August 14, 2019

Summer Status Symbol ⚓️


LiteraryMarie.com is on Summer Holiday⚓️
But 🏁The Reading Continues Here

August 13, 2019

For Black Girls Like Me


"My round face. My dark brown eyes. My skin the color of ditch water. Muddy river. One of these things just doesn't belong." ~ pg. 96

Have you read a book labeled as fiction but it seemed too real? Too memoir-ish? I get the sense that author Mariama J. Lockington drew upon her own personal experiences to write For Black Girls Like Me. That made it all the more better. It was as if she spilled childhood memories onto the page in lyrical prose. WAYMENT...I just noticed the author and main character have the same initials: M.J.!

Makeda June Kirkland is an 11-year-old black girl that feels like a question mark. Her parents and big sister are white; she is adopted. No matter how much love is in the family, Makeda can't help feeling left out and wondering how it would feel to grow up with a family that looks like her reflection in the mirror. Brown glowing skin, locs, natural hair, teeny-weeny afro and all!

"Do you remember the first black woman to ever wash your hair? What did it feel like? Did it hurt? Or did it feel like home?" ~ pg. 134

Talk about a book that has you in your feelings—whew! At times I wanted to hug young Makeda, let her know life would get better and to keep presenting herself as the young smart black girl she is. And other times, I wanted to back-slap bullies and reassure her white parents.

For Black Girls Like Me has sensitive themes such as depression, self-discovery, racism, identity, friendship and the impact of music; but the chapters are short (loooove!) with letters and poems sprinkled throughout.  I was on a roll after I got past the absence of commas and oddly placed periods. I finished the 300+ page book in only two days. Not nearly enough time to flaunt the beautiful cover while reading in public.

I recommend this novel as a buddy read for moms and young adult daughters, grandmamas and young granddaughters, book exchange clubs for middle schoolers and best friends in 4th-8th grade. Order it for school library. Gift a copy. Add to summer reading list. Just get it! Share it! Then discuss this heartbreaking yet necessary coming-of-age story.

"In this house we believe:
BLACK LIVES MATTER
WOMEN'S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS
NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL
LOVE IS LOVE
KINDNESS IS EVERYTHING." ~ pg. 175

Title: For Black Girls Like Me
Author: Mariama J. Lockington
Published: August 2019
Pages: 321
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

Toni Morrison: A Literary Legend


It took years of maturing before I could read a Toni Morrison novel in its entirety. The characters were complex. The storylines were layered. The messages within were on a deeper level. I avoided discussions of her work because it simply went over my head.

But when I finally sat down to watch interviews—where she kept it all the way real—I noticed her grace and urgency to introduce characters and deliver prose that no one else could. Her writing lives on while her spirit rests in paradise. A literary legend indeed! 


August 11, 2019

Series Sunday: Alibis & Angels

(Sister Lou Mystery #3) 

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.

"Women don't have what it takes to make the hard decisions necessary to run an organization, much less a town." ~ pg. 156

My Series Sunday pick is Alibis & Angels, the third book in the Sister Lou mystery series by Olivia Matthews. Louise "Lou" LaSalle is Briar Coast's Sleuthing Sister. Her amateur team includes her handsome no-longer-single nephew, Chris, and investigative reporter, Shari. The trio finds themselves solving a murder in order to prevent another.

Sounds like someone didn't give up murder for Lent. The mayor's director of finance, Opal, died from a slip-and-fall down the steps of a municipal building. To most, it seems like a freak accident. But the mayor believes it was done on purpose and that she was the real target. Opal was wearing Mayor Heather's coat and driving the mayor's car. After all, it is a critical election year and she's been receiving threatening letters too.

"Falling is the second leading cause of accidental deaths, not just in this country, but around the world." ~ pg. 38

Like the two previous books in the Sister Lou mystery series, there were characters I did not like then suddenly pity when they're accused of murder (Sister Marianna) or intended for murder (Mayor Heather). Somehow, author Olivia Matthews makes me put aside my feelings for the character and get wrapped into their story. Alibis & Angels was slower and unnecessarily longer but still a light cozy mystery worth reading.

