Beyond Black & White » Author Spotlight http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:51:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Book Review: Taking My Hand Out Of My Pocket http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/book-review-taking-hand-pocket/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/book-review-taking-hand-pocket/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 06:03:22 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32963   Taking My Hand Out Of My Pocket by Lorie Tensen Synopsis: The book is my autobiography: the story of my personal journey which began in 1979 as a pre-teen. At the age of 12, my right arm was caught in the meat grinder in the meat room of my parents grocery store. The result […]

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Taking My Hand Out Of My Pocket

by

Lorie Tensen

Synopsis:

The book is my autobiography: the story of my personal journey which began in 1979 as a pre-teen. At the age of 12, my right arm was caught in the meat grinder in the meat room of my parents grocery store. The result was the amputation of that limb. From the moment my accident occurred and for years following, I was told by many people to hide my tears and be the strength for my parents who were “going through such a difficult time” because of my accident. I held my grief, anger, resentment and fears inside for nearly three decades and suffered from low self-esteem until I nearly imploded from depression and finally sought the professional help I needed.   The book tells the story about the many difficult choices I made in life that were predicated on the loss of my limb. After years of counseling and life-changing decisions, I have found peace, joy and the power of forgiveness. I am thankful for the many blessings in my life and am humbled that my story has inspired others to face their own fears on their personal journeys.

Excerpt: The Day – August 15, 1979.

AUGUST 15, 1979

August 15, 1979 started out the same as every other day. It was hot that summer, so I dressed in my favorite tank top, shorts and Keds and rode to work with my parents. I spent the day doing the tasks my mother assigned me. I remember wasting time in the cooler where we kept extra milk and eggs for stocking because it was so nice and cool and I wasn’t in the mood to run errands outside in the humid air. The store wasn’t huge, but it was one of two in town and we were always busy. We had several employees – including my sister and brother when they were available. My sister had graduated from high school that year and had already moved to a larger town. My brother hated working in the store and at age 14 was off doing who knows what. My eldest brother, Mike, was married with a family of his own and lived in a town 30 miles away. I had just turned 12 in May, so, I had no other option but to go to work at the grocery store each day with my parents. I actually enjoyed working at the store most days, because, although I was still rather shy, being in the hustle and bustle atmosphere like that of the store gave me the courage to come out of my shell and interact with the variety of customers that came in. I delivered groceries to the little old ladies and men in town who always invited me to stay and chat for a bit, providing delicious treats for me to enjoy; older folks seemed to be fascinated with the “little brown girl” at the corner grocery and I felt like a mini celebrity around them.

The store closed at 6 pm on most days and on this particular evening, several customers had stayed past closing time. It was still hot and humid outside and we were all ready to get home so that we could relax. My mother and father were at the front of the store closing out the cash registers and trying to shoo out the stragglers so they could lock the doors. I was sent to the meat room to start the clean-up process. The meat room was a small room at the back of the store that was filled with saws, grinders and extremely sharp knives. In those days, meat was rarely pre-packaged. My dad and Irene would cut meat to the customer’s specifications and there were several sides of beef, bacon, pork and chicken carcasses hanging in a large metal freezer. Hamburger was freshly ground several times a day in a giant meat grinder and deli meats and cheeses were sliced from 5 lb blocks each day. My dad was meticulous when it came to his meat room and he demanded that everyone who worked in the room follow his rules by washing their hands frequently and keeping the large wooden block table, knives and machines sterilized with bleach and hot water. I never wanted to work in that room by choice because the machines were loud and intimidating, however, I preferred to wile away the hours in the company of Irene over the other employees and there was nothing that could have prevented me from spending time with her – not even the scary meat room. Irene Hofmann was German and spoke with an accent. She always told the best stories and jokes – and – she was David’s mom. She adored me and treated me like the daughter she’d never had. I would spend hours gabbing with her and helping her as best as I could in the meat room.

