Tag Archives: books

💎 What would you sacrifice in the pursuit of power? ⚪

📚 Diamonds and Pearl by K’wan 📚

TITLE: Diamonds and Pearl
AUTHOR: K’wan
PUBLISHER: St. Martin’s Griffin 
SERIES: YES
RATING: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ 

BUY THE BOOK: http://amzn.to/2edHqlB

 

28220813From # 1 Essence best-selling Crime Novelist K’Wan comes a tale of forbidden love, high stakes murder and the robbery gone bad that set it all in motion, Diamonds and Pearl.

They say that good girls like bad boys, and this was especially true for Pearl Stone. A child born of privilege to a drug baron and reputed killer known in the streets as Big Stone. Although the flashy, fast-paced nature of the streets calls to Pearl, she’s been brought up to look but not touch. But when a young hustler named Diamonds crawls up from the swamps of Louisiana and sets up shop in New York City, everything Pearl was taught flies out the window.

Raised in the wild and schooled on the mean streets of New Orleans, Diamonds is no stranger to hard times and is willing to do whatever it takes to stay above the poverty line, including kill. When a robbery turned mass murder goes wrong, Diamonds is forced to flee New Orleans and lands in New York where he meets Pearl, and for the first time finds something he craves more than wealth and power…love.
As the stakes get higher, Diamonds has to push away his past if he’s to grab hold of his future—but by doing so, will he show Pearl that all that glitters isn’t gold?


REVIEW:

Note: This review is mainly for the audio book version.  Grammer and editorial issues don’t apply.

Beginning in the backwoods of Louisana, Diamonds and his crew set the stage for this page-turning thrill ride.  Growing up with nothing, Diamonds vows that he and his crew would never feel that pain again.  Concocting a plan for a come-up, Diamonds plan the heist that sets them off.  A couple of things happen that changes the course of the all their futures.

When everything you could ever desire is handed to you what else is left to concur? For Pearl Stone, the Streets is all the challenge she ever has to face.  The daughter of a supreme drug baron, Pearl makes decisions less based on common sense and more on the thrill.

I listened to this audiobook, narrated by Carey Hite. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. With clear distinctions between characters, Hite does an excellent job putting a voice to a novel.  Some of the characters, I’m looking forward to hearing again.

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Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile

What we’re reading this week! 

Buy the Book: http://amzn.to/2bh5KD3

“Smart and heartfelt and highly recommended.” —Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club

The inspiration for the highly anticipated 13-part TV series produced by Oprah Winfrey, directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma), and starring Rutina Wesley (True Blood) and Greg Vaughan, premiering September 6th on OWN.


Readers, booksellers, and critics alike are embracing Queen Sugar and cheering for its heroine, Charley Bordelon, an African American woman and single mother struggling to build a new life amid the complexities of the contemporary South.

When Charley unexpectedly inherits eight hundred acres of sugarcane land, she and her eleven-year-old daughter say goodbye to smoggy Los Angeles and head to Louisiana. She soon learns, however, that cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley struggles to balance the overwhelming challenges of a farm in decline with the demands of family and the startling desires of her own heart.

📚 The journey of self discovery. 📚

📚 Black Lotus: A Woman’s Search for Racial Identity by Sil Lai Abrams 📚
TITLE: Black Lotus: A Woman’s Search for Racial Identity
AUTHOR: Sil Lai Abrams
PUBLISHER: Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing
SERIES: NO 
RATING: ☕️☕️☕️☕️ Intriguing memoir 

“Like a slow, steady bass line, Sil Lai viscerally draws you into her aching journey to find her place in the world.”

—NILE RODGERS, Grammy award–winning composer, producer, cofounding member of CHIC, and author of Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny


https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover86534-small.pngFrom her humble beginnings in a white, lower-middle-class family to a career in modeling that propelled her into the upper echelons of New York City nightlife, Sil Lai Abrams shares her unique and exquisitely wrought account of a woman’s journey toward self-love and acceptance in a family that sought to deny her black heritage.

Author and activist Sil Lai Abrams was born to a Chinese immigrant mother and a white American father. At the age of five, her family was ripped apart by a divorce that would erase her mother from her life. In the wake of her absence, Abrams was left alone to grieve her mother’s disappearance and reconcile the growing realization that there was truly something different about her from the rest of her family members.

She was the only one in her family with a tousle of wild curls and brown skin. As a convenient lie, based in part on the desire to raise his children in a race-neutral household, her father would explain that her skin was darker than the rest of the family because she was born in Hawaii. At the age of fourteen, the man she thought was her birth father made the bombshell revelation that Abrams was not his biological child: that, in fact, she was the daughter of a man of African descent who didn’t know of her existence.

This shocking news would take her down a painful road to forge an authentic ethnic identity in spite of the overt bigotry in her community and her own internalized racism and self-hatred. A teenage runaway and high school dropout, Abrams would struggle with single parenthood, depression, abuse, and an alcohol addiction that nearly destroyed her. Eventually, she would begin a path to healing that helped her leave behind the shame over her birthright and move toward a celebration of her blackness.

In Black Lotus, Abrams invites readers along on her unpredictable odyssey filled with extreme highs and lows as she reassembles her psyche by sifting through the broken fragments of her family’s past. Her story will provoke readers to reexamine everything they think they know about racial identity while affirming the ability of the human spirit to triumph over tragedy. Black Lotus shines a light on the transformative power of self-actualization, personal accountability, and the importance of living authentically and unapologetically in spite of family or societal opposition.


REVIEW: 

 I was sent this book for an honest review.

I’m not very big on memoir’s of people I’ve never heard of, but Sil Lai Abrams, tells a story that touches the heart and pulls at the heartstrings.  There are moments you want to reach out and give the child and hug and high five the woman she grew into regardless of the circumstances.  Abrams journey through racial discovery, an absentee mother, and emotionless father makes the book less about the racial side of things and more about her traumatic childhood. Yet even with everything she endured, she became a woman unapologetic about whom she is and her life.
If you are a fan of memoirs I’d recommend it as a good read.

🚬 There are things known, things unknown and in between is the truth. ⚖

📚 Rose Gold by Walter Mosley 📚

TITLE: Rose Gold
AUTHOR: Walter Mosley
PUBLISHER: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
SERIES: Yes
RATING: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ Incredible Storytelling 

Rose Gold is two colors, one woman, and a big headache.

51d2OeHAh0LIn this new mystery set in the Patty Hearst era of radical black nationalism and political abductions, a black ex-boxer self-named Uhuru Nolica, the leader of a revolutionary cell called Scorched Earth, has kidnapped Rosemary Goldsmith, the daughter of a weapons manufacturer, from her dorm at UC Santa Barbara. If they don’t receive the money, weapons, and apology they demand, “Rose Gold” will die—horribly and publicly. So the FBI, the State Department, and the LAPD turn to Easy Rawlins, the one man who can cross the necessary borders to resolve this dangerous standoff. With twelve previous adventures since 1990, Easy Rawlins is one of the small handful of private eyes in contemporary crime fiction who can be called immortal. Rose Gold continues his ongoing and unique achievement in combining the mystery/PI genre form with a rich social history of postwar Los Angeles—and not just the black parts of that sprawling city.

 


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Easy’s back!  After a near death experience, Easy Rawlins returns to the P.I. scene.Set in the 1960’s with hippies and drugs and radical life, Rosemary Goldsmith has been kidnapped.  Roger Fisk contacts Easy to help with the search, with some reluctance Rawlins takes on the job of finding Rose Gold.

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As with most Mosley novels, the plot moves forward with several intense subplots that move the prose along smoothly.  A black boxer is accused of various crimes, a child is stolen and romantic obsessions occur.  However, none of that deters Mosely to get to the bottom of what happened to Rose Gold.

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Walter Mosley is one of my favorite authors, his descriptive language, and vivid prose brings to life an era long since past.  The Easy Rawlins series is one that will live on for eternity.  I highly recommend.

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🎭Some men become ghosts before their deaths. ~Plato 🕵

📚 The Real Mrs. Price 📚

TITLE:  The Real Mrs. Price
AUTHOR: J.D. Mason
PUBLISHER: St. Martin’s Griffin
SERIES: NO
RATING: ☕️☕️☕️☕️ Sizzling mystery 

BUY THE BOOK: http://amzn.to/29As9JV

 


51AbMDqH+dL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Lucy Price is living the American dream. She has been married to her successful husband and businessman, Edward Price for a year and couldn’t be happier until she learns that Eddie is a dangerously ruthless man, heavily involved in illegal activities that threaten not only her marriage, but her life. Eddie abruptly disappears, but not before warning Lucy that if she wants to keep breathing she’d better keep her mouth shut. Six months later, word of her husband surfaces when she learns that he is presumed murdered in a small Texas town, apparently killed by his “wife”, Marlowe Price.

