The discount sale Coldest Winter Ever online

The discount sale Coldest Winter Ever online

The discount sale Coldest Winter Ever online

Description

Product Description

Winter Santiaga, the daughter of one of Brooklyn''s most powerful drug czars, uses her own weapons--including sex and an aggressive attitude--to stay on top, after her father''s empire is threatened by a drug war

From Publishers Weekly

Hip-hop star, political activist and now writer, Sister Souljah exhibits a raw and true voice (though her prose is rough and unsophisticated) in this cautionary tale protesting drugs and violence among young African-Americans in the inner city. Winter Santiaga, the 17-year-old daughter of big-time drug dealer Ricky Santiaga, is spoiled and pampered, intoxicated by the power of her name and her sexuality. Riding high on the trade, Santiaga moves the family out of the Brooklyn projects to a mansion on Long Island where things start to disintegrate. Winter''s mother is shot in the face by competing drug dealers, the FBI arrest Santiaga and confiscate the family''s possessions. Then, while visiting her father at Rikers Island, Winter discovers her father has a 22-year-old mistress and a baby boy. For the first time, Winter feels anger toward her father and pity for her fallen mother. Being the ruthless hood rat that she is, however, Winter leaves her weakened relatives behind and sets off to regain her stature and reinstate her father. Attracted to power, intolerant of those without it, ill-equipped to deal on her own and predisposed to make all the wrong moves, she deceives and steals from those who help her and yet, somehow, she remains a sympathetic character. Winter''s obsession with money, possessions and appearances, her involvement in the drug trade and the parade of men she uses lead her down the wrong path. Sister Souljah herself appears as a "fictional" character who voices her belief that Winter''s vices are shared by many, and that greed, drugs and violence devalue the lives of urban youth. Souljah peppers her raunchy and potentially offensive prose with epithets and street lingo, investing her narrative with honesty albeit often at the expense of disciplined writing. But this is a realistic coming-of-age story of debauchery with a grave moral. Agent, Elyse Cheney. Author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The trials and tribulations of young Winter Santiaga are described in gritty detail in this coming-of-age novel, the first by the phenomenally popular rap star who frequently lectures on the themes of this novel: overcoming teenage pregnancy, fatherless households, and drug use in African American communities. As the oldest daughter of a successful drug dealer, Winter lacks for nothing. But after her father moves the family from the projects to a mansion on Long Island, Winters life begins to come apart. Her beautiful mother is shot, her father is sent to prison, and the familys possessions are seized by the government. Winter and her three sisters, Mercedes, Lexus, and Porsche, become wards of the state. Finally, arrested and convicted of transporting drugs in a boyfriends car, Winter receives a 15-year jail term. Sister Souljah herself appears as a character, urging Winter and other young black women to stand up to the men in their lives, abstain from drugs, and practice safe sex. Although the novels writing is amateurish, the message is sincere.
-Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Debut novel by hip-hop rap artist Sister Souljah, whose No Disrespect (1994), which mixes sexual history with political diatribe, is popular in schools country-wide. In its way, this is a tour de force of black English and underworld slang, as finely tuned to its heroine''s voice as Alice Walker''s The Color Purple. The subject matter, though, has a certain flashiness, like a black Godfather family saga, and the heroine''s eventual fall develops only glancingly from her character. Born to a 14-year-old mother during one of New York''s worst snowstorms, Winter Santiaga is the teenaged daughter of Ricky Santiaga, Brooklyn''s top drug dealer, who lives like an Arab prince and treats his wife and four daughters like a queen and her princesses. Winter lost her virginity at 12 and now focuses unwaveringly on varieties of adolescent self-indulgence: sex and sugar-daddies, clothes, and getting her own way. She uses school only as a stepping-stone for getting out of the houseafter all, nobody''s paying her to go there. But if there''s no money in it, why go? Meanwhile, Daddy decides it''s time to move out of Brooklyn to truly fancy digs on Long Island, though this places him in the discomfiting position of not being absolutely hands-on with his dealers; and sure enough the rise of some young Turks leads to his arrest. Then he does something really stupid: he murders his wife''s two weak brothers in jail with him on Riker''s Island and gets two consecutive life sentences. Winter''s then on her own, especially with Bullet, who may have replaced her dad as top hood, though when she selfishly fails to help her pregnant buddy Simone, there''s worsemuch worseto come. Thinness aside: riveting stuff, with language so frank it curls your hair. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Review

Sean Puffy Combs Sister Souljah is the #1 author of the hip-hop generation. She is a powerful and uncompromising voice for human rights. Souljah is definitely the bad girl of the millennium. -- Review

About the Author

Sister Souljah, born and raised in New York, is a graduate of Rutgers University. A hip-hop star, she is best known for her work as a political activist and educator of underclass urban youth. Currently, Souljah is the Executive Director of Daddy''s House Social Programs, Sean Puffy Combs'' not-for-profit company for children. A frequent guest on television''s most popular talk and news shows, Sister Souljah is a loved personality in her own community and was a featured speaker for the Million Woman March. She lives with her husband and son in New York City.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

I never liked Sister Souljah, straight up. She the type of female I''d like to cut in the face with my razor. Before I get heated just talking about her, let me make it clear who I am and where I stand. Don''t go jumping to any conclusions either. All of y''all are too quick to jump to her defense without knowing what somebody up close and personal thinks. When it comes right down to it, those are the ones who really count, the people who was there, who seen it all. Hell, you can''t smell nobody''s breath through a camera. You almost can''t even see their pimples. So you know that TV shit ain''t real. Don''t run ahead of me. Let me take my time and tell my story.

