Category Archives: book reviews

Lust: A Seven Deadly Sins Novel by Victoria Christopher Murray

Series: Seven Deadly Sins
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Touchstone (February 7, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1501134108
ISBN-13: 978-1501134104
Price: $15.00
Purchase: Amazon | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

From the NAACP Image award winner and national bestselling author Victoria Christopher Murray, a novel inspired by the seven deadly sins about a woman caught between an entertainment mogul with a shady past and his childhood friend who is out for revenge.

Tiffanie has lived a sheltered life in a very strict household with her pastor-grandfather and grandmother in Washington, DC. But when she meets Damon King, she falls for the successful entertainment business man despite his history as a drug dealer. Everyone sees nothing but the brightest future for the couple—but there’s one person who wants to destroy them.

Trey Johnson is Damon’s childhood best friend with whom he built quite a successful drug business. But when the game got hot and Damon decided to leave, Trey stayed and continued to sell drugs, until he was arrested and spent seven years in prison.

But now he’s out and able to attend the wedding. While Damon is thrilled to have Trey back and hopes to bring his best friend into his business, Trey has other plans. He blames Damon for his demise and plans to ruin him, even if that means bringing Tiffanie down as well.

Trey is sure he will succeed, but he doesn’t know that there will be deadly consequences. And at the end, there will only be one man standing…

Review

Lust is full of intrigue and suspense. I could not put this book down, which is common in all of Victoria Christopher Murray’s books. She is a phenomenal story teller and master wordsmith.

I have steered away from reading urban books because of the profanity, violence, blood shed and graphic sex scenes. However, Lust is different. This is the kind of urban literature I would like to read, which why I appreciate Victoria Christopher Murray’s writing style. She makes her points, without it being in your face, which is also a tell-tale sign of a good writer.

Lust had a moral lesson in it. I don’t believe it was Victoria Christopher Murray’s intention, as she writes to entertain, however, she dropped a few gems in this story that made think and remember… which is why I identified with the female protagonist, Tiffanie.

While I read this story, my emotions were all over the place. There were some lines in this book, that made me laugh out loud. Victoria Christopher Murray’s character development and pacing is awesome, which is why I love reading her books, and Lust was no exception. I rate this book five stars, and highly recommend it.

In conclusion, I want to thank Touchstone for sending me a complimentary copy of LustA Seven Deadly Sins Novel in exchange for an honest review.

Victoria Christopher Murray has been writing inspiration African-American fiction since she left the financial services industry in 1997 to write her self-published debut Temptation. Her most recent novel Stand Your Ground (Touchstone, June 2015) won the 2015 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Lust marks the twentieth anniversary since the publication of Temptation.

 

 

 

 

 

A Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (October 4, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0310346770
Price: $11.72
Purchase: CBD | Amazon | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Do you ever wonder why God created you? The Bible spells it out plainly: God created you to showcase His glory—to enjoy it, display it, and demonstrate it every day to all those you encounter.

After nearly 50 years of living as a quadriplegic, and dealing with chronic pain on a daily basis, Joni has learned firsthand the importance of glorifying God through the toughest of situations. Through this devotional, Joni will help you discover how to put God’s glory on display—how to say no to complaining and say yes to daily following God down even the most difficult paths. Along the way, you will find great comfort and encouragement by focusing on the one who longs to lead and guide you every step of the way, every day.

Don’t ever think your life is too ordinary, your world too small, or your work too insignificant. All of it is a stage set for you to glorify God.

Review

Many years ago I had the pleasure of reading When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada. So, when I was offered the opportunity to review her new devotional, A Spectacle of GloryI gladly accepted.

Just as her book spoke to me, so is her devotional. She writes from a deep place. Her words are rich and full of substance. There is no fluff or superficiality.

I relate to her, in that she knows what it’s like to suffer, and not get healed. She had a diving accident which left her paralyzed, and she has been a quadriplegic now for forty-nine years. She prayed that God would heal her, and went to several healing services, but was never healed. Yet, she never lost her faith, which is why she is my hero.

