Saturday, May 16, 2015

#Book Review - He Loves Me, He Loves YOU Not!

Synopsis: 

It's been years since their parents were murdered. Twin sisters Shia and Leigh are trying to readjust to life, while caring for their baby sister Remi. With the exception of Leigh’s angry, dramatic mood swings every now and then, everything seems to be going great. That is until Demetri; the mysterious stranger enters their midst, and falls right in the path of the newly single Shia. After dating Trent for so long, she is looking for a man to treat her like a queen, and Demetri is heaven sent...until inexplicable things begin to happen. When one of her sisters goes missing, and was last seen with Trent and Demetri, Shia suddenly realizes no one is who they appear to be. The seemingly normal world she and her sisters recreated is destroyed. Shia begins to realize that her parents' past deeds are coming back to haunt them all and no one can be trusted. It is unclear to Shia which man truly has her best interest - and safety - at heart. Staring at the wilted flower she calls life, she is slowly pulling back the layers to try to understand if He loves me, he loves you not...

Review:

This is a story I wouldn’t normally read, but it was offered to me on Bookbub for free, so I downloaded it and decided to give it a try. One thing I’ve often mentioned to my readers is just because you pay a lot of money for a book, doesn’t mean it’s good and just because a book is cheap or free, doesn’t make it bad. Welp, unfortunately, the latter holds true in this particular case.

After having read the synopsis, which by the way, I didn’t read before I started this book. I wanted to be surprised. The cover looked really hot and I thought, ‘what the hell?’ Umm, SURPRISE!!! Ok, there were so many problems with this story and it’s really hard to pinpoint where to begin, so I’m going to do my best to dissect this story by the problems I encountered while reading.

The very beginning of the story was strong. I was impressed with the strength of the writing and how the story was unfolding, but after the flow begins, you start to realize certain situations just don’t add up or make any kind of sense. It’s really hard to say what this story is about without giving away spoilers, which you already know, I do not do to any author. In keeping my word, I’ll try very hard to keep the main things out of this review for those of you who would like to read and haven’t yet. I believe this novel’s first publication was back in 2012. So its got a little dust on it, but a book is never too old or too late to read.

Ok, so here we go! Shia’s and Leigh’s parents were murdered in the Prologue. Next chapter, Shia is at the church waiting to marry the love of her life, Trent. Only problem was, Trent was a no show. Shia receives a telephone call advising her that her husband-to-be doesn’t plan to marry her. Hmm, you’d think a brotha could have advised a sista himself? Anyhoo, moving on. Leigh is wondering why Shia is so upset and she advises her that Trent doesn’t want to marry her. As you can probably guess, this is present day. The next chapter takes you back a few years as to how Shia met Trent.

As the story unfolds, not only does the editing of the book get worse, but so does the continuity of the story. There are situations and timelines that do not add up, and had an editor reviewed these things, they would most likely have caught them. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what they are without giving away much of the story. What I can and will share with you is that this story was all over the place and really didn’t have much rhyme or reason to it. It appeared to be one of those stories wherein the writer took much of her imagination from a great deal of television and/or movies.

To the author’s credit, though, I will say that if she learns the proper way to outline a story and build a plot, she can be an amazing writer. I can definitely see the potential she has in telling a dramatic story, but the problem here was, it was just too many things going on. Too many circumstances that made absolutely no sense. And when you find out what led to all the drama throughout the book, you may find yourself scratching your head and wondering “huh?” If not, I know that’s how this story left me. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around what I just experienced.

When you get to the end of the novel, you’ll learn that this story is part of a series, and according to the information in the back, it advised there were plays made out of this story. Lord help the audience if this story doesn’t translate any better to the audience as it did to the reader. It makes for great drama, but it must make sense. Again, the timeline was extremely inconsistent and that frustrated me. I could pinpoint certain things the characters were doing that just didn’t add up as the story advanced.

Suffice it to say, Mello & June give this novel two stars. This is one of those books to take to your child’s soccer practice, or waiting in a doctor’s office, i.e., you know. . .some time to kill— this would be the novel to take along for the ride. Otherwise, I wouldn’t rush to read. The terrible editing, especially near the middle and end of the book, got worse as you forged ahead. I couldn’t take it. It’s really sad because this had the potential to be a great story, but it was pretty evident this book was written just to be in print. Not much care went into making sure the story gelled and vibed, and that’s really an injustice to the author. Perhaps the author needs to get a new publisher and/or editor, or both!

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Intelligence is Sexy!
Show off your Beautiful Mind!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

#Book #Review -- Pleasantville

SYNOPSIS: 

In this sophisticated thriller, lawyer Jay Porter, hero of Locke’s bestseller Black Water Rising, returns to fight one last case, only to become embroiled once again in a dangerous game of shadowy politics and a witness to how far those in power are willing to go to win.

Fifteen years after the events of Black Water Rising, Jay Porter is struggling to cope with catastrophic changes in his personal life and the disintegration of his environmental law practice. His victory against Cole Oil is still the crown jewel of his career, even if he hasn’t yet seen a dime thanks to appeals. But time has taken its toll. Tired and restless, he's ready to quit.

When a girl goes missing on Election Night, 1996, in the neighborhood of Pleasantville—a hamlet for upwardly-mobile blacks on the north side of Houston—Jay, a single father, is deeply disturbed. He’s been representing Pleasantville in the wake of a chemical fire, and the case is dragging on, raising doubts about his ability.

The missing girl was a volunteer for one of the local mayoral candidates, and her disappearance complicates an already heated campaign. When the nephew of one of the candidates, a Pleasantville local, is arrested, Jay reluctantly finds himself serving as a defense attorney. With a man’s life and his own reputation on the line, Jay is about to try his first murder in a case that will also put an electoral process on trial, exposing the dark side of power and those determined to keep it.

REVIEW: 

Needless to say, I was so excited when I found out one of my favorite authors had wrote a new book.  In fact, I discovered this by total accident and of all places on Facebook for God’s sake, so I researched further to make absolutely sure Attica did, indeed, write a new book.  You can’t believe half the things you see on social media, and I wasn’t taking any chances.  I immediately went on Amazon. . .and BAM!  There it was!  OMG, I was too happy!  I didn’t hesitate.  My finger depressed the Download Now button and it’s a wrap!  Oh, and did I mention, when I have a favorite author, I don’t hesitate to pay whatever they’re asking for their download version.  This novel carried a $12.99 price tag.  No biggie ‘cause this is Attica. And she also writes for the hit show, Empire 

Ok, so imagine my surprise as I begin reading that I’m struggling to get through it.  At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what was wrong?  I’ve read all her books and always loved them, so what was the problem?  After having read Black Water Rising, which was an outstanding read, I was all too happy to revisit attorney-at-law, Jay Porter.  Quite a lot had changed in fifteen years.  His daughter is now a teenager and he has a younger son, which if memory serves me, I believe Ben was a little baby at that time. (Please note, those fifteen years aged within the story, that’s not how long it has been since Attica’s last novel).  Jay’s life had changed drastically in that time period, so much so, I was feeling his pain as if it were mine.  

Jay was held a hero for bringing down Cole Oil and he was still riding high off of that win, although he was beginning to sour on the current case he had pending.  While fighting and dealing with a new beast threatening the lives of his new clients literally, a young girl is found dead during Election Night.  This hit a little too close to home having a young teen himself.  Who on earth would want this young teen dead?  Now Jay is faced with another dilemma.  Someone on the campaign trail is accused of this young lady’s murder.  Several of the political players have called upon Jay for his expertise and literally begging him to help defend the young man accused of this crime.  Well, that is, one political figure in particular seeks out Jay’s assistance for his nephew, who is the one being accused of the heinous act.  There’s murder, mayhem and political tug-of-wars so what’s not to love about this story, you ask?

I’ve pondered over that very thing and I have to tell you, I had several problems with this story.  The first and foremost being it was entirely too detailed, to the point it became rather frustrating to concentrate on the story itself.  Attica is known for her detail-oriented writing, which for the most part, I really enjoy, but she truly overdid it in this one.  This novel reads like a screenplay or script for a movie, wherein you’d need to know where a character enters and exits stage left, but when you’re writing a novel, it isn’t necessary to place all those intricate details into it. 

My second problem with the story is it was too well written.  I know, I know that sounds absolutely insane, but let me explain.  This book was so well written to the point I could find nothing wrong with it.  There wasn’t one grammatical error, everything was so perfect—too perfect, if you will.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to deduct points for shoddy editing, but when you write a book this perfect, one tends to not invest much time into the characters.  It’s like who the hell cares about them?  And that’s what upset me so because I truly respect and love this author so much.  I absolutely found myself getting pissed with the overdoing of detail and the perfectness of the story.  It got to the point I truly didn’t care about Jay, his issues and/or struggles and anything else.  There was entirely too much detail and that drove me absolutely bonkers. 

As an avid reader, we’ll tell you, the author must set up the story, so detail is needed then, and once we get where the story is going, our movie reel begins to advance in the mind’s eye.  I don’t need the author to continually interrupt the flow of what my mind is processing with what a person wore; to how the weather looked and smelled; to the rips in fabric; the aftershave someone had on; to how a person held their cigarette.  It’s too damn much!  OMG, I was so done!  Where was the interaction with other characters?  Where was the dialogue?  Ummph, and when dialogue finally came, which I was forever grateful to break up the monotony, more detail ensued and made me have to put a bookmark up, go back to where the character initially began speaking because I totally forget what the hell I was supposed to gleam from the conversation.  People, that’s clearly too much detail!

