Book Review · Books

A Winter Night

Angie is a social worker in a retirement community in her small town. She’s had a few boyfriends in the past, but is hopeful about her new one, Matt. Her life is pretty basic between work, time with Matt and fielding parental drama.

If you enjoy slower paced stories then A Winter Night might be a good match for you.

I received my complimentary copy of A Winter Night by Anne Leigh Parish from Unsolicited Press, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own will.

Book Review · Books

The Most Beautiful Disaster

I can’t deny that the berry color on the cover of The Most Beautiful Disaster drew me in. What drew me in even more so, is Hope’s personal story of redemption. Airing one’s dirty laundry in order to help others takes cojones and bravery.

Hope shares her life’s journey through having an affair while being a pastor’s wife and having her own ministry. She shares about the aftermath and all it took for her to gain back redemption. This memoir isn’t an easy read emotionally or spiritually. Hope gives helpful end of chapter sections called: Think About This and Scripture to Meditate On. She doesn’t merely share her very deeply raw story, but gives guidance on how we are raised helps mold how we handle future relationships.

What I love most about Hope’s memoir is how she encourages us, no matter what life has thrown at us, by our own choices aka consequences that we can lift out of our dark mire through taking it to God, asking for forgiveness and starting fresh. Life doesn’t have to be crappy. Even if it currently is we can work through it and clean it off.

I received my complimentary copy of The Most Beautiful Disaster by Hope Carpenter from Faith Words. The views are mine and my own choice. This memoir I think would make a great women’s Bible study read. I think it’s a topic that is taboo and kept hush unless the media gets wind of it, if you are a big name. None of us are ‘arrived’ and I think it would help women to see they aren’t alone.

Book Review · Books

Stormland

It seems like it’s the end of the world in this dystopian, futuristic novel where a rag tag bunch find themselves stuck in Stormland, where the weather never lets up. South Carolina has become a wasteland of decrepit buildings, people stranded and hooked on drugs. Things appear bleak. It’s a world where friend and foe can flip like a switch. Who can you trust? Will the storms ever stop?

An ex US Marshall and an ex serial killer arrive in Stormland to band together to explore the underbelly, to find out whose behind these mysterious deaths happening. The strange thing is there’s a place in the skull of the victims where something had been inserted. Are there any other clues these deaths have in common? What was inserted and why?

Received my complimentary copy of Stormland by John Shirley from Blackstone Publishing, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are my own and my own choice. This novel has a bit for everyone: adventure, futuristic concepts, romance, family drama, and more. If you love mystery, intrigue and adventure then you may enjoy this novel.

Book Review · Books

Hurricane Summer

***TW: This novel contains content that may be triggering: verbal and physical abuse.***

Tilla gets to accompany her little sister to Jamaica for the summer to visit their dad. She’s one part excited and the other part nervous. Their dad has a history of leaving and shes weary he’s going to do another disappearing act. When they arrive the extended family on their father’s side is waiting for them. They seem all excited, except for her one aunt who seems put off that she has to give up her room for her nieces.

Tilla and her sister meet their assorted cousins and get the lay of the land, out in what’s known as “country”, They get to spend a few weeks at their aunt and uncle’s. Tilla is shocked when their dad mentions he has business to attend to, but that they will later be joining him in the city. Left alone with family they barely know feels awkward. Tilla and her sister have to also, try and figure out the local lingo.

Slowly, Tilla befriends a few of her cousins. Two girls her age, Diana and her friend Zory seem to be nice. One day when she is walking with Diana they bump into Hessan who appears to take a liking to Tilla. The big problem with that is Diana says that her and Hessan are meant to be back together again after being promised to each other in the church.

Hessan and Tilla strike up a friendship, but then another boy seems interested in Tilla. Diana seems to think Tilla is into this other boy, totally clueless as to the friendship budding between Tilla and Hessan. Who will Tilla choose?

I received my complimentary digital copy of Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield from St. Martin’s Press, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and my own choice. This novel is breathtaking. It tackles such heavy subjects as verbal and physical abuse, family dynamics, racial class within a country and racism from within, privilege, and so much more. This novel would make a great book club book to discuss, though it’s not for the faint of heart.

Books

Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield Q & A

What inspired you to write Hurricane Summer?

AB: Hurricane Summer is inspired by all the young women who didn’t feel a sense of protection growing up. I wanted to write a story that brought awareness to the safe spaces we need to create for young women who are figuring out their sexual agency. I was really driven by the father-daughter dynamic, and with this book, I wanted to explore how that relationship could shape the course of a young woman’s life. Tilla is no longer protected by the chastity of girlhood, and we see how quickly society weaponizes her sexuality, and how her pleasure is used for her persecution. Hurricane Summer is a celebration of a young woman’s pleasure and agency, by following her journey in how she reclaims herself and takes it back.

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

AB: I love how writing gives me the ability to free my own voice. Too often as creatives, we have to wait for others to tell us that our voice is worthy of being heard. I think that idea is really changing, especially right now, when we look at who is “allowed” to tell stories. I love how much power speaking up has given me over my life. I hope I can continue to do that and inspire others to use their voices as well.

What is the book that inspired you to want to become an author?

