Category Archives: Book Reviews

Destiny Love Jones Volume 1. “Sisters and the Plight with Boys,”

DESTINY LOVE JONES VOL 1. "sisters and the plight with boys" by [N. R. White]

Destiny Love Jones Volume 1. “Sisters and the Plight with Boys,”  by N. R. White takes place in the classic ’40s setting and follows three sisters Pearl, Augustine, and Holly who carry a whole load of tricks up their sleeves. The set of twins have to be cunning in their dealings to help them handle the harsh reality of segregation and black oppression among other political factors during the time. They stick together and their belief in the power of sisterhood helps them fight through some tough obstacles together. But when the girls turn into women they face a whole new set of obstacles in the form of dating and men. Their unique sisterhood bond is once again portrayed in another set of sisters Destiny, Olivia, and Tiffany almost half a decade later who face the same challenges as was the case with Pearl and her sisters. The stories of each set show the struggle that a young black woman would face in both 1940’s and in contemporary society.

Author N.R. White uses comparison effectively to explain the challenges that young black girls face throughout their lives. She uses fantasy to tell an engaging story that still reflects on the realities of modern society. The smooth transitions within the story helps the reader understand the constant challenges that black women have been facing throughout the 20th century.

The themes of loyalty, friendship, resilience, and sisterhood are embedded throughout this impassioned novel. They are all portrayed in realistic and interesting ways within the story. The plot is filled with endless challenges that the characters face throughout the book, making a story that is both riveting and thought-provoking. I also love how author N.R. White uplifts women and shows the strength within despite the oppression women have been facing across centuries. The characters show a resilience that is both heartening and memorable.

Destiny Love Jones Volume 1. “Sisters and the Plight with Boys,” by N. R. White is an emotionally-charged urban fantasy novel that that knows how to build up intriguing characters and make readers empathize with them.

Pages: 519 | ASIN: B08WHD1MJX

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Turn Words Into Wealth

Turn Words Into Wealth: Blueprint for Your Business, Brand, and Book to Make Money and Make a Difference (Turn Your Words Into Wealth) by [Aurora Winter]

Turn Words Into Wealth is a great book for any reader that wants to start their journey in entrepreneurship or expand the business that they are already running. The author gives actionable tips and pointers on how to be a successful entrepreneur, how to make money and relate with your clients. Every topic in the book is relevant, enlightening and explained in an easy to understand manner.

A great element about Aurora Winter’s writing is how diverse her topics are. The author writes with the intent of helping the reader learn how to make money, but she does not stop there. Aurora Winter goes further and talks about building relationships and paying attention to the people that we interact with. Not every energy that comes your way is good, she writes. Choose your partners carefully and know who you can be vulnerable with as there is vulnerability in business. The topic on building one’s brand was one of my favorites. Aurora uses many examples, including the Oprah story and discusses with the reader how you can build your empire from scratch. A brand is a story, she says. I enjoyed the discussion throughout this chapter as every example and solution the author gave was practical.

Even as an experienced entrepreneur and media trainer, Aurora knows that not everything can work. She writes about finding your spotlight and understanding your purpose. I appreciated how encouraging the tone of the book was. When talking about challenges she and other entrepreneurs have faced, the author makes the reader feel like they are not alone. Her ability to make everyone feel like they belong and they can be successful is fantastic. Aurora Winter knows how to convince one to stand up, dust themselves off and keep going. She is a great storyteller and gives great analogies when explaining a particular topic and provides real life experiences when presenting her theories.. The author is articulate in her explanations and gives real-world answers.

Turn Words Into Wealth has the potential to change you and your business. I recommend the book to all readers that have a millionaire mindset and every hardworking individual that is working to achieve their goals but needs some coaching to guide their upward momentum.

Pages: 228 | ASIN: B08VNMZDBN

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Thief of Reason

Thief of Reason by [Judy J. Johnson]

Thief of Reason by Judy J. Johnson is the story of Ricky Wright, a 28-year-old college student who understands how it feels to be denied reasoning all too well. Ricky’s father is a raging alcoholic with strong views on any subject under the sun – but so is Ricky. Amongst the family dysfunction, Ricky decides to seek counseling. We have all felt that immense need to make someone understand where we are coming from. But some people in this world completely refuse to reason with you. Author Judy Johnson brilliantly brings this relatable narrative to life in a very engaging story.

Thief of Reason is a thoughtfully crafted coming of age story realistically portraying family dysfunction and how dogmatic thinking can affect interpersonal relationships. The story explores the subject through an artistic lens, and adds an analytical element in a refreshing way.

Through the “Shrink” character of Dr. Grey and others, the author demonstrates a multi-faceted view of toxic situations and the people who cause them. Showing that there is more than one side to every story and that peoples’ habitual actions can derive from a history of trauma. The analytical approach to human behavior made the characters in this novel feel well-developed and relatable.

I really enjoyed how the story is told gradually changed and evolved over time. Despite this book only reaching a little over 200 pages, Ricky’s character is still meticulously developed. Ricky did not completely change who he was and his actions from page to page – it was a slow-building process. The slow and steady method of storytelling suits the narrative in this novel well. It further demonstrates a realistic approach to real-life issues. It was absolutely refreshing to read a character driven story that relies on characters that feel authentic and that face obstacles I can relate to and understand.

If you are looking for a novel that entertains, provokes profound thoughts, and teaches valuable lessons, Thief of Reason is right for you. This is an intellectually invigorating and emotionally charged novel that I highly recommend.

Pages: 256 | ASIN: B08SGMZP7T

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Night Air Descending

Night Air Descending: A Novel (The Life and Stories of Jaime Cruz Book 2) by [T P Graf]

If you are looking for a book about family, faith, and healing, T.P Graf’s Night Air Descending is right up your alley. It follows the life of Jaime Cruz, a young man who managed to find love and healing in a Texas family. Together with his partner Billy, and his adopted family Bill, Betsy, and Sallie, he forges a new existence, one of joy and peace. This is quite contrary to the life he had growing up – one of pain and loneliness. He sends out letters to members of his estranged family, hoping to reunite and guide them to healing as well. While only one family member bites, this is enough to inspire hope in Jamie and his chosen family.

Throughout this intelligent and evocative book we learn about Jamie’s view on love and the beautiful relationship he has with his adopted family. The themes of family, belonging, and love reverberate throughout the narrative. Using the perspective of Jamie to tell the story, the author draws us in and makes it more relatable and memorable. It also helps that most of the events in the book are everyday occurrences that the average person can relate to.

Moreover, the characters are well developed, each having his or her own personality and desires – some surprising and some not so much. The author’s writing style is light and easy to read – there isn’t any use of wordy long-winded paragraphs. This writing style is reflective of the story, in its ability to find beauty in everyday simplicity.

I enjoyed the story, and the dialogue, but because there was so much dialogue I felt that there were phrases that were repeated often: “I said”, “He said”, and “She said”. I would have enjoyed more descriptions of scenes and character state of minds from a narrative point of view to break things up and give the dialogue some direction.

This is a beautifully written book that has a grounded and authentic feel so much that it feels like we are reading someone diary; one filled with the daily hassles, family and ranch life. However, if you are looking for something easy to read and that seamlessly blends Christian faith, love, and family, Night Air Descending could be the book for you. This is a heartwarming book that possesses author T.P. Graf’s distinct literary aesthetic. 

Pages: 222 | ASIN: B08R7PZ2FG

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Natyre Boy

Natyre Boy by [Derek R. King]

Dazzling seascapes, soft fields brimming with flowers, and the homes of mythological beings are just some of the places you’ll be transported to by the words of Derek King in his collection Natyre Boy. The exotic images he evokes tell the story of the land over the course of a year, visiting all the seasons and the changes they may bring, through storms and calm, over a variety of landscapes. While King’s poetry is often kept short, it’s nonetheless effective in telling a vivid tale that blooms in the imagination, much like so many of the flowers he describes. 

Natyre Boy is King’s second collection of poems and focuses, and you may surmise, on the natural world around us and the beauty it both possesses and exudes. It brings to mind images of idyllic, lazy days spent gazing out at the ocean, or laying in a field as bees and butterflies flit about. King’s use of language is superb, often proving that less is more in the way he can paint a complete picture over the course of just several lines. Occasionally I felt that the rhythm stumbles a bit and a poem may be a bit awkward in the way it reads, but that is a rare occurrence as more often they flow with an unbothered ease, reflecting the endless march of nature that will continue one way or another. Deeper than the poems themselves, the collection is also a commentary on the cylindrical nature of all life and the fact that nothing lasts forever, despite whatever attempts may be made to that end.

Natyre Boy is not only easy to read but solidly enjoyable. The poems exude joy and warmth in their language and delivery, creating scenes of bucolic enjoyment that seems so rare and hard to obtain in our fast filled days. King’s words perfectly grasp those universal feelings that are often incredibly difficult to name but also instantly recognizable. This collection is a joy.

Pages: 142 | ASIN: B08X77TC9K

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Karik’s First Battle

Karik's First Battle (The Legends of Karik Book 1) by [Evan Oliver]

After being exiled from a village unable to sustain him and his friends during the long and harsh winter, Karik embarks on a treacherous journey to find a place to stay. After multiple discussions, Karik convinces his stubborn friends to head north, where they might find shelter in one of the less populated villages. When they stumble upon a small settlement up north and are invited to stay, they reluctantly accept. However, they notice strange details around the village including its saggy construction and utter lack of population. They soon discover that many important events actually occur underground in an elaborate series of tunnels, including a strange pact with a dangerous dragon and dark secrets involving a mythological character. Karik must find a way to defeat this threat lurking in the shadows and keep his friends, and himself, alive until spring.

