Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading



~Mailbox Monday~
Hosted in May at MariReads
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.

Here is what I got

Revelations
Revelations by Laurel Dewey
Sent to me by the publisher for the Pump Up Your Book Tour

Remember Me
Remember Me by Cheryl Robinson
Advance Uncorrected Proof Received from The Penguin Group

Very Bad Men
Very Bad Men by Harry Dolan
Won this ARC from Shelf Awareness


********************************************************

We discuss the books that we've read and what we're planning to read for the week.

Book Reviews Last Few Weeks
May

23-27      Week With An Author - DELL BANKS!  dellbanks.com

May 28                     This Week's Winners of Shady by Dell Banks
May 28                     First Lines Friday
May 28                     Confessions of a Cheating Man by RAW
May 28                     Black Child to Black Woman by Cheryl Denise Bannerman 5/28


This Week:
No scheduled reviews

Currently Reading:

The MPire: In Search of the Lost (The MPire Trilogy)Wikked



Up Next to Read This Week:
The Deal, the Dance, and the Devil: A NovelRevelations

© 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.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saturday Snapshot - May 28

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by athomewithbooks.blogspot.com.  To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then visit At Home With Books. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.


My daughter's 3rd birthday (3/27!)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Book Review - Black Child to Black Woman by Cheryl Denise Bannerman

Black Child to Black Woman
Black Child to Black Woman by Cheryl Denise Bannerman
Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: AuthorHouse (July 29, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781452035789
ISBN-13: 978-1452035789
Source:  Signed copy given to me for review by Cheryl Denise Bannerman

About the Book:
Black Child to Black Woman is a 'live diary' experience that will grab your attention right from the start. Tara Walker speaks directly to the reader as she adds entry after entry into her Journal. She documents her experiences, her family life, her triumphs, as well as her interpretation of life and the world as she saw it. As she grows, so does the language and tone of the diary, which matches her maturity and speech patterns as the time passes. Experiences are mere images engraved in our minds that we recall when future events occur such as a tragedy or even when a song is playing on the radio. Tara has captured those moments in time in her diary, even the painful ones. Although she came from a loving home with both parents, she struggled to come to grips with siblings addicted to drugs, molestation, attempted rape, broken hearts, and so much more. Her diary experiences will make you laugh, cry, scream, sigh, and gasp aloud. As Tara struggles to keep her head above water and fight through the tribulations of her life, she continues to smile, continues to grow as a person, continues to be successful in her career, and continues to survive. Through it all and through her daughter, she eventually discovers the true meaning of unconditional love. Come discover life through the eyes of Tara as she grows from a black child to a black woman. 

About the Author:

Cheryl McNeil (pen name, Cheryl D. Bannerman, her birth name) is CEO of a small virtual training company based out of Central New Jersey. She works out of her home office and creates classroom training materials, e-Learning modules, job aides and much more for corporate employees and their clients. She holds a Bachelors in Business Management and a Masters in Project Management. She is also the (divorced) single mother of a beautiful eleven year old girl.

In her spare time she loves to read murder mysteries, watch movies, try new restaurants and cuisines, shop with her daughter, and in the summer, walk the boardwalk and take in the sun on the beach. Although her works are fiction, she has incorporated many of her life's experiences into her stories.

My Review:
I loved the way this book was written--like a journal.  It was like taking a step right into Tara Walker's life from when she was 9 until she is in her 30's.  I got to read all of her deepest thoughts--things that probably not many people in her life knew about.  The only thing I thought was kind of strange is that she was writing in her journal at graduation, but I guess it could happen? 

Tara is a comical little girl.  She talks about mom being mad at her dad for drinking "acka-hall (that's a bad drink)" p. 2.  I just felt like I was right there with her going through the events of her life.  She had ups and down in her life, but she was always such a positive spirit! She really went through some pretty heavy situations like her brothers being into drugs, being molested. and just the other events that a girl goes through.

A few of the Quotes I liked:
I always, and I mean always, do my work, finish my work, and then help others finish their work.  What I wear, what I eat, how I dress, or how I wear my hair should not be an issue. P74

I am just plain tired of people criticizing me for my looks, my clothes, and my accomplishments, as if I could stop being light-skinned or start dressing ugly and like a slob to make them happy.  Or perhaps I should stop making the Honor Roll for them. Would that make you happy Bitches?!! I am who I am that's all there is to it.  I admit that because of how people judge and criticize that it has been a lonely life so far and I'm sure it will continue to be one far into my future...at least when it comes to female associates. p82

I would definitely recommend this book.  It's a nice and quick book to read.  I liked the way the book was put in journal format and it went from playing dressup, to losing virginity, to being a grown woman. Not too mention the author has such a cool name!

My Rating:
5/5 diamonds - highly recommend!



Check out an interview with Cheryl at beyondthebooks.wordpress.com

Visit her tour page at Pump Up Your Book, http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2010/10/02/black-child-to-black-woman-virtual-book-tour-october-10/

Visit her website at http://www.bannermanbooks.com/

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for my review. 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 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.

This Week's Winners of Shady by Dell Banks

Shady: A Novel


Dell Banks graciously offered to give away 1 copy each day for Week With An Author.
Here are this weeks winners of Shady by Dell Banks:

Monday:  Carol Peake
Tuesday: Staci Taylor
Wednesday: Thorned Beauty
Thursday:  Orsayor Simmons
Friday:  Sidne
(I have also picked two extra winners:  Lisah Foster and Tonja Ayers -
I am going to send each of them a copy of Shady by Dell Banks!)

© 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 - Confessions of a Cheating Man by RAW - also Our Love Is Not What It Used to Be & You Deserve a Better Man

Confessions of a Cheating Man
Confessions of a Cheating Man by RAW
Paperback, 152 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Baby Daddy Publishing
Source: Purchased this autographed book from RAW
Oosa Book Club 13 week challenge, book 7 of 13


About The Book:

The most talked about, the most anticipated biography to hit the streets!!! The story of a man who lost his wife and destroyed his family, due to his infidelity. The story of a man who thought the grass was greener on the other side... The story of a man who realized his sickness, when it was too late!!!











MEET THE CHEATOLOGIST



The Cheatologist is one who studies and identifies with the underlining causes and effect of lies, betrayal and cheating in relationships...and seeks to find solutions within the issues that propels one to cheat. 


The Cheatologist has been studying and researching the cheating epidemic that has plagued our community for years now, and honestly seeks to give advice on how to combat the evil results of its effect. 


HOW IT BEGAN...


It was so hard for me, at one point, to stop a behavior that I kept indulging in recklessly. I always wondered why I kept running the streets looking for what I already had at home. But the intensity in my arousal, along with my weak resistance to flesh, kept encouraging me to make irrational choices. The ill choices I made became a bigger problem for me...they became an addiction that kept me, insanely, attached to activities beyond my marriage.


I was once so loving and kind to my wife. However, my attitude became brutally disrespectful when she continued to question my misplaced loyalties. And, despite the increasing negative impact that my actions had on my family, I continued to engage in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior that had me taking money from home and spending it on women in the street. I wondered, till this day, in the presence of shame, fear and exploitation, why did my wife still love me and why did she endure this humiliation for so long? But I realized that shouldn't be the question; it should be why do we hurt our wives like this and expect them to stay?



This is my story, my drama, my confessions.


Contact RAW at:
thecheatologist



My Review:


First of all, I have to give a lot of credit to RAW for writing this book.  Yes, cheating on a spouse is wrong, but RAW is telling us his story.  He is showing how he cheated on his wife and what resulted from his cheating.  He is not glorifying his cheating.  He is showing us that he had a problem and that if you cheat on your spouse, there is no turning back.


In the book you will see that RAW thought that as long as he took care of things at home, it was okay to go out and have a little fun on the side.   He thought this because his wife never questioned what he was doing.  He did think about what he was doing and knew it was wrong, but he could not get himself to stop. You will also be able to read a letter from his wife to him expressing her feelings.  One little mistake, something he forgot, would change everything.  He had an addiction though that he just couldn't get over.


About 2 a.m., I jumped up and made love to my wife till about 5:30 a.m.   She told me how much she loved me.  She actually cried and said "you don't know how much I love you."  The truth is, I did know how much she loved me.  But I couldn't stop this desire to want to lay my head on a new pillow; this desire to hear someone else tell me how good my sex was. This was my get high...thinking about De'osha, my next victim.  And the serial cheater is about to strike again. (p108)


RAW really writes from his heart on a very relevant issue--cheating.  He also states in the book how after a while, his wife stopped complimenting him and stopped showing how much she loved him, he looked for love from other women.  I think husbands and wives have gotten too caught up in what is going on in their lives, and we forget sometimes to just slow down and make it a point to put some time into keeping our marriage alive.  It becomes habit sometimes to just do the same things that we are used to and not make time for things like dates with our spouse or showing them how much we really do love them.  Sometimes we need to go out of our comfort zone and do what we need to in order to keep that spark alive, even if that means we have to figure how to spend more time together or even schedule a date.


I recommend Confessions of a Cheating Man by RAW.  He gives you a real look into what happened to his marriage after he cheated on his wife so many times.  Go to his website thecheatologist.com and listen to the music that plays.  That music that he has playing really makes me sad for him and what happened to his life.  He also sent me the "Fake Ricky Rozay at it again" You Tube video as well as an interview that he did (not the one I posted here).  He regrets what he did and has changed to become a better person.


--------------------------


He also sent me Our Love Is Not What It Used To Be "Something From Our Past Won't Let Us Last." by Raw "The Cheatologist"  and You Deserve a Better Man "Can a cheating man still be a good man?"  


RAW writes  to his wife about his thoughts. Failure to communicate is a big issue that can really put a strain on a marriage.  He writes to his wife about how he had to beg for her attention.  If she would have just given him some attention, he may not have felt the desire to seek out pleasure in other women.  


"The truth is, you had more of an expectation of the man that you wanted me to be but you lost out on not accepting me for the man I was." p.27
He wanted sex and his wife just blew him off.  Marriage works both ways,  you can't expect to stay close and have a great marriage if one person is not willing to give in a little.  


Again, I am not saying cheating is the best way to deal with this, but RAW is human and has needs.  He went out and got them met by whoever would fulfill them.  He wanted it to be his wife, but it just didn't happen how he had hoped. 


I am looking forward to reading more books by RAW!



My rating
5/5 diamonds
Highly Recommend!

How to Contact RAW:

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for my review. 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 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.



First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a new bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. Here is what you do: 

  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author so that other FLF participants can add the book to their TBR Lists.
The MPire: In Search of the Lost (The MPire Trilogy)



"A violent thunderstorm blew through Austin, Texas, on a cold March morning.  As the brutal storm crashed down on the city, sheets of rain blanketed the already-drenched ground.  The air was dark and murky from the cold humidity, and the onyx sky flashed blood red from occasional white streaks of lightning."

The MPire: In Search of the Lost (The MPire Trilogy) by T.L. James



© 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.

Friday, May 27, 2011

WEEK WITH AN AUTHOR - DELL BANKS - FINAL GIVEAWAY

Week With An Author - Dell Banks
Image of "Dell Banks"
Overview of The Week:


In case you missed anything this week, here is what happened:


Monday
Book Review - Shady by Dell Banks & Giveaway


Tuesday
Who Is Dell Banks? Giveaway of Shady
Winners of Shady for Monday and Tuesday


Wednesday
Excerpt of Shady by Dell Banks & Giveaway
Winner of Shady for Wednesday


Thursday
Interview With Dell Banks and Giveaway
Winner of Shady for Thursday



FINAL GIVEAWAY
Shady: A Novel

The only requirement for this is you need to connect in some way with Dell Banks.  
Here is where you can find him:

So either follow him on Twitter or Facebook (or both!) and either Facebook or tweet him to let him know that you stopped by Black Diamond's Book Reviews.  I would also appreciate if you would follow my blog!

Once you follow Dell, please post the link to your tweet or facebook message or let me know where I can find it.  Also, please give me your e-mail address.

Winner will be selected on Friday at 10:00 p.m.


Thank you Dell!

I would like to thank you for being  a part of Week With An Author.  Dell, you really worked well with me on this new project, and I really enjoyed it. It has been an interesting week, especially because all week long my computer has been crashing continuously which makes for long waits!  I found out about Hootsuite which allowed me to schedule posts throughout the day to get more attention which was very cool!

I have really learned a lot about you as an author and a person. I, of course, loved reading Shady and thank you again for letting me be an advanced reader and putting my name in your Acknowledgments!  I enjoyed spreading the word about your and your awesome new book Shady! 

If anyone has interest in being a part of Week With An Author, please check out my page: Week With An Author.




Don't worry.  If you didn't win a copy (even though you did have 5 chances to win!, here is a link that you can click to purchase your own copy of Shady by Dell Banks!








© 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.

Winner of Shady by Dell Banks for Thursday!

Shady: A Novel

GIVEAWAY

Thursday's Winner of Shady by Dell Banks is .....................





 © 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.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Yesterday's Winner of Shady by Dell Banks!

GIVEAWAY

Wednesday's Winner of Shady by Dell Banks is .....................



 © 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.

WEEK WITH AN AUTHOR - INTERVIEW WITH DELL BANKS & GIVEAWAY of Shady!

Image of "Dell Banks"

Dell Banks Interview
First of all, I would like to thank you Dell for the opportunity to interview you for Black Diamond’s Book Reviews!  I really think it is important to do author interviews.  People go out and read and review the books, but they don’t necessarily know much about the author.  Interviews give the readers a chance to find out more about the author, and I think it is more likely that a reader will develop some kind of connection to the author and be more likely to follow that author and read upcoming books!

Could you tell me a little about yourself?
I’m a dedicated father. I enjoy writing, bowling and spending time with my family. I attended Wayne State University in Detroit where I studied Journalism.

When did you start writing and how did you get started?
I started writing over five years ago. I’ve always written poems and short stories. But, about 3 years ago, I challenged myself to complete a full length novel. And here we are three years later, with a complete “Best- Selling” novel.

What kind of books you like to write?
Urban Contemporary

Do you have any rituals that you use when you are writing?
Yes, I dedicate an entire day to one character. I usually start with writing the ending first, that way I have a clear path to my destination. I call it my GPS for writing a book.

What are you reading now?
I recently read Show Stoppah by Thomas Slater, next up is Pimp by Ice
Berg Slim.

What are some of your favorite books and authors?  
Ashley & Jaquavis- The Cartel series
Deja King
Carl Weber- The Choir Director
Eric Jerome
Dwayne Joseph

Has writing your own book changed the way that you read?
Yes!!! Now, when I read I’m looking more for the connection, the plot and the overall message of the book. Before penning my own novel I would read for entertainment, now I’m more concerned about the theme and the relevancy of the book.


What is a typical day in your life like?
Write…Write…and write so more. If I’m not working on a new book then I’m working on a stage production. I’m a playwright as well as an Author/Publisher, so the writing never stops. I think I even write while I sleep.

Did you know what you wanted the title of the book to be?  How involved were in choosing the name of the book?
At the start of the book, I had no idea what the title would be, but overtime the title revealed itself. With all of the Shady acts that took place in the book, it would’ve been a huge mistake not to title the book, Shady.

Are there other books you love or writers you admire that are from your local area?
Ashley & Jaquavis and debut author, Thomas Slater.

Who was your favorite character to write, and why did you like that character?
My favorite character to write would have to be Sequoia, she’s very comical and say whatever is on her mind.

Did you have to do much research when working on SHADY? If so, do you tend to write first or research first?
I didn’t have to do that much research.

As a published author, what’s been the biggest surprise about life after the publication of your first book?
The response from my readers has been unbelievable, Shady had impacted more people than I expected.

What’s next for you?
The follow-up to Shady, which is slated for Fall 2011.

What three artists would I find in your Ipod or CD player?
R.Kelly, Ricky Dillard, and Chris Brown

If I came to your home and looked in your refrigerator what would I find?
Cookie Dough, Orange Juice, Cinnamon Rolls, and more unhealthy junk!!!

What famous person do other people tell you that you most look like?
Robert Traylor (God rest his soul)

What is the one thing about yourself that others would be shocked to know?
I’m 6ft5!

Choose a book title for the story of your life.
Never a Dull Moment


Thank you so much Dell for being a part of Week With An Author and letting me interview you.  I hope by now more people have been able to see who you are and what Shady is all about and it has sparked a lot of interest!  I definitely was shocked to hear that you are 6ft5, and Dwayne Joseph is also one of my favorite authors too (besides you of course).  Also, it's very cool that you come from my home state of Michigan!

GIVEAWAY

The only requirement for this is you need to connect in some way with Dell Banks.  
Here is where you can find him:

So either follow him on Twitter or Facebook (or both!) and either Facebook or tweet him to let him know that you stopped by Black Diamond's Book Reviews.  I would also appreciate if you would follow my blog!

Once you follow Dell, please post the link to your tweet or facebook message or let me know where I can find it.  Also, please give me your e-mail address.

Winner will be announced tomorrow!


Also, please stop by tomorrow for another giveaway!

© 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.