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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: 15 Minutes by Larissa Reinhart, Trendy Cozy Mystery

15 Minutes: A Maizie Albright Star Detective Humorous Mystery

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Past Perfect Press (January 24, 2017)
Paperback: 341 pages

#10days #findthewoman #getthejob #doNOTfallinlove

When ex-teen star Maizie Albright returns to her Southern hometown of Black Pine, Georgia, she hoped to rid herself of Hollywood tabloid and reality show hell for a new career as a private investigator. Instead, Hollyweird follows her home. Maizie’s costar crushing, but now for her gumshoe boss. Her stage-monster mother still demands screen time. Her latest rival wants her kicked off the set, preferably back to a California prison.

By entangling herself in a missing person’s case, she must reprise her most famous role. The job will demand a performance of a lifetime. But this time, the stakes are real and may prove deadly.

“I was already a huge fan of Larissa Reinhart’s “Cherry Tucker” series, but in her new mystery series, FIFTEEN MINUTES, she had me at the end of the first line: “Donuts.” Maizie Albright is the kind of fresh, fun, and feisty “star detective” I love spending time with, a kind of Nancy Drew meets Lucy Ricardo. Move over, Janet Evanovich. Reinhart is my new “star mystery writer!” — Penny Warner, Author of DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER and THE CODE BUSTERS CLUB

“Hollywood glitz meets backwoods grit in this fast-paced ride on D-list
celeb Maizie Albright’s waning star—even as it’s reborn in a spectacular
collision with her nightmarish stage mother, her
deer-pee-scented-apparel-inventing daddy…and a murderer. Sassy, sexy, and
fun, 15 Minutes is hours of enjoyment—and a wonderful start to a fun new
series from the charmingly Southern-fried Reinhart.”
— Phoebe Fox, author of THE BREAKUP DOCTOR series

“Larissa Reinhart’s newest heroine, Maizie Albright, is at once na├»ve and worldly. As a former child star, she craves life in the real world by becoming a PI, just like the TV character that made her famous. Armed with humor, charm, and stubborn determination, Maizie is a breath of fresh air. I adored every second of 15 Minutes. Viva la Maizie!” — Terri L. Austin, bestselling author of the ROSE STRICKLAND MYSTERIES and the NULL FOR HIRE series.

Adult IconContemporary IconCrime IconMystery IconRomance IconLight and Fun IconStatus Quo Icon

The Good The Bad & The Other
Loved Maizie Figured out the mystery before Maizie and a bit disappointed she didn’t clue in, especially given the clues…
The plot never feels forced or overwrought. The half-naked show down was a bit much and hard for me to believe.
Love the setting and I have a feeling more of the economic challenges and changes in a place like Black Pine will show up The repeated reference to Paul Newman eyes got old quick and seemed like an outdated reference for Maizie. I thought of the salad dressing first and had to Google Image search him, though that might just be me.
Every chapter has hashtags as titles, which is relevant, cute, and they’re often funny.
Liked how Maizie was no longer on social media but it’s a vital part of everyone else’s lives and makes the right waves in the narrative.
Her attitude of having to appreciate the male leers makes sense for her character, and is very telling. I didn’t think it was an anti-feminist knock and I’m hoping the issue is explored further from this angle with Maizie’s burgeoning self-esteem.

I’m a huge fan of the Cherry Tucker so I jumped to try Reinhart’s new series with Maizie Albright. I love protagonists who don’t have their shit together but are trying to and working on improvement. Maizie’s got problems in spades from blackmail to . She will feel down and out, eat some comfort food, and get back up.

As with her other series, Reinhart brings the drama told in a vivid voice with a strong supporting cast and a solid mystery.

Here’s a brief run-down of the cast since you can tell a lot about a cozy mystery from the ensemble.

