Tag Archives: urban books

Literary Spotlight: Loving You Feels So Right : Alana & Jakobi Story


Alana Kim is the definition of crazy, sexy, cool. Labeled a man eater by current and former lovers, this wild child lives life on her terms and couldn’t care less what the world thinks of her. Seeking something she never experienced in her home growing up, Alana relishes the affection and attention she receives from the opposite sex. Men absolutely adore her but she’s unable to return those feelings of adoration which causes problems to arise with a longtime lover. For years, Alana has been content having sex without strings or commitments and has no plans to be tied down by anyone. It’s not until she witnesses the lives of the ones closest to her changing, that her past begins to weigh heavily on her heart. Throw into the mix an amazingly handsome man who captures her heart immediately and suddenly she’s changing her tune, considering love for the very first time.

Jakobi Tate is a damaged soul, carrying a load of hurt and pain on his shoulders but from the moment he lays eyes on Alana his life was forever changed. It’s like he’s known her his whole life and with no real family to call his own besides his brother Marcus, Jakobi is hoping to build something solid with Alana. However, he soon discovers that there’s tons of baggage and other men that come along with loving someone like her. Her promiscuous ways along with her detached personality may be just enough to push him away for good. Jakobi is fighting his own demons so he’s left wondering if taking on her issues is worth all the trouble. They have a connection that is out of this world but will that be enough for them to hold on to what they’ve found in one another? Read along as unimaginable revelations come to light and a foolish obsession reaches its breaking point in this steamy urban romance.

ULR Welcomes Nisha Lanae!

Tanisha “Nisha Lanae” Williams hails from the gritty streets of Los Angeles, Ca. At a young age Nisha, feel in love with the art of storytelling, to mentally escape the real life drama and craziness going on in her young life. In 2012, at the tender age of 23. Her childhood dream, had become her reality of becoming a published writer. Nisha signed to a publishing company and release a short bloody e-book series titled “Penthouse”. Although months later she parted ways with the publishing company, she didn’t let that stop her from fulfilling her dreams. Taking what she learned aboutUrban Literature and lots of research she reemerged in 2013, with the re-release of her short e-book series which now is titled “Dice…The Queen of Murder” later that same year she blessed her readers with a heart-pounding street tale titled “Pounding the Pavement. In 2014, Nisha launched her own publishing company “Concrete Rose Publications” with the release of a gimey gangsta tale of lies and greed titled “LAnd of Snakes”

Nisha and Concrete Rose Publications are not currently accepting manuscripts at this time. Nisha does have plans on mentoring and publishing aspiring and current author coming fall 2016… stay tuned for more details.

A firm believer in God. Nisha knows all things through him are possible and no task is too heavy when he is guiding your footsteps. Nisha is currently focused on building a solid foundation for her business and brand where “Quality over Quantity” isn’t just words to her. Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature –Gerard De Nerval

ULR: Try a Little Tenderness: A Hislove.com Novel


Available now in paperback and ebook!

Husband and wife Isaiah David Paul and Allyson M. Deese team up to bring a street-themed Christian romance to life.

Amirah Dalton has accepted her calling to be in outreach ministry at her local church. The only problem is that she’s the only unwed female in leadership, and she feels the pressure to find a husband—fast.

After serving time in prison for larceny and mail fraud, Mateo Valdez joins the newly formed Street Disciples Ministry in Asheville, North Carolina in an effort to atone for his sins and spread the word of Christ.

Amirah and Mateo both join His-Love.com in an effort to meet someone of the opposite sex willing to give them a chance. Will they listen to God and connect, or will they let Satan allow their perceptions of one another get in the way?

Available now in paperback and ebook!

Book Review

“Wow! This is my first time reading anything by this couple. I admire the way this story was told and how the readers can relate to the real life issues that both of them are facing. This is a great change in reading for me. I also enjoyed the urban yet christian edge this book has. I will be looking for more from these two! ” – Amazon Reviewer

About the Authors

Being in love with the written word since pre-school, Allyson began writing poetry in her teens, but it would be years before she floated on cloud nine . . . into the world of writing to entertain and inspire others. Once writing explicit romance, she now dedicates all of her writings to God with the prayer that her stories will touch the hearts of her readers.

