Review: Songbird by Piper Huguley, Deborah Fletcher Mello and Iris Bolling

Songbird

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Sparrow’s Song
Piper Huguley
In the hot summer of ‘68, recent graduate Sparrow Jones takes a job running the summer program at her family’s church hoping to save enough money to attend music school. Despite her mother’s objections, music is Sparrow’s ministry. Yet, as she throws herself into her work, she finds a different calling in little Carole and her stern father. Widower Master Sargent John Charles drops his little girl off at the church everyday, trusting them to take care his daughter while he works and maybe help her to regain her speech. When the feisty program director begins questioning his parenting skills, it takes all of his military disciplines to keep his temper and manners in check. Yet, the thought of her and the care she shows for his child makes the heart he thought he’d buried beat again. With the summer coming to an end, will Sparrow be able to fly away to her dreams of a music career or has her heart become entangled with a helpless little girl and her military father?

Lark St. Clair
Deborah Mello
Devastated by the death of her mother, Lark St. Clair must mend more than a broken heart. At odds with her own child, Lark is determined to honor the matriarch’s memory by repairing the rift between herself and her daughter, Dove. Revisiting history, the two embark on an emotional journey as Lark shares the story of finding herself through her music and discovering the love of her life with choir director, Martin Warren when love seemed elusive to her.

Dove’ Dream
Iris Bolling
Life should be a song worth singing. That’s what Dove Warren’s grandmother always instilled in her. With a voice to make grown men fall to their knees and the beauty to match, Dove has had her fill with singing. Until her grandmother shares a dream giving Dove the motivation to used her gift of music to spread the love.
Anthony Perry, a strong, caring man who lost his brothers to violence, vowed to give his mother at least one child who turned his back on the street life. As District Attorney of the City of Richmond, it never occurred to him that an angel falling into his arms could fill the empty recesses of his life.
Will Dove lose the man whose very presence fills her heart with song or will she have the chance to bring a dream of three generations to fruition?

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Anthologies are sometimes tricky to read because there are instances when the stories don’t connect with another and there is not a consistent theme. Another potential issue with anthologies is that the authors have such different writing styles that it is distracting. And, one last potential issue with reading an anthology is that one of the authors just isn’t as talented as the other contributors. Luckily, with Songbird none of the issues stated above were present!

Songbird is an excellent generational anthology told from three women’s point of view in hopes of understanding each other just a little bit better. I could take the time to break down each story, but just know they all are excellent. Over the course of the books, there is great advice on how to mend broken family bonds, on the importance of passing down stories from one generation to the next, and how love with the right person can turn deter your plans but enhance your life in unimaginable ways.

Piper, Deborah, and Iris are excellent storytellers on their own, and this collaboration is a perfect blend of their talents. Songbird is definitely worth a few hours of your time!

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Review: Underneath It All by A.D.

Underneath It All

 

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Monica Sutton has spent most of her life detesting her reflection. Her best friends love her no matter what, but she just cannot see the woman they see in her. She finally decides to do something about the way she looks and discovers herself during the process. Her long time crush Keith returns home. They connect, but will a secret from her past hinder her future with him?

 

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“I have no intentions of us ending. I agreed to take things slow with you, but know that I’m all in this. My feelings for you are sincere.”

This was a great romance story, but more importantly, it was an important story about self-love. Monica is the girlfriend (or even you) in your tribe that has no idea how smart, strong, or beautiful she is even though everyone else does. Underneath It All is a very relatable story about sisterhood, overcoming self-esteem issues, and allowing love to find you instead of chasing it. A.D. is a new author to me and I was impressed by the story structure, character development, and the entire flow. I look forward to reading the other books in the series so I can learn more about Monica’s girlfriends!

 

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Buy Underneath It All here!!!

Review: Truth Is…by Michelle Mitchell

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On the very day she loses her job, Ansley Wright meets Davis Montclair, a man she finds irresistible. She falls easily for his handsome looks, smooth words, and silken touch.
Distracted by her feelings for Davis, Ansley ignores the warning bells going off in her head.
Davis is charming, seductive, and tantalizing; a well-dressed Adonis used to getting his way, but behind those alluring eyes is a man weighed down by the burden of a troubled past.
Although he genuinely cares for Ansley, Davis finds that old habits die-hard and himself on a familiar path. Just as Ansley and Davis settle into their blossoming relationship, sins from his past return like an old mistress out for revenge, igniting the flames of tragedy, which threaten to engulf them both.

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She rose to her feet. “I hoped that you wanted to apologize and have a clear conscious, but that’s something a mature man would do and not a little boy still living street dreams.” Ansley eyed Davis for a moment before saying, “I wish you well.”

Where to start??? Oh my goodness, men like Davis are the reason why the television show Snapped was created. Sure, someone could argue that this a work of fiction, but there are plenty of Davis’ in the real word. Mitchell has done an excellent job of portraying just how naive some women can be when they see the warning signs but choose the ignore them in her main female character, Ansley. There is a life lesson that we all know but was reminded of while reading this book: Don’t be so desperate to have someone in your life that just because someone looks good and/or says all of the right things that we overlook the fact that they are not any good for you.

He released her hand. “And what Ansley? Things happen Ansley. No one is perfect, but you’re my well-constructed, God-sent, image of perfection. You’re the one I compared others too. You’re the perfect person for me and I’m not letting another moment pass without us working this out. Now are you ready to stop running?”

Love, that is what this book boils down to. Learning to love yourself enough to know that you will need to leave some people in your past no  matter how much it might hurt or your level of embarrassment. Learning that sister-friend love is essential and that you can trust your girlfriends with your innermost thoughts and feelings and that they will help you make it to the other side. And, then there is romantic love. We must believe that there is someone out there in this world that will love and accept us flaws and all. All three of these types of love are found in Truth Is…and that is what makes it a very entertaining book to read.

Michelle Mitchell is a fairly new author and it is my prediction that she will have a bright future in the literary world!

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