I read A Spectacle of Glory every morning and it ministers to me. I highly recommend it.

In conclusion, I want to thank Handlebar Publishing and Zondervan for sending me a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Joni Eareckson Tada is founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, an organization that accelerates Christian outreach in the disability community. Joni and Friends provides practical support and spiritual help to special needs families worldwide, and equips thousands of churches in developing disability ministry. Joni is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Joni, Diamonds in the Dust, Heaven, When God Weeps, and A Step Further, winner of the Gold Medallion Award. Joni and her husband, Ken, have been married for over 30 years. For more information on Joni and Friends, visit www.joniandfriends.org

 

 

 

Don’t Go To Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight by Deb & Ron DeArmond


Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Price: $14.99
Purchase: Amazon | CBD | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

We’ve all been there. He doesn’t understand what she’s really upset about. He thinks she blows things out of proportion. Neither of you can agree on the right course of action. In every marriage, there is conflict. And with every conflict, there is a choice for resolution. Will you ignore the issue until it seemingly goes away? Or will you work together to find peace?

In Don’t Go to Bed Angry, Deb and Ron DeArmond give you permission to fight. Marriage is worth fighting for. Conflict isn’t the problem, after all; the real issue is how we deal with the conflict. Combining a healthy dose of personal experience with relationship-affirming biblical wisdom, Deb and Ron demonstrate how communication through conflict can lead to greater insight and understanding of thoughts, feelings, and perspectives that can safeguard–and even strengthen–your relationship. Immensely practical features including worksheets, discussion questions, callouts, and prayers make this a definitive go-to resource to help you start fighting–together–for your marriage.

Click on this image to enter

Review

Wow! I have read books on marriage, and I have to say, this book takes the cake. There is so much to like about it. Seriously. You would think for a short book, it wouldn’t contain so much relevant information, but it does and then some.

The main premise of this book is how to communicate in a marriage and tools on how to resolve conflict effectively. I honestly wish this book existed before I married my husband thirteen years ago. I pretty much did everything this book advises against.

I have gotten into conversations with friends about how there isn’t a guidebook on what to do when you get married. Here you have two people coming together, from different worlds, upbringings, and communication styles. You know the saying, the “honeymoon is over?” Well, when you start living with your spouse, stuff starts coming up and if you don’t know how to fight fairly, or resolve conflict, you are going to find yourself in a very precarious situation. Don’t God To Bed Angry can help as it is a guidebook on how to do marriage successfully.

So, for any of you who are thinking of getting married or are married, I highly, and I mean HIGHLY, recommend this book. It doesn’t matter how many years you have been married, or how many problems you have had, or even if you are at the brink of divorce, you need to get this book. The information contained in this book alone, if practiced and applied, can revolutionize and save your marriage. Guaranteed.

This is by far one of the best marriage books I have read in years. I give five stars, but if I could give it more, I would. I will be referring to this book and recommending it to everyone.

In conclusion, I want to thank authors, Deb and Ron DeArmond for sharing their lives by helping me and other married couples. I also want to thank Abingdon Press for publishing this gem of a book, and last but not least, my Litfuse Publicity Group family for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to review. Thank you, it truly blessed my life.

Deb DeArmond is an author, speaker, and coach with a focus on communication, relationships, and conflict resolution. Her writing explores marriage, parenting, in-law and extended family relationships. She is the author of “Related By Chance, Family By Choice” and “I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last.” Deb is the founder of Living-Write, where she coaches aspiring authors. She’s monthly columnist and feature writer for Lifeway’s “Mature Living” Magazine, and has published more than 120 articles online and in print publications. Ron DeArmond has a hungry heart for the Word, and has studied the Bible for 45+ years. Ron’s call to serve men is evident in his previous ministry positions with Christian Men’s Network under Dr. Edwin Lewis Cole and Faithful Men Ministry. Ron is currently the Associate Pastor of men’s ministry at Catch the Fire/ DFW and has ministered around the world. The DeArmonds live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

