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Give the Gift of Knowledge 
Join Our Online Book Tour!


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!  You are invited to sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

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

 

 

 

 

 


 

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 

 

 

 

 

 


Finding Time to Write on Purpose 
by Nigeria Lockley 


As a neophyte author or aspiring author time to write doesn’t exist. In our materialistic society there very often isn’t time built into our schedules for things that don’t bring income into the home. Now add to that the fact that we live in an microwave society where everything has to happen within seconds–it makes it almost impossible for a new writer with bills to find time to write if the words aren’t bringing in the cashflow immediately. 

Here’s what you have to do–the same way that you have created a whole world of people with a series of issues that you need to tend to you must create your time to write. There are some writers who will tell you that you must write everyday in order to call yourself a writer. This next statement is going to be very controversial. I don’t write everyday and I call myself an author (don’t look at your computer screen like that). It’s true I don’t write everyday. I’ve written everyday this week, but I don’t write everyday.

I’m a one woman show in a sense. While I am traditionally published Actually, I am no longer traditionally published. Let’s restate that–while my first two novels were traditionally published God and I have been my publicity team. With a full-time job as an educator in the classroom, a husband, two kids (who live with me unlike those girls on reality TV that get to leave their kids with their mamas while they pursue their dreams) writing everyday is really difficult. 

Now, when I do sit down to write here’s how I create time to write


* Nix lunch. Skip your lunch break at work. Brown bag it and bust out the laptop. That’s an hour of writing there. 

*Transform your down time–when I drop my girls off at dance class I tote my laptop with me and while their working the beat my fingers are flying

*Classic Early Bird/Night Owl–Either you rise before dawn and everyone in your house lets out their first yawn or you stay up while everyone in your household enters the early stages of REM sleep. 

I used to feel guilty about not doing what everyone else was doing, but with my three novels have been released. The guilt has been assuaged because I do not write everyday that doesn’t make me any less of a writer than anyone else. There are teachers that I work with who teach night classes and Saturday school. I haven’t stopped calling myself an educator because I don’t teach eight hours a day six days a week. It would be foolish for me and any other new other to discredit themselves because they haven’t found their footing yet. I’m going to continue creating time to write when I am able to and recommend you do the same. 

How do you currently create time to write? Which one of the suggestions above might help you create more time to write and advance your goals. 

For more information about making time to write and publishing if you’re in the New York City are please join myself and author, Theresa A. Campbell at the Yonkers Public library for a workshop on:  The Path to Publication–where we share our author talk Theresa & Nigeria - experiences and tips and tricks to help you get past the dream stage and into the area of manifestation. 

About the Author

Nigeria Lockley possesses two master's degrees, one in English secondary education, which she utilizes as an educator with the New York City Department of Education. Her second master's degree is in creative writing. Nigeria's debut novel, Born at Dawn received the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Award for First Fiction. After the success of her novels and the launch of her own publishing company, Inheritance Books she is committed to pushing woman to pursue their passion, walk in their purpose, and live in prosperity. Nigeria serves as the deaconess and clerk for her spiritual home, King of Kings and Lord of Lords Church of God. She is a New York native who resides in Harlem with her husband and two daughters.

Order books from Amazon: 
https://www.amazon.com/Pursuing-Your-Passion-Godly-Fashion-ebook/dp/B01M0WOQ55  

 

 

 

 

 

 


Preparing Your Work Space for a Post Trump Election 
by Gregory Harris

All of us should be considering and preparing for the world as it will be after the 2016 election. The reality is that regardless of who wins or loses, the attitudes towards minorities, equality and racial relations is definitely changing and the discourse on bringing us all together will take major steps backwards. 

The angry and now outspoken supporters of the Trump following and their negative, but pervasive discontent will undoubtedly continue well past Nov 8.  Now that it appears Trump has won, there will be triumphant and loud endorsement of the reversal of all things previously held as truths of racial inequities and inequality in work and life options for minorities. Implicit bias will rise to explicit action based on the current rhetoric. That rhetoric gives rise to economic anxiety. That anxiety means loss of jobs and opportunities for white America, but comes based in racial anxiety that says Mexicans, blacks and immigrant Muslims are getting all the jobs and opportunities that are left after Obama has let jobs go to China and India. Unfair to white Americans and requires a taking back of America. But back from who?

 How do you take America back from these very real statistics?
* Black unemployment: 8.8% vs 4.9 for whites (Dept of Labor 2016)
* Poverty levels: 26.2% black, 23.6% Hispanic, 10.1% white (2014 Census)
* Black children: 38% live in poverty, steady since 2011 (PEW 2015)
* Billionaires: black-2, white-500+ ( Forbes 2015)
* 1 Black female CEO in Fortune 500 ( Forbes 2015)
* 1 in 3 black men will go to prison in their lifetime (UN sentencing 2013)
* Jailed men: black 1 in 15, Hispanic 1 in 26, white 1 in 106 ( ACLU 2011)

Although the data tells a different story, minorities (black, brown, women, LGBT) will be facing a new reality. We will live in a world where the angry, racist and disenfranchised members of the majority will now believe in their own rhetoric and the beliefs and biases that they have silently held onto for years to be true in the now. Trump and his movement have given them a new emboldened voice, a new endorsement of their delusions.

However, now is not a good time for a backwards change with all of the consistent affronts to the minority population. Police killings, a justice system that targets black males and the lack of advancement opportunities in the black and brown communities, is not a good environment for further backlash. There will be reactions from the minority communities, but how each of us responds in the workplace is key to changing and managing fear and discontent on both sides. 

For those of us who are employed, we have the unique opportunity to reach more civil minded or liked minded individuals who can recognize disconnects in the dialogue. It becomes our charge to change the racialized landscape and attitudes while we protect our jobs and the future of those coming behind us. Sometimes we do this ‘one naysayer at a time’ but do it we must. The alternatives are grim indeed. 

When we do see opportunities to change attitudes, perceptions and fix the world we live in, we now have a challenge to (continue or start) working within the system in our work space for the benefit of us all. You and I must initiate our personal movement towards the elimination of implicit bias and racism in our workspace and educating our peers, associates, and comrades on the benefits and potentials of working together. 

But first, ‘To thine own self be true’—think about the business you are in: will it be immediately affected by a change in administrations? Good or bad with Hillary or Trump? Will there be Green Company failures with Trump in office? Will interest rate changes affect your company’s ability to grow? Will social cuts loom for local, state and government employees? Although none of these changes would have effect immediately, consider what might happen in your industry and business and prepare accordingly with some thoughtful thinking and planning on what to watch for to predict and respond to impending change. 

When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare became a reality, many medical manufacturers cut staff or benefits, etc., to protect earnings in preparation for additional taxes and cost they thought were coming. They closed plants, reduced staffing, etc. to protect earnings. 

In this hostile climate, what and who may affect businesses trying to get away with cutting first? Is the business you are in secure? Are the real leaders in your organization part of the ‘Make America Great Again’ movement, or believers in civil rights for everyone? 

Consider all of the above questions as you review your current occupation. Evaluate where YOU are and make your plan. This is the first step in preparing for the Post Trump Election. 

About the Author

An author, a public speaker, and businessman, Gregory pens his new book Overcoming Bias and Racism in Your Workspace. Using his experiences with racism as a child raised in a military family in the poor coal and steel region/area /country of eastern Ohio, as well as his professional experiences at IBM and Wang Computers, Gregory shares tips and tools to effectively deal with the challenges of racism and bias head on.

A proud graduate of Morgan State University with over 20 years career experience as an executive, Gregory knows what it takes to survive and thrive in the world of business. A former Global Vice President Business Development and Marketing in the corporate realm, he continues to work as a consultant and coach encouraging success for all in the high tech arena. 

With a passion for writing and reading, Gregory hopes to inspire and motivate others toward change. A youth sports coach in his spare time, Gregory always encourages others to be the best image of themselves and to stay true to one’s beliefs. Contact Gregory online at www.gregharrisauthors.com 

 

 

 

 

 


How To Prepare For A Post Trump Election
by Gregory Harris


In the first article I talked about understanding and preparing for the changes that you may see in your business. That is essential to be prepared for how the marketplace may affect the direction your company is going and the opportunities that typically arise with change. It is good business to anticipate changes and have a plan that allows you to benefit from what the consequences (good or bad) are for your organization. 

Many of us were surprised at the results of the election. It has slightly altered how many of us proceed (definitely slowed me down) and has given us more concern as we look for what is known and unknown in the future. Trump winning the 2016 Presidential election was not the change we were all anticipating when I wrote part 1 of this series. 

Make sure you stay attuned to his revised commitments and changes versus the campaign threats. Some things may change in importance and some approaches may be altered as his administration and advisers formalize and prioritize actions. 

You must consider what evolves and its effect on your market and employer. 

We all expect that we will see an increase in micro-aggressions and sometimes outright racist behavior. In fact, we have seen in the news and on the Internet, negative and derogatory vocalizations towards brown and black people in schools and public places. We expected some negative comments based on the rhetoric from the campaign, however short term, there have been more emboldened individual reactions after the Trump win. 

The good news is we've also seen an outpouring from American companies and their management (in very public ways) on the importance of diversity and working together. The CEO of AT&T has been very upfront in describing how he feels about maintaining efforts towards diversity, inclusion and support of Black Lives Matter. The CEO of Grub Hub was very outspoken on his post-election feelings towards people who supported the president elect and his commitment to a culture of inclusiveness in his organization (Bloomberg Nov 11). We also have seen many Fortune 500 companies stand up and speak to their employees in ways that indicated that they will continue to support the efforts to hire minorities LGBT women, etc. into their work environment and to help promote and guarantee their success (i.e., Microsoft announces diversity as a key factor in executive bonuses).

These announcements from the corporate leaders in the U.S. are very positive. We recognize that part of it is driven by the fact that much of their growth and success will be in appealing to the minority consumer and global marketplace. Minority participation in the workforce is also key if they want to have the best talent.

Likewise, their global image must have diversity efforts included as all other countries (buyers of their goods and services) are watching. Whether it's selling phones in South America or providing accounting services to the Middle East and Europe, people are watching. 

The Fortune 500 companies recognize that they cannot afford to stumble in their diversity efforts and that racially diverse organization outperform non diverse ones by 35% (Forbes 2015). That's the good news. The bad news is that many of us don't work for Fortune 500 companies. Therefore, we must recognize that there are things we must do to be prepared personally and to be able to survive and thrive in this new environment.

Let me suggest three things that will make a difference for you: 

1.
Make sure that you understand who the major players and decision-makers are in your organization upstream downstream and parallel to you. Org charts may not tell it all, so identify who really makes things happen. Understand where you think these major players are in their attitudes towards diversity and minorities and working together. I'm not asking you to stereotype but I am asking you to do thoughtful consideration of who those players are as they can be key as you watch changes in the business, changes in policies, changes in practices, that may affect you and others long and short term.

2.
With that analysis done look at who can be on your personal team. People who you can work with and who you can include as part of your virtual team of supporters and like-minded pursuers of doing the right thing - in policy and practice. These people become an informal network for you to make sure that the organization is moving in the right direction and is not impacted by the negative rhetoric of the outside environment. For both 1& 2 you must practice ‘Being There’ (participation in after work gatherings, lunches, informal get-togethers) to make sure you are around and present socially to hear the conversations and participate in the informal collaboration that does go on. 

3.
Be prepared to handle micro-aggressions and some subtle racism that you may see. If you see implicit bias (unconsciously ingrained behaviors) - educate people who may not recognize or understand what they are doing wrong. If you see repeated micro-aggressions you should clarify for the individual(s) involved on why it is offensive and help people understand what is respectful of individuals and culture in any work environment, and the commensurate behavior that is expected from all. If you have an overt racist behavior, bigotry, discrimination, abuse, etc. you must deal with it as we always should – documenting and addressing with HR/management without hesitation.

In the last two weeks I have had multiple occurrences of people talking with me about concerns with the current environment and their relationship with management. One person was concerned with what they have seen as escalating negative attitudes towards her role and career. The current hired in expert (2 years in the job) had always been difficult but has become more antagonistic and negative towards her recently. Although she has a record of being a star performer, she has been treated with some distance and disdain by this new manager. 

A black female in a very traditional white, middle-aged business structure (Commercial Financial Services) she has been with the company for almost 2 decades and has always met her management and performance goals. However, he has recently suggested that she would not be around for the long term. 

We talked about her strategy for improving the relationship. First, we considered his background and the nature of his being. We recognize that he was a successful analytical social style who probably had never directly managed a woman or minority in the past. Additionally, he was a very conservative, Midwesterner with a stay at home wife and used to having his way. He did not seem to approve of her single mom status and didn’t really connect with any of the female employees or support staff. She and he had never had an informal or social interchange. She didn’t like or trust him. 

I suggested that she approach him with a quid pro quo discussion. That discussion would revolve around three things. First, she recognizes his discomfort with her and understood, but her perceived differences/disadvantages actually made her a more determined and creative manager that resulted in her being successful for the organization. That he could count on. In addition, if she could spend more time with him learning big deal tactics and financing options, he could forecast more business or over-attain next year’s goals. Lastly, she would single handedly approach the minority market to add to the organization's numbers and meet new diverse customer targets (something she wanted to do and upper management has wanted to see happen). 

The discussion went well and now she is more optimistic as to her long-term success and ability to grow. They will have their first lunch meeting and joint customer visit soon. It was all quid pro quo (his time and mentoring her additional business). In fact the result is she is slowly converting him (at least in the business environment) and opening his eyes to the possibilities of working with women and minorities. 

The second conversation was with a lady who had been approached by another manager who recognized her for getting things done, but did so by stereo typing her as a neck twirling, hand on the hip aggressive black female, none of which was true. She was shocked when it happened, but after our conversation, decided that if it happens again, she would very quickly address the fact that her success is based on making the right decisions and doing the right thing as any educated and prepared business person would do, period. I applauded her approach and strategy. She is more confident on what to do next. That’s how you handle micro-aggressions and the ignorant. 

So in summary:

Speak up and provide simple responses and solutions that open eyes when the opportunities for education and conversion on Bias and Micro-aggressions occur. 

Know and connect with the decision making structure and build your personal virtual team for success with planning and ‘Being There’. 

Understand the political environment's effect on opportunities for the future for you, your market and business so you can make the right decisions and plan for your success. 

We will continue to see change. We must plan and deal with change in ways that prepare us for the future. The post Trump election environment is just another opportunity for working with change for mutual success. We must always find ways to make the best of change when it happens. 

Good Luck,
Gregory Harris

About the Author

An author, a public speaker, and businessman, Gregory pens his new book Overcoming Bias and Racism in Your Workspace. Using his experiences with racism as a child raised in a military family in the poor coal and steel region/area /country of eastern Ohio, as well as his professional experiences at IBM and Wang Computers, Gregory shares tips and tools to effectively deal with the challenges of racism and bias head on.

A proud graduate of Morgan State University with over 20 years career experience as an executive, Gregory knows what it takes to survive and thrive in the world of business. A former Global Vice President Business Development and Marketing in the corporate realm, he continues to work as a consultant and coach encouraging success for all in the high tech arena. 

With a passion for writing and reading, Gregory hopes to inspire and motivate others toward change. A youth sports coach in his spare time, Gregory always encourages others to be the best image of themselves and to stay true to one’s beliefs. Contact Gregory online at www.gregharrisauthors.com 

 

 

 

 

 


African Americans vs. the United States of America 
Can the US be sued for C-PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as a mental condition triggered by witnessing or experiencing a single traumatic event. Symptoms of the illness include flashbacks, uncontrollable thoughts, and severe anxiety. Many war weary soldiers return from combat with crippling PTSD symptoms, making this issue a severe problem in many communities across the country. 

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is a condition involving long-term exposure to emotional trauma in which a victim has little or absolutely no control over and no hope of escape.  C-PTSD is a condition involving long-term exposure to emotional trauma in which a victim has little or absolutely no control over and no hope of escape. 

Anyone watching the news or scanning through their Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat feeds can tell that the United States has become a hot seat for tense racial relations. In fact, we are at a boiling point. Some are proclaiming that racial tensions are at the worst they’ve ever been. I disagree, however, racism has not changed, but thanks to modern technology, it is being exposed.

While social media and camera phones have made it easier to capture and share instances of hate and oppression with the masses, the truth is racism, hate and violence against African Americans have always been a source of fear, anger and anxiety from the moment our ancestors’ feet hit U.S. soil. 

Lynching, bombed churches, beatings and murders at the hand of those who swore to protect and serve, discrimination and prejudices plaguing the working environment can have anyone reeling with strong emotions, especially those with brown skin. 

For every African American who claims to have never experienced racism, there are many whose experiences haunt them months, years and even decades after the incident(s). Some have been traumatized by racism and hate to the point of no return; where they are fearful of leaving their homes or interacting with others. 

How many mothers of Black boys have watched the news with an inherent fear for their sons? 


African Americans have fears and anxieties that rob them of their sleep and their peace that no other race even considers when they arise in the morning. What will happen if my son is pulled over? What will happen if my father is walking down the street and someone assumes that he is a threat?

As a parent of a teen aged child in this world, there is always a nagging thought plaguing me when he leaves from my presence. 


It seems like every week there is a story being shared through television and social media websites of an unjust killing or an issue of racial strife. Couple this bombardment of information with daily life annoyances, frustrations and tasks it is enough to drive any sane person, mad. One can actually become overwhelmed with the amount of negativity being spread online and in the news. 

What would happen if a group of African Americans filed a class action lawsuit against the government for C-PTSD and emotional distress?   Would they be successful?  The African-American community has endured centuries of stress and turmoil, many of which go unaddressed and untreated. How would those years of stress translate into a monetary judgment?  

Some would argue that stress as a result of racial tensions is nothing but a convenient excuse for today’s troubles. 
What are your thoughts?

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. 

Check out all of the books written by Sage 
http://www.amazon.com/Sage/e/B01CC290ZE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


No More Excuses by L.A. Lewis 



1 Timothy 1:12-17


12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.


In this scripture, Paul is writing a letter to his coworker, Timothy. We can gather from the words that Timothy must be a lot younger than the people they’re servicing. Paul is instructing him on how to let his light shine in spite of his age.

Many times, we allow things in our lives to hinder us from going where God wants us to go. Oh, there are many excuses; we’re too young, we don’t have the education, we don’t have the money or the time. We find any excuse to cancel ourselves out of our blessing. It’s time to let all of that go and ask God to lead you down the path that He has for you. Don’t worry about your age, your size, your educational level, or marital status. 

In God’s eyes, you’re the perfect person to fulfill the purpose He’s designed for your life. It’s time to get started! Have a wonderfully blessed day!

About L.A. Lewis
Bestselling Author, L.A. Lewis is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She is the author of Dirty Little Secrets, Dirty Little Secrets II: Expect the Unexpected, The Gift of An Abundant Life, P.W.I.T: Phenomenal Woman In Training, Why Not Me? A Guide to Your Success, and her newest release, Double Down and Dirty. L.A.’s a contributing author to Motherhood Diaries, an award-winning literary anthology. 

She’s a member of M-LAS, Macro Literary All-Stars, a writing support group formed by National Bestselling Author, Naleighna Kai. Together they’ve published a reference book for authors and aspiring authors titled, Baring it All: The Ins and Outs of Publishing. L.A. Lewis is also a writing coach and motivational speaker. When she’s not writing, L.A. loves spending time with her husband and their two children and motivating others to live life on purpose.

Visit www.lalewisexpressions.com to learn more about L.A. Lewis and her upcoming novels and events.

https://lalewisblog.com 
https://twitter.com/AuthorLALewis   
https://www.facebook.com/authorlalewis   




 

 

 

 

 


SORRY TO TELL YOU MR. TRUMP
YOU’RE WRONG ABOUT US
by Leah Reynolds

If you have been following the election coverage, you are probably at the point where a lot of Americans are; you simply want to get it over with and return to your regularly scheduled lives. With this election, however, we must do more than just return to our lives, we must purpose to continue educating our youth and the community on the contributions and accomplishments of the black community. 

As I watched the speeches delivered by each candidate, I couldn’t help but wonder if either of them had any real knowledge of the black community aside from what they see on television. This thought was further hammered home after Trump's attempt to gain support from the black community with his, “What do you have to lose” speech. Read the article: Donald Trump speaking to African American and Hispanic voters: http://wpo.st/CKy72 

According to Trump, the black community is “living in poverty” and “crime stricken” neighborhoods. Contrary to what some would like us to believe the entire black community is not in complete desolation and destruction. Based on the findings in Nielsen’s 2016 Report, African-American Millennials are driving the wave of social change and digital advancements. 

Quoting from the Nielsen website, "African-Americans are exuberant and reflective—optimistic about present-day advances in income, education, entrepreneurship and health care, and determined to forge a better future as influential leaders and catalysts of social awareness against discrimination and social injustice. 

This latest report highlights African-Americans’ economic and cultural gains and continues to shine a spotlight on how African-American Millennials are forging ahead in their use of technology and social media to raise awareness and evoke a national discussion on civic and political issues. As African-Americans, particularly younger Millennials, continue to develop and expand their influence on mainstream America, companies are making changes to reach this culture-rich group." 

The Nielsen Report also documents that in 2015 the African-American community controlled nearly $1.2 trillion in buying power. Considering African-American Millennials only make up 14% of the U.S. Milennial population it’s astonishing that they possess $162 billion in buying power alone. This number is expected to grow to nearly $1.4 trillion by 2020. The number of African-American’s with annual incomes over $100,000 nearly doubled to 12% in 2014 with numbers continuing to climb, while the number of households with annual incomes under $25,000 has been on a steady decline. 

Nielsen has been reporting on the purchasing and consumption habits of the African-American community for nearly five years. The data presented within this report dispels many myths about the true power of the community. High school dropout rates are on a decline with 89% of Millennials graduating high school while college enrollment is increasing, especially among African-American women.  With 91% of African-Americans owning smartphones and over half report spending over an hour or more daily on various social networking sites, they are connected to each other in real-time to ban together on any cause, project or movement that moves them. 

Millennials are proving the naysayers wrong and showing the world that the African-American community has been underestimated for far too long. 


YOUNG, CONNECTED AND BLACK: AFRICAN-AMERICAN MILLENNIALS ARE DRIVING SOCIAL CHANGE AND LEADING DIGITAL ADVANCEMENT MR. TRUMP!

You can view and download the 2016 Nielsen Report – Young, Connected and Black, go here.
At Nielsen, they study consumers in more than 100 countries to give you the most complete view of trends and habits worldwide. According to their website, Diversity & Inclusion is very important to society and to business. "It’s not just a goal, but a global business imperative. It’s about each of us embracing the talents and ideas of people with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives to drive our continued success in providing clients with the information they need to succeed." 


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. 

Check out all of the books written by Sage 
http://www.amazon.com/Sage/e/B01CC290ZE 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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. 

Check out all of the books written by Sage 
http://www.amazon.com/Sage/e/B01CC290ZE 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Brown Girls Read 

BPM: Please tell us about your blog, bookstore or book club. Where are you located? 
Tamela C. Todd founded Brown Girls Read in March, 2016. The program provides age and grade level appropriate workshops that are engaging and educational. There currently are 40 members enrolled in the program.  Brown Girls Read operates out of the Northwest Activity Center on Detroit’s westside near Meyers Rd.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? 
Brown Girls Read is a book club/mentoring program. Our purpose is to increase adolescent literacy and to empower our youth in the community. Our program strives to provide workshops that are both fun and educational. The members learn essay writing, tips for applying for college, best practices for obtaining financial aid, money management and more.

BPM: Tell us about your contributing members. What is the demographic of your group? 

Our clubs are divided into groups based on age and grade level for girls ages 7-15. The groups are as follows:
Group Yellow:  ages 7-9
Group Orange: ages 10-12
Group Green:   ages 13-15

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? 
Brown Girls Read has a theme for each month. Book selections are based off of that particular theme. Example: For November our members will read about voting, presidents, debates. We feature our monthly books, for all three groups, on our website.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you borrow books from the library?
Brown Girls Read book club is open to all books as long as they fit the age range for our youth. We are very supportive of all authors. Yes, I personally borrow books form the library.

BPM: What are you reading now? What books are on your reading schedule?
Currently I am reading: Successful Women Think Differently by Valorie Burton. I founded this book scrolling though my Facebook timeline. On my personal reading schedule will be: Act like a Success, Think like a Success by Steve Harvey and Marriage Unbreakable the War Against Divorce by Dawn M. Harvey

BPM: How do you feel about attending book signings, literary festivals and events?
I absolutely love any type of literacy event. Two months ago Brown Girls Read was apart of the Motor City Book Experience where we met other book clubs and many wonderful authors promoting their books. In June, 2017 Brown Girls Read will be looking forward to attending the 9th Annual AAMBC Literacy Awards in Atlanta, GA.
I would like to see more participation from the community at literary events.

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?
Answer: Yes, Brown Girls Read purchases books online and at local bookstores. No, I don't care for digital books at all! I would never stop buying printed books. I enjoy having my books in hand.

Submitted by Tamela Todd, Founder/Director
www.browngirlsread.org -  #browngirlsread



 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Divas LNPU Book Club

My name is Toshona E. Carter and I am the Founder and President of this awesome book club, Divas Leaving No Pages Unturned Book Club. I currently reside in Little Rock, Arkansas. My hobbies include reading, shopping, traveling and cooking. I work for the State of Arkansas as a Case Manager II.

BPM: Please tell us about
Divas Leaving No Pages Unturned Book Club
Divas Leaving No Pages Unturned is located in Little Rock, Arkansas. After I mentioned to a small group of sister-friends that I loved to read and that I had formerly been in two book clubs, requests were made for me to start my own book club because they also loved reading. Divas Leaving no Pages Unturned Book Club was established on July 17, 2010. Our first meeting was held at Texas Roadhouse Restaurant in Little Rock with only four members. We have grown to 18 members and counting.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? 
Divas Leaving no Pages Unturned was created to promote “Togetherness” among all Women of Color. When we thought of the word Diva we thought of someone beautiful, who knew what they wanted and would do what it takes to make things happen. Our invigorating club thrives on our goal to enrich the lives of women “one page at a time” through literacy and community service. Our mission is to help uplift, magnify, encourage, respect and provide a nurturing environment for women of color, who are strong mentally, physically, spiritually by educating, encouraging and supportive of others while utilizing “POSITIVE” energy.

BPM: What legacy will your club or blog leave for those watching in the community?
Our main focus over the years has been on community service. We have given money and our time to many local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Union Rescue Mission, Arkansas Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, The Dorcas House for Battered Women & Children, New Beginnings Pregnancy Resource Center, Fund-a-night Stay at the 20th Century Lodge in Little Rock for cancer patients and the Salvation Army, just to name a few. We have participated in numerous community service projects over the past six years. 

We would like for those watching in the community to make meaningful and lasting contributions to those in need. We also ask the community to become game changers by striving to make a difference. We hope people will follow our lead in helping others in ways that will create an everlasting impact. At the end of the day, we hope what we do will some how positively impact society by way that we serve. We would like to encourage everyone to be a Drum Major as in the late, great, Martin Luther King Jr's Sermon "The Drum Major Instinct. "What are you doing to serve?  Everybody can be great and serve. Be willing to leave a committed life behind as Mr. King stated. 

Another focus of our
Divas Leaving No Pages Unturned Book Club is to promote literacy by encouraging others to regularly pick up a book and to support local and well-known authors.

BPM: Tell us about your members. What is the demographic of your group?
Currently we have twelve members all whom are women of color ranging from ages 29-50. The name of the members are: Toshona Carter, Kimberly Melikian, Donna Parks, LaToshia Enoch-Elston, Tanya Davis, Angela Davis, Erica Whitfield, Iris Whitfield, Cassandra Wallace,Sheereen Watkins, Jessica Robinson, Kamesha Lindsey, Erica Love Mack, Shonda Wade, Angela Winston, Nakia Bolden, Janai Taylor Harris, and Evelyn White. 

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?  
When accepting members into the group we look for an avid reader, someone who doesn’t mind helping and giving back to the community; someone who is definitely willing to give up one Saturday a month. At this point, I would say it hasn't been hard to get people to join. Right now, I have a few waiting to join when we have open enrollment.

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? 
In my opinion, a good book club conversation is when all the members have totally read the book and they're able to have a productive discussion. We normally stay on topic as well as give examples of things that relate to life or life experiences regarding the book being discussed. At times the availability of a reading guide does help generate questions that we may have not thought to ask.

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? 
In the beginning, every other month, a member would take a turn selecting a book to discuss.
Currently, we accept books from authors from the months of October- December to be put on our Potential Book Selection for the Year List. Each book is reviewed and then in January the members vote on which books will be read for the New Year. Regardless, all submissions will be read as a side-bar read or given to my club's book reviewers to submit a review online. We often share our featured books with local book clubs, readers in the  Facebook Group entitled Face Book Turners and within our own individual social circles.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you borrow books from the library? 
Yes, we prefer to read books by authors of color, but are open to read any book that is informative or a good read. The first book we read as a group was Blues Day was by self-published author Adrienne Thompson and we have been reading her works ever since. We have borrowed books from the library, as well as recommended many of the books we have read to be added to their shelves.

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read as a group?
Romance, Christian, Non-fiction, Urban fiction, Street Life, Science Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Inspirational, Biography, Autobiography, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Parable, Educational or a documentary. The club is open to any suggestions. We are not limited to just African American books.

BPM: What books are on your reading schedule?
We recently read and discussed Unlawful Deception live with author Pamela Samuels Young. This book was selected from Ms. Ella's Black Pearls Magazine list of books to read.

BPM: How do you feel about attending book signings, literary festivals and events?
I think it is a great opportunity to connect with the authors at these events and to ask any question(s) you may have. We are getting ready to host our First Empowerment Book Signing with local authors in the Little Rock, Arkansas. We will have about ten authors who will participate in a panel discussion, as well as give autographs. They will also have books available for sell.

BPM: Do you host special events during the year or do you work for any charities? 
During the year we host empowermrnt sessions for women. In the past sessions, we have brought in speakers discussing finances, health, beauty and entrepreneurship, along with grant writing.

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?
The preferred ways we find new books are:  through social media, author suggestions to the book club and sources like Black Pearls Magazine and Ms. Ella's BAN Radio. We find alot of books from friend’s recommendations, Facebook Author Pages, group pages such as FB Turners.

BPM: Do you purchase books online or in a bookstore? Do you prefer to read digital books? 
Most times we purchase our books via Amazon. I often find it is easier to read a digital book. I would still buy some printed books to keep for my book collection and to share with others.

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who might want to start a book club?
Make sure that you have a group of people willing to work together to make a positive impact, so that everyone can get something out of the club. Also, make sure you have a group of people who are really avid readers and not occasional readers. You have to realize you will have members that will come and go and that's ok.

BPM: Do attend Twitter chats or Facebook chats? Would you like to chat with your favorite authors on Skype, FaceTime or over the phone? Who would you like to speak to?
In the past we have hosted Facebook chats with authors to discuss their books. We would love to chat with some of our favorite authors on Skype or over the phone. We would love to speak with Reshonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray and Lutishia Lovely.

BPM: How can we follow you online? Do you have a website or social media pages? 
Twitter:  @ divas_bookclub
Instagram:   divas_bookclub
Facebook: Divas Leaving no Pages Unturned Book Club
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Diane Rembert

Diane Rembert is an avid reader of over 30 years, reviewer, promoter, branding coach and founder of Diamond's Literary World, a literary blog that highlights authors, promotes literary events and gives innovative reviews. In April 2016, she created Diamond's World, a blogtalk radio show that bridges the love of words, sentences and paragraphs to whomever has a like passion. She shares this footprint with all avid readers who wish to have a voice. Her motto is "Conquering Life One Book at a Time."

BPM: Please tell us about your blog and radio show. 

Diane: Diamond's Literary World is a blog that was created in 2014 after a late night conversation with my significant other. As an avid reader, I tend to discuss my current read as well as the characters in them…a lot. After hearing about yet another book, Darrell politely suggested that I start a blog, and the rest, as they say…is history. 

BPM: Does the name of the show have a special meaning?

Diane: The name, Diamond's Literary World is very significant to my life. I've been thru the fire, rose above my circumstance and now, I'm shining like a diamond. 

BPM: What has the main focus become for your blog?
 
Diane: The main focus has been to highlight African American authors (new and old), new book releases, literary events and all things book related. Hopefully, this will continue for generations to come. 

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book conversation? 

Diane: In my opinion, a good book conversation consists of a few avid readers, a good book and a glass of wine. Many times the conversation will stray off topic, because one good book is often compared to another one or a movie. For the record, I very rarely use a reading guide, so I wouldn't know if they were helpful or not. 

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? 

Diane: My book selections are generally determined by my mood. For example, if I need to be encouraged, I select Christian Fiction. When I want to know more about a person, I pick up am Autobiography. I believe social media is such a blessing when it comes to sharing what I'm reading with other readers, because I can reach thousands as opposed to a few. 

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

Diane: I do prefer to read books by authors of color, however, I don't limit myself. I try to keep an open mind when it comes to reading And that's one of the reasons why I love to support self-published authors. 

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read? 

Diane: I read many different genres, including Christian Fiction, Romance, Historical Fiction, Erotica, Urban Fiction, Self-Help, Autobiography, Crime Fiction, Mystery and Legal Thrillers. 

BPM: What are key factors that help a book remain on your mind long after the last page?

Diane: Some of the key factors that help a book remain with me long after the last page are character development, a good storyline and a cliffhanger. 

BPM: Do you write and post book reviews to online retailers? How do you handle bad reviews or books that flopped?

Diane: Book reviews by Diamond's Literary World can be found on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon and diamondsliteraryworld.com. If I cannot give an honest review of at least 3 stars, I won't post one at all. I don't believe in killing another person's dream with my words. 

BPM: What type of books have generated the most interesting discussions? Why? 

Diane: Books that address controversial issues generate the most interesting discussions, because people can be closed-minded in their views. Again, this is my opinion. 

BPM: Can you share a few 5-star books that have expanded your horizons? 

Diane: A few 5-star books that have expanded my horizons include Stand Your Ground by Victoria Christopher Murray, Corporate Amerikkka by Blacc Topp, Ghetto Bastard by K'wan, Jezebel by Jacquelin Thomas, Lawful Deception by Pamela Samuels Young, Strongholds by Vanessa Davis Griggs and Nefarious by T. Styles.

BPM: What are you reading now? What books are on your reading schedule?

Diane: My current read is "Caught 'Em Slippin" by Al-Saadiq Banks. I found out about this book from the author during a panel discussion. Books that are currently on my reading schedule include Believing In Magic by Cookie Johnson, Second House From The Corner by Sadeqa Johnson, Diamonds And Pearl by K'wan, Copycat by Kimberla Lawson Roby, Trying To Stay Saved by E. N. Joy, No More Mr. Nice Guy by Carl Weber and An Affair In Munthill by Takerra Allen.

BPM: How do you feel about attending book signings, literary festivals and events? Do you like to hear the author reading from the book? 

Diane: I love to attend book signings, literary festivals and events, because it allows me the opportunity to catch up with old author friends and meet new ones. I like to see authors mingling with one another and readers supporting all of them. I don't like to see authors sitting around, not trying to connect with possible consumers. I think hearing an author read from one of their books helps to solidify the sale, because you hear the author's passion.

BPM: Which is the preferred way to find new books: a friend's recommendation; on social media; or advertisements?

Diane: As a reviewer, I come across books from all avenues, but the preferred way is definitely a friend's recommendation…especially one of my book buddies. They have the inside scoop on the books I like to read. 

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?

Diane: My books are primarily purchased directly from the author, because they see more of their profit that way. I go back and forth between paperbacks and e-books, because I have an extensive collection of both. At times, I read 5 paperbacks to every 5 e-books and times when I feel as if I'm cheating on my paperbacks with my Kindle. One thing's for certain…I will never stop buying printed books. 

BPM: Have you faced any challenges as a book blogger? If so, what and how did you deal with them?

Diane: As an award winning literary blogger, the only challenge I have is whose books do I highlight as opposed to the others. Thru many sleepless nights, I choose to showcase them all. 

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who want to start a book blog?

Diane: I would like to encourage anyone who is interested in starting a book blog to not over think it and JUST DO IT! We need more bloggers in the African American community to highlight our books, authors and events. Help spread the word while doing what you love. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to assist you as much as possible. 

BPM: Do attend Twitter chats, Facebook chats, Goggle Hangout or Periscope shows? 

Diane: I have attended quite a few Twitter and Facebook chats and really enjoy them, because I learn so much about the author. I look forward to viewing more Periscope shows as well. 

BPM: Would you like to chat with your favorite authors on Skype, FaceTime or over the phone? 

Diane: As a radio host with Diamonds World, I am living my dream by interviewing authors that I've read and admired over the years. I look forward to many more interviews with some of the greatest to ever do it.

BPM: Can we invite you to future events, social media chats and discussions? 

Diane: Please feel free to invite me to all future events, social media chats and discussions. I can be found at: 

Twitter: @diamondslitera1
Instagram: @diamondsliteraryworld 
Facebook: Diamond's Literary World 
Email: diamondsliteraryworld@gmail.com
Website: www.diamondsliteraryworld.com


 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Destined Readers Book Club
Speaker: Tiffany Booker, Co-founder 

Destiny Hawkins and Tiffany Booker are the Co-founders of Destined Readers Book Club. Destiny Hawkins is an Admin. Asst., a wife, a mother of two sons, ages 17 and 18, and the adoptive mother of two small furry dogs. Destiny enjoys attending book events. 

Tiffany Booker is a children's author, a current middle school teacher, a wife, and mother to two young men, ages 19 and 9. Tiffany hopes book clubs will some day become a thing of the future where being a book club member will be as prevalent as being a sorority member. Books are Tiffany's passion of choice.

BPM: Please tell us about your book club. Where are you located? 
Destined Readers Book Club was founded in Marietta, Georgia in August 2014 by Co-founders Destiny Hawkins and Tiffany Booker. We started a book club out of the sheer frustration from attending several meetings of another book club whose club seemed, to us, to be very snooty. They did not have a sense of genuine warmth, fun, nor true friendships in their club. Destiny and I are very down to earth people and have a lot in common, so we wanted to create a book club with like minded women as well. 

Destiny Hawkins is so humble that she makes it a point to ensure everyone knows that she WAS NOT responsible for creating the name of our book club. It was actually my idea to name the club Destined Readers Book Club. Due to our frustration with the other book clubs unwelcoming club culture, we WERE DESTINED to begin our own club. The rest as they say, is history or in our case HERstory. Although we are still a fairly new club, we are nine members strong with several prospective members awaiting acceptance. We want to keep our book club at a maximum of 15 dedicated members. We are still accepting applications for serious, avid readers.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? 
The purpose of Destined Readers Book Club is to develop a culture for the love of books, the genuine friendship of other like minded women and to have fun while enjoying a passion for reading. Our motto "Books, Friendship, and Fun" makes us different from other book clubs because we love books. 

Our book kinship with one another has allowed us to forge ongoing, true and genuine friendships that we know will last a lifetime, all while having fun doing it. For example, one of our members took a teaching job in Japan, but she comes back every year to visit the club and facilitates a book discussion. This is a true example of what our club means to her. It's the friendships, the fun and the books that keeps her coming back. 

We invite potential members to attend as guests just to get a feel for the women whom they will spend time with once a month. If potential members do not feel comfortable at any point in our group there is no harm in not joining the club. We have successfully developed a culture of a genuine kinship.

BPM: Tell us about your members. What is the demographic of your group?
Our members are truly fun women to hang out with, they're like sisters to us. We listen to each other and respect one another no matter the difference of opinions on a discussion or book choice. Respect is the key to our book club's success. We have members who are working mothers to retired teachers. This makes for great book discussions and a variety of opinions from various backgrounds and ages. 

The demographics of our group ranges in the Metro Atlanta area. We have members who live in Atlanta, Douglasville, Marietta, McDonough, Decatur, Lithonia, and Covington, Georgia. Whomever is the facilitator for the month selects the location where our meetings will be held, that way no one is always driving out of their way every month and not subjected to one area of Metro Atlanta.

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?
When we accept members into the group we first allow them to come to two meetings as a guest just to get a feel for the group as a whole. We allow other members to interact with them before Destiny and Tiffany make the final decision on allowing members to join. The beauty of founding our own club is that we make our own rules so Destiny and Tiffany are like Ying and Yang. If Tiffany is wrong about a certain persons personality, Destiny is able to see what Tiffany doesn't see or vice versa. Most times, Tiffany is a good judge of character because Tiffany is truly a people person, but when Tiffany is right about a person it's 90% accurate and when Tiffany is not right, Destiny is able to catch when Tiffany is not 100% accurate about a potential member. 

Both Destiny and Tiffany discuss whether or not a potential member is a good fit for the club. The road has not been easy to get members to stay in the group, because there have been times where some members felt it has been a challenge to stay in the group. We had to set certain standards for Destined Readers Book Club and one of our standards is although our ideal membership limit is 15 members, we are fine with having less than that, because we'd rather have 9 dedicated members than 15 drop in when you feel like dropping in and not taking our book club serious. As we continued to set higher standards for our club, some members felt it was too difficult to attend a meeting 6 times a year, which to me isn't a difficult task if you love books. But we will not allow a member to attend a meeting once a year and allow them to continue their membership. That is just ludicrous to assume that we would, but we have had past members who we've had to terminate their membership for not meeting the minimum of our standards. 

We are content with our decisions to keep growing and learning from our mistakes, but collectively, we continue to strive for greatness. Destined Readers Book Club also interviews our potential members to find out more information about them, we gauge their commitment at the time of the interview so that we find the right fit for our book club. 

Currently, we do not have an online group, however, we do have a public Facebook page where the public can find out more about the current books we are reading, various book events, new releases, or anything related to books in general. If a member is not able to attend a live discussion, we do allow them to Skpe in or answer the prepared discussion questions as a means to substitute for their physical presence at a meeting.

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book club conversation? Do you keep the conversation on topic or roam?
In Tiffany's opinion, what makes a good book club conversation is our unique Trivia Question segment of the meeting. It is our tradition to ask random trivia questions to our members as a good book conversation starter. This keeps members on their toes in reading the selected novel thoroughly and paying attention to key details in the book. This leads into a well prepared discussion. We either use the available reading guide the author has provided or we use our own to lead the discussions, but the key is having fun while doing it. Our trivia questions are the key to our book club discussions. Most times if the book is interesting enough, then we tend to keep the book discussion on topic, however, if for some reason we conclude that the current book was either boring or we didn't like the book, we tend to roam off topic, but our agenda keeps us on task to ensure we do not waste valuable time during the book discussions.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? 
Another great aspect to founding our own book club is the beauty of choice. We allow our members to choose the book they want to read. Since we are an African American book club we only request that members chose an African American author. We allow our members to chose the book of their choice and they are allowed to choose the location of the discussion as well. Even if a member is not into a certain genre of book, the option for our members to decide helps broaden our perspective on potential books we may have never thought to read or due to our complacency to become comfortable with the genre of our own choice. 

Destined Readers Book Club takes you out of your comfort zone, we hope to broaden members views of various styles of writing. We try to meet the needs of all our members, this gives them a voice and a choice in their club, it also gives them autonomy. Destiny Hawkins, our co-founder, maintains the calendar of book choices for our members. The book has to be selected at least two months in advance to be placed on the calendar.

BPM: What are you reading now? What books are on your reading schedule? 
Our October book of the month is The Deal, The Dance and The Devil by Victoria Christopher Murray. This book was selected by our member of the year, Rose. She has read the book before and thought it would be a great book to discuss. Some of the books on our current calendar includes: Glass Houses By Brian W. Smith, The Book of Harlan By Bernice L. Mc Fadden, The Practice Wife By Marissa Monteilh, and WomanIsh By Angelia Vernon Menchan. 

We just finished reading Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones, and we can never forget our most dedicated author JoDee Sanders who wrote Sugarland, and SugarFree, which we have read in the past and we will be reading his upcoming release to his new book called Sugarless next year.

BPM: How can we follow you online? Do you have a website or social media pages?

You can invite us to future events, any social media chats and discussions. We welcome the opportunity. You can follow us at the following outlet - https://www.facebook.com/ DestinedReadersBookClubATL


 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Letrise Carter


Letrise Carter is the founder of Sistah’s Place Entertainment Blog and a fierce entrepreneur, freelance writer, and new author. She self-published her first novel Deceitful-Playing with Fire, which hits stores in  late January, 2017. She has featured articles published in Caution Magazine and in Beautifully Said Magazine. 

BPM: Please tell us about your blog and its community. Where are you located? 

Sistah’s Place is located in suburbs of Chicago, IL. Sistah’s Place was launched in July, 2014 to be the source of entertainment news for film, television, theater, and publishing. The blog focused on the talented minority men and women following their dreams while inspiring others to take that leap of faith with their dreams. The blog platform started as Sistah’s Blog2 with so many ideas to inspire and share with others that Sistah’s Place Entertainment was birthed from my first blog. The blog sparked the interest of subscribers and followers to want to hear more about indie talent in entertainment.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? 
The purpose of Sistah’s Place blog is to serve as a platform for indie talent/artists, writers, poets and creators.

Sistah’s Place gives indie and national artists the opportunity to showcase their gifts, talents, and projects that gives them exposure to new audiences across multiple platforms and countries. The name Sistah’s Place has a special meaning that is sincere to the creator. Sistah’s Place represents home and being with your own brothers and sisters supporting their dreams and gifts. 

BPM: What has the main focus become over the years? What legacy will your club or blog leave for those watching in the community?
The main focus is indie talent in literature, television, and theater. There are so many talented men and women that don’t get the same exposure that many national artists get from the main stream audiences. Our legacy will be an entertainment organization that gave hope and inspiration to the dreamers. Meanwhile, Sistah’s Place will be known for shining the light on the minority men and women in literature, theater, television, and film. To give our children positive hope and influence to follow their dreams.

BPM: Tell us about your blog or bookclub and any contributing members. 

Sistah’s Place Blog has contributing writers and  guest writers who are bloggers, published authors, educators, and college students majoring in journalism. The demographic of our group is predominantly women within the age group 18-50. The personality of Sistah’s Place website is entertaining, inspirational, and informative. 

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

Here at Sistah’s Place, we love reading books by our authors of color. We love supporting self-published authors on our platform too. We prefer to purchase books either online or download to Kindle to read the many minority authors.

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

We read books of all genres even though one of my favorites is romance. However, a good mystery or science-fiction peaks my interest.

BPM: Have you faced any challenges as a book blogger? If so, what and how did you deal with them?

In the beginning there were challenges that came up. However, I sat down and reviewed and analyzed what Sistah’s Place's audience liked and disliked. I had to learn how to peak the audience's interest in the books and authors that we promoted by mixing it up with different genres. Plus, creating a better marketing and networking strategy that help promote the authors novels. 

BPM: Would you like to chat with your favorite authors on Skype, FaceTime or over the phone? Who would you like to speak to?
Yes, I would love to chat with one of my favorite authors. I would be honored to talk with Brenda Jackson, Kimberly Lawson Roby, and Carl Webber. I have a long list of my favorites but these are my top three.

BPM: How can we follow you online? Do you have a website or social media pages? 

Instagram: @letrisec
Twitter: @sistahsplace2
Email: ltcarter7@gmail.com
Website: www.sistahsplace.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sistahsplace2

Letrise Carter's Community

http://sistahsplace.com  
https://letrisecarter.com  
http://mayashowcase.com  
http://sistahscreativemedia.com  
http://sistahsplace2.blogspot.com  


 

 

 

 

 

 


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 

 

 

 

 


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. 

 

 

 

 

 


Copycat by Kimberla Lawson Roby


Befriending Traci Calloway Cole is the best thing Simone Phillips has ever done. Traci is the kind of woman Simone wants to be--in every way possible. She begins copying her role model. Not because she wants to be Traci. She just wants to be exactly like Traci.

Traci doesn't worry, though. She knows Simone doesn't mean any harm and that her mimicry is only sincere admiration. Until she discovers how far Simone's obsession has gone.

It is then that Simone's entire world begins unraveling, and dreadful secrets from her past are exposed with no warning. Secrets that she'll do almost anything to protect...


Review for COPYCAT Written by Christine Pauls, Wilmington, DE


First, let me say that I have read quite a few of Kimberla Lawson Roby’s books, so I am a fan. I was more than excited to be selected by Ella Curry to be a reviewer for this book before its scheduled release in January of 2017. My intention was to start the book and finish it in a few days, but I ended up reading it in one sitting. Why? Because it was that good!

Simone Philips becomes completely infatuated with best-selling author, Traci Calloway- Cole to the point that it becomes unhealthy. She goes to extreme measures to imitate the author’s life personally and professionally.

The story pushes the boundaries of friendship, faith, family, and forgiveness. It brings home the importance of being your own unique self and secrets accompanied with lies do not stay hidden. They will come back to bite you in the end. We all have different paths to walk and it’s impossible to succeed by attempting to live a life that is not designed for you.

Simone's issues were deeply rooted. It wasn’t mental, in my opinion, but more of her trying to compensate for what she lacked in her own reality, whether current day or time passed. In the end, as I continued to turn the pages, I felt a sense of compassion for her more than anger for the things she’d done. I enjoyed the book and give it 4 stars!

EXCERPT: Copycat by Kimberla Lawson Roby 

Simone made a few more tweaks and then closed out of her Word software and went to Traci’s Facebook page. She read the five reader comments that had already been posted this morning and then pulled up Traci’s Twitter feed. The first thing she saw was Traci’s tweet from two hours ago. It quoted the scripture Philippians 4:13, and read, “‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ ~ (KJV).” 

It wasn’t until now that Simone realized she hadn’t posted her own morning scripture, and she had to get better with remembering to do that. She needed to stay consistent—the same as Traci. She wasn’t sure what scripture to post, so she Googled “a great motivational scripture.” Then, when a number of web sites displayed, she clicked on the second one and saw John 6:47 from the King James Version: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” She wasn’t sure why, but there was something about that particular scripture that she liked. Maybe because it offered a certain sense of hope. But then she saw another verse that talked about strength the same as the scripture Traci’s post had mentioned, so she typed that one instead, Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” 

Simone read what she’d typed but then went back to the site where she’d copied the scripture. She actually liked the New Living Translation interpretation better: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” But since Traci always seemed to use the King James Version, Simone would stick with using that. Actually, the more she scrolled through other scriptures, she preferred reading those via the New Living Translation, too, because when she did, the words were much clearer. 

Simone browsed Twitter for a few more minutes and then typed in the URL for Traci’s web site. When her home page appeared, Simone clicked on the “Media” link and then played a YouTube video of a television interview Traci had done with a Chicago news station last year. It was during the release week for her second book. Simone watched the four-minute segment. Then she watched it again. Then she watched it again. And again. And again. But now she replayed the intro. 

“Thank you so much for having me, Donna,” Traci said, smiling.  Simone paused the video. “Thank you so much for having me, Donna. Thank you so much for having me, Donna.”  Simone played Traci’s response again.  “Thank you so much for having me, Donna.” 

Simone paused the video again. “Thank you so much for having me, Donna,” she said, but this time she could tell her tone and diction sounded much more like Traci’s than they had the last time. She also smiled and gave two fast nods, exactly the way Traci had.  Simone played the video many more times, all while practicing Traci’s words and facial expressions. She also clasped her hands together and rested them in her lap…the same as Traci had.  Soon Simone moved on to every individual response that Traci had given, still practicing and mimicking every aspect of what she saw and heard. Simone started and stopped the video until she had Traci’s behavior and enunciation down pat. Then she picked up her Smartphone and hit the record icon. 

“Thank you so much for having me, Donna. Thank you so much for having me, Donna.” 

She stopped the recording and played it back. Then she played this particular part of Traci’s YouTube video again. Then she played her phone recording. Then she played the YouTube video again. And then her phone recording. She was so happy with how close her voice sounded to Traci’s that her heart beat faster than normal. She was elated because when it came time for her to do TV interviews, she’d be well prepared. Although, there was one thing that bothered her, and that was her name. Traci Calloway Cole had a special ring to it, and sounded a million times better than Simone Phillips. This also made Simone want to forget about planning a wedding, so that she and Chris could get married right away at the courthouse. This way, she’d be able to use her maiden name and new surname as soon as possible. 

“Simone Phillips McCann,” she spoke out loud. “Traci Calloway Cole. Simone Phillips McCann. Traci Calloway Cole.”  Her future married name sounded okay, she guessed, but if only Chris’s last name could start with Ph the same as hers, it would be perfect. 

She played around with a few examples that would work much better than McCann. “Simone Phillips Phalen. Simone Phillips Phifer.”  She would even settle for a last name that began with F, since it would still create the precise kind of alliteration she was looking for. 

“Simone Phillips Foster,” she said. “Simone Phillips Faulkner. Simone Phillips Freeman.”  Simone knew there was nothing she could do about Chris’s name, but there was a way to fix this little dilemma. She would use a pen name for her books. Writers did this all the time, so why shouldn’t she? 

She spoke out loud again. “Traci Calloway Cole. Simone Phillips Freeman. Traci Calloway Cole. Simone Phillips Freeman.”  Simone smiled as she repeated Traci’s name with her new name, over and over and over. It was priceless, and she couldn’t wait to use it on her first book, social media pages, and future website. 

( Continued... )

Copycat by Kimberla Lawson Roby will be released January 31, 2017.  © 2017 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.



More about Kimberla Lawson Roby

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 24 novels which include A SINFUL CALLING, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, 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 2.7 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, 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 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 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).

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 25th title, COPYCAT, will be released Tuesday, January 31, 2017.  To share your thoughts with Kimberla regarding her work, please e-mail her at: kim@kimroby.com.

If you would like to schedule a speaking engagement, booksigning event, or media interview with Ms. Roby, please contact her by email at: publicity@kimroby.com 

Twitter.com/KimberlaLRoby
Facebook.com/kimberlalawsonroby
Instagram.com/kimberlalawsonroby
Periscope.com/kimberlalawsonroby
Book Tour: http://kimroby.com/events 
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kimberla-Lawson-Roby/e/B001H6S2LK 
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/copycat-kimberla-lawson-roby/1123750150  

 

 

 

 


And Then There Was Me: A Novel 
by Sadeqa Johnson 

Coming April 11, 2017

Bea and Awilda have been best friends from the moment Awilda threw her fourteen year-old self across Bea’s twin-sized bed as if they had known each other forever. Bubbly, adventurous Awilda taught sheltered, shy Bea how to dress, wear her hair and what to do with boys. She even introduced Bea to her husband, Lonnie, in college, who pledged to take good care of her for the rest of their lives. But philanderer Lonnie breaks that promise over and over again, leaving Bea to wrestle with her self-esteem and long time secret addiction.

Recently Lonnie has plopped the family in a New Jersey upper class suburb, which lacks the diversity that Bea craves but has the school district and zip code envy that Lonnie wants. The demands of carrying a third child and fitting into this new environment while pretending that her husband is not cheating on her again, is more than she can handle. And just when she thinks things can’t get any worst, the ultimate deception snaps the little thread that was holding her life together and all comes tumbling down.

And Then There Was Me is the story of love and friendship, heartache and betrayal. It’s the journey of a woman stripped down to her lowest point and needing to find the will to press on.

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 the recipient of the 2013 Phillis Wheatley award for Best Fiction and the 2012 USA Best Book award for African-American fiction. She is also the author of Second House from the Corner and resides in Virginia with her husband and three children.  For more visit: www.sadeqajohnson.net


And Then There Was Me: A Novel by Sadeqa Johnson 
Released in Hardcover – April 11, 2017
Award-winning Bestselling Women's Fiction
Pre-order:  https://www.amazon.com/Then-There-Was-Me-Novel/dp/1250074169 

 

 

 

 


Taffy by Suzette D. Harrison

Twenty-three-year-old Taffy Bledsoe Freeman doesn’t need her gift of second sight to know her “mockery of a marriage” to a man twice her age is far good. After a seven-year exile Up North, Taffy travels down-home to the small town bearing her family’s name, plotting her escape from a marriage not worth the price of a press-and-curl. She only needs to retrieve the son her husband banished to her parents’ care, before boarding a train headed for the Windy City filled with liberty and opportunity. Instead, Taffy stumbles into Roam Ellis: her long-lost love and the man Taffy meant to marry.

Twenty-six-year-old Roam Ellis is a “broad-shouldered, hard-bodied” Pullman porter riding the rails coast-to-coast, outrunning the bitter heartbreak Taffy left behind. Now, after a seven-year absence, Roam is face-to-face with first love. Anger ignites. Old wounds are exposed. But when pain subsides, passion rises, thrusting Taffy and Roam into a hurricane of family secrets, betrayal, and lies. Bathed in southern lore and sweeping imagery, Taffy is a story of restoration and redemption that you won’t soon forget!


BOOK REVIEWS 

“I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to let you know that you are a writer with a story to tell. You get 6 stars. [Taffy] was the best story I have read in quite some time.” –T. Davis

“Loved, loved, loved your book.” –K. Thompson

“I just finished reading your book Taffy and didn't want it to end! Thank you for taking me into another place and time. Please do it again!” –C. Hendrick 

“There are few novels that render me speechless, but I can truly say that Taffy has succeeded in taking me on the literary journey of a lifetime.” –J. Blue

“For those who love an excellent love story as well as a nodding sense of African-American history, this is a book to read. Highly recommended.” –Patricia E. Canterbury, author of The Secret of Morton's End

“Taffy is a book to pass on to the generations. Thank you, Ms. Harrison.” –Dr. David Covin, Blue Nile Press

“Vividly realistic characters, colorful dialogue, and rich imagery combined with rare paranormal elements make Taffy a memorable read.” –Shobhan Bantwal, author of The Dowry Bride



Dr. Lalia Hekima Kiburi's shared her thoughts on Taffy on BAN Radio Show
Taffy is an exceptional historical novel that:
* is far beyond a five star rating
* although told through the experience of an African American family, the book is for all cultural groups
* is about a detailed and complex romance for all of us who love or have loved another
* is a story of the deceptive relationship between a mother and daughter surrounded by a large kin system
* is an erotic tale with passionate love scenes between two people who actually love each other. As a women in a 54 year old, passionate, marriage, I fully value the heart felt love within carnal satisfaction.


Book Review for Taffy by Suzette D. Harrison
Written By StylishCurvyGirl, Circle of Color BookClub Jackson, MS 


This was my first book by Mrs. Harrison but most definitely not my last. The cover captivated me initially. I am so very grateful that the story was just as, if not more, beautiful than the cover. 

Octavia Bledsoe, better known as Taffy, was a model child. After being gone for months with her mother, Taffy returned to her namesake, hometown of Bledsoe, baby in arm, "ruined" according to the townspeople. 

No one was hurt more than her longtime lover Roam...who did just that after hearing about her infractions. He became a porter and roamed for weeks at a time trying to escape heartache, betrayal, and deception. Seven years later, Taffy and Roam are back in their hometown at the same time, souls still bound by one another. 

Secrets long buried come to the light with the help of Taffy's gift. Will the people who Taffy lied for all these years take the unearthing of the truth laying down? 

Taffy is an incredible work of historical fiction and a MUST READ! Best Historical Fiction Novel of 2016 Hands Down!


CHAPTER EXCERPT 


According to the chime of the grandfather clock, midnight came and went, finding Taffy sleepless. She’d counted stars, the chirp of cicadas. Nothing soothed. Irritable, Taffy climbed from bed, tucked the cool cotton sheet about Angel and tipped from the room. Quietly, she descended the stairs, heading for the kitchen and milk to warm. High-beams flashing across the wall sent her to the backdoor instead.

Cautiously she peered out, instantly recognizing the pick-up entering the gravel drive. “Drew?” Alarmed, Taffy prayed nothing was amiss with Chloe. Grabbing her mother’s sweater from the coat rack, Taffy tossed it over her shoulders, reaching the back porch just as Drew’s passenger pulled something from the truck bed.

“Hey, Taf, I promised Uncle T. we’d bring him a line,” Drew called from the driver’s seat, passenger already approaching the house with a string of fresh-caught fish.

“Where would you like these?” Roam asked, mounting the porch.

Tightening her mother’s sweater over her nightclothes, Taffy refused answers involving the man’s anatomy. “The kitchen sink’s fine.” Holding open the screen door, Taffy let Roam pass while glaring at Drew, wishing she had a brick for his head.

“You still know how to clean and gut fish, Miss Cosmopolitan?” Submerging the catch in a sink full of water, Roam looked over his shoulder at Taffy, hovering at the kitchen entrance, silent and not amused.

“I’m sure my father thanks you, but those fish could’ve held ‘til morning.” Nervously, Taffy fumbled with her sweater as if needing a shield.

Roam snickered, having already envisioned her in nothing but skin. “You okay?”

“Are you?” Taffy snapped, wishing up an extra brick.

They stood eyes locked, heat flowing between them. Roam approached. Taffy moved from the doorway, granting Roam room to leave. Instead, Roam leaned down, whispering, “I’ll be real good once we get some loving.”

“Satan is a lie, and Hell has room! I’m not interested in playing games in the backseat of some car with you.”

Roam laughed, low and deep. “Dollbaby, trust me, we won’t be playing.”

Ignoring the thrill shooting up her spine at the old endearment, Taffy held the door open. “Go home, Beelzebub. You’re wasting my life.”

Staying put, Roam chuckled before advising, “Lemme tell you like the Apostle Paul. ‘When I was a child I spoke like a child. Now that I’m grown I’ve put away childish things’.” Roam moved closer. “Backseat business is for hormonal kids. I’m all man. Our love-making won’t be kiddie-quick in the confines of a car.” Roam’s baritone dipped deeper. “Gonna use whatever room we need and take our time spreading all this heaven,” Roam slowly caressed Taffy’s hip, “real nice…and wide.” Grinning, Roam walked out, leaving Taffy utterly tongue-tied.

Drew’s truck was down the road before Taffy thawed enough to holler, “Red-headed crazy!” She doused the kitchen lights, fish forgotten, and mounted the stairs. Midway, Taffy plopped onto a step, leaning against the stairwell, head in hand. Roam Ellis was out of his unnatural mind and in need of an exorcism, if not an enema. Just the same…Taffy was stuck on Roam’s arrogant assertion.

“…once we get some loving.”

Roam’s sensual prediction incessantly circling her skull, Taffy uncomfortably squirmed atop the steps, something warm like bathwater seeping between her legs.

( Continued... )

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

Purchase Taffy by Suzette D. Harrison
Link: https://amzn.com/1523298251
African-American Historical Romance/Historical Fiction
Discussion Topics: Love, redemption, and freedom


About the Author

Suzette D. Harrison, a native Californian, grew up in a home where reading was required, not requested. Her literary journey began when her poetry was published in her junior high school’s creative journal. While Suzette credits Gloria Naylor, Alex Haley, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison for inspiring her early in life, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings exemplified the life-changing power of African American literary voices to her. A wife and mother, Mrs. Harrison operates a small homebased cupcake business. She’s currently working on her next novel…in between batches of cupcakes. Visit Suzette at www.sdhbooks.com.

Listen to the BAN Radio Show with Suzette and host Ella D. Curry:  http://tobtr.com/s/9549593 

 

 

 

 

 


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/ 

 

 

 

 



ALONE 
by M.J. Kane 

When Derrick’s brother drives the family business into bankruptcy, Derrick is left without a job and only one choice: start over. With a new job waiting in Atlanta, the only other thing he’s looking for is a woman who’s willing to fit his no-strings-attached relationship policy. But then he runs into Kelli, a woman with a smart mouth who challenges him in every way. She’d be perfect … if it weren’t for the fact she had kids.

Shortly after giving birth to her son, Kelli’s husband announced that he wanted a divorce. Forced to move in with her newlywed sister, Kelli is faced with raising two young children on her own, finding affordable housing, and landing a job that will pay her bills. The last thing she needs or wants is a man in her life. But when her brother-in-law’s best friend shows up for dinner, it’s impossible to ignore the sexual attraction.

Fate and finances have another plan, though, forcing them into living under the same roof. Despite their differences, Derrick finds himself breaking his own relationship rules. But as his luck would have it, just when he thinks he’s ready to make a commitment, tragedy strikes close to home and, with it, issues from his past that force him to risk it all.


Excerpt: Alone by M.J. Kane 



“Mr. Derrick, look!” Christina waved a drawing in front of me.

“Leave Mr. Derrick alone, sweetie. I’m sure he doesn’t want to—”

“Hold on,” I interrupted. “You don’t speak for me.” I waited for Kelli to get my point, then turned my attention back to the young girl before me. I examined her drawing. “Not bad. You can draw a lot better than I can.” I winked; she laughed. I made my way to the washing machine and turned on the water. “What is it?”

“It’s a house.”

I sat at the table across from her while waiting for the wash tub to fill and looked at the drawing again. “Nice house.”

“My daddy draws houses,” Christina said with pride. She laid the picture flat on the table and selected another crayon.

“Does he now?” I looked over at Kelli for an explanation.

“He’s an architect.” Her expression went flat, so did her voice. Her attention went to the pot she was stirring. “Can you draw a house?” Little brown eyes the same shade of brown as her mother’s looked up at me.

I chuckled. “Not as good as you, but I can build a house.”

“With sticks and rocks and stuff?”

On the other side of the kitchen, Kelli laughed.

“No, I build with wood and blocks and stuff.”

“Legos!” Her enthusiasm was infectious.

I laughed. “No, I build real houses, like this one.” I held my arms out, pointed to the walls and ceiling of the room we were in for emphasis.

Christina’s eyes grew wide as she looked around the kitchen. “Ooo…,” then her face scrunched up in thought. “If you can build it, you can draw it, too!”

Words of wisdom from a five-year-old kid.

She slid a blank sheet of paper in front of me. “You can use my crayons if you want.”

“Christina…,” Kelli shot her daughter a look of warning.

“It’s okay.” I met Kelli’s expression with one that encouraged her not to stop her daughter. "She's right, let me see.” I slid the paper in front of me and selected a black crayon, then stared at the paper. My mind went blank.

When was the last time I’d drawn something? Feeling stupid, I scratched my head, then looked over at the little artist. She’d started adding windows and doors.

Christina looked over at me. “What are you waiting for?” She giggled. “It’s easy. Mommy can do it. Mommy, draw a house!” She waved a blank sheet of paper in her mother’s direction.

Kelli wiped her hands on her pants, then joined us at the table. I looked at her, but she refused to meet my gaze. Within minutes, Kelli had lines on paper that took the shape of a two-story house. The details were proportioned to the point of perfection. This picture seemed to have come from memory and not imagination. I glanced at Christina’s paper. It was a crude version of her mother’s.

They must have been drawing the house they used to live in.

“See, Mommy’s good, too!” Christina got up from the table, walked to her mother, and kissed her cheek. “Mommy, can I watch TV?”

“Sure, baby.” She hugged her daughter.

“Mr. Derrick, you and Mommy can use my crayons. I’ll get them when you’re done, ‘k?”

“Thanks.”

Christina skipped out of the room, leaving us to sit in silence.

I drew a few lines on my sheet of paper. Instead of a house, the blueprints from my current job came to mind. I went with that and decided to see exactly how much I remembered.

Kelli continued her picture. Details such as windows, doors, and landscaping emerged.

Damn, she was good.

“Looks like she gets her artistic skills from you.” I leaned forward a bit. “Lots of details. I don’t think I could imagine all of that.”

“It’s easy to do when it used to be reality.” She sat her crayon down, stared at the image, then ripped it to shreds. The expression on her face was hard.

I focused on my paper and gave her a moment to move past her dark place. Once the image was confetti, I figured she would be able to talk.

“I’m sorry about earlier.” I didn’t look at her. “I was tired. It won’t happen again.” I risked a peek and saw Kelli had stopped moving.

“Thank you for cleaning up.” Her eyes stayed on the scraps of paper in her hands.

“No problem. Like I said, I didn’t ask you to do anything. I don’t expect you to do anything for me either. I know you’ve been through a lot and being here and not there,” I indicated the pile of paper. “Can't be easy. Now I’m here, too. I don’t know what you have against me. If I’ve done something to offend you, I apologize. But I’m not him. Don’t take your anger and pain out on me, okay?”

Kelli looked up at me. It was obvious she was trying her best to control her emotions, but I could still see the damp corners of her eyes. “Sorry.”

I nodded. “I’ll stay out of your way as much as possible, but if you need help with anything around here, let me know. Contrary to what you believe, my mother didn’t raise an animal.”

Kelli squeezed her eyes shut, put her hands on her face. “Sorry about that, too.”

“You get a free pass…this time.”

Kelli laughed a little and looked me in the eye.

I found myself staring as she wiped those cat-like slits with her knuckle. Sad eyes, but beautiful just the same.


( 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.


Purchase Alone by M.J. Kane (The Butterfly Memoirs Book 5) 
Amazon Link: https://amzn.com/B01M7XYIFD  

KOBO:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/alone-79

SMASHWORDS:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/676192 

ITUNES:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/alone/id1170242121?mt=11 

AReB:  https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-alone-2160684-178.html 

BARNES & NOBLE:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1125021418?ean=2940153810171 


Meet M.J. Kane, Author of The Butterfly Memoirs

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.

 

 

 

 


Path to Peace  by Angie Ransome-Jones 
A Guide to Managing Life After Losing a Loved One


Death is difficult but inevitable. This book provides practical steps for preparing for the inevitable and coping after death – it should be on every bookshelf!


“Path to Peace, A Guide to Managing Life After Losing A Loved One,” chronicles one daughter’s journey of finding peace after the devastating loss of her father. In the midst of grieving, Angie Ransome-Jones was suddenly faced with laying her father to rest, settling his financial affairs and reconciling her unresolved feelings over the loss of her mother. 

After learning what she refers to as “the process,” it’s now her mission to share practical steps to picking up the pieces and finding peace, after the loss of a loved one. In this book, Angie provides a comprehensive guide that yields advice from an attorney, financial advisor and grief counselor. 

“Path to Peace” is one daughter’s story of reclaiming her life, realizing her purpose and finding inner peace along the way.

What People Are Saying About Path to Peace

Path to Peace is a wonderful book used as a source to go to time and time again if you are going through the process of grieving after losing someone. It is well researched and written, and is easy to absorb all while letting the reader take what they need at different times during the grieving process.

It does a comprehensive job of touching on the many types of loss, and offers helpful suggestions for coping and moving forward. From the moment I first started reading it, I knew the perspective is coming from well-informed person who has been through the grieving process.

I highly recommend buying it when you or someone you know is faced with the death of a loved one as it guides you forward with practical guides on what to do as well as emotional help. Give the book to someone you know who needs it. You will be able to help them when they need it most on their own time. By owning the book yourself, you will be able to understand and anticipate the needs of the people you care for who may need your help during a difficult time.  This is simply an amazing, well-written book that exceeded my expectations.


“This book is a compassionate and poignant reflection of the premise…everyone grieves differently. It is simply heart-warming!”
~Dionne Anglin, News Reporter, KDFW-TV 

This guide provides practical tools to manage the business affairs after losing a loved one.”
~Victor McGlothin, Essence Magazine Bestselling Author 

“What an incredible show of strength and courage in the middle of grief and loss…..Angie presents a very practical roadmap for all of us to follow!”
~Dr. Tracey Brown, Author/Speaker/Counselor Supervisor-Dallas ISD


Excerpt Chapter One


Until a year ago, I had always equated Election Day with colorful yard signs, cooler weather and National Angie Ransome-Jones Day, also known as my birthday. Now, I equate it to my Daddy’s passing. It was a normal day, just like any other for me. I ran my mouth with Evelyn while trying to get some semblance of work done at home. The day before, I worked an election with my good friend, Janis, like I had for the past few years and was trying to play catch up like I always do, whenever I take off from work. Coming off of a great weekend, I was on cloud 21!

Dad came down to celebrate my 44TH birthday and I basked in the possibilities of another year as Myles, my son, prepared for his first semester of college. There were so many things to be thankful for. Little did I know what was to come. If not every single day, it was at least every other day that I talked to Daddy. Usually, we had a typical 2-minute conversation. “Hey Daddy, what you doing?”

“Oh, nothing girl, just sitting here relaxing.”

Depending on whether I caught him half asleep or fully awake, the conversation could go one of a million ways. Mostly we would get off the phone immediately with a casual goodbye.

“Okay, just checking on ya. Daddy, go back to sleep.”

We often shared any number of long, drawn-out conversations on everything from gas prices to somebody on his job getting ill, or something pertaining to a distant relative I had no memory of. But on this particular day, something was different. Something was off. I tried calling him the night before while I was still at the election site, just before I knew he would be taking a nap to get ready for work at midnight. I tried again when I closed the polls about 10 or 11 p.m., on my way home, hoping to catch him fresh out the shower before he got dressed and jumped into his truck for work. Daddy had the same pattern every day. It usually started with him laying or piddling around all day until dusk, when it was time to prepare for his part-time “sleeping job” at the local bowling alley; the midnight shift. When I didn’t catch him, it wasn’t surprising. I knew for sure I’d catch him the next morning. After I failed to catch him for the umpteenth time, I did the one thing I dreaded most. Fearing a sharp reprimand, I called his job. Because I knew he hated his job and was just counting the days, even minutes, until re-retirement; I was doubtful he was still there. And, as it turned out, he wasn’t. 

Next, I did the second thing that I knew I would live to regret if he had merely overslept. I called his neighbor, Ms. Effie.  After knocking, peeking through windows, and calling his name repeatedly, Ms. Effie called back to tell me that she had no luck but thought he may have been home because she saw both cars in his garage. After what seemed like hours of Ms. Effie knocking, calling out my Dad’s name, “Al! Al!” and trying to calm me down hundreds of miles away, she decided to call for backup in the form of her daughter Erica; who I had also known for years. After a few more hours of knocking on windows, doors, and anything she could find, she called Dad’s phone repeatedly. Eventually, Erica heard his phone ring from inside the house. It was then, I knew he was gone. Daddy always carried his phone on his person, in either a pocket or on a chain attached to his hip.

The authorities wouldn’t tell me much except that he didn’t suffer. The room was left virtually undisturbed, which suggested there was not a struggle. Instead, they said he was sitting upright in a chair with his breathing machine by his bedside and appeared to have passed peacefully. He presumably had an asthma attack but the death certificate recorded it as “death by natural causes” and I’m okay with that. I had always imagined that I’d be there with him, like I was when my mother took her final breath but in this case, it wasn’t a part of God’s plan.

Step 1: Making the Call

Notification Process:
The first step and one of the most difficult of the ten I will outline, is the notification process. Instead of contacting our immediate family first, I notified people I knew would kick into full gear to do some of the heavier lifting that I was neither mentally nor emotionally prepared to do yet. I recommend appointing a “go-to-man” from the outset. You will need assistance in making dreadful phone calls while navigating through what will seem to be an endless list of people to notify; otherwise known as your “Call List.” 

Handle with Care: In retrospect, after helping with the deaths of close friends, an important part of the process is to “Handle with Care.” This is important for those who meant the most to your loved one and would want to hear the news directly from you. I caused irreparable damage in my neglect of a relative that was near and dear to me, and my Dad, when he heard the news of his passing via word of mouth. Remember, word of mouth travels faster than the front page news. 


( Continued... ) 

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


About the Author
Angie Ransome-Jones is a wife of 20+ years and mother of two young men, all currently residing in Texas. A banking Vice President and MBA, Angela has her own non-profit (501C-3) organization, Magnifying our Mothers (M.O.M.), which she founded in 2010, in memory of her mother, who lost her battle with cancer years earlier. In her spare time, Angela enjoys serving as a volunteer in her church and community, along with practicing and teaching yoga, and she is an active member of both Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and Toastmasters International.  Wesite: http://www.path-2-peace.com 

Purchase Path to Peace, A Guide to Managing Life After Losing a Loved One
https://www.amazon.com/Peace-Guide-Managing-After-Losing/dp/0991220919 


“Path to Peace, A Guide to Managing Life After Losing A Loved One,” chronicles one daughter’s journey of finding peace after the devastating loss of her father. In the midst of grieving, Angie Ransome-Jones was suddenly faced with laying her father to rest, settling his financial affairs and reconciling her unresolved feelings over the loss of her mother. 

Path to Peace author Angie Ransome-Jones talks about preparing for the inevitable on WFAA- Good Morning Texas. Watch the interview replay, go here.  Death is difficult but inevitable. Path to Peace provides practical steps for preparing for the inevitable and coping after death – it should be on every bookshelf!   

 

 

 

 

 


Lady of the House by E.N. Joy 

The man might be the head of the family, but the woman is definitely the head of the house. Pastor Margie has been doing just fine running her house, as well as the house of the Lord, New Day Temple of Faith, all by her lonesome. As a matter of fact, her motto has been, “I can do better all by myself.”

Well, certain members of the congregation beg to differ. Some of them have been nagging at Margie for so long about finding a help mate that she just might be crazy enough to give it a try. Once her congregation learns the method in which she goes about seeking a man for the house, they might worry for her sanity. After all, a woman of the cloth would have to be certifiably nuts to agree to go on a reality dating show in order to find a husband.

Margie assures her members that she will be just fine, because the Lord will guide her. That may be so, but a former member comes across the miles to offer her help as well. Usually the voice of reason who can speak truth and sense into any situation, even Mother Doreen might not be able to handle this situation.

As Margie and Doreen navigate the pitfalls of reality television, will the voices of the producers, production team, and not to mention the men—some of whom aren’t even saved—drown out the voice of God?


Purchase Lady of the House by E.N. Joy
 
Release: 10/25/16. Book 3 of Forever Divas Series 
https://www.amazon.com/Lady-House-Three-Forever-Divas/dp/1622867513 



About the Author

BLESSEDselling Author E. N. Joyis the writer behind the five book series, "New Day Divas," the three bookseries, "Still Divas," the three book series, "Always Divas," and theforthcoming three book series, "Forever Divas," which have been coined "SoapOperas in Print." She is an Essence Magazine Bestselling Author who wrote secularbooks under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY. An All Night Man, an anthology she wrote with New York TimesBestselling Author Brenda Jackson, earned the Borders bestselling AfricanAmerican romance award. And her Urban Fiction title, Dollar Bill (Triple Crown Publication), appeared in Newsweek and has been translated toJapanese.

After thirteen years of being a paralegal in the insuranceindustry, E. N. Joy divorced her career and married her mistress and herpassion; writing. In 2000, she formed her own publishing company where shepublished her books until landing a book deal with a major publisher. Thisaward winning author has been sharing her literary expertise on conferencepanels 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, receiveda Coretta Scott King Honor from the American Library Association. The book was also acquired by ScholasticBooks and has sold almost 100,000 copies. Elementary and middle school childrenhave fallen in love with reading and creative writing as a result of thereadings and workshops E. N. Joy instructs in schools nationwide.

In addition, she is the artistic developer for a young girlgroup named DJHK Gurls. She pens original songs, drama skits and monologues forthe group that deal with messages that affect today's youth, such as bullying. 

You can visit BLESSEDselling Author E. N. Joy at enjoywrites.com or email her at enjoywrites@aol.com.




 


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

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ellis and The Hidden Cave 
by Aryeh and Cerece Rennie Murphy



An Ancient Civilization
An Underwater World
A New Quest for the StoneKeeper!

Ellis, Toro and Freddye are at it again in the second book in the Ellis Monroe Series Early Reader Chapter Book! Join them as they explore a hidden world, face more nasty Bugabols and discover that there are many kinds of superpowers!  


Excerpt from Ellis and The Hidden Cave 


Chapter 1 Spring Break!



“Hurry up! Recess ends in one minute,” his teammates shouted from the sidelines. Sprinting ahead, Ellis Monroe caught up with the soccer ball and turned toward the goal. To his right, Ellis saw Max Washington running toward him. Ellis knew that Max wanted him to pass the ball, so that Max could try to score for the win. Max thought he was the best player on his team and always let everyone know it. But Ellis thought a pass would be too risky. Instead, seeing an opening on the field, Ellis quickly dribbled forward. Suddenly, Kevin Taylor appeared and bumped Ellis, trying to steal the ball away. Ellis kicked the ball, hard, and watched as it sailed toward the goal. And out of bounds.

Max came charging up to Ellis. “What’d you go and do that for?” he yelled, as several kids joined them.

“Are you trying to lose the game?” Omar Mendez said. “Yeah, Ellis, did you forget where the goal is?” asked Nate Weaver, and a few kids laughed.

Ellis flushed as the children closed in on him. He looked around at the group of kids and wished his best friend Toro Quispe wasn’t at home sick today. “Cut it out, guys,” said Ellis, looking around for a teacher. Max moved closer to Ellis. “You should have passed me the ball!” he said. “I would have scored.” “It was a mistake. Just drop it, Max, okay?” Ellis said.

“I should drop kick you,” Max replied, putting his face just inches away from Ellis.

“Back off, Max!” Ellis yelled, but Max stepped closer. “It’s just a game!” he said, then pushed Max away from him.

Max stumbled backward, then tripped on his feet and fell. “You pushed me!” he shouted, scrambling to his feet. Just then, Mrs. Lee appeared out of nowhere and Max ran straight to her just as the recess bell rang. Ellis hung his head, wondering how much trouble he was going to be in.

When Ellis and his younger sister Freddye got home from school, both their parents were waiting for him in the living room. “Ellis, we got a call from the principal today,” his dad said quietly. Ellis looked from one parent to another, tears pricking the back of his eyes. “I was only trying to defend myself,” Ellis explained. “I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody.”

Mrs. Monroe walked over and gently put her hand on Ellis’ head. “Why don’t you sit down and tell us what happened,” she said. Ellis put his book bag down then sat on the couch, with Freddye trailing closely behind. “I accidently kicked the ball out of bounds and some of the kids got mad,” Ellis said. “I know Max wanted me to let him score, but he always hogs the ball and I saw an opening!” Ellis looked down. “But I missed.”

“And then?” his father prompted.

“Max got really mad and started yelling at me. And some of the other kids said stuff too.” Ellis sniffed. “And there were no teachers, and not even Toro was there. But then Max got in my face and said he should ‘drop kick me’. I got mad and a little scared, too so I pushed him away.”

“Was he hurt?” asked his mother.

Ellis shook his head. “Well, he did fall down,” he admitted.

“Good!” piped up Freddye. “He deserved it for being mean to you!”

“Okay, Ellis,” said Dr. Monroe. “That’s what the principal told us as well. Lots of kids saw what happened and they said a few of the kids were ganging up on you.”

Freddye punched a fist into her hand. “Next time I see Max, I’m gonna hit him right in the nose for messing with my brother,” she said.

Ellis smiled at his sister. “You don’t need to do that, Freddye, but I sure won’t be helping Max with his science homework anymore.”

“Now just a minute, both of you,” saidMrs.Monroe. “We have made it clear that you have the right to defend yourself, but that doesn’t mean you can just go around punching people in the nose. I want you and Freddye to think about howyou want things to go from here. Is Max always mean to you? Is he really your enemy?”

Ellis thought for a minute. “Not really,” he admitted.

Turning her full attention back to Ellis, Mrs. Monroe continued. “Then it might be a good idea for you to think about why you and Max both acted the way you did.”

Ellis frowned. Max had acted like a big bully, and Ellis didn’t have anyone else on his side. But Max didn’t usually bully people. He just hated losing. And he actually was a really good soccer player. But that didn’t make it okay for him to say those things to Ellis.

“Your mother is right, kids,” Dr. Monroe added as he gathered Ellis and Freddye in front of him. “No matter what anyone else does, you have to decide what kind of person you’re going to be.” The children nodded silently, sitting side-by-side on the couch.

Dr. Monroe began to smile. “Well, on a happier note,” he began. “We have some exciting news for you.”

“What is it, Daddy?” Freddye asked.

“Remember how I told you that we might be taking a big trip soon?” Ellis and Freddye leaned forward in anticipation. “Well, my colleague, Dr. Patel, has asked me to help study some ruins of an ancient civilization they recently discovered,” Dr. Monroe paused for a moment, keeping them in suspense. “The ruins are in India, so we are all going to travel there over Spring Break!”

Freddye gasped and Ellis leapt to his feet. “Oh yeah! I’ve got to tell Toro!” he said. “Is it okay if I call him?” At his parents’ nods, Ellis ran to the next room to call his best friend. 

“Hey!” Ellis said when Toro got on the phone. “Are you feeling any better?”

“Yeah,” said Toro. “I’ll be back at school tomorrow. Did I miss anything today?”

“Kind of,” Ellis began then went on to describe the scene at recess. “Max was acting meaner than those Bugabols,” he told Toro. 

Toro nodded his head in understanding. It was just a few months ago that he, Ellis and Freddye had discovered a group of trolls called Bugabols hiding out at their school. When they learned that the Bugabols were trying to stop children from learning, Ellis, Toro and Freddye devised a plan to stop them. Not only did they succeed with the help of a magic mirror, but Ellis learned that he had the special mark of the Stonekeeper, and was given a beautiful purple and yellow gem by a strange presence in the woods. “The journey of the Stonekeeper has begun,” the voice in the forest told them. While no one knew exactly what that meant, Ellis, Toro and Freddye had been on the lookout for more adventure ever since.

“Wow, that’s pretty bad,” said Toro. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there to back you up.”

“It’s okay,” Ellis said. “Besides, I’ve got some really good news.”

“Me, too!” Toro said excitedly, “You first.”

“My family is going to India for Spring Break with my Dad to study some ruins!” As soon as Ellis said it, he felt less excited than he wanted to be. “I wish you could come with us, Toro.”

“Well, guess what?” Toro asked, more excited than ever.

“What?” Ellis replied.

“I’m going to India, too,” Toro blurted out. “Since my mom’s a botanist, they asked if she could come and help them identify some of the seeds and plants they found there. So…” 
he paused, “Mom, Dad and I are going on the trip with you!”

Ellis’s mouth fell open, then he dropped the phone and let out a loud whoop. “This is going to be the best spring break ever!” he shouted.

Later that evening, Ellis’ father showed the family some photos from the archeological site. “A great city once thrived here,” Dr. Monroe said.

“How do you know that, Daddy?” asked Freddye.

“There are ruins all over the area, some of them quite large. And a range of artifacts – from tools to crafts,” he answered. “Dr. Patel, the lead archeologist on the project, says that some of the artifacts came from other parts of the world, which means that these ancient people either had visitors from all over the world or they were great explorers.”

“What is this?” Ellis asked, holding up a photo of a statue with a green body surrounded by flowers.

“That is Tara. She is a Hindu goddess,” Ellis’ mother said. As an art history teacher, Mrs. Monroe knew a lot about statues.

“Wow! I’ve never seen a god look like that before,” Freddye exclaimed as she noted the statue’s peaceful pose and elaborate headdress. “And she’s sitting on a lotus flower, which is kind of cool!”

“Is a Hindu god like a kind of superhero?” asked Ellis.

Mrs. Monroe laughed. “Well, I guess you could say that.”

“What kind of superpowers does Tara have?”

“She doesn’t have powers like super-human strength or x-ray vision,” Mrs. Monroe explained. “But people of the Hindu faith believe that she can help you gain compassion for others.”

“That doesn’t sound nearly as good as being able to fly or pick up cars,” said Ellis doubtfully.

His mother smiled. “Being strong is not the only way to be powerful.”

Ellis thought about that as Mrs. Monroe picked up another photo. “They must have had an important connection to water,” she said. “See all the drawings of people swimming?”

Ellis examined one photo that showed images of people diving into a large pool. “It’s like an underwater world.” In one drawing two people were swimming past a huge blue statue.

“That’s strange,” Mrs. Monroe said, as she flipped through all the photos again.

“What is, Mom?” asked Ellis.

“With such an obvious connection to the water, I’m surprised there is no evidence of ship building,” she said. “How did they gather all of these artifacts if they didn’t travel over the water?”

“I was thinking the same thing,” Dr. Monroe agreed. Ellis looked at the photo more carefully. He absentmindedly rubbed the star-shaped birthmark on the back of his hand that the Bugabols said identified him as the Stonekeeper.

“Maybe they could swim like fish,” Freddye offered.

Both her parents chuckled. “Well, that’s one theory you can explore when we get there.”

But Ellis didn’t laugh. He just looked at his sister. Stranger things have happened, he thought. She might be on to something.


( Continued in the Ellis and The Hidden Cave, Early Reader Chapter Book... )


© 2016 All rights reserved. Excerpt from Ellis and The Hidden Cave. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Cerece Rennie Murphy. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


About the Collaborators


Aryeh
is a very curious boy and Cerece is his Mommy. “We dedicate this book to boys and girls everywhere who still like lots of pictures when reading all those words.”

Greg
is an enthusiastic artist who loves a good story to draw. “I dedicate this book to all my nephews and nieces. If this doesn’t make me the coolest uncle, I don’t know what will.”

Carol
is a lifelong book enthusiast who loves helping create new stories for the next generation of children. Carol dedicates this book to L and E for introducing her to the world of children's books.


Purchase the books from the author, go to: http://www.theellisseries.com/buy-the-book 

To learn more about the Ellis series, please visit our website at www.theellisseries.com 

Join the Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/ellisandthemagicmirror 


Order Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Children's Books > Action & Adventure > Chapter Books & Early Readers
http://www.amazon.com/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/e/B008G6XXBS 



Ellis and The Magic Mirror by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Ellis Monroe has always been curious about the world. When his father brings home an ancient mirror with the power to reveal the truth about the people and things around him, Ellis begins to see the world in a whole new way. But things get more than a little strange/even more interesting when Ellis brings the mirror to school. While on the playground with the mirror and his best friend Toro Quispe, Ellis discovers that someone or something is hiding out at Harriet Tubman Elementary and trying to stop children from learning. Determined to solve the mystery, Ellis, Toro, and his little sister, Freddye go on a secret mission to find out the truth about the mischievous Buddy Cruster and stop whatever he has planned. Join Ellis, Freddye and Toro as their quest leads them deep into the forest and on an adventure you will never forget!

Ellis and The Hidden Cave is book 2. Ellis and the Magic Mirror is book 1 in the early reader series. Join the Facebook community: https://www.facebook.com/ellisandthemagicmirror 


Ellis and The Magic Mirror Book Reviews


“Delightful and unexpected. Young readers will thoroughly enjoy this book.” 
– Tanya Barnett, Founder and CEO, Forever Free Books


“The story kept my children waiting for more with every chapter. They really enjoyed it.” 
– E. Mitchell, mother of a 2


"A fun adventure that teaches goodness and the power of friendship. It is a great book that helps take reluctant readers to the next level. The story is interesting and highlights the importance of team work and the unique characteristics each of us have that adds to the team. The sky is the limit with the adventures this crew can have! Such fun!"
– Mrs. Mommy Book Nerd blog


"A Children's Book 4 Geeks! When you read the first two or three pages of Ellis and The Magic Mirror, you're probably going to think that it's just a regular children's book with a generic... message that's supposed to come across to readers. Though shortly after...you'll realize it's much more than that. There are great lessons throughout the book that should not be overlooked. I highly recommend getting this book to share with young children. It's a great book to read to kids and you'll have as much fun reading it as they will listening to it."
– Black Girl Nerds


"At a mere 33 pages, I was delighted at how the authors captured a fun and adventurous story succinctly in a manner that will inspire even the most reluctant of readers to pick up the book and read. The illustrator captures the essence of the characters with fierce illustrations that draw a child’s eye to the page. While this book would be listed as an “Early Chapter Book,” it stands to be put in a class of its own because of the bright, colorful illustrations throughout the book, the edgy, kid approved story line, and the short, easy to read chapters." 
– Books, Babies, and Bows


“The vocabulary and reading levels are very appropriate for second and third grade readers. The...plot is great [and] kept my attention. I also like that the main characters are African-American children dealing with normal…lives. I have struggled to find books with African-American characters who are not stereotyped or set in a time period of racial struggle…great job!!! .” 
– M. Erb, 2nd Grade Teacher


Purchase Ellis and The Magic Mirror by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Children's Books > Action & Adventure > Chapter Books & Early Readers
https://www.amazon.com/Ellis-Mirror-Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/dp/0985621052 



Why Add the Ellis Series To Your Kid's Book Collection?

As a mother of a 8 year old boy and a 8 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.


The Ellis Adventure Series 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!) 

Ellis and The Magic Mirror
is available in hardcover and paperback and distributed through the Ingram Book Group. Review copies are available in paperback and electronic format upon request.


About the Author
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 writing what would become the bestselling Order of the Seers trilogy. Order of the Seers was selected as one of The Best Kindle Books of 2014 by Digital Book Today.

Cerece lives in her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda. 

In addition to working on the next book in the “Ellis Monroe Series”, Ms. Murphy is currently developing a love story inspired by the classic movie Somewhere in Time, titled To Find You and a 2-part science fiction thriller set in outer space. To learn more about the author and her upcoming projects, please visit her website at www.cerecerenniemurphy.com. Review copies of current titles are available upon request.

 

 

 

 

 


Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion
Prayers for the Creative Christian and Entrepreneur
Non-Fiction by Nigeria Lockley.  Foreword by Detola Amure

Wheatley Award Winner and entrepreneur, Nigeria Lockley explores how to use the power of prayer to strategically manage your business and keep the faith in the process. Learn how to make God the CEO of all your endeavors and connect with Him on a deeper level with, Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion.

Christians are often taught that God must be involved in all that they do. Yet there is little guidance on how to get God more involved in our business ventures in a meaningful way. In Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion, author Nigeria Lockley explores areas of struggle that creative Christians and entrepreneurs must overcome in order to excel.

Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion will address topics like:


• Alignment of Purpose—what you want must be His will.

• Finance—understand that you should not feel guilty about earning money using your gift, however money, money, money can’t be your mantra.

• Networking—who you know may be important, but God has already ordained divine connections for you.

• Discretion and Discernment—
know the difference and use them both.

Through transparent testimony, biblical guidance, and a prayer strategy pulled from the book of Nehemiah, Lockley provides believers with prayers to take the pursuit of their passion out of this world.  The paperback edition includes space for readers to develop their own prayers for each issue dealt with in the book.


Excerpt from the Chapter on Balance 


There are some who say living a balanced life while chasing your dreams is a myth. You’ve got to relentlessly throw yourself into the work, striving day and night to get things done and make it happen. Then there are those who believe you need to be balanced instead of busy. I spent three years throwing myself relentlessly into the work. I was on for twenty-six hours a day (yes, I added extra hours to the day). Every day melded into one day until I found myself in the middle of my seventh period class clutching my chest. The next day, I was determined to prove
God was able and I still made the trek from Manhattan to Brooklyn. However, before the bell for first period rang, I was out the door and on my way to the emergency room. After a battery of tests and several trips to every doctor under the sun to find out what was the catalyst of my chest pains, I discovered that my body was basically falling apart. I had low iron and a cyst. 

It seemed like I needed to lock myself in a closet and say that strength prayer over and over again until I saw it fulfilled, but what I needed was balance. Every day I was trying to give one hundred percent of me to my writing, to my students, to my children, to my husband, and to God. I was trying to be everywhere at once, and that’s God job.

The order of the situation was all off. God has to be first every day and above all things. The same amount of time that we willingly devote to our passion must be allotted to God. He must be a part of all of our workings to maintain balance. Look at how He created the world—one day at a time and everything in order.

To pursue your passion in a Godly fashion means putting God first and everything else in its proper order. Does this life require long nights? Yes, especially when you’re just starting out; however, bouncing around like a balloon whose air has just been let out is not a requirement. Don’t live an unbalanced life that will have you everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Is this possible? Your gut is telling you it’s impossible to achieve balance and run a business. But it is possible. God was busy establishing the whole entire world as we know it, and He was never as frazzled as we are. We’re just trying to build brands, write books, and open new businesses. We just have to follow the blueprint He left us. The only true way to find balance is to seek God. God worked on a different aspect of creation each day. He built the whole world one day at a time.

( Continued... )

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

Order books from Amazon: amazon.com/author/nigerialockley


About the Author

 Nigeria Lockley possesses two master's degrees, one in English secondary education, which she utilizes as an educator with the New York City Department of Education. Her second master's degree is in creative writing. Nigeria's debut novel, Born at Dawn received the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Award for First Fiction. After the success of her novels and the launch of her own publishing company, Inheritance Books she is committed to pushing woman to pursue their passion, walk in their purpose, and live in prosperity. Nigeria serves as the deaconess and clerk for her spiritual home, King of Kings and Lord of Lords Church of God. She is a New York native who resides in Harlem with her husband and two daughters.

 

 

 

 


To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy
Coming November 29, 2016

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


How many times would you die to find your one true love?


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… 


Listen to
Cerece read from the book: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C7GN8vWk


Excerpt from To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Part I: In The Beginning

I wait for him here, at the place where the night sky and the earth become lovers. In the tall grass of our homeland, between two kingdoms, we meet. Getting here first is easier than slipping away late, especially now when life in my village is bustling with the preparations for our wedding ceremony in just three days. But as the reeds lick the backs of my calves, I know that this is only part of the reason I wait. The truth is that I like to feel him coming. At this hour, when my imagination reigns over every shape and whisper, I can almost see him walking on limbs taller and stronger than mine will ever be. Cutting through the blue-black night that hides his slightly lighter shade, he stalks his prey. I cannot hear his approach, but I feel him drawing near, compelled by the same force that holds me where I stand – the scent of my desire in the air.

I close my eyes and breathe deeply, imagining I can taste him, too. The flavor is salt, sweet grass and home. It fills my senses and makes me thirsty. On the outside my knees shake and my heart pounds, impatient for her mate, while the deepest part of me grows still – stretching towards the peace that only his presence brings. And he’s close now, so close.

***


When we were children, he was such a scrawny thing. I used to like to wrestle him just to beat him, just to prove that I could. I was young and determined and more than a little jealous of the prowess of my older brothers. Secretly, I wanted to be like them, but my youngest brother was already 10 years my senior by the time I could walk. In Ekow, I could finally prove that no boy could match me. My laughter rumbles in the stillness as I think of it. Oh, how mad he would be every time I beat him! And in the beginning, there were many, many times when I did. He would get so angry that his ears would twitch. He would stomp away from his defeat with his hands balled up in knobby little fists – eyes glaring, ears twitching while one of our elders cackled nearby and me sticking out my tongue. We didn’t see each other often enough for me to beat him everyday, but I looked forward to it whenever I could. I was always stronger than I looked and even when he grew a little taller than me, his limbs seemed to flail awkwardly about him, so that he was never quite coordinated. And in my delicious reign as his tormentor, time seemed to stretch on forever, until one day it stopped.

I remember the sun burned low in the sky that day as the dust and amber light conspired against me in swirling fits that stung my eyes. Rolling around on the ground, I was shocked to find myself panting for air. Suddenly, his legs overpowered me. I couldn’t throw him the way I had been able to before. His grip was a vice that I had to sweat to free myself from and even then, he would catch me again, quickly - too quickly for my liking.

Unable to break free, I grunted and cursed as he pinned me down on my back. At first, I refused to meet his gaze. Beneath my eyelashes, I could swear I saw my own taunting smirk, the same one I had given him, year after year, curling the corners of his lips. Enraged, I shut my eyes to avoid my fears and kicked my legs furiously, all to no avail. I could feel the muscles of his powerful thighs holding me in place without the slightest indication of strain and I couldn’t stand it. As if sensing the scream that would send my brothers flying to my aid and gotten us both into a world of trouble, Ekow suddenly lifted his body from mine, then leaned over to adjust his grip so that our hands were stretched out above my head, palm to palm, fingers intertwined in the grass and the dirt beneath us.

How did I not know, even then…

Something about the gesture was so strange that it distracted me from my fury. The feel of his hands pressed firmly into mine made my stomach flutter and clench in a way that was startling, but not unpleasant.

“Ama,” he called. “Ama, don’t scream. Ama, please, surrender.” It must have been the “surrender” that made my eyes fly open to meet his in absolute indignation. Sometimes, I like to think that if I’d never opened my eyes, it never would have happened, but this is, of course, foolish. I was meant to see. When I opened my eyes, I found him staring down at me. The smirk I’d feared was nowhere in sight. Instead, his eyes wore the same wariness I felt as I looked back at him, then quickly dissolved into something I’d never seen in him before.

He eyed my mouth with what I understand now as a mixture of surprise and captivation. Back then, I still had no idea what was happening, but as his gaze continued to linger over me, I became aware that I felt like someone was seeing me truly for the first time in my life. I remember fighting the nameless emotion that closed my throat and pricked my eyes.

“Ama, surrender,” he whispered, “Please.” And that’s when I understood that I held him in place as much as he held me. Neither one of us could leave without the other. “Please,” he said again and I finally realized what I needed to do all along.

Seeing the answer there in my eyes, he released my hands and rose to his feet. I remember averting my eyes against the sudden sense of loss that came as he left. But at the corner of my vision I saw it, his hand extended out to help me up. He’d done it before, even as I beat him and he’d risen in defeat while I remained holding my belly in victorious laughter on the ground. I’d always ignored the gesture until that moment, when suddenly it felt like the most natural thing in the world to accept his help. When I finally stood, I noticed for the first time that he was a full foot taller than me. Despite my daze, I frowned. “You’re taller than I am,” I said in dismay.

“No, Ama,” he replied. Ekow’s voice was deep and heavy as he stepped forward to take my other hand in his. “We are now exactly the same height.”

I was 13 years old; Ekow was 16 and, after that, nothing between us was ever the same.

( Continued... )

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


About the Author

Cerece Rennie Murphy
fell in love with writing and science fiction at an early age. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. In 2012, Mrs. Murphy published the first book in what would become the best-selling Order of the Seers sci-fi trilogy.

In addition to publishing her first time-bending romance titled, To Find You, Mrs. Murphy is working on the release of the 2nd book in the Ellis and The Magic Mirror children’s book series with her son and developing a 2-part science fiction thriller set in outer space. Mrs. Murphy lives and writes in her hometown of Washington, DC with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda. To learn more about the author and her upcoming projects, please visit her website at: http://www.cerecerenniemurphy.com



Order Historical Romance Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy 
http://www.amazon.com/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/e/B008G6XXBS 
To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy.  Coming Nov. 29, 2016  



 

 

 


Mercy's First Semester 
by W.M. Bunche 


How do combat vets re-integrate back into society after deployment?

How important is faith in a combat soldier’s life before, during and after deployment?

How do families make adjustments to returning vets who have obviously been affected by the war?



Mercy’s First Semester is about the ramifications of war and the perplexing impulses which lead to obsession and peril in the lives of all. 


Set in Brooklyn, “Mercy’s First Semester” brings together four improbable individuals: Mercy, an Iraq war combat veteran suffering from PTSD; Mr. Mina, a compassion fatigued social worker who refuses to give up on his patients even when his livelihood threatens his marriage; Dr. G, an atheist professor, who is fond of Mercy in ways he cannot comprehend; and Eva, Mercy’s childhood crush who reconnects with him on Veteran’s Day. 

Mercy saved his men. Can he save himself?”



Amazon Review Written by NY Hank 
Beautifully Written, Mercy is a Hero for Today

What a gritty, emotional roller-coaster that forces us as Americans to look at the results of the choices that our society makes: war, peace, isolationism, involvement, God, no god, education, loneliness. Through Mercy, we see and confront ourselves and what we collectively value and where we want to be within the family of man (and women). The unbearable burden we place on young kids who go to war must never be forgotten and we are too quick to sweep away these men and women when they return because they remind us of something that is so unsettling and difficult. 

In our disposable world, it is simply easier to forget about them and return to a computer game on a tablet. We've let these veterans down, and we know it. So ignore them; that's the easier path. While not doing enough to integrate veterans back into our national community, Mercy gives us renewed hope. Through a circuitous route, Mercy let's us know that one must never give up, must always believe that the sun will rise and there is a way to becoming whole. 

And that is a lesson for all Americans, war veterans or simply an individual trying to navigate an increasingly more difficult society where more and more challenges and obstacles are placed in front of us each and every day. Mercy is truly a hero, both on and off the battlefield. Beautifully written, Mercy's struggle will stay with you long after you turn the last page.


Review #1 (Amazon) - 5.0 out of 5 stars 

“I typically don't read military style books but I am glad that I read this book. It has touched me in a way that has allowed me to look at our military personnel and their families in a new light.

While I have always had respect and gratitude for their sacrifice and service this book showcased what the impact of their sacrifice and service has done to the soldier and their family.

I was reluctant to start reading the book but by the time I reached the end I was so sad that it was over but also grateful for the opportunity to be enlightened to a situation that is definitely prevalent right now . The author developed the characters in a way that made you feel connected to them. I highly recommend this book. Job well done!”


Review # 2 (Amazon) - 5.0 out of 5 stars

This book was absolutely amazing. I'm uncertain if I will purchase several copies ...

“This book was absolutely amazing. I'm uncertain if I will purchase several copies for friends/family and/or send out a world wide email informing them you do not wish to miss out on this blessing. What an remarkable story, in depth details into Mercy's family life, back story and present journey with dealing with his challenges. This book is an eye opener. There are several dimensions also involving those Mercy interacted with. Without stealing the author's thunder, you would remiss not to purchase this MASTERPIECE. High accolades and congratulations to W.M. Bunche, YOU ROCK! I will be going on vacation in three months and plan to reread MERCY'S FIRST SEMESTER again AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.”



FIRST CHAPTER EXCERPTS: MERCY’S FIRST SEMESTER

The Golden Hour


SPRING BREAK 2013


Joshua Toussaint Mercier (aka Mercy) remembered the golden hour. The critical life saving hour following a traumatic injury. With proper medical treatment, there is a great possibility of survival. Without proper medical treatment, Taps. He remembered the roar of the medevac chopper’s blades rotating overhead, kicking up desert dust. His bullet riddled body lay on a gurney. It was shuffled onto the chopper by four armed soldiers. He never thought he would be the patient. He thought he would die by bullet or bomb, not feeling a thing. He would awaken when Jesus resurrected him. 

His vision hazy, he recognized the outlines of a white cross and the colors of an American flag. As his mirage continued, the ambulance drove him to the ER. He never heard the siren blaring. Juan Pablo, by his side, rode with him in the ambulance. He told the EMTs Mercy was his best friend. Mercy faded in and out of consciousness as the EMTs treated the gunshot wounds in his chest. According to the EMTs, Mercy was in critical condition. 

In the OR, on the operating table, the intensity of the overhead surgical lights blinded Mercy. It was no different than the triple digit noon sun in Iraq, except this time his body shivered. The gloved surgeons with surgical gowns seemed like adults leaning over an infant. Nausea set in. His airway was safe but there were internal chest injuries. His breath was shortened and it hurt to inhale. He breathed easier with the oxygen mask. 

The fentanyl IV drip made the pain dissipate. Fentanyl was twice as strong as morphine he remembered from his medic training. He stared up at the ceiling. The metallic scent of iodine assaulted his nasal passages. All sounds disappeared around him except his own heartbeat. He reached for his chest but his hand fell to the bedside. The luminous room darkened like an eclipse. 



JUAN PABLO

HARMONY FUNERAL HOME

A FEW HOURS BEFORE TAPS


In the front parlor of Harmony Funeral Home, a short copper toned young man stood at the podium. His skinny black tie divided his white shirt and stocky chest. He adjusted the microphone and glanced out at a sea of black dresses, suits and somber faces. He cleared his throat and swallowed. He ran his fingers through his short black curly hair. He licked his thick lips and scratched his bent nose with his finger. He paused before speaking then turned his head in the direction of a family sitting in the front row.

“I’m Juan Pablo. Thank you Mercier family for allowing me to speak.”

He glanced back at the unfamiliar faces in the audience. He forced a cough to conceal his anxiety.

“We first met at Daysi’s Diner on Halloween. He had just got back from Iraq. He was wearing this amazing sombrero. I was working as a delivery boy on the midnight shift. I had just arrived to Brooklyn three weeks before.”

His English had a slight Mexican accent. He paused between his words as he tried to understand how this moment had ever happened. 

“He was battling insomnia. He was anxious. It was about three in the morning. I was smoking a cigarette listening to some old school hip-hop music. I like break dancing. So I was break dancing in the patio of the restaurant in the back. I felt someone watching me. I looked over my shoulder and there he was. Mercy spotted me on his way to the bathroom. 

He corrected me on a few moves and offered me some pointers. Mercy had moves. Later that morning, a drunken gringo picked a fight with Mercy. I got in between the two of them. The guy was no match for Mercy. Mercy thanked me. Two nights later, I was sleeping on a park bench in Prospect Park. It was my first night off in three weeks. This was my usual spot. A V-shaped shadow of a man with no neck, all head and shoulders, wearing a combat uniform walks up and stands over me. 

All of sudden I hear this raspy, deep voice say, ‘Did you stop me from knocking out that drunk guy over at Daysi’s?’

Sí. 

‘You don’t have to sleep on the bench.’ 

I responded in Spanish. My English wasn’t that good at the time. I answered back in my broken English. So Mercy started speaking to me in Spanish. We clicked right away. Mercy told me he visited Mexico when he was training at Fort Irwin. I told him I was heading to a shelter. I was lying. He said he would loan me the money for a hotel. I couldn’t stay at a hotel or a shelter. I had no papers at the time. 

With just a rucksack with a sweater, sneakers and one change of underwear, I left my world behind. I had twenty dollars in my pocket. The coyotes wanted to charge me eight thousand for a one way trip to the United States. I swam across rivers. I rode freight trains. It took me two weeks to cross two thousand miles to Brooklyn. Along the way, I passed the corpses of people who had died of hunger and didn’t make it to the border. The reason I’m here today after being deported three times is God. When I looked up from that bench at Mercy’s face, I saw God’s angel.”

Juan Pablo swallowed, bit his bottom lip and fought back tears. A few audience members wiped their tears with handkerchiefs and tissues.

“Mercy offered me, a total stranger, new to this side of the world, one of his studio apartments. Besides my boss, I didn’t know anyone in Brooklyn. Mercy knew where I worked. We met only once and he trusted me. Stay as long as you need, he said. But he warned me, ‘If you damage my place, I will hunt you down. There is no place on this earth you can go that I couldn’t find you. I am a professional recon specialist. One of the best. We cool?’ If you knew Mercy, you knew he meant what he said. I believed him. I promised to pay Mercy rent two months in advance. I asked him how much. Whatever you can afford, he said.

He respected me because I am a survivor. I am fluent in English because he practiced with me. He corrected my pronunciation. I’m doing well in college because of him. He helped me write my papers. I just don’t understand why God would let a man like Mercy leave this world so soon.”



MERCY

FALL 2007 – FIRST DEPLOYMENT

-Journal Entry-


We were in the outskirts of no man’s land in the Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad, somewhere near the Iranian border. We were searching for insurgents on a night ops mission with the 25th Infantry unit. The cool darkness was so thick outside, it felt like a demonic supernatural being that breathed and hovered around us, waiting to exhale evil. The eerie silence intensified all suspicious sounds, unfamiliar scents and random movement. The sole light source was from our night-vision goggles. 

As we closed on one house, a Hajji dog barked, disrupting the calm. The Hajji houses were constructed out of dense mud and straw. The dog was protecting the sheep from night thieves. Our commander gave me orders through my headset: “Mercy, stack your squad on the door. You do the kick-in.”

Armed, trigger fingers ready, we stacked, man to man. I ran my finger tips along the door’s edges, top to bottom, checking for trip wires. The door was clear of explosives. I flashed hand signals alerting my team. Suddenly, a man burst out from the back of the house with an AK-47 and just opened up on us: Pop-Pop-Pop-Pop-Pop-Pop-Pop! The infantry boys laid down fire. We blasted him and the house with 240 Bravos. 

Once the dust settled, the smoke cleared and the rounds stopped pinging, we kicked the door in. Inside was just as dark as outside. Absent was any sign of life. It was so quiet I could hear my own breathing rhythms. A seven-year old boy’s last gasps and groans diverted everyone’s attention. 

An entire family, men, women and children, lay shot up. Their bodies were spread out around the house bloodied and motionless. Some bodies’ positions appeared as if death froze them in place. Some of their faces wore relaxed emotional expressions. Others’ eyes and mouths were gaped open as if they were shot in mid-sentence. We did a button hook and ran right back outside. I shouted, “Lieutenant! Get in here! Get the Docs in here, all the Docs! Civilians shot up!” Our commander, a butter bar second lieutenant, dashed in and slid in his tracks. He glimpsed the bullet-riddled bodies. 

“Oh God, no, please.”

Our commander shook his head and smacked the side of his helmet with his hand. He yelled, “My career is over!”

All Iraqis were allotted one AK-47 to protect themselves. When you witness, up close, dead women and children, killed from your team’s superior fire power, you wonder if any of your bullets killed one person or everyone. Gunning down a terrorist, even a female suicide bomber, or whoever aims to kill my men is not a problem. You shoot. You forget. But killing an innocent family is unforgettable.


( Continued... )

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


Purchase Mercy's First Semester by W.M. Bunche 
Contemporary Fiction. Link: https://amzn.com/B01M04VPMY 
Combat Vet PTSD Struggles  and  Re-integration into society


A Message from the Author

I was granted the opportunity to understand the perspective of a combat veteran ("Mercy") who was trying to get back home. What is home? In Mercy's case, home meant not only the physical locale but the mental and spiritual states of normalcy. Through writing Mercy's First Semester, I learned firsthand that for combat veterans, returning home can be complicated.

Mercy offered to help me complete a writing assignment by sharing his experiences. He was battling PTSD and felt that sharing would help him heal. We hit it off right away because as we shared our respective military experiences, we realized that we worked together on several joint service operations.

Emotionally, it was difficult to digest Mercy’s graphic and detailed combat experiences. As I replayed hours of our interviews, I wondered how does anyone get back to normal after combat. I had a vague idea of what my grand uncle experienced during World War I. I cannot imagine what my great grand uncle experienced during the Civil War. Today's weaponry is far more sophisticated than the Civil War. However, the carnage of war was probably very similar. Sitting with Mercy, I learned teamwork on a whole new level. 

Read an Excerpt and Order Books:  http://www.wmbunche.com/books 

Join the Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/people/WM-Bunche/100013381573930 



About the Author

WM Bunche is a cold war veteran and Commendation Medal recipient. He attended public schools in Brooklyn. He is a fourth generation veteran and his military roots trace back to the Civil War. A wannabe athlete, he will compete in the 41st Marine Corps Marathon. He is an honors graduate of Columbia University. For more information, please visit Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Goodreads. Mercy’s First Semester is his first book. 
Website:  http://www.wmbunche.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.

Purchase book by Patricia A. Saunders 
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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

 

 

 

 


College Life 201: Sophomore Studies 
by J.B. Vample



Book 3 of The College Life Series 

"When it comes to life, class is always in session"

Much to the relief of many, a new school year has fallen upon the students of Paradise Valley University. Alexandra Chisolm, Chasity Parker, Sidra Howard, Malajia Simmons and Emily Harris are thrilled to officially be sophomores. With a roommate shake-up that takes some getting used to, the girls hope that it’s the only shake-up that will happen. When Alex’s high school friends, Stacey and Victoria enter PVU as freshmen, she couldn’t be more excited. Having all of her friends in one place is a dream come true. Alex’s excitement is short lived once Victoria begins to show jealousy towards Alex’s “college family”. That, on top of facing a shocking betrayal, sends Alex into a fit of anger that she is unsure she will be able to recover from.

After a scare, Chasity decides to look for her birth mother and her decision causes a major clash with someone she least expects. As if that stress weren’t enough, Chasity realizes that the growing feelings that she has for Jason Adams have become harder for her to ignore. During a blackout, the two cross a line that leaves both confused. In a fit of emotion, one makes a decision that ultimately changes the course of their relationship. Emily’s new living arrangements and mother’s constant hovering start to take its toll. Feeling helpless and lonely, Emily’s grades begin to suffer. Finding the stress too much to bear, Emily finds a way to cope. But her methods may prove to be too much for her to handle.

Mistakenly, the girls thought that after surviving the events of their freshman year; that their first semester as upperclassmen would be a breeze. With secrets, drama, and emotions at an all-time high, these unlikely friends find that on top of handling their growing course load, they’ll have to get a handle on their personal lives, both on and off campus. 


Excerpt: College Life 201: Sophomore Studies by J.B. Vample 


Trisha apologized to the family as Chasity stormed out of the dining room. Rising from her seat, Trisha followed her into the kitchen. “Really Chasity?” she scolded. “You couldn’t curb that mouth for another freakin’ hour?”

Chasity spun around to face her. “Why are you on my case?” she fumed, pointing to herself. “You sprung this ‘family thing’ on me like four hours ago,” she reminded.

Trisha folded her arms as she looked away.

“You already knew I wasn’t gonna be happy. That’s why you didn’t tell me before today,” Chasity added. “I’m sure you just didn’t decide to do this.”

Trisha ran her hand over her hair and sighed. “Look, I apologize for putting you in this position,” she said.

“Why would you do that to me?” Chasity asked, confused. “After everything that happened last year. Why would you force me to sit in a room with people who I know I’m not related to? They don’t even like me.”

“That’s not true. Melina was just being rude,” Trisha placated. “Your family loves you, and you already know that you’re your grandmother’s favorite.”

Chasity ran her hands through her hair, fighting to stay calm. “Stop trying to force these people on me,” she fussed.

Trisha threw her hands up in the air. “Fine, Chasity. Go ahead and hide out in here,” she snapped, turning to walk out.

Chasity shook her head. “I know what you’re doing,” she called after her, stopping Trisha dead in her tracks.

Trisha spun around. “And what’s that, know-it-all?”

Chasity folded her arms. “You avoided me all day yesterday, you piss me off by crowding the damn house today, all so I won’t talk to you.”

“Why would I do that?”

“Because you don’t want me to bring up my birth mother again,” Chasity spat.

Trisha’s jaw tightened. Will this damn girl drop this nonsense? “I don’t have time for this, I have company to get back to.”

“Trisha, don’t do that,” Chasity barked. “Don’t brush me off about this.”

“God, why can’t you let this thing go?” Trisha asked, exasperated.

“Why do you want me to?” Chasity threw back. “You’re treating me like crap right now because you have a problem with what I want to do. That’s not fair.”

“Fair? You want to talk about what’s not fair?” Trisha hissed, moving closer to Chasity. “That fact that I even have to endure this mess. I’ve provided for you since you were a child.”

“Yes, I know that.”

“Do you?” Trisha challenged.

Chasity was confused and it showed on her face. “Are you serious?”

“Yes, I am,” Trisha seethed. “I do everything for you. Whatever you want, I give. Money, clothes, trips, a car, a damn condo—”

“I never asked you for any of that stuff,” Chasity hurled.

“I didn’t say that you did,” Trisha threw back. “Everything I did and continue to do for you is because I want to.”

“Then why throw it in my face?”

“I’m not trying to,” Trisha assured her. “I’m just saying that…after everything, why isn’t it enough for you? Why can’t you just be happy with the way that things are?” 

Chasity stared at Trisha in disbelief. “This isn’t about you, Trisha,” Chasity wailed. Trisha turned away briefly. “This isn’t about my relationship with you, or about what you do for me.”

“That’s not what—”

“Listen to me,” Chasity urged, voice filled with pain. “This is something that I need to do for myself…I just thought that as the most important person in my life, that you would be supportive.”

“Well…You thought wrong,” Trisha sneered. “I’m not supportive of this. I don’t condone it. Let it go.”

Chasity held a fiery gaze. “You do know that I don’t need your permission right?” she bluntly stated. “I’m nineteen, I can do this with or without your help.”

Furious, Trisha’s eyes widened. Taking another step forward, standing face to face with Chasity, she pointed at her. “You go through with this search, and we’re done,” she warned.

Shock and disappointment resonated on Chasity’s face as Trisha stormed out of the kitchen. Her aunt, her mother figure, someone whom she considered to be her best friend just threatened to walk out of her life if she didn’t comply with her wishes. Feeling betrayed, feeling let down, Chasity felt tears fill her eyes. Not wanting to face anybody, she walked out the back door. 

( Continued... )

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


Purchase College Life 201: Sophomore Studies 
Book 3 of The College Life Series 

Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Author:  http://www.jbvample.com/books.html  
Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/J.-B.-Vample/e/B019JNMLSM/ 


More About The College Life Series by J.B. Vample

College Life 101: Freshman Orientation (The College Life Series, Vol. 1) 

College Life 102: Social Learning (The College Life Series, Vol. 2) 

College Life 201: Sophomore Studies (The College Life Series, Vol. 3) 

The College Life Series follows the lives of five young black women as they make their journey through their four years of college at Paradise Valley University. Chasity Parker, the troubled beauty, Malajia Simmons, the party girl, Sidra Howard, the prim princess, Alex Chisolm, the self proclaimed "know-it-all", and Emily Harris, the shy mommy's girl are five main protagonists, thrown together by chance. Bringing to college different voices, vastly different backgrounds, and different ways of confronting challenges. 

This series touches on different issues that affect college aged people; such as class pressure, family drama, personal drama, relationship issues, peer confrontations, discovery and friendship. This ill-assorted group discover in this new environment and through unlikely friendships who they are.

Order the 3-Book Series here:  http://www.jbvample.com/books.html  



About the Author

J.B. Vample resides in Philadelphia, PA. Although she majored in Computer Science at UMES, her first love has always been writing. The concept of her current book series came to her at the age of seventeen. Since then, she has dreamed that readers would fall in love with her characters and their stories. In 2015, after years of writing for only herself, she decided to share her work with the world. “College Life 101: Freshman Orientation” is her first published book and book one of “The College Life Series.” Aside from writing, J.B enjoys reading and listening to music.

Website: http://www.jbvample.com 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jbvample
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jbvample 
Facebook personal profile: http://www.facebook.com/JessycaVample
Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/thecollegelifeseries


 

 

 

 

 


Shattered Innocence Trilogy 
by Denise Coleman


Shattered Innocence Trilogy Summary 


The Shattered Innocence Trilogy
chronicles the lives of the Kyle family. The twins, Angel and Teek, and their cousins Troi and Keisha. They are four vibrant, bright, talented and dynamic young women with a wonderful future in the music industry ahead of them. However, their lives take a dramatic turn when they are forced to defend themselves against a group of bullies, which subsequently leads to the Kyles being sent away from their home.

Moving to a strange city with family they barely know, begins to alter the girls' characters and personalities. The absence of stability, familiarity and support manifests itself in the worse way. Throughout the series, the Kyles face lies, secrets and betrayal which threatens to destroy the close-knit family bond they once shared.

Trying to maintain that bond while attempting to recapture their personal happiness and desires for their adult lives, proves to be more difficult than any one of them could imagine. 



Shattered Innocence Trilogy - Volume 1  


Teek and Angel Kyle and their cousins, Troi and Keisha are beautiful and talented girls on the verge of living exciting lives. However, they find out early in life that the beauty and talent they possess is more of a curse than a blessing.

Faced with being harassed and bullied by a group of haters, the girls defend themselves viciously and are forced to leave their home and family. They find themselves living in a strange city with family they barely know.

They each try to make the best of the situation amid homesickness, uncertainty and a secret one cousin feels she needs to keep to herself. Just when each believes she will finally live a life that will make her happy, everything changes.

Having not had the proper guidance, each girl is ill equipped to deal with the broken hearts, stalkers and unforeseen nemesis that enter their lives.  In the midst of the chaos and turmoil of their young adulthood, each tries desperately to find out who they are and who they’re meant to be before they lose everything.


Excerpt: Shattered Innocence Trilogy - Volume 1
 


The first half of the school year went by pretty quickly for the girls. Keisha spent every waking moment preparing herself for basketball tryouts. She ate, slept and breathed basketball. Without it she didn’t exist. Without being a basketball player, there was not one other thing she knew about her own self to be true.

Troi spent her time doing cheerleading activities and trying to convince Angel, who focused on her studies, to join. Eventually Angel gave in and tried out for the squad. Teek on the other hand, didn’t seem to be interested in anything at all, in or outside of school. She just went through the motions, trying to rush the time.

Jackie and her cohorts seemed to pull back after that first incident. They reduced their drama to minor bumping in the halls, name calling and eye rolling whenever they ran into one or more of the cousins.

This all changed during home coming week however. Although the girls weren’t allowed to run for home coming queen or her court, they were allowed to take part in the talent show.

The aunties had the girls rehearsing for weeks for the show. That was their thing! As their Aunt Hillie would say, “These girls can blow!” As much as the girls didn’t like working as hard as their mothers made them, they did enjoy performing, and they each knew how happy it made their parents to see them shine.

The night of the talent show, the school’s auditorium was packed. The girls had to sit through an hour of other kids singing, dancing, reciting poetry and playing violins and such, before it would be their turn.

They used their grand parents’ sir name – Marchon- as their stage name. When announced, they stepped out onto the stage ready to tear the house down. The girls looked like seasoned professionals. Their Aunt Hillie had designed their dresses; Two gold and two silver sequined halters which stopped at mid-thigh.

The dresses were paired with matching stilettos and they wore their hair flowing straight down their backs. The look was completed with faux diamond jewelry and their makeup, while subtle, enhanced the cousin’s young beauty.

The DJ cued the music and when the first cords of Teena Marie’s Square Biz filled the auditorium, the cousins broke out singing and dancing like stars. Angel sang the lead and together with her family, they sang the hell out of that song. By the time they’d gotten to the rap portion of the song, the crowd was going wild. When they were done, the audience erupted in thunderous applause. Hands down, the girls were the best in the bunch. They received the only standing ovation of the evening.

While the cousins were winning over the crowd, Jackie and her cronies were sitting in the front row, shooting daggers with their eyes. The girls had no idea that the next few months would completely change the course of their futures.


( Continued... ) 

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


Purchase Shattered Innocence Trilogy by Denise Coleman

Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-Coleman/e/B003QJJLNE 
* Shattered Innocence 1: (Shattered Innocence Trilogy) by Denise Coleman
* Shattered Innocence 2: Drama With a Capital D (Shattered Innocence Trilogy) by Denise Coleman
* Shattered Innocence 3: Keisha's Betrayal (Shattered Innocence Trilogy) by Denise Coleman


About the Author

Denise Coleman was born and raised in Camden, NJ where she still resides. As an avid reader, her love of the written word has grown into a passionate desire to share her stories with the world.

Although she has penned four novels to date, continues to work tirelessly at her craft, as she wants to grow as much as possible into a better writer and story teller with each work she creates.

As a former student of Woodrow Wilson High School, and the parent of four, it is her hope that the young people of Camden believe enough in themselves to dream big… And, in doing so, go after the best that this life has to offer.

Her novel, Drama with A Capital D, is doing very well. Also, her most recent release, Keisha’s Betrayal, is the finale of her Shattered Innocence trilogy. She looks forward to putting out many more books in the near future.

Website: http://www.denisecolemanbooks.com 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/booksbydenise/posts/961252237321098

 

 

 

 


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 


 

 

 


Overcoming Bias and Racism in Your Workspace
A Primer for Minorities in the Business Community 
by Gregory L. Harris  Coming December, 2016

Imagine a world where prejudice and past discrimination's impact in the workplace don’t exist. Not reality, but this book, Overcoming Bias and Racism in Your Workspace: A Primer for Minorities in the Business Community, helps minorities deal with the real business world as it is.

Bias and racism won’t just slip away in our country. It takes a combined effort to change patterns of beliefs and practices fostered and entrenched for some centuries. Each person deals with these realities every day in their work space to one degree or another.

Individuals can take a stand and make a way—converting one person at a time—if necessary, while thriving in their environment, job, and career. We can accomplish that goal while being successful in our day to day work responsibilities. Not as a new burden, but in ways that make all of us better.

Save the Date Overcoming Bias and Racism in Your Workspace by Gregory L. Harris 


Genre: Non-fiction > Self-help > Management & Leadership > Discrimination & Racism > Business Life > Motivation & Career Development

About the Author 

An author, a public speaker, and businessman, Gregory pens his new book Overcoming Bias and Racism in Your Workspace. Using his experiences with racism as a child raised in a military family in the poor coal and steel region/area /country of eastern Ohio, as well as his professional experiences at IBM and Wang Computers, Gregory shares tips and tools to effectively deal with the challenges of racism and bias head on.

A proud graduate of Morgan State University with over 20 years career experience as an executive, Gregory knows what it takes to survive and thrive in the world of business. A former Global Vice President of Business Development and Marketing in the corporate realm, he continues to work as a consultant and coach encouraging success for all in the high tech arena. 

With a passion for writing and reading, Gregory hopes to inspire and motivate others toward change. A youth sports coach in his spare time, Gregory always encourages others to be the best image of themselves and to stay true to one’s beliefs.  Contact Gregory online at www.gregharrisauthors.com.


 

 


Double Down and Dirty 
by L.A. Lewis

Jade Bordeaux escaped her Southern Baptist family and moved to New York because they would never respect the choices she made or the secret she kept. The Big Apple and her new modeling career proved to be more adventurous than her life in Baton Rouge. Excitement flowed through everything from the towering landscapes, wonderful opportunities, and especially in the form of handsome CEO Sean Wright. Dating him takes an unfortunate turn when his sister’s dance to the rhythm of revenge becomes a tune she’s hell-bent on sharing with her family and the people they love.

In a matter of weeks, Jade’s life takes an uncertain and dangerous turn. Nothing prepared her for the call which stirs emotions Jade thought she’d buried. The former Governor of Louisiana has denied her existence since birth and now makes a life-altering request that fills Jade with resentment. Jade built her success and happiness by making hard choices, even ones that cause heartbreak. Unfortunately, she never imagined that any of those choices could lead to the death of someone she loves.

Jade soon learns in the game of life, sometimes playing Double Down and Dirty is the only way to win.


Beta Reader Reviews


Double Down and Dirty by L.A. Lewis, is impressively developed. It starts off with a bang and continues to engulf you throughout the entire story. The characters are well developed and memorable. It will arouse your senses and affect each emotion simultaneously. Things get real messy as New York and Lousiana collide, but nobody does it better than L.A., to put it all into perspective. It’s a drama filled ride that you won’t want to get off of until you read the last word!
-- Christine Pauls, Author of To Begin Again and Belinda's Song


Smiling faces tell lies...and I got proof.. L.A Lewis has penned her best novel to date. Set against the backdrop of New York City's beautiful vistas with scenes from Louisiana interspersed, she takes the reader on an odyssey with two people who appear to have made it to the pinnacle of their respective fields.

Jade left her past in Louisiana and used her looks, ingenuity and dogged determination to reinvent herself. Sean initially wants her face for his latest advertising campaign. ..until he falls for the woman behind the exquisite face, voice and body.

However, every body connected to them is a liar or a schemer. No one is rooting for this relationship. Jade and Sean become embroiled in ancient and current family dramas, are betrayed on multiple occasions. Situations that make you shake your head and mutter a few obscene phrases. These families need Olivia Pope and her entire team to straighten out this mess, untangle the lies and deceptions.

LA Lewis keeps the pressure on until the last page of the book. Who will survive? Who will be exposed? Can love overcome hate, destructive behavior, and self inflicted wounds?

You won't be able to put the book down until you answer all the questions.
-- Joyce A. Brown, Author of Getting Away With Everything


Excerpt: Double Down and Dirty 


Jade focused on the sound of her heels clicking with each step, trying to ignore the tingle of pleasure she felt, which signaled he was keenly aware of her every movement. Thanks to her mother, who blessed her with a tiny waistline and a rear end that would make even the most famous posteriors look like a piece of cardboard, Jade became accustomed to the appreciative looks that went along with being country-bred and country fed.

Halfway up, Sean’s baritone voice sliced through the silence in the elevator. “Ms. Bordeaux,”

“Yes.” She put her focus on the numbers above the doors, but felt his gaze narrow on her as he asked, “Am I really so bad?”

Jade thought about her response until the chime from the elevator echoed. She couldn’t have been happier to have an excuse to avoid that question.

“Right this way,” Jade said, leading him from the elevator and directly into the most beautiful penthouse she’d seen in a very long time. She could only dream of being in a place like this. The kind of place that was a long way from the little wooden house that was home for the three members of the Bordeaux family.

“Very nice,” Sean said walking across the living room to a glass wall, his panther-like gait a sure sign of confidence and ambition. His gaze shifted to the New York skyline, which was the epitome of breathtaking. The view of a picturesque sunset and skyscrapers that were almost as tall as the sky itself really should have been named the eighth wonder of the world.

“That’s a big selling point with this particular property. The open floor plan is great for entertaining. The balcony is also a perfect setup for gatherings,” Jade said, unlocking then opening the sliding door for him to step out into the cool evening air, a common occurrence for spring evenings in New York.

“You like what you see so far?” Jade asked, crossing the distance until she stood beside him.

Sean tilted his head downward. His gaze locked on hers as he grinned and said, “Definitely.”

“Would you like to see the rest of the place?” Jade gestured toward the master bedroom.

“Sure, but before we do, can I ask just one more question since you conveniently ignored the first one?” He took her outstretched hand into his and prevented her from walking away.

An electric kind of energy flashed throughout her body. That was certainly a concern. She had learned when and how to play it safe. And Sean was as dangerous as they came. Having been an employee of an upscale escort service, she knew the hard fact that those at the top of the food chain were equally as slimy as those who were willing to do whatever it took to get there.

Jade had shielded herself from unwanted advances—of which there were many. But years of going without a human touch had built up something inside of her that needed to be extinguished. A man like Sean Wright would be a perfect choice, but there was no way she would go there. Being with a man like him came with too many problems.

She steadied her breathing and her voice. “Go ahead.”

“You care to tell me the real reason you don’t want to work with me?”

“Is that why we’re here?” Jade questioned, trying to keep her voice level. “I hope not because my time is valuable, and I don’t need to waste it by entertaining that question.”

“I believe in making the most of an opportunity. If I have a question, I ask. So, do you plan on providing an answer or should I just assume that you don’t have a reason at all?”

Her eyes met his. “I didn’t make it clear the first, second, and third time?”

“You don’t feel it’s the right job for you,” he smirked. “But we both know that’s not it at all.”

“Okay, then I’ll be honest,” she shot back. “I don’t like the way you do business. I don’t like that money means more to you than people. You’re not the type of person I’m interested in dealing with. Does the truth satisfy you?”

Sean was silent for a few spells, then, “And you came to this conclusion based on what? Because if I recall, you’ve never done business with me.” He closed the distance between them. “So cut the bull and tell me what is it about me that frightens you so much,” he snapped.

“Nothing frightens me,” she countered. “But I am wise, and wisdom tells me to steer clear of you.” She stepped back and didn’t realize how close she was to the wall.

“So that’s it.” He inched closer. “You’re not afraid of doing business with me. What scares you is the fact that we’re very much alike. Isn’t that right? We both know what we want and would risk it all to make it happen. What frightens you the most,” his mouth nearly touched hers, “is knowing what will happen if you let your guard down.” His lips lightly brushed against hers and she trembled with an anticipation so strong she almost reached up and pulled him to her.

Then he abruptly moved away, walked toward the circular staircase, but tossed over his shoulder, “I believe you said there was more to see.”


( Continued... ) 

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


Purchase Double Down and Dirty by L.A. Lewis
Order Link:  http://a.co/bnZalYx  
Contemporary Fiction. Available on Kindle


About the Author

L.A. Lewis
, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the author of Dirty Little Secrets, Dirty Little Secrets II: Expect the Unexpected, and Double Down and Dirty. She’s a contributing author to Motherhood Diaries, a literary award-winning anthology. L.A. Lewis is a member of M-LAS, Macro Literary All-Stars, a writing support group formed by National Bestselling Author, Naleighna Kai. Together they’ve published a reference book for authors and aspiring authors titled, Baring it All: The Ins and Outs of Publishing. When she’s not writing, L.A. loves spending time with her husband and their two children.

www.authorlalewis.com
https://twitter.com/AuthorLALewis 
https://www.facebook.com/authorlalewis 


 

 

 


Secret Places Revealed 
by Paulette Harper 

A broken man, a woman on the run, a love that won’t be denied.

Single—and very content—real estate developer Aaron Blackman is determined not to become involved in another relationship. He’s experienced enough drama to last a lifetime. The only thing garnering his attention now is his growing business. And he plans to keep it that way. Then Simone Herron waltzes into his life, beautiful and confident. Fighting to keep his promise to himself—to remain single—he soon discovers that when it comes to love, some promises must be broken.

After losing her fiancé in an untimely death, Simone Herron relocates. She desperately needs to put the past behind her and start a new chapter in her life. While love is the farthest thing from her mind, she experiences an attraction to the handsome Aaron Blackman that frightens her. She's built a wall around her heart, but can she find the strength and courage she needs to welcome love again? To do so, she must conquer her fears and allow God to put all of her broken pieces back together.


Reviews for Secret Places Revealed by Paulette Harper 


“The characters of Aaron and Simone are both visions of beauty—internally and externally.” 
—D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Reviews

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down. It was full of love and reminded us that no matter what has happened in the past we must allow our heart to stay open. Another thing I liked about Author Paulette used a continued reference to God and back up her thought by sharing scripture from the Bible.
—Author LaToya Murchison, 5 star review 

“I am in LOVE with Simone and Aaron and felt myself rooting for them with every turn of the pages. I was pulled into their stories from page one and almost hated coming to the end. Such a beautiful love story and the perfect book to add to your holiday reading list.”
—Author Cassiette Jefferson, 5 star review 


Excerpt: Secret Places Revealed by Paulette Harper


Simone Herron wanted to escape from the pain, and from life. At this time of the year, she always felt utterly lonely. It was like being in the middle of the ocean surrounded by only the waves. This was year number two without Joshua. Simone had family and friends, but it wasn’t the same.

As if she weren’t already miserable, the holiday season had arrived, with all of its cheery fanfare. She wished she could skip over November and December and head straight into January.

Pensive, Simone stared out her Fifth Avenue office window in the center of Manhattan, New York—the city that never slept. She could imagine that below her hordes of people bustled to and fro, arms laden with shopping bags, and tourists gawked at the beautiful and spectacular views from The Empire State Building to Times Square. Who wouldn’t love it? But her heart was no longer enraptured by its beauty; the Big Apple wasn’t the same anymore.

Simone turned away from the window. Even the busyness of the city and all it had to offer could no longer mask her restlessness. Something was missing. Could a move be the answer? A new locale would distract her and keep her mind off her personal life.

Sitting in the leather chair at her desk, she mindlessly shuffled the papers. When had her life fallen into this monotonous rut? For the past couple of years, she’d spent her Thanksgivings serving dinner at Shepherd’s Gate, a women’s shelter. Christmas was spent singing carols with her church at Faith Bible Center. She enjoyed those things, but she wanted more.

Maybe her boredom stemmed from the fact she’d buried her fiancé a few months before their marriage. But that was two years ago. She should have been enjoying life, but Joshua was gone and she was alive and still trying to remember how to put one foot in front of the other.

People told her time would heal her wounds and it would get easier day by day. And they were right—some days. People also told her never to question God, but those who knew her were aware that that was like asking an artist not to paint. There were days on which she felt she’d moved on, but others when the feelings in her heart and her dreams of him were as real as the love they’d once shared.

She couldn’t understand why God had taken the only man she’d ever truly loved. Joshua had been her soulmate, her friend, the love of her life, her future children’s father. The more she got to know him, the more she realized that meeting him had been something divine. He’d felt the same way.

There was an undeniable connection between them the first time their eyes met on their college campus in Manhattan. She wondered what their children might have looked like. Would they have had his dark eyes and curly black hair, or maybe brown eyes like hers?

The idea of not having a family hurt her to the core. Her parents were married for decades before her father suddenly died from a heart attack. They cherished one another and that’s what she wanted for herself. For now, her dream of falling in love and having a family was tucked away somewhere in the back of her mind, preserved in the faint hope of a second chance.

Simone wasn’t sure she believed there was such a thing as getting back to a normal life. She accepted what life had dealt her and was allowing her circumstances to bring her to a place of surrender. She learned to accept that when life brought pain, God would give her the strength to go through it.

Simone became teary-eyed as questions swirled around in her head. Why, with all of her great accomplishments—she was a paralegal for a prestigious law firm, Armstrong and Armstrong and worked with some of the most gifted and intelligent lawyers in the city—did she still feel like there was a void in her life? She needed a change. A fresh, new beginning. A move would make her feel differently and do her wonders.

She scanned her office. Her eyes drew to the plaques on the wall, awards she had received from her boss. Then she focused on the plaque on her desk, a gift from her pastor. Her favorite scripture was engraved in it, and the office light gleamed on the words. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.—Romans 8:28, KJV.” 

She knew God was in control, but sometimes, it was more difficult to accept when His plan superseded her own. She’d heard all the sermons. She was in all the prayer lines. She’d had plenty of oil poured on her head. But the pain remained unbearable. She was resilient, but felt weak, as though she hadn’t slept in months. Externally, Simone had it all together, yet she felt detached. She was a fighter at the end of her fight.

( Continued... )

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

Purchase Secret Places Revealed by Paulette Harper 

Genre: Inspirational Romance.  Clean Fiction.
Amazon link:  https://amzn.com/0989969150 

About the Author

In addition to being an award winning author of Completely Whole, Paulette is an inspirational speaker, as well as a writing workshop instructor. She has a passion to coach aspiring authors and speaks into the lives of women from every walk of life. Her literary works have been spotlighted in a growing number of publications, including CBN, Real Life Real Faith Magazine, and Black Pearls Magazine. She has also appeared on numerous local and online radio shows. Paulette resides in Northern California.

 

 

 


Five Golden Rings (A Christmas Novella) 
by K.L. Brady



On Sale November 1st in the Spicy Christmas Kisses 2 Box Set 
Available for download as a single title November 8, 2016  


Girl Trips over Boy and Boy Falls for Girl. 


For third-year law student, Kristy, and pop star, Nick, it’s love at first sight during a chance encounter at the National Christmas Tree Lighting. They attended the event hoping to reconnect with tradition and the spirit of the season and found so much more than they ever imagined. But when they’re suddenly torn apart and left with little more than the other’s first name, only a couple of missed connection ads and a little holiday magic could bring them back together. 

Will they find one another and make their Christmas wishes come true?  Two lonely strangers. One unforgettable date.  Five golden rings.

 

Download Spicy Christmas Kisses 2 

Five Golden Rings (A Christmas Novella) by K.L. Brady

Download Link: https://amzn.com/B01M1LTEKF 
Kindle eBooks > Romance > Holiday Anthology

About the Author
K.L. Brady is a D.C. native and grew up in Prince George's County, Maryland, the setting of her debut novel. When she hit her "tween" years, her mother packed the family and moved to Bellaire, Ohio, where she eventually graduated from Bellaire High School. She attended the University of Akron for a few semesters, where she pledged Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., before moving back to the D.C. area. 

She discovered a love for reading and writing at the age of three, by her mother's accounts. Through the years, she has maintained diaries and journals, but the journals she wrote as an adult provided the inspiration for The Bum Magnet. Brady is a native Washingtonian (D.C.), lifelong Washington football fan, and professed nerd-girl who loves all things Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Big Bang Theory. She's a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, the Maryland Writers Association, and Sisters in Crime and lives to write novels, especially those involving hilarious quirky characters looking for love. 

She is hard at work on her next several projects including the sequels to HER PERFECT CATCH (part of the Valentine's Pets and Kisses box set) because girls love football, too!  Visit my webpage at: http://klbradyauthor.com  

More Books by K.L. Brady.  Romantic Comedy

Kindle eBooks >  Romance >  Sports
https://www.amazon.com/K.-L.-Brady/e/B002O15D78  

 

 

 

 


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

 

 

 

 

 


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 OCTOBER 1 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 4:  Into The Mist by Lynn Emery


“To recap your story, you went out to party when you didn’t even know where your six- year-old kid was, left your three youngest here alone, got back drunk after one in the morning, woke up, saw the writing and decided something was wrong.” Det. Anderson pressed his lips together. 

Sherry flinched. “I didn’t leave until almost ten, so really it wasn’t all that long.”

“Uh-huh.” Anderson put on his sunglasses and looked away from her.

Sherry faced LaShaun. “They say you’ll know. Tell me what this says. Where’s my girl?”

“I don’t recognize these letters, Sherry,” LaShaun replied. She read regret in the woman’s eyes.

“We’ll have to do some more research,” Chase added. “Det. Anderson, take a set of pictures for the department. Work with Deputy Wilcox to scrape samples of the ink off. We’ll send it to the state police lab for analysis.”

Det. Anderson hissed low. “Right. We’ll track down who decided to be an artist in the middle of the night.”

“It wasn’t me. Tante Alice and grandmamma says it’s evil. If that’s true, then they got my Dina and no tellin’ what they done to her by now.” Sherry’s voice rose to a hysterical whine. “It don’t take long to hurt a little girl.”

At Chase’s signal, the female deputy stepped forward and took her by the arm. Their voices faded as Sherry allowed the deputy to lead her away. “C’mon, ma’am. I’ll take you over to your mama’s house like you said. Let’s pack a few things.”

LaShaun turned to Chase. “Where are the other children?”

“The middle child’s father picked him up. The other two are with Sherry’s mama. DCFS hasn’t made a decision on removing the three youngest yet.”

The Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services, notoriously understaffed and underfunded, might well be leaving the children with relatives. At least Sherry wouldn’t be left alone with them in the short-term. Chase pulled LaShaun aside so that they were across from the action in the dining area. Anderson continued taking pictures yards away. A second deputy helped him. Both carried evidence bags and collection tools.

“Your phone keeps buzzing like a trapped wasp. What’s up?” Chase said low. He watched her read text messages from Miss Rose, Justine and Pauline for several moments.

“They don’t know either, but they’re working on finding out.”

“But you said the writing is in letters.” Chase frowned at the walls.

LaShaun scrolled to the photos of the writing on her phone. She gazed at them as she talked, “Yes, an alphabet. They’re arranged to be sentences I think, not pictures telling a story. But I’m sure no authority on arcane languages. I’ve only studied a few like the Enochian Language, the Rune of Othalan, and a few others.”

“Naturally it couldn’t be something simple. No, we got the Rune of Whatsit.” Chase let go of a long sigh.

“The Rune of Whatsit?” LaShaun grinned at him.

“Do me a favor. Keep that language of the ancients talk between us for now. You know what kind of ink that is because you sniffed it.” Chase nodded toward the writing on the nearest wall.

“Yes…” LaShaun pursed her lips together. Then she cleared her throat.

“That was your cue to give me an answer, LaShaun.” Chase nudged her. When Det. Anderson glanced their way, he waved and put on a neutral expression.

“I don’t think you’re going to like the answer, babe.” LaShaun smiled at the other officers. She turned her back to them as if studying another part of the room.

“Let me think. We got a missing child, demonic scribbles on the wall, a drugged out mother, and a Cajun mafia family. Honey, I already don’t like a damn thing about this case.”

“I never said the writing was demonic or satanic, but from the smell, I’d say the writing was done with Bat’s Blood Ink.”

“Are you freakin’ kidding me?” Chase blurted out. When Anderson jerked around to stare at him. “Nothing, it’s nothing. Just keep collecting evidence.”


( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book 4 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.


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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.


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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 

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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 on October 1, 2016.

 

 

 

 


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
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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
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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 

 

 

 

 


Double Down and Dirty 
by L.A. Lewis

Jade Bordeaux escaped her Southern Baptist family and moved to New York because they would never respect the choices she made or the secret she kept. The Big Apple and her new modeling career proved to be more adventurous than her life in Baton Rouge. Excitement flowed through everything from the towering landscapes, wonderful opportunities, and especially in the form of handsome CEO Sean Wright. Dating him takes an unfortunate turn when his sister’s dance to the rhythm of revenge becomes a tune she’s hell-bent on sharing with her family and the people they love.

In a matter of weeks, Jade’s life takes an uncertain and dangerous turn. Nothing prepared her for the call which stirs emotions Jade thought she’d buried. The former Governor of Louisiana has denied her existence since birth and now makes a life-altering request that fills Jade with resentment. Jade built her success and happiness by making hard choices, even ones that cause heartbreak. Unfortunately, she never imagined that any of those choices could lead to the death of someone she loves.

Jade soon learns in the game of life, sometimes playing Double Down and Dirty is the only way to win.


Beta Reader Reviews


Double Down and Dirty by L.A. Lewis, is impressively developed. It starts off with a bang and continues to engulf you throughout the entire story. The characters are well developed and memorable. It will arouse your senses and affect each emotion simultaneously. Things get real messy as New York and Lousiana collide, but nobody does it better than L.A., to put it all into perspective. It’s a drama filled ride that you won’t want to get off of until you read the last word!
-- Christine Pauls, Author of To Begin Again and Belinda's Song


Smiling faces tell lies...and I got proof.. L.A Lewis has penned her best novel to date. Set against the backdrop of New York City's beautiful vistas with scenes from Louisiana interspersed, she takes the reader on an odyssey with two people who appear to have made it to the pinnacle of their respective fields.

Jade left her past in Louisiana and used her looks, ingenuity and dogged determination to reinvent herself. Sean initially wants her face for his latest advertising campaign. ..until he falls for the woman behind the exquisite face, voice and body.

However, every body connected to them is a liar or a schemer. No one is rooting for this relationship. Jade and Sean become embroiled in ancient and current family dramas, are betrayed on multiple occasions. Situations that make you shake your head and mutter a few obscene phrases. These families need Olivia Pope and her entire team to straighten out this mess, untangle the lies and deceptions.

LA Lewis keeps the pressure on until the last page of the book. Who will survive? Who will be exposed? Can love overcome hate, destructive behavior, and self inflicted wounds?

You won't be able to put the book down until you answer all the questions.
-- Joyce A. Brown, Author of Getting Away With Everything



Excerpt: Double Down and Dirty by L.A. Lewis


Jade focused on the sound of her heels clicking with each step, trying to ignore the tingle of pleasure she felt, which signaled he was keenly aware of her every movement. Thanks to her mother, who blessed her with a tiny waistline and a rear end that would make even the most famous posteriors look like a piece of cardboard, Jade became accustomed to the appreciative looks that went along with being country-bred and country fed.

Halfway up, Sean’s baritone voice sliced through the silence in the elevator. “Ms. Bordeaux,”

“Yes.” She put her focus on the numbers above the doors, but felt his gaze narrow on her as he asked, “Am I really so bad?”

Jade thought about her response until the chime from the elevator echoed. She couldn’t have been happier to have an excuse to avoid that question.

“Right this way,” Jade said, leading him from the elevator and directly into the most beautiful penthouse she’d seen in a very long time. She could only dream of being in a place like this. The kind of place that was a long way from the little wooden house that was home for the three members of the Bordeaux family.

“Very nice,” Sean said walking across the living room to a glass wall, his panther-like gait a sure sign of confidence and ambition. His gaze shifted to the New York skyline, which was the epitome of breathtaking. The view of a picturesque sunset and skyscrapers that were almost as tall as the sky itself really should have been named the eighth wonder of the world.

“That’s a big selling point with this particular property. The open floor plan is great for entertaining. The balcony is also a perfect setup for gatherings,” Jade said, unlocking then opening the sliding door for him to step out into the cool evening air, a common occurrence for spring evenings in New York.

“You like what you see so far?” Jade asked, crossing the distance until she stood beside him.

Sean tilted his head downward. His gaze locked on hers as he grinned and said, “Definitely.”

“Would you like to see the rest of the place?” Jade gestured toward the master bedroom.

“Sure, but before we do, can I ask just one more question since you conveniently ignored the first one?” He took her outstretched hand into his and prevented her from walking away.

An electric kind of energy flashed throughout her body. That was certainly a concern. She had learned when and how to play it safe. And Sean was as dangerous as they came. Having been an employee of an upscale escort service, she knew the hard fact that those at the top of the food chain were equally as slimy as those who were willing to do whatever it took to get there.

Jade had shielded herself from unwanted advances—of which there were many. But years of going without a human touch had built up something inside of her that needed to be extinguished. A man like Sean Wright would be a perfect choice, but there was no way she would go there. Being with a man like him came with too many problems.

She steadied her breathing and her voice. “Go ahead.”

“You care to tell me the real reason you don’t want to work with me?”

“Is that why we’re here?” Jade questioned, trying to keep her voice level. “I hope not because my time is valuable, and I don’t need to waste it by entertaining that question.”

“I believe in making the most of an opportunity. If I have a question, I ask. So, do you plan on providing an answer or should I just assume that you don’t have a reason at all?”

Her eyes met his. “I didn’t make it clear the first, second, and third time?”

“You don’t feel it’s the right job for you,” he smirked. “But we both know that’s not it at all.”

“Okay, then I’ll be honest,” she shot back. “I don’t like the way you do business. I don’t like that money means more to you than people. You’re not the type of person I’m interested in dealing with. Does the truth satisfy you?”

Sean was silent for a few spells, then, “And you came to this conclusion based on what? Because if I recall, you’ve never done business with me.” He closed the distance between them. “So cut the bull and tell me what is it about me that frightens you so much,” he snapped.

“Nothing frightens me,” she countered. “But I am wise, and wisdom tells me to steer clear of you.” She stepped back and didn’t realize how close she was to the wall.

“So that’s it.” He inched closer. “You’re not afraid of doing business with me. What scares you is the fact that we’re very much alike. Isn’t that right? We both know what we want and would risk it all to make it happen. What frightens you the most,” his mouth nearly touched hers, “is knowing what will happen if you let your guard down.” His lips lightly brushed against hers and she trembled with an anticipation so strong she almost reached up and pulled him to her.

Then he abruptly moved away, walked toward the circular staircase, but tossed over his shoulder, “I believe you said there was more to see.”

( Continued... ) 

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

Purchase Double Down and Dirty

https://www.amazon.com/Double-Down-Dirty-L-Lewis-ebook/dp/B01LQU0P2U 

 

About the Author

L.A. Lewis, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the author of Dirty Little Secrets, Dirty Little Secrets II: Expect the Unexpected, and Double Down and Dirty. She’s a contributing author to Motherhood Diaries, a literary award-winning anthology. L.A. Lewis is a member of M-LAS, Macro Literary All-Stars, a writing support group formed by National Bestselling Author, Naleighna Kai. Together they’ve published a reference book for authors and aspiring authors titled, Baring it All: The Ins and Outs of Publishing. When she’s not writing, L.A. loves spending time with her husband and their two children.

www.authorlalewis.com
https://twitter.com/AuthorLALewis
https://www.facebook.com/authorlalewis 


 

 

 

 


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  

 

 

 


The Stories of Officer Goodman and Friends 
(Vol.1)  The Misunderstanding
by Dr. Eric Quarles

Officer Goodman serves as a police officer for Exceptional City, USA. As he patrols the streets of Exceptional City, he is accompanied by this special group of kids in his many escapades. Exceptional City is a wholesome community of people that has its share of growing pains. Come join the journey.


4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Children's Book

Amazon Book Review Written By Loni 

This is an awesome children's book which is an excellent teaching tool regarding relationships between Police and Children. Especially with the issues taking place today, it also offers a channel of communication between parents and children to understand roles and responsibilities of Law Enforcement, children's civic duties and how to manage peer pressure when going in an opposite direction of the majority. I am looking forward to the next book in the series and I would highly recommend as an addition to your church library, school classroom, children's book club or as a gift.


5.0 out of 5 stars Two Thumbs Up!

Book Review Written By Amazon Customer 
In a day and age where negative policing images have become commonplace, Officer Goodman is a breath of fresh air. My kids had a difficult time differentiating between the negative image in the news, and the positive image they are taught about; Dr. Quarles makes this a little easier! 

One thing in particular I appreciate is the diversity displayed throughout the book. It's an easy read and my kids have thoroughly enjoyed it.  There's even an interactive website for kids to engage with Officer Goodman and friends too - Love it!  Children’s Book Website: http://officergoodmanandfriends.com  


About the Author

The difference between kids who are motivated and those who are not, is merely placing them in the midst of positive influencers. Dr. Eric Quarles brings a wealth of experience serving in the law enforcement community for the past 18 years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice, a Master of Science in Administration degree in Leadership, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration. 

He has a unique insight into the challenges faced by young children and a desire to make a difference in the community. The Officer Goodman and Friends series is an example of Dr. Quarles’ effort to bridge the gap between the young children and law enforcement agencies. 

Dr. Eric Quarles resides in Atlanta, Georgia and is a Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Children’s Book Website: http://officergoodmanandfriends.com  

Amazon: The Stories of Officer Goodman and Friends by Dr. Eric Quarles
https://www.amazon.com/stories-officer-goodman-friends-misunderstanding/dp/1519753500 

 

 

 

 


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 

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



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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

 

 

 

 


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/ 

 

 

 

 

 

 


In The Midst of Passion
 by AlTonyaWashington

When garage owner Topaz Emerson meets newspaper publisher Alexander Rice on a deserted road in Charlotte, North Carolina she’s understandably intrigued. Looks aside, there’s something about Alex that tugs and tugs relentlessly. Topaz never bothers to ask about his past…

For years, Alex has been haunted by memories of his days as a contract killer. Regardless of all that he’s accomplished, he can’t quite escape the ghosts that relentlessly pursue. Meeting Topaz brings hope that he isn’t doomed to live a cursed half-life.

That hope is soon threatened when Topaz and her fellow small business owners find themselves tangled in a mysterious land deal. The stakes are high and the results could be fatal. To protect the woman he loves, Alex may have to submit to his relentless ghosts and kill again.


From Publishers Weekly

In the latest novel from the popular African-American romance writer, prominent Charlotte, N.C., newspaper publisher Alexander Rice is struggling to distance himself from his former life as a violent member of the criminal underworld. When he meets ravishing garage owner Topaz Emerson, who has drawn the attention of every man in town and the ire of most women, he's hooked. Their relationship burns slowly, as Alex tries to protect Topaz from an aggressive real estate magnate who is using brute force to buy up all the businesses on Topaz's block. When their relationship heats up, though, Alex's secrets drive him to keep Topaz at a distance. Pushing toward a dangerous confrontation with the crooked men behind Lockhurst Properties, Alex finds he must spill his secrets and face his past head on, risking the love he and Topaz share in order to protect her. Washington's story of love, career and forgiveness is both sexy and earnest. Genuine relationships are the main draw in Washington's novels, and she does not disappoint—though too many times she narrates when her strong, smart characters could just as easily speak for themselves. (Aug.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Excerpt: In The Midst of Passion by AlTonyaWashington


Alex blinked, his surprise mounting as he realized two more of his close friends were acquainted with Topaz Emerson.

"What's wrong, man?" Ronald Holmes asked, having spotted the man's expression.

"I see y'all have met before." Alex’s striking gaze shifted between the smiling threesome.

Centron and Ronald looked down at Topaz. They each planted a tender kiss to her temple.

"This our girl!" Centron bellowed.

"Best mechanic in town." Ronald added.

Topaz laughed. "I've never fixed your car."

"It's your presence." Centron explained, placing one hand across his chest. 

"Anyway," Alex groaned, shaking his head once the laughter quieted. "So what y'all doin' up in here?" He asked the brothers.

"Aw man, we always come to the Bayclub after work." Centron shared.

Alex snapped his fingers. "That's right, the firm is across the street." He remembered, referring the advertising agency the two men operated.

"Say, listen y'all got plans tonight?" Ronald was asking.

Alex and Topaz exchanged a brief glance, but shook their heads.

"Cool, why don't y'all come on out to our cousin's club.”

"What club?" Topaz asked, folding her arms across her chest.

"The Limit."

"That's on the other side of town, right?"

"Mmm," Centron confirmed, with a nod towards Alex, "they're havin' a birthday party for Goldie Sims."

Topaz snapped her fingers then. "I knew there was something I needed to do." She said in a hushed tone. "I have to go get that boy a present."

