/* Ending */

The Last Grand Master By Andrew Q. Gordon: Fantasy with an M/M Romance + Guest Post

The Last Grand Master

by Andrew Q. Gordon
Genre: Scifi / Fantasy
In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, God of Evil. For three thousand years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin's evil was nearly forgotten.

But then Meglar, wizard-king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master's will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.

Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns, and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell's mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin's evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost him and Miceral their lives.

Awesome Offer:
What’s better than discovering a new fantasy series to devour? Getting the first book free! I’m excited to offer, The Last Grand Master, book one in my Champion of the Gods fantasy series, as a free download by signing up for my monthly newsletter. If you love free eBooks as I do, you’ll want to keep subscribed to my newsletter because other sci-fi/fantasy authors will be giving away free eBook downloads via my newsletter throughout 2017.
Subscribe here for your free eBook download and get started today: http://aqgsignups.getresponsepages.com

I signed up myself and I can't wait to read it!

Author Bio

Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write. Andrew’s imagination has helped him create works of high fantasy, paranormal thrills and touch of the futuristic.

To find out more about Andrew, follow him on his website or on Facebook.
website Facebook Twitter

I personally like his Goodreads 'About' paragraph more:
After a minor in creative writing in college, Andrew Q. Gordon decided to become old and stodgy and went to law school. At the urging of his partner, he returned to creative writing almost two decades later . Still working as a lawyer, he and his husband of seventeen years and their dogs live in the DC area. In 2011 they welcomed their daughter into their family. Andrew still manages to write after the last diaper is changed and he unwraps himself from his daughter's little finger.

The Diversity Of Fantasy

by Andrew Q. Gordon

One of the biggest pros to writing fantasy is how easy it is to change the rules. Readers open a fantasy book with the understanding they have to suspend their disbelief reflex. Magic? Elves? Goddesses and Gods intervening in the lives of their subjects? Talking unicorns? All of these impossibilities are readily accepted. So it wouldn’t be hard to have the throne pass to the oldest female child of the queen. That’s how it’s done in that Queendom.

This ability to change the accepted norms is particularly beneficial if you want to write LGBTQ characters. Sure near complete acceptance of same sex couples is foreign to our current worldview, but not in a world that has magic, talking birds, and lions who wear armor and have three story homes. Why would they find a same sex couple odd?

Fiction is one of the best ways to introduce MM characters to the general public. (MM = Male/Male) If you remove opposition to same sex pairings from the daily struggle, the writer is free to create conflicts for the characters that resonate with all readers. Everyone can relate to fighting off zombies trying to eat their brains.

When I started Champion of the Gods, I very much wanted an MM main couple who focused on the danger to the world, not the lack of acceptance to their relationship. But that also meant I couldn’t fall back on that struggle for acceptance as a plot device. Now, just because a society is accepting of same sex pairings, doesn’t mean their relationship gets an easy ride. Aragon and Arwen didn’t have it easy. Elrond’s objection, however, stemmed from the pain his daughter would suffer when Aragon died, not racism. Then there is Romeo and Juliet. Acceptance issues still exist, but they apply to all pairings, not just same sex ones.

Another thing to consider is whether the book is an MM (Romance) Fantasy or Fantasy with an MM element. The two are very different. If the plot revolves mainly around the main couple and their struggles to be together, I’d call that an MM Fantasy. But if the couple’s being together is a subplot in the larger story arc, that’s a Fantasy with MM characters. The difference, to me at least, is important.

I wrote Champion of the Gods to be a fantasy story first. Farrell and Miceral (the same sex main characters) tackle the threat to their world together. Yes, getting them together was a subplot – and one might argue their relationship was a big subplot of the first book – but the bigger issue is saving their world. This requires a different approach to writing their romance. For me it needed to be subtle and matter of fact. Not quite in the background, but certainly not more than normal character development. It also meant no on page sex.

To me, this is a fantasy story. My target audience is readers who enjoy discovering new worlds and different forms of magic. If there was going to be any sex, it had to pass the first test of writing – if the scene doesn’t advance the story, cut it out. That applies no matter the orientation of the main characters. No double standards.

Because their nocturnal activities wouldn’t move the plot along, I didn’t write those scenes in the books. Their relationship, however, was important, so you do get to see and read about that. But since that isn’t an issue on their world, it gets relegated to the subplot status.

Thank you very much Andrew!

I know myself and many others have been begging for novels where discriminatory -isms don't exist or at the very least, the plot doesn't revolve around surviving The Heteronormative Racist Patriarchy. I'm so happy to have found another book to that list and host such a thoughtful guest post.

Tell me dear readers, have you been on the same quest? What other books subvert the That's The Way It Is world building? Any recs for books that contain the same thing, or are [genre] + diversity, instead of a diversity [genre]? Let me know in the comments below, and don't forget to get your free copy of The Last Grand Master!

Continue Reading >>

The Official Launch of LoveBound Promotions!

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | | | Please comment!
Special Promotion

Need more romance in your life? Looking to support LGBT authors and their work? Then LoveBound Promotions will make your day. I'm happy and excited to have signed up with them and today I'm sharing their OFFICIAL LAUNCH! Check it out below and sign up with me 

I'm delighted to be stopping by today to introduce you all to LoveBound Promotions, an up and coming book marketing company for romance authors, and to tell you a little about the services we provide, not to mention a special introductory offer you won't want to miss!

But first…who are we? My name is Jamie and I'm an author myself, writing LGBT themed romances for young and new adults. In partnership with Jon, a graphic designer and the love of my life, I set up LoveBound Promotions with the aim of providing a variety of book marketing packages to authors across the romance genre. Born from a shared love of literature and a heartfelt understanding of the struggles authors undergo in the effort to bring their work to the notice of potential readers, our company seeks to offer a friendly, professional service at a price to suit all budgets.

Our Services and Special Promotion

Book any of our other marketing packages before May 1st, 2017, and receive a complimentary Review Query worth £20!!!

Services We Offer

  • A Cover Reveal to show off your fabulous cover ahead of publication.
  • A Book Blitz to generate buzz about your new release
  • A Blog Tour which uses fun and original content to increase your exposure
  • A Forget Me Not Tour if you’re seeking longer term promotion
  • A Review Query to help obtain reviews for your book

To book any of our marketing packages and take advantage of the introductory offer, please see LoveBound Promotions' services page for full details, before filling out our online order form.

