Love and Squalor by Jessica A. Scott #bookreview #contemporaryfiction #romance

Luthertown Heights isn’t anyone’s idea of paradise. Gangs run the streets, fighting and killing to claim territory, and the other residents struggle just to get by.

While most of the population hides behind ragged curtains and chipped concrete walls, one woman dares to venture out into the streets. As the leader of an after school care program at the local YMCA, she strives to teach the children of this embattled city that there is more to life than violence and hate.

The only thing she wants in return is someone, anyone, to call her by her real name.

Known only as “White Girl” to her neighbors, she wishes so much to be embraced by the community that she loves. Instead, though, she finds herself thrust into the middle of a war between two of the city’s most lethal gangs.

Armed only with her indefatigable optimism and the unexpected protection of a mysterious gang member known only as Slipknot, she must fight to ensure a better future for her city – and herself.

The closer she grows to a solution (and to Slipknot), the more she has to lose as the city becomes a war zone. Can she find a way to convince her community that Luthertown Heights is worth saving? Or is it useless to think that she could find love amongst the squalor? –

The premise of this book is very timely and contains such an important message, with stories of violence and unrest in neighborhoods a major news topic far too often.

Annabelle’s love of her job, the neighborhood, and the children in her care is very apparent – it’s so admirable she wants to make a difference in their lives and provide a safe space for them to just be kids.  She’s determined to prove she’s not the privileged ‘White Girl’ they believe her to be, and wants to be a permanent member of the community – even after she finds herself in some terrifying and heartbreaking situations.

When Slipknot makes his appearance, it’s obvious he’s more than a stereotypical ‘gangbanger’.  He’s a closed book to Annabelle for quite a while, but when his tragic story is told, you just want to cuddle him like a puppy.  Maybe the romance between him and Annabelle is somewhat sudden, but that doesn’t make it any less adorable and intense.

Although tenacious Annabelle comes up with a commendable and highly inventive plan to bring peace to Luthertown Heights, she faces numerous challenges and obstacles.  The reader may have to suspend their disbelief a bit, while simultaneously wishing it was possible for more communities to take control back from gangs.

Love and Squalor contains some harsh situations and language (which is fitting for the situations), but also delivers a message of hope, love, and choices.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author.





Indie Author Friday: Kevin Cooper #IndieAuthor #ShortStories #ContemporaryFiction

Kevin Cooper is well-known to many of us because, in addition to being an indie author, he’s also a wonderful supporter of other indies on his blog.  If you’re a fan of short stories, as Kevin says – “There’s something for everyone in Caboodle and The Whole Kit!”

Caboodle & The Whole Kit is filled with relaxing episodes of life, family, love & romance, faith, and even the odd, inadvertent run-ins with some quite unsavoury characters.

The wonderful collection of short stories, poetry, and songs has been grouped together to bring a variety of tales, some of which are based upon true events, people can easily relate to.

The whole kit is designed to ignite a mixture of emotions to bring smile, laughter, and moisture to the eyes.

There is something for everyone in Caboodle & The Whole Kit!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Switch your degree to Writing or English and work hard to get a publishing contract.

What do you love most about the writing process?

Becoming completely consumed while writing… I love that feeling.

What do you do to get book reviews?

I talk about my books on my blog and sometimes offer free promotions through Amazon. I also read a lot of other author’s books and write honest reviews for them…This tends to attract readers to my own works sometimes.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

The jammie dodger ‘cause it’s a jammie bugger!

A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

Hola senor, tienes hielo para mi margarita? Vine for el sol, pero echo de menos for hielo ya.

Book you’d want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. It’s one of the greatest stories ever written and would serve me well.

Author Bio

Kevin Cooper is an Author & Songwriter. After years of studying, and even more years working in education, and management in the US, he returned to his hometown in England where he finally settled down to focus on his writing and music.

He has since authored several works and recorded/released a few of his songs. He is currently working on his third memoir, and working towards his first full music album.

Social Media

Blog, Twitter, Vimeo, Goodreads, AuthorCentral, and AmazonProfile.

Buy Links

Amazon Universal Link