A Reader’s Review of American Fairytale

American Fairytale Cover

 

American Fairytale (Dreamers #2)
Author: Adriana Herrera
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
Release Date: May 2019
Genre(s): Romance, M4M
Audio Length: 7 hours, 36 minutes
Reviewed by:   Will Burley
Heat Level:4 flames out of 5
Rating:5 stars out of 5

 

Blurb:
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Fairy-tale endings don’t just happen; they have to be fought for.

 

New York City social worker Camilo Santiago Briggs grew up surrounded by survivors who taught him to never rely on anything you didn’t earn yourself. He’s always dreamed of his own happily-ever-after, but he lives in the real world. Men who seem too good to be true…usually are. And Milo never ever mixes business with pleasure…until the mysterious man he had an unforgettable hookup with turns out to be the wealthy donor behind his agency’s new, next-level funding.

 

Thomas Hughes built a billion-dollar business from nothing: he knows what he wants and isn’t shy about going after it. When the enthralling stranger who blew his mind at a black-tie gala reappears, Tom’s more than ready to be his Prince Charming. Showering Milo with the very best of everything is how Tom shows his affection.

 

Trouble is, Milo’s not interested in any of it. The only thing Milo wants is Tom.

 

Fairy-tale endings take work as well as love. For Milo, that means learning to let someone take care of him, for a change. And for Tom, it’s figuring out that real love is the one thing you can’t buy.

 

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Oh my Jebus!  You’re going to judge me, and I don’t care, but there is a new fan boy for Adriana Herrera!

Camilo Santiago, (affectionately known as “Milo”), is the tough, strong, vulnerable and sexy as hell protagonist of this story.  Milo has a chip on his shoulder – not because he doesn’t care but because he’s cared and been hurt too much.  Thomas Hughes is a wealthy entrepreneur who’s no-nonsense and somewhat aloof manner has been constructed as a wall to protect his heart and keep his blinders on so he can focus on what’s important to him.  The narrative that the author has penned is truly excellent in my view and opinion.  Normally, I can’t seem to really stomach how most romance novels seem to want to focus on all the “flowery” things in relationships and skip over the real-world struggles in getting to the pairing.  I can say that this tome did not do that.

There was really good chemistry throughout.  From Milo’s friends to the connection with Thomas, things came across as very natural to me.  I was able to see myself in many of the characters.

Ms. Herrera did an excellent job at the pacing, too!  A major complaint I normally have is how many writers leave out the little detail relating to the timing of the story.  While not forcing us to count calendar days, the author was able to get us to focus on time in a natural way.  It helped me think in terms of life outside the novel – which in turn helped me to really connect with what the characters were experiencing.

When I listened to the final phrase uttered by the narrator, I felt satisfied , hopeful in the idea of love and like it would eventually happen for me as well!  I’ve never been touched by a book like this before.

What did you think about American Fairytale?  Have you read it yet?  Do you want me to convince you to read it some more?  Chat me up in the comments…

A Reader’s Review of Broken

> Broken

Broken by Nicola Haken
Broken
byNicola Haken (Goodreads Author)16756228

Will Burley‘s review

Apr 05, 2019  ·  edit
really liked it
I’m so torn on my thoughts about this book…

What I absolutely loved about it is that it deals with mental health issues. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a gay romance. There’s a lot of people that will encounter this throughout their dating/relationship life. I think the author dealt quite well with the fear that goes into finding out that someone you feel is sexually appealing has a “hidden secret“ about their mental health and the symptoms associated with that.

My main qualm about the book is that even though there is this “Obstacle“ to overcome, it still feels somewhat too perfect… overall, I did enjoy this book and will seek out others to read by this author.

A Listeners Review of Nancy

Hey dear readers,

 

I hope you’re having an awesome day! I wanted to touch base to review a podcast that I’ve been listening to for the past couple of years. I started to review a single episode but figured that I would be reviewing multiple shows so thought that I should start with a general, overall review first to introduce you to the podcast itself.

 

Nancy, a production of WNYC Studios, New York’s NPR station, is a podcast that I’ve truly fallen in love with! You can subscribe to it wherever you listen to your other podcasts but of course, the links I use in this post lead you directly to their iTunes listing.

 

General Podcast Synopsis

BFF Kathy Tu and Tobin Low are super queer, super fun and ready to take over your podcast feed. Join them for provocative stories and frank conversations about the LGBTQ experience today. Because everyone’s a little bit gay.

