African American Literacy and the “A.A. Community” Page

Heya,

As an African American writer I’ve realized just how much I need to portray ‘us’ as we want to be seen, need to be seen, in all of my books. I am dedicating a category to Black Authors because I want to lift up my community and support them in anyway that I can. Awareness is a great way to do so.

One of the first things I plan to highlight in this tab are black owned bookstores. It is important for black people to be given the gift of reading. Historically, it’s not something we are supposed to do. It’s a different day and age now. We have a chance to rise up and become better than we were. Catering to communities without reading and writing materials should be a priority. We should have every opportunity available to enhance our minds, souls and to educate ourselves. This isn’t something we can expect to be given to us. As current standards show, we must do it in our own communities.

That being said, we also have to use the resources given to us. Them being there for us to take is not enough! If we are given a bookstore but we never go in…how does that help us? If we are given a safe place to read and to enjoy the company of other scholars but we defile it, trash it and destroy its sanctuary…how does that inspire other would-be black business owners? Please share your thoughts on this. Comment what you think is the best way to help with literacy in the African American Community.

So keep watch of the “African American Community” page! If you want to support a black author or find a black owned bookstore follow the blog and hit this tab! I’ll be updating soon!

If you’ve read any books by black authors lately that you really enjoyed, feel free to write them in the comments below! Send me a link! Share the love! I’m always looking for great suggestions and plan to keep this tab up to date with new posts.
Happy Readdance,
Jade

Discouraging Doubts of Editing

I am a Writer…not an editor. I don’t pretend to be one. I don’t allude to being one.

I spend a lot of my time writing from the heart and getting the creative juices flowing. I’m a conversational writer and that structure doesn’t sit well with everyone. That’s fine! I’ve found my voice and I will use it. Unfortunately, that means mistakes will be made and therefore will need to be corrected.

They say to not worry about the editing or the grammar, initially.
JUST GET THE WORDS OUT! They say.

YOU CAN’T EDIT A BLANK PAGE! They yell.

See?

Yes, that’s all fine and dandy until you finally finish your WIP and you start the editing process and BAM! It’s riddled with creative run on sentences and misplaced commas.

People often think that being a writer is synonymous with having perfect grammar. It is not.

Honore De Balzac was an amazing storyteller. He was a French playwright and novelist. He spun relationships so well you thought these people were apart of your own family. As it stands, he was horrible at grammar and sentence structure. That was even after it’d been edited and translated to English.

That’s just one example.

Enter…procrastination. I finished Phoenix a few weeks ago. I wanted to give it a breather even though I knew I need to start editing and revising. I haven’t started either.

I know that apart of it is fear. As a writer who has been crafting stories since I was a young child, I always knew I would eventually publish. It was never a matter of if but when. That being said, writing a book knowing it would be published, for the entire world to see, is completely different than writing something because I’m obsessed with the story and it wouldn’t let me go.

I’ve written several books. Finished several books. However, Phoenix will be the first book, other than a previous college endeavor, that I will be officially publishing. Phoenix will be under J.B. Jemison. It will be the start of a very long and healthy career as an Author and that is daunting. Very. I can almost taste the fear and anticipate the heat of embarrassment. Not that it will happen, not that I want it to happen…that’s just what my brain does. So, my mind has translated it to heavy procrastination.

Fortunately, I am more than my fear. I am more than failure. I will succeed. The only way I can do that is to revise and edit Phoenix so it is ready to pitch. That is what I will be doing with my weekend, to start.

 

Happy Readdance,

Jade

Book Review: The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

Three years ago Madison Culver went missing at the age of five while looking for a Christmas tree with her family. Private investigator Naomi Cottle continues the investigation and believes that Madison’s disappearance can only be the result of an abduction. Naomi’s personal journey from foster child to adulthood parallels her search for Madison, and as her fears and sources of determination come to light, the narrative also dips into Madison’s mind, allowing readers to experience her terrifying ordeal at the hands of her captor.

