New Release: Empyrean by T.H. Bolden

Empyrean

Raise your hands if you know what empyrean means? Stop lying lol. I’ll admit, I’ve seen the word but bothered to look it up. Well, for those who don’t know, empyrean means heavenly (when used as an adjective). Look at this pretty girl on the cover with her freckled skin and coily, red hair.

The release of this book falls right in line with the blog post I made a few weeks ago about authors “just doing it” because this story is written by an author who typically writes contemporary romance. T.H. Bolden is her name, and this is her debut novel, Empyrean. Empyrean is a three-for-one’r: It’s a young adult story. It’s fantasy/paranormal. And it’s interracial/multicultural (There are actual humans in this story, and I guess you can call the otherworldly beings multicultural, lol. They’re not from our culture…).

Peep the blurb, then add to your TBR today!

Imogen Ferris’s life has been turned upside down. She’s lost both of her parents within six months of each other, leaving her an orphan in an abusive foster home. To top it off, she’s become a social outcast because her ex-best friend has spread lies about her family throughout Red Rock High. Life couldn’t get much worse for the seventeen-year-old who feels as if she belongs nowhere, but the death of a classmate hits Imogen hard and nearly sends her over the edge.

Seeking out the comfort of her family’s former sacred sanctuary, a place known to have mysterious magical powers, Imogen finds herself being forced into a world she could’ve never imagined, a world where mythical creatures just might exist. Both her world and the other are in danger, and she may be the key to everyone’s survival-if she can just learn to believe in herself. Recruiting the help of a gorgeous prince and a majestic, yet meddlesome mythical creature. She just might succeed.

This teen may learn more about herself, her strength, and her ability to love than she had ever planned. And in the process, perhaps find where she truly belongs.

 

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Monday Musings: Reading Snobs Can Suck A…

Monday

🍋🍋🍋! (See, getcha mind out the gutter!)

So, I work with these broads who claim to be voracious readers, and I’m thinking I’ve found a couple of kindred spirits-not  because we necessarily read the same things, but simply because they love to read books as much as I do. So we’re making general small talk about how we just love to read and how we’d rather spend a quiet evening with a book than with actual people, and internally, I’m screaming

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After a few more minutes of speaking generalities about our mutual love of reading, the question finally comes up: “So, what do you actually like to read?” Internally, I’m already bracing myself because I know some shit is about to go down, and in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

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But you know me. I ain’t never scurred, so I proudly answer: I love romance novels, and I almost exclusively read romance only.These heffas look at me like I just said I’m voting for Donald Trump.

After what feels like an eternity, their looks of surprise and, I swear, disappointment, wear off, they’re like “Oh. I would never figure you as a romance reader. You strike me as the Terry McMillan/Walter Moseley/Stephen King type.

Really bitch

So not only have I been stereotyped by my supposed “personality”, but I have also been insulted because of my reading preference.

Why do romance novels get a bad rap? Or is it rep? If you have never read or haven’t read a romance novel since a 1985 Silhouette Romance paperback with the glossy white covers and painted portraits, then how can you have the au-da-ci-tee to criticize a genre you know nothing about?

Do they not know that romance novels are a billion dollar industry and account for over 13% of the mass market? I’m in pretty damn good company. Hoes, don’t try me…

Since when did what you read become as important, or if not as important, as the act of reading itself? Do you criticize young adults (and some old-ass adults) for still reading comic books and graphic novels? As a result of reading hundreds of romance novels, I cannot tell you how many new words I’ve added to my vocabulary. I cannot tell you how I’ve discovered many new exotic locales and cultures and cuisines in my reading travels. I’ve learned more about mobsters and the gangster lifestyle than I have watching the entire Godfather saga. I’ve even acquired a few bedroom techniques that would put some porn productions to shame.

So you see, reading is fundamental. And it’s not what you read, but how what you read makes you feel and the experiences you take away from it.  Don’t ever let someone shame you for loving to read. Whether it’s romance or cookbooks or self-help guides, take pleasure in the joy those words give you.

And while you snobs are  busy doing Netflix and chill, I’m doing Kindle and thrill. Peace out, haters…

Court appreciation

Book Recommendation: Inflamed: A Shadow Riders MC by Kiki Leach

Book Rec

When an author places all kinds of disclaimers on their work, it makes me do one of two things: Run for the hills or Click it with the quickness. I guess it’s no secret which route I took with Inflamed: A Shadow Riders MC by Kiki Leach…

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I love MC romances. Specifically, I love MC romances that feature black women as the objects (Feminists, just roll with me. This ain’t the kind of story where being PC is a factor) of the biker’s affection because let’s keep it real here: motorcycle clubs are for the most (I said most, don’t trip) part run by a bunch of misogynistic, racist white dudes who have no regard for the rules of society unless they’re their own. If you can stomach such a read (hence, the very valid need for all them umpteen disclaimers), then this book is for you.

This story is a dirty, gritty, realistic account of life in a hardcore MC. Author Kiki Leach does not sugarcoat jack! From the language to the action, this story is XXX in your face, only-God-can-judge-me for reading this type of fiction.

Jacob “River” Hawkins is the gorgeous, hardened VP of The Shadow Riders. River only cares about two things: his daughter and restoring The Shadow Riders to the feared and formidable MC it used to be before they were framed for a crime considered even heinous by MC standards. Mia Sullivan is a woman hiding in plain sight. Eight years ago she was violated in the most despicable way and left for dead before she was rescued by an unlikely guardian angel.

In short, I was thoroughly entertained by this story. I laughed. I cringed. I ooh’d and ahh’d… Yes, there are some romantic elements (Can you really call it that, lol?) amongst the muck of MC life, but what really makes this story so good is the dialogue. Whewww…It is not for the faint of heart. River and Mia go through some thangs, and the road to happiness is dangerous and rocky. This is a long, savory read, but it is a complete story. I wouldn’t call the ending a cliffhanger, per se, but merely an indicator that there are more stories to come. Very worthy of a click-if you can make it past the sample 0_0.

Book Spotlight: BrewGirl by Eliza David

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One of the reasons that brought me back to blogging is all the new authors (new, as in “new to me”) that I meet. Eliza David has been around for a minute, and I am just discovering her! Well, she discovered me, lol, but I digress…

Ms. David specializes in writing about older women/younger men (and not the jail bait variety either). We always see the May/December romances, but let an older, more mature woman take a dip in the fountain of youth, and she’s got issues. Again, I digress…

BrewGirl is the latest stand alone from Eliza David, who has also written a series entitled The Cougarette (Book 1 is currently free at the time of posting). BrewGirl is on my radar because of this opening line:

What happens when a feminist meets the chauvinist of her dreams?

Say what?! She had me at feminist, but you know a chauvinist will bring the drama. Let’s meet the star and her lover:

Okay! We could be friends, only I ain't down with bad sex.
Okay! We could be friends, only I ain’t down with bad sex.

 

Sounds like a fuckboy, but he cute
Sounds like a fuckboy, but he cute, and I’m sure Zoe gon teach him some thangs…

Add BrewGirl to your TBR, or better yet, click it up today! And connect with author Eliza David on Facebook and Twitter.

New Release: Finding Kennedy by Jacinta Howard

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Many moons ago, I bought a book called Happiness in Jersey by an author who was new to me. Why did I buy it? Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and I was looking for some AA new adult romance because everything seemed to be either mainstream or IR (nothing against that, but I want what I want, you know?)

Happiness in Jersey introduced us to the R&B/neo-soul/hip-hop fusion band The Prototype, and how Jersey Kincaid and Zay Broussard met and fell in love. Well, in Finding Kennedy, we get to catch up with Jersey and Zay, but this story is all about Kennedy James and Travis Broussard (Zay’s cousin). The Prototype is what ties them all together, but this story is all Kennedy and Travis…lawd, I am in love with this man Travis. He ain’t perfect by a long shot, but neither is Kennedy, and this is probably one of the realest stories of love at first sight that I’ve ever read. Talk about two people who are tethered! And the music is the tie that binds.

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This is a love story, man, with just enough drama to keep you engaged without you losing your shit because they start doing dumb stuff. The romance is sensual and seductive. And this couple is GOR-GEOUS! Click it up!

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Monday Musings: Just Do It!

Monday Musings!

Authors are people too.  Oh really?! You mean they aren’t these literary geniuses who just transport me to another time and dimension?! Nope, they just regular ol’ folks like me-the reader, the fangirl, the asshole critic…

So where am I going with this? I am friendly with a lot (ok, a handful) of authors, and we talk intimately about their works in progress or an idea that they may have for a new story, and the universal trait that they all seem to possess, regardless of their genres or writing styles, is “Will the readers like it?” And to that, my answer is always a universal:

who cares

Now, don’t go all “oh-no-she-din’t” on me. I’m trying to make a point, and the point is: Write what’s in your heart and not what you think the audience may or may not like. We’re a fickle breed, us humans, and when you begin to compromise your creative truths to please others or to make a few dollars, a tiny piece of you dies inside (I speak from experience.)

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While you may be catering to the preferences of one group of readers, you may be alienating another. We’re all like children sometimes and have to be force fed in order to try something new (me and broccoli-and I now love broccoli). If they’re a true fan, they’ll give it a shot. And if not…Well, everything ain’t for everybody, but at least you can say “I did that!” So, include that iffy passage or venture outside of the genre that put you on. If you don’t, you’ll be full of shoulda, woulda, couldas…when instead, you can be like

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New Release: Say You’re Mine by Aliyah Burke

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Aliyah Burke is a veteran author in these romance streets, and she just dropped something new. Is this cover smokin’ hot or what?

