Saturday, January 28, 2023

Sponsorship Opportunities for the 15th Annual Great Midwest Book Fest : June 17, 2023


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Sponsorship Opportunities for the 15th Annual Great Midwest Book Fest

June 17, 2023

Below are the different sponsorship opportunities that are available for this year’s book fest. Please contact me at if you are interested.  The size of the program book is  8.5 x 11 letter size and is in full color. All sponsors will be listed in the Great Midwest Book Fest program. Thank you.

                                             ***Deadline May 29, 2023***

Platinum Sponsor : One page ad : $100 : Includes a one page ad in the Great Midwest Book Fest program book and one month of free  Author of the Week advertising that will be featured on website as well as Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok ($100 value)

Silver Sponsor : Half page ad : $75 : Includes a half page ad in the Great Midwest Book Fest program book and 3 weeks of free  Author of the Week advertising that will be featured on website as well as Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok. ($75 value)

Gold Sponsor : Donate 10 books or more for the SWAG bags . Includes 2 weeks of free Author of the Week advertising that will be featured on website as well as Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok. ($50 value)

Bronze Sponsor : Donate one signed copy of your book to be featured in the Great Midwest Book Fest giveaway basket. Includes 1 week of free Author of the Week advertising that will be featured on website as well as Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok. ($25 value)


New Review : As the Wicked Watch : Tamron Hall


3.5 out of 5 books


Tamron Hall’s debut thriller AS THE WICKED WATCH, centers on the growing problem of missing and exploited young black females. Set in Chicago, Jordan Manning is a news reporter who is reporting a story about a missing black teen who had a promising future ahead of her. The police treat the disappearance as a runaway case even as days go by with no one having contact with young Masey James. Jordan is unsettled by their dismissive attitude toward the case, as similar cases involving a missing young white teens would garner more media attention.  

Jordan decides to take on a little investigating of her own. Faced with Masey’s uncooperative friends and family and being ignored by law enforcement, Jordan starts to realize Masey’s disappearance is part of a larger scheme.  Calling on friends in law enforcement and her co-workers she can trust, she leaves no stone unturned to get justice for Masey and all black and brown girls who are tossed away and forgotten.

AS THE WICKED WATCHED is the debut novel and first in the Jordan Manning series by Tamron Hall.  The book was definitely a thriller with lots of twists and turns. The book was wordy at times but when Hall got back to the action, it was a page-turner. Now that I am familiar with Jordan Manning, I am looking forward to taking more journeys with her.

          Reviewed by Paula Allen

         Get your copy of As the Wicked Watch today! 



New Review : YINKA, WHERE IS YOUR HUZBAND : Lizzie Damilola Blackburn


3.5 out of 5 books

As YINKA, WHERE IS YOUR HUZBAND opens, Yinka, a thirty-one year old bank operations manager is attending her younger sister Kemi’s baby shower.The family is all there including her village of aunties.  The focus of the shower seems to be more on Yinka's relationship status as they offer up prayers for her to find a husband. Yinka’s mother is a young widow who had to raise Yinka and Kemi on her own so she was really concerned with when her oldest daughter will wed. The problem only exacerbates when Yinka’s cousin announces her engagement and Yinka is laid off from her job instead of receiving the promotion she bragged about to her family. 

Yinka decides to execute Operation Find A Date for Rachel’s wedding as well as other goals she would love to achieve. She has six months to find a date but the dating pool is slim pickings. With Yinka holding on to her virtue until marriage, being darker complected and preferring her natural hair over relaxers and weave, she is not attracting Nigerian men. When she decides to stop stressing over a job and date for her cousin’s wedding and spends time with her Auntie Blessings, Yinka is then on the path of self-discovery, self-love and turning her dreams and goals into reality. 

I love this book because, let’s face it, who has it all together at thirty one? There are more Yinkas in the world than there are Kemis and Rachels: young women who are attempting to navigate their best life. The novel is humorous and relatable. The pacing and storyline are engaging. I definitely recommend it. 

          Reviewed by Paula Allen

         Get your copy of Yinka, Where is Your Huzband today!



