OTRPR Blog Tour for: Sometimes You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy by Leslie Brody

Today I’m dishing about this really fascinating book about an author that I adored when I was a kid: Louise Fitzhugh. I loved Harriet the Spy, which I read in fifth grade. I remember finding it on a bookshelf at my sister’s house one summer. I wanted Harriet as my friend. My own friend and I started carrying notebooks around that summer so that we could take notes on people. We spent time “spying” and communicating our opinions on the adults in our world, often by leaving messages for each other in a small hole in the ground between our houses.

Needless to say, I was interested to join this tour and to find out about this author.

First, let me say that Louise Fitzhugh had a life quite different that I had imagined. She was progressive, unique, and totally her own person. She came from great wealth. However, her story left me a feeling sad. (No spoilers, I promise). By understanding Louise’s childhood and life, you can see how Harriet emerged.

This book is technically a biography and non-fiction, but it reads very easily. It is not dense or hard to get through. You will not use it as a doorstop (as I look fondly on my biographical tome of Ben Franklin).

Thank you so much for making me part of the tour and for my e-copy!

Here’s the scoop from Over the River PR:

Harriet the Spy, first published in 1964, has mesmerized generations of readers and launched a million diarists. Its beloved antiheroine, Harriet, is erratic, unsentimental, and endearing—very much like the woman who created her, Louise Fitzhugh. In SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO LIE, Brody shares the lively story of the beloved children’s book author who was a progressive, anti-racist, transgressive, smoking and drinking lesbian who believed in the radical power of art.

Born in 1928, Fitzhugh was raised in segregated Memphis, a rebellious daughter of Southern socialites who fled to New York at the first opportunity. There, she discovered the lesbian bars of Greenwich Village and the art world of postwar Europe; her circle of friends included members of the avant-garde like Maurice Sendak and Lorraine Hansberry. Above all else, Fitzhugh valued creativity and honesty. Her novels, written in an era of political defiance, are full of resistance: to liars, to authority, to conformity, and even—radically, for a children’s author—to make-believe. Fitzhugh herself lived her life as a dissenter—a friend to underdogs, outsiders, and artists—and her masterpiece remains long after her death to influence and provoke new generations of readers. As a children’s author and a lesbian, Fitzhugh was often pressured to disguise her true nature. SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO LIE tells the story of her hidden life and of the creation of her masterpiece, which remains long after her death as a testament to the complicated relationship between truth and secrecy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Leslie Brody is a creative writing professor and well-regarded biographer. The San Francisco Chronicle praised Irrepressible (Counterpoint Press, 2010)—her biography of Jessica Mitford—saying, “Brody has made the world a better place by telling her saga so skillfully.” And Maya Angelou stated, “Leslie Brody reintroduced me to a friend I loved so dearly; told me stories about events I did not participate in, and it makes me jealous. Thank you for the book.” Since 1998, she has taught Creative Nonfiction in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Redlands.

Harlequin Winter Reads Blog Tour for: One of the Good Ones by Maika and Maritza Moulite

I’m here to write about a new YA book out this month that was a fantastic read — One of the Good Ones. This story, told in several different voices and across time, centers on three sisters and the ties that bind them. Middle sister Kezi is a social media influencer and social activist when she is arrested during a protest. Her family is told that she has died in police custody when a fire breaks out at the jail where she is held. Happi, the youngest, is striving to be an actress and her tensions run hot with her sisters and her family. She is self-centered and strong and determined to succeed. Reeling from Kezi’s death, the remaining two sisters decide to head out on a road trip that Kezi had planned using the “Green Book” for Black motorists published in the first half of the 20th century. This book provided a guide to “safe stops” for Black motorist and their families seeking gas, food, and lodging while driving through America (on Route 66) in the days of segregation and sundown towns. I found this fascinating as this was based in fact – a fact that I did not know. This story has peaks and valleys and subplots and also some twists and suspense. I can’t say more without spoilers, but I’d highly recommend it to high schoolers and adults who enjoy YA (like me!). There is so much to talk about regarding racism, prejudice, and the overarching issues of how we blame the victim or turn them into a martyr. This was a thoughtful and provoking read.

Thank you for having me be part of the tour and for my review e-copy!


By Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

On Sale: January 5, 2021


Teen & Young Adult; Prejudice & Racism; Siblings; Self-esteem & Reliance 

978-1335145802; 133514580X

$18.99 USD

352 pages

About the Book

A shockingly powerful exploration of the lasting impact of prejudice and the indomitable spirit of sisterhood that will have readers questioning what it truly means to be an ally, from sister-writer duo Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.


When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic.

One of the good ones.

Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.

About the Authors

MAIKA MOULITE is a Miami native and the daughter of Haitian immigrants. She earned a bachelor’s in marketing from Florida State University and an MBA from the University of Miami. When she’s not using her digital prowess to help nonprofits and major organizations tell their stories online, she’s sharpening her skills as a PhD student at Howard University’s Communication, Culture and Media Studies program. Her research focuses on representation in media and its impact on marginalized groups. She’s the eldest of four sisters and loves young adult novels, fierce female leads, and laughing.

MARITZA MOULITE graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in women’s studies and the University of Southern California with a master’s in journalism. She’s worked in various capacities for NBC News, CNN, and USA TODAY. Maritza is a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania exploring ways to improve literacy in under-resourced communities after being inspired to study education from her time as a literacy tutor and pre-k teacher assistant. Her favorite song is “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire.

Social Links:

Author website: https://www.maikaandmaritza.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/maikamoulite

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maikamoulite/ 


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maikaandmaritza 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/46189861-one-of-the-good-ones 



Buy Links: Not affiliated with BBNB

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/One-Good-Ones-Maika-Moulite/dp/133514580X 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-of-the-good-ones-maika-moulite/1137186269 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335145802 

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/One-Good-Ones/Maika-Moulite/Q889553084?id=7863851088953 

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/one-of-the-good-ones/id1518801789 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/One_of_the_Good_Ones?id=AQAAAEDsWWUZmM&hl=en_US 

Harlequin Trade Blog Tour for: AFTERSHOCK by Judy Melinek and T. J. Mitchell


When an earthquake strikes San Francisco, forensics expert Jessie Teska faces her biggest threat yet in this explosive new mystery from the New York Times bestselling authors of Working Stiff and First Cut.

At first glance, the death appears to be an accident. The body is located on a construction site under what looks like a collapse beam. But when Dr. Jessie Teska arrives on the scene, she notices the tell-tale signs of a staged death. The victim has been murdered. A rising star in the San Francisco forensics world, Jessie is ready to unravel the case, help bring the murderer to justice, and prevent him from potentially striking again.

But when a major earthquake strikes San Francisco right at Halloween, Jessie and the rest of the city are left reeling. And even if she emerges from the rubble, there’s no guaranteeing she’ll make it out alive.

With their trademark blend of propulsive prose, deft plotting and mordant humor, this electrifying new installment in the Jessie Teska Mystery series offers the highest stakes yet.

I’m so excited to take part in the blog tour for Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell’s new mystery: Aftershock. This was a fast-paced and interesting mystery, taking place in one of my favorite locations: San Francisco! This is part of a series but is easily a stand-alone title.

I really liked the intelligent and scrappy Jessie. There were lots of things added to give her character dimension — her Polish background, her early life in Lynn, MA, her family, her lovelife, her dog. I felt I got to know her. I also liked the mystery (even though I figured it out!).

I can’t wait to hear about the rest of the series from this husband and wife team! Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my review e-copy!

Here’s some info on the authors:

Judy Melinek & T.J. Mitchell are the New York Times bestselling co-authors of Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner, and the novel First Cut. Dr. Melinek studied at Harvard and UCLA, was a medical examiner in San Francisco for nine years, and today works as a forensic pathologist in Oakland and as CEO of PathologyExpert Inc. T.J. Mitchell, her husband, is a writer with an English degree from Harvard, and worked in the film industry before becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad to their children.

Social and Buy Links (not affiliated with BBNB):



FB: @DrWorkingStiff







Barnes & Noble 







Harlequin Fall Reads Blog Tour for: Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T. A. Willberg

Today I’m thrilled to be part of the Harlequin Trade Fall Reads Blog Tour for Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T. A. Willberg. This was a fantastical mystery, with an intelligent and intrepid protagonist, taking place in the heart of London.

Here’s the overview:

Book Summary:

The letter was short. A name, a time, a place.

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder plunges readers into the heart of London, to the secret tunnels that exist far beneath the city streets. There, a mysterious group of detectives recruited for Miss Brickett’s Investigations & Inquiries use their cunning and gadgets to solve crimes that have stumped Scotland Yard.

Late one night in April 1958, a filing assistant at Miss Brickett’s receives a letter of warning, detailing a name, a time, and a place. She goes to investigate but finds the room empty. At the stroke of midnight, she is murdered by a killer she can’t see―her death the only sign she wasn’t alone. It becomes chillingly clear that the person responsible must also work for Miss Brickett’s, making everyone a suspect.