I'm sad to be caught up on this series. What amateur sleuth am I supposed to read about now?! But you—my dear bookhearts—are lucky. You can begin reading the Sister Lou mysteries! In fact, I encourage you to go ahead and download the eBook(s). A cozy mystery for less than the price of a bagel with cream cheese and bottled water. You're welcome!

Author: Olivia Matthews
Published: February 2019
Pages: 368
Edition: eBook
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

August 9, 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. 

"Today the computers would tell Senator Gilbert Hennington about his impending campaign for reelection. The senator knew from experience that the computers did not lie."

~ The Spook Who Sat by the Door by Sam Greenlee 



Bookmark and visit Literary Marie's Live Read to see my live updates and final book-to-movie adaptation review of The Spook Who Sat by the Door, a black literature classic written by Sam Greenlee in 1969.

This 50-year-old novel focuses on civil rights and black militancy. Dan Freeman is enlisted and becomes the first black CIA agent. After mastering agency tactics, he retires. On paper, he works with the youth in Chicago. In actuality, he's training black youth to be Freedom Fighters. His goal is to ensure black people's rights and equality for all. If that means overthrowing the white government, so be it. No one suspects the spook who sat by the door.

I had no interest whatsoever in reading this book until Nipsey Hussle's reference on Victory Lap album and interviews. And to discover there is a movie adaptation too! In the spirit of 🏁THE MARATHON CONTINUES, please join me in live reading The Spook Who Sat by the Door.


August 7, 2019

Speaking of Summer


"If a secret is in the open with just one other mind besides the one keeping it, then it is no longer a secret. It's a fact." ~ pg. 93

On a cold night in December, Autumn Spencer's twin sister, Summer, walks to the roof of their brownstone and is never seen again. The door is locked. There is only one set of footprints in the snow. More worriedly, authorities do not care about another missing black woman. So Autumn must investigate and search for Summer on her own.

Honestly, I don't know what I expected but it wasn't what I read. While the cover is stunning and colorful, the subject matter is not. The title may include the word "summer" but it is not light reading. Nor is it a simple missing persons case. The blurb is so far off.

"If Summer joined legions of other Black women trying to eek out concern for our lives and became a hashtag, then I would become open to scrutiny and intrusion my fragility couldn't withstand." ~ pg. 15

Less than 50 pages in, I determined I did not like the main character, Autumn. While her search for missing twin sister seemed genuinely desperate, something was off. It took about halfway through for me to figure out the mystery. The first person narrative and background story is what kept me reading.

Author Kalisha Buckhanon clearly put her time, research and thought into writing Speaking of Summer but again, it does not hold true to the synopsis. A fast paced thriller it is not. More like a dark story of victim invisibility and characterization. It is perhaps a call for action about missing black girls/women. Keep this in mind should you decide to read it.

Title: Speaking of Summer
Author: Kalisha Buckhanon
Published: July 2019
Pages: 294
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

August 6, 2019

You are a Badass at Making Money


Nonfiction/self-help books are so hard to review. Maybe because I only read a handful and very picky. The subject needs to make sense. The life of the author needs to be interesting enough. And the advice given should be relatively easy to follow yet a challenge. After the last page is done, I expect to have learned something, uncover a thing or two about myself, ditch excuses and shape my reality.

Such is the case for Jen Sincero's You are a Badass at Making Money. In thirteen (13) chapters, the author managed to get my attention and put my green highlighter (for money tips...get it?) to use. No matter the size of your bank account or the emptiness of your wallet, this book is a frank guide to making more money and changing words that come out of our mouths into universe manifestation. Mindsets will change!

I always pay attention to numbers, especially those in my accounts, expenses, savings and residuals. I am very clear at how much money I have coming in and going out (down to the dollar). I pat myself on the back for maintaining a budget and being mindful of my financial goals. However, I am not rich yet. Is anybody really rich in today's economy? We can all adopt a badass attitude toward making and spending money wisely.

