Hey There Intellectual Minds!
Can you believe it's September already? Where has 2015 gone? Did you get the kids settled back into school yet? Are you settled back into school yet? Books, books and more books. No worries, that's what we're all about. You already know what time it is. . .that's right, it's a new month and the beginning which only means our favorite book club is in "da" house -- none other than AAMBC! Yesssssssssss! We've got a nice selection for you this weekend!
So, if you're looking for a break from the mandatory reading you must do (as if you can be tired when you just got started), kick back, put your feet up and enjoy the last summer holiday and add these great novels to your reading lists. Here we goooo . . .
To the outside world, the Bird sisters have it all: money, power, a successful interior design firm, and beauty. However, on the inside, these three black socialites are a mess. They have allowed the dysfunctional and at times, emotionally abusive marriage of their parents to color their views on life and love.
Robin is determined to have a family at any cost and is willing to destroy anyone standing in her way. Raven has been married for ten long years and sees no way out of her drug dealing husband’s tight grasp, until she begins to fall for his best friend. Sparrow is afraid of becoming consumed by men and love like her mother, so she leaves a trail of broken hearts in her wake and some don’t take the rejection as well as others.
When all three sisters put their trust in the wrong men, they find themselves faced with deadly stalkers, scorned ex-husbands, and jealous wives that throw them headfirst into Chicago’s underbelly. Help arrives from the most unlikely of sources, their baby brother, Blue-who has secrets of his own. With Blue and his associates by their side, Robin, Raven, and Sparrow are forced to reevaluate their life choices, commit unthinkable acts, and are pushed closer to the line of no return.
“I fucking hate you!”
Onyx eyes leered at me. If looks could kill my behind would have been dead for sure. As heads turned toward us in the dark restaurant, I fought to remain cool. I refused to pull out my clown suit in public.
“You knew what this was from the beginning. I don’t understand why you are so upset,” I said. Honestly, I didn’t know. It wasn’t as if I had lied to him or misled him. He knew what I wanted from the start.
His jaw ticked as he leaned across the table, a frown marring his beautiful chocolate face. His balled up fists made the muscles in his arms more pronounced. “You don’t understand?” his voice took on a deadly quality that I had never heard from him before. “I gave you my love, Sparrow. I offered you what I never offered any other woman. I gave you my heart and what did you do with it? You pierced it with your stilettos, fucking she-devil!”
The distressed look on his face softened my heart a little, but not enough to stop me from gathering my things. The only sounds audible in the restaurant were his labored breathing and the hushed tones of the other patrons, who were more than likely discussing his outburst.
Slipping on my cashmere coat, I looked at him one last time as I stood and took a deep breath. It took everything in me to calmly respond, “Sean, I’m sorry if you got the wrong impression. I am not a ‘forever’ type of girl. I’m a ‘for right now’ kind of girl. I did not ask you for your love, heart, or future and I certainly don’t want it.”
With my held high, I walked out of the restaurant and into the cool February night. I could feel the eyes of everyone on my back as I walked away.
Get to know Phoenix
Phoenix Williams is an author based out of Illinois. Her love of writing was born during her early childhood. Creating what she dubs “Realistic romance and family dramas with an urban twist,” Phoenix spins tales that allows the readers to see glimpses of themselves in the characters.
Her works consist of several short story collections—Running, Whipped, Screwed & Stripped, and Phoenix After Dark—and her debut novel with Mahogany Red Books—To Love A No Good Nigga.
Where are you from?
I was raised in Illinois, right outside of Chicago.
When it’s time for you to start writing, how do you prepare?
I turn off all the lights, turn off my phone, and throw on some music. The music is the most important part of the process. I like my books to flow like a movie and movies have scores and soundtracks.
Did you always want to be an author or did you have different career goals?
I have always been a writer but I didn’t take it seriously until a few years ago. I was in college, studying to be a lawyer. I was in my second year when I realized that I hated what I was going to school for. So, I quit and started self-publishing.
