#BookishThoughts: Schuren strikes a nerve of the meaning of being a woman with ‘Virtue of Sin’

pablo The cover alone led me to take interest in this book almost instantly because of the spiritual connotation of butterflies. Growth, Renewal, Hope and even in some contexts it can mean an awakening of some type.

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From the very first page, I instantly related to Miriam despite that the book is told through two first person perspectives. Growing up Catholic and following the rituals made me question a lot of things about God and his mercy even as a young kid.

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Yet, it was Miriam’s personality strength of questioning people and things that I also related to. As a writer, I’m always paying extra attention to things people miss:

  • the heartbreaking look someone has on their face when they realize they don’t love someone  anymore
  • the droop in someone’s shoulders because their loved one just passed away
  • the crack in someone’s voice before they reveal to that special someone that they have fallen in love with them.

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Miriam lives within a community with a leader who reminds me of Pastor Dan from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and with the same totalitarian atmosphere as Handmaid’s Tale.

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Women are to be seen and not heard.

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Schuren’s novel was relatable, stimulating, written with a strength and power only a woman writer could possess, and was one the best books I’ve read in 2019 so far.

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To say thank you for reading this review, just use the comments section below to share the words “The Future is Female.” One lucky winner will win a copy of Shannon Schuren’s book, format winner’s choice. Deadline is Friday Aug. 9 at 11:59 p.m.  Make sure to include your name and email address if not listed on your WordPress account.

Don’t allow them to silence you. Pass this on to a friend.

She Lays Down by Stylistic Moods is a great read @inkitt #bookreview

To read this book in it’s entirety, you can visit here.

Inkitt is a brand new platform in book publishing. It offers writers a chance at publication if your finished novel reaches an increasingly popular amount of reads, using analytics that show how interested readers were while reading it.

It’s like Wattpad but better because you could see your book in print, and Inkitt is entirely generous to it’s authors because they know how hard it is to write a book as well as how hard it is to find the right publishing house for it.

With that said, I was asked to read this book because I am a member of Inkitt’s book club. Yet, this book actually kept my interest far more than two books that were on my queue, and I chose to finish and review it over those other books.

Some days even found me reading large sections of the book because I had to know what was going to happen next. I very much am obsessed with books like that.

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#BookReview: You must be mad if you don’t read this re-telling of Alice in Wonderland

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Debut author J.M. Sullivan’s newest YA Dark Fantasy novel comes out this Tuesday May 16 from Pen Name Publishing!

To watch my review video, click here

All in all, this re-telling was as fast-paced and adventurous as the Disney Live Action movies but contain a creative twist. You will go mad for Sullivan’s prose and ability to tell a story.

You can purchase/pre-order Alice at all these places:

Barnes & Noble – bit.ly/WanderlandBN
Author Interview with JM Sullivan coming this Tuesday. Don’t be late.


Why Books Are So Much Better Than Movies #BookReview of Everything, Everything by @nicolayoon


I’m one of those serious bookworms who has to read the book before the movie. Back when Twilight was being promoted in the Hollyweird movie machine, I read the second book in one night, the night before I was meant to see the movie.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case here since I rented the book from the library well in advance.

To watch my video review featuring some of my favorite quotes from the novel, go here.

Everything, Everything touches on some heavy subject matter (depression, anxiety, living in a bubble, fear, grief, mental illness) by using a universal storyline of first love to be the vehicle it is showcased through. It gave me all the feels and I read it not so much so I could see the movie but because it was THAT GOOD.

#BookReview: Fricke’s Debut ‘Corrupting Darkness’ will haunt you

From the first page, I was immediately like a fly on the wall observing the friendship of Ally Dekin and Fay Hadley.

Then, I was thrown for a loop, much like the main character Ally was, when Fay dies in a car accident only by the end of the second chapter.

This book is a gorgeous and worthy read despite being released via Amazon’s Createspace Publishing platform. Even though the issues in it were heavy and thick, much like life itself, Fricke’s writing style kept me turning the page because it was light, airy, and poetic in the best way.

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I really want you to win a signed copy of this book so go here to enter if you are in the US.

Giveaway ends on March 15, 2017 at 12 am est. You must watch the video to qualify as an entrant.

#BookReview: Joyride @byannabanks

The first time I ever saw Anna Banks, I thought she was the coolest person in the room. I admired her personality and how she could command the authority of every eye in the room not with just her good looks but also because she had a brain and clever one-liners. There, in a lecture hall, at Saint Leo University, I vowed that one day when I was a best-selling author, I would be as cool and confident as Anna was that day.


Just as the author herself made me want to be her when I grew up, her writing does the same thing to anyone who dares to not get hooked by the authenticity of her characters and the social issues her books discuss. Being that I knew she was a best-selling author of the Syrena Legacy, I knew her writer was going to be far from mediocre. Yet, one thing I wasn’t aware of is how quickly her writing took me out of this world and into the world of Carly Vega.