While I did not agree with everything in the book, I had a lot of takeaways by the end. Below are a few quotes that I will definitely revisit and journal about:

  • "Imperfect = I'm perfect." ~ pg. 239
  • "Let us not forget that money is currency and currency is energy." ~ pg. 230
  • "Charge what you're worth." ~ pg. 222 
  • "Worrying is praying for stuff you don't want." ~ pg. 126
  • "If it's on your mind it will soon be in your lap." ~ pg. 118
  • "The more money you have, the more freedom you have with your time." ~ pg. 103
  • "Bum-rush your fears." ~ pg. 80
  • "Money always comes to you through other people." ~ pg. 68

Did the quotes I shared above interest you enough to read You are a Badass at Making Money? If so, I wish you luck on your new approach to making the money you deserve. If not, add it to your reading list anyway. And if you are already satisfied with the amount of money you make, throw some coins my way via Cash App: πŸ€‘ $LDotMarie 

Author: Jen Sincero
Published: April 2017
Pages: 269
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

August 4, 2019

Series Sunday: When to Stop Reading?

(Pick a Series. Any Series.) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along. Today is merely a discussion. Please chime in! 

When is the right time to stop reading a series? 
  1. When the storyline is far beyond recycled.
  2. When the characters are no longer relatable.
  3. When the author's authenticity is questionable.
  4. When the series is drawn out and needs to end.
  5. When the plot is spoiled thanks to social media.
  6. When the author's real life bleeds into the series.
  7. When the series develops a cookie-cutter formula.
  8. When the publishing company delays new releases.
  9. When the author's writing style changes for the worse.
  10. When the (insert your reason to stop reading a series here).

August 2, 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.

"For many Democrats and African-Americans alike, 2020 just can't come soon enough. It's not merely a 'Dump Trump' sentiment, but also about the deep hope for new and improved policies that affect Black lives."

~ Talking Politics and Black America: EBONY Exclusive with Sen. Kamala Harris by Melissa Knowles on July 31, 2019 

July 31, 2019

The Chain


"Something about this place screams denouement." ~ pg. 298

Let me paint a picture. Mother drops off daughter at the bus stop and heads to work. Normal morning routine until mother gets a phone call from an unknown number. The daughter has been kidnapped. The ransom is, of course, money but to also kidnap another child within 24 hours. Whaaaaaat?!

The caller reveals she is a mother herself trying to get her own son back alive. The mother is now part of the chain, a scheme that turns parents into criminals and makes a stranger very rich. And the chain will continue because a parent will do anything for their children, right? Or maybe the latest victim will outsmart the chain and save her abducted daughter.

"But even if it all goes right...it'll still be absolutely terrible." ~ pg. 106

Bookhearts, you know I tend to stay away from bestsellers and over-hyped novels. But The Chain was everywhere! It featured in my public library's newsletter, was mentioned in a lit publication, popped up on Goodreads ads and was endorsed by respected authors. All it took was one click for me to read the synopsis then see blurbs from Stephen King and Attica Locke. The universe wanted me to stop ignoring The Chain and read it already.

So I borrowed my local library's first copy. The front cover is one of the simplest images. It is an empty swing, the title in big bold red letters and the author's name in black font. One of those book covers that it so basic but recognized easily. I imagine tons of people reading The Chain on public transit.

"The Chain has a life of its own." ~ pg. 240

The Chain was thrilling, sure, but not to the level of all the hype. It took me way longer than usual to finish. I read a couple chapters, put it down for days, read one page, put it back down, read while in the passenger seat, put it away, read a couple pages before going to sleep, etc. Eventually I finished.

Overall, was it worth my reading oh-so-popular The Chain by Adrian McKinty? Yes, and I plan to read more from this Northern Ireland author. The premise was super unique, believable and twisted. I have read plenty of thrillers, psychological stories and mysteries in my day so take my book review as is: The Chain is a "masterpiece of tension" albeit in a slow pace.

Title: The Chain
Author: Adrian McKinty
Published: July 2019
Pages: 357
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

July 30, 2019

Brown Skin Girl & The Door: A Memoir


I willingly closed one door and stepped out on faith. What tomorrow brings is unknown. But I know for certain that God's got me. I will not fail because I know my worth, my hustle. See that open door? There is something BIGGER waiting for this BROWN SKIN GIRL.

 

July 28, 2019

Series Sunday: Peril & Prayer

(Sister Lou Mystery #2) 

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.

"Yes, darling, it's called community involvement. When you roll up your sleeves to get things done for your neighbors, you expose yourself to different people, different experiences. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they're bad. In this case, sometimes they're murder." ~ 42%

My Series Sunday pick is Peril & Prayer, the second book in the Sister Lou mystery series by Olivia Matthews. Sister Louise "Lou" LaSalle is a Catholic Sister from Los Angeles but feeling right at home in New York now. Her nephew, Chris, works at the college founded by her congregation. And her trusty sidekick is a news reporter named Shari. The trio is tasked with solving another murder in their small town of Briar Coast.

It's been barely a month since Sister Lou lost her friend to a tragic death and she solved the murder. Now one of Sister Lou's business acquaintances has been strangled to death hours before their scheduled business meeting. College donors are not happy about the school being linked to the murder. Nor is the congregation. There's a long list of people that threatened to kill the resort owner. It is in everyone's best interest for Sister Lou to solve this murder before deputies arrest the wrong person.

"If you were in law enforcement, would you want your case to be solved by a reporter, a college executive, and a sister? That sounds like the beginning of a bad joke." ~ 27%

Every story needs a villain. In a mystery, the villain is usually the killer. But in the case of Mayhem & Murder and Peril & Prayer, the character I love to hate is Sister Marianna. She is downright rude, bossy and combative. Now she is the #1 suspect. It made for an even more interesting mystery along with deputies proven to be more incompetent. God, I love a good cozy mystery with amateur sleuthing!

This is no fluke. I am finding enjoyment in reading this series featuring a Catholic Sister. Religion is barely mentioned. It is not riddled with spiritual quotes or conversation. Oh, and there is frequent mention of my favorite hot beverage: chai tea. I love it! It really is a wholesome refreshing series that I look forward to reading back-to-back. I'm kind of bummed there is only one more book I have left to read. Olivia Matthews, can a sistah get an in-between novella to tide me over?

Thanks again to the bookheart who recommended this series. Good find, (insert your name here)!

Author: Olivia Matthews
Published: June 2018
Pages: 368
Edition: eBook
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

July 26, 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.

"You're giving up coffee for Lent? ... That's like giving up bathing."

~ Alibis & Angels by Olivia Matthews 

July 24, 2019

July 23, 2019

Lit to TV Review: Big Little Lies


A murder. Arguing moms. Bully kids. School scandal. This is what to expect in Big Little Lies, a novel written by Liane Moriarty five (5) years ago in July 2014. As mentioned in my original book review, Big Little Lies was a drag to read. But the trailer for TV series showed an all-star cast. I had to try, right?

Thank goodness I did! Very rarely is the movie/television adaptation better than the book. But directors, producers and the cast are doing an outstanding job with Big Little Lies. Skip the book but tune in to the HBO series. You will indeed be sucked in.


Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Cast: Shailene Woodley (Jane); ZoΓ« Kravitz (Bonnie); Nicole Kidman (Celeste); Reese Witherspoon (Madeline); Meryl Streep (Mary Louise); Laura Dern (Renata); Alexander Skarsgard (Perry); Adam Scott (Ed); James Tupper (Nathan)
Book Published: July 2014
Show Premiere: S1 February 2017; S2 June 2019
Book Pages: 460
Show Time: 1 Hour
Genre: American Drama
Edition: Hardcover
Book Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€
Show Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

July 21, 2019

Series Sunday: Mayhem & Mass

(Sister Lou Mystery #1) 

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 Mayhem & Mass, the first book in the Sister Lou mystery series by Olivia Matthews. Never have I ever read a book that features a Catholic Sister (not to be confused with a nun). Sister Louise "Lou" LaSalle is from Los Angeles but feels right at home in New York now. Her handsome nephew, Chris, works at the college founded by her congregation. All seems well for the L.A. transplant.

