If I Was Your Girl, #BookReview #YASummerReads

This is Amanda’s story. Amanda has suffered at her last school and nearly committed suicide,  forcing her mother to send her off to live with her father.

_What if your son told you he was your daughter__

But it is in this new town that Amanda forgets her one, golden rule: trust no one.

She meets a young man on the football team and even befriends a few girls that attend a fundamentalist church. Amanda has the ability to blend in because she is absolutely gorgeous with feminine features that seemingly comes naturally- but what will happen once her secret gets out? Can she trust the nicest, hardworking boy she just met or will he bail once he learns the truth?

I enjoyed this book for two reasons: One, it involved a protagonist that was uncommon for me and two- the story was not built on any clichés that I could tell. Amanda’s voice is one that is full of hurt but with so much incredible power at the same time. She wants to live and has goals.

Amanda’s father was just as complex as she. Although the mother plays a pivotal role in Amanda’s life, the father’s response is varied and real. Any father who dreams of having a son, who suddenly learns his son wants to be a girl will definitely have a hard time coming to grips with it, but you will understand the father eventually if you pay attention to his interaction with Amanda.

This is definitely a book that deals with more than transgender issues: There are bisexual, gay issues and other important topics.

This book would be very appealing to any YA audience. I suggest people read this as a family or a group and take some time to read the author’s note as well.

Highly recommended!

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‘Feverborn’ Steamed Up the Pages and Offers These Two Truths #TruthInFiction #BookReview

feverborn

Cover Design by Eileen Carey

Cover Photograph: Elena Alferova/Trevillion Images

Blog Image designed by Ericajean using Canva

It began with MacKayla Lane learning about her sister’s death in Dublin, Ireland. When she herself goes there, MacKayla(“Mac”) realizes she has not only is she a Sidhe-Seer, she had just entered the feverish and seductive world of the fae and at every turn around the corner, death could literally grab her.

Not sure if any of you heard of this series but I finally bought Feverborn(Fever Series, #8) and it has plenty going on. Here is a brief summary of this addictive romance :

When the immortal Fae destroyed the ancient wall dividing the worlds of Man and Faery, the very fabric of the universe was damaged, and now Earth is vanishing bit by bit. Only the long-lost Song of Making—a haunting, dangerous melody that is the source of life itself—can save the planet.

But those who seek the mythic song must contend with old wounds and new enemies, passions that burn hot and hunger for vengeance that runs deep. The challenges are many: the Keltar at war with nine immortals who’ve secretly ruled Dublin for eons, Mac and Jada hunted by the masses, the Seelie queen nowhere to be found, and the most powerful Unseelie prince in all creation determined to rule both Fae and Man. Now the task of solving the ancient riddle of the Song of Making falls to a band of deadly warriors divided among—and within—themselves.

-Blurb from Amazon

The first thing I love about Karen Marie Moning’s writing, is she is so descriptive and raw with what happens to the characters. Mac is deeply in love with Barrons but they do not call each other girlfriend/boyfriend. I remember in the fifth book, Barrons mentioned that humans must label everything. Would it change what they are if they labeled what they have?(I’m paraphrasing here).

Sexual Healing

MacKayla and Barrons have found their own Gospel- –sex.

“He’d accessed.

I was pain and violence.

He’d given his body as a Band-Aid for the wound…Sex is so damned healing.”(Feverborn, Moning, 2015: pg.171)

Now, what does this have to do with truth? In the novel, Mac mentions a lot about how “tightly wound” she is and she never knows if she is herself or how to deal with certain emotions especially after losing her sister and then losing Dani. So she would have primal, hot jungle sex with Barrons to release all her frustration and get “loose” for battle.

Barrons is described as primal, animalistic, not classically handsome, but if a woman were to see him in her line of sight she will either run from or to him. That’s how sensual he is. Whew!

