#ReleaseBlitz “My Way to You (Love in Everton #7)” by Fabiola Francisco

**LIVE**

Title: My Way to You

Series: Love in Everton, 7

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Trope: Small town, second chance

BUY THE BOOK: mybook.to/MWTY
Free with Kindle Unlimited
Add to your TBR: Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2SGdJxJ

#LoveInEverton #FabiolaFrancisco #MyWayToYou #LIVE

 

Blurb:

At fifteen, I knew I had found the girl I would one day marry.
At seventeen, I was forced to move across the country and leave her behind, breaking both of our hearts.

Now, I’m back in Everton and ready to live the life I always wanted. I only hope that after so much time, Faith is willing to give me a second chance.

She still takes my breath away, and I’m going to prove to her that things are different this time around. She has always been the one who got away, and nothing will stand in our way. I’ll make sure of it.

Until my family needs me, and I have to choose between them and the woman I love.

Check out the whole ‘Love in Everton’ series here: http://mybook.to/LoveinEvertonSeries

Meet the Author

Fabiola Francisco loves the simplicity—and kick—of scotch on the rocks. She follows Hemingway’s philosophy—write drunk, edit sober. She writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance, dipping her pen into new adult and young adult. Her moods guide her writing, taking her anywhere from sassy and sexy romances to dark and emotion-filled love stories.

Writing has always been a part of her life, penning her own life struggles as a form of therapy through poetry. She still stays true to her first love, poems, while weaving longer stories with strong heroines and honest heroes. She aims to get readers thinking about life and love while experiencing her characters’ journeys.

She is continuously creating stories as she daydreams. Her other loves are country music, exploring the outdoors, and reading.

#BookTour “A Fat Girl’s Confidence” by Patrice Shavone Brown

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Nonfiction Self development

Date Published: 10/30/2018

Publisher: My Story Publishing

Most people think big girls have low self esteem and do not feel as sexy as the models with the perfect bodies that we constantly see on TV. I never knew there was anything wrong with me until I kept seeing people on TV telling me I was too fat, too sloppy and definitely ugly. Every commercial emphasizes the need to have that perfect plastic-factory body. While everyone thinks that fat is sloppy or unattractive, I have learned to embrace it. I choose to live my life fat, free and fabulous! And I am here to motivate you. Patrice Shavone Brown reveals her truth and secrets to being and becoming a proud fat girl. As you read this book, you will discover the confidence that you never thought you could have. Join the Confident Fat Girls Movement with Patrice. “Let’s be the beauty they all said we could never be,” she concludes.

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EXCERPT

Introduction

I am Patrice Shavone Brown, a Mental Health Counselor, and Director. I am an author, motivational speaker, life coach, actress, and a single mother. I own a mental health facility, which I have run for five years at the time of this writing. I am the oldest of three siblings and have a disability, which motivated me into a helpers‘ profession.

I have struggled with my weight for years to the point that the ups and downs of gaining weight are no longer something I would be ashamed of. I have learned that I have to love myself regardless of my size. This was never easy for me because I had certain family members who would say, ―You are getting bigger; you need to stop eating.‖ ―Now stop eating!‖ Yes, people said mean things to me and, trust me, they stung me like bees. You see, in my journey of being a fat girl, I found peace and acceptance of myself first. Before my confidence began, I had to develop strength.

Although what I am about to share may seem crazy, it is not. When building on anything in life, you have to practice and strengthen yourself. You have to admit that you are fat and prepare your mind for people‘s reactions. This preparation gets you ready to respond to the judgments of others. Confidence begins when you have prepared yourself and accepted your flaws. Self-esteem building is all about knowing that you are important, needed, loved, and different, and that we all have flaws but are beautiful still.

I have written this book, A Fat Girl‘s Confidence, so that you can become aware of my journey into the recognition of myself as beautiful; fat or big notwithstanding. As a woman shaped differently (by society‘s standard for beauty), I have been challenged to write about my feelings and experiences as I was labeled obese at the age of 30.

The word obese seems harsh but funny to me. I had always heard fat and was okay with being just fat.

Obese sounds like I am a big, fat case of death monster! Say it, O-BEE-S. So now, society has labeled me a beast because I am fat. If the word obesity is not enough to kill one‘s self-esteem or confidence, I do not know what will. I am motivated to share my tips of confidence because, even with the label obese, I still love what I see in the mirror.

As a teenager, boys loved me and, yes, in school boys crushed on fat girls too. As an adult, men like me for what they see in me. I don‘t want any female that is a size 8 or below to make you feel like you are a nobody just because you are fat. If you are a teenager or a grown woman battling with weight and negative comments from others, hold on beautiful, your motivational fat girl is here to help you feel better about being you!

I have come to inspire you into a one-week commitment to change your mindset about being fat. My mindset is that I am always going to be fat or big, but I have to atone. I have to be happy with myself when I look in the mirror with clothes on or clothes off. I will lose weight when I need to or want to, but it will happen only when I choose. I refuse to listen to society tell me that I am not good enough.

