Tag Archives: book review blogger

Book And Music News

 Hello and welcome back to Clara54 Writers Blog!

When you’ve been in this writing business for a long time, you tend to get perks from folks who can appreciate your expertise, talents, connections (whether perceived or real) and most of all, your integrity. Folks will want to know you for your authenticity, moral and ethical compass.

I’m always grateful and oftentimes humbled when stellar companies send free books/stuff for me to review and oftentimes, direct contact info to authors, musicians, medical experts and others for personal interviews.

I’ve shared how my time management skills aren’t the best and so I pick and choose which projects I endorse or promote in my professional space. Doing book reviews are time consuming, so I’ve taken a hiatus from doing them.

This came from Chris over at Miles High Production:

Hi Clara!
Clara, Thanks for checking out our newsletter. Would you be interested in reviewing ‘Up From Where We’ve Come’? Currently we have a digital edition available as a .pdf or an .pub. Limited physical copies of the book will also be available soon. Let me know if you would prefer a physical copy to review. I understand that you probably receive a great many review requests and you aren’t able to get to every book, so if you can’t get to ‘Up From Where We’ve Come’ I understand. However, if you’d be interested in posting the following press release, please let me know!
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts if you’d be interested in spreading the word on this special story!

I declined the book review, although I do plan to read it and perhaps review at a later date. Here’s a book blurb and a bit about the author/musician, Mr. Charles Wright, along with an added video of “Looking For An Ugly Woman.” Enjoy!

Do you remember the 70s hit song “Express Yourself” by Charles Wright? I want to let you know that the legendary soul singer is releasing an autobiography ‘Up From Where We’ve Come’ out October 26th!


Writer of hit song “Express Yourself” and band leader of the Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band, soul music great Charles Wright is set to release his highly anticipated autobiography which chronicles his tumultuous, life changing upbringing in 1940’s southern Mississippi.
Charles Wright is a world-renowned musician and songwriter best known as the leader of the ’60s-founded Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band and for recording the enduring 1971 classic “Express Yourself” (#3 R&B, #12 Pop – Billboard). The ensemble also recorded the classics “Loveland ” (sung by drummer James Gadson who became an ace session musician in Los Angeles), “Do Your Thing ” (featuring lead guitarist Al McKay who went on to become a star member of Earth Wind & Fire) and the racial equality anthem “Comment” (also recorded by jazz legend Les McCann, alternative rockers Wilco and others).


‘Up From Where We’ve Come’ touches on first hand accounts of racism is an honest depiction of how the now world-renowned musician went from poverty to prosperity. Written in the raw dialects and rhythms of how Blacks and Whites communicated with each other in the era, it is a riveting insider’s glimpse into the realities of the times.
“Some may consider these chapters a vital part of American history which has yet to be told in this particular fashion. “
I wanted to reveal just how thin the line between sharecropping and slavery really was. It’s important to me because I spent a significant part of my life under that regime. I started writing this book 40 years ago. It’s something – given the right circumstance – I wish I could have shared long ago…But now is the optimal time because discrimination never went away. Racism simply vaulted to a whole ’nother level. Honestly, in some cases, I’d take the way it used to be over what it is today. The process of systematic racial elimination is extremely ugly to me. I can see it so clearly. I need others to see it, too. So I’m expressing myself.”
– Charles Wright

I loved Express Yourself and Mr. Wright’s other songs! Now I can put a Face to those ‘oldies’…Y’all got memories too? This book appears to be a great source on race/racism in the South, as one famous musician lived it.


In The Midst Of Your Writing Fury-Books.

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“Some writers enjoy writing, I am told. Not me. I enjoy having written.” George R.R. Martin

Hello everyone and happy Friday to ya! I sort of have to agree with ole George. I love writing, but, hate the process, if you know what I mean? Research, revising, making sure of the authenticity of your characters and that’s after you’ve created a decisive page turner.! Still it’s the best deal going and I wouldn’t trade this creative life for nothing- hmm, maybe for a George Clooney holla’ back:)

It’s been a very productive and long week this last week of January. Oprah and I have something in common:) We’re both Southern women who celebrated birthdays in January! Now that celebrity, billionaire thing seemed to have bypassed my humble home. I’m rich in the bosom of persistence and possibility!

My birthday was a celebration but after the festivities it was back to the grind. In the midst of doing research for two works in progress, I entered two poems in competition, wrote and submitted a short story and wrote an op-ed for The New York Times (rant) which they probably won’t publish but at least I was able to release. 🙂 I was also duped by a possible client and had to turn down what seemed a promising gig writing for a news site, because their payment wasn’t what I’d been told it would be. Finally, on this last week in January, I’ve been playing email tag with another company whose interest in my work seems promising but, their final decision won’t be determined for a few days.

On the positive side,I received a recommendation on my LinkedIn page from my former mentor, marketing instructor and friend in Seattle, Sonya Carmichael Jones and accepted a guest post inquiry for my women empowerment site from an Australian contact who works in personal development. My life is hectic but, I managed to get in some reading. I always try to read a book at least on a monthly basis when time allows.

I’m currently reading Chicken Soup For The Entrepreneur’s Soul.

9780757302619_p0_v1_s260x420 soup

Inciting Incidents.


And The Happy Writer.


All great books that I can’t wait to finish and perhaps review for Amazon or Goodreads. I haven’t decided, since reading them is not contingent upon a review. There are perks that comes with being a book review blogger and I’m so looking forward to the weekend!

What are your plans for winding down this weekend? Any good reads?

What’s Up For Review At Clara54?

