novel horseshoes and hand grenades on wood shelf against teal background

“Reading about these women warmed my heart and soul and made me reach out to the women in my life and proclaim my love for them.”

Emma and Her Books — “I enjoyed following the two main characters, Shelby and Astrid with their growth, relationships and respective journey….[The book] touches on sexual abuse/harassment and other similar themes which are extremely topical following the #metoo movement. The writing dealt with these themes sensitively but not diminishing the issue’s importance. It was heavy in places to read but rightly so….Overall, the women were strong, brave and full of hope. An uplifting ending and all round solid story!” Read the full review here.

Savvy Verse and Wit — “Stevens is a talented storyteller and the book is a page-turner.” Read the full review here.

Allieereads — “[A] powerful and timely written novel which explores the issues of sexism and sexual assault as well as the micro-aggressions which women deal with in their everyday life….There were times when I had to put the book down and scream from absolute frustration and infuriation because how dare men treat women like that….Reading about these women warmed my heart and soul and made me reach out to the women in my life and proclaim my love for them….I highly recommend this book.” Read the full review here.

“This is a book for anyone who is interested in examining gender politics at the same time as enjoying an entertaining story of female friendship and empowerment.”

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A Little Book Problem — “This book really took me by surprise, being thought-provoking and entertaining at the same time, and reaching the perfect balance of both….Astrid’s story, in particular, rung some uncomfortable bells and made me think back to things that happened to me as a young, professional but inexperienced woman starting work in a legal firm, in a very male-dominated specialism….All in all, it does a good job in provoking internal questioning on gender politics in general, and for that reason can make for uncomfortable reading at times….All of these issues are presented by way of an entertaining and pacy story of three young women navigating their way through the early years of adulthood and freedom and learning some difficult truths and important life lessons along the way. There was not a part of this book that was dry or heavy or lecturing and I fairly raced through it….This is a book for anyone who is interested in examining gender politics at the same time as enjoying an entertaining story of female friendship and empowerment.” Read the full review here.

“A heartbreakingly beautiful novel”

The Lily Cafe —  “A novel exploring the lives of two female victims of sexual harassment and abuse, this is a heartbreakingly beautiful novel….As someone who has never been a victim of sexual harassment or abuse, it really opened my eyes to what victims must endure for the rest of their lives. This book made me hurt for them, made me want to step in and protect them, and made me root for them and every victim more than ever before…..this is one novel that should be read by victims and non-victims alike, especially in this day and age.” Read the full review here.

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Review Tales by Jeyran Main — “When it comes to sensitive matters such as sexual abuse, specifically at a young age, it is imperative that the story displays a truthful notion of emotion, triumph, conflict of behavior and hurt. The author managed to describe all of this within the story, and that made it very special. The literature was sensitive and written with care….I would recommend this story to people who have been through a similar experience or like to read about a woman and their strength to overcome hardship. Read the full review here.

The Bookwormery — “I found this to be a beautifully written tale of a difficult and uncomfortable subject, told sympathetically and honestly and all too common. A timely must read with a satisfying ending too.” Read the full review here.

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades is a journey for everyone. Sexual abuse and workplace sexual harassment need scrutiny and understanding…So read this book.”

IJ Miller on Amazon and Goodreads — “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades is a journey for everyone. Sexual abuse, workplace sexual harassment has come more to the forefront than when this 80’s saga takes place, but it is still a subject that needs more scrutiny and understanding. So read this book. A window into how awful it feels even to be touched inappropriately (or worse), especially when its design is to make one person powerful and the other powerless. Yet there is always hope…as Shelby and Astrid take you through the tangled web of their lives, their struggles with the past, their battles with the present, their complex relationships with family and co-workers, their desires to peel back the hurt and move forward to a stable, secure life, made fuller by friendship and love. So read this book.”

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Clare Urbanski on Amazon — “All I can say is wow….I want to throw this book at men who have no idea what we women go through on a daily basis. Stevens does an amazing job of portraying this through engaging characters who are enjoyable to read about while being completely and unexaggeratedly human….Sexual assault and victim blaming are enormous problems we still haven’t resolved, and spending time with these characters can truly put anyone in their shoes.” Read the full review here.

Funky Feminist on Instagram — “I want to tell you about a book I recently finished called Horseshoes and Hand Grenades by S.M. Stevens – this #metoo novel follows two women as they overcome abuse and learn how crucial it is for women to support women. I’m a pretty harsh critic when it comes to works of literary fiction, but this book gripped me from the very beginning. No, I was not paid to say this. Yes, this is my genuine opinion. Please go buy and read this book.”

“A timely book for the #MeToo age.”

Eileen O’Finlan on Amazon — “Stevens has written a timely book for the #MeToo age….these women strengthen and support each other. They come to recognize that almost counts in more than just horseshoes and hand grenades and that their experiences should not be trivialized or swept under the rug.” Read the full review here. NOTE: Spoiler alert in this review.

Rae’s Reading Lounge — “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades tells a story in alternating viewpoints of the harassment that women face daily, on the street, at work, anywhere public really. It ranges from heartbreaking to infuriating and all the feelings in between….The underlying message of strength and hope is a strong one, and I think that will shine through for readers.” Read the full review here.

“The underlying message of strength and hope is a strong one, and I think that will shine through for readers.”

Laura Davis, Co-Author of The Courage to Heal — “Any sexual abuse, no matter the form or degree, impacts the victim. Stevens portrays this beautifully in this exploration of a young woman’s coming to terms with her past. And the parallel story of a woman grappling with workplace sexual harassment underscores the similarities in how society treats both types of victim.”

Stevens’s writing engages the reader in a series of situations that are honest, strongly and carefully drawn, and painfully current.”

Susan Roney-O’Brien, author of Legacy of the Last World and Bone Circle — “For those among us who have experienced sexual abuse or harassment in our lives, the questions of fault, guilt and blame follow us even into dream. S.M. Stevens, in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, confronts the issues and portrays both the abuse itself and the emotional trauma in its wake with understanding and authenticity. Astrid and Shelby are credible; their experiences ring true.

“Stevens’s writing engages the reader in a series of situations that are honest, strongly and carefully drawn, and painfully current. Her novel touches on what is most difficult in the lives of survivors of abuse while spotlighting the kindness and support of those who sustain them.”

S.D., Advance Reader Review “Reading this book, I felt kinship with the women, having had similar experiences. If this story gives just one woman the courage to speak out, or gives just one man a compassionate insight into how women cope with harassment but have the strength to maintain their lives (constructively and destructively), it will be a success.”

“Every American should read this novel, as each character is someone you know.”

Kimberly Coghlan, Coghlan Professional Writing Services — “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades delivers a realistic portrait of women and their struggles. Surprisingly enough, Stevens manages to turn a hefty topic into an approachable one by way of a riveting read. As a woman who has endured workplace sexual assault, I particularly related to the authentic feelings of frustration, doubt, and trepidation that the characters in this novel experience.

“Every American should read this novel, as each character is someone you know. She is your mother, your sister, your daughter, your friend. She is your neighbor, your coworker, your aunt. She is you… In addition to being a page-turner, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades is a true-to-life tale of love, friendship, and betrayal. “

More reviews of Horseshoes and Hand Grenades available on Amazon, Goodreads, etc.

Click here to read reviews of the Bit Players YA series.

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