Tempest Review #BeverlyJenkinsBooks

Sorry it’s been a while but I have been reading, I took up knitting recently, and I am preparing for this NaNoWriMo thing.

I finished reading the final installment in the Rhine Fontaine/OldWest Series. It was so

tempest
Tempest Book Cover Courtesy Avon Books/HarperCollins Publishers

good and it got me wondering about some of the historical events I never learned about in school.

Here’s a blurb from Amazon and find my reaction below!

“From USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins comes a new novel in a mesmerizing series set in the Old West, where an arranged marriage becomes a grand passion . . .

What kind of mail-order bride greets her intended with a bullet instead of a kiss? One like Regan Carmichael—an independent spirit equally at home in denims and dresses. Shooting Dr. Colton Lee in the shoulder is an honest error, but soon Regan wonders if her entire plan to marry a man she’s never met is a mistake. Colton, who buried his heart along with his first wife, insists he only wants someone to care for his daughter. Yet Regan is drawn to the unmistakable desire in his gaze.

Regan’s far from the docile bride Colton was expecting. Still, few women would brave the wilds of Wyoming Territory for an uncertain future with a widower and his child. The thought of having a bold, forthright woman like Regan in his life—and in his arms—begins to inspire a new dream. And despite his family’s disapproval and an unseen enemy, he’ll risk all to make this match a real union of body and soul.”

As for romance and endearing moments that is classic Beverly Jenkins, this book scores high. There were several pivotal moments that reached my heart, like when Aunt Minnie makes little Anna(Regan’s stepdaughter) believe she is the cause of her biological mother’s death.

Then there is the sad state of affairs of what happened to the Chinese in Rock Springs. The author was kind enough to offer additional information in the back of the book and she encourages us, readers, to learn more about it as well.

Overall a good book and if I were to give the series any stars at all, on average I would say about a 4.5.

Have you read any good books lately?

Tell me in the comment section 🙂

Kate Bowler’s ‘Everything Happens for a Reason’ is Sensational and a Miracle

everything happens

This book was a miracle to my thought process…

No matter how much church we have in our pockets or theological knowledge- when death sniffs us out as potential meals, who cares about the English language anymore? This prosperity teaching author drops the f-bombs freely and sweetly as she shares her life story about living with stage IV colon cancer. There are more truths I paid attention to here as well.

The book is almost a guide on how to respect the ill and dying.

Reading an account of someone living with stage IV cancer is one thing, to hear the author read her own memoir aloud is another. Kate Bowler finds out she has colon cancer at the age of thirty-five and with a little baby and doting husband, she wonders if this is something God orchestrated and she explains in her own sharp-witted way(and with candid humor), that sometimes there can’t be a reason and sometimes things are the way they are.

“Some are sinking faster than others- but we’re all sinking” (Kate Bowler, “Everything Happens for a Reason”)

The emotion behind the author’s voice brings to life the anguish and irony of living while dying. The encounters with snotty doctors, uncaring doctors, and others who mean well but just cannot help.

As an assistant professor at Duke University, whose specialty is in the Prosperity Gospel, Kate is astonished at how little prosperity Gospel actually teaches. The chapter I paid attention to most is “Magic”, where the author recounts how at church one day everyone was proclaiming God’s provision in their lives for cars, homes, and weight loss and each of them received it but she had not received her blessing. I totally empathized with her on that one. There have been plenty of times God looked out for others and I would declare to no one in particular. “Why isn’t God looking out for me too? I love Him too?!”

The author definitely keeps it real about her diagnosis: from the evaluation to the nurse calling her and telling her that cancer was all over her body and then the grueling, painful task of saying the “slow goodbyes” to friends and family.

Overall, I admire this woman’s courage to tell her truth and even though we all know to be kind to others, when in the presence of someone deathly sick, please refrain from:

  • platitudes and Scriptures
  • Prayers of healing(unless asked for)
  • trying to “make” the person well again *of course, all of these are great if asked for!

and more importantly, do not treat them as if they are already erased. Just be there. Just listen.

I think about my father when he had stage IV esophageal cancer;  I would gently hold his hands and I would whisper prayers of healing I found online. He wore the Jehovah Heals scarves, had water that was prayed over and I told him “God can do all things, even heal”

His body resides in a vault now. Six years has passed on. Nope, it hasn’t gotten easier folks.

What was running through my own father’s mind when I tried to church him to health?

He was quiet, I do remember that.

We accept life, why can’t we accept this part of it too? Maybe because we never been on that trip before and don’t want to find out. We love God but we question: does he love us enough? I understand we are mortal, so death is as certain as taxes but cancer remains a beast.

*Kate if you are reading this, your book is a miracle in writing and I will say to you that there are never perfect words of healing to say to anyone in your position, I will say to take each day as a present as we all should, and that God may be there but I believe there are times where He presses the mute button.

-Ericajean

M Is For Mahogany #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

 

mahagony
Photo Credit: Nappy for Pexels.com

 

M is For Mahogany 

Here we are

two Jaspers in space

Meeting up for the first time with a priori

for seduction’s

Chance yet here we are wearing

prejudices placed in our minds from meditations..

Media

I like you, you like me, this tango should be simple

I follow your lead and in turn I lead your heart back to me

Only one thing stops me from loving you,

You’re mahogany- just like me. Our sameness,

our hurts all the bitterness of these apples

were handed to us without a choice

I see you

I see someone I am supposed to loathe because of ThugBabyDaddyBabymommaDramaUnemployedSelfhate

And when you see me you see FemaleMasculinityTooIndependentButBrokeEnoughtoBeaGolddigger

Mentality

Who gave you the poison? Oh, she did?

Who gave me my poison? He did, they did, we all effing did

But I’ll dance with you,

I’ll lure you with my same browness and bigness, and thick-skinnedness

As long as you do the same to me

Copyright 2018© Erica Jean Smith

*I hope you enjoyed this poem. This one was right off the top of my head when I thought of the color mahogany which is like a reddish-brown hue. We have all been bruised emotionally because of our skin-tone or hair type. One thing I learned is that “isms” never really die. Why? Because they are ideas, philosophies, prejudices, ghosts. What we can do is rise above it all and love one another on deeper terms than just what we are given. Yes, even our own experiences can cloud very good judgment.

~Ericajean

Top 6 Reasons Anime Lovers Really Love Anime #Otaku #Anime

Hopefully, you’ve read my previous post about what anime lovers hate about anime, but overall there is a fondness we have for it. Let me share the reasons why we are addicted to Japanese animations…

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Great for the Attention Span

Is it just me, or is our attention span significantly shorter these days?

Not sure, but anime in general runs about 15-20 minutes tops(unless it is an anime movie). By then you pretty much are into the show and await the next one. This generation has short attention spans now so let me get on with the next point quickly.

Something for Everyone

I did not realize this until I started really watching anime. There is literally an anime category for everyone.

Like romance? Try Maid-Sama and others like it.

Like Shonen Jump?(Action) Try Naruto, or Dragon Ball Z

Like quests with interesting characters you fall for? Try One Piece.

Want more college life or adult life stuff? Try shows such as Nana

Then there are the thrillers I absolutely fell in love with: Parasayte the Maxim and Ajin.

Like I said, young or old, there is something for you.

Addicting Storylines

Only in anime will the storylines be so crazy but you watch them anyway. I’ve read crazy books and watched silly movies but only in anime will you see this:

In Brothers Conflict, a young girl(perhaps a teen of 17 y/0) goes to live with her stepfather’s sons for a while and all thirteen of them are super handsome and each have a different personality-of course, affecting her in some way. It is hilarious how a few of them “hit” on her in many ways and I swear the show was addicting but there weren’t many episodes(hence one reason I wrote the previous post)

 

Also, The Devil is a Part Timer is an instant favorite for us all. Only in anime will Satan himself become a teen and have to rent an apartment, eat lackluster foods and make a living in fast food only to be the apple of some chick’s eye…but there is lots of action and maybe a hint of romance..?

Watching Anime Extends Your True Creative Self

Okay, okay- what do I mean by this?

If you go on YouTube, you will find videos by people suddenly wanting to go to Japan to learn the language(some speak it fluently too!), becoming manga/comic artists, or are famous because they post really cool stuff on YouTube like AMVs.

Me, personally, I think I fell in love with the culture as a child before really understanding why and not because of anime. Although after watching anime in 2006 I took up learning the mechanics of haiku and have an interest in learning lettering and design! 

Cosplay!

We are called otakus(some say this is a derogatory term), geeks, nerd, crazy, and all of the above just for participating in an event where you can dress up as your favorite game/anime/comic character and join others with the same addiction as you.

I’ve never been to a cosplay, my family and close friends have, and I plan on going soon myself.

Fanfiction

I nearly forgot to mention this. I write fanfiction often. This is where you take an anime(or show, or movie, or book) and rewrite it as your own keeping the same settings, characters, and overall mood of the anime or twisting it around. So far it is the best place for people to judge your writing abilities and make friends.

By now, I hope you at least have a clue as to why we love these darn animes. It is no different than those addicted to K-Dramas(which I am now). I’m sure after reading this you will probably not waste your time watching an anime, but now you know why we are so serious about it.

Do you like anime? Yes? No? Do you enjoy watching K-Dramas as well? Why or why not? Thoughts?

If you enjoyed this article, please consider subscribing and have a nice day!  🙂

~The Write Web

 

 

You Have Not Experienced a Page Turner Until You’ve Read ‘The Banks Sisters’ #UrbanFiction

 

The Banks Sisters is a story about four sisters who experience severe loss and pain and when they lose their grandmother and find out that the church will take away their house, the one solution they seem to have is to rob a bank. The book reads like a familiar movie but I will tell you this, you never know which winding path this book may take. It has all the sizzling sex, trash talking and bloody violence to whet anyone’s sick appetites…and I’m here for it!

banks sisters
The Banks Sisters by Nikki Turner

 

After reading two books in The Banks Sisters series, I am hooked on Nikki Turner’s writing. My husband gifted me with this book(he knows how bad my reading addiction is) and after reading the first one, I had to grab the second. Let me give you a run- down of the sisters really quick:

Simone is the professional one. She was daddy’s girl. And like her sisters, the one thing their deadbeat mother left them was their gorgeous looks and dreamy gray eyes.

Tallyha is the wife material. She is about to get married and prefers the stay at home lifestyle, yet has some weight issues that will come into question later.

Bunny(the Diva) is dating a rich gangsta and swears she is the baddest chick in the game. Every girl is envious of her and she craves it.

Now, Ginger is a straight up clown. Her jokes have me cracking up, and with her beer money and wine tastes, she does illegal crap to pay for her looks that make men stop dead in their tracks.(Ginger is my fav)

This was one emotional rollercoaster. The plot is so gripping, it definitely has you turning the pages fast. I could not help myself and wanted to “Sip on this story slowly” but I ended up reading it on my lunch breaks, ignoring everything around me and so here I am. Done.

Now I need Book 3 like I need my next coffee break. *Sigh*

I highly recommend this series. It definitely underscores the importance of family and how much would you do for family and at what cost?

Want more reviews like this? Subscribe to this blog 😊

~The Write Web

3 Things I Learned After Reading ‘The Lotus Palace’ #TruthInFiction

1393207754003-The-Lotus-Palace---Lin

I have  read the most amazing, sensual historical fiction romance and I have to share it with you. Here is a brief part of my review from Goodreads.com,

For Bai Huang the most handsome, wealthiest guy in Pingkangli, he never thought it would be difficult to court the servant girl with the interesting face but the path to her love may be a path to his own bright future…if they don’t get killed first.

I love stories from medieval China- and good love stories at that! This one had me swooning because Bai Huang is seriously Bae. Not only is he handsome but he has the right words and right touches to convince even the ultra cautious, Yue-ying, to give him a chance.

The glittering part of the story is Huang’s patience with Yue-ying. She is a servant in one of the courtesan houses, born with an interesting red birthmark on the side of her face and although reserved, she is smart and strong. Being sold into prostitution from an early age has made her cold (Read more)

Even though the book is fiction, there are three things I took from this amazing story and it is a life changer for this writer.

ISSA RACE

I never heard of a Duanwu Festival until I read this book. In the story, the lovebirds attend one. A Duanwu Festival is a Dragon Boat Festival(much like a race car event but with boats) occurring during the summer solstice in China and it typically begins on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. Where did this originate? The story may surprise you and it sure did shock me. It involves a poet and minister who committed suicide and people raced in their boats to…well, you can read the rest on Wikipedia.

THEY ARE MORE THAN A GEISHA

The author of the book, in her intro, makes a point that the women courtesans are more than prostitutes. Apparently, these women were elegant, well mannered and “fiery” women. In the book, Yue-ying’s body was used for pleasure but she, like the other girls aspired to be more than “sex pots” or alluring. They were smart and Yue-ying was resourceful. Kind of paints a different picture for you now, doesn’t it?

POETRY WAS HELD IN HIGH REGARD

Let’s be clear here.

Poetry is not dead but perhaps it may have been in a coma. In The Lotus Palace, the poets and scholars were held in high regard although the main character, Mr. Sexy Bai Huang used poetry to flirt with every courtesan he met. Still, there were actual poets who were ministers who maintained high offices. Wang Wan, Zhang Jiuling, Yan Shu, and Qu Yuan just to name a few.

They held other titles as well like statesman and Calligrapher but still, a poet? I like those odds- Unfortunately the poet that the Duanwu Festival is supposedly based on had a terrible fate.

Dang.

Looks like I learned a lot!

On top of all that, I learn that some ancient Chinese stories can be seriously hot. Goodness! I kept fanning myself when Bai Huang entered the scene.

I will be reading more by Jeannie Lin.

Stay tuned for more reviews like this! Happy reading!

~The Write Web

‘The Two of Us’ by Victoria Bylin #SoulBookSunday

the two of us

four halfheart

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!