Watkins Mill Teacher’s Second Book Reaches #5 in U.S. Kindle Store; Sara Goodman Confino’s Book Reaches #1 in Three Categories

By Sarah Elbeshbishi

Most students throw their hall passes away when they’re done with them. But Watkins Mill High School students may soon be trying to sell theirs. WMHS English and journalism teacher Sara Goodman Confino’s second book, She’s Up to No Good, isn’t even out yet, but it’s already a bestseller because of Amazon’s First Reads program. Just four days into the pre-release, Confino’s novel was the #5 book in the entire US Kindle store and was the number one bestseller in three categories, including humorous fiction.

“Getting selected for this promotion is a huge deal,” Confino said. “But I didn’t expect it to do this well.” She’s Up to No Good isn’t a sequel to Confino’s debut, For the Love of Friends, but it focuses on the fan-favorite grandmother, Evelyn, from the first novel, giving readers a fun glimpse into the character’s past.

“As a reader, I love when authors connect their books like that,” Confino said. “It feels like a reward for fans.” The story opens with 34-year-old Jenna’s husband announcing that he wants a divorce. Blindsided, Jenna moves home with her parents to figure out her next steps. Six months later, she’s still living in her childhood bedroom, when her 89-year-old grandmother announces that she’s driving from Montgomery County to her hometown in Massachusetts for some mysterious business. But it’s not until after Jenna offers to drive her where the real story begins.

Jenna, along the drive, learns of her grandmother’s first love, Tony, whom she wasn’t allowed to marry in the early 1950s. Told in a dual timeline, Evelyn’s story unfolds as Jenna meets and forms a relationship with Tony’s great nephew. The two storylines converge as Evelyn’s motivation for the trip is revealed.

While the story is fiction, Evelyn was loosely inspired by Confino’s real grandmother. “My grandmother really did tell a police officer who pulled her over in the High Occupancy Vehicle Lane on 270 that she ‘takes the HIV lane all the time,’” Confino said. “And the scene where Evelyn steals all of the Sweet’N Low from a rest stop 100% happened.”

Hereford, the fictional Massachusetts town where the bulk of the story takes place is based off Gloucester, where her grandmother is from. “But I hadn’t been there in years and with a new baby in a pandemic, a research trip wasn’t feasible,” Confino added.

She’s Up to No Good can be read on a Kindle or on any phone, tablet, or computer with the free Kindle app for all of July. Paperbacks and the audiobook will be released on August 1.

The Amazon First Reads programs allows Prime members to download two free early releases in the month of July while non-Prime members can download it for $1.99. However, authors do not get paid for free downloads in the Amazon First Reads program, but they receive a bonus upon acceptance.

“The real benefit is exposure and reviews. The more reviews a product has on Amazon, the more people the algorithm shows it to,” Confino said. “There are millions of books for sale. So being in the top 10 is crazy.” For readers who prefer hard copies or audiobooks, She’s Up to No Good is available for pre-orders through all major book retailers.

 

Featured photo by Get Red PR

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

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Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

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2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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