  • Maizie Albright - If a Disney star starred in a Veronica Mars like show, went wild, and went straight again. Or is trying to at least while escaping from the limelight.
  • Maizie’s Father & Step-Mother - If Duck Dynasty was real and not bigoted POS’s. (They’re yuppies gone country for fame & fortune.)
  • Maizie’s Manager/Mother - Every horror story of a Hollywood Mom rolled into one
  • Wyatt Nash - Tall, dark, handsome, & ripped. Silent, commanding, gruff, and old-fashioned old-school. With Paul Newman eyes and a scar. (You’ll hear about the last two a lot.)
  • Jolene Sweeney - Nash’s ex and still technical business partner. She set Maizie up to follow Nash around but boy, does she hate when she turns up.
  • Rhonda & Tiffany - two nice down to Earth women working in a beauty salon when Maizie strolls in behind Nash…

Initially, I noted the scene where Maizie meets Nash was convoluted and difficult to follow. I went back to check why since I hadn’t specified and it comes off clear as day now. I don’t know if I was just not in the right headspace at the time or it’s easier after becoming familiar with all parties involved.

Even when confused, it kept me reading though. Maizie’s fashion name dropping meant nothing to me but I admired her resolve while she battled inner demons. And later when they show up, the outside forces of evil.

15 Minutes is highly enjoyable ride along with Maizie. She has just the right mix of down to Earth problems and outrageous events to keep the story grounded but rolling along.

I think fans of Cherry Tucker will appreciate the former Hollywood star and her adventures as will most cozy mystery fans as long as you’re cool with up to date trendy 25 year old figuring her life out.

About The Author

Mystery and Maizie Albright Star Detective series. The first in the Cherry Tucker series, Portrait of a Dead Guy, is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. She loves books, food, and travel in any and all combinations.

Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, live in Nagoya, Japan, but they still call Georgia home. You can see them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Visit her website, find her chatting on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads, and sign up for her newsletter at http://smarturl.it/larissanewsletter.

If you enjoy her books, please leave a review. She sends you virtual hugs and undying gratitude for your support!

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January 24 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

January 24 – Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

January 25 – The Broke Book Bank – REVIEW

January 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 26 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

January 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 28 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

January 29 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

January 30 – Book Babble – REVIEW

January 31 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

February 1 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

February 2 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

February 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

February 4 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

February 5 – Varietats – REVIEW

February 5 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 6 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

February 6 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

February 6 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

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Blog Tour Excerpt & Interview for Ifechidere by Chinedu Enechi

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

About the Book

Title: Ifechidere
Author: Chinedu Enechi
Genre: Coming of Age
The loss of both her parents, even before she is old enough to speak, appears to pre-determine Ifechidere's life. She is made to toil from dusk to dawn.

Yet, Ifechidere is no modern-day Cinderella, as she finds that faith in the will to survive, which is stronger than any absentee fairy godmother, will propel her to find herself. And it'll lead her to the thing that was always meant to be …


Purchase the book on Amazon: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia and India.

The book is also also available on Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Okadabooks and major online stores in Kindle, EPUB and iBook formats. Okadabooks is for buyers in the African market.

The mourners wept even harder, when they looked at Obande's children. Afoma, who was 15, had been the apple of her father's eye. She was responsible, industrious and humane. Even during the times her mother maltreated Ifechi, Afoma got into trouble because she would always console Ifechi. Shortly after Ifechidere’s disappearance, Afoma had decided that she would become a lawyer in future, so that she would be able to fight more effectively for the less privileged. She also promised herself that she would look for Sister Ifechi and live with her.

Onukwube was now nearly 13; he was a different story. He was wild, rebellious and flagrantly irresponsible. Egged on by his mother’s pampering, he saw no reason to be any other way. Ogolo never allowed him to do chores in or around the house. She called him Onochie, insisting that males, especially those who were Onochie, were not supposed to any work. The house chores were therefore passed on to Afoma, as Ifechidere wasn't there to do them. If Afoma was not around to do the work, their mother would do them.

Yet, Onukwube seemed to have a soft spot was his sister. It was either that, or he just loved any excuse to get into a fight. One day, their mother tried to punish Afoma because she dared to ask him to wash some plates. But he stood between his mother and sister, absolutely refusing to move and daring Ogolo to touch Afoma. On another day, Afoma returned from school, with her clothes in tatters. Onukwube was the only one at home. In tears, she said that a boy in her class, named Okenna, had fought with her. Onukwube went and sought out Okenna. Though Onukwube didn’t win the ensuing fight, he gave his opponent an unforgettable mark. He hit Okenna on the head with a stick, even after Okenna felled him to the ground. This was before passers-by separated them. They reprimanded Okenna, asking him why he chose to fight with the mad boy that everyone knew as Onukwube.