This book is a seven-day self-esteem workbook and inspiration book for fat girls. It has day one through day seven listed along with seven inspirational boosts and actions that will help you begin to boost who you truly are in God‘s eye. This book has secrets on learning to manage your weight as well as learning to shape your body. It focuses on finding the beauty within us as well as helping us decide to get up and live in our heavy shoes because no one can do that the way we can as fat girls.

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About the Author

Author of A Fat Girl’s Confidence Guide, published by My Story Publishing Company, also the founder of the “Confident Fat Girls Movement”

Patrice Shavone Brown is a mother of two beautiful children. She is also the big sister of two siblings. Most of all she is “me.”

She is a person that has had storms and mountains to climb. She is still climbing. Patrice lost her mom to cancer June 2017. She does not paint pretty pictures about her life or surroundings.

Helping people is at the heart of everything that Patrice does. She has spent the last two decades serving her community as a Mental Health Counselor. Her greatest satisfaction comes from empowering others and assisting in people’s healing through the power of words.

“It’s hard, yet life is what you make it. And it is full of twists and turns,” says Patrice.

Patrice has owned and operated Restoring Bodies and Minds, restoringbodiesminds.org, for the past seven years. She’s an over achiever. She likes to excel, and she has tremendous drive and determination. If at first you don’t succeed, try again, is at her core.

Brown has also authored four books. Her books are based on her everyday life experiences. The titles are Secrets Of A Crazy Mental Health Counselor, The Day Momma Made Me Dance, We Blend Well Together, A Fat Girl’s Confidence Guide, A Fat Girl’s Confidence: Beating Depression and Building Self Esteem, The Finesser and The Finesser 2.

Patrice holds an MA, BA, and AAS. She is also an Anger Management Specialist

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Purchase Link

Amazon

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RABT Book Tours & PR

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#ReleaseBlitz “Crazy Love” by Madelynne Ellis

**LIVE**

Crazy Love. Book #1 in The Bad Boys of Brit Pop series.

Genre: Contemporary erotic romance/Rockstar romance.

BLURB

Meet the Bad Boys of Brit Pop!
Hot, naughty, dirty & funny… with an English accent.

Nate’s band has one chance to impress the music mogul who can catapult them into the limelight. Right on cue, he’s hit with the double whammy of an off the rails bass-player, and a missing melody.

Loveday Trevaskis is the bassist for their biggest rival, all girl band Bitch Slap, and the bad girl who cranks Nate’s libido to eleven. Could she also be the key to nailing the deal?

Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/crazy-love-bad-boys

 

BUY LINKS

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1543639695

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crazy-love-madelynne-ellis/1138429067?ean=2940164671785

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Madelynne_Ellis_Crazy_Love?id=xQUNEAAAQBAJ

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PS18T4D/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/crazy-love-67

Radish: https://radishfiction.com/stories/10651?_branch_match_id=848555206636307867

Eden Books: https://edenbooks.org/product/crazy-love/

AUTHOR BIO:

Madelynne Ellis lives in the UK, not far from the Welsh border with her partner, family, & assorted pets. She is currently sipping rapidly cooling decaf coffee, listening to loud music, & indulging her obsession for tattooed bad boys.

Social Media:

Website: http://www.madelynne-ellis.com

Newsletter: http://madelynne-ellis.com/newsletter/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MadelynneEllis1

Rockstars & Rakehells Readers Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Madelynne.ellis.readers

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MadelynneEllis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/madelynneellix/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/madelynne-ellis

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56163558-crazy-love

#ReleaseBlitz “Communicating Through Change” by Alicia Sedgwick

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Self-change, Self-empowerment, New Thinking, Communications Skills, Change Management, Conscious Living

Date Published: January 2021

Publisher: Growth Media AI, USA

 

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This life-changing book will show you how to communicate through major changes in your life and to best express yourself when you need to be heard. It is packed with real-life stories, practical exercises, insightful tips and uplifting affirmations. Addressing relevant challenges, which everyone meets at one time in their life, this book will give you hope, resilience and clarity about how to move forward. By sharing her vulnerability with authentic openness, the author helps you to find your inner strength and to speak up for yourself.

Change Challenges

The one thing we can be sure of – in this life – is that there will be change.”

This is a truth I have never wanted, or liked and yet my life has been full of it. In this collection of chapters of my personal experiences, specifically related to change, I hope you will learn from my experiences to deal with your own and to be able to also share your story. As you dip in and out of the chapters, you may feel that the experience is not relevant to you right now. However, I trust when you return to the book, a certain story will be highly pertinent for you in that moment.

A dear friend reminded me recently how I had agonised about changing my job from one legal partnership to another; spending hours deliberating on the decision; and talking and talking about it! I have always found it difficult to let anyone, or anything go. But I have had to learn to deal with change in my life and to adopt a different approach, which is what I share with you in this book. I provide you with my life learnings about managing and communicating through each change and challenge that life throws at us all, so you can benefit from the best result for you, each time.

