Debut author Lewis, a performance poet and actor, recounts her journey from self-hate to self-love, set against the supernatural backdrop of reconnecting to her abusive husband following his death.
After her boyfriend broke up with her when she was about to graduate from Berkeley, 23-year-old Lewis, a white woman from New Orleans, was open to a new adventure—and a new man. She decided to go out on a date with Truth Lewis, a sexy, muscular, tattooed black man with a mysterious past. He had children from a previous relationship and claimed to have served in the Army and to have worked on covert assignments for the government. Lewis was hooked: Instead of taking only a year off before going to grad school as planned, she moved with Truth back to her hometown. The couple lived in relative poverty at first but became affluent as successful entrepreneurs running porn sites during the early days of the Internet. They eventually got married, but the relationship was on a downward spiral nearly from the start. Truth wasn’t all he seemed and was soon physically abusing Lewis on a regular basis. His sudden death from an unusual heart condition set Lewis free from the abuse, but she was left a widow at 27. Relieved but still grieving, Lewis then encountered Truth in her dreams and in sessions with mediums, which helped her make peace with her own demons (which included a history of self-cutting and overeating) and embark on a new life as an actor, wife and mother in California. From the start, Lewis draws readers into her story, acknowledging her own flaws and desires while providing a surprisingly compassionate depiction of the troubled Truth. The author’s depiction of Truth’s return after death is left rather hazy, leaving readers wanting more. Similarly, Lewis provides scant detail about her subsequent acting career, her second marriage (in her bio, she lists that she now lives only with a daughter) and her stint in a mental hospital prior to meeting Truth. Still, Lewis has crafted a compelling tale that will resonate with anyone seeking to reconcile and move on from his or her past.
A raw, heartfelt memoir of one woman’s spiritual evolution.
A highly organized, informative discussion of the immigration system in the United States.
In this politically charged environment, Afrasiabi manages to broach the volatile issue of immigration in a well-rounded, surprisingly effective framework that combines case studies, historical research, statistical analysis and personal anecdotes to detail the current issues and propose solutions. Invocations of Kafka, “The Twilight Zone” and “Alice in Wonderland” prove warranted as illustrations of the often surreal circumstances that confront immigrants facing deportation. Immigrants usually lack access to quality legal representation, while their situation can be made doubly difficult due to language barriers and significant cultural differences. Afrasiabi incorporates his work with colleagues and students at the Chapman University School of Law to deftly weave together the facts of several compelling cases and their underlying legal issues, with a genuine sense of suspense as readers wonder if justice will be truly be served. Occasionally, though, the narrative becomes overwrought—two federal laws passed in 1996 are “dark storm clouds depositing their sleet”—although, considering the life-changing effects of court decisions, it’s difficult to overstate the ramifications: extralegal rendition of individuals with pending cases and the de facto deportation of native-born children whose parents are deported. Afrasiabi also addresses the legacy of various anti-alien laws in California, as well as marriage equality for same-sex couples when one partner is a noncitizen. As the subtitle asserts, Afrasiabi employs his additional experience in the field of property law to contrast the stark differences between immigration judges and constitutional judges, like their qualifications, vetting processes and even the oaths they take. His arguments culminate in seven concrete reforms proposed in the conclusion. In order to make the immigration system more just and effective, Afrasiabi claims the solutions are closer than we may think; we can implement procedures and safeguards already in place within the constitutional courts.
A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.
Walkley pits CIA agents against a maniacal Saudi prince intent on starting World War III in this debut thriller.
Delta Force operative Lee McCloud, aka Mac, finds himself in Mexico, trying to rescue two teenage girls kidnapped by a drug cartel. But things go from bad to worse when the villains don’t play by the rules. Framed for two murders he didn’t commit, Mac has two options: go to prison or go to work for a CIA black-op group run by the devious Wisebaum, who hacks into terrorists’ bank accounts and confiscates millions of dollars. However, there’s more going on than meets the eye; Saudi Prince Khalid is in possession of nuclear canisters, with which he hopes to alter world history. Khalid also dabbles in trafficking young women, and harvesting and selling human organs. When Wisebaum’s black-op team targets Khalid’s father, the action becomes even more intense. With so many interweaving subplots—kidnapped girls, Israeli undercover agents, nuclear weapons and a secret underwater hideout—it could be easy to lose track of what’s going on. But the author’s deft handling of the material ensures that doesn’t occur; subplots are introduced at the appropriate junctures and, by story’s end, all are accounted for and neatly concluded. Mac is portrayed as a rough and ready action-hero, yet his vulnerabilities will evoke empathy in readers. He finds a love interest in Tally, a hacker whose personality is just quirky enough to complement his own. All Walkley’s primary characters are fleshed out and realistic, with the exception of Wisebaum—a malicious, double-dealing, back-stabber of the worst ilk; the reader is left wondering about Wisebaum’s motivations behind such blatant treachery.
Despite this, Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict.