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review 2019-06-12 04:20
An entertaining while scathing commentary about race relations in America

 

Sidonie Frame is the manager one of Chicago’s buzziest small concert and event venues. When her sound manager goes AWOL along with essential equipment she has her assistant bring in another company to fill in temporarily.

 

Chris Hawkins is owner of Sound Alchemy and immediately he and Sidonie have a connection.

 

Author Lorraine Devon Wilke tells the story from two points of view and establishes her protagonists as equals in regards to education, income and aspirations. The only difference, other than gender, is Chris is black and Sidonie’s white.

 

Temporary work becomes permanent and friendship turns to love for Chris and Sid. The last thing they think about is the colour of each other’s skin, but that’s not the case for some friends and family members.

 

This is upsetting for Sidonie, but not surprising and she’s prepared to deal with it. What she isn’t prepared for or incapable of handling is the reality of a black man living in America.

 

Here’s how Wilke has her character, Sidonie, express it.

“What I didn’t know then is that by falling in love with you I would be stepping from my world into yours. Or maybe, more accurately, straddling both. I didn’t know that because I didn’t fully realize there were two worlds, two really distinct worlds with different sets of rules ...”

 

The Alchemy of Noise is an entertaining love story while at the same time a scathing commentary on race relations in America. The author’s take on inherent and systemic racism, something her characters are challenged with daily, sounds authentic and credible. In that regard, it is an important book that deserves a larger audience.

 

The book itself is a pleasure to read with believable dialogue, fully developed characters and exceptionally good diction, something that’s becoming increasingly rare. The plot is well-crafted and try as I might I couldn’t find one scene that didn’t develop character or advance the plot or both.

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review 2019-05-21 02:54
I think this might actually be my favorite one yet in this series...
Diplomatic Relations (Sci-Regency #4) - J.L. Langley,Kc Kelly

"Diplomatic Relations" mmmm...I don't think this means what we all think it means...lol!!!

 

J.L. Langley's 'Sci-Regency' series will always have a special spot in my heart because many years ago when I was reading a lot of fantasy and m/f romance and honestly just getting a bit disillusioned with both genres because things were seeming very same old, same old a book called 'My Fair Captain' caught my eye and my little pea-brain whispered "Come on try it you know you wanna" and really I did so I did and I read it and then I went back to the beginning of the book and read it again from there I discovered a world of stories that have delighted me and yes...sometimes they've also disappointed me but if we didn't encounter the bad...how would we ever really recognize and appreciate the truly awesome.

 

While the previous books in this series have involved members of Regelence's immediate royal family this one is...well, it's more about the royal relatives. Relatives like Dalton Fairfax who is not only the heir to the marquess of Ravensburg but cousin to the royal princes. After flaunting one societal rule to many, Dalton finds himself with a commission in the IN to be followed by a couple of years in the Regelence Navy.

 

Now that he's completed his time with the IN, Dalton's returned to Regelence and his ready to start his enlistment with their navy. While his enlistment may have been less than voluntary, Dalton has come to realize that it's one of the best things to happen to his life so far and it's Dalton's plan to make a life in the military his career, but not with the IN...nope there're things going on in the IN that are questionable at best and while he loves the military Dalton loves Regelence, his home planet  and that's where he wants to be. But Dalton's goals take a slight detour when he learns that Blaise Thompson the Viscount Redding is in need of a body guard...one look at Blaise and Dalton's more than willing to guard his body. 

 

While Blaise is determined to keep his distance from the less than reputable rogue, what he comes to realize is that Dalton is much more than the picture that people would paint of him.

 

While I've absolutely enjoyed all of the previous books in this series none have delighted me like this one. For Dalton and Blaise the journey to be together is filled with challenges and danger but ultimately it becomes a question of trust and faith. Both men are going to have to trust in what they've built together and have faith that it will weather the storm of societies judgment.

 

'Diplomatic Relations' not only gave us new MCs but a new narrator...KC Kelly was the narrator this time around and this was probably the perfect time to switch narrators in a series since not only did we have two new MCs but because they weren't direct members of the royal family we were also treated to a host of new secondary characters so while some of the usual suspects were on hand for the most part they were a little further in the background than usual allowing the listener to focus more on the new voices that Mr. Kelly provided as opposed to comparing interpretations of characters from previous stories to his interpretation in this story. Overall I enjoyed this audio book every bit as much as the previous stories.

 

While these men may be opposites in their own way, there's also a balance between Dalton and Blaise's personalities that allows them to temper the more extreme sides of each other's personality and at times this can create more than a few sparks between these two men.

 

'Diplomatic Relations' is absolutely Dalton and Blaise's story but at the same time we're not only given more information about them but about Dalton and Blaise's families and the royal family, as well.

 

There are events at play that have still not fully unfolded and hopefully as we progress in this series I have faith that the author will lead us where she needs us to be to bring things to their inevitable conclusion and while I have little doubt that I'll enjoy the next book the story that I'm waiting for is Tarren and possibly there will be another of the royal family's guards involved...I'm just saying that's what this reader is hoping for after all he may only be one of the royal guard but I think he's the royal guard for Tarren...but that's another story for another book...right?

 

This is the part where I would usually tell you that an audio book of 'Diplomatic Relations' was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, however, that wasn't the case here a copy of this audiobook was provided by me because I really, really wanted to listen to this one so I bought me a copy and I regret nothing.

 

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url 2019-05-16 07:00
Public Relations Coordinator Email List | Public Relations Coordinator Lists

Use ReachStream’s updated Public Relations Coordinator Email List for all solicited communication with your target market and to make your business global. 