New Review : They Can't Take Your Name : Robert Justice


4 out of 5 books

Langston Brown is a wrongfully convicted black man facing the death penalty for a horrific bank robbery gone wrong referred to as the Mother’s Day Massacre.  He is accused of killing several bank guards during the commission of the crime, although witnesses state the perpetrator is white, not black. His daughter Liza, who has dreams of being a songstress, drops out of Julliard to attend law school to help her dad obtain his freedom. She enlists the help of her employer Eli Stone who owns a jazz club.  When they receive news that her father will be executed within thirty days, it is a race against time to get to the truth of what really happened that fateful day. 

THEY CAN’T TAKE YOUR NAME is a tale of a broken judicial system, the crisis of wrongly accused minorities and the reality of being a casualty in a society that tends to overlook others. This book is a nail biter that at some points had me hollering and side-eyeing the characters. An emotionally charged thriller that addresses racism and injustice.

          Reviewed by Paula Allen

         Get your copy of They Can't Take Your Name today!





UPDATE: All of the author tables are sold out!

UPDATE: All of the author tables are sold out! Didn’t get a table and want to still be a part of the book fest? Take advantage of one of the sponsorship packages :

______________________________ presents the 15th Annual Great Midwest Book Fest.
The Great Midwest Book Fest will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2023 from 1pm to 4pm at
Xchange Event & Creative Space 3334 N. Holton Street, Milwaukee, WI.
Great Midwest Book Fest is a three hour book fair that is open to the public with a $10 admission. This year's headline authors will be National Bestselling authors LaJill Hunt, Naleighna Kai and more!
There will be 10 to 12 authors selling their own books. The first hour will be dedicated to author introductions. Each author will get five minutes to either read an excerpt of their book or to tell attendees more about themselves or their books. This will be followed by a 10-15 minute Q&A session with the attendees. Please be advised that this is a local book event (not a conference), so please think about overall costs when deciding to participate in this event (i.e. airfare, hotel, food, etc)
The participation fee for an author table is $125. You will have your own table to decorate any way that you would like. You will be included in all of our online marketing materials, postcards, posters, and any other media that we will have throughout our city. If you are interested, please respond back to this email ASAP and I will send you an Paypal invoice. Once all spots are filled, invoices will be cancelled. Thank you!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Open Call for Authors : 15th Annual Great Midwest Book Fest : UPDATE: All of the author tables are sold out!


UPDATE: All of the author tables are sold out! Didn’t get a table and want to still be a part of the book fest? Take advantage of one of the sponsorship packages :


15th Annual Great Midwest Book Fest
featuring Essence bestselling author LaJill Hunt, USA Today bestselling author Naleighna Kai, and more!

Saturday, June 17, 2023 from 1pm to 4pm

Xchange Event & Creative Space
3334 N. Holton Street, Milwaukee, WI.
$10 admission

What is an Open Call? An Open Call is when the registration is open for author tables for the Great Midwest Book Fest. An email will be sent to all authors that are on the Open Call list first! Contact Radiah Hubbert at to be added to the list!

Thursday, January 12, 2023

New Review : The Two Lives of Sara : Catherine Adel West

4 out of 5 books

Being pregnant, unwed, and alone, Sara King flees Chicago, Illinois, and the Calvary Hope Church. She promises to keep in touch with her best friends, Violet and Naomi as she starts her new life in Memphis, Tennessee. Sara takes up residence in Naomi’s aunt, Mama Sugar’s boarding home where she meets a colorful cast of flawed characters who become family. Sara carries a lot of anger with her stemming  from her mother’s early death and the conditions in the home with her father, Saul King, the pastor of Calvary Hope Church. Sara has a hard time bonding with her son, Lebanon, and showing him a mother’s love but she has an  adopted family within Mama Sugar’s boarding home who are willing to step in. As Mama Sugar tries to crack the shell of selfishness, hatred, and pain that Sara has built around herself, she is harboring secrets of her own

Sara’s layers are starting to peel away with her interactions with the young, precocious Will, Mama Sugar’s grandson and his handsome teacher, Jonas Culter. Sara’s life is easier and more pleasant as she takes pride in working at The Scarlet, helping to take care of the boarders in the house and her blossoming relationship with Jonas. As life seems as though it can’t get any better, devastating tragedy occurs which leads Sara to make the decision it was time to go back home. Mama Sugar’s secrets were too much and had impacted her so negatively.  She makes a decision that all will not agree with but was pretty common in the 1960s: a decision that may not have been the best.

When I started reading THE TWO LIVES OF SARA, I hadn’t paid attention to the fact that it was another book authored by Catherine Adel West. I kept thinking that the story sounds familiar and questioning why. When I discovered that I had read her first novel, I started thinking, “she kind of wrote the same book.” And then my mental light bulb came on and my mind was blown.  THE TWO LIVES OF SARA is not a sequel to Saving Ruby King, but it is considered a companion read and if you haven’t read both – you should. The unique way West published the novels is overwhelmingly impressive.

Reviewed by Paula Allen

Get your copy of The Two Lives of Sara today!


New Review : Saving Ruby King : Catherine Adel West

4 out of 5 books

Ruby King and her mother, Alice, are faithful members of the local church so the shock of Alice’s murder not only rocked the residents in southside Chicago but the members of Calvary Hope Church as well.  Alice’s husband, Lebanon owns a bakery and is known to be mean and abusive towards AliceEveryone sees the bruises and welts she tries to cover up. Although Ruby is twenty-four years old and works as a law clerk, she still lived at home with her parents, experiencing and attempting to hide the horrifying secrets that dwell within. 

Lebanon King gets his anger and abusive ways from his upbringing. He was raised by a mother who didn’t love him and took every opportunity to let him know. His anger led him to kill a man where he served time in prison.  It comes as a surprise that Pastor Jackson Potter is one of Lebanon’s closest friends.  The bond of their friendship is based on the sins and secrets of their mother’s pasts. Jackson’s daughter, Layla is Ruby’s best friend, and she knows the potential fate of Ruby’s future if she remains in the home with Lebanon. Despite Layla’s father telling her not to get involved with Ruby after her mother’s death, she remains devoted to Ruby and saving her from a bad situation. 

For this to be West’s debut novel, it was very mesmerizing. It is written from different points of view (everyone’s except for Ruby’s interestingly), but the most remarkable point of view was Calvary Hope’s. That is when the layers of the story fit into Lebanon’s, Jackson’s, Alice’s and eventually Ruby’s.  I initially rated the book 3.5 out of 4 stars but later changed it to a solid 4 star read. SAVING RUBY KING is about generational trauma, closely held secrets and the impact it can have on a person, a community. A complex and gripping mystery!

Reviewed by Paula Allen

Get your copy of Saving Ruby King today!


New Review : Mirror Girls : Kelly McWilliams

5 out of 5 books

Jeanette Yates dying wish is to return to Eureka Georgia to right a wrong and be buried in her hometown.  Her granddaughter Charlie , an organizer within the Civil Rights Movement is somewhat reluctant to visit the Jim Crow south but she wants to honor her grandmother’s final wish.  Upon her arrival in town, she is shocked to find out the secret of her heritage and that she has a twin sister, Magnolia who is passing as white. Their parents were killed in a racially motivated hate crime which caused them to be separated soon after they were born. Connecting with her twin is not an easy task especially with their racially ambiguous appearance in a segregated town and a long-held curse that other worldly beings want resolved. 

The twins’ mother, Marie Yates, a black woman, and her white lover, Dean Heathwood, the heir to a cotton plantation were on their way to get married when they were murdered.  This left the girls motherless and the Heathwood Plantation without an heir.  Shortly after their birth, a visit from Dean’s mother set in motion a curse that can only be broken with their self-identity and the assistance of the ancestors. She chooses the fair skin Magnolia as her heir and raises her as a proper Southern Belle to find a suitable and wealthy spouse to salvage her financially struggling plantation. Charlie and her grandmother were ordered to move far away to keep the secret of the twins’ existence from the residents of Eureka. Her plans are thwarted when Magnolia discovers her life has been based on a lie. Magnolia’s reflection disappears as she struggles to stay alive while determining the truth about her identity and history. The sisters have to work together to save Magnolia from the devastating curse.

MIRROR GIRLS is young adult read that truly delivers.  With elements of the supernatural, racial tensions and colorism, it was a well-written and engaging adventureMcWilliams writes a gripping thriller that touches on acceptance, tolerance, and grace.

Reviewed by Paula Allen

Get your copy of Mirror Girls today!


New Review :Trinity: Zelda Lockhart

  5 out of 5 books This is my first read by Author Zelda Lockhart, however I plan to follow her writing journey. The story was full of drama...