It is a riveting story that fosters complete empathy for Pecan, and by proxy allows us to experience all the injustices that character has faced.

The intimacy I feel with Pecan as a fully fleshed-out character is a testament to Simmons’ skill as an author. She has a full understanding of the psychology involved with domestic abuse, and she conveyed those concepts in a way that is digestible to readers.

— HerStoryArc, (Lindsey Loree)

An impactful and beautifully written story of loss, love and the search for emotional freedom.

The author did a great job creating a main character whose integrity and fortitude make you proud and a storyline that exquisitely portrays a powerful journey of self-discovery. D. Bryant Simmons is an author that should be on your radar. I highly recommend this book to all.

—Pubslush (Hellen Barbara)

There are two distinct aspects of this novel that stand out: the way Simmons challenges the reader to face their preconceived notions about domestic abuse, and the pacing.

How to Knock a Bravebird from Her Perch is novel that is able to capture many characters and render them in a realistic tone that makes it pleasurable to read in addition to the challenging topics readers will face.

— Grab the Lapels

D. Bryant Simmons has masterfully written a dark, hard, difficult story. Simmons manages to keep the reader engaged at each page turn by developing authentic characters and situations.

In her own words, she describes a personal story she ignored for some time, not wanting to write it. Now she has used her real experience to build Pecan's story into a novel. A novel with a story line so painful and dark at times, you don't want to read it but you can't stop until you know what happens in the end.

At times, even though I am from the South, the Southern dialect was a bit overdone and could have been lightened to make the conversation between characters flow a bit better for the reader. However, this is not a huge criticism as I, as a writer, know how difficult it is to write dialectally.

Simmons tells this story about a crisis in Pecan's life while we read in the news of high-powered individuals domestically abusing women every day. A crisis which needs to be erased from our everyday lives. Hopefully Simmons' book will prevail in the lives of men and women to teach them the respect and dignity due to others.

I applaud the writer taking on a topic of such import and notoriety in our country. She has driven home a clear message in response.

—Amazon (Sherrey Meyer)

Reading this book has been a totally rewarding experience for me. I was deeply touched by the story and it has affected me in ways I never thought possible.

It delivered and instilled in me a very strong message that no matter how difficult life may seem, there is always something positive to look forward to. To unfailingly hope that things will get better, and that things will eventually be the way we want them to be and as they should be.

I highly recommend this novel to mature readers, especially women. It will inspire them to love and treasure themselves even more. Mothers, wives, and children will be enlightened and will learn valuable lessons from this novel."

—Tet Marquees (Number the Stars)

As the story progresses, the narrator grows stronger, making this both a novel of a woman’s courage and a call to action against domestic abuse.

A woman may need strength to be a mother of four, but she also needs a healthy dose of courage to help her get out of an abusive marriage. In her novel, How to Knock a Bravebird from Her Perch, author D. Bryant Simmons explores how much a mother will take before she decides whether to break or stand taller in this close look at the day-to-day life of a young mother of four during the 1970s as she copes with her wife-beating husband.

Simmons takes on a tender subject by delicately cutting into a woman’s heart to show what might make her stay—and what it takes to get away. Pecan’s story is believable, and the writer skillfully walks the line of sentiment and strength, opening the door to understand Pecan and cheer her on throughout the novel.

— Foreword Clarion

A naturally gifted storyteller, Simmons, has put her heart and soul into this cautionary tale of perseverance, hope and strength.

Although set in the fifties, sixties and seventies, Pecan’s story could happen in any time and to anyone; and at times it read more like fact than fiction. Even though at times I wanted to shake Pecan for her resigned acceptance of Ricky’s abuse, and tell her she had a choice, I could understand how we sometimes end up in places we’d never imagined and don’t know how to get out of. How we don’t know how strong we can be until being strong is our only option. This is the story of how Pecan finally finds her strength, and when she does it will make you want to cheer.

— African American Literary Book Club

This is a great read, hard to put down, and I wasn't disappointed at all in the end!

I personally grew up about one hour from where Pecan was born, so I greatly appreciated the main character and really commend the author on capturing the dialect as used by the uneducated and poor black community of the time. I can find nothing negative to say, it was well written and flowed at a great pace. I noticed at the end, Mrs Simmons plans on writing more books based on the children of Pecan. I look forward to reading them all."


From the very first page, this story sucked me in.

Simmons gives Pecan a strong voice, even as she struggles to find her own inner strength. The writing is lyrical and compelling, which kept me turning the pages during difficult and heartbreaking passages. Luckily for the reader, the story is about more than those terrible moments. There is a slow and beautiful process of self-discovery that allows Pecan to become Belinda, allows a lost, grieving child to become a strong, self-sufficient woman.

— Rebecca Kovar (Bookshelf Bombshells)

Ms. Simmons has done a brilliant job of crafting a story that will stick with you for a long time.

She takes her time in describing the characters so that they are so vivid in your mind, when you look up, you expect to see them standing there. The emotion...turmoil, pain, and rage can be felt deep, deep into your soul. Pecan fiercely attempts to protect her children emotionally and psychologically from the atrocities that they witness at the hands of their father. You can feel all of that.

— AJ Arndt (AJ Arndt Book Blog)

This is a powerful read that sort of sneaks up on you if you aren't paying attention.

I say that because you know going in that it's pretty much involving domestic violence but it's not overtly descriptive in the occurrences of that until the latter half of the book. This book is mostly about the struggle the victim goes through making the decisions they have to make to allow themselves, & those they love, to be survivors.

— Melanie (The Voices Within Unleashed)
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Readers' Favorite, Gold Medal (Fiction—Social Issues)


Independent Publisher Book Awards, Gold Medal (Multicultural Fiction)


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Blue Sky was a finalist in both the General Fiction & Multicultural Fiction categories.

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"There was only one thing I wanted after my freedom. My girls."

— Belinda "Pecan" Morrow
How to Knock a Bravebird from Her Perch


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