Get Your Entire Life: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

What’s up, beautiful people? I know your girl has been posting at random for the last couple of years, and I appreciate those of you that have stuck with me. It’s been all kinds of real ’round my way, and I’m finally getting my bearings.

With that being said, I’m posting a book review for the first time in YEARS. I’ve gotten my reading and writing mojo back with a vengeance and I had to share this book with y’all. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult is truly a work of art. It’s cadence and nuances and in your face gritty realness gave me life!

I could go on and on, but I’ll shut up and let you watch the video.

 

Look, I’ll simply say that Jodi Picoult is a white woman with a number one bestseller on the African-American fiction literature list via Amazon. You don’t see that everyday, and you can stay mad, because SHE EARNED IT.

Listen to me carefully: READ THIS BOOK!

You’re welcome.

 

Have you read Small Great Things? What did you think of it?

If you haven’t read it, do you plan to? What do you think of all the buzz?

 

 

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Let’s Talk About Sex…

Yep, you read that right. I want to talk about sex: the good, the bad and the ugly. Only I want to do it in real-time, over the phone. With you. And I want to bring God in the mix as well. Because He created sex, after all, so I think it’s important that we consider His take on it. Won’t you join me?

The Wait

My girl Simone, over at My Family Fantastic is coordinating this thing, and I’m just along for the ride. There will also be some other amazing Christian authors on the line giving their take on celibacy and waiting for the right one. More on that here. We’ll discuss the book The Wait (No worries if you haven’t read it. We’ll give plenty of reference to the material, so you won’t be lost). Then we’ll move on to celibacy in all its strugglistic glory. Did I just make up a word? Yes, I think I did. But you get my drift!

Honestly, I feel like I’m the last somebody that needs to give a presentation on celibacy, seeing as how I’ve barely got a grip on it myself. But hey, He delights in using the weak to confound the strong. I’m a willing vessel, so I guess I’ll get the job done.

I hope you’ll join the call!

XoXo,

Faith

What are you waiting for? Put a reminder in your phone right now! Go ahead. I’ll wait. 

 

 

 

Book Review: Mama’s Boy by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

I’ll admit that I’m a speed reader, but it’s rare that I finish an entire book in just a few hours. That’s what happened this past weekend when I devoured Mama’s Boy. Deets below!

mamas boyTitle: Mama’s Boy

Author: ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Genre(s): Inspirational Fiction, African-American Fiction

Summary:

When her son is in trouble, a heartbroken mother finds the courage and faith to save him, in ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s powerful family drama—a novel as timely as today’s headlines.

The breaking TV news rocks Jasper, Texas, to the core: a white police officer is fatally shot in a scuffle with three black youths—and a cellphone video captures Jamal Jones, the sixteen-year-old son of esteemed Reverend Elton Jones, escalating the tragic encounter. Now, as the national spotlight shines on a town already rife with racial tension, Jamal is a murder suspect on the run. And all of Jasper—even the Reverend’s congregation—rushes to judge the boy they thought they knew.

But Gloria Jones knows her son best, and she races to find Jamal before the law does—to the outrage of her workaholic husband. Once she finds him, she has to decide whether to turn him in or help him run. With ruthless prosecutor and Houston mayoral candidate Kay Christensen hungering to put another young thug behind bars, Gloria will face her biggest battle yet. And when long-hidden secrets and shocking lies come to light, throwing Jamal’s case and his destiny into a tailspin, all Gloria can do is pray that the truth—and a mother’s unconditional love—will be enough to redeem the mistakes of the past and ultimately, save her son.

My Review: 

Y’all know I’m all about spoiler free reviews, and this one is no different. The problem is that it’s hard to give a thorough review without giving away something. So bump thorough, all I can say is that you HAVE to read this book! It’s full of twists and totally unexpected turns. What starts out as one family’s problem quickly escalates into a tapestry of intertwined stories that would make Dr. Freud pause and shake his head. Billingsley took a hot topic (racial profiling/police brutality) and turned it on it’s head. This is not your typical racial injustice saga. This is an honest look at an emotionally charged societal problem from varying perspectives. Do yourself a favor, get the book and one for a friend, because you are definitely going to want to discuss this with somebody after you read it!

