Sunday, January 31, 2010

Doctor Margaret's Sea Chest... great debut novel!

Doctor Margaret's Sea Chest
By Waheed Rabbani
Published: 2008
IBSN: 9781849231770
417 pgs.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of Doctor Margaret’s Sea Chest written by Waheed Rabbani. This book is a debut novel and the first in his trilogy. Mr. Rabbani’s book keeps you engaged from beginning to end as he allows you to journey back and forth between the mid-1800’s and 1960's beginning in Delhi, India and travelling through other parts of the world. The story discusses the lives of Dr. Margaret Wallace and Dr. Wallidad Sharif. Dr. Wallace wanted to be a doctor since she was a young girl when she first heard the minister tell the story of doctor’s helping sick children in India and receiving her first doctor’s kit from her aunt and uncle. Her mother mocked her occupational desires. I applaud her for standing strong against those who felt during that time a woman shouldn’t be a doctor, especially her mother.

Mr. Rabbani is a talented storyteller guiding us on a journey with a first person account of the history of the Indian Rebellion and the role Dr. Margaret Wallace, an American born doctor from New Jersey, played in both the rebellion and Dr. Sharif’s family history. It connects these two doctors although they never met in the present.

American doctor, Dr. Sharif, is in Delhi on assignment in the 60’s and at the end of his contractual term, he is asked to return an abandoned sea chest belonging to Dr. Wallace back to her family. The chest is 100 years old, in good condition, and hasn’t been opened since it was left in a closet at a hospital in Delhi. No one knows the contents as they feel it is disrespectful to open it prior to it being passed on to Dr. Wallace’s surviving family members allowing them to search the contents. The chest peaks the interest of Russian agents forcing Dr. Sharif to participate in some trickery to keep the chest safe resulting in a violent altercation with the Russian agents. Luckily, the unopened chest is shipped to Dr. Sharif’s home safely.

Dr. Sharif tracks her descendants back to Canada and accompanied by his wife, he returns the unopened chest to Dr. Wallace’s family. Upon entering the home, Dr. Sharif realizes a picture in the home happens to be the woman that has been visiting him in his nightmares—Dr. Margaret Wallace. Once the chest is opened, it unmasks hidden treasures, artifacts, and Dr. Wallace’s diaries. The stories in the diary connect Dr. Wallace and Dr. Sharif through ancestry and her life spent in India.

Mr. Rabbani paints a picturesque journey through various places during different moments in history all the while the stories remain poignantly vivid. I could see the clothing, smell the spices, see Dr. Wallace’s well-kept chest, and visualize each character as I eagerly turned each page. This book is alive with-- mystery, suspense, conflict and love—along with a piece of history I never learned about in school, splashed throughout. I recommend this book and anxiously await the next book in the trilogy.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Look out for Minister Steve... on his way to a gospel world near you!

My long time friend Steven is entering into the gospel music industry and I am hoping to work on some projects with him. I have written some songs that he is interested in using. Steven, Minister Steve, is extremely talented and hails from Newark, NJ. He is one of the few people in this world that I have personally seen walk in the completeness of God's grace. By this I mean, his walk, demeanor and spirit exudes the spirit of Christ. He exemplifies what a child of God should be as he strolls along with an insane amount of blind faith. I am excited about this new venture for me and am proud of myself for finally working toward my dreams. I thank Steven for allowing me to a part of what he is getting ready to do.

I am working on my projects and can't wait until they are transformed into books. I am currently working on song lyrics, a young adult fiction novel, and some picture books, while my mind continues to think of other projects to produce. Step by step I will get it done...

My book reviews are on the way. I actually have a job too which seems to get in the way of my progress sometimes! But... it pays the bills so I am not really mad at it. Eventually my books will--speaking it into existence...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Upcoming Street Lit reviews...

Up next after the trilogy review I will be reviewing two authors that I enjoyed very much. Stay tuned until I review Kissed By The Devil I and II by Dashawn Taylor and Scorned Hearts by my future editor Leila Jefferson...

Coming soon my next review.... Doctor Margaret's Sea Chest...

Currently reading, Doctor Magaret's Sea Chest by Waheed Rabbani. I am enjoying the book especially since it is about a different culture. It is Book One of a trilogy of historical fiction set during India's struggle for freedom. It is quite interesting and not something I would generally read. I have learned to think outside the box and read books in various genres. Since I started doing book reviews I have read books that I never probably would have bought and they were really good. I am glad that I ventured away from my mystery books and opened my eyes to the amazing stories that our on the bookshelves. I hope to be finished with the book this weekend and will post my review soon after. Be well!!

Reviews on the way...

I set a personal goal of reading as many as five books per month. Well, I may fall a little short of that goal this month but have read three books thus far. I have a week to at least finish the fourth one that I am currently reading. Next month I will definitely reach my goal unless of course, life manages to get in the way.

I have three review books on the way to my house and am quite excited. I had no idea how important a review is to the success of a book and I enjoy writing them. I often wonder why some people are so rude when they write a review. There is a way to make suggestions to an author without being offensive. Kindness goes along way and it helps to give criticisms in a way people can grow. I personally stop listening when people offer criticism in a rude manner. It is not helpful! Besides, we all have different interests and just because one person doesn't like it doesn't mean that someone else won't. Be mindful.

I didn't write yesterday. I need to do some revisions so that I can send my work to an editor. I am looking forward to seeing my dreams through! So, I have to write a few hours each day. Sounds like another goal to me! I can't wait to get to the finished product! I hope that when my books are done that reviewers will be helpful to the success of my book.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

For your sensual pleasure...Pink Shorts by Reginald Hameth...

Pink Shorts
By Reginald Hameth
Publisher:Author House
Published: 2006
ISBN: 9781425985622
I enjoyed reading Reginald Hameth's debut novel, Pink Shorts. Some of these books are written in poor taste and although the stories took you "there" they were tasteful and classy. I wish it was professionally edited as the stories would've flown better and the font may not have been as hard on my eyes. Mr. Hameth is very talented and I look forward to his next book hoping that care is given to editing as he will then get the extreme praise his book deserves. The stories were great and Mr. Hameth is quite talented making you forget that the person behind these feminine stories is a man. Well done and I anxiously await his next novel...
I recommend this book to women hoping to venture away from their boring day if only for a second.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Great thriller... Liquid Soul... Matthew Carter

Liquid Soul
By Matthew Carter
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Published: 2009
ISBN:9781432729950 191 Pages

I've often wondered went on in the mind of people overall but especially those that commit crimes. Mr. Carter allowed me to glimpse inside this world, if only for a while, in his first novel, Liquid Soul. From the first taste of the mugger's blood to the height of the addiction, one can truly envision the thoughts, feelings and desires of those he kills as if they are experiencing it personally. Mr. Carter's psychological thriller, takes you through the addiction process, allowing you to experience a range of emotions-- joy, sadness, and fear-- thus, my only regret was that the journey had to end. It was a well written page turner which forces me to wait anxiously for Mr. Carter's next thriller.

Under the Neon Sky....Loved the excitement of this book!

Under the Neon Sky
Jay Rankin
Publisher:Jay Rankin Publishing
ISBN 10:0984210911
264 pages

I had the extreme pleasure of reading Under the Neon Sky by Jay Rankin, which I highly recommend. This book doesn't read like a non-fiction book but reads like a work of fiction with fragments of Las Vegas history sprinkled in along the way. I love Vegas and this book allowed me to see the Vegas that no tourist gets to see--the bright lights, loud noises walking hand and hand with sin and temptation--a world unknown to most.

As Mr. Rankin "craved the energy of the city," I mirrored that excitement as I turned every page feeling the heat of the Vegas lights on my face while I read each word. It was a well-written piece of work and I look forward to reading another book by Mr. Rankin. My only regret was that eventually like Mr. Rankin's life in Vegas, this energy filled book had to come to an end...

Great debut novel... Karma

By Saniya Solis
Publisher: Urban Fire Publishing
Published: 2009
ISBN 13: 9780982406120 204 pgs.

I recently read Karma and it was a superb piece of work. As you read the fast-paced page turner you immediately forget this is a debut novel as Ms. Solis is a wonderful storyteller. The story twists and turns making you think one person is a friend when they are actually a foe—drama unfolds during the first few pages of the book keeping you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. This book is a clear reflection of real life at times when people begin to show their true selves.

Charise Perez is a successful businesswoman and her life begins to unfold as she becomes unsure of who she should trust—she falls into the arms of a previous lover, she lets her guard down with her business partner, and enlists the help of another successful business owner for a new project—learning quickly that she doesn’t know the men that she is closest to. Thus her world unfolds and drama takes over—backstabbing, love, friendship and dishonesty—come to the forefront and Ms. Perez has to stand stronger to maintain her powerful position.

I had moved away from reading urban fiction because authors were not giving the care they should’ve been to their work--with poor editing, shoddy covers, and predictable storylines; however, Saniya Solis has restored my faith in writers of this genre and authors like her will move our books to the front of the bookstores! I look forward to her next piece of work.

The Secrets of Stonewood Sanitarium... highly recommended!

The Serets of Stonewood Sanitarium
By Linda Krug
150 pgs.
I just finished reading "The Secrets of Stonewood Sanitarium" by Linda Krug. This book was written for adolescent readers; however, I feel that it can also be enjoyed by adult readers. From the beginning, this book grabs your attention holding it in its grasp until the very end. The book takes twists and turns as does the life of the main teenage character Nate--loss of his family, relocating to live with his aunt and uncle, new school-- who allows the curiosity of his new surroundings to get in the way of his daily life.

Nate becomes engrossed with the mysteriousness of the abandoned psychiatric facility near his new home. Despite being warned by his uncle to stay clear of the hospital, his curiosity is peaked forcing him to ignore the verbal warnings. His desire to find out exactly what's going on at the facility has taken hold of him placing him in danger's way. The book shows the resiliency of children--Nate functioning after losing his entire family and looking out for the well-being of others-- while taking you on an action packed journey through the abandoned hospital grounds. At times, I felt like I was walking alongside Nate at the abandoned facility holding my breath after each of his new discoveries.

This is a must read for adolescents and adults eager to go on a mysterious journey without ever leaving their chair. The author does an amazing job and I highly recommend this book.

Screwing the Pooch... great read!

Screwing the Pooch
By J.B. Bergstad
Publisher: Woodside Publishers Group
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9780615284064

I don't make it a habit of reading short stories because I always feel thirsty for more. However, J.B. Bergstad quenched my thirst in all seven short stories in Screwing the Pooch... Each story is well written and complete with each character driving the chapters from beginning to end.

From seven-year-old Milton to the retired suicidal sheriff I felt a range of emotions--sadness, happiness, laughter and pain--as each individual dealt with their challenges.I don't have a favorite tale but am leaning towards the tales where karma shows up--in the lives of the narcissist rapist, little Milton's bully, and the retired sheriff's robber--as each bully gets what they deserve.

As you turn the pages of this fast paced, thought provoking collection of short stories, you will not be disappointed. This is a brilliant piece of work and I highly recommend it...

Court of Foxes book review...

Court Of Foxes
By Brian Lux
Publisher: DA Diamonds
Published: 2008
241 Pages

Highly recommended!

I extremely enjoyed reading Brian Lux's book, Court of Foxes, which focuses on good and evil in the world. The discussion about the Book of Revelations hits close to home because I, too, like the main character Bryn, don't feel at ease with its contents. I have difficulty with Revelations as some things occurring currently seem to be a reflection of things discussed--earthquakes detroying land, fires, wars, and floods--which is unsettling to me. Despite numerous warnings from his family and new friends, Bryn heeds the call of trying to figure out what secrets lie in Morredin.

Having never been anywhere close to Wales I found myself travelling with the same fervor as Bryn as he strolled around his new surroundings-caves, valleys, and mountains-sharing his curiosity, anxiety, fear and excitement about his new discoveries. Mr. Lux is an amazing storyteller in that I had vivid images of all of the characters and settings discussed but especially of Bryn's new friend Selwyn. In the village, people feared Selwyn and called him the "Mad Monk." Although they feared him I could feel his gentleness and as he walked. I could hear and feel the repeated "thud" of his staff as it hit the ground while he walked eagerly to assist young Bryn.

This book from start to finish was a wild journey through the mountains and valleys in Wales resulting with Bryn being faced with a life changing decision-choosing between good and evil-similar to challenges we all face in life. Bryn tastes power briefly-making the river flow backwards- while thirsty for knowledge about Emyrs and his hold on Morredin. Power in the hands of the wrong person can have a negative affect on everyone and Bryn, recognizes this in a brief second thus he is able to make the right decision.

This book is full of suspense and I look forward to taking another exciting journey with Mr. Lux in his next novel. As for Court of Foxes, I highly recommend it to both youth and adults alike looking to partake on a marvelous journey while never leaving their home.

It has been a while...

As often happens in life, things get in the way sometimes. I haven't blogged in some time due to many distractions. However, my goal for 2010 is to not allow anything to get in the way of my publishing goals. I have at least five projects completed and plan on bringing them to life by summers end 2010. My goals are in view and I will work to reach them.

In addition, I have recently started doing book reviews and I will write them on my blog as well as other sites which include Amazon, Barnes and Noble and a few others. It is going to be a great year and the rewards will be amazing! Keep writing!!