Book Thoughts: September Ends (S. Hunter Jones)

This highly unusual non-traditional story spans several genres — romance, erotica, dramatic fiction, spirituality, contemporary women’s fiction, poetry, art and photographic literature — September Ends has it all.

When I read the initial pages, I was a t a loss.  Where could this story be headed?    We are introduced to Elizabeth “Liz” Snow as a teenager who was in a near-death car accident caused by a drunk driver.  In the accident her beloved brother, Charles, lost his life. We then meet the Cherokee, a seemingly mystical being that escorts Charles to the hereafter.  However, as you continue to read, the jarringly sad opening is the foundation for the remainder of the book.

To give you even a bird’s eye summary of the story would reveal too much and detract from the lovely surprises within these pages.  Suffice it to say, this is a modernized equivalent to a Victorian romance with all of the complexity and poetical language!  I will say be prepared for raunchy poetry that will leave a smile on your face.

4 1/2 Blogairy Notebooks

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Book Thoughts: Promise You Won’t Tell? (John Locke)

This is going to be the shortest review I’ve ever penned…

Promise You Won’t Tell? is an exhilarating fun fast read with great believable dialog.  It is the perfect quick read to help you unwind from a hard day’s work.  And, the awesome over-the-top characters so help to make you laugh.

This book was published in 2012 can you believe it is still number 1 in its Amazon category??

4 Blogairy Notebooks

NYC Gluten Free Party – Loads of Fun!

As seems to be my practice, here is my report about the Gluten Free Party I went to last weekend — Saturday, September 20th.  It was a great event that introduced me to even more people, Celiac awareness and gluten free recipes!

To start at the beginning, we arrived at the Affinia Hotel on 7th Avenue in New York City and found a large ballroom filled with gluten free vendors including Erin Smith, a Celiac awareness spokesperson and champion (click here to read my previous post featuring Erin), Michelle from WhippedPastry Boutique, and Kyra Bussanich of Cupcake War fame.  Kyra was the first and only gluten free cupcake winner on this Food Network show.

Kyra was kind enough to take some time and speak with me about being gluten free and shared her Celiac journey.  She was diagnosed at 27 but prior to her diagnosis the straw that broke the camel’s back was when she was advised to remove her intestines to alleviate her pain, discomfort and illness.  Wisely, Kyra thought to try a less invasive method — food elimination — and discovered her gluten intolerance which lead to her diagnosis.  Today, she’s healthy and successfully running her gluten free bakery.  Oh, and a snagged a copy of her cookbook Sweet Cravings!  The cupcakes look sooo good!

Kyra Bussanich and fam plus Madison

L to R: Me, Kyra Bussanich, Arianna, Madison

I also saw GW Garcia Chips at this GF Party and the rep shared with me a great Columbian/Venezulian food to make called AREPA which is easy to make.  Here’s a great Arepa recipe from Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen featured on Guy Fieri’s Triple D.  The GW Garcia rep also told me about a restaurant that sells arepas called Caracas; there’s one in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) and one on the Lower Eastside in the City.

GF Chips

Of course, Schar was on site and had an awesome table for targeted for children at the event.  They had tables set up for coloring t-shirt giveaways and gluten free cookie decorations and tons of gluten free honey graham crackers for the taking.  This is where Arianna (my daughter) met Madison, a very cute 4 1/2 year old.  They played together for practically the whole time we were at the GF Party!

shar corner

shar bread

shar pasta

madison and ari playing

There was also a table for labeling your gluten free utensils, pans, and take-out containers.  If your household is only gluten free the labeling is not as critical.  However, if you are in a mixed household — like I am — labeling your pans, utensils and plastic containers as gluten free is a stupendous idea.  I picked up the round silicon tags that I will be placing on the brand new pans I’m going to purchase!  The tags are dishwasher safe too!  The company is called Gluten Free Labels: Label it.  Tag it.  Flag it.  The company is owned by Kelly LeDonni who was diagnosed with Celiac in 2008.

