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Wednesday, October 04, 2006


She’s My Baby
Author: Adrianne Byrd
Kimani Press
ISBN: 1-58314-779-5
Published: SEP 2006
Rating: 5 Stars - SUPREME
Reviewed By: Regina Hightower

If you need a laugh this is the book for you, although it tackles some rather serious issues such as post partum depression. You can live laugh, cry and right along with the character of this book. Leila Owens is a high powered CEO of her own magazine and in full control of her life until a little beautiful bundle of joy is dropped off at her home on Christmas. Problem is she has no maternal instincts at all she likes her high powered single life and a baby is not a part of it or is she.

We all know that babies can make you do some pretty silly things such as the case with Leila and baby Emma who meet the handsome single stranger next door that just happens to be a tall dark and handsome fatherless father of the year while running around her upscale neighbor like a mad woman in her PJ’s around and her hair standing all over her head.

Can baby Emma play cupid and wrap the handsome neighbor Garrick Grayson and her aunt around her chubby little fingers. Read it and see. This is definitely a 5 Star book.

In The Midst of Passion
By Altonya Washington
Publisher: Kensington Press
August 2006
ISBN: 0758214359
Rating: 5 Stars - SUPREME
Reviewer: Tamika Johnson

I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of Altonya Washington’s In the Midst of Passion. In the Midst Of Passion was HOT from the beginning to end – I could not put the book down!

Topaz Emerson is the beautiful CEO and lead mechanic of an auto body shop who is oblivious to her effect on men. Enter Alexander Rice, a successful newspaper publisher with a dark past he would rather forget. The couple battles their own inner demons, the danger of a corrupt real estate mogul, and secrets from Alex’s past on their quest for love.

In the Midst of Passion has all of the elements I love in a romance novel – love, suspense, a strong, intelligent, self-sufficient female character and a male character in the need of a little TLC from the woman for a change. Ms. Washington has found a new fan in me!

God Don’t Play
Author: Mary Monroe
Dafina Books
Mainstream Fiction
ISBN: 0-7582-0346-2
Published: August 29, 2006
Rating: 4 + Stars - EXCEPTIONAL
Reviewed By: Shelia Marie

Mary Monroe’s brings back Annette Goode and Rhoda Nelson in her latest book God Don’t Play.

Annette has what every woman wants—a good job, good friends, a nice home and a man who loves and adores her. Her life is happy until she receives a nasty note in the mail. Soon she begins receiving strange phone calls and other disturbing items at the office. She is determined not to let the culprit wreck havoc in her life.

Her best friend Rhoda shares in her pain and vows to find out who is behind the mysterious incidents. Rhoda’s daughter, Jade, feels the same as her mom. All three are on a mission to find the culprit before Annette loses her mind.

During the course of the story, Annette learns more about herself and those around her. All is not what it seems and Annette reaches a crossroads that may destroy her marriage. Will she be able to deal with the truth or will she take the coward’s way out?
The characters in God Don’t Play have the spunk and pizzazz as the other stories in the series. Monroe has a knack for keeping you on the edge of your seats.

Like Sheep Gone Astray
Leslie J. Sherrod
Walk Worthy Press
Christian Fiction
July 2006
Rating 5 Stars - SUPREME
Reviewer: Shelia M Goss

Like Sheep Gone Astray by Leslie J. Sherrod is a fast-paced action filled drama. I love a good suspense story and was pleasantly surprised that this story was filled with a lot of intrigue and mystery.

Anthony Murdock, a man of God, did something in his past that threatens his current situation. He has come to terms with dealing with the consequences, but the chain of events seems to dig him in deeper and deeper. He feels like Samson and can't seem to find his way out. He learns through the process that although he dedicated his life to God six months prior, he's still accountable for the bad decisions he made prior.

Terri is Anthony's wife. Terri is blinded by money and can't see past the bling to understand Anthony's new found devotion to God. She feels shafted that Anthony gave up a six figure job to be a preacher and work at a smaller firm. She allows outside influences to cause her to doubt her husband on several occasions.

Not to spoil the suspense, but there are several incidents that happen that take Anthony on a whirlwind adventure. Many misunderstandings occur between him and Terri that may or may not destroy their marriage.

The fun part about reading Like Sheep Gone Astray is trying to figure out who is behind what before the story ends. Sherrod does a great job in holding the reader's attention. If you like suspense, this is definitely one book you should pick up.

A Thin Line
Lyric James
Cobblestone Press
Publish Date: July 2006
Rating: 3 Stars – Very Good
Reviewed by: Delores Hines

Sam and Melodie are perfect strangers in the same hotel in Aruba. At a crossroads in their lives, each person decides to do something wild and crazy for once in their lives. A fling with no-strings attached fits the bill. Bumping into one another several times in one day destines them to be perfect partners for their week long rendezvous.

More than a sexual connection, they find themselves falling for one another. Neither shares their feelings. On their final night Sam plans to take the plunge and reveal his feelings to Melodie, just as he’s about to put his heart on the line, he gets a surprise visitor. Melodie slips out totally disillusioned while Sam deals with the visitor. Sam searches for Melodie to no avail; he doesn’t know her last name. Sam and Melodie return to their lives with only memories to fill the void of missing each other.

Will their paths cross again???? Read it and find out.

Sanctified Blues
By Mabel John and David Ritz
Publisher: Harlem Moon
June 13, 2006
Christian Fiction
ISBN: 0767921658
Rating: 4 Stars - EXCELLENT
Reviewer: Tamika Johnson

Sanctified Blues is the first novel in a series that will feature Pastor Albertina Merci. Albertina is a 70-year-old full time minister and former R&B singer who offers her wisdom in a quiet manner.

In Sanctified Blues, Albertina is confronted by one of the most difficult situations of her ministry years – Maggie Clay, a celebrity television talk show host during a nervous breakdown. How do you help someone who thinks they know everything and doesn’t want to be helped?

Though a slow start, Sanctified Blues is a worthy read. Pastor Albertina Merci is the type of Christian all aspire to be – though strong in her faith, she is easy to talk to and “non-Christian” characters are drawn to her because of her beautiful spirit and subtle way.

Saved Folk in The House
Sonnie Beverly
Walk Worthy Press
Christian Fiction
May 2006
Rating: 4 stars - EXCELLENT
Reviewer: Shelia M Goss

Saved Folk in the House by Sonnie Beverly are three stories cleverly intertwined.
Part One "Saved Babies' Daddies" tells Zakia Wilke's story. We watch her grow from a young child to a woman who aspires to be a virtuous woman. When she accepts Christ in her life, she feels a new zeal for life. Although spiritually she's found what she's looking for, she neglects other areas of her life. Her story shows the growth of a new born Christian to one that fully understands God's plans for ones life.

Part Two "Real Saved Folk" main setting is Georgia. Nikki Riley, Zakia's childhood friend, relocates there with her children. Divorced and needing a change of scenery, Nikki feels that the move was what she needed. She immediately finds her a church home. She befriends several people, but one of the friends becomes jealous of her without her knowing. Nikki's life reflects the results of being dedicated and obedient to God.

The last story "Out of the Mouth of Saved Babes" shows that being a Christian is not limited to adults. LaKisha has gone through many things for such a young age. Growing up in a Christian household and having other young Christians around her help LaKisha make smarter decisions in her life.

Sonnie Beverly's "Saved Folk in the House" are three interesting stories filled with characters that you won't be able to forget. She cleverly mixes characters from one section to the next. By the time you get to part three, you feel like you're part of a family reunion.

The Aura of Love
Author: Kathy J Marsh
BlackDiva Publishing
ISBN: 0-9774950-0-0
Published: 2006
Rating: 4 Stars - EXCELLENT
Reviewed By: Shelia Marie

Not since Imaginary Playmate by Magdalene Breaux have I read a paranormal romance that kept me intrigued and turning the pages. The Aura of Love by Kathy J. Marsh was a delightful reading adventure. Once you get into the story you won’t be able to put it down

When Remy Renee meets Jace, an Auralite, sparks immediately ignite between the two. Although they are from two different worlds, the attraction they have can’t be denied. How far they are willing to risk all in the name of love will be revealed in between the pages. There are quite a few outside influences that threaten Remy and Jace’s relationship as well. Will they be able to look past those obstacles or will love conquer all?

Besides their relationship, the Auralite’s way of life is being revealed to a reporter and he exposes these findings in articles. This subplot adds suspense and several other twists and turns to this paranormal romantic story.

Kathy Marsh’s The Aura of Love is a mixture of science fiction and romance. The author does a great job of making the imaginary world appear real. Readers of paranormal romance will enjoy her debut novel.

Derek Johnson
Walk Worthy Press
April 2006
ISBN: 0446693499
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars - EXCEPTIONAL
Reviewed by Regina Hightower

Is truly a spirit filled and bible believers book it does not stray from the word nor does it promote the hype that some television Evangelist seem to promote. When Jesus healed He did it in private and not among a bunch of people for show that was the main thing that kept my focus on this book. It skipped around a bit by it always came back to the main point which was with God all things are possible I also like the fact that Chance was showed how to live and be loved again thru Lynn which in turn taught him how to deal with his father. If you have a gift you will suffer like Jesus did and we are no better than Him. I would have liked to see Lynn and him get married and have a dynamic ministry for God together.

I feel that this is a must read for all Christian Book clubs, Ministers and Evangelist. This is my 1st book by Mr. Johnson but it definitely won't be my last.

Secrets of a Housewife
J. Tremble
Life Changing Books
ISBN: 0974139432
Published: February 2006
Erotic Fiction
Rating: 2+ Stars – GOOD
Reviewed by: Kaia Alderson

Tarron might have a successful career and the appearance of a perfect home life, but he has a secret. Actually, he has more than one. The first is his insatiable mistress Victoria. The other secret in Tarron’s life is his wife, Secret.

Tarron decides he rather have a carefree and wild life with Victoria. After he casts his wife and children to the side, a series of events reveals that Secret has been hiding some scandalous secrets of her own.

J. Tremble has crafted some off the hook sex scenes that are sure to grab your attention. Readers looking for hot sex without a lot of meat will love this addition to their library. The story line has twists and turns that will keep the reader turning the page to see how much more turmoil can be added to Tarron’s life. However, the novel ends with a head
scratching cliffhanger. Tremble’s inconsistent characterizations and extraneous scenes will leave some readers unsatisfied and confused. But, I hope the author overcoming these shortcomings in the sequel.

Any Rich Man Will Do
Francis Ray
St. Martin Press
October 2005
Mainstream Fiction
Rating: 41/2 stars – EXCEPTIONAL
Reviewed By: Regina Hightower

Jana Franklin has to sink as low as any one can go. She now must finally face the facts who she really is and what is really important to her in this life. Starting over is hard, Life can be a hard and cruel task master-especially if you have burned bridges along the way and stepped on a bunch of people in the process.

Grandmother used to say be careful how you treat people on your way up cause you might have to meet those same people on the way back down. These words might have helped Janna and stopped her from being a gold digger and a harlot.

While trying to come back she has to take a long hard look at herself. She finds it hard to believe in love and friendship after all she has done, that some one can trust her, help her and truly love her for who she is.
People can, will change every day, and those of us who profess to have a personal relationship with God should be the first people willing to give them that second chance!
He without sin let him cast the 1st stone they could not so we should not.

I would advise you to read Like the First Time first and then read this book since it is a sequel. You will get a better understanding of why Janna is the way she is. Ms. Ray really redeemed her in this book.

Providence Pond
Author: Beresford McLean
Historical Fiction
ISBN: 0-9753297-1-5
Published: Dec 2005
Rating: 2 ½ Stars - Good
Reviewed By: Shelia Marie

Although this is Beresford McLean’s second novel, this is my first time reading his books. Providence Pond takes you on a journey from the 1800’s to the 1920’s. I would classify it as historical fiction dealing with community or family relations more so than romance. If you can get past the first couple of chapters, you’ll find that it’s an enlightening read.

As you read the book, you will be introduced to an interesting cultural and will travel from one time period to another. The book highlights four generations of the King family.
It’s broken down into four sections: The Engagement (1880-1899), The Family (1900-1920), Family Development (1911-1919) and Family Reunion (1920-1921).

Congo King is the main character and sort of like the matriarch of the King family. He goes through much effort to make sure the “ways of old” are not forgotten. Follow him and a host of other characters as they deal with heartache, dysfunctional family members and the tribulations of life.

I normally don’t have a problem with a book with 400 plus pages, but for me, it would have been better if some of Providence Pond was included in a sequel instead of in one 496 page novel. Otherwise, McLean’s readers are treated to a story that is informative, witty and different. It’s a great “period” piece.

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