Set in early twentieth-century New York, A Place to Hide by David Salner narrates the story of Bill Waite, a fugitive. He escapes from Montana’s merciless boss and arrives in New York in the hope of starting a new chapter in life. There he discovers a friend and confidant in Virgil Shulman, who helps him secure a job.
Shulman is the first-ever man of Jewish descent that Waite meets, and he learns a great deal about the Yiddish culture, history, and religion. While trying to help a child, Waite falls in love with her mother, and finally finds happiness in life after years of suffering. But his peace doesn’t last long as he comes into the public eye via newspaper coverage after saving someone’s life. To know how he manages to dodge these circumstances and find the light at the end of the tunnel, you have to dive into this gripping novel.
A Place to Hide has an intriguing narrative that delves into a fugitive’s psyche and allows us to explore his side of the story. The author skillfully conveys thought-provoking messages through this work while keeping the readers glued to the pages. Waite is wholeheartedly embraced by the new culture that he finds himself in, and he learns to celebrate the differences among religions, rather than having a biased outlook on life. While working on the tunnel-making project, the tremendously risky job ties the workers in a single thread, where nation, race, or religion become irrelevant. They share a camaraderie untainted by the worldly evils that attempt to discriminate and differentiate one human from another.
Throughout this action-packed novel, I was surprised by the consistently high level of intrigue throughout the novel, possibly due to the authentic and emotive characters. This riveting historical fiction story offers insight into the lives of people during the 1920s, the prevalent societal issues and morality, bound together with suspense and a touch of humor.
The powerful storytelling, the lucid language, the carefully crafted plot, the thrilling action, and the element of suspense are some of the key aspects that make this book a must-read. A Place to Hide is an emotionally resonant and stimulating story that is as exciting as it is enlightening.
Pages: 216 | ASIN: B08TWGQP43
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The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.
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The Ambitious Pyramid of Kush by Justin Kuku is an emotional novel that chronicles the life of a young immigrant man from Sudan as he follows his hopes and dreams for a better life in the United States. The title of the novel pays homage to the ancestral kingdom in Sudan, one that the main character, Tokia’s, African family feels closely linked to, as they struggle against the oppressive Islamic regime that is in power in present-day Sudan. Reading this novel opened my eyes to the deeply painful realities of life in Sudan, including religious oppression, limitations on personal freedoms, and the violence that the government enacts on its citizens. In addition to the heart-wrenching picture that Kuku paints of life in Sudan, he also describes in vivid detail the challenges that immigrants face in the United State due to many reasons outside their control, such as the prejudices of others, language and cultural barriers, and the complicated American legal system.
Though the novel is presented as fiction, it is hard not to imagine that Kuku has drawn on some of his own personal experiences as an immigrant to the United States from Sudan, based on his touching introduction to the novel. The Ambitious Pyramid of Kush begins following Tokia as a young man in Sudan, and follows him to Egypt and ultimately to the United States where he attempts to begin his life anew. Throughout the novel, Tokia develops friendships and relationships with those around him. Some of the best supporting characters in the novel are the women in Tokia’s life, including Katira, a Sudanese woman he befriends on his way to Egypt, and Rashida, a young woman he meets in the United States. In addition to these three main characters, the novel is interspersed with many short-lived characters who have minimally developed backstories, which made it somewhat difficult for me to keep up with each individual and how they related to the overall plot.
With Ambitious Pyramid of Kush, Kuku has identified a very compelling story of one person’s strength, perseverance, and love. The story of Tokia is interesting; however, the book can benefit from an editor. While I found the strength of the protagonist, Tokia, to be inspirational, and I appreciated the personal insights into both the trauma of life in Sudan as well as life for African immigrants in the United States, I would have appreciated more engaging dialogue and prose.
Though the plot of Ambitious Pyramid of Kush is interesting – and I think that the story of Tokia’s life would make a compelling movie – the book reads like a report due to minimal descriptions and the terse conversational exchanges. In reading Ambitious Pyramid of Kush, I felt that Kuku has a wealth of stories to tell, not only Tokia’s, but also those of all the supporting characters.
Pages: 182 | ASIN: B08P262JK6
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You can list on two hands all of the things Malcolm is battling, and all of them have happened in a relatively short period of time. Things just aren’t the same anymore. Malcolm feels like the world around him isn’t real and he is no longer a part of his own life. His disconnect from reality has become so strong that Malcolm is beginning to make decisions he would otherwise never consider. Has his string of bad luck completely wrecked him? Is this truly a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Malcolm will soon find out.
Finding Home, by Christy Cooper-Burnett, chronicles the adventures of Malcolm, a man from the year 2070, who has time-travelled following his own incarceration. The book jumps quickly into Malcolm’s sudden demise and moves at lightning speed into his life hopping from one century to the next. Christine Stewart, also a time-traveler and member of the CCEA, has an important role in Malcolm’s position and is a key character from the first chapter. She is integral to multiple plots and serves to pull the book together into a neat and riveting package.
The author has created quite a unique storyline as the plot is based primarily on convicted criminals whose punishment is to be exiled to other times–Malcolm is among these prisoners. I became quickly wrapped up in this idea. The notion of having felons completely removed from their own day and time is a fantastic one and offers endless opportunities for parallel storylines.
Hannah, wife of corrupt cop, Chad, has a poignant storyline in the book, and her contribution is invaluable in many ways. Though the intent of the author may be to provide readers with a book steeped in science fiction, drama, and adventure, she has placed in the hands of her readers quite the commentary on domestic violence.
Finding Home is rare to find a riveting storyline rich in the science fiction genre that also effectively addresses social issues. I highly recommend Burnett’s work to any science fiction fan seeking a new take on time travel.
Pages: 290 | ASIN: B08ZVX7YB8
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The first book of Orna Ross’ Irish trilogy, After the Rising tells the tale of a family, with the vivid backdrop of Ireland’s struggle for establishing its identity as an island nation. As Jo returns to her native land and unravels the past, the readers get a glimpse into the Irish Civil War. The story covers multiple generations, detailing the involvement of her family in the war, a cold-blooded murder, her lost love, and the repercussions of revolution.
Now coming to the second installment Before the Fall, the story dives deeper into the family history of Jo. The grief-ridden past of her foremothers gets uncovered before her, as she goes through the letters left by her grandmother and great aunt. The unpleasant family secrets take up a large chunk of the novel, while the other sections deal with issues like AIDS, immigration, and other social issues. The book raises significant questions about the consequences of freedom and the heartbreaking truths that lurk in the past. With these discoveries, Jo finally realizes that perhaps it’s not possible to detach herself from the haunting past that her family has been carrying across generations.
In both these parts, author Orna Ross’s brilliant storytelling brings this historical romance story to life. This compelling family saga reaches great heights with the author’s careful characterization. Ross explores humanity through a unique lens and unravels the bitter mysteries and secrets of Jo’s family with wonderful literary flair. While the first book brings up the question of love, the second book delves deeper into it. The pain and agony of discovering and carrying along a painful truth have been brilliantly portrayed in this work.
These novels take place in Jo’s homeland of Ireland, and others in the U.S.. The author clever and skillfully handles these multiple settings, with each having its own feel.
The gripping narrative and powerful storytelling makes After The Rising and Before The Fall a fantastic historical fiction novel that was hard for me to put down. This is a thick book, because it comes with both novels, but it ensures that readers will have a much richer and fuller experience by the end. If you’re interested in learning about Irish history through a riveting fictitious account, you would thoroughly enjoy Orna Ross’s enthralling story.
Pages: 544 | ASIN: B08JY91NW5
Tags: After The Rising and Before The Fall: Centenary Edition: Two books in one, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, historical romance, history, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, nook, novel, Orna Ross, read, reader, reading, romance, story, writer, writing
On the day of the execution there were nine accused set to die. Nine bodies entered the mortuary, and nine bodies were prepared for burial. On the morning of the burial, only eight bodies remained. No one knows who entered the room with the bodies–or no one is telling, and absolutely no one wants to be the one to go before King James with this confusing and disturbing news. The body missing? It’s Elizabeth Device, the most outspoken of those accused of witchcraft. The search has begun to recover the body, but no one has noticed the one clue that could lead them to the answers the king has demanded.
Initially set in the 1600s, Jeremy and the Witches’ Medallion: The Witch Hunt, by Randy Gauthier, takes place 12 years following the execution of nine accused witches. With the proposed sale of the land belonging to the woman whose body went missing and the survey of her property begins a sequence of events revealing much about her way of life. Picking up 400 years later in 2012, the author continues the story in present times with a whole new cast of characters young readers will find more relatable. Author Randy Gauthier does a wonderful job of touching on every disturbing aspect of the era when witch trials were prevalent.
The mystery surrounding the magpie is an especially gripping part of Gauthier’s work. I am also intrigued by the use of the present tense. I am generally not a fan of novels written in the present tense, but it somehow works with this particular storyline–it helps to build the right amount of tension and keeps readers engaged.
Jeremy’s storyline is the one that will draw in young adult readers. As a senior in high school with big dreams of becoming an Olympian, he takes readers on a journey like no other. Though the novel is steeped in elements of fantasy and science fiction like time travel, Jeremy serves as readers’ guide through history, stopping momentarily to provide facts and tidbits they will find keep them grounded and invested in the storyline.
Jeremy and the Witches’ Medallion: The Witch Hunt gives young adult readers a fantastic peek into the witch trials and famous historical incidents and manages to blend it well with a good many relevant present day references. The shift from present tense to past tense and back again can be a little confusing, but the time-travel and history lessons more than make up for it. I highly recommend Gauthier’s work to any fan of historical fiction.
Pages: 340 | ISBN: 1647501520
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Destiny Love Jones Vol 1 follows sisters through two different time periods that face similar challenges with society and dating. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
Great question, thanks for asking. The story of Destiny Love Jones Vol.1 Sisters and the Plight with Boys actually derived from a novel I had previously written which was a romantic satire. Upon completing that original book, my thinking evolved as I began to understand that there were more to women’s lives than romance (not saying that romance isn’t important, because it is), but I wanted to explore additional facets of being a female. I also loved the main characters from that original book and knew that I wanted to explore these complex characters more. Thus leading to my latest novel Destiny Love Jones Vol.1 Sisters and the Plight with Boys. I wanted to dive into the characters’ history so readers can have a better understanding of cultural ideology, generational trauma, and the evolving and sometimes stagnant issues in society that girls and women of colour face throughout generations. I also wanted keep the essence of the original book so there are quirky and entertaining moments as well! I find that if readers can understand where a family and people are coming from, they can understand, empathize and even relate to their circumstance. I also felt that by comparing the past to the present in the story, readers can clearly see that although the times and society have changed, one can ironically question, have the times really changed or is it just systematically cloaked?
Your characters were enjoyable to follow and interesting. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
I have a natural ability to empathize with people; it’s a natural trait I’ve always had since I was a small child. Being a fictional writer, it’s easy for me to thoroughly develop a character because I can walk in their shoes. I can see their point of view when no one else around them can fully see or understand. I can do this from the most lovable character to the most grotesque. I believe that by having empathy as a writer, I can develop strong, well throughout, believable characters that are uniquely themselves (even the times when they pretend not to be themselves)!
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
There were numerous themes I included in this narrative because they are all important to mention. But if I were to focus on a few critical ones, I would say the issues of friendship/sisterhood, race, patriarchy, classism, colorism, mental health, relationships (both romantic and platonic), and just being a teen in high school and all of it’s dramas. I believe that all (or most) of these issues intersect in our lives at one point or the other and bringing them to the forefront will hopefully promote healthy duologues and explore ways to address some of these issues in real life.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Happy to say that Destiny Love Jones Vol. Sisters and the Plight with Boys is part one of a seven-series novel collection. With this well throughout series, readers will be able to follow these main characters throughout their life’s journey, mainly into adulthood, and all the adventures, obstacles and twist that will come their way. Volume 2 is due out Spring of 2022 and will be available for pre-order this fall.
Posted in Interviews
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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 friends Pearl, Augustine, and Holly who carry a whole load of tricks up their sleeves. The three friends 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 friends Destiny, Olivia, and Tiffany almost half a decade later who face the same challenges as was the case with Pearl and her friends. 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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