AB: Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone,hands down. Tomi was the example for me that you can do anything you put your mind to. She was an incredible mentor to me, and a huge champion for me believing in myself. I hope to pay it forward and be that example for others. We are all worthy.

Book Review · Books

Hello From Here

Does your child need cheering up? Life has turned upside down for everyone this past year and our old way of life seems to have been left behind in the dust. Hello From Here, is a cute children’s board book about fun ways to communicate now that sadly social distancing and staying home is the norm. Each page offers some unique ways to send messages and is a very cheerfully, colorful children’a book.

I received my complimentary copy of Hello From Here by Pamela Kennedy and Illustrated by Mackenzie Haley from Worthy Kids. The views expressed are mine and my own choice. This little book is for little kids, but parents, siblings and caregivers alike will enjoy this uplifting book. I know we all need things to brighten our day and this gem won’t disappoint.

Book Review · Books

Why I Never Finished My Dissertation

Poetry is a language I speak fluently. Even though I love to express myself in this medium, I rarely read other’s poems. I’m glad I chose to. Why I Never Finished My Dissertation, is a slim volume of poetry that grabs you by the collar to make sure you are fully immersing yourself in the author’s words. Her poems are vivid, joyful, sad, and if nothing else, deep. Just from this collection I can gather that Laura has had a rough life, but that through it all she had crafted a sweet life for herself.

If you love poetry, love memoirs in free verse then you will want a copy of this book of poetry. After finishing this book I want to go hunt down Laura’s other books of poetry. She is talented and inspiring.

I received my complimentary copy of Why I Never Finished My Dissertation by Laura Foley from TLC Book Tours and the author. The views are mine and my own choice. This book was intriguing.

Book Review · Books

Don’t Lose Your Head

I’m not educated when it comes to England’s history. I know the very bare bones about King Henry the VIII. This little hot pink gem is a modernized telling from each of his six wives and what happened to them. Dive in to hear from Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn (the famous one), Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr. Each have their own take on what transpired in being married to Henry. Each story is unique. I don’t know if I could stomach being stuck with the king. Which wife do you see yourself as most like?

I received my complimentary copy of Don’t Lose Your Head by Harriet Marsden from Ulysses Press, care of Pacific and Court. The views are mine and of my own choice. This little book packs a lot of history in a fun, sassy tone. The little text bubble conversations between Henry’s wives gives it a modern flair. If you love history and want to learn more then you’ll be pleased this book is not boring. How could it be with all the beheadings and royal drama? Side note, this novel is not for children as it does have mature topics discussed.

Book Review · Books

A Flood Of Kindness

Have you ever lived through a natural disaster? If so, Charlotte can relate. One night it rained so much her house flooded. Her and her parents were rescued in a boat and taken to a shelter where other flood victims were being housed. She is sad, but thankful she grabbed her teddy bear, even though she’s too old for one. Through staying at the shelter, Charlotte learns how the flooding has affected other kids and how reaching out to others can turn a tough situation into a blessing.

The artwork in this picture book is beautiful and effective. Even though this book is for young readers, readers of all ages can gleam wisdom from its pages. The themes of this picture book are timeless and even more important. Selflessness is needed even more now.

I received my complimentary copy of A Flood Of Kindness by Ellen Leventhal and illustrated by Blythe Russo, from WorthyKids. The views are mine and my own choice. I like discovering great picture books. What a treat to get to read. Grab your own copy this spring.

Book Review · Books

Willing

Liz has had bad experiences with men. Her ex husband was a cheater and the man she thought would repair her heart, Roland, wasn’t quite over his wife who had passed. Since she didn’t want to put her sensitive heart on the line Liz decides to just keep it purely to having sex. No heart involved, just simple gratification. Loveless encounters can only appear satisfying to your heart only for so long. When Liz decides to have a romp with her friend’s twenty-something year old son, she realizes some reevaluation is needed in her life.

Liz tries to distract herself with her photography business. Capturing beautiful brides and handsome grooms. The life she had hoped to have. When she meets up with an old friend, Darius, he suggests for her to get away for the winter to GA. He hints about a friend of his, Christopher who she might jive with, who needs a house sitter for his brother’s house. Liz is intrigued and decides to be adventurous.

Georgia is very different from her place in Vermont. The warm weather is a balm to her soul. Her dog, Obie loves exploring the property where this house is. Her landlord Christopher is definitely a hunk. She doesn’t want to get distracted by this handsome man as she’s needing to be inspired again with her photography. When the attraction is shown to be mutual Liz has to decide if she’ll let him in. Is there ever too perfect a man? Can Liz trust again?

I received my complimentary ARC copy of Willing from Blender Publishing, care of Smith Publicity. The views are mine and my own choice to share. This novel first off is intimidating by its size. I don’t normally read this thick of a book. It felt like a Stephen King length book. The thickness of this book is a big detractor I think for someone to choose this book. Aside from it being really long, it’s not merely erotic scene after erotic scene; though this novel is definitely for 18 and over. There is an in-depth storyline. The way that Georgia is described makes me want to go visit. It sounds gorgeous, not to mention Vermont is supposed to be lovely. The characterization isn’t phony. Relationships can be messy. They aren’t like a movie. We can try to portray it as such, but underneath it isn’t always what it seems. I feel this novel explores relationships and how to learn to trust again when you’ve burned in the past.