This was a book that I randomly picked up at the library and I’m so glad I did. I will not lie and say I don’t ‘judge books by their cover’ but I do. Most of us do. Usually, the title and cover draw me in and then the synopsis makes me take it home. That was the case with this one. I started reading it at 11:30pm, which any self respecting nerd knows they SHOULD NOT do. I finished it the same night. 3:40am and I closed the book with a sense of peace and completion.

I usually don’t like books that have any form of child abuse in them. I experienced abuse, neglect and other poisonous happenings as a kid and it’s not something I want to read about. I enjoy reading and often times, I am doing it because it makes me feel better. I also do it because I used it as a coping mechanism as a kid. It keeps me safe. It hides me until I’m ready to fight. Why read about something that I’ve been trying to escape my entire life…and all that jazz.

That being said, I had no idea this book would have any mention of that. Yes, I read the synopsis but I definitely thought this was going down a different path. I believe that the fact that I read it, that I continued to push forward, speaks for itself.

The Child Finder
The way Denfeld writes is so beautiful that I couldn’t put the book down. The way she spins each touch and each look as subtle metaphors, from the woods, will surprise you. At first, you will say, “Is she talking about…?”

I wanted to read more, wanted to see what happened to this small child. I wanted to find out if Naomi would find the child or if there would only be bones or worse…nothing at all? I asked myself if I was ok with it ending either way. I asked myself if Naomi could really do this without any super powers. If this was going to have some sort of paranormal or supernatural element. I wanted to know if she was the kid whisperer.

I wanted Madison to be found. I wanted her to be lost. I wanted to see how her parents grieved and, after all these years, how they coped. At 330am, I was coming upon the end of the book and I had to sit up. I had to prepare myself for the end. It was just amazing.

I would recommend this to any and everyone. Trust me, this one is worth reading. I will say, I also plan to look at other books by her. I love her writing style and I want to know more!

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Happy Readdance,

Jade

Link to Book

Cherchez La Vie: June 2018

 

Cherchez la Vie
Look for Life

 

This June’s Cherchez La Vie went amazingly. I actually celebrated on Sunday, which is crazy that I’ve never done that before with, you know…Sunday being my favorite day of the week. I’m glad I did because I’ve never had a Cherchez turn out better than this one.

Itinerary:
I woke up early, a new occurrence for me, and I got out my notecards. It was time to take stock of the last 6 months. A moment of introspection and reflection; see what really happened, what I’ve gone through and where my head is at now. I thought of the things I accomplished from the last Cherchez, in December 2017. I thought of what goals I didn’t meet, what I didn’t even try to do and what was very easy for me to do. Then I thought of the next 6 months, what I want to do, what I think I can do and what I know is life changing.
(The important thing about goal making is being realistic. Yes, it’s important to make goals that push you but it’s also important to know there are steps to everything. Sometimes you have to slowly take each…step…at…a…time instead of expecting to jump right to the top; of weight loss, a finished book or hair growth goals.)

Then I wrote my list of ‘June 2018 Cherchez La Vie’ goals. Your list can be big or small, important things or just a simple To-Do list, anything. I choose to do both and some I roll over from the last list. I have life goals, relationship goals, randomly jotted down goals and also house goals. I have big dreams and I know that every Cherchez I need to be doing SOMETHING that gets me closer to my aspirations.

  1. Completely pack up everything for the move.
  2. Edit and Revise Phoenix.
  3. Prep pitch for PitchWars in August.
  4. Consistently go to gym (roll over)
  5. Find new apt and move
  6. Get rid of unwanted clothes, minimize
  7. Paint at least 1 canvas
  8. Get 401k set up! (Done)
  9. Set new weekly hair routine
  10. Clean apt for move
  11. Buy more book shelves!
  12. Buy a writing desk!
  13. Go to Yoga in the park for the first time (Done!)
  14. Cook steak and potatoes- fancy
  15. Meditate daily for 1 week (Initially)
  16. Write FF Anthology Piece
  17. Consistently write ASR Posts
  18. Officially set up and promote ASR Newsletter
  19. More Photos with Tony
  20. Experience more of the city
  21. Wake up earlier- more often (eek!)
  22. Make female friends- consistent friends (roll over)
  23. Read more (roll over)

After making my list of goals I ate breakfast and then got ready to leave. I attended the Yoga in the park class for the first time! So I can mark that off my list! I was so excited because I loved yoga in college. I was definitely more fit back in college; I ate healthier and worked out more. I didn’t have a car, at first, so I was always moving. Since getting a car, and moving here, I realized that I live a very sedentary life and I don’t eat nearly as healthy as I could. I’ve just recently been trying to do things that can work out my body and my mind simultaneously so this was a great start.

Yoga in park

 

After Yoga I talked about society, culture, and life as a black woman with a new friend. I’ve been looking for ways to enhance my life and having a female friend is definitely a way to do so. I love my guy and all but having someone to chat with, laugh with, hell…giggle with, is very important. I have been missing that since I moved here and I knew creating a book club is one of the best ways to do that.

Once we parted ways I took my time walking through downtown and taking in the weather. I stopped at the library to pick up more books. Even though I read a ton, I could always read MORE and so that’s on the list, of course. So…I sat in the park downtown and read for hours. It was amazing.

Then I got rained on.

So I ran to get food, bagged up my books and walked back to the car. Having curly hair is a great thing in this case. My books were tightly protected so I could really take my time, breathing in the rain, the scent of moisture and peace.

After I got home I relaxed with my guy, read, wrote and reflected over how the day had passed. I couldn’t help the sense of true peace that seemed to heal all my worry and strife for the day. I could truly sit and not feel like I should be up working more, fighting more, getting more strength, breathing more…I could just stop.

And that is what this holiday does for me. That is what Cherchez La Vie can do for you. It’s looking for life, searching for life, searching for THE life. Creating this holiday in high school was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my entire life.

So participate! Go head, it’s not too late to make your list of goals for the next 6 months. The next Cherchez is December 30, 2018. You can change your life in that time. I’ve done it! Just think, on my goal list for December 2017 I wrote “Start school to finish bachelors degree” and now I’m finishing my second semester. I also had “Write and pitch a book” on that list and I’m actually pitching Phoenix next month! Trust me…it works!

 

Cherchez la Vie
Look for Life

Happy Readdance,

Jade

First Rule of Book Club Is…

Heya,
I’m so excited!!! There goes that word again.

So I need more friends. More friends that read, more friends of common interests, more female friends. My guy is great but there is just something about a genuine female friend that you can call your own. Not like a pet, but something akin to family. Something stronger than family.

So obviously…I created a book club. I posted in a few of the book groups I’m apart of on Facebook and several women answered. I’m so happy. I’m going to be reading books anyway so why not make a few friends while I’m at it?

Anyway, so…ever the planner (which, I’m not really but am I about this sort of stuff? idk, IDK!), I created a google folder with documents in it for rules and guidelines and book club stuffs. I love it! So our first official meeting is in August. We used a choosing method, where it rotates every month, and the first book and Chooser have already been selected!

For our first book, we are reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It sounds really interesting and is apparently very famous, but I hadn’t heard of it before now. The cover and synopsis are below.

I am adding a category to the books tab so that I can write posts about our club and all things book discussion! This will be great!

Good Readdance,
Jade

 

Little Fires Everywhere

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Link to Book

Book Review: Close Contact and Close Encounter by Katherine Allred

I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.

Close Contact, the second book in the sequel, (from the info I found) came out in 2010. I don’t get why there aren’t more books in the series. It legit makes me sad.

I lost sleep over these books.

So the first book I started at 11:30pm and I was so engrossed in it. I thought I’d only read a chapter or two but then as the night grew on, I just couldn’t put it down. A few hours, and a couple of bathroom trips, later I’d finished all 360 pages of the book. It was close to 4am and I had to wake up for work at 6:10am. I was exhausted but content.

