[Book Excerpt] Black Jade (A Daiyu Wu Mystery) by Gloria Oliver

Summary

Could an old-fashioned ballgown be used to commit murder?

Daiyu Wu is aware that fear of the Yellow Terror has made her nationality a rare breed in the Lone Star State. Being Chinese and blind makes her doubly unique in 1930 Dallas. Despite these impediments, anyone who dismisses her for either fact does so at their peril.

One day, at her family-owned laundry business, Dai detects the scent of burned garlic. With the help of her companion, Jacques, the source is soon discovered. It is a green ballgown. The gown has money pinned inside it to pay for the cleaning, but oddly, it came with no address label to identify its owner. Her extensive knowledge leads Dai to believe someone has committed murder using arsenic. The perpetrator is trying to use White Laundry to hide the evidence. But no mention of foul play turns up in the newspapers, and there’s not enough proof to convince the police there’s been a crime.

Her curiosity and intellect stimulated like never before; Dai ignores the possible consequences and sets out to solve the mystery with the help of her canine companion, Prince Razor, and her confidant, Jacques Haskins. It’s either that or let the killer get away with it — assuming a spoiled popinjay, his jealous self-appointed girlfriend, and Dai’s overprotective parents don’t get in her way.

Continue reading “[Book Excerpt] Black Jade (A Daiyu Wu Mystery) by Gloria Oliver”

[Book Excerpt] Impacted by Benji Carr

Summary

With every trip he makes to the dentist, Wade’s pain only gets worse. His smile has faded. He’s clenching his jaw and grinding his teeth more, not because of bad oral hygiene or any mishaps in orthodontics. Wade’s teeth don’t need straightening out, but the rest of his life could use that kind of adjustment. Wade has fallen in love with handsome Dr. Emmett, and their office visits in the afternoon have become decidedly more personal than professional. And poor Wade is sure his girlfriend Jessa would punch him in the mouth if she found out.

After all, Jessa did just abandon her church and her family to be with him. And she did just have Wade’s baby. So their relationship has already caused enough gossip in the small Georgia town of Waverly.

When Wade tries to end the affair, the breakup takes a brutal turn, leaving Wade in a state of panic. His life is under threat. His secrets could be exposed, and his family may fall apart before he realizes what kind of person he wants to be.

Continue reading “[Book Excerpt] Impacted by Benji Carr”

[Book Bump] ‘Twas Just Before Bedtime by Jessie L. Best

(An enchanting book of charming fantasies for children that promote restful sleep)

About

This enchanting children’s book for kids 5-10 years old by Jessie L. Best will captivate children and stimulate young imaginations. With it’s many fantastical short stories and magical poetry, this book will become a keepsake children will remember throughout their childhood. It will help those early readers to eagerly look forward to a bedtime story.

This book contains many short stories and poems, each followed by an enchanting illustration children will love! With wholesome themes of love, family, courage, and the triumph of good over evil,  Jessie L. Best enchants, and her stories promote restful sleep and magical dreams.

Goodreads: LINK


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Top 5 Wednesday: Characters You Wish You Were More Like

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Whenever I find characters that inspire me, I can’t help but stan. They’re like gems, because although I could have a plethora of favourite characters, not all of them would impact me so much. So here’s a short list of the ones that hit me like a train (in a good way!)

You can find other Top Five Wednesday prompts here.

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Entry 139: Long Way Down

Author: Jason Reynolds
Genre: Poetry ; Contemporary ; Realistic Fiction
Publication: October 24th 2017 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Pages: 306
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds.

My Review

Trigger warning: blood, gun violence, violence

Continue reading “Entry 139: Long Way Down”

Entry 138: Little Fires Everywhere

Author: Celeste Ng
Genre: Contemporary ; Literary
Publication: September 12th 2017 by Penguin Press
Pages: 338 
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned–from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren–an enigmatic artist and single mother–who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

My Review

Trigger warnings: sudden homelessness, arsony, abortion, negative language around abortion, adoption, abandonment, racism, classism

Continue reading “Entry 138: Little Fires Everywhere”

Entry 137: We Always Lived in the Castle

Author: Shirley Jackson
Genre: Horror ; Thriller ; Mystery ; Classic
Publication: September 21, 1962
Pages: 146
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise, I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead…

My Review

Trigger warning: death of family members, verbal mistreatment of mentally ill character

Continue reading “Entry 137: We Always Lived in the Castle”

[Book Tour] It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland

It Goes Like This
Miel Moreland
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: May 18th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

In Miel Moreland’s heartfelt young adult debut, It Goes Like This, four queer teens realize that sometimes you have to risk hitting repeat on heartbreak.

Eva, Celeste, Gina, and Steph used to think their friendship was unbreakable. After all, they’ve been though a lot together, including the astronomical rise of Moonlight Overthrow, the world-famous queer pop band they formed in middle school, never expecting to headline anything bigger than the county fair.

But after a sudden falling out leads to the dissolution of the teens’ band, their friendship, and Eva and Celeste’s starry-eyed romance, nothing is the same. Gina and Celeste step further into the spotlight, Steph disappears completely, and Eva, heartbroken, takes refuge as a songwriter and secret online fangirl…of her own band. That is, until a storm devastates their hometown, bringing the four ex-best-friends back together. As they prepare for one last show, they’ll discover whether growing up always means growing apart.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

Continue reading “[Book Tour] It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland”

[Guest Post] Luck Be A Lady by Chris H. Stevenson

About

Mason Hart has just lost his job, fiancé, and car in less than 48-hours.  A short time later he accosts a cop and ends up in jail.  He finally lands in a hospital as the result of a jailhouse brawl.  He’s helpless to quell this downhill slide into calamity.  Since he believes all is lost at this point, suicide seems the only alternative left…

 Until the figure of Felicity Fortune, the Roman Goddess of Luck, interrupts Mason’s suicidal plans in the nick of time.  It seems Felicity Fortune was hampered by the bird flu and few other appointments, so she must apologize for her tardy appearance.  She tells Mason that he’s ripe for a cosmic alignment, and that his 15-minutes of fame and wealth are finally at hand.  He is allotted six chances via the roll of the golden dice for his deserved share of the “Great Cornucopia.”   

Beshaba, the Maid of Misfortune, has ear-marked Mason at the exact same time to heap upon him the bad luck part of the equation.  She is the evil incarnate daughter of Felicity, and now covets Mason for her own devious alignment.  Everything that Beshaba represents is in stark contrast to her mother.  It is a deliberate ploy to spite the good works of her mother, thus laying down a challenge of cosmic power.  

Their simultaneous claim to Mason forces the two Goddesses into a mythological cat fight in hell.  When this push and shove reaches a fevered pitch, even the destiny of mankind in called into question. Mason must find the solution and tear away the veil of darkness that could upset the divine balance between good and evil. What he doesn’t know is that the final key to the solution is himself.

 

Why is This Book Special?  

I believe this book incorporates all of the special fantastical elements and hilarity of movies and books like Bedazzled, Weird Science, Manikin, Splash and Date with an Angel. Who knew that the phrase “luck be a lady” was based in reality? You bet! The Roman Goddess Fortuna (Felicity Fortune) is alive and well and spreading wealth—the great cornucopia; your 15 minutes of fame. Only her daughter, Beshaba, means to rip-off every fortune her mother doles out. A mythological catfight in hell ensues, leaving Mason Hart torn between wealth and poverty, and two Goddesses vying for his destiny. 99-cent Special.  

 

Amazon Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

Christy’s Website:  https://christysyoungadultfabuliers.com/

Blog:  http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/