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review 2018-10-20 19:26
A feasting soucouyant?
White is for Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

 

White is for witching, a colour to be worn so that all other colours can enter you, so that you may use them.

 

Creepy, intriguing, mysterious, frustrating, and melancholy, White is for Witching had a very strong start that sagged a bit in the middle and then ultimately puttered out into its own enigmatic mysteries.

 

Miranda can’t come in today Miranda has a condition called pica she has eaten a great deal of chalk—she really can’t help herself—she has been very ill—Miranda has pica she can’t come in today, she is stretched out inside a wall she is feasting on plaster she has pica try again:

 

To me, the house (and any real or imagined non-human inhabitants) is the sun with Miranda being Mercury, her twin brother Eliot as Venus, and their father Earth. Secondary characters such as a friend Miranda makes at college called Ore would be a moon of Mercury and the housemaid Sade could be a comet. This is an odd way to place the characters but I don't want to spoil too much of the story but still give an idea of the story's placement of characters.

 

The way this story is written and structured is different, povs from mainly Miranda, Eliot, and the house (yes, the house has a pov), flow in and out with blips from Sade, Ore, and maybe a couple other minor ones I am forgetting. You need to be on your game to fully understand who is talking but even then, things can get confusing with possible unreliable narrators and not knowing what is real and mental health issues.

 

The horror of the story is that there is a house that is possibly haunted, maybe by a soucouyant (a witch in Caribbean folklore), maybe by a curse on the female line of a family, and maybe simply a daughter that lost her mother and is spiraling down a mental health destructive hole. This story centers on women, their strengths and weaknesses; Eliot plays a good sized role but he is still clearly on the sidelines along with his father who is ineffectual in his drowning grief for his wife.

 

They were naked except for corsets laced so tightly that their desiccated bodies dipped in and out like parchment scrolls bound around the middle. They stared at Miranda in numb agony. Padlocks were placed over their parted mouths, boring through the top lip and closing at the bottom. Miranda could see their tongues writhing.

 

The beginning had me captured with Eliot leading us into the story about how his mother died and how his sister is withering away because she seems only able to eat chalk. From Eliot's point of view it seems more like a mental health issue with occasional povs from the house and Miranda popping in to make you believe in the shiver going up your spine. The middle starts to transition to more of Miranda's point of view, her struggles with her mental health and the house, along with looks at Miranda's female ancestors.

 

When Miranda leaves the house for a little while is when the story started to lose me a bit. Sade and Ore get added to the story, I thought Ore was too late of an additive and even though she brought an outside look and probably worked to more definitively answer the mental health or truly haunted question, I missed the atmosphere of the house and Eliot with Miranda.

 

I’m to go home. The house wants me,” she cried. The moonlight made her look blue. It made her look as if she was dead. She opened my window and sat herself on the ledge; she dangled her bare legs over it. We were four floors up.

 

I don't know how many have watched the tv series The Leftovers but this story gave me the same kind of feelings. Majorly intriguing start, with questions, mysteries, and interesting characters everywhere, only to maybe out write themselves and end up leaving a lot up in the air in a way that devalues the story.

 

As far as giving you the heebie jeebies, this will definitely do it, some scenes had me looking hard into dark corners in my house. As far as the characters sticking with me, probably not, as they didn't quite become fully fleshed out to me. I do know I would love to see this made into a limited series, Netflix get on that, the psychomanteum room scenes would be chilling good.

 

That was the first and last time I’ve heard my own voice.

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url 2018-10-19 10:13
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text 2018-10-19 09:05
Cover Reveal - The First Rule of Hook-Ups

 

Today we have the cover reveal for The First Rule of Hook-Ups by Nina Crespo. Check it out and be sure to signup for Nina’s newsletter for release day notifications!