Isaiah was born with the gift of the written word and began writing and publishing at a very early age. He dedicates his life to writing stories that glorify God and taking it where it’s needed most, the streets.

Available now in paperback and ebook!

A Conversation with Cassandra Charisse Carter

Written by Seth Ferranti


Available now in paperback and in ebook!

Loves, Lies and Consequences is the latest book from urban fiction novelist Cassandra Charisse Carter, who hails from Reading, Pennsylvania but ended up in Michigan. At the age of 14 Cassandra signed a deal with Kimani Tru, a young adult imprint of Harlequin Inc. Her first novel, Fast Life, first explores the life of Kyra Jones, who again is the main character in Cassandra’s new book.Kyra lives an adventurous life and barely manages to escape the streets of Chicago with her life and freedom. But an ex-lover comes back into her life and all hell breaks loose in Loves, Lies and Consequences. Definitely check the book out but first check out this interview. An exclusive on Urban Literary Review.


Why did you become an author?

I’ve always loved to write. It didn’t matter what it was. And even though the idea of becoming an author was appealing to me, I never really thought it would happen. Growing up, I thought the only way for me to write for a living was to become a journalist. That was up until I had the dream that inspired me to write, Fast Life.

Now, I will admit, at 14-years-old, becoming a published author wasn’t the goal. I didn’t even want anyone to read what I had written – not that that could stop my family from passing it around behind my back. My grandmother was actually one of the first to encourage me to take the steps to get published. It was my family’s love and support that gave me the confidence I needed to go forward.

I was still in high school when I signed my contract with Harlequin although, truthfully, I never saw my writing as this “gift” until after I was published. For me, writing was just something I did. But now, it is so much more than that. Every time I see my name on the cover, I know this is what I am meant to do.

Describe what your books are about.

Heavily inspired by urban fiction, Fast Life is about a girl from Chicago named Kyra Jones. Drawn by the allure of fast money, designer clothes, and even faster cars, she relishes her role as a hustler’s girlfriend – until her mom receives a job promotion that threatens to pack them up and ship them out to a Caribbean island. In a matter of days, Kyra is torn from her hometown, and forced to leave everything – and everyone – she loves behind. Starting over in a new place, with a new boyfriend, Justin, gives Kyra hope that life can be different. But once her past starts to catch up to her Kyra’s only hope is to stay one step ahead of trouble.

16 Isnt Always Sweet introduces a completely new set of characters and conflicts. At the beginning of the book, readers catch Jordan Wright just as she is transforming into the cool 16-year-old she always imagined herself to be. So when she is approached about being in the hottest rapper’s new video, she has the confidence to go for it. She and her best friend, Adrienne, try out with hundreds of hopefuls, but only Jordan makes it. Adrienne seems fine with it. But when Jordan starts getting some serious attention, Adrienne turns into a hater. And after Jordan has an innocent in-the-hall conversation with Adrienne’s ex-boyfriend, Adrienne plots to ruin Jordan’s life by spreading rumors, writing stuff on the bathroom walls and telling Jordan she’d be better off dead. Suddenly Jordan’s popularity is fading. Forget sweet sixteen. She soon discovers that what she needs most is to find the strength to be herself.

What is the main theme that runs through your work?

Well, I started off writing Young Adult fiction for Kimani Tru, so they tackle a lot of teen issues like bullying, sex, self-esteem, etc. but I think you will find love at the core of all my stories. Whether it’s about loving yourself or loving someone else, there will always be obstacles and sacrifices, as well as triumphs. I think that is what makes romance so relatable. Even if they won’t admit it, everyone is looking for it. Everyone wants to be loved.

What is the new book about?

