Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Spotlight: Accused by Yasmin Shiraz - Guest Post

A Retaliation Novel #2

Yasmin Shiraz

YA/NA Real Life Fiction
Rolling Hills Press
January 2014


An easier and more peaceful life seemed to be destined for Ahmed and Tashera when they left Washington, DC and entered Georgia Atlantic University. But when Ahmed is accused of a crime that he didn't commit and begins to be tried in the media, his popularity plummets, his self-esteem suffers, and his dreams of playing college basketball disappear.

Meanwhile, there is a serial rapist on campus who has been attacking freshman girls at record numbers and forcing them to keep silent. As Tashera learns about the girls, she begins to close in on the rapist. But is the attacker too crafty to be caught? Will the state prosecutor ignore key evidence to instead focus on the fame that comes with convicting a high profile basketball star?

Tashera is beyond stressed as she divides her time between trying to find enough evidence to clear Ahmed while at the same time stopping the rapist who roams the campus of Georgia Atlantic. Ahmed and Tashera's journey into a new life away from home is more challenging than they ever thought that it would be.

About Accused

ACCUSED is real life fiction and follows the main characters as they deal with an incident involving sexual assaults on college campuses with one character being falsely accused of a crime.

Accused is the 2nd book in the Retaliation young adult series. The first book, Retaliation, was selected as a Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers by the American Library Association's YALSA division.


AN AMAZON TOP 500 BOOK REVIEWER had this to say about Accused:"I recommend it for teen readers... Shiraz has a knack for writing in the voice of teen characters without having to resort to obscenities. It's an important and worthwhile YA novel."


"Retaliation is a vital book that will fly off the shelves in any "urban" library and your problem will be how to find more books for your young people who want to read…"

Guest Post 

The Main Character from Accused by Yasmin Shiraz
My name is Tashera...

My name is Tashera Odom. I'm a freshman at Georgia Atlantic University.  During my last year in high school, I was attacked by three girls that I didn't know. I was in the hospital and everything. It was the ABSOLUTE worst! There was press coverage, some of it was put in the book, Retaliation. But anyway, I got over it. I don't know how really. I guess my boyfriend, Ahmed, helped me. Well, after going through that, I decided that I wanted to leave Washington, DC. That's where I grew up. So, my boyfriend and I both got accepted into this school in Georgia and now we're here as freshman.

Everything seemed fine, until I joined this young women's support group. See, since I was attacked, sometimes, I get angry, and frustrated. People say that I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I don't know about that. I just walk around pissed off sometimes. Well, anyway, since joining this group, I've noticed that a lot girls on campus have been getting drugged and sexually assaulted. I thought getting jumped was bad but I think this is worse.  The girls can't remember what happened to them. It's like somebody wiped away their memory or something. Some real 'caught up in the Matrix' type stuff.

I don't like that this is happening.  I've joined a self-defense class and coupled with this women's support group, I'm going to do something about the person or persons who are attacking my fellow women students on campus. I'm not a detective, but I'm no longer a victim either. All I know is, this stuff isn't right and I'm going to do something about it. 

If I were to tell you something about myself, I would say these three things:

1. When someone takes something away from you, it changes you.  In my case, I was beat up for no reason and it forced me to see people differently. There are real cold people in this world.

2. I don't believe that any ONE person wears a cape. I believe we all wear capes. When I was beaten last year, no one came to that empty lot to save me.  And, because of that I know that I want to do more to wear a cape for myself and help others find their capes.

3. I believe everyone must try harder. If you don't like a situation or circumstance, you gotta find a way to change it. I made the mistake of thinking that my mom could solve all my problems, but you know what? I had to learn to solve some of my problems for myself. So, I now consider myself a problem solver.

Now, you know something about me.


To learn more about the book Accused, visit the author's website:
Find her on twitter @yasminshiraz

About the Author

Yasmin Shiraz is the author of the Retaliation series of YA novels. The first novel in the series, Retaliation, won a Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers Award from the American Library Association. She is also the author of the best selling Tisha Ariel Nikkole series which includes the novels Exclusive & Privacy. Shiraz is also a filmmaker--having wrote, directed and produced the documentary girl fight film, Can She Be Saved? and the teen suicide prevention webseries, Sources.

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