Friday, May 30, 2014

'Supposedly Broken' by Tanya Harris

The Turner cousins were damaged by tragic childhood experiences that no amount of time or therapy could erase. Zakia would always remember the feel of her stepfather’s breath against her skin, Marisa would remember the images of her mother’s bruised face that seemed to never heal and Randi will forever hear the sound of her parent’s rejection.  These embedded memories of pain became the foundation of the protective barriers that framed their adult lives. 

It’s not until an unexpected death occurs that they realize that those barriers that were built to protect them from pain, also shielded them from happiness.  As you get to know them, you will sympathize and empathize with their pain, ignite your anger at its source and fall in love with the end results.

Excerpt 

“Hey, Sweetie . . . Kyle.” They are both crazy if they think I’m leaving. Kyla needs to stop tripping. She knows that if I leave now, she’s going to call me right back tonight, crying and begging me to take her back. Been there, done that and not doing it again. I’m just going to sit right here on her steps and finish eating my grapes.

“Keep your hands off of my sister, Marcus!”

“What? Was that supposed to scare me, Kyle? I’m supposed to be scared of you?”

“You don’t have to be scared, but you better not touch her!”

“Kyle, wait. This wasn’t a good idea. Let’s just go.”

What did I say? She doesn’t want me to go.

“You better listen to your sister, Kyle.”

“No, you better listen to me!”

“Or wha—” I KNOW this fool didn’t just sucker punch me.

“The next time you want to fight, pick a man, punk!”

Oh, I got your punk.

“The next time you want to call somebody a punk, make sure he’s not holding a gun.” Uh-huh. He ain’t got nothing to say now.“Yeah . . . big brother ain’t so big now.”

“MARCUS . . . What are you doing?”

Kyla’s scared. Good. Maybe she’ll stop putting other people in our business.

“What was it that I ‘better’ do, Big Brother?”

“You think that gun scares me?”

“SHUT UP, KYLE! Let him go, Marcus!”

“You don’t have to be scared, but you better not hit me again.”

“PLEASE, let him go. Kyle, go home!”

“I’m not leaving you here!”

“Then I guess you’re not leaving.”

“MARCUS, WAIT!”



Tanya Tanya Harris is a native of Memphis, Tennessee who currently resides in Snellville, Georgia. She has spent years writing poems and short stories for personal enjoyment and as a therapeutic means of ending her day.  She has a positive outlook on life and believes that life happens to us but we choose how we react to it.  It is this belief that gave birth to Supposedly Broken and allowed it to take on a life of its own. 

Tanya is confident that her writing talent is a gift from God and that within this talent lies an opportunity for ministry. Her goal as an Author is to provide a creative means of entertainment that will have a positive impact on the lives of her readers.  The satisfaction felt from knowing that organized words on a page can influence the thoughts and/or actions of others is immeasurable. She loves writing period whether it is poetry, short stories, novels, etc. She has emotional ties to her work not because she can relate to the experiences expressed, but because of the emotions she hears from those who can.

 Get to know Tanya:


Why do you write?
  
I write because I love to do it. It’s where my passion lies.  The ability to write is a seed planted in me by God that I’m obligated to cultivate it and help it grow.

 At what age did you discover this passion?

I wrote my first two page short story at age 9 as the result of a fourth grade writing assignment.

If writing is your passion, what prevented you from pursuing it as a career?

Fear. Writing comes from a personal place.  It’s an honest expression of the emotions I feel when I hear about, read about or otherwise become aware of certain situations.  I put my heart into what I write and it’s a challenge for me to put my heart into the hands of my critic.
  
So now that you seemingly have conquered your fear, what can we expect to see from you in the future?

Currently, I am working on my second novel and I’ve begun an outline for a screenplay.  My third or fourth novel will be a book of poetry. . . Basically, I want to create anything that can be produced as a result of my pen hitting the pad.
  
What inspires you to write?

