This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Shewanda will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to one lucky commenter on the tour.

When an insecure, bi-racial woman begins a cloak-and-dagger love affair with a Japanese American man, she is intent on keeping her bigoted family in the dark—albeit with devastating consequences. On the night of her brother’s murder, Deena Hammond stumbles upon Takumi Tanaka, lost and on the wrong end of a .32. After rescuing him from the certain fate driving through the hood in a Porsche will bring, a sweet kind of friendship begins. A balm for her grief. Maybe, Deena likes to think, it happened the day her white mother killed her black father. Or maybe, it was always a part of them, like DNA gone bad. Whatever the case, Deena knows that her family would never approve, hell, never acknowledge her fast-growing love for Takumi. And had he never made love to her that way, in that unraveling, soul-searching sort of way, she could’ve done the same. But love’s a devil that way. So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. Anyone. And Tak understands this—for now. After all, Deena’s career hinges on the favor of her mentor and boss, his hard-ass of a father. And the Hammond family is already stretched thin with grief. Yet, each step Deena takes toward family and career brings her closer to an acceptance she’s never had. And away from him.
Crimson Footprints is about family, acceptance, and differences. It was hard for me to identify with Deena's family--as my family was always very supportive. Deena's family not only didn't support her--they actively put her down because of the fact that she is bi-racial and that she is successful. But, they are the only family she has since her white mother is in prison for killing her black father (and that's another story I would love to read. Hopefully in the next book, all that will be explained).

Shewanda did a great job at sharing the backstory slowly. Just as she did an excellent job stretching out the sexual tension between Deena and Tak. I like him--he, too, has issues with his family, but they were the types of issues I understood. Both Deena and Tak, however, have families they feel would not accept the other because they are of different races.

There were elements of this story the author left hanging--esp. the issue of Deena's sister, Lizzie. She was wild, but the author shows us in snippets that go back until the time she was eleven that helps explain the circumstances that lead to her current behavior. I hope that she, as well, is given more time in the second book to work out her issues.

This book is richly drawn--not a quick read, but a very satisfying read. Even with the times I wanted to take Deena and shake her, I was still very interested in what she was going to do and how her and Tak's relationship was going to play out. Kudos to Shewanda Pugh for an intriguing debut.

About the Author:
Shewanda Pugh is a native of Boston’s inner city, though she now lives in sunny Miami, Florida. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Alabama A&M University and a Master’s in Writing from Nova Southeastern University. Fueled from a young age, her passion for crossing societal boundaries like race, class and culture, is the inspiration for both her cluttered bookshelf and her writing. When she’s not busy obsessing over fiction, she can be found traveling, nursing her social networking addiction or enjoying the company of loved ones.

Find her online at

Follow on Twitter: @ShewandaP


Shewanda Pugh said…
Thanks for the wonderful thoughts. So glad you enjoyed Crimson Footprints.
Thank you for hosting today.
MomJane said…
I love the concept of this story. A really different, yet the same as Romeo and Juliet. I loved the excerpt.
Shewanda Pugh said…
Thanks for your thoughts MomJane.
Mary Preston said…
I always think that it's the differences that make relationships so memorable.