Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Be Kind by Nada Adel Sobhi - Poem

Be Kind

 

Be kind to yourself

For you are all you have

 

Don't blame

The girl in the mirror

She's human

Entitled to making mistakes

 

Don't yell at her

Or make her cry

Don't call her names

Or shut her out

 

She wants to learn,

Wants to love

 

But treating her

– or mistreating her –

Will only push her away,

Drive her into the darkness,

Where she'll forever be

A shadow,

Fragile,

Broken,

Tainted,

Abused,

Scared,

Alone.

 

Look in the mirror

Look at her

All she needs is a friend

Not another scrutinizer,

Not another bully,

Not another enemy

 

She wants to live

And love

Just like you.

 

She is You.

 

Instead,

You want to break her

 

The result:

A broken soul

A broken mirror

A broken woman

A broken human.

 

Look into the mirror

And be kind

To the person staring back at you.

 

I don't know what this image is called but I'm 
told it's by an artist called Mihail Korubin.



x

Written Tuesday, 10 November 2020 at 01:12 am

 

Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Wolf and the Water by Josie Jaffrey – Book Review


Book: 
The Wolf and the Water

(Book 1 of the Deluge series)

Author: Josie Jaffrey

Publication date: 8 October 2020

ASIN: B08DXXPNS1

Synopsis:

Some secrets are worth killing for

The ancient city of Kepos sits in an isolated valley, cut off from the outside world by a towering wall. Behind it, the souls of the dead clamour for release. Or so the priesthood says.

Kala has never had any reason to doubt their word – until her father dies in suspicious circumstances that implicate the city's high priest. She's determined to investigate, but she has a more immediate problem: the laws of the city require her mother to remarry straight away.

Kala's new stepfather is a monster, but his son Leon is something altogether more dangerous: kind.

With her family fractured and the investigation putting her life in danger, the last thing Kala needs is romance. She would rather ignore Leon entirely, however difficult he makes it. But when she learns the truth of what really clamours behind the wall at the end of the valley, she faces a choice: share what she knows and jeopardise her escape, or abandon him to his fate along with the rest of the city.

If she doesn't move fast, then no one will make it out of the valley alive.

 

Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

The Wolf and the Water by Josie Jaffrey is the first book in the Deluge series and my first read for Jaffrey.

I originally signed up to review this book as part of a blog tour with TheWriteReads, however, I opted out of the tour because the book left me with a lot of mixed feelings.

One of the things that make The Wolf and the Water interesting is the mythology behind the setting, supposedly Greek mythology. However, it's this mythology and rules governing the characters that create lots of confusion in the novel.

I struggled at the beginning, middle, and ending. There were parts that I liked but the hierarchy of the 10 tribes and how they mingled with the 'religious' sector of their society was confusing.

The chapters in The Wolf and the Water are divided based on the names of the 10 tribes of Kepos, which makes them super long chapters to read.



I liked the main character Kala. I also loved how Jaffrey made her a character with a disability, something I've rarely seen in literature, old or contemporary.

Kala's disability followed a plague that killed many people but spared her. However, the disability makes people shun her and mistreat her. Few are kind to her about it. The society looks at her as a 'cripple' and deems it necessary that she be killed because of her disability.

The Wolf and the Water is full of political intrigue not to mention lots of injustice towards women. We even see this injustice from other women. It's probably this that negatively affects Kala's confidence, while also making her a strong character.

"They were now nothing more than commodities in a household that would only survive by the grace of her mother's remarriage."

I also liked Leon, who is Kala's stepfather's son. He is kind, funny, and not in the least deterred by Kala's disability. Kala, on the other hand, sort of mistreats him at first because she doesn't know or understand his intentions. His grandfather practically insulted her right after her father died.

The Wolf and the Water is narrated in the third person, mainly from Kala's view point; although we occasionally get others' views like Leon.

'"Is he that bad?"

Kala's impressions of Nikos had not been favourable, but she was surprised that his son would share her dislike.'

