A Touch, A Kiss, A Whisper of Love. A Fan Review of "Michael And Me" by Shana Mangatal

Over the past few months, there has been considerable buzz about this book, which the author describes as the story of

Michael Jackson's secret romance


Now I'll be honest, I wasn't active on the MJ forums and boards much after the trial. I wasn't super familiar with Shana's name or her story while Michael was still here. But, when Michael Jackson died in 2009, I watched hundreds and hundreds of YouTube videos and came across some videos about her and their secret relationship.

If you are curious about Shana and think her face looks familiar- you are right. She was one of the actresses in the short film for "Ghosts" and also was featured in the short film called "Is It Scary". Filmed in 1993, "Is It Scary" was never finished or released but, is available on Youtube by doing a simple search.

Shana Mangatal's

"Michael And Me"

gives an intimate look at who Michael Jackson was behind closed doors. And interestingly enough, you find out that a love interaction with the King Of Pop was, at least for Shana, at times more challenging than fairytale romantic.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was how well Shana painted the picture of each moment. She keeps you engaged and entertained with the "little things". Shana describes how smooth and buttery his complexion was and how soft his hands were. Her descriptions made for a good read and painted Michael in a very intriguing and attractive light.

Another fun tidbit- some of you may already know that I was a Japanese major in college and really heavy into food, snack and novelty items from there. Shana wrote about fans from Japan meeting Michael and giving him a box of banana cakes. True story- I knew exactly what she was talking about and it is one of my favorite snack items - ever! To find out that Michael also loved "Tokyo Banana" just like I did, made me smile.

This is just one instance of how Shana makes you feel like you're right there with her, living in the moments with Michael. I do feel like the marketing lead me to believe there was more actual juicy content than there ended up being but, truthfully, I prefer it this way. (I really am not interested in changing my perception of Michael, particularly since he's not even here to deny or confirm any of the contents of the book.)

If you are picking this up because you expect to read excerpts of love letters, hear about late night conversations and rendezvous, see photos of elaborate gifts... memories of surprise flowers and jewelry... You will be disappointed.

You see...

"Michael And Me"

is actually interesting because it's the typical tale of that confusing and "gray area" of dating.

Definitely not a one-night-stand.

Not quite a relationship.

A romance... still something real but, not quite defined.

If you want to read about a warm-blooded man, both seductive with his eyes and with his words, who knew exactly how to use his charm to get what he wanted...

This is your book. 

If you want to read about what it would feel like to go from a starry-eyed fan, to Michael's secret lover...

This is your book.

And finally, if you want to get a glimpse of what Michael would be like as a lover....

This is your book.

I would recommend

"Michael And Me"

to any fan who is interested in the intimate side of Michael Jackson and can keep an open mind while reading.

Check it out on amazon.com here:

Did you read "Michael & Me? What did you think about it? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Book Review: Before He Was King by Todd Gray

Hey everyone! 

I have been having a pretty good week. I was off for Martin Luther King. Jr. day and was fortunate enough to be able to stay home, relax, and watch the inauguration on television. Watching the First Family always means so much to me - super inspiring!

I am back with another review today with one of my favorite Michael Jackson photo books. With the Michael Jackson Opus leading the way, fans saw an influx of photo books published after Michael's death. (Ahh, typing "Michael's death just sent shivers through my spine-- I don't think I can ever get used to saying that.)

"Before He Was King" by Todd Gray, is something I've had on my Must Haves list for a really long time. It was published in November 2009 and retailed for about $25.00. Many of the pages contain little stories or anecdotes from Todd Gray's experience working as Michael's personal photographer from 1974-1984. I recently found a like new copy of this on amazon and knew that I had to grab it right away. If I had a coffee table, it would be right there on it.
For now it is on my kitchen table... :-)

Let's start with the title: I'd suppose that if you believe Thriller is when Michael Jackson officially became a "KING" in the world of popular music, the title would be accurate. I'd like to think that Mike was always a king in some sense of the word but I do love the title because it draws the average reader in.

Here is an excerpt from Gray where he reflects on these years spent photographing Michael:

"My photographs of Michael, from 1974 to 1984, show him as the engaging, charming, youthful person he was before the insatiable demands of his extraordinary celebrity bore so heavily on him. As I reflect, I realize now that this was the time before he was King."

This book contains 100 never before seen and high quality photos of Michael Jackson through the late 1970's and early '80's. I especially enjoyed the behind the scenes captures from the Triumph tour, like the one below.

In terms of packaging, this 144 page book is pretty sturdy and I haven't had any issues with it thus far (although I did see some reviews about the binding being a problem for some). I take care of my Michael Jackson collection pretty well and usually don't have problems with pages falling out.

What I like about "Before He Was King" is the fact that its so offbeat and it covers a topic and time in Michael's career that is so rarely spoken about. The Off The Wall era was special in so many ways and I'm grateful that this was made to document some of those special moments. Flipping through the photos in this was so nostalgic and I found myself daydreaming that I was in my car, driving down the highway into the sunset with "Girlfriend" on blast.

Oh, how I love that album.

Anyway...  GET YOUR COPY Michael Jackson: Before He Was King  ... it's on Amazon both new and used! 

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