Category Archives: reviews

Love and Laughter in the Desert… #RT18 in Pics!

Hi Blog peeps! I know you’re all like where you been? Or maybe not if you’re following me everywhere else like: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and you know exactly where I’ve been; on deadline, editing, editing and editing some more and now I’m back on deadline again.

See, don’t I lead a fabulous and totally un-blog worthy writer’s life? I’m sparing you all from boredom with my tardiness.

But thanks to being all writerly, I finally have something I can post about on Ye Old Blog to my my like seem glamorous and noteworthy!  You know the stuff that social media is made for!

*cue confetti cannon*

confetti cannon GIF

Am I trying too hard? Well you’re still here so it’s working.

That said, I have my pics of RT18 which was the Romantic Times Book Lovers convention 2018 held in Reno Nevada last week. Sad surprise, it turned out to be the last official RT Convention and RT magazine is now shutting down as its founder, Katheryn Falk is retiring. I have been honored to have received lovely feedback on my work from RT during my short career and am happy to have attended this years convention.

I look forward to attending next year’s new Booklovers Convention in New Orleans. Here is the site if you’d like to sign up for their newsletter.

Now onto the fun! I’ve finally gotten around to going through all my photos from last week and here are some glimpses of all the fun I romantic bookish fun I had. Can you spot some of your favorite romance authors?

RT collage 1

RT Collage 2 RT Collage 3 RT Collage 4 RT Collage 5 RT Collage 6 RT Collage 7 RT Collage 8

Sidebar: I’m over at Fiction From The Heart right now with a 10.00 gift card giveaway. Click the link to join us and get your entry in!

FFTH Giveaway AB

See you all soon. Check back next week when I’ll have some exciting GIVEAWAY NEWS!

Oh and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to stay in the know!

All the best,

KMJ

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A Secret Baby and a Sheikh TBR

It is once again Super Librarian Wendy’s TBR time fresh and new for 2012!

Always a lover of a good sheikh story and a fan of Caitlin Crews I was instantly in with Majesty, Mistress… Missing Heir. Here is a bit about the book thanks to Harlequin:

 

“Sheikh Tariq bin Khalid Al-Nur is as treacherous and formidable as the desert land he wants to rule. But he cannot take the throne of his country until he marries. Why, then, has he not wed? Tariq cannot rid his dreams of ordinary but bewitching Jessa Heath!
Jessa knows she and Tariq have unfinished business. What if she were to take control and allow herself the one night he’s offering to put their passion to rest? But Jessa is treading dangerous ground! It would only take that night to reveal the secret she has so desperately kept hidden….”

 

Now for some reason I’m not a big secret baby fan. It could be a being a mother of teen twins thing and you have to get me on the right day to find me all gushy over any books with babies or puppies or kids or anything really that you have to feed for at least 18 years but now I’ve said too much. Moving on.
With Super Wendy’s TBR challenge starting up again with category this month I was pleased to pull out my new Kindle Fire and get it going with Caitlin Crews and a Harlequin Presents to take me to a faraway land. Well, this book was nothing like the getaway that I expected.

Yes, it had the sexy, rich, larger than life alpha that we all know, love and expect from a Presents in Sheikh Tariq and Jessa was a heroine that I found I could get behind even when I wanted to shake her, and surprisingly, I didn’t want to shake her all that much. I felt for her. Deeply, and it threw me off.
This is not the Presents romp I had bargained for. This little book had me tied up in knots. The secret baby aspect had me all twisted wanting to see what would happen in the end, coming up with all sorts of scenarios in my mind before I got there, hoping for a way to make it all work out for my HEA and honestly not finding any way at all. This is a twister right up until the very end and beyond. So much so that I turned to twitter when I was done to write to Ms. Crews and my fingers are crossed for a sequel as these characters are still with me over 2 weeks later as I wonder how they are getting on. Yeah I know I must remember they are just characters in a book but for those 2 short days they were all too real to me.
Now that is a good story. Secret baby or not.

Best,

Kwana

PS- This post was planned way in advance of the Stop SOPA and PIPA  (no not that Pippa) blackout protest so it’s up anyway but I’m hoping you all will read up on SOPA and PIPA and learn about it them as I am. Watch what folks are trying to slip on by us and speak out. Thanks.

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Simply Irresistible- Another TBR Bites the Dust!