 

Overall Review

The Hosts

Kathy Tu and Tobin Low, as the synopsis says, are real life friends. It shines through in how they interact with one another and their guests.

 

Throughout the series, we’re introduced to their families. I think this adds to the show because it really informs you as to who these people really are and gives you a peek into why they host the show in their particular manner.

 

Their interview skills are excellent! They tend to draw information from those they talk to in a warm, friendly and funny way. Trust me on this one…I was actually interviewed by them in one of the season’s!

 

Maybe I’ll review that episode soon…LOL

 

The Stories

As I write this, I’m getting excited all over again because the stories are relevant yet heartwarming…

 

Okay, okay…I do realize I’m sounding like a Lifetime Movies promo but it’s true!!

 

The episodes range from forming a Gaggle (you have to listen or wait to read my review if you want to know what that means) to living with HIV and everything in between.

 

You’ll learn LGBTQ history, how folks navigate their jobs and just live their queer experiences on the daily.

 

And guess what…you don’t need to be queer to love this show!!! Pretty good deal, right!

 

My Rating

B+

I only gave this rating because I’m still seeing the growth and the new things their trying with the podcast.

 

Tell me what you think. Have you listened to the show before? Will you take a chance to hear what I’ve fallen in love with? Whether you’re a listener or will be one soon or not…share your thoughts in the comments. Let’s chat!

Top 10 Most Useful Websites You Need to Know

Ok, my YouTube addiction is rearing it’s ugly head again…

TechGumbo is one of the few channels that I actually subscribe to and get all of its notifications. Some of the website that are reviewed I have absolutely no interest or inkling in adding to my repertoire but I do utilize more than my fair share!

Are there any websites from the above video that you find useful? Let’s chat!

A Reader’s Review of Hell Week: America Falls #1

Hell Week: America Falls #1

By Scott Medbury

Review by Will Burley

 

Synopsis

Think North Korea and Russia are the greatest danger to the United States? Think again. After a surprise biological attack, America, the most powerful nation on Earth, quickly succumbs, with 99.91% of the population over the age of 16 decimated. As society unravels, and the ground invasion of his country begins, loner Isaac Race must form a connection with a ragtag group of survivors and elude not only the invaders, but other dangers and threats unleashed in chaotic Post-America.

 

The Protagonist

Isaac Race is the reason I fell in love with this book! We’re introduced to a 13 year old boy who is happy and having just had a good day with his friend.

 

Then they turn the corner and everything changes…

 

Isaac sees emergency vehicles and has a subconscious foreboding that his world has ended as he knows it. His family – father, mother and sister – have just passed away in a housefire.

 

This tragedy in Isaac’s life is a nameless character throughout this book and the entire America Falls series. While the author doesn’t beat you over the head by reminding you of this young boy’s loss, it is entwined with why Isaac is    the glue of the series. His emotional seclusion is at constant warfare with his desire to endure, not only the external threat, but also the fear of getting close to others.

 

The Plot

A biological attack is what appears to be America’s Armageddon. A weaponized virus slaughters just about every adult over a short period of time. Children under the age of 16 years old don’t seem to be affected.

 

How do kids survive without the presence of their protectors?

 

How does America continue to exist with parentless kids?

 

This is the core, in my opinion, of this series – and the author does a great job of making the trials of this book realistic.

 

The Genre

Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction is a subgenre of science fiction, science fantasy, dystopian or horror in which the Earth’s technological civilization is collapsing or has collapsed. The apocalypse event may be climatic, such as runaway climate change; natural, such as an impact event; man-made, such as nuclear holocaust or resource depletion; medical, such as a pandemic, whether natural or man-made; eschatological, such as the Last Judgment, Second Coming or Ragnarök; or imaginative, such as a zombie apocalypse, cybernetic revolt, technological singularity, dysgenics or alien invasion.

The story may involve attempts to prevent an apocalypse event, deal with the impact and consequences of the event itself, or it may be post-apocalyptic, set after the event. The time frame may be immediately after the catastrophe, focusing on the travails or psychology of survivors, the way to maintain the human race alive and together as one, or considerably later, often including the theme that the existence of pre-catastrophe civilization has been forgotten (or mythologized). Post-apocalyptic stories often take place in a non-technological future world or a world where only scattered elements of society and technology remain. – From Wikipedia

 

Rating

I’m fairly new to reading the post-apocalyptic genre but author Scott Medbury made me feel as though I had finally encountered what this genre was supposed to be with his writing of Hell Week: America Falls #1!

