BOOK REVIEWS

C. M. Lee Book Cover

“Remember, other people don’t have to ‘get’ your dream. It’s not theirs–it’s yours.
They aren’t supposed to get it. The dream was given to you!”
                                                                                                                                       –Dr. Clarence M. Lee, Jr.

Book Review by Mike Ramey

Godly single parents have been taking it on the chin in our mainstream (and social media) for a number of years. Even many of our churches have mistakenly pushed the upright ones off to the side. Godly single parents have grown to be marginalized because they don’t fit the agenda template to wipe God from the marketplace. Enter Dr. Clarence M. Lee, Jr. with his work: “Well My Mom Says” (173 pages, 2014, WestBow Press) to set the scales of faith in God, parental love and common sense back to a right balance.

All one can say as they read this work is: “Wow!” “Well My Mom Says” sports 25 chapters, divided into four power-packed sections. It’s a book that will make a great reference book for young people, and will make many a parent ‘get their voices back’ concerning needed advice, wisdom and training for their children that many thought had been relegated to the back pages of history. Lee ‘walks’ the reader through his various ‘growing pains’ that his mother had to address, as he was navigating the often-bumpy roads of life: Difficult teachers, hard life choices and honorable dreams in a warped society. Eventually, Lee’s mother remarries–and the advice keeps on coming from his stepfather. Nevertheless, the advice is more profound and more needed by a ‘double dose’ of parental love.

Lee, a medical doctor makes no apologies for being a Christian nor a former college athlete. Chapters deal with the subjects of Trust, Faith, Perseverance and Appreciation. This book may also serve as a ‘kickstarter’ for some adults in the audience! In an interview with On Line Reviews, Lee noted that this work was ‘on time’ for a lot of young people in our present society…some of whom have been raised in a single-parent environment. He also noted that there is a good possibility that a workbook will be designed to be used along with the book in the near future.

“Well MY Mom Says” is one of those books that you can’t finish in an afternoon. In fact, it’s one of those books that would best be considered a ‘reference’ work, because you will refer to it again, and again…with pencil or highlighter in hand. It’s available through your favorite on line bookseller, or through Lee’s website at www.cmleejr.com.

Mike Ramey is a Minister, Reviewer and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. On Line Reviews brings current and lesser-known titles to public light in the quest to re-kindle a love for reading in a sea of modern technology.

 

Legally Stupid:  Why Johnny Doesn’t Have To Read

Legally Stupid Cover

By R. C. Murray

“There’s no excuse for accepting excuses. Administrators who pressure teachers to dumbed-down traditional teaching methods and expectations are only harming students and destroying our nation’s future. That sounds a lot like treason, doesn’t it?”
–R. C. Murray, Author

With the recent headlines and court fights over administrator firings, common core and teacher tenure, parents are hard-pressed to find one book that can help them sift through the ‘alphabet soup’ that has evolved into the modern, American public school. Enter R. C. Murray to the fray with: “Legally STUPiD: Why Johnny Doesn’t HAVE To Read” (312 pages, 2007, Peach-Pine Publishing). Murray, a military vet who spent time on the firing line of a high school classroom as an English teacher, eventually had to leave the classroom for health reasons. Nevertheless, the teaching profession’s loss is your gain, as you get a work that is written from an insider’s view. Murray is a Christian, an accomplished writer, and a believer in using the King James Version (KJV). This work is loaded with not only spiritual insight, but a means of pointing out where the classroom has gone wrong, from the college campus down to your local schools. Urban parents and churches will particularly enjoy Murray’s biblical and common-sense approaches to public education.

“Legally STUPiD” is a great “I told you so” book. It’s best thought of as a edu-reference book; a parental primer FOR exposing the current education system’s shortcomings as well as a firm warning to those who might be considering entering the teaching profession. The Glossary alone contains 13 pages of definitions, deciphering the mysteries of ‘edu-speak’. What Marva Collins did in ‘shaking up’ the education establishment 20 years ago, Murray continues WITH a new level of shaking in this work. Furthermore, it gives the parent the keys to rate their own child’s teachers and school as to whether or not their child is being taught–or indoctrinated.

Murray includes the charts, diagrams and examples of how classroom learning HAS been and how it has changed over the last 50 or so years. Some may consider some of his solutions ‘simplistic’. Some may not. However, for a parent who may have a bright child, and has been watching them ‘fall out of love’ with learning; or a child that may have been wrongly labeled as unable to learn, Murray offers a lot of wisdom and evidence as to how parents may be able to turn their child’s academic career around. “Legally STUPiD” is available at your favorite on line bookseller, or via rc.murray8@gmail.com.

Ramey Mike Ramey is a Minister, Reviewer and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. On Line Reviews brings current and lesser-known titles to public light in the quest to re-kindle a love for reading in a sea of modern technology.

Introducing Dr. C. M. Lee–and his new book!

C. M. Lee Book Cover

Here’s an excerpt from the book “Well My Mom Says,” by C. M. Lee, Jr.

Every Day, Be Thankful

As I step out of my door, I see the sunshine and breathe the fresh air and I’m thankful—thankful for this world, thankful for my health, thankful for my mobility, and so on.

I have the privilege to help people when they need a physician. I’ve gotten a bigger perspective on life just seeing people hurting and dealing with things I couldn’t image. This makes me thankful for the smallest of things, because not every person has the ability to see, talk, walk, speak, and read. The small things, when taken away, really make a huge impact.

As you sit and read this, no matter your situation, know that other people have made it through what you’re going through. If you can breathe on your own, be thankful; some patients have a machine breathing for them. If you can walk, be thankful; there are amputee soldiers that are wheelchair bound. If you have children, be thankful; some couples are infertile. I could go on and on and on.

There is always something to be thankful for. Don’t let one situation, one isolated aspect of your life, take your joy and skew your view. You have great things going on in your life. Make it a habit to always give thanks.

Excerpt from Chapter 8 Appreciation from Dr. Lee’s book “Well, My Mom Says…” published this past May by Westbow Press.

C. M. Lee PR About the Author: 

As a physician, speaker, entrepreneur, and CEO of CMLEEJR Co.  Dr. Clarence Lee embodies the importance of faith and persistence in life. The first physician, college athlete, and Air Force flight surgeon in his family; Dr. Lee is dedicated to helping others remove perceived barriers in their lives. Dr. Lee has been featured in The Word, the Sacramento Business Journal, Appeal-Democrat, and others. He lives in California and loves spending time with his wife and daughter on the coast.

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Henry Miller

By Henry S. Miller, Author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness

Amp up the amount of happiness in your life each and every month of the year by intentionally focusing on 12 strategies that the science of happiness and well being has proven can increase your feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Even better: know that, if you add these actions to your life, your feelings of increased positive emotion can last for days, weeks, and even months!

If this is the year you decide to get serious about adding happiness that lasts to your life, here are 12 happiness strategies for 2014 and suggestions to make them work for you:

January:  A Month of Hope and Plans

The beginning of the year is traditionally about new years’ resolutions. This year, write one positive goal you have for the coming year down on your calendar each morning of each day of January. Also write your plan to make it a reality. Then, resolve that you will intentionally invest your time and energy to work on your resolutions during the year and to live a happier life by implementing these 12 happiness strategies – one each month.

February:  A Month of Gratitude

Gratitude is the antidote to greed, envy, and jealously. We feel much happier when we are being grateful for what we have, rather than envious of what we don’t. Remember, no one has everything! This month, each night before going to bed, take a daily gratitude inventory. Write down three things you are grateful for about your life – your relationships, your work, your character, your family, your country, the world around you, your life.

March:  A Month of Kindness

Plato said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” And, if you look around, it’s still true today. This month, find one opportunity each and every day to perform some kind act for someone else – even the simplest act of holding a door open for another will do. And, each day, after your act of kindness, enjoy the feeling that, for at least one shining moment, you are the personification of all that is good about the human race.

April:  A Month of Optimism

Each day this month, be more conscious of your negative thoughts – if you have any. And every time you do, immediately “dispute” it by intentionally replacing the negative thought with a positive one. Do this each time you think a negative thought for a month, and notice how your thinking might change.

May:  A Month of Friendship

Close relationships are one of the longest-lasting of happiness-increasing strategies. But, sometimes, we take our friends for granted – or are “too busy” to see them. This month, at least one time per week, reach out to a friend and arrange to spend time with them. This can be as simple as a walk, a meal, coffee, drinks – whatever you choose. But find the time to visit with your friends face-to-face this month.

June:  A Month of Love

Traditionally, June is a month of weddings – and love is all around us. Each day this month, call, write, or email someone you love or care deeply about – one per day – and tell them how much they mean to you – and how happy you are that they are a part of your life – even if you haven’t been the best communicator up to now. Notice reactions – yours and theirs.

July:  A Month of Spirituality

Studies have proven that people who have spirituality in their lives – whether it’s their own secular belief system, their own faith, or some organized religion – are happier. We don’t know if it’s because of the fellowship of a caring group of like-thinking folks, or the spiritual beliefs themselves. This month, make a conscious effort to spend some moments each day – perhaps during lunch – repeating to yourself at least one “prayer” or belief you hold.

August:  A Month of Health, Fitness, Skill

Summer is a great time to focus on increasing your health and fitness – and on using your skills and abilities to their max. This month, begin some daily fitness regimen (check with your doctor first if needed) – even if it’s only walking. In addition, make a list of your top skills, talents, and abilities and assess if you are using them to their fullest. If not, take one step per day to begin doing so.

September:  A Month of Contribution

Making a meaningful contribution to make the planet a better place is one of the longest-lasting, happiness-increasing strategies known. What are you contributing? This month is your chance to decide what difference you’d like to make in the world. Spend a few minutes each day at lunchtime and write down ideas about how you can make a positive difference in the world. At the end of the month, decide on a plan of action – and begin! The world needs you and your contribution!

October:  A Month of Savoring

Fall is a season to enjoy the changing foliage in many parts of the world. Consciously spend at least five minutes each day focusing your attention exclusively on something of beauty outside – changing leaves, trees, clouds, sky – something. Five minutes of complete attention to savor the beauty of life around you – each day, every day.

November:  A Month of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a powerful, although a slightly more complicated, happiness strategy. We forgive others to make us feel better. This month, examine your life and see if there are any lingering resentments you are holding on to that are holding you back from joy. If so, do two things: First, write the apology letter you would have liked to have received from the person who has wronged you. Second, rise above your desire for revenge, and write your letter of forgiveness to them. No need to mail it, just recall the hurt or violation, write about your feelings. End the letter with your statement of forgiveness. Just this simple act of writing a forgiveness letter can often grant you freedom from your negative thoughts and give you increased happiness.

December:  A Month of Generosity

The end of the year is a time for giving – a time to donate your time, your money if you can, your skills, your positive energy, your attention – to others to help make their life a little better. Each day, find one opportunity to give something of yourself to help another – and notice your feelings.

In Conclusion

For the best results, remind yourself of each month’s happiness strategy by adding these topics to your calendar – every day of each month. Then, each day of the year, find creative ways to act on these strategies – and enjoy your reactions and your increased feelings of happiness. You’ll notice that these feelings will last far longer than the happiness you feel from just partaking of the pleasures of life – and will be more meaningful to you.

No matter what your situation, remain hopeful about increasing your happiness. The truth is that no one is ever out of the game when it comes to living a happier and more fulfilling life! As the months of this year unfold, continue all of the 12 strategies that work best for you. If you do, a year of happiness can be yours.

Henry Miller Henry S. Miller is the author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness:  Everything You Need to Know to Flourish and Thrive, and Inspiration for the Pursuit of Happiness:  Wisdom to Guide your Journey to a Better Life. He is also the creator of the online membership program Get SERIOUS About Your Happiness:  20 Transformational Tools for Turbulent Times. As President of The Henry Miller Group (www.millergroup.com), he is a speaker, trainer, and consultant helping organizations improve engagement, performance, and productivity specifically by increasing employee well being. In prior careers, Henry was a Senior Consultant for the Tom Peters Company training and coaching senior management teams worldwide in leadership and his initial career in corporate America was with IBM.

Online Book Review by Mike Ramey

The Management Methods Of Jesus:  Ancient Wisdom For Modern Business by Bob Briner

Tired of the reams that have been written on business success that have left you empty? Surprisingly, you may not have to look any farther than the Bible on your bookshelf for the best wisdom available on achievement.

On Line Book Reviews stumbled across this mid-nineties treasure at a local bookstore. This is one of those books that is great for not only the person who is starting up their own business, but those who have been bitten by the unemployment bug as the bad times continue in the job market. It forces one to ‘re focus’ upon that which is important as either an employee–or employer.

“The Management Methods Of Jesus: Ancient Wisdom For Modern Business” by Bob Briner has more than a snappy title…it has practical advice within its covers, and is not apologetic when it comes to how Jesus Christ was able to rock this world with a leadership style that more could benefit from in our modern era. In light of a host of recent scandals from the White House to Wall Street, a return to honesty, integrity and humility will do wonders for many levels of American public life.

One of the central criticisms of our day about the use of religion in the business realm is that “…it doesn’t belong…”. Yet, the same critics who disregard biblical wisdom will eagerly lap up the ‘flavor of the month’ offerings of a variety of business publications–and wonder why they don’t have much depth. Briner gets biblical without being preachy in this 115 page book. Some of the more noteworthy chapters from Briner’s work are: “Choose Your Own Associates” and “Handle Corruption Immediately,”

The methods of Jesus when relating to disappointment, and on paying one’s taxes are worth studying and modeling, according to Briner. The chapters are short, the book is compact, and one can spend an afternoon–or a weekend–‘freshening up’ their game. IF you are thinking about starting your own business, are employed at an existing firm, or getting back into the swing of the job hunt, this book has some great material for your study! One can find this work at Amazon.com, and several other on line sites, as well as checking your local Christian bookstore, or Thomas Nelson Publishers. A great return…for a small investment.

Mike Ramey is a freelance media, movie and book reviewer/commentator who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. He can be reached at manhoodline@yahoo.com. Used with permission. © 2012 Barnstorm Communications International.

Lisa K. Winkler is the author of A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America. She’s also a journalist and an educator who has written numerous essays for book anthologies and magazine articles.  Lisa contacted us to see if we would be interested in learning more about her book.  After some quick research on our part, the decision was a “no-brainer,” as Lisa has written a great book.

Question:  Why did you writeOn the Trail of the Ancestors: A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America?”

Lisa Winkler (LW):  As a teacher, I’ve witnessed how young people know little of history. In urban areas, youth learn about slavery and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a few more facts during February, Black History Month. Yet they have little if any connection with these historical figures. When I began my own reading after meeting Miles, I became fascinated with these people whose contributions to the development of the US are largely unknown. Most adults haven’t heard of these people. American history needs to include all races and genders to truly demonstrate who built this nation, their struggles and sacrifices and stories.  From my research, I couldn’t find any records of other African Americans who have ridden a horse across the country in modern day, with this purpose in mind. A cross country journey in itself is a story. I loved the idea of this young boy growing up watching western movies and television shows and dreaming that he too could become a cowboy. 

What is your background? What qualified you to write this book? 

LW:  I worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance journalist before becoming a teacher. While teaching, I earned my Masters degree and wrote for several professional journals. I interviewed authors of children’s and young adult literature, reviewed books, and had teaching units published. I’ve written study guides for three books published by Penguin Books.  After I met Miles, I received an assignment to write about the history of the black jockeys for Smithsonian magazine’s website.  This article was published in April, 2009. (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-Kentucky-Derbys-Forgotten-Jockeys.html).

How did the ideas for the book originate? What happened in your life that specifically connects to the book?  

LW:  In addition to my teaching experience, I had the good fortune to travel across the country a few times as a child. My father, a poultry farmer from Connecticut, had a blood clot that forced him to take some time off from our farm. He bought a mobile home and took the family – I’m the oldest of four children- on trips every summer and school vacation. I grew up riding horses, riding until I reached high school, so understood what it’s like to be around horses, the passion of riding and the bonds that develop between horse and rider. Furthermore, I grew up in the 1960’s. My parents were always involved politically in local campaigns and Civil Rights. They participated in the March on Washington in 1963. I remember clearly their reaction when they heard that King had been assassinated. (They cried.)

When I met Miles, I was hooked. His passion for his subject and determination to accomplish something that few would undertake awed me.

What special research was involved in the writing of your book?

LW:  I read a lot of books that I found in libraries or bought. These included biographies, geography and books about horses.  I consulted maps and also interviewed some of scholars Miles met on his journey. I poured through the Internet. I read Miles’ website and transcribed his podcasts he arranged with the Star-Ledger and interviews he conducted with people he met.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

LW:  There are many messages. Overall, I want readers to be educated and entertained. There’s the message of having a dream, and not giving up, even if it takes years or decades to fulfill. There’s the message that our history is a shared history- all ethnicities, men and women, contributed to the growth of this great nation.

Why should people buy your book? 

LW:  It’s a story about an ordinary man who accomplished something extraordinary. I think there’s a romantic aspect of the cross-country journey, no matter what form of transportation that many people don’t really grasp.  Reading my book, readers learn some history they might not know, understand what it’s like to ride a horse every day for 6 months, about five to six hours a day, and what it’s like to be in a new place practically every night. The geography and people of the US are fascinating.  

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

LW:  Never give up. It takes tons of patience, fortitude and sometimes luck to get published. With self-publishing there are many options to get your work out, but it’s a very tough (and can be expensive) road. Believing in your story is paramount. If you have passion for it, others will too. Also, there’s no “quick fix.” While an occasional book might sell hundreds of copies the first week, thousands the first month and so on, most don’t.  I believe marketing really becomes a personal adventure: why would someone want to read my book? I view it as my journey: one sale, one reader, one book at a time.

What are you working on now? 

LW:  I try to keep up with my blog, accessed through my web site, www.lisakwinkler.com.  I enrolled in a memoir writing class online to keep the “writing” juices flowing, and am completing the Educators Guide to accompany the book.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

LW:  I love yoga, road cycling, reading, cooking, knitting and theater. I have three grandchildren under 3 years old so that keeps me busy too.

How can readers find you? Are you available to give talks? 

LW:  Yes! I’d love to talk about the book to any groups, bookstores and libraries that will have me. I’m available to present the book to all ages, and especially to educators who will use the book in their classrooms.

About the Author

Lisa K. Winkler’s other writing includes two essays published in book anthologies; one in “I’m Going to College – Not You! Surviving the College Search with Your Child.” (St. Martin’s Press, 2010), and the other in Wisdom of our Mothers. (Familia Press, 2010).  She also writes for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. Her interviewees include authors, college presidents, scientists, and artists, among others, including Miles Dean in February 2009. Lisa is an avid reader, knitter, yogi, cyclist, and grandmother.  You can learn more about Lisa and contact her through her official web site at www.lisakwinkler.com.

Edited by Floyd Dickens, Jr.

Description: An intriguing fictional mystery with quite a twist from your everyday novel; the ordinary becomes extraordinary. It is a story about real people caught in the deepest challenges of faith, love, and how they view religion.

Be prepared to feel the power of fear, suspense, and joy as you join the citizens of small town Sutters Junction. They face a trial so unexpected that no one could have guessed it was the modern world.  Click on the link below to learn more:

http://www.ebookit.com/books/0000001282/Gifts.html

Watch author Jacqueline Dickens talk about her new novel.

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“Sunday Morning: A Testimony of Life”

By Richard Brown

EAST ORANGE, N.J. – In his book, “Sunday Morning: A Testimony of Life” (ISBN 1463700768), Richard Brown shares his personal testimony on life as a gay African-American Christian. Brown hopes to shed light on the world of gay Christians and the struggles they face from the organizations and churches that have challenged the idea of who is worthy to serve the Lord. “Sunday Morning” attempts to stand as a contrast to the developed practices of today’s churches and asks for a change to solidarity at all costs.

Through personal experiences and scriptures, the author seeks to show the reader that God loves all people, including homosexuals. He expresses that the growing interest and coverage of same-sex marriage has allowed Christian organizations and churches to express their disdain on the topic of homosexuality.

In “Sunday Morning,” Brown uses the same tools as these organizations to show the readers that it is possible to be a homosexual and Christian at the same time. He shares his personal experiences of living as a gay Christian and his times of prayer and communication with God to show readers how he made it through life’s struggles.

“After I look at what God has done for me, I now have to testify as to His power and love, and how He accepts me for me,” Brown says. “I believe my message will be better served by suggesting and supporting that every individual has the ability to hear from God on their own through study, fasting and prayer.”

Brown hopes “Sunday Morning” can be good news for homosexuals who are constantly the focus of Christian scrutiny. He hopes that all Christians will be able to worship God together, and use his work as a source of hope and relief.

“Sunday Morning: A Testimony of Life” is available for sale online at Amazon.com.

About the AuthorRichard Brown now belongs to many groups that are active in Civil Rights, Mentorship, and Faith. His organization Positive Gay Black Men of NJ was founded in 2003 and is moderated on Yahoo!  Mr. Brown can be contacted via e-mail at richard.brown221@verizon.net.————————————————————————————————————————

ON LINE BOOK REVIEWS BY MIKE RAMEY

“THE FEMALE FOOL” BY MELISSA DIANE HUDSON

“A good man is not hard to find if God sends him to you.”

–Melissa Diane Hudson

Author, “The Female Fool”

The late Dr. Edwin Lewis Cole, one of the guiding forces behind the rise of the Christian Men’s Movement in the later part of the last century, had the following summation of Christian relationships: “A man MUST major on manhood; and minor on womanhood.” In order for our young, single brothers to understand the latest going-on concerning young women of today, I highly recommend the book: “The Female Fool” by author Melissa Diane Hudson. Furthermore, I would urge the women who scope out my reviews to also get several copies, keep one for themselves, and give them out to their female friends.

The ‘full’ title of the work is “The Female Fool: 10 Reasons Why You Aren’t Attracting A Good Christian Man.” (Creation House Publishing, 2011/Paperback, 80 pages). Hudson, a writer, widow, and motivational speaker, has gone where few female Christian relationship writers have dared to go; challenging the sisterhood to ‘grow up’ God’s way, into the women that He wants them to be–in order for true Christian men to find their Queen.

In Hudson’s view, females may be in the broader view of society, but real Christian men are hunting for ‘grown up’ Christian women who would make great wives. She has the life history to write such a work. A woman who is firm in her faith, Hudson is a widow with a son. Her work is a plea to her sisters, both inside of and outside of the church, to follow the biblical path to a marital relationship. She walks the talk, and the talk is right out of the Word of God and a lot of common sense.

“The Female Fool” is ideal for the Pastor who is looking for a work to have older women in the church to teach younger women the realities of Christian womanhood. Chapters include; “Gold Digger, Money Trigger”, “Low Self-Esteem” and “Accept That It Is Over”. This book IS a welcome breath of honesty out of the relationship book forest.

MOMMA’S A VIRGIN

By:  Travis Hunter

Zola Zaire didn’t grow up in an ordinary family. She had the displeasure of growing up with an abusive mother named Sarah, a step father who raped her, and never knowing who her real father was. Ravon, her brother, was the only one she could trust. Zola didn’t have the one thing she wanted most in her life, Jason, her only son. He was temporarily adopted by Chad and Carmen Benjamin who just happened to be Caucasian.

Because Zola was so used to being abused, she began dating Andre who also physically abused her even though he allowed her to live a posh lifestyle. That is how she unknowingly met Ian DeMarco. Ian was facing his own struggles. His wife and daughter had been murdered in front of him and his son, Christian, months prior. Ian witnessed Zola being beaten by Andre and he stepped in to rescue her. She didn’t know who this man was and why he would help her.

While recovering from Andre’s drastic beating, Zola’s mother was murdered. Zola appeared to be the prime suspect. Her brother, Ravon, was just released from prison and he walked in on the murderer and killed the murderer. Ravon was following up on leads to his mother’s murder and it leads him to Ian. Ravon realized Ian wasn’t involved after they both became the target of whoever had hired the murderer.

Zola now knows that the Benjamin’s plotted to set her up. They hired Andre to woo Zola until she would commit a crime for him, get caught, and go to jail. They didn’t realize Andre would accrue real feelings for Zola so they then offered him 1 million dollars to kill her or have her killed. Andre just couldn’t do it. The Benjamin’s wanted this just to be able to keep Zola’s son Jason to themselves. Zola’s mother was also involved. Prior to Zola losing custody of her son to the state, Sarah asked the Benjamin’s to step in and get custody or she would expose some of their dirty secrets. In order keep their secrets under wraps, the Benjamin’s had hired someone to murder Sarah and attempt to murder Ian and Andre.

Zola & Ian finally met on more pleasurable terms and they began dating.

I enjoyed this book. This book is a fast and exciting. Travis Hunter did a great job of going into the minds of the characters. You won’t be able to put it down.

For more information visit Travis’ official web site at:  http://travishunter.com.

Excerpt from The Hot Box by Zane

Two women plus four men equals nothing but drama. “Hotbox” is a baseball drill that can be played with three or more players and two to four bases. The players take turns between being fielders and runners, ultimately trying to tag the rest of the players out. In “The Hot Box” by Zane, best friends Milena and Lydia are playing the game along with Jacour, Yosef, Glenn, and Phil. The only problem: the men do not realize that they are playing.

Milena is a veterinarian who has lived a sheltered and dismal existence ever since leaving Jacour Bryant at the altar. Jacour had recently signed an eighty-five million dollar contract with the New York Yankees but Milena could not have cared less once she discovered his doggish ways. Jump ahead eight years and Jacour has returned to rural North Carolina to win Milena’s heart back… but there’s a serious problem. Milena has a new man; one that no one ever knew existed who has seemingly appeared out of nowhere. What ensues is a competition between Jacour and the mysterious and handsome stranger, Yosef, to win Milena’s heart, soul, and body that hasn’t been touched by a man in nearly a decade.

Lydia is the complete opposite of Milena; she does not believe in recycling her virginity. In fact, she utilizes her sex daily to get what she wants. Working part-time as a grocery cashier is simply not the life that she desires. Residing with Glenn, her lover of three years, she is also sexually active with his best friend, Phil. Glenn is her Mr. Right but Phil is her Mr. Good Sex. Lydia dreams of getting away from small town America but, until she can make that happen, she is prepared to do whatever it takes to continue to have her bills paid… on time. Everything is all-good until Phil decides that he wants to change the parameters of their relationship, forcing Lydia to make a choice that she is clearly not prepared to make.

Two women. Four men. Two love triangles. Three sections: Curveballs, Bases Loaded, and The Sweet Spot. Reading has never been this hot because once again, Zane is taking you outside of the box.

EXCERPT-PAGE 115 of The Hot Box by Zane

About The Author

 Zane is the New York Times Bestselling Author of numerous titles, the Publisher of Strebor Books, an imprint of ATRIA Books/Simon and Schuster, and the Co-Executive Producer, Creator, Scriptwriter and Subject of “Zane’s Sex Chronicles,” a CINEMAX Original Series.

The Next Phase Of Life by Charmaine R. Parker

A story of companionship, compassion, and family reunion—a forty-something woman meets the challenges of finding romance, while reuniting with a long-lost sister, and monitoring the escapades of her friends.

Tai Wilson has hit forty and finally is ready to settle down with the man of her dreams—now she just has to find him. An executive who has success, her dream home, and a flourishing employment agency, she wants a partner to make her world complete.

Her attempts to focus on the right guy get pushed aside as her long-lost sister returns, and she balances the time between the two. Tai and her only sibling, Trista, were separated as children when their parents passed away. Trista’s past is completely unlike Tai’s upscale world. Tai introduces her to fine restaurants and treats her to spas, but Trista has trouble trying to fit into her sister’s world.

Tai treasures female networking as she celebrates friendship with her sidekicks, Candace, a fashionista; and Nevada, a journalist turned private detective. Each has their own lifestyle but when they unite for ongoing adventures, they are as one.

Will Tai and Trista finally create the sisterly bond they both crave, or will their attempt to establish a strong union crumble before their very eyes? Will Tai find the man of her dreams? Add in some friends with issues of their own, and Tai is definitely ready for The Next Phase of Life.

About The Author

 Charmaine R. Parker is a former journalist who has worked as a reporter, copy editor, and managing editor. The publishing director for Strebor Books, she is the sister of national bestselling author Zane. She has a bachelor’s of fine arts from Howard University and a master’s in print journalism from the University of Southern California. Charmaine lives in Maryland with her husband and daughter. Visit the author at www.facebook.com/CharmaineRobertsParker or email her at charmainerparker@gmail.com.

A Cold Piece of Work

By Curtis Bunn

As an Essence Magazine #1 bestselling author, national award-winning journalist, and founder of the acclaimed National Book Club Conference in Atlanta, Ga. Curtis Bunn has effortlessly developed the ability to build genuine stories that expose real-life thinking and desires of men – as shown in his 2001 bestselling debut novel Baggage Claim Now, with A COLD PIECE OF WORK (Atria Books/Strebor Books; 978-1-59309-349-5; July 2011; $12.00), Curtis offers the most complex insight of a man revealing the depths f his soul, offering readers an unfettered, organic journey that lends honest, raw perspective and provides the how and why men act as they do in relationships.

In A COLD PIECE OF WORK, Soloman Singeltary is the ideal catch. However he has always been known for avoiding relationships with women due to painful experiences he encountered in his past.  Having had his heart broken when he was young and impressionable, he guards his heart at all costs as an adult, leaving women before they could leave him, turning him cold, ruthless and non-committal. However, one day he meets Michelle Williams and his life is changed forever.

Though, in the beginning of their courtship Soloman persistently distanced himself emotionally from Michelle, deep down he always had strong feelings for her, more than any woman he’d ever been in a relationship with. However, once the opportunity presented itself, just as he had done countless times before, Soloman makes an abrupt exit out of the relationship in the early hours of the morning as she slept, leaving Michelle confused and bitter for years to come.

Eight years later, a chance encounter with Michelle and her young son, Gerald, sparks something in Soloman he never anticipated: to seek forgiveness, from her and himself. The quest for that forgiveness opens up character traits he never knew existed. And a surprise discovery regarding Gerald further leaves him full of questions and regret. Additionally, he later discovers disheartening information about his best friend, Ray, again exposing raw nerves and emotions.

A COLD PIECE OF WORK offers the most unique insight: a contemporary man revealing the depths of his emotions, vulnerabilities and flaws. It is a story of a strong man admitting his vulnerabilities and overcoming them with the help of a woman who eschewed the pain he caused to take a chance at love. 

BIOGRAPHY

Curtis Bunn is a former national award-winning sports journalist from Washington, D.C. who became a literary phenomenon with the release of his debut novel, “Baggage Check,” which became a word-of-mouth sensation, ascending to No. 1 on the Essence best-sellers list. Curtis went on to create the National Book Club Conference I Atlanta, GA, now known as the premier annual literary event featuring African American readers and authors. When not writing, Curtis teaches in the Journalism and Sports Department at prestigious Morehouse College.

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Book Review: Nigger For Life

by George Murevesi, Radio Host – Africa Live, Radio Awaz107.2  FM, Glasgow, Scotland

http://www.awazfm.co.uk/george-murevesi.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgONIXAGJac

Dr. Neal Hall cuts with precision not only in the lab but also on the flesh of an establishment, which festers, on lies, indoctrination and institutionalized racism.  The theme may not be favoured by mainstream publishers but Dr. Hall’s technique helps his cause. It gets you engrossed to the last page. It also gets you into that pensive and reflective mood post-reading which makes it a classic.

The seamless flow of one poem into the other is genius; it stands out as a book in the category of poetry. There is also an unpretentious approach which is liberating, no rhymes or your conventional stanzas. It is the reinvention of poetry which makes an explosive theme accessible.

My gut feeling when l first got the book was that it would be another piece of work laden with fantasies of academia. Reading through the first pages l was, however, quickly stripped of this misconception – the book is at the centre of reality. It bares the subtle as well as reiterate the brazen discrimination existent in the world’s biggest economy.

To the victims this is an empowerment, an empowering literary work that unsettles the establishment.  An establishment purporting to be built on the Declaration of Independence yet some of its offspring, to borrow from Animal Farm, are more equal than others.

This magnificent work is tongue in cheek, a no-holds-battle with perpetrators and architects of race structures. Though set in America, people from all walks of life who suffer any form of prejudice and discrimination can relate to it; motives are different but the result is the same.

On another level there is a desperate call in the book, which weaves through all its various poems. This clarion call is to judge people on ability and not heredity. It is surely a world of great promise if all the suppressed people are allowed to unleash their potential. We need not look any further than the contributions of the so called people of colour in all aspects of life, be it film (Will Smith, Denzel Washington etc), sport (Muhammad Ali), music (Nat King Cole) among others. Surely the world would be poorer without the contributions made and which can be made by  people of colour. Discrimination is abominable in any form and should be confined to the dustbins of history centres on the atrocities of race classes. Atrocities perpetrated daily yet pretended not to exist. Perpetrated in all manner yet.

Nigger For Life is a mirror of the generational struggles of the marginalized, marginalized not because of ability but marginalized and thrown onto the margins of society purely on the basis of a perceived wrong skin colour.

Here is a book, not for this year or the next, but for posterity. This anger is resonated in other artworks such as Hip Hop but Nigger For Life articulates it on a simplified and intelligent level yet to be climaxed.

The perpetrators must be ashamed for Nigger For Life is here to expose their duplicity and seeds of evil. A must read for all truth-seekers.

For more information visit the official “Nigger For Life” web site at:  http://www.surgeon-poet.com/book.html.


Surviving and Thriving: 365 Facts in Black Economic History

Dr. Julianne Malveaux New Book Reveals The Achievements of Black Business Leaders

Book Review by Kam Williams

“In her poem, ‘And Still I Rise,’ Dr. Maya Angelou wrote, ‘You can write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies, you can trod me in the very dirt and still, like dust, I rise.’ More than a century before she penned her words, Richard R. Wright, Sr., a man born into slavery… asked [Union] General Oliver Otis Howard to ‘Tell them we are rising.’ Wright’s 19th C. vision… has currency today. …Tell anyone who will listen that, while the playing field is not yet level, African-American people can play the game, win it, and even change the rules to make them fairer.Tell them we are rising, surviving and thriving.”— Excerpted from the Introduction (pg. xliii)The accomplishments of African-Americans have generally been omitted from the history books, when it comes to the field of economics. Consequently, most black kids grow up unaware that despite the obstacles the nation deliberately placed in the path of their ancestors during the days of slavery and the repressive era of Jim Crow segregation, many miraculously managed to flourish financially anyway.While many accounts of the exploits of the heroes of the Emancipation and Civil Rights Movements have been published for posterity, the achievements of black business leaders have rarely been the subject of scrutiny. For this reason, a debt of gratitude is owed to Dr. Julianne Malveaux, author of Surviving and Thriving: 365 Facts in Black Economic History.Her informative text might be best thought of as a bound version of one of those page-a-day theme calendars, except that instead of serving up jokes, words or spiritual reflections, this features a year’s worth of entries about African-American companies and captains of industry. A few of her subjects are familiar household names, such as BET founder Bob Johnson and hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons. However, most of the bios here are apt to be eye-opening intros to someone you’ve never heard of.For example, there’s Sarah Gammon Bickford, a former slave-turned-public utility owner who moved to Virginia City, Montana where she came to supply the town’s water after acquiring a natural spring. Then, there’s seamstress Elizabeth Keckley, a sister who owned the largest custom dressmaking business in ante bellum Washington, DC. Before the outbreak of the Civil War, she designed outfits for both First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and the wives of eventual Confederates President Jefferson Davis and his General Robert E. Lee.In sum, an inspirational tome design to serve as a daily reminder of the role that African-American entrepreneurs have played and continue to play on the path to freedom and equality.

The African-American Tradition of Giving


By Randal Pinkett & Jeffrey Robinson,
Author of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness

African Americans have a long-standing tradition of philanthropy, or giving back to improve the human quality of life. It is rooted in the African concept of family, which formed the basis for social life and social values in Africa.

In the twenty-first century, giving by African Americans reflects many of the traditions that have been established over the years. Modern African American giving has distinct underlying philosophies and characteristics, namely:

  • A broad conceptualization of family and kinship ties that include not only blood relatives but also distant relatives, friends, neighbors, and long-time acquaintances. This is embodied by references to other African Americans-even when they are not related to us-as “brothers,” “sisters,” “cousins,” and the like.
  • A relative preference for giving directly to individuals as opposed to nonprofit organizations.
  • A higher value for contributions of time than money. The church is the single greatest beneficiary of African-American monetary donations. More than two-thirds of African-American charitable dollars are contributed to churches.
  • A deep feeling of obligation to help members of the Black community and others in need or crisis as a result of being helped by others. To the extent that someone is known or perceived to have abandoned this obligation they may be labeled as a “sellout” or an “Uncle Tom.
  • A sense of responsibility to not leave anyone behind, and success alone is insufficient without helping others to also be successful. Helping any part of the community is interpreted as helping the entire community.

One of the major challenges you’ll face as a successful and busy individual is making decisions about the approach you’ll take toward your giving. What is your strategy for giving? “Strategic giving” is a phrase we use to describe giving in the right way at the right time for the right reason, cause, or issue.

We believe the four foundations of giving are time, talent, treasure, and something we refer to as touch. It is our personal responsibility to find ways to give back generously in each of these areas. It’s been said that we should all donate 10 percent of our time, talent, and treasure to worthy activities and organizations that make the world a better place. The basic principle here is an ancient one called tithing – a concept that both of us wholeheartedly endorse. The idea of tithing has biblical origins. The people of God were required to give 10 percent of their earnings back to God. The priests received the tithe on God’s behalf, and their responsibility was to distribute this money, as well as other goods and in many cases livestock and crops, to widows, the fatherless, strangers, and the homeless and destitute, and keep some for the operation of the house of God – the temple or the church. Clearly, this practice had positive ramifications throughout the community.

The above is an excerpt from the book Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness by Randal Pinkett and Jeffrey Robinson. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Adapted from Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness by Randal Pinkett & Jeffrey Robinson with Philana Patterson (AMACOM; October 2010; $24.95 Hardcover; 978-0-8144-1680-8).


Author Bios
Randal Pinkett, Ph.D.
, coauthor of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, was the winner of season four of The Apprentice and the show’s first minority winner. He is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of BCT Partners, an information technology and management consulting firm. Dr. Pinkett is based in Somerset, New Jersey.

For more information please visit www.randalpinkett.com and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

Jeffrey Robinson, Ph.D.
, coauthor of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, is a leading business scholar at Rutgers Business School and lives in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Hands on the Freedom Plow:  Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC

An unprecedented women’s history of the Civil Rights Movement, from sit-ins to Black Power

In Hands on the Freedom Plow, fifty-two women–northern and southern, young and old, urban and rural, black, white, and Latina–share their courageous personal stories of working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement.

The testimonies gathered here present a sweeping personal history of SNCC: early sit-ins, voter registration campaigns, and Freedom Rides; the 1963 March on Washington, the Mississippi Freedom Summer, and the movements in Alabama and Maryland; and Black Power and antiwar activism. Since the women spent time in the Deep South, many also describe risking their lives through beatings and arrests and witnessing unspeakable violence. These intense stories depict women, many very young, dealing with extreme fear and finding the remarkablestrength to survive.

The women in SNCC acquired new skills, experienced personal growth, sustained one another, and even had fun in the midst of serious struggle. Readers are privy to their analyses of the Movement, its tactics, strategies, and underlying philosophies. The contributors revisit central debates of the struggle including the role of nonviolence and self-defense, the role of white people in a black-led movement, and the role of women within the Movement and the society at large.

Each story reveals how the struggle for social change was formed, supported, and maintained by the women who kept their “hands on the freedom plow.” As the editors write in the introduction, “Though the voices are different, they all tell the same story–of women bursting out of constraints, leaving school, leaving their hometowns, meeting new people, talking into the night, laughing, going to jail, being afraid, teaching in Freedom Schools, working in the field, dancing at the Elks Hall, working the WATS line to relay horror story after horror story, telling the press, telling the story, telling the word. And making a difference in this world.”

“This amazing book rethreads the needle of memory with a stronger cord woven of the testimonies of sisters who never gave up or in. Its gifts are immeasurable as a historical document and a blueprint for ongoing national and international struggles for human rights. We must take our cue from the lessons they teach and tighten our grip on freedom’s plow, pushing on, regardless.”–Darlene Clark Hine, coauthor of The African American Odyssey

“The testimonies of these remarkable women are an indispensable part of the history of the southern movement against racial segregation. They enable us to see the Movement up close through essays that are intensely personal, and at the same time they thoughtfully illuminate the larger struggle for justice.”–Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present

“Hats off to the Hands On sisters! Each story is a treasure, each woman a measure of the Civil Rights Movement’s strength. An overdue and indispensable contribution to the Movement’s historiography.”–Julian Bond, Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP Board of Directors

“This is a splendid, spectacular, stirring book. At last the long-marginalized women of SNCC tell their galvanizing, enspiriting stories in their own words. Everyone concerned about women’s rights, human rights, and the future will want to get, give, or assign this fabulous collection.”–Blanche Wiesen Cook, University Distinguished Professor, John Jay College and The Graduate Center, CUNY, and author of Eleanor Roosevelt, Volumes 1-3

“An extraordinary contribution to historical understanding of the Civil Rights Movement, this work illuminates the ground swell that was SNCC. It’s a complex story, well told by the participants, whose real voices bestow this collection with remarkable authority. These gripping narratives by tough, resilient women, these tales of courage, perseverance, hope, and dedication to a cause, portray an amazing time in America.”–Orville Vernon Burton, author of The Age of Lincoln

“This marvelously broad and deep collection of SNCC women’s voices gives the reader a rare insight into the trials and triumphs of the black freedom struggle of the 1960s. These stories related by women at the center of the struggle are simultaneously simple and complex, diverse and united. At the same time, as they relate their own personal struggles for freedom, their voices are punctuated by passion and pain, and frustration and determination.”–Cynthia Griggs Fleming, author of Yes We Did? From King’s Dream to Obama’s Promise

“Hands on the Freedom Plow is, quite simply, a stunning collection. These stories of courage, hope, and, yes, conflict, will inspire all Americans who believe in the possibilities of democracy. This volume belongs on that short shelf of books on the Movement that must be read.”–John Dittmer, author of Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi

“This collection provides the texture and tone of that eclectic group of women who joined together in common cause, still debating and disagreeing along the way, but united by overlapping values, newfound courage, and the ambitious dream of changing the political face of the nation, which, in large part, they did. A treasure trove of stories and reflections by an amazing group of women activists.”–Barbara Ransby, author of Ella Baker and the Black Radical Tradition: A Radical Democratic Vision

“These women’s lives, spent in the freedom struggle, call to us. Their political insight and creativity make them American heroines; their strategic vision allows them to point a better way forward for all, worldwide, who aspire to equality and democracy.”–Wesley C. Hogan, author of Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC’s Dream for a New America

“A remarkable achievement, sweeping in scope, rich with detail, and infinitely readable. Without question, this is the new starting point for learning about the central role that SNCC, and women, played in the African American freedom struggle.”–Hasan Kwame Jeffries, author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt

Faith S. Holsaert, Durham, North Carolina, teacher and fiction writer, has remained active in lesbian and women’s, antiwar, and justice struggles. Martha Prescod Norman Noonan, community organizer, activist, homemaker, and teacher of history including the Civil Rights Movement, lives near Baltimore. Filmmaker and Movement lecturer Judy Richardson’s projects include the PBS documentary series Eyes on the Prize and other historical documentaries. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Betty Garman Robinson, a community organizer, lives in Baltimore and is active in the reemerging grassroots social justice movement. Jean Smith Young is a child psychiatrist who works with community mental health programs in the Washington, D.C., area. New York City consultant Dorothy M. Zellner wrote and edited for the Center for Constitutional Rights and CUNY Law School. All of the editors worked for SNCC.

The Little Black Book Of Success:  Laws Of Leadership For Black Women

Nearly 40 percent of black women report that they don’t have other black women who can serve as role models, and there have been no books that specifically focus on black women and leadership—until now.  Black women in today’s workforce face unique challenges as they seek to advance their careers.  Performing as well as their colleagues is not enough to win leadership positions; they also need a special brand of strength and confidence to rise above the double burden of racism and sexism and tap into their true leadership potential.  But where can they turn for advice?

With THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF SUCCESS: Laws of Leadership for Black Women (A One World Hardcover; March 2, 2010)—an engaging and invaluable resource guide for black women at any stage of their professional lives—Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, and Rhonda Joy McLean have pooled almost 100 years of collective wisdom and leadership experience to create the guide they wished they had along their own remarkable career paths.

What these dynamic, successful black female executives show is that the building blocks for success are often right below the surface.  As they point out, “although they’re able to get jobs, many of today’s young black women don’t realize they have the potential to move themselves forward.  Many black women hold leadership roles in their communities, schools, and churches, but aren’t aware that they can transfer skills from those leadership positions to the workplace.  Research indicates that their talents often remain invisible both to the women who possess them and their business managers.  But leadership can be taught.”

With THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF SUCCESS, you will learn how to:

Use your duality to build strength—turn the lessons learned from the double burden of racism and sexism to your advantage

Distinguish between “church values” and “business values”—adapt your spiritual values to business ethics without selling your soul

Consider yourself a VIP—cultivate high self-esteem and self-leadership to maximize your potential

Stay Positive—use your well-honed tools of affirmation to change the way you think and to develop a leader’s mental attitude

Control and learn from your emotions—don’t let others get in the way of what you want

Communicate like a leader—develop critical superb verbal and written communication skills

Use the “N” word: Networking—and be sure to network outside your comfort zone

Reach back and bring others along—when given the chance, offer a helping hand

Some leaders are born, but most leaders are made—and THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF SUCCESS will help black women at all professional levels realize their leadership potential, whether their goal is a promotion or a seat at the table in the C-suite.  Let’s talk soon about THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK.

Elaine Meryl Brown, former VP, Special Markets and Cinemax Group at HBO, is an Emmy® Award-winning writer and producer who has won numerous awards in the broadcast industry.  In 2007, Brown was chosen as one of The Network Journal’s “25 Influential Black Women in Business.” A favorite of Black Enterprise, she was featured in the magazine and at their Women of Power Summit. A Wheaton College Alumni Trustee and member of the Coalition of 100 Black Women (Bergen/Passaic Chapter), Brown is also the author of two novels published by One World.  She lives in New Jersey.

Marsha Haygood is a powerful motivational speaker and a dynamic career and personal coach.  She is the founder of StepWise Associates, LLC, a career and personal development consultancy that represents the culmination of her 25+ years experience in human resources.  She was the EVP of Human Resources and Administration at New Line Cinema and at Orion Pictures, among other companies.  Haygood has won numerous awards including the YMCA Black Achievement Award and the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources Trailblazer Award. In 2005, Haygood was chosen as one of The Network Journal’s “25 Influential Black Women in Business.” She and her husband live in New York and Florida.

Rhonda Joy McLean is Deputy General Counsel of Time Inc. and former Assistant Regional Director of the Northeast Region of the Federal Trade Commission. A graduate of Yale Law School, she served as chair of its alumni association, which has more than 10,000 members, and was recently elected to its fund board of directors.  In 2007, McLean was chosen as one of The Network Journal’s “25 Influential Black Women in Business.” Born in Chicago, IL and reared in Smithfield, NC, McLean is a classically trained pianist and mezzo-soprano.  She performs sacred music with chorales throughout the New York metropolitan area, where she resides.

Visit the book’s official web site at and social networking sites below:

“Going Rouge” by Sarah Palin

Reviewed by Kelly Y. Alexander

In Sarah Palin’s new book Going Rouge it is repetitively clear who she loves – Alaska. And America. And God.  And Ronald Reagan.  And it’s very clear who is on her enemies list – there’s the media,  good old boys who condescend her, elites.  Oh, and she really hates cynical McCain campaign staffers who, in her view, sabotaged her vice-presidential campaign.  In essence, Going Rogue is part reticent spin, part autobiography, part payback hit job.

That’s pretty much everything you need to know about Going Rogue, the former Alaska governor’s new memoir.  But Going Rogue is really a book designed to re-introduce Palin as a national political force, and — though she’s coy about this — to lay the groundwork for a 2012 presidential run.

Palin positions herself as a populist, but her populism is entirely cultural. She never misses an opportunity to tell us how weepy she gets when she thinks about our country and its military. I wouldn’t deny Palin a bit of her popularity if her populism had any economic or political substance. Early in Going Rogue she talks in detail about how Exxon exploited the people of Alaska in the Exxon Valdez disaster. And her experience with oil companies taught Palin about how big business conspires with the government to create capitalism that harms the common good.  And yet, she’s incapable of understanding how the very pro-business economic agenda she peddles makes this possible.  Palin’s overall political agenda amounts to nothing more than tax-cutting, deregulating and the endless repetition of GOP talking points.  This is the Republican Party’s great populist hope?

In Going Rogue Ms. Palin talks unintelligently about fiscal responsibility and a strong foreign policy, and about the importance of energy independence, and she is quite up front about the fact that much of her appeal lies in her “hockey mom” ordinariness. She doesn’t pretend to have any particular knowledge about the Middle East, the Iraq war or Islamic politics — “I knew the history of the conflict,” she writes, “to the extent that most Americans did.” And she argues that “there’s no better training ground for politics than motherhood”.  My thought and that of many Americans on Palin is that she’s too shallow and dangerously inexperienced for the presidency — a conclusion that early Palin supporters like George Will came to during the 2008 campaign.  For conservatives in search of a great populist white hope, there is nothing in Going Rogue to challenge that conclusion. It’s like this: Palin spends seven pages whining about her appearance on Saturday Night Live, but just over one page discussing her national security views.

The self-portrait created in this book echoes my early impressions of Sarah Palin just after her debut as McCain’s VP choice: a gutsy girl who knows how to field dress a moose who was a former beauty queen with a George W. Bush-like aptitude for murdering the English language. (The first paragraph of the book contains the phrase “I breathed in an autumn bouquet that combined everything small-town America with rugged splashes of the Last Frontier”).  What the he****????  Huh?

Ms. Palin’s planned book tour resembles a campaign rollout — complete with a bus tour and pit stops in battleground states — and the latter half of her book often reads like a calculated attempt to position Ms. Palin for 2012. She tries to compare herself to Ronald Reagan by repeatedly conjuring up his name and record. She talks about being “a Commonsense Conservative” and worrying about the national deficit.  And she attempts to explain and rationalize the revealing mistakes she made during the 2008 race.  She says that she was manipulated into doing that famous series of Katie Couric interviews (which would do much to cement her image as well-caricatured blockhead) by Nicolle Wallace, a communications aide for the campaign, and that Ms. Couric just seemed to want “to frame a ‘gotcha’ moment.”

Much of the book doesn’t deal with politics but with Ms. Palin’s life in Alaska and her family.  Sarah Palin is selling a personality, not a platform. That’s not dumb. She’s doing the best she can with what she has to work with.  I think it was her father who said after Palin resigned from the governorship that she was not retreating but instead reloading.  If this book is any evidence of that then I think she is heading into 2012 shooting blanks.

About The Reviewer

Kelly Alexander is a freelance political writer based in the Cleveland, Ohio area.  Her work has appeared in the Tennessee Tribune, Hudson Valley News, Seattle Post Intelligencer and in various online magazines.  Kelly is currently is working on a collection of short stories and a novel.

The Audacity of Help by John F. Wasik

Reviewed by Gary A. Johnson

Audacity Cover

What a timely book.  The Audacity of Help by John F. Wasik is one of the most comprehensive books about Barack Obama’s Economic Plan and his vision for America.  Wasik is no slouch.  Unlike many so-called experts, Wasik is uniquely qualified to write this book having spent time studying and following President Obama for years.

Given all of the media attention to the President’s economic plan and the distortions and misrepresentations about the President and his policies, The Audacity of Help is a comprehensive and yet easy to understand breakdown of Barack Obama’s economic plan and challenges for America.

The Audacity of Help is like reading a history book.  The author provides charts and blueprints about packages passed by Congress and allows you to understand the bills and what they really mean.  Wasik also takes a look at how the President’s policies will affect healthcare, education, the environment and taxes.

Each chapter is clearly structured to show “what Congress passed,” and “who benefits most,” on issues such as Unemployment Insurance Benefits, COBRA, Home Energy Credits, Early Childhood Education, and more.

This book is no joke.  It deals with issues that matter to all Americans.

For me the best part of the book are the thought-provoking questions.  These are the questions that really make you think about the impact these policies will have on my family now and in the future.  For example:

  • How will it stimulate the worst economy in a generation?
  • Who will gain?
  • Who will lose?
  • What are his plans for reviving public education, small business, the environment, credit reform, health care, homeownership and entitlement programs?
  • Which industries will benefit?
  • What new jobs will be created?

This book appears to leave no stone unturned as it also compares the President’s plan with the New Deal.

Honestly, reading the book I felt as if I was studying toward an economic degree and liking it.  And I hate math and economics, but I could not put this book down.  The current economic climate and the author’s knowledge about the economic plan are a great match.

When President Obama took office, banks were severely impaired, companies were cutting pensions, and market disruptions and unemployment left more than 45 million people without health insurance or retirement security.

The book end asking the $64,000 dollar question:  Who will pay?

The soaring national debt begs the question:  How will this money be paid back?  According to author Wasik, the Obamanomics mission will ultimately lead to President Obama being judged on how well his can restore and maintain prosperity.  Or in other words, how will he remake or preserve the American Dream.

If you want to understand what is going on with our country’s economy, THE AUDACITY OF HELP: Obama’s Economic Plan and the Remaking of America (Bloomberg Press, August 2009), is a must-buy.

Check out Get Ready for “Son” of Stimulus Plan by John F. Wasik , on our main web site’s “Money Talks,” page.

About The Author

John F. Wasik As the award-winning author of 13 books, John Wasik has spoken to crowds from coast to coast on investing, retirement and protecting your money. As a personal finance columnist for Bloomberg News, the world’s third-largest news service, his columns reach 400 newspapers on five continents and have appeared in The Financial Times, International Herald-Tribune, Washington Post, Orange County Register and other papers in Canada, Europe, Japan, South America and Africa.

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Adam’s Belle:  A Memoir of Love Without Bounds

By Isabel Washington Powell with Joyce Burnett

Adam’s Belle is a roller coaster ride through the life of the late Isabel Washington Powell. This first-person narrative charges through Isabel’s life from her early childhood days as a baby “drama queen” in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia to her stage debut kicking up her heels at Harlem’s famous Cotton Club in the 1920’s. Isabel soon meets a real life “Prince Charming” who happens to be the nation’s most eligible bachelor – Adam Clayton Powell Jr. The two fall madly in love and plan to share their “heaven on earth” for the rest of their lives.

With much pain and agony, Isabel learns that not all fairy tales have happy endings.  Ultimately, she develops the strength to celebrate herself and even overcome breast cancer on her nearly 100-year journey to becoming a true living legend.  Belle and her older sister Fredi Washington (star of the Academy Award nominated 1934 film “Imitation of Life”) put the “roar” in the “roaring twenties.”

Adam’s Belle is a riveting story that pulls the reader in and never lets go. Read this book, fasten your seat belt, and take a ride through history.  Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

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About the Author

Joyce Burnett knew little about the dynamic sounds and lifestyle of the Harlem Renaissance until she ran head on into Isabel Washington Powell, the glamorous showgirl from the 1920’s who married the late Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. From the moment they met, Joyce was enthralled by the vivid pictures Belle painted of her life.  She worked closely with Belle for almost ten years to record this incredible story.  Belle was very pleased with the early draft of Adam’s Belle, but sadly, she passed away before her story was published.

For more information click here to visit the Adam’s Belle web site.

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Played in Full – The Marketing Exploitation of Black America

By Robert L. Gatewood, MBA

Overview

We’ve all heard the exclamations about how much money flows through the Black community. One day I was driving down the street and I was simply overcome by curiosity (If there had been a cat in the road, he would have certainly been run over on this day). I asked myself, “Why is it that Black America, which has a larger Gross National Product than many sovereign nations, can’t quite seem to get a grip on its financial security.

If you have ever seen one of those B movies where the guy is doing something dastardly and catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror then you can relate to what happened to me. As I set out to solve the financial conundrum of Black America, I was parking my luxury automobile and happened to get a glimpse of myself. What I saw was “exhibit A” looking right back at me. But I didn’t just see one me, I saw three me’s; me the executive archetype (someone who knows better than most how to connect the dots between and someone’s wallet and a cash register.) I saw me the individual (not the Black American monolith), and it was the last me that scared me … I saw me the consumer (someone who himself has often spent beyond his means, and is now wearing a big bull’s eye right between his eyes.). Now that’s a revelation for you.

I consider myself a rather smart fellow. Graduated with honors everywhere I went to school, high school, college, MBA you name it. It dawned on me, that if a smart guy like me has a hole in his wallet, this problem just might be bigger than the failure to learn the three R’s. So as I tackled this problem, I also found myself introspecting.

All of us can’t be marchers or prolific speakers. But as I say in my book, everybody’s good at something. I happen to be an expert marketer, and I have decided to use it to use my skills to right some wrongs. Hopefully my book will inspire other like-minded people to become fellow wrong-righters, but, in their respective areas of influence.

So I encourage everybody to do what they do best in general for the overall welfare of fellow Blacks but for the purposes of this book and my mission, I’d like to target some those energies on a specific objective. Let’s coalesce around a common goal of plugging the seemingly ceaseless hole in the pocketbook of Black America. If for no other reason, let’s do it so that our children, like so many of the other races, will have some kind of a future when its there turn at bat.

Many of Us Make Enough Money – We could always use some more but…. If we just put what we already have to better use, you’d be amazed how well-off most of us actually are.

YOU Have Been Trained to Spend Your Money, THE PLAYERS Have Been Trained to Take It

I couldn’t create a less fair fight if I tried. It’s like going fishing where the fish have been trained to jump in your boat.

Nobody Wants to Admit He’s Been Marketed – Reminds of me of what drove Harriet Tubman nuts. She said she could have freed more people if only more people realized they were slaves.

Everybody Plays the Fool, Sometimes – Just like the group Main Ingredient use to sing in their hey-day, we are all game. Some tell-tale signs include: Smoking – Tithing more than saving – Car note as high as house note –Still paying for last year’s Xmas – And more!

Enlightenment is not retroactive – I used to smoke. It wasn’t the health aspects of it that made me stop. The more familiar I became with marketing, the more I realized that I myself had been marketed… I had been downright played. In fact I remember the time and place the light bulb went off. It was about 12 years ago when I was leaving Tucker Road Park over in Oxon Hill. I just pulled to the side of the road, threw the cigarettes in a trash can and haven’t picked up another one since.

It’s a War on the Wallets of Blacks – It’s an economic struggle that’s not just fought in the store aisles on Christmas Eve. It’s a generational battle that’s fought in the head. The heads of Black consumers are on one side; the heads of institutional forces on the other. In a one-on-one contest, chances for Black America are not the best, but winnable. But over the generations, the Players have coalesced into a virtually invincible foe. It’s not the individual efforts of the Players that are the threat; it’s the synergistic application of all of them that provides the knockout punch.

The Secret Weapon – Sleeping with the Enemy – The Players employ a secret weapon that makes your chances of winning virtually impossible. This stealth squad does a better job than the Players themselves ever could. It includes General Grandma, Captain Co-worker, Sergeant Spouse, First Lieutenant Father, Major Mom, and an infinite number of Foot-Soldiering Friends.

Like Lambs to the Slaughter – The Players employ some effective tactics that are very difficult to combat. When applied together they provide the perfect storm.

Social Proof – also known as herd mentality, desire to belong or by its common name of “keeping up with the Joneses.”

Mental Externalism – a mindset where you believe that you have little or no control over the events in your life

Fear – the trump card that surfaces s when all else fails.

All Players Are Not Created Equal – The Players don’t the wear a big “P” on their foreheads. Anyone can be a player. There are basically 4 types of Players:

– Pathological Incorrigible Malevolent Player (PIMP)

– Passive Opportunistic Player (POP)

– Philanthropic Accidental Player (PAP)

– Positive Enlightened Player (PEP)

Who Are the Players?