Oh my goodness it’s amazing to me how fast this month has gone. I mean really I can’t believe it’s been a month since my 1st Super Wendy TBR post. Oh well this month Wendy challenged us with the theme:  Ugly Ducklings.  She said it could run from Plain Jane heroines to scarred heroes. Well I had trouble finding either and I really wanted to read the book I read so I was very happy that Wendy has loose rules with her challenge. So Yay!

I read Simply Irresistibleby Jill Shilvas. Here is a little about the book from PW: Maddie Moore meets the man of her dreams, but must fight her inner demons to make it work. Maddie, straight out of an abusive relationship and unemployed, is trying to change “from mouse to tough girl.” When she arrives at Lucky Harbor, Wash., to reunite with her two half-sisters and inspect the dilapidated inn inherited from their mother, Maddie nearly runs a handsome stranger off the road. Jax Cullen is the town’s mayor, a master carpenter, and a passionate lover. He’s willing to give Maddie everything if she can overcome her fear of men and vulnerability.

This book had been recommended to me by twitter friend Belle from Hanging with Bells who loved it. And when I mentioned that I was reading it lots of people chimed in that they were fans loving Jill and that they were mad for the hero Jax. Many saying that Jax was the perfect man.

I have to admit the book started off a little shaky for me, my main problem being Jax that so many loved so much. He was so perfect riding in on his motorcycle, all dark and windblown, but not a hair out of place and I like my men a little more flawed and brooding. He seemed to know instinctively so much about the broken and inwardly scarred heroine, just want she needed and wanted even if she did not and I was a bit put off by that. It took a while and me learning that Jax himself was not perfect for the book to win me over. But I’m not ashamed to say, the seriously hot love scenes which showed a completely different side of Jax didn’t hurt this one bit.  LOL. Also Ms. Shilvas’ writing was smooth and beautiful and I can’t fault that one bit.

I also really liked Maddie. I enjoyed seeing her grow and find her voice. I thought she was a sweet heroine that you could get behind and root for.  The secondary characters of her sisters were fun too and I thought they added to the story and I want to read about them finding their Happily Ever Afters now. All that said I will be picking up another Jill book for sure.

Thanks to Super Wendy, Bells and Jill!

 

Best,

Kwana

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It’s All About Me

Hey, sometimes it has to be all about me and sometimes it has to all about you too.
We do so much for so many other people that it’s easy to put yourself on the back burner and then one day wake up look in the mirror and wonder What the–? What happened? Where did time go? Why didn’t I work out (because I can’t stand it) or get that facial or massage or take that walk or nap or whatever it was that would have given me the self care I needed to make this trek past the mirror a bit more palatable. Ugh! (aren’t I brave to post this unflattering pic?)

I’ve been having quite a few of those “all about me moments” or “what about me moments”and putting my “frivolous” needs aside for the needs of others (now we know for beauty and sanity’s sake they are not frivolous). Well, I did a big splurge recently and not without a lot of thought and consideration. I jumped in and got a Clarisonic. I had been wanting one for a long time since I’ve been having problems with creepy little lines (hello 40), odd dry patches and where did you come from pimples.

I saw the Clarisonic in person when I was at Nordstrom the other day while lusting over some handbags but I quickly put it down (along with the bag) saying no way. But then after reading countless testimonials, thinking it over for a week, I ordered one from QVC. Wheeeee!!!
Now after my first try with the cleaning system I could not be happier. Like with handbags I’m a freak for good skincare and I have not been happy with mine lately. After one Clarisonic cleaning I could feel the fresh tingle from the water as it swept across my skin. Just lovely. Ahh.

Of course I now want the baby Mia for my DD. I’m sure she and her teen skin will love it too. But she may have to wait a bit because it be pricy and I thought about mine a loooong time.

I will keep you updated on my Clarisonic progress.

Yay! The QVC set came with 2 extra brushes and 2 full sized cleansers one for the face and one for the body. Sweet!

You can go here to check out Brown Girl Gumbo’s view on the Clarisonic Mia.
And here are a couple of videos for your enjoyment. Cheers to self care!

Best,
Kwana

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An Interview, A Giveaway and a Scandal

Oh fun! Today my interview with Amanda McCabe is up over at the Risky Regencies blog to launch her new book Countess of Scandal as Laurel McKee. She’s giving away a copy of her book to a lucky commenter so please stop on by and check out the interview here.