Here is part of an article from Psychology Today which offers a link between sex and healing

“Sex reduces pain in two ways. It’s an enjoyable distraction. During sex, people focus less on their pain—and as a result, suffer less. And because it’s exercise, sex releases endorphins, the body’s own pain-relieving compounds. One of the nation’s most prevalent chronic-pain conditions is osteoarthritis. The Arthritis Foundation recommends regular sex to help control it.

Got the blues? Sex elevates mood. The endorphins released during lovemaking not only relieve pain, but also have antidepressant action. Massage is also a mood-enhancer, and good sex includes whole-body massage.”

There was definitely a lot of paint splashing, chairs breaking, and backs slamming against walls in this one- but then again, it’s Barrons. Mac can’t resist him.

Change Your Mind

The second truth is about neuroplasticity. One of the Nine(an immortal race of men including Barrons) mentioned it to a woman who wanted to regain her memory.

A while back, back, perhaps five years ago, I did a review of Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book Switch On Your Brain. In it, she described how our brains don’t have to be stuck in a loop, it can grow. It can change with positive thinking, reminding us “not to make genetics our god.” I just thought it interesting that the subject was brought up in this dark fantasy romance.

I highly recommend The Fever Series! If you like slow burn seduction, Dublin Ireland, ladies who kick butt with swords but have a black heart of gold you will love it.

For more reviews please subscribe and I love when good reviews are shared! Tweet, Facebook, Link, whatever you need to do and have an awesome day!

~The Write Web

A Former Bully Finds Love in ‘A Chance at Forever’ #SoulBookSunday #ChristianFiction

 

a chance at forever
Cover Design by Koechel Peterson & Associates +Others and Bethany House Publishers

 

A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears(Teaville Moral Society, #3)

Bethany House(2018)

ISBN(Print) 978-0-7642-1753-1

This is my first Melissa Jagears novel and I truly loved the sweetness and real-ness of the book. I think the strength of the story lies within the subplots and the overall truth about real forgiveness though. There is just one thing I wish would happen in the story…

First, check out a snippet of the book taken from Amazon :

In early 1900s Kansas, Mercy McClain, determined to protect Teaville’s children from the bullying she experienced as a child, finds fulfillment working at the local orphanage and serving on the school board. When Aaron Firebrook, the classmate who bothered her more than any other, petitions the board for a teaching position, she’s dead set against him getting the job.

Aaron knows he deserves every bit of Mercy’s mistrust, but he’s returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking to earn forgiveness of those he wronged. He doesn’t expect Mercy to like him, but surely he can prove he now has the best interests of the children at heart.

Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron put the past behind them in time to face the unexpected threats to everything they’re working for?

 

A story about the bully and the victim, growing up all wise and mature and possibly finding love in each other’s arms, is number one on my swoon chart. Mercy definitely tried to stay away from Aaron and his soft, lingering eyes and large hands but then how long could she resist? Aaron, on the other hand has a sordid past, and much of why he tormented her as a child comes out in bits and pieces(his story is very sad) but he is a man on a mission to right all of his wrongs with anyone he has hurt- but most of all, he needs Mercy’s forgiveness.

“She could not fall for her tormentor-she just couldn’t. She tried to march up the stairs, but her feet felt as if they slogged through molasses…She wouldn’t have slapped any other man who’d made her feel as if the world had stopped in awe of her.”(Jagears, A Chance at Forever: p.127)

The book kept it real: forgiveness does not happen when someone asks for it. It is organic. Happens over time. The characters in the story(some of them) were very snotty and cruel.

However I truly wish there was more interaction between Aaron and Mercy. At nearly the end it seems the author tried to place more sparks between the two.

Then again, I have to remember this is a Christian story, not those “other” novels I read from time to time.

Having said that, have a Happy Sunday and stay tuned for more Soul Book Sundays!

*Book provided for my unbiased review from Bethany House

3 Hot Facts From ‘Flames of Passion’ #TruthInFiction

flames of passion

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Flames of Passion by Kayla Perrin (Love on Fire Series, #2)

Kimani Romance, 2015

ISBN-13:978- 1460344736

Nya Lowe has sworn off men for good. Celibacy is the name of the game for her. No more bed hopping from one gorgeous man to the next. But when she spots her jerk of an ex at a hotel reception hall with a beautiful woman on his arm, she tries to save face by kissing a stranger sitting to her.

