Monday Musings: The Air Already Feels Different

 

 

Monday Musings

I’m going to deviate a little bit for this musing in that it has absolutely nothing to do with books. This is personal. Last week was one of the most emotional moments of my adult life, and I’m referring to the “changing of the guard”. We are in for some dark and scary times. If you are a person of color, a woman, LGBTQ, non-Christian…life as you currently know it could be severely impacted. This is not some sensationalized scare tactic but a real, hard truth. I’m already mobilizing for an empassioned and lengthy fight. I will not live in fear. I will not acquiesce. I will not give in.

In the meanwhile, it’s back to business. More books. More shenanigans. More fun! See ya on the flipside.

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BLIND REVIEW #1: A Disappointing Sequel

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Welcome to my inaugural blind review. What exactly is a blind review? Well, it’s a book that I’ve read that’s got me all in my feelings —and not in a good way! Since I personally do not like to write critical reviews, I do rather enjoy writing shady ones. I can be uninhibited without naming or shaming the book or the author. If you just happen to guess what book I’m talking about, oh, well…I plead the fifth. Let’s go!

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My first blind review is about a story that was highly anticipated. It’s like buying a box of commercial fireworks and you save the biggest one for last, and it turns out to be the biggest damn dud! Yup, this sequel was like perfecting the best twist out, but as soon as you step outside, that humidity hits it, and you wind up looking like Buckwheat’s twin sister.

My first pet peeve is the story was short af! I literally read it in less than an hour. And to add insult to injury, the story ended at less than 75% and the rest was snippets of the author’s previous works.

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My second pet peeve is the story read like a glorified epilogue of the original story. We ain’t learn nothing new about the couple and the supporting cast. It literally felt like a chapter and a half, ok, maybe two chapters, of “the day after”. malarkeyMy third and final pet peeve is the story just “ended”. There was no wrap-up or nothing! Ok, so what happened to the couple? There were children involved. What happened with that? There was a potential health scare. What happened with that? There was no conclusion and no indication that there would be a coming sequel to the sequel or wrap up to the story. Why fuck with an artistic masterpiece if only to follow up with a color-by-number knockoff?

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To say I’m disappointed would be a gross understatement. Until the next blind review…

PS-Did you notice a theme with my memes? Nice sendoff, eh?

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New In Romantic Suspense

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As a diehard romantic, I will be the first to admit that romantic suspense is not high on my list. I think because I’ve been burned too many damn times. I’ll start reading the book, and halfway through, I’m like:

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WHERE IS THE ROMANCE?!

Thankfully, authors are disclosing that their works have “romantic elements”, which I greatly appreciate. So, with that being said, here are a few romantic suspenses or suspenseful romances (However you wanna interpret it) that look worthy of a read.

Mine to Keep by Ashley Nicole
          Mine to Keep by Ashley Nicole

 

When the Snowman Whispered by Kenya Wright
When the Snowman Whispered by Kenya Wright

 

Boss by Sienna Mynx
Boss by Sienna Mynx

Between these covers and the titles, I think these authors hit the mark. I think I’ll stick with suspenseful romance…

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Monday Musings: Reading For Pleasure? What’s That?

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Happy MLK Day! Yes, MLK Day and not that Biloxi bullshit they tried to pull (I had to get a lil dig in. NOT. SORRY.)

Today’s post is short and sweet: What is reading for pleasure because I haven’t done that in years. So, I ask you:

  1. Editors, can you read a book and overlook all the glaring errors and still enjoy the story?
  2. Reviewers, can you do the same and still give the book a glowing review?
  3. Authors, can you read another author’s work and think, “I could’ve written this better or differently.”?
  4. Readers, do you even care as long as the story is engrossing and makes you feel some kind of way?

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I swear I try to turn off the dial and just read and not trip over obvious stuff, or even the little things, but I.CAN’T.STOP.

