Posted in Audiobook Review, Biography, Non Fiction, True Crime

One Day She’ll Darken by Fauna Hodel and J.R. Briarmonte @1DayShellDarken @justjanuary @GraymalkinMedia #Audiobook #BookReview #OneDayShellDarken

Hello book friends, I’m back from a wonderful few days in London with my little boy, my legs feel like I’ve walked about a hundred miles, and my bank balance is significantly lower than zero ☹ But I had a wonderful time there, so it was all worth it!

Anyhoo, I’m delighted to bring you a review for this amazing book I picked up when I had a credit-crisis!!

Why Did You Pick It Up Vicci?

Well, I really didn’t know anything about this story, I had a spare credit and couldn’t find a book that jumped out at me to read, so I went back to my old favourite method of choice, Narrator!
Once I saw that this was being narrated by January LaVoy, and it also had *something* to do with the Black Dahlia case I was sold.

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My Thoughts

🅰 🆃🆁🆄🅴 🆂🆃🅾🆁🆈 🆃🅷🅰🆃 🆆🅸🅻🅻 🅱🆁🅴🅰🅺 🆈🅾🆄🆁 🅷🅴🅰🆁🆃

This was such an interesting story about a girl named Fauna, the title is a nod to her light skin, because she was born mixed race as her father was black.

1951 – While working in a Casino as a Ladies Room Attendant, a young black woman called Jimmie is approached by a white woman who has had one too many drinks, she strikes up a conversation with her about her life and children.
Jimmie finds this very odd, but the woman is white, so probably a good tipper, so she plays along with her to see if she can get more money out of her.
In the conversation, the woman admits that her daughter is pregnant by a black man, and the child cannot stay with them for obvious reasons, so she is looking for a good “black home” to send her too, Jimmie enjoying the drunk talk tells the woman that she would be happy to take the child off of her hands, for a price of course, as her and her husband have never been able to conceive, gives the woman her address, and swiftly gets a crisp $50 tip, talk about good luck, drunk women!!

Except a few months later, Jimmie gets a new member of her household, a brand new baby girl, called Fauna, Jimmie’s husband isn’t happy about this at all, but goes along with it, considering that there is money involved, it might be a sweet deal, except she doesn’t look black, she doesn’t look black at all, and people notice it too, which makes Jimmie very angry.

We’re not categorized by the color of our skin. And just as Jesus was color-blind, so, too, is love. Our love for each other, for our brothers and sisters, and now for this baby is also color-blind. The only reason we see different color is because of a self-inflicted disease we call racism.”

And a sweet deal it is, they both come to love their daughter very much, as she gets older, they tell Fauna, now named Patty, that her real mother gave her away, but the whole time, they wait for her black to start showing through, except it really doesn’t.

But Patty is brought up a strong independent black girl, and she has plenty to say about people who don’t believe her, in fact she starts to take her birth certificate everywhere with her just to prove it as it clearly says “Father – Negro” on it.

But unfortunately, she is too white to fit in with the black kids, and too much like a black kid to fit in with the whites.

Jimmie, is not quite the loving mother she is portrayed to be in the neighbourhood, she is an alcoholic, and is very abusive toward Patty, and her string of lovers after her and her husband separate, also add to this, so much so that Patty eventually leaves the home and starts to find out a lot of information about her life that was kept from her by her “mother”

Lets just say that everything isn’t as it seemed!!

🎧🎧

Narration by January LaVoy was as always perfect, and this story was so brilliantly told by her.

Also a TV series called I Am The Night on TNT, I haven’t seen it myself, but I am anxiously waiting for it to come to UK TV so that I can.

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About The Book

The inspiration for the TNT TV series I Am the Night.
The Black Dahlia Murder is near-legend in the annals of true crime. But behind the shocking case of a young actress’s gruesome slaying lies the story of another woman.
Was Fauna Hodel the child of incest, and the catalyst for a sensational trial that left her well-to-do family scarred by scandal, even as the accused sexual predator walked free? Taken as an infant from her teenage mother, Fauna was placed in the care of a working-class black woman, who raised the white child as her own.
Together, as a close-knit mother and daughter, they weathered years of poverty and bigotry, alcoholism and sexual abuse, pregnancy and even death—until the time came for Fauna to seek out her real mother, and uncover her lost past.
But as Fauna will learn, some truths don’t want to be told.
Links:

UK Amazon

U.S Amazon

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Posted in #Dark, memoir, Non Fiction, True Crime

Girl A: The truth about the Rochdale sex ring by the victim who stopped them By Girl A #Review #Dark #NonFiction

Hello book friends, I hope you are all having a great week!

