February 15, 2019

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"Before she became The Girl from Nowhere—The One Who Walked In, The First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years—she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy. Amy Harper Bellafonte."

~ The Passage (TV Tie-in Edition) by Justin Cronin


February 13, 2019

My Love Story ~ Tina Turner

"What's in a name? Everything." ~ pg. 37

Tina Turner. Queen of Rock & Roll. Living legend. Survivor. My Love Story is about her complicated life from early years in the backwoods of Nutbush, Tennessee to her public abusive marriage to Ike Turner to her happy fairytale wedding and life as a Switzerland citizen. She shares her successes and darkest moments in this new memoir. Anna Mae Bullock holds no punches!

If you think you already know about Tina Turner just from watching What's Love Got to Do With It movie, then you are so mistaken. There is so much more detail and depth to her life. My jaw dropped in surprise during some parts. Others, I nodded my head in remembrance. But many chapters revealed things I did not know about this remarkably strong woman. Love literally saved her life.

"I'd been working for almost forty years, and I'd earned every dollar the hard way." ~ pg. 131

What better month to celebrate this black celebrity by reading her love story? She is recognizable all over the world. Her voice is unmatched. C'mon...she's simply The Best 🎵

Title: My Love Story
Author: Tina Turner
Published: October 2018
Pages: 208
Edition: eBook
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤


February 12, 2019

The Untelling

"Memories are best when they're fresh." ~ pg. 294

Aria lived through a car crash that killed half of her family. She was only nine years old. Fast forward to 25-year-old Aria and she begins a journey to unearth the past. It leads to forgiveness, self-discovery and an altered reality.

Why, oh why, has it taken me damn near 13 years to read The Untelling? I knew it would be an excellent book because...hello...it is written by Tayari Jones. And tons of bookhearts gave it high ratings. My only excuse for keeping this book on my TBR for more than a decade is I needed time to slowly digest the story. Consume the characters. Get lost in its pages. Go on a journey of fictional forgiveness.

The Untelling is perfect for reading this Black History Month. If you are like me, letting this book collect dust while sitting on a bookshelf, I encourage you to blow the dust off its pages (or un-archive the eBook) and begin reading now. Go ahead, I'll wait. Thank me later.

Title: The Untelling
Author: Tayari Jones
Published: April 2006
Pages: 294
Edition: Paperback
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤


February 10, 2019

Sistah Speak Sunday: Celebrity Big Brother 2

(Sistah Speak: Celebrity Big Brother) 

Are you looking for a podcast hosted by diverse women? Are you a Big Brother fan? Listen to Sistah Speak: Big Brother where we discuss Celebrity Big Brother season 2 from a Sistah's point of view.

We are back to talk season disappointments, the celebrity houseguests line-up, twists, evictions and drama in the house.

Listen Now 🎧 Ep 94 Time: 1 Hour, 36 Minutes

Listen Now 🎧 Ep 95 Time: 1 Hour, 14 Minutes

Listen Now 🎧 Ep 96 Time: 2 Hours, 4 Minutes

Podcast: Sistah Speak Productions
Co-Hosts: Sistah A, Sistah K and Sistah LM

February 8, 2019

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"Hard, ugly, summer-vacation-spoiling rain fell for three straight months in 1979. Atlanta downpours destroyed hopscotch markers carefully chalked onto asphalt and stole the bounce from yellow tennis balls forgotten in backyards."

~ Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones

February 6, 2019

A Cupboard Full of Coats

"I wasn't his kind of storyteller, taking everything back to the dawn of time, slowly building up to the point chapter by chapter."  ~ pg. 63

Oh, how I love buddy reads! Chickadee and I agreed to read A Cupboard Full of Coats. On my TBR for over five (5) years, it was high time to give it a read. The cover and title seemed inviting.

Jinx's mother was murdered in her East London home about 14 years ago. Overwhelmed with guilt, Jinx never fully dealt with what happened and the part she played in her own mother's death. An old friend of her mother's, Lemon, shows up unannounced, forcing Jinx to confront the past. They slowly revisit events leading up to that particular night. Over the course of one weekend, Jinx and Lemon unravel emotions, jealousy, violence and family drama.

"I was not one of those people." ~ pg. 137

This is a safe space so I won't sugarcoat my review. We did not like A Cupboard Full of Coats as much as Yvvette Edwards' other book, The Mother. It was very repetitive with unnecessary dialogue and background. In the beginning pages, I was anxiously waiting for the climax but lost interest by the time it was revealed. I was tempted to skip ahead but was curious enough to see whether the plot would pick up. I was ready for something dramatic and jaw-dropping. Instead it was ordinarily predictable. There are almost 2,000 positive reviews for this novel but...nope.

Title: A Cupboard Full of Coats
Author: Yvvette Edwards
Published: June 2011
Pages: 169
Edition: eBook
Rating: 🖤


February 5, 2019

I Owe You One

"If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete. That's a quote from Buddha." ~ 14%

Fixie Farr believes in her father's motto: Family First. She is determined to honor his legacy but is thrown off when a handsome stranger steps into the coffee shop, asking her to watch his laptop for just a moment. In mere minutes, she saves his laptop from being destroyed in a freak accident. He scribbles an IOU with his business card. She never thought to claim an IOU from a stranger but finds herself in a new series of IOUs for everything from small favors to life-changing acts.Until she is torn between her family, which should come first, and the life she really wants.

Let me preface this review with a disclosure. I am a fan of Sophie Kinsella. I will read any book with her name on the cover. Call it reader's loyalty. But I am very, very disappointed with this new release. The only thing that kept me reading until the end was my fierce loyalty to her as an author I love.

To be quite honest, I was over it from the first paragraph when the main character introduced her nickname as "Fixie." Serious eye roll. Then about 40% into the advance reader's copy, I questioned whether it was worth finishing. At that point, I was bored with the storyline. Yet I continued because...well, Sophie Kinsella. Finally at 93%, I was beyond done yet glad I reached the end.

"It's over. It's done. You can't go back in time and do life a different way." ~ 93%

I suspect that Kinsella fans will have the same reaction as I did reading I Owe You One. For readers new to this author, please do not start with this book. It may turn you off from her earlier greater books. Nevertheless, judge for yourself. And to the author...you owe me a bestseller. I KNOW you are capable of better writing than this.

Happy Early Pub Day, Sophie Kinsella. I Owe You One will be available Tuesday, February 19.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: I Owe You One
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Published: February 2019
Pages: 432
Edition: Galley
Rating: 🖤 🖤