Do you pull from personal experience for storylines?
There is always a little bit of truth in fiction. Everyone has experienced family and relationship drama. That’s what I write about. However, I haven’t written a story that is 100% fact. I usually get my storylines from people watching. If I am ever stuck then I just ride through the west side of Chicago. I’m guaranteed to see at least twenty possible stories.
What do you want readers to get from your books?
I really want the reader to be able to see glimpses of themselves in each book. If you read one of my books and can relate to any of the characters then I feel like I’ve done my job.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
I’d love to collaborate with Tamika Newhouse—and I’m not just saying that because I signed with her. She’s one of the few authors who can get a physical reaction out of me. I start yelling at the characters like they can actually hear me! I would also love to work with Adrianne Byrd and Zuri Day. Those ladies are so talented. Their genre is different than mine and I’d love the challenge of trying to mesh our styles.
What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?
When I was writing To Love A No Good Nigga I was having a hard time starting it. I knew what I wanted to say but I wasn’t sure how to say it. My best friend, Envy, sat me down and told me to pretend I was telling her about these three crazy sisters. Two months later, the book was finished.
Find the Author:
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Oblivious to the lies men tell and the games they played, Sidney Jackson wants nothing more than to find love and acceptance. However, in the process of searching for “the one” her heart is left mutilated; and her self-esteem and confidence is at an all-time low. Falling into a depression during summer break from college ultimately forces the weight loss she so desired and suddenly, a new Sidney was created.
Fueled by past rejections, Sidney returns to college, embodying society’s definition of beauty. She has a slimmer waist and more confidence, but still yearns to be loved by a man who will reciprocate her same devotion. Then out of nowhere, came Quintavius “Q” Ford.
Q wasn’t the one who caught her eye, but when Q’s friend, Kaylin, seemingly isn’t interested, Sidney reluctantly begins to date him. To Sidney, Q is perfect, but he isn’t Kaylin and when she finally decides to take her life by the reins and guide herself to happiness, things take a turn for the worse.
When it seems that all of her efforts to find love are finally in her favor, she soon finds herself entangled in a web of meaningless sex, drugs, alcohol, and torn between two guys who have an agenda of their own. Sidney forgot one thing in this game of love and war-to love herself first. Will it be too late for that?
With her elbows propped on her knees and her face planted in her palms, Sidney yearned for the coolness of the toilet seat against her backside to alleviate the heat coursing through her body. Despite the bone chilling air blasting from the A/C vent above her, sweat beads formed on her skin. The warmth suffocating her body became increasingly unbearable. Her head was spinning, and it felt too heavy for her neck to support. Sidney laid her head in her lap while still seated on the toilet. With a stained comforter draped over her naked body, the young college co-ed relieved some of the pressure caused by the unsettled liquor in her stomach as she emptied her bladder in the dormitory bathroom.
Mid-stream, the door slowly creaked open. Sidney squinted her eyes in an attempt to tame her wavering vision to identify the person intruding on her private moment. A brown-skinned male walked in, closing the door behind him, and he sat across from Sidney on the linoleum tile floor. Despite the linen cover barely covering her nude body, and the fact that she was currently urinating, she studied his face. She knew him from somewhere, but she couldn’t place where. The drunken female couldn’t help but admire the man’s impressive physique. But still, her heart broke, as the reason for his presence was perfectly clear.
“You alright?” he asked, seemingly sincere.
“Yeah,” Sidney slurred, reaching for the toilet paper. She racked her brain trying to recall his name.
Just as she finished dabbing herself dry with the toilet paper, the young man proceeded to kneel in between her legs and slid the raggedy comforter off to the side with his left hand, exposing her large breasts. Dumbfounded, Sidney was slightly appalled that he was trying to be intimate with her in a bathroom. If she could smell the urine rising from the toilet bowl, then he should’ve, too. Although her reaction was slightly delayed and her arm felt heavy, Sidney swiped at his hand. But it did nothing. The young man with the hershey skin continued to fondle each breast. He then brought his lips to Sidney’s neck. Momentarily, the cognac on his breath and the marijuana emanating from his skin caused her stomach to rumble with displeasure, but then the softness and coolness of his thick lips against her flesh sent electricity coursing through her body. He gently pinched her nipple, causing a throbbing sensation between her thighs.
A moaned slipped from her lips unknowingly, contradicting her true feelings.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
Noticing the tremble in her slurred speech and the confused expression on her face, the male withdrew his hand and sat back on his heels. Throwing the toilet paper in the toilet and flushing it, Sidney stood and wrapped the linen tighter around her body while she reached for the door handle. Slightly turning the knob and opening the door, Sidney attempted to exit, but the guy she swore she knew from somewhere shut the door and blocked her path. Locking the door, he backed Sidney into a corner of the bathroom.
Get to know Monica
Monica Jeremie was born in Georgia and raised in Texas. She currently resides in Orlando, Florida with her fiancé and their two children. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from the University of Central Florida in 2007. Last fall, Monica Jeremie enrolled back at UCF part-time to pursue a second degree in Public Administration.
One of her future goals is volunteering with teens and young adults, assisting with the development of life and social skills and achieving a higher education. She would also enjoy the opportunity to speak with young girls about the importance of self-love and acceptance and avoiding toxic relationships.
Monica Jeremie’s love for reading and writing began over seven years ago and instantly became two of her passions. She looks forward to creating stories that are relatable, entertaining, and original.
What inspired you to write Why a Thug Can’t Love Me?
I was inspired by the negative trends and stereotypes as well as unhealthy relationships and lifestyles prevalent among teens and young women, specifically African American women. This book is my interpretation of social issues I’ve seen on TV and social media and hear in today’s music.
Do you see yourself in any other characters in the book?
While in high school and college, I dealt with the same insecurities as the main character, Sidney. I struggled with low self-esteem and a lack of confidence, as well as my weight and appearance. It was hard for me to fit in and socialize because I was very shy and quiet. It took me a while to truly love myself and accept myself as I am. Once that happened, everything else just fell into place.
What do you hope that readers will take away from this book?
I hope this book will help people, especially women, understand that it is hard for relationships, marriages, and friendships to be successful if you do not care and love yourself. People will do to you only what you let them. If you don’t love and treat yourself with the utmost respect, you shouldn’t expect someone else to?
What inspired you to write?
In 2009, I was working at a job that I hated, and was due to be laid off at the end of the year as a result of budget reductions. By this time, I already obtained my bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies but had also decided I no longer desired to work in that field. Knowing that I was going to be out of a job soon, I told myself that my next job was going to be doing something I loved. One night while reading one of my favorite books, becoming a writer just kind of popped into my head. It was a slow and difficult process in the beginning, but once I got into it, I knew that I had just found my new career.
At what point did you realize writing was your purpose?
I realized writing was my purpose when it became all I thought about. No matter where I was different scenarios would keep going through my mind. Eventually, I started carrying a pen and notebook with me whenever I left home, so that I could jot down whatever was on my mind or something interesting that I observed while out and about.
What are your goals as an author?
My goal as an author is to write as many entertaining stories without them becoming similar and predictable. Eventually, I would like to experiment with different genres, such as, science fiction, mysteries, and non-fiction self-help books.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
No matter how many rejection letters you receive or how discouraged you become, do not quit. If writing is something you truly love, keep writing. I have received rejection letters. I have had submissions go unanswered. I have stopped writing for several months at a time because I became so discouraged. But I always came back because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. There will be people who do not like your work. There will be several people that do. Keep doing what you love.
Find the Author and the Book:
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/authormjeremie
Instagram: http://instagram.com/monicajeremie/ (@monicajeremie)
Twitter: http://twitter.com/monicajeremie/ (@monicajeremie)
Why A Thug Can’t Love Me is now available on Amazon:
Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer
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