African American · book review · Five Star Review · relationships · Romance · Uncategorized

The Chocolate Reading Experience Presents: Sexy/Dangerous by Beverly Jenkins

sexy dangerous

5hearts

Click here to grab Sexy/Dangerous by Beverly Jenkins

HarpersCollins Publishers(2006)

ISBN: 978-0061751578

The guns. The fights. The thrills. The sex.

This one has it all!

Side note: This book has straight up five stars on Amazon. I’m just sayin’.

Beverly Jenkins proves she not only has a gift for writing historical novels, but writing an amazingly hot and sexy contemporary romance is within her powers also.

Maxine “Max” Blake is hired to protect Dr. Adam Gary, a black scientist who may have just created a prototype that will put the oil industry out of business. When Max meets the sexy, intelligent scientist she is surprised he doesn’t like her, and he is downright rude. The two butt heads constantly but when the “ice” begins to break….

It kept my eyes glued to the page. Let me tell you. I had a sty on my eye, needed rest, needed to get back into reality, but when I read a Beverly Jenkins story I am caught in and it takes a while for me to come up for air.

That is what this book did for me.

Not only does Max remind you of  Storm from X-Men(but with green eyes), her resolve her strength and her humility is infectious. Dr. Adam Gary needed more people skills but you grow a soft spot for him when you learn of his past and his love for science. Plus, the fact that he knows how to turn up the heat on lovin’ helps a bit!

So, let me gift you with a passage from the book so you’ll know what I mean, then afterwards get the book post haste if you haven’t already.

Warning! The following brief passage will elicit a slow burn in your heart. Take those antacids!

“If I don’t see you anymore today, what do you want for breakfast in the morning?” she asked.

“Eggs, bacon, toast.”

“All yours.”

Adam wished she were. The look in her eyes and the tone of her voice made him take a deep mental breath…Blame it on his celibacy, blame it on her, blame it on whatever, but he was hard as a rock.”(from Sexy/Dangerous, Jenkins, 2006).

See what I mean?

So click on the link above in this post(there are affiliate links here folks).

Stay tuned for even more chocolaty reading! Let me know if I am providing enough of it LOL

Thank you for reading!  🙂

~The Write Web

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African American · book review

The Chocolate Reading Experience Presents: ‘The Sisters Are Alright’

sisters-are-alright1
The Sisters Are Alright Image courtesy of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

5hearts

 

The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America by Tamara Winfrey Harris

Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. (2015)

 

The worst thing in the world, for a little girl is to feel invisible…by no fault of her own.

If you are black, you face certain hardships your white counterparts would scratch their heads at.

But if you are black and female. The problems double and quadruple. With messages that your natural God given hair is somehow wrong. Earning degrees is wrong. Reacting to pain is wrong.

It is little wonder that black women of all ages have a chip on their shoulders.

In Tamara Winfrey Harris’s The Sisters Are Alright, you will glimpse the stories of real life black women from all economic levels, all shades and sizes- but amazingly no matter how meek they are, or how strong they are, they see the messages in media all day long, that for some reason black women are- wrong.

Perhaps the most complex thing about being a black woman, can be summed up with this quote from the book:

“The world does not love us, at least not in the way black women deserve to be loved.”(pg. 11)

One black woman from a popular reality television show said when she was meek and mild, the producers did not see her making it another season. To rev up views she had to become loud and bossy. Downright ghetto and mean like a stereotypical Sapphire. The loud black woman that everyone loves to hate and hate to love but it garnered the views needed right?

So, was this book worth reading?

To be fair most of the commentary about how black women are viewed, I knew from looking at YouTube comments and comments made across the blogs, news stations, personal conversations, etc.

The personal interviews with each black woman was so heartfelt and heart wrenching, I felt an instant connection to all of these women without even knowing them. There are several uplifting quotes too and here is one I’d like to leave with you:

“So what is wrong with black women?”

Not a damned thing.( from The Sisters Are Alright)

Amen.

I highly recommend this book for all men and women no matter the shade or age because what happens to one group of people, affect us all.

Stay tuned for more book reviews and reports this month concerning African/African American writings!

Here’s to chocolates and love!

 

Creative Writing · relationships

When You Have No Expectations

Expectations2
Image found on Pexels.com/Designed by Ericajean

 

This poem was actually an essay, but then I realized…

I was saying too much.

Enjoy!

Synonymous with hope,

a submission to wills

and will hope return to me?

that sparkling lustrous  

gift of gold

leaving from my palms?

I love you because I can

Should I expect it back like

a business investment?

If I do this, will you love me

under the sun,

beneath the stars,

in front of the moon’s

peeping eye?

Should I…

expect it?

Will I lose my soul if we…

do this?

~Ericajean

 

 

 

African American · Creative Writing · relationships · Romance

Upcoming February Theme: The Chocolate Experience

CHOCOLATES
Image designed by Ericajean using Canva

 

Thank you everyone for your participation in the Haiku Challenges. I had fun reading your comments and posting information.

The theme of February will be on love of the chocolate variety.  That’s right! I have been reading and reviewing magnificent books by African American writers and many of their books receive high praises!

African Americans are writing books and finding success in many genres:

  • Memoir
  • Science Fiction/Speculative
  • Romance-including historical!
  • Horror
  • Teen/Young Adult
  • Thriller
  • Urban-the infamous “street” fiction!

If you are trying seek out books that have more action, more HOT romance, and finally  books that will educate and uplift, then stay tuned because I will hook you up with information on books that are scrumptiously good and then some!

Drop your comments below, like and share if you are as excited as I am!

~Ericajean

Creative Writing

Week 5 #HaikuChallenge2018, The Most Challenging Part of Writing a Haiku Is…

woman in city
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Is it the constricting 17 syllables that’s hard for me?

 

Nope.

The brevity of it all?

Nope.

Finding the Kigo and Kireji?…No way.

The hardest part of writing a haiku, for me, is that freaking Ah-ha moment. The part where you feel as if you slipped on ice at the edge of a cliff and is thrown off into space for that fleeting moment.

Yeah. That part. Typically the very last part.

Let’s look at it further using examples and information from haiku experts- shall we?

The Haiku of the Ancients

According to tempslibres.org, Haiku Writing Rules:

“[the Ah Ha moment] is a very short, fleeting moment,a  glimpse of ‘world harmony’…or a moment of awakeness that can be viewed like laughter. Not exactly a Zen moment because with haiku you observe things a priori- just as they are.”

Haiku of the ancients adhered to the 17 syllables with the “seasonal word” or kigo and the “cutting word” or kireji. With those three things in place and in balance, you have a pretty decent haiku.

Alright, so now we know that haiku is built off of straight up observation. No additional opinions or abstractions.

Check.

Ezra and a Pound of Haiku Spirit

Here’s one of my favorites by Ezra Pound, “Station at the Metro”

“The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.”

This was once a 30-line poem but Pound shortened it to two lines. Two!

Now, even though it is longer than 17 syllables, the spirit of haiku is still there. Let’s find our ah-ha moment by scaling down each part of a haiku, shall we?

Is there a kigo or seasonal word? If I were to guess, it would be apparent that it is rainy or perhaps Spring because of the words “wet, black bough”. I picture rain falling heavy outside while people are at the metro holding umbrellas, rushing though the pelts of water.

Is there a kireji or cutting word? A kireji is indicated usually by punctuation in English haiku so I would say the semicolon after crowd would suffice.(please post your comments below if you found something different. I love learning from others!)

A Moment of Clarity…or Something Like It

Lastly where is the ah-ha moment? Do you see it anywhere?

When I first read this poem, the part that threw me and made me say, “Yes! This is beautiful!

It was the last line:  “Petals on a wet, black bough”. It kind of cinches the deal right? It paints an even clearer picture. Just like Basho’s Frog in a pond poem– the part that says “And the sound of water” at the ending is just so freaking awesome.

How does one get an ah-ha moment?

No one can teach you how. But if you read enough ancient haiku you will see it and can incorporate it in your own poems. One piece of advice? Meditate often. I hear that it helps too with writing haiku.

Well, that’s it folks. I really enjoyed the five weeks of haiku with you and please visit the Haiku Challenge link above to go through the challenges/lessons. Share your poetry and comments and share the blog posts with your followers.

~The Write Web

Creative Writing · Decoding Poetry · writing

Decoding Poetry: Socho’s Dilemma in Haiku

When you’ve read a poem that punches your gut, you know you’ve found treasure.

I have  one I’d like to share and give commentary on here. The Haiku below is taken from The Classic Tradition of Haiku: An Anthology Edited by: Faubion Bowers. artwork

What could be the cause of it-

That I should feel such love again?

                        While I still have you,

                        Why think of anyone else?

Why this discontent?**

But Socho doesn’t stop there. He continues:

For what reason

Can it be

That you should

Seem so dear

Apart

From you

Who else

Appeals**

Forever

            And holds

            My love

-Socho(1448-1532)

There are probably a few things you’ve noticed. First, there is no 5-7-5 syllabic form here. However, in Japanese it is close to it.

Second, check out the final line in the first part. Socho asks: Why this discontent?

Interesting, because the first half of the poem is an internal dialogue about the one the speaker already loves. They ask, “why am I falling in love when I have you?” Then the kicker: Why do I feel discontent (or worried?) He/she wonders what is causing this feeling?

Is the speaker really falling for someone else? or hopefully he/she is falling in love all over again with their significant other(fat chance).

The second half gives us more insight. The speaker realizes what they have at home and concludes that no one else holds their love.

This illustrates how powerful a haiku can be with only a few lines. In such a brief moment, we capture the confusion, the awe and the relate-ability of someone who has enduring love for another.

Even though temptation waits on the horizon.

In the next post, I want to delve more into the anatomy of a haiku including the infamous ah-ha moments and why it is difficult for me to write my own haikus without much practice.

~The Write Web

Creative Writing

Week 4 #HaikuChallenge2018 Get Inspired By the Books You Read

hanging books by negative space
Image Credit: Negative Space

 

If you are a bookworm like me, then this next challenge should be fun.

Sometimes we come across a word, a phrase, or a complete sentence in a book that knocks our socks off!

For this #HaikuChallenge2018, use the word, phrase, or sentence in a haiku. Feel free to use titles, blurbs, summaries, etc.

Or simply be inspired by what you’ve read.

Below are some amazing phrases pulled from books and quotes.

Enjoy!

“Some words live in my throat, breeding like adders.”-Audre Lorde

“..a real narrator wouldn’t remember exactly what people said.”(The Language of Fiction, Brian Shawver, pg. 24, 2013)

“Roots like an oak tree.”(The Silent Corner, Dean Koontz, p.185, 2017)

“…in this dangerous time when shadows cast shadows of their own.”(The Silent Corner, p.56)

Below are my “bookish” inspired haiku!

*

And if they be snakes

let their forked tongues leave me

with an empty heart

*

we are all narrators

social media warriors,

the web never forgets

*

Leaves begin to fall,

yet you cling fast to me

holding strong like roots

*

Pale sun and bright stars,

still, we cast shadows among

the shadows of mortals

As you can see, I have broken some “rules” of haiku.

  • I did not make many seasonal references, aside from mentioning nature.
  • Many of my haiku are more/less than 17 syllables.

But I still had fun and the spirit of haiku is still there.

So go on, try to find some words and phrases to inspire you or use in your haiku! Feel free to share them here, or create them on your blog and link back to this post 🙂

~The Write Web