What’s in a Name? | African American Fiction (and More)

Urban fiction dialog weighs in on the rough side laced with insults and profanity. There’s also name calling to challenge a rival or just to be a hater. While male characters are quick to pull pistols in a fight, women enter frays with cut-to-the-bone verbal insults. Here are examples from this month’s selections.

  • Badass chick
  • Bodacious sista
  • Bougie heffa
  • Fast-tailed heffa
  • Filthy whore
  • Heffa
  • Jezebel
  • Miss Thang
  • Moody-ass bitch
  • Queen from da hood
  • Rebound chick
  • Riffraff
  • Scumbag
  • Thang-thang
  • Whore mongering piece of gutter trash
  • Whoring bitch



OrangeReviewStar There Will Be Blood | African American Fiction (and More)Collins, S.K. Wide Open. Strebor: Atria. (Strebor on the Streetz).  Feb. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9781593095529.  wideopenpap. $14. F

Ezeekial Harris manages to get fired from his McJob at Staples and hates not having money to spend on his girlfriend Chelsea. On the other hand, Chelsea is too busy clubbing around Washington, D.C., and sexing up major drug dealers while playing ol’ Zeek for a fool. He doesn’t get the message, and the poor boy finds himself scrapping together $4.95 for a “Think of You” card while Chelsea enjoys a romp in bed with Zeek’s high school enemy, Rodney. Finally realizing Chelsea is not all that, Zeek sets out to salvage his ego by becoming a major player in the drug game and making bundles of money. Every businessman has goals, and Zeek accomplishes his by eliminating the competition with cold-blooded precision. Soon he’s moving major product while enjoying daily sexual servicing from scads of women. But empires flush with stacks of money and flashy cars can be destroyed by little things like jealousy or lies. As the tattoo on one of Zeek’s woman’s neck states, “Only Time will Tell.” VERDICT This author’s fast-moving debut tale doesn’t spare readers from wild action in the streets and in the bedroom. Authentic street talk, hot sex and cold-blooded killing plus a nifty ending will satisfy readers of hard-core urban fiction.

Chase, Naomi. Betrayal. Dafina: Kensington. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780758284372. pap. $15. F

Some readers probably hope Brandon and Tamia will make it as a couple in the third installment of Chase’s Exposed series (Exposed; Deception). Other folks may grow annoyed with Houston attorney Brandon Chambers’s irritating dithering between Cynthia Yarbrough (who may be carrying his unborn child) and former porn star Tamia Luke. Brandon is engaged to Cynthia but lusts for Tamia. Get on with it dude! Make a decision! The problem is Dominic Archer, another gorgeous guy that Tamia sleeps with who has her “cursing and chanting during sex.” That’s the basis of the story—will Tamia and Brandon find everlasting love? Or will they stray to other sexual partners? Their path to love (or more accurately—lust) is a twisty one with many erotic encounters that prove angry sex is just as good as make-up sex.VERDICT The will-he-or-won’t-he back and forth by Brandon becomes tedious, but toe-curling erotic scenes ease the boredom. Fans of the series will be satisfied with the rousing ending as Team Cynthia and Team Tamia square off in a winner take all showdown.


Ellis, Shelly. Another Woman’s Man: A Gibbons Gold Diggers Novel. Dafina: Kensington. May 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780758290380. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780758290991. F

Dawn Gibbons is 37 years old, married twice, and is more interested in running an art gallery than romance. But this third Gibbons sister can’t avoid falling in love like her siblings Stephanie and Lauren (Can’t Stand the Heat; The Player and the Game). Wealthy Herbert Allen appears at an art showing informing Dawn he’s her biological father. Dawn recovers from her shock to immediately cast her eyes on Herb’s lawyer, sexy Xavier Hughes. Too bad Xavier is engaged to Dawn’s newly discovered half sister Constance, but the Gibbons girls are known to get their hustle on with grace and style. Soon enough Xavier and Dawn are sneaking longing glances at each other with Dawn ignoring the warning voice in her head not to get involved. Dawn also forgets the Gibbons rule of putting family first and men somewhere between shoes and handbags VERDICT Fans of the first two books will slide comfortably into Ellis’s familiar style that has an-easy-to-spot ending. Yet, Dawn’s trials on the way to find true love are totally enjoyable, making the final outcome more of an affirmation than a surprising twist. Realistic voices and interesting sidebars mark this story as a solid addition to all romance collections.

Hilton, Erica. Bad Girl Blvd. Melodrama. 2014. 274p. ISBN 9781620780237. pap. $14.99. F

A good girl breaks bad in Hilton’s (Dirty Money Honey; Wifey: I Am Wifey. Part 2) tale of greed, betrayal, and bloody revenge. Luca Linn, a nice girl with a high-pitched little girl voice, is totally in love with Nate, who is Brooklyn’s major heroin dealer. Nate’s also a playa and is sexing up Luca’s best friend Naomi. Tech savvy Luca has captured the nasty deed on a surveillance camera but decides to keep Nate’s betrayal a secret. That is until Nate is gunned down in a fouled-up drug deal. Sensing an opportunity to reinvent her life, Luca dons a pink wig, hikes up a short skirt, and takes over Nate’s heroin business. She boldly struts her stuff and pulls in serious cash by renaming her heroin product “Bad Girl.” The drug takes Brooklyn by storm, and soon enough anyone who has crossed Luca receives brutal payback in gruesome torture scenes. This is one girl who has to have it her way. VERDICT Pure street cred is all over this story with several cringe-worthy torture scenes. It can be argued that there’s too much going on, especially during the convoluted path to a chopped ending that promises a sequel. However the alluring title, a tough-as-nails female gang, and rousing sex scenes will generate high demand.


Morrison, Mary B. If You Don’t Know Me. Dafina: Kensington. Apr. 2014. 245p. ISBN 9780758273055. $24; marybmorrisonebk. ISBN 9780758273109. F

Morrison piles on extra helpings of soap opera-esque drama in this final entry of her “If I Can’t Have You” trilogy (I’d Rather Be With You; If I Can’t Have You). There’s more than a lovers’ triangle going on in Houston, and with so many hookups relationships land somewhere between a pentagon and heptagon. The saga of Roosevelt “Chicago” Debois continues as he’s torn between hot mistress Sindy Singleton and his wife Madison. The question that’s on everyone’s mind is, “Who is the father of Madison’s son Zach?” Is it Chicago or delusional stalker Granville Washington? Not complicated enough? Morrison inserts several side piece women who love sexing up the fellas plus creepy arranged sales of women to a Dubai billionaire who demands virgins. At one point Chicago realizes women can be distractions. Ya think? VERDICT There’s a rushed feel to this novel that veers off into unrelated tangents with little or no setup. Readers unfamiliar with the previous titles will quickly become lost in the many overly complicated story lines. Still, hot, hot, hot sex scenes will draw interest for erotica fans.

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  1. amy cheney says:

    Always hilarious and enjoyable to read your columns. Thanks.

  2. Franicsca Goldsmith says:

    Like Amy sez, Rollie!