I have started to watch more TV recently, and have been binging on Netflix shows, unfortunately that has moved me away from reading as much, but I have remedied this over the last couple of weeks and have got my Mojo back…I think.

Why did you pick it up Vicci? – **THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BBC DRAMA ‘THREE GIRLS’ ** After watching this show, and feeling so angry, I wanted to find out about the girl, and if she was OK now and living a happy and healthy life, I didn’t manage to find this information, but I did find this book.

Be warned, this is not a fluffy feelgood book, this is gritty, graphic and heartbreaking. This would probably be a good book for people in the Social Worker profession to read about what not to do!

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My Thoughts

A heartbreaking read of true events, in May 2012 nine men were convicted of sex trafficking and other offences including rape, trafficking girls for sex and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

This is the story of one of those girls.

Only known as Girl A in the news, this is the harrowing story of a young girl that were groomed, raped and then ultimately sold for sex, all under the eyes of the police, social workers and her parents.

The men involved were all of Asian/Pakistani descent, and occurred within their own community, however this is not a book about race, this is something that happened and is still happening to young girls.

Girl A or Hannah for the purpose of the story was from a well off family who fell onto bad times, her father lost the business he had,and they had to downsize their house and move to a different area.

This is where she met Emma, who befriended her for ulterior motives.

After finding new friends “Hannah” used to go to the local kebab shop with Emma, there they were given free kebabs, chips and drinks, this soon led to Vodka and parties.

Only being 14, this was the best thing ever, her parents didn’t know, and the owners of the kebab shop gave her and her friends everything she wanted, they even picked her off and dropped her off, as the friend of the shop also had friends that ran a taxi company, all of this was done for free, they never asked for any money, or anything in return……until they did!

Hannah is then drawn into a spiral of harrowing and horrifying despair, and when she finds the courage to speak up, she is let down by the very authorities that are supposed to be there to protect her!

I can’t tell you how angry I was reading this book, these poor girls were failed time and time again by the authorities, and the one lady that knew what was going on and told the police time and time again was brushed aside, even Social Services who KNEW what was happening in that area, brushed it aside and said that it was a “lifestyle choice” by the girls!! 14 YEAR OLD GIRLS!!!!

This is not a lifestyle choice, this is RAPE!! These men were all 40-50 years old!

This book was heartbreaking, and I really hope that “Hannah” is now happy and living a normal and happy life, she is one brave lady to tell her story.

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About the book

THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BBC DRAMA ‘THREE GIRLS’

What do they find attractive about me? An underage girl who just lies there, sobbing, looking up at them…as they come to me one by one.

This is the shocking true story of how a young girl from Rochdale came to be Girl A – the key witness in the trial of Britain’s most notorious child sex ring.

Girl A was just 14 when she was groomed by a group of nine Asian men. After being lured into their circle with free gifts, she was plied with alcohol and systematically abused. She was just one of up to fifty girls to be ‘passed around’ by the gang. The girls were all under-16 and forced to have sex with as many as twenty men in one night.

When details emerged a nation was outraged and asked how these sickening events came to pass. And now, the girl at the very centre of the storm reveals the heartbreaking truth.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Biography, memoir, Non Fiction

Brutally Honest Mel B’s tell-all memoir by Melanie Brown @OfficialMelB @audibleuk #Nonfiction #Memoir #AudiobookReview

How are we all?

I seem to have jumped into some sort of parallel universe as I’m starting to read quite a few Non Fiction books, which is not like me at all.

We all know who the Spice Girls are, even if you don’t like them, they were a force to be reckoned with in the 90’s, and they are back #Girlpower

Why did you pick it up Vicci? –  I saw Mel B on TV giving an interview about this book, and it resonated with me, I understood a lot of what she was talking about.

