Saturday, April 11, 2015

#Book #Review. . .Taming Lil' Mo



Lil Mo’s musical background came as somewhat a surprise to me because I never thought of her as such a force to be reckoned with or that she could hold her own.  Bottom line, I didn’t know much about this feisty little woman.  She’s multi-talented and I enjoy watching her on R&B Divas:  LA.  I always appreciate her honesty and the way she tells it like it is.  For someone so little, she has a humongous personality and it resonates.  I was never much of a fan of her music, just wasn’t my style, but I appreciate what she brought to the table.  Who knew she wrote music for so many biggies in the music industry.  Lil Mo has it going on.

Having said all that, it really saddens me that I did not totally enjoy her memoir.  For me, I had several issues with it.  You may question how can a person take issue with someone else’s true life story?  And my answer will be the story was entirely too disjointed.  I didn’t feel a strong connection to Lil Mo as I feel watching her on reality TV.  In fact, I found her story to be all over the place and not really delving into the issues in which I think her fans truly wanted to know.  For instance, the beef between she and Kelly Price, who was a supposed longtime friend of Mo’s for years.  She hinted around the issue surrounding the reality drama, but didn’t really tell us what happened?  Anyone who saw the episode where they fell out, knows just about as much as I do and the book didn’t expand on the subject.  She didn’t go into the drama she experienced with Chanté Moore or how it is she came to get on the reality show in the first place.  She talked about when she found out she was selected, but didn’t tell us the process in which brought her to this point.  To me, if you’re telling all, don’t you think those are things her fans would want to know?   Hmm, I don’t know, perhaps it’s just me, but I expected more from her and I felt as though I was cheated of sorts.

First off, the title of her book would suggest that she has two personalities (which she has shared with the public many times over), and I get that.  But what I don’t get is that if you’re taming Lil Mo why didn’t you talk about why you’re taming her?  What I found out is more about Cynthia Karen Loving and just so-so about Lil Mo, Cynthia’s alter ego.  I completely get why she created the Lil Mo persona, which was due to being sexually molested when she was very young.  Being Lil Mo broke Cynthia out of her mold, but that’s as much as we know.  In other words, her book didn’t really go into much more about how she’s taming Lil Mo other than what you’ve already heard or know about her.  Let’s face it, Lil Mo has no problem expressing herself, although there was a time when she had a very hard time doing just that.

The cover of her book also suggested this was a “tell-all” story.  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel she expressed enough to her reader.  She sort of leaves you hanging, and that’s what made the disconnect for me.  I don’t expect any celebrity to tell me every facet of their life, however, I do expect, when you put on the cover of your book that it’s a tell-all, then damn it, that’s what it should be.  Tell all that surround the things your fans truly want to know.  Don’t get me wrong, she told a lot about her personal dilemmas and trials and tribulations, which I appreciated her candor, but what her die hard fans really wanted to know, I think she fell short.  She just teased readers and for some, like myself, that turns me off.  Either you’re going to come totally clean and tell it, or don’t mention it at all.  You know why people want to read your story, so let’s not kid anyone here.  At times I felt like she just wrote this book to capitalize off of her fame of being in the spotlight on R&B Divas:  LA.  And if that is what she was going for, she succeeded.  Her story seemed rushed, disjointed, unpolished, thrown together haphazardly and confusing at times. 

So, you’re wondering what exactly did she tell?  She shared some of her musical background with her readers.  She name dropped people she’s worked with in the industry.  She was pretty candid about the way she grew up with her parents and siblings and the strong religious background they shared.  She also went into detail about her failed first two marriages, which brought another issue for me.  I’m not sure if this was an editing issue or if this was just Lil Mo being Lil Mo?  She gave initials for her second husband’s name near the end of the book, and I’m thinking what was this brother’s name?  Or why was his name a secret?  After all, he was on the first season with her of R&B Divas: LA, so what was up with the “PJB” and not just stating his name outright?  I’m thinking that may have been an editing issue, or seeing as how their marriage ended up pretty bitter, maybe she did it on purpose?  I’m not sure, but I know that drove me nuts seeing the capped letters throughout the couple chapters.