Only when I finished The Wolf and the Water did I realize that Kala's mother, though an absent character was a strong one. She made many sacrifices but wasn't really 'there' for Kala or the reader.

Kala is also a feminist and I loved her character, her thoughts, sarcasm, and in some cases, her retorts, like when she was talking to her mother about her new brute of a husband, Nikos:

"Enough? You're handing him the title of Glauks and you think you should be grateful to him?"

One of the things I struggled with in The Wolf and the Water were some of the descriptions, especially the part about the other side of the wall. I just couldn't imagine it.

Also the parts about the other world and how some people from Kepos were in cahoots about what surrounds Kepos were very confusing for me.

Overall, I found that The Wolf and the Water partially intriguing; I moved well in the first four chapters although I was at a complete loss for what was going on. But the confusion, unclear settings, and the feel of the novel just weren't enough.

I finished this book because of Kala and my curiosity. Kala didn't fail but my curiosity wasn't satiated at the end.

Overall rating for The Wolf and the Water by Josie Jaffrey: 2.5 stars.

Note: I got a free Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) of The Wolf and the Water by Josie Jaffrey in exchange for an honest review. This did not in any way impact my review.

 


Thursday, October 29, 2020

What We Bury by Carolyn Arnold - Book Review

Book: What We Bury 

(Book 10 in the Detective Madison Knight Mystery series)

Author: Carolyn Arnold

Genres: Hard-Boiled, Mystery, Detective, Police Procedural

Publication date: Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Publisher: Hibbert & Stiles

ASIN: B08DH9X9PK ISBN; 9781989706404


What We Bury by Carolyn Arnold is the 10th installment in the Detective Madison Knight Mystery series and my first read in the series.

And what do I think of it?

LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK AND SERIES!

My first read but certainly not my last!

But let me start from the beginning. Madison Knight is a detective with the Stiles PD, who gets a call from her real estate agent on a Saturday morning because…dead body!

Madison heads over there, calls her partner, the lab techs, and the team to begin investigating.

A woman is found murdered in the basement of an elderly couple, who were going to sell their home. Not only does the dead body have no identification, Madison discovers the letters GB written in blood.

"What I'm struggling with is why Doe went to their shed. And did she know it was sitting unlocked or just strike it lucky that way?"

As Madison begins searching for the identity of the murdered woman and the killer, she finds herself and her team in a web of lies, deceit, and false names and identities.

There's literally lots buried in What We Bury. But you'll have to discover that for yourself.

In addition to the mystery, Madison is embroiled in a side investigation into the Russian Mafia in Stiles. We learn that, in the previous book they had kidnapped Madison's sister and threatened her personally.

This personal investigation weighs heavily on Madison's personal life and her relationship with SWAT Leader Troy Matthews becomes tense but Madison keeps avoiding confrontation.  

One of the things I liked about Madison is her humanity, how she feels about murder victims:

"Jane Doe, yep." She hated to think of the murdered as "victims," detesting the assignment of label to the once-living individual, loved by people.

What We Bury reads like a super-fast-paced CSI novel. I loved it and finished it in almost 3 sittings.

Add caption

It's interesting how Madison's strength is also her weakness. Her "vow to protect and serve the city of Stiles meant something to her down to her marrow."

This desire and mission to "protect and serve" hurts Madison personally, in terms of her health and strains her relationship with her boyfriend.

Madison is also an obsessive character, whether in regards to the mystery at hand, the side investigation, or her curiosity why her boyfriend Troy hasn't proposed to her.

The latter makes Madison annoying and a bit childish sometimes, but very realistic.

I like how the title What We Bury reflects both the ongoing investigation and Madison's secrets and what's being "buried" and hidden throughout. Novel title puns are common with Carolyn Arnold's books and mysteries and I love them every time!