At 6:10 pm that evening, I was alone in the meat room, as most of the store employees had gone home for the day, trying to figure out where to begin clean up. On this particular night, trying to be helpful, I decided to tackle the biggest more complex machines first: the behemoth grinder being the most difficult and time-consuming machine to clean. It was a heavy, ugly machine that had several pieces that had to be removed so that they could be thoroughly cleaned. There was a broken part within the grinder that had to be manually pushed out and then the grinder restarted to complete the process of dismantling. I had watched the other store employees clean the grinder and felt I could safely clean it, as well. At 6:17 pm, I started to dismantle the heavy grinder and when it came time to give the broken part a push, I did so with my right hand (I was right-handed at the time) and kept my left hand on the start button because I knew I had just seconds to start the grinder to push the part out completely. For whatever reason – inexperience or a misjudgment of the timing, at 6: 18 pm, I turned the grinder on too quickly and the tips of the fingers of my right hand became trapped. I was able to shut the machine off within seconds. The pain was so intense – worse than anything else I had ever felt – that I began screaming hysterically – wanting only for someone to stop the excruciating pain. My mother, my wonderful, beautiful mother – upon hearing her youngest child screaming hysterically, ran from the front of the store to the back of the store into the meat room. My screams were coming non-stop and so loud , she thought the machine was still on. She pushed the switch back to the “on” position thinking she was stopping the machine and in an instant, my life changed forever. My forearm was pulled into the machine almost in the same instant when my mother realized her mistake. She flipped the switch back to “off”. But it was too late. My arm has become hamburger inside the grinder. Both of us are momentarily stunned into silence and then the hell begins anew.

Cut to Scene 1:

My breathing is shallow and I feel faint. My entire body is slowly becoming numb from both pain and shock. My sense of hearing has become painfully acute and in my mind, my breathing sounds as loud as a freight train rushing through the room, but each breath seems to come as slow as molasses. Through the lethargy overtaking me, I feel the blood of my body draining out of me. I look at the three fingers poking out of the end of the machine, they are still intact, the nails still pink and I do not see blood which make me wonder where all my blood is going to. My sense of reality is painfully honed in on what seems like the never ending screams and sobs coming out of the mouth of my mother. Somewhere in the fog of my brain, I hear someone hysterically begging rescue to come to Tensen’s Grocery and that there has been a terrible accident. I am crouched in a painfully awkward position by now and my back is starting to cramp. Then there is the pain itself. The terrible, awful, nearly indescribable pain – so enormous and encompassing, that it transports me to another realm of consciousness. My young self cannot comprehend the level of pain that I am in. All I know is that I want it to go away so that I may sleep a painless sleep. My brain is telling me to close my eyes and go to sleep. I feel strangely pulled towards a quiet I have never felt before. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Time stands still. The frantic chaos that an emergency brings is happening all around me, yet I feel totally removed from it. I am rudely jolted by a loud noise and the first thought that enters my semi-conscious self is for my father…. I see him through a cut-out window between the meat room and the deli counter. He is pale, silent, with tears running down his face. I cannot see my mom, but I hear her. She has been crying hysterically the entire time and the child that I am begs her to help me. But, I do not seem to have the strength to open my mouth to say the words out loud. I am so very, very tired. It sounds as though there are several people sobbing, but I cannot see them and quite frankly, the sounds grate on my raw nerves. An endless loop of three sentences begins playing in my head. I am pleading to an audience that cannot hear me: “This hurts. Take it off, it hurts. It’s so heavy it hurts, take it off.” This loop swirls around my brain until it creates a storm of words that threatens to overtake my entire body. No one can hear me. I am alone in my head. I am so tired, I am going to close my eyes now. Good night, mom. Good night dad.

Suddenly, the small room is filled with men dressed from head to toe in their fire and rescue gear. And I am jolted back to the present. These men are the fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers of my classmates. Each and every one of them has tears glistening in their eyes and some hastily try to wipe away the tears rolling down their strong, tanned faces. At some point, my best friend’s dad, Ed, sits on the floor behind me, gingerly lifts me on to his lap and carefully cradles me so that I can get relief from my cramped posture. His right arm curves around my thin body, with his right hand holding the weight of my trapped arm and with his left hand, he feeds me m&m’s in an effort to keep me awake. I still cannot see my mom and dad, but hear my mother: still sobbing somewhere outside of the room. A disembodied voice says: “keep mom and dad out of the room”. A different voice speaks directly to me, calling my name and whoever it is, tells me that I must stay awake and I must remain strong. I am told that I must not cry because my mother is upset and I cannot let her see me crying.

