Five gripping books to brighten up your summer

Terrance J and his mother discuss parenting and his success.

Terrence J and his mother discuss parenting and his success.

By Carmen Glover

Summertime evokes a variety of emotions: excitement, fun, adventure, exploration, relaxation. It’s a time when families go to new locations to unwind and recharge their batteries for the bustling activities that come with September. One of the best ways to enjoy the summer months is with a good book. has a vibrant book reviews section and we respect the value of reading and learning from each other’s stories. Here are five books that will add a little verve to your summer:

Terrenace J

1. “In The Wealth of My Mother’s Wisdom: The Lessons That Made My Life Rich,” (Harper Collins, $19.99), actor and media personality Terrence Jenkins, also known as Terrence J, alternates his memoir about his childhood with road to success, with gems provided by his mother. He includes advice other stars such as singer Trey Songz, rappers Ludacris and T.I, as well as comedians Kevin Hart and Gary Owens. The entertainers share tips that they got from their mothers, obstacles they overcame and words of encouragement for others. Great book for all age-groups.

Author Kimberla Lawson roby and her book cover, the Prodial son

Author Kimberla Lawson Roby and her book cover, the Prodigal Son

2. In her most recent book, “The Prodigal Son” (Grand Central Publishing, $26) author Kimberla Lawson Roby explores family dynamics. She vividly describes how envy, greed and deception combine to create a potent mixture that can destroy a family until they decide to draw strength and guidance from biblical principles. Solid read.

carl weber

3. Carl Weber continues where he left off in his latest offering, “The Choir Director 2: Runaway Bride ” (Grand Central Publishing, $25). Weber outlines a story about a choir director who is tamed by a member of his church and the drama that ensues as they try to make it to the altar. Gripping tale.

Rochelle alers

4. Rochelle Alers’ recent Cavanaugh Road novel ” Magnolia Drive” (Grand Central Publishing, $8) explores the lives of a new couple as they learn about each other, cautiously approach dating and become open to all that a life together entails: Soothing, breezy, blissful love story.

robin roberts

5. Former athlete and current media personality Robin Roberts delves into her life story in “Everybody’s Got Something,” (Grand Central Publishing, $25). Roberts shares details about her life that were not previously addressed by the media and disclosing values imparted by her mother. Inspiring. Read the full book reviews under the books tab on our website.–OnPointPress.Net

“Magnolia Drive” continues Rochelle Alers’ enjoyable romantic tales

By Carmen Glover

National bestselling author Rochelle Alers returns to the literary scene with Magnolia aaed4e96efad4fd89a579bbb9fd83d24Drive ($8,Grand Central Publishing), the latest edition of her Cavanaugh Island novels. This time, Alers tells the tale of Francine Tanner and Keaton Grace, another strikingly attractive couple, who find each other and love amidst the laid back tranquility of the Carolinas. In a tale that moves along smoothly with luscious, descriptive language, Alers arouses all the senses as the characters come alive in vibrant fashion.

The novel tracks Francine as she returns to her parents’ home to live while she works in her mother’s establishment after becoming disenchanted with her chosen career path. Keaton visits the town to scope out business ventures as he navigates the professional landscape while trying to tame his mounting desire to become a more intrinsic part of Francine’s life  Francine, for her part, tries hard to convince herself, family and friends that she is content with her life as it is and has little interest in encouraging a relationship with Keaton.

Magnolia Drive seamlessly weaves in updates on characters who populated the previous three novels, as would be expected in stories that reflect a small town and its residents. The quaint setting described in Magnolia Drive elicits yearning for an escape from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan cities and causes the reader to ache for the delectable meals, breezy and low-key style of the small-town ambience.

Each of Albers’ novels, Sanctuary Cove, Haven Creek, Angels Landing and now Magnolia Drive, is set in the picturesque countryside that oozes southern charm, small-town sensibilities, and history that anchors the town . Also, each novel features a couple who manage to blend their interests and fall in love with natural ease like birds nesting in an inviting tree.

The most appealing aspect of Magnolia Drive and the other Cavanaugh Island novels is the staunch focus on African-Americans, showing that like their Caucasian counterparts, they strive for higher education, establish business enterprises, court, get married and raise families while becoming pillars of their communities. The novels depict the wholesome aspect of the African-American lifestyle that is not often addressed in romance novels. The novels juxtapose historical details with familial and community interactions that infuse the novels with life. Magnolia Drive is a soothingly exciting addition to summer reading lists and will transport the reader to an idyllic setting that inspires