Tag Archives: CBB

🎅🏼 On the first day of Christmas…🎅🏼

📚 Five Golden Rings by K.L. Brady 📚 
TITLE: Five Golden Rings
AUTHOR: K.L. Brady
PUBLISHER: LadyLit Press
SERIES: NO
RATING: ☕️☕️☕️☕️

BUY THE BOOK: http://amzn.to/2gGlVJn

 

14324438_10210518767914935_771238951702991737_oGirl trips over Boy…and Boy falls for Girl.
Kristy fell out of love with Christmas in D.C. when her father died three years ago. But this Christmas is different now that she’s engaged to Zach. She’s ready to embrace the spirit of the season again, at least until she catches Zach with another woman on her way to the National Tree Lighting. She confronts him and runs out of her nightmare, but arrives at Presidential Park just in time to trip over a dream…

A.J. Dawson is back home in D.C. after a whirlwind global music tour. All he wants is to celebrate a quiet, traditional D.C. Christmas with his socialite almost-fiancée, Sabrina, but she’s got different ideas—A.J. serving at her beck-and-call, hanging on her arm at high-class parties, while ignoring his every wish, except one. Fed up, he’s determined to enjoy the season his way and makes his way to the National Tree Lighting, a moment too late to get in before the gates closed, but just in time to fall for the right girl…

When they are unexpectedly parted with only each other’s first name, can a Missed Connection ad and a little Christmas magic bring them back together?

Two lonely strangers. One unforgettable date. Five golden rings.


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One the first day of Christmas my true love gave to meeee….

For Kristie, Christmas has always been a special time of the year, up until three years ago.  However this year Kristie tells herself it’ll be different.  With her fiance by her side, she hopes that this year’s Christmas will be one to remember.

But in one failed swoop, all her dreams of Christmas joy come crashing down.  Will Kristie find her ever after or is all lost?

 

Mega superstar A.J. Dawson is tired of the spotlight, spending time with his fiance all he wants is a traditional Christmas.  However getting engaged to his socialite girlfriend, Sabrina turns out to a disaster waiting to happen.  Finally giving up all hope, A.J. sets off to the National tree lighting alone.

Do Christmas miracles still happen?  Will two Chrismas traditionalist find their ever after?  Five Golden Rings give the true essence and love of the holiday season.  I found this story engaging and joyful.  K.L. Brady made characters you’d fall in love with, root for and some you’d even wish would drop dead.  Overall I give this book 4 stars.

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💎 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.

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.

More Womanish by Angelia V. Menchan

What we’re reading this week! 

419XbJoDkDL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgMore Womanish: She Survives is more stories of women, real women with real ish that they are always in the struggle to survive. Review for Womanish: WomanIsh. Yes…it’s all that the title enamored and more. Angelia Vernon Menchan once again has stepped outside of the usual and fully embraces real life stigmas many won’t address. Menchan takes the reader on a situation-based ride varying from love, self-esteem, lack of respect, pitfalls and even further questions the security of one’s stability while married. Not only does she utilize the muse smartly, she shows counsel and guidance, post story. For an author of Menchan’s realistic writing style and candor, she has touched me on more than one occasion in her past works. One thing is for certain, “WomanIsh” is a must read for 2016! Highly recommended for women of all walks of life, book clubs and the like. Loretta R. Walls CEO, Nu Cherte Publishing

Buy the book: http://amzn.to/2brUHW7

 

 

📚 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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📚 The clear expression of mixed feelings 📚

🎭 Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues 🎭

TITLE: Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues
AUTHOR:  Julius Jamaal McLean
PUBLISHER: Julius McLean Books
SERIES: No
RATING: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ 🔥Symbolic versification 
BUY THE BOOK: http://amzn.to/29vBcKb

513d3zH0JhL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues is a poetry collection consisting of 65 poems. The poems are separated into 11 distinct sections that tell their own story while still fitting into the overall story of the collection. Although not limited to African American influences and content, the collection is very much inspired by the work of African American poets and writers like Langston Hughes, Paul Laurence Dunbar, James Baldwin, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Frederick Douglass and from the black cultural, social, and artistic revival that took place during the period known as the Harlem Renaissance.

Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues is about encapsulating the Harlem Renaissance state of mind and encouraging young black minds to express themselves and “catch a glimmer of their own beauty” as Langston Hughes urged his young black contemporaries to do in his essay “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” (1926), albeit with modern flair. The creative license that black artists had to express themselves and their art during the Harlem Renaissance is the blueprint for the poetry and artistic expression in the collection. Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues is rooted in a modern sense of black cultural, social, and artistic rebirth while paying homage to the artistic foundation laid by the great pioneers of the past.


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REVIEW:

It’s not often I’m sent a book that pulls me in right away.  Usually, there is a waiting period on reviews, especially now with all the things I have going on.  But I received this book for review on Monday, I flipped through it and put it on the shelf with the others.  And every time I passed that shelf it called out to me.  I’d read a page and put it back I did this half the day and night.  Until this afternoon, I just seized it and dove straight in.

More often than not, poetry has to be felt by the reader.  It has to touch something within them for them grasp the poet’s intention.  Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues is that kinda book.

There are several pieces that I enjoyed and below are three that stuck with me.

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Caged Lion 


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Sound of a dead body

If a body falls in the ghetto,

Does it make a sound?

Did America hear the rounds

When they gunned him down?

While the average person peacefully sleeps,

His ghetto kinfolk mourn and weep.

His giant heart no longer beats.

The Jumpman grounded on his feet.

The murder rate he couldn’t beat.

He died before he reached his peak,

Thinking that he let his family down.

This young man who was college bound

Is now deprived of the chance

To make them proud.

The rest of the country had him on mute

And didn’t hear the killer shoot.

His story won’t make the national news,

Another victim of the boys in blue,

This tragic story is sad but true.

Imagine the pain if it were you.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A native of South Florida, Julius Jamaal McLean is an African American writer, poet, and creator striving to encourage, influence, and represent the voice of young artists. Inspired by the work and creativity of African American writers like Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, his debut poetry book Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues evolved organically from a desire to create something relatable, impactful, and relevant to modern social issues and culture. Julius’ poetry is a way for him to speak from the perspective of those from his demographic who are not given the opportunity to speak for themselves often. His desire is for the sound of his own voice to ignite the passion within those of his generation and motivate them to express themselves in the same manner.

Connect with Julius Jamaal McLean

Twitter: @juliusjmclean

IG and SC: @universaleuomo

Facebook: Julius Jamaal McLean

Email: juliusjamaalmclean@gmail.com;

Tumblr: http://universaleuomo.tumblr.com/

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