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Limpin by Bernadette Y. Connor
If you ain't got love you're . . . LIMPIN'. Ida Evers shares all of the trials and victories of their lives together, with her husband, James Evers, who has Alzheimer's. His reactions are hilarious and heartwarming. Her gripping storytelling is filled with all of the angst, surprise, joy and loss of lives lived thoroughly with love as its anchor. Tales of family life will come and go, but you will never forget the Evers.
Book Review: Limpin' is a well told, very interesting fictional African American family drama.
The book opens with this; “The doctor told me James had Alzheimer’s four years ago, and that he would forget things and do strange things he had never done before. I thought that diagnosis was funny at the time because corn liquor had been doing that to James for over fifty years. As far as James doing anything he had never done before, I thought that impossible. If he got his back up about something or a load on, James always could and would do some pretty stupid things.”
This book reminds me of the book/movie ‘The Notebook’. It is a love story that goes beyond the love between husband and wife to encompass the love and dynamics between family members.
Author Bernadette Y. Connor uses her main character Mrs. Ida Evers to share this heartwarming story where love anchors their lives through it all, especially towards to end when Alzheimer’s works to rob her husband James of his memories.
Here is a quote from chapter 19: “The summer of forty-eight. What can’t be said about it? The most profound phrase that comes to mind is, ‘I wasn’t in Gadsden.’ We experienced unbelievable highs and devastating lows. It seemed as if I would at long last get to know a loving relationship with my husband. We could have that honeymoon I read about other people having and enjoying so much. Oh, James, we came so close to having all of that, and so much more.
We drove up to Virginia Beach the first weekend we were alone. I saw the ocean for the very first time in my life. It was truly a grand sight too. It stretched to forever; all blue and green with white foam smashing against the dark tan colored beach. You told me that the sand was mixed with dirt and that the farther down the coast you went the brighter it got and that there were actually white beaches in Florida and Mexico.
Born and raised colored in the south the trip was a rude awakening for me. We all knew our boundaries and basically stayed within them. Every once in a while, someone would get rambunctious and find out the hard way that white folks don’t play with you. The way I saw it at the time, white folks were the least of my problems because I dealt so little with them.”
You will have to read this book to understand this reference: “I wasn’t in Gadsden”.
I, Theodocia McLean endorse Limpin' by Bernadette Y. Connor as a family drama that shines the light on love vs control. I purchased this book from Kindle and completed this review on November 6, 2017.
He's Mine by Bernadette Y. Connor
What’s a girl to do when she moves to a new town and falls in love with the most desired man in town?
What’s a girl to do when that man belongs to all in his family and social circle?
What’s a girl to do when their infatuation with him is unhealthy to the point of being dangerous?
What’s a girl to do when one of them threatens her and she doesn’t know which one it is?
What’s a girl to do when that person declares, “He’s Mine!”?
“Dream come true turns nightmare!”
“A romantic, gritty and disturbing fatal attraction.”
Tall, dark and incredibly handsome, Miles Alexander is admired by his friends and colleagues, loved and adored by every woman in town, including his family. He is an attorney from a wealthy family, and an incurable romantic who has dated every attractive woman in town. Miles’s world is comfortable and carefree until Patrice Mays whisks past him in the lobby of his office building and his appreciation of a beautiful woman eclipsed. With just the two of them on the elevator, Miles inspects her from head-to-toe and cannot believe his eyes, she is perfection.
Patrice Mays is new in town and Miles is the first person to penetrate her determination to be on time for her first day at Tymes, McNeil and Lowell Law Offices. The gorgeous floral arrangement and warm welcome note Miles had delivered impresses her. The recollection of his handsome, well dressed physique made her smile. However, Patrice is focused on her career, Miles is focused on Patrice.
Miles makes his infatuation with Patrice well known immediately, and the information is not well received by all. Patrice is confronted at the end of her second day by an irate Miles romantic reject and receives a mind-boggling note in her inter-office mail that simply says, “He’s Mine!”
Book Review: ‘He's Mine!’ by Bernadette Y. Connor is a romance that begins as a chance meeting in an elevator, turns into an adventurous pursuit, infatuation, intrigue, romance, jealousy, stalking and attempted murder. All the elements that keep the reader tuning the page and creates caution in the minds of single hearts looking for love.
Two main characters from different backgrounds bring their own history and unique circumstances to the story. Miles Alexander is an attorney from a wealthy family. He is tall, dark, handsome and carefree with a giant Doberman named Roman. His good looks, money and carefree lifestyle makes him a target for women who want the best and are willing to go to any length to accomplish their quest. Patrice Mays is the new woman in town, focused on her career and is about to find herself in the cross-hairs. I quote a passage that stands out in my memory: “Patrice stood in the doorway watching Miles and Roman disappear into the night, and she was surprised by the number of people still sitting on their steps. Patrice would soon learn that this was a ritual of summer in the inner city.”
I especially like to read passages that give insight into how different two people can be when a friendship begins. I quote: “He especially loved the way she ate the barbeque with her fingers and licked them afterwards. Patrice had not gone to any trouble trying to impress the great Miles Alexander. Miles had never eaten a piece of meat with his fingers until he was in college, and to date had never licked his fingers. His mother would have had a massive coronary if she had witnessed him doing any of it.”
Romance that begins as a fine fragile line between two people. I quote: “In silence, Patrice dissected and analyzed her anger. When the particles settled, there was only one answer. Patrice Mays was more physically attracted to Miles Alexander than she had ever been to any man in her life and it had made her horribly uncomfortable. Truthfully, she had no idea whether she was acting rational or not. Her hormones were blitzing her brain cells.”
Secondary characters who may or may not have a reason to come between Miles and Patrice. Attraction is one thing, but when mixed with some mental illness things often change without warning. Chaos can affect a wide circle of people and the criminal justice system can’t always protect the innocent.
I, Theodocia Mclean endorse He's Mine! by Bernadette Y. Connor as a romance with a fatal attraction mystery entwined. We admire the author’s inner strength and ability to raise three children alone and inspire them to graduate from college. Our heart acknowledges her struggles through her own medical issues and the brutal murder of her eldest son in 1991.
Her early writing began in the wee hours of the morning when her children were sleeping and resurfaced later when she wrote and published her debut novel, ‘Damaged!’ in 1998. This book garnered her a spot in “Who’s Who In America 2004” for the first psychological thriller published by an African American Woman. From here she went on to publish Inherited in 2005, PEARL AND ANGELA in 2009, SASHA'S New Beginning in 2011, THE PARCEL EXPRESS MURDERS in 2012 and He’ s Mine! on September 15, 2014.
The review was completed on May 10th, 2015. For more information please contact Cold Coffee Press.
Damaged by Bernadette Y. Connor
Adrena Reynolds is the teenage survivor of years of child abuse that leaves her filled with murderous rage. State- assigned, psychiatrist Vivian Matthews tries to help Adrena overcome the psychological damage she has suffered. Their relationship grows beyond that of doctor-patient and Dr. Matthews takes Adrena into her personal life, which includes the handsome, sexy, and successful Howard Shaw. Therapy and love bring Adrena to the brink of happiness, but will the insane legacy of her past allow Adrena to live and let live?
Genre: Fiction, General Psychological Thriller
Inherited by Bernadette Y. Connor
Derrick Dawes is a cafe au lait Adonis who lives comfortably and enjoys bachelorhood. When Derrick receives a call informing him that his wife has left the hospital it begins as an obvious mistaken identity that turns into a nightmare. His security and peace of mind are shattered by the reality that there are newborn twins with his name listed as father. DNA will free him, if the babies are not his, in three months without the mother's DNA contribution. If he signs anything, he is acknowledging paternity. If he leaves the hospital without them, he will be charged with abandonment.