There was one incident that stood out in many people's memories. It happened one morning, when Afoma had gone to fetch firewood and her mother had gone to fetch water. Obande woke up and called Onukwube to sweep the compound, when he noticed that Afoma and Ogolo were not at home. Onukwube refused to do the sweeping and Obande beat him. When Ogolo returned and met her son crying, she picked a fight with her husband. They created such a ruckus that villagers assembled to pacify husband and wife. Ogolo was insistent that her husband was trying to kill her only son. She claimed that Onukwube was the reincarnation of her late father; instead of respecting him, Obande wanted to send him into a second exile. Thee villagers sighed because they knew even before she said anything, what Ogolo would say. Onukwube usually had his mother as a shield. He was her favourite. Whenever she was not in school teaching, Ogolo could be seen fighting one teacher or the other, for disciplining her son. There was no limit to the lengths she would go, to protect her son. Even his school-mates were not spared; Ogolo had physically engaged with children who quarrelled or fought with Onukwube. It was no wonder he had no friends.

Onukwube was known as one of the villains of Nimbo community. Petty stealing was not beyond or beneath him. Whenever Onukwube entered any compound, something was bound to go missing. His infamy even extended to neighbouring villages of Uzo-Uwani; everyone called him a bad son and parents warned their children to avoid him. On one occasion when yet another case involving Onukwube had to be heard by the Igwe and his cabinet, Obande and Ogolo were summoned. But Ogolo was more defiant than usual, that day. She told the Igwe, in the hearing of all present, that he and his cabinet were envious of Onukwube; that was the only reason they often accused her precious son of stealing and other social vices. She then said that the Igwe was 'an enemy of progress' and that was why he didn’t have a son. It was because of the hardness of his heart and the atrocities he had committed, that the gods had punished him by withholding a son who would carry on his name, from him. That was why no matter how hard he tried, he had ended up fathering eight daughters.

IFECHIDERE is available in all Amazon markets on Kindle. It is also available as an EPUB and iBook on Smashwords, Overdrive.com, Kobo, Apple, Okadabooks.com and major online stores.

Author Bio

Chinedu Enechi is a Philosophy graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and an MA student of Political and Social Philosophy at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. His hobbies include cooking, reading, watching movies and hanging out with friends.

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Tell us a little about yourself?
I am honest, determine, ambitious and kind.
How did you realized you wanted to write?­­
I like telling stories; I started with folktales.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Hmm… I can’t say one particular book but some of the books that have an impact on me are Chinua Achebe’s Chike and River, and Things Fall Apart.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?
No, absolutely no.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes, meeting the expectations of my readers/audience.
What projects are you working on at the present?
I am writing something on domestic violence in marriages and relationships that I hope will be adapted for the screen.
What book are you reading now (or the last book you read)?
“The Kingmaker” by Brain Haig and “The go-giver” by Bob Burg and John D. Mann.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
It would be Ifechidere. I would ask more questions about the Osu caste system.
One of your hobbies is cooking, is there a particular dish/recipe you’d like to share?
There is a native delicacy from my place ofe akwu (palm fruit stew). It's made with the liquid squeezed out of palm nuts.
Favorite food?
White rice with ofe akwu.
Favorite movies? Black American movies or action movies.
Last song you listened to? John Legend's “Tonight best you ever had”.
Dragon or Unicorns?
Superpower of choice?
The power to influence.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Try to learn the positive from any positive book you read.
Are there misconceptions that people have about your book? If so, explain.
None that I've been made aware of
What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t so?
That all African literature is the same.
What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre that they need to know?
All African literature isn't the same; there are so many aspects and different sub-genres.
What inspires you?
My family and my experiences. Ifechidere is actually based on my mother's life story!
How is the best way for readers to connect with you and learn more about your books?
They can get in touch with me through my publisher, The Fearless Storyteller House Emporium Ltd – info@chiomannani.com I am also on Facebook (Chinedu Enechi) and Twitter @chineduenechi

What did ya'll think of the excerpt? Any more questions for Enechi today?

