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!

Advertisements

‘Feversong’ The Tear Jerking Finale #TruthInFiction

feversong

 

Feversong by Karen Marie Moning(Fever Series, #9)

Published: Dell Mass Market Edition(2017)

ISBN:978-0-399-59365-9

I just finished the most amazing, emotionally gripping, tear-jerking dark romance fiction ever and what I learned from the book, is the one lesson that binds us all: We are powerfully fragile.

So, yes. I did shed a few tears over this one. This commonly happens if I have stuck with a series for a while and if an author really knows what they are doing. A tale that has stuck with me for the better part of 11 years, hits its conclusion.

So here is the gist of the Feversong. I will try to be concise because it is kind of a  complex story.

  • The world is being eaten by giant black holes and only the Song of Making can (possibly) eradicate them.
  • Mac is the possible hero and she must wield the song, but how?
  • The Sinsar Dubh(evil, psychotic presence) book, thrives inside of her and turns her into this brutal, blood slinging killing machine-thus, the Song of Making shall not happen anytime soon– we think.
  • Her relationship with the “atavistic” and superbly hot Barrons still ignites the pages, but now Jada/Dani is scorching the story with her love triangle between Ryodan and Dancer. Ryodan is thousands of years old, sexy and methodical as well as an immortal beast while Dancer has the most soulful, arresting eyes and is about 17(?) with a huge…brain. He is crazy smart and handsome.
  • Instead of trying to figure out the freaking song to repair earth, Mac must get herself together or she will lose herself and all she loves.

Again, tear-jerker. Lots of stuff I did not expect.

The Fever series takes place in Dublin, Ireland and the characters are of human and fae origins. Then you have some monsters that will give you nightmares. Ever hear of the Crimson Hag? Her dress is made of guts.

Enough said.

The lesson I learned from this entire series is that being just human is a gift. The fae can barely show emotion and do not understand the big, boundless emotion called Love. But it is this part of us that can undo us or make us strong. Make us fragile, or powerful.

Sometimes in life, we get caught up in thinking we are just so beyond reproach. That we are above the ants and roaches and grass we tread on. We really do! Yet- check this out- we all eventually expire.

In the novel, the group of friends including the Nine immortals(man those dudes are hot, Dang!) But that’s not important.

They all realize that earth could end in a week or less.

How would you spend your life if you knew you had exactly one week to live here?

Read the book. Read the freaking series.

Live. Breathe. Love. Please?

In the meantime, you can visit Karen Mare Moning’s website to find her voracious readers’ comments and the latest book which I will have to purchase as soon as possible.

I love sharing what I read, and if you have suggestions about a book you’ve read or if you are a Fever fan, consider commenting and/or sharing this post.

Sincerely,

Ericajean

‘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

3 Things I Learned While Reading ‘A Fistful of Honey’ #TruthInFiction

a fistful of honey

Published by Transformation Press(2015)

ISBN-13: 978-0-9966384-0-1

Get A Fistful of Honey book on Amazon or BarnesandNoble and other retailers TODAY!

Want to read a story that reflects what is happening in the world and in black communities specifically? Want a book that can tell a great story while adding action, romance, and the dark wisdom for a painfully delicious novel you can’t stop thinking about?

Here is a brief summary of this amazing book:

Her world is ending, but only she can stop all of existence from meeting the same fate…

This stunning novel begins when a pending divorce and job loss force Alena Ford out of her elite life in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and into a gritty section of Brooklyn. Stripped of everything, she is forced to face the demons of her past and the ghosts in her heart. When Alena befriends her eccentric neighbor Gloria, the woman’s stunning amethyst necklace and Black Madonna painting draw her into a world of ancient secrets, dark forces, and powerful magic.

It is a world in which black women are divine. Alena finds that it is up to her to save humanity from a universal evil, the Shetani. To succeed, Alena must first conquer her own darkness; if she loses, the fate of the world is at stake. A brilliantly crafted story that seamlessly grapples race, oppression, divinity, and the redemptive power of forgiveness. 