 

 

 

Title: The First Rule of Hook-Ups

Author: Nina Crespo

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Day: November 12th

 

About The First Rule of Hook-Ups:

 

 

Someone once told me that there are worst things than being left at the altar. Well, not many, in my experience. That was six months ago, though, and my life has moved on. Heck, I have a new job lined up and I'm leaving town. But, I can't deny that my love life kind of sucks. That’s why I let my friends convince me to join them for Club Escapade’s Breakup Bash. And we might just be disillusioned enough to actually enjoy it.

 

Last time we were here, it was for my bachelorette party. That night, I met one of the dancers – Raphael – and when he flirted with me, I almost forgot I was engaged. And there's a part of me that never forgot him. Now, it seems my friends have wandered off and I’m thinking about calling it a night. Until the music begins and I see Raphael, my secret fantasy, on stage. And this time, I’m definitely not engaged...  

 

Sign up for Nina’s Newsletters for Release Notifications!

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

 

 

Alexa raised a mojito in a toast. “Love sucks.”

 

Nat sat next to her at the square, white linen-covered table. She lifted a glass of chardonnay. “I’ll co-sign on that.”

 

“Me too.” Cori, also with them, slurped a frozen drink.

 

Laughter and conversation echoed in the semi-darkened private room at Club Escapade. The Breakup Bash—a party to help women get over one man and move on to a better one—was in full swing. Women mingled around the corner bar and danced to Beyoncé’s latest hit in front of the DJ booth next to a gold-curtained stage. The Hot Body Hunks male revue show was scheduled to perform a little later in the evening.

 

Alexa struggled to match the upbeat atmosphere. Who would’ve guessed the three of them would end up sharing the same bad luck with relationships? Nat had gone through a nasty divorce. Cori no longer lived with her boyfriend. But she was the dumbest one of them all. On her wedding day, her main concern had been making sure she had something old, new, borrowed, and blue. Meanwhile, some woman named Karma Sunflower had permanently borrowed Brad.

 

A couple of months before the wedding, when he’d developed an interest in health and started shopping at the organic market, she’d viewed it as a positive. She’d even cut back on French fries, given up sugar, and eaten tofu in solidarity with him. But all along, he’d been playing her for a fool. She should have grown more suspicious when boxes of his so-called favorite granola cereal disappeared in a couple of days instead of weeks. No one needed that much fiber, including full-of-shit Brad.

 

Alexa sank back into the black padded chair. The brilliant solitaire on her finger had kept her enthralled with the promise of a perfect future. What a joke. “Maybe coming here wasn’t such a good idea. This is one of the last places that I hung out as a delusional bride-to-be.”

 

“No.” Cori plunked down her glass, and a slice of pineapple fell off the rim. “This party is just what we need. Maybe some Hasta la Vista cocktails will put us into the mood. Or maybe champagne. Ooh, that sounds even better. I’ll get some.” She sprang from her seat. Purple and green strobe lights reflected in her neon-blue hair. The narrow skirt of her short yellow minidress, and blue death-defying, high-heeled pumps, shortened her steps.

 

Nat flipped her hair then straightened the shoulder strap of her burgundy top. Her gold-and-silver earrings reflected the lights. “Good thing we took a Lyft and didn’t count on Cori being our designated driver. She’s really celebrating tonight.”

 

“She’s supposed to help me pack tomorrow. Too many hasta la vistas and I’ll have to count her out.”

 

“Staying distracted is her way of handling things. At least she’s not depressed anymore. We all needed this.” Sadness flashed in Nat’s eyes.

 

Alexa felt her pain and then some. Maybe consuming multiple hasta la vistas was the right idea. Alcohol might help her forget her humiliation, too.

 

Nat brought a plate of cubed cheese and crackers closer to them. “Are you sure about this moving thing? Seattle is a big step.”

 

“I’m embracing new horizons.”

 

Nat munched on a cracker. “New horizons are about running toward what you do want, not running away from what you don’t. You’ve never talked about leaving before.”

“I’m not running. I need a change of pace, and this job offer is too good to pass up. NorthStar only transports freight in the northeast. Vannett Incorporated operates nationally. As the head of carrier relations for them, I’ll have more responsibility and a bigger paycheck.”

