National Black Book Festival


Monday, March 7, 2011

Black History Year - March

Number 54

You know, I never asked, how are you doing?  I have received some comments on my blog thru the comment section or on Amazon thru African American Kindle Users and people are letting me know if this blog helps them buy books.  I hope so, because we could use more African American authors.  Not to say that other authors are not great as well, I still read the classics like Sherlock Holmes, Outlander series and nonfiction.  I even read Sarah Palin (What!! What the hell were you thinking!!!?)  You know what I was thinking, "how in the hell did that woman get to run for Vice President when there were so many better women, black and white, who could have played that game better than most men.  I won’t get into political rambling, because I could go on forever.  Let’s get to some books and I will talk more later, not on politics, but my soap opera of a life.    

MARK O’NEAL – THE MOMENT OF TRUTH - $.99 - - - Maurice Ousley seems to have it all: his team captures first place after a gutsy win before All-Star Break, he's voted by the coaches to the NBA All-Star Game, and he plans a cozy evening with his girlfriend Gabrielle to pop the question. However, the evening begins to unravel as Maurice finds out about a dark secret that Gabrielle has hidden from him. He subsequently leaves her at the restaurant once the truth is revealed. He then goes to a party hosted by one of the All-Star basketball players to blow off some steam. There he meets a stunningly attractive actress and finds out that she has a huge crush on him. Finally, Maurice caps off the evening by small talking to some of his teammates, and his best friend on the squad drops another bombshell on him. Just when the night couldn't get any worse, he discovers he's also the target of the same federal fugitive who kidnapped his stepfather a year prior. Will Maurice leave Gabrielle for the actress, or will he stay with her? What news does his teammate tell him? And lastly, will Maurice survive, or will his past finally catch up to him?

The Moment of Truth 

K’WAN - The Leak: A Hood Rat Short $.99 - - - - Animal is a child of the streets, born of nothing and destined to die with nothing until he meets a man named Tech who will change his life forever.  Animal proves to be a quick study under his new mentor and takes to the game like a fish to water, but the real test is when a snitch causes the fall of several key underworld figures and Animal is called upon to silence him.  With nothing but a gun and his wits Animal must now do the impossible, kill a man who is under police protection or die trying.
The Leak: A Hood Rat Short

BEN – (Yes, that is his name and no last name) Up The Way (DC Bookdiva Publications Presents) - $4.99 - - - Just saw this on my face book page and read the description on Amazon, which did not make sense, so I thought I use, SiStar Tea of ARC Book Club in the Bronx, for a more honest review.

“I was not feeling this story for the first couple of chapters. I put it down for a while and came back later. This novel did make a comeback. I was glad I kept up with it although I am still a little confused on a few issues. There are many characters and while all were relevant to the story it made it puzzling to keep up with all of them.

Most of the story takes place in San Dora, a prison that is as most of us imagine cliquish. If you are not down, you're an outsider. With drugs, sex, corruption running wild in the prison system. We follow the everyday dealings of the drug ring. Mia and Jazz are correction officers and they run the show behind the prison walls with the "Gods" holding them down - Akbar, Malik and Born Freedom. Mia's brother Escalade and his right hand man DB (Do-Boy) are holding everything down in the streets. When all the characters are brought in and the story starts to flow and I am getting picture clearly the twist comes in and the drama begins. This is where I am lost because I now realize the characters I thought I knew - I didn't know them at all. I was left to go back and double check things and still be left feeling as if I did not know some of them, while others I knew and understood.

There were questions lingering about some of the main characters sexuality. A lot of the story seems very unrealistic. All in all a decent read. I think this author has potential to become a great story teller if he tightens up his story lines and is more consistent in relaying the turn of events.
  San Dora is a prison where there's money to be made. Joining forces are childhood friends and CO's Mia and Jazz are on the come up and playing by their own rules. A simple bus ride introduce Mia to the game, only to find out that Jazz has been making moves secretly up the way. Escalade and Do-Boy hold down the streets, while in prison Akbar, Malik, and Born Freedom represent the Gods to the fullest. Renegade female guards take no shorts and are gangsta! Even the Warden has issues. The sex is salacious, and their swagger canonical. Take a journey into the lives of these characters, every page is unique, it s full of great laughs, and nothing is ever what it seems.”

Up The Way

TRISTA RUSSELL - DEAD BROKE - $10.99 - - - Thanks to a gunshot wound from her cheating ex-boyfriend, Sarai Emery wakes up after a month in a coma, and all she wants to do is eat, gossip, see her twin brother, and crawl into bed with Damian, who she thinks is still her man. But her memory is ten months behind, and her life went from fabulous to scandalous in the time she forgot. She has no clue that "high class" prostitution was her way of making ends meet.  Meanwhile, Sarai's new but forgotten love, Tremel "Mel" Colton, vows to stay by her side. Though she can't remember him, he patiently waits to remind her of the long, steamy nights she spent in his arms. He romances her all over again, but just as lust and love start to blossom, shocking secrets from Sarai's past are revealed and suddenly Mel is unsure of their future together.  Also, because she doesn't remember them, some of Sarai's enemies mask themselves as her friends, and Sarai has no idea how much trouble she has gotten herself into. But one thing is certain; she will never forget her enemies again.  In this seductive sequel to her sizzling debut novel, Going Broke - Used $8.61, Trista Russell turns down the sheets and turns up the heat in a story about one woman learning that money comes and goes, but good friends, love, and sex are hard to forget.
Dead Broke

