Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: Harmony Cabins - Regina Hart


Audra Lane, Grammy award winning songwriter is sent away by her manager to a  secluded cabin resort in a small town in hopes to get inspiration in writing her next hit record.  She meets Jack Sansberry, the resort's owner and a depressed recluse.

Jack didn't want Audra to stay at his resort initially as he has been a hermit  for almost two years and had not rented a cabin to anyone since then. He decides to let her stay, and slowly she begins to chip away at his ice coated heart, making him want to feel again.

Honestly, I was thrown off by the cover as silly as that may be. It didn't draw me in or make the book look interesting enough for me to read. I was pleasantly surprised as I turned the pages, however. I guess it's true what they say, never judge a book by its cover.

A very light and heartwarming story.  I give this 4 stars.

4 Stars


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: Nothing To Lose - Angela Winters

Product Details

  • File Size: 896 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0758286562
  • Publisher: Kensington Books (November 26, 2013)


Three best friends each with their own set of problems, help encourage one another through marital problems, financial struggle, and political scandal.

I had a hard time focusing while reading this novel. It had a lot of characters/ situations, and I couldn't keep up with them all. The book was just a little too busy for me, but it did have a good storyline overall.

I give it three stars.

3 Stars


Review: Spent - Antonia Crane


I loved the cover right off the bat because it was different and beautiful. I will say I was shocked at some of the things that went on in this story. I'm not a prude at all, but I know I was blushing up a storm. This was also an emotional story at times and had me in tears at one point. It takes a strong individual to have so many negative life experiences and still have the courage to fight for her dreams and the rights of others.

This book gives the reader an unadulterated look into the world of drugs and the sex industry, but ends up being so much more than this. This story will take you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions and leave you thinking about it long after the last page.

I gave this book 4 stars !!  

4 Stars

Billie Jo

Spotlight/Review: Why Can't We See GOD - Rickey Teems II

Harry and Sherry discover that just because we can't see God, doesn't mean He isn't there!

Paperback: 19 pages
Publisher: NoGuile Books (January 26, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983222649
ISBN-13: 978-0983222644
Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.8 x 0.2 inches


When I was a kid, I would always wonder Where was GOD? and if he existed Why couldn't I see him/her? The answer I always received was HE exists because it's just what it is. It wasn't until later in my youth that I began to understand the mysteries of GOD.

Why Can't We See GOD is a perfect book for preschool-age kids and up. The illustrations are bright and colorful, which will keep the attention of children. Mr. Teems put his one of a kind spark by adding symbols of GOD throughout the book.

I highly recommend this book for parents who are trying to find an easy way to explain to their children Why Can't We See GOD. I can't wait for more of Harry & Sherry's adventures.

5 Stars


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Review: Fortune & Fame - Victoria Christopher Murray/Reshonda Tate Billingsley

Reality TV will never be the same!  Rachel Adams has just been cast on the newest OWN produced reality show, First Ladies.  Jasmine Bush has also been casted but little do these frenemies know, so have women from their past.

For Rachel, it is Mary, the natural mother of her son Lester, Jr.  The same Mary who was sent to prison for fraud and identity theft - the same Mary who made Rachel life H-E-double hockey sticks.  Mary who is married to an up and coming preacher is now looking for redemption.  Since her incarceration, Mary has turned her life around and is now married to a preacher; however, everything is not what it seems. Her husband is a slick talking, anything but a man of God preacher.  He has his eye on reality tv and the fortune and fame that comes with it.  For Jasmine, it is Natalia, former fiancĂ©e of Jasmine's husband.  She is once again determined to get him back at all costs.  To make matters worse, for favorite fixer, Olivia Pope's mentor, Mae Francis is sick with pneumonia!

This drama filled story had me laughing out loud.  It is clear that the writers are fans of reality TV.  They have captured the good, the bad and the downright crazy of all that is "reality" television. I especially loved the scenes where the producers manipulated the scenes so that the women would attack each other.  

Once again Jasmine and Rachel prove, we can mess with each other but don't you dare!  Get the popcorn and Pepsi because this one is drama!

