Tag Archives: african american

Book Review: Preparing My Daughter For Rain:: notes on how to heal and survive. by Key Ballah

Self Published Published Aug. 24,2014 106 Pages
Self Published
Published Aug. 24,2014
106 Pages

A collection of poetry for daughters, future daughters and women about how to heal and survive. 

This is going to be short review and that is because I do not have the words to describe this other than deep and powerful.  I wasn’t expecting much and that is because its been a hit and miss for me with poetry; mostly because I am not at a point in my life where I am sad nor am I obsess or desperate about love and being in love (long statement I know).

But anyway, this book, this poetry moved me so much. To say I am not an emotional fragile woman at this moment, would be a lie. The words were so honest but followed so beautifully without the fillers and the whimsical ideas. It reminded me of my past and made me feel for my future. It also made me think of mom a lot, which is the purpose but I really thought about my mom and who she was before kids.

I love this book and although I go it for kindle unlimited, I have every intentions of buying it for my library. I fell for this book and I think each time I read it I will learn something new about myself, women and my mom.

Powerful…powerful read I would recommend to all women for themselves and their daughters.

5 Pickles 

NetGalley Review: Break My Heart by Rhonda Helms

Kensington To Be Published July 28, 2015 240 Pages
To Be Published July 28, 2015
240 Pages

Megan Porter isn’t the average math student. Graduating with honors and guaranteed (as long as she passes) a spot at her school’s graduate program, Megan is on her way.

But her senior semester quickly goes on shaky ground when she meets her new thesis adviser and professor Dr. Nick Muarmoto. Young, extremely intelligent and passionate, he offers Megan exactly what her maturity level has been looking for.

When Megan realizes this is more than just a school girl crush, the two decide to embark on a forbidden relationship but with Nick’s career at risk and possibly Megan’s future, how can the two grow in love better yet hide it?

Surprise. I am completely in love with this short read. First let’s talk about diversity. I am so glad to see a non stereotypical main female college student (you know the one that has a horrible background story and is a hot girl dressed in geek clothing) who is sassy, knows what she wants and is well grounded and liked. I am also glad to see that she is black. It is so important to see characters who aren’t white all the time. There are other races.  I am also glad to see the main character isn’t white either but Japanese; again diversity is an amazing thing.

The storyline was to the point and perfect. I loved Megan and I loved how she fell in love. She still remained sure of herself but at the same time couldn’t knock the fact that this man was changing her life. I also loved the fact that she just was a good person; no attitude unless you provoked her (in the only scene I felt she should have given more attitude).

However, here is where the book fell short for me:

Nick didn’t have much personality. Yes, he loved his job and what he taught. Yes, he wasn’t a flat board but he didn’t have a spark that made me feel what Megan was feeling.

I also didn’t like how there wasn’t much description of what Megan looked like. I couldn’t picture her face, her shape or even the sound of her voice. All I know is she is black.

But beyond that the pace of the novel, the realism and the juicy scenes really made this an enjoyable book.


4 Pickles 


Adult Book Review: Debbie Doesn’t Do it Anymore by Walter Mosley

DoubleDay Published May 13, 2014 272 Pages
Published May 13, 2014
272 Pages

Debbie Dare is loved,adored and obsessed over by men she knows and doesn’t know. Wearing a blonde wig and blue contacts she is considered the Queen of Pornography. But one day changes her life. Experiencing an unexpected orgasm, she returns home to find her husband has dead in the most unpleasant way with an aspiring actress. 

Now drowning in unforeseen debt Debbie quits the porn industry but must deal those trying to collect. On a mission for redemption and to wash away grief, Debbie returns to her estranged family as well as to the child she was forced to give up.  

I love when authors talk about forbidden topics. African American porn stars is one of those topics you rarely hear about. So I appreciate this.

What I love about this book was how everything made sense. Nothing seemed really fair fetch other than Debbie’s lack of emotion for pretty much everything. I like how the author was able to not focus too much on her pornographic career and more on the what now. It was able to make Debbie’s story realistic but not without a twist of fantasy to keep the book going.

When I say fantasy I don’t mean in the terms of witches and wizards but in the terms of gangsters, fights and life threatening situations. This is a form of fantasy to me because I live a quiet life in suburbia.

None the less, what I didn’t like about this book was Debbie’s almost zero personality. She had no real emotion to things. Yes, that is a form of grieving but she was just a blank slate to everything. I also thought it was weird that she was considering suicide but not because she thought it but because someone else did.