And it just so happens that my review of Countess of Scandal is up on Booksquawk so later you can stop on by there and check that out. You’ll see I really enjoyed all the scandal. It was a great read.
Once again. Happy Saturday!
Best,
Kwana

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Booksquawking

Happy Saturday! Please stop over at Booksquawk here and check out my review of The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. And while you’re at it leave a comment and become a follower. Lots of great reviews over there by cool writers! Thanks.


Best,
Kwana

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Sophomoric Reading

Thankfully Mr. Electric came by with his silent partner and saved the day. Fixing the faulty plug and quickly pointing out that we had a potential fire hazard in the ancient wiring. Whew. Just call me grateful.
To celebrate I took the kids to the not so free movie night to see Coraline. Yep, they were the oldest kids in the movie and the DS made a good show of protesting, saying he wanted to see Friday the 13th, but admitted to enjoying it all the same. The DD liked it plenty since Coraline was one of her favorite books a few years back and she was actually looking forward to seeing the movie. Especially since she has a creepy painted over crawl space in the back of her closet that we have never been able to open. It’s all very Coraline.
Before the movie the Dear Twins and I went to Barnes and Nobel they both had to pick up books for literary circles they are in for their English classes.
Check out what counts for 10 grade reading these days:
This is what the DS is reading. The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
Synopsis
Each morning, Bhima, a domestic servant in contemporary Bombay, leaves her own small shanty in the slums to tend to another woman’s house. In Sera Dubash’s home, Bhima scrubs the floors of a house in which she remains an outsider. She cleans furniture she is not permitted to sit on. She washes glasses from which she is not allowed to drink. Yet despite being separated from each other by blood and class, she and Sera find themselves bound by gender and shared life experiences.
Sera is an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage. A widow, she devotes herself to her family, spending much of her time caring for her pregnant daughter, Dinaz, a kindhearted, educated professional, and her charming and successful son-in-law, Viraf.
Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years. Cursed by fate, she sacrifices all for her beautiful, headstrong granddaughter, Maya, a university student whose education — paid for by Sera — will enable them to escape the slums. But when an unwed Maya becomes pregnant by a man whose identity she refuses to reveal, Bhima’s dreams of a better life for her granddaughter, as well as for herself, may be shattered forever.
Poignant and compelling, evocative and unforgettable, The Space Between Us is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world. Set in modern-day India and witnessed through two compelling and achingly real women, the novel shows how the lives of the rich and the poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and vividly captures how the bonds of womanhood are pitted against the divisions of class and culture.
And here is the DD’s is Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat
Synopsis

What would you give up to protect your loved ones? Your life?
In her heartbreaking, triumphant, and elegantly written memoir, Prisoner of Tehran, Marina Nemat tells the heart-pounding story of her life as a young girl in Iran during the early days of Ayatollah Khomeini’s brutal Islamic Revolution.
In January 1982, Marina Nemat, then just sixteen years old, was arrested, tortured, and sentenced to death for political crimes. Until then, her life in Tehran had centered around school, summer parties at the lake, and her crush on Andre, the young man she had met at church. But when math and history were subordinated to the study of the Koran and political propaganda, Marina protested. Her teacher replied, “If you don’t like it, leave.” She did, and, to her surprise, other students followed.
Soon she was arrested with hundreds of other youths who had dared to speak out, and they were taken to the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. Two guards interrogated her. One beat her into unconsciousness; the other, Ali, fell in love with her.
Sentenced to death for refusing to give up the names of her friends, she was minutes from being executed when Ali, using his family connections to Ayatollah Khomeini, plucked her from the firing squad and had her sentence reduced to life in prison. But he exacted a shocking price for saving her life — with a dizzying combination of terror and tenderness, he asked her to marry him and abandon her Christian faith for Islam. If she didn’t, he would see to it that her family was harmed. She spent the next two years as a prisoner of the state, and of the man who held her life, and her family’s lives, in his hands.
Lyrical, passionate, and suffused throughout with grace and sensitivity, Marina Nemat’s memoir is like no other. Her search for emotional redemption envelops her jailers, her husband and his family, and the country of her birth — each of whom she grants the greatest gift of all: forgiveness.

Both look delicious and I want dive into them too. I think I will.
Best,
Kwana

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We should be so lucky

So I came across this cool video from, Daniel on Melissa Walker’s Blog. In it he reviews her Violet Books. He’s a big fan. Check it out. He also has strong opinions on America’s Next Top Model which I just love!

Best,
Kwana

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