Review: Phases of a Broken Sky

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Written by Christina Barr

Purchase your copy here.

5/5

Phases of a Broken Sky is an excellent read.

The novel tells the story of Jesse Holloway a young lady trying to break free from her over protective parents by starting her college years miles away from where she lives. At the start of her road trip she meets a stranger who changes her life forever.

Miss Barr’s writing continues to be superb and her characters fleshed out, flawed, complex individuals. The pacing of the story wasn’t slow or forced, nothing felt rushed and the plotting was well paced. I really enjoyed Jesse’s journey and the ending of the book reveals that her story is just beginning. The ending was really good and had me asking questions and wanting more. I look forward to reading the sequel.

Overall, Phases of a Broken Sky is a great addition to the paranormal genre.

Review: Dark Mists 2: Kurotobi Skies

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Writer: Annika Eade
Artist: Babisu Kourtis
Format: 132 pages Full Colour

Review:

Dark Mists: Kurotobi Skies is an epic tale that concludes the story of the leading Geisha Kimi and her Geisha sisters.

At the book begins with Kimi’s disappearance after the murder of her lover and her sisters’ struggling financially. The murder of Kimi’s lover also pays the way for corrupt government official Osamu to infiltrate the government with his Yakuza army and take control over the Gion the Geisha district.

With Kimi missing and most likely dead, her Geisha sisters try to move on an overcome their grief while they welcome a new Geisha Akane who’s true motivations will have dire consequences for Kimi’s sisters and the Gion. Meanwhile, Kimi lives after surviving a suicide attempt, but her memory and eye sight are not intact. Months pass and she regains both and a new resolve to return home and defend her sisters, the Gion, and save the government.

Having not read the first book, I had no trouble understanding what had previously taken place as I read. The story’s pacing is well paced and intriguing, and I didn’t want to stop reading till I got to the end. Writer Annika Eade scripted a great story that features complex characters. I also loved artist Babisu Kourtis’ beautiful and poignant artwork. The coloring of the illustrations fits the story’s tone extremely well.

Overall Dark Mists: Kurotobi Skies is an excellent story that readers will enjoy and want to read again.

5/5

Purchase your copy here. 

2015 My Year In Books

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Happy New Year! 2016 is officially here and that means new year resolutions. While I’m still thinking about what if any more resolutions I’ll make, I do have one that I’ve been doing every year since 2013 that I’ll share with all of you.

Every year I make a resolution of reading a certain number of books for the year.  To help me monitor and stay on track, I use Goodreads. They have a yearly reading challenge for folks to use and since 2013 I’ve been using it with great results. Last year I wanted to read at least  60 books for the year. I’m happy to say that I surpassed that goal and read 89 books!

You can take a look back at my year in books for 2015 here.  The books I read were diverse in that some were poetry, others were comics and graphic novels, while still other books were novels.  As for this year, I’m hoping to read at least 80 books for 2016.  I’m already in the midst of reading two books so I’ve started off right.

What are your reading goals for this year?

Book Review: Almost Alive

22349283Let me just start by saying that I love the cover of the book. Miss Barr does an excellent job of creating covers for her stories and this cover definitely gets the attention of a would-be reader.

Almost Alive is a supernatural tale of epic proportions. Its theme of good vs. evil reminds me a little bit of the CW’s Supernatural and Buffy, but instead of vampires there are demons attached to the souls of humans, and witches. The novel’s protagonist Michelle is a person who survived a suicide attempt and has returned to the land of the living with no actual purpose in life.

Her parents are living a double life and she’s lost her friends and boyfriend. Michelle is truly alone, until she meets a young man named Julian at her new school. In meeting him, Michelle discovers that she has a demon attached to her soul and the rest of the book is about her struggling to deliver her soul from evil and finding a reason to live.

The Christian themes of good and evil, sin and temptation, demons, and prayer are heavily featured throughout the story and are at times delivered right on the nose. Some readers may find the exposition of them to be somewhat preachy. There’s also a bit of slut-shaming-in my opinion-in the early part of the story.

However the pacing of the story is well balanced and doesn’t stray from beginning to end. Readers will enjoy the character’s growth and development as they’ll sympathize and understand each of the characters’ motivations. The ending of the book is only the beginning of Michelle’s and Julian’s journey. I could see this book being a TV show and I think readers will definitely enjoy it.

Over all Almost Alive delivers and is a great addition to the paranormal, urban, horror, and supernatural genres.

4/5

My Work In Comics

Happy Friday! I hope you had a good week and I hope that you’ll have a good weekend. Aside from poetry, I also like to write comic book scripts. It can be a very daunting process and I’m learning as What follows is a short list of comic book stories that I’ve written that have been published:

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Womanthology: Heroic

My first comic book story (ever) was published in this anthology. It’s titled “Defect: Light to Combat the Darkness.” The story was illustrated by Kelly Turnbull and colored by Dawn Best.  A page of the script was featured in the Womanthology: Heroic Sketchbook.’

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Womanthology: Holiday PDF

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My second story was a one page Hanukkah story titled “Don’t Let the Light Go Out.” It was illustrated by Brenda Kirk.