5 Stars


Review: The Replacement Wife - Tiffany Warren


What happens to your heart once you soul mate dies?  Quentin Chambers buried not only his true love, but his heart and song on the day his wife died.  Left to raise their five children alone, Quentin goes through the motions. 

Due to Quentin's schedule, his mother hires a nanny for the younger children.  Montana Ellis is down on her luck.  As fate would have it, she was offered the position of nanny of Quentin's children.  It comes with room and board in one of Atlanta's most prestigious neighborhoods.

While he is a loving father, the whole left by the death of his wife is just too big to fill.  Enter Chloe Brooks.

Chloe is a professional gold digger  From the moment, she attended Quentin's wife funeral under the guise of getting close to the family. She has had her sights set on Quentin and his millions.  Chloe is not above using Quentin's 16-year-old daughter to get what she wants.

Tiffany Warren's story is one of redemption. Through God, healing is possible even when it seems like things are too much to bear.  This story was engaging, and I hope the author continues the story.

4 Stars


Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: Just Between Us - Adrienne Thompson, Selena Haskins, TM Brown, Janice Ross, Nicole Dunlap, Tamika Christy


I had a hard time thinking about what to say about “Just between Us"... I do love reading about the lives and struggles that women go through, but I guess I didn’t get enough information out of each story. I felt like I needed to read more. I’m feeling that short stories are not my type of reading. I like when a writer breaks it down, and you just can’t put the book down.

My favorite was the story by Tamika Christy called “For the Love of You." After I read her story, I had a lot of information about her life, and I could relate to a lot of it. She talked a lot about her parents and her relationship with them. I understood what her values in life were.

Overall, all the stories were good. It’s something to read about what other women go through and how They relate to you and your life.

I give “Just Between us” 4 stars.

4 Stars


Thursday, February 20, 2014


Iris Bolling

(Creator and Executive Producer of The Heart Television Series)

How did you begin the planning process of the Heart Television Show?

Well, I would like to first like to say thank you for hosting my cast on your blog. I had the idea for several years. However, I was missing the pieces to put the puzzle together. My producer, Nikkea Smithers, and I, were attending a literary conference organized by BRAB. We put our heads together to outline the beginning stages of planning. Once we returned to our home city, Richmond, VA, we started implementing our strategies.

How did you fund the project?

I utilized my funds from book sales, credit cards, and the Kickstarter Program. I have awesome fans and friends who supported my vision!

Describe the Schedule.

We filmed for 7 weekends. Many said that it could not be done. However, I want to be inspiration to others. Don’t let others stop your vision. I have great friends,family, cast, and crew that made sure that all things went smoothly. I was blessed to have friends and family members let me use their houses, cars, etc. to assist with filming. People volunteered their time and services to get things done!

Where can we find episodes of the show?

Currently, the show is airing on CW Richmond. The first episode is available on Youtube Starting in March, you will be able to purchase the entire series on DVDS.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review: Inevitable Act 1 - Johnie Jay


Heart break is no stranger to Angel McCloud.Vowing to give relationships a break. She looks to spice up her life, and she has just the right thing in mind a no string attached fling. After a night out with her girls she decides to give a couple of her potentials a chance to tame her sexual beast. Only problem is she can't seem to get this one guy off her mind. Being left with only a visual to remember him by, she left with a feeling she never had before.

Future Crow, the helpless romantic has now turned into a player. Not looking for a relationship no time soon he can only offer the ladies a night of great sex. Future thinks he has the ladies all figured out he comes across his match who is just like him a women name Kandi. Life has a funny way of playing out when he can seem to get this unknown woman off his mind could it be fate?  

This was a great story. Although it started off slow, but it picked up. With its steamy love scenes, it will have you craving more. The characters were on point with their drama, and the humor was definitely a good addition. Great read from a new author. I can't wait to read more.

4.5 Stars


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Spotlight: Stephen Cheeks - THE HEART SERIES (Iris Bolling)

Stephen Cheeks

Describe your experience on the set?

