AAPI SPOTLIGHT – A LOWCOUNTRY BRIDE by Preslaysa Williams

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A LOWCOUNTRY BRIDE

by

Preslaysa Williams

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A heartwarming Avon debut of love, forgiveness, and new beginnings set in the beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry.

Maya Jackson has worked for Laura Whitcomb, Inc, a renowned New York City bridal gown brand for years and dreams of becoming Head Designer. She has the talent, she just needs a chance to showcase her unique style. Due to an illness, she’s always prioritized her career over her personal life until Maya’s father fractures his hip and she returns to Charleston, SC. While home for only a few months, she’s thrilled to find an opportunity at the local bridal gown boutique, never expecting sparks to fly with its owner…

A military veteran and widowed father, Derek Sullivan hopes to save Always a Bride from bankruptcy in order to preserve the legacy of his mother. He also wants to reconnect with his estranged, twelve-year-old daughter, who is still recovering from the loss of her mother. The last thing he needs is a relationship with a beautiful, smart, complicated woman who will be leaving soon.

When Derek begins to fall for the lovely Maya, he knows there’s no future. But destiny has its own plans, and these two lonely people with big hearts discover that coming home to love is the best gift life can give.

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ALB bookstagramA Lowcountry Bride is an affecting story of discovering identity, fulfilling dreams, dealing with loss, keeping the faith, and finding love. The authenticity with how the characters’ culture came across strongly emphasizes the importance of providing opportunities for own voices stories, of lifting marginalized creators, of representation and inclusion.

This book is bursting with Ms. Williams’s pride in her unique mix of West African/Filipino heritage. It’s manifested in the food, by distinctive sewing techniques, and in the sympathetic personalities of the main characters.

Maya Jackson, with her struggles to cope with a chronic illness while attempting to achieve her mother’s dreams for her amidst obstacles in the workplace, feels like a real person to me.  Adding to all those the care for her injured father, she is heavily burdened than most but utterly real. Maya’s internal conflict when making life-altering choices made me anxious. Despite the guarantee of a hopeful ending, I still fretted over her decisions.

While I liked Maya, I was soft for the men in her life–her father Carl and her love interest Derek Sullivan. These two dads had similar tales of guiding their daughters to find their paths. They had the best lines from the book.

Her dad’s advice resonated with me.

But don’t stop living, Maya. Don’t ever stop living. You owe it to yourself to live every single day to the fullest.”

Derek’s declaration made me melt.

It’s not the dying that matters. It’s the living. … I can bring the past with me and use it to craft a beautiful present and a hopeful future.”

I like that despite the heavy topics (illness, deaths from a mass shooting, inequity in the workplace, racism) this book is not depressing. There’s enough humor and joy in the successes both Maya and Derek achieved individually and together.

My minor concern is with the portrayal of Laura, Maya’s boss, as an irredeemable villainess. I wish there’s more dimension to her character. After all, she hired Maya in the first place. Her part in the story appeared soap-opera-ish.

Besides that, I enjoyed this book.  It’s engaging and made me root for the characters. I can’t wait for the author’s upcoming books.

4 out of 5 stars


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Preslaysa Williams (nee, Preslaysa Edwards) is an award-winning author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction with an Afro-Filipina twist. She loves sharing her culture with her readers.

She has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and a MPA from the University of South Carolina. She is also a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar, a Jackie Robinson Foundation Extra Innings Fellow, and a Sol Spiegelman Scholar. Preslaysa is currently earning a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University.

In addition, she’s a professional actress. She started acting at age eight, joining the Screen Actors Guild as a teenager when she co-starred on the Nickelodeon TV show, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo.

She’s an avid bookworm and planner nerd who hoards pens, pencils, and notebooks in her spare time. In her daily life, you’ll find her wearing mismatched socks while being a homeschool mom. Preslaysa presently makes her home in Virginia with her husband and two children. You can visit her online at www.preslaysa.com where you can sign up for her newsletter community.

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MORNINGS ON MAIN By Jodi Thomas Book Review

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MORNINGS ON MAIN:

A Small-Town Texas Novel

by

Jodi Thomas

Genre: Mainstream Romance

Publisher: HQN

Number of Pages: 320 pages

AVAILABLE APRIL 10, 2018!

 

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MORNINGS ON MAIN by Jodi Thomas is a lovely read. It’s the perfect way to spend a cold spring day: curled up on your favorite reading nook with a cup of tea in one hand and a delightful book in another. Incredibly well-written, this book took me to a small town, introduced me to the people living there, and made me like them and care about them. There are plenty of characters, but the book always centered on Jillian, Connor, and Sunnie — the three whose points-of-view we rely on to tell the story. These are normal, real people with every day problems that everyone can relate to — growing up, growing old, leaving, staying, and taking risks to fall in love or continue drifting.

I appreciate Jillian and Connor’s sweet slow-burn fall into love. You can see how it developed throughout the length of the book. I also enjoyed Gram and Joe, the quilts, and the town’s coming-to-life side stories. MNotable Quotable 1 Mornings on Mainy favorite part of the book, though, is Sunnie. Her growth as a character from the sullen, resentful child in the beginning to the warm, lovable, funny teenager at the end brought a smile to my face.

I’m rating Mornings on Main four stars. Jillian’s storyline with her parents remained unresolved. I’d have liked for her to find a more definitive closure than what she got. Other than that, I found this book heartwarming and I’d recommend it to everyone who likes small town reads with a sweet romance.

 

Synopsis

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Jillian James has never had a place to call home. Desperate to make some quick cash before moving on again, she agrees to help an elderly woman close her beloved quilt shop. Connor Larady’s grandmother has owned the shop all her life, but lately she has struggled with Alzheimer’s. Connor’s seventeen-year-old daughter has spent her whole life in Laurel Springs, Texas, and she feels restless. When Jillian moves to town, she represents travel, adventure and excitement. Weaving together the story of three generations of women looking for a place to belong, Mornings on Main asks us to consider how we make our memories—what we remember, what we forget, what becomes part of our story—and remind us that it’s not where we live, but how we live that counts.

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AboutTheAuthor

With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas Author Pic Thomasis both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 45 novels and 14 short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.

Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating an historic home, and “checking up” on their grown sons and four grandchildren.

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