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Our core belief:  We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond.  – Gwendolyn Brooks


EDC Creations, The Sankofa Literary Society and The Black Authors Network are proud to announce the launch of the  2016-2017  "Storytellers Book Tour and Holiday Gift Campaign," bringing readers and authors together to help improve literacy.  You can join the #StorytellersBookTour campaign too, go here!   Please share the Storytellers Book Tour flyer with your friends too:  https://www.smore.com/9yzf  

Each new year, we encourage readers to purchase books to give as gifts 365 days a year.  Listed below are just a few of our book suggestions. Each week we will bring many more! The books are available in our bookstore and in bookstores near you! 

Let's all agree to "Give the Gift of Knowledge" and help to strengthen our future generations by sharing our wonderful literary legacy!  We have selected several hundred books for your library, check them out at our bookstore, go here.  Please consider share this page and the featured books with your network!


Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations
Black Pearls Magazine Online-Founder
Black Authors Network Radio-Founder
Social Media Strategist - Internet Publicist - Branding Coach

 

 

 

 

 


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Leron Young's Urban/R&B: Smooth Soul Compilation CD

A new compilation CD of Leron Young’s best smooth jazz, blues guitar and inspirational instrumentals is now available on CD Baby. Smooth, Soulful and Melodic Urban/R&B. The music can be downloaded here:  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/leronyoung2 

Genres You Will Love by Leron Young

Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Moods: Guitar Blues
Moods: Instrumental
Spiritual: Inspirational

About the Artist
Leron Young moved to Washington, DC with his mother from South Carolina when he was six years old. His mother gave him a guitar when he was eight years old and he taught himself how to play it. Later in life he met a singing group called the Unifics at Howard University and started performing with them during the late sixties and early seventies. He also played guitar with the Five Stairsteps and Luther Ingram at Stax Records.

Leron studied electronics at a vocational high school in Washington, DC and studied electrical engineering in college. He worked as an engineer in corporate America, servicing CAT scanners and MRI machines in the medical field. 

After starting his own business in1989, Leron mentored young musicians for the next twenty-six years. Music is his first love, but he saw a need to encourage better health and wellness in his community. He wrote his first book, “How Is My T.E.D.D.Y. ” Asking the question "How is My Teddy"? will help readers stay focused on the important things in life. 

T.E.D.D.Y. Is a tool used to help develop a life of joy, good health, and well-being. The Teddified brand is catching on with people seeking a path to wholeness. Leron's books are listed on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1502408562  

In August, 2016, a new compilation CD of Leron’s best smooth jazz, blues guitar and inspirational instrumentals was released on CD Baby. The music can be downloaded from CD Baby here: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Laron 

 

 



The Decision to Homeschool 
by Leah Reynolds

The decision to homeschool your child is not one that should be entered into lightly. Homeschooling is a choice, while some parents choose to homeschool from the beginning; others find themselves homeschooling for special education reasons. The latter was our situation. After years of struggling with the local school system in our efforts to give our son the best education possible, we finally decided to go a different route. This school year, we embarked on the journey of homeschooling our 11-year old autistic child and so far, it has been the best decision for him and us. 

While the school year has only recently begun, this has been a lively adventure so far. Each day is filled with wonder for my son and I.  Science class is conducted outside during our neighborhood walks, homework is never assigned and we can begin each day with a Bible scripture. Now, instead of sitting on the bus for four hours each day, he can spend that time learning about the world around him.

Homeschooling your student is a great way to build lasting bonds with them while discovering their interests and their thought process. As the parent, you are able to learn about your child while teaching them. There is something amazing about watching the spark ignite in the eyes of a child when they are learning a new subject or talking about something that they enjoy. Have you considered homeschooling your child? If so, here are some tips to help you along the way. 

Research is Key -
Contact your local school board to determine the laws for your state concerning homeschooling. In Maryland, a parent must fill out of a specific form indicating their desire to homeschool. Also, research the reporting laws for your state. Some states may require end of the year testing or interviews by school board officials to ensure that the homeschool program is effective. 

Document Everything - 
Documentation is also important in administering a successful homeschool program. Since many states require portfolios with student curriculum and examples of schoolwork, it is best to have everything organized and readily available throughout the school year. Keep notes of field trips, completed worksheets, books read and anything that is pertinent to your daily curriculum. 

Ignore the Doubters -
During your decision process you may find that some of your friends and family are not as supportive of homeschooling as you may have hoped. Everyone has his or her opinion about it, but it is yours and only your decision to make. If teaching your student in a home environment meets their needs better than a public education setting, you must do what is best for your student. It is not your job to get everyone else on board with homeschooling. Your job is to be the best teacher your child could ever ask for. 

About the Author

Sage (aka Leah Reynolds)
was born and raised in Huntingtown, MD. She has been married to her best friend, for over ten years and they have two amazing sons. She is also an Autism advocate and a parent of an autistic child, which inspired her to write a non-fiction book on raising a child on the Autism spectrum, The Optimistic Autistic: Our Testimony.

Sage also writes mysteries centered on characters that are close to the heart. She has vowed to produce books that encourage the reader to deliberately read; not just for entertainment but to read with the intention of solving the mystery along with the Detective.

Her belief that, “if you don’t see the books you’re searching for write them” has inspired her to write with a purpose and a passion. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Cilla’s Book Maniacs


Priscilla C. Johnson, aka ‘Cilla, is the founder of Cilla’s Book Maniacs. Cilla developed a love of reading and books during childhood where she would spend hours in the library waiting for her brothers and her mother while they were practicing sports. 

Having friended the owners of a local AA Book store in 1999, Cilla began working there part-time just to be close to the books. It was at this time that she began building relationships with her favorite author, scheduling book events and books signings. Cilla joined Beverly Jenkins Yahoo Group where she developed friendships with the women and they began traveling together to various book events.  In 2015, Cilla began PCJ Consultant Group, LLC where she helps aspiring authors achieve their dreams of getting published, organize and build street teams, and introducing authors to new readers and book clubs.

BPM: What is the name of your reading group? 

Cilla’s Book Maniacs official began in 2010 although we have been around for several years. A portion of the group that is not on social media and they are in a Yahoo Group called Readers Who Enjoy Black Romance. Priscilla is the lead person since she knows how to keep everyone in line and up-to-date on what is going on in most literary circles.

BPM: Tell us about your members. How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole? 
We are comprised of readers and authors from states all across the county. Our ages range from 25-70. We also have a few males in the group.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Is there something that makes your group different? 
Our main purpose is to simply share our love of books, encourage and support each other and have fun. We travel together to various conferences, particularly the Romance Slam Jam Conference, where we have been named 2015 and 2016 Spirit Book Club of the Year.

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read as a group? 
Since we are an on-line club our taste in books range from romance, historical romance, erotica, paranormal, Christian, and interracial. Generally if someone reads a good book, we will post the title and author. We also support the authors in the group.

BPM: Do you like to find new authors and interact online? 
We find new authors at events and conferences. When we find or come across someone we think everyone will enjoy, we simple post the author and book in the group or we will post the review. 

BPM: Has social media changed how you feel about any authors? 
Social media has introduced us to a lot of authors we would not ordinarily chose to read. Current Author favorites: Keith Thomas Walker, Eva J Brock, Beverly Jenkins, Brenda Jackson, All of our Club Authors (they know who they are )

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who might want to start a book club? 
Find a group of people that you like and enjoy to be with or have similar interest. Keep everything fun – leave the personal stuff outside. Remember – every book is not for everybody and its ok to not like a book. 

BPM: What has the main focus become over the years? 
The Maniacs has primarily been a private social group. Now that were have won two book clubs awards, we are beginning to branch out and try new things.


Photo: Group at the 2016 Romance Slam Jam Conference


 

 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Sistahs and Friends Book Club

Founders of Sistahs and Friends - Yvette Barrett, Malinda Burden and Priscilla Myers. In December, 2014 we lost our 4th founder, Theresa Jackson.

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! How did your club get started?  Does the name of the club have a special meaning? How many members do you have? 

Sistahs and Friends Book Club started in 1997, in Chicago, when 4 young professional co-workers, Priscilla Myers, Theresa Jackson, Malinda Burden and Yvette Barrett discovered they shared a common passion. That passion was the love of reading and the desire to share their thoughts with each other. We had our first book club discussion in a conference room during our lunch hour. It was such a great experience that we decided to continue and called ourselves, Sistahs Bookclub. Later on we had a male that wanted to join us. So in fairness to him and other potential males, we changed our name to Sistahs and Friends Bookclub. We started with 4 and currently have 12 members.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Is there something in particular that makes your group different from other groups? 

Sistahs and Friends unites mature women and men from diverse backgrounds together in sister and brotherhood. We promote spiritual, motivational and intellectual development and awareness through the reading of fiction and non-fiction books, embracing the style and diversity of each member and each author. What we thought would be just a past time, for getting together among friends and sharing views on literature, led to so much more. We increased our membership, produced a mission statement, elected officers, created by-laws, paid dues, and 19 years later we are still Sistahs and Friends Book Club. 

BPM: What legacy will your club leave for those watching in the community?

Sistahs and Friends exemplify the true essence of sisterhood. Our legacy will be that true Sistahs support, lift and motivate each other not tear them down. 

BPM: Tell us about your members. What is the demographic of your group? How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole? 

Our members are mature professionals who all grew up from various backgrounds and areas in the city of Chicago. We started this group 19 years ago as "Bubbies" and have grown into mature outgoing, outspoken women who love a great book, with a great meal, a great glass of wine and a great discussion. These is no room and no tolerance for pettiness and or catiness. We may not always agree on the rating of a book but we will always have a great debate regarding the merits of our selections or lack thereof. 

BPM: When accepting members into the group, what are you looking for in the person? Has it been difficult to get people to join the group or to stay in the group? Do you have an online version of the group?

We look for someone who will fit in our circle and have the passion for reading as we do. When a vacancy occurs, we invite the potential member to a meeting to ensure that their personalities mesh with the current membership. We have never had a problem attracting members however in the beginning we had problem retaining them. Some members were not committed to reading which lead to the creation of bylaws which have proved to solve the problem. Our current members have been active 10 years or more. 

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book club conversation? Do you keep the conversation on topic, or roam? Does the availability of a reading guide help with the discussion?

By everybody sharing their own opinion of the book it leads to great conversations. Sometimes we can walk into the meeting ready to give a low rating and after much discussion it can easily be adjusted higher. Our sistahs are definitely not shy, they are very outspoken and will tell you like it is with no regrets. Many authors have experienced the brutal truths of Sistahs and Friends. Sometimes a reading guide is helpful but we don’t always use. We have very creative members who come up with games, quizzes, etc. to engage the group and stimulate conversation during the meeting. 

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? Do you read and discuss books outside of the book of the month? Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers? 

Sistahs and Friends Book Club’s season is from September - May. During the May meeting members randomly select a month to host for the next season. It is the responsibility of the host to select the book for the month which she is hosting. Most of the members make their selection based on recommendations from family and friends, reading over the summer or just reading reviews on-line. There have been times when some of us have read another book and discussed it outside of the book of the month for the bookclub. We share our book selections (2011 to present) on our website. 

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you support self-published authors? Do you borrow books from the library?

In the early years of Sistahs and Friends we only read books by African American authors. However over the years we have developed an appetite to broaden our horizon and not limit ourselves. During the years we have supported all authors as well as self-published authors and invited some of them to attend our bookclub discussions (via in person, Skype, FaceTime and conference call). Yes, a few of our members still borrow books from the library but the majority have Kindle or a Reader. 

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read as a group? Have the types of books changed over time? 

The types of books we prefer to read has changed over the years, in the beginning we read books by authors like E. Lynn Harris, Michael Baisden, James Patterson, Eric Jerome Dickey, Terry McMillan, Zane and J. California Cooper. The books dealt with short stories, sex and relationships respectively. As we have matured so have our books. Today, we read books by authors like Brandon Massey (Don’t Ever Tell), Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner), Pamela Samuels Young (Anybody’s Daughter), Dwayne Alexander Smith (Forty Acres), and Daniel Black (Perfect Peace) and Naleighna Kai (Every Woman Needs a Wife). As you can see our selection of books have expanded and our members have welcomed all authors regardless of ethnicity. 

BPM: Can you share a few 5-star books that have expanded your horizons?
 
Here are a few that received the highest rating that we give - (5stars) Good To The Last Drop. 
Standing at the Scratch Line - Guy Johnson
Forty Acres - Dwayne Alexander Smith
Perfect Peace - Daniel Black
Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skoot
The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
My Soul to Keep - Tananarive Due
Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers
The Douglass Women - Jewell Parker
No Regrets - Patricia Haley

BPM: Do you host special events during the year or do you work for any charities? Do you get together as a group to socialize outside of your book club meetings?

Sistahs and Friends started out doing a grab bag each Christmas but decided that we wanted to give back to the community instead. So now we do just that. We have worked with Chicago Public Schools, DCFS, and St. Joseph Children’s Hospital. Through them we have provided children with everything from clothing, school supplies to toys. This year we decided to change our focus gave to a domestic violence shelter. We provided them with purses filled with all the day to day necessities. We are very proud of our accomplishments and it fills us with such satisfaction to see the smiles. Sistahs and Friends have an outing once a year in the summer (during our break) to do something fun with each other (dinner, painting, plays, and architectural tours). We have also hosted a luncheon, had weekend trips to Wisconsin, San Francisco and next year our 20th Anniversary (TBD). 

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who are in or who might want to start a book club?

Don't be discouraged if you don't start out with committed members. It took us at least 10 years before we had truly committed members. We had to develop bylaws to vet out serious readers versus those who were only in the club to eat, drink and be merry. As a result, some members have come and gone. Also, don't look for members who are all exactly like you. You will end up with the Stepford Book Club and this will make for very boring conversations. What has kept us going over the years is our passion for good reads, our like of each other and our mutual respect of each others differences. 

BPM: Can we invite you to future events and discussions? Do you have a website or social media pages?

We would love to receive an invite for future events, chats and discussions. You can follow us below on our website, email and Facebook. 

Website: sistahsandfriendsbookclub.com
Facebook: Sistahs and Friends

 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Kisha Green

Kisha Green is a published author, virtual assistant, literary consultant, promoter and book reviewer. She's the owner of DivaBooksInc. It's motto, ‘Turning literary dreams into published realities.’, she has a strong passion for assisting authors in their writing and making their dreams come true. 

Aside from having a passion for supporting authors, Kisha is a well-established author. She's been writing professionally since she was twenty-one. Her most popular novel is, ‘And Even If I did’, released in 2006.

Kisha Green is also the host of Writer's Life Chats, an online radio show where she interviews aspiring and seasoned authors. Writer's Life Chats has been nominated multiple times for Best Blog Talk Show, winning the title in 2009, 2010 and 2011. As an avid reader and book reviewer, Kisha Green’s reviews have appeared on Urban Book Source, Shelfari, Goodreads, Amazon and other notable sites. 

In 2016, she was nominated for Literary Activist by AAMBC and is the recipient of the 2014 and 2016 Literary Excellence Award presented by Black Pearls Magazine.

As a firm believer in "each one, teach one," Kisha Green launched Literary Jewels in 2011, an online resource for aspiring writers interested in self-publishing. She has also participated in numerous panel discussions on the topic of publishing. Currently, Kisha resides in New Jersey and is a contributing writer for Urban Tymes, LitIsh, and Literary Jewels. She can be found on many social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

BPM: Please tell us about your blog! What is the name? How did your blog get started? When did your group begin, what year? How many members do you have? 
KG: My literary blog is called Literary Jewels (www.myliteraryjewels.com) and I started this blog back in 2007 named Writer's Vibe on Myspace, which was later added to my personal website. In 2009 other writers began to write for the site and in 2011 it made it's grand debut and relaunch as Literary Jewels.

BPM: What is the purpose for your blog? Does the name of your blog or store have a special meaning?
KG: My main focus for Literary Jewels is to provide content for readers from writers and there is an assortment of topics from new releases, book reviews, author spotlights, and commentaries. The name is a true reflection of what we are about. The writers and I are always dropping literary jewels (pertinent information) for authors to assist in their pursuit of self-publishing and the business of publishing.

BPM: Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers?

KG: Yes, I utilize several social networks to tell people about the books my staff or I have read.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you support self-published authors? Do you borrow books from the library?
KG: I will read anything if it is well written. I love self-published authors, I am a self-published author myself so I understand their struggle when it comes to getting reviews on a new book when you are a newbie without dedicated readers. I do check out books from the library but not as often as I want due to the other books I have on my to be read list.

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read? Have the types of books changed over time? 
KG: I enjoy murder, suspense, erotica, romance, Christian fiction and some urban fiction. I believe that books have changed over time because the authors are rushing the process instead of investing in a quality editor and taking pride in their craft. Releasing a book as of lately by some authors is the new hustle and or a popularity contest as to who can put out a book the fastest. The person who ultimately suffers alongside the author is the reader since I now have to dissect the book in attempts to find out what they were ultimately trying to convey due to grammatical errors and or a poorly written book.

BPM: What are key factors that help a book remain on your mind long after the last page?
KG: In my opinion for a book to be considered a good book it is because it has either struck a nerve because you have connected with emotionally accurate characters and or powerful and strong story line with a well-executed plot. Ultimately it all comes down to great character development and a well-written story line.

BPM: Do you write and post book reviews to online retailers? How do you handle bad reviews or books that flopped?
KG: I post reviews on Amazon, BN, and Goodreads and in the 9 years of reviewing books, I have only had 2 authors ask me not to post their review (both were 2 stars). In those cases, I reached out to the author and spoke to them directly and we both agreed that I would not post the review.

BPM: What are you reading now? How did you find out about this book? What books are on your reading schedule? 
KG: I am currently reading Second House from The Corner by Sadeqa Johnson and I met this author at the National Book Club Conference and she sent me the book to review as she would be an upcoming guest on my radio show, Writer’s Life Chats. As a reviewer, I get books mailed to me all the time from various publishers and authors and I read them in the order they are received.

BPM: Can we invite you to future events, social media chats, and discussions? How can we follow you online? Do you have a website or social media pages?
KG: Yes, I would love to attend any future literary events you are having. Please keep in touch and keep me posted. You can contact me via email, social media or my website.

Kisha Green Publisher, DivaBooksInc
Email: kisha@divabooksinconline.com
Website: www.divabooksinconline.com

Twitter: @KishaGreen
Periscope: @KishaGreen
Instagram: @KishaGreen
Facebook: @AuthorKishaGreen
Snapchat: @KishaGreen732

 

 

 

 


JOY – Jesus on You by D. Michele Jackson
Novel Based on a True Story - Travels of the Promises Trilogy (Book 2)


From the writer introduced in "Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us", D. Michele Jackson returns with questions. Is it not the right to be well in a country that offers civil liberties? This is a question Secret poses on her quest to revise the Nineteenth Amendment. On a mission to secure equality and address the social issues that plague health, Donna is chiming for change in her novel that is based on a true story, “JOY: Jesus on You”.

A native of the “City of Brotherly Love” and a registered nurse, Secret is on a mission to secure equality and address the social issues that plague health. She’ll also decide once and for all, if love conquers all.

In the midst of a bitter divorce weeks before Christmas in 2011, Secret finds herself in a small, Southern courtroom pitted in a vicious dogfight against The Paper. Secret is divorcing a retired sheriff deputy, who is working on a second career in law enforcement, who had a payroll deposit going into a bank account not listed in his name and a vehicle that he denied having, even though there was clear documentation that he is purchased the car. The Paper is a former police officer willing to break laws to protect his double life, even if it means committing perjury.

As she detangles herself in a fictional contract socially accepted as marriage, a document Secret deemed as “final,” Secret is lied to, deceived, and demoralized. What’s worst is the judge’s final verdict states clearly that Secret will also be displaced from her home. It is a home she’d won fairly. It’s a home she deserved. As the winds of change blow, Secret’s new normal is shaky, what isn’t is her sense of purpose.

Secret decides to take on the establishment, one that seems bent in destroying her. Besides her faith in God, it helps that as a nurse, Secret has had seventeen years of experience of what she recited at graduation, “I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession in the practice of my calling.” Ultimately it’s clear that the local and federal court systems and the Paper offer her a platform to argue for wellness as a legal nurse consultant.

After her observation of threats to health as it relates to marriage, divorce, and law, she begins to question the definition of health as defined by the World Health Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Over the next two years, she will submit brief after brief for judicial review, advocating for healthcare reform, especially when it comes to matters of divorce. Secret goes from that small courtroom in Georgia to argue in the United States Supreme Court. She isn’t ready or even able, but she chooses to fight the good fight—she chooses this fight, not with anger, but with heart, and she chooses this fight for all of us.

A narrative that is both heartfelt and impassioned, this novel loosely based on a true story is told in the first person from a retrospective point of view. As she offers a chronological glimpse of her journey, Secret considers her relationships prior to her marriage; each of these relationships offers health data that could be used for arguments pertaining to health in which she submitted for judicial review. Secret offers readers a biopic on sexually charged, if failed relationships, but the most telling health facts come from the man she divorces. Her experiences are reinforced by the statistical numbers presented by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that, “Women account for one in four people living with HIV in the United States.”

In a Congressional Public Health and Safety Report, an argument is put forth that Congress consider the country’s wellness. Secret lends her voice. A voice that echoes what once sounded to promote women’s suffrage, “…liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants….” The issues include suffrage; healthcare cost; the uninsured; decreasing transmission of HIV/AIDS; criminal justice; unemployment; education; increased divorce rates; promotion of healthy families; and holding courts accountable to judicial prudence decisions, as they have a direct effect on health. Health is a universal right, and neglect of is an offense to wellbeing.

It’s the United States Supreme Court that Secret comes up against her greatest challenge to help ensure wellness. Secret requested to introduce Maslow Hierarchy of Human Needs. Secret’s stay request to an individual justice was on the grounds of Bounds v. Smith, which states, “The fundamental constitutional right of access to the courts held States must assure the indigent defendant an adequate opportunity to present his claims fairly.” Rivals against “justice for all” presented at the United States Supreme Court clerk who disregards the court rules preventing Secret’s stay application from being reviewed by an individual justice and the attorney who shows due diligence in defaming his oath that, “I offer fairness, integrity, and civility. I will seek reconciliation and, if we fail, I will strive to make our dispute a dignified one.”

Though blindsided and further disenchanted, Secret forwards a brief to the Department of Justice requesting a federal investigation pursuant to a constitutional rights violation, Section 35 of the Judiciary Act of 1789, Federal Statute 42 US 1983. She argues threat to civic danger, obligation to exercise judicial review by disregarding purported laws if they violate the Constitution, and addresses the rights of people worldwide. After being ignored by every system designed for protection against crimes, Secret writes to the 113th Congress for relief, and takes advantage of the opportunity to request policy changes as a politically active nurse requesting legislation that makes it a crime for a spouse to become infected while married related to failure to disclose sexual orientation.

Secret is currently waiting for a congressional response. It’s time for change.


Order JOY – Jesus on You by D. Michele Jackson

Novel Based on a True Story
Travels of the Promises Trilogy (Book 2)
http://www.dmichelejackson.com 

eBook Release Date: December 06, 2016


About the Author

Donna M. Jackson is an African-American woman, a Philadelphia native, Tuskegee University alumna, and a Registered Nurse. Writing as D. Michele Jackson, she now adds writer, published, politically active nurse to her accolades. Her sociology studies at Tuskegee University and twenty year nursing career enabled Donna to be prepared when the opportunity of Legal Nurse Consultant availed itself as she represented herself Pro Se in court. That experience allowed Donna to draft briefs during a historical time affording her a voice advocating for health. Donna submitted argument to Congress supporting amending the Nineteenth Amendment. Website: http://www.dmichelejackson.com

 

 

 


Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1 - Tease Me! 
by Victoria A. Young

 

What do you do when your husband’s a senator being stalked by a crazy woman, you’re having trouble quitting the H so you can have a baby, your ex was the head of a drug empire, and you need to put an end to his friend’s life?

Passion Whispers
tells the story of Yashani, an irresistibly sexy heroin addict who craves domestic bliss with her husband, smoking hot Ivy Flint, NY Senator and man about town. He craves the same, but Yashani harbors some secrets from her past and Ivy is tired of playing the game. When his wife disappears for four days, his meandering search to find her, leads him to file for a divorce. While waiting for his wife to sign the petition to get a calendar date, she refuses, dropping him into chaos: An older woman having several personalities who escaped jail and the asylum.

He sleeps with one of the several personalities housed in a sizzling female body, waking all of them to come after him in a variety of hilarious, sex-fraught and dangerous scenes, spiraling the story’s twists to a breathtaking thriller. Each of these personalities is uniquely and finely drawn, and brought to life with brilliantly written dialogue, creating a truly different take on the stalker persona.

In the meantime, Yashani’s vengeful exploits against Nathan, the head of the heroin syndicate still haunts her after the death of her sister, her ex, who ran for the Governor in San Francisco, taking her to New York, San Francisco, Paris and Tblisi. Woven throughout the ins and outs of the troubled couple’s travels are sex scenes that pop the buttons right off your clothes in their eroticism, that are edged with longing and desire that makes you wonder, Will Yashani clear her head of the opium fog and finish Nathan? Will Ivy ever escape from his many-personalities fatal attraction? Will Yashani and Ivy get back together and settle down—forget that—will they ever finish what they achingly tease each other with, in the bedroom—will Yashani finally let Ivy do those things to her that they both desperately need him to do?

Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1: Tease Me!
is a story of cultural interest, personal love and loss, and, seriously, teasingly, drive-you-crazy hot sex. The characters are funky, unique, and real. It’s also a compelling blend of intrigue, action, and romance that explores such psychological and cultural themes as distrust, addiction, wealth, 
politics, forgiveness and chauvinism, all disguised as pure, raucous titillating entertainment.



Book Reviews: Book 1: Tease Me! 

Watch the Tease Me Video Intro: https://vimeo.com/120534672

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1: Tease Me! by Victoria Young
is a psychological erotic thriller. Senator Flint is looking for his wife. He is full of charm and captivates everyone, especially the ladies, with his personality. While he loves his wife very much, he can’t seem to stop himself from becoming sidetracked by Poisette. A very sexy woman, she has a dangerous past and a scary motive for wanting the senator. When he succumbs to her charms, he finds out that she has several personalities, all of them depraved. One wants to connect to him spiritually while another wants multiple orgasms and will stop at nothing to get them. Visiting her at her home, he finds yet another personality. One who threatens him that he has just 2 weeks to get her pregnant or escape before she reveals her true nature, the one that pities no one, not the senator, nor his wife. Where will the hell end for the senator? Where is his wife? And just what does Poisette want from him?

Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1 was a thriller all the way. Erotic and passionate, the story was full of thrilling twists and turns that left me a little breathless trying to keep up. The story is part erotic romance and part thriller, with organized crime, drug lords and thugs woven in with tales of erotic suspense. This is a deeply passionate book, one that will have you turning the pages, desperate to see where the story is going next. It was fast paced, well thought out and well written, and I would recommend it for anyone who wants a good read on holiday. Can’t wait for the next one.

5 star Review Written by Laura

Passion Whispers has surprising depth for a romance/thriller novel. The characters are funky, unique and real. The dialogue is genius. And don't get me started on the sex! An entertaining read, Passion is also a compelling blend of intrigue and romance that explores such psychological and cultural themes as addiction, wealth, politics and chauvinism. 

5 star Review Written by Nycole Lee 

Victoria Young brings us a masterpiece filled with love, lust, and intrigue that would look spectacular on the big screen as a movie, or as a riveting TV show. Her writing style is poetic and packed with passion. The characters, Yashani, Ivy, and Poisette take the story on a multi-layered thrill ride that will keep the reader engrossed from the very first line.

Yashani, a woman whose demeanor screams sensuality is much like that of a female James Bond. You have no idea what her skills are, or what she is capable of, but you enjoy every moment of her piece in this story.

Senator Ivy Flint, bent on finding his missing wife, has a personality and charm that seems to captivate all of the ladies. He loves his wife, and yet his attentions are diverted by none other than the infamous Poisette. Sexy and enchanting, she is a woman with a dangerous past, and an even more frightening motive.

The combination of these characters takes us around the world, where thugs and organized crime surface, secrets are unveiled, and love is tested by lust. Even the supporting characters contribute to the greater picture in their own way, with interesting backgrounds, and motives of their own.

Indeed there is passion in this book, with erotic scenes that reveal the inner sexuality of the characters, as well as stimulate the mind when you delve deeper into the character’s psyche. Passion Whispers an Execution is one that will keeps readers on the edge of their seat from beginning to end.


Excerpt: Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1 - Tease Me!


PROLOGUE


My scream smashed the ceiling. Distorted by blood, my passion harbored murder. I’ll poison him, slash his throat, and then shove him in a body bag, positioning him out of his misery, right now. My husband would never understand the degree I’d have to go to kill him. What more would they do to me? Life in prison or the death penalty? Someone will shed false concern and they’ll throw me in the crazy house. Far along, they’d find out I’m a basket worse than any case. 

A late summer day, I stood in line at a Whole Foods in San Francisco, absorbing a tall woman in front fiddling her holy pendant. She wore white shorts and a white halter-top. Murdering him didn’t grow stale the more I gazed at her whites, showing blood. Blood attacked my russet arms. I dropped my handcart of groceries and dashed to the bathroom. The faster I wiped the blood off, the faster more invaded. “Blood, blood, get off,” I couldn’t help but yell.

At a nearby sink, a pleasantly plump woman’s eyes widened when she said, “There’s no blood.” 

She didn’t understand that the blood is there and sometimes gone. I didn’t want her to tell me another lie, like how; now, blood trapped my dark tangerine dress. I tightened my headscarf and sped out of the market fast as I could. 

The sun’s rays followed for about a quarter of a mile southeast of Sutay, falling to rest on California’s paths and poppy fields. The condition of the air had gone stale. High-grade heroin controlled by a string of drug slingers infected the town. No mystery they didn’t care for crumbled homes. Sutay endured a wicked match compared to the prominent waterfronts and sweet lords who left their widows festering. Passion for control had grown in Paris, San Francisco, and New York for more than ten years. The scandalous vied for control in Yenitch, an unknown city below San Francisco’s grounds. Yenitch had it all. Power, wealth, and hijacking women’s worth. Unable to position the thunderous tune to rest, something hustled me. Gasps escaped. Run, Yashani. Run fast as you can. Whistling breezes rippled through willows. I landed in the back of Governor Giannelli’s aged colonial, squinting side to side, up and about the willows and junipers until I no longer saw the sun above the trees. Dark, ragged cloudlets gazed over his gloomy house. When I dug in the ground, I lost it all and kept digging deeper and deeper. Dirt flew everywhere. My five-foot-six feline body fell over, my dark hair hung in a long, graceful mess while my raging breath knew nothing about calm until a hand tapped my shoulder. 

His slippers caught the dirt I had shoved. Though his greeting prompted a strong suggestion of reproach, his Italian accent was accepting. It broke my trance, my sinking arrangement, and my dearest as I tried lifting her out of the ground. 

“Yashani, this is heavier than the freedom of truth,” he said. 

“You have a hard time seeing what’s dear to me,” I replied. 

“I’m aware how much you love your sister.”

“Which doesn’t ease how a man never understands a woman.”

“It’s getting late. Ready to give me my meds?” 

When I looked up past his paisley pajamas, Giannelli’s eyes brewed concern, and his salt and pepper hair glistened. He brought me up from the ground into his snowy chest for two minutes, near the cushion wrapped around his body, embracing my disturbing memories. My breathing slowed. We paced to his porch. Huddling in his arms eased a bit. 

We entered his run-down colonial filled with old-fashioned furniture. He wouldn’t get a maid, fearing she’d be too much in his business, finding out he had something to do with the Edirp scandal. Frequently, he moped; regretting how Nathan blackmailed him, then involved him in the scandal. 

His wife had fled to Vegas, feeding her gambling addiction, leaving his house in disarray. Not that she cleaned up when she was around, but when she visited him once every two months, she cared even less for their marriage. She hated me to the point of spreading rumors that I’d murdered Brad. Little did she know there was more meat to the Edirp scandal than what she thought. Blood, sweat and sweet payback would soon tell it all. 

As he led me through the darkened room, he tripped over a box and lost his balance. 

I had to help him up. His overbearing weight might be the reason his wife doesn’t appreciate him any longer. “Sit right here. And where are your meds?”

“Under my mattress.” 

I gave him his meds, washed his dishes, sanitized the house, then fed him. He’s paralyzed on one side and able to wash himself. If I had to wash him, it’d ruin our ten-year friendship, or he’d want me in a sexual upheaval. Though he wasn’t hard on the eyes, I wouldn’t be able to comply. At this stage of anticipated murder, I relied on his service. Before his age-related illness took over, he was my enemy’s number one comrade. Just a matter of time before Giannelli streamlined his overseas chums for ricin, my enemy, and his hooligans would share my wrath. 

I said, “Appreciate your concern for my sanity where others think I’m irrational.” 

He replied, “Because I’m confident when you get tired—”

“I’m already there.”

“You’ll take care of business.”

“If Nathan or my sister don’t kill me first.” 

For about an hour, we planned my strategy for avenging Nathan’s empire. 

He drew from under his chair a camera. “Your ruling passion for justice will never be destroyed.” 

( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Victoria A. Young. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Order Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1 - Tease Me! 

Series: Passion Whispers An Execution
Mystery & Thrillers > Erotic Suspense
http://www.amazon.com/Passion-Whispers-Execution-Book-Tease/dp/1500814903


Meet Victoria A. Young

Winning an essay contest for Fannie Mae landed me on Good Morning America, spring 2000 under the maiden name: Victoria A. Martin. My appearance encouraged and brought to fruition that my writing can move people. I developed a passion for writing inspiring themes whether it's in poetry, plays, screenplays, or novels. Presenting my characters with challenging situations and allowing their emotions to guide me give me the greatest pleasure with writing. I've written and produced three 2 hour plays and three short plays affording me the opportunity to refine my skills on my first novel trilogy: Passion Whispers an Execution.

I developed the love for the arts at the age of thirteen when I had a report due one Monday. I ran the streets with my friends disregarding report. Aware that my parents were going to scold me if I didn't have the report completed, I stood home one Sunday ignoring all calls. And read a book in one day: Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun. The report took me about three hours to complete. From that point, I fell in love with poetry and how words can tell a beautiful story. 

My writing has been compared to Quentin Tarantino with a classic flair, emotional and provocative. I believe in writing oh my God stories, which close out with a bang and bring a joyous spirit to the human experience. 

When I'm not sitting in my office scrambling my brain for flawed characterization, I enjoy reading, producing fashion shows, designing fashions, traveling, using my creativity for church functions, and choreographing praise dancing. Dancing has been incorporated in all my plays as well as my first novel. I've danced ballet, jazz, African, and contemporary from the age of thirteen. I was truly blessed to have my dancers perform for Congressman Charlie Rangel. They were also given the opportunity to perform at all-paid-expense trips traveling out of New York State for church retreats. Today my dancers are in college and some took on the role of motherhood. I give thanks to God for keeping them.

Website:  www.victoriayoungpassion.com 
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VictoriaYoung58 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/victoria.martinyoung.3 
Facebook Fan Page:  https://www.facebook.com/Book-Series-625256147595222/ 

 

 

 

 


The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney 
by Eartha S. Dunston


Meet Princess Lindsey Sidney, a precocious little girl with big, bushy hair! Join Lindsey Sidney for a week of “hair adventures” as she watches her hair transition from bushy, to straight and all styles in between. She celebrates her unique styles each day of the week. 

The hair adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney is the first in a series of children's books entitled the Princess series. Each book aims to serve as a dialogue for children, parents and educators to address such issues as positive self-image and dealing with the loss of a loved one. I hope you enjoy reading about Princess Lindsey Sidney in this book as she celebrates her beauty; and later, as she triumphs through difficulties in "Grandma is Dancing in Heaven."

Meet the Author 

Eartha S. Dunston has been writing since she was a freshman at Alabama State University. She first realized her love for writing when one of her best friends secretly entered her into his fraternity’s poetry slam. She anxiously shared her writings publicly for the first time and received an overwhelming standing ovation! It was a pivotal moment, and she knew in that instant she would one day write professionally. Her educational background coupled with becoming a mom, inspired her to begin writing about issues that affect children such as positive self-image and loosing a beloved family matriarch. She has spent the past few years honing her craft under the tutelage of many award winning and accomplished authors.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Clinical Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. Eartha enjoys traveling, encouraging others through life’s obstacles, reading and crafting stories in all genres. She currently resides in South Florida. Her first Children's novel is entitled "The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney." The book introduces us to a beautiful princess who celebrates her hair as it transitions textures and styles throughout the week.

Purchase The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney by Eartha Dunston
https://www.amazon.com/Hair-Adventures-Princess-Lindsey-Sidney/dp/0996930272

 

 

 

 

 


Tyler Goes Around the World 
by Tyler Stallings and Andrea Blackstone

Tyler is an energetic 4-year-old who wants to visit his aunt and cousins. When he can’t because of bad weather outside, Tyler transforms into an adventurous superhero at bedtime. He imagines traveling to different countries to visit new friends. What does he learn about new places as he flies around the world?

Purchase books here:  http://www.kidtimeenterprises.com 

About Kid Time Enterprises, LLC
Kid Time Enterprises, LLC was founded by Andrea Blackstone and her 4-year-old son Tyler Stallings, who both love learning in fun ways. The company integrates the belief that youth should be taught to be producers, not just consumers, as soon as they are able to understand basic financial principals.

Kid Time Enterprises strives to encourage entrepreneurship through launching a variety of projects that lead to the development of high-quality books, kid-friendly swag and meaningful partnerships. They also encourage other parents, mentors and relatives of youth up to the age of 18 to take time to listen to their unique ideas that may be implemented. Their voices matter and so do their ideas about ways to positively impact communities across the world.

“Tyler Goes Around The World” marks their first kidprenuer project. The official company launch will be held in Maryland in 2016.


About the Honorary CEO

Tyler Stallings is an outgoing kidprenuer with an active imagination. Although one of the 4-year-old’s favorite hobbies is running a fictitious construction company and building things, he enjoys picking out his own books, discussing them, traveling and meeting awesome people from all parts of the world.

Like many children his age, Tyler began making countless excuses why he could not go to bed at night. His mother, Andrea Blackstone, decided to make up a game about traveling around the world, to encourage her son to settle down and go to sleep. Playing the game where Tyler transformed into a superhero who travels became so popular, it became a welcomed ritual when he was three. After Tyler’s questions about places he traveled in his imagination increased when he turned four years old, Blackstone asked Tyler if he wanted to write his own book. When Tyler agreed, she decided to invest in her son’s dream to become an author at a young age.

Tyler’s journey to co-write a book with his mother evolved into an early lesson in entrepreneurship. Since Tyler enjoys helping his mother with community work, he agreed that giving back to causes should be a part of his book project. Under the umbrella of Lois’ Giving Circle—which will be established in the name of his late grandmother who was an elementary school teacher, Tyler will create or support community projects. Since Tyler and his mother are both children of veterans, a portion of the proceeds from the limited edition of “Tyler Goes Around The World” will be donated to organizations supporting veterans who served our country. With the help of his mother, the honorary CEO of Kid Time Enterprises, LLC aspires to spread the love of pursuing passions at any age, doing good things and reading books, one superhero mission at a time!

Website: http://www.kidtimeenterprises.com/p/about-us.html 
Video from 4 year old Tyler: https://www.facebook.com/kidtimeenterprises/posts/889738074476276 


About the Co-Author

Andrea Blackstone is a freelance reporter, editor and Humanities consultant who grew up in Annapolis. She currently writes for The Baltimore Times, The Annapolis Times and The Prince George’s Sentinel. Blackstone worked as the editor of The Andrews Gazette, located in Prince George’s County. She previously established book and events blogs, in addition to a popular digital entertainment publication. 

Through her journey to gain journalism experience, she developed an ability to highlight interesting people, unique places and good news that is typically undiscovered. She is a fan of social networking, research, tasty vegetarian food and helping to encourage youth to achieve their goals. Blackstone also runs a small business with her 4-year-old son. She earned degrees from Morgan State University and St. John’s College. 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andreablackston  
Grove Street Mag: https://issuu.com/bloggertime 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrea.blackstone.3/about

 

 

 

 


To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy
Coming Fall 2016

Two Souls
One Desire
To Find Each Other...Again


The journey begins with Ama and Ekow ~ Two lovers betrothed, then torn apart by an enemy disguised as a friend. And in the midst of an unthinkable bargain, their freedom is sold for a bag of gold. But what their enemies thought would break them only unleashed a power greater than life itself.

From the ancient shores of Ghana to the streets of pre-colonial India, from the burning embers of Oahu to the heart of a nation’s capitol, their souls risked war, death, and betrayal to bend destiny to their will. Will they survive? Will they succeed?

Join them on this timeless journey and see…


A Sneak Peek of "To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy" is now available! Go here to read an excerpt: http://www.cerecerenniemurphy.com/#!to-find-you/c187q 

More Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy
http://www.amazon.com/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/e/B008G6XXBS 

 

 

 

 


Melvina The Color of Power 
by James Lee Nathan III

How a mulatto madame came to control Fargo, North Dakota. This is a speculative, historical fiction based on the real Melvina Massey, written with permission from her descendants

An older woman in her 60s, rides in a lonely train car. Her destination is far different today than it was some twenty years previously. She closes her eyes and remembers when she first came to Fargo. Back then in 1881, she shares a car with a very pretentious young woman, dead set on evangelism and ridding the northern territory of the scourge of all mankind. ALCOHOL. The woman is clad in black from head to toe; her beautiful red hair and snow-white skin are a perfect contrast to her drab clothing. Juxtaposed to the drab and righteous sits the opposite in every way, Melvina is 40 but looks at least 20 years younger, and is fashioned in all white to include her bonnet, shoes, and umbrella. She senses an air of contempt about the train compartment before the first words are uttered.

Melvina, ahhhh yes, Melvina, the mulatto from the east. Her presence takes the air out of the room, so strikingly beautiful that most do not venture to guess her ethnicity. No, they are too preoccupied admiring her beauty to think about anything else so primal as her race. Seduction has a way of doing that to people and Melvina Massey is every inch of seduction.

The two ladies strike up a polite conversation not knowing anything about the other initially but by the time the train pulls into the depot at Fargo, battle lines are drawn and distrust replaces politeness. Children will come, murders, deceit, sickness, political intrigue, statehood, affairs of the heart, all will happen, but bitterness will stand between these two until the very end. 

Intrigued are you? There is more...come with me as I take you on a journey back in time, to discover a family's distant relative, and the true color of power... MELVINA. 



Excerpt from Melvina The Color of Power 
 

Chapter One


SPRING 1881 FARGO

Her mind begins to flashback to her first train ride to Fargo twenty years earlier. On that trip, she meets Mrs. Anika Marlowe and her husband Torsten. She met the husband earlier in an adjourning car. He introduced himself as a bachelor and made advances. Now she sees him for what he is, a lecherous married man seeking sexual liberties not more than 40 feet from his wife and children. Melvina despises men of Torsten’s ilk, but their peccadillos provide her with a lavish lifestyle, so she tolerates them. The wife, Mrs. Anika Marlowe, is more than courteous to Melvina, whom she mistakes as another well to do white woman. This is not strange for Melvina Massey, who has often taken as white.

“So Miss Massey what brings you to Fargo?” she asks, Melvina pauses for just a moment before responding. “I have real estate to assess and maybe purchase in Fargo,” Melvina says removing a small fan from her bag.

“Oh, where is Mr. Massey to handle these affairs? I always defer property matters to my husband Torsten.” Marlowe says and looks away to see if the aforementioned Torsten is in the train car.

“No, there is no Mr. Massey and I enjoy it that way. What is your business in Fargo, or do you live here?” Melvina says with an inquisitive grin. 

She studies the wife now, “What a couple, she is from money but him not. She wears virginal black from head to toe so a religious person championing a cause is appropriate. They have children, yet there is a lack of intimacies between them, otherwise why is he soliciting female strangers on a train, complex, delightful, and intriguing.” Melvina’s assessment is dead on except Anika Marlowe is her biggest adversary in Fargo. The husband, that is later. However, the struggle between alpha women concerns Fargo morality, North Dakota statehood, and the power to influence both. Melvina discovers the couple’s business in Fargo and dodges her own. She finds out that Mrs. Marlowe is busy here organizing a women’s meeting to close the brothels and saloons.

Marlowe gives Melvina a handbill which she looks over and then thanks the woman. “Will you be attending with us, Miss Massey?” she asks.

Melvina responds with a polite “No dear I’m afraid not.” 

Confused Mrs. Marlowe responds, “Why may I ask?”

“I have no reason to partake in any endeavor whose sole purpose is to infringe upon my business efforts.” Melvina responds and grins. A tremendous cloud of contempt now hovers between the two, and Melvina will always remember this moment as the day she made her first enemy in Fargo. 

Anika Marlowe’s face flushes red with embarrassment and then her eyes close ever so slight as if she has her target in sight. “Well Miss Massey, very well,” she says with disdain in her voice.  The two continue their conversation along with the occasional insult sprinkled across the top. 

Torsten arrives and his eyes beg to Melvina ‘Please do not reveal me’ as if Melvina is in the practice of exposing clients. Torsten is a client she intends to use for information and maybe personal satisfaction. ‘He is handsome, in a tall Viking kind of way,’ she thinks and then glances out of her window as her eyes narrow and widen at the town coming into view. She exits the train. Three men meet her within the depot and escort her to the grand hotel. Melvina turns her head back towards the depot to witness the Marlowe clan altogether. She smiles their way with the intended recipient fully aware of her intentions. 

“That is a unique woman,” Torsten says and his wife is quick to respond. “She is an uppity whore, and you are a whoremonger. Are we going to revisit your sinful ways in our new town Torsten?” her accusation stings but the truth is painful.

“Well we are in the divorce capitol of the world, I am sure we can end this arrangement if you are no longer satisfied,” he says. 

“Torsten Marlowe you did not marry me for my pretty eyes, bright red hair, charming wit, and ample bosom. You married me for father’s money. I don’t see you going anywhere soon,” she says. Torsten gathers up the children and the baggage acknowledging nothing his wife has just uttered. Such is their relationship.

The Assumptions Begin

As Melvina and her men walk to the carriage, she receives a report on the town and possible prospects for ‘boarding houses’.  During this time, the term female boarding houses are the polite society phrase for brothel or whorehouse. The carriage stops in front of the grand hotel and only one man escorts Madame Massey inside, the other two (a Negro and an Indian) are not welcome. Neither is Melvina, access is no issue today. Members of the board of commerce, fall into a sycophantic stupor of salutations. Why respond to a white female investor any different?

Between the years of 1850-1905, over 8 million northern Europeans (from Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Germany) stream into the United States and make their way west to land and opportunity. Few if any of these folk have ever seen Negroes let alone the occasional mulatto. The likelihood they know a mulatto is in their midst is small. This includes the one in front of them named Melvina, who comes from a long line of mulattoes and quadroons. She looks white in but her blood is black. Here is an example of Melvina’s manipulation in play.


Excerpt from Chapter 2

BISMARCK DEPOT 1901


The train pulls into the Bismarck depot where the Sheriff escorts Melvina to an awaiting carriage. Melvina is ready for this next leg of the trip. No fear or trepidations she is arrogant, courageous, and Sheriff Twitchell is disinclined to acknowledge her demeanor. “What makes you so content Melvina, considering your circumstances,” he says.

“And what might those circumstances be Sheriff? That after operating a brothel that sold alcohol for 12 years Cass County makes an arrest. Or I was arrested period?” she says mocking him.

“The latter,” he says, “given what I know of you and your business pursuits. But have you ever given any thought to why you have landed in prison dear?” he asks and holds her hand. A show of compassion or measuring her fear?

“I have given it much thought and will continue to do so, as long as promises are kept, I can manage my brief stay here,” she says now cupping his hand in hers and looking him deep in the eye.

“But make no mistake; I will handle the treachery, my way.” She assures the Sheriff.

They arrive at the penitentiary at 2pm. Sheriff Twitchell hands her over to the care of the deputy warden since the Warden N.F. Boucher is busy preparing his annual report. The penitentiary’s matron escorts Melvina to a holding cage where she is booked. Something is amiss in the proceedings. The sounds of chatter fill the room and smirks from the guards greet her. Melvina had assurances of a short stay and accommodations befitting of a woman of her station. However, the early indications are that something has changed.  

Melvina changes from her fine clothes into the more dank prison garb. Melvina is thankful that the wool smock and cotton undergarments appear clean from a recent washing. She puts on the proper prison attire, and the questions begin anew. The clerk annotates her responses and starts with a date of birth. “1839,” she answers and then says, “I am 49.” the admissions clerk judges her height and weight and then sputters out “Stand up tall against that wall. Hmmm, you are 5’9 more or less. Husband’s name and whereabouts?” he asks. 

Melvina takes a moment as if she was swallowing a bitter pill before answering. “Henry Rae is my husband, and his
whereabouts are unknown, he could be in Chicago, don’t know, or care.” The clerk captures every word for posterity and then motions to another officer to his left. A clerk takes a photo of her, which will become an item of great curiosity 110 years later when it vanishes and no other image of the ‘Mulatto Madame’ exists.

The questions continue as do the snide and condescending remarks from one guard. “They made a promise. Where is the Warden?” She thinks. Her eyes search the room looking. The clerk sees her and asks if she has misplaced an item. “My dignity and social status apparently, but to what purpose do questions serve now?” she ponders before responding. “Where is the Warden I wish to speak to him,” she says then remembers her new status and says “Please?” Her question amuses the clerk who chuckles aloud.

“No Warden for you, a nigger whore. Be quiet and wait. Fetch the Warden my ass,” he says and on cue, the matron arrives.

The Use of a Word


“Is this badgering and demoralization of the inmates part of their incarceration mystique? These malcontents are not capable of the tasks assigned. Anyone can see this, and I been here five minutes. But, that word is used without inhibition, tread slow Melvina” she thinks and then follows the escorts to new accommodations. The cells for women are next to the kitchen. Three narrow spaces needing ventilation and a cleaning. 

“Don’t turn your nose up to these accommodations’ missy. They’re more than adequate for any nigger,” says the matron. She knows that Melvina is neither a missy nor a nigger. But, in her mind one is correct.

“Pardon me, Miss, whatever your name is,” the matron turns with a menacing scowl but Melvina does not blink. “Do you think that word is magical? Does it conjure or evoke a mystical spell to make me less than who and what I am?” Melvina asks looking the woman square in the eye.

“In your cell nigger whore,” she says and Melvina moves but wants to say one last thing, “Which word disgusts you more, since you use them both with equal affection? I think they are interchangeable in your mind,” she says and then obliges. 

It is hard to say when the town of Fargo realizes that their most celebrated Madam is a mulatto and not a white woman of means from Virginia. At the turn of the century, news and rumors spread across Cass County and disgusts their polite society. Others in Moorhead and St. Paul Minnesota knows of her ethnicity and assume everyone else does too. She marries Henry Rae (a mulatto man who was passing and everyone knew). To reinforce her position based on their biases Melvina never refuses courtesies and privileges afforded white women of the day.

She accepts the hand that their bias and racist views offer and plays it (and them) to perfection. Perceptions, or views of nonwhites and Jews, are very harsh in the latter part of the 19th century. It infects every part of life and bureaucracy in the United States, a great example is those prudent and diligent civil servants the census investigators. Contrary to popular belief, census investigators for over 150 years used the same method of determining a person’s race/ethnicity. They relied on the visual inspection and take into account how an individual is ‘perceived’ in their community. The last tools used are rules based on an individual’s share of ‘black blood’.

So, if a racially ambiguous person is well ‘received’ in the town where they live, the chances are the Census record will list them as white, as opposed to Italian, Greek, or black. This explains why many individuals identified as ‘white’ in one census can be found as mulatto or black in later ones. Race during the 1800s, absent of definitive physical attributes (skin color, hair texture), is perception and always a means to an end. Madame Melvina is one who learns to parlay other people’s perceptions from a very early age. It is something that her father, Edward Massey, a free mulatto man, teaches her one Sunday afternoon.
 
( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, James Lee Nathan III. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Order Melvina The Color of Power by James Lee Nathan III
Ebook Only Downloads:   https://leanpub.com/melvina 
Historical Fiction based on a true story. 

About the Author
James Lee Nathan III (JLN3), is the self-published author of two novels and nine novellas, spanning many speculative fiction sub-genres. JLN3 is best known for his scifi erotic crime drama series Robert Manis and No Brakes, both of which are bestsellers on the leanpub author platform. His latest works, CRIME-PHYTER, and Ibrahim Unites introduce readers to his Next Level Fiction experience.

 

 

 

 

 


This Too Shall Pass 
by Patricia A. Saunders 

This book of poetry spans the journey of life, death, grief, love, and weathering all storms. When life has thrown you curveballs and you think that it’s over, no one is there for you, or no one can love you, it is in those moments when you have to hang on. There is hope, there is love, and there is a second chance. You just have to believe that this too shall pass!

Excerpt: This Too Shall Pass

POEM:  Bang, Bang 

Bang, Bang!
As kids we played cowboys and Indians
Got older and it was cops and robbers
Bang, Bang! was so innocent
Parents would buy toy guns
Boys would pretend to shoot, get hit, fall down and die
Some things changed over the years
The games became reality
Guns are brought to schools
Drive-by shootings are killing little babies
Bang, Bang!
Someone call 911
There are killings taking place everywhere
Churches, movie theaters, college campuses, Shady Hook, Planned Parenthood
Unarmed or armed
Bang, Bang!
You’re dead!

POEM:  I Melt
When I see your eyes
I fall in love all over again
Never thought I would feel like this
Though I carried you
Saw you grow within me
Seeing you lie on my chest
I Melt

When you open your eyes
Looking at me as you nurse from my breast
I smile because I love you
You are my legacy
You are my world
I Melt

The blessing of the birth of a child
Some take for granted
Some don’t want to go through it
I look at you and I can’t imagine
Your tiny fingers touch mine
And I …
I Melt

 

POEM: 5-Year Sentence
You had the cancer scare
You had it cut out
You had treatments
You learned how to breathe again
You were exercising
Being healthy is what you always were
Doctor said you have a 10% chance it can come back
5 years is what they told you
Let’s count together 1-2-3
So as your friends were dying off
From different types of cancer
Your mortality was in question
You started saying you lived a good life
You needed to finish everything you put on your bucket list
You were scaring your spouse
Where was your faith?
A tear ran down your cheek
You said, “I have 5 years!”


( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Patricia A. Saunders. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


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About the Author

Self-published, award winning author, Patricia A. Saunders was born and raised in Connecticut before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area nearly 20 years ago. She received her Master’s in Management from the University of Phoenix in 2011. After the passing of her mother who had Alzheimer’s, Patricia decided that all the words that she kept to herself were to be released.

In March of 2016, she released her fourth book This Too Shall Pass, this book of poetry touches on the subject of suicide, death, love and faith. Her work has been featured on In the Company of Poet, Women Owned Business Club Magazine, and Coach Deb Bailey Secret of Success Talk Radio. She performs locally at spoken word events and Capital Jazz SuperCruise Open Mic with Grammy Award Winner Eric Roberson. Her segment on In the Company of Poets “Patricia A. Saunders I am a Poet” won an Ursula Award.

Patricia is a proud member of the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music and Entertainment and she is a monthly blogger to Blessed & Curvy http://blessedpoetpat.blogspot.com. Ms. Saunders recently was one contributing writer of 300 women across the world for Sister with Ink Voices (Hill-Dudley, 2013).

Patricia works as a supervisor for a corporate financial organization. In her spare time, Patricia enjoys writing poetry, traveling, spending time with family and wine tasting.  Her books are available at your local book retailers and at www.patriciaasaunders.comwww.amazon.com  and  www.barnesandnoble.com

 

 

 

 

 


How is My T.E.D.D.Y? by Leron Young

Personal Transformation. The acronym TEDDY is easy to remember. It’s a word we can relate to as it’s a very common name in the United States. T stands for Thinking, E stands for Eating and Exercising, the first D stands for Drinking, the second D stands for Doing, and Y represents You. Teddy is a tool one can use to help develop a life of joy, good health and well-being.

Asking the question "How is my Teddy"? will help one to stay focused on the important things in life.

T- Thinking
E - Eating and Exercising
D - Drinking
D - Doing
Y - You

Order How is My "T.E.D.D.Y" ? by Leron Young

Non-fiction. Health and Wellness. Self-Help. Spirituality 
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1502408562


About the Artist

Leron Young moved to Washington, DC with his mother from South Carolina when he was six years old. His mother gave him a guitar when he was eight years old and he taught himself how to play it. Later in life he met a singing group called the Unifics at Howard University and started performing with them during the late sixties and early seventies. He also played guitar with the Five Stairsteps and Luther Ingram at Stax Records.

Leron studied electronics at a vocational high school in Washington, DC and studied electrical engineering in college. He worked as an engineer in corporate America, servicing CAT scanners and MRI machines in the medical field. 

After starting his own business in1989, Leron mentored young musicians for the next twenty-six years. Music is his first love, but he saw a need to encourage better health and wellness in his community. He wrote his first book, “How Is My T.E.D.D.Y. ” Asking the question "How is My Teddy"? will help readers stay focused on the important things in life. 

T.E.D.D.Y. Is a tool used to help develop a life of joy, good health, and well-being. The Teddified brand is catching on with people seeking a path to wholeness. Leron's books are listed on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1502408562  

In August, 2016, a new compilation CD of Leron’s best smooth jazz, blues guitar and inspirational instrumentals was released on CD Baby. The music can be downloaded from CD Baby here: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Laron 


 

 

 

 

 


Melting the Blues 
by Tracy Chiles McGhee

A brave, musical story rich with Southern history." - Kirkus Reviews

"Melting the Blues" is a remarkable novel that is simultaneously haunting and hilarious; serious and sexy; mysterious and quite amusing to read. To write a definitive novel about freedom-internal and external-now, and avoid staid notions of race and identity is a feat. But, this is what McGhee has done. She has masterfully woven an original story full of drama and magnificent characters that will stay with you long after the turning of the last page." 
- Kwame Alexander, New York Times Best-Selling Author & Newbery Medalist


Set in Arkansas in 1957, the complexities of identity, yearnings for love and acceptance, and racial tension are all unmasked in the riveting literary drama, Melting the Blues, by debut author Tracy Chiles McGhee. Augustus Lee Rivers, a farmer and bluesman, has two obsessions: his relationship with the Duncan family and his desire to leave small town Chinaberry to become a musician in Chicago. When his plans are prevented by a devastating betrayal, Augustus is driven into the belly of the blues where he must reckon with his past if he is to move forward. This intriguing, multi-layered historical tale beckons readers down a red dirt country road to bear witness to an unforgettable time, place, and people.

Historical Novel: African-American Culture and Folklore, Southern Culture, American History, Civil Rights, Relationships, Family, Identity, Betrayal, Race Relations, and Music (Blues, Gospel, Jazz)


Purchase Melting the Blues

by Tracy Chiles McGhee
Link: https://amzn.com/0997135441  


Tracy Chiles McGhee, LEAP Co-Founder, Mentor, and Multi-Genre Writer Speaks on Manifesting Yours Dreams through Words, Imagery, and Action.  Listen here: http://www.audioacrobat.com/sa/WhSz8HBW 

Meet the Author

Tracy Chiles McGhee is a multi-genre writer and the debut author of the historical novel Melting the Blues. McGhee was selected as a Finalist in the 2014 William Faulkner - William B. Wisdom Creative Writing Competition in the Novel-in-Progress category.

McGhee was rooted in Chicago, Illinois, raised in Mount Holly, Arkansas, nourished in San Francisco, California, and stirred in Washington, DC.  A former public interest lawyer, she now works in the education sector and is a strong advocate for global literacy. McGhee is a graduate of Catholic University Law School, Georgetown University and San Francisco University High School.

Website: www.tracychilesmcghee.us 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeeCeeEm1 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tracychilesmcghee 
Books: amazon.com/author/tracychilesmcghee   

 

 


Zodiac Saga 1: The Search for the Temple – Friends Foes and Zodians 
by Kaitlyn McKnight


Teen Author introduces the hidden world of Zodiac gods in her new book Zodiac Saga 1. 

Travel with Cyrus the believer, Peter the great, and the fearless Sofia into the hidden world of Zodiac. Ride on a solid gold airplane. Meet Witch Greta and her crystal ball. Meet the frightening Azznic, the metal beast. Meet Snake-y Von Tomb, the keeper of evil doers. Meet Gertrude and Garner from the afterlife. Meet the bully himself, the ghoulish Judas. Get to know the alluring daughter of Virgo, Mercy and her magical cat. Above all, meet the Zodian gods, also known as the Elders of Zodia and the Sacred Twelve. They are the keepers of the universe.


In the year 32 B.C.E, Aries, The Zodian god of Death, had a vision of a malevolent entity. It was evident that the entity would enslave the world and eventually destroy everything. When this news reached the other Zodians, they each stored a portion of their powers into individual Power Gems. The Zodians made this precaution as an emergency power source. The Temple of Zodia was built to store the Gems until the dark day came. The Elders of Zodia thought it was essential to find the entity and destroy it before the vision took place. So they each disguised themselves and lived among mortals on earth. But they became distracted by the mortals and earthly pleasures. 

Almost a century later, Cancer, The Zodian god of Intellect, found himself wandering in the Temple of Zodia. He made an unknown but fatal error and caused the Temple to collapse. The Gems were scattered into different countries and time periods. The other Zodians easily noticed this incident and Cancer was indefinitely banished from the Temple of Zodia. The other eleven Zodians built another Temple on earth, but hid its location from mortals and Cancer.

 Several centuries later in the current year, a bullied 12-year-old little boy named Cyrus O'Hara believes in the existence of Zodiac gods. This belief becomes a reality for Cyrus as he sets out on an adventurous journey to find the Temple of Zodia. Along the way he finds the true meaning of family, friends, and foes as he learns his true identity.


Praise for Zodiac Saga 1: The Search for the Temple 
 

"God's blessings be upon you." 
(Dr. C.R.M  Moore)

"I wish you all the best and much success." 
(Tom, The Tom Joyner Morning Show)

"...you are tomorrow's leaders - you inspire me and give me tremendous hope for the future." 
(President Barack Obama)

"...we value you and respect your integrity and commit to you our prayers..." 
(The Executive Office of Bishop T.D. Jakes, Sr.)

"Amazing read! And this is from the mind of a 12- year- old. Ms. McKnight is head and shoulders above her peers and I look forward to the next installment of the story and the spin offs that will materialize as the saga continues." (Mr. Lonnie Stephens)

“Kaitlyn McKnight – an obviously very self-possessed young woman – has gone two steps farther than most: she shared her story with others (a huge hurdle for most budding authors) and has seen her first effort go to print. Kaitlyn is doing it. She “finished what she started” and that is no mean feat.” 
(Steve Davidson for Amazing Stories Magazine)


Excerpt: Zodiac Saga 1: The Search for the Temple 


We all walked through the door at the same time side by side. Everything was awesome! Magnificent large paintings of each Zodian was hung on the wall (except Cancer) above a bronze fireplace. The crisp white marble floors showed our reflections perfectly as glass. The black onyx walls sparkled with blue glittering diamonds (now I know why Abigail was blue). If only Calibri Prep snobs could see this.

We slowly walked onward and came upon two hallways. One leading right, the other leading left. “Which way?” I asked. Judas scratched his head. “I say we go…” The wall in front of us slid open. Judas smiled. “… That way.” He pointed to the opened wall. We all exchanged looks then stepped inside slowly. When we walked in I nearly fainted from amazement. In front of us were twelve large majestic thrones. On the thrones sat four of the Elders, right before us.

I remembered them from the books I read about Zodiac. On a throne made out of solid stone was the Zodian god Taurus. On the throne next to him made out of vines was Virgo, she was exceptionally beautiful. Three seats down from her was someone not really on a throne. It was an oversized plush bed made out of golden straws of hay. Sagittarius lifted his head as his horsehair stood up on end. The second to last throne sat someone I feared. Aquarius slouched on his metal throne playing with a metal ball. Taurus stood, and straightened his white toga. He walked toward us. Each step he took shook the room. “Welcome!” His voice was incredibly loud. “Welcome to the Temple of Zodia!”


Order Zodiac Saga 1: The Search for the Temple – Friends Foes and Zodians
Fictional, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Ages 12-17.  Click here to order from Barnes and Noble

 


Meet the Author

Mississippi Teen Author Kaitlyn McKnight is a writer of fictional, fantasy, and science fiction stories. She wrote Zodiac Saga at age twelve. It all started as a class assignment that grew into a book. She is an idiosyncratic writer with a vivid imagination to create stories that are unique with magic, mystery, and even some malevolence. Giving life to anomalous characters is a special trait in Zodiac Saga. In her free time, she plays the piano, guitar, and violin. Sunshine and green grass draws her outside for long hours and she still enjoys playing in the rain. Kaitlyn is a homeschool graduate and a freshman at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Author Website: www.kaitlynmcknight.com
Book Website:  www.zodiacsaga.com

 

 

 


Lawful Deception 
by Pamela Samuels Young

"Pamela Samuels Young has crafted a page-turner that will keep you engrossed until the very last page. If you’re a fan of smart legal thrillers with brisk pacing, crackling dialogue and edgy, intriguing characters, Lawful Deception is for you.” --Dwayne Alexander Smith, Award-winning Author of Forty Acres.

Once again, award-winning author Pamela Samuels Young delivers another captivating legal thriller full of unexpected twists and jaw-dropping moments you never see coming. The beautiful Bliss Fenton won't be winning any awards for Mother of the Year. Truth is, motherhood isn't nearly as important to Bliss as the cottage industry she's created: extorting wealthy men for the hefty child support she can collect.

But Bliss' greed goes too far when she takes on Fletcher McClain. The handsome music industry mogul refuses to accept her conniving conduct lying down. He retains high-profile attorney Vernetta Henderson to sue Bliss for fraud.

Enter Bliss’ unscrupulous attorney, Girlie Cortez, who has a personal score to settle with Vernetta. As the two lawyers once again go head-to-head, their legal battle quickly escalates from merely contentious to downright deadly.
 

Prologue


Bliss Fenton took a sip of champagne as she glared across the room at the obnoxiously happy couple. They indeed made a striking pair. Their slim, toned bodies draped in designer wear and expensive jewelry. So trendy. So California chic. Setting her champagne glass on the tray of a passing waiter, Bliss snaked her way through the crowd, hoping to get a better view. As she moved, her blonde curls bounced as if lifted by a cool breeze. At 5’8” and 120 pounds, her delicate frame was all slopes and curves. A body specifically designed for exhibition.

The partygoers were packed like human matchsticks inside the gaudy Hollywood Hills mansion. The home, if you could call it that, was a testament to excess. Just like the couple. Too much of everything. Too many art deco chairs, too much bronze and glass, and so much artwork the walls could barely breathe.

Only a few feet away from the couple now, Bliss found herself shoulder-to-shoulder with a too-tanned man with greasy hair. He winked at her. She sneered back at him and moved on. A devious smile fractured Bliss’ face as she returned her attention to the couple. She imagined the angst they would experience the minute they spotted her among the partygoers. Fletcher’s lips would contort into an ugly grimace, but then coolly transition to a barely perceptible smirk. He was not the kind of man who was easily rankled. That was the reason he was a millionaire several times over. 

Mia, however, would not be able to hide her emotions. Fletcher’s prissy little black princess would toss Bliss a snarl that bellowed, What the hell are you doing here? It was Mia she wanted to punish most. Bliss had pleaded with God to curse her former friend with a pain ten times more intense than her own. She wanted Mia to live it. Breathe it. Curl up in bed with it. Just as she had.  Bliss refused to blame Fletcher for the poor choices he’d made. He was a man. And men, by nature, were weak. Still, he too would pay just the same.  The call of vengeance tugged hard at Bliss’ soul, urging her, daring her, to march right up to the couple and confront them. But she held back. For the moment. Patience had always been her most virtuous trait. 

Fletcher hustled to the front of the room and began singing the praises of the newest songstress to be added to his stable of artists, LaReena Jarreau. Bliss remembered cuddling in bed with Fletcher and listening to him brag about creating her stage name, since Janice Harris had no pizzazz.

“The first time I heard her voice,” Fletcher said, throwing his arm around the bony twenty-something dressed in hooker gear, “I knew she was going to hit the music world by storm. You have to agree that what we heard tonight was—as the youngsters say—off the chain.”

Everyone applauded as the hip, dark-haired CEO of Karma Entertainment grinned, happy to be on show. The only thing Fletcher enjoyed more than being rich was having everyone know it.

Mia remained off to the side, perfecting the look of the coy, supportive fiancée. That had been Bliss’ mistake. Accepting her at face value. While Mia’s visual package was quite alluring—all charm and beauty—on the inside, she was pure evil. Truth be told, Mia wasn’t all that different from her.  Bliss Fenton, not Mia Richardson, should have been on the arm of the music industry mogul tonight. It had never occurred to Bliss that her long-time yoga buddy could walk into a party and take her new guy’s breath away. Literally. 

At the time, Bliss had been dating Fletcher for a short six months. She’d invited Mia to the party at Fletcher’s Beverly Hills home for the sole purpose of showing off her new man to her smart, uppity faux-friend. Bliss could still remember Mia waving as she glided into the party, the crowd parting so effortlessly it almost seemed choreographed.

Seconds before, Fletcher had been talking nonstop about his label’s next release, but the sight of Mia had caused him to lose his train of thought. When Bliss had formally introduced them, the lust in Fletcher’s eyes further telegraphed the gravity of her mistake.

Only days after the party, Bliss’ time with Fletcher began to dwindle, explained away by late night meetings that couldn’t be avoided or last-minute business trips to New York. Mia, too, had started cancelling their after-yoga coffee chats and finally stopped coming to yoga class altogether. 

It was a month later, when Bliss saw Fletcher and Mia pictured together in Billboard, that she first learned of their betrayal. Her subsequent rage-filled calls to both of them had been ignored. And now, Mia was at Fletcher’s side, while Bliss had been pushed right out of his life.

A burst of applause snapped Bliss back to the present. As Fletcher seemed to be wrapping up his speech, Bliss moved closer, stopping inches behind Mia. She leaned in, her lips almost grazing Mia’s right ear. 

“Congratulations on your engagement.”

Mia’s head whipped around, her dark brown skin now ashen gray. “You ... you shouldn’t be here.” 

Bliss spoke in a firm whisper. “Neither should you. You backstabbing bitch.” 

Mia took a step back. “This is not the place to make a scene.”

“Okay, then,” Bliss said, moving into the space Mia had abandoned. “Shall we step outside?”

A second later, Fletcher wedged himself between them. “You walk yourself out of here right now,” he said through clenched teeth, “or I’ll have security carry you out.”

Although no voices had been raised, all heads turned in their direction. Mia didn’t move.

Fletcher, always cognizant of appearances, wore a stiff smile as he spat into Bliss’ face. “If you don’t leave, I swear I’ll have you arrested.”

After three long beats, Bliss winked. “You’ll both be hearing from me.”

Bliss couldn’t help smiling as she sashayed through the buzzing crowd. 

Fletcher and Mia would suffer for their disloyalty. Bliss only wished she could be there to see their stunned faces when they learned what she had done and realized there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.


Chapter 1



I should have shown Fletcher McClain to the door 30 minutes ago, but the words seem to be stuck in my throat. I hate to admit it—even to myself—but I like having him in my space again. 

“So will you take care of this for me, Vernetta?” 

He’s been pacing the length of my office for several minutes now. When he first stormed in and slapped the Petition to Establish Parental Relationship on my desk, he was so wound up I thought he might be on the verge of a stroke.

“I’m not a family law attorney, Fletcher.” 

Employment law and some occasional criminal work are more up my alley.

“I don’t need an expert in family law,” Fletcher insists. “What I need is a good negotiator. Someone who can talk some sense into this nutcase and make her go away. And I’m confident you can do the job.”

The issue isn’t whether I could handle his case, but whether I should. They say a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. Perhaps a lawyer who goes to battle on behalf of an ex-lover is just as foolish. Especially if the old flame hasn’t quite flickered out yet.

According to the petition, Fletcher’s ex-girlfriend Bliss Fenton has named him as the father of her three-month-old daughter, Harmony. Fletcher, however, claims the petition is all lies. Even though he hasn’t taken the court-ordered paternity test yet, he wants me to set up a meeting with Bliss and offer her some “chump change,” as he puts it, to go away. 

“It looks like she filed that petition herself. I need this nonsense over and done with before she gets an attorney involved.”

I take another look at the petition. Bliss has indeed filed it in pro per, which is easy enough to do. The petition is a simple two-page form that requires checking a few boxes. Falling into one of the chairs in front of my desk, Fletcher fixes me with a look so intense I almost shudder. 

“I really need you, Vernetta.” 

His lips angle upward, just slightly, and I feel a warm tingle in a place where my happily married self definitely should not be tingling. I break his gaze and fiddle with my cuticle. Classically handsome, Fletcher has sandy hair, strong cheekbones and wide brown eyes with lashes too long and thick for Mother Nature to have wasted on a guy. He’s still the only white guy who ever stole my heart. 

“Fletcher, you could find a million attorneys to handle this. Why don’t you let me recommend a friend who has expertise in family law?”

“See, that’s what I love about you, Vernetta. I don’t know many lawyers who would turn away a paying client with my kind of dough. You’re the real deal.”

“Unbelievable.” I stare across the desk at him, shaking my head. “You’re still as cocky as you were when we were know-nothing sophomores back at USC. It’s not always about money, Fletcher.”

“It’s always about money, my sweetness.”

Damn him. Hearing his pet name for me after all these years has me tingling again. A quiet chirp interrupts his subtle flirting. He pulls the phone from the inside pocket of his jacket. Glancing at the screen, he frowns and sets it on the corner of my desk.

“How can you be so sure it’s not your kid?” I ask.

“Because we broke up almost a year before that kid was born.”

“Shouldn’t you wait for the results of the paternity test?”

“Don’t need to. It’s not my kid.”

“I’m confused. If it’s not your kid, once you have the results, it’s over. Why pay her anything?”

“You don’t know Bliss Fenton. Even after the results come back, she’ll have something else up her sleeve. I need this thing buttoned up once and for all. Paying her off will accomplish that.”

My gut and years of legal experience tell me there’s more to the story. “You certainly seem awfully stressed over an allegation that has no merit. What’s the real deal?”

Fletcher repositions himself in the chair. 

“I’m getting married in three months and this whole thing has my fiancée climbing the walls. Bliss timed this to embarrass Mia right before our wedding. I need it resolved as soon as possible.”

The news that Fletcher is getting married surprises me. I’ve followed his career for years and figured he was a confirmed bachelor. 

“So what’s Bliss got against Mia?”

“Well ... um ... they used to be friends.” 

I squint. “Oh, so we’re dealing with a woman scorned.” 

It’s one thing to lose your man to another woman. It’s quite another to lose a charming, high roller like Fletcher McClain to someone you considered a friend.

He shrugs. “That’s basically the crux of it.”

“But it still doesn’t make sense. Bliss wouldn’t serve you with a paternity suit if there were no chance you could be the father.”

“You haven’t been listening. This woman is extremely conniving. She probably read that Forbes article and came up with this scheme to shake me down.” He pauses. “Did you happen to see it?”

Fletcher landed the number three spot on Forbes’ list of the top music industry moguls. He’s the only one on the list under 40. His net worth is estimated at $450 million, just behind Clive Davis and JayZ.

“Of course I saw it. Very impressive.”

He points a finger at me. “You haven’t done too bad yourself, counselor. You’ve handled some pretty high-profile cases.” 

Over the years, Fletcher sent me handwritten notes, congratulating me when one of my trials hit the press. Keeping up with his achievements is the only reason I read Billboard.

“So how much do you plan to offer her?”

“A hundred grand should do it. I’m willing to go higher if I have to. Maybe two-fifty. And I want a written agreement with an ironclad confidentiality provision.” 

I’m about to say he’s putting up a lot of cash to get rid of a bogus claim, but for a man with Fletcher’s bank account, we’re talking peanuts. 

“We may have to play dirty to force her into a settlement. I want you to retain a private investigator to dig up some dirt on her in case we need it. And trust me, it’s out there.”

“Are you serious?”

“As a heart attack. Once you meet her, you’ll understand.”

“How’d you even end up with this woman?”

“It’s your fault,” he quips. “After you broke my heart, I was so devastated, I opened up my heart to whoever came along.”

“Yeah, right.” I scan the petition again. “It says here the child was born in January of this year and she’s three months old.” I glance skyward and do the math in my head. “Let’s see ... Assuming a nine-month pregnancy, that would place conception sometime in April of last year.”

“Exactly. The kid can’t be mine. We broke up in February, eleven months before she was born. I remember because it was two weeks before Valentine’s Day.”

“Maybe your timing is off.”

“It’s not.”

“And there were no hookups after that?”

“Nope.” He brushes the lapel of his Canali suit, then raises his right hand. “Scout’s honor.”

“I still don’t understand why you don’t want to wait for the test results before approaching her. You’d be in a much better negotiating position.”

“I’m taking the test tomorrow, but it could be a couple of weeks before I get the results. I want this thing resolved yesterday.” 

His cell phone chirps again. He grunts and picks it up. “Excuse me a second.”  His long fingers awkwardly tap the screen. I assume he’s sending an email or text message. Another minute or so passes before he looks up, his face full of annoyance.

“Uh, that was Mia calling from the lobby.” He scratches his jaw. “She’s on her way up.”

“Hmmm. So it’s your fiancée who’s running this show.”

“Not really. Well, I mean—” 

I’m not used to seeing the smooth-talking Fletcher McClain at a loss for words. He moves to the edge of the chair. The relaxed air we’d been basking in has been sapped from the room. 

“The real deal is Mia wants me to sue Bliss for defamation. She thinks I’m meeting with you to talk about the defamation case. But I think it makes more sense to give Bliss a few dollars to disappear.”

“Okay, now I get it.”

“Let’s keep that under our hat. And, um,” he rubs his chin, “Mia’s a bit on the jealous side. Let’s not mention that we used to be an item, okay?”

Fletcher was never the type of guy who’d let his woman call the shots. This alpha dog has turned into a poodle. 

“No problem. Our conversations are attorney-client privileged.”

Fletcher straightens in his chair. “Oh, so I’m your client? Great!”

I raise both hands, palms out. “I haven’t committed yet. But your fiancée can’t—”

“Just flow with me on this, okay? I’ll handle Mia. You just play along.” His confident charm reminds me of the first time we met over a decade ago. 

I was walking across campus when Fletcher stopped me with a corny pick-up line.

“Do you believe in love at first sight? Or should I walk by again?”