"He gives me information on a need-to-know basis, and, apparently, I often don't need to know." ~ 56%

Sister Lou invites an old friend to be a guest speaker for the St. Hermione of Ephesus Feast Day. She was not expecting the pushback. Sure, he has controversial views but he is a well-known theology professor. Sister Lou senses something is wrong when she meets him at a diner but chalks it up to his exhaustion from traveling. She was not prepared to find him dead in his hotel room the next day.

Do you see where this cozy mystery is going? Yeah, me too. So Sister Lou's faith is tested. The congregation is treated like suspects. Against her nephew's advice, she teams up with a local reporter to help solve the murder.

"So in addition to being a sister, you're a crack investigator?" ~ 72%

I didn't know what to expect when I started reading Mayhem & Mass. I steer clear of Christian fiction and the first lines were like a warning. But I hushed the inner voice telling me to stop reading and kept on flipping those ePages. It was not preachy. It was not full of Catholic views disguised as dialogue. Be it personal experience or research, Olivia Matthews delivers a positive depiction of a Sister. Oh wait—did I mention the author is a woman of color?!

Pseudonym Olivia Matthews created a loyal wise character in Sister Lou who will stop at nothing to get justice. She is quick to dismiss suspects with logic, unlike other cozy mysteries where suspects drag out the entirety of novel. The supporting characters—nephew Chris and news reporter Shari—are just as interesting. If it was the author's hope to help dispel stereotypes, then well done (so far). I got a sense of Sister Lou's compassionate spirit, loving nature and calling to help people in the community.

"Every time he spoke, she swore she heard Frank Sinatra's Nathan Detroit character from Guys and Dolls." ~ 13%

I look forward to reading more of this amateur sleuth team and already have the other two (2) eBooks of this cozy mystery series on deck. Matter fact, I just may read them back-to-back. I cannot remember how I stumbled upon this series but if it was suggested by a bookheart, thank you so much, (fill in your name here). Now I am passing on the recommendation.The Mayhem & Mass eBook is less than the price of an L Dot Dummy Mission ($5). Go download it...Amen πŸ™πŸ½

Author: Olivia Matthews
Published: November 2017
Pages: 384
Edition: eBook
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

July 19, 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.

"She's sitting at the bus stop checking the likes on her Instagram feed and doesn't even notice the man with the gun until he's almost next to her."

~ The Chain by Adrian McKinty

July 17, 2019

What Makes Us


"Laws should never create an incentive for people in authority to do the wrong thing." ~ 13%

How about this book cover though? With its bright ombrΓ© colors and outlines of people holding protest signs. It is eye-catching and powerful. How can you not pick this up off a bookshelf or click a link for more information? Well I am glad I took the bait!

Constant Vigilance is a new program that allows police to pull people over for barely anything. It is not fair. It is not right. So Eran Sharon (pronounced Shah-Rohn) organizes a peaceful protest in his community. It is going well until a small counter-protest group approaches with signs that say "Blue Lives Matter" and "Don't like us? Don't call us." Conflict arises around news cameras and a crowd of witnesses. So what happens? Of course, a viral video captures a heated moment.

Eran knows little about his father. He's tall. He was from Israel then moved to New York. He left when Eran was just a baby. The flood gate of dark family history bursts open when a reporter connects Eran Sharon with a tragedy that happened fifteen years ago. Eran wonders if he is anything like his supposed terrorist father. What makes us who we are?

"Can someone make a terrible mistake and still be a good person?" ~ 85%

The main character was so realistic. He was not a teen that used big words or thought beyond his understanding. I think he was depicted in a realistic manner. Sometimes authors tend to forget the age of characters but not so in this book. Eran was relatable from the first chapter to the last words. Even Eema (pronounced EE-muh; Hebrew for mother) acted how a concerned parent of color would in real life. So the story flowed naturally with no annoyance. In fact, I finished in one lazy day. 

Social justice issues are the focus of What Makes Us. Police brutality is such a national issue; a crisis actually. Other issues include homophobia, racism, reproductive rights, global warming, gun control and immigrant rights. Thanks to authors like Rafi Mittlefehldt for addressing it in books meant for young adults. It helps to spread awareness, remind them of how to look and act while in public and most importantly to be heard. Their voice matters! 

