early, but her client dies in front of her. It’s 2095 and people don’t usually die from violence. Humanity is entirely dependent on pills that not only help them stay alive, but allow them to compete with artificial intelligence in an increasingly competitive gig economy. Daily doses protect against designer diseases, flow enhances focus, zips and buffs enhance physical strength and speed, and juvers speed the healing process.
However, Welga’s client is killed by The Machinehood, a new and mysterious terrorist group that has simultaneously attacked several major pill funders. The Machinehood operatives are part human, part machine, something the world has never seen. They issue an ultimatum: stop all pill production in one week.
Global panic ensues as pill production slows and many become ill. Thousands destroy their bots in fear of a strong AI takeover. But the US government believes the Machinehood is a cover for an old enemy. One that Welga is uniquely qualified to fight.
Welga, determined to take down the Machinehood, is pulled back into intelligence work by the government that betrayed her. But who are the Machinehood and what do they really want?
What is on your TBR pile? Which books are you excited to read?
Finally, read my previous Goodreads Monday post. We’re going way back!
Shanghai Girls was the first time I went crazy over Historical Fiction. I felt like I was right there living through Shanghai’s pivotal moments! It also felt special living through Pearl and May’s eyes!
What’s your Six for Sunday? Which stories drew huge emotions from your soul?
NetGalley is a place to request online ARCs (Advance Review Copies) to read and review. Popular for both book bloggers and book lovers alike, NetGalley offers a wide catalog of books to request. There’s a waiting period, but there’s also a ‘Read Now’ section for immediate reading. Click here to explore their site!
This month I acquired two NetGalley ARCs. They are as follows:
Haunted by her sister’s mysterious disappearance, Lucy Wilson arrives in Rowan County, Kentucky, in the spring of 1911 to work for Cora Wilson Stewart, superintendent of education. When Cora sends Lucy into the hills to act as scribe for the mountain people, she is repelled by the primitive conditions and intellectual poverty she encounters. Few adults can read and write.
Born in those hills, Cora knows the plague of illiteracy. So does Brother Wyatt, a singing schoolmaster who travels through the hills. Involving Lucy and Wyatt, Cora hatches a plan to open the schoolhouses to adults on moonlit nights. The best way to combat poverty, she believes, is to eliminate illiteracy. But will the people come?
When Hope Weavermoves away from Pineville, New Jersey, best friend Jessica Darlingis devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever. The only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How can Jessica handle the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her parents’ obsessions, and anonexistent love life?
Like a John Hughes for the twenty-first century, Megan McCafferty taps into the inherent humor and drama of the teen experience. This poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don’t have to go back and grow up all over again.
I’m definitely reading The Moonlight School this weekend. I love stories woven with journeys and love!
First Lines Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words. Each week we judge a book not by its cover, but through their opening lines. For more information, click on Wandering Words’ post here.
This Week’s Lines
There’s all sorts of bad advice out there about how to deal with bullies. Ignore them. Stand up to them. Tell a teacher, tell a parent, tell your dentist while he’s jamming your teach back in your face.
The real way to deal with a bully is to stick a raw chicken in their locker.
Okay, My Friday Lines Book Is…
When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn’t under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal’s office for the third time in three days, and it’s still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal.
Gabi is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany’s locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared.
Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he’s capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken–including his dead mother–she takes it all in stride. Sal knows that she is someone he can work with.
There’s only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk.
This is a fun Middle Grade story with diverse characters! This book is perfect for children 8-12 years of age. It also has Cuban representation!