Contact/Join Us

If you’re a blogger who is passionate about the romance genre and would like to become a tour host with LoveBound Promotions, all you have to do is complete our simple signup form.

Want to know more about our marketing packages? Questions about becoming a tour host with LoveBound? Whatever the reason, please don’t hesitate to contact us through our website and we’ll do our best to help.

We look forward to working with you!


Continue Reading >>

Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway for Bound Souls Forever Yours by N.D. Jones

Bound Souls

Forever Yours Book 1
N.D. Jones
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Publisher: Kuumba Publishing
Number of pages: 292
Cover Artist: Wycked Ink
A supernatural love triangle that tests the bounds of science, truth, and faith.
Regent Lela of Asiya is the most powerful person on her planet but she is powerless to save the life of her beloved soulmate—Zion Grace. For thirty years they lived as husband and wife, but Zion’s time is at an end. Lela must go on without him.

“There will never be anyone else for me.”

Despite having died, nothing can keep Zion from his soulmate. He’s back but not as the man he once was. Zion must help Lela move on with her life, lest he lose her forever. But how can Zion convince Lela to accept the love and affections of another man when he still wants her for himself?

"I love you, Lela. My heart is forever yours.”

Lela and Zion are bound souls, destined to live eternity together. For these lovers, death is not an end, but a fateful beginning.

This novel includes “The Garden,” a bonus short story.

Download for Free: Amazon BN Kobo Inkterra iBooks

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/A5Nb2IdY_gE

It was true, Zion had only three more years left on his thirty-year life extension. He was tired and felt even more so as the days, weeks, months and years crept by. Zion spared a sidelong glance at his wife, whose head was down, eyes closed and hand still fiercely gripping his own. She wasn't ready for the ride to end either, yet they both knew it was slowing, preparing to grind to its final halt and he would have to disembark, leaving her behind.

This thing with Ammon had eaten away at Zion for the last several months. Yet Ammon was simply an outlet for his own anger, fear, and depression. He was growing older, his hair thinner and grayer, and his stomach… well, let's just say he'd had to use the services of a good seamstress over the years. Yet Lela was still as beautiful and fit as when they'd first met.

Zion didn't begrudge Lela her slow aging or fine, alluring features. In fact, he loved that about her. What did bother him was that other men could see what he saw. Everything about Lela exuded intelligence, grace, dignity, strength, and beauty. Zion learned a long time ago, she could never see herself the way others did, especially men.

While Zion rarely entertained jealous thoughts before or cared much when he caught a male giving Lela an approving look, now he saw nothing but. Under the circumstances, the little signs of masculine appreciation for his beautiful wife enraged him.

"I'm sorry," Zion spoke into the quiet breach, lifting Lela’s chin with his bruised hand.

Tears flooded her eyes. Even wet, they were still the most stunning eyes he’d ever seen. Picasso marble Zion thought the first time she’d looked at him—a combination of black, brown, gray, and white. Back then, they’d sparkled with intelligence and curiosity, now they glistened with pain. Lela wasn't ready for this conversation. How could she be?

"No, it's me who should apologize. I thought you were paranoid, seeing things that didn't exist."

"I acted like a jackass, a Neanderthal, damn near dragging you out of the banquet room before the function was over. Hell, I might as well as hoisted you over my shoulder and beat my chest like a caveman."

He rubbed his thumb across her right cheek, then lips. "You're an incredible woman, Lela." Zion paused, nearly biting his tongue on his next words. The ones his selfish heart screamed at him to not utter. "You'll live for a long time, probably another four or five decades. I only have three years left. For an Asiyan, you'll be in your prime when I pass on.” His voice cracked when the held tears dropped from his wife’s eyes. She knew where he was going with this, Zion realized.

"You'll have to go on without me, and I don't want you to spend the next fifty years by yourself."

"I won't be by myself. I'll have Xavier." Lela pushed off the bed and moved away from him. She walked to the window, refusing to acknowledge the true meaning of his words.

Zion followed, watching her stern but sad image in the window. Needing to touch and reassure her, he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled Lela to him.
"The thought of another man being this close to you," Zion whispered, stirring tendrils of her long hair, "makes me want to commit murder. When I heard Ammon offering for you, it took all of my self-control to not take a laser gun to him. The only thing I kept thinking was that he couldn't have you. That you're mine and mine alone."

"Is that why you've been so angry these past few months?" She turned in his arms, then rested her head against his resilient shoulder.

"Yes and something else."

"What else?"

Zion lifted her chin, compelling her to meet his eyes.

"I didn't want to acknowledge how selfish I was being," he said, leaning down and placing a warm, soft kiss on her lips. "I want you to be happy in those four or five decades you have left, Lela, but I don't want you to find happiness in the arms of another man."
"I have no desire to mate with anyone else, or to take a lover," she reassured, initiating another kiss, a desperate embrace full of a wife's integrity and denial. "I can't imagine being with anyone other than you. I love you, Zion. I could never love another."

He knew she spoke the truth. He believed her, but she didn't understand. Zion did. He'd experienced the loss of a spouse.

"When Iman died, a part of me died with her. Like you, I thought there would never be anyone else for me. And that was true for a long time—”

Lela shook her head in protest, not allowing Zion to continue. "Don't." A heartbreaking plea. "Don't say such things. There will never be anyone else for me."

Zion saw the near panic in her upturned face, her Picasso marble eyes glowing with resolution and despair.

"It's not the same. It just isn't."

It was exactly the same. Yes, what he felt for Iman was different from the love he had for Lela. But it was love all the same. Loving Lela didn't mean Iman ceased to occupy a special place in his heart and mind. A small, warm piece of her and their life together would always be a part of him. As he would always be a part of Lela, but she couldn't see it, not now. But someday. Zion didn't want to think about that and clearly, neither did his wife.

About the Author:

N. D. Jones lives in Maryland with her husband and two children. She is the founder of Kuumba Publishing, an art, audiobook, eBook, and paperback company. Kuumba Publishing is a forum for creativity, with a special commitment to promoting and encouraging creative works of authors and artists of African descent.

A desire to see more novels with positive, sexy, and three-dimensional African American characters as soul mates, friends, and lovers, inspired the author to take on the challenge of penning such romantic reads. She is the author of two paranormal romance series: Winged Warriors and Death and Destiny. N.D. likes to read historical and paranormal romance novels, as well as comics and manga.

Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
One fact about me that not many people know is that I was married at the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Maryland. Recently, my daughter was going through my wedding album. And, to my surprise, she had no idea her father and I were married at the museum, although she’s been there on field trips. Her older brother knew, so I assumed she did as well. Needless to say, that bit of old-new news led to a very nice discussion with my daughter while she flipped through the wedding album, asking questions and making remarks so typical of teenage girls who think themselves witty and cute.
How did you realize you wanted to write?
When I began reading comics, it led me to fanfiction. Fanfiction is a wonderful outlet for fans of movies, comics, television shows, manga, and anime, mainly, who love their favorite characters and shows so much they write stories about them geared toward other fans. It’s a true act of love and appreciation on the part of fanfiction writers. For a while, I fell into that category, penning stories based on characters from an old television show I like and two comic book couples I love. I learned a lot during my time as a writer of fanfiction. From those early beginnings, I branched off into writing novellas and then full-length novels with my original characters, telling the stories I want to tell and read.
What inspires you?
My family inspires me. They are unbelievably supportive in a way that makes me proud and appreciative. It would be very difficult to keep pushing forward—writing, researching, and marketing without a strong support system. My daughter wants to donate Bound Souls to her high school library. And my son has given me wonderful plot and character ideas, which I’ve used in novels. In fact, one of the villains in Heat, Hunt, Hope, an angel/demon paranormal romance novella, major power-set is his idea. I dedicated the novella to him because, really, what mother could ask for a cooler son than one who comes up with an awesome magical power for her female villain? My husband, children, mother, and in-laws all inspire me to be the best—as a writer, student, and educator.
What books have most influenced your life most?
I read a lot of non-fiction books on topics such as African American politics and history, cultural proficiency and cultural intelligence, professional development and learning, pedagogy and andragogy. As a career educator, I read content and discipline-specific books, mainly. Collectively, these books have influenced my interpersonal interactions, as well as my work with school-and-central-office based personnel. My dissertation is on the cultural intelligence of community college presidents, so recently, I’ve read several books, articles, and dissertations on the topic. Cultural intelligence is a theory of intelligence that addresses how we interact with people from backgrounds different from our own—be it racial, economic, gender, religious, etc. Such a reflective understanding of self is very impacting. I use such knowledge when creating plots and characters, taking care with my representation of characters from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing?
Some authors are brilliant at describing scenes—the environment, clothing, characters. If I could, I would probably skip a lot of visual descriptions, especially landscapes and homes. I do find writing such descriptions challenging for two reasons. One, I prefer to jump into a scene and not worry about what my characters are wearing, the type and placement of furniture in a room, or the trees and birds in a forest. I’m impatient that way, and don’t place the same value on setting the visual of a scene as I do in getting my dialogue and action sequences just right. Although, without a doubt, visual descriptors are important and necessary. Two, I have to work hard not to make my descriptions sound boring or a laundry list of what’s in a room or what a character is wearing. I’m always so impressed with authors who can create amazing pictures in my mind with their descriptive prose. That’s one of my areas of growth. I don’t skip such details, but I do find writing them tedious and uninspiring.
What projects are you working on at the present?
I only recently finished Bound Souls, so I haven’t begun another novel. However, my goal is to publish the third and final book in my Death and Destiny paranormal romance trilogy before the end of 2017.
What book are you reading now (or the last book you read)?
I’m currently reading Forever Vacancy: A Colors in Darkness Anthology. It’s a great collection of horror stories set in the Kretcher Motel—where people check in but not everyone checks out. I just finished reading a new release by Gisele Walko—Cravings and Triggers. I try to write reviews for most of the books I read, especially by independent authors, which both of these books are written by.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I would spend time with Regent Lela of the House of Asheema. The woman is a planetary leader, which is a ridiculously powerful position. Can you imagine? What does a planetary leader day look like? Who does she meet? What does she discuss? Where does she go? What decisions must she make? And how does she stay humble and level-headed with that much power and people falling over themselves to do her bidding? Shadowing a planetary leader for a day could be an awesome and enlightening experience. If nothing else, I doubt it would be boring.
Are there any content or trigger warnings readers should be aware of?
This is a story that involves the death of a spouse, which, I suppose, could be content/trigger warning for some readers. I explore a wife’s struggle to move on after the passing of her husband. But there are a few supernatural twists in Bound Souls, which makes this novel more than the usual science fiction romance story.
What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your books that isn't so?
For readers who’ve never read one of books, they will likely think they are primarily romance novels, despite being labeled as paranormal romance. And, in the case of Bound Souls, science fiction romance. People assume, perhaps based on the covers, that my novels are light on paranormal, fantasy, or supernatural elements. Nothing could be further from the truth. While the romance, love, and intimacy are definitely there, the otherworldly aspects are just as critical to the plot and the growth and development of the characters.
What is the most important thing that people DON'T know about your books that they need to know?
What people may not know about my books is the importance I place on creating positive, multi-dimensional characters of color, particularly the hero and heroine. Don’t misunderstand, my characters aren’t perfect. They have their flaws and areas of growth. But they are good people, who, more often than not, strive to do the right thing, be better, even when they are on the wrong path.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would like to thank my readers for supporting me, by reading my novels, for being a member of my Readers’ Group, and for leaving great reviews and thoughtful feedback. I appreciate their support so much, which is why I’m offering Bound Souls absolutely FREE at all major online booksellers.
Favorite food?
Crab Cake
Favorite Movie?
Underworld: Evolution
Last song you listened to?
Andra Day’s Rise Up
Dragons or unicorns?
Superpower of choice?

Thank you so much for answering all my questions, N.D! And I have to squee, because I LOVE that song too!

Fantastic answers, don't ya'll think? Any questions you'd like to ask, comment below please.

And don't forget Bound Souls is available for FREE right now. Sounds like a perfect way to celebrate V-day this year. I already have my copy :D

Bound Souls New Release Giveaway

Continue Reading >>

Excerpt & Interview: Murder at Midnight by John Ukah

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | | | | Please comment!

Murder at Midnight

by John Ukah
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Alex Simpson, an ex-police officer, decides after a bout of typhoid fever to take a break in a serene and therapeutic environment. The last thing he expects is to be called upon to solve a murder at the Kinging Guest Lodge. But that is what happens, when the delectable and vivacious Maria Marshall is found dead in her bedroom at midnight.

