Lyn Liao Butler Cover Reveal!

I adore Lyn Liao Butler. We share a connection to a special place in New York State, and I’ve loved getting to know her on social media and watching her path to publication. Her debut novel, THE TIGER MOM’S TALE is coming July 6, 2021 from Berkley/Penguin Random House, and I’m thrilled to be part of her big cover reveal day! 

First a little about Lyn’s novel! 

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.


And here’s Lyn’s bio:

Lyn Liao Butler was born in Taiwan and moved to the States when she was seven. In her past and present lives, she has been: a concert pianist, a professional ballet and modern dancer, a gym and fitness studio owner, a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, an RYT-200 hour certified yoga instructor, a purse designer and most recently, author of multi-cultural fiction. Her mother swears she was not a Tiger Mom to Lyn. Lyn came about her over-achieving all by herself.

Having lived in New York City for over a decade, Lyn fled for the peace and quiet of the suburbs when she married her FDNY husband. She now resides on a lake with her Fireman, their son (the happiest little boy in the world) and their two stubborn dachshunds, Pinot and Lokie. When she is not torturing clients or talking to imaginary characters, Lyn enjoys cooking, sewing purses for her Etsy shop, spending time with her family and trying crazy yoga poses on her stand-up paddleboard. So far, she has not fallen into the water yet.

And here’s Lyn’s gorgeous cover!!!!


You can keep up with news of THE TIGER MOM’S TALE by signing up for Lyn’s newsletter

Congratulations, Lyn! I cannot wait to read this book! 

Daughter of Black Lake by Cathy Marie Buchanan

So excited for Cathy Marie Buchanan’s new novel, DAUGHTER OF BLACK LAKE, out today! 

Here’s the description:

It’s the season of Fallow, in the first century A.D. In a northern misty bog surrounded by woodlands and wheat fields, a settlement lies far beyond the reach of the Romans invading hundreds of miles to the southeast. Here, life is simple–or so it seems to the tightly knit community. Sow. Reap. Honor Mother Earth, who will provide at harvest time. A girl named Devout comes of age, sweetly flirting with the young man she’s tilled alongside all her life, and envisions a future of love and abundance. Seventeen years later, though, the settlement is a changed place. Famine has brought struggle, and outsiders, with their foreign ways and military might, have arrived at the doorstep. For Devout’s young daughter, life is more troubled than her mother ever anticipated. But this girl has an extraordinary gift. As worlds collide and peril threatens, it will be up to her to save them all.

Set in a time long forgotten, Daughter of Black Lake brings the ancient world to life and introduces us to an unforgettable family facing an unimaginable trial.

It’s an Entertainment Weekly Best Books to Read This Fall pick and Parade Magazine named it Fall’s Best New Historical Fiction. It’s also perfectly designed to help you hide from the world and get in some good reading time. 

On WXXI News Connections with Evan Dawson

So thankful to Evan Dawson for taking this time to talk with Rochester ex-pats about the California wildfires. You can listen here. I’m on just after the five minute mark, and I encourage you to listen to the whole episode. Hearing Alison Konecki & Alex Wegman‘s first person accounts of their experiences is extremely powerful. And as an environmental social scientist, Joseph Henderson brings valuable, thoughtful perspective to the discussion.

New Book News!

If you’ve only known me as an adult, you might not know that my full name is Allison. I was named after a Gordon Lightfoot song and I spent my childhood listening to old folk records as if they held the secret to fixing everything that was wrong in my life.
Folk songs are essentially stories, and I think the time I spent with my ear pressed against the stereo speakers, trying to hear every squeak of fingerprint ridges against guitar strings, every word, breath and hesitation, shaped the way I see the world and what I want a story to feel like.
For over a decade — since before I finished STAY — I’ve been writing about April Sawicki, whose best understanding of the world comes from Bob Dylan songs, who doesn’t fit in the life she was born into, who has a fierce little heart that pushes her to want something more for herself.
I have loved all of my books, but I loved writing this one so much that I wasn’t certain I’d ever want to let it go. It’s been the story that fills my head in all the in-between times — between other books, other projects, other heartbreaks. I promised myself that for April, there were no compromises. So, I have fought to free the spaces in my heart, and the spaces in my career to allow this book to be true to itself, true to me, and true to my favorite imaginary friend. I know this may sound crazy, but for all these years, I’ve felt like April Sawicki was in the woods and I had to write her out.
So, it is my greatest, strangest pleasure to finally tell you that Gallery Books is publishing my long term project – THE PEOPLE WE KEEP – in August 2021. I found the right partners to help me get April out of the woods and into the world. My agent and editor and everyone at Gallery has honored what this book is and what it means to me. Knowing April is deeply understood by her caretakers really does fix the creaky hinges of my heart. I wish I could go back in time and tell that kid in front of the record player that someday we’d get here. My name on the cover will be Allison Larkin, because I wrote this book for the version of me who honestly believed Bob Dylan held the answers to everything.

WHY CAN’T I BE YOU is on Sale Through 10/19!

My second novel, WHY CAN’T I BE YOU has a brand new cover! And, it’s a BookBub Deal, priced at $1.99 in all ebook formats through 10/19.…/why-can-t-i-be-you-by-allie-larki…

If you haven’t read it yet, this is the best time to grab an ebook. If you have, can you help me spread the word by recommending WHY CAN’T I BE YOU to a friend? Most ebook formats even let you buy a gift code to pass the book along as a surprise! 

This book is a story of finding self and connection by pretending to be someone else. It’s also full of fun and pop culture and friendship and love.

I hope you enjoy WHY CAN’T I BE YOU! I poured my heart into this book and I’d love to know it’s connecting with your heart too.

I Talk to Strangers

Ran to Kmart for some cleaning supplies. An older gentleman holding a folded over doormat got in line ahead of me, and then said, “No. No. you go first. I cut you off.”
He really hadn’t. I told him so. He was red-faced and sheepish and insisted I go first. Then, I think because we’d had such a friendly exchange, he showed me why he was so sheepish. The doormat had a picture of an Airstream camper with some trees and a campfire out front. Underneath it read, “WE SLEEP AROUND!”
I laughed.
He said, “I sent my wife a picture of it as a joke and she said, ‘You have to buy that.'”
“It’s funny,” I said.
“I’m embarrassed even holding it,” he said.
“It’s really funny,” I said. “And it clears everything up with the picture.”
“See here,” he pointed to the camper. “It’s like a caricature of an Airstream. And we have an Airstream camper.”
“Then you need it,” I said. “And it makes your wife laugh.”
When my goods were bagged and back in the cart, he put the mat on the counter, face down, like he was buying a dirty magazine. I smiled at him. “It’s really funny,” I said, again.
“Thanks for giving me the confidence,” he said, as the checker started to ring him up. “I almost quit on it.”
I hope you have also had great charm and warmth in your day.

My New Book is Out Today!!!

My new novel, SWIMMING FOR SUNLIGHT, published by Atria, is in stores today! I’m so excited to share this book with you! These characters mean the world to me and I hope you enjoy spending time with them. 

If you’re in the Bay Area, come say hi! I have a bunch of events scheduled for the coming week. I’ll also be in Los Angeles on June 5th at Chevalier’s Books (in conversation with Julie Buxbaum!!!). 

You can learn more abou SWIMMING FOR SUNLIGHT here

“Larkin enthralls with a revealing view of one woman’s life as she moves on after a painful divorce. . . . Emotional and heartwarming, Larkin’s touching story is complete with romance, nostalgia, and genuine friendship.”
—Publishers Weekly

My Next Book!

I’m so excited to share the cover for my next book, SWIMMING FOR SUNLIGHT, out in April from Touchstone Books! These characters are so near and dear to my heart and I can’t wait for you to meet them.

Here’s a description: 

Aspiring costume designer Katie gave up everything in her divorce to gain custody of her fearful, faithful rescue dog, Barkimedes. While she figures out what to do next, she heads back to Florida to live with her grandmother, Nan.

But Katie quickly learns there’s a lot she doesn’t know about Nan—like the fact that in her youth Nan was a mermaid performer in a roadside attraction show, swimming and dancing underwater with a close-knit cast of talented women. Although most of the mermaids have since lost touch, Katie helps Nan search for her old friends on Facebook, sparking hopes for a reunion show. Katie is up for making some fabulous costumes, but first, she has to contend with her crippling fear of water.

As Katie’s college love Luca, a documentary filmmaker, enters the fray, Katie struggles to balance her hopes with her anxiety and begins to realize just how much Bark’s fears are connected to her own, in this thoughtful, charming novel about hope after loss and friendships that span generations.

Add on Goodreads!

Instantly French!

Are you an Instant Pot devotee too? I had the pleasure of testing the vegetable recipes* from Ann Mah’s new cookbook, INSTANTLY FRENCH. Not only did I fall in love with the elegant simplicity of recipes for poached pears, braised peppers, and Moroccan chickpea stew, but I learned how to better use my Instant Pot in the process.

With Instant Pot cooking, sometimes it’s easy for spices to get drowned out, but Ann always gets the seasoning exactly right, and it makes cooking from (and eating) these recipes a joyful experience.

The other thing I love about this book is that the recipes I tried didn’t add pain to my grocery bill. One of my favorite soups, (called “Ribs, stems, roots, leaves”) used parts of veggies I might have tossed, to make something delicious!

Our favorite in this house is Ann’s poached leeks with vinaigrette recipe (pictured). I did not know leeks could be a main ingredient before this! It’s amazing.

So, if you’re headed into winter and craving some hearty, homecooked food, I highly, highly recommend this book!

“Ann Mah takes a very classic – and extremely personal – look at the popular electric pressure cooker. Here is how I describe her studied approach: inquisitive, detailed, precise, adventuresome, accurate. Bravo!” –Patricia Wells, journalist, author, and multiple James Beard Award winner, living in Paris and Provence

*While this cookbook isn’t vegan (and I am), I believe this book is worth it for the veggies recipes alone. I made all of the veggie recipes without oil, left out non-vegan ingredients, and was still completely thrilled with the results. I can imagine if you’re an eat-everything person, you’ll also be in heaven with this book.


I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites, but I only post about products I love. 

THE MOON SISTERS Audiobook Giveaway!



Two of my favorite people made an audiobook together! THE MOON SISTERS by Therese Walsh is out in paperback and audio this week and Julia Whelan (who’s the narrator for STAY and WHY CAN’T I BE YOU) is the narrator!

I’m so excited about this beautiful combination! And I have an audiobook code for a one-time listen from Downpour to give away to one lucky person!


“Walsh has written a beautiful, lush novel fueled by a fairy-tale journey of grief, love, and will-o’-the-wisps. Fans of coming-of-age novels will be drawn in and may never want to leave.” —Library Journal (*starred review*)

“Both heartbreaking and hopeful, the Moon sisters’ journey is no quixotic quest, and readers will find themselves completely immersed in their transformative search. This magical, moving tale is not to be missed.” —Booklist (*starred review*)

“Luminous…Walsh explores how the sisters’ experience of the outside world transforms their views of each other and themselves, in a book packed with invention and rich characterizations.”

—Publishers Weekly