Category Archives: love Book Review – Love’s True Second Chance – Jeff Dawson Book Review
Love’s True Second Chance
by Jeff Dawson
4 of 5 Stars


When Jeff Dawson penned the memoir “Love’s True Second Chance”, he opened his heart for the world to see. On the surface, this book is an intimate love story between two high school sweethearts who re-establish their bond after decades of separation. Dig deeper, and you will find an amazing maze of emotions, masculinity, life changes and most of all, love.

“Love’s True Second Chance” gives interesting insights on love, life and relationships from a man’s point of view. Jeff doesn’t flat out say, “This is the Continue reading Book Review – Love’s True Second Chance – Jeff Dawson

Book Review: The Confessional Heart of a Man by The Greatest Poet Alive Book Review
The Confessional Heart of a Man
by The Greatest Poet Alive
3 out of 5 Stars

The Confessional Heart of a Man is the debut poetry collection from The Greatest Poet Alive (GPA). Leading this collection of lyrical introspection is an intensely lusty poem cryptically entitled “A Thousand Times”. The mixture of word forms an enchanting imagery of an infinite desire. With the second poem, “Even In Death”, I was reeled into the power of GPA as a wordsmith. I could visualize his view on love with a bone-chilling clarity. Instead of keeping that momentum rolling with something like “Love Letter” or “Death of a Love”, GPA caught me totally off guard with a crack high in black-and-white entitled “Anticipation of My Love”.

There are many subjects covered in The Confessional Heart of a Man. GPA touches on “baby momma drama”, serving time in the penitentiary, the “n-word” and many others. But GPA is at his best when he expands the possibilities of love and lust with his vivid imagination and control over a vast vocabulary. Even poems like “Stolen Moments” and “Metaphor” are intriguing in their approach to the otherwise mundane or socially wrong. In “Stolen Moments”, the way GPA phrases the adulterous sentiments of a man speaking to his mistress is a lyrically beautiful as any marital bliss. “Metaphor” meanders through metaphors to express uninhibited lust taken out of a female suitor.

Throughout The Confessional Heart of a Man, GPA proves that he is much more than an erotic hustler of prose. The book has four main themes: love/lust, relationship problems, incarceration and black power. He covers each easily. Poems like “Dedication” and “My Thoughts as a Woman” stood out in the crowd because they showed the depth of GPA’s intellectual muscle. His openly discusses the difficulties of relationships gone awry. His love/hate relationship with the “n-word” is just as expressive as his thoughts on black nationalism. He even sheds an unapologetic light on Black genocide at the hands of the police.

It is easy to tell that GPA is a spoken-word poet. The words are there, but I knew that there is a unique way that the poems are supposed to flow. It was like reading a rapper’s lyrics without hearing the song. I’ve had the opportunity of hearing him perform, so I knew reading and witnessing were two different things.

The Confessional Heart of a Man was hard to read because the word order he chose is easier to hear and understand during a performance, but that same word order is hard to read. All in all it is a good book of poetry by an established and intelligent poet that any poetry lover will find something to love.

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Book Review: Scattered Lies by Madison

Scattered Lies
by Madison
(Influential Writers Publishing)
3.5 out of 5 Stars

Scattered Lies, the debut novel from Madison, gives the reader everything that makes Urban Fiction delicious. On the surface, this novel is full of high-priced cars, upscale backdrops and inner-city squalor. The entertainment factor is high, but the psychology of and interaction between the characters of Scattered Lies is what will make this a great read. Madison created characters with deep, dark layers giving the reader plenty to digest.

Scattered Lies starts in the middle and works its way to the beginning and the end simultaneously. This is one of the things that makes the novel such an interesting read. Most of the characters are related to each other in multiple ways. As the characters reveal bits and pieces through strong dialogue, the plot twists unravel and will make the gears turn inside of the critical readers’ minds. If you have to go back and re-read parts of Scattered Lies, rest assured that it is not due to poor editing. The complex plot twists keeps the reader engaged.

Although Greg is not the central character in terms of the amount of pages dedicated to him, he can be directly or indirectly attributed to the tangled web of events the author Madison has put together. Greg is a locked up master-mind of a criminal enterprise. More than just a common street thug, Greg’s vision for what was possible for his Melrose Projects crew is infinite. Greg attempts to set his people up for legal success gained mixed results. The intricate mix of personalities, abilities and sense of loyalty is what will separate Scattered Lies from the average Urban Fiction book.

Gabrielle is Greg’s loyal wife and a successful lawyer. Her parents are ashamed of her decision to marry a convicted criminal. Her love for Greg is as genuine as his love for her. The bond gives her the strength to be married at a distance. The monthly conjugal visits are great sexually but not enough to convince her to have children. Gabrielle met Greg while hanging out with her cousin, Denise. The bond with Greg was instant but is later strained when Gabrielle starts to figure out exactly how Greg landed in prison.

Denise, Greg’s protege, shows the most promise out of Greg’s associates. Instead of becoming a statistic, Denise became the exception to the rule. From teenage “good girl gone bad” to ruthless killer to a mature business executive, Denise is a testament to the fact that bad people can come from good families and good things can come from bad people. In the hood, she is known for making people who cross her disappear. At her day job, she is known for keeping everything under control and getting things done no matter what. However, she can’t stay away from street thugs with nothing to offer besides mind-blowing sex. She’s seen it all from being pimped to contract killings to multi-million dollar real-estate deals, and Denise still manages to keep a job strictly for the health benefits.

Tony is a nobody in the hood who is at the helm of a platinum-selling music career with the help of Greg’s direction and connections. With average looks and an overboard ego, Tony lives a life that most wanna-be rappers would die for. He is able to obtain a beautiful girlfriend who is equally successful in her R&B career. His sexual addiction makes it hard to enjoy his girlfriend. Unlike Denise, he has a rep for being a pushover in the streets.

In her debut novel, Madison shows her mastery of melding together name brand items with high level psychology. The characters in Scattered Lies know enough about each other to know that there is more to know. It is that surface tension that keeps the reader afloat amid infinitely deep plot twists. The realistic dialogue is matched with issues that will hit home with many readers: family favoritism, being in love with old flames, skeletons in the closet coming back to destroy stability, among others.

The additional characters and scenarios perfectly accommodate the flavor and complexity of Scattered Lies. Denise’s niece Morgan deals with issues that most teenagers struggle with such as teenage sex, being a critical thinker at a young age and being treated differently because of beauty. Gabrielle’s clientele also engages issues like money laundering practices by wealthy people and rich women who are sexually addicted to boy toys from the hood.

There were two things that did not sit comfortably with me: the book’s cover and the book’s ending. Past the fact that “shattered” rhymes with “scattered”, the only connection I could see between the book cover and its story was that two shards of the broken glass had an image of a microphone (Tony, the rapper) and a woman wearing an unbuttoned shirt with a pearl necklace (presumably Denise, but possibly Gabrielle). However, this cover is much more welcomed and classier than just posting up a pin up model. Scattered Lies’ ending was shocking, but not satisfying. Given the lives of the characters up to that point, I struggle to see how ending the story that way brings closure to the various plot twists or opens the opportunity for sequels.

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