NKJV Personal Size Study Bible

Paperback: 2400 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Price: $29.99
Purchase: Amazon | CBD | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

The NKJV Study Bible, the most comprehensive study Bible available, now available in a handy personal size with words of Christ in red! The acclaimed NKJV Study Bible is the most complete study system for all who desire accurate study in God’s Word. The Second Edition includes more features to make it the best all-purpose study Bible. Using the trusted New King James Version, The NKJV Study Bible has “the mind of a scholar and the heart of a pastor.” Nelson’s skilled team of scholars has produced the system to reach for when study in God’s Word is the goal.

Features include:

  • NEW attractive new full-color page design
  • NEW stunning Bible-land photos and graphics
  • NEW in-text maps and charts
  • Full cross-references with textual notes
  • Word studies and indexes
  • Bible Times and Culture Notes
  • Book introductions, outlines, and timelines
  • Reader-friendly notes and articles ideal for extended study
  • Deluxe NKJV Concordance including proper names

Review

I happen to love Bibles, so I was curious to see what the NKJV Study Bible would offer, and was pleasantly surprised.

Other than the print being too small for my taste and it being on the bulky side, everything else about this particular bible is to my liking.

I love the color photographs showing the locations corresponding with the verses in connection with biblical history. The extensive cross referencing, exhaustive study notes, word studies and more. This bible is jam packed with helpful information, it’s amazing.

If you want to dig deeper in studying the Word of God, then the NKJV Study Bible is the one for you. I highly recommend it.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Tainted No More by Novelist Blacc Topp

Publisher: BlaccStarr Media Group/ InkSlinger Publishing
Publication Date: November 27, 2015
ASIN: B018O2YHXG
Price: $13.50
Purchase: Amazon | BlaccStarr Media

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

I am a King among peasants and a wolf among sheep……

With Jasmine locked away safely, Monica may be able to concentrate on the pursuit and capture of King Kochese. If there was one thing that the DEA and FBI had taught Agent Monica Deitrich , it was to check everyone and trust no one. Between Millicent and Noisy Boy they keep her busy and content, that is, until a new love interest threatens to tear down everything that she’s built.

A series of gruesome murders are happening simultaneously, spanning from the east coast to the Midwest and they have Jasmine and King’s signature style written all over them. Monica can feel it in her gut that King is behind the murders, but Jasmine is tucked away in a government asylum awaiting trial.

The body count is rising and all roads lead to King Kochese, but how can Monica track a ghost? How can she corner a ghost with unlimited resources and connections, capable of ruining not only her career, but her life with a snap of his cold blooded and calloused fingers!

Review

Tainted No More is the third installment of Novelist Blacc Topp’s Tainted series. If you love horror, thrillers and suspense, with creative plot twists, then this series is definitely for you.

I have read all of Novelist Blacc Topp’s books and he doesn’t disappoint. He is a talented writer who knows how to weave a story and take you on a rollercoaster ride in your imagination.

What I took away from this book, or the central theme for me was the affects of childhood abuse and how it manifests or plays out if it’s left untreated.

I must confess that I don’t typically read this genre. The only reason why I read the Tainted series is because I love Novelist Blacc Topp’s writing style. I happen to like how he develops his stories and characters. He always keeps you guessing, leaves you in suspense and/or surprises you.

I rated Tainted No More five stars for the uniqueness of the story, his writing style, pacing and character development.

Novelist Blacc Topp was born to a father that was a gangster turned preacher and a mother that was a singer, artist, and scholar. He was born into a family of preachers, pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers, dope fiends, and squares. Blacc Topp was raised on the streets of South Dallas, Texas. After the death of his father, feeling as though he had nowhere to turn he turned to the gang. The neighborhood gang, Dixon Circle 357um Gangsta Crips is where he would learn to become ruthless and unfeeling. Although he was deep in the gang and game, he continued his studies for fear that his mother would make him move to Florida.

