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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!

 

Latest from the Blog

Book Tour Tuesday: Hott Take by Serena Bell (Hott Springs Eternal, #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!

Hott Take
Serena Bell
(Hott Springs Eternal, #2)
Publication date: April 16th 2024
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

The hard part isn’t acting like we’re falling for each other. It’s pretending we’re not.

Shane: My grandfather’s will has me between a rock and a Hott place. If I don’t score a celebrity wedding, my sister will lose her wedding planning business—and our family’s land. As a playboy movie star, I know Hollywood’s ins and outs. But finding two celebrities in love is tougher than it looks.

Enter Ivy Scofield—the beautiful star of one of TV’s most beloved failures. She’s hiding from her past in Rush Creek, running a community theater for troubled kids. She needs my family’s wedding barn to save her program. So we make a deal: I give her the barn—she gives me her hand in fake marriage. Lights, camera, action—and cut—right?

Not so fast. Planning our fake wedding is way more personal than I was expecting. I’m learning Ivy’s quirks, preferences, and pet peeves—and that’s before I walk in on her enjoying my most infamous on-camera scene. Plus she’s slowly peeling back my layers—the ones I’ve built up to protect myself. If someone doesn’t do something soon, we might discover that the only thing fake about this wedding is the way we keep pushing each other away.

A spicy, movie star, marriage of convenience, fake relationship standalone romantic comedy set in the beloved small town of Rush Creek.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

After Nia told me that Shane Hott is an actor, I watched the first Crown of Spires movies, Lord of Every Sky. It was full of scenes where he was shirtless, badass, and bossy. He’s basically the villain of the first movie—although I get the sense that he’s going to be redeemed later from the way the camera lingers on his…assets.

Even as I watched, I questioned my life choices. I wasn’t at all sure watching the movie was a good idea because in a town as small as Rush Creek, Shane and I were bound to cross paths.

After I watched him in Lord of Every Sky, I wanted to build a small monument to his torso and worship it…with my tongue.

And now, encountering him in the hallway outside of Hanna’s office, my knees feel less solid than I would ideally like.

Never trust a guy so good looking he makes you stupid.

So I do what any self-respecting woman would do in that situation.

I pretend I have no idea who he is.

I can tell he’s waiting for me to recognize him, giving me a beat to say, Holy crap, Shane Hott!

After he got on Bridge and turned into a household name, Anthony used to do the same thing.

Seeing echoes of Anthony in this guy makes me even less inclined to give him what he wants. Another Hollywood fuckboy hopped up on fan worship. It’s the last thing my life needs.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Ivy Scofield,” I say, cool and low key, like I’m introducing myself to the manager at the bank.

Surprise flickers behind his eyes, but he hides it, extending his hand. I take it. It’s big, warm, and dry and, unfortunately for my equilibrium, attached to a toned, muscular forearm below a rolled shirt sleeve. The shirt itself is a soft-looking blue gray that clings in all the right places to his movie star–worthy shoulders, pecs, and abs. He has long-lashed dark brown eyes paired with a blade of a nose, square jaw, and lush mouth. Against my will, I admit that he’s gorgeous.

I thought I had permanently rid myself of men who were too good looking to be believed, but apparently not.

“I think we can help each other out,” he says. Actually, he whispers it. “You, um, mind walking with me?” He gestures toward the exit.

“Should I be worried that you’re a serial killer?”

The corner of his mouth turns up. “I’m not a serial killer. I’m an actor.”

“Even worse.”

He laughs, which is terrible because it makes him even better looking, all eye crinkles and white teeth and genuine amusement. Then he stops—because I wasn’t joking and he seems to intuit that.

“Even so,” he says, more seriously. “Please. Just…let me walk you out and tell you what I’m thinking.”

I give him a shrug-nod, and we walk out of Hott Springs together to the parking lot. Now I know who owns the Aston Martin Vanquish I parked next to. I know nothing about cars…but Anthony coveted that car: fast, expensive, and—his words—a dream to drive.

As we draw even with his car, Shane says, “I know you need our barn.”

I flick him a quick, confused glance as hope buys real estate in my chest. It sounds like he’s implying that it still might be possible. I will do anything to save our theater—not just for me, but for the kids. I know Nia feels the same way.

“I can get the barn for you.”

“Hanna said—”

“Hanna wasn’t looking at the whole picture,” he tells me. “I am.”

I raise an eyebrow.

“You need the barn, and I need you to marry me.”

His too-pretty-for-real-life face is deadly serious now. My mouth falls open.

Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell writes contemporary romance with heat, heart, and humor. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen carefully, and you can often find her scribbling in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head.

Serena’s books have earned many honors, including an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Apple Books Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Year for Romance.

When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of how often she changes her hobbies and how passionately she embraces the new ones. These days, it’s stand-up paddle boarding, board-gaming, meditation, and long walks with good friends.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter

GIVEAWAY!
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Giveaway: Rain Drops On Roses Giveaway Hop 04/16-04/30/2024

Welcome to the Rain Drops on Roses Giveaway Hop hosted by Mama The Fox. This hop runs from 9:00 AM ET on April 16, 2024, through 11:59 PM ET on April 30, 2024. The winners will be selected on May 1, 2024.

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Mocha Girls Read is pleased to offer the following prize:

  • Five (5) print copies of Punished For Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal by Bettina L. Love.

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States. Void where prohibited by law. (Please check your SPAM/Junk email folder periodically so that you can respond to “you’ve won” emails from the author/publisher/Mocha Girls Read.)

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Prize:

Punished For Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal by Bettina L. Love

NOW A NEW YORK TIMES AND A USA TODAY BESTSELLER

FINALIST, LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE

“I am an eighties baby who grew to hate school. I never fully understood why. Until now. Until Bettina Love unapologetically and painstakingly chronicled the last forty years of education ‘reform’ in this landmark book. I hated school because it warred on me. I hated school because I loved to dream.”
―Ibram X. Kendi, New York Times bestselling author of How to be an Antiracist

In the tradition of Michelle Alexander, an unflinching reckoning with the impact of 40 years of racist public school policy on generations of Black lives

In Punished for Dreaming Dr. Bettina Love argues forcefully that Reagan’s presidency ushered in a War on Black Children, pathologizing and penalizing them in concert with the War on Drugs. New policies punished schools with policing, closure, and loss of funding in the name of reform, as white savior, egalitarian efforts increasingly allowed private interests to infiltrate the system. These changes implicated children of color, and Black children in particular, as low performing, making it all too easy to turn a blind eye to their disproportionate conviction and incarceration. Today, there is little national conversation about a structural overhaul of American schools; cosmetic changes, rooted in anti-Blackness, are now passed off as justice.

It is time to put a price tag on the miseducation of Black children. In this prequel to The New Jim Crow, Dr. Love serves up a blistering account of four decades of educational reform through the lens of the people who lived it. Punished for Dreaming lays bare the devastating effect on 25 Black Americans caught in the intersection of economic gain and racist ideology. Then, with input from leading U.S. economists, Dr. Love offers a road map for repair, arguing for reparations with transformation for all children at its core.

*****

To enter this giveaway, use the Rafflecopter form below or click here. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States. NOTE: Any entry not providing all requested information will be disqualified! All entries from non-US residents will be disqualified. Void where prohibited by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

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Please visit these other Rain Drops on Roses Giveaway Hop participants for more chances to win!

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Let’s Vote for May’s Monthly Selection: Member’s Choice

Mocha Girls, it’s time to cast your vote! This month, we’re empowering you to choose our next read. Our theme for May is “Member’s Choice”. You could nominate any book, of any genre, by any author, and from any publication date, provided it hasn’t been read by us before.

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

Remember, every vote counts and each title has its own unique voice, perspective, and message.

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 April 21, 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: In the Shadow of the Truth by Maci Aurora(Fareview Fairytale, #3.5)

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!

In the Shadow of the Truth
Maci Aurora
(Fareview Fairytale, #3.5)
Publication date: April 9th 2024
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

The secrets Scarlett Fareview has hidden from her family are finally out in the open, but not without consequences. Alienating everyone she loves, she must face the hurt and betrayal she wrought with her duplicity. And the cost is high. In this series of novellas, the Fareveiws deal with the aftermath of Scarlett’s deception. Scarlett must face Tomas and her children, Brinna must determine if she and Luc can forge a future, and Auri and Nix face the next obstacle to their forever. Along with many other familiar characters, these stories bridge the gap between the end of In the Shadow of a Dream and the final book in the Fareview saga, In the Shadow of an Obsession.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

From In the Shadow of a Vow Novella

When Tomas returned from the barn that afternoon, the sound of his boots on the floor captured her attention as she stood at the kitchen counter he’d made for her. His form in the doorway—wide and encompassing—was at first a buoying relief then a crushing disappointment.

She’d failed him.

He stalled, assessing, his eyes dragging along the countertop where she stood amidst a haphazard wreck of herbs—her supplies for making tinctures and medicines she took on calls and sold at the market.

“Did you mean to leave all your tools in the garden?” he asked. There wasn’t any accusation in his tone, only curiosity. “And the laundry undone in the wash basin?”

When she didn’t answer—because she couldn’t seem to align the words with meaning—he asked, “What’s going on here?”

Scarlett looked down at the mess she’d made, opened her mouth to tell him what she was doing, but her mind went blank. She couldn’t remember what she’d been doing. She didn’t know what she was doing anymore. The longer she looked at the greens, the pestle and mortar, the boiling pot, the less sense any of the disarray made.

“It’s chaos, Scar,” he said quietly next to her. “Unlike you.”

She looked up from the mess to his face, to his kind eyes shaped with concern.

Scar. She’d always loved the way he shortened her name, the only one who ever did.

Then without warning, she burst into tears, pressing the towel in her hands against her face as her grief, pain, worry, regret, disappointment wrenched out of her with horrific gasp. She’d ruined everything.

Tomas gathered her into his arms with soothing sounds. “Hush,” he whispered, his wide, heavy hand on the back of her head.

“I’m so sorry,” she sobbed, grasping hold of his shirt, her face pressed into the strength of his chest.

He held her.

“They’re gone,” she sobbed. “I failed.”

His arms squeezed her a touch tighter, and when his face pressed into the place between her neck and shoulder, Scarlett wrapped her arms around his neck, drawing up onto her toes, needing to be closer to his comfort.

“I failed too,” he whispered, his lips against her skin. “We both have.”

She shook her head. “Not you, Tomas.” She drew back to look at him.

Raising his head, his eyes connected with hers, the sadness a deep, evergreen forest swirling inside them where he was lost. And it was her fault. She knew this. Had pushed him to go against his nature by keeping her secrets, securing the spells.

Unsure about anything but the tumult of emotions she couldn’t seem to harness, Scarlett reached for comfort she knew he provided, a comfort she could reciprocate.

She kissed him, her hands framing his face, his beard soft against her palms.

He froze, tension tightening his shoulders.

And she thought he might pull away, but suddenly he was kissing her back, capitulating, needing, seeking. His tongue sought entrance, and she granted it. It was hungry, two souls on the periphery of starvation, finding one another in the darkness.

Author Bio:

Romance author.

Lover of stories.

Maci Aurora has been writing stories since she was a child. When she was eleven, she fell in love with reading Sunfire Historical Romances about girls who made a difference in their lives and still fell in love. In high school, a friend introduced her to Lavyrle Spencer and Judith McNaught, and from there, her writing journey was cemented in telling stories about love. Having already published many novels (all of which are threaded with romance as upper YA and New Adult titles) under the pen name, CL Walters, Maci Aurora wanted to write stories that offered the same attention to story and characters but with additional steam.

Maci writes in Hawaiʻi where she lives with her husband, their children, and their fur-babies.

Website / Instagram / Newsletter


GIVEAWAY!
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