I’m inspired by people, music, art, nature . . . pretty much anything that can tell me a story.
  
Where is your favorite place to write?

I love to write in any place where I can plug in my ear buds and get lost into my music

Is 'Supposedly Broken' a standalone novel or is it a part of a series?

I haven’t decided yet.


Find the author:






'265 Point' by Tamara Jackson


As a motivational health and fitness expert, Tamara Jackson is all too familiar with the emotional, psychological and physical challenges associated with weight loss and developing a healthy lifestyle. Tamara has taken to the Internet to challenge and change alarming statistics. Tamara seeks to motivate, educate and inspire women to reclaim their health and their lives.

Having reached the point but later suffered a relapse – this book is for you too. I’ve been where you are and I can help.
265 Point is part biography, part education, part inspiration and motivation. I’ve done my best to assemble the elements necessary for you to succeed.

You will learn:
- Why traditional dieting doesn’t work.
- How to find and keep your motivation.
- The real reason you keep sabotaging yourself.
- How to handle unsupportive family and friends.
- Practical ways to silence “the voice” that seeks to protect you but really sets you up for failure, every time.
- Simple steps you can take now to salvage your future through the power of choice.
- How to stop short-circuiting your progress with unrealistic expectations and unhealthy comparisons.
- Easy ways to identify better food choices when eating out.
- Why exercise alone is not enough to get and keep you fit and fly.
- How to reprogram your brain to see the best in you rather than the worst in you.
- What really drives your sense of dignity and your self-confidence (hint: it’s not what you think).
- How to enjoy your favorite foods without interfering with your goals using my 80/20 plan.



Tamara Jackson is a motivational health and fitness expert who has taken to the Internet to change the alarming statistic that four out of five African American women are overweight or obese. All too familiar with the emotional, psychological and physical challenges associated with developing a healthy lifestyle, Tamara seeks to motivate, educate, and inspire women to take the steps necessary to reclaim their health and their lives. Tamara is a Certified Group Exercise Instructor through the American College of Sports Medicine and has authored the book “265Point” to provide “on point” practical guidance to those that are ready to ditch dieting and get fit for good.

She is convinced that that anyone can change with the appropriate tools, systems, and support. Tamara appeared on the demonstration floor of The Dr. Oz show with fitness guru and Insanity® creator Shaun T. in February of 2012. Her weight loss success story is currently being showcased in the top-selling Hip Hop Abs® infomercial. When not writing, coaching, working out or leading a class, Tamara can be found hanging out with family and friends, volunteering, or cuddled up with a book.

She’s also a huge fan of roller coasters, whitewater rafting and zip lining. A banking professional of 15 years, Tamara holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Virginia Tech and a Master’s Degree from the University of Florida.

Get to know Tammara:

‘265 Point’, interesting title, what does it mean?
265 represents my highest weight. I was slim growing up, but in my mid-twenties I was under a lot of emotional stress and turned to food for comfort. Before I knew it, I ballooned to 265 pounds. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror but I didn’t know how to change it so I remained at that weight for over 6 years. The Point is a place, but not one you would find on a typical street map. It is a location on the continuum of change where you’ve moved past just thinking about change and wanting to change and are now ready to act.

What’s the guiding principle of ’265 Point’?

Success is an inside job. In order to achieve the look you desire on the outside, you have to address what is going on in the inside, specifically what’s going on in your head. Everything we do (or don’t do) originates with a thought. If you just start thinking the right things, you can change your body and ultimately your life.

What one or two secrets will people be most surprised to read in the book?
The book is chocked full of nuggets, so it’s tough to choose just two. But I think the “Formula for Success” section in chapter 8 will surprise many people. There are millions of people out there that are seriously trying to lose weight and get in shape but haven’t been successful because they have bad or insufficient information.

