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text 2019-06-04 03:44
BEA 2019, Pt 3- The Loot

Got some good stuff at this year's BEA.  My summer is fully booked. 


A Heart so Fierce & Broken 
American Dirt
Dear Haiti, Love Alaine...
How to be an AntiRacist
Imaginary Friend
Information Wars
Lalani of the Distant Sea
Little Weirds
Me & White Supremacy
Motherhood so White
Moving Forward
Oblivion or Glory
Princess of the Hither Isles
Secret Service
Serpent & Dove
Sophia, Princess among Beasts
The Dreaming Tree
The Flight Girls
The Nanny
The Passengers
The Science of Game of Thrones
The Storm Crow
The Water Dancer
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
A ASWanderers
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review 2018-02-06 01:18
Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab - Sh... Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab - Shani Mootoo

For more reviews, check out my blog:Craft-Cycle

I received a copy of this book through Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

I didn't really know anything about the book going into it. The summary on the back cover sounded interesting enough. Once I started reading, I was really confused. The back cover says Jonathan's parents split up, then his mother vanishes and later transitions into a man. So reading this, I assumed Jonathan was raised by his father. It took forever for me to figure out he was raised by a lesbian couple who then separated (one of whom transitions into a man). The summary wasn't wrong, but was rather vague. The family dynamics were very unclear and confusing to start. Even I, as someone who comes from a "non-traditional" family had to reread sections to figure it all out. It was such an easy fix, it seemed silly to start out so vaguely. 

Once I got over that bump, I was ready for the book to get good. Unfortunately, that never happened. "Moving forward sideways like a crab" is the beautiful idea of telling a story from a roundabout way, focusing on all of the surrounding details. This is a great concept, but makes for a very drawn out and dull read. 

At one point, Sydney states, "of course one wants relief after suspense, and I must admit that in a life like mine, there seems to be constant suspense and little relief, even now" (187). This pretty much sums up the book. There is so much buildup and it really doesn't lead anywhere. Nothing amazing or profound happens. By the end, the layout is pretty predictable. It ends right about where you expect it to, with little actually occurring. Yes, there is some emotional stuff and relationship stuff, but it was pretty boring. 

Also, Jonathan himself was a very irritating character. I couldn't get over how whiny, self-centered, and petty he was. I just kept wanting to slap him and shout, "It's not that big of a deal! Chill out!" He seemed so overdramatic all the time.

There were also moments that felt unrealistic. At one point, some of Sydney's friends visit the house. Jonathan overreacts (big surprise) and starts freaking out, babbling on in the narrative, comparing it to a circus and saying other transphobic things. Then he passes out, one of the visitors is nice to him, and he magically is not transphobic anymore. I'm glad he changed, but it came about so suddenly and awkwardly that it didn't feel real. 

Boring book. I bumped it up to 2-stars, because I think it had an interesting idea, but horrible execution. 

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review 2017-01-10 00:00
Moving Forward
Moving Forward - Joe Cosentino Moving Forward - Joe Cosentino Book – Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (Cozzi Cove #2)
Author – Joe Cosentino
Star rating - ★★★★★

Movie Potential – ★★★★★
Ease of reading – very easy to read
Would I read it again – In a heartbeat!

Reviewed for Divine Magazine

Themes that may be triggers – suicidal thoughts, cheating, Parkinson's disease


*SIGH* Cozzi Cove is my first foray into Joe Cosentino's writing and you can now call me a firm fan.

As I've just come straight from reading book 1, visiting Cozzi Cove is like coming home or revisiting a beloved holiday destination. I know everyone, by now, who is a permanent fixture and I sincerely hope that Cosentino continues this series forever. You could never run out of ideas for it.

As before, the characters are a hoot. They're a mixture of funny, quirky, sad, lonely individuals who come together to make a riotously brilliant cast.

Potential couples are:

Cal and Michael – As the owner of Cozzi Cove, Cal has all the same responsibility of the previous book. Only, this time, with a one-year romance blossoming between him and Michael, things begin to fall apart. Cal feels a connection with guest George, which causes jealousy from Michael. Who, in turn, feels a pull towards his Photography partner Carlo, thus building another bridge of jealousy and insecurity from Cal.

Gil and Bruce – Gil is the only guest of these two, at Cozzi Cove. There because of an illness and having lost a lot in his life, Gil is prepared to end it all at the beautiful location of Cozzi Cove. Until he spots a vision from the past – a 'vision' of his college love, Bruce. When he finally meets the man he saw at the cove, everything begins to change.

Bruce Jr and Colby – Bruce Jr is the son of Gil's college love and knows nothing of Gil's past relationship with his father. Thankfully, Gil is rejuvenated by Bruce Jr's presence and helps him face the two families who don't accept his relationship with Colby.

Dennis and Zeus – Dennis is the high-profile Broadway producer, recently split from an eighteen year relationship with Rodney, his biggest star. To try to patch things up – and make Rodney jealous – he brings escort Zeus with him to Cozzi Cove, with only a week to mend fences.

