Review: Street Divas

Street Divas
Street Divas by De’nesha Diamond
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Street Divas” by De’nesha Diamond was hot…red hot!!! The author immediately brought me into the book. The action started right away. The scenes were painted bright and vivid, and the characters were well-written. I mean, I felt like I was living on ShotGun Row, I could just feel Python’s pet snakes crawling all around me, and I started to hate LeShelle’s throne with a passion. Ms. Diamond really outdid herself here. I really enjoyed how the events and people connected, like how Cousin Skeet ended up being “Supercop,” and Mason ended up being Terrell’s long-lost brother. Ms. Diamond had me all wrapped up.
The only criticism I would give is that the book was a cliff-hanger…I was wondering what was going to happen next when the movie ended, did Momma Peaches end up leaving Issac and marrying Cedric, and what happened to Python’s and Yolonda’s baby, but the cliff-hanger’s okay because I’m already getting ready to read the next book to check out what happens in this street-lit drama.

I give it 5 stars.

P.S  “Street Divas” was provided by Tasha Parker, owner of Books & Beauty Bookstore in Memphis, TN, in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Who’s Fooling Who

Who's Fooling Who
Who’s Fooling Who by Alisha Yvonne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Who’s Fooling Who” by Alisha Yvonne was a very good and fast read for me. Being a huge fan of drama stories, especially in an urban-fiction setting, this story was right-on-point. The tale is about two couples, Ace and Tempest Bynum and Lemont and Lynette Rapid, who have both put in years in their relationship, but, as time goes on, they soon discover that all they have are those years and nothing to show for it.
Ace Bynum is cool and collective but tired of being made to feel “less than” by his wife. Tempest Bynum is conniving, manipulative and a wife that has shown her husband too many times that she did not take her vow “for better or for worse” to heart. Ace is sick and has been for a long time, and Tempest is so over putting her life on hold. As a result, she hires Faith Yarbrough as a live-in aid to take care of her husband, but, little does Tempest know, Faith is Ace’s first-love that he hasn’t completely gotten over…
Lemont Rapid is a scoundrel and a snake. He and Lynette have been married for twenty-two years. She has even looked past one of his infidelities that produced a child…at this point, a sixteen-year old to be exact. However, worst comes to head, when Lynette discovers a three-year affair that Lemont has been carrying on, and it’s gets even more dirty when it comes to light that another child could have been produced from this union.
“Who’s Fooling Who” is a real page-turner…I was reading this book every chance I got. The drama had me all wrapped up. Ms. Yvonne wove a really good story here. It will definitely be favored among urban-fiction fans.
I give it 4 stars.

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Review: Fat from Papa’s Head

Fat from Papa's Head
Fat from Papa’s Head by Tony Lindsay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Fat from Papa’s Head” by Tony Linday is yet another fantastic work by this author…it’s a collection of short stories that Lindsay has written centering around African-American young adults, with a close inspection of issues pertaining to African-American males.  It deals with many issues that we can prevelant today such as death, religion, teen pregnancy, drugs…issues that are permeated throughout our society that really need paying attention to…
Personally, this collection of short stories was very appealing to me.  It had great characters and great storylines that insisted the reader not put it down until the end.  Truth be told, I might be a little bias because I really liked the first book I read from Lindsay, “More Boy Than Girl.”  To date, I can really say he’s one of my favorite authors because he deals with real-life issues…I love reading about that because life is not fantasy all the time.

I give it 5 stars.

P.S.  “Fat from Papa’s Head” was provided courtesy of this author.

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GUEST POST

     “Overcoming my Fears to Write a Book”

by Glenn Gamble

     I never thought I would write fiction, let alone write five books at the time of publication.  Author Teresa D. Patterson suggested that I write fiction after reading my daily blog on MySpace.  I thought she was out of her mind.  In fact, I laughed at the notion that I would be writing some make-believe story, but she tricked me shortly after.  One day, I spoke with her on the telephone and she told me that she was working on this book entitled Ex-Boyfriend, and that she wanted my insight on how a young obnoxious office worker would come across when hitting on a beautiful woman who was over 10 years his senior.  Of course, I had no problem offering my help to ensure that the character came across as realistic as possible.  Being the ego driven person I am, I thought that this would lend more credibility to MySpace blog; which had become a collection of my thoughts on dating at that time of my life.  Once the book was finished I said to myself “that was a lot of work, but pretty fun.”  That’s when I wrote A Thousand Chances.

     At the time I wrote ATC, I was very nervous because I didn’t know what I was doing; to simply put it, I was an amateur.  I had no idea why I should write an outline, I didn’t understand my own writing style, and I wasn’t sure if I could write a book by myself.  Then I began to question myself.  “Can I write a book that people will actually like?”  I wasn’t sure of the answer, but I plodded along, and wrote at the seat of my pants.  It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  Three weeks later, my first book was completed.  A Thousand Chances was ready to hit shelves, until I ordered the books.  Selling them hand to hand and trying to get them into bookstores was a more daunting task than I realized.  As a result, several print copies are still sitting in my mother’s garage in boxes that were never opened.  I gave up writing.

