Trisha R. Thomas, "What Passes as Love" (Lake Union Publishing, 2021)


Today I talked to Trisha R. Thomas about her new novel What Passes as Love (Lake Union Publishing, 2021).

In 1850, at age six, Dahlia Holt is taken from the only home she knows and moved into the big house to serve her two older sisters. They share a father, who owns the house and its slaves. On her sixteenth birthday, Dahlia gets to dress up in one of the sister’s discarded dresses for a trip to the city. There, she gets separated from her family, and meets a young Englishman who thinks she’s white. She introduces herself as an orphan without a family. It starts out as a lark, but her adventures could destroy those she left behind. Especially after her father puts a high bounty on her head, because she is, after all, a runaway slave.

TRISHA R. THOMAS won the Literary Lion Award from the King County Library Foundation. Her first book, Nappily Ever After, was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature as well as being featured in O Magazine’s Books That Make a Difference. Her work has been reviewed in the Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Her debut novel is now adapted to a feature film on Netflix. She’s had 11 novels published and continues to write from her home in California. When she’s not writing, she’s tending to her mini farm where she grows tomatoes, avocados, and lemons, all the perfect ingredients for guacamole and avocado toast.

I interview authors of beautifully written literary fiction and mysteries, and try to focus on independently published novels, especially by women and others whose voices deserve more attention. If your upcoming or recently published novel might be a candidate for a podcast, please contact me via my website, gpgottlieb dot com.

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G. P. Gottlieb

G.P. Gottlieb is the author of the Whipped and Sipped Mystery Series and a prolific baker of healthful breads and pastries. Please contact her through her website (

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