Rodney and Jarek – Rodney is much more highly strung than any other character, as well as being very melodramatic. Bringing along his personal trainer and new partner, Jarek, he's there to rest up after two years in a Broadway show that he'd lost interest in.

Sam and Chase – Sam and Chase are the best of friends and have been their whole lives. With Sam infatuated with their friend Raul, Chase is there playing the 'lover', to make him jealous.

Raul – As the best friend of two gay guys, with a gay brother, no one believes that Raul is straight. Especially when he works out at a gay gym, is surrounded by gay men and agrees to go on holiday to a gay resort, with his two gay best friends. Yet, Sam's instincts are that Raul will fall in love at Cozzi Cove. And Sam has never been wrong before.

Hunter – As a straight woman, in love with gay romance novels, Hunter stays at Cozzi Cove to finally meet gay men 'off page'. Sparking an unlikely friendship with the ever wonderful and flirty Connor, she finally builds her confidence enough to go out and find herself a Will to her Grace.

George – Another singleton, George is one of the few Cozzi Cove guest not interested in falling in love. Despite feeling a spark with Cal, which proves confusing and sparks jealousy for all involved, George is actually at Cozzi Cove for one reason – to reveal a secret that will have far reaching consequences.

Overall, the story and world building was as fantastic as the previous story. I can't wait for what comes next and to see how Cal changes and improves the facilities of Cozzi Cove. Without revealing anything that will spoil the story for you, I'll say this:
The whole thing with Michael and Cal had my emotions in turmoil, screaming at the book and praying that things would work out properly.
I was worried Gil's fate would be so similar to Mark's that I was on edge for most of the book.

Again, the story deals with some serious issues, in a way that isn't preachy or pushy – suicidal thoughts, illness, homophobia, threesomes, cheating, escorts and inter-racial romances. Each theme is explored in a light, accepting way that never makes the reader feel uncomfortable or like we're being lectured to.


Favourite Quote:

“He kissed Cal's wide nose.
“Hey, your lips are covered in honey.”
“So they tell me.” Michael continued eating.
“Does your study buddy tell you that?”
Michael raised his eyes to the mermaid-shaped lighting fixture as if gathering patience. “Carlo is my partner.”
“In my advanced photography class.”
“Is that what they call it at State?”
“Maybe in your day.” Michael's eyes gleamed devilishly. “Hey, did they have college back then?”
“I'll put you over my knee, young man.”
“Promises, promises.””

““You must have studied dramatics at the college this year.”
Connor batted the long lashes over his sky-blue eyes. “How else could I have dated all the gay dudes?”
Cal laughed. “I'm sure you dated them.”
“I did.” Connor revealed his pearly-white teeth. “It was the football team last year who went straight, pardon the pun, for the touchdown.”
Cal put his arm around the boy's wide shoulders and walked him to the front porch. “Please get straight to work so everything is ready when the guests arrive.”
Connor said with the eagerness of a child at Christmas, “I can't wait to see our pick of the litter.”
“Look, don't touch.””
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review 2013-09-30 08:20
Moving Forward by Erika Ashby
Moving Forward - Erika Ashby

Let me also add that Jesika Reynolds is just an awesome lead female character. Lets begin this journey shall we?

When I first began this book I was like OMG this is so sad, we meet Jesika a young widowed mother. Her husband and center of her world has died. I think I was already ready to be like this

while at the very beginning the tears were on the verge, I continued to read because I needed to know what was going to happen next. 
Fast forward a year and we find Jesika as a single mother devoted to her son. We also met the man of my dreams, Derek! 

Let me explain something to you though because I seriously don't think you are grasping the sexiness and swoonworthiness (<--- if that's not a word it should be) of this guy. Derek is a single father to his daughter Emma. He is a fireman (HOLY HOTNESS) and a drummer in a band. 

Both their kids go to the same school, Derek has been crushing on Jesika for a wile but never did anything until a chance encounter at their kids' school. Then its like she couldn't escape him, I'm pretty sure it was fate telling her it was time and with this man! 
I will say that yes they so begin dating and I am rooting for them because.. 

1. She is an amazing mother and deserves to get laid because sometimes BOB is not enough! 

"Gah! Why does he have to be so in tune with me? He can probably smell me like I’m a dog in heat. God knows that’s how I feel. Battery operated toys aren’t meant to replace the real deal forever. They’re more like a temporary fix and mine has been used way past its expiration date."

 2. He super hot. He is sensitive and understanding and romantic.

'I will always protect you. I will always put the safety of your heart above everything else.....just know there is no word that could every fully grasp what I feel for you.'

3. They both crack me up.

"I want her to have abso-fucking-lutely no regrets about making like to me. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that’s what we will be making tonight. I can’t stand how people call fucking making love when they don’t even know the person. You cannot call sex making love if you don’t fucking love the person. Hence the word love being used in the phrase. That’s a dead give a way right there. Maybe saying ‘make love to me’, or ‘we made love’ sounds better or makes them feel better about themselves instead of just saying ’yes we fucked. If it was up to me, it’d just be called ‘making fuck’. Seems more appropriate ---Derek


“You know. . .your truck is pretty hot Derek. I love how big and black it is.” --Jesika

Alright so then we get to the 

moment! You know where you are like...I'm so happy then BAM! You get the wind knocked out of you and you can not believe that all of this is even happening, yeah that OH SHIT MOMENT!!!