Being on set was truly an amazing experience for me. Acting was something that I have never done before, but being around these incredible people made it easy for me. We all consider each other family, and it definitely feels that way. The cast and crew are some extremely talented people. I believe in ways we all made each other better on set. That’s why I believe this series is so powerful.

Does Turk have soft spot? If so, describe it.

Tracy. Tracy is the only person that can get to Turk. He will give his life just to make sure his little sister is okay. Tracy is Turk’s soft spot. The love Turk has for his sister is unconditional, but it also can be dangerous.

What are your next projects?

While working on The Heart, I have also been working on my 1st official Album, which will be released the same day as the show. February 15, 2014. Along side with the album, I will be releasing my first single from the album titled “Damn”. The will be available on iTunes and Amazon. Upcoming shows locally as well as

To stay updated with all my upcoming events: 

Follow me on Twitter - (@dewonsofficial).
Like my Facebook page - (
Follow me on Instagram - (@dewonsofficial).
Check out my website

Review: Mama's Child - Joan Steinau Lester


Mama's Child was an enthralling read from beginning to end. You're immediately pulled into each of the character's lives and are able to visualize and feel their day to day struggles. This was one of those stories that transcends race. It's about a bi-racial family and the hardships involved in trying to survive and raise children in an era where it's frowned upon, even dangerous. The author did a fantastic job of making these issues believable and accurate. I imagine that a lot of families are faced with similar situations regardless of color during these times. Divorce, teenage rebellion, feminism, anxiety, identity crisis, the list goes on and on. Race, in my opinion, has no bearing on these outcomes and are a part of living and learning.

Lizzie's character was just okay for me. She started off very sure of herself in the beginning, wanting to make a difference and change a broken society and then kind of backtracked and became wishy-washy. I didn't quite get the reasoning behind this. I think it was because of her relationship became more about the politics of being together than love.
Ruby just rubbed me the wrong way most of the time. I get that she didn't agree with some of the decisions her mother made, but she just came across as a petulant child in my eyes. I feel she was wrong for completely cutting her mother out of her life, and this made me want to reach in the book and slap the therapist who recommended it!! Who does that??
Overall, this was a very well written story, and I enjoyed every minute of it!! I most definitely recommend as a must read!

5 Stars

Billie Jo

Monday, February 17, 2014

Spotlight: Aaron Wiggins - THE HEART (Iris Bolling)

                                                       Aaron Wiggins (JD Harrison)

Describe your character: Jeffrey JD Harrison is an Assistant District Attorney in the city of Richmond. He has a close and loving relationship with his good friends from HS, college and work. He cares deeply for his mother and is highly protective and proud of his younger sister and plays the role of protector and gentlemen to the woman in his life.

He goes through a natural progress and maturity that most men do from being a true ladies man to being a one woman lady and has to deal with a round of broken hearts who are not used to his maturity and decision making in selecting his #1 lady Tracy Washington. He is truly dedicated to his line of work, taking his role and responsibilities on the job very seriously because his goal is to take down gangs and crime, the same two things that robbed his father of life. He works to honor his father who feel in the line of duty and vows not to let the crime and gangs take over the communities of Richmond. JD shows plenty of emotion when it comes to his to loves which are his mission and his lady. He definitely has the potential to be anything he wants politically with the backing of his team of friends who are all connected to the right people so upward mobility is not a question.

Getting some of those ex-lovers out of the way of his career path and overall happiness with Tracy is a recurring them, so his mission is to avoid the drama that seems to follow him around.  I think the audience will get a chance to see the true love and friendship that is alive in the relationship with Tracy. They will also see that certain influential people in his life will do anything to make sure that this love does not withstand the test of time.

JD is a kind, fun, loving man who is respectful, but quick to check and correct those who take his kindness as a weakness in efforts to involve him and his*What are the tips to become a successful actor?

For anyone who is interested in becoming a successful actor I would recommend that they network with as many people on the sets as possible that they are working on. You never know who knows the right people to help you move to your next level of achievement in this industry. Often times like on any job site, we associate and make conversation with those we feel comfortable with. However, when you reach out to that person who you typically wouldn't talk with, you will discover that you and that person have a lifetime of experiences that can be tips, suggestions and guidance to help you on your way.

