Faith Simone

All Things Written…To Inspire and Encourage

Book Review: “When You Let Go” by Unoma Nwankwor

I normally don’t review the books that I recommend in my monthly e-reader posts. Mainly this is because when I recommend those books, I have no idea whether they’re any good or not. I share them because the description sounds interesting and I plan to read them. Whether they’re any good or not is a total gamble.  But lately I’ve been hitting the jackpot! Check it out.

When you let goBook Title: When You Let Go

Author: Unoma Nwankwor

Book Description: 

An answered prayer. An unforeseen betrayal. A family healed by grace.
Amara and Ejike Dike had been married for six glorious years. Amara was convinced Ejike, was the perfect gift from God. Loving, charming and very easy on the eyes. They had a beautiful life. Well, not so beautiful. Amara’s inability to bear children made her feel like a less than the perfect mate for her husband.Then after many years, God lifted her faith and had finally heard her cry. The Dikes couldn’t be happier.
A surprise visit from Chinelo, Amara’s long lost cousin, turns Amara’s world upside down and threatens to turn her once-perfect existence into ashes.
Ejike loved his wife with a passion. They shared a burning desire and faith in God that burned deep. However Chinelo’s appearance would open a Pandora’s Box that had purposely been kept shut.
Faced with the loss of all she holds dear, Amara finds herself at crossroads. Would she lean on God’s sustaining grace to let go and travel the rocky path to forgiveness? Or would she throw everything to the wind and walk away?
When You Let Go is a novel about people who know what the Word of God instructs but struggle with actually doing it when the chips are down.

My Review:

When a couple gets married two individuals come together as one. Each of these individuals has an entire history and experience separate from the other. What happens when the past of one those individuals shows up in the happy life they’ve created and wreaks utter havoc? I’ll tell you what happens: all hell breaks loose and the fragility of faith is exposed. One thing I particularly enjoyed about When You Let Go is that strong faith does not equal perfection for any of the characters. They make mistakes. They try to cover those mistakes up. They hurt each other and let each other down. They lose a lot and fight to hold on to what they have left. Real life is messy and the heart of  Christianity is to help make sense of the mess and offer beauty for ashes. Unoma Nwankwor paints a picture of faith at its best!

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My New Discovery: Whispers!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m challenged when it comes to exploring apps. One of the reasons I don’t have an Instagram account is that it’s only available as an app. But anyway, thanks to my awesome friend J. Mahogany and her FB post, I discovered the Whisper’s app. It’s been around for about a year and it’s all about anonymous people confessing things they would never admit to anyone they knew. My writer’s antennae went berserk at the thought of getting into people’s heads. Since I’m currently reading Acts of Contrition, I expected some really juicy stuff! What I got instead were a few laughs. I hope you enjoy!

Whisper friend

Wow. Sad to say I’ve been there.

Whisper Star

Even sadder to say that I’ve been there too. Not in the Star Wars sense, but I did have a brief moment of taking up knitting at the start of this year…yeah, that happened.

Whisper Cheat

Hon, he’s obviously cheating.

Whisper telemarketing

How awesome is this!?!

Whisper food addict

OMG, I know the feeling! Never did drugs but, my God, there are times when a snickers bar touches my mouth and I swear it has to be illegal.

Whisper theif

Mmmhh… I must look honest because they always just wave me on through!

Whisper work

I plead the 5th.

Whisper pee

Lol! I know I’m wrong, but lol!

Whisper automatically gives you a few pics to choose from to use as the background once you start typing. In the interest of full disclosure I have to warn you that not all of the Whispers are funny. Some of them are down right sad, and a lot of them lean towards being a tad bit x-rated. Yeah, apparently people like to hook up with random strangers over the internet.  Where they do that at? Anyway, if you check it out, let me know what you think!

Do you have any confessions you want to get off your chest? Dish in the comments below! 

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Guest Blogger: Diverse Book Tours!

There’s a first time for everything, and today I’m featuring my first guest blogger! Or should I say bloggers? Three fabulous women facilitate a blog devoted to promoting diversity in books. That’s something I can totally get with.  They each have a unique perspective on why they feel that diversity is a necessity in literature. I hope you enjoy this guest post from Diverse Book Tours

Diverse

 

Whether we all know it, diverse books are all around us. Many of us have been saying it for years. Some have only started to notice. There are authors and/or books who’ve been present for decades, and there are books and authors who make waves for themselves in our present.

When and however you’ve come to the conclusion, you’ve noticed that lack of representation in books is evident. The lack of people of color, the lack of characters whom are queer or with disabilities. It’s disturbing just how little books with main characters who aren’t white, able bodied, cis-gendered and/or queer are released in comparison to those that are not.