That was one of my biggest problems. I was doing some of the right things but all of my hard work was being cancelled out by a few sabotaging behaviors. I also think that the concept “freedom meals” and an “80/20 rule” in chapter 15 will be a standout for most readers. People are often shocked to hear that I believe there is a place for ice cream, cookies, etc. in our diets, but I have found that demonizing foods always backfires on you.

What is the biggest misconception about losing weight?

There is a laundry list but I would say the biggest is what I call “magic pill syndrome”. It is the perception that the solution to all of your problems is external – a certain diet, supplement, cleanse, or exercise routine – and when you find it, magically all of your problems are solved. I talk to people all the time who are searching, as if they are a captain on a treasure hunt – if they can just find the golden treasure!

They go from one thing to the next – from diet pills to fasts, from fasts to cleanses, from cleanses to Paleo, from Paleo to carb cutting – and the outcome is always the same. There are few things more demoralizing than losing weight, getting compliments from everyone you know on how great you look, and then slowly but surely seeing the weight returnand then some.

You’re very transparent in the book. Was that hard for you?

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it was! What many people don’t realize is that our present is a product of our past. The heartache and pain we experience often gets internalized and turns into emotional baggage that we carry with us everywhere we go. That baggage influences our mindset and results in poor decisions. It was extremely tough to go to cemetery section of my mind and dig up that coffin full of painful memories, but it was important to me to keep it real with this book. I wanted people to be able to see themselves in the pages and finally see what is holding them back. Once you really understand what’s stopping you, massive change is possible.

There are tons of weight loss books out there, why should readers choose yours?

Well, first let me say ‘265 Point’ is not for everyone. If you’re looking for a roadmap to losing 30 pounds in 30 days, my book is not for you. But if you’re really and truly serious about losing the weight – this time for good – then ‘265 Point” is exactly what you’ve been looking for. I am a certified fitness professional but I’m not some out of touch trainer that just tells you to eat right and exercise. If it were that simple, we wouldn’t have a health crisis in this country! You should choose ‘265 Point’ because it is written by a person who has been where you are, understands your pain, and knows the way out. ‘265 Point’ is the blueprint that will get you from where you are to where you want to be – you just have to take the first step.

Now that you have penned your first book, what’s next for you? Do you plan to keep writing?

Absolutely! I have more books in me and I write almost daily. A lot of my writing ends up in my blog at www.265point.com or in my newsletters, motivational texts, and social media posts. I have found that constant reinforcement of the right thoughts is key to keeping my clients “on point”. I plan to write another book in the next year or two, but right now my focus is helping as many people as I can create their own success story using ‘265 Point’ and our Online Fitness Membership Programs.

People are often surprised to learn that they can get amazing results just by connecting with me by phone or Skype on a weekly basis. It may seem far-fetched, but the testimonials on my website prove that it works! I also enjoy getting out there and spreading a message of hope at women’s group meetings and conferences. So many people have given up and just need a change in perspective. Once your perspective changes, what you believe is possible changes. And once what you believe is possible changes, you are positioned not just to survive, but to thrive. All of a sudden anything is possible.

That is my mission – to convince anyone who will listen that no matter how many times you’ve failed, it IS possible to live your dreams and lead a happier, healthier life. You just have to believe.

To purchase Tamara Jackson’s book, ‘265 Point’ or learn more about her online fitness program, visit her website at www.265point.com.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

'Black Lotus' by K'wan

A few months ago I was watching an interview with K’wan (I think it was TVONE… you know… the place where Black life unfolds?) and he said something to the effect of “I don’t mind being called a street writer but I think being called a crime writer is what best describes me.”

And that’s what this book is. Crime-fiction.

Savage crime-fiction. The prologue sets the stage, and if you aren’t ready or haven’t read one of K’wan’s books yet… consider this your warning. ‘Black Lotus’ is the story of revenge. Who is doing it and for what reason is the meat for this book. It took me all of one second to like Lone Wolf. That’s not the name is mama gave him but it is the name he goes by.

