National Black Book Festival


Friday, October 31, 2014

Where Have I've Been - Happy!!!

This is still sad, but I’m getting better.  At least I’m only a few weeks late and not two months behind.  I will admit, I have been working my but off as well as trying to take care of my mother.  She is still not talking to me and Lionel, her son-in-law.  We are divorced, but we have become great friends and parents to a extraordinary kid.  We have tried, but she is mad at the world, just like so many people at my job and around the world, and she is not being friendly with any one.

That does not stop me from driving up to DC to check on her.  I have my ways and have told her in exact words, “keep it up old woman, I’m sending you to Shady Pines (Remember Golden Girls) and will take the key away and have a guard feed you, so stop it.”  She’s not listening, but it’s OK, I’m still taking care of her in my own way.   She does keep in good contact with her only grandchild, my daughter.  She has no choice in that.  I told her to be mad at me and Lionel, we can live with it, but not your granddaughter.  We are all that is left on this earth of your family, so, let it go and move on.

It must be hard to realize that you are alone.  My mother’s mother, father, brother, aunts and uncles are gone and she is the only one left in the family with the exception of me.  It hit me a while ago how hard that is to live with.  Knowing you are the only one left.  I did not know her brother that well.  Her mother and aunt raised me, so I have limited knowledge about their family dynamites, except what I have been told.  Weird isn’t it.  You don't truly realize that wasting a lot of time with grudges and anger get’s your ass no where, absolutely no where until you are on death's bed.  So let the crap go!!

Back to me.  Still continuing with my Dave Ramsey plan, reading 4 or 5 books at a time; at least trying to with so many books out there.  Researching and learning about owning and running a business.  There is not, not, enough time to get it all done, but I’m sure as hell going to try.

In my last posting I wrote about the class I attended on owning/running a bookstore.  Still going thru that process.  In the meantime, I started working at The Booksmith in Seneca, South Carolina.  It is an independent bookstore about 15 minutes from Clemson University.  The same university my kid graduated from.  Is that a kick or what?  I thought after my kid graduated from grad school, get a permanent good paying job with health and retirement benefits (that has been done), I would return to DC.  I have good friends here, but it’s not enough to keep me here.  I think we have grown apart as one does when one is looking for a new way to live a better life.  I figure I would sell the house, find another job in another state, look for a part time job to keep my Dave Ramsey plan going (it’s hard as hell to get out of debt, but it can be done), and leave the calm and warm weather of South Carolina.  I guess I'm not leaving the state yet.  Cannot ignore an opportunity to work in a bookstore, now can I?  I just stopped for a minute, had to listen to “What’s Best For You” by Trey Songz,  and “Holding On For Life” by Broken Bells.  Just loaded it on my phone.  Try them, you will like them.  On to my adventures:

Since I lost my "Part time job at the Asylum," I still miss that place, I got an even better part time job - “Part Time Job At a Bookstore with kooky customers and staff.”  Have to shorten that name soon and wait until I start telling stories about them.  It is a drive, about 3 to 4 hours, but it’s only on weekends a few times a month and the money is better that my last part time job.  I just go to remember to use the salary for my debt snow ball and not buy every single book I see.  That’s going to be hard.  Will get back to my new adventure later.  Let’s get to some books.  I did read, but kept it simple due to the travel, working and everything else going on.  

Latoya Lee-Lati - Inside Me: A Revelation of Love - $3.99 Deep Inside Me: A Revelation of Love : A Revelation of Love 

I am so proud of this young lady, she is more than awesome, she is beguiling and graceful inside and out.  I brought her first book of poems, To Whom It May Concern - $9.99 - To Whom It May Concern:I like the writing style of journal entries with poems; over the period of 2004 to 2009.  Enjoyed reading the poem, James . . . Tender love - he was “her first drop of rain,” I like that line.  The relationship did not last, but her writings about this cultivated and at times a demanding relationship, from a young age to her early twenties, reads like what we all are going thru when it comes to relationships, traumatic times indeed.  She does mention other men she dated, but I like the entries and poems on James more.  It’s the style, a diary, but not recorded every day, only when life kicks you or you just want to thank GOD.  