The gallery of characters living at the guesthouse and thrown into the mix, do not make his task of solving this chilling and brutal murder any easier …


Purchase “Murder at Midnight” on Amazon: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and India.

It is also available on Smashwords, Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Okadabooks, and major online stores. Okadabooks is mainly for buyers in Africa.

But I was inclined to think that if Mrs. Marshall was making up the stories, the people concerned could easily refute them; instead she always seemed to have them in a very tight spot.
“Let’s leave all that,” I said. “Let’s get down to why you are really here.”

As Maria pouted and fluttered her beautiful eyelashes, I found it difficult to concentrate on what she was saying. She was a very beautiful young woman. I am sure I must have mentioned that before. I was utterly entranced by her radiating beauty. Her perfume was so heady, that it made me want to hold her close. I had to shake my head from side to side, several times in order to clear my mind.

“You see, Mr. Simpson, let me take a hypothetical case of Ayuba and his wife, Amina. I’m only being hypothetical, you understand?”
I assured her that I understood and she continued. “Now if Amina was found dead at the bottom of a cliff, from which she had apparently jumped, having suffered some emotional traumatic event and the Police are satisfied that it was suicide and close the case. But somehow I discovered a letter that shows that Ayuba was the one who asked her to meet on the cliff, to discuss certain things, which she knew that he had done but which Ayuba did not want her to tell anyone else and for which he may have decided to push her over the cliff, to shut her mouth. What should I do with the letter? Because although the letter was written by Ayuba to Amina, asking her to meet him there, it still is no proof that Ayuba kept the appointment with her or that he pushed her.”

I was quiet for a few moments. Although she said it was hypothetical, it was obvious that to me that she knew some secret which was troubling her. Yet, she wanted to protect somebody. Was it her mother or Nagoth?
“If I were in your shoes, Maria, I would hand over the letter to the Police, even if they have closed the case. If there is anything to uncover, they will do so. But even if they don’t act on it, you would have done your lawful duty. Otherwise, you may be suppressing useful information.”
“I thought you might say something like that,” said Maria, with a deep sigh. “But what if I am in love with Ayuba and I don’t want him to feel that I have betrayed him by going to the Police? Couldn’t I confront him with the letter and hear what he has to say, first? She was starting to get really worked up about this so-called hypothetical story of hers. I wondered about the identity of the person she was trying to protect.
“Maria, if Ayuba did push Amina off the cliff and you confronted him with such evidence, as the purported letter, it could be dangerous for you. If he has killed before to shut somebody up, he will do so again.”
“But if he loved me, he would explain everything to me,” said Maria, still pouting.
I could see that she had already made up her mind to confront the person that she was protecting. She only needed me to back up her decision. But that, I could not do. Working with the story at hand, it was a dangerous step.

“Why don’t you tell me the whole story, maybe I could offer more concrete advice?” I prompted.
“Well you see, it was yesterday. I heard a noise in my room, like a rat scurrying around. It had disturbed me, all through the night. So, I decided to search for it. I went over to my chest of drawers and … I …” she suddenly clamped her hand over her mouth.
“What is it?” I asked.
She looked frightened. “I don’t think that I should tell you any of this, Mr. Simpson. I think I should go now.” She stood up and adjusted her skirt.
I reached out and held her left hand. She seemed so confused and scared.
“You can confide in me, Maria.” I stood up. She looked at me with those bewitching and beautiful eyes. We stood in close proximity and maybe that was what made touching her not such a good idea. A pulsating stream of electricity ran through me, as we held hands. I think she felt it too. I could not tell if I drew her into my arms or if she walked into them. We were suddenly in each other’s arms and in her eyes I gleaned a need to be comforted. I didn’t know what was troubling her but it had her completely unsettled. I yielded to a sudden impulse. I lowered my head and kissed her waiting lips. Her lips parted as mine met them.

About the Author:

John Ukah is a seasoned banker and Associate of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ACMR). He is a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Benin, where he was listed as University Scholar. He also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA).

Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
My name is John Ukah. I am a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Benin, Benin City. I am a banker and an Associate of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ACMR). I wrote my first book (Murder at Midnight) with a pen.
How did you realize you wanted to write?
I have always kept a personal journal. There was no conscious decision to be a writer. Writing has always been a part of me.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Books by Stephen King, James Patterson, Jeffery archer, John Grisham, Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, and Dean Koontz.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?
I won’t change anything at all.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The hardest thing is making time or space for my writing. I work in a bank. Life happens and other things distract or compete for my time.
What projects are you working on at the present?
I am working on a detective thriller. It is a testimony on the bogey of love-life amidst confusion and value misjudgements. It affirms the point of duty on young men and women to make the right choices with their eyes open. The story is a saga of love, pitiful criminalities, investigations, assumptions and deceits.
What book are you reading now (or the last book you read)?
I am reading Igoni Barrett’s ”Love is power, or something like that”.
If you could spend time a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I would spend the day with Mrs. Marshall and find out all she knows about the people around me. She has a knack of finding out an awful lot about people. She keeps an ear to the ground.
Has your career as a banker and business man influenced your writing or the stories you tell?
It gives my stories a certain hue because I meet people from all walks of life in the course of my banking and business interactions.
Favorite food?
I don’t have any. I am not a finicky eater.
Favorite Movie?
‘Limitless’ featuring Bradley Cooper.
Last song you listened to:
Smokey ‘Changing All The Time’
Dragons or unicorns?
Superpower of choice?
What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn't so?
Some people think ALL murder mysteries are the same.

What is the most important thing that people DON'T know about your subject/genre, that they need to know?
All murder mysteries are NOT the same. Authors have signatures. The storytelling style and characters offer variety and excitement.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I invite the readers to enjoy the rich insights provided by the intriguing gallery of characters, and the interesting dynamics between them, which is at the core of this whodunit thriller.
How is the best way for readers to connect with you and learn more about your books?
Facebook: www.facebook.com/john.ukah Twitter:@JohnUkah

Thank you John for answering my questions! I hope ya'll enjoyed reading the excerpt and John's answers.

Will you be adding Murder at Midnight to your TBR? Any other questions for John? Let me know below!

Continue Reading >>

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway for Heir of Locksley by N.B. Dixon: Gay Robin Hood's Prequel

I requested to read Heir of Locksley because gay Robin Hood? Fuck yes! Give me that old time social justice advocate gays, baby!

(And if you’re wondering I was totally one of those kids that loved the animation Robin Hood and thought he was hot as hell.)