By the age nineteen he had been shot three times and was on his way to the Texas Department of Corrections with a forty year prison sentence for distribution of narcotics. While inside he lost his youngest sister to the violence of drugs in 1996. After serving seven years, he was granted parole (mainly due to his mother’s efforts). He used the education that he obtained inside to land a job at a top engineering firm in Texas. He used his love of word play to push himself to local fame on the hip-hop scene in Texas and Florida but, he would lose his mother to cancer in 2006, only to lose his oldest sister to cancer in 2008 and he knew something had to change. He began to chronicle his life, his mishaps and his capers which gave birth to The Hustle Chronicles, his debut novel and soundtrack of the same name.

You can follow him at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell


Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10: 0718037626
ISBN-13: 978-0718037628
Price: $15.99
Purchase: Amazon | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

“Feathers—no matter what size or shape or color—are all the same, if you think about them. They’re soft. Delicate. But the secret thing about feathers is . . . they are very strong.”

In the pre-Katrina glow of New Orleans, Amanda Salassi is anxious about chaperoning her daughter’s sixth-grade field trip to the Big Easy during Halloween. And then her worst fears come true. Her daughter’s best friend, Sarah, disappears amid the magic and revelry—gone, without a trace.

Unable to cope with her guilt, Amanda’s daughter sinks into depression. And Amanda’s husband turns destructive as he watches his family succumb to grief. Before long, Amanda’s whole world has collapsed.

Amanda knows she has to save herself before it’s too late. As she continues to search for Sarah, she embarks on a personal journey, seeking hope and purpose in the wake of so much tragedy and loss.

Set amidst the murky parishes of rural Louisiana and told through the eyes of two women who confront the darkest corners of humanity with quiet and unbreakable faith, The Feathered Bone is Julie Cantrell’s master portrait of love in a fallen world.

Review

The Feathered Bone is a fictional account on human trafficking and its aftermath. The story centers around Sarah, who was abducted on a school field trip in New Orleans on Amanda’s watch. The premise of the book surrounds Sarah’s sudden disappearance and its effect on everyone, predominantly Amanda and Ellie, who was Sarah’s best friend.

Instead of Amanda getting the help and support of her husband Carl, she received the complete opposite. The irony is Amanda was a counselor for victims of domestic violence, yet she herself was one. Carl was unable to see beyond himself and placed the blame on Amanda for anything and everything. He was abusive, and eventually left her for a younger woman, when she and their daughter Ellie needed him the most. This pushed Ellie’s depression further, until yet another tragedy ensued, leaving Amanda shattered and hopeless.

The Feathered Bone is a sad, but redemptive story about faith, hope, love and forgiveness.

Personally, I had a difficult time reading this book. One, because it was depressing and two, certain parts of it dragged for me. However, I still rated it five stars based on its original content and writing.

Julie Cantrell is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Into the Free, the 2013 Christy Award winning Book of the Year and recipient of the Mississippi Library Association’s Fiction Award. Cantrell has served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and is a recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship. Her second novel, When Mountains Move, won the 2014 Carol Award for Historical Fiction and, like her debut, was selected for several Top Reads lists. Visit her online at juliecantrell.wordpress.com, Facebook: juliecantrellauthor, and Twitter: JulieCantrell.

Dutch by Kwame Teague

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
ISBN-10: 0446551538
ISBN-13: 978-0446551533
Price: $7.99
Purchase: Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

It is the urban-lit classic that breaks all the rules. It introduces a player who will use any means necessary to dominate the streets-and beyond.

There isn’t an angle he can’t work or a woman he can’t seduce. And it’s taken Bernard James, Jr. aka Dutch, no time at all to turn an African drug lord’s stolen heroin business into the East Coast’s most feared drug empire. And there’s no shortage of enemies vowing to take him down, including a vengeful Mafia heir, an ambitious DA and a conscience-stricken former friend. But none of his enemies can stop what they can’t see. And Dutch has everyone right where he wants them in the end. With his life on the line, and the face of the enemy in everyone he sees, Dutch plays the game and scores a winning hand in the face of all that betrayed him. But, there is one woman Dutch just can’t resist who will shake his ice-cold control to its core. And it will be the one betrayal that he never sees coming that will put more than he ever imagined at risk.

