Book Review | Ultra Black Hair Growth II by Cathy Howse

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. 

Ultra Black Hair Growth II 2000 Edition
by Cathy Howse, details a method for retaining approximately 6 inches of hair growth in one year. Like many books that I own, I had to reread this one before the knowledge entailed within it really sunk in! I purchased this book two years ago after reading about the “Cathy Howse Method” on various  hair care websites. I read it, tried the products, and then moved on to something else. Now, that I’ve reread it, I wish that I would have stuck with it!  Although people claimed to know and share the basics of the regimen, I’m the type of person who likes to read and obtain information for myself.

So, I purchased and read the book. Although it is a short and easy read (158 pages), it contains a lot of information. As I figured, many hair bloggers were leaving out crucial details of Cathy’s hair-growing method. I would encourage any person interested in beginning her technique read her books, check out her website, and consider purchasing her products. I will talk about my experience with her products in a separate post.

Cathy Howse is a pioneer in the world of black hair care. Long before YouTube, blogs, and online hair-growing communities existed, Cathy developed what she calls “the only proven method” for growing “black” hair. Black hair refers to the hair type that most people of African-American descent have naturally – hair that is tightly coiled. Cathy advocates sticking to the following six requirements in order to grow and preserve your hair:

1) Frequent cleaning

2) Daily moisturizing

3) A conditioner that contains: protein to strengthen, oil to lubricate, and a scalp stimulant

4) Good blood circulation

5) Careful use of appliances

6) No hairbrushes

Please note that Cathy’s suggestions allow hair growers to also incorporate techniques advocated by other “methods.” For example, if one chooses not to wash her hair with sulfate shampoos, this may be easily incorporated into this method. If one chooses to wear her hair in a protective style, this can be incorporated as well because Cathy does not advocate for one style over another, as long as the style is not accomplished by doing things that damage the hair.

One of the most controversial points that Cathy makes in the book is that there is no need to trim your hair. This is controversial because for many, including hair stylists, the idea that one has to trim her hair in order to “make it grow” is deeply rooted. Cathy points out that hair grows from the root, not the ends and that hair does not split up the shaft. She does note the importance of retaining healthy ends in order to accomplish growth, but she does not advocate trimming on a schedule or, really, at all, except if one chooses to for a neat appearance.

Like I stated, this book is chock full of common sense types that apply specifically to growing the driest hair type. She also has a question and answer section on her website. The only criticism that I have of the book is the editing. There are some errors here and there grammatically, but nothing that affects the knowledge contained within the book itself. I would also like to see an update since the book was written in 2000, but you can visit Cathy’s website for update. For example, her hair is no longer relaxed. She now wears it naturally and only washes her hair once a week instead of twice.

For more details about Cathy’s hair care routine and more of her tips, visit her website! http://www.ultrablackhair.com/ubh2/

Click to purchase on Amazon: Ultra Black Hair Growth II 2000 Edition

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Book Review | Unplanned by Abby Johnson

It’s been quite a while since I posted a book review! I started a new job in December of last year and I’ve been too busy to post, but I’m back! I hope to read a book a week until the end of the year. This is very doable if I cut back on TV time! I have 3 hardback books and 4 e-books on my Kindle waiting for me to read them. But, Unplanned by Abby Johnson is a book that I read back in December.

Little did I know in December of 2011 that the topics of healthcare and abortion would come together and cause turmoil throughout the ranks of the Komen Foundation and other high-ranking organizations. Unplanned is a book that tells a riveting behind-the-scenes story of a conservative working at Planned Parenthood. Abby Johnson started out as a young volunteer and rose to rank of executive, leading a Planned Parenthood location in Texas. Her unusual participation in an abortion procedure forces her to face her internal conflicts. As a devout Christian, her job (working in a clinic that provided abortions among and other healthcare services) conflicted with her moral beliefs.

Many young women can relate to Abby’s conflict whether they have performed similar work or not.Like Abby’s real-life character in this book, I have been conflicted about my moral beliefs versus my support and patronage of Planned Parenthood. This book presents both sides.

