The Girl With The Hazel Eyes

Sunday, June 9, 2024


The Girl With The Hazel Eyes tells the tale of an author exiled from her homeland, Barbados, after writing a tell-all that put her life in danger. She hires a young writer from the island nearly a half-century later to pen her biography. 


The dual timeline which explored both Susan’s past, Lia’s present, and her interaction with the eccentric older woman makes for an intriguing read. Susan’s childhood and adolescence explored her parents’ quirky personalities, her early romantic escapades, mishaps, and life in general on the island. 

History and politics make this tale more than the ordinary. The corrupt characters and their fight for political power, plus Susan’s ill-fated, maddening “romance” and the poignant account of her mother’s decline kept me turning the pages. 

Susan’s idiosyncrasies and the changes that came as she got to know Lia had me invested and when the big reveal came, also Lia’s loss, I was in my feelings, too. Although it’s fiction, I couldn’t help wishing that Lia found love unlike what she’d experienced. 

Overall, The Girl With The Hazel Eyes is a good read that explores many facets of the human character. I enjoyed reading about life in Barbados during the period Browning explored and recommend this novel for those who enjoy a Caribbean setting, a bit of skullduggery, and a varied, but distinct, cast of characters. 


A Different Kind of Romance

Saturday, May 4, 2024

 

The Vanishing Girls (The Vanishing Girls, #1)The Vanishing Girls by Callie Browning
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Vanishing Girls was a refreshing change of pace, simply because it is set in the Caribbean. I hasten to say that the Barbadian experience is very different from Jamaica, and that’s part of the charm of this story for me.

Holden’s stodgy character and clumsy attempts at dealing with his attraction to Eileen made me wonder if he’d ever wake up. Eileen’s a live-wire, so there are funny moments when they clash because of their very different views on life, love, and how things should be done. Browning has a way with descriptions that provide some laugh-out-loud fun.

This was an easy read. The mystery wasn’t the pulse-pounding variety, but certainly enough for me to understand Eileen's reaction to the murders taking place in a usually safe society. The unique part of this romance/mystery is that their relationship develops in and around a funeral home, which isn’t for the faint of heart.

The romance is a slow burn (remember Holden’s character) and Browning writes a good love scene. If you like stories set in a different location from the norm, definitely pick up this book. I liked this so much, I started The Girl With The Hazel Eyes, which was Browning’s debut novel.


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A Heartrending Read

 

Fifty Words for RainFifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If I had to review this book in one word, it would be heartrending. From start to finish, Nori goes from one bad situation to another. She’s the bastard child of the Kamiza clan and is hidden away in an attic after her mother disgraces herself, then abandons Nori to the care of her grandparents. In my view, that’s the worst sin her mother committed.

Set in Japan after the Second World War, the reader gets a view of the changing world that’s resisted by the aristocracy. When Nori meets her brother, the heir apparent, she’s fascinated with him. He has scant regard for her at first, and her adoration is idolatry that I feared would turn into incest. It didn’t.

The cruelty and lack of regard for Nori’s life underscores the divide between the rich and poor, the accepted and the forbidden. Her calm acceptance of being less than nothing makes Fifty Words for Rain a painful read.

Nori eventually escapes the harsh world she was born into, but comes full circle and returns to Japan. The end of the book leaves much food for thought and speaks to untenable choices people make out of a sense of obligation, misguided or not.

In Nori’s case, her decision to change the status quo was at odds with the treatment of her son. With power in her hands, she walks in her wicked grandmother’s footsteps. But, if there’s a follow-up to this story, I definitely want to read it.


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Goodreads Giveaway - Flames of Wrath

Monday, February 5, 2024

It's been a while, but I have some good news so here I am to share. 

Black Odyssey Media, in conjunction with Kensington Publishing, is doing a Goodreads giveaway for Flames of Wrath. Twenty-fice paperback (25) copies of the book will be given away to some lucky readers. 

If you love having paperback copies of your favorite books, here's a chance to add one more. Visit this link on Goodreads



Good luck!

Follow the Flames of Wrath Tour

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Today is the day! I'm excited to have Flames or Wrath out in the world. 

It's not a book I saw myself writing before I came into the orbit of Black Odyssey Media. The story tested my writing skills, but I've been blessed in that I've yet to take on a genre that I couldn't wrangle into submission under my keyboard. 😂

So far the reviews have been good, and based on that, I have a feeling about this story. Wish me luck as I navigate a new landscape. 


The need to right a wrong against an innocent victim triggers a hailstorm of revenge.

 In less than twenty-four hours—before Alexia Leighton is scheduled to return to Miami from spring break in Jamaica—a group of friends betray her in a grisly assault that stops a heartbeat away from murder. The seventeen-year-old prays for the mercy of death. She survives.

 While on the road to recovery, Alexia's attackers become victims of mysterious acts of violence, leaving authorities confounded and racing against time to prevent another deadly attack. Concern looms, as the perpetrator has proven to be two steps ahead of them at every turn.

 When the attention swings to Alexia's mother, a cyber-security expert, the family closes ranks. Geneva Leighton must quickly eliminate herself as a suspect, but not without handing down more punishment. 

The offenders fear for their own safety and the secrets that plague them. Can they trust the police to find the killer before someone else dies, or has their fate been sealed—leaving them with no place to run, and no place to hide . . .

Be sure to get your copy! https://books2read.com/FlamesOfWrath

We're on tour now, so hop over to Silver Dagger Tours this morning to see which blogs are on deck today. 




ThrillWriting: The Characters That Make Up A Thriller

Monday, November 20, 2023

Long time. Visit my friend Elias' blog to see what's up with my next book. 


ThrillWriting: The Characters That Make Up A Thriller: A trip to Jamaica during spring break changes the lives of Geneva Leighton and her daughter. When the cybersecurity expert discovers that h...

Your Peace Is Important!

Friday, June 9, 2023

Life comes at us at a thousand miles per hour and it’s sometimes difficult to focus on what’s important. Stress manifests in the form of family, friends, associates and life situations. If we’re not careful, we lose our peace. There are, however, ways in which we can protect ourselves.

Boundaries: Not setting boundaries is the biggest crime we commit against ourselves. We say yes to everything and everyone, even when it’s inconvenient. We engage in activities that don’t benefit us and are left stressed and drained, plus regretting being dragged into something we didn’t want to do in the first place. 

It’s a hard but important lesson to learn—saying no, even when we feel guilty. I remind myself that life will go on and people do have options. I’m learning that boundaries protect my time, energy, and emotional space. It’s the only way I can focus on what means the most to me, and achieving my personal goals.

Self-Care: This is still a hard one for me. Years ago, a critique partner told me that my first responsibility is to my writing. I manage to forget that frequently. Anyhow, women will understand the tendency to take care of everyone else ahead of themselves. I’m trying to switch that up and re-learn how to relax and do the things that bring me joy. My body has a way of reminding me when I’m doing too much and not taking enough time to rest and replenish my wells of energy, healing, and general ‘feel goodness’.  

Restrict Company: As it was in the past, it is as important now to surround ourselves with the right people. It may not be possible if we live among toxic folks, but it is important to remember to set boundaries. Also, invite the people that need it, to explore therapy to help sort out their ish. These days, I try to avoid any interaction that stresses and keeps me on edge. With that said, it’s critical to cultivate a network of positive people, who encourage you to grow.

Stay Off the Internet: We underestimate the level of anxiety that comes to us through the steady diet of news and unnecessary drama from the internet. Limit exposure to negative news, social media drama, or any content that makes you anxious or uneasy. Take breaks from technology and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. 

Remember that protecting your peace is something you’ll work on each day. Think about what gives and/or reduces the peace and joy you feel. Whatever you need to do protect your peace, I say it’s well worth the effort. 

An Attraction Too Strong To Resist

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Today, I have another book release. I know, I know, it's really close to the one last week, but this is a solo project whereas the other was a group effort. There's something to be said for teamwork, which helps deepen relationships while reminding those involved that each person brings their own set of gifts and talents.

Rory, today's release, became something of a pet project that got a lot of my attention on the back end. The book's creation spanned 2018-2019, was edited, but it wasn't until recently that I really started paying close attention to it. 

What you see today is the result of that fine-tuning. I'm happy with it, love the characters and the journey of self-discovery that takes place between the covers. So about that ... 


𝙃𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙗𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙙𝙧𝙖𝙬𝙣 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙠𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙬𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙖𝙩𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙩𝙤𝙤 𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙞𝙨𝙩?

That’s Nasira’s dilemma after she wades through Rory McGregg’s fans and sits next to him on a flight. An accomplished dancehall deejay, he’s charming, self-assured, and has a certain vibe that’s hard to resist.

By the time they touch down in Jamaica, Rory has her number and a promise to see him again.

The after-party she says yes to coordinating turns into a rollercoaster ride of frustration and interference, thanks to his celebrity status and bad-boy reputation.

His lifestyle and circumstances make Nasira uneasy, but Rory’s heart is fixed. There’s nothing he won’t do to prove they’re right for each other.

Amazon:  http://microlinks.io/Rory 

Other Platformshttps://books2read.com/u/mVDaqr


Don't miss out on Rory and Nasira's adventures on the path to love!




From Stuck to Limitless

Saturday, May 27, 2023

I'm privileged to be among a group of authors that released an anthology From Stuck To Limitless, which talks about people in traumatic situations who've overcome to step into new circumstances and a new version of themselves.

It was an enlightening project, which helped remind me that no matter what we go through in life, there are people who have been through more and have the courage to seek help and change. 

Here's the blurb:

Do you still harbor hurt and pain from past experiences?

From Stuck to Limitless is an anthology featuring individuals who share their harsh truths about trauma and survival—from childhood sexual and mental abuse, adult traumas, and debilitating health issues.

Through such truth-telling, we learn we are not alone and that it is only by sharing that we can heal ourselves and give hope to others.

This impactful collection of essays from some of today’s changemakers will change your life and mindset.

Content Warning:

This book, although not graphic, includes essays from individuals who discuss their experiences with PTSD, child abuse, and sexual assault.


Be sure to grab a copy of this game-changer. 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Vmcwv2

Other Platforms: https://books2read.com/u/bxNzeP




'Tinkeritis' Gone Wild

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

I’m a chronic tinkerer. There I’ve admitted it. The thing is, I forgot. I’m sure it says how much I’m not writing the way I used to. 

It’s not totally about being a perfectionist. I think the tinkering got away from me this time because I enjoy this romance. Since it was released from the anthology, I’ve read it another two to three times. 

The substance of the story hasn’t changed, but each time I delved in, the characters had things to say. Their relationship/s took on deeper meaning, and I explored in several directions. No, I didn’t tell all. Something has to be left for another story. A wise editor taught me that. 


At some point, I have to believe the book is “poifect” though I know it can’t be. There will be the same word in close proximity to another that I miss. There will be those evil stray periods and commas. Or perhaps a gap in the test somewhere. And horror of horrors, a typo. But, all in all, I’m satisfied. 

I couldn’t end this note without looking up one of my favorite quotes, which is on the graphic above. “Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.” Salvador Dali, Spanish Artist.