New Releases

SURPRISE!!!!!!!!! Paper Stars Press is thrilled to surprise drop our fifth title, Film Blue (a novel) by Patricia Leavy.

Reminiscent of Sex and the City meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Patricia Leavy’s Film Blue is a captivating and inspiring story about the pursuit of dreams and what it truly means to live a “big” life.

A couple of years after finishing college, Tash Daniels has put her love of filmmaking on the back burner. She’s working retail, club-hopping, and scraping by to pay the rent. Usually attracted to the wrong guy, she’s at a loss when she finally falls for the right one. Sexy deejay Aidan is living his life authentically as an artist and encourages her to do the same. Will she open her heart? Will she bet on herself and her dreams? Is a girl with a dream truly on her own in the world? Tash’s friends are along for the journey: Jason Woo, lighthearted model on the rise; Penelope Waters, earnest graduate student with a secret no one suspects; Lu K, fiercely independent hot-girl deejay; and Monroe Preston, the glamorous wife of a Hollywood studio head. Frequently bathed in the glow of the silver screen, the characters show us how the arts can reignite the light within, pushing us to confront our fears so we can choose how to live in the present. Film Blue is a novel about following our passions, the hidden side of our dreams, the power of art, what it means to truly live a “big” life, and finding the people to go with us on our journey. A tribute to 1980s pop culture set against the backdrop of contemporary New York and Los Angeles, Film Blue celebrates how the art we experience and make can shape our stories, frame by frame.

Film Blue is a joyful, inspiring and painfully beautiful novel written by gifted scholar and writer, Patricia Leavy.” Norman Denzin, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“I love it. I just love it. Film Blue takes you inside yourself, and outside, too. It inspires a belief in possibility. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Young adults should read this. Brava!” Laurel Richardson, Ph.D., author of Lone Twin

“I couldn’t put it down, absolutely loved it, and can’t stop thinking about it. Film Blue is a treasure. Highly recommended.” Jessie Voigts, Ph.D., Wandering Educators

Film Blue is a love letter to popular culture, and in particular, illustrates how art may sustain us through life’s challenges when those around us may not.” Alexandra Lasczik, Ph.D., Southern Cross University

“An engaging piece of public scholarship, Film Blue provides rich food for thought about the pop culture landscape and how it shapes our own stories. With a subtext about privilege, opportunity, sexual assault and gender, this would be a useful and fun teaching tool.” Sut Jhally, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Founder & Executive Director, Media Education Foundation

Film Blue reminds me of what it meant to live through the blue of young adulthood.”  Mary E. Weems, Ph.D., author of Blackeyed: Plays and Monologues and Cleveland Arts Prize winner

Film Blue tells a powerful story of women who overcome obstacles in pursuit of their dreams… this timely novel illustrates the cultural context in which girls and women live their lives. An engaging read, Film Blue is sure to stimulate reflection, both personally and more broadly in book clubs and courses on media and gender.” Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., author, feminist activist, and creator of the Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women film series

Friends meets Girls meets The Perks of being a Wallflower, all with its own 1980s vibes. It’s light and fun reading, with messages that linger.” U. Melissa Anyiwo, Ph.D., editor of Gender Warriors

Buy a paperback or e-book on Amazon:

Paper Stars Press is delighted to release our fourth title, Privilege Through the Looking-Glass, Second Edition, edited by Patricia Leavy. We are thrilled to release a brand-new edition of this awarding-winning and widely adopted text.

Privilege Through the Looking-Glass, Second Edition is a revised and expanded collection of essays that explore privilege and status characteristics in daily life. This collection seeks to make visible that which is often invisible. It seeks to sensitize us to things we have been taught not to see. Privilege, power, oppression, and domination operate in complex and insidious ways, impacting groups and individuals. And yet, these forces that affect our lives so deeply seem to at once operate in plain sight and lurk in the shadows, making them difficult to discern. Like water to a fish, environments are nearly impossible to perceive when we are immersed in them. This book attempts to expose our environments. With engaging and powerful writing, the contributors share their personal stories as a means of connecting the personal and the public. This volume applies an intersectional perspective to explore how race, class, gender, sexuality, education, and ableness converge, creating the basis for privilege and oppression. Privilege Through the Looking-Glass encourages readers to engage in self and social reflection, and can be used in a range of courses in sociology, social work, communication, education, gender studies, and African American studies. Each chapter includes discussion questions and/or activities for further engagement.

