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Macon Me Crazy

Macon Me Crazy by L. Maddox is the story of Lena, who struggles daily living with a supportive and dysfunctional family. As she struggles to survive in a life riddled with ongoing challenges and the impact of generational trauma, Lena unexpectedly comes across an old diary, which piques her curiosity. As she begins to read this book, she discovers it contains far more than everyday thoughts and ideas. Instead, it details the daily life of her family decades ago, their hardship, hidden secrets, and survival.

Lena’s discovery of the diary gives her a new perspective on her ancestry and the obstacles they had to endure before she was born. It’s an educational, realistic, and intelligent story that blends elements of tragedy and turmoil with a sense of hope and moments of humor. I enjoyed the author’s down-to-earth writing style, which is direct and personal, drawing the reader in further from one chapter to the next.

Maddox’s story is heartfelt and moves at a comfortable pace, which enough description of the characters, places, and events to create vivid visuals while diving into the family’s history of trauma and triumphs going back several generations. It’s an eye-opening story that gives Lena an in-depth understanding of what her family went through and how the stories in the diary become more related to the present than she could have imagined.

When I began reading this book, I quickly became engrossed in the story, which traces Lena’s family history from the 1940s to the 1970s, and how various places and events play a role in how her life unfolds today. I highly recommend Macon Me Crazy for its excellent narration and the personal and heartfelt experiences captured in the book.

Pages: 192 | ASIN: B07YQZS9WW

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It’s About Time

It’s About Time is a gripping true story that takes readers on a roller coaster of emotions from the turn of the first page. Mickey Bridges has written a riveting memoir detailing the life of a young boy that lived in Compton, California. We live through his experiences growing up as his family struggled to make ends meet. Mickey’s father was in and out of his life and when he was around he was not a good influence. Mickey’s mother did her best to work and take care of her children but she was always sick. With little parental guidance, and living in a rough neighborhood, Mickey is left to explore the streets on his own.

Readers follow Mickey as he grows up and starts experimenting with drugs, which then evolves into drug dealing. He falls in love and becomes a young father but he himself is in and out of jail. After his mother passes away while he is in prison he makes the life changing decision to be a better person.

This is a compelling coming-of-age story of sorts, following a young man who is provided little guidance and set loose on dangerous streets with few resources. This thought-provoking memoir sheds light on the realities of growing up in an unstable environment, surrounded by drugs and violence.

One of the things that I loved about this memoir is the amount of detail each encounter has, and the ability Mickey has to transport readers to that period in time. Mickey describes his emotions so vividly that you feel as if you are teleported to his past. Some examples include the desperation he felt to see his daughter during his incarceration to the extent that he ran away. That was heartbreaking, but I feel like I understood the situation so well that I felt as if I would have done the same thing if I was in his situation. Another vivid encounter is his setup in Gary by Nora, Tut’s girlfriend. I could visualize how terrified he was and yet, he managed to escape.

While I enjoyed this book I felt that the time jumps in the writing can be a bit confusing. Reading through his story, you sometimes forget that he was under twenty-five years old. The story takes leaps through time; one moment he’s sixteen and the next he’s nineteen years old and so much has changed. As a bonus, I was able to look him up and the album he mentioned in the book and I enjoyed every note from that saxophone!

It’s About Time is an illuminating and fascinating memoir. I highly recommend this book to readers who are looking for a raw but inspirational read, especially since the author was able to turn his life around for the better.

Pages: 196 | ASIN: B09ZK4YMRV

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When Life is Like a Dream

When Life is Like A Dream is one of six plays that Phillip Methula has written on the difficult topic of apartheid in South Africa.

If the play has a main character, it is Aladam. Aladam is a human rights activist who has spent years imprisoned for opposing racial discrimination in South Africa. The play begins as he spends his last night in prison dreaming of the struggles his people have faced over the years.

As Aladam represents the black perspective, his opposite, Namein is the South African leader tasked with keeping the peace. He must keep his white population happy while always trying to quell the black uprising. Unfortunately, this lands him in deep water when he is called a race traitor for trying to appease the black protestors. Namein’s genuine opinions and beliefs aren’t always clear as a career politician.

While the play has 9 named main characters, there are over 30 unnamed “minor” characters. The main characters are all interesting, but these minor characters are the most important. Race is an issue that affects everyone. It is through these side characters that Methula best shows the opposing points of view of both sides. While the play rightly villainizes racism, Methula is careful to paint the racist white South Africans as humans with their own thoughts and feelings. Their fear, as the status quo that so benefits them is challenged, is palpable. There are no cartoon villains here.

The play has five acts that revolve around separate issues, which all connect to the overarching theme of racism in South Africa. The section covering a fever is particularly interesting. As a fever starts killing indiscriminately, racial paranoia is ramped up. It shows perfectly how people’s prejudices can stop them from working together as both sides point the finger of blame at the other.

While the play deals with heavy themes, Methula’s writing stops the play from ever being too preachy. His characters feel real, showing humor even in the darkest of times. When Life is Like a Dream is an excellent choice for anyone interested in learning about this troubling period of history. You’ll come away from it well informed, entertained, and wiser.

Pages: 290 | ASIN : B07PMJV6J1

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Getting Justice

Author Interview
Charles R. Butts Jr Author Interview

Unconscionable tells the story of one family’s long quest for justice after their loved one was brutally murdered in a racially motivated attack. Why was this an important book for you to write?

This story was important for me to write because I know the actual family. I’m married to a cousin of the real victim. We’ve been together since 1990 and they’ve always talked about getting justice.

The story is based on true events. What aspects of the story were fictionalized and what aspects stuck close to the truth?

In the real story, there were only two perpetrators, not three. Location and setting are different. Some of the witnesses didn’t actually exist. Carl Castor was fictional. The marches were fictional as well. The woman portrayed by Francine Stoner Grant actually passed away in 2010. Truths are the victim’s brutal murder, his brother’s suspicious death in jail, the parent’s passing. Evidence tampering, terrorizing and threatening the family was true too. As well as the convictions and sentences.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The important theme was to accurately and adequately paint a true picture of the long history of racism in the deep south. Another theme was the love, faith and strength of the family and how frequently violent crime occurred with impunity.

When and where will your book be available?

The book is available at  http://www.urbanedgepublishing.com,http://www.charlesrbuttsjr.com and GrdyBby@yahoo.com

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

On the morning of October 9, 1983, twenty-three-year-old Johnny Lee Grier’s partially nude body was discovered in a vacant field by a couple of hunters. Mangled, disfigured and nearly decapitated, his body was riddled with over thirty deep stab wounds, burns, abrasions, and pieces of flesh ripped away from. Rumors suggest his horrific murder was a racially motivated retaliation for falling in love with a white woman. To make matters worse, those who committed the heinous crime were protected while others who wanted to come forward were forbidden from speaking to the police.
Thirty-four years later, those suspected of the murder are finally indicted, arrested and set to stand trial. Follow the journey of an aggrieved family’s long quest for the justice of their loved one. Based on a true story, Unconscionable revisits the common and frequent racism that once ran amok in the deep South, and usually with impunity.

Unconscionable

How far would you go to see justice served? How far would you go to see a light shone on the truth? And what would you let it take from you in return? The Grier family is haunted by a terrible crime. They must face these questions in their search for what is right. Tragically lost and surrounded by a hatred that is embedded in the very foundation of their community, this family must rely on the strength and courage of each other to see their way through the storm. Because the only way they can prevail is together.

Unconscionable, by Charles R. Butts Jr., is a harrowing tale of injustice, corruption and loss, spanning across four decades. It follows the story of the Grier’s, a black family living in the deep south of America. When their son is horrifically murdered in a racially motivated hate crime, they find that it is only the beginning of their plight. Corrupt police officers, false investigations and a cover up that runs deep into the roots of their hometown are some of the obstacles they must overcome. But through love, belief and guidance, this incredible family will rally together to overcome the odds.

I really enjoyed this riveting crime drama. It gripped me from the first page with sharp writing and a thick atmosphere of intrigue. What I really enjoyed about this engaging crime thriller was that it was about the family, not just the crime. To experience their journey, the highs and lows, was surreal. I was there with them on every page. I felt every word. The characters are authentic and compelling. I have come to know The Griers and sympathize with them. I felt anger, sadness, disgust, pride and joy, all in one book. The authors writing allows you to easily get absorbed by this story and lets you explore all the powerful emotions that accompany a heinous crime.

Unconscionable is a heartbreaking story but an excellent read. I highly recommend this captivating story to readers who enjoy culturally relevant crime fiction novels with a spellbinding plot and captivating characters.

ISBN: 979-8-9855389-0-8

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