June 11, 2017

Series Sunday: 16th Seduction

(Women's Murder Club #16) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

"Can you describe the cement mixer?" ~ pg. 236

My Series Sunday pick is 16th Seduction, obviously the 16th book in the Women's Murder Club series by James Patterson. What an explosive case...literally! Before Sergeant Lindsay Boxer has time to process her husband's double life, they are hit with an explosion. A huge science museum is blown up killing twenty-five citizens and injuring lots more, including shady hubby Joe. What seems like an open-and-shut case is anything but. Lindsay's reputation and career is undermined by a clever criminal determined to make a fool of the San Francisco Police Department.

"I would be fired, made an example of, humiliated, and I would likely never have a job in law enforcement again. The end." ~ pg. 272

Thank goodness this series is still jumping. Around this time, a series wears on me and gets old but Patterson & Paetro are keeping a chick engaged. The main characters are still interesting and complex as ever. The mysteries are not repetitive nor easy to solve; although, the secondary mystery in 16th Seduction seemed kind of thrown in for filler. I could have done without the ass-poker serial killer. But otherwise, it was worth carrying around this hardcover to read around the office.

As always, I highly suggest reading this series in order so you aren't spoiled with the personal story lines of the characters (like WTF is going on with Joe?!). If you are not yet familiar with this series, start it and join my Keeping Up with Patterson reading challenge.

Author: James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
Published: May 2017
Pages: 350
Edition: Hardcover
Challenge: Keeping Up with Patterson
Rating: ♥♥♥♡

June 9, 2017

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. 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.

"Film legend and '60s It Girl Evelyn Hugo has just announced that she will auction off 12 of her most memorable gowns through Christie's to raise money for breast cancer research."

~ The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

June 8, 2017

I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons


"Sometimes, other people's doubt can be the best motivation there is to succeed." ~ pg. 124

Professional comedian, Kevin Hart, is dropping gems of knowledge like this in a new 99-chapter inspirational memoir. Life lessons are from his parents, school, work, loss, independence, legacy building and more. It really covers every aspect of life. And I am not exaggerating when I tell you I started laughing at page 3 and continued until page 424.

"Yes, I Refer To Myself in the Third Person Again. But That's Only Because It Feels Like I've Lived Three Lives." ~ Ch. 64

I Can't Make This Up is so funny that these essays really cannot be made up. Kevin's family, friends and peers are a colorful cast of characters. The chapter titles are comedy in itself and set the tone for the life lesson to be explained. It even includes the obligatory chapter where celebrities reveal how they sabotaged their own fame and success. Never would I have thought I'd highlight so many passages from a book by a comedian. But alas, I have a slew of bookmarks and a boost of inspiration. Very well done, Kevin Hart!

Happy Pub Week, Kev! I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons is now available. Do I have to spell it out for you, bookhearts? Buy and read it!

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 honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons
Author: Kevin Hart
Published: June 2017
Pages: 424
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥♥♥

June 7, 2017

The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince


"After a few years, the coincidences began to feel more like fate."
 ~ pg. 180

Everyone in the world has a Prince story to tell. The women of his life, his family, ex-girlfriends, his band, collaborators and us fans. But this story is Mayte's and hers alone. It is a story only she can tell and I am glad she shares it with us.

Mayte Garcia: the world's youngest professional belly dancer, New Power Generation's solo dancer, Prince's first wife, longtime muse, prodigy and mother of Prince's only child. If anyone is qualified to write about the late great Prince, it is this woman. Their life together from the moment they met backstage at a concert (wonderfully orchestrated by her mom LOL) started as a long-distance friendship and artistic collaboration. It later evolved into a passionate relationship. Whether I believe when the romance actually began is not relevant but I certainly believe Mayte told her candid truth throughout the pages.

"I couldn't begin to scratch the surface of his story in this space—much of it will always be a mystery, even to me—but I've tried to speak to what was most important to me personally." ~ pg. 290

And you did, Mayte. Well done and thank you! As a Prince fan stan, I admit to being skeptical when news broke about this "tell-all" book. I remember having watched Mayte on a reality show and gave a side-eye to her Prince shrine of fine china and things. So did I really want to read about it? My curiosity and respect for her strength as a woman convinced me. I wanted to know more about the woman behind hit song, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World. So I settled in one cloudy afternoon and read, cried, laughed, took a break for music from Purple Rain and read again for the next few days.

