Sunday, 25 September 2016

Book Review: Your Time is Now by Brenda Mohammed



In this Memoir, Your Time is Now - A Time to be born and a Time to Die, the author uses quotations and references that connect to events in her life and the lives of others.
It is written, based on powerful words spoken by King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes about times and seasons. "There is a time to be born and a time to die, and a time for every purpose under the Heaven."
The book is intended to help people understand their own lives and to realize that we are all here on earth for a purpose.
Poems and a section on A Brother's Wisdom are included.


Whilst Your Time is Now is a memoir with biblical undertones, I would like to split this review in two parts.

The story is about seizing the day, much like how Robin William's teacher wanted his class to do in Dead Poet's Society. I think we are all guilty to some extent about not seizing the day, seizing the moment. Then we reflect on such things and wonder why we weren't just a little bit braver. What would have been the worst thing that could have happened as a result of our actions? Whilst one book cannot hope to provide a satisfactory answer to such a question, it satisfies many of the author's search for meaning in her life. I am splitting my review not out of disrespect to the author's beliefs, it's just that my views are a little different and so I should be clear about that from the outset.

This is not the first memoir I have read by the author but it's probably the most interesting one - even though the others were extremely readable books in their own right. However, whilst there is some overlap, it still feels like a new read.

I especially enjoyed the part where Canadian missionaries approached the author's parents, seeking to adopt her. Canada is cold, more cold than the author's native Trinidad and Tobago, and it's clear she was happy not to be taken away. Her family is a large one and it is uplifting to read how much she loves her family.

Later elements talk about reaping what we sow. This is very true. As I have aged I think I have mellowed a lot - it's more likely I will say something nice and supportive rather than be snidey or cruel. There may be times to do that, but overall the message is 'look, life is short - be nice to each other'.

I don't know what would have been made of me if I had been there to experience the sermon on the mount. We all have complexities to ourselves, but without them, we would not be who we are. One hopes that if I do face that final judgement, I won't be considered a bad person, even though I am not fully into the beliefs referenced in this book. 

"The story is about seizing the day."

It's refreshing that one of the author's Directors commented on her being 'a Real Christian'. In England we are supposed to live in a Christian country, yet the display of crosses around our necks is considered controversial and possibly offensive. This is nonsensical to me. So long as no-one wishes to hurt me, I have no issue with them.

Perhaps my favourite line in the entire book is 'A highly evolved person is free from worry and depression and radiates calmness'. So true - and if only we could all live like that, impressing positive thoughts on those we interact with and yes, profess to love (even via blood or relationship status) the world would be a better place.

So forget the nonsense of a busy, noisy world. Most of the stuff we worry about is a waste of our time. We are better than that and should act accordingly.

Read this book and feel uplifted.

Book Review: Seven Days to Me (A One Week Romance, #1) by Tracey Pedersen



Two People. Two Stories. So Many Secrets...

Golding Mining is going from strength to strength under the dedicated management of Stephanie Golding. Too bad she dreams of returning to a life that has long since slipped through her fingers.

Brad Peters is living a life he's not quite sure he wants. He's doing it to make his dad proud. When he's roped in to seduce Stephanie he can suddenly see exactly what he wants...and it's right in front of him...

Can two people struggling to be true to themselves find a common ground just by spending a week together? Just how many secrets are too many for a relationship to survive?


I wish more contemporary romances were like this, then I might enjoy the genre a lot more than I do. I realise I am not the main target audience for this kind of story, so I will just give my honest opinion.

When Stephanie and Brad are pitched together, a man and a woman in a work environment suddenly find that sparks fly. Literally. It's not all plain sailing of course, and I loved the elements of drama and mystery that the author worked into the story. It is elevated by its well paced story, excellent narrative, and punchy dialogue. 

"This is a superior novel in a crowded genre."

Perhaps I wanted more from the dialogue. It was functional and worked well between the characters. I accept it was a seven day whirlwind, and so, in this context, deeper narrative is okay to omit as the feelings between the two speak volumes, which is how it should be between lovers.

'The planet had tilted on its axis.' Isn't this a beautiful and rather apt way to describe how we feel in matters of love - especially when this person can drive you crazy in more ways than one?

Add secondary characters such as Myrtle and Meredith who add so much to the story, you have the perfect pot boiler of a romance. Meredith may be an ice queen, but the author clearly had a lot of fun in her creation, and there is one such woman in every work environment. that makes the book engaging to read but also a realistic romance. I liked this a lot.

This is a superior novel in a crowded genre. Seek it out today.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Book Review: The Dramatic Dead by Bryan Nowak



The heart of the city is being gutted by a ritualistic serial killer and the police have hit a wall. Dirk, a private detective, is thrust into the maniac’s world by a mother’s desperate plea. A tragic mistake leads the killer toward his next victim: a girl with ties to the investigation. Now Dirk and his quirky team of problem solvers must race against the clock to find the killer before the next victim is claimed. 

A private investigator, his friend, a cop, and a specter named Victor are all that stand in the way of a madman and his next victim. 


The Dramatic Dead is as entertaining as author Bryan Nowak's debut novel (No Name) however I was initially disappointed that the book wasn't as scary as I hoped. At least, this was my initial view as I read the early chapters. The character of Victor and how he is drawn was the most controversial aspect for me. I wasn't sure I liked the take on it, but like most things you have to read the whole story in order to place the individual elements in an appropriate and fair context. If I didn't do that, I would not be being fair as a reviewer, and it is reviews that people will be reading, so I have to respect that.

"The Dramatic Dead works on a number of levels."

The whole private investigator trope isn't new of course, but the author writes central character Dirk with a swagger and verve that keeps you reading. Indeed, from the male perspective I understood his feelings for a certain character (I won't include her name because of spoilers) but guys, we have all done this...practised saying 'I love you....' and find it easy to say when she wasn't there, but we'd freeze when she was! as the author quotes "She's the most spectacular creature on the planet, and I'd die for her."

Yes we would. We know we would.

Another thing is that the humour of the story shouldn't really work, but it does. Lines such as 'the living are so annoying!' Well who can argue with that?

Overall The Dramatic Dead works on a number of levels - as a thriller, as a detective piece, a horror comedy fused with occasional dark horror that somehow, through the quality of the writing, manages to work. Another element takes us on the road to the afterlife. Now because we know practically nothing about that, we have to take the author's position on it. This is just his view, however, and again, it works because the story is so well constructed. It's a long read, but it never really feels like that. Bryan Nowak is a new author and one that I believe will make his mark very quickly. Snap both books up now!