Kariks First Battle by Evan Oliver is a thrilling high-fantasy novella and is the first installment in the “Legends of Karik” series. However short, this first following an intriguing hero through an imaginative fantasy world that still feels grounded but deep. This reminds me of The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien in that it feels like an adventure that’s playing out in a world with a very deep backstory.

The characters are all compelling in their own way, barely riding the line of fantasy trope but bring enough unique characterization to make them feel fresh and alive on the page. The story feels like a reinvigoration of the type of fantasy story telling prevalent in the 80’s, but with a contemporary infusion of action and sense of adventure.

Kariks First Battle has a creative plot that is propelled by fascinating characters. I really feel like we’re just scratching the surface of something much grander in the Legends of Karik series. If you’re looking for an epic fantasy story where a host of striking characters set out on a dangerous adventure then you will find plenty to enjoy in this book.

Pages: 91 | ASIN: B08W73Q5D2

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Perseverance: How It All Began

Perseverance: How It All Began by [Rebecca Branch]

Perseverance: How it All Began, is the first novel in a romance series following Cadence who is a nurse at a local hospital. The story follows her journey, as her friend Trystan (whom she has admired from afar), moves closer to her, throwing her emotions into turmoil.

Perseverance: How it all Began has an easy to follow structure. It is organized into chapters that are narrated by the two main characters, although most chapters are told from Cadence’s viewpoint. The story is simple to follow, but there are several very compelling twists and turns. Although the action is mostly centered around the budding romance of the two main characters, there are some moments of tension that really bring this novel to life.

Cadence is a well-developed character that comes across as authentic and believable. A nurse at a local hospital, the story focuses on her anguish in trying to choose between two men. Readers follow her emotional turmoil, fears, and dreams. Her character develops and deepens over the course of the novel, as she finds herself falling in love with Blake whilst still pining for Trystan, a friend who she’d fallen in love with but never admitted her feelings to him or anyone else.

The dialogue throughout the novel felt grounded and the characters motivations throughout the story were believable, both of these things combine to make a novel that is easy to be engrossed with. Cadence’s long-time friend Trystan is also a main character in the novel. We gain less of an insight into his thoughts, but he’s still an intriguing character without feeling completely original. He has a manly job, is intensely handsome, self-confident, and their relationship starts with him showing Cadence little, if any, romantic attention. However, once another man is in the picture his interest soon increases! These two characters are supported by numerous smaller characters, such as Cadence’s boyfriend, and their respective friends and colleagues. These characters add welcomed depth and interest to the story.

This novel is firmly focused on the romance between Cadence and Trystan and the descriptive writing focuses on the main characters and their physical descriptions, rather than building out the setting and world.

Perseverance: How it All Began is an impassioned romance novel that will appeal to readers looking for an easy to follow but stirring story that focuses on the relationships between people.

Pages: 432 | ASIN: B07BF4MM46

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Animals

Animals by [J. E. Lynch]

All was rosy for the Burnhams till they went on a year-long holiday. Three family members returned with a nightmare that would plague them for the rest of their lives, while little Eleanor never made it back at all. She simply vanished on a nice sunny day on the beach, only to appear in a cave far away from her family. That marked the start of a life-changing experience that saw her raised by unusual animals. Her training in the wild molded her into a ruthless young predator, not unlike her tutors. She soon found out that she was now an assassin created to carry out the will of her vengeful animal captors. Ellie embraced her new life, but her mind kept pulling up images of her old life that featured a happy family. Would she chase the freedom she once had, or would she stay a killing machine?

J.E Lynch’s Animals brings a startling folktale to life. The book’s intriguing plot piques curiosity early on and sustains it all through the story. It features animals running a covert recruitment program and feels like a metaphor reflecting our nature and actions as humans, like George Orwell’s allegorical novella Animal Farm. Even though Lynch tries to present truths in an unusual way, he doesn’t leave you scratching your head. His themes are clear, thought-provoking, and fascinating.

Lynch is great at stimulating the senses with very descriptive sentences, relying more on simple words than flowery language. I love how the author approaches the main character’s evolution. He leaves just enough clues to show there was a chance she could change course without making you feel it was inevitable. The animals also had distinctive personalities that resonated with me. I found myself rooting for some and scoffing at others, a sign that I was heavily invested in the characters.

I breezed through all 300 pages of this book. I’m not sure I’ve finished a book of that size in such a short time. I definitely have the story’s pace and intrigue to thank for that. And to top it off, the story ends with a smashing cliff-hanger. Good thing the sequel is out already. So, I don’t have to wait to get my paws on it.

Animals is a thought-provoking young adult novel that is daring, creative, and immensely entertaining.

Pages: 303 | ASIN: B07NQK2HXN

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