This Week's Reviews Include...

Night Before Dawn by Roschelle McKenzieSchool Boy by Katavious EllisNo More Expectations by Cathy JoThe Genesis Files by Gwen RichardsonThe Greatest of These by T. Randall JonesTapestry by Jeanette Michelle

To Whom Much is Given, Much is Expected: An Author’s Responsibility

Stepping to the stage is: T.L. Tucker

Writing a book is much like sowing a seed. When a seed is planted, it is usually strategically placed under the soil where it could take root. If placed appropriately, the seed will get the proper nutrients needed to evolve into the root. What grows thereafter depends upon what kind of seed was planted. A farmer would never waste his time planting a seed that would not yield a crop fit to be consumed. So, as authors, why should we? I believe that authors have a huge responsibility to tell meaningful and purpose filled stories that make our readers laugh, cry, and think. An author’s job is to challenge readers while entertaining them.

It has been my experience being an indie author that there is a low expectation for quality pertaining to self-published work. Why do you think this is? I understand that putting out a quality product is much harder when you don’t have a mainstream publisher to dot all of your I’s and cross all of your T’s. However, it is the responsibility of the author to make sure that books are up to  industry standard in every aspect. Grammatical errors and usage issues have been a big eyesore in the indie literary community.  It is so important to HIRE an experienced editor. Once we have hired an editor, we must trust him/her to make appropriate revisions and suggestions. Everybody isn’t out to get our manuscripts with their red magic marker. Editors know exactly what the industry is looking for. Editors know what need to be changed and what takes away or adds to a story line. We have to trust that. With that said, let me say this, “the editor is not ALWAYS right,” but they are right most of the time.

Another big downfall in the indie community (especially with African American authors) is the way that men, women, and the African American community as a whole is depicted in our novels. Granted, there are drug dealers, promiscuous men and women, and gold digging women, but that is not all there is to the African American experience. There is so much more to being an African American in 2013. Ugly stories can be told with integrity and purpose. We can’t blame the media for depicting us in such a negative light if we ourselves write books that stereotype and depreciates us as a people. We have to take some of the responsibility. 

What kind of seeds are we sowing? Will our writing make a positive difference or inspire a positive change? Has money become the driving force in the literary community? Do we care about the messages that we are sending to the masses? Do we fully understand that when we have gone to meet our maker that our writings will be the legacy that we leave to our children and our children’s children? Our writing will be here after we are long gone and in essence will be the  universe’s only proof that we ever existed. My challenge question to you is this: What are you sowing into the universe? What legacy are you leaving?

Weapon of the Pen
Written by: T.L. Tucker
Gird yourselves my friends, with the weapon of your pens
And understand that what you write
can bring forth death, or bring forth life
Even though the words aren’t spoken
they have the power to leave one broken
Even though you may not hear them
They hold power when you read them
They plant a seed, fulfill a need
Crush a dream or build esteem

When you write, what are your deeds?

We have the gift, the power to make a positive change
Let’s us our gifts for that purpose, not to keep our people enslaved and in chains
With a stinky leg, lollipop, how low to the ground can you drop
And a pimp, hoe, gimmie that doe; how far are you willing to go?
No, I will not sale my soul, for any amount of money, or any measure of Gold

To totally understand what I’m saying to you
We have to acknowledge that these gifts are not our own
But bestowed to us from Him, who sits high and on His Throne
And should be used for Him alone

Our gifts from Him should be the gifts that keep on giving
That plant seeds, breathe life,
and encourage folks to keep on living

And so I say again
Gird yourselves my friends, with the weapon of your pens
And understand that what you write
Can bring forth death, or bring forth life

I choose Life…..

Author T. L. Tucker knew at a young age that writing was her passion aspiring in her senior yearbook to be a journalist. In 2008 she released her first book, Single & Saved in PG County, a self-help auto biography about dating, singleness, single parenting, and divorce. She has stepped out of the box with her new fictional novel Revenge Interrupted, setting a new standard for modern literature. In her latest novel she addresses the issue of family dysfunction, HIV, promiscuity, rape, and forgiveness. T.L. challenges society understanding that although we may not control our circumstances; we can control how we react to them. She has also written and produced her first short film based off of the highly acclaimed, novel. As an author and film maker her goal is to challenge society and plant the seeds of righteousness, integrity, and morals while entertaining them with her unique style of writing.