Also you never know when you will work with that person again and they may remember you when they are asked to aid in casting for a project. That's ultimately how the majority of the cast of "The Heart" came to be.

What are your next projects?

I have a couple of nationally broadcast commercials coming debuting for National Association of Realtors and Sprout TV on PBS. I also have a set of industrial videos for undisclosed agencies that are approaching, which are always fun. Sometimes they are the most exciting because you get sneak peaks at real life inventions before the rest of the world knows about it.

Mostly I will have more exciting interviews for The Heart, so follow the progress of this project and tell your network to tell their network about this amazing project. What if this is the show to but Richmond on the map. Not just as a place where dramatic political settings are found, but future filming opportunities which will mean so much for the beautiful people of Richmond.

Review: Anybody's Daughter - Pamela Samuels Young


When you give your daughter a cell, you don’t imagine that bad things may happen to her. You never envision that she may be a victim of kidnapping or maybe even worse. In “Anybody’s Daughter,” Pamela Samuels Young grabs you by the hand and drags you on a fast-paced journey to a place where no one’s daughter should have to go.

Brianna is a twelve-year-old girl who innocently meets her new boyfriend, Jaden while enjoying the benefits of having a smart phone. Jaden, a “good boy,” encourages Brianna to meet him in person after five weeks of sweet inboxes and text messages. Brianna lies to her mom and sneaks away to meet Jaden. Once she arrives the unthinkable happens! There’s no Jaden and from this moment forth her life changes forever.

Dre, Brianna’s uncle, is a reformed criminal as the result of his walking away from the life as a successful drug dealer. She looks just like him, and he loves her as his own. When Dre gets the news that his beloved niece is missing, he immediately begins the search for Brianna. With an all-star cast, that includes some street-smart guys, his attorney ex-girlfriend, Angela and a whole lot of prayer, Dre will stop at nothing until his niece is home safe.

Will he succeed? Will Brianna be okay? These answers await you as you read this amazing novel!

Pamela Samuels Young masterfully tells a story while revealing the painful truths that some of today’s youth unfortunately experience. As a parent or future parent, I’m sure you’d like to believe that nothing this horrible could happen to your child. Truth is: no one is exempt because it truly could be anybody’s daughter.

You will not want to put this book down. I finished it in less than 24 hours! I was captivated from start to finish. I absolutely loved it! Five stars!

5 Stars


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Virtual Book Blog Tour/Review: Forgive Me - Stacy Campbell


Aruba Dixon's fairy tale life has come to an end. After losing her husband to a disease, she finds herself not being able to cope with life and decides to end it all. Leaving her parents no other choice they decide to reach out to her ex-husband for help.

James is finally living his dream of owning a chain of hair salons. Now that his life is back on track he feels like one thing is missing, but the past always has a way of finding you.

Five years later, Twatha Gibson is grateful to be out of prison. Left alone after everyone has turned their back on her; she still has hope that one day she will be able to reunite with her only daughter.

Victoria Faulk is back on her feet after her first divorce. Starting a new life, she meets Emory, who is ready to be her husband, but she knows that until she learns to forgive and forget, she will never be happy.

As these women, all face their troubles in life will they learn how to forgive & forget?

This was a great follow up sequel. Although it started off very slow in some parts, I liked how the story came together. Good way to end the series.

4 Stars


Stacy Campbell is an author born and raised in Sparta, Georgia. A graduate of Albany State University, Stacy was bitten by the writing bug after hearing her elderly relatives share family stories on her front porch.  Her work has been published by the Detroit Writers Guild, Indiana Writers at Home, and Georgia magazine. 

Her first novel, Dream Girl Awakened, was published in February 2013 under Strebor Books, a Simon and Schuster imprint.  Stacy’s subsequent novels, Forgive Me, and Wouldn’t Change a Thing, are also under the Strebor imprint and will be published in 2014 and 2015, respectively. When she’s not creating new characters or honing the writing craft, she’s most likely spending time with her family, trying out new recipes, or dining at new restaurants for dinner ideas. 

