Friday, October 25, 2019

PATRICK TURNS HIS PLAY INTO PAY by: Patrick & Shani Muhammad

Shani & Patrick Muhammad
* Children *

Author: Patrick Muhammad & Shani Muhammad
Publisher: 5 Star Publishing
Pages: 40
Genre: Children’s Book

Once great and powerful sorcerers, the Amasiti were hunted to the brink of extinction by the Hir and his followers. For four hundred years, their legacy faded from memory waiting for the hope of Aferi to be renewed…

In the Land of Yet

At the edge of the Forbidden Forest

A young woman lives alone.

Forced to fend for herself after the brutal murder of her family, Ameenah Yemini has made a life for herself as a master tanner and farmer, only venturing into the world to earn her living then return to the safety and seclusion of her home.

Until a chance encounter brings her work to the attention of the powerful Hir and her careful life begins to unravel.

Drawn to the hidden magic that lingers in everything she touches, the new Hir insists on having her for himself, using the people around her to force Ameenah into his grasp.

When she realizes that her greatest enemy may hold the key to a secret she thought lost to her forever, Ameenah is determined to reclaim her stolen past.  But, at what cost? As an ancient power waits to be unleashed, Ameenah’s choices will make the difference between awakening a new magic or delivering it into the hands of evil.


Patrick Turns His Play into Pay is a cute picture book.  It is written in rhyme meter.  A little boy who is in need of money and solves his problem buy baking something yummy to sell and get some money.  His Madea teaches him the basics and Dad and Mom help when they don't have the money to give him right on hand.  If you have a young budding entrepreneur be sure to get this book to help motivate them to keep their dream alive at all cost, even when they get told no with the first few customers.  The illustrations in this book look as though they are done in chalk or pencil.  Can't wait to read other books in this series. 


South Florida based janitor turned serial entrepreneur, Patrick Muhammad took what some would call an unconventional route to his newest venture.  “What I do now has evolved.  It truly took my passion and has turned it into a profession for me. I can see myself mentoring and sharing my story with young people easily for the next 20 years.  I love talking to young people and showing them, what entrepreneurship looks like. I love sharing my stories of how I came to be.  I didn’t just wake up one day and have all the answers.  My wife and I bumped our head A LOT.  I just want to say to them, look…here’s the blueprint.  Start now, don’t wait until you’re 30.  Passion has no age requirement, and has no limit on how many you can have. I started out as a janitor, then became a baker now I am into motivational speaking. They just have to have the passion and guidance. Anything is possible.”

“Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay” is the 1st book in a series of children’s books authored by husband and wife writing partners, Shani and Patrick Muhammad. The idea for the book was created one night while trying to explain the reason there was a gigantic, neon, pink and orange food-truck, now sitting in their front yard to their then 4 year-old Qadeer.   Patrick and his wife came up with the idea that they would write a keepsake item for all their children, detailing the road they took to becoming entrepreneurs.  The primary message is simple. By tapping into your passion early in life you can turn your playdays into paydays.  Once the book was published they both realized that the story could not only inspire their own children to entrepreneurship, but others as well. Shani figured out how to self-publish it and Patrick would take it to different youth groups in his community.   “I began shopping the book around to childcare centers and non-profits that served young people in the projects and the adults loved it.  “They really loved the idea that it was based on a true story and that the message was coming from a black male perspective. A story their children could relate to.  The images were brown like them and I just always got a positive response.  We took that book everywhere with us, and the response was this is a message that’s needed.  Children can’t be what they can’t see.”

Patrick currently lives in South Florida with his wife and three of his youngest five children.  He has a passion for planting the seed of entrepreneurship and carving out wealth building opportunities for his children’s generation. When he’s not writing books he’s on tour, speaking to groups of young people about basic principles of financial literacy and the benefits of early investing using cryptocurrency as a vehicle to establish future financial goals. When he’s not doing that…he’s on a creek with a fishing pole in his hand.

Shani Muhammad has been married to Patrick for 17 years now.  Together they have 5 children and 3 grandchildren.   Shani has spent the past 15 years in a classroom as a teacher. She too is a serial entrepreneur and has in the past owned a one-price shoe store, group homes and several online businesses. When she’s not working on the next children’s book in their series, she too enjoys researching and investing in crypto currencies and planning her family’s next “staycation.”



Tuesday, October 8, 2019


Sheila Roberts
* Women's Fiction *

Author: Sheila Roberts
Publisher: MIRA
Pages: 304
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Olivia Berg’s charity, Christmas from the Heart, has helped generations of families in need in Pine River, Washington, but this year might be the end of the road. Hightower Enterprises, one of their biggest donors since way back when Olivia’s grandmother ran the charity, has been taken over by Ebenezer Scrooge the Second, aka CFO Guy Hightower, and he’s declared there will be no more money coming to Christmas from the Heart.

Guy is simply being practical. Hightower Enterprises needs to tighten its belt, and when you don’t have money to spare, you don’t have money to share. You’d think even the pushy Olivia Berg could understand that.

With charitable donations dwindling, Olivia’s Christmas budget depends on Hightower’s contribution. She’s focused her whole life on helping this small town, even putting her love life on hold to support her mission.

When Guy’s Maserati breaks down at the edge of the Cascade foothills, he’s relieved to be rescued by a pretty young woman who drives him to the nearby town of Pine River. Until he realizes his rescuer is none other than Olivia Berg. What’s a Scrooge to do? Plug his nose and eat fruitcake and hope she doesn’t learn his true identity before he can get out of town. What could go wrong?


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Author Sheila Roberts put together a beautiful modern day scrooge story with a touch of romance that you won't be able to put down.  Christmas is always thought of as family and romance time so Roberts adds that into the mix.  You travel to Olivia Berg's little known town, Pine River, WA and see how they celebrate as a community even when big enterprises fail to meet holiday giving expectations.  My copy of the book has unfortunately seen it's better days as it has traveled with me as I've read it.  It has seen a can of pop explode on it's pages as well as been water logged as my water bottle spilled in my bag I was carrying it in. But none the less I had a hard time putting the book down.  In the back of the book there are some special Christmas tips and recipes.  It's a good book to curl up and read getting yourself into the holiday spirit.   However, if you are one that prefers no slang/cursing there are some words mingled thought out.  

The scenery on Highway 2 was travel magazine worthy. Guy had seen enough of the world to know heaven when he saw it, and Western Washington with its lush trees, sparkling waters and mountains was, indeed, heaven. Not a bad detour if you had to take one.
Guy roared through Monroe, then Sultan and Skyway, racing past forests and rivers, pastures, and barns. The snow was really starting to come down. He’d have to stop and chain up once he reached the pass.
Three miles past Gold Bar his steering lost power, turning the car from a smooth driving, purring tiger to a rhino. He checked the dash and saw his alternator light was on. What was this? He pulled over, got out and opened the hood and looked under it to discover that his serpentine belt had broken. No notice, sudden as a heart attack.
Except for that squeal. He’d heard it earlier, too, but hadn’t paid attention.
He had no choice but to pay attention now. Guy may not have been an expert on cars but he did know that without that belt, he was going nowhere.
Frowning, he pulled his cell phone out of his North Face jacket. He hoped he wouldn’t have to wait long for his towing service to get to him. Who knew where they could tow him. Would he find a garage anywhere that would have a belt for an Italian sports car?
No cell reception. Oh, yeah, it just got better and better.
“Great,” he muttered. He’d just had this baby tuned up a couple months back. He shouldn’t be stuck here in the middle of nowhere. Why had he paid extra at the foreign car dealership for all those maintenance checks if they weren’t going to check and maintain everything?
There was nothing for it. He’d have to walk back to town and find a phone.
He slammed the hood shut, pulled his boots out of the trunk and put them on, still frowning. He liked snow, he was fit enough to walk ten miles if he had to. He just didn’t want to. He wanted to reach his destination. Thanks to whatever Gremlins had hopped in his engine along the way that probably wasn’t happening today.
He was just starting his trudge to town when an older model Honda Civic passed him and then stopped. It backed up and the passenger side window slid down. “Looks like you’ve got car troubles. Would you like a lift?” offered the driver.
Hadn’t this woman’s dad ever told her never to pick up strangers? If she was his sister he’d sure rip her a new one for stopping to let some man in her car, even in a blizzard. She had green eyes, curly hair the color of honey and plump, little kiss-me lips. Any crazy would climb right in and do who knew what to her.
Guy wasn’t crazy, but he was pissed, and in no mood to make polite conversation.
 “That’s okay, I’m fine,” he said, and continued to trudge on.
Freezing his ass off. Okay, maybe he was crazy.
Except, pissed as he was, he’d generate more than enough steam to keep warm.
She sure was cute though.
She coasted along beside him, backwards. “Not that you don’t look fit enough to walk, but it’s a ways in either direction. Cell phone reception can be spotty.”
He’d already discovered that.
“Maybe you’re afraid of girls?” she teased.
Not this girl. She had a smile like a magnet. Did he really want to walk back to Gold Bar?
He got in. “Thanks. I appreciate the lift.”
“Where are you headed?”
Idaho. Christmas with the family.” Step-family.
“Oh, my. You took the long way.”
“I had to stop in Arlington and pick up something for my mom.”
She nodded and smiled, obviously impressed by what a good son he was. Was this woman always so trusting?
He felt compelled to ask, “You don’t always go around picking up strangers, do you?”
“Oh, no.” She smiled. Man, those lips.
“That’s good. Cause you never know what kind of crazies are out there.”
“You didn’t look like one.”
“Ted Bundy probably didn’t either. Ever hear of him?” Okay, that sounded creepy.
Her smile faltered momentarily.
“I promise I’m not a serial killer,” he said in an effort to uncreep himself.
The smile returned full force. “I didn’t think so. I’m a good judge of character.”
“Yeah?” Suddenly he was feeling a little less pissed.
“Oh, yes,” she said with a nod that made the curls bounce.
He was a sucker for curly hair. You hardly ever saw women with real curly hair anymore. Why was that?
“And what makes you such a good judge of character?” he teased. She smelled like peppermint. He wondered if this little cutie was taken. Hard to tell since she was wearing gloves. There had to be a ring on that left hand. She looked about thirty, and by their thirties hotties like this one were never single. Or if they were they came with baggage.
“I deal with a lot of people. You get so you know.”
“Yeah? What do you do?” Coffee shop waitress, perhaps? Judging by the car she was driving, nothing that paid much.
“I run a non-profit.”
Oh, no. One of those. A person out to help others … using someone else’s money, of course. The memory of his unpleasant encounter with Olivia Berg arrived on the scene, irritating as jock itch. He could feel his jaw tightening.
This woman isn’t Olivia Berg. Don’t take your irritation out on her. “What’s the name of your organization?” he asked, the very image of diplomatic courtesy.
“Christmas from the Heart.”
“Christmas from…?” Oh, no. This wasn’t happening. This was some sick dream.
“Have you heard of it?”
“Uh, yeah.” The last thing he wanted was to be captive in a car with this woman. “Hey, any place you can drop me where there’s a phone will be great.” In fact, let me get out of this car right here, right now.
“I can do better than that. We’re not far from Pine River where I live,” she said. “We’ve got a garage there and Morris Bentley is an excellent mechanic. They can tow your car and have it fixed in no time.”
The sooner the better.
“My name’s Olivia Berg. My friends call me Livi.”
He would not qualify for friendship once she learned who he was. As far as this woman was concerned he was the devil incarnate.
She gave him an encouraging glance. And your name is?
Oh, boy. He could feel the sweat sneaking out of his pores. He’d been perfectly justified in cutting loose her little charity. He had no cause to feel guilty. None. But there she was smiling at him like they were on the road to friendship. Little Olivia Berg, the great judge of character. And here he was, feeling like Scrooge in front of a firing squad. With no blindfold.
Even though he had nothing to be ashamed of he couldn’t seem to spit out his name. Lie.
“Joe.” Yeah, Joe. Good, old everyman Joe.
Her expression asked, “Joe What?”
Joe…Joe… Why was this woman so pushy?
A truck rolled past, sending up a rooster tail of snow. “Ford,” he added. “Joe Ford.”
“Nice to meet you, Joe.”
She wouldn’t be saying that if she knew who he was.



Best-selling author Sheila Roberts has seen her books published in a dozen different languages and made into movies for both the Hallmark and Lifetime channels. She’s happily married and lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not hanging out with girlfriends, speaking to women’s groups or going dancing with her husband she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.