Monday, December 19, 2011

If These Trees Could Talk - Brian W. Smith

In my early 20's, after an argument with my ex I would always go to the park. The ritual was the same - I would pull out my notebook and start writing out my thoughts in poetry form. I would often stare at the trees and admire its strength... through rain, snow, and storms... it remained standing. Trees were a metaphor for my life. No matter what came my way. I had to keep STANDING! After a good cry, I would laugh to myself and say... "Thank GOD!! These trees can't talk." 


Josh & Stevie are best friends who are both dealing with sexual abuse from their mother's boyfriends. The trees in the woods serve as a safe haven from their troubles. During one of their meetings they devise a plan to kill their mother's boyfriends. How long can the trees keep their secret?

Never the one to avoid subjects that may be taboo to others, Mr. Smith writes about the subject of sexual abuse. I was prepared to trump the author and figure out the ending, but I can honestly say the ending had me speechless.

Growing up as a child, I had the "Grown Man Talk" drilled in my head so many times I can recite it in my sleep. As a parent I give the "Grown Man Talk" to my children including the boys. There are so many mothers who turned a blind eye to the suspicions of sexual abuse, because they fear being alone. If These Trees Could Talk should serve as an eye-opener for all parents.

I highly recommend this book.

5 Stars


In 2010, one of my Facebook friends posted... If you could meet an author, who would it be?  My answer was Brian W. Smith. This year, I was very fortunate to meet Brian W. Smith. Even though I didn’t get to pick his brain… I will go on record and say – It was one of the happiest days of my life. As I scanned the room, I watched Mr. Smith connect with each reader in the room and that made me respect him even more. That’s a true sign of someone that appreciates their fan base.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Healing of Love & Laughter - Rickey Teems II

Some smiles reflect more than just good times, occasionally they are a mask for pain. Comedian Isaac Golden learns the bright lights of Hollywood may shine for triumph, but in the shadows, drugs, wild women, and the fast life are waiting to take their toll on his soul. With the health of his childrens' mother on the brink, a sex-crazed mistress on the side, the criminal woes of his inept younger brother, and increasing stage opportunities, trying to balance ambitions of stardom with reality is no laughing matter. When his faith and obligations are challenged beyond his control, Isaac realizes that overnight success can be tomorrow's biggest failure. He soon finds himself in a deep and dark hole, clueless how it all happened so fast. Will he have any friends and prayer left to help him overcome the guilt and remorse of his ways, or will time run out before he can truly discover: The Healing of Love and Laughter. - Amazon

Isaac Golden, a struggling comedian who's conflicted between his responsibilities at home & his dreams of stardom.  Isaac finds out the bright lights in Hollywood also includes sex & drugs. Isaac has embarked on the biggest challenge of his life. Will he be able to balance his family life & still pursue his dreams? Will his dreams of the bright lights dim fast? 

We are also introduced to some characters that will definitely have you experiencing emotions of happiness & sadness.

Joey - Isaac's brother who in my opinion could have had an occupation as a comedian. He has a natural gift of making people laugh, but he finds himself in more trouble than he anticipated.

Janna - Isaac's girlfriend who holds the family down but after her health takes a turn for the worse she begins to rethink some of the sacrifices she has made for Isaac's dream.

As I read this book, I reflected on some of the choices I have made in my personal life. I thought of the "missed" opportunities of "love", the pursuit of my dreams, and my responsibilities as a mother. Then I remembered without a TEST there's no TESTIMONY. 

Mr. Teems II brings to life the story of redemption, pain, sorrow, laughter, and faith. This is the second book I have read from Mr. Teems II and I can boldly say.... "Rickey Teems II never fails to give readers "Food for Thought". He steps out of the mold of familiarity and blazes a trail of his own.

No matter where our lives may lead us...... We all want "Healing from Love & Laughter" .

I highly recommend this book.

5 Stars


Disclaimer: I was given an Advanced Reader's Copy from The Author. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.  I was not compensated for my review. Thank you Rickey Teems II for giving Book Referees the opportunity to review your book.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Guilty By Association - Pat Simmons

Life and a last name is all that Kevin “Kidd” Jamieson received from his father, but that doesn’t stop his father’s family from seeking him out.

In Pat Simmons’ latest book, Guilty by Association, we meet Kevin Jamieson; a man with a chip on his shoulders the size of the Grand Canyon. Living in Boston with his mother and brother, he is recently unemployed and trying to make ends meet. 

Enter the other Jamieson’s, Parke, Cameron and Malcolm. Seeing that there was nothing positive about him staying in Boston, he agrees to move to St. Louis with his newfound cousins. He bounces from several jobs until he is bribed to work in a nursing home/rehabilitation center to keep an eye on everyone’s favorite Stacey Adam wearing Grandma, Grandma BB, who has suffered a stroke. 

On his first day, he meets Eva, a woman on fire for God and strong in her convictions. Kevin is immediately smitten with Ms. Savoy but she could care less. The more these two work together; Eva realizes that there is more to Kidd beneath that hard exterior. Through their talks, he discovers God’s grace and love. Eva manages to win over even the toughest critic, Kami, the precocious daughter of Parke and his wife Cheney. 

Throughout the book the resounding message is Love and that ultimate love coming from God.

I love this series and can’t wait for the installment which will be about Kidd’s bad boy brother, Ace.

5 Stars



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