The Badass Girl’s Guide

C.J. Scarlet turns trauma from her past, throws way the “victim” label and helps women keep themselves safe. While attacks are the fault of the attacker, women, none the less, need to know how to keep themselves safe in this less than perfect world. Scarlet gives you tip on how to not become a victim as well as what to do if you do become one.

Scarlet walks you through failing the predator interview, the myths of rape and how to put aside preconceived notion of femininity that are putting you in danger. The chapters aren’t long and are written plainly which make it easy to understand and hold your attention.  The most important information is bulleted and easily digestible.  This isn’t just theo37561534ry and statistics (even though there are some important stats included); this is practical and valuable information.

I loved that the author includes what to do if you are attacked. As the author says, no method is one hundred percent successful in evading predators, so it is important to know what to do if you are attacked.  Personally, I feel that hearing this from someone who has been there is even more reassuring. She has been there and knows how uncomfortable the whole situation is. Hearing from someone who has been there and become a strong woman is highly motivating and hopeful.

My favorite part of the book, though, isn’t the advice on how to thwart an attacker or the practical safety tips. Scarlet bears her soul in “Escape from the Terrible Garden.” This prose piece puts words to the feelings trapped inside her. It is both moving and enlightening. I think anyone who has been abused in some way as well as family and friends should read it to truly understand what it feels like.

The Badass Girl’s Guide helps women empower themselves and help them (and others) stay safe in an imperfect world. After reading this book, I will be donating to my local Free Little Library; this information needs to be read and passed on.




I received a complementary copy for review; all opinions are my own.

Widows’ Revenge

I have not had the pleasure of reading the first book nor have I seen the ‘80s TV show. But the plot was so exciting that I went to see the movie. I have followed Lynda La Plante’s Tennison series and really enjoy it. So I knew enough to clearly see where the plot followed the original novel and what was added by the two screen writers (I didn’t like the movie. The story was twisted into a whole separate racial story that really had nothing to do with the widow’s taking the focus off the badass women). But I was really excited to receive an ARC of the sequel.

Unlike the movie, Harry is still alive and unaware that Dolly has cleaned him out. Dolly and the girls are hiding out in Rio while the heat dies down. But when Harry learns he has no money, he goes after his wife. The women flee back to England and make a deal with Harry. They will give him $60,000 and he leaves them alone. But nothing is that easy.

While I should have read the first one to truly understand what was going on, it didn’t help that the author doesn’t bother to catch us up. Good novelist knows how to make sure new readers know what’s going on while not boring the new readers. I didn’t understand why Bella kept yelling about who she used to be. Heck, I


didn’t even know what time period it was set in.  I assuming with the lack of cell phone and the mention of cassette tapes, we were in the 80’s. What frustrates me so much is that she manages this issue well in the Tennison series. The time period was always clear and if I read them out of order I understood what was going on.

The biggest issue is that it is written like a TV show. It makes sense since that is what it is was originally but this isn’t a TV show;  it’s a novel. The pacing is horrible and jarring. In the most exciting parts, the writing jumps from character to character in flashes. It was hard to get emotional about the characters’ actions. The only character we really understand is Dolly and Shirley. They have side stories that do delve into their emotions. I was glad for these moments as I really wanted to sink my teeth into the revenge plot.

Honestly, I am not sure why there will be another Widows book as the Afterword states. The tale has been told and lives and deaths have been resolved.  If the firsts book is written the same way as this one, I’m not very interested in back tracking nor reading something past this. From now on, I’m just going to stick to the Tennison novels.


Publication Date:  February 19

I received an ARC from the publisher; all opinions are my own.

The Familiars


The Familiars is a moving tale in a time and place where women were value by their ability to give birth.

Fleetwood is 17th century woman who has lost her last few pregnancies. Pregnant again, Fleetwood finds a letter her husband hid from the doctor: she will surely not live through childbirth. Fleetwood fears for her life as well as the life of her unborn babe.  In one of her emotional walks through the grounds, she meets Alice Grey a young girl who has delivered many a baby. She hires Alice who immediately gives her herbs to help with her nausea and strength. Things seem like everything will work out well, local cities are putting witches on trial and then to death. When Alice’s name comes up, Fleetwood knows there is no wickedness in the girl. But what can either of them do to change their fates?

The Familiars look at women’s rights which during this period were pretty much nonexistent. Women could be tried as witches and very rarely, if ever survive. Fleetwood was treated with massive disrespect because all the rich people of the time could only think about a male heir. While life isn’t perfect for women today, this was a reminder of how far we have come and reminded me to be grateful that many strides had been made.

I fell in love with the characters as well. Fleetwood was not going to just sit back and let everything happen around her. She took steps to take control of her destiny speaking out and making choices others didn’t approve of. Alice was guarded and it was easy to see why and was in stark contrast to the women who worked at the estate as servants. Alice showed what life was like without privilege. Regardless, she tried to help people whenever she could.

The settings were lush and Stacey Halls paints a beautiful picture of the manor and other locales in the book. I felt very much like I was visiting the time period. I especially loved the forest scenes with the lush greenery and the variety of animals.

Overall, I really enjoyed the familiars and its pacing urged me to keep reading I loved being transported to another time and place even though I was unhappy with the way women were treated.


Publication Date: February 7

I received an ARC from the publisher; all opinions are my own.