"As she was pulling away from the house, [Madison] thought about how unpredictable life could be. Alive one minute, gone the next. She doubted anyone woke up thinking, 'Today's the day I die.' Plans were always on the horizon, as if people preferred to play in a world without acknowledging death. It wasn't until it slapped them in the face that people were reminded of their mortality. Otherwise, most harbored fantasies of beating or outsmarting the Grim Reaper. But poor Chantelle Carson had failed, and Madison doubted she ever would have envisioned herself stabbed and bleeding out in a shed."

Having read several books and series by Carolyn Arnold, I'd love to see Madison Knight and Brandon Fisher in one book. It would be epic!

Overall rating for What We Bury by Carolyn Arnold: 5 Stars.

Note: I got a free Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) of What We Bury from the publisher Hibbert and Stiles in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my review in any way.

Add What We Bury on Goodreads.

More books by Carolyn Arnold, read and reviewed on Nadaness In Motion:

FBI series, psychological thriller:

On the Count of Three

Past Deeds

 

Historical fiction and adventure:

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh, Book 2 in The Matthew Connor Series

The Legend of Gasparilla & His Treasure, Book 3 in The Matthew Connor Series

Cozy mysteries:

Coffee Is Murder

Halloween Is Murder

Exercise Is Murder

Money Is Murder

 


Sunday, October 25, 2020

The Corpse with the Crystal Skull by Cathy Ace – Book Review

A new book is out in the Cait Morgan Mysteries series by Cathy Ace. I've read 3 out of 8 books in the series, so this is the fourth for me and the ninth in the series.


Book: The Corpse with the Crystal Skull

(Book 9 in the Cait Morgan series)

Author: Cathy Ace

Publication date: 29 June 2020

Publisher: Four Tails Publishing Ltd

Number of pages: 340 pages

ISBN-13: 9781999223069

 

Synopsis:

Welsh Canadian globetrotting sleuth, and professor of criminal psychology, Cait Morgan, is supposed to be “celebrating” her fiftieth birthday in Jamaica with her ex-cop husband Bud Anderson.

But when the body of the luxury estate’s owner is discovered locked inside an inaccessible tower, Cait and her fellow guests must work out who might have killed him – even if his murder seems impossible.

Could the death of the man who hosted parties in the 1960s attended by Ian Fleming and Noël Coward be somehow linked to treasure the legendary Captain Henry Morgan might have buried at the estate? 

Or to the mission Bud and his secret service colleagues have been sent to the island to undertake?




Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

I'm super excited to read another of Cathy Ace's books in the Cait Morgan Mystery series.

This time Ace brings The Corpse with the Crystal Skull, where Cait Morgan and her husband Bud Anderson travel to Jamaica along with 4 of their friends.

It's been a while since I'd read for Ace and this book references some of the events that happened in the previous one, namely The Corpse with the Ruby Lips (which I read in 2016!). I don't remember the events of the last book so I felt a bit disconnected at the beginning.

However, once the mystery began, I was immersed in the book.

The Corpse with the Crystal Skull opens with the three couples in a luxury estate in Jamaica. Cait knows everyone except Charlotte Fortescue "Lottie", who accompanies Bud's friend John.

The trip to Jamaica was meant to be getaway for Cait and Bud for a month. "Then Bud somehow managed to invite Jack and Sheila to join us for a fortnight then he'd also gone and asked John and his 'plus one' to come along for the final week."

During their stay, their host, and estate owner, Freddie Burkinshaw seemingly dies. However, the circumstances surrounding his death seem off to Cait who begins to investigate.


There's something odd about the way Freddie supposedly drops dead. He's shot in the heart in a room locked from the inside within a tower. On his desk rests a crystal skull, the only key to the room is found in Freddie's pocket along with a gun on the floor.

Sounds like a suicide, right?

That's what the police think. But Cait and Bud aren't buying it.

"The crystal skull. That was [Freddie's] most prized possession."

Unbeknownst to Cait, Bud and the other two men are on a secret mission to uncover a historical artefact and destroy it. Cait finally weeds out this information from Bud and joins him in his quest.

