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HARRIET E. WILSON 1825-1900

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Wilson is considered the first female African-American novelist, as well as the first African-American of any gender to publish a novel on the North American continent. Her novel Our Nig, or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black was published anonymously in 1859 in Boston, Massachusetts, and was not widely known. The novel was discovered in 1982 by the scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., who documented it as the first African-American novel published in the United States.

You can download this kindle edition free on Amazon.

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Posted by on February 9, 2013 in Historical Literary Facts

 

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A DIRTY SOUTH LOVE BY CASH AND JENNIFER LUCKETT (5 TORCHES)

a dirty south love

First Impressions…

I wasn’t sure how to read the imagery in conjunction with the title. I gathered that a love triangle was being conveyed. But after reading the story, I’m unsure of how the gorgeous woman standing in front of a shiny car with two men in the backdrop communicates the beautiful and unconventional love story within.

Glimpse Into The Characters…

The story opens up with Prince Myers being incarcerated, facing the ugly reality that any inmate with a woman fears. Disloyalty. Prince is a decisive man, allowing nothing to off set his steps. Not his bid. Not his misguided baby mama, nor the attention grabbing lieutenant that has everyone pining over her attractiveness. Prince’s character didn’t allow being knocked down prevent him from standing on his own two feet. From cover to cover he is a man of principle, living off  the creed of respect.

Solange is the mother of Prince’s daughter Asia and she was his love that died the moment she betrayed him. She’s a slick, witty, sharp tongued, “do what I gotta do for me” kind of woman. However, a back story explained her motivation of mistrust and longing which aided in overstanding her self benefiting ways.

Nicole is the woman that has turned the jail house in an uproar with her presence alone, but is finding it hard to illicit the awareness of one man. Her body is faithfully at home which is more than can be said for her husband, but her mind is having the affair of a lifetime.

High Points…

If you’ve lived the life from anyone of their perspectives you would know that the high of the story wasn’t so much the events that took place (because reality bites) but the truth that bled from it. I enjoy reading raw life on pages. It’s safer that way.

Kill Scenes...

There was no disappointment in this read. Everything was believable from the ending of one relationship to the beginning of another.

Conclusion…

I was able to feel some type of way about each of the characters, whether I boo’d or cheered them on. From Shaheed, Tash, Mr. Sam, Renegade, Jabbo, Anthony, etc because these authors created their personalities and had them play their parts to the tee. And as a result I was able to do all the verbal sound offs: Aah’s, ooh’s, humph, oh no!, yea-yea and so on. That’s called engaging your readers.

I have a GET or SH*T list for all potential readers.

This book is a GET! (Book Rating – 5 Torches)

Cash and Jennifer Luckett. Your book has just been blazed. This joint is on fiyah!

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2013 in 5 Torch Review, Reviewz

 

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JUPITER HAMMON 1711-1806

jupiter_hammon

Jupiter Hammon was a black poet who in 1761 became the first African-American writer to be published in the present-day United States. Additional poems and sermons were also published. Born into slavery, Hammon was never emancipated. He is considered one of the founders of African American literature.

Want to learn more about Hammon? Here is a link with more information.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=jupiter+hammon

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2013 in Historical Literary Facts

 

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I’D RATHER BE SINGLE (PART 3 OF 4 REVIEW) BY TYSHA (SOMETHING IN YOUR BACKSTROKE) 1 TORCH

id-rather-be-single

This story was two cups of “Hot ghetto mess.” One stick of “Are you serious right now?” A dash of “Unreal” and a smidgen of “Whackness“. Let that cook down for an hour and then you’ll have a bowl of “Glad it’s over.”

I became so disengaged reading this that I had to read the book in reverse to add my own flare to it. Wasn’t like I was going to spoil anything by doing so. That happened on the first page!

A glimpse into the characters…

Jai. Hands down was stupid. Word on the streets where I’m from is “You find a sucker, you lick it.”Random, Jai’s husband knew this obviously.

The story opens up with a pointless conversation between Jai and Random’s creeper, Tay. No one showed their verbal gangsta. It was silly banter between two broads that lasted longer than any real telephone beef between two women. “Call Random’s cell phone, you got the number,” was something Jai said. “Ummm, why you gon’ call me by my government name?” was something that Tay said. Blah, blah, blah. A real woman would have squashed the whole ordeal by changing her number and her man but I’m guessing since Jai has referred to herself as a bitch, she’d let the drama continue.