 

Dear god in heaven….without warning, it’s as if the mother of all chainsaw’s is ripping through my right arm: someone is trying to twist the bell of the grinder off the machine. I hear myself screaming hysterically again, the pain is so intense that the screams coming out of my mouth are beyond anything comprehensible. It takes what seems like an excruciating lifetime before several members of the rescue squad are finally successful in separating the bell from the rest of the machine. My arm is still one with the grinder, because they cannot remove it without me dying from blood loss and shock. The bell will travel with me to the emergency room.

There is now a new problem: space is tight in this room. I am a little girl attached to a large metal bell and they must find a way to lift me over the meat display counter in order to get me to the ambulance that is waiting by the side door. Two men gently lift me over the counter into the arms of two firemen standing on the other side of the case. As I am being lifted, my eyes are drawn to the front of the store which has two large plate glass windows that face the main street. The scene that meets my eyes is simply amazing. There is a huge crowd of people – hundreds it seems – standing in the streets. People pressed against the glass windows and I can see one person very clearly through the never ending haze of pain. He is a classmate of mine named Michael. He is already one of the most popular male athletes my age and certainly one of the cutest. He is wearing a red shirt with the Coca-Cola emblem emblazoned in white on the front and he is the only bright color I see as I hazily wonder through the fog of my brain why so many people are standing in the streets outside the grocery store.

I am carried in someone’s arms through the side door which is on the south side of the building. There are so many people lining the street that I cannot see the large bank building that sits across the street from our grocery store. There is a crowd of what seems to be hundreds of men, women and children and they are all eerily silent. The only sounds I hear are the sirens blaring from the many rescue vehicles parked every which way around the store. An ambulance is parked directly in front of the side door and police cars in front of it waiting to escort me to the nearest hospital which is 30 miles away in a town called Willmar. My vision clears a little and I see Him. It is David and he is sitting on one of his Harley Davidson motorcycles that he’s parked directly behind the ambulance. He looks directly into my eyes and gives me a sweet, gentle smile and I stick my tongue out at him.

I am carefully bundled into the back of the ambulance as though I am made of the most fragile glass and placed tenderly into the waiting arms of a doctor and an ambulance attendant. My mother sits up front, sandwiched between the driver and another ambulance attendant. I can hear her from the back, she is still crying softly. The doors close and we are off in a blare of sirens and whirling lights with our police escort. I hear the driver talking into his mic – something about our estimated time of arrival. There will be a police escort from the Willmar police department who will meet the ambulance at the halfway point and escort it, lights and sirens, to the hospital. Although I am exhausted and just want to go to sleep, I begin to feel strangely at peace, as though once again, I am far removed from the activity around me. The doctor gently interrupts my slumber repeatedly: “Wake up, Lorie – you can’t go to sleep, Honey. Wake up”. But, I no longer feel anything. I am weightless. There is no more pain. I vaguely hear the doctor say something but his voice is coming from a tunnel. Suddenly, the ambulance attendant who is in the back with me begins speaking frantically into his mic: “We are losing her, HURRY… We’re gonna lose her! DO NOT tell the mother! DO NOT tell the mother!! HURRY, we’re losing her!!” Through the numbness taking over my body, I briefly wonder, yet again, who this person is talking about and then, thankfully, there are no more sounds at all.

 

 About the Author:
I’m a 48 year old biracial woman who was adopted trans-racially as an infant into a Caucasian family and raised in a community where there were no other people of color within a 300-mile radius. I am finally able to proudly say that I am a Survivor and a very strong woman! I am also the mother of two wonderful children: Noah, 28 and Remington 15. Currently, I live (and swirl) in Grand Rapids, Michigan with my daughter, an elderly dog and a very naughty cat.

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To purchase, click here.

