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If George Lucas and Ava DuVernay had a baby, T.O. Burnett would be their child. Like Lucas, Burnett creates entirely new worlds that we’ve never seen before and like DuVernay, his work bursts with heart, humanity and empathy. Burnett’s Sapien: Days of Deception, the tour de force sequel to his debut novel, Sapien: Dawn of Oblivion, left me awestruck. After reading the jaw-dropping opening to the book, I knew I was in for a treat, and Burnett didn’t disappoint. Although a novelist, Burnett’s writing is reminiscent of a seasoned screenwriter. He paints vivid, colorful, and vibrant pictures with his words that tell a story that you cannot only see, but smell, taste, hear, and feel. His use of metaphors and similes will give you pause while you wonder to yourself, how did he come up with that? His writing is so crisp, I swear at times while reading the book, I could hear the words crunch. The action-packed and riveting chapters, propelled me forward into the story that centers around planet Neutralia. It’s trying to restore the innocence it once enjoyed—an inn...
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  B.L. McGrew has created a love story unlike any I’ve ever read or seen on the silver screen.  Move over Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman (Casablanca); Whitney and Kevin Costner (The Bodyguard); Romeo & Juliet. McGrew’s Ezmerelda Day and Barnaby Parks, two high school sweethearts, take love to new heights. McGrew’s exquisitely written novel reads like a symphony. She brings the elements of the story together harmoniously with beautiful prose that takes your breath away. In an era of twerking, graphic sex scenes, casual sex, microwave relationships, profane language, THOTs, and side chicks, McGrew’s work is a literary breath of fresh air. Told in the first-person present voice of Ezmerelda, we’re given a birds-eye view of the couple’s unconventional whirlwind romance. Ezmerelda, who at the beginning of the story prefers to be called Mazie, is an eighteen-year-old blind girl and aspiring author. Her sole closest relative is her sister Maya. If that weren’t challenging enough, she’s also a cancer-survivor, who when the story opens, is starti...
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    B.W. McKay’s second novel’s opening had me riveted to the page. Darnell Scott, the protagonist, is running for Congress. If elected, he would become the first black man to represent Utah in the Senate. His opponent—Joe Sudden—a former high school friend, has accused him of the unthinkable. The false accusation has Darnell reeling and second-guessing the part he may have played in this untimely, egregious situation. How did Darnell come so far— only to end up here with everything he’s worked for in the balance?McKay shows us what happened and how Darnell arrived at this point in time with a beautifully woven story that is moving, powerful, realistic, and inspiring. His words dance on the page. Adeptly writing in first person POV, McKay takes us into the mind and heart of Darnell, a young African American man who is coming of age. We get to know Darnell inside and out. We’re able to see the world through his young eyes. We can taste and feel his dreams. McKay has created a three-dimensional character that you will find yourself cheering on, root...
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  This psychic mystery is a keeper! Reba Rose Parker, the protagonist in Jenna B. Neece’s debut novel, is an irascible but loveable and irresistible character that takes her small town in Oklahoma by storm. Out walking one morning engaging in her profession as a photographer, she stumbles upon a grisly crime scene. Back at home, while editing her photos, she notices a hand in one of the shots. So she decides to return to the scene of the crime, if you will, to further investigate. That one move kicks off a series of startling and life-threatening events that Reba, although a psychic, doesn’t see coming. To her chagrin, the police want to bring her in for questioning. Kicking and screaming all the way, she soon learns that she’s not the only one in town with psychic abilities. It’s obvious that Jenna put a lot into how the paranormal element of the book would play out in the story and with each character. She is brilliant in how she uses the phenomenon to move the story forward as well as help Reba and the police, many of whom also have abilities, ...
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I just read that it’s been confirmed by John Singleton’s agents at ICM Partners that he has passed away. The news has shaken me, and I can’t stop crying. No, I’ve never met John, and I’ve never been in his presence. So, like you, I’m wondering why his death has rendered me a blubbering pile of sorrow. Perhaps it’s because we’re close in age and so many in our age group are dying. As I’m sure you know, Luke Perry died last month. And it was also from a stroke! I wasn’t a big Luke Perry fan, but my heart was saddened by his death as well, but John’s death has hit me harder. The first time I heard the name John Singleton was in 1990 during the filming of Boys n the Hood. I was acting in, producing and directing Reginal Rose’s play Twelve Angry Women in Hollywood. One of the actresses in my play, who went by the name Ceal, had a role in John’s film. She actually had to miss rehearsal because she was filming. The next time I saw her she was bouncing off the walls, telling me and the other cast members what an amazing time she had on set with John and how groundbr...
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