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Author Terry E. Hill’s New Release “The Committee”

“The Committee” Selects a Black Female President
in Bestselling Author Terry E. Hill’s New Release

Terry E. Hill’s “The Committee” is a beguiling tale that twirls Illuminati conspiracy, New Orleans voodoo, American politics and a subplot gay affair in a delicious twist of turbulence and turmoil.
San Francisco – With Come Sunday MorningWhen Sunday Comes Again and The Last Sunday, author Terry E. Hill has proven himself an adept story weaver. Enthralling his readers with a trilogy based inside a megachurch setting, his well-spun plots of scandal, suspense and seduction were delivered with acute precision. Skillfully whipping his readers into a page-turning frenzy, they rushed to keep abreast of characters bigger than the books that encased them.  With the release of The Committee on Urban Renaissance, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp., the author ups the ante and moves into the world of politics.

The Committee is a beguiling tale that twirls Illuminati conspiracy, New Orleans voodoo, American politics and a subplot gay affair in a delicious twist of turbulence and turmoil. We find out that the secret society behind the country’s biggest political ploys is a mysterious New Orleans family of Creole women who head “The Committee.” It is they who in fact control the white men mistaken to be the country’s power figures! “The Committee” has selected every US president since James Monroe and controls much of the country’s economy. When they make the decision that the United States is not only ready for a Black woman president, but also select her, the phrase, ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ takes on new and insidious meaning.

Camille Ernestine Hardaway is the first African American female mayor of Los Angeles and she has it all – stunning good looks, power, a seemingly devoted husband and influential allies. “The Committee” has decided that she will be the first Black female President of the United States and will stop at nothing to ensure their rising candidate reaches the White House. Author Terry E. Hill sublimely works hypnosis with the written word as he winds the reader deeper down a sinister black hole with each chapter. The Committee’s lethal combination of manipulation, intimidation, mysticism and murder make for the most intoxicating political thriller.
With an adoring fan base waiting in high anticipation, Hill is hosting a Facebook contest. The author (on Facebook at Terry E. Hill ) will give away 25autographed copies of The Committee to the lucky winner. The contest ends at midnight on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 18th. Participants can find more details on The Committee’s Facebook page and / or enter on his Facebook page.
Author Terry E. Hill
The Committee is Hill’s fourth novel. Come Sunday Morning was his first book, followed by When Sunday Comes Again in 2012 and The Last Sunday in 2013. The publisher consolidated Hill’s first two books into one and re-released it 2014 as The Come Sunday Morning SagaCome Sunday Morning was selected as number three of the five best fiction books for 2012 by the Sankofa Literary Society. When Sunday Comes Again was released in the summer of 2012 and made the AALBC (African American Literary Book Club) Urban Fiction Best Seller List. Hill’s novels have also been featured on the Bestsellers List of Black Expressions and have been selected as best books of the month and year by various bookstores and book clubs throughout the country. The Sunday Morning Saga has been acquired by more than 10,000 libraries in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Hill has developed a significant and very loyal audience who eagerly await each new release. Elev8.com, an online property of Hello Beautiful, profiled the author as the next E. Lynn Harris for his clever storytelling and LGBT subplots. He and his writings have been featured on BET.com‘s monthly YOU GOTTA HAVE IT column, Crème Magazine, Elev8/Hello Beautiful, Black Literature Magazine and The Literary Network.

Hill’s writings are amazing works of fiction that continuously stir conversation on important topics nationwide.
Purchase The Committee on Amazon.com and wherever books are sold.
Visit the author’s website at http://www.terryehill.com/
Follow Terry E. Hill on Facebook at Terry E. Hill and Twitter @MrTerryEHill now!

BOOK REVIEW: Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Summer Bird Blue Asexuality Akemi Dawn Bowman LGBTQ Book

“Summer Bird Blue” by Akemi Dawn Bowman – 5/5 Stars

“Summer Bird Blue” by Akemi Dawn Bowman is a young adult LGBTQ book that deals with the topic of asexuality at a young age. The novel revolves around a young girl named Rumi, struggling with the loss of her sister and best friend, Lea. Lea was always there for her sister; the two wrote music together; they talked about boys together; they were inseparable. And while there is only one brief scene of the two of them at the beginning, it’s easy to see the qualities they share and the love that they have as a family. Of course, this is not all we see of their relationship, as Lea appears many times in flashbacks both warm and heartbroken.

As the story progresses, we watch Rumi foray through the stages of grief. Shortly after Lea’s death, Rumi is shipped off to Hawaii to live with her Aunt. As many people would, Rumi takes to anger in this new environment, finding herself wanting to yell at anyone who tries to help her. Because she is a seventeen-year-old girl, and Dawn Bowman did a great job of painting her as a fiery angst filled teen who just wants her sister back, Rumi’s anger is relatable. 

If I’m being honest, I didn’t expect much from this book. I picked it off a list at the mention of an asexual character. Asexuality is highly underrepresented in books and media; and I thought it would be an interesting read. What I got from the book, was so much more. Dawn Bowman does an excellent job at crafting a story where there isn’t much going on within the narrative. Rumi spends the summer on the island of Hawaii meeting new people and dealing with new experiences. There isn’t much of a story, and the arcs are all character-based. That being said, this book probably isn’t for someone mainly into adventures. But it is for someone liking character-driven stories with rich connections.

I fell in love with these characters, as seeing myself within them became easy — Rumi with her grief-based anger and her willingness to lash out at those around her, her confusion with attraction and sexuality; Kai with his troubled family and his uncertain future; Aunt Ani just trying to help out wherever she can. That’s not all of them. There were so many more amazing, detailed, well thought-out characters. I was impressed with each of them, as they all had such varying quirks and personalities. If anything, I would suggest reading “Summer Bird Blue” simply because of it’s amazing characters.

But the book is much more than that. Bowman’s novel reads almost as a stream of consciousness. Page-after-page, we listen in on Rumi’s thoughts and feelings. The great thing about the story is that we get to watch Rumi grow as a person, not only through her actions, but through her thoughts. She struggles with the idea of being able to play music again, and we get to witness her thought process as she overcomes this fear.

Then, of course, there’s her sexuality. “Summer Bird Blue” tackles a lot of tough issues within its pages. Dealing with the loss of a family member and figuring out one’s sexuality? It’s a lot; but the two plot lines meshed incredibly well together while also bringing to light sexualities that don’t often get a lot of attention. The storyline is focused mostly around Rumi’s possible asexuality (and yes, they actually say the words ‘asexual’ and ‘asexuality’ aloud in this book — amazing, right?) while also describing other orientations. They touch briefly on being aromantic and demisexual, something that a lot of other LGBTQ books never do.

I applaud Akemi Dawn Bowman in writing a book with such diverse, amazing characters. It isn’t something that I’ve seen before and it feels fresh and new, a feeling that is always amazing to have when reading a book.


The LGBTQ novel “Summer Bird Blue” is expected for release Sept. 11th, 2018 from Simon Pulse, the YA imprint of Simon & Schuster Publishing. You can preorder your copy here. It is recommended for ages 12 & up, specifically grades 7 through 9.

 

All-About-It BOOK REVIEW: Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

BOOK REVIEW: People Like Us by Dana Mele Helps Normalize LGBTQ Characters

Book Review: People Like Us – 5/5 Stars

“People Like Us” by Dana Mele is a roller coaster ride from start to finish. The story begins with a headfirst dive into the lives of boarding school girls Kay, Brie, Tai, Maddy, and Tricia when it seems impossible to keep track of each of the different characters. At first, I had a hard time telling who was important and who I needed to remember. But down the road, I realized this was done intentionally and helped to submerge me further into the story. There isn’t any expository build-up, which might not normally not interest me. But it works incredibly well in this case, because by page three the girls find a body in a lake on their boarding school’s campus.

While I went in knowing that this was going to be a murder mystery, it was nothing like what I expected. From the back cover, we learn that our main character, Kay, is being harassed by a girl named Jessica Lane. I went into this book expected a scavenger hunt left behind by dead girl Jessica Lane — a la Hannah Baker of “13 Reasons Why” — but instead found myself in the midst of a true murder mystery. Good murder mysteries are hard to find in the world of young adult reading, but this one was well thought out. Each clue and new piece of evidence whirled the story forward, capturing me in its drama. I read a lot of murder mystery and find that I’m usually able to identify who the murderer is about halfway through the book. In “People Like Us”, I was unable to solve the mystery and often changed my opinions and ideas multiple times while trying to piece together the clues. Even within the last few pages, Mele continued to keep me guessing. Murder mysteries are often an epic climb to the climax of the final scene, leaving the reader to spend the entire novel waiting for the big finish. In the case of Mele’s novel, I enjoyed the journey and it more satisfying than the finale.

