Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review and Giveaway: How to Knock a Bravebird from Her Perch by D. Bryant Simmons

Source: D.Bryant Simmons

In this first book in The Morrow Girls series, D. Bryant Simmons sparks a dialogue about domestic violence.

In How to Knock a Bravebird from Her Perch we're introduced to Belinda who's being raised by her single-parent father in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Most folks call her Pecan, on account her Daddy loved pecan pie almost as much as he loved her. Life is good.

All is well in with their world. That is, until a handsome stranger moseys into town and takes a shine to Pecan. Dad, of course, doesn't trust Ricky Morrow as far as he could throw him. And then...(bum, bum, buuuum). Dad dies suddenly of a heart attack.

Still reeling in grief Ricky convinces Pecan that they should be married and he'll take care of her. The new family of two picks up and moves to Chicago so Ricky can be the boxing champion he dreams of being. Once in Chicago, the babies start coming and the abuse begins.

So begins Pecan's journey into the depths of her hell.

Ms. Simmons has done a brilliant job of crafting a story that will stick with you for a long time. She takes her time in describing the characters so that they are so vivid in your mind, when you look up, you expect to see them standing there. The emotion...turmoil, pain, and rage can be felt deep, deep into your soul. Pecan fiercely attempts to protect her children emotionally and psychologically from the atrocities that they witness at the hands of their father. You can feel all of that.

And now for the giveaway. The publisher has graciously provided, for one lucky winner, your choice of a physical copy or ebook. I'll keep it simple to enter, just leave a comment with your email address, and a random winner will be chosen and notified Saturday, March 8th after 2:00 pm CST. Easy peasy. Open to US residents.

Although a work of fiction, this is autobiographical for too many. The shame of the victims. The constant living in fear. Survival mode.

Some staggering statistics and factoids from The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Safe Horizon
  • Domestic Violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. 
Source: NCADV
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year
  • Children who witness violence between one's parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. Boys are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults, perpetuating the cycle of abuse to the next generation. Girls are more vulnerable to abuse as teens and adults.
  • Most domestic violence are never reported - help change the facts. Speak up, speak out, and make a difference for victims of domestic violence.
  • If you need help:
    • The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
    • The National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
    • The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline: 1-866-331-9474

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's prompt from the lovelies over at The Broke and the Bookish asks us to bare our souls and be shamed and list ten popular authors we have not read. Please don't judge me.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Angelina Jolie, Louis Zamperini interview with Tom Brokaw

It seems like only yesterday Angelina Jolie was in talks to direct the film adaptation of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. The talks, which she tells Tom Brokaw in an interview for the Today Show, included her "pitching her butt off" with a homemade poster board presentation.

Hillenbrand's book chronicles the story of 1936 Olympic distance runner Louis Zamperini's experience as a prisoner of war during WWII. While sitting next to the now 97-year-old, you can feel the love and reverence Jolie has for him.

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"The resilience of the human spirit is an extraordinary thing." ~ Angelina Jolie  Share on Twitter

The film is scheduled to hit theaters on December 25th.

I'm still wondering how well Jolie will do in her direction of this adaptation? Do you think she'll stay true to the book? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Talk to you soon,

Saturday, February 22, 2014

2014 Reading Challenges

These are the same challenges I participated in last year. They were so much fun, that I decided to do them again.

0/50 books

The goal of this challenge hosted by Book Journey is to try to read a book set in each of the 50 states of the US between January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014. Sounds fun, right?

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

0/13 books

For the Foodies Read Challenge I hope to finish at the Sous-Chef level which is 9-13 books read between January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014. A food book is a book which is centered around food and/or drinks. It can be a cookbook, a food biography or memoir, a nonfiction book focused around a specific food, wine, chef or restaurant. Also allowed is fiction in which food plays a major role.


Check out A Novel Challenge, it is the most comprehensive list of challenges available I've ever seen. And I need to send out a very heartfelt thank you to The Book Vixen for the very easy-to-follow tutorial on coding the reading challenge progress bars.

Do you have any personal reading challenges this year? I'd love to hear about them.

Happy reading,

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cozy Kindle Freebies for Valentine's Day

Vintage Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day! If you're looking for a fun time-suck, do a Google image search for vintage Valentines. Some of them are pretty darn cute.

Big plans for tonight? Me either. Here are some Kindle freebie short stories to cozy up with this evening. I'm not sure how long they're free, so make sure it still says $0.00 when you check out.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: ten debut fiction titles to look forward to in 2014

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

2014 is already serving up a bevy of titles to satiate every literary appetite. I'm currently reading The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, and am loving it. Alongside already established artists of the written word with new titles being released this year, we can also look forward to a number of breakout titles by debut authors. I, for one, could not be more excited!

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