Say You’re Mine

One’s weakness is another’s strength.

Casimir Lars is the Alpha of the Tatra Pack. He fought hard to become the leader he is today. He refuses to show weakness or allow others to take advantage of him. He’s dedicated to his pack, strong and fearless, yet his life is thrown into upheaval when he has to track down a very specific woman: his wife.

Dyana Vance is a headstrong professional archer—not the type to trust blindly when a stranger shows up claiming to be her husband. There’s no denying the explosive chemistry she has with Casimir, but she isn’t pack and refuses to be bound by their laws.

Casimir is torn between his growing feelings toward her and what he believes is his duty to mate with a pack female. Dyana learns to deal with loss and discovery of something new. Death, plots, and undeniable passion all fly around this couple. When he accepts what is to be, will he be too late or will his pride have pushed her away forever? Will she ever look at him and say you’re mine?

Okay, I’m intrigued…Sounds like ol’ girl got some balls. Say You’re Mine is book 5 in the Dubious series by Aliyah Burke.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR today, and follow Aliyah Burke on Facebook for updates and giveaways.

New Release: Passion Unleashed: Nylora’s Fate by Serenity King

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Okay Serenity King fans: Get ready! This is a lil’ sum’n different than what you may be used to from this veteran author (at least for me…)

Nylora’s Fate is the sizzling, erotic tale of (chaotic) good vs. evil, vampire vs shifter, and the woman caught in the middle. Nylora was warned to stay away from Club Max, but like me, if you tell me not to do something, guess what? I’m gon’ do it!

Lorcan is the evil vampire set out to avenge his sect’s banishment from the vampire nation, and Nylora is the pawn he needs to exact his revenge-until she got his ass sprung and ready to claim her as his own…

Costin is the vampire/wolf hybrid who must save Nylora from Lorcan, but he also wasn’t expecting to be sprung in the process. What started as a mission to put an end to Lorcan and his evil ways has now become a suicide mission: Save his people and the woman he loves. Will he be successful or will Lorcan and his merry band of jackass rogues prevail?

Note: This is book 2 in the “Unleashed” series, but they can be read as a stand alone.

New Release: The Farmer & The Belle by D.A. Young

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The Farmer & The Belle: Brand new from author D.A. Young! If all farmers were this sexy, then I’m packing all my bags and moving out to pasture! This dude, Maxwell Hayes, will have you feeding the chickens one minute while he’s feeding you something the next…

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(This is my likeness of Max Hayes and is for entertainment purposes only)

Blurb:

From underneath his camel colored Stetson, the hard planes of his face were softened by his extremely attractive features. Those gorgeous sleepy-looking bedroom eyes were framed by thick straight black eyebrows and he had a strong straight nose with full supple lips. He had high cheekbones and a chiseled jaw covered with a neatly trimmed beard that came to a point just beneath his chin, further enhancing his rugged sexiness. All of this temptation was dipped in a gorgeous sienna package. In Georgina’s polished, little world, men just didn’t look like him—so raw, sexy and utterly masculine. How very intriguing…

ONE QUESTION: WHERE THESE FARMERS AT?!

I will give up  city suburban life and move to the farm tomorrow and work the land for this man!

Don’t get it twisted: While this is a “sensually erotic” romance, it does deal with some serious themes, which D.A. Young is known for. I love how she gives you the real by mixing the bitter with the sweet. And the sweet is oh, so tasty!

The Farmer & The Belle is available now, exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

 

Monday Musings: Back To Basics

Monday

I’m back y’all! I needed that month away like you don’t know! I was seriously <THIS> close to saying “FTS” and deleting because I was sooo…I don’t even know what the word is, but unhappy is the first thing that comes to mind. I was unhappy with the state of this blog, my focus (which was all over the damn place), my life…Do you know how stressful it is running a blog? No, well let me tell you: It’s HELLA skressful!

I was doing the most and getting little in return. This is a book blog, and I was trying to make it some book/lifestyle hybrid and well…

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I had to step away and rethink, well, not really. I just had to step away, lol. This is a book blog ad nothing more. This blog will be about books and the people who write them. So going forward there will be lots of spotlights on books, new and old.

I do not post reviews on this blog. I post recommendations. If I like it, I post it. Seriously, y’all, who gives a shit about one person’s opinion? I’m a jerk when it comes to reviews anyway. Either I gush to the point of you wanting to barf, or I read it for filth. But I digress…

Look for more spotlights, tours, and recommendations. It’s back to basics, but this ain’t no basic blog…