Denny S. Bryce’s April Bookshelf

DennyBookshelfAprilLEAD (1)

Hi Frolic,

Spring is in the air. Summer is around the corner. Winter? Well, how about a chilly night in front of a warm fire in November or December? All that’s missing is a mimosa, or white wine, or a cup of tea—and a good book!

Where I live now, Savannah, Georgia, we had days of high heat in mid-March, reminding me of those steamy, warm summers in DC. Meanwhile, a friend in New Jersey had a foot of snow in her backyard this past weekend. Why is the weather on my mind? The weather, and reading a good book or two or three, honestly sounds like the perfect vacation.

What’s your best weather for reading? Are you a fan of the celebrated ‘beach read’ or curling up in front of a cozy fire with a book (or ebook reader) in hand on a chilly winter, spring, or summer evening?

This month, I am thinking about the outdoors and enjoying the weather by taking a trip or two—what we used to call vacations. And yes, I’ve had both of my vaccination shots. So, the travel bug is at full alert.

But let’s chat a bit about these books and these authors.

I have a connection to their books and to them – like me and my novel, Wild Women and the Blues, they are celebrating their first book birthdays in 2021, just as I did four weeks ago. So, we have a shared experience in our writing journey. They also have eye-catching book covers. Bright, thoughtful, humorous. See if one of these (or all) are automatic add-ons to your TBR!

Mona at Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James (

Release Date: June 30, 2021 (Available for Pre-Order)

Genre: Literary Women’s Fiction

What do you need to know about Elizabeth?

Before becoming a writer Elizabeth Gonzalez James was a waitress, a pollster, an Avon lady, and an opera singer. Her short story, Cosmic Blues, was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s 2016 Short Story Award for New Writers, and her stories and essays have received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. She’s an alum of Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Tin House Writers Workshop, and Lit Camp.

You can find her on Twitter and Instagram: @unefemmejames

(Description provided by publisher.)

In this sharp, witty debut, Elizabeth Gonzalez James introduces us to Mona Mireles — observant to a fault, unflinching in her opinions, and uncompromisingly confident in her professional abilities. Mona is a Millennial perfectionist who fails upwards in the midst of the 2008 economic crisis.

Despite her potential, and her top- of-her-class college degree, Mona finds herself unemployed, living with her parents, and adrift in life and love. Mona’s the sort who says exactly the right thing at absolutely the wrong moments, seeing the world through a cynic’s eyes. In the financial and social malaise of the early 2000s, Mona walks a knife’s edge as she faces down unemployment, underemployment, the complexities of adult relationships, and the downward spiral of her parents’ shattering marriage. The more Mona craves perfection and order, the more she is forced to see that it is never attainable. Mona’s journey asks the question: When we find what gives our life meaning, will we be ready for it?

Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti (

Release Date: December 7, 2021 (Available for Pre-Order)

Genre: Literary Women’s Fiction

What do you need to know about Kirthana?

Kirthana Ramisetti worked in media for over ten years before trying her hand at fiction. She received her MFA in creative writing from Emerson College, and her work has appeared in Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic and more. A pop culture addict whose brain is a repository for random information, she’d make an excellent addition to your trivia team.

You can follow her on Twitter @popscribblings and Instagram @kirthanaramisetti.

(Description provided by publisher.)

Dava Shastri, one of the world’s wealthiest women, has always lived with her reputation in mind. When she is diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of seventy, she decides to take her death—like all the matters of her lifeinto her own hands.

Summoning her four adult children to her private island, she discloses shocking news: in addition to having a terminal illness, she has arranged for news of her death to break early so she can read her obituaries. As someone who dedicated her life to the arts and the empowerment of women, Dava expects to read articles lauding her philanthropic work. Instead, her “death” reveals two devastating secrets, truths she thought she had buried forever.

And now the whole world knows, including her children.

In the time she has left, Dava must come to terms with every decision that has led to this moment and make peace with those closest to her before it’s too late.

Compassionately written and chock-full of humor and heart, this powerful novel examines public versus private legacy, the complexities of love, and the never-ending joys—and frustrationsof family.

The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu (

Release Date: November 2, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Romance

What do you need to know about Julie?

Julie Tieu is a Chinese-American contemporary romance author based in the Los Angeles area. Her debut novel, THE DONUT TRAP, is loosely inspired by the years she spent working at her family’s donut shop. When she’s not working, she’s eating her way through new destinations with her husband and two energetic kids.

You can follow her on Twitter @julietieu and Instagram @julietieuwrites.

(Description provided by publisher.)

Jasmine Tran has landed herself behind bars—maple bars that is. With no boyfriend or job prospects, Jasmine returns home to work at her parents’ donut shop. Jasmine quickly loses herself in a cyclical routine of donuts, Netflix, and sleep. She wants to break free from her daily grind, but when a hike in rent threatens the survival of their shop, her parents rely on her more than ever.

Help comes in the form of an old college crush, Alex Lai. Not only is he successful and easy on the eyes, to her parents’ delight, he’s also Chinese. He’s everything she should wish for, until a disastrous dinner reveals Alex isn’t as perfect as she thinks. Worse, he doesn’t think she’s perfect either.

With both sets of parents against their relationship, a family legacy about to shut down, and the reappearance of an old high school flame, Jasmine must scheme to find a solution that satisfies her family’s expectations and can get her out of the donut trap once and for all.

Thanks for stopping by.

Denny S. Bryce (You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @dennysbryce).

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. 

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