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Juicy IRR Reading: “The Tycoon’s Socialite Bride” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/interracial-romance-review-tycoons-socialite-bride/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/interracial-romance-review-tycoons-socialite-bride/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 04:47:22 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32201  Review of The Tycoon’s Socialite Bride Written by Karla   Summary: To avenge his mother’s mistreatment at the hands of her upper-crust employer, self-made real estate tycoon Marcus Pearson needs entree into their exclusive world. When D.C. socialite Pamela Harrington comes to him for help, Marcus realizes the golden admission ticket he’s been seeking has […]

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 Review of

The Tycoon’s Socialite Bride

Written by Karla

 

Summary: To avenge his mother’s mistreatment at the hands of her upper-crust employer, self-made real estate tycoon Marcus Pearson needs entree into their exclusive world. When D.C. socialite Pamela Harrington comes to him for help, Marcus realizes the golden admission ticket he’s been seeking has suddenly fallen into his lap.

 

Pamela will do anything to save her favorite cause, even agree to a marriage of convenience. The altruistic “it-girl” isn’t worried about the pretend passion with Marcus turning real; she’s sworn off powerful, driven men who use her for her family’s connections.

 

So she’ll deny the way her pulse races with one look from his crystalline blue eyes. And he’ll ignore the way his body throbs with each kiss from her full lips. Because there’s no way he’ll lose his blue-collar heart to the blue-blooded beauty.

 

Review: I really like the way Interracial Romance authors and the genre seem to be headed; this book is a perfect example of that. Although the solution to Pamela Harrington’s problem appears completely unreal, in a modern world, it actually works! Both Pamela and Marcus are well-developed characters: smart, compassionate and all-too-human. An unreal solution becomes the best way to help them grow as a couple and, eventually, find love and trust.

 

The Tycoon’s Socialite Bride is a superlative, fast-paced read, well-written and well-edited. Tracey Livesay writes like a seasoned author, though this is her debut, published novel. Word of warning; set aside time to finish the book in a day or an evening. You will not want to put it down!

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About the Author:

Tracey Livesay wrote her first romance novel at the age of eleven, called “The Healing Power of Love.” With a detour through college and law school–where she met her husband on the very first day–she’s finally achieved her dream of being a published author. She lives in Virginia with said husband and three kids. Her debut novel, The Tycoon’s Socialite Bride, is available now from Entangled Publishing. For info on her upcoming releases or to chat about TV, movies and/or purses you can check out her website (traceylivesay.com) or find her on Facebook (TraceyLivesayAuthor) and Twitter (@tlivesay).

 

“The Tycoon’s Socialite Bride” can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and All Romance e-books.

 

 

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New Interracial Relationship Fiction: “Smoke and Mirrors” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/new-interracial-relationship-fiction-smoke-mirrors/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/new-interracial-relationship-fiction-smoke-mirrors/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:16:15 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=31983 "SEX, BETRAYAL, SURVIVAL & REDEMPTION.....Smoke and Mirrors" is the latest release by literary Interracial and Multicultural Bestselling Author, Tiana Laveen.

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Smoke and Mirrors by Tiana Laveen Reviewed by Yema Nelson

a0749b7fa592f37003b3d11d77898906 “SEX, BETRAYAL, SURVIVAL & REDEMPTION…..Smoke and Mirrors” is the latest release by literary Interracial and Multicultural Bestselling Author, Tiana Laveen. This is by FAR the most CONTROVERSIAL and THOUGHT-PROVOKING book on morality and sexuality EVER WRITTEN BY LAVEEN. This book is an emotionally charged and sex-spiced page turner. It is a graphic, awe-inspiring, heart-wrenching and jaw-dropping tale of Sex, Betrayal, Survival and Redemption.

Not many authors dare to delve into subject matters that are difficult to discuss or considered culturally or morally wrong by today’s standards and sensitivities. Most authors choose to play it safe by exploring safe subjects of the heart – romance, love and hate, tragic or happy endings. To write about controversial issues such as prostitution, sex-trafficking, pornography, rape and incest is deemed “literary suicide” for an author. What sets Tiana Laveen apart from other authors however, is that she “went there”. She decided to take the plunge, the green mile, the “dead man’s walk” down that road. But Laveen just may have turned what is sure to be the most riveting and explicitly controversial book of the year into a blockbuster that will be knocking on the doors of the New York Times Best Seller List.

