Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MSRL: Review, 30-Minute Vegetarian Indian Cookbook


30-Minute Vegetarian Indian Cookbook by Mridula Baljekar

I'm very much a meat and potatoes girl, but I've been exploring vegetarian recipes lately. I also love Indian food and curry. So, the 30-Minute Vegetarian Indian Cookbook by Mridula Baljekar is just the right book for people like me, "vegetarian curious". Now, while there are no photos of any food, I have no doubt that in just reading the scrumptious sounding recipes, they will turn out delicious. And I like that they are quick to prepare.  I will definitely add this to my cookbook shelf.

Thank you for reading my book reviews!



Follow me on Twitter: @ivywriter 
Follow me on Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/ivywriter

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

MSRL: Review, Kitchen Coach Weeknight Cooking

Weeknight Cooking by Jennifer Bushman
I love Kitchen Coach Weeknight Cooking by Jennifer Bushman. Despite the lack of photography and bright food pictures that I love so well, I actually love the way each recipe is laid out on each page like an instruction manual, bright, large lettering to ensure that the cook is able to see what she's reading. It's chock full of recipes for the "on-the-go family". I look forward to adding this cookbook to my collection.

Thank you for reading my book reviews!

follow me on twitter: @ivywriter


Thanks for reading and supporting my summer reading list! 

Follow me on Twitter: @ivywriter 


Follow me on Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/ivywriter

Monday, April 23, 2012

MSRL: Review, The Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook


The Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook: More Than 100 Healthy Recipes for Everyday SnackingThe Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook: More Than 100 Healthy Recipes for Everyday Snacking by Laura Trice
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Usually, snacks are evil. In the case of this cookbook, they all seem pretty tasty and healthy.  The Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook is a great resource for people like me, who enjoy sweets every now and then, but are seeking alternative ways to enjoy them without blowing your healthy eating plan.  With recipes from granola, cakes, muffins, smoothies, to homemade ice cream -- they have every sweet tooth covered.  I will definitely be adding this book to my collection this summer.

View all my reviews

Thanks for reading and supporting my summer reading list!
Follow me on Twitter: @ivywriter
Follow me on Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/ivywriter

MSRL: AAMBC New Book Release - Life's Journey by Stephanneth Adams


AAMBC (African Americans On The Move Book Club)
New Book Release
Life's Journey by Stephanneth Adams

From AAMBC


About Author Stephanneth Adams
Stephanneth Adams is a Spiritual Life Motivator, Author, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (2012). She was born in Maryland to the proud parents Dr. Stenneth & Mrs. Stephanie Adams. Her life’s purpose is to use her God-given gifts to help foster the success of women spiritually, mentally, socially, and physiologically. Stephanneth has always found that expressing herself through writing & dance came naturally for her. She is a born Motivator.

This is her purpose that she realized in her late teens that God wanted to use. After placing her life in God’s hands at the age of 17, Steph began her journey of walking into her destiny. She hasn’t always been a perfect woman, but God has always been there to reshape and transform her into the woman that He desires her to be. Steph believes that God has called her to live her life as an inspiration to others. Through her own life’s journey she has learned life principles that will help any woman and how to depend on the One who supplies her needs.
An Interview with Stephanneth Adams:
1. Who is Stephanneth Adams?
Stephanneth Adams is a Spiritual Life Motivator, Author, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (2012). She was born in Maryland to the proud parents Dr. Stenneth & Mrs. Stephanie Adams. Her life’s purpose is to use her God-given gifts to help foster the success of women spiritually, mentally, socially, and physiologically. Stephanneth has always found that expressing herself through writing & dance came naturally for her. She is a born Motivator.
This is her purpose that she realized in her late teens that God wanted to use. After placing her life in God’s hand at the age of 17, Steph began her journey of walking into her destiny. She hasn’t always been a perfect woman, but God has always been there to reshape and transform her into the woman that He desires her to be. Steph believes that God has called her to live her life as an inspiration to others. Through her own life’s journey she has learned life principles that will help any woman and how to depend on the One who supplies her needs.
To put it in a nut shell, Steph is a woman journeying through life just like everyone else. She’s faced ups and downs, pain, sadness, grief, obstacles, you name it. However, there is one thing that rings true for her life, someone up above has His hands guiding her to a place of destiny. It’s eminent when you look at her life.
2. What’s your purpose?
My purpose is to bring healing to every woman. I am just tired of the façade that we put on, when it is so evident that women are still hurting. We lack an understanding of who we are, why we were created, how to get over our past, how to be successful, and how to have the right type of relationships. Yet, we put on a front to pretend that we know all of these things. The truth is that we don’t. No one is teaching us. Look at the television media, who has a truly stable life in Hollywood? The answer is, very few people do in that industry. Look at the church, who has stability there? I will say that more people have a stable life in the church than in Hollywood, but there are still many people going to church who are unstable. Why? No one wants to face the truth about who they are. We don’t want to confront our issues and what has affected us throughout life. This is something that I don’t quite understand because in order to develop for the future, you have to understand your past. You learn from it, heal from it, and close it. Then, you can walk into your future.
So many of us want to do just that, but we don’t know where to start. How do we journey from our past into our future? That’s where I come in and I assist women to do that. My purpose is to get women to stop placing blame on other people and situations. To re-evaluate things and focus on how they contributed to the situations or how they have allowed it to affect them up to today. It’s a tough thing to do, but unless it’s done, women will go to the grave never truly experiencing the life that God always wanted to give them when they were little girls. We can continue to put on a façade like everything is peachy keen and like we never faced a problem if we want to, but you will only deprive yourself of true freedom and purpose.
3. Why did you write Life's Journey?
I wrote Life's Journey because it is a part of my purpose. I am a healthcare provider first in career with a focus on health prevention and promotion for the adolescent to the aging woman. However, writing is a God given gift that He told me to use. When I sit down to write, something magical happens. When the content is read to others, their lives are changed and touched. There is power in writing. If I can change the lives of several women through writing, then my purpose has been fulfilled!
4. Who should read Life's Journey and why?
I believe that every woman should read my book because each of us is journeying through life. We each have experienced ups and downs in some sort of way. Every woman needs to know that she can survive the bad times of life, she needs to heal from her past, she needs to know her purpose, and she needs to find true love. Any woman who reads this book will find that there are areas of her life where she still experiences droughts (pain), areas that need to be watered and refreshed. This book will bring that refreshing water to her life.
5. What 4 questions must every woman ask herself?

  • What is my purpose?
  • How do I get over my past?
  • How do I prepare for marriage?
  • How do I connect to my creator?
6. What does every woman need to know?
Every woman needs to know that she is worth it. She’s enough. She’s a princess born to a King. No matter what she has gone through in her life, it’s time to close that past and move forward!
7. Can non-Christians read your book?
Most certainly, especially if they desire to take a spiritual journey. A lot of times people want to re-connect to their creator, but they don’t know how to do that. This book finds a way to help you do that, whether you are a Christian or not. It’s a spiritual based book. It’s not a “churchy” book, but it does stand on biblical principles. You see, so many times church based things don’t get to the heart of the matter. They just glance through superficial things. This book gets to the heart of the matter and gives you a real perspective. It shows you why certain choices can bring heart ache and pain and why making better choices will bring happiness into your life. The book was designed to touch the heart of every woman and who knows her heart more than the One who created her? Her creator is out to love her, not condemn her. Neither am I out to condemn her, but love her through writing, right where she needs it the most, her heart.
Life’s Journey: Woman to Woman is a journey where you and the author travel the paths of life to find healing and purpose. It’s a personal journey as you complete the exercises provided after each motivational chapter which is geared to inspiring and motivating you to walk into the future that was planned for you ever since you were a little girl. Sometimes, as we travel through life we encounter heartache, pain, roadblocks, and negative circumstances that deter us from the future that we were meant to have. However, if we confront those past issues so that we can learn and heal from them, we can begin rediscovering the powerful woman that we were created to be. That’s what this book does, it assists you to confront your past, close the chapter, and walk into the purposeful future that you were always destined for.
The books major concept is: in order to walk into your destined future, you must close your past first. I see it this way; I can’t help women have a better future if I don’t assist them in forgiving their past failures (whatever she thinks those are). With forgiveness and closing the past, then women can truly walk into the best future. Every woman has a past, it may not be the same past as another woman, but she has one and needs to heal from it. After she heals, she can then find her career purpose, forgiveness, true love, and be better in all of her relationships. These principles are what my book is based on.

Read An Excerpt From Life's Journey: 
~Process of Forgiveness~
  1. Remove the belief that you have the right to get even with the people who have hurt you.
  2. Re-examine your life. Look at your past circumstances and analyze the details. What are possible reasons for the person’s actions or remarks? Were they treated the same way in their past? Are they repeating a cycle? Do they realize that what they did negatively affected you? See the bigger picture.
  3. Embrace the belief that forgiveness heals you, not your forgiver. Forgiveness is for YOU! Forgiveness breaks you free from feelings of resentment, discontent, hatred, bondage, and grief. Forgiveness removes the road blocks of your life.

~Letting Go of Past Pains Challenge~
I challenge you to begin your journey of forgiveness today! Ask God to begin to help you realize everyone that you need to forgive. Meditate on your life up to this point and remember those whom you haven’t forgiven. It’s not worth it to hold a grudge against them. In the long run you’re only hurting yourself. Un-forgiveness creates a heart full of heavy chains, resentment, and sadness. It creates road blocks that stop you from reaching your destiny. Think about this. The person you hate is living their life while you are stuck in the muck of your bitterness. They aren’t worried about you. They have moved on, but you haven’t. Let God take away your chains of hatred and bitterness through the process of forgiveness. Allow joy and peace to encompass you. Begin to live a life of freedom starting today.
Warning: the process of forgiveness is not easy! It’s painful in the beginning, but ends in everlasting joy.
Helpful tip: Do not focus on the pain during the process, but focus on the purpose of forgiveness.
Find Stephanneth Adams:
Learn more about me at: www.lifes-journey.org
Twitter: @Journey4women
AIR LIVE every 2nd or 3rd Sunday of each month

Email:
Purchase the book at:
  1. www.amazon.com
  2. www.lifes-journey.org/bookstore.htm
  3. www.createspace.com/3572517
  4. www.facebook.com/lifesjourneywomantowoman
Book Trailer link




Thanks for reading and supporting my summer reading list! Follow me on Twitter: @ivywriter Follow me on Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/ivywriter

Sunday, April 22, 2012

MSRL: Review, The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook


The Native Foods Restaurant CookbookThe Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook by Tanya Petrovna
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are a vegetarian, this is the book for you. The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook is chock full of authentic looking very vegetarian recipes that introduce new palates to items like tempeh, soy protein, grains, tofu, etc.  This is a great resource.

Thanks for reading my book reviews.

View all my reviews

Thanks for reading and supporting my summer reading list!
 Follow me on Twitter: @ivywriter
 Follow me on Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/ivywriter
Read all of my cookbook reviews at the cook(book)ing schoolthe cook(book)ing school

Friday, April 20, 2012

MSRL: AAMBC New Book Release - Strings of Color by Marian L. Thomas


AAMBC (African Americans On The Move Book Club)
New Book Release
Strings Of Colors by Marian L. Thomas

From AAMBC


About The Author, Marian L. Thomas:
Exciting Atlanta novelist, Marian L. Thomas, is gearing up for the release of her third Clean Fiction title, “Strings of Color” on April 2, 2012. Ms. Thomas’s “Strings of Color” probes the ever-intriguing themes of  race, family strife, love, teen pregnancy, friendship and abuse. And yet, her tales which seem to pre-sage current tabloid headlines are spelled out in ways that suit delicate moral tastes. While Ms. Thomas is a dynamic story-teller with three romantic and dramatic novels to her credit, she distinguishes herself by refusing to lace her work with profanity and sexually-explicit themes. Her third installment in the ‘Jazzmyne’ series— “Strings of Color” is quickly filling up book club calendars and she is a prominent personality on  nationwide motivational speaking circuits. Published in paperback  by L.B. Publishing, “Strings of Color” will be sold at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Books-a-Million.com and will be available for the Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook, electronic books. Avid readers can  order this dramatic novel at bookstores, nationwide or through their local library.
Interview with Marian L. Thomas:
1.)  How long have you been a writer? Marian:  I wrote my first book manuscript in high school.  I also did some writing in the sports and news fields during college, but didn’t really put “writer” on my resume.  Then, 2009 hit and Color Me Jazzmyne was released.  Things began to change.  A thought I once had in high school became a dream.  The dream became a reality and that reality turned me into a writer.
 2.)  Did you always know you wanted to write? Marian:  The concept of writing was always in the back of my head — lingering there patiently.  The words “just get it done” were a phrase my old boss use to say to me whenever we discussed my finishing my book manuscript.  It felt great to finally say, “It’s done.”
3.)  What inspired you to write this specific storyline with Strings of Color? Marian:  Readers, and the fact that I didn’t feel as if the main character had come full circle with her own inner feelings.  Sometimes, when a relationship ends, people need and want a sense of “closure.”  I suspect book characters are no different. I’ve always wanted to write my own Novel.  For myself, and others with this dream, what is some advice you could give? Marian:  Publish yourself first!  Build a solid platform.  Get your name out there via social networks, blogs and published articles.  Then write your book.
5.)  Are the character names in your books important to you?  Without giving too much away, is there a reason you made the characters’ names so closely related? Marian:  They are extremely important and I love that question.  When I read a character’s name, I like to think that the name given simply couldn’t be anything else.  That it fits the character’s personality so well, that to change it—would be changing the character.  My character names display the depth of the connection within the family. When it comes to family, I think we sometimes forget how connected we really are to each other.
 6.)  Tell us about your writing environment.  Do you need it to be really quiet, or do you have to have background noise?  Are there any specific foods or drinks you need available? Marian:  No background noise.  At least that’s what I keep reminding my hubby when I’m writing.  It’s hard for me to stay focused, and any little thing tends to throw me off my writing game.  Did I mention that I like popcorn?
7.)  When you’re not writing, what are some other hobbies, or things you like to do? Marian:  I love to draw and paint.  One day, I would like to open a gallery that combines art by me and books by me.  Is that too much…me?  Maybe.  Then again, maybe not.