But instead I got the straight childhood prequel. There’s barely a hint of homosexual romance and tension until the end. THEN IT ENDS.

Me During Reading:

  • “Okay, battling kiddos, will you two hook up?”
  • “Nope, okay then. Age gap, maybe?!”
  • “Nope. Ugh, fine. Let’s go, grow up, hurry.”
  • “Ohhhhh yes, good feeling about this one!”
  • “Damn, son.”
  • “the DRAMA!”
  • “Oh, so Robin’s bisexual or demi?! SWEET!”
  • “Oh, no.”
  • “Oh no!”
  • “Oh, no.”
  • “Oh no!”
  • “Ohhh, no!”
  • “Fuck.”
  • “Okay here we go!! FINALLY!”
  • ~FIN~

Look, it was a great read but I’m a bit upset over the misrepresentation. The blurb makes it sound much more than it is, and like an integral part of this story. It isn’t. Yet.

The next book takes place years after this one when the fucking asshole is sheriff and it’s King John and all that jazz. You know, the ‘meat’ of Robin Hood’s story. And does mention Robin’s gay feelings finally presenting. So yay!

The Outlaw’s Legacy #2 could be gay as shit and make it all okay. Let’s hope. I have a good feeling, but that might be hype getting in the way, because this was a really good read except for this issue.

Time will tell. Now enough with the feels, and onto the information and full review!

Continue Reading >>

Book Tour Excerpt: The Guardian by Amber Malloy: Black Woman Writing Interracial Romance

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | | Please comment!

The Guardian

Las Vegas Tales Book 1
by Amber Malloy
Genre: Action Adventure, Suspense, Guilty Pleasures, Interracial, MultiCultural
Book Description:
Jack Stone has inherited his family’s casino. The only problem? The mob wants it more than he does. If he doesn’t play his cards right, he’ll end up dead.
When his high school sweetheart drops back into his life, Jack’s got an even tougher decision -- should he trust the beauty with his life and heart -- again? This time he’s hoping the odds are in his favor.

Excerpt: Copyright ©2017 Amber Malloy

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.


The last remains of the Vegas nightlife surrounded his bar, where the showgirls from the Bellagio ignored last call. Jack Stone cleaned off the glasses with a smile. He had no choice; this town was a world of its own. Only in Las Vegas would a baby shower at the witching hour be acceptable. The star act of the Night Review was not blessing a new life with just any old nightclub but one where old Hollywood had once clamored to get in.
"To Mindy, for getting out of the dance race before she got tossed out on her pregnant ass!" The pack of Amazons cheered at their captain's toast.

"Last ones, lovelies," Jack called out. "It's time to go."

"Aw, come on, Jack, one more?" they whined practically in unison.

"Sorry, girls, the big boss would have my head if he knew I kept us open this late."

"We could only make it over after the show." The tallest of the tribe reached across the dark bar to touch his shoulder. "I'm sure you can pull a few strings."

Jack kept his smile firmly in place, without allowing them to know he was immune to their charm. "Last one," he repeated with a wink to soften the blow.

"Okay, you win." Still sparkly from her performance earlier, the replacement showgirl took her Peppermint Schnapps down like a pro. "What do you say to dinner tomorrow night after last curtain?"

Since his return to Vegas three years ago, this was the same song and dance he went through nightly. He was hip deep in friends with benefit offers. At first he indulged in the available pool of beauties, a distraction from his true mission. It would have been easy to keep going, but the sexy woman who had just stepped into Pauline's consumed his mind and heart.

Lena Mercier walked upstream of the thin dancers. Toned with curves in all the right places, she was an artistic statue painted in the vibrant hue of milk chocolate.

"Thanks for the drinks!" The showgirls headed out of the bar doors in a peal of giggles.

"You've got something of mine, Jack," Lena said in a subtle tone that stopped the mindless chatter in his head. The Lululemon leggings cupped her perfect ass. It was her usual travel uniform. She must have just gotten off a plane. A fancy tank top and light leather jacket topped off her outfit. Her sleek black hair fell in a swoop in front of her right eye -- a sophisticated cut that showcased her elegant neck. Jack noted how perfect she looked. Except for the fact she had left town two weeks ago, and he had no idea where she had gone. It still aggravated him.

He wiped down the deep wood and concentrated on the high polish, instead of the sexy woman in front of him. "Just put your lips together and blow."

She gave him a cheeky smile before she put her fingers to her mouth and ripped a high-C whistle. In a matter of moments, the heavy panting of excitement filled the damn near empty bar. A squat, furry toad ran at full tilt in her direction. Lena's Frenchie, Harry, hopped on the chair, then the table before he took full flight through the air. Lena caught the little fucker in the crook of her arm.

Since he never tired of that circus trick, Jack chuckled. "Nightcap?" Happy to see his neighbor had made it back home, he tried not to compete for her attention with the dog.

"Sorry, Jack, I'm beat."

"You want to talk about it? After all, bartenders are great listeners." He nudged to get her to open up about her work. Once high school sweethearts, they'd spent more than a decade apart, and then one day she was back. Since he didn't believe in coincidence, he had his suspicions why Lena had suddenly showed up in his life.

"If only that were true." Lena smiled before she headed toward the door.

"We're not good listeners?" He wished she would stay and keep him company.

"No," she turned around, stopping short of disappearing into the cool night, "the part where you're just the bartender."

About the Author:

Amber Malloy dreamed of being a double agent but couldn’t pass the psyche evaluation. Crushed by despair that she couldn’t legally shoot things, Amber pursued her second career choice as pastry chef. When she’s not writing or whipping up a mean Snickers Cheesecake, she occasionally spies on her sommelier. Amber is convinced he’s faking his French accent.

Amber loves to talk to her readers and can be found at www.ambermalloy.com

Continue Reading >>

Broke Home Reviews: NeoSan Scarf & Trek Proof Compresses

Brooke Banks | 9:08 PM | | Please comment!

NEOSANWomen Men Winter Thick Cable Knit Wrap Chunky Warm Scarf All Colors

  • Love the colors! My wardrobe is all black, blues, and greys so this goes with everything of mine, but there's tons more colors to choose from. 
  • Tons of compliments from my co-workers. That just makes you feel so good doesn't it? I am not a fashion type person either so it was an extra special squee moment for me. 
  • SO SOFT! When I had my coworkers feel it, immediately their eyes go big and start "Ooooooh!"-ing.
    via GIPHY
  • It's absolutely warm! The knitting isn't suffocatingly tight but wrap it around your neck once and you'll feel no chill.
  • So far, after two weeks, it's still looking good and holding up strong.

