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Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  24 reviews
In this “entertaining story of female friendship and empowerment”, practical Shelby Stewart and ambitious Astrid Ericcson just want to start their careers in Boston’s PR world and maybe find a nice guy to hang out with. But long-buried memories of a childhood incident keep interrupting Shelby’s plans, affecting her health one way after another. And when will she actually d ...more
Kindle Edition, 281 pages
Published September 27th 2019 by TouchPoint Press
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Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades tells a story in alternating viewpoints of the harassment that women face daily, on the street, at work, anywhere public really. It ranges from heartbreaking to infuriating and all the feelings in between.

Shelby and Astrid are both working in PR which was a tougher world in the '80s when the book takes place and there weren't a lot of women in their profession. Shelby has been carrying a secret from childhood, one that she has tried for so long to keep buried. But o
Eileen O'Finlan
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stevens has written a timely book for the #MeToo age. In Horseshoes and Hand Grenades we meet Shelby and Astrid, two young women just getting started in their professional careers. They are smart and capable and want to give their employers the best they have to offer. But for Astrid, a superior wants more than her professional talents and has no qualms about trying to force himself on her. He's a man with power in his professional milieu, so he can do and get what he wants, right? Though he is ...more
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
trigger warnings: rape, sexual assualt, sexual harassment, coercion for sex, sexism, misogyny, PTSD (within characters), alcoholism, sexist slurs.

This novel is a dual perspective narration, from Shelby and Astrid, our main protagonists within the context of the 1980s. We meet these two characters when they are both working in public relations, in a corporate workplace setting which is conveyed in a very realistic and authentic manner – especially in terms of the contextual forms of misogyny and
Lel Budge
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in the 1980’s, this is a tale of abuse, including child abuse and sexual harassment in the workplace, on the streets and in women’s daily lives.

Told from the perspective of two women, Shelby and Astrid, as these two become friends and who have more in common than they think.

This deals with the trauma of abuse and how it affects lives daily and for many years after the event, affecting relationships and interactions with others.

I found this to be a beautifully written tale of a difficult and
Firstly, how beautiful is this cover 😍😍absolutely mesmerising!

I enjoyed following the two main characters, Shelby and Astrid with their growth, relationships and respective journeys🌱

If i'm honest the book didn't grab me as much as I had expected it too and I did at times struggle to pick it back up. It was however, still an enjoyable read! 📚

It touches of sexual abuse/harassment and other similar themes which are extremely topical following the #metoo movement. The writing dealt with these themes
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades by S.M. Stevens is a look at the effects of sexual harassment in the workplace during the 1980s and how women were stuck with few options — tough it out or move to another company. It also examines the lasting effects of sexual molestation and abuse that occurs too often in the home — forever shaping the worldview of the children it directly impacts. Stevens is a talented storyteller and the book is a page-turner.

Read the full review:
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you so much to the author, S. M. Stevens, for a free e-copy for review (all opinions expressed are my own). I feel I must also mention that I have never in my life been harassed, sexually or otherwise, so I cannot comment on the value this novel might have for victims, but I can say that it is eye opening and gave me insight into the minds and lives of those who have been harassed and abused, so I absolutely believe this is one novel that should be read by victims and non-victims alike, es ...more
Jun 30, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a book about friendships, abuse and fear...
I normally wouldn't read something with so many trigger points, however there's a lot more to this book than that. It teaches us about the power of having and making friends.
It's not an easy book to read, set in the 80's when it seems the world was a different place... Starting with a new job and a rather snobby colleague, these two women become allies as they fight their corner in a world dominated by men, the abuse is obvious now but at the ti
Mariah Embry
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades tells the story of overcoming abuse, friendship, and understanding. This story represents a lot to me as a woman. Dealing with sexual abuse is always hard, especially when reading about it. However, Stevens does a great job of diving into the trauma of these characters and helping them overcome said traumas and stand up for themselves. The friendship between these women is also beautiful to see and something that is essential. Overall, I truly enjoyed the book.
May 26, 2020 rated it liked it
This isn’t a book I would usually pick up for myself, however lockdown has had me trying new things and I found myself drawn to this book. The book had me in tears at points, due to the sexual abuse, set in the 80s where it wasn’t the “norm” for strong women to be voicing their opinions and working their way up the career ladder without a man. I found it to be very well written, and a great inside to what life was like, we are very lucky that things are kore equal right now.
Jacqueline  sharp
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Before I start my review on this book, I would just like to give a trigger warning as it does cover sexual harassment in the work place and incest. At times some of this was difficult for me to read not for the two reasons mentioned but another aspect of sexual

This is definitely a book written for the times we are currently living with the #Metoo age. The story is set in the 1980’s, it covers the types of harassment that women face, whether its on the street with a wolf whistle, or somet
Jun 19, 2020 rated it liked it
A well written book on a tough subject. It brought back a lot of memories from that era and the things that happened - very thought provoking and a must read.
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Received this as a free book from Voracious Readers Only - it was a good choice! It's about friends & friendships - how they can help you through things that should never happen to girls or women!! I enjoyed how the author wrote the story through two viewpoints!! ...more
Julie Morris
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book, to be honest. I tend to approach books that purport to have a message with a certain amount of trepidation, as they can often be a little preachy and earnest, which is not something I particularly enjoy in my fiction. However, I have to say that this book really took me by surprise, being thought-provoking and entertaining at the same time, and reaching the perfect balance of both.

This book follows the lives of two young women, Shelby and Astri
Samuel Yaw
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book and its story are well-done: its storyline is decent and fitting for its 1980s setting, its writing helps the reader feel as how the protagonists felt and sensed, and it describes how psychiatrists help people who were abused.

I received an advanced review copy for free, and I made this review voluntarily based on its quality.
Michelle  Brown
Aug 22, 2020 rated it liked it
This was an interesting book and that I had mixed feelings about.

I always enjoy the multi POV when reading. Shelby and Astrid were so different from the start and I found it interesting how they became friends considering Astrid initial thoughts and behaviour towards Shelby.

Shelby was, for the most part, just a lost soul, and my heart went out to her in the beginning. My view changed a bit by her decisions and behaviour throughout the story. It was good to see her grow especially when she made
Happy Booker
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Horseshoes and hand grenades is a story about two women who happen to experience abuse. Astrid happens to experience this from work and is severely affected by it. For Shelby things are different. She is scarred from a very young age. This matter influences her in so many ways. Her relationships are most often disrupted, her behavior is not stable, and she often feels sad.

The story takes an interesting turn when both women meet Tina and bond with each other through this matter. Each has their ow
Reads A-Lot
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelby was just re-entering the dating scene and starting a new job. Astrid was a co-worker of Shelby’s. Right away, there seems to be some work tension between them. But can you blame them? Women are competition, after all.

Story starts off fairly slow as the girls navigate through the business structure of their industry, but it soon gravitates to the taboo side. For instance, Astrid has had a crush on her boss for a while, so she doesn’t seem to mind when he flirts with her or occasionally br
Pamela J
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Horseshoes and hand grenades is quite a compelling story. Watching these two young talented women, Shelby and Astrid, as they try to make their way in this world with their Careers, relationships and home life isn’t an easy task.
While demons in Shelby’s past keep popping up to stir up memories full of pain. For Shelby secretly wonders how will she get over the child-abuse and the fear that no one would believe her?
For Astrid, How do you face your current abuser and still come out whole? It is
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! The story will resonate with anyone who has experienced sexual abuse or harassment, which is pretty much most women today. The story drew me in from powerful page one. The story twists and turns as you follow the characters as they bond through the secrets of the past, to the challenges women face in the workplace.

The story is told through the alternating points of view of the main characters Shelby and Astrid. They are just starting their careers. Two seemingly very
I.J. Miller
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
HORSESHOES AND HAND GRENADES is a journey for everyone. Sexual abuse, workplace sexual harassment has come more to the forefront than when this 80's saga takes place, but it is still a subject that needs more scrutiny and understanding. So read this book. A window into how awful it feels even to be touched inappropriately (or worse), especially when its design is to make one person powerful and the other powerless. Yet there is always Shelby and Astrid take you through the tangled web ...more
Maureen Maliha
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
S.M Stevens’ beautifully articulated Horseshoes and Hand Grenades holds a mirror between the reader and the women it portrays. It is that relatable. You cannot look away-nor should you.

Stevens’ work stands solidly as a plainspoken depiction of women who travel a road far too many have shared. Her words are determined, yet lovingly drawn. A less capable writer may have needlessly substituted talking around an event rather than speaking her character’s truths and experiences in a straightforward m
Richard J.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fine and sensitive treatment of a difficult subject in a fictional way that touches and teaches. A heartfelt book and well executed.
Joseph Carrabis
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Okay, let me put all my cards on the table; I have a history with the issues (trauma) covered in this book; I've studied it, lectured on it, and contributed to the literature on it back in the day. I'm sensitive to how such issues are portrayed and have dealt with such issues in my own writing.
All that noted, Stevens' Horseshoes and Hand Grenades is a remarkable read and a tour-de-force for all readers. It's an especially powerful read for anyone dealing with such issues on a personal level. She
Amy Atwood
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S.M. Stevens is author of the #MeToo novel Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, nov available from TouchPoint Press.

A lifelong business writer who dabbled in creative writing on the side, Stevens found her opportunity to write fiction in earnest when she broke her pelvis in three places in a horseback riding fall. On crutches for three months and unable to commute to work, cook, clean or shuttle kids to

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