Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Four stars for Insight!

Insight by Jamie Magee was an interesting read. The creative fantasy tale focuses on power, family, true love and extreme trust. The journey begins with Willow, a teenage girl, suffering from nightmares who learns the truth about who she truly is. As long as she can remember she has suffered from dreams where she is frightened awake never clearly seeing the person's face that terrorizes her. However, she does hold onto the image of a very handsome man that appears in her dreams as well.

After one of her agonizing nightmares, Willow's parents inform her of her true existence and the mystical powers that lie within. It is then that she realizes that she is more than a teenage girl and her dreams,too, may also be real. What I like the most about the story is the depths that the characters go to find, love and protect each other. Once they meet, I envy the peace that overcomes them. The love they share with their families and soulmates is the very foundation of their existence.

After being informed of her abilities, Willow also finds that she has a soul mate who has searched a life time to find her. Before they can truly be together their love is interrupted by a sinister force similar to the visions in her nightmares. It is then that Willow, who has found peace, must fight the force to reclaim the love she has just found.

I highly recommend this fantasy book to young adults. It is a book that holds your interests from the first page to the last. The journey and triumphs that ensue are a tribute to the author's superb storytelling ability as each character, scene and battle comes to life. I only give the book four stars due to the editorial issues I found along the way. The story comes through vividly despite the errors but there are enough to make them noticeable and sometimes distracting.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tragic Treasure by Dianne Rosena Jones... inspiring book!

Underneath the story of the author’s tumultuous life’s journey, lie the most important ingredients of one’s basic survival—inspiration, hope and self-love. This story is a heart-wrenching look into the life of a woman who faced tremendous loss, abuse, anger, and self-hate. The author taps into her inner strength, which was dormant during various times in her life, in order to stand when the tragedies of life surmounted. The reader bears witness to her self-reflection and survival. The life she was living before she found the greatness within bent her emotionally, mentally and physically almost to the point of no return.

This book is inspiring and unlike most self-help or motivational books, it taps into the reader’s soul. It forces the reader to look into the events in their lives and their reactions to them. The fact that it’s interactive is an added touch for readers. The lists or questions allow the reader to reflect on things within their lives and modify their negative, self-loathing thoughts. Through this book, the reader can become the strong individual that Ms. Jones became once she learned her own worth.

I have given this book four stars. There were some editing issues throughout the book that kept me from giving it five stars. I strongly feel that once this book is professionally edited, it will receive five stars from all readers as the content is powerful and uplifting. Ms. Jones is a very talented author and writes in a way that readers will understand. I look forward to reading more of her books.

I recommend this book to those in the midst of a struggle or celebrating the triumphs beyond the struggle. It reaffirms that in order to survive the tragedies that one endures, one must know who they are, own self-love, and tap into the strength within...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ashes of Innocence by Alexandra Tesluk

Working in the social work field has unfortunately allowed me to interact with children who face similar circumstances to those of the author. More often than not, neighbors show up after the damage is done to say, "I knew there was something going on but I didn't want to be nosy." If someone would have been "nosy" butting into the sad, abuse filled life of Ms. Tesluk, she might not have had to endure so much pain at the hands of her mother and stepfather. However, as a result, she may not have evolved into the strong, loving, and kind friend, mother and wife that she did.

Ms. Tesluk tells a painful yet triumphant story about her life as a child. She was born at a time when families, including hers, were in war camps in Germany. It was a life where she was ignored and labeled inside and outside her home, abused emotionally, physically and sexually, and simply forgotten. To live in the home with your mother and not be acknowledged has to be far worse than not knowing her at all. Innocently, she longed for the love of her father who she barely remembered. Her daydreams often included her father coming to save her from the pain she endured. At times she was driven only by those dreams.

The reader can't help but be saddened by the truths that were in fact the fiber of Ms. Tesluk's life--neglect, hate, and consistent abuse. The story pulls at your heart strings. The scars of her childhood followed her to adulthood playing out in her relationships with men. She didn't love herself and fell into the only life she was familiar with; one of abuse and neglect. Despite the pain and horror that encompassed her life, Ms. Tesluk was resilient and overcame it all while learning to love herself and others. In short, she managed to bend when life was in fact doing all it could to break her.

I gave this book 4 stars because I did become lost at times in areas that were too wordy or in a few places where the author went from the past to the present. I found myself reading some sections over. The pictures were a great addition to the story. With professional editing, the author will receive the accolades she deserves. I do think the book should be shared with others trying to overcome their circumstances. They will be encouraged...

Monday, August 2, 2010

God's favor...

I have met a few people that I never would've met without Facebook and Twitter. I have rekindled old friendships and acquired new friends. This week was a little different. To me, it is further confirmation that I am where I am supposed to be. A few folks got started in the music industry before me but it doesn't mean there isn't any room for me. My dreams can be attained. Watching those around me, new and old friends, succeed inspires me providing comfort to my soul.

I had a chance meeting with a few folks the other day when I came across Verity Gospel doing an interview with DeWayne Woods. He is one of my favorite gospel artists. I was able to participate in a chat discussion with him, of course, along with others. He was very real and he answered my questions. During that chat session, I met a few people on there and was invited by Montria A. to become a part of their network. They chat regularly on which is an award winning internet gospel radio station started by Gerard Bonner. They are like a family and I was invited to be a part of it. Speechless.

Then I met a young woman on Facebook who is a host of another gospel radio show. She hosts Sunday Morning Glory with Franyora Clophus ( she requested my friendship on FB. I am sure this was no accident or chance meeting. She offered an opportunity for me to be a part of one of her shows helping other people. My knee jerk response was, "Let me think about it because I'm shy!" Contrary to what folks may think, I am shy. I looked at her question, took a deep breath, and replied answering "Yes," eventually. I didn't want to miss an opportunity to help someone else.

Let me tell you what I know about God. He is never late. At times we may think things are going slower than we like or that the opportunities are all gone. Admittedly, I have been guilty of this in the past but my faith has grown. It has well surpassed my doubts and fears. What I have to remind myself daily is that things that I desire will come BUT not always at the pace I would like for them to. God orders my steps, guides and provides. I will reach my goals but He will bring things full circle for that to occur.

God is placing a lot of honest, trustworthy and supportive people in my life. He is preparing me for what is to come. If I stand on my toes I can see my breakthrough just beyond the horizon. God is showing me that there is life after social work. Although I worked hard to acquire my degrees and license, I have always wanted to be in the music industry. Not as a performer. Remember? I'm shy! I want to be behind the curtain writing, managing or whatever. God has strategically placed me where I have always longed to be. And step by step, I will get my songs heard and performed, Minister Steve will be known internationally, and my books will all be published. Those are my dreams and goals and I am speaking them into existence.

How do I know? Because I asked God, believe it and it shall be...