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Welcome to Mocha Girls Read book club. Mocha Girls Read is a book club for Black women who love to read, want to read more and meet like-minded women. We are here to inspire women to read, share literature, fellowship, and encourage others in the joy of reading. We meet monthly in 14 cities across the US. We are an eclectic group of women and so are our reading selections. We don’t limit our reading to release dates, gender, race, or genre.  So glad you’re here!

 

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Book Tour Tuesday: Queen of Ruin by Paula Dombrowiak (Kingmaker Series, #2)

Every week we will introduce to you a new book from various book tour companies. This week’s selection comes from Xpresso Book Tours.

Xpresso Book Tours is run by Giselle of Xpresso Reads. She has been part of the blogging community since September 2011 and launched Xpresso Book Tours in October 2012. Currently, Xpresso Book Tours has successfully completed over 800 blog tours and 3,000 promotional events.

This way we get to find out about new books, discover hidden gems, and explore different genres. It’s an opportunity to broaden our literary horizons and dive into captivating narratives crafted by talented authors. Plus, the authors themselves benefit from reaching a wider audience, gaining recognition, and fostering a vibrant literary community. In essence, it’s a truly advantageous and mutually beneficial arrangement – a true win-win kind of situation. And let’s not forget the cherry on top of the bookish cake – the thrilling giveaway awaiting at the end. I mean, who doesn’t adore the chance to win a coveted book or literary treasure? It’s like receiving a little touch of magic, a gift that nourishes our love for literature and fuels our excitement to embark on new reading journeys. So, embrace the joy of discovering captivating books, connecting with talented authors, and indulging in the thrill of a wonderful giveaway experience!

Queen of Ruin
Paula Dombrowiak
(Kingmaker Series, #2)
Publication date: June 11th 2024
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Our marriage is fake. But our feelings are dangerously real…

Marrying playboy billionaire Darren Walker was only ever supposed to be a business deal.

If only it were that easy.

I’m finding it far too comfortable living in Darren’s world, and I never predicted I’d find real meaning in the charity I’m involved with while I pretend to be the perfect wife.

The worst thing is, I’m scared Darren’s feelings for me are becoming real, too.

But a woman with a past like mine doesn’t belong in a world like his. Especially because I thought my heart belonged to someone else before we were married. Someone much too close to him.

When Darren decides to leave his playboy ways behind and follow in his father’s footsteps, I must face reality. A marriage like ours won’t last forever.

Not when my former life has the power to come back to haunt me. There’s no way Darren’s reputation will survive the scandal of being married to a former escort.

And if I let myself get any deeper, neither will my heart…

Queen of Ruin is the second book in The Kingmaker trilogy, a steamy marriage of convenience romance full of political scandal. The books must be read in order for the best reader experience. This book does end in a cliffhanger.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

“Revisionist history, Alistair,” I say, pointing my finger in the air before taking a seat on the step.

Alistair takes a seat next to me, stretching out his long legs over the marble steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

“We look back on history and memorialize a great man, but we forget about the flaws; we minimize them. His martyrdom makes it impossible to point them out. It’s true that Lincoln had one foot in the 20th century, but the other foot was still planted heavily in the 19th,” I lament, “and yet here we sit on the steps of this memorial that holds the daily pilgrimage of thousands, and we forget about those innate things that made him human.”

“We’re not really talking about Lincoln, are we?” Alistair asks astutely.

“I didn’t get along with my father,” I say as a matter of fact. “That’s never been in question; a constant since as far back as I can remember, and yet I always looked up to him.” I sigh, tilting my head towards Alistair who looks down at his clasped hands resting on his thighs. “But I always thought I knew him. Lately, I’m beginning to question that, to question a lot of things.”

“Anything in particular that you didn’t know?” he inquires, lifting a brow.

I pull out the envelope and hand it to Alistair.

“Fuck,” he says, “He was a client?”

“No, these were taken four years ago. She was a student, and my father was giving a speech at her university. She said nothing happened.”

“Do you believe her?” The photos are damning without context, but that’s the problem with photos – they’re up to the interpretation of the viewer.

“Bailey was there when they met and attests to the fact that he drove my father back to his hotel alone.”

“That’s not what I asked,” he questions.

“I wanted to believe her,” I admit, peering over at Alistair. “But it’s this part of me,” I gesture to the monument, “that needs the facts.”

“Who gave those to you?” Alistair’s question breaks through my thoughts. “Rausch?” He gives a dark laugh.

“I know he’s pissed that you circumvented the will, but now that it’s done, what does it matter to him?”

“Other than to gloat that he was right about marrying her?” I scoff. “I’m not worried about that.” I shake my head. “It’s who he got the photos from that I’m worried about.”

“If the press had gotten ahold of them…” Alistair doesn’t finish his sentence, but he doesn’t have to. This would be a huge scandal, whether it was an innocent interaction or not. Politics runs on perception, not to mention the media storm that would descend on Evangeline.

Even though I’m angry, I wouldn’t wish that upon her or the destruction of my parents’ reputation.

“Someone’s had these for four years, Alistair,” I point out, my voice sounding grave with the weight of it. “I have a feeling it was Langley.”

“But what would he have to gain from that?” Alistair asks. “Rumor around Washington was that he was going to be your father’s first pick as a running mate.”

Something my father taught me – Presidential elections aren’t won in the final hour. Presidents are made decades before they even run.

Feeling my phone vibrate in my pocket, I hold my hand up for Alistair to stop as I take a call. He rolls his eyes.

“Sir, I’ve been notified that the jet is ready for flight,” Bailey explains on the other end.

“What are you talking about?”

“The crew called me to find out if you would be joining.”

“Bailey, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I start to get agitated.

“I don’t think Evangeline knew that the flight crew would alert anyone.”

Evangeline?

Fuck!

“What’s going on?” Alistair asks, the creases of concern fanning his eyes.

“Evangeline’s leaving, and she’s taking my fucking plane.” My heart races and the sudden change makes me feel dizzy. Never did I think she would actually leave – especially when she knows what’s at stake.

“Leaving?” he asks, tilting his head in confusion. “Does she know she’s not getting any money unless she stays the whole year?”

“She knows damn well!” I yell, pacing along the steps. But if I thought Evangeline cared about the money, I’d have bought her a closet full of designer gowns, fur coats, or whatever the fuck she wanted.

She’d rather leave penniless then stay with me.

I press the phone to my ear and ask to be patched into the pilot.

“What’s the destination?” I ask before the pilot can utter a word.

“Sorry, Mr. Walker?”

“Where the fuck is my wife going?” I fume.

“Las Vegas, sir,” the captain confirms. “Do you want me to cancel the flight?”

Author Bio:

Paula Dombrowiak grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois but currently lives in Arizona. She is the author of Blood and Bone, her first adult romance novel which combines her love of music and imperfect relationships. Paula is a lifelong music junkie, whose wardrobe consists of band T-shirts and leggings which are perpetually covered in pet hair. She is a sucker for a redeemable villain, bad boys, and the tragically flawed. Music inspires her storytelling.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Newsletter


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Book Tour Tuesday: Against the Run of Play by Kiru Taye (Viva City FC Books, #2)

Every week we will introduce to you a new book from various book tour companies. This week’s selection comes from Xpresso Book Tours.

Xpresso Book Tours is run by Giselle of Xpresso Reads. She has been part of the blogging community since September 2011 and launched Xpresso Book Tours in October 2012. Currently, Xpresso Book Tours has successfully completed over 800 blog tours and 3,000 promotional events.

This way we get to find out about new books, discover hidden gems, and explore different genres. It’s an opportunity to broaden our literary horizons and dive into captivating narratives crafted by talented authors. Plus, the authors themselves benefit from reaching a wider audience, gaining recognition, and fostering a vibrant literary community. In essence, it’s a truly advantageous and mutually beneficial arrangement – a true win-win kind of situation. And let’s not forget the cherry on top of the bookish cake – the thrilling giveaway awaiting at the end. I mean, who doesn’t adore the chance to win a coveted book or literary treasure? It’s like receiving a little touch of magic, a gift that nourishes our love for literature and fuels our excitement to embark on new reading journeys. So, embrace the joy of discovering captivating books, connecting with talented authors, and indulging in the thrill of a wonderful giveaway experience!

Against the Run of Play
Kiru Taye
(Viva City FC Books, #2)
Publication date: May 28th 2024
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports

Step into the thrilling world of professional footballers in the Viva City FC Books series!

Soccer player and reformed bad boy, Asher Uzodimma, is struggling through a challenging season. Due to a string of injuries, he finds himself relegated to the bench during crucial games as his team battles for promotion into the league’s top division. Frustrated, he falls back on some old habits and escapes to find solace where he encounters the vibrant Vivi. She has zero interest in celebrities. Yet, spending only two days with her brings a sense of calm and stability back into his life. She possesses all the qualities he never realised he desired in a woman, and his yearning to be in her presence grows stronger with each passing day. Nevertheless, when he finally learns her full identity, she quickly becomes the last woman anyone wants for him.