Since I haven't had a scarf since living in MI as a teen, I thought it'd be cool to try out some of the more complicated ways to tie it. I chose the last three options from this graphic:

My attempt at a Loop N Through

My attempt at a Fashion Knot

My attempt at a Loop N Through W Knot

I was going to try more, but I realized, I would never bother using it and I think I've demonstrated my point that you can tie it in different ways. Just remember yours will look better than mine because these were my first attempts ever! And really, I'm fine with a basic tie to keep my neck warm. No way I have the time or patience to try these fancy ties out in the morning, lol.

Trek Proof Ice Pack (2-Piece Set) - Reusable Hot and Cold Therapy Gel Wrap Support

If you follow on Facebook, then you know my heartbreak with this product. I was all set for a 5 star raving review, until a pack broke after a week. Well, the saga continues. The second pack broke Thursday morning after 3 days of use in the same spot. Terrible, right?

Well the good news is the company as been very communicative. They've assured me it's unusual and they will be speaking to the manufacturer about my problems. They asked for lots of detail and photos which makes me feel better. And given I'm the only review for them with this problem, I believe them. They've also compensated me with an Amazon gift card so I can get another heating pack of my choosing.

With absolutely great customer service and care, I'm happy I gave this product a shot. I think others will have better luck, particularly if you're not a chronic pain sufferer and won't be using it as much as I.

Those are the only home products I have for right now, until next time! Any requests on something you want to me try out and review?

Continue Reading >>

Promo Blitz: Lizzie & McKenzie’s Fabulous Adventures: Mayhem in Madrid by Dina C. Tate: MG Black Girl Magic

Brooke Banks | 3:49 AM | | | Please comment!

About the Book

Title: Lizzie & McKenzie’s Fabulous Adventures: Mayhem in Madrid
Author: Dina C. Tate
Genre: Children’s Books, Fantasy
Imagine if all the little girls of the world looked alike.
If the Same Glam Goddess gets her way, it can surely happen.
McKenzie Rivers, the pint-sized daredevil, and Lizzie Sanders, who loves all things frilly, aren’t afraid of being different. And that’s exactly why Princess Lovina of Exquisite City calls upon them to stop the Same Glam Goddess from making all the little girls of the world look the same. With the aid of their magical lovely lockets and fierce diva weaponry, Lizzie and McKenzie will travel the world to find the Seven Crystals of Sisterhood. Their first stop is the magical city of Madrid.
Lizzie and McKenzie will need help to obtain the crystals before the Same Glam Goddess gets her hands on them. If the crystals are not found, little girls all over the world will remain under the spell of the Same Glam Goddess and will lose their identities forever! Will Lizzie and McKenzie be able to find the crystals, break the spell, and stop the Same Glam Goddess?

Author Bio

Dina Tate is the President and Founder of GlobalGirlsSquad LLC a publishing and technology company. Her first book which combines her love of travel and japanese animation is titled “Lizzie and McKenzie’s Fabulous Adventures”.


Buy the Book:

Continue Reading >>

Book Blast & $50 GC Giveaway for Triple Love Score by Brandi Megan Granett

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | | 3 Comments

I couldn't help but sign up for this blast. It sounds adorable and I love the scrabble poetry idea. Good luck everyone, I hope you like this tidbit!

Triple Love Score

by Brandi Megan Granett
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Miranda Shane lives a quiet life among books and letters as a professor in a small upstate town.

When the playing-by- the-rules poet throws out convention and begins to use a Scrabble board instead of paper to write, she sets off a chain of events that rattles her carefully planned world.

Her awakening propels her to take risks and seize chances she previously let slip by, including a game-changing offer from the man she let slip away. But when the revelation of an affair with a graduate student threatens the new life Miranda created, she is forced to decide between love or poetry.

Miranda played mystery on a double word score with a blank tile. “Bingo,” she chorused. “Fifty points.” She hopped up to do a victory dance. As she did, her foot clipped the table, and the tile bag toppled over.

They both bent to pick them up. He smelled like Old Spice, the way her father did before the chemo made her mom’s nose too sensitive. “You,” Miranda started to say, to ask or to explain why she couldn’t stop staring at him.

“You,” he said in reply.

Then he leaned in closer and pressed his lips against hers. His eyelashes stirred against her cheeks as he closed his eyes. She leaned in closer. And neither one moved to stop. For a very long moment, lips slightly parted, they breathed in the same air, as they hovered in the sweet spot right after a kiss.

Then his phone went off, startling them both.

He snapped backwards and patted down his pockets for the source of the interruption. He stared at the number. “I think I have to take this,” he said. “Some kind of hospital.”

About the Author:

Brandi Megan Granett is an author, online English professor, and private writing mentor. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University, Wales, an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College, a Masters in Adult Education with an emphasis on Distance Education from Penn State University, and a BA from the University of Florida.

Granett is the author of My Intended (William Morrow, 2000). Her short fiction has appeared in Pebble Lake Review, Folio, Pleiades and other literary magazines, and is collected in the volume Cars and Other Things That Get Around.

In addition, she writes an author interview series for the Huffington Post, and is a member of the Tall Poppy Writers, a community of writing professionals committed to growing relationships, promoting the work of its members, and connecting authors with each other and with readers.

When Granett is not writing or teaching or mothering, she is honing her archery skills. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, daughter and two dogs.

Brandi will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Continue Reading >>

In Black & White by Catherine Lavender Excerpt & Review

Tweet your post to the Author @Lavenderpages!

Date Published: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Chamomile Books LLC
Micah Winters always knew that she was different. It was the pigment of her skin and the texture of her hair that revealed that she was a woman from biracial parents. For five decades, Micah’s African American mother has remained silent about Micah’s estranged father (Sidney Irving). It is not until after Sidney Irving’s death that Micah learns that she is the daughter of the legendary novelist and screenwriter. Now with her mother’s memory fading away from Alzheimer’s disease, Micah can only rely on a novel that was written from her father years ago to understand her parents past during the time of segregation in the United States. Micah’s once simple life is not so simple anymore as she tries to make sense of an unfamiliar world as she inherits her father’s wealth and private past. With an abandoned heart, Micah must forgive the past in order to discover who she really is.