I love the main character, I love the plot, I love the romance, the science fiction, the dragon birds, everything! When I turned the last page I knew that I had to find and request the next book in the series before I’d let myself go to sleep. I requested Close Contact through the library and then I realized, it might take days to come. I couldn’t wait that long! So I found it on Overdrive and borrowed it there.

I was so tired that after I got off work I fully intended to lay my head down for just a few hours and I ended up sleeping for 11 hours straight.
Luckily, I didn’t have to wait too long. The second book came on Monday. Immediately picked up where I left off in the Ebook. I loved it as well. It didn’t come as close as Close Encounter but I loved it.
I would definitely, definitely recommend reading these books. They are great, witty, funny, interesting and with a big sprinkle of romance!

Here are the covers!

 

close encounters

The Bureau of Alien Affairs needed a special GEP agent with empathic abilities to handle their most extraordinary assignments—and a rogue geneticist saw to it that Kiera fit their specifications. But she turned out stronger, faster, smarter, and more impervious to harm than anyone anticipated. A reluctant “superhero,” Kiera wishes she were normal, but it is not to be.

On Orpheus Two, the indigenous Buri race faces extinction, a prospect the powerful Dynatec corporation welcomes and, in fact, may be actively hastening. It is Kiera’s job to protect these beautiful, exotic aliens . . . and to discover what there is on Orpheus Two that Dynatec feels is worth killing for.

But the magnetic allure of Thor, the breathtaking Buri leader, is proving a dangerous distraction. And now, to save Thor’s people, Kiera will need a power she’s never before possessed—something hidden in the unexplored recesses of her heart.

 

Close contact

A Genetically Engineered Person and self-proclaimed “party girl,” Echo Adams loves her diplomatic job entertaining alien bigwigs for the Galactic Federation. But the Bureau of Alien Affairs has discovered she’s much more than she thinks-that a rogue scientist endowed her with skills and psi abilities dwarfing those of common GEPs. And suddenly Echo’s luxury life is over, replaced with a far more dangerous one: a special agent expected to not only chase bad guys, but eliminate them.

Echo’s hates being stuck on Madrea-a planet of technophobes off limits to Federation visitors-hunting for a stolen quartz crystal with a powerful alien lifeform embedded inside. She despises the Bureau’s restrictive rules-especially the one warning her away from the dangerously seductive Commander of the King’s Forces. And if she doesn’t learn how to use her alleged super-psi powers soon, her partying days-in fact all of her days-will be over for good.

Good Readdance,
Jade

Link to Book

So…Many…Books!

Heya,

We are moving out of our apartment in August. The crazy thing is that, yes, I’ve started packing already. I am so glad that I am because I already have five duffle bags and four big boxes filled with books and I haven’t even touched the other rooms.

We have so much stuff in comparison to when we first moved in two years ago. I’ve bought three bookshelves and I plan to get a few more as well as smaller bedside tables to put my tiny lamps on. I love to read in bed and this is definitely going to be a happy moment for me.

Another thing is that I have no doubt I will be buying more books between now and our move out day. I am keeping a box empty just in case I do…which I will. So, full circle. We are actually going to get a moving company because there is no way I will be able to carry any of these boxes. My guy is considerably stronger than I am but even he won’t be able to lift them. Hopefully the movers come with a dolly.

In our new apartment, I’m hoping to set up our TV and library room just how I like it and keep it that way. I don’t currently have a writing desk but I will be buying one to fit in a tiny alcove that the new apartment has tucked between the living room and the bedroom wall. It’s right next to our porch so I could swivel and watch the horizon as I write.  There’s also enough space for one or two of my tiny bookshelves to fit. It’ll be so awesome!

Anyway! Do you guys have separate rooms or spaces for your books? Give me some ideas! How do you work your love for books into your home?

Good Readdance,

Jade

A Scholar Review Newsletter!

Heya!

I’m very excited about this.

