For The Busy Reader: 30 Days, 30 Stories by Nia Forrester

Lately, it seems like everything that spews from my mouth is, “I ain’t got time…” And truthfully, I don’t. I’m working hella long hours only to come home and work even more on my side hustle. That leaves practically no free time for reading. A sista is biz-zee, ya heard?!

Well, I saw on my Facebook timeline that Nia Forrester has released a compilation of quickies for the busy woman like me (Not really, but humor me.) 30 Days, 30 Stories is all about women, from all walks of life with varying life circumstances. Sometimes, girl power ain’t about flexing your muscle but simply surviving and thriving in a society that doesn’t always wants us to win.

                                   Image via Pinterest

30 Days, 30 Stories is available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. Check it out!

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Tea and Tomahawks: A Gothic, Paranormal Short by Dahlia DeWinters

If you follow author Dahlia DeWinters on Facebook, the themes of this story should come as no surprise. She is one of my favorite alt black girls. She stays on some next level shit, and I never know what to expect from her. That’s a good thing, by the way. Tea and Tomahawks. The title alone lets you know this story ain’t gonna be all wine and roses, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from Ms. DeWinters.

Synopsis:

After not having seen her grandmother for two years, Annie is thrilled that her husband is letting her visit for the summer. However, her husband, Richard’s motives aren’t as pure as they seem. While he may have other plans for Annie and her grandmother, a mysterious painting may have more in store for them than they think.

Okay, this sounds like an old fuckboy about to get the business from some otherworldly beings. Tea and Tomahawks is only 99 pennies, and if you love paranormal, speculative fiction with a dash of whimsy and romance and maybe something more, then here is your next read.

Monday Musings: Black Women Read. And More Than Just Romance

Not only am I a romance junkie, I am a subscription box junkie, and I have discovered not one, but two literary subscription boxes aimed at black women (although not limited to black women) who love to read. And not just romance!

Red.Blk.Grl.

Launched just this month, Red Blk Grl is a monthly curated box featuring works of  contemporary young adult fiction written by black authors and incorporated items that match themes within the book that promote a healthy sense of self and well-being. Subscriptions start at $34.95 and look at what you get!

                                                  Sample box

The other subscription box I discovered (and on Instagram, no less) is Noir Reads.

Noir Reads is simple and easy way to read Black literature to develop or deepen your understanding of Black culture & the Black experience by introducing readers to writers of the Diaspora and engaging in dynamic discussions with a growing private online community.

Subscription boxes, starting at $34.99, include 2-3 curated books & an item mirroring the monthly theme. Subscribers also receive a complimentary reading guide & syllabus for additional related material.

Two very different boxes to say the least. One for your carefree side and the other for your conscious side. I highly encourage you to check them both out and consider subscribing to one or both. I’m in deliberations now myself. It’s just a matter of deciding which current subscription box to let go to make room for one of these :/

 

New Release: In Haven by B. Love

Okay, author B. Love has been on my radar for a minute. Sis got books under her literary belt! In Haven is her latest and just reading the blurb got me wanting more.

So, Raleigh does not want or need love. After watching her pops beat down her mother for as long as she can remember, nah…You can keep that. She can do bad all by herself…

Haven (That’s the guy, by the way) didn’t fare much better. He never new the love of a caring mother or how to be a “man” from an involved father. For this reason, he wants a wife so he can be for her all the things he didn’t receive when he was growing up (Not the “man” part, of course). And guess whom he has his sights on?

Raleigh is feeling Haven, but she is not about to go there with him, even though he makes her feel things she doesn’t want to. Will she stop faking the funk and give in to her feelings, or will he get tired of her mess and ultimately move on? One word: DRA-MA!

In Haven is also available on Kindle Unlimited. Add it to your TBR today, and check out B. Love’s extensive library. Happy Reading!

New Release: An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

First things first: The cover. GLORAYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!! If you’re a regular follower of this blog then you already know that I am somewhat cover-obsessed. How gorgeous is this cover, though? It already prepares you for what to expect with the story before you even swipe left.

You can read the blurb for yourself, but I’ll break it down in around-the-way-girl terms.

So, basically a black, freewoman in Civil War-ridden United States with a penchant for justice and a hellafied memory (In other words, she mentally tallies receipts like a mutha) who sacrifices her freedom to return to the South as an undercover slave (whoa, sis) for the Union Army (I hope she gettin paid mad coins or something, ’cause it’s a nah, bruh for this sista.)

She hooks up with this white dude who’s a detective that also goes undercover to get in with the confederate soldiers, risking his life in the process. So, they meet in their individual capers and decide to join forces to help bring the Confederacy down while trying not to catch feelings in the process. Interesting…

So, yeah…This is the story in a nutshell. Of course, there’s mad drama and adventure, but doesn’t this sound absolutely wild? I absolutely have this one in my TBR and can’t wait to dig in. I may just feature this one in a video review. Stay tuned.

An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League) is currently on sale. Click it up while the price is right!

Monday Musings: Authors, I’ma Need Y’all to Do Better

Now before you get ya keyboards all up in a bunch, I’m not saying all authors. And this is not a call out post, but I have been feeling some type of way for a minute. WTF am I talking about, you may ask…Two things:

  1. Updating cover art of existing work and
  2. Re-packaging existing stories and presenting them as new work.

One word: DISCLOSURE! DISCLOSURE! DISCLOSURE! (That’s one word three times smarta$$)

I have been burned more times than I care to recall, so I beg of you: When you’re updating the cover art on an old story, please include that in your synopsis, announcement, etc… And when you’re re-releasing a story that was part of a box set or anthology, even if you’ve added 3,500 more words, let us know that! This also includes stories you’ve once offered for free on your blog or website that you’ve now bundle up all purty in book format.