Wherever you are in your life, this book provides you with an insight into my life; sharing with you what I have learned and showing you how you can deal with your experiences of change, coming through them with strength and courage. It provides you with practical guidance and applicable exercises to enable you to take conscious actions that will help you communicate your way through a variety of different changes. While the chapters can be read in isolation, the exercises can be applied to more than one change challenge. This book will also help you to understand that you are not alone and whenever you face these challenges, there is support from the insight shared here. Plus, the opportunity to belong to Team Alicia, a supportive group of like-minded people where you are free to be yourself without inhibition, worry, anxiety or fear. Where you will not be judged; you will be nurtured and cared for and what is said and shared in Team Alicia, stays in Team Alicia!

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About The Author

Alicia Sedgwick began her career as a lawyer, specialising in family law. This was her first step in helping people who were experiencing difficult changes in their lives. When she moved to the South of France, she began working in radio, as well as in event management, taking care of talent and celebrities. She also created her own internet television show, Asking Alicia, to help families dealing with impactful issues and the profound changes those challenges brought with them.

Alicia began teaching at the International University of Monaco, in Public Speaking and Presentation Skills, Leadership and Managing People. Her communications courses are based on her belief that when you can communicate effectively and with impact, you will be successful in your professional and personal relationships. Soon, her training was extended to the International School of Monaco, and for businesses, individuals, associations and corporations. She is currently helping people to be brilliant online, where communications are so focused in this Covid climate.

Alicia is also a professional MC for events, such as TEDxMonteCarlo, where she brings her individual talent of making everyone feel embraced, included and involved, with humour and empathy.

Hailed as The Communications Guru by her global followers, Alicia specialises in training and coaching for all age groups and backgrounds. She develops her international student’s communications skills and builds their confidence, as well as empowering, motivating and inspiring them. She also helps people navigate their way through the challenges that life throws at us, with the backing and support of Team Alicia, which she created for her students as a place where they can go to feel cared for and nurtured.

This book is her opportunity to share more of herself and tell her story to help more people with their lives. She knows from her life experiences that when we share our story and communicate effectively through change, we can be stronger people and make a more significant contribution in the world.

Contact The Author

Please contact me via my website, as below and let me know which experiences of change you have embraced and how the chapters about those challenges have helped you the most. Please share your experiences with me and how you have used the communication exercises to support you. I am always delighted to receive your feedback and comments, and to welcome more change communicators into Team Alicia.

Also, please contact me for personal coaching and training in communications, and for your company, foundation, association and organisation.

Website

LinkedIn

Facebook

YouTube Channel 

 

 

Purchase Link

Amazon

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#ReleaseBlitz “Rise of the Moon (Royal Shifters #3)” by L.P. Dover

Rise of the Moon by L.P. Dover
(Royal Shifters #3)
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Shifters
AVAILABLE NOW!
#RiseoftheMoon #LPDover #NewRelease #ParanormalRomance #Shifters #BareNakedWords
Blurb:
Half fae. Half shifter. Unimaginable power lying in wait…
The moment half-blood Laila joined the Teton pack, Cedric knew she belonged to him. Completing their bond will not be easy, but Cedric would pay any price to claim her as his mate.
If she stays.
The fae are luring Laila to their realm, promising to introduce her to a side of herself shrouded in mystery. If she leaves—and their bond remains unfulfilled—Cedric will experience a painful affliction unrequited male’s suffer that often ends in death.
Despite it paining him to think of her leaving, Cedric would never force Laila to stay. Only by asserting himself as the powerful alpha he is can he hope of proving to her that by his side—and in his bed—is exactly where she belongs.
Meet the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author L. P. Dover is a southern belle living in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls. Everything’s sweeter in the South has always been her mantra and she lives by it, whether it’s with her writing or in her everyday life. Maybe that’s why she’s seriously addicted to chocolate.
Dover has written countless novels in several different genres, including a children’s book with her daughter. Her favorite to write is romantic suspense, but she’s also found a passion in romantic comedy. She loves to make people laugh which is why you’ll never see her without a smile on her

You can find me here:

#BlogTour “Shame of It All” by KT Grant

Shame of it All

Welcome to the blog tour for new Psychological Thriller, Shame of It All by K.T. Grant! Today I have an excerpt for you to read and a chance to win 1 of 3 digital copies of the book!

55850991._SY475_Shame of It All

Publication Date: December 6th, 2020

Genre: Psychological Thriller

*Trigger Warning : Violence/ Sexual Assault

Revenge is a dish best served cold. But for Mercy Pryce her revenge will scald one’s soul and leave behind a burnt-out husk if she has her way.

Mercy has returned to her hometown of Cartleigh, New York after twenty years. The lakeside community is the perfect location for Yakim Zeldovich, her Russian billionaire employer’s state of the art manufacturing facility. Acting as a consultant for Zeldovich, she’s on an undercover mission, not as an angel of mercy, but one of mischief, deceit and torture. Her ultimate goal is to ruin Cartleigh because of a horrible trauma she suffered in high school. The one responsible for her wrath is Colton Hahn, Cartleigh’s beloved mayor, and the object of her retaliation. The town’s golden boy, who she once adored as an impressionable teenager, brutally raped her and left her for dead at seventeen.

Consumed by years of grief and growing rage, she has targeted Colton, who may also be responsible for the death of her best friend, Marina, his fiancé. She will avenge Marina and finally take down the monster who tried to ruin her life.

Her success may come at a horrible price. But it will all be worth it if she can take away everything Colton holds dear, including him surrendering his heart and soul to her in the process.

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Excerpt

The Grand Oaks was a well-known venue for sophisticated affairs. Valet parking was a given, which Ari didn’t complain about, although he acted a bit embarrassed by his eight-year-old sedan. I didn’t mind because the make and model didn’t prove the worth of the individual driving it. Most of those who drove luxury cars were trying to make up for something they lacked. Yakim had many cars at his disposal, but he always stuck to his Lincoln Navigator, since the car reminded him of his grandfather. His father had the same fondness for that type of car but mainly used chauffeurs to get around.

“You’re probably used to all this glitz and glamour,” Ari said as we walked up the short flight of stairs into the foyer.

“I’ve attended my share of swanky parties and balls but they can be exhausting. Unless you want to, we don’t have to stay until it ends. We could always have a nightcap at one of our houses.”

“We’ll see how the night goes.” He twined our fingers together as we moved toward the banquet hall. “The only type of event I’ve been to that compares to this was my sister’s wedding, and there were a hundred guests, give or take.”

I laughed and rubbed his arm, wishing if only for the next few hours, we were an actual couple. But I wasn’t here to engage in that fantasy for either one of us. I had to find my mark and entice him in more than just conversation.

Most of the men wore tuxedos like Ari’s. The women showed off their attributes with their dresses and hair, much like I had done. The room swelled with so many people, it made me wonder if it was a safety hazard even though the majority of the guests remained at the bars on each side or surrounded servers passing trays of food. A few occupied the small dance floor near the bandstand. Based on attendance, I would say the event was a success. Yakim would be pleased because not everything would be fake when he pulled out of the negotiations. I would be long gone when the deal collapsed and those in this room realizing they had been conned.

“Are your feet hurting? Want to sit down, and I’ll get us some drinks?” Aril led me to a table and pulled out a chair.

“That would be nice.” I accepted the seat and glanced around while he did, finding Karine and her husband nearby, along with Agnes. Not surprising, Colt was next to them. They had formed their own intimate circle near the corner of the bar. I leaned into Ari so I could stare at the group over his shoulder.

“Get me a cabernet.” I kissed his cheek and hugged him at the exact moment Colt turned his face toward me. He stiffened.

“You got it.” He kissed me back and walked to the bar where Colt stood. Ari stopped near two men who shook hands with him. Since he might spend some time talking, I decided to disappear for a few minutes. But before I did, I posed for Colt’s benefit. He moved in my direction, and I backed away and left the room.

I strolled down to the lower level where a sign on the wall pointed me in the direction of another set of restrooms. I glanced behind to see Colt stopped by some people. I kept moving because the only reason anyone would venture here was to use the toilets. He would eventually find me.

I entered the restroom consisting of a small sitting area that led to three stalls and a sink. The light automatically came on when I entered, but it could also be turned off manually. I sat on a love seat and waited all of three minutes before the door opened and Colt entered, shutting it behind him.

He blocked the door but didn’t lock it. I wasn’t worried because for him to attack me again would be monumentally stupid on his part. The camera in the hallway had recorded him entering after me. I could bring it up as an extra layer of protection but only if necessary. Plus, I would be taking control of this situation, not him.

“Nice dress. It suits you.” He leaned on the door with his hands in his coat pocket.

He was dressed in an almost-identical tuxedo to most of the men here. Other than his good looks, nothing would make him stand out in this crowd. But I would be nice and play along with the compliments.

“You look good in a tuxedo, but you already know it.” I stood, laying my clutch on the seat next to me.

“In my line of work, wearing a tux or a suit is a given.” His sad sort of smile didn’t move me in any way.

“Why did you follow me here?” The answer would be obvious, but I wanted to hear him say it.

“You wanted me to.”

The lack of accusation in his voice annoyed me. He was stating a fact, but his words had a huge underlying meaning because of our past. A man accusing a woman of wanting something from him was beyond insulting. Because it was Colt, I assumed it would be sexual in nature. What I would give freely, he would take.

“You assume I want many things from you. Have you thought I just want you to notice me and nothing else? You used to do the same in high school, before and during our hidden affair.” I used air quotes around the word affair and approached him.