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Broke Home Reviews: New Thermometer & Facial Scrubbers

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | 1 Comments

Best Quality Oral Digital Thermometer 

For Infants, Kid & Adults - 30 Seconds Read & Monitor Fever Temperature for Fast & Accurate Measurement, Water Proof, and Flexible by RnS Star

Regular Price: $12.99 + Prime Eligible One Day Shipping

I've always used those cheap metal thermometers, thinking there wasn't a big different and it wouldn't matter.

I couldn't be more wrong.

While my daughter had the cough & sniffles a couple of weeks ago, I ordered this one at her urging. I was skeptical but willing to try, especially with Prime's free returns.

She literally ripped the package from my hands and immediately tested her temperature. And kept testing it on her own volition for a week until she was better.

If I had known it'd be this easy, I would've bought this LONG ago. It's hard as a struggling parent when to splurge on the better items and when the cheapest works just as well.

Do the generic straight metal thermometers work? Of course and if you've only got a couple bucks, that's what you get. But it's not as pleasant and my daughter is a cranky monster when she's sick. She'll use all her energy to fight me because she "doesn't want to". She just wants it to go away and feel better. But life doesn't work like that and anything to help me from losing my mind and get her back to normal self is a win in my book.

  • +Soft, comfortable
  • +Quick & Easy
  • +Reliable
  • +Totally worth $13 bucks.

Me and Brian tested it out too and found out our baseline temperatures. No wonder the dude is always cold, he runs hotter than me and Laylah.

Bonus: Is it just me or is thermometer a pain in the ass to spell? Since I pronounce it with a d-sound, I have to say "therm-o-meter" every single time or I'll sit there like a dumb ass wonder HTF it's spelled. Spell check did not save me when I tried it with a D.

2 Pcs Silicone Facial Scrubber Cleansing Pad Deep Pore Cleaning Brush 

Massage,Blackheads Removing, Exfoliating

Regular Price: $21.99
On Sale Now: $10.99
Prime Eligible

I am always on the lookout for new facial products to try. I'm almost 27 and I'm still struggling with acne problems. My nose is giant whitehead, my chin's a blackhead, my checks and forehead are acne-scar riddled and ripe to sprout new ones when my body decides it really hates my face and my back's a minefield. Oh, and my pores are HUGE. I'd post a picture but nobody wants to see that. Thanks a lot, Mom.

I have found some success and my routine has greatly improved all the above problems. But they're still there. Hence, my continued hunt. At this point, I've given up looking for my holy grail and just want something that produces some results.

So when I saw these, I signed up to review lickety split. I've seen the small round ones around Walmart but they didn't look impressive or worth the money. Plus, I have a microdermabrasion kit, why would I need these?

Why I Love These Massage Pads as Much as My Microdermabrasion Brush

+Convenient. They're always right there and I don't have to worry about a timer or charge running out. Or replacing pads.

+Suction cups worked perfectly for me.I've been able to put it everywhere at a drop of a hat with no problems. That's easier than having to buy a holder, mount it, and only have it in one place.

+Gets in hard to reach places around my nose without having to bend my nose and use both hands.

+Covers a larger area

+I don't have to worry about going too fast and messing it up. The microdermabrasion sometimes feels like it takes forever because you can't push down, you have to glide and make sure it has time to do its job.

While it says for best results to use a cleanser, I've loved using these dry. I keep one at my desk so when I need I can just massage my face. It felt weird the first time I used it with cleaner and water. But dry? That feels so fucking relaxing!

Plus, I use it a lot more sitting at my desk because it's so easy, quick, convenient, and feels great. More Usage = Better Results.

I have tooth and jaw pain (thanks again, Mom.) and using my microdermabrasion hurts when I have these problems because of the vibrations. The pads don't, they actually HELP. That's a reason to love them all on its own.

It's not a miracle product, and if you're looking for that you're going to be disappointed, but I've seen improvements in a couple of days and it won't be a struggle to make using it a habit.

Recommendation: Get it while it's on sale and you won't regret it. $21 bucks is a lot of money for a cheapskate below-poverty-line person like me so it's hard to say "Go buy it now!" at that price. But $11 bucks? Hell yeah!