What I enjoyed most was Abby’s candid discussion about not only her experience working at Planned Parenthood, but also her own past. She reveals some ugly truths about abortion clinics and also discusses the value of the other healthcare services provided by Planned Parenthood. In addition, she shares her own story of not one, but two, unplanned pregnancies and why she  made the choices that she did.

Lastly, Abby talks about why and how she changed her mind about working for Planned Parenthood. If I have a criticism of this book, it would be the slightly dramatized chapters in the book following Abby’s choice to walk away. Although it was a heart-wrenching decision, people quit their jobs every day. It is also fascinating that she ran away from one extreme to the other, seemingly without considering a middle ground. She went from being a staunch supporter and worker at Planned Parenthood to being strongly anti-abortion and anti-Planned Parenthood. I would have liked to see some talk about a middle-ground, an area of compromise where we can support the rights of women and the unborn at the same time…is that possible? I’m not sure, but when I put this book down, I felt inspired…of course, my beliefs align pretty strongly with Abby’s. Abby introduces readers to pro-life organizations that are less divisive. She could have simply walked away from Planned Parenthood and found another job, but instead, she chose to share her story and to use her experience as a platform to help change the lives of others.

For those looking to better understand the perspective of individuals, particularly, Christians, who work at Planned Parenthood, this would be an interesting book to read. Be fair-warned that this book is not pro-Choice. The author advocates an end to abortion because of her religious beliefs and because of the detrimental effect that abortion has on women and families. But, the way she wrote this book provides a fair perspective of both sides because, unlike many people, she has “fought the war,” from both sides. If you’ve read this book, let me know what you think! If you wouldn’t read it, let me know why not!

Book Review | No Weapon by Audrey McKay

No Weapon is the riveting follow-up novel to Audrey McKay’s first book Enough Good News. It continues a few years after Enough Good News ended. (My review for Enough Good News can be found here. This review may contain spoilers for those who have not read that novel first). Instead of focusing on Sidra’s story, it focuses on the tale of Sidney Lyons and how her life has changed since accepting the Lord. When Enough Good News ended, the reader was left feeling hopeful, but uncertain, about which way Sidney’s story would go. Soon after accepting Christ into her life, she made a big mistake that almost severed her ties with family and her faith in the Lord.

In No Weapons, Sidney seems to have recovered well from the mistakes of her past. Unfortunately, old spirits are waiting to come back and haunt her once again as an unspeakably evil force begins working to bring her down. It only took me about one day to read this book because I was quickly caught up in Sidney’s tale and how a single lie worked to turn so many people against her. The book also had real life connections as it dealt with scandals and corruption within the church which are both, unfortunately, all too common today.

Christians who are interested in learning more about spiritual gifts will find this book intriguing. In McKay’s first book, spiritual gifts are mentioned when Sidney accepts the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into her life, but in No Weapon, those gifts play a central role in the development of the plot. Until reading this book, I never gave much thought to “spiritual gifts” and what they mean, but this book definitely encouraged me to look into them more.

Along with the consistent action in this story, McKay skillfully weaves in the thoughts and insights of non-Christians who are witnesses to the turmoil taking place among so-called believers. This is an important part of the story because it helps the reader understand why so many people are hesitant to become a part of the Christian faith. Many non-believers have witnessed wrongdoing and hypocrisy among Christians that makes them question the teachings of the Bible and spiritual leaders. The way that McKay uses the true believers to respond to such doubts can serve as a lesson for the rest of us.

The plot of this book was a real page-turner. The way people came together to work against Sidney was fascinating. Not only that, but the use of technology to aid in their endeavor made the work more interesting and believable. I would highly suggest this book, even if you haven’t read the first book in the series. The author provides enough background information to make it easy to follow all of the characters. For more information about No Weapon, or to learn more about the author, visit her website here.

