Thursday, June 30, 2011

Book Review - Homefires by Emily Sue Harvey

Paperback450 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Story Plant, The (first published April 7th 2011)
Source: Tracee of Pump Up Your Book

Oosa Book Club 2nd Quarter Challenge book 12 of 13

About Emily Sue Harvey

Emily Sue author photo
Emily Sue Harvey, author and speaker, writes to make a difference. Dozens of her upbeat stories and articles appear in Chocolate for Women, Chicken Soup for the Soul, women’s magazines, websites, and other anthologies.

She is the author of the novel Song of Renewal and the novella FlavorsH. Her new novel, Homefires, will be followed by two more novellas and another novel (Unto these Hills) later in 2011.
To find out more about Emily

About Homefires

HomefiresHomefires is set in the Deep South’s Bible Belt on the eve of unprecedented moral changes. It is the story of Janeece and Kirk Crenshaw, a couple married just after their high school graduation who set out to make a life for themselves. It is a life marked by surprises, none more dramatic than when Kirk receives his “high-calling” and becomes a pastor. It is a life marked by tragedy, the most heart-rending of which is a devastating event very close to home. And it is a life marked by challenges: to their church, to their community, and most decidedly to their marriage. And as the fullness of time makes its impact on their union, Kirk and Janeece must face the question of whether they have gone as far as they can together.
Filled with the rich emotions and evocative characters that fans have come to expect from Emily Sue Harvey, and reminiscent of the work of Jan Karon and Anne Rivers Siddons, Homefires is a poignant and compelling novel that will steal readers’ hearts.

My Review:
I loved Flavors by Emily Sue Harvey, so when I saw this book up for review, I jumped at the chance to be on the tour.  I was a little disappointed in this book.  
Janeece and Kirk were young and innocent kids that were in love. They decided to "save themselves" for marriage and eventually they got married.   Some of the parts of the book I could relate to, like when they were going on a trip and one kid had to sit on "the hump" in the middle of the back seat.  I remember clearly going to Texas when I was little and we had to take turns riding on "the hump".  So,  I did feel kind of a connection with the characters, but not as much of a connection that I would have liked.  
I do like reading a variety of books, but this one just didn't hold my interest as much as I had hoped.  I have friends that I would recommend this book to (Staci).  It all depends on your taste in books I guess as to whether or not you would like this one.  The only way you will know is to just read it yourself!  I do recommend that you read Flavors by Emily Sue Harvey though!
My Rating:
2/5 Diamonds
It was just okay.
View the tour information here:

Pump Up Your Book

Disclaimer:  My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel.

© 2011, Cheryl of Black Diamond's Book Reviews. All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this on a site other than, Black Diamond's Book ReviewsUrban Image Magazine, or Cheryl's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Intimate Betrayals Blog Tour & Giveaway!

First, I’d like to thank Cheryl Francis of Black Diamonds Book Reviews for hosting my blog tour today…I really appreciate your support! Now, it’s only fitting to give you a description of the books before I tell you where the idea came from so you can have a better feel for where they are going.

In Between LiesIn Between Lies:
Just when things are going perfect for Savannah and Kevin, a blast from the past, hits the scene. Naomi, a revamped diva and budding actress, seizes the opportunity to enter into Kevin’s life and bed, reigniting a secret rendezvous that threatens his relationship.

Kevin delights in having his cake and eating it too until Naomi decides that she wants more. Spurned, Naomi stops at nothing to stake her claim on what is hers, bringing lies, destruction, and deceit.  Naomi, bent on revenge targets anyone that lies in her path. Shattered trust and betrayal is inevitable. Can their relationship survive Naomi?

Intimate Illusions: Naomi is back!

What a woman will do in the name of love!

After a bitter, destructive, and explosive parting with her former ex-lover, Kevin Styles, Naomi Saunders has no choice but to move on with her life. Kevin, equally happy and finally free of Naomi, is ready to move on as well. But before he does, he passes Naomi's taped confession to his confidant, Attorney Winston Lane, with instructions to hold it just in case she shows up to wreck havoc in his life again.

Naomi, torn with feelings of revenge and twisted love, decides to stay on the outskirts of Chicago...close to Kevin and the woman that came between them. In order for her to stay, she must take on a new  persona and lifestyle that will enable her to sustain her lavish lifestyle she'd grown accustomed to living. Not wanting to go back to the struggling life she once endured before her short lived acting career, she makes a lifestyle changing move that hones her acting skills to perfection, proving she is the ultimate diva...or is she?

How Intimate Betrayals Began

            ….just a hint of an idea

Many people ask me where the idea for this series came from.  I can’t say that it was from one single incident, but rather a series of incidents over many years…of life experiences. Had I written these books years ago, they would not be what they are today. They would have lacked the true ring of experiences in life, love, relationships, etc. Not to say that this is a true story because it’s not….but very well could be. After many conversations with people and close friends about the state of relationships at that time and the current, these books resulted. There are a lot of qualities, feelings, ideas that are very real for some. I just took my own experiences, mingled with others and extrapolated on their ideas and feelings…and pushed the characters to their limits… BAM.. this series was born.

For the record, it was not my intention to make this a series. But it seems that I have created true to life characters that people can’t seem to get enough of…or should I say bigger than life characters. If you love drama, more drama, lies, suspense, and thrills that will take you to the edge, then this is the series for you. As I have said before, these are not your typical romances. They are not far from it…but they do contain strong romantic themes, steamy sex and out of this world drama.

When it came to giving in to the inner voice that always asks what if, or why, or why can’t I do this or that… each character listened and answered by their actions. Each character has their own demons they wrestle with and question, second guess and ultimately either win or lose to; the same as we all do in life. I like to write stories that have some form of escapism, but for some reason, these issues in the book raise real dilemmas and at the same time create that same escapism that we look for in fiction. Living vicariously through them, I can explore options that I would never ever do in real life. I find myself enjoying the tangles the characters get into and love to even make it more complicated just to see how they cope with it or get out of it.


As soon as she entered the grand room, she was met with a spectacular view of the setting sun. The large, wrap around bay windows showed the sky in all of its’ majestic glory. Thunderous bass in the music shook her body as she moved to its vibe. Her body swayed without hesitation to its animalistic vibes as she moved forward. Grabbing a long fluted glass of wine from a tray that sat on the window sill she continued to help herself to the view of the penthouse and what it had to offer. Both men and women lined the walls, talking, laughing, and enjoying themselves while consuming drinks and devouring the large trays of fruit and vegetables that sat in various places. The place reeked of money and she was curious who was throwing the party and its occupants that partied in it.
“Wonderful isn’t it?” a voice came from behind her.
Mystique turned to find herself face to face with a tall, chocolate, handsome man. He smiled at her.
“What’s the matter?” he asked.
“Nothing,” she answered. “You just surprised me as I was admiring this place. Yes, it is beautiful.”
“My name is Jace. And you are?”
“Mystique,” she responded.
“Are you here with anyone? I don’t want to step on any toes, Mystique…”
“No, I am here with a friend. A female friend,” she emphasized. “What about you?”
His voice rang harmony in her ears. It was a melodic sound that she wouldn’t mind hearing every morning, noon and night.
“I am, but It’s just business for me.”
“And what kind of business is that?”
“I work for the owner…and he is also my favorite uncle.”
“The owner of this penthouse?” she inquired.

He smiled again, flashing a set of brilliant white teeth. His smooth complexion was of a deep chocolate tone, blemish free of any marks. His goatee was perfectly manicured and his eyes sparkled with what she thought was desire. She did catch his glance when she first turned around as he spoke to her from behind. It was a mesmerized look…and she could only imagine what he was thinking. Hell, if she was a man and she looked at herself, she’d think the same thing. She smiled at that thought. Narcissist! Hell, if you don’t love yourself, no one else will either. It had taken her some time to even like herself, let alone love herself.

She remembered times when she couldn’t stand to look at her reflection in the mirror. A lot of that she realized was because of the self hatred she’d formed not only against her mother and her many cracked out boyfriends, but on herself as well as her desperate living situations. It was then, that her body was used, both against her will, and to her liking. It was also then when she learned the power a woman’s body could have over a man.

The difference between now and then, she’d constantly told herself, was that she had the power now and the control over who she shared her body with now, not the other way around.

Thanks again for having me and I hope you enjoyed this post. - Shawna Hill 

Thank you so much Shawna for asking me to be a part of this tour!  I'm really glad to be spreading the word about you and your books! Everyone who is reading this post, you will not believe how amazing these books are.  You really should read them!  Enter my giveaway below and you will see.  If you don't win, I really hope you will buy these books! - Cheryl

I previously interviewed Shawna Hill. You can check out my interview with Shawna Hill here:
Interview With Shawna Hill

My review of:  Intimate Illusions

My review of: In Between Lies

Visit Shawna Hill at her website:

You can also visit her blog to see more about the tour:

Intimate Betrayals Blog Tour Trailer:


I will be giving away an e-book of  copy of Intimate Illusions and In Between Lies. Here is how you can enter:

1.  Leave a Comment with your e-mail address

2.  Follow My Blog

3.  Follow Shawna Hill on Twitter
4.  Follow Shawna Hill on Face Book

You will get one entry into the drawing for each of the items above.  Please leave a comment for each one.

I will pick a winner for each e-book on Sunday, July 3 at 9:00 p.m. 

© 2011, Cheryl of Black Diamond's Book Reviews. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Black Diamond's Book ReviewsUrban Image Magazine, or Cheryl's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book Review - Scarred for Life by Fredric A. Almond, Sr.

Paperback, 120 pages
Published February 17th 2009 by Tate Publishing
Source: Received from RWA Book Club for their Season's Readings.  They had a promotion where if you buy a book from their suggested list, they will send you a free book!
2nd Quarter Book Club Challenge Book 11 of 13

About the Book
With a will to live, he refused to die. He was stabbed thirty-nine times, and he forgave. The scars that were developed due to a burglary were meant to kill his very existence of living life. Unite with new author Fredric A. Almond in reading this inspirational book of overcoming the depth of trials by being physically and mentally challenged in fighting for hope and fulfillment for life. God is waiting on us to speak out in action in what our scars really are; scars are blessings in disguise that gives us the aspiration to live life. Through Gods workmanship in us, we have been Scarred for Life!


About the Author

I was born in Dayton, Ohio and raised in Los Angeles, California. I only lived in Dayton for the first five years of my life. My mother, older brother and I moved to Los Angeles, California. I spent my early years growing up in various apartments that were in tough neighborhoods of South Central. At a young age I had to learn how to survive the streets.  I remember the hard times we had to face. However, through all of the difficulties, the love expressed in action is what I remember the most that kept the family together.

When I was eleven, my mother was able to afford her first house. My brother had joined the US Army and was in boot camp. Things were looking up. A couple months passed and then my life was turned upside down. A burglar broke in our house, stabbed and killed my mother, and stabbed me approximately thirty-nine times leaving me for dead. Needless to say, I am still alive!

The older I got, I began to realize that my life was worth something. To be so close to death and not die was a miracle. I began to understand that God had a plan for my life. I understood that I had a reason to live and my mother's death was not going to end as a tragedy through my life but be a success story. 

The desire to inspire others about my testimony grew. In 2000, I received the burden to write a book to document my life as a motivation and strength to let others know that they too can overcome traumatic situations. As I began to write, it seemed as if it were something that had always been apart of my life. I wrote and wrote for days. The product seemed to be pretty good and nothing was going to stop me, so I thought. 

One day, I went back to the computer to start back writing and my computer froze. Immediately, I began to press buttons over and over again. I didn’t know what to do but look in shock at this computer do its own thing. And it happened, the blue screen came up, my computer crashed and I lost all the material of my first book.  I gave up for a while but the conviction to write a book remained. It took me a couple of years to start writing again. I would try to write here and there but it wasn't the same. But in 2007, the conviction came like never before to complete what I had started. So I wrote and wrote and wrote into completion. Praise God, my first book is now a reality! Moreover, the second book is on its way... 
I currently work within the community and local churches, encouraging young, middle aged and older people about not giving up hope and explaining to them that their scar is the reason why they are still alive; reminding them that they are alive to fulfill their God given purpose. I try to use my life to be an example of an over comer.
Some Accomplishments:Happily married and a proud Father
Associates Degree
Bachelors Degree
Various awards and declarations from the US Army
Ordained Elder
Coach Football & Special Olympics
Mentor teenagers at the detention center
Motivational / Inspirational Speaker

My Review
When you see that this book is a true story about Fredric A. Almond Sr. and read that he was stabbed 39 times you might think that this will be a book about what happened and how he tried to seek revenge.  This  is not the case AT ALL.

This book was short but very powerful.  Not only was Fredrick stabbed at the young age of 11, but his 33 year old mother was also stabbed 50 times and killed by a  burglar.  He was very lucky to have lived to tell this story.  I felt sorry for him when I read about how he looked at himself after being stabbed and felt ugly.  Yes, he was feeling bad about himself, but he moved on and got on with his life.

Fredric put his faith in God, and God healed him.  He really felt like giving up sometimes, but he knew God had a plan for him.  His work on the earth was not done.  He believes that everyone has a purpose on this earth, and God will not take you until you make the difference in the world that you were brought here to make.

I really enjoyed and recommend this book!  It was very inspirational.  Fredrick could have gone on about how hard his life is and been mad at the world for what happened to  him and his mom, but he decided to turn things around and be an inspiration to others.  Scarred for Life will be a book you won't soon forget.  There were times I felt like crying, but Fredric A. Almond, Sr. has a way of lifting you up and making you feel like you can overcome anything.

My Rating

5/5 Diamonds - Very Moving!  Highly Recommend!

Where can you buy it?

Visit his website at:

Disclaimer:  My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel.

© 2011, Cheryl of Black Diamond's Book Reviews. All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this on a site other than, Black Diamond's Book ReviewsUrban Image Magazine, or Cheryl's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 
Anyone can play along!  

Just do the following:

1.                 Grab your current read
2.                 Open to a random page
3.                 Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
4.                 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
5.                 Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Scarred for Life

Scarred for Life by Fredric A. Almond, Sr.

(this is a true story by the way)

He kneeled down, came about two inches from my face, took his knife, and cut me on my face to see if I was dead or alive.  He probably thought that if I were alive then I would have moved, made a noise, or done something that would cause for him to react to finish me off until I would eventually die.  However, I stared right into his eyes without a flinch.  I didn't have time to be afraid; I had to be bold for life. 
 P. 42

© 2011, Cheryl of Black Diamond's Book Reviews. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Black Diamond's Book ReviewsUrban Image Magazine, or Cheryl's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Book Review - Wikked by L.M. Blakely

Wikked by L.M. Blakely
Paperback2nd Edition 360 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by PHE Ink - Writing Solutions Firm (first published March 26th 2008)
Source: Purchased from PHE Ink.

2K11 Reading/Reviewing Challenge - 2nd Quarter - My Challenge book 9 of 13

About the Author:
LMBlakely is a native of Albany, Georgia – a “military brat” who has traveled and resided in the Philippines, Okinawa, Japan, New Mexico and Florida. She currently lives in Atlanta, GA and is studying for her Bachelors in Network Management.

She found inspiration in writing by journaling and playing different instruments, composite ballads and had aspirations of being a songwriter blossomed until her passion changed which resulted in her earning the title of “Author.”

Ms. Blakely is a thirty-something writer, on a writing marathon.
About the Book:
Niqi Brown seems to have it all - she's the Executive Director at a lucrative manufacturing firm and engaged to one of the wealthiest and most handsome brothas around, Chancelor Barnes IV. Truth be told, even paradise has its trouble spots. 

As it turns out, Niqi and Chance's relationship has been steadily eroding over the years, devolving to the point where they can barely see eye-to-eye on any issue. They spend less time together, they argue more frequently, and, quite frankly, they make each other miserable. So, it comes as no surprise that Niqi's suspicions are confirmed when she confronts Chance about his secret dealings with none other than Tiffany Jones, a bitter rival from her past who has re-emerged on the scene with Niqi square in her sights.  Amid the drama and chaos that ensue, Niqi eventually finds comfort in the arms of the smooth and sexy Denim Alexander, who just so happens to be the best lover she's ever had. 

However, all that glitters is not gold, and Niqi soon finds herself caught up in the middle of a sinister plot involving various levels of treachery, deceit, and backstabbing, thrusting her into survival mode with none other than her very own life at stake.

My Review:
Niqi wants to be able to talk to her fiancee Chance, but he never seems to want to talk to her unless he starts the conversation.  Their life in the bedroom is stale and he always seems to be working or on business trips.  She sees this guy named Denim who is so HOT, but she is engaged and doesn't want to complicate her life.

Then Tiffany comes along.  She seems to be trying to meddle in their lives.  Whenever she brings Tiffany's name up in coversation with Chance, he doesn't want to talk about it.  She just thinks something is fishy about it.

This would have almost been a perfect book if it weren't for a few things.  First of all, the book is written in first person with Niqi telling the story.  Sometimes though it switches to third person even in the same sentence.  I've never written a book, so I know it has to be hard to keep everything straight sometimes.  Also, when characters are talking, it was hard sometimes to differentiate who was talking when there were two quotes within a sentence.  Other than that, it was perfect! 

I loved this book, and L.M. Blakely did an awesome job with it.  The characters came to life for me.  I didn't have any trouble remembering who was who.  Sometimes authors can overload you and introduce so many people that you can't keep them straight, but that was not the case here at all!  There was always some kind of drama going on, and I never knew what to expect next!  I love a book like this that you can't predict what is going to happen or how it's going to end!  I highly recommend this one!

My Rating:
4/5 Diamonds - Loved It!

Contact L.M. Blakely:


Buy the Book Here:
(you can get it in paperback or Kindle format)

Disclaimer:  My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel.

© 2011, Cheryl of Black Diamond's Book Reviews. All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this on a site other than, Black Diamond's Book ReviewsUrban Image Magazine, or Cheryl's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Review - The Pussy Whispers by Dean Jean-Pierre

The Pussy Whispers by Dean Jean-Pierre
Paperback, 347 pages
Published May 20th 2010 by CalmWaters Entertainment Group
Source: Purchased Signed Copy from the Author!

OOSA 2K11 Book Club 13 week 2nd Quarter Challenge, book 10 of 13

About the Book

The Pussy Whispers is a delicious collection of sensually erotic short stories and poetry which will stimulate all of your senses as you indulge in this writer's brand of erotica. The lyrical passion will caress your mind and feed your body from the first mental stroke of The Pussy Whispers verbal penetration. It will leave you craving and thirsting for more...
About the Author
Born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, to Marcel and Martha Jéan-Pierre and his "second mother" Ann-Marie Jéan-Pierre, Dean Jéan-Pierre is the eldest of two children. He has a younger brother named Denny.

At age nine, the death of Mr. Jéan-Pierre's father made him look for a place of sanctuary. That place was found in his imagination, the world of books and the Frederiksted (V.I.)Public Library, where he was usually the first reader of the new Beverly Clearly, Hardy Boys or Encyclopedia Brown books.

When your passion speaks to your heart, resisting is not an option...

A gifted writer and storyteller, Mr. Jéan-Pierre stimulates the inner passions of his readers with a mixture of sensually erotic short stories and prose which is skillfully written to feed not only the body but also the mind. He believes that the mind is an underused sexual organ that, once stimulated, can be just as potent as the body. There is an intimate tenderness that he brings in his character portrayals not often expressed by men. Mr. Jéan-Pierre is able to express the vulnerabilities of the human physique when love and passion meet in the place of the heart. He brings a fresh new outlook and perspective on relationships from all gender perspectives in several urban markets.

Mr. Jéan-Pierre's first collection, "The Pussy Whispers," is a sensual erotic compilation of short stories written by a master to seduce his readers into his world with deep verbal penetrations. It will leave them craving for more of his cerebral erotica. Scheduled to be released in the winter of 2009, "The Pussy Whispers" will be the first of many full-length works of Mr. Jéan-Pierre''s fiction and poetry. His first novel is scheduled for release in 2010. Independently well-versed and traveled, Mr. Jéan-Pierre currently resides in Maryland.

My Review
Okay, I will admit right now that it took a while to read this book.  It was not at all because I didn't like it or that it was hard to read.    When you read it you will find out why.  This book is so erotic that it will make all of your other fantasies seem like nothing.  After all, have you ever heard of a tonguegasm?  I haven't until I read page 8!

Fruit isn't just for salad.  What else can you do with it mango, tangerines, strawberries and bananas?  Read this book and see.  I think you will look at fruit in a whole new light!

All I could handle is about a chapter a night.  Yes, this is a book you don't want your children to see.  Make sure you hide it between your mattresses or in your toy/lube drawer. (You have one right?  If not you might want to--no you need to!  Your spouse/lover/whatever just may not be able to keep up!)  I will tell you what though, they won't be complaining about you reading this one!  Some people may be put off by the title, but I really don't know what else it could have been called.  I had a picture of this book on Facebook and was accused of reading books "on the edge of porn".  This is not on the edge baby, this is off the cliff!  I don't know how Dean comes up with his stories, but I hope he doesn't stop! 

This is definitely a book to buy.  First of all, I am not sure if a library would even carry this book.  If they did, I don't think it would ever make it back!
My Rating

5/5 Diamonds - Highly Recommend (In Small Doses)!

Where can you buy it?

I would recommend:

You can also go there to read excerpts and find out more about Dean Jean-Pierre and his books!

Disclaimer:  My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel.

© 2011, Cheryl of Black Diamond's Book Reviews. All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this on a site other than, Black Diamond's Book ReviewsUrban Image Magazine, or Cheryl's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.