*Bonus*

Check out this radio interview with ReShonda via WLUV Radio Station!

What’s the last book you read in a matter of hours? What was it about the book that gripped you? Don’t keep it to yourself! Fellow nerds like me want to know. 

I was given a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I freely give. 

Book Review: Seasoned with Grace

I first discovered author Nigeria Lockley during a blog tour for her debut novel Born at Dawn. God was all in that thang, because she’s since gone on to become one of my top cyber buddies. So it is with great pleasure that I share with you Nigeria’s sophomore effort: Seasoned with Grace!


Seasoned with GraceTitle: Seasoned with Grace

Author: Nigeria Lockley

Genres: Christian Fiction, Urban Fiction, Inspirational Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Description: Sentenced to probation, thirty-year-old, supermodel Grace King must put her plans of transitioning into acting to extend the longevity of her career on hold. Desperate to keep a close eye on Grace and his job Grace’s ambitious lawyer, Ethan Summerville has her complete community service in the last place Grace wants to be. His church.

Instead of God, Grace finds a “chocolate drop” of a man–Brother Horace Brown. However, Horace isn’t looking for a supermodel. He wants his woman saved and sanctified, but Grace has never met a man who has been able to resist her. Will Horace compromise his faith for a taste of fortune, fame, and Grace?While Grace focuses on the pursuit of passion Ethan finds one director willing to take a risk and cast Grace in his debut film, but this role fits Grace all too well. Will this film revive Grace’s relationship with God and her career or bring her closer to destruction?

My Review: Grace is one of those characters that you love to hate. At least in the beginning. She’s vain, selfish, abrasive and a real piece of work. Grace is the type of woman you wouldn’t want to leave your man around. But once you find out why she’s the way she is, you find yourself rooting for her to come out on top, despite her obnoxious attitude.

Like the main character’s name and the title of the book, grace is a paramount theme in this novel. Grace is surrounded by supportive characters that show her exactly what her name means, whether it be through tough love, protecting her reputation (what she has left of it) or standing with her once her full story comes to light. All of the characters are flawed in some way, which in my opinion makes them more believable. I’m a sucker to Christian Fiction that dares to tell the ugly truth, and Seasoned with Grace does not disappoint!

Pre-order Seasoned with Grace here! It officially drops July 28th.

What’s the name of the last book you read with a character that rubbed you the wrong way? Did you eventually grow to care/understand him or her? Do you think books always have to have main characters that readers can relate to?

***I was provided an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review, which I freely give.***

Book Review: Catch Me If You Can by Christina C. Jones

It’s been a minute since I’ve posted any book reviews. That’s mainly because I haven’t had all that much time to read, what with learning about book marketing, working on my next novel and dealing with beau-coup family drama. But I’m back and following is my review of Catch Me If You Can by Christina C. Jones. I purchased this book back in December when I lost my entire mind and went on a book buying frenzy. Hope you enjoy!


Catch meTitle: Catch Me If You Can

Author: Christina C. Jones

Genre(s): Romance, Suspense

Description:

Diligence. Focus. Agility.

For Naomi Prescott, it’s not just a cute little saying. It’s a critical mantra, words to live by if she wants to retain her freedom, and more importantly, her life. Impeccable planning is the only way to ensure she sets off the small flutters that will trigger the big ripple she needs to pull off the score of a lifetime — no matter the stakes.

FBI Agent Marcus Calloway is a straight-shooter… if you overlook his sometimes unconventional, law-skirting, expensive ways of solving a case. A big arrest would do wonders to restore his reputation, and he has one woman in mind: Jolie Voleuse

Unforeseen circumstances force them into a closer proximity than either — especially Naomi — would like to be. Sparks fly, and as surely as fire ignites,eventually their undeniable chemistry combusts into a passion that neither expected as they join forces in the dangerous pursuit of a common bounty.

[PLEASE NOTE that Catch Me If You Can is the first title in a continuous series that will carry over three books. Book 2 will be released in February 2015]


My Review:

Christina normally exclusively writes romance, so adding suspense is a new venture for her. I certainly couldn’t tell, because she did it with such expertise that my little fingers couldn’t push the ‘Next Page’ button fast enough on my antiquated Kindle. Naomi and Marcus’ chemistry practically cast flames across my screen. Add the titillation of piecing together how their pursuit of the bad guys connects them on levels they never imagined, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for stellar entertainment. I’ll tell you one thing, I couldn’t figure out the end and I pretty much stopped reading suspense years ago, because I always figure out what’s going on. Not so in this case! If you’re looking for a great quick read with romance and mystery, I highly recommend Catch Me If You Can.

This was my first book by this author, but it definitely won’t be my last. I’ve got A Crazy Little Thing Called Love waiting for me now.


What genres do you normally shy away from reading? Do you have an issue with book series or do you like the continuity of characters and whatnot? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Book Review: The Stolen Girl by Renita D’Silva

It’s been a while since I posted a book review, but trust me it isn’t because I haven’t been reading up a storm! I finished this little gem of a book months ago. Forgive me for not sharing it with you sooner!


 

Stolen GirlTitle: The Stolen Girl

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Description:

‘Your mother has been arrested. She stole you.’

For as long as thirteen-year-old Diya can remember, it’s always been just her and her mum, Vani. Despite never staying in one place long enough to call it home, with her mother by her side, Diya has never needed anything else.

Then, in an instant, Diya’s fragile world is shattered. Her mother is arrested, accused of abducting Diya when she was a baby…

Vani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, determined to make the best possible life for her daughter. Now she must fight for her child, re-opening the door to her own childhood in India and the woman who was once as close to her as a sister.

Told through the eyes of Diya, Vani and Aarti, this is a heart-breaking story of friendship and betrayal, love and motherhood, which asks the question; how far would you go to protect your only child?

The Stolen Girl is an emotional, culturally rich and utterly compelling read from the new must-read name in women’s fiction—Renita D’Silva.


My Review: 

The Stolen Girl is classic women’s fiction done right. I don’t know why women have such an overwhelming fascination with stories about kidnapped children, but we do. Write a book or make a movie about it, and we show up front and center every single time. D’Silva takes a classic story line and revamps it by telling it from three different perspectives: the mother, the thief, and the child.  Don’t get me wrong, while it’s a classic story, it’s far from predictable. The author pulls you into the expertly woven fabric of these ladies live’s and you walk away with a clear understanding of why they made the choices they did.  There’s an element of suspense to the story and the descriptive language is rich and layered. All in all, it’s a great read when you’re in a sentimental mood.


 

Any thoughts on why people have such a fascination with kidnapping? Do you watch movies or read books about it? Have you read a book that you thought would be utterly predictable, but it surprised you?

** I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I freely give.**

Book Review: “Acts of Contrition” by Jennifer Hanford

Acts of ContritionTitle: Acts of Contrition

Author: Jennifer Hanford

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.

My Review:

Family secrets…everyone’s got them. The secrets we keep can either tear our families apart or bind us together. For Mary Morrissey the coin has been tossed and she’s been waiting for over a decade to see which side it will land on.

“I’ve made my family a happy home, but it was a house built with stolen bricks.”

There was no need for me to judge Mary, she did a thorough job of that herself. She’s weighed down with the guilt of her deception but, despite her morally corrupt choices, I empathized with her. The reason I could identify with Mary was entirely due to Hanford’s brilliant skill at creating a distinctive narrative for her. Mary’s voice is honest and without guile, as if the entire novel was a diary of sorts.

“The truth wasn’t pinning me down, I was pinning it down, pushing is mercilessly against the wall with my hand over its mouth.”

What made this story interesting to me was the all access pass into the shifting dynamics and subtle nuances of Mary’s marriage. Hanford manages to show how completely a single bad decision can slowly eat away at a relationship in the form of the lies and omissions continuously needed to bury the truth.

I thoroughly enjoyed Acts of Contrition and highly recommend it! Check it out via Amazon here.

Have you ever witnessed the funk hit the fan over a family secret? Dish in the comments below! I’d love to hear all about it.