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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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5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Kisha Green, anthologist of On Da Corner Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Kisha Green, anthologist of On Da Corner
(Diva Books)

kisha green headshot
on da corner book cover

(click the link to see this book on

On Da Corner highlights new urban talent in this short story anthology. Dare to say…it has been done with a keen eye. This is just the beginning for these young and talented authors. The authors put you in the room with their characters by breathing life into them with both details and truth. Readers will feel as though they are living through some of their character’s experiences.

Some tell a story of coming of age in a battle zone with codes and rules that shatter dreams into a life based purely on survival. There are chilling tales of friendship, drugs and violence. Others are more about love and the loss of love. The bitter reality of how that can alter life and the lessons of such, are laced between the pages waiting to be unfolded.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to become an anthologist and produce On Da Corner?

Kisha Green: As a newbie author I saw it was hard to get exposure, so I wanted to provide authors like myself opportunities to showcase their talent. I simply felt that the authors on the On Da Corner had a voice in street lit. Even though they were unpublished, I believed in their stories and their quest for becoming an author. That was my initiative for my other anthologies If It Aint One Thing…It’s Another (Urban contemporary fiction) and Mental Seduction (Erotica). I saw these writers had a great gift for story telling. I wanted to give them some exposure.

JP: What sets On Da Corner apart from other Urban Lit Anthologies?

KG: These stories are raw. Some may say its horrible or that it is too real-too graphic or sexually charged. If this is what an author is writing about and they are painting a story so vivid, who am I to ask them to change, even if I am the publisher. I am not there to change a story. I give all authors on my anthologies creative freedom.

JP: As an author/publisher, what are the keys to your success that lead to On Da Corner getting out to the public?

KG: Research…network…research…network…you can see where I am going with this can’t you (lol)? On a serious note I am a lover of literature, so I am constantly talking about something pertaining to literary as well as my own literary works. You may not know the face, but you know the name because I have had many dealings with authors – wanting to help and promote them as I would want someone to do the same for me, hence my creation of the literary website Writer’s Vibe and my blog talk show called Writer’s Life Chats. I have a voice. I like to talk, so it is going to be heard one way or another…lol…When I believe in something, trust me I will do everything in my power to make it a success- FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!

JP: What did you learn from publishing On Da Corner that you will use to your benefit with future releases?

KG: I learned to do my research and to educate myself not just on the genre I am going to publish in but also the business side.

JP: What’s next for Kisha Green?

KG: Well, I am working on the re- release of my debut novel And Even If I Did. This will be released in February of 2009.

Author Workshops – Spring 2009
Literary Luncheons by Kisha- Spring 2009

More great interviews for my blog talk show The Writer’s Life Chats ( as well as great book reviews, commentaries, author interviews and etc on Writer’s Vibe (

Authors looking for exposure email me your jpeg of your book cover and synopsis to

My publishing company DivaBooksInc.-

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My Interview with Erick S. Gray on Urban Book Source

Read My Interview with Erick S. Gray

Urban Book Source posted Part I of my two-part interview with the prolific Erick S. Gray. To see what he’s contributed to the literary world check out my previous post.

We actually talked for almost two hours! He had a lot of good information to give. I wish I had the space to give it to you. I mean, this guy lives his profession.

It was an honor to have spoken with him, and I hope to build a friendship with him. In Part I, he really goes deep into where his latest offering Crave All Lose All got its energy from.

I hope you like it. Let me know what you think.