Mele does an amazing job of making the characters relatable and distinct. Each character seems to have their own unique story; they’re each struggling with something different from person-to-person, whether it be the loss of someone in their pasts, or their sexualities. The way Mele deals with sexuality is probably the best thing I’ve read all year, though. There are many bisexual and gay characters in “People Like Us” and it doesn’t feel like she’s trying to meet a quota. While I do greatly enjoy stories about LGBTQ characters and stories that are centered around their sexuality, I really, really love it when stories include gay characters without making the story about them being gay. Including gay characters in stories typically written with straight/cis characters (like murder mysteries) normalizes the inclusion of gay characters. Ultimately, doing this will lead to LGBTQ characters showing up in more places, like television, movies, and books. The more writers that do this, the more it will seem “normal” to have these characters around. I love nothing more than when I watch television or read a book and a character is LGBTQ. without it being a big deal. It reflects real life and normalizes LGBT people. We exist in real life; and we should exist in media, too.

Mele’s gay-inclusive murder mystery had me turning page after page until I reached the very end, only to leave me wanting more. More answers, more stories, more anything from Dana Mele.

Book Review: Leah on the Offbeat

Leah on the Offbeat Becky Albertalli Love Simon LGBTQ BOOK

Leah on the Offbeat – 4/5 Stars

“I swear, people can’t wrap their minds around the concept of a fat girl who doesn’t diet. Is it that hard to believe I might actually like my body?”

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli is the bisexual story I have always wanted to read. Not that I knew it existed until a few weeks ago, or even know that I needed it in my life before then. But now that I’ve read it, it’s like it was something I’ve been missing. If you liked the first book in this series, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, or it’s movie counterpart, Love, Simon, you will love this book. It focuses on Simon’s best friend, Leah Burke, who is confident in her sexuality. She’s bisexual; and from the very beginning we know this to be true. She has only told one person, her mother. Leah spends her senior year struggling with college applications, prom dates, and crushes. Leah has never been kissed, so when a friend of hers asks her to prom, she finds herself feeling obligated to go with him. It’s clear that this isn’t really what she wants. She has her heart set on someone else, even if she doesn’t know it yet.

“It has to be easier for people with penises. Does this person get you hard? Yes? Done. I used to think boners literally pointed in the direction of the person you’re attracted to, like a compass.”

This book keeps you laughing on every page. Leah’s hilarious narration makes real life situations more interesting. I always found myself relating to her inner-monologue. She says what we’re all thinking. She calls people out when they deserve it and is the modern-day hero we’ve been looking for. She’s also human, she has flaws. She easily lets her feelings get the best of her. The story begins with Leah’s disinterest in a girl that used to be her friend. A girl upon who she develops a crush. A straight girl. When things don’t turn out the way she wants them to, she gets angry and defensive. The teenage angst is so relatable (we’ve all been there). It’s easy to get angry when someone doesn’t (or is incapable of) liking you back. But, this book isn’t just about Leah and her crush. It’s about all relationships. Leah struggles to come to terms with her mother’s relationship and we get to see more of Simon and Bram together, who are just as cute as they were in the first book.

“…That’s why bi girls exist, Garrett. For your masturbatory fantasies.”

Leah and the Offbeat, while focusing mainly on Leah’s sexuality, isn’t only about that. It’s about so much more. Leah is so much more than just a bisexual. She’s funny, smart and has a huge attitude. I loved watching her grow as a person throughout the book.

I’m a sucker for a good romance so I was dying to know how everything would unfold. I couldn’t put it down. There were some slow parts of the novel; but there weren’t any scenes where I was bored. Everything that was in the book was important. Nothing was there just to fill up the pages. It’s well written and the story flows nicely together.

You’re not fat. You look amazing. Because fat is the opposite of amazing. Got it.”

This is the most honest high school story I have ever read. I always felt like I was witnessing real conversations, like I was hearing them in passing in the high school hallway. Everything about this book is very authentic. It was easy to get lost in the story. Leah, especially, is very real. She reacts like any moody teenage girl would and I could easily picture her being a real person. She is three-dimensional and much more than just her sexuality. Leah is a character I have definitely fallen in love with.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Leah on the Offbeat. From the first page, I knew it would be a good read. It started off with a bang and held my interest the entire time. I would definitely recommend this book.

Were-About-It Book Review: Leah on the Offbeat