Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Give Away! Enter by 9/19/11!

We are proud to announce our next book give away!!
to give away to 2 lucky winners!!
Please email us @ pg.59bookclub@gmail.com
to enter your chance to win your free copy today! 
Enter by 9/19/2011!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Awakenings: Epiphanies Along a Spiritual Journey by Big Meach

This month Pg.59 is excited to  highlight someone close to our book club family.  A friend, brother, and a true inspiration, Demetris Taylor aka Big Meach.   His passion for performing arts and activism began in his native city, Detroit, MI.  Demetris has served as the voice of the Transgender/Big Boy Community, speaking at Detroit Town Hall meetings and participating in many sit-ins across the metro area.  He later transitioned to Atlanta, GA where he continues to advocate for the Transgender/Big Boy Community.  He is the creator and host of "Dishing Tea with Big Meach" a blog radio show that airs each Wednesday from 1p-2p. 

 In 2011, he added author to his list of accomplishments, releasing his first self-published book, Awakenings: Epiphanies Along a Spiritual Journey.   In his book, Awakenings, he shares a collection of blogs that have been the pinnacle of spiritual development and discernment for the author. Not only does this body of work offer the insight from the life experiences of the author, it provides the reader an amazing opportunity to go on a journey that will awaken insight into their own higher power. 

Be warned.... this book is not for the faint of heart as it is a true expression of experiences by the author.  Join us as he shares his journey. 

For more information and book purchases, please visit www.facebook.com/AwakeBigMeach or www.dishingtea.com

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Review: Dancing Her Dreams Away by Alretha Thomas

Title:  Dancing Her Dreams Away
Author: Alretha Thomas
Pages:  318
Publisher: Diverse Arts Collective, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0615458175
Age: 16+

Front Cover
The front cover of this book draws the reader in along with the title, “Dancing Her Dreams Away.”  Why would this girl be dancing away her dreams??  First thought… What choices has she made that has lead her to a challenging/compromising situation where her dreams are no longer a priority?  Let me check it out!

Background (Provided by Amazon)
Shelia King, a fun-loving grandma’s girl, needs to keep her days open for auditions in the hope of landing a role that will catapult her to stardom. With the threat of eviction looming, she scrambles to find a night job and convinces the owner of a hostess club to hire her. Now she’s a dance-partner-for-hire by night and struggling thespian by day. When her agent pitches a topless role, fearing her grandmother’s disapproval, Shelia declines. But after setbacks and considerable thought, she agrees to meet the producer. Gregory Livingston III is rich, suave, ridiculously fine, and the panacea for Shelia’s career woes. At first sight she shapes plans to win the role and his heart. She gets both and works hard to give an Oscar worthy performance. However, when the movie wraps, nothing can prepare her for the startling revelations about Greg’s past and the aftermath of a dream gone awry.

My Thoughts
So, I guess you are wondering if I liked the book or not….  Well, I won’t keep you waiting.  *drum roll* Yes, I did enjoy it!  Why?  Well for starters, I liked how the author jumps right into the swing of things, introducing us to her main character (Shelia King) and her troubles.  I was able to easily visualize the scenes that the author described as the story of Shelia King unfolded.  I also liked the mystery that was present.  There was always that feeling that something was about to be revealed about one of the characters in the book and you had to keep reading in order to find out.  And YES, there is much that is revealed!! 

As far as challenges, I did find that there were a few things that were a little unbelievable or far reaching (in my opinion).  However, I think this demonstrates the creativity of the author and her way of driving the reader to believe differently from the norm.  For example (Spoiler Alert!!), Shelia could have easily been working in a strip club instead of a club where men come to ballroom dance with a partner for a small fee or a “dance-partner-for-hire.”  I believe the author challenges us to move away from the typical result/outcome of a struggling aspiring actress to a more positive one.  Another challenge this was how quickly she fell for Gregory Livingston.  Now, I have heard of love at first site, but wow!  I felt as though they should have dated at least three days before they were madly in love.  Just to make sure he wasn’t a toad (LOL)!  Lastly, I did not really connect the title with the plot directly.  I understand how they can be associated; however, I did not see how dancing was the direct result of her dreams being jeopardized.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book!  The turn of events at the end of the book that allowed Shelia to restore and rebuild her life was awesome.  It was a very emotional experience and I actually was able to take something from her healing process and apply it to my own life.
My recommendation for this book is:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Give Away *Update*

Pg.59 Congratulates
the winner of our book give away,
"Dancing Her Dreams Away"

by: Alretha Thomas

Many thanks to everyone that participated!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pg.59 Interviews Author Alretha Thomas

Pg.59 was given the opportunity to find out a little more about Alretha Thomas, the author of our book give away this month. We hope you enjoy the interview as much as we did and support her by purchasing a copy of her book!

