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review 2019-02-28 02:59
Barracoon (Audiobook)
Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” - Zora Neale Hurston

This is an odd one to rate. This is a short piece and once you get into the narrative, it's a series of interviews that author Zora Neale Hurston did with the last survivor of the last "black cargo" Kazoola, renamed Cudjo Lewis by his master.

 

The interviews start with his life as a free man in Africa and goes over his life from the tribal wars that decimated his country and resulted in him and his other tribespeople being sold into slavery. He tells about his stay in the barracoon, awaiting transport to an unknown country. This was in 1860, long after the transport of human cargo was made illegal - not that this resulted in his freedom of course. Nope, just a fine for his buyers! He tells about his freedom, and how he and his other former tribespeople founded Africa Town, now called Plateau, Alabama. He gets married, they have several children

who all die through illness or violence or accident before their parents.

(spoiler show)

 

He had a fascinating life and getting to hear it through his own words and vernacular was really amazing. Hurston was right to insist that she keep his words intact. It could be difficult to read, but listening to Robin Miles's narration made it very easy to understand him.

 

What fell short for me was everything else. The running time on the audiobook is just under four hours, and only half of that is Cudjo talking about his life. The intro goes on for about an hour and details the accusations of plagiarism on Hurston's initial essay, published in 1928, before the majority of the interviews took place. The last forty minutes are Cudjo telling folktales or about games he used to play as a child. It was nice, but not really what I wanted to listen to. 

 

While I'm glad that Cudjo's words remained intact, I would've also liked for his testimonies to be expanded on with historical data. Being told that everything he said was verified isn't quite enough. We're not even told when he or his wife died. If we can be given an introduction that goes on and on about the plagiarism allegations, we can also get an afterword with supplementary information about Cudjo's life.

 

Still, this is an invaluable piece of history, and a remarkable man who lived through more trials than any one person should.

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review 2019-02-20 00:59
Book Tour: Trials and Trails
Trials and Trails: Adventures and Unexpected Discoveries of Life - Jim Halverson

We follow a young man that joins up with another after a cattle drive in Nebraska that came from Texas. His name is Leroy. The man that helps him and join him is named Johnny B. We follow them as they had North and somewhat West.

We learn about the lives a bit and nature though out the book. We go on trails and adventures with them both. It fun to see where they go and what they experience. They even meet up with a lady named Alice. They seem to want to help folks and find there their own way in the world.

We learn about Leroy past and a little bit of Johnny B's. You will surprised at the end as to who Leroy's father is? I can not tell you as it would be a bummer and spoiler. What would do if you are treated as a slave but find out something socking about your parents? I wondered why Leroy was able to get a education along with the master's son? Did he know that he had a brother or not?

The author does so well with story that you want to go along for the ride. I enjoyed it and would like read more by this author. He talented. He put me in the era that his story was telling. It was nice going across the west by horseback and being able to visualize the USA West as I was reading.

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review 2019-02-09 21:51
Book Review for Queen by Kerri Ann
 
 
 
 
 
Title: Queen
Series: Restless Souls MC #1
Author: Kerri Ann
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: February 7, 2019
Reviewed by Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Arc copy provided for honest review
5 stars
 
 
 
 
The Queen, is a woman not to be toyed with. She takes what was owed, keeping it until the debt is paid. I was a debt to be paid. I'd understood my lot in life early, knowing my life was forfeit. Until the day he arrived. 
 


Dragged across the scrub, laid in the stone house, I watched and listened. I saw who he was. A kindred soul that was now a debt like me. 

 


The Queen was playing her game and he was just a new piece on the board. His strength, his fury won't help against her cunning, and deciding to help him could be my death.

 


Following the story of the Broken Bows MC, the Restless Souls MC continues the battle with the vindictive wicked cartel Queen. 

 


Tick tock. A chiming bell.

I'm your little slice of hell.

 

The King of cream. You made him fall.

A Queen. The heart. I'll stand tall.

The pieces set. The places dealt.

There's nowhere left to run.
I've set the board. I've set the trap.
Now it's your time come.
 
Down and down, until I win.
Your downfall is my sin.
 
The Knights will fail. One by one.
Until all the King's men fall.
 
Their power wains, I'm ready to maim.
They'll reap what they have wrought.
 
The victory is mine.
Brought out by their design.
 
Tick Tock. Tick Tock.
Time's up.
The Queen will win.

 


The Queen is a standalone, but is best read after King and Pawn from the Broken Bows MC. Recommended to read Christmas at the Clubhouse Anthology.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
This new book explores the lifes of Vaca and Codero aka Cap
 
Let's start off by say this is a fairly new author for us and we really enjoyed this latest story as it was dark,edgy,full of drama and it started off with a bang and just sucked you wright in.
 
This story is not for the faint of heart and might have triggers for some as the plot is very dark and its content contains graphic scenes.
 
When we started reading this story we were a little but on edge as we haven't loved all this authors books in the past but, in this current read the author drew you right in from the very first pages with just one heinous act.
 
The character's mainly the main ones Cap and Vaca were really strong character's. Corero aka Cap's life was filled with tragedy and neglect and a man who grew up on the streets and then joined the military became a self made man who is now the President of the Restless Souls. Vaca was given as payment for a debt owed by her family now would live a life of slavery,torture and rape for the next 15 years.These two broken souls are thrown together due to the betrayal of another but, perhaps fate has intervened and might just turn out be each other saviors.
 
We enjoyed the character's most of them are dark and broken other's sadistic and mad but, we will say that the content of the story put us on edge and made us more uncomfortable more than once because of all the the sick stuff that transpired throughout it.
 
If I had to pick a favorite character mine would have to be Vaca as this women surprised me time and time again after all she endure she still stayed strong and willful. Omg ! Vaca's story was enough to bring me to tears as well as my knee's.My heart broke for this women and the life she was force to lead.I have no other words than just say heart wrenching...
 
Cap was another who's pain you felt who had trouble dealing with death of someone who he considered a brother.Cap's pain was drowning him and your heart ached for the devastation he was experiencing as his life was spiraling out of control. 
 
The story was so dark as well as intense and it had so much going on in it to keep your interest and engrossed and turning the pages.Drama kept unfolding one tragic event after another secrets coming to life but,among the chaos their in lyes one savior for them all.
 
The story and plot effected more than just the main character's and all of them where living in hell and under the rule of a sadist and my heart broke for all those other broken souls too and as the plot forges on you see just how sick this Queen really turned out to be because a bombshell is dropped right into our laps that we never saw coming and it's an earth shattering one!
 
The story does not end on a cliffhanger but ,we were left with a lot of unanswered questions.Like who are these other players ? Is there more than one traitor ? Is there more than one game in play? and so forth...
 
This dark read was very entraining !
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                
 
 
 
Mother of two insanely (well trained) sarcastic men, wife to a dangerously smolder inducing grumble bunny (fireman), and friend to some amazing ladies (you know who you are). Thanks for reading, thanks for being a friend, and I look forward to meeting you in the future for drinks, danger and laughs.
 
Living in Northern Ontario, Canada, Kerri loves to read, travel and find new reasons to write you fantastic love stories. Remember, not all love is clean. Dark, light, angsty, sexually charged and twisted—that’s her genre.
 
It’s heart wrenching stories where the muse directs her. As the instrument of their lives, the stories are told piece by piece with emotion, that has the story read like a movie. You can hope for the good guy to win, but it won’t always happen. She can’t guarantee an HEA (happily ever after) or HFN (happy for now), because life doesn't always have those. 
 
Enjoy the OMG's and tears. Tear your hair out, toss a book or two, because I want you to feel their pain too. As they live it, absorb it on the pages.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
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review 2019-02-09 21:01
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Wisehouse Classics Edition) - Frederick Douglass

There are two introductions preceding Douglass's autobiography, one by a journalist William Lloyd Garrison and one by an abolitionist Wendell Philips who knew Douglass. They're not really crucial to the narrative itself and they can easily be skipped, but I did in the end appreciate reading them if only because of their core message which I kept in the back of my head while reading the atrocities that Douglass had to endure while a slave: he had it easy.

 

Baltimore might be in the south, but it's a far cry from the Deep South and the cotton plantations that comes to mind when most people think of slavery. To be "sold down the river" was equated with death because of how much worse slaves were treated in the Deep South, but the slaves in the rest of the south were hardly treated kindly. There are instead degrees of cruelty.

 

Douglass details his life growing up in Maryland, the various masters and slave bondsmen he served, how he learned to read and write and use that to his advantage and how that knowledge also made his enslavement that much harder to deal with. He describes the abuses and murders he witnessed in his young life and some of the whippings he endured himself. He's unflinching, eloquent and starkly honest about it, and his observation of the hypocrisies of the southern "Christians" who were Christian in name only but not in deed.

 

He doesn't give any details of his escape, citing the desire to keep those details from the slave hunters who would use that information to capture other slaves running for freedom. He even admonishes some of the Underground Railroad participants who were so proud of themselves they bragged about their deeds, thus endangering the very people they were supposed to be helping to save. (Why does there always have to be people like that?) There are a few details of his escape here, along with more details of his life after arriving in New Bedford, CT, and coming to the notice of the abolitionist party.

 

He wrote a couple other autobiographies, and I hope to find time to read them one day. 

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review 2018-12-10 04:58
One Night in Boukos
One Night in Boukos - A.J. Demas

This is an odd one. I guess this is historical AU, since it's set in an alternate world, but doesn't have any fantasy elements. The world-building is sprinkled throughout, and is largely accomplished by the culture clash of the Sashian embassy staying in the Pueschaian town of Boukos to open trade routes between the two countries, so it comes across more naturally than the info-dumping one might come across in other AU novels.

 

During a party, the ambassador to Zash goes missing but this isn't noticed until the following morning. His personal secretary Bedar and Bedar's friend Marzana, the captain of the guard, go on a discreet manhunt through Boukous as they try to follow the crumbs of the ambassador's trail after his disappearance. To complicate matters further, the city is preparing for the annual festival to honor their god of debauchery, Psobos, a most un-Sashian ritual. Along the way, they meet a couple of citizens of the town and slowly fall in love over the course of a most unusual night.

 

This is a charming little tale. I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked it for my Prime loan, and that just added to the charm. Despite the urgency of Bedar and Marzana's mission, this story unfolds at a leisurely pace. There's a spattering of humor, a little action, but mostly it's just two men out of their depths as they navigate an unknown city full of people they don't understand only to discover they're not so different after all.

 

I thought I had the endgame figured out at one point, but I was only right about part of it. Chereia and Pheres were a great supporting cast and just as fully fleshed out as Marzana and Bedar. The m/f and m/m couples get equal page time to develop and are respectfully handled in the difficulties that faced both pairings. That makes one a little less satisfying than the other, but certainly still an HFN. (To be clear, this isn't Romance and there's no on-page sex.)

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