Brooklyn-born I don''t have no sob stories for you about rats and roaches and pissy-pew hallways. I came busting out of my momma''s big coochie on January 28, 1977 during one of New York''s worst snowstorms. So my mother named me Winter. My father, Ricky Santiaga, was so proud of his new baby girl that he had a limo waiting to pick my moms up from the hospital. The same night I got home my pops gave me a diamond ring set in 24-karat gold. My moms said that my fingers were too small and soft to even hold a ring in place, but he insisted that he had a guy who would have it adjusted just right. It was important for me to know I deserved the best, no slum jewelry, cheap shoes, or knock-off designer stuff, only the real thing.

We lived in the projects but we were cool with that. We weren''t wanting for a damn thing. I had three aunts, four uncles, and a whole slew of cousins. As far as we were concerned it was live for all of us to be chilling in the same building, or at least the next building over. We never had to worry about getting into fights because around our way we had reputation. Plus it was plain and simple common sense. If you put your hands on anybody in the family you would get jumped by the next oldest person in our family, and so on and so on. Sooner than later we didn''t even have to say a word. Everybody understood that our family had the neighborhood locked down, it wasn''t worth the trouble.

Our apartment in the projects was dipped. We had royal red carpets on the floors, top-of-the-line furniture, a fully loaded entertainment center, equipment, and all that good stuff. I loved my pops with a passion. He was the smoothest nigga in the world. When he came into a room he made a difference. His cologne came around the corner introducing him before you could even see him. He spoke softly, with deep seriousness. He was light-skinned, tall, with curly black hair and a fine thin mustache to match. He was medium build, definitely in shape. The thing that stood out about him was his style. His clothes were crisp-expensive. He never wore the same shirt twice. He could do it like that ''cause he was smart. He never used the drugs he sold. He collected his money on time and made examples of any fool who tried to cheat him. He had a saying: One copper penny, one finger.

All the ladies loved him but he wasn''t what I would call a ladies'' man. He never had no girlfriend, at least no female ever called the house trying to front on my moms. I can''t recall any incidents involving other women, accusations or any uncomfortableness. He was a family man. Everybody in the whole world knew my moms was his wife, his one and only, his soft spot even. Moms and Pops had been young lovers and, unlike a whole lot of niggas, they stayed together. She was fourteen when she had me. Folks said she looked great during pregnancy and would switch her ass around the neighborhood flowing easy, like water. She would wear her fine Italian leather stiletto heels even in her seventh month. Moms had everything by the way of clothes and anything else you could think of. Her mahogany skin was smooth as a Hershey''s chocolate bar. When she went anywhere she was well coordinated. If she had on a zebra skin hat, she''d sport the zebra skin pants and would have a zebra skin pattern on all ten nails. She''d even have the Victoria''s Secret zebra pattern panties and camisole. What separated her from every other woman any of us knew was she just had so much class. While the others were putting their imitation leather and zebra skins on layaway, piece by piece, Momma wouldn''t be caught dead without her shit perfectly arranged. By the time hoes sported their outfits all their shit was played out, straight out of style. When it came to shopping Momma had no mercy and that''s the way Santiaga liked it. His woman was supposed to be the showstopper. Momma didn''t work ''cause beauty, she said, was a full-time occupation that left no room for anything else. She''d sit at her vanity table for three hours making sure she positioned each extra long lash on just right. She''d argue with anyone who said she wasn''t born with those lashes that framed her big, wide brown eyes that were gorgeous with or without falsies. She made it clear to me that beautiful women are supposed to be taken care of. She would whisper in my ear, "I''m just a bad bitch!"

Now a bad bitch is a woman who handles her business without making it seem like business. Only dumb girls let love get them delirious to the point where they let things that really count go undone. For example, you see a good-looking nigga walking down the avenue, you get excited. You get wet just thinking about him. You step to him, size him up, and you think, Looks good. You slide you eyes down to his zipper, check for the print. Inside you scream, Yes, it''s all there! But then you realize he''s not wearing a watch, ain''t carrying no car keys, no jewels, and he''s sporting last month''s sneakers. He''s broke as hell. A bad bitch realizes that she has two options: (1) She can take him home and get her groove on just to enjoy the sex and don''t get emotionally involved because he can''t afford her; or (2) She can walk away and leave his broke ass standing right there. Having a relationship is out. Getting emotionally involved is out. Taking him seriously is out. If a bad bitch is extra slick she can keep this guy on the side for the good sex. He then becomes a commercial to the money man who is the main program. The money man is the guy who knows how to provide, knows how to bring home the goodness and bless his woman with everything she wants. Now the money man might not be ringing any bells sexually, but if he has ends -- if his pockets are heavy -- a bad bitch will moan like this nigga is the original Casanova. When he''s sexing her, she''ll shake, pant, and cry out like he''s creating orgasms as strong as ocean waves. Now Moms must have been a bad bitch because she had it both ways. She had the money man with the good looks, loyalty, and I know Pops was laying it down in the bedroom.