 

Grade: B

I believe this should be required reading for anyone that is on the fence or simply interested in this genre. It’s plausible, written at a natural pace and leaves you eager for more!

 

What did you think about this review of Hell Week: America Falls #1? Have you read the book or interested in taking a look? Feel free to chat me up in the comments.

The Lion King 2019 Review

“Remember who you are…”

I think this one statement sums everything about this almost scene for scene re-shoot in a nice little bow. I hadn’t watched the original version of this Disney movie in years and almost passed up the opportunity to watch this version. I’m glad I couldn’t sleep and changed my mind!

The acting was not as great as the original but considering where we are in the world, I think the statement of, “remember who you are” is so apropos to where we are in our in a little slice of history. It was nice to be reminded that no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in or how we often let fear cloud our judgment, we can always remember the greatness that lies within us.

So for that reason, I would suggest that you take a look at this “live action reboot” and remember your simpler times…

Have you watched this 2019 remake? What did you think about it? Did anything stand out for you? Let’s chat! 

Remember Who You Are

I recently watched Disney’s “The Lion King” live action remake and had a surprising reaction…

 

I actually felt good when the movie was done!

 

Don’t get me wrong, I had my issues with this version of the movie but there was one thing that really stood out to me – and that’s what I want to focus on with this post.

 

There was a line from the movie that I hadn’t remembered – “Remember who you are…”

 

This statement jumped out at me in such a huge way that I’m writing this post at 2:53 a.m.!!

 

Why so important?

 

I recently turned 40 years old and while I often take stock of where things are in my life (sometimes good and sometimes not so great) I had to stop the film from playing. When the original Lion King came out in 1994, I was a mere 13 year old!

 

While there are definitely things that I’ve learned in life as I’ve gotten older and wiser, I can say there are some things that I’ve forgotten that in hindsight that I shouldn’t have:

 

  • Walk with little to no fear
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Life is about looking forward

 

Having no fear

 

Whether this comes from being “young and dumb” or because as younger little humans we haven’t really experienced life to a great extent, (I’m not sure), I’ve realized that there is more fear as we strive into “middle age.” Is this because we have more to lose? Is it due to experience?

 

Sometimes I miss “stepping out on faith” as it were. That’s not to say I didn’t have any fear as a kid but when I look back, I think I viewed life differently than I do now. If I was afraid that something wouldn’t work out, “Oh well, there’s always tomorrow and another opportunity…”

 

Not sweating the little things

 

This is oh so hard for me today! Things stay with me much longer and I don’t bounce back emotionally as quickly as I did when I was a child.

 

Remember the book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” – Boy would I love to interview the author of that book! That’s another post for another day…

 

Eyes forward

 

I was in JROTC in high school and I recall standing at attention with my eyes forward. When you can only look ahead, you lose sight of what’s going on around you. You are focused – almost with blinders on – just like a racehorse.

 

As I’ve aged, I feel like my head is routinely scoping out things that are near me as well as far off.

 

“Will this knock me off balance?”

 

“Let me plan for this possible happening…”

 

Sometimes this way of thinking is discombobulating.

 

What the heck am I saying with this post?

 

All the rambling I just did above, this is my conclusion:

 

Remember who you are…

 

Fearless…

 

Excited…

 

Full of courage…

 

Marry that with who you are today:

 

Cautious…

 

Wiser…

 

Still full of courage…

 

When Simba, (Yes, we’re back to The Lion King, LOL), travelled back to his Pride, he was able to join his younger self with the “person” he had become. When he took that fear, excitement, wonder about life, understanding that people will deceive you and so much more… only then was he able to overcome himself to truly “come home…”

Charlamagne the God and the Girlfriends Cast

First, for some reason, I really hate to admit that I’m a “YouTube junkie!”

I’m ALWAYS scrolling through my feed and looking for the next best thing to watch. Yes… I’m addicted!!

One good thing though is that I’m always looking for interesting conversation and recently I came across Charlamagne the God’s YouTube channel where he does long form interviews. Of course, as you can see in the title, he did an hour long interview with the cast of, “Girlfriends” when they guest starred on, “Black-ish.”this was an excellent, thorough interview, to say the least…

Take a look at it below and let me know your thoughts in the comment area. Did you think this was a good interview? Did you learn anything from the cast that you hadn’t heard before? Let’s chat!