I’d never met a white guy—certainly not one as gorgeous as Fletcher McClain—who had the swagger of a brother. After a bit of prodding, I agreed to meet him for lunch. And here he is still charming me more than a decade later.

My assistant pokes her head in the door. “I have a lady out here who says she—”

The door flies open and a woman bustles past Deena into my office.  A perfectly coiffed, black beauty marches right up to my desk and peers down at me. I have to push my chair back to get her out of my personal space. 

“You better be a barracuda,” she says, firing her words at me. “Because that’s the kind of attorney we need to show that scandalous slut Bliss Fenton that she’s playing with fire.” 


( Continued... )

© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Pamela Samuels Young. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. 


Purchase Lawful Deception by Pamela Samuels Young
(Vernetta Henderson Series, Book 5)

Link: http://amzn.com/B015TBKI3S  
http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com/books/index.html

About Pamela Samuels Young
When attorney Pamela Samuels Young, a NAACP Image Award winner, isn’t fulfilling her duties as legal counsel for a major corporation in Southern California, you can usually find her penning her next legal thriller.

Her acclaimed novel, Anybody’s Daughter, is what garnered Pamela her first NAACP Image Award win in the category of Outstanding Literary Work (Fiction).

Fed up with never seeing people of color, especially women, depicted as savvy, hot-shot attorneys in the legal thrillers she read, the Compton, CA, native decided to create her own. Despite the demands of a busy legal career, Pamela accomplished her ambitious goal by getting up at 4am to write before work, dedicated her weekends to writing and even spent a large portion of her vacations glued to her laptop. In doing so, she discovered her passion for writing.

A graduate of UC Berkeley’s School of Law, Pamela has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC and a Master’s Degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is a diehard member of Sisters in Crime-L.A., an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers.

She lives in Southern California and attends Hope in Christ Community Church. Visit her website to read excerpts from the books, to see the more than 380 bookclubs she has visited and to follow her online: 

Pamela is also a frequent speaker on the topics of writing fiction, discrimination law and pursuing your passion.  Pamela loves to hear from readers, so use one of the avenues listed below to reach out to her.

Pamela's website:  http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com 
Follow me on Twitter at:  http://www.twitter.com/pamsamuelsyoung 
Follow me on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pamelasamuelsyoung 

 

 


 


Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us 
Memoir by D. Michele Jackson

This riveting and heart-felt testimony reveals God in each chapter of Donna's life and on every page of the book. Just when you were convinced that God is a distant being, and much too busy with managing the complexities of the world; He is revealed in an inspiring book of a girl growing up in Philadelphia, PA with her mother, Carolyn V. Jackson. The daughter is raised in a Christian home and through great sacrifices of her mother, she is availed every opportunity to become an upright and productive citizen in society, but as too many others, Donna travels a dark path. Her saving grace is the fact that Jesus remains in her heart. The story wraps up with a poem of encouragement by Dr. Howard Thurman, “Song of the Angels”. This story written for Christmas, offers a timely message of love: John 3:16, and concludes with extending everlasting life: Romans 10:9.


Praise from Grateful Readers 

Carol Franklin says
, “I received your book on Saturday and could not put it down. I just want to say thank you, and GOD has done great work through you.” 

Carol Jones says, “We all have a gift given from God and sometimes life has to take unforeseen turns before we realize our true talents… Donna Watford, a registered nurse by trade has through an unforeseen turn came across her GIFT. She has written and published a story that only she could.” 

Val Parker says, “I can’t put this book down. It is so good with so many memories; it made me cry... excellent job.” 

Retha Mae Farley says, “Wow. What a great book. I’m at a loss for words. You did a really good job. I know this is the beginning for you.” 


Alberta Herde, RN says, “I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading your book. I never experienced someone so in love with their mom and able to put it in writing. I never read anything like it before. It’s just beautiful… God bless.” 

Zach Myers says, “This book is an inspiring story of a girl growing up in Philadelphia, PA with her mother, who was her rock and foundation in finding a strong bond with Christ. This book shows how in keeping Christ first, all things are possible. It takes you through how people can live with little and believe in Jesus and have so much; how if you put God first, He will make a change in your life. Mommie was a living angel who guided this young lady through the path of life, showing her the way to Jesus without pushing her. If you love Jesus, this book will show you faith you seldom see. It will inspire you to want to know Jesus more and want to become closer to Him. If you don't know Jesus, this book will show you the love of Christ and how He can impact and change your life. This book reminded me of the relationship I had with my mother, how I coped with her passing and reiterated Jesus can and will see you through anything and everything. It shows us Jesus is the light and the way. Thanks for this production Donna Watford, the book was an enjoyable read and I am looking for more literature written by you in the future! Highly recommended!”


Order Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us by D. Michele Jackson
Memoir > Religion & Spirituality > Inspirational

https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Grace-Tribute-You-Story/dp/097969986X 


About the Author
Donna M. Jackson
is an African-American woman, Philadelphia native, Tuskegee University alumni, and a Registered Nurse. Writing as D. Michele Jackson, she now adds writer, published, politically active nurse to her accolades. Her sociology studies at Tuskegee University and twenty year nursing career enabled Donna to be prepared when the opportunity of Legal Nurse Consultant availed itself as she represented herself Pro Se in court. That experience allowed Donna to draft briefs during a historical time affording her a voice advocating for health. Donna submitted argument to Congress supporting amending the Nineteenth Amendment. Website: DMicheleJackson.com

 

 

 

 


Caught Up by Kristina Smith

   

A group of friends brought together by blood, fate, and circumstances is about to learn that life is full of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and love and loss. Kennedy Valentine-Daniels is a force to be reckoned with, and sustained in life by her faith in God, inner-strength, and the family and friends that surround her. Unfortunately, sometimes they are the same people who test her sanity-especially her husband, Preston. Michalah Valentine, Kennedy's baby sister, hates traveling outside of her box. However, when events in life annihilate her box completely, Michalah must somehow learn to survive. Nevertheless she is fun to watch! Newlyweds, Jordan and Maxwell Banks are living in bliss-until something from their past threatens the foundation of their relationship. Is the Honeymoon over? Tia St. James is the wildcard of the group and Kennedy's closest friend. She finds love again in an old friend, after a stale relationship ends. But there is only one problem: now her friendship with Kennedy is in jeopardy.

About Kristina Smith

Kristina Smith has been writing since she could hold a pencil. She has a Bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of Houston-Downtown and a Master’s Degree from Walden University. She lives in Houston, TX where she teaches children to strive for excellence, and foster a love for creativity. When not writing or teaching, she spends her free time with family, friends, and nature, as well as traveling around the world exploring new cultures. Her love of music and quirky sense of humor is prevalent throughout her debut novel: Caught Up.

Order Caught Up by Kristina Smith 

Available on BN, iBooks and Amazon

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/caught-up/id942688126?mt=11 
https://www.amazon.com/Caught-Up-Kristina-Smith/dp/1483417611 
https://www.amazon.com/Caught-Up-Kristina-Smith-ebook/dp/B00R1PINS8
Romance, Interracial Love, Betrayal, Suspense, African-American Fiction, Humorous and Friendship. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Dog Catcher by Lloyd Johnson


A young woman comes into her own...

After being rejected by her parents, Cheryl Greene must enter a world she is ill-equipped to handle, not just for her own sake, but that of her son. When she meets the charming yet mysterious Plez Jackson, her future looks bright. That is until his schemes leave Cheryl emotionally and physically broken. Fighting to rediscover her self-worth, Cheryl realizes it won't be easy. In fact, she's in for the fight of her life!


Book Reviews for The Dog Catcher By Lloyd Johnson 

ByNikisha S.

The Dog Catcher by Lloyd Johnson was a page turner. It was hard for me to put this book down. I love that the story gives background from her early childhood, her parent's relationship, her issues with self and relationship; it address homosexuality, abusive relationships, mental instabilities, and a host of other issues. Cheryl's issues can and are those of many ladies today. I love the twists, the turns, the letdowns and the wins. I have recommended this book to my family, friends and book clubs. Great job! I'm looking forward to reading some of Mr. Lloyd Johnson's other work.


ByVirginia

I really enjoyed reading The Dog Catcher. The book kept my attention it was really hard for me to put it down cause I thought I would be missing the action. I like how the book talked about up-to-date issues and not sugar coating anything. If you have not read it I recommend that you do cause it's a good one.


By Katherine Urena 

I read this book last week and I thought it is one of the most exciting and interesting books I've read so far. It is a really descriptive book which literally transport you into the events like if you were one of the characters actually living them. It is a book that from the first chapter gets you hooked and you can't put it down until you finish it. Events were mostly unpredictable which dragged me into reading it even faster.

The story overall is great and it has an amazing lesson behind it. The fact that the story relates the reality of a lot of women out there nowadays makes the book even more fascinating. I am really sad the there's not a continuation yet. But I really look forward to reading more books written by Lloyd L. Johnson. Strongly recommend this author.


By Tobias Wright 

Wonderfully well-written book, realistic, well-rounded characters and a good amount of nostalgic details (the book takes place mostly in the 70s and 80s). Definitely recommend that you read it.


By Ms. Hill 

I have read this book and it is amazing! I couldn't put the book down. The book held my interest the whole way through. It only took 2 days to read it!! At the end of the book I wanted MORE! The author is very detailed and precise about each character in the book. I think we all may have come across people somewhat like this in our own lives. I don't want to give away what the book is about all I can say is that you MUST READ IT for yourselves. You will not be disappointed by this author. He is very talented and truly blessed! I look forward to reading more books!! I definitely hope there is a sequel b/c I would love to know how things turn out with the characters!! SO if you haven't read it please do so...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!! LOL


Order The Dog Catcher by Lloyd Johnson

https://www.amazon.com/Dog-Catcher-Lloyd-Johnson/dp/0997323426  

About the Author
Lloyd was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Although he's been writing since elementary school, it wasn't until he participated in a journalism workshop that he fell in love with writing. Having traveled extensively, both domestically and abroad, Lloyd has also grown very fond of language; especially different speech patterns and inflections. An avid reader, Lloyd enjoys book titles from; Sapphire; M.T. Pope; E. Lynn Harris; Terry McMillan; J. Randy Taraborrelli; and Walter Mosley. Lloyd currently lives in New England. 

 

 

 


The Player's Option: A Novella 
(The Playmaker Series Book 2) by K.L. Brady

Sparks fly when two sports agents, desperate to sign a major football star to save their companies, find romance -- and later learn each is poised to steal the other’s biggest client. Business is business but, in this game, only one can win. Will love survive?

Order The Player's Option by K.L. Brady
Sweet Romance/Clean Romance/Sports/Novella
https://www.amazon.com/Players-Option-Novella-Playmaker-Book-ebook/dp/B01DSC2P68 


About the Author 

K.L. Brady, a Washington D.C. native, started her writing career at the age of seven in the pages of a diary. But did not find her voice as an author until just before her 40th birthday. Seven years later, Brady is now penning her 11th novel, the final sweet romance in her playmaker series--The Eligible Receiver. To find all of her great titles in the romance, young adult, and spy thriller genres, please visit her at www.klbradyauthor.com. 

www.klbradyauthor.com 
www.twitter.com/karlab27
www.instagram.com/klbrady27
www.facebook.com/authorklbrady 

More Books by K.L. Brady

Adult Romantic Comedies -- The Bum Magnet, Got a Right to Be Wrong
YA Romantic Comedies -- Soul of the Band and Worst Impressions

 

 

 

 


The Loose End by Tesa Erven (The Loose End Book 1)

After celebrating an unforgettable weekend, he vanishes without a trace. Was he injured? Was he murdered? Where was he? Find out now in The Loose End.

Renee Lawson is a young, vibrant, beautiful woman who fell in love with one of Oakland’s finest, and of all things, a married man. For her twenty-fifth birthday, he surprises her with a romantic getaway. He planned to make it a weekend she’d never forget.

And indeed it was, until a few weeks later, her phone calls and text messages stopped being answered or responded to. He had gone on vacation with his family, but he’d always found time to communicate with her in the past. How can she start to build a connection with him when her secret love has vanished without a trace? Was he injured? Was he murdered? Where was he?


Threads that Mend by Tesa Erven  (The Loose End Book 2)

In the sequel to The Loose End, we revisit the lives of Renee Lawson, Bradsen Myers, Kayron Hawkins, and Sabrina Brown.

Renee finds herself staring her decisions in the face: the selfishness of dating a married man for four years and the foolishness of pushing away another who offered true love.

Meanwhile, Bradsen is attempting to cope after being rejected by Renee. The happiness he’s forced to witness from his soon-to-be-wed twin brother and business partner only accelerates the pain he's feeling.


Excerpt from Breaking News 


“Shots fired, shots fired! Officer down, I repeat, an officer is down.”

Renee couldn’t believe the startling breaking news that was interrupting regular programming.

“This is Sonya St. Jermaine and we are now at the scene of what appears to have been some kind of robbery at a local convenience store. The two off duty officers pulled up to this mini-mart where the shooting took place,” the reporter said as she pointed to the store behind her.

“I’m getting word that the families have been notified and the two officers involved are Kayron Hawkins and Julia Williams, both veterans with the Oakland Police Department. We understand that one of the officers was shot in the leg and the other one was airlifted to UCSF Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. We will have more on this as soon as it becomes available. Reporting live from MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland, I’m Sonya St. Jermaine.”

Renee sat there in horror as she listened to the news report before she yelled for Sabrina to come into her bedroom.

“Calm down Renee. I’m sure they will be okay.”

“Bri, I can’t believe this. I need to know which officer is in critical condition. I need to know.” Renee was near tears.

Sabrina glared at Renee. “We are not going through this again. Let’s just pray that they will be okay.”

For Renee it brought back all those terrible feelings of the night Sabrina had to break the news to her that Kayron was dead. It was as if her heart had been ripped out of her chest. She couldn’t understand how they had just shared the most memorable birthday of her life, then the next he vanished without a trace. Only to find out later that he was reportedly dead. Her heart was filled with so much hurt, pain, sorrow and despair after hearing about his sudden death. She wasn’t ready to face the fact that he was gone. Even now, was it true? She had no other information from what she heard on the news and no one she could contact for answers. Not wanting to relive the past, she made a promise to herself not to find out what happened.

“Okay, you’re right.” Renee started to calm down a bit. “I promise I won’t go searching for answers.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes I’m sure.” Renee assured her. “Don’t worry Bri, I won’t have you call the precinct or visit funeral homes with me. I’m going to leave it alone.”

“Thank you.” Sabrina breathed a sigh of relief. However, Renee couldn’t help but wonder if Kayron Hawkins was once again dead or alive…  

(Continued) 

Books by Tesa Erven

https://www.amazon.com/Tesa-Erven/e/B0136QKRM0 

About the Author
Tesa Erven was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and two kids. She works as an office administrator for a global outplacement firm. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing and singing. The Loose End is her first published work. 

 

 

 

 

 


A Passionate Kiss by Sharon C. Cooper

Retired Marine, Mason Bennett, has two goals: adjust to civilian life and keep drama out of it. His focus is on his role as part-owner, along with his siblings, of Atlanta’s hottest nightclub. However, his attention shifts when the woman he has loved like a sister reenters his life and thoughts of a passionate kiss they shared hijacks his mind. Their connection is explosive. Feelings he’s tried to deny come to the forefront, and he’s tempted to do something he thought he would never do—cross that line from friends to lovers.

TV news anchor, London Alexander, is back home in Atlanta and ready to start a new chapter in her life. This time she hopes her future includes Mason, the man she has loved forever. She’s ready to step over the forbidden line that he’s drawn in their relationship.

Will taking a chance on love lead to a happily-ever-after? Or will risking their friendship leave them both with broken hearts?


Excerpt: A Passionate Kiss by Sharon C. Cooper


Who is she?

Mason rubbed his chin, hoping she’d glance into the camera so he could see her face clearly. There was something so familiar about her. As if reading his mind, she turned her head slightly and he sucked in a breath. Large expressive eyes, high cheekbones, and a mouth he would never forget was on full display. He’d recognize those gorgeous lips anywhere. But something wasn’t right. Something had her spooked.

“Ham, hold up. I know her. I’m on my way,” Mason said into his mouthpiece and hurried to the stairs.

He was a little surprised Hamilton hadn’t recognized London Alexander, Harper’s best friend. From what Mason understood, she had been to the club plenty of times when Mason’s parents managed the facility and Hamilton worked security.

Seconds later, Mason slowed and London met his gaze. Guilt stabbed him in the chest. She was the last person he should be looking at with interest, but damn if she didn’t look sexy in the fitted red tank top and black leggings molded around her narrow hips and shapely legs. Considering it was early afternoon on a weekday, he was surprised to see her, and in running gear at that.

“Mase,” she breathed, her husky voice feeling like a feather brushing against his skin.

Mason heard a little wheezing coming from her, but she didn’t look as if she was having an asthma attack, something she suffered with when they were kids. Still staring, what he couldn’t get over was how different she looked. She never wore her hair super long, but the last time he’d seen her, it brushed her shoulders. Now the pixie cut transformed her whole appearance, the style seeming as if it were made for her.

When her hand went to her chest, as if trying to catch her breath, and she glanced back at the door, all of Mason’s protective instincts kicked in. 

“What’s wrong?” He touched her arm. She was shivering. “What happened?”

( Continued... )

Copyright © August 2016 by Sharon C. Cooper


Purchase A Passionate Kiss by Sharon C. Cooper

Book Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Bennett Triplets Series
Amazon – http://amzn.to/2bD1v1J
Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/2bJzIQF
Barnes & Noble - http://bit.ly/2bUslTo
Smashwords - http://bit.ly/2bZiM9l
ARe: http://bit.ly/2bAy7Mx


About the Author 

Award-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, is a romance-a-holic - loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies, or real life. Sharon writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She’s been nominated for numerous awards and is the recipient of an Emma Award for Romantic Suspense of the Year 2015 (Truth or Consequences), Emma Award - Interracial Romance of the Year 2015 (All You’ll Ever Need), and BRAB (book club) Award -Breakout Author of the Year 2014. When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course). To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net

More titles by Sharon visit: www.sharoncooper.net

Join Sharon’s mailing list: http://bit.ly/1Sih6ol 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Sharon_Cooper1
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sharonccooper/ 
Subscribe to her blog: http://sharonccooper.wordpress.com 
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5823574.Sharon_C_Cooper 
Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorSharonCCooper21 


 

 

 

 

 


The Other Two-Fifths by Joan Early

The Other Two-Fifths, historic novel detailing the fight for racial equality and its human toll on black Americans, follows the turbulent lives of the Carter, Amos, Oliver, Sturgis, and LeBlanc families through two centuries in their struggle for civil rights. 

The shadow of Abe Lincoln disappears in the catastrophic race riot shattering the Springfield, Illinois community in 1908. Despite the model of a harmonious community, a labor strike in the mines pitted blacks against whites. A lone man seeking revenge seizes the moment, raging a war against the Carter family. The cauldron of racial hatred leads to the destruction of two black communities, claiming seven lives. Hollis Carter escapes. He begins a journey of social justice; one that continues on in his children and grandchildren. 

The Carter legacy becomes an organization, covert and lethal, in 1956 Chicago. The Amos family uses the organization to save a young black man from murder, as they fight injustices not tackled in courtrooms. It is this same organization that saves four black voter registration workers and a lone white freedom rider who fall into a deadly KKK ambush in 1969 Mississippi. 

Amos Carter’s great-granddaughter and her husband, two survivors of the bloody Mississippi Voter Registration Drive, recall the pain and celebrate the victory during the historic inauguration of the first African-American president of the United States. 

Reviews: The Other Two-Fifths by Joan Early


The Other Two-Fifths is another reminder of how we treat one-another and how so many lives are affected forever. Early writes from experience, having lived through the Civil Rights era, seen all the horrors, and will always remember. I highly recommend this book for all races and religions. We must stop being judgmental and prejudiced.

Joan Early's historic fiction account of one family's fight for social justice details the heartache and violence of racism. The author was born in Mississippi and helped register voters during the Civil Rights Movement of the Sixties. She writes with authority and passion!


Excerpt: The Other Two-Fifths by Joan Early


Reverend Samuel Copeland was addressing the gathering. 

“Minorities were pigeonholed for poverty when the institutions of higher learning summarily denied admittance under the absurd contention of inferior intelligence. It wasn’t because we were poor; so were most of them. The Ordinance of 1785 established the system of giving lands for aiding public schools and universities. Section 16 of every township was set aside for public schools. Even after it became acceptable to educate the descendants of those whose sweat and blood pioneered this land, the halls of lower and higher learning were usually drafty old churches with hand me down books.”

Reverend Copeland wiped his brow with a large white handkerchief, took a visual sweep of the room and continued. Camille’s eyes darted back to the young white man, sitting attentively, and smiling at the child whose thumb was anchored in his mouth.

“Under the Merrill Act of 1863, public land for the founding of agricultural and mechanical arts colleges, known by the name land-grant colleges, was given to each state according to the population. We were counted in the census, but we didn’t get any of the funds.Why educate the workers? That would only make them aspire to higher positions. Keep them poor and dependent. They say poverty makes you clever, and if that’s true, we should be cleaver enough to make our way in this world with only half a chance, which is all we’re likely to get.

“That’s where change comes into the picture. Instead of talking about what the man is doing to us, we need to stop and look at all we’re doing to ourselves and to each other. I see moral decay and disrespect all around me. Mix that with indifference and dependency, and the situation becomes hopeless. Heaved on top is the most pandemic ailment of all—ignorance. In the last ten years, a staggering number of lives have been lost in the fight for equality. It saddens me to see the heirs of this struggle squandering the fruits of past labors. We worship false gods, praise decadence, and exalt paper lions.”

Eli took Camille’s hand and she moved closer to him on the pew. She had not expected a sermon, and though she agreed with Reverend Copeland, she wanted to get on with the day.

“I keep hearing about ‘colored problems.’ There’s no such thing. What ails this nation is everybody’s problem. Black people can only remain down if someone holds them there, which means that person is also stuck on the bottom. We shouldn’t be on the bottom. Not now, not ever. Our elders with slave names and the scars of segregation are counting on us to make a difference. Their courage is our pride. Their pain should be our salvation.”

About the Author

Following a lengthy career in Mortgage Banking and Mortgage Law, Joan Early focused on the love of books she developed as a child, both reading and writing. Her first writing effort won first place in Ebony Magazine’s literary contest, and enriched her desire to pen her thoughts. She continued writing historical fiction and stories based partly on stories told by her ancestors, but changed to contemporary romance. Sara’s Reward, NightSweats, Heartstrings, A Tangled Web are available in eBook, as are her first novels, Look Both Ways, Fireflies, Oak Bluffs, Friends in Need, and Separate Dreams.

Joan’s latest novel, The Other Two-Fifths, is a walk back in time, and chronicles events that led to the formation of the NAACP. It also features events taken from her early life in Mississippi, where Joan affirms learning “the best and the worst” of what we can expect from others. Joan continues writing both genres, while enjoying her husband and family, traveling, and her current career in Real Estate. Joan and husband Dale currently reside in the Beaumont, Texas area, while also maintaining a home in Houston.  Learn more about Joan on her website, www.joanearly.net 

Purchase The Other Two-Fifths by Joan Early
https://www.amazon.com/Other-Two-Fifths-Joan-Early/dp/1942981694 

 

 

 

 

 



STATIONS: Changing Your Life – Changing Your Career 
by Lynda Mubarak

Is your child a first generation college student? Are you a first generation college student? If you are a school counselor, Student Affairs Coordinator, Upward Bound student, high school student, parents of elementary students, teens, young adults, or a newly hired worker, STATIONS is the quick resource guide that offers suggestions and time-proven recommendations to parents and professionals as they interact with children and young adult workers in a 21st century environment. 

STATIONS is a collection of essays that provides food for thought as we make our way through the different situations, events, stages, circumstances and parental decisions that will ultimately affect personal lifestyles and career options. STATIONS examines childhood academic and social skills, and addresses the challenging task of teaching children to be healthy and financially sound while preparing them to thrive and survive in a global workforce driven by cutting edge technology and ongoing competition. STATIONS is concise, amusing, informative and frank in its discussion of life’s everyday circumstances, including social media and proactive workplace practices that affect all of us from childhood through adulthood. 


Chapter 13 Excerpt

The Plastic Dollar


This may be hard to believe, but at one time in this country, there were no credit cards, debit cards, electronic checks, online shopping or any other types of paperless financial transactions. Money actually moved from one pair of hands to another, a receipt was written (if paper was available and someone could write), a handshake was exchanged and the deal was sealed.

Well, the honeymoon is over! Somewhere along the banking highway of installment plans and lines of credit things got way out of hand. Now, checks are bouncing, credit scores are crazy, and we're all wondering how we arrived at this strange, penny pinching destination. And to make matters worse our children seem to manage, or mismanage money and all that goes with it in the same way.

Living in a digital society means that many of our financial transactions are electronic, invisible, and are done quickly with the swipe of a plastic card including phone calls, debit, and credit or gift cards. As a result, our children do not see large amounts of money changing hands very often. It's no wonder that money seems magical and everlasting to them.

While we smiled our way through images of Hollywood lifestyles, fast food, overpaid athletes, overpriced coffee houses, attitudes of entitlement and weight loss commercials, we forgot to teach our children the fundamentals of money management. Not only did we neglect teaching them the basics of financial stability, we also overlooked the importance of instilling the responsibilities involved with day to day living.

Do your children believe that money grows on trees? Do you ever wonder why? Maybe we need to teach our children financial responsibility early so that their lives won't fall apart later. It's not too late to implement a few money basics and the best time to start is now.

Show and Tell

When children learn early that a home operates like a small business, they will be better prepared to deal with the biggest challenge faced by all businesses or homes - daily operating expenses. Begin your money discussion by telling your child that nothing, absolutely nothing is free and use the material things in your home to demonstrate your point. Next, select a room in your home or begin with his or her bedroom. Finally, sit down with your child while both of you calculate the total cost of the room. If you have a teenager this will be quite interesting.

Your calculated items should include furniture, curtains, carpet, clothing, TV, computer, stereo, linen, shoes (and sneakers), cosmetics, yearbooks, iPod, iPad (all versions you have purchased), cell phone updates, high end headphones, sports gear, and the leftover French fries in the McDonald's bag under the bed.

Finally, after you have recovered from the shock, calculate how many work hours or paydays it took to cover the cost of the room. Discuss the expenses truthfully and completely, including the heating and cooling costs. If it doesn't impress him or her, I'm sure it will take your breath away and increase your heart rate when you realize just how much you have invested in one room.

Fixed and Flexible

It's never too late for high school seniors or too soon for elementary aged children to learn the basics of fixed and flexible expenses and it's best to use familiar physical examples to illustrate your straight talk. Emphasize that fixed expenses such as rent, car payments, or student loans are specific amounts that occur at same time, weekly or monthly, and must be paid on time to avoid penalties. In the same manner, stress that flexible expenses are those things that occur infrequently, never cost the same, and include items like a doctor's visit, car repairs, or a new prescription for granny's meds. Other flexible expenses are those we want, but can live without such as summer vacations, eating out frequently, concert tickets, and CDs. And yes, it's a horrible thought, but it's also good for them to learn that life goes on without satellite or cable TV.

Whatever happened to pay yourself first?

There is nothing more precious to a child of any age than a personal container in the bedroom or some other secret place quietly holding their hard earned savings. When a child saves money he or she learns patience, persistence, and delayed gratification. While it may be perceived as an old school practice, saving for a rainy day also teaches your child to prepare for future emergencies and set long term goals. In short, saving money has its own rewards and instills a sense of power. 

Try to teach a money lesson each week if possible. In addition, remind your children that labor experts are already telling us to be prepared to work until or past age 70 if personal savings are not in place and to guarantee the best return on social security.

So, help your child find a jar, box, or can. Give it a name, decorate it and watch your child slowly fill it with pride. Isn't life grand as you watch your child count coins and know there are no annual percentage rates, finance charges, pin numbers, passwords, grace periods, late fees, or text alerts from the bank staring you in the face?

In the end it does not matter if your child saves 10 cents or $10.00. It's the lessons learned and the effort that really counts. It's priceless!

Purchase STATIONS: Changing Your Life – Changing Your Career by Lynda Mubarak
Parenting, Elementary & High School Student Success, College & Workplace Readiness
https://www.amazon.com/STATIONS-Changing-Your-Life-Career/dp/1478766670 


About the Author

Dr. Lynda Mubarak is a native Texan, Army veteran, and grew up in Waco and Ft. Worth. She is a retired teacher and special education facilitator with 37 years of experience in special needs instruction, ESL education at Tarrant County College, and developmental writing at Strayer University. Lynda is a graduate of P.L. Dunbar High School, Ft. Worth, TX. She earned her BS in Elementary/Special Education from Texas Christian University, M.Ed. from Texas Wesleyan University, and Ed.D in Higher Education from Nova SE University. Dr. Mubarak is an active volunteer with several Ft. Worth organizations. She loves crossword puzzle competitions, live theater and contemporary music history. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her husband, Kairi, and Ebony, their rescue dog.

Author website: www.lyndamubarak.com 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10001155 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fornakopia by BJ Denver  


A Vulnerable Woman...

Annaliza Wentworth is a rich widow who lives a passionless life. She spends her time daydreaming about having a steamy, sensual relationship, something that she always wanted. Browsing the Internet, Annaliza finds a website for online dating and sex therapy. Labeled the Ice Princess by her late husband, Annaliza takes a chance and subscribes to it.

Wicked Pleasures and Choices...

The mysterious and sexy Dr. Lance Le Blanc, psychiatrist, sex therapist, and owner of the site, tantalizes Annaliza with his promises of sexual fulfillment. Elroy McKinny, a brazen young attorney her daughter's age, shows her the dark side of sexual fantasies; while Jim Ryan, the mysterious outsider, wants her for himself.

Cosmic Bliss or the Devil's Lair...

The betrayal of close friends, her livelihood threatened and her husband's secret past life, pushes Annaliza deeper into a world of sex, lies and unsavory alliances. The emerging unrest in her life forces Annaliza to come to grips with reality.

Crazy love, Crazy sex. What else is there? 


Exciting Article:  "Let's Talk Sex and Spirituality"-   https://lnkd.in/eAwXCt6  



Reviews for Fornakopia by BJ Denver

Couldn't put this sexy book down! By Natima
This is a must-read, especially for women who are afraid to step into their own power! It's sexy, dramatic, mysterious and very creative!

A Must Read by Bellemichel
I was intrigued by the title, therefore decided to purchase the Kindle version. Ms. Denver's writing is funny, exciting, and sexy with everything in between. I was glued to my screen, mouth hanging as the plot became more suspenseful. This is definitely a must read. I’m looking forward to the sequel!

Take me away by Tina Camara
Enjoyed this book immensely. Has everything a drama could ask for. Love, Lust, Sex, Betrayal, possibly a murder? This novel is engaging, gripping and will hold you really tight. Enjoy!!
!!

Purchase Fornakopia by B.J. Denver 
Romantic Suspense.  Love Story. 
Link: https://amzn.com/B01KPN1XEI


About the Author

B.J. Denver is the name, bestselling author, J.J. Michael uses for her Fornakopia series. Ms. Michael, a spiritual teacher and intuitive numerologist, wrote the Fornakopia series to highlight the healing power of sexual energy. 

J.J. Michael is an author, blogger, numerologist, and Indie publisher living in Washington, DC. Her formal education includes a BA from Howard University and an MLS from the University of Maryland. For several years, she worked as an administrator of the District of Columbia Public Library. Several of her books have been bestsellers on Amazon. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Inc. and a member of the Washington, D.C., Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. Ms. Michael also writes under the pen name, BJ Denver. Visit J.J. Michael at www.jjmichael.com.

 

 

 

 

 


Jaded by M.J. Kane


A devastating breakup leaves Yasmine Phillips in shambles. Unable to trust another man with her heart, she focuses on the one thing she can control—starting her own business. 

When her computer crashes, taking months of hard work with it, she must rely on computer genius Zachariah Givens to save her. A complete opposite of men from her past, she doesn't expect the passion that ensues. But just as she finds happiness, she learns the truth about the other women in Zachariah's life. 

Listen to the author read from the book: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C41l3L4k 


Chapter Excerpt: Jaded by M.J. Kane


I sat on the other side of the office, working furiously on my laptop to compile the data for the business reports and receipts I kept in the filing cabinet, information that had been lost when the computer died. I promised myself to keep a backup on my laptop, USB drive, and any other digital format outside of the main office set up from now on. I did not intend to repeat this scenario.

“Yasmine, a few more minutes and I’ll be done,” Zack said. “Sorry I couldn’t save the hard drive.”

I glanced up from my screen. “No need to apologize. I should have had everything backed up. You live and learn.” I saved my work, stood up, and stretched. “Is it that late already?” The clock on the wall said it was nearly eleven. “Would you like something to eat? I don’t know about you, but I missed breakfast. It’ll be my treat. The kitchen is open and Mrs. Davenport will be making lunch.” I studied him for a moment. “You look like you could take one of her Double Decker Monterey burgers. They are to die for.”

Zack appeared surprised by my offer. “I’d like that.”

I stopped in the doorway. “I’ll come get you when it’s done.”

Twenty minutes later, we sat in a booth in the back of the dining room, away from the guest.

“This has got to be one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten. I would drive all the way back up here for another one.” Zack bit off a large bite. He’d finished half the thing in record time.

I smiled. “I’ll be sure to give your compliments to the chef.”

“I’ll be sure to kiss her.” He drank from his cup and pointed at my salad. “Why aren’t you eating one of these?”

I stabbed at my chicken salad with my fork and glanced at the remains of his burger. “Good question.” I laughed. “I ate one yesterday for lunch. Too many of them will mess with my figure.”

Zack’s eyebrow arched, but he remained silent.

My gaze dropped back down to my plate. In my past life, flirting was my way of finding out if a man would be competent enough to handle my sexual needs. It was second nature.

But this was now.

Besides, trying to seduce Zack would be a waste of time; he didn’t seem interested anyway. Unlike most men I ran across, he didn’t flirt with me at all. Any other man would have taken my comment and told me how fine I was or some other line to find a way into my bed.

Not Zack. He was the epitome of the perfect gentleman, never uttering a suggestive comment or taking the obvious stroll over my body with his eyes. I caught him watching me once or twice, but it wasn’t lust in his gorgeous hazel orbs, it was something I had never seen before.

To be honest, it made me nervous not knowing what he was thinking. Yet at the same time, it was refreshing to be in the company of a man who was able to have an intelligent conversation without his panting tongue being in the way.

My cell phone rang. I glanced at the caller ID and excused myself. “Yes, Mrs. Langford, how are you?” I waited a beat for her reply and dug into my purse for pen and paper to jot down notes. “Perfect, I’ll see you then.”

A smile of satisfaction spread across my face when I hung up.

“Must be good news,” Zack said before popping the last of the burger in his mouth.

“Very. I work with this program called Dress for Success. It helps underprivileged woman prepare for job interviews. We take them shopping, show them what to wear, how to apply make-up, and do their hair. Anything we can do to help them succeed.”

Zack sat back and wiped his mouth with his napkin. “Really? What made you decide to do that?”

His question startled me. I looked up and found genuine interest in his eyes. Men in my past could care less what I did when we weren’t together. The only thing that interested them was what I did in the bedroom.

“I’m starting a business of my own, outside of managing this hotel,” I said slowly, deciding whether I wanted to share the details.

“What kind of business?”

Apparently I had his full attention.

“As a fashion consultant. I’ve been helping friends and family for years. I’d like to help as many people as I can. Participation in a program like this allows me to give back to the community and help people free of charge. As a bonus, I get to build my portfolio and gain experience working with a variety of clients.”

I held my breath, waiting for a laugh or sarcastic comment sure to come.

“Do you work with more than just underprivileged women?”

I sat back in surprise. “What do you mean?”

“Would you work with a cancer survivor?”

My curiosity peaked. “Who are you talking about?”

“My mother.”


( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, M.J. Kane. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


The Butterfly Memoirs (4 Book Series) by M.J. Kane 

A Heart Not Easily Broken (The Butterfly Memoirs Book 1)
Jaded (The Butterfly Memoirs Book 2)
Lonely Heart (The Butterfly Memoirs Book 3)
Nobody's Business (The Butterfly Memoirs Book 4) 
Purchase the series:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016QAXZ04 


Purchase Jaded (Book 2 of The Butterfly Memoirs) by M.J. Kane

Genre: Women's Fiction, Interracial Romance, African-American Romance
https://www.amazon.com/Jaded-Butterfly-Memoirs-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00BYCL54I 

About the Author

M.J. Kane stumbled into writing. An avid reader, this once stay-at-home mom never lost the overactive imagination of an only child. As an adult she made up stories, though never shared them, to keep herself entertained. It wasn’t until surviving a traumatic medical incident in 2006 that she found a reason to let the characters inhabiting her imagination free. Upon the suggestion of her husband, she commandeered his laptop and allowed the characters to take life. It was that, or look over her shoulder for men caring a purple strait jacket. And the rest, as they say, is history.

 

 

 

 

 



On Top Of The World: Until The Bell Chimes 

by David Lamb


From the “funny and naturally brilliant” David Lamb, award-winning playwright of the New York Times celebrated play, Platanos Y Collard Greens, comes a modern spin on Dickens’ classic tale that perfectly combines humor and romance, in a story re-imagined for our digital, consumerist age.  On Top Of The World is an engaging, heartwarming, humorous twenty-first century morality tale filled with moguls, pop-culture and plenty of romance.


This version of Scrooge—and Belle—is familiar, yet unlike any you’ve come across before. Scrooge, or rather Scrooje, is music’s biggest superstar with one hundred million albums sold, fifteen million devoted YouTube subscribers, two and a half million Facebook likes, and twenty-five million fanatical Twitter followers known as Scroojites. Belle, is a lawyer who gulps down her opposition voraciously and whose beauty and stunning figure causes traffic accidents as she zips through the sidewalks of Manhattan stylishly adorned and taking no prisoners.

They never imagined being music’s most powerful couple, but that’s exactly what happened when Belle fell head over heels and gave the Coke-bottle glasses wearing, plaid and stripe attired, scrawny, biggest nerd on her college campus the ultimate makeover, turning him into a fashion impresario whose style sets trends from Milan to NY Fashion Week and who can be seen courtside at the NBA Finals sporting a perfectly-fitted cashmere suit.

Then it happens. Belle realizes too late that she’s created a chart-topping monster as Scrooje’s ego explodes and he starts acting a fool. Now, it’s been three years since they’ve spoken. But tonight at Hollywood’s biggest red carpet event, with the whole world watching, they’ll be given a second chance.

Will Scrooje listen to the ghostly-advice of Marley, his best friend since the fourth grade, who at the time of his untimely drowning at his Brazilian poolside birthday bash was as big a star as Scrooje? Will Scrooje finally do right by his number one artist, Cratchit, a genius comedian, who Scrooje invariably rip offs every chance he gets?

And with twenty-five million viewers tuned in will Scroojge finally shed his ego, jeopardize his image and declare his love for Belle, the one he betrayed and let slip away? Second chances don’t often come around. Will Belle even give him a chance?

Get ready for a page-turning hilarious romantic comedy that’s packed with heart and soul!

Mixing heart, soul, bling and romance in a fresh, original satire about race, class and celebrity worship Lamb establishes himself as one of the most talented and amazing writers today. And leaves no doubt that the Pacific Book Awards chose wisely when they selected On Top Of The World as the year’s Best Fiction.


Here’s what people are saying:

“Fun and entertaining! Like a gifted mad scientist Lamb mixes Dickens and Love Jones in a touching, hilarious story of fighting for love against all odds to win back the one who got away.”
-Nancey Flowers, Essence bestselling author

“Funny and all too real. Dickens meets bling in David Lamb’s vivid satire about greed.
-Raqiyah Mays, bestselling author and radio personality The Man Curse

“DYNAMIC novel about the price of fame packed with so many laughs and so much heart I couldn’t put it down.
-Talib Kweli, Hip-hop recording artist, entrepreneur, and social activist 

“SAVVY, sassy and steeped with grown and sexy swag! David Lamb’s clever love story and its “power couple,” Belle and Scrooje, are comical and so endearing they might have you looking back on your own life, reminiscing about the one that got away. For all those readers crying out for something different,this novel promises to be a dream come true.”
-Earth Watts-Hicks, best-selling author


Purchase On Top Of The World by David Lamb
From Online Retailers: http://davidlamb.club/homepage-2/ 

From Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Top-World-Until-Bell-Chimes-ebook/dp/B01IUFLP8W 


About the Author

David Lamb is a native New Yorker, bitten with the writing bug since he was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. After finishing college David went to law school, but all the time writing was still his heart. While working as a lawyer, at night he wrote and eventually produced the hit off-Broadway play Platanos Y Collard Greens. Being a writer and having the chance make people laugh while inspiring readers to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life's challenges is a great gift that David truly enjoys.

 

 

 

 


She Was Born With A Veil  
by Angelia Vernon Menchan

Arnia Watson stared from the window of the train as it sped along the Eastern Seaboard. Actually, sped was gross exaggeration. The train felt as if it was meandering and that wasn’t a bad thing. Arnia had just turned thirty-eight and was going home. She had to. She received a telegram of all things, telling her Ava, her godmother passed and not only was Ava a woman who loved her dearly; she was also the midwife who delivered her and the woman who named her. She visited Ava a few weeks earlier and saw she was on her way, though she seemed very vibrant at over one hundred years of age. 

Arnia’s mother, Sala was almost forty when Arnia was born and Ava was in her sixties. Sala was never well after delivering her child but raised her as best she could, succumbing to her illnesses when Arnia was sixteen and considered herself emancipated. 

Everyone in particular Ava, always considered Arnia an old soul because she was born with a veil over her face. Scientifically and medically everyone knew that simply meant the amniotic sac was over the infant’s face but many, especially black and Native Americans knew that meant the child had special powers, she could see things. Arnia had a slip of paper in her purse with the following written on it, given to her by Ava. Had it not been from Ava, she would have crumpled it and tossed it aside. 


She Was Born With A Veil Book Reviews 


Arnia, was a woman I could completely understand. There was an oddity to her that was refreshing and comforting for me and her interactions with all the other characters in the book, older or younger kept me engaged throughout. Her attraction to men younger than she, was written in a way that didn’t bring the word “cougar” to mind. This was just a natural element to her, not something she was seeking, and the men’s attraction to her was somewhat hilarious. They just didn’t know what do to do with her; none but Melton.

Although this story was centered around an event that could have made her interactions somber, Ava’s impact on Arnia’s life and the long life she lived, allowed death and the funeral to not overshadow the life that kept on going. That’s one of the things I like about Angelia’s writing. It’s sensible, not overly emotional in a way that forces the reader to deal any differently than the way the character she is writing, is dealing at the moment— if that makes any sense. And I like the internal dialogue of Arnia, she’s observant, and special (future readers will understand the meaning of this I’m sure) and knows the affect she has on men and women, and women seem to have an issue with her but it’s clear that their issue is really about them and not Arnia. And what’s so great about that, is Arnia is self-assured enough to know that and keep it moving.

I loved this story and loved it in a way that resonated with me and will stay with me and that doesn’t happen so often.
The ending? Perfect.
--Reviewed By Aja Graves

Almost every writer I like to read has a singular voice, a way of telling a story that is unique to them. Ms. Menchan is no exception. Whenever I read one of her books I remind myself not to be surprised at the earthiness of her characters or the straightforward yet civil manner that they speak to each other even when they’re wrong. It is an expectation that many of us have in life; to crave that kind of honesty in our relationships and of course, it is rare. Interestingly I’ve found it’s also rare in fiction yet Ms. Menchan brings that kind of honesty to life and does it in the most credible way I’ve ever read. I love the main character of this book. Arnia is, to use a cliché, my kind of woman: decidedly female, self-sufficient, productive, and comfortable in her own skin. Best of all, she has a hidden knowledge that she was born with yet it doesn’t overwhelm or torture her as it might in other, less original stories. Arnia’s relationships are as fascinating as the characters she’s relating to. 

Wilma the jealous, petty, yet endlessly fascinating older woman in her life who becomes a true family member for better or worse. Andre, a.k.a Scat the unfortunate friend who has grown up in the same surroundings as Arnia and cares profoundly about her and his cousin/brother. He wants them to be happy and never to be disappointed in him. And Melton, the strong entrepreneurial man, actually I meant MAN, that takes an interest in Arnia. What can I say about him? Ahh I think you should find out for yourself. He’s totally worth it – believe me. Read the book and then ask Ms. Menchan for more. I am.
--Reviewed By Madame LeFay


Purchase She Was Born With A Veil by Angelia Vernon Menchan
https://www.amazon.com/Born-Veil-Angelia-Vernon-Menchan/dp/1530553563 

 

 

 

 


God, Love & All My Soul: Poetry 
by Taneisha Grace- LaGrant


This book, like my previous book is a book of poetry. The focus for this book of poetry is life itself. How life is a journey that we all embark upon when we are born. It has poems for every occasion, whether it be about God or Love or happiness or sadness. Maybe you want something uplifting, encouraging or more relate able to real life such as titles like: Seasons(a dedication to Military Spouses), A Purpose (Dedicated to dreamers), People, or even One Day (about a person and their struggle with being a Christian) or After the Fire. If you love poetry or just reading this is a book for you and maybe a few friends as well.


God, Love & All My Soul Book Reviews


By Kasrana
God, Love & All My Soul by Taneisha Grace is a wonderful book of poetry. I was truly moved by Taneisha's words I felt that her poetry will truly resonate with today's generation. She speaks of true love and taking the time to express your love in a day and age where everyone seems to be too busy to just stop and say I love you. She points out the importance of being faithful in a time when it is so easy to be unfaithful to yourself and your loved one. I especially liked the poems geared toward the youngsters advising them to take the road that will lead to a happy life and god not the streets, death and hell. I found her poetry to "hit home", gritty but absolutely true and in a sense uplifting.


By Snow

Beautifully written, beautifully structured. Very interesting to read as a contrast in time. You can feel the emotions from the words as it draws you in within the heart.

Meet the Author

Taneisha Grace- LaGrant was born Septemeber 25, 1988 in Panama City, FL. Currently she writes in her spare time and has published two poetry novels and co-authored two inpirational women's empowerment books. A new volume of poetry is in progress entitled Life and Love Volume I as well as her first romance novel, "Love At First Sight." She completed her second stage play "Finding God" February 2016. Between family life and work, Taneisha is pretty busy but with a first love like writing, the dream must be pursued.  Website: taneishalagrant.com

Order God, Love & All My Soul: Poetry by Taneisha Grace- LaGrant

https://www.amazon.com/God-Love-All-My-Soul-ebook/dp/B006A158MI 


 

 

 


Camouflage: Because I Wear a Smile
Compiled by Tammy Jurnett-Lewis -  Cheryl Wood (Foreword)

Co-Authors: Asanta Michelle Brooks, Karyn Smith-Davis, Adrienne Dawkins, Ryan Elizabeth, Eliza Hawkins, DeAndria Lewis, Latrice Massey, Kimberly McGhee, Cora Genice Midgett, LaTonya Renee, Melody Stewart, Ahna White and Chelle R.Yancy 

The Power of the word "Camouflage" holds so many meanings...this is an inspirational book with over 14 authors! We humbly invite you to read these stories of amazing women of courage, whom wrote about their past struggles. 

Each Co-Author unveils the covering of her own Camouflage, which she used to blend in with her surroundings; in order to get through life. Watch the Triumphs of Transformations as the Camouflage is taken off and a metamorphosis takes place. 

Each author wrote about a painful situation in their lives and these stories unmask the Camouflage, to help heal not only their own souls, but yours as well. What are you Camouflaging in your life?

Purchase Camouflage: Because I Wear a Smile 
Kindle > Nonfiction > Self-Help > Motivational
Download ebook:
http://amzn.to/2a7YysP  

 

 

 

 


Soul Reborn: A Book of Words, Motivations, and Inspirations 
by Cheryl Polote- Williamson


Surviving the most difficult circumstances and toughest times of her life, it was the still voice of the Holy Spirit each day that filled her soul with words, inspirations, and motivation to make it through each painful moment. Cheryl Polote- Williamson realized that it was only her faith that would carry her through. Cheryl shares her most intimate conversations with her family, friends, and most importantly the Lord in this inspirational, motivational, and transformational user- friendly book.

Purchase Soul Reborn: A Book of Words, Motivations, and Inspirations 
by Cheryl Polote- Williamson 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IOOTA68 
Kindle Short Reads > (44-64 pages) > Teen & Young Adult
Kindle Short Reads > Self-Help > Religion & Spirituality

 


Words From the Spirit for the Spirit 
by Cheryl Polote-Williamson

Diagnosed with a serious heart condition, losing a mother-in-law to cancer, and caring for a husband also facing prostate cancer, Cheryl Polote-Williamson had every opportunity to lose hope and sink into despair. Instead she dug deep and found strength to encourage herself in the Lord.

Now a philanthropist, entrepreneur and inspirational speaker, Cheryl shares the truths that the Holy Spirit used to bring her from hopelessness to emotional, physical and spiritual vitality. Like an energy drink for the soul, Words from the Spirit for the Spirit is grounded in the principles of Scripture, fortified with practical insight for everyday life, including:

- Spirit affirmations to speak over your life
- Prayers of petition, dedication, thanksgiving and praise
- Quotes to motivate and encourage readers—from homemakers to businesspeople
- And much more …

Words from the Spirit for the Spirit is an inspirational, user-friendly book with nuggets of truth that can be mined on a lunch break, on the way to a job interview or as you prepare to face a new day.


Book Reviews for Words From the Spirit for the Spirit

By Stephanie Nellons-Paigeon 

As I read this book and meditate on the words, I feel the spirit taking over. Whether you are going through, with your heart torn to pieces or you are flowing in the Joy of The Lord, this book is an inspiration. I bought several copies to send to people to encourage them. Where ever you are in your spiritual life; this is the book to take you to another level. Read and let it take you to the KING!

By Elenaon
 
In just a few pages, Cheryl Williamson has given us powerful, inspirational and motivational nuggets. Her writing is almost as if we were reading pages from her own diary...personal discoveries, lessons learned, and messages from the God of her salvation. Encouraged by her pen, I found myself writing reminders to myself in the margins!! I am still chewing on "God is a straight-A God!"

By Lynda 

I started reading Mrs. Williamson's book and could not put it down! The more I read, the more I could feel the presence of the Lord. This book is truly inspirational. I am thankful to the Lord that Mrs. Williamson obediently allowed God to use her to write a book that would be of such great help to others. She gets right to the point. She does not sugar-coat her words. She has shown that she is a true woman of God, who loves the Lord with her entire being. This project is truly a wonderful work, that gives God all of the praise and all of the glory! I love it!

By Wanda Bolton-Davis 

Small in size, but packed with powerful affirmations and words to encourage and lift your spirit. A book of short sayings that can be read in one sitting or used for a "daily dose of inspiration." One of my many favorite quotes include, "Show the people you love as much love as you can. One day God may want them back." This is an example of the many sayings that will remind you of God's love, bring a sense of gratitude in your heart and ignite your spirit. Once it has blessed you, you will want to share it with others. Great gift idea, coffee table book or "just because". I love it!!!

Order Words From the Spirit for the Spirit by Cheryl Polote-Williamson

http://www.amazon.com/Words-Spirit-Cheryl-Polote-Williamson/dp/1938624424  
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/words-from-the-spirit-for-the-spirit-cheryl-polote-williamson/1114560002 



Meet the Author 
A Lover of God, Best Selling author, Kingdompreneur, Mother, Speaker, Motivator, Chief Encouragement Officer, and Title Boxing Club Franchise Owner- Cheryl Polote-Williamson is an action-oriented business woman and second generation entrepreneur possessing exceptional strategic thinking, relationship building, and marketing and communication skills. In May 2013, Cheryl published her first book, “Words From the Spirit For the Spirit” which has inspired and encouraged many to live their dreams and is available in multiple languages. Cheryl has been featured on Dallas Fox 4 News, Eclipse magazine, Rolling Out Magazine, Heaven 97 (970AM), and a blog series telling her story about hurt and betrayal. Cheryl has won numerous awards for entrepreneurism, and maintaining strong client relationships. She continues to write with strength and wisdom as an Amazon Bestselling author for the anthology “Shift ON”, released in February 2016. 

Cheryl is a highly sought after transformational, inspirational, motivational speaker. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Links, Inc. -Cheryl has been married for 23 years to her husband, Russell, has three beautiful children: Russ Jr, Lauren, and Courtney, and one granddaughter, Leah. They are active members of St. John Church.  Website: http://cherylpolote-williamson.com 

 

 

 



He Calls Her Blue by Sheryl Grace

Loyalties will be tested. Secrets will be exposed. And not everyone will survive.

From birth, Indigo's life is complicated. Immediately after she is born to the very young and very beautiful Ruby, she is abandoned by both of her parents. However, a turn of events forces Ruby to reluctantly care for the child she wishes she never had. Provocative, shapely, and self- absorbed, Ruby, is more concerned with getting a man than being a mother. Meanwhile, the identity of Indigo’s father is shrouded in mystery.

Emotionally broken, sexually confused, and unaware of her beauty, Indigo seeks love and acceptance from array of unforgettable characters. Each character, leaving an undeniable mark in her life – some break her and some make her stronger. Love arrives in the form of the strikingly handsome and suave restaurateur Tyrone Mayfield. But his love comes with a price as he draws Indigo deeper into his other businesses. While Indigo does not have much of a life without Tyrone in it, with him she may die. In this page turner, loyalties will be tested, secrets will be exposed, and some won't live to tell.

Take a ride on this journey and experience the life of “Blue”, as she learns how to survive in the real world and the underground world that has been created for her...  


Book review by Wendy Jones in May 2016 issue of Fort Worth Black News states, "Grace creates characters that feel as though they are in front of you and has penned quite a page turner..."


Excerpt: Chapter 7


Around five a.m., that morning, Indigo awakened to some strange clicking noises that sounded like Boom . . . boom . . . click . . . Boom boom . . . click . . . repeatedly. It was not a loud noise, but it was annoying. She tried to ignore it and kept trying to go back to sleep, but she couldn’t. Unable to take it anymore, she got out of bed and opened her door slowly. She could tell that the noise seemed to be coming from downstairs.

She tiptoed slowly down the stairs following the clicking noises. When she got midway down, she saw Tyrone sitting in the dimly lit living room. The back of his large upper body faced her, and he had on an undershirt and long pajama bottom. His arm was bending up and down in a robotic motion. As Indigo moved closer, she noticed that Tyrone was actually loading and unloading a couple of guns. She was startled, and tried to hurry up the stairs without him noticing, but Tyrone could see her shadow and turned around suddenly to look her in the eye. Indigo was experiencing a range of emotions she did not understand. She was scared and fascinated at the same time. She did not know what Tyrone was thinking, but she was becoming turned on . . . not by Tyrone . . . but by the sight of the guns.

“I’m sorry, Indigo, go back to bed, okay?” Tyrone said in a firm but soft voice. Indigo kept looking over his shoulder at the guns.

“Can I see them?” she asked with her eyes wide with excitement. “I don’t know about that, Indigo. Guns are dangerous,” Tyrone said in a concerned voice.

“Please, Mr. Tyrone, I want to hold one,” she begged.

“Look, Indigo, this is between me and you, okay?” Tyrone said in a nervous manner.

Indigo stepped closer to Tyrone wearing an oversized white tee shirt. Her hair tied back in a black and gold satin scarf. Tyrone let her step inside of his arms as he placed her hand on the gun’s handle and trigger. “You got it,” Tyrone said in an encouraging tone.

Indigo looked up at Tyrone as he was directing her posture, and she was able to catch a reflection of them off the hallway mirror. She realized one thing that day. She had fallen in love . . . not with a man . . . but with a gun. She loved the feel she got from holding it in her hand, and she knew she would have her very own one day. 


( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sheryl Grace. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Order He Calls Her Blue by Sheryl Grace

Contemporary Women's Fiction 
Link: https://amzn.com/1478760206  


Order your autographed copy of He Calls Her Blue by Sheryl Grace at: http://www.sherylgrace.com  
Also available in ebook and paperback on Amazon  and  BarnesandNoble.com

About the Author

Sheryl Grace is a native of St. Gabriel, Louisiana currently residing in North Texas. After graduating with a degree in Mental Health Counseling, she began her career as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Through her life and work experiences, characters begin to formulate in her head that she had to share. In her first novel of a series, she introduces you to a character called Blue. The life experiences of Blue will make your heart pound, ache, leave you breathless and filled with hope. 


 

 

 


A Cyber Affair by Lonz Cook


What Tiffany doesn’t know about online dating, she learns by living the thrills of navigating profiles and meeting men on the internet. She learns the secret of avoiding the “Catfish” and finds the one who keeps her head in the clouds, until they physically meet.


The Online Search for Mr. Right


Tiffany Wilkes, “SanFran Pearl,” spends hours on dating websites. She’s tired of guys who can’t charm the lid off of a garbage can and sick of God awful blind dates, and mindless encounters. Meeting men at work is a competition and a risk of breaking a dating policy that results in termination.

SanFran Pearl searches for a local suitor interested in a meaningful relationship. Her humorous approach wins a positive response but the connection wanes to disappointment.

When SanFran Pearl receives an interesting email from “Lost Sailor,” Manny Perez - a Navy retiree near Miami, her spirit of chance shoots to the stars. Instead of her typical approach, she’s googling for a background check that’s best suited for the FBI.

Is Lost Sailor a catfish or the catch of the century? 

Book Review: 
“Anyone who’s been on a bad date will nod in recognition...” – Kirkus Review

Book Review: 

“A Cyber Affair is a good read for women who have dipped into the world of cyber-dating…” – D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review


Excerpt: A Cyber Affair 


Chapter 1


OMG! What the hell am I doing? Tiffany frowned as she sat amongst the passengers waiting for her flight to Las Vegas. She glanced around the terminal, hopeful that someone would read her mind and give her some direction. The gate attendant announced her boarding section. Tiffany rose from her seat, edged through the crowd with her laptop backpack, pulling her carry-on, and got in line. She held her ticket while she moved closer to the gate agent. Why am I doing this? she thought while watching eager passengers in front of her hand over their tickets and walk through the door. She stepped to the gate, ticket in hand, and stared. The agent reached for the boarding pass, slid it from her fingers, and scanned it on his machine. “Is this your first flight?” asked the agent. 

“No, it isn’t. I’m a little nervous about this trip.” 

“Don’t worry; no one cares what you do in Vegas.” He smiled and returned her ticket.

“I hope he cares,” Tiffany mumbled as she walked through the door. Suddenly the gangway darkened, black as a moonless night. Her hand became moist. The carry-on didn’t seem to cooperate. It was as if something was trying to deter her from boarding the flight. Tiffany yanked her carry-on, finally won its cooperation, and walked down the center of the tunnel. The passenger in front of her disappeared into its darkness and conversations behind her went silent. She saw a dim light appear as though the gangway had become a path of torture. Suddenly a bright light near the cabin door led her, as if directing her feet one after the other, deeper into the passageway. She pulled the carry-on and took each step carefully. Her heart pumped like a car engine on a race track. Tiffany walked slower, as if her hesitation could delay the plane’s take off. With each step, she heard warning bells.

“Miss, are you okay?” A fellow passenger’s voice broke her trance.

“Ah, I think so,” Tiffany kept her eyes forward. She saw the fully lit tunnel for the first time, the door to the airplane now directly in front of her. She entered the aircraft with her carry-on in tow.

“Hi, welcome aboard,” the flight attendant greeted her.

“Hi.” Tiffany smiled and turned right to walk through the economy class section. She looked at the seating chart and glanced at her ticket. "Seat 21C," she read, and walked towards the rear of the plane. Tiffany glanced at the row numbers - 8…9…10… moving further back 19…20… “Excuse me,” she said to her seating companion.

“Sure, no problem,” He rose from the seat and moved aside. Tiffany lifted her carry-on, grabbed her backpack, and slid through the tight aisle. As soon as she cleared the first seat, the guy moved right in behind her. “I’m sorry.” Tiffany looked behind her while dropping her backpack on the floor.

“No problem. I was expecting you,” he smiled.

Tiffany pushed her backpack under the seat in front of her, grabbed her seatbelt, and buckled up for the flight. She watched passengers boarding and averted her gaze to look out of the window. Anxiously, she glanced at her watch while butterflies fluttered through her stomach. The idea of having a last chance to escape the unknown tampered with her mind. She watched other passengers board and thought I can get off the plane right after that guy sits down. The gentleman sat, but before she could move, the flight’s lead attendant announced, “Prepare the cabin for takeoff, cross check and all call.” Passengers were instructed to secure electronics and buckle down for the flight. When the cabin door slammed shut, Tiffany realized that it was too late to run. 

Tiffany Miles was the only child of strict parents. She wasn’t part of a popular crowd in high school, but she loved her circle of friends. Tiffany was average in size and cute, with unique features: curly black hair, a straight nose, and oval brown eyes. She hadn't received much male attention in high school, but when she did date, her parents selected young men from among their church friends. She rarely disagreed with the guys her mom and dad selected for her. The few times she went against their guidance, all hell broke loose and her parents would tighten their control.

Tiffany tried her hand at dating in college. She moved into the campus dorm and there found new freedom to date and explore as she pleased. What she didn’t know about dating men became a substantial lesson in reality during that first semester. Some men take advantage of naive girls. She accepted every offer to go on a date from any man who asked. Tiffany was sensual with some and enjoyed the physical desires of others. She didn’t know what not to do. Her roommate took notice and reeled her in, explaining the differences between dating and being used. Her roommate also started checking out her dates, showing up on occasion to see if Tiffany was following her advice. 

( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lonz Cook. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase A Cyber Affair by Lonz Cook
Contemporary Romance

https://www.amazon.com/Cyber-Affair-Lonz-Cook/dp/1943904030 

About the Author

From warrior to romance. Lonz Cook is a Marine Corps veteran of 20 years and the author of numerous romance novels. He's a screen writer, an Adjunct Professor of Management, and a technology specialist.
Website: www.lonzcook.net
Instagram: lonzcook
Twitter: @lonzcook
FB: https://www.facebook.com/WarriortoRomance

 

 

 

 


Places In My Heart by Sheryl Lister 
(Release Date Oct 1, 2016)

Omar Drummond is a pro football superstar with a body that’s a pure work of art. But Morgan Gray is forbidden to act on their chemistry, or repeat their impulsive kiss. Proving her worth as a sports agent means securing the notorious celebrity as a client, not a lover. Yet between flowers, sweet notes and heady hotel interludes, Omar is shamelessly seducing her...

Other agents—and exes—have tried using Omar as a meal ticket, and he’s closed himself off from emotional entanglements. With Morgan, it’s a whole new playbook. Smart and tough, she can negotiate a contract and turn him on all in one go, and he craves more. But in matters of trust, he’s just fumbled badly. To win her he has to show her the man he can be away from the field and the limelight, and hope that this time they’re both playing for keeps.


Places In My Heart: Chapter 1


He couldn’t take his eyes off her. His gaze traveled from her small feet in bright pink tennis shoes, up her long, smooth honey-brown legs and lingered briefly on an apple-round bottom that would make a grown man lose his mind. He continued upward to the grass-stained oversized Tshirt tied at the waist, giving him a glimpse of the gemstone in her belly ring. A ragged ponytail sat at the top of her head with bits of grass and weeds littering the strands that flowed in disarray around her mud-smudged face. Omar Drummond edged closer to the woman. She smelled like…dirt. She was stunning. A dull thump in the center of his chest jarred him out of his thoughts.

“Yo, Drummond. Get your head in the game,” one of his teammates yelled.

“Yeah, Drummond. The object of the game is to catch the football with your hands, not your chest.”

He shifted his gaze back to the woman speaking, the focus of his musings. Morgan Gray.

“If this is any indication of your skills,” she continued, “the Cobras are in for a long season.”

“This is a just a backyard scrimmage,” Omar said mildly. “My game on the field is just fine. I’m always in the zone. Check last year’s stats.” He was one of the best tight ends in the league, but his LA Cobras team had lost the conference championship game by one point last season, costing them a coveted trip to the national championship. The loss nagged at him for weeks, and he vowed that next season they’d bring home the trophy. “Better yet, ask your brother.”

Morgan’s twin brother, Malcolm, was the team’s star running back. Morgan merely smiled while several of the guys snickered. He moved into his position. “Are we playing or not?”

The game ended a short time later with Omar making the winning touchdown for his team. More good-natured ribbing ensued as everyone traipsed over to recover and relax in the chairs and loungers set up in Malcolm’s yard. Malcolm hosted the barbecue for his teammates and their significant others every year before the new season began. Malcolm handed Omar a beer and lowered himself into the lounger next to him. “You redeemed yourself nicely at the end of the game.”

Omar chuckled. “Yeah. Couldn’t let your sister call me out like that.”

“Morgan has no problems speaking her mind, especially when it comes to football. She’s been critiquing my game since I was eight.” They laughed. “Your contract is coming up soon, isn’t it?”

“In about six weeks.”

“Well, with the way you’ve stepped in at receiver after Colin’s injury, Roland should be able to negotiate one hell of a deal.” Colin Rush had gone down with a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus two games into last season.

Omar’s stomach rolled at the mention of his current agent’s name, and he set the beer aside. “We’ll see,” he murmured. Roland Foster had come highly recommended by several athletes as someone who could secure the best contracts around. After two disappointing experiences with agents, Omar had counted himself lucky when the man had offered representation. True to his reputation, Roland had hammered out a deal that topped the news for weeks. But that was then.

Omar scanned the yard and saw Morgan laughing with another player’s wife. They were the only two women who had joined in the otherwise all-male football game. She had impressed him with her offensive and defensive skills. Not many women—and none he’d dated—would subject themselves to a light tackle football game and not care about being dirty or having messy hair. But Morgan was different, and that turned him on.

“Man, you don’t have anything to worry about,” Malcolm said. “Roland will make sure you stay with the Cobras as long as you want.” When Omar didn’t comment, Malcolm leaned forward. “What’s up, Drummond?”

“I can’t go into details, but I think it’s time for a change. And this time, I want to steer clear of anybody involved in league politics. I need somebody else, Mal.”

Malcolm studied him for a moment and then said, “My sister is looking to get into the business.”

“Is that right? She’s an attorney?”

“Yeah. And she’s about as far away from league politics as you can get.”

“So, she knows the game well, huh?”

“As if she’s played it all her life,” Malcolm said.

Omar had thought that was the case, but hearing Malcolm confirm it solidified in his mind that she might exactly the person he needed to help him.

“Food’s ready,” Omar heard someone say.

He came to his feet, eager to end the conversation. Omar got in line with the rest of the guests, filled his plate and crossed the yard to where Morgan sat with her food. His intention had been to talk to her about a business proposition, but as soon as he sat and opened his mouth, two other women joined them and started a conversation about some popular television show. He promptly tuned out and dug into his meal.

“What about you, Drummond?”

His head popped up, and he met Morgan’s expectant gaze. “I’m sorry. What did you ask?”

“I asked which show was your favorite—Scandal or How to Get Away with Murder?”

“I don’t watch either show.”

Morgan slanted him a look. “Let me guess. You only watch sports or sports news.”

“No. I enjoy a good comedy or action movie, but I prefer reading to television.”

Surprise lit her eyes. “Reading?”

“Yeah, you know…books.”

“Wow, really, Omar? I would’ve never figured that out,” she said teasingly and rolled her eyes. The group laughed.

Omar smiled. She’d called him by his first name, something she had never done before. Their easy rapport gave him hope that she would be receptive to his plan. They finished eating while talking, and afterward, three other guys convinced Omar to join them in a card game. He kept one eye on his cards and the other on Morgan, waiting for a chance to get her alone.

His opportunity came three hands later when he saw her go inside. It took some serious patience to finish the game, especially since his partner seemed to contemplate every round. In Omar’s mind it was simple—you either had the card or you didn’t.

Marcus Dupree, wide receiver, threw up his hands. “Grant, do you think we could finish this game before the season starts? We only have a month.”

“My thoughts exactly,” Omar mumbled.

“Patience, my brothers,” Lucas Grant said. “I have to get my strategy together.” The middle linebacker employed the same tactics when watching plays develop and stopping runs between the tackles. Though effective on the field, today it only irritated Omar.

Omar shook his head. Minutes later, he tossed out his last card and stood. “Somebody else can take my spot. I’m done.” Without waiting for a reply, he headed for the sliding glass door that led to the kitchen and stepped inside. The sight of Morgan’s long bare legs stopped him in his tracks. She had changed into another pair of shorts that stretched taut over her backside as she reached for something in a cabinet. If he could just get one touch… Omar shook himself and quickly dismissed the notion.

“I see you changed.”

Morgan whirled around. “Oh. Drummond, you scared me.”

Back to last names again. “Sorry.”

She set the glass she had gotten on the counter and went to the refrigerator. “That’s okay. I had to shower. I can only take feeling grimy for so long.”

It took him a moment to realize she had commented on his previous statement. “I hear you. But you played a good game.”

“Are you referring to the interception or the touchdown?” she asked as she poured what looked like iced tea into the glass.

“A little cocky, aren’t you?”

She leaned against the counter, wrapped one arm around her middle and took a sip of her drink. “My game speaks for itself. Yours, on the other hand, can use some work.”

Omar closed the distance between them and braced his hands on the counter on either side of her. “Is that a challenge?”

She tilted her chin and stared at him intently. “You tell me.”

Their faces were inches apart. Common sense told him he should back up, but he couldn’t. Not when her full, gloss-slicked lips were calling to him. Without thinking about the ramifications, he crushed his mouth against hers and slid his tongue inside when her lips parted on a startled gasp. She came up on tiptoe and met him stroke for stroke, causing him to groan. A second later Morgan stiffened and tore her mouth away. She pushed against his chest.

“Move.”

Omar dropped his arms. “Morgan, I—” She brushed past him, and he reached out to stop her. She slapped his hand away and kept walking.

“Morgan, wait. I need to talk to you.”

“I think you’ve said enough,” she called over her shoulder.


( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sheryl Lister. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase books by Sheryl Lister 

Genre – Contemporary Romance

https://www.amazon.com/Places-Heart-Grays-Los-Angeles/dp/0373864701/ 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/places-in-my-heart-sheryl-lister/1123346427 


Meet the Author

Sheryl Lister has enjoyed reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She writes contemporary and inspirational romance and romantic suspense. She been nominated for an Emma Award, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award and named BRAB’s 2015 Best New Author. When she’s not reading, writing or playing chauffeur, Sheryl can be found on a date with her husband or in the kitchen creating appetizers and bite-sized desserts. Sheryl resides in California and is a wife, mother of three daughters and a son-in-love, and grandmother to two very special little boys.

Website: www.sheryllister.com 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/1Slynne 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sheryllisterauthor/ 

 

 

 

 


Sister Betty Says I Do 
by Pat G'Orge-Walker


An inspiring, devilishly funny tale of hope, secrets--and hard-knock faith that can make the most impossible situations right. . .

For Sister Betty, the marriage proposal from trustee Freddie Noel is a once-in-a-lifetime surprise blessing. Unfortunately, she knows the chances of having a peaceful ceremony in their beloved Crossing Over Sanctuary Church are slim to none. But she's armed with enough sense and scripture to keep contentious church busybodies Bea Blister and Sasha Pray Onn from sowing even more chaos amid the congregation--until a rehearsal disaster and an unexpected secret causes Freddie to break off the engagement without explanation. . .

While this no-nonsense prayer warrior needs all the holy backup she can get, her pastor, Reverend Leotis Tom, is desperately dodging temptation as Mother Pray Onn's wild-child niece and Betty's young cousin compete to become his First Lady. With her happiness, the church's future, and Tom's sanity on the line, Sister Betty will need to kick some spiritual butt, take names--and fight for some major soul-saving miracles.


PICK OF THE MONTH by LibraryJournal.com

Sister Betty Sarah Becton and Trustee Freddie Noel (skinny and yellow as a number two pencil) are both on the far side of 60 but decide to jump the broom. But there ain’t no drama like wedding-planning drama, especially in the small South Carolina town of Pelzer. Sweating in the Southern heat like “Friday night strippers sitting on Sunday morning church’s second pew,” church mothers Sasha Pray Onn and Bea Blister worry over Sister Betty’s plans.  But Freddie’s off-and-on health issues may delay the big event. A wild bunch of extended family and church folk meddle in the plans lending the story a hilarious reality show vibe.

Stealing scenes are Sweet Betty’s cousin Sharvon and sexy hot Ima, each batting their eyelashes at muscled and sexy Rev. Leotis Tom.  Down-home humor, scripture readings, and outrageous trash talk. Priceless. Sister Betty Says I Do is a wonderful romp that will have wide appeal to both sinners and saints.


About the Author

Pat G'Orge (pronounced Gee-or-jay) - Walker is in a league of her own. This accomplished Christian author and comedienne has an amazing mind and talent for turning her observations of church life into gems of sidesplitting humor. It is her own special gift from God that enables G'Orge-Walker to depict the often ridiculous antics of church folk without subverting the Good News or watering down the potency of its message.

Pat G'Orge-Walker has paid a high price for the ever-present smile on her face. This Mt. Vernon, New York PK (preacher's kid) has survived a raging house fire; a violent assault; a car crash that mangled her body and a viral infection that left her temporarily blinded. Through it all, Pat quietly soaked in material from her father's Baptist congregation and her mother's Pentecostal assembly to create the stories that keep readers and audiences howling with laughter. Pat is a 'kept woman' whose life is held firmly and safely in God's hand. Mercy and compassion season every word spoken or written by Pat, who makes her story palpitate in the hearts of people who readily relate to victory over adversity.

The First Lady of Gospel Comedy forges a successful career as author and comedian. She has paved the way for many others in both fields. Pat's storytelling is likened to Zora Neale Hurston's folklore'a documentation of American culture and church life in literature.

Purchase Sister Betty Says I Do
by Pat G'Orge-Walker
Link: https://amzn.com/0758289855  





The Aha Moment: The Guide To Creating A Game Changer 
by Cory The Author


Ask yourself one question. Why aren't people more successful? Be a game changer the world has enough followers. Don't just play the Game...Change The Game

If you've ever suddenly had that idea that made you sit up and say 'Aha!' or made that proverbial light bulb go off in your head, you've probably had an idea that could well be a game-changer. 

We all have, at some stage of our lives, what we would describe as a great idea. These are ideas which make life better, easier or more enjoyable for all who use it, and it may make you rich and successful by implementing it. But the sad fact is that very few of us have confidence and know-how to follow through with great ideas and see them successfully applied. This is the fundamental reason why some people aren't as successful as they could be. 

In this ground-breaking book I will change all that for you. In each chapter, I lay out the process of preparing yourself to be a game-changer and show you how to take an idea from a budding concept to its complete form. Build confidence, become a game changer, exploit those fantastic ideas and become successful and financially secure. All you need is this book and those all-important ideas to get started. 


Excerpt: The Aha Moment: The Guide To Creating A Game Changer 


Imagine a world with zero ideas. No one ever came up with the idea of soap, computers, planes to travel. Better yet imagine a world where people had an ideas, but refuse to share them with the world. When you think about it ideas have made life easier. Planes help us travel across the world. Phones help us keep in contact with friends and family. Computers help us connect with the rest of the world. We would still be in the dark ages without great ideas. Everything begins as an idea. Ideas are very important to the shaping of society. They can transform the world. Most people have had at least one in their lifetime. What did you do about it? Probably nothing. We have been transformed into robots, or the perfect employee. In society,our basic way of thinking has been taken from us. Society is forcing us into a box so that we are satisfied by our lack of purpose. 

The world is looking for Game Changers, innovators and people who plan on turning it on its axis. They are looking for people who can think outside of the box because that's where true game changers are born. People who have a lasting legacy in our world are the ones who are not afraid to think outside the box. If it weren't for people thinking outside of the box: we wouldn't have cars, we wouldn't have computers and we wouldn't have smart phones. These very ideas you thought were crazy can change the world. 

It starts with your mind, and your ideas. Thinking outside of the box will set you apart from the rest of the world, it is what allows you to bring value to this world. The message is simple: don't just play the game, change the game. 


Purchase The Aha Moment: The Guide To Creating A Game Changer 

Nonfiction>Self-Help>Motivational>Business & Money>Job Hunting & Careers 
https://www.amazon.com/Aha-Moment-Guide-Creating-Changer/dp/1523409274  

About the Author
Cory The Author was born and raised in Atlanta Georgia. As a kid he had always dreamed of being a writer. At the tender age of 14 he read the 48 Laws of Power and The Art of War. Fascinated by strategy he wanted to write his very own book. After years of working in corporations he quit his job to become a full time author. Also Inspired by The Four Hour Work Week, and 33 Strategies of War he wrote the The Aha Moment: The Guide to Creating A Game Changer. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray 
by Dorothy Love

In a story spanning crude slave quarters, sunny schoolrooms, stately wedding parlors, and cramped birthing rooms, novelist Dorothy Love amplifies the astonishing true-life account of an extraordinary alliance and casts fresh light on the tumultuous years leading up to and through the wrenching battle for a nation’s soul. 

Mary Anna Custis Lee is a great granddaughter of Martha Washington, the wife of General Robert E Lee and heiress to Virginia's storied Arlington estate and General Washington's personal treasures.

Born in bondage at Arlington, Selina Norris Gray learns to read and write in the schoolroom Mary and her mother keep for the enslaved children and eventually becomes Mary's housekeeper, personal maid and trusted confidante. Forced to flee Arlington at the start of the civil war, Mary trusts the keys to Arlington to Selina. When Union troops begin looting the house, Selina confronts their commanding general and saves many of its treasures.

A classic American tale, Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray is the first novel to chronicle this beautiful fifty-year friendship forged at the crossroads of America’s journey from enslavement to emancipation.


Book Reviews for Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray


"Love succeeds [ in creating] a sympathetic portrait of these two women that both engages and educates the reader." —Publisher's Weekly

RT Book Reviews Top Pick
Based on letters and journals of Mary Anna Custis Lee, the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, the wife of General Robert E. Lee and the heiress to the Arlington House and all of General Washington’s personal belongings. The historical details are incredibly accurate; some of the facts are surprising to learn. Mrs. Lee was often misunderstood, and some believed her to be a spoiled only child who always wanted her way. She is portrayed as a loving, giving woman. Readers will appreciate the research the author did to create a beautifully written novel. This is the first ever book to chronicle the long relationship between these two women. Reviewed by Patsy Glans


Booklist Starred Review

“Love has effectively captured the complicated unbalanced relationship between these two women as each tells her story…Love’s keen attention to historical detail adds to its authenticity.” – Reviewed by Booklist


Excerpt: Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray by Dorothy Love


My dear Mary, I am very anxious about you. You have to move and make arrangements to get to some point of safety which you must select. The Mt Vernon plates and pictures ought to be secured. Keep quiet while you remain and in your preparations. War is inevitable and there is no telling when it will burst around you.