G.P.A. (Greatest Poet Alive)

It is FOR and ABOUT authors. Here we shine the light on authors who we’ve read, reviewed and recommend to others. In this edition we are shining our light on another gifted author...


G.P.A., Greatest Poet Alive, is from the south side of Chicago. He has been writing poetry since 2007.  He published his first book of poetry, “The Confessional Heart of a Man.” He followed that up with the scintillating book of sensual poetry, “The Book of 24 Orgasms.” His most recent release is “The Mind of a Poetic Unsub.”

Besides his own works, G.P.A. was the main poetic contributor to both “Chocolate Rose” and “Chocolate Rose 2.” In honor of Domestic Violence month, he contributed poems to the anthology “Voices Behind the Tears.” G.P.A. is the founding member of The League of Extraordinary Poets, an organization of poets who take the art of storytelling to another level. He is also a member of the Waiting for the Bus collective.

A man who takes pride in his work and definitely a voice that one could not easily forget, G.P.A. received the 2011 Black Essence Award for Poetry and Charity. He has been thrice nominated for Poet of the Year and “The Book of 24 Orgasms” was nominated for Book of the Year. G.P.A. is a poet who is not afraid to step outside the box from taboo topics to social awareness.


Do you sleep with or without clothes on? By myself or with The Beagle? I wear Batman pajama bottoms and a #TeamGPA tee shirt. With the Muse, nothing at all.

Football is: extremely violent.

Do you prefer to be behind the camera or in front of it? Why? I prefer to be in front of the camera because I need to be seen. This shine, at this moment and time, is too bright to sequestered.

A penny for your thoughts, a nickel for a kiss or a dime to hear “I love you”? A dollar towards forever.

Who is your celebrity crush? Kerry Washington (Olivia Pope) is my celebrity crush, and my poem "Obsessed" is my ode to her.

LA or New York? Chicago, South Side.

Which is more important: trust or love? Trust is the foundation for love, so it is more important. Once trust is gone, all is lost.

What is your favorite scent on a woman? There is nothing like the scent of Hanae Mori.

What is your favorite brand of cereal? I eat granola cereal everyday and during the day.

You’d be surprised to know that I’ve never: been nominated for a National Poetry Award.

Add this: OOSA Book club is #TeamGPA

“I would definitely recommend ‘The Confessional Heart of a Man’ to anyone who likes poetry and to anyone who'd like to read a thought provoking book in poetry style. I'd also recommend this book to any women, especially a Black woman who wants to get in the head of a Black man and understand what's going on inside both his mind and heart.” - Tinisha Nicole Johnson

“GPA will surprise the reader and take them in a direction they will not see coming. In many of his poems, the endings are quite shocking, yet thought-provoking and entertaining…With confidence, I highly recommend his book, and I anxiously await the next masterpiece from this gifted poet and author.” - Books and Beignets (BAB) Book Club

“The Greatest Poet Alive has outdone himself with this work of poetry…The best part of this collection is that G.P.A. has found a way to write erotic poetry without it being pornographic. These poems will definitely arouse you and make you want to move from the couch or wherever you are reading it and move to the bedroom!” – Tiffany Talks Books

“’The Book of 24 Orgasms’ is one to experience as it is chucked full of sensuality and imagery that is fulfilling and thought provoking. GPA takes us on a ride that is magnified by pure sexiness and elevated by his wordsmith and where one can go.” – Rhea Banks


“‘The Mind of a Poetic Unsub’ is a continuation of the art form GPA has honed for many countless hours, days, months and years. This collection can stand alone, but I feel it's best read in the context of his previous collections.” - Joey Pinkney

“This book and its poetry touches on many emotions, but each a gem in its own light, (sexual, sensuous, provocative, hard and true etc)…I believe he deserves the title he's penned himself with. You can't go wrong with anything you feast your eyes upon in this ‘The Mind of a Poetic Unsub’!” - Readers Paradise

For more information on GPA, please visit:
G.P.A.(Greatest Poet Alive)on Facebook
Twitter: gr8estpoetalive
Instagram: unsubgpa
Youtube: hchise22

Coming soon...

