Wednesday, July 28, 2010

INSIDE OUT with Jennifer Coissiere - Author of Crossing Over


with Jennifer Coissiere -

Author of Crossing Over -

Jennifer Coissiere is creatively driven in everything she does. She began writing poetry many years ago as a pre-teen, in an attempt to get away from her unhappy home life.

Currently, she is a full-time student, mother of three, wife to one, sister to two, and daughter. The stories she write are not necessarily a reflection of her life, but you can find a piece of her in each character she develops.

Urban Reviews:  Tell our readers about Crossing Over.
Jennifer Coissiere:  Well, Crossing Over is about Rachelle Martin, who lost her mother when she was 15 years old. Over the years she never really gets over the lost and becomes very protective of her twin brother, Raheem, and her father, Dwight. Rachelle dislikes change. However, when her father asks her for the ultimate Christmas present, she finds herself transforming while overcoming grief.

Urban Reviews:  Where did the inspiration for this novel come from?
Jennifer Coissiere: The inspiration for Crossing Over came from a couple of things. My best friend lost her mother when she was nine; even though, she is in her 40s, she still grieves her mother daily. My other reason is because I have a severe fear of death. I know it will happen one day to everyone, but I am still fearful of it occurring. And one other inspiration is my fascination with twins. I love seeing them and even have a few sets in my family. The personalities and the way they interact with each other and assess/deal with the same situation intrigues me.

Urban Reviews:  Have you always wanted to become a writer?
Jennifer Coissiere:  I have always written for as far back as I can remember. I started out writing really dark poems when I was in junior high school. I wanted to share my poetry, but I never really thought that I would merge into writing stories.

Urban Reviews:  Having a reviewer background, did you test your book out with anyone before release?
Jennifer Coissiere:  I had four test readers. I provided a form that I wanted them to fill out to give me the feedback I needed to make sure my story was well-rounded and realistic. I chose people with different demographics, because I did not want to limit the number of people I could reach. Their feedback coupled with my editor's changes/corrections enabled me to produce something I was happy with.
Crossing Over 
Urban Reviews:  What are your ultimate goals as far as the literary industry?
Jennifer Coissiere:  I want to continue to reach every walk of life with the messages I believe God has placed in my heart. I want to reach out to other authors and show them we can support each other in this business. There is no need to be cutthroat or ugly to each other to get ahead. Each one, teach one, reach one; and we all are blessed.

Urban Reviews:  Is there anyone who encouraged or inspired you to take a chance at writing?
Jennifer Coissiere:  Back in junior high school, my 8th grade English teacher, Mr. Doyle, took the time to encourage me. He read my entire poetry notebook and gave me feedback. He also encourage me to enter my first poetry contest, where I was a semi-finalist winner. And my mother is one of, if not my biggest fan. She keeps on me about the stories I write. She will ask and ask until I finally give her what she wants so she can give me a break. I appreciate both my teacher and mother for seeing the gift that took me awhile to see for myself.

Urban Reviews:  Are there any upcoming projects that we can look forward to?
Jennifer Coissiere:  Yes. I'm working on the sequel to Crossing Over titled Beyond New Beginnings. I'm also working on a several other stories titled Ribbons Pinned, Hiding Under the Umbrella, and editing Feelings Redirected.

Urban Reviews:  What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
Jennifer Coissiere:  I loved being with my family. They are my heart. Aside from that, I make beaded jewelry. I relieve a lot of stress while making my jewelry. Let's not forget my love for reading and reviewing books.

Urban Reviews:  What things do you think every author should do to promote their book?
Jennifer Coissiere:  For me, I'm an introvert. In order for me to promote my book, I had to step outside my comfort zone. As authors, we have to go outside the box to make sure everyone knows about our books. We have to be willing to spend some money in order to make some money. Most importantly, we need to ask questions and do research when we do not know something.

Urban Reviews:  Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or your novel?
Jennifer Coissiere:  I have a lot of stories in my head. I hope I can produce a better story each and every time I have a new release. I am constantly learning and will never claim to know it all.


Click here to read our review of Crossing Over by Jennifer Coissiere
Order your copy of Crossing Over today! 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

NEW REVIEW: Earl Sewell - Cougars

Cougars (Zane Presents)Earl Sewell -
Cougars -
Available Now! -
5 out of 5 books -

Jasmine Sallie is a beautiful chemist who loves younger men. She is also a director of a pharmaceutical research team that is trying to create a female sexual enhancement drug. Things get a little steamy at the office when a young chemist name Travis Adams joins the research team. Travis and Jasmine begin a spicy affair that could lead to disastrous results. They soon develop a drug that’s so dangerous that it gets shelved. But Travis isn’t willing to give up so easily. He makes a stronger and more potent formula that has deadly consequences. Soon things spiral out of control and Travis and Jasmine’s lives are changed forever.

Cougars is a sexy page-turner by Earl Sewell. This story is much more than your average May-December relationship drama. The character development is one of the things that made this novel stand out. Jasmine and Travis being chemists on a pharmaceutical research team brought a very unique twist to this book. Sewell did an excellent job with providing enough information in regards to their careers without losing the reader. This book wouldn’t be complete without a healthy dose of sex and a shocking turn of events that will definitely keep your attention. Earl Sewell provided the perfect mix of sex, mystery, and murder with Cougars.

Reviewed by Radiah Hubbert of Urban Reviews

Order your copy of Cougars (Zane Presents) today!

NEW REVIEW: Jackson Harris - Fully Involved

Fully Involved: A Firefighter StoryJackson Harris -
Fully Involved -
Available Now -
4 out of 5 books -

Captain Nick Jackson is following the footsteps of his grandfather and father by being a firefighter. Nick’s dad David was tragically killed as a rookie while fighting a fire. But when Nick is assigned to the same firehouse that his dad worked, there are some suspicious questions raised in regards to David’s death. Was it truly an accident, or was there something more sinister going on? To make matters worse, Nick’s mother Peggy keeps insisting that someone actually murdered her husband, but no one is listening to her. Nick’s grandfather James is a retired arson chief who knows more about his son’s death that he’s letting on. James' desire to protect his family may lead to disastrous consequences for all concerned.

Fully Involved is a gripping debut mystery by Jackson Harris. Harris expertly brings readers into the dangerous yet rewarding world of firefighting. The scenes in this book are so descriptive that you feel as if you’re in the firehouse with the characters. This story is set in 2009, but the author also gives you flashbacks into the 1980s and the 1960s while telling the story of David and James. Harris does a good job of giving these flashbacks without losing the reader. This novel would not be complete without some shocking twists as this mystery unfolds. Fully Involved is full of suspense, excitement, and wonderful character development. Hopefully we'll hear more from Jackson Harris in the future.

Reviewed by Radiah Hubbert of Urban Reviews

Order your copy of Fully Involved: A Firefighter Story today!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

NEW REVIEW: D. V. Hent - If You Don't Tell

If You Don't TellD. V. Hent -
If You Don't Tell -
Available Now! -
3.5 out of 5 books -

Laela has found the man of her dreams in Quinton. She will be married in six months, but she wants to experience a ménage trois first. Quinton likes this idea, but they need to find a willing partner. Once they find the perfect woman, they both may get much more than they bargained for. Quinton also has to deal with his own past coming back to haunt him. Laela’s friend Simone is suffering through depression and a loveless marriage. Simone is searching for comfort, but it’s in all the wrong places. What will become of these three people?

If You Don’t Tell is an interesting tale about how a person’s sexual fantasy can shape their future. At first glance, Laela and Quinton seem to have a perfect relationship but you soon learn that they have deeper issues. What’s interesting about this story is that Laela is the one that brings up the ménage to Quinton. There was a fair amount of relationship drama and some erotic elements in this novel. But there were parts in this story that kind of dragged that could have been possibly omitted. There could have been a little more spice added to the storyline to help with the pace of the book. If You Don’t Tell is still a good debut novel by D.V. Hent.

Reviewed by Radiah Hubbert of Urban Reviews

Order your copy of If You Don't Tell today!

