Season of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

30151412.jpeg– Hajiya Binta Zubairu was finally born at fifty-five when a dark-lipped rogue with short, spiky hair, like a field of minuscule anthills, scaled her fence and landed, boots and all, in the puddle that was her heart. –

– Binta envied [this mother’s] liberty she enjoyed, this luxury of calling her first child by its name and holding it and treating it like one’s beloved. Such affection she, Bita, had never experienced from her mother, nor dispensed to her late son Yaro. –

– She dreamt in sepia. –

– After growing wings through indiscretion, Hajiya Binta, contrary to her expectation, did not transform into an eagle, but an owl that thrived in the darkness. –

– For the loss of a loved one, tragic as it is, dose not, in any way, compare to the loss of the memory of who they were. –

– When surrounded by vultures, try not to die. –

The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick

Tide.jpeg– I looked forward to not thinking in dots and dashes. I’d only realised recently that I was selected for telegraphy because of my fluency in French and Italian. I’d had no idea that Morse was taught as a language or that it would push other languages out of my head…Dit dit dah…But unlike having a lovely song in my head my nights would be filled with SOS – did did did dah dah dah dit dit dit… –

– He should have been focusing on living, but he wouldn’t be told. –

– It was almost too much and that was the problem with Americans. Too much smile, too much teeth, too much good humour and, finally, too much here. –

– People did things they never would have considered before the war. –

– If I died, would these letters tell the story? –

Review for the Sunday Times:

Marlena by Julie Buntin

34726829– Tell me what you can’t forget and I’ll tell you who you are. –

– Why do they say ghosts are cold? Mine are warm, a breath dampening your cheek, a voice when you thought you were alone. –

– Marlena called me naive, but what I really think she meant is privileged, a word people use like an insult in New York, but that I’ve always taken to mean safe. Privilege is something to be aware of, to fight to see beyond, but ultimately to be grateful for. It’s like a bulletproof vest; it makes you harder to kill. –

– For so many women, the process of becoming requires two. It’s not hard to make out the marks the other one left. –

– I didn’t steal from the houses Mom cleaned, from the very, very rich, is because I was afraid of getting caught. Marlena didn’t steal because she didn’t see the point. You can’t steal a whole new life. –

– Who can recognize the ending as it’s happening? What we live, it seems to me, is pretty much always a surprise. –

– An ending that happens again and again no matter how much I don’t want it to. Maybe that’s all loss is. What happens, whether you like it or not. What won’t let you go.
Marlean – look. I didn’t forget.
I wrote it down. –

Review for the Sunday Times:

A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

32966408– You can’t get away with anything on a ship, you know. Someone always finds out. –

– Lily is confused. It’s as if the wind has blown the pages of a book and she has jumped ahead of where she thought she was. –

– On a boat like this, everyone is running away from something. –

– The really marvellous thing about them – shipboard romances, I mean – is that they don’t count. You can do what you want on a boat, behave as badly as you like, and when you get to wherever you’re going it’s as if it never happened. When the ship sails away your sins go with it. –

– All lines are blurred, all truth becomes, by the act of retelling it, a fiction. –

The White Road by Sarah Lotz

28375191.jpg– I met the man who would save my life twice – and ultimately destroy it – on a potholed road in the arse-end of the Welsh countryside. –

– I couldn’t shake the sense that I was dragging myself through the smuggy intestine of a huge animal. –

– Everest. Frozen turds and fractured egos was how I pictured it. –

– Who is the third who walks beside you? –


– Maybe the dead don’t haunt us. We haunt them. –

SPIRE by Fiona Snyckers

34697553.jpg– Let’s be honest here – I’m the black guy in the red shirt beaming down with the landing party. A salt demon will get me. Or a face-sucking parasite. –

– The ecologists might see Antarctica as a delicate flower, but in Caroline’s eyes she was a tough bitch who would outlast them all. –

–Of the whole contagion of humanity that blanketed the earth, women were the most infected. They were the fecund ones, the ones that carried the seeds of the next generation in their wombs. Their diseased ovaries spat out eggs every month, like large-cell bacteria that lived to multiply. –

– Men did stupid and criminal things around her. It didn’t make her feel flattered or wanted. It made her feel unsafe. –

– Goran Elkabir was clearly a bat who hung upside down in his cave for a few hours each night, probably with a cell phone clutched in his claws. –

To read a preview, click HERE

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

31349579– I see you. –

– Before I got married, I believed love could do anything. I learned soon enough that it couldn’t bear the weight of four years without children. –

– It was so much easier to be a father after three bottles of beer. –

– I told Olamide several stories, expecting that one day she too would tell the world my story. –

– Akin could keep himself neatly folded in while he drew out other people…Akin could talk for hours without saying anything and with that skill he had managed to make me feel like part of the inner circle. –

Bellwether by Connie Willis

24985– [The book’s] premise was…Everything happens for a reason…All of it – the train wreck, Lilith’s suicide, Halvard’s drug addition, the stock market crash – it was all so we could be together…–

– [The trend] died out when the first generation of Dr. Spock-raised children became teenagers, grew their hair down to their shoulders, and began blowing up administration buildings. –

– Barbie’s one of those fads whose popularity makes you lose faith in the human race. –

– Why do only the awful things become fads? I thought. Eye-rolling and Barbie and bread pudding. Why never chocolate cheesecake or thinking for yourself? –

Sex with Shakespeare by Jillian Keenan

25817303–A penguin tried to feed me by vomiting on my foot. I watched the nutritious brown gel roll off the toe of my green boot and onto the snow beneath, and knew that my childhood wasn’t typical. –

– A handgun, I’ve decided, is like a typo: you don’t notice it until you do. But then it’s the only thing you see. –

– “Privacy” is one of the most potent and insidious weapons a sexual majority can use against people with nonnormative sexual identities. “Privacy” sounds good. It sounds responsible and mature. But “privacy” is tied up with isolation and shame. It drives people underground. It puts people in danger. . . Without sexual privacy, discretion suffers. Without sexual transparency, people suffer. –

– We don’t really read literature. We only read ourselves, and each new book is another chapter. –

– David, my boy with the baseball cap, was spanking me to the rhythm of iambic pentameter. –

Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines

12844699.jpg– Some people would say it’s a bad idea to bring a fire-spider into a public library. Those people would probably be right. –

– Magic had always messed with my dreams. –

– “Oh, shit.” I spoke four languages, but sometimes good old-fashioned swearing worked best. –

– The biggest liar in the world is They Say. –

– I thought immortality would teach people patience. Instead, you end up with vampires rushing about at superhuman speeds, even more stressed out than before they died. –