"Mother?" Agnes joined me in the parlor. "You are pale as milk. What is it?"

I handed her the letter. "Your father thinks we may be invaded."

Only three weeks earlier Robert, newly appointed to lead the Confederates in Virginia, kissed us in farewell and rode away from Arlington. Now he was preparing for the worst while I still prayed for some miracle to save us all from the coming carnage.

Agnes frowned. "What shall we do?"

"Pack up the Washington treasures as he directs. But I'm not certain we need to leave just yet."

"I read in the paper last week that some in the south are burying their treasures in their back yards," Agnes said.

I had stopped reading the papers, especially those from the North for they were full of hatred for my husband.

If Mr Custis could have lived until now he would have good cause to be bowed down in grief and sorrow to behold his son-in-law following in the footsteps of Benedict Arnold.

I penned a succinct reply to the Washington paper: I cannot conceive why Lincoln has assembled such an army if it is not his intention to crush the South. I have but one great consolation now, that my dear parents are both laid low in their graves, where but for my children I would gladly lie beside them.

"So will we bury the silver, Mother? The paintings and the plates? And where shall we go?"

I called for Selina. Together we filled two crates with our silver, our papers, and those of President Washington. Those I sent by rail to Robert for safekeeping. My books and engravings were locked into storage. Draperies and carpets, the Washington china and the punch bowl that had been used at my wedding were hidden in the cellar. My girls and I worked feverishly by day and lay down at night in rooms stripped bare save for our beds. I slept fitfully, knowing that sooner or later I must flee. Dreading the moment when I must take my daughters and make for safety on my own.

A few days later I was outside enjoying a rare moment of quiet among my flowers. The May morning had dawned warm and fair. The first roses had come into bloom and air around me was thick with their fragrance.

Markie's brother Orton Williams rode into the yard and began speaking before he dismounted. "Mary, the Union army is camped across the river. You are going to have to get out. Today if you can manage it."

I set Daniel and his son to packing up our trunks, some paintings and our housekeeping items. Daughter and Agnes went back and forth from the house to the wagons, loading their belongings. I was too busy and too frightened for emotion until Selina appeared with a bundle of clean linens.

"Here you are, Miss Mary. These are the ones scented with the lavender you're partial to."

My heart was so heavy and my nerves so frayed that my reserve crumbled.

Selina frowned. "Now you listen to me. You are just as well to dry those tears. We all got to be strong till this is over. Nothing we can do to change it so we have to get through it best we can."

"Missus?" Daniel looked worried. "If we don't get going soon we gone be half the night getting to Ravensworth and you told me yourself what your cousin said about soldiers camping in these parts."

Selina stood there with her hands on her hips, her eyes welling up. My own eyes burned. For thirty years Selina had been my great comfort. At times she had been my conscience. I wanted to do something to help her. Something to keep her safe.

Agnes returned with her tom snuggled securely in the crook of her arm. "I'm ready, Mama."

Selina said, "All right then. You planning to stand there till sundown or are you going to give me the keys?"

"What?"

"Well, somebody's got to look after Arlington till you get back."

Without another word I handed Selina the keys. Daniel helped me into the carriage. The reins snapped and the wheels turned, taking me into exile.

( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Dorothy Love. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Order Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray by Dorothy Love 

Women's Fiction > Biographical > Historical Fiction 
http://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Lee-Gray-Novel/dp/0718042441 

 

 

 

 


Walking on Thin Ice by Re'Gena Bell-Roberts

Re'Gena Bell-Roberts was featured on the Steve Harvey Show as one of the Harvey's Heroes!

Walking on Thin Ice, a memoir of love, hate, envy, and greed traces a young woman's pursuit of stardom down a dangerous road that leads to shattered dreams and a harrowing fate.

Re'Gena Bell-Roberts found herself staring down the barrel of a revolver, and a wave of disbelief rippled through her. An explosion blasted her into a nightmare. The room swirled slowly. Click––click. The sound reverberated each time as the shooter pulled the trigger. She realized this woman was trying to kill her! 

In Walking on Thin Ice, Re'Gena Bell-Roberts shares her riveting story against the backdrop of a childhood sexual molestation. She is one, among a few young girls from the small town of Pasco, Washington, who harbored dreams of fame, fortune, and a craving for the love of a powerful man.

After high school graduation, Re'Gena's life transforms. Despite myriad warnings, she falls for the charming Max Clayton, a thirty-three year old streetwise hustler who entices her into a dark underworld of illicit sex and drugs.

When Max betrays her, their life takes a fateful turn. The gripping saga explodes in the Mount Baker area of Seattle, Washington; and depicts Re'Gena's struggle to deal with a tragic life-changing event that threatens her very existence. But she fights back with unshakable strength, courage, and a will to survive.

5-STAR BOOK REVIEWS


By Brenda Bentley Parrrish 

This book is an awesome read. The determination and persistence of a woman with the willpower to begin productive and purposeful living after bad decision making based upon her love for a man almost cost her, her life. The story paints a picture of a beautiful woman of inner strength with her children giving her courage to become a champion. Her love for her man Max, consumed her very existence: mind, body, heart, soul and spirit. Finally she realized that she was starring in a role that was intended to be her final curtain call. After a near death experience she triumphant and find that God will sometime take you down a long winding road when he is teaching you a lesson to get you where he ordained you to be in this life. The story has several valleys and peaks and even a cliff. I am looking forward to the sequel. Great job ReGena Bell Roberts. Your bravery, persistence and determination are a powerful testimony to many who have fallen head over heels in love. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.

By Lionel Mitchell

This was a story that I could not put down. Re'Gena is so courageous to write her story. I pray that some young women will read it , so that they may not go down the same road. The words on those pages were so descriptive. Drawing you in and making you feel all the life in the story. There is love, laughter, and pain. As a first time author this story should be a best seller.

By Verlean Gladney 

This book made me laugh and cry. It made me happy, sad, angry and a host of other emotions. This book gave me strength and hope. Very well written and totally gripping. I could not put it down. A must read for all you ladies from any walk of life. This book could literally save your life. I thank the author for sharing her life with me. I can hardly wait for her next book!


The San Diego Union-Tribune Featured Story on Re'Gena Bell-Roberts

Re'Gena Bell-Roberts has a life story full of tragedy, pain and redemption. Confined to a wheelchair after she was shot at the age of 21 by a woman her fiance was seeing on the side, Roberts found a way to overcome her disability and, against considerable odds, create a nurturing and supportive environment in which to raise her triplets, who were just 2 years old at the time of the attack.

"You know, God gives you strength to do what you need to do," Roberts said.

These days Roberts, who was an aspiring actress when she was shot, and managed to do some stage work even after she was confined to her wheelchair, is working on her autobiography and hopes to one-day see her story on the big screen.

In the meantime, she will get a little time on the small screen. Roberts will be featured Wednesday on the Steve Harvey Show in a segment called Harvey's Heroes. Roberts' daughter, LyNea Bell, one of the triplets, nominated her mother for the recognition.

Bell, 40, works as a talent agent for Media Artists Group in Los Angeles.

"We never had an excuse," Bell said. "We couldn't have an excuse because the example was right there. So it made it a lot tougher. You couldn't cry, 'No, I can't.' It was, 'We have to.'"

The other triplets are Bell's two brothers -- McClain, an entrepreneur who lives not far from his mother in Southern California, and DeShae, who now lives in Seattle and is hoping to become a welder.

After she was shot in Seattle in 1974 while attending the University of Washington, Roberts briefly moved back home to Pasco, Wash., and in with her mother to rehabilitate from her injuries and get help with the children. But she quickly saw that was not going to be a long-term answer.

"My mother was working full-time and, you know, she'd (have to) get up all the time at night," Roberts said. "And I saw this painful look in her eyes, like it was killing her. She was tired. And I made a decision that I was moving."

Eventually, Roberts landed in Los Angeles, where her best friend from home, Cat Gibson, was living with one of Roberts' sisters. Roberts was able to support herself financially on money she was eligible for through the Washington state crime victims compensation program.

Still, she had to cook, clean and manage the triplets, whom she called little rascals.

"They were a handful," she said. "... plotting, doing what kids normally do."

Roberts is a quadriplegic, but has limited use of her hands.

As the kids got older she enlisted their help, teaching them how to put the coins in the machines at the laundromat, and help her with the folding. After she arranged for an automobile with hand controls, a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, she trained the kids to collapse the chair and pack it in the trunk.

"We had a whole system," Bell said.

Once the triplets got going in school, Roberts had more time on her hands and she went back to college, eventually graduating from UCLA with a history degree. Her mother came down from Washington to attend the ceremony.

"It was an accomplishment," Roberts said. "My mom was very happy. She wore my cap and gown after I took it off. She didn't graduate from high school. So she was very proud of me."

Roberts was the first in the family to graduate.

The second act of her life, which followed, featured a move back to Washington where she jumped into producing, taking part in community theater and putting on gospel showcases. For a few years, she produced and directed the local Martin Luther King Day events.

She and Gibson formed their own production company. Everything was fine, as long as Roberts wasn't part of a committee.

"I didn't have the time to sit around in meetings," she said.

But within a few years, that was exactly what she was doing. After moving the family to Seattle, she dove into government and politics, serving on the Governor's Committee for Disability Issues and Employment, and later as a member of the Seattle Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.

For Roberts, acting and producing were replaced by organizing and advocating, although she still performs occasionally under the stage name Re'Gena Bell.

"What goes on behind the scenes in the city, that just mesmerized me," she said.

She ran twice unsuccessfully for the Seattle City Council, on a platform of helping the disenfranchised.

Today, she sits in her comfortable, nicely appointed home in Murrieta, where she has lived with her husband since 2004, and muses about her bucket list. A hot air balloon ride is next up.

A new van would be nice, too. She lost her last one in an accident. The ever-resourceful Roberts is an entrant in an online contest to win just such a vehicle. Anyone interested in voting, can visit www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com.

Bell considers the full depth and breadth of her mother's story, and marvels.

"This is why she's my hero," Bell said. "This is why I wrote in (to the Steve Harvey Show), because I look at all the things of this world, and I look at how much that she's influenced our lives, and I am just so proud. And it's right in front of me every single day."


Original Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune Feature Story on Re'Gena Bell-Roberts


Photo credit: Regina Roberts of Murrieta was featured on the Steve Harvey Show in a segment called Harvey's Heroes. Behind her are her children: DeShae Bell, LyNea Bell, Steve Harvey and McClain Bell.  Courtesy photo — Steve Harvey ShowCourtesy photo


Order Walking on Thin Ice by Re'Gena Bell-Roberts
Download Link:  http://amzn.com/1491764759  
Genre:   True Story. Non-fiction. Memoir 

 

 

 

 


The Sisterhood: Book One 
(The Sisterhood Trilogy) 
by Nichol Bradford




The Sisterhood: Exploring mental freedom through fiction!

The Sisterhood tells the story of what becomes possible when intelligence and hope are channeled into an outrageous mission. Founded by Vivian Delacroix, The Sisterhood Foundation is a non-government organization funded by MSK Incorporated, a massive multinational built over decades by an organization of black women. The women invest billions into leading edge technology, pooling their profits into communities, schools, and treatment centers in the battle against Cocanol, a new and addictive drug.

The group is overwhelmingly successful until their progress is noticed by the Raptor, a ruthless enemy with pawns in the US government and ties to the Cocanol manufacturers and international power houses intent on controlling the world. As a first step in a war on the Sisterhood, Vivian is assassinated, triggering a Homeland Security investigation, a Senate inquiry, and a series of increasingly dangerous events.

To survive, the women, led by Chief Security Officer Tonia Rawlings, must fight against unseen forces. Battling across a public stage of media coverage and Wall Street, the women rush against all odds to outwit their foes—even as they execute the final stage of Vivian’s secret plan. 

As their enemies draw near, the women risk everything, testing the bonds of faith, marriage and friendship. Along the way, they discover awful truths, make strange alliances and learn why they are the most dangerous women the world has ever seen. Together, they put everything on the line—testing themselves and the limitations the world tries to place on them.


EXCERPT: CHAPTER 1


Friday, December 5th - 2:00 am

Sisterhood Headquarters - Middleburg, VA, outside Washington D.C.


Tonia Rawlings strode down the long, empty corridor. Her urgent steps made sharp echoes on the granite floor. Outside, her security team was assembled, awaiting her command. It seemed fitting that she was the last to leave…given what she was about to do. Tonia took one last look to sear the memory in place before stepping out into the night.

“Do it,” Tonia ordered.

Flames exploded through the windows, shattering glass across the grounds. They licked the sky in swaths of bright hungry reds, violent oranges and insatiable yellows. The fire jumped from building to building, laying waste to years of effort and thousands of sacrifices. “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” Tonia whispered.

Pamela Griffin turned. The mother in her heard a strange break in Tonia’s voice. Pamela shivered, feeling the severe night chill that found its way under collars and inside gloves. An acrid cutting smell of smoke filled the air. She stole another glance at Tonia but could read nothing from the woman at her side. How awful it must be to give tonight’s order, to destroy something loved, even to preserve something valued. But, following Vivian Delacroix’s lead had always meant sacrifice. No one was exempt.

Pamela touched her lightly on the arm. “Tonia, it was planned.”

“Yes, it was,” she nodded without turning. The last thing Tonia needed right now was direct eye contact with Vivian’s first recruit. Architects had created the exterior of the Sisterhood’s headquarters, but Tonia was the one who massaged the plans to meet their unique need – a fortress, destructible from within but impregnable from without. 

Was it really so long ago that she and Vivian had found the site? Tonia remembered how Vivian had jumped out of the car and sprinted, laughing, across the property. Tonia ran right behind her, eyes trained on the tree line for enemies, ever Vivian’s protector. Vivian stopped, spun around, her arms held high. Her eyes sparkled with destiny. “Here, Tonia. Can’t you see? This, this, is where we will gather our strength.”

They had laughed then, in the exact spot where Tonia now stood. Every computer system in the Sisterhood’s vast holdings updated to servers in a manmade cavern beneath her feet. Their entire history, recorded in bits and bytes, was a maze of money and covert investments. One explosion would obscure hundreds of millions of dollars in assets as well as their research, the research that had likely brought disaster to their door. 

“Move out,” Tonia bellowed, her voice returning to its normal boom. The women, jolted into action, leaped into their Jeeps. They divided into pairs and raced away. Any law enforcement officer worth his badge would take one look at their expressions, unblinking eyes, bodies rippling with strength, and become suspicious. The women were not assassins or Marines, but they sure as hell looked the part. They were more than capable of protecting their own; after all, they were their Sister’s Keepers. 


( Continued... )

© Reprint 2015. All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Nichol Bradford. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. 


Download The Sisterhood: Book One 

Amazon Link:  http://amzn.com/B006IMLCRE
Afro-futurism, African American Fiction; Mystery; Thriller & Suspense




About the Author

Nichol Bradford, CEO/Founder, Willow.  Nichol Bradford is fascinated by human potential, and has always been interested in how technology can help individuals expand beyond their perceived mental limits to develop and transform themselves to the highest level. She spent the last decade exploring these ideas in the online game industry, serving as a senior executive with responsibility for strategy, operations and marketing for major brands that include: Activision/Blizzard, Disney, and Vivendi.

Most recently she managed the operations of Blizzard properties, including World of Warcraft, in China. Now, as the CEO of the Willow Group, Nichol is applying same skills to the realm of elevating psychological well-being. Willow is a transformative technology company focused on employing rigorous scientific research to develop training protocols, hardware and software that can produce a reliable and positive change in the human experience.

Nichol has an MBA from Wharton School of Business in Strategy, and a BBA in Marketing from the University of Houston. She is a fellow of the British American Project, currently serves on the board of the Brandon Marshall Foundation for Mental Health, and is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of The Sisterhood, and an amatuer boxer.

Website: http://www.nicholbradford.com  
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholbradford 
Ebook: http://www.amazon.com/The-Sisterhood-Book-One-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B006IMLCRE 

 

 

 

 


Introducing the Black Bird Detective Series by Sage

When you begin to read Assumptions Abound you step inside of the book and journey along with the characters. Assumptions Abound will keep you on the edge of your seat as you ride every twist and turn.

Assumptions Abound is a murder mystery, thriller and thought-provoking novel combined into one. This novel is told through the words of Monét Worthington.  Monét is a naïve girl with a tumultuous past and a troublesome childhood. Subjected to rape, mental and physical abuse, Monét is terrified to think about her future. Her terror continues as she finds herself running for her life! Lucky for Monét she has Victoria to protect her. Victoria loves Monét and she is willing to do anything for her, including commit murder. Only Monét has no idea that Victoria exists.

Monét tells her life story as her loved ones and those around her are brutally murdered. The plot twists and turns as the murder investigations ensue. This psychological thriller has all of the key ingredients to create an explosive literary masterpiece.

Detective Nina Kelsey is also introduced in this series. Detective Kelsey is not who she appears to be. A complex person with her own dark past, Detective Kelsey is always searching for more. She is determined to solve the Cold Creek murders before another life is lost.

Fireworks will ignite when Detective Kelsey and Monét Worthington meet and someone ends up dead.

Through this story, the Black Bird Detective Series is born. Assumptions Abound is the first book in the Black Bird Detective Trilogy. This series features characters from Assumptions Abound, including Raven Carter. Raven is a young African-American detective determined to solve murders in the small town of Cold Creek.  As she solves mysteries, she also works to uncover the truth about her past. The trilogy continues with Seeking Truth and Sweet Revenge.


Assumptions Abound by Sage

Assumptions Abound is a murder mystery, thriller and thought-provoking novel combined into one. This novel is told through the words of Monét Worthington. Raised by her father and stepmother during a difficult part of their marriage, Monét is on a mission to find true love and answers. Monét is a naïve girl with a tumultuous past and a troublesome childhood. Subjected to rape, mental and physical abuse, Monét is terrified to think about her future. Her terror continues as she finds herself running for her life! 

Lucky for Monét she has Victoria to protect her. Victoria loves Monét and she is willing to do anything for her, including commit murder. Only Monét has no idea that Victoria exists.  Monét tells her life story as her loved ones and those around her are brutally murdered. The plot twists and turns as the murder investigations ensue.

Enter Detective Kelsey. Someone is murdering the citizens of Cold Creek County and Detective Nina Kelsey is determined to find out whom. Lonely and running from a haunting past, she finds solace in her work. She has pledged to solve this mystery at all costs.

Will her life be the ultimate price?


Prologue


The darkness enveloped my room as I lay in bed with my eyes shut tightly and my arms wrapped across my chest. My heart beat steadily and rapidly against my chest. I said a silent prayer that tonight would be different, but I knew in my heart that tonight would be like so many other nights before it.

When I heard his footsteps in the distance I closed my eyes tightly and prayed that he would walk by my room. He quietly opened the door and pried the covers away from me. He lay in the bed next to me and I cried as another night passed by without an answer to my prayer. I decided that if I wanted to get away from him, I would have to take matters into my own hands.

He kissed my cheek and whispered “good night” in my ear. I didn’t respond. I was hoping that he would die right there. He didn’t care about me. My thoughts were swirling around in my head. I realized that nobody could save me from this monster. Then suddenly I heard a voice.

The voice whispered in the darkness, “You must do it. Who else will protect you, but you?” I listened to the voice. “Have you ever killed anyone?” said the voice. “No!” I responded. I was only seven years old. I knew nothing about death. I thought to myself. The voice heard my thoughts. “True you are only seven, but we can show them that it doesn’t matter how old you are. You can still make a difference.” The voice calmly replied.

And so it began… 

Have you ever killed anyone? I have and I must say it is the most exhilarating experience in the world. If I had to quantify it I would say that committing a murder is more exhilarating than sky diving, surfing or skiing down a hill at top speed. There is something powerful about watching the life leave a person’s body and hearing them take their last breath.

The first person I killed was my mother’s boyfriend Luciano. He was a handsome Italian man with dark hair and dark brown eyes. I remember everything about him. He would touch me in my special place, even after I told him that he shouldn’t. He took advantage of me and I promised myself that I would never let another person take advantage of me again.

I took a knife out of the drawer in the kitchen and hid it under my pillow. I knew that once my mother fell asleep, he would creep into my room and that particular night I was ready for him. I pretended like I was sleeping when he slowly opened the door and walked into my room. I felt him climb into the bed behind me and snuggle close to my back. I felt his breath on my neck. When he reached around to take my nightgown off of me, I grabbed the knife. Before he could react, I shoved the kitchen knife into his throat.

I still remember the look on his face. His eyes bulged out of his head and he grasped at his throat trying to stop the blood. My heart was beating so fast and I felt a rush of pure adrenaline. I watched him closely as he struggled to breathe. I put my ear close to his face; smelling the metallic scent of his blood and listening to him mumble inaudible words.

I watched intently as his chest rose and fell for the last time. As I watched the life leave his body, I knew that this could not be the end.

Luciano died that cold rainy night, he was the first person to meet the real me. Luciano met Victoria as his life slowly crept away from his body. 

( Continued... )

© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sage. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Order Book 1: Assumptions Abound (Black Bird Detective Series) 

Link: http://amzn.com/B00642W77M 




Seeking Truth by Sage

The characters from Assumptions Abound are all grown up and searching for answers. Detective Raven Carter is on a quest. For years her mother lied to her about her past and now that her mother is dead, Raven wants to know the truth. 

Joel knows that his past is riddled with secrets, whispers and lies, but wait until he finds out that it also involves murder. Joel and Raven are engaged and planning their future together. Little do they neither past will be the ultimate deciding factor for their future. 

Meet Raymond Thomas, the Superintendent of Cold Creek Public Schools. As the Superintendent of a large school district, Raymond has alot to prove. When his employees are systemically murdered, Raymond may have more to prove than he could ever imagine.

Order Book 2: Seeking Truth by Sage

Link: http://amzn.com/B008D2ZARA 





Sweet Revenge by Sage
A high profile murder sets Raven on a wild goose chase to find the killer. Her boss is pressuring her to handle the case and he is personally involving himself. Raven must be careful; as she chases the next criminal, someone is chasing her. She hasn’t forgotten about her estranged husband. He is the love of her life, only problem…he wants her dead, or does he? 

The wealthy son of a local socialite and businessman are adding to Raven’s headache. He is demanding answers that Raven does not have. When the case heats up, Raven may end up burned.  Raymond is back with an ax to grind. He has enacted a plan to take down those who damaged his reputation, stole his money and ruined his life. Will he succeed? 

Everyone is out for revenge….but as the saying goes, Revenge is a dish best served fast and cold!

Order Book 3: Sweet Revenge 
Link: http://amzn.com/B012P17C1Q 





The Butterfly: A Novel by Sage

Meet the Butterfly, sexy, intelligent and lethal but severely lacking in self-esteem. With nothing to lose and everything to gain she is on a journey. A journey to make everyone who hurt her, pay. As confident as she is about her journey, there is one thing that she never considered. Will that thing be her ultimate destruction? 

Order Book 4:  The Butterfly: A Novel by Sage
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 
Black Bird Detective Series
Link: http://amzn.com/1522738673 

 

 

 

 

 


Intoxicated by Ally Fleming 
aka AlTonya Washington

Motivated by desperation, Etienne Shaw and her three friends make a decision one night that will shape their destinies and haunt their futures. For Etienne, it was the night she believes she became a monster. Whether the monster was simply conjured in a moment of terror or had been brewing inside her for years, was a question with the power to incapacitate her. Then, she meets Mercuri Nikolaides, a man with the power… to intoxicate her. 

For Mercuri and his friends, the desperate act of four women sets the stage they will use to disentangle themselves from a sinister group they’ve bled and killed for longer than they can stomach remembering. Meeting Etienne was a potent surprise and Mercuri doesn’t know what to make of the waif-like beauty or her ability to lay waste to the fortress he’s constructed around his emotions and his desires for anything beyond the vast material success of his life. 

Now, Etienne’s and Mercuri’s worlds passionately collide as their enemies return. Vengeance however, is not the endgame. More is sought and; in the midst of its pursuit, the innocent and the guilty alike will be crushed. 


Excerpt: Intoxicated by Ally Fleming 

Interracial (BWWM) Romantic Suspense Thriller


Who could resist staring into eyes like that? They were deeply set and intense, but it was the color that gave her pause. Brilliantly gold; with rich brown flecks that were bolder given the vibrancy of the gold, the combination was a striking one. If she didn’t know better, Tee would have sworn she was staring into the eyes of a feline- a colossal, predatory feline.

“They’re mine,” a quiet sigh colored Mercuri’s words as though he’d guessed and wasn’t at all surprised by her preoccupation with his eyes.

She smiled. “I didn’t doubt it,” Tee was pleased to hear that her voice had regained its cool, steady flow.

“They make some people nervous,” he said.

Tee was sure the eyes were only partly to blame when pitted against the total package. He was speaking again before she could come up with a response.

“Mercuri Nikolaides.” 

Again, Tee smiled. “I’m going to have to get you to write that one down.”

“Yeah, it’s a mouthful.”

“I bet,” she winced the second the words tripped off her tongue. Losing your composure over a gorgeous man is something you haven’t done in years, she reminded herself.

Mercuri’s mouth, a wide undeniably sensual curve, twitched on the cusp of a smile. He resisted grinning outright over the words he was sure she hadn’t intended to utter- not out loud anyway.

“This is uh- some place,” he half gestured to the Brassels’ living room instead. “Impressive,” he added with a curious smile. “So how’d you get into… Jeez, what’s it called?” He only pretended to hunt for the name. “Oh yeah- modifying?”

Tee laughed, enjoying the feel of the gesture she rarely indulged in away from her girlfriends. “I’m not really sure where that term came from,” she said.

Mercuri sighed again. “Rich people,” he grinned when she laughed again.

“What I really do is interior design for corporations.”

Mercuri nodded, slipped a hand into a deep side pocket along his dark trousers. “I think our hosts mentioned that,” he said.

“Well the thing about design is in the way each designer envisions the space and how well that vision compliments the clients.” Absently, she smoothed a hand over the snug sleeves of the creamy powder blue frock that adored her curves.

“Basically, I reimagine spaces,” she explained, as her brow quirked. “People like how my mind works. Sadly, most people spend so much time regarding the overall picture, they miss the little things- small touches that make a place sing.”

“Like what?” Mercuri stepped in a fraction. Casually, he propped an elbow to the oak railing that sectioned off the staircase landing from the living room. While part of him wanted her answer, a larger part just wanted to listen to her speak- to observe her petite frame and exquisite face as she did so.

“Well there’re all sorts of little things one can do to add warmth to a space,” Tee went on. She was in her element as she spoke of her craft and therefore unaware of how intently she was being studied. “It matters very little what the space is used for.”

“A boxing gym?” Mercuri smiled when he saw hers engage.

“Okay…” Tee’s luminous ebony gaze twinkled with amusement as she scanned the milling crowd before looking back to Mercuri.

“If it’s important for someone to make their gym warm and inviting, they could easily add touches such as comfy lounging chairs and plants… but in a place like that you’d prefer subtlety. Leave the chairs and plants to the lobby- if it’s a professional gym. For the actual space, minute additions can make bold impressions on the overall appeal. Something as small as having an outlet concealer for a light fixture decorated with the image of a small pair of boxing gloves or having the weight racks painted to match the gym’s overall color scheme.”

“And you could paint the little gloves on the sides of the racks,” Mercuri supplied, grinning anew when Tee laughed.

“Now you’re getting it!” She cheered. “I’ve never done an actual gym, but if the chance comes my way, I’ll be sure to get your permission before I use your idea.”

“It’s all yours,” Mercuri waved a hand. “So how’d you go from conference rooms for corporations to interior design for homeowners?”

“Well, I only got into that part by accident. A friend of mine bought this big, over-the-top place out in Malibu. Just to say she had it, you know?”

“I know the type,” Mercuri thought of Pope.

“It was a gorgeous place, but it wasn’t a home. I griped so much, she finally told me to do something about it. I did and had a great time in the process.”

“So you spend a lot of time in Malibu?”

“Well I live in San Francisco, so…”

“No kidding?” Surprise pooled his vivid eyes. “I’m in Sonoma County- near Kenwood.”

Laughter reflected her surprise as well. “Small world,” she said.

“Yeah,” Mercuri took another patient appraisal of her small, curvy body and then straightened. “I should let you go. It was nice meeting you and I’ll call if I’m ever in the market for a modification.”

“Sounds good.” She gave him a winning smile as she turned to head back up the staircase. “Goodnight Mr. Nikolaides,” she called.

“Ms. Shaw,” Mercuri watched until she was gone from his sight.


( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Ally Fleming. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Download Intoxicated: Novel on Amazon

Author: Ally Fleming aka AlTonya Washington
Interracial (BWWM) Romantic Suspense Thriller
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GQWIYT4 


About the Author

Ally Fleming’s world is one where the imagination is fueled by the suspense of fiction, the allure of romance, the depravity of villains and the potency of those who oppose them. Her work is influenced by an infatuation with powerful heroes, irresistible heroines, gritty story-lines, intriguing villains and the heat those forces generate.

She’s an award-winning author, with over 14 years in the business. Her writing creds span the historical and contemporary romance genres as well as contemporary and paranormal YA. She also dabbles in erotica. Ally Fleming is her pen-name for interracial (BWWM) suspense fiction. She’s more widely known as AlTonya Washington. 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ramseysgirl 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/altonyaw 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/novelally/  
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/337210.AlTonya_Washington 


 

 

 


The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

Will a forty-year-old woman with everything on the line her high-stakes career, ticking biological clock, bank account risk it all for an intensely lusty secret romance with the one person who could destroy her comeback, for good?

Jenna Jones, former It-girl fashion editor, is broke and desperate for a second chance. When she s dumped by her longtime fiancé and fired from Darling magazine, she begs for a job from her old arch nemesis, Darcy Vale. The beyond-bitchy publisher of StyleZine.com, Darcy agrees to hire her rival only because her fashion site needs a jolt from Jenna s old school cred. But Jenna soon realizes she s in over her head. She s working with digital-savvy millennials half her age, has never even Twittered, and pretends to still be a Fashion Somebody while living a style lie (she sold her designer wardrobe to afford her sketched-out studio, and now quietly wears Walmart's finest).

Worse? The twenty-two-year-old videographer assigned to shoot her web series is driving her crazy. Wildly sexy with a smile Jenna feels in her thighs, Eric Combs is way off-limits but almost too delicious too resist.

Written by the bestselling author of The Accidental Diva, The Perfect Find is a scandalously sexy, laugh-out-loud funny, utterly quotable saga about star-crossed love and starting over.


Reviews for The Perfect Find 


“A page-turner that’s epically witty, juicy and irresistible. What a perfect, fresh take on the high stakes that come when we fall, pick ourselves back up, and step unsurely into the future. It doesn’t get more real than this.”
— Denene Millner, New York Times bestselling co-author of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man 

“The Perfect Find is a deliciously good time!”
– Nicola Kraus, co-author of the national bestselling The Nanny Diaries

“A saucy, cutting-edge love story amidst the backdrop of the New York City fashion world, with delicious dialogue that rang in my ears and screamed ‘real deal.’ Refreshing and engaging with a cast of characters that stayed with me long after the last page had been turned.” 
— Sadeqa Johnson, author of Second House From the Corner 

"The Perfect Find is a fun romp through the world of new media fashion reporting. Tia Williams writes with juicy, behind-the-scenes details that let us know she’s been there and survived. Mixed with a generous dash of rivalry, love – both lost and crazy – it is a yummy cocktail. Cheers!"
— Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, authors of Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made

“The story of 40-year-old former It girl Jenna Jones stumbling upon that giddy kind of passion will have you longing for someone to sext — even if you haven’t sexted since 2008. Equal parts heartwarming and electrifying, when you really get into The Perfect Find, make sure you have a fan ready.”
— Helena Andrews-Dyer, columnist and author of Bitch is the New Black

 

Excerpt from The Perfect Find by Tia Williams


CHAPTER 3

The Refectory had once been a dorm for monks, and looked it. Elodie had taken advantage of the gothic, cathedral-esque space by going for an “Eyes Wide Shut” vibe with the decor. Billowing, sheer white curtains sectioned off six separate areas – each with its own bar. Crimson candles dripped on to every surface, massive gold chandeliers hung from the arched ceilings; and overstuffed purple velvet chaises were arranged in darkened, sexy corners. As was custom with any event where models were the centerpiece, there were men everywhere.

The book party’s crowd was a sampling from every scene, a perfect storm of NYC nightlife. The Weeknd and Drake were blaring – but no one was dancing, except for the guest of honor’s fellow Victoria’s Secret models (who
had allowed their lingerie to be used for the canine portraits in the gauche photography book everyone was celebrating). Posed in clusters throughout were their boy-model counterparts, dressed in lumberjack shirts and reeking of Parliaments and Bushwick boredom. Holding court at the bar were the Suits, who kept the scene going by financing most of Elodie’s celebrity pet projects.

Hovering above the crowd was a handful of NBA and NFL stars, who were a must at these things, because both the models and the Suits appreciated them. And then there were a few chic hookers (these were for the Suits too charmless to score a model). Weaving throughout were bespectacled, indie-cute journalists on the arts/lifestyle beat, and young fashion girls, who were as sexy as the models, but short and poor. Jenna hadn’t been in the room for two seconds before her best friend grabbed her arm.

“I found you a man,” said Elodie, who’d spent the last twenty minutes shirking her event-planning duties to play matchmaker for Jenna. “All I know is he went to Yale and he’s a radiologist. He’s walking toward us now.”

“Wait! I’m not ready…”

“You haven’t had sex since the Bush administration. You’re ready.” She shoved a glass of champagne at Jenna.

“Dialo Banin! This is Jenna Jones. Jenna, this good man has been dying to meet you. Talk amongst yourselves, while I go bounce a few VH1 reality show whores.”  With that rushed introduction, Elodie dashed off into the crowd. Dialo stood in front of Jenna, affixing her with a brilliant white smile. He was wearing an achingly expensive suit, a tangerine day scarf arranged just so, and aviators. Indoors. At night.

“So…what were your other two wishes?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Where’s your sense of humor, hon?” he asked, smiling. “It was an icebreaker.”

“Oh! Well, ice broken.” Coming from this man, with his florid accent, in that getup, the “wishes” line sounded like a come-on that Truman Capote would’ve delivered at a dude disco in Vegas.

“Would you like to sit down?”

“I’d love to,” she said, making a mental note to destroy Elodie for this. Dialo touched her elbow and led her over to an itty-bitty reserved cocktail table flanked by two high-backed, wrought iron chairs. He sat back in his chair, stretching out his legs. There was now no room for her under the table, so she wrapped her ankles around her chair legs, like a schoolgirl. Nervous, she folded her hands in her lap, and then accidentally lasered-in on Dialo’s burgundy velvet YSL slippers. Jenna understood exactly who Dialo was. He was one of those fake-flashy Euro neo-dandies who hung “WC” signs on the bathroom doors in their Murray Hill rentals.

“I have to admit, I’m not a book enthusiast. But I’m glad I came,” he said, stroking his chin. “You’re lucky to be here.”

“I know, it’s a great party.”

“No, I mean you’re lucky to be here. With me. I don’t usually date black women. But when I Googled you on my phone, I had to make an exception.”

“Huh. But you’re black. Why don’t you…” She stopped talking, because she noticed that Dialo wasn’t even looking at her. He peered over her shoulder. She darted her eyes in that direction, and saw a group of twenty-year-olds in tiny dresses – the knockoff version of hers.

An hour before, Jenna had felt a degree of excitement while getting dressed for her first night out since returning to New York. She’d almost felt like a dewy-eyed recent college grad, heading out for a naughty night of club-hopping
and hopefully getting pawed by a baby Leo DiCaprio in VIP. But her options were no longer limitless. She was decades older, and being ignored by a fancypants douche she wasn’t even attracted to.

“I’m black,” he continued, “but not American black like you. I’m from Ghana via London. And relax, I just find white women to be more easygoing.”

“Ohhh, you’re one of those.” Jenna swirled her straw in her drink, trying to figure out how to lose this bozo. “But I’m clearly black, so why are you here?”

“I do enjoy some biracial women, which is what I figured you were from your pictures. So you get a pass, love.” He cackled.

“Nope, not biracial. I’m one hundred percent all-American black. So black that my middle name is Keisha.”

Dialo grimaced. “Anyway, when I found out you used to be a famous fashion editor, I was impressed. I have a superb publicist, should you need one. He’s so stylish. He hooked me up with this Matthew Williamson scarf.”

“That’s a woman’s piece, you know.”

“But it works with a strong seamed jacket.”

“Indeed.” Jenna vowed to kill Elodie. “So, should a radiologist have a publicist? Isn’t that breaking some sort of Hippocratic oath?”

“I mostly have A-list clients, so…” he trailed off. “I must say, you look just like a girl I went to Yale with. But surely you’re a good ten years younger than me, little lady.”

Jenna grinned, deciding to mess with him a little. “Doubt it. I’m forty-five.” She added on five years, just to watch his head explode. “How old are you?”

“Forty-five? I’m forty-three!”

“So, we’re contemporaries.”

“But I thought…wow, forty-five? I wouldn’t have guessed.” His entire body language changed. He shook his head, as if rejecting the entire notion. And then actually looked at his watch. 

She signaled a waitress. “Sweetie, could we get some napkins?”

“Why do you need napkins?” Then Dialo lowered his voice and asked Jenna, “Am I making you wet?”

Jenna finished the rest of her champagne and then stood up, slowly rearranging her dress. As she did, she allowed her bag to tip the remaining splash of his cocktail onto one of his velvet slippers. As Dialo squealed like Babe, she hurried away, grabbing two glasses of champagne from a cater waiter’s tray. He was vile. But the worst part? He
wasn’t at all unique. He was the classic New York mover-and-shaker. A doctor with a publicist. Straight, but so fey you could smell the Kiehl’s eye cream.

Jenna stormed through the party, looking everywhere for Elodie. Since she was nowhere to be found, she planted herself next to a bar and downed both glasses. Just then a group of guys swept by her, all Suits. She’d known them
peripherally for years – and tonight, they were surrounded by six hotties in their twenties (in outfits Jenna would later describe as being a cross between “Atlanta Prom” and “Who Gives a Fuck”). The guys gave Jenna air-kisses, and the May-December group went on their way.

“What is this?” she murmured out loud to no one, shaking her head in frustration. The room swayed a little bit. Steadying herself by grabbing the edge of the bar, she asked the willowy bartender, “If you have a Brazilian and no one sees it, does it exist? You know, like the tree in the forest thing?”

The girl giggled. “What’s wrong, doll?”

“Can I get another glass of Prosecco?” The chick slid her one, Jenna’s fourth, and she threw it back. She was well on the road to sloshed. “What’s up with the twenty-year-old girls? These men are my age. The guys get older, the
girls get younger, and where does that leave me? I was with one man my whole life. I’m forty and basically dating for the first time. I have no idea how to naviglate… nafligate…navigate this world.”

Finishing her drink, she saw one of her Suit friends catch her eye and then point at his model’s ass behind her back. He leered. Jenna shot him her middle finger. “Honey,” said the waitress, “why don’t you go sit down for a little bit?”

“Speshtacular idea.” Jenna spotted an empty chaise in a dark corner, half-hidden by one of the swaying curtains. She managed to weave her way through the crowd and plunk herself down on the little couch. She must’ve dozed off, because the next thing she knew, someone tapped her shoulder.

“You okay?’

Jenna sat up straight, jerking her head up so fast that her hair got caught in her lip gloss. A man sat next to her. A kid, really -- he looked barely out of his teens, wearing Jordans, distressed jeans and a black tee that shouted “Blame Society” in red typeface. A busy swirl of tattoos erupted from his shirtsleeve and covered his arm, stopping at his wrist. His look was effortlessly crisp, in a Red Hook hipster-meets-hip hop way. Lanky and tall with I-play-basketball-allweekend biceps, he looked like a person who was well aware that he was, by far, the coolest sophomore at NYU.

He eyed her with furrowed concentration. “You okay?” he repeated.

“Yes! I’m fine. I’m great great great.”

“Yeah, you sound it.” He smiled. “How many drinks?”

“Four. No, five. Are you as drunk as me?”

He nodded, lifting up his glass. “And high. On too many things.”

“But you’re like, eighteen. Are you even legal? What are you doing here?”

“I’m twenty-two! I have a seriously elite college degree from USC Film School.”

“USC Film? Color me impressed! If I wasn’t in fashion, I’d be in film. In high school, I thought about being a film historian, but my mother was like, what the hell is a film historian, so I never…” Aware that she was rambling, she
stopped herself. “She has a very strong personality. Anyway, that’s fantastic.”

“Not even. None of us can get jobs. The acceptance rate at USC Film is lower than Harvard Law. We worked our asses off for no reason. I’m here to pick up my boy, one of the waiters. Yo, this guy’s one of the illest cinematographers of my generation, and he’s serving moscato to a Basketball Wife.”

“Yikes, Elodie’s gonna be furious. She didn’t want any reality people in here.”

“They’re here. I was just over in the fake butt section.” He shuddered. “I haaate plastic surgery. Hard, balloon breasts. And what’s that thing women do when they suck the fat out of their thighs?”

“Liposuction.”

“Terrible. I like for women to have…” He paused, making grabby gestures in the air. “Smush.”

Jenna got comfy, curling up against the back of the couch. “I’ve always wanted smush, but I’m too skinny. I’ve had curve-envy my whole life.”

“You have smush somewhere. Besides, you’re not skinny, you’re…svelte. Sinuous.”

“You like S words.”

“Yeah, I had a lisp in kindergarten, so I like to stunt with my superior “S’ game.”

“Awww!”

“I’m cutting myself off.” He put his glass down on the cocktail table, shaking his head. “The lisp? Information not to disclose upon meeting a staggeringly pretty girl.”

“You think I’m staggeringly pretty?”

He nodded. “Absolutely. You’re, like, next-level fancy. Incapable of having a tacky moment. I was just at a party with girls filming twerk videos on Vine, so I can say this with authority.”

“Twerk videos on Vine?” Jenna paused, and then frowned. “Actually, I don’t even know what or where Vine is.”

“You’ve never heard of Vine?”

She shrugged apologetically. “I’ve been away.”

“See? I feel like you’re a different breed of woman. Like you’re from a planet of angelic goddesses who are, like, made of the sugary oozy stuff inside Cadbury eggs and speak in Ezra Pound stanzas. And own tiny condos inside of
rainbows.”

Jenna’s mouth opened, and then she howled with unselfconscious laughter. “I’m what? You’re so weird!”

“I know,” he said, looking bashful. “I read too much science fiction.”

“So do I. And weird is good. I love it.”

“As long as you love it,” he said. And then he grinned at her. Jenna’s heart almost stopped. His smile tore through her like lightening. She felt it in her thighs. Jesus, that mouth. Those puffy, bitable lips…

“You know what else you look like?”

“Tell me,” she said.

He folded his arms across his chest and studied her, long and indulgently. Jenna’s stomach flip-flopped – she was mesmerized. His eyes were arresting, almond-shaped and beyond black, like ink dipped in water. God, he was
beautiful. Finally, his mouth curled into a secret smile, and Jenna smiled back, and then they were two strangers smiling giddily at each other, for no reason.

“You look like you need to be kissed. Badly.”

“How could you tell?”

“’Cause you’re staring at my mouth with laser-like focus.”

“Cocky.”

“Self-aware.”

“Well, it’s true. Your mouth is really…good.” Was it the alcohol, or was he the most fuckable person she’d ever seen? Jenna bit her bottom lip, her mind racing. She could feel her cheeks getting hot. She wanted to rip this kid’s clothes off. Was she drunk enough to do this?

“Do you want to kiss me?” she asked.

“Is that rhetorical?”

She shook her head, scooting a bit closer to him.

“If you knew what I wanted to do,” he said, “you’d call security.”

“Kiss me, then. We’re both wasted. That means we won’t muh-member…I mean, remember any of this tomorrow.”

Oh, I’ll muh-member.”

They both peered over the back of the couch to see how conspicuous they were. They were facing a corner, and the almost-sheer panel billowing from the ceiling was half-shielding them. Everyone was busy doing whatever people do
at parties for dog books. Plus, it was really dark.

“No one’s looking,” she said. “So give me your best kiss. Your A-plus kiss.”

“I’ll give you the B-plus one. ‘Cause I’m a gentleman.”

“Lana Turner said a gentleman is a patient wolf,” she whispered, tipping her face up to his.

“Lana Turner was correct.” He leaned in, his lips almost touching hers.

“So…now?”

“Now.”

He brushed his lips across hers, barely grazing her. A thousand tingles shot through her body. He kissed her again, his lips soft, but firm. Then things got serious. He slid his hand into her hair, angled his mouth over hers and kissed
her deeply, languidly. A moan escaped her lips – she was totally caught off guard by how electric it felt. He pinned her against the chaise, tonguing her mouth with such sensuous rawness, it was like he was inside of her – and it was so achingly good that she forgot where she was, hiking her leg up around his waist, the hem of her dress sliding all the way to her hips. Holding her still by her hair, he kept at it, unraveling her, all giving, no taking – so that all she could do was grip his sides and drown – until an unimpressed waiter bumped into Jenna while collecting their drinks. Jolted, they drew apart and just looked at each other. Stunned.

“Your turn,” he said, his fist still tangled in her hair. “I want your B-plus.”

“I’ll give you my B,” she murmured. “I don’t want to destroy you.”

“Cocky.”

“Self-aware.”

Jenna pushed him back and climbed onto his lap, straddling him. Holding the top of the couch for balance, she kissed him with total voraciousness, letting loose all the lust and sexual frustration she’d had for years. He matched her intensity, bruising her lips with his and gripping her where her ass met her thighs.

“Smush,” he growled into her mouth. “Told you.”

“I…I can’t believe I’m making out in the middle of a party,” said Jenna, breaking their kiss. “I’m too old for this, we have to stop!”

“Yeah, definitely,” he said, planting hot, open-mouthed kisses down her neck.

“I swear to God,” she panted, “I think I love you.”

“I know I love you,” he murmured against her throat. Then, he looked up at her. “Wait, what’s your name?”

“Jenna Jones!”

They both looked up in surprise at Elodie and her intern, Misty, who was struggling not to laugh. They tore away from each other, landing on opposites sides of the couch.


(Want more? Order your copy today!!)



Check out Tia's Amazon Author Page
http://www.amazon.com/Tia-Williams/e/B001IR1Q1G 


Meet the Author
Tia Williams
is the ultimate style insider. For fifteen years, she was a magazine beauty editor (at Elle, Lucky, Glamour, Teen People, and Essence.com), and created one of the first style blogs, the award-winning Shake Your Beauty. She’s the best-selling author of The Accidental Diva and the It Chicks series, and co-writer of Iman’s The Beauty of Color. Currently a copy director at Estee Lauder Companies, Tia lives in Brooklyn with her 7-year-old diva daughter and their various accessories.

Follow Tia for chit-chat, beauty babble, and book updates:

· Twitter: @ShakeYourBeauty
· Facebook: Tia Williams
· Instagram: @ShakeYourBeauty
· Blog: http://www.shakeyourbeauty.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 


When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine 
by Tumika Patrice Cain 

Have you ever been in love? Has your path ever crossed with someone that caused every cell in your body to wake up and take notice?  Meet Jacquie & Michael!  Share their love, the journey, in When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine.  It is a story of hope, accepting love, embracing one’s personal truths, and making no apologies for it. 

Jacquie remembered a time when she was once a tender, caring, hopeless romantic. But happily-ever-after’s and once-upon-a-time fairytales, proved over time to be just that – fairytales. After what she feels has been “a lifetime” of true love eluding her, she loses all hope, resigning to live a single (and loveless) existence. As time passes, she shifts her focus, choosing to concentrate on her career and makes the best of it…alone.

Gorgeous, artsy and charismatic was the man who Jacquie’s eyes fell upon, causing her heart to beat in a rhythm she’d forgotten existed. Michael was more than enough man to make her lose herself inside dreams of a future interwoven with the very fabric of all that defined the beauty of being in love.

But just like in fairytales, there’s always something out of place. For alas, this knight in chocolate armor, was twelve years her junior – an age gap that defined a cultural difference and a major problem for Jacquie’s overbearing mother. Will pressure from family and other obligations turn their love into a nightmare? Or can Michael and Jacquie tune out the rest of the world, embrace the sweetness that they share, and build a foundation that lasts?


Excerpt: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Love Divine

Jacquie didn’t know exactly when it happened. She just knew that it did. She found herself in love. And what was funniest of all was how different he was than what she’d always thought she wanted or been told she should want. He was twelve years her junior, but more man than anyone who had ever come before him. Dealing with him was like a welcomed cool lakeside breeze on a scorching summer day.

Michael was everything she’d ever dreamed of, but didn’t know that she needed or wanted. Tender. Sweet. Attentive. Strong, but not overbearing. All things cool. So opposite of her in many ways, yet so like her in many ways that mattered. It was a perfect fit. 

There was a vibrancy about him that instantly caused everything in her to perk up and take notice. He made her want to wear bright colored clothing and flowers in her hair. Big hoop earrings and sexy sandals to show off blood red toenails and fresh pedicures. This was such a huge shift for her. Always prone to muted colors and conservative clothing, she had been raised to subdue everything about herself, almost to the point of extinction of her authentic self. At times she didn't quite know what to make of the changes taking place in her life. When it became scary, she urged herself to press on pass the fear. This was such a great time to be alive, and for the first time in her life, she actually found that she was happy to be in the land of the living.

It’s funny, but she hadn’t realized how much of a drag her life was until being in his presence made her feel so alive. Made her wonder how long had she been walking around half dead just waiting on someone to breathe life into her. Well, whatever he had, made her spirit soar high above the clouds. In his presence, she became a bird; free to roam, to fly unhindered, to just be. He was the key that unlocked the cage she’d lived in her entire life. Suddenly, she felt years younger. Almost how the teenage years should have been if she hadn’t been so bogged down with responsibilities and pressures. Finally, she felt like other girls looked: youthful, carefree, lovely. She was loving every minute of it!

Old behaviors didn’t just disappear overnight. The practicalities making up her personality were still very much alive and at work. What was different was a newness to get out from under the mundane and do something…anything…new. This newfound state put her in a place where she could dream again. Come to think of it, she couldn’t remember the last time she’d dreamed about doing anything. Clueless as to how to change her life, the dreams slowly faded away like the last refrain of a song. Repeat, repeat, then fade, fade, fade until finally it was gone. Over. Finito. That’s what happened to Jacquie. Her dreams had died into the empty pause that lives between songs. He was her new song.

This season would start with a fresh hairdo. The signature wrap, although lovely and perfectly coiffed, would have to go. Surely she could find some sort of sweeping updo that could be versatile enough for both day and night, work and play. Until the right look came along, Jacquie found herself really studying the looks of other women who had some of what she felt being birthed in her spirit. That’s what made her decide to finally let the soft coral nail color go in search of something vibrant and popping. Yep….fire engine red. How about that?! She found a similar color for her lips, as well as a plum, bronze and a translucent shade to switch up her looks.

Clothing was next. Flirty skirts, fitted tops, and big belts replaced stiff suits and pleated pants. And for leisure, she went all out. Wide-legged pants, fitted jeans, long tops, high heeled boots, funky jewelry. She was absolutely loving this transformation. Her new colors were extreme. Orange, fuschia, lime green, hot pink, reds, plums, emeralds, bronze, cobalt – even in the winter. A host of jewel tones to help celebrate her new found Queendom. Yes, it was high time a daughter of royalty looked like one. She had been a King’s kid living beneath her privilege for far too long.

For as much as she came into the self that had been hidden all those years, the more the world presented other opportunities for her to embark upon. Her appetite had been whetted and a deep desire to explore the world had been birthed. Even alone, she found herself doing all sorts of things she would not have done before.

This transition had her giving serious thought to her future and what she really wanted to do with the rest of her life. She knew that being an executive assistant wasn’t it, although she had not figured out exactly what it was. Inside she could feel a stint with school coming. And travel. Lots and lots of travel. She was looking forward to all of it.

( Continued... )


Copyright 2016 Tumika Patrice Cain - excerpt from When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine.


Book 1: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change
Book 2: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Love Divine


A novel of enduring strength, undeniable empowerment, and the compelling ability to overcome incredible odds, book one in the When a Man Loves a Woman series is a powerhouse that will impact readers long after the last words have been read.

Purchase Book 1: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change
Link:  http://amzn.com/B019HLV65U 




Meet the Author
Tumika Patrice Cain
is an award-winning author, media personality and publisher whose works centers around uplifting, encouraging and empowering others to live the abundant life. She is also an accomplished poet; founder of the Say What?? Book Club; and host of the internet radio shows Living Abundantly with Tumika Patrice Cain, In The Spotlight, and Say What?? Author Spotlights. In addition, she is a respected book reviewer and columnist for PEN’Ashe Magazine, a contributing writer for BLOG and Belief Magazines, and editor for two smaller publishing companies. 

A champion for indie authors, she works tirelessly to level the playing field to bring exposure to those authors who excel at their craft, but whose marketing budgets are limited. Inkscriptions, her publishing company, offers a myriad of book publishing services. Living by the motto of each one reach one, each one teach one, Tumika shares her passion for purpose and for life with all who cross her path. 

She is the 2013 recipient of a Spoken Word Billboard award for her debut novel, Season of Change (December 2012), a novel that has since been picked up by Shan Presents and will be re-released as When a Man Loves a Woman – A Season of Change in December 2015. To her publishing credit, she is also the author of After the Rain…a Poetry Collective (March 2014) and The Heart of a Woman (August 2015). Tumika’s works have been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, newsletters and periodicals.

US: http://amzn.to/1SIDVTo 
UK: http://amzn.to/202zgjR 
CA: http://amzn.to/202zurb 
AS: http://bit.ly/1lPvnvV 

 

 

 


When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change 
by Tumika Patrice Cain

The stars seemed to have been aligned for Avery and Alicia. From the outside looking in, Lady Luck passed their way and left a fortune! They had a whirlwind, fairytale romance filled with all the little things that make dreams come true, a wedding of grace and beauty, and perfectly magical careers that produced almost enough money to burn. They were the picture-perfect couple.

Unfortunately, time has a way of revealing fissures in what appears to the naked eye as impenetrable. The results send this fairytale romance spiraling out of control.

Avery, as perfect and so right as he seemed, struggles to free himself from his demons. He clings to this delicate relationship that he desperately needs as if his last breath depends on it. Alicia, on the other hand, struggles to make the necessary corrections that will release her from a prison of unexpected, agonizing turmoil.

A novel of enduring strength, undeniable empowerment, and the compelling ability to overcome incredible odds, Book one in the When a Man Loves a Woman series is a powerhouse that will impact readers long after the last words have been read.

Excerpt: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change


That was one of the best days of my life. I'd finally gotten what I'd wanted forever. Someone who loved me. Loved me so much he wanted to tell the world. Wanted to make me his forever.

We slowly made our way out on the balcony, where all of the preparations had been made. It was all so lovely. Michael had black wrought iron patio furniture where we sat and ate the tantalizing dishes the caterers had prepared. There was fresh steamed lobster with lemon butter sauce, New England crab cakes, seafood kabobs and a wide range of other seaside resort foods that reminded me of the first weekend we’d spent out of town.

At Avery's request I'd gotten off of work early one Friday and met him at the airport. The spontaneity of the whole weekend made everything seem so fresh. Northwest Airlines took us to Massachusetts where we spent four glorious days at Martha's Vineyard. Just lying on the beach and soaking up the rays. I didn't even have a change of clothes. Ave said not to worry about it; we'd just go shopping when we got there. That's exactly what we did. A perfect weekend spent miles away from reality. In a cove on the beach is where we first made love. I'll never forget it.

Once the sun set and we were slow dancing on the verandah, Avery touched my arm and motioned for me to look out across the river. I couldn't believe my eyes. Usually the Cadillac Club in Windsor was all lit up at night in white neon. But instead of the marquee reading “Cadillac Club” it read, instead, “Alicia Will You Marry Me?” I remember being speechless for endless moments as tears welled up in my eyes, the lump in my throat rendering me incapable of speaking. The only response I gave was to gently touch his face and shake my head yes, while tears of happiness poured down my cheeks. So much for my mascara. He picked me up and swung me around for the longest time, whispering in my ear “I love you” time and time again.

It was several long minutes before I could compose myself. All remaining memories of that night are now a blur, except for us nibbling on the most succulent strawberries a mouth could feast on. And us making slow, sweet love all night under the stars while the moonlight caressed our skin.


Book Reviews: When a Man Loves a Woman 

Tumika Patrice Cain has poured her abundant faith, wisdom and passion for helping others into a new book that tackles one of the toughest of family crises. Tumika’s extensive experience ministering to others through writing and counseling, as well as many years in human services, make her a voice worth hearing. 
~ Sheri Fink, Pulitzer Prize Winner & Author of War Hospital


Tumika Cain did an outstanding job on this novel and I am just still reeling from the contents. 
~ OOSA Online Book Club


This has to be the best book I have read this year. 
~ Book Referees


It is tragedy and triumph in its most raw form. 
~ Matthew Keith Reviews


Cain is a true wordsmith, and her writing has a refreshing maturity. 
~ Sweet Georgia Press


This reviewer urges you to give Tumika Cain's premiere novel, When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change, a chance today! These pages leave no stone unturned, and no heart untouched. 
~ Lindsay McDonald, Indyscribable


A powerful read with many powerful messages, When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change shows we have to be willing to move on in order to grow. 
~ Cyrus Webb, Conversations Live


Purchase When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change
Link:  http://amzn.com/B019HLV65U 




Meet the Author
Tumika Patrice Cain
is an award-winning author, media personality and publisher whose works centers around uplifting, encouraging and empowering others to live the abundant life. She is also an accomplished poet; founder of the Say What?? Book Club; and host of the internet radio shows Living Abundantly with Tumika Patrice Cain, In The Spotlight, and Say What?? Author Spotlights. In addition, she is a respected book reviewer and columnist for PEN’Ashe Magazine, a contributing writer for BLOG and Belief Magazines, and editor for two smaller publishing companies. 

A champion for indie authors, she works tirelessly to level the playing field to bring exposure to those authors who excel at their craft, but whose marketing budgets are limited. Inkscriptions, her publishing company, offers a myriad of book publishing services. Living by the motto of each one reach one, each one teach one, Tumika shares her passion for purpose and for life with all who cross her path. 

She is the 2013 recipient of a Spoken Word Billboard award for her debut novel, Season of Change (December 2012), a novel that has since been picked up by Shan Presents and will be re-released as When a Man Loves a Woman – A Season of Change in December 2015. To her publishing credit, she is also the author of After the Rain…a Poetry Collective (March 2014) and The Heart of a Woman (August 2015). Tumika’s works have been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, newsletters and periodicals.

 

 


Seducing the Boss Lady 
by Sharon C. Cooper

Award-winning and bestselling author Sharon C. Cooper brings you another exciting romance!

Master electrician, Peyton Jenkins, is tired of being the responsible Jenkins’ girl. She’s ready to hand over the reins of the family business for a chance to live life and find love. However, fear of getting hurt again keeps her from letting down her guard. That is until her world intersects with bad-boy, Michael Cutter. Their sparks ignite a passion that can’t be denied.

Private investigator, Michael Cutter, has no intention of falling for another pretty face, not even someone as beautiful as Peyton. But her smokin’ hot body and sass can’t be ignored. She desires love and commitment, yet the sins of his father continue to haunt Michael, deterring him from pursuing any relationship other than a casual fling.

Will their pasts keep them from taking a chance on love? And will love be enough to heal old wounds?


Excerpt: Seducing the Boss Lady by Sharon C. Cooper


Peyton glanced at the boarding pass in her hand to confirm her row and seat. 4A.

Annoyance jockeyed within her. Of course, someone would be sitting in 4A because that’s the way her morning had been going. First getting to the office at three and losing track of time, then running for her first flight only to be told once she was on the plane that it was delayed. Then landing in Miami thirty minutes late and having to run through yet another airport.

“Excuse me. You’re in my seat,” Peyton said to the man who was on his cell phone, papers and a file folder spread across the seat near the window as if he owned the whole row, using it as his office. “Excuse me,” she said a little louder when he ignored her.

Finally, he glanced up.

Peyton’s breath caught, and she swallowed hard. Hypnotic, light-brown, almost hazel-colored eyes met hers and she struggled to keep her mouth from hanging open. The man’s eyes, such a startling contrast against his tawny brown skin, stood out like a beacon in the night, guiding a lost soul home.

His intense gaze started at her perfectly coiffed hair and did a leisure crawl down her body, taking in every inch of her until he reached her black pumps. Suddenly, Peyton wished she had dressed a little sexier. Those gorgeous eyes met hers again, and her pulse kicked up. He didn’t speak, didn’t smile, nothing. But it was as if a magnetic force passed between them, his scrutiny pulling her in as he studied her face and she studied his.

Peyton’s throat went dry as she stood motionless.

“I’m sorry, ma’am, but we need you to take your seat.” The flight attendant slammed closed the bin above Peyton’s head.

Poof. The spell was broken.

“And sir, I’m going to have to ask you to put your cell phone away as we prepare for takeoff.”

Peyton straightened and finally found her voice again. “You’re in my seat.”

( Continued... )

Copyright © June 2016 by Sharon C. Cooper. All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Meet the Author

Award-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, is a romance-a-holic - loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies, or real life. Sharon writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She’s been nominated for numerous awards and is the recipient of an Emma Award for Romantic Suspense of the Year 2015 (Truth or Consequences), Emma Award - Interracial Romance of the Year 2015 (All You’ll Ever Need), and BRAB (book club) Award -Breakout Author of the Year 2014. To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net

Order Seducing the Boss Lady by Sharon C. Cooper

Series: Jenkins Family Series (Book 5)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Buy Links for Seducing the Boss Lady
Amazon - http://amzn.to/21aGKO6 
Barnes & Noble - http://bit.ly/1WIbdED 
Smashwords - http://bit.ly/1TY0v7k 
ARe: http://bit.ly/1YgYVCN 
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1RZmHeM 

 

 

 

 


WOMANISH: How She Survived 
by Angelia Vernon Menchan 


What is WomanIsh? WomanIsh are the things women go through. The day to day ish, the man ish, the raising kids ish, the I earn lots of money but still wanna be cherished ish, the I'm more than my womb ish... The what you mean I'm old ish... Sound familiar? All of this and more is in WomanIsh: What She Survived. 

WomanIsh: How She Survived is stories about women for women. There are real time stories about the situations, the ish women live through, survive through in order to come out with some semblance of wholeness and peace. 


AMAZON BOOK REVIEW
A Review Written By Nikki-Michelle 
4.5 out of 5 Stars for WomanIsh 


My gosh! Where do I start? I've never been a huge fan of books that consists of short stories. For me, I never seemed to get a beginning, middle, and ending. However, God bless Angelia Vernon-Menchan for blessing us with this work of art. From the very first story, I was enthralled. From 'Her Empowerment' to 'My Life Was Better After He Died', Angelia managed to show us women from every walk of life, young and old, those smart and those a bit aloof.

It's amazing how she is always able to capture every woman. She literally writes every type of woman, including those who are bisexual and won't admit it. But I think what stands out to me the most are the women and their ability to bounce back after such tumultuous situations and circumstances. Every woman in this book did what she felt she had to do whether she regretted the situation later on or not.

Andrea's mother gets the win for her comical wit. One of the best quotes in the book belongs to Mabel.
Andrea to her mother: Did you ever want a husband?
Mabel to her daughter: I've had two or three but they weren't mine.
I laughed so hard I snorted.

Poor Betta just couldn't catch a break from the men who seemed to be attracted to her. She jumped out the fire into the pits of hell. I have no words for Sissy and Carlos.

Calliope's story touched me in a way I didn't expect. It made me question how much I'd be willing to give up for love. While I commend Calliope for choosing to put her needs to the side for the sake of her marriage, I felt as if she got the short end of the stick.

From Kenya, who assumed she needed more than her husband could offer, to the woman who justified being a man's mistress because she had him first, Angelia managed to keep me interested from the beginning to the end.

However, the one story that stood out to me the most was the story with Winda, Bobby and Norman. I was so mad when it ended! I wanted more. I just know there has to be more to that story. I wanted Winda to be THAT woman so badly. LOL

I'd advise all women to read this book, young and old. Angelia is ministering without preaching, teaching without badgering, and giving you a lesson without calling you to class. Nikki-Michelle recommends this book.



Excerpt: Her Un-Empowerment 


Men found Betta to be everything black men dreamed of at the time, she had light skin, was thin but shapely and could be sexy without trying. Many men vied for her attention throughout her late teens through her thirties but she ultimately became involved with a violent man, who thought he owned her. At age thirty nine she was running for her life from one violent man, straight into the arms of another…


Excerpt: I Had His Children... He Didn't Put A Ring On It


"Pregnant? I thought your doctor gave you some sponge or something?"

"I guess it didn't work." She said, watching him and his demeanor change.

He stood pacing around before he turned to her.

"You can't have it. I told my mama I wouldn't have no more babies." She stared at him in shock. He was weeks away from his thirty first birthday.

"Your mama?" A curl of derision filled her tone.

"Yea. I live with her. I'm all she's got and she's sickly. This might kill her." Sissy stood, brushing off her skirt.

"I'm having this baby. If your last child didn’t kill her, neither will this one. Deal with your mama and I'll deal with my brothers."

( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Angelia Vernon Menchan. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Meet the Author

Angelia Vernon Menchan authors and publishes women's fiction, non fiction, young adult fiction, edgy Christian fiction and multicultural fiction. By day she is a Budget Analyst, married for 38 years with two wins. Angelia advocates for women through writing and mentoring. Through her publishing company with her husband, Maurice, Honorable Menchan Media she has published 14 authors. 

Angelia Vernon Menchan website:
http://angeliavernonmenchanserials.blogspot.com 


Order WOMANISH: How She Survived by Angelia Vernon Menchan 

https://www.amazon.com/WOMANISH-Survived-Angelia-Vernon-Menchan/dp/1533476616 
https://www.amazon.com/WOMANISH-Survived-Angelia-Vernon-Menchan-ebook/dp/B01G2ER730  

 

 

 

 

 


Second House from the Corner: A Novel
by Sadeqa Johnson

In the tradition of I Don’t Know How She Does ItSecond House from the Corner centers on the story of Felicia Lyons, a stay-at-home mother of three drowning in the drudgeries of play dates, lost pacifiers and potty training who occasionally wonders what it would be like to escape the demands of motherhood. But when an unexpected phone call threatens to destroy her life, Felicia is forced to return to her childhood home where she must wrestle with an ex-lover and long buried secrets to save the family and home she loves despite the daily challenges.

Felicia Lyons is a character who mothers can identify with and laugh along with. You can't help but cheer for her in Johnson's engaging and well-written novel.


PRAISE FOR SADEQA JOHNSON 

“A captivating tale to savor…Felicia is a wonderfully flawed, compelling main character, one who has stayed with me long after I finished the book. A winning novel from a writer to watch.”
—Benilde Little, bestselling author of Welcome to My Breakdown and Good Hair

"Sadeqa Johnson is one of those authors you rarely find these days. Her gift of writing sings on every page. When reading her second novel, Second House From the Corner, you can't help feeling like you just received a letter from an old friend.... or an old lover. It is a must read!"
—Here's the Story Bookstore in Union, NJ



Excerpt from Second House from the Corner: A Novel


PART 1

To love means to embrace and at the same time to withstand many endings, and many many beginnings— all in the same relationship. — Clarissa Pinkola Estes


The Witching Hour


That four-hour window between after-school pickup and bedtime?  It’s like walking a tightrope with groceries in both hands. The slightest hiccup will land any mother in a quagmire with her legs in the air. For me the whole afternoon was a fail. I locked myself out when I went to pick the kids up from school, but didn’t notice the missing house keys until I pulled into the driveway. The snacks had been demolished at the playground, so the hunger meltdown began on the drive to my husband’s office for the spare key (a drive that usually takes seven minutes, but ended up being twenty round-trip because of traffic). Things got even shoddier once I discovered we were out of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. My children will not eat baked chicken unless I dip the pieces in buttermilk, roll them in cornflakes, and bake until crispy. The oven was preheated, the potatoes were boiling for the mash, and I was thirty-three minutes off schedule without the magic cereal that makes my chicken finger-licking good. No time to change the dinner plan. So I swap in seasoned bread crumbs and cross my toes that they won’t notice.

“Mama, this doesn’t taste right.” My son, Rory, frowns.

“Just eat it. There are children right down the street who are starving.”

“But it’s disgusting,” whines Twyla.

How does a four-year-old know what disgusting is?

“Just eat.”

“I have to go pee pee and poo poo.”

“Stop smiling at me. Mommy, she’s smiling.”

“Can we just have dessert?”

“Maaaaaaaa.”

“Mommmmm.”

“Momeeeeeeee.”

Like a song on repeat. Like it’s the last word in the English dictionary. They call “Mommy” until my lips pucker, eyebrows knit. And it takes all my strength not to respond with that inside voice that nobody hears, that you wish would stay quiet, that tells the truth you don’t want anyone to know. That damn voice is hollering. Shut the fuck up!

At what point do I get to shout What the fuck do you want from me? I wouldn’t drop an F-bomb in front of the mommy crew at the park, and I hate to see parents on the street cursing out their kids. But here in my kitchen with everything working against me, I would like to liberate myself just once and let the profanity rip. It’s the nipping at my nerves that gets me. The feasting on my flesh like starved sea urchins. Them, fighting like thieves for their individual piece of me. Me feeling like I have nothing left to give. Any mother who says that she has never felt like her whole life was being sucked out through her nostrils is a damn liar. I feel it every day. Especially when I don’t get at least five hours of shut-eye, like last night.

Twyla (whom I call Two) walked her four-year-old self into my room every hour complaining about being scared. Scared of what? The curtain, the bed, the wall—she had an excuse for each visit. Never mind that she had to walk past her father to get to me. They never bother him. It’s always Mommy. So I upped and downed all night while he slept like a hibernating black bear. 

Breathe.  

I hate when I feel like this. My chest rising and falling. Momentum of failure piled. Anxiety has swept through my belly and is curled against my organs like a balled fist. Just one happy pill would make it all better. But I’ve been on the happiness-comes-from within kick for a few months, so no more pills. Instead I’ve started tapping. 

Tapping out my emotions so I can get back to feeling right. It’s that new technique where I say what my issue is and use my fingertips and hit my meridian points until I’m back to even. It usually takes about five minutes and several rounds before I feel centered and strong. My husband, Preston, calls it woo-woo, but he’s not at home with three children all day. I am, and I have to use what I’ve got to carry me through. I turn my back to the kids at the kitchen table, take two fingers, and tap the side of my hand while whispering my setup statement.

“Even though I feel stressed out, anxious, and tired of being alone and responsible for my kids I love and accept myself.”

“Mommy, what are you doing?”

“Calming down.” I try whispering the statement again but Tywla is out of her seat.

“My stomach hurts.”

Rory puts his fork down. “I’m full.”

My fingers stop. I haven’t made it through one minute, much less the five I need. I take a deep breath and usher everyone upstairs. Maybe Preston will surprise me and come home early. The damn voice laughs. When was the last time he did that? He never makes it home before their bedtime and I bet that’s on purpose.

Rory moans. “That’s my boat.” 

“Dad gave it to me.”

“No, he didn’t.”

Breathe. “Cut it out and get undressed.”

I run their bath and sneak in a quick tap. Repeating my setup statement, I move from my hand to my forehead, to the side of my eye, under my eye, under my lip, under my chin, full hand on chest, bra strap and top of the head. Fill my lungs with air and exhale. Twyla and Rory are back. I read my body. Better.

“Can I bring this in the tub, pretty please?” Twyla clutches the mesh bag with their toys.

“Sure.”

They climb into the bathtub and play. This should give me a few minutes alone with the baby.

“Guys, I’m going to change Liv into her pajamas. No water on the floor.”

“Can we have more bubbles?”

“No.”

“Awwww, man,” Rory replies, imitating Swiper the Fox. “You only gave us a little bit.”

I cut my eyes in the direction of my six-year-old and hold his gaze for a beat longer so that he knows I mean business.

The upstairs of our house is small, and it only takes three long strides to the girls’ bedroom. Liv, the baby, squirms in my arms and I find solace burying my head in her neck. I could sit and smell this child all day. At ten months old, she still has that fresh-to-the-earth smell that forces me to slow my pace. It’s hard to look at her without feeling deep sighs of relief. She is our miracle child.

When I was twenty weeks pregnant with Liv, a routine sonogram found something suspicious. I was sent to the Robert Woods Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick to see a pediatric cardiologist. There was a pinch in her heart that could hemorrhage. Her chances of being stillborn were high. When the doctor suggested that we terminate the pregnancy, I was bilious. By then I had already heard her heart beat, felt her flutter and kick, loved her. Preston didn’t even look my way when he simply told the batch of white coats that we would take our chances.

On our way home, the traffic on the Garden State Parkway held us hostage. I slobbered and blubbered against the passenger seat window, trudging through my past, knowing which karmic act brought this down on our family. My husband kept patting my hand, but when that didn’t work, he pulled our ice-cream-truck size SUV over to the side of the road and pressed the hazard lights.

“Foxy, look at me.” He is the only person who calls me Foxy, and even with hearing my personal pet name, I couldn’t bring my eyes to his. Tilting my damp chin, he forced eye contact. “This is not your fault.”

But it is.

“You trust me?”

I shake my head, of course, because there really is no other response when your husband asks you that question.

“So the baby is healed. It’s done, no more worries.” Preston clapped his hands, as if he had just entered a contract with God.

“Now stop blaming yourself, you didn’t do anything.”

As our vehicle crawled up the Parkway, he informed me that we’d name her Liv.

“Not short for anything. Just Liv.”

I knew what I had done to deserve this even though my husband did not. I wanted it to be all right. Needed something to cling too, so I agreed to everything that Preston offered because the only hope I had for a favorable outcome was him. I had burned my bridge with God a long time ago. 

( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sadeqa Johnson. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase Second House from the Corner: A Novel
Contemporary Women Fiction



Amazon: http://smarturl.it/SHFCAWAM 
Barnes & Noble: http://smarturl.it/SHFCAWBN 
Books-a-Million: http://smarturl.it/SHFCAWBAM 
iBooks: http://smarturl.it/SHFCAWIB 
Indiebound: http://smarturl.it/SHFCAWIN 
Walmart: http://smarturl.it/SHFBAWWAL 


About the Author

SADEQA JOHNSON is a former public relations manager who spent years working with well-known authors such as JK Rowling, Bebe Moore Campbell, Amy Tan and Bishop TD Jakes before becoming an author herself. Her debut novel, LOVE IN A CARRY-ON BAG was hailed by Ebony.com as “this summer’s hottest read.” It was the recipient of the 2013 Phillis Wheatley award for Best Fiction and the 2012 USA Best Book award for African-American fiction. Originally from Philadelphia, she now resides in Virginia with her husband and three children. SECOND HOUSE FROM THE CORNER is her second novel.  For more visit: http://www.sadeqajohnson.com 

 

 

 


The Million Dollar Destiny 
by RM Johnson

Not long ago, when Monica Kenny’s husband realized his wife had gone through premature menopause and would never give him the children he so desperately wanted, he took a mistress, deceived and divorced her. Monica tried to move on, but was unable, feeling the fool for allowing herself to be so badly abused and mistreated by the man she loved. Unable to look herself in the mirror, Monica was determined to even the score. She needed to hurt Nate in a way in which he would never recover. She needed revenge! That would come in the form of stealing from him what he valued most in the world: his son, the boy Monica had recommended they adopt two years ago, in order to save their marriage. Her husband rejected the idea at the time, only to later adopt the infant after his divorce from Monica was finalized.

In order to succeed with her plan, Monica must convince a judge the child should be taken, and she will have to paint Nate as an adulterous, unfit parent who provides a hazardous living environment and abuses his child. That man is who Monica truly believes her husband to be, but it will be hard to prove, considering Nate has been acting the model father and has announced he’s “changed his ways” and “become a better man”.

Knowing her husband and the lies he tells, Monica enlists Nate’s past mistresses-the only women she believes can help: Daphanie Coleman and Tori Thomas. Monica positions the women to seduce Nate into succumbing to his most primal urges. But when the psychopathic killer, Freddy Ford, a man who has shot both Monica and Nate in the past, and left them for dead, breaks out of a psychiatric institution seeking revenge, the task of rescuing the child Monica loves from the man she hates, becomes more complicated, increasingly impossible and even deadly.


Excerpt: The Million Dollar Destiny 


Two months down…seventeen years and ten months to go, Daphanie thought, staring down at her infant child who had just woken, and was smiling, reaching a hand up to her.

“Hey sweetheart. Hey baby,” Daphanie smiled at the boy. Ironically, his name was Nate.

“Why did you name him that?” Daphanie asked Trevor the first night she lived under his roof.

“Because if Nate Kenny hadn’t alerted me to your lies, didn’t convince you to sign your rights over to me, I wouldn’t have my son. Our child would’ve been a bastard. I’m eternally grateful to that man.”

Daphanie picked up little Nat. It’s what she’d been calling him, because hearing that man’s name every time she spoke to her baby was just too painful. Daphanie pressed the baby to her breasts, took him over and sat down with him in the glider.

“Are you hungry, Nat?” Daphanie said, kissing the baby on the head. His last feeding was over four hours ago when she heard him screaming from her room. She climbed out of bed and took Nat down to feed him Similac in the middle of the kitchen, under a low burning overhead stove light. Trevor never fed their baby. It was implicitly stated early on as one of the conditions that allowed her to stay there: she would do all of the off-hour caring.

Now in the little boy’s room, Daphanie bounced Nat in her arms, hoping to stop him from recognizing his hunger for she wanted just a little more time with him. The baby’s face crumpled, his lips turned downward and he started a long whine, which she knew would turn into a full tantrum if he weren’t fed.

“Shhh, shhh, shhh,” Daphanie said, bouncing him faster. Nat needed food. But Daphanie didn’t feel like feeding her baby food from a can again. It wasn’t natural. What he needed, what she knew the baby wanted was what coursed through her mammary glands. She thought of this every time she stood under the hot spray of her shower, dreaming of what was forbidden, massaging her breasts till the milk leaked from her nipples onto the shower floor and washed wastefully down the drain.

Looking toward the door, Daphanie figured Trevor should’ve been all ready dressed and leaving for work. She knew if she weren’t in his path to the front door, he would’ve never gone out of his way to say goodbye.

Still squirming in her arms, Nat became more restless.