Cover of "Silver Rights: The story of the...
Cover via Amazon

It was during the early 70’s that my school in Mississippi was integrated- white children & black children coming together as students under the auspices of The Civil Rights Movement. I know this because in 1970, I was taking the yellow school bus along with other children of Color to attend school as a freshman on Mississippi school grounds that once served only white kids!

The auditorium where we all gathered for introduction from the schools’ principal & personnel was thick with anticipation, curiousity, and wonderment as children of both races looked around to size each other up. I’ll never forget that time and space in my life. Pearl Carter was a friend since 4th grade. We were two peas in a pod back then. Our friendship lasted throughout High School until our graduation, when Pearl headed off to college and I headed to Chicago to follow my dreams:)

All of those years being friends with Pearl, I never knew of her family’s history. SILVER RIGHTS  is a book written by Constance Curry, as told to her by Pearl’s mother and civil rights activist in Mississippi, Ms. Mamie Carter. It tells the story of the Carter family‘s brave decision to send their children to an all white school in the 60’s!  I became aware of, the book, Silver Rights, a few years back and put it on my book to-do list. About a year ago, Pearl and I reconnected via Twitter! We are now twitter pals and email back and forth. I’m so envious of her huge executive offices (told her so) and she likes my freelance writer work (sort of)

Pearl Carter’s family were the first black family to intergrate the segregated schools in Mississippi! I look forward to bringing you a review of Silver Rights very soon. Shh, Pearl doesn’t even know:)

Peace & blessing…

Did you find out a big, wonderful, secret about an old friend? Please share…

Book Review: Falling for Me

“If you’d like to be loved, then love” Sex and the Single Girl

In 1962, Helen Gurley Brown, editor and chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine all but galvanized a single women’s movement with the publication of her bestselling book Sex and the Single Girl.

Sex and the Single Girl became the go-to guide, advocating for women to use their wit, brains, and beauty to capture the man of their dreams.

Fast forward to 2011’s new millennium to a single 30-something author and journalist named Anna David who doesn’t believe in soul mates or cupid’s arrows, but, after experiencing several dsappointments in life, love, and shrinks, decides to become a self-proclaimed prote’ge’e of Sex and the Single Girl.

Armed with determination and a few “whatifs”, David sets out to find ‘the one” by following the rules of Helen Gurley Brown’s dating and relationship etiquette.

Anna David’s memoir, Falling for Me, takes us on a whirlwind of experiences as she share insights into her past drug abuse & family dynamics. She bravely and sometimes fearfully, tackles cooking , pottery classes, rollerblading, online dating , decorating, fashion, traveling and slight escapades of sexual naughtiness.

Falling for Me might not be for everyone to read in order to get to that “aha” moment in their lives, but I recommend that you do.

Anna David is the author of 2 novels, Party Gir (2007) and Bought (2009). She has appeared on many television shows, including CNN Showbiz Tonight, Hannity, Red Eye and the Today Show. She is Executive Editor of the addiction and recovery website, The Fix.

Visit www.annadavid.com and www.amazon.com for more information.

Clara54 received no compensation for this review.  Are you a single Sex in The City girl?  Helen Gurley Brown follower? or,

Have you read Anna David’s Falling for Me? Share your thoughts!

Book Review Preview: “Little Hot Mama”

 This is a prelude to the remarkable story I’m reviewing for you guys. This is Ms. Flossie Lee Turner, also known as “Little Hot Mama”, the youngest member of a carnival entertainment act coming to prominence during prohibition and race segregration of the 1930s. Flossie Lee was just 2 years old when she headlined for her parents at local venues during the times where people of color were shunned and devoid of human dignity. Because they were entertainers, Flossie and her family managed to escape the hostile treatment received by other “coloreds ”  although they still had to go in the back door of  these places where they performed Minstrel Shows; entertainment/ singers, dancers and performing headliners to often sold-out white audiences…

Little Hot Mama appealed to me because of a number of factors. I’m reminded of my Southern roots. I’m a lover of music-old time vaudeville- plays and skits. Some of those skits this family of entertainers put together are totally mindboggling and hilarious. In parts of the book, there are skits where I found myself laughing, sucking air with big gulps of merriment and just as easily blinking away tears… The book is entertaining, but, it’s also very, very, sobering. The story of Lee Ann Lewis aka, Ms. Flossie Lee Turner aka “Little Hot Mama”, takes the reader on a vivid truth, complete with photos of life on the road as a Carnie. She tells of an addictive gambler named Hot Papa, her dad and a beautiulf, neglected and feared woman named Earsline Sampson, Flossie’s showstopping, singer, dancer, actor, protector and “uppity” mom.

I’ve given away only a tiny bit of what makes “Little Hot Mama” such a fascinating read! Stay tuned for the real deal from my review shortly. You won’t want to miss my review of this great  autobiographical work! 

What are you good at remembering?

Sooo Excited!

Book Review
Image by roeyahram via Flickr

I know, right?! This just couldn’t wait another day. I’m so excited to bring you guys the news and to thank all of the authors and their publishers who have kindly allowed me to review their Masterpieces (books) for my readers here at clara54! I know a mouthful, but, I just yesterday received another great anticipated read from the publishers & I will be bringing more  about that review shortly. HOWEVER!

I am a book review blogger & yet, it hasn’t really resonated with me over these five years, due to the fact that I love to read and share what I’ve read with others; you guys/gals. Same with movies, tv shows, etc. Anyhow, today Clara54 Weblog is proudly displaying her WordPress Book Blog Listing Badge because my work as a book blogger has been recognized by RANDOMIZE ME who publish & share information about WP Book Bloggers!

Okay, I gotta go apply a cool compress to my forehead now! Keep it here for more good stuff headed your way, ok?