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review 2019-05-15 20:21
The Black God's Drums - P. Djeli Clark
The Black God's Drums - P. Djeli Clark

It's Hugo nomination reading time again and this is one of the candidates for Best Novella, one of those which are stand-alone pieces of writing rather than one in a series (which reminds me, I must check out where I'm up to with the series containing some of the other nominees...).


Anyway, the basic premise of The Black God's Drums is that it's set in an alternate world, one where the US Civil War ground to a halt around the time that Haiti and a number of other Caribbean islands asserted their independence. Unlike our world, where the various attempts at this were only partly successful, this one stuck and that was in part due to the use of the eponymous weapon - something supernatural, harnessing the force of a number of African gods with devastating result. This story is set some years after, mostly in New Orleans, a city in neutral ground where a plot is hatched to gain control of that weapon for the use of the Confederacy. 


Our protagonist is Creeper, a young girl living on her own in the city and making her way however she can, helped by the fact that she's special to one of these gods and can harness Oya's power at times. When Creeper overhears elements of the plot, she makes plans to foil it and falls into the company of a number of interesting individuals along the way. 


I really enjoyed this novella, as the world-building was excellent and the plotting really drove the story onward - if it wasn't incredibly mean to do so, I'd have dropped a star for the fact that I really didn't want this to be novella-length, as I'd have happily carried on reading a novel-length story in this setting. Hopefully the author may turn his hand back to this at some point in the future!

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text 2019-05-14 21:36
DNF @ 10%
His Substitute Wife (Stand-In Brides #1) - Dorothy Clark

Oh my gosh.


Okay so you know it's bad if I stop reading at 10 percent. And honestly, dudes, it was. 


The first two or three chapters are focused on Audrey and Blake, a couple who shouldn't have gotten married. Blake was supposed to marry Audrey's sister Linda, but she eloped at the last minute and Audrey goes to marry Blake in the first place.


Look, I understand if you were jilted at the altar but didn't even know about it until the day of the wedding when a new bride shows up, you'd be thrown for a loop. But all Blake did was whine and complain and look down on Audrey instead of sacrificing herself to marry him so he wouldn't lose his store.


I like action. I like fights. I like family. 


What I don't like is listening to a butthead complain about how kind another woman is and pining for her jerkazoid sister, who didn't even write him letters. 

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text 2019-05-14 21:08
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
His Substitute Wife (Stand-In Brides #1) - Dorothy Clark

I can already tell I'm going to hate this...

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review 2019-05-10 13:50
The Partnership (Extra Credit #1)
The Partnership (Extra Credit #1) - Charlotte Penn Clark

Kyle is a college senior who is failing English Composition.  Lani is junior, a dancer who is a pushover.  Lani is in trouble for covering for a friend.  Kyle and Lani both end up in a special class to make up for their transgressions- Extra Credit.  The class ends up being more of an examination of how they ended up there and utilizes partnerships for the semester to help each other with their issues.  Kyle and Lani are partnered up.  Kyle needs help getting words on paper, Lani needs to learn to stand up for herself.  As Kyle and Lani help one another the tension between them grows until their academic partnership is more like a partnership with benefits. As the end of the year approaches for Kyle and Lani, they have to make decisions about where their short but intense partnership will take them.

Sexy, sweet and fun, The Partnership is a realistic new adult romance with characters that I could easily relate to. With the point of view switching between Lani and Kyle, I was able to see what was going on inside each of their heads.  I love seeing when the guy is just as unsure about a relationship as the girl.  Lani and Kyle both had a great energy that pulled them towards one another for a passionate romance. The sexy times were great, not over-explained but genuine and true to a college experience.  In addition to the sex and romance, Kyle and Lani's story is about growth, change and entering adulthood.  One of my favorite characters was the Extra Credit teacher, Marjorie who tells the class: "Trust...You should all be working on trust-when to give it and when to withhold it."  I think we all should have taken Marjorie's class in college.  I would love to continue this series and see where the rest of the relationships in the Extra Credit class go and find out more of Marjorie's advice.  Overall, The Partnership is a fast-paced, sexy, New-Adult read. 

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

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text 2019-05-01 13:26
TOUR, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Escaping Camp Roosevelt by Bryan T. Clark
Escaping Camp Roosevelt - Bryan T. Clark

@SignalBoostPR, @debbiereadsbook, @BryanTClarkx2, #Contemporary, #MM, #Romance, 3 out of 5 (good)


“He’s a bad boy—cocky and damaged. So, why can’t I stop thinking about him?"

Broken Dreams

Sociable and unselfish, eighteen-year-old Tucker Graves loves two things—his darling little sister and the thrill of playing baseball. He never dreamed that he’d be homeless, but after a series of misfortunes, his life is nothing like he could have possibly imagined. Shocked and shattered, Tucker, his mother, and his baby sister now must brave the dangers of a dilapidated homeless encampment called Camp Roosevelt.

A Wounded Heart

Homeless since the age of fourteen, Dancer has mastered the tricks of living on the streets as a sex worker. The quiet, reclusive, and calculating ways of this twenty-year-old, green-eyed Adonis help him to survive. He hides his emotional scars from the world by interacting only with his clients, whose occasional bizarre requests he reluctantly fulfills. Dancer’s past has taught him to trust no one.

A Second Chance

When Tucker and Dancer come face to face on a stormy night, having been thrown together under the same roof, Tucker brings out a feeling in Dancer that he didn’t know still existed in him—desire. Neither man can deny the attraction he feels for the other. But some scars run deep, causing both Tucker and Dancer to question whether falling in love is even possible, especially when survival is on the line.

Bryan T. Clark is a multi-published, Rainbow Award-winning author and LAMBDA finalist.

*** One hundred percent of the royalties from the first year of this novel’s publication is being donated to the Larkin Street Youth Services/Castro Youth Housing Initiative. The CYHI provides transitional housing in the city of San Francisco, California, for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. Fear of being raped, abused, or murdered should not be a part of anyone’s youth.

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2019/05/01/Escaping-Camp-Roosevelt-by-Bryan-T-Clark
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