**spoiler alert** (FROM JACKET)Carolyn James' life looked great-new job teaching writing at a law school, 11 year marriage to a doctor, mother of a pr...more**spoiler alert** (FROM JACKET)Carolyn James' life looked great-new job teaching writing at a law school, 11 year marriage to a doctor, mother of a preteen son and daughter, living in a McMansion in surburban Boston. But she is thrown onto the mine fields of seperation and divorce when her husband leaves her for his yoga instructor, taking most of their money, stability, and what's left of her self-esteem. Always a writer, for the next three years, Carolyn keeps a "divorce journal" to cope and rebuild. From optimism to fear, and humor to sadness, Carolyn writes about her experiences with seperation, divorce and, eventually, dating again. Come inside her journal as she turns to self-reflection, self-help books, and the grace of God to navigate the ever-exploding land mines and get herself and her children safely through to the other side.
*A book has to be an extremely pleasurable or painful read for me to make an actual review. In the case of "Land Mines" by Sheilah Vance, this read was ABSURDLY PAINFUL to read. It took 2 weeks for me to get HALFWAY through the book. By the time Carolyn had written the 4th letter to her "maybe-maybe not" boyfriend Allen (?!?) I honestly could not force myself to read a page more. Carolyn was the most pitiful fictional creature I have ever had the misfortune of being made aware of. I mean I have read books where the protagonist has been the victime of a number abuses (sexual, physical, emotional, incest, etc) and they've shown more chutzpah then this pathetic soul. May be, considering I'm a 31 year old woman with a young child who has never had to navigate life while also going through a divorce, is why I could not relate to this character. However my mother, who at one point in time found herself in a very similar situation, felt the same kind of anitpathy for this character as I did. (less)
(FROM JACKET)Nicola is beautiful, wealthy-and newly divorced. Angry and bitter with the world over her life's failures, she goes on a sexual rampage a...more(FROM JACKET)Nicola is beautiful, wealthy-and newly divorced. Angry and bitter with the world over her life's failures, she goes on a sexual rampage and destroys everything in her path. She begins to slowly move in on one unsuspecting family with her sexual charms. She starts up a hot-and-heavy relationship with Carlos, a young music executive with big dreams and an even larger sexual appetite. Then she deflowers Carlos's wholesome brother, Jonathan, an up-and-coming basketball star. She's definitely on fire, but the summer is already hot for so many other reasons.
Things get even more complicated when Carlos's mother is reunited with the love of her life. Eli is a recovering substance abuser and the father of her eldest chlild, Tarik, a talented neo-soul artist on the cusp of greatness. Thanks to Carlos's expert music management, Tarik was only seconds away from signing a major record deal-but Eli's unexpected arrival disrupts everything. Now that the family's core strength is completely weakened, Nicola can finally be her truly ruthless self.
The summer continues to sizzle for this family as Nicola's grip tightens around the men who would sacrifice everything for her.(less)
(FROM JACKET)The story begins with a bus ride from Manhattan, Kansas to a small town in Georgia in 1968. Seven-year-old Mariah Kin Santos is on a trip...more(FROM JACKET)The story begins with a bus ride from Manhattan, Kansas to a small town in Georgia in 1968. Seven-year-old Mariah Kin Santos is on a trip with her beautiful sad mama, just the two of them, as always. When they reach the porch of a tidy white house, her mother rings the doorbell, is greeted coolly by her two maiden aunts, conducts a brief, cryptic conversation with them, then flees, leaving Maria in the care of two old strangers who claim to be family. Mariah's mother, devastated by yet another failed love affair, is sliding out of control, and rather than endanger the adoration her little girl has for her, she abandons the child before the good memories go bad.
After a difficult start, Mariah and her aunts come to form a strangely harmonious threesome-soft, round Faith teaches Mariah to play the piano; strong, fierce Merleen teaches her to drive and to garden-but Mariah still dreams of her mother's glorious return and the far-off father she has never known. As a teenager nursing a nascent rebellion, she begins a flirtatious correspondence with him and before long travels to Los Angeles to confront the hero of her imagination. For his part, her father is suddenly face to face with a replica of the woman he loved passionately fourteen years earlier, and she is his daughter.
With intoxicating, gorgeous prose and images that shimmer like watercolors on the page, Shay Youngblood writes of the call of unrequited passion and the insidious pull of memory. "Soul Kiss" is infused with longing, eroticism, and haunting emotion-a stunning debut.(less)
(FROM JACKET)"These are the stories that came to me to be told after the close of a magical marriage to an extraordinary man that ended in a less-than...more(FROM JACKET)"These are the stories that came to me to be told after the close of a magical marriage to an extraordinary man that ended in a less-than-magical divorce. I found myself unmoored, unmated, ungrounded in a way that challenged everything I'd ever thought about human relationships. Situated squarely in that terrifying paradise called freedom, precipitously out on so many emotional limbs, it was as if I had been born; and in fact I was being reborn as the woman I was to become."
So says Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker about her beautiful new book, in which "one of the best American writers today" (The Washington Post) gives us superb stories based on rich truths from her own experience. Imbued with Walker's wise philosophy and understanding of people, the spirit, sex and love, The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart begins with a lyrical, autobiographical story of a marriage set in the violent and volatile Deep South during the early years of the civil rights movement. Walker goes on to imagine stories that grew out of the life following that marriage-a life, she writes, that was "marked by deep sea-changes and transitions." These provocative stories showcase Walker's hard-won knowledge of love of many kinds and of the relationships that shape of lives, as well as her infectious sense of humor and joy. Filled with wonder at the power of the life force and the capacity of human beings to move through love and loss and healing and love again, The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart is an enriching, passionate book by "a lavishly gifted writer" (The New York Times Book Review).(less)
(FROM JACKET)This is how wars are fought now: by children, traumatized, hopped-up on drugs, and wielding AK-47s. Children have become the soldiers of...more(FROM JACKET)This is how wars are fought now: by children, traumatized, hopped-up on drugs, and wielding AK-47s. Children have become the soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty violent conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them.
What does war look like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But it is rare to find a first-person account from someone who endured this hell and survived.
In "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier", Ishmael Beah, now twenty-six years old, tells a powerfully gripping story: At the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. At sixteen, he was removed from fighting by UNICEF, and through the help of the staff at his rehabilitation center, he learned how to forgive himself, to regain his humanity, and, finally, to heal.
This is an extraordinary and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.(less)
(From Jacket)"Casanegra" follows the adventures of Tennyson Hardwick, a gorgeous, sexy actor and former gigolo, living on the fringes of the good life...more(From Jacket)"Casanegra" follows the adventures of Tennyson Hardwick, a gorgeous, sexy actor and former gigolo, living on the fringes of the good life in Hollywood. This story, which chronicles the redemption of a prodigal son, combines the glamour of Hollywood with the seedy hopelessness of the inner city.
In this hot and steamy mystery, Tennyson struggles to hang on to his acting career and redeem his sex-for-pay history, which estranged him from his family-especially his father, a decorated LAPD captain who raised Tennyson to call him "sir." Now, in the wake of his father's sudden stroke, Tennyson has to save himself from taking the fall for the first murder of a female rapper. In the process, he discovers his hidden talents-the hard way.