"How much of life is dictated by a random timing?" ~ 45%

Start the conversation! I absolutely recommend What Makes Us for young adults that are passionate about justice. Teachers, add this new book to your syllabus. Parents, talk to your children about social issues. Neighbors, look out for each other while protecting the community. News reporters, do not be so quick to spin stories for click bait. Rafi Mittlefehldt's new novel reminds readers: Try to be better.

Happy Early Pub Day, Rafi Mittlefehldt! What Makes Us will be available Tuesday, October 15.

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: What Makes Us
Author: Rafi Mittlefehldt
Published: October 2019
Pages: 352
Edition: Galley
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

July 16, 2019

The Path Made Clear


"We only have twenty-four hours in a day. So you have a choice to walk with wise people and stack up more wisdom. Or you can become a companion of fools and your life will unravel." ~ pg. 71

All personal opinion aside, I could not resist downloading the free eBook of Oprah's The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life's Direction and Purpose. Each chapter begins with a quote, Oprah's key lessons and shared experiences from famous figures such as Iyanla Vanzant, Sue Monk Kidd, Ellen Degeneres, RuPaul, Mitch Albom, VP Joe Biden and my personal favorite, Jay-Z. Joined by friends and separated into brief chapters, this book is designed to jumpstart your journey.

I personally believe that every human on earth has a purpose. Some of us tune in and follow that purpose while others never pursue it. But just imagine what the world would be if everyone lived in their true path. If you are someone who is not sure of your life's purpose, this book may help nudge you in the right direction. Did I finish and know my purpose? Of course not. If only it was that easy! However, I am inspired to continue down a clear path.

"What was true was I wanted to live up to my parents' expectations." ~ pg. 39

Whew—ain't that a word! πŸ—£MESSAGE! I have never heard the truth put so plainly. Part of my purpose is to live up to my parent's expectations. To provide a positive influence on my niece and nephew. To travel a path full of support and encouragement with my friends. And finally, my purpose is to not betray myself, to stay true to self, to be okay.

The Path Made Clear is not a must-read. It will not solve the great answer of what your purpose is. However, it will prompt you to think and provide advice. There are quite a few quotes that I wrote onto neon colored index cards and post-it notes. These are the real take-aways from this resourceful book.

Title: The Path Made Clear
Author: Oprah Winfrey
Published: June 2019
Pages: 208
Edition: eBook
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

July 14, 2019

Series Sunday: Living Love

(Ivyhurst #1) 

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 Living Love, the first book in the Ivyhurst series by Ava Bleu. Ivyhurst is a neighborhood in a newly developed part of town. It is home to Kim and Chris Jenkins, a married couple getting on each other's nerves with two different paths in mind and a young daughter. Kim wants a dream home they cannot afford. Chris needs to work more but his job is nowhere near challenging. Somehow their plans and dreams got lost. How did they get so off track?

"When people talk about love and romance they usually focus on first glow. They rarely talk about how to keep love and romance alive when the realities of life set in." ~ 2%

This novella couldn't be a better title or introduction to a new series. The main couple are truly living love. In less than 60 pages, the author managed to introduce readers to new characters and give us a glimpse of their inner thoughts and everyday happenings. I am not married but something tells me a husband/wife can certainly relate to Kim & Chris.

Meanwhile, I felt like a neighbor with the windows open, eavesdropping on conversations of the couple next door. I am so looking forward to the next book in this new series, hopefully featuring other Ivyhurst residents. Living Love can be read as a standalone romance but I always suggest series be read in order.

Happy Belated Pub Day, Ava Bleu! Living Love is available for $free, my bookhearts. Grab your favorite summer beverage, go to the park or sit poolside with this quick read.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the author 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: Living Love
Author: Ava Bleu
Published: June 2019
Pages: 59
Edition: eBook
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

July 12, 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.

"If you're ready to make more money, you can. I don't care how many times you've tried and failed or if you're so broke you're selling your bodily fluids for bus fare or how often you've found yourself center stage at the checkout counter, feigning shock and indignation: 'Are you sure? Declined?! That's impossible. Can you run it one more time?'"

~ You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero