The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor/A Review

The Women of Brewster Place: A Novel in Seven Stories by Gloria Naylor
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Books
Length: 192 Pages
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: June 2, 1982

My Thoughts:

I read this book through Audible in one sitting. I was thoroughly captivated with the lives of the women residing in Brewster Place, since they represent a microcosm of society: a matriarch providing space and a helping hand when needed; a young revolutionary at odds with her mother’s definition of the true meaning of social justice; a young same-sex couple starting over after countless experiences of discrimination. Gloria Naylor writes an unflinching account of women surviving extremely emotional situations. Brewster Place has a group of women thriving despite the difficult circumstances they have. They turn to each other when moments become extremely difficult, a community of women turning to one another despite their hardships.

The Women of Brewster Place was a wonderful television special years ago. I recall watching the program admiring this strong group of women turning to each other when faced with violence and discrimination. The neighborhood that Brewster Place is situated in can be placed in many big cities throughout the country. There is always a community living in difficult financial standing, yet their community stays united, working to build a better life within the neighborhood. The Women of Brewster Place continues to hold as a powerful story about women surviving extreme difficulties while staying together.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

WWW Wednesday: January 15

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and now maintained by Taking on a World of Words.

There are three prompts for WWW Wednesday:
–What are you currently reading?
–What did you finish recently reading?
–What do you think you’ll read next?

Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason
I received a complimentary copy of Collateral Damage through Revell Reads blogger program. So far the story is pretty fascinating!

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
I loved reading this non-fiction tale about a Native American tribe targeted for their status in society!

Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer

This book covers the Mystery genre. I usually don’t read that many Mystery tales, so it should be an experience!

December 2019 Book Haul

I’m finally posting my Book Haul from December! It’s only 10 days into January, so it’s not that late, right? 😉

Here are the books I picked up last month:

Acquired from NetGalley

Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith

Complimentary copy from Revell Reads

Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason

Library Reads:

Digital copy acquired through Libby

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
by David Grann

Borrowed from local library

Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer

A Witch Before Dying by Heather Blake

The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts

The Night Circus by Eric Morgenstern

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

These are all the books I picked up in December! What were some of the stories you received?

Goodreads Monday: December 16

I’m taking part in Goodreads Monday. This was started by Lauren’s Page Turners, in which you choose a book listed on your Goodreads TBR and talk about it.

This week’s post:

Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite

Synopsis:
At a club in Missing Mile, N.C., the children of the night gather, dressed in black, looking for acceptance. Among them are Ghost, who sees what others do not. Ann, longing for love, and Jason, whose real name is Nothing, newly awakened to an ancient, deathless truth about his father, and himself.
Others are coming to Missing Mile tonight. Three beautiful, hip vagabonds – Molochai, Twig, and the seductive Zillah (whose eyes are as green as limes) are on their own lost journey; slaking their ancient thirst for blood, looking for supple young flesh.
They find it in Nothing and Ann, leading them on a mad, illicit road trip south to New Orleans. Over miles of dark highway, Ghost pursues, his powers guiding him on a journey to reach his destiny, to save Ann from her new companions, to save Nothing from himself…

Why I Want to Read It:
Horror books with Vampires! Especially ones that don’t shimmer!

I first came across this book back in my college years, and I still haven’t picked it up yet! I hope to find it on Kindle, but I still have hope that a physical copy is still floating around somewhere.

WWW Wednesday: November 13

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and now maintained by Taking on a World of Words.

There are three prompts for WWW Wednesday:
–What are you currently reading?
–What did you finish recently reading?
–What do you think you’ll read next?

Becoming by Michelle Obama
I’m really enjoying this story! It’s a tell-all about Michelle Obama’s life growing up in Chicago, and the joys/challenges she experiences with her family. Michelle is such a headstrong person!

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
I’m about 50 pages in with ‘A Dog’s Purpose’, and I’m so in love with it! Following life through a dog’s perspective. It just melts your heart!

Deadly Deceit by Natalie Waters
I had a fun time reading ‘Deadly Deceit’! I’m becoming newly aware of Romantic Suspense stories, with Christian overtones. It was a very good read!

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
I received this story through NetGalley a couple weeks ago. I can’t wait to finally begin this sequel!

I hope everyone’s week is going well so far!


September 2019 Reading Wrap Up

I read six books this month. Now, I know that it’s not a huge number, but I’m very proud of my progress!

‘Tunnel of Bones’ by Victoria Schwab
Length: 304 pages
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: September 3, 2019

I rated ‘Tunnel of Bones’ 5 stars. It was very exciting to revisit Cassidy Blake’s world, as she explored Paris in order to vanquish a restless spirit. Having a best friend who’s a ghost is an extra bonus! I’m already anticipating the next book in the series!

Sweet Melody by Heidi McCahan
Length: 217 pages
Publisher: Snug Corner Cove Press
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
September 13, 2019

I rated ‘Sweet Melody‘ 5 Stars. This story was read and reviewed for a tour stop on Prism Book Tours. This was an endearing novel that covers the issue of struggle after heartbreak. The message expressed that with a strong support network, and with a little faith, one is never truly alone!

‘Kingdom Cold’ Trilogy by Brittni Chenelle
Length: 622 pages
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Release Date: February 14, 2019

I gave the ‘Kingdom Cold’ series 5 stars. I read and reviewed these stories through Caffiene Book Tours. Truthfully, I went into this series not expecting to be absorbed, but I was pleasantly surprised. Chenelle displays strong female characters and a steady pace throughout the books. I’m thankful that I gave these stories a chance!

‘The Lost Girls of Paris’ by Pam Jenoff
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Park Row Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: March 1, 2019

I gave ‘The Lost Girls of Paris’ 4 Stars. Learning about a female secret agent unit in London during World War II was truly eye-opening. Genoff artfully created fictionalized accounts of the three female leads in the book, while enlightening readers of the reality that women faced while operating behind enemy lines. It reveals that women played a greater role in war than originally thought!

‘Sweet Melody’ by Heidi McCahan/Prism Book Tours

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Sweet Melody (Seabrook Romance #1) By Heidi McCahan
Christian Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook
242 Pages
Release Date: August 1st 2019

When a struggling bakery owner is rescued by a wannabe songwriter with hidden culinary talents, they discover they can make sweet harmony … if they can only learn to work together.

Rhett Foster longs to change the world with his music, yet he can’t even finish writing one song. Battered by a string of failures and disillusioned, he returns home to Portland, Oregon. While he desperately wants to create a chart-topping hit, his dad mandates a new mission: move to coastal vacation hotspot Seabrook, Washington and expand the family’s successful restaurant chain.

In danger of destroying her late parents’ legacy if she doesn’t diversify her menu, Lindsay Carmichael will try anything to save her bakery. But with a tiny budget and an injured employee who can’t work, she has no choice but to sink the last of her savings into buying a dilapidated food truck and hiring Rhett as a part-time barista. What she doesn’t know is that the handsome songwriter has a secret … one that could destroy her business and her heart.

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My Review:
I found Sweet Melody to be such a heartwarming read. The chemistry between Rhett and Lindsay was so charming and vibrant throughout the entire book. I also enjoyed the overall theme of resilience in the face of deep personal struggle.

Both Rhett and Lindsay endured crushing loss and immense obstacles, yet the overall theme of God having your back through joys and sorrows rang clear from beginning to end. The pace of the novel was also steady, it kept me turning the pages until the conclusion.

I also loved the scenery of the shore town of Seabrook. I would enjoy visiting such a quaint community in my summer travels!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

About the Author

Heidi secretly dreamed of writing a book for most of her childhood, but a particularly painful rejection letter in middle school convinced her to tuck that dream away. Instead, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington and a Master’s Degree in Athletic Training from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. After a brief career as a Certified Athletic Trainer, Heidi married her husband Steve, then she dusted off her big dream of becoming a published author and launched her first contemporary romance into the world in 2014. A huge fan of coffee, dark chocolate, and happily ever after, Heidi currently lives in North Carolina with Steve, three active boys and one amazing Goldendoodle.

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One winner will receive a signed paperback with bookmark, $10 Amazon gift card, Sticky Fingers Strawberry Scone mix and a Seabrook Sea, Salt and Surf 100% soy wax candle from Hometown candle company. US only Ends September 18, 2019

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My ‘Half Price Books’ Haul

Before August wrapped up, I visited ‘Half Price Books’ for the first time. I’ve always heard many positive things about this affordable bookshop, but there are none over in New Jersey. When my husband and I traveled to Pittsburgh a couple weeks ago, we happened to see a couple ‘Half Price Books’ locations in the area. We immediately made it a mission to check it out!

‘Half Price Books’ was filled with endless rows of books from every genre. They sell music as well, but they are well known for selling books are very reasonable prices. They also buy back books from the general public.

I went to search for the first book in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series, ‘A Kiss of Shadows’, but I couldn’t locate it. I still managed to walk away with (just!) two books, because…books! Believe me, I wanted to leave witb sooo much more, but I do have a budget to maintain!

Here are the books I picked up at Half Price Books:

Little Bee’ by Chris Cleave

When ‘Little Bee’ first came out, I went to hear Chris Cleave speak at the Union Square Barnes & Noble. It was such a fun talk, but I haven’t gotten around to purchase his novel until now!

What Happened to Interracial Love’ Stories by Kathleen Collins

This book holds sixteen thought-provoking short stories that involves the social dynamic of race, class and sexuality in everyday life.

New Releases for Sept 2019

I get so enthused for the start of the fall season, and seeking new books to add to my collection makes things extra special! I have a few selections listed for this month.

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria (V.E.) Schwab

Adventures in Paris unfold in this next installment of Cassidy Blake’s life, as she navigates the Veil with her ghostly best friend Jacob! (Released Sept. 3rd)

‘The Institute’ by Stephen King

A group of children gifted with telekinesis are held captive at a facility, by people whose motives are dangerously unclear. It definitely sounds like a ‘good-vs-evil’ scenario in the making! (Release date: Sept 10)

‘The Testaments’ by Margaret Atwood

This anticipated sequel takes place 15 years after the events told in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. Whether you’re a fan of the books or the Hulu adaptation, it’s sure to be a definite page-turner! (Release date: Sept 10)

‘Red At the Bone’ by Jacqueline Woodson

An unplanned pregnancy intertwines the fate of two families, as Jacqueline Woodson tells a powerful story of multi-generational legacy in Brooklyn. (Release date: Sept 17)

‘The Dutch House’ by Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett expresses the power of sibling bonds in the face of family complications. (Release date: Sept 24)

‘A Dream So Dark’ by L.L. McKinney

‘A Dream So Dark’ is the highly anticipated sequel to ‘A Blade So Black’, which follows Alice traversing through the Nightmare-verse of Wonderland, while making it home in time for curfew! (Release date: Sept. 24)

The Autumn Tag

Yes, with the passing of Labor Day weekend, it means that Summer is officially winding down. While we say ‘bye-bye’ to long, humid days, it’s
‘Hello’ to colorful leaves, long boots, and Halloween, and I’m perfectly fine with that! I’m doing The Autumn Tag as part of welcoming cooler days and spooky themes! This tag is featured on Jenniely‘s page, and I couldn’t wait to complete it!

1) Hot Chocolate: What is your comfort book?

‘The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Z Brewer. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this first book in a series about a teenage vampire trying to navigate the social dramas of high school while fighting off supernatural forces. I have the last installment in my Kindle, ready to read!

2) Pumpkin Carving: What is your creative outlet?


Along with reading, I find writing to be such a creative outlet! My love for writing began with poetry during college, and continued over the years with fiction writing.
I also have a deep-seeded love for crochet! I’ve been crocheting scarves and amigurumi since my grad school years, yet it’s been temporarily sidelined due to a wrist injury last year. I’ve been itching to pick up the hooks once again, I adore it so much!

3) Falling Leaves: Changes that appear bad but you secretly love?

I would have to say the changing weather! While many don’t look forward to the cooling breezes, I love that the humidity is finally fading! It makes managing my wavy hair so much easier!

4) Pumpkin Spiced Latte: Something you love but others tend to judge?


I’m a devout lover of Snoopy and Peanuts characters! I have a little Snoopy figure from Hallmark that I take pictures of regularly. People aren’t so thrilled by that, but who cares lol

5) Bonfire Night: What makes you explode with joy?
I love the holidays linked with Autumn (Halloween and Thanksgiving) since it’s a time celebrating with friends and family. it builds up to the exciting Winter holiday season!

6) Friday Night: Favorite Scary Book or Film?

I would need to refer to my Stephen King memories for this question!
For movies, I enjoyed Pet Sematary (I saw the original book adaptation, not the more recent one) It was the first movie I watched that legit scared me so much that I had trouble sleeping!
For books, my favorite scary story was a group of them: Night Shift. A rather excellent compilation of frightful tales!

7) Halloween Candy: Favorite thing to eat?
I love to eat fruits and yogurt. I especially love the key lime flavored yogurts. And peanut butter/chocolate combinations!

8) Scarves: Your Autumn must have accessory?
During Autumn, I can never be without my long boots and cardigans!

9) Fire: A Book or Film that Burns Your Soul


I love ‘The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane’ by Lisa See. She writes such beautiful historical fiction based around China and Southern California, heavily centered around mother/daughter relationships.

10) Toffee Apples: A Book or Film that seems one thing but really has a different inside

One movie that stands out is Bridesmaids, with Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph). It was hilarious, but had a lot of heart!