Having read all of Laveen’s books, “Smoke and Mirrors” was sure to plunge me into a world that I have never personally experienced in my life, neither do I have relatives that belong to that life or even relate to it. Take it from me, a good Catholic girl, raised with “the right morals” where everything is either black or white, right or wrong. I had to mentally prepare myself to read this book, because I knew the subject matter was sure to indoctrinate me into an underworld that I would find hard to imagine, let alone stomach or relate to. This book had the capability of sullying everything wonderful and beautiful and romantic about relationships and sex and instead, I was going to get a first class ticket, front row seat, VIP pass to the oldest profession in the world – Welcome to Pimps and Prostitution 101. Laveen once again took me by storm with her unparalleled, almost sleuth-like research skills that she put into writing this book. As green as I am, I took the time to speak with individuals who knew of individuals who can back up and confirm to a “T”, EVERYTHING that Laveen wove into this intriguing story.

Smoke and Mirrors” resonated with me in three MIND-BLOWING ways. The impact upon me was so great that I intend to share with potential readers, naysayers, critics and conservatives the reason WHY they should read this book. Many have already made up in their minds based on the “blurb” of this book being about a Pimp and a Madam, that they will absolutely, never, ever read such literature because by doing so, it would be tantamount to condoning it and going so far as to consider it blasphemous and morally bankrupt. For the record, Laveen neither supports nor condones prostitution, child sex-trafficking or violence against women in any form, method or appearance. That Laveen is brave enough and open-minded enough to write about a topic that has been around since the beginning of time and puts a human face to it, is a real testament to not only her craft, but her ability to see the good and the human side of people regardless of what they do or the “sins” they commit.

There is a reason for the saying, “Let He Who Is without Sin, Cast the First Stone”. So for all you religious zealots, modern day Pharisees and Sadducees. This book is especially for you. As I mentioned, Laveen’s “Smoke and Mirrors” hit me in three mind-blowing ways: Pimps, Whores, and Madams – They exist and it’s not what you thought it was Brent “Smoke” Patterson is a Pimp – an almost 7 foot White Pimp at that. He was the product of a “family curse” in which his good looks and charm allowed him to carry on the family tradition as passed down from his grandfather to his father and now to him. To many people, white pimps are not prevalent though they do exist. Laveen challenges the status quo and doesn’t go for the obvious easy-to-write-about “Black pimp” or “Hispanic pimp” which is more the norm in the sex-trafficking circles in the United States. No, Laveen introduces us to a white young man, who, for all intents and purposes, given his “white privilege” should have evolved into a smart young man from a good family and gone on to fulfill the “American Dream” complete with blonde wife, two and a half kids and a dog living in a house with a white picket fence! Nah uh! Instead, we get “Smoke”, who is the product of a broken loveless marriage, with a controlling psychotic pedophile for a mother and an absent pimp for a father. His parents choices forced his choices – as ridiculous as that may sound to most, his life was already put on a trajectory of survival mode. Faced with life choices that no man-child should have to entertain at his age, he is faced with the very real circumstances of life. He follows in his father’s footsteps and becomes a Pimp.

Enter Paris, a former prostitute, whose own father was a pimp and her mother a drug-addicted prostitute, decides to turn her circumstances around to do the only thing that she knows how to, to survive. Both Smoke and Paris were abused and hurt by their own flesh and blood, and instead of using the pain of their abuse by inflicting it on their “stable” of whores, we discover instead that yes, there are actually pimps and madams and whores who do have a heart. That threw me for a loop. What amounts to “sex slavery” controlled by pimps is instead totally turned on its head by this Pimp and Madam. Smoke and Paris engage in the illegal, morally reprehensible profession of prostitution and sex-trafficking, but theirs is an establishment that attempts to make the best of a bad situation. A pimp who lets his “bitches” keep most of their money, keeps them clean, fed, clothed, healthy and safe and is never violent with them. A pimp who is compassionate, caring, protective and considerate. A madam who treats her “girls” more like her sisters. Buys them clothes, keeps them safe, provides housing and pays them exceptionally well. I could go on, but I think you catch my drift. An unusual set of circumstances makes the best of a bad situation.