“Did you ever tell Ari about us?” He took his hands out of his pocket and lowered his arms to his sides.

“Why would he care about something twenty years ago that doesn’t concern him?” I folded my arms behind back.

“He doesn’t know anything?” He shifted closer.

“What is the anything you’re worried I’ll tell him about?” I tapped my chin with a lacquered nail. “Perhaps the same anything you didn’t share with your dead fiancée?”

He grabbed me by the arms and spun around, shoving me into the door. He breathed heavily, and his grip tightened to the point he might leave marks.

“Have I triggered you without saying the actual words? What if I say them?” I wanted to snarl and hit him but remained impassive, as if he wasn’t manhandling me.

He closed his eyes and inhaled through his nose, ending with a short rattle. “I can’t do this with you. It’s…shit.”

I should be impressed I had such power to affect him in such a way he was torn up inside. If only I had the same power when we were teenagers. It was going to be easier than I thought. I relaxed into the door. “You want me.”

He opened his eyes and mouth but didn’t make a sound until he groaned and knelt in front of me and clutched my hips. He pressed his face in my stomach, making me spread my legs open so I wouldn’t join him on the floor.

If he expected me to rub his head and hold him while he was wracked with guilt, he would be horribly disappointed. Any sympathy would be a mockery. Any intimacy acted upon was a means to an end for me. This time, I would have all the power.

“You want me to forgive you for raping me?” Finally saying to him directly what he did to me should have been cathartic, but I wanted to be cruel. I tugged on his hair, making him stare up at me as vindication swept through my body. For the first time since Marina died, I felt so alive.

“I don’t know.” He fell back on his heels. “What I did was wrong but it was so long ago, so if you’re thinking of—”

“Hush.” I tapped his nose and stepped around him to sit on the love seat. “You can make it up to me, and no, I’m not going to blackmail you.” Yet. “What I want from you will be enjoyable for us both.”

I wanted to cackle, not that I had ever done anything like it, but the astonishment on Colt’s face was beyond comedic. He must think I was crazy since it was beyond comprehension his victim would proposition him for some type of sexual act after he violated her violently years ago.

If he had dropped to the floor in shock, I wouldn’t have been surprised. But he remained standing, just staring like one would do if they saw a car accident.

“What do you want from me?” His voice cracked, but the front of his pants tented with his penis.

“You owe me gratification because you took it away from me so long ago.” I hiked up my skirt to my thighs and then checked my watch. “You have less than eight minutes to make me come. I’ve been in here long enough, and Ari will start to worry.”

Either mentioning the time restraint or Ari’s name forced Colt to act. He took a huge step toward me, bent down, and braced his hands behind me. It was the closest we had been to each other since that night at the lake. Back then, I was terrified. Now, I was calm and collected because I held all the power. He couldn’t hurt me even if he wanted to because he was transfixed, under my spell.

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About the Author

KT Grant Bio Picture

KT Grant is a self-proclaimed eccentric redhead who not only loves to read a wide variety of romances, but also loves writing it. As a former book blogger and entertainment columnist with a bad coffee and Twitter addiction, she still doesn’t shy away from voicing her opinion. A proud native of New Jersey, KT is multi-published and writes Gay, Lesbian and Straight romance. KT has also been a top ten best-selling author at Amazon. KT loves to hear from readers. You can drop KT an email at ktgrnt@gmail.com.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

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Shame of it All

Blog Tour Schedule

January 18th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

@BrendaJeanCombs (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news

January 19th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

January 20th

Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

@geauxgetlit (Review) https://www.instagram.com/geauxgetlit/

@the.b00kreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.b00kreader

January 21st

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://tsarinapress.com/blog/

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

January 22nd

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Books, Ramblings, and Tea (Review) https://booksramblingsandtea.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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#BookTour “Black ≠ Inferior” by Tolu A. Akinyemi

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Poetry

 

Date Published: January 1 2021

Publisher: The Roaring Lion Newcastle LTD

 

 

Black ≠ Inferior is a collection of poems divided into 2 parts. The first part is a collection of thematically linked poems exploring Blackness and the myriads of issues it attracts. The second part oscillates themes— talking about consent, a query of death, a celebration of love among others. In his usual stylistic, this collection deals with weighty matters like race and colourism with simple and clear language.

In Black ≠ Inferior, we see Tolu’ Akinyemi reacting in response to the world, to issues that affect Black people. Here, we see a poet shedding off his burdens through his poems; hence, the beauty of this collection is in the issues it attempts to address. In this collection, Tolu’ wears a coat of many colours – he is a preacher, a prophet, a doctor and a teacher.

We see Tolu’ the preacher in these lines:

I wish you can rise through the squalor of poverty

and voices that watercolour you as under-represented.

I wish you can emblaze your name in gold,

and swim against every wave of hate.’

