#BookishMuses: It Came From The Sky! by Chelsea Sedoti Book Review

I was thrilled when I got a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Imagine how you would react if everyone in your small town suddenly believed there was aliens in your midst? I would be excited because a believer in all things paranormal and a resident of a similar small town I would love the possibility of knowing we aren’t alone.

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A fan of Sedoti’s charming and easy to read writing style and how she always features life-like characters that reside in small towns, and usually are aiming for greatness.

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The main characters Gideon and Ishmael are brothers who balance each other out. Ishmael is a practical joker and prank war champion, and Gideon is the scientist who understands the how and why behind extraterrestrials.

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As per usual, I couldn’t put it down just like Sedoti’s other books and eerily Sodie always slips stuff in her books that makes me think we may in fact be twins.

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Super Pods are here!

It Came From The Sky! will be released on my birthday August 4, 2020 from SourceBooks, and will be available wherever books are sold. You can connect with the YA author at her website.

#BookishMuses: Book Review: Betty by Tiffany McDaniel

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

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As with most stories about families, you know you are in for some heavy blows. Despite our ethnicity or the number of members, no human family is immune to tragedy or oppressive authority, racist, neighbors and classmates, and the aftershocks of untreated or suppressed mental illness.

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From the first phrase, McDaniel takes you on a multifaceted journey of the Carpenter family. You gather that they are Native American and people who feel at one with nature but human nature is not immune no matter the family to sad and tragic occurrences.

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The reader witnesses everything through the eyes of our early feminist icon and hero Betty Carpenter which lends to the emotions of how deep family ties really go.

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Anyone who read McDaniel’s other works will fall in love once again with her poetic and lyrical writing style despite the melancholy content. And those who have yet to read a work by McDaniel will find themselves enraptured by the way she tells a story.

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Betty is timeless yet timely masterpiece and perfect for a world full of cries for injustice and plagued by an ongoing global pandemic.

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Betty Carpenter is no weak woman and her story is not for weak stomached readers. In order to fully see Betty in all her anti-heroine glory, you must seek to step into the shoes of the underdog,¬† the footprints of those who don’t blindly follow the crowd, and upon paths only previously seen as uncharted by those crazy enough to see them beneath the shadows of history and the bright red blood of ancestral heritage.

Shop anti-racism books on RedShelf today and a portion will go towards an important cause!

You can preorder Betty here and at your local retailer as it will be released by Random House on August 18, 2020. You can also keep up to date with the author’s events and other works by visiting her website.

#BookishThoughts: Good Brave People by Nicholas Trandahl book review

As a writer of both fiction and poetry, I love reading novels with poetic soul within their core. As a reader, I love novels that instantly feel like they will be classics or remind you of some of the literary greats.

Trandahl gives mention to legendary writers in their own right Hemingway and Chekhov. Jasper Augustine stares you down with the intensity of a writer who’s all about the experience from the first page.

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Primarily set in Basque County, a mountainous and agricultural area of Spain, this novel follows Augustine who sets out to write a novel, and who happens upon life’s greatest muse: an ordinary person in their home country being extraordinary at what they do, and it in turn makes you want to learn everything about them.

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Upon arriving in San Sebastian, Augustine meets Oihana and begins writing his novel with fervish inspiration.

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What’s crazy to me is how effortless this novel reads which makes it a bit of a shock that this is his debut novel.

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Filled with intrigue, Spanish mystique, and a romantic story for the ages, Good Brave People is a classic for this age, and for ages to come.

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#BookishThoughts: Stop Missing Your Life by Cory Muscara helps you learn what it means to be truly present in a distracting world

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Released at the end of 2019, I was eager to walk into 2020 more present than I had in previous years.

I got the book in January from the publisher and thought it would be a quick and easy read.

After all, it was a book walking me through how to be deeply present.

Now, five months later (I finished the book in May 2020), I’ve finished the book and see how very un-present not to mention irresponsible I’ve been.

In itself, reading a book is an act of being present. Present and actively engaged with the materials covered (if non-fiction) or in the story itself (with fiction, poetry, and memoir).

What does it mean to be deeply present?

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And it was during those five months from when I began reading this book to now, that I sought justice for evil. I had witnessed and experienced, sought healing and wholeness after heartbreak, betrayal, and utter rejection, and I began to speak from a place of true honesty and authenticity which I’ve never truly had in the twenty-seven years of my life prior.

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Muscara’s book takes the reader through personal anecdotes and mindfulness practices down a journey of true presence and intimacy with ourselves, and relates that back to the intimacy and connection we have with others.

Now, at 28, I feel more self-aware, authentic, and unapologetic about who I am than I ever have, and I will never allow myself to suppress the ‘shadow parts’ that need loving, too.

Once I sat down to being more present, and committed to finishing this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it and believe anyone could benefit from reading it.

As far as my own journey into being present, I will start by being more adamant and dedicated toward being present while reading books I review, and music albums as well.

Overall, I want this to be me telling the world, I promise to stop not showing up for myself and all the Smart Cookie Philes is to people everywhere.

Meaning whether with my clients or books or music I promise to review, I will aim to get it done or offer a “thanks but no thanks.”

It’s this small but simple thing I believe will make the most difference.

#PoeticMuses: Under The Shade of the Banyan Tree by Simi K. Rao

I was asked to read this book of poetry and some prose for an honest review. Once received, I was unsure of what I would find under this tree of metaphorical significance but I am happy to share not only did I find myself lost in the midst of some of these poems…that share bits of truth about self-confidence, sefl-esteem, and one that cleverly tells the story of a seed of doubt.

My favorite of all Rao’s words shared within the pages of this collection is called¬†Love is.

I also enjoyed the excerpt from Inconvenient Relations, Rao’s novel.