-Blurb taken from Amazon

Let’s Talk Color

In the book, Alena is deeply hurt that the one man she wanted, a chocolate man-only seemed to gravitate to light skinned women and so when they finally reconnect, she shares her hurt and he reminds her that many men lusted after her and she learns that her own low self-esteem placed her in the path of a man who is not her race but who could not love her either, only as an exotic piece of the puzzle(this isn’t always the case, there are some happy IR relationships of course).

Anyway, I thought it interesting that this conversation takes place in the book because right now on social media there is a light black versus dark black discussion going on and it is pure silly. Attractive is attractive, who cares about the skin paint?

Is It All Just Spiritual?

Right now, many blacks are beginning to question all they’ve been taught. In the novel, Alena meets her Maker and other Ancestors and she learns that we were taught only part of the truth and the revealing of that Truth is beautiful and was enough to make me re-learn what I thought I knew.

Is God black? White? Male? Female? Truthfully, we don’t know and can’t know in this realm,  in this flesh. What I do know is that love transcends all of that and Alena had to rely on Love to get her though.

Current Events In Literature

I saved this one for last because it is too depressing to think of.

With all of the police brutality going on and of course the recent Starbucks incident, it makes you wonder: Is America falling behind? Why aren’t we progressing in humanity?

In A Fistful of Honey, the police are filled with hatred for the blacks and a little black boy is killed while going to the store for his mother. It is the most sickening and hurtful part of the book.

This is not to say that the blacks were saints in the story, but isn’t that reality? None of us are saints but we do not deserve to be lynched either. So the final showdown in the book gave me goosebumps and I hear there is a sequel too. I am so ready for it!

Want more Truth in Fiction? Subscribe and let me know which books you think I should consider for review here.

~The Write Web

The Jade Temptress(The Lotus Palace, #2) #TruthInFiction

 

jade temptress
Cover Design Courtesy of HQN(Harlequin)

Hey everyone! I’m back here with The Jade Temptress, Book 2 of the Lotus Palace Series. This book was AMAZING!

There was more passion, murder and intrigue, and the lure of the infamous Pingkangli.  If you want to read this book the FREE way you may be able to read it on loan from Freading.com(if your library participates) or you have the option purchasing on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Send me a comment/email if you are interested in receiving this fascinating book on loan. Now, on to the summary…

Welcome to the infamous Pingkang Li–home of the celebrated Lotus Palace courtesans, and a place of beauty and treachery…

Charming and seductive, Mingyu is the most sought-after hostess in the pleasure quarter. She has all men wrapped around her finger–except Constable Wu Kaifeng, the one man she can’t resist, the only man to have placed her in chains.

Wu Kaifeng’s outwardly intimidating demeanor hides a reluctant, tation she presents threatens to destroy them both when a powerful official is murdered and they find themselves on a deadly trail. Amid the chaos, a forbidden affair could change Mingyu’s fate forever, for following her heart is bound to have consequences…

~Summary taken from Amazon

 

In this book, there is mention of Goat Hours, Classic Tea and I learned more about the “Red Light District” of China.

“The Market Gong sounded  the Hour of the Goat”(12).

Don’t think that the Chinese Zodiac only refers to the year you are born. Nope. The Hour of the Goat is roughly 1p.m. to 3p.m. I love how the book referred to the hours in this way and according to Wikipedia, most Asian countries like Korea, Japan,and Vietnam use these as hours too. I was born in the year of the Dog by the way.

Second, Mingyu knows a lot about tea and how to serve it well. The book mentions about the Classics of Tea, so once more I hunted for some information about tea(I love tea!). The characters in the story are refreshed and relaxed around the simple act of pouring and drinking tea.

The Classic of Tea by Yu Lu is a treatise on the beauty of and making of tea. The original is gone and the earliest manuscript goes back to the Ming Dynasty actually, however the link provided will give a breakdown the mysterious importance of this drink. I’m thinking of ordering the book myself.

Finally, let’s talk about the Pingkangli or the “Red Light District”

In my last review of the Lotus Palace, I mention how the Chinese courtesans are more than prostitutes, they are musicians, poets, and overall hosts to a great many men of different statures of life.

But the brutally honest truth is these are women/girls are courtesans belonging to brothels. Some brothels more lavish than most like the one Mingyu is from.

According to the book Red Light Districts: The Lives of Sex Workers Postsocialist China,

“The owners received 30 percent of the profit for their courtesan while the courtesan(prostitute) received 70 percent.”(37)

In the novel, Mingyu is basically a slave to Madame Sun. In fact, this almost makes Constable Wu believe he can never have Mingyu because she is often courted by and has lain with rich men.

In the Red Light Districts book, it details the lives of those men who do take a courtesan as a wife and often they learn the hard way that the courtesan is used to a lavish lifestyle and marriage does not last if the money doesn’t.

So that’s it for this installment of Truth In Fiction. I absolutely enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!

Any questions or if you have inquiries about books you think I should review here, let me know.

~The Write Web

‘Deadly Sexy’ by Beverly Jenkins Review Plus #TruthinFiction

deadly sexy

Deadly Sexy by Beverly Jenkins

(Try Sexy/Dangerous as well. Such a pleasing romp of a story!)

This book has literally nothing but five stars on Amazon! No kidding!

This week I had the absolute pleasure(always is while reading a Bev Jenkins novel) of reading Deadly Sexy. I tell you, I just can’t stay away from her books and now that my Freading.com account is back on track, I am back to my bookworm-y ways. Anyway, check out this snippet of my Goodreads review about the sports agent and glamorous JT “Jessie” Blake!

Deadly SexyDeadly Sexy by Beverly Jenkins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was just as sexy and juicy as Sexy/Dangerous. Beverly Jenkins knows how to tell a story. In this one, JT “Jessie” Blake is a hardcore sports fan and sports agent. A glamorous and intelligent woman who hadn’t even thought about love…until one day her car breaks down and a handsome trucker comes to her rescue. Reese Anthony is stunned by the beauty along the side of the road, but whoever sabotaged her car is out for blood and they will do anything to have her miserable… or dead.

Who knew that a conversation over fat, yummy cherries would put these two together? I enjoyed their banter and I especially had a warm heart for the Anthony brothers. Reese Anthony is from a line of men who can cook, woo a woman, they are seriously HOT, and super intelligent businessmen. JT likes Reese immediately, and to me, it happened much to fast- I needed more hard to get action to prolong the “fun” you know?

View all my reviews

There is truth to every piece of writing, including “time stamps”. You can tell the time period of a book by the media used, certain slanguage, style of dress, etc. In Deadly Sexy, I was thrust back to 2007. Remember when we did not have all of this social media? Back then you had to literally turn on the television to try and get up to the minute updates or listen to the radio, basically there was just blogging, Myspace, and email? I know, it does not seem too long ago, like say, 1955- but still in the novel I noticed these things.

In the story, JT receives a call about her going to rehab. Apparently someone’s “publicist” had alerted the news networks(by phone and email) of this blatant lie. I was just thinking that in 2018, instead of JT having to go through her lawyer(which in some cases you should do anyway), she could have sent out a Tweet and some DMs totally canceling the slander.

Also, the phones mentioned in the book are either “phones” or “Blackberries” and now we have sophisticated technologies built into our Smartphones today. We can email, fax, go on social media, chat, go on Instagram, Skype- anything.

So, it was interesting noticing how business was truly conducted then compared to now; we  don’t truly need a middle person to be our PR.

Excellent novel by the way! Featuring strong, black women who are not only gorgeous but intelligent, sweet, and can cook a mean meal!

For more truth in fiction articles, please subscribe and I love comments so let’s chat!

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