Yes, you’re right, excited is my favorite word on this blog. I’ve probably used it in every post but it’s true! I mean, don’t you want someone who is passionate about their writing and about books?
Anyway, I currently have a Thoughts category but I will be removing it soon. I’ve created a monthly newsletter in which I will be writing this content and more. It’s going to be great. Sign up so you get a look at what’s going on with me, the blog and what’s new in the writing world! Well…my writing world.

I have plenty of things that I want to share with you. Signing up for the newsletter gives you a chance to hear words from me personally and get a leg up on all the non-followers! I have it scheduled to come out at the end of the month so sign up before then to be involved! For those that do, you will receive a shout out on my blog and social media as the first Jadenites! That’s entirely too cheesy, I won’t be using that. I promise.

This is the first newsletter so weigh in, tell me what you think, and what you’d like to see more on the page. In the newsletters following I’ll be answering any questions in a Q&A. So if you’d like to know more about me or my process don’t forget to leave them below.

Follow the journey and come along for the ride!

Good Readdance,
Jade

Book Review: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

As the carrier of a rare gene, Sirantha Jax has the ability to jump ships through grimspace-a talent which makes her a highly prized navigator for the Corp. Then a crash landing kills everyone on board, leaving Jax in a jail cell with no memory of the crash. But her fun’s not over. A group of rogue fighters frees her…for a price: her help in overthrowing the established order.

This is it!

This is the book I was talking about the other day. I’m still not exactly sure if this book is more fantasy than romance but I don’t care. I loved it. I blindly picked up the first three books in this series and I’m glad I went in unbiased. It was definitely a surprise.

Sirantha Jax is an amazing main character. She has dimension, fight and power. I love the way Aguirre really made you care about her, fear for her safety but also want to slap her. There are a few times in the book where I was just like girl, pull it together! I was rooting for her, for the crew and I need that in a book. I need to WANT the character to win, even if it also means losing. I need to be behind them and I was for her the entire ride.

 

Grimspace

 

I will say, I spent a healthy amount of time crying at the end. The book takes you on a wild ride from the very first chapter. On the edge of my seat. Wanting to know what’s next. Hoping she won’t fade into nothingness.

I would definitely recommend this book. That is definitely saying something as it’s from first person point of view and trust me…that is NOT my favorite pov. It intrigued me and the writing held a sense of urgency that made you want to read for hours. Which, of course, I did. If you are looking for something heavy on space, heavy on plot, heavy on inner turmoil, this is the book for you. Don’t worry about the romance, it is more mental than physical and makes the subplot ever so sweeter.

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it (or listened to it) yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Good Readance,

Jade

 

 

Link To Book

The Book That Made Me A Reader

Heya!

So I am beyond excited! I can’t even believe I’m writing this right now.

When I was a young  foster girl, sad and angry, I needed a coping mechanism to fill the void love loss left in me. I found that in The Westing Game. I was around seven years old when I first read it.

I had been looking for it for so long but could never remember the title or the author. All I could remember was that a ton of people are invited to a house as heirs to a large estate. There’s intrigue, mystery and crazy twists. A huge competition would pit them against each other until one lone person came out the winner…and single heir. Something to do with a guy named West…or something. I tried every form of google search but couldn’t come up with results that fit the book.

Then, a good friend of mine told me she was moving back to her home state. ‘Can you come over and help me pack?’ Of course! Then she added ‘and you can look through my books and take whatever you like!’ Umm…what? She had a ton of books from the 90’s. All those old covers and big pants. I loved it! We had the greatest time!

And then…I saw it. The instant she pulled it from the book I almost cried. My heart nearly exploded. The Westing Game!! That was the title! That was the book I read at least twice a month! That was the book that made me want to read any and everything I could get my hands on. All the old memories rushed through my mind and I grasp it to my chest.

I’d finally found it. It was finally mine.

I’m going to read it again. I don’t even care if it’s different than I remember. My inner child is jumping for joy and shivering with anticipation.

Dramatic, I know…this is me.

No google found photos here. This is the actual book on my bookshelf. Yes!

TheWestingGame

Good Readdance,
Jade

 

P.S. I picked up 50 books in total.

 

allthebooks

 

Link to Book