Derrick Dawes as Daddy is a comedy of errors until he meets their nurse and angers an old girlfriend who makes his life a living hell. Through it all, Derrick searches for the mother of the twins.
Genre: Romance Contemporary
Pearl and Angela by Bernadette Y. Connor
Pearl and Angela is a suspense-filled story that profoundly chronicles the emotional damages of hatred and cruelty and the miraculous healing power of love. The characters come to life, providing on-the-edge-of-your-seat entertainment and intrigue wrapped in a timeless love story. Pearl Little grew up an only child in a typical late 1940s Midwestern town in the shadow of a maniac, Barry "Pop" Little. Pop had ranted his expectations all of Pearl's life, and after his death, his words haunted her. A trip to the Fair with a young man Pearl had fallen in love with and his best friend, without Pop's permission, tragically altered their lives. Angela Bowman was tossed from a car and left on the side of the road in town and Pearl happened upon her. Pearl brought Angela home and the two women's lives flourished, clashed, and healed. Angela had been sold at the age of six to a brothel owner in a nearby town. To escape her past, Angela craved the one thing she thought would set her free money. Money to run, to live the high life, to be free of anything she found confining. Pearl and Angela came together and each supplied the other’s needs. They developed a comfortable existence and then the unimaginable happened.
Genre: Literary Fiction
Sasha’s New Beginning by Bernadette Y. Connor
On the surface, Sasha and Terrence Bain are the American dream. She is beautiful, intelligent, graceful, a wonderful homemaker and mother of three incredibly witty children. He is a successful banker and illegitimate son of a long line of successful bankers. Financially, they want for nothing.
All Sasha wants is to make Terrence happy. All Terrence wants is to make Terrence happy too. Their life together is both wonderful and challenging. Sasha's torment at not being able to be the woman who makes Terrence's eyes light up each time he walks in the door is obvious. His unfaithfulness is also obvious, and Terrence has lived a charmed life with his dedicated wife and adoring children.
Sasha's life takes on a new glow when she receives lavender orchids from a secret admirer. When an unexpected tragedy strikes the Bain family, Sasha's joy withers like the petals on her beloved orchids, and she wonders if her secret admirer had been Terrence all along.
Sasha's journey through love, betrayal, loss, and rebirth is an all too familiar one with an ending that will take your breath away.
Book Genre: Romantic, Suspense, Thriller
The Parcel Express Murders by Bernadette Y. Connor
Detectives Hall Hawkins and Edward Clark of the 30th Precinct Homicide Division are assigned the daunting task of solving the brutal murders of the handsome, Exquisite Wheels owner, David Bass, and his beautiful, fashion designer date, Kay Spencer. The case is every homicide detective's nightmare: A double murder with only one clue . . . corpses riddled with bullets from a .45.
As Hawkins and Clark pursue this cunning, cold-blooded killer, they uncover one sordid detail after another about the lives of the wealthy and worldly victims, shedding no light on the case. A string of unsolved murders following on the heels of the Bass and Spencer case deepens the mystery.
Detective Hall Hawkins' stunning family friend, psychiatrist Samoa Tate, is introduced to the sophisticated and charming Detective Edward Clark and finds herself embroiled in a love triangle that she alone knows all about and a murder mystery of which she is completely unaware.
Bernadette Y. Connor has again given her readers a story filled with twists and turns and enough suspense to keep them up burning the night oil to find out 'who done it and why.' The love story that weaves throughout the murder mystery is rich and sophisticated, simple and devilishly complicated. THE PARCEL EXPRESS MURDERS is filled with characters you want living next door and characters you want living next door to someone else someone far away.
Genre: Crime, Fiction, Detective Thriller
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Bernadette Y. Connor
Bernadette Y. Connor is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was born at home in a one-room apartment in North Philadelphia; the fourth of five children. To help her family financially, she sang rhythm and blues in many of the local nightclubs until she graduated from Dobbins Vocational Area High School in 1969 and was hired as a secretary by Sun Oil Company.