This is a collection of poems fit for the present narrative as any (Black) person who reads this collection should beam with confidence at the end. This is what the poet sets out to achieve with his oeuvre.

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EXCERPT

Black and Unique

I wish this can be your favourite poem;

these words, ordinances, and creed—

a sterling light.

I wish you can see the uniqueness of your black skin,

its glory shining like a dark armour.

 

I wish you can rise above the tides of hate

and the contraptions of oppression.

I wish you can see, through the dawning of each day,

that you’re black and unique.

 

I wish you can rise through the squalor of poverty

and voices that watercolour you as under-represented.

I wish you can emblaze your name in gold,

and swim against every wave of hate.

 

I wish you can rise above the labels—

false identities stamped on you.

You’re black and unique—

I wish this can be your favourite verse.

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About the Author

Tolu’ A. Akinyemi hails from Nigeria and lives in the UK where he has been endorsed by the Arts Council England as a writer with “exceptional talent”.

Tolu is the author of seven outstanding books which includes, Dead Lions Don’t Roar (Poetry, 2017) Unravel your Hidden Gems (Essays, 2018) Dead Dogs Don’t Bark (Poetry, 2018) Dead Cats Don’t Meow (Poetry, 2019) Never Play Games With The Devil (Poetry, 2019) Inferno of Silence (Short Stories, 2020) A Booktiful Love (Poetry, 2020). Two poetry collections, Black ≠ Inferior and Never Marry a Writer are scheduled for publication in early 2021.

A former headline act at Great Northern Slam, Crossing The Tyne Festival, Feltonbury Arts and Music Festival, and featured in various Poetry Festivals, Open Slam, Poetry Slam, Spoken Word and Open Mic events in and outside the United Kingdom.

His poems have appeared in the 57th issue (Volume 15, no 1) of the Wilderness House Literary Review, The Writers Cafe Magazine- Issue 18, GN Books, Lion and Lilac and elsewhere.

His books are based on a deep reality and often reflect relationships, life and features people he has met in his journey as a writer. His books have instilled many people to improve their performance and/or their circumstances. Tolu’ has taken his poetry to the stage, performing his written word at many events. Through his writing and these performances, he supports business leaders, other aspiring authors and people of all ages interested in reading and writing. Sales of the books have allowed Tolu’ donate to charity, allowing him to make a difference where he feels important, showing that he lives by the words he puts to page.

 

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#AuthorSpotlight “The Bird that Sang in Color” by Grace Mattioli

TheBirdThatSang copy

~ Interview with Grace Mattioli ~

Hello Grace, and welcome to Nesie’s Place!

Your bio says you’re from the Pacific Northwest. Tell us a few things about yourself.

I currently live in Portland, Oregon with my husband and two adorable cats. I’m originally from New Jersey and have lived all over the country, mostly in San Francisco, where I was for seventeen years.

The Bird That Sang in Color sounds like a thought-provoking saga involving siblings. What was your inspiration for the story?

Years ago, after my brother passed away, I found a book of sketches he’d made of his life, and it had a profound effect on me. I started to wonder what pictures I would have of myself by the end of my life, and I really wanted to share this insight and inspiration with the world. Incidentally, the cover art for this book is one of the sketches from my brother’s pictorial autobiography.

How did you come up with the very unique title?

I wanted a title that fit the central theme of living free, and I wanted to use a symbol in the title as I did for my other two books. A bird is the best symbol of freedom I know of.  I also wanted to bring the novel’s themes of music and art into the title, and I wanted to illustrate the idea of living in color as opposed to blending into the background of societal convention.

This is your third book involving the Greco family. If I have it right, Discovery of an Eagle is a sequel to Olive Branches Don’t Grow on Trees. Is The Bird That Sang in Color connected in some way?

Yes, Donna Greco, the protagonist of my newest novel, is the matriarch of the Greco family. All of my books can be read as stand-alones, although I’d recommend reading all three for a richer experience. The Bird that Sang in Color was written as a prequel to the other two, but it can either be read before or after the other two.

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I’m self-published and have done everything independently, including formatting my manuscripts for paperbacks and narrating my books for audio recordings.

Do you still work full-time as a librarian?

I worked as a librarian for over twenty years full-time and am currently working part-time as a shopkeeper. I also design jewelry, which I sell in several local stores.

What is your work schedule like when writing a book?

I get a certain amount of words written as early as I can in the day. I have a minimum word count of 400 words per day.

What do you do when you’re not writing? 

I like to garden, listen to and play music (mandolin, ukulele), spend time in nature, and watch great shows.

I read you have ‘awesome cats!’ Do they ever try to “help” or inspire you?

Yes, in fact I even put my cat, Cosmo, in my acknowledgements. He sat on my lap as I wrote and revised this book.

As a child, What did you want to do when you grew up? 

I had lots of different ambitions, including a writer, an architect, a journalist, and even an art therapist.

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?

I can live without it.

What’s your next project?