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Babblin' Brooke: Wish I'd Thought of That + International Inspiration Month

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | | 1 Comments

"Damn, wish I'd thought of that" is apparently a very common thought. There's even a conference based on that phrase. While it's usually home tips and crafting that I see (and I have plenty of those myself!), I want to highlight some of the amazing, creative, awesome content specific to book bloggers and reviewing.

Did you know January is also International Inspiration Month? What better way to showcase members of this community that are hard at work that's often free, thankless, and draining that inspire me in many different ways, but most importantly, to be a better person.

TBR Jars:

I spent hours and I can't find a definitive answer to who started it. The oldest post I found was this video, which links to a blog post that is now disappeared. But that's what The Wayback Machine is for. I found a copy of the page here, where it says she first heard it from a pen pal when she was 12-13.

I just found out about it through Paige on Twitter with this tweet:

Apparently, I'm VERY late on the uptake. Which makes it perfect for this list!

Book Blogger Icons by Parajunkee

Here's a big preview but if you read my reviews you'll find them there too :D

I LOVE using these, it makes classifying books much easier, prettier, and I use the tag urls to turn them into buttons for browsing other reviews with that label.

Another Parajunkee slam dunk: Book Blogger Planner.

Seriously, is there nothing the woman can't do right?!?!

Bookish Crafts

Okay, so again I have no idea who started it but I love the idea of book inspired candles and pins and shirts and omg, there's so much stuff! I really wish I had more money to give back to the community in this way.

NovelHeartbeat makes candles and dragons but there's no dragon listed and I want one :*(

From a previous listing: Look at this little guy!
Amanda @ Garden Dreams Decor makes lovely book inspired metal flowers.
I have three adorning my shelf right now:

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Marina aka Bookphile, who's mainly on tumbler kicking ass and has a Redbubble shop of bookish dragon designs.

Online Book Tours:

Again, no idea who started it but there's tons of them now and I'm signed up with several as evidenced in my sidebar. They make a whole hell of things easier. Plus, I seem to do well with deadlines. Trying to force myself with arbitrary dates for my reviews that I make up don't seem to work. (I'm a terrible person.) There's no way I'd make my own right now but I always thought it'd be cool shit to work for one. (But I'm a terrible person, see last sentence.)

Special shout out to Rich in Variety, who's a new comer but desperately needed and appreciated. Sign the fuck up now!


Naz @ Read Diverse Books is fucking amazing. I could make a whole list of his shit that I'm thankful for. His latest is the Read Diverse 2017 Reading Challenge.

I have found so many people and books through this tag and browsing through the stream always makes me happy.

The Resistance.

I've talked a bit about the diverse books movement but I want to spotlight another aspect of the literary community doing work I can't even imagine coming up with:

Celeste P. @ The Reading Nook Reviews is a fabulous source for protesting and making your voice heard against all the terrible political bullshit going down. She's also co-creator of @Roadto18 to "help Dems hold and flip seats in 2018, so we can win back both the House and the Senate. Rise Up!"

I am impressed, humbled and honored to be apart of such a community that fights back and supports marginalized people and communities on and off paper. It's glorious and hard work and can be heart-breaking, triggering, with terrible harassers and assholes. And yet they keep going. I've done thing any where near this level, and I hope I'll at least be a useful support because it means so much to me I'm about to cry from just thinking about it all.

Okay, no more heavy stuff today. I don't think I can handle more.

Clever Blog Names

The Everything: Content, Aesthetics, Graphics, Layout, Style, & Grace

You know what's one thing I've never wished I thought of? Story ideas. That sounds really odd given *gestures around vigorously* but I'm a terrible writer. Why would I want such wonderful stories to languish in my dreams and suffer under my pen?

This is obviously not an exhaustive this, though it was exhausting putting all of it together. If you haven't seen or heard of these people, please check them out and support their stupendous work. I hope to at least shine my light on this little platform for the people who deserve it.

What are some things you wished you thought of and people that inspire you?

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Book Blast Freebie: Hidden Realms, 10 Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy Books

Brooke Banks | 10:43 AM | | | Please comment!

Title: Hidden Realms 
Subtitle: A Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Bundle 
Authors: Dean Murray, Skye Malone, Sarra Cannon, Christie Rich, Heather Hildenbrand, Stormy Smith, Desni Dantone, Melissa Wright, Sara C. Roethle, Nancy Straight  
Genre: Young adult paranormal romance 
Publication Date: October 2, 2016 
Publisher: Fir’Shan Publishing 
Cover Artist: Christie Rich 

Strong, independent heroines join together with mysterious, dangerous heroes in explosive conflicts that are as much external as they are internal.

Hidden Realms has all of this along with mermaids, shape shifters, demigods, fae, demons and half-breeds with even darker inheritances. There's love, both forbidden and true, and there's all the sacrifice it takes to keep it. Regardless of what your preferred flavor of paranormal romance or urban fantasy actually is, there is something in this collection of 10 novels that will knock your socks off.

Hidden Realms contains multiple books that are otherwise only available for $2.99 or more, and it's available for FREE—but only for a limited time! 

Torn by Dean Murray 

Shape shifter Alec Graves has spent nearly a decade trying to keep his family from being drawn into open warfare with a larger pack. The new girl at school she seems to know things she shouldn't about his shadowy world, and the more he gets to know her, the more mysterious she becomes.

Is she an unfortunate victim or bait designed to draw him into a fatal misstep?

Awaken by Skye Malone 

Chloe had never been to the ocean, and now one simple vacation has altered her life forever. Her body is changing in bizarre ways, a mysterious boy is following her, and she's become the target of killers too. Ancient and deadly secrets surround her and it's going to take everything she has to discover the truth.

Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon

Harper moves to Peachville hoping for a fresh start, but when evidence ties her to the gruesome murder of a Demons cheerleader, she discovers this small town has a big secret.

Five by Christie Rich

Rayla Tate dreams of escaping her ordinary world for a bright future in the art world. Throw in an overbearing aunt who is keeping major secrets, a disgruntled best friend tagging along to college, and a bunch of fae warriors waiting in the wings to claim her the minute she leaves her sleepy little town, and Rayla’s dreams are about to shatter.

Bitterroot by Heather Hildenbrand 

Charlie and Regan Vuk have secretly always wanted a sister. Now, they finally found each other, only to be forced into a head to head contest for pack alpha. A competition that threatens to destroy their new bond and 1 sister’s chance for true love. Bitterroot is a 3-part Young Adult Paranormal novella series with a dose of sibling rivalry... Who will you root for?

Bound by Duty by Stormy Smith 

Amelia Bradbury is the last living Elder. She has power she can’t control, a prophecy dictating her fate, a betrothal she can’t stop and a heart lost to a human.

Ignited by Desni Dantone 

When evil forces come for Kris Young, she is forced to go on the run with the young man she has long considered her guardian angel. As they search for the truth behind her role in the long-running battle between good and evil, they discover that nothing is as it seems, and nothing, least of all their hearts, are safe.

King of Ash and Bone by Melissa Wright 

When monsters break through the veil between worlds, Mackenzie Scott devises a plan to stop them, whatever the cost. She finds an injured stranger who just might hold the key, but he's not the helpless boy he appears to be. He's one of them, and he's got plans of his own.

Xoe by Sara C. Roethle 

Xoe never thought she’d be the type of girl to contemplate murder. Of course, she never thought she’d be dealing with werewolves on top of her own strange, budding powers. Everything comes crashing down at once when her best friend’s life is put in peril, and Xoe will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it involves trusting a tall, handsome vampire with an infuriating attitude.

Meeting Destiny by Nancy Straight 

Lauren is visited in her dreams for years by a stranger claiming to be her destiny. Destiny becomes reality when paths cross during a failed robbery attempt.

Let this Friday the 13th be your LUCKY day! Download the box set now to get TEN free ebooks!

*Hidden Realms is free for a limited time, and was free at the time of this posting*

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway for Calling the Reaper: First Book of Purgatory by Jason Pere


by Jason Pere
The time of the Unity has ended. Now, the realm of man is stranded between Paradise and Purgatory. The Valkyrie and Reaper battle over the fate of all who pass from the land of the living and into the afterlife.

Eight mortal spirits from vastly different worlds tread the same, inevitable path toward their last, crucial decision. Within them all exists the defining conflict every man must face—to look upon the end of their life with glory and honor, or to give credence to their baser longings, calling the Reaper to their own demise.