Jai and Random were weak and since likenesses attract it wasn’t hard to tell why they stayed with each other. The dynamics between them wasn’t strong enough to have the character of Jai stay with him. She owned the house, she had the money, the education and let’s not forget the picture perfect body. Now the title is Something In Your Backstroke, however, the sex wasn’t a good enough reason for her to stay because nowhere, not once, did the description of the watered down sex scream “I can’t leave him alone!” A few aahs and oohs don’t contribute to being caught up. Soooo why did she tolerate it? Ahh, she wouldn’t have but since the author didn’t want to change the title of the book, she just figured that her audience wouldn’t identify that the story and the name had nothing to do with each other.

Jai had been knowing that her spineless husband was cheating and right after confronting him, they would make love? I know a little something about women and what I know is that the only way she would submit to a man after he has hurt her to those degrees is if she was dependent upon him for something. Sex (which wasn’t the case in this story), Money, Status, Keeping Appearances, Low Self Esteem, etc. But when you have it all like Jai, the question again is why did she stay?

Going on to Adel, Random’s mother. She’s jealous of Jai so she in turn wants her beloved son to be with the “hood rat” Tay? Ok, I have met some over protective mothers and none of them would want their child to downgrade. They may want them to leave while making a lateral move but never downgrade which is what the Tay deal would have been. Adel makes an attempt to ruin not only her daughter in law but her son by calling child protection to get Jai in trouble. Newsflash. She didn’t have problems with her son. So why would she risk hurting him? And there was no grounds for CPS to remove him in the first place. A bogus threat! A scene, hell a character that didn’t need to be created. The author was reaching to create drama that just spelled mess. This character Adel, hell all of them were a FAIL!

Kill scenes…

Tay and Random are at a show called DNA LIVE to do a paternity test. It’s a carbon copy of Maury. It’s not just that appearing on this show is outside of the personalities of The Bowers (Jai and Random) but what killed it was what Jai wore…This is how it is written to the tee. She wore an outfit Kimora Lee Simpson would be proud of. Her Baby Phat jeans… It’s Simmons! When you talk of someone, spell their names right! Mine is

 B-L-A-Z-E…Blaze!

Jai gets a text message, which she assumed correctly when she stated that it was a woman he slept with playing on her cell. How did she get that number too? I don’t know. It wasn’t explained. Random asks about it and without seeing his phone, she tells him to check his messages. Like she just somehow knew he got the same text. But surprise he did. This story must have been written in Magic Land because things just happened without reason.

The whole book had kill scenes. I won’t murder it by pointing more out.

But I do have 2 questions…Does Jai know how to do more than “growl” when she speaks in anger and is the phrase “beat the brakes off of you” the only battle call she knows? Just wondering.

I have a GET or SH*T list to all potential readers.

This is on my SH*T list.

Book rating (1 Torch)

Tysha. Your book has just been blazed!!! Your book has no sparks.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2013 in 1 Torch Review, Reviewz

 

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I’d RATHER BE SINGLE (PART 2 OF 4 REVIEW) TAKING CHANCES BY MIMI RENEE 1 (TORCH)

id-rather-be-single

This compilation is batting a zero so far. WTH? This story line had so many holes I have no idea where to start myself. I fell asleep. Boredom struck so suddenly I had no idea I drifted. Typically I can take a lemon of a story and produce lemonade, but this wasn’t one of them. It may pain the author to read such a tired review but believe me, having to finish it wasn’t quit the picnic I envisioned.

There is no other way to say this delicately so I won’t attempt. This was horrible. It was rushed. It appears as if the author had a last-minute notice to submit an entry and she rolled out of bed and put her punch drunk thoughts on paper.

