The Surprising Role of Women in Medieval Japan [GUEST POST]

Geisha

Over the centuries, Japanese women have been everything from shopkeepers and moneylenders to geisha and warriors. (Photo by Yiannis Theologos Michellis, Flickr)

Many people don’t realize the important roles women played in medieval Japan, or that a Japanese woman’s “place” was often in the shop—or even on the archery range—as well as in the home. Read more of this post

Lovely and Refreshing, ‘Sweet Tea Tuesdays’ Restores Our Faith in Friendship [REVIEW]

Girlfriends

They thought they would be friends forever. Meet Georgia, Midge, and Lula in Ashley Farley’s Sweet Tea Tuesdays. (Photo by Torrey Wiley, Flickr)

During Charleston’s long, languid, sultry summers, the heat can be so oppressive even the family dog doesn’t want to move from his spot in the shade. But three women find a way to survive, year after year: with laughter, friendship and iced cold refreshments in Ashley Farley’s delicious new novel, Sweet Tea Tuesdays.   Read more of this post

‘Among the Lesser Gods’ Reminds Us to Listen to Our Elders [REVIEW]

Leadville, Colorado

Sometimes bad decisions take us to unexpected places. (Photo by Gene, Flickr)

Faced with a startling change in circumstances and a questionable future, a young woman takes a chance and accepts an unexpected opportunity that sends her to the Colorado mountains in Margo Catts’ debut novel, Among the Lesser Gods.  Read more of this post

Maureen Chiquet’s ‘Beyond The Label’ Helps Us See Ourselves In A Different Light [REVIEW]

Maureen Chiquet at the New York Stock Exchange

Maureen Chiquet wields the hammer at the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo courtesy Maureen Chiquet, Facebook)

There’s an old Bob Dylan song called, “Gotta Serve Somebody.” In it, he sings about all the different labels people wear in society, from ambassadors and socialites to state troopers and entertainment moguls. But do the labels we acquire accurately depict who we are? And more importantly, do we allow these labels to define us? These are two of the questions Maureen Chiquet answers in her new book, Beyond the Label.  Read more of this post

Danielle Steel Redefines Family in ‘The Apartment’ [REVIEW]

Four friends in New York City

Four very different women become a new kind of family when they share a Hell’s Kitchen loft in Danielle Steel’s THE APARTMENT. (Photo by Delacorte Press)

In Danielle Steel’s latest novel, The Apartment, a loft in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen is home to four vastly different young women who become roommates out of necessity but a family by choice. Read more of this post