"You know Goldie too?" Alex blurted in a knowing tone.

"I know Goldie's crew sent out invites to everybody he knows." Ronald interjected.

Alex shrugged. "My damn office is such a disaster area, the thing's probably right in there." He sighed.

Topaz reached for her purse. "Y'all I need to go get Goldie's present. See ya at the party." She kissed Centron's cheek first, then Ronald's. "Hope to see you tonight." She told Alex, fixing him with a dazzling, lingering stare before she walked away.

Centron and Ronald noticed and fixed each other with knowing looks. Topaz had been gone a few moments when they realized Alex was glaring their direction.

"What man?" Ronald questioned.

Alex didn't mind his agitation showing. "How the hell all y'all niggas know this sista and I don't?"

The twins could see their friend was truly disturbed by the fact and let their smiles shine through.

"Finally got the upper hand on the Casanova." Centron chimed.

"Anyway," Alex grimaced, waving his hand in denial of the label. "She's just someone I'd like to know."

"I bet!" The twins spoke in unison.

Alex bowed his head. "She's fine," he acknowledged with a wolfish grin. "There's somethin' else, though." 

"You just met her today, man?" Ronald wanted to know.

Alex shrugged. "Met her at a party De threw last night. Y'all know Trey Cooper?" He asked, watching his friends nod. "He was there too, told me how sweet she was and talked about how she was like one of the guys."

"Hell, she is." Centron confirmed. 

"She's like a lil' sister." Ronald shared.

"A woman like that." Alex said, watching the brothers nod. "I don't buy it."

Ron smiled at his twin. "It took us a long time to get to that point." He told Alex. "Every man we know is in love with the girl."

"Damn right," Centron agreed, "Topaz is the kind of sista who appeals to a guy on every level and that shit is rare. So, we cool with being friends if anything more is out of the question."

Ron chuckled. "Lex man, you'd say or do anything to be around a woman like that."

Alex couldn't deny the truth in that statement. He had only met Topaz the day before and she'd been on his mind ever since. "Trey told me she didn't have a man." Alex took another swig of his Bourbon. "She was with this brotha named Simon." He added, spying the look pass between

Centron and Ronald. "Y'all know him?"

"He had a thing with Topaz back in the day." Ron explained.

"Mmm," Alex grunted, stirring the ice cubes in his drink while he leaned back against the bar, "I figured they had a history. What's the story?" He prodded.

"They were engaged, right Tron?" Ronald asked his brother, watching him nod. Alex felt his hand tighten reflexively around the glass. An emotion he would not identify ripped through him at the sound of the word. "She break it off?" He asked, after several seconds of silence.

"He broke it off." Ronald revealed, waiting for Alex's surprised reaction.

"After they got back together." Centron provided.

"Elaborate please."

Ronald leaned forward. "Get this man, he broke it off first. Then, they got back together but I don't know, I guess it wasn't the same.”

"He broke it off? Why?" Alex pried, his tone one of complete disbelief. The twins shrugged.

"Damned if we know." Centron said, “but she's not with him or anybody else exclusively.”

"Why man?" Ronald slyly inquired. "You thinkin' 'bout tossin' your hat in the ring?"

"Hmph." Alex gestured, downing the rest of his drink. "Well with y'all clowns for my competition, I shouldn't have a problem achieving success." He replied.

The boisterous laughter that followed was enough to turn the heads of several women.

( Continued... )

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

Purchase In The Midst of Passion by AlTonyaWashington
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N0392DB 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Ramseys Romantic Suspense Boxed Set 
by AlTonya Washington

TEN Explosive Novels
ONE Complete Package 
Now The Ramsey Saga Is At Your Fingertips! 

The Ramseys are Seattle’s most provocative family. Become immersed in the scandalous realm of these seductive gods and the women they hunger for. This collection features all ten titles in the Ramsey Saga, from the devastating twins Quest and Quaysar Ramey to their equally devastating and dangerous cousins Fernando, Yohan, Moses and Taurus Ramsey. There’s even time to drop into Scotland where we’re introduced to the gorgeous and charismatic Kraven DeBurgh. Even members of the Tesano brood make appearances. The Ramsey short “Lover’s Muse” is also included in this complete collection of AlTonya’s explosive family saga. Lose all sense of inhibition and decorum while tumbling deeper into the intriguing, seductive and deadly world of The Ramseys.

Includes:

Book 1: A Lover's Dream
Book 2: A Lover's Pretense
Book 3: A Lover's Mask
Book 4: A Lover's Regret
Book 5: A Lover's Worth
Book 6: A Lover's Beauty
Book 7: A Lover's Soul
Book 8: Lover's Allure
Book 9: A Ramsey Wedding
Book 10: Book of Scandal: The Ramsey Elders


Excerpt: The Ramseys Boxed Set by AlTonya Washington


County smoothed her hands across the sleeves of her wool jacket and shook her head. She supposed love and happiness could battle the ugliness of the world if it was strong enough. Her smile faded and she acknowledged that she really wouldn’t know. Love and happiness hadn’t seen fit as yet to pay her a visit.

Clearing her throat, County focused on her friend Mick and her husband, Quest Ramsey. Ahh...more love and happiness, she smiled again. If anyone deserved to be happy it was her best friend.

Mick stopped next to County where she stood near the limo’s open door. “How long can you stay?” She asked, her eyes filling with apprehension.

County patted her cheek. “Only a few days and no more,” she added when Mick opened her mouth to argue. “You need to focus on resting and the baby and not cackling with me or worrying over any of this other mess.”

Mick rolled her eyes and flicked a windblown curl from her cheek. “And I suppose you won’t be coming down to Savannah for Quay and Ty’s wedding, either?” she knowingly asked.

“Oh honey, I can’t. I can just imagine the work that’s waiting for me,” County said in excuse, not about to tell her friend that she was in no mood to attend a wedding. “I’ll be giving Quay and Ty my gift before I head back to Chicago,” she said.

Mick sighed defeatedly and accepted that County’s mind was made. Looking back at Quest, she gave a slight nod and let her husband help get her settled in the back of the car.

County leaned against the back of the limo, letting the brisk wind hit her face a second or two longer. She was about to join Mick when she felt a hand cup her elbow. Turning, her lips parted as she looked way up to find Fernando Ramsey at her side.

“Mr. Ramsey,” her luminous brown eyes narrowed a bit as she studied his incredible features.

“She alright?” Fernando inquired of his cousin’s wife while nodding toward the limo’s interior.

County glanced across her shoulder. “I think so. Quest says her doctor may put her on a few weeks bed rest.”

Fernando’s translucent brown gaze became fixed on County’s face then. “Will you be staying with them?” he asked.

“Only for a few days. Then it’s back to Chicago and work. Two things I’ve missed way too much of.”

“Hmph, yeah, the world of the Ramseys can be a bit much.”

County’s brows raised a notch. “Hmph, a bit.”

“Would you have a cup of coffee with me before you leave?”

County wondered if any other man could make a simple request for coffee sound like a request for seduction. She shivered beneath her quarter length jacket as though her spine had been kissed by a freezing breeze. “Didn’t I cut you down enough on the plane?” she asked after ordering herself to calm down.

Fernando smiled and Contessa found herself returning the sentiment in reaction to the way his mesmerizing eyes crinkled at the corners.

“Obviously I survived,” he surmised.

County smoothed one hand across the sleeve of her jacket. “Whatever would we talk about?” she playfully sighed. “Somehow I don’t think your family is the most fun topic.”

Fernando bowed his head and County took a moment to admire the crop of gorgeous brown curls he possessed.

“I think we could come up with quite a few fun things to talk about,” he predicted.

“And you won’t take no for an answer?” she guessed.

Broad shoulders rose in a slow shrug as Fernando stepped closer. “I’ll take no if I really, really have to. But I really, really don’t want to,” he eased massive hands into the pockets of his black overcoat. “Besides, I may never see you again and I’d regret not asking you to come with me forever.”

Lord, did all the Ramseys have such a way with words? County thought, shocked by a stab of something scandalous that stirred someplace unmentionable.

Again, he stepped closer. “Well?” he taunted.

The scent of his cologne enveloped her and County swallowed as though the action would do something to diminish it. This man was beautifully overwhelming and so very tempting. What harm could talking do?

“Just let me say goodbye to Mick,” she said and watched as he strolled away. Shaking her head, she bent into the car and snapped her fingers to get Michaela’s attention. “I’m gonna come to the house later, okay?”

“Why? What’s wrong?” Mick wanted to know, a frown already marring her brow.

“Nothing, nothing. The trip was just so intense and the day is so refreshing. I guess I want to be out in it a little longer before heading inside,” she explained coolly.

“You’re sure you’re okay? Do we need to get another car for you?”

“Mick, Mick, I’m fine. Stop worrying.” County leaned close to plant a kiss to her friend’s cheek. “I’ll be to the house in a couple of hours. I promise.”

“Okay...well, be careful,” Mick ordered and then handed Contessa her purse from the opposite seat.

County accepted the purse, blew a kiss to Mick and stood. She took in the sight of Fernando standing a few feet away. Careful? Ha! That word and that man were clearly a mixed match, but she was far too intrigued to turn back.


( Continued... )

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

Purchase The Ramseys Boxed Set 

Romantic Suspense
Link:  http://a.co/7YcjUEg  

Meet the Author

AlTonya Washington has been a romance novelist for 14 years. She’s traditionally published with Harlequin’s Kimani Romance imprint, winner of the Romance Slam Jam EMMA Award and two time winner of The Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award. AlTonya is a mom and works as a College Reference Librarian. In 2015, she received scholarly publication for her article An Indie Author in a Library World which appeared in “Self-Publishing and Collection Development: Opportunities and Challenges for Libraries” published by Purdue University Press. She enjoys a successful indie author career and is best known for her Ramsey/Tesano romantic suspense series. 


 

 

 


Secrets In Love 
by AlTonya Washington

Amon Mikende and Patrice Flowers seemed different as night and day. He was a sought after young architect. She was a struggling college student. He was sensuality personified and she was undeniably intrigued. Amon wasn’t thrilled by their ten-year age gap, but he found Patrice impossible to ignore. For a time, she forgot her past. She forgot that in college, there were always back doors that resulted in secrets best kept hidden. Those secrets would haunt her longer than she could ever imagine.


Excerpt: Secrets In Love by AlTonya Washington



"Flower's residence," Patrice snapped into the receiver.

"Patrice?"

The now familiar,soft baritone voice immediately calmed her and she sighed.

"Hey, Amon."

"Was I interrupting anything?"

"No, no nothing."

"Are you and Cali doing anything?"

"Oh no, just getting on each other's nerves."

"Amen!"

Amon laughed when he heard Cali's bellowed response. "Y'all feel like catching a movie with me and Muesi?"

"A movie with you and Muesi?" Patrice replied for her sister's benefit. Cali gave a
thumbs up and then left to find something to wear. "Sounds good," Patrice accepted the offer. "That is, if you don't mind being my date again tonight?" Amon teased.

Patrice smothered the giggle welling up inside her. "I don't mind, since I need to find some way to repay you for-"

"I don't want to hear another word about this afternoon. You don't owe me a thing for
anything I've done or will ever do for you. Now, Muesi and I will be over in an hour and a half, alright?"

"Alright. Bye, Amon."


***

The group purchased their tickets and made their way into the theatre which was slowly
yet surely filling.

"Y'all check your tickets?"

"Muesi, for the fifth time, yes." Patrice called.

"Look, y'all must not understand how important this is. Back in the day, shifty movie vendors used to always pull this crap when it came to black films.”

"We know, baby." Cali tried to calm her boyfriend.

"What you want us to do, man?" Amon inquired with a chuckle. "We already
checked our stubs and everything's in order."

"Muesi just wants a problem, so he'll have a reason to stay on his soap box." Patrice
teased and everyone laughed as Muesi pouted.

Shortly, the foursome settled into their own conversations. Patrice sat up to remove her
coat, smiling when Amon offered his assistance.

"Thanks." She whispered, her almond shaped stare raking the jagged scar along his cheek.

"Knife fight."

"'Scuse me?"

Amon motioned towards the scar.

"I'm sorry." Patrice apologized for staring, her gaze faltering.

"Don't worry about it. I don't mind."

"Does it happen a lot?"

Amon shrugged. "No," he replied and trailed his finger along the mark, "I think
most people are too intimidated to ask me about it."

"Has it ever affected your work?"

"You mean, do people hire me because they're afraid of me?" Amon clarified the
question, his dark eyes narrowed as he rested his head back against the folding seat. "I never really thought about it, but the next time I feel in fear of losing a job, I'll cash in on it."

They laughed for a while and finally, Patrice had summoned the courage to ask the question that had been nagging her.

"Um, how exactly did you get caught up in a knife fight?"

Amon folded his arms across the front of the sweatshirt emblazoned with the logo of his
favorite football team. "Exactly," he sighed, "I bought it on myself. You see, Patrice, I'm a person who has a hard time accepting the fact that I'm not going to get my way."

"For real?" Patrice drawled in phony disbelief.

"I shouldn't have ever been in that pool hall in the first place." He said.

"Pool hall? Now I really am interested."

"I was whippin' everybody's ass left and right that night. My dad had bought a table
during my junior year in high school and I'd gotten real good at it." He explained, smiling as old memories resurfaced. "Anyway, when I got to college, I wanted to show my stuff first chance I got. By second semester freshman year, everybody knew I had skills."

"Then you had to 'show your stuff' 'round the big boys, huh?"

"Mmm. I couldn't wait." Amon admitted. "I had it goin' on that night and the
seventy bills in my pocket, proved it."

Patrice was entranced by the story. "What happened?"

"Some fool challenged me to one last 'winner takes all' game. I couldn't turn him down."

"And you lost."

"Big time. Saw all my cash scooped up and placed in his pocket. I was heated, accused him of cheating and demanded my money back."

"He wasn't havin' it?" 

"Hell nah. We exchanged some punches, and then he bought a damn bowing knife to the party. Sliced me up good." He shared, staring off as though he were watching the scene play itself before his eyes.

"Sounds like something right out of a movie."

"Yeah, a horror movie." Amon said, a dark scowl coming to his face. "I was so stupid to tangle with that fool. It took me a long time to recover and even longer to stop being self-conscious of the scar." Patrice fumbled with a curl dangling from her ponytail. "What made you stop being self-conscious about it?"

Amon feigned a look of exasperation. "Are you serious? All the women I got because of it!"

Patrice giggled. "I should've known!"

Pretty soon, Amon was chuckling, until Muesi shushed them.

"The previews are starting!" He fiercely whispered.

Amon, Patrice and Cali exchanged glances, before the laughter erupted again.


( Continued... )

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


Purchase Secrets In Love  

Contemporary Romance 
Link: http://a.co/jgvi9eo  

 

 

 

 

 


Eternal by AlTonya Washington


Lilia Avery had no idea what prompted her to suggest booking Eternity Lodge for the annual Senior Week trip. The place was in no one's budget, but she decided to take a chance and was pleasantly surprised when the proprietors seemed keen on her idea. The last thing she'd expected was to meet Fystian Akintunde and have him wipe her mind clear of every ounce of her common sense. He was an enigma and he seemed just as off kilter by her. 

Fystian Akintunde was more than an enigma. The abilities and other special traits possessed by he and his siblings had them all in danger from the moment they were born. Ancient and powerful parties were determined to see the Akintunde quintuplets destroyed. Now, a young woman's fate will unexpectedly intertwine with a clan of immortal siblings and set in motion a chain of events and a centuries’ old prophecy will be realized. 


Excerpt: Eternal by AlTonya Washington


Happy to be alone, Fystian prayed for just a half hour of solitude. The irony made him grimace. If things turned out to what he was expecting, finding time alone wouldn’t be a problem.

Annoyance deepened as his troubled thoughts turned to Lilia Avery. For just a moment, he’d glimpsed what his life would be like- could have been like had his family not been… cursed.