Who are these people who are adept at parting Black Americans from their hard-earned money?

Man or woman – Any race, culture or nationality – Person, institution or government – Needs someone to play – And more!

Specific Players: The Government, Politicians, Military, the Courts, Schools, Employers, Schools,Santa Claus, the Church and Others!

You Already Have the Answer!

Is the fate of Black America resigned to that of being fodder for the Players of the world? Is the purse of Black America an irreparable sieve? The answer lies within. Breaking the grip of economic dependency and derelict spending takes an individual effort.

Our Children Are Watching – I’m doing this for the next generation. I’ve wasted enough money for a three lifetimes. So this is no longer about me. I’m gladly throwing myself on the grenade for our Black children who are on deck to be played by the next generation of Players … if we fail to act now!

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Robert Gatewood at www.playedinfull.com/25 or 866-292-4800.

Right in Front of You:  Uncommon Sense in Poetry

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By Michael A. Price, Jr.,

Black Men In America.com Review

Michael A. Price, Jr., is an energetic young man with an unabashed confidence about his ability to write, recite and perform.  He must have been a salesman in a former life.  One of the reasons that Price is being featured on this site is because he “made it” happen.  Michael A. Price, Jr., was given the direct telephone number to Black Men In America.com publisher Gary Johnson.  (Phone number = Opportunity). Like most successful people, Mr. Price decided to make the most of his opportunity by calling Gary Johnson in an effort to get his book reviewed on the web site.  Once he got in touch with Gary, Michael decided to go a step further and make a personal appointment to meet Gary instead of putting the book in the mail.

Michael was not pushy, but he would not take “No,” for an answer.  Think about it.  Michael had nothing to lose and everything to gain.  As a result, his book, Right in Front of You: Uncommon Sense in Poetry is the first book featured on our site for 2009.

Michael and Gary met at the Black Men In America.com office and once again, Michael saw another opportunity to make an impression.  Rather than do a “meet and greet,” Michael decided to do a “meet and perform.” And perform he did.

Michael’s book contains 33 entries or poems divided into three chapters (Life, America and Spirituality). Michael can recite every entry from memory and he allowed us to randomly select one entry from each chapter.  Watching Michael A. Price, Jr., recite his work is akin to watching a live performance in a theater.  The energy is there and you find yourself being “drawn in” as you listen and think about what he’s saying.  Michael is humble, well grounded and definitely passionate about his work.

Now about the book.  Right in Front of You: Uncommon Sense in Poetry by Michael A. Price, Jr., is more than a book of poetry.  As Price explained to Gary Johnson, “Common sense is dead.  It does not exist in the world that we live in anymore.  Those who have a measure of wisdom are in the minority, therefore “common sense” is now “uncommon.” Each poem is preceded by a brief introduction; which helps put some context and background to the piece and explains what inspired Price to write it.

Right in Front of You: Uncommon Sense in Poetry by Michael A. Price, Jr., is a thought-provoking book of short entries in a poetic format.  Michael A. Price, Jr., simply wants to do his part to make sure that “common sense” becomes “common” again.  In the end, the reader discovers that the “a ha” moment, key to the puzzle or piece of wisdom that you’ve been looking for is right in front of you.

Click here to visit our showcase to order Michael’s book.

Click here to read a sample of Michael’s work.

Melody by Stacy-Deanne

Reviewed by Ava Morton for Black Men In America.com

Melody Cruz is introduced to us as a striking half Latino women struggling with coming to terms with her upbringing and its influence on her current life. She feels overshadowed by her non-Latino resembling sister, Sarah whom is the fair haired beauty coveted by all men. Melody and Sarah have a strong sisterly relationship that becomes tested when handsome, Mr. Perfect, Keith enters the equation. Things turn sinister and upside when this seemingly charming man enters the lives of these two so called close sisters. Keith claims to love like no other Sarah and will stop at no lengths to keep Sarah – and to keep Melody from interfering.

Simultaneously Melody and Sarah’s hometown of Albany, New York is being preyed on the “Albany Predator.” This menace has terrorized and changed the fate of the city forever with his sadistic attack on black women – his choice victim. Detectives Briana Morris and Steven Kemp are assigned to the case but can they catch this predator in time. As these stories intertwine the characters are faced with a pressing dilemma. What happens when those you trust most start to turn on you at your most crucial point?

Melody is a novel with two part rhythm of a story line with fast twists and captivating allure that blend harmoniously to a true melodic novella treat. This tantalizing tale will have the reader “hooked” from page one. This mystery will have the reader tuned as it unfolds into a nonstop read that’s sure to thrill, tease, tantalize, and delight. Stacy De-Anne is masterful at keeping a smooth rollercoaster of a ride all the way through with a true white knuckle of a plunge occurring right when it needs to. Get ready for the riveting ride of Melody!

Click here to purchase the book. To learn more about Stacy-Deanne visit her official web site at http://stacy-deanne.net.

Book Review: The Women Who Raised Me, A Memoir by Victoria Rowell and an Exclusive Interview with Victoria Rowell by Vanessa Werts

Born as a ward of the state of Maine—the child of an unmarried Yankee blueblood mother and an unknown black father—Victoria Rowell beat the odds. Unlike so many other children who fall through the cracks of our overburdened foster-care system, her experience was nothing short of miraculous, thanks to several extraordinary women who stepped forward to love, nurture, guide, teach, and challenge her to become the accomplished actress, philanthropist, and mother that she is today.

Rowell spent her first weeks of life as a boarder infant before being placed with a Caucasian foster family. Although her stay lasted for only two years, at this critical stage Rowell was given a foundation of love by the first of what would be an amazing array of women, each of whom presented herself for different purposes at every dramatic turn of Rowell’s life.

In this deeply touching memoir, Rowell pays tribute to her personal champions: the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, mentors, teachers, and sisters who each have fascinating stories to tell.

Click here to read the rest of the book review and our exclusive interview with Victoria Rowell on Black Men In America.com.

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Daaimah S. Poole’s “All I Want Is Everything” takes the reader on the journey of a young woman seeking to fulfill her dream of becoming a superstar in the music industry. Along the way Kendra Michelle discovers she had to confront, and beat back the demons of lust and power that controlled the industry she thought would accept her because of her innate singing ability.

At the age of 25, while working as a bar and restaurant waitress, Kendra has a chance encounter with an old high school friend, Inez, who appeared to have made a success of her life. Inez accompanied by several friends queried and mocked Kendra about how on earth the “talented, most likely to succeed Kendra” ended up working in a bar. This was the turning point in Kendra’s life. Reflecting on the hard times she had endured to survive and support her family since her senior year in high school, Kendra decided to make an effort to pursue her dream of becoming a superstar.

Kendra was now living with Marcus, an old friend of her brother’s that had been her lover since she was 17 years old. Although John initially resisted his sister’s relationship with Marcus, he’d come to accept it through the years. Marcus, on the other hand, was resistant to Kendra quitting her job to pursue a singing career, but soon agreed to support this endeavor.

Kendra finally lands a contract, with a signing bonus of $80,000.00. She was on her way. First stop, a new Benz, gifts, and cash to her mother, sister, and brothers, and of course, Marcus. Kendra was used to taking care of her family, so next was a $10,000.00 down payment on a house for mom. In no time Kendra was just about broke. However, she was now in New York, cutting a CD, schmoozing with the movers and shakers. Marcus soon left Kendra. After her deal with the recording studio was cancelled, Kendra soon found herself willing to do anything to get her music “out there.” She was willing to, and participated in sexual acts that she previously could not have imagined, all in hopes of getting a contract. This too failed.

Ultimately, Kendra ends up back where she came from, with Marcus and looking for a job. After many trials and tribulations, Kendra decided to give it another try. This time, she has the support of her brother John, her mother, sister Bubbles, and brother Bilal, along with a friend in the industry, Beazie. Kendra eventually realized her dream, and attributed it all to her perseverance in achieving the dream she had always held in her heart, that is, “All I Want Is Everything.”

“All I Want Is Everything” is a nice read, however, Ms. Poole could use an editor or a very good proofreader because often there were whole words missing, and /or absence of punctuation.

Submitted by: Shirley Hardiman

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Book Review: Caught Between a Dream and a Job by Delatorro McNeal II

By Gary A. Johnson

Caught Between a Dream and a Job by Delatorro McNeal II is one of the best books I’ve ever read to help people smoothly and successfully transition from the “job” to their “dream job” of self-employment. What makes this book so great? The book is well researched, well written, well paced and easy to read. Delatorro McNeal uses relevant and personal examples and summary page at the end of each chapter to help the reader understand the concepts outlined in the book.

McNeal’s grounding as a former “9-to-5” guy who transitioned into his dream job of professional speaker and best-selling author gives the book instant credibility. He’s experienced what he’s written.

This book includes practical worksheets that McNeal uses to connect with the reader in a positive and reaffirming way. This technique serves as an author/reader partnership. For me the most important aspect of the book are the sections on motivation, spirituality, determination, dreaming and purpose.

In summary, this book is one the most comprehensive books on motivation and career change. If you apply the principles outlined in the book you will change your life and positively impact the lives of your family and friends.

Delatorro L. McNeal, II is a world renowned Professional Speaker, Best Selling Author, Successful Entrepreneur, and Television Personality. As the CEO and President of Delatorro Worldwide Empowerment, Delatorro operates three blossoming corporations. Visit his web site at http://www.delmcneal.com/ to learn more.

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Healing Grace for Hurting People by Dr. H. Norman Wright and Larry Renetzky, LMFT

Healing Grace for Hurting People is a spiritual and uplifting book for people who are hurting in any number of ways. If you are suffering or hurting from abuse, addiction, rejection or infidelity, “Healing Grace” has something for you.

Through the stories of others and the use of diagrams this book helps you navigate through your pain. Of particular interest to me are the specific steps and practical applications. My personal favorite is “Steps To Forgiving Others.”

Learn how God’s reconciling grace and power can resolve conflicts, revitalize marriages heading for divorce and restore broken relationships in families, extended families and other relationships.