Synopsis of Strings of Color:
Life can grab a hold of you like captivating strings of color. It is a lesson that four women will learn as they each travel down a journey filled with lies, betrayal, and shocking secrets.
Simone. Is immensely talented, yet everything she has ever known will be ripped apart. Her love will be tested. Her heart will call out for a strength that could only exist in moments like this, and her tears will carry her through the storm. Will she be able to give her heart to the love of her life while fighting to open her heart to a mother she has never known?
Naya. While facing her greatest loss, will she be able to find the key to strength, the will to continue on, and th e endurance to make it through one of the darkest moments in her life?
Monà. Within her heart is a secret so deep that it could shake the very foundations of two lives. Will she be able to finally look into the eyes of a daughter she has only known from a distance?
Misty. Two paths are set before her; one could lead her back to the life of fame and prominence, which she so desperately wants; and the other could give her the love she so desperately needs. Will she choose the path that is best for her future, or for her heart?
Read An Excerpt from Strings of Color:
“Dear life, he knew that I wouldn’t have thirty more years of him. But tonight even as I lay here with tears soaking the floor, I would give thirty seconds just to feel his touch again.”
Thirty Seconds
Tonight I almost died…Naya thought to herself.
As she walked into her foyer, she dropped her purse, removed her shoes, and slowly allowed her eyes to follow the curve of the stairway until they met up with the oil painting which hung in the center.
Wrapped in a thick walnut wood frame, painted in the soft hues of crisp blues, creams, and specks of red, were herself and Chris.
His chest stuck proudly out. His smile was as wide as the sunshine. His blue eyes sparkled with the color of the ocean. Arms wrapped around her waist.
Chris. She could feel her fingers reaching out to toward him.
She remembered that day. How good it felt to be his wife.
The tears began to run down her cheeks as the weight of the day caused her legs to surrender to the pull of the rich mahogany wood floor.
Trembling. Heart pounding.
I’ve got to catch my breath, she whispered to herself.
Ten seconds later, she began to scream. The walls responded. The chandelier shook as the realization of what had happened began to sink deep into the pit of her stomach.
Less than two hours ago…I was sitting in a worn out chair watching a spider crawl up the wall. I had listened to the splatter of raindrops beat against the dirty windows. I had been staring at the moon for hours. Staring at the walls and then counting the tiny cracks in the floor. There were three hundred and forty-two. Crying for what seemed like days.
My tired body was heavy, ragged and empty. The whiff of dirty mop water had consumed my lungs and I had often found myself dabbing frantically at the corners of my red and swollen eyes. The lights had been dimed and the curtains slightly drawn shut but I could still see him.
Every touch we shared had flashed in my mind, every smile and every kiss.
I could hear the machines.
As I sat there, I remember feeling like my heart had begun to mix with the slow and methodic beeping noises they made.
My mind had just about settled and my eyes had finally closed when I heard it.
The noise penetrated the entire room.
Louder and louder it got, like a banging in my head. I began to scream as I ran to him and wrapped my fingers around his bed rail.
“Chris!” I shouted.
My body was calling out for strength. Darn near begging for it.
For him, I would give everything, anything. I would reach down into bottomless wells just to find a speck of it.
“Find me strength; find the darkness that I am in,” I kept repeating over and over in my mind.
A teardrop fell upon his face.
The doors flew open. Three nurses came charging in.
One tried to pry my fingers from his bedside but I fought with all that I had to hold on.
I was like a mad woman. I kept thinking that if he could just feel my touch, it would give him the strength to fight.
“Please, ma’am,” she said to me. “You’ve got to let go so we can try to save him.”
I had watched her lips moving, but my mind had failed to register the reality of the situation I was in.
“Let go ma’am, we’re losing him!” The tone of her voice had finally broken through and I somehow began to find myself again.
I remember staring at her, and then back at him. I remember thinking to myself, “Did I hear her right?”
Dizziness hit me like the strike of a lightning bolt. My palms had begun to sweat.
“Ma’am,” she said again.
Finally—I blinked.
“Please save my husband,” I whispered.
“We’re trying ma’am, but you’ve got to let go.” The nurse had been forceful but kind.
My fingers let go but my heart was still with him as I was gently moved out of the way.
There was rapid movement, loud voices, and machines being brought in.
I stood against the wall clutching my shirt and watching his motionless body.
When the doors flew open again, the doctor rushed in.
I think she glanced my way for a moment. But now I can’t remember.
What I do remember is that there was no slow and methodic beeping noise from the machine penetrating deep into my ear lobes anymore. It had vanished as if it had somehow been carried off into the wind.
“Come back, come back.” I whispered.
I wanted to hear it again. I needed to hear it again.
His blanket was pulled back; a nurse was cutting open his gown. I watched as the scissors grazed his skin. A chill came over me.
Strong and forcefully tears began to streak down the sides of my face.
The doctor was yelling, or was that me? I think I remember the doctor’s voice.
“On my count of three, go!”
“Clear!”
“He’s still not responding.”
“Get the machine ready again!”
“It’s ready Doctor.”
“Clear!”
Still the machine was silent.
“Come back beeping noise. I won’t complain about you anymore. Please come back to me.”
I stared at the window as if it would open and the sound would return.
There was nothing. Not one single beep!
Fear and anticipation filled the air as more nurses and doctors came rushing in.
The last thirty years of my life was slipping out through the crevices of my fingers.
Web-links for Marian L. Thomas:
Purchase Link: Amazon .com :http://tinyurl.com/purchansestringsofcolor
Book Trailer: Link: http://youtu.be/8ZuWqlo3bac

Thanks for reading and supporting my summer reading list! 
Follow me on Twitter: @ivywriter 
Follow me on Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/ivywriter

MSRL: Review, The Brown Bag Lunch Cookbook


The Brown Bag Lunch CookbookThe Brown Bag Lunch Cookbook by Miriam Jacobs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are only a few cookbooks that I actually sit and read from cover to cover and all of the recipes capture my attention. And rarely does a cookbook, with no colorful photos do this for me. But for some reason, I was very intrigued by The Brown Bag Lunch Cookbook.  It's premise is that it offers healthy choices for lunches for grown ups and it tells you creative ways to reuse your leftover dinner for lunch.  And for someone like me who is always looking for healthy choices for lunch and who is trying my best to avoid frozen processed lunches, this cookbook is really going to come in handy.  I definitely recommend this for your cookbook collection and as a gift for anyone who is challenged in the area of making lunch beyond the childhood peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

View all my reviews on www.goodreads.com/ivywriter

Thanks for reading and supporting my summer reading list!
Follow me on Twitter: @ivywriter
Follow me on Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/ivywriter

MSRL: AAMBC New Book Release - Payback Ain't Enough by Wahida Clark


AAMBC (African Americans On The Move Book Club) 
New Book Release
Payback Ain't Enough by Wahida Clark


From AAMBC:
Wahida Clark has been crowned the Queen of Thug Love Fiction by Nikki Turner, the Queen of Hip Hop Fiction. She created the Thug Love Fiction genre which is a sub-genre of street lit as cited in “The Readers Guide to Street Literature” by Vanessa Irvin Morris. She is also the first street lit author to pen a series, thus establishing the trend. Wahida’s style of writing is the “TEMPLATE” for urban literature. When you read her novels, they are so real you are convinced of one of three things: you know the characters; you want to know the characters; or you are one of the characters. Her New York TimesEssence and USA TODAY bestselling novels include Thugs and The Women Who Love Them, Every Thug Needs A Lady, Thug Matrimony, Thug Lovin’, Payback Is A Mutha, Payback With Ya Life, Sleeping With The Enemy, The Golden Hustla and the first anthology edited and compiled by her What’s Really Hood! Part 5 of her Thug Series, the highly anticipated Justify My Thug under Cash Money Content made its debut at #19 on the New York Times Bestseller List. One of the few urban lit books to do so. Her Thug Series has sold over 300,000 copies and the Payback Series has sold over 150,000 copies. Her next release in April of 2012 is Payback Ain’t Enough.
Interview with Wahida Clark from AAMBC:
1) Q: Are you the First Lady of Cash Money?
Nikki Minaj is the First Lady of Cash Money. However, I am proud to say that I am the First Lady of Cash Money Content (CMC), the publishing arm of Cash Money. But CMC also has my girl Ashley Antoinette, the female half of the dynamic and unstoppable duo, Ashley & JaQuavis, and the Basketball Wife herself, Ms. Evelyn Lozada.
2) Q: What makesPayback Ain’t Enough different from Payback is a Mutha or Payback with Ya Life?
Payback Ain’t Enough is the third installment of the Payback Series. Go in expecting the unexpected. I promise, and as always I deliver. It’s grimier, grittier, darker, and sucks you in against your will. It’s thrilling, captivati ng, and breathtaking.
3) Q: Is it true that the majority of your readers are incarcerated?
Good question. Since I began my writing career while incarcerated, my books were heavily promoted throughout the prison system, and of course I have a huge prison following. Now that I am home, I realize how many people I’ve touched or reached with my books. For example, when I am out doing book events, at least one male reader will come up to me, bow and say, “Your books got me through my bid.” I’ve learned that a lot of people don’t read until they go to jail, and I have received countless letters stating that one of my books was the first book that a person has ever read. And that always touches me. On the flip side of that, you don’t make the New York Times best sellers list by just selling books to prisoners. The majority of my readers are women who are free. They love me and support me book after book, year after year. Some women and men have incarcerated loved ones who they buy my books for and mail them into the prison. I have fans/readers who are prison guards, police officers, bus drivers, nurses, doctors, and as comedian Michael Colyar told me, “Girl, my dentist read your book, Payback Is A Mutha and loved it!” There would be no me without my readers, and for that I am forever humbled and grateful.
4) Q: Are these Street Lit or Hood Stories a fad?
(Smile) Fad? Is Jackie Collins ever asked if her books are a fad? I think not. Street Lit is an actual genre. Don’t let the word ‘street’ fool you . . . it’s not new. I’ve been published since 2003, but more importantly, keep in mind before me there was Chester Himes, Donald Goines, Iceberg Slim, Nathan ‘Boobie’ Heard, whose works were published as far back as the 50s, and sold through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, and their titles are still selling. (Now in 2012, Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim have both had their catalogs republished). But what is even more exciting to me is that Chester Himes’ books were turned into movies such as Cotton Comes to Harlem, Come Back Charleston Blue, and A Rage in Harlem. Donald Goines’ novel Never Die Alone also became a feature film. Presently, several well-known street lit authors such as Nikki Turner, Vickie Stringer, Ashley & JaQuavis, K’wan, T. Styles, Deja King, J.M. Benjamin and more, who all have a minimum of five titles under their belt and head their own publishing companies. Ashley & JaQuavis are currently working on their book-to-film adaptation and so am I. Check out my link at http://youtu.be/U03TFlgWpTI
5) Q: What makes you the Queen of Street Lit?
Nikki Turner drove to Alderson, West Virginia to visit me, and I was talking about how the ladies on the inside love her to death and how she was the Princess of Hip-Hop fiction. And she said, “I’m the Queen of Hip-Hop fiction. I’ve elevated.” So I said, “I’m the Queen too. But wait. We can’t have two Queens reigning at the same time.” (LOL) Then she said, “You’re the Queen of Thug Love Fiction. I’m giving you that.” I thought about it and then I said, “Yeah. I’m the Queen of Thug Love Fiction.” Since then, and like Nikki, I’ve elevated my pen game and status as well. I take pride in my work. I am obsessed with making sure that once my readers pick up one of my books, it is very hard for them to put it down. I owe them that. Next, we are talking longevity, consistency, and eleven novels—and the fact that seven of those novels were written and published behind the prison wall. And while behind the wall I made the EssenceBlackboardUSA TodayBlack Issues Book Review, and Don Diva best sellers list. And those are just the lists that I know about. While many writers were trying to get one publishing contract, I had TWO publishing contracts with two major publishing houses (while behind the wall). I reached another major milestone in 2011 when five of my titles appeared on the Best Selling Books of the year list for the African American Literature Book Club (aalbc.com), which is the largest and one of the first online book clubs. (I’ve always had multiple titles on the list, but never five at one time). I am blessed to say that my books, starting with my very first title, Thugs and the Women Who Love Them, and the other Thug Series books still sell today as if they have just come out. I am also the first Street Lit author to write a series. Many Street Lit authors now offer readers a Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. However, I was the first to do that with Thugs and the Women Who Love Them, Every Thug Needs a Lady, Thug Matrimony . . . you know the restOther accolades I’ve received acknowledging my work include The Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature by Vanessa Irvin Morris, published by the American Library Association in 2011. This guide cites how my books have created, or spawned, a new ‘sub-genre’ of Street Lit (Thug Love) and is leading the ‘Thug Love’ sub-genre. So, yes . . . humbly and respectively I accept the title “Queen of Street Lit” because in the words of Jay-Z, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.”
6) Q:  Is Wahida Clark Presents Publishing an imprint of Cash Money?
I love these brothers . . . they are so innovative. Ronald ‘Slim’ Williams and Bryan ‘Baby’ Williams started the Cash Money record label and are always one step ahead of the game. They felt that they could sell as many books as they do CDs, so they started Cash Money Content to publish books, and more importantly, promote literacy. You see, many of us in the publishing industry feel it’s not what you read, it’s the fact that you’re reading. Wahida Clark Presents (WCP) is the publishing company I started while incarcerated. To date I have fourteen authors, including: Cash (Trust No Man), NeNe Capri (The Pussy Trap), Mike Sanders (Thirsty), Anthony Fields (The Ultimate Sacrifice), Victor L. Martin (Nude Awakening), Tash Hawthorne (Karma: With A Vengeance), Missy Jackson (Cheetah), Intelligent Allah (Lickin’ License), Sereniti Hall (Still Feenin’)and others. I also have Young Adult authors such as Rashawn Hughes (Under Pressure), Sparkle (Sade’s Secrets), Gloria Dotson-Lewis (Ninety-Nine Problems) and Charmaine White (The Boy Is Mine!). Additionally, I have an imprint, Yah Yah Publications, where I publish more conscious material such as, Uncle Yah Yah: 21st Century Man of Wisdom and Part 2, which drops April 19th. To date WCP has eighteen titles in independent and major bookstores and libraries around the country. I am always looking for new material, and my goal is to have all WCP authors hit the New York Times best sellers list.
7) Q: Are you going to give us a sneak peek of the highly anticipated sequel to Justify My Thug (Thugs Part 6)?
No doubt! Visit my website www.wclarkpublishing.com for specific details on getting your sneak peek of Thugs Part 6You will need to provide your pre-order receipt from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or iTunes.com to get it. Also, be one of the first to visit my website www.wclarkpublishing.com to download the first chapter of Payback Ain’t Enough. I can’t wait for your feedback!