Goodreads Amazon Barnes and Noble Kobo


Sidney Irving knew that his time had come. At the age of eighty-four, the prospect of imminent death didn’t frighten him. In truth, death was a welcome reprieve from the loneliness that had plagued him for the past few decades.

As a well-known and respected author, Sidney achieved much success in his youthful, productive years. He was certain that people would continue to read his novels and watch movies based on his screenplays long after he was gone. He had won many awards, given interviews, and shared his work on public platforms. For a long time, his work satisfied and fulfilled him in a way that his life was not able to. But then, old age caught up. He couldn’t write as well or as quickly as he used to, and eventually, even the personal delight in finding the right word, and the perfect sentence began to elude him.

Sidney knew that like most men, he had committed a number of mistakes during his years of living. Unfortunately, many of them came back to haunt him on his death bed. Chief among them was a relentless guilt that ravaged his already worn-out body.

However, he had already done all that he could do to set things right after his death. There was nothing else that could be done. Perhaps in time, he would be forgiven. It pained him that he did not take that step forward while he still had the energy to do so. It was cowardice; he knew. Although, it was hard to make amends with the distressing fear of facing rejection and humiliation.

When he died, things would be set right – as they should have been fifty years ago.

A sudden cough escaped his lips. Years of habit brought him to cover his mouth with his hand, which was now leathery, spotted, and dry. Once, he had been a robust man, with an almost insatiable lust for life, but age had stripped him of all energy.

His nurse, a staid, matronly woman of middle-age, walked into the room. “You have a visitor, Mr. Irving. It is Nathan. Should I bring him in?”

“Yes, let Nathan come in,” he wheezed.

Nathan came to Havre de Grace seven years ago. An ex-Navy SEAL, who had been fighting his own personal demons after taking an early retirement from the military, with hopes to begin a new life, Nathan started working at the Irving Estate as a handyman. As the years went by, he slowly opened up to Sidney. Nathan walked in. For a moment, he stood staring at Sidney. “And here I thought you would be up for a round of golf, but you are still lounging in the bed.”

The laughter that escaped Sidney’s lips turned to a cough. After helping Sidney sit up against the plush pillows that neatly lined the headboard of the bed, Nathan made him drink some water. “You…” Words seemed to escape him as he tried to catch his breath.

Sidney leaned back and rested his head against one of the pillows. “Don’t worry, Nate. I’ve made my peace. My time has come.”

“Don’t say that.” Nathan dragged the nurse’s chair closer to the bed and sat down. “It’s my turn to beat you in a game of chess.”

Sidney smiled. He would miss his time with Nathan. Over the years, they had formed a friendship of mutual trust and respect, and the two men bonded over games of chess and broken shingles on the roof. If he could have told someone about the entire truth of his sad, old tale, he would have chosen to share it with Nathan.

Even now, he wished he could bear his soul – but it would not assuage the guilt or undo the harm he already inflicted. “You’ve been a good friend, Nathan. Thank you,” he whispered in a voice that was as dry as rice paper.

“I’ll always be here for you, Sidney.”

“Promise me that if she decides to...”

Sidney didn’t have to finish the thought. Nathan already knew his friend’s wishes, and he wanted to put his mind at ease. “I’ll be here, Sidney. I’ll see it through. However, that’s not going to be for a long time. You still have some life left in you.”

Sidney turned his head to the side to look upon his friend, ignoring the twinges of pain that had already begun to stab him in his chest. “Nathan, we both know my time is short. Just promise me you’ll stick around.”

“This is home, Sidney,” Nathan said simply. “Where else am I going to go?”

It would have to do. He trusted Nathan to make the right choices.

The nurse came back into the bedroom, looking a little flustered. “Your lawyer is here, Mr. Irving? I told him that you already had a visitor, but he insists on seeing you and…”

“It’s alright. I’ll leave.” Nathan put his hand on top of Sidney’s, squeezed once, and while looking down at the floor to gather his emotions, he let go. “I’ll come back tomorrow.”

Nathan was a good man. Perhaps tomorrow Sidney would tell him more about things that had happened all those years… no, decades ago, but now was not the time. He watched his lawyer; Kris Angles come in. A handsome man, the streaks of silver in his hair only added to the distinguished image he cultivated with care. As Nathan left the room, the two men exchanged a look as they passed each other.

Kris took the seat Nathan had vacated. “I was in town for some work, and thought I would pay my respects to you, Sidney. It’s been a long time.”

With great effort, Sidney suppressed a cough. “Thank you for coming. For a minute, I thought there may be a problem with some paperwork.”

Kris put his briefcase on the floor. “No, everything is already arranged. Unless, of course, you have changed your mind as I advised…”

A sharp pain seared his chest and traveled down to his belly. “I haven’t, no.”

Kris smiled. “Then your wishes will be carried out as you’ve stated, Sidney. There will be sixty-five days before a decision has to be made. Are you sure you just don’t want to make it sixty days as per industry standard

in the-”

Sidney cut him off with as much force and determination he could muster in his deteriorated condition. “Sixty-five days, Kris!”

“Okay, I’ll see that it gets done.”

“I know, Kris. I trust you.”

Finally, a long drawn-out cough brought the nurse back in. Her severe look was enough to make Kris stand.

He picked up his briefcase. “I don’t want to overtax you, my friend. I’ll come back soon.”

After Kris departed, the nurse checked Sidney’s temperature. “Would you like your pain medication now, Mr. Irving?”

He considered the option. The round, white pill would make the pain bearable, but it would also dull his memories and cloud his brain. And today of all days, he wanted to remember each tiny detail, examine every facet of his life, and relive every experience that once made his youth exciting.

“Not now,” he said, knowing he would have to take it soon enough if he wanted to sleep. The deadly combination of pain and a high fever made it impossible for him to rest for long, unless he was drugged with sleeping tablets and pain medication. For now, he didn’t want anything to disrupt his trip down memory lane.

“I’ll be right outside your room. Call me if you need anything.”