 

“And you won’t have to deal with Brad and his hippy-dippy side piece when they show up six weeks from now.”

 

“That’s an added bonus.”

 

Seeing her ex anytime soon was the last thing she wanted to do. As far as meeting Karma face-to-face, she’d imagined everything from slapping her to forcing her to eat a pound of sugar. Non-organic, of course. But most of her anger was at Brad. He’d not only betrayed her as a fiancé, but also as a friend. {…}

 

 

Nat nudging her arm pulled Alexa from the past. “Hopefully all this change includes a new man.” She brushed crumbs from the lap of her skinny jeans. “You’re twenty-seven, hot as hell, and single. Don’t let opportunity pass you by. Indulge.”

 

Dating. Not this topic again. “I’m here with you guys to see the Hot Body Hunks. Doesn’t that count?” The poster she’d spotted near the entrance featured a photo of twelve shirtless, muscular guys wearing jeans. Unfortunately, Raphael the Dream Maker wasn’t among them. Seeing him again might have lifted her spirits. “Love those earrings. Are they new?”

 

“You know they’re not. You bought them, and you’re wearing the same pair. Stop trying to change the subject.”

 

Alexa fiddled with one of her silver and gold earrings. “I’m not interested in falling in love again.”

 

“Who said anything about love? This is about leaving a total dick for more satisfying cock and less worries. It’s about getting rid of jackasses who aren’t worth a damn and most important of all...” Nat held up her wineglass. “Freedom!” The women around them whooped and applauded.

 

Alexa pulled down Nat’s arm. “Will you stop.”

 

“No. You stop. It’s perfectly okay to ride a man into a better future. Preferably in the midst of an orgasm. That’s what this celebration is all about, and you need to get on board.” Nat plucked a condom, with Do Me printed on the red packaging, from the floral centerpiece. “That’s why it’s called the Breakup Bash.”

 

**Who is Raphael and just how hot do things get between him and Alexa? Sign up for Nina’s newsletter to read an exclusive sneak peek on 25 October.  www.ninacrespo.com   Pre-order available: 23 October    

 

 

About the Author:

 

 

Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions — the beach, a good glass of wine, date night with her own real-life hero and dancing. Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel. Let Nina’s sensual contemporary stories and steamy paranormal tales feed your own addiction for love, romance, and happily ever after.  Stay connected with Nina on TwitterFacebookInstagram, BookBub, or through her newsletter.

 

Connect with Nina:

 

 

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | BookBub | Newsletter

 

 

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review 2018-10-19 02:18
Sweet Montana Outlaw: Contemporary Western Romance by Lisa Mondello
Sweet Montana Outlaw: Contemporary Western Romance - Lisa Mondello

 

 

Brody is a man with a past. Having made some bad choices in the name of love, Brody is trying to move forward and not look back. Tara thought she could outrun her heartache, but the pain seems to stalk her wherever she goes. Forced together by an act that changed the course of both their lives, can this walking tragedy become a testament to love and all it's glory? Sweet Montana Outlaw is a heartbreaking look at how no good deed goes unpunished. Brody acted out of love and that one act affected many lives. Brody and Tara's path is littered with prejudice, heartbreak, anger, loss and tragedy. Out of all that pain comes a tale of redemption that despite the odds finds the courage to love.
 
 

 

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review 2018-10-19 01:21
Sweet Montana Secrets: Contemporary Western Romance by Lisa Mondello
Sweet Montana Secrets: Contemporary Western Romance - Lisa Mondello

 

 

Sweet Montana Secrets is a tale of two strong people who never learned how to be weak. What neither has realized is that the greatest power comes from allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Mondello has a talent for haunting readers with the most flawed characters. That's what makes them relatable. We've felt the pain. We've seen the despair, but we found the courage to begin again. We live. We learn. We conquer. We love. Only then can we heal.

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