Her first love was music, but she found herself writing poetry in Junior High School. Some of her earliest writings were published in SCLC monthly magazine. Both singing and writing had to take a back burner to caring for her family, but midnight often found her doodling. A divorced mother of three, Bernadette saw that all of her children graduated from college.
She found her niche’ at AT&T as a communications technician. With the merger came a lay-off and she saw as an opportunity to begin a new career, but that was put on hold by a series of medical problems and finally the devastation of the brutal murder of her eldest son on Christmas Eve of 1991. Her zest for life, travel and adventure were nearly extinguished. However, Bernadette’s thoughts slowly returned to writing.
The literary fire was stoked by reacquainting herself with her earlier poems, and Bernadette embarked on yet another adventure. She wrote a simple love story called ‘Finally’ that opened the gate to an avalanche of works which include 13 novels and 12 screenplays.
Bernadette’s published debut novel, ‘Damaged’, the first psychological thriller ever written and published by an African American garnered her a spot in “Who’s Who In America 2004”. Publishers Weekly dubbed her the “genre-crossing writer” and she loves the distinction. Agent, Mondella Jones, labeled her “a master storyteller.”
What makes you proud to be a writer from Philadelphia? It is an honor to be a writer from Philadelphia. There is a rich literary history from James A. Michener, Edgar A. Poe and Diane McKinney-Whetstone. These authors have blazed a glorious fictional trail for me. While Edgar A. Poe was not born in Philadelphia, he wrote and published while living here. His home is on our Historical Registry.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? Honestly, I believe I have always had a writer's spirit; needing to know who, what, when, where and how. It was awakened by hearing Edgar A. Poe's poems on phonographs in English class in Junior High. It was my baptism into the written word has a distinct rhythm and sound. If I hear "The Bells" or "Annabel Lee" today, I am still mesmerized by them. Langston Hughes inspired and nurtured that belief for me. The way he wrote about his people made me believe he loved and respected every aspect of their existence. If I can scratch the surface of the power of his love, I will believe I have accomplished something.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? In 1997, after lots of long-winded rejection letters swearing I was good and praising my skills, but they could not publish my work. Of course, they never said exactly why they could not publish it.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes. I put all of my experience to work in my work without ever writing about my life. The dreams, passion and devastation of life fascinates me. The ways we love and hurt each other is my springboard.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I have done both. Sometimes, the title comes weeks before the story begins to unfold.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Romance and psychological thrillers. I write in these two genre because they are the heart of our existence. They propel or stifle us in life. To love and be loved is our reason for being. Our attempts to achieve our reason damages us irreparably when it is not accomplished, or the ones we want to love desperately have been so wounded that they wound in return.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? The thought that no matter how "perfect" the people in the relationship or the relationship itself appears to onlookers, there are always challenges to overcome. What happens when you can't name the challenger? What happens when you name the challenger, but can't name the reason why they are challenging your relationship? What made your challenger's insanity choose you as their target?
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Knowing that people who do not read have thoroughly enjoyed my work. Knowing that scholars have used some of it for class study. Knowing that people who have experienced some of the challenges identify with the stories and situations. My real reward is that I entertain people for a little while. I turn their attention away from their lives with the intrigue of what's going to happen to someone else.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? At a book signing; to have a young lady bring me a paperback copy of ‘Damaged’ that was held together with a rubber-band saying, "Ms. Connor, I think I need to have it in hardback. All of my family and friends have read and destroyed this copy."
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Be true to yourself. At the end of the day you will always look back and know you did it your way. If you're writing to make money, follow others.
Who is your favorite author and why? Langston Hughes and J. California Cooper. They both could write dynamic short stories that made me believe they loved their characters.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I am not a person who builds a story. I allow the characters to tell their story. Sometimes, I feel more like a stenographer than an author.
Please tell us something that you believe your readers would like to know. Pain and passion in a novel are necessary elements. Too much sunshine burns the story up. Too much rain drowns it.