Serial Killers: New Releases In Continuing Sagas

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Happy Friday the 13th! Did my clickbait title work? While these stories aren’t serials in the traditional sense, they are part of a series. One features the surrogate parents of a couple of sexy, unruly southern brothers. Another takes place in Scandinavia, and last, but not least, an on-again, off-again, on-again? couple is back for another round of break-ups to make-ups. Check ’em out!

       No Greater Love by D.A. Young

 

Maybe Tomorrow by Kim Golden
Maybe Tomorrow by Kim Golden

 

Nothing Even Matters by Vera Roberts
Nothing Even Matters by Vera Roberts

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Series Spotlight: The WanderLynn Experience by L. Loren

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“I have followed your blog for some time and keep up with your reviews on Goodreads so I am aware of your style.”– L. Loren

When I read this in author L. Loren’s email to me, I fell the hell out! I didn’t know whether to be flattered or offended. Anyhoo…Missy, here, had only written one book, The Layover, at the time of our initial exchange, and she caught me at a really low time when I didn’t know if I would continue blogging or not. That was three damn months ago! But I keep my word, even if I am a day late and a dollar short. And in those ninety days, two more books dropped! Behold:

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Before we go any further, can we take a moment to admire these stinking-cute covers?! I am loving these illustrated cover artworks!  Now, on to the series…

Vivacious, witty, and feisty Lynn Sutton is living the life she desires, with the smarts to match and no strings attached. As the successful owner of a luxury travel concierge service, she is building an empire that only a goddess like her can handle. Until one day, life throws the ultimate curve ball when she loses her only sister in a tragic car accident and becomes the sole guardian of her niece and nephew.

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After years of focusing solely on the twins and her career, Lynn is left with the empty nest syndrome when the twins go off to college. She decides it’s time to refocus on herself and her love life. And she’s got her sights set on one man…Connor.

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Wealthy and intelligent, Connor Wyatt has never found his true love. Trapped in an arranged and loveless marriage, he craves the one thing his wife refuses to give him: a family. When he meets the beautiful aunt of the young man he is mentoring, she immediately awakens his dormant heart and loins. When his marriage falls apart, he renews his friendship with the beautiful and curvy Lynn in the hopes that he can rekindle a fire that has been smoldering within for years. And an unexpected flight layover brings Connor the chance of his lifetime.

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The chemistry between the two is undeniable, but outside forces threaten to douse their inferno forever. Will this love connection finally be made? Or is it already too late?

It goes to say that this is a serial romance in that each story picks up from the last, and this sounds like some hellafied drama (I live for drama because I’m such a boring person).

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Get to know author L. Loren and follow her writing adventures (How cute is this pic?!)

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http://www.facebook.com/l.lorenwriter

http://www.llorenwriter.wordpress.com

www.twitter.com/rebirthoflisa

 

Monday Musings: The Long and Short Of It

Monday Musings II

There was a time, not so long ago, when I wouldn’t even consider reading a story that was less than 100 pages or 50k words. I was a certified book addict then, and I not only wanted my money’s worth but my time’s worth as well. I was and still am a “savory” reader, meaning that I like to think and reflect as I’m actually reading. Blame it on my Type A personality or my overanalytical ways, but I own it nonetheless.

Photo Cred: vashtiharrison.com
                           Photo Cred: vashtiharrison.com

Fast forward to now. The first thing I consider when making a reading selection is still length, but now, I seek shorter titles. I am just too dang busy to read War and Peace length romances anymore, and that saddens me on some level. I used to live for length, and now, if it ain’t short and sweet, it gets pushed to the back if I can’t read it in one sitting or two days, max.

Don’t get me wrong; I still love a long, luxurious romance—when I have the time! And that seems to be never lately. Double-edged sword…

So… Do you have a preference? Is “life” getting in the way or affecting your reading habits? 

 

Quadruple Score: The Aftermath of Because My Heart Said So

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Remember that post that I made some months ago about a friends to lovers anthology? Well, if not, refresh yo memories here. I had no idea that the authors would soon be releasing full-blown stories of each one (Sometimes, I read but don’t read…). So far, I’ve personally read two, and I am blown (In a good way). I’ve officially crowned two book boos for 2017 (Won’t tell you which ones, but I wish I were twenty-seven again…)

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Each story is a standalone and does not need to be read in any particular order because the characters are unique to each book. If you’ve read the anthology Because My Heart Said So, then you’ve pretty much read “Part One” of these stories. If you are new to these stories, then you’re in for a treat. These mens (Yes, mens) are to die for…So, without further ado:

Acceptable Losses by Nia Forrester
Acceptable Losses by Nia Forrester
                     Blur by Rae Lamar
Blind Expectations by Jacinta Howard
Blind Expectations by Jacinta Howard
Blackbirds by Lily Java
            Blackbirds by Lily Java

Historical Romance: Dissent by PJ Dean

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Before I even get started, I just have to speak on this cover:

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SYNOPSIS:

The year is 1571. France is in stasis. The peace struck after the latest War of Religion between Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots) is fragile and desperately needs more support to sustain it. The monarchy proposes a royal wedding joining a Catholic princess to a Huguenot prince as the needed bulwark. Negotiations are set in motion. All is good. Or so it appears.

On another front, France has fallen far behind other European nations in its quest to expand its empire overseas. Expenditures from civil wars have sapped her coffers, her energy and have stunted her economic dreams.

Could another marriage remedy the problem by mixing religious unity with the possibility of increased commerce?

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Enter Awa, the daughter of a visiting, Roman Catholic, Wolof diplomat from the elite ranks of the Jolof Kingdom in West Africa. She embodies the best of her land in her manner and in her education. She is dutiful, proud, and respectful of her family, but after living a portion of her formative years at the French court, she has become outspoken and a tad willful.

Enter Blaise, the nephew of the most powerful leader of the Huguenot faction in the country. An aristocrat. Learned. Traveled. Haunted. Ladies’ man. Rarely sees a sunrise, unless he is retiring at that hour. He abhors responsibility of any kind. And Roman Catholics.

Two persons of noble lineage. Strangers. Foes. Pawns. Allies? Lovers?

If Awa and Blaise can cease fighting long enough, could their marriage quell domestic unrest, bring riches and stability to France, but most importantly deliver true love to them before the realm implodes over religious matters again?

Historical, medieval, interracial…sounds facinating, no? Dissent is available now. Click it up!

Monday Musings: HAPPY FREAKIN’ NEW YEAR!

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Hey, peeps! I hope your holidays were merry and bright. Now, it’s time to get down to bidness… I struggled (and still do, truthfully) mightily with deciding if I want to continue with this blog. This is a labor of love, and as I continue to say, it’s one of the few blogs that exclusively features black heroines in a romantic lead. And that, my friends, is what keeps me going. This ain’t a race thing as much as it is a reality thing. I make no apologies or concessions for that, and that’s all I’m going to say on the subject unless I feel the need to clap back at some supreme ignorance…

So…what can you expect here in 2017?

  1. Fewer posts. Previously, I made every effort to post anywhere from 4-5 days a week, including a weekly Monday Musings post. Now, it’s looking like 3-4 days a week, maybe less. And there won’t be a Monday Musings post every week, either. As my professional and side hustle careers continue to advance, I have less and less time to devote to the things that, frankly, don’t generate income or overall happiness for me (Ouch! But it’s the truth!)
  2. Features and spotlights galore. So many good authors and stories out here that need a platform.
  3. Blind reviews. What’s this? I don’t like trashing a book publicly, even if it deserves it, but sometimes, I’ll read a book that’s sooo bad, it deserves a verbal tongue-lashing. I won’t name the book or the author, but I will flame that story to cinders, and if you’ve read it, you’ll probably figure it out anyway.

In Memoriam:

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I hope you’ve backed and/or downloaded all of your purchases because as of 12/31/16, you are hella short if you didn’t. And poor authors…Heard y’all got the shaft (no pun intended) too.

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