“The Choir Director” sequel electrifies, pulsates with excitement

51G328YUOgL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ (2)By Carmen Glover

The Choir Director 2: Runaway Bride (Grand Central Publishing, $25.00), Carl Weber’s highly-anticipated sequel to his well-received book The Choir Director, does not disappoint when it comes to delivering a taut, exciting and rich story that pulsates with action. Picking up where the first volume left off, the sequel focuses on choir director Aaron Mackie’s planned wedding to Tia Gregory, the church’s secretary.

As with all of Weber’s books, the plot thickens very quickly and what follows is a high octane ride of betrayal, compromise, questionable conduct and criminal behavior sprinkled with minimal biblical lessons. While the story rushes along at a breathtaking pace, however, there are certain profoundly troubling elements to The Choir Director 2 such as salty language.

Nevertheless, the storyline for The Choir Director 2 entertains with its engaging mixture of guile, deception, envy, jealousy, revenge and ego running amok and the dangers that people can expose themselves to unless they wholeheartedly embrace the principles that they claim are fundamental to their lives. In many respects, some of the serious events which occur in The Choir Director 2, could happen to anyone. The tale is woven together expertly illustrating pain and unresolved trauma, amidst a story of romance, juxtaposed between the natural tendency to succumb to inner desires and the battle of wills that often ensues as a result.

The Choir Director 2 will inspire soul-searching, personal reflections, burning questions and the desire to seriously examine what truly drives each person in working towards achieving life’s goals.  –OnPointPress.net. 

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“The Prodigal Son” tells cautionary, albeit authentic, tale


By Carmen Glover

Kimberla Lawson Roby’s latest installment of the Reverend Black books “The Prodigal Son” (Grand Central Publishing, $26) offers a cautionary tale for anyone who has been tempted to act without giving careful thought to the worst case scenario. Replete with lessons that are applicable across generational lines, “The Prodigal Son” is a smooth, enlightening and entertaining read that quotes lavishly from the Bible to buttress its central theme of unconditional love and the importance of forgiveness.

The book details the lifestyle and family dynamics of the Reverend Curtis Black, who has two sons and two daughters. Matthew, 20, abandons his four-year scholarship at Harvard after a year to pursue other passions, while Alicia and Dillon, in their late twenties, seem content to drift along and live off their father. At 6, Curtina is the youngest. Each adult in the story feels justified in approaching life from a particular perspective, without carefully examining the potential consequences of hasty decisions and the impact of those actions on others.

The relationships that the Reverend Black has with his children, their mothers and partners have varying degrees of closeness and conflict, which cause a range of emotional upheaval and uncertainty.Not without fault, the Revered Black finds himself caught up in a tsunami of emotions as his children’s lives spiral out of control, thrusting the family into chaos, anguish and tumult. Relationships fray, secret plots are hatched, deceptions are uncovered and  promises are broken with impunity until emotions boil to a crescendo of rage, resulting in unimaginable horror and pain.

Religious skeptics often cite the dysfunction of church life, its members and the pastor’s family in particular, as deterrents for embracing religious practices in everyday life. While the “The Prodigal Son” carefully tackles these issues and more, it introduces elements to the story that raise legitimate questions about churchgoers, their activities and the quality of the examples they set for their children based on the lives they lead themselves. At the same time, the book outlines the message that dastardly deeds contrived in secrecy will eventually come to light with devastating consequences that are often hard to envision when emotions cloud people’s thoughts and logic. “The Prodigal Son” is expertly written and authentically told.  –OnPointPress.net.

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Nelson Mandela’s autobiography inspires greatness, resilience


By Carmen Glover

Some lives are so full and rich that it’s difficult for the pages of a book to contain them. The journey of late South African president and world icon Nelson Mandela is an example of such a life. Mandela recounts his triumph over adversity in his gripping, 625-page autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom (LittleBrown, $18). Initially released in 1994 and re-released in paperback form in 2013 with an insightful forward by former US president Bill Clinton, Long Walk to Freedom should be required reading for students of history, public affairs and seekers of knowledge and the keys to resiliency across the globe.


Long Walk to Freedom details Mandela’s journey from his early years in the African village of Mvezo to his childhood home in Qunu which he describes as the place where he spent  “the happiest years of my boyhood.” The book then takes the reader on an engaging, humorous, sad, compelling journey that causes the words to leap from the page as the reader eagerly races to discover nugget after nugget of fact about a well-lived life. From his life as an attorney to his pivotal role in the African National Congress (ANC), which at first embraced non-violence before deciding to fight fire with fire in an attempt to rid South Africa of the racist scourge of apartheid, Long Walk to Freedom tells it all. And make no mistake, Mandela, who is often referred to by his clan name, Madiba as a term of respect, was not a prefect man. Wise, yes; stoic, yes; ambitious, yes; determined to gain freedom for his people, absolutely.


Long Walk to Freedom is a great example of the power of keeping focused on your goals. When Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, torn apart from his new bride and his young children, he could have given up. When he had offers to turn his back on his quest for equality for his people in exchange for his freedom he firmly turned down the offers while reinforcing his commitment to his comrades and his compatriots. Long Walk to Freedom serves as a road map to excellence, determination and conviction about living an authentic life. Eventually freed from prison, Mandela led his people to victory in the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, amid impressively long lines in the burning sunshine to which the eager voters seemed entirely oblivious.

As the movie, based on the book, continues to be shown in theaters around the world, now is a good time to leaf through the pages of the book to get the details of Mandela’s life, to better understand his brilliant mind, circumspect attitude and determined spirit. The great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Mandela took millions of steps to achieve monumental goals in his Long Walk to Freedom. A great first step for 2014 is to treat yourselves to the investment of the time it takes to read this important, albeit lengthy autobiography and then catch Golden Globe nominee Idris Elba on the big screen as he brings the words to life. –OnPointPress.net.

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Terrence J salutes his mother in inspirational book


By Carmen Glover

Former BET co-host of 106 and Park, actor and current E! News co-host Terrence J credits his mother’s example, guidance and counsel for providing the fundamentals of his success. In a beautiful ode to his mother’s love, support and guidance, Terrence J authored The Wealth of My Mother’s Wisdom: The Lessons That Made My Life Rich, a book that lovingly explores Terrance J’s life and how closely his successes are aligned with the choices his mother made in hers.

The book describes the circumstances surrounding his mother, Lisa, becoming pregnant at age 17 and her decision to not only have her son but devote her life to ensuring his overall success. It details her goals for her life and how she decided to put her son’s well-being first in all aspects of her life, including her decision to choose a life partner. Along the way, Terrance J shares the life lessons his mother taught him about becoming a man, pursuing his dreams, embracing education, ignoring obstacles, choosing friends wisely and sharing his gifts with others through mentoring.

Told in a very conversational tone, the book intersperses Terrence J’s recollections with his mother’s accounts of what motivated her to make the decisions she made and how determined she was to ensure that she led an exemplary life for her son. An interesting and compelling feature of the book is the nuggets of wisdom shared by other public figures who reflect on the impact their mothers had on their lives. Among the notables who share vignettes from their relationships with their mothers are Kevin Liles, former president of Def Jam Records, singer Trey Songz, rappers T.I and Ludacris, comedians/actors Kevin Hart and Gary Owen.

Terrence J’s book shares the many ways in which the values that his mother instilled in him shaped his viewpoints and his core system of operation. But The Wealth of My Mother’s Wisdom is also profound and illuminating in honing in on the message of friendships and relationships as well as the theme that no one is an island. It shines a light on an important essence of human relationships: the fact that truly successful people develop the art of nurturing relationships, which then mushrooms into meaningful bonds that can make the difference when you least expect it. The book is a great read for everyone who wants to learn the importance of having a central core as well as understanding the value of being true to yourself and your dreams.—OnPointPress.net