I do appreciate that she talked about why she and her second husband put on this façade during the first season’s taping of R&B Divas: LA.  She didn’t want the public and her fans to know she was really going through a divorce.  Family means everything to her and I did enjoy her heartfelt stories about her childhood and her family life.  Her self-image is also important to her and knowing that her parents have been together for so many years, she so desperately wants to have that with a husband.  Luckily for Lil Mo she met her third husband, Karl Dargan.  I’ve seen him on this seasons R&B Divas and I’m hoping that she has truly found love this time.  It’s not that she didn’t find love the first two times, it’s just she was at a different stage creatively in her life, and that brought about a different set of circumstances.  One thing I do love about Cynthia is when she does tell she keeps it pretty much one hundred with her readers.  I think her memoir could have been so much better if it had been polished and edited correctly.  It seems to me the version the reader was given was literally a first draft, which is the cut that should never make it in front of a reading audience.  Again, those are personal pet peeves of mine and may not bother other readers, which is fine.  In no way am I suggesting you not read her book. 

Cynthia Loving a/k/a Lil Mo possesses another talent that she may not even be aware of.  She’s funny as hell!  OMG, there were parts of the book where I fell out laughing so hard cause I’ve experienced some of the things she talked about and it was refreshing to see that someone else has gone through those things and how she handled it.  I busted out laughing a few times because I could envision her writing these words and hear her voice as I read it.  Mo is a trip, which if you’ve been paying attention and following her career, you already know! 

Again, this is not a bad read, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.  Of course, I continue to wish Lil Mo the best in her career.  All the love she can handle and for her children to aspire to do great things in life.  I am pulling for her that she and Karl will make it as husband and wife.  Lord knows marriage isn’t easy.  Mello & June gives this book three stars.  Not bad, and not the greatest, but it’s definitely readable and shares some poignant moments!  She does bring the funny too!



Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

The Greatest Story Never Told. . .
Is Waiting to Be Revealed!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

April Showers Bring #Books and Power!

Hello Intellectual Minds,

It's Spring--Finally!  Even though Old Man Winter tries to hang on, you can feel the difference in the air.  The birds are chirping, there's a warmth blowing and pretty soon the grass will be greener and flowers blooming.  And speaking of blooming, this is the first of the month, and you know what time it is!  Oh yeah, it's AAMBC time and we've got a nice selection of books for YOU!

So while we're celebrating surviving a brutally cold winter embracing a new season, please join us in checking out these budding new novels.  Sit back, relax and read--it always does the mind good!  Here we Go. . .

This fast-paced novel introduces you to Tracey, an educated, beautiful go-getter who gets caught in an unexpected web of sex, lies, and reality television. Tracey wants what’s best for her and her friends but is she willing to pay the price required to walk the red carpet?

Tracey lets nothing get in her way as she pursues her dreams and creates an unimaginable life leaving all she’s ever known behind as she takes on an unknown journey aiming only for success.

Fame Whore is a story of friendship, lust, and the life-altering decisions Tracey must make on the road to fame. Join Tracey behind the scenes as she rises from a local no name city girl to a trending sensation.

Excerpt:

“What’s up with you, girl?” he asked.

“I’m chillin’,” I said sarcastically.

“Yeah, you chillin’ all right, half-naked riding some nigga dick you don’t know,” he said after taking another sip of truth juice.

“Are you serious, Slim?”

“Yeah, I’m serious, Tracey.”

“Look, I went to the shoot to help Shy. Heater came up and asked me to do the video and I did,” I said matter-of-factly.

“Whatever. How you gonna do some shit like that and you ain’t even ask me?”

“Ask you? Boy, you not my daddy. I don’t have to answer to you. You fucked that up. I was loyal, faithful, and did ‘answer to you’ at one point. You fucked that up when you was fucking your baby mom,” I said. My voice rose with every word.

“You right. I was fucking Rhonda, but that’s my son’s mom,” he said, “but that don’t make it right and I’m sorry.”

Tears started falling from my eyes and I felt my heart hit my stomach. I had expected him to lie until I forced it out of him. The truth hit me so hard that I couldn’t even speak. I had never been hurt like this before.