Synopsis of Payback Ain't Enough :
Filled with the same glamour, sex and danger, we dive back into the hip-hop drama where old rivalries and new beefs arise in Detroit’s blood-drenched drug turf. Shan is now married to Briggen, the much desired former hustler turned legitimate businessman. With one child and another on the way, Shan’s life is about to get turned upside down. In a day she’ll go from being the envy of the streets to having her life on the line.
Briggen, a man leading a double life, wants to know who killed hisbrother, Forever. He wants revenge but it’s only a matter of time before Briggen’s own lies catch up with him. Nick is back in the big ‘D’ and ready to take over the game. The only thing standing in his way is a buried secret from his past that is about to come back to haunt him. It’s only a matter of time before ambitions and secrets collide and revenge goes a step too far. In this game of power and intrigue where the stakes are high and the rewards are dazzling, the losers are gonna discover – there’s always a price to pay.
Excerpt from Payback Ain't Enough:
Shan
As I stood in the window watching Nyla storm off and peel out of our driveway, I couldn’t help but conjure up a smile. I was sure that I wasn’t the only one who wanted that nigga Forever dead and if he suffered any, that would be the icing on the cake. But the news that he was dead and died alone actually tickled me. Words could not explain the humiliation of him using me to bring in his dope, fuck me and when I got pregnant wanted me to get an abortion, making it clear that I was just a fuck and a sucka.
The thought crossed my mind to go to the funeral but I quickly brushed that off. For one, if I saw Nyla again, it would be on. And two, I would end up spitting in Forever’s dead face. That would cause too much drama for Briggen. I was gloating that Forever was gone. However, my moment came to a screeching halt when he stormed out the house without saying a word.
Web Links for Wahida Clark:
Book Trailer : Wahida Clark The Experience


Thanks for reading and supporting my summer reading list! 
Follow me on Twitter: @ivywriter 
Follow me on Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/ivywriter

Friday, April 13, 2012

MSRL: Review - Flavor by Rocco DiSpirito


FlavorFlavor by Rocco DiSpirito
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think that everyone agrees that Rocco DiSpirito is one of the hottest chefs out there today, but for me, that's where this book ends. Flavor, has a little too much flavor for me. And while I love the book's colorful display of ingredients and how they're laid out on each page for each recipe, as well as the vibrant, vivid photos, I think that some of the recipes like Eggplant Veloute with Figs or Black Sea Bass with Chestnuts and Blood Oranges, just to name a couple, are out of reach for the "common" cook. This book is definitely a "look" book but someone like me just wants regular recipes for regular people.  I'm not sure who the audience is for these recipes, but I for one, won't have time in most busy days or weekends to craft most of these difficult looking recipes.

Thanks for reading my reviews.

See more of my book reviews at http://mysummerradinglist.blogspot.com

See more cookbook reviews at http://cookbookingschool.wordpress.com

View all my reviews

Thanks for reading and supporting my summer reading list!
 Follow me on Twitter: @ivywriter
 Follow me on Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/ivywriter

Monday, April 9, 2012

MSRL: AAMBC New Book Release, One Hundred Miles And Running


AAMBC (African Americans On The Move Book Club) Presents A New Book Release:


One Hundred Miles And Running by Q.B. Wells

Synopsis:
On the run with $100,000 counterfeit cash and a suspect in a murder
case, Face is back hitting licks and looking for a place to settle.
When licked for the $100,000 in Baltimore, he is forced to put his
girl Jazz to the street. Jazz takes to the street all too well.
After a couple encounters she desires more than the small town streets
and lax security Face has to offer. Jazz comes across a trick that
offers a stable life and some opportunities. She takes the stash,
skips town and begins to start a new life under a new name.
Face discovers Jazz has found happiness in the straight life and goes
insane. She can't be happy without him. He d rather her dead. Jazz
must compensate and suffer for the hard times Face felt when she
departed or he will kill her and destroy everything around them.
Face knows where she is. Jazz feels Face's presence and lives in a
paranoid state, two steps ahead from Face. No matter what, Jazz isn't
far enough away. Both Face and Jazz are one hundred miles and running
from danger.

