Bleu’s Reviews: Conjure Women

Conjure Women focuses on three very different women of the same plantation. Told primarily from the perspective of Rue, daughter of esteemed conjure woman and favorite of Marse Charles Miss May Belle. Rue also happens to be trusted friend and confidant of the master’s daughter Varina. As the story swings from the past during May Belle’s reign as Queen of conjure on the plantation to present day Rue who has taken on the mantle as healer in the Resurrection – era village that is all that remains of their old home. Following the birth of “Bean”;  a child with unusual eyes, and the seasonal appearance of a traveling preacher, a sickness takes hold of the towns children. The townspeople are ready to turn their backs on Rue and towards their faith. As Rue works to find a cure, she begins a path at uncovering everyone’s secrets including her own.

Post – read I still can’t pinpoint exactly where this is located and I’m perfectly okay with that. Every main location was so well crafted I feel like I was blended into the story with them. My favorite would be Atakora’s description of the woods, the darkness of it how the fog seemed to emanate from it. The woods in post civil war village became a character in itself. I also loved how Rue interacted with the land itself, hiding coins in trees as she’d seen her mother do. How she often crouched low to the earth to pick flowers and herbs even the detail in which she described finding the herbs from different spots. I absolutely love a well built world and this book has it in spades.

The story is more about Rue than anyone else but seems to focus on Rue and how she maneuvers around other people. She is often measuring herself against her mother’s accomplishments. She feels a weighty responsible to look after the town and its children despite a clear and present threat to herself and yet she persists to ensure the people who live there are looked after and well cared for. Just as she had always served and cared for Varina throughout their upbringing. She often lets Varina lure her into mischief and I only say let because I feel like Rue at times doesn’t even attempt to speak up. The relationship she shares with Varina is a complex one that seems more maternal at times than what it truly is. The rivalries between a lot of the characters twists the theories of faith, magic and deception. What is illusion when belief becomes a tangible thing? Each of the characters in the book seem to be holding a secret and as the story progressed Atakora peeled back another layer until the final secret was brought to the light and true freedom could finally come.

 

Overall I 100% loved this book!

 

Its my first 5-star read of the year and I have loads more reading to do. As a debut novel I’d have to say Afia Atakora should be super proud of herself. Conjure Women was an amazign read. It was well written, i was into the story and genuinely felt something from start to finish. My goodreads feed was flooded with updates and I was able to finish this beauty in about three days.

 

I will be doing a live zoom discussion with #ALLTHINGSLIT Book Club to discuss Conjure Women be sure to check my social media for more information about that ❤ Can’t wait to chat with everyone soon.

 

What Did You Think Of Conjure Women?

Leave A Comment Below!

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Dragon Hunter: Case Files of Erin Draconis

It’d been a family heirloom, the dusty book bound in worn animal flesh. She’d always been fascinated by the stones on the cover. Both a journal and an encyclopedia of sorts, it was among the things willed to her by her late uncle.

Vincent Draconis, renowned paleontologist had been keeping a secret. Though he had built his name and his fortune on the research and study of bugs and fossils they’d only funded his true passion.

He’d spent all of his youth and most of his elderly years pursuing and recording the few lasting breeds of an ancient creature. He’d stumbled on the existence of dragons. At first he needed proof that they’d really existed, he was sure the findings would make him famous.

Vincent had bee contacted by a secret order, sworn to protect the magical beings. At the height of their existence they were beings of untold power, every piece of their bodies could be used in potent spells. The dragons were almost hunted into extinction.

As a girl Erin had remembered going on many adventures with her uncle but none to explain this revelation. She’d seen him hunched over the book often, furrowed brow scribbling frantically while mumbling into a tape recorder. These moments she wandered the corridors of his mansion.

She’d been fourteen when she’d come to stay with her father’s brother; after a house fire claimed her remaining parent. Erin had lived through several tragedies at once for such a young age. Her mother weakened from the stress of childbirth gave her life so she could survive. At thirty – five Evan Draconis would fumble through her early years. They’d survived unscathed when Vincent fresh from college came to stay the first time. He’d become infatuated with fossils and decided to travel the world to study them. Her earliest memories were of his beard and backpack.

The backpack lay abandoned in the corner of the office now. his desk was still cluttered with maps and charts. He’d been planning to go somewhere prior to his stroke. Vincent was always full of life but he was a man of terrible health. In between meals he enjoyed copious amounts of liquor and fat. He was beloved, but had grown plump and slightly senile in his later years. The imminent stroke that claimed him was of no surprise; though it was heartbreaking just the same.

A knock at the door relinquished her from her thoughts.