“Okay, baby. Shhh, shhh, shhh,” Daphanie said, opening her robe, sliding down her gown strap to expose a heavy breast. She took it in her hand, massaged it gently, squeezing her nipple softly to coax a bead of milk from it. She brought Nat’s face forward and immediately he began to suckle.

It had been so long since she fed her child the way God intended. She felt him pulling the life sustaining fluid he needed from her. And finally, after doing all that mothers did: changing diapers, bathing the baby, rocking the baby to sleep, it was only now she truly felt like this child’s mother.

She brought Nat closer, lay back her head, rocked slowly in the glider, and closed her eyes, trying to suppress the tears that she knew would come. The two months she had been there had been hard, but this made up for it, Daphanie thought. She started to drift off, telling herself if she could have this moment, once every now and again, she could deal with whatever punishment Trevor chose to deliver her.

Suddenly, Daphanie was startled by the opening of the bedroom door, and even more surprised when it wasn’t the nanny that Trevor hired to care for Nat much of the time, but Trevor.

“What are you doing?” Shock painted his face. “I said, what the hell are you doing?” he said again, walking toward her, looking as though there was a need to rescue their son.

“I’m feeding our baby.” Daphanie pulled Nat closer to her breasts, cradling him tighter.

“I said you were never to do that. All the formula you need is—“

“I don’t want to feed him anymore formula. He needs milk. My milk!”

“Give him to me.” Trevor said, his hands outstretched.

“No!”

“Give me my fucking son!” Trevor demanded.

Daphanie pushed back in the chair, covering Nat with her arms, but Trevor was on her, his hands wrapped around their tiny baby’s body. And he was pulling him like the child was in a wrecked car about to explode: like Daphanie’s arms were flames licking his son’s skin. She had no choice but release him for fear Trevor would break Nat if they continued to struggle.

“Please!” Daphanie screamed, reaching so far out from the chair that she toppled over, spilling out of it, falling to her knees. She looked up to see Trevor staring down on her, resentment on his face, holding their child as far away as he could from her.

“I told you never to do that. My rules! You don’t like them…leave!” He stormed out the room, Daphanie hearing her son scream down the hall as he was being carried off.


( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, RM Johnson. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Order The Million Dollar Destiny by RM Johnson
 
The Million Dollar Series - Volume 4 

Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/MILLION-DOLLAR-DESTINY-Book-ebook/dp/B01GGMIL7O  

Meet the Author 

RM Johnson is the award-wining, bestselling author of 23 books. He holds an MFA in creative writing. He is a professor of English and Creative Writing and lives in Atlanta, GA where he is at work on his next novel. 
Email: RMNovels@yahoo.com;  FB: Facebook.com/rmnovels

 

 

 

 

 


Into The Mist by Lynn Emery
Book 4: LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series 

Children are missing in ever increasing numbers. LaShaun Rousselle and Deputy Chase Broussard have to make sure their child isn’t next. After a series of gruesome murders, LaShaun has to answer one critical question to stop the bloodbath: are the children victims or weapons?

LaShaun Rousselle finds herself and her young family at the center of a devious and deadly series of crimes once more. A girl goes missing, bad enough. Yet when LaShaun follows the threads, she discovers the six year old is only one of many. What’s the connection to a string of attempts to get at LaShaun’s own child, Joëlle? She must help sort through the facts and evidence to convince level-headed law officers that supernatural forces are at work. Her life and the lives of those she cherish depend on LaShaun making a way out of no way.

LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series - A Darker Shade of Midnight is the first book in the LaShaun Rousselle paranormal mystery series. The second book is Between Dusk and Dawn. The third book is Only By Moonlight. Into The Mist is the fourth title in the LaShaun Rousselle mystery series.


NEW FALL 2016 RELEASE - Into The Mist by Lynn Emery
Book 4: LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series 

Topics: Faith, Supernatural forces, Family loyalty, Redemption, Creole and Cajun Culture
Available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Audible, and Smashwords


Excerpt from Book 1: A Darker Shade of Midnight 

LaShaun went to her. She kissed the hand that had guided her through childhood. Now the knuckles were knotted, the tapered fingers weakened by arthritis. Yet, the skin appeared strangely smooth. 

“Bon soir, Monmon. You should be in bed.” LaShaun kissed her forehead. She breathed in the familiar scent of Cashmere Bouquet. The fragrance of lavender and chamomile came from another era.

“So, you finally come home. To watch me die, eh?” Monmon Odette patted LaShaun’s cheek.

“To celebrate your life, sweet mother,” LaShaun whispered. A tear slipped down her face. No need to make pointless protestations otherwise. They both knew Monmon Odette’s time on earth was growing shorter. 

Monmon Odette shushed away her sadness with a soft hiss. She produced a scented lace handkerchief from the pocket of her robe and dabbed away the tear. LaShaun sat on the floor and rested her head in Monmon Odette’s lap.

“Don’t grieve just yet, Cher . The blood is still runnin’ warm in these old veins. I’ve got just enough time left I think.” 

“Time for what?” LaShaun toyed with the hem of her grandmother’s cotton gingham robe. 

“You’ll know soon enough. But tonight you need rest after a long journey. You’ve come back home through time and space I think,” Monmon Odette murmured.

LaShaun looked up at her. “Has anything changed here?” 

Monmon Odette patted her shoulder as a signal she wanted to stand. With a short grunt from the effort, and a hand from LaShaun, she rose from the chair. Monmon Odette held LaShaun’s arm as they walked down the hallway to her bedroom.

“Some things are eternal. The movement of the wind, the heat on the bayou when summer comes. All that is the same.”

“The land stays the same if people don’t ruin it. Like they ruin a lot of things,” LaShaun said softly.

“Human nature doesn’t change either, Cher .” Monmon stopped and gave LaShaun a sideways glance. “The same deadly sins rule a man’s nature.”

“And women,” LaShaun added raising an eyebrow back at her. 

Monmon Odette laughed and started walking again. “True. But age does make a difference. When you get to be old you look at things differently.”

They arrived at the door to her grandmother’s bedroom. As they entered, LaShaun let her go in first. Then she fluffed the down pillows as her grandmother sank onto the bed. LaShaun helped her remove the robe and ease back onto the pillows. Once she’d tucked the vintage quilt around Monmon Odette’s chest her grandmother sighed. 

“Thank you, sweet girl. Now sit with me awhile.” 

LaShaun sank onto the cushioned seat of a large oak rocking chair next to the bed. A Bible was on the nightstand. “Of course. Shall I read to you?” 

“Non.” 

Monmon Odette closed her eyes after a few moments. LaShaun watched the slight rise and fall of her grandmother’s chest. After a while, she gazed around. Monmon Odette had redecorated. Her grandmother had a fondness for antiques, history and tradition. Yet, Monmon Odette was no old lady clinging to the past. LaShaun smiled when she saw the combination radio and compact disc player on the other wide nightstand. The high tech device didn’t clash with the country style décor. Curtains with a lovely old rose pattern on a cream background matched the quilt, the rug and pillow shams. An overhead cane ceiling fan looked old enough to have come from one of the plantation homes along Vermilion River. Then LaShaun saw the family photos on a round table. She left the rocker and went to it. Several pictures were sepia toned, taken before the turn of the last century. “Celie LeGrange, 1866-1932” was written at the bottom of one. Monmon Odette’s mother. Jules Paul LeGrange, husband to Celie and Monmon Odette’s father, stared stone-faced from another photo. An even older picture of a lovely woman dressed in a long dress and button top shoes sat next to it. LaShaun did not have to read the faint letters to know her. Acelie LeGrange stared at her descendant across time, two hundred years to be exact. LaShaun’s mother stared from a photo taken in 1982. She looked beautiful in a flowered sundress. Francine stood next to a five year old LaShaun. Both wore forced smiles trying hard to look happy for the camera. LaShaun didn’t remember that particular day, but she remembered her mother’s overwrought disposition. Still in love with Antoine St. Julien even five years after he married another, Francine never found happiness.

“I’m glad you’re home, Cher . Have you forgiven me?”

LaShaun looked up to find her grandmother’s dark gaze fixed on her. “I didn’t blame you for anything that happened to me, Monmon.”

“Maybe you should have, and for your maman, too. So many mistakes and no time to fix them. But I may still have time to do some good for you.” Monmon Odette inhaled deeply causing a rattling sound deep in her chest. She breathed out slowly then closed her eyes.

“I made my own choices, and my own mistakes.” LaShaun blinked away tears.

Monmon Odette nodded without opening her eyes. “Maybe Le Bon Dieu will have mercy on this old woman.”


( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. A Darker Shade of Midnight is the first book in the LaShaun Rousselle paranormal mystery series. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lynn Emery. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Purchase books from the LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series 

Amazon: http://goo.gl/XbzkOM 
Audible: http://goo.gl/lT9aji 
Nook: http://goo.gl/WKS71d 
Kobo: https://goo.gl/BFYaF9 
Smashwords: https://goo.gl/sgHm7u 



A Darker Shade of Midnight - Book Review Written by Beverly Jackson VINE VOICE 


In A Darker Shade of Midnight by Lynn Emery, LaShaun Rousselle is returning home to Vermillion Parish, Louisiana because her grandmother is dying. Shortly after crossing the county line, LaShaun finds herself sitting in the sheriff's station wondering what bogus charges warranted her being detained. Yes, she has a scandalous past that caused her to leave home ten years ago, but that is the past. When the sheriff department finds nothing but a broken taillight, feisty LaShaun cannot help shaking up the sheriff and the department by issuing them a challenge, knowing some fear her voodoo powers. With that settled, LaShaun is looking forward to making peace with her grandmother, Monmon Odette, and catching up with family. Unfortunately, life will be anything but peaceful for LaShaun - greedy relatives, a sadistic ex-lover, an attraction to a deputy, an evil force and murder all come into her life. Fearing that mayhem and evil are a curse she cannot overcome, LaShaun starts to despair that she should not have returned home. Will LaShaun be able to trust her psychic powers, and accept help from unexpected sources, or will the demon win this round for her soul?

A Darker Shade of Midnight is a tale of revenge, deceit, betrayal and political corruption. This combination makes for a juicy murder and the plot serves up several victims. Drama of the family fighting among themselves adds another layer of tension and intrigue to a plot with all kinds of twists. Emery is known for her love of Louisiana, a setting she vividly brings to life in this story. I enjoyed how the paranormal elements were skillfully woven into the storyline with grace and ease, being a natural part of the locale. 

LaShaun is an alpha female who fights back at the least challenge, but over the course of the story she learns to accept who she is and how to accept genuine help. It is a nice touch to see her interact with the sexy deputy, Chase Broussard, as the attraction between them allows the reader a respite from all of the mayhem in the story. While fans of the author will love visiting with old friends and new readers will be entertained by the characters, they might be slightly confused by references to previously mentioned events.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy paranormal mysteries and fans of Lynn Emery. A good read for a summer night, as the forces of good and evil battle with each other.

This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Reviewed by Beverly, APOOO Literary Book Review



Purchase books from the LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series 

Amazon: http://goo.gl/XbzkOM 
Audible: http://goo.gl/lT9aji 
Nook: http://goo.gl/WKS71d 
Kobo: https://goo.gl/BFYaF9 
Smashwords: https://goo.gl/sgHm7u 

Meet the Author

Mix knowledge of voodoo, Louisiana politics and forensic social work, and you get a snapshot of author Lynn Emery.  Lynn’s recent titles include murder mysteries set in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana featuring a Creole psychic and a Cajun deputy. The titles in this series are: A Darker Shade of Midnight (#1), Between Dusk and Dawn (#2), and Only By Moonlight (#3). Into The Mist (#4) continues the harrowing case files of LaShaun Rousselle and Deputy Chase Broussard. Into the Mist will be released in fall 2016.

 

 

 

 


Earth’s Quiet Chaos: A Novel 
by Tomeekha Pitre

Earth’s Quiet Chaos is set in a historically significant community in Los Angeles, California. Earth Hartley is an African American businesswoman whose life is consumed by caring for her older sister, Moon, and trying to save Moon from the consequences of her careless behavior and substance abuse. 

Moon is paranoid, violent, erratic, and irrational. She thrives in her life of chaos, and has no regard for the pain it causes her family. 

Ra, their brother, is the lifeline between his two sisters. He’s the glue that holds the family together until a horrible and violent act results in Moon’s arrest.

The story of Earth’s Quiet Chaos is about finding and holding onto true love while dealing with family issues that are considered to be taboo in the African American community, but are relatable to all.


5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review Written By Amazon Customer 

This is a MUST READ, not only for the African-American community but for all. It is relatable, inspiring, educational and a very easy read. It is unique in it's style and content. It was difficult putting the book down once I began to read it. After completing the book, I was encouraged and motivated again. It inspired me to begin meditation activities; to stay hopeful and to progress forward no matter what the circumstances of my or my families' life were. The author blessed us with this story and helped to make the quiet chaos in my life more manageable.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Book Review Written By Paulette 
The author has written an excellent book about the emotional turmoil experienced between close siblings and their significant others when the eldest appears to be in denial about being controlled by substance abuse. It's evident the three siblings, the main characters, love each other as they endure many struggles in their attempts to keep the family intact. Blessed with great parents who instilled spiritually-driven values, the younger two are committed to doing whatever it takes to save their sister.

The character descriptions and actions are so vividly detailed you find yourself communicating with them and reluctantly putting the book down to sleep. Although the story was complete, I'm still hooked and crave more about the secondary characters who helped to make this story seem more real than fiction. I hope the author takes the hint and blesses us with a sequel.


Excerpt: Chapter 2

Rashidah and I giggle at ourselves as we walk from store to store in the open-air mall called The Grove. It’s a hot summer day and we duck into my favorite store to temporarily escape the blazing heat. 

“I love the artistic vibe of the designs and fabrics in this store.” 

Rashidah holds the tag on a cute shirt and murmurs 

“Look at these high ass prices!” 

We pick out some outfits to try on. I find some tops, pants and a dress to add to my wardrobe. We walk out of the store and look for a shady spot where it’s cool. 

“Xavier will like me in the long summer dress, don’t you think?” 

Rashidah doesn’t respond. After a short break, we continue shopping. 

We hit up the computer store where she buys herself an iPad for scheduling client appointments. We grab a half veggie sandwich and salad from The Veggie Grill. We hit up every store at The Grove before heading to the Beverly Center. 

“I want to treat myself to one of those small flat Louis Vuitton cross body purses.”

We find it at the Louis Vuitton store and then check out other stores that aren’t at The Grove.

Pleased with my purchases and delighted to spend time with Rashidah, the one who knows me best, I’m all shopped out. 

“Rashidah, can you believe that I don’t have any plans tonight other than dinner with Ali and a dress rehearsal for the play?” 

“Well, you never know. Maybe Xavier will surprise you and he’ll be the one sitting at the dinner table when Ali brings you to the restaurant.” 

She has a half grin. She’s in the know of something that I’m not. 

“Now that would be the surprise of a lifetime, but if something goes down, I’m ready to dress and impress. That’s for sure.” 

Then it hits me to check my cell phone for the time. “Speaking of time, its 3:45. Are you ready to roll?”

“Yep, I think we’ve done enough financial damage for the day.” 

“You’re right about that!” 

We make our way to the parking lot, fill the trunk with our bags, and drive off.

We go to my place and, like we always do when we go shopping together, Rashidah comes in with her bags and we go through each and every item, trying them on as we help each other change. Rashidah takes down my locs and sections them into twisted bantu knots all over my head. 

“Okay, here you go Earth, give it an hour and then we’ll take down the bantu knots and your locs will be slightly curly and I’ll do a quick style for your date tonight.” 

“Please, dinner with Ali is not a date. We are friends and are going to catch up with each other. That’s all. Now, if Xavier is at the table that will be an entirely different story.” 

“And that is what I’m talking about. We have to stay ready so we don’t have to get ready. So, you are going to pick out your dress and we are going to do your hair and makeup as if Xavier will be somewhere waiting to surprise you tonight.” 

She’s in her beauty makeover mood. I’m excited about the thought Rashidah planted in my head. We begin our mission for me, Earth Hartley, to look like a million bucks for my man tonight wherever he may be and at whatever time he decides to show up. 

“Besides, it is my B-Earth-Day today, I can look fabulous all day if I decide to do so.”

I need to keep myself in the moment and not get too excited and set myself up for a letdown.

This time of the year in southern California, the weather is unpredictable. But today is nice and hot so we go with it and choose the long summer lounge dress. It’s a sheer fabric so I glide into a white ankle length cotton slip to wear underneath. The dress fabric has water colored flowers of purple, yellow, orange, and green. The butterfly sleeves are elbow length and the front of the dress has a low V-neck. Since I am going out with Ali, who stands six feet, five inches, I put on my four inch gold sandals that tie up the leg. 

When I turned 16, my Baba gave me one yellow gold and one white gold chain necklace, one with an Ankh pendant and the other with a Gye Nyame pendant. Both pendants have a crystal planted in the middle. I fasten the white gold chain. The end of the Ankh hangs perfectly at my cleavage. I keep on the earrings that Rashidah gave me and add white gold and yellow gold bangles, and the gold Ankh ring that Momma gave me a long time ago on my right hand and a turquoise ring that Baba gave me on my left hand.

Rashidah takes down the bantu knots, pins up the back and allows the locs to fall in the front to frame my face. She beams with the look of a proud Mother. 


( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Tomeekha Pitre. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.



Order Earth's Quiet Chaos: A Novel by Tomeekha Pitre 
https://www.amazon.com/Earths-Quiet-Chaos-Tomeekha-Pitre-ebook/dp/B01F16HN8E 

About the Author
Tomeekha is a successful business professional within the corporate world of medical healthcare. She is a zealot for multi-media art and community advocacy for artists. 

Tomeekha is the co-owner of Black Cotton, LLC where she is Publisher of literary projects for the Black Cotton Publishing division. Her expertise in business and the arts allows her to enjoy consulting for startup businesses and creative projects.

Her debut novel, Earth’s Quiet Chaos, is a fictional narrative inspired by life experiences. She is spirit-led to share stories that will uplift, empower, educate and inspire individuals to live in the highest version of self. 

Website: www.tomeekhapitre.com 
FB: TomeekhaPitre
Instagram: Tomeekha
Twitter: @tomeekha

 

 

 

 


A Sinful Calling 



(A Reverend Curtis Black Novel) by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Book 13 – Reverend Curtis Black Series

Dillon hadn't been called by anyone. He'd called himself and he wasn't ashamed of it. But no good can come from . . . 

Two years ago, to everyone’s surprise, Dillon Whitfield Black, the secret son of Reverend Curtis Black, boldly moved back home, married a woman named Raven, decided he was going to become a minister and then founded a church right in the center of his living room. Today he’s pastor of a 1000-plus-member congregation, and new members are joining weekly. Sadly, behind closed doors, Dillon is far from being a saint. Dillon has become more like the man his father was thirty years ago–consumed with money, power and lots of women. His family may have forgiven him, but they continue to keep their distance.

Not Alicia, though. This daughter of Curtis Black joins Dillon’s congregation, leaving her father’s church behind. The family has forgiven Alicia for marrying Levi Cunningham, the former drug dealer she had an affair with, however, once Alicia realizes they will never fully accept Levi, she decides to see her family less and less.

But when Raven decides she wants a higher position in the church and Alicia hides a devastating secret, the entire family is affected in ways they don’t see coming. In the end, no one will be able to trust anyone…and for very good reason.


Excerpt: Chapter 1


As the choir sang, Dillon gazed across his 1,000-plus-member congregation and could barely contain himself. His heart raced with excitement, and it was all he could do not to break into laughter. The reason: He felt more like a rock star than he did a pastor, and his plan was working brilliantly. Even from the pulpit, he could tell that the members of New Faith Christian Center loved and worshiped everything about him, and he couldn’t have been more pleased.

And who would have guessed that a man of his character, someone tainted with such a sinful past, could achieve this kind of glorious success? Especially with the way Dillon had tried blackmailing his own father, the infamous Reverend Curtis Black, and had slept with his own brother’s wife. Those two indiscretions alone had occurred just over three years ago, however, thankfully—for whatever reason—Curtis and Matthew had forgiven him. Dillon and Matthew certainly weren’t the best of friends, and Dillon could tell that his dad still didn’t trust him, but again, they no longer held his past crimes against him. Although, it wasn’t like they ever called or spent time with him, either. 

But the best news of all was that his sister Alicia had turned out to be his favorite person, and she was now closer to Dillon than she was to any other family member. The two of them could easily serve as poster children for popular clichés, as they were definitely thick as thieves, two peas in a pod, bosom buddies, and the list went on. They were as close as any brother and sister could be, and they stood up for each other—probably because they were now both the black sheep of the family. Still, they’d made a pact, and because Dillon didn’t have much of a relationship with anyone on his mom’s side, God rest her soul, he cherished the one he had with his sister. This was part of the reason that he’d decided very quickly that she would be New Faith’s chief operating officer. He was also grateful to his brother-in-law, Levi, who’d invested all the initial funding to get the church up and running. 

Because of drug-related charges, Levi had done time in prison, but he was a changed man and anyone could see that he loved Alicia with his entire being. Levi had also proven beyond question that he would do anything to protect Dillon and the ministry, and he was the perfect chairman of the church’s elder board.

Although, it wasn’t only Alicia and Levi who genuinely cared about Dillon, because he now had a gorgeous wife who loved him, too. Raven, who sat smiling at him in the front row, was his everything, and he couldn’t be more grateful to have married her. He was thankful to finally have found a woman he trusted and appreciated, because before Raven, it had been no secret that he’d never had much respect for any woman, not even his own mother. 

Of course, there was no denying that, like his own, Raven’s past wasn’t pretty, but she loved, honored, and respected Dillon, and that was all that mattered to him. Yes, Raven had once served as chief financial officer at his dad’s church, and she’d served a few years in prison for embezzling a hundred thousand dollars from the ministry—out of desperation to repay her gambling debts—but today, she was a different woman. She’d been completely delivered from her casino addiction, and she was the ideal first lady. The women of New Faith Christian Center certainly thought so, and they viewed her as a stellar example. To them, she represented the fact that anyone could change for the better if he or she wanted to, and they admired that. Dillon was also happy to say that part of his success as a pastor, as well as the growing of the congregation, was a result of Raven’s notable business acumen. She was exceptionally good with numbers, and while she wasn’t New Faith’s CFO, she’d given Dillon daily advice in terms of how to handle church finances in an entrepreneurial fashion. Dillon had listened to every word and had carefully followed her suggestions, and as a result, the church leadership as a whole had very few complaints when it came to his operational decisions. It was the reason the membership was solid and increasing weekly.

But on a more personal note, Raven was the kind of woman most men would be proud to have. Not only was she head-to-toe beautiful, she was also highly intelligent, confident, and sophisticated. She didn’t seem at all like the woman he’d heard about before meeting her—nothing like the felon who’d finished a stint in prison. It was as if she’d taken lots of time to learn everything she could about culture, class, and elegance, because along with her dressing the part, she decorated their home in the same manner. She carried herself with total refinement, and Dillon was glad she’d contacted him right after he’d become estranged from his dad and siblings and had been forced to move back to Atlanta. Raven had told him that she didn’t want anything from him, but that a friend of hers had filled her in on his situation. She’d certainly understood what he was going through, particularly since she’d made her own mistakes and had been ousted from her CFO position by his dad. She’d then shared that because she’d had the opportunity to work so closely with his father and his church, she knew the ins and outs of Deliverance Outreach’s daily operations. This conversation alone had gotten the wheels spinning in Dillon’s head, and it was then that he’d decided he was going to become a minister. It was true that he’d learned a long time ago that it was much more customary for a minister to be called by God to preach, but truth was, Dillon hadn’t been called by anyone. He’d called himself, and he wasn’t ashamed of it. He’d founded his own church in the living room of his tiny apartment, and he was prospering nicely because of it.

This, of course, made Dillon think about his former fiancée, Melissa. What a dimwit she’d been, and while he hadn’t seen or heard from her since that night she’d confronted him three years ago, he hadn’t forgotten what she’d done to him—and he wasn’t planning to leave this earth before paying her back. Just thinking about the way she’d taken all his money and run off with their idiot lawn boy, Country Roger, made him cringe. Yes, Roger was a grown man, but to Dillon, he’d been nothing more than a raggedy-mouth child who’d needed tons of dental work. Dillon had known from the time he’d hired him that he was a knucklehead, but Country Roger had come cheap and he was good at what he did. Still, not once had Dillon imagined that Melissa would be foolish enough to start sleeping with Roger behind his back and then run off with him, taking just about every dime Dillon had.

Not long after Dillon had met his dad for the first time, Curtis had given him five hundred thousand dollars, trying to help make up for all the years he hadn’t been a father to Dillon, and his aunt had left him a hundred fifty thousand when she’d passed. But after spending two hundred thousand buying a condo and furnishing it, that had left him around four-fifty, and Melissa had gotten into all his bank accounts and taken the money for herself. She’d then betrayed him even further by giving proof to his dad that Dillon had been trying to blackmail him. Worse, the night she and Country Roger had left, Country Roger had held Dillon at gunpoint so that Melissa could say everything she wanted to him. Melissa had somehow, out of nowhere, discovered that she had a backbone, and she’d spoken to Dillon as if he were some moron. She’d acted as though she’d never loved him and was no longer afraid of him. The latter had shocked Dillon the most, because for years he’d controlled her every thought and move and had kept her in line. He’d made sure she’d known who ran things in their relationship, and sometimes when she’d acted stupidly, he’d had no choice but to physically remind her. But on that final evening, she’d turned into a woman he hadn’t recognized and had seemingly lost her mind.

That was okay, though, because again, Dillon would eventually seek retribution. It was true that three years had passed, but he hadn’t forgotten, and there were times when he lay awake at night thinking about it. He wished he could simply move on the way he knew some good Christians would, but no one stole from him or humiliated him and got away with it. He just couldn’t live with something like that, and when the time was right he would handle things the way he saw fit. He’d made a promise to himself that he would never put his hands on a woman again the way he had with Melissa, but he would still find a way to get his revenge.

After the choir finished singing its last song, a few church announcements aired on the TV monitors, and Dillon got up. He buttoned his Italian-made black pinstripe suit and stepped in front of the glass podium.

“This is the day the Lord hath made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it.” He began with the same scripture he quoted every single Sunday. He didn’t speak these words because the scripture meant any more to him than any other scripture he’d read; he did it because it was the scripture he’d always heard his father open with. He’d even once heard his dad say that he also quoted it each morning when he woke up, so Dillon decided that if this particular scripture was working for his dad, it would certainly work for him, too. But Dillon had taken his approach a step further, because he had taught his members to quote it back to him.

“This is the day the Lord hath made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it,” his parishioners spoke in unison.

“It is truly a blessing to be alive,” Dillon said. “It’s a blessing just to be able to say we woke up this morning in our right minds and in good health. Amen?”

“Amen,” everyone said.

“You know, for some reason I feel like sharing my testimony this morning. Many of you have heard it before, but today I feel led to share it for our new members and any visitors who are present.”

Dillon looked toward the ceiling of the sanctuary and closed his eyes. He did this to gain sympathy, and he didn’t open them until he’d mustered up real tears. He wasn’t in the mood for doing any crying today, but he’d learned early on that his church members pitied him a lot more when he did. It was one thing for a woman to shed tears, but it was something totally different when a grown man did it, and he gave them a great performance.
Dillon opened his eyes and sniffled.

“Take your time, Pastor,” more than one person said.

Dillon took a deep breath, and tears streamed down his face. “I’m so sorry, but I just feel full today. God has been so very good to me, and He’s brought me a mighty long way. My aunt used to say those very words all the time, and now I know what she means. Life hasn’t always been this great, though, because no matter how much I’ve forgiven my father and moved past what he did, it’s still very hard sometimes. It’s hard to imagine that any man would sleep with a woman, get her pregnant, and then cut her off like a piece of trash. But that’s exactly what my dad did. Then when my mom gave birth to me and asked him to take care of me, he refused. And not only did he refuse, but when he was forced to take a paternity test, he somehow worked it out so that his play brother took the test instead. But even that wasn’t enough, because then my dad paid off a couple of strippers my mom worked with. He got them to say my mom had been stealing money from the strip club she worked at, and she was fired.”

When Dillon saw a couple of women already wiping tears, he swallowed hard and sniffled again for deeper effect.

“Please excuse me, but telling this story never gets easier.”

Many people nodded with approval and gave their full attention to Dillon.

“After my mom got fired, though, and then learned that the paternity test showed my dad wasn’t my father, she begged him to tell the truth. She begged him to help take care of me. She also threatened to tell his fiancée everything. And that’s when I suddenly ended up missing one day. Then, about an hour after I was taken, my dad called my mom and told her that if she ever wanted to see me again, she would sign a document stating that he wasn’t the baby’s father. She then had to agree to never contact him again. Of course, my mom signed it, but she couldn’t live with losing her job and having my dad deny me the way he did. So she borrowed a friend’s car and crashed it into a tree. She killed herself when I was only a newborn. My mom was a stripper, and knowing what she did for a living caused me a lot of pain —it was the reason I grew up having no respect for any woman except my aunt—but she didn’t deserve to die.”

Dillon shed more tears, and although his initial tears had been forced and phony, the ones he shed now were very real. His heart ached terribly, and it was all because he’d never gotten to know his mother. His mom’s sister had been the best mother figure she could be, but Dillon still longed for his birth mother. He also wasn’t sure he’d ever stop blaming his father. He’d tried to love his father and forget about what Curtis had done, but he couldn’t. Maybe if Curtis had welcomed him with open arms and immediately loved him the way he loved his other three children, Dillon could have felt better about things. But that hadn’t happened. Instead, his dad had made it very clear that his precious Matthew was the son he truly loved and that his two daughters, Alicia and that brat Curtina, were the loves of his life also.

“I’m sharing this story because I want people to understand that when parents make selfish decisions, they affect a child for the rest of his or her life. Being forced to basically grow up as an orphan is the reason I made so many bad choices. I committed a lot of sins and hurt a lot of people, but today I’m a completely different man. God has delivered me from sin. He called me to minister, and I thank Him for giving me another chance. He’ll give everyone in here another chance as well. He’s a good God, and none of us would be anything without Him,” he proclaimed, speaking louder than he had been. “We don’t deserve his grace, mercy, and favor, but I’m here to tell you that He gives it to us anyway. He forgives us because He loves us, and if you agree, you ought to give Him a huge amount of praise today! Praise His sweet, holy name!”

The entire congregation applauded and most stood up. Many shouted their words out loud, all while in tears. Dillon smiled and was glad to know his testimony still worked. It made people take notice and feel sorry for him. He watched the reaction of his parishioners and daydreamed about the ten-thousand-member congregation he wanted. His goal and dream was to have the largest church in Mitchell, Illinois. 

More than anything, he wanted to have a church larger than his dad’s, and he wanted this sooner rather than later. His dad’s existing sanctuary seated two thousand people, so to accommodate five thousand members—four thousand of whom attended regularly—he had to hold two services. Every week, Deliverance Outreach operated at 100 percent capacity, and for this reason, Curtis was finally building a five-thousand-seat building adjacent to the current one. That way, all his members could worship together at one service, and there would also be room for new parishioners. New Faith could hold two thousand people as well, but since Dillon only had one thousand members, the church never filled more than half its space. This wasn’t good enough for Dillon, and his plan was to have twenty-five hundred members by the end of this year, a total of five thousand twelve months from now, and another five thousand within two years.

He wasn’t sure what he’d have to do to make this happen, but he’d decided a while ago that he was willing to do whatever it took. Nothing was off-limits…not even sleeping with the woman he now glanced at in the audience. Her name was Porsha Harrington. He’d tried his best to ignore her, and until three months ago, he’d been successful. But now he couldn’t get her out of his mind or his system, and he saw her as much as possible…regardless of how much he loved his wife. He didn’t fully understand why his genuine love for Raven wasn’t enough or why he had this burning desire to sleep with someone else, but he couldn’t help it. For now, though, he had to refocus on the matter at hand. He had his congregation right where he wanted them, and as soon as everyone settled down and took their seats, he smiled and said, “I know you’ve already given your tithes and offering this morning, but when God speaks to me I’ve learned not to disobey him. So let us turn our Bibles to Second Corinthians nine, verses six through seven.”

Dillon waited for everyone to open their printed editions or pull up their electronic versions.

“Are we all there?”


“Yes,” everyone replied.

“And it says, ‘The point is this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.’”

Dillon gazed at his members and never said another word. He didn’t have to. Not when they were already pulling out additional cash and writing new checks. He’d heard lots of stories from Alicia about how when she was a small girl, their dad had been loved by all. She’d told him that members of his church seemed to have no problem doing anything he asked, including giving whatever amount of money he requested. She’d insisted that it was simply a gift that their father had been blessed with. He was a handsome, charismatic, and very smart man, and people gravitated to him. Dillon hadn’t been sure he’d believed her, but when many of his congregants had begun saying how much he looked and sounded like his dad, he’d known he could use his father’s good genes to his advantage.

He’d decided that not only could he be his dad, he could be better. When it was all said and done, the good Reverend Curtis Black would be history and Pastor Dillon Whitfield Black would be all the city of Mitchell cared about.


( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Kimberla Lawson Roby. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Purchase A Sinful Calling by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Book 13 – Reverend Curtis Black Series
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1455559598/kimlawroby-20 

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 24 novels. She is the author of the highly acclaimed Reverend Curtis Black Series.  She has sold more than 2.7 Million copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, AALBC.com, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few. Kimberla is also the 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction. 

Kimberla’s novels deal with very real issues, including corruption within the church, drug addiction, gambling addiction, infidelity, social status, single motherhood, breast cancer, infertility, sibling rivalry and jealousy, domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental illness, care-giving of a parent, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment, and overweight issues to name a few.

Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will. Her 24th title, A SINFUL CALLING, will be released June 21, 2016.  Website: http://kimroby.com  

 

 

 

 


All That Is, Dance of Mindfulness & Gratitude 
A Quest for Wholeness. A Creative Non-Fiction book 
by Skywalker Payne

Now is the Only Time to Begin Your Mindfulness Practice

Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and registered nurse, Skywalker Payne unites spiritual and health benefits of mindfulness and gratitude. Using a conversational style, she shares scientific studies, spiritual insights, personal stories, and poetry to reveal how these practices can enrich your life. You not only share one woman’s journey, but also learn techniques and approaches to integrate mindfulness and gratitude into your daily life.

* You can end overwhelm.
* You can live a fulfilling life of health and vitality.
* You can be aware and appreciative of every precious moment.

A profound book that sets the reader thinking about big subjects, all within the context of mindfulness. Skywalker introduces the idea of how mindfulness could transform more than just individual’s lives, but also how we as a society govern ourselves. She includes her own process through a mindfulness course, demonstrating commitment and insights that are useful for anyone considering learning about mindfulness. A thought-provoking and inspiring read. – Jane Duncan Rogers, Author of Gifted By Grief: A True Story of Cancer, Loss and Rebirth

Book Reviews for Skywalker Payne 


An honest, authentic look into the wonderful mind of Skywalker Payne. If you are working on improving or perfecting your mindfulness practice, pick up this book. 
– Tom Morkes, CEO of Insurgent Publishing

"All That Is" - a beautifully written book. It's meant for all peoples. Before I got a copy my perception of gratitude and mindfulness was guided by my Christian teachings and knowledge acquired as a scientist. After I immersed myself in the read, I became reeducated and had a deeper appreciation of the themes gratitude and mindfulness. Through Skywalker’s stories - some personal - I learned ways by which I could make that deep profound connection with my inner self, with nature, and ways to express gratitude - not just to others, but for everyday living and situations. One mustn't be rich or famous to attain contentment. All one needs, as Skywalker projects via her book, is to search within and adopt a simple yet wholesome approach.”
– Uzoma Okoroafor, 85degrees.wordpress.com


Excerpt from All That Is

02/18/2015

I practice Tibetan Buddhism. Vipassana, the meditation technique that led Jon Kabat-Zinn to develop MBSR is from this tradition. Today was the day for me to practice Gutor in preparation for Tibetan New Year.

My teacher, Dungse Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche explained, "In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition the Gutor Reversing Practices work for future prosperity in general and help in removing obstacles to life in particular."

Of course as a solo practitioner, my practice is limited but I do my best. Another important practice on this day is house cleaning. And once again, in my unmindful manner, I took on more than I should have. But, I achieved my most important objectives.

Mindfulness was not in my thoughts as I worked but I did pay attention to each task and worked as efficiently as I could. The sun shone brightly and when I stepped on the porch to shake out the dust mop, the temperature was comfortable without a jacket. So, I said to Brian, "Do you want to go for a walk?"

"I don't know, I'm still going through my Facebook newsfeed."

"Well, I might go by myself."

After doing a little more work, I prepared lunch. I was aware of my preparation. I speeded up the process by tearing several leaves of spinach instead of tearing one leaf at a time. As I prepared the food, I offered it to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. This is a form of Buddhist prayer and blessing. Eating was as enjoyable as yesterday. The sun streamed through the window and its reflection sparkled over the bay.

I watched four small motorboats speed over the water. This spinach salad was easier to eat than the kale and lettuce of the day before, the tastes and textures smoother. I heard the crunch as I chewed the walnuts and sunflower seeds. And even though I talked with Brian, I maintained attention on the food I ate. I looked at the water and felt the warmth of the sun on my face. A walk called to my mind but my body, and my legs particularly, felt sore and tired. Brian wanted to finish his Facebook news feed, vacuum, and take a bath before we left.

"What time is it?" I asked.

"Three-thirty."

"Why don't we just plan to go for a walk tomorrow because you're not going to be ready in time."

I didn't tell him that my legs were too sore for me to try and walk the rocky beach. But, I could not resist the seductiveness of the bright sun and clear blue skies that come so infrequently I treasure them like discovered gold. So, I used taking the grocery bags to the car and checking the mailbox as my brief escape into the sunshine.

Homer is a tourist town with a permanent population of over 5,000. It has a reputation for being an artistic and free-spirited, creative community. This reputation was developed in the sixties by a progressive group of people called the Barefooters. Yes, they walked barefoot. But, in actuality, Homer is like any other small town. People are initially welcoming and superficially friendly. And, as in any small town, developing true friendships is a slow process.

We came to Homer with the hope of making it our home. I was recruited by the local hospital to be a labor and delivery nurse and also to work on the medical-surgical ward. During the brief phone interview with the unit manager I told her my medical-surgical experience was limited to a four-bed ward in the Hopi Health Care Center in Polacca, Arizona. The center did not perform surgery and only cared for low level, acute illnesses, elderly, and dying patients. The manager told me the Homer hospital had similar patients. Furthermore, I told her I had spent the last year as a school nurse. So, any discerning person would know my medical-surgical nursing skills were limited considering I'd only been nursing for six years. But she offered me the job.

So, Brian and I trekked off to the last great American frontier and drove to Alaska. That is I drove and he navigated. Brian does not drive. I was willing and up to driving through the states, but the thought of driving through Canada did not appeal to me. We were fortunate to get a cabin on the Alaska Ferry in Bellingham, Washington and ride through the beautiful northwest waters. The ferry ride was the most enjoyable part of our travel. We traveled from Washington State, through the northern waters, passing most of Canada, ending in southern Alaska at a small town called Haines. 

Driving kept me in a state of constant stress. The car was packed to the hilt and the weight caused it to accelerate going downhill. Unfortunately, the roads going west and northward are along mountainous areas. So the drive was a continuous succession of steep ascents and descents.

But we survived the journey and arrived without mishap. We have a beautiful view of Kachemak Bay ringed by snow capped mountains and glaciers.

( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Skywalker Payne. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Purchase All That Is - Dance of Mindfulness & Gratitude by Skywalker Payne 

From the Author
https://skywalkerpayne.com/book-store 






Transformational Innovation
10 Practical Steps to Help You Change Your Life 
by Dr. Nat’e Guyton

Dr. Nat’e Guyton is a dynamic and compelling keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and author. In Transformational Innovation author Nat’e Guyton outline 10 practical steps to help you change your life. Dr. Guyton takes a spiritual and personal approach, guiding you on a transformative journey that will help you achieve your goals, and realize your dreams. According to Dr. Guyton, experiencing transformational innovation in your life come down to using 10 practical steps: 

• Alter Your Perceptions
• Eliminate Clutter
• Remove Constraints
• Don’t Be Traceable
• Shatter The Rules
• Build Partnerships
• Kick Down The Gates
• Visionary Versus Systems Thinking
• Show Gratitude
• Let Go and Let God

Meet the Author
Dr. Nat’e Guyton is the CEO of SNG Enterprises, LLC, and Professor at Walden University. She is a dynamic and compelling keynote speaker, entrepreneur, author, real estate investor, registered nurse, advocate, mentor, and advisor on leadership, mentorship, trust, and high performance. Nat’e has won numerous awards, including the John L. Geoghehan Leadership Award. Guyton holds a Doctorate in Management, a Master’s degree in Nursing Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and well as several leadership and clinical certifications. She resides in Delaware with her husband and two children.

Dr. Guyton can be reached at:

Email: Tayguyton@gmail.com
Instagram: @drguyton10
Twitter: DrGuyton
Facebook: Nat’e Guyton
Website: http://10-principles.com

Order Transformational Innovation: 10 Practical Steps to Help You Change Your Life by Dr. Nat’e Guyton
Genre: Spiritual/Self-Help. Website: http://10-principles.com. Available nationwide in July, 2016.


 

 

 

 


Praying My Way Out of the Struggle 
by Sierra J.D.

Most people have a special place in their hearts for their hometown, but with 18-year-old Trina Capone, it's the complete opposite. Trina despises Baton Rouge, where she has been born and raised. Following the divorce of her parents, Trina has had to take on the responsibility of being the woman of the house, including raising the siblings left to her when her mother becomes addicted to drugs. All Trina wants to do is graduate high school. But one thing after another happens that could either break her or make her into the woman she desires to be – all things opposite of her crack-fiend mother. 

Little does Trina know, the very city that she couldn’t wait to get away from becomes the city she doesn’t want to leave. As a person who has never accepted that life could either break her or make her into the woman she desires to be - all things opposite of her crack-fiend mother. The love of God the Almighty leaves her speechless and craving for more of his tender love and mercy.

Praying My Way Out of the Struggle is the first installment of the seven-novel Family Matters series. The Family Matters novels brings you into the lives of individuals who are members of or are connected to Kingdom Bound Church. The series sheds light on marriage, drugs, addictions, teenage pregnancy, abuse, suicide, identity, racism, sexuality, gangs, crime, the laws of the United States, and more.

Excerpt: Praying My Way Out of the Struggle 

What’s up? It’s your girl Trina. So, I heard through the grapevine that you heard about me and wanted to see what all of the hype was about for yourself. Good for you! I’m so delighted that you believe that my story is worth your precious time. Do you honestly believe that you can handle all of my drama though? Do you, really? Well, let me give you a lil’ introduction so that you can prepare yourself better for what is to come.

Well, to start off, today is my 18th birthday. You would think that I would be going out to the club and enjoying myself, but I’m not. Unlike other 18-year-olds, I have real responsibilities to tend to other than wasting a wad of cash to get pretty and stand up in a club all night. My responsibilities are not “normal” things like doing chores around the house and finishing homework before I can ask for permission from my parents to go somewhere. My responsibilities includes studying hard to pass all of my classes, so that I can graduate high school in eight months, working to pay household bills and to keep food in the house, making sure everyone in my house has decent clothes to wear to accommodate this bipolar Louisiana weather, making sure that my mama doesn’t do anything crazy to get me evicted from my apartment, and taking care of four children in addition to myself and my unborn baby. So no, I’m not celebrating the birthday that I’ve always looked forward to celebrating by club-hopping like most of the girls in my senior class gets to do. Don’t get me wrong. There ain’t nothing wrong with shakin’ ya rump-shaker and getting wasted if that’s what you like to do. 

You don’t have to worry about me judging because the Bible says let he that is without sin cast the first stone and baby I am nowhere near to being like Jesus just yet. So keep on doing what you do just as long as you get it right before the second coming of Christ. But as for me going out to the club, I was never really able to do that even if I did want to. It seemed like every time I was given the opportunity to experience the night life, another baby that I had to take care of was getting ready to pop out. When you have four kids at home who need you to watch over them, you can’t be risking their safety to sweat your weave out in a hot club and walk out smelling like marijuana.

And heck no, they ain’t my kids! But, you might as well call ’em mine, though, because my mama sure ain’t taking care of ’em. Ol’ good for nothing, nappy-headed a-…Hold up, let me not get started on her just yet and bring it back to me because I could write a whole ’nother book about the mother I ain’t had since I was around two years old. Speaking of, you know what I would really enjoy doing on this birthday? Taking a walk with Jesus to that birthday. I don’t remember much about it. Based on what my daddy says and the pictures that I have, I feel as if it was one of the most exciting days of my life…other than finding out that I was going to be a mother. The pictures from that day proves that everything was as happy and peaceful as my daddy describes, too. In every picture of me, I am smiling hard and clinging to my mama and daddy, surrounded by family that I haven’t seen since before my parent’s divorced.

The pictures shows a side of my mama that I don’t remember. She was happy. She looked healthy. She looked like a real mother. My mama was thick as a milkshake with silky black hair pulled up into a high ponytail with a bang. She was a showstopper, dressed in a Coogi shirt, black high-waist pants, and kitten heels. Her smile is contagious in those pictures, but then I am reminded of what the reality is when it comes to her, and I start to cry. My daddy said that she was even a tongues-speaking, prayer warrior back then. A mixture of being hurt by family and the church took a toll on her heart, and she turned to the devil for healing.

Now, her sins cause my hell. But not today Satan! I will not allow you to get me emotional on my birthday. I work tirelessly every day taking care of what she should and today, one out of 365 days, I choose to be happy.

My introduction is probably scaring you off, so let me switch gears. This story is about me, Trina Capone, and the people that takes a part of making me all that I am. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a cool chic. I respect you if you respect me. I’m ’bout my business. I’m a fashionista, I’m a hairstylist in the making. I value my free education. And, currently, I am preparing myself to be a born again Christian. I know where I have been, and I know where I am headed. This Christian thing is new to me, so I ask that you bear with me through it all as I try to conquer the old me and defeat the enemy. I’m far from perfect, and you are, too, so keep that in mind as you are strapping on your six-inch heels. While you’re at it, you might want to grab a bag of popcorn, turn your cell phone on silent, log off of all of your social network accounts, and buckle up and get ready. It’s time you let go of that wall you’re holding onto. My life is pure struggle. And, in the struggle, there are no training wheels to stable you up; you just have to keep getting up until you get your balance. I don’t know how this story will end, but I know that God is in control. The elders at the church that I recently became a member of told me that when God wants you to grow, he makes you uncomfortable. I’ve been uncomfortable with my life for a while. Well, my growth must gonna be phenomenal because my discomfort has been severe and as long – the entire span of my life.

Chapter One

Trina


“Twenty dollars at pump one,” I told the cashier as I handed her Josh’s gas money.

Josh, my boyfriend, claims that he has a special day planned for my birthday, which started out with a shopping spree. Since I’m four months pregnant, there isn’t too much that I can do now a days, but clap and shout in church. So I’m really looking forward to seeing where else we’ll go. I know you’re probably thinking about how big of a hypocrite I am right now for being pregnant by my boyfriend, but I just recently started building a relationship with God, and he ain’t done working with me yet. I wasn’t worrying about what God thought about me back then, but I surely thank him for carrying me through all that I go through now.

“Well how you been, son?” a dark skinned, heavy set woman was asking Josh as I was walking back to the car. Son? What the heck does she mean “son”?  We’ve been together for a good year and some months and I’ve met everyone in Josh’s family…well, except for his mama. The only thing that I know about that situation is that his daddy raised him because his mama wasn’t being a good role model in his life, whatever that means. His parent situation is screwed up, and so is mine. So, I don’t judge. I guess that’s why our relationship is as strong as it is.

I looked at Josh and the woman crazy as I opened the passenger’s door to his white Camaro and got inside. The music was so loud in the car that I couldn’t even get my ear hustle on. All that I could see was Josh getting angry, walking towards the passenger’s door. When he opened the door, I got a lil’ scared.

“What?” I asked, like I was minding my business the whole time.

“Man…Trina, this my mama. Mama, this is my girl,” Josh introduced.

“Hey,” I said as I waved to the lady that stood on side of him. With that attitude, I don’t know whether to be happy or not. Obviously, all of his good looks came from his daddy, because she is nowhere near being as good-looking as Josh is. She bit her lips in a manner that oozed sex and dirty, inappropriate thoughts as she stared back at me, making me feel very much violated.

“I know you from somewhere,” she said.

“No, you don’t know me because I surely don’t know you,” I said, nodding my head no.

“Yeah…You one of Tina girls, huh? The oldest one, right?”

“Yeah. How you know my mama?” I said with a smirk and a raised eyebrow.

“Everybody knows your mama, baby girl… You pregnant?” She said, pointing in the direction of my stomach. I know you see I have a lil’ pudge in my stomach huh?

“Yeah.”

“For my son?”

Who else would it be for woman?


“Yeah.”

“Uh huh, you a fine lil’ thing,” she said right before Josh slammed the door and got into the car. I know she felt hurt when he drove off, leaving her there looking stupid all by herself.

“What’s up, bae, talk to me,” I said, as we turned into Sherwood Lane apartments, where I live.

“I ain’t like the way she was looking at you,” he replied, parking in front of my apartment building.

“Yeah, I ain’t like that either. She’s a lesbian or something?”

“Yeah, and one of my ex-girlfriends is her girlfriend right now.”

“Ugh.”

“I know right…and I’ll be damn if I let her take you,”

“Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-”

“Don’t do it. Don’t let that situation make you curse. You haven’t cursed all day, so don’t do it,” he said as soon as he saw me rolling my neck about to go into a cursing binge.

“Jesus, please be my tongue,” I said, holding my chest and nodding my head, like I was out of breath. “Oooh, Lord, thank you because you know I was about to put you in your place, right? But, bae, why are we here? I thought we were going somewhere else?” I said getting out of the car, after him.

“I have to get this sell right quick,” he replied, opening the back door.

“While we’re supposed to be celebrating my birthday? Are you fu- freaking serious?”

“Yeah, I promise we gon’ go where I wanted to take you in like a hour or two,”

“Man forget it, whatever!” I yelled, as I started walking up the steps to the apartment that I was forced to call home.

My mama, my lil’ siblings, and I live here and I hate it, but it’s better than living how we use to live, with the crack man. After I saw him beat the living day lights out of my mama, I called my daddy so fast, and he moved us into an apartment the next day. We left her behind since it seemed like she didn’t mind having the crack man go upside her head, not if it meant she got laid, as well as supplied with goods she craved.

The new apartment my dad moved me and my siblings into was decent at first. I could tolerate it being near the hood and having the lil’ wannabe drug dealers roaming around the apartment buildings because nobody bothered me. But, the intolerable drama began when my lil’ sister Kayla brought Mama home with her after school one day. She made herself right at home and went ahead and moved in. It hurts living with the fact that I have a fiend for a mother and that she cares more about drugs than her own kids. It’s a good thing my parents were married when I was born into this messed up world, or I would be just like my lil’ sisters and brother. They don’t know who the heck their daddy is.

So I guess you’re wondering what happened to my daddy, huh? Well, he divorced Mama after she had the first two kids by men she didn’t even know, just for crack. Daddy accepted the first child, Kayla. But when Mama got pregnant with Nina, he had enough of Mama’s problems. Who the men are? We have no idea. She doesn’t even know her own self. If you happen to know, please shoot them in the groin area for busting inside of my mama. I bet that’ll hurt! Oh, Lord, I didn’t really mean that. Forgive me, Jesus! I know, I know. The power of life and death lies in the power of the tongue. I’m sorry.

Anyway, my daddy tried taking me, and Kayla and Nina, who were then babies, to live with him in Houston, but my mama carefully broke into my daddy’s apartment and took us back to Baton Rouge in the middle of the night. Since then, she has given birth to two more virtually fatherless kids for crack! I don’t know how they came out healthy, though. I guess God must’ve really been watching over her during her pregnancies.

I’m glad that she tied her tubes after the last one, though, because she doesn’t even take care of the kids that she has now. And, I’m pretty sure that the good Lord knows that I can’t bear taking care of anymore of her kids. She’s so lucky that I take care of us well enough that everyone around the ‘hood hasn’t ever bothered to call Child Protection Services on her. But, I can’t take all of the credit because my daddy helps me out a lot. If it wasn’t for having a man like him as my daddy, I don’t know what I would do. It’s been him assisting me in teaching my sisters about hygiene and my brother about guy things. If it wasn’t for my daddy, I wouldn’t have known that my brother and baby sister were only supposed to eat certain food as babies. If it wasn’t for my siblings, I would’ve been got away from here and moved to Houston with my daddy. But, here I am playing a mommy of four while my mama waste her life away.

Most people love their hometown, but I could care less about this messed-up city. How can I love my hometown when the people here are helping my mother kill herself? They don’t call it Jigga City for nothing. Whoever thought of that nick name, knew just what they were talking about. I don’t know how much more I can take living around this mess. That’s why my daddy helped me get a lil’ townhouse because I can’t take the thought of having to raise my child around this mess. It’s not too far from where we live now, but it’ll be just enough of distance for me to finally be at peace and to better work on my relationship with God. At the apartment with my mama, it’s so hard for me not to cuss or want to fight my mama and fast-tail 16-year-old sister. The townhouse is on a better street, near the schools that my siblings and I attend, and surrounded by couples who have been living there for decades. I’ll take the nosey neighbors and quiet streets over going outside and seeing people make drug deals in the open and prostitutes walking around at night. It’s enough my lil’ sisters and brother got exposed to that life. But, I refuse to expose my unborn baby to this whenever he or she gets here.

It is a shame that my daddy has to call me every day, worried about if I’m gon’ lose my mind and kill myself one day. I don’t know what put it into my mind to finally take my godsister Larissa’s offer of going to Kingdom Bound Church with her that day, but I haven’t been the same since I left. So as long as I continue to take a walk with Jesus, I know that I’ll be alright. Taking those walks has saved so many females, including my mama, from getting their butts whooped these last few months. The good Lord knows if it had not been for me trying to turn my life over to him, I would have been knocked out about two of those females for picking with me behind my man, and I would have been slapped my mama upside of her head for all that she does to make my life more difficult than it already is! But, God! They better thank the Lord that I’m trying to change and get my life together before my baby gets here.

In a couple of months I’m gon’ have my own little one, and I’m gon’ be the best mother a child could ever have, the total opposite of my mama. It kind of sucks that it looks like I’ll be raising my child as a single mother, though, because, at the rate that Josh is going with selling drugs and all, our relationship will not last much longer. Our bond is strong, but the way that my God is set up, I can’t have one foot in the church and the other foot in the world. Although I love him with all of my being, I have to do what’s right. If marrying me and getting our lives right for the Lord isn’t in the plans, we will just not be together.

“What’s good Trina?” Carl, one of the ‘hood young drug dealers, asked. This dude picks with me every day, knowing dang well I can’t stand his black behind. I don’t even know why he continue to bother talking to me when he knows he’s going to get ignored, just like I’ve been doing for the past year and a half. I guess he’ll never learn.

“Uh, huh, there you go ignoring me again,” he added, after watching me open the door without acknowledging his presence.

“Get a life, lil’ boy!” I said as I walked into the apartment.

“I’ight, I’ll leave you alone. You lucky you’re JJ’s girl because I would’ve been tapped that there just like Trey doing your lil’ sister right now.”

“What?!” I yelled, stepping back into the doorway.

“Awwww, girl, cut that s*$% out.”

“No, dude. You cut that cursing out. You’re lucky I’m even letting you talk to me right now, so check your mouth.”

“Awwww, that’s right. They say you a lil’ church girl now. But, I was just saying, don’t try to act all surprised n’ sh-stuff. You know that’s nothin’ new. When ya’ moms ain’t got no money for her goods, you already know the deal. It’s either Nina or Kayla to spread them legs, and Lil’ NiNi wasn’t home. You know Roscoe been wanted her lil’ fine a- self.”

“Mess with Nina, and y’all will mess up y’all life. And, I promise you that I’ll have y’all family dressed in all black. Take it how you want to!” I said, before slamming the door in his face.  I locked the door and turned around to a real messed-up scene that I’m tired of witnessing: my lil’ brother rocking my baby sister to sleep on the couch while my mama is getting high in the kitchen. Yeah, she’s one bold woman, and she doesn’t give a rat’s behind when or where she’s getting her fix at because, in her mind, that’s her only purpose in life. Nope, she doesn’t even care that she is contaminating the minds of her young children. I really think that she wants us to be just like her. Broke, with no goals, just wasting our lives away, while we’re strung out on a crack addiction.

My mind is officially made up: I can’t take this mess no more; I’m moving into my apartment today, and I’m taking all of my siblings, except for Kayla, with me. I’ve been around drugs practically my whole life, and I’m just tired of it! Father God, work on my tongue, Lord! Don’t curse, Trina, don’t curse, Trina, don’t curse!

“And, you call yourself a woman?!” I said, standing onside the couch, facing the kitchen.

“And, I hear that you are so say calling yourself a Christian now, huh? Walking around here, pregnant for a dope dealer, and talking to me any kind of way you want to. You ain’t no woman! The Bible says to honor your mother, and what you doing?” she boldly told me back.

“God still working on me, and you of all people doesn’t have any room to judge me, woman. If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have a couch to sleep on or a pot to pee in, so watch it. I’m more woman than you’ll ever be, that’s for sure! I didn’t ask for this life or to grow up earlier than I was supposed to. YOU made me! And, don’t you find it kinda’ hard for me to honor you? You don’t even give a fu- you don’t even care that Scooby and Bunni are right there watching you get high!”

“You better watch who you talking to like that, lil’ girl, before I make you mad and call on your lil’ Joshy boy for my goods. And, don’t worry about what I’m doing! They alright!” she said as she began to clean up her lil’ drug shop on the kitchen counter.

“You’re bold. Call him, and see me pop out the lil’ bit of brains that you have left.”

“Just for that, I will call him, and I’ll show him what it feels like to be with a real woman,” she said, twirling her hips around.

“You washed up piece of trash! If I find out that you ever even try to put your finger on him, I’ll make you wish you never had me! C’mon, Scooby, and take Bunni with you!” I told my little brother as I began walking towards the bedroom.

( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sierra J.D. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

About the Author

Author Sierra J.D. is a wife and mother, living in her home state of Louisiana. Sierra found her love of writing at twelve years old when she was first introduced to poetry in Junior High School. She enjoyed crafting stories into poems and a few years later wrote her first novel. Writing allowed Sierra to escape depression during her adolescence and she has since created a goal to make a career out of her passion of writing. With her collegiate degrees giving her the skills and foundation needed to be a successful business woman, Author Sierra J.D. has decided to enter the literary world as an author and Independent Publisher. With the assistance of her husband, Dion, the couple founded Destined Eloquence Publishing. The Mission of Destined Eloquence Publishing is to publish works that will bring awareness and help to various issues of our day and time as well as inspire, uplift, and motivate.

Purchase Praying My Way Out of the Struggle

Website: DestinedEloquence.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sierra.jones.3538 
Purchase from the author: http://www.destinedeloquence.com/events.html 

 

 

 

 


One Sunday at a Time by E. N. Joy 

What does crazy look like? Let Deborah tell it, it's the reflection that looks back at her in the -mirror. She has a career she loves, two beautiful children and a handsome and successful husband. Her life seems to be the blueprint almost every woman she knows would kill to live. But working full-time, being a full-time mother, full-time wife and a full-time Sunday only Christian seems to be taking its toll on her. With all the scheming and shenanigans Deborah orchestrated to get this lifestyle, she might have to come up with a whole set of new ones to maintain it.

Lynox is Deborah's husband who she thanks God for putting back into her life after a game of cat and mouse that defies the laws of romance. He feels that all Deborah needs is to let her hair down, maybe make some new friends and live a little. When Deborah agrees and then suspects Lynox of having an affair with the woman that he suggested she form a friendship with, will he live to regret his own advice?


Excerpt: One Sunday at a Time by E. N. Joy 

Prologue

“You can’t leave me!” Deborah yelled at Lynox, spittle flying from her mouth. She looked like a madwoman. She felt like a madwoman. Her hair was in disarray, and perspiration had beaded up on her forehead. It was a wonder she didn’t have foam caked up in the corners of her mouth. She was acting rabid, like the victim in a science fiction horror movie who had failed to escape the vicious plague that was attacking all of Earth.

She needed help; that was no longer the million-dollar question. The question now was, why hadn’t she gotten the help she so desperately needed, or rather, why hadn’t she continued getting the help she’d once been receiving? For a minute there she had felt that she’d been doing so well that she didn’t need any help. There had always been the possibility that if she fell back into her slump again, she could just pick up where she’d left off in her treatment. Not only had some of her old traits reared their ugly heads, but she was far worse off now than she had ever been before. What had started off as a manageable snowball was now an avalanche. If Lynox didn’t get out of the way, he’d be buried alive underneath it.

“I can leave you, I am leaving you, and I’m taking the kids with me,” was Lynox’s reply to his wife’s statement.

So now not only was her husband leaving her, but he was also taking their two sons with him? The rage that welled up in Deborah’s being was uncontrollable. That didn’t come as any surprise. She’d lost jurisdiction over her emotions a long time ago. At first, when her life had seemed to be getting hectic, she had managed somewhat. She’d hidden the darkness under the beam of an invisible flashlight. Outsiders couldn’t see the darkness or the object projecting the false lighting. But then, emotionally, it had felt as if one thing was piling on top of the other. Anger issues. Depression. Anxiety. The need to be in control. Compulsion for order.

There had been times, after researching the term, when she’d even thought she might be bipolar. Heck, maybe she had been experiencing a little bit of all of them, which was a recipe for disaster. With her husband standing in front of her, a suitcase in hand, and threatening to leave her, it looked like the recipe had been followed to a tee, and now the timer on the oven was sounding. It was done. Over. Finished. Kaput.

“Why are you doing this?” Deborah cried out. “Why are you hurting me?” Deborah stood there, blocking the closed bedroom door. She’d already told Lynox that he was leaving over her dead body. Those hadn’t merely been desperate words flung out of her mouth. She’d meant it.

“I was hurting you when I was pampering and pacifying you, instead of making you go do something about it,” Lynox told her.

“So now what?” Deborah raised her arms and then allowed them to fall to her sides.

“You call this helping me?”

Lynox shook his head. “No. I call this giving you the opportunity to help yourself.”

Lynox slowly walked toward his wife. It pained him so much to see her like this. He didn’t understand how a person’s emotions and behavior could shift so erratically. Why was it that he and Deborah could experience the best night in the world, but then Deborah would wake up mad at the world? Or how could one little thing that threw her off schedule or was out of order send her on a rampage?

Although Deborah loved her job as a literary agent and an editor, it was hard for Lynox to tell sometimes. Getting steady, good-paying projects was every freelance editor’s dream. But as an agent, sometimes Deborah could get overwhelmed by submissions or needy authors. So when all her projects collided or piled on top of one another, she often operated out of fear of not getting done what she already had on her plate before another healthy portion was served up. When Deborah was working on one project, her mind would already be on the next one, and the one after that. God forbid Lynox or the children needed her to do something for them. She’d bite their heads off just for asking.

For Deborah, there were instances when she felt pangs of guilt for feeling as though she’d put her job before her family. She’d be regretful, which would make her feel like less than a good wife and mother, sending her into a bout of depression. Everything about her life was like a double-edged sword, and now she was cutting up. Lynox had already received one wound too many. It was time for him to go, but Deborah wasn’t going to allow that without putting up a fight.

“I promise I’ll be better,” Deborah pleaded, looking into her man’s eyes. “I’ll do whatever you want me to do.” Deborah bounced up and down like a child begging her parent to buy her something from the ice-cream truck.

Lynox rested his hands on Deborah’s shoulders. The gesture was both to comfort her and to make her stop bouncing. He could see that his leaving was eating her up. He was afraid. He really didn’t know what his wife would do after he walked out that door, but he was more afraid of what might happen if he didn’t.

“Don’t you get it, baby? I don’t want you to do whatever I want you to do. I want you to do what you need to do. You need help, and unless you feel that you need help and you get that help for yourself, things won’t get better.”

Lynox was right. The way Deborah stared into his eyes with no rebuttal was silent proof that she agreed. Still, if she did get help, she wanted him to be there by her side during the process.

“I will be getting help for myself because I want to,” Deborah said. “But I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t doing it for the family too. I know if I’m better, then you guys will be better,” she said. Made sense too, because when she wasn’t happy, nobody was happy. Her misery seemed to eject from her pores, bringing everyone in the house down or forcing them to walk on eggshells. Even her nine-month-old son was whiny and cranky when Deborah was having a bad day or just a bad moment even.

“I will support you,” Lynox said. “For the sake of our children and our marriage, I will support you.”

Deborah exhaled a gasp of hot air. “Oh, yes. God, thank you!” Deborah threw her arms around Lynox and cried. This time hers were tears of joy and relief. She gripped his shirt, holding on to him as if she never wanted to let go. She didn’t want to let go.

“But I’ll just be doing it from another address.”

Instantly, Deborah’s demeanor changed. She stiffened, and her tears of joy seemed to stop midway down her cheeks. She pulled back from Lynox but still gripped his shirt.

“You’re dying to go out there and be with her, aren’t you?” Deborah glared at Lynox.

“That’s what your leaving is really about.”

“Be with who, Deborah?” Lynox noticed that Deborah’s eyes were turning wild. “No.

You know what? I’m not even about to do this with you. Not again.” Lynox removed Deborah’s hands from his shirt and walked over to the door. He turned to face Deborah. “Call me when you get some help . . . for real this time.” He opened the door, his back now to Deborah.

He should have thought twice about turning his back on Deborah. The Beats Pill speaker crashing against the door, missing Lynox’s head by inches, was proof of that. Lynox held the doorknob. He gripped it tightly, causing the palm of his hand to turn red. The veins in his hand were pulsating. He squeezed his eyes shut so hard that he got an instant headache. It was like déjà vu all over again from only a couple of months ago. He had to get out of there before things got physical, like they had the last time. He still carried far too much regret from that night to pile on more. He opened his eyes and took two steps out the door.

“You took vows. You said you would be with me until death do us part,” Deborah shouted at Lynox’s back.

Deborah’s words stopped Lynox in his tracks. He turned around and faced his wife.

“The death of what, though, Debbie? The death of being in love? The death of trust? Given how our marriage is disintegrating, the death of one of us? How many things have to die, things that are supposed to be the foundation of our marriage, before the marriage itself dies?”

Deborah had no reply for her husband. Sure, the vows they’d each read from the Bible and exchanged included the words “till death do us part.” But Lynox was right. Their vows didn’t specifically say that this death was the physical death of the husband or the wife. So many things had already died, some that probably couldn’t even be resuscitated. Deborah was willing to ride this thing out, though, until the wheels fell off. That was easy for her to say, considering that she was the one wearing them down until they did.

How had things gotten this bad? They were at the point of no return. And now she feared that once Lynox walked out that door, he wouldn’t return. She wouldn’t be able to live with herself knowing that she was the cause of her marriage being over, the cause of her family being split. She couldn’t live like that. She couldn’t live without Lynox. She couldn’t live without her family together as one. She couldn’t live. She wouldn’t. So allowing Lynox to walk out that door and go on with his life, leaving her on her own to bear such devastation, wasn’t an option. So Deborah did what she had to do to stop the pain before it ever hit.

( Continued... )


Meet the Author


BLESSEDselling Author E. N. Joy is the writer behind the five book series, “New Day Divas,” the three book series, “Still Divas,” the three book series, “Always Divas,” and the forthcoming three book series, “Forever Divas,” which have been coined “Soap Operas In Print.” She is an Essence Magazine Bestselling Author who wrote secular books under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY.

This award winning author has been sharing her literary expertise on conference panels in her home town of Columbus, Ohio as well as cities across the country. Her children’s book titled The Secret Olivia Told Me, written under the name N. Joy, received a Coretta Scott King Honor from the American Library Association. The book was also acquired by Scholastic Books and has sold almost 100,000 copies. Elementary and middle school children have fallen in love with reading and creative writing as a result of the readings and workshops E. N. Joy instructs in schools nationwide.

In addition, she is the artistic developer for a young girl group named DJHK Gurls. She pens original songs, drama skits and monologues for the group that deal with messages that affect today’s youth, such as bullying.

You can visit BLESSEDselling Author E. N. Joy at www.enjoywrites.com or email her at enjoywrites@aol.com.


Purchase One Sunday at a Time by E. N. Joy 
(Christian Fiction)



 

 

 

 


Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright



When Mr. Right is Oh So Wrong

I’ll never let you go…Allina had always dreamed of hearing those words. But when her fiancé, Isaac, utters them, it isn’t a promise—it’s a threat. Scared and confused, with only moments before the wedding, Allina knows what she must do. Forget walking down the aisle; it’s time to run. Back to Michigan. Back to Kent.

Kent has loved Allina for longer than he can remember. Out of respect for their friendship, he’s never crossed the line, but when she turns up on his doorstep wearing her torn, tearstained wedding gown, the fire inside him ignites. He’ll do whatever it takes to make Allina feel safe—like the beautiful, desirable woman she is. But as Kent and Allina grow closer, and their passion pushes deeper, it’s clear that something bigger than a botched wedding still lingers between them . . .

Elle Wright Book Reviews 

“Simply put… Fantastic!!!” 
– Tanishia Pearson-Jones on Her Kind of Man

“My favorite romance of 2015!!!” 
–Tiffany Tyler on His All Night

“Scandal never read so good! Elle Wright wraps passion, desire and taboo into a delicious read.” 
– Cheris Hodges on The Forbidden Man

“What an emotional journey! Elle Wright's debut release, The Forbidden Man, will hit the right chord for romance readers. From the first few pages, drama unfolds and maintains a steady pace that keeps any sagging bits out of sight. The launch of this new series - Edge of Scandal - starts with a strong, compelling introduction of family and friends. Through Wright's craft, we see the characters at their best and at their worst. As a result, tension and conflict intertwine to test the boundaries and stamina of the hero and heroine, providing us with rich content to devour. So now that Wright has us hooked, we eagerly await the next installment, His All Night.” 
– USA Today on The Forbidden Man

“This gripping debut is packed with drama and a love triangle that will certainly tug at the old heartstrings. Ms. Wright's entry into the world of romance is a memorable one that I'm sure readers will enjoy from the first page to the last.” 
– J.D. Mason, Bestselling Author of the Beautiful, Dirty, Rich series on The Forbidden Man

“4 stars! Scorcher! An emotional story that causes one to evaluate just how much one's past experiences should color one's present. The portrayal of the heroine's huge struggle with allowing anyone to get close to her and the hero's patience and support are outstanding.” 
– RT Book Reviews on His All Night

“From the first sexy encounter, it's obvious this couple belonged together. Elle Wright weaves an angst-ridden story with smoking hot love scenes that will make you keep reading until the perfectly sweet conclusion.” 
– Delaney Diamond, USA Today bestselling author on His All Night


Excerpt: Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright

The doorbell rang. Kent rushed to the front door and swung it open. Allina stood before him in the doorway, her head down, clutching her purse against her chest. Closing his eyes, he slumped forward in relief.

“Allina?” He tilted her head up to get a good look at her face.

Letting his gaze wander over her, he took in the lightweight jacket she wore and the…wedding dress. It was dirty and ripped at the bottom. She was soaking wet, from head to toe. Her hair covered her face like a veil, her hands were clenched together, and her shoulders were slouched. Swallowing, he reached out and swept the hair out of her face.

“Allina,” he called to her softly. “Are you okay?”

Slowly, she raised her head. When their gazes met, he was hit with an overwhelming urge to hold her, which wasn’t really new. It just wasn’t normal. But he’d do anything in that moment to make it better. Her bottom lip trembled and he inched closer to her. When she let out a whimper, he pulled her to him in a tight hug.

As she cried into his chest, he whispered that she’d be okay, that he’d protect her, that he’d help her. But the more he assured her, the louder she cried. His chest tightened as he rubbed her back. His thoughts were spinning. What the hell had happened? He had so many questions, but God, please let her stop crying. It was pure torture. And he’d had the nerve to think Morgan was soft. He hated to see anybody he loved cry. But Allina…she wasn’t an overly emotional person. In all the years he’d known her, he’d only seen her cry a handful of times. That last time had been here, the last time he’d seen her. An ache settled in his throat as she sobbed.

When the tears finally tapered off, he glanced out the door and noticed the cab still sitting in the driveway. Reluctantly, he tapped her arm lightly. She pulled back and her big, glassy eyes stared back at him. He swept his thumbs under her eyes.

“Let me go take care of the fare, okay?”

She nodded, setting her purse on a small table by the door.

“I’ll be right back,” he said gently.

He pulled his wallet out of his pocket and ran out to the cab. After he paid the driver, he returned to the house and kicked the door closed behind him. Wrapping an arm around her, he led her into the living area.

She tugged off her small jacket, giving him a complete view of the form-fitting silk dress. Without a word, she dropped down on the couch. He sat down next to her, their knees touching. “It’s going to be okay,” he murmured, rubbing her arms. “I’ll take care of you.”

Peering up at him, a pained expression in her eyes, she let out a slow breath. “I didn’t get married. I ran. I didn’t even think to change clothes. I just had to get out of there. I bought a train ticket, and then I fell at the station. My dress is ruined,” she cried. “Everything is ruined. I’m ruined.”

He grabbed a box of Kleenex off the coffee table. “You’re not ruined. Stop saying that. Can you tell me what happened?”

“I don’t have anything with me, obviously,” she continued. He could tell she was trying to pull herself together. She cupped a hand over her mouth and let out a muffled sob. “My phone broke. I dropped it, and then Isaac took it.”

He’d replace her phone in the morning, but he had to know… “Did he…hurt you?” he asked. Kent steeled himself for her answer. If he hurt her, I’ll hurt him.

Allina closed her eyes and hugged herself. Shaking her head, she said, “Not really, not physically.” Her hands gripped her elbows.

Her tears continued to fall unchecked. He grabbed a few tissues and wiped her eyes, then her cheeks. “What did he do?” he asked.

“I’ll tell you. I promise. But do you mind if I take a shower, get out of this dress? I can’t stand being in it another minute.”

Sighing, he nodded. “Whatever you need.” It wasn’t a surprise that she’d changed the subject without answering his question. Allina did things on her own time, in her own way. And he’d wait. He always did.


( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Elle Wright. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Purchase Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright
Series: Edge of Scandal (Book 3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Purchase: http://amzn.com/1455560405  


Check out the books in the Edge of Scandal Series

Edge of Scandal Book One – The Forbidden Man (released July 28, 2015)

Tag Line: She’s walking out on her no-good fiancé… and into the arms of his brother.

Edge of Scandal Book Two – His All Night (released November 24, 2015)

Tag Line: No expectations, no commitments, no one gets hurt…or so she thought.

Order all of the books in the Edge of Scandal Series
http://www.amazon.com/Elle-Wright/e/B00VMEWB78 

Meet the Author
Born and raised in Southeast Michigan near Ann Arbor, Elle learned the importance of reading from her mother. It was also her mother who, later on in her life, gave Elle her first romance novel: Indigo by Beverly Jenkins. From that moment on, Elle became a fan of Ms. Jenkins for life and a lover of all things romance. An old journal she wrote back in college became her first book (which she still wants to publish one day).

Visit Elle's Amazon Author Page 
http://www.amazon.com/Elle-Wright/e/B00VMEWB78 

 

 

 

 


Life & Love: The Journey In Verse 
by Pat C. 

Life and Love - The Journey in Verse speaks from the heart of the author as she revisits, observes and fantasizes the beauty of love. It immediately becomes apparent that the reader will be personally escorted by verse to observe and to understand the language that only love speaks. The couplets and the tone capture the beauty of the soul, the mindset and compatible lives being joined together in unity by the power of love. The mood has been meticulously established for reading. I was captivated.” - Dr. Claudia Wells Hamilton Secondary School Principal

Excerpt from Life & Love: The Journey In Verse

Romance Section/ Pg 36:  This poem was written about two soul-mates, who had met again years later. This was written as an invitation to embrace the gift of a second chance by sealing it with marriage.

~A New Song~ 


I want to write a new song with you.
The harmony will be tighter,
The tone deeper, the melody richer,
The chorus louder and it shall repeat itself more than before.
The rhythm will be mellow and sure.
Our new song will remain a classic,
A love story second only to our first.
Come, let’s write the final version,
‘Til death do us part.


Pg 31:  This poem was tells of love and intent of an affectionate relationship, leading to a well rounded marriage. It express hope, delight and commitment.


~Please Allow Me~


For all the years I loved you and was not present,
Please let allow me to love you... more and more each day.
For all the kisses I didn't get to place on your sweet lips,
Please allow me to kiss you... slow and long.
For all times we missed holding hands,
Please allow me to hold your hand gently in mine...'till the end of time.
For all the laughter we missed sharing,
Please allow me to laugh with you...on and on.
For all the moments we missed in each other's arms,
Please allow me to hold you tight...never letting go.
For all the moments we missed,
In the bliss of us,
Please allow me to give all of me to you now...until the end

Pg 28:  This poem was written after the breakup/separation, in attempt to get the attention of a mate, letting them know the importance and necessity of their love.

~My Table~

My table for two will soon be our table.
A place where we will enjoy the blessing of each other,
Eat great food, and drink fine wine.
A place where we will look into each other's eyes,
And see the reflection of a love we've waited a lifetime for.
A love that will grow and get sweeter with time.
At our table, we will discuss
Family, friends, foe, and current events,
It will be our sanctuary of love,
The bridge to our blissful bed of love and back.
A place of prayer and romance,
Telling each other secrets, sharing hopes and dreams.
The realization of a divine love made in heaven,
With continual renewal and verbal profession
Of our love for one another.
A love built on mutual love and adoration. 
Our table will always be an extension of our love
For family, friends, or a passerby in need.
This my love, is my table.
Soon to be our table.


© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of Pat C., author of “Life & Love: The Journey In Verse”, a collection of poems. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase Life & Love: The Journey In Verse by Pat C. 



About the Author

Pat C. was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Pat is a mother, grandmother, poet, trainer, a certified life coach and now author. Pat C. possesses a natural gift for coaching and encourages all to live and love to the fullest.

Pat C. can be found on social media at:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/copperlovely 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/PatCauthor/  
Website:  http://www.thomaspatricia360.wix.com/patc 

 

 

 

 


Jacob’s Eyes by Anita Ballard-Jones

In this dark time in our history, two brothers, Jacob and Jackson shared the same loving father, the same mansion home, but were separated by age and the circumstances of life; Jacob, a mulatto slave and Jackson, the sole heir to their father’s plantation. They were mirror images of each other, both tall and having golden hair, blue eyes and creamy white complexion. Jacob had the soul of a black man and Jackson’s soul was only fed by cruelty, possessions and hatred. Once Jacob was free it wasn’t long before he realized that passing for white was a powerful weapon to be used to free his enslaved family and friends, specially his black pearl, Sula who was pregnant with his child. 

Nothing could stop him in his quest to reach the safety of Canada before the start of the Civil War, not even murder, assault, thievery or arson. He found great pleasure standing his ground against other white people. 

Throughout Jacob’s triumphs, Brother Jackson was in hot pursuit of him, but little did Jackson know revenge was not in his favor. Jackson’s attempt to kill Jacob would end up causing him more inescapable pain than he could ever have imagined; pain that was a thousand times worse than the pain he allowed his overseers to inflicted on his slaves; pain that could not be undone.

Purchase Jacob’s Eyes by Anita Ballard-Jones
Link:  http://amzn.com/B01ABD7XTQ  
Historical Literature > Christian Fiction > African American 



Meet the Author 

Anita Ballard-Jones is the acclaimed author of the novels, Rehoboth Road, The Dancing Willow Tree and Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Down. She is a native of Brooklyn, NY and a graduate of C.W. Post, at Long Island University. She is retired from New York State’s Long Island Developmental Disabilities Service Office where she worked as a Treatment Team Leader. She is a long time resident of Long Island, New York and enjoys spending time in North Carolina and Florida. She loves hearing from her individual fans, as well as book clubs.

Website:

http://anitaballardjones.com 

Goodreads
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/807519.Anita_Ballard_Jones 

Barnes & Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Anita+Ballard+Jones%22 

Facebook Fanpage
https://www.facebook.com/Anita-Ballard-Jones-Fan-Page-121616341210058/ 

 

 

 

 


LLP – Lust, Lies & Propositions 
by Bridgett Renay

Bridgett Renay unleashes a political drama that would make all Presidential front-runners take cover.

With her having a fairytale upbringing, no one could blame Essence St. Clair for expecting every entitlement seen fit for the beautiful and elite. But it only takes one vice to wreak sheer havoc. And it’s going to take more than a fairy godmother if she wants to survive corporate America; even though she’s the daughter of the ultraconservative Marshall St. Clair, patriarch of Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest religious empires. But no longer in the comfort zone of daddy’s like-minded tribe, Essence is thrust into a world where black liberalism is the definitive.

Not only was she groomed to head a Fortune 500, Essence craved it. And she was used to getting what she wants, including whichever man she desires. But after the untimely death of her mother, a very distracted Essence became the cause of a devastating family secret. And the one thing she didn’t count on was being blackmailed because of that youthful indiscretion.

Now it seems everyone’s out to get her. She doesn’t know who she can trust. The walls are closing in and Essence has to act fast if she wants to preserve her sanity along with her family’s noble reputation. 

Does daddy’s little girl have the street smarts it takes to crush her enemies? Will she overcome one distraction after another to fulfill her goals of corporate dominance? Can she keep the love of her life, the captivating Dex Dunnavant, from learning about her tainted past?

Anyone standing in her way is about to find out.


Prelude:  LLP – Lust, Lies & Propositions 


Once upon a time after a long and nefarious civil war was fought that ended in 1964, there survived a land where a gargantuan Golden Dome sat at its center. Its settlers were frequent visitors of the huge, beautiful park where forbidden lovers openly danced and children played with joy. Exotic birds of prey roamed free. Hawks soared through the air while Falcons glided on the surface. Brave gladiators defended their title as the toughest adversaries while Bulldogs protected the terrain with a rich history of total domination. It was called The Land of Opportunity and a new movement had begun.

Hidden in the outskirts lived a Nubian child who dreamed of greatness. She was the hardest working girl in school and knew one day she would triumph amongst the elite. All of the other children were jealous. They knew she was deserving of greatness so they tried every distraction they could to convince her she was not worthy of such – scandalizing her name, exposing youthful indiscretions, and even unfairly politicizing her world views. But the Nubian child’s thinking stood out from the rest, and therefore, she often stood alone. She paid no attention to such antagonism and just kept working harder and harder.

Then came the day she waited all her life for. She went to the ruler’s palace with a satchel full of accolades. With confidence in her stride and a huge smile on her face, she stood in front of the ruler and his servants and boldly stated, “I have come for my opportunity.”

The ruler looked over her proof as his servants held their breaths and patiently waited for him to respond. He scanned document after document taking notice of how she excelled to the top of her class in everything. Her academic scores were that of a genius, she set new standards with regards to community service, and her refined stance and beauty could only be matched by that of angels. He then raised his head staring intently at the Nubian child for what seemed like an eternity.

Giving her a glimmer of hope, the ruler began to smile. It soon turned into roaring laughter. He pierced into the Nubian child’s eyes and lashed out, “How dare you try to enter my kingdom with your dreams of grandeur! How dare you come to my face and ask me to grant you opportunity! Have you not looked into a mirror all your life? Do you not see that I am of pure white flesh while your flesh is muddied like dirt?”

He continued to taunt, “You think because we allowed that one muddied King to excel we will allow the same for you?” He flung his hand in the air as to swat away a pest, “Why he was just a fluke!” His eyes pierced even deeper as a more disdainful smirk appeared on his face, “And as for you…go back to the jungle where you belong.”

And they all laughed and laughed as the ruler raised his scepter and pointed it in the direction of the exit. Huge golden doors opened to display the most spectacular view of the land. The Nubian child looked across its rich acreage knowing she was unfairly denied the opportunity to frolic amongst the elite. She lowered her head in anguish.

Suddenly, after a burst of crackling thunder, a dark cloud appeared. It hung seemingly over only the Nubian child’s head. Rain drops the size of fairy pebbles could not compare to the tears drops that tumbled down her sculptured cheeks. As she turned around in despair, she slowly walked away and proclaimed to herself, “Vengeance shall be mine…and vengeance shall be sweet”.

And as told by the conservators of the land, this is her story.


Order LLP – Lust, Lies & Propositions by Bridgett Renay
Fiction, African-American, Drama, Political Thriller
Link: http://amzn.com/B01C6J2VEK 




About the Author 

The only thing best-selling author Bridgett Renay loves doing more than writing is breathing. If you let her tell it, the first spoken words from the quiet but observant Navy veteran were, “I should really write this down”.

As a young girl she undoubtedly had the gift. Everything from poetry to short stories filled her PeeChee folder with fantasies as well as the realities of life growing up in south central Los Angeles. And her talents didn’t go unnoticed. A Thanksgiving poem she wrote in elementary school found its way into the neighborhood newspaper, but it wasn’t a sign of what was to immediately come.

Before pursuing her dream of becoming an acclaimed novelist, the pragmatic Bridgett Renay believed she had to first make good on a promise she made to God. That promise revolved around the pursuit of higher learning and community service and was made after He healed her from a traumatic childhood incident.

The years of personal triumphs earning a Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication and a Master of Business Administration, as well as professional growth as a corporate operative and Navy Reservist, tells the story of a journey that took her to faraway places, introduced her to intoxicating people, and shaped the way she viewed the world and her place in it. 

Now that she has reached the top of her pyramid, per se, Bridgett Renay is ready for the novelistic spotlight. The pen is back, the passion never left …another journey begins.

Website: http://www.BridgettRenay.com 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BridgettRenay 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bridgett.renay.3 
Author's Blog: http://www.bridgettrenay.com/ 
Instagram: https://instagram.com/undistractedbridgettrenay/ 

 

 

 

 


The Allundae of Earth and Mars: Sci-fi Bundle 

CRIME-PHYTER by James Lee Nathan III

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be” Lao Tzu

CRIME-PHYTER is a non-stop scifi trip, that spans three decades in the lives of four different people. All of whom are being manipulated towards one singular purpose, JUSTICE. 

Story 1 - Revolves around the discovery of a mystical plant in south America and the life of one Kieran Church. He loses his wife and son to street violence and when the court system fails to convict, he strikes out on his own. But that is not the end or beginning of Mr. Church's problems. 

Story 2 - Is No free rides. It begins with the savage assault on a female member of the special forces. But the perps and their protectors, did not count on the involvement of a friend of hers. His justice is swift, but it comes with a cost. 

Story 3 - I need an ALIBI, continues the story of Rachel Holt and her protector Paco, as the plant takes a full grip of both of their lives.

The final story is all about regret. It is called Not 4 Nuthin; when a reluctant arms dealer sells access and arms to terrorists that attempt to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993, he seeks not only revenge but redemption. 

The mysterious plant is highly involved in the lives of all the main characters and the stories culminate in an unlikely conclusion.  No capes, no masks, only JUSTICE.


IBRAHIM UNITES by James Lee Nathan III


Are There No More Dragon Warriors? The final chapter of the Dragon Warriors saga has arrived. The battle against evil resumes and the training of the Last Dragon Warrior continues. Siobhan leads and Ibrahim Unites!

ZION RIVERS, an international man of action and the last ALLUNDAE GRANDMASTER, is a member of an ALIEN race that came to earth over 40,000 years ago. He searches for the remnants of his kind, to halt a growing EVIL in the guise of cult leader LANDEN MUELLER (an Allundae of lesser stock known as the SANGANESE). 

Mueller has developed a cult following numbering in the tens of thousands and seeks to corrupt mankind by replacing established religions with his own perversion. He is allied with an ancient enemy of the Allundae, the FICAR EGO, from the planet MAKUWE in the CYGNUS star system. SWORN ENEMIES of the Allundae who now seek to colonize earth.

Mueller is clever in hiding his crimes and even more devious in assigning dark deeds to underlings. Zion has chased him down for decades and now has this elusive serial killer cornered. But he cannot defeat him alone. Powerful and resourceful in his own right, Zion enlists the help of another. RAHEEM FLOROS a racially ambiguous man, a veteran, capable researcher and single parent suffering from PTSD; who just so happens to be afraid of the dark. An unlikely pairing, but Zion requires his assistance. Raheem is the key to the last battle and does not know it.

Sold separately, these ebooks have a suggested price of $16.98
Buy them together for $8.99 now on Leanpub!
https://leanpub.com/b/theallundaeofearthandmars 



Book Excerpt: Ibrahim Unites 

His Holiness


The Mayor intercedes on Landen’s behalf, and now he sits in the offices of the Arch Bishop waiting for His Holiness the Cardinal. The huge office is dark and Landen sits in an even darker corner for effect. Only his brown Italian leather loafers are visible. The door swings open and the Arch Bishop along with two aides hurries through and into the dark suite.

“Is he here?” the Bishop asks. “I have no time to play games, where is he” A cough interrupts the Bishop from a dark corner. He now sees the brown loafers and something else.

“You pious men are always worried about your time. I am here to tell you that your time is running out.” Two eyes peer through the dark corner like a hot knife through butter. They are amber, gold, and rather large, resembling those of a large predator. One of the aides faints. The Bishop glances at his aid as Landen Mueller fills the dark space with his presence.  Arch Bishop Rhys Simmons, is not a man who yields to intimidation. He excuses his staff members and raises the lighting within the space. Once they are, alone he speaks to Mueller.

“Mr. Mueller you can come out now. No one here will hurt you, in spite of your theatrics. Ya know the first time I beheld eyes like that on a man, was in the jungles of the Congo in 1967.” The Bishop pours two whiskeys and walks to a seating area in the suite.

“The Congo you say?” Mueller asks as he accepts the whiskey. “Yes if my research is correct, and it always holds up to scrutiny. The ‘Allundae’ were anchored on two major continents before spreading out in numbers in both 10,000BC and the early 12th century.” He sips the whiskey and places his tumbler on a table in front of Mueller.

“How have you managed to stay alive knowing this much information about the Allundae?” Mueller asks.

“Well I am not one if that is what you’re thinking.” He says in return, and then adds… “They hide in plain sight, silly man. Surely, how else would one of lesser bloodlines such as yourself, have ever been able to find them at all? Yet you have, but back to my story. The warrior fought off raiders from a rival tribe that sought retribution from a slight that occurred many years before. None the less, he dealt with them all, and the sight of this magnificent being wielding his ‘Cee’ and Obsidian blades against seven men was a thing to behold.” He sips his drink once again.

“So can I assume that you are no longer intrigued by such unexplained things anymore Bishop?” he asks.

“To the contrary Mr. Mueller, my curiosity and thirst for knowledge of the Allundae continues to this day.” The Bishop stands, and walks over to a massive oak desk.

“Sir you have caught me at a loss for words.” Mueller acknowledges.

“Mueller allow me to share three things about me and the church. One, I know who and what you are; two we are not intimidated or afraid of you; and lastly we are concerned and fearful of the one who hunts you.” The Bishop sits.

‘Is he going to propose an alliance before I have the chance to do the same? What concerns the church about Zion, more than my cult and emerging political power? Take your time here Mueller this old man is cagey.’

“Go on Bishop I am all ears.” Mueller says.

“The lesser of two evils is to deal with the devil you know first. I am much more confident in my abilities to work with a lesser than I am with having more of the Allundae appear in great numbers. The presence of an Alien race among us creates many issues for an institution steeped in 2000 years of dogma.” The Bishop’s eyes tell all.

“How would this infringe on anyone’s belief system? God did make the heavens and Earth, so why not other life forms?” Mueller says mocking the dilemma for religions with the existence of extraterrestrials.

“I can only assume that you want an alliance of some sort that will insure the continued rise of my message.” Mueller asks.

“Yes, with our support your cult will grow within our fold. However, understand that we will reserve the right to step away from you if called for. So do keep your spiritual rhetoric within bounds Mr. Mueller.”

“Yes of course Bishop but what of Zion?” Mueller asks.

“He is your concern but we will pressure the authorities to suspend their pursuits and harassment of your followers. That should give you room to work and eradicate your foe.” The Bishop pushes a button on the left corner of his desk, and the doors to the suite swing open.

“I guess we are done?” Mueller asks.

“Yes we are. The next time you see me we will be at the side of his holiness. That should be all the validation you need. Good night.” Five well-built guards escort Mueller out of the suite.  The Bishop pushes another button on his desk, which closes the door to the suite, and a holographic image appears behind him. An image of Cardinal Angelino Enrico appears and now speaks.

“He suspects nothing, my friend.” He says.

“Mueller is a cannibalistic narcissist who is hell bent on power. His kind is easy fodder for the Allundae, but this one has managed to elude them.” The Bishop says.

“Fine, we will continue to fan the flames of his confusion and coordinate his betrayal with Zion.” The Cardinal explains.

“Yes your Holiness. The devil we know is a great partner in maintaining our prestige in the world although the reason for his support defies all logic.” The Bishop pours more whiskey.

“Zion understands the need for hope in this world. Religion, in all of its forms, gives hope to men. But I fear man has outlived his Gods, and the time grows near for him to have hope and faith in himself.” the Cardinal says.

“Your eminence that is insane, we are the protectors of the faith and await the return of our lord and savior. How can you, of all people, suggest otherwise?” the Bishop says.

“Steady my friend, faith in our purpose and lord is strong and righteous. But I cannot say the same of man and his belief in us or God. The presence of these beings will illicit much acrimony on formal religion and its doctrines. So watch them both. You have studied their ways use this to our advantage and buy us time.” The Cardinal’s image disappears from behind the Bishop. He contemplates the possibilities of such a betrayal and its ramifications going forward and makes a decision to stay the course.

( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, James Lee Nathan III. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Ibrahim Unites Print Edition Available Now:
http://www.amazon.com/Ibrahim-Unites-There-Dragon-Warriors/dp/1483566471  


About the Author
James Lee Nathan III (JLN3)
, is the self-published author of two novels and nine novellas, spanning many speculative fiction sub-genres. JLN3 is best known for his scifi erotic crime drama series Robert Manis and No Brakes, both of which are bestsellers on the leanpub author platform. His latest works, CRIME-PHYTER, and Ibrahim Unites, introduce readers to his Next Level Fiction experience. Read more about all of his books: https://leanpub.com/u/jamesleenathaniii 

 

 

 

 


Thrive!...Affordably by Jennifer Streaks

Life is meant to be enjoyed, but let’s be honest: It’s almost impossible to live a life of abundance when you are drowning in a sea of debt and suffering under the strain of financial struggle. So many people are not free to enjoy life simply because they don’t have control over their finances. As a result, they go through life surviving and not truly living.

Thrive!...Affordably, takes the headache and the guesswork out of financial management. It is a monthly “how-to” designed to help the reader meet financial goals one step at a time. The book offers tips, advice, and basic financial management lessons geared towards helping the reader highlight strengths, identify missteps, and take control over finances. If you are looking for a way to permanently free yourself from debt, this book is for you. Jennifer Streaks takes the mystery out of management, making financial freedom attainable for anyone willing to do the work.

Excerpt: Thrive! ... Affordably by Jennifer Streaks

As a Financial and Affordable Lifestyle Expert, I have developed financial and lifestyle tips to increase your financial knowledge, keep money in your pocket, manage debt and put you on the road to financial health and wellness.

That is the purpose of THRIVE…AFFORDABLY! I want you to not only read this book, but USE this book. Write in it, highlight in it. I have left pages for you to place pictures of wants and desires. You can think of this as your financial vision board. Write about your feelings about your money and where you want to be a year from now financially.

In a year, this book should be well-worn, written in, pages dog-eared, photos and post-it notes inside. This is your personal financial journey. That is why this book is “personal use size,” because you can toss this book in your bag and take it with you wherever you go. Sit with friends and discuss chapters of the book, if you need an accountability partner, get one and work on the “to do” lists together.


This book will not only teach you how to save and spend, but also how to plan to spend! Planning to spend will make sure you do not overspend. Read this again: If you plan to spend, you will not overspend.

Understand that no one wants to just pay bills and die! This tool will help you live your best life without breaking the bank! Don’t continue living paycheck to paycheck, being unprepared for unexpected expenses, or living on credit cards!

By taking this step, you have created the opportunity to change your life for the better and finally have the life you work for and deserve!

You deserve to live your best life. Don’t just survive...Thrive!


Purchase Thrive! ... Affordably: Your month-to-month guide to living your 
BEST life without breaking the bank by Jennifer Streaks
Link: http://amzn.com/0692625941  




About the Author

Jennifer Streaks
, an Affordable Lifestyle Expert, started her career working in financial compliance for major banking institutions. In 2005, when the economy started a downward spiral and the housing bubble burst, Jennifer, armed with an MBA, found herself at the center of the storm helping individuals save their homes and pay off their credit card debt.

Jennifer has been on every major TV and radio network (MSNBC, FOX, Fox Business, AlJazeera, CCTV, MarketWatch) and has been published in several national magazines providing practical financial advice that everyone and anyone can immediately put to use to see a change in their financial picture. She has also been called on to report on major financial changes and disruptions such as the foreclosure mess, changes in credit card rules, the increase in prepaid debit card usage and the continued shortage of jobs and the impact on the economy.

Consistently, described as “highly intelligent, witty & easy to work with, Jennifer has earned a law degree from Howard University School of Law and an MBA from The Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business.

Follow Jennifer Streaks, MBA, Financial & Affordable Lifestyle Expert
http://www.JenniferStreaks.com 

 

 

 

 

 


Novels by Regina Neequaye

360 Degrees: A Novel by Regina Neequaye

What would you do if you lost the mother you loved at the hands of the father you adored?


After of her mother’s murder, Thandisha is placed in the care of a maternal grandmother so absorbed in her own grief, she is incapable of providing an environment for Thandisha to heal. Thandisha finds solace in the arms of Andreas, her first love. Her life spirals out of control after an unwanted pregnancy leads to a drug addiction. In order to heal, she is forced to journey 360 Degrees to the day her father killed her mother. 

The multi-dimensional characters in 360 Degrees will stay in your heart long after you turn the last page.


Urban Tango: A Novel by Regina Neequaye 

When you want it all and will do anything to get it…

Ayanna Williams has it all, wants more, and will do whatever it takes to get it. Her promotion to Senior Deputy Assistant to the District Attorney is the next move to her best move. Jefferson Thomas is a handsome, politically connected, business man who finances many key players in the political class. Ayanna and Jefferson find themselves for the second time on opposite sides of justice. Bringing Jefferson Thomas down for human trafficking is the catalyst for her next, best move.

Read sample chapters from both books by Regina Neequaye
http://reginaneequaye.com/books-by-regina-neequaye
 


Excerpt: Urban Tango by Regina Neequaye


“Let me help you, baby.” I take the rubber band and tie it as tight as I can. I remove the syringe and metal spoon from my pocket. I place the heroin on a spoon, mix in a couple of drops of water, melt it with a lighter, and fill the syringe with as much of the warm, bubbly liquid it can hold. I rub my thumbs over her desecrated veins, find a good injection spot, and insert the needle.

“Slow, baby, you got to do it slow.” I ignore her and quickly push all of the poison in her arm. She leans back against the upholstered leather headboard. Her eyelids flutter and slowly close. A euphoric smile stretches across her face. After several minutes, she slowly opens her eyes and stares at the wall. I almost pity her. She was never smart, but she had a perfect body and a beautiful face. Small craters now cover her honey brown cheeks. She lost a lot of weight much too quickly, causing the elasticity in her skin to diminish. Courtney very much needed her good looks to make up for her lack of intelligence and common sense. She has no self-confidence and is a magnet to losers.

Her head falls to the side. She struggles to hold meaningful conversation. The heroin that flows through her veins is pure and uncut. Her eyes slowly roll back in her head. Her gaze is peaceful. She mumbles, but her words are inaudible. I sit in the chair next to her bed and watch the clock.

“This is some good shit! You got a little more?” The high is wearing off. Her speech is still slurred and labored; it is as if the space in her mouth is too small to accommodate her tongue.

“Sure, baby, anything for you.” I sit on the side of the bed, tighten the rubber band around her limp arm, empty last of the poison from the baggie onto the spoon, and melt it. I siphon the liquid in the syringe and stick the needle in her arm. Her mouth curves into a slight smile. Her head slowly falls back against the headboard. Her breathing is soft and slow, almost like a sleeping baby. I look at my watch. Five minutes have passed. Her body jolts forward and begins to shake uncontrollably. She is stiff as a board. Spittle, thick like milk, flows from her mouth. Her head falls forward; her chin sits awkwardly on her chest. Her eyes are wide open; I take my glove covered hand and close her eyes. I leave the needle stuck in her arms and turn off the lights. I grab the empty baggie and cigarette lighter and place them in a pocket of the jeans that lay on the hamper. I wipe down everything my hands touched and leave with plenty of time to transport the companion to my favorite client.


Purchase Urban Tango by Regina Neequaye

General Fiction/ Women’s Fiction 
https://www.amazon.com/Urban-Tango-Regina-Neequaye-ebook/dp/B01A2HXUQG 

About the Author
Regina Neequaye is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Art degree in English. She is the author of  “360 Degrees” and “Urban Tango.” She is currently working on her third novel “Central Drive”. Regina’s cyber home is http://reginaneequaye.com. She can be reached by email at: regina@chapterpreview.com. She lives with her husband, Lamar Crowell, in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.

Email:  regina@chapterpreview.com
Website: www.reginaneequaye.com

 

 

 

 


Best Friends Forever 
by Kimberla Lawson Rob


In this page-turning marital saga, Roby tells the story of a woman who, only days apart, learns that she has breast cancer and that her husband is having an affair—yet this doesn’t stop him from leaving her for the other woman.

After being rejected by numerous literary agents and publishing houses in 1996, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby started her own company and self-published her debut novel. Now, Roby is releasing her 23rd family drama, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, which centers on a wife, her husband, breast cancer and infidelity. Roby has sold more than 2.6 million copies of her books and is the 2013 NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Literary Work, Fiction.

BEST FRIENDS FOREVER tells the story of Celine Richardson, her husband, Keith, and their 10-year-old daughter, Kassie. But this once loving marriage and happy family unit turn devastating when, only days apart, Celine is diagnosed with breast cancer and learns that Keith is having an affair. Worse, Keith still leaves her for the other woman. Celine then wonders how she’ll navigate the difficult process of surgery and additional cancer treatment, but comfort and support come in the form of Celine's best friend, Lauren. They've been attached at the hip since they were children, and it is Lauren who's there for Celine in her darkest moments. Of course, Keith may want to come back home, forcing Celine to consider some tough decisions relating to the marriage and otherwise—and for the very first time in her life, she wants to give up. Lauren vows to help her best friend in any way she can, but will it be too late?

Roby can discuss issues covered in this thought-provoking read that many also face in real life via Skype, video chats, teleconferences and over social media chats or in person meetings:  “Regardless of what family we're talking about, breast cancer affects all colors, nationalities, and social status in a heartbreaking fashion—and sometimes so does infidelity in a marriage,” Roby says. “So, in BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, I wanted to show what happens when, only days apart, a woman discovers she has breast cancer and learns her husband is having an affair. Additionally, I wanted to explore how the family is affected when a husband leaves his wife for the other woman, and the woman’s best friend is forced to step in.” 

Roby’s novels—which address true-to-life issues—have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, ESSENCE, and Publishers Weekly magazines, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Walmart and many others. 


Chapter 1: Best Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby 



"Keith, do you know what time it is?" Celine Richardson asked her husband as he walked into their bedroom. She'd just turned on her lamp and was sitting against two pillows.

"Five a.m.," he said, clearly sounding as though this was no big deal.

"And you think you can just leave the house and waltz back in here whenever you feel like it? You must be out of your mind if you think I'm going to put up with this kind of crap. I almost called the police to report you missing."

Keith pulled his short-sleeve knit shirt over his muscular shoulders and dropped it on the chair. "Time got away from me."

Celine folded her arms. "Where were you, Keith?"

"At a friend's. A bunch of us guys played cards and had a little too much to drink. And I fell asleep."

Celine laughed out loud. "And you think I believe that? You think I'm that naïve?"

"Believe whatever you want. That's on you."

"You have a lot of nerve staying out till the wee hours of the morning and then acting like you're the one who's upset. How dare you."

"I'm upset because anytime a wife decides that her work is more important than her husband, she shouldn't worry one bit about where he's going...or what he's doing."

"Excuse me? So you're now staying out late and sleeping with only God knows who because you feel neglected? Please."

"I've been telling you this for months. More like a whole year. But nothing's changed.

You spend all your time online doing work for your clients, and that's basically where things end with you."

"That's not true, and you know it."

"Well, actually, you're right. You spend lots of time with Kassie, but with the exception of our daughter, everything else revolves around your business. Which means there's no time for me."

"Why is it that you can spend all the time you want focusing on your career, but I can't?

It took a lot of hard work for me to build up my client list, and it's completely unfair for you to ask me to give that up. Especially since I've never asked you to give up anything."  Keith was vice president of sales for a health care insurance company, and Celine had always supported him and encouraged him to excel every step of the way. So none of his complaints about her spending hours on her social media marketing business made sense.

It was as if he now despised the fact that she was finally seeing some real success with her career. She'd started her business five years ago, and she'd worked her behind off, doing everything she could not only to get it off the ground, but also to gain as much exposure as possible with small companies and major corporations. It was the reason she now sometimes had to pass on projects or refer clients to some of her colleagues.

 

 

 

 

 


Grant Park by Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Comparing the real-life police shootings of African-American men to the fictional shooting in his novel that propels the plot forward, Pitts says that he "knew that Grant Park was timely, but I could not be coming out at a better time."  Pitts is hoping to "fire up some dialogue" about race with his third novel, Grant Park (Agate Bolden, Sept.), which features an African-American journalist and his white editor, both veterans of the 1960s civil rights movement, who collide on the eve of Obama's election as president. Malcolm Toussaint, the journalist, is "sick and tired of being sick and tired" of how Americans deal with race after hearing of an unarmed African-American being shot by Chicago police even as people are celebrating Obama's historic presidential campaign and certain victory over John McCain.

Grant Park is a page-turning and provocative look at black and white relations in contemporary America, blending the absurd and the poignant in a powerfully well-crafted narrative that showcases Pitts's gift for telling emotionally wrenching stories.

Grant Park begins in 1968, with Martin Luther King's final days in Memphis. The story then moves to the eve of the 2008 election, and cuts between the two eras as it unfolds. Disillusioned columnist Malcolm Toussaint, fueled by yet another report of unarmed black men killed by police, hacks into his newspaper's server to post an incendiary column that had been rejected by his editors. Toussaint then disappears, and his longtime editor, Bob Carson, is summarily fired within hours of the column's publication.

While a furious Carson tries to find Toussaint—at the same time dealing with the reappearance of a lost love from his days as a 60s activist—Toussaint is abducted by two improbable but still-dangerous white supremacists plotting to explode a bomb at Obama's planned rally in Grant Park. Toussaint and Carson are forced to remember the choices they made as idealistic, impatient young men, when both their lives were changed profoundly by their work in the civil rights movement.


Praise for Leonard Pitts, Jr.'s novel Grant Park

"The state of US race relations in 1968 and 2008 is seen through the eyes of two veteran Chicago newsmen, one black and one white, in this opportune novel. . . . Pitts adroitly blends history with fiction and actual figures (King, Obama) with characters in a plot that builds suspense around the supremacists’ plans as anger between the races gives way to understanding. A novel as significant as it is engrossing." —Booklist, starred review


"In the aftermath of this summer's racially motivated mass murder in Charleston, South Carolina, by an avowed white supremacist, there's near-eerie prescience in Pitts' historical novel. . .[Grant Park], with urgency and passion, makes readers aware that the mistakes of the past are neglected at the future's peril." —Kirkus Reviews


"This high-stakes, hard-charging political thriller from Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Pitts (Freeman) tells the saga of two journalists, switching between the time periods of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1968 assassination and election day 2008. Sixty-year-old Malcolm Toussaint is a popular black syndicated news columnist writing for the Chicago Post who has two Pulitzer Prizes and resides in a “trophy” mansion. 

However, he has grown “tired” if not embittered over the frustrating lack of progress in race relations between whites and blacks. After receiving one too many racist emails from his readers, he responds by composing a blunt, scathing column, but his white editor, Bob Carson, kiboshes it. After Malcolm hacks into Bob’s computer and publishes the controversial column anyway, both men are deemed culpable and fired. 

Following this, a pair of white supremacists kidnap Malcolm; they also reveal their heinous plan to detonate a “McVeigh bomb” in Grant Park when Barack Obama appears there, as the clock begins ticking to stop them. Pitts effectively builds the backstory in which young Malcolm witnesses King’s fatal shooting in Memphis, and young Bob falls in love with the political black activist Janeka Lattimore, who now resurfaces in his life. 

The sharply etched characters, careful attention to detail, and rich newspaper lore propel Pitts’s socially relevant novel." —Publishers Weekly Review for Grant Park


GRANT PARK: CHAPTER ONE

Martin Luther King stood at the railing, facing west. The moon was a pale crescent just rising in early twilight to share the sky with a waning sun. He leaned over, joking with the men in the parking lot below. A couple of them were wrestling playfully with James Orange, a good-natured man with a build like a brick wall.

“Now, you be careful with preachers half your size,” King teased him.

“Dr. King,” called Orange in a plaintive voice, “it’s two of them and one of me. You should be asking them not to hurt me.”

“Doc,” someone called out from below, “this is Ben Branch. You remember Ben.”

“Oh yes,” said King. “He’s my man. How are ya, Ben?”

Another voice yelled up from below. “Glad to see you, Doc.”

As Malcolm Toussaint moved toward King, it struck him that the preacher seemed somehow lighter than he had the last time Malcolm had seen him. It had been late one night a week before, by the Dumpsters out back of the Holiday Inn. The man Malcolm met that night had seemed… weighted, so much so that even Malcolm had found himself concerned and moved—Malcolm, who had long scorned the great reverend doctor, who had, in the fashion of other young men hip, impatient, and cruel, mocked him as “De Lawd.” But that was before Malcolm had met the man. That was before they had talked. Now he moved toward King, his mind roiling with the decision that had sprung from that moment, the news he had come to share. King, he knew, would be pleased. There would be a smile, perhaps a heavy hand clamping on Malcolm’s shoulder. “Good for you, Brother Malcolm,” he would say. “Good for you.”

Malcolm was vaguely amused to find himself here on this balcony, anticipating this man’s approval. If you had told him just a few days ago that he would be here, ready to go back to school, ready to embrace nonviolent protest, he would have laughed. But that, too, was before. Malcolm meant to raise his hand just then, to catch King’s attention, but a movement caught his eye. Just a reflected ray of the dying sun, really, glinting off something in a window across the street. Something that—he knew this instinctively—should not have been there. He wondered distractedly what it was.

King’s voice drew him back. “I want you to sing it like you’ve never sung it before,” he was calling to someone in the parking lot below. “Sing it real pretty.” And Malcolm realized he had missed something, because he had no idea what they were talking about. His attention had been distracted by… what was that?

“It’s getting chilly.” Yet another voice calling to King from below. “I think you’ll need a topcoat.”

“Okay, Jonesy,” King was saying. “You really know how to take good care of me.”

And here, the moment breaks, time fracturing as time sometimes will into its component parts, until an event is no longer composed of things happening in a sequence, but somehow all happens at once. And you can see and touch and live all the smaller moments inside the right now. This is how it is for Malcolm Toussaint now. King is laughing. Malcolm is taking a step toward him. King is straightening. Laughter is echoing from below. King is reaching into a pocket for his cigarettes. He is becoming aware of Malcolm on his left. His head is coming around. There are the bare beginnings of a welcoming smile. And Malcolm knows. Suddenly knows. And Malcolm is leaping, leaping across space, across time itself, becoming airborne—he was sure of it, that detail felt right, even though by this time King is barely six feet away. Malcolm grabbing two hands full of expensive silk, yanking Martin Luther King off balance, yanking him down hard in the same instant they all hear the popping sound like a firecracker, in the same instant he feels the soft-nosed 30.06 bullet whistle past his cheek like a phantom breath, in the same instant he falls awkwardly across King’s chest.  And then…

 

 

 

 


Ungolden Silence 
by Lydia E. Brew

Beatrice James and Elaine Wilson work for a marketing firm in Houston, Texas. Life hasn't been easy for Elaine as she copes with her disability, and at the same time manages to function in her everyday life. The two coworkers and friends jump at the opportunity to help run a Disabled Awareness Campaign when Mrs. Stevens, from Washington D.C., calls the ladies up and pitches the idea. Elaine agrees to chair the campaign and Beatrice agrees to be second chair. Both women agree to meet with Mrs. Stevens in Washington to get the campaign set-up and running. All goes well until Thomas Paige enter the scene.

Mrs. Stevens herself is excited to meet, for the first time, the dapper and charming Thomas Paige, who is a well-known community leader. It doesn't take long for the charm to evaporate and Thomas to begin to shed his wool, revealing the wolf underneath the sheep's clothing. Elaine begins to sense that there's something more to Thomas than what he's presenting, but will it be too late when she finds out for certain?

Ungolden Silence will have you peeling off what's underneath a man's exterior, before peeling back the sheets.


Book Reviews for Ungolden Silence by Lydia E. Brew 


MUST READ WITH SENSITIVE ISSUES 
Reviewed by Misty Iputi 

Ungolden Silence is one powerful book. It may be a work of fiction, however it has some real issues. The issues are to be addressed in the book. This book does give a look at the strength of Christian faith has in dealing with the problems.  If I could give this more than 5 stars it would be well worth it.


Emotional Read
Reviewed by My Cozie Corner Book Reviews 

"Ungolden Silence" is an easy read, but hard read that is well written and very emotional with a topic that needs more recognition. A recommended read to all women.


Book Like No Other
Reviewed by Mz Tiffany Divine Reviews 

I just finished reviewing Ungolden Silence by Lydia E. Brew and I honestly can say it’s not like no other book I have read before. In Ungolden Silence you will meet Beatrice who will take you on a world wind journey of being raped and how it not only affects her but other’s around her. Lydia brings emotions out that you may never knew existed. I was immediately drawn into the characters and could feel the pain that some of them were going through. Lydia E. Brew does an awesome job with this book and I look forward to reading more by her.


Let the Victim Be Heard
Reviewed by Teresa Beasley 

Ungolden Silence is an informative book about disability, rape with a hint of racism. Ungolden Silence brings out different emotions because it deals with a sensitive topic. Any type of abuse causes a difficult change in the victims’ lives. Rape is a violent act, mainly against women, that leaves a lasting effect on the victims. This was expressed throughout this book and needs to be read by all women young and old.


Powerful, Provoking and Inspiring
Reviewed by Beth Cutwright 

Wow. I just finished reading Ungolden Silence. Usually I take a day or two to mull a book over before I try to write my review. But this book was so compelling, I felt the need to share my thoughts immediately, while they were fresh and burning in my soul. This book was definitely enlightening, powerful, painful and emotional. My emotions were totally invested, probably because the subject of rape is so frightening. If we can learn to discuss this type of material, I think we would all be better for it.


Excerpt from Ungolden Silence by Lydia E. Brew


As the four talked for an hour or so, Mr. Thomas Paige did not take his eyes off Beatrice. He ignored Elaine completely. He would often sit by Beatrice and, after a few minutes, she would move. Elaine could see that Mr. Paige liked Beatrice, but she didn’t return the feeling and was uncomfortable and a bit irritated with his attention. When Mrs. Stevens offered to show Elaine the baby grand piano in her music room, Mr. Paige and Beatrice were left alone. Beatrice decided she needed to get a few things straight.

“Look, you seem to be a nice guy, but I’m not interested. You’re making me very uncomfortable,” Beatrice added. 

Mr. Paige did not seem to hear her. “Alone at last, Miss James,” he said in a soft, gentle voice as he stroked her face.

The second that Beatrice felt his fingers on her face, her anger turned to fear. She did not want to let Mr. Paige know that he frightened her.

“I did not give you permission to touch me! Listen, I’m not interested in you in any way. Please, just leave me alone!” Beatrice said angrily. 

The pleasantness was gone and her teeth were clenched. However, before she finished her statement, Mr. Paige had his hands on her buttocks. In that instance Beatrice remembered when she was sixteen. It was a hot summer day and she was lying on the sofa half asleep. She awakened to her uncle kissing and caressing her face. He did not stop there. He unzipped his pants and began to slide his hand and was pulling down her panties when Judy came into the room. Beatrice’s mind came to the present.

“Oh now, I think that we can have a good time this week,” he said in the same manner as before.

“I said no! Now get your hands off me!” Beatrice snatched her body away from his reach, knocking his shades off. The man’s breath had a faint odor of alcohol. His eyes were glassy red. However, Beatrice did not take notice. She was so shocked from the memory of what her uncle did to her, and the fact that this man was making a move on her was overwhelming. 

Mr. Paige returned to his seat and put his shades back on his face only because he heard Mrs. Stevens and Elaine returning. When Elaine walked in and sat down, she picked up on some strange vibes from Beatrice. There was a strange look in her colleague’s eyes. This troubled Elaine because she knew something was upsetting Beatrice.

This man had just made unwanted sexual advances to Beatrice, but she told Elaine and Mrs. Stevens that she had a headache.

( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lydia E. Brew. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Excerpt from Ungolden Silence by Lydia E. Brew


Shara stepped to the microphone and said, “Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Attitudes must change if this problem is going to be solved. I went to Washington the second that I heard Beatrice had been raped. The firm had a limo for Elaine and Beatrice so that Elaine could be as independent as possible. When I got to Washington, the rape and the act that a “community leader” was accused of rape was a major story. The limo driver just knew that the lady was a hooker, and he was mad. Again, it was the victim’s fault. This driver did not have the facts. Why didn’t I set him straight? Well, I thought I had to protect Beatrice’s privacy, right?”

“Right,” the crowd answered slowly.

“No, wrong, ladies and gentlemen. This is what we are talking about; wrong because rape is a crime! When it comes to sexual harassment or anything about sexual dysfunction, we don’t listen, we don’t tell. It is personal, private. No! It is a crime and everybody needs to tell the world. Beatrice was not the first female that the man raped; not even close to the first.

“Each case of rape is different. In Beatrice’s case, this man was chasing her all the time that she was in Washington. Am I blaming her? To a degree, yes.”

The audience seemed repulsed.

“People, please understand that what is being said here tonight is known by all people in the firm, especially top team members. I am not saying this to hurt my colleague. This is to make you see and understand what we are saying. The man who raped her stalked her all week. The women who saw the “bad” side of him kept quiet. That enabled him to cause more pain. He used that silence, and his list of victims got longer and longer. The women kept silent because they did not want to face the attitude that we as a society give them; oh, it was nothing. 

“Well, it was something when Mr. Paige touched my colleague inappropriately the second they were alone. She did not want him. We must allow women to say what they do and do not want men to do to their bodies. We must change the attitude about sexual problems, and we must listen when a woman is trying to get a man to stop. When a woman says a man is bothering her, we must hear and make sure the man understands that he must stop.”


( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lydia E. Brew. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase Ungolden Silence 
Link: http://amzn.com/1425798918


 

 

 


Life On Fire 
by Jenetta M. Bradley and Karen D. Bradley

Brooklyn Saunders' life is set ablaze when her ex, Dante Nines, and a newly single friend, Hunter Torres, vie for the number one spot in her heart. Unknowingly, Dante brings trouble to her door causing their personal and professional lives to collide in the worst way. The entanglement unleashes a danger that will have both of the men she loves fighting to keep her safe. Will Brooklyn survive the chaos threatening to destroy her very existence? And if she does, who will she choose?


Excerpt: Life On Fire 


Hunter cleared his throat. Brooklyn and Dante broke apart and she looked up sheepishly at Hunter. "I think it's time for you to call that cab for me."

Dante sat with a smug look, as though he was waiting for her to introduce him. When she didn't, he stated, "Hey, I'm Dante, her ex." He sized Hunter up with his eyes.

"Nice meeting you." Hunter nodded as Brooklyn gave him her S.O.S. signal by pulling her earlobe twice.

"Come on, BK, I need you to sign off on your check before you go. I'll get Carlos to call you a cab." Hunter nodded his head for her to follow him.

Brooklyn nudged Dante to move out of her way and gave an impatient, "Excuse me," when he stayed put.

He turned to her, giving her a big grin. "This conversation's not over," he promised, standing at the edge of the booth to let her out.

Brooklyn had finally reached her drink limit. Downing that last pitcher that fast was probably a bad idea. She didn't know if it was the gin or seeing Dante again that had her legs all wobbly as she eased herself up. Not wanting her unsteadiness to make her look weak and vulnerable, she jutted her chin out and proclaimed in a defiant voice, "I would say it was nice seeing you again, but that would be a lie. Take care of yourself."

As she sashayed over to Hunter, she heard Dante call out, "We're not done by a long shot. I'll see you later."

Hunter slid his arm around her waist and led her through the crowd to his office. Once behind closed doors, he rounded his desk and picked up the phone to have Carlos get her a cab. "I guess we won't be enjoying each other's company tonight, or shall I say this morning," he commented.

"It never seems to be the right time for us," Brooklyn replied. "It's a rare occasion that we're both single at the same time. Now we are, and …"

"And your ex pops up, wanting to reconnect. By the lip lock I found you two engaged in, you're clearly not over him." Hunter leaned onto his desk and pulled her to him.

"As if you're over Sophia," Brooklyn whispered, resting her hands on his chest as he wrapped his arm around her back.

He pulled her closer to him. "I should have pulled you back here and swept the desk when you first came through that door tonight. I don't know how we remained friends so long without crossing the line."

Brooklyn linked her arms around his neck. "I've been waiting for your fine behind to be single, but the line to get to you is always too long."

"Hell, I was planning to spend more time with you tonight, but you were rarely without company. Look what happened when I left to wrap up for the evening so I could." Hunter's cell phone buzzed. He took a quick glance at it. "It looks like your cab has arrived."

Brooklyn tipped forward, kissing him on the cheek. "You're too good to me. You know that?"

"I'm surprised Sophia never spilled a drink on you," Hunter teased as he released her.

"It's only because when you met her, I was with Max. I was absolutely no threat to her." Brooklyn stood straight.

"If you haven't gotten back with your ex by tomorrow, roll through the club and we can decide if the time is right for us to find out if there's any real magic behind our attraction." Hunter stood, walking with her out of the office and to the exit.

"That's if I'm not dead to the world tomorrow night from being out until two-thirty in the morning then trying to make it to work by seven a.m." She yawned as she followed him to the coat check. Hunter helped her put on her coat then walked her out to the waiting cab.

"Hey, make sure you text me and let me know you made it safely home." He pulled her into a quick hug before opening the cab door.

"Yes, sir." Brooklyn slid into the cab. Hunter shut the door and waved as the cab pulled off.

A flash of Dante's face saying they were not done entered Brooklyn's mind. She knew that devious expression too well. As she leaned forward to give the cabbie her address, she thought, Dante Nines. What are you up to?


( Continued... )

© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Jenetta M. Bradley and Karen D. Bradley. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. 


Purchase Life On Fire by Jenetta M. Bradley and Karen D. Bradley
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XNZPNFG 




Meet the Author

Karen D. Bradley
while being a creative mind, English and Grammar were never her strongest subjects. As life would have it, her weakest link would become her saving grace. It was during college she penned her first suspenseful drama to help her cope with the death of her father, the upheaval of emotions, and her changing family dynamics. Writing fiction soon became one of her favorite pastimes. She has since published a total of five novels. What she enjoys most about being an author are the lively real talk sessions with readers about topics from her books.

 

 


The Real Housewives of Adverse City 
by Shelia E. Bell

Avery, Eva, Meesha, and Peyton, live the type of lives everyday women can only dream of. One thing for sure, there is always drama and never a dull moment when it comes to these ultra-rich housewives.

Eva Stenberg is the wife of Dr. Harper Stenberg, a cardiovascular surgeon, NY Times bestselling author and Chief Medical Director of Adverse City Hospital. Harper is a man dedicated fully to his career and his position, which leaves Eva frustrated and lonely. The fact that Harper desires no children adds a blazing fuel to an already out of control inferno. When Harper’s twenty three year old son comes to visit, will he be the one to put out the blaze or start a whole new one. Peyton Hudson, the mother of one son is married to Derek Hudson, a wealthy App developer and President of Adverse City Bank. When someone from her past resurfaces, her world is turned upside down and life as she has known it will never be the same.

First Lady, Meesha Porter, the mother of four sons and the wife of Senior Pastor Carlton Porter who founded the 20,000 member Perfecting Your Faith Ministries, believes she has the perfect marriage, until from out of nowhere, Carlton tells her that he wants a divorce.

Avery Mitchelson, a former high priced call girl and the mother of two girls allows her past to almost destroy her marriage to multi-millionaire trial attorney, Ryker Mitchelson when she makes a decision that could cost her everything.  Welcome to their world!


BOOK REVIEWS


5-Star Review Written By Lacricia Wilson

The characters are so true to life. They pull you into their lives and trap you. I hung on every word. I cannot wait to see what is going to happen with these Housewives! This book is a must read!!!! 

5-Star Review Written By Sherri Gregory 

Shelia, you have done it again, your writing style, storyline and great details as always is above and beyond . From page one to the end, I was talking to myself and turning the page to see what are they going to do next?
I got into each character individually and as couples, the drama and life situations are here and there is a lot! !! Everybody has a separate journey, and I can't wait to see how they handle this. Shelia, please come on with the next book. I can't give anything away (as bad as I want to, especially Pastor Carlton Porter- he is all over the place and he is spreading more than the gospel around). but I can tell you this please get your copy, I'm telling everybody I know this is a must read, you will enjoy.


Excerpt: Chapter 1


“Real friends don’t get offended when you insult them. They smile and call you something even more offensive.” Unknown

“Girl, I don’t know how you do it,” Avery said, stirring the lemon in her flavored seltzer water.

“Do what?” asked Meesha, sipping on a virgin lime margarita. The sun was high, and the breeze from the Florida coastline swayed her Brazilian weave from side to side.

“You know what I’m talking about; deal with all of those hoochies at the church pawing all over Pastor Porter.”

“Don’t mind Avery,” Peyton said, sucking down her second full strength Vodka martini.

“I pray about it and go about my business. I can’t live my life distrusting my husband. Besides, I keep myself fit and fabulous for him. Those so-called, uh, what are they called today?”

“THOTS,” Peyton answered quickly.

“Those THOTS don’t stand a chance.” Meesha laughed, throwing her head back, revealing her flawless figure.

“Four kids, you’re doing more than staying fit and fabulous. Sounds like you keeping him happy between the sheets, too,” Eva, a native of Bolivia, said in her thick Spanish accent. She pushed back her long, flowing, thick black hair from off her face. Hair that women like Meesha paid for.

The four housewives sat on the outside patio of one of Adverse City, Florida’s most exclusive restaurants, dining on some of the best foods and drinks in the city.

Adverse City, a quaint town was tucked between Fisher Island and Miami Beach, with homes of the rich and famous lining the white sandy beaches of the Atlantic Coastline. The temperature hovered most of the time between 70-80 degrees.

“Anyway, I have too many other things to deal with besides worrying about what woman is chasing after Carlton. I’m secure in our marriage. I’ve given him four sons and this body can give him more kids, if that’s what he wants.”

“Girl, please. You better sit yourself down somewhere.” Peyton finished off her vodka martini and beckoned their server. “I’ll have a cosmopolitan this time.”

Yes, ma’am,” the male server stated. He left and moments later returned with her drink.

Peyton lifted the glass to her lips and scoured. “Take this back,” she told the server before he had time to leave her table. “Tell the bartender to fix me a real drink, top shelf! I don’t taste a hint of vodka in this.”

“I apologize, ma’am. I’ll bring you another one.”

Meesha, Eva, and Avery laughed as the young man scurried away from the table.

“What’s so funny?” asked Peyton.

“You. Girl, you had that young boy so scared, I thought he was going to pee in his pants,” cracked Avery.

The young server returned with another drink. Peyton tasted it, looked at him, and nodded her approval. He smiled and looked pleased then turned and walked away.

“Seriously, you need to hold back on the liquor, girlfriend. The day is still long,” advised Meesha.

“I can handle my own. These drinks are nothing more to me than what you’re drinking.”

“Okay, whatever. But, you’re the one always crying about your weight. I’m just saying, liquor adds fat and calories to your waistline.”

“Just because you’re skin and bones, don’t eat meat, and don’t drink liquor, don’t try to judge me.”

“I’m not trying to judge you. I’m just saying, you’re the one who’s always the first to cry about being overweight.”

“Whatever, Meesha.” Peyton flung her blonde locks back off her face and threw up one hand.

“Now ladies, ladies,” Avery interjected. “We’re here to enjoy what’s supposed to be our girls’ day out. It’s supposed to be fun and relaxing. You know how hectic all our schedules are, and it’s not often that we can get together for some girl time. Don’t blow it with all of this female bickering. We are not like those TV housewives.”

“Avery’s right. I have enough drama in my life on a daily basis. When I’m with my girls, I don’t want to hear all of this ying yang,” added Eva.

Peyton rolled her blue eyes in her head and took another swallow of her cosmopolitan.

“Tell us what’s going on with you and Ryker. I saw on CNN that he was representing that NFL player who was accused of giving some stupid girl that went up to his hotel room, the date rape drug.”

“Some of these women out here need to get somewhere and sit down,” Meesha said.

“They act like they don’t understand what they’re getting into when they agree to go to a hotel room with a man just because he’s rich and famous,” Avery said.

“I think they’re no different from a prostitute,” Eva stated.

“I agree with you, but that still doesn’t give him the right to drug her. If she’s willing to go to his room, she was probably going to give up the cookies anyway. All he had to do was play his cards right. He was just as stupid,” Peyton added, as she turned up the cosmopolitan and took her last swallow. She followed up by tracing her lips with her tongue like she was trying to savor the taste of the mixed drink for as long as she could.

“Anyway, since you all are so nosy, and always wanting to know about me and Ryker, let me assure you that we’ve never been better.” Avery’s eyes flitted over the faces of each of her friends. Each of them looked genuinely attentive to what she was saying about her recently troubled marriage.

‘That was quick,” Peyton said and chuckled.

Avery gave Peyton a raised eyebrow and then kept on talking. “I think Ryker and I are finally back on track. I know things were rough this past year, but I love my man, and I’m not about to give up on my marriage.”

Meesha spoke up while she used her fork to play around in her garden salad. “God is in the business of making crooked places straight, which is why I had no doubt he would heal your marriage.”

“Good for you, and for Ryker too, if he realizes that he almost lost a good woman.” Eva frowned slightly. “I mean, I don’t know if I could have been as strong as you if I discovered Harper cheated on me. It’s just too much.”

“I’m not saying it was easy. Quite the opposite; it was tough, real tough. I thought I was going to lose my mind when I found out he was cheating. Then you know that skank didn’t have any morals whatsoever. You would think that she would have realized that he wasn’t going to leave a wife and two young children.”

“Most married men never leave their wives for the other woman,” said Meesha. “She’s a lawyer, just like Ryker. Seems like she would have had enough smarts to know that.”

“Obviously, she didn’t,” Avery said. “I guess she really had the notion that sleeping with the head of Ryker and Klein Law firm would help her make partner. Instead, what she got was humiliated and pushed out the door.”

“Probably because Ryker realized if he kept screwing around that he was going to lose you and his girls,” Peyton told her.

“Not only that,” Meesha said, “you could have taken his butt to the cleaners and left him high and dry.”

“I know that’s right,” Eva said. “Girl, if that had been Harper, he wouldn’t have a law firm or anything else.”

All the ladies laughed.

“I agree,” Peyton added. “Hey,” she called out as the server walked pass their table. She lifted her glass toward him. “I’ll have another one.”

The server nodded in response.

“You need help,” said Avery.

“She needs prayer,” Meesha corrected.

“Look, I don’t need help or prayer. I have this under control. Now I wish you all would get off my back.”


( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Shelia E. Bell. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase The Real Housewives of Adverse City by Shelia E. Bell

http://www.amazon.com/Real-Housewives-Adverse-City/dp/153030265X 

 

 

 

 


Brandon's Artistic Passion 
by Janice L. Dennie

Brandon Underwood is one of Napa Valley’s hottest artists, who has lost his passion for painting. He finds inspiration in a brilliant ballerina, who he claims as his ideal woman. But Brandon’s heart is as complicated as his art. His failed relationships haunt him until someone reveals a family secret.

Ciara Alexander is a talented principal dancer at a small ballet company. To further her career, she dreams of joining a major company, but competition is stiff, and her biological clock is ticking. After Brandon attends one of her fiery performances, he regains his passion for painting. He creates a dramatic masterpiece of a ballerina wearing a red tutu with a purple feather in her hair. He entitles it, Ciara. 

Now that Brandon has regained his passion for painting and found his ideal woman, will he ruin his chance for love by falling back into old habits? Will Ciara’s ambitious dream, of joining a major ballet company, take precedence over the man who loves her?

About the Underwood’s of Napa Valley Series

The Underwood brothers have inherited the character DNA of their male ancestors, a line of old fashioned southern gentlemen who took great pride in protecting their families. Henrietta Underwood, the family matriarch, wants to marry off all five of her adult grandchildren to loving spouses. She has dubbed each one with a character trait. 

As the eldest brother, Kenton Underwood is “the protective one.” He’s protective of his family and environment, and stays busy running his family’s winery. Kenton has no room for love until he meets sexy, understated, Briana Rutledge, who finds a special place in his heart. 

The next brother, Justin Underwood is “the strong one.” He’s the passionate civil rights attorney, a modern day knight in shining armor, who fights to protect the woman he loves in court. But, Ashley Jacobs, has a family secret that prevents her from totally committing to Justin. There are three more siblings in the series who have their stories to tell. 

The Underwood’s of Napa Valley series takes a look at a family that enhances love and relationships, in a romantic town and changes personalities forever.

Order Brandon's Artistic Passion (Book 4)

The Underwoods of Napa Valley Series
Order books here: http://www.amazon.com/author/janicedennie 

Meet the Author

Janice L. Dennie is an Amazon.com bestselling author of Romantic Fiction and World Literature. Her books include, The Underwoods of Napa Valley Series, and The Lion of Judah Series. She has another contemporary series coming in 2017.

Her love for writing romance novels have readers reaching for her books time and again as she delivers love stories featuring tall, dark, handsome heroes and feisty heroines as they tumble breathlessly in love among the pages of exciting stories. 

Born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Northern California, Ms. Dennie graduated from California State University, before starting a career with a Federal Agency. She enjoys watching football with her husband, Gregory, traveling, and visiting her family. 

Ms. Dennie is introducing a line of historical romance novels. Please visit her historical website at http://www.JaniceDennieHistoricals.com.  Ms. Dennie regularly posts the release of new books on her janicedennieauthor, Facebook page, and Twitter @jdennieauthor. She'd love to hear from you, and will reply to any email sent to her at janicedennie1@gmail.com.  To read more about Janice, visit her website at: http://www.janicedennie.com  


 

 


Intimate Conversation with Kristina Smith

Kristina Smith has been writing since she could hold a pencil. She has a Bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of Houston-Downtown and a Master’s Degree from Walden University. She lives in Houston, TX where she teaches children to strive for excellence, and foster a love for creativity. When not writing or teaching, she spends her free time with family, friends, and nature, as well as traveling around the world exploring new cultures. Her love of music and quirky sense of humor is prevalent throughout her debut novel: Caught Up. 

She describes Caught Up as more of a journey than a novel, a story where the characters become part of your life and you can’t help but to fall in love with them. There are life lessons of love, forgiveness, support, and faith sprinkled throughout, but mostly the book is just what it should be; something to get lost inside of. It’s the book you read by the pool, on the beach, curled up on the couch under your favorite blanket. With everything moving at such a fast pace these days, it’s good practice to take a break and let your soul be entertained by characters that become family!

BPM: When did you first get the inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?

My third grade teacher used to make us use our spelling words in a story and when she wasn’t correcting my behavior, she would encourage my writing. I figured out that writing was not only fun for me, but a way to channel my energy, deal with issues, and make real life more exciting and at times, livable.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. What drives you?

My passion for writing comes from blasting real life situation into entertaining stories, sometimes writing people as I see their alter egos or what they might do when put in tight situations. The passion is in pouring your mind out on paper and what drives me is seeing the reader feel all of the emotions that they get out of each character; be it laughing until your side hurts, tearing up because they have been through something similar, getting heated by a love scene, or connecting with a character because they see some of themselves or know someone like them.

BPM: Can you share a little of your book with us and introduce the book and characters?

The story is built around the relationship of four women who have grown up together since childhood and how life and real world challenges push in to threaten not only their individual sanities, but their friendships with each other. Kennedy is supposed to be written as the Alpha female/mother hen of the group, but finds out that she needs the rest of them to keep her together. Michalah is Kennedy’s baby sister who does and says what she wants, and is more than protective of her sister. Tia and Jordan are friends with both women and while they don’t admit it, look to Kennedy for guidance and sometimes approval. 

All four of them have voices in the book as well as the two husbands; Preston with Kennedy, and Maxwell with Jordan. While Preston seems to be lost without Kennedy, his best friend Maxwell is seemingly the perfect catch. Though each make mistakes, they all mean well and will have to depend on God and each other for what is coming for them.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing this book?

I learned a lot about myself through each character, and more so that no matter who I thought each character should have been; they all took on their own persona and sort of told me what to write about them. I learned that I am more sensitive than I thought I was to certain human conditions. Also Kennedy’s character became more of a problem for me to write because her experiences hit close to home on some levels in my life, even now.

BPM: Are there any scenes borrowed from your world or your experiences?

All four women are loosely based off of myself, my sister, and two of my friends. Preston is based on a mistake that Thank God I did not make (yes I am laughing here), and Maxwell is just the guy that I mashed together from the conversations of what my friends considered “The One”. The situations they are put in are fictional (mostly), but the way each character would have handled the circumstance is maybe spot on? There are some surprise supporting characters.

BPM: What advice would you give your younger self?

I would go back and tell her about what is going on in my life now and remind her to hold on to that childlike faith that I had as a young girl who believed that anything is possible with God, belief, prayer, and hard work. I would also tell her to learn how to be still sometimes and watch the wonders of faith at work and be thankful for everything; the lessons and the blessings! I would tell her to enjoy life, stay her eccentric self and start traveling a lot earlier, and keep leaping! My mom actually thought that I was going to end up living in the rainforest!

BPM: What was your primary quest in publishing this book? Why now?

This book sat on the shelf for years as a passion project. I let a few friends read it and after every chapter made my sister listen to me think out loud about it; all agreed that it was something that needed to be published. After rereading this story and my other writings I began to see myself as a writer and one day a published writer. A few years later I became friends with an individual who had a drive for their dream that I recognized in my old self and took the leap to have it publish and ended up doing it myself. Funny how people come into your life and inspire just by being themselves for that one moment. (This will one day be another book)

BPM: What are a few things different about your book?

There are two key differences I feel that makes this story different. The first is that I didn’t write it in any particular genre style, which becomes difficult when categorizing, because it has all the elements that I like to read. There are parts that are romantic, hilarious, action packed, heartwarming and heartbreaking, and a bit of suspense. The only theme that carries throughout the story is love and what it makes us humans do. 

The second difference is what I consider my writing soundtrack. For each section when a new character is about to speak, you’ll notice a song at the beginning. Sometimes it sets up the section, and sometimes it is what I was feeling at the moment I was writing. Music (listening) is a huge part of me when I write and the songs are multi genre as well.

Order Caught Up by Kristina Smith 
Available on BN, iBooks and Amazon
314 Pages > Kindle eBook > Romance
Link: https://amzn.com/B00R1PINS8  

 

 

 



Intimate Conversation with D. Michele Jackson


Donna M. Jackson is an African-American woman, a Philadelphia native, Tuskegee University alumna, and a Registered Nurse. Writing as D. Michele Jackson, she now adds writer, published, politically active nurse to her accolades. Her sociology studies at Tuskegee University and twenty-year nursing career enabled Donna to be prepared when the opportunity of Legal Nurse Consultant availed itself as she represented herself Pro Se in court. That experience allowed Donna to draft briefs during a historical time affording her a voice advocating for health. Donna submitted argument to Congress supporting amending the Nineteenth Amendment. Mission is to encourage, educate, and empower.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?  

People who know me will always have a story of me singing in some off beat. I finally hit the perfect note with “JOY”. It is the story of a woman’s divorce experience that afforded her a voice for wellness. 

As a defendant representing herself Pro Se, the main character finds herself presenting argument explaining why she should not become homeless post-divorce. Scheduled to be heard last by the presiding judge allowed the defendant to use her nursing assessment skills as she listened to a divorce case. Honing in on health after hearing the judge’s verdict, the defendant was able to make a nursing diagnosis. The judicial system dropped the gavel against well-being, and it becomes the defendants quest to fight not only for herself, but an ailing nation as well. The book is available on Nook and Kindle.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 

The main character is the defendant. She takes us on a journey of the men she dated prior to marriage, and how each of the relationships offered facts for consideration in legal briefs forwarded to the Supreme Court of the state of origin, which led to the United States Supreme Court. It is the man she’s divorcing that allows a platform writing as a Legal Nurse Consultant. In hindsight, after failed relationships, the other characters enabled the defendant to form opinions on health. The once defendant, final brief is to Congress presenting argument supporting amending the Nineteenth Amendment. The experience could be considered the epitome of taking lemons and making lemon aid. 

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

The story started with me writing what I thought would be a good and entertaining read. Twice, I understood God to say, “That’s not the story.” I stopped writing. When I decided to begin writing again (after divorcing), the story had written itself. Now, that’s God!

Inspiration to me is always my Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. The women who spoke into my spirit. The smirk on the man I divorced face at my most vulnerable point in life. My battered heart. The possibilities that await as a result of sharing my story. The book was written at the perfect time as history is on my side.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

People often remember me as always wanting to be a nurse. What many don’t know, my motivation to go to nursing school was to have a career that would offer me a salary I could live off working part-time while attending law school. Later in my career I learned about Legal Nurse Consultants. The older I became, I had a peculiar interest in law. As difficult the journey has been, I find pleasure in the fact “JOY” took me to the halls of justice as a self-taught consultant practicing Constitutional Law.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven?  

“Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us” is the first book of a trilogy. “JOY: Jesus on You” is the second book. Both “Amazing Grace” and “JOY” were divinely inspired. “Amazing Grace” is an introduction of me written in a memoir. I would have to say it is character driven. My second book comes across as plot-driven.

 “JOY” is the mark I hope to leave on society. “JOY” is an extension of “Amazing Grace” in both stories you see a woman of faith. In “Amazing Grace” the woman is trying to find her way to proper positioning before God. In “JOY” the woman is being used by God to fulfill His plan and purpose in her life. Both are stories of change offering hope and liberation.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.

As taught as a student attending Drexel University, School of Nursing, I presented to Congress as a politically active nurse advocating for health. I wrote to the 113th Congress, submitting bipartisan opportunity to holistically reform health and promote preventative care for: women, children, men, elderly, gay, poor, and rich. Globally, women are not progressing socially and economically as men. That fact is reflected in my own profession. “Men are more likely to be found in highly-paid nursing occupations. Among men and women in the same nursing occupations, men out earn women.” Retrieved January 28, 2016: http://blogs.census.gov/2013/02/25/men-in-nursing-occupations  I advocated for health from every perspective impeding well-being.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation or journey?

Currently I am staying with a friend and her family. I wrote the briefs from the homes of people in multiple states. Since divorce, my health suffered as a result of working understaffed as a nurse. Currently, my position has caused a reinjure. The home that I won fairly and was displaced from was my home office as well. I was working on a start-up business promoting health. 

Prior to marriage, I was talking to my first boyfriend as he gave advice regarding my consideration of getting a second job. He advised, the answer is not getting a second job. You need to find one good job paying adequately. I divorced a man who suggested I should get a second job. My father concurred with the first advice received. The man I divorced signed papers allowing the business. I presented the document to the judge as one of my exhibits. He documented the proof submitted as “voluminous”. 

I’m very humbled when it comes to my education, and my memoir explains why. My personality is one that tucks my intelligence away, and I prefer to exhibit my fun and loving characteristics when interacting with people. However, after being grossly disrespected through the divorce process, I had no problem with reaching into my pocket of knowledge, combined with endowed wisdom from God and show the dishonest rendering that God will use an unknown from the hood to address injustices. 

I am grateful for my relationship with God. Without the Lord on my side, I would have crumbled and died.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?

I had to consider how strategic I was in approaching marriage. I asked what I thought to be all the right questions. Important to me was knowing if he was a believer of the resurrection of Christ. I was honest with who I was as a person, and that included the baggage I carried; my goals, ambitions, and desires as an individual and a wife. Although at this point, I only remember my discussions of me as an individual. I think that is because I never had a realistic opportunity of being a wife with the man I divorced, and unfortunately I learned that fact after becoming married.

My time as a single woman again has broadened my views on matrimony. A more telling line of questioning would have been related to can God trust you with my heart. Are you the man God has sent to relive me of the turmoil that lies within? Do you understand the importance of relationship with God and the role it plays as a husband who can cover his wife in prayer allowing her to become the help meet God created? Are you committed to the vows? I believe had these points been addressed, the issues that were discussed prior to marriage would have proven insignificant because we would have truly been on one accord. Subtly, I had been groomed for marriage my entire life; as excited I was about becoming engaged, I marveled at finally having my opportunity to love a man wholeheartedly as I have always known the holy state of matrimony is endearing to God. 

I would have to say I learned how much God is on point in all that He does.

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

The only “research” I had to do for the book was legal related. As a result, I was truly at the mercy of some people. I reached out to many people for help. I met kind and helpful law students. I met law students with sealed lips. I met honest attorneys. I met corrupt attorneys. I reached out to people who could care less. My favorite attorney was Attorney Johnny Cochran. After learning that I may have given the benefit of doubt too freely in many instances regarding attorneys, I never forwarded my request for help to his firm. I made that decision as a result of my experiences with requesting assistance. I didn’t want to risk having his name tarnished in my memory. 

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

First and foremost, to honor Jehovah. To offer the world His Son, Jesus – The coming Messiah. To reveal Him as a loving God that loves us all the same. Then, to honor the sacrifices of my mother. I also wanted to pay tribute to talented people, prominent figures, women who paved the way, and leaders who made a difference so that I would have opportunity to do the same for others. I’m proud to say I nailed my goals. 

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
Inspired by the last ten years of my life which have been quite traumatic for me, I recall how this slippery slope began with me in a hospital with my mother waiting to go in the operating room. It was in that holding room I now understand that a promise for everlasting life was initiated and sealed with a kiss. I present as that vessel that offers what Abraham Maslow describes as fulfilling Self Actualization. 

The Lipstick Movement is a vision of mine with a focus on upward mobility. Welcome to the Lipstick Blog Tour: http://thelipstickmovement.com  

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

Website: http://www.dmichelejackson.com 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DMicheleJackson 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dmichelejackson 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chimingforchange 
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DMicheleJackson 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Eartha Dunston

Eartha Dunston has been writing since she was a freshman at Alabama State University. She first realized her love for writing when one of her best friends secretly entered her into his fraternity’s poetry slam. She anxiously shared her writings publicly for the first time and received an overwhelming standing ovation! It was a pivotal moment, and she knew in that instant she would one day write professionally. Her educational background coupled with becoming a mom, inspired her to begin writing about issues that affect children such as positive self-image and loosing a beloved family matriarch. She has spent the past few years honing her craft under the tutelage of many award winning and accomplished authors.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Clinical Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. Eartha enjoys traveling, encouraging others through life’s obstacles, reading and crafting stories in all genres. She currently resides in South Florida. Her first Children's novel is entitled "The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney." The book introduces us to a beautiful princess who celebrates her hair as it transitions textures and styles throughout the week.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write?
I've always enjoyed writing. I started keeping a journal and writing poetry when I was in college. At the time, I never intended to share my writings publically. I was going through a very tough time. Both of my parents were terminally ill. I was struggling emotionally, financially and every way imaginable. Writing consoled me. It was my escape. I always felt better because my journal and poems were the one place I could be totally raw and honest about my feelings. I could cry out to God and be mad at him at the same time for what I was going through; and no one was there to judge me.

One of my friends discovered a poem I had written, and he persuaded me to perform at his fraternity's poetry night. I protested with everything in me, but eventually gave in. I was determined not to cower. To my amazement, the audience loved it; and I received a standing ovation. I knew in that instant I wanted to write professionally one day.
Within the next few days, several individuals and organizations invited me to perform on campus and at local spots in the city. It was an epiphany for me.

BPM: How did you advance the call for writing?

After graduate school, I settled into a comfortable career, and tucked my writing dreams away. However, the passion never died. I was visiting my brother in Atlanta one summer, when I received profound confirmation about my writing that changed my life. I dusted off all my old ideas and put work behind my faith and dreams. I started traveling the country to attend writing seminars and conferences. I ventured to New York, Houston, and Atlanta to name a few. I soaked up as much knowledge about the industry and writing process as I could. I attended seminars and writing classes featuring some of the best in the business.

A couple of the authors and I connected. One accomplished, seasoned author took me under her wings and began to motivate me with words of encouragement. Another well-known author referred me to her publicist, and things took off immediately. It got to the point where all the things I thought would be a challenge were lining up without much effort. It’s as if my dream started chasing me. I had written the Princess series of books a couple years earlier but never attempted to publish them. I had also started working on a novel. A couple of my writing mentors continued to nudge and encourage me to move forward. I could no longer mask the dream.

I knew it was time to launch my long-desired writing career. I knew all this was not coincidental, but divine connections orchestrated by God, in His timing.

BPM: Introduce your book, The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney and the characters.
The main character of the book, Princess Lindsey Sidney, admires her hair each day of the week as it transitions from straight to frizzy and all textures in between. My debut children’s book, entitled The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney, was birthed out of the struggles with my daughter’s hair. I was never good at hair. I cropped mine off years ago and never looked back. God really has a sense of humor. He gave me a beautiful daughter with the biggest, thickest, and coarsest hair I’ve ever encountered. I knew I was in trouble when it came to grooming it. I knew there had to be other parents going through the same struggles. I knew others could benefit from a book that celebrated various phases of our sometimes straight, sometimes kinky.

I would spend hours every Saturday on my daughter’s hair trying to wash it, comb it and make it pretty. It would never be as sleek or straight as I wanted. We would both be in tears. However, I noticed when her father and I told her she was a beautiful princess with the prettiest hair, she believed it! Even with a pile of untamed frizz on her head, she would stand in the mirror and admire it because we told her she was beautiful. It made me realize the power of instilling positive self-image in children at a young age. She thought her hair was beautiful in all its imperfection because we told her so. 

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?

I write because it’s liberating. I write because it is the one thing I will always do even if I never make a dime from it. I love writing and if my writing can help someone along the way, even better. Creating characters and giving them life is exhilarating. I ‘m driven by the power and emotion well developed characters evoke. I’ve gotten feedback from beta readers that tell me they can’t stop thinking about a particular character in my novel or they really felt as if they were there with the characters. When I hear that, I know I am on the right track. I will always have a passion for writing, whether it’s another children’s book, a simple article, or a fast-paced spy novel. I’m just getting started! 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Patricia A. Saunders

Self-published award winning author, Patricia A. Saunders was born and raised in Connecticut before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area nearly 20 years ago. She received her Master’s in Management from the University of Phoenix in 2011. After the passing of her mother who had Alzheimer’s, Patricia decided that all the words that she kept to herself were to be released.

In March of 2016 she released her fourth book This Too Shall Pass, this book of poetry touches on the subject of suicide, death, love and faith. Her work has been featured on In the Company of Poet, Women Owned Business Club Magazine, and Coach Deb Bailey Secret of Success Talk Radio. She performs locally at spoken word events and Capital Jazz SuperCruise Open Mic with Grammy Award Winner Eric Roberson. Saunders is a monthly blogger to Blessed & Curvy http://blessedpoetpat.blogspot.com

Ms. Saunders recently was one contributing writer of 300 women across the world for Sister with Ink Voices (Hill-Dudley, 2013) She works as a supervisor for a corporate financial organization. In her spare time, Patricia enjoys writing poetry, traveling, spending time with family and wine tasting.

Her books are available at your local book retailers and at www.patriciaasaunders.com, www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com 

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? 
The book was written after going through the storms and realizing I made it. I had to appreciate everything that I went through to see the blessing. Is this book available on Nook and Kindle? It is available on both.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. 

The book is of poetry that covers my personal experience, anything that impacted me such as our young black men being slain and other people stories shared. What makes each one so special? As a reader you can relate to the experiences because it touches the heart, spirit, and makes you reflect

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? 

My mother was an ordained minister who had Alzheimer’s and seeing her decline quickly made me what to have a legacy to leave behind. My words. Why now? If I inherit the disease I want to get all the words out now before I can’t

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 
Remembering experiences of my youth when both parents were living.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? 
It comes from life. If I am happy, sad, grieving, and seeing something in the news I have to express it. Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? No Why? Poetry

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? 

I touch on a subject that people don’t want to discuss. Suicide. If so, discuss them. I was seeing in the media people who you thought had it all committing suicide, I knew for myself after my mother passed I felt that my world was turned upside down and I was losing everything. I wanted to get in the ground and go with her.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey? 

I was self-employed, making six figured, living in a gated community. I was a happy. The rug got pulled from under my feet and I was lost. On the brink of being homeless and offered to stay at a shelter. It drew me closer to my faith, I was blessed with people in my life to pour into me positive mantras, and I started my second chance. I went back to school and received my Master’s degree. There are people out there who can relate to my journey.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 

I learned that I am stronger than I thought. That there may be dark days but the sun is going to shine.

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book? 

There are my Saturday morning hair salon divas who share stories with me about love, how to deal with challenges, and more. My friends share with me about being single, over 50 and the struggles we go through.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
 
I feel this book is a testament for those who are going through any of life’s challenges to know you can come through. I wanted to pay homage to three women who sent me separate notes all saying This Too Shall Pass! I have been good reviews from those reading it. I feel if I touch one person than my vision has met its goal.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present? 

I have written a book a year except in 2014 but that’s because I was writing two books at once. Now for 2017 the next book I have writing about love so for those on the journey with me maybe it’s knocking at the door!

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

www.patriciaasaunders.com
www.facebook.com/blessedpoetpat
www.instagram.com/blessedpoetpat
www.pinterest.com/blessedpoetpat
www.twitter.com/blessedpoetpat
http://blessedpoetpat.blogspot.com 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Tyler Stallings

Tyler Stallings is an outgoing kidpreneur with an active imagination. Although one of the 4-year-old’s favorite hobbies is running a fictitious construction company and building things, he enjoys picking out his own books, discussing them, traveling and meeting awesome people from all parts of the world. 

Like many children his age, Tyler began making countless excuses why he could not go to bed at night. His mother, Andrea Blackstone, decided to make up a game about traveling around the world, to encourage her son to settle down and go to sleep. Playing the game where Tyler transformed into a superhero who travels became so popular, it became a welcomed ritual when he was three. After Tyler’s questions about places he traveled in his imagination increased when he turned four years old, Blackstone asked Tyler if he wanted to write his own book. When Tyler agreed, she decided to invest in her son’s dream to become an author at a young age. 

Tyler’s journey to co-write a book with his mother evolved into an early lesson in entrepreneurship. Since Tyler enjoys helping his mother with community work, he agreed that giving back to causes should be a part of his book project. Under the umbrella of Lois’ Giving Circle—which will be established in the name of his late grandmother who was an elementary school teacher, Tyler will create or support community projects. 

Since Tyler and his mother are both children of veterans, a portion of the proceeds from the limited edition of “Tyler Goes Around The World” will be donated to organizations supporting veterans who served our country. With the help of his mother, the honorary CEO of Kid Time Enterprises, LLC aspires to spread the love of pursuing passions at any age, doing good things and reading books, one superhero mission at a time!

BPM: Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)? 

Like many 4-year-old children, Tyler did not like to go to bed at night. We began pretending to travel to places, after tying an imaginary cape around his neck. He eventually started asking to fly around the world, by using his imagination. Our game became a creative way to get him to go to bed with less resistance.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 

Tyler is a superhero in his book. As the main character, he discovers new places and makes new friends in nearby places and countries located far away from home. “Super Tyler” is unafraid to embrace cultures which are unfamiliar to him. He sees or learns something different each time he lands in a new place after flying. The animals and people he encounters welcome him in return. 

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

Tyler wanted to play his adventure game so frequently, I thought it may have potential to appeal to other children and parents. We began to study countries and discuss them at night while playing the game. I eventually asked Tyler if he would like to write a story about his adventures, since he loves books, and he has always been nearby while I worked on writing assignments. Tyler often handed books to me and begged me to read them to him while I was working on the computer. Writing “Tyler Goes Around the World” was a way to spend time with each other in a meaningful way without doing something that involved the television or electronic devices. I think kids get enough of that. I wanted to spend time with him face-to-face without distractions. He wanted and deserved my undivided attention. 