Review

Dutch by Kwame Teague is a street classic. The main protagonist, Bernard James, goes by the name of Dutch, moves up the ranks by first stealing cars with his crew. He gets caught and thrown in jail on his first major heist at the port, and swears to never return to prison again. He devises a plan with his crew to go after a major kingpin who everyone feared, that’s until Dutch discovers his weak link and kills him.

After he kills him, he pays a visit to the Italian mafia, and presents them with a surprise. The leader is convinced Dutch is ruthless, and decides to reluctantly agree to his proposition of working in collaboration with him. It was then that Dutch becomes the most feared man on the streets. Unfortunately, this didn’t last for long because many were not happy with the arrangement, and that’s when things took a drastic turn for the worst. The next thing Dutch knew he was on trial for crimes he allegedly committed.

Kwame Teague is a creative genius and gifted story teller. This book read like a movie. To me, Dutch is the perfect gangster. All the characters were real, and the way the story was written kept you in suspense. The ending was shocking as it was explosive. 

If you want to get your first taste of urban/street literature, I highly recommend this book.

Hailing from Newark, New Jersey, Kwame Teague is the award winning, critically acclaimed, and Essence #1 bestselling author of the street classic Dutch trilogy. His other novels include Above The Law, the Dynasty trilogy, ? (pronounced Que), The Adventures of Ghetto Sam and the Glory of My Demise and Thug Politics under the pseudonym Dutch. With a passion for writing, Kwame is always hard at work on his next novel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Daughter’s Army by Greg Hogben

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications
ISBN-10: 1634761928
ISBN-13: 978-1634761925
Price: $17.99
Purchase: Amazon | BN | DSP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Has a gay man been chosen to raise the Daughter of God? Or is Adam Goodwin’s adopted daughter plagued by a benevolent delusion that threatens to undermine her global campaign for women’s rights?

From the moment Adam Goodwin discovered baby Sera abandoned in Grand Central Station, they shared an unexplainable bond. Sera grows into a compassionate and charismatic young woman, despite Adam’s worries that she may have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality. Does her hypersensitivity to the suffering of others show compassion―or troubling obsession?

Adam channels Sera’s growing fixation on gender inequality into uniting her army of social media followers to battle the worldwide oppression of women. But the encouragement he hoped would alleviate the symptoms of a possible mental illness only appear to make matters worse. The stress and success of her crusade seem to have brought on a mental break when she confides that she believes she is the female Messiah, sent to redress the injustices women face.

With enemies of her cause multiplying, Adam must protect Sera from the threats they pose―and from the threat she may pose to herself.

Review

The story begins with Adam Goodwin grieving over the loss of his companion, Michael, and then finding an abandoned baby in Grand Central station.

The baby was handed over to the authorities. But Adam couldn’t stop thinking about her, and wondered if she was ok. Being he’s an attorney, he did a little investigating and found her. He winds up adopting her and names her, Sera. He raises her as a single parent with the assistance of his brother Aaron, and three women who live in his building.

Based on peculiar and unusual occurrences surrounding Sera, Adam became concerned she may be delusional, especially when she continues to speak of her friend, Sophia, whom he deems as fictitious or imaginary.

After she graduates high school, she decides to take a trip around the world with her three friends. When she returns however, she doesn’t look herself. She had lost a lot of weight, and appeared frail, drained and exhausted. It all makes sense once she begins telling her father and uncle the types of things she and her friends experienced.

After witnessing all that she had, she felt compelled to do something about it. She wanted to return, but her father suggested she start a blog instead. Her uncle Aaron helped set up the blog, and then she began writing the dramatic stories of the women she met. Little did any of them know, it would start a movement and result in thousands of young women following her on social media.

