Posts in Book Reviews
Review of Cracked by Obsession

Where do I begin? This was one of the craziest relationship stories I have ever met. It held my attention from the first page with constant drama, witty comebacks, gruesome crimes, and a dip into the mind of a person with multiple personalities. Erika is a devoted wife, but her mistake is choosing to stay for too long, and holding on to a man who had let her go a long time ago. Dominique is a cheater like no other. He has no remorse for his cheating and views his lovers as notches on his belt (which is quickly running out of room). Erika's days are spent searching for her husband and begging for his affection, that is...until his infidelities decide to show up at her door one by one, changing Erika's life forever.  The drama that ensues will have your heart racing and your fingers bleeding form the paper cuts you will receive trying to turn the pages in order to find out what comes next. Cracked will prove that love really ain't ish.

You can find Obsession at:  Facebook:

Interview: Sentu Taylor about new novel Sinsane Asylum

Sentu Taylor is the genius behind the Gangpire Trilogy. A series that wraps vampires, Ethiopian history, satire, blood, gore, and even a little bit of love into an epic tale about two friends who turned themselves (and many others) into modern-day vampires. If you haven't read Gangpire, you most definitely have to check it out. Now, let's delve into Sentu's new release Sinsane Asylum, where he once again reveals his ability to create relate-able characters with a hefty dose of sarcasm and gut-splitting jokes. I had the pleasure of reading this novel pre-release and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. This book is definitely a break for the normal monotony of the literary world today.

Sinsane Asylum takes a completely different direction than Gangpire. What was the inspiration behind the story?

It was really a neighbor who would beat my ears up about the Professor Griff speaking engagements, and halfway listening to this neighbor a spark came to me like "This stuff would make a great novel," and from there I began watching the YouTube clips of him, David Icke, Maliki York, and others. Icke being my favorite.

The main character, Deon “Kasino” Brooks, is a rapper who displays his lyrical talents throughout the novel. Do you rap? How did you come up with his catchy rhymes?

Lol, I used to battle rap as a youngster and kinda tapped into that mind frame again, rhyming random words and so on and so forth. I really had to stop myself from just over loading the novel with long ass raps and dilute the novelty of it.

Sinsane Asylum contained powerful quotes from the likes of Phil Specter, Marilyn Manson, and Sid Vicious. What role did these people play in inspiring or question, in  your work?

They all where part of or connected to the music industry and all have been linked to murders, and I just dug into their quotes to find some that would sync with the pacing of the story. For instance the Phil Specter quote set the stage for Deon talking to an invisible person. Big Lurch was a rapper who, while high on pcp, ended up with lung tissue in his stomach and a butchered dead body in the room, his was a metaphor for Deon being coked up and knocking off Clarence and Gospel. At first glance they all are just cool quotes that fit the climate of the story but the person's background who they were taken from gave them a double meaning.

Sinsane Asylum is different than Gangpire, but still incorporates your wit and odd sense of humor. The character Deon is very likeable and will have the reader rooting for his success.  How much pressure did you feel to top Gangpire’s success and the notoriety of characters and make Kasino and Trife just as memorable?

Ooh that's a tough question, there was definitely pressure to live up to the expectations after Gangpire scored so well with readers, but with this one I aimed more to top myself creatively. Sinsane Asylum went deeper into my personal views, opinions, and how I feel about things. I put more of "me" into it than any of my other works and thus left myself vulnerable, at times during writing it I questioned if this was too early in my career to do something so experimental.

After reading Sinsane Asylum, it is evident that lots of research was done in order to complete this novel, from the mention of Mephistopheles, to Lucifer, and Reptilian Nephilim to the inner workings of the music industry. How much time did you spend pouring over research in order to make sure that Sinsane Asylum was accurate historically?

Over a year, I began researching this as I was still working on Winter's Chill and GP3, I ended up with folders full of notes. There are countless conspiracy theories out there and what sucked is I couldn't use them all, I think only 20% of the research I did made it into the book, just because I didn't want it to come off preachy, or forced. It was also challenging on the subtle one word references like Sandy Hook, the Johnnie Cochran assassination, Ice Cube's Lethal Injection album cover being rumored to show how Eazy E really contracted......

You brought back Seattle from Gangpire, and made her Deon’s love interest. Is there any chance of a continuation of their story or a Sinsane Asylum 2?

I don't plan on doing a part 2 for Sinsane Asylum, but as this novel revealed which of the alternate endings of GP3 was the real ending, there is a possibility that there will be a spin-off novel that will connect the characters from both stories. I think I fucked up and got too attached to the Menelik character from the GP series, he's like the kid I never had lol, so I'm having a hard time letting him go. Enough hints?

You insinuate that the Illuminati runs the music industry. Would you consider yourself a conspiracy theorist?

Somewhat. As far as the reptilian theories I don't believe in them, and playing with them was really difficult not to let this book turn into a cheesy sci-fi laser blaster epic. But the aspect of a couple of companies owning all forms of entertainment and dictating what we listen to and are distracted by I know to be factual. I also was part of a taping of a reality show years ago and it was as staged and phony as I suggested. I tell you this from first hand experience.

Deon is the name of your younger brother. How similar is the real life Deon’s personality to the character Deon “Kasino” Brooks?

Very vaguely, actually. Well besides the parts were the fictional Deon was telling bold face lies in his journal to cover his ass, that's something my brother definitely would do.

You insinuate that there is a lack of depth in hip hip and music today, and that very few artists remain true to their craft. What current artists do you feel continue to stray from the pressure of the industry and remain true to the music?

Kendrick Lamar, and J Cole instantly come to mind. I don't know if Slaughterhouse would count as current since all the members have been active for many years.

Trife betrays Kasino for money and fame in the industry. He basically sells his soul to the devil. Do you believe that mega success requires some degree of disloyalty?

Like Balzac's maxim says, "behind every great fortune there's a great crime."

In one sentence, what message would you want readers to take away after reading Sinsane Asylum?


What is your current work and when do you project its release?

I'm hashing out a collab story called "Bad Call" it'll be non-paranormal, and hopefully out this winter.

What are you currently reading?

Dudoir Confessions , by ,you, Tanasia Thomas.

How can readers connect with Sentu Taylor? On Facebook @ authorsentutaylor Instagram @sentu_taylor Oh and please, pretty please follow my troll blog on FB

It's composed of screenshots of me internet pranking people, and hey, web troll's might save the world one day like in my book so you might as well get acquainted with joy of bullshitting strangers.

Stay Loyal by Empress Simone

Stay Loyal by Empress Simone was a great quick read. India, like many women today, is plagued by a man who has no regard for her health, life, or emotions.  He cheats on her with various people, even family members, and abuses her despite the fact that she is the mother of his children.  Unlike many women who find no way to escape when a man provides for them well and gives them a lifestyle they were not accustomed to, India is a brave woman who uses her own smarts and cunning to escape the hell she is living in.  To me, this story was very realistic because not only did Veontrae choose to cheat with other women, he also had affairs with men, which is one of the unspoken happenings within every 'hood.  I love the fact that Empress Simone brought HIV to the forefront of her story; from how easily it is passed when people are promiscuous and do not use protection to how it affects innocent lives such as that of the infected person's children.  She shows that we should never allow love to get in the way of our common sense when it comes to holding those we love accountable and taking responsibility for our own lives when we know we are dealing with someone who may not be faithful.  This is one of the first books I read by this author but I am definitely a new fan.

You can find Empress Simone on Facebook:  AuthorEmpressSimoneQuickTwitter: @AuthorEmpressSimone, Instagram: @EmpressSimone1 and on her radio show The Tea with Empress Simone on Power 98.

Kennedy's Awakening by Perri Forrest

Kennedy's Awakening is a light-hearted short story about a woman who is pretty much done with love. She is so used to being mistreated that she has a wall up for anyone new that may attempt to come into her life. Kennedy ventures out with her friend and meets a man who puts her in her place...literally and makes her realize the error of her ways.  She sulks, of course, but when they meet again, nothing can stop the fireworks that happen between them. This is a great short read that will have you wanting more.

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Joy DeGruy

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, what is it? This placed is influential and eye-opening, to put it lightly. It put so many things into perspective that I have already felt deep down inside, but couldn't quite articulate.  The introduction begins with the meaning of Sankofa: to return and get it. In other words, we must return and claim our past in order to move toward our future. The fact that this country will not acknowledge the ills of the past is hindering all of us from reaching our full potential as a nation of people.  Slavery was just as bad as the holocaust, but we are constantly told to forget it and get over it.  Think about it...even as children, little black children are taught that they do not have the same freedoms as white children. Our mother's control us when we are out in public and don't allow us to just be the curious children we are while little white children can run, play, and "just be kids" in any setting they are taken too, without everyone looking sideways at the mother or thinking her unfit. This is just one example of the type of truths that African-Americans deal with on a daily basis.

Dr. DeGruy provides a definition of racism and why whites should not just tell blacks to get over slavery and the way they are treated in America.  Racism is the belief that people differ along biological and genetic lines and that one's own group is superior to another group, but is coupled with the fact that the "superior" group has the power to negatively affect the lives of those perceived to be inferior. To me, this was one of the most profound statements within the entire book. Before telling us to forget about racism or not just brush us off as holding grudges, ask yourself, do blacks have the power to negatively affect the lives of whites, economically, in education, in law making, or any other way. The answer to that is a resounding no.  Therefore, Dr. DeGruy wants all of us as Americans to acknowledge the atrocity of American chattel slavery and to try to make amends.  She defines trauma and describes what hundreds of years of trauma can do to a person.  Eventually, the post traumatic stress a person feels becomes a part of their DNA.

She goes on to site several other reasons why African-Americans behave the way they do. One such is the fact that our relationships were torn apart since slavery; mothers, fathers, and children were sold and separated at their owners whim. We have tried since then to repair it,  but now our families are broken by incarceration and public assistance.  Have you ever thought about the fact that in order to get assistance like food stamps or housing assistance, a man cannot be present within the home? Why is that? Once again, a way to separate our families. Family ties are within us...even tracing back to our African ancestors. Relationships are important to African-Americans as a whole and we struggle to maintain those relationships in this current society. Why do we feel like when one of us succeeds we have to tear that person down or they must have "sold out" to do it? Why can we not be proud of our brother or sister for making? Why must we always be in competition with each other? It is all a part of the system that our ancestors were accustomed to. Slaves were pitted against other slaves; slave overseers, house salve against field slaves, etc.  We were bred to not trust one another and those things are still being manifested today as team light skin vs team dark skin, team natural vs team relaxer, and the list goes on and on.  When I tell you that this book will cause an awakening in you and make you evaluate yourself and the actions of those around you, I am telling you no lie.

This book is a must read for all races.  It will help you to better understand the current atmosphere of America and what we can all do to make this country better for us all.  Make this book a part of your personal library today.

Dr. Joy DeGruy can be found at her website: