Sunday, October 28, 2018

Author of the Week : Vanessa Riley

Award-winning author, Vanessa Riley, writes Regency and Historical Romances of dazzling multi-culture communities with powerful persons of color. Vanessa’s books are crafted for historical romance reader who admires books that showcase women who find joy in sweeping kisses and strong sisterhoods. Even in the darkness, she promises to give you laughs and to show you how light always prevails and how love always, always wins. 

Vanessa juggles engineering, mothering a teen, cooking for her military-man husband, and speaking at women's and STEM events. You can catch her writing from the comfort of her southern porch with tea.

For decades (maybe centuries), during the winter holidays, from Christmas to Kwanzaa to Hanukah, romance novels have enjoyed a special place in the hearts of readers who put happy ever afters at the top of their must-have gift list. 

This holiday season will include a wonderful list of feel-good romances titles, but historical romances in particular, are oftentimes the centerpiece of the Yuletide spirit, especially when brightly wrapped in a bow of Jane Austen’s Regency.

My latest release is such a tale. The third novel in my Advertisements for Love series The Butterfly Bride is an OwnVoices story about a 18th century woman of African descent. 

A social butterfly mistakenly awakens in the arms of a reluctant widower and seeks a convenient marriage via a newspaper advertisement to hide from a determined killer.

Frederica Burghley wants to be married by Yuletide. Or else her father will set her up with one of his friends. The bonbon-loving illegitimate daughter of the duke wants to choose her own husband. Advertising in the newspaper seems like the way to go. But a sinister response, with threats against her life, leads her to enlist the help of her very handsome, dear friend Jasper Fitzwilliam, Lord Hartwell.

A father and widower, Jasper is not only tasked with keeping Frederica safe but also with helping his vibrant friend choose a suitable husband. The more he tries to keep the ever-surprising woman alive and find her a good match, the more Jasper realizes he cares for her. The two friends risk their lives for each other, so they should be able to risk their feelings for a chance at a deep and true love together. But he's not looking for marriage and she's not looking for convenience.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

NEW REVIEW : Enticed By You by Elle Wright

4 out of 5 books

Baggage, baggage, and more baggage! Those are words suitable to describe Parker and Kennedi’s lives. Parker’s life is a sophisticated web of tangled lies and deceit that he is trying to weave through courtesy of his comatose father, Parker Wells Sr. Kennedi’s life has been full of heartache. She was trying to create love in her heart where she knew there was none. However, through all that they have been through separately, Parker and Kennedi are both stronger than ever from it. But they need each other so they can feel the kind of love they have both been craving. They need to see what they can experience and accomplish together.

Enticed By You is an excellent read by Elle Wright. It is a great follow up to Touched By You. The Wells family is one that you can easily find yourself intertwined with. Wright is a skilled author who can pull you into the lives of the characters she creates. With this sequel, Elle Wright has you asking what’s next? Enticed By You is a book that you will want to add to your TBR pile.

Reviewed by Tenecia

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

On the Line With Radiah Hubbert : Marc Avery

MARC AVERY is a Philadelphia native and Redemption Lost is his debut novel. He is currently working on a thriller series. He lives in Delaware with his wife and children. You can visit him at  

Radiah :  Tell us about Redemption Lost.

Marc: Redemption Lost deals with alcoholism, love, heartbreak, decision making, and the consequences that come with those decisions. It is also a story of risk, restitution, and retribution.

Radiah:     What inspired you to write this story?

Marc: I wanted to write a story that reflected inner struggle and turmoil. Most people are fighting for something. Whether it be something they want, or something they lost. Anthony represents the faction of people who are in a constant battle with themselves to achieve the dreams they so desperately want to achieve. Ultimately, the decisions he makes will have consequences for him, and the people closest to him.

Radiah:     Why did you decide to release this novel under a different pen name?

Marc: I decided to write under a pen name because I wanted a fresh start on my literary journey. It felt like I went through an important metamorphosis with this book and I think the name change reflects that.

Radiah:      What is the one thing that you want readers to take away from your book?

Marc: My hope is that this novel not only entertains the readers, but also educates the readers. Life comes down to choices, and the better choices we make the better our lives can ultimately be.

Radiah:     Are you working on anything right now?

Marc: I’m working on a new thriller series right now. These books will be in the mold of New York Undercover, Miami Vice and Bad Boys 1 & 2. I’ve always wanted my own Alex Cross or Harry Bosch and I think I have him. I can’t wait for people to experience this first project. It’s been a long time coming.

Radiah:    Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

Marc: Readers can connect with me at I’m also active on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

NEW REVIEW : Touched by You by Elle Wright

    5 out of 5 books

Cruel…ruthless…just down right evil, is how majority of the town of Wellspring, Michigan would describe Parker Wells Sr. Brooklyn Wells is not even safe from her father’s cruelty. He has left her homeless, penniless, and even tried to force her to marry for the betterment of his company. Brooklyn can’t take it anymore.

Carter is trying to put the pieces of his shattered life back together. He has lost his wife and his daughter in a fire and everyone wants him to get on with his life. Carter is not sure how to do that. Maybe taking lead on the next project he and his partner have for their company will help him start living again.

Carter never thought that saving the life of a beautiful stranger would turn his life upside down. Brooklyn never thought that being saved by the handsome new stranger in town would give her the confidence she needed to start living her own life to the fullest. The two needed each other to start living.

Touched by You is a page turner. It starts off like any other good romance story. But the deeper you get into the story, the more you are intrigued and pulled into the drama of the Wells family. This story answers so many questions that you have, while at the same time leaving with you so many more. Touched by You is a must read!

Reviewed by Tenecia 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

NEW REVIEW : Redemption Lost by Marc Avery

 4.5 out of 5 books

Anthony Porter has a lot on his plate. He’s a young screenwriter battling a secret alcohol addiction and depression. Anthony’s world is crushed when he finds out about his father’s infidelity. While working and waiting for his big break, he meets the perfect woman named Essence. Essence is older with a college degree and seems to be everything that Anthony needs. But their relationship turns out to be a nightmare when Anthony finds out Essence is not the woman that she pretended to be. Just as his screenwriting career takes off, Anthony is hit with a secret that’s so disturbing that it may change his life forever. Will he be able to recover from this?

Redemption Lost  is a fresh and interesting take on a coming of age story by Marc Avery. Avery created a main character that was flawed but still had redeeming qualities. You get so emotionally invested in Anthony that you will root for him throughout the book. This book would not be complete without a shocking twist that will stay with readers long after you finish this novel. Marc Avery has given readers an unexpected treat with Redemption Lost.

Reviewed by Radiah Hubbert

Thursday, August 09, 2018

The Forthcoming : Me and My Girl : C. N. Phillips

“I’m in love with my best friend’s boyfriend.” It seems to be a trend, but for 25-year-old Matise Jackson, it is an ugly truth. When she told her college best friend the type of woman she thought he should be with, she was describing herself, but instead of falling into her trap and becoming her Prince Charming, he shows up at her doorstep with a new princess.

As much as Matise wants to hate Lia, she can’t. They’re so much alike that gradually they become the best of friends. Still, no sisterhood can stop Matise’s heart from wanting the thing she desires most—Jordan. He is sexy as hell, smart, funny, and the two of them are so in sync with each other it scares her sometimes. Matise knows he is the man designed for her, but there is one thing standing in the way. When she finally gets the chance to act on her heart’s desires, will she rip apart a seemingly happy home, or will she live her life constantly wondering, “What if?”

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The Forthcoming : Enticed by You (Wellspring Series) : Elle Wright

With his father ailing and incapacitated, Parker Wells, Jr. has a bold new vision for the company he now heads. For starters, he wants to heal the rifts his father’s ruthless tactics have created in the community—and within his own family. But when Parker is rear-ended by a gorgeous stranger, he finds himself torn between business and pleasure . . .
Crashing her car is not how corporate attorney Kennedi Robinson wanted to announce her return to town, especially since the man she hit is the same one who’s trying to rip her aunt’s livelihood and land out from under her. Kennedi knows better than to fall for Parker’s charms—and she’s primed for battle. 