GF Labeling

I have to give a major shout-out to Michelle of Whipped Pastry Boutique in Brooklyn, NY.  Michelle’s desserts and breads were moist, delicious, melt in your mouth good!!!  The chocolate s’mores were unbelievably soft and decadent.  I could not believe her baked goods were gluten free and, in many cases, dairy free.  She is even going to have a line of cake mixes for the retail market soon so be on the watch out for them!  If you need a customized cake for a birthday, or other occasion just give them a call and she will work with you on design and ship it out to you so your baked goods arrive fresh and tasty!  (Yeah, she ships!!!)  Here’s Michelle with my daughter — oh, and see the chocolate s’mores below their picture.  Again, the s’mores are to die for!

Michelle and Ari Whipped Patries

choc-smores

Fury From Hell Blog Tour Stop #8: K.C. Sprayberry – Out of Control Characters

Hiya!

We close out the official launch season for Fury From Hell with K.C. Sprayberry’s great press release-style article posted on Friday, 9/26 about this paranormal thriller.  (But we will always let you know about other great FFH posts around the ‘web!)

Please click here to read K.C.’s awesome Out of Control Characters article!

 

3dFury From Hell

 

K.C. is a YA author with a brand new book out called, The Call Chronicles I: The Griswold Gang which debuted on September 2nd, 2014.

Please take a moment and check out both of our new releases — you’ll be glad you did!

 

 

Ta-ta for now,

NB

Book Thoughts: Iniko by Alicia L. McCalla

iniko

Ms. McCalla’s Iniko, a novella, intrigued me with its promise of a tragic love story set in West Africa and featured West African deities.  Diverse stories always intrigue me.  Octavia E. Butler’s ground-breaking Patternist series and the Xenogenesis trilogy are sci-fi alternate history/reality stories featuring characters of African descent.  I guess, I was expecting something along those lines when I picked up Iniko.

While the story’s main character, Iniko, is a complex character that is full of potential for a full ripe story to emerge from and through I did not get the sense of connection I expected and wanted.  I found the story to be exposition-heavy (telling) and rather light on the dialog.  It took me a while to read this short book only because I wanted to love it and I do love the story, the plot and the potential conflict in the interaction of the characters.

The basic plot is that Iniko is the daughter of two deities but it is unknown to her.  Her powers were hidden from her and she thought she was ‘normal’.  She finds a man she loves and they marry but Iniko’s father-in-law ruins it all and turns Iniko’s husband against her.

All the while, in the background, there are two distinct forces vying for domination of the universe.  Iniko’s true mother, the goddess Mawu and the other opposite evil force is Guhruhi.  The evil force has taken over Iniko’s husband and has pitted husband and wife against one another with their child, Zawadi (which means gift in Swahili) in between the very estranged couple as the helpless pawn.

This is a strong plot line with lots of room for development, excitement, action and suspense.  I am seriously looking forward to reading Book 1 of the Soul Eaters series to see how Ms. McCalla develops the story, the characters and how she will more deeply incorporate the African pantheon of deities that are intertwined in the plot and the final outcome of this story.

4 Blogiary Notebooks

Book Thoughts: Book of Life (Deborah Harkness)

 

 

BkLife

There’s not much else I can say about this third book of Deborah Harness’ All Souls Trilogy, Book of Life which has not been said in previous reviews already.

The writing is superb.  The characters are well-developed and complex.  The plot?  Highly original and intriguing.  The male POV character, Matthew Roydon, dreamy romantic, loyal and dangerously fierce — as any leading male should be.  That happy ending we all look for is sort of there (with lots of drama that escalates drastically towards the end).  I mean, this story has it all!  Love, sex (light!), drama, mystery, suspense, paranormal activity (the Bishop House is even more unruly) and lots of surprises — some good, others not so much.

If you are a fan of this series you will be engaged from page 1 all the way through to the end.

5 Blogairy Notebooks

 

Fury From Hell: Blog Tour Stop #7 Belinda Y. Hughes, The Writing Life Broken Down

Another one of my new blogger friends is Belinda Y. Hughes.  She is the author of Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover: Lacto Ovo Vegetarian Recipes available on Amazon.

Belinda was generous enough to host me and my book Fury From Hell on her blog and nudged me into talking about my writing process.  Please find Belinda’s great interview here.

 

And, you can read about Belinda’s upcoming fiction book here in a very unusual way; we interviewed Belinda’s main character!