Don’t play us. We got loooooooong memories, and when you mess with our coins, you know some of us have zero chill. I appreciate the authors who are forthcoming with their readers. Thank you for your consideration.

New Release: Captured by Sabrina Sims McAfee

Bestselling Author Sabrina Sims McAfee brings you another steamy romance filled with twists and turns and edge of your seat suspense.

Love and War brings them together. But with evil lurking in the dark shadows will they stay together?

Blurb:

Dr. Sean LeBlanc past experiences taught him that being in serious relationships is not for him. His only interest right now is providing medical care for the under-served people in the Democratic Republic of Congo—Africa.  However, when his new roommate arrives—Dr. Santana Kingsley—he’s shocked to learn it’s a woman—a strikingly beautiful woman at that. From the moment he lays eyes on her, sparks fly and everything he thought he never wanted is now right in front of him.

Santana’s horrible past leads her to Africa where she plans to escape and drown herself in work. When she arrives and meet her boss, she never expects him to be her roommate and a gorgeous hunk. Though she’s instantly attracted to him, she’s sure he would never cross the line.

As Sean and Santana work day in and day out together, their professional relationships turns into a steamy romance.

Then suddenly, a war erupts and the unthinkable happens—Santana goes missing.

Now Sean is determined to get back the only woman he’s ever loved—his sweet Santana.

Oooh wee! Captured is available now! Get your copy today or add to your TBR. And follow author Sabrina Sims McAfee on Facebook and Twitter.

Newbie Love: Author Debuts

Authors, do you remember (of course, you do) releasing your very first book? Were you excited? Nervous? Eager for that first sale? Afraid to look at that first review? All of the above?

I constantly troll Amazon (I know there are other retailers out there, but I stick with what’s familiar and convenient) for not only new books but new authors. I cannot tell you how many hidden gems I’ve found (I can, and I will in a post to come…) from new authors. Here are three that I’ve picked up in the last month. First, the covers caught my eye (I cannot stress enough how important cover art is), and second, the blurbs got a sista hooked. Instant click. Have I read them all? No, not yet, but the month is still young and my weekends are pretty open at the moment (Ok, who else ain’t done their taxes yet?) Anyway…

That One Missing Piece by Alida Alana

Genre: AA, Women’s Fiction, Second Chances

Synopsis: When you have the perfect man and blow it because of fear and non-communication, are you deserving of a second chance when he walks back into your life? Hell yeah, you are. And you better not blow it! Life isn’t perfect, but it has its perfect moments, especially when you met the one. We all have a little bit of Jade in us, and Ellis is book bae.

Mia by Lenka Kennedy

Genre: IR, Women’s Fiction

Synopsis: Mia is a Black Panther living in 70’s San Francisco where she meets a hippie (white dude) named Caleb. They’re feeling each other, but Mia is struggling with her feelings because of their racial and sociopolitical differences. Will Mia defy her heart to remain a loyal soldier in the struggle, or will love ultimately prevail?

Two very different books. I hope you give them both a try. Happy Reading!

Monday Musings: Was I Smoking Crack??

Did that headline grab your attention?!

I seriously ask myself that question because I took a very strict stance with myself this year: FINISH EVERY BOOK I START. No more Kindle graveyard, and y’all…I’m struggling like a motherf*&%*%!

For one thing, if I’m reading a romance, and it ain’t no oochie coochie by the 50% mark, it’s basically a wrap. I’m not talking a piece of fiction with romantic elements. I’m talking about a billed “romance”. Yeah, yeah, I know that not all romances include sex, but you gotta be on some Pulitzer Prize-winning steez to keep my attention if it ain’t no loving relatively early on in the story. Sue me…

So, I’ve made this deal with myself: If I start a book, and I’m not feeling it by 50%, I cannot buy a new one until it is finished. If I absolutely can’t finish it, then I’m allowed to start an unread book in my TBR of 1000+ (not even a slight exaggeration.) The caveat to that: It must be the oldest book in the TBR, meaning not one I recently purchased. I have unread books that go back to 2012? Have I made progress, though? No.comment.

How do y’all handle this conundrum? Are you simply an eff it; this book is trash, moving on kinda reader? Or do you force yourself to finish the book? Or something outlandish like what I do? I know I’m not the only lunatic particular one.

Book Spotlight: Home by K. Carr

Not gonna lie, the cover was love at first sight. Didn’t know a dang thing what the story was about or nothing… But after reading Home by K. Carr, I was blown away.

Home is what I call an international romance. It’s set in the UK, and there’s lots of British vernacular throughout. I love it! I giggled like a damn fool reading words like “bollocks”, “shag”, and “snog”. But there is so much more to this story than the language. This is a story about redemption and second chances. A wife and mother does the unforgivable: She abandons her family with no rhyme or reason. Or so we think.

Charlie Sutton has been away from home for three years when she receives a frightening phone call that forces her to drop everything and return home. While some people are over the moon about her homecoming, her husband Alec isn’t one of them. What kind of person dips on her husband and two young sons without a single word and then comes back expects everything to be all wine and roses? Charlie has good reason. Postpartum depression is real, y’all, and left untreated, it can be disastrous on a woman and have a ripple affect on everyone around her. Home is a story daring enough to talk about the ugliness of it without it being all preachy or “this is what you should’ve done” crap.

While this story is heavy in more ways than one, it’s still a romance at its core. There’s a good amount of drama too when everyone has moved on with their lives after Charlie’s disappearance (You know what that means…) Will Charlie reclaim what’s hers or just go with the flow as she had before the “incident”? Click this one up, y’all. It’s a real page-turner.

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