There are always goods days, but on bad days, this journal will elevate you and remind you how blessed you truly are.  I will admit I did enjoy reading the journal entries more than the poems.  The journals were diverting, enjoyable, interesting, filled with many blessings and so calmed my mind.  One of my favorite Journal entry, dated January 2008, “I want to live free, a free mind, a free spirit and be a free being.  I want to remain true to myself and I don’t wish harm to anyone,”  Yeah, that’s what I want.

Michelle Lindo-Rice - Color Blind (Able to Love Book 1) - $2.99 - Color Blind (Able to Love Book 1) 

Hey, I do like romance books, but some have the same old standard - boy meets girl, girl or boy have issues, sometimes stupid and crazy issues, boy and girl work it through and live happily ever after. After you read about 10 books, it starts to get a bit boring. It's like those Harlequin romance books, they are good like Utz chips. You can't just stop at one. This was not any different, but an OK book, and I read it fast since I knew what the outcome was going to be. Saul, white guy who became blind after a car accident where he saw his daughter with her "black" husband and their bi-racial kid in the back, he got mad and lost control of the car.

Aniyah, black nurse at hospital, who just happens to be the only person on the whole hospital can work with him to help him recover. He falls in love and so does she. He does not know she is black. You know what happens, he learns to forgive and go after her. Sweet and cute book. Quick read and enjoyable.

Jamie Wesley - Tell Me Something Good (Entangled Lovestruck) - $2.99 - Tell Me Something Good (Entangled Lovestruck)

This story of two people who work at a radio station (Tate Grayson - rich, fast and lose sports loving white guy) and (Noelle, psychologist who still has issues with the death of her parents, which has caused her to lock her soul and heart) are put together by management to spar against each other on a new radio show.  I still feel I seen this style on TV or read it in a book somewhere, I just can't remember right now.  They fight the attraction and spark, fight again until the spell of love consumes them.  Did I just write that?  Cute story and fast read.

I have a few more that I have read and I will get to them later. In the meantime:

Got to get one in for Black History Year

Dwayne Alexander Smith - Forty Acres: A Thriller - $11.04 - Forty Acres: A Thriller - I have not read it yet, a friend just gave it to me, but here's the review from Judith D. Collins "Must Read Books" - 

A special thank you, to Atria Books and NetGalley for a complimentary ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

One word . . EPIC! A "deal with the devil" has never been so evil!

FORTY ACRES was the most intense thriller --thought-provoking, and gripping debut novel (my pulse is still racing) - full of power and revenge. FORTY ACRES has my vote for "Thriller Debut Novel of 2014", a talented author, Dwayne Alexander Smith, has just won me over as a "fan for life."

Amazing writing, brilliantly developed characters, well researched, and an astounding storyline. There is so much depth to this THRILLER, as so want to discuss, debate, and challenge the "what if's" (as I booked marked something from every chapter); however, this is one of those "ONE in a million books" you dare not say a word to spoil, or hint of anything within a review, to give away the suspense for the readers. From controversial issues of race and power, hatred, wealth, love, trust, betrayal, and secrets--it has it all.

Whereas, "Devil's Advocate" raised the preposition that "winning is everything", FORTY ACRES is about "revenge and power." Several similarities -both had smart intuitive wives, devil/master, and both main characters are attorneys who get sucked into a world of mystery, power, and wealth. (Of course, Forty Acres in a "class by itself") A WINNER out of the gate!

FORTY ACRES deserves an unveiling, with no hints of any sort as each and every page is just too BLOODY GOOD. You feel yourself experiencing every setting, footstep, movement and facial expression, trying to predict the next move, with details so realistic, you are holding your breath, as you swish to the next page to see what lies ahead.

Martin, black attorney and main character totally ROCKS, and so fell in love with him - brilliant strategies, witty one liners, and oh the dedication of the book by the author was PRICELESS.

As the author is a screen play writer, I can envision a movie based on this predicted best seller, with a cast of stars (I want a front row seat) for a total blockbuster. With a surprise at the end - one can only hope for a series to follow. "I guess, my heart can get back to normal until his next book" . . . Here's hoping it is soon!

This provocative new novel is most deserving of a 5 STAR ++. Compliments to the author and publisher for an appealing front cover and overview, which drew me in immediately, and exceeded all my expectations.