Marlowe is no stranger to trouble. An outcast in her own community for being one of those “hoodoo women,” who can curse you or cast you under her beguiling spell, Marlowe is shunned at every turn. Six months ago, a whirlwind romance in Mexico led Marlowe to marry the man she thought she’d spend the rest of her life with. For Marlowe and Eddie, there is no such thing as trouble in paradise. But late one night, when Marlowe witnesses her husband putting the body of a dead man in the trunk of his car, the illusion comes crashing down around her and she knows she has to move fast before the devil comes calling once again.

Now, Lucy and Marlowe must come together to find out where and who Eddie really is, and help each other through the threat he poses. There’s nothing more dangerous than a woman scorned…except for two women scorned who are willing to put their pasts behind them and band together to take one bad man down…


REVIEW:

What would you do if your estranged husband turns up dead, burnt to a crisp one day out of the blue?  When the shock wears off, you also discover your presumed dead husband also has another wife.  That’s the journey Lucy Price is on after her estranged husband Edward Price resurfaces, dead.

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In an effort to reclaim her life, Lucy feels the need to prove that Eddie is really and truly dead.  Her mission unites her with Roman Medlock, the former cop, turned PI.  After Roman sets a meeting for Lucy and Marlowe to meet the mysterious tide turns.  There is also an undeniable attraction between the couple.

 

Marlowe Price, is wife number two.  Marlowe Price seems to always find herself leading with her heart instead of her head.  When her Aunt Shou Shou, calls and tells her to read the bones, they warn her of the darkness that’s coming her way.  Suspected of murder, Marlowe doesn’t believe the body found is that of her husband Edward Price.

When Osiris Plato Wells, enters the scene…temperatures are rising (In my best Raheem DeVaughn voice). The physical attraction between O.P. and Marlowe is instant, but the warning from the bones, sets her tooth to grind.

This book follows the four characters as they try to find out if Edward Price is really deceased or playing ghost!  Can the two women put their scorned feelings aside to find out the truth?

I really enjoyed this book.  It is a mashup of mystery/suspense with a tinge of paranormal voodoo.  As our book of the month, this was my first read by J.D. Mason but it surely won’t be my last.

💌 Evolving deceptions to being careful what you ask for…🚛

 

📚 Every Woman’s Dream 📚

TITLE:  Every Woman’s Dream
AUTHOR: Mary Monroe
PUBLISHER: Dafina Books
SERIES: Yes
RATING: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ Climactic Ending

BUY THE BOOK

EWDNot all wishes should come true.

Master storyteller Mary Monroe begins her Lonely Heart, Deadly Heart series with a page-turning tale of seduction and shocking surprises, as two unhappy women fulfill their every erotic dream—and find a desire that kills…

As teenagers, best friends Lola Poole and Joan Procter concocted a scheme to escape their boredom, pass the time between boyfriends—and bring in some money. It all started when they got in the habit of corresponding with lonely, unsuspecting—and generous—older men. In return for their “love letters,” the teens were rewarded with checks. The fun only ended when their swindle nearly got them killed. Now they’re grown, but they’re still longing for every woman’s dream of love and excitement…

Joan is unhappily married, while Lola is done with putting her life on hold for her selfish relatives’ demands. As girls they were looking for money, but as women they have other needs they want satisfied. And thanks to online dating and a parade of lovers, they’re getting all the sexy fun they missed out on. It’s a downright addictive game. But games can’t last forever—and someone has to lose…


REVIEW:

In the beginning of friendship, Joan and Lola have each others back.  They are there for one another through thick and thin.  Joan is all about the come up.  Living with her large family and sharing a room with her cousin Too Sweet, Joan stumbles upon and advertisement in the back of her cousins romance magazines.  The Lonely Hearts club advertises penpal relationships with people across the world.  After spending a semester writing penpals for a class project, Joan thinks this is the way to put some extra money in her pocket over the summer and have a little harmless fun.  Joan convinces Lola to join in and soon the duo are writing a numerous amount of men and getting money in return.  All is well in their little scheme until a Lonely Wife shows up to set the record straight.