The sequel to my debut novel, Fast Life: Love, Lies & Consequences brings Kyra and Justin back together in their early 20’s, and a lot has changed – not just their age. Set in the beautiful Turks and Caicos, Love, Lies & Consequences follows forbidden lovers Kyra and Justin as they fight to keep their love alive. Entangled in five years worth of secrets, lies, and sabotage, it doesn’t take long before insecurities arise, temptation becomes too great, and accusations start to fly. With Justin already engaged to marry another woman, and Kyra involved in her own relationship, it doesn’t take long before a simmering jealousy sparks thoughts of murder. Soon they realize that while they are in control of their choices, they can’t choose the consequences. . . And someone has to pay.

What could you say to make someone want to read it?

One thing about me, I don’t write boring books. If you enjoy a quick, unpredictable page-turner full of drama and romance then pick up any one my titles. The beautiful thing about YA/ New Adult Fiction is that it can be enjoyed by all ages. I think what also makes me so unique as an author is the fact that I am the audience I am writing for. I’ve grown up with a large part of my audience so I think that makes it seem more authentic and real.

Do your stories reflect your journey in life and why?

Yes, and no. I say that because as an author I tend to be very observant so I can’t help but take bits and pieces of different people I’ve met or things I’ve experienced. Sometimes inspiration can come from the smallest things. But even if it is based off something/someone real I try to put my own spin on it. Most of what I write comes from my imagination. That’s the fun in being an author.

What is next for you literary wise?

Right now I am working on Paradise and Promises which will be the third and final installment in my “Fast Life Series” (even though I already have some readers asking for a part 4 LOL). I already have 5 chapters posted on Wattpad @CallMeMissCarta. I also have a proposal I am working on and an urban project in development that I am really excited about releasing next summer.

In the meantime, I am just enjoying the opportunities to promote/network with new readers and authors. Now that I am independent, I can only hope to expand upon what I have built in order to write full time. It is amazing to see how many people can relate to your characters and their stories, and I am happy that I can inspire others to pursue their dreams as well.

Available now in paperback and in ebook!

You can follow Cassandra on Twitter or Instagram @CallMeMissCarta for all the latest in reviews, interviews, giveaways, and events!


Just $2.99 in ebook and $9.99 in paperback!



ULR Feature: Bad Bitches by Toni T.


Four sexy and driven women in Dayton, Ohio are determined to have it all without losing themselves in the process.
Casey knows what she wants and gets her way in both the courtroom and the bedroom. She seduces the most powerful and desirable men, but never allows them to hold her back as she navigates her way to becoming one of the city’s top defense attorneys.
Ex-Olympian world-class sprinter, Anitra, owns a successful sports apparel business and is engaged to the man of her dreams. Though he gives her everything she wants and a walk down the aisle is in her future, the present is proving to be complicated when she catches the eye of an admirer.

Twenty-nine year old doctor, Briana, has purposely avoided commitment for years and thinks love will only get in the way of her medical career. She holds firmly to the ideology and things are going exactly as planned, until she meets the gorgeous and alluring Terrence.

Vanessa is a successful caterer who is sexually neglected by her husband. When she succumbs to her desires with one of her employees, she never suspects the man has a very dangerous dark side. Now, her yearning for affection might just become her marriage undoing.

When these girlfriends’ lives and friendships begin to unravel, it’s an unforgettable experience that changes them forever. Love is a hellhole for the spirit. Some stagger out of relationships weak and repentant, while the strongest emerge Bad Bitches.

Available now on Kindle Unlimited.


The Hunger Within w/ Shawn Starling

“When my situation ain’t improving, I’m tryna murder everything movin.”             -Jay-Z

A lot in me has changed, over the years. The man I am today is a far cry from who I used to be. The growth in me has emerged. The trials and tribulations of my past are all dealt with. Today, I can honestly say, I’m a grown man. A grown man who’s more than ready for the next set of obstacles, because we all know they do not stop… Neither do I.

However, this was not something done over night. No, it took some time and doing. This giant transition took place behind the walls of silence. In a place where I was surrounded by thousands and yet I felt all alone. The facade, I once stood so graciously behind,  long gone. There were no more flashy cars, jewels or people who boosted my ego with hopes of getting rewarded in return. In a place where everyone was dressed the same, ate at the same time, and held captive by the same guards, I no longer stood out. I was no longer the captain of my ship. I went from one-of-one, to one-of-many, and for a long time I was bothered by it.

This small bruise to my large ego, was a major turning point in my life. It was what caused the soul searching. My inner voice emerging, as I found myself driven and determined to be different. You see, in the beginning, writing, for me, was a merely a way I figured to  make some money, and prevent from returning to the life which had lead to where I’d found myself. However, as I continued to write, it became my escape. It became a part of me. My release. I wrote lyrics, novels or, sometimes, just my thoughts. I would write for hours and hours. I became hungry for knowledge, and this hunger became a beast that lived in my heart and thoughts. The blood from this beast would bleed through my pen, taking a part of my soul with it every time. It was like a demon which acted beyond my control, scribbling pieces of me, one line at a time. It spoke to me in a monotonous voice that screamed inside my head. In the end what was once an escape had turned into pure passion, and I became one with my writings:

One with this beast within.

While a lot has changed, some things remain the same. This hunger within was in me, when I participated in illegal activities, and it’s remained as I’ve grown into who I am today. I’ve always wanted to be the best. From day 1, I held a competitive nature. I am still a very proud man, only I’ve learned to cross out the foolish pride. My decisions are never based on emotions, but whether simply on that which makes the best sense. Success is what I want, like the air I breathe. It’s my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night. The mere thoughts pushing me, whenever I want to quit. They hold court when it is time for a reality check. They, too, are apart of the beast within.

Laced with wisdom and understanding, I face this world with a ready-for-whatever attitude. Understanding that talent will only get me so far. And, knowing, that hard work is really what separates the good from the greats…  I will be great!

I don’t want people to just read my writing and say, “Yeah, I liked it” or “It was good.” I want people to one day say my writings changed their lives, in the ways that they’ve changed mine. I want the beast within to be understood. I want readers to see it’s face, every time they read my work. I want my pains to be felt, my happiness to give chills, and my journey to be an adventure which readers will never forget.

More than anything, I want people to understand, that the beast in me is hungry. And by all means, HE SHALL EAT.

Interview w/ Godfather

What first inspired you to write?
SHAWN: Well, ever since I can remember, I’ve been a daydreamer. There were times, in my days as a hustla, when I would park my Cadillac on a quiet street and just entertain my own thoughts. Back then, Master P was big and he had just dropped the movie, “I’m Bout It”. Other street related movies, like “Paid In Full”, “Boys N The Hood”, and “Menace to Society” were all inspirations, long before I ever even knew anything about the Urban Lit. Genre. All I knew was, my life was like a movie, minus the director yelling “Cut”. I always wanted to tell my story and be creative, but it wasn’t until I was imprisoned, and forced to actually sit still, that I actually completed anything or was even given the focus. I was just  on my bunk, one night, when my celly tossed a book at me. Interupting my reading of a James Patterson novel. “You always reading that bullshit.” he said.  “Read that.” I looked at the book and it read “Dutch”, the cover was attractive. It had $100 bills on it and the  bills were covered in blood. Instantly, I wanted to read it. And, once I started, I could instantly relate. A light bulb went off in my head. I knew that I could write a book, about the game that I’d once played. I just started writing, without a clue where I was going or even where to start. I just wrote and wrote, and when I let a friend read it, he told me it was terrible. Yet, not one to be too easily discouraged, from there, I started learning about literature. Small things like sentence structure and paragraph formatting. My first manuscript was written at least ten times. Then again when I got home. Bottom line, When I set my mind to something, I’m relentless. Besides, one can never truly succeed, without first knowing what it is to fail. In a nutshell, writing became my escape. My release. My passion.

I know you were in prison when you first started writing. How long were you locked up? Where did you do your time? Talk about that.
SHAWN: Yeah, I did 8 1/2 years in federal prison. I was held at a low facility in Morgantown, WV. We were in the mountains, but we made the best of it. Of course, there were hard times, but there were also a lot of times I remember laughing my hardest. Prison turned me from a boy to a grown man. It shaped me in a way people on the streets, who’ve never been there, would never imagine. I had the honor of being around dudes who had made their way down from high security to where I was. These were men who had been down for 20 and 25 years. Men with great patience and humility. They had tough skin and they taught me how to keep my emotions in check. They helped me see at my own situation as something small in comparison. The hardest part for me, was watching my love ones struggle and not being able to help. Prison made me realize just how much of a needed presence I truly was, and I still keep that in mind to this day.

How many books have you written, and are any of them a part of a series?

SHAWN: I have ten manuscripts in total. Seven are a series of events which follow my debut, Real Recognize Real. When done, that will be a ten book series. On top of that, I have two unrelated manuscripts, and also a lot of notes which will soon become another manuscript called “Mirror Me Back”, which will be my first non-fiction piece.

Tell us about your debut novel REAL RECOGNIZE REAL. What is it about?
SHAWN: My debut novel, Real Recognize Real, is a story of growth. Readers will go on a journey with a kid who’s earned the name Real. It wasn’t given by a long shot. The title is a double entendre, because not only is the main character forced to recognize what’s real, as far as his perspective on life and people in general, he’ll also be made to uncover and discover that which is real within himself.  A struggling character some might call a villian, while to others he is labled as a hero. A hustler with a conscience, yet affiliated with some considered heartless.

What is it you hope to accomplish with your career?

SHAWN: I hope to become an inspiration just as those writers and film directors, I named, inspired me. Of course I want this to be a career where I can feed my family, but more than anything, I want to remain passionate about my writing. I want my readers to always see the picture I’m painting and to always see my vision.

Talk about the book game in your area. Do you know of any other authors in your area? Are there many independent/urban bookstores in your area?

SHAWN: Besides Nikki Turner, I can’t recall a writer from Richmond, Va with a heavy impact. Nikki set the bar high, and I hope to follow in her footsteps. As for local bookstores, there aren’t many, if any. The college, VCU is taking over everything. However, as an active member of United Distribution, I’ve actually been looking into how to start my own store, and just may do that one day. I believe the paperback market in this city is wide open.

What’s your strong point? What skill do you think you’ve captured best?
SHAWN: Because I could accept constructive criticism, I can say that I now have the ability to tell a story. I now know what readers are looking for. I can take a reader into a setting, and make them feel as if they are actually there. I can give a reader a character that they will either love or hate. I know how to toy with a readers emotions, and take them there, as they practically live within the scene. For instance, I now know that I can’t take a reader to the south of Richmond, without telling them about the horrible smell from the waist factory. Or tell them about, Mosby Court projects, without mentioning how the trees are gone, and the grass has been replaced with manuer. I key in on details. I want the reader to either say I never want to go there, or I need to visit this place. At the end of the day, they have to feel something or I haven’t done my job.

What are your weaknesses? What areas do you hope to work on and develop more?
SHAWN:Time lines. I still struggle with time lines. Like how do I skip from January to April, without dragging the story, or skipping ahead so fast that I lose my reader? Or when is a good time in the story to change the year. I never want the reader to feel like the story is too slow, but I don’t want them to feel like they’ve lost anything either. Finding a good pace, I would have to say. That’s something I’m working on.

On a personal level. I know you’ve got kids. What else is there to know about Shawn Starling?
SHAWN: Two daughters that I love dearly. I was blessed to have them raised, in my absence, by a phenomenal woman. I was also raised by a strong mother and grandmother. They tried to keep me in church, and a lot of those ethics/values stuck with me. I’m thankful for that. I have a crazy past, but there are no regrets, because, I am now a better person. I’ve learned from my journey. I love hard, but I don’t confuse fantasy with reality. To me a spade is a spade, and that’s what I expect from the people in my small circle.

What advice would you give someone who’s thinking about maybe putting a book together?
SHAWN: Do it, but be passionate about it. There is a lot of bad writing in our genre, so don’t get caught up in what you may have read. Stand out and read other genres. I still read James Patterson. As writers, we are putting our work on a platform and giving readers the right to play judge. The story should have flow, and the readers should be able to ride that wave. Also, when you write what is real to you, others will always feel it. Keep it 100 and they’ll applaud you for it. If you don’t, prepare to be crucified.

Is there anything else you want to add?
SHAWN: I’m simple. I believe life is simple, but we as people tend to complicate things. Honesty, loyalty, and trust is rare, but it will take you so much further than deceit. I’m a go-getter, but I also know the power in keeping still. Sometimes, you just have to be calm. That keeps me grounded. Anger not hate, is loves greatest opponent. So, when I do get angry, I’ll be still, until I’m thinking logically again. Then I move. I’m strategic, I’m a thinker and I don’t talk much. Only when I feel something is needed to be said. Humility is a very hard thing to accomplish, I’m still working at it everyday while others label me humble. The only traits of my past that still remain is the pride I put into what I do, and the fact that I will forever be a hustla. New product, but I’m still a huslta.

How can you be reached?

SHAWN: Fb:Author Shawn_ Starling.


Click here to purchase Real Recognize Real by Shawn Starling

ULR Feature: Download Sinful Secrets by M’Hogany this Holiday Season!


Symone Johnson, a 29 female Dr. Phil, is a well-known and successful counselor who thrives on helping troubled couples. With her simple approach, “Confess, Assess, and Address, then you can eliminate stress”


With two sisters married and with children, Symone faces the hardships of an overbearing mother whom takes it upon herself to play cupid with her life and won’t take no for an answer. Dating for Symone isn’t easy either, then again it never is for the daughter of a prominent pastor. Her life is under a magnifying glass being a member of the First Family. Every step she makes is scrutinized and judged, and she has to make daddy look good at all times.

When a forbidden love ensues, will Symone follow the word of GOD and live according to her overbearing parents, or will she follow the beat of her heart? No matter the choice, things are about to get real in the Johnson compound!

Purchase Sinful Secrets now on Kindle!

About the Author


Born the middle child of 3, 3rd oldest grandchild of 39, singer, songwriter and arranger, aunt of 6, former US Soldier, and many other hats worn. As a quiet child, she found solace in putting thoughts out on paper, letting her creative mindset roam free. “From kindergarten on up until high school, I was talked about heavily mainly because of my darker complected skin. I would hear You’re a pretty black girl, don’t let anyone else tell you that but I never had a problem with my skin color. I would also hear kids call me black or ask why I was dark. My mother would say baby you’re not black/dark brown you’re mahogany, where M’Hogany was derived from. Between the ages of 8 and 12, poetry was her area of expression. Never writing anything down, she would create poems off the top of her head. During this time, her mother was approached with an offer to have her poetry published. She declined. “At 12 years old, what child is interested in publishing poetry. I just did it because I could. And I was good at it. But it was my way of putting words together to express what adults wouldn’t let children express in a conversation. I had a vision at my grandmother’s bedside one day of my completed book being dedicated to her. Two weeks after that vision, October 6th, she passed.” In the wake of her grandmother’s passing, M’Hogany decided to incorporate her grandmother’s legacy with her writing. Her grandmother was not only the first lady of her church, but she was the head musician “Singing or doing something musically was NOT an option, so I wanted to incorporate that in everything I write. You’ll get to hear the emotion the characters encounter. In the church realm, she was well known in the city of Dallas for her singing and we were known for her teachings and GOD given gifts as well.

“I had to continue on this journey my granny knew I started. I was named after her because I look like her, so I feel I have to let her legacy live through me.” M’Hogany has also contributed to the Literary Lounge magazine created by Tracie Holmes. I write the stories that life sings – M’Hogany