When seventeen-year-old Nora White successfully graduates High School in 1922 Mississippi and is College bound, everyone is overjoyed and excited. Everyone except Nora. She dreams of Harlem, Cotton Clubs, Fancy Dresses, and Langston Hughes. For years, she’s sat under Mr. Oak, the big oak tree on the plush green grass of her families five acres, and daydreamed of The Black Mecca.
The ambitious, young Nora is fascinated by the prospect of being a famous writer in The Harlem Renaissance and decides she doesn’t want to go to College. Despite her parent’s staunch protest, Nora finds herself in Jacobsville, New York, a small town forty-five minutes outside of Harlem.
Shocked by their daughter’s disappearance, Gideon and Molly White are plagued with visions of the deadly south, like the brutal lynching of Gideon’s sister years ago. As the couple embark on a frightening and gut wrenching search for Nora, they are each stalked by their own traumatic past. Meanwhile, Nora learns that the North is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Can Gideon and Molly overcome their disturbing past in time to find their daughter before it’s too late?
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“The author really did her research, touching on the feud between Zora and Langston over a play written by both, but only Zora was given credit. The way she wove Nora into the middle of the feud was genius. It was reminiscent of Forrest Gump a bit.(That, in my world is a HUGE compliment – I love Forrest Gump)”
– Lisa W. Tetting
“When I finished reading Renaissance: The Nora White Story I actually shouted. I loved, loved this book. From beginning to end. The characters are still alive inside my mind. The setting as well. I could smell the hot soup the girls had or the rain on the hot earth. The dialogue is superb; I can still hear the soft southern accent in my mind.”
– Adele Marie Park
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I just have one more book that I am finishing and one more to start from the old list so I am gonna go ahead and open the registry again. I am looking forward to some good summer reads.
I do have a few added rules this time around. When I first implemented this registry last year, I had no idea it would take so long to get through the list. This time around I am only taking on a few reads and I’ll be a little bit picky. Not only am I making room for the book clubs I am apart of but I also totally overwhelmed myself the last time. I took on too many books in a quest to be helpful. That won’t happen this time. I have to put myself at the top of the list.
This helps you as well. A shorter reading list for me means the registry will close early but also open early.
Here’s how it works:
(1) Register your book on THIS form. Its very important that you do so. Do not email me asking me to review your book. Do not send me your book and do not send me all the books in your series at one time. Register every book you’d like me to consider through THIS form. This is important because:
a. It secures you a spot in line if I decide to read and review your book
b. It keeps this process organized for both of us. (Wait, is that kinda the same as what I already said?)
(2) Books registered through THIS form does not guarantee you a review. Again, registering your book does not automatically mean I agree to read your book. If the book looks interesting I will email you for the first Chapter of your book for consideration.
(3) After registering please wait for my email. Stalking my email won’t make this go any faster.
(4) If it looks like a book I want to read I will request your first Chapter. If you already posted your first Chapter on your blog somewhere a link to that post is good too.
(5) If your first chapter is totally enticing and I must know what happens next, I will agree to review your book. You must gift me a copy in exchange for an honest review. (No Word Documents please)
(6) Please be patient as I read the book. Constantly emailing me won’t make me read any faster.
(7) Reviews of 3-5 will be published on this blog, Amazon, and Goodreads.
Please read the form for more information on my Book Reviews. This time around I am looking forward to seeing more African American / Black Lit books submitted!
Title: When We Go Missing
Author: Kristen Twardowski
Publisher: Kristen Twardowski; 1 edition (December 16, 2016)
Publication Date: December 16, 2016
*I received this book as a gift from the author*
The moment Alex fell for Nathan Radcliffe, I knew that something wasn’t right. I imagine he saw her from a distance, watching her confused and lost, and knew she was easy prey. Whatever the reason, I knew something was slightly off kilter because she trusted him too quickly.
When We Go Missing is the debut novel of Kristen Twardowski and tells the story of one woman’s struggle to convince a psychiatric hospital that she is not crazy and that her husband is in fact, a killer. We first meet Alex on a boat. She has been kidnapped and is being taken to an undisclosed location. It is soon that Alex realizes she’s been taken to a psychiatric hospital and that the story concerning her mental well-being is in question. She is being told that her husband is a good guy who visits her every week. Her last name is even different from what she remembers.
Alex even screams in the night like the other patients and experiences delusions and paranoia. This leads her to question her own sanity and although I knew more than Alex did, from a reader’s perspective there were moments where I wondered if I knew what I thought I knew! I found myself questioning Alex’s state of mind. Was she really kidnapped? Is her husband really a killer? Or did she make this all up? What really happen to Alex Gardinier? I love books like these! They make me think.
Though Alex is the woman to which the story primarily surrounds, this is not the story of one woman but a group of women who go missing every day. This book lets the reader in on some of the things that could happen and do happen when we go missing. I couldn’t help but to imagine myself in the women’s shoes and to contemplate the importance of women knowing how to fight (includes using weapons), understanding our surroundings and getting to know the men we are with! It takes time to truly get to know someone and there are red flags that should never be ignored. We all have flaws and marriage provides a lifetime platform to work those flaws out. However, some things are beyond “normal” issues and are just weird. Don’t ignore the weird stuff.
I loved the “six degrees of separation” type feel that Kristen gave to the women involved as well and how this would all tie into the truth concerning Alex’s fate.
Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5
Entertainment Factor: 4/5
Authenticity / Believable: 5/5
Thought Provoking: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4 / 5
Be sure to follow this author online!
Do you have a reading room? I do!
Introducing Mr. Couch. This baby is more comfortable than any other piece of furniture in the house. No lie. More than my bed, more than the sofa’s up front. Everything. This baby grabs your buttocks and pulls you into the cushions. Your butt will never experience anything comfier. It then takes the rest of your body and molds itself to your shape so that you fall in. Careful or you’ll find yourself sleeping on the couch from pure bliss.
Of course, a reading room is not a reading room without books. All you need is books, a Kindle (or e-reader of your choice), a notepad and pen. On occasion you can bring your mobile to quickly look stuff up BUT I warn you, the internet will distract you! To get the most out of your reading room, leave your mobile device in the other rooms!
Ahh, yes. The window. No reading room is complete without a window. Not just any window, but one that lets in plenty of sunlight. I always sit right here on the end closer to the window. This is where you can find me reading your books! Book Reviews are born right here in the reading room. This is my place of solitude where some serious thinking goes on.
The reading room is empty. There’s nothing here but the big comfy couch, window, books, and an old desk. But, the reading room is under attack people. It appears Mr. Ysrayl is trying to turn it into a man cave!
Suddenly, military plaques appear on the walls. Now, I’m not the smartest person in the world but Mr. Ysrayl does happen to be a veteran. You may say “EC, you’re reaching a bit, come on!” That is when I will point you to Exhibit B.
Again, I’m not the smartest person in the world but…… ???? WHO does these items belong to? Look at the carpet people, the reading room can’t handle this kind of equipment!
Brothers and sisters. I think we have enough to convict Mr. Ysrayl with conspiracy to transform the reading room into a man cave. I don’t know what we’re going to do. Unless we add another book shelf to the reading room AND something pink to reestablish our domain. Man cave, you’re going down!
To be continued.
I speak a lot on this blog about the power of perspective and not being limited in thought. It occurred to me, as I was making my coffee yesterday morning and thinking about a book I needed to finish, that I thought about reading and the deeper role that literacy plays in our lives.
Perspective can be defined as:
“…a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.”
Television is not the only thing that can influence your perspective but so can books. Be careful what you’re feeding your mind. It can empower you or limit you.
The saying, “You are what you eat” is used to convey the message that we should be careful what we are putting into our bodies. A stunning new report from the World Health Organization has concluded that there is clear scientific evidence that eating pork leads to cancer and I’m not just saying this because I don’t eat pork. (Even if it is gross and bad for your health). Over-doing the snacks is also not good and can hurt the kidneys and harm weight. Just like we are what we eat, we are also what we read!
What you put into your mind has the power to change you (either for better or for worse). While I love Black History and culture, these are not the only kinds of books that I read. I also read the bible and other books that provide useful information (either for my mind, body, or spirit).
Do this and you will surely be confined to one form of thought. You can be passionate without being limited. There are books about Black History that are not written by African Americans and I don’t neglect them because of it. I don’t believe in the racial superiority of any sort whether that is White Supremacy or Black Supremacy. (I don’t even believe in white or black people. I use these terms specifically for understanding but I believe we are nations, not colors). That said, I do not shy away from networking with other nationalities of people and I do not neglect my own. I read Urban Fiction but I will also read Western Literature. I can converse with the woman on the corner and the intellectual. I’m not afraid to sit down with sinners and saints because I’m not a judge and it’s really none of my business what people think of me. That’s their problem. I will not be boxed in and I will not be limited.
Readers should not be limited to reading just Traditionally Published books because you’ve read one poorly written book and now every Self-Published book is no good (even when they are being made into movies every day). The Shack, a book I own and have used for research for many years, is now being made into a movie. It started out as a Self-Published Book and became a USA Today Best Seller. It is now being made into a movie.
As an Independent Author, it is my duty to support this community so of course I read books written by Independent Authors. If I am reading something, like a classic novel, I make sure that I also have an Indie book to read. Since I’m a book reviewer, I almost always have one on hand. I don’t just read Indie books, I actually enjoy reading them. Indie books also tend to be cheaper than Trad so there’s really no excuse. You spend more on lunch, no, coffee! Two dollars and under a month (for an eBook) is not expensive. Go the extra mile and buy the paperback (I love paperbacks, obviously). Pick an Indie Author whose books you love that are well-written and support them. Or, pick a slew of Indie Authors and purchase at least one book a month. How can you really support Indie Authors (or change the way you think of us) if you don’t read our books? How can you say all Independent books suck if you’ve never read any? Writing books is the only Independent community where we are having this conversation! Indie Music Artists, for instance, are always supported.
The door swings both ways people. Don’t neglect the Traditionally Published books and Classics either. Particularly since many of them are well-written. This next part may be sensitive for some of you but it is the truth:
Be Careful Reading Poorly Written Books
This is mainly for you writers out there. Balance is everything. I’m an Indie Author and I support Indie Authors but to disregard the elephant in the room is just naive. While I enjoy Indie books, not all Indie books are well-written.
I’m an advocate for reading period no matter how they were published and I read Indie Books as well as classics and Traditionally Published books because even if I don’t like a story, many of the classics do happen to be well-written. (Which isn’t to say Trad books are always well-written). This is important to me because if you keep reading books that are not up to par you can only begin to write just the same.
Again, I am not saying Indie books can’t compete with literary classics or traditional publishing. I am saying that there are still lots of Self-Published books that are just not well-written. To continue to read this kind of material is counterproductive. So, when reading be sure to have a balance.
I saved this for last because I know how sensitive we are about anything that we “perceive” to be religious. However, it must be brought up and goes back to the first bullet point: You are what you read.
There are lots of books that are great for research purposes and then there are books that are not worth your time. While some of you are strong enough to “chew the meat and spit out the bones” (take the information that is worthy and apply it and throw out the rest), some of you are also weak minded. By weak-minded I mean it doesn’t take much for you to be negatively influenced or adopt foreign beliefs even if they don’t make any sense.
If you know that you are easily swayed and unstable in your thoughts, you may want to stay away from certain literature that has the potential to change who you are.
Sure, I have books on the importance of watching what I eat but I am not going to become a vegetarian Goddess who condemns all meat-eaters because we should love animals. That’s what I am talking about. It’s not that serious people. How about you love the people around you.
As I say always, staying true to yourself is priority. There are some books that are not even worth your time and you have to be the one to discern that balance. People walk around like reading is just always good. It is not. Everything has a balance to it. There are books that are bad for you just like there is food that is bad for you. Make sure that as you read, you are also paying attention to yourself. Reading can influence your perspective in more ways than one.
Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the author of The Stella Trilogy and is currently working on her next book series. Renaissance: The Nora White Story Book One is due for release July 15, 2017. For updates on this project, be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.
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