Author: Alretha Thomas

About the book:
(Pg.59) Briefly, tell us a little about your book and what inspired you to write it.  
(A.T.) “Dancing Her Dreams Away” takes place in 1985 and is about a young woman named Shelia King who wants to be a star. She never knew her father and her mother wasn’t around very much. Her only living and know relative is her religious grandmother who raised her. Outside of her grandmother, she’s closest to her best friend Edwina. Shelia’s dream seems within reach when her agent tells her about a part in a movie. The only caveat, she would have to be topless. Not wanting to disappoint her grandmother, she declines. She eventually reconsiders and meets the producer, Gregory Livingston III. He’s rich, handsome, and blows her away. She gets the part and his heart. However, when the movie wraps there’s a screening and the images on the screen are not what she remembers filming.  These images send her into a tailspin and I can’t tell too much more, or I’ll give away the story. I wrote “Dancing Her Dreams Away” almost a year ago. A lot of readers who had read my debut novel “Daughter Denied” wanted me to write the sequel to that novel. I set out to do so, but it just wasn’t jiving. I wasn’t feeling it. Then I  took some time to pray and meditate and to think about something that was really close to my heart, and I remembered twenty-five years ago when I was pursuing acting, and I needed a night job, so I could audition during the day. I got a job in a dance hall. It’s called taxi-dancing and was popular in the twenties and thirties. It’s where men pay by the minute to talk and dance with girls. I worked there for a minute, and like Shelia, I was driven to become famous. Deep down, like Shelia, I was trying to fill a hole within that was there because of the abuse I had suffered as a child.

(Pg.59) Who do you hope or want to connect with by writing this book? 
(A.T.)  I want to connect with women who missed out on that first love, the love of a father. Every young girl needs to experience unconditional love from a man, and that first man should be her father. It provides a young girl with a foundation and a sense of self-worth. When you don’t have it, like the cliché, you look for love in all the wrong places. I want these women to know that they don’t have to look for love and fulfillment in bad relationships, alcohol, drugs, gambling, or validation from others. I want them to know that they have intrinsic value.

(Pg.59)  Who was your favorite character?
(A.T.)  My favorite character is Shelia because she reminds me of myself twenty-five years ago.

(Pg.59)  Will there be additional books in this series or likeness?
(A.T.)  I’m not sure. Possibly. It has to come from within. I have started writing a third novel titled “Love in the Nick of Nine” about a twenty-nine year old woman determined to meet and fall in love with “The One” before she turns thirty and she’ll be thirty in nine months.

Now on to you:

(Pg.59)  What inspired you to become an author? 
(A.T.)  As a child, I loved reading, and I always wanted to write a book about a young girl who grows up in a dysfunctional home and through sheer determination and the grace of God, she overcomes her background and becomes successful. I wrote that novel. It’s called “Daughter Denied.” It’s my debut novel. I wrote it in 1999, but it wasn’t published until 2008. After that, I was hooked.

(Pg.59)  Where do you draw your inspiration to write?  (Certain place, environment, people??)
(A.T.)  My inspiration is from within. I have a ton of stories percolating inside me dying to get out. LOL!

(Pg.59)  Did you have moments of writers block? If so, how do you handle it?
(A.T.)   Writing comes very easily to me. I have never experienced writers block.

(Pg.59)  What advice do you have for upcoming writers, authors, editors?  (Something you wish someone would have told you).
(A.T.)  Believe in your work and be passionate about it. However, be open to constructive criticism and if that means brushing up on your craft, be willing to do so. I had to go back to the drawing board (brush up on the craft of writing) on my second novel and I’m glad I did. It ended up being a much better book.

(Pg.59)  What one thing would you like people to know about you?
(A.T.)  That I am more grateful then they would ever know when they buy my book and when they give me positive feedback.

(Pg.59)  How can people follow your work and get in contact with you?
(A.T.)  They can go the “Dancing Her Dreams Away” website. http://www.dancingherdreamsaway.com/ and I can be reached via email at Alrethat@aol.com. I also can be reached via the following links:
Thank you so much for allowing us to speak with you!
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