Thursday, May 4, 2023


Zora Books Her Happy Ever After
by: Taj McCoy
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Release Date: April 25, 2023
Publisher: Mira

“Doesn’t miss a romantic beat . . . McCoy expertly crafts a well-balanced love triangle between empathetic and passionate characters—and delivers plenty of comic relief in the form of Zora’s lovable matchmaking grandmother.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

A heart-pounding, curvy romance about an indie bookstore owner who finds herself in a love triangle when she meets the author she’s had a crush on for years…and his best friend.

Zora has committed every inch of her life to establishing her thriving DC bookstore, making it into a pillar of the community, and she just hasn’t had time for romance. But when a mystery author she’s been crushing on for years agrees to have an event at her store, she starts to rethink her priorities. Lawrence is every bit as charming as she imagined, even if his understanding of his own books seems just a bit shallow. When he asks her out after his reading, she’s almost elated enough to forget about the grumpy guy who sat next to her making snide comments all evening. Apparently the grouch is Lawrence’s best friend, Reid, but she can’t imagine what kind of friendship that must be. They couldn’t be more different.

But as she starts seeing Lawrence, and spending more and more time with Reid, Zora finds first impressions can be deceiving. Reid is smart and thoughtful—he’s also interested. After years of avoiding dating, she suddenly has two handsome men competing for her affection. But even as she struggles to choose between them, she can’t shake the feeling that they’re both hiding something—a mystery she’s determined to solve before she can find her HEA.

The signing started, and Zora watched as Lawrence spent time with each of her patrons, listening to their stories, asking for the spellings of their names, and personalizing his messages to them on his title sheet. He laughed often, shaking hands and taking selfies with anyone who asked. People left with hands full of books and satisfied smiles on their faces—the mark of a successful event.

Granny Marion caught her eye, and she winked in response. The woman motioned in Lawrence’s direction and mouthed the words, “Grandbabies.”

Zora could only shake her head and laugh at her grandmother. She will never give up!

“Something funny?” The prickly man from before wandered in her direction.

She looked over her shoulder, assuming that his question was meant for someone behind her. “Me?”

Standing, the man towered over her—he had to be at least six-foot-four. His dark eyes trained on her, his mouth still set in a sour curve. “Yeah, you. Listen, I wanted to apologize if I took away from your ability to enjoy the event. It’s just been a long day, and I didn’t mean any harm.”

A glint in his eye caught Zora’s attention, and she looked him over curiously. He was dressed in a polo and slacks, with a jacket on his arm. It was unclear from his attire what kind of work he might do, but something about his eyes read intelligent. Even if he was kind of an asshole. Maybe it’s just his glasses.

“I figure that you must be going through something to have such a chip on your shoulder. I tried not to hold it against you, and that's why I asked if you were okay. I appreciate your apology.” She began to turn away.

“Do you accept it?” he pressed, his dark eyes searching hers.

“Is that a requirement?” Something about this man made her feel like she needed to stand up for herself. Like he was questioning whether she actually deserves the apology he had just offered her.

“No, it's not a requirement, but it would be nice to know that there are no hard feelings.” He gestured with his hands that he meant no harm.

Zora considered his point. “Well, there are no hard feelings, and I do accept your apology. I hope that you were able to enjoy something about this event, even if you're having a hard time with other parts of your life.”

His gaze unnerved her. It looked like he wanted to say more, but all he did was stare at her. She watched as his eyes trailed down to her mouth, her throat, and further south, but nothing about the look on his face changed.

Why can’t I tell what he’s thinking? Everything inside Zora screamed that she should stay away from this man, because there was nothing about him that seemed warm or inviting. But her Spidey senses were triggered by the care with which he watched her.

“Are you going to buy the book? It looks like Lawrence is getting toward the end of the line, if that was something that you wanted to do while you were here,” she offered.

The man pulled a copy of the book from his shoulder bag. “I've already got one. I brought it with me.”

Huh. “So, why are you talkin’ to me? Are you shy or something? I can take you over there to meet him if you need some assistance.”

The man rolled his eyes. “I'm quite capable, thank you. I don't need it signed.”

Zora had enough. “I'm still trying to put together why you bothered to come to this event. Okay, so you have the book, but you don't want to interact with the author, and you didn't seem to like anything that he had to say, so… why are you still here?”

“Maybe I'm enjoying your company. He looked down at her, and something about his face softened. He licked his lips, stretching his fingers at his sides.

Unsure what to make of this guy, she put on her store owner hat. “I don't know that either of us are being very good company this evening. But, again, thank you for coming to the event. We are trying to build our events calendar up, so we will definitely be having more like this in the very near future. If you're a big reader, maybe there will be another author that you care to engage with more, and you can sign up for our newsletter and updates from the website.” She gave a tight smile and started to walk away, but she stopped short as Lawrence advanced.

“Oh, Zora, I’d like to introduce you to one of my oldest friends.” Finished with signings, he clapped the cranky guy on the back. “Reid Hughes, this is Zora Dizon. She owns this place.”

Purchase Zora Books Her Happy Ever After from:
(Affiliate Links Used)

Oakland-born law grad, Taj McCoy, is committed to writing stories championing Black and biracial women of color, plus-sized protagonists, Black love, Black joy, and characters with a strong sense of sisterhood and familial bonds.

Taj started writing as a small child, enjoying the success of her first publications in elementary school. Since then, her dream has always been to become a professional writer. As a law student, she attempted her first novels and joined the Twitter writing community. Though Taj has spent more than ten years working in higher education administration, she continued to pursue her goal and ultimately finished her first novel in 2018, securing her agent in 2019.

When she’s not writing, Taj may be on Twitter boosting other marginalized writers, trying to zen out in yoga, sharing recipes on her website, binge-watching her favorite reality tv, or cooking private supper club meals for close friends. Catch her producing and co-hosting the Fat Like Me Podcast, which celebrates body diversity in publishing and entertainment, or watch her join forces with several writer friends on Sundays for the Better Than Brunch video podcast. When time permits, she serves as the #DVdebut Program Manager for Diverse Voices, Inc. and as a mentor for 2020 Pitch Wars.

Places to find Taj McCoy:

You can follow the Zora Books Her Happy Ever After Blog Tour here.


Did you just copy and paste your previous comment? Please don't. Duplicate comments will be deleted.

Comments that include links to other sites, or names including links WILL BE CONSIDERED SPAM AND DELETED.