Carly Vega is just like any other teenager except that her home life is anything but pristine. She studies hard, and works every available shift at the Breeze Mart just to take care of her and her brother who live together in a trailer park. And before you go and judge her, you should watch what you say around Carly because she’ll put you in your place if she thinks you’ve stepped over the line. And she is cool with going unnoticed and not being an unruly teenager.

That is until she meets Arden Moss, former star quarterback and the town sheriff’s daughter.

Not only did I find myself relating to Carly on a personal level but this story will take you on the ride of your life from page one. I’m not even kidding.

Banks grips you with romantic plotlines and witty remarks said by characters that go from being ethnically defined on page one to being a human you both admire and want to be friends with someday. and a hero you root for. Banks’ Joyride mentions current social issues like illegal immigration and racism but she uses clever plotlines to make you fall in love with the character as a human and start to see that maybe people shouldn’t be defined by ethnic heritage but as who they are as humans, as people.

I’m pleased to announce that in order to get the whole world in on the Joyride bandwagon, I am hosting a new giveaway. 10 winners will win either a Joyride bookmark or a Joyride sticker signed by NYT best-selling author and Florida native, Anna Banks.

Just enter this Rafflecopter giveaway and you’re all set. Winners will be announced 1 month from today!

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To get to know more about the extremely cool Anna Banks, follow her On Twitter and check her website for more information about her other books and upcoming releases.





#BookReview: The Cilantro in Apple Pie by @knightsley

I love YA  novels but one thing I love is when I am automatically gripped by a character in a YA novel. Something about them resonates with you because as you keep reading, you find that they are a mirror of you, in some way.

I was surprised that I found myself mirrored in the character Rubie Keane, a sixteen year old from Trinidad and Tobago, who speaks the dialect and really seems like a fish out of water in her new school, Lumiere Prep. She really starts getting attention when the school’s most popular A-lister, Gil Stromeyer. He is drawn to Rubie and foils her plans to be overlooked in her new life in Boston.

What I love most about Knights’s writing is that it speaks loud and proud to both her own culture (the author was born and raised there just like Rubie) and how she takes the reader to school not only about Trini culture but hits on common social issues of today such as racism and mental illness. Yet, she weaves a gripping story from start to finish that ties all these ingredients together like one delicious and flavorful recipe. For a debut novel from an indie author, this looks to be a rare but meant-to be destiny for Knights much like watching a shooting star glitter a foggy night. Looking forward to more from this author.


The author is holding a giveaway via her facebook page  where you can enter to win a Cilantro in Apple Pie tote bag and a $25 Amazon gift card.

You can find her also on Twitter here. View the book trailer for The Cilantro in Apple Pie below.

#BookReview: The Marshall Plan by @oliviadeard

Young adult fiction has always been my favorite genre. And in January, I joined the  10 minute novelists Facebook group in a late-attempt at joining the 365k club (I was two days too late), and I introduced myself.

Near the end of January/beginning of February, I happened to see a “Buddy Day post request for reviews” one of which was for this very book, The Marshall Plan. The book is a young adult novel, and sequel to the Partition of Africa, in Ard’s The Bennett Series.

Published in October 2015, The Marshall Plan is written by Olivia Folmar Ard, my fellow colleague from the 10 minute novelists.11944003

Olivia began writing creatively at eight years old. During middle and high school, she attended several writing conferences and submitted poems and short stories to various writing contests. She finished her first long work of fiction, a novella entitled Heaven’s Song, in the tenth grade. Her short story “By Its Cover” placed first in its division in the 2008 District III Alabama Penman Creative Writing Contest. She took a reprieve from writing during her years at the University of Montevallo, where she earned a degree in history in 2012. She finished and published her first novel, The Partition of Africa, in 2014.

Olivia currently lives in central Alabama with her husband, to whom she’s been wed since the age of twenty-two, and their cat, Buddy. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys watching quality television–The Office (US), Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock, and Friends are her favorites–and cooking without recipes. Along with working full-time at her alma mater and studying English at the graduate level, she is busy working on her next literary adventure (Taken from Amazon.com).

What I love most about The Marshall Plan as a whole was that there was never one minute while reading it that I was bored or didn’t feel like I was learning something new about the human experience or the main character Molly Marshall.

I became so engrossed in the story that I felt myself not only relating to Molly but morphing into her. I mean I related to her on so many levels:

  • Graduated college but unable to find a job where I could use my degree or degree-related skills
  • She has a roommate of a handful of years that doesn’t really acknowledge her because she’s too busy pleasing her boyfriend in every way
  • Molly struggles with insecurities that prevent her dream of being a writer coming true that stem from her rough and emotional abusive relationship with her father.
  • Gavin insists on waiting until marriage for Molly and him to share physical intimacy (This was refreshing to see featured as a choice of the main male character featured in young adult literature).

Even though I read this book for free as a favor for a friend, I would recommend that everyone read it because Ard commands your undying attention from the first and last touch of the pen to paper. I now am aching to read the next work in the Bennett Series.

For more information on how to purchase please visit Amazon or follow Olivia on Twitter.