In this rich, harrowing tale of pride, deceit, honor, vengeance, and redemption, each individual must battle their inner turmoil, facing the sacrifices they have made before their unavoidable end in the land of the living.

But their last day in life is also their first day of death amidst the terrors of the underworld. Lord Master Death wants them all…and the real battle has only just begun.

Calling the Reaper is on sale for $0.99 during the tour, get a copy here!

Aristo reached far within and blocked all the pain shooting through his being. I am Praetorian, my flesh does my bidding. Again, he commanded his eyes to open. When he finally managed to force them open, the agony consuming his head must have felt very much like staring straight into the blazes of the sun. He felt the tearing of skin as his world instantly turned from the darkest black to a moment of brightest white. His eyes watered heavily and he blinked, trying to clear away at least some of the dried blood which had sealed his eyes shut. For several moments, everything was a blur, but then he could distinguish colors and shapes again.

He nearly wished that he had in fact been blinded; he would have at least been spared the image before him. Aristo had been wounded in battle before, but never like this. His body lay covered in a blanket of dried crimson. No one would have known that he bore the deep purple uniform of the Praetorian Legion had they even bothered to look at him. It was confounding that he had bled so profusely and could still draw breath, still feel the beat of his heart within his chest. A moment of warrior’s pride overtook him when he studied his twisted form and realized the excruciating pain was not unwarranted. Then he remembered.

Captured, he thought. I’ve been captured.

Trigger Warning IconAdult IconFantasy Icon Others IconCliffhanger IconDark Icon

Beware: Colonizer perspectives calling natives barbarians and locals.

Basically: Decent, entertaining read though I was really confused. It sets up the world slowly to keep you guessing and the ending has me very excited to continue the series.

Calling the Reaper opens with a pirate tale and I’ll admit I was initialing confused. I had no idea why I was reading about that given the blurb. Soon enough I went “ohhhhh” in realization.

After my initial confusion and the second story, I sped along enjoying the ride. Though I have my favorites like The Kiss and Sacrifice, each is a solid mini-story. Of the eight stories, two are about women and most are non-Western in setting.

There are stories from colonizers calling locals barbarians and savages though. While one story is set from inside such a society and shows how the invading forces is wrong in such assumptions, it doesn’t negate the harm of perpetuating colonial rhetoric.

Calling the Reaper follows eight separate stories of various people throughout the world and each story is split into three parts: backstory, set-up, and death. After each story is a glimpse at the larger picture, the players behind the chess pieces, with letters and excerpts from various texts. Which is very well done.

Again, at first, I was confused at how it all came together. It’s not until the very end when the pieces drop into place to reveal the big picture. Now THAT has me excited to continue. Too bad I can’t talk about it without spoiling it :/

Recommended for: fans of dark, bloody fantasy with a bunch of different POVs.

About the Author:

Jason Pere is a born-and-raised New Englander. He always had a passion for the arts and creative storytelling. At the age of thirteen, Jason took up the craft of acting for film and theater. He pursued that interest for over a decade until refocusing his medium of expression into writing.

At first, Jason took a causal interest in writing, starting with poetry and journaling. Over time, he honed his direction and finally began writing larger works. In November of 2012, Jason self-published his first book, Modern Knighthood: Diary of a Warrior Poet.

Since then, Jason has continued writing on his own, mostly short stories and poetry. Calling the Reaper was his first experience committing to a full-length Fiction title.

In early 2015, Jason became affiliated with Collaborative Writing Challenge (CWC). Since then, he has joined many other writers on numerous collaborative projects. Jason is a regular contributor to CWC and is scheduled to have multiple pieces of his work appear in their publications throughout 2016.

You can find out more about Jason Pere’s involvement and publications in collaborative fiction at: http://www.collaborativewritingchallenge.com

To connect with Jason, check him out at: http://www.facebook.com/jason.pere.7

Jason also writes fanfiction for Team Covenant on their Blog of the Pheonixborn, dedicated to the new game by Plaid Hat Games, ‘Ashes’. Go to http://teamcovenant.com/ashesonline/ to read Jason’s flash fiction work.


One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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