However, things took a dramatic turn once she confessed she was the Daughter of God.

Greg Hogben is a brilliant writer and story teller. My Daughter’s Army didn’t read like fiction for me. It carries a profound message and touches on serious issues. It opened my eyes to the tragic realities occurring worldwide.

I highly recommend My Daughter’s Army and believe it’s an important book that should be read by everyone.

Greg Hogben is a British author based in Washington DC. Greg is a human rights advocate with a particular focus on raising awareness of worldwide women’s rights and LGBT equality. Follow him on Twitter and his blog with The Huffington Post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Anger Meridian by Kaylie Jones

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Akashic Books (July 7, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1617753513
ISBN-13: 978-1617753510
Price: $15.95
Purchase: Amazon | BN | Akashic Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Merryn Huntley is rudely awakened to the many bad decisions she has made in her life when she is told by two Dallas police officers that her wealthy husband Beau has been killed in a car accident, along with a local waitress. Merryn’s first instinct is to flee in order to protect her nine-year-old daughter, and the only place that feels safe enough is her mother’s beautiful, isolated home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Merryn’s mother, the redoubtable Bibi, always said to her as a child, When you tell a lie, make sure you keep it as close to the truth as possible, because it will be easier to remember. Ironically, from the moment Merryn arrives, she is forced into twisting the truth—about how much she knew of her husband and his shady business affairs; about her own secret lovers; and most importantly, that she is beginning to doubt the one person who has always been the greatest influence in her life: her mother.

The situation worsens when two FBI agents show up and begin to ask Merryn questions about her husband’s business, which only intensifies her need to continue lying. While Merryn’s perfect world begins to crumble around her, she must decide whether or not she can face the most painful reality of all—that she has been lying to herself her entire life.

Review

Kaylie Jones is an absolutely beautiful writer. The Anger Meridian was a unique, interesting, emotionally charged, suspenseful, surprising and romantic story. It had a little bit of everything. The characters were real, complex and dynamic.

Kaylie Jones brings San Miguel de Allende to life, rich in its landscape and vivid imagery. Everything she describes, you are able to experience with your senses.

I was transported into Merryn’s world, between her deceased husband, her mother Bibi, her nine year old daughter Tenney, and all the other relationships she formed. Kaylie Jones describes the inner workings, psychological and emotional dimensions of Merryn with such depth, including her secrets, and the lies she’s forced to tell.

The mood, pacing, prose and plot is phenomenal. The events which transpire in this story, keep you guessing and wondering what will happen next.

This is by far my favorite novel in 2015. I highly recommend it.

KAYLIE JONES has published seven books, including a memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me, and her most recent novel, The Anger Meridian. Her novel A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries was adapted as a Merchant Ivory film in 1998. Jones has been teaching for more than twenty-five years, and is a faculty member in the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing & Literature program and in Wilkes University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. She is the author of Speak Now and the editor of Long Island Noir. Her newest endeavor is her publishing imprint with Akashic Books, Kaylie Jones Books.

You can follow Kaylie Jones on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Blaque Widow by Allison Grace

Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Illuminnessence Publishing
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983048185
ISBN-13: 978-0983048183
Price: $11.99
Purchase: Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Taryn Durand believed in happily ever after but the man she married didnt believe in her. After being married to someone that didn’t love her or want her happiness she sought it out on her own in a way no one imagined. Taryn eventually gets her mind, body and soul right and in that she meets Asher. There’s something different about Asher yet he knows there’s something different aboout Taryn. Soon the differences that keep them apart will bring them together and they will be fighting to either stay together or live their lives separately. Will true love prevail?

Review

Blaque Widow draws you in from page one. The story is about the main protagonist, Taryn and who endures abuse by her mother, Edith, and her ex-boyfriend Trenton who happens to be sleeping with her mother.

After Taryn tears away from Trenton and her mother. She meets Devon, with the hopes things would be different and he would love her unconditionally. Sadly, after they got married, he starts to abuse her too.