Marion Lane, a first-year Inquirer-in-training, finds herself drawn ever deeper into the investigation. When her friend and colleague is framed for the crime, to clear his name she must sort through the hidden alliances at Miss Brickett’s and secrets dating back to WWII. Masterful, clever and deliciously suspenseful, Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder is a fresh take on the Agatha Christie-style locked-room murder mystery, with an exciting new heroine detective.

I have to say that this book, in my opinion, would be great for fans of Harry Potter because it has fantasy that is creative and clever — the sort of “everyday places that are really extraordinary” fresh look at typical surroundings. The mystery was well-paced and suspenseful. It would also be a good recommendation for readers of historical mysteries. This was a new author to me — and I see that this is her debut and also the start of a series!

Thank you for making me part of the tour!

Buy Links: (not affiliated with BBNB):





Barnes & Noble 









Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @Tess_Amy_

Facebook: @tawillberg

Instagram: @ta_willberg

Author Bio: T.A. Willberg was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and holds a chiropractic masters degree from Durban University of Technology. MARION LANE AND THE MIDNIGHT MURDER is her debut novel and launch of her detective series. She currently lives in Malta with her partner.

The Silver Box: An Enchantment Lake Mystery by Margi Preus

I love this fun YA mystery series, featuring teen Francie and her friends. This is the final installment of the series, and focuses on Francie’s search for the truth about her mother.

Here’s the overview:

THE SILVER BOX: An Enchantment Lake Mystery
By Margi Preus
University of Minnesota Press | 264 pages | October 2020
ISBN 978-1-5179-0959-8 | paperback | $19.95

One ominous clue after another reveal that Francie possesses something so rare and so valuable that some people are willing to do anything to get it. Everything depends on the small, engraved silver box that she now possesses—if only she can follow its cryptic clues to the whereabouts of her missing mother and understand, finally, just maybe, the truth about who she really is.

“Margi Preus shows her deep knowledge of and appreciation for Minnesota while telling an engaging story with puzzles and action and heart. The Silver Box is truly a celebration of our state—from its North Woods to its Twin Cities landmarks.” —Kurtis Scaletta, author of Lukezilla Beats the Game

“This is a great end to what was a really enjoyable YA adventure/mystery series. A fun, entertaining read.” —The Book Lover’s Boudoir


Margi Preus is a New York Times bestselling author of books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor–winning Heart of a Samurai. Among her other novels are Village of ScoundrelsShadow on the MountainWest of the Moon, and The Bamboo Sword, as well as the previous two books in the Enchantment Lake series, Enchantment Lake and The Clue in the Trees, which were published by the University of Minnesota Press and received the Midwest Book Award and the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award. She lives in Duluth.

For more information, visit the book’s webpage: https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/the-silver-box

This is a great “clean read” for middle school and up. I find that University of Minnesota Press offers a large selection of great reads for young readers, often taking place in Minnesota with history/heritage woven in.

Thank you for my review e-copy! I’m sorry it’s the final in the series!

Bookouture Blog Tour for: An American in Paris by Siobhan Curham

I loved taking part in this blog tour for a new WWII historical novel: An American in Paris by Siobhan Curham. Florence is a scrappy and big-hearted dancer who’s come to Paris to dance and ends up in love with a young man who’s escaping the Nazi’s. This story is told in shifting viewpoints between Florence in the 1940’s and her granddaughter that she never knew she had, Sage – a young “influencer” who has had enough of the limelight of social media.

Here’s the overview:

Book Description:
Paris, 1940: Walking through Montmartre that morning was like the eerie calm right before a storm. The roads were deserted. We carried on, arm in arm, and then finally, we saw them. Columns and columns of soldiers, spreading through the streets like a toxic grey vapour. ‘You must write about this,’ he whispered to me. ‘You must write about the day freedom left Paris.’

As Nazi troops occupy the City of Lights, American journalist Florence is determined to do everything she can to save her adopted home and the man she loves.

Florence had arrived in Paris in 1937 and on a beautiful summer’s day, met and fell in love with Otto, a Jewish artist from Austria, who had fled persecution in his homeland. But as swastikas are draped along the city’s wide boulevards, everything Otto was running from seems to have caught up with him.

Both Florence and Otto begin lending their talents to the Resistance, working to sabotage the Germans right under their noses. Florence’s society columns that, before the war were filled with tales of glamorous Parisian parties, now document life under occupation and hide coded messages for those fighting outside France for freedom. While Otto risks arrest in order to pin up the anti-Nazi posters he designs by candlelight in their tiny apartment.

But with every passing day, things become more dangerous for Otto to remain in Paris. If Florence risks everything by accepting a secret mission, can she ensure his survival so that they can be reunited once the war is over?

A sweeping wartime story that will capture your heart and never let it go. Fans of The Alice NetworkThe Lost Girls of Paris and My Name is Eva will be absolutely gripped from the very first page.

Author bio:

Siobhan Curham is an award-winning author, ghost writer, editor and writing coach. She has also written for many newspapers, magazines and websites, including The Guardian, Breathe magazine, Cosmopolitan, Writers’ Forum, DatingAdvice.com, and Spirit & Destiny. Siobhan has been a guest on various radio and TV shows, including Woman’s Hour, BBC News, GMTV and BBC Breakfast. And she has spoken at businesses, schools, universities and literary festivals around the world, including the BBC, Hay Festival, Cheltenham Festival, Bath Festival, Ilkley Festival, London Book Fair and Sharjah Reading Festival. 


Buy Links: (not affiliated with BBNB):
Amazon: https://bit.ly/3mlNzgj

Apple: http://apple.co/2ETJ0tT

Kobo: http://bit.ly/3nm25q2

Google: http://bit.ly/2Ss6CZI

Thank you for my review copy and making me part of the tour!

I really enjoyed this one and if you like this genre, you will, too!

Harper Collins Blog Tour for: THE CHANEL SISTERS by Judithe Little

I was thrilled to be able to take part in the blog tour for this fascinating book: The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little, about Antoinette and “Coco” Chanel. Told from Antoinette’s point of view, this novel traces their lives from their early years in a convent as poor and destitute abandoned children to their rise in the fashion industry of Europe. WWI plays a major role in the second half of the book, and I know so much more happened to them over the years. I could have kept reading and reading for another 800 pages!!


For fans of The Paris Wife, The Only Woman in the Room, and The Woman Before Wallis, a riveting historical novel narrated by Coco Chanel’s younger sister about their struggle to rise up from poverty and orphanhood and establish what will become the world’s most iconic fashion brand in Paris.

A novel of survival, love, loss, triumph—and the sisters who changed fashion forever

Antoinette and Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel know they’re destined for something better. Abandoned by their family at a young age, they’ve grown up under the guidance of nuns preparing them for simple lives as the wives of tradesmen or shopkeepers. At night, their secret stash of romantic novels and magazine cutouts beneath the floorboards are all they have to keep their dreams of the future alive.

The walls of the convent can’t shield them forever, and when they’re finally of age, the Chanel sisters set out together with a fierce determination to prove themselves worthy to a society that has never accepted them. Their journey propels them out of poverty and to the stylish cafés of Moulins, the dazzling performance halls of Vichy—and to a small hat shop on the rue Cambon in Paris, where a boutique business takes hold and expands to the glamorous French resort towns.

But the sisters’ lives are again thrown into turmoil when World War I breaks out, forcing them to make irrevocable choices, and they’ll have to gather the courage to fashion their own places in the world, even if apart from each other.


JUDITHE LITTLE is the award-winning author of Wickwythe Hall. She earned a BA in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. She grew up in Virginia and now lives with her husband, three teenagers, and three dogs in Houston, Texas. Find her on Instagram, @judithelittle, and on Facebook, facebook.com/judithelittle.


Author website: http://www.judithelittle.com/

Instagram: @judithelittle

Highly recommended to those who enjoy historical fiction featuring real life people and those who like strong female protagonists!

Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my review galley.

Here are some bookstore and, I assume, online events with the author, coming up in January/February:

Hot to Trot by M.C. Beaton w/ R.W. Green

If you read me, you know I love M.C Beaton and her characters of cranky, intelligent Agatha Raisin (also found on Acorn TV!) and the independent and sometimes sullen Hamish MacBeth (also seen on the BBC). I was so sad when she passed away recently and I assumed her stories would die with her. I was delighted to see a new Agatha Raisin story appear and to get a chance to read it, thanks to St. Martin’s Press (one of my favorite publishers for cozies!). Working through a collaborator, R. W. Green, Ms. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin lives on!

Now I will admit that I was skeptical. How many of us have read the sequel to Gone with the Wind and was disappointed? Time and again, who finds the writing of those megastars who collaborate to be not quite as good as their original novels which they did on their own? (I am raising my hand over here). So – it was with great pleasure that I read this Agatha Raisin story and found it to be “true Agatha” and a joy at that. I’m so thrilled to think that more stories of this less-than-perfect protagonist will be forthcoming.

Here’s the overview:


Beloved New York Times bestseller M. C. Beaton’s cranky, crafty Agatha Raisin—now the star of a hit T.V. show—is back on the case again in Hot to Trot.

When Private Detective Agatha Raisin learns that her friend and one-time lover Charles Fraith is to be married to a mysterious socialite, Miss Mary Brown-Field, she sees it as her duty to find out what she can about the woman. Coming up empty, Agatha—out of selfless concern for Charles, of course—does the only sensible thing she can think of: she crashes their wedding, which ends in a public altercation. Nursing a hangover the next morning, she gets a phone call from Charles, with even more disturbing news: Mary has been murdered.

Agatha takes on the case, and quickly becomes entrenched in the competitive equestrian world, in which Mary had been enmeshed—as well as the victim’s surprisingly violent past. Agatha finds no shortage of motives among a wide range of characters, from Mary’s old riding competitors, to enemies from her schoolgirl days, to her surly father, who threatens Agatha to mind her own business. Meanwhile, the police department has its money on another suspect: Agatha. Will she track down the criminal in time, or end up behind bars herself?

Thank you for my copy through Net Galley!

The Lost Village by Daniela Sacerdoti


1945: Two sisters give birth to two little girls on the same night, huddled under blankets, deep in the black woods that surround their village. They hold their babies close as footsteps approach. If they make even the slightest sound, the German soldiers will find them…

2006: Luce Nardini clutches a plane ticket to Italy in her trembling hands. Since her only child left home, and with her estranged husband more distant than ever, she’s been overwhelmed with loneliness. She never knew her father, or the reason why her mother cut all contact with her family in the little village of Bosconero. Lost and unravelling fast, uncovering her roots feels like Luce’s last and only hope.

As Luce searches the maze of cobbled streets, a house with a faded blue door draped in perfect white roses stops her in her tracks. Inside is the grandmother she never knew, who – with a longing look at an ornate wooden box on her nightstand – begins to tell the heart-wrenching story of a little village ravaged by war, and why Luce’s mother fled home and swore never to return.

Surrounded by new friends and faded frescoes of saints, Luce is just starting to feel like she belongs when the unthinkable happens: an earth-shattering disaster that shakes the little village of Bosconero to its core. Could it be that the secrets of Luce’s past have been buried forever?

Frightened, hopeless and feeling more alone than ever before, will the surprise arrival of the husband she thought she’d lost help sew Luce’s family back together, or tear it apart for good? One thing is certain: she must find the little wooden box amongst the rubble of the village and return it to her grandmother. But nothing will have prepared Luce for the devastating betrayal she finds inside…

An unputdownable historical romance about the secrets we keep to protect the ones we love by the author of million-copy Amazon No 1. bestseller, Watch Over Me. Perfect for anyone who loves Fiona Valpy, Lily Graham or The Letter by Kathryn Hughes.

As you know, I LOVE books from this time period and this one was quite suspenseful and exciting. At the same time, it was a bit heart-breaking. I really connected with the character Luce and her search for her past while she was going through an identity crisis of her own. Would I have made the ending different? Probably. But overall, it was a satisfying read.

Highly recommended if you like WWII period historical fiction and romance that toggles from the past to the present.

I also did a little research and you really can buy a house in some parts of Italy for 1 Euro!!

Thank you, Net Galley, for my copy!

A Fun Game for the Family: You’re Pulling My Leg by Allen Wolf

My friends at PR by the Book sent me a copy of You’re Pulling My Leg by Allen Wolf, a fun choice for game night at home. We tried it out over the Thanksgiving holiday. I had both my teens at home (they are in high school but one goes to boarding school) with my husband and I. We tried out the adult version (there is also You’re Pulling My Leg – junior).

I will admit that I did not know what to expect. You choose a story (e.g. tell me about a time you overspent) and then you flip a coin (secretly) to decide if you will tell the truth or lie. The other players win points by deciding if you are telling the truth or pulling their leg.

I will say that I think this would be easier to play with people that haven’t known you forever. However, we spent a lot of time laughing. As a matter of course, I never lie (too hard to keep track of lies) and we discovered that I am really really bad at it. At one point I made up a story about a fake friend and then said that I had discovered via Facebook that that friend had died (!). My kids looked horrified and then my daughter said, “Oh my god, Mom, how you can say that with a smile on your face???” then they both yelled, “You’re pulling our leg!”.

In all it was a fun time and the best part was that the four of us did it all together! We tend to separate to our various ways after dinner – XBox, You Tube, TV, books – so this was a fun way to spend time together.

Thank you for my copy! You can find yours online through Morning Star Publishing or have your favorite indie order it for you.

Great for COVID indoor time or I think you could even play it over Zoom!