The attorney had brought a flash drive she was to view alone and only after agreeing to the task on the drive. She’d signed her name and received a box promised to have everything she’d need for her new life. The lawyer shook hands and departed.

Everyone else had gone home.

She decided to watch the drive.

Family Secrets: Evan Jamison

 

 

Family secrets 2

May 23, 2012

Name: Evan Anthony Jamison

Age: 18

Career: Interior Design Intern at Bridgeman and Long Architectural Firm in Downtown New Bolden

Several thoughts flew through Evan’s mind at once. Leslie’s smile when he got accepted into school, picking out her prom dress, telling him the news.  It had never been his intention to hide this, he was proud of her and what they had done. Everything he was doing now, was to prove that he was ready and worthy to provide for her. He hadn’t done enough it seemed.

Evan realized almost not soon enough that tonight really was an evening to remember and this was merely the finale. He had always meant to tell them sooner but never got the chance. His thoughts were interrupted by Mrs. Jackson’s heaping sobs.

“Janine, please come in…we’ll sort this whole mess out.” Regina came quickly down the steps. As expected his mother would come in and supervise, they would get answers, Mrs. Franklin would explain the non sense. She had to help him understand how he had suddenly lost everything.

“She had decided to come here after all, she even stopped to pick up a present. I felt that Evan should have it.” Janine placed the small box wrapped in gold paper into Evan’s tingling hand. His fingers were numb, his mind blank. A knee – jerk reaction forced his hand from his side as he gripped the small box and held it like the time bomb he assumed it was.

“Tell us what happened to Leslie, Janine,” his father’s voice sounded like a thunder-clap amidst the storm brewing in his head. He half-listened half remembered a text he’d received only a few moments earlier before bedlam erupted in the hallway and chaos reigned in the study. Leslie had mentioned she had a surprise for him, a text message much like the one he’d received five months earlier.

Evan  would never get the chance to tell his parents, that they were going to be grandparents, in a way he felt they’d deserved. He found that lately, he never had a chance to tell them anything. His mother who now lived in the far distant reaches of her own mind, was mechanically moving through life either at work, or barricaded in the upstairs bathroom. An occurrence which coincided with him finding her bawling her eyes out in front of the fireplace in the study. He had just left Leslie and had decided that he would tell both of his parents, regardless of the outcome.

The Jamison’s were a proud family, they would band together and help him through the fear and the nerves. It had been a little after midnight. He had just parked his car behind his dad’s black BMW and walked into the house when he heard a soft muttering coming from the family room. The lights had been off except for the warm glow of the firelight and he could hear his mother’s voice. She was talking in hushed tones as if she was speaking with someone but no one was around. Evan tiptoed slowly to the family room, the moonlight casting menacing shadows against the wall which looked mint green against the pale blue of the moon.

“What can I do? What can I do?” his mother muttered to herself and rocked beneath the blush silk bathrobe. She was almost chanting it, in the hushed tones of a crazy woman. She seemed possessed not just with the question, but by whatever caused her to ask it.

“Mom are you alright?” Evan asked abandoning his troubles to take on his mother’s. He’d often wished that night could’ve be different. That he’d shared his burden with her instead of harboring not only his secrets but hers as well. His mother, hair matted to one side of her head, face puffy and waterlogged beneath the cascade of tears that had danced down her cheeks. Her eyes were glazed and her voice sounded as if she’d been chain-smoking acid.

She looked up at him as if he were a stranger and that was how he felt. He’d never seen his mother that way before. Unraveled sobbing to herself, the faint smell of wine lingering on her breath as he leaned closer to hear her murmurings. Muttering nonsensical sounds to no one of any importance. He had gently placed his hand on her cheek and she broke beneath his touch, heaving hard sobs which threatened to break their silence.

They never spoke of that night and Evan never had another chance to share his news. The next day his mother decided to throw him a giant graduation party. Which ended in the study where he, his mother and father and a weeping Mrs. Jackson were now circled together raw and exposed.

“What were you two thinking?” Eric said vehemently.

Evan looked to his mother to aid him, they shared a moment that night. When he dared to hide his sins for the sake of helping her hide her own. Yet, when he looked at his mother all he saw was the broken shell of a woman. She was lost in shock…or  grief…..or  insanity. He knew now that the woman seated in the arm-chair by the firelight truly was a stranger, even in the sense of this tragedy she sat glazed and dazed with a simpleton’s smile on her face.

She giggled.

Season 5’s Broken Kingdom Sheds Light on the Shady Arthur

LANCELOT VS ARTHURSunday night’s all new Once Upon A Time finally explains the questions we’ve all been wondering. Who should our heroes trust and How did they fail Emma?