She was different, he mused easing both hands into the front pockets of the jeans slung low at his hips. Her looks, while dark, provocative and unforgettable weren’t what attracted him most about her. Even when he had time to dwell upon his reaction to her, he could find no way to explain her hold over him. She calmed something inside him. The rage that simmered deep and ranted to be freed, quelled when she was near. When she touched him… Fystian stilled. He had entered the den and was approaching the plaid burgundy and hunter green sofa, when his head bowed and his eyes narrowed. Slowly, he turned toward the front door.

~~~

Lilia flexed her hand as though the action might assist in her ringing the doorbell which she had yet to do. There was no need. Her finger was centimeters from the bell when the door opened with Fystian Akintunde on the other side. Her lips parted, but no sound emerged. She was surprised and like an idiot, she stood there gawking, rubbing her throat to rouse words.

“I’m sorry I-” She cleared her throat, working to improve the delivery. “I shouldn’t have dropped by this way. I um…tried to call…”

Fystian had moved back during Lilia’s ramble. When she took notice of his changed position, she took his stance as a silent instruction for her to enter the house. The sound of the door closing mere decibels below a slam sent a scant jerk through her body and she turned.

“We’re alone here,” He seemed to await a reaction.

Lilia was unmindful of wringing her hands as she watched him relax against the door. She was unconscious of how greedily her eyes absorbed him. Her gaze fell to his mouth, outlining the wide, alluring set of it until she forced herself to refocus.

“I came to apologize for the way I acted that day you came to my house.”

“What about it?”

Surprised and slightly suspicious, she couldn’t quite believe he’d forgotten how rude she had been.“I didn’t mean it Fystian,” she continued her ramble and her obsessive hand wringing. “I had a lot going on that day. I let it rule me which I never do-”

Fystian pushed off the door, rendering Lilia instantly speechless. In a couple of strides, he was there before her, cupping a hand behind her neck and crushing her mouth beneath his.

Lilia was; at first, too stunned to do anything other than stand there and take it. He cupped her face, his thumbs drawing out invisible circles on her cheeks while his tongue chased hers. Gradually; so subtly that she didn’t realize it, his hands roamed the length of her body to smooth about her hips. He fused her to him when his hands slipped just inside the back pockets of her denim skirt.

Tentatively at first, Lilia nudged his tongue with hers and then became a more energetic participant in the act. Her hands smoothed up his chest and she shivered over the realization that he felt as strong and solid as he appeared. She kneaded broad shoulders on her way to encircling his neck. There, she toyed with the soft skin at his nape before her fingers massaged his scalp and she discovered his close cut hair was as silken as its texture boasted.

Her response then was explosive. Lilia gripped the front of Fystian’s T-shirt, her fingers curving into the neckline of the black garment. She tugged him closer, taking command of their kiss by plying him with slow, sultry lunges of her tongue.

She heard him whimper and was certain the sound had to be out of character for him. It didn’t matter, she felt empowered, emboldened by her effect on him. She lost all sense of herself, her fingers tightened on the material of his shirt and threatened to tear…

Fystian worked to hone in on the voice demanding his restraint. He knew it had to be there somewhere in the haunted depths of his mind, but he couldn’t lock in on it. Not that he really wanted to. The girl in his arms had no idea how powerfully he hungered for her. Her eager willingness, loosened every tether he’d used to harness his desire.

The voice of sanity and logic bellowed out to him then and successfully churned through a passion-filled haze. It bridled him, tempered the robust urges that insisted he return to his bedroom with her in tow. He broke the kiss with tremendous effort and labored to settle his breathing once space resided between them.

Lilia swallowed noticeably, her expression sharpening as though she were zoning back into reality. “Fystian…I- I’m sorry.”

He gave her a black look. “What the hell for?”

She smiled, in spite of her breathlessness. “For...for taking over I-um…I get the feeling you like control.”

“Control, huh?” His black look diluted as a smile revealed something elemental and amused. “Not always,” he said.

( Continued... )

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

Purchase Eternal by AlTonya Washington

Paranormal YA Fiction & Fantasy
Link: 
http://a.co/ilhLtb2 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 writing 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 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 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 writing 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 Suzette D. Harrison

Suzette D. Harrison, a native Californian, grew up in a home where reading was required, not requested. Her literary journey began when her poetry was published in her junior high school’s creative journal. While Suzette credits Gloria Naylor, Alex Haley, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison for inspiring her early in life, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings exemplified the life-changing power of African American literary voices to her. A wife and mother, Mrs. Harrison operates a small homebased cupcake business. She’s currently working on her next novel…in between batches of cupcakes. Visit Suzette at www.sdhbooks.com.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?  

SDH: My most recent release, Taffy, could be classified as Historical Fiction or Historical Romance. Both work just fine. Taffy is a step back in time as she takes place in 1935. Her story is that of a young woman who’s been made to bear family secrets and lies too long in her young life. Now, she’s done! Her one goal is freedom from a truly foul marriage to a man twice her age—a marriage her mother forced her into. Sounds simple? No, indeed! It’s 1935! In Taffy’s time dissolution of marriage was far from easy. Still, Taffy is determined to live a free woman’s life. So she leaves…only to find herself tangled up with long-lost love in the six-foot-five-inch form of Roam Ellis: the man Taffy meant to marry.

Taffy’s story is one of redemption, exoneration and restoration. It’s seasoned with murder, mayhem, and enough romance to spice the pages in between. Taffy is available in paperback and eBook on Amazon, Kindle, Kobo & Nook!

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 

SDH: Let’s focus on the two central characters of any romantic plot: the heroine and the hero. As my heroine, Taffy is quite unique spiritually and physically. Spiritually, Taffy has the gift of clairvoyance. This gift is a legacy that graces select women in Taffy’s paternal line. These chosen women call her, the gift, Knowing. Yes, her; not it as this gift is very much tangible, physical even. Implausible? My response is a line from Taffy that I love: “if the Holy Spirit could transfigure into a dove certainly God’s Knowing could inhabit feminine form.” 

Physically, Taffy doesn’t embody a “typical” heroine’s form. She’s five-ten, voluptuous (think Serena Williams-plus); grey-eyed, and chocolate-skinned. She’s not delicate, physically or inwardly. This twenty-three year-old young woman possesses an amazing depth of strength! And trust, she’ll need it to overcome the crazy obstacles of her life.

Now, Mr. Hero, Roam Ellis!  He’s a Pullman porter, a pragmatist, an alpha male and a man’s man. But when it comes to Taffy, he’s tried, “wrapped, tied, and tangled.” She hurt him once. He’s determined, never twice. For all his size and prowess, this man is weak to Taffy’s “unsullied seduction” and Roam finds that fractured heart open to Taffy but again. A preacher’s son and descendant of operatives of the Underground Railroad, Roam is protective. When Taffy’s life in jeopardized, Roam’s willing to go “to jail if not hell” saving the only woman he’ll ever love.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

SDH: Actually, I first glimpsed the silhouette of Taffy’s story after the release of my first contemporary novel back in 2002. I say “silhouette” because Taffy “then” isn’t Taffy “now”. In fact, that shadow, or forerunner, had an entirely different name…and agenda: revenge! Taffy—her true story, character and needs—had to marinate a mighty long while until I was able to fully receive who and what she was. And as for inspiration, it was a matter of asking “why” and “what if” questions about a situation in my own paternal line.

BPM: What genre of books do you write? Did you pick this genre or did it select you?

SDH: My first two novels are Contemporary African-American Fiction. Taffy is my first voyage into African-American Historical Fiction/Romance. And, Miss Ella, I love this question! I wasn’t seeking a change, per se. I just wanted to tell the stories of my heart. So, change and A.A. Historical Fiction definitely chose me!

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? 

SDH: Sometimes I have dream sequences that I write down so as not to lose or forget them. They sometimes morph or grow into book ideas. Often, I might overhear or engage in conversations that spark ideas. I can be watching T.V. and something I see sets my mind rolling and racing. Or…one of my favorites…is simply responding to a scene, a sequence of events, a conversation with a “Well, what if…?”. What if this outcome instead of that occurs? What if the true motivation is something other than what we see? What if she’s lying?! ‘What if’s’ set my imagination free.

And I think, thus far, my books are character-driven as if the whole story is all about them and their world and their wants or ways. And that’s fine by me. I try to listen to my characters so that they lead me to the plot. In understanding my characters, I’m better able to understand what would or could happen in their worlds.

BPM: Do story lines come easy for you? Do you feel lonely being a writer?

SDH: Lovely question! Some storylines occur more fluently than others. Some are robust and I can see the thread connecting the story from beginning to end; whereas, others come in glimpses and snatches and I have to wait for the totality to be revealed.

Unless you’re part of a project or a team, writing is an isolated endeavor. As an author, you don’t share a cubicle or sit across the aisle from and take lunch breaks with coworkers. Writing is autonomous and alone and, yes, it can be lonely. But then God has granted lovely jewels of companionship for me.

I’m blessed to be a member of online organizations such as See Ya on The Net, and Building Relationships around Books (founded by LaShaunda Hoffman, and Sharon Blount, respectively). These are wonderfully supportive virtual communities for writers and readers that enable connectivity. I’m also blessed with wonderful sister-writer-friends, online and in-person. Harlequin Romance author, Sheryl Lister, and I live in close proximity so we “take our lunch breaks” and try to meet face-to-face regularly. 

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

SDH: Oh, Lord, everything! Taffy taught me to be a better writer. It was hard, tedious, tear-inducing work. But she was worth it. I learned to listen to my characters and not force my agenda down their throats. I learned it was okay to be different, and not just follow the flow. I loved writing at odd hours—late at night, early morning—while my family was asleep. I loved the lightbulb moments where a scene or character’s backstory or motivation unfolded itself to me. Taffy was my labor of love, and I absolutely loved stepping back in time and imagining this world from Taffy’s eyes in the year 1935.

BPM: How long does it take to complete one of your books?

SDH: My contemporary novels were completed in three to six months. Taffy? Years! And years. And…years.

BPM: Do you have any suggestions on becoming a better writer? If so, what are they?

SDH: 1) Listen! Don’t wrestle with your characters or your storyline. Listen! Are you telling their story or yours? Give your characters permission to talk to you. And they will. 2) Create a conducive writing atmosphere for yourself. Music. Candles. Quiet. Whatever you want and need. 3) Relax and read. Tension and stress are anti-productive; reading connects you to power and production of writing. A book in hand is inspiring.

BPM: What period of your life do you find you write about most often?  

SDH: So far, my characters have been young adults (20’s-30’s). I do, however, have two children’s storybooks in the works.

BPM: How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you have written?

SDH: It happens! Every book isn’t for everyone. Of course no artist likes to be criticized or misunderstood, but I try to see such moments as growth opportunities. Is there truth in the critique or disagreement? Was something helpful said? If so, then I can draw from it. Discourse is discourse. Even when a reader disagrees, we’re still engaged in talking about my writing.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.

SDH: An underlying theme in Taffy is the power of women—in particular, African American females. Remember the context: Taffy occurs in 1935. That was two generations away from slavery and our rights weren’t fully established. African American women were highly underrepresented. Taffy paints a portrait of powerful, expressive women who dare to live, to breathe, to be.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation or journey?

SDH: Ms. Ella, I can’t possibly convey all the treasures Taffy has opened to me. Or the treasure that she is. I’m married. I’m in love. I have gorgeous children. Yet, I’m a woman striving and pressing to beautify my life in meaningfulways. As is Taffy. I’m learning to embrace the Spirit and His world more. So too, Taffy. My education is reflected in Taffy’s being decorated with history in that I hold an undergraduate degree in Black Studies. I’ve found commonalities between Taffy’s fictional and my real world family. It’s truly amazing! I’m connected to Taffy and Taffy to me.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 

SDH: Professionally, I learned to be a more expressive and free writer not assigning myself a role. Personally, as said before, I found real life treasures that I didn’t know existed until after Taffy’s release. I feel that the unearthing of those treasures are a direct result of my not just writing but releasing Taffy. Family history. Family gems. It was as if God said, “Okay, you did the work. Now enjoy the rewards.”

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

SDH: Because my B.A. degree is in Black Studies, I was able to draw heavily from my undergrad studies. Research was minimal. What research I did, I was able to accomplish from the privacy of my home. I did, however, “meet” a fabulous book—Princes of the Road, by Dr. David Covin. It’s a novel and tribute to Pullman Porters. Reading it led to my making Dr. Covin’s acquaintance. Dr. Covin’s feedback and suggestions regarding Taffy proved invaluable. Princes also helped assure me that I was on the right track (pun intended) with Roam Ellis, Taffy’s forbidden love interest.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in writing this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

SDH: My goal was to tell Taffy’s genuine, unadulterated story without mental or artistic censorship. I believe I did pretty good in listening to her voice so that she’s authentic, and not merely recycled or re-fabricated.

BPM: What does literary success look like to you?

SDH: Oh, Lord! It looks like running down the street with confetti poppers, passing out balloons and celebrating leaving my N.D.J. (Necessary Day Job) because readers are loving my writing and I’m earning a real living!

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

SDH: I’ve jumped back to my contemporary fiction and am working on a Dramedy (Drama/Comedy) I hope to release at the beginning of 2017.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 
SDH: My pleasure! And by the way, I absolutely love connecting with readers. So please do connect with me.

Book Trailier: http://bit.ly/2cMvsAt 
Amazon Books: http://amzn.to/2cW5lrY 


Web: www.sdhbooks.com
Email: sdhbooks@gmail.com
Goodreads: Suzette Harrison
Instagram: http://bit.ly/1sutYiw
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/23gvCPL
Twitter: http://bit.ly/1OxBOw5
Facebook: SDH Books or Suzette Harrison

Purchase Taffy by Suzette D. Harrison

Link:  https://amzn.com/1523298251  
African-American Historical Fiction


 


 


Intimate Conversation with Tesa Erven

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.

BPM: Tell us about your most recent work? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?

Tesa: My debut novel is called The Loose End. It is available on Nook and Kindle.
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.

Renee still confused by her lover's disappearance, attends an event with her best friend, Sabrina. There they meet California native Bradsen Myers. A single, handsome, respected attorney and he's definitely interested in Renee. While Bradsen feels its love at first sight, she pushes him away. After returning home from the event, desperation sets in. During her weeks of worry, Renee has a chance encounter with Bradsen. She feels an attraction but is conflicted. 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?

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?

Tesa: Renee Lawson is a young, vibrant beautiful woman that fell in love with a married man. Kayron Hawkins is the so-called happily married man in a relationship with Renee. Sabrina Brown is Renee's childhood best friend and roommate and she's very opinionated. Bradsen Myers is a prominent attorney and is attracted to Renee. I enjoy developing new characters and giving them a voice because each one is uniquely written.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book?

Tesa: I started writing ten years ago. The experience was great because I knew it was a big accomplishment. The problem was, I tried to go the traditional publisher route and after the many rejections I gave up on the manuscript. It wasn't until years later when my husband found it and liked what I wrote. That's when the desire for writing returned and I decided to research self-publishing.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Tesa: For me, the easiest part about writing is when you have a muse that you can build or base a character on. My childhood best friend of 30+ years is inspiration to Sabrina's character in my book. She happens to have those same character traits of always being there and guiding me that it just makes the story come together in a nice even flow.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?

Tesa: My ideas are character driven. I keep a notebook with me on the go. I start a story in there before scanning it into the computer. I still have a thing for the old fashioned scratch and scribble... I write everything down on paper.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation or journey?

Tesa: I write fiction for entertainment purposes. I want readers to be able to escape into my world.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?

Tesa: I love writing; it gets the creative juices flowing. I love unknowingly connecting characters together. It's a small world and I prove that in my writing style. I get the thrill of just being able to write about love, twists, and a little suspense.

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

Tesa: Some of the places/establishments in my book are places that people can actually visit. I would recommend Sonoma Valley, where you can tour the Korbel winery.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in writing this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

Tesa: My goal was to write a love story with romance, suspense and unexpected twists. I am so pleased with the way the story turned out that it became a series.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

Tesa: My current project is titled, Bonded for Life, its book three in The Loose End Series: Coming soon.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Twitter: @TesaErven
Tesa website: www.tesaerven.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/authortesaerven
Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/tesaerven


 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Denise Coleman

Denise Coleman was born and raised in Camden, NJ where she still resides. As an avid reader, her love of the written word has grown into a passionate desire to share her stories with the world. Although she has penned four novels to date, she continues to work tirelessly at her craft, as she wants to grow as much as possible into a better writer and story teller with each work she creates.

As a former student of Woodrow Wilson High School, and the parent of four, it is her hope that the young people of Camden believe enough in themselves to dream big… And, in doing so, go after the best that this life has to offer.

Her first novel, Drama with A Capital D, is doing very well. Also, her most recent release, Keisha’s Betrayal, is the finale of her Shattered Innocence trilogy. She looks forward to putting out many more books in the near future.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters What makes each one so special?
My most recent work is the Shattered Innocence Trilogy which is available on both Nook and Kindle.

The main characters, twins Angel and Teek Kyle, and their cousins Troi and Keisha, who early in the series are forced to leave home to live with relatives they hardly know. Each girl has her own distinct personality. We have Angel, who is the nurturing leader of the group. Teek is the perpetually confused, yet supportive twin.

Then there's Troi, who is sneaky, selfish and almost always up to no good. Keisha, the baby of the group, is unsure of herself, and often times, finds herself trying to figure out where she fits in.

BPM: Is there a specific space or state that you find inspiration in?

I actually find my inspiration in people. A look, a conversation, a mood, a feeling. other human beings seem to spark something in me at any given moment.

BPM: Tell us a little about your creative process. What brought about the title "Shattered Innocence"?

My creative process is always far more difficult for me than I intend. Whenever I have an idea, I start with an outline. However, every story I've ever written develops organically. I allow the characters to take over. The title Shattered Innocence literally comes from the circumstantial effects of the main characters' displacement.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-drive or character-driven?

The idea for this particular series came from witnessing some of the issues our young clients have at my place of business. I work in child protection services. Although I am more interested in the plot, I do allow the character's personality to take over. They seem to always drive the story forward.

BPM: Is writing easy for you? Do you feel lonely being a writer?

I find that writing is some times difficult for me because, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I want to be considered a great writer. I am continually pushing myself to do better and be better. Yes, I always feel that being a writer is a lonely business. The creation process is a singular experience for each writer.

BPM: What did you enjoy mot about writing this book?

The most enjoyable part about this series was seeing where each character went, and how they evolved more with each installment.

BPM: How much planning goes into writing a book? How long does it take to complete one of your books?

The only planning I do is, taking notes about the situations I want to place the characters in, and how I want to resolve the issues created. It can take me anywhere from a few months to a year to complete a book. it depends on so many external factors.

BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project?

Well, because I feel that writers are dreamers to a degree, I would say never give up on your dreams! Write, write, and write some more. We all get discouraged, but the end result is pure joy.

BPM: What period of life or topics do you find you write about most often?

I am focused on young adults in this particular series. I simply wanted to understand how adults get to be who they are, how they are, and here it all began.

BPM: How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you have written?

I actually use different opinions to gain a different perspective into the human condition. If I do find myself offended, I try to turn that around to be useful for my growth as a writer.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.

If I had to say there was an under represented group in my series, it would have to be the LGBT community. I felt that it was important to have at least one character who was the extreme opposite of the rest of the family. I wanted to explore her emotional perspective on being gay.

BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.

The one point that resonated most with me was learning how to accept myself as I am. In doing so, I learned how to recognize when changes in my own behaviors need to be made.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?

Writing "Shattered" actually taught me how much I've grown over the years. As well as, how much I am still very much that girl I once was.

BPM: Can you share some stories bout people you met while researching this book?

Because the business I work in is strictly confidential, I'm not sure it's a good idea to share specific stories. I will say that I've witnessed and had conversations with clients which inspired the thoughts behind how very specific events can change the trajectory of one's life.

BPM: How has writing impacted your life?

Writing has opened me up to a whole new world. Where I was once shy, I am now outgoing and more personable. Meeting people and engaging with them brings me joy.

BPM: What does literary success look like to you?

For me, literary success would be to create works that make people think, feel, talk and want more.

BPM: What are the 3 most effective tools for sharing our book with the world?

Social media, word of mouth and participation in literary events whenever possible.

BPM: What projects are you working on?

Right now I'm working on a piece about the loss of a child to gun violence. Being from a city like Camden, so many of us have lost someone in this manner. I feel I have to write about it.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Contact and comments can be sent to my website: DeniseColemanBooks.com
Website: DeniseColemanBooks.com
FB: @booksbydenise
IG: authordrcoleman
Twitter: @AuthorDColeman

Purchase Denise Coleman Books
https://www.amazon.com/-Coleman/e/B003QJJLNE 



 

 

 



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? Available on Nook and Kindle?

MJ: Yes, my latest book, ALONE, is the 5th novel in The Butterfly Memoirs series and one that I had a lot of fun writing. In this book, I explore a male character that is hell-bent on keeping his player status and a woman who is recovering from a divorce that she did not ask for. ALONE is available in eBook and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Smashwords, and many other platforms.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 

MJ: Derrick is a man who is in the middle of dealing with some major changes in his life that were not his fault. He’s starting over, career wise, and moving to a new city. While his parents are encouraging him to settle down and find some stability in his life, he is determined to remain single; only interested in a relationship if it includes a woman who is just like him, not willing to get into anything long-term. Kelli was blind-sided when her husband announced he wanted a divorce, not that she didn’t suspect he was cheating on her. Now she and her two young children are living with her very pregnant and newlywed sister as she struggles to find balance in her life. They are very different people who wound up needing each other in order to find happiness.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

The idea of writing a story about a man who’s only intention is to be involved in no-strings-attached relationships but ends up falling in love has always interested me. I love putting a twist on stories and not following the popular route of him falling for a single, sexy and sassy woman. I made the woman who captures his heart be a challenge. Divorced, emotionally hurt, and raising two very young kids, Kelli is the complete opposite of any kind of woman he’d ever want to be in his life. The emotional challenges each character faces during this story and the fact that they come from two very different paths in life make them that more entertaining.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

MJ: My favorite part was creating the scenes where Derrick and Kelli are struggling to deal with one another. They can’t have normal conversations, instead, she’s always pissed off and he’s egging her on because he finds her sassiness intriguing. Neither want to admit the attraction that they feel. It’s sexual, for sure, but the more they spend time around each other, get to know each other, it goes from just being about sex to wanting to be there for one another. In fact, the first time Derrick and Kelli introduced themselves to me as potential characters to have their own story; it was a scene in which they were arguing. The anger, sassiness, and over the top sexual attraction that filled that scene captured my imagination right away. That was back in 2010, two years before the publication of the first book in the series, A HEART NOT EASILY BROKEN. That scene is in this book and is definitely one of my favorite!

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?

MJ: This story is very character-driven. The ideas for my novels come from real life experiences or from watching people around me. I also like dealing with subject matter that is can easily be related to by my readers. We’ve all had that male friend who is a player and we’ve known that friend who has been through a horrible breakup and has no intention of falling in love ever again.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.

MJ: No, there are no under-represented groups or ideas in this story.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, education, spiritual practice or journey?

MJ: I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of single men over the years as they have come and gone from my husband’s studio, and after listening to some of their stories, I was inspired to write the story of a man who, despite what he thought, would end up not only falling in love, but in love with a single mother who had young kids. I am very pleased with the results. 

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 

MJ: Writing this story has made me appreciate my husband even more and the fact that we have been married for 22 years. There are certain aspects to Derrick’s personality that are based on my husband. In fact, the hands on the cover of this story are my husbands!  

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

MJ: Not off hand because then I’d be telling too much information! I’ll just say that some of those things have made their way into the storyline, but I’m not telling what!

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

MJ: My goals with this story were to create a male character that was a lot more than the typically perceived man who is about nothing but sex. He has his own reasons for the decisions he makes; he also has experiences that force him to question his decisions open his heart to everything he vows to avoid. I also wanted to create a woman who is blindsided by the heartache of divorce. During this story, we watch her go from her weakest point to becoming an even stronger woman. She finds a way to not only make it through the struggle of being a single-mom, she also finds love again.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

MJ: The next phase in my writing career is to write the final book in The Butterfly Memoirs series, SHATTERED, which will be published next year. I’ve really enjoyed the journey with this series because in a sense, I am a butterfly, too. The first book in the series was the first one I’ve ever written. Each story has been a different experience and I’ve developed my storytelling voice and created my own writing style. Next comes the challenge of writing something new!

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

Purchase Alone by M.J. Kane 
The Butterfly Memoirs Book 5 
Link:  https://amzn.com/B01M7XYIFD  

Website: MJKaneMedia.com
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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 writing 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 Lynn Emery

Lynn is the author of sixteen romantic suspense and mystery novels. A native of Louisiana, most of her books are set in her home state. Mix knowledge of voodoo, Louisiana politics and forensic social work, and you get a snapshot of author Lynn Emery. 

NIGHT MAGIC was recognized for Excellence in Romance Fiction by Romantic Times Magazine. Her novel AFTER ALL was adapted for a television movie by Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 2000.  Lynn has been nominated several times for awards, and in 2006 won three Emma Awards for Kiss Lonely Goodbye as part of the Romance Slam Jam conference. Her latest novels are

A Darker Shade of Midnight, a paranormal murder mystery, and Best Enemies, a cozy mystery. 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 on October 1, 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 Nigeria Lockley


Nigeria Lockley possesses two master's degrees, one in English secondary education, which she utilizes as an educator with the New York City Department of Education. Nigeria's debut novel, Born at Dawn received the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Award for First Fiction. After the success of her novels Nigeria is committed to pushing women to pursue their passion, walk in their purpose, and live in prosperity. Nigeria serves as the deaconess and clerk for her spiritual home, King of Kings and Lord of Lords Church of God. She is a New York native who resides in Harlem with her husband and two daughters. Visit her website at: www.nigerialockley.com

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?

Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion is a mixture of commentary and prayers for creative Christians and Entrepreneurs to connect with God and deal with some of the issues they'll encounter as they on their journey to pursue their passion. Is this book available on Nook and Kindle? Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion is available on Gumroad a platform for independent artists, authors, and entrepreneurs to sell their products and Amazon. It will be available in Barnes and Noble and other retailers soon.

Save $2 on all orders for the paperback at: https://gumroad.com/l/PYPGF  
Use code: passion - to receive the discounted price at Gumroad.


BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

When you begin to chase your dreams there are so many people who ask you questions about what you're doing and when I originally thought about writing this book the plan was to answer those questions in Pursuing
Your Passion in a Godly Fashion, but then things became really challenging for me. I had to deal with business stuff, my husband didn't understand what I was doing, and I had to keep the faith at the same time. That was how Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion became this book of prayers.

BPM: How do you deal with balancing faith, family and business? Do you have any tips for us?

Journaling helped me pull it together and write Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion. Keep God at the helm, don't neglect yourself or your family. Learn to trust God that it will all come together. He built the whole world one day at a time and that's how we have to build our businesses.

BPM: This is your first non-fiction book. Was it difficult to write?

Yes!! I was so all over the place at first trying to figure out what I was doing. However, once I surrendered and said "I want to do this Lord, but I don't know what I am doing." He just opened it up to me. The most difficult thing to overcome was that feeling of not being qualified. But when once I realized that God is the qualifier...it was on and crackin'.

BPM: Is writing easy for you? Do you feel lonely being a writer?

Writing is easy. Editing is the hard part for me. I know plenty of authors who love the editing process, but it makes me want to pull my nails out. No, I don't feel lonely as a writer. The Lord has blessed me to connect with some of the best in the business and they take care of me.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Writing the prayers was the most enjoyable part of writing Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion. I wanted to improve my prayer life and this book definitely pushed me closer to God and improved my prayer life.

BPM: How long did it take you to complete Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion?

It took me about five months to finish Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion.

BPM: Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Don't write the story or book that you believe is going to sell; write the story that you want to tell. Do not force yourself to fit into a box or follow prescribed formulas just to make it.

BPM: What period of your life do you find you write about most often?

I've written my whole entire life. The only period of my life where I wasn't writing was when I gave my life to Christ and I was trying to figure out what God wanted me to do.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey?

Throughout Pursuing My Passion in a Godly Fashion, I discuss learning how to do business God's way and not prescribe to the worldly ideas about different issues like purpose, competition, and finance.  I went through something in every chapter in order to write those chapters, right down to having no money in the bank and having to believe that God could resuscitate my business.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?

I learned that I'm more resilient than I thought. Between dealing with marital issues while getting this book done and holding onto my faith I made it on to the other side of this project.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in writing this book? Do you feel you achieved them?
My intention and my goal for Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion is to help support creative Christians and entrepreneurs get into position to prosper by using prayer and biblical principles as their guide.

BPM: What does literary success look like to you?

Literary success for me looks like a catalog of books that create and effect change in people's lives, encourage growth, edify readers, and are a chain or link in the spreading of the gospel of reconciliation of men back to Christ.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

In terms of business I'm working on content for my writing and marketing coaching program the Publishing Pow-Wow which is becoming a digital course in 2017 as well as content for the Position Yourself to Prosper
Program--a holistic approach to Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion. In the literary sector I'm working on pumping out my next release Children of God, a stand alone novel.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

Readers can discover more about me by visiting my website, www.nigerialockley.com and they can connect with me on social media at some of my favorite hangout spots:  Instagram @NewNigeria, Facebook:
www.facebook.com/authorNigeriaLockley, and Twitter: @NewNigeria. My book is listed on Amazon: http://bit.ly/PursuingYPGF 

 

 

 


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 Mr. Gregory Harris

An author, a public speaker, and businessman, Gregory pens his new book Overcoming Bias and Racism in Your Workspace. Using his experiences with racism as a child raised in a military family in the poor coal and steel region/area /country of eastern Ohio, as well as his professional experiences at IBM and Wang Computers, Gregory shares tips and tools to effectively deal with the challenges of racism and bias head on.

A proud graduate of Morgan State University with over 20 years career experience as an executive, Gregory knows what it takes to survive and thrive in the world of business. A former Global Vice President Business Development and Marketing in the corporate realm, he continues to work as a consultant and coach encouraging success for all in the high tech arena. 

With a passion for writing and reading, Gregory hopes to inspire and motivate others toward change. A youth sports coach in his spare time, Gregory always encourages others to be the best image of themselves and to stay true to one’s beliefs.  Contact Gregory online at www.gregharrisauthors.com.

BPM: Welcome Mr. Harris and congratulations on the new book. Can you tell us a little about your passion for writing and your inspiration for pursuing your dream of publishing?
My passion for writing this book has always been there. Growing up watching civil rights and experiencing poverty, racism and discrimination, I developed a passion for competing and outdoing my majority peers. Being an ardent reader, I imagined as a youth what the world could be like. While in college, I started developing story ideas for fiction and nonfiction books. Those ideas stayed with me in the ensuing years, and this first book has been on top of the pile for a decade.

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 journey to success starts with a proud black high school and HBCU (Morgan State) where strong positive influences brought me out of my shell and gave me a passion for continuing to develop myself and others. I went to work at IBM with confidence and communication skills (particularly an ability to talk to other cultures) that gave me opportunities to learn and prosper within their system and similarly with WANG Computers. 

Ault Inc., minority managed but publicly traded, gave me a unique opportunity when WANG faltered. That opportunity (VP Sales and Marketing) has given me situations in management with employees, board members and with customers that required creative development or application of strategies to overcome bias and discriminatory practices (in the very vanilla hi-tec industry) almost daily. 

Learning and developing those strategies kept me on the road to success and enabled me to stay Black and Proud regardless of the ignorant, biased and/or racial attitudes in the marketplace. 

BPM: Was there anyone early in your career that recognized your talent and help cultivate it?
 
Fred Green was President of Ault and hired me. He recognized my skills for listening and analyzing business situations and individuals. He would turn me loose to improve processes and coach on people issues. 

BPM: How can one live authentic life, true to self, personally and professionally? 

1) find a job occupation congruent with the best picture you have of who you want to be. 2) pursue your passions and embrace those on a similar path. 3) keep your family and who you are first in your life.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Give us some insight into your primary message within the book.

Overcoming Bias And Racism In Your Workspace: A Primer For Minorities In The Business Community is focused on keeping true to yourself while succeeding in business and converting racist and biased individuals and processes for the success of the individual and business. The message is 'To thine self be true', plan for success and convert the biased/racist/ignorant one person at a time if necessary.

BPM: What group of people should purchase your book, Overcoming Bias and Racism in Your Workspace: A Primer for Minorities in the Business Community?

Any minority by race, gender or economics who is looking for help, relief, or an edge in improving or starting their climb in the business world. I view this book as a worthy tool to help minorities for years to come. I want to make it available to graduating students and currently employed minorities, so that they can create a sound foundation for their futures and those coming behind them. 

BPM: Let’s spend some time defining the ills of our business sector. I’ll start with this question: Are we in a post-racial culture? 
LOL. As long as we have racist, discrimination and prejudicial systems and behaviors (which we do in plenty) we are not! Many of the systems for racism and discrimination still need to be dismantled. All people need to understand and embrace other cultures. At the least, respect them. 

BPM: Define racism. How are racism, sexism, and internalized racism defined?

It’s best defined by Alvea King, “Racism springs from the lie that certain human beings are less than fully human. It's a self-centered falsehood that corrupts our minds to believing we are right to treat others as we would not want to be treated.” 

Internalized racism is when we take those lies and believe them, resulting in a self-hate and occlusion of who we really are. Sexism is the same as racism, someone believes their gender or sexual orientation is by right superior to another. 

BPM: How does racism manifest itself? Please share one way to stop racism.

Racism manifests itself in how one person treats another or another group of people. Most often deplorably. When it comes to racism in business, the first way to halt it is to thoughtfully call it out and challenge the other person on why they would do this. Ask them if would they do this to themselves, family, children or parents if they were in the position. 

BPM: What kind of place would the world be if there were no racism? 

People could have their opportunities, lives and success based on their personal performance and not skin color. That and an elimination of religious prejudice and perhaps there would be no more wars. 

BPM: Have you ever been hurt by racism? Do you think that racism will ever go away?
I remember twice as a 7th grader in a small town and in 11th grade as part of an all black high school debate team hearing the following comments, as white people talked who didn't care if they were overheard:
Yes he's better than the other three, but we're gonna cut him from this team. Hell, he might not even make it to high school, he lives on the other side of the tracks in coon town and he's got no family up here watching the try outs. These other dads would be pissed if we take him in front of their kids when we never have colored on the team. 

And at a debate/speaking conference we heard “..stack them against #1 and #2 and get them outta here. Never gonna give a speech award to a black team.” “Never thought they would show up here. Get 'em out quick and get them on their bus.” Those hurtful racist adults and their ignorance have been remembered. 

BPM: What’s the difference between saying “racism” and “racial bias” in the workplace? 

Racism usually refers to an act or behavior that has a basis in explicit racist thinking (conscious) underlying the act or behavior. Racial bias is usually implicit bias, a demonstration of unconscious beliefs in play, i.e., stop and frisk laws used on African Americans. 

BPM: What is meant by implicit bias?

Implicit bias, everyone has it to some degree. Bias that is based in our subconscious making us perceive or react to other individuals or situations in a particular and often learned way. Most are learned and reinforced early and may exist regardless of later educated beliefs and conscious commitments to different behaviors. 

BPM: What would you say is the current trend over the past 20 years regarding discrimination?

Implicit bias still drives many of the decisions and practices employers use. Many of the current executives/mangers learned their bias 50 years ago. In addition, there is a growing amount of white backlash in response to diversity inclusion, college recruitment programs etc., witnessed by new minority limiting voter laws and the increasing amount of negative rhetoric towards minorities and immigrants as witnessed in our current election. The backlash has been especially prevalent in political activities over the last 20 years (drug laws, voting rights repeal, Supreme Court selections etc.) and more so now with the general population as economic issues affecting the majority underclass (jobs and income) in their minds caused by diversity, immigration and minority education programs. These 'beliefs' are continually stoked by some politicians and naysayers. 

BPM: What is the difference between race discrimination and racial harassment? 

Discrimination is often passive, such as limiting a person by setting unfavorable laws rules and guidelines. Harassment is the direct action against people to dissuade, persecute and sometimes abuse. 

BPM: How can employers avoid racial discrimination in hiring and promotions? 

Blind hiring/interview approaches, equitable review systems with appropriate reviews by compliance and diversity professionals. Dismantling old processes and procedures that allow subjective and preferential decision making. 

BPM: What should an employer do when someone has complained about discrimination?

Take it seriously, initiate a 3rd party investigation. 

BPM: What tips do you have for people facing racial discrimination at work?

Document, document, document. Escalate with management and involve HR immediately. If not blatant, still document, but learn how to react and deal with the individual or situation based on good people and business process. Read my book! 

BPM: What were your goals in writing this book and how well do you feel you achieved them?

I feel good that I've created a book that can help people immediately. Employed or entering the work force, they can have the tools to meet the challenges of bias and racism head on. I don't want people to lose themselves or opportunities for growth and success as I've seen others do. 

BPM: What advice would you give to a new business owner?
Create an open, caring leadership style. Make sure there are team building and structured activities for people to know each other and understand other cultures. Create an environment that embraces diversity in your workplace. 

BPM: Do you feel as if your writing is making a positive impact on the world?

Absolutely! My review group and peers are pleased and using some of my strategies to excel in their professions. They have shared their opinions on social media by saying my book would help anyone who picks it up. 

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?

I will have excerpts available on my website. I would love to connect with readers online at: gregharrisauthors.com, @gharrisauthors, @glassociates, and Gregory Harris on FaceBook. 

 

 

 


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