Love & Books

He is a man of many names. He has written in a variety of secular genres and is the writing partner and ghostwriter for a few award-winning and bestselling authors. With his string of successes and renewed faith in God, he has finally decided to follow his calling to write for Christ.
She has been in love with the written word since preschool. She is an author and poet. Once writing explicit romance, she now dedicates all of her writings to God with the prayer that her stories will touch the hearts of her readers.
Successful in business, Isaiah and Allyson are also successful in love. A couple for three and a half years, almost two of which married, while they may not love the same books, they love each other and they love books.
She Said...
With hectic schedules, how do you two find the time to maintain a happy and healthy relationship? It is definitely not easy, between my business hours and his work hours, not to even mention our personal writing time. But we make it work, like I'll get up when he first gets home from work (early in the morning) just to spend time with him. He, in turn, will often stay up just to talk to me, even when he's two days past exhausted. We worship together, and sometimes it's as simple as taking a nap together, just to share each other's space.
What was it about Isaiah that made you know he was the one? I knew that he was the one when I realized that I felt so much peace around him, that I felt safe and loved and that it was okay to love again, I knew that God had sent me MY husband.
You're obviously both readers. Do you read the same books? If so, do you always agree about them?Sometimes we read the same books, and no we don't always agree, but we always enjoy talking about them. That is just one of the things that we enjoy together.
What's a romantic night for you two? A romantic night for us is a romantic dinner, whether we cook together or go out to eat, enjoying a good movie, and some chocolate covered fruit or wine and of course each other.
He Said...
How did you two meet? We met through participating in THE TRIUMPH OF MY SOUL anthology. After Elissa tried to get us together for some signings, we remained in touch.
What was it about Allyson that made you know she was the one? I knew Allyson was the one because God said she was. She was there for me during some of my darkest hours. She didn't run when she saw my bad side or heard my secrets.
Do you think the portrayal of black love in books today is an accurate depiction? I don't think the portrayal of black love is accurate at all. First off, all black men aren't thugs, drug dealers or excessively wealthy. We are not all muscular or mixed with something or have the biggest loaves of bread in the bakery. And every man doesn't want a 36-24-36...most MEN want a Proverbs 31 woman who's not scared to follow a Godly man. We are not all perfect, especially in our walks with Christ and we aren't perfect Christians either. Sometimes, I feel we present false images to the masses who look for the ideal man or woman based on some book that was read and not what's out there.
What is the key to a long-lasting relationship?Honesty and trust are keys to a long lasting relationship. Beauty is vain.
They Said...

"If God be for us who shall be against us?"
- No More* by J. Moss

*Allyson and Isaiah's song
OOSA ~ We're not your average book club!

KDP - Godsend or Curse?

Stepping to the stage is: Ca$h

When you turn on your Kindle today and browse, looking for an urban banger to read, you have hundreds of thousands of urban and street lit books to choose from, and just as many authors. KDP or Kindle Direct Publishing has made it easy and free for authors to self-publish.  It allows you to self-publish your books and make them available on Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Mac, and PC.  Many authors have made a name for themselves, along with a fat duffel bag, through the KDP program.

No one should hate on the next person's hustle, right? Well, many do. They point to KDP as the primary reason that the urban street lit genre is oversaturated with poor quality books. There may be some truth to that, but I say that it was no different than when you had to go through the traditional channels to get published. Just because a book is released by a major publishing house or a well-known independent does not guarantee that the book will be fiyah. No doubt, the books released by majors will be better edited than those self-published on Kindle, but the quality of the story simply depends on the author.

Does it validate an author in your eyes if they are with a major publisher? Without KDP many authors would have never become known, their talent and their voices would have been silenced forever. So no matter how saturated the genre becomes, I believe that the cream will always rise to the top.

I came into the game with a publishing deal, and I'm appreciative of the recognition that I received on Wahida Clark’s publishing imprint. However, there is no comparison to the freedom that I have using KDP's services. It is my belief that the top, best-selling, self-published authors on Kindle can compete with those signed by major publishers. What's your view?

Having experienced both sides of the game, as an author with a highly respected publisher (Wahida Clark Presents) and self-publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing, I personally prefer KDP. However, I wouldn’t be the writer that I am if it were not for the valuable lessons I learned dealing with the professional editors that worked with me through the publisher. The biggest difference in novels written by self-published authors and those written by authors that are with established publishing houses is in story and character development.