Oh Attica, darling, I love you madly for your blessed writing skills, but sista, you did this book a terrible injustice.  I didn’t love it at all.  The detail you put in this novel made me disconnect from the people and storyline, and we both know that’s not what you’re trying to accomplish nor establish with your readers.  For as much money as I paid, I did not expect this.  I really didn’t and I’m a bit miffed about that.  I don’t ever have a problem paying for books by authors I truly respect, but you’ve got to give me something a little better than this.  Wow, I was not impressed, not at all.    

As much as it pains me to even say this, Mello & June give this novel three stars. The story fell flat because it was extremely difficult to follow with the amount of detail splayed out among the pages. I’m not sure what happened here, but Pleasantville did not please me and didn't live up to the hype surrounding it.

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

When you Open a #Book. . .
You Open Your World!





Saturday, May 2, 2015

Great Spring #Reading. . .AAMBC


With the flowers in bloom and the warmer temperatures, you can pretty much figure out Spring has Sprung!  Woo Hoo--it's about damn time, huh!?  And let's not forget, it's a brand new month and we always start our new months off right--you already know how we do!  It's AAMBC time and we've got a great selection of novels for you to sink your eyes into.  So take a few minutes to relax, perhaps get you a nice glass of iced tea or that much needed glass of wine, grab your eReaders, get those downloading fingers ready to depress and let's go. . .


Synopsis:

Chase Harper is sexy, intelligent, a style icon, and one of the most popular artists on the Pop/R&B scene. He’s also the object of all his female fans’ desires, but one in particular will go to great lengths for her desires to be met.

As his Number One Fan, nothing will stop Kennedy Hightower from being with her idol. A self-proclaimed loner with overwhelming relationship problems, Kennedy looks to her favorite star to fill a void in her life. Her admiration for Chase becomes extreme when it turns into excessive adulation and infatuation, leaving Chase wondering if he should fear for his life.

Will Kennedy’s wish to be with Chase become fulfilled or will Chase bring Kennedy back to reality?

Excerpt:

A few months have passed and the New Year has approached with Kennedy’s heart becoming just as cold as the January weather she’s dealing with. Chase is at the last leg of his tour in Japan and he still hasn’t contact her, yet he makes time to update posts with tourist attractions on social media. Kennedy has already become impatient and really disappointed at Chase’s lack of communication with her. She’s also hurt, but oddly enough…she still very much cares for him.
Snacking on a bowl of popcorn in her living room, she waits for a movie to come on cable and while she waits, she decides to scroll her Instagram. She almost chokes on her popcorn when she sees a picture of Chase and a strikingly beautiful woman of both African and Japanese decent with the caption “my future”. Knocking her popcorn from her lap onto the floor, Kennedy lets out a deep gasp and her disappointment in Chase intensifies as she lets out an uncontrollable scream. Her eyes are welling with tears while fixated on the heart-breaking image of Chase hugging the beautiful woman from behind and sealing a kiss on her cheek. Sobbing from sadness and anger echoes throughout Kennedy’s apartment, as her heart breaks into a million pieces. She didn’t expect to see anything like that at all, considering she thought Chase was in love with her.

“How could he?” she utters, completely distraught by what she sees on her cell phone.

Kennedy is not only upset but baffled, as she wonders who the mystery woman is. As far as she knows, Chase is single and he never appeared to be tied down with anyone. Seeing the photo on Chase’s Instagram is like a punch to the gut. However, it doesn’t take away her belief that Chase belongs to her. Kennedy now realizes she has competition with this woman, who she needs to make disappear….one way or another.

With four books under her belt, Author Lakia Nichole continues to embark on this literary journey with gratefulness. She still considers herself relatively new to this highly competitive business, but dubs her works as “page turners”. Lakia’s novels are a certain breed of literary material with an “out of this world” imagination that she incorporates in her story lines.


GET TO KNOW THE AUTHOR:



1) What is Number One Fan about? Number One Fan is about a young woman who becomes extremely obsessed with her favorite celebrity. The book also touches on what is called Celebrity Worship Syndrome. A lot of people suffer from this and don’t even realize it. My character Kennedy is the perfect example of a person with CWS but on a more extreme level. People who suffers from this are typically people who struggles with relationships in their lives, so they look to celebrities they admire to fill a void. Kennedy struggles socially as well as in relationships, particularly with men. I’m really excited about the release of the book. It’ll shed light on a real life issue, but it’s also a sexy thriller, full of drama, suspense, and it’ll definitely keep you on the edge of your seat page by page.

2) Do you write one particular genre? I want to say Urban Contemporary. My style of writing is not too “project” but it’s not too “suburbs”either. I really want to say it’s somewhere in between. I’m always up for writing any genre, but I have to be in the mood to do so. My third book is a non-fiction about my life, but I don’t plan to write another non-fiction for a long time, if at all. My true passion is fiction/Urban Contemporary.

3) What is the name of your publishing company and what does it mean? It’s New Breed Publishing. It means to originate; to make new or improved and to develop a unique style. I incorporate originality into my story lines, and I expect my fiction authors to do the same. In such a competitive business where duplication is evident, New Breed Publishing strives to not recycle the story lines that we often read.

4) What are the names of your other books? My first book is titled “Hidden Confessions. My second book is the sequel to “Hidden Confessions” and it’s titled “Unveiled”. I am re-releasing them this year, so expect a new look, new content, and better editing/formatting with those. My third book is “Unbroken”, the book I spoke of earlier. It chronicles my experience in dealing with child loss, lack of self-love, financial/business failure, and rising above the pain from them all.

5) Who are your favorite authors? I will forever love “Coldest Winter Ever” by Sistah Souljah. When I first read that book, I didn’t expect the impact it had on me. CWE is one of those books that you’ll never forget, because the story line was so real and raw. She inspired me to write stories that will impact my readers just the same. Danielle Steele kinda set the foundation of why I wanted to become an author. Her story lines just draws you in. You’ll be wanting more from her when you’re done with the last page. Terry McMillan is like my literary aunt in my head…LOL. Much like Danielle, she writes leaving you wanting more at the end.

6) If you could turn one of your books into a feature film, which one would it be & who would play the main character?  I would definitely choose “Number One Fan”. Taraji Henson would play my main character, Kennedy.

7) Any advice for aspiring authors? Keep on writing and don’t ever lose focus. Stay optimistic!


FIND THE AUTHOR AND BOOK:










Working on a Great Novel. . .




The Sisterhood tells the story of what becomes possible when intelligence and hope are channeled into an outrageous mission. Founded by Vivian Delacroix – The Sisterhood Foundation is a non-government organization funded by MSK Incorporated, a massive multinational built over decades by an organization of black women. The women invest billions into leading edge technology, pooling their profits into communities, schools, and treatment centers in the battle against Cocanol, a new and addictive drug.

The group is overwhelmingly successful until their progress is noticed by the Raptor, a ruthless enemy with pawns in the US government and ties to the Cocanol manufacturers and international power houses intent on controlling the world. As a first step in a war on the Sisterhood, Vivian is assassinated, triggering a Homeland Security investigation, a Senate inquiry, and a series of increasingly dangerous events.

To survive, the women, led by Chief Security Officer Tonia Rawlings, must fight against unseen forces. Battling across a public stage of media coverage and Wall Street, the women rush against all odds to outwit their foes – even as they execute the final stage of Vivian’s secret plan.

As their enemies draw near, the women risk everything, testing the bonds of faith, marriage and friendship. Along the way, they discover awful truths, make strange alliances and learn why they are the most dangerous women the world has ever seen. Together, they put everything on the line – testing themselves and the limitations the world tries to place on them.

GET TO KNOW NICHOL:


Nichol Bradford, CEO/Founder, Willow. Nichol Bradford is fascinated by human potential, and has always been interested in how technology can help individuals expand beyond their perceived mental limits to develop and transform themselves to the highest level. She spent the last decade exploring these ideas in the online game industry, serving as a senior executive with responsibility for strategy, operations and marketing for major brands that include: Activision/Blizzard, Disney, and Vivendi.

Most recently she managed the operations of Blizzard properties, including World of Warcraft, in China. Now, as the CEO of the Willow Group, Nichol is applying same skills to the realm of elevating psychological well-being. Willow is a transformative technology company focused on employing rigorous scientific research to develop training protocols, hardware and software that can produce a reliable and positive change in the human experience.

Nichol has an MBA from Wharton School of Business in Strategy, and a BBA in Marketing from the University of Houston. She is a fellow of the British American Project, currently serves on the board of the Brandon Marshall Foundation for Mental Health, and is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of The Sisterhood, and an amatuer boxer.

1) Why did you write the Sisterhood?

I wrote the book I wanted to read about strong yet vulnerable and intelligent black women committed to a great and grand goal — mental freedom and empowerment for all. I was tired of not seeing heroes that looked like me. I wanted to see someone like me save the world, not as a side kick or agency head, but as the actual, certifiable central hero. I wanted to read about Olivia Pope back then, and since she didn’t exist yet, I wrote my own. I also wanted really well-developed characters who had something on their minds other than men. So some of the characters are happily married, and some are single, but most of all their focus is not just on their men (or lack thereof) but on their friendship and common goals. I also love technology and so wanted the women to be deeply immersed in that world.

2) Why are there nine leaders in the Sisterhood?

The Sisterhood is more than a book, it is also a teaching narrative. Each of the women represents one of nine leadership traits (discipline, self-knowledge, financial stewardship, service, sacrifice, education, vision, innovation, and entrepreneurship). In The Sisterhood, how they address challenges to their survival illustrates what is possible with collective action and individual excellence. They present a powerful illustration of what a group of focused women can do together.

The concept came to me on a late night drive home from a success workshop I gave during college for a group of high-school girls. That night, I had the group stand in a circle and tell each other, one at a time and by name, that they were smart, beautiful, and could have anything that they wanted and worked for. It was a hard session, with most of the girls unable to accept the endorsement without tears. So many of them simply could not see it, much less believe it.

As I drove home, I thought that there had to be a better way to illustrate what fulfilling one’s potential would look like – something more penetrating than quotes from self-help books and short workshop sessions. On that drive, I decided to write The Sisterhood. I conceived of an organization of women, who faced a series of challenges. Addressing those challenges would allow me to “show” versus “tell” how an individual can be successful. I went home and jotted the basic plot down which today is more or less the same.

3) How can I use the Sisterhood to make a Life Action Plan?

The book can be read just for entertainment, or it can be read as a skills blueprint. Each of the characters is informed by several major skills and personality testing programs, like the Meyers-Briggs test and the Leadership Women’s EQ. There’s a workbook that allows the reader to assess her own skills as she reads the book and then make an action plan to fill in the areas where she’d like to excel.

4) Are the 9 women based on real people you know?

The nine leaders are based on ALL the women I know – from the amazing women I grew up around, to those I pledged AKA with in 1990, to the women I met at in the African-American MBA Association at business school, to all the women I’ve met along the way . One of the things I love about this book is that it represents the full diaspora – every size, shape, and hue of black women. The women come from all backgrounds, educations, and geographies but they share a common bond through their desire to positively impact their world. So, who is a woman of the Sisterhood? If you are reading this interview then she might just be you. Or maybe she’s the woman who works next to you. From businesswomen to teachers to any profession, any smart and talented woman you admire could be a secret member of The Sisterhood. That’s part of the fun of the book too – wondering about the women in your life to guess who might be in The Sisterhood already – because maybe it isn’t just a book.

5) I’ve heard allot about encouraging Black women to join STEM fields and learn how to code. Did you hope that the Sisterhood would help that cause?

The Sisterhood makes its initial wealth from very well placed investments in technology companies. They use that to buy into established but declining industries that they innovate and to set up their own labs to create the technology of the next generation. Being tech-aware and tech-savvy is at the core of their success. I do hope that young women read The Sisterhood and become more interested in technology because they see the power that it can have to create possibilities and wealth.

6) Did you write yourself into the Sisterhood? Which character are you? 

There’s a part of me in every character. But the visionary of the Sisterhood is Vivian Delacroix who is based on my mother Vivian Jones Bradford. My mother was a visionary and entrepreneur. She was completely committed to helping women and supporting the efforts of black women in particular. She believed most in defending the defenseless and used her legal education to do so. I started volunteering by her side when I was a child and she made sure that my values included service to the betterment of society.

7) Why should I tell my friends about the Sisterhood?

You should tell your friends that you’ve found this great book where the black women save the world. Then tell them that there’s a character in it that reminds you of them – because that will happen while you read it – you will see yourself and all of your closest friends. Then challenge them to read it in the next 30 days so you can talk about it and make your action plans together to fulfill your absolute potential and make all your hopes and dreams possible.

FIND THE AUTHOR:






Reading brings people together!



The name says it or does it?

Making light of a word that is used in derogatory manner, I Am Not A Hoe written by Cheryl “Cherry Bomb” Winley is a humorous take on promiscuity. This handbook and guide teaches women “time is money” and answers the million dollar question- how to get money from men.

I Am Not A Hoe is an easy read and will have you laughing even if the content causes you to blush.

Native New Yorker, Cheryl “Cherry Bomb” Winley was born and raised in one of the most affluent counties in the eastern most part of Long Island. The progeny of scholarly and dignified parents, Cherry’s childhood not only mimicked richness and decadence it encompassed balance and an avid love of the English language. However, being gifted with a passion for English and poetry wasn’t her only reward; Cherry’s parents would reward her every action with monetary treats. By the age of 15, Cherry’s lifestyle would consist of limitless credit cards, fine dining, cars, and shopping and more shopping. The excessive gratification from her parents would in turn increase Cherry’s desires and by the age of 16 she would meet her first real boyfriend, a drug dealer, who would change the suburban girl into a lady and a hustler’s wife.

Fast money, fast living, diamonds, designer brands and fancy cars; Cherry’s years as a young adult would be a ‘glamorous life’. Everyone knew her; she was on the arms of the who’s who, traveled the world, and partied with the best of the best. It was also during these years that Cherry would craft a certain strategy and set of skills to attract a specific type of man that would fulfill her ever-growing insatiable desires. “As my tastes grew, the type of man that dated me had to as well – he had to be one up from the last,” Cherry comments. Yet, no matter how ‘sponsored’ Cherry was, something was missing – she would spend her late twenties in search of that “missing piece.” Cherry would become an entrepreneur several times, even a homeowner; nonetheless, being spoiled would always find its way back to her. As luck would have it, it would be another boyfriend who would change the mindset of this ‘professional girlfriend’ and put her on another journey.

After living in Dubai and seeing true wealth, Cherry decided to return back to the one place that gave her balance and clarity – New York. “One day I woke up and wanted the only thing I’ve never really possessed, my independence,” says Cherry, and that day she figured out how to get it. “Come hell, high water, or high heels” is Cherry’s favorite motto which reflects her innate determination to never be without and has led her to figuring out that the one thing that proves to be most profitable is herself and why not sell it! After being asked a million times, how do you get men to give you money? Cherry decided to pen her strategy, thus, her authorial debut I Am Not a Hoe – a handbook that details Cherry’s best possession; her game, her time, and her attention and as Iceberg Slim would say “the game is to be sold not told.”


GET TO KNOW CHERRY:


What was the inspiration behind the I Am Not A Hoe handbook?

The thing that inspired me most and attributed to my writing the "I am not a hoe" handbook would definitely be my disgust for the behaviors exhibited by young women today. 
In my opinion nine out of ten women are hoes and they are in denial about that. They participate in loose behaviors and promiscuous lifestyles, but try to convince themselves as well as others that they are "good girls”.

What’s your opinion of Good girls?

Good girls are the minority, and unfortunately in today's society not the popular choice.

When writing the hand book was your intention to encourage being a hoe?

In writing my handbook never did I intend to encourage or discourage the behavior, I just shined a light on a taboo subject. My book is a tutorial on different types of hoes. I put in black and white what so many women are determined to deny. I document the thoughts that men have had for years, but only rappers are bold enough to say.

I give points of reference to first establish if the reader is indeed a hoe, and if so, additional questions help identify exactly what type of hoe they are. My book is a blueprint of sorts, realizing that you are a hoe, guidance on getting your act together, getting structured and getting some money. .

With that being said most peoples first question is are you promoting prostitution?

my response... "YES !". But it's deeper than that, I endorse a woman entertaining men for money, as that is productive and strategic versus a woman laying with one man after another with no other goal outside of an orgasm or even worse.....love.

What type of feedback are you getting from women?

So far on my journey of enlightening hoes I've been met with a surprising amount of women that agree with me, and have in turn accepted and professed, "I am a Hoe".

What is your definition of the word Hoe?

The word Hoe is funny to me. The urban dictionary defines a hoe as a loose promiscuous woman.

I agree that those characteristics are definitely part of the meaning, but don't encompass the word in its entirety. 
I believe that being a hoe is a lifestyle that surpasses sex or sexual acts. It is the way one carries themselves, the company you keep, the places you frequent, your style of dress, even your vernacular.

What can both men and women gain from reading this handbook? What are the take aways?

I feel that both men and women can learn from my book. Men will hopefully stop referring to women in such a derogatory manner and take responsibility for their role in womens' decline in morality. Most women validate themselves through the eyes of their fathers and lovers, so how you see her and treat her is in turn what she will often become.

I strongly feel as if I wrote my handbook from the whispers of men as you walk by. It is cumulative opinions and shared stories from the barbershops. It is a glimpse into the minds of men, their unspoken truths. I allow women to see themselves how most men see us.

I hope that my book will educate women on how they are being viewed. I wrote it to take some of the power out of the word Hoe, and I pray that readers take from it what they need, if nothing more than a laugh.

What impact do you intend to make in literature?

I hope to make an impact on closed minded and judgmental people and provide a voice for women everywhere that are tired of being ashamed of their lifestyles. In my writing I say the things people think, but fear saying and give taboo subjects a platform.

That's my politically correct answer. My Cherry Bomb truth is: I want to help these Hoes get this money, and the game is to be sold not told. So for a small fee I can help them get like me. Lol nah really the first answer...... I guess.

Where can the readers get the I Am Not A Hoe handbook?

The I Am Not A Hoe handbook is available on Amazon.com as well as morecherrybomb.com


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Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

#Book #Review. . .The Legal Limit

Synopsis: Gates Hunt is a compulsive felon, serving a stiff penitentiary sentence for selling cocaine. His brother, Mason, however, has escaped their bitter, impoverished upbringing to become the commonwealth's attorney for their rural hometown in Virginia, where he enjoys a contented life with his wife and spitfire daughter. But Mason's idyll is abruptly pierced by a wicked tragedy, and soon afterward trouble finds him again when he is forced to confront a brutal secret he and his brother had both sworn to take with them to the grave, a secret that threatens everyone and everything he holds dear.

Intricately plotted and relentlessly entertaining, The Legal Limit is an exploration of the judicial system's roughest edges, as well as a gripping story of murder, family, and the difficult divide that sometimes separates genuine justice from the law.

I’ve read some great legal novels over the years, and quite naturally, depending on how the book made me feel, I would say at that time, “this is the best legal book I’ve ever read.”  Well, perhaps I was a little hasty in my views then.  The Legal Limit by far is one of the best, well-written, outstanding legal novels I’ve ever encountered.  This story wasn’t just a story for me, it was a great experience.  When an author can make you want to kill a character, or love a character with so much gusto and feeling, that’s some great writing! 

What I loved about this story is that it was so real to me.  So real in fact, I had to constantly remind myself this is a fictional story I’m reading, but I’m here to tell you, this could be anyone’s story.  I suppose that’s what drew me to it. 

Everyone has some type of dysfunction in their family.  I don’t give a damn who you are or where you come from, we all share some rather unsavory family secrets and drama.  The Hunt family certainly had their fair share of that.  When Sadie Grace and Curt Hunt got married, it wasn’t exactly the wedding bliss a young wife had once dreamt of.  Curt was one of the most vicious husbands to ever say I do.  It’s one thing to degrade your wife and make her feel less than a woman—hell, a human being for that matter, but to have two sons who you consistently brow beat with venomous words, not to mention laying a violent hand on them, was it any wonder that one, if not both, would turn out to have some issues later on in life?

As much as it pains me to say, parents bear a great deal of responsibility on how their children will turn out, although there will come a time when a child has to own up to his own actions.  Gates Hunt, the elder brother, protected Mason.  After all, Mason was his baby brother.  This is what big brothers do—protect the young.  Gates took the brunt of their father’s beatings so that Mason wouldn’t have to suffer.  Every time Curt took a notion to, he was beating his son senselessly without merit or warning.  Those beatings had a direct effect on the outcome and course the Hunt brothers’ lives would go.

There’s nothing like a brotherly bond.  But how far do you push that connection, that trust?  Unfortunately, the Hunt brothers were put to the ultimate test.  After a horrific incident that occurred when Mason was twenty-four years old, sealed the brothers bond for life, or so you’d think.  Life’s funny, isn’t it?  Yes, that’s exactly what Mason found out.  Gates ends up going down the wrong path, while Mason turned what abuse he suffered for the greater good.  He became a lawyer.  Hmm, some would argue that might not have been the best occupation to lean toward, but it’s what Mason wanted.  And damn it, Mason was a great attorney.  What’s so strange is that no matter what trouble Gates got into, Mason was there to bail his big brother out.  Until Gates, with all his infinite wisdom, sells drugs to an undercover officer which ultimately tested the Hunt brothers’ bond.  Unfortunately, Gates backed himself into a corner that Mason couldn’t get him out of, and Gates ends up going to prison for many years.  But keep in mind, had Gates been smart and listened to his brother’s great legal advice, he wouldn’t have had as much time to do.

As life went on, Gates grew tired of the iron bars and lack of freedom, so he once again reached out to the one person he knew would assist him—his baby brother, Mason. In fact, he took his brother’s get-out-of-jail-free passes for granted. Much to Gates surprise, Mason wasn’t so forthcoming with assistance, which caused Gates to become extremely angry.  How angry did Gates get?  You’ll have to read this great story to find out more!  It’s worth the read! 

The cast of characters in The Legal Limit are so believable and true to themselves.  Their story of chaos and mayhem is real and heartfelt.  As you go through the lives of the Hunts, you’ll be cheering for some of them, while others, you’ll want to reach inside your eReaders or pages, and rip the very soul from some of them.  I found my hands wanting to do just that, as this story materialized before my eyes.  I soaked those words up so quickly, I had to go back and re-read some sections to make sure I hadn’t missed one solitary thing.

This was such an amazing novel. OMG, I absolutely loved it and was extremely sorry and spent after having read it. As you read, you’ll become emotionally invested in their lives and want to see them do well and succeed. The legal jargon was off the charts. I couldn’t get enough of the law and how some attorneys used it to twist in their favor. If you’re a fan of legal novels, this is an absolute must read!

I know many people talk about John Grisham being the king of legal writing, but I say to Grisham, step aside because there’s a new judge in town. And actually, Martin Clark is a Circuit Court Judge in real life, so he definitely knows how to spin a story and keep you on the edge of your seat. He’s certainly seen his fair share of defendants come before him. Well, well done! This felt good to read and I was so sorry it ended. Outstanding! Awesome! Mello and June give this novel five stars. Although we have a five star limit, this novel gets millions. That’s how strong the writing was! I get chills just thinking about it!


Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

The Meme Says It All!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

What Doesn't Kill Her. . . #Book #Review

SYNOPSIS:

Jordan Rivera is an ordinary kid with an ordinary family, until a vicious killer takes it all away, sparing her, but leaving her broken. The murders of her father, mother and brother destroy something inside Jordan, who spends ten long, mute years in an institution. Catching a glimpse of a news report about another family slaying, Jordan at last breaks her silence. Now she’s out, and she molds herself—body and mind—into an instrument of justice. 

While a young detective pursues the case on his own, Jordan teams up with members of her support group, people like her, damaged by violent crime. They have their own stories of pain, heartache, and vengeance denied. With their help, Jordan will track down the killer before he can ravage any more lives. Her life – and her sanity – depend on it.

This novel fell into my email inbox through Bookbub.  The cover looked intriguing and the title made me want to know more, and hell, after reading the synopsis, I was sold.  But, unfortunately, that’s where my excitement ends.

Jordan Rivera was doing what teenagers do—sitting in her room supposedly doing homework, while her mind wandered thinking about a boy, Mark Pryor.  She was looking forward to what the future held for the two of them.  Unfortunately, a rather tragic night ended Jordan’s dream and damaged her psyche.  A vicious psychotic intruder finds his way into the Rivera household savagely murdering anything that got in his way – which was Jordan’s entire family.  Jordan hears her mother’s frantic scream for her to run, but Jordan doesn’t take heed to the warning.  How could she?  So what does a teenager bearing witness to the sound of her family being murdered do?  She hides under the bed.  When the psychotic intruder comes for her, she’s beyond terrified.  What this lunatic advises Jordan to do afterward, took what little sanity she had left, completely away.

Not only did this murderer rip her family apart, but he ripped the very fabric of Jordan’s soul and robbed her of the person she should have become. After that terrible night, Jordan withdrew from the world and ended up being in a mental hospital for ten years, and although that may not come as a surprise to some, what was even more astounding is while she was in that institution, she remained silent.  She didn’t speak to anyone for ten whole years.  Of course, there was a reason why she remained silent, and it’s not for what would appear to be obvious. 

Ten years later has come from the day that Jordan’s family was taken from her and she finally decides to speak out in her support group which was mandatory she attend while at the mental facility.  She needs to get out of the hospital and reintroduce herself into society, if the world would have her.  Her doctor assists her in doing just that—got her an apartment to live not too far from the hospital.  Unbeknownst to Jordan, a guardian angel was shielding and guiding her throughout her tenure in the mental hospital—Mark Pryor, the young teenage boy she hoped to go to prom with when she was a teenager.  He’s all grown up and looking good and is a detective for the Cleveland Police Department.  Because of what happened to the young girl he loved back in the day, inspired him to become a police officer just so he could aid Jordan whenever she was released from the hospital.  The day finally comes and when the two of them meet up, you’d think it would be bells and whistles and rockets shooting up in the sky, but the reception Mark received, was far from that.  In fact, Jordan was extremely unkind to Mark, and for no apparent reason, although she wasn’t aware she was in love with him.

This is where the story takes a turn for me.  I understand that Jordan has been damaged mentally.  I realize she became a mute because of it.  I truly can identify that she’d be hard pressed to trust another human being again, after what happened to her family, but to lash out at the one person who has done everything within his power to protect you from that point on, I don’t get that.  In fact, Jordan’s character really pissed me off.  She was just plain nasty to Mark and not only him, but to several other characters and to me her attitude was way off base.  Her anger is understandable and you’d think with all those doctors she was around trying to get her to open up about what happened to her would somehow begin to seep through.  After all, she sat there for ten years listening to patients’ horror stories and she felt pain and empathy for them, but had all this pent up anger about her family situation.  And not only did she have anger issues, somewhere along the way, she taught herself how to do martial arts.  Umm, oook?  I don’t know how one goes about teaching himself to do Karate, but I suppose anything is possible, right?  I guess?  Hmm!

For a woman who doesn’t like human contact, she went out of her way to inflict pain on others whenever the moment struck her, which was often.  So she, along with several other victims of family murders decide to do their own investigation, since the police were less than adequate and couldn’t help decide whether their cases were committed by one deranged lost soul or a duo.  Somehow this support group was made to appear as though they had more sense than the local police department.  It was as if Mark Pryor and his coworkers were more or less the Keystone Cops, or so the story would have you believe.  I don’t know why, but the way Mark and the police department were portrayed pissed me off too.  Here, you have a group of vulnerable, barely clinging to life type of victims, yet they are strong enough to take on an “alleged” murderer.  I don’t know the story just seemed a bit farfetched and not real enough.  I didn’t like the protagonist, and that’s unfortunate because she received the most trauma.  You’re supposed to identify with her, and I do to a point, and then her attitude turned me completely off.  I’m thinking, “Fool, these people are trying to help you,” but she remained very standoffish. 

One other thing that struck me as odd with this story is the depiction of characters.  The author did an amazing job giving you great descriptions making you see exactly what they looked like, but what drove me crazy is the fact it was mentioned too many times.  If you mention a character’s race, which is perfectly fine, why is it every time that character is introduced into another scene, you have to continually mention the race of the character?  How insulting is that to the reader.  It’s as if I wasn’t paying attention the first time around.  If you tell me in chapter two a police chief is African-American, there’s certainly no need to continually remind us what color he is every time he pops up.  If you just say who the character is by name, that should be sufficient enough, but that didn’t appear to happen here.  The character’s race was almost mentioned each time he/she appeared and to me, I didn’t get that. 

Bottom line, I liked the story, but didn’t care much for the main character. She was too much a victim, in my opinion. Her misguided anger struck me as odd and completely out of place. I think had her character grown more, perhaps I would have understood her better, but unfortunately, I didn’t find much of that. What didn't kill her killed me by her lack of regard or respect for those trying to help her. Mello and June give this novel three stars. It wasn’t a bad read—it just didn’t suit our taste. You win some and you lose some. This story just didn’t do it for us. It happens sometimes.



Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Everyone Judges a Book by its Cover. . .

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