DAVID WEAVER - BANKROLL SQUAD - $1.99 - - - Blood is thicker than water, but money is thicker than blood in this juicy page turner! The college educated, street certified members of the crew find themselves learning the ultimate lesson! The Bankroll Squad rules the underworld with an iron fist. The women in the squad are willing to ride or die for their principles and everything that they stand for. When their leader, Malcolm Powers, switches up on them and marries a white woman, will jealousy allow the women to continue to ride or die for the drug kingpin? Or is his wife the only woman he needs? Is she prepared for the life that comes along with being married to a kingpin? Will she ride or die through thick and thin? An action packed emotional thriller that grabs your heart and never let’s go. A ride you will never forget.
Bankroll Squad

CHERYL FAYE - WHO SAID IT WOULD BE EASY? - $8.99 - - - It’s the story of a man and woman who rely on their faith in God to live and love, despite formidable trials and tragedy.  Charisse Ellison is a beautiful twenty-nine-year-old single woman who is new to her faith, but convinced that her relationship with God is the only way to have the truly fulfilling life she desires, of a husband and children.  Stefàn Cooper is a thirty-three-year-old bachelor who has no desire to change his ways. Tall, muscular, and strikingly handsome, Stefàn is used to getting what he wants from the opposite sex but is intrigued by Charisse’s seeming indifference to his charms. The couple’s intense romance leads them on a journey that challenges the bravado Stefàn has held on to for most of his adult life and forces Charisse to see that God’s answered prayers don’t always come packaged the way we expect.  Who Said It Would Be Easy? Is a story that offers hope in situations that, at first seem hopeless, and shows that through faith in an all-powerful God, even the most painful experiences can culminate in true joy and peace.
Who Said It Would Be Easy?

I am all for romance with GOD in it.  It helps me get through the days ahead.

SHONDA - MY SOUL FAINTED WITHIN ME - $.99 - - - How does it feel to live in a household with two loving parents? Or in a home embedded with abuse and fear? How does it feel to not know your father? Or to crave time and affection from your mother? What does it feel like to hate? To love? To lose?  For this circle of friends, comprised of Paris, Lonnie, CoCo, Rachel, and Shanice, the answers are soul-stirring.  My Soul Fainted within Me is a startling debut novel that takes readers, young and old alike, on a decade-long journey like no other.
My Soul Fainted Within Me 

ROBYN GANT - IN LAWS AND PLAY COUSINS - $.99 - - - Growing Pains, Promiscuity, Success and Murder, everything a book should have and more.  Nubia is a successful black film maker with unknown enemies seeking revenge. Her childhood friend Tracie is a computer expert whose personal vendetta backfires. Eva is a jurist but uses men to hide her pain and mask her childhood tragedy, and her cousin Tina wears a sweet exterior but takes risks that threaten to jeopardize her professional career.  Kevin and Aaron are sexy twins who go to great lengths to get the women they want; and Angelo, gorgeous and ambitious, lets nothing stand in his way to accomplish his career goals, even at the expense of friends.  Pilar is a beautiful but naive orphan who overnight is catapulted to fame; and Denene, a woman scorned, is determined to wreak havoc in the lives of those she feels has wronged her in some way.  From the heart of Los Angeles to the South of France, In Laws and Play Cousins tells a story about love and heartbreak, success and envy and the price it ultimately commands, sounds like a soap opera!

In Laws and Play Cousins

I saw this title and could not believe it, but laughed any way:

TJ ATKINS - THE ADVENTURES OF A SLUT COOKIE: A NOVELLA IN RHYME - $2.99 - - - Slut Cookie is a woman that knows what she wants. Follow her story as she flips the script on men and plays the game just as well as they do. You will find yourself wanting more of Slut Cookie after reading this story that is completely in rhyme.
The Adventures of Slut Cookie: A Novella in Rhyme 

Got to stick on one for Black History Year.  

DOROTHY WEST - THE WEDDING:  A NOVEL - $9.99 - - - You may have seen the TV movie version in 1988 with Halle Berry, Lynn Whitfield, Carl Lumbly, Charlayne Woodard and a little known actor, Deji LaRay, who has played in CSI:NY, Without a Trace, Lincoln Heights, Charmed and other TV shows.  He is very good and of course not enough of our young black actors in TV and movies.

We should outlaw all movies unless they have a black actor.  Even a small part is enough to get me to the theatre.  Hey, that’s just me.  I love all kinds of movies from the 40s to now, and I am always looking for that black actor in it.  Did you know that there was a Black judge in Perry Mason?  I am still looking for that show to prove it.  I’m weird like that and love it.  Now, here’s what The Wedding is about and I do have the original book.  

The tranquility of a late summer weekend in 1953 is shattered by a tragic accident in this spare, affecting novel by one of the last surviving members of the Harlem Renaissance. The Oval, the exclusive black enclave on Martha's Vineyard, prepares for the marriage of Shelby Coles, daughter of one of the community's most admired couples. Shelby's choice of white jazz musician Meade Wyler awakens dormant but unresolved racial issues in her family, which includes her physician father, enduring a loveless but socially proper union; her mother, confronting a dwindling pool of partners for her discreet affairs, and her great-grandmother, who dreams of escaping her ambivalence by returning to her aristocratic Southern roots. The arrival of black artisan, Lute McNeil upsets the precarious equilibrium of the Oval when his aggressive pursuit of Shelby leads to disaster. Through the ancestral histories of the Coles family, Dorothy West (The Living Is Easy - Paperback $16.14) subtly reveals the ways in which color can burden and codify behavior. The author makes her points with a delicate hand, maneuvering with confidence and ease through a sometimes incendiary subject. Populated by appealing characters who wrestle with the nuances of race at every stage of their lives, West's first novel in 45 years is a triumph. 
The Wedding: A Novel