You can visit her at,, or @stacycampbell20 on Twitter.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Review: Weight loss for people who feel too much - Colette Baron-Reid


There are so many weight loss books in the market, so why should you spend another dollar on this book? It's simple - this book is needed. Colette Baron-Reid breaks down the emotional baggage we carry that leads to weight gain.

Most people open diet books and turn straight to the meal plan page, without taking the time to soak in the information given. Yes, you can lose weight eating the right foods, but until you understand why you packed on the pounds in the first place - you are more than likely to gain the weight back.

Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much is a book that focuses on Forgiveness, Self-Acceptance, Being Empathetic, and many more topics related to Weight Loss.

She also talks about the KISS rule:

Keep It Simple
IN-Vision Exercises

There's no easy way around losing weight. You can have surgery - you can drink shakes; you can starve yourself, and you can pop pills - but until you do the work mentally you will continue to be on the never-ending Ferris wheel.

4 Stars


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: The Storytellers Online Book Tour - William Fredrick Cooper

From the critically acclaimed author of Six Days in January and There’s Always a Reason, this eagerly anticipated novel follows one man’s emotional journey to find love and triumph over despair.

It’s Valentine’s Day; seven years ago, William McCall lost Linda Woodson—the woman who restored his faith and hope. Still grieving her death, he drowns his sorrows at a local bar in Manhattan, when a new woman enters his life…

Keisha Gray is a Michigan schoolteacher visiting the Big Apple, and when she first meets William, they bond over their shared love for Michael Jackson. Soon they connect over much more and set out on a journey to heal their broken pasts. William is still trying to get over his heartbreak, while Keisha is on a journey to rediscover her self-worth after the double murder of her parents. The couple travels through New York, South Carolina, and Michigan to sort through their pasts and renew their faith in God, life, and love.

Highly emotional and embedded with powerful messages, Unbreakable is a love ballad that explores adversity, human connection, and what it takes to heal a broken heart.

Unbreakable: A Novel
by William Fredrick Cooper



(Inspired by the song 'Unbreakable' by Michael Jackson...)
In 2001, Michael Jackson and Sony Records disagreed over the first commercial single released from the album ‘Invincible’. Vehemently stating his case, ‘The King of Pop’ desperately wanted the song ‘Unbreakable’ to be heard initially; instead, Sony chose to drop ‘You Rock My World’. Because of contractual disputes which killed the promotional push on the album, the dynamic standout was never released as a single. Well, it never got released, but… Delivering a high-voltage jolt to my soul, I am introducng my new book with a statement of transparency with the hopes that it helps someone handle life a little better than I have. Please follow me on this one…

PICTURE THIS: We’re in Miami, Florida, and the Hit Factory recording studio is rocking a Michael Jackson track produced by hit maker Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins. Reeling you in, its piano-driven hook and relentless R&B-meets-gospel sound thumped.

Stomping out negativity and placing perseverance into your soul, the message in the music was blunt: Do not let anything or anyone steal your joy.

The jam, "Unbreakable", (featuring The Notorious B.I.G. with background vocals by Brandy) was an infectious groove that had everyone in the studio dancing. Everyone, that is, except Author William Fredrick Cooper.

Somber from news he received hours earlier - a disturbing bulletin that likened him to a used car salesman - the melody was muted by tears in his eyes.

After everything that’s happened in his life, he was baffled.

Should he allow cemetery dirt to be thrown on him by way of insults and assumptions, or finally respond after years of quiet?

Imagining that the Gloved One and Biggie Smalls were on the other side of the room, he thought of the advice they might offer.

"Say something, but do it with L-O-V-E," the King of Pop stated.

Christopher Wallace agreed, sneering, "Let your haters motivate you to spit something sweet."

Taking a hand towel from his back pocket, the writer blew his nose.

"Man, I made mistakes in life just like anyone else, but people piled onto my errors and took advantage of my honesty. Some of that’s my fault, because I always looked for approval from others instead of relying on my inner strength. Others not used to my deep emotions think I’m a pity-seeking martyr, which is totally off-base.”