NEW REVIEW: Allison Hobbs - Stealing Candy

Stealing CandyAllison Hobbs -
Stealing Candy -
Available Now -
5 out of 5 books -

Saleema Sparks has made helping troubled teenage girls her life’s work through her organization called Head Up, but her agency has to close due to financial reasons. Saleema is trying to figure out a way to get her doors back open. Things get complicated when one of the teen girls from Head Up named Portia goes missing. Without any involvement from Portia's family, Saleema tries save Portia all on her own. She may get more than she bargained for when clues to Portia's whereabouts lead to a murderous pimp named Bullet. Bullet has a trio of teen girls that he lured into a horrific world of prostitution. But these girls just want to go back to their normal lives. Will they ever escape Bullet and will Saleema find Portia before it’s too late?

Stealing Candy is an extraordinary novel by Allison Hobbs. Hobbs takes a departure from her erotic stories to delve into a very serious topic: teen sex trafficking. This is a very timely story that needed to be told. Each of the young victims in this story came from a variety of backgrounds. They also were tricked into this tragic lifestyle by very different means. This book should open up a dialogue between parents and their children about sex and about trusting people who may not have their best interests at heart. Hobbs did a good job of creating memorable characters that you will root for. Some of the scenes in this story are so realistic that they will leave you speechless. Although the subject matter is uncomfortable, Hobbs does such a good job with telling this story that it’s actually an entertaining novel. Allison Hobbs has created her best novel to date with Stealing Candy.

Reviewed by Radiah Hubbert of Urban Reviews

Order your copy of Stealing Candy today!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NEW REVIEW: Kai - Daughter of the Game

5 Star Publications Presents: Daughter of the GameKai -
Daughter of the Game -
Available Now! -
4 out of 5 books -

Monique Waters is going to college to pursue her dreams. She's the daughter of a notorious street king named Pete. Pete wants to make sure that Monique stays as far from the streets as possible. But this proves to be a battle when Monique falls in love with a hustler name Armand. Armand has no idea that Monique is the daughter of the same man that wants him dead. Monique also doesn't know that Pete wants to get rid of the love of her life. Soon, a street war ensues and everyone has to choose sides. Which side will Monique and Armand be on?

Daughter of the Game is an entertaining street tale with a unique twist by Kai. This story has an interesting mix of characters and situations. You see the two very different sides of Monique. She's a young woman who is trying to not be heavily involved with the street life but can't seem to stay away from it either. Readers will see just how tough Monique becomes when she's backed into a corner. Daughter of the Game is full of murder, mayhem and street alliances that will keep readers turning the pages.

Reviewed by Radiah Hubbert of Urban Reviews

Order your copy of 5 Star Publications Presents: Daughter of the Game today!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

NEW REVIEW: Terrance Dean, James Earl Hardy, Stanley Bennett Clay - Visible Lives

Visible Lives: Three Stories in Tribute To E. Lynn HarrisTerrance Dean, James Earl Hardy, Stanley Bennett Clay -
Visible Lives -
Available Now! -
3.5 out of 5 books -

Visible Lives is a collection of short stories by authors Terrance Dean, James Early Hardy and Stanley Bennett Clay, and all of which were written as a tribute to the late E. Lynn Harris. At the beginning of each story, the author’s took the time out to reflect on a memory of either how E. Lynn Harris impacted them into being a writer or some sort of memory of him.

The first story, The Intern by Terrance Dean, was my favorite out of the three. It was the story of a man named Chase who's in his late 30’s and is the Vice President of Production for GBS Television. Chase seems to have it all, that is, except a partner to share his life with. Tired and fed up with the lies some of the men in his past have put him through, he just about gave up on love. But then a new young intern shows up. No matter how hard Chase tries, he can not deny the attraction. But Chase is caught up in the age difference between him and the intern. Will he decide to give love a chance? The second story, Is It Still Jood To Ya? by James Earl Hardy, is a story about a man that is still in love with his ex. He has agreed to drop his ex-boyfriend off at the airport, to go see another man. He tries to figure out how to tell him that he is still in love with him before he leaves. Fortunately, circumstances throw the two together and from there, it tells how they became the power couple that everyone looked up to. The third story, House of John by Stanley Bennett Clay, is a story about a man that goes on vacation after finding his lover in a compromising position and finds love in the most unlikeliest of places.