     Then two years later, my friend Teresa D. Patterson told me that she uploaded her backlist on this Kindle thing, and she sold a bunch of books.  I witnessed her own struggle to sell books years ago.  I was proud of her.  Knowing an author personally who makes a living doing what she loves to do inspired me to start writing again, but where do I begin.  First of all, what’s a Kindle.  Second, how do I format for the thing.  This was scary stuff to me.  Instead of focusing on what I found intimidating, I went ahead and put together my first story in two years, Bon Appétit.  Once I was done, I sent it off to an editor, made the suggested corrections and I read the formatting guidelines for Kindle.  With a little trial and error, I was able to upload my first Kindle book.  Then a few days later, I did the same for A Thousand Chances and uploaded it.  After that, I’ve been writing a bunch of stories and publishing them on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.

     So how did I overcome my fears?  I just opened up Microsoft Word and started writing.  I found that once you face your fears, you realize that you really over-magnified the thing that you feared.

     Glenn Gamble is the author of A Thousand Chances, Bon Appetit, Escape, On the Run, and James.  All of his books are available on Amazon Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Gamble/e/B002BMGSVK and Barnes and Noble Nook (link) and Smashwords (link)

     He also encourages you to go to his website http://www.GlennGamble.com.

Review: White Lines

White Lines
White Lines by Tracy Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“White Lines” by Tracy Brown is the real reason I read urban fiction…because it’s about real life, real situations and real people. Jada Ford, the main character in this novel, did not have the best upbringing…in fact, knowing that mother’s love in one of the most cherished things of this world, you could say she had one of the worst. She lost her father at a young age, and, because of this, her mother just gradually weakened and deteriorated. As her daughers grew up, Jada along with her younger sister, Ava, she didn’t offer them any protection from her abusive boyfriend or from the streets because she couldn’t even help herself. As time went on, Ava attempted suicide, moved into a group home, and Jada was forced to deal with her life as it was on her own. Gradually, she turned to a things that would help her forget her very existence – weed, cocaine, crack and sprinkle a little prostitution in the mix. She was mixed up totally…then she met Born. She thought they were a really good match…kindred spirits, soulmates…she didn’t think they would ever fall apart, but they did. Because, even though when they met, Jada was clean, but she still fell back into here old way, and, needless did she know that Born was dealing with his own issues…his own past, and he wasn’t allowing any room to help Jada deal with hers.
“White Lines” was so explosive and so powerful…Born and Jada taught readers the true meaning of friendship lasting the test of time because their’s did. Never has a book affected me so much since reading “The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Soulja.

I give it 5 stars.

P.S.  “White Lines” was provided on-loan from my local library.

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Review: Stealing Candy

Stealing Candy
Stealing Candy by Allison Hobbs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Stealing Candy” by Allison Hobbs was riveting, suspenseful, played with my mind and down-right dirty all at the same time. Being an avid reader, it’s very rare that I discover a book that can do that all for me, but I’ve really suceeded here. Ms. Hobbs paints a picture that’s leaves you so open and so vulnerable that you can’t help, but come back for me. She sheds light on a very important social topic – sex trafficking…detailing the story of an ex-con named Bullet who believes twenty-something prostitutes are too old to mess with for his pimp game so he prefers to go for what he calls “his candy.” He has stolen three underage girls and, by using manipulation, violence and head-games, has forced them into selling their “goodies” for cash to support his lifestyle, his bankroll. He eventually has them believing that they even can grow to love this life, and theirs is better off with him because nobody else cares. But, he forgot about one person…Saleema Sparks. She decides to search for one of the girls, and ends of gaining so much in the process…love, self-worth, self-examination, but she also gets murder.
“Stealing Candy” had me on the edge of my seat…even while I was grocery shopping because even though I always have my 3-year old daughter right there with me anyway, I found myself pulling her closer, making sure she was within my eyesight. My 10-year old niece was with me as well, and I kept saying to her “Stay near me…you need to stay close to me.”

I give it 5 stars.

P.S.  “Stealing Candy” was recommended and provided on-loan by my co-worker, Gwen Clark.

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Review: More Boy Than Girl

More Boy Than GirlMore Boy Than Girl by Tony Lindsay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“More Boy Than Girl” by Tony Lindsay was an really good read…it held my attention throughout the entire plot, and it was very difficult for me to put this book down. Not only does the author write a good story line, but he tackles the identity issues by Dai Break Jones[the fact that she is a lesbian and a pimp] in such a way that, as you’re reading, you really don’t notice anything abnormal about the situations at all. Mr. Lindsay actually takes his readers on a ride through Dai Break’s mind…this is a must-read for sure!

Moreover, as I was reading, I found myself comparing Dai Break’s pimp struggle to that of Whoreson Jones, Donald Goines’ main character in Whoreson. Both these characters feel as if being a pimp makes their world, and, without it, they’re nothing. As a result, they do whatever they have to do to hold this status, including, but not limited to, their ugly, ruthless treatment of women.

“More Boy Than Girl” was on-point, and the storyline flowed like honey. However, there were still some unanswered questions at the end.

Nevertheless, readers who enjoy reading street lit, but want a little “twist” in the game will enjoy reading “More Boy Than Girl.”

I give it 4 stars.

P.S. “More Boy Than Girl” was provided courtesy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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