Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Vanessa Riley | Exclusive Excerpt: ISLAND QUEEN
Author Guest / June 30, 2021

LONDON 1824: KENSINGTON HOUSE Never knew a moment made better standing still. Never knew an hour made perfect by silence. It’s been a long time since I’d had peace—moments of dance, hours in hymns. It disappeared when the Demerara Council forced its tax. Fidgeting, I sit in the front parlor of Kensington House switching my gaze from the sheers draping the window to the finishing school’s headmistress. Miss Smith, she’s across from me in a Chippendale chair sipping her chamomile tea. Her fingers tremble on the china handle. “Mrs. Thomas,” she says with eyes wide, bulging like an iguana’s. “Your visit is unexpected, but I’m pleased you’ve taken my offer to stay at Kensington to review our school. You’ll see it’s a worthy investment.” “I was always fond of the name Kensington.” My voice trails off as I think of walks, of choices, then my aptly named plantation. Kensington is a set of squiggled letters chiseled in a cornerstone back home. The headmistress chatters on, and I nod. The white egret feather on my bonnet jiggles and covers my brow. I bat it away like the memories I want gone, but you never get to choose what comes to mind….

Danielle Dresser | Travel Through Books
Author Guest / June 17, 2021

When you read this blog post, I’ll probably be flying through the air on my way across the country to see family I haven’t seen in person in well over a year. I’m beyond excited to get on a plane and go somewhere I haven’t been for some time, see people I adore, and get out of my house! I’m also traveling with my mom and we’re having a tiny girls’ trip before we reach our final destination of Southern California. We are PUMPED. That being said, over the last year+, books have really been my salvation and a way for me to travel, so to speak. I love when a sense of setting is just as important to the story and I feel immersed in the place the characters are figuring out their lives. Here are a few recent reads where I felt like I was truly there, and felt a sense of escapism through reading: SCANDAL IN THE VIP SUITE by Nadine Gonzalez When two people accidentally get double-booked in the same luxurious suite at a gorgeous resort in Miami, instead of trying to find different rooms, they just decide to share. What could happen? A whole lot!…