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Enter Giveaway Here. Ends May 10, 2020

Read some of my favorites below.

i purge my mind with music I rejoice in the space until the creatures cruise back in on roller skates

I am Abnormal Unconventional Abominable Unafraid Aberrant Unapologetic

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Words are bland unless spiced with emotion Prayer means less unless said with devotion Love is an empty pot unless filled with trust

Spontaneous Instantaneous No instruction required When it reaches the eyes, it spreads like the flu Contagious Infectious The universal language of a smile.

#PoeticMuses: Evergreen by Kirsten Robinson

I was asked to read this book in exchange for an honest review but it took me a year to open it and let it’s honesty, authenticity, and perception wash over me.

It was a beautiful compilation of finding purpose in pain, understanding when none was shown to you, hearing someone out when they tuned out your truth.

And finding peace even if the person you loved didn’t chose you.

Her words truly do help you heal, feel, and grow into more of who you were made to be, not expected to be or told to be, which leaves any reader feeling truly free.

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You can connect with Kirsten via Instagram and even find a link to purchase her poetry book there.

Some of her favorites are below.

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We learned in science class that pressure makes diamonds out of coal there is so much pressure to be perfect I don't want to be a flawless fashion cut bought from a velvet case where I was kept on display

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I never told you but I like you best when no one is looking that is when you finally look like yourself. -Evergreen by Kirsten Robinson

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You looked at me with the sun in your eyes and it felt like coming home

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Just because it went bad doesn't mean it was never good Just because it turned out wrong doesn't mean it was never right. I need to give you credit for the ways you enriched my life for the ways you helped me growYou can never tie a string to someone's heart to keep them from walking away; you can only love them in their freedom and hope that they choose to stay, hope that they love you back freely in the same way.

When you are thinking of someone and wondering if they are thinking of you_ the answer is yes and no the truth is you will never know if they don't tell you they'll never know if you don't tell them so speak

#PoeticMuses: Beyond Worthy by Jacqueline Whitney

Coming out of the other side of trauma is the part people notice. They didn’t notice you within the trauma feeling stuck, losing the fuel to your fire, losing the best parts of you to appease those people who were absolutely blind to your worth.

They didn’t notice when you were broken and reaching out to everyone and everything to help you understand the pain that had doubled you over. That made you think that this was it. The story was over, and no one checked in or showed up for you like you did for them, you turned to a higher power and internal healing, and to be free of the pain you had to let go of what or who was holding you back.

Then, dead on arrival, the truth, the clarity washes over you and you come out strong. Like a phoenix you rise and begin to fly.

And when you rise, you help others like you heal.

For me, that is the poetry of Jacqueline Whitney. It is written from a place of severe trauma, from a place where people say something is wrong with you because you are depressed  and only see darkness, and from a place where light washes over you in streams and waves until the darkness flees from you, and the place you are stuck in, becomes the place where you danced right out of the flames.

It was everything I didn’t know I needed post-trauma. And I thank her for putting her words, her heart, her story out into the world because they helped me heal even more.

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You can connect with Jacqueline via Instagram and even find a link to purchase her very vital book of poetry.

Below are some of my favorites of hers.

The more we try to make sense of the memories or the current moment that doesn't make sense, the more we lose ourselves and our healing. There are some experiences that just aren't ever going to make sense, and ma

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You only live once.

You were created for nothing mediocre. You are meant to tear down walls with your heart, push through oceans with your voice, and love all souls with all of your soul. You were made to love. You were made to stand

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with you

Progress can be measured in breaths. You are still breathing, therefore, you are making progress. -Beyond Worthy by Jacqueline Whitney

Being you is enough. You don't have to explain yourself to anyone. You don't have to defend where you are. You are where you are, and that is where you need to be right now. -Beyond Worthy by Jacqueline Whitney

 

#SmartCookiePR: Did you miss the LIVE Poetry Reading Series?

The winners were all announced LIVE but if you missed it here is a replay that you can watch as often as you need a positive and uplifting message.

I also forgot to mention this but you can connect with Oscar

Instagram:Albert_the_albatross

Twitter: Albert The Albatross

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#PoeticMuses: Poetry Review Mike Mac’s Of Welter and Whim

Poetry has always struck a chord with me. I was a poet before I became a novelist but it is rare among all of today’s modern poets that poetry strikes both a chord and a nerve.

Yet, Mike Mac’s poetry did just that like a strum of guitar chords among a thumping bass, it reads like a musical accompaniment any person may need to dance in the key of life.

I was asked to read this book for an honest review and am glad I took the leap and the chance to do so.

His topics range from love and relationships to powerful poetic statements.

Some of my favorites are below.

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Purchase this and Mike Mac’s other poetry collection here

She Had Gone I could no more outrun thoughts of her then I could outrun the rain And I would have it no other way

I was unable to disuade my eyes from her. She was extraordinary. A serendipitous confluence of quirk. An ethereal sumphony of vitality amidst the dull drone of our doom. A windfall of cosmic liberty in stark defia

I could never lose someone as much as I lost you. -Of Welter and Whim, Mike Mac

Her words were curt,irate, and keen primed for print in a rolled up magazine Mike Mac, Of Welt and Whim

She was both fire and flame but never the same -Of Welter and Whim, Mike Mac

My casket will bear the corpses of a man and his remorses

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I saw vultures in her eyes circling overhead I knew that I had died when she left me for dead

He was big headed And small minded A walking contradiction And a running joke

 

I let you walk all over me but next time I'm going to be a Lego Of Welter and whim, Mike Mac

If only truth had the endurance of gossip -Of Welter and Whim by Mike Mac

I have an exorbitant literacy rate -Of Welter and Whim by Mike Mac