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Womanthology: Valentines Day Special

A one page story written in honor of my late grandma, it’s titled “June” and was also illustrated by Brenda Kirk.

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Grayhaven Comics The Gathering Crime Anthology

I wrote a four page story titled “Tzedek: The Lost Ones.” It was illustrated by Leigh Walls.

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Grayhaven Comics The Gathering All Women 2 Anthology

Wrote a four page story titled “Willehmina King of Thieves: Never A Dull Moment.”  It was illustrated by Taty Silva and lettered by Erica J. Helfin.

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Grayhaven Comics The Gathering Time Travel Anthology

My most recent story titled “The Musical Mechanism” was published in this anthology.

I hope to continue writing and publishing stories for readers to enjoy.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Book Review: The Holy Dark by Kyoko M.

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Kyoko M.’s The Black Parade series concludes with the final novel The Holy Dark. At the end of She Who Fights Monsters, our heroine Jordan Amador had almost brought on the apocalypse, was a fugitive on the run (which was brought to an end by the president’s pardon), she had lost her best friend’s trust, and she’s estranged from husband, the archangel and commander of the Lord’s army Michael O’Brien.

When The Holy Dark begins, Jordan is continuing her mission of finding the remainder of the Judas coins while trying to keep one step ahead of the archdemons Moloch and Belial who want her dead. Can Jordan salvage her relationships? Can she stop the archdemons’ plan for world domination? As you read, you’re gonna go on one hell of a ride to find out.

At the beginning, the pacing is a little slow but after a few chapters, the story picks up and never slows down until you reach the end. Just when you thought you’ve learned all you could about the characters there’s more that has yet to be revealed. The characters themselves continue their personal journeys and learn that they can’t go through life carrying their burdens alone, that they work better as a team.

Reading the book one theme is constantly present throughout. The word ‘ohana’ comes to mind to describe it-you know the word from the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch. In Hawaiian, ‘ohana’ means family and family means no one gets left behind. That theme is prominent in the story.

Overall I loved this book.

I’ve enjoyed watching these characters grow and come into their own from start to finish. I’ve enjoyed the pop references, humor, romance, sex, sadness, and anger that is depicted in each book. With the lack of creativity and diversity being discussed in the publishing, TV and Film industries, Kyoko M.’s The Black Parade series brings something new to the table. I hope to see the series brought to life on the big screen.

I want to thank Kyoko for sharing her talents with us and bringing readers this series. I look forward to reading more of her work.

5/5

Purchase here.

Take The Road Less Traveled: My Picks for Summer Reading 2015

It’s summer time and that means it’s time for summer reading! Whether it’s assigned or by individual choice, here are fifteen book suggestions from yours truly.

1. The Martian

This is an enjoyable sci-fi book and the movie version of the story will be out later this year.

2. The Holy Dark

I’m currently in the midst of reading this book and like it’s predecessors-it’s the final book in the The Black Parade Series from Kyoko M.-it’s good, I mean very good.

3. The Outsiders

This is one of my favorite books. The first time I read it was in 7th grade, and you’ll see it on my summer reading list more than once because I never tire of reading it.

5. Civil War: A Marvel Event

Another book that’s currently being turned into a movie for next year, I had to read it.

6. April Showers Always Brings Musical Flowers: NaPoWriMo 2015

This is my second book in my NaPoWriMo series and so I thought I feature it on here along with the following book two books for the poetry lovers out there.

7. Musings of a Blerd: A 90s girl living in a dystopian world

This is my fifth poetry book, I think it’s my favorite so far. I hope you enjoy it.

8. Will I Think of You?

I recently learned that the late Leonard Nimoy also was a poet and so I had to read a few of his books. Out of the ones I read this one is my favorite.

9. The Color of God’s Eyes

Another book I’m currently reading, this is by indie author Christina Barr.  This is the third book I’ve read of hers and I’m definitely a fan of her work.

10. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

If you need a laugh or just need to relate, or both, the semi-autobiography by Issa Rae aka Awarkward Black Girl is for you.

11. Trigun Vol. 1

It’s one of my favorite anime, so I had to read the manga and it didn’t disappoint.

12. Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return

I read the first volume of this autobiography graphic novel and I needed to read this one, definitely an eye opener.

13. Storm Volume One: Make It Rain & Storm Volume Two: Bring the Thunder

Okay if you haven’t been reading Storm’s solo book what is wrong with you?! Next month issue 12-the final issue in the series that Greg Pak wanted to tell will arrive so get caught up with these two volumes.

14. How To Write Short: Word Craft For Fast Times

This one is for all of the writers out there. It was very informative and there are writing exercises for you to try in each chapter.

15. Trumpet of Conscience

With everything that has been going on around the world but specifically in this country, I needed to read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lot’s of folks have been speaking his words without truly understanding them-particularly those who have issues with the many protests against police brutality.

And that’s my list for this year. If you have summer reading picks please leave them in the comments! Be sure to look out for book reviews for the books I’m currently reading. Happy reading!