Moms got her hair done once every three days. The shop we went to, ''cause she always took me, was for the high rollers'' girls. These were the few women in the neighborhood who are able to hook the big money fish. They all went to this shop to get their hair done, nails did, and, more importantly, to show off and update on shit going on. Earline''s was where we could get our hair done while we collected information on the side.

By the time I was seven I understood the rules perfectly. Keep the family''s business quiet. Most things were better left unsaid. Even though this was the high rollers'' hair shop, we were clear that motherfuckers were jealous of us. My Pops''s operation was steadily building. As a young guy he started off as a lookout but was so sharp that now he has organized his own thing. He has his own workers and whatnot. People knew he was headed to being the next Big Willie by his style. He was respected for his product, which was never watered down, always a fair cut for your money. So me and my moms would catch those jealous glances, but we threw those shits right back. Our attitude toward other females was: "Hey, your man works for my Pops, now bow down to the family who puts food on the table for you and yours."

Santiaga was the number one businessman in our area by the time I was thirteen, running thangs. Although he taught me never to sweat the small stuff, it seemed like every move he made he thought about carefully. I would hear his key unlocking the first door into our apartment. Then the men he was with, his workers, they would stand in the limited space between the first door and the heavy metal second door that actually led into our place, and talk. After they handled their matters you would hear the first door open, then slam again. Pops would lock it and then unlock the second door to come inside. Whatever pressure he felt, whatever weight or business he had was left in between those two doors because when he came inside he brought his sexy smile, excited eyes, and power along with him.

He would show us all love. He would have whatever any of us had asked him for in his pocket no matter how small the request, down to a Snickers bar. If any of us had a problem of any kind, we could ask him and he''d make the answer so simple that I''d wonder how I couldn''t of figured it out myself.

If something was on his mind, he''d go in the back to a private room he had Woody the carpenter build and pull out his chess board. Funny thing was, he wouldn''t play with anybody, just against himself. When I''d ask him why, he''d say, "That''s how I stay on top baby. I look at life from every position. I play from every side. You gotta know what each man on the board is thinking down to the littlest motherfucker like the pawn."

Now Daddy would explain that other players are quick to sacrifice or ignore the pawn, but he was too smart for that. "The pawns are my soldiers," he would say. "If I surround myself with strong soldiers, give them all a stake in the game, then they keep the hood strong and tight." He would look into my eyes as if to ask do I understand. I didn''t want him to know that I dig him so much that I''d listen to him for as long as he wanted to talk, but I didn''t give a fuck about a game of chess. He would break down how around our way there were always some young kids tryna "spread their wings" and test his operation. He said they mostly stupid though ''cause no smart guy is gonna try to kick in the door of the big man unless he got an extra tight, professional, strong, and ruthless crew. But every now and then some dumb-ass young kid who had seen too many Scarface-type movies will try to overtake what can only kill him. "He loses," Santiaga said, knocking the black king over on the chess board. "He loses because he never understood the game."

The up-and-coming dealers on the block was Santiaga''s number two problem. I was his number one. He loved me like crazy but was getting nervous about the way men, young and old, was checking for me. It was amazing how in one year, from age twelve to thirteen, my titties sprouted. I even had the ass to match. I don''t know who was more excited, the men or me. I was walking around poking my stuff out in any direction that looked good to me. But anybody who stated my way for more than a few seconds was in danger of catching a critical beat down. Pops had already made an example of at least two niggas around my way. Santiaga sliced this one dude from his left ear to his right ear. We call that kind of cut a "hospital run." But this guy never got to go to the hospital. Santiaga let his blood gush out until Doc got to our apartment. Now Doc ain''t really no doctor, he just had some medical training in the army. Santiaga calls him when he don''t need the police and hospital buttin'' around in his business. Well when Doc got finished with dude his cut just bubbled up all the way across his face. Everybody in the neighborhood started calling him Bubbles for that ugly scar. Bubbles crime was looking at me with lust in his eyes while he was supposed to be installing the safe in our apartment. Now Bubbles was a walking billboard that no one is allowed to fuck with Santiaga''s daughter. After that we got the second metal door installed in our apartment and none of Daddy''s "workers" were ever allowed past that door again.

Now Moms thought Santiaga''s ways was overboard. She told him she was just gonna get me some birth control pills and let me go, ''cause "When a woman wants to get fucked, she gets fucked. She gets fucked whether it''s in a car or a closet."

Suggestions like this just got Santiaga more crazy. He made it clear to Moms, "Winter is not a woman yet. None of these lowlifes are gonna make a trick outta my flesh and blood." Pops would pull me to the side, grab my shoulders with his strong hands and firm grip, stare into my eyes, and tell me slowly, "Only a hard-working man, a sharp thinker who doesn''t hesitate to do what he gotta do, to get you what you need to have, deserves you."

He repeated that lesson often. I would think to myself, Hmm, only Poppa fits that description. Now I loved Poppa but I hated the way he cock-blocked. Every teenage girl wants to cut loose and get close to the fire, but I was like a pot of boiling milk with the lid on. You know that''s ready to explode and slide down the side of the pan.

So my peeps kept me busy by giving me things to do all the time. I had to watch my baby sisters Mercedes and Lexus, the twins. They was a real pain in the ass at eight months old. Then I had to look out for my other little sister Porsche, who was four. She wasn''t half bad since she didn''t shit all over all the time. Sometimes the three of them kids together got on my nerves so bad they almost made me want to go to school. But my policy was to go to school just enough so the authorities wouldn''t kick me out. If I had a new outfit to show off or some new jewels I knew I''d get sweated for, fine, but I wasn''t gonna report to school everyday like it was some type of job when they weren''t even paying me for it. School was like a hustle. Teachers wanted me to come to school so they could get paid to control me. What do I get out of the deal? Enough said, I just wasn''t having it.

As busy as they kept me, there was Midnight. I guess he got that name because midnight was about the only thing blacker than him. He was one of my father''s workers. He was real serious like my father. He always looked like he was thinking deep thoughts and had a lot on his mind. I figured maybe he had a plan to take over the world. I liked that because he would need to own the world to win me. He never smiled. He didn''t joke around like other niggas in our age group. He did his pickups and deliveries like clock work. My father once referred him as a strong young lieutenant. Santiaga liked him because he said he never tried to test or flex. He knew Santiaga was the boss and he was comfortable and cool with that. Midnight never attempted to skim, pay late, or run games, like some guys did when they first started out.

I liked Midnight for other reasons too. In the summertime he wore white when he played basketball. His mother, or whoever washed his clothes, must have been more handy than them happy homemakers on the TV commercials ''cause his shit was crisp. But what really got me was that black skin. It was smooth and perfect. It laid on top of his bone structure tight like Saran Wrap. His arms were cut. I could tell he lifted weights. But he wasn''t all big and swollen like those little-dick assholes in the magazines. He was tall, yet medium-sized, and perfect. His muscles were defined, his veins stuck out, emphasizing his strengths. His neck was slim and strong. He would come to the park only on Sundays. I know because I was clocking him like that. He would be wearing a new sweat suit everytime. He held his money in a gold money clip. He would take the money clip, with the money neatly stacked, out of his sweatpants pocket. He''d take off his pants, stripping down to the basketball shorts he had on underneath. His powerful legs were as cut as his upper body. For this I gave him mad respect. I can''t tell you how many guys I''ve seen with strong upper bodies and legs like a chicken. He would put that money clip on the inside of his basketball shorts and play ball. My eyes would move in and out of his structure. I couldn''t wait to put my lips against his skin and maybe even suck his collarbone or something. To make the package complete, Midnight''s kicks were always new and clean.

Now Midnight never paid me no mind. I wasn''t worried about it though, ''cause one thing I learned from my mother is a bad bitch get what she wants if she works her shit right. Pops also taught me something useful about patience. He said sometimes a victory is sweeter when it takes a long time to carry out the plan, and you catch the person completely off guard. What I was up against was the fact that Midnight worked for my pops. So, even if he had ever considered me, he probably ruled me out. He was five years older than me. So, he might have also considered me jailbait. The worst thing about it was that I couldn''t tell either way. You know how they say a person''s face is a dead giveaway? Well Midnight was the opposite. His face seems serious all the time. His reactions just didn''t show up. Even when he plays ball, he didn''t talk trash like the other niggas. He didn''t even react when they try to mess with him. He just seemed focused on the basmade his moves, scored his jumpers, and didn''t even smile when won. At first, to get his attention I did the regular things like rocking my skirts extra mini, shortening my already short shorts, sporting halter tops and cute little metallic bras. As I got sexier, he went from looking at me almost never to never looking at me at all. While in his presence, or at least when I was in the same park he was in watching him play ball, I would try to get his attention by acting mad. I''d suck my teeth, roll my eyes at him, still nothing. So I decided to make him a long-shot project.

Meanwhile I had my own fun stuff going on. I would let niggas take me to the movies, or should I say I went to the movies with my girlfriends and met niggas there, not wanting to ruffle Santiaga''s feathers, by bringing a "worthless nigga" home. Sometimes we would just chill at my girl Natalie''s apartment. Her moms was never home so we had free run of the place.

Getting my first sugar daddy was no problem. His name was Sterling. I met him in lower Manhattan at a grocery market when I ran in to get some Chap Stick on a fickle autumn morning. I guess my style just overwhelmed him ''cause instead of reaching into the cash register and giving me my damn change his eyes were sliding in between my breasts like he wished he could be one of my gold chains. I recognized him immediately as a sucker, somebody I could take for all he had. All his thoughts showed on his face. It was clear that I had his full attention as I gave him a blast of ghetto attitude. I put my hands on hips, saying, "My money or your life?" He looked startled, stopped staring and counted out my change. I laughed.

"Do you need your receipt?" he asked with his enthusiastic corny ass trying to prolong the conversation.

"If that''s all you have to offer," I said with a serious look sprinkled with sexiness. He gave me my money, and cleared his throat, turned from the register with his cheap white dress shirt and two-dollar tie, and followed me as I walked toward the door. I guess he had it like that. He could walk away from the register because he was the store manager.

"So what''s your name?" he asked, looking like he thought he could actually make some progress with me.

"Winter," I said, rolling my eyes with disinterest.

"You live around here?"

"Brooklyn baby!! No doubt."

The rest is history. He got paid every two weeks and so did I. He worked at the store and I worked on him. I had him buying me shit he couldn''t afford. We ate at places he never knew existed. Whatever little money he took home in pay, I took my 25 percent like I was his freakin'' agent or something. It worked out smooth, him living in Manhattan out of Santiaga''s eyesight. Besides, the little piece of cash he provided meant a new outfit, an extra gold bangle to my collection, whatever -- like mom says, you can never have too much.


Santiaga shook up what was supposed to be my sweet sixteenth with shocking news. We were all around the table. My chocolate Baskin-Robbins ice-cream cake was bombarded with small nuts and sixteen carefully placed maraschino cherries. Daddy handed me a long slim box, the kind I like because it almost always means jewelry. I tore off the gold wrapping paper and smiled wildly as I lifted my new diamond tennis bracelet off of the clean white cotton. My mother''s mouth hung open as she inspected my diamonds from across the table. Even though she knew better, she was confirming that they were white, clear, and sparkled like diamonds, not cubic zirconias.

As I put the bracelet on, Santiaga handed me a birthday card. This was unusual because we weren''t big on cards and poetry and shit like that in my family. As I fumbled with the catch on my bracelet, my mom opened the card, suspecting I guess that there must be some birthday money in it or something. She probably figured that if I got cash in addition to this bracelet Santiaga had gone overboard again, and would need a talking to later on. As she opened the card two Polaroid snapshots fell out and onto the table. She picked it up, twisted up her face with curiosity and said, "Baby, what is this?"

"It''s our new house in Long Island," Daddy said coolly with pride and confidence, "I wanted to surprise everybody and I figured today was as good as any day. We''re moving! First class baby! Only the best, top shelf for the ladies in my life." I was feeling crazy. The gold candles on my cake melted away and so did my dreams under the pressure of the flickering fire.

All I knew was the projects. It was where my friends, family, and all my great adventures were. I knew these streets like I knew the curves of my own body. I was like the princess of these alleyways, back staircases, and whatnot. What was the point of moving? Santiaga always said you gotta live where business is to avoid a hostile takeover. He said that a man gotta carry a powerful presence in his neighborhood so the small-timers didn''t start itching with takeover fever. Now it was like we was cutting out. So I did something that I normally would not do. I questioned Santiaga.

"Why? What''s the point? Why are we about to do something that you said we would never do?"

Santiaga simply said, "Baby girl, things is on a new level. It was cool to rest my head here in the past. But my business is bigger and better than ever. I can''t let them get too familiar with the routine. I gotta switch up, keep ''em guessing." Me, Momma, and Porsche were all seated stiff and silent. The babies didn''t know what the fuck was going on. Surprise swirled around, strangling us. He continued, "Everyone can''t handle my success. Eventually some fool will snap out of order and try to bring it to me by hurting one of my girls." His long finger pointed at us. His eyes locked into each of our eyes individually. He was making good sense but I was still vexed. I figured, yeah sounds good and all but I''m not down with the idea of running from a fight. It''s just straight up not Santiaga style.

Santiaga picked up on my expression quickly and said, "Now you know I don''t run from no war. I''ll take on anybody who wants to bring it to me! But what I''m not having is nobody fucking with my ladies. If they want war, let it be man to man, and only the men." It seemed like Santiaga knew something he wasn''t telling us. He was dead serious and I knew that his statements were coming from somewhere. "This place," he added, holding up the picture, his finger pointing out the mansion, this is a safe place. Man, wait till you see it. Shit, is laid out so nice it''s, like heaven."


The rules for our move out of Brooklyn were clear and nonnegotiable. Don''t talk about it. We knew no matter how silent we were, there would still be chatter. My mother''s brothers and sisters, and their husbands and boyfriends, who all worked for Poppa, would definitely have something to say. That didn''t matter, Santiaga said, "I''ll take care of everything. Just don''t add to it."

In my last few days everything was moving like in a slow motion film. Shit that stank, stank more. Anything sweet seemed even sweeter. I spent all my extra time with my girls. We were mad tight, many of us born and raised in this same spot. Take me and Natalie for instance, we did everything together. We even got our cherries busted together and lied to each other about how good the first time felt, when the truth was those big dicks ripped our tight little twelve-year-old tunnels apart. We fought over whose date was finer, even though Jamal and Jacob were twins! But I knew Jamal was cuter ''cause he had a fine black mole on his right cheek and that shit was sexy. Natalie said Jamal was the one who made my titties grow, ''cause after me and him started "getting down" I went from flat-chested to all eyes on me!

When my girl Toshi had beef with these chicks from around the corner, me, Nat, Zakia, Simone, Monique, Reese, all of us took off our jewels, greased up our faces, braided down our hair, and had our razors under our tongues ready to go to war. Before blows could be thrown or razors spitted out the big doofy girl from the other crew who was s''pose to scare us, shouted out, "Yo, that''s Santiaga''s daughter. You crazy, I ain''t fucking with her." Then the chicks we was supposed to be fighting started fighting each other ''cause some of them wanted to fight and some of them didn''t. So we started running toward them. We charged thoses bitches and they flew. We ran till we got tired and cracked up laughing at how stupid they were. I know one thing, they never fucked with Toshi again.

We blew trees together then got so hungry we ate four family-size bags of nacho cheese Doritos and watched our girl Asia, the only chubby one in our crew, throw up from the bellyache. Hell, we went from patent leather shoes at five-year-old birthday parties, to matching tomboy outfits and brawls, to fighting over whose titties were bigger.

Chanté, who was older than us, taught us all the sexual positions. She let us watch while she got down with boys when her mother was at work. She liked the idea of being our "teacher." She even taught us how to suck a dick.

We had our first beef patties and coco bread, bun''n cheese and ginger beer together ''cause our girl Carmen was from Jamaica and used to take us to the spot where the dreds chilled out. She taught us how to dance like the Jamaican winders by moving our bodies slow and sexy like caterpillars. But none of us took fashion tips from her ''cause her gear was out of this world.

There wasn''t nothing that we hadn''t been through, including going to the funeral for Nique whose mother pushed her off the roof after she found out her man had been fucking her daughter. I was gonna miss BK, the music, the vibe, the hot dogs, and mostly the streets. It didn''t matter what no one said, Brooklyn is the shit, number one in my heart.

No one was supposed to know we were leaving. But on our last day there, Natalie, who had a way of finding out all and any dirt on anybody, said to me out of the blue, "I''m tryna get my mother to get our long distance turned back on so I can make long distance calls." When we parted, she said, "Stay real, don''t switch up on us, bitch."

We left in the evening. The whole thing was casual like we were going out to dinner or some shit like that. We didn''t take nothing with us ''cause Santiaga said we didn''t need it.

Copyright © 1999 by Lisa Williamson P/K/A Sister Souljah

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4.9 out of 54.9 out of 5
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Ms. Dani
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wasted time
Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2020
Trust me, those 2 stars are my being generous. This book was trash. So many people have said this was a good book but I fail to see that. This book was so hard for me to read! Another reader described it as a trainwreck... I felt that. The only reason I kept... See more
Trust me, those 2 stars are my being generous.

This book was trash. So many people have said this was a good book but I fail to see that. This book was so hard for me to read! Another reader described it as a trainwreck... I felt that. The only reason I kept reading is because I was waiting on it to get good, but it never did!!

The overuse of ''would of'' instead of ''would''ve''... she used it correctly maybe twice then went back to ''would of.''

This was not a complete story... it was necessarily drawn out with insignificant details... the only character really developed was Winter, and even then, she was a rather crappy character. The story didn''t flow, it was really choppy... and just truly didn''t make any sense to me!!

I can say with every bit if certainty that I will not read another Sista Souljah book... guaranteed!
52 people found this helpful
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Mekailah McChriston
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The best book I''ve ever read
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2020
I feel like every Black American should read this book!! The story takes place in the ''80s when the crack epidemic first hit Black neighborhoods, strategically tearing our communities apart. Sister Souljah really did an amazing job capturing the ugly truth of how it is... See more
I feel like every Black American should read this book!! The story takes place in the ''80s when the crack epidemic first hit Black neighborhoods, strategically tearing our communities apart. Sister Souljah really did an amazing job capturing the ugly truth of how it is growing up in the hood. I love all of the characters and how their roles tied together. I love the slang and ebonics used throughout the book. It made me connect to the main character Winter on a deeper level. It''s like I was really listening to her tell her story. And growing up Black in America, I could relate on so many different levels.

This novel is extremely gripping and educational at the same time. Sister Souljah shares so much wisdom. But if you''re not wise, you''ll miss it. She highlights that from slavery, Blacks were never meant to thrive in America.

I absolutely love how she introduced the sequel "Midnight" at the end. I can''t wait to read that one next! That small snippet really just tied together the entire story, explaining how we were taken to America from Africa and robbed of our identities. They took away our religion, our language, our riches, our assets, our entire culture. We once were happy people who stuck together and loved one another. But after slavery and especially after crack hit our neighborhoods, we started killing one another and hating on one another, always trying to out-do the next person rather than building each other up.

Winter was immature, extremely materialistic and lost. Being seeing the cards life dealt her, you can''t even get mad at her mindset. She was a product of her environment, as we all are.

My main takeaway point after reading this novel is knowledge of self is power. It''s so crucial to know the background of your people, who you are at the crux of your soul. Only then can we as Blacks unite and regain the strength that was taken from our ancestors years ago.

Thank you so much, Sister Souljah, for this book. We, the Black community, needed this. It''s our awakening time. I''m just mad at myself for not reading this sooner.
21 people found this helpful
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Clarissa Johnson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It’s for the culture!!!
Reviewed in the United States on July 19, 2018
I can’t believe that I’m just now reading this book. Several of my friends read it in high school, but i never gave it a chance. I absolutely loved this book. The author brought the characters to life for me. I found myself wanting so much more for Winter, but she didn’t... See more
I can’t believe that I’m just now reading this book. Several of my friends read it in high school, but i never gave it a chance. I absolutely loved this book. The author brought the characters to life for me. I found myself wanting so much more for Winter, but she didn’t have the capacity to open her mind to bigger opportunities. I’m able to find so many people i know in the characters, which makes it even more relatable. I must explore more of the authors works to see what other things she brings to life. I feel that this book is a must read for the culture. 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽
45 people found this helpful
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Emily VH
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Well worth a read- couldn''t put it down!
Reviewed in the United States on June 9, 2016
I just read this for a book group, and it was totally gripping. When I was reading it I didn''t want to stop; when I stopped, I kept thinking about the story until I could get back to reading. That being said, the main character is cold, cruel, and calculating.... See more
I just read this for a book group, and it was totally gripping. When I was reading it I didn''t want to stop; when I stopped, I kept thinking about the story until I could get back to reading.

That being said, the main character is cold, cruel, and calculating. But that''s not really Winter''s fault, it''s the way she was raised. I found myself rooting for her despite the awful things she does- abandon her mom and little sisters, get a friend to shoplift for her and then leaves her in jail, 9 mos pregnant, and refuses to pay bail- even assaulting an old lady and stealing her wallet.

This story paints a great picture of life in the projects as the child of a rich and powerful kingpin. Everyone around her lives in poverty and on assistance; she and her family have all the material possessions anyone could desire. Her father''s job is to bring home the bacon; her mother''s job is to look beautiful and expensive. Nobody in Winter''s life has anything like a trade, or a degree, or legal employment. She has no examples of what a regular middle-class life looks like.

When her father''s empire finally falls, both parents are taken to jail and Winter''s three younger sisters are sent to three separate foster homes. Winter manages to stay on her own, and her mom is soon released from jail. Her mom wants to get her three other daughters back, but DCF won''t release them without an apartment and some income. This is where I expected Winter and her mom to work together to make it happen.

Nope! Winter goes off on her own to try and get a hustle going, and her mom quickly falls into crack use and becomes homeless. When Winter sees her on the street she is ashamed and tries to avoid her.

At the end of the book, when Winter meets her sister Porsche for the first time in years, she has words of advice for her- but she chooses to withhold them. She won''t help anyone, not even those closest to her. She is completely selfish up to the bitter end. She never understands why Midnight wasn''t interested in her. The concepts of community and family, of education, of planning for a future, are completely foreign to her. She is smart, but not smart enough to break away from her father''s lifestyle- even though it destroyed her family.
80 people found this helpful
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BMJ SweetSylviaJ
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This book 📗 was amazing. I read it about 10 or so years ...
Reviewed in the United States on October 26, 2018
This book 📗 was amazing. I read it about 10 or so years ago. But at the time some one asked me to give it a read. I loved 💘 it then but didn''t know there was books before this one. So here it is years and years later. My daughter reintroduced me to sister... See more
This book 📗 was amazing.
I read it about 10 or so years ago. But at the time some one asked me to give it a read.
I loved 💘 it then but didn''t know there was books before this one. So here it is years and years later. My daughter reintroduced me to sister souljiah,so I went back and search out the books📚 in order. And reread all of them.
Oooo my I just could not stop 📖 reading these books back to back I purchased each one here on amazon kindle. I am a visionary,and in a lot of books that I read I love the visual of great writers such as this,💯👍 I love to travel and adventure in my mind in these books. This book allowed me to laugh and cry,love and be loved.💘💘 To open up to a better understanding in situations that are both fimilar and strange to my life.But ad I did I am sure many can & will related to a lot of things that takes placeand seems to come alive in this book pafe after page book after book this Sister taught and shared a world of the good and bad the ups and the down that can happen to anyone @ any time.I will make you think time over on life ideas and or decions made or not made in our lives.
Above all seek God first!
Educate yourself in any way possible throuh hands on or the minds ans luves of others accomplishments or major mistakes.💯🙋😉👍
Life is too short!
#REALTALK!
#MESSAGE!
In all of your getting get a understanding.
ABless WORD,to live by!
Be ye encouraged...
I will continue to follow Sister Souljiah. I have since purchased them as starter gifts for my nieces who are in college who I think will enjoy and relate and learn and love reading.
Please continue to write my Sister.
Your books are amazing to say the lest.
A page after page turner...
I am a fan for life!
Keep them great books coming Sister Souljiah!
Jesus Christ Loves U All & So Do I.💘💘💘
27 people found this helpful
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chelly baby
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I kept reading hoping it would get better, but it never did..
Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2020
I read this book because I heard part 2 is coming out, so I said to myself let me see what all the hype is about. Winter was as dumb as dirt. She has no street smarts or common sense for that matter. She is a selfish, backstabbing, hoe! My only favorite part of... See more
I read this book because I heard part 2 is coming out, so I said to myself let me see what all the hype is about. Winter was as dumb as dirt. She has no street smarts or common sense for that matter. She is a selfish, backstabbing, hoe!

My only favorite part of the book was Midnight, but the book never mentioned how he was able to get away unscathed, did he have money hidden somewhere else? Did he know about the feds closing in on Santiago?

This book is so unbelievable that the author can''t keep up with the her own character traits. In one point of the book it describes winter as having big legs, when she changed into her red leather shorts and red leather vest. Then another point, when she was running from the 5 girls that wanted to jump her, her legs were described as slim and muscular.

And she is a real idiot for even messing with Bullet a second time after her dumb self got exposed being a hoe on camera, while she was in the hit tub naked with bullet.

This idiot deserved whatever she got.
12 people found this helpful
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Passionate Book Reader
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Gritty Realistic Tale of Urban Life
Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2020
I chose to read this book because it often came up as a fan favorite in African American literature. This story is very engaging from page one. Winter Santiaga is born into the drug life and immediately introduced to street life, hustlers, the dope game, and a plethora of... See more
I chose to read this book because it often came up as a fan favorite in African American literature. This story is very engaging from page one. Winter Santiaga is born into the drug life and immediately introduced to street life, hustlers, the dope game, and a plethora of materialism. The Santiaga''s are the most feared, respected, and richest urban family running the poor areas of Brooklyn. Its family drug empire soon comes crashing down leaving each family member to fend for themselves, especially Winter. And indeed it was a cold Winter for her, but it''s unfortunate she only knew one way to survive and didn''t care about finding another way. She holds on to the false hopes her father instilled in her at an early age.

While the book is a hot page-turner filled with action, at times it''s almost too much going on. I felt exhausted by the accessive details in the later chapters and I couldn''t wait for the story to end. When it did end, everything came together well and ended with a moral lesson that can be learned for generations to come.
14 people found this helpful
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Princess
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A definite plot & very detailed.
Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2018
One of my close friends recommended this book to me and I drove right in and finished in in one day or may even two. I loved the storyline and wanted Winter to win so bad. I bought Midnight''s story and Porsche''s story and can''t wait to read them. For me it was a real and... See more
One of my close friends recommended this book to me and I drove right in and finished in in one day or may even two. I loved the storyline and wanted Winter to win so bad. I bought Midnight''s story and Porsche''s story and can''t wait to read them. For me it was a real and rough read but it all depends on what you like to read. I loved it for what it was and not for what I wanted it to be. Opened my mind up and I definitely understood the impact we have on our children. I''m a visual reader so books become movies in my mind. I saw this as a movie and oh how great would that be.
12 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Naomi Adeoye
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I love this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 19, 2019
This book left me satisfied and unsatisfied at the same time. I was really hoping that she would learn somewhere along the easy but she didn''t. I guess some people never really learn until it''s too late.
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A Lover of Quality
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Say it how it is....
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 27, 2020
Sister Souljah is one of my authors. Having read ‘The Porsche Santiaga story’ and now half way through ‘The coldest winter ever’, I can’t wait to purchase the midnight series.
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J. George
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fantastic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 17, 2001
I''ve read this book twice and I''m deeply impressed by the superb quality of the writing used by Sista Souljah. Winter is a well crafted charter she''s complex and very deeply entrenched in her pursuit of the superficial without really ever realising her extreme intelligence...See more
I''ve read this book twice and I''m deeply impressed by the superb quality of the writing used by Sista Souljah. Winter is a well crafted charter she''s complex and very deeply entrenched in her pursuit of the superficial without really ever realising her extreme intelligence was put to destructive rather than constructive means - Only in the end does she realise she has the potiential to do anything. Which the point of the story the waste of a brilliant mind is a terrible thing.
6 people found this helpful
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Becky
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Had me Hooked from Chapter 1
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 31, 2021
One of the Best Books ever.. Was totally gripped from the beginning and finished in 2 days..
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Jazz
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Amazing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 25, 2014
I''m only half way in and already I can''t put this down. The story is gripping and literally straight from the streets. The best thing about it is it can be enjoyed by anyone from any race, class or creed which shows the power of Sister Souljah''s writing. This novel is a...See more
I''m only half way in and already I can''t put this down. The story is gripping and literally straight from the streets. The best thing about it is it can be enjoyed by anyone from any race, class or creed which shows the power of Sister Souljah''s writing. This novel is a must buy!!
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