Saturday, April 21, 2018

Becoming by Michelle Obama

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. 

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Second Time Sweeter by Beverly Jenkins

Malachi “Mal” July has run into trouble in the past. With a reputation as a player, he’s now a recovering alcoholic and has made progress in redeeming himself in the eyes of his family and the citizens of Henry Adams, Kansas. He’s not only turned his diner into a profitable business, but also mentors the town’s foster kids. And he’s even staying true to one woman—Bernadine Brown.
But all it takes is a moment of pride to blind Mal to his blessings—a moment that makes him betray his friends and family, and lose Bernadine’s trust and love. Will he ever be able to win her forgiveness?
Meanwhile Homecoming Weekend is fast approaching, and store owner Gary Clark is reunited with his high school sweetheart. All it takes is a few minutes for them to realize the spark is still there, but is it too late for second chances?
A little help from the good people of Henry Adams may give both Mal and Gary the best second chance at the happiness they missed the first time around…

Monday, April 16, 2018

Influence by Carl Weber

When he graduates with his law degree, handsome and charismatic Langston Hudson is ready to hit the ground running as a lawyer with his family’s firm, but a routine traffic stop during a night out with his friends quickly derails his plans and turns his world upside down. Langston and his friends are arrested after officers find half a million dollars’ worth of drugs in his car.

When Jacqueline Hudson learns of her son’s arrest, she immediately begins to build her case. She is one of the top lawyers in the country, with a reputation for being a shark in the courtrooms. She is confident that she will be able to get justice for her son—until she realizes that she will be going up against an old flame. She questions if this district attorney is allowing their personal history to interfere with the case at hand. 

To complicate matters, Jacqueline discovers that her firm is being sued by a former secretary for sexual harassment and illegal termination. Her older son, Lamont, who is also a lawyer, has been using the law firm like a personal dating service for much too long, and his misbehavior might have finally caught up with him.

Desiree, Jacqueline’s only daughter, is quite reserved compared to her siblings. She’s the good girl who doesn’t normally like to rock the boat, but in what could be considered the worst of all timing, she is falling for Perk. The problem is he’s been an employee at the firm for so long that he’s practically considered family. Given the problems her brothers are facing, now is not the right time for Desiree to introduce more drama to the family, but she just can’t seem to help herself.

As if fighting for one son’s freedom and fending off lawsuits against the other isn’t enough pressure, Jacqueline is also in the middle of striking up a deal to run for governor. She knows how much is at stake if her family’s drama spirals out of control, so she’ll do everything within her power to keep it all together.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A Conversation with Azarel

How many times have you thought of leaving your current occupation and chasing your dream? Did the thought alone scare you or bring you to life? Had the cons outweighed the pros and kept you frozen in place, or did you follow your gut and kick the what if’s out of your brain and kept your eye on the prize?
       Reading this, is the idea of dropping what you know and what you’re comfortable with for something’s that not even guaranteed causing your breath to shorten, nerves to shake and heart to slam against your chest? I’m sure it does and I’m sure those who took the risk and opened the door labeled hopes and dreams felt the same way. The unknown is scary but that did not stop nor detoure author and CEO of the publishing company Life Changing Books, Azarel from leaving the educational system and taking her seat the literary table. 

1) My Urban Books: You are very inspirational on social media, what drives your positive spirit?

Azarel: I  know that positivity is the key to success. As entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs we all have a tough road ahead of us so staying focused, positive, and surrounding ourselves with motivators is the key. If I allow negativity into my space that will taint the mission.  I also know others are counting on me.

2) My Urban Books: If there were one thing you could redo in life what would it be and why?

Azarel: I would have spent my money wisely in my younger years. I could use all of that cash right now to invest in my businesses. I wasted lots of money on things that didn’t hold value.

3) My Urban Books: Do you have a mentor? If so tell us about them.

Azarel: Yes, I have two. One is an attorney who knows the film industry and gives overall business advice along with industry advice. I have another mentor who is rooted in the film industry who teaches me the do’s and don’ts & how to make my mark with my films.

4)My Urban Books: What author did you look up to growing up?

Azarel: John Grisham in my teenage years then Robert Kiyosaki as I started growing and really understanding finances. Although I own a fiction based Publishing House, I read mostly non- fiction.

5) My Urban Books: Tell us about the process of starting your own company, where did the idea stem from?

Azarel: I started my own book publishing company ( LIFE CHANGING BOOKS)  because of time and opportunity. I was on bedrest when I wrote my first book. I thought I was going back to work after my maternity leave ended. Since I had lots of time to research I took the opportunity of starting a publishing house and ran with it. I made 40k in sales during my first two months so I never went back to work. Of course now I have four different companies so they were all birthed for different reasons. 

6) My Urban Books: You were once a teacher, what do you miss most about that career?

Azarel: I miss being around the students. That’s probably why I spend lots of time going into the schools to speak and give back.

7) My Urban Books: Before you left teaching to write, do you believe you’ve accomplished the goals you set forth in that field?

Azarel: Not at all. I only taught for three years. I had just gotten a Master’s Degree in Education right before my big break in publishing showed up so there’s still lots of work that I want to do with the youth. Every summer I host a one week, “BE YOUR OWN BOSS” summer camp in the Maryland/DC area. It certainly makes me smile. .

8) My Urban Books: What are your ingredients for success?

Azarel: Determination, Mentorship, Networking, and Quality or Quantity.

9) My Urban Books: Is there an unwritten story inside of you? If so what has stopped you from writing it?

Azarel: There are many unwritten stories inside of me. I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. Nothing is stopping me at all. I’m a busy woman so when time permits I will be on it!

10) My Urban Books: What type of responses did you receive when you announced you were writing fulltime?

Azarel: When I announced that I wasn’t going back to work and making writing a full time career most responses were negative. People said things like, “Don’t leave your good job, why would you jeopardize not having health insurance, or “How do you know this will work?” My advice to you is if you REALLY believe in yourself then come up with a solid plan and GO FOR IT!

11) My Urban Books: What is your most important business rule? 

Azarel: Never execute a plan without rock solid research. I still don’t understand why people are okay with losing money when they should’ve taken the time to study the industry more.

12) My Urban Books: If your authors were asked to describe you what do you think they’d say? 
 Azarel: Aggressive, goal-oriented, positive, nurturing and intentional.

13) My Urban Books: Tell us about the happiest day of your life.

Azarel: The day my children were born.

14) My Urban Books: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Azarel: Do your research BEFORE you launch your book. Most authors just write books and throw them on the market only to hear crickets upon release. Sign up for a 15 DAY FREE trial through my VIP Club to get the resources you need to succeed.