Wolf is a renegade cop who does things his way. The man gets results but he usually ends up pissing everyone off in the process. That’s fine with him because he prefers working alone and doesn’t suffer fools easily. Confrontation is his aphrodisiac and he has the appetite of a nymph.

But what IS this case? What does the Black Lotus want? Wolf works narcotics, so why was he pulled into a homicide investigation? Maybe… because of the crimes themselves. There are few immoralities worse than the sexual abuse of a child, and most of us are powerless to do anything about it except rely on the inept and incompetent court system.

But what if you didn’t have to wait? What if you had the power, the means, and the murderous purpose to make it so? Would you do it? Someone is and they mete out punishment that is bloody, ferocious, cold-blooded, and final. I know I should have been rooting for the good guys, but… well… I think in order for me to do that, I first have to determine who the good guys are!


K’wan writes a story that reads very fast and very entertaining. I was halfway done before I realized I was halfway done. It’s a shame that not enough people know about K’wan. But if he keeps writing like this, that will change.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

'Munch' by Allison Hobbs

I don’t know what’s wrong with Allison. Whatever it is I hope she doesn’t change it (or take medication for it) because if she did, I don’t think she could write like this. ‘Munch’ is a short story about a guy who LOVES oral sex. Giving, not receiving. Now I love a clean shaved beaver as much as the next guy (maybe more), but Munch takes it to a level that is full on psychopathic. I’m talking Slingblade with a fetish for pussy instead of French-fried taters (mmm hmmmm) How? Well let’s just start with that his beavers don’t necessarily have to be clean or shaved! Now I know that not ever woman shaves, especially you tribal and French chicks, but having a clean kitty cat come on now that shouldn’t even be a discussion.

But Munch doesn’t care. Nasty ho! But he knows what he wants and he knows what he loves. And what he loves best is slurping on some pussy. Anybody’s pussy. As par for any Allison Hobbs book, there are more than a few disturbing scenes. Everyone has a genesis, and in this short story we find out what cause Munch to become Munch. I think all too many times people blame and hold crutch to their past to make excuses why they act like such idiots today. However, in the case of Munch I think I’ll give him a pass. I’ve seen kidnapped women in Cleveland go through less sexual mistreatment. Although I don’t think any man would think this boy is being mistreated. In my world of double standards that I’m absolutely and 100% OK with, any young guy having this much damn fun have at it!

Munch’s introduction to the seductive power of sex is through a woman named Rosita. I’ll say thisevery man should be so lucky. I usually only got a kiss on the check before I left for school Once Munch gets a taste, he adopts that famous slogan, “no one can eat just one.” His quest continues and we are witness to some freak-ness that even surpasses even what Allison is known for.  Carmen and Tiffany. Sarge. Airplane glue. (*sigh* airplane glue seriously Allison?!) Blake and Kat. Those are some of the players in this salaciously immoral short story.

Sometimes you need THAT book that will help you escape. Sometimes you need that book that will help you create fantasies because your body can’t do anything but. Sometimes you need that book where the sex scenes are so broiling hot, you contemplate taking Allison to small claims court because your iPad melted. Now, there are some people who are up in arms because of the age of the boy in the book. To these people I say “please shut the fuck up!” Take your prude ass and go read a boring lady-in-waiting romance novel. Allison writes for grown folks not for goody-goody’s.

As I write my book reviews, I do a quick read through as a refresher. If I don’t watch myself I’m going to end up reading this entire short story again. I’m laughing as I read this as well because I forgot that I highlighted some things. I don’t know what’s more troublesome, Allison writing them or me underlining them.

Yep, Allison has turned out another fun to read and very erotic short story. She’s my girl, she’s one of my favorites, and she’s a friend. And obviously, a damn freak! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “normal people don’t write shit like this.” Normal is for Presbyterian Sunday school teachers. Not for writers like Allison and not for readers like me.