Tag: Inspiration

New book reviews coming soon…

On a Saturday, July 16, 2016, I attended the Soulful Chicago Book fair on Chicago’s south side.  In 2015; Founder, Asadah Kirkland brought over 20 years of experience to create The Soulful Chicago Book Fair . On this beautiful summer afternoon, I had the great pleasure to meet several authors with phenomenal, warm and intense stories to share. We talked about life journeys, family, relationships, being proud to be black, and what it means to grow up in urban communities.

From block to block, authors stood in their booths proudly holding books with confident smiles on their faces. Each block represented a genre of literary work. On the children’s story block, I got a sense of proud parents teaching, learning and sharing powerful stories that will be told for generations. Often times, young adults and children were the authors of the books. It was a proud and humbling experience to witness strong African-American relationships surrounded by books.

Here are a few authors I had the pleasure of meeting and discussing their work:

I Love My Hair by Author, Candace Edwards shares an amazing book that’s fun with phenomenal illustrations by Edward C. Kidd.

Growing up, I didn’t embrace and love my hair as much as Madison. I started to appreciate the beauty and unique qualities of my hair as I got older. I’m thankful Ms. Candace Edwards is sharing this story of confidence.

DSCN0359
Candace Edwards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Because by Author, Chiquita Camille Payne shares a heart-warming story about accepting one another and the importance of family love.

DSCN0362
Chiquita Camille Payne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneaky Little K by Author, Sheenita Robinson and Illustrations by Jason Holmes shares an incredible book on discovering phonetics and sounds with the Sneaky Little K.

DSCN0360
Sheenita Robinson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Love of Debbie La’treck” by Author, Habeeba B. Pasha and Illustrations by Pavel Melecky shares an amazing story about a girl name Vivian that has a creative spirit.  She’s an avid reader and loves to live through literary characters. The story and illustrations perfectly flow.

DSCN0358
Habeeba B. Pasha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legally Branded, A Memoir by Author Shanna Red is a memoir about Shashanna Wilson. She is a woman who survived a heroin-addicted mother, physical and mental abuse at foster homes that ultimately caused self-identity issues, unhealthy relationships, and education problems. “Legally Branded, A Memoir” takes you on a journey in the shoes of Shashanna as she fights to overcome the darkness of foster care.

DSCN0363
Shanna Red

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women’s Voices by Author Rebekah S. Cole is an intense story about Jonetta Miller. A young, pregnant and unwanted young lady sent away by her mother to live in Chicago to live with her Aunts. She is faced with tough choices as family tensions rise.

DSCN0367
Rebekah S. Cole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call Her by Her Name, Poems by Author Bianca Lynne Spriggs is a book of poetic genius. She tells stories that are rarely told. The book is a celebration of women. It breathes life into the complexity of women.

DSCN0381.jpg
Bianca Lynne Spriggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s read together and start conversations about  amazing authors and important topics!

If you’re an inspiring author, check out the following services:

Books Ink Literary Services has over 40 years of experience helping authors get books from manuscript to the literary marketplace.

Check out the website here:  Books Ink

 Follow Crystal on Twitter @ TousanaC

Interpreting Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman…

 

She’s Unbelievable

by Crystal Tousana

It’s easy to believe

When I rise, I breathe

Men want to know me

Not because my body is perfect

Because it’s not

I have no perfect curves

My moves are delicate

My legs stand tall

They see confidence in my eyes

When I speak, I tell the truth

My honesty is through the roof

My heart is on my sleeve

I’m unbelievable

You can read the entire poem here:  Phenomenal Woman

Share your version of Phenomenal Woman in the comments.

Crystal

Image

Follow crystal on Twitter @ TousanaC

Don’t let your HUE control your image: 5 great examples of mixing up color with great content.

Living in a world filled with color, it’s important to make your brand stand out.  Color has a way of changing our energy. The brighter the hue, the more energy we have.  The darker the hue, the more somber we become.

Associating color schemes with a product has a way of helping us determine our perception of the brand image. Marketers are tasked with figuring out what makes consumers get excited over a shade of lipstick, time spent in a freshly painted room, a new clothing line that’s runway ready, and many other competing brands looking to stand out.

Imagine breaking through a long journey of product development, go to production, land a deal with a major retailer, and ultimately your first sales hit your books. Days later a similar product line has a launch almost identical but the colors are all the rage. What’s next? Viciously fight for rack space? Or just improve on the next round?

In an Entrepreneur article titled,  The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding by Gregory Ciotti, he gives a comprehensive look at the role color plays in marketing. The ultimate goal is to determine the impact color has on customer engagement. The overall premise is that color is a feeling. Focusing on color should be more about what the product represents.

Mr. Ciotti says, It’s the feeling, mood, and image that your brand creates that play a role in persuasion. Be sure to recognize that colors only come into play when they can be used to match a brand’s desired personality (i.e., the use of white to communicate Apple’s love of clean, simple design).

The article speaks extensively to color perceptions. Great article but I personally believe we can get a bit too excited over color schemes and forget to mix it up with better content. 

Here are 5 great examples to consider when working your color scheme:

Check these out:

  1. Headspace Consumers recognize this health and meditation brand by the ORANGE dot but their following is based on awesome content.
  2. Blue Apron Consumers associate the BLUE apron with this super awesome recipe and ingredient service. According to Greg Fitzgerald, Blue Apron’s Director of Acquisition Marketing, the company spent its first few years explaining how the service worked. Now that it has more brand recognition, it’s turned to more in-depth storytelling.
  3. Sun Life Financial uses the brightness of the sun in their name and colors on the website. When talking about money it’s a great idea to connect to a bright future. This insurance giant knows how to turn content into a loyal following and find new followers.
  4. Red Bull You can’t deny RED Bull has the color red locked down for brand image. They successfully connected great content with a brand image that attracts athletes, busy professionals, college students, people taking long journeys, and anyone else ready to fly. Content is king in Red Bull’s story: The Story

My favorite:

  1. “Be Your Beautiful Self.”  Dove has an image of pure and clean. My heart melts whenever I see Dove’s advertisements and commercials . If brand was a human, I’d want to be Dove’s products merely because it represents clean and authentic storytelling told by women we see walking sidewalks every day. These women carry the rainbow in their heart.

I hold this quote from Dove’s website close to my heart:

Beauty is not defined by shape, size or color – it’s feeling like the best version of yourself. Authentic. Unique. Real. Which is why we’ve made sure our site reflects that. Every image you see here features women cast from real life. A real life version of beauty.

Go improve your content, color will follow!

Go to Caramel Lattes and Stilettos to read the pairing to this article!

img_4576