A glimpse into the characters…

 

Rita is a divorcee hoochie with two kids who meets a man named Ken Loc in a club. She wasn’t remotely interested in him but suddenly after dancing with him reluctantly without conversation she magically looks into his eyes and feels like she’s known him for a lifetime. They leave the club to have early breakfast on his Harley. A Harley? Does this author not know of Suzuki, Yamaha, or even Honda which are more of the typical bikes a young black male would aim for? But as he straps up for the ride he also has a second helmet for her. Where the hell did that come from? He went to the club alone but something told Kenneth that he’d better bring his spare helmet? Get real!

Rita fronts him out on his 10 year age difference and gets turned off at him being younger. Then in the same breath allows him to kiss her, just to let him take her home although she was gonna leave in a cab. Then she turns around and tongue kisses him in front of her house moments before she says and I quote, “Come inside. I wanna fu*k you.” Huh? Then she goes on to say she never dealt with a man like him before. And my question is how do you know this Rita? You don’t know enough about him to know anything about him.

There were several cases where conversations were inserted that didn’t belong and I pondered…Where did that come in at? What’s the point of this being mentioned? Ah this is whack I concluded. For instance he told her on day two that he was trying hard for her to like him. The author showed no effort. She just said it. Ken Loc also mentioned that Rita was a straight up freak just because she showed up at his house dressed in skin-tight jeans. Seriously? Next time have her flick her tongue first or something that would make that a relevant thought.

Rita is a slut in this read! He turned her down twice before giving into her quest to kill the one year drought. He asked her “Do you really want me bad or do you just wanna fu*k?” She responds, “I want to fu*k you and get to know you better.” Don’t make sense right? What kind of backwards crap is that. Freak doesn’t necessarily mean loose.

***Important message***

An author’s opportunity to create a character lies at the end of their fingertips. Out of all the personalities you could have given this woman you make her to be an out of control hoe bucket? Was Ken Loc the first and only man she saw since her celibacy? Because I’m wondering how she maintained the lock on her prize for a year and out of the blue it was a free for all. Ha.

Continuing…

His ploy was to take her for her money as him and his play sister/cut buddy Michelle have done in the past. I don’t see how she was a target because she was just as average as the next and when people look for marks they are looking for something in particular which let’s them know they have the right one, but she was a random choice.

The whole book was a blunder from the fact that he was a supposed pimp, which no pimp would rock like she had him doing with Valerie ( an 18 yr old side bunny) for the five minutes the author mentioned her. This cracker jack rendition of a pimp must have been what the author saw on a bubble gum show and assumed that they all staff the young, misguided drop-outs. Too much to call out. Just be aware that it ended as silly as it began.

I can go on with the several complaints I have on this book but then it will feel as if I’m completely destroying it although I would just be following suit.

I have a GET or SH*T list to all potential readers.

This falls on my SH*T list.

Mimi Renee. Your book has just been blazed!!! Your book has no sparks.

Book rating (1Torch)

Up next is Something in Your Backstroke by Tysha. I hope the 3rd time around is better.

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2013 in 1 Torch Review, Reviewz

 

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I’D RATHER BE SINGLE (1ST OF 4 PART REVIEW) SKELETONS IN MY CLOSET BY LASHONDA DEVAUGHN

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My biggest gripe in storytelling is when the author attempts to tell me what to think by way of explanation and not action. Let the story play itself out and allow me to conclude the emotion that is to stir within me from the situation at hand. Now with that off of my chest, let me get to the review.

This fourth of a book entitled Skeletons in my Closet should have been kept in the closet. It starts off with a conversation with her bum of an ex Rodney (whose surprise ending was totally unnecessary) telling her that after 6 months of having been broken up that he has moved on and has a baby on the way. I completed the story naturally and I still don’t see the revelance for opening the story that way. The beginning of a story line is to set the tone of the book and in this case it did, it told me it will be weak.

Keys of Wisdom… Always come out with your heavy hitting story first so if the other authors behind you are weak all faith isn’t gone.

Continuing…

 

LaShonda was repetitive, constantly informing the reader that her main character Tyra was raised by foster parents who didn’t care about her, thus she got her false love in the streets from guys who used her body for sex, naming her the Boston jump-off as a teen. Now 23 years old, she runs across a woman named Rosslyn whose aim is to juice millionaires for their duckets (and throughout this book I didn’t see no sign of her player. She stayed with one man named Terry which goes against her rep for “sticking and moving”) and with a one minute conversation with her neighbor, Dumb Dora aka Tyra, whom Rosslyn never spoke to before, she decides to take her under her wing and school her.

