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Jesusita by Ronald Ruiz

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Jesusita is the story of immigrants—legal and illegal—trying to survive in California in the years after World War II.

Jesusita Book ReviewAbout Jesusita

Jesusita, alone and impoverished, struggles to keep her four young children together. Though she finds support from Padre Montes at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church, her faith won’t solve her problems, especially those with her daughter, Paulina. Far from home, Filipino laborers are denied by law any contact with white women. Angie, the young daughter of an illiterate and unmarried mother, knows only one way to make money. And Felix, abandoned by his mother and separated from his only brother, is placed in a foster home on an isolated ranch. The interrelated lives of these people provide a complex, sometimes violent, and often tragic image of American poverty within the nation’s postwar boom.

My Thoughts

Jesusita, tells the story of one woman who has struggled to earn a living in a country that is not accepting of her culture and a society that would do anything to keep their existence hidden.

Jesusita is the main character in this novel and the other characters seem to move around her and as we get to the later half of the book we understand the importance of finding out about the lives of Angie and Felix. It is from her the story flows and that we learn about the others tied in to her story and her struggles. She suffers to keep a roof over her children’s heads and food in their stomachs. This is a pain that I can not even begin to imagine experiencing as a Mother. The emotional and physical strain takes a toll on her and we can witness this through the relationships between herself and her children.

It is God that helps her through her darkest moments but also that helps her hide her frustrations and angers instead of dealing with them. She hides behind the perfect image she portrays to her religious family, while her home life falls apart.

Jesusita was a fascinating novel, that at times was hard to follow but near the end of the novel the story comes together full circle. It is complex, intricate but fascinating at the same time. A very good read!

You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

After reading Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment at the age of 17, I knew I wanted to be a writer. But I knew nothing about the craft. My first novel, Happy Birthday Jesús, was published 36 years later. Surprisingly, it received good reviews

For many years, I was a criminal defense attorney and at the end of my career a prosecutor, but I always managed to find time to write. What I saw and experienced during those years often serves as a basis for my writing. For me, learning how to write has been a long, continuous and, at times, torturous process.

Now retired, I try to write every day and I feel fortunate that I have found something in writing that sustains me. I’m glad I persevered during all those years of rejection. More than anything, writing about what I see and experience in life has given me a sense of worth.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Murder on Safari by Peter Riva

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In Murder on Safari, it is up to a reality TV producer and an expert safari guide to stop a terrorist attack.

Murder on Safari By Peter Riva

About Murder on Safari

Every adventure starts at the fringes of civilization. For expert safari guide Mbuno and wildlife television producer Pero Baltazar, filming in the wild of East Africa should have been a return to the adventure they always loved. This time they’d be filming soaring vultures in northern Kenya and giant sea crocodiles in Tanzania with Mary, the daughter of the world’s top television evangelist, the very reverend Jimmy Threte.

But when a terrorist cell places them in the crosshairs, there is suddenly no escape and they must put their filming aside and combine all their talents to thwart an all-out al-Shabaab terrorist attack on Jimmy Threte’s Christian gathering of hundreds of thousands in Nairobi, Kenya.

My Thoughts

Murder on Safari is an intense, action full novel that demands your full attention. Peter incorporates the language of the African countries they travel through (with some explanation to the terms so you just have to pay a little bit more attention to the first time the words are used but it doesn’t take away from the story). I loved how action packed the entire novel was from start to finish as they traveled East Africa and explored the wilds while trying to escape terrorists. There was never a really dull moment.

Despite the action packed adventure in the story, there was just as interesting story line playing out behind the scenes in our main characters of Pero and Mary. Pero has lost someone close to him and it is this loss which helps him on this mission. Mary is the glue that holds the story together, a very important part of the novel and how the story unwinds.

Murder on Safari was a fantastic read from start to finish, that readers will not want to put down.

You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Chapters.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Peter Riva spent many months over thirty years in Africa, many of them with the legendary guides for East African white hunters and adventurers. He created a TV series (seventy-eight 1-hour episodes) in 1995 called WildThings for Paramount TV. Passing on the fables, true tales and insider knowledge of these last reserves of true wildlife is a passion.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Convergence by Trudie Hayes

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Three pre-teens, whose paths had never crossed before, will have their lives forever changed in Convergence.

Convergence

About Convergence

It was the first day of school and anxieties were running high. For certain​ ​there was the excitement of moving up a grade, but there was also the dread of anything and everything that could go wrong. Not only were the possibilities endless, they were totally out of your control. Whether or not you were accepted rested squarely on the shoulders of the popular kids. Suppose you were too short or too tall; too smart or not smart enough; too rich or too poor; or just plain different?

These thoughts were fresh on the minds of Otis, Chandler and Marissa. Three pre-teens whose paths had never crossed, although they lived in the same town in Connecticut. Their backgrounds were so diverse they may as well have lived worlds apart. That was all about to change when on their way to school a series of bizarre events lump them together. Literally!

Join them on this unreal journey to alternate realities never before re­vealed. Go back in time to a parallel past, the All Agos. Coexist in a present experience that mirrors your own, the Ne’er Now. Finally and with greater understanding, manifest in a future of your creation, the Will Be Once.

My Thoughts

The plot line in Convergence is very appealing to the youth. Here are three young teens, struggling through school and acceptance, they are brought together in an interesting way. These are teens that would never have really have come together in any other circumstances. They come together at first in acts of kindness and then later as the adults in their lives guide them.

I found at times this novel was hard to follow along with. Situations changed quickly or were underdeveloped causing it to be hard to understand for me. At times, I had to retrace the story to see if I had missed something. I love fantasy and sci-fi novels but I found some of the concepts harder to follow in this novel, maybe having it further developed may help?

This novel is geared towards teens who love fantasy. I think older teens will appreciate this novel more as it may be more difficult for younger teens to follow.

You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon.

Rating: 3.5/5

About the Author

Trudie L. Hayes’ personal story and family life influenced her mission to spread the core values of self-acceptance, self-esteem, and self-love to children and persons of all ages. An affiliation with physically and mentally disabled adults and children spanning many years is a major contributing factor. The caregiver role has been paramount throughout much of her life, even while furthering her education or working full-time in a corporate setting.

These experiences have given her a deep understanding of the trials and struggles associated with a compromised existence. As well as the inspiration and joy derived from living life to one’s personal best.

It is through these myriad life experiences that Hayes began writing and registering several related trademarks. With a grander vision of promoting confidence and self-worth.

Born and raised in Connecticut, Hayes still calls the Nutmeg State home. The oldest of two children, she remains close to her siblings. When Hayes is not writing or managing her business, she dedicates her time to other creative outlets and artistic pursuits. Hayes has a deep appreciation and passion for music in its many forms; she enjoys writing song lyrics, performing, and has an affinity for Jazz.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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