We decided to publish the story this year because he is older than when we created the game. Since he is four years old, he can now provide more input and help. Lastly, I felt that a story promoting tolerance and togetherness is timely. The world is a diverse place. In my opinion, we need more stories to reflect diversity so that more young people may feel included in the human experience.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed watching Tyler mature while learning new skills. He felt excited to pick out what he wanted to see in the book and make decisions while producing the project. When he made mistakes, he learned lessons that helped him to improve.

BPM: What kind of research did you do for this book?

I showed Tyler a globe, then I allowed him to pick out some appealing places to include in his manuscript. We studied the culture, animals, customs, temperature, words and related elements of story development. The Internet does not always provide reliable information, so I made calls to embassies to try to confirm what we read about places in different places in the world. Additionally, I called American Indian cultural centers to consult with experts about Native American culture. 

BPM: What are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?

I contributed to making a change.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 

I learned that it is true that kids are sponges. My son embraced the idea that he could be viewed as a superhero who brings people from around the world together, because I introduced him to the idea that treating others well is important. He usually does not fear learning about people who are from other places, or who may not share the same ethnicity, or speak the same language. At the same time, I learned that making extra effort to empower children of color can be extremely important. They can also be main characters in stories of all kinds. Many do not have enough opportunities to see themselves represented in positive ways, since positive stories are often not shared as much as negative news. Before we began the project, I felt very disappointed by the lack of good stories about boys of color that were available online. Not everyone embraces Tyler’s journey, but he is learning early that he must believe in himself to achieve anything.

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while working in the community?

I allowed Tyler to become the focus of Kid Time Enterprises, LLC and decided to make him the honorary CEO. Since he expressed interest in business and supporting veterans, he met hundreds of people while collecting donations and delivering items to these homeless and elderly heroes. It was his idea to create Give Back to Veterans Day, because he wanted to do something special for them. Additionally, we met youth and adults while giving away thousands of books in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia, with the help of a company called Discover Books. 

I think one special moment was hearing veterans thank Tyler for bringing hygiene and grooming products to them. They have done so much for our country, yet they thanked him, and he even received a letter of thanks! Tyler spoke on the microphone for the first time at one of his events. He told me that he felt good to do something nice. The governor of Maryland recognized Tyler for his interest to help the community at a young age. Several elected officials know about what he is doing to help veterans and other children. 

Lastly, during one of Tyler’s last book giveaway event, many children who reside in areas that many people overlook ran to pick out free books of their choice. Some of their parents asked me if they could have more than one. They were extremely excited to have them. Making the selections will allow these students to have books of their own to read this summer. I learned that many kids may just need more people to show they care about them. Companies like Discover Books, Wegmans and nonprofits like Start A Snowball invest in communities. In addition to members of the community who stepped up to help, their support and donations made a big difference in exposing youth to positive experiences and exciting literary events. I appreciate their support.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book? 

My goal was to establish a platform for Tyler to write books and tell stories that he would like to create as he grows as a writer and kidpreneur. The project introduced him to the idea of having a work ethic, budgeting, saving money, and striving to earn it. Plus, learning can be fun if we take the time to teach children new skills as they participate in a process. We hope to create interest in Kid Time Enterprises, LLC so that we can also help other children to embrace their dreams, and pursue their passions, with encouragement from supportive adults. 

“Tyler Goes Around the World” is our first project. I want to remind other parents to take time to consider their children’s ideas, even if they happen to express interest in something unusual. A child can inspire a positive movement. Our goal is to inspire people of all ages to pursue their dreams. 

Finally, I want boys to feel encouraged, too. I do not feel that boys have the benefit of enough mentorship or encouragement at a young age. I want them to feel they are valued and expected to excel, no matter what they may often hear, or see in mainstream media. 

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

Tyler is working on his next adventure in his book series. He is taking pictures for his first coloring book. I am transcribing another story that he told me that he wants to publish. After he figures out the ending, his first draft will be complete.

BPM: Which would you rather do: Never write another story or never read another book?

I would rather not read another book.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

Readers can discover more about Tyler by visiting Kid Time Enterprises, LLC. Since he is a young boy, I handle his social media accounts. 

Website: http://www.kidtimeenterprises.com 
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/HonoraryCEO 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kidtimeenterprises 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kidtimeenterprises 


 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Re'Gena Bell-Roberts

Re'Gena Bell-Roberts was featured on the Steve Harvey Show as one of the Harvey's Heroes!

Re'Gena Bell-Roberts is an actress, poet, award-winning playwright and author whose published work includes a collection of prose and poetry. She earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of California at Los Angeles and raised her four children as a single parent while continuing to pursue a career.

Re’Gena won the Rockefeller Foundation award for her play "Eclipse"; and a Prose award from Culver City Community College. She produced and directed an NAACP Martin Luther King Day celebration event; and received numerous awards for her community service. She was featured on the Steve Harvey Show and honored as one of “Steve Harvey’s Hero.”  Re’Gena resides in Murrieta, California.


BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you? What impact do you want your book to make on the readers?
My passion for writing began at an early age while searching for a voice among my seven siblings. It was then that I discovered the power of the written word in the form of poetry or short stories. I am driven to write because it empowers me as an artist to evoke my inner feelings, thoughts and emotions and share them with others.

I want Walking on Thin Ice to take the reader on an unforgettable journey of love, pain and heartbreak that will inspire, motivate an empower them to make better choices and decisions in order to have a better quality of life.


BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book. 
Walking on Thin Ice is a love story told amid the backdrop of passion, betrayal and pain. The book opens up with all the candor –– frustration, love, trial, tribulation and humor –– indicative of the human spirit. I wrote the book after cultivating it mentally and physically for many years.

Walking on Thin Ice, a memoir of love, hate, envy, and greed traces a young woman's pursuit of stardom down a dangerous road that leads to shattered dreams and a harrowing fate.

The young woman longed for fame and fortune until at last a man comes to set her free - only to be betrayed again. The saga portrays her tumultuous life as she struggles to deal with a tragic life-threatening event. Against life’s most overwhelming odds, she fights back with unshakable strength, courage, and a will to survive.

BPM: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... 
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... a message of hope in the face of adversity.

BPM: What was your primary quest in publishing this book?
My primary quest in publishing the book was to share my story–– my struggles, my truths and my journey to convey a message of love, hope and redemption.

BPM: Who did you write this book for? Why?
I wrote this book for young girls and women who are craving the love of a man, as I did, and who are interested in or can relate to the ups and downs of a tumultuous relationship, and the risks of following your heart and desires into dangerous territory. I wrote this book for anyone who has ever been in an abusive relationship whether it’s physical, emotional or psychological. The story is as relevant today as it was decades ago.

BPM: Walk us through your journey to success. How did you get to this point? What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?
My success came after my lowest point and on the threshold of losing faith until I surrendered the reigns of my life to God. My faith allowed me to trust God and understand that sometimes the plans we make for ourselves is not the plan that He has for us. At that point I prepared to use my gift of writing knowing that it would be a long and arduous task.

My greatest challenge was facing reality –– the truth about the choices I made and how they impacted not only my life, but the lives of my family and friends—my loved ones. I overcame the experience first by accepting responsibility in the detrimental role I played in self-destruction and second, accepting the amazing grace of a second chance.

BPM: At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it?
I discovered my real worth the moment I regained use of my hands and placed wet ink on paper. I claimed it and took ownership of it.

BPM: Was there anyone early in your career that recognized your talent and help cultivate it?
Yes. It was definitely two of my English/literature teachers in high school who encouraged my writing talent and offered personal selections of books for me to read.

BPM: Do you feel as if your writing is making a positive impact on readers, women, or the world?
Yes. I do believe my writing is making a positive impact on readers of both gender, male and female. I feel that my book causes readers to pause and examine their relationships. It draws them deep into the very fiber and psyche of how it feels to be “Walking on Thin Ice.”


Connect with Re'Gena Bell-Roberts 

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/rlbroberts  
Website:  http://walking-on-thin-ice.com 
Facebook:  http://facebook.com/regena.bellroberts


Order Walking on Thin Ice by Re'Gena Bell-Roberts
Download Link:  http://amzn.com/1491764759  
Genre:   True Story. Non-fiction. Memoir 

 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Dr. Lynda Mubarak

Dr. Lynda Mubarak is a native Texan, Army veteran, and grew up in Waco and Ft. Worth. She is a retired teacher and special education facilitator with 37 years of experience in special needs instruction, ESL education at Tarrant County College, and developmental writing at Strayer University. Lynda is a graduate of P.L. Dunbar High School, Ft. Worth, TX. She earned her BS in Elementary/Special Education from Texas Christian University, M.Ed. from Texas Wesleyan University, and Ed.D in Higher Education from Nova SE University. Dr. Mubarak is an active volunteer with several Ft. Worth organizations. She loves crossword puzzle competitions, live theater and contemporary music history. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her husband, Kairi, and Ebony, their rescue dog.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?
STATIONS is my debut novel. It is available on Kindle and also published in paperback at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The book is composed of essays I have written over the years. Each essay covers a phase, decision, transition, pathway, or challenge that ordinary people experience during the course of a lifetime as children and later as adults.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
I have always wanted to write a book, but only discussed it briefly (and quietly) with a few friends over the years. I assumed that my thoughts and ideas had been written and discussed many times over and there was no need to ‘repeat’ what others had done. I began to write down my observations and thoughts several years ago and decided to publish them after a chance meeting with a former colleague in a restaurant. She and I were teachers at the same middle school over twenty years ago. During those years, she told me weekly about her desire to write a children’s book. When I asked if she had accomplished her dream, she explained that she had published four books and that I should move forward and contact a publisher. I did, and the rest is history!

BPM: Where do you book ideas come from? 
STATIONS: Changing Your Life – Changing Your Career relates to the various circumstances that families face when raising children from early social skills and financial responsibility to proactive soft skills and behaviors required of students, new workers or tenured employees.

BPM: Are there any under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? 
Yes. STATIONS addresses many issues and concerns for young parents, first generation college students, adults in job transition, and ex-offenders in re-entry programs. Some persons have not been exposed to the nuances of a college campus, support group interaction, workplace protocol, or even networking practices. STATIONS attempts to cover these areas in a simple, but practical manner.

BPM: How does your book related to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey?
I think my book is a condensed version of the positive and negative experiences of my life and the lives of persons I have encountered over the years. The topics I selected were the ones that had the most profound effect on me as a child, parent, educator, college adjunct, observer, confidant, advisor, and caretaker of aging parents. 

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
The personal lesson I learned from writing this book is acknowledging that we often have things (gifts) in us that we do not investigate, promote, develop, or expand. Many times the hesitation stems from fear and doubt. My husband had been trying to persuade me to publish for over 20 years. I simply had one excuse after another to delay my dream of writing a book. After my parents died, and I talked with my former teacher/colleague, I realized that I had run out of excuses. Finally, I learned that often when it is time to act, we create reasons or hurdles to slow down or hinder the decision to move forward. My excuse had been my parents’ declining health.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My goals and intentions of this book were to encourage and inspire others to move forward while making better decisions, utilizing time wisely, and identifying those skills and competencies necessary for living a life filled with achievement and personal success. Most important, teach all children the concepts and behaviors required to survive in a fast moving world that becomes more competitive each day. In the end, they will be working on jobs that were not created during your lifetime. I think I wrote in a way that was thought provoking and parent friendly!

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I am currently working on a book about my childhood memories of living in segregated Waco, TX during the 1950s. The name of the book is “Carver Park”. Carver Park is an African-American community area east of the Brazos River and downtown Waco that was designed years ago by public officials for people of color.

Readers can find out more about my work at: www.lyndamubarak.com 
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011551415498 

 


 


Intimate Conversation with B.J. Denver

B.J. Denver is the name, bestselling author, J.J. Michael uses for her Fornakopia series. Ms. Michael, a spiritual teacher and intuitive numerologist, wrote the Fornakopia series to highlight the healing power of sexual energy. 

J.J. Michael is an author, blogger, numerologist, and Indie publisher living in Washington, DC. Her formal education includes a BA from Howard University and an MLS from the University of Maryland. For several years, she worked as an administrator of the District of Columbia Public Library. Several of her books have been bestsellers on Amazon. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Inc. and a member of the Washington, D.C., Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. Ms. Michael also writes under the pen name, BJ Denver. Visit J.J. Michael at www.jjmichael.com.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Is the book available on Kindle?
On August 19, 2016, I release my seventh book, Fornakopia, under my pen name BJ Denver. It's available on Amazon Kindle as an eBook and trade paperback. Fornakopia falls in the genre of romance, featuring a matured woman's search for love and sexual ecstasy. It's for matured audience only. 

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
The main protagonist is Annaliza Wentworth, a rich widow living a passionless life. As I prepared to write the book, I interviewed several women about their lives, especially about sexuality and spirituality. From their stories, I crafted the character of Annaliza to look at her flaws, lack of what she didn't have, what she desired in life and how she sets out to discover herself and happiness.

The antagonist overshadowing Annaliza is her deceased husband. The reader learns about Tommy Wentworth's life through Annaliza's flashbacks, his friends, and emails. Tommy's life and death play a major role in the plot.

Fun Article: "Let's Talk Sex and Spirituality" - https://lnkd.in/eAwXCt6  


BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
Many of my friends fall into one of the following categories: empty nest; retiring, starting new careers, going back to school; traveling; babysitting grandchildren, exercising, downsizing the home, divorcing, marrying, being a widow or widower, dating, and making other significant life changes. Life after sixty continues and can be fulfilling. I wanted to write about a matured woman going through one or several of the above life changes.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The book is character driven. I enjoyed writing about strong contemporary women and showing their spiritual and sexual growth.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? 
My ideas come from something I have seen or heard, someone's recommendation, or thoughts that streamed into my consciousness. The majority of my books are character-driven. I love writing about strong characters with their flaws and gifts and watching then growth over the course of the book.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? 
Except for Fornakopia, all of my books have a character that has a physical, mental or emotional disability. I like to bring awareness to the diversity in our world. My son was born with multiple disabilities. In my book, Five Days of Darkness, I link autism with psychic abilities, showing a different perspective of this order. The majority of my books are visionary fiction where I interweave the supernatural or psychic phenomena with ordinary life, with Fornakopia being the except. 

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey?
As mentioned earlier in this interview, Annaliza Wentworth, the protagonist in Fornakopia is aligned with women of my age group, education, spiritual and social practices.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Yes, I learned women of my age group (60 and older) are doing fantastic things in life. They return to school, live out the dreams they had in their younger years, and they take responsibility for their physical, emotional and spiritual health. The motto is -live life to the fullest. 

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
I met several powerful, dynamitic matured women who shared their stories with me. All volunteered their stories for the book, but as I explained this was a work of fiction. However, I composed stories based on the information I learned from them to fit in with the plot of the story. Most of these women knew what they wanted in a relationship, including fulfilling their sexual needs and desires. 

BPM: What were your goals in writing this book, and how well do you feel achieved them?
My goal in writing Fornakopia was to bring awareness of sexual suppression and the connection between sexuality and spirituality. Before publishing the book, several beta readers read it. I'm happy to say the response was positive. Even though the book is fiction, they thought it would be a self-help sex guide for women of all ages.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I am writing part 2 to Fornakopia. It will continue Annaliza and Tommy Story. I'm also working on an eBook about spirituality, metaphysics, and quantum physics for the lay person.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 
http://www.jjmichael.com 
http://www.facebook.com/jjmichaelauthor 
http://wwwfacebook.com/BJDenever 
http://www.twitter.com/jjmichael 
http://www.twitter.com/fornakopia 
http://www.amazon.com/author/jjmichael 

 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Cory The Author 

Cory The Author was born and raised in Atlanta Georgia. As a kid he had always dreamed of being a writer. At the tender age of 14 he read the 48 Laws of Power and The Art of War. Fascinated by strategy he wanted to write his very own book. After years of working in corporations he quit his job to become a full time author. Also Inspired by The Four Hour Work Week, and 33 Strategies of War he wrote the The Aha Moment: The Guide to Creating A Game Changer

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?  
I've written a book on the power of ideas, and how they shape society. The idea is to take those ideas you have and make your own Game Changers. It's about not being a follower, but being a Game Changer.. 

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? 

Unemployment is high. We as a society aren't creative anymore. We are the perfect employee, Zombie, or robot. Where are the Game Changers? Where are the people with great ideas. I want to inspire people to be creative. I want to inspire people to change the game. 

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 

The possibility of people reading it, and becoming inspired. 

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven?  

It came out of frustration. I hate seeing people struggle when we were born to create. We were born to be Game Changers. History shows that. 

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation or journey? 

If you look at society unemployment is high.The rich keep getting richer. People are looking for answers. We as a people are more powerful than we realize. We just need to tap into that special power. 

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 

I learned that I have what it takes to accomplish anything No matter the circumstances. 

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book? 

I've met entrepreneurs who actually inspired me to follow my dreams. I especially mentioned in my book that I met this barber who started from nothing, and now he has two barbershops. He did it when the odds were against him a far as funding. He persevered and created his own Game Changer

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

My goal is to inspire, and empower people with this book. It's a working process, but I'll get there. 

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present? 

I'm working on my new Health book call Hustlers Guide to Health, Wealth, and Diet. I just finished a book call F*ck You Money: The Guide To Hiring Yourself, and Firing Yourself. 

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

https://t.co/VVHfdXDAsT   
https://twitter.com/Corypitts9  
https://www.instagram.com/cory.favier  
https://www.facebook.com/Corythehustler  

Purchase The Aha Moment: The Guide To Creating A Game Changer 

Nonfiction>Self-Help>Motivational>Business & Money>Job Hunting & Careers 
https://www.amazon.com/Aha-Moment-Guide-Creating-Changer/dp/1523409274  

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with M.J. Kane 

M.J. Kane stumbled into writing. An avid reader, this once stay-at-home mom never lost the overactive imagination of an only child. As an adult she made up stories, though never shared them, to keep herself entertained. It wasn’t until surviving a traumatic medical incident in 2006 that she found a reason to let the characters inhabiting her imagination free. Upon the suggestion of her husband, she commandeered his laptop and allowed the characters to take life. It was that, or look over her shoulder for men caring a purple strait jacket. And the rest, as they say, is history.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?

M.J.: JADED is the second book in The Butterfly Memoirs series and can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, ARe, Smashwords, and Kobo.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 

M.J.: JADED is Yasmine’s story. If you’ve read the first book, A HEART NOT EASILY BROKEN, you were introduced to her carefree and confident personality. She knows what she wants out of life and has no problem going after it. Zachariah, the male lead, is what I like to call a ‘quiet hero’. At first glance, he’s not the type of guy outspoken Yasmine would go for. But after experiencing heartbreak, he’s the perfect man for her.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

M.J.: Yasmine Phillips is one of the most misunderstood characters in the series which is why I loved featuring her in her own story. Some readers don’t like her brash personality or dislike what they feel is a ‘conceited woman’ who gets on their nerves. But that isn’t who she is; it’s the mask she puts on for the world to see in order to hide the heartache and betrayal she’s experienced. Once readers get to know who she is; their minds and hearts open up and are able to relate to some of her experiences. Reading her story will bring you to the heart of the character.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

M.J.: I loved having the opportunity to take a misunderstood character and turn her into a woman people can understand to the point that it makes them rethink their first impressions about the people around them. First impressions should not be the only thing you base your opinions about people on!

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?

M.J.: My stories come from looking at the things that we all go through. Life is all the inspiration I need. Regardless of the color of our skin, where we live, or how much money we have in the bank, at some point, we all are faced with the same life altering circumstances. We’re all looking for love, have family that gets on our nerves, and unfortunately, suffer from illnesses that don’t discriminate. What makes us who we are is how we react to whatever life throws at us. This is what makes my stories so character driven.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.

M.J.: No, there are no special groups featured in this story. The topics addressed deal with women as entrepreneurs, dealing with family issues, friendship, recovering from a broken heart, and life-threatening illness.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, education, spiritual practice or journey?

M.J.: So far I have five novels and each character has had a bit of my life experiences interjected into their personality or story. I like to think of my female characters as different facets of my personality. The woman I was, the woman I am, the woman I strive to be, and occasionally, the woman who I wouldn’t have a nerve to be, but man would it be fun if I did!

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 

M.J.: Yes, I did, and believe it or not, it wasn’t the female lead, Yasmine, it was the male lead, Zachariah Givens. Writing a character who is pained by the fact that he can’t remember a much as he would like to of his father who passed when he was younger is so me. My father died unexpectedly when I was ten-years-old and to this day, I have a hard time remembering his laugh or his smile. The same is true for Zack. I guess I worked through some unknown emotional issues on this book which is why to this day, when I read it, I still get teary-eyed at the same spots.

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

M.J.: This book didn’t need a lot of research in order to develop these characters. Mostly it was memories of my father while growing up and my grandmother and aunt who suffered from breast cancer. In fact, an incident that happens to Zach’s mother is the exact same thing that happened with my grandmother.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

M.J.: My goal with Yasmine and Zach’s story was to help readers to understand that a person cannot be judged by their looks or skin. Just because a person may be beautiful in appearance does not mean they are living a happy life. Everyone has some secret floating just below the surface as to who we truly are. Also, the person we are meant to be with for the rest of our lives maybe the exact opposite of what we think we need. Our hearts are what should guide us to finding love, not our eyes.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

M.J.: I am currently wrapping up the fifth novel in The Butterfly Memoirs series, ALONE. This is a story that has been hovering in the back of my mind since 2011, when I was writing the first novel, A HEART NOT EASILY BROKEN. The series isn’t about one set of characters, but rather characters who know each other in some way either as friends or family. Each story is about a different couple, and each story can be read as a standalone novel or from beginning to end.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

I can be found all over the web:
Website: MJKaneMedia.com
Facebook: MJKaneBooks
Twitter: MJKaneBooks
Instagram: MJKaneBooks
YouTube: MJKaneMedia

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Joan Early

Following a lengthy career in Mortgage Banking and Mortgage Law, Joan Early focused on the love of books she developed as a child, both reading and writing. Her first writing effort won first place in Ebony Magazine’s literary contest, and enriched her desire to pen her thoughts. She continued writing historical fiction and stories based partly on stories told by her ancestors, but changed to contemporary romance. Sara’s Reward, NightSweats, Heartstrings, A Tangled Web are available in eBook, as are her first novels, Look Both Ways, Fireflies, Oak Bluffs, Friends in Need, and Separate Dreams.

Joan’s latest novel, The Other Two-Fifths, is a walk back in time, and chronicles events that led to the formation of the NAACP. It also features events taken from her early life in Mississippi, where Joan affirms learning “the best and the worst” of what we can expect from others. Joan continues writing both genres, while enjoying her husband and family, traveling, and her current career in Real Estate. Joan and husband Dale currently reside in the Beaumont, Texas area, while also maintaining a home in Houston.

BPM: Tell us something about your most recent work.  Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?

Joan: The Other Two-Fifths is a story I began writing over ten years ago that details events of the past, which now seem glaring relevant with the strong focus on race relations. The book is available in paperback and eBook at bookstores, from the publisher, Argus Books, and on amazon.com.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 

Joan: Characters in the early part of the story were taken from tapestries of my early life, and show the depths to which many will go when they feel threatened. The also show how both love and hatred motivate our actions. The characters working voter registration drives typifies college age blacks in 1969, recent Vietnam veterans who returned to a world that didn’t embrace their sacrifice. The character of Tuck, the young white freedom rider, is taken from a young man I had the pleasure of meeting in Mississippi in 1968, who wanted to be involved. Both the protagonist and the heroes, the good and the bad are part of life. The two young women, Darlene and Camille, are patterned after myself and my “road-dog” back in my early life. We wanted to be change the world, fall in love, and do everything young adults seek on the way to happiness.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

Joan: I began the story in 1969, which was one of the most signifiant years of my life, and my last year living in Mississippi. I wanted to leave a piece of our journey, as the sacrifices and risks many took to bring about a change. When Senator Obama announced his presidential candidacy in Springfield, Illinois, I revised the beginning to reflect a race riot in Springfield 100 years before Senator Obama’s historical announcement. The events of which were a springboard for the NAACP.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 

Joan: I enjoyed reflecting on the past and following the progress this country has made toward equality, as well as the strides needed to make the playing field even.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why? 

Joan: My ideas are taken from current events, historical occurrences, and even vacation trips to places of inspiration, such as Martha’s Vineyard, my inspiration for Oak Bluffs. My stories are driven by characters more than plot, as I do not work from an outline. I try and create memorable characters who will remain in the reader’s hearts long after the book is read. It’s the job of those characters to move the story along. I have, from time to time, totally changed the natural progression of characters and placed them on another path as the story takes shape.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them. 

Joan: The story is mainly about the struggle for equality that was and still is an uphill battle for minorities, especially those of African descent. It also shows how the immigrants who settled America after slaughtering the natives who dwelt here, created exactly what most of them were running from, religious persecution, and unfair practices of the ruling class. Here in America, the mostly European settlers became the ruling class, using slave labor to achieve wealth and status. 

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey? 

Joan: The story relates to present struggles for racial equality that will determine this country’s future. Much has changed for me, and for all Americans. The changes I outlined for my life have been fruitful and greatly rewarding, which I owe, in part, to the wonderful teachers who instilled a strong thirst for knowledge. I was also told that any education taken only from classroom experience alone is not enough, so I read everything I could get my hands on back then. Reading, learning, knowing more than what’s encased in your immediate sphere and focusing on the world as a whole.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 

Joan: I learned a lot from my research and how the past had helped shape my thoughts, dreams, and my way of life. It also made me more aware of the omissions in our history books, and again, of the necessity to read.

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book? 

Joan: I met a very accomplished and interesting journalist whose relentless coverage of a murder in my hometown of Woodville, Mississippi made me shudder. 

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

Joan: My goal in writing The Other Two-Fifths was to showcase the efforts that have been made for the freedoms we now enjoy. Our youth is severely lacking in understanding of our culture and the sacrifices made for the advancements we now see. My continued goal is to speak to the curiosity of those who could benefit from knowing these facts.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present? 

Joan: I usually work on more than one book, either completing or editing. I have several I would like to have published, and I’m also working on the sequel to The Other Two-fifths.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

Joan: Connect with me on Facebook and my Facebook page, Joan’sBookNook. Visit my website www.joanearly.net, leave a message at www.joanearlybooks.com, follow me on https://twitter.com/JoanJEarly, Google and LinkedIn. 

In addition to all book stores and the publisher at www.a-argusbooks.com, The Other Two-Fifths is available on Amazon, along with my other books at:  https://www.amazon.com/Joan-Early/e/B004HNCQ0I 

The Other Two-Fifths by Joan Early:  Link: http://a.co/6Vsqk4f  


 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Dorothy Love

Dorothy Love is an award-winning author who brings her passion for history to her fiction writing in novels depicting the lives of 19th century American women. Known for her historical novels of mystery and suspense, Dorothy touches the minds and hearts of her readers through deep characterizations and the painstaking reconstruction of a lost
world. Her new novel, Mrs Lee and Mrs Gray brings to life the enduring friendship between Mrs Robert E Lee and Selina Norris Gray, an enslaved woman at famed Arlington house, a friendship that left a lasting American legacy.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write and how did you advance the call for writing?

DL: My dad had to leave school at an early age to take care of his mother and younger siblings and never got to finish his education. I'm his first daughter and from my earliest days he read books to me, bought books for me, and recited poetry he had memorized. He filled our house with books and magazines. I especially remember The Saturday Evening Post with its Normal Rockwell covers. I loved making up stories based on the covers. I can't remember a time when I didn't want to be a writer.  In college I worked as a journalist and later as a free lancer but my goal was to write novels. I started attending writers workshops, studied the craft, and finally began publishing in 1994. It has been a great ride.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?

DL: I love history, especially the history of 19th century America. It was a time when women were not allowed to vote and when they were discouraged from any work except teaching. The Civil War brought terrible hardships to Southern women who were left to fend for themselves against an invading army. Despite everything, many 19th century era women managed to accomplish great things that often go unnoticed. Elizabeth Blackwell became the first American woman to get an medical degree. Harriet Tubman became an abolitionist, an armed scout and a Union spy. Emma Willard fought for women's rights and established the Troy Female Seminary for the education of women. Elizabeth Allston Pringle took over the running of her family's rice plantations after the Civil War. There are countless stories like theirs. My passion is to dramatize those stories in a way that entertains and educates readers.

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and characters?

DL: I would love to! Mrs Lee and Mrs Gray is a biographical novel about the enduring friendship between Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee ( Mrs Robert E Lee) and Selina Norris Gray, an enslaved woman who became the
head housekeeper at Arlington house. Mary was the only child of George Washington Parke Custis and Mary Lee Fitzhugh, and the heir to Arlington and its contents which included many of George Washington's belongings.

Selina was born at Arlington, a second generation slave whose parents, Len and Sally Norris, are said to have been favorites of Mrs Custis. Mary and her mother taught the Arlington slaves to read and write. At some point Selina was brought into the house to train as a housekeeper. Mary Anna Custis, who was fifteen years older than Selina developed a particular affection for Selina that continued after Mary's marriage to Robert E Lee. Mary, who suffered from arthritis almost all of her life was often at Arlington with her growing brood of children that would eventually number seven in all, and during these times, presumably the bond between Mary and Selina grew even stronger. A letter from Selina to Mary written the year before Mary's death expresses Selina's desire to see her old friend, and offers hope that Mary will regain ownership of Arlington that was illegally taken from her during the war. It was the
discovery of that letter that served as the catalyst for this novel.

BPM: What was your primary quest in publishing this book? Why now?

I had two goals in mind. One was to introduce readers to Mary Anna Custis Lee, who has so often been portrayed negatively in biographies of her husband. She has been described as slovenly, self centered, unattractive, and dull. General Lee was famously known as the handsomest man in the army, a brilliant soldier, and a talented engineer. Why would such a man choose as his wife an unattractive, selfish, stupid woman? I set out to learn more about Mary and
discovered that although she admitted to being less than punctual and that she cared little for fashion, she was in fact exceptionally well educated for a woman of her times. She mastered four languages, read four newspapers every day, and became an accomplished painter of the people and landscapes of Arlington. One of her paintings of a young
enslaved girl was recently purchased for the art museum in Williamsburg.

After her father's death she edited his "Recollections" and wrote a memoir that was published in 1860. She may not have been the most beautiful of the Virginia belles but she has been described as lively and flirtatious. Among her suitors were Robert E Lee's brother Smith Lee, and Sam Houston who would one day become president of the Republic of Texas. Mary believed in emancipation for all enslaved people but felt that freedmen would not be treated fairly in America. She sold flowers from her gardens to support the American Colonization Society's efforts to purchase slaves' freedom and help them to immigrate to Liberia. The Society became controversial over the years, but even William Lloyd Garrison who became its most vocal critic, allowed that those involved sincerely believed they were doing the Lord's work. At least one Arlington slave family, that of William Custis Burke, made the journey to Liberia. Both he and his wife Rosabella exchanged letters with Mary until at least the late 1860's. A devoted wife and mother, Mary packed up her children to join Robert at his military postings whenever possible. She spent the last two years of the war in Richmond to be closer to her husband. This is the Mary Anna Custis Lee that I want readers to know.

Secondly, I wanted to tell Selina's remarkable story. When the Civil War erupted, Selina, her husband Thornton Gray and their children were among the sixty enslaved persons at Arlington. Abolitionists were active at Arlington for several years, encouraging the Custis slaves to run away. In the years just before the war, many of them left. As the Union army approached Arlington, Mary and her daughters packed up as many of their belongings as they could and went to stay with relatives, leaving Selina in charge of Arlington. When the soldiers began looting the house, taking items that had belonged to President Washington, Selina confronted the Union general with the demand that they stop stealing "Miss Mary's things." He responded by packing up the Lee's possessions and shipping them to the US Patent Office for safekeeping. Selina is known among historians as "the savior of the Washington treasures."  

Without her extraordinary bravery, those treasures--which represent a part of our common history--would have been lost. Selina Norris Gray deserves to be more widely known than she is. With so few actual historical documents to rely upon, I had to imagine much of Selina's story. I hope I have done her justice in the pages of this novel and that everyone who reads Mrs Lee and Mrs Gray will come away with a greater appreciation of both women, and of their friendship that fostered a lasting American legacy.

BPM: What are you the most thankful for?

DL: I've been blessed with work I love, readers I cherish, with a loving family, and with good health. It's so easy to take it all for granted. I try every day to be mindful of how lucky I am.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?

DL: Unless you have a spouse with a great job and a dental plan, do not give up your day job. It is very difficult to make a living writing books, but if that's your passion, then absolutely you must pursue it. I'd suggest taking lots of workshops, reading everything you can get your hands on, and most importantly, writing something every day. Your
first draft and maybe your second and third drafts too will be awful.  Embrace this awfulness as part of the creative process. Polish your work until you are deathly sick of it before you approach an editor or agent. Of course now anyone can bypass those gatekeepers and simply publish a book independently. But most of those that I've seen were prematurely published and would have benefited greatly from an editor and a proofreader. The most important thing must be passion. Passion for your subject, passion for the story, passion for the creative process.

BPM: How may our readers follow you online?

DL: My website is www.dorothylovebooks.com. I love chatting with readers on my Facebook author page or on Twitter.

Website:  www.DorothyLoveBooks.com 
Twitter:   www.twitter.com/writerDorothy 
Amazon Books:   www.amazon.com/Dorothy-Love 
Facebook::   www.facebook.com/DorothyLoveBooks 



Women's Fiction > Biographical > Historical Fiction 
http://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Lee-Gray-Novel/dp/0718042441

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Kaitlyn McKnight

Mississippi Teen Author Kaitlyn McKnight is a writer of fictional, fantasy, and science fiction stories. She wrote Zodiac Saga at age twelve. It all started as a class assignment that grew into a book. She is an idiosyncratic writer with a vivid imagination to create stories that are unique with magic, mystery, and even some malevolence. Giving life to anomalous characters is a special trait in Zodiac Saga. In her free time, she plays the piano, guitar, and violin. Sunshine and green grass draws her outside for long hours and she still enjoys playing in the rain. Kaitlyn is a homeschool graduate and a freshman at The University of Southern Mississippi.

BPM: Tell us about your most recent work? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?
Zodiac Saga 1 is my first book written at 12-years-old. There are two sequels to follow. It is only available in print.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 
The main character, Cyrus O’Hara, is a 12-year-old little boy who believes in magic and Zodiac gods. Because of this belief, he is called the zodiac kid and bullied daily at school. Other characters include: his brother Peter the great, the fearless Sofia, Witch Greta and her crystal ball, the frightening metal beast Azznic, Snake-y Von Tomb the keeper of evil doers, Gertrude and Garner workers for the Afterlife, the alluring daughter of Virgo, Mercy and her magical cat, and the bully himself, the ghoulish Judas. And of course, the Zodian gods who are also known as the Elders of Zodia, and the Sacred Twelve. They are the keepers of the universe.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
Well, I didn’t set out to write a book originally. I was given a class assignment to write a short two-page creative story. I liked the idea of Zodiac signs. The ideas just kept coming, and I continued to write them down into the story. And voila, it turned into my first book.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Just being able to write anything from my imagination was great. I didn’t have to do real research. I just used my imagination. I was limitless in what the Zodiac gods could do and be like. When it’s from my imagination, anything is possible.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? 
I am not really driven by a specific plot. I like magic and mystery. So, it’s just whatever pops into my mind.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.
I guess I could say maybe Cyrus, because there is a serious bullying problem in many schools. And the book redefines how we decide who our friends are and who our family really is.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, education, spiritual practice or journey?
Well, I like to travel and I believe in a higher power. So I have that in common with the book.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Oh, yes, the most important lesson was edit, edit, edit, edit, and edit some more. I also learned that the original material may not always be in the end result.

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
I didn’t do research per se for Zodiac Saga. As for people, I guess Cyrus is based from myself rather than someone I knew or met. We were both twelve and like magic.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My original goal was just to complete my class assignment. Needless to say, I went above and beyond the required two pages. So I was pretty happy.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I am getting Zodiac Saga 2 ready for print. I have gotten a lot of questions for what happens next at the end of Zodiac Saga 1. So I am working hard in my spare time, but my focus is mostly on my classes at USM.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 
Just go to my websites, and you can find new stuff and contact me directly from the websites. www.kaitlynmcknight.com  and  www.zodiacsaga.com


 

 


Intimate Conversation with RM Johnson

RM Johnson is the award-wining, bestselling author of 23 books. He holds an MFA in creative writing. He is a professor of English and Creative Writing and lives in Atlanta, GA where he is at work on his next novel. 

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?
RM Johnson: My new novel: The Million Dollar Destiny is available on both Amazon.com and BN.com and through direct order from Createspace.com. The Million Dollar Destiny is the final installment in my bestselling, The Million Dollar series, which includes the novels: The Million Dollar Divorce, The Million Dollar Deception and The Million Dollar Demise.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
RM Johnson: Nate Kenny is a millionaire and man who will go to any length, illegally, immorally or otherwise to get what he wants. In this installment, his newly remarried wife, Monica Kenny tries to turn the tables on Nate, attempts to plot and connive as he so brilliantly does, but finds, nearly at the loss of everything she loves, that she is not the master manipulator she thought she was.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

RM Johnson: The Million Dollar Destiny was a long time coming. Deceit and Devotion, which is a related book in the series, was released way back in 2011. I was looking forward to seeing what was going on with Nate and Monica Kenny, Lewis Waters, Tori Thomas and the rest of the Million Dollar characters. I also wanted to give my readers the satisfaction in knowing how their narratives end.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

RM Johnson: Wrapping it up, I believe. I started writing the first novel in this series in 2002 or 2003. I love these folks, and I’ve enjoyed seeing how they changed, matured and how life has affected them. I’m happy they are all going off to a better place.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?

RM Johnson: I write both styles of books: plot and character driven novels. My ideas come from everywhere. If the story is interesting to me, and I believe my readers will find it as enjoyable, I’ll definitely write it!

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?

RM Johnson: Writing the novel is always a learning opportunity for me. I’ve been doing this professionally for 19 years: this is my 23 book. I learn more about myself, improve as a writer and novelist each time I go through the tortuous process of creating another work of fiction. If there is nothing else I learn during that process, I am reminded that writing is what I love.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

RM Johnson: My goal was to reintroduce my readers to friends they made in this series of books: to update them, to give them an opportunity to care for these people again, worry about them, and watch them grapple with issues that very well could cause them great pain and loss, then be allowed to see how the characters solve those problems—or not—and come out the other side.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

RM Johnson: I actually have three projects I’m working on. Two are novels ideas, I’m very excited about, neither of which I can mention for top secret, special reasons. I say that jokingly. And the last, which I believe I’ll start today, is a one-man stage performance based on my novel, My Wife’s Baby.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

Visit me at:  https://www.facebook.com/rmnovels 
Or follow me on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/marcusarts 


 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Victoria A. Young

Winning an essay contest for Fannie Mae landed Victoria A. Young on Good Morning America, Spring 2000 under the maiden name: Victoria Martin. This brought to fruition that her writing can move people. She has written and produced three 2 hour plays and three short plays affording her the opportunity to refine her skills on Passion Whispers an Execution Book Series. She has also produced fashion shows, designed fashions, and choreographed dancing. Dancing ballet, jazz, African, and contemporary from the age of thirteen, blessed her to train God’s Mercy dancers to perform for Congressman Charlie Rangel. Her dancers were also given the opportunity to perform at all-paid-expense trips traveling out of New York State for church retreats. 

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write? 

I developed the love for the arts at the age of thirteen when I had a report due one Monday. I ran the streets with my friends disregarding report. Aware that my parents were going to scold me if I didn't have the report completed, I stood home one Sunday ignoring all calls. And read a book in one day: Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun. The report took me about three hours to complete. From that point, I fell in love with poetry and how words can tell a beautiful story. Later on, I won an essay award and appeared on Good Morning America. From there, I began writing inspirational plays, combining dancing, poetry and fashion shows with a following of two hundred to seven hundred people, who are today, waiting for the next play. I’ve written three, two hour plays and three short plays. 

BPM: Why do you write? 

Taking my characters through fire as they search for hope is a passion that boils my blood. I believe in writing oh my God and tainted stories, which close out with a bang, bringing a joyous spirit to the human experience with powerful messages. Life is about change. Without it, you’ll never grow. What drives me is the experiences I go through with my characters. I experience their emotions, heartbreaks, joy and full journey. It inspires me to make them stuggle through hell and make it to other side of heaven. Tears actually fall from my eyes when I end the story because I know the hell I brought them through was certainly fire. 

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? 

I began writing Passion Whispers an Execution as a screenplay with the name Unpredictable. As I ventured into editing, editors told me that I write like a novelist; and, to write Unpredictable as a novel, then have someone adapt it into a screenplay. Since I’m open and highly appreciate criticism, I took their advice. Scouting the options of Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing, I decided to Self-Publish unitl I’m acclimated with the publishing industry. 

BPM: What genre is this book? 

Psychological and Action Thriller combined with Romance. I will write all my books in this genre due to the nature of my writing, always ending on an inspirational message the way I did with my plays. 

BPM: Do you set out to educate, inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject? 

I aim to do it all. Subjects I write about are: forgivness, trust, injustice, faith, self-esteem, cheating women and men or any subject that highlights the human experience. I use various cultures, the tainted, the unorthodox, and characters traveling through darkness in order to entertain. My plays were a mixed cast of cultures. I tend to go with the realism of our world. Real life is that way. Nor do we live in a world where perfection exists in any given country, state or neighborhood. By the time my stories end, a powerful theme explodes, resonating with various cultures. 

BPM: Are any scenes from the books borrowed from your world or your experiences? 

Of course. Truth be told, working with New York City Police Department for 15 years inspired me to write about mental illness, which is the soul of Passion Whispers an Execution. I experienced Bipolar Depression and panic attacks after caring for my mom with breast cancer until God took her home. She didn’t want to die in the hospital or nursing home. My husband, son and siblings took turns caring for her at home. I went through three years of breast cancer symptoms with her. After death, I began having nightmares about her bones disentigrating, waking up screaming. Due to the jealousy and the close relationship I had with my uniform bosses, my civilian supervisor discriminated againt my mental illness. I filed a report with the Human Rights Divison. From there, I resigned to write novels and to open my own business. Also, I grew up watching heroin addicts and wanted to use that as I thought it would be interesting since it’s trending now. 

BPM: What hurdles did you have to overcome as a new author and business owner? 

I do own a business devoted to women in the line of beauty and inspiration. Trying to combine my many talents with my books became difficult. Another hurdle was I had a massive following when I wrote plays, but didn’t have the massive following with my books in the beginning, December 2014. I thought everyone liked to read. I soon found out, in many cultures, some didn’t know how to read, and others just are not readers. After a year of learning, I found out I had to find readers instead of people. 

BPM: What is the most important quality a writer should have? 

Transform into each one of your characters from the beginning of a story to the end. Get your book edited. Our brain is unable to edit due to one part being creative, we won’t catch errors. And do your research. I was never addicted to drugs. I had to do plenty of research on heroin in order to bring my lead female character addiction to fruition. Reviews have been written about her because of my research. Yashani is a favorite. 

BPM: How may our readers follow you online?
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VictoriaYoung58 
VC Website: www.victoriayoungpassion.com  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoria.martinyoung.3 
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/Book-Series-625256147595222/ 


Order Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1 - Tease Me! 

Series: Passion Whispers An Execution
Mystery & Thrillers > Erotic Suspense

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Joan Early

Following a lengthy career in Mortgage Banking and Mortgage Law, Joan Early focused on the love of books she developed as a child, both reading and writing. Her first writing effort won first place in Ebony Magazine’s literary contest, and enriched her desire to pen her thoughts. She continued writing historical fiction and stories based partly on stories told by her ancestors, but changed to contemporary romance. Sara’s Reward, NightSweats, Heartstrings, A Tangled Web are available in eBook, as are her first novels, Look Both Ways, Fireflies, Oak Bluffs, Friends in Need, and Separate Dreams.

Joan’s latest novel, The Other Two-Fifths, is a walk back in time, and chronicles events that led to the formation of the NAACP. It also features events taken from her early life in Mississippi, where Joan affirms learning “the best and the worst” of what we can expect from others. Joan continues writing both genres, while enjoying her husband and family, traveling, and her current career in Real Estate. Joan and husband Dale currently reside in the Beaumont, Texas area, while also maintaining a home in Houston.

BPM: Tell us something about your most recent work. Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?

Joan: The Other Two-Fifths is a story I began writing over ten years ago that details events of the past, which now seem glaring relevant with the strong focus on race relations. The book is available in paperback and eBook at bookstores, from the publisher, Argus Books, and on amazon.com.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 

Joan: Characters in the early part of the story were taken from tapestries of my early life, and show the depths to which many will go when they feel threatened. The also show how both love and hatred motivate our actions. The characters working voter registration drives typifies college age blacks in 1969, recent Vietnam veterans who returned to a world that didn’t embrace their sacrifice. The character of Tuck, the young white freedom rider, is taken from a young man I had the pleasure of meeting in Mississippi in 1968, who wanted to be involved. Both the protagonist and the heroes, the good and the bad are part of life. The two young women, Darlene and Camille, are patterned after myself and my “road-dog” back in my early life. We wanted to be change the world, fall in love, and do everything young adults seek on the way to happiness.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

Joan: I began the story in 1969, which was one of the most signifiant years of my life, and my last year living in Mississippi. I wanted to leave a piece of our journey, as the sacrifices and risks many took to bring about a change. When Senator Obama announced his presidential candidacy in Springfield, Illinois, I revised the beginning to reflect a race riot in Springfield 100 years before Senator Obama’s historical announcement. The events of which were a springboard for the NAACP.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 

Joan: I enjoyed reflecting on the past and following the progress this country has made toward equality, as well as the strides needed to make the playing field even.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why? 

Joan: My ideas are taken from current events, historical occurrences, and even vacation trips to places of inspiration, such as Martha’s Vineyard, my inspiration for Oak Bluffs. My stories are driven by characters more than plot, as I do not work from an outline. I try and create memorable characters who will remain in the reader’s hearts long after the book is read. It’s the job of those characters to move the story along. I have, from time to time, totally changed the natural progression of characters and placed them on another path as the story takes shape.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them. 

Joan: The story is mainly about the struggle for equality that was and still is an uphill battle for minorities, especially those of African descent. It also shows how the immigrants who settled America after slaughtering the natives who dwelt here, created exactly what most of them were running from, religious persecution, and unfair practices of the ruling class. Here in America, the mostly European settlers became the ruling class, using slave labor to achieve wealth and status. 

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey? 

Joan: The story relates to present struggles for racial equality that will determine this country’s future. Much has changed for me, and for all Americans. The changes I outlined for my life have been fruitful and greatly rewarding, which I owe, in part, to the wonderful teachers who instilled a strong thirst for knowledge. I was also told that any education taken only from classroom experience alone is not enough, so I read everything I could get my hands on back then. Reading, learning, knowing more than what’s encased in your immediate sphere and focusing on the world as a whole.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 

Joan: I learned a lot from my research and how the past had helped shape my thoughts, dreams, and my way of life. It also made me more aware of the omissions in our history books, and again, of the necessity to read.

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book? 

Joan: I met a very accomplished and interesting journalist whose relentless coverage of a murder in my hometown of Woodville, Mississippi made me shudder. 

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

Joan: My goal in writing The Other Two-Fifths was to showcase the efforts that have been made for the freedoms we now enjoy. Our youth is severely lacking in understanding of our culture and the sacrifices made for the advancements we now see. My continued goal is to speak to the curiosity of those who could benefit from knowing these facts.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present? 

Joan: I usually work on more than one book, either completing or editing. I have several I would like to have published, and I’m also working on the sequel to The Other Two-fifths.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

Joan: Connect with me on Facebook and my Facebook page, Joan’sBookNook. Visit my website www.joanearly.net, leave a message at www.joanearlybooks.com, follow me on https://twitter.com/JoanJEarly, Google and LinkedIn. 

In addition to all book stores and the publisher at www.a-argusbooks.com, The Other Two-Fifths is available on Amazon, along with my other books at https://www.amazon.com/Joan-Early/e/B004HNCQ0I/

Books by Joan Early
https://www.amazon.com/Joan-Early/e/B004HNCQ0I/ 

The Other Two-Fifths by Joan Early
Link: http://a.co/6Vsqk4f  




 

 


Intimate Conversation with Tia Williams

Tia Williams is the ultimate style insider. For fifteen years, she was a magazine beauty editor (at Elle, Lucky, Glamour, Teen People, and Essence.com), and created one of the first style blogs, the award-winning Shake Your Beauty. She’s the best-selling author of The Accidental Diva and the It Chicks series, and co-writer of Iman’s The Beauty of Color. Currently a copy director at Estee Lauder Companies, Tia lives in Brooklyn with her 7-year-old diva daughter and their various accessories.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
TW: I’ve always been a writer. I can’t do math, I have zero business sense, and I’m a disaster in the kitchen. But writing always felt right to me. I wrote my first book at age 7! And two weeks after I graduated from college, I moved to New York to become a magazine beauty writer. I also knew I wanted to publish books, but at twenty-two, I felt like I hadn’t had rich enough experiences to inspire juicy fiction. But after five years in New York – falling in love with a couple of charismatic lunatics, having my heart broken, experiencing a career in fashion magazines, finding a colorful community of young black journalists and authors in Brooklyn – I felt like I had enough material for my first novel, The Accidental Diva!  Five books later, I’m still at it.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?

TW: Growing up, I loved Jackie Collins and Judith Krantz's books...their protagonists were always strong, glamorous women with creative jobs, passionate love stories, and exciting lives in cities like Manhattan or L.A. But I never found books like this with black characters, so I made it my mission to change that. 

As a kid, I wanted to be the black "version" of their main characters. With all my novels, whether they’re adult, like The Perfect Find and The Accidental Diva, or YA, like my It Chicks series – I try to create dynamic, fabulous characters so this generation of readers won't have to be the black "version " of anything! It’s so satisfying for me to introduce quirky, weird, witty, sexy, brainy, fully three-dimensional characters from all backgrounds – just being black and excellent, out in the world.

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters.

TW: The Perfect Find is a juicy, hilarious story about star-crossed love and starting over! Jenna Jones a 40-year-old fashion editor who, in one nightmare week, gets dumped by her fiancé of two decades, fired by Darling magazine, has a nervous breakdown – and then reinvents herself at an online fashion ‘zine, where she’s working for her evil rival from the ‘90s, Darcy Vale. But Jenna, who doesn’t have Facebook and has never “Twittered,” finds herself in over her head and surrounded by uber-cool millennials who think she’s a dinosaur. 

Worse? At her first party back in NYC, she gets tipsy and hooks up with a fine 22-year-old, Eric Combs, who ends up driving her nuts in all the right, but also wrong ways (especially since he has a secret identity that makes him the one person who could destroy her big comeback). Will she risk it all for love? Read it to find out!

BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this category? Why?

TW: The Perfect Find is chick lit (my favorite genre). I’ve always been drawn to big, sexy love stories set in the world I know best – the beauty and fashion industry, in New York. There’s so much material in that world; so many delicious characters.

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?

TW: Absolutely. Jenna Jones is the alter ego I created when my own life imploded. I was laid off from my magazine, got divorced, lost everything, and had to start again. I lived vicariously through her fight to start-over, and such a late stage. Jenna was a type-A weirdo like me, a perfection addict, and when things fall apart she discovers what she’s truly made of – and comes out on the other side, more powerful than ever before. She inspired me to chase my own comeback!

BPM: How may our readers follow you online?

TW: Readers can check out my website, shakeyourbeauty.com, or follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @shakeyourbeauty, and Facebook at Tia Williams.

Follow Tia for chit-chat, beauty babble, and book updates:


Shake Your Beauty Blog

http://www.shakeyourbeauty.com  

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shakeyourbeauty 
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/shakeurbeauty  
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TiaWilliamsWrites  



Purchase The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

Available on Kindle, Nook, and in Paperback
Chick Lit, Steamy Romance, Workplace Drama, Fashion Fiction
Check out a free chapter! See more at: http://www.shakeyourbeauty.com  


 

 


Intimate Conversation with Elle Wright

Born and raised in Southeast Michigan near Ann Arbor, Elle learned the importance of reading from her mother. It was also her mother who, later on in her life, gave Elle her first romance novel: Indigo by Beverly Jenkins. From that moment on, Elle became a fan of Ms. Jenkins for life and a lover of all things romance. An old journal she wrote back in college became her first book (which she still wants to publish one day).

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
I would not be where I am today without God. Without Him, I’d be nothing. My mother used to sing a song when I was little that says “Without Him, my life would be drifting like a ship without a sail.”

I’m where I am as a writer because of hours spent daydreaming, hard work, and perseverance. I’ve always wanted to do more, be more. My mother inspired me to read. My children inspire me to create, to follow my dreams. How can I instill in them follow their dreams if I don’t lead by example?

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
I think my body of literary work speaks to lovers of romance and drama! I love to write love stories and delve into how people find love, sustain it. There are so many authors that I consider role models; authors who are doing their thing in this genre and others. I’m always amazed and very grateful for the many authors who’ve given awesome advice, shared my book, and read my work.  It’s been a wonderful experience meeting authors I’ve read and getting a chance to pick their brains or just chat with them.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

Her Kind of Man is book 3 in my Edge of Scandal Series. When I started the series, I wanted to explore the dynamics of a close-knit group of friends. There is a theme in each of the books. This book delves into unrequited love. There is something about Allina and Kent that is pure magic. There’s an innocence to their relationship. I had a good time heating them up, but I especially loved the bonding scenes. They had an ease and genuine affection for each other that made me smile. I love it!

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Actually, the best part of writing this book was that was so challenging. I really had to push myself with this one. There are disturbing moments in the book, but mostly, it’s a journey to happiness. Allina and Kent had to climb out of that box they put themselves in; in their careers and in their relationship with each other.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?
Usually, my book ideas come from weird questions posed by friends or family. The Forbidden Man came about when a friend asked the simple question, “What would happen if a woman was torn between two brothers?” From there, it became my goal to write a book where the reader would sympathize and even root for the forbidden relationship.

Character-driven. I want my characters to make sense, so I spend a lot of time with characterization. My cousin always tells me “if it doesn’t make sense, don’t do it.” For example, Allina was a runaway bride. She left her wedding, her parents, and her groom behind because she felt like she was in danger. She was dealing with so much in the present that was bringing up demons from her past. So, I had to slow the romance part down because it didn’t make sense for her character to rush it. Also, Kent was so noble, he would have never taken advantage of her.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?
Engaged to a prominent preacher, Allina Parker is the envy of Cleveland. But instead of walking down the aisle, she’s running out the door. After her groom-to-be reveals his true nature, she flees to Michigan, back to Kent. Kent is the man she left behind, the one man she knew she’d always love. He is also one of her dearest friends. When she appears on his doorstep, Kent makes it his mission to protect her and finds out that there is more to her story than she’s telling him. The book is available on Nook, Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, and Google Play.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 
Allina is incredibly intelligent and creative. She’s the friend that you know is going to support you through whatever while remaining calm and collected. Her dream of dreams is to design wedding gowns, but she’s left that behind to marry. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize that her Prince Charming was a sociopath. The best thing about Allina is that she surprises me. On the surface, she seems one way. But there’s so much more to her. I enjoyed figuring her out.

Kent is… loyal, dedicated, handsome, strong, protective, and funny. I absolutely loved him in all three books. He was my comic relief, but he’s also the type of friend everyone needs. He’s creative and extremely hardworking: the perfect book boyfriend.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?  
Yes! I love to write African American romance. I love writing diverse characters. It’s my reality.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey?
Honestly, I think I was Allina. I was the good girl. I married my best friend. I’ve struggled with living up to people’s perception of me. Yep, she’s me and I am her. LOL

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
One thing I always learn when writing my books are new ways of thinking about things. Each character approaches decisions differently. Most of the time in ways I would never think of.

I’m laughing because I found out that yoga pants are apparently sexy to some men. So I put that in the book. I also had to learn about different sketchpad apps for a particular scene, which was neat.

I’m from Michigan (GO BLUE), and part of the book takes place in Cleveland, so I got a chance to talk to a few friends who are from the Buckeye state. I learned about a few festivals and restaurants there that I’d want to visit one day.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

My goal was to write a different book. I didn’t want all the books in the series to be the same. Each couple was very different. They all had their own crosses to bear, things to overcome. I needed to do each character justice. I feel that I achieved that in this book. It’s nothing like the first two books of the series, in my opinion.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

At the moment, I’m plotting two contemporary romance series. Both feature secondary characters introduced in the series. Also, I’m plotting a romantic suspense series and a Women’s Fiction.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

Website: http://www.ellewright.com 
Twitter: @LWrightAuthor
Instagram: @lrwright09
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElleWrightAuthor



Purchase Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright

Series: Edge of Scandal (Book 3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 


Check out the books in the Edge of Scandal Series


Edge of Scandal Book One – The Forbidden Man (released July 28, 2015)

Tag Line: She’s walking out on her no-good fiancé… and into the arms of his brother.

Edge of Scandal Book Two – His All Night (released November 24, 2015)

Tag Line: No expectations, no commitments, no one gets hurt…or so she thought.

Order all of the books in the Edge of Scandal Series

http://www.amazon.com/Elle-Wright/e/B00VMEWB78 


 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Nichol Bradford


Nichol Bradford, a proud Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sister, is fascinated by human potential, and has always been interested in how technology can help individuals expand beyond their perceived limits to develop and transform themselves to the highest level.

She spent the last decade exploring these ideas in the online game industry, serving as a senior executive with responsibility for strategy, operations and marketing for major brands that include: Activision Blizzard, Disney, and Vivendi. Most recently she managed the operations of Blizzard properties, including World of Warcraft, in China.

Now, as the CEO of the Willow Group, Nichol is applying those same skills to the realm of elevating psychological well-being. Willow is a transformative technology company focused on employing rigorous scientific research to develop training protocols, hardware and software that can produce a reliable and positive change in the human experience. She is also a member of the African-American MBA Association

Nichol has an MBA from Wharton School of Business in Strategy, and a BBA in Marketing from the University of Houston. She is a fellow of the British American Project, currently serves on the board of the Brandon Marshall Foundation for Mental Health, and is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
I wrote the book I wanted to read about strong yet vulnerable and intelligent black women committed to a great and grand goal — mental freedom and empowerment for all. I was tired of not seeing heroes that looked like me. I wanted to see someone like me save the world, not as a side-kick or agency head, but as the actual, certifiable central hero. I wanted to read about Olivia Pope back then, but since she didn’t exist yet, I wrote my own. I also wanted really well-developed characters who had something on their minds other than men. So some of the characters are happily married, and some are single, but most of all their focus is not just on their men (or lack thereof) but on their friendship and common goals. I also love technology and so wanted the women to be deeply immersed in that world.

I am deeply motivated by the memory of my mother, Vivian Jones Bradford. My mother is the model for the visionary leader of the Sisterhood, Vivian Delacroix. My mother was an entrepreneur. She was completely committed to helping women and supporting the efforts of black women in particular. She believed most in defending the defenseless and used her legal education to do so. I started volunteering by her side when I was a child and she made sure that my values included service to the betterment of society. 

Like the CEO on the book, my mother died suddenly and unexpectedly (months after I graduated from college). She was a young fifty, healthy, and we were very much alike. My last conversation with her was the morning of her death, and I’m so grateful for that. I was devastated. It took at least a year for me to reorient myself. The shock of losing her shaped the way I approach life. It instilled a sense that there’s plenty of time, but no time to waste. I believe in being passionate about the work that you do and who you do it with, because none of us knows how much time we have. I believe in being mission driven. I have the loss of my mother to thank for what I feel is a highly effective approach to a full life.

I’m deeply motivated by the idea of empowering people to free their minds in order to create choice and options in their lives. That thread runs through most of what I’ve done — from writing the Sisterhood, to working at a senior level in the video game industry, to launching an online meditation course, to pioneering the transformative technology sector. 

Transformative Technology is about making the technology in our lives support our well-being and not just our productivity. The last decade found me exploring the idea of transformative technology in the video game industry, where I served as a senior executive with responsibility for strategy, operations, and marketing for games internationally for major brands that include: Activision/Blizzard, Disney, and Vivendi. 

Most recently I managed the operations of Blizzard properties, including World of Warcraft, in China. During this time, I also began to meditate and saw interesting parallels between it and gaming. Both enable delight, flow, and access to dynamic states of consciousness. Meditation, though, goes even further and can profoundly and positively impact well-being. It seemed logical to me that technologies that directly impact human experience could do so as well, but no one seemed to be seriously working on it. So, I left Blizzard to pioneer Transformative Technology.


BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
My books are for women who want to make a difference with their lives — women who care about their communities, families, and lives and want to make positive change. Black women have a beautiful heroic nature, and I wanted to show that you don’t have to be wearing head-to-toe spanx to be heroic. The “Superwoman” meme sells us short. It makes us think that there’s something wrong with our heroism. We believe that our heroic nature will ensure that we are single and have nine cats so we reject our nature in order to not be alone. 

Or we believe that we can’t be heroes and also be vulnerable so we build walls around our hearts while we work ourselves to death. Real heroism is the flexibility to be strong AND vulnerable AND all of those things - while keeping focused on our wider mission. As far as role models go, I think that anyone who is positive and lives with integrity can be a role model — so if an author is doing that, then yes — she or he is a role model.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
The Sisterhood started on a late night drive home from a success workshop I gave during college. That night, I had this group of beautiful young black women stand in a circle and tell each other, one at a time and by name, that they were smart, beautiful, and could have anything that they wanted and worked for. It was a hard session, each and every young women cried when the group told her that she could actually have what she wanted. And I realized that we don’t know this...not really (even I didn’t always believe this and still have my moments where I don’t).

As I drove home, I felt really inadequate. I know that workshops can help, but they don’t last long enough to really shift someone...or help someone shift themselves. I started thinking about how I could show what it would look like, to be women who believed they could have what they wanted and worked individually and together to make that a reality. So I decided to write the Sisterhood. I conceived of an organization of women, who faced a series of challenges. Addressing those challenges would allow me to show versus tell how an individual can be successful. I went home and jotted the basic plot down which today is more or less the same. 

However, it was another eight years before I actually started writing. The events that prompted me to write the book in the Fall of 2000, to actually sit down and type the first word was a break-up that triggered a recommitment to myself. I was in business school and had been dating a sweet man, who though wonderful in many way, was not the right person for me. I also had been interviewing for jobs that truthfully, I was only interested in for the security and the salary. Essentially, I was headed towards a life that was not aligned with my inner North Star. Luckily, the man did something break-up worthy (and so we did) and none of the jobs came through (thank goodness). 

I’m a Virgo baby, so every September I do an assessment on my life — where am I mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and professionally. During this period, I also try to clean things up — I ask forgiveness, forgive, clean out my closets, and think about what my goals are for the following year. As a part of this, I had been thinking about my goals, and realized that I had put “write the Sisterhood” on my list for eight years — and I just refused to start another year without having taken an action. Taking that action, after all the difficult things that had happened that year, was a proxy for a commitment to myself, to my intuition, to the life that I truly wanted to lead. It took another eight years to write the entire book, and then two more to publish it.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
All of the Sisterhood characters are smart and strong...yet flawed like all real human beings. They aren’t perfect — but by working together they complement one another and accomplish great things. Tonia Rawlings is the main character that you follow and I just love and admire her. She’s the head of security for the Sisterhood and carries the weight of her best friend’s death on her shoulders because Vivian, the CEO of the Sisterhood, is assassinated on the first page. 

Vivian’s death triggers a chain of events where Tonia is tested more than ever — which is saying allot given a life story that includes an abusive husband, a drug conviction, and the death of a child. In order to navigate the danger, she has to change herself. Watching her wrench a new version of herself from the old is a powerful illustration of how to do the same thing.

The nine leaders in the book are based on ALL the women I know - from the amazing women I grew up around, to those I pledged AKA with in 1990, to the women I met at in the African-American MBA Association at business school, to all the women I’ve met along the way . One of the things I love about this book is that it represents the full diaspora - every size, shape, and hue of black women.  The women come from all backgrounds, educations, and geographies but they share a common bond through their desire to positively impact their world. They are all women who have integrity with themselves and with their Sisterhood, showing what that looks like and the real possibilities it can create in our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Ally Fleming

Ally Fleming’s world is one where the imagination is fueled by the suspense of fiction, the allure of romance, the depravity of villains and the potency of those who oppose them. Her work is influenced by an infatuation with powerful heroes, irresistible heroines, gritty story-lines, intriguing villains and the heat those forces generate.

She’s an award-winning author, with over 14 years in the business. Her writing creds span the historical and contemporary romance genres as well as contemporary and paranormal YA. She also dabbles in erotica. Ally Fleming is her pen-name for interracial (BWWM) suspense fiction. She’s more widely known as AlTonya Washington. Visit Ally Fleming's Website

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle? 

My most recent work is entitled “Intoxicated” and readers can find it on the Kindle and Nook platforms as well as a host of others. It’s an Interracial (BWWM) romantic suspense piece that features a couple who meet under seemingly normal circumstances but come to discover that their worlds are far more intimately connected than either of them can imagine. For our heroine Etienne Shaw, it’s a connection that’s she’s not at all comfortable with.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 

The main characters are our hero Mercuri Nikolaides and our heroine Etienne (Tee) Shaw. I just had the best time creating this couple and their backstories. ‘Special’ is such a tame word to use when I describe them, I guess because they struck such a chord with me from the moment I envisioned them, their circumstances and what it would take for them to be together. I suppose if I had to pick the most special thing about Mercuri (aside from the fact that he’s to-die-for gorgeous), it would be the level of devotion he has for those he loves. At the onset of the story, that devotion only extends to his 4 best friends, but eventually comes to include Tee in a really powerful way. 

As for Tee, readers immediately see that she’s a very small person physically. That was an aspect I enjoyed playing around with especially since Mercuri is-as the subtitle states- a giant, at 6’7 and well over 260lbs. Tee’s a really little thing, but you quickly see that she’s a force. It’s Tee who initiates the actions that set the stage for our story. She’s the last person you’d expect to do what she does to avenge what she’s perceived to be an injustice. I loved taking someone who would otherwise be underestimated and making them the most dynamic person in the book.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

As I state in the reader letter at the end of the work, I was in the process of getting ideas together for another project when this one just hit me. As I stated earlier, it’s an interracial romance and writing one of these has always appealed to me. Given that, when this idea came to mind and I knew that I wanted it to be an IR Suspense title it just seemed like the perfect time to get started on it. I’m not sure why this time was any different from any other time especially since I’ve crafted IR couples before. (Kraven DeBurgh and Darby Ellis in Lover’s Allure and A Lover’s Sin.) The fact that the desire to do this story hit again and so powerfully, just made me push everything else aside and dive in. So that my readers will know that it’s an interracial romance, I’m writing under a new pen name- Ally Fleming.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed so much, but I suppose it’s the sense of freedom I experienced. Aside from wanting to write an IR title, I also wanted to try my hand at a new series that could be read as a standalone. “Intoxicated” is the first of 4 and it was so freeing to be crafting new circumstances, new drama, new couples. In a sense, starting with a clean slate. I just completed the Ramsey Tesano series which has run for about 10 years. I’ve enjoyed every moment of crafting that saga, but it took a lot out of me. It was great to move into new territory.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?

My ideas come from so many places. Something as ordinary as a couple walking down the street can and has sparked inspiration. I’ve even gotten ideas simply from hearing (or coming up with) a new name and have been inspired to craft a story about the sort of person who might have a name like that. I would say my books are character-driven. Some might argue they seem plot-driven, but for me it’s the characters who drive the majority of how the plot is crafted. I’ve had chapters outlined just the way I wanted them, but once I actually wrote up to that point, things changed. The way I’ve imagined a plot usually doesn’t play out that way once the characters have come alive for me during the writing.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.

Yeah…for this one, yes. I often say that I don’t attempt to give a lesson in my stories. If that happens, it’s not intentional. When I sit down to write, I just want to tell a story. For “Intoxicated”, yes the events that take place do fix on underrepresented groups and themes. For Tee and her friends, they are four young women who make a decision out of desperation. Financial distress can bring about a lot of bad decisions that only make the problem worse. In this book a very bad decision is based on a need for money. The girls get drawn into a situation and, for a night, are labeled as something no woman wants to be labeled as. We tend to look down on such women, without ever knowing their motivations. We simply label these women as trash and keep moving. 

On the flip side, Mercuri and his friends are attempting to distance themselves from an organization that raised them to be mercenaries. Here, we see these men who were taken as children with no one to fight for them and no way to fight for themselves. Once they are free, they don’t look back. Eventually, circumstances become such that they have to look back and finish what they started by destroying the organization they’ve killed for.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey?

Well I’m a single mom and that’s tough especially when you’re doing it on your own. I’m a librarian and an author and many times I find myself in situations where my finances can be called into question. While writing this story I couldn’t help but wonder what my reaction would be to someone offering me a ‘bail-out’ like the one Tee and her friends received.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 

I think it’s more accurate for me to say I reacquainted myself with things I already knew instead of learning new things. We all know you can’t judge a book by its cover and Tee blew that misconception right out of the water. If I learned anything, it was how to craft a total bad-ass out of the most unlikely character.

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

Oh this answer is so easy. I met no one while writing or researching this book! I was in my cave the entire time. 

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

I can say with a resounding yes, that I achieved my goals and realized my intentions with “Intoxicated”. I wanted to craft an IR Suspense title that wasn’t focused on the fact that this was a story about a white man and black woman falling in love, but of a man and woman falling in love amid a slew of villains and dangerous circumstances and oh, by the way, he happens to be white and she happens to be black. I didn’t want their race to be the overarching theme so much as the themes of desperation, revenge, desire and love that shape the storyline. Additionally, I wanted to craft a story that could be part of a series and also act as a standalone. I believe that effort was realized as well.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

So right now, I’m working on another story that kicked me in the gut out of nowhere. This has been happening a lot lately and I’m running with it. This is slated to be an African American contemporary romance, but the storyline holds historical significance. The heroes and heroines of this trilogy will face a dark truth about the history of the island outside of Charleston that their families settled (or were given to settle) prior to the Civil War. The revelations they will uncover stretch into the present. They shed light; on not only the history of the island, but the truth behind what brought an end to their personal relationships before they had the chance to really begin. I’m looking at a Christmas release for the work tentatively titled “Tradition.”

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

My readers can find me mostly anywhere! Below are my social media links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ramseysgirl 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/altonyaw 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/novelally/  
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/337210.AlTonya_Washington 



 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Sage

Sage was born and raised in Huntingtown, MD. She has been married to her best friend, for over ten years and they have two amazing sons. She is also an Autism advocate and a parent of an autistic child, which inspired her to write a non-fiction book on raising a child on the Autism spectrum, The Optimistic Autistic: Our Testimony.

Sage also writes mysteries centered on characters that are close to the heart. She has vowed to produce books that encourage the reader to deliberately read; not just for entertainment but to read with the intention of solving the mystery along with the Detective.

Her belief that, “if you don’t see the books you’re searching for write them” has inspired her to write with a purpose and a passion. 

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing? 
Reading and writing are life-long passions of mine. I have been indulging in my passion of writing since I was 13. I want to share my passion of writing psychological thrillers with the world.  My mother was the first person to place a book in my hands. My father taught me how to work hard at the things that I wanted in life. I worked at achieving my Master’s Degree in Computer Science in 2009. I am now funneling that same determination and tenacity in marketing my book series.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you? 
I love to read different types of books, but I have a preference for mystery and thrillers. I enjoy a heart pumping adrenaline rush type of book. It was my love of mysteries and thrillers that stoked my interests in writing. The underrepresentation of African American characters in the books I read resonated within me. I am inspired to fill the void with my murder mystery series. 

BPM: What hurdles, if any, did you have to overcome as a new author and business owner? 
It’s difficult to get noticed in this industry as a mystery author. It seems like the publishers want to pigeon hole authors into one genre. It is my goal to abolish the myth that we only write urban themed books. My goal is to show through my books that black authors write thought provoking, suspense-driven novels as well.

BPM: What’s the most important quality a writer should have in your opinion? 
Passion is the most important quality a writer can possess. Passion invokes determination, which in turn creates a hunger so intense that the writer can’t sleep, eat or function without transferring their story from their mind to paper. That is what I consider pure magic. If passion doesn’t drive you then you can’t make magic happen.

BPM: Our life experiences, challenges and success help define who we are on many levels. At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it? 
I started writing when I was a teenager. The turning point in my life was when my oldest sister suddenly died of a heart attack, then less than four years later my other sister was diagnosed with heart failure. I became determined to see all of my dreams come true. No matter what, I want to see my book in the hands of every reader. I’m driven by the spirit of my sister and the support of my family; with determination such as that I will be successful. 

BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this category? Why? 
The Black Bird Detective Series is a mystery book and a psychological thriller, combined. I love to write mystery books because they keep the heart pumping with the turn of each page.  

I also wrote a non-fiction book on Autism. Autism has touched our family in such a tremendous way. Both my 10-year-old son and 10-year-old nephew are Autistic.  Through the years we have experienced many different emotions while raising Jordan. As I write to you today, the strongest emotion that I feel is pride. I am proud of our children for their ability to be independent of the label that society has placed on them.  Many times parents hear the word Autism and have no idea what it really means. The moment we received Jordan’s diagnosis our lives changed. Initially, we thought the world was closing in around us. Then, we found our strength. We realized that through telling our stories we gain strength. So we wrote, The Optimistic Autistic – Our Testimony, which is also available on Amazon.com.

BPM: Do you set out to educate or inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject? 
I set out to entertain my readers. I want readers to be entertained and while they’re being entertained, they’re learning something. I conduct a great amount of research for the developing of each book to ensure that readers learn something they never knew. I love to inspire readers to continue reading. 

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book? 
Believe in what you are writing. As long as you believe in your writing and the purpose for what you do, there is nothing that can stop you. You must take the first step though. If you want to write a book, start writing. Don’t put it off any longer. If you need assistance with writing or publishing your book please contact me at rcscomputerpros@gmail.com.

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book? 
Once readers have put down Assumptions Abound, make your next purchase of Seeking TruthSweet Revenge and The Butterfly: A Novel. I tell you to purchase them both, because you will not want to wait for the book to ship to find out what happens next.  The book series is so enthralling that you will not want to miss a beat.

BPM: What are your career goals as a writer? Have you accomplished most of them?
My career goals as a writer are to assist others with living out their dreams of writing a book. I have written and published over 10 books and I don’t plan on stopping. I want to show others that there is a way to get their thoughts, words or message out there and I am willing to help them.

I have accomplished many of the goals that I have set regarding my writing, but there is so much more work left to be done. I plan to turn my mystery trilogy series into a mini-series. I would love to see Raven on the big screen. 

Website:  www.blackbirddetectiveseries.com
Instagram: sageauthorsitall;   Facebook: Sage

Check out Books by Sage

The Optimistic Autistic: Our Testimony by Sage (Non-fiction)

http://www.amazon.com/Optimistic-Autistic-Our-Testimony/dp/1480108782 

Assumptions Abound Available on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Assumptions-Abound-Black-Bird-Detective-ebook/dp/B00642W77M 

Seeking Truth Available on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Seeking-Truth-Black-Detective-Mystery-ebook/dp/B008D2ZARA 

Sweet Revenge Available on Amazon: 

http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Revenge-Sage-ebook/dp/B012P17C1Q 

The Butterfly: A Novel Available on Amazon: 
http://www.amazon.com/Sage/e/B01CC290ZE 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Patricia A. Saunders

Self-published author, Patricia A. Saunders was born and raised in Connecticut before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area nearly 20 years ago. She received her Master’s in Management from the University of Phoenix in 2011. After the passing of her mother who had Alzheimer’s, Patricia decided that all the words that she kept to herself were to be released.

She released her first self-published book Through the Fire (March 2012) which covered situations, circumstances, and life lessons that have influenced her over her lifetime. Last year, the book was featured on a Coast to Coast Book Tour at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Tucson Book Festival, Miami International Festival of Books and AARP Life@50+ Spring Convention. 

Her work has been featured on In the Company of Poet, Women Owned Business Club Magazine, and Alysha Live! Radio Show and Coach Deb Bailey Secret of Success Talk Radio. She performs locally at spoken word events and Capital Jazz SuperCruise Open Mic with Grammy Award Winner Eric Roberson. She is a monthly guest blogger contributor to Author House Author’s Digest Blog. As well as writing her own blog Blessed & Curvy. 

On a mission to complete a book a year she released her second book Loving Me (2013) and third Let It Rain (2014) which is also self-published and covers various topics from love, grief, self image, self esteem, bullying, and discovery of self love. Her latest book (2016) This Too Shall Pass was released by AuthorHouse Publishing.

She works as a supervisor for a corporate financial organization. In her spare time, Patricia enjoys writing poetry, traveling, spending time with family and wine tasting. Her books are available at your local book retailers, at www.patriciaasaunders.com, www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com 

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? By the faith of God because there has been challenges. Who or what motivated you? 
My parents motivated me by understanding that no one can take from you what you don’t give them. When I was going through all of my storms in life I was reminded of my faith. 

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? 
It speaks to those who have loved and been wrong, it speaks to those grieving and those who have thought about giving up. 

BPM: Do you consider authors as role models? 
No, I think an author is someone who sheds light on various topics and people can take from it to make decisions. 

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? 
I always wrote poetry as a kid but as an adult when my Mother first was diagnosed with dementia it made me think what if I get the disease what about my words.  Why now? Once she passed and had Alzheimer’s my pledge was to write until the pen stopped.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 
Re-living memories of my past that were filled with laughs, good times, and sharing with focus groups.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? 
My books are birthed out of experiences, media, and anything that strikes me. This Too Shall Pass is poetry and some of the pieces are autobiographical. Why? It was easier to release my feelings. 

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?
I went through a deep depression in 2007 and three women sent me words of encouragement to hang on. I saved those notes and it inspired me to write “This Too Shall Pass” because I came through those storms. This book is now available on Nook and Kindle.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 
When reading the book you can’t put it down because the emotion it takes you through. There is poetry about being in a toxic relationship, growing older, death, and faith. You want to turn the page and either relate to the situation or gather some encouragement yourself to make it through. 

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?
My mother was an ordained minister so I can’t help but write about faith yet there is struggles that I faced that I questioned God. 

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation or journey? 
My book of poetry talks about adultery, Christianity, suicide, and more. A person young or old would be able to relate. 

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
I learned that I made it through those storms that I thought would kill me. I learned that when I sat down to write the book so many words flowed that I didn’t expect. 

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book? 
I love my Saturday Morning Hair Salon Divas. We talk about everything and they helped me work through the pieces when telling about experiences. 

