The Virgin Journey – Book Review

The Virgin Journey

Book Review

51i7-ZqqunL._SX313_BO1,204,203,200_Gary Stokes is a struggling young American, who then lands a job with a press bureau based in East Africa and an expatriate is born.  Gary moves to Kenya, meets a fellow reporter, Guy, who helps him adjust to his new life.  Cue in intimidating government officials, unmovable landlords, and incidents unfolding in snooty exclusive membership clubs left behind by settlers—, Gary and Guy become lifelong friends.  In this new life, Gary soon discovers that life in East Africa requires an abundance of open-mindedness, patience and caution.

The Virgin Journey is an interesting perspective on life for an expatriate living in East Africa in the eighties.  Through Gary, Wampamba takes us through heavy issues present in the eighties and even now, like the first HIV epidemic, unrest in Uganda, bribes in government offices and racism in South Africa.  The change of perspective is refreshing, because she manages to make Gary’s immersion into these issues effortless, without seeming contrived, through experiences in Gary’s life.

At the core of Gary’s new life, is love: for his old home, his new home, his old girlfriend, and a new one.  The struggle to reconcile all these parts of him is real, and Gary’s character emerges as just a man, doing what he can to earn a living, and find happiness…albeit in the real jungle that is Africa.

 

What did I love about this book?

The change Gary goes through from the negative mess he starts out as at the beginning.  His quite uninformed view on our beloved East Africa made me remember a question I was once asked by an acquaintance…,

Do I live next to Lions in Africa?  Are they right next door?’  No, they’re not right next door, thank you.  They’d have me for dinner otherwise

Gary’s character had this annoying factor at the beginning for me.  However, that changes through the story, as he travels from one city to the next, experiencing the joys and beauties…as well as the bittersweet parts of East Africa, you find yourself sympathizing, rooting for him.

In all, this story is a great start to an unforgettable adventure in East Africa.  Two reporters work to tell the East African story, the best they can.  Wampamba stays true to the culture while adding her own zest into a growing love between two expatriates and their strong African princesses.

4.0 Stars

Get Your Copy: The Virgin Journey

Between Death and Heaven – Book Review

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Exciting!

This blog now has 100 posts!

I have had a hundred things to say apparently.  I can’t wait to reach 200 posts, but for today, I celebrate the small victories.

And the Hundredth Post is…..

A book Review!

Between Death and Heaven cc17c55e97afe22d62da713a34496872607b649f

by Annemarie Musawale

What happens after we die? A vindictive ex-girlfriend (maybe, who knows?) is responsible for the death of happy lovers; Phil and Lillian. One minute they’re celebrating the possibility of a long life together, the next they’re contemplating eternity in the hospital where they die. Shenanigans ensue as they try to fit in with post-death society. What are the norms, who makes the rules and who can they ask about being taken to the leader. Can they still love each other and remain lovers in this brave new non-world? These are just some of the questions that Phil and Lillian are confronted with. Oh if only they’d appreciated contemplating their navels more when they were alive! Now there’s no choice, danger approaches and they must be in with the right people before it comes…or else.

Book Review

Between Death and Heaven/ In The Shadow of the Styx is a paranormal novel tackling the afterlife.  Phil and Lillian find themselves in a new world when they end up in the hospital after having severe food poisoning. In this new world, they are ghosts without a clear path as to where they should go, who they should be, certainly what they were doesn’t matter so much anymore. 

Lillian is eager to break through the barriers she and Phil face, and her courage sends them on a wild adventure to deliver an important message.  Well, it’s certainly a challenge, consider these two are dead, and therefore they are ghosts.  The use of cell phones, email, all manner of technology becomes obsolete. But not to worry, Musawale writes a great solution.  Plunging the reader into dramatic plots to obtain ingredients for spells, and witches who know it all.

Between Death and Heaven has an innocent charm to it, even while tackling heavy issues like revenge and murder. The fact that the afterlife is unknown allows Musawale to take advantage of imagination and create a world that manages to captivate.

The novel does introduce an array of characters, each one playing a role in Lillian and Phil’s adventure.  Each one with a mysterious background, or a legacy they can’t control or escape.  One thing’s for sure, the afterlife in Between Death and Heaven is not what you expect when you imagine death.

My only complaint was that it took a bit of getting used to Lillian’s lingo.  I understand Musawale was staying true to Lillian’s roots, and after a while, reading got easier, and I expected it from Lillian.  This is an interesting complaint, as it really depends on the reader’s preference.  Lillian does turn out to be a strong, young woman who loved a man enough to make a dramatic change in her life.  I liked her for that, and her amusing perspective on people and life in general.

Buy it here: Between Death and Heaven

4.0 Stars

About Annemarie Musawale:

Her Blog

Immortal Blood- Book Review

Immortal BloodImmortal Blood

by Magen McMinimy

A perfect night on the town turns out to be her worst nightmare. A date with a handsome man is the catalyst for events that she thought only happened in fairy tales. Thrust into a world of danger, Isabelle has no idea what is in store for her as the Light and Dark Fae fight over her future.

Isabelle Moreno is a young woman working her way through life, finding little time for love and adventure. Until she agrees to a date with a mysterious stranger, only to find out the secrets this man holds are something she could have lived her entire life without knowing. The Dark Fae Luck Eater has found something enticing in Isabella’s humanity.

Bain is an arrogant playboy and an Immortal Light Fae Warrior. He and his four brothers fight for the safety of the human race while remaining something of myth. After weeks of tracking the Dark Fae Luck Eater, Bain comes across yet another victim, in Isabelle.

Bain has finally found his match in this feisty human as she fights against him and her ever growing attraction to the Immortal who is bound to protect her.

Book Review:

The story starts with Izzy going on a date with a handsome man named Zander.  This is her first date in a while, and she only agreed to it because her younger sister Marie urged Izzy to enjoy the last year of her twenties and put herself out there.

She’s liking this Zander guy and agrees to a nightcap with him, so off they go.  In comes two warriors, Uriah and Bain, who are hot on Zander’s heels.  Apparently, Zander is a vicious thief who steals luck from successful women.  Why?  Because he is a leprechaun and therefore Fae…for a moment, my mind flashes back to Lost Girl and the bi-Succubus who rules that town…lol…back to Immortal Blood.  Poor Isabelle is saved by Bain and Uriah, but they were a tad late and she’s lost a lot of her luck.  She’s falling on her face, almost getting knocked by a truck, and generally her happy date has turned into a nightmare as Bain and Uriah unveil great huge wings, that leave her disbelieving.

Now that Zander has her luck, Bain is tasked to protect Isabelle as Zander will want to come back for more. And because she refuses to leave with Bain, he is forced to stay at her house until she agrees to leave with him.   Bain is a spoiled brat, a playboy, and the most arrogant man Isabelle has ever met, and because of that, she makes it a point to be as stubborn as she can be, when he makes unreasonable demands.  The best part of this story is the dance between Bain and Isabelle.  He likes her because she stands up to him, she does her best to counter his arrogant ways, and grudgingly likes him as she gets to know him.

I love the twist on the Fae world. I find the funny play on Vampires and Bain’s Immortal Warrior interesting.  The writer paints her own take of the magical world, giving it an identity that’s refreshing and at the same time familiar.  The plot is strong, and the characters lovable.  I had no problem reading through this in one sitting.  I’d recommend it to anyone who loves a good fantasy novel.

I got this book from Amazon.

Currently available on your Kindle: Here