I suppose Rosslyn didn’t peep Snoop Dogg’s third album (Da Game is to be Sold, Not to be Told)

Moving on. It’s a vague read and undeveloped.

Tyra seeks advise from Rosslyn as if she’s the Pope. She gets the ok to bed this baller named Teddy Pento who splurges on her for a short time only to have his fiance bust her up and then drop off the face of the planet. Want to know what happened? Me too, but as I said this story wasn’t well thought out. Then a guy she met months ago named Michael suddenly texts out the blue and then they have a whirlwind affair that wasn’t described to be anything magical, the author simply said it was. They get engaged and pregnant but their love affair turns to crap when she gets called out for being a ho by the same girls that taunted her years ago at a charity event of his. Seriously? He writes her off and wants her to have an abortion because of her past. Unrealistic! Maybe he would be perturbed that his flower is tainted, maybe, but because 3 guys ran a train and other boys in the projects hit it, you’re pissed? Come on? I, myself have a sordid past but it hasn’t blemished my present. I label that scene a FAIL.

To wrap this up. Rosslyn and Tyra fall out, there is a fight scene and some obscenties all because, what’s a book without drama, right? With more imagination, shortening irrevelant issues and developing the meat and potatoes of the story. It could have swam instead of sink.

I have a SH*T or GET list to all potential readers.

Based off of the first story this is on my SH*T list.

Book rating (1 Torch)

LaShonda Devaughn. Your book has just been blazed!!! Your joint has no sparks.

 

Up next is Mimi Renee’s Taking Chances–Hope it’s better–Take II

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2013 in 1 Torch Review, Reviewz

 

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BLINDED LOVE BY LENA BANKS (4 TORCHES)

blinded

 

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS…

 

The book cover was tastefully designed but I’m not certain that the imagery tied into the name “Blinded Love” outside of the apparent blind fold on the woman pictured. However based on her plain facial expression that’s exposed from the masking you gather that it’s not a happy surprise that’s about to unveil, but rather the coverage is worn as a symbol of having a blind eye to something on the flip side.

 

GLIMPSE INTO THE CHARACTERS…

 

Kim was forewarned about her possible involvement with Tony but like most advice, it fell on deaf ears. She instead revamped her single life to cater to nurturing their coupled life. Kim journals her progressively violent walk with a man she started off loving to a man she ultimately feared.

 

Tony was an opportunist. He had no verifiable reason to be as barbaric and inhumane as he was outside of the fact that it was tolerated and he could. 

 

HIGH POINTS…

 

The way the first chapter introduced the meat and potatoes of the book was vividly brilliant. It introduced the core of the book by providing the heartbeat of the realistic everyday life of some physically and mentally abused women. Immediately my heart went out to Kim in the first opening which is one of the essential elements required to engaging a reader. Quickly grab your reader’s emotion(s) and don’t let go until the last word of story. The author was able to do that.

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT…

 

There were few but noticeable errors, but it didn’t stop the flow of the book and it was still a very interesting read. This is a work of fiction but it is a very real event thus more additional (factual) character building would have fueled this book over the top, shedding more light to the inner make ups from the abused and abusee’s present perspective. Just as back story development pertaining to how both Kim and Tony were shaped from their past into their present day personas would have proved vital in educating domestic violence, not only that it exists but how it comes into existence through this particular couple. 

 

THE CONCLUSION…

 

There is nothing entertaining about such horrible acts, so I will say that it was scripted in a manner that held my attention. The ending is enough to incite the curiosities. It will leave you wondering what will be of her, of him, of them. For those who have partaken of part 1, the wait to see what’s next isn’t far behind you because it is available now!

 

I have a GET or SH*T list to all potential readers.

This book is a GET! (Book rating– 4 torches) 

You may purchase this book on Amazon…Here is your link. http://www.amazon.com/Blinded-Love-Story-Dangerously-ebook/dp/B009PFKW4A/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354573134&sr=1-3&keywords=lena+banks

 

Lena Banks…Your book has just been blazed. Your joint is flaming.

 

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2013 in 4 Torch Review, Reviewz

 

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