The Most Beautiful gave an intimate glimpse into the mysterious artist that I truly miss. I listen to his lyrics differently now knowing more insight. At the same time, it was a reminder that the world lost a pure talented soul. Icons are once in a lifetime; there will never be another Prince. But someday I hope his loved ones and Die 4 U fans find peace.

Title: The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince
Author: Mayte Garcia
Published: April 2017
Pages: 444
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♡

June 6, 2017

Enjoy Your Journey


"We always think we will enjoy life when our breakthrough comes. But what about enjoying the trip—the time of waiting—the journey?" ~ 54%

Bookhearts, are you looking for your next non-fiction read? Do you need some inspiring words to help in your spiritual journey? Or maybe, like myself, you are seeking a way to really enjoy the most of life. Well there is a new concise book that I recommend: Enjoy Your Journey: Find the Treasure Hidden in Every Day by the bestselling Bible teacher/author, Joyce Meyer.

Through Bible scripture references and modern life teachings, Joyce Meyer guides readers on how to enjoy your individual journey. How to have and enjoy life now! I like how she shared personal experiences that were relatable. Most of all, the book isn't too "preachy."

Way too often we get so caught up in our everyday problems that we forget to maintain joy and peace. Life is not simple but it should be joyful. To find out how, read this abridgment of Enjoying Where You Are on the Way to Where You Are Going.

Happy Pub Day, Joyce Meyer! Enjoy Your Journey is now available.

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 honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: Enjoy Your Journey: Find the Treasure Hidden in Every Day
Author: Joyce Meyer
Published: June 2017
Pages: 160
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥♥

June 4, 2017

Series Sunday: House of Cards

(House of Cards S5) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

We interrupt this Series Sunday post to advise that season 5 of the Netflix original series, House of Cards, is now streaming. Catch my live tweets and join me in binge-watching!

June 2, 2017

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. 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.

"My life began with one of the biggest lies men tell women: I'll pull out, I promise."

~ I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart

June 1, 2017

Piecing Me Together


"That's the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?" ~ pg. 252

What an appropriate title for my current state of mind and for this story. Bookhearts, let me share this good read.

Jade was taught to take every opportunity. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school. She committed to Saturday morning test prep classes. She even separated her neighborhood friends from school friends because like so many intelligent brown girls, the two often don't intermingle. But when she accepts the opportunity to join a mentorship program, it crosses the line from helpful to demeaning. The program is really for "at risk" black girls in so-called bad neighborhoods.

If you ever grew up privileged, attended schools outside of your neighborhood, or even work in a predominantly-white organization, you will for sure relate to the main character. Jade is navigating her way through life while also teaching people older than her how to act right. I am sure that Jade's story is like so many others in the real world.

Piecing Me Together is a well-written story that I recommend to graduating seniors, college freshmen and other young adults. It is about race, culture, identity and friendships. It may hit home or may remind you of someone. Do me a favor and pass this book along. It is worth reading!

Title: Piecing Me Together
Author: Renee Watson
Published: February 2017
Pages: 272
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♡

May 28, 2017

Series Sunday: American Gods Podcast

Sistah Speak: American Gods

Series Sunday is a meme hosted by Literary Marie (Sistah LM) featuring podcast episodes from Sistah Speak. I encourage all of my fellow podcast hosts to play along.
  • Listen to an episode of a podcast series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the podcast title and episode info.

My Series Sunday pick is Sistah Speak: American Gods podcast. Listen to the Sistahs discuss S1E4 of the Starz original series, American Gods, from a Sistah's point of view here

Also a friendly reminder to register for the 2nd Annual Sistah Speak Reunion to be held in Nashville on June 29, 2017. There will be music, dancing, a photo booth, raffles, free happy hour, bar, dinner, dessert, a Spades tournament, fun and laughs. If you are interested in being a sponsor for the event, please email or send a private message. Hope to see you in Nashville!