What’s more disturbing is the lack of marketing books that highlight diversity in a positive light. Granted, marketing does not by any means guarantee sales. For the most part, no miracle amount of promotion can “guarantee” to generate sales. But often, authors of color, and authors who write diversely, do not receive strong marketing.

Authors who write any book can tell you, publishing companies nowadays expect a bit of marketing from the author themselves. But when a diverse book fails to generate sales, it’s often blamed that it’s because it’s a diverse book.

We don’t just need diverse books. We need smarter campaigns and marketing plans for diverse books as well.

Diverse Book Tours was founded by Sasha Beatty, book blogger of So Bookishly. She approached book bloggers interested in promoting diversity in books, and with everything we’ve learned book blogging about diversity on our blog Twinja Book Reviews, we were practically shoe-in’s to be co-founders.

Click HERE to continue reading.

Have you noticed a lack of diversity in books? Do you find it difficult to find books that you can relate to due to cultural differences? I REALLY want to know your thoughts on this! 

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All Up In My E-Reader (August Edition)

This month I added an  eclectic group of books to my Kindle. I’m still trying to read books in my writing genre, and that encompasses women’s fiction as well as Christian fiction. I’m also gearing up to independently publish my novel, so I’ve included an e-book to help me with that as well. So without further adieu, here’s what I’ll be reading this month! I hope you see something that sparks your interest. Click on the pics or titles to check out reviews, etc for each book.

 

Acts of contritionBook Title: Acts of Contrition

Author: Jennifer Handford

Genre(s): Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

Book Description: 

Mary Morrissey is living the life of her dreams. She has a loving husband of ten years, Tom, two daughters, and twin boys. Her parents are just down the road. Her three sisters are nearby. Perfect—some might even say she is living the American Dream.

But beneath the shiny veneer, Mary hasn’t taken a calm breath in years. She lives in a constant state of panic, afraid that the secret she’s kept hidden for so long will be revealed, that it will shatter the life she’s worked so hard to build.

When Mary’s handsome and addictively charismatic ex-boyfriend Landon James reappears during his high profile Senate campaign, she feels the truth bubbling to the surface and knows she’s powerless to stop it. Mary has spent years trying to forget him, and now he’s on every TV she sees.

A conditional Catholic, Mary bargains with God, negotiating deals that will keep her happy life undisturbed for another day. She prays for strength and confesses her sins—anything that might let her sleep at night under the weight of the guilt she carries from lying to her husband and family for the entirety of her marriage.

When Tom learns what Mary’s been hiding, what once seemed unfathomable—a deep, heartbreaking divide between them—is now their new normal. Can they find a way to rebuild their life together? Is forgiveness possible?

Acts of Contrition is a richly drawn story of faith, family loyalty, and forgiveness, even in the face of moral ambiguity, guilt, and shattered trust.

 

 

The pactBook Title: The Pact

Author: Jodi Picoult

Genre(s): Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Book Description: 

Until the phone calls came at three o’clock on a November morning, the Golds and their neighbors, the Hartes, had been inseparable. It was no surprise to anyone when their teenage children, Chris and Emily, began showing signs that their relationship was moving beyond that of lifelong friends. But now seventeen-year-old Emily is dead—shot with a gun her beloved and devoted Chris pilfered from his father’s cabinet as part of an apparent suicide pact—leaving two devastated families stranded in the dark and dense predawn, desperate for answers about an unthinkable act and the children they never really knew.

From New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult—one of the most powerful writers in contemporary fiction—comes a riveting, timely, heartbreaking, and terrifying novel of families in anguish and friendships ripped apart by inconceivable violence.

 

 

Mom ConBook Title: Mom Con

Author: Karl Fields

Genre(s): Literature & Fiction, Humor & Satire, General Humor

Book Description: 

Meet Anita Henry, a hard-working, single mom trying to launch her own business after losing her job. To top it all off, her ex-employer is suing her for stealing company secrets.

Corporate espionage? Please. Her single greatest offense was a high school fashion felony. But when a shady court ruling forces Anita to cease and desist, she’s determined to get revenge.

There are two ways to get money: you can take it or someone can give it to you. Thanks to an elaborate nightclub scam, Anita’s old boss is about to hand over a small fortune. That is, if Anita’s lazy brother, her deadbeat ex-husband and a sketchy music manager don’t bring the whole thing down first.

 

 

Building Your Book for KindleBook Title: Building Your Book for Kindle

Author: Kindle Direct Publishing

Genre: Computers and Technology

Book Description:

This free guide will walk you through the necessary steps in creating a professional digital file of your book using Microsoft Word 2010 for quick upload to Kindle Direct Publishing.These are the topics we’ll discuss:• Before You Write• Building the Front Matter of Your Book• Building Your Table of Contents• Preparing a Cover

• Finishing Your Book

• Uploading and Checking the Quality of Your Book

• Just Before Publishing Your Book

• Making Changes After Publishing Your Book

We’ve written this guide with you in mind. We’ll walk you through the key steps for every part of the process, and while it may seem repetitive at times, we want to make sure you have exactly the information you need, when you need it.

And don’t forget — this is a process! Publishing on Kindle is easy and takes only 5 minutes of your time — but correctly preparing your book for success on Kindle takes time and effort. Don’t worry; if you follow the steps we outline here, you should feel confident you’ll end up with a successfully designed and formatted book and one you will be proud to see for sale on Amazon.

That’s all folks! ‘Mom Con’ and the Kindle book on publishing are my absolutely favorite price right now: free!

 

 

 

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Confessions of Faith: Letting Go

The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.~G.K. Chesterton

“I miss you baby.”Letting go

Four simple words coasting through my inbox on a typical Wednesday afternoon. I read them over a few times, my cheeks flush with emotion, brow puckered in consternation, suddenly conscious of every single beat of my heart. A slow dawning of knowledge; the acceptance that I miss him too.

Letting go of love is not easy…we’re conditioned to hang onto what we value most by any means necessary. Can anyone name anything more valuable than love? I can’t.

Which is why it makes all the sense in the world that there are moments when I miss him. I feel a tiny pinch of sadness along with the dull ache of pained nostalgia as I think about how he has no idea that I’m currently obsessed with lipstick. I wasn’t able to brag to him when I realized that I’ve reached the level of literary maturity required to say with confidence that I finally get Toni Morrison. He doesn’t know what my current favorite song on the radio is because I no longer lie in bed beside him and sing off key. He wasn’t there to tease me when I signed up for a 21 day meditation challenge, knowing that the recesses of my mind are full of words waiting to be written the moment I stop and give them space to rise. He doesn’t know that I started wearing glasses for night driving. He’s never breathed in the unique scent of my latest perfume. He has no idea that my new catch phrase is ‘Yowza!’, used at random to convey shock, awe or excitement, depending upon inflection.

In other words, he doesn’t know me anymore. He hasn’t kept up with current events. I can only assume what’s true for me is true for him. What’s changed and what’s stayed the same? I have no idea and it saddens me that I don’t know. I have no idea who his current favorite UFC fighter is, or what class he’s taking in his constant pursuit of further education. I haven’t been forced to watch the discovery channel on the off chance that we might someday have to survive in the wild, so I don’t have a clue what our boy, Bear, is up to lately. I don’t know what kinds of sugary sweets he keeps in the back of his pantry, while swearing up and down that he doesn’t eat junk food. It’s not my place to find the hidden Oreos and gloat. I don’t know if he’s sporting a five o’clock shadow, a clean shaven head or a low fade. I don’t know if he still runs a few miles a day, or if his fondness for Guinness has finally manifested in a beer paunch.

He misses me. Of course he does. I miss him. Of course I do. We used to slow dance without music in the living room. I shared my poetry with him and he looked at me and really saw me. The light from the pride shining in his eyes was bright enough to guide home ships lost at sea. He literally kissed away my tears before, catching each one with his lips as they fell.  We used the bathroom with the door open, and thought nothing of flicking a foreign object from each other’s nose. Gross, but true. We were family.

You all know how the story ended. He wants to start over, requesting my friendship if nothing else. He thinks that what happened can be delegated to a single chapter in the story of us. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I closed the book and placed it on a shelf. I put 450 miles between us and wished it were a continent. We haven’t laid eyes on each other in over a year and five months.

Naturally, my first instinct is to hang on. To hold close the affection I carried for so long. But, my hands stay open, letting it all go like sand sifting through shifting fingers. Because here’s what I do know: if having un-denied access to the various nuances of me wasn’t enough, then space must be made for someone who will appreciate the experience.

I also know that I’m not alone in this. That there are others with open palms denying the adage that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bushes. People who have already lived in the shadows, lost and unsure, and are not afraid to stand alone in the light of truth.

XoXo,

Faith

He didn’t have an S stitched on his shirt and he didn’t own a pitchfork. He was an ordinary man ripped, like the rest of us, by wrath and love. ~  Toni Morrison. “Love”

Photo credit: Christine Rose.., / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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