It was only when Devon dies from an “accident” that Taryn was set free. She decides to join a gym and meets Asher, who becomes her personal trainer. They seem to have a connection and chemistry, however, because of all the abuse she endured, she is afraid to let him in.

Allison Grace creatively pens the consequences and affects of abuse. She exposes the self-hatred, and how abuse plays out mentally, emotionally, psychologically and physically. This story shows the extreme measures of what could happen, when abuse is not addressed and goes unchecked.

Blaque Widow is shocking, surprising and suspenseful. The story ends on a cliff hanger, and I look forward to the sequel.

Meet Allison Edwards formerly known as Essence M & now known as “Allison Grace”. The beautiful brain behind Illuminnessence Publishing, founded in  2007 by this avid writer/ reader who began her love affair with words at a tender age. Allison went on to create an extensive catalog of unpublished works including poetry & short stories.

Allison’s passion for words began in early childhood, she had always been fond of reading about life, love, poetry and short stories. As she matured, she challenged herself to hone her craft, exploring various story lines and navigating into the tumultuous world of adult relationships. Throughout her teen & young adult years she decided to put pen to paper and indulge one of her fantasies, to become a writer. Some of her favorite authors include Donald Goines, VC Andrews, Jackie Collins, Judy Blume and ZANE. This eccentric choice of novels allowed her to see different genres, writing styles and what they entailed. Each were very different and taught her a lot with regards to target audiences, story lines, and descriptions. Nothing prepared her however for her venture into Urban Literature.Allison’s first experience with Urban Lit began when she, as an avid reader received a message from one who promoted for a brand new unknown publishing company and was seeking assistance in promoting novels. Members would receive a chance to win free books and other spectacular prizes. Allison jumped at the chance and was soon an official Street Team/Pep Squad member of the “Cartel Publications” spearheaded by Essence Best-selling Author T Styles and her partner Vice President, Charisse Washington. They both would play an important role in Allison’s literary career later on as mentors.Their influences and support caused Allison to link up with KingPen A.S of HHEAT Magazine and she was able to co host a show with him featuring authors on Blog Talk Radio. Authors interviewed include K.D Harris, Jason Poole, Iesha Brown, and much more. This allowed Allison access to an industry untapped where new and established authors were able to speak with her regarding novels they wanted to promote. She then took on the responsibility of hosting her own radio show which showcased authors such as Takerra Allen, Tanisha “Mahogani P” Pettiford as well as others. During this time, Allison shamelessly continued to promote The Cartel Publications and began writing her first novel.

It is with that unwavering tenacity that we’ve arrived at this point. Allison’s first venture into self publication “Broken Promises Never Mend” became available in paperback in January 2010.  An amended version of which was released June 2010 in paperback, which features a new cover. It premiered on Amazon for Kindle, as of June 2010 as well. Allison learned various lessons while putting this novel together. Some of which she’s still learning to this day and with every novel she improves her craft and tries harder. She proved that by releasing a follow up to her debut less than a year later showing naysayers that she wasn’t a one hit wonder.

The sizzling sequel Bound By Lies debuted on Amazon for Kindle, February 2011 to rave reviews and is still causing mouths to drop with an ending that rivals its predecessor. Both novels are considered an “underground success” and were edited by Brandie Randolph of Editing Couture. Allison followed up with a novel for the streets entitled Bittersweet which showed the world that she was here to stay. During a brief hiatus, Allison published a short story series (Bitch Clique) that brought just as much drama as an entire season of “Scandal”.

Allison is currently focused on a collection of other works slated for release in 2016, under her  imprint “Full of Essence Publications”. The idea to reinvent herself came about with prayer and the desire to be so much more than she already established herself to be. In 2013, Allison Grace was signed to an independent publisher “Sevyn McCray Presents” spearheaded by Sevyn McCray and David Weaver of SBR Publications. Her novel under that imprint PrePaid Mistress debuted at number 5 on the Amazon Bestsellers list for African American women’s fiction. She followed up with the sequel Prepaid Mistress 2 and also revamped her ebook series Bitch Clique Reloaded into a full length action packed standalone. in 2015, Allison released an emotionally charged novel focusing on domestic violence and addiction entitled Blaque Widow. Allison anticipates an abundance of blessings in 2016 and beyond beginning with work on other titles she’s got in store as well as promoting authors that seek her assistance in publishing.

“I was blessed to enter this industry and know how hard it is, so the least I can do is give back.” she says with a gleam in her eye and a smile on her face. This native New Yorker prides herself in assisting others and promotes literacy to her children. This isn’t the end of Allison Grace and we can tell she’s got a long way to go but the rewards have been phenomenal.

You can follow Allison Grace on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Bishop’s Mistress by CJ Miller

Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Rhea Leto Media Group (September 18, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0990472736
ISBN-13: 978-0990472735
Price: $14.99
Purchase: cjmillerbooks.com | Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Bishop James Samuel Jr. lives the typical, flashy lifestyle of a successful Los Angeles, California bishop. He drives luxury cars, has two thriving churches, and has the reputation every minister wished to possess. The Bishop’s life appears to be scandal free. However, will his highly visible and anointed lifestyle remain intact after Patrick? Patrick is a member of the Bishop’s church, a former drug lord whose Christian virtues are tested when he discovers his wife, Kerrah, is his Bishop’s mistress. Will the Bishop and his blessed life survive the wrath of a scorned husband who is still learning to forgive?

Review

This is my first introduction to CJ Miller’s work, and I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. As I mentioned on my video reviewThe Bishop’s Mistress is a Christian urban book. However, it’s not your atypical Christian novel. It’s different than most Christian books I’ve read and reviewed, as it’s real, gritty and relatable.

The Bishop’s Mistress is about a good looking, prominent and anointed Bishop James, who is married to a wealthy white woman by the name of Janice. He loves Janice, but falls from grace by having a steamy, and passionate affair with one of his church members; a sexy, attractive black woman by the name of Kerrah. Kerrah happens to be married to Patrick, who is a dangerous drug dealer.

Patrick finds out that Kerrah is cheating on him with the Bishop and the consequences that spiral out of his discovery will leave you in suspense.

Perhaps there are those who would not agree that someone would go to the extent as Patrick did to avenge his betrayal. However, I believe the circumstances to be realistic, if someone is angry and ruthless enough. Anything is possible and can happen when you take a chance and cheat. It’s like playing Russian Roulette with your life and soul.

I really enjoyed this book, it draws you in from the very start and continues throughout the entire book. There is a moral and message to this story, without feeling like you’re being preached at. I highly recommend it and look forward to reading more by CJ Miller.

CJ Miller was raised in Southern California and started writing at the age of ten. After graduating from Wilberforce University in 2004, he fell in love with the writing process. Miller believes writing is CPR for the soul.  He is the author of the book Grind How To Turn Your Coffee Break Into Your Big Break, a book dedicated to showing readers how to strategically utilize coffee shops and effective network to turn their dreams into reality and the novel, The Bishop’s Mistress.

CJ Miller is nationally and internationally recognized for his roles on reality television shows such as Season 1 of the ABC Networks and Tyra Banks “True Beauty”, TV Ones Donald J. Trump Presents The Ultimate Merger, and as a reoccurring personality on the Tyra Banks daytime talk show. CJ is a sought after consultant for creative ideas in the entertainment industry and book projects.

CJ is also the founder of H-Eleven 1 Innovation, a nonprofit organization which creates community enrichment programs geared towards youth. The nonprofit’s most successful program is the Phabb5 After School Book Publishing program; a turn-key book publishing program that teaches students in underserved communities to write, publish, and brand their own books. The goal of the program is to increase matriculation and reverse the trend of illiteracy in underserved communities while bridging the gap between classroom, corporations, and community.

These days you can find CJ encouraging students at Locke high school to write their stories and graduate from school. He is also the author of the new released novel, Dirty Dolls.

You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.