Co-Hosts: Sistah A, Sistah J, Sistah K and Sistah LM
Date: May 26, 2017
Time: 2 Hours, 21 Minutes



May 27, 2017

Thick of It


So I am stuck in a rut. But busy at the same time. Allow me to explain.

Dare I say that I have been too busy to read? EEK! So not like me. I pick up a book when I get a spare moment and before I can finish one chapter, I'm out! Like knocked out snoring. Pulling an LM! The books I am currently reading are far from boring. But I am having the most difficult time actually finishing them.

Let me cut the shit–I have not made time for reading books because of new responsibilities occupying my waking hours (more active in the community, mentoring youth, creating a curriculum, enrolled in two Masterclasses, networking with alumni, ghostwriting and editing projects, podcasting more frequently, planning mini-vacays, condos-for-sale stalking, recovering from a personal matter* and slowly getting back into blogging consistently). My dear hearts, that's not all. I'm in the thick of it. How I manage all of this with only 24 hours in a day is beyond me. A chick is tired!

Alas, my lack of reading has caught up to me. I miss my books. I miss fictional characters. I miss escaping the real world and getting lost in pages. I cannot function without my fiction. I am off balance. So let this be the reason I am spending majority of my holiday weekend with some good reads, bumping music, tasty home-cooked food and family fun.

Dear Adulting, the mask is off. I'll be back later.

*See next blogmoir post for more deets.

May 26, 2017

First Lines Friday



First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. 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.

"Let me tell you about the first time I started living my truth."


May 25, 2017

Swimming with Fishes


"Dream you were swimming with fishes. Let me see your hands." ~ 3%

Y'all know what happens when someone in the family dreams of fish, right? Well here is a literary version of events. Set in rural Jamaica, Swimming with Fishes is about the love affair between a London businessman and a native Jamaican. What started as a business trip turned into much more.

Kat wants a baby more than anything in life. She's always been told it is extremely risky because she was born with sickle cell anaemia. She wasn't even expected to survive her first birthday. Yet when the local herbalist/mythological lady foretells a man from across the ocean who will father her child...the dream becomes a possible reality only years later. Fairy tale, right? Not so much. Unknown to Ben, Kat is a sickle cell sufferer; unknown to Kat, Ben is already married with children.

"Being interested or curious isn't being intrusive." ~ 10%

Talk about a doozy! Like so many other books, I found myself rooting for the "wrong" woman until I took my emotions out of it and enjoyed the story for what it was...island love fiction. Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm wrote with the right amount of description so I could picture the characters in my mind without losing interest or reading long paragraphs. However, I was somewhat disappointed by the end and wonder if there was an alternate ending the author had in mind. Hmmm...nevertheless, it was a good read, especially in public with the beautiful cover and tagline: Love and secrets under the Jamaican sun.

Happy Pub Day, Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm! Swimming with Fishes is now available.

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 honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Author: Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm
Published: May 2017
Pages: 328
Edition: Galley
Challenge: Popsugar—A Book Based on Mythology
Rating: ♥♥♥

May 23, 2017

The Widow of Wall Street


"Trust but verify." ~ 42%

Why, oh why, did it take me so long to write this review? Well I wanted to be sure it was worthy of a full 5-heart rating. I wanted to be sure the story and characters stuck with me. Ensure the author's writing really was excellent. And finally, I have a solid rating. Kudos to Randy Susan Meyers for delivering another page-turning must-read!

Love is blind and Phoebe is wearing rose-tinted sunglasses too. Her foolish loyalty, like so many women in the real world, may be her downfall. Phoebe stood alongside Jake since they met as teenagers and well into adulthood as he built a financial dynasty on Wall Street. Yet she had no clue about his elaborate Ponzi scheme and deception. As Jake's billion-dollar crime is uncovered, all eyes are on Phoebe. Did she know? Did she help all along? Is her life a fraud? Even their children have distanced themselves from Jake, so why is Phoebe still by his side from the penthouse to prison?