Vivacious and fun-loving Vivi Osondu is currently in seclusion after the highly publicised end to her turbulent relationship. She needs a break to reevaluate her life and dedicate time to self-reflection. Meeting Asher brings back her laughter, which had been missing for months, and each time she lays eyes on him, her stomach fills with a delightful sense of excitement. However, he’s part of the famous crowd, and she’s made a conscious decision to steer clear of that world, so she chooses to walk away. But Asher is determined to turn the game around both on and off the pitch, against the run of play.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

I see a flash of colour—fuchsia—and turn instinctively towards it. But I lose it in the crowd.

My heart is racing, my skin hot. Could it be her? Vivi. Is she here?

“Mum, I think I spotted someone I need to speak to. Do you mind?” I say.

“No. It’s okay. I need to use the ladies anyway. I’ll meet you back at the table.”

“Okay.” I direct her towards the signs for the ladies and keep glancing around. But I can’t see anyone wearing the bright purple/red colour I spotted earlier. Then I head down the corridor leading to the foyer, thinking she might have gone outside.

My heart stops as I halt. Then it slams into my chest.

A Black woman stands in the foyer talking on her phone. Her back is to me but I recognised her figure, her voice.

Vivi is here. I don’t know how it’s possible. I mean, I know she lives in London and she works as a sportswriter. But to be here at this very moment feels like serendipity. Like destiny.

My senses heighten and my vision clarifies. I was buzzing when I arrived. But now it feels like I’ve been struck by lightning as I feel an energy surge. It feels like that first night I saw her in the sports bar. I zoom in on her.

She is in an off-shoulder ruffle collar boho maxi dress that shows off the glowing skin of her shoulders and arms and skims her curves. It’s sexy without being vulgar. Her strappy stilettos match her purse tucked under her arm.

Her hair is different. In Zanzibar, her hair had loose curls and streaks of colour. This looks too dark, long, and straight and almost to her butt. Perhaps a wig or weave, just like my sisters wear sometimes.

Her voice is a melody that draws me closer and I can’t resist the pull. I walk past the people around me as if they are obstacles and challenges I must conquer to reach my goal—Vivi. Adrenaline charges over me. I’m on the field in a crucial match and I’m running toward the goal line to score before the final whistle.

As if she senses me, she swivels and I know I’m not dreaming because her face lights up with a beautiful smile. Warmth and ecstasy spreads through me. I want to touch her smooth skin, to kiss her full lips a shade darker than her dress. Her irises are a mesmerising bronze. There are layers of colours on her eyelids and cheeks, contouring her face. It’s more makeup than she had on the island.

But I recognise the woman underneath. I remember the natural tone of her skin first thing in the morning. The softness of her curves against me. Every cell in my body wants to be connected to her.

Author Bio:

Kiru is the award winning author of His Treasure. She writes sensual and passionate multicultural romance stories set mostly in Africa. When she’s not writing you can find her either immersed in a good book or catching up with friends and family. She currently lives in the South of England with her husband and three children.

Subscribe to her newsletter for book news and giveaways: http://www.kirutaye.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Youtube


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Let’s Vote: 2024 New York Times Bestseller

Welcome to the second half of 2024. This month, we are going to pick from a list. The theme is 2024, New York Times Bestseller – that means any book from the first half of 2024 that made the New York Times Bestsellers list.

Today, we’re starting the voting process, and we understand it will be hard to select merely three books from all the outstanding nominations. Good luck!

Here are the Rules for Voting.

1. You may vote for up to three (3) books.

2. You get to vote only once.

3. Last day to vote will be June 16, 2024 (10:00 pm Los Angeles time)

4. The book with the most votes wins. But if there is a tie there will be a 48-hour deathmatch. The two (or three) books will go into a head-to-head competition for only 48 hours. Whichever book is left standing (with the most votes) wins!

Below the poll, you will find the clickable covers of the books for more information.

*Note: If a book is found to have accumulated fraudulent votes, it will be disqualified and the second runner-up will be our monthly book selection.*

Book Tour Tuesday: Clowders by Vanessa Morgan

Every week we will introduce to you a new book from various book tour companies. This week’s selection comes from Xpresso Book Tours.

Xpresso Book Tours is run by Giselle of Xpresso Reads. She has been part of the blogging community since September 2011 and launched Xpresso Book Tours in October 2012. Currently, Xpresso Book Tours has successfully completed over 800 blog tours and 3,000 promotional events.

This way we get to find out about new books, discover hidden gems, and explore different genres. It’s an opportunity to broaden our literary horizons and dive into captivating narratives crafted by talented authors. Plus, the authors themselves benefit from reaching a wider audience, gaining recognition, and fostering a vibrant literary community. In essence, it’s a truly advantageous and mutually beneficial arrangement – a true win-win kind of situation. And let’s not forget the cherry on top of the bookish cake – the thrilling giveaway awaiting at the end. I mean, who doesn’t adore the chance to win a coveted book or literary treasure? It’s like receiving a little touch of magic, a gift that nourishes our love for literature and fuels our excitement to embark on new reading journeys. So, embrace the joy of discovering captivating books, connecting with talented authors, and indulging in the thrill of a wonderful giveaway experience!

Clowders
Vanessa Morgan
Publication date: March 1st 2018
Genres: Adult, Supernatural, Thriller

Clervaux, Luxembourg. This secluded, picturesque town in the middle of Europe is home to more cats than people. For years, tourists have flocked to this place – also known as “cat haven” – to meet the cats and buy cat-related souvenirs.

When Aidan, Jess and their five-year-old daughter, Eleonore, move from America to Clervaux, it seems as if they’ve arrived in paradise. It soon becomes evident, though, that the inhabitants’ adoration of their cats is unhealthy. According to a local legend, each time a cat dies, nine human lives are taken as a punishment. To tourists, these tales are supernatural folklore, created to frighten children on cold winter nights. But for the inhabitants of Clervaux, the danger is horrifyingly real.

Initially, Aidan and Jess regard this as local superstition, but when Jess runs over a cat after a night on the town, people start dying, one by one, and each time it happens, a clowder of cats can be seen roaming the premises.

Are they falling victim to the collective paranoia infecting the entire town? Or is something unspeakably evil waiting for them?

Their move to Europe may just have been the worst decision they ever made.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

FREE for a limited time only!

EXCERPT:

“Who is she?” Eleonore asked when Jess drove her to school Friday morning.

“Who’s who?” Jess countered, not sure what her daughter was talking about.

“The girl. The one who’s always watching us.”

“No one’s watching us,” Jess said.

“Yes, there is. All the girls in my baking class say the same.”

Normally, Jess wouldn’t have put much thought into such a remark – children can say weird things sometimes. But now it seemed Eleonore might be right. Jess felt like there was indeed someone watching them, no matter what they were doing.

She felt it everywhere she went. When she took Eleonore to baking class, when she was lying in bed at night, even in the shops. But not all the time.

Some of the time.

More often than not, everything seemed normal, and then all of a sudden, she felt as if someone was checking up on her. Sometimes it was only briefly, like a minute or so, but at other times, she could feel it for several hours.

Sometimes she could feel it on the streets.

But mostly at home.

And never outside Clervaux.

You’re imagining things, she told herself.

In fact, every day since she’d arrived in Europe, it had gotten worse. More and more, she’d get that tingly feeling, and know that someone behind her was watching her. She’d try to ignore it, tried to resist the urge to look over her shoulder, but eventually the hair on the back of her neck would stand up, and the tingling would turn into a chill, and finally, she’d turn around.

And nobody would be there.

Nobody, except for the cats. The sight of cats waddling along the pavement had never seemed eerie to her, but the fact that they were always there, no matter where she was – on the sidewalk, at the main square, in a café, in the forest – made her skin crawl.

Whenever she was running errands in Clervaux, she kept looking into store windows, but it wasn’t the merchandise she was looking at; it was the reflection in the glass.

The reflection of something sinister watching her.

Sometimes she could have sworn she saw something. The reflection of a small, squatting figure. But then she glanced over her shoulder and all she could see once more were the cats of Clervaux staring back at her.

She decided to not let her imagination get to her, to resist the urge to glance over her shoulder every few seconds.

And then her daughter muttered the words, “Who is she? The girl. The one who’s always watching us,” and the paranoia tightened its grip on her once more.


Author Bio:

Vanessa Morgan is the editor of the movie reference guides When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals, Strange Blood: 71 Essays on Offbeat and Underrated Vampire Movies, and Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children. She also has had one cat book (Avalon) and four supernatural thrillers (Drowned Sorrow, The Strangers Outside, A Good Man, and Clowders) published. Three of her stories have been turned into movies. She has written for myriad Belgian magazines and newspapers and introduces movie screenings at several European film festivals. She is also a programmer for the Offscreen Film Festival in Belgium. When she’s not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching movies, eating out, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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