Tag Archives: family

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.

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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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👀 For nothing is a secret that will not be revealed…💑

📚 I love him…Anyway 2 📚

TITLE: Jeremy and Melinda: I love him…Anyway II
AUTHOR: Angelia Vernon Menchan
PUBLISHER: Honorable Menchan Media
SERIES: Yes
RATING: ☕️☕️☕️☕️  Concealed secrets
BUY THE BOOK: http://amzn.to/29FZp2W

 

51MkfpO-0ZL._SX385_BO1,204,203,200_Tears coursed down Melinda’s face as the doctor’s words resonated inside her. Jeremy stood beside the hospital bed holding her hand is if someone shot him.
“I am so sorry Mr. and Mrs. Stuart, I am so sorry, last week everything seemed fine. The only thing I can offer is perhaps something happened with the fetus…” the doctor said. Melinda turned her tear stained face to look into the doctor’s eyes.
“Fetus? Doctor, I am eight months pregnant. I didn’t lose a fetus; I lost a baby, a baby who if he had been born would have been viable. My baby is dead inside me and you need to keep the platitudes and deliver him so I can grieve.”
Jeremy clutched her hands tighter, unable to speak and glanced at his mother, Marva and Melinda’s mother, Alicia who had flown in from Miami to find out hours later her grandchild passed.
The doctor nodded, telling them they were taking Melinda to surgery. Jeremy kissed her gently, telling her he loved her before walking out behind his mother and mother in law.
The three of them sat quietly in the waiting room unable to offer words of comfort to the other. Everything happened so quickly. Alicia arrived, they were planning dinner and a shower and suddenly Melinda didn’t feel well and was cramping. The doctor told them to come to the hospital and it was discovered their child was no longer alive. Jeremy felt as if something in him died also.
¥¥¥¥¥
“Hey.” Jeremy said when Melinda’s eyes opened.
She had been under general anesthesia and was in recovery. She touched her belly and Jeremy flinched. The pain on her face matched his internal anguish. He could not imagine how she must feel having carried their child.
“Where is he?”
“Your dad isn’t here, your mom is with mom; they are getting food in the cafeteria.”
“No, I mean the baby?”
“They have him, I mean he is in the…” He was unable to say morgue.
“I want to have a proper funeral,” Melinda said.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m positive and when that is done, I think we need to discuss this marriage.”
Jeremy felt as if she had punched him. “What about it? Things have been good,” he murmured.
“We need to discuss if it is viable or if like our son, it is gone.” Turning away, she closed her eyes, leaving Jeremy unsure what to say.
There had been some struggles but he thought they were past those and settled into a routine, preparing for the baby. He dropped down in the chair next to her.


REVIEW:

When my life is in disarray my reading suffers.  This last past month my reading suffered a lot.  However, Jeremy and Melinda brought me out of my current slump.

The second book in the series is a prelude of sorts.  It starts off with Melinda and Jeremy facing the tragic event of losing their first born child.  That in itself is hard enough but the challenges their marriage will face doesn’t stop there.

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Melinda has been harboring a secret from Jeremy, secrets that leave him wondering, who did he marry.  The aftermath that follows the loss of her child, sends Melinda into several stages.  Her jealousy of Florence increases, making the friends, now frienemies.  Yet while everyone is focused on Melinda’s pain and suffering most seem to forget about Jeremy and his pain.  Losing a child is hard for any parent and being a man Jeremy had to place his feelings on hold to deal with those of his wife.

This author is no stranger to tackling issues that plague the community as a whole.  In I love him…Anway II: Jeremy and Melinda deal with many of those issues.  Covering up the ugly with a pretty bandage doesn’t erase it nor heal it.  Melinda and Jeremy learn this lesson the hard way.  Will their marriage survive?  Grab your copy and find out.

 

 

⛪️ The Darkness has blinded his eyes…🎭

📚 A Sinful Calling 📚

TITLE:  A Sinful Calling
AUTHOR: Kimberla Lawson Roby
PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing
SERIES: Yes (A Reverend Curtis Black Novel) 
RATING:  ☕️☕️☕️☕️ Contemporary Fiction 
BUY THE BOOK: http://amzn.to/29AqCn7

51Qw5nEv3ML._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgDillon hadn’t been called by anyone. He’d called himself and he wasn’t ashamed of it. But no good can come from . . .

A SINFUL CALLING

Two years ago, to everyone’s surprise, Dillon Whitfield Black, the secret son of Reverend Curtis Black, boldly moved back home, married a woman named Raven, decided he was going to become a minister, and then founded a church right in the center of his living room. Today he’s pastor of a 1,000-plus-member congregation, and new members are joining weekly. Sadly, behind closed doors, Dillon is far from being a saint. Dillon has become more like the man his father was thirty years ago-consumed with money, power, and lots of women. His family may have let bygones be bygones, but they continue to keep their distance.

Not Alicia, though. This daughter of Curtis Black joins Dillon’s congregation, leaving her father’s church behind. The family has forgiven Alicia for marrying Levi Cunningham, the former drug dealer she had an affair with, but once Alicia realizes they will never fully accept Levi, she decides to see her family less and less. She and Levi are truly happy, however, guilt from her betrayal of Phillip and its aftermath casts a shadow over their wedded bliss.

But when Raven decides she wants a higher position in the church and Alicia hides a devastating secret, the entire family is affected in ways they don’t see coming. In the end, no one will be able to trust anyone . . . and for very good reason.


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REVIEW:

The Black’s are back….The Black’s are back!!

Dillon hadn’t been called by anyone. He’d called himself and he wasn’t ashamed of it. But no good can come from . . .

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Book 13 focuses on the lives of Dillion Whitfield Black, the first born child of Rev. Curtis Black and his daughter Alicia.  When Dillion returns to Mitchell with plans to take over Mitchell’s mega church position, he didn’t count on real salvation taking root in his life.  Married to Raven, Dillion’s relationship with the other members of the Black family are non-existent with the exception of Alicia and her husband Levi.  As their bond grows strong, secrets hidden by both Alicia and Dillion begin to unravel and threaten to tear both of their lives apart.

After being ostracized from her family after her first husband’s death, Alicia struggles with some issues, she’s afraid to tell anyone including her husband Levi.

Can the pot call the kettle black?

Will the lesson’s taught weekly during Sunday service, by Rev. Black finally hit home.  Faith, Love, Family, and forgiveness are all lessons that continually go around.

Over the years I’ve enjoyed all the books in the Curtis Black series, and this one was no different.  Kimberla Roby tackled many issues such as depression, alcoholism, mental illness and family virtue and wrapped them all up in a pretty package that anyone could comprehend.

🚪 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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