“You are sorry. So, just like that, huh? So, you just gonna say it like it’s okay?”

“It’s not okay, Tracey, but I’m not gonna lie to you. I was, but it wasn’t because I love her or because I don’t love you. She made it seem like that’s what I had to do to see my son.”

“Fuck you, Slim.”

Fighting back the tears, I started hitting him and screaming. I knew it was only a matter of time before the staff noticed and asked us to leave, but they just stood there in shock.

“Calm down, girl.”

Slim grabbed my wrists tightly and push me into the couch. After I calmed down, he let go.

“You know what, Slim? This just makes it easy for me, you cheating son of a bitch.”

“Makes what easy?” he said confused.

“I’m moving to Atlanta.”

“What? So, now you just gonna leave because of this little situation with Rhonda?”

“This ain’t about you and Rhonda. It’s about me for a change. So, yes, I’m leaving in a couple days. You and your Gorilla Zoe-looking baby mom can fuck all you want because I’m out.”

Once the words left my mouth it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t care about his feelings anymore. All the love I thought we had dissolved this moment. “You think moving to Atlanta is gonna make you a star, huh? You groupie-ass bitch. Now, you wanna be a video vixen. Good luck out there. When I blow I’ll be sure to stop by and get my dick sucked cause that’s all you gonna be good for.”

“Nigga, I…”

I had to stop myself. I wasn’t sinking to his level. I had embarrassed myself enough. It was time to walk away. Slim was already standing as if he was leaving so I grabbed my keys and stood up to walk away but he couldn’t stop the insults. He counted out the money to pay the tab and tossed it on the table.

“Bye, hoe. You can keep all the shit I brought you and the money from the show the other night, too. You gonna need it. You should go ahead and take some pole dancing lessons or something, too, so you can fit in with the rest of the vixens.”

Holding back my tears, I walked outside to my truck. As I pulled off, tears rolled down my face and I had a sharp pain in my chest that felt like my heart was literally breaking. What just happened? My emotions took over so quick. All the love I thought I had for Slim came rushing out of me as I screamed and punched my steering wheel. Then, when all the screaming stopped, the love was gone. This hurt like hell. What was all that name-calling about? How could he do this to me? I just couldn’t stop crying. I knew I wasn’t gonna fail in Atlanta. Slim knew it, too. Now, I really had to make it– not to prove him wrong, but to prove me right.

Get to Know the Author:


Lacy B is a novelist, mother and philanthropist. Before the completion of her debut novel Fame Whore she worked in various industries, from sales and marketing to healthcare management and non-profit programming. Although writing has always been her passion it took her a while to rediscover her writing chops. When she’s not busy penning her next novel you can find her relaxing at home with her two children.

Tell us about your book Fame Whore and what made you choose that title?

Fame Whore is really a story of a young woman’s journey to success. We all have options and some of us choose to start a family and live a traditional lifestyle while others chase fame and fortune. In the book you will notice the choices Tracey, the main character, makes and how her decisions lead her on a destructive path. The title came to me while I was describing the character to a friend and it just stuck.

What made you write this book? Is the story based off of personal experience?

The reason I wrote this book is because I have always wanted to write. I just didn’t know what to write about. With the hype of reality television, that’s what everyone ever talks about anymore, I felt it was a good theme to write on. I started researching the characters to find out they were educated, sophisticated and accomplished women who just wanted to be on TV for one reason or another. The story is totally fiction. It’s my take on how these women end up on reality shows.

What part of the story do you most relate to?

There is a scene that got me emotional just writing it. It’s when Tracey and her boyfriend breakup. A lot of women can relate to that scene. We have all experienced it either through a friend or first hand having our heart broken by someone we thought we loved and loved us. Even though they love each other they say and do some very hurtful things in the process. Him being selfish and trying to hold her back is what pushes her to go even harder once she moves.

Is this the type of book you wanted to write or did you want to write on a different topic?

When I sat down to write I wanted to write nonfiction books for women that help them make better choices when it comes to love and relationships, wellness and entrepreneurship. I actually accomplished that in this story so I am very pleased.

How long did it take you to write Fame Whore?

It took me about three months of writing time. I procrastinated a lot with the process. I would stop and then start writing only to stop again. Then I just told my self to finish the book I set writing goals and with the help of my editor Michele I got it done.

DreamFields Publishing is your company why did you decide to self publish?

After researching the industry I noticed the time it took to send out query letters and get an agent was pretty lengthy. Not to mention that just because you sent them doesn’t mean you will get published. I knew this wouldn’t be my only book so I started DreamFields Publishing. It has been a learning experience but I am glad I took the self-publishing route.

Aside from your novel Fame Whore what else can we expect from Lacy B?

I am currently working on my next novel titled Bounce about a young woman who gets caught up in a life of crime. I have a weekly YouTube show called Ratchet Re-Cap where each week I review your favorite reality shows and urban dramas. There is also my t-shirt line iWrite Author Gear® apparel and promotional items for authors and go-getters alike.

Find the Author and the Book:














Synopsis:

Shay Spivey shares her proven tips and techniques that helped her win over $100,000 in college scholarships and free financial aid toward her own undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Excerpt:

“Congratulations on your decision to search for alternative ways to pay for college!

As a scholarship winner and college graduate, I have developed proven tips and techniques that helped me win over $100,000 in college scholarships and free financial aid. As a proven expert and professional consultant in my respective field, I am devoted to helping others find, apply, and win free money to go to college. In this guide I will share with you my proven tips and techniques on how to submit a winning scholarship application.”

Biography

Shay Spivey is a scholarship and financial aid advisor specializing in helping students understand and prepare to win scholarships for college. Shay was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and earned her Bachelor and Master of Social Work from Indiana University. She has studied scholarships and free financial aid extensively and developed a passion for helping others find free money for college.

Get to Know Shay:


What sparked the idea for your book? 

I wrote this book to fill a special need in the community. I wish I had this book when I was in high school because I would not have felt so lost. I dropped out after my sophomore year when I ran out of money. Years later I decided to return to college as an adult and began researching alternative ways to pay for college. I won $100,000 in college scholarships and want to help others find free money to complete their degree.

How personal is your writing? 

I decided to return to college as an adult and spent a significant amount of time researching alternative ways to pay for college. I am passionate about scholarships and financial aid and I hope that comes through in my writing. When trying to find a way to put myself through college as a single parent, I was blessed to find my purpose in life. Every step of my journey has led to this moment and I believe that with all my heart. I sincerely want to help others achieve their educational goals without going into debt.

Why are scholarships and free financial aid important?

College is expensive. Scholarships and financial aid are vital to the equal access, enrollment, and retention of underrepresented students in colleges and universities. Tuition costs are rising at an alarming rate and the rising costs of higher education have many people wondering if they can afford college. Education changes lives and scholarships and free financial aid make it affordable.

What do you want readers to get from your book?

There are several things I hope readers learn after reading my book: (1) An understanding about scholarships and financial aid; (2) how to submit a winning scholarship application; (3) how to prepare in advance; (4) how to create an advantage; and (5) what scholarship judges are looking for. Most importantly, I want people to walk away feeling empowered, knowing that they too can change their life.

How did you win $100,000 in college scholarships?

I won over $100,000 in college scholarships which allowed me to return to college and change my life. Returning to college was a priority for me. Therefore, I made finding the money to pay for it a priority as well. One thing was certain in my situation: No money, no college.

I treated the process of applying for scholarships and free financial aid like it was the last chance I might ever have to return to college… because it was. This was it. College was my ticket out of poverty, my chance to change my life, and the opportunity I had been waiting for.

If I could not convince scholarship organizations to help me financially, I had no other way to pay for college. I put my heart and soul into telling my story and getting it into the hands of anyone who could help. Applying for scholarships opportunities became my part-time job, and I was determined to give it my best shot.

What motivated you to return to college in your thirties?

There were many motivating factors that played a part in my decision to return to college and earn my degree. One motivating factor was feeling stuck in an entry level job, living paycheck to paycheck, struggling, and watching the world pass me by. I attempted several times to apply for better positions, however I learned that without a college degree opportunities for advancement did not exist for me. I needed to make a change or I felt like I would die a death of stagnancy. I felt like my life was going nowhere.

What is next for you, Shay?

I am currently working on my next project which addresses another need: Scholarships and financial aid for private high schools.

Find the Author:

Twitter: @ShayMSpivey

About.me/shay.spivey

Where to get Book:

Purchase on Amazon:

Purchase on Barnes and Noble:


Book Trailer:

How to Submit a Winning Scholarship Application – Book Trailer


Excerpt:

What is a Personal Statement?

The personal statement or essay is an important part of the application process. In an essay format applicants can tell their personal story. I encourage applicants to start writing early because this is a process. The writing process will help applicants think about, and answer, questions like:

Why am I returning to college?

Where am I coming from? Where do I want to go?

Why do I want to study in this particular field?

What are my goals and aspirations?

SAMPLE PERSONAL STATEMENT OUTLINE

Your name

Your address

City, State, Zip

Phone number

Email address

BRIEF INTRODUCTION

Introduce yourself

Why do you want to go/return to college?

Are you a first generation college student? Adult student?

ACADEMIC GOALS:

What are your academic goals?

Which degree are you seeking?

What is your expected graduation date?

Where are you enrolled? GPA (if good)?

What have you already completed?

CAREER GOALS:

What are your career goals?

What are you working towards? Why?

In what way will you give back or reach back in the community?

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

You may want to think of a personal experience that has helped shape who you are.

Have you had to overcome a big obstacle?

What is a dream or goal that is currently motivating you?

Did you overcome a hardship in your life?

Did you serve in the military? What branch? For how long? Were you deployed?

Employment – how many days and hours do you work?

Are you involved in community service? Extra-curricular activities?

FINANCIAL NEED

How will this scholarship help with your educational goals?

Financial need?

Download a free sample personal statement at:




Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

The Meme Above Says it All!

Knowledge is Power!


Saturday, March 28, 2015

BOOK Review. . .Circling the Runway



I received an advanced copy of this soon-to-be-released novel by Down & Out Books. 

One thing I can say about this novel, the beginning should definitely come with a Cast of Characters listing. Oh my, there were so many names and characters to keep up with, it got rather confusing for me, at first. Please note, I said at first. Once I got the hang of the author’s flow, the story began to come alive and what a story indeed.

I’m new to reading this author, and I am always excited to try a new author out because how else will you know who is your favorite and who isn’t? J.L. Abramo definitely has a way of telling a story. His style is very clever—sort of reminds me of a cross between Sidney Sheldon and Walter Mosley, wherein he takes several small stories that at first glance appear to be going nowhere, all the while keeping his reader engaged, until those stories weave like a carefully quilted blanket. The reader is then left with their ‘A-Ha’ moment and climatic victory of figuring out what is happening. I believe this novel is the third or fourth in the Jake Diamond series and I have to say, Jake is a pretty cool, well-put-together, down-to-earth kind of guy. His character reminds me a great deal of the old Private Eyes of yesteryear with the zest and appeal of today’s world.

One thing is for sure, Jake doesn’t take any shit and although he comes off as being your average nice guy, don’t let his good looks and his humor fool you, as some of the characters found out in this story. I’m not completely sure about the background of how Jake came to be, but I believe he either tried to be on the police force or wanted to be, and for one reason or another, he never made it. He once aspired to be an actor, which those skills came in handy for the work he currently does. Suffice it to say, he started his own private investigations business with a pretty, smart eleck sidekick, Darlene Roman, who helps keep his sinking business afloat—from bookkeeping to being a sarcastic speaking receptionist. Just as Jake was figuring he’d run out of money soon, a very important person ends up dead in his apartment. So, you think the story ends there, right? You couldn’t be more wrong! This is where those little stories begin to truly take shape!
 
For starters, evidence is being tampered with by a lieutenant who receives much respect from her squad—only for those to go looking at her sideways. Information is being handed out like a parent giving his trick or treaters Halloween candy. Question is, who is shelving out that information and why? Good cops are appearing to have a bit of the devil lurking within them, and more dead bodies continually keep turning up. Soon as Jake thinks he can safely move about to handle his personal affairs, he’s being summoned by close friends to help them with their problems.

Let’s not leave out the fact that he’d rather not get involved with any of this murder business, especially since it’s not paying his rent literally. But personal friends have called in favors and it’s up to Jake to at least make good on past promises. After all, when he’s in a pinch, they come to his aid. While dead bodies keep surfacing, a very good friend of his ends up looking like someone tried to put him in a meat grinder after having been beat half to death. Jake takes it personal and is in desperate need to search for those who have done this to his good friend. However, before he embarks on his search, Jake has a pretty good idea who was behind his friend's beat down. And knowing this, he sought out someone who could help him handle business. While he puts out tiny fires, there are other arsonists abound trying to light new and bigger flames to keep this cast of characters going around in circles. Abramo’s chapters are short, sweet and definitely to the point. The reader is given a panoramic view into the lives of each of these interesting and unforgettable characters. 

If you’re looking for a private eye who can stand the test of time with a little charm and humor mixed in, this novel is for you! If you’re a fan of the Law & Order series and are familiar with how it comes on and continues to build until you get to the crux of the matter, then welcome to Circling the Runway! Awesome read! Get ready to take reading to a whole other level! Abramo delivers plenty of action.  Mello & June gives this novel five stars.  Well done!  Coming to a bookstore and/or download near you around the end of April 2015.  Be on the lookout!




Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Calling on All Private Eyes. . .
to READ Circling the Runway






Saturday, March 21, 2015

So. . .What's It Gonna Be?

Hello Intellectual Minds!

How's your reading coming?  Are you getting it in?  If not, no worries, you know we're here for you!  You've got to stay on the grind. There are so many great books coming out and what's the point of an author if you're not going to take the time to read his words? So what are you waiting for?  There's no time like the present. . .get to reading!  It does the mind good!

Alright, I've given you my pep talk for the day.  Now, let's get down to business.  Aaaw yeah, there's lots to talk about.  Which network has the hottest show on the planet?  What show has just about err'body and his mama talkin' in tongues?  You've got to be living under a rock if you don't know what show I'm speaking of!  Oooh yeah, you know what this is!  Let's give three big ole cheers for Empire.

I knew from the trailer a while ago that this show was going to be good.  How could it fail? You've got the best African-American actors playing the roles of their lives.  My girl, Taraji P. Henson and my main man, Terrance Howard, playing Lucious and Cookie.  Can you hear my excitement?  No, you say.  Trust and believe, I absolutely LOVE Empire!  I can't control myself.  That is one of the best shows I've seen in scripted television in a long, long, long, time!  Make no mistake, Empire has a little somethin' somethin' for err'body.  I can relate to many in this colorful cast.

I know many of you watched the show on Wednesday nights on its original broadcast, but my hubby and I chose to watch each episode every Friday, seeing as how there's not much to choose from in the first place.  I don't know what we're gonna do now that the show had its season finale? OMG, what is one to do?  Empire withdrawal -- Ooooooooh Noooooooo!  To hell with fake reality shows, I want more scripted shows like this! Timbaland has outdone himself with the music on the show.  He is one hell of a producer.  Kudos to him!  I haven't downloaded the music on my iPod yet, but you better know I plan to do it in the immediate future.  I loved the music, the story line, and the crazy ass characters. I can't wait for Season 2! My favorite line by Cookie (although there are many), "If you want Cookie's nookie, you got to ditch the bitch!) Oooooh hell yeah, that's what I'm talkin' bout!  I'm #TeamCookie.

So, can someone tell me why some of my people have an issue with the show?  I would think my peeps would be happy to see so many African-Americans working and bringing forth a multitude of talent for the world to see.  We can act, look good and keep our integrity intact. So. . .what the hell is the problem?

You can bet, if Empire hadn't come along, many of my people would still be complaining there aren't any quality shows on television that focuses on US!  And so Lee Daniels and Danny Strong come along and give us this hot ass show that got so much spice, it keeps one's soul sizzlin'.  There are so many rappers/singers/actors trying to get in on the action 'cause they know it will help boost their careers.  Again, I ask, what is the problem?  Well, for starters, the naysayers and haters of the show say it showcases African-Americans in a negative light. They say it's keeping us down by showing stereotypical portrayals of us in the music industry.  Hmm, is what I say! Some have gone so far to say by watching Empire and consuming its content we somehow become what we view.  Hmm, really?

If you want to talk about keeping us down, I've said it before and I'll say it again, all those dumb ass reality shows on TV certainly haven't uplifted us!  And the shame of it all is those shows are called 'reality' and here some of you are up-in-arms over a nighttime soap opera for adults, which is meant to be scripted and portrayed by actors.  (Let's keep it 100 folks, that's what Empire is--a nighttime soap!)  Some of you are treating this show much like Dan Quayle did Candice Bergen in the hit sitcom Murphy Brown back in the 80s. He actually believed her character was 'real'! Oh Lord! If I'm what I consume by the reading material I choose or the TV shows and/or movies I watch, I guess I've got a serious problem here.  The last time I checked I've never been to prison nor have I ever stepped foot inside a jail cell (i.e., meaning, I don't visit anyone that I may know personally--related or otherwise).  I've never been arrested or got a ticket.  I've never murdered another human being nor beaten to death or raped another individual.  I've never held a real gun let alone fire one. I've never gone on a killing spree or for the hell of it, blew up buildings with people in them.  I don't recall receiving a license to fly a plane.  I've never been a stripper or danced professionally--ever.  I've played sports, but never was on a team and I wouldn't consider myself an athlete.  Oh, and I've never flown to other planets and took up residency.  I don't recall meeting any real aliens, although I sometimes believe I'm truly among them. Everything I just mentioned are things I've read about and/or viewed in a movie/TV, so does that make me what I've read and/or viewed?  Am I serial killer, rapist, stripper, been in prison, a criminal, a terrorist, etc.? Am I those things...ABSOLUTELY NOT!  But according to some, I am what I've consumed. Get Real!

How dare you insult my intelligence by stating those who watch Empire somehow become what they're watching.  What those individuals are saying to me and anyone else with the sense they've been given is that we don't know the difference between what is fantasy and what is real!  What?! What?!  I don't have a problem differentiating between what is real and what is not! That seems to be the problem with this new age generation today.  I've always been in touch with my emotions and knowing what-is-what and what isn't. From the behaviors I see on social media, have proven to me time and time again, that many of YOU don't have a clue as to what is really going on.  But to sit there and judge me and people like me who happen to enjoy Empire for what it is, a damn dramatic TV show giving plenty of actors and singers alike some work to entertain us for an hour or so.  Ain't no way in hell I would ever become Cookie or Lucious for that matter! 

Hello People, the show is just that--A TV SHOW! It's a show made up by someone's imagination.  It's no different than the books I write to sell my readers--to give them some entertainment. If you take what you see on TV or in a book and think that's the way life really is, or believe the characters you see are real people, then you don't need to cast judgment on me, you most definitely need to look at yourself.  There's something not quite right with you, but don't go making claims that people who enjoy the show are what they watch.  Do you even hear yourselves?  What the hell?  I do watch some reality shows--for instance, I'm a fan of the Love and Hip-Hop franchise.  I can tell you right now, I would NEVER act nor behave in the manner in which those people do.  I watch solely to get my laugh on because I sit there in awe that there are people willing to sell their soul and act a damn fool all for the sake of a dollar.  If you put it out there, you already know people are going to judge. So it is what it is, but to say I am what I consume, I take high offense to that idiotic statement.

And why is it Empire demeans us as a people?  Do you think the cast members of the Love and Hip-Hop franchise makes us look like outstanding citizens to the world?  Pa-lease, who the hell do you think you're fooling?  At least I'm not a hypocrite.  I know what I watch on TV and I know what I read, and I know what I enjoy writing, but to suggest to others you are what you read and watch, that is outrageous to me.  Downright ridiculous!  I know fact from fiction, but obviously many of YOU do not!

Some of you have taken this Empire phenom to a whole other level!  I remember when Scandal was the 'It' show and now not so much.  And believe me, Empire will run its course just like Scandal has.  All good things come to an end. My thing is, my people, is that you can't have your damn cake and eat it too!  You complain when you don't see many of us acting on the small screen and/or the silver screen, and then when we get a show that is working casting great actors, all of a sudden, it's degrading us as a whole and you want to speak negatively against its content. The people playing the characters are called 'Actors' for a reason, or perhaps some of you think Empire is real?  Shame on YOU!

So, what's it gonna be?  Either you want to see African-Americans acting and bringing home a paycheck or you don't?  If you don't like the show, that's your right, but don't sit there posting negative comments about those who do simply because it's not YOUR thing!  It's all good.  You don't have to like it, but before you so quickly jump to the conclusion to state that those of us who are huge fans of the show, such as myself, that I am what I consume by watching it, you better check your damn self!  I'd love to know what you watch and let me see if YOU are what you watch and/or read.  Do you hear how stupid that sounds?  

Make up your mind, my people.  You can't have it both ways!
  


Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

If YOU Can Judge Others. . .
Make sure you can do it for yourself!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Book Review. . .Signature Kill


Weekend's Book Affair proudly presents Mello & June's first book review for 2015 on our book blog!

I received an advanced copy of this soon-to-be-released novel by the marketing department of Doubleday. 

I was so excited when contacted to read this novel. I hadn’t previously read anything by this author. From what I learned, he’s been nominated for various literary awards and perhaps won a couple or more. His skills are impeccable and puts you right there with the story. Is there any wonder he’s been picked to win awards?! He’s in a league with the big dogs, like Stephen King, William Peter Blatty and Bram Stoker, just to name a few. Any author who can make you feel what his characters feel is truly awesome. I absolutely loved this story. I’m looking forward to reading more in the Frank Behr series.

If you ever wondered what it was like to be inside the mind of a mad man, you need not look any further than this new terrifying thriller, Signature Kill.

The story is told by the killer’s voice, as well as the quiet, sometimes seemingly standoffish, Frank Behr. Behr is an ex-cop turned private eye and in need of some much needed cash. As he’s driving home from a deer hunting outing with a buddy of his, he sees a billboard with a pretty young woman’s face plastered up with information asking if anyone has seen this woman? Behr further gleams there will be a reward in the amount of $100,000 given to the person who finds her. As much as Behr’s gut tells him to leave the whole situation alone, that $100,000 is calling out his name.


Meanwhile, his old cronies at his former police precinct are called to a park in Indianapolis where a body is discovered or what would appear to be what a human body is supposed to look like. This sickly disturbing twisted attempt of leaving a woman’s body exposed to the elements for the world to see sets off a series of women’s murders displayed in ways the human body cannot possibly set itself—thereby leaving one to question who or what could be sick enough to distort and pose these women, who once went about their daily lives never knowing they were so close to death, only to be left as empty carcasses without regard or respect to their lives?

Hmm, that’s the $64 million dollar question of the night and only one way to find out the answers is to read this bone chilling, gruesomely riveting thriller. I caution readers if you don’t have a strong stomach, you’re likely to lose its contents! (chuckle). The reader will come away with two stories in one—taking the journey down a dark path inside the mind of a sadistic murderer and the man who puts himself in the middle of it all to catch him. 

David Levien is an amazing author bringing his readers into his characters’ sick and twisted world. This novel had me sitting on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, as I turned the pages wondering what other discoveries Frank Behr and I were going to make?


These characters are so life like, and yes, including the killer. You’ve probably heard or read about killers similar to this fictional one. What I found most captivating was the brilliant ending! It felt so damn good and I only wish that, in this case, life would imitate art—(the ending) I mean.

If you’re looking for a great thrill read that will keep you turning the pages and sweating bullets waiting to find out what happens next, you most definitely want to pick up a copy of David Levien’s Signature Kill expected for release on or around March 24, 2015. Hold onto your seats, readers, ‘cause you’re in for one hell of a bumpy ass ride!










Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Fasten your Seat Belts Thrill Seekers. . .
Signature Kill DELIVERS!

Question is. . .Can you Handle the Pain?