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The Forthcoming : Head Games : Mary B. Morrison

From childhood games to career challenges, Trymm, Dallas, Kohl, and Blitz have stayed the best of friends—and each others’ toughest competition. These bachelors live to party up, sex it down, and get it all. And now they’re betting on which of them can “date-and-dump” the most women in a month—and post the proof on social media. Winner takes all: a cool million dollars. But this game is about to get all-too-real . . .
Trymm has no problem bedding married women looking for quick-and-dirty satisfaction . . . until he falls hard for one he can’t have. A cynical ex-soldier battling PTSD, Dallas woos a hopeful bride to exhaust her savings for picket-fence promises—just to humor his boys. Kohl enjoys his best one-night stand with a mysterious beauty—but his recklessness backfires big time after he exposes her. And Blitz thinks he’s giving a powerful Fortune 500 executive the business—until he gets played . . .
Now everything they care about most—money, family, and friendship—is on the line. All the right moves won’t keep them safe—especially from each other. And the only way out of the game is to concede or risk everything on a dangerous gamble they can only lose . . .

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The Forthcoming : Influence : Carl Weber

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Family Business crime series comes a deliciously provocative legal page-turner about the Hudson family.

When famed attorney Bradley Hudson learns of his youngest son Langston’s arrest for drug trafficking, he immediately assembles a team of lawyers and investigators, including members of his own family, to build a defense. With his reputation for being a shark in the courtroom, Bradley is confident he will get justice for his son—until he realizes he will be going up against an old foe, Assistant District Attorney James Brown. Is the ADA allowing his personal history with the Hudsons to influence his handling of the prosecution?

To complicate matters, Bradley discovers that his older son, Lamont, a young lawyer and Bradley’s right-hand man, has secretly been planning his exit from the family law firm to get out from under his father’s shadow.

Desiree, Bradley’s only daughter, is fresh out of law school and quite reserved compared to her siblings. She’s the good girl who doesn’t normally like to rock the boat, but in what could be considered the worst of all timing, she is secretly dating a man and a woman, and both relationships are on a collision course. Given the problems her family is facing, now is not the right time for Desiree to introduce 
more drama to the mix, but she just can’t seem to help herself.

As if fighting for one son’s freedom and fending off the other’s betrayal isn’t enough pressure, Bradley is also in the middle of his own love triangle between his ex-wife, federal judge Jacqueline Hudson, and his current wife and jury consultant, Carla. He knows how much is at stake if his family’s drama spirals out of control, so he’ll do everything within his power to keep it all together and prevent his son from landing behind bars. With his trademark dramatic style, Carl Weber introduces readers to the Hudsons. Only time will tell if they can stand united, or if the legal dynasty of Bradley Hudson is about to come crashing down.

The Forthcoming : The Outside Child : Tiffany L. Warren

All of Chenille Abrams’ dreams came true the day she married NFL star Brayden Carpenter.  He’s the down-to-earth, loving, and protective man she never thought she'd find. And with her own successful career, Chenille plans to be more than just a famous athlete’s wife. She's determined to balance work, marriage, and motherhood, as the couple awaits their first child . . .
Until their son is born with a crippling heart ailment. Until a devastated Brayden starts putting his career above everything else. And when tragedy strikes, Chenille struggles to find a reason to go on—as Brayden takes comfort from anywhere but home . . .
Little by little, Chenille picks up the pieces as she and Brayden try to make their marriage work once more. But when he fathers a baby that the mother can’t keep, will this be the final blow? Or can they find a way past betrayal into unexpected hope—to at last have a future worth 

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The Forthcoming : Praise Song for the Butterflies : Bernice L. McFadden

Abeo Kata lives a comfortable, happy life in West Africa as the privileged nine-year-old daughter of a government employee and stay-at-home mother. But when the Katas' idyllic lifestyle takes a turn for the worse, Abeo's father, following his mother's advice, places the girl in a religious shrine, hoping that the sacrifice of his daughter will serve as atonement for the crimes of his ancestors. Unspeakable acts befall Abeo for the fifteen years she is held in the shrine. When she is finally rescued, broken and battered, she must struggle to overcome her past, endure the revelation of family secrets, and learn to trust and love again.
In the tradition of Chris Cleave's Little Bee, this novel is a contemporary story that offers an eye-opening account of the practice of ritual servitude in West Africa. Spanning decades and two continents, Praise Song for the Butterflies will break your heart and then heal it.

The Forthcoming : Second Time Sweeter: A Blessings Novel : Beverly Jenkins

NAACP nominee and USA Today bestselling author Beverly Jenkins continues her beloved Blessings series with a new heartwarming novel set in Henry Adams, Kansas.
Malachi “Mal” July has run into trouble in the past. With a reputation as a player, he’s now a recovering alcoholic and has made progress in redeeming himself in the eyes of his family and the citizens of Henry Adams, Kansas. He’s not only turned his diner into a profitable business, but also mentors the town’s foster kids. And he’s even staying true to one woman—Bernadine Brown.
But all it takes is a moment of pride to blind Mal to his blessings—a moment that makes him betray his friends and family, and lose Bernadine’s trust and love. Will he ever be able to win her forgiveness?
Meanwhile Homecoming Weekend is fast approaching, and store owner Gary Clark is reunited with his high school sweetheart. All it takes is a few minutes for them to realize the spark is still there, but is it too late for second chances?
A little help from the good people of Henry Adams may give both Mal and Gary the best second chance at the happiness they missed the first time around…

The Forthcoming : Nostrand Avenue : Kenji Jasper

Jamison “Kango” Watts was once known as an invisible man, a quiet “fixer” who always got the job done with clean hands and cash in his pocket. Now he’s living the quiet life in DC, running a soul food restaurant and doing the occasional job to scratch his old itch. All that changes when Jelly, his old yoga teacher, blows into town with the ultimate score, one that will take Kango first to London and then back to Brooklyn to face old enemies and ghosts from his past. After a rain of gunfire, Kango’s retirement ends, and he’s back in the game.  
Caught between a crew of arsonists who go after Brooklyn historical landmarks, and flashbacks of his time with the love of his life he lost to his own demons, Kango stands face to face with the forces that led him into exile.  But there is still an enemy in New York that Kango still doesn’t see, one who after fifteen years has become the unexpected foe at the center of it all . . .

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

NEW REVIEW : F.I.R.E Reignited by Portia A. Cosby

    4.5 out 5 books

Twenty-years-ago F.I.R.E, a female R&B group, hit the music industry with a force that couldn’t be recognized by any other of its time. Their songs had dope beats and lyrics, and each girl seemed to ooze seductiveness. Four high school friends would have never imagined how huge their group would become and that they would have a least a decade in the industry as a group. The more they were in the limelight of stardom, they seemed to lose themselves among conflicts between each other, egos and addiction. The group began to fall apart. When the lead singer, Shai decided to go solo and leave the group…that was the end of F.I.R.E.

From the outside looking in (from what the tabloids and magazines showed) it looked like Shai was happy in all she had and had accomplished. I mean she did have 5 solo albums and had over 8 million in sales. Money was good. She has 2 beautiful children and married to one of the best basketball players in the NBA. But everything that glitters, is not gold.

During her high school and early part of her career with F.I.R.E, Reign was always referred to as the chubby or overweight one of the group. She is finally at the stage in her life where she is physically comfortable with her weight and has maintained her healthy and fit lifestyle.  She has a mother that has been a drug addict and this is the source of pain from an early age. But Reign loves her more than anything and would do anything to make sure her mother is taken care of.

Kiki is driven…driven by money. ‘The money maker.’ Kiki went on to write countless hits for big names in the music industry and has multiple Grammy awards to show for them.

Paris is still bitter and pissed about Shai’s abrupt departure from the group. The way she went about it was just wrong on so many levels. Now the only interest she has in the music industry is her husband that is a rapper.

When the girls are brought together after a public reunion, gossip starts to circulate that F.I.R.E may be getting back together. Will they consider it and possibly do another album together?

F.I.R.E by Portia Cosby will put you in mind of the days when girl R&B groups such as TLC, Xscape, Changing Faces, Total and SWV and many others were just a few of the hottest on the scene. At the time of me reading this novella I went to the XSCAPE concert a (four girl group, popular back in the day) just seemed ironic. If anyone follows Ms. Cosby on social media one thing you can easily determine is that she loves R&B music and especially groups like TLC. It just seemed a natural thing for her write this type of novella. Reading this is like reading a script for a hip hop reality tv show, all the drama, lies and secrets are just waiting to explode. Ms. Cosby did an excellent job in engaging this reader and has me eagerly anticipating the novel to come.

Reviewed by Leona Romich

Urban Reviews