My next project will be a novella, and the subject will be the homeless problem in America.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

I have lots. I published a small guide called Tell the World Your Story. It’s available on all major online bookstores for only $0.99.

Anything else you’d like to add, Grace?

As with my other books, this book is intended to give people inspiration and insight for living happily. I believe that happiness isn’t just important on an individual level, but on a global one as well. That is, it’s all the miserable people who are making all the trouble in the world. I’m hoping that readers of The Bird that Sang in Color will be inspired to live free and authentically so that they can create colorful pictures of their own lives.

~~~

Congratulations to author Grace Mattioli on the release of her novel The Bird that Sang in Color!

Read on for a chance to win a copy of the book!

BirdColour 1The Bird that Sang in Color

Publication Date: January 17, 2021 (Today 🎉)

Genre: Literary Fiction

Part family drama and part self-actualization story, this is about Donna Greco, who in her teens, subscribes to a conventional view of success in life and pushes her freewheeling, artistic brother, Vincent to do the same. However, he remains single, childless, and subsists in cramped apartments. She harbors guilt for her supposed failure to ensure his happiness until she discovers a book of sketches he made of his life, which allows her to see his internal joy and prompts her own journey of living authentically.

Thought-provoking, humorous, and filled with unforgettable characters, this book invites readers to ponder what pictures they will have of themselves by the end of their lives.

“Beautifully rendered, hugely moving, brilliant,” Lidia Yucknavitch.

“a refreshing family portrait about interpersonal evolution…presented with affection, humor, and insight…an inspiring slice of life blend of philosophy, psychology, and transformation that draws readers into a warm story and examines the wellsprings of creative force and future legacies…evocative, uplifting,” Midwest Book Review.

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Excerpt

the golden garden bird of peace were the words painted on the wall in Vincent’s room. I thought Dad would have painted over them because he couldn’t stand all that “hippie crap.” Beside the words hung a bunch of paintings he made. He painted trees, mountains, rivers, flowers, and people with real-life expressions that made them more than just pictures. They were alive, and they told stories.

Some of his paintings were abstract, my favorite being one that looked like a kaleidoscope with no beginning and no end and colors that bounced off the canvas like a beautiful neon sign sparkling against a black sky. I could stare at it all day. I went between staring at it and the album cover before me—Let It Be by the Beatles. Vincent sat by the record player, dressed in his usual Levi’s, T-shirt, and Converse high-tops, bent towards the revolving album, listening intently, his head of black curly hair moving back and forth, his right foot tapping the hardwood floor, keeping rhythm to the Fab Four.

Finally, he turned his head away from the stereo and said to me, “I can’t believe this is it.” His face was serious and gloomy, and I didn’t know what he was talking about, but I pretended that I did because I’d never let my cool down around Vincent. It was because of him that I knew so much about rock and roll, which made me pretty sure that I was the coolest eighth-grade girl in the whole town and possibly in the whole state of New Jersey.

“I know,” I said seriously.

“I mean, I just never thought the Beatles would break up.” He shook his head with disappointment.

“So, this is their last album, then?”

“Well, yeah,” he said, like I should have known better.

“Hey, check this out, Donna.” With the speed of a light switch flicking on, he turned into an entirely different person, no longer sad and gloomy but light and happy. He showed me a drawing he made of an old lady sitting on a chair with half of her body missing, and it looked as if the missing half was on the other side of an invisible door. She wore a mysterious smile as if she knew some extraordinary truth.

“Where’s the other half of her body?” I said.

“I don’t know,” he said, grinning. “You tell me.”

“Wow.” I sat there, trying to wrap my head around this while listening to the song playing. Just as I was about to figure something out about the picture, and just as I was really getting into the song, he took the needle off, turned the album over, and put the needle on the first song on the other side, a tendency he had that bothered the hell out of our brother, Carmen.

He scratched his head and looked up, his eyes penetrating the ceiling, deep in thought. He resembled Mom with his olive skin, Roman nose, and black curls, and was the only one of us who got her curly hair. The rest of us had straight hair. Mine was super long—to the bottom of my back—and I wore it parted in the middle and was certain that I was wearing it that way long before it was the style.

Vincent was also taller than the rest of us at over six feet. Dad said he took after his own dad in stature. I never knew Grandpa Tucci because he died before I was born, but I was told he was called Lanky because he was tall and skinny. I was pretty thin myself and had a bottomless pit. People would say that all my eating would catch up with me one day, but that never stopped me from eating ice cream every day after school. Breyers butter almond was my favorite.

Vincent listened to the music with pure attention, like there was nothing else in the world as George sang I, me, mine, I, me, mine, I, me, mine. He was probably trying to figure out what the song was about or how he could play it on his guitar. His acoustic guitar sat in the corner of his room. He had the smallest room in the house, but it seemed like the biggest because it was its own self-contained universe. I felt like I could be on the other side of the world without ever leaving his room.

His paintings and drawings covered the walls. A bunch of leather-bound cases of albums colored red and black and bone sat on the floor between a stereo and a wooden desk with piles of books and sketchbooks on top. Comic books, pens, and paintbrushes were scattered on the floor like seashells on the sand.

I shared a room with my younger sister, Nancy, and she insisted on having the room be as pink as possible. She was the youngest, so she always got her way. On top of making our room a sickening pink paradise, she had a doll collection with faces that really creeped me out, and she started pushing over my beloved books on our shelves to make room for her dolls. A doll named Lucinda with blond hair and a blue satin dress was shoved up against two of my favorites—Animal Farm and To Kill a Mockingbird.

“Check this out, Donna,” Vincent said, emerging from his music-listening trance. He took a skinny metal whistle out of a plastic case. “Got it at the music store in town.”

“Neat. Some kind of flute?” I said.

“A pennywhistle.” He had a big smile that stretched from one side of his face to the other. “Or sometimes called a tin whistle.”

“I wish I could play an instrument,” I said. “Just one.” I was the only one in our family that didn’t play an instrument. Mom wanted me to learn ballet instead because she said I had a dancer’s body. I liked it all right and stayed with it until my teacher put me on toe, and the wooden shoes imprisoned my feet and made them ache hours after class ended.

“Have it.”

“Really?!”

“Sure.” He started fishing in one of his desk drawers for something.

“Thanks Vincent.” No response. He just kept on with his searching. I looked at the tin instrument wondering how I’d learn to play it, when he poked his head up and gave me an instructional songbook for it. I went through it seeing musical notation for simple songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” It was all new territory for me, but I knew I could learn it and thought I could go anywhere from there. I saw myself playing with Vincent as he strummed the guitar, playing on the street for money, playing in a small orchestra of other penny whistlers. Just then, Mom called out from the kitchen.

“Dinner’s ready!” I didn’t care that my fantasy was interrupted because I was starving. Vincent was always up for eating and was the biggest eater I knew. He seemed especially hungry because he was walking to the kitchen really fast. Even when he walked fast, he looked cool. He walked with a bounce in his step, his head bobbing back and forth like he was keeping beat to a song that only he could hear. I tried to walk like him once, but I ended up looking like some kind of uncoordinated monkey. I walked like Dad who moved fast and forward-leaning, like he was continually running late for something.

The kitchen smelled of garlic and fish. It was Friday, and Mom always cooked fish on Fridays. A big flat bowl with hand-painted flowers was filled with spaghetti, calamari and gravy, which was what we called tomato sauce in our house. My older sister, Gloria was setting the large wooden table that sat in the center of the kitchen. She wore her hair tucked neatly behind her ears and a black-and-tan argyle vest that fit snug on her shapely body. Her face had the usual serious, troubled look on it like something was wrong. Anthony—the oldest in the family—was away at college, and Nancy was at a sleepover, so the table was set for only six.

Mom was at the sink, getting a salad together. Above the sink was a long window that looked out onto our backyard, its ledge covered with little ladybug statues, which Mom loved because they meant good luck. She wore a red-and-white apron over a straight skirt and boots and took long, swift strides around the kitchen. Watching her get dinner together was like watching a performance. She’d put on her apron instead of a costume. The music played: the chopping of vegetables, the clanging of metal spoons against pots and the sweet sound of pouring. She’d dance around, gathering ingredients, sautéing, stirring, occasionally turning towards us—the audience—to say something or laugh with us so that we’d feel a part of the show. She presented her perfect meals like works of art, displaying them on the table, and we’d applaud by eating—grabbing, twirling, chewing—until we couldn’t fit anymore in.

Dad was opening up one of his bottles of homemade wine. I had a sip once, and it went down my throat like an angry snake. He leaned on the table like he needed it to support him with his eyes half-shut and his black-and-gray hair falling forward in his face. In his tiredness, he didn’t speak, but even when he was quiet, he was loud, and whenever he walked into a room, everybody knew it, even if he didn’t say a word.

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About the Author

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Grace Mattioli is the author of two novels–Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees and Discovery of an Eagle, and a book of short stories, The Brightness Index. Her forthcoming novel, The Bird that Sang in Color, will be released January 17, 2021.

Her fiction is filled with unforgettable characters, artful prose, humor, and insight about what it takes to be truly happy. She strongly believes that if people were happier, the world would be a better place.

She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her cats. She worked as a librarian for over twenty years and has had various other job titles, including jewelry designer, food cart owner, shopkeeper, book seller, substitute teacher, art school model, natural grocery store clerk, short order cook, food server, street vendor, barista, and a giant Twinkie!

She has been writing creatively since she was a child and has participated in various writing workshops and classes. Her favorite book is Alice in Wonderland. Her favorite author is Flannery O’Connor. Her favorite line of literature comes from James Joyce’s novella, The Dead: “Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.”

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Note: The giveaway will run from today until January 20th!

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