That stranger is none other than the sexy Tyler Johansen and even though he plays along with the searing kiss from Nya, he wants more from her -but will she be willing to give him more?

I finished this 160 page book in one day. It was definitely super delicious and Tyler seems to be a dreamboat. He is kind, thoughtful, hot, and such a romantic and does more than put out Nya’s fire.  However, Nya’s self-esteem is so low she pushes Tyler further away and her antics seems unjustified, but a woman with low self-esteem that does not see beauty in herself, can be a hard case to crack.

Here are three real life gems I pulled from Flames of Passion:

Real Life Celibacy Groups?

Yes! They exist! In the story, Nya is a part of an online support group for women who are celibate and even though you can find anything on Google, I had to research and find out if  this group exist and of course there are forums for everything these days, including those trying to abstain from sex(which I find hard to do). So if you are serious about keeping those legs closed and pants zipped-for however long to gain perspective, click on Daily strength’s link.

The Organza Dress

I know nothing of fashion and the names or styles just leaves me confused, but there is a scene in the story where Nya is dressed so gorgeously that even her ex can’t resist approaching her. The book describes her red gown as having a low-V in the front and “flaring out at the knees. I looked up photos of what an organza dress looks like. I could not find the exact one from the book but here is an example:

red valentine dress
Red Valentine Organza Dress found on Lyst.com

 

INSECURITIES CAN DEAD A RELATIONSHIP BEFORE IT BEGINS

Another thing I learned from the story is that Nya could pluck someone’s nerves with how insecure she is, but given her background it is quite understandable. Sometimes life teaches us hard lessons and whatever it teaches us, we only hope it makes us stronger but not so cold as to push everyone away.

I am currently reading Book #1(out of order but that’s okay, it can be read as a stand alone) and it is just as hot!

For more Truth in Fiction reviews like this, please subscribe and don’t be shy- join in the conversation!

‘The Two of Us’ by Victoria Bylin #SoulBookSunday

the two of us

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Pick up The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin

Published by Bethany House (2017)

ISBN: 978-0-7642-1738-8(Paperback)

*Provided free for an unbiased review from Bethany House

The Two of Us is one of those Christian romances that defines exactly how a Christian romance should be written. The main character Mia Robinson is a nurse practitioner who already had two broken engagements in her life, and when she meets Jake Tanner, even with his relaxed manner and handsomeness-  she protects her heart. Jake, ever the patient man has experienced loss in his life but the two of them will discover they have a lot more in common than they thought.

From the first chapter, I was engaged with the story. Mia represents women who already know the power of heartbreak and does not want to experience it ever again. She puts her trust totally in the Lord and believes that the doors opening for her as far as missionary work overseas, is a sign from God.

Jake Tanner, from the moment he laid eyes on Mia, knew she had a story. So does he. As a former cop who lost a partner in a terrible accident he wants to do all he can to prove he can continue to help save lives, but the one life before him needs saving in a new way. He falls for Mia but will he ever conquer her heart? Will he be the one man to prove that not all men are after one thing?

There were a few subplots going on in this story worth mentioning. All of them demonstrate the power of holding on to God while understanding we are all human too. Mia’s sister Lucy is the opposite of her- Lucy grabs life by the horns while Mia assesses a situation first, then plan. Then there was the problem of Jake wanting to honor his partner’s memory by starting a camp for teens, but with increasing violence in the town, the community clashes with Jake’s plans to bring more troubled youth there.

I can share a million thoughts on the direction that was taken but just know if you are looking a sweet, Christian romance that has all the power of real love embodied by God’s enduring love for us, pick this up.

Stay tuned for more books like this on Soul Book Sundays!