Biggie answered, “Tell them where to go, how to get there and make em’ kiss your ass before walking.”

Battling laughter along with everyone in the studio, MJ reiterated his insight.

“That’s not you, William. You have a beautiful heart no one understands. Again, if you say anything do it with love, man.”

Sighing, the perplexed writer said, "I gotta toughen up and remember that they talked about Jesus..."

Suddenly, the light bulb that comes with a breakthrough came on.

Feeling a surge of energy, the novelist identified with what LeBron James might have felt on June 7th, 2012. With his Miami Heat on the brink of elimination -they were down 3 games to 2 in the Eastern Conference Finals - media pundits all around the globe ready to bury him forever, the organization ready to break up his team and everything he worked for hanging in the balance, he realized this was his defining moment in his life, his last chance to man up.

Then with a focused, fearless stare he torched the Celtics and Boston Garden for 45 (points) 15 (rebounds) and 5 (assists).

He's now a two-time NBA CHAMPION, but that was the night LeBron James became who God created him to be, a King.

“Can I borrow your gift for a tick, MJ? I won’t moonwalk away with it, man,” William persuaded.

Beaming, Michael Jackson knew what was about to happen.

Holding his hand for a tick, he said, “Make it funky!”

The beleaguered author wasn’t done.

“Biggie, I’m gonna need yours, too.”

Clearly perturbed, Hip-Hop’s greatest storyteller on wax had an announcement.

“You better bring it, or there’s gonna be a lot of…”

“Neck wringin’ and fist swingin’, if my words aren’t particularly stingin’… Chill, brother, I got this,” William said.

Begrudgingly, the charcoal-skinned wordsmith stepped to the scribe. Removing his screw-face, he too tapped the three-time author and warned, “C-4 to your door, Coop.”

“Biggie… I get it.”

Stepping to the mic in the sound room, knowing this was an absolute moment of truth, the determined glare in his eyes spoke words his mouth didn’t say.

Heavenly Father, I know this is my last shot. I’ll do my best and leave the end result in Your hands.

Shouting to the mastermind to so many jams for Mary Mary, Toni Braxton, the late Whitney Houston and others, "Rodney," he screamed.

A booming "Yo," response came from the control room.

"Can you play the “Unbreakable” instrumental? In my own words I want to let something fly."

"You got it!"

“And could you play it loud?”

“Punishing loud, Coop?”

“No, pulverizing loud. I want the message to be clear.”

“No doubt.”

Darkchild, I hope they’re ready for this…

Blowing out the speakers, bluntness with a bangin’ beat returned to the room.

Accompanying the deep rhythm was a man with an edge. Entering a zone that comes with a renewing of mind, perhaps all the gobbledygook - being told he’s ‘an author in title only’ that ‘cries too much’, the “My Space Wag Attack” that nearly shattered his spirit; being called “phony”, “pretentious” and worse names when perceiving his passion for love, life and the empowerment of black literature as arrogance; all the mistakes trusting people with selfish agendas; the “weak,” and “gay” labels by those unfamiliar with Black Male sensitivity; the outlandish investigations and crazy job dismissals because of writing, losing all he owned not once but twice, the failed attempts at love in all the wrong places while letting the right ones get away; all those nights sleeping on office floors daring to dream and in a prostitute/drug infested rooming house after a devastating breakup, all those toilets cleaned fighting to keep his dreams alive; the four life-threatening situations with a knife-wielding man battling demons…

Perhaps all the gobbledygook in that crazy bowl of life led to this. Rising from the ashes, he had a powerful word for all those who counted him out: the runaway train was on new tracks, coming through the station hard. Perfectly fitting this fresh swag, someone turned the flame up on the stove and the silence simmering so long in stainless steel stillness finally boiled over. Bobbing his head, years of restraint was the detonation, and in staccato rhythm he set off an explosion that left everyone in the studio wide-eyed.


( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, WILLIAM FREDRICK COOPER. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.

Unbreakable: A Novel
by William Fredrick Cooper


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