I thought this was a creative read, a bit slow and maybe a basic ending but everything was there. Overall,

3.5 Pickles.

NetGalley Review: Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile

Pamela Dorman Books Published Jan. 1, 2014 384 Pages
Pamela Dorman Books
Published Jan. 1, 2014
384 Pages

Charley Bordelon’s father has left her 800 acres of sugarcane land in Louisiana. At a chance to start over, she and her daughter leaves behind Los Angles to work for a what is consider a white man’s job and to live with her judgmental grandmother.

Completely lost in what she is doing Charley must deal with a homesick (rude ass) daughter, her half-brother, who she hasn’t seen in over ten years and desires she didn’t think she still had on top a down on its luck farm.

This book was very good idea. However, it was a dry read. Not much is really going on in this book really until the last few chapters.

Baszile has talent as a writer. It is there within the development of characters, scenery and the relationships between whites and blacks in the South.

But Charley does a lot of complaining, a lot of break downs, unsure-ness and a lot of allowing people to walk over her. It was hard to continue reading because I cannot say that I like her or for the most part any of the characters in this book.

Her brother was an ass and felt that everyone should bow down to him because he almost did something. Her Grandmother was too much. I understand her position in the family but it was a bit overkill that if she didn’t have it her way you was the worst human on this earth. Finally, her daughter needed to get her ass kick. Rude and disrespectful characters not just children is a huge pet peeve of mine and man that girl was horrible.

I feel that this book had so much to offer but there was too much down time and not enough issues for a lack of better term to fill the gaps. There also wasn’t enough back-story into the family, the father or even Charley.

Overall, 2 Pickles.


Guys. . . .  I have some amazing news that I need to share. Quick Five© was picked up by an up and coming magazine!!!!!

Isn’t that amazing! I would like to thank every author that agreed to an interview with me and every person that has read them no matter how brief.

Here is my other news: The company is looking for freelance writers to contribute to their online as well as their physical magazine. This is a paid position. So send your resume to:


As far as I know they are simply looking for writers who write well. So email them for more details. Maybe we will get to work together :)


Book Review: Crime Partners by Donald Goines

Billy Good and Jackie Walker, former prison friends, are getting by doing odd jobs. Unhappy with their situation they meet up with Kenyatta, a man ready to take back the streets and make big time money.

But with big time money from the streets come problems; drug pushers and crooked cops are the lease of their concerns with flying bullets around.This is the first book out of the Kenyatta series and I fell in love. If you like crime and a fast pace read this book is perfect for you. The writing was extremely intense but it wasn’t too complicated for you not to understand what was going on. It was also detailed but at the same time blunt. I was completely amazed reading this book because the author wrote the story extremely well. Donald Goines wrote about what was going on around him and rumor has it what he was involved him, so the story is very realistic. The writing is so smooth and clean that you get lost in the story very fast and before you know it its over.The characters were very developed and I was rooting for Kenyatta, who for the most part is the bad guy. What I didn’t like about the book was how short it was. There was still so much more I needed from this book and although it ended well enough, it was still missing something. There is a book two so I just need to read the second book.
Overall, I give this book 4 Pickles. It was a quick read that build up so well and ended so smoothly with the perfect cliff hanger but something missing and I can’t quite put my finger on it.




Book Review: Sugar (Sugar Lacey #1) by Bernice L. McFadden

               Plume  Published Jan. 2, 2001             240 Pages
Published Jan. 2, 2001
240 Pages

In Southern towns, especially African American towns, people do not like the boat to be rocked. Sugar makes her way down to Bigelow, Arkansas and brings life and action to a once quiet town.

Hoping to find peace, Sugar settles down only to be stirred by the judgement of the town folk and the demons of her past.

This book was amazing. McFadden created a complex character without making her annoying, needy, bitchy or self centered. Sugar had issues . . .  lots of them and she is trying to get away from that but in order to do that you have to come to terms with your past.

The book itself flowed very easily and it didn’t feel forced. There also wasn’t a lot of stereotypes and I greatly appreciated that. McFadden kept the book old school but not too old where you didn’t feel some kind of connection. I also loved the fact that she kept the ethics of the South very strong throughout this book.

Sugar is a prostitute . . . not by choice. She was abandoned as a baby and three women who happened to be in that field raised her. She is supposed to be the bread winner but Sugar doesn’t want to live that life anymore so she leaves. However, the town quickly finds out about her past and begin to shun her. This isn’t all of Sugar’s problems but its a big chunk.

Although Sugar is complicated you do feel a connection to her. She is lost and she is looking to change her life around and be accepted. I chalk that up to great writing. Overall this book gets 5 Pickles