Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Savvy Diva by Jahzara: Review, Book Excerpt and Author Interview

I am thrilled to be able to share with you Savvy Diva by Jahzara (the Savvy Diva!)  This is a really cool book that looked like a fun read right from the start!  Big thanks to Pump Up Your Books for allowing me to participate in this book tour!

About the Book:

Savvy Diva’s Take On…44 Days of Random Thoughts & Observations is an easy going, up and down, serious but funny, “make my day” type of book that sends a reader on a roller coaster ride. The narrative format will have you laughing, smiling and nodding your head as Jahzara expresses her random thoughts and opinions from a unique perspective.

Jahzara peels away layers of her life, dotting each experience with an outlook that is a breath of fresh air, revealing her wacky outlook on family, friendships, love and relationships.

Jahzara, the Savvy Diva will bring out the hidden emotions in everyone from a deep place of universal relevance.

Savvy Diva on the WEB

About the Author:

SAVVY DIVA — I am comprised of words, wisdom, and witty humor. I am a resident blogger for the publishing/production company JAHPHUT, and passionately enjoy sketching my thoughts and ideas onto a clean landscape of white space — whether surrounded by a template in Microsoft word, or a composition notebook. Savvy Diva’s Take On… was birthed from an array of random thoughts, observations, and sometimes rants. I decided to share my thoughts with the virtual world of bloggers, readers, and individuals who may just be browsing through a network of channels to kill time on the internet.

Random thoughts often flood my mind sporadically, beginning as soon as the rooster’s crow echoes throughout the walls of my house. The roosters prompt the constant pacing of the lions and wolves that share the same space. Intrigued yet — or just confused? Yes, Yes, I know some would question exactly where it is that I live or perhaps what kind of person lives with both roosters and lions. Let’s just say that my spiritual aura calms the most aggressive lions and wolves. The roosters are actually my two feisty parakeets that reside in a cage above ground level, away from the three rambunctious kittens and two overbearing, protective dogs. I found my notepad filling up quick with comedic views, rants and sometimes serious observations that have transferred over to this blog for sheer enjoyment.

Perhaps you’ll experience a loud outburst of laughter, a flashback or even a head nod in agreement. Just read, relate, and come back to visit often.

Author Interview: 

Do you see writing as a career?

Definitely, writing is my passion. It’s the first thing on my mind when I wake up in the morning.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Definitely not. I took my time and carefully chose my words, titles, and content. It’s a reflection of my most honest, vulnerable and sometimes rugged self.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I can’t recall the exact day, but I can definitely recall the exact classroom and desk I was sitting at while writing the perfect words to describe my favorite, delectable dessert, the Suzie Q’. It was so easy and natural for me to take something so interesting and exciting, and create a story or poem to describe in detail how I felt. Everyone who knows the real Jahzara, knows that I am passionate about cupcakes and cakes like I am about writing.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Dr. Meredith Rode, my favorite undergrad professor of the University of the District of Columbia, instilled the truth of my gift inside of me, and made me understand my talent wasn’t a skill that I acquired through school. If she hadn’t pushed me to be true to my gift, I would be a working as a pediatric nurse.

How much of the book is realistic?

I would say 50% of the book is realistic because the short stories/chapters were created from a thought, observation and/or experience I consumed, and the other 50% is pure creativity. I learned early on that I am so detailed when telling a story. My friends would always tease me about the flaw of taking too long to get to the juicy part of my gossip because I would make sure I described each intricate detail. I guess I turned my flaw into a collection of short stories.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The observations and thoughts I’ve written about definitely come from a compartment of experience in my mind, but each story isn’t about one specific situation. I sort of grouped several experiences together and revealed them from either a humorous or serious point of view.

What books have most influenced your life most?

I can recall early childhood memories of my father selling insurance and encyclopedias. During those times, my father would bring home books that he’d receive from agents, and he brought home Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. The book was a hardback and trimmed in gold. It was the most exquisite book I had seen. When I opened the book, the story was even more exquisite. From that point on, I think I had a love for books and stories because your mind could travel anywhere the story led you – just as Alice’s mind led her. Other books that influence my life and my mind as a child and now as a writer are the Choose Your Own Adventure book series, by Edward Packard. I loved the series because it gave a child the choice to decide on the ending. I love choices and the freedom to choose, whether it is a book ending or a decision in life. Someday I plan on writing a book for adults that allow the reader to choose the ending.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I think I would choose Marita Golden. She is very prolific and writes with a cause in mind. She writes novels, but she also writes non-fiction to educate and bring awareness to prevalent issues that some may overlook.

What do you think is the sole purpose of books?

I believe the sole purpose of books is to educate through storytelling. Words are important to evolve minds to create, enhance lives whether through fictional stories or non-fictional truths.

How would you convince a young person to pursue writing?

I would encourage a young person, as I do with my own son, to begin writing by journaling every day. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task, especially if the goal is to become a great writer. If you think about something that intrigues your mind, then write about it. Begin with a sentence, and watch the sentence grow into paragraphs. Soon a complete story will be written.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned to be patient, to trust my instinct and to recognize that when Goosebumps rise on my neck and arms while I’m writing, it means at that moment I’m fulfilling my true gift and purpose by creating my very own masterpiece.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I would advise writers to stay true to their gift. If a writer only thinks about the characters in their stories, or the thoughts in their heads, or the experiences that inspire a story to be told; and they can’t wait to get out of their bed in the morning to write and they hesitate to go to bed in the evening because they want to write; the most prevalent advice one can give…is to just keep Writing!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I want to thank my readers in advance for their support and to let them know that Savvy Diva’s Take On…44 Days of Random Thoughts & Observations is a literary thrill ride of roller coasters and emotional relevance.

Book Excerpt:

Day 1: The Autobiography of Jahzara

Birthed into a world of chaos, my spirit rose from the womb and hovered with the angels until breath was digested into my lungs—then the bells rang loudly, announcing the arrival of a beauty . . . Me!

I’m that chick, moisturized with confidence, resilience, power, and faith, built to outlast the toughest circumstances often created to block my predeter- mined destiny.

Often, I’m like a raging bull, fearless and strapped with focus and determination ringing from the bells of my horns . . . my horns, locked and pointed directly at the haters of my world . . . the fake ONES who loosely use the terms love and friendship.

I’m pretty, yes, gorgeous indeed. I’m tagged with arrogance, conceit, but those who really know me can’t deny that I’m a humble being that’s sensitive as hell. Yes, I’m a sensitive chick flawed with the desire for perfection and straightforwardness with no chaser. I’m the lioness on the prowl to conquer success and will devour the naysayers who swallow double doses of the 40 oz gallon of HATRED whenever I mention dreams and possibilities.

At night, I’m a Tasmanian Angel perched above ignorance and arrogance that fuel my intuitive side to rise above the mess. I rise above it all when I channel my supreme being who magnifies my true purpose. My destiny has been predetermined and is unchangeable. I am willed to speak my truths, which define me, but I am also funny, honest, strong minded, optimistic, and sensitive to lies and nonsense……

I am Jahzara, the Savvy Diva. I’m a hometown city girl with a big, big, ego and a heart full of love. I love to talk and express my thoughts and opinions aloud, giving testimonial glimpses of my experiences and dysfunctional opinions. My humility is packed with a smile, sigh, or frown. Whether my days are long or my nights are short . . . I’m committed to communicating each and every thought.

My Thoughts:
If  I had just one word to describe this read: HILARIOUS!  This truly is a "make-my-day" kind of book that gets you laughing our loud and realizing how many hysterical situations we women find ourselves in.  I appreciated the balance that the author had between the funny laugh-out loud moments and the more serious observations.

The title which made me scratch my head at first is absolutely appropriate for this author's work.  It is written in such a way that it truly does feel like a journey through the 44 days of her life, and it is interesting because it makes you wonder what you would put on paper if you wrote down your simple observations for a span of time.  What do we miss each day simply because of the hustle and bustle?  I enjoyed that fact that this read made me think of that. 

This is a light, quick read and it really does allow readers to get a taste for how this author thinks.  I could very much imagine her sitting at her desk, recollecting things to include in this novel.  Kudos to her, this novel will be popular among women for sure!

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