Friday, 5 October 2012

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY -- Crimson Footprints by Shewanda Pugh (VBT Presented by CBLS Promotions)

Title: Crimson Footprints (Part I)
Author: Shewanda Pugh
Publisher: Delphine Publications
Length: 87,000 words
Genres: Contemporary Interracial/Multicultural Romance/Women's Fiction
Heat Level: Steamy

AVAILABLE AT:

BLURB:
When an insecure, bi-racial woman begins a cloak-and-dagger love affair with a Japanese American man, she is intent on keeping her bigoted family in the dark—albeit with devastating consequences.

On the night of her brother’s murder, Deena Hammond stumbles upon Takumi Tanaka, lost and on the wrong end of a .32. After rescuing him from the certain fate driving through the hood in a Porsche will bring, a sweet kind of friendship begins. A balm for her grief. Maybe, Deena likes to think, it happened the day her white mother killed her black father. Or maybe, it was always a part of them, like DNA gone bad. Whatever the case, Deena knows that her family would never approve, hell, never acknowledge her fast-growing love for Takumi. And had he never made love to her that way, in that unravelling, soul-searching sort of way, she could’ve done the same.

But love’s a devil that way.

So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. Anyone. And Tak understands this—for now. After all, Deena’s career hinges on the favour of her mentor and boss, his hard-ass of a father. And the Hammond family is already stretched thin with grief. Yet, each step Deena takes toward family and career brings her closer to an acceptance she’s never had. And away from him.

EXCERPT
“I wish that I didn’t want my family’s love so bad. I wish I could be one of those people who wore leather jackets and didn’t give a damned.”

Tak shot her a look. “You’d be musty if you wore a leather jacket in this heat.”

Deena grinned. “You know what I mean.”

He shrugged. “Who doesn’t want a decent family, Dee? It’s not much to ask for.”

Tak paused to pluck a seashell from the sand. Chipped and polished by time, it shone under the glint of a fast setting sun. “I don’t know the answers,” he said. “But they seem to be in things like this,” he held up the shell.

She frowned. “I don’t follow.”

He shrugged. “Well think about it. What’s a shell? It’s just a—a hard, protective outer layer.” He hurled it in the ocean. “The same is true with family. They’re an outer layer, a protection from the world. At least that’s what they’re supposed to be.” He paused. “Think about what happens when you screw with an animal that has one of those hard shells. What does he do?”

“He goes into it.”

“Right. He retreats.” He thumbed the shell thoughtfully. “Now imagine if you were to rip the shell off a turtle and expose him. What do you think you’d find?”

Deena cringed. “Something soft and hurting.

“And dead, if not close to it. So, our hypothetical turtle, who’s able to stand our shell transplant, needs another shell, another form of protection. And so do you.” Tak handed the grooved and sand-polished subject to Deena. She looked down at it.

“So, how’ve I been surviving all this time? What’s my shell?”

Tak grinned. “Tell you what. I’ll let you know when I crack it.”

MY REVIEW:
5 our of 5 stars - Wonderful inter-racial love story. 
This was a wonderful story about two families from different social and cultural backgrounds, and how their lives eventually become intertwined.

It is also a story of how someone can come from an upbringing full of no-hope and despair, and make a great success of life.

I loved how the book dealt with the great divide between rich and poor, and how she brought the characters from such different backgrounds together and made a wonderful and tender, albeit challenging, love affair.

The two main characters Deena and Tak, have worked hard in life to establish their careers away from their families. The way the author has written their characters makes them come across as strong and interesting people with integrity. The author seemed to be portraying that you can make your own way in life, despite your background, if you are determined and work hard.

I enjoyed the conflict portrayed between Deena and her family, and it makes you realise how different her life could have been if she didn't have this strength and determination. It shows how someone can triumph over adversity.

This was a very well written story of an inter-racial love affair with some warm and interesting characters. The book kept me interested from the very start.

I need to warn you as a potential reader of the book, that the book does portray some scenes of under age sex, which you may find quite upsetting or disturbing. I do however feel the story does have a need for the scene as it adds to the background of the character.

ANOTHER REVIEW:
5.0 out of 5 stars - Romance at its best!
“Shewanda Pugh describes her debut novel as a "literary romance," and after reading and thoroughly enjoying it, I can say with conviction that she has artfully mastered the skill of storytelling. Her characters are genuine and complex. The story that she presents is real, and the issues wrapped in that story and in those characters are authentic to real life situations.

She presents her readers with the story of forbidden love, comparable to a modern day version of Romeo and Juliet. In her version, Romeo is Japanese and Juliet is a bi-racial blend of black and white. The two come from different worlds, but still find that ounce of magic that sets them down the path of passion, devotion, and above all, true love. The secondary stories that Pugh includes in the novel add substance to the story, laying out the consequences and outcomes that result from the way in which an individual chooses to live his or her life. All characters in the novel demonstrate an evolution from start to end, especially the heroine, Deena. It was both a joy and a frustration to follow her path of self-discovery and self worth.

Crimson Footprints is a very good read and highly recommended. It's nicely paced, never a dull moment. The essence of the story is heightened not only by the emotion and beauty of the story, but also by Pugh's ability to set the scene through her use of imagery. I loved every word, every sentence, and every page of this book. Her debut novel is definitely one of my favorite reads this year, and I can honestly say I cannot wait to read what's next from Shewanda Pugh.”-- Jamee Pritchard, The Kindle Book Review


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 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Shewanda Pugh is a native of Boston’s inner city, though she now lives in sunny Miami, Florida. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Alabama A&M University and a Master’s in Writing from Nova Southeastern University. Fuelled from a young age, her passion for crossing societal boundaries like race, class and culture, is the inspiration for both her cluttered bookshelf and her writing. When she’s not busy obsessing over fiction, she can be found travelling, nursing her social networking addiction or enjoying the company of loved ones.



VBT SCHEDULE
Sept 8:  http://lauries-interviews.blogspot.com (Extended Excerpt)
Sept 10:  http://tamariasoana.blogspot.com/ (Extended Excerpt)
Sept 13:  http://www.carlyfall.com (Extended Excerpt)
Sept 14:  http://saphssteamybooks.blogspot.com (Extended Excerpt)
Sept 20:  http://Blackhippiechick.wordpress.com (Author Interview/Review)
Sept 25:  http://www.mommysreading.com (Author Interview/Review)
Oct 3:  http://www.theromacnewritersreads.com (Author Interview/Review)
Oct 3:  http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com (Author Interview)
Oct 12:  http://andisbookreviews.blogspot.com (Extended Excerpt)
Oct 13:  http://fullmoonbites.blogspot.com/ (Author Interview/Extended Excerpt)
Oct 15:  http://tamssbookblog.blogspot.com/ (Author Interview/Extended Excerpt/Review)
Oct 16:  http://mnmrheinlander.com (Author Interview/Review)