“Act of Grace” by Karen Simpson Review

Act of Grace

Title: Act of GraceAuthor: Karen Simpson
Publisher: Plenary Publishing
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Source: Publisher/Karen Simpson

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Act of Grace is a very different book than I have read before. It’s all about the African-American culture in the town of Vigilant, Michigan. I will admit I originally picked this book because it was about a girl growing up in Michigan and since I am from Michigan we are going to have so much in common! Wrong.
Grace Johnson is a senior in high school who is funny, smart, and has so many witty thoughts that will leave you howling as you read. This story is not a comedy though and early on we learn that her father died when she young from apparent suicide and her mother does not treat her as a mother should.
Along with the trials that any normal high school student has to go through and dealing with her emotionally abusive mother Grace also has to deal with something completely out of the ordinary. Grace has inherited the family curse or gift depending on how its look at and the spirits of her ancestors speak through her to reveal the bloody and violent past in Vigilant.
I am going to be honest with you all; I really enjoyed reading this book! It should not matter whether you are black and part of the African culture or white and observing it through this book. It talks about the history of not only Grace’s but also the American family. This is a past that many people chose to ignore even today and Karen Simpson has done an amazing job of representing that past in this novel as well as adding in a paranormal element to it.
I would recommend this book to others and I really think that you should read it and discover Vigilant’s secrets as I did! I give this book four stars!

Hannnah

Cover Reveal “Inbetween” by Tara Fuller

INBETWEEN (Kissed by Death, #1) by Tara Fuller (August 7, 2012)

Blurb:

Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s
life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving
“accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so
Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling
in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who
makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate
has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him
hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before,
and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves
from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the
only thing he has left…his soul.

Paperback Available for Pre-Order from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Inbetween-Tara-Fuller/dp/1620610833/ref=lh_ni_t

Add to your Goodreads TBR:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13055677-inbetween

Inbetween

Cover Reveal “Gravity” by Melissa West

GRAVITY by Melissa West (October 2012)

BLURB:
In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last
person she expected hovering above her bed – arrogant Jackson Locke, the
most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind
of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help
him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her
question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts,
she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more
than her attention. She¹s a military legacy who¹s been trained by her
father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can
know – especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the
information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping
silent will start a war.

Pre-order from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Gravity-Melissa-West/dp/1620610914/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Add to Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12844575-gravity

Doesn’t it look so cool you guys! I am excited for this one to come out!

Hannah

Rebecca Hamilton “What Kept Me Going” Guest Post

The Forever Girl

How I got where I am today and what kept me going…

My entire life, I’ve always been passionate and determined. Though I had an emotionally-rough time from childhood through my teen years, battling depression, thoughts of suicide, and self-mutilation, in the end, I think I very much wanted to live. Life just sucked, but it was a temporary situation and I didn’t really understand that, even though when I was young I—like most people—thought I knew everything.

There was a lot going on that caused those feelings, perhaps one of the biggest problems being that I didn’t feel understood, I was uncomfortable in my own skin (I have severe sensory issues), and I had social anxiety. I still get panic attacks when I spend too much time in public, though I feel a little more comfortable doing so and a person wouldn’t know by talking to me (I don’t think) how hard it is for me to follow the natural flow of social interaction.

Writing was a huge outlet for me from the time I could write. I felt I always expressed myself better that way, though the reality was that no matter what form of expression I used, there were people in my life who didn’t understand me because they didn’t want to, not because I was somehow defunct in all areas of expressing myself. (Though I’m still not very great at it, as a child, I was surrounded by people who used that to make me feel bad instead of trying to understand where I was coming from and approaching me that way.)

At one point, someone who was important in my life and should have been a safe person for my talk to told me to “go ahead and kill myself” that they “wouldn’t care because it wasn’t their fault”. As melodramatic as it sounds, as a teen, it sure felt like it was their fault. But then I grew up and learned to be accountable for myself.

We moved a lot when I was a kid, so I never really had a best friend (until I was an adult). I didn’t have a lot of friends in school, either, and I think that desire for connection led to make some bad choices. So desperate was I to get out of my house that I ended up renting a room in a bad neighborhood, which eventually led to a gun being pulled on my now-husband (who sort of “rescued” me from the situation) and having my car windshield smashed in with a tire iron.

None of it was good. And even after I got out of my situation, I still battled depression for a long time. I learned things in my adult life that made me feel as though my entire life was a lie, or at the very least I could trust the one person who’s only saving grace with me had been their honesty.

Just to be clear, I didn’t grow up in a physically abusive home or anything like that. I’m just a little more sensitive to words I guess. And my step-dad is AWESOME and to me he is just DAD. My mom and I have a good relationship today.

Anyways… I don’t think I ever wanted to die. I wanted a lot of things, but that wasn’t it. I wanted someone to care if I did die. I wanted someone to treat me like they cared if I was alive. At times, I just wanted to go stay in a hospital for a while to get away from some people.

What I’m going to say next isn’t going to make me seem strong or amazing or anything like that. I apologize in advance. But it will be completely, nakedly honest.

I “got better” for entirely the wrong reason. Because the right reason would have been that I started caring about myself (which I do now, but that’s not how I “got better” initially). Instead, I got better because I was pregnant. At twenty years old and married for just over a year, I had a baby on the way. I had someone who would always need me, even if they wouldn’t always think so, and someone who I had the responsibility to take care of. I couldn’t leave them in this world because no one else would love them as much as me or in the way I would. And that’s when any desires toward check out of this world left completely.

No, I didn’t have grand illusions of finally having someone who would love and care about me. I understand full-well that children are takers more than they are givers, at least initially. But in a sense, I will say that giving to others is sometimes the best way to give to yourself. Maybe in some ways, loving them was loving myself, too.

I don’t know if the real healing happened because of that moment, or just because of time, but that part came, too. I still get a little down in the dumps sometimes, but suicide never crosses my mind. I don’t want to escape. I don’t want to make bad decisions or give up on life in any way.

Now I have three kids. And they are a huge part of my life. Other things are a part of my life, too. I have many passions and interests, most specifically reading and writing. (Reading had always been my escape.) Creativity is so much better than destruction.

I began writing four years ago. It was something I’d just always wanted to do. But it means so much more to me. Writing is another thing that just ignites my passion for life and my love of being alive. And I just want to live, and if I could, I’d live forever so I could just keep writing.

To anyone out there who might be battling depression, don’t be as directionless in getting help as I was. Don’t wait for someone else to care about you. Care about yourself. Find a passion for something in life and you will find a passion for living. I won’t go on to list hotlines or websites for two reasons. I’ve tried those people, and they never helped me. They mean well, though. Plus, a google search can give you a hundred of those. I do recommend getting outside help if you can find it, but if you can’t, don’t lost hope.

I got to where I am today because I’m stubborn and passionate. I got here because I loved and because I learned to love myself. I got to where I am today because I persevered even when things sucked. I got to where I am today because there are people in the world who care, and I gave myself the time it took to find them.

Hannah, the lovely host of this blog, talks to her kids in school about following their dreams. And I think a huge part of that is daring to dream in the first place. Everyone needs to give themselves permission to do so, no matter who you are, no matter what your struggles are in life or even if you have no struggles at all. Dare to dream. Never let go.

Thanks again for having me here today, Hannah.

Rebecca
@InkMuse