Tag Archives: novel

💎 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 cells that have lived longer than the woman! Say her name, Henrietta Lacks. 🏥

📚 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks 📚

TITLE: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
AUTHOR: Rebecca Skoot
PUBLISHER: Broadway Books
SERIES: No 
RATING: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ Captivating, Fascinating and Completely Engrossing

BUY THE BOOK: http://amzn.to/2aEp9MP

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Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.


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First let me start by saying, I’ve seen this book many times, and not being one for biographies and memoirs too much, I passed it by.  That is until I started seeing it again.  I read the synopsis and was intrigued so much I went and purchased a copy on Amazon.  Nothing prepared me for what was between the pages of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

the cell

A black woman in the 1950’s goes to John Hopkins hospital, which at that time was only hospital in the area to service coloreds.  Feeling a knot in her stomach Henrietta Lacks didn’t know what to expect, she just knew she wanted to have more children.  The series of events that take place after that first visit to John’s Hopkin’s changed not only the life of Henrietta Lacks, the Lacks children and family but also it changed the world.

In 1988, in a biology class, Rebecca Skoot first learns the name, Henrietta Lacks.  That name would be the catalyst to change the life of Rebecca Skoot and forever bind her to the lives of the descendants of the woman scientist only call HeLa.

For more than a decade, the author along with the daughter of Henrietta Lacks, Deborah set off on a journey to learn the truth.  The truth in this instance is what really happened to Henrietta Lacks and how her cells came to live forever.

Although this book is scientific in nature the average layman can read it and come to an understanding of the circumstances, life and socioeconomic culture of the time.  This author has done an amazing job of bringing to light the events that occurred to render HeLa cells a multimillion dollar industry.

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There are so many things to discuss concerning this book.  This book should be a must-read for all.

🚬 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.

 

 

🎭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.

⛪️ 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.

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