BIO:
Q.B. Wells is the publisher of Art Official Media LLC and an author living in Baltimore City, Maryland. He has written books (Blackface,
Doughboy), book reviews, articles and essays about urban literature and culture for The Urban Book Source, Urbania Magazine and www.UrbaniaMag.com. A member of the Independent Book Publishers Association, Q.B. Wells presents workshops on publishing at local community centers and organizations. A visionary and entrepreneur, Q.B. Wells taught with the Baltimore City Public School System for several years before transitioning into teaching writing classes at Towson University. One Hundred Miles and Running (Blackface 2) is his second novel.


Get to know the author:


1. Introduce yourself and style of writing to readers.
My name is Q.B. Wells.  My writing style is topical, aggressive and
plot driven.  My books can be found on the shelves next to other urban
book titles but I think they are more crime fiction.


2. With the onslaught of books available to the public, what can you do
to get your books into the hands of readers?
Meet and engage readers in person and not only online.  Sometimes I
find readers have bought my books because of the urban fiction genre.
I’m more excited when I find readers that picked up the book because
they met me in person and invested their time.


3. What will readers enjoy most about One Hundred Miles and Running?
Readers will enjoy the action, plot and the humor of the narrative.
The book is a lot faster paced and more suspenseful than Blackface.
And they will be delighted that there is a female protagonist. Finally
will like to see the growth in the characters.


4. Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write One Hundred Miles
and Running? One Hundred Miles and Running (Blackface 2) is the second book in the
Blackface Trilogy.  I had to continue to give the readers what they
wanted and chose the characters to follow based on reader feedback.


5. Where do you foresee yourself 12 months from today?
Publishing some great books and authors. I hope to publish some of my
nonfiction work and looking to shoot a short film or documentary.
Some form of film from an Art Official Media title is a goal in the
next year.


6. How can readers contact you?
Website:  www.ArtOfficialMedia.com
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/qbwells
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/qbwells

7. Where can readers get this book?
You can get the title at any bookstore.  You can also download or buy
the paperback at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Itunes.


Buy Book/Contact the Author:
Publisher - http://www.artofficialmedia.com/urban-media-store.html
Kindle - http://www.amazon.com/Hundred-Running-Blackface-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B006GCV1G8
Nook  - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-hundred-miles-and-running-q-b-wells/1103040050?ean=2940013434783
ITunes - http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/one-hundred-miles-and-running/id484834011?mt=11

You Tube Book Trailer for One Hundred Miles And Running
http://youtu.be/4VaVvmPr1IE





Thanks for reading and supporting my summer reading list! Follow me on Twitter: @ivywriter Follow me on Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/ivywriter

Kellea

Saturday, April 7, 2012

MSRL: AAMBC New Book Release - Today, I Marry My Best Friend, Myself by Shampriest Bevel


MSRL:  AAMBC New Book Release


Today, I Marry My Best Friend, Myself by Shampriest Bevel

Shampriest Bevel, simply known as Sham, is a poet, writer and educator from Bronx, New York.  Since the age of seven, she has used poetry to confront obstacles and relinquish emotions. While attending Norfolk State University, she joined Epsilon Theta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority because she wanted to be a part of a powerful and purposeful sisterhood.  She graduated from NSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology.  In 2005, she self-published, Therapy for the Soul’s Pain, to share her collection of therapeutic poetry.  Commentary from the Writer’s Digest 14th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards described her poetry as “lyrical and smooth, similar to Nikki Giovanni” and “Langston Hughes Blues Era”.  Her exposure to the lighter side of publishing inspired her to challenge herself to write a fiction novel.  Shampriest was awarded with the Honorable Mention Award for poetry at the 2011 Hampton Roads Writers’ Conference.  After attending Christopher Newport University’s Writer’s annual conference and becoming an avid reader of Mary B. Morrison, she decided to begin her fiction novel.  The book, Today I Marry My Best Friend: Myself, summarizes both the hopeless quest of women waiting to receive a proposal of marriage and their journey to commit to themselves.


Synopsis of Today, I Marry My Best Friend, Myself:
A woman spends her entire life planning the details of her wedding day, and the minute she believes she’s met Mr. Right, she starts planning their wedding, imagining what features their children will inherit, and decorating and designing their first home – all on the first date, before dessert is even served. After spending almost a lifetime planning her princess fairytale, though, what will this woman feel like when she learns she may never marry? Does a bride need a groom in order to be a bride?
Talia Sands, who is very ready for marriage, is left broken-hearted after five years by a man who she learns is having an affair with the neighborhood trick. This becomes a turning point for Talia, as she decides not to allow a no-good man to destroy her dreams of marriage. After she has an epiphany about the root of marriage, which is love, Talia decides to marry herself as a symbol of self-commitment and self-love. Today, I Marry My Best Friend: Myselftells the story of how a woman can stop tirelessly and painfully waiting for a man to ask for her hand in marriage, instead following Talia’s lead by getting her middle finger sized, purchasing her own wedding ring, and marrying herself.


Author Shampriest Bevel
Interview With  Shampriest Bevel, Author of Today I Marry My Best Friend, Myself:
1. Why did you choose to write women’s fiction?
I wanted to write stories and develop characters who I could not only relate to but also live through.  It was important for me to speak to an audience who could handle my voice.  Writing women’s fiction is natural for me because I love girl talk with purpose.

2Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I’ve always wanted to try to write with an outline but that just doesn’t work for me.  One day I’ll just get a feeling and I’ll start writing.  I don’t know what I’m about to write, but my hands just get to moving.  Most of the time, I shock myself about what I’ve written.  I never know what direction my characters are going to take.  I never know what the next chapter will introduce.  The only thing I know is when it feels like I’m coming close to the end of the book.

3. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I plan on going back to a few of the characters from Today I Marry My Best Friend: Myself.  One of the characters, Jazmine Lilly is already scripted as a main character in another women’s fiction novel.  As far as themes, I feel comfortable telling the stories of single women in today’s world.

4. What was the hardest part to write in the book(s)?
The hardest part to write in the book is the ending.  When I end a book, I have to say good-bye to a story which has been part of my life for years.  Since I write every day, writing becomes a part of my daily routine.  It feels like something is missing when I finish a book.

5. What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
The best advice I can give is do your research, network with fellow authors and never give up.  You may get hundreds of rejections but don’t stop submitting your manuscript.  Rejections just mean that your project is not right for that particular agent or publisher.  When the time is right, it will happen.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

6. When did you realize you had a passion for writing?
When I wrote my first poem I knew writing would be my friend for life.  As a shy child, I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling.  Writing allowed me to say whatever and be whoever.  I started keeping a journal of poems at the age of 7.  Up until this day, I still write poetry to walk me through some hard times.

7. What do you want your legacy as a writer to be?
I want my legacy to be that I cared about what I had to offer to not only my life but the lives of others.  I want people to connect to my work and understand my characters. As I continue to write about the struggles and challenges of women, I want people to know that women should be valued, respected, and honored.

Web-links:

Twitter:  Follow @sham_bevel


Purchase Today, I Marry My Best Friend, Myself at the following sites:

BarnesandNoble.com – http://tinyurl.com/7aowy2w


Read An Excerpt from Today, I Marry My Best Friend, Myself:
Now she was ready for marriage, but her current boyfriend didn’t seem to have the word in his vocabulary. And this time, she didn’t have anyone waiting in line to be next. He seemed to be the last of the Mohicans. Just because a woman doesn’t have any other male options, does she have to settle?

Talia had been dating Abel for five years. When was he going to propose? She was still the same person that all the other men seemed to love. She was still the same woman that they all wanted to marry. There wasn’t anything that she hadn’t done with or for him. Although she’d always planned for her career to come first, she learned there was more to life. She wanted to come home every night to someone who promised to love her always. She was tired of having an empty bed unless Abel wanted to come over for a pitiful quickie. She wanted more from life. She knew her plan to become partner at her firm was taking a little longer than expected, but she knew it would eventually happen. But this marriage thing…not so much.

Wherever she turned, marriage seemed to be the topic of discussion. Either something related to weddings or marriage always surrounded her. Was this some kind of sign for her? She decided to confront Abel one more time about marriage. What did she really have to lose? Lately, she wasn’t sure why she was still in the relationship. She waited for Abel to come over to her house. She didn’t want to have the conversation on the phone; if she did, he’d just pretend to have something else to do and get off the line. Before Abel could even come in the door good enough, she started her “wedding” interview questions again.

Do you ever plan on getting married?” Talia thought maybe she’d start with trying to create the big picture. Maybe he wanted to get married one day – just not to her.

“Not again, Talia. Where’s all of this coming from?” He thought he was just coming over for his usual Friday night home cooked meal. He could tell it was going to be a long night.

“I was just thinking. I have the right to ask after five years. Well, what do you have to say?” Talia was tired of validating why she needed to know his position on marriage. She believed he needed to be honest.

“I don’t know. I’ve never seen myself as the marrying type.” Maybe if he just stayed in-between “Yes” and “No,” he’d be safe…at least until he could get some of Talia’s cooking. He could smell her baked-from-scratch cheddar and garlic biscuits coming from the kitchen.

“When will you know? I don’t believe it takes a man five years to learn if he’s going to marry a woman or not.” Talia could see him looking past her to the kitchen. Was this louse more interested in dinner than in her?

“Some men take longer than others. You can’t rush a major decision like this. If I marry a woman, I want it to be forever. I’ll know when or if the time is right.” Abel was hungry and becoming more and more aggravated by her questioning. He wasn’t prepared for all of this, and he wouldn’t have bothered to come over if he knew this was to be expected. He would have just gotten Ruby Tuesday’s curbside-to-go and went over to his side chick’s house, La La. La La didn’t want to be married; all she wanted was to get turned out with no strings attached.
“You never had any intention of ever marrying me. I think I already knew that; I just had to confirm it. I can’t believe you’ve been stringing me along for all these years. If you knew I was serious about marriage and you weren’t, you should have stopped dating me. Why did you continue to date me? What did I ever do to you?” It took everything in Talia not to let Abel see her cry. She was too strong for that. He didn’t even seem sincere in his responses to her questions. He was acting nonchalant. Maybe if she wasn’t so smart, she’d fall for his bottomless answers. Talia had wasted five years with Abel, but she decided that she wouldn’t waste anymore. She knew she shouldn’t be waiting on any man; he should be waiting on her.

“Whatever, Talia. Let me get out of here. Call me when you stop tripping. I understand you must be fired up from seeing one of your little WE or Lifetime TV shows.” Abel was over it, and he knew to jet before she got any more heated. For a minute, he thought he should ask for a plate to go. What else was she going to do with all that food? She could at least hook her man up with a biscuit. But the look on her face told him not to say another word. He picked up his overnight bag and started to leave.
“Tell La La I said she can have you.”


Thanks for reading and supporting my summer reading list!  
Follow me on Twitter: @ivywriter


Kellea