‘On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he war born – a history whose epicentre is rooted in Vietnam – and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class and masculinity. Asking questions central to the American moment, immersed as it is in addiction, violence and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.’
‘When Zachary Rawlins stumbles across a strange book hidden in his university library it leads him on a quest unlike any other. Its pages entrance him with their tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities and nameless acolytes, but they also contain something impossible: a recollection from his own childhood.
Determined to solve the puzzle of the book, Zachary follows the clues he finds on the cover – a bee, a key and a sword. They guide him to a masquerade ball, to a dangerous secret club, and finally through a magical doorway created by the fierce and mysterious Mirabel. This door leads to a subterranean labyrinth filled with stories, hidden far beneath the surface of the earth.
When the labyrinth is threatened, Zachary must race with Mirabel and Dorian, a handsome barefoot man with shifting alliances, through its twisting tunnels and crowded ballrooms, searching for the end of his story.
You are invited to join Zachary on the starless sea: the home of storytellers, story-lovers and those who will protect our stories at all costs.’
Well, January is finally over, and that means it’s wrap-up time! It was a bit of a mixed month for me, books wise, with some absolute gems, and some that I honestly just did not enjoy.
I thought I’d get through more books than I did this month, considering there were five weeks, but oh well, life gets in the way and I still did pretty well IMO!
‘Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.’
‘A rebel princess..
With a cigarette in one hand and whiskey in the other, royal rebel Princess Margaret dazzles with her cutting-edge fashion sense and biting quips. The people love her, the paparazzi stalk her, and she sparkles in the company of her glittering entourage of wealthy young aristocrats known as the Margaret Set. But her outrageous lifestyle conflicts with her place as Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister. Can she be a dutiful princess while still enchanting the world on her own terms?
A noblewoman’s dreams…
A chance meeting with the Princess changes the life of the Honorable Vera Strathmore forever. Discreet and genuinely kind, Vera gains Princess Margaret’s confidence and the privileged position of lady-in-waiting. Yet as Vera watches the Princess’s ill-fated love affair with dashing Captain Peter Townsend unfurl, she longs for a life outside the captivating orbit of royal society.
An unexpected destiny…
But while Princess Margaret, as a member of the Royal Family, is not free to act on her desires, Vera could have the freedom to pursue her own dreams. As time and Princess Margaret’s scandalous behaviour progress, both women will be forced to choose between status and love.’
‘Cassie Hanwell was born to handle emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s a total pro at managing other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.
The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew – even one as competent and smart as Cassie.
Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…and it means risking it all – the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.’
‘My name’s Johanna Morrigan. I’m fourteen, and I’ve just decided to kill myself.
I don’t really want to die, of course! I just need to kill the old me, and build a new girl. Dolly Wilde will be everything I want to be, and more! But as with all the best coming-of-age stories, it doesn’t exactly go to plan…’
‘For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas from coast to coast, their sound defined an era. And then, on 12 July 1979, they split.
Nobody ever knew why. Until now.
They were lovers and friends and brothers and rivals. They couldn’t believe their luck, until it ran out. This is their story of the early days and the wild nights, but everyone remembers the truth differently.
The only thing they know for sure is that from the moment Daisy Jones walked, barefoot, on to the stage at the Whisky, the band were irrevocably changed.
Making music is never just about the music. And sometimes, it can be hard to tell where the sound stops and the feelings begin.’
‘Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation – awkward but electrifying – something life changing begins.
Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find they cant.’
Hello, and welcome to my stop on the WriteReads Ultimate blog tour for A Different Time, by Michael K. Hill.
‘Keith Nolan falls in love with a remarkable young woman from the past, talking to him on a home video she recorded in 1989. To keep their conversation going, he must find more of her tapes – while forces work against them both, and time is running out.’