Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

Stuff I've Been Feeling LatelyStuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: In Alicia Cook’s second poetic effort, designed in the style of an old mixtape, she sets her thoughts to a nostalgic tune. There is no Table of Contents. Instead, there is a “Track List,” making it easy to refer to them to your friends with a, “Hey did you read track seven?!” There are no chapters. Instead, the book is divided into two parts, or as one would say in the 90’s, two “sides.” Side A holds poetry that touches on all aspects of the human condition like life, death, love, moving on, evolving, growing up, hometowns, family dynamic, life after trauma, and make-ups and breakups. Side B holds the “remixes” of these poems, in the form of blackout poetry, also known as “found poetry.”

Side B gives the material a fresh twist by creating new poetry out of Side A. There is also a very special surprise at the end of each track. Alicia decided to self publish this effort after leaving her publishing house. She views this book as her “independence” and official separation from that venture. She also drew the front and back cover herself. Alicia is a contributing writer for many blogs and news outlets, including the Huffington Post and multiple Gannett Publications. She writes regularly on drug addiction and how it directly affects families. Because of this, she has chosen to donate 100% of royalties to the Willow Tree Center in New Jersey.

My Musings:I loved how unique this book of poems was. Anyone that has ever dealt with grief and self-doubt will get a lot from this. The idea of setting each poem to a song was brilliant. Of course it worked a lot better for me when I was actually familiar with the song. For this reason I think it would be a cool idea if the book came with a cd of its playlist, or if in the audio version the poems song played after each poem.

There are many books that I have loved, but few that felt like they were written just for me. The writing was beautiful without being flowery, raw without being harsh. The author feels like a kindred spirit. These poems make me want to cry and smile at the same time. Alicia Cook is a master in the balancing act of bittersweet prose.

The only thing that was a little disappointing for me was that the black-out poetry in the second half of the book was not visible at all in my advance reader copy. I know this is not an issue in the finished work so I won’t take off a star for that. I am just sad that I couldn’t fully experience this book of poetry, but even just the first half of the book was worth five stars to me.

This is poetry for everyone. Well done Ms.Cook.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

 

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani Review and Kindle Fire Giveaway

MoA_FC_FNL16_BNGoodreads Blurb: In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter. When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges.

Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery.

If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.

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My Musings: What a wild ride! Once again Ms.Khanani delivers a top notch fantasy. I am so happy that this sequel is a full length novel, as I wanted to spend as much time as possible in this amazing world. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole novel, this author has some of the best pacing that I have ever read. No boring bits in this.

I loved all of the characters in this book, even the villains. The main character is so relatable (although honestly she is probably more moral than me). Ms.Khanani’s books always lift my mood so much, it’s nice to have found a new auto-buy author.

If you love young adult fantasy this book is for you, it is also free from romance/insta-love/love triangles for those who detest that. The main character is intelligent without being unrealistically perfect, she has flaws without being annoying, and the character depth in this story will make you wishing that you could be best friends with Hitomi. I am in love.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy.  At $1.00 for this book and $0.75 for the first one these books are a steal! I would easily pay over ten times that for these great stories.

KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

A Special Treat For Those Who Pre-order…

Not only is the pre-order of Memories of Ash on sale for only 99 cents, but anyone who buys the pre-order will receive a free digital art print of Hitomi by artist Grace Fong. Just email your proof of purchase to moapreorder@gmail.com!

Haven’t read  Sunbolt (Book 1) yet? It’s been knocked down to just 99 cents to celebrate the release and is available at most major e-retailers. That’s two fantastic books for less than a cuppa joe.

MoA_PreOrder Special

About Intisar Khanani

Khanani_Author_PhotoIntisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar’s current projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, featuring the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles.

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Hidden Gem | Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani

sunGoodreads Blurb: The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.

When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi’s, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life. Continue reading

Big Kid Books | An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel

unGoodreads Blurb: After three centuries trapped underground, thousand-year-old Yulric Bile also known as the Cursed One, the Devil s Apprentice, He Who Worships the Slumbering Horrors awakens only to find that no one believes he is a vampire. Apparently he’s just too ugly modern vampires, he soon discovers, are pretty, weak, and, most disturbing of all, good.

Determined to reestablish his bloodstained reign, Yulric sets out to correct this disgusting turn of events or, at the very least, murder the person responsible. With the help of pert vampire-wannabe Amanda; Simon, the eight-year-old reincarnation of his greatest foe; and a cadre of ancient and ugly horrors, Yulric prepares to battle the glamorous undead. But who will win the right to determine, once and for all, what it truly means to be a vampire? Continue reading