Visible Lives each tells its own story of love. I especially liked how each author told their own real life story on how they came to know E. Lynn Harris and what a wonderful person he was. It gave the reader a glimpse into the character of how E. Lynn Harris was perceived by other people and fellow authors, and how he paved the way for these authors in this genre. Although E. Lynn Harris will be missed, he will never be forgotten. He was an original that no one can come close to. Visible Lives was a touching tribute to him.

Reviewed by Leona for Urban Reviews

Order your copy of Visible Lives: Three Stories in Tribute To E. Lynn Harris today! 

NEW REVIEW: Wahida Clark, et al. - What's Really Hood!

What's Really Hood!: A Collection of Tales from the StreetsWahida Clark, et. al. -
What's Really Hood! -
Available Now! -
1.5 out of 5 books -

What's Really Hood, edited by Wahida Clark, is a collection of tales from the streets written by authors Wahida Clark, Victor L. Martin, Bonta, Shawn “Jihad” Trump and LaShonda Teague.

Black Is Blue by Victor L. Martin is about Raleigh, NC legal assistant Desiree who just so happens to lust over one of her clients, not really knowing that he is deeper in the game than she could of ever imagined. By the time she realizes this, it may be too late to walk away with her life. In The "P" Is Free by LaShonda Teague, 18-year-old Wiz is making money hand over fist selling drugs. Then he meets Crystal, who already completing two years of college and had it together. When she was introduced to crack, everything went downhill. Wiz could not understand why Crystal seemed to love crack more than him, so he decided to figure it out for himself, leaving them both strung out. Crystal realizes how the drugs have destroyed both of them, so she's determined to get the help she so desperately needs to get right for her and Wiz. Will she succeed? The Last Laugh by Bonta is about a woman that is sick and tired of being cheated on and abused and how she gets back at her gang-banging boyfriend. All For Nothing by Shawn “Jihad” Trump is a story about a crew called the Point Blank Mob. When they are told that one of the members was an informant for the police, the whole crew is determined to get even. Things quickly go awry, forcing two of the members on the run for their lives. Makin' Endz Meet by Wahida Clark is a story about Nina, a woman who is sick and tired of her boyfriend Cream and the disrespect he shows toward her. Her house is broken into, and her money is stolen. On top of all that, her brother has betrayed her, and her kids come up missing.

What's Reallly Hood!, edited by Wahida Clark, was very disappointing to say the least. In Makin' Endz Meet by Wahida Clark, parts of her story read like another book I have read, and then it seemed as if she just forgot to end it. It was like she was in the middle of something and just stopped. The Last Laugh by Bonta was difficult to follow since it had too many characters, and the story was all over the place. Black Is Blue by Victor L. Martin and All For Nothing by Jihad was disappointing only because I was expecting more from them since I have read their books and know how talented they are. The only story I would like to see as a full story would be The “P” Is Free by LaShonda Teague. If you insist on reading What's Reallly Hood!, I would recommend you borrow it or get it from the library.

Reviewed by Leona for Urban Reviews

Order your copy of What's Really Hood!: A Collection of Tales from the Streets today!

Friday, July 16, 2010

INSIDE OUT with Dolen Perkins-Valdez

with Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez was born and raised in Memphis, TN. She is a graduate of Harvard and George Washington University. She has published fiction in The Kenyon Review and elsewhere. Wench is her first novel.

Urban Reviews:  Tell our readers about Wench.
Dolen Perkins-Valdez:  WENCH tells the story of four women who are the enslaved mistresses of their masters. They meet at a summer resort in 1850s Ohio and begin to contemplate escape when the spirited Mawu arrives. She pushes them to think about running and leaving behind their plantations. Yet the decision is a difficult one, especially for my protagonist Lizzie who believes she loves her master and that he loves her. The novel examines the complicated dynamic between a female slave and her white male master.

Urban Reviews:  How did you come up with the idea for this book?
Dolen Perkins-Valdez:  I was reading a biography of W.E.B. Du Bois and, during a section about his time spent on the campus of Wilberforce University, I came across a stunning line about the existence of a summer resort in Ohio that was popular among slaveholders and their enslaved mistresses. I could not get this idea out of my head. I had so many questions. I began to delve into the archives, and found very little. These women left no record behind. Neither did the men, as far as I could tell. I wanted to write this book to answer my own questions of what life would have been like for these women.

Urban Reviews:  What are your ultimate goals as far as the literary industry?
Dolen Perkins-Valdez:  I'd love to keep publishing and writing stories. This is a very tough business, but I love to write and I hope my readers will hang in there with me.

Urban Reviews:  Who do you think will most enjoy Wench? Is there anyone who shouldn't read it for whatever reason?
Dolen Perkins-Valdez:  My hope is that everyone will read Wench! It has resonated most with women readers, particularly those who want to learn something new and different about this period in history.

Urban Reviews:  Do you have any upcoming projects that we can look forward to?
Dolen Perkins-Valdez:  All I can say is that I am still waiting for inspiration for the next literary project. I won't begin something until I feel extremely compelled because I know that it will take quite some time to finish!! Stay tuned.

Wench: A Novel
Urban Reviews:  Do you have any favorite authors or books?
Dolen Perkins-Valdez:  I am influenced by so much more than fiction, but the great novels that changed my life include Toni Morrison's Beloved, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, Gayl Jones' The Healing, and Edward P. Jones' All Aunt Hagar's Children.

Urban Reviews:  What's the best literary advice you've gotten from another person in the literary world so far?
Dolen Perkins-Valdez:  I recently had lunch with the legendary Marita Golden who had some very wise words of wisdom for me. She reminded me that although the writing seems to be the most important thing, I should always keep "friends, faith, and family first." She is a gem of a person, and I cherish that advice.

Urban Reviews:  Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or your novel?
Dolen Perkins-Valdez:  I believe in the importance of telling the story of these slave women. That is what motivated me to keep going all these years. I hope other writers who have not yet published will keep writing! There are so many stories that need to be told. If you don't tell the story that is in your heart, who will?


Order your copy of Wench: A Novel today!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NEW REVIEW: LaShanda Michelle - Sweeter Than The Honey

Sweeter Than The HoneyLaShanda Michelle -
Sweeter Than The Honey -
Available Now! -
3 out of 5 books -

Kamilah Wright is entering her senior year in high school. But instead of enjoying the joys of her upcoming senior year, she’s forced to raise her seven siblings while her mother works. It doesn’t help that Kamilah's philandering father comes and goes as he pleases. She’s also dealing with being a rape victim, and she hasn’t told anyone but her best friend Eric. With all of this going on, Kamilah is trying to get an academic scholarship so that she can go to college and start a new life. But her world is turned upside down when she meets a new girl at school name Summer Freeman. Summer soon introduces her into a whole new world which includes a same-sex relationship. Kamilah is struggling with her love for Summer and her Christian upbringing. What will Kamilah ultimately do?

Sweeter Than the Honey is a thought-provoking tale by LaShanda Michelle. Michelle did a good job of creating some multi-dimensional characters. You feel Kamilah’s pain as she’s running a household and going to school. You also feel her uncertainty as she becomes closer to Summer. Michelle does a good job of illustrating how Kamilah is conflicted about her love for Summer and her own Christian values. But there’s no real evidence of Kamilah’s Christian upbringing displayed in this book. There are maybe one or two church related scenes, but that’s it. The whole Christian values angle doesn’t really hold true to this particular storyline. The relationship between Summer and Kamilah also seems a little rushed. Sweeter Than the Honey is still a decent coming-of-age story by LaShanda Michelle.
Reviewed by Radiah Hubbert of Urban Reviews
Order your copy of Sweeter Than The Honey today! 

NEW REVIEW: Bernice L. McFadden - Glorious

GloriousBernice L. McFadden -
Glorious -
Available Now -
5 out of 5 books -

Easter Venetta Bartlett left her tumultuous upbringing in Georgia hoping for a better life. Easter arrives in Harlem and submerges herself into the city’s rich culture. She becomes a writer during the Harlem Renaissance and is rubbing shoulders with legendary figures such as Langston Hughes. Easter’s success becomes even greater when she moves in with a benefactor who just wants her to eat, sleep, and write. But Easter’s carefree writing career may come to a halt due to an ultimate betrayal by someone near and dear to her.

Glorious is a heart-wrenching novel by Bernice L. McFadden. McFadden crafted a wonderfully imaginative tale that incorporated the eras of the Jim Crow South, Harlem Renaissance, and the Civil Rights Movement. You will feel like you’re right there with Easter as she celebrates her triumphs and as she learns from her trials. McFadden did an excellent job of including some historical events and figures which added to the authenticity of this storyline. Glorious is a beautifully written novel that shows Bernice L. McFadden’s mastery of storytelling.
Reviewed by Radiah Hubbert of Urban Reviews
Order your copy of Glorious today!  

Click here to check out our exclusive one-on-one audio interview with Bernice L. McFadden

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Contest for Moonshine by Alaya Johnson (Winners Announced!)

Moonshine: A Novel Contest for Moonshine by Alaya Johnson - Details Inside...

Contest for What's Really Hood by By Wahida Clark (Winners Announced!)

What's Really Hood!: A Collection of Tales from the StreetsContest for What's Really Hood by By Wahida Clark - Details Inside...

Contest for Platinum by Aliya S. King (Winners Announced!)

Platinum: A NovelContest for Platinum by Aliya S. King - Details Inside...

Contest for Sons of Liberty by Alexander Lagos and Joseph Lagos (Winners Announced!)

The Sons of Liberty #1Contest for Sons of Liberty by Alexander Lagos and Joseph Lagos - Details Inside...

Contest for More Church Folks by Michele Andrea Bowen (Winners Announced!)

More Church FolkContest for More Church Folks by Michele Andrea Bowen - Details Inside...

Contest for Queen Pin by Jemeker Thompson-Hairston and David Ritz (Winners Announced)

Queen Pin Contest for Queen Pin by Jemeker Thompson-Hairston and David Ritz - Details Inside...

NEW REVIEW: P. L. Wilson - Sweetwater Sinners

Sweetwater Sinners: the sequel to Holy HustlerP.L. Wilson -
Sweetwater Sinners -
Available Now! -
4 out of 5 books -

Just when you think things have calmed down at Sweetwater Powerhouse of God, things get worse. While Reverend Goodlove is giving an electrifying sermon, he passes out on the pulpit and goes into a coma. With their leadership in question due to the Reverend's illness, the church becomes a modern version of Sodom and Gomorrah. First Lady Theola thinks she has a free pass to do anything and anyone she wants. Soon she realizes that the grass is not always greener on the other side. Goodlove's oldest son, Damien, is trying to prolong his divorce ever since he has found out that his not-so-soon to be ex-wife Michelle just might become a millionaire. Now, if you read Holy Hustler (the first book), you know that Michelle was in a heap of trouble. If Damien does not watch his back, Michelle might be more determined to follow through this time around. With all of this is going on, Reginald is trying to figure out a way to come back home. And last but not least, Barry thinks that he now has a drama-free life since Sissy is gone. Well, he thinks she's gone, but soon he'll realize that she never left. With Reverend Goodlove in the hospital fighting for his life, there's still some hustlin' going on in Sweetwater, but who's committing the biggest sin?

Although not as great as its predecessor, Sweetwater Sinners by P. L. Wilson was still a good read. Sweetwater Sinners starts off as a slow read. I thought the book would leave off right where Holy Hustler ended, but it did not. You will have to continue reading to get to how both books tie into one another. After a few chapters, the book does pick up, and you're instantly intrigued to find out what's going to happen next with each character. The author does a good job with keeping you interested with the drama that goes on. If you get through the slow start and continue to read, Sweetwater Sinners becomes a book you don't want to put down. I do recommend you read Holy Hustler first so that you'll know a little background on each character.

Reviewed by Jackie for Urban Reviews

Order your copy of Sweetwater Sinners: the sequel to Holy Hustler today! 

Sponsorship Opportunities for the 16th Annual Great Midwest Book Fest : June 22, 2024

  Below are the different sponsorship opportunities that are available for this year’s book fest. Please contact me at radiah@urban-reviews....