My advice to self-published authors is that they read novels that are published the traditional way and pay attention to the development of characters and plot. No author is a good editor of their own work. To help elevate the genre, we have to take pride in what we publish and give our readers a quality product regardless of what route we take to publish. KDP is not a curse in my eyes, it is a godsend.

Hailing from Ohio but later calling Atlanta his home, Cash is the author of TRUST NO MAN 1-3, BONDED BY BLOOD, THUGS CRY, and SHORTY GOT A THUG. He’s writes fiction but not make-believe. There is a difference.

This Week's Reviews Include...

You Can't Plan Love by Synithia WilliamsCan I Be ... Frank! by Rickey Teems IIThe Retreat II by Dijorn MossWolf's Haven by Ambrielle KirkEmpty Envelope by Jeanetta BrittTwo Wrongs Don't Make a Right ... It Makes Us Even by Kennedee Devoe

Rae Lamar

It is FOR and ABOUT authors. Here we shine the light on authors who we’ve read, reviewed and recommend to others. In this edition we are shining our light on another gifted author...
Rae Lamar

Rae Lamar is the self-published author of four original works of fiction. Though she’s been writing most of her life, actually becoming a novelist had always been somewhat of a pipe dream for Rae. A self-described “functional writer,” she graduated college and landed her first job as a contract editor, ultimately settling into a comfortable existence as a corporate training professional. Life was good, but that creative writing bug never quite let her go.

It would take another few years before Rae would truly pursue her creative side. Taking a chance on the talent everyone swore she had, Rae decided to enroll in a writing workshop, hoping to “find her voice.” Not only did she find it, but she also made up her mind to finish what she’d started…and five years later, Unlike Me was born.

Today, Rae Lamar is smiling and writing as often as she can. She currently resides in suburban Atlanta with her husband, maintaining her daily 9-to-5 grind as a consultant while hard at work on her next project scheduled for release in 2013. On a perfect day, she can be found on the top floor of a swanky beach resort with her husband, sitting on the balcony of an ocean-front suite with a book in her hands and food at her fingertips.


How do you spend your free time? Reading, catching up on my shows…but mostly sleeping. Ten hours is nothing for me if I have the time and opportunity…I sleep like the dead!

What is one thing every woman should have in her purse? Cash.

What cartoon character best describes you? Good one! Jeanette Miller of The Chipettes is the first character that comes to mind right now…yeah, that works.

What is one movie or book you did not like that everyone seemed to love? Twilight…“hated it!” (in my Blaine/Antoine voice. lol)

Are you a morning or night person? Night. Mornings are evil.

What is the last thing you do every night before going to bed? Take a sip of juice. Preferably cranberry-apple, grape or orange. I keep it stocked in the mini-fridge in the corner of my bedroom.

What is your favorite thing about winter? Boots!

Receipts – keep them or throw them away? Keep them. I’m the Queen of Returns & Exchanges.

If you had your own TV network what would you put on it? An equal measure of dramas, comedies and satirical news with a dash of NFL and a sprinkle of ratchet-reality.

If I could go back and talk to the 18-year-old me, I’d tell myself: Last year’s winning numbers for that $600M+ Mega Millions jackpot in March and the $500M+ Powerball jackpot in November… then, I’d tell myself to learn at least seven languages, to stop worrying about what others think because people are overrated and to keep my eyes open because soul mates are real.

Unlike Me
“UNLIKE ME is a page-turner! I was immersed in the lives of the characters and the plot. The chemistry between Sabrena and Rowe was undeniable.” - RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers

“22 by Rae Lamar is a priceless treasure and page turner. Books like these make you forget the hustle, bustle, and worry of everyday life.” - UBAWA Bestsellers

Somewhere In Between
“Realistic storylines? For sure. Realistic ending? Most definitely but remember – the author is keeping it real. The author will have the reader relating to one of these characters and questioning the choices that they have made in their own lives.” - Driven Divas’ Book Club

“OPEN is fantastic. Rae Lamar took her second novel in a totally different direction and revealed a different side of herself as well as her writing style. I definitely recommend this book. Continue to look for more great works by Rae Lamar.” – Romance In Color

For more information on Rae, please visit: