Denny S. Bryce’s March Bookshelf!


Hello Frolic!

Denny here! 

This month is Women’s History Month, and I am sharing some of the books on my e-reader or wishlist written by authors who are making history in 2021. Now, how are they accomplishing this? Well, they are debut authors. Their first book birthday is around the corner for this group, and why am I so in tune with these history-makers? Well, on March 30, my debut novel, Wild Women and the Blues will celebrate its book birthday.  

And yes, there are thousands of new novelists releasing their first published books in 2021. I won’t be able to share all of them, but this week, I threw names in a hat–I keep hats in my office just for this purpose—and these are the books I drew and strongly recommend you add to your TBR list (and pre-order) today.

So, here goes. There are no interviews this week, but you’ll see these authors and their novels again, if not in my column, on a bookshelf near you!

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Available: May 4, 2021

Twitter: @MPMtheWriter

Genre: Mystery

(Description provided by author’s website/publisher)

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer….

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant and has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longganisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…

The Rules of Arrangement by Anisha Bhatia

Available: July 13, 2021


Genre: Women’s Fiction

(Description provided by author’s website/publisher)

Zoya Sahni has a great education, a fulfilling job and a loving family (for the most part). But she is not the perfect Indian girl. She’s overweight, spunky and dark-skinned in a world that prizes the slim, obedient and fair. At 26 she is hurtling toward her expiration date in Mumbai’s arranged marriage super-mart, but when her auntie’s matchmaking radar hones in on the Holy Grail of suitors–just as Zoya gets a dream job offer in New York City–the girl who once accepted her path as almost option-less must now make a choice of a lifetime.

Big-hearted with piercing social commentary, The Rules of Arrangement tells a powerful, irresistibly charming and oh-so relatable tale of a progressive life that won’t be hemmed in by outdated rules. But not without a few cultural casualties, and of course, an accidental love story along the way.

The Tiger Mom’s Tale by Lyn Liao Butler

Available: July 6, 2021 (Available for pre-order)

Twitter: @LynLiaoButler

Genre: Women’s Fiction

(Description provided by author’s website/publisher)

Lexa Thomas has never quite fit in. Having grown up in a family of blondes while more closely resembling Constance Wu, she’s neither white enough nor Asian enough. Visiting her father in Taiwan as a child, Lexa thought she’d finally found a place where she belonged. But that was years ago, and even there, some never truly considered her to be Taiwanese.

When her estranged father dies unexpectedly, leaving the fate of his Taiwanese family in Lexa’s hands, her safe life in New York City is no longer enough. She is faced with the choice to return to Taiwan and claim her place in her heritage… or leave her Taiwanese family to lose their home for good.

Armed with the advice of two half-sisters (one American and the other Taiwanese who can’t stand each other), a mother who has had a recent change in sexual orientation, and a man whose kisses make her walk into walls, Lexa finally confronts the person who drove her away from Taiwan all those decades ago. As the truth of the last fateful summer in Taiwan slowly unfolds, Lexa must stand up for herself and open her heart to family and love, or allow the repercussions of her family’s choices to forever dictate the path of her life.

Sisters in Arms by Kaia Alderson

Available: August 3, 2021 (Available for pre-order)

Twitter: @kaiawrites

Genre: Historical Fiction

(Description provided by author’s website/publisher)

Grace Steele and Eliza Jones may be from completely different backgrounds, but when it comes to the army, specifically the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), they are both starting from the same level. Not only will they be among the first class of female officers the army has even seen, they are also the first Black women allowed to serve.

As these courageous women help to form the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, they are dealing with more than just army bureaucracy—everyone is determined to see this experiment fail. For two northern women, learning to navigate their way through the segregated army may be tougher than boot camp. Grace and Eliza know that there is no room for error; they must be more perfect than everyone else.

When they finally make it overseas, to England and then France, Grace and Eliza will at last be able to do their parts for the country they love, whatever the risk to themselves.

Based on the true story of the 6888th Postal Battalion (the Six Triple Eight), Sisters in Arms explores the untold story of what life was like for the only all-Black, female U.S. battalion to be deployed overseas during World War II.

Denny: It’s a pleasure sharing with you some of the upcoming debut novels from these authors. Next month, I’ll be back with more authors and likely more book birthdays we can celebrate.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. 

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