Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"I Am Charlie Wilson" - A Memoir

"The long-awaited memoir of seven-time Grammy-nominated artist Charlie Wilson, the iconic R&B and Funk singer-songwriter-producer—interwoven with his recollections of collaborating with fellow artists such as Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stones, and Snoop Dogg.

Recognized the world over for his distinct voice and timeless hits spanning a career of nearly half a century, Charlie Wilson is one of the most celebrated musicians of his generation. So it took friends and family by surprise when he checked into rehab and revealed that he had been not only homeless, but also helpless.

Here, in the memoir fans have been demanding, is the story of how love and faith carried him through not only his addiction, but also prostate cancer. Here, too, is the story of his work in the music business, including a career resurgence that saw collaborations with some of the most sought-after artists of today, including Pharrell and Justin Timberlake.

Now over twenty years sober, Wilson recounts a life filled with vertiginous highs and heartbreaking lows. His is a story of triumph over adversity, courage in the face of extreme hardship, and love when all else is lost. It is a tale of the last sixty years in social and pop culture history, and one that will stay with you for years to come. (From Simon and Schuster)"

Available online at amazon and other retailers.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Winner of Victoria Christopher Murray's "Stand Your Ground"

Yes, just yes!

This is a really good book.

So different from anything that I've read from this author.  

I especially liked the way the story was told in two parts and from the perspective of two different women.  I don't want to give anything away, so I won't go into a lot of detail. 

This is the right book at the right time.  

Janice Johnson's son has been murdered and as we've heard all too many times before, the shooter is using the "Stand Your Ground" defense.  I have to admit until the murder of Trayvon Martin, I had never even heard of this defense.

But it's not just Janice Johnson (who, by the way, is a stronger woman than me for sure) that you get to know, you also come to know Meredith Spencer, the wife of the accused killer.

This was very cleverly written and held my attention to the very end.  

This is one for the library.

And, now we have a WINNER!

The winner of the free copy of "Stand Your Ground" by Victoria Christopher Murray compliments of Simon and Schuster is Miss Pearl from San Francisco.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hyatt Regency New Beach Summer Concert Series 2015

For further information and to purchase tickets,
click here!
Box Office:  949-360-7800

Monday, June 29, 2015

BET Awards - A "Mini" Family Reunion

The BET awards is like a mini black family reunion that rolls around once a year from 8:00 p.m. (on the west coast) to whenever you can no longer keep your eyes open.  

Each year brings a couple of moments that everyone is tuning in to see.  

This year, the promise of Janet Jackson  and a Bad Boy reunion was almost too much to handle.  I must say, the Bad Boy reunion was the highlight of the night, but seeing Janet’s face caused me to seriously fan girl.  

The Bad Boy reunion was more than I expected.  Lil Kim made an appearance and she looked GREAT.  They even brought Faith Evans out!  The Janet tribute was a little odd because no one sang, but Ciara danced for her life!  

Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson were great hosts! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Win A Free Copy of "Stand Your Ground" by Victoria Christopher Murray

"Stand Your Ground" by Victoria Christopher Murray

You can win a free copy of acclaimed author, Victoria Christopher Murray's newest novel, "Stand Your Ground."

To enter, simply email me here with your name and email information.  

Contest ends July 12, 2015 and open to U.S. residents only.  Sponsored by Simon & Schuster (Touchstone Books)

"From the #1 Essence bestselling and award-winning author Victoria Christopher Murray comes Stand Your Ground, a new novel about two women who are faced with the same tragedy.
A black teenage boy is dead. A white man shot him. Was he standing his ground or was it murder?
Janice Johnson is living every black mother’s nightmare. Her seventeen-year-old son was murdered and the shooter has not been arrested. Can the D.A. and the police be trusted to investigate and do the right thing? Should Janice take advantage of the public outcry and join her husband alongside the angry protestors who are out for revenge?
Meredith Spencer is married to the man accused of the killing and she sees her husband and the situation with far more clarity than anyone realizes. What she knows could blow the case wide open, but what will that mean for her life and that of her son? Will she have the courage to come forward in time so that justice can be done?
#1 National bestselling and award-winning author Victoria Christopher Murray’s Stand Your Ground is a pulse-pounding meditation on race, motherhood, marriage, and vigilante justice that will have readers spellbound until its shocking end."

*Winner announced on July 11, 2015 - Pearl of San Francisco

Victoria Christopher Murray

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"The Ultimate Betrayal" by Kimberla Lawson Roby

You'll never guess what Reverend Black's daughter is up to now.

Alicia can't seem to get out of one mess before she gets herself into a bigger one.  Why is it that the girls who seem to have everything (beauty, brains, money and a good man) are never satisfied?

And who do we turn to with all of our problems and drama?  Well, our "girls" naturally.  Except this time, Alicia's BFF, Melanie, is dealing with "issues" of her own.  Major issues like illness, family secrets and all the drama that goes with.

If you don't have a vacation planned yet, just getaway with a good book.  "The Ultimate Betrayal," the latest offering by Kimberla Lawson Roby might just be the adventure you need.

I really hate to finish one of her novels, because they're so good, I don't want them to end.  However, the flip side is that with these series like the "Reverend Curtis Black" novels, you can always go to your bookshelf and re-read one you've read before.  There's so much happening, it will engage you all over again.

You might say, "Oh, I don't know Black people who have that much money, power and influence."  Well, I don't either, but they do exist.  And just because I don't know them personally doesn't mean I can't enjoy reading about their lives and lies.  After all, it's harmless.  It's fiction.  Or, is it?

It's been four years since twenty-eight-year old Alicia Black, daughter of Reverend Curtis Black, divorced her second husband, the most womanizing and corrupt man she has ever known. Since then, Alicia has been dating her first husband, Phillip Sullivan, a wonderfully kind and true man of God whom she'd hurt terribly by cheating on him. Alicia has worked hard to prove herself worthy of his trust once more, and when he asks her to marry him again, she couldn't be happier. 

But Levi Cunningham, the drug dealer Alicia had an extramarital affair with, has just been released from prison, and he has completely turned his life around for the better. Still head-over-heels in love with Alicia, he will do whatever is necessary to win her back. Remarrying Phillip is the one thing Alicia has wanted for years, but she can't get Levi out of her mind. 

Alicia and Phillip aren't the only ones in the middle of a crisis. Their best friends, husband and wife Brad and Melanie Richardson, are struggling to keep their marriage together. Workaholic Brad is never home and has begun losing thousands on bad investments. Or so he says. Melanie, who is certain there's more to the story, is determined to get at the truth. At the same time, her frustration and stress cause her to eat a lot less, and she behaves in an extreme fashion. Alicia worries that she could be suffering from anorexia, but Melanie steadfastly denies it. Their friendship begins to suffer, and it isn't long before they're talking to each other like enemies. 

Fresh betrayal leads to consequences no one saw coming, and Alicia's relationship with Phillip might not be the only thing that needs saving. But is it already too late? 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Why Hip Hop is my Therapy at Work

I try not to think that everything is related to race.  However, for the most part, everything is related to race.

And there is no more "secretly segregated society" than the workplace. 

Just about the time you start thinking you're part of the "team," someone will do or say something stupid  to let you know that they have a predisposed notion of what African Americans are really like, where we live, what we eat, our educational background, our family makeup and how we really couldn't know as much as they do.

You can't always run to HR (in fact, I try to avoid HR) and say "they're being mean to me."  Sometimes you have to take a deep breath, remember what you and your girls talked about at dinner last week and turn on some good old rap music.

Because despite its often explicit lyrics, nothing breaks it down in "plain English" like rap. The artists who have nothing to lose and everything to gain from their poetic prose and spitting the truth.

Yeah, I'm talking about them.  But they don't know it.

Keep calm and carry on.  But make sure you're wearing your headphones.  Otherwise, you'll have another set of problems.