Local Author Spotlight: Books to Read This Summer

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Local Author Spotlight: Books to Read This Summer

Every season is the perfect time for a good book, but something about grabbing a book, throwing it in your bag, and reading outside sounds like a dream. It’s a perfect break from your typical day-to-day. This spring/summer, we’re bringing you books to add to your “TBR” or “to be read” list and keeping it local. We have some great authors in and around Westchester who offer something unique for every type of reader. Whether you’re a mom who’s a romance lover, are looking for an excellent read for your little ones, or want to add a new book to your book club rotation, these local authors are worth checking out. 

Pre-Order These Good Reads

We’re starting strong with books available for pre-order, and we’re so excited to get our hands on them. 

Queer Cheer

Written by Eric Rosswood and co-author Jodie Anders, Queer Cheer is a novel that centers on providing advice, affirmations, and words of wisdom that encourage our queer teens to continue being their authentic selves. The book also includes queer teen voices offering tips and advice and speaking to their experiences, sharing them with fellow teens. 

Eric Rosswood and Jodie Anders co-authored a novel reflecting their experiences and admiration for their communities. Rosswood writes about parenting and LGBTQ issues and has authored books like Journey to Parenthood, a guide for same-sex couples, and children’s books with LGBTQ topics. Anders is also a queer author and screenwriter who is well-versed in writing poetry and screenplays, bringing in her experience growing up as a queer teen. 

We are excited to read and share this book, which will be released on May 14th. It will be a great read just in time for Pride Month. 

Anna Bright Is Hiding Something: A Novel

Lovers of fast-paced fiction looking for a new go-to summer read will definitely add Anna Bright Is Hiding Something to their list. Local author Susie Orman Schnall‘s latest novel is already getting rave reviews on Goodreads, with a 4.2-star rating and reviews like this one from Cindy B., “4.5 stars. So so good!” It’ll quickly become a must-read. 

As Goodreads describes it, this novel is “a fast-paced and ripped-from-the-headlines story set in the glossy offices of Silicon Valley startups and New York City new media. Anna Bright Is Hiding Something explores our culture’s fascination with businesswomen who are breaking barriers—and sometimes behaving badly in the process.”

Other novels written by Susie Orman Schnall include We Came Here To ShineThe Subway GirlsThe Balance Project, and On Grace. Born in Los Angeles and now a resident of Westchester, Susie Orman Schnall writes novels that focus on women’s fiction, has been featured in several publications, and is one to add to your must-read list. Anna Bright Is Hiding Something will be available June 4th. 

Pick Up Today 

These local authors are making a splash in the literary world, and their books are available today.

Do This Daily: Secrets to Finding Success, Happiness, and Purpose in Work and Life

Are you looking to break away from a routine that no longer works for you and make a shift in your life? Author Lan Phan’s novel, Do This Daily: Secrets to Finding Success, Happiness, and Purpose in Work and Life, might be the perfect read for you. In this book, you’ll find inspiring stories, practical exercises, and actionable strategies to get you closer to your true potential. This book is described as “a groundbreaking guide to achieving lasting success, happiness, and a profound sense of purpose in every aspect of your life.” Perfect for lovers of wellness books that aim to shift your perspectives on life. 

Lan Phan is an author and speaker focusing on purpose, mindset, and continuous improvement. She has consulted for Fortune 500 companies and is sought out for her business expertise. As an expert in her field, her book will surely be an excellent resource for anyone looking to make long-lasting changes and impact in their lives and work. 

B’Nai Mitzvah Mistake (Last Girls Standing Book 1)

Written by Stacey AgdernB’Nai Mitzvah Mistake is just right for lovers of romance. Here’s a little preview of what you’ll get from this local author’s book B’Nai Mitzvah Mistake, “Judith Nachman loves working as a project manager at the Mitzvah Alliance charity, and after five years, it’s finally her turn to have the bat mitzvah of her dreams. Judith is enjoying every single moment of the process—until she learns she has to share her day with the annoying hockey player who derailed her sister’s career.” This plot is one of the classic setups for romantic fiction that keeps readers coming back for more. Romance as a genre has grown tremendously over the years and has gotten people reading more, and we’re big fans of that. 

Stacey Agdern, a former bookseller and author, writes all things romance. She takes pride in writing novels for her Jewish community. Her website states, “She incorporates Jewish characters and traditions into her stories so that people who grew up like she did can see themselves take center stage on the page.” 

You can purchase B’Nai Mitzvah Mistake on Amazon today. Visit www.staceyagdern.com to check out her complete list of books. 

Half Lives

Written by Lynn SchmeilderHalf Lives is a collection of short stories that focuses on women’s bodies and psyches. Autumn House Press writes, “Playful and experimental, these sixteen stories explore girlhood, sexuality, motherhood, identity, and aging in a world where structures of societal norms, narrative, gender, and sometimes even physics do not apply.” 

Lynn Schmeilder’s work has been featured in Conjunctions, Georgia Review, The Southern Review, and other literary magazines. She’s also led writing workshops at the local Hudson Valley Writers Center, libraries, and schools. 

Half Lives was released on March 27th and can be purchased online. We will absolutely be grabbing a copy and reading it this summer.  

Books For Our Little Ones

Parents are always looking for books that keep their kids entertained and off the screens. The best children’s books keep kids engaged, send a positive message, and are fun. These local authors hit the mark with these books for young ones. 

You’re Here for a Purpose: Positive Self-Talk for Black Children

Marsha Campbell’s debut, self-published children’s book, You’re Here for a Purpose: Positive Self-Talk for Black Children, shows the importance of loving positive self-talk for young black children with a fun and playful approach. As stated on Goodreads, “You’re Here for a Purpose inspires black children to be positive, confident, and embrace their uniqueness. The book affirms each child’s role in the world and holds them accountable for the energy they bring each day.” This book gives readers beautiful illustrations, fun and playful rhymes, and positive affirmations. 

Campbell says on her website, “I want to portray black children with the same tenderness as classic storybook characters! I want to create self-affirming content that inspires our children to look within to connect to the strength and greatness inside them that already exists.” You’re Here for a Purpose: Positive Self-Talk for Black Children is available on Amazon and would be a great addition to your home library. 

Paloma’s Song for Puerto Rico

Local author Adriana Erin Rivera wrote Paloma’s Song for Puerto Rico. This middle-grade historical fiction was published in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Latino Nuestras Voces.

 In Paloma’s Song for Puerto Rico, set in 1898, twelve-year-old Paloma and her family of coffee farmers, Papi, Mami, and her brother Jorge, live in Puerto Rico and deeply love their home and land. But everything begins to change once war hits the shores of Puerto Rico. “As Paloma and her family navigate changes they can’t control, they hold tightly to each other and hope for a better future. In diary format, the Nuestras Voces series profiles inspiring characters and honors the joys, challenges, and outcomes of Latino experiences.” as described on Goodreads

Adriana Erin Rivera is a New Jersey-raised author now a Westchester local. She has been featured in several publications, including Barzakh Literary MagazineLatina MagazineMetro New York, and Footwear News. She is also an author, public speaker, and marketing professional, and she is currently working as a marketing manager at a New York university. Paloma’s Song for Puerto Rico was released in the summer of 2023 and is now available for purchase. This will surely be an excellent read for middle-grade kids with elements of history and fiction; what’s not to love? 

These are just a few of our local authors bringing literature to our community and beyond. We’re excited to get reading this summer!