What shocked me the most? These are people, with feelings, hopes and dreams. Of course their profession is repulsive. But Smoke and Paris gave me pause. I had to take my judgmental gloves off. A Love Story – Yes, even Pimps and Whores need “love” too In the truest sense of the word, this was indeed a love story. “Smoke and Mirrors” grittiness and hard-core story into the world of Pimps and Prostitution in many ways is a more believable tale of sex, love, betrayal and redemption than the most popular bestselling romance novel out there today. Again, Tiana Laveen’s uncanny ability to take you by the hand and lead you head first into the sordid history and details of sex-trafficking, is unparalleled. Most people know or are related to someone who is either in the life or has connections to the life. That Smoke and Paris represent “real people” who do this for a living and also deal with the day to day challenges of life only to be blind-sided by love, gave this tale a “human” feel to this. That these two individuals use their pain, abuse and anguish for something “good” challenges the reader to take stock of the choices that we as individuals make based on events we have no control over, and the ramifications of those choices, whether good or bad. One may still ask, “What is good about pimping and hoing?” In reality, nothing.

But yet and still, the moral compass of “goodness” in Smoke and Paris and the lives that goodness impacted becomes the beacon of light in this story. Despite the ugly and tragic circumstances of their respective childhoods, something beautiful is born between them. Yes, out of something so vile and unconscionable, something of beauty and purity emerges. Faith, Hope and Love. One would have expected them to be bitter, violent, pessimistic and soul-less. But instead, these two individuals show you that beneath it all, regardless of one’s station in life, love is at the heart of what we crave. In some way and fashion, being wanted is at the heart of what people desire. Yes, even for the so-called “lowlifes of the sex underworld”. Faith and Redemption This book had me in an emotional and crying mess. I found myself rooting for Brent “Smoke” Patterson and Paris “Pussycat” Ramon. I found myself not only impressed with both these characters, but I also had a strong respect for them. Without giving away too much of the story, the fact that when faced with life-changing adversity, both of them chose not to rely on their pimping and prostitution acumen for survival and sustenance, but both instead relied on their belief in each other, the love for each other in their hearts and faith to turn their lives around. Yes. I said FAITH! You see, to those people reading this book (or those who refuse to read it), this is about FAITH. It is about going through a set of circumstances that not only tests you, but ultimately brings you out of it bigger, better and stronger than you were before. It’s about being baptized by fire, and being face to face with your own personal demons, for the sole purpose of realizing that yes, there are second chances and yes, there is a God and Creator.

The title of my review was chosen carefully. My favorite song (Maria Magdalena – by Sandra) and one of my favorite stories in the Bible is that of the prostitute Mary Magdalene, who was “caught” in the act of adultery and dragged by a mob of men, half naked, to Jesus for him to judge her. Her accusers were those thought to be of a higher moral and religious stock – Pharisees, Sadducees, Sanhedrin and Rabbis. When confronted, these “religious leaders” who were supposedly above reproach quoted that according to the law, Mary Magdalene should be put to death by stoning. Seeking approval and confirmation from Jesus, they asked for his verdict. He agreed with them, that the law was correct in condemning her to death via stoning. However, He also calmly stated that those among them, without sin, should be the ones to cast the first stone. Not a single stone was thrown that day at a prostitute, madam and whore named Mary Magdalene. There is a lesson in this. “We” are so quick to pass judgment on others, be it for their profession, their calling, their preferences, their sexual orientation etc. This story clearly demonstrates that despite the eye-brow raising and illegal profession of Smoke and Paris, because they were inherently good people on the inside, and cared for others and treated others with respect, despite their “sins”, they too deserved and were given a second chance at life.

From a Pimp to a respectable, hard-working Pilot, educated, responsible man and father; and from a Madam who was a former prostitute and raped multiple times as a teenager, to an honest, educated, legitimate business woman and mother – Smoke and Paris are the embodiment of what “Go and Sin no more” means. From being angry at a God whose very existence was questioned, to discovering a greater force at work for them and that they were on a journey of faith all this time. This was a true moment of clarity and absolute awe for me. And just like this author, writing about a topic that most would deem unmentionable. In this case, Laveen chose to write about an eye-opening account of the underworld known as prostitution, pimping and sex-trafficking. Those who feel “too godly or too saved” to read this book, you may be surprised at the lesson and the message that is being gifted to you. I don’t condone any of the illegal acts depicted in “Smoke and Mirrors” and yes at times, I cringed when reading about “Bottom Bitches” and “Ho’s” and “Tricks”. But what

I took away from this is that THIS STUFF IS REAL. It exists and not reading about it doesn’t make it disappear. I applaud those men and women who successfully made it “out of the life” and Tiana Laveen tells their story in the most respectful, realistic and painfully accurate way. “Smoke and Mirrors” is Tiana Laveen’s best work yet. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has ever thought that their life path and circumstances and doomed them to a future of misery and despair. I also recommend this book to those who seek only to “cast their stones of judgment” on others for their life choices. “Smoke and Mirrors” is just that – not all is as it seems. And if you just take the time to get past the smoke and mirrors of life, you too may one day see the beauty within, regardless of the package it came wrapped up in.     And yes, this bestseller would make an outstanding, award-winning Hollywood TV movie! Casting call for Brent “Smoke” Patterson please!

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New Interracial Relationship Fiction: “The Wrong Man” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/new-interracial-relationship-fiction-wrong-man/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/new-interracial-relationship-fiction-wrong-man/#comments Sat, 12 Jul 2014 05:40:49 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=31615 Review of The Wrong Man by Karla Fears   What is a woman to do when temperatures soar into the triple digits? The best solution is to turn up the air-conditioner, sip a cold drink and read Delaney Diamond’s new book, The Wrong Man. You will find the drink and cool air are de rigeur […]

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Review of The Wrong Man by Karla Fears

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What is a woman to do when temperatures soar into the triple digits? The best solution is to turn up the air-conditioner, sip a cold drink and read Delaney Diamond’s new book, The Wrong Man. You will find the drink and cool air are de rigeur for this sizzling read. A fast-paced, spicy, interracial romance, this book is definitely for mature audiences only.

Talia Jackson, an accomplished African-American woman, lives a tightly-controlled, elegant lifestyle as the Vice President of an advertising firm. Enter Tomas Molina, a gorgeous, Cuban Alpha male who has endured pain and hardship to become a successful businessman. When he and Talia meet at a party, tension causes sparks to fly, eventually into a conflagration.

I found The Wrong Man to be an excellent way of passing my afternoon. Both Talia and Tomas were believable characters, making it easy to root for their success. It was refreshing to read an interracial romance without the usual sturm und drang that crops up as a primary plot. You know what I’m talking about. African-American woman meets man of another race, likes him, listens to her African-American friends/family tell her how wrong her relationship is, breaks up with him on a technicality, only to end up with him despite what her friends/family think. These two were adults without that sort of baggage. I was delighted to see that Ms. Diamond did not delve into typical stereotypes, e.g. the crazy, jealous African- American man. Talia and her ex-husband had issues but they were able to deal with them maturely.

The Wrong Man is Delany Diamond’s best book to date. It was a very pleasant, very uplifting read that had me wanting more when it ended. I cannot wait for the next book in the series. If it lives up to the quality of this book, Ms. Diamond has a new fan!

To purchase The Wrong Man, click here.

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Our Favorite Interracial Romance Authors Made History This Week! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/favorite-interracial-romance-authors-made-history-week/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/favorite-interracial-romance-authors-made-history-week/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 03:38:48 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=31567 Some of your favorite IR novelists got catapulted to main stream a few days ago when they were featured on USA Today. The line up for the Scandalous Heroes collection! Except: Nine authors — Sienna Mynx, Latrivia Nelson, Pepper Pace, Bridget Midway, Serenity King, Aliyah Burke, Tiana Laveen, Yvette Hines, Erosa Knowles — offer up a […]

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Some of your favorite IR novelists got catapulted to main stream a few days ago when they were featured on USA TodayThe line up for the Scandalous Heroes collection!

scandalous-heroes-amazon

Except:

Nine authors — Sienna Mynx, Latrivia Nelson, Pepper Pace, Bridget Midway, Serenity King, Aliyah Burke, Tiana Laveen, Yvette Hines, Erosa Knowles — offer up a great array of stories with the common theme of “scandalous heroes.” From the sensual to the erotic, these men represent all backgrounds with passion for life, passion for their women and hearts big enough to fall in love.

These nine great stories have something for every taste — alphas, shifters, Doms, billionaires, blue-collar hunks and urban heroes. Stories include Raw Exposure by Aliyah Burke, Vasily’s Revenge by Latrivia Nelson, Double Trouble: Men of 3X CONStruction by Erosa Knowles, Tattooed Moon by Tiana Laveen, Last Call by Bridget Midway, The Wrath of Michael by Serenity King.

In addition, I have to give a few shout-outs for these captivating stories: Rallenti by Sienna Mynx with its Sicilian enforcer, Renaldo Cracchiolo, and his sexy and beautiful shoemaker, Kyra Okeeno. Great introduction to the Battaglia Mafia series with fast-paced, vibrant and sexy romance, coupled with a great cast of characters that add the right amount of drama, humor, and suspense.

Everything Is Everything by Pepper Pace surprised me because it wasn’t the run-of-the-mill romance. Pace’s creatively unique style had the power to pull me into the lives of these teens. Set in the ’70s, neighborhoods, lives, and individual consequences collide. These young adults have grown-folk-size issues to deal with on a daily basis, and yet, their hearts still seek love and hope. A truly compelling tale with a cliffhanger ending, but the emotional investment is solidly there at the end of the story.

Sieged by Rym by Yvette Hines is a wickedly sexy brew of paranormal, science-fiction and erotica. The battle of the sexes feels like a tennis match between the elite — thanks to Hines’ artistry with suspense and sexual tension.

 

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It’s Here! Author Tiana Laveen’s New “Saint and Sinners” Book is Live! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/author-tiana-laveens-new-saint-sinners-book-live/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/author-tiana-laveens-new-saint-sinners-book-live/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 18:11:01 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=31320 The sexy tale continues with Tiana Laveen’s latest, Saint and Sinners! This book can be read as a stand-alone; however, the reader is at a tremendous disservice if the previous series installments are not read in chronological order. They are as follows: 1. The Naughty Sins of a Saint 2. When Saint Goes Marching In […]

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The sexy tale continues with Tiana Laveen’s latest, Saint and Sinners!

This book can be read as a stand-alone; however, the reader is at a tremendous disservice if the previous series installments are not read in chronological order. They are as follows:

1. The Naughty Sins of a Saint
2. When Saint Goes Marching In
3. Saved and SAINTified
4. Saint’s Sacrament – Sins of the Father
5. Saint and Sinners – The King Angel Child of New York

SYNOPSIS

Dr. Saint Aknaten’s very soul is screaming to return to the city of his origins — New York. After living many years with his wife and three children in Los Angeles, he has grown weary of the West Coast lifestyle. He returns to his roots, believing he and his family can have a fresh go of it and that good times will be promised to them from here on out. Little does Saint know his hunger for the concrete jungle is not steeped in mere nostalgia and home sickness – no, there is a much larger picture at play and the artists painting the landscape are ones he simply cannot say no to.

He is thrust into an assignment, one that causes him serious pause, but in typical Saint fashion, he realizes he MUST step up to the plate. In so doing, he uncloaks the city’s dirty, hidden secrets — underground workings of Good and Evil — and unbeknownst to him, he is seated in the center of it. Worst of all, the enemy knows more about Saint than Saint at times knows of himself. All the while his family is going through tremendous changes and challenges that seem to have no end in sight. His children are maturing in age and their gifts, sometimes receiving painful life lessons. Xenia tries to keep her head above water at the side of her soulmate, husband, lover, father of her children, and Angel Child. This time, however, being by his side is simply not enough. The challenges roll in harder and more brutally, forcing Saint’s Queen to step in front of her man and take control of a situation that threatens their marriage…and even the world.

Saint has received a heaping helping of tough love from New York but realizes it is better to have loved and lost than to have never had the Big Apple kiss him at all. When is all said and done, who will wear the golden crown? Who will remain standing and who will be six feet under? And most importantly, will his Queen be there in the end to give him the love that he needs? Jump into the fifth installment of the “Saint” series to find out!

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