As The Corpse with the Crystal Skull progresses, Cait discovers that there were many issues between their friendly host Freddie and other business owners on the island. Chief among them is their nearest neighbor Nina Mazzo.

"Knowing what I do now about the men's mission, their expressions make sense. Sheila's doesn't. I recall that when Amelia broke the news of Freddie's death, Sheila seemed annoyed, not shocked. "Damn it!" she had said. That doesn't seem right."

Also, their friend Sheila seems to be acting strangely in some situations.

There are lots of deceptions in The Corpse with the Crystal Skull from many parties, the good and the bad. This offered tons of suspense and intrigue but also some confusion. Especially when characters like Bud have to talk in code or in indirect messages.

Image via Trip Advisor

As Cait and the group delve deeper into Freddie's life and into the secret operation undertaken by Bud, John, and Jack, secrets emerge about Freddie, who it seems had made many enemies over the years.

"Freddie had a reputation for being able to get things for people. Unusual things. Probably some illegal things. Freddie built a network of contacts and used that to build a network of 'customers.'"

It seemed that many people wanted Freddie dead for different reasons.

One of the things I liked about The Corpse with the Crystal Skull is the references to books and movies, especially Ian Fleming and James Bond. While I watched some of the movies, I've never read any of the books. Maybe I should reconsider?

I enjoy the way Cait and Bud interact with each other, calling each other husband and wife, respectively.

I also loved the conclusion, which sees Cait Morgan ala Agatha Christie, bringing everyone together and slowly making the killer emerge.

Overall rating for The Corpse with the Crystal Skull: 4.5 stars

"Freddie was shot, that's for sure. Straight through the heart. But that's not what's really interesting. What's really interesting is that he'd also been poisoned."

 

Note: I received a free copy of The Corpse with the Crystal Skull by Cathy Ace from Lori Caswell of Lori Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my review in anyway.

 

Check out Nadaness In Motion's book reviews of other books in the Cait Morgan mystery series:

The Corpse with the Diamond Hand

The Corpse with the Garnet Face

The Corpse with the Ruby Lips

Add The Corpse with the Crystal Skull on Goodreads.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

On Borrowed Crime by Kate Young – Book Review & Blog Tour

Today, I've got a new book review for yet another cozy mystery by an author whose main character I absolutely loved!

This post is part of a blog tour, so don't forget to check out the giveaway at the end of this post. 


Book: On Borrowed Crime

Book 1 in the A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery series
Author: Kate Young

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: 6 October 2020
ISBN-10: 1643854623
ISBN-13: 978-1643854625
Digital ASIN: B083RZ3ZRR


Synopsis:

A shoe-in read for fans of Ellery Adams and Kate Carlisle, On Borrowed Crime is the first in Kate Young's new Georgia-set, sweet tea filled, Jane Doe Book Club mysteries.

The Jane Doe book club enjoys guessing whodunit, but when murder happens in their midst, they discover solving crimes isn't fun and games...

Lyla Moody loves her sleepy little town of Sweet Mountain, Georgia. She likes her job as receptionist for her uncle's private investigative firm, her fellow true crime obsessed Jane Doe members are the friends she's always wanted, and her parents just celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

But recently, with her best friend Melanie on vacation, and her ex-boyfriend and horrible cousin becoming an item and moving in next door to her, her idyllic life is on the fritz. The cherry on top of it all is finding Carol, a member of the club, dead and shoved into a suitcase, left at Lyla's front door.

Unusual circumstances notwithstanding, with Carol's heart condition, the coroner rules Carol's death undetermined. But when they discover the suitcase belongs to Melanie, who had returned from her vacation the following morning, Sweet Mountain police begin to suspect Lyla's best friend.

Determined that police are following the wrong trail, to clear her friend's name, and to not allow Carol become one of the club's studied cold cases, Lyla begins to seek out the real killer. That is, until she becomes the one sought after. Now, finding the truth could turn her into the killer's next plot twist, unless she wins the game of cat and mouse.

 


Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

"Who could do such a horrible thing to Carol? Why? And what was even a more terrifying question, why would they deliver her to me?"

Wow! WOW AND WOW! I loved On Borrowed Crime!

But first let me introduce you to the story. On Borrowed Crime is my first read for author Kate Young, and definitely not my last!

The book opens with Lyla Moody's car breaking down on her way to work. But for a split second, she sees fellow book club member Carol Timms driving quickly in a car, crying, and accompanied by someone who's hiding their face!

Shortly after, Lyla learns that Carol has been abducted. Only to return home and discover her friend's remains crumpled in a travel bag that was delivered to her home (a bag she assumed was her best friend's that had been misplaced by the airline).

Lyla also discovers that her friend Carol had sent an email to their book club group about an unsolved mystery she'd been exploring.

This case of a Jane Doe makes things more complicated for the book club group and for Lyla who wants to solve the case of her friend's disappearance and murder.

"I'm not accusing you or Lyla of anything. I'm simply stressing caution. And for us to stay out of the realm of fantasy. This isn't a novel, and Carol isn't just any victim."

Lyla also needs to clear her best friend Melanie's name. As Lyla delves deeper into Carol Timm's life, she uncovers many dark secrets, not just about Carol but about others in their community.

Despite the gruesomeness of the murder and the cases the Jane Doe Book Club is dragged into, we see Lyla's sarcastic side and her family life.

I 100% related to Lyla and her struggle with her mother about getting married and having children. It's a common theme in novels, but it was handled very well here and I could especially relate to Lyla's mother's beliefs as an Egyptian and Middle Eastern.

It was very realistic but also offered lots of humor to break away from the murder and investigation.

"Digging into these types of cases shines a great big spotlight on the one holding the shovel. Those responsible won't like it."

One of the reasons I loved On Borrowed Crime was the fact that it read more like a thriller than a cozy mystery. I wasn't expecting that but the story had a bit of a darker turn and feel to it.

It also feels super great when you guess who the killer is – even if it's for the wrong reasons.

I loved the relationships between the characters in On Borrowed Crime. Lyla has her best friend Melanie, along with paternal grandmother (called Gran) who is also her bestie in a way and who contributes to solving the mystery.

I also loved the idea of a mystery book club, something Lyla's mother constantly described as a "morbid obsession."

It reminded me of another cozy mystery I'd read featuring a book club group that solved a crime; it was The Book Club Murders by Leslie Nagel.

"In most cases, victims know and trust their killers. I wonder if it's someone we know."

Overall, I loved On Borrowed Crime and Kate Young's writing and plotting. I can't wait to read the next books in this series.

Overall rating for On Borrowed Crime by Kate Young: 5 stars.

 

Note: I got a free copy of On Borrowed Crime by Kate Young via Lori Great Escapes Blog tours. This did not affect my review in anyway.


About the Author:

Kate Young writes southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzus. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.

Connect with Kate Young via her Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.


Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo - IndieBound 

 

Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep up with the rest of the blog tour featuring spotlights, book reviews, author interviews, and more

5 October – I'm All About Books – Spotlight & Reading Is My SuperPower  & My Reading Journeys – Book Reviews

6 October 6 – Mysteries with Character – Author Interview & Thoughts in Progress & Celticlady's Reviews – Spotlights

7 October – The Avid Reader Book Review & Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews & Socrates Book Reviews – Spotlights

8 October – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Author Interview & Hearts & Scribbles & Elizabeth McKenna Author Blog – Spotlights  

9 October – Cozy Up With Kathy – Book Review & Angel's Guilty Pleasures & FUONLYKNEW – Spotlights

10 October– Christy's Cozy Corners & Moonlight Rendezvous – Book Reviews + Books a Plenty Book Reviews – Book Review & Character Interview

11 October – Nadaness In Motion & eBook Addicts – Book Reviews & StoreyBook Reviews – Spotlight

12 October 12 – I Read What You Write & Literary Gold – Spotlights & Melina's Book Blog – Book Review