Diversity in books is not just black and white

Live For This

Diversity is a hot topic amongst authors and readers who are tired of not being represented or being misrepresented in fiction. But diversity is not limited to the racial background of the hero and heroine. It’s so much more than that. We should consider not only race, but religious backgrounds, cultural backgrounds, economic backgrounds, and people with emotional, physical, and mental disabilities. Everyone deserves love and happy endings.

Recently I was given an advanced reader copy of Live for This by Kathryn R. Biel. Check out my Amazon Review.

Here’s the official blurb:

Samirah Lundgren is living the party girl life. While she’s trying to forget about her past and put off having a meaningful future, her lifestyle catches up with her, leaving her in a wake of personal destruction. Alone and homeless, she encounters Michael Salinger, a man carrying his own baggage in the form of a spinal cord injury, not to mention his former fiancé is marrying his former best friend.

Can a man with a broken body and a woman with a shattered soul help each other find the redemption they need to become whole again?

Samirah comes from an Iranian/British background, one she has totally disconnected with. She masks her heritage behind bleach-blonde hair and her nickname Sam, allowing her acquaintance to think of her as Samantha. The sad fact is, I believe this is true of many people. We all try to fit into the accepted concepts of what’s considered beautiful or perfect. But in whose eyes?

Tall and handsome, Michael had no problem approaching women. Until he was paralyzed. Now women won’t even look at him. All they see is the chair. His fiancé leaves him, unable to cope with the reality of his day-to-day, even though he is totally self-sufficient. Even women he would normally not find attractive regard him with contempt. The sad fact here is while ideally we can all say a disability would not change how we feel about someone, how many can say they would consider dating someone who was paraplegic?

This book hit the mark on so many levels. I stayed up reading until almost 2am to finish it knowing I had to get up the next day for work at 6am. This well written emotional read knocked my socks off. This piece of fiction matters. It will change your view of life, love, and the power of the human spirit.

My takeaway: Love may not be blind, but we shouldn’t let stereotypes blind us to the potential for love.

More about the author, Kathryn R. Biel.

Author Bio:

Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients’ needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014), I’m Still Here (2014), Jump, Jive, and Wail (2015), Killing Me Softly (2015), and Completions and Connections: A Romantic Holiday Novella (2015).


Kathryn R. Biel, Author Telling Stories of Resilient Women

Website: bit.ly/KRBOnline

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kathrynrbiel

Twitter: @KRBiel Instagram @krbiel


I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.

Author Pic Final 2016


Find me at http://www.yoursweetandspicyromanceauthor.com/

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Review of Jennifer Senhaji’s Sunset Dreams Series

Marina's Portal


(A Review of the Sunset Dreams Series by Jennifer Senhaji)
By Brenda Rogers

Today I’m going to tell you about not one, but two amazing books by my favorite “Sweet and Spicy” author, Jennifer Senhaji. Sweet Dreams and Choosing to Dream are from Jennifer’s Sunset Dreams Series. Both books follow the oftentimes turbulent journey that famous actor Jake and down-to-earth coffee shop owner Jenna travel to find each other and true love.

Both books were incredible I enjoyed reading them. The best thing for me about the books was that they were written in first person POV. It made me feel like I was a participant in the story rather than a spectator from the sidelines, and I feel that the first person POV helped create the books’ realistic, in-depth characters that I was rooting for from the beginning. Another wonderful thing about…

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Clueless in love

Love this review of my novel, Sweet Dreams. Thank you Aussie Book Reviewer!

Aussie Book Reviewer


Available on Amazon:

Jen is the clumsy, bug phobic, music loving owner of
Sweet Dreams Café in the small town of Maple Grove. She spends most of her time
working, occasionally dating, and is generally content and happy.

When Jen unexpectedly finds herself in an elevator with
Jacob Walker, A-list actor and sexiest man alive, she catches her breath, smiles
politely, wishes him a good day, and amazingly keeps the encounter with the
megastar to herself.

Showing up a month later at Sweet Dreams, Jake orders a
coffee and blueberry muffin to-go from Jen herself, leaving her dumbfounded and
feeling like an infatuated fangirl.

The two form an unlikely friendship over coffee and
conversation while he films on location.

Knowing Jake won’t be in town forever, Jen keeps her
attraction and her feelings for Jake to herself. She knows once he finishes
filming he will leave, and life will go…

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Why I won’t review your book

Great article. This is the same reason why I will decline to review if I can’t give a 3 star or higher. Just because I didn’t like the book doesn’t mean I want to discourage readers who may.

Barb Taub

Why do you give such high ratings to all the books you review?”

cocaineIt’s a fair question, and not the first time I’ve been asked. The answer is simple. I don’t review books I know I won’t like. That doesn’t mean I only accept them from a particular genre, but rather that I triage the ones I read. If I can tell right away that I won’t like it, I don’t accept it for a review. If I get a few chapters into it and realize my review will be under three stars, I tell the author. (Not one has ever asked that I go ahead with the review.)

I was adding a review to Goodreads recently for a book that had almost all five-star reviews and noticed there was one reviewer who only gave it two stars. I was curious, so I looked at that review. The reviewer…

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