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 
I wanted to write a book that another person could pick up and though it was poetry making it simple so that they got the intent, complex to keep other’s attention, and not too preachy so that everyone would get the message.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present? 
I am preparing to start working on the 5th book of poetry. 

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/blessedpoetpat 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPoetPatricia 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6034696.Patricia_A_Saunders 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Leron Young

Leron Young moved to Washington, DC with his mother from South Carolina when he was six years old. His mother gave him a guitar when he was eight years old and he taught himself how to play it. Later in life he met a singing group called the Unifics at Howard University and started performing with them during the late sixties and early seventies. He also played guitar with the Five Stairsteps and Luther Ingram at Stax Records.

Leron studied electronics at a vocational high school in Washington, DC and studied electrical engineering in college. He worked as an engineer in corporate America, servicing CAT scanners and MRI machines in the medical field. 

After starting his own business in1989, Leron mentored young musicians for the next twenty-six years. Music is his first love, but he saw a need to encourage better health and wellness in his community. He wrote his first book, “How Is My T.E.D.D.Y. ” Asking the question "How is My Teddy"? will help readers stay focused on the important things in life. T.E.D.D.Y. Is a tool used to help develop a life of joy, good health, and well-being. The Teddified brand is catching on with people seeking a path to wholeness. 

In August, 2016, a new compilation CD of Leron’s best smooth jazz, blues guitar and inspirational instrumentals was released on CD Baby. The music can be downloaded from CD Baby here: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Laron. His books are listed on Amazon.

BPM: Can you share a little about your life in the music industry with us?

I started player guitar professionally with a local group called the Unifics back in the late sixties. They had two national records called “Court of Love” and “ The Beginning of my End”. I was able to perform with many artist at that time with the Unifics. Artist such as James Brown, Gladys Night and the Pips, The Delfonics, David Rufin of the Temptations, Kool and the Gang, Roberta Flack, The Stylistics, The Isley Brothers and many more. While touring with the Unifics I got to meet and became friendly with another group called “The Five Stairsteps”. I eventually became a part of their organization for a short while. They had a popular record out during that time called “Oo Child”.

Later during my career I got another opportunity to play guitar for Stax Records. I was performing with the artist name Luther Ingram who was with Stax Records. He had a hit record at that time called “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right”. I’m in the movie called Watts Stax that was filmed in 1972 at the LA Stadium. I was playing guitar with Luther Ingram. Isaac Hays, The Bar Kays, The Staple Singers, The emotions, Rufus Thomas, Richard Pryor and others were in the movie.

I became dissatisfied with the traveling and the lifestyle in the entertainment field and decided to come back home to Washington DC. I wanted to raise a family and not be on the road as much. When I returned to Washington DC I recorded on an album with Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers. Chuck and I had been friends for a while. Chucks Producer at that time was a person name James Purdie. James asked me to go in the studio with them to record the album “Bustin Loose” in which I did. After recording the album I went back in the field of Electronics. I worked as a technician, CT & MRI System Specialist in Corporate America and eventually started my own business.

BPM: Introduce us to your book. Share any pertinent details about the development of this book.

The book grew out of my wanting to change some of my habits that were not serving me well or getting me the results I wanted and needed in order to be happy and successful. I got the idea for Teddy while attending a conference in Orlando Florida. After the conference, I was in my hotel room resting, reading and reflecting. The idea came to my mind, what question could I ask myself, the answers for which would give me directions for improving my quality of life. What question could do the same for others. The acronym teddy came to mind, and the question “How is my Teddy” was born. Following the acronym Teddy, the meaning of each letter manifested. T standing for thinking, E represent eating and exercising, D stands for drinking plenty of water, D represent doing what brings you joy and Y stands you loving you.

BPM: Our life experiences, challenges and success help define who we are on a personal and professional level. At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it?

I discovered my real worth when I was working as a System Specialist Engineer with Corporate America. I realized then what I didn’t want any more in my life. I was thankful for the opportunity to learn CT and MRI in Corporate America, but I wanted now to apply that knowledge in my own business. I wanted to use my musical ability along with the technology that I learned in Corporate America. I felt that my calling now was to use all that I had learned up to that point. 

BPM: How can one live authentic life, true to self, personally and professionally?

It starts by paying more attention to yourself. Pay attention to your thoughts and your awareness of your thoughts. Focus on what’s bringing you joy and not the things that are giving you unpleasant emotions. Start trusting in God and yourself. Realize what your gifts are and start using and develop them to a higher level. Everyone have a book within them. Find that book that is within and write it. It will benefit the writer and possibly many others. You will become authentic.

BPM: Do does your book impact black men and people with chronic illnesses?

Many of my Black brothers have low self-esteem and we use food as one of the things to satisfy the craving that we have to empower ourselves. Unfortunately the food is doing more damage than it is helping us. We are eating the wrong kinds of food. A lot of the foods we eat are acidic and cause lots of different diseases to manifest in our bodies. We need to eat more foods that are alkaline. Diseases can’t live in an alkaline environment. By reading this book and applying all of its principals will give black men and people with chronic illnesses the opportunity to experience self-awareness and unlock the power of their mind, body and spirit. My book Teddy gives them a tool that can be used to reverse some of their illnesses by positive thinking, eating the right foods, getting more exercise, drinking plenty of water and staying focused on what brings them joy.

BPM: What advice would you give a new business owner?

Chose a business that will utilize their gifts. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Ask many questions about the business you want to pursue. Get advice from those who maybe in the same business. There are many resources on the internet. Develop the skills needed to run the business and surround yourself with talented people and don’t be afraid to let an employee go if they bring no value to your business, Trust your instinct and don’t be afraid to take chances. Have fun and listen for the directions from God that you should take and have faith that you will succeed following your dream.

Order How is My "T.E.D.D.Y" ? by Leron Young
Kindle Link:  https://amzn.com/B01BTJL6US  

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Skywalker Payne

After Third World Press published her first book of poetry in the seventies, Skywalker Payne went on to write feature articles, fiction, scripts, and blogs. She was a choreographer and performing artist for twenty years and earned a summa cum laude BA in communications/storytelling. Later, experiencing a midlife crisis, she became a registered nurse. She currently lives in Homer, Alaska with her husband, Brian Payne, creator of Zinc Comics. 

Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and registered nurse, Payne unites spiritual and health benefits of mindfulness and gratitude. With an engaging conversational style, she places a revealing spotlight on the limitations of the current US medical system and offers wellness-promoting alternatives. Using personal stories, poetry, and spiritual insight she shares knowledge gained from her life-long mindfulness and gratitude practice. Payne shows how these simple practices can benefit and enrich your life.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you? 
Writing has been my companion, my confessor, my creative impulse, and my communication with the world since I was a child. Being raised in an Air Force family, I grew up never spending more than two years in any school, including college. This gypsy life meant that I was never able to build up those true, long lasting friendships and relationships that happen when you grow up in one community. But I always had my writing. When I was in fifth grade I read the Diary of Anne Frank and began my life-long obsession with journaling. That year I also wrote my first short story and my fifth grade teacher also told me I would be a writer.

I also loved dance and performance. In my twenties after initial publications, but no continued support of my writing or writing employment, I turned to sharing my writings in original productions with dance. Dance provided physical release and expressiveness that was exhilarating and provided immediate contact and response with others.

Writing can be a lonely process. But, even as I often battled with myself, “Do I want to live an exciting life” or write about one, writing always called out to me. I knew whatever would remain of me, my legacy, is what I write.

BPM: Our life experiences, challenges and success help define who we are on many levels. At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it?
Paradoxically, it wasn’t until after I began working full time as a labor and delivery nurse that I found my grounding as a writer. Part of my difficulty in establishing my career was my innate gypsy lifestyle and my inability to handle rejection. Working 36-hour night shifts provided me a disciplined lifestyle, secure financial stability, and multiple days off to write.

When I began blogging in 2012, I received comments from readers that let me know, immediately, that what I wrote was of value and literary merit. Blogging not only provided me an outlet, it gave me the practice and discipline to produce. As I continued to write, while nursing, I began to see I was a writer, and nursing was just a job. I recognized my value and owned I am a writer above all other occupations or employment.

BPM: What genre is this book? Will you write all of your books in this category? Why?
I classify All That Is, Dance of Mindfulness & Gratitude – A Quest for Wholeness as creative non-fiction because the book is about my life written in a creative fashion to be entertaining as well as educational. And this is my preferred method of writing. Having thousands of pages of journals, I can either fictionalize my life, or make conscious choices of what I want to share to provide illumination into a specific area of life or experience.

Even though I read fiction in my youth and young adult years, I’ve grown to prefer creative non-fiction, non-fiction, and books on spirituality. So, I’m writing in a genre I like to read. However, I do like to write short fiction and like sharing folklore, historical, and original stories verbally.

BPM: What was your primary quest in publishing All That Is, Dance of Mindfulness & Gratitude – A Quest for Wholeness?
My goal in publishing was to introduce mindfulness to a wider and more diverse audience. As I explain in the book’s introduction, the practice of mindfulness can lead to the creation of a more compassionate world. And at this time, we need more and more people practicing mindfulness to increase compassion to overcome this worldwide onslaught of hatred, bigotry, racism, and violence fed by ignorance and greed.

Unlike many other books on mindfulness, mine tells a story, my story, and I feel my story can serve as an example to anyone that you too can practice mindfulness. You can work a 40-hour week job and have family commitments, you can like to watch TV, or drink wine and still practice mindfulness. You can get angry or be impatient but with the practice of mindfulness you’ll be better able to handle those emotions and in time see them pass quickly. And most importantly, you can increase your compassion and recognize everyone is like you seeking happiness, fulfillment, and meaning to life.

BPM: Why do you say now is the only time to begin practicing mindfulness?
Because all we have is now, this now moment. Mindfulness practice empowers us to live in the now moment, to become aware of exactly what is happening now. In the next second that now moment will change.

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?
After reading All That Is, Dance of Mindfulness & Gratitude – A Quest for Wholeness, a reader should begin to practice mindfulness with the goal of becoming a more aware and compassionate person. The book includes a chapter on a simple method to begin a mindfulness practice. And for those who haven’t yet purchased my book, they can receive a free PDF copy by enrolling in my new on-line course Renew Yourself.

BPM: What are your career goals as a writer? Have you accomplished them?
When I was in my twenties, living in Washington, DC, more than one astrologer told me I would inherit money from a relative and become famous in my old age. The first part of that prediction has occurred. So, my career goal as a writer is to make the second part of the prediction come true. I want Skywalker Payne, Wordsmith & Storyteller to become as well known as Oprah Winfrey. And no, I have not accomplished that goal yet, but I see it manifesting as clearly as I see the view outside of my window of snow-capped mountains and a crystal blue bay. Five years ago I had no idea that I would be fortunate enough to live in a place with such beauty able to look on it every day from my home. So, I’m grateful for being able to live in Alaska and having the time to write and live at a slower, more mindful pace. 

BPM: We are here to shine the spotlight on your new book, but what’s next? 
In addition to my on-line course Renew Yourself, this year I am telling three 3-minute stories weekly on my Youtube Channel, Skywalker Payne Storyteller, Home of the 3 Minute Story. I include Black history, world folklore, and my own original and improvisational stories.

My next book, “Breathing Through the Eye of A Needle, Stories of Living in the Moment from Birth to Death, continues the theme of mindfulness with stories that show how important it is to be aware of each moment we are living.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 
My website address is: https://skywalkerpayne.com  where my book can be purchased. The paperback and Kindle ebook are also available on Amazon  and other online retailers. Thank you for this opportunity to talk with you and I look forward to seeing your readers reviews on Amazon.

You and readers can enroll in Renew Yourself – my new online course and receive a free PDF copy of my book with first month’s enrollment - http://renewyourself.teachable.com 

Please Like my Facebook page Skywalker Storyteller:
https://www.facebook.com/SkywalkerStoryteller/ 

Follow me on Twitter @Skywalkerstory: 
https://twitter.com/Skywalkerstory 

Connect on LinkedIn: 
https://www.linkedin.com/in/skywalkerpayne 

Subscribe to my Youtube Channel: 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiEo2sq3GdPDWoHBcPwEwWQ 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Dr. Nat’e Guyton 

Dr. Nat’e Guyton is the CEO of SNG Enterprises, LLC, and Professor at Walden University. She is a dynamic and compelling keynote speaker, entrepreneur, author, real estate investor, registered nurse, advocate, mentor, and advisor on leadership, mentorship, trust, and high performance. Nat’e has won numerous awards, including the John L. Geoghehan Leadership Award. Guyton holds a Doctorate in Management, a Master’s degree in Nursing Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and well as several leadership and clinical certifications. She resides in Delaware with her husband and two children.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?

NG: Transformational Innovation, which will be available on my website, is a daily devotional designed to guide readers on a transformative journey that will help them achieve their goals, and realize their dreams. I used the following 10 practical steps in my life and experienced personal transformation, I experienced a new me: 
• Alter Your Perceptions
• Eliminate Clutter
• Remove Constraints
• Don’t Be Traceable
• Shatter The Rules
• Build Partnerships
• Kick Down The Gates
• Visionary Versus Systems Thinking
• Show Gratitude
• Let Go and Let God

“In order to achieve your goals and dreams you must be prepared to transform and realize the new You!”-Nat’e Guyton

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 

NG: The main character is the reader. The readers will get what they expect out of the book. If the readers use the book as a daily devotional, or a daily journal, they will experience the transformation they seek. The other characters used in the book are various familiar names and people we know from the bible, as well as my personal stories and experiences with each practical step.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
NG: I have literally been through each of the steps outlined in the book, and not only did I survive my transformation, 
I am thriving. I have been blessed with various experiences and successes in my life, and it is my duty of service to share my story with others. I am driven by sharing a life of infinite possibilities and inspiring the next generation of dreamers. If I get that right, then, I’ve done my job. 

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
NG: I enjoyed the transparency, the honesty, and the experiences I went through while writing the book. The book comes from a place of authenticity, and we don’t see that too much anymore.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Why?
NG: My book ideas come from my personal life experiences. My destiny is to go through the experiences and write what I know about.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.
NG: My book represents the transformation for women, its speaks to the inner struggle we go through in our life’s journey.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation or journey?
NG: My book provides the reader with real-life experiences aligned with my educational journey, and real estate investing business. I take a spiritual and personal approach to guide the reader on a transformative journey that will help them achieve their goals, and realize their dreams. Although we are all going through something different, may be at different stages in life, and have different dreams and aspirations, the 10 practical steps are transferable in every situation. The goal is to guide the reader through their journey, it’s like having your own personal transformation coach.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
NG: Writing the book was a transformational innovation, and the new me is an Author. I didn’t think I had it in me, to be honest, and now that it’s complete I feel great…I am an Author now. I had to use each and every step outlined in the book to complete this project. 

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
NG: In writing and marketing this book, I met great people in the industry that was willing to help me, to partner with me, and take my project to the next level. They are now friends for life. If I didn’t write the book I would not have been exposed to new people in new industries, I would have stayed in my box.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 
NG: My goals are to help people get through the struggle and achieve their dreams. The book is just the tip of the iceberg, it’s in introduction. I am introducing myself to the readers and they will be introducing themselves to me. This book is the start of a relationship among the readers and myself….I have more work to do, and there will be two more books in this transformational innovation trilogy.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
NG: The Transformational Innovation Series is part of a trilogy. I am working on the next two books now, they will be coming out soon. Book #2 is titled: Transformational Innovation: The Road to Educational Success, and book #3 is titled: Transformational Innovation: Climbing the Corporate Ladder.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?  
NG: I can be found on:
Twitter: @DrGuyton 
Instagram: drguyton10
FaceBook: Nat’e Guyton 
Email: Tayguyton@gmail.com 
Website: http://10-principles.com 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Lonz Cook


From warrior to romance. Lonz Cook is a Marine Corps veteran of 20 years and the author of numerous romance novels. He's a screen writer, an Adjunct Professor of Management, and a technology specialist.

BPM: Tell us about your most recent work? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?
Online dating is how a large number of people find their mates these days. It’s like a phenomenon on how different things happen on a social basis. Rarely are people introduced in person or found by attending a club or function as the major means of meeting. A Cyber Affair is a story of two people who find each other online, and begin the process of dating. How they share their journey is the story. 

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 
One thing I love about Tiffany and Manny is they are real people. You know, your neighbor, a friend of a friend, or simply a person you work with. Tiffany isn’t a beauty queen though she is attractive and Manny isn’t the typical obnoxious millionaire with a garage of boy toys to impress. These are common day to day middle-class people.

These characters have normal problems like dealing with divorce or working to recreate family connections. Tiffany is divorced and strict about her dating selection, working a real 9-5 and minding her business at exploring dating websites with a purpose.

Manny is a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, rebuilding a relationship with his daughter and going through career withdrawals while defining his future. He’s the reflection of a high intense career to the mundane factory day to day job. 

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

Online dating is a real situation where people are taking a chance with cyber space reality. I spoke to a number of people who experienced the good, bad, and ugly with online dating. The inspiration came as I heard stories of success and wondered how they arrived to make all the decisions to become united with a new mate. 

When I explored online dating, words simply jumped onto the page and before long there was a story worth telling. Online dating is relevant more so than attending a jazz festival in Spring. It’s the way of change and since so many are personally involved, it captures a part of our social behavior.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Showing the relevance of online interactions was one of the most enjoyable things I created with this book. Social media is our major means of maintaining relationships or creating friendships and opportunities for love. In the process of staying connected, I too ventured with curiosity onto dating sites, simply to answer a lot of questions with my friends and provide accuracy in writing this novel. What I have learned online is amazing and having experienced the multitude of behaviors ranging from abnormal to shocking was eye opening. And I mean shocking!!! I had to share the extremes.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?

I get ideas from observing people and their behavior. Or I get ideas from a conversation where a situation portrays the best scenario for a good realistic story. You know, like mother-daughter relationships where there is a hate-love vibe between them. Or how love prevails after years of separation because of distance or illness. Or how a married couple rarely converses at dinner in a restaurant and have levels of contentment ooze through their body language. These concepts are character driven because there’s a lot of stories based on behaviors and my mind to create unique situations. What if scenarios that seem like reality.

There are times I create a plot simply to make the characters come alive. I do this because it’s about behavior in situations. I love to write common behavior where they address issues based on reality, especially where the heart is concerned.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.
In this particular novel, A Cyber Affair, I’d say yes to under-represented groups. We, as a people, aren’t aware of the hardships a military person endures with family. The servicemen and women often fail at marriage and parenting because of deployments or operational commitments. These conversations aren’t common to the general public. What most see on the surface is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the challenges servicemen face between career and family. 

Second I’d say under-represented are the military kids who deal with battling parents. Or should I say the child who loves both parents but caught in the middle? In this novel, you’ll find Suzie, Manny’s daughter doing her best to support her father and enjoy their relationship, in spite of mom.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey?

Since I’m a romance writer, every page is part of me in a sense. I practice what I write to ensure the story has a realistic accuracy that pulls readers into scenes. I travel to various locations to give readers the feeling of being in the room or venue because I describe the environment well enough for the imagery to match.

Being a retired Marine, I saw the deployment cringe where marriages fought a good fight but didn’t have the endurance to win. I write about behavior and since I’m observant on all levels, I tend to keep the journey realistic. I’m a writer and writing is my first love and food for my spirit.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 

The education about online dating is amazing. I had heard of the term Catfish but never really understood it’s meaning. But with the depth of deception a number of people doing, it’s pretty concerning. This is where I had learned that a lot of people are not being themselves. And it’s both genders.

Second, I used a different technique while maintaining my voice. I typically have a lot of things moving outside of the antagonist and protagonist. But this time, I wrote with minimal secondary stories. I was more specific to the two major characters’ views. 

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

This is a difficult question but I’ll do my best to answer without embarrassing a new friend or contact.

I talked to a friend who met her lover online and when they finally met in person she ran. I mean physically ran because through all of the online video chats, she never saw his height. His being tall turned her off. In her words, she had perceptions of size being a serious matter and it scared the life out of her.

I talked to another lady who got engaged over the internet. I mean literally accepted the commitment. I asked her how and she answered that the connection between them was amazing. She never saw him, outside of pictures, no video calls, no cell phone calls, they simply shared hours of chatting online. She took this engagement very seriously and before she sent thousands of dollars, she asked someone to validate his story. She had a divine intervention because she found out the true meaning of a catfish first hand. Her story was amazing at how she kept accepting excuses based on her need. A dangerously developed behavior for some women. 

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book? How well do you feel you achieved them? 
Since A Cyber Affair is relevant to current dating, and the way our social changes have been modified in finding a mate, I expect this novel to make a difference. I want people to pay attention to prospects with online dating. My expectation is this book aids in showing how two people can meet and date while being entertainment and become an enjoyable conversation piece. Will it become a bestseller? I can’t honestly say it will, however, it’s always a dream to have one.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

A Cyber Affair has a back story character that took a life of its own. I’m currently working on a story titled, A Loss Too Great, which is a spinoff.  Also, I’m editing the sequel to When Love Evolves, one of the Sisters and Romance box sets. This should be out either in the fall or early winter of 2017.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

Find me at www.LonzCook.net, WarriortoRomance on Facebook, Lonzcook on Twitter, Lonzcook on Wordpress, Lonzcook on Periscope and Lonzcook on Pinterest and Instagram.

Website: www.lonzcook.net
Instagram: lonzcook
Twitter: @lonzcook
FB: https://www.facebook.com/WarriortoRomance

Purchase A Cyber Affair by Lonz Cook
Contemporary Romance

https://www.amazon.com/Cyber-Affair-Lonz-Cook/dp/1943904030/ 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Sierra J.D. 



Listen to the Virtual Launch Party on BAN Radio Show
http://tobtr.com/s/8159663 

Author Sierra J.D. is a wife and mother, living in her home state of Louisiana. Sierra found her love of writing at twelve years old when she was first introduced to poetry in Junior High School. She enjoyed crafting stories into poems and a few years later wrote her first novel. Writing allowed Sierra to escape depression during her adolescence and she has since created a goal to make a career out of her passion of writing. With her collegiate degrees giving her the skills and foundation needed to be a successful business woman, Author Sierra J.D. has decided to enter the literary world as an author and Independent Publisher. With the assistance of her husband, Dion, the couple founded Destined Eloquence Publishing. The Mission of Destined Eloquence Publishing is to publish works that will bring awareness and help to various issues of our day and time as well as inspire, uplift, and motivate.

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you? 
Having perseverance and strong determination allowed me to get to where I am today. I have always known that I couldn’t sit around and wait for someone to pave the way for me. I have to make moves for myself. I do not want to be the next anyone, I want to be the FIRST Sierra Demouchet.

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models? 
My debut series Family Matters speaks to families of every background. From single parent households to families of prestigious college graduates. The stories within the Family Matters series are meant to inform and get the readers to address their own problems and situations in their families. Oftentimes, church is looked at as a perfect place. In the series, I expose the lives of some of the people of the church to show that although a person is a Christian or headed into that direction, they are not exempt from dealing with life. I admire several authors. However, I love the work of Tyler Perry, Toni Morrison, Nikita Lynette Nichols, and Joan Vassar. 

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work, Praying My Way Out of the Struggle? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle? 
The entire series will be a page turner! The series will be available as a paperback, large print text, and e-book. It will be available on Kindle. At the end of the series, it will be available as an audiobook.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now? 
I initially wrote Praying My Way Out of the Struggle eight years ago as an unpublished Street Lit novel entitled Tryna Make it Outta the Struggle. I was in a dark phase in my life. The counseling sessions that I were enrolled in were barely working for me, but my counselor did get me to realize that writing was my happy place. I’ve always liked to write stories as poems so I decided to write my pain and depression away. Writing this story saved my life. After completing the story, I found myself stuck with writer’s block for five years. With maturity and growth, I began to dig deeper into Christ and one day it hit me! I asked God, “Am I supposed to be writing about you?” And it was as if he pat me on the head and said, “Duh!” After I received confirmation about my purpose in life, several stories and situations came flowing into my head. I revised Tryna Make it Outta the Struggle, turned it into Praying MyWay Out of the Struggle, and connected all of the stories together to create this series.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing Praying My Way Out of the Struggle? 
I enjoyed channeling my spiritual life through my main character, Trina. It delivered me. I became closer to God than I was before and I’ve gained clarity of just how loved I am by him. The Holy Spirit revised this story for me. I have probably read it a thousand plus times and I still cry and laugh at the things that goes on in the story. The story always moves me to the point that I have to remind myself that I am the person who actually wrote this story.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? 
My ideas are divine creations. God gives me bits and pieces of stories and I mix them in with my own experiences and imaginations. My books are a mixture of plot and character-driven. Praying My Way Out of the Struggle is character driven because I wanted to show all aspects of this character through many different situations that she is forced to be a part of while in the midst of finding herself and God. The rest of the series is heavily plot driven because I want to dissect the different family relationships.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 
There are six speakers in the story. Trina is the main character and the storyline is based off of her life. She is a typical Louisianian: quick to say how she feel, whenever she feel like saying it. She doesn’t take any mess or disrespect. But now she is faced with the biggest dilemma of all: Christ. Being a Christian is new to her. She’s went 18 years with being of the world so it’s …different. Her boyfriend’s name is Josh. Josh is an all-star athlete and is one of the most popular guys around the town. Mix that with being the son of a doctor and one of the hottest drug dealers in the city and he thinks that he is untouchable. 

And then there is one of Trina’s sisters, Kayla. Trina and Kayla are almost always at odds with each other because while Trina is trying her best to keep the family going in a good direction, Kayla is a typical ignorant 16-year-old, only caring about herself. Instead of helping their mama get clean off of drugs, Kayla has sex with just about anyone to support her mama’s drug habit.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?
The under-represented groups and ideas in my novel is young adult Christians, individuals who struggle with their identity, suicide, and the life that children with divorced parents are left to deal with. There isn’t much that I can say without telling more of the storyline, but what I will say is this. I’ve read dozens and dozens of Christian books and I have yet to read a novel that addresses a person who is in the age group of 18-24 as a Christian. In my book, I address the coming to Christ in that age group. Of course, 18-24 is not the only age group that I deal with in the series, but in the first book, my character, Trina, is within that age group.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey? 
As I have said, I channeled my spiritual life through Trina. I am a bit more advanced in my Christian journey, but as a baby Christian we are in the same boat with the constant spiritual warfare. Thankfully, I have not had to go through all of the things that she has had to go through, but I have experienced and witnessed several of the things that she went through. In the book, Trina is in her last year of high school and dealing with the most! In real life, I am in my last month of school before receiving my undergraduate degrees and this rode has not been easy one bit. Something has happened every semester that I felt was meant to get me unfocused, but thank God, I kept it moving. 

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book? 
I have learned to keep my faith in check AT ALL times and to always expect favor. I attended several Women Empowerment sessions as I wrote this book which played a part in how I felt in the moments of revising and editing the story. The funniest thing of all is that I changed the church’s name to Kingdom Bound from New Life because I became a member of a church named New Life Church International and as it is in the story, the 1st Lady of the Church truly is a counselor. God is funny!

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 
My goal is to give my readers hope and encourage them to fix “it” at all cost. God does not want anyone to suffer, be in lack, or to struggle. If we all live another day, it is another chance to get it right.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present? 
I am currently in the middle of completing the Family Matters series. I am excited to introduce the rest of the members of Kingdom Bound Church.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 
Readers can visit my website to read more on the series at: DestinedEloquence.com
Instagram:   MRS_SIERRAJD
Facebook:  Sierra Jones-Demouchet (MrsDemouchet)
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sierra.jones.3538  


 

 


Intimate Conversation with Pat C.

Pat C. was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Pat C. is a mother, grandmother, poet, trainer, a certified life coach and now author. Pat C. possesses a natural gift for coaching and encourages all to live and love to the fullest.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?

My first inkling that I was a poet came when I was separated from my second husband. I began to write as if journaling. It kept going in a sporadic sort way and then I came to realize that I possessed talent in poetry writing. I was inspired by my hurt of a broken marriage, as well as good memories of the marriage. My writings continued over the next 14 years before I published my book and are continuing.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
I love writing because my writings surprise me. They come out of no where, are spiritual inspirations, epiphanies, and emotional, concerning things happening to me or around me. My writings fulfill my need for self-expression. Life experiences with love drive me to write. When I least expect it, I find myself with pen to paper, writing about a situation. I write as long as the words come. I don't change them nor do I rearrange them. I don't use a particular style or form, I just let it flow I know that when the inspiration comes, the words must be written at that moment, because that moment of inspiration cannot be recaptured. I don't work on a poem, I simply write, once and done. I write because I want to be heard and understood concerning my views of love, as I feel that love is the most beautiful thing in life. I am a communicator and writing poetry further enhances that.

BPM: Our life experiences, challenges, and success help define who we are on many levels. At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it?
My life struggles with life and love certainly have been a challenge and continues to be. After realizing that people seem to gravitate to me for advise, which is why I am now a certified life coach as well, I wanted to own my challenges by writing a book to encourage people to love and not be afraid to love. And also to let the world know that romantic love is somewhat the same at any age, as it encompasses joy and pain. Real worth was felt after writing each poem and is confirmed when readers, say to me that my words are words they want to express and can now do it!

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters?
My poetry career began as an alternative to keeping a personal diary of the account of my daily emotions. My talent as a poet surprised me at first. I always loved writing and considered myself to be good at it. As time went by, I came to accept that I was a a writer of love & romance.

The contents of my book were inspired by by personal journey. Thus the tile was born: Life & Love: The Journey In Verse. The writings expel the joy and pain of love and shares them with the reader, helping him to relate and evaluate their journey. As the reader takes in the words he may begin to understand things like butterflies do count! You can't have love without them! My words go on to tell of the pain in love and that you can survive and start over again.

Here is a review that sums it up perfectly:

“Life and Love - The Journey in Verse speaks from the heart of the author as she revisits, observes and fantasizes the beauty of love. It immediately becomes apparent that the reader will be personally escorted by verse to observe and to understand the language that only love speaks. The couplets and the tone capture the beauty of the soul, the mindset and compatible lives being joined together in unity by the power of love. The mood has been meticulously established for reading. I was captivated.” - Dr. Claudia Wells Hamilton, Secondary School Principal

BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this commitment? Why?

The genre of my book is poetry. I plan to write a cookbook, as cooking is another a passion of mine. Poetry invokes and summons emotion. Read my book and allow your senses to yield to all that love has to offer life. 

BPM: Did you set out to inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject?
Yes, love on all counts. I feel that love is the most important thing in life. "And the greatest of these is love." I Corinthians 13:13b)  I want to tell to world to NEVER give up on life and love! You must allow yourself to become more transparent, allowing all the beauty that love has to offer into your life!

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or personal experiences?

Yes, this book is about many of my personal experiences. You must stand up for love and most of all communicate with your partner all of your feelings. Your best speech may be when you are in pain. Love involves fluffy and real. Experience it all to the good of your life! My book lives it for you and helps to understand and accept who you are!

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?

I want readers to love more passionately and gain or regain a zest for life and never be afraid to give love away! Don’t be afraid to tear down the curtain, allow yourself to be seen and to be vulnerable. Let love in! Pursue love and allow yourself to be loved!

BPM: What are some of the benefits of being an author that makes it all worthwhile?

The pleasure of readers expressing that my book helped them through a difficult time and that my words help them to express themselves.

BPM: What are you most thankful for now?
My joy and pain in love helped me to see myself in a better light and to know who I really am. Being happy is essential and it enables you to contribute to the happiness of others.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
Do you have something to say that people want to read about? If you have a thought or an idea in your head, begin to create a manuscript. Keep a journal near at all times. Research publishers and read their offerings and compare their offerings to your goals. Gather up those small efforts and collectively, they may just equal a bestseller!”

BPM: A legacy is something that is handed down from one time period to another. Finish this sentence; “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors.”:
“My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors: To live your life without fear, step out on faith if you truly believe in yourself and what you are writing about. Just close your eyes and jump, I did! For me, when an idea pops into my head, I put pen to paper and it just begins to flow out of me! 

BPM: We are here to shine the spotlight on your new book, but what's next? 

Watch for my new book, "Gems of Life & Love," to be released later this year. A cookbook, “Queen’s Soul-Full Gourmet”, is also in the works.

BPM: Please share your social media links with the readers.
Pat C. can be found on social media at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/copperlovely 
Her website: http://www.thomaspatricia360.wix.com/patc 
Facebook: Pat C, Author - www.facebook/PatCauthor 


Life & Love: The Journey In Verse by Pat C. 

“Life and Love - The Journey in Verse speaks from the heart of the author as she revisits, observes and fantasizes the beauty of love. It immediately becomes apparent that the reader will be personally escorted by verse to observe and to understand the language that only love speaks. The couplets and the tone capture the beauty of the soul, the mindset and compatible lives being joined together in unity by the power of love. The mood has been meticulously established for reading. I was captivated.” - Dr. Claudia Wells Hamilton Secondary School Principal


Purchase Life & Love: The Journey In Verse 
 

 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Lynn Emery

Mix knowledge of voodoo, Louisiana politics and forensic social work, and you get a snapshot of author Lynn Emery. Lynn’s recent titles include murder mysteries set in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana featuring a Creole psychic and a Cajun deputy. The titles in this series are: A Darker Shade of Midnight (#1), Between Dusk and Dawn (#2), and Only By Moonlight (#3). Into The Mist (#4) continues the harrowing case files of LaShaun Rousselle and Deputy Chase Broussard. Into the Mist will be released in fall 2016.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing? 

I read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd when I was ten years old. I already loved reading, but that book with its twist at the end did it. I closed the book and decided I wanted to write mysteries. I didn’t even know who Agatha Christie was, or that she was a white Englishwoman who was already dead by then. I didn’t think about being a poor little black girl living in the south who couldn’t even get to a library. I didn’t consult anybody, which meant no one told me my aspiration was outlandish and impossible. I simply said, “I’m going to write a murder mystery. Life happened. High school, college and my entrance to the adult world of working nine to five. Yet twenty years later I went back to my dream and started writing again.

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? Did you ever self-publish? 

I attended a writer’s conference within driving distance of my hometown. I took a fellow author’s advice to attend writing events where editors and agents would be presenters and taking appointments. The advice I didn’t take was to schedule an appointment with them, a mistake that almost cost me dearly. You see Monica Harris, the founding editor of Arabesque, was there. But I lacked confidence because I hadn’t finished my first book. I was told more than once not to expect to sell that first book. I also was told editors don’t consider, much less buy, unfinished books, certainly not from first time authors. 

Another published author who belonged to my RWA chapter was horrified when I told her I hadn’t scheduled to meet with Monica. I was literally the only writer of color at this conference, and Monica was hungry for submissions. A young editor, Monica had been only recently hired by Kensington Publishers and her big assignment was to launch the first, and at that time only, line of African-American romances. My work-in-progress was romantic suspense. 

This published author pushed me, not so gently, into approaching Monica during a break between her presentations. I went to my hotel room and quickly practiced a three to five minute pitch. I sweated during her workshop, and then screwed up the guts to follow Monica and introduce myself. In the hotel lobby I breathlessly pitched my book in the five minutes she graciously allowed me. About five or six weeks later, Monica called to offer me a contract. I sold my first book, and even though Monica knew it was unfinished. Night Magic was released in 1995.

BPM: What’s the most important quality a writer should have in your opinion?

I would have to say courage, with a capital “C”. If I hadn’t pushed up my own courage, I wouldn’t have met Monica at all at that small conference. So writers should have courage, which will lead you to another capital “C” word, confidence. Courage will give you the confidence you may lack in your developing skill as a story teller and promoter of your own work. Courage will help writers overcome the tendency to stay in their isolated, insulated little worlds. When you step out of your comfort zone, you’re willing to network with and talk to other writers and publishing professionals.

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters.

Into The Mist is the fourth title in the LaShaun Rousselle mystery series set in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. LaShaun teams up with Cajun Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Chase Broussard to solve grisly killings in this lovely bayou setting. Using her psychic abilities and Chase’s crime fighting skills, they fight human and supernatural killers.

LaShaun Rousselle led a bad girl life in her teens and twenties, using the spells Monmon Odette, her beloved grandmother, taught her for all the wrong reasons. The results led to such a horrible string of events, that she left Beau Chene, Louisiana. LaShaun moved to Los Angeles with the thought that she would never return to Louisiana, much less Beau Chene. The series opens with her arriving back because of Monmon Odette, and over the course of the first three books she builds a life that she didn’t expect to have at all, including or especially in Beau Chene.

Into The Mist opens with LaShaun being drawn into yet another of Chase’s cases, a kidnapping. As the story unfolds, the evil that that seems to have put a child’s life in danger creeps ever closer to those LaShaun loves the most. Everything LaShaun holds most dear is on the line, and she has to find answers to protect her family and the world.

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?

As a clinical social worker, I’ve been involved in child welfare cases, attended school conferences to advocate for children, and conducted abuse investigations. I also worked as a juvenile court consultant and in a psychiatric hospital. Although I do research even with my experience, a lot of the issues about children in the child welfare and special education systems come from what I’ve seen up close. The children in Into The Mist face these same challenges for a unique reason, and flaws in both systems only add to their vulnerability, as LaShaun and Chase discover.

BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this category? Why?

Into The Mist is a mystery with paranormal elements. I write mysteries now, though my first seven books are romantic suspense. What’s interesting is I never intended to write romance. The first writing group I found, or rather a member found me because we worked in the same building, was a local chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America). I even told her that I wasn’t writing romance, but she said that didn’t matter. So I joined. A published author who belonged to that RWA chapter advised me to try writing romance because editors were in the market for them in a big way (this was the mid-1990s). Breaking into the mystery genre was tough, but for writers of color it was pretty much impossible back then. I felt very discouraged until she told me about romantic suspense, the subgenre I hadn’t even heard of at the time. Once I found out I could kill people, the words started flowing on my first book.

BPM: Are there any areas of your writing career that you wish you could go back and change? 

I’ve learned and been blessed to see the lesson in everything that has happened in my journey, so I can’t honestly say I’d change much. Even the bad helped make me either a better writer or better professional writer in terms of the business side of publishing. In 2000, I was blessed to have BET produce a made for television movie based on my novel After All. Holly Robinson Peete starred as Michelle Toussaint, a character I created. Seeing her on the screen saying that name gave me chills. Still I couldn’t really celebrate because BET used the old publishing contract I’d signed, and they were known at the time, to pay well below the industry standard for the movie rights. That was one bitter pill to swallow. Even worse, I couldn’t stop them from making the movie. Thankfully the script, performance and production came out fine. The only thing I would change, if I could, was for myself and the other Arabesque authors to have more leverage, support or legal alternatives back then. Still, I had fun throwing a premier party at my house. I got to ride in a limo to BET studios twice for interviews. And it’s kind of fun to say, “My second novel was made into a movie.”

BPM: How may our readers follow you online? 

Readers are welcome to visit my website at www.lynnemery.com. I’d love for them to sign up for my monthly newsletter while they’re there. The newsletter includes exclusive free books and other goodies available only to subscribers, in addition to fun articles. Let’s socialize!

Connect with Lynn Emery on Social Media 

Tweet: @LynnEmeryWriter 
Lynn Emery website: http://www.lynnemery.com 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lynn.emery.author 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lynnemerywriter 
Pins: https://www.pinterest.com/lynnemery/ 
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/lynnemery 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Cerece Rennie Murphy 

Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching "Empire Strikes Back" at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It's a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry. 

She earned her master's degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas - all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler's "Wild Seed," Frank Herbert's "Dune" and "The X-Files." 

In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event - a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the best selling "Order of the Seers" trilogy.

Cerece lives in her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda. 

BPM: As a full time writer, how did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?

Wow, we're starting right in with the deep stuff! OK. You know, I really think that God has led me to where I am in my life today. As a young girl, I never expected to be happily married with two beautiful children. I never expected to be a writer, much less a published author. Honestly, I expected my life to be rewarding career wise and lonely in every other sense. I'd worked hard to get a good education, so I expected to be financially independent. I also knew I wanted children, so I planned to be a mother, but I expected to be on that journey alone. If I got married, I expected to get divorced and have to raise my children alone. I know that sounds pretty bleak, but it's the truth of how I saw my life right up until my early 30s. When I look at my life now, it is very clear that this is God's vision for my life, not mine, and I'm so grateful that God had bigger dreams for me than I ever could have imagined for myself. 

But through everything, I always knew that God was with me and I got that knowledge from my mother, who is THE MOST spiritually connected person that I know. She prays without ceasing with a prayer book that was handed down to her from my grandmother who was a PRAYER WARRIOR. Grandma Mary was NO joke! No weapon against her had any hope of prospering! Though she passed more than a decade ago, I know I live in the benefit of her prayers today. These two women, my mother and my Grandmother, are women of incredible faith and courage. I stand on their legacy and it has always motivated me to do and be my best.

BPM: Was there ever a time in your life you let FEAR block your path? If so, how did you overcome it?

Me and fear are well acquainted. Though I don't know if I've ever let fear block my path, it sure has slowed my progress quite a bit. The fear and doubt around writing and publishing the Order of the Seers trilogy was brutal at times. With the second book especially, it was like doing battle every day, just to get a page written. I would cry and shake, convinced that no one would like what I'd written, that I had no talent or no right to do what I was doing.

But the thing about me is that, on some very visceral level, I hate being afraid. I hate letting fear control me. There are many good reasons not to pursue something, fear is rarely one of them. I have been an avid reader since I was 5 years old. I know what a story can do. I know that each story you are given is a blessing from God - a calling. That's why I feel so honored to be a writer, to be given a story to tell. So if I let the fear win, what I'm saying to God is, "You gave me this blessing, but I'm too afraid to share it. I know you would not have given me this blessing if I wasn't equipped to share it, but hey, it doesn't matter. I think my fear is more important than your purpose." 

Can you imagine saying that to GOD? Yeah, exactly - me neither! My fear of wasting the breathe of God within me trumps almost any fear I have. But that doesn't mean I no longer feel afraid. I think, with each thing I do, I just get better at managing the fear, so that I can get what I need to get done. If that doesn't work, then I remember that the bottom line for me is, these stories are not about me at all. They are about the people who will be blessed, inspired and entertained by them. 

BPM: As the author of novels for adults, who does your body of literary work speak to?

I think my work speaks to people who are seeking thought-provoking literature that many not be conventional - readers who want to be spiritually-inspired and entertained. Although Order of the Seers is adult science fiction and Ellis and The Magic Mirror is a children's fantasy adventure, they are essentially about the same thing - people discovering their true calling and power and using that gift to change the world for the better. 

Watching the news these days can be a soul crushing experience. It's so easy to be overwhelmed by all the horrible things that are happening. But I believe that ordinary people can save the world. I believe this because I know there is no such thing as an ordinary person. We are all superheroes, but most of us have no idea how powerful we are and so we act like ants when we're actually giants - giants who can see the future because we create the future with our thoughts, our words and our actions. We can do these things because we are children of God and God has given us these abilities. 

My writing is all about finding that awareness in myself and helping my readers discover the same truth for themselves because I believe, once we understand our true power, nothing can stop us from healing this world. If you like your spirituality wrapped in an action packed adventure, you'll probably enjoy my books. 

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent novel for young readers? 

Sure. I'm so excited that my first children's book titled, Ellis and The Magic Mirror! This is a very special book to me because my son asked me to write it for him and we worked on the story together - from story concept to illustration and cover approval. Ellis and The Magic Mirror is about a very curious boy named Ellis who finds a magic mirror and discovers that there is a secret society of trolls at his school who are trying to stop children from learning. Ellis, his little sister, Freddye, and his best friend, Toro go on an adventure in the forest to uncover the mystery of the trolls and stop whatever they have planned. It's an early reader chapter book with lots of action. The book is targeted towards readers age 6-10 who are transitioning from story book to chapter book. The feedback that I've been getting from educators and kids is really exciting. I can't wait to share it!

Our son, Aryeh, picked up a copy of my sci-fi trilogy Order of the Seers and asked me if he could read it. I told him that my books were for adults and that he would have to wait until he was older. 

To this, he frowned and said, "Well, will you write me a book that I can read?" I was so surprised and honored that he asked me that I HAD to say YES! 

Since then Aryeh and I have worked together to bring "Ellis and The Magic Mirror" to life. Aryeh gave me the "must haves" in the story he wanted which included, a skateboard, an "awesome" fight scene and an appearance by his favorite stuffed animal "Chirpy". I pitched the story concept. He approved or revised as needed. Every chapter I wrote, he read and changed according to his preferences. Every character sketch, Aryeh approved, until we had a story he liked. Along the way, my husband and our daughter made their contributions to the story as well. Seeing our son and daughter in their beds, reading their own book has been one of the best moments of my life. We had a great time creating this story. We hope you have almost as much fun reading it.

Greg and I meet at a comic convention in Chicago in 2014. As soon as I saw the incredible energy in his drawings, I knew I wanted to work with him. In fact, Greg is the only illustrator I considered for this project. Luckily, he had the time, interest and incredible generosity to take us on. Through late night meetings on Google Hangout, Greg listened patiently to comments and ideas from *every* member of our family. He's the best. 

BPM: What inspired you to publish it for the world and not just for your family?

The fact that my son asked me to write him a book was really all the inspiration I needed. I don't think it would have occurred to me to write a children's book without him asking me, but it was such an honor that I couldn't refuse. But besides that, I noticed that there was a real need for chapter books that helped with the transition from storybook to chapter book. Last year, before my son first asked me to write a book for him, I knew his teacher was struggling to find reading material that held his interest. To make matters worse, his teachers and I couldn't get him to try chapter books, even though he was more than capable of reading them. When I asked him why, he said to me that "There were too many words and no pictures." So when he asked me to write him a book, I knew it was my chance to address a need that I was seeing in our home, hearing from his teachers and other parents who were experiencing the same thing I was. I set out to develop a story that combined full color illustrations with a complex narrative and as much action as I could get away with in a children's book. 

My husband and I also noticed that it was getting harder and harder to find more advanced books that featured children of color - even more rare, was a child of color in a fantasy adventure. Most parents don't have the knowledge on how to produce a children's book, even if they want to, but when my son asked me, I thought, "I actually know how to do this." I'm proud to be a part of the #weneeddiversebooks movement. 

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book, Ellis and The Magic Mirror?

I loved working with our son on this book and seeing him see himself in the story. He owned every part of the creative process. He told me what he wanted in the story. I wrote the words and he edited them, telling me what made sense, what didn't, and what he thought would be "even cooler". His confidence in participating (and expecting to participate) in the development of this book made me so proud. He's actually really good at giving constructive criticism in a very thoughtful way! I also loved being able to show him how much I love him by writing and publishing a story just for him. 

BPM: Why should our readers and educators add Ellis and The Magic Mirror to their collection?

As a mother of a 8 year old boy and a 5 year girl, I know that there are a lot of great books out there for kids. My husband and I are avid readers and have been committed to encouraging literacy in our kids since before they were born. But as our son's reading level matured, we noticed that the books available to him seemed to hold less of his interest. The early reader chapter books that we found often lacked the action and adventure he craved. And when they did have action, they had little or no pictures (and rarely in color) to accompany the story line. This often left him too intimidated to give them a try ("There are too many words, Mommy!")even though he had the ability to read them. We also noticed that protagonists who looked like him were getting harder and harder to find. I heard the same struggle echoed by parents and teachers of kids around our son's age. We were all looking to fill the gap between the Fly Guy series and the next Rick Riordan book. 

And that's how I came up with the concept for The Ellis Series.

With full color illustrations integrated throughout the five-chapter story, Ellis and The Magic Mirror was written and designed to facilitate an easier transition from storybook to chapter book for young readers (ages 6-10 years old). By combining the vibrant images that storybook readers are accustomed to with a more challenging narrative, Ellis and the Magic Mirror strives to encourage early readers to dive into more complex stories, without sacrificing beautiful imagery. 

Ellis and The Magic Mirror can contribute to your collection in 3 main ways:


* It is unique in the world of early reader chapter books that typically leave vibrant illustrations at the front cover,

* It fills a growing need among parents and teachers for books that capture the attention of reluctant readers, (especially boys) while still moving their reading abilities forward, and

* It offers a diverse group of main characters who are doing cool things in a world that is modern and full of possibilities. 

In addition, the story of Ellis and The Magic Mirror is laced with themes that emphasize character building, the unique qualities that reside within every child and the value of learning, family and friendship. These messages could be used in any school, library, home school or church setting to enhance and enrich a range of character building and educational activities. (It also makes a great bedtime story!) 

 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Sadeqa Johnson

Sadeqa Johnson is a former public relations manager who spent years working with well-known authors such as JK Rowling, Bebe Moore Campbell, Amy Tan and Bishop TD Jakes before becoming an author herself. Her debut novel, LOVE IN A CARRY-ON BAG was hailed by Ebony.com as “this summer’s hottest read.”  It was the recipient of the 2013 Phillis Wheatley award for Best Fiction and the 2012 USA Best Book award for African-American fiction. Originally from Philadelphia, she now resides in Virginia with her husband and three children. SECOND HOUSE FROM THE CORNER is her second novel.

BPM:  When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
I’m originally from Philadelphia. As a kid, I started off wanting to be an actress. When I graduated high school, I moved to New York and attended Marymount Manhattan College as a Theatre Arts major. It was as a student that I started fooling around with poetry, which turned to playwriting, screenwriting and ended up with novel writing. I landed a job working in publishing after college and it was there that I became very serious about my writing. My first novel, Love in a Carry-on Bag took me over ten years to finish. I started writing it when I was a publicity manager at G.P Putnam’s Sons.

Every day I would close my office door at four o’clock and write for the last hour of the workday. On my commute home, I edited the pages. Once I got married, I left my corporate job to write and raise my children, but still nursed a burning desire to tell stories. I wrote during naptimes, between feedings, in the midst of sleep deprivation and my kid’s ear infections. The daily pressures of caring for a young family motivated me to finish the book. I was very much like Felicia in Second House From the Corner. As much as I loved being a mother, I didn’t want that role to be my only claim. I knew that it was important for me to carve out something that was only for me, and writing novels was it. My novels are my legacy.

BPM:  What makes your writing different than others?
I’m a lover of words and keep a thick, old school thesaurus on my desk, which I use to deepen the meaning of the text. I don’t like to rush when I’m writing, and I’ll work on a paragraph for three days if it takes that long to make it sound good. Although I’m a commercial fiction writer, I work to bring poetry, beauty and music to my work. My goal is to make readers pause over a delicious sentence, giving them no choice but to read it again.

BPM:  Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters.
I love everything about Second House From the Corner. In the novel, Felicia Lyons, a stressed out stay-at-home mom struggles to sprint ahead of the demands of motherhood, while her husband spends long days at the office. Felicia taps, utters mantra and breathes her way through most situations but on some days, like when the children won’t stop screaming her name or arguing over toy trucks and pretzel sticks, she wonders what it would be like to get in her car and drive away.

Then one evening the telephone rings, and in a split second Felicia’s innocent fantasy becomes a hellish reality. The call pulls her back into a life she’d rather forget. Felicia hasn’t been completely honest about her upbringing, and her deception forces her return to the Philadelphia of her childhood, where she is forced to confront the family demons and long buried secrets she thought she had left behind.

BPM:  Did you learn anything personal from writing this book? 
I wrote Second House From the Corner in about a year and a half, which was much different from my ten-year haul with Love in A Carry-on Bag. I learned to outline and draft quickly, and then to just punch the story out and fix it later. There were a lot of loving hands that touched Second House From the Corner and for that I am so grateful and utterly proud of the finished product.

BPM:  What would you like to accomplish after this book is released? 
Don’t laugh, but my deepest desire is to be on the New York Times best sellers list. I have been putting that out into the Universe since day one so I know it’s going to happen. I also plan to sell the movie rights and be paid (well) to consult on set as the movie is being filmed. My children are going to love walking the red carpet. Selling the foreign rights and seeing my novel printed in several languages would also make me happy. Eventually I’d like to teach a writing group and get out on the motivational speaking circuit.

BPM:  Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences? 
Oh, yes. I am a mother of three children. My kids were about the age of Felicia’s when I started writing the book and a lot of her experience of feeling overwhelmed and worn out with the duties involved with caring for small children was what I felt as a young mother. I still feel it at least four times a week. She taps her way through it, I go to hot yoga, run and meditate to find my center.

BPM:  What should readers DO after reading this book? 
Tell all of their friends to buy a copy. I really believe it takes a village to make a best seller. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising so please, please tell a friend. Your review on goodreads.com and all of the retailer’s website would also be wonderfully helpful.

BPM:  What are your career goals as a writer? Have you accomplished most of them? 
Right now I really admire Attica Locke. She wrote a book called The Cutting Season that I couldn’t put down. Then one night I was watching the show Empire, and her name popped up in the credits as producer and writer. Immeditately, I had goosebumps. I’m so proud of my fellow writers when they cross over and do big things. As I sat watching, I thought, could I write for television?  Mmmm, I’m just going to let that thought marinate. Hosting a show on television would also tickle my fancy.

BPM:  What have you realized about yourself since becoming a published author? 
I’ve realized that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Every moment in my life from going to college in New York City as Theatre arts major, to my first two jobs in publishing as a publicist, to starting my own publishing house and having to do everything possible to get the word out on Love in a Carry-on Bag has led me to this moment. I’ve worked hard, I deserve to be right here and my future is even brighter. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.

BPM:  What are you the most thankful for now?
I’m grateful for my health and the health of my family and close friends. I enjoy waking up every morning, getting my kids off to school (most times without arguments and tears but not always), putting on a pot of coffee and going to work in my robe. God is always amazingly good to me. Oh, and I have a sexy, supportive husband to boot.

BPM:  Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
Don’t quit. Writing takes time and dedication and it is very important to be true to the craft. Take writing classes, form a writing group and read as much as you can. Give yourself time and permission to grow, and be patient with yourself. Believe in your creativity above all. Allow the magic to flow.

BPM:  What’s next?
I’m working on my third novel, And Then There Was Me. It’s about deception and betrayal. It’s scheduled to be published by Thomas Dunne Books spring of 2017 so stay tuned. And click right over to my website, www.sadeqajohnson.net and subscribe to my blog. I’ll keep the latest news listed there. I’m on all of the social media outlets so get in touch with me. I’d really love to hear from you.   

Love, Light and Laughter.

Connect with Sadeqa Johnson

http://www.sadeqajohnson.net 
https://twitter.com/sadeqasays 
https://instagram.com/sadeqasays 
https://www.facebook.com/SadeqaJohnson 

Purchase Second House from the Corner: A Novel
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Books-a-Million:  http://smarturl.it/SHFCAWBAM 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Tumika Patrice Cain

Tumika Patrice Cain is an award-winning author, media personality and publisher whose works centers around uplifting, encouraging and empowering others to live the abundant life. She is also an accomplished poet; founder of the Say What?? Book Club; and host of the internet radio shows Living Abundantly with Tumika Patrice Cain, In The Spotlight, and Say What?? Author Spotlights. 

In addition, she is a respected book reviewer and columnist for PEN’Ashe Magazine, a contributing writer for BLOG and Belief Magazines, and editor for two smaller publishing companies. A champion for indie authors, she works tirelessly to level the playing field to bring exposure to those authors who excel at their craft, but whose marketing budgets are limited. Inkscriptions, her publishing company, offers a myriad of book publishing services. Living by the motto of each one reach one, each one teach one, Tumika shares her passion for purpose and for life with all who cross her path. 

She is the 2013 recipient of a Spoken Word Billboard award for her debut novel, Season of Change (December 2012), a novel that has since been picked up by Shan Presents and will be re-released as When a Man Loves a Woman – A Season of Change in December, 2015. To her publishing credit, she is also the author of After the Rain…a Poetry Collective (March, 2014) and The Heart of a Woman (August, 2015). Tumika’s works have been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, newsletters and periodicals.


BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
I was an early reader, so the love of words was already there. A classroom assignment when I was in the second grade would become my raison d’etre. I found my reason for being early on. The teacher introduced poetry and gave us the opportunity to write a poem. I loved how the words came together and that feeling the completed work gave me. The seed had been planted and I continued to write. Growing up in turmoil and being very shy, writing gave me a voice when I felt voiceless. For many years I didn’t know that I had any talent, I only knew that I liked to write. By the time I was in junior high, I had started to receive recognition for my work and in high school I started winning awards. It wasn’t until I wrote my first novel while in my early twenties, which many years later became When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change, that I decided I wanted to do something professionally with the gift. Combining my love of writing with my passion for empowering others seemed the ideal solution.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
Through my writing I am able to give a voice to the voiceless, to shine a ray of hope for someone who has lost their hope. Even through fiction, lives can be changed. I write to empower others. I write to free myself. I write to free others. I write because I have something to say. I write because others have something to say and many have yet to find their own voice, so I tell their stories. I write to uplift. And I write to impart the message that with each new day, we can have a fresh start. We can decide in this moment to start living authentic, abundant lives. Writing gives me wings. My tag is Changing lives one word at a time…. It’s more than just a quote, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not just what I do, it’s who I am.

BPM: What hurdles, if any, did you have to overcome as a new author and business owner?
When I first wrote the novel and tried to get it published almost twenty years ago, the market was very different and there wasn’t really a place for me. I put the book up for quite a few years knowing that eventually it would be published. Around 2011 I started getting the “feeling” to pull it back out and look into publishing it again. While I had done my research years before, lots had changed that I had not kept up with. When someone that I knew started a publishing company, I just went with it. Since it was a vanity press, once she received her money, her commitment to me was done. I learned very quickly that in choosing to work with people on your vision; your dream, it’s important to connect with those who are as concerned about your success as they are their own. Many services that had been provided were only marginally done and I had to pay out of pocket to have things redone. It was stressful and very frustrating. 

However, the silver lining is that out of that experience was birthed Inkscriptions, my publishing company, and Say What?? Book Club. Being a solution-focused person, I was able to put systems and programs in place to streamline and improve the process for other writers. In the end the challenges I experienced turned out to be a tremendous blessing.

BPM: Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow on your journey?

I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings when I was in elementary school. Maya Angelou had a way with words that didn’t just tell me that what I had to say was important, her words told me that who I am is important. Through her writings, I felt encouraged to share my sacred truth, and to keep writing that truth. Through her writings, I learned that I had a voice worth hearing.

My paternal grandmother was also a woman who used her words with power. She was classy and elegant and could put you in your place without raising her voice, swearing or belittling. I saw her write to corporate heads when products and services she’d spent money on left her displeased….and change would come as a result of her expressing herself. That was very powerful and had a lasting impact.

When the literary market began to change about twenty years ago, the writings of authors like Beverly Jenkins, Pearl Cleage and Terry McMillan gave me hope that my works could also be in print. I am thankful for reach one and how their lives have impacted my own.

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters.
In When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change (book one in the When a Man Loves a Woman series), readers meet Avery and Alicia Ayers. They are a couple who appear to have the perfect life. To their credit they are attractive, wealthy, successful, and esteemed. It’s a life anyone would want. However, what others can’t see are the cracks that exist in their persons and in their relationship. They’ve built an amazing life on a shallow foundation. Each must face themselves and determine if the life they are living is true, is healthy, is empowering and decide where to go from there.

This award-winning, full length, standalone novel is a gripping tale in women’s contemporary fiction that will make readers think, feel, celebrate love when it’s beautiful and right, and reflect on its demise when it’s not.

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?
I would encourage readers to stop for a moment and reflect. Think about which scenes in the book left a lasting impact and why. I would tell them to reflect on the areas of their lives where they have not been living their truth and make a decision to live authentically from that point forward. Life is short and to spend it unfulfilled is a great travesty. If the book struck a chord and they felt a sense of connection to it, I’d encourage them to share information about the book so others can purchase it. And of course, I’d ask that they leave a review on Amazon so I can know what they thought about it – good or bad.

BPM: What are you the most thankful for now?
I am thankful for Shan Richardson seeing potential in my work, enough where she signed me to a three (3) book deal. Working with her has been a great blessing. We are able to share ideas and work together as a team. I am thankful to be able to reach a larger platform of readers with my work with her help.

I am also very thankful for my family and handful of people who support me behind the scenes. It takes many hands and lots of effort to get and keep our works in front of the others. I could never do it all on my own, or have gotten as far as I have without them. I am truly grateful.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?

Believe in yourself. Not everything is for everyone, so some people will not buy into your work. That doesn’t mean you can’t write. That person just may not be your audience. Hone your skills, take classes to make sure you are putting out a quality product, learn the business of writing, and keep forging on. At some point you will connect with those who will help make your dream a reality.


BPM: How may our readers follow you online? Please share your social media links.

Email: inkscriptionsllc@ymail.com
Website:  www.TumikaPatrice.com
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TumikaPatrice 
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/TumikaPatrice 
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/TumikaPatrice 
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/TumikaPatrice 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Tumika-Patrice-Cain-254769847981922 

 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Anita Ballard-Jones

Anita Ballard-Jones is the acclaimed author of the novels, Rehoboth Road, The Dancing Willow Tree and Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Down. She is a native of Brooklyn, NY and a graduate of C.W. Post, at Long Island University. She is retired from New York State’s Long Island Developmental Disabilities Service Office where she worked as a Treatment Team Leader. She is a long time resident of Long Island, New York and enjoys spending time in North Carolina and Florida. She loves hearing from her individual fans, as well as book clubs.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing? 
I was in my early fifties, not like most writers who say they had been writing for as long as they could remember. My unpublished manuscript, Broken Bond, is a memoir about my young life and relationship with my brother who had special needs. It was completed twenty years ago and it was not written for publication. I just needed a vessel to pour out my soul and to come to terms with the issue of the purpose of life for those individual having serious developmental disabilities. I had lived and worked with special needs children and adults almost all of my life and I was searching for their purpose. By the time I completed this manuscript I was at peace; I felt blessed and had my answers. A few months later, I believed the Lord handed me my gift of writing and I wrote the first one hundred pages of the acclaimed Rehoboth Road in just fourteen hours.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
I love to write, but I don’t have a writing routine. I am retired and I am not looking for a career. My greatest joy is pleasing my readers. Sometimes I’ll write a very short story, and other times that short story could be as long as 7,000 words. I don’t push my writing or write outlines; I wait. I guess you could say I wait on the Lord; He sends me pictures and somehow I know it’s going to be another novel. I only create when I’m inspired by my pictures. If I don’t have the inspiration to create, and I want to work, I use the time for refinement and editing. 

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? Did you ever self-publish? 
Yes, after I completed Rehoboth Road, I sent out fifty query letters just to locate an agent and I received fifty rejections. Then, I self-published and sold over three thousand copies. Within that year I signed with a publishing company that never paid my royalties on time, if at all. The one great thing they did was sell my book to Black Expressions Book Club, and I knew I had arrived, even after being contractually cheated on this sale. I found a loophole in the contract and was released from my second book deal and vowed to remain a self-publish author. I told myself that my joy comes from writing and pleasing my fans, and with the proper branding agent and publicist, I could do a very good job marketing myself. 

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
Yes, all of my books stewed with the exception of The Dancing Willow Tree. This book is the sequel to Rehoboth Road. I received hundreds of emails from my readers requesting a sequel; many people made suggestions of what they thought should happen. I was inspired, I had my visual images, my fans suggestions, and a few twist in mind; The Dancing Willow Tree was completed in three months. 

BPM: Are there any areas of your writing career that you wish you could go back and change? 
Without questioning the Lord, I wish I had received my gift when I was younger, but the Lord knows best. I wonder if I would have appreciated it, would I have earn my lifetime experience badge or if I would have had the time to dedicate to the craft? Sometimes I think, if I could have accomplish writing success back in my earlier life I might have been another Alice Walker or Toni Morrison, not for the fortune, but for the pleasure of knowing something I created bought pleasure to so many people.

BPM: What hurdles, if any, did you have to overcome as a new author and business owner? 
I believe the real hurdle is the process of editing. I have hired a professional editor and have used my edit team and there were still problems. Other than the editing process, researching self-publishing and learning all of the aspects of the process are the hardest. 

BPM: What’s the most important quality a writer should have in your opinion?
Be able to respond positively to constructive criticism. A writer should never believe they are so great that they have nothing to learn about their craft. 

BPM: At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it?
Growing up, I always wanted to be a registered nurse. There were two professions I didn’t want any part of, a medical doctor or a writer. The novels, Little Women, Clarence Darrow and Return of the Native, and the likes, really turned me off during my high school literature classes. I cried through them; I am a pre-baby-boomer who attended George Wingate High School in Brooklyn, New York when the African American student enrollment was only two percent. No one told me about Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston, James Baldwin and the others. If you didn’t know about the Harlem Renaissance, you didn’t know to ask and seek it out. I remember standing outside a theater on Manhattan’s Broadway, staring at the marquee and large posters of the play, Porgy and Bess. It was hard to believe these were black people like me, doing what white people did. It seems so funny now, but today’s young people believe they have been robbed of opportunity and I wish I could take them back to my early time and shake them. 

I discovered my worth as an individual early in life, having a very successful career and lifetime experiences. I said I didn’t want to be a doctor, but I became a Treatment Team Leader, whereas I managed an interdisciplinary treatment team which included medical doctors and twenty years of report writing was the precursor to my writing profession in retirement. And now I write.

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? 
In this dark time in our history time, two brothers, Jacob and Jackson shared the same loving father, the same mansion home, but were separated by age and the circumstances of life; Jacob, a mulatto slave and Jackson, the sole heir to their father’s plantation. They were mirror images of each other, both tall and having golden hair, blue eyes and creamy white complexion. Jacob had the soul of a black man and Jackson’s soul was only fed by cruelty, possessions and hatred. Once Jacob was free it wasn’t long before he realized that passing for white was a powerful weapon to be used to free his enslaved family and friends, specially his black pearl, Sula who was pregnant with his child. Nothing could stop him in his quest to reach the safety of Canada before the start of the Civil War, not even murder, assault, thievery or arson. He found great pleasure standing his ground against other white people. 

Throughout Jacob’s triumphs, Brother Jackson was in hot pursuit of him, but little did Jackson know revenge was not in his favor. Jackson’s attempt to kill Jacob would end up causing him more inescapable pain than he could ever have imagined; pain that was a thousand times worse than the pain he allowed his overseers to inflicted on his slaves; pain that could not be undone.

BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this category? Why?
This is a book of historical fiction, pre-Civil War (1860). With the exception of my memoir, most of the time I write fiction, but I tend to write in different eras from 1950 through 1990. As mentioned earlier, my inspiration comes in the form of pictures. I have my ideas of what I want to write about, but after a few paragraphs my story will take on its own life. Very often this dictates the era, storyline, characters and location. For example, someone once told me my grandfather walked from northern North Carolina to south central Virginia. I was thinking what it must have been like for a black man to walk alone on a country road around 1900. The next thing I knew I was writing Jacobs Eyes. My grandfather was a short, small framed man, with ebony colored skin and nappy hair, and Jacob was tall, well built, blue eyes, golden hair and a white complexion. The only thing they had in common was that they walked on the road. 

BPM: Do you set out to educate or inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject? 
I don’t necessary set out to educate, but my goal is to keep my stories socially clean, historically accurate, entertaining and inspiring. I research even the smallest issue. In my book, Rehoboth Road, I wanted one of my characters to purchase a specific type of car. When I researched the car I found out it had not come out for another five years. In Jacob’ Eyes, I had to learn about growing cotton, the railroad lines that were running in 1860, what shipping lines were sailing. How Lincoln was placed on the ballot, and most of all, documents related to the sale and release of slaves and many other issues. To say the least, I was educated and inspired during the writing of this novel and I hope and pray others will learn from it too.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing this book?
Yes, first of all I received a history lesson, and then I learned about herbal tea, juju bags secondary railroad cars, Southern myths and much more. Most of all I learn about myself and to appreciate my gift. I had not worked at writing a novel in some time. My pictures were there for me, but I allowed life and circumstances to pull me away from what I really love doing. I have to say thank you to Jacob’s Eyes for reminding me of my gift and to be grateful to my Lord for it.

BPM: What was your primary quest in publishing this book? Why now?
I did give mainstream publishing serious thought, then I remembered my previous experience and I was not willing to lose my literary rights to my work forever. But I am like an abused woman, time will tell.

BPM: What would you like to accomplish after this book is released?
I just want to keep writing and promoting my work. I love public speaking and traveling, so with the release of this book I will be destination bound. 

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?
No, Jacob’s Eyes is a product of my imagination and research.

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?
Just enjoy this book for its historical quality and storyline. This is not just another slave book; this is a book where the slaves win. This is a feel good book that will leave the reader saying, “Yes!” Spread the word: ask their local libraries to order it, ask their school board to place it in their high school libraries, introduce it to historically black colleges and universities, suggest it to book clubs, share the book with a young adult and don’t forget to write me and share their thoughts and feeling.

BPM: What are your career goals as a writer? Have you accomplished most of them?
I am retired and I write to please my readers. My goal is to continue writing and sell, sell, sell my work. Nothing makes me happier than to have my fans love my work. My goal is to have a well known name in the industry and I have no accomplished that. 

BPM: What have you realized about yourself since becoming a published author?
There are people, other than my family, who appreciate what I have to offer. My family loves me unconditionally. My fans love me and my work; that’s why I always want to give them my very best.

BPM: What are some of the benefits of being an author that makes it all worthwhile?
Being an author, actor, singer or whatever, it really does not matter. We are all people first. Even if I were a filthy rich author it wouldn’t make a different to me; being a good person is more important. For me, the only benefits of being an author are my personal satisfaction and knowing I have made other people happy. This is my gift, but Dear Lord, I always prayed to be a great singer, but I guess You know what’s best for me, so thank you Lord.

BPM: What are you the most thankful for now?
I am most thankful for my Lord and Savior, life and good health, family, friends, my gift, fans and a good life. I am truly blessed; I have it all.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
Study and do your research before you decide, and then learn to do as much as you can for yourself.

BPM: Finish this sentence - “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors...”
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors because I try to write unforgettable novels that provide teachable moments without an expiration date.”

BPM: We are here to shine the spotlight on your new book, but what's next? 
My long term goal for the next year is to produce my first manuscript, Broken Bond, my memoir, as well as a book of short stories and to continue as a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel monthly news magazine, A Better You,

BPM: How may our readers follow you online? 
At my website:  www.anitaballardjones.com  or on  Facebook at" Anita Ballard Jones

Purchase Jacob's Eyes by Anita Ballard-Jones

Link:  http://amzn.com/B01ABD7XTQ  
Historical Literature > Christian Fiction > African American 


 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversations with James Lee Nathan III

James Lee Nathan III (JLN3), is the self-published author of two novels and nine novellas, spanning many speculative fiction sub-genres.  JLN3 is best known for his scifi erotic crime drama series Robert Manis and No Brakes, both of which are bestsellers on the leanpub author platform. His latest works,CRIME-PHYTER, and Ibrahim Unites, introduce readers to hisNext Level Fiction experience. James is also the #1 bestselling author of erotic crime dramas on leanpub.com. 

James is a retired US Air Force veteran, and currently works as a senior systems integrator for a large telecommunications corporation. 

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?

To answer your first question, more than one person has prayed for me throughout my life. I guess that is how we all survive or perish in this world, through the love, grace, and mercy of others. My motivations have always been to improve upon my family name, and to live a life worthy of remembering. I never sought glory only respect and appreciation. 

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?

I write in three specific genres, and sometimes all in one. My stories are what they are, if one decides they are scifi, urbanfantasy, erotic crime dramas, or suspense thrillers then so be it, but I typically try to tell a good tale that takes the reader on a journey. One in which they ask themselves the very questions I pose in my tales. So if you are of the mind to question the known and seek to understand the unknown, then this is for you. 'Writers as role models' hmmm I think we should expand this construct and say 'Artisans' because I believe that all 'free thinkers' and creators in society, deserve to be recognized for what they bring to our culture. Remember, if you destroy the art, the words, and pictures, you can remove a culture or race from existence. 

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

O-M-GEEE, so this book is the culmination of about five years of effort and wrestling with doubt. Two things are important here; my daughter's inquisitive mind after she read the first unfinished work and asked 'Are there no more Dragon Warriors?' and then being compelled to write a tale of struggles and triumph that restore balance to the universe. But before you can write about balance you must be in balance. Once my life eased into a stable state, the words flowed. 

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The characters gave me great pleasure. There is a sense of DEPTH to them, even the ancillary ones offer you a sense of complexity. 

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?

I am asked this question often, and I truly cannot narrow it down to any one thing other than I draw stimulation from many sources. There can be an interaction at a grocery store between two people that catches my eye, and I will create a scene, a story, a title out of just that one random thing. So in this regard, I seek out situations for my characters to be in and then write to that. 

Each reacts to situations and stimuli differently, however, all are in proper context to the story/plot I am developing. I have actually changed my mind about a quarter way through a novella and moved the protagonist through a series of plot devices to support where I wanted the tale to evolve. All stories have a beginning , middle, and end, but not all stories move you to finish each with lust for the next. So that is what I strive for in my plot, to make you anxious about turning to the next page, or frustrated in how the last chapter ended so you read more and then you're hooked. 

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Is this book available on Kindle?

Yes my latest book, Ibrahim Unites, is the conclusion to 'Are there no more Dragon Warriors?' however, you do not necessarily need to read the other two books to appreciate this release. It did'nt start off that way, but somewhere around the 100th page, I realized that this was actually a standalone piece. Now there is a large gap in the timeline that I do address in the supplemental bonus chapters called 'Tales of Valor', but readers are all advised to read CRIME-PHYTER for even more backstory (it is a darker tale with some graphic violence and sexual situations, not erotica just a bit more than you will see in Ibrahim). Now Ibrahim Unites is available on ebook (with CRIME-PHYTER as a bonus all three formats for ebooks) and in print through AMAZON, go here

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 

The three strong tenets that weave their way through the story are INTUITION, Siobhan struggles with reconciling what she knows and what she is feeling, which will cost many lives; HATE and the blood oath of Ibrahim's ancestors still lives and breathes within him. It also infects all it touches; and finally HOPE manifested in Zion Rivers, who must balance hope with faith lest it becomes pretentious in nature. 

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey?

It speaks to many questions I had early in my life, and how I came to believe in a universal consciousness for all. 

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

My intentions with Dragon Warriors as a whole was to interject little-known bits of information on historical figures and cultures into the plot and then speculate on if they were indeed aliens. By the time I write Ibrahim, that is still the intention, however, I now have this notion of balance and retribution. 

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

Right now I am storyboarding my next two novellas 'Robert Manis: Kill Something He Loves' and 'Me, Jesus, and the Bodega Murders', both should be out in the Summer and Fall. 

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
 
Twitter: @nykingmd
Instagram: @nykingmd
Purchase Books:   https://leanpub.com/u/jamesleenathaniii 
Facebook Fan Page:  https://www.facebook.com/jameslee.nathaniii 
Amazon Page:   http://www.amazon.com/James-Lee-Nathan-III/e/B01DWNFUYM 

Ibrahim Unites Print Edition is now available, check it out:

http://www.amazon.com/Ibrahim-Unites-There-Dragon-Warriors/dp/1483566471 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Lydia E. Brew

Lydia E. Brew was born with cerebral palsy but has not allowed her physical limitations to stand in her way. Her writing provides insights into the world of the physically challenged. She graduated from Texas Southern University where she received The Society of Professional Journalist Sigma Chi Citation for Achievement. She was a member of the drama club and pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. 

Miss Brew founded Lydia’s Educational and Charitable Organization (LECO) when she decided to encourage young people to write.  LECO did this by sponsoring a yearly contest in which the contestant had to write about positive role models who were alive and from the Houston area. Each student who wrote an eligible essay was given a certificate of participation. Winning writers received cash prizes.

Her second book titled Our Learn Together Book is a book for young readers based on the biography of Edith Irby Jones, M.D.  It tells her story in a simplified format on one page and allows the reader to write their own biography on the other.  There are activities in the back where younger children can learn developmental skills and older children can learn to do research.   She is a Christian and attends St. Stevens United Methodist Church.

BPM: Lydia, tell us about yourself and how you started writing.

I was born with cerebral palsy but never allowed my physical limitations to stand in my way. I hope that some of my writing also provides insights into the world of the physically challenged.  Under the leadership of one of my journalism professors, I penned my first book Edith, The Story of Edith Irby Jones, M.D.  about the first African-American to graduate from The Arkansas School of Medicine. Upon finishing college, I worked with the Houston Association of Black Journalists. I am a Christian and attend St. Steven’s United Methodist Church.

BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing this book? 

When I did the first draft of the Ungolden Silence I did no research and I wrote from my daydreams. Like another author said; she made up and wrote the story. That is what I did. People who read the first draft of the story told me that I needed to do some research, which I ultimately did. My research showed that my story was not that far off. 

One thing the book shows is that we do not know what a rapist looks like; it could be anybody. In my story, two women go to the nation’s capitol on business. When they first meet an African American man they did not think that they needed to be careful as if they were in a dark alley.  He was a serial rapist. Most rapists are.  People do not know what a rapist looks like. 

I like both reading and writing drama. I chose this particular subject to write about because I did not like the way that the media was so-called “protecting” perpetrator of rape by withholding their names. Yes, rape is a violation, but so is murder. The minute a murdered victim’s family is notified, then the name of the victim is released. Domestic violence crimes are just like any other crime. In Ungolden Silence readers can see where secrets were kept and it led to other problems. Yes, I want to entertain with drama, but I also want readers to think about the problem of rape, which is a part of domestic violence.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it? 

My stories are from my daydreams and I guess you can say that they stew in my head until I put them on paper. I have many ideas in my head, but when I actually write them down, they may end up being something totally different, but will still represent the basic idea/concept. So, yes, a story must stew until everything is mixed in the pot and comes together to create a delicious literary feast.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  

As I mentioned earlier, my ideas come from my daydreams. My stories are my daydreams transformed into the written word. In order for me to create a good character I need to see the character. What I do is use the body of a person that I know or am familiar with. I then give them the personality I need them to have to fit the role in the story that I’m placing them in. When it comes to saying whether my books are plot driven or character driven, it’s hard to say. Perhaps a little bit of both. 

In Ungolden Silence, it’s definitely more plot driven because even though I wanted to create engaging and memorable characters, I did not want them their drama to overshadow the important subject matter of the story. It was a challenge to find that proper balance. 

BPM: What separates this story from the millions of other books on the shelves? 

Society needs to change the way that is deals with the social taboo of rape.  Ungolden Silence is a novel that will leave the reader with many questions. It will also attempt to answer some of the questions that society asks but never seem to want the answers to. We must look at the history of how men have been allowed to treat women. It is important not to just know the information, it is important to act on it.

Ungolden Silence will illustrate that the criminal is a real person, and rarely do they commit crimes just for fun. 
What makes Ungolden Silence different from the millions of other books out there, namely that deal with the issue of rape, is that it tells the story of rape and focuses on more than just the victim. There are many people affected by the crime, including the rapist and his family. Am I kidding? No. In a lot of cases the rapists are well respected. The novel is divided into four parts, The Silent Problem, The Aftermath, Hard to Come Forward, and Something to Consider. I specifically set out to break down all aspects of the issue, versus just the single one that most books about rape address.  The book is available in digital forms.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 

Ungolden Silence is about changing the way that society thinks about sexual abuse as well as the issue of protecting the name of sexual victims. In my opinion, we need to focus on the abuser and putting him or her away. Society hears the words “sexual abuse” and they start blaming the victim by asking what was she wearing or doing. We do not do this for any other crimes. 
For example: When a person is murdered, the name of the victim is given when the family is notified.  But when a person is sexually assaulted then it is said that the person needs privacy because he or she had been violated.  Hello, taking someone’s life is the ultimate violation. Society needs to understand that abuse of any kind is wrong. Ungolden Silence is an attempt to make society think about victims of rape and how other domestic crimes are treated.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Tomeekha Pitre

Tomeekha is a successful business professional within the corporate world of medical healthcare. She is a zealot for multi-media art and community advocacy for artists. 

Tomeekha is the co-owner of Black Cotton, LLC where she is Publisher of literary projects for the Black Cotton Publishing division. Her expertise in business and the arts allows her to enjoy consulting for startup businesses and creative projects.

Her debut novel, Earth’s Quiet Chaos, is a fictional narrative inspired by life experiences. She is spirit-led to share stories that will uplift, empower, educate and inspire individuals to live in the highest version of self. 

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
TPE: This is an interesting question because it reminds me of a haiku I wrote to address questions about why I paint. It goes like this,

Music is the reason
Painting is my life
I write to tell the story

In the past, I mostly wrote poems and short essays. It wasn’t until the year of 2012 that I acknowledged my passion to tell stories. I love to write. If I’m thinking it, I have a strong need to write it.

What drives me is being of service. I’ve adopted something my husband always says, “We were born of creativity to create.” This statement resonates with me because I strongly feel that we show each other the way by sharing our stories.

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? Did you ever self-publish?  
TPE: In 2013, my husband and I published our first book. That book is an art photography coffee table book titled, “Black Cotton”. The development and research took so much time and we learned so much that we decided to birth an LLC named after our first published book, Black Cotton LLC. Our business is a media and publishing company. The purpose of our business is to create an opening for independent authors with the intent to (not just publish their book) work side by side. This way the author learns each step of the publishing process. The goal is to provide them with the tools to self-publish their next project and create their own businesses.

BPM: What hurdles, if any, did you have to overcome as a new author and business owner?
TPE: WOW! Let me start with business owner; and I’m going to keep it real because I’m all about sharing lessons learned. Our biggest hurdles were accounting, marketing, sales and promotions. These “lessons learned,” taught us that we couldn’t do everything as well as we thought we could on our own. We had to come real in knowing our skill set, know our weak areas and pay someone with the proven skill to fill our weak areas and trust them to do what they do. The other lesson is there has to be a benefit value for everyone and everything you do and plan for, for the best results.

As an author, my biggest hurdle writing conflict. Oh, my goodness. I was so scared because I know the power of written words. I was scared to write some deadly horrible for a character or have a character get shot or anything. OH MY GOODNESS… I had to get over it. It was the hardest thing as a writer for me to overcome. 

BPM: Our life experiences, challenges and success help define who we are on many levels. At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it?
TPE: YES! Great question. I’m 42 and I didn’t get this until the age of 37 or 38 and it’s something that I wish I had discovered at 28. We can’t expect others to respect our worth if we don’t own it ourselves. What that means is – I know I’m really good at taking an idea and through the planning, development and implementation phases. So if I’m going to be of service for anyone in this area, I have a minimum and maximum price for my services. Because I’m serious about what I do, putting a price tag on my work will only attract those that are serious about their work and will pay for what they need.

BPM: Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow on your journey?
TPE: I followed and follow the clues left behind from my ancestors.  However, in 2012 I attended a healing retreat with Queen Afua. After that retreat, the group decided to continue our meet ups via conference call. We were doing the gateway work outlined in Sacred Woman by Queen Afua. The first gateway was: Sacred Words. Within each gateway we’re to create an altar in the spirit of the spiritual guardian and in gateway 1 the Kemetic Spiritual Guardian is Tehuti (The scribe). The altar is to consist of specific artifacts that carry the energy of each gateway. It also calls for adding pictures of ancestors, elders, and contemporaries to follow in their footsteps. So I posted the following pictures on my wall and typed out each of their names under their pictures:

Ancestors: Zora Neale Hurston and Phillis Wheatley
Elders: Sonia Sanchez and Maya Angelou (living at the time)
Contemporaries: Sister Souljah and Edwidge Dandicat

I wasn’t thinking of writing a book of any kind at this point. My purpose in conquering this gateway was to journal every day. Little did I know, that God had another form of journaling in store for me. During gateway 1, is when I began writing the story of Earth’s Quiet Chaos.


BPM: Do you set out to educate or inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject? 
TPE: My purpose in displaying any of my gifts is done in the spirit of healing and inspiring others. I used to co-host a poetry venue and one of the things I’d always say is that we learn and heal from each other. Which is why it is a requirement in life for us to share our stories (even those we are ashamed of) and our gifts, because for every person who thinks you or your story or your gift is whack, there is that one that will be healed and inspired to BE. So, with that, I’d say I set out to inspire and heal.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing this book? 
TPE: Although this book is fictional, it was inspired by my relationship with my youngest sister. Writing it was healing for me. It was like I gave birth to something new and refreshing. One of the big things I learned was taking it one step at a time. Don’t rush the process. This was really hard for me because I have a project manager background, so I was stressing and getting overwhelmed when I wasn’t sticking to the timeline. Then a soft voice said, “Why are you rushing? This book isn’t being created for you. Let it take its time and it will be the right time.” I was like, “Yeah. Right on!” So, I learned how to take my time and not rush.

BPM: What was your primary quest in publishing this book? Why now?
TPE: My quest in publishing this book is to make it available for people to read in hopes that it reaches the eyes of those in need of it. Why now? Well, because the book chooses its own time to be released.

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?
TPE: Well, after recommending the book and/or purchasing for their friends or family – Pray, meditate, and give thanks for no longer allowing another person’s journey to compromise their own.

BPM: Readers you can follow the author online at the links below.
Tomeekha's website: www.tomeekhapitre.com 
FB: TomeekhaPitre
Instagram: Tomeekha
Twitter: @tomeekha

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Leonard Pitts, Jr.  is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Miami Herald and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, in addition to many other awards. He is also the author of the novels Freeman (Agate Bolden, 2012) and Before I Forget (Agate Bolden, 2009); the collection Forward From this Moment: Selected Columns, 1994-2009, Daily Triumphs, Tragedies, and Curiosities (Agate Bolden, 2009); and Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood (Agate Bolden, 2006). 

Pitts’ work has made him an in-demand lecturer. He maintains a rigorous speaking schedule that has taken him to colleges, civic groups and professional associations all over the country. He has also been invited to teach at a number of prestigious institutions of higher learning, including Hampton University, Ohio University, the University of Maryland and Virginia Commonwealth University. In the fall of 2011, he was a visiting professor at Princeton University, teaching a course in writing about race.

Twice each week, millions of Miami Herald newspaper readers around the country seek out his rich and uncommonly resonant voice. In a word, he connects with them. Nowhere was this demonstrated more forcefully than in the response to his initial column on the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Pitts' column, "We'll Go Forward From This Moment," an angry and defiant open letter to the terrorists, circulated the globe via the Internet. It generated upwards of 30,000 emails, and has since been set to music, reprinted in poster form, read on television by Regis Philbin and quoted by Congressman Richard Gephardt as part of the Democratic Party's weekly radio address. 

Born and raised in Southern California, Pitts now lives in suburban Washington, D.C., with his wife and children.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?

People ask all the time: "Why did you decide to be a writer?" It's a question I always struggle with, because I never decided to be a writer. In other words, there was a never a decision process, per se. I knew from the time I was five that this was what I was put here to do. So the goal for the remaining years of my childhood and, indeed, my professional life, was simply about trying to become good at it and then trying to become better. From the time I was young, I liked telling stories, I enjoyed getting reactions. I think all of us are given certain gifts, certain aptitudes, certain things that fit us, that seem to come more easily to us than they do to other people. For me, that was words. In school, I sweated and worked my tail off for "C" I ever got in math. But every "A" I got in English was as easy as pie.

BPM: Mr. Pitts, how did you get started as a writer?

Well, I began to think of myself as a writer from the time I was five years old, which was a good thing, because it gave me a lot of time to be bad at it. I started sending poems and stories to magazines when I was 12 years old, first became published when I was 14, and first got paid for being published when I was 18. I spent the next 18 years working primarily as a music critic for a variety of magazines and radio programs. 

I was editor of SOUL, a black entertainment tabloid, did freelance work for such magazines as Spin, Record Review and Right On!, co-created and edited a radio entertainment news magazine called RadioScope and was a writer for Casey Kasem's radio countdown show, Casey's Top 40. 

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?

I write because it's my profession, I write because it's the only thing I've ever wanted to do. I write because, if it wasn't my profession and nobody was paying me to do it, I know that I would be still be doing it. I write because this is what I love and it's who I am. I think we tell stories to figure out who we are and what we are about and I am proud of being part of that continuum. I am also driven by the need to see if I can better my best. It's a never-ending game of "Can you top this?"

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
I've never left a book for months. I've been forced to leave a book for weeks though, because sometimes, life intrudes. But the best way to write a book is in one long push of consistent, daily effort. A novel is, at bottom, an elaborate lie. It's an unspoken bargain between writer and reader: I'm going to tell you this story of things that never happened - maybe never could happen – and in exchange for you suspending your disbelief, I'm obligated to make sure this tale I tell is entertaining, funny, gripping, suspenseful, emotionally involving, whatever. But to sell the "lie" you're telling as a writer, you have to first believe it yourself. And I've found that if you stay away from a novel for too long, it can damage your ability to believe in the "lie" - the situations and characters you're chronicling can start to seem cardboard, less real to you. And if you don't believe in them, the reader definitely won't.

BPM: Introduce us to your book, Grant Park and the characters.
Grant Park is a novel about racial disillusionment, friendship, and what I have taken to calling the “stupidification” of America.

Forty years ago, two young men had life-altering encounters with Martin Luther King. Malcolm, a black kid, was a college dropout who scorned nonviolent protest, and embraced street violence as a way of bringing social change. A chance meeting one night with King turned him around, forced him to see the limitations of street violence and convinced him to return to school. He was on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, about to share this news with King when James Earl Ray fired his fatal shot. He has never gotten over what he saw. Bob, a white kid, was attending a Bible college in Mississippi where he fell powerfully in love with Janeka Lattimore, a young black civil rights activist. They attended King's last march – the one in Memphis that ended in a riot. Bob was beaten bloody by an angry young black man in the crowd and right after that, Janeka left him, saying she wanted to go to a black school now, saying she wanted to "be with her people." "I thought I was your people, too," said Bob. He has never gotten over losing her.

Forty years later, Malcolm is a celebrated columnist for a Chicago newspaper, burned out by one too many cases of police violence against unarmed African-Americans and white people not caring about. He writes an angry column - "I'm sick and tired of white folks' bullshit," he says – and when the newspaper refuses to publish it, he hacks his editor's computer and publishes it anyway - one the front page of the paper, on Election Day of 2008. Then unbeknownst to anyone, he is kidnapped by two would-be white supremacist terrorists who intend to blow him up in Grant Park, where President–elect Barack Obama is scheduled to speak. 

Meantime, Bob is now an editor at a Chicago newspaper and before dawn on Election Day, he gets a phone call telling him one of his columnists has hacked his computer to publish an incendiary, offensive column. Bob gets fired for it. The former civil rights activist was already sick and tired of black people always complaining, never being satisfied. Now he's lost his job over black people's whining, and he's furious, ready to strangle Malcolm – if he can only find him. Then he gets an email. Janeka is back in town and she wants to see him.

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?
Oh, yes. Much of the frustration Malcolm experiences in dealing with white readers who will not engage on the subject of racial injustice is something I have experienced firsthand. And the one reader email that sends him over the edge is cobbled together from hundreds of similar emails I have received over the years. I identify with Malcolm's angst, though not with his chosen solution.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate? Entertain? Inspire? 
I think you write to entertain, first and foremost, to tell a story a reader will lose herself or himself in. You try to create characters that will seem real to the reader and then put those characters into situations of physical or emotional danger. Secondarily, you hope that in entertaining people, you can also manage to say something of value, make some observation that will touch them or inspire them or cause them to see old things in new ways. 

BPM: What are some of the benefits of being an author that makes it all worthwhile?
Writing a novel is a year, two years, or more of lonely work, staring at blank screens and not really knowing if what you're doing works or makes any kind of sense. So the best thing about being published is receiving feedback from readers. When somebody tells me they were hurt by something one of my characters did, or a situation a character found him or herself in made that reader cry, that is the highest validation and best compliment I can ever receive. It means the characters seemed real and the story works. Feedback is what makes that lonely year or two worthwhile.

BPM: What’s the most important quality a writer should have in your opinion?
Probably persistence. You have to believe in and hone your talent as a writer and cling to it, sometimes against all odds and common sense. You have to eat rejection for breakfast.

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from reading your book?
I want them to gain enjoyment and entertainment obviously. I'd love for them to think about some of the issues the book raises.  If you or your readers would like to set up a Skype visit to discuss Grant Park or Freeman, go to my website and contact me there: http://leonardpittsjr.com.  I'm available for blog tours as well. 

BPM: How may our readers follow you online? 
Books:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/leonard-pitts-jr.  
Keep up with Leonard at his website:  www.leonardpittsjr.com  
Read Miami Herald column at:  http://www.miamiherald.com/leonard_pitts   
Like Leonard Pitts on FB:  https://www.facebook.com/LeonardPittsJr 
Follow on Twitter: Leonard Pitts Jr can be found at @LeonardPittsJr1.

Order Grant Park by Leonard Pitts Jr. 

Link: http://amzn.com/1932841911 


Other Titles by Leonard Pitts, Jr.
* Becoming Dad
* Before I Forget
* Forward From this Moment
* Freeman
* Grant Park

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Jennifer Streaks

Jennifer Streaks, an Affordable Lifestyle Expert, started her career working in financial compliance for major banking institutions. In 2005, when the economy started a downward spiral and the housing bubble burst, Jennifer, armed with an MBA, found herself at the center of the storm helping individuals save their homes and pay off their credit card debt. 

Jennifer has been on every major TV and radio network (MSNBC, FOX, Fox Business, AlJazeera, CCTV, MarketWatch) and has been published in several national magazines providing practical financial advice that everyone and anyone can immediately put to use to see a change in their financial picture. She has also been called on to report on major financial changes and disruptions such as the foreclosure mess, changes in credit card rules, the increase in prepaid debit card usage and the continued shortage of jobs and the impact on the economy. Her sought after tips show consumers you can achieve an "affordable lifestyle." Travel & entertainment, grocery & home goods, beauty and fitness, finances do not have to be a chore.

BPM: Please tell us more about your non-fiction book, Thrive!... Affordably.

Life is meant to be enjoyed, but let's be honest: It's almost impossible to live a life of abundance when you are drowning in a sea of debt and suffering under the strain of financial struggle. So many people are not free to enjoy life simply because they don't have control over their finances. As a result, they go through life surviving and not truly living.

Thrive!... Affordably, takes the headache and the guesswork out of financial management. It is a monthly "how-to" designed to help the reader meet financial goals one step at a time. The book offers tips, advice, and basic financial management lessons geared towards helping the reader highlight strengths, identify missteps, and take control over finances. If you are looking for a way to permanently free yourself from debt, this book is for you.

Jennifer Streaks takes the mystery out of management, making financial freedom attainable for anyone willing to do the work. You deserve to live your best life. Don't just survive... Thrive!

Listen to the BAN Radio Interview, go here: http://conta.cc/1QNYMBN 

BPM: What was your primary quest in publishing Thrive!...Affordably?

I wanted to give readers a tool that would help them get their financial house in order. I also wanted to provide something that wasn't overwhelming and that was user friendly. I know that with Thrive!...Affordably, I have given the reader an opportunity to develop skills that will make their life easier and better.

BPM: Who is Thrive!... Affordably written for?

This book is for anyone, but specifically for those who want to learn how to spend their money, how to manage their money. Whether you are having financial problems or not, this book will help you learn how to spend and save. Face it, we all will spend money, but knowing how to spend, when and why is important.

BPM: How do you stay on top of your game professionally?

I am an author, but I am also a financial expert and writer. I am frequently called on to be a commentator on news shows and in lifestyle segments to discuss money, consumer issues and lifestyle. I also write for HelloBeautiful.com, and have been published in Black Enterprise, Motley Fool and the HuffingtonPost; and I have a blog on my website on www.JenniferStreaks.com. All of that keeps me on my toes. LOL!

BPM: Do you feel as though your writing is making a positive impact on readers?

I know that my writing is impacting others. People (men and women) frequently contact me and tell me how my money and lifestyle tips have helped them and that my example has inspired them. That is what all of this is for. To put good work out there that truly helps others.

BPM: What advice would you give to a new business owner?

I say this all the time, but make sure that all of the necessary business documents are filed and that you pay your taxes. You will not believe this, but I have run into those that have business cards with a business name on them, but an LLC or Corp has not been filed. In that case, you don't have a business, you have a business card. Also, make sure that you file your taxes and if you need help engage a competent business tax professional. Make sure that you are operating in the right so that your business can grow and thrive!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jstreaks  
Website: http://www.JenniferStreaks.com  

Purchase Thrive! ... Affordably by Jennifer Streaks

Link: http://amzn.com/0692625941  
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692625941
 

 

 

 

 

 


#LifeAfter by Bernice L. McFadden

In 2008, the writing was on the wall that things in my life were about to change and not for the better. The stock market had crashed, taking sixty percent of my retirement money right along with it. To make matters worse - I was out of not one, but two writing jobs. My daughter was in her second year of college, I had a car note, two homes – which of course meant two mortgage payments and a manuscript that no one seemed to want to publish. Oh yeah, and I had no income.

It would take a book to accurately convey how I made it though that dark period of my life. For brevity sake, I will say this: for years, God had been walking a plethora of good, kind and generous people into my life. That combined with my faith and prayer – saw me through.

At the end of 2012, I sold my Brooklyn home and set off on a journey of renewal and rediscovery which I happily refer to as #LifeAfter.  People always ask, what does #LifeAfter mean? What it represents for me is my life after fear and loss.  Between 2009 and 2012 I was so afraid of losing everything I had worked so hard to accumulate, that it nearly drove me insane. After much meditation, tantrums and tears, I came to the realization that holding on to a life that no longer wanted me was affecting my emotional, physical and mental health. 

So, I turned in my car, sold my house, threw caution to the wind and set out to rediscover myself.  Some folks climbing out of trauma crave stability and solace, but I have a roaming spirit and so the best medicine for me has always been escape. A few weeks after I closed on the sale of my home, I was on a plane. In three years I’ve managed to wander as far away as Australia and as close to home as Canada. The thing that I learned while collecting all of those precious air miles, was that the world is indeed round and so is life. 

What the old people say is true: God doesn’t close a door without opening a window.  Being forced to let go of possessions I believed I couldn’t live without, was the best thing that happened to me because now I have less “stuff” and more joy and happiness in my life than I have had in a very long time.

My #LifeAfter has been amazing and as the late great, Ms. Maya Angelou liked to say: “I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.”  I'm looking forward to seeing what  #50Forward will bring!  


Latest Novel:   Loving Donovan by Bernice L. McFadden

A long-awaited reissue of this deeply thoughtful novel about hope, forgiveness, and the cost of loving Donovan, a complex man with a shattered history.

The first section of McFadden’s unconventional love story belongs to Campbell. Despite being born to a brokenhearted mother and a faithless father, Campbell still believes in the power of love . . . if she can ever find it. Living in the same neighborhood, but unknown to Campbell until a chance meeting brings them together, is Donovan, the “little man” of a shattered home—a family torn apart by anger and bitterness.

In the face of daunting obstacles, Donovan dreams of someday marrying, raising a family, and playing in the NBA. But deep inside, Campbell and Donovan live with the histories that have shaped their lives. What they discover—together and apart—forms the basis of this compelling, sensual, and surprising novel.

What people are saying…


One of Library Journal's 25 Key Indie Fiction Titles for Fall 2014-Winter 2015!

Bernice L. McFadden is one of the best contemporary literary writers out there today . . . Her brilliance, her talent as a novelist, is the very life she breathes into all of her characters.” —Terry McMillan, from the Introduction


"A two-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist also twice honored by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, McFadden presents a love story starring Campbell and Donovan—both from shattered homes, both still hopeful, and both shaped more by history than they can imagine. Don't miss."
—Library Journal Prepub Alert

"Loving Donovan firmly establishes McFadden among the ranks of those few writers of whom you constantly beg for more." —Black Issues Book Review

"McFadden is clearly adept in keeping the reader entertained, captivated, and on our toes to try to figure out what's going to happen next. The rich characters, life situations, and language all wrapped up in such a small book and saying so much is a feat."  —Brown Girl Reading


Purchase Loving Donovan by Bernice L. McFadden 

Link: http://amzn.com/1617753181

Bernice L. McFadden photo credit: Eric Payne

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Kimberla Lawson Roby

New York Times Bestselling Author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 20 novels which include A CHIRSTIMAS PRAYER, THE PRODIGAL SON, A HOUSE DIVIDED, THE PERFECT MARRIAGE, THE REVEREND’S WIFE, SECRET OBSESSION, LOVE, HONOR, and BETRAY, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY FOR, A DEEP DARK SECRET, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING, ONE IN A MILLION, SIN NO MORE, LOVE & LIES, CHANGING FACES, THE BEST-KEPT SECRET, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING, A TASTE OF REALITY, IT’S A THIN LINE, CASTING THE FIRST STONE, HERE AND NOW, and her debut title, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, which was originally self-published through her own company, Lenox Press. 

Kimberla has sold more than 2,000,000 copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few, and both BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and CASTING THE FIRST STONE were #1 Blackboard bestsellers for four consecutive months in both 1997 and 2000. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was the #1 Blackboard Best-selling book for paperback fiction in 1997.

Kimberla is a 2014 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, the 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, the recipient of the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 Author of the Year – Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York, the recipient of the 2014 Black Pearls Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award, the recipient of the 2014 AAMBC Award for Female Author of the Year, the recipient of the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for CASTING THE FIRST STONE, the recipient of the 1998 First-Time Author Award from Chicago’s Black History Month Book Fair and Conference, and in 2001, Kimberla was inducted into the Rock Valley College Alumni Hall of Fame (Rockford, IL).

Each of Kimberla’s novels deal with very real issues, including corruption within the church, drug addiction, gambling addiction, infidelity, social status, single motherhood, infertility, sibling rivalry and jealousy, domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental illness, care-giving of a parent, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment, and overweight issues to name a few.

Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will. Her 22nd title, THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL was released June 9, 2015.


BPM: Share with us your personal journey into publishing. Was this a fun time in your life?
Writing was not a lifelong dream of mine, however, back in April 1995 I sat down and began writing my debut novel, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. It took me about seven months to complete, and I then began querying literary agents in search for representation. I was rejected by all of them. Finally, I submitted query letters directly to editors at publishing houses and received rejection letters from them as well. This is when my husband suggested that I start my own company to self-publish my book, and I did. My mom kept telling me not to give up also. As it turned out, I learned a wealth of important and very helpful information about the business of publishing, and I sold just over 10,000 copies within the first 6 months of publication. This was truly a fun and exciting time in my life.

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
My mother and my maternal grandmother were two of the kindest and wisest women I have ever known, and they began instilling a certain level of Christian and family values and wisdom in me from the time I was a small girl. Even after all the rejections, my mom told me I shouldn’t give up (I miss her tremendously), and my husband continues to be my biggest encourager and supporter as well.

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
I believe my literary work speaks to everyone in one way or another. I write about real-life social issues that can and do affect all human beings. Corruption within the church, infidelity, domestic violence, drug addiction, gambling addiction, adult sibling rivalry, care-giving of a terminally-ill parent, childhood sexual abuse, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, social status, overweight issues, and the list goes on. There is also always some level of redemption and forgiveness in every single book I write. I don't consider myself to be a role model per se, but if someone does in fact view me in that manner, my prayer is that I am able to represent myself well, particularly to young people.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?
The latest novel is titled The Ultimate Betrayal, which is my 22nd book and the 12th title in my Reverend Curtis Black Series. It was released, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. It’s been four years since twenty-eight-year old Alicia Black, daughter of Reverend Curtis Black, divorced her second husband, the most womanizing and corrupt man she has ever known. Since then, Alicia has been dating her first husband, Phillip Sullivan, a wonderfully kind and true man of God whom she’d hurt terribly by cheating on him. Alicia has worked hard to prove herself worthy of his trust once more, and when he asks her to marry him again, she couldn’t be happier. 

But Levi Cunningham, the drug dealer Alicia had an extramarital affair with, has just been released from prison, and he has completely turned his life around for the better. Still head-over-heels in love with Alicia, he will do whatever is necessary to win her back. 

Remarrying Phillip is the one thing Alicia has wanted for years, but she can’t get Levi out of her mind. Alicia and Phillip aren’t the only ones in the middle of a crisis. Their best friends, husband and wife Brad and Melanie Richardson, are struggling to keep their marriage together. 

Workaholic Brad is never home and has begun losing thousands on bad investments. Or so he says. Melanie, who is certain there’s more to the story, is determined to get at the truth. At the same time, her frustration and stress cause her to eat a lot less, and she behaves in an extreme fashion. Alicia worries that she could be suffering from anorexia, but Melanie steadfastly denies it. Their friendship begins to suffer, and it isn’t long before they’re talking to each other like enemies. 

Fresh betrayal leads to consequences no one saw coming, and Alicia’s relationship with Phillip might not be the only thing that needs saving. But is it already too late?

 

 

 


Return2Sender 
by Curtis Anthony Brittingham, Sr.

Coming Winter 2016

“Return2Sender” is the first release of phenomenal author Curtis Anthony Brittingham. A true story, it is riveted with the real life and after life experiences of Curtis Anthony Brittingham who was shot nine times, pronounced dead, experienced Heaven and brought back to earth by the Almighty God. 

Years later, Curtis has agreed to share his miraculous story of pain, desperation, life and hope. Growing up in the streets of Trenton, New Jersey, the author shares his testament and faith in a town that held both good and horrific memories. Not only does the author share this true story, he captures the hearts of each reader by making his story relatable to others. Inspirational is just the beginning of what the author delivers to his readers. 

Most importantly is the author’s clear instruction to return those things that you don’t want to accept in your life back to the sender! A must read you don’t want to miss!

Meet the Author
Curtis Anthony Brittingham, Sr. is a native of Trenton, New Jersey. He matriculated at Philadelphia Bible College, and Luther Rice Theological Seminary. Once under the leadership of City of Refuge and the didactical Bishop Noel Jones, Mr. Brittingham has pastored in Union City, Georgia. 

These days, Mr. Britingham evangelizes across the United States and abroad. One of the most profound preachers of the gospel, he most enjoys ministering one on one with his prophetic gifts and letting others know that regardless of your circumstances, “You Can Make It!” 

 

 

 


Go On Girl! Book Club - National Chapters

Responses submitted by Willette Hill. Willette is the Corresponding Secretary for the Go On Girl! (GOG) Book Club. As the Corresponding Secretary, Willette writes letters to the authors and publishers based on members' review of the books on the GOG reading list. Willette is the facilitator of the DC1 chapter and is a member of the organization's Executive Committee. She also chairs the book club's National Awareness Committee and is a member of the book club's Reading List Committee. With the exception of a three-year break, she has been a member of GOG since 1993. 

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! When did your group begin, what year? How many members do you have? 
The Go On Girl! Book Club is the largest national reading organization in the U.S. for black women. Our national headquarters are in New York. In 1991, founders Monique Greenwood, Lynda Johnson and Tracy Mitchell-Brown decided to turn their office chat about the latest offerings from Black authors into formal book discussions with their immediate circle of girlfriends in New York City. 

At the end of the club's first year, Evalyn Rose Hamilton relocated from New York to her native Washington, D.C., and the second chapter of the Go On Girl! Book Club was born. Since 1992, more than 30 chapters have sprung up across the country in much the same way — started by former members relocating to new cities or by members' relatives and friends living in other or the same cities. 

Chapters are limited to 12 members to keep meetings intimate and manageable. In 1995, the club became a legally incorporated non-profit organization, and it currently boasts more than 300 members in cities across the country. We currently have chapters in Alabama, California, DC, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington and Virginia. 

The overall agenda, goals and duties of the organization are administered by an executive committee of 10 women: Lynda Johnson (Co-founder/Chair and Media/Author Relations Chair), Vivian Phillips-Husband and Shirley Coker (Co-Chairs); Valeria Porterfield (Recording Secretary); Evalyn Rose Hamilton (Historian); Tracy Grady (Treasurer); Willette Hill (Corresponding Secretary); Elaine Spears (Parliamentarian); Judy Ivory (Membership Chair) and Joyce Williams (Reading List Chair).

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? 

Our purpose: To expand the members' personal literary experience by:
* Reading quality works written by authors of Black African descent
* Reading a selection of titles that vary in genre from new and classic fiction to science-fiction/fantasy and mystery to social commentary and history to autobiographies/biographies

To encourage responsible writing and publishing of literature written by people of Black African descent by:
* Providing book reviews and letters of encouragement to authors and publishers
* Presenting recognition awards for outstanding literary works
* Purchasing books preferably from African-American booksellers
* Supporting literary events
* Making group investments towards worthy literary endeavors

To provide an open forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions by:
* Having monthly book discussions
* Networking with other book clubs and literary organizations

To expose the Black African Diaspora to literature written by people of Black African descent by:
* Sponsoring Junior Go On Girl! book clubs for young girls
* Hosting/sponsoring literary events on our own or jointly with other organizations and institutions
* Sponsoring/supporting Community Literacy Projects

To strengthen the world community's recognition of literature written by people of Black African descent by:
* Partnering with media outlets to showcase Go On Girl! book selections, discussions, and events in print, radio and television

* Maintaining a comprehensive website that features the complete list of Go On Girl! book selections and award winning authors

BPM: Tell us about your members. What is the demographic of your group? How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole?
GOGs range in age from twentysomething to sixtyplus and they have varied professional backgrounds and personal interests. Each chapter is unique, but what we all share is a love of reading books by authors of the Black diaspora and our love for the Go On Girl sisterhood.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers?
Our Reading List Committee researches and puts together a list of books it feels will be of interest to our members. Every chapter reads the book assigned for that month. The reading list is created twice a year. While our focus for each meeting is the discussion of that month's book, it is common for members to discuss other books of interest at our meetings. 

We use social media to share our featured books with other readers and members in other GOG chapters. In addition to our organization's website, GOG has a Twitter handle, a Facebook page, a Goodreads page, and a Pinterest page. And we will soon launch a GOG blog.

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read as a group? 
GOGs like variety. We have discovered that having books on our reading list from a variety of genres ensures that our members will read books that they might not otherwise read and be introduced to new authors. Our reading list contains titles from the following genre categories: anthology, short story, new author, classic fiction, novel/pop fiction, science-fiction/fantasy, mystery, social commentary, history, and autobiography/biography.

BPM: Do you write and post book reviews to online retailers? How do you handle bad reviews or books that flopped?
The Corresponding Secretary sends a letter to the author and the publisher. During the chapter meeting, members complete a questionnaire and send it to the Corresponding Secretary. She uses the members' feedback to write a letter to the author and publisher of the book. It's rare that a book on our reading list is disliked by all GOGs. Some books are enjoyed by a majority of GOGs; some books are enjoyed only by a few. When writing to the author, the Corresponding Secretary strives to write a balanced letter. She lets the author know what members liked; she uses phrases such as "we were confused as to why …" or "we weren't clear about …" or "some of our members didn't like …" to let the author know what didn't work for us. Members also post comments on our members-only Facebook page and our members-only Goodreads page. 

BPM: What are you reading now? What books are on your reading schedule?
Our book for September is Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith. This is his first book, so he is our New Author category. His book, as well as all other books, were voted on by our Reading List Committee for our July through December list. October's book will be The Sport of the Gods by Paul Laurence Dunbar in our classic category. November's book will be The Granta Book of the African Short Story by Helon Habila in our anthology category. 

And in December, rounding out the year in our autobiography/biography category will be Eslandia: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson by Barbara Ransby. In October, the Reading List Committee will begin looking for books for our January through July reading list.

BPM: Do you host special events during the year? Do you get together as a group to socialize outside of your book club meetings?
YES! GOG hosts an annual Author Awards Weekend held in a different city every year and attended by all the chapters in the organization. Members vote for a winning author in two categories: New Author of the Year and Author of the Year. The winning authors are invited to attend our Author Awards Weekend. The chapter(s) in the designated city is our host chapter. At the author awards lunch (or dinner), the authors are given a handmade plaque especially designed for them. 

Our Author Awards Weekend serves two purposes: it gives our members a chance to express our love and appreciation to the winning authors, and it provides all the chapters a chance to get together to meet/greet and express love for our literary sisterhood. Interviews of our winning authors are published in an annual GOG Magajournal and distributed to our members. 

In between the author awards luncheon or dinner, GOGs enjoy the hospitality and activities that our host chapters plan for us. In 2016, we're excited to be celebrating our 24th Annual Awards Weekend and our 25th Anniversary as a book club in New Orleans, June 2-5. Our website, www.GoOnGirl.org has the details. 

Many of our members socialize outside of our book club meetings. Chapter members also attend author readings and signings in their area to support our writers. For the past two years we have worked collectively with the NAACP by reading, reviewing, and voting for books being considered for their Literary Image Awards. Some of the authors on our reading list were discovered from participating in this project.

BPM: Which is the preferred way to find new books: a friend's recommendation; on social media; or advertisement for the book, such as: online radio, newsletter eblast, contests or tagging on FB?
Members of the Reading List Committee use any and all resources available to find books for our reading list. We scour the internet, read book reviews in magazines (online and paper), listen to interviews and check literary websites, publisher websites, blogs, etc. Sometimes we get book recommendations from GOGs, friends; sometimes authors reach out to us. We're forever searching for that next good book.

BPM: Would you like to chat with your favorite authors on Skype, FaceTime or over the phone? 

YES! GOG has a public Facebook page, as well as a GOG-only page and our members post comments about the books we're reading. We also have a Goodreads page and a Pinterest page. Last but not least, GOGs tweet. Chapters have invited authors to book club meetings and have had phone discussions with authors as well. 

BPM: How can we follow you online? 
Our website:  http:// www.GoOnGirl.org 
Follow us on Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/gogbookclub 
Our Facebook page:  http:// www.facebook.com/GoOnGirlBookClub 
Our Goodreads page:  http:// www.goodreads.com/group/show/31026-go-on-girl-book-club 

 

 



Keisha the Librarian - Suburban Chicago

Keisha Hester is a librarian residing in Chicago. She connects readers with books on a daily basis, and is in the process of writing of her first novel. 

BPM: Please tell us about your work in the library. Are libraries still connecting readers with books?
KH: I’m currently a department manager in a suburban Chicago public library, overseeing instruction and research services for teens and adults. Part of that work is connecting readers with books (readers’ advisory) and leading book discussions. I also schedule classes and events for teens and adults, which includes bringing in instructors to teach our fiction writing classes. 

If nothing else, our library has books. This is not true in some cases, as budgets have fallen and no purchases of newer materials can be made. However, though we cannot buy every book ever printed, we are tapped into a network of libraries throughout the state and country and are likely to be able to obtain material for the reader. Furthermore, we are likely to know about forthcoming books and can put the reader on alert for it once they are published.

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book club conversation? Does the availability of a reading guide help with the discussion?

KH: Certainly we expect that everyone has read the book, even if they don’t like it. Far too often we think we have to like a book, agree with it 100%, in order to discuss it. In actuality, those who have some parts with which they disagree feed into the discussion, because more facets to the story come about to consider. Reading guides help to get a discussion started, however those questions tend to be more esoteric than anything. When we read books, we want to connect the story to our lives, our own experiences, no matter how fictional. We insert ourselves into the plot lines and begin thinking about the character’s next move as if the character were us. Reading guide questions, I’ve found, don’t really delve this deeply into the personal aspects of connecting the reader to the story.

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who might want to start a book club?

KH: Decide the ground rules from day one. If your group will actually discuss the book at length, then requirement number one is that everyone reads it. If it will be more social in nature, then pick books that are light and quicker to read. Also, feel free to totally judge a book by its cover! If it is aesthetically appealing to you, chances are higher that you will read it to completion.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you support self-published authors?

KH: My only preference for the type of book that I read is that it is a good story. Everything that I read, whether personally or professionally, helps me to connect readers with books they might like. It’s what being a librarian is about. I have chosen not to specialize in one genre because I just love reading. There are so many ways to tell a story and I don’t want to miss out! I absolutely support self-published authors, though I wish more of them would take the time to understand what makes a book publishable. Sadly, many that we receive as donations for our collection have failed to go through any creditable editing process. They don’t understand that it’s more than just writing it and selling it on Amazon through CreateSpace. While I don’t want to be a book snob, I want self-published authors to realize that there are publishing standards that apply no matter how the book was produced. When those standards are followed, it adds an air of authority that the book will stand the test of time and continue to be read many, many years into the future.

BPM: Do you host special events during the year?

KH: We sure do! My library offers two writing classes, one for beginners and one for more seasoned writers, both hosted by award-winning, national bestselling authors. These courses help people to find their voice and tell their story. We will also host author showcases and other literary events to get people interested in other authors.

BPM: Which is your preferred way to find new books?
KH: I don’t have a preferred method, as working in a library affords me the opportunity to get pre-publishing information on lots of great titles. We are always talking about books. My patrons will also come in and tell me about books they’ve read and ask for others by certain authors.

BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore?  
KH: I primarily get my books through the library! I will purchase those that have made the greatest impact on my life that I would want to read again and again. And as much as I want everyone to go out and purchase the book from the author so that the author makes a sale, this just isn’t possible for everyone to do. So libraries stand in that gap. You may have a library patron who has to make the choice between buying a book or buying food. It doesn’t mean that this person forgoes all pleasures of life, including reading, but that there are other decisions to be made from the choices at hand. Being able to borrow a book from the library still exposes the reader to great writers, and is a way to track how many times that book has been shared. We do sometimes turn this data around and approach publishers, and authors, with it letting them know there is a demand for a particular work. We will also use this data to bring the author into the library for an event or class, giving them more of a platform to share their work.

BPM: How do ebooks play into this? Would you ever stop buying printed books?
KH: Libraries now offer ebooks through various platforms to patrons, though not every ebook is available for libraries to purchase. The publishers have placed certain restrictions on their digital works, which is unfortunate. Personally, I would never stop buying printed books. Here’s why: you don’t actually own the digital book itself in some cases. Publishers can essentially encrypt files to self-destruct after a certain time period, as it were, which is what happens when you borrow it from a library. After the loan period is up, you can no longer access the ebook unless you check it out again. And the platform that you use to access that ebook could also go away. What would you do with the files then, if the platform used to access them no longer existed? With the printed word, all you have to do is go to your book shelf, pull it off, sit down, and read!

BPM: Can we invite you to future events, social media chats and discussions?
KH: I would love to be part of future events! Please do invite me.
Instagram: thatotherkeisha
Facebook: www.facebook.com/keisha.thelibrarian

 




Books and Booze - Chicago 

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! What is the name? Where are you located? 
I'm Lutisha Bass from the Books and Booze Book Club. We are based in Chicago, IL. A few of us have known each other for years and knew we shared a love for reading. One day our founder, Jomonique Moore, posted a request online asking anyone if they'd be interested in forming a book club. The response was great and we've been meeting ever since. That was over a year ago to date. Our first meeting was Aug 2014. We have 62 online members that join our chats via social media. However, we have 15 members who come out face-to-face every meeting. We have not elected any officials for the group. 

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read as a group?  
A: The genre of our books vary. I would like to see our group venture off into possibly making our own 'books n'booze guide to 'Owning your own kind of beautiful, self love and empowering women' kind of guide. Some of the experiences we've shared with each other has the capability to reach other women in a positive way. I really don't know if the types books have change over time.

BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore? 
A: Primary way to find a book: Usually I stick with the authors of books that I've previously read and enjoyed BUT if I step outside of that norm I seek the recommendations of friends/associates whose opinions I value.

BPM: What are you reading now? How did you find out about this book? 
A: Our next read is Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely. How we work is, the person who chooses to host the meeting at their home chooses the book. We never know exactly why they pick certain books unless they share at the meeting. Also, so far, we don't have a reading schedule. Everyone likes the element of surprise of not knowing what's coming next. 

BPM: What are key factors that help a book remain on your mind long after the last page?
A: Great characters will help a book remain in the mind long after the last page. If you can't remember the characters you are less likely to remember what they did. 

BPM: Do you host special events during the year? Do you get together as a group to socialize outside of your book club meetings?
A: We don't host special events outside of our reading meetings. However, many of our members belong to other groups. We try to support our members in their other endeavors. It is always great to show support to our artists, musicians, and other authors of the group. We are planning to host an annual summer picnic for family and friends of Books and Booze.  

BPM: Have you faced any challenges as a group? If so, what and how did you deal with them?
A: The only problem we've faced is scheduling our meetings. With everyone leading fruitful and busy lives everyone is not always available. We are now trying to be a static date, like the last Sunday every other month, to meet so people can plan their lives around the block club date.

BPM: Can we invite you to future events, social media chats and discussions?
I would love to be part of future events! Please do invite me.

 

 

 

 


TaNisha Webb - KC Girlfriends Book Club 

TaNisha Webb is the president of the award winning KC Girlfriends Book Club. TaNisha is also the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Book Club 101 Magazine, founder of Book Club 101 University and author of The Ultimate Book Club Experience: How to Create & Maintain a Successful Book Club.

BPM: Please tell us about your blog, bookstore or book club! Where are you located? 
KC Girlfriends Book Club is located in the Kansas City Metropolitan area. Our book club was established in 2002 by a group of girlfriends that decided to create a book club to discuss their favorite authors’ books. In 2003, our book club dwindled down to two members due to various reasons. The sole original member and I decided to advertise the book club on a local social event calendar and our book club grew from two members to forty-one members within one and one-half years. We are now at a comfortable and dedicated twelve members at this time.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Do you host events?
The purpose of the KC Girlfriends Book Club is to support new and underexposed authors. The books we discuss have to be written by an African American author or the main character has to be African American. Our book club have supported authors by coordinating literary events and sponsoring book signings in our area.

BPM: What has the main focus become over the years? What legacy will your club or blog leave for those watching in the community?
I believe our main focus over the years has been to shine a spotlight on new and underexposed author by providing years of our book selections on our website, which has provided free marketing for authors. We were also one of the first book clubs to have our own online radio show that provided opportunities for new and underexposed authors a platform to share their work, along with our literary events and sponsored book signing opportunities throughout the years.

BPM: Tell us about your blog and any contributing members. What is the demographic of your group? 
Our group is made up of all women, although we’ve had a few men join our group over the years. The age range of our group is from late-20’s to mid- 50’s.

BPM: When accepting members into the group, what are you looking for in the person? Has it been difficult to get people to join the group or to stay in the group? 
As a KC Girlfriends Book Club member you have to be able to meet on a regular basis and keep up with the selected reading material. We look for members that is willing to help us coordinate and/or host events as well. Because we have a strong internet presence with our website we do not have any difficulties finding new members. We have an application process to help us initially figure out who would be a good fit for our book club. The applicant is invited to sit into our next book club meeting to see if we all mesh. We only accept fifteen members at one time. 

We’ve had members come and go for personal reasons over the year. Some come back and some don’t. Our former members are still family and are welcome to come back. Ultimately, we’re not concerned how big or small our book club is but more focused on attracting the right members to help sustain our book club for 13+ more years!

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book conversation? Do you keep the conversation on topic, or roam? Does the availability of a reading guide help with the discussion?

The first thing that makes a good book discussion is when all of the members have read the entire book. Regardless if the book is good or bad you really can’t have any discussion if no one has read the entire book. Having a group in various age range also helps with having a great discussion because everyone has different prospective versus a group that’s the same age. Coed book clubs probably have better book clubs than same sex book clubs because men will bring an entirely different prospective to a discussion. 

All good book clubs will generally roam off topic! LOL Generally this happens because we’ll begin to discuss our own personal experience that the book reminded us. These particular part of the discussions actually helps book clubs to become like family because we learn more about one another when we discuss our personal experiences. 

A good facilitator will know when to move the discussion along. For our book club the reading guide doesn’t help our discussions at all because we’re already thinking of questions as we’re reading the book. We’ve never gotten through even half of the questions of a reading guide because we will generally think of better questions to ask, which will take the discussion in an entirely different direction. However, reading guides can be very helpful for new book clubs.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month?  Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers?

The past 3-4 years have been rough for our book club due to the poor book selections so this past year we decided to change the way we select books. We now select a book theme/genre and the facilitator has to select three books that fit that particular theme/genre. Our book club then vote on an online poll and whichever book gets the most votes is selected. All of our book club members read outside of our book selection but we do not discuss other books other than our book selection with one another. I generally will share what our book club is reading on the day we meet. All of our book selections are listed on our website as well.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you support self-published authors? 
Our book club mainly read books by authors of color but over this past year we have allowed books by other authors as long as the main character is of color. Our main reason for this is because we read new and underexposed authors and sometimes the selections are very slim and we’ve quite frankly have had way too many bad experiences with book selections over the past 3-4 years. 

We do support self-published authors and have had the pleasure of watching many grow into well-established authors over the years. Some of us do borrow books from the library. The library can be a great resource for book clubs and it also helps some of our members that may not be able to afford to purchase books all the time.

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read? Have the types of books changed over time?
We read all books except poetry, most autobiographies, erotica and street lit.

BPM: What are you reading now? How did you find out about this book? What books are on your reading schedule?
We’re currently reading Supreme Justice by Gary Hardwick. I’m not sure how one of our members heard about this particular book but we’re all connected to social media, attend literary events and also take suggestions from other book clubs and readers. We do not have any other books on our schedule for this year. We will begin selection books for 2016 soon and generally try to have at least four months of books selected at a time.

BPM: How do you feel about attending book signings, literary festivals and events? What are some things you would like to see at events? Any dislikes? Do you like to hear the author reading from the book?
We like attending book signings, literary festivals and events. Our book club generally learn about new and underexposed authors at various literary events and tend to suggest the books of the authors that we meet and like as book selections.

Honestly, I really think it depends on the type of event on what I like to see. I do like events that introduce new authors that have well-written books. Those are the authors I tend to look for at events and not so much of the well-known authors (outside of the ones that I’m a real fan.) 

I do not like events that are not well balanced and do not understand who their audience is. There’s absolutely no reason to have the majority of panel discussions focused on the publishing industry/marketing when your audience are primarily readers and book clubs. I do like to her authors read from their book but no more than five minutes.

BPM: Has social media changed how you feel about any authors? Do you like to find new authors and interact online? 

Interacting with authors on social media has definitely changed my perspective both good and bad. I think some authors share way too much about their personal and sometimes professional issues that have no place on social media and definitely changes my view on them. I’m not interested in knowing every aspect of anyone’s life, including authors. However, there are some authors that give you just enough and are quite pleasant online that enjoy quite a bit. I do like finding new authors and interacting with them online.

BPM: How can we follow you online? Do you have a website or social media pages?
Website: www.kcgirlfriendsbookclub.com 
Book Club 101 Magazine’s website www.bookclub101mag.com
Twitter: KC_Girlfriends
Instagram: tanishawebb1
Facebook: KCGirlfriendsBookClub

 




Reading with Soul - Columbus, Ohio

BPM:  Please tell us about your bookclub. How did you come together as a group?
My name is Sheryl Towns, President of "Reading With Soul." We are located in Columbus, Ohio. Reading has always been a passion. I had friends, family and co-workers who read all the time. We would share books and discuss them whenever we got together. I was a member of a bookclub previously and I realized I wanted to join another bookclub, but then I choose to start my own. I made fliers, posting them in places where you would see readers (hair salon/work).

In November, 2006 we had our first meeting at Barnes and Noble. We started with five members. Those same five ladies are still members. Our membership has been up and down. Thank God we are blessed to have a total of nine members.

BPM: I love the photos submitted with the interview and how you submitted the interview! 
Thank you.  Each member has answered a question for this interview.  The two pictures shown are from a recent event with author EN Joy and the next photo is from one of our meetings. We had two very special guests, Joy who is an honorary member of our book club and the author of a book we read that recently D. L Augustine. 

BPM: What is the purpose of your organization?
Our purpose is to give back to the community and to read for enjoyment, enrichment and knowledge. -Pat, Reading with Soul Member

BPM: Tell us about your members. How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole?
We are in an age range from 40's and up. Some have known each other over the years and become close over time. We all seem so much like family and have a great time during each meeting. You will always feel the love we have for each other.  -Sandy, Reading with Soul Member

BPM: Which is the preferred way to find new books: a friend’s recommendation; on social media, or advertisement for a book, such as; online radio, newsletter e-blast, contests or tagging on FaceBook?
My preferred method of finding new books is by going through the books recommended to me on my Kindle e-reader. These selections are based on the types of books that I have purchased previously; I have found a lot of good books that way. However, if I don’t like any of the books recommended to me on the Kindle e-reader; I will ask friends and family about the books they are currently reading or have read in the past. Recently, I have found a couple of good books based on advertisements on my Facebook timeline. -Keisha M. Flood, Reading with Soul Member

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you support self-published authors? Do you borrow books from the library?
We can read books by any author, but we mostly read authors of color. Yes, I will support self-published authors, yes will borrow from the library as well as downloading onto my Kindle. -Debbie, Reading with Soul Member

BPM: What are key factors that help a book remain on your mind long after the last page?
The key factors that I look for and remain long after the last page are, when a book club member relates, and feel happy or sad for a character, or when we want to just say a prayer for when the pain of a character effects our soul.
-JoAnna Clark, Reading with Soul Member

BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore?
I prefer to read hard copy books, because I prefer to read hard copy books and keep them as keepsakes. The price of the books does not matter to me. I would not stop buying hard copies and I doubt that I would switch to digital books permanently.  -Deanne Payne, Reading with Soul Member

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book club conversation?
In my opinion a book that contains controversial characters; characters that some will like and others will dislike. I also think the topic of the book will make for good book club conversation.  -Monte, Reading with Soul Member

BPM: Do you host special events during the year or do you work for any charities?
We haven't hosted any special events yet that invite outside guest. For our charitable giving, and as our way of giving back and supporting the community, since our book club started we have been involved with a homeless family shelter. A couple times a year we purchase food, cook and serve the residents. In addition to that, we donate items and gift cards to this shelter.  -Leslie, Reading with Soul Member




 

 


Chocolate Beauties - Pontiac, Michigan

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! What is the name? Where are you located? 
We are the Chocolate Ceauties Cookclub  located in Pontiac, Michigan.  We were established in 2010 by our president/founder Angela Hunt.  Currently we have 14 members.

BPM: what is the purpose for your organization?
We are a sisterhood of fun loving, reading women.  The Chocolate Beauties purpose:
• To have a strong, positive and divine sisterhood
• To uplift and not tear one another down
• To push each other forward when we are stuck in our situations
• To encourage each other to reach our goals
• To pray for one another
• To fellowship and have fun
• And of course to discuss the book of the month

BPM: Tell us about your members. What is the demographic of your group? 
We are all African American women (single, married, mothers, working, 35 years or older)  Our Group Personality: good hearted, comedians, some what serious – great combination that works together

BPM: When accepting members into the group, what are you looking for in the person? Has it been difficult to get people to join the group or to stay in the group? 
New members should love to read, ready to share, ready to have fun, enjoy working with the community and be dedicated.  We try to stay away from negative people.  Our membership goes up and down due to work, schedules and/or loss of interest. There is no online version of the group.

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book club conversation? Do you keep the conversation on topic, or roam? Does the availability of a reading guide help with the discussion?
A good book club conversation is when the whole group has read the book and comes to the meeting ready to share their thoughts, opinions, personal feelings and/or what they thought should have happened in the book. The questions in the back of the book helps, but the members generally come with their set of questions.  Side bar conversations are not allowed in the meeting…..helps to keep the meeting on track.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? Do you read and discuss books outside of the book of the month? Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers?
• Our books are generally selected by the hostess for the meeting.
• Some members have time to read outside of the book of the month.
• As of today, we do not use social media to share our featured books with other readers.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you support self-published authors? Do you borrow books from the library?
• 100% of the books that we read are by authors of color.
• Yes we support self-published authors.
• Yes, some members borrow books from the library.

BPM: What type of books have generated the most interesting discussions? Why?
True, gritty stories (storylines where the members can relate.)

BPM: Can you share a few 5-star books that have expanded your horizons?
The Stalker Chronicle Series by Electa Rome Parks;  The Man In 3B, Family Business Series, and the Choir Director Series all by Carl Weber.

BPM: What are you reading now? How did you find out about this book?
We are reading “The Ties That Bind” by Electra Rome Parks. Next readings are selected by the meeting hostess.

BPM: How do you feel about attending book signings, literary festivals and events? 
We as a group will be attending our 1st book signing on November 8th. However, some members have attended book signings prior to joining the book club.

BPM: Do you host special events during the year or do you work for any charities? Do you get together as a group to socialize outside of your book club meetings?
No special events are held. However, we held a celebration in July 2015 to celebrate our 5th year anniversary.  Yes, we get together as a group outside of book club meeting to attend other social events and to support fellow book club members in their community activities.

BPM: What is the preferred way to find new book?
Most books are selected/found via book club members or friends.

BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore? Do you prefer to read digital books? Does the price of ebooks play a big part in the purchase? Would you ever stop buying printed books?
Members are responsible for purchasing their books. Most are purchased online and/or in bookstores. Some members use/have the Kindle reader. Cost/price does not play a part in book selection/purchase. Yes, we will continue to purchase printed books.

BPM: Have you faced any challenges as a group? If so, what and how did you deal with them?
We have had an issue with members keeping their personal woes out of the meetings and/or group. Generally the President will have a 1 on 1 with them.

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who might want to start a book club?
• Be patient
• Keep mess and messy people out
• Enjoy the fellowship/sisterhood
• Have fun

BPM: How can we follow you online? 
Facebook: CHOCOLATEBEAUTIES BOOKCLUB


 

 



Sisters With Books - Los Angeles California

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! How many members do you have? 
We are "SISTERS WITH BOOKS." We are located in Los Angeles California. Our group began in 1995. A group of black women mainly educators decided they wanted to discuss books after they've read them. On roll, we have 25, we average 15 to 20 every month.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Does the name have a special meaning?
The purpose of our reading club is sisterhood, and to read books written by black women. We have made exceptions: Leonard Pitts, Amy Tan, Daniel Black, and Guy Johnson.

BPM: Tell us about your members. How would you describe the personality of your group?
Sisters With Books consist of black women, ages 40's 50's 60's and 70's. We're high energy, love to debate and generous.

BPM: When accepting members into the group, what are you looking for in the person? 
We have an open door policy. Our core members have been constant (15 members) we read a book a month, which can be challenging for some women who have younger children. If you're an introvert, Sisters With Books probably is not the group for you.

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book club conversation? Does the availability of a reading guide help with the discussion?
A twist in a story leads to a good book club discussion. Loving Donanvan by Bernice Mcfadden, lead to a discussion about our black men, and how so many of them have not been taught. We almost always have "side bars," a OJ SIMPSON TRIAL TERM. Each facilitator is different. We have some pretty creative women, a reading guide is good but not necessary.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? 
We select our books for the next year in November. We don't meet in December, because that month gets busy with holiday activities. When suggesting a book, it should have been read by the person recommending. We have side books that are put on an alternative list. The side books don't necessarily get discussed in our group. Two or three will get together outside the group. Our group of women are just becoming social media friendly.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you borrow books from the library?
Authors of color, absolutely. We feel we're their voice. Pamela Samuels is one of our favorite authors. She has been brave enough to come to our book circle. The library is our friend. It can be costly purchasing a book every month. Most of the women have a Kindle or iPad, but everyone agrees, there's nothing like holding an actual book.

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read as a group?  
We love historical fiction, we don't do well with biography, although Dorothy Dandridge was well received. We have a tendency of going back to our favorite authors: Bernice McFadden, Pamela Samuels Young, Ayana Mathis, Pearl Cleage, Anita Buckley, Dolen P. Valdez,Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant. Leonard Pitts, Dwayne Smith, and Daniel Smith. 

BPM: What are key factors that help a book remain on your mind long after the last page?
In "Freeman" the charcter's quest to find his wife.
In "12 Tribes of Hattie" each character could have been a book.
In "Silver Sparrow " we knew of someone living a double life.

BPM: Do you post book reviews? How do you handle bad reviews or books that flopped?
Individuals have posted reviews. We give suggestions and identify what we didn't agree with. In 2011, Sisters With Books participated in DIGG INTO BOOKS web show, created by 4 Hearts Productions. It can be found on YouTube

BPM: What type of books have generated the most interesting discussions? Why?
The historical fiction "Wench" was the book we discussed on YouTube slavery vs enslaved. "Gathering of Waters" by Bernice McFadden, spirits, and so many of the women experienced spirits. "Before I Forget" by Leonard Pitts Jr., a Blackman realizing he wasn't a good father.

BPM: Can you share a few 5-star books that have expanded your horizons?
FREEMAN by Leonard Pitts Jr.
Before I Forget by Leonard Pitts Jr.
Loving Donovan by Bernice McFadden
What Looks like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage

BPM: What are you reading now? How did you find out about this book? 
We
're reading 40 Acres bybDwayne Smith, a recommendation from a book club member.  Next up: 
1. My Name is Butterfly by Bernice McFadden
2. Murder at Cape Three Points by Kwei Quartey
3. Balm by Dolen P. Valdez 

BPM: How do you feel about attending book signings, literary festivals and events? 
Love book signings and love to hear the author read from their book. We've had the privilege of having: 
Anita Buckely, Dwayne Smith, Pamela Samuels Young and Eric Jerome Dickey.

BPM: Do you get together as a group to socialize outside of your book club meetings?
We've attended Alvin Ailey dance performance of "Stormy Weather" a Lena Horn play.  Attended a garden tour. Attended an opera performance by Lauren Michelle (a book club member's daughter who is scheduled to perform at the DC OPERA HOUSE and ST. LOUIS OPERA HOUSE next year. We're proud! We also attended the Obama Inauguration. 

BPM: Which is the preferred way to find books:  recommendations, social media or advertisements?
Recommendations are how we prefer to select books for the group and personally.

BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore? 
I still support our community black bookstore Esowon. We give them our book list for the year and they will purchase. They also give us a discount. There are some books that can only be bought online.

BPM: Have you faced any challenges as a group? If so, what and how did you deal with them?
One of our original book club members, lost her only child in a horrific car accident. It was in the month of June, she had just retired from teaching, her anniversary week-end and Father's Day.  We rallied around her. There are some books, that are just to difficult for our sister friend to handle. She has started attending book club again. This happened 3 years ago.We had a special meeting just to talk, it was therapeutic. This is an example of how our book club has served many purposes.

BPM: Has social media changed how you feel about any authors? 
Social media has not changed me, because I seek out new authors, new books because I love to read!

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who might want to start a book club?
Do it for the love of the written word, everything else will follow. Respect other points of view. We can agree to disagree.

BPM: Do attend Twitter chats or Facebook chats? Ever viewed a Goggle Hangout or Periscope show? 

Haven't attended chats, would love to Face Time with our favorite authors, such as Bernice Mcfadden and Leonard Pitts Jr.   

BPM: What legacy will your club or blog leave for those watching in the community?
Sisters With Books' legacy will be black women coming together through adversity as well as celebrating each other.

 

 

 

 


Marcus Book Club - Oakland, CA 


Interview with La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson & Yolanda Smith, (original members) of Marcus Book Club (MBC)

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! How did your club get started?
MBC: Marcus Book Club started in August of 1997, in Oakland, CA as a part of Marcus Book Store (the oldest, African American owned bookstore in the nation.) We gathered that first time as a group of 232 readers, divided into 6 “Chapters.”  Each Chapter met once per month, at the book store. Our first book was “My Soul To Keep” by Tananarive Due, who remains a favorite author. Over time the numbers decreased, eliminating the need for Chapters. Today we are 12 – 15 strong and meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Meetings are still held at Marcus Book Store.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Does the name have a special meaning?
MBC: Our book club’s main focus is in alignment with the tradition of Marcus Books; to read and discuss books BY and ABOUT Black People everywhere. The book club has the name of the bookstore, which was named in honor of Marcus Garvey.

BPM: Tell us about your members. How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole?
MBC: Our book club is primarily female, black and over the age of 30. We tend to be serious about great literature and sometimes have to remind ourselves to “lighten up” and make some “completely fun” book selections. We enjoy diverse opinions and lively discussions.

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book club conversation? Do you keep the conversation on topic, or roam? Does the availability of a reading guide help with the discussion?
MBC: A good book club discussion usually includes one or all of the following: thoughtful and diverse opinions and perspectives, a moderator who is comfortable with differing ideas and is able to bring in the less talkative members, provocative and interesting discussion questions and FUN!!! 

We often develop our own questions, but have also used reading guides. We allow for “roaming”, particularly when current events connect to our book discussion, and keep the conversation on topic to respect the reason everyone came together – to discuss the book.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers?
MBC: Each member is responsible for facilitating a discussion. The facilitator selects 2 – 3 books for the group to vote on and the book with the most votes is then read and discussed. We usually do not discuss books outside of our selection, but often recommend books to each other that members are reading outside of the book club. While individual members most definitely share with their networks what we are reading, we do not use social media to do this.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you support self-published authors? 
MBC: Yes and Yes again. Occasionally, we read a book by an author who is not Black, but the topic is always about Black people. We support self-published authors. As a book club that originated out of a book store and feel very strongly about supporting independent booksellers, all book club selections are purchased from Marcus Book Store.

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read as a group? 
MBC: We read from a variety of genres; ranging from mystery to fantasy. We read both fiction and non-fiction. The only genre that we haven’t read has been romance. This has not changed over time.

BPM: What are key factors that help a book remain on your mind long after the last page?
MBC: The key factor that usually keeps us talking about a book is usually the characters. We also find ourselves referring back to books that were very well written or helped us to see and/or understand something from a new perspective.

BPM: What types of books have generated the most interesting discussions? Why?
MBC: Books that force us to address cultural and societal issues have generated the most interesting discussions because everyone has some level of investment in the topic. It is not out of the ordinary that we will “agree to disagree” during these discussions.

BPM: Can you share a few 5-star books that have expanded your horizons?
MBC: This is an avid reader’s least favorite question, with so many wonderful books that have expanded our horizons. Forcing ourselves to pick, here goes….1- Men We Reaped (Jesmyn Ward), 2 -Perfect Peace (Daniel Black), 3- The Warmth of Other Suns (Isabel Wilkerson), 4 – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot), and 5 – Anybody’s Daughter (Pamela Samuels-Young.) 

BPM: What are you reading now? What books are on your reading schedule?
MBC: Right now we are reading Attica Locke’s “Pleasantville.” She has fast become a book club favorite. Up next for us are “Driving The King” by Ravi Howard and an author who is new to the book club, Bryan Stevenson (“Just Mercy.”)

BPM: How do you feel about attending book signings, literary festivals and events? Do you like to hear the author reading from the book?
MBC: Individually and as a book club, we enjoy attending book signings, literary festivals and events. Several of our members are regulars at the National Book Club Convention held in Atlanta and The United California African American Bookclubs “Fall Into Fiction Event” held each September. There is nothing like hearing the author read from the book. It often brings a better understanding of book and/or characters. Raffles and Gift Giveaways at these events are always a PLUS!

BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore? Would you ever stop buying printed books?
MBC: We purchase all our book club selections from Marcus Book Store. While most of our members also read digital books outside of the book club we would never consider not buying printed books.

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who are in or who might want to start a book club?
MBC: Have fun, give everyone equal voice and be open to reading books you might not choose on your own. There have been many times when we did not like the book and had amazing discussions or developed a different appreciation for the book.

BPM: Can we invite you to future events, social media chats and discussions? How can we follow you online? Do you have a website or social media pages?
MBC: We don’t have an online presence separate from the bookstore. Gives us something to consider. In the meantime you can reach us via Marcus Books on Facebook. 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/marcusbooks

Shown in the  First Picture: 
(Left to Right) Standing: Dera Williams, Freda Pleasants, Denise Crawford

(Left to Right) Seated: Yolanda Smith, Iris Brooks

Members not pictured:

Blanche Richardson (founder), Deborah Burton, Tira McDonald, Jim McDonald, Christine Munroe, Barbara Taylor, Phil Wilhite, Bernardean Broadous, Monica Brandon, Lucretia Cotton

 

 

 


Soul Sistahs Book Club - Chattanooga, TN

Soul Sistahs Book Club was founded in 2011 by Kenya Ervin of Chattanooga, TN. Initially comprised of coworkers, membership has been extended to close family and friends that share a passion for books. Soul Sistahs Book Club's mission is to promote literacy and encourage sisterhood among women of all ages and backgrounds through the love of reading and lively conversations.  Interview questions completed by Kenya Ervin, President, Soul Sistahs Book Club.

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! How many members do you have? 
SSBC: Soul Sistahs Book Club was founded in September 2011 by Kenya Ervin. Currently, we do not have officers assigned, but everyone comes together to get things done. We are located in Chattanooga, TN and we have five active members. Our club was started because I loved to read but I never had anyone to talk to about the books after I finished. I sought out like-minded individuals that were looking for the same thing and a book club was born. 

BPM: Tell us about your members. How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole? 
SSBC: Our group consists of professional African-American women in our thirties. We all have extremely different personalities so when we come together, it makes for a very animated discussion. We really enjoy having fun and thought provoking discussions during our meetings.

BPM: When accepting members into the group, what are you looking for in the person?  Do you have an online version of the group?
SSBC: When accepting members into the group, we explain all of our requirements in detail. We look for people that love to read and are willing to commit to attending meetings once per month. Over the years, it has been difficult for people to stay in the group due to their lack of commitment and participation. We do not offer an online version of the book club at this time but we do have dedicated Facebook and Twitter pages to interact with other readers and authors.

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book club conversation? Does the availability of a reading guide help with the discussion?
SSBC: In my opinion, being honest and open-minded makes a good book club conversation. Our conversations roam to different topics most of the time but we are usually able to reel everyone back in to finish the topic at hand. We use reading guides for some of our discussions and they can be really helpful in keeping the discussions on track.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? When do you select the books? 
SSBC: When we started the book club, I would search online and best sellers lists to choose our book of the month. I would choose three books and allow my members to vote on the book they would like to read for the following month. Recently, I started a "Book Box". I allow my members to write names of books on a slip of paper and drop it into the box whenever they like. Each month, I draw from the box and that's what we will read. It's been very interesting so far.

BPM: Do you read and discuss books outside of the book of the month?
SSBC: Absolutely! We're always reading and if someone reads a book that they enjoyed, we love to talk about it and possibly add it as a book of the month selection.

BPM: Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers?
SSBC: Yes. Twice a month I share what we're reading on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore? Do you prefer to read digital books? Would you ever stop buying printed books?
SSBC: We primarily purchase our books online. Most of my members prefer to read digital books. I am still partial to printed books and I will never stop buying them.

BPM: Can we invite you to future events, social media chats and discussions? How can we follow you online? Do you have a website or social media pages?
SSBC: Yes to all of the above! We can be reached at the following locations:
Twitter: @BookSistahs
Facebook: www.facebook.com/soulsistahs.bookclub

 

 

 


Book Pearls Book Club- Chester, Virginia 

There are readers, individuals who may casually stroll from series to series as film adaptations have peaked their interest and driven them to the nearest bookstore or library. Then there are literary advocates, individuals who believe that books are as recreational as they are academic and socially impactful; these are individuals who have made it their life's work to foster and nourish the livelihood of literature despite society's shift and focus on media that can be absorbed quickly. 

Opting to combine the base philosophy of literary advocates like herself with her personal beliefs, Yvonne Bailey has founded Book Pearls, a book club devoted to increasing readership within Black communities and uniting women through sisterhood and fellowship. 

The Book Pearls meet monthly to discuss the chosen book of the month. Each discussion is different as these women have chosen to embrace all literary genres. "We love to read all genres, each book that we read carries a different message and has touched our lives in various ways".

Often, the monthly meetings carry the Pearls to various locations within their community and surrounding areas as they believe literature is a moving art form that reflects the world we live in. As the Pearls grow, they hope to become more involved within their local communities and reading communities worldwide. 

Currently, the Book Pearls are reading Crazy Rich Asian by Kevin Kwan. You can join their discussion by liking them on Facebook at Book Pearls.

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! How many members do you have?
Book Pearls: We are an awesome group of women who love books, family and each other. The name of our book club is Book Pearls and we are located in Chester, Virginia which is located about ten minutes outside of Richmond, Virginia. The group was started in September of 2012 after an interest meeting and as of today we currently have six members.

BPM: Tell us about your members. How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole?
Book Pearls: I have the pleasure of knowing five spirited women who not only love me and allow me to be in their presence but also uplift and nourish who i am destined to be. These women share a love of life that only comes around once in a lifetime and I am honored to be a part of their lives. Book Pearls is composed of six strong willed, enjoying life, open-minded women.

BPM: In your opinion what makes a good book club discussion? Do you keep the conversation on topic, or roam? Does the availability of a reading guide help with the discussion?
Book Pearls: A good book club discussion should always have you wanting more. As a reader, I am always searching for ways that I can either relate to the characters or the story, in the event i am unable to personally relate to the character or topic of the book then i revel in the opportunity to have been introduced to new ideals. As a group we are always looking to better our discussions by being able to relate or place ourselves in the characters shoes. As the leader I try to keep the discussion on topic as much as I possibly can however, there will be times when it is necessary to go off topic as it relates to either of the members lives or we may just need a moment to vent. I have found in the past that a reading guide can be helpful but it is also intriguing to see what questions the host may create as well.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? Do you read and discuss books outside of the book of the month? Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers?
Book Pearls: Whoever host for that particular month gets to choose the book. This gives each member a voice and a chance to pick a book they may have been wanting to read for some time. We generally do not read and discuss books outside of our book club pick. We may read other books during the month and suggest them to one another but we do not discuss them. We are currently on Facebook and will be branching out to Instagram and twitter within this month. We share our bookclub meetings as well as our featured books on Facebook.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you support self-published authors? Do you borrow books from the library?
Book Pearls: As a group we love our authors of color and try to support them as much as we possibly can but we generally read all authors. We support self-published authors and the public library is our friend.

BPM: Do you write and post book reviews to online retailers? How do you handle bad reviews or books that flopped?
Book Pearls: We love to write reviews. This allows us to voice our opinion and to give the author honest feedback. As for bad reviews or flopped books, the authors should be told. As readers we pay for a book hoping for the best, in many cases the books turn out to be decent and in the event that is does not, the author needs to know the readers thoughts.

BPM: What are you reading now? How did you find out about this book? What books are on your reading schedule?
Book Pearls: We are currently reading, Crazy, Rich, Asians by Kevin Kwan. This book was chosen by Lady Pearl Candice. We choose books on a month to month basis so we do not have a reading schedule.

BPM: How do you feel about attending book signings, literary festivals and events? Do you like to hear the author reading from the book?
Book Pearls: Book Pearls love to attend book signings and literary events. We just attended The Black Authors and Readers Rock literary event. While we love self-published authors, we would love to see more known authors at some of these events. 

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who are in or might want to start a book club?

Book Pearls: The biggest advice to give to someone who is wanting to start a book club, Go for it! Life is too short to not live it beautifully, so why wait or let fear cripple you. Call a few friends who share the love of reading and choose a book. If you would like please follow us on Facebook: Book Pearls. Interview submitted by Renee Bailey, president of Book Pearls Bookclub.

 



Mocha Girls Read Book Club 

BPM: Please tell us about your book club!  How did your club get started? 
Hi there, I'm Alysia Allen. We are Mocha Girls Read an online and in person book club for Black women. We are located in five cities right now in Los Angeles and San Diego, California; Tempe, Arizona; New Lenox, Illinois and now Waldorf, Maryland. For our members who can’t make a meeting or don’t live near a meeting area they can go online to http://mochagirlsread.com and at http://goodreads.com

Mocha Girls Read started in October, 2011 after I looked all over the internet for a book club, I found two and joined them both. They were good and I have made a few new friends from them. But I noticed one thing about both of them…I was the only black, woman of color, African-American, mocha girl in the clubs. I thought about this for a while and finally said to myself, “Self, there has got to be some sistas in LA who like to read.” After much thought and discussion with family and friends MOCHA GIRLS READ was born. As of today Mocha Girls Read book club has about 2,000 members world wide.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Does the name of the club have a special meaning?
We are a group of black women who love to read, want to read more and meet like-minded women. The books we read range from fiction, self-help, historical romance, best sellers, good ol’ short stories and basically anything we can get our hands on. Mocha Girls Read brings black women in the community together to read great literature, online and in person chit chatting about the monthly selection and a whole lot more. We are different form other book clubs because:

1. We read all genres, by authors of all genders and races, and from any publication date. 
2. We are free to all women.
3. We never close meetings and membership. 
4. We are ageless. We just ask that members under 18 years old have the permission of a parent each month. 

The name of the book club is based on our skin color, our gender and our hobby. Mocha Girls Read.

BPM: What legacy will your club or blog leave for those watching in the community?
Our main focus has been sisterhood. Our members are so diverse and have various reasons for joining but the end result seems to be the same. We love being in each other company. I hope Mocha Girls Read brings the joy of read to each community and uplifts the Black women in each chapter through fellowship.

BPM: Tell us about your members. How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole?
Mocha Girls Read members are all ages. Our youngest member in 21 years old and our oldest is in her 80’s. We have working mom’s, single women, grandmothers and newly weds. We even have a few non Black members who just love what we are about and want to support us in all our efforts. 

BPM: When accepting members into the group, what are you looking for in the person?
We are an open book club so members can come and go, as they like. We understand life, family, work come first and reading is a past time when permitted. We have two policies about membership. Members never have to host meeting in their homes and you don’t have to read the book to join in. Come as you are. Those two things seem to bring women in to the club (and it’s free) more than anything. 

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers?
Each month I pick a theme (ie, October’s theme is a scary book), the members then have the chance to nominate one book based on the theme. Then the following week all members get to vote on three titles from the list of nominated books. The book with the most votes wins. We are bookworms so yes we talk about books each of us are reading outside of the book of the month at meeting or other book club gatherings. We are going to start using our social media outlets for more month interactions with members.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you borrow books from the library?
We read books by all authors despite race. So far in our 4 years of reading together we have read books by Chinese-American authors, Indian authors and White authors. To make the book of the month available to all members it has to be in e-book and physical form. Some members share books, buy the books from Amazon, or get them from the library. So anything goes. 

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read as a group? 
We read all genres so that at the end of the year a Mocha Girl has read at least read one non-fiction, one fiction, one poetry and one award-winning book. 

BPM: Have you faced any challenges as a group? If so, what and how did you deal with them?
We have faced some really big challenges with the building of this book club. The location for the Los Angeles chapter is too small and we are desperately seeking a new free venue to hold 40 plus members. The Waldorf chapter is also looking for a place to call home. Other chapters are having a hard time getting members to understand the mission of reading outside of their race. But the big hurdle we have is finding a core group that will be dedicated to the building of the online community. 

BPM: Can we invite you to future events and discussions? How can we follow you online?
Twitter: @mochagirlsread
Website: http://mochagirlsread.com 
Instagram: https://instagram.com/mochagirlsread  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mochagirlsread 

BPM: Thank you Alysia Allen and Classandra "Classy" Green.



 


Unique, Sophisticated, Girlfriends Inspirational Reading & Literary Society 

U.S.G.I.R.L.S. Interview conducted by Founding Members: Karen Lewis, Jennie Blue, Valerie Jefferson and Ardee Harris.

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! How did your club get started?
Founding Members: Unique, Sophisticated, Girlfriends Inspirational Reading and Literary Society (U.S. G.I.R.L.S.), located in Jacksonville, Florida formed in October 2004.

It all began with an email from founding member, Karen Lewis, in September 2004 entitled: “Calling All Bookworms.” With the new phenomena of book clubs forming throughout the city, Karen visited several, with intentions of joining, but was not impressed with any of them. She called upon her friend, Jennie who was in another book club and her sister-in-law Ardee “Dee” to consider forming a book club. Jennie then called her friend, Valerie who was also in a book club at the time.

Karen hosted our first meeting in October of 2004 with The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips. During this meeting, the four of us formed by-laws for our book club and gave suggestions for a name. We were nameless and simply referred to ourselves as “the book club” until 2007, when Karen came up with our clever name and acronym “U.S. G.I.R.L.S.” During the formation meeting we also agreed that we would not elect officers, and preferred to have the "Founding Members" designated as the governing body. 

We have a membership limit of twelve and currently have nine active members. Last month we lost two members due to job relocations, and created a new non-member title of “permanent visitor.” This title gives these individuals an open invitation to our meetings. 

In addition to the aforementioned Founders, our members are: Bonnie Surrency, Ka Saundra Hosea, Celeste Merrix, Rosalyn Amaro and Sharron Marshall.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Is there something in particular that makes your group/blog different from other groups? Does the name of the club/blog or store have a special meaning?
Founding Members: When we started the book club our purpose was to share our love of reading and have fun while engaging in passionate discussion of books about people of color, with the African-American experience being the common theme. 

U.S.G.I.R.L.S. is different in that we try to keep the focus on actually discussing the book and not let the main agenda be just a social gathering with no book discussion. While keeping our meetings tasteful, we often have lively, thought-provoking discussions while keeping an open mind regarding the topic of the day. We love bringing the readers and the writers together through author participation because often while reading you try to delve into the minds of the writer. Through active participation by the author we get a much better understanding of their thought processes while writing the book. 

We came up with the name U.S. G.I.R.L.S. (Unique, Sophisticated, Girlfriends Inspirational Reading and Literary Society) because it describes just who we are – a unique family of educated and sophisticated women who have an avid love of reading. 

BPM: What legacy will your club or blog leave for those watching in the community?
Founding Members: As our mission statement says, our main focus is to bring attention to issues of interest to women of color, while encouraging and increasing an appreciation for literature. Over the years we have become more than a book club. We are not only “black women who read” but we are have also extended our involvement through book dr