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After that debacle, you’d think the young adults have learned their lesson…hmm well

Flash Forward, present day

Lola is still living in turmoil dealing with her stepmother Bertha and the dying wish she made to her father.  Bertha never, never, and did I say never lets her forget her promise.  Anytime she gets close to a life of her own, Bertha concocts something to derail it.  Lola’s life is nothing like she imagined.  She’s lonely and looking for love in all the wrong places.

Unhappily married and a mother, Joan is disappointed with the way her life went after she married Reed.  Although he provides everything she needs, he’s controlling and lacks the skills in the bedroom to keep Joan occupied.  Joan’s sexual frustration leads her to the internet.  After using several sites for random hook-ups Joan discovers Discreet Encounters.  And after a short while, she introduces Lola to the site as well.  And the two are back on a rollercoaster ride of thrills and sex…But you’ve got to be careful, everyone on the net isn’t whom they are presumed to be.

Calvin Ramsey, the sexy truck driver, and former Marine makes his introduction late in the book but the thrill doesn’t slow down it kicks into overdrive.

I really enjoyed reading this book, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where the series goes from here.  It definitely makes you think twice about hooking up via the net!

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🚪 You are one decision away from a totally different life.🌱

📚 WomanIsh📚

TITLE:  Womanish: How she survived
AUTHOR: Angelia Vernon Menchan
PUBLISHER: Honorable Menchan Media
SERIES: NO 
RATING: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕ 4.5  Practical life lessons 

BUY THE BOOK

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What is WomanIsh? It’s all the things women go through. The day to day Ish, the man Ish, the raising kids Ish, the I earn lots of money but still want to be cherished Ish, the I’m more than my womb Ish… The what you mean I’m old Ish… Sound familiar? Every Woman Has Ish…

 

 

 


 

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REVIEW:

WomanIsh ~~ Defined by Alice Walker as the opposite of girlish…being a grown up…

WomanIsh is a collection of stories that center around women and the lives they chose.  The decisions each of them have to make and live with.  All of the stories, much like the decision they each have to make revolve around the man in their life. Each story is different and shares the encounter with the author, much like an intervention or session with Dr. Phil, Oprah or Iyanla Vanzant.  WomanIsh is the cause, the effect, and the solution.  WomanIsh is the making of a decision, the wavering, and the standing your ground of consciousness.  WomanIsh is taking the very thing you desire and making it yours, the dealing with the consequences.  That is WomanIsh.

 

The Stories:

There are several stories encased in this book, I’ll share a few that stuck with me.

Her UnEmpowerment:  Betta’s story

Out of the frying pan and into the fire!  Betta at the age of 39 became involved with a man, whom at the time she didn’t know was married, but violent nonetheless.  Roy was everything Betta thought she wanted, he took her out, provided, and sexed her on the regular.  What she didn’t expect were the beatings.  After an encounter with John, Betta assumed she’d found better.  John treated her like she wanted and desired to be treated until she stepped out of line.  Just like the other old saying goes, the grass ain’t always greener on the other side.  However if you take care of it by any means necessary, your grass can flourish.  It’s never too late to live a life without pain.

When I married…I didn’t love him: Mary’s story

There are hundreds of reason women and men choose to marry.  The #1 reason often being “in love”.  Mary’s choice was more about the bigger picture.  Marriage takes more than undying love to sustain them and Mary felt the swooning or big fall wasn’t it.  After 35 years of marriage, Mary loved her husband just as much as he loved her.  Hot relations come and go but a marriage of sustenance endures for a lifetime.

It’s my turn…damn the rest:  Kenya’s Story

Reading Kenya’s story, had me singing “I ain’t saying she’s a gold digger…” Kenya at best was ambitious and goal oriented, however, her darker side craved the excitement derived from obtaining different men.  Kenya married George, a man she felt was beneath her, he was too meek, too soft-spoken, too sweet.  He wasn’t hard nor a thug.  He didn’t strive for more than what he had and was happy with that.  After Kenya achieves her goal of becoming a P.A. her itch returns.  Too little, too late! Kenya learns the lesson.

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I loved men before I changed: Lena’s story

This story was different.  Lena was married for years her husband.  However at the turning point of life, she found herself attracted to another.  Hurting her husband, Aaron was never intentional for Lena.  She just wanted to live her life.

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The common thread in all the stories, is Women, doing Womanish things.  Standing by their decisions, good bad or indifferent.  I would recommend this book and the lessons it contains.  4.5 Stars

 

 

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