"Hate the sin and still love the sinner." ~ 75%

Beware of the consequences of your actions. One decision not only affects you but the lives of loved ones too. In The Widow of Wall Street, Phoebe shows readers the struggle to survive and remain loyal. The conscious effort to not abandon someone who clearly did wrong is a central theme. How ride-or-die does a chick have to be? All of these emotions are well written in this new novel.

"Are we re-experiencing 1929?" ~ 53%

The Widow of Wall Street is recommended for bookhearts that watched the CBS web show, The Good Fight, and are familiar with Bernie Madoff. No movie can capture what really happened in the real life Ponzi scheme but this novel sure came close. Ain't fiction grand?

The Widow of Wall Street is now available. Read it to see why it is easily one of the best books of 2017!

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 honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: The Widow of Wall Street
Author: Randy Susan Meyers
Published: April 2017
Pages: 352
Edition: Galley
Challenge: Popsugar—A Book with an Unreliable Narrator
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

May 21, 2017

Series Sunday: Married at First Sight

Sistah Speak: After Show


Series Sunday is a meme hosted by Literary Marie (Sistah LM) featuring podcast episodes from Sistah Speak. I encourage all of my fellow podcast hosts to play along.
  • Listen to an episode of a podcast series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the podcast title and episode info.

My Series Sunday pick is Sistah Speak: After Show Episode 035. Listen to the Sistahs discuss Married at First Sight season 5 here

Also a friendly reminder to register for the 2nd Annual Sistah Speak Reunion to be held in Nashville on June 29, 2017. There will be music, dancing, a photo booth, raffles, free happy hour, bar, dinner, dessert, a Spades tournament, fun and laughs. If you are interested in being a sponsor for the event, please email or send a private message. Hope to see you in Nashville!

Co-Hosts: Sistah A, Sistah J, Sistah K and Sistah LM
Date: May 18, 2017
Time: 1 Hour, 34 Minutes

May 19, 2017

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. 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.

"Again! Again! The men bind her again. Different this time: left thumb to right toe, right thumb to left. The rope around her waist. This time, they carry her into the water."

~ Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

May 14, 2017

Series Sunday: N is for Noose

(Kinsey Millhone #14) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is N is for Noose, the 14th book in the Kinsey Millhone series by Sue Grafton. I am moving along in this series thanks to the perpetual reading challenge. It is fun to catch-up leisurely on a book series. It is even more fun to still find out tidbits about a main character after so many books already published. I am happy to report this series has not fell flat at fourteen books in. I am still just as interested and enjoy the mysteries.

"If we understood the consequences of any given action, we could exercise discretion, thus restructuring our fate." ~ pg. 8

A town is saddened when a tough, honest cop dies suddenly. Sure he worked too hard, smoked too much, exercised too little and ate more junk food. So his wife did not question the coroner's report. It was his behavior in the last six weeks of his life that bothered the widow. Hence hiring 35-year-old licensed private detective Kinsey Millhone.

Like the true hard worker and thorough detective she is, Kinsey Millhone risks her own life and puts her career in jeopardy to give a widow closure. She should've left that little ass town instead of steadily looking for a needle in a haystack. Kinsey becomes the target; all the townies are suspects.

"Some little pipsqueak P.I. with a prissy sense of justice." ~ pg. 203

It is no point in trying to convince you bookhearts to pick up and start this series. But I will anyhow. Read with me! Kinsey is no punk. Seriously, this series keeps getting better. I dread the day I catch up and have to wait patiently for new releases.

Author: Sue Grafton
Published: January 1998
Pages: 246
Edition: eBook
Challenge: Perpetual Kinsey Millhone Challenge
Rating: ♥♥♥♥

April 30, 2017

Series Sunday: American Gods

(American Gods on STARZ) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read or watch an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author, series name and TV channel.


My Series Sunday pick is American Gods, the first book in the series of same name by Neil Gaiman. It was first published in 2001 and is now an international bestseller. Critics call it the irreverently funny new obsession. I just began reading the TV tie-in book today in prep for the television show premiere on STARZ. I want to be familiar with the basic plot and main characters. Watch the video trailer then join me in live tweeting American Gods tonight at 9 p.m. ET. 

Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: March 2017
Pages: 750
Edition: Thick Ass Paperback

April 28, 2017

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.
I found a great haul of reference and fiction books at the 2017 Bookstock, Michigan's biggest and best used book sale. My goal was to find the missing books in my Jack Reacher and Kinsey Millhone series collection. I also found a few reference books; the first lines are featured below.

Local bookhearts, the last day of 2017 Bookstock is Sunday, April 30. Go!!!


"Learning to read and write was just the beginning. After you had mastered that, you had to study how the language worked and, when you started to write your own stories, how to stay focused, develop content, organize material, maintain a consistent voice and style, and use proper grammar." ~ I Used to Know That by Caroline Taggart

"In the late-1500s, the state of English spelling and the invasion of foreign words was so troubling to scholars and teachers that some of them took it upon themselves to harness the language by compiling dictionaries." ~ My Grammar and I...Or Should That Be Me? by Caroline Taggart & J.A. Wines 

"Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November...How many times, perhaps anxiously awaiting payday, have you repeated this saying to yourself?" ~ i before e (except after c) by Judy Parkinson 

"Some of the best screenplays are based on historical events." ~ The Complete Idiot's Guide to Screenwriting by Skip Press 

"If you're like most people, your biggest investment is your house." ~ House Selling for Dummies by Eric Tyson & Ray Brown

"About 2 percent of the population suffers from some form of bipolar disorder." ~ Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families by Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D. 

"This book follows a tradition honored since ancient days. The creators and collectors of wise and witty sayings go back to the biblical times of Solomon about three thousand years ago." ~ 20,000 Quips & Quotes by Evan Esar 



April 16, 2017

Series Sunday: Finding Gideon

(Gideon Serial Novel) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

"Innocence meets sensuality." ~ 4%

My Series Sunday pick is Finding Gideon, the serial novel by Eric Jerome Dickey. My favorite gun-for-hire is back! Ah, it's been way too long. In this new novel, a professional job turns personal. Picking up exactly where the previous book left off, we see that neither Gideon nor Buenos Aires has recovered from the violent mayhem. And Gideon is not quite done doing damage. Enlisting the help of friend assassins, Gideon plots revenge on Midnight, the man he believed he'd already killed.

Meanwhile, Midnight is assembling a team of way more than Four Horsemen to take down Gideon and other targets. Lives and family are a stake in this all out international war spanning the globe from Buenos Aires to Uruguay, France, Athens, U.S. city of Atlanta and more. It is a whirlwind when their paths finally cross.

"I know twenty-two ways to end a life. I just didn't know how to save three." ~ 67%

"I know just as many ways to please as I did to kill." ~ 96%

Not many authors can combine adventure, suspense, dark fiction, erotica and thriller into one novel. ONE DAMN NOVEL! Finding Gideon is a prime example of the new genre that Eric Jerome Dickey now writes best: sexy thrillers. Longtime fans of EJD will be quite pleased to find almost all of his characters in this one book. I am trying to avoid spoilers but have to share my pleasure in seeing bits of Arizona, Sierra, Lola Mack, Hawks, Shotgun, The Four Horsemen, Scamz and others. And these characters were not just thrown in; they were all strategically placed in the story. Well done!

Because there are so many side characters, it may be difficult for some readers to follow along if you are unfamiliar with the backstories. I recommend at least reading Resurrecting Midnight first. In the Acknowledgments, EJD wrote it best: There are a lot of Easter eggs.

"Wingtips or high heels, an assassin was an assassin." ~ 50%

The only thing I did not like about Finding Gideon was the book cover art. It is similar to The Blackbirds in that it features a close-up of a woman of color. High cheekbones, full lips, eyes looking off to the side. On another book, I would like it. But Gideon is the main character. This is HIS story. So why is a woman on the cover? Am I missing the point here? *insert shrug emoji here*

If you are looking for a very detailed novel—the kind of book where you miss something if you blink or turn the page too fast—then purchase Finding Gideon when it is published next Tuesday, April 18. Thank me later.

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 honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Author: Eric Jerome Dickey
Published: April 2017
Pages: 384
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