Christian Book Review | Right Package, Wrong Baggage by Wanda B. Campbell

This book was a selection suggested to me by Amazon due to my history of reading and reviewing Urban Christian Fiction novels. It was pretty reasonably priced (at the time), and had good reviews. I purchased and downloaded it to my Kindle to read and I’m glad that I did! This book is a Christian-based complex love story that artfully tackles some major themes dealing with sexuality and celibacy. These themes are intricately woven into the storyline and the reader will find him or herself caught up in the the story of a young couple, Pamela and Micah.

When I first started reading the book, it opened with a family scene that seemed a bit far-fetched. Things just seemed too good to be true for Pamela. As a young single mother (widowed), she was swept off of her feet when a man from her church named Micah begins to court her and help her care for her son. However, it quickly became clear that the author was setting the scene for a sequence of events that would take the couple through a number of emotional ups and downs. Just when it seems like Pamela, Micah, and Pamela’s son Matthew are about to get their story-book ending, the past catches up with Micah and things begin to fall apart.

Often, Christian-based story lines are flat. They go something like this – pray enough and God changes things. While this is true, our human emotions often get in the way of us receiving our blessings. What Campbell successfully does in this novel  is contrast Pamela and Micah’s attempt to live by Christian principles with their difficulty overcoming their pasts. The two of them are deeply in love, but their issues are catching up with them quickly.

For Christians struggling to stay focused on God’s principles while being involved in relationships, this is an excellent read. It also speaks to single mothers and individuals struggling to over come drug abuse or issues that arise from being victims of molestation and sexual exploitation. These topics sound serious, but the book is really an enjoyable, well-written work that and is an awesome love story at its core. I rarely outright suggest that my readers purchase a book, but if Christian Romance is your genre, this is definitely the book for you. If you’d like to hear more about the book or the author, check out the summary below from the publisher and click the link  to visit Ms. Campbell’s website.

From the publisher:

For five years, Pamela Roberts, has balanced the demands of being a single mother and a devoted Christian. She unselfishly places the needs of her son, Matthew, above her own. Although she tries to convince everyone that she’s happy with Jesus alone, Matthew handpicks the perfect present for her—a husband. Everything about the man her son chooses is perfect, except for his past. Micah Stevenson is excited when he learns the son of the woman he has been praying about wants him to join their family permanently. Believing Pamela Roberts is his soul mate sent from God, Micah pursues her. Once he is certain of her love for him, Micah reveals his dark history, shaking the foundation of the once loving and stable relationship. Trust is broken as judgments and prejudices threaten to deny the couple’s destiny. Will the man he used to be prevent Pamela from loving Micah for the man he is now?

Book Review | Become Your Own Matchmaker by Patti Stanger

Patti Stanger is the popular, controversial force behind The Millionaire’s Club, an international dating service that caters to, well, millionaires. Her club spawned the hit show Millionaire Matchmaker, which aired on Bravo.

I was drawn into reading this book because of Patti’s sassy attitude and no-nonsense advice. She seemed to know what she was talking about on the show and often bragged that her track record was impeccable. As far as dating books go, it was pretty good. I purchased it myself and read it on my Kindle about a year ago, then re-read it for this review.  Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect from Patti’s dating guide.

Audience: This book is geared toward female daters who are seeking a man to marry. The man does not have to be a millionaire, but if you’ve ever watched Patti’s show, she encourages men and women to embrace traditional roles. Therefore, future hubby should be a provider who displays desirable male traits (no “coffee shop” men, whatever that means). This is a secular dating guide, so if you’re looking for something focused strictly on Christian principles, this isn’t the book for you. Lastly, you’ll have to be willing to make some changes to yourself. If you’re already perfect as-is, you don’t need Patti.

Goal: The goal of the book is to lay out a step-by-step plan from dating to the alter. As a caveat, I should mention that Patti is not married and never has been (she’s 50). So, take all marriage advice with a grain of salt. Patti gives a lot of background information about how she got to where she is in her career, as well as the dating woes that she’s been through.

The Plan  (I’m putting Patti’s plans in to my own words to provide the summary below):

(1) “You” Time. The plan is simple – first take some time and get to know yourself. Heal from your past relationships and pamper yourself. Get your physical appearance in order and learn how to dress for your shape. Get your hair done professionally. Spend some time with the girls or whatever it is that you need to do to feel your personal best and gain your confidence back.This is an essential step to prevent you from dragging old baggage into new relationships.

(2) Meet Men. This is where Patti gets a little radical. Basically, she encourages women to do whatever it is that they need to do to meet men. If you have to go online, go online. If you have to move to a city with a better male-to-female ratio, then move. Put yourself out there. Smile at and talk to men. Let people know that you’re looking. People love to play matchmaker and if you’re really interested in finding a mate, you’ll be open to suggestions.

(3) Evaluate Potential Mates & Present Your Best Assets. A lot of women want a great man, but they don’t bring much to the table themselves. Patti provides tips for how you can present yourself as a great potential wife, while evaluating your potential husband. If he’s not marriage material and you are looking for marriage, you are wasting each other’s time. Patti talks about ways you can tell whether a man is looking for a future wife, just dating, or just playing around. It’s also essential that you make a (short!) list of non-negotiable characteristics that you desire in a husband. This will keep you focused on your core needs without becoming too nit-picky about every man you meet.

(4). No Sex Before Monogamy. Patti is a stickler on this point. She talks in detail about how females produce oxytocin during intercourse. This is a bonding hormone that women produce in much greater quantities than men. It’s what makes it difficult for women to walk away from a man once they have taken that step in their relationship. Her points on this topic are pretty much scientific and common sense; she’s not a religious person (although she doesn’t downplay religion’s role in evaluating compatibility).

(5) Set a Timeline.  This is a another key factor. Patti believes that a man who is looking for marriage will not string a woman along in a relationship for years at a time. So, set a timeline and stick firmly to it. If he’s not talking marriage in a year – as in ring-on-finger, date set, then walk away. This point sets Patti’s plan apart from other dating books. Many books say to give a man two years or longer. Patti says that women don’t have that kind of time to waste. As we grow older, our marriage prospects only diminish further.

I think this is a valuable guide for women who are a little lost in the dating game and really ready to get married. It’s packed with information and Patti gives reasons for each point in her plan. It’s not for the faint-at-heart, since it requires diligent effort on the part of the woman. If you’re just dating “for fun,” then this is probably not the book for you. If you’re interested in finding a hubby worth having, then give it a read.

Book Alert! How To Get Out of Your Own Way by Tyrese Gibson

Actor/singer Tyrese Gibson has written a book entitled How To Get Out of Your Own Way. Normally, my eyes would gloss over at the thought of yet another entertainer writing an autobiographical how-to for the rest of us. But, after hearing Tyrese speak about this book on The Mo’Nique show, my interest was piqued. Tyrese lived the hard-knock life growing up in Watts, California. Despite his strained relationship with his family, this talented young man was able to hit it big in the recording industry thanks to his exceptional talent and a couple of lucky breaks.

It hasn’t been a smooth ride. His divorce and a few other events have been bumps along the way. In this book, Tyrese discusses how he successfully overcame these obstacles. He also shares relationship advice as he reflects on his recent divorce. The book has mostly 5-star reviews on Amazon, so I downloaded it on my Kindle. I’m studying for the bar exam, so I haven’t read it yet. While you’re waiting on my review, check the book out and let me know what you think!

Christian Book Review | Selling My Soul by Sherri L. Lewis

Selling My Soul by Sherri L. Lewis

Selling My Soul by Sherri L. Lewis

Lately, I’ve had the hardest time finding new Urban Christian Fiction titles because the publisher, for some reason, decided to stop putting the script across the bottom of the cover page that declared the book was an Urban Christian Fiction title. Perhaps they want to appeal to a wider audience of urban fiction readers, or maybe the authors complained. Either way, this is the main reason why I haven’t reviewed any Christian fiction in a while – I couldn’t find any!

However, I’ve read three other titles by Sherri Lewis – The List, My Soul Cries Out, and Dancing With Destiny. So, when I saw her name, I immediately grabbed the book, excited to read it. I was even more excited to see that the main character of the book is a professional, a Public Relations expert by the name of Trina Michaels.

Trina is returning home from a two-year trip to Mozambique in Africa where she was doing missionary work. Needless to say, Trina is a devout Christian who has been trying for many years to lead her mother and her sister to Jesus. While in Africa, Trina meets a wonderful man named Gabriel who is in love with her. But, like many women, Trina is not open to love and struggles to commit herself to the relationship.

To make matters even worse, Trina’s mother is very ill and her sister’s life is falling apart. Almost as soon as she gets back to the States, Trina has to get back to work in Public Relations, even though she left her heart and her passion back in Africa. She is forced to make a very tough decision about whether to represent a Bishop Walker, her former pastor, despite his possible involvement in covering up child molestation in the church. Things are further complicated by the fact that Monica, from My Soul Cries Out, is Trina’s best friend. Monica’s husband was one of the victims of molestation at the church, further complicating Trina’s decision. Trina’s faith is tested, as she tries to work out her own life as well as help salvage the lives of the people around her.

I found this book to be an awesome read. Once I had time to sit down and read through it, it only took me a few days to work through the entire book. I enjoyed reading how Gabriel expressed his love for her, and it made me think about my own attitudes towards men. Just like in The List, there were a million different mentions of natural hair. At least in this book, they fit in a lot better because the character had cut off her relaxed hair during her extended time in Africa. I really liked the way Lewis intertwined the characters from her previous book to this on in a meaningful way.

The references to Mozambique and the conditions there were eye-opening. The author made mention of starving children and disease, and often mocked American consumerism and creature comforts. That might be the only part of the book that I was uncomfortable with. I think of myself as a conscious person, but there isn’t much that I can do about the fact that I was born here in America, and that as an American, I have been very blessed.

I would also like to read more titles with characters who are not just single and struggling or married and confused about their relationships…where are the Urban Christian books about mothers and students? What about older married people who have struggles that go beyond their relationships with each other. In this book, Lewis did a good job of showing that struggles as a Christian go beyond just relationships and sex.

I’m glad to be able to recommend yet another well-written Sherri Lewis work. Selling My Soul is an intriguing book for those who are devout Christians and those who are struggling to believe. Either way, you will relate to Trina or her family and their struggles.

If you read this book or another Sherri Lewis title, please share your thoughts in the comments section. As always, thanks for reading.

http://www.sherrilewis.com/

Novel Review | Just Too Good to Be True by E. Lynn Harris

too good to be trueE. Lynn Harris’ novel, Just Too Good to Be True, covers several important, and highly relevant, themes in American life today, from sports and gold-diggers to chastity and single parenthood; everyone will find something to relate to in this novel.

I initially picked up the book at the airport from Hudson Booksellers. The words New York Times Bestseller caught my eye. I had wanted to read a title by E. Lynn Harris, for quite some time and with a long flight ahead of me, I was glad that I had this book to keep me company. It held my attention through delays, rain, and turbulence.

What Was Good

The main character is Brady Bledsoe. Bledsoe is a promising young football star who looks like he is headed for a career in the NFL and a shot at the Heisman trophy. On top of that, he is a great role model as team captain, a devoted son, and has vowed to remain chaste until marriage. Brady’s mother Carmyn has raised him well, teaching him the virtues of waiting until marriage, working hard in school, and staying focused on football rather than girls in order to achieve his goals.

As the title implies, all of this sounds just a little “too good to be true.” Carmyn, Brady’s devoted mother is hiding serious secrets about her past, and about Brady’s father. Brady is struggling to maintain his “pure” image while making a series of secret choices that could devastate his future. When a young woman named Barrett enters his life, Brady finds it more and more difficult to maintain his clean image and even more difficult to maintain his close-knit relationship with his mother.

By the end of this book, everyone learns something about being true to who you really are, the importance of family ties, and just how difficult it is to keep from suffering a fall. Most of the struggles faced by the characters were realistic; the pressure on athletes and single moms are easy to relate to.

What Was Not So Good

I would have liked to know more about the future of some of the secondary characters, like Barrett, but I guess Harris is saving the rest of their stories for a different novel.

My criticism of this book is that, like many urban novels, the book is riddled with graphic sexual images. The author does a great job of “show, not tell,” and intimately describing what physical interactions take place between characters; but, sometimes, it’s just a little too much. Describing exactly how who-did-what seemed out of place in a book with such strong themes of chastity and family. It almost seemed as if the author was ridiculing people who make celibacy vows, by implying that they aren’t ever really being kept.

Looking back, it seemed strange to me that Carmyn was able to keep secrets about Brady’s father for so long. Why didn’t Brady notice that he never met his grandparents? Why didn’t he ever ask his father’s name? I found some parts of the plot unbelieveable and a little too strange to be true.

If you don’t want to read about characters who are homosexual, or men who are GP, “gay for pay,” then, this may not be the book for you. The one character in this book who was uber-masculine was quite suspect in his sexual practices. Again, there seemed to be a hidden message in making the male character who was the most active with women, and the most macho, the one who was most likely to be engaged in questionable acts with men.

While I enjoyed E. Lynn Harris’ writing style, I would rather read a bestseller that is less sexually graphic. It will be a long time, if ever, that I read another one of his titles.  You can find this book just anywhere, including local bookstores and Amazon. After this title, I think I’m going to go back to reading Urban Christian Fiction, and non-fiction titles.

Update! Only days after I read my first book by E. Lynn Harris, the literary legend passed away. I wrote about it here. I send my condolences to his family and fans.

Book Review | The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size by Julia Cameron

dietHow I Found The Writing Diet

The Writing Diet is one of the many books that I have found rather randomly on the book shelves at Barnes and Noble, but I am very glad that I did.

As I was perusing the shelves for a summer read that would help me become more focused on my creative writing, I saw Julia Cameron’s The Writing Diet on the shelf – actually in the diet book section that I happened to stop by on my way to the writing resources area. Cameron is the author of the popular book and creative writing method The Artist’s Way.

I felt as if I had hit the jackpot! I had actually found a book about writing and dieting – or rather, losing weight and expressing one’s creativity. I purchased the book and a nice new journal to go with it.

I can honestly say that for anyone who has struggled to lose weight, this book may just be the answer. Julia notes that over the years as her students became more self-aware and increased their personal and creative writing, many lost weight quickly and easily!

How The Writing Diet Has Helped Me

I have always resisted writing down what I eat, but Cameron’s method consists of writing down not only what you eat, but why you eat, can be life-changing for someone like me, who has never been “fat” but is struggling to maintain or lose weight. Or maybe you’ve always been the “big” person and that role has become a comfort to you. Either way, opening up about your emotions through writing can be a big step towards making a change.

The first two parts of Cameron’s method include the following: 1) Morning Pages (writing in the morning as a way to express and identify what is “bugging us”) and 2)taking a daily walk.

These were small, but powerful changes that I have been able to make already. Simply by writing down what I was eating, I discovered that I was eating way too much, often chewing mindlessly when I wasn’t hungry. I was basically eating for strange reasons that had nothing to do with nourishment, such as 1) boredom, 2) to save money (eating for free whenever possible), and 3) eating when I was sad and missed my family and loved ones, or 4) eating when I felt “pressured” in group settings, and so on.

I’ve also increased my daily exercise. Instead of eating and complaining, I write out my goals, frustrations, and my plans and solutions. Immediately after writing, it feels like a burden had been lifted and I am no longer dying for a meal from Cheesecake Factory.

How The Writing Diet Can Help You

Many of you may be skeptical, but I challenge you to ask yourself, how often do you stop and think before you eat? Do you jump up and go to lunch with your co-workers without asking yourself – am I hungry? Or what does my body need for nourishment right now? Most of us simply munch, munch, munch, and then get back to work.

Some of you may not feel like writing things down, or you may have convinced yourself that you don’t “have time” to write or take a daily walk. If you are too set in your ways, or prefer to stick with fad diet after fad diet, then this won’t work for you. I will challenge you by presuming that if you have the time to read blogs, you have the time to follow the steps in this book.

There is much more to The Writing Diet method, but you’ll have to read the book to discover the rest. My favorite thing about it is that instead of telling you what to eat, the book helps you understand why you over-eat and indulge, how to get over binges, and how to forgive yourself and quickly move on when you slip up. For those who over-eat, whether you are over-weight or not, a lot of emotion is attached to food and it is important to understand and recognize this in order to fully take control.

I will be reporting back on my progress, but even if I don’t lose a lot of weight, The Writing Diet has made a difference by making me feel more productive, and more in control of what meals I choose to consume. My journal has been a daily part of my routine for over a month now since reading this book, and I truly feel a difference. For more information on Julia Cameron, visit her website at www.theartistsway.com.

If this detailed review was helpful to you, please leave a comment below.

Christian Book Review | The List by Sherri Lewis

the listOne of my latest reads was The List by Sherri Lewis. When I saw the title on the shelf, I quickly picked it up and purchased it. I have read two other titles by Sherri Lewis – Dance into Destiny and My Soul Cries Out. The title “The List” caught my attention because making a list of all the qualities one wants in a partner is something that is often suggested, especially by older women to younger women. “Do you know what you want in a man?” people often ask a young lady who says she is searching for a mate. After reading the back of this book, it seemed like I’d get some answers about what this list-making is all about! The bright yellow cover with the picture of a pretty black woman with a cute curly afro were simply adorable.

So, how was the book? Well, I certainly enjoyed reading it. Basically, the lead character, Michelle, is a divorced young woman who is focused on her career, but longing for companionship. She suffers from a terrible case of hormone surges that seemed to be slightly over-dramatized as she continued to have emotional outbursts throughout the book. While it isn’t uncommon for women to suffer from terrible hormone issues, this is something that it seems like she would have gotten under control sometime in the past, even if she was suffering from a disorder. Instead, popping a few St. John’s warts suddenly helps her regain control.

Anyhow, she and her close friends go through several highs and lows, including weekly meetings and trying out online dating services in their quests to find a soul mate. One of the best things about this book was the variety of the characters. Michelle and each of her friends are dealing with unique circumstances. One friend’s husband had died, another is a middle aged virgin, and one is newly reformed from living a life of sin.

If you’re struggling to find the right man, and trying to go about it in a Godly way, this book may give you the tools you need to do some self-reflection, to help you think about what you’re really looking for, and to focus your efforts in the name of God. It won’t, however, teach you how to “make a list.” The story does remind those who are searching for a soul mate to thinking deeply about what they are looking for.

However, if you’ve been searching for a very long time, you may find some parts of the cookie-cutter ending for Michelle and her virgin friend to be quite unrealistic -or, maybe you’ll find it to be hopeful. The author almost implies that if only you live a Godly life, have faith, and try, then a Godly man will fall into your lap. That’s simply not the case for many of us. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep hope alive. Just recently, a woman at my church who is over 40 found the man of her dreams. She’s been faithful to God and, even though a long time passed, in her words, “There’s hope for all of us.”

The author made many references to pop culture, natural living, and other popular themes. One reference that I didn’t like was that a light-skinned long-relaxed-head ex-wife in the book was characterized as an evil golddigger, while Michelle whose hair was natural and was a brown-skinned Bohemian beauty was somehow the ideal woman. Is this really a big deal? For me, I found that some of the references to natural hair and living threw me off from the message. Maybe you should read the book and decide for yourself…. Overall, it was a very entertaining book and I enjoyed reading it. Sherri Lewis remains at the top of my list of favorite Urban Christian Fiction Authors (along with Mimi Jefferson – Mimi, I’m eagerly awaiting your second novel!)

Ms. Lewis has an adorable website! Check it out at: http://www.sherrilewis.com/. You can read excerpts from all three of her novels, and connect with her on social networking sites.