He watched his nurse depart, with his eyes tracing her path across the dark Persian carpet that adorned his room. Twin cherry and walnut chairs flanked a wishbone chest on top of which were placed bottles of his medications, and a striped brown and white curtain hung across the window that overlooked the estate garden. At this time of the year, the flowers would be in full bloom. He longed to take a look at the delicate daisies and the elegant roses that were the crowning jewel of his flower beds. Beyond the garden was the gleaming wooden dock where his sailboat would be anchored. Maybe one day he could walk down that way again, stand at the dock, and observe the blue herons that walk upon the shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

It was a pipe dream, of course. He would never be able to do the simple things he had taken for granted only months ago. Nevertheless, the biggest regret in his life was what he had done to Micah, his daughter, who
was born from an African-American woman. Micah’s mother, Loretta was a dignified woman whose only crime had been falling in love with a white man. In the sixties, such an indiscretion was not permissible. Still, perhaps, they could have gotten away with it had they kept it quiet and discreet. Even so, when she fell pregnant, they had no choice but to separate. He missed Loretta, but what he missed most was the years of fatherhood that he threw away simply because his daughter did not share his pristine white coloring.

He had not been man enough to change his circumstances – and now, fifty years later; he regretted that decision more than anything. For a while after Loretta left, his life had been wonderful; friends, experiences, and his work were enough to sustain him. However, as the years blended into decades, his work lost the excitement he had once harbored for it, his friends moved away or got busy with families, and no experience was enough to relieve him of the utter tedium of his mundane existence. Perhaps, it would have been all so much better if he had not thrown aside the chance to be a father.

He never once talked to the child whom he abandoned, never picked her up, carried her in his arms or witnessed her smile as she found joy in small things. If she had shared his life, she would have grown up in this estate, run through the massive gardens, plucked his prized flowers and stood with him at the wooden dock as they enjoyed the cool breeze that filtered in through the bay. Perhaps, she would have sat by his side while he took his last breath.

Her company might have given him the solace he so desperately sought in the efficient but impersonal concern of the nurses who attended him, and the occasional kindness of his friends who dropped in once in a while.

He cast his thoughts back to the last time he saw her. She had not known he was there, but he had tracked her whereabouts to Baltimore, the city where she lived. Three years ago, or four; he could not quite remember.

Nevertheless, he would never forget the soft, black curls that framed a face that was hauntingly beautiful with its bronze skin and delicate features. Even from afar, he had seen that she had his eyes; the same shade of hazel. His mother’s eyes passed on through him to his only child.

He had never been able to forget her. It was evident that he had missed his chance to have a stab at real happiness. And he had no one to blame for it but himself. It was his dream to make amends after death. Perhaps, then, he would be able to rest in peace. Sidney’s eyes rested on the thin rays of sunlight that sneaked in through the chink in the curtains. It was the last thing he saw before his eyes closed – forever.

About the Author:

Catherine Lavender is from Baltimore, Maryland but now resides in the sunshine state of Florida with her miniature schnauzer named Ripken. She is an animal activist, as well as a supporter of the organization First Book which helps supply literature for underprivileged children. In her spare time, Catherine enjoys reading classic literature and playing the acoustic guitar.

Twitter Goodreads

Trigger Warning IconAdult IconContemporary IconMystery IconRomance IconDiverse IconMixed Bag Icon

The Good The Bad & The Other
Strong beginning, easy to get into Ignores facts for the sake of plot and drama. One consideration I clued into immediately would’ve changed the whole book.
Liked Micah Problematic handling of an abusive relationship
Liked the passages from “Daisies for Lisa”. Ending was too quick & neat. Felt rushed. I wish she made a different decision that would have had consequences and considerations
Liked Micah working on the mystery of her parents and her evolving feelings

In Black & White quickly hooked me with Irving’s last moments and Micah’s bakery. I enjoyed most of the story, particularly unraveling Loretta and Irving’s romance and Micah’s character progression.

There’s only a few mention of colorism throughout and it revolves around the black community’s negative responses to Micah. I’m a bit disappointed that the other areas aren’t acknowledged or explored as well.

As I became more invested in Micah’s mysteries it became frustratingly obvious the plot was being forced and fabricated instead of naturally flowing. There’s one factor that I wondered about right off the bat that doesn’t get mentioned until the very end to save the day and provide a sentimental happily ever after.

Not only that, but on page 83/84 Micah is given a letter. This is a very important letter that will help in her quest she’s so focused on. Yet she doesn’t even think about it for another 50 pages and then hems and haws about opening a dead person’s mail she just inherited. Really?!?

In Black & White would have been different if these factors were used correctly instead of reminding me it’s a written story and pulling me out of the book.

Despite my later issues with Micah (more on that in a bit) and the plot, I was still intrigued and it was easy to keep reading. Too bad the ending isn’t surprising and Irving’s treasure was a ‘duh’.

While Micah’s closing remarks were touching and I loved her personal journey, I can’t help but wish she made a different choice. Again, if all the facts were used in the beginning she’d have more time and so would the ending, allowing more time for a deeper, internal narrative.

Because it is enjoyable, easy to read, Micah is a great MC, and the main mystery of her parent's romance is a winner.

Recommendations: If you’re a fan historical romance and contemporary drama. Being able to let the plot slide a bit is a plus. But a Trigger Warning is in effect in regards to a past abusive relationship.

TW: Abusive Relationship & It’s Excused, Not Called Out

So, Micah's mother has an ex-boyfriend named Roy tangled up in the story of Irving. Roy was abusive. ABUSIVE. He hurt her physically, controlled her movements, belittled her, isolated her, and made murderous threats.

Roy excuses his behavior, says it was because he learned it from his father, had anger problems, and loved Lisa so damn much he was terrified of losing her.

This is an accurate pile of bullshit from an abuser. I’ve heard this justification from my abusive ex-boyfriend. Micah swallows it hook, line, and sinker.

It’s never called abuse, it’s “they fought a lot”. No, don’t do this. Don’t make the victim complicit while trying to survive HIS actions.

Pg. 145-146 “her mother had indeed been a lucky woman because three men had loved her with passion.”

Including Roy in as the first man is BULLSHIT. No victim is “lucky” to have someone “them love so”. Micah admits it was possessive and destructive but not abuse. Why tap dance around this? Why is the abuse romanticised, and her mother, the victim, the survivor, being neglected? Why is Roy pitied and made sympathetic for his abuse?

Why not even acknowledge the damage done to Loretta by him? Loretta refused his roses, she never forgave him, and never wanted anything to do with him again. But her daughter is this bastion of understanding and forgiveness for him?

As a survivor, this whole subplot is disgusting, frustrating, and propagates harmful bullshit.

Continue Reading >>
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...