Source: www.reachstream.com/job-position-mailing-lists/public-relations-coordinator-email-list
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review 2019-01-01 19:03
A gorgeous and deeply touching book
When All Is Said - Anne Griffin Perry

Thanks to NetGalley and to Sceptre for providing me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

This is a beautiful novel. Its structure is simple and so is the plot. Written in the first person, this is the story of a man, Maurice Hannigan, a widower, who has come to a decision about what to do with the rest of his life. Having made that decision, it has come the time to explain why he has decided what he has. The novel is structured around his conversation with his son, Kevin, who lives in the USA and is not there in person; therefore it becomes a monologue, with an intended audience of one. We, the readers, act as his son’s stand-ins. Maurice, as we soon learn, has never been the talking kind, so this is a bit of a departure for him, probably because of the time of his life and because he is not eye-to-eye with the person he is addressing.

Maurice has booked the best room in the hotel and is drinking five toasts to the people who have had the most impact in his life. In the process of talking about them and their influence, we get to hear about his life and what made him who he is. He chooses carefully his drinks, measures his words, and also the mementos he has kept. He drinks ale and also his preferred drink, whisky, and shares photographs, a pipe, a coin, and plenty of memories. He toasts to his brother, who died of TB when he was very young, always protected him and was his role model; to the daughter who never was and has always remained present for him; to his wife’s sister, who spent most of her life in psychiatric hospitals, took to him from the first and played an important role in solving an interesting mystery; to his son, who always had different dreams but tried hard to keep in touch; and to his wife, the one and only, the person he cannot live without.

Through his toasts we learn a lot about Maurice, his world, and the changes in Ireland through the years: when he was young life was harsh for farmers, the owners of the big house could behave as if they owned the people around them, school was hard for those who could not learn at the normal rhythm, and a family feud could last for years. Ireland moves with the times, and we hear about his change of circumstances, but he finds it difficult to let go of his wish for revenge and his resentments, of his low self-confidence because he never did well with books (later on in life he realises he suffers from dyslexia), and especially, of his grief and bereavement. He has suffered many losses through life, and he has many regrets, although he has also done some good things, intentionally or not.

Maurice feels real and very familiar, and I think most readers will be reminded of somebody they know. He is not the most sympathetic character at first sight, although he has gone through a lot, and some of his decisions are harsh and mean-spirited. During the book we get to understand what has made him as he is and it is difficult not to feel touched by his narrative, even if we don’t have much in common with him. There are plenty of family secrets revealed, and he learns to let go of the hatred he held for most of his life. The author writes beautifully, and without using complex language manages to convey true feeling and emotions. She gives her character a recognisable and true voice, dry and sharp, with touches of black humour and always understated, even when talking about those dearest to him. There is a beautiful love story at the heart of this novel, and it is very difficult not to feel moved by it. As for the ending… I won’t discuss it in detail, but I don’t think it will come as a surprise to most readers, although what might be surprising is how we feel about it by then.

Although the author is well-known, this is her first novel, and it is a thing of beauty, poetic and sincere. Here I share some examples of her writing:

It’s an awful thing, to witness your mother cry. You cannot cure nor mend nor stick a plaster on.

Forty-nine years ago, I met Molly, and only for fifteen minutes. But she has lived in this dilapidated heart of mine ever since.

I watched her skin survive the years, softly, folding upon itself. I touched it often, still hopelessly loving every bit of her, every line that claimed her, every new mark that stamped its permanency.

Loneliness, that fecker again, wreaking havoc on us mortals. It’s worse than any disease, gnawing away at our bones as we sleep, plaguing our minds when awake.

These past two years have been rotten. I’ve felt the ache of her going in my very bones. Every morning, every hour of every day I’ve dragged her loss around with me. The worst thing has been the fear that I’ll wake one morning and she’ll be gone from my memory forever, and that, son, that, I just can’t do.

This is a gorgeous book that touches on important subjects and deep feelings without going over the top and being sugary sweet. It is not a page turner plot-wise, and there isn’t much action (other than in some of the memories), so it will not suit readers who are looking for a fast plot. But anybody who loves a character-driven novel, enjoys savouring the quality and poetry of good writing and is looking for new authors will have a field day. I am going to follow Anne Griffin’s career with interest, and I expect to hear great things from her.

 

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review 2018-12-22 05:19
Subject worth reading about
Dreamland Burning - Jennifer Latham

I noticed a large trend in these kinds of books where it’s half in the present, and half in the past. It’s not a trend I particularly like as I adore historical fiction and mixing it with things happening in present day takes away the historical aspect, but I gave this book a chance. This one grabbed my attention because of the subject which interests me. I have not heard of the Tulsa Race Riot until I grabbed this book. It was an eye opener, and definitely something that can’t be ignored or forgotten.

 

The switch between Rowan and William is seamless and flows throughout the novel. Rowan attempts to figure out the mystery behind the skeleton while William’s story not only gives you the background information but also gives you the sense and the climate on how it was for African Americans back in those times. The historical aspects of the book is well written and gives you a good general idea.

 

At first, William doesn’t seem that all a likable character. As the plot progresses though, you change your mind as his behavior and outlook changes to something much  more favorable. Rowan’s side of the story is interesting too. She’s been pretty much sheltered in a good, privileged life who is also suddenly awakened by recent events affecting herself and others around her. She’s a well written character as well, but I’d have to say I prefer reading William’s side of the story more as I found Rowan’s point of view dragged in a few areas of the story.

 

The plot overall is well done and interesting. The mystery and historical elements of the story also keeps the plot engaging and it’s a good educational read.  Definitely something to read more into and a good subject to write about.

 

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