Red Letters by Tom Davis

Convicting, real, tantalizing, reflective, hopeful, alarming, inspiring, shocking, painful, shameful, silence…

These are just a few words to describe Tom Davis’s Red Letter’s (2007), a text which brings forth the words of Jesus Christ which he refers to as “Red Letters” because in many Bibles when Jesus speaks the letters that form each word are red; when others speak, the letters are black.

In this book, Davis sheds light on the fact that Jesus did not come for the wealthy, healthy, or self proclaimed “perfect”, he came for the poor, the sick, and the troubled. One of the most profound statements made in this book appears on page 20, where Davis proclaims, “Every morning when I get out of bed, I look for Jesus…I’m talking about finding Jesus in the eyes of real people…like the poor, the handicapped, the oppressed, the homeless, the AIDS victim-the abandoned and the forgotten.” One may ask, “What does this mean?” This means that signs of Christ are all around; we are created in God’s image – rich, poor, healthy, ill, depressed, and lively. Our response to those in need in comparison to Christ’s response may suggest that somewhere along the way of passing the story of Christ, the truth was distorted. One may ask, “What is the truth?” The truth is that Jesus was poor; he was born to a carpenter in a manger filled with dung. A rebuttal may be, “Well the Word says that if I ask for anything in Jesus name, I shall receive it. If he can do it for me, why couldn’t he do it for himself?” Why? Jesus sets an example that we all should live; an example of sacrifice, one where we put others before ourselves. This text is structured to make the “comfortable” uncomfortable because there are intentional inclusions of how self proclaimed non-believers in Christ give of themselves and resources to the less fortunate, often times, before a self proclaimed believer will. Far too often we ignore (for whatever reason) the reality that there are millions of people suffering in this world, while we fight to remain comfortable and allegedly protected. Davis addresses our need to make lip service, foot service when he asserts, “If our Christian faith doesn’t manifest into something that helps the life of another human being, it doesn’t mean squat to him [Jesus]” (128). The impact of these words is visible in Davis’s compassion for those battling HIV/AIDS in places such as Africa, Asia, and China. The wealth we possess in the Western World, with a few minor sacrifices, could render someone medical treatment, and even with statistics staring us in the face such as 64.4 percent of the African region, 21.4 percent of the Asian region, and 5.4 percent of high income communities being effected with AIDS, far too many of us have yet to move our feet to help our neighbor.

This text includes lively examples on various levels. Davis shares stories of teenage girls selling their bodies in order to feed younger siblings left behind due to parents dying with AIDS. He also shares a lie that is causing mass destruction in Africa; that when a man infected with AIDS sleeps with a virgin, he is cured. This lie is wiping out a generation of virgins who are being infected with the virus during their first sexual encounter. There are other accounts of towns being wiped out due to AIDS related deaths. Equally disturbing is the rate at which genocide is destroying the Sudan; causing death and displacement. The details in this book are alarming and depressing, yet they are real and the disparities destroying communities exist because we have been

non responsive; our lack of response alludes to the reality that we allow these things to take place. On a brighter note, numerous contributions to humanity by way of Africa are included such as many biblical events took place on the continent, and the first sign of human existence was discovered there. And just when you want to deny the churches role in slavery, Davis sheds light on the fact that the church overlooked what was “happening to these Africans in the name of commerce and expansion and misappropriated evangelical intent” (53). While the text leads us on a journey to evaluate our walk in comparison with the expectations of Christ (conveyed in red letters), the author includes a variety of ways we can change our slow-to-respond nature so that we can be God’s hands, meeting the real needs of real people.

By Roberta Sonsaray White

Making Your Money Count by Kenneth C. Ulmer, PH.D.

BOOK REVIEW – Submitted by Kelly Y Alexander

January 13, 2008

Making Your Money Count by Kenneth C. Ulmer, PH.D.

We all struggle with the responsibility we have as Christians to be good stewards of the money God has given us. In Making Your Money Count, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer has provided readers with a practical guide on the subject based on God’s word. In this book, Bishop Ulmer focuses on the five blessings of money, indicators of approaching financial challenges, how to avoid financial misfortune, the true purpose of money, seven ways to earn more money and the basics of true prosperity.

Very simply Bishop Ulmer offers a clear and concise message about proper money management. It was refreshing to finally find a book about financial responsibility that helps a regular person immediately “get it”, to quickly grasp an understanding of handling money matters the right way, no matter how much or little money or income a person has. Bishop Ulmer writes in a way that not only explains the basic how-to’s and the why’s, but also the consequences of dealing with money the wrong way.

Especially significant is how Bishop Ulmer underscores the message that God gave us the ability to create wealth in order for Him to establish His covenant with us, which is to bless us, to glorify Him and to bless others through us. In this amazing process, which Jesus taught to His disciples, Ulmer explores God’s way of taking care of business. This generation coming up, explains Dr. Ulmer, will be the first one that is not financially better off than the previous generation. What kind of legacy are we leaving if we don’t train our children about the proper Kingdom principle of asset creation and money management? In this inventive look at the parables of the talents and the man of noble birth, pastor, teacher and author Dr. Kenneth Ulmer reveals God’s process for moving you from being a consumer to a producer. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to build a lasting financial legacy.

No Safe Place by Kim Reid

BOOK REVIEW – by Kelly Y Alexander

January 13, 2008

No Place Safe a family memoir by Kim Reid

Readers are given the chance to be a part of Kim Reid’s up-close-and-personal account of the Atlanta Child Murders. The author was just a child of thirteen when the Atlanta Child Murders began in 1979. Her world was turned upside-down as she and her younger sister had to adjust to living and behaving under new safety measures that stifled their carefree life. Can you imagine being a child and living with the constant threat of a serial killer in your neighborhood?

Her mother’s job, as a Task Force investigator on the case, increased Reid’s awareness beyond that of any child and probably most adults. Because of this the author is able to offer a well written and unique perspective of this event as a young teenage daughter of an investigator. She allows the readers an inside glimpse into the feelings of dread, rage, insecurity and the small pockets of enjoyment that she, her family and the community managed to feel throughout this time period. Her description of the city and suburbs of Atlanta is as vibrant and dramatic as the characters she depicts. Readers will appreciate and be in awe of Kim Reid’s ability to enjoy the basic beauty of life as can only be seen through the eyes of a young person under very frightening conditions.

No Place Safe is a deftly written and well researched novel. The novel skillfully explores the Atlanta Child Murders from 2 compelling angles: a girl coming of age during that time and her mother, a lead investigator on several of the cases. The author adeptly combines the intensity of the subject matter with deep insights on family, love, duty, gender, class and race.

To learn more about Kim Reid click here to visit her web site.

BOOK REVIEW – Submitted by Kelly Y Alexander

January 13, 2008

Ms. Etta’s Fast House by Victor McGlothin

From the moment I opened this book I couldn’t put it down. The characters, setting, the language all came alive with each page I turned. This novel reads just like a motion picture and it would surely be a good one.

Victor McGlothin has created an intense and proud depiction of African American life in 1947 St. Louis, Missouri. The story takes place in the St. Louis neighborhood known as the “Ville”, centering on Ms. Etta’s Fast House-considered the hottest joint this side of Chicago. The bold, the beautiful, the bad and the good mingle at Ms. Etta’s – including the debonair hustler, Baltimore Floyd. McGlothin weaves convincing historical elements into a fast-moving caper, and Baltimore Floyd is a delightful main character.

Ms. Etta’s Fast House is the place to be also for the young doctors and nurses of the Homer G. Phillips Hospital as well as the local Negro baseball team. But life in the Ville is forever altered when Baltimore Floyd strolls in with a gun and a plan to horn in on a crooked cop’s heroin trafficking operation. The author blends realism of the times in the sub-plots surrounding the supporting characters: racism and discrimination force top medical minds to practice at segregated facilities; Jim Crow laws impact the character’s daily lives (shopping, dining, commuting, sporting events, etc.); and social taboos of interracial relationships. Victor McGlothin superbly paints Baltimore as a scoundrel with a big-heart. In addition to Baltimore; Ms. Etta, Penny, Delbert, and Jinx are also endearing characters that readers will find irresistible and want to see again.

Respected and loved by many, Baltimore has a circle of friends that include the new interns at the renowned Homer G. Phillips hospital as well as some with shadier pasts. Especially well written is how the author allows the reader to become a part of the relationship between Baltimore Floyd and his best friend Henry, who seemingly does a complete reversal leaving the lush life (including a steamy relationship with Ms. Etta) and hurriedly marries a school teacher with a ready-made family. He even foregoes his friendship with Baltimore and Etta to join/integrate the police force – a move that severs ties from his dark past and con-artist friends. However, when Baltimore crosses dirty, racist cops in a clever scam, sleeps with the “wrong” woman, and ends up on trial for his life, it is all of his friends (including Henry) that come to his aid, risking their reputation, professions and lives to save him from the gallows in a creative, yet dangerous rescue.

Fast paced, well-conceived (I didn’t see some plot twists coming and the sub-plots came together well), with realistic and sharp dialogue it is recommended for those seeking a page turning and entertaining read.

To learn more click here to visit Victor’s web site.

Healing Grace for Hurting People

Reviewed by Vanessa Werts

Do you have emotional or spiritual baggage? Are you ready to confront feelings of rejection, fear, and anger? If so, Healing Grace for Hurting People will give you hope, and the tools to face these issues head on.

This book is a Christian faith-based guide to dealing with and overcoming hurt, resentment, abuse, guilt and past failures. The authors, Dr. H. Norman Wright (a licensed marriage, family and child therapist) and Larry F. Renetzky (a licensed marriage and family counselor) offer therapeutic words validated with biblical scripture that allows the heart to heal, thought patterns to change, and the soul to soar through God’s healing grace.

The authors address real life problems like addiction, suicide attempt, dating, family relationships and troubled marriages. They share the journeys of real life broken and troubled people they’ve worked with as each one comes face-to-face with the source of their pain, and embarks upon the path to true healing – allowing Jesus Christ to rule in their heart.

Healing Grace for Hurting People sets the stage for personal reflection, atonement with self and others, and the power of forgiveness.

  • * Publisher: Gospel Light Publications
  • * Pub. Date: August 2007
  • * ISBN-13: 9780830743988
  • * 240 pp

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