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From Babylon to Timbuktu: A History of the Ancient Black Races Including the Black Hebrews
El Hagahn, Rudolph R. Windsor
The Valley of the Dry Bones: The Conditions That Face Black People in America Today
Rudolphf R. Windsor
Play with Fire: Discovering Fierce Faith, Unquenchable Passion, and a Life-Giving God
Bianca Juarez Olthoff
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box
Arbinger Institute
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Stephen R. Covey
The Emotionally Healthy Church, Expanded Edition: A Strategy for Discipleship That Actually Changes Lives
Peter Scazzero, Warren Bird
This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape the Future
John Brockman
The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Eric Ries
I Got My Dream Job and So Can You: 7 Steps to Creating Your Ideal Career After College
Pete Leibman
The Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I'm Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog
Jen Lancaster

Encouraging & Spiritually Challenging

— feeling amazing
More Christian Than African American - Kimberly Cash Tate

"We need to be more Christian than Afro-American" - Pastor George Thomas


This book has hit so many points about the things & areas God is growing me in, that I have been truly encouraged to be a better disciple. Not a better human or American or Woman, but a better representative of Christ himself! Walking as we are called by God, doesn't mean we neglect the plight nor oppression of those around us. It means that regardless of the issue, we align ourselves with God 1st! We should always be standing with God, regardless of how counterintuitive it seems to the world. I thoroughly enjoyed all the lessons, transparency & open hearted honesty of the journey for Kim.


If God is calling you deeper or you just need to know how you can walk the straight & narrow from right where you are, then this book is for you! Kim Cash Tate doesn't  use shame, guilt or condemnation to encourage you to let go of the labels/conformity of this world that hinder you. Instead, she is honest & loving in her personal story showing you how to follow God to the life He purposed for you!


Gooseberry Island - Steven Manchester

Gooseberry Island by Steven Manchester gave me a new understanding of P.T.S.D. afflicted soldiers. I now see just how deep the wounds can go when they have to go against everything inside of them all to obey a command.


David McClain is an army ranger who is looking to settle down & start a family after his final tour with the United States Army Rangers. After advice from his trusted friend Captain Eli he issues his request to the Heavens. So when his answer Lindsey Wood literally runs right into him while jogging he couldn’t believe the horrible timing.


Lindsey whose father Denis Wood is suffering P.T.S.D. believes there is something about David that makes her want to get to know him better. Lindsey finds out how life can have a funny sense of humor as David his impending deployment. They agree to keep in touch while David is away & intend to start an actual relationship upon David’s return.


Unfortunately for them David’s tour is one that will haunt him for a lifetime. Unlike any tour David has experienced this tour deals a deadly hand. David has to watch a child being brutally beat to death while commanded to do nothing. His father he so desperately wanted to make proud suffers a massive heart attack & dies. David’s fellow ranger Al loses his legs while saving David’s life & he can’t help but feel guilty.


David comes home & is trying to handle it all. He doesn’t tell Lindsey any of the things he has seen while he is away & he doesn’t let her know of his return. Once Lindsey finds out David is home she reaches out but David shuts her out. Lindsey wants to help David; to comfort him. David however, doesn’t want love because of the pain he is suffering. David spins into an alcoholic depression after learning of his fellow ranger Max’s suicide. He nearly kills himself in a car accident before accepting that he can’t heal alone.


Having help from Lindsey, David seeks treatment & begins the healing process. During which time he reaches out to Max Jr. so that he will know his Dad was a hero. You will have to read the book if you want to know how the story ends.
Steven Manchester definitely crafted a story that would open eyes & break hearts.

Emotionally Intriguing

The Art of Hiding - Amanda Prowse

The Art of Hiding is a book about Nina McCarrick & her 2 boys Connor & Declan overcoming losing their patriarch Finn McCarrick. Finn has died & left category 12 hurricane destruction in his wake. So instead of mourning their loss, the McCarrick family is figuring out where & how to live, 1 week after losing Finn. Which is may very well destroy their love for Finn.


Nina has become a recluse housewife with no friends, job or outside social circle, she doesn't know who to call when her picture perfect Martha Stewart life starts imploding. Ignoring the warnings to preserve what she can immediately, Nina's world is shattered. Surprise! They're bankrupt, courtesy of Finn, now deceased. The creditors are taking what is owed them, including the house. Now she has to find a way to comfort her boys in a way she never imagined. Connor & Declan just want their Dad to fix everything, just like he always has. Except now, he is the reason their lives will never be the same.


Gone are the private school, luxury vacations & posh house. The McCarricks are destitute. Relying on her estranged sister Tiggy, Nina goes "home" to the impoverished neighborhood of her childhood. Here the McCarrick family's love for Finn will be tested, as they navigate an unimaginable life. Trying to figure out if Finn abandoned them or if fate really did deal them a treacherous hand. Either way, the Mccarricks have to find a way to live again. Even if it means being poor, together.


I gave The Art of Hiding 3 stars because it took some sensitive albeit complex subjects, & skimmed over them. Personally for me, if you're going to add some darkness to the plot, go all in. When you realize where the title comes from though, it gives you that bitter sweet affinity for the whole story.


Wonder - R.J. Palacio Wonder is amazing! You not only get all the feels, but the wonder. You wonder how many times in your life have you been the whispering, staring, plague playing kids. How many times has your face betrayed your true feelings to a person who has no control of their situation? Then you wonder how am I going to be better now? Not For my sake, but for all the Auggie's who tackle this world & make it out unbroken.

The Girl on the Train: A Novel

The Girl on the Train: A Novel - Paula Hawkins This book left when I thought we were going right, and right when I thought we were going left! Definitely a book that keeps you on your toes and guessing. I wasn't ready for the ending, because I didn't see any of it coming. Nothing like Gone Girl, even though people keep comparing the two. Yes, they're both psychological thrillers, but the similarities end there. Paula Hawkins spin a tale so exciting and believable, you will want to shake the characters!

My Husband's Wife: A Novel

My Husband's Wife: A Novel - Jane Corry This story is more than a wild ride. I kept wondering when all the wrongs would be made right, only to be hit with more wrongs. Lily & Ed should have hit the annulment button on their marriage; inheritance or not. Good thing they didn't, because then the story wouldn't have been nearly as good. The story of Ed, Lily, Carla, Joe & so many others gets so convoluted, it's better than a soap opera! All I know is that if I were Lily, I would have been a "widow" long before the husband's Wife made me one.....

His Vengeful Seduction, Her Flaming Revenge

His Vengeful Seduction, Her Flaming Revenge - Bemy Wells Bemy Wells did a good job writing this book. I gave 4 stars for lack of depth in the story line. I wanted to see more of the characters backstory and some details that created a connection to them as people. While this is a good read, that I am nominating in my book club, it didn't go as deep as I thought it would. However, that is just my opinion based on my reading preference. I still thoroughly enjoyed the book. I also was expecting more ethnic characters, based on the cover art, but they seemed to all be non-descript. It reminds me of R.M Johnson's The Million Dollar Divorce.

Pierce Devlin and Malani Hunter have a hatred for one another that spans the Grand Canyon. Now, Pierce and Malani are out for blood, each other's to be exact. Pierce Devlin is the reason Malani aches inside for a mother she could never have, at least that's who is getting the blame. Which she fully intends for him to pay for, one way or the other. Pierce hates Malani with everything in his being. She of course the daughter of Sahana Hunter, the woman who ripped his family to shreds, and left a hole in her wake. Pierce has plans to take her daughter down a peg, just for sport. Neither wants to admit that just maybe, they should make love not war. His Vengeful Seduction, Her Flaming Revenge takes you a fast ride of vengeance, that may leave more dead bodies in its wake, than before!

Second Chance Summer

Second Chance Summer - Morgan Matson I wasn't ready! Morgan Matson & I can't be friends anymore (in my Blu Cantrell & R.L. voice)! This novel went places I didn't even think were possible for me. I am a fade into the background, don't draw too much attention to yourself kind of person because well it saves you some pain. However, it can sometimes be problematic with an analytical brain. Then the pro and con list will out weigh your actual life experiences so, well....there are none. Who knew that Taylor would be my twin for these moments.
While I didn't have anything that dramatic that young, I definitely lived this out.

Second Chance Summer had me snotty, ugly crying by the end. I needed all the tissues! It hit me so deep I wanted a drink. It may not be that personal for everyone else, but for me it was my life in major motion picture review. Definitely makes you think twice about the decisions you've made after so long of running from them. I volunteer for screenwriting so Hollywood doesn't screw up the loosely based story of my life! 😂

Esther: Royal Beauty

Esther: Royal Beauty - Angela Elwell Hunt While none of the novels in the series/set is dependent on the other, you will definitely like them all. I started with Delilah because the cover drew me in at the book store. However, none of the books has been disappointing. Each one takes an analytical and historical look at these biblical women, then gives them life. None of the stories go against scripture, or are far fetched. While reading them you get a since of history, accuracy & relevance to each woman's life. If you have ever wondered what drove Delilah to betray Samson, how Bathsheba felt about David's assault or what it took to be a Queen worthy of pardoning a people, then Angela Hunt 's Dangerous Beauty Novels are for you!


Missing - Dee Henderson I didn't notice that this was a novella. The story draws you in and captures you from the second it starts, until the very end. I just wish there was more to the story (a full novel). (I haven't looked to see if there is a sequel)

When a missing person report comes across Lieutenant Sharon Noble's desk, she takes great care to find her person. Nothing changes when Police Chief John Graham's mother's file crosses her desk. She is determined to find his mother & bring him some closure. The only problem, nobody knows where to start looking because no one knew she was missing. Leaving Lieutenant Noble trying to warm up a freezing cold trail in the great city of Chicago. Chief Graham has a few tricks up his sleeve as he works along side Lieutenant Noble to find his Mother. One of those tricks is to open all his old enemies and shake loose some news. Missing leaves you wondering who has Chief Graham's Mother & if she really could still be alive.

The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place - Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill Everyone reads Anne Frank, but we need to add this to our required reading. Corrie Ten Boom was not anyone's idea of a rebel, but she fought the Nazis like you wouldn't believe.

Catching Heat (Cold Case Justice)

Catching Heat (Cold Case Justice) - Janice Cantore Catching Heat is the most action packed of all 3 books. While again I missed the back story, the story drew me in and held my interest. Abby may never get the justice she wants, but she will definitely get her "man". Hope the series doesn't end here, this is a great squad.


Crossed  - Ally Condie Crossed definitely has more action than matched. Here the story takes you on a rebellious ride to find freedom. Cassia & Ky learn a lot about not only who they are, but who they aren't. This may very well be the end of their "relationship". I definitely want to read the final book because I need to know if Cassia picks Xander or Ky.

Nowhere to Turn

Nowhere to Turn - Lynette Eason You will want to murder Kurt (spoiler: he is already dead) the entire book! That being said, the second installment of the Hidden Identity series brings you on a wild journey to escape multiple sets of killers and a psychotic stalker who is more delusional than can seem possible. Dani and her poor son Simon think now they're free to live normal lives; having escaped a abusive husband/father. WRONG! The tomfoolery has only just begun. This book has so many crazies popping up you'll think it's a criminal minds episode on steroids.

I gave 4 stars for lack of back story. I am not sure if Christian authors have a page limit or what but they seem to limit the back story. I just want to know how you got here to the story, even if it's by flashbacks.

Burning Proof (Cold Case Justice)

Burning Proof (Cold Case Justice) - Janice Cantore I stayed up late to finish this one, and it was well worth the loss of sleep. Abby Hart is endearing until the end with her Oreo addicted self. While I hope she gets the full justice for the Tripple Seven case in the next book, I'm okay if she doesn't. I like her story and I would be okay with a drawn out ending.

Abby Hart is a detective who has risen quickly up the ranks of the Long Beach Police Department fueled by her quest to bring her parents killers to justice. While it may appear she has the case figured out, Burning Proof throws some good plot twists to keep you guessing and seeking justice right along with Abby. The story will have you hoping that the good guys show a little selfish justice. I also need her not to jump into a relationship with Luke Murphy. Even though I'm not an Ethan fan.


Matched - Ally Condie Matched seems to be what would happen if you swirled together the Hunger Games and Divergent. Cassia is a normal teen living in an option less world, until she is matched incorrectly. Now instead of knowing the one person she will spend the rest of her life with, she is divided between an unapproved choice & Xander her lifelong friend. Cassia spends her time trying to work in the system to get what she thinks her heart desires. Until the Society catches on and now she has to figure out how to keep everyone safe or risk it all to make her own choices.

I gave 4 stars for lack of diversity in characters and back story. They all seemed to be very basic in nature and in a society where they are bred for optimum efficiency human, you would think they would be a little more diverse. I also wanted some back story on how they ended up in this dystopian era.