So from this point I was like do I really want to keep reading because thank you Erika Taylor for giving me anxiety. Of course I had to keep reading I am so intwined with these characters that I feel like I would be abandoning them if I put the Kindle down!! 

I could totally put myself in Jesika's shoes and though it is hard to loose the person you thought you were meant to be with forever, sometimes that forever is shattered. This book is about finding the strength to learn to love again, to trust another person with your heart, to learn to let go and move forward no matter how hard it is. Nobody ever said life is easy.
Now your probably wondering ok sooooo what happens next?? well duh silly I can't tell you! This is a book that you need to pick up and read for yourself to find out the answer to that. 

Oh and I have one more thing to say I love Jesika's best friend Mallory! I could totally be Mallory, I swear its like Ericka was looking at my life and said yes she is my muse for Mallory, ok I am kidding but man this chick is the ultimate best friend. I was laughing so hard at certain points in the book. Mallory was just refreshing and hilarious.
Also Seth, can I have him too? PLEASE?? 
Seth is Derek's brother and lead singer of the band. You know bad boy type guy that I want to take to my room and have my way with him. Yeah like that!!! 

Both of these characters added and enhanced the story for me.
and I can not wait because the next story is theirs and I am going to STALK yes STALK Erika until I get my greedy little hands on it! so just so you know Erika I am coming for you LOL.

You all need to seriously get this scrumptiously delicious book, that will take you on a ride that is worth every bit of the sleepless night you will no doubt endure.

I gave this book 
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review 2013-03-27 00:00
Moving Forward (Timing is Everything, #1) - Erika Ashby, Erika Taylor Moving Forward is Author Erika Taylor’s Debut Novel , and let me tell you it is one heck of a FANTASTIC debit novel. Right from the Prologue in Jake’s POV, I was pulled right in . Your left wondering what he is hiding and then BAM , he is gone just like that .Jesika is a sweet, caring, loving, single mom who just lost her husband Jake in an accident . She goes through the motions everyday with a fake smile on her face working to keep herself together for her son .Her Best friend Mallory is there to help her every step of the way , everyday . About a year after Jake Dies , Jesika is going to Jax’s school for career day , and while there she see’s a man in a firefighter suit and loses it and runs out of the classroom and goes out to sit on the stairs to collect her emotions . That’s When she meets Derek . There is an instant connection with him and she is able to calm her emotions down just by sitting beside Derek. They chat for a little bit and then go their separate ways . "Staying away from her has been damn near impossible. I feel drawn to her like there's a force field of energy that has been pulling me into her life." Derek , Firefighter by day , drummer in a band by night The Rifters ( which is also Jesika’s favorite local band) and a single dad …. Swoon material 100% . He is sexy, hot, compassionate, caring and everything every girl is looking for in a man . He had noticed Jesika Long before she noticed him that day at school on Career day . He has been in the background watching her for over a year now . “I'm done holding back, just because she probably isn't ready for any sort of relationship doesn't mean I can't get to know her. For some insane reason, I feel like I can help pull her the rest of way through. I can show her how to keep moving forward by just being there for her.”The next time these two meet up Jesika discovers Derek on the stage at the concert for a local band they like as their drummer . After chatting for a few minutes , Derek can’t let her just walk away and asks her to go out with him the next night for dinner. She says Yes of course . "It's not that Derek brought me out of that depression I had found myself in, but he helped me pull myself the rest of the way out. he made me want to give this crazy thing we call life my full attention again. Take Chances, love a little, free fall, take a leap of faith, put yourself out there for the chance of getting it ripped to shreds. Put your heart on the line with hopes that someone won't leave it there to wither away."They start to build a relationship and they discover that they have a lot in common with each other and very similar likes . They seem to be building a great relationship together . We discover though that Derek is keeping secrets , he is trying his hardest to find the right time to tell her and not lose everything they have built together so far. Then one day their pasts come back to haunt them both. Can they work through what has come crashing down on them ? Will the feelings and love they feel for each other be enough to get them through it all ? There are a few twists, turns, loneness, and happiness . Can they get through it all together ? Did fate step in to bring these two together when they would need each other the most?"There's so much I want to share with you Jesika, so much. If you'll just let me"There is a Happy ending , although you will shed some tears before you get to it , But I will say this those tears are surely worth it in the end. I can not wait for the story to unfold between Mallory (Jesika’s BF and Seth (The lead singer in the band and also Derek’s Brother) We get a little taste of these two after the epilogue and are left wanting a lot more . I was not expecting what Erika Throws at us in the Mallory Chapter . I was like NO WAY GET OUTTA TOWN !!!! Look for No Going Back in the Fall of 2013 “Sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward."
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