Newly knighted by Arthur, David is certain he can trust the charismatic king but Snow White believes her friend Lancelot.  And so we are taken back to Camelot 5 years prior, to a frantic Arthur being driven to madness questing for the Dark One’s dagger in an attempt to make Excalibur whole again.

Guinevere desperate to save her husband sneaks off with Lancelot to go find it themselves. They discover that Rumplestiltskin has it hidden on an altar which protects the dagger. He refuses to give it to them but provides a magic vial containing the sands of Avalon.

The sands are known to make anything broken appear fixed. When Guin tells Arthur of her original plan to trick him, he instead uses the sand on her and the kingdom. Apparently, it is also a very powerful brain washing agent.Guinevere and Lancelot

This is most important  because Snow and Charming create a plan to discover who is really on their side Lancelot had indeed been telling the truth but using the sands of Avalon, Arthur and a brainwashed Guinevere dust the Charmings and use them to get the dagger from Regina and Robin Hood.

 

During the commotion and in an attempt to help Emma defeat the Evil Rumplestiltskin shoulder angel, Hook takes her horseback riding and proves they may still have a chance at their happy ending.

Henry and Violet hanging out in the stables…Emma and Hook are now aware that he had an crush.

once-upon-time-season-5Lancelot newly imprisoned discovers Merida has also been locked away. Back in Storybrooke, Dark Swan snatches Merida ‘ s heart and uses her as a puppet.

Next week: Emma will be using Merida to turn cowardly Rumplestiltskin into a warrior worthy of Excalibur while her loved ones discover the sword stashed in her basement.

Be sure to watch ABC’s Once Upon A Time Sunday’s @ 8 chat with us on Facebook or Twitter @BluMoonFiction

 

Merida OUAT

Wallace University Red Files – Dodger (2015)

Dodger

Dodger

 

Cause of Death: Disemboweled by garden shears

 

Despite their being a clear curfew on campus in light of recent murders and a kidnapping,Dodger, twin Roger and girlfriend Chanel #5 went to Chanel O’s pumpkin patch to light some candles. The two brothers went inside the The Shining inspired maze and ran out to find Chanel #5 being attacked by the red devil wielding garden shears. For some reason the individuals present ran into the maze, trapping themselves whilst the red devil hunted them down.

During their escape Dodger and twin Roger could not agree on which direction to go and as a result started fighting.  First about the direction they should’ve run in and then about which of them Chanel #5 would choose. Against Chanel #5’s pleas to end it and run the two young men forced her to decided. Alas, she chose brother Roger and the two attempted to flee. Dodger recently dumped and looking for an out, was warned by hsi friends that walking backwards would prevent the footsteps from making sense in the snow. Unfrotunately their yelling led the Red Devil right to him and as he backtracked into the Devil’s waiting sheers his friends fled for their lives.

Wallace University Red Files – Caulfield – Dismembered

Caulfield

Caulfield – Random Dickey Dollar Scholar #1

During a drunken fight with two red devils with chainsaws this young man sacrificed his arms and possibly his life to save club president Chad Radwell from death. Chad had been beaten senseless with a chainsaw by the red devil and was on his way to making the blotter himself. Fortunately this guy saved the day. His status is currently unknown.

Wallace University Red Files – Aaron Cowen a.k.a. Coney (2015)

Coney

 

Aaron Cowen a.k.a. Coney (2015)

Cause of Death:ChainSaw

Aaron was a nobody essentially, that is until he was promoted to Ice Cream Cone mascot a gig he earned because the red devil mascot was being used as a menacing reminder of the serial murders happening around campus. He too met his end at the hands of Wallace University’s true mascot and the red devil dispensed of his replacement by crunching Coney’s cone.

Wallace University Red Files – Boone Clemens (2015)

Boone

Boone Clemens (2015)

Cause of Death: Theatrics

Closeted homosexual, golf enthusiast and best friend to Chad Radwell, Boone’s “corpse” was discovered laid out on the dining room table like Jesus at the crucifixion, his throat presumably slashed. Though services were held Boone was miraculously resurrected like in another bible story and is apparently cooperating with the red devil.

Wallace University Red Files – Shondell (2015 ?)

Shondell

 

Shondell of Secure Enforcement Solutions (2015)

 

Cause of Death: Stabbing

Murdered while playing hookie from her actual assignment in the Best Buy parking lot. Bored with the safety of the lot, Shondell went to fatburger to surprise friend and colleague Denise Hemphill on her shift at Kappa House. We may never know what truly transpired in the car that evening, what we know for certain is that Shondell was last seen on the curb in front  of Kappa; where she was thrown after being discovered with a knife in her throat by Denise.