Tyra Banks's New York Best Seller ''Modelland'

*“I do look at Modelland as a franchise,” Tyra Banks said about the possibility of bringing her first novel, “Modelland” (Random House/Delacorte Press), to the big screen. “It’s fun, scary and campy. I want them (the reader) to know they have beauty in their uniqueness. We have Harry Potter and Twilight… I hope it will be a big franchise built around a black girl…”

“Modelland” is loosely based on Tyra’s life about a 15 year old girl named Tookie Dela Crème’ struggling with her body – her tall height, her large forehead, and eyes with two different colors (brown and green). Banks, a super model turned business mogul, has her character Tookie in a mysterious place on top of a mountain called Modelland. Life there is a little frightening at times but there she learns the meaning of friendship and self-love.

The novel starts with Tookie at her high school, Bangle, Bauble and Bead Institute (B3). It follows her travels and training – with her cohorts Shiraz, Dylan, and Piper – at Modelland. At Modelland she meets the mysterious Ci-L.

“I always had a passion to write as a young girl. It took five years,” Tyra informed me about the process of writing her first novel. There are already plans to write two other books, making the “Modelland” novel a trilogy. “I had to create the characters…a whole new world. The book has a lot of mystery.”

“Modelland” is a great start for a franchise because it is entrenched in Tookie’s struggles for self-worth, a struggle most of us wrestle with. Banks said that Tookie is a young version of herself.

“Every woman has…self doubt,” Tyra said about the story-line. “My mission is to expand the definition of beauty in a fun yet emotional way. There are so many types of “beautiful,” that’s why I created Modelland. When you close the book you will feel better about yourself.”

I know I felt better about myself and was truly motivated to stay the course of achieving my own dreams like Tookie. “Modelland” is a great place to go mentally for inspiration. I’m looking forward to reading the continued life of Tookie in the mysterious Modelland.

Aside from Tyra Banks’ successful reality show “America’s Top Model” in its 17th season, she has launch a beauty website, Type F – a website about the female body to make females feel good about themselves – and she took up studies at the Harvard Business School.

“My focus is on my company,” Tyra pointed out about why she took up studies at Harvard. “I knew I needed school to run a business. Money is coming in and going out. School is helping me.”

You can get lost in the mysterious world of Modelland too and follow the life of Tookie De La Crème’ with Tyra’s first novel, “Modelland.”

For more on Tyra’s novel, her beauty website and reality show log onto www.TypeF.com or www.RandomHouse.com/teens/modelland, and www.CWtv.com/shows/americas-next-top-model.

Sax man Richard Elliot’s ‘In The Zone,’ a great place to be for Jazz lovers

Sax man Richard Elliiott

*Saxophonist Richard Elliot celebrates 25 years since his debut album release with “In The Zone” (Artistry/Mack Avenue), a great collection of Smooth Jazz selections. Co-produced by Jeff Lorber, Richard offers 10 creatively crafted instrumental pieces on his newest project.

“This CD was unfinished business for me,” Elliott pointed out when asked about the projects’ motivation. “My first one paid tribute to R&B, it influenced me as I was growing up in Los Angeles. ‘In The Zone’ is a tribute to instrumental artists that influenced me.”

Richard Elliot’s projects have placed him at #5 on Billboard Jazz Albums Chart – for his 2009 album “Rock Steady.” “In The Zone” has the potential to do the same or better, thanks to Elliot’s skills on the tenor saxophone and the assisted production talents of Jeff Lorber.

“Jeff is one guy from that period,” Richard added about his cultivating days where he was influence by instrumentalists like Lorber and Grover Washington.

My favorite cuts on the “In the Zone” album include the Marvin Gaye cover “Inner City Blues,” a funky number with great electric guitar support, “Golden Triangle,” a sweet piece and the title song, “In The Zone,” a nice offering for when you’re traveling long distance on the highway.

For more on sax man Richard Elliot’s newest album release, “In The Zone,” log onto www.MackAvenue.com/RichardElliot.

Label owner Keith Douglas offers a handbook of inspiration with ‘The Power To Get Wealth: No Money Required’

RKD Music's CEO and author Keith Douglas

*“I could not express myself on paper,” said Keith Douglas CEO/Chairman of RKD Music and Talent Management (home to Leela James and David Hollister) about his learning disability – dyslexia. “I became a good actor (in corporate America). I had people do it for me.”

Douglas put his ordeal as a troubled young, his diagnosis, his adult life in corporate America into a small book titled, “The Power to Get Wealth: No Money Required” (Andy Roy Publishing). He tells his story weaved into Biblical scripture and insight.

“Never forget there are only two forces in this world: faith and fear,” he writes in the book about how he conquered his doubt and fears on having this disability. Keith had the information in his mind but could not express it in written (typed) form.

‘It’s my total life experience as a troubled youth and in corporate America,” he explained about the book. “I wrote a book about the misperceptions of wealth. It took seven years to write this book.”

Douglas confessed he is still suffering from the disability, which will have him writing words backwards.

“Everyone has a disability,” he pointed out. “You can’t testify unless you have a testimony.”

“The Power To Get Wealth: No Mooney Required” is Keith Douglas’ testimony on how he achieved his wealth with this learning disability. It is a great inspirational reading piece that will leave you rethinking just what wealth is and walk away with a clearer idea of how to achieve it.

For more information on Keith Douglas, his book or the artists on his label log onto www.KeithDouglas.org and www.Amazon.com.

(Eunice Moseley is a syndicated entertainment columnist, www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com)