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My Thoughts

Mel B was always the very outspoken, ball-bashing one of the Spice Girls, if it needed saying, she was probably the one to say it, she gave no-shits about what people thought about her, and was very happy with this thank you very much!

Except this was really what she wanted people to see, she was actually a girl looking for love, mainly that of her father, he obviously loved her, but I think that she wanted to be shown how much she was loved, instead of being told that she wasn’t going to amount to anything, or that she was just a nuisance.

Melanie doesn’t hold back in this book, she is indeed Brutally Honest, she tells you about everything, from the drinking, to the drugs and more.

Her relationships with her friends, family and lovers are also included, including lots of old stories about how she got into the Spice Girls, and also about the man that she calls the love of her life, Eddie Murphy.

She also tells the story about her 10 year marriage to Stephen Belafonte (pronounced Steffan, cause he’s a dick like that!)

At the beginning the relationship was good, but it was quick, they were married really early on in the relationship, and he started to more than a healthy interest in her work/friends/money etc. So much so, in the end he had full control of everything!

After a short time the abuse started, but as she explains it wasn’t hitting straight away, it was verbal and emotional abuse, and it was done so subtly that she didn’t even realise what it was.

It’s hard to see when you are in it (although it becomes horribly, blindingly obvious when you are out of it) that the emotional upset you feel with your partner doesn’t just exist between the two of you or in your bedroom. It is an energy that fills a house.

She was Gaslighted, mentally and emotionally abused, which finally led to physical abuse.

When you are reading the book, you find that it does jump around a bit, from past to present, Melanie admits to having ADHD which is why I think it does this, it doesn’t seem to be in any sort of chronological order, it’s like she thinks of something and has to get it down before she forgets it, and I loved that about it.

For 10 years this woman was beaten down to feeling like nothing, and even at one point tried to kill herself, she was self medicating with drink and drugs to stop these feelings, and for the whole time she felt like, and was told it was her fault- THIS IS ABUSE

Melanie is an incredibly brave woman to open up her life to show everyone, and I applaud her for this, it shows that abuse does not discriminate, old, young, rich or poor, it can effect anyone.

Mel tells her story, warts and all, and explains how, to those people that say “Why didn’t you just leave?” that it isn’t that easy, some people don’t even realise that they are being abused.

There are 15 signs on the cover of the book, these are all RED FLAGS, it is incredibly important that people recognise these signs, and maybe, just maybe it will help, even just one person.

I think she is one HELL of a brave lady for doing this, and I hope that her and her family are super happy now 😘

🎧🎧 – Narration for the audio book was by Zaraah Abrahams who was fabulous, she sounds very much like Mel B when she speaks, so by the time it was halfway through, I had forgotten it was a different person narrating it.

15 Signs of Domestic Abuse:

1. Tells you that you can never do anything right.
2. Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away.
3. Keeps you or discourages you from seeing friends or family members.
4. Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs.
5. Controls every penny spent in the household.
6. Takes your money or refuses to give you money for necessary expenses.
7. Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you.
8. Controls who you see, where you go, or what you do.
9. Prevents you from making your own decisions.
10. Tells you that you are a bad parent or threatens to harm or take away your children.
11. Prevents you from working or attending school.
12. Destroys your property or threatens to hurt or kill your pets.
13. Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons.
14. Pressures you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with.
15. Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol.

If this is you, then don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it, you are not alone, it is NOT YOUR FAULT, he doesn’t have to hit you for it to be abuse #ThisIsNotLove #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou

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About the book

Brutally Honest
By: Melanie Brown, 
Narrated by: Melanie BrownZaraah Abrahams
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
Release date: 27-11-18
Publisher: Audible Studios

The memoir from the real woman behind the leopard print, for real women everywhere.

As one-fifth of the iconic Spice Girls and judge on X Factor and America’s Got Talent, Melanie Brown, aka Scary Spice, has been an international star since the age of 19. And yet there are sides of Mel that no one has ever seen or really known.

Brutally Honest is an exposé of the struggles and acute pain that lay behind the glamour and success. With deep personal insight, remarkable frankness and Melanie’s trademark Yorkshire humour, this audiobook removes the mask of fame and reveals the mother, wife and daughter behind the Spice Girl everyone thinks they know.

The audiobook edition features narration from Melanie, her daughter, Phoenix, and her mother, Andrea.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Mystery, Non Fiction

Evil Has A Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation by Paul Holes, Jim Clemente & Peter McDonnell #TrueCrime #AudiobookReview #NonFiction @audible_com

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Scary Stars

The Blurb

The Golden State Killer. The East Area Rapist. The Original Night Stalker. The Visalia Ransacker.

The monster who preyed on Californians from 1976 to 1986 was known by many aliases. And while numerous police sketches tried to capture his often-masked visage, the Golden State Killer spent more than 40 years not only faceless, but nameless.

For his victims, for their families and for the investigators tasked with finding him, the senselessness and brutality of the Golden State Killer’s acts were matched only by the powerlessness they felt at failing to uncover his identity. To be sure, the chances of obtaining closure—or any form of justice—after so many years were slim to none, at best.

Then, on April 24, 2018, authorities arrested 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo at his home in Citrus Heights, Calif., based on DNA evidence linked to the crimes. After a decades-long hunt, a suspect was behind bars. Could it be that evil finally had a name?

Delivering all-new details about the investigation and a stunning final act to the events of Michelle McNamara’s haunting bestseller, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, this is the true story of how the suspected Golden State Killer was captured, as told, first-hand, by those closest to the case:

Paul Holes—the forensic criminologist and retired Costa County detective who spent 20 years trying to crack the Golden State Killer case, and finally did.

Jim Clemente (Host)—a retired FBI profiler and former New York City prosecutor who has investigated some of the highest profile criminal cases in U.S. history, including the Unabomber.

Please note: This work contains descriptions of violent crime and sexual assault and may not be suitable for all listeners.

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My Thoughts

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Scary Stars

Wow, this one is going to be a hard one to review because it is real, real scary, real horrid, really really sad!

You may already be aware of this story as it hit the headlines last year after the real Golden State Killer was caught, after 40 years!!!

This audio book reads more like a pod cast in that it has interviews with all of the people involved in the investigation.

Paul Holes was the chief investigator, stumbling across the case completely by accident as it was stored away in an old filing cabinet under “Unsolved”

Paul was training and wanted to further himself in the force, so in his spare time he started studying old “Cold” and Unsolved cases, this one caught his eye, and it soon became his project, and his life!

The Golden State Killer was not always know by this name, he has also been known as The Visaila Ransacker, The Original Night Stalker and The East Area Rapist, finally working his way up the Psycho Tree to The Golden State Killer.

This mans known crimes involve at least 120 burglaries, at least 53 rapes, and at least 13 murders, and the most chilling thing about this is that he got away with it for so very long, for over 10 years, this predator broke in to houses, raped and then eventually started killing his victims.

You hear from some of his victims themselves, who amazing call themselves lucky, and also from some of the families of the victims who unfortunately were not so lucky. Some of the descriptions are very graphic, so be warned if  “little ears” are listening with you!

Paul became obsessed with this case, even up to his last day when he retired, he thought he had his “Last Lead” and even sitting with his boxes of belongings and a borrowed car went to check it out, and thank goodness he did!

With the help of another lady that he met by chance (a blogger) Michelle McNamara, they both became firm friends, and immersed themselves in the case, sharing tips and information with each other.

Sadly Michelle died recently, but Paul gives a lovely talk about her and how she helped him.

We now know that The Golden State Killer is 72 year old Joseph James DeAngelo and this would never have been possible without Paul Holes using Genealogical DNA, something he tried as a last resort, much to the sneers and laughs of the others, by tracing the family tree back generations.

Paul Holes and his team caught the killer that was stuffed in a filing cabinet from 1976 – 1986 and the killer that was free to roam the streets for the next 40 years.

20 years of investigations and a man that never gave up.

Evil now has a name, that name is Joseph James DeAngelo.

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If you like True Crime reads then you will love this one, although it was difficult sometimes to listen to the heartbreak of others, it was also a great Audio Book.

Hope you enjoy

Vicci