‘Rooted in the Earth’ Our Kinship with the Earth Explained #BlackHistory

rooted image

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Purchase Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage

Dianne D. Glave

ISBN: 978-1-55652-766-1(paperback)

Cover Design: Rachel Madison

 

  • In the early 2000s, we heard about Michael Vick from “Bad Newz”, allowing dog fighting in his home and he was punished for it, spending up to 23 months in prison.
  • In 2014, the drinking water in Flint, Michigan changed. Due to insufficient water treatment, over 100,000 residents were exposed to water with high lead content. Flint is mostly made up of blacks, could that be the reason the situation was neglected?[source]
  • Finally, in 1978 there was a man-made toxic spill that spread across the North Carolina counties…in predominantly African American areas.

Is there any wonder that African Americans’ relationship to fauna and flora is pretty strained?

From our ancestors’ ability to pick off the boll weevils on cotton, to understanding the taste of soil and which is good for planting and then the brutal history we have with dogs and sharks vying for a taste of our dark meat.

Dianne D. Glave walks us through our African roots and the kinship we naturally have with the green earth and its waters.

When we pick up a Better Homes and Gardens magazine or watch gardening and design on television, it is not our black selves represented, when in fact enslaved black women tended to the gardens and then as free women. My own aunt knew a lot about natural herb remedies than I do.

Glave makes sure to educate us about the many clubs(such as the 4-H) dedicated to helping the youth learn about nature. Hampton Institute-now Hampton University, held majors which taught about vegetables, farming, and more.

What I gleaned from the book is that as African Americans, we have strong aversions(not all of us) to nature. Much of it may not be our fault. However there is so much good in nature. In the past, water was how we got here, on slave ships but water also offered freedom to marry as well and freedom from laws of the land. The woods we ran to and away from bloodthirsty hounds, yet it also symbolized escape.

This is a terrific book perfect for study of African American culture and how we relate to nature. A very interesting read indeed!

Stay tuned for more book reviews and remember that Black History is everyone’s history and all year long! 🙂

~The Write Web

 

 

 

 

His Steadfast Love by Julie Lessman #SoulBookSunday #ChristianFiction #PassionateSweetBooks

his steadfast love
Cover by the Killion Group

Get His Steadfast Love by Julie Lessman

Published August 1, 2017

four halfheart

First, a special thank you to Ms. Julie Lessman for gifting me this book such a long time ago(months to be exact), my apologies for the late review!

We are back at Isle of Hope in Georgia, where the scenes are a slice of heaven and God’s love and strength reign supreme.

This book definitely served up sweet iced tea and spice in classic Julie Lessman style. I love her sweet books and the hunky guys who steal hearts. This book was just as addicting.

Cat O’Bryen, is a feisty, spitfire wildflower who is definitely not like her calm, sweet twin sister Shan, and the hunky pastor Chase Griffin, knows this and does all he can to steer clear of the saucy, competitive twin.

But Cat sees Chase as her biggest win: an honest, god-fearing man who would never hurt her, so why does he keep pushing her away? He pushes her so far in fact, that Cat begins to question if being around her “holier than thou” family is even possible and does God truly love her at all if people consider her the “bad twin”?

I rooted for these two, I truly did because Cat was lost and so was Chase. However, Chase came off as stuffy and harsh towards Cat(reminded me of a Korean Drama I am watching where the guy is so cold towards the main character). I couldn’t figure Chase out. On one hand I understand that he was trying to ward off temptation(this is a good sign), but the way he did it was awful. Plus, he referred to her constantly as “Kiddo” which made her seem like some underage brat and him as a father instead of a love interest.

Let me ease up on Chase a bit here…he does have a past and you’ll have to read the story to find out why this hunk of a man keeps Cat at bay all the time.

Another sweet hit from Lessman folks, and I hope you do read her books, she definitely knows how to add spice to sweet fiction with the right amount of heat!

For more honest book reviews, or to just read more posts like this one, you should definitely subscribe.

Also share and like this post as well…wouldn’t hurt 😉

~The Write Web