“Poignant and unflinching… this book has lessons for anyone with the spirit to explore better ways to be themselves and relate to others.” Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., Howard University, and Editor-in-Chief for The Journal of Negro Education

“Every educator should read this book.” Henry A. Giroux, Ph.D., McMaster University

“… a powerful testament to the urgency of understanding privilege and deserves to be read widely.” Peter McLaren, Ph.D., Chapman University

“… an ideal text for sensitizing students to the myriad of social forces operating within, around, and beyond their own everyday experiences and assumptions.”  J.E. Sumerau, Ph.D., University of Tampa

“In highly accessible and unique ways, this book shines a light on the complexities of cultural life, and in ways that will entice and challenge readers, compelling them to re-think their ways of being with others, and themselves.” Keith Berry, Ph.D., University of South Florida and the National Communication Association Anti-Bullying Task Force Co-Chair

“As a social policy instructor and clinical social worker, I always find opportunities to use Leavy’s work with my student.” Renita M. Davis, LCSW, PIP

Buy a paperback or e-book on Amazon:

Paper Stars Press is bursting with pride at the release of our third title, Celestial Bodies: The Tess Lee and Jack Miller Novels by Patricia Leavy, with cover art and illustrations by Mindi Rhoades.

Heart-warming and wonderfully romantic, written with the sharp wit of Candace Bushnell and the sensitivity of Meg Donahue, comes best-selling author Patricia Leavy’s tour de force about learning to balance darkness and light in our lives.

Celestial Bodies is a series of six novels that follow the epic romance of Tess and Jack: Shooting Stars, Twinkle, Constellations, Supernova, North Star, and Stardust. An exploration of the power of love, each novel focuses on love at the intersection of another topic: healing, doubt, intimacy, trust, commitment, and faith. While external threats occur in each book, this is ultimately a story about internal threats—the audio playing in our own heads.

Tess Lee is a world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore people’s innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Despite her extraordinary success, she’s been unable to find happiness in her personal life. Jack Miller is a federal agent who specializes in counterterrorism. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. He’s dedicated everything to his job, leaving nothing for himself. The night Tess and Jack meet, their connection is palpable. She examines the scars on his body and says, “I’ve never seen anyone whose outsides match my insides.” The two embark on a beautiful love story that asks the questions: What happens when people truly see each other? Can unconditional love change the way we see ourselves? Their friends are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend who calls her Butterfly; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau who understands the sacrifices he’s made; and Bobby and Gina, Jack’s younger friends who never fail to lighten the mood. Along the way, others join their journey: the female president of the United States, with whom Tess bakes cookies and talks politics; the Millers, Jack’s childhood family; and many others. Celestial Bodies is about walking through our past traumas, moving from darkness to light, learning to live in color, and the ways in which love—from lovers, friends, or the art we experience—can heal us. Written as unfolding action, this collection moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy. It can be read for pleasure or selected for book clubs.

Celestial Bodies is one of the most important literary works you’ll ever read and the must-read book of the year. Leavy writes light in every corner… Read this—you’ll be SO glad you did. Highly recommended!” Jessie Voigts, Wandering Educators

“Leavy has done what she does best: write a story that you won’t be able to put down until you finish the final sentence. I was glued to the page, and you will be too. It is a love story about friendship and real romance, but most importantly, it is a story about learning to love ourselves, the most difficult love of all. Don’t miss the adventure, love, and lessons these characters have to teach us all in this profoundly beautiful work of art.” Sandra L. Faulkner, Ph.D., author of Poetic Inquiry: Craft, Method, and Practice

“This healing story has left an indelible mark on my soul. Brava, Patricia Leavy, for creating a fiction series worth its weight in gold.” Renita M. Davis, LICSW, PIP, Creatrix, Illuminated Expressions, LLC

“A spectacularly compelling, breathtaking series…. There is so much beauty in Celestial Bodies that stayed with me long after I read the last page: the beauty of our good friends, of healing, of real and steady love, of life’s experiences wonderfully told.” Alexandra Lasczik, Ph.D., Southern Cross University

“’For so many of us, perhaps all of us, life is challenging as we learn to live through and with trauma, grief, and loss. Celestial Bodies shows us how to thrive through unconditional love. Read this book—it will crack your heart wide open.” Laurel Richardson, Ph.D., author of Lone Twin

Celestial Bodies is one of the grandest love stories of all time, romantic, thrilling, and adventurous. It celebrates the power and agency of love to hold its own against the darkest forces of hatred and violence. This book grounds the possibility of hope, love, and healing in our ability, if we will it, to truly see, hear, and accept each other as striving, troubled, imperfect, and ultimately, lovable and loving beings. It will make your heart smile. A must-read!” Eve Spangler, Ph.D., Boston College

“With stunning prose loaded with equal parts heart and humor, Leavy’s writing is realistic and compassionate. A splendid work of fiction written with sensitivity, wit, and compassion. I loved it.” J. E. Sumerau, Ph.D., author of Scarecrow

“… the deepest cuts came from Leavy’s frankly audacious creation of space for trauma processing and healing as priorities in daily life, rather than the afterthoughts they often become in a world that expects us to smile through pain. That Leavy manages to create this kind of visceral authenticity within the splendor of a modern fairy tale speaks volumes of her talent. In a world where wit is often an underappreciated weapon, this tightly crafted series sparkles brightly and pierces straight to the heart.” Alexandra “Xan” Nowakowski, Ph.D., MPH, Florida State University

Celestial Bodies is contemporary literature at its very best, one that hides its lessons inside perfectly baked cookies that leave you feeling better about the world and the people in it, despite all the darkness. A perfect choice for book clubs and summer reads.” U. Melissa Anyiwo, Ph.D., editor of Gender Warriors

Buy a paperback or e-book on Amazon:

Paper Stars Press is ecstatic to announce the release of our second title, North Star by Patricia Leavy.

North Star follows Tess Lee and Jack Miller after five years of marriage. Tess is a wildly successful and world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore our innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Jack is a former federal agent who specialized in counterterrorism. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. As they both heal from past trauma, their epic love, fostered by their ability to truly see one another, has brought them lasting happiness. However, when life’s challenges arise and two significant forces from Jack’s past resurface, everything they’ve learned about unconditional love is put to the test. Will they finally live their happily ever after, or will they fall apart into the darkness? In addition to new characters, their long-standing friends are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend, who calls her Butterfly; the female president of the United States, who Tess visits regularly to discuss politics and bake cookies; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau, who understands the sacrifices he’s made; and Bobby and Gina, Jack’s younger friends, who never fail to lend a calming presence. North Star is a novel about commitment and letting go, loss and gain, and the ways in which love—from lovers, friends, or the art we experience—can help us move from trauma to healing and redemption. Written as unfolding action, North Star is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy. It can be read entirely for pleasure, selected for book clubs, or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses.

“That Leavy manages to create this kind of visceral authenticity within the splendor of a modern fairytale speaks volumes of her talent.”  – Alexandra “Xan” Nowakowski, Ph.D., MPH, Florida State University

“… a splendid novel that traces the fuzzy edges of personal desire, professional fulfillment, and familial formation with sensitivity, wit, and compassion.” – J. E. Sumerau, Ph.D., The University of Tampa

“… the enchanting, luminescent story we all need right now.” – Jessica Smartt Gullion, Ph.D., Texas Woman’s University

“…a poignant book about the significance of relational commitments and how these commitments can help us traverse pasts and presents riddled with trauma, secrets, and success.” – Tony E. Adams, Ph.D., Bradley University

Buy a paperback or e-book on Amazon:

Paper Stars Press is thrilled to announce the release of Low-Fat Love: 10th Anniversary Edition by Patricia Leavy.

Prilly Greene lives between who she is and who she longs to be. She moved to New York City in search of a “big life.” Despite her job at a publishing house and weekends spent racing around the city, she’s painfully lonely. She falls for Pete Rice, an unemployed, charming, ever-sexy aspiring graphic novelist. Prilly thinks she is finally experiencing the big life she always sought but feared was beyond her grasp. Pete’s unconventional, free-spirited views on relationships unsettle Prilly, ultimately causing her to unravel over the course of their on-again, off-again love affair. Meanwhile, her colleague Janice Goldwyn, a workaholic, feminist-in-name-only editor, undercuts her professional identity at every turn. Janice’s “picture-perfect” life is set on a new course when her alcoholic father is injured in a car accident and she is forced to face her own demons. Ultimately, each woman is pushed to confront her own self-image and reasons for having settled for low-fat love. Along with Prilly and Janice, a cast of characters’ stories are interwoven throughout the book. The offbeat characters include Melville, Pete’s awkward friend who lives one beat outside the moment; Jacob, Melville’s younger, pothead brother; Kyle, Janice’s seventeen-year-old son, who appears ordinary in every way but is actually quite extraordinary; and Tash, Kyle’s wild, sexpot cousin who ends up dating Jacob. Low-Fat Love is a novel about the struggle to overcome the secret fear that we are not enough so that we can reimagine ourselves and truly live a “big life.”

Low-Fat Love proves the astonishing talent that Leavy possesses as both a writer and social commentator. Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Girls meets Sex and the City, but all with Leavy’s raw honesty and clever wit. This is one of my favorite books with a message I can’t shake.” – U. Melissa Anyiwo, Ph.D., editor of Gender Warriors

“Witty, humorous, and smart. The true beauty and power of this novel is reflected in the ways the characters—just like many of us—settle in life and love.” – J. E. Sumerau, Ph.D., author of Via Chicago

“This definitive 10th anniversary edition of Low-Fat Love does not disappoint. The new ending is brilliant. I would run, not stroll, to get a copy for yourself and all the important people in your life. This beautiful and relatable novel offers smart critique of how pop culture’s expectations for intimate relationships often let us down.” – Sandra L. Faulkner, Ph.D., author of Real Women Run

Buy a paperback or e-book on Amazon:

%d bloggers like this: