~The Daily Journal
Binx everybody knows her. She is a daughter, niece, sister, cousin, friend, neighbor, student, co-worker. Young, vulnerable, beautiful, smart, and trapped by that thing called fear. In Black Beans 'n Rice, the author takes you on a fast-paced reading journey from pain to peace with all the ups, downs, twists, and turns in between. It's just under 300 pages, but the pages turn fast as you sense every fear when her abuser's name is mentioned, every lump in the throat when the phone ring as you scream Binx, don't answer it. Only relaxing when you learned it wasn’t “him” this time. You will hate those who mistreather and worship the real friends she has. You'll cry with her, and in the end, you are right there smiling when she finally learns to trust again, and allows herself to be loved. Binx finds happiness while teaching the world how to forgive.
Kankakee Daily Journal
The Pathfinder -Urban Booksource
Author Dena Tyson has written a wonderful yet, abusive story about love, pain, friendship, and finding one’s self despite the suffering, heartaches and other emotions that are sparked and triggered when one is involved in an abusive relationship. The only way out is to escape by any means necessary. You feel the pain and loneliness that will sometimes feed doubts into the mind of someone trying to escape from such a situation. Dena touches upon the tenderness, warmth, love, pain and horrors of what it takes to get through an abusive relationship.Bianca also called Binx is the protagonist. The story revolves around her naivety, impressionable choices and decisions that she made at a rather young age. Unsure of her faith and what awaited her in life, a young Binx encounters Spooney an older man. Captivated by his maturity, and the manner in which he dealt with her, Binx fell head over heels in love with him. Soon thereafter, the control factor began along with the abuse. Unsure and afraid Binx confides in her gay friend, Hershey. Hershey was a constant in her life as she contemplated her next move. Hershey listened and advised her on what to do and what not to do concerning Spooney. After getting up the nerves and courage to walk away from Spooney, Binx encounters Eason. They immediately fall in love. Unbeknownst to Binx, Spooney finds out. Not one to give in rather easily Spooney made his rounds. Binx eventually tells Eason about Spooney but instead of being there for her, he chose his cocaine and his friend Sweets instead. Sweets would end up raping Binx, but love is bliss and despite the turmoil that he had put her through Binx reached out to Spooney who came to her rescue. Sweets was quickly taken care of.Believing he now had a chance; Spooney was back in his comfort zone once again. Binx needed to let go and for an instant she fell into that old trap. She made love to Spooney with a lot of reservation and doubts. She knew what she did wasn’t the best thing to do. She questions not only her own motives but Spooney’s as well. Would he want her back? What if she told him she didn’t? Would he walk away and leave her alone? Would she ever find true love? Was there someone out there much closer to her age awaiting her? These were some of the questions Binx contemplated.I loved how Dena intertwined her naivety and impressionable behavior throughout the story to display Binx’s remarkable maturity despite her young age as the story progressed. I loved how she used Binx, to dictate each characters role and how they were defined in the story. She didn’t allow any of the other characters to upstage Binx and vice versa. Binx was the initiator and in spite of her friendship with Hershey whom I thought was funny as hell (no pun intended) and Spooney’s stalking mentality she didn’t allow them to take away her hurt, pain, love and redemption when she needed it. This story is about walking away from an abusive situation and having the courage to do so. Kudos to you Dena Tyson, one of the better books I have read so far.
-What did you like about the book?I loved her writing style and the manner in which she maneuvered each character. The storyline was believable.
-What did you dislike about the book? Nothing!
-How can the author improve this book?It’s good as it is! She doesn’t need to do anything.
In Black Beans N' Rice, Ms. Tyson describes her successful emergence from an abusive relationship. The main character, Bianca, is hard working, self-reliant and ashamed. Although the physical and emotional scars from her past left her feeling ashamed, she still continued to date. Her account reveals an invaluable lesson. An abusive relationship, nor any part of your past, will reduce your value. True triumph!!
Sincerely,Rhonda -CBC Real Talk Radio
JOB WELL DONE!! 11/18/2009 REVIEWER: D. Abella
Congratulations Dena! I can't wait to add this book to my collection. I have to be completely honest with you though...I don't like to read. My entire life I have never finished a book from start to finish even with college textbooks, I would just skip around and glance at the stuff that was relevant. However, hubby and I went to Vegas a few weeks ago and at the last minute I decided to grab "Black Beans 'N Rice" and stuck it in my purse. I started reading it on the flight and I could not put it down! I read the entire thing in one trip! Even hubby was reading over my shoulder and couldn't wait for me to turn the page! The entire story played out in my head like a movie. So I just have to say, JOB WELL DONE! I am a complete fan and can not wait to make some time to dive into the next book! Luv ya!Dami
The Bomb!! , 07/10/2009 Reviewer: Beverly "Dimples" Rowley OMG, this book is the book, amongst the rest of Dena Tyson's book. This book makes you smile, cry and most of all its a page turner. When you try to put it down, you find yourself wanting to see whats on the other page. I loved this book and you will too. All of Dena everyone in some way or another and trust me, everyone knows someone like her characters. Keep on writing.. Hope to see them on Big Screen soon...
Black Beans 'N Rice , 07/10/2009 Reviewer: Brooklen Borne This is a wonderful written book with a great plot. Mrs. Dena Tyson had put her foot in the making of this tasty dish of Black Beans 'N Rice. This is a must read for sure. Outstanding job!!!!
Outstanding!, August 9, 2009By James
What an incredible read. Dena out did herself with this one. The story was most captivating the characters were amazing. I love the way she writes. It's as if you're right there in the room apart of it all. She keeps it real and her stories never lag, she keeps you wanting more. It's a breath of fresh air, I laughed, I cheered and just hated for the story to end! Fantastic read and I can't wait for your next book. Buy the book people... you won't be able to put this one down.