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EDC Creations, The Sankofa Literary Society and The Black Authors Network are proud to announce the launch of the  2014-2015  "Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign," bringing readers and authors together to help improve literacy.  You can join the campaign too, go here!   

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

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

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

 

 


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If You Don't Know Me 
by Mary B. Morrison

MOVE OVER REAL HOUSEWIVES…

If you can’t get enough of all things reality television get ready for the drama like only New York Times bestselling author MARY B. MORRISON can bring it!  New York Times and #1 Essence best selling author Mary B. Morrison knows how to write stories that will have readers on the edge of their seats. 

Her critically acclaimed debut series Soul Mates Dissipate explored the topic that puzzles most of us: how to find— and keep — your soul mate. The series did so well that Morrison received a multi-film development deal. Publishers Weekly noted Morrison’s sensual novels “pack in dozens of juicy episodes” in her “high drama page turners” and described her as “prolific.” 

Her new series which introduced readers to sexy vixen Madison Taylor and a whole cast of juicy new characters has continued to keep readers panting with Elev8.com noting “Mary is at the top of the African-American fiction genre” and Library Journal praising the second installment and encouraging readers to “buy in anticipation of high demand.” 

Mary returns in April with IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME;  the third installment of the If I Can’t Have You series being published by Dafina Books in hardcover original.

Two women, a sizzling wager, and the fallout that would turn their lives upside down, that’s exactly what readers will find in Mary B. Morrison’s newest release. Sindy Singleton isn’t about to lose Chicago DuBois to Madison again. But getting him to open his heart once more won’t be enough to satisfy her. Enlisting the help of Chicago’s worst enemy is the fastest way she knows to expose Madison’s most brazen deception yet. But Madison has more than one devastating card to play.

If there’s one thing Madison has learned from her disastrous bet, it’s how to turn catastrophe into opportunity. Playing on Chicago’s fatherly instincts will maintain her access to the DuBois fortune—and keep her family’s empire successful. Using sweet Sindy’s niceness against her will knock her out of the running. And the cherry on top: Madison’s got the perfect scheme to finally take care of her ex-lover, her rivals, and the husband she’ll never let go.


EXCERPT: IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME

CHAPTER 1

Sindy


"When he walks in, you'll walk out."

"Are you sure?" Nyle asked me after the prison guard closed the door to our private glass-enclosed room.

We sat facing each other. The chill from the stainless steel chair made me sit on the edge of my seat. The rectangular-shaped metal table was cold enough to keep my favorite butter pecan ice cream from melting. Three feet of space separated us.

I stared into his crystal-blue eyes as I said, "Help me get Granville Washington back behind bars and you'll be discharged the same day he's booked. The remaining two-and-a-half of your three-year sentence will be dismissed. You'll be on a one-year probation with an officer that you'll meet face-to-face one time. After that you'll check in over the phone. A few people owe me favors. If you complete the assignment to my satisfaction, your early release is guaranteed."

Nyle sighed heavily. His neatly arched brows drew close together. His eyes darted to the left. He blinked. When he opened his eyes, they were intensely on me. Instantly, I became motionless.

"I've already done what you've asked of me."

"Not exactly."

"Not exactly my ass." Veins protruded from his neck. His voice escalated in anger. "The outcome isn't what either of us anticipated but I did my part. Now you want me to do you another favor? Fuck the money you paid me. I want out of here today."

That wasn't happening. When we left this room, I was going home; he was headed back to his cell. I did not influence him to commit a crime. That was his choice. Helping him get out was mine.

"What if what you want now isn't what you expect later? Then what? You walk away and leave me to do all of my time?"

Precisely. In my mind, I nodded, but didn't move my head. He had nothing to lose. I did. I needed him to calm down so he could focus on what was important to me.

I softened my tone. "Fair enough. Regardless of what happens this time, I'll keep my word." Not sure if I were lying, I extended my hand and shook his. I had to tell Nyle what he needed to hear.

Getting men to do whatever I wanted—with the exception of my father—that was my strength. Loving another woman's husband was my weakness.

Better for me to pursue the man I wanted than to allow my dad to arrange for my husband the way he'd done with Siara. I missed her. Skype was nice but I hadn't seen my sister in person in twelve years. Her being sold by our father wasn't my fault but she didn't feel the same. Occasionally, she still says, "You are my big sister. You were supposed to protect me." I think our father or her husband told her not to come back to America and not to let me visit her in Paris. I wasn't sure how or when but one day we would reunite.

Trust your gut instincts. That was how I lived. My word used to be a firm commitment. Since I was a little girl, when Sindy Singleton made a promise, I kept it. Truth or lie, right or wrong, my love for Roosevelt "Chicago" Dubois was gradually overruling my senses. Lately I'd been doing what was in my best interest. When things didn't go my way, I didn't hesitate to change my mind.

This morning I'd smoothed back my long straight cinnamon hair and coiled it into a bun that sat at the nape of my neck. My cream-colored pants, which I only wore when I visited the Federal Detention Center, were loosely fitted. A simple short-sleeved matching blouse draped my hips. Comfortable leather flats clung to my feet. No lipstick. No perfume. No jewelry. My purse was in the trunk of my Bentley that I'd parked in a downtown lot a block away. My keys were secured in one of the small lockers in the lobby. My Texas driver's license was left with the guard at the security entrance.

Sitting in a room reserved for attorney/client visits, I was the attorney. Nyle Carter was my protégé. I needed this inmate's help the same as he desperately desired mine.

"Let me get this straight. I have to find a way to bring Granville back to prison before you'll get me out of here?" he lamented.

Peering through the glass door, I scanned the visitors' room. There was a handful of folks who had come to see what I called "the mentally ill and prayed up." Prison made grown men ask the Lord, Buddha, Allah, Jehovah, or whatever higher power they believed in to set them free. Forgiveness wasn't practical for repeat offenders. I wished repentance wasn't an option for them either.

A lot of the criminals I represented were guilty but the majority of them had raised their right hand and sworn on the Bible that they were innocent. I was paid to defend, not to judge. Ultimately, that was God's job.

Nyle had pleaded the Fifth on his charges and still had to do time. He'd become known to those on the inside as G-double-A. Some youngster by the name of No Chainz had given Nyle the name saying it meant "Got All the Answers." I wished that were true for me. I wouldn't be sitting in this cold room trying to convince a man to entrap another man so that I could be with the man I loved.

"I said you were to make sure he never got out."

Nyle remained quiet.

On a scale from one to ten, Nyle was handsome above average. Put a suit on him the way he used to dress prior to getting locked up and no one would believe he was forty years old when he was arrested. Not that there was a better age to be charged but with his thick blond curly hair and smooth pale skin he could easily pass for thirty.

"I paid you twenty thousand to give Granville advice that would get him convicted with two consecutive life sentences."

He slid his hand from his forehead to the nape of his neck. No response.

Nyle could benefit from a daily dose of natural vitamin D. The inmates didn't get much sunlight. Everything was indoors, including the gym. The few windows they had were high above the basketball court. Nyle deserved to be here but didn't belong. There were some people you never envisioned behind bars. Others you knew it wasn't if they were going to do time. It was when and for how long?

"Why did the judge overturn the jury's decision?" I asked.

Getting myself this involved, I could risk being disbarred and losing Roosevelt if he thought I was part of the conspiracy to kill him. I was undoubtedly determined to have that man.

READ THE ENTIRE EXCERPT HERE

The Series in Order of Publication
Book 3: If You Don't Know Me 
Book 2: I'd Rather Be With You
Book 1: If I Can't Have You 

Purchase the entire series today! 

 

 

 


The Real Thing 
by Brenda Jackson 

What happens when a pretend boyfriend wants more than make-believe? Find out in this Westmoreland novel from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Jackson

No red-blooded man turns down the chance to escort gorgeous Trinity Matthews—and Adrian Westmoreland is definitely red-blooded. For her, he'll pretend to be her man. But keeping his hands to himself? That is impossible. A Westmoreland always keeps his word, but how long before Adrian turns this fake affair into something real?

Excerpt from The Real Thing by Brenda Jackson 



"I understand you're in a jam and might need my help."

In a jam was putting it mildly, Trinity Matthews thought, looking across the table at Adrian Westmoreland.

If only what he'd said wasn't true. And.. if only Adrian wasn't so good-looking. Then thinking about what she needed him to do wouldn't be so hard.

When she and Adrian had first met, last year at his cousin Riley's wedding, he had been standing in a group of Westmoreland men. She had sized up his brothers and cousins, but had definitely noticed Adrian standing beside his identical twin brother, Aidan.

Trinity had found out years ago, when her sister Tara had married Thorn Westmoreland, that all Westmoreland men were eye candy of the most delectable kind. Therefore, she hadn't really been surprised to discover that Thorn's cousins from Denver had a lot of the same traits-handsome facial features, tall height, a hard-muscled body and an aura of primal masculinity.

But she'd never thought she'd be in a position to date one of those men-even if it was only a temporary ruse.

Trinity knew Tara had already given Adrian some details about the situation and now it was up to her to fill him in on the rest.

"Yes, I'm in a jam," Trinity said, releasing a frustrated breath. "I want to tell you about it, but first I want to thank you for agreeing to meet with me tonight."

He had suggested Laredo's Steak House. She had eaten here a few times, and the food was always excellent.

"No problem."

She paused, trying to ignore how the deep, husky sound of his voice stirred her already nervous stomach. "My goal," she began, "is to complete my residency at Denver Memorial and return to Bunnell, Florida, and work beside my father and brothers in their medical practice. That goal is being threatened by another physician, Dr. Casey Belvedere. He's a respected surgeon here in Denver. He-"

"Wants you."

Trinity's heart skipped a beat. Another Westmoreland trait she'd discovered: they didn't believe in mincing words.

"Yes. He wants an affair. I've done nothing to encourage his advances or to give him the impression I'm interested. I even lied and told him I was already involved with someone, but he won't let up. Now it's more than annoying. He's hinted that if I don't go along with it, he'll make my life at the hospital difficult."

She pushed her plate aside and took a sip of her wine. "I brought his unwanted advances to the attention of the top hospital administrator, and he's more or less dismissed my claim. Dr. Belvedere's family is well known in the city. Big philanthropists, I understand. Presently, the Belvederes are building a children's wing at the hospital that will bear their name. It's my guess that the hospital administrator feels that now is not the time to make waves with any of the Belvederes. He said I need to pick my battles carefully, and this is one I might not want to take on."

She paused. "So I came up with a plan." She chuckled softly. "Let me rephrase that. Tara came up with the plan after I told her what was going on. It seems that she faced a similar situation when she was doing her residency in Kentucky. The only difference was that the hospital administrator supported her and made sure the doctor was released of his duties. I don't have that kind of support here because of the Belvedere name."

Adrian didn't say anything for a few moments. He broke eye contact with her and stared down into his glass of wine. Trinity couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking.

He looked back at her. "There is another solution to your problem, you know."

She lifted a brow. "There is?"

"You did say he's a surgeon, right?"

"Yes."

"Then I could break his hands so he'll never be able to use them in an operating room again."

She stared wide-eyed at him for a couple of seconds before leaning forward. "You're joking, right?"

"No. I am not joking. I'm dead serious."

She leaned back as she studied his features. They were etched with ruthlessness and his dark eyes were filled with callousness. It was only then that Trinity remembered Tara's tales about the twins, their baby sister, Bailey, and their younger cousin Bane. According to Tara, those four were the holy terrors of Denver while growing up and got into all kinds of trouble-malicious and otherwise.

READ THE ENTIRE EXCERPT HERE


The Real Thing by Brenda Jackson
Series:  The Westmorelands 
Link: http://amzn.com/0373733003 

 

 


Blue Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas



Is the World Ready for a Black Ballerina?

Precious Blue Johnson, young, country and naive, from Lutts County, Georgia, is traveling to the energizing city of New York to search for her birth father and perhaps make history by becoming the first black ballerina. Her simple mocha skin and thick lips will put her in the center of a movement, expose secrets and unlock the past as she steps onto the stage as the Blue Butterfly.

She will be guided by the vivacious and wise Ms. Ann and fall in love with the alluring Ray Silvers. Ray brings the whole package. Enchanting eyes, a bright future as a doctor, and a willingness to love completely. To Precious, he is perfect. Except Ray’s package includes his deadly past.

Will their love survive the one person who could end it all—his drug-addicted mother?




Excerpt Blue Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas

From Chapter One


They say on the night that I was born June 30, 1969 the fringes of the moon could be seen peeking out through the thin layers of the clouds. They say that the rain had done come down so hard it felt like something was tearing away at your soul, drop by drop. They say my mama was laying in the birthing room screaming because I was ripping her life away from her. They say that the doctors wanted to cut away at her tummy, but she had done plain-out refused. She was an ebullient woman, with the heart of an unbreakable but beautiful stallion.

I ain't never seen the woman with eyes so blue they felt like they could reach down into the pit of your core and tell you about yourself. I ain't never seen the warmth of her smile or the way she could soothe my daddy with her kind-hearted words. People talk under their breath about her. Talk about how long her silky blond hair was or how thin and soft her frame was. I do alls I can when I hear them whispering about the woman who gave her life so I could dance in the rain on a hot summer day.

Just before she took her last breath they say that she stared into my eyes and smiled because I done come into the world with what she thought was the better part of her. The one feature that my daddy loved the most. She was the one who placed the weight of my name upon me. Precious Blue Johnson, but everyone around here in Lutts County, Georgia, fixed my name at Precious.


My dear, sweet Daddy is a tall, well-stocked-around-the-tummy man. I heard that back in his heyday he sported a nicely trimmed frame of six feet, two inches. That his hair used to be slicked back so perfectly there wasn't a black woman in Lutts County that wasn't dying to give it a coat or two of sweet brown sugar with the very tips of their hard-worked fingers.

His shoulders hang now sometimes, but that wasn't always the case. No, it be said that when Charles Johnson used to walk down these dirt-filled roads, his shoulders stood towering with an air of confidence that one could breathe in from a mile away.

Once upon a time, it be rumored that his hazel brown eyes were fixed on singing his way out of Lutts County. They still talk about this fact in the rooms of their barely-able-to-stand homes, where they figure can't nobody hear them but God. Whispering under the dim lights about how it is such a shame that he wasted his talent on a white woman.

There are nights when I would wonder what his voice must have sounded like. I would hear him humming sometimes, but I ain't never heard the sound of butter flowing from his lips.

That's what they say he sounded like.

( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Marian L. Thomas. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.


Kindle Edition -- Purchase Blue Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Butterfly-Marian-Thomas-ebook/dp/B00JETDF5A 


Print Edition -- Purchase Blue Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Butterfly-Marian-L-Thomas/dp/0984896759 


About the Author
Clean Fiction novelist Marian L. Thomas is a dynamic storyteller with four engaging and dramatic novels to her credit. Her books have been seen on national television stations and featured in print magazines and newspapers. She has also been a guest on many broadcast and online radio stations. Her titles “My Father’s Colors” and “Strings of Color” both received the USA Best Book Finalist Award.

What makes her books unique? Mrs. Thomas might be the first African-American pioneer of contemporary women’s clean fiction. She refuses to lace her work with explicit sexual themes or profanity. Ms. Thomas’ books are rich with ever-intriguing themes of race, family strife, love, divorce, friendship and abuse. And yet her tales, which seem to pre-stage current tabloid headlines, are spelled out in ways that suit the delicate moral tastes of both the Christian Fiction reader and the Clean Fiction book reader.

Ms. Thomas resides in a suburb of Georgia with her husband, family and dear friends. Visit the author's media room for Blue Butterfly at:  http://www.marianlthomasmediaroom.net 

 

 


The Prodigal Son 
by Kimberla Lawson Roby 

The Reverend Curtis Black  hasn't spoken to his son, Matthew, in over a year-not since Matthew dropped out of Harvard to marry his girlfriend, Racquel, and be a full-time father to their infant son. Curtis knows that it was he and his wife, Charlotte, who drove Matthew away, but he prays that one day his son will forgive them and come home.

Matthew, however, can't seem to forget the pain his parents caused him and Racquel. Still, he wonders if maybe they'd been right, as fatherhood is not what he expected, and Racquel's behavior has become increasingly erratic. Matthew genuinely wants to be a good husband, though, and swears he'll never repeat his parents' mistakes. But when an old friend expresses her desire for Matthew, the temptation may be too great to resist...

Then, there's Dillon Whitfield, Curtis's long-lost-son, who has settled in as a member of the Black family. Yet the transition has been anything but easy. Charlotte, convinced he's only after Curtis's money, wishes he would move back to where he came from. Dillon, however, has no intention of going anywhere. After a lifetime in the shadows, he's determined to take his rightful place as Curtis's first-born son and heir, and he'll do whatever it takes to win his father's affection-even if it means playing dirty...

As jealousy builds and secrets pile up, both of Curtis's sons will be pushed over the edge and forced to take drastic action. Can these two troubled young men find their way back into the Black family fold, or will their family ties be undone once and for all?

Kimberla's novels are categorized as Contemporary Mainstream Fiction.  Her target audience is primarily women of all ages, but men read her novels as well. The primary subject matter discussed in THE PRODIGAL SON is family drama relating to both marriage and sibling rivalry.


THE PRODIGAL SON

Chapter 1


Matthew stared at his wife of ten months and shook his head. Racquel, who was sitting at the opposite end of the chocolate brown, leather sofa, looked over at him and frowned. “What?”

Matthew shook his head again. This time, his eyes screamed disappointment. But all Racquel did was purse her lips and turn her attention back to the flat screen television. It was a noticeably warm Friday evening in May, and though Matthew was a bit tired from his long day at work, he would have loved nothing more than for the two of them to be out somewhere together; maybe have a nice dinner and catch whatever new movie was playing. But as usual, Racquel was contently curled up—like an unconcerned couch potato—doing what she did best: watching some awful, ungodly reality show.

Matthew leaned his head back onto the sofa and closed his eyes. Not in his wildest imagination—not in a thousand lifetimes—would he have ever pictured himself being so miserable. But miserable he was, and worse, he now realized that getting married at the young age of nineteen had turned out to be a horrible mistake. He’d now turned twenty, but he could kick himself for giving up a full, four-year, academic scholarship to Harvard University, something he’d worked very hard for his entire childhood—and now this was all he had to show for it? This, a tiny, two-bedroom apartment, a twelve-dollar-an-hour job at a bank, and no love life of any kind to speak of? 

Not since the day he’d been born had he ever had to struggle financially. Even before he’d met his father, which hadn’t happened until he was seven years old, Matthew had lived a pretty good life because his maternal grandparents had always seen to it. Then, of course, when his mom had married his dad, he hadn’t gone without anything.

He must have been crazy in love or crazy out of his mind to think he was doing the right thing by getting married. He also couldn’t deny how right his mother had been, every time she’d warned him about having unprotected sex. He still hadn’t spoken to either of his parents in more than a year—not even when they’d mailed him a ten-thousand-dollar check, and he’d torn it up—but his mom had been correct in her thinking. Matthew wasn’t sure why he’d been so careless and irresponsible. Although, he was proud of the fact that he’d immediately manned up as soon as he’d learned of Racquel’s pregnancy and had decided to be there for both her and the baby. 

Then, as it had turned out, Racquel’s parents had told him that they would take care of little MJ until he and Racquel finished college—since Racquel had been scheduled to attend MIT a few months after the baby was born. They’d also wanted Matthew to get his education without any worries, so off to Boston he had gone—and life had been great until that dreadful day in January when Racquel had gone into labor much too early. A huge blowup had ensued between his mother and Vanessa, the two grandmothers to be, at Racquel’s baby shower, and Racquel had gotten herself all worked up over it. Next thing anyone had known, her water had broken and she’d been rushed to the hospital.

Matthew remembered how terrified he’d been that Racquel would lose the baby, but thank God, everything had turned out well. Little MJ had been born with a respiratory problem, but he’d ended up being released from the hospital just a few days later. Although, the more Matthew thought about all that had evolved, he was saddened further because none of what had occurred on the day of the baby shower could compare to any of what had happened a few weeks afterward. His mother had concocted the most outlandish scheme, and before long, the Division of Children and Family Services had come knocking at the front door of Racquel’s parents’, stating that they’d received two phone calls claiming child abuse. Of course, none of this had been true, and although in the end, the truth had been exposed and Charlotte had been arrested, the whole idea of little MJ being snatched away from Racquel had been too much for her to handle. It was the reason she now regularly obsessed over their one-year-old son, and she never felt comfortable leaving him with her own parents, let alone anyone else. 

She wasn’t even okay with Matthew taking MJ to see his sister, Alicia, or his great-aunt, Emma because she feared something might happen to him or that he might be kidnapped. That whole DCFS incident had ruined Racquel emotionally, and Matthew had a feeling things would never be normal for them again. As it was, she rarely left the house, and she no longer visited any of her friends when they came home from school for the weekend. She never invited anyone over to the apartment either.

READ MORE HERE


The Prodigal Son by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Series: A Reverend Curtis Black Novel
Amazon: http://amzn.com/1455526134  

 

 

 


Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide
by Pamela Samuels Young

This book will help African-American women with kinky hair learn the true beauty and versatility of their natural hair.

Have you been thinking about transitioning to natural hair, but don't know where to start? Then Kinky Coily: A Natual Hair Resource Guide  is for You! This book is a collection of the best resources to help you begin your natural hair journey. You'll find the books, the bloggers, tools, product and more. You'll learn how to develop a hair care regime, how to determine the tools and products you'll need and how to track your progress. Whether you have a relaxer, press 'n curl or you're already natural, Kinky Coily has something for you. So get ready to experience the true beauty and versatility of your natural hair.


Kinky Coily Excerpt


Transitioning to natural hair will require you to think differently about your hair. You’ll need to believe in the beauty and versatility of your natural hair. While the process will be frustrating at times, it will also be rewarding and fulfilling. If you make the commitment, I guarantee that you’ll end up with an appreciation of your kinky coils as well as greater confidence in yourself and your hair. Before we begin, here are four tips that are crucial to a successful transition.

A Positive Mindset
You’ll need to embrace a whole new mindset about the beauty of your natural hair to have a successful transition. Many of us with kinky hair have been raised to believe that we cannot take care of our own hair because it’s too unruly, difficult and just plain “bad.” That’s bull.

Start your natural hair journey with an open mind. Allow your hair to be all it can be and love it for its beauty and flexibility. How many straight-haired women can sport kinky curls, twists, locs, Bantu knots, micro-braids and cornrows? None I know.

My point is you’re going to have to erase all those negative notions you have about your hair. You have the most fabulous hair in the world. Embrace it!

Time
I’ve heard many women say that going natural takes too much work. Really? I can remember spending three-to-four hours in the beauty shop, and that doesn’t include my two-hour round-trip commute. If I was getting a weave, the entire day and night might be lost.

If rocking your natural hair is important to you, you’ll have to make the decision to investment in yourself. Yes, deep conditioning once or twice a week, moisturizing and sealing your hair on a daily basis and styling your natural hair will take time. But so does anything worth having.

Commitment
In addition to time, you’re going to need to be committed to the process. There will be times when you are disappointed because your hair isn’t growing fast enough. Transitioning to natural hair is not going to happen overnight. Hair growth takes time. Particularly if you hair is damaged.

You’ll need time to learn your hair and what products respond best to it. You will probably get frustrated and overwhelmed and feel like giving up. Don’t.

Think about the last diet or exercise program you started, but didn’t finish. Somewhere along the line, you just got tired of the bland food and gave up. Now think about the last diet or exercise program you did finish. How proud did you feel after reaching your goal? Transitioning to natural hair is something you’re doing for yourself. You deserve it. So make a commitment to yourself to stick with it no matter what.

Patience
This is the most important tool of all! The beautiful natural hair you want isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a lot of work and patience on your part. Along the way, there will be successes and failures. Products you love. Products you purchase after watching a tutorial on YouTube that end up being a complete waste of your money. It’s all part of the process.

Somewhere along your journey, you’ll find out what works for you and the results will follow. So practice patience! You won’t regret it!


PAMELA SAMUELS YOUNG TOP 5 HAIR TIPS

* Be patient. Transitioning takes time and effort.
* Develop a weekly hair care regimen and stick to it.
* Educate yourself about the care of your natural hair.
* Join a natural hair MeetUp group to share resources.
* Keep a hair journal to track your progress.

Purchase copies here:  http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com/books/index.html 
Watch & share the Kinky Coily Tutorials:  http://www.youtube.com/user/KinkyCurlyPamela  

Meet the Author
Pamela Samuels Young
is a practicing attorney whose fast-paced legal thrillers tackle law and crime. Pamela’s first non-fiction book, Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide, goes on sale in April, 2014.  A former TV news writer, Pamela currently serves on the Board of Directors of the L.A. Chapter of Sisters in Crime, an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers. To invite Pamela to your book club meeting or event, email Pamela via her website at: www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com 

 

 

 


A Letter for My Mother 
by Nina Foxx

Whether they’re from the US, Caribbean, India, or the UK, all of the contributors to A Letter for My Mother share one thing in common: thoughts that have been left unsaid to their mothers and mother figures—until now. In this moving book, thirty-three women reveal the stories, reflections, confessions, and revelations they’ve kept to themselves for years and have finally put into words. Written through tears and pain, as well as joy and laughter, each offering presents the mother-daughter bond in a different light. 

Heartfelt and deeply meaningful, A Letter for My Mother will inspire you to admire and cherish that special relationship that shapes every woman.



Excerpt from A Letter for My Mother 



My ex-husband’s mother was dying. During the time I was married to him, our relationship had been at best, tenuous. I married her oldest son and she never forgave me for that, or at least it seemed that way in my head. I couldn’t seem to understand some of her ways and she couldn’t understand mine. I was from a different place than she and my life was different than both hers and that of her daughters. At times, she seemed to resent me for that. Some days, she went from insulting me, my family, my upbringing and lifestyle in one sentence to embracing me and trying to nurture me, all in the space of a twelve-hour period. It was infuriating. I retaliated, resisted, rebelled and refused to accept. I’d already had a mother. She’d died when I was six, and no one could replace her. Various female members of my biological family had given me all the mothering I thought I would need so I saw no need to accept any from a stranger.

Over the years, our relationship changed and softened, especially after the children came, but I’ll admit I was never comfortable with her. When I divorced her son, I thought I was walking away from her family too and struggled with the link that lay between us and the desire to do the right thing. I was more compelled to stay in contact with family than my ex-husband was, but didn’t want to overstep my bounds by staying in touch with his family for my children. Divorce was a relationship quagmire I had a hard time negotiating. I wanted my children to know and love their family, all of it, but I didn’t want to be the uncomfortable bridge that made that happen. My mother-in-law didn’t care what I felt. She was always going to be here, and though my last name had changed, she still offered her opinion, advice and whatever else she felt like when we spoke, making me still more uncomfortable.

I knew she was ill, but I still felt as if I’d been knocked off my feet when I received the call that she was dying. Tears and confusion flooded my brain. At first, I couldn’t understand why I was not emotionless. My sister, the main mother figure in my life, explained my reaction to me and encouraged me to tell my mother-in-law what I had to say to her before I no longer could. She assured me that even though I was unwilling to admit it, I was close to this woman and couldn’t avoid being unnerved. We had developed a relationship over the years. My sister encouraged me to write down what I wanted to say to the woman before she died if I was unable to speak the words. The result was the letter that led to this book. 

As I wrote, I realized that although she and I were very different, my mother-in-law had been mothering me all along and didn’t care whether I wanted to accept it or not. Because I had been raised to do the right thing, I started out treating her with respect, and even though my respect was peppered with defiance, it didn’t stop me from loving her. Over time, I treated her with respect not because I was supposed to, but because I had come to respect her. 

I finished my letter and my mother-in-law died three hours later. I was as devastated as if she had given birth to me, but I did feel some relief that I had said to the universe the things I wanted to say but hadn’t been able to for the fifteen years our families had been linked by my marriage to her son. In writing my letter, I discovered that I had been so stressed by our relationship because I wasn’t open to mothering and mother-wisdom of the kind that we receive from the more seasoned members of the female community. I don’t know why this was. Perhaps it was because my own wound from losing my mother so young had not yet healed, some thirty-plus years later. I read my letter over and over, and as I did, it occurred to me that I was not alone. 

As females, we have a way of nurturing others, usually children and men, but we are often reluctant to nurture and share with each other. As young women, we are often mean girls (or the victims of them). We might make a few close friends as young adults, but throughout our lives, many of us are very slow to let new women in. Rather than embrace each other, we push away. We argue with and resent our mothers, and more often than not, fall prey to the idea that our mothers-in-law and stepmothers, all “outside women,” are evil rather than a source of support or knowledge. As we do so, we miss our lessons until finally we only see them in hindsight. 

I invited other women to write a letter to a mother in their lives, someone who guided them when they didn’t want to be guided and perhaps someone they’d never thanked. In the letter, they were to tell them what they wanted them to know. The recipient of the letter needn’t be alive or biologically related, just someone to whom they had things to say to but lacked courage or foresight to be able to say those things, a thank you. Many of the writers I asked to participate agreed to do so right away. What I hadn’t counted on though were those authors that were my friends who would refuse to participate. They had no issue with the concept. 

Instead, their reluctance was based on where they were in their own personal journeys with the mother figures in their lives. Some were not able to say anything positive so chose to say nothing. Others had no idea what they would say or they hadn’t worked through their feelings about that mother-daughter relationship yet and they feared the experience would be too painful for them. There are emotional wounds that only another woman can inflict on you, and theirs had not yet begun to crust over. I received many calls and notes from those who did choose to participate, often filled with apprehension and tears. 

This task I was asking of them was harder than any of us had imagined, yet those who got through it reported experiencing a catharsis they had never counted on. The relationship that was closest to us proved to be the hardest to be honest about and the hardest to resolve. Writing these letters, love letters to our mothers, forced us to let go of the anger that had hung around our necks for years and let it float away from us. We had to give the bad memories to the universe and embrace the good and how that had shaped us into adulthood. 

While I read the submissions, my love and respect for these women grew exponentially. I’d asked them to participate because I respected them and where they were in their craft and professional lives. I challenged them to look beyond the ordinary and find something positive in their relationship with their mothers. This proved to be harder for some than others, but once I was given a glimpse of their journeys and the women that had helped to shape them, they were all much bigger in my eyes. This process was like therapy for many of us, and as we navigated the murkiness of our childhoods, our paths through our womanhoods became that much clearer.

Charlenne T. Greer died on a Friday in May, 2012.  Cigarettes killed her. She was not my mother or even related by blood.  Still, I am thankful for her lessons.



A Letter for My Mother by Nina Foxx

Genre: Creative Non-fiction

 

Meet the Author
Nina Foxx is an award-winning filmmaker, playwright, and novelist. She writes as both Nina Foxx and Cynnamon Foster. Her work has appeared on numerous bestseller lists around the country, and her films have won awards at the Sundance Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, Cannes, and the Rome International Film Festival. Originally from Jamaica, New York, she lives with her family near Seattle, Washington, where she works in Human-Computer interaction for a major software company. Nina is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, The Links and Jack & Jill of America. Visit her at www.ninafoxx.com or her blog at ninafoxx.blogspot.com 


 


‘Til the Well Runs Dry 
by Lauren Francis-Sharma

A glorious and moving multi-generational, multicultural saga that begins in the 1940s and sweeps through the 1960’s in Trinidad and the United States.

Lauren Francis-Sharma’s ‘Til the Well Runs Dry opens in a seaside village in the north of Trinidad where young Marcia Garcia, a gifted and smart-mouthed 16-year-old seamstress, lives alone, raising two small boys and guarding a family secret. When she meets Farouk Karam, an ambitious young policeman (so taken with Marcia that he elicits the help of a tea-brewing obeah woman to guarantee her ardor), the risks and rewards in Marcia’s life amplify forever.

On an island rich with laughter, Calypso, Carnival, cricket, beaches and salty air, sweet fruits and spicy stews, the novel follows Marcia and Farouk from their amusing and passionate courtship through personal and historical events that threaten Marcia’s secret, entangle the couple and their children in a scandal, and endanger the future for all of them.

‘Til the Well Runs Dry tells the twinned stories of a spirited woman’s love for one man and her bottomless devotion to her children. For readers who cherish the previously untold stories of women’s lives, here is a story of grit and imperfection and love that has not been told before. 

Read an excerpt: http://www.laurenfrancissharma.com/novel/excerpt/



Meet the Author

Lauren Francis-Sharma
, a child of Trinidadian immigrants, was born in New York City and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature with a minor in African-American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband and two children.

Her debut novel 'Til the Well Runs Dry tells the twinned stories of a spirited woman's love for one man and her bottomless devotion to her children. For readers who cherish the previously untold stories of women's lives, here is a story of grit and imperfection and love that has not been told before.

'Til the Well Runs Dry opens in a seaside village in the north of Trinidad where young Marcia Garcia, a gifted and smart-mouthed 16-year-old seamstress, lives alone, raising two small boys and guarding a family secret. When she meets Farouk Karam, an ambitious young policeman (so taken with Marcia that he elicits the help of a tea-brewing obeah woman to guarantee her ardor), the risks and rewards in Marcia's life amplify forever.

On an island rich with laughter, Calypso, Carnival, cricket, beaches and salty air, sweet fruits and spicy stews, the novel follows Marcia and Farouk from their amusing and passionate courtship through personal and historical events that threaten Marcia's secret, entangle the couple and their children in a scandal, and endanger the future for all of them.  Author website: http://www.laurenfrancissharma.com 


Purchase 'Til the Well Runs Dry: A Novel by Lauren Francis-Sharma

http://www.amazon.com/Til-Well-Runs-Dry-Novel/dp/0805098038 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Lauren Francis-Sharma 

Lauren Francis-Sharma, a child of Trinidadian immigrants, was born in New York City and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature with a minor in African-American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband and two children. 'Til the Well Runs Dry is her first novel. 

BPM:  What inspired you to write this book, ‘TIL THE WELL RUNS DRY? 
A: I was not inspired as much as I was looking to understand my maternal grandmother, a woman whom I did not feel like I really knew. When she had her first stroke, I sat next to her hospital bed and realized I knew so little. She was not one to share her feelings and I had never bothered to push her on the details of her life story. I wrote this book, which is loosely based on the little I knew about her, as a way to fill that void. 


BPM:  The case could be made that Blanchisseuse, a sea-side village in Trinidad, is a character in the book. What drew you to this particular town, and what effect does it have on the lives of your characters? 
A: I firmly believe that the places where we live as children are natural characters in our story, so it seemed befitting to attempt to make Blanchisseuse come alive on the page, as this is how Marcia feels about her birthplace. My grandmother's family purchased land in Blanchisseuse in the early twentieth century, and my grandmother was born and raised there. Many of my mother's childhood memories, her stories, are set there. To me, Blanchisseuse is a magical place, and it has been a part of me for as long as I remember. 


BPM:  The chapters in ‘Til the Well Runs Dry are told from the perspective of three central characters. Why did you choose these specific characters to hold up the arc of the story? 
A: When I began writing this story, Jacqueline was the protagonist. On the first page she wakes to the sound of her mother tapping a spoon on the lip of a pot. The story should have been a coming-of-age story where Jacqueline grows to understand herself and her quite difficult mother. But as I continued to write, this mother, Marcia, began to steal scenes. And before long, Farouk also became a necessity, as someone needed to tell his story. Now I couldn't imagine it any other way. 


BPM:  Marcia, one of your main protagonists, is an incredibly strong woman – both mentally and physically. Where do you think her strength comes from, and is she an amalgamation of you and your grandmother? 
A: The circumstances, the world, into which Marcia is born makes living a challenge, but she wants to survive. And even though she can be a hard woman, many of her decisions show immense vulnerability. To me, therein lies her real strength: To choose to love. To choose to be a mother. To admit fear. To fight fear. These qualities make her strong. My grandmother faced many of the same challenges, and Marcia is who I hope my grandmother was deep down inside. Marcia is also who I hope I am or will be, though I would like to be more openly expressive about my love for others. 


BPM:  The topic of parenthood – and most especially motherhood – is central to your novel. This theme deeply affects two of your three protagonists, namely Marcia and her husband, Farouk. After they have their first child, Farouk learns of a family secret on Marcia’s side, which threatens their relationship. In fact, he moves out of their shared home. Yet year after year, they keep having children. After their fourth child arrives, Farouk becomes very detached from his family. What is it about parenthood that brought them together and then drove them apart?
A: For Farouk parenthood is an extension of his love for Marcia. After the breakdown of the marriage, he is angry, and feels betrayed, and though he still loves Marcia, the children become central figures in his burning resentment—the only way he can continue to hurt Marcia for the never-ending pain he experiences. For Marcia, because of the twins, perhaps even because she is a woman, she understands that parenthood is a separate entity from marriage, though she'd like for them to co-exist. Of course, having the children means having a small part of Farouk, and though she sometimes resents the burden parenthood has placed on her life, Marcia's commitment to them is unwavering. Farouk eventually comes to understand this kind of commitment, this kind of love. 


BPM:  You manage to capture the sights, sounds, food, and – let’s not forget – the voodoo of Trinidad. How much research did you have to do in order to make this country come alive? Can you talk a bit more about the obeah women and their role not only in your book but in Trinidadian culture? 
A: I was born in America to Trinidadian parents. There are some things that come to you by osmosis when you are part of the first generation growing up away from the family homeland. But to be honest, there were more things that were fuzzy. I did my best—through asking questions, reading books, and traveling to Trinidad—to make it as alive and as authentic as possible. I know I did not get it all right, but my goal was to serve my family and the country well. As such, I do not particularly like the word “voodoo.” “Magic,” “the mystical,” “witchcraft” are used for the same purposes, yet do not carry the same connotation. 

So, yes, perhaps “obeah” is simply a different label, but in my mind, obeah, the use of which was far more prevalent fifty years ago, is not always hateful and vengeful. People have used obeah to guide them in making important life decisions and to protect them from negative outcomes. In this story, Farouk simply wants to capture Marcia's heart. It is the obeah woman, the bearer of the institution, abusing her privilege for her own gain, who throws a wrench in his plan. 


BPM:  Marcia makes the ultimate sacrifice for her children when she leaves them behind in Trinidad and immigrates to the United States with the intention, of course, to earn enough money to bring them all to the States at some point. While Marcia struggles to get her footing, do you think that her home country of Trinidad and its melting-pot population gave her an advantage when she arrived in the melting pot of New York City?
A: No. I do not think anything can prepare a person for that kind of life transition. Immigration is dislocation. One's life is completely turned on its head. Think back sixty years or more and imagine you have no television, you've seen maybe one movie, you know very little about the place where you will live. Then imagine that when you get there nothing goes as planned. The person who leaves her home seeking a better opportunity, who is willing to do what it takes and sticks it out despite all that inevitably will go wrong, is inherently better equipped than many of the rest of us. But she needs a chance. The only advantage Marcia has when she arrives in New York is that there are other West Indians who are willing to help her. Community is the key to many immigrant success stories. 


BPM:  Is ‘Til the Well Runs Dry the first book you’ve written? 
A: I wish! No, I had two novels prior to this that I failed to get published. 

Purchase 'Til the Well Runs Dry: A Novel
by Lauren Francis-Sharma
Link: http://amzn.com/0805098038  

 

 

 


Love of Writing
by Minnie E. Miller

Primarily you must be in love with writing. Like most love affairs, it will have its difficulties. You will laugh, cry, starve yourself, and lose sleep over writing. You must also watch your temper when you receive your edits back. They are necessary to improve, not slander your work. I feel for the brave souls who write their butts off, work day (or night) jobs, and rise raise families. 

A bit about Minnie E. Miller, the writer: I have self-published three books (2 of them novels). I do not have an agent. I only shopped my first manuscript and received 10 rejections out of 30 queries. It was clear to me that at age 56, I could not wait for a publisher.

My first book consists of three short stories titled "Catharsis" (published March 2003). One reviewer was woeful, but congratulated me on the clean, clear writing. She said I had a "voice." Damn, I thought, guess that's good to know. There is so much emphasis on finding “your voice.”

The first story was about two vampires rescuing slaves from plantations. Of course, Moses was the name I gave the driver of the horses and wagon delivering escaped slaves to the Underground Railroad. Most readers enjoyed it and wanted more. The second, a vampire love story--uh-huh, they love too --, and the third a paranormal love story. Many said the love story was also too short. As I said, this was my first self-published book. I had an editor from the very beginning of my writing career.

My second novel is "The Seduction of Mr. Bradley" (published March 2003). I tried writing it from a female POV, but Mr. Bradley was not having it. He stole the show with his struggle to change his lifestyle after he meets and falls in love with a straight, beautiful lady. Yet, he still loved his paramour/father image. He straddles the so-called fence not sure if he wants to change. If you name your books according to your feelings about them, I call this one, My Baby. Allow me to brag here. I believe this novel was before its time.

Mr. Bradley was not an easy story to write. I felt the need to get into his head and heart at the same time. A lot of research went into bisexual men. When I asked to interview them for this story, none came forward. Most of the information came from gay men and my personal experience. (That’s another book.) During my research, I learned bisexuals deal with pressure from both sides of the culture – women generally felt they are simply cheaters. Gay men said they were gay, but still in the so-called closet. I also learned that there are many bisexual career men, top of the ladder CEOs. 
"The Seduction of Mr. Bradley" is an eBook.

The third novel, "Whispers from the Mirror" (published 11/29/2006), is also close to my heart, and contain streams of my life. It, however, is not a tell-all. I believe all writers have a bit of their lives in stories. It is only natural -- we have all lived through a wealth of experiences that sit in our subconscious waiting for a word or a thought to attach to a story.

The protagonist, Brianna, is an activist hiding behind a mask of feminism. She realizes at age 52 that she has been living in her mother's shadow for years and needs to know more about the now older Brianna. “The Mirror” in her bathroom shows Brianna her life, insists she must change it, and find love in her heart or she will die a lonely woman.

My writing career includes fiction, essays, and highly political articles. Moreover, when I feel it necessary, I send emails to President Obama, my Senator, and U.S. Representative in Congress. You might say I am a lobbyist for children and the poor. Nevertheless, I do not pay for political help. Nor am I paid for my activism.

I cannot express strongly enough how important it is to keep writing; anything, anywhere, and about anything (but not in the bathtub, that doesn’t work too well), if you have chosen writing as a career. Write with value and purpose. Keep up with the literary world and our Nation – always have your say in both worlds.

After running from city-to-city and outside the United States, trying to shake a deeply painful relationship, I returned to Chicago, Illinois, aged and wiser. Now my days are devoted to writing and reading. Oh, and trying to understand this thing called aging.

Peace.


About the Author
Minnie E. Miller
presently resides in her native state of Illinois in Chicago's Hyde Park community. She has traveled to London, Paris, Jamaica, and many United States cities where she met individuals of all persuasions. She was a curious kid, a news junkie even in high school, and has worked in politics since the age of eighteen even though she was not old enough to vote.

Miller spent fifty-three years in the workforce. Her last full time job was in the administration of the former Mayor of San Francisco as special assistant to his press secretary. She co-authored "The San Francisco Mayor's Summit for Women: Summit Report 1998." She retired in 1999, left San Francisco, and sped through Atlanta, Georgia. Still, she worked as a freelancer in Atlanta City Council's Communications Office for a year and a half.

Heeding a whisper from her subconscious, Miller returned to Chicago, Illinois. Unable to sit still as a retiree, she took a part-time job at NBC TV. She finally left the workforce May 2004.

Miller lives alone, devotes her time writing, and all things involving the book industry.

She has written many articles and essays. Books by Minnie E. Miller
* The Seduction of Mr. Bradley - Available for Kindle download
* Whispers From The Mirror - Available in Paperback 
Purchase copies: https://www.amazon.com/author/minniemiller  

Follow Minnie E. Miller Online
Writer, Essayist & Humanist
http://www.msminerva.wordpress.com 
https://www.amazon.com/author/minniemiller 
 

 

 


What I Have Learned From Publishing My First Book 
by Cerece Rennie Murphy, author of the Order of the Seers Trilogy

A year ago, I published my first full-length story EVER– a sci-fi novel called Order of the Seers. It took me about a year to write and almost as long to get up the courage to publish it. But on September 4, 2012, I took the plunge, hit the send button, uploaded my file to Amazon and waited for the masses to collectively shudder in awe at the little piece of my heart that I sent out into the world. It has been quite a journey since then, and ever since I got my head out of my you-know-where and started using it, its been kind of fun too. How hard this journey has been hasn’t exactly been a surprise to me, but watching myself slowly evolve into a publisher has. This is a short list of some of the things I have learned so far.

1) Welcome to the REAL world AKA you are NOT an overnight sensation. The day my first book was published, I spent the entire day sick in bed with worry and fear. After a week, I think I had only sold about 20 ebook copies. I was devastated. I told myself my book was horrible and I shouldn’t have even tried to publish it. It took me a week to start THINKING about what I might have done better or differently. That’s when I really started to move into the new career that I have chosen. 

The Lesson: If you don’t become a bestseller your first week out, it’s not the worst thing in the world. It’s just where you started. Where you end up is up to you. 



2)
One blog tour and one eblast does not a marketing plan make. Seriously - that was pretty much my marketing plan for the release of my 1st book. Yes, I was very naïve about what it would take for people to find out about my book. Most of my reluctance to developing a marketing plan had to do with  a) my fear of putting myself out there and  b) my general ignorance about what methods and resources were available to me. I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that for a while. Some things worked (I built my mailing list by going to comic/sci-fi conventions, did a cover reveal blog tour for the 2nd book along with a $.99 week long sale promotion for the 1st book) and some things didn’t (spent a ton of money on a Christmas ad campaign that cost way more than I sold in books).

The Lesson: If you have the guts to publish a book, have the guts to market it. One barely makes sense without the other. One of the best marketing pieces of advice that I have gotten so far is, “pick a monthly budget, no matter how big or small and do something every month to promote your book. Keep writing and keep marketing. Consistency will pay off.” It has taken me over a year, but I am finally seeing the maturity and wisdom of these words. For most writers, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.


3)
Guard Your Headspace AKA Read Reviews Sparingly. I have read this time and time again from accomplished veterans of the writing profession, but this advice is so hard to heed. In the beginning, I used to check my reviews every day. It would stress me out so much that, at one point, I was literally afraid to go on Goodreads. A glowing review would be met with relief, quickly followed by skepticism. A strong, but not effusive review would be picked over to death for the rest of the day. Neither one helped me write any better, but one could shut me down for a good 24-48 hours.

The Lesson: Everyone isn’t going to like your book. That’s a fact and it’s ok. Find some people you trust and respect. Get them to read and critique your work. Modify as needed, then let it be. Periodically, I will check the number of reviews I have when I am in the middle of a promotion. Sometimes, if it appears that I’ve gotten a few good ones, I’ll chance a glance and feel happy, but I don’t let myself linger. It’s just not that helpful to my state-of-mind.


4)
Building Buzz Takes Time AKA Give yourself more than 4 month before you publish your 1st novel. I decided to publish my book at the end of May 2012 and I published my 1st book in September. This was stupid. The process of trying to learn what I was doing while I was doing it was so stressful and crazy. At the time, I didn’t want to give myself the chance to chicken-out, so I think I just tried to plow through it, but in the process, I missed opportunities for reviews and using other promotional resources that might have made my first release more successful. 

The Lesson: Don’t do what I did. Give yourself time to learn the business before you dive in. (But don’t use your research as an excuse to procrastinate!) 


5)
The doubt doesn’t go away, but it gets more manageable as you go. I wish I could say that, a year later, I feel like a super-awesome self-published author, but I don’t. Most days, I feel the weight of all the things I still need to learn and do, but I can also acknowledge how far I have come. The release of my second book in the Order of the Seers trilogy this summer was a bit less personally traumatic and much more thoroughly planned out and executed than my first release. This was made possible only with the help of an author’s assistant, street promotion team, 3 book blog/promotion services running simultaneously, a small, but positive, collection of pre-release reviews, a week-long free sale of the 1st book and an uber-coordinated mailing list, Facebook and twitter campaign. The result - my second book stayed on Amazon Kindle’s best-seller list for over a month in the sci-fi/genetic engineering category and made it into Amazon’s Hot New Sci-fi releases list.

The Lesson: Believe in your story enough to work on writing it, honing it and sharing it, every day that you can.


About the Author
Cerece Rennie Murphy
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 developing and writing what would become the “Order of the Seers” trilogy.

Cerece lives just outside of her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.   Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy, see here.

 

 

 


The Perfect Vocal: A Revision Model
By Sherryle Kiser Jackson


Teena Marie had one in the song, “Fire and Desire,” and Luther Vandross had several throughout his career, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Phillip Bailey as a lead in the mega –group Earth, Wind and Fire. I’m talking about a perfect vocal where notes are delivered so clear that they touch down masterfully onto the musical melody. It’s undeniable, not a note, rift or run has to be changed. Most likely a production engineer did not say,” Let’s run that back and try again.” No remix needed. A remake by another artist is not advised. This is why I listen to music while I’m editing a novel. It reminds me that perfection is possible.

Artistry begets Artistry. We are all looking to produce as Larenz Tate described in the movie, Love Jones, ‘the definitive work.’  Julia Cameron in the book, The Artist Way talks about taking an artist date where you nourish your inner artist by indulging in muse-worthy activities. It could be a day at the theater, a movie or a leisurely walk through a park. You can find me taking my date tethered to Beats headphones with my 1418 song playlist.

What defines us, our brand – our message must all be contemplated when you’re editing. How will this work measure up to other books, and how will it stand out?

Revising a novel like recording a song must concentrate on what a work is saying.  A great beat is cool, but a song has to be lyrically strong for me to make a connection. Everyone knows or has known someone who can just,” . . .love them and leave them.” Still others may identify with the raw and vengeful voice of newcomer, Jazmine Sullivan who boldly confesses, ‘I bust the windows out your car.” Plotlines are everywhere. I create a playlist with each book I write as if I were asked to make a soundtrack for the movie version. Each song reminds me of the minutest detail in my story make up.

When I edit, I whittle my first draft back to my characters motivation and the pursuit of their goal. My goal is to reach the very nerve ending of my characters certainly, but my readers as well, and poke at it.

In fact on of my themes of my new book, Submissionary, about an unlikely missionary on his way to Haiti, is about editing his relationships after a long absence. It’s a process, you either love or hate, but it is necessary.

Revising a novel, like recording a song, is all about the way in which you say things.

Who can forget Adele’s break out hit, “Someone Like You.” Now, that’s a perfect vocal in its mix of what its saying and how it is said. It has very poignant lyrics, and it is haunting in its delivery. I try to be a relationship weaver in that same respect to show those bonds between people, and, certainly the bond between a person and their creator is what art is all about. It’s about experience. I guesstimate 85% of the songs written at its core are about relationships. Most of them are not ever covered the same way. 

Love has subtle nuances you don’t get right the first time whether on a digitally mastered MP3 or the printed page. The way people meet, how they love and how they clash, ultimately calls for creativity in one’s delivery. I must remember as a novelist that it’s not just the outcome but how my characters arrive there. It’s about the journey that seems fresh and new.

When you achieve what you’re trying to say and how you are trying to say it, you’ve just laid the perfect track. Admittedly, not everyone achieves it. You got to tinker with the elements- Earth, Wind and Fire – your Fire and Desire to get it right, and the saving grace of talent.


About the Author
Sherryle Kiser Jackson is a multi-published Christian Fiction author. Her brand of Soul-Satisfying Reads is her honest commentary on life. Her most recent work, Submissionary will be released in paperback and digital formats April of this year.  Her triumphant debut novel, Soon and Very Soon (2007) was followed up by her sophomore release, The Manual (2009), Soon After (2010), Taylor- Made (2011), Land of Promiscuity (2012) and Path to Promise (2013) for Urban Christian Books. She lives in Maryland with her husband and daughter.

Submissionary by Sherryle Kiser Jackson is published by Holy*Ghost*Writing* Publishing.
Website: www.sherrylejackson.com

 

 


One Word at a Time...
by Cerece Rennie Murphy

One of the most frequent questions I get when someone finds out that I am an author is "How do you find the time to write with 2 young children and a family?"

To this, I usually try to come up with something that's encouraging like, "Well, I try to carve out a little time everyday" or "I write whenever I can," but the truth is that, most days, I am hard pressed to answer that question for myself. For me, it is a daily struggle to find the time and space to get into a consistent writing rhythm with my books. And if it was "challenging" with our first child, it pretty much all went to hell with our second. There were times when I doubted that my second book, The Red Order, would EVER get finished. 

Sometimes, like this very week, I will come off a snowball of unexpected school closings, illnesses and last-minute emergencies to get a whole day off during the weekend to write {insert the sound of angels singing here} only to have those plans shot down by ME catching the illness of my "was ailing, but now fully recovered" child and lying in bed the entire day sick as a dog and unable to write. (As I write this, I am recovering from a wicked stomach virus that had me laid out after throwing up for 5 hours straight).

The point is, it's hard. You have to fight for it. Hunger for it and dream about that next chapter, that next scene. I keep a notebook by my bed so I can always get something done or sketch out a scene, even if it's only in broken phrases. And you know what, little by little, those sentences and phrases, snippets of dialogue slowly become a book. 

I looked at my little notebook last night and was shocked to find that despite all the distractions, unexpected interruptions and mayhem that seem to make up the fabric of my life, I have outlined all 23 chapters of my next book. There may be a chapter or two added once the real writing starts, but I am done with this phase of my novel. I stared at my notebook in disbelief for a long time because I've literally been trying for months to get to this point. And the only reason it happened is because I didn't give up. I wrote it down, one word at a time.

And that's how I get it done.


View the Source on the CMG Blog


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 developing and writing what would become the “Order of the Seers” trilogy.

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


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

 

 

 


Why It Is Important to Register 
Your Work with the Copyright Office 
by Vivienne Diane Neal

Since many authors are self-publishing their work or plan to write a book, I thought I would share this bit of information. Recently, I received the following e-mail from a site that sells my book:

Hello, we have removed your document "Malicious Acts" because our text matching system determined that it was very similar to a work that has been marked as copyrighted and not permitted on Scribd.  Like all automated matching systems, our system is not perfect and occasionally makes mistakes. If you believe that your document is not infringing, please contact us at copyright@scribd.com and we will investigate the matter. 

As stated in our terms of use, repeated incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your Scribd.com account and prohibit you from uploading material to Scribd.com in the future.  To prevent us from having to take these steps, please delete from scribd.com any material you have uploaded to which you do not own the necessary rights and refrain from uploading any material you are not entitled to upload. For more information about Scribd.com's copyright policy, please read the Terms of Use located at http://www.scribd.com/terms.  

I responded to Scribd by informing them that I had registered my book with the Copyright Office in 2011 and attached a copy of my Copyright Certificate, proving that I am the owner of the work. This is why it is not enough to just place the copyright notice on your work, even though your work is supposed to be protected under the law. But I have always taken that extra step, especially if you bring legal action against any entity who claims to own your work, which will have to be registered in order to prove your case. 

Registering your work with the Copyright Office can be done online or through snail mail. I would strongly recommend that you register your work online, which cost less and is faster than doing it though the US Postal Service. Because of safety measures, it may take up to a year before you receive your certificate, whereas if done online, your work is instantly registered once you submit it and pay the fee.

You can register an unpublished or published work. If you do register an unpublished work, you won’t have to register it again once your book is published. For additional information on Copyright laws and to register your work, go to http://www.copyright.gov.


About the Author 
Born in 1946, Vivienne Diane Neal is a writer, blogger, and an author. She is a storyteller with a wicked sense of humor, has been writing articles for over twenty years and started penning fictional short stories in 2007. Vivienne gets her story ideas from observing people, places and things and watching true TV court cases and talk shows.

Now, semi-retired, she continues to write short stores and articles on love, romance, relationships, and other topics of interest on her blog at http://www.oneworldsinglesblog.net  and runs a dating site at http://www.oneworldsingles.com 

Follow Vivienne Diane Neal
Books:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003ONO6G4 


 

 


How to Have Fun Giving an Interview 
by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Unlike most public speaking opportunities, I actually look forward to interviews. Whether they are in-person, on camera, radio or via an emailed list of questions, I always feel like I know how to prepare and just what to do because an interview is about the one thing you know best – you. You might not be able to list significant developments in the Middle East Crisis or come up with a succinct definition of “irony” on the spot, but you are an expert in you and your work and that’s all an interview is really about. So here are some thoughts I have on how to approach an interview with anticipation instead of dread. You might even have a little fun in the process.

1)  Ask yourself what you would want to know. Look at the body of work that the people interviewing you will be familiar with. Are there any interesting connections, inconsistencies or curious departures that, if you were a stranger, you’d want to know more about? Practice putting your thoughts together on how to describe, explain or clarify your unique journey. I wouldn’t recommend memorizing anything here, because if you get nervous and you can’t find “the word” that’s supposed to come next, you might convince yourself that you’re lost when you’re not. You can never be lost in an interview because you have the ultimate home court advantage – you know you better than anyone else. You just want to have thought about the questions they might ask long enough for your to identify the themes and patterns that are important to you so that you can recall them with more ease when you need to.

2)  Don’t be afraid to give an answer they don’t like. A really good interviewer wants to get to know you. The right answer is the one you give. It may not be what they are looking for, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong. I’ll never forget one of the last job interviews I had. One of the interviewers asked me what I would do if I disagreed with my supervisor. I told her that I would voice my opinion and then leave it up to the supervisor to decide. She didn’t like that. I could see it right away, but it was the truth and if she couldn’t handle that then I probably wasn’t the right fit for her or the organization. It’s tough to do this when your livelihood is on the line. You have to decide what are the things you can compromise on and what are the things you just can’t and stand as firm as you can for as long as you can, otherwise, it will come back to bite you in the butt.

3)  Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. Expect the question you didn’t prepare for. Be surprised. It’s ok. The trick is not in the fact that you didn’t know they were going to ask that question. That’s obvious, unless you are clairvoyant. The trick is in how you handle the surprise and answer the question anyway. Talk about what you do know on the subject, or why your attention has been focused on X thing that is more important to you/relevant to what you are doing, or how you would find out about Y thing and what you think are the most pressing questions to be answered. 

A surprise is your chance to surprise them right back. At a recent convention, I was pitching my book to an attendee (which is a mini-interview in itself) and in mid-pitch she cut me off and told me that my book sounded like another book by a British author. What do you say to that? Since I didn’t know what she was talking about, I asked her if she could remember the title and tell me a little bit about the storyline. I could tell she was taken aback. Her comment was meant to disarm me, but instead I was curious. She wasn’t expecting that. Suddenly, she became flustered, “I don’t really know,” she said sheepishly then grabbed a bookmark off my table. “Does this have all the information on your books,” she asked. “Yes,” I replied. “You can read the first chapter of the first book for free on my website.” 

Another surprised look came across her face, “Okay,” she offered, looking me in the eye for the first time during our interaction. “I’ll check it out,” she said finally before walking away. Maybe she will, maybe she won’t, but the point is, I wasn’t afraid, either way.

4)  And last, but not least, breathe and smile. I always feel honored whenever someone wants to know my opinion on anything. Take it as a sign that you’ve got something that someone thinks is worth sharing – so share it. You’ll feel better for it and you just might help someone else along the way.


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 developing and writing what would become the “Order of the Seers” trilogy.

Cerece lives just outside of her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.  Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy can be found here today: http://www.amazon.com/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/e/B008G6XXBS 



INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS 2 
by Pynk and Carol Taylor

Two novellas in one hot volume! 

EROTIC CITY: LAS VEGAS  from PYNK continues the story of Milan Kennedy, owner of the Erotic City chain of swingers clubs. While she deals with her ex-professional-boxer husband's cheating ways, her new Las Vegas venue is the setting for a hit reality television series about the swinger lifestyle. 

THE EX CHRONICLES: EVERYTHING CHANGES  from Carol Taylor continues the stories of four close friends as they navigate the rough waters of falling back into drama with ex-lovers, finding and keeping new lovers, and dealing with other scheming characters.


PRAISE FOR INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS and THE EX CHRONICLES


“Award winning authors, Pynk and Carol Taylor have written two original tales for Insignificant Others: Erotic Novellas. Fans will love both stories, which have one thing in common: Sex. While the writing styles and purposes of these two women are different, the result is an enjoyable and satisfying read. Insignificant Others will appeal to readers for whom steamy sex is not enough. Grab this book if you need it Triple X.”
— AALBC.com

“The Ex Chronicles is a character-driven novel that succeeds in emotionally involving the reader in the lives of each of its main characters. For those of you who like drama, this book is a must. Issues such as depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, and self-worth are what these women face and help each other through.”
 — BellaOnline



Intimate Conversation with Carol Taylor and Pynk


Carol Taylor is the author of 9 books, among them Brown Sugar, the bestselling 4-book erotic series and Wanderlust: Erotic Travel Tales. Her novel The Ex Chronicles was published in 2010, The Ex Chronicles: Plan B was published in 2013 in Insignificant Others a 4-book erotic novella series. The Ex Chronicles: Everything Changes is available now in Insignificant Others 2. A former Random House book editor, she has been in publishing for over 18 years. Find her books and her work at insatiablepress.com, Amazon.com, iTunes, B&N.com, BrownSugarBooks.com. Find her Insignificant Others page on Facebook or follow her at insignificantothersbooks.blogspot.com or on twitter.com/iobooks or @carolataylor117

PYNK, a former Fox TV news reporter and talk show host, is the bestselling author of seven erotic novels: Erotic City, Sexaholics, Sixty-Nine, Politics.Escorts.Blackmail., and Triangle, as part of the erotic anthology titled The Heat of the Night. Also, Erotic City: Miami and Erotic City: Las Vegas are part of a four-part novella series called Insignificant Others. Four of PYNK's titles were nominated for African American Literary Awards. PYNK was named YOUnity's Fastest Rising Literary Star, and her books have been voted Best Reads by Black Expressions, and amongst Conversations Book Club's Top 25 Summer Reads of 2013. PYNK'S mission is to promote positive, guilt-free sexual awareness among women. Visit Pynk at www.authorpynk.com

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
CAT: The Ex Chronicles: Everything Changes one of the two novellas in Insignificant Others 2 was actually a long time in the coming. It's the second book in a 4-book series that comes out every 6 months. So I started actually creating the characters and writing the book many years ago. This is my second series. Brown Sugar, my bestselling anthology was my first 4-book series. What I love about writing series is that they are like life. The story really doesn't end when the characters find love or have a resolution. Book series allow the reader to continue the story and to grow with the characters as they handle all the ups and downs that come with love and life.

PYNK: Carol Taylor and I wanted to do a series based on how people deal with infidelity. We decided on the title, INSIGNIFCANT OTHERS, and we each agreed to bring characters to the series from one of our previous novels - Carol: The Ex Chronicles, and myself, Erotic City. The subject matter has been controversial and exciting.

BPM: Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing?
PYNK: I love the topic of relationships, as I hosted a relationship talk show years ago. Whether romance of erotica, relationships are my focus, and I love to create broken characters who are on a mission.

CAT: Absolutely, between my family, my relationships, and my friends, I have tons to write about. But what's so wonderful is that what I am going through with my family, friends and relationships is universal. Readers always tell me that they have a friend like Bourgie Hope, or bohemian Precious, or beautiful but insecure biracial Zenobia or free-spirited, trash talking Bella. That's why they connect with these women and the men in their lives and want to stay with them through multiple books.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
CAT: My books are both plot and character driven. I create characters that are multilayered and relatable and are in part, constructs of people in my life. Once I have a handle on my characters and I create situations they have to handle and issues they have to resolve then the characters start to take me through the book. Half the time when I start writing I don't know where I'm going to end up because the characters take over and decide the outcome. For me that's the best way to write because it's not contrived, it's organic and ultimately believable. 

PYNK: I love scenarios that are controversial, and I build from there. Creating 3-D characters that lead the story with their choices pertaining to those scenarios is what I call fiction-friction. My books are definitely character driven.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
CAT: The Ex Chronicles: Everything Changes is the second book in Insignificant Others 2 book 2 in the 4-book series, with a new book available every 6 months. I like to call The Ex Chronicles Sex and the City meets Waiting to Exhale. This is contemporary erotic fiction centered around the lives of 5 women and the men in their lives. Along with their love relationships they have to work out their friendship with each other, and their family relationships. This is an e-book available on NOOK, Kindle, and ITunes. It will also be available as an audiobook in May at InsatiablePress.com and Amazon.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
CAT: What makes each character special is how they handle their personal struggles and their friendship with each other. In this book they've all made changes for the better. Precious, no longer a struggling writer is an editor at Shades magazine. She's left her no-good cheating ex Darius, again after finding out that he’d been cheating on her the entire two years they’d been together. Hope is struggling to manage a high powered career as editor of Shades, while taking care of her mother who has Alzheimer's. Newly engaged to Derrick, she is rethinking their engagement after a night of passion with Max, rival magazine editor Honey Lamont’s ex. 

Now Hope is not sure if what she feels for Derrick is real or what she feels for Max real enough to leave Derrick. Wisecracking, over-indulged Bella is freshly on the wagon from a twenty-year addiction to drugs and alcohol. For once she’s the one who has it “all together”. She wants to help her girlfriends but knows she can’t do it and stay sober. Zenobia said goodbye to Malcolm, her unfaithful boyfriend and even stayed away for a whole four months only to end up back in bed with him. Now she has to face her faithful and loving boyfriend David, who is about to “pop the question”. 

Eighteen-year-old up and coming model Portia, fell in love with Guy Bernard, the photographer shooting her ad campaign. They are blissfully happy until her mother Luz finds out that Guy is twenty years older than Portia, and two years older than she is.

PYNK: In Erotic City: Las Vegas, Milan Kennedy Lewis is trying her best to forgive her cheating husband, Lavender Lewis, but she believes that he deserves a taste of his own medicine, which is interesting because most men expect women to stay when they stray, yet when the woman cheats, men tend to leave. Milan feels conflicted because even though she owns a swingers club, she is a lot like many women who try to get over the betrayal of infidelity, yet she feels the guilt of her line of work, being that she provides a place for others to be with people aside from their significant others. Her hurt and disappointment causes her to make poor decisions that she might end up regretting.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
PYNK: The topics are revenge, trust, family, and cheating.

CAT: The girls deal with many issues, as do the men in their lives: addiction, infidelity, self-esteem, abuse, finding balance, trust, and faith. The main one is infidelity, that's where the title Insignificant Others comes from. The idea that we treat people who should be significant, insignificantly, and that can be lovers, friends or family. I started writing the book after my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and when that happened I decided to use the special concerns that come with being a caregiver while trying to have a relationship and a career. The book became more relatable and I heard from readers who said that it was good to see these issue getting attention because it's rarely written about although many people are struggling with it. It also gave a human dimension to Hope, who used to be so pulled together and ambitious to have to rely on others and come to grips to being human and fallible. 

BPM: What defines success for you? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
CAT: To me being a success is doing what you love and being to make a career out of it. Being a successful writer is having a long career and the opportunity to keep writing about relatable, fallible characters that overcome against all odds by depending on themselves and their friends, because they actually help me and many readers get through similar situations in their lives. 

CAT: I've been in the writing and book business for over 18 years on both sides of the fence. I was a book editor at Random House before I decided to take the leap and start writing full-time. My first book Brown Sugar became a bestseller, launched a 4-book series and created the erotic anthology genre. Now 9 books later I'm still writing full-time and it's my career. I want hopeful aspiring writers to know that it's always possible to live your dream you just have to plan for it and keep at it. 

PYNK: My ambition is to simply keep writing, living out my passion, and entertaining my readers.


BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
PYNK: I write erotic books mainly for women, to encourage them to live their sexy dreams without guilt.

CAT: My only expectations are that readers want to read the book and if they do that they come away with a feeling of family, friendship, belief in themselves and empowerment. Ultimately that's what all my books are about. That it's not what happens to us, because things are going to happen to us, that's a part of life. It's about how we handle what happens that determines who we are. 


BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?

CAT: Readers can find all my books, interviews, articles and work on my website: BrownSugarBooks.com or they can find all my books on Amazon. The Insignificant Others and Ex Chronicles pages are also on Facebook. They can also follow me at insignificantothersbooks.blogspot.com or on twitter.com/iobooks or @carolataylor117

PYNK: Readers can visit my website at www.authorpynk.com, where they will find links to my Twitter and FB pages, as well as Amazon links.


Purchase Insignificant Others 2 - http://amzn.to/1oszybM  





EROTIC CITY: LAS VEGAS by PYNK
Husband and wife Lavender and Milan Lewis have expanded their EROTIC CITY swingers club locations, with clubs in Atlanta, Miami, and now a third location in Las Vegas. The city of sin seems to be just the ticket for Milan to spread her wings, as she's fresh off of having to come to terms with Lavender's cheating ways. Also, she's working as a consultant on the smash hit adult reality show, Swingers. 

The cast and crew are full of backstabbing, catfighting, and heat, and now one of the stars is trying to drag Milan's dirty laundry into the mix. Will Milan give in and allow the reality show to ruin her reality, including her businesses and her family? And will her plan for payback against her husband's infidelity backfire, costing Milan her marriage? 

Stay tuned, as EROTIC CITY: LAS VEGAS brings a little sex in the city, and a whole lotta drama!



THE EX CHRONICLES: EVERYTHING CHANGES by Carol Taylor
When we last left the girls, they’d all made changes for the better. Precious, no longer a struggling writer, is an editor at Shades magazine. She’d left her no-good, cheating ex Darius again after finding out that he’d been cheating on her the entire two years they’d been together. 

Editor in Chief of Shades, Hope, newly engaged to Derrick, is rethinking their engagement after a night of passion with Max, rival magazine editor Honey Lamont’s ex. Now Hope is not sure if what she feels for Derrick is real or what she feels for Max is real enough to leave Derrick. 

Wisecracking, over-indulged Bella is freshly on the wagon from a twenty-year addiction to drugs and alcohol. For once she’s the one who has it “all together.” She wants to help her girlfriends, but knows she can’t do it and stay sober. 

Zenobia said goodbye to Malcolm, her unfaithful boyfriend and even stayed away for a whole four months only to end up back in bed with him. Now she has to face her faithful and loving boyfriend David, who is about to “pop the question.”  Eighteen-year-old aspiring model Portia, fell in love with Guy Bernard, the photographer shooting her ad campaign. They are blissfully happy until her mother Luz finds out that Guy is twenty years older than Portia, and two years older than she is. They thought they had it all figured out. Well, so much for a Plan B because now everything changes; and it’s not all for the best.



FROM X-CHRONICLES 2 by Carol Taylor 
All's Fair in Love and War

FIRE ISLAND


After sneaking back from David's bedroom in the wee hours of the morning Zenobia had woken up to the crisp beach air. The house was quiet. She figured David and his parents were still sleeping. Deciding on a run, she'd slipped into shorts and sneakers then out the back deck and headed to the beach.

An hour later she is walking into her room and sees David there. Usually immaculate, he's barefoot and slightly disheveled in old jeans hanging low on his hips, and his shirt is unbuttoned. His normally slicked back hair is messy, and he has morning stubble on his face. The overall look is alarmingly close to sexy. Zenobia is considering a repeat of last night.

Seeing her standing in the doorway David says guiltily, "Er, what are you doing here?"

"That's a stupid question. Isn't this tiny room with the horrendous twin beds you've put me in so your parents don't suspect we're shagging my room?"

"Ugh, for God's sake, of course they know we're sleeping together." He whispers as though they can hear him from down the hall.

"Why are you whispering?" Zenobia notices the redness spreading across his face.

"David, you're a grown man for Christ's sake." She's having fun torturing him.

"It's just they're old fashioned, and we're not married, and they'd rather we not sleep in the same room when they're here."

"But isn't that hypocritical? If they know we're boinking, why do we have to sleep in separate rooms? It's archaic. Plus we're grown ups; we boinked last night across the hall from them, remember?" 

David quickly crosses the room and closes the door. "Please Z, they're old. Indulge them."

"Fine!" She huffs, then goes into the adjoining bathroom, grabs a towel, and walks out with it. "I'm heading back to the city on the 5:00 PM ferry. Meeting the girls later. Did you arrange for a limo for me-"

She notices David messing with her pillow. "What are you doing slinking about in here?"

He looks at her shorts and tank and changes the subject. "Were you jogging? You're already skinny as a rail." When she frowns, he says, "Er, in a good skinny-rail way." She's still frowning. "You're not exactly rail-skinny, you are a model; you have just the right amount of fat, just where it ought to be."

Zenobia looks at him as if he's crazy.

"Stop looking at me like I'm crazy."

"You're acting crazy."

"No, I'm not."

"You're red in the face, and you're slinking around. Are you smelling my knickers?" She jokes. He flushes even redder. She walks over and stands next to him. "What are you doing here? Out with it," she says.

"I was, er, just checking to make sure the mattress is comfortable," he says, sitting down and bouncing on the bed.

"Bollocks!" Zenobia says and snatches up the pillow. She is surprised when a small black box falls to the floor. She picks it up, opens it, and then almost drops it.

"Happy now, are you?" David rolls his eyes.


( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Carol Taylor. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.



EXCERPT FROM EROTIC CITY: LAS VEGAS by PYNK



Milan’s sister Tamiko asked over the phone, “How’s it going?”

Milan laid in bed at the luxurious Cosmopolitan Hotel, along her left side, nude, half-watching the flat-screen TV, half-dosing. The room was partially dark, as the blackout shades were drawn. 

She looked down at her left hand and noticed her wedding ring was still on. She took it off.

Milan replied softly, “Okay.”

Tamiko sounded relaxed. “Are you just waking up? It’s two in the afternoon there.”

“Sort of.”

“Sort of?” Tamiko’s voice perked up. “Lavender must still be there. You two must’ve gotten in at four or five from the club.”

“Lavender left yesterday afternoon. I let Cheri run the club alone last night. I took the night off. I’m exhausted.”

“From what?”

Milan fluffed up the pillows and turned onto her back, lying upon the peach Egyptian cotton sheets. “Everything. Traveling back and forth, consulting on the show, dealing with staying in this hotel. Having a total of three clubs and a family is not easy, you know.”

“I can imagine. But it’s five o’clock here now, and after I got in at nearly five this morning from the club, I still managed to go to church.”

“Well sis, you’re superwoman. I’m not.”

“You’re superwoman, too.” There was the sound of a microwave. “Just heating up some leftover pizza. Sorry.”

“No worries.”

“So you went to bed early last night, and you’re still in bed?”

“I didn’t say I went to bed early. I just needed to chill.”

“I see. So, Lavender stuck to his word and only came for one night.”

“He did. He wanted to stay longer, but realistically, he needs to keep close watch on the Miami spot like we planned, and I need to be here. I’ll see him again tomorrow. Him and Taj, and Great Mama.”

“Sweet. I know you miss them.”

“I do.”

“Do you miss him?” Tamiko asked with a suggestive lift to her voice.

Milan said, “Tamiko. Like I told you, unlike in the past when we’d discuss our relationships, I’m just not feeling that. Lavender is my husband.”

“Yes he is, and I’m your sister. I know you. And if you ask me, you still aren’t over what happened last year.”

“Of course I’m not over it one-hundred percent. Who would be?” Milan took a moment to sniff the manly scent of the pillow next to her. 

“I don’t mean one-hundred. I don’t think you’re even ten percent.”

“Believe me, if it bothered me that much, I would’ve filed for divorce. But I didn’t.”

“Yeah, well, there’s some reason why you didn’t. But that doesn’t mean you didn’t want to.”

“Tamiko. When have you known me to not do anything I don’t want to? I’ve been through a whole lot. And I’ll get through this, too. And anyway, this married thing is no walk in the park. Speaking of that, when are you gonna find a husband?”

“Oh no you didn’t! Excuse you, but I’ve got a man. Jarod and I are just fine, thank you.” 

“Yeah, well you two be careful with the swing life. It’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. That’s all I’m gonna say.”


( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, PYNK. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.

 

 

 


Trust In Us 
by AlTonya Washington

With a successful boutique in Charlotte and plans to open another exclusive one in Aspen, Alythia Duffy feels as if she's finally arrived. Then a wild week in the Caribbean at her best friend's bachelorette celebration threatens to ruin everything, though Alythia doesn't regret her passionate idyll with a sensual stranger. 

Self-made developer Gage Vincent learned long ago not to believe the words of a beautiful woman. He thought Alythia was different. Yet, how can he trust her after he finds out that she is bidding for space in his hot new skyscraper? Will Alythia be able to prove to him that she is the special woman meant to share his life?


Excerpt from Trust In Us


Alythia Duffy had hoped taking her car; as opposed to hiring a driver, might play into her excuse of bad traffic which would have resulted in her missing out on the luxurious flight.

To her dismay, she arrived at the airstrip to find the plane still waiting. A chorus of birds were chirping somewhere amidst the late morning air as if they meant to welcome her to fun and excitement. Alythia appreciated the welcome, but all the while considered circling back to the Interstate in hopes of getting caught up in a traffic jam- a tad unlikely at that time of day, but who knew? It all could work in her favor and she might get-

“Can I help you with those?”

Alythia turned, her jaw dropping while her eyes zoned out in a show of surprise.

“Lucky,” she breathed the completion of her thought.

She wasn’t sure if the man who stood within touching distance had sparked such a reaction because of his height- she stood just shy of 5”10 in her bare feet. This guy had to be 6”2 at least. Sure, it could’ve been the height or the muscular build- more lean than massive. Alythia was more inclined to wager on the man’s remaining attributes.

Whoever he was, he had the most remarkable shade of skin, an unblemished tone of black coffee. The richness was offset by a long, steady brown gaze enhanced by overt gold flecks. His hair was straight-textured and close cropped. Thanks to that morning’s powerful sunrays, Alythia could tell that his hair was of the same deep brown as his eyes.

He was smiling and the curve of a beckoning, sculpted mouth was made more attractive by the singular dimple accompanying it. Still, that stare of his was impossible to ignore and difficult to perceive as anything other than intensely observant. That gaze lent a well-blended mixture of heat and cool to the smile.

“Are you okay?”

She heard him speaking to her, his smile carrying more heat when he leaned close to ask how she was. He extended a hand as if he meant to cup her elbow but barely let his thumb graze the bend of her arm.

Snapping to, Alythia ordered no-begged the sudden and completely uncharacteristic desire to moan to cease and desist the pressure it applied to her larynx.

“I um-I’m good,” she managed and then followed up the lie with a laugh. “I was good before I got here and saw that my ride was kind enough not to leave without me.”

He roared into laughter, the sound causing Alythia to jump at the full honesty of it. Despite the contagious effect of the gesture, she winced when he looked her way.

“Sorry, I know I sound ungrateful.” She said.

Curiosity intermingled with his amusement. “Why do you think you’re ungrateful?”

“Most people dream of visiting the Caribbean,” she looked toward the jet once more. “Of those who actually have those dreams come true, few get there on a private plane.”

Clarity surged in the liquid chocolate of his stare then and Gage Vincent realized that the woman standing before him had no idea that the plane was his or who he was for that matter.

“Um, could I take that stuff for you?” He inquired of her bags again before the dumbfounded amusement on his face started to make her feel uneasy.

“Sorry um,” Alythia began to relinquish her bags. “Thanks for your help-oh wait.”

Easing the strap of a tan duffle over his shoulder, Gage watched her fumble through a plump mid-sized purse.

“I knew I had a five or ten in here…”

“Hey?” He cupped her elbow that time and waited for her eyes to meet his. “There’s no need to tip me.”

Alythia blinked toward the plane. “I’m pretty sure you guys are way behind schedule because of me.”

“We’ll get there.” Gage voiced the soft reassurance while applying a light massage to the elbow he cupped. The intention was to relax her. In turn, it was the sensation of her satiny skin beneath his thumb that was ushering him into a state of relaxation.

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Trust In Us by AlTonya Washington



 

 


Isle of Beasts by Angela Hobbs

There’s a tropical paradise in the middle of the Meridian Sea that sits quarantined from the rest of the modern world. Ankira is an island devastated, with villages that resemble ghost towns and natives who are soon to become as extinct as the dinosaurs. A black magic sorceress from a rival island has cursed every Ankiran child. Under the curse, at the precise moment Ankiran youth reach the age of twenty, they undergo a gruesome, physical transformation into beasts that roam free and terrorize the land. 

Like every other child he’s known, nineteen-year-old Raphael Solomon has spent his short life coming to terms with his own inevitable transformation. With his twentieth birthday just hours away, however, an uncovered secret rocks the entire island and leaves Raphael in a state he never imagined – alive on the other side of twenty. Raphael’s salvation incites the entire island to wonder, have Ankira’s children escaped a decades old curse? 

An unexpected outcome sends Raphael right back into turmoil and places the future of the island teetering on his inexperienced shoulders. Allies turn into foes who challenge Raphael’s skill and courage in the face of danger. Ankira’s dark past thrusts Raphael on a path that leads him through betrayal, a shocking discovery, and right into the fatal clutches of the beasts. 

Isle of Beasts thrills in this fast paced journey that stretches the imagination and questions our own will to survive under pressure. A visit to paradise has never been so intense.


Isle of Beasts by Angela Hobbs

Excerpt from Chapter 1 

A receding sun painted the atmosphere in hues of vivid orange and yellow, setting thick rolls of clouds on fire. All traces of the day disappeared below into the Meridian Sea. The water glistened like a jewel and rolled on forever in every direction, but the outline of Ulaka Island protruded out of it in the distance. Ulaka loomed in the sea, large, silent and still, like a predator in anticipation of its kill.

Several miles north, on the neighboring island of Ankira, guards kept watch over a somber crowd huddled together on the beach. Each uniformed man bore a rifle, under the command to kill if necessary. They lined themselves along a dock made from wooden planks and beams that jutted out into the sea. A rusted ferry swayed at the end of the dock where more guards waited, none the less vigilant. Amongst the chorus of moans and weeping from the crowd, the guards’ eyes stayed fixed on the prisoner in their midst. 

The scent of salt water rode a breeze along the sand and wafted between the mourners. They clung to each other as if letting go would result in the wind whisking them away. Like the guards, their attention stayed riveted on the ten by six foot cage on the dock that contained the prisoner. The guards wouldn’t allow them to approach the caged man, so they observed from a short distance away on the sand.

Raphael Solomon stood on the outskirts of the gathering with his hands shoved in the pockets of his cargo shorts. One sneakered foot burrowed a crater in the sand. Whenever his eyes lingered on the mourning family too long they’d bounce to Asa, the young man in the cage. From there, he’d hurry to focus on the canopy of palms towering over the outskirts of the beach, the massive rock cliffs that extended into the sea, and any other place that didn’t make his heart palpitate any faster than it already did. He stood with the family to pay his last respect to someone he’d known all his life. Raphael and Asa grew up together on Ankira. They shared a childhood filled with games of street cricket, diving in the Meridian, and hustling their wares to locals at Ankira’s street market. They’d eaten at each other’s dinner table with their respective families. Asa’s mother had been their elementary teacher years ago. 

Now, Raphael stood with the woman and watched her son, whom the guards had locked away like a criminal. A spotlight on the ferry illuminated the scene before him. Asa cried and shoved his hands through the bars, reaching out to his family in vain. He paced the tight space inside like an agitated animal. Tears, sweat and mucous stained his face. As the minutes ticked closer, he lost all self-control. He pummeled his body against the bars and mumbled incoherently. Long, coarse dreads swung in a halo around his head as he flailed about. The guards watched him with tense expressions, but they didn’t move from their positions. A cry escaped Asa’s mother’s lips before she fainted into the arms of his father. Raphael shut his eyes and rocked from one foot to the other. A part of him wished Asa would hit his head against the cage with all that thrashing around and knock himself out. He didn’t know what was worse – the anticipation or the actual event that would take place. 

A shrill sound rang out and hushed the crowd. One of the guards silenced his wristwatch alarm and called out the time right as movement within the cage came to an abrupt stop. A woman in the family huddle spun around without warning and tore across the sand to the road beyond the palm trees. Raphael watched her retreat and repressed an urge to follow her lead.

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Link:  http://amzn.com/B00FG9KFYQ 

 

 

 


Twist by Roni Teson 



A Romantic Suspense full of twists and turns...

When a steamy incident in the back seat of a borrowed car plunges sixteen-year-old Beatrice Malcolm smack in the middle of a global manhunt, she discovers that the search for her fugitive father has more to do with her than she could ever imagine.

With her mother gone, Bea's life is unraveling in the worst possible way as she's thrust into a world of government conspiracy, insanity, and mind-altering experimentation that forces her to make a life or death decision on who to believe—the FBI or her father.

In Twist, Roni Teson has crafted a suspenseful tale of love, betrayal and intrigue with a cast of characters who will leap off the pages and stay in your heart long after the last page has been turned.


Excerpt Chapter 1

I’d seen him at school before, the kid who came in with Mr. Drake. I didn’t know his name was Lucas. When he brushed his blond hair away from his forehead and his blue eyes met mine, my insides liquefied. I thought I saw a flicker of recognition on his face, but how would he know me?

“Do you go to Sage Creek High?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said, as I looked down at my tennis shoes and wished I’d dressed better. But I didn’t know a cute boy would be standing in front of me tonight.

“I thought so,” he said. “Aren’t you new?”

“Yes.”

We were at Aunt Charlotte and Uncle George’s house, me sitting in the living room and the boy hanging around the threshold.

Only a few seconds earlier, my uncle’s plumber, Mr. Drake, had said, “Stay here, Lucas. Talk to Beatrice for a minute while I work on George’s sink.” And then he followed my uncle into the kitchen. 

“Did you hear me?” Lucas said.

“What?” I answered.

A tiny chuckle puffed off of his lips. “I didn’t think you were listening. Call me Luke.”

His voice was so smooth my belly did backflips. “Bea,” I said, because a single syllable was all I could manage under the gaze of such a magnificent creature as Luke.

“So, Bea.” His eyes wandered around the living room and stopped on me. “What’s your story? Where you been hiding?”

I stared at his perfectly straight, white teeth and froze.

“Dad makes me tag along on some of his jobs,” Luke said, as he sat down on the edge of the couch. “I’ve been to this house a lot, but I’ve never seen you here.”

“You weren’t here last week when the kitchen flooded.” I flicked a piece of lint off of my leg, acting disinterested. “I’m staying with my aunt and uncle for a while”—and then I stopped short, before the darkness of the last twelve months could creep into our conversation. I picked up the remote and channel surfed, looking for something he could grab on to instead of me.

“Where’d that frown come from?” he asked. Then when I didn’t answer, after a pause, he posed another question. “Do you have a boyfriend?”

And that was all I needed to hear. I lost interest. He was way too nosy, and far too comfortable asking me about my personal life. I kept my eyes on the TV and said, “Do you always talk so much?”

“Hey, a cute girl shows up at school and I want to know.”

“Now you’re way too flirty.”

“I like the tomboy thing you’re rocking. What can I say?”

In my peripheral vision I saw him wink at me. That was so cheesy, I thought I was being played. “Really?” I rolled my eyes.

“I’m just being friendly. Geez, Beatrice.”

And the timber of his voice, mixed with a playful tone, hit the right note—it softened me. “Call me, Bea,” I said. 

“Can’t anyone be nice to you?” he asked.

When his lower lip protruded, exaggerating a pout, I must have been like a swinging mood tree because my entire being thawed. “Yeah, I’m just having a bad day,” I said.

More like a bad year.

We stared at each other and he smiled again, so I smiled, too.

“See,” Luke said. “I knew you had it in you.”

He moved closer to me on the couch and put his hand on mine. “My official name is Lucas Drake.” With that, he squeezed my fingers, lifted my hand, and kissed my knuckles.

An unfamiliar feeling of warmth ran down my spine and into my toes. I jerked my arm away and stood up in a curtsy. “Beatrice Malcolm.” I plopped down again, tucking my right leg under my butt.

Luke glided even closer and whispered, “I’m glad you moved to Cali. I think you’re cute.”

I wondered if his head had begun to swirl, the way mine had. I’d never experienced anything like this before, ever. But suddenly, Uncle George and Luke’s dad were standing at the front door, about fifteen feet from where we sat. And thank goodness Mr. Drake broke the spell with his gruff voice. “Lucas, let’s go!”

Luke seemed to become abruptly aware of his surroundings and even looked puzzled when he saw how close we were sitting. He flexed his hand and wiggled his fingers—I ran my thumb across my knuckles and glanced at him. We both blushed and quickly looked away. I was relieved to stand up and walk the few steps to the entryway with Lucas Drake behind me.

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One Safe Place 
by Alvin L.A. Horn

Friends and foes, politicians and lovers intersect in this exciting novel of love, lust, and crime in the Emerald City.

In One Safe Place, lightning strikes of dilemmas and storms of lustful deeds intertwine with the well-thought citizens, as well as the criminal-minded. Under Seattle’s cloudy skies, the morally minded kiss the sexual deviant for advancement of careers and social status. Once again Alvin L.A. Horn rains down love, lust, and crime in the pursuit of clear skies in the Emerald City.

Everyone wants and needs one safe place, and former secret service agent Psalms Black puts thoughts and actions into his social righteousness. He knows how to exact revenge by any means necessary. His sexy lover, Gabrielle Brandywine, used to be the most powerful woman in the world as the Secretary of State of the United States. She still has clout, but has personal issues that can derail Psalms’ desired purpose in life. He and his friends are stealthy and tend to interpret human nature with skillful cleverness. In the mix though, are their own lives and love, and sexual issues must be controlled to complete missions.

Life is complicated when the deviant creep out of waters and from behind snow-capped mountains and mix with politics, sex, and dark money shadows. If evil acts occur like putting hands on a woman, or threatening a child, or harming a friend, you better hope Psalms Black and his friends don’t find out or someone could come up missing, or wish they had. Whether someone is on the right side of morality or if someone steps over the line, everyone wants and needs One Safe Place.


Excerpts from One Safe Place

Excerpt 1

Maybe he thought he could read her mind with her head next to his because he sure wanted her to know his thoughts. He wanted her understand the world might be breaking apart, but no matter what, he knew in his heart and mind, she was his one safe place to lay his burdens down.

Excerpt 2
Up ten stories, I stare downward, avoiding the blinding sun and enjoying the water, watching the ferries go from Seattle over to the local islands and coming back. On the beachfront down below, I'm watching my ex-Secret Service agent, my lover man, who is sparring with the ocean air with quickness and hardly any effort in his fluent movements. He possesses the kind of power men fear. Psalms is on Alki Beach, shadow boxing in the sand.

With downtown Seattle in one corner of his world, and the Puget Sound in the other, he works out with the street behind him as if his back is against the ropes in a boxing ring. He beats the air until I'm sure the air is heated to one-hundred degrees in twenty feet in each direction surrounding him.

Since I've known him, I've had the opportunity to see him do what he is doing now, many times, and I never grow weary of watching him. I have watched him shadow box and heat up the air with his rapid-firing fists along an iced-over river in Moscow. I watched his body move along the Panama Canal with the icy quickness of a  Doberman as he seemingly cooled the hot air with the speed of his kicks. Along the Great Wall of China, I watched him attack the breathed air of past warriors, and it evoked a vision of him fighting and defeating Genghis Khan. Psalms Black has the build of Mike Tyson, yet he moves like a jaguar in the Amazon jungle.

I have felt that same power in his lovemaking, taking me and making me feel that he wants me. The responsiveness of his proficiencies in lovemaking takes the form of a ballet dancer's grace. My ex-Secret Service agent, my lover, has picked me up and floated me down in a way a man cannot be trained. He is all-natural in all he does. Psalms touches every square centimeter of my body with his strong hands, and I sweat from the softness of his caress.

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Something About April 
by Cheri Paris Edwards

In Something About April, Carla Jefferson meets the perfect guy, but he's not quite the man of her dreams. Will she hold on to love, or let it slip away hoping for a chance at the life she's imagined?  A rediscovered photograph and the return of old friends stir memories and a desire to reclaim the past, setting into motion events that may change the Jefferson family forever. 

Something About April  is the second novel in a planned series of four books about the Midwestern Jefferson family introduced in book one, The Other Sister. In this fast-paced story focus shifts to older characters, and moves from the conversation of faith to the daily struggles of the Jefferson family and their friends as they strive to meet life's challenges.

Meet the Jeffersons: James Jefferson is a driven man, motivated by love for his family, devotion to church members and concern for the community. After centering her life around the interests of others, Lena Jefferson must readjust now that her adult daughters are living lives of their own. Older daughter Carla Jefferson juggles the responsibilities of a demanding career while hoping for love, while her younger sister Sanita strives to move through life with the same self-confidence that made her an athletic star. Get to know the Jeffersons as they navigate a season of love, laughter and heartache, wrestling with life's challenges while holding on to friends, faith and one another.

James Jefferson – is the father who is driven by his own humble beginnings by a need to give back to the community and take care of his family, so he’s a bit of a social activist with a pulpit. He defines himself as “project boy” and he is the son of single mother who struggled to raise him and a sister. A promising athlete, he grew up in the church, and his faith and the church became a respite leading him to eventually followed become a minister. Faith Community is not a mega-church but does have a thriving congregation. He also owns and sells real estate, and while not wealthy, has provided a middle-class lifestyle for his family.

Lena Jefferson – is his wife who spent much of her life shaping herself into the person she thought a minister’s wife should be. She served as part-time church secretary, and was a homemaker. Now that her daughters are adults and living on their own she’s left with a void in her life. 

Carla Jefferson – is the older Jefferson daughter who’s always tried to do the right thing. She’s a bit of a perfectionist, a school administrator at a charter middle school who has felt eclipsed by her younger, athletic sister Sanita who is also more outgoing. In the first story, she had been on a few dates with ex-pro basketball player Terrence Catchings who fell head over heels for Sanita when she returned to town.

Sanita Jefferson – the younger Jefferson sister, who also is an ex-athlete. Poor decisions while she was away from home, put her both her health and freedom at risk, but with a cleared slate, she is rebounding, living on her own now and taking courses at the community college.

We learn more about James and Lena in this story and Lena’s attorney friend Nadine, Javier Quintero, and Mandy who is Carla’s good friend are introduced in this book.


Excerpt from Something About April 



CHAPTER ONE


She couldn’t sleep. All day, sleep had wooed her with heavy-lidded promises, but as soon as she got into bed, the flirtation was over. She closed her eyes and her mind reeled and lurched like an uneven film. Lifting on her elbows, she squinted. The clock’s bright digits seemed to glare at her — another hour had passed. She sank onto her pillow. Hopeful, she shut her eyes, but as soon as her lids lowered, the show spun into motion again. Flashes from yesterday melded into this day’s events before whirling into plans for tomorrow. With a sigh, she sat upright. Peeling back the covers, she glanced at her husband. His gentle breathing sang a rhythmic hum. Sliding into her slippers, she snagged her robe from the footboard post, and tied it on. She stepped into the hallway, and gently pulled the door closed behind her. 

Gliding stealthily through the darkened house, she moved as though she had a plan, but she did not. She paused in the kitchen to open the refrigerator and peer at the contents before settling on a bottle of water. Resting the bottle on the counter, she scooped used glasses into the sink before dampening a cloth to sweep away evidence of a late-night sandwich he made. “How many times have I asked him to not leave crumbs?” she grumbled. 

Bottled water in hand, she padded through the dining room and into the wide expanse of the family room. At the fireplace, she drew the metal curtain to prod the simmering wood with a poker, then, rubbing her chilled arms, fell into the seat of a chair in front of her desk. She lifted the lid to her laptop.

“Why do you need a password?” he had asked the other day as he watched her logging in. His eyes deepened with curiosity. “It’s not like anyone else has access. It’s your computer.” 

“From the writing class I was taking,” she explained. “We had to write poems now and then, and sometimes I still journal my feelings. Guess it’s like a diary,” she continued. “Giving it a password is like it has a key. Makes me feel safer writing about my feelings if I know I’m the only one reading it,” she finished, hoping she wasn’t talking too much. 

“Safer? That’s a strange word to use. I’m your husband. Why do you need to keep your feelings safe from me?” A smile lifted the corners of his lips, but his eyes searched hers.

Waiting to find the right words, she was grateful when his phone alerted him of a new message. Distracted, he turned to his own computer and began to peck away.

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Something About April (The Jeffersons-Volume 2)
Read more about the series: http://www.cheriparisedwards.net/#!books/cnec 


 

 


Submissionary 
by Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Damon Myers-Jones despised the awkward hyphenated name forced upon him at birth because it represented two things Damon would rather forget: his adopted father’s death and his real father’s absence. Now thirty years old, newly engaged Damon struggles with the constant tug-of-war with the women in his life. 

His mother, Laverne Myers-Jones, who cloaked him with his name in the first place, wants to extend her influence to his choice of mate. Damon’s fiancée, Hope Daniels, can’t see beyond her longing to keep what she deems the perfect man and plans for her happily ever after. 

In a desperate attempt to find himself, Damon impulsively sets out on a mission's trip to Haiti in search of his birth father where he experiences a shift that changes his world. Will his personal mission coincide with what God has in store for him?


Praise for Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Sherryle Kiser Jackson is to be commended for creating an emotionally authentic tale of redemption and one man's search for love. Fans of her other works will not be disappointed, and new readers prepare to discover your new favorite author.  --- Booker T. Mattison, filmmaker and author of Unsigned Hype and Snitch.


Chapter 1


He boarded first at Shady Grove station. She boarded six stops later at Bethesda. They rode another six stops together. She exited before him at DuPont Circle. He held his spot until Judiciary Square. The red line of the Washington, DC Metropolitan area subway system—or Metro, as it is called—represented the vein of their relationship—a mastery of timing and schedules. A twenty-eight-minute ride, five times a week that became thirty-three minutes the midst of rush hour, was the delicate tissue that covered that vein. It provided a great quantity of quality time for their relationship.

Today was the beginning of a typical workweek for them, but it felt like anything but to Damon Myers-Jones. He glanced down at a text message summoning him and his teammates to a mandatory meeting, which would take place first thing this morning. Ever since the previous evening, when he first spotted the text, he’d tried to figure out what the meeting could be about. His preoccupation seemed to throw him off, to swirl in the nauseating abyss that immersed his life nowadays.

Damon missed the opening and closing of the doors, and his fiancée, Hope, entering the subway car, with her carefully rehabbed right leg, encumbered by a slight limp, moving toward him. He had muscled his way to a seat when he boarded, and used his bag to save the vacant seat beside him for her.

“What, no bagels?” Hope Daniels said, as she shifted his bag and plopped down beside him, wearing a waist-length leather jacket and a Wrangler satchel strewn about her body to tie together her outerwear.

“I’ve got that meeting,” Damon said.

“Yeah, that’s right, the mystery meeting,” she said. “Well, at least we both got seats.”

Staring at him with one arched eyebrow, a jutted chin and a smile begging him to smother her with his lips, a peck was the best he could do. He had too much angst for anything else. He had not always been reluctant to participate in the public displays of affection she craved. Now engaged, and although the ring had unlocked chambers and doors, a big part of his reluctance was because it didn’t get him any closer to the vault of physicality, the war chest of sex that he craved from her. A smaller portion of his reluctance was also due to the guilt he felt that he had not yet told his mom of the seriousness of his relationship with Hope, and that her little boy had taken the ultimate big-boy step. For that, he felt as if he were being watched, and the lookout would report the ring size, cut and clarity of the diamond directly to his mom before he had the chance to tell her himself. Still, a fraction of that guilt was reserved for the itch of an impulse that he kept a secret from both his ladies. So, as far as he was concerned, and with all he had going on, Hope’s engagement ring and Facebook profile would have to suffice her need to flaunt their upgraded relationship status right now.

Leaning forward, he rested his arms on his thighs amongst the butts and guts of passengers forced to stand in front of them. Once again, he checked his text message, as if it had changed in the last ten minutes.

“Damon, stop obsessing,” Hope said, stroking his back with her right hand. “Wait, look, I got something to show you.”

Damon watched her pull out a stack of papers with a section of the New York Times on top. He determined that if she started in on him about moving to New York again he would exit the train at the Van Ness station, leaving her alone, and connect with another train there.

“You know the extra credit vocabulary I like to assign from the crossword puzzle each week? Well, guess who came up with the right answer this week?” she gloated. She began shuffling through the pile of corrected papers. “A six-letter word that means spread dirt on someone crossed with a thirteen-letter word meaning the race for the highest office in a state, each starting with the letter G.”

Relieved, Damon sat up and began pointing at his fingers, as if he were counting. She punched him, and he smiled. “You got me. I’m the numbers man, remember?”

When Hope found the paper she was searching for, she bent the corner toward her so Damon couldn’t see the name. “Gossip and gubernatorial are the answers. Challenging, right? Guess who got the answer correct?”

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The Last King 
by A. Yamina Collins




The Last King went #1 on the Free Amazon kindle bestsellers list in three categories: 
African American literature, historical fantasy, and African-American romance.


Twenty-eight year Emmy Hughes has never quite fit in---she's six feet tall, dark-skinned, and daydreams of being an Elf from Lord of the Rings. But when she is badly injured in a car accident that kills her mother, Emmy does not dream of fantastical worlds anymore---she just wants her shattered life to be normal again. 

Unfortunately, normalcy is the last thing in store for her once she meets Lake George's newest arrival, Dr. Gilead Knightly. Granted immortality from a line of people who marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life, Gilead has been alive for centuries and has met everyone from Nubian kings to Napoleon.

But Gilead and his eccentric family are also hunted beings. Indeed, God considers the Edenites' possession of immortality to be theft and for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a "Glitch" ---an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen "property" and kill them off.

When Emmy discovers that she is Gilead's Glitch, she is not only thrown into a world of immortals who eat bone marrow, panthers who read minds, and a family whose blood is made of pulsing gold, but she finds herself the target of Gilead's vengeance: he must get rid of her before she gets rid of him.

Easier said than done. Because Glitches are not only an Edenite's greatest threat---they're also their greatest love.

The Last King, Book I by A. Yamina Collins is an 11-part serial novel 
Available Now:  Episode
#1  and  Episode #2.  View both chapters here.

 


Excerpt The Last King: Book I - Series 2

CHAPTER 8 - Her 


Kill her, a voice in his head tells him.

Yes, of course, he responds. That's what I have to do.

And how should he do it? Should he follow her home when the lecture is over, come up behind her in her driveway, or wherever she lives, and snap her neck like a twig?

Whatever he does, he needs to be cruel. He needs to teach her and the One who sent her a lesson. Yes, that's it. He will do to her what his brother Micau did to his own Glitch: something so physically twisted that it would make the ears of any human who hears about it and finds her remains, shutter.

Slowly he starts to straighten up and just in time. The door to the auditorium swings open suddenly, and out it walks.

He cannot make out her whole face because her hands are covering her mouth and nose, but he can see her big eyes, and the alarm in her face.

Two other people are following it - following her, and making a commotion behind her.

"Hold your head back," one of them is saying, trying to still the bleeding woman's franticness.

But blood has already seeped onto her white dress, and Gilead can hear her saying, "Not again, not again," as she rushes past him.

Not again. So it's happened before. Gilead thinks. Of course it has It happened the other day, while Gilead was standing outside the restaurant, didn't it? She was somewhere around the vicinity that night, near the boardwalk, wasn't she?

In a moment, the woman, looking a bit disoriented no, disappears into the bathroom and Gilead closes his eyes and bites his lower lip.

Now he knows why he missed the fine print on the flier, and why he had a desire to come to this lecture in the first place.

It's Him.

Gilead curses under his breath; curses Him with everything he's got.

Her? he thinks, in disgust. Against the greatness of me? That simple-looking thing?

It's insulting.

Opening his eyes, he takes the opportunity to move toward the exit as a few more new comers enter the building. It's all Gilead can do to appear as normal as possible---he stands up straight and forces himself not to clutch his stomach.

Outside, he takes in several quick breaths of air, and doubles over again.

Why should he fear her?

"I will break her," he mutters to himself. "If I have to rip off her whole face, I will break her."

Something about him saying this brings him a feeling of relief. He is clear-eyed and focused for a moment, even self-assured, for he knows that once he makes up his mind about reaching a goal, it's as good as done.

He will kill her tonight, somehow.

But before he can contemplate how to execute his plans, he cups a hand over his mouth, rushes toward a nearby bush, and vomits onto the leaves and branches.



( Continued... )


© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, A. Yamina Collins. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. 

The Last King: Book I, Episode # 2 by A. Yamina Collins
Link: http://amzn.com/B00IC0M8HS 


 

 


The Perfect Affair (The Shady Sisters Trilogy) 
by Lutishia Lovely

In this thrilling new series, acclaimed author Lutishia Lovely dives into the scandalous heart of romantic obsession with a cunning, sexy seductress, and the object of her affections. . .

Freelance writer Jacqueline Tate arrives in Los Angeles and soon meets brilliant, award-winning scientist Randall Atwater, the man she's come to cover at a conference on trends and technology. He is everything she's read about--brainy, witty, handsome, and cool. And after a week spent with the most fascinating man she's ever known, there's no way she can give him up.

There's just one problem: Randall's wife of twenty years. No matter--men like Randall are few and far between. Jacqueline knows that with a few bold moves, she can win the man she loves. But what happens when her love story is not a love story? 

The Perfect Affair (The Shady Sisters Trilogy) 
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Amazon:  http://amzn.com/B00GYLVPOE 
African American  |  Contemporary Women's Fiction
Lutishia Lovely website:  http://www.lutishialovely.com 


About the Author
Lutishia Lovely
is an award-winning author of seventeen novels, six of which are romance titles written under her alter-ego pseudo, Zuri Day. In addition to her wildly popular Hallelujah Love Series, Ms. Lovely has a hot new trilogy called "The Business" about a soul food dynasty where delicious drama and sizzling scandal is always on the menu!

Prior to becoming a full-time author, Lutishia enjoyed many different careers. They all, however, had one thing in common - they all were linked into a "world of words". From administrative assistant to radio personality to actor to managing editor and senior writer for a holistic magazine,words have always been the magic that made Lutishia's world go 'round. Probably one of the spins that would most surprise readers is the fact that Lutishia was a rapper! That's right, for a short stint in the 90s, Lutishia was billed as "The Rhaptress" (a combination of a rapper and an actress), and toured with other singers and musicians throughout southern CA. She's happy now to beat out a rhythm on her keyboard...songs in the key of "writer" that she hopes will inspire and entertain!

 

 

 


Pink & Patent Leather 
by Candy Jackson 

Sasha "Pink" Jansen has heard the voice of God. He spoke loud and clear at her purity ceremony, when she was just sixteen years old and Pastor Malik Stroman placed that ring on her finger. And He was just as clear when He told her that purity ring would someday be replaced with a wedding ring from the same man . . . all Pink had to do was save herself.

Dreams of a life with Pastor Malik were enough to keep the privileged princess committed to her vow, dodging all kinds of temptation, resisting every romance, and the whole time, keeping her eyes on the prize –the day she would become first lady. There’s just one problem - Pastor Malik already has a wife. But Pink is accustomed to getting what she wants - by any means necessary. With her grace and virtue on the line - and what she thinks is God’s word in her head - Pink is on a mission no one understands. 

She's determined to show Pastor Malik that they belong together – and come hell or high water, she plans to get the good reverend to agree. Candy Jackson has penned a page-turning tale of one-woman’s quest for love and the spiraling descent she’ll take to get it…

* Book Excerpt:

"True love waits," he said, as he gently slipped the platinum band with diamond chips onto my finger. "I am proud that you have decided to save yourself for marriage."

That's when it happened, right then, at that moment, in that instant. It was like I was being washed in this overwhelming feeling that God had a message for me.


* Book Excerpt:

As if I had an audience watching me, I sauntered over to my bed in nothing but my bashful colored Le Pearle lace thong and matching demi-bra. When I laid down, I let my thoughts wander to him.

I pictured his reaction when we'd finally come face to face once again tonight. It had been so long since he'd seen me. He was going to be surprised, mesmerized, and hopefully hypnotized with what he saw.

Because now, I was a woman.


* Book Excerpt:

Now, I was a grown girl, with my Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College and my high-rise condominium located in the great metropolis, formerly known as Chocolate City. With my fancy little 525 BMW with custom wheels and personalized tags. I truly was a long way from where I used to be.

Many might think that I am spoiled, but heck, I worked hard in college. I remained a permanent fixture on the Dean's list each semester, spent my summers abroad, and graduated magnum cum laude with a degree in journalism.

Now, I was a young, rising junior editor at Power Play Magazine, where even though I'd only been there three months, I was on the move. I was flirting, teasing, and proving to my boss that I had beauty, but it was my brains that was going to get me to the top without sleeping with him or any man.


About the Author

Washington, DC author, Candy Jackson is a cosmetology teacher who loves to create poetry and short stories. Her reading rose to a brand new height with the discovery of many black writers whose work exploded in the ‘80’s. An avid reader, she began to tap into her own creative side and decided to write stories of her own.  Candy is the mother of three young adult children and one grandson. She can be reached at pepperedpages@hotmail.com. 

Purchase Pink & Patent Leather by Candy Jackson
Purchase today:  http://amzn.com/099153221X  
BGP Publisher:  www.browngirlspublishing.com 


 


The Replacement Wife 
by Tiffany L. Warren 

In this page-turning new novel from Essence® bestselling author Tiffany L. Warren, Atlanta's most eligible widower isn't looking to remarry--but for one woman, that's a mere detail. . .

Five years after his beloved wife's death, wealthy Quentin Chambers still hasn't returned to the church or his music ministry. Even his home is now devoid of music, and without his attention, Quentin's five children are getting out of control--until his mother steps in and hires him a live-in nanny. Montana is pretty, compassionate, church-going, and even has a beautiful singing voice. The children take to her right away, and soon enough Quentin finds his heart opening to faith--and love--once more. But not everyone loves Montana. 

A "friend" of Quentin's first wife, Chloe has been scheming to become the next Mrs. Chambers since the funeral. Chloe is convinced she's just one seduction away from a marriage proposal. Now she'll do whatever it takes to get rid of Montana--including blackmail, theft--and digging up a troublemaking man from Montana's past. But Chloe forgets she's got secrets of her own, and the tables may turn with a twist she never sees coming. . .


Excerpt The Replacement Wife

Chapter 1


Five years later . . .


Chloe walked into the packed nail salon for her weekly pedi- cure with her best friend, Lichelle. The Nail Spot was always crowded and always cost just a little bit extra. Maybe it was because it was owned by an ex-rapper turned entrepreneur. Or maybe it was because gossip was on the menu, just like the paraffin wax and the acrylic tips.  Lichelle waved Chloe to the back of the salon—the VIP area. She’d saved Chloe a spot, which was darn near impossible to do, but Lichelle, the wife of a wealthy real estate broker, was a regular. And a good tipper.

Chloe slid into the luxurious chair and leaned back, careful not to muss her freshly perfected hairdo. Her short tresses were expertly sculpted, and they framed her face perfectly, softening the potentially strong features created by her excessive workouts.

“Girl, I thought I was gonna have to fight that queen over there. He kept eyeballing your chair like he was about to snatch it,” Lichelle said, as she blew Chloe a kiss.

“I am not thinking about him.” Chloe cut her eyes at the man, who gave her much attitude. She didn’t have time to exchange words with him, nor did she want to ruin her mood. She was going to Lichelle’s yacht party later with Quentin, and it was going to be a blast. But first she was about to get her feet rubbed and mashed by her favorite nail tech, Trey. He was fine and buff, and his foot massages took her to the mountaintop.

Trey slid over in front of Chloe on his little stool. “Hey, ma. How’s your day going?”

Chloe grinned as Trey cracked his knuckles and took her foot into his hand in a miniature caress. “It’s going great now, babe. Do your magic!”

“I am telling Quentin,” Lichelle said.

Chloe lifted Lichelle’s left hand and touched the enormous rock on her ring finger. “You’re the only one married. I am still very unmarried.”

“But not unattached. You’ve been with Quentin for an eternity.”

Chloe winced at the word. It had been a long time. Five years, to be exact. Quentin didn’t seem the least bit interested in marriage. She didn’t think he loved her, but he enjoyed her company enough to foot the bill for her ever y need. He even gave her a small shopping allowance.  Admittedly, she wanted more. Not necessarily marriage, but at least a commitment. A bit of assurance that the fun times were more than temporary.

“Five years is not an eternity. Especially since we got together right after he buried his wife.”

“How long are you going to wait for him to marry you?” Trey asked.

“I’m not waiting for him to marr y me. I’m enjoying what we have. Savoring the moments.”

Lichelle sucked her teeth and shook her head. “What if he wakes up tomorrow and decides he’s ready to trade you in?”

“You do have quite a few miles on you, and you are definitely fine—I wouldn’t kick you out of bed. But you’re not a twentysome- thing anymore,” Trey said.

“Is this attack Chloe day? I’m not feeling this.”

 

READ THE ENTIRE EXCERPT HERE


The Replacement Wife
by Tiffany L. Warren

Link: http://amzn.com/0758280602 


 


More Than I Can Bear



Always Divas Series Book Two by E.N. Joy

Paige begs to differ with the scripture that says God will not put on a person more than they can bear, because she is truly on the edge. One slight push from another one of life’s unexpected and unpleasant occurrences, and she’ll be free falling.

As if having suffered physical, mental, sexual and spiritual abuse from her husband hadn’t weighed heavily on her enough, Paige had to deal with learning that her best friend and sister in Christ had done the ultimate no-no and slept with her husband. Thank God one of Paige’s co-workers, Norman, who she now deems as a true friend, was there to catch her fall before she hit the ground. But will Norman be there when Paige receives news that may not only push her off the edge, but cause her to jump willingly?

In More Than I Can Bear, not only when it rains does it pour, but there is lightening and plenty of thunder to go along with it. Will Paige drown in the storm she finds herself in with no umbrella, or will she catch hold of the life saver God extends to her?


CHAPTER SEVEN



“Was that my boy I heard?”

The singsong voice coming from the dining room was heard prior to Norman, Paige or Miss Nettie ever even making their way into the room. 

“Oh, he’s here all right, Mrs. Vanderdale,” Miss Nettie called out as she looked back over her shoulder at Paige while pushing the swinging dining room door at the same time. “My oh my is he here.” Miss Nettie hustled her way through that door with Paige in tow as if there was a three alarm fire they were trying to escape. There may not have been a fire, but Miss Nettie knew one thing for certain, there was at least about to be some smoke blown. And where there’s smoke…

“Son! My only son. Come give Mumsy some love.”

Paige watched as a pail skinned woman with blond hair and a house coat that would have given both Maud and Mrs. Roper a run for their money, brushed by her and embraced Norman.

“Mom, please,” Norman said as his mother began planting kisses all over his face as if he were a five year old child. “Come on, Mom,” he pleaded to no avail, finally just dropping his arms down to his side like dead weight and giving in. He rolled his eyes up in his head while his mother smothered him with kisses.

“You don’t come visit as often as I’d like, so I have to make up for times missed,” his mother said, planting one more smuckerroo right on his nose. 

“Come on, Mother, let’s not start with the whole ‘You never come by to see me routine.’ You know I make it by as often as I can.”

“Oh, hogwash. You’re too busy at that ridiculous peasant collar job of yours.” His mother shooed her hand.

“It’s blue collar,” Norman corrected his mother, not noticing the offended look on Paige’s face, seeming she worked at the same place of employment. “And don’t say it with your nose up in the air, so. Miss Nettie here’s job is blue collar. I’m sure she might find that offensive.”

“Oh please,” she shooed her hand again, never taking her eyes off of Norman as she straightened his already straightened collar. “Nettie is family. I don’t even consider her part of the hired help anymore. It’s just like having a dog. Once it’s been around for so long, it’s like part of the family,” she chuckled, planting an unforeseen peck on her son’s lips. 

“What the…” Paige started under her breath, lightweight lunging toward her mother-in-law until Miss Nettie’s grip on her hand tightened and pulled her back.

Paige’s words reminded Mrs. Vanderdale that someone other than her and her son were in the room. She turned and addressed Mrs. Nettie. That’s when, for the first time, she noticed Paige. “Why Miss Nettie, you didn’t tell me one of your kin folks was in town again.” She lowered her voice but with a stern tone and wagging finger in Miss Nettie’s face she said, “I thought we had this talk before. Now I don’t mind your people coming for a visit every now and again and sharing your quarters, but you must give Mr. Vanderdale and me a heads up. Is that understood?”

“Yes, ma’am, but I-” Miss Nettie started before Mrs. Vanderdale cut her off.

“Now I hope you saw to it that the kitchen staff made extra for your guest. You know we are already going to start having an extra mouth to feed whenever my Norman comes around now that he’s a married man.” She sharply turned to Norman. “Speaking of which, son, where is that lovely bride of yours? Why I can’t wait to welcome her to the family.” Mrs. Vanderdale began looking over Norman’s shoulder toward the swinging door leading to the living room.

“She’s right there, Mother.” Norman nodded toward Paige. 

His mother turned around only to find Mrs. Nettie and her supposed kinfolk standing there. She continued looking at the doorway. “Where, Son?”

“Right here, Mother. Standing right here in your face.” Norman walked around his mother and went and stood next to Paige. “Mumsy, this is my wife, Paige. Paige, this is-”

“Mrs. Vanderdale!” Miss Nettie shouted as she quickly went to her boss’s aid. 

Norman joined Nettie in keeping his mother to her feet as she appeared faint and weak, as if her knees had given out.

“Mom, are you okay?” Norman asked worriedly. “Miss Nettie, help get mother over to the chair. And please, have Stuart fetch her some water.”

Miss Nettie just stood there torn, not moving a muscle.

“Please, Miss Nettie, why are you just standing there?” Norman asked.

How could Miss Nettie tell the young lad that she didn’t want to leave that room for not even a second? She didn’t want to miss what she felt was long coming and overdue. “Oh shucks,” she said under her breath and then scurried over to the swinging door that separated the dining room from the kitchen. “Stuart, Mrs. Vanderdale needs a glass of water, quickly.” Miss Nettie hurried back to her employer’s side. Under ordinary circumstance she would have gotten the water herself. But to her this was a long awaited extraordinary circumstance.

Within seconds, Paige stood to the side and watched as a black man with salt and pepper hair dressed in a long tail tux took over a glass of water to Mrs. Vanderdale. Norman took it from his hand.

“Thank you, Stuart,” Norman said with a nod, then turned and placed the glass to his mother’s lips.

She took a few sips and after a moment or two, she seemed to regain her strength.

“Mom, what’s going on?” Norman questioned. “Have you been feeling okay? Are you sick again and haven’t told me?” He looked to Miss Nettie for an answer.

“No, no, not as far as I know. She’s been just fine,” Miss Nettie assured him.

Norman felt his mother’s forehead. “She doesn’t seem to have a fever.”

“I think it’s your fever that’s got her feeling a certain kind of way?” Miss Nettie said between her teeth with a knowing look on her face.

“Huh, what?” Norman was confused by Miss Nettie’s statement. He looked to Paige to see if perhaps she had any idea what the older woman was talking about. He always did have the hardest time deciphering what he referred to as Miss Nettie’s riddles.

Miss Nettie looked to Paige as well, whose expression told the older woman that the new Mrs. Vanderdale knew exactly what the punch line was. Paige decided to translate to her husband.

“She’s talking about you having jungle fever, Norman. Your mother is in shock that your new wife is black,” Paige said.

“Please, my mother doesn’t care about what color you are.” Norman turned to face his mother. “Do you mother?”

His mother couldn’t speak. She was still trying to catch her breath. But her dilating pupils begged her son to realize that he’d hit the nail on the head. 

“Mother, is that what has you acting this way? The fact that Paige is black?”

Realizing his mother was still trying to catch her breath, Norman offered his mother another sip of water, of which she gulped down. She wiped the dripping water from her chin and was finally able to speak and the only words she could manage to force out was, “Who on earth names their African American daughter Paige?”

“Mom!” Norman said, embarrassment peeking around his tone.

“Well, I’m sorry, son, but I thought I raised you better than that?”

“What?” Paige had held her tongue long enough.

No one noticed Miss Nettie standing off to the side with a satisfied grin across her mouth and her nose in the air as if she was sniffing roses instead of smoke.

“Oh, my and I see she even has the attitude that comes along with it?” Mrs. Vanderdale said, grabbing her chest.

“That comes along with what?” Paige asked verbally while Norman asked with his eyes.

“With…” His mother motioned her index finger up and down the length of Paige’s body. “With that.”

Paige took another step toward her mother-in-law.

“Hold on just a minute.” Norman put his arm out, stopping Paige from getting any closer to his dear mother. “Mother, I’m not clear on what you’re trying to say here, but if it’s what I think it is, disappointment in you would be describing how I feel without crossing the line of respect.”

“Norman, it’s totally clear what your mother is implying,” Paige said. “But just in case you really don’t understand, let me break it down for you.”

“Oh, gosh, and there she goes ready to start breaking things,” Mrs. Vanderdale panicked. “Nettie, put away all the china and crystal. I’ve caught glimpses of those reality shows and know how they like to throw glasses and stuff at each other.”

Paige’s mouth fell to the floor. She wanted so badly to go off on her mother-in-law for stereotyping Paige, but then she realized she’d be going off on the wrong person. It’s those trifling basketball and housewives she’d need to speak her peace with. She couldn’t blame Mrs. Vanderdale for believing what her eyes showed her to be true on all these cable networks. Not only that, but Paige had to remember that she herself had lost control to the point where her hands had to be pried from another woman’s head full of weave…a couple of times. She didn’t categorize that as a ‘black’ thing though. She categorized that as a woman out of control. And from the looks of things, if his mother kept it up, Norman was about to be out of control as well.

“Enough, Mother!” Norman spat. By now Miss Nettie had an arm full of dishes after starting the task of which her employer had instructed her to do. Stuart, who had remained silent off to the side, waiting for Mrs. Vanderdale to finish her water so that he could take the glass back into the kitchen, began helping. 

“Miss Nettie, Stuart, please leave the settings and excuse yourselves.” Norman looked to Paige. “Paige, can you go with them, grab a drink, appetizer or something? I’d like to have a word with my mother.” He turned and shot his mother a condemning look. “Alone.”

“But-” Paige started. No way did she want to excuse herself from the room. She wanted to give her mother-in-law a piece of her mind. Or at least bear witness to her husband giving her a piece of his mind in her defense. 

“Come on, honey.” Miss Nettie took Paige by her elbow after placing the dishes back on the table. “I make the sweetest tea mixed with lemonade that you’d ever want to taste.”

Paige didn’t budge.

“Come on now,” Miss Nettie nudged. “Trust me, God’s got this.”

Paige finally gave in and allowed Miss Nettie to lead her off to the swinging door that led to the kitchen. 

“Believe you me,” Miss Nettie said. “I don’t want to miss it either. But don’t worry, as long as I get to witness her finding out about that bun you got cooking in the oven, it’ll make up for whatever I miss right here.”

Paige stopped in her tracks and stared at Miss Nettie, wondering how on God’s green earth she knew she was pregnant. Because she was plus size and her dress was a little big, no way could that woman have realized she was showing.

Miss Nettie simply winked and said, “Child, you’d be surprised at what God shows me in my head before it ever manifest before my eyes. Now come on and get some of this sweet tea and lemonade. You need a break before we’s get to round two.” Miss Nettie chuckled as they disappeared into the kitchen.


( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, E.N. Joy. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.


More Than I Can Bear: Always Divas Series Book Two by E.N. Joy
Link: http://amzn.com/160162669X  



 


UNBREAKABLE
by William Fredrick Cooper



Inspired by the song 'Unbreakable' by Michael Jackson... 

From the critically acclaimed author of Six Days in January and There’s Always a Reason, this eagerly anticipated novel follows one man’s emotional journey to find love and triumph over despair.

It’s Valentine’s Day; seven years ago, William McCall lost Linda Woodson—the woman who restored his faith and hope. Still grieving her death, he drowns his sorrows at a local bar in Manhattan, when a new woman enters his life…

Keisha Gray is a Michigan schoolteacher visiting the Big Apple, and when she first meets William, they bond over their shared love for Michael Jackson. Soon they connect over much more and set out on a journey to heal their broken pasts. William is still trying to get over his heartbreak, while Keisha is on a journey to rediscover her self-worth after the double murder of her parents. The couple travels through New York, South Carolina, and Michigan to sort through their pasts and renew their faith in God, life, and love.

Highly emotional and embedded with powerful messages, Unbreakable is a love ballad that explores adversity, human connection, and what it takes to heal a broken heart.

Excerpt from Unbreakable: A Novel 

In 2001, Michael Jackson and Sony Records disagreed over the first commercial single released from the album ‘Invincible’. Vehemently stating his case, ‘The King of Pop’ desperately wanted the song ‘Unbreakable’ to be heard initially; instead, Sony chose to drop ‘You Rock My World’. Because of contractual disputes which killed the promotional push on the album, the dynamic standout was never released as a single. Well, it never got released, but… Delivering a high-voltage jolt to my soul, I am introducng my new book with a statement of transparency with the hopes that it helps someone handle life a little better than I have. Please follow me on this one… 

PICTURE THIS: We’re in Miami, Florida, and the Hit Factory recording studio is rocking a Michael Jackson track produced by hit maker Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins. Reeling you in, its piano-driven hook and relentless R&B-meets-gospel sound thumped. 

Stomping out negativity and placing perseverance into your soul, the message in the music was blunt: Do not let anything or anyone steal your joy.

The jam, "Unbreakable", (featuring The Notorious B.I.G. with background vocals by Brandy) was an infectious groove that had everyone in the studio dancing.  Everyone, that is, except Author William Fredrick Cooper.

Somber from news he received hours earlier - a disturbing bulletin that likened him to a used car salesman - the melody was muted by tears in his eyes. 

After everything that’s happened in his life, he was baffled.

Should he allow cemetery dirt to be thrown on him by way of insults and assumptions, or finally respond after years of quiet?

Imagining that the Gloved One and Biggie Smalls were on the other side of the room, he thought of the advice they might offer.


"Say something, but do it with L-O-V-E," the King of Pop stated.

Christopher Wallace agreed, sneering, "Let your haters motivate you to spit something sweet."

Taking a hand towel from his back pocket, the writer blew his nose.

"Man, I made mistakes in life just like anyone else, but people piled onto my errors and took advantage of my honesty. Some of that’s my fault, because I always looked for approval from others instead of relying on my inner strength. Others not used to my deep emotions think I’m a pity-seeking martyr, which is totally off-base.”

Biggie answered, “Tell them where to go, how to get there and make em’ kiss your ass before walking.”

Battling laughter along with everyone in the studio, MJ reiterated his insight.

“That’s not you, William. You have a beautiful heart no one understands. Again, if you say anything do it with love, man.”

Sighing, the perplexed writer said, "I gotta toughen up and remember that they talked about Jesus..."

Suddenly, the light bulb that comes with a breakthrough came on.

READ MORE HERE

 

 


Catfish by Nina Foxx

Best Friends Dana and Damika share everything about each other, because that's what best friends do, right? But when it comes to relationships, the high schoolers are keeping secrets in cyberspace. After Boy Crazy Dana meets the "perfect" guy, she figures the only way to get close is to tell little white lies. As their relationship flourishes, an inappropriate photo sent for his eyes only...ends up going viral, and threatens Dana's reputation and her future. 

Tech nerd Damika is able to reinvent herself online and she's created a cyber life that no one knows about but her. When she meets Rosheon, she's thrilled at their budding relationship, until she discovers there's a lot more to him than meets the eye because just as she can reinvent herself....so can others. As the lies become unmanageable, can Dana and Damika dig themselves out of a web of a mess before it's too late? 

In this page-turning novel, Catfish,  Nina Foxx dives into a world where nothing is as it seems and danger takes on new meaning in cyberspace.


Excerpt from Chapter One

Dana



My father was not slick. I tried not to twist my mouth as I listened to him attempting to convince me that what he talking about was a good thing. We have a pretty good relationship since he and my mother got divorced, but sometimes he was just transparent as hell. 

“Dana, you’re gonna love this new church.” He looked at me all starry-eyed and he talked in that voice he used on me when he wanted something. He looked and sounded the same way my boy crazy best friend, Damika did every time she met a new hottie.

I groaned. “Church?” Since when had he found religion? Our time together was limited and we didn’t usually spend it in church. I wasn’t sure he’d even been inside one since before my mother divorced him, and even then, he’d only gone kicking and screaming. 

He wanted me to say something. So, I did. 

“And what’s your new girlfriend’s name?” 

My dad’s mouth dropped open. That probably wasn’t what he was looking for. I might have been sixteen, but I wasn’t born yesterday. The only reason my father would be talking about new churches and religion was behind a woman. I shook my head. He was going to have to text me from hell.

I couldn’t blame him, really. My father was a hot commodity. He’s a single, good-looking black man with a good heart. He owned his own home and paid his child support like clockwork. Plus, he had it going on - for an older man. Even though he had a teenaged daughter, he was still attractive and dressed well. He might not be all swole with underwear model abs, but he was a catch. Back in the day, he was really into fitness and now that he was old, it paid off. He didn’t have a potbelly like other people’s fathers, so I was used to women chasing him. They’d done that before, even when he was married, and it had only gotten worse since.

A lot of kids get messed up when their parent’s spilt up, but me, I was okay with it. It was a relief actually, because when they were together, they’d fought all the time. My mother said they loved hard and they fought hard, too. The problem was, I remember the fighting more than anything. If there was love, I never saw it. A few times I’d have to keep myself from throwing up when I heard the noises in their bedroom, but even I knew that sex and love wasn't the same thing. Toward the end they would yell and scream way into the early hours of the morning. 

“It’s okay. I’ll go if you need me to.” It almost hurt me to say that. I really didn’t feel like going to church, especially one all the way in Brooklyn, but it was easy to see how my words had made him happy. Unlike my mom, he was easy to please. His shoulders relaxed and the nervous look on his face was replaced by a smile. 

“It’s not what you think. I actually used to go here with my mother when I was a kid,” he said.

I folded my arms across my chest and cocked my head to the side. “So, you’re saying that it’ll just be the two of us?” I knew the answer, but I couldn’t resist asking anyway. My father was just too easy sometimes. Clearly, I was the one running game here.

Dad fidgeted a little; similar to the way I did when I was about to tell an un-truth. “No. A friend invited me.”

“Um-huh. I knew it. You can’t put anything over on me, Dad. I’ve only been your daughter for sixteen years.”

He laughed. “You’ll like her. You’ll see.”

That remained to be seen. Lots of kids had hot moms, but having a hot father was another matter. Women threw themselves at him all the time, all kinds of women. They would hear that “boom-chicka-wawa” when he came in and it was all over. My parents fought about that often, like his swagger was something he could control. My mother would get mad and say it was my father’s fault. Now that they were apart, the women threw themselves at him and me, like they had to win me over, too. And they were right, they did.

I had to admit that I was going to miss the last one. She’d been a buyer for Macy’s, and let me tell you, that had its benefits for me. I owed the hot Baby Phat outfit I had on right now to her. She'd hooked me up with clothes regularly, but of course, the gear stopped coming as soon as they'd broken up.

“Dad, what happened to Susan? I liked her.”

“Too high maintenance. Can you go upstairs and put on a dress? If we’re going to get there on time, we gotta get going.”

I was a little upset that we'd be spending what was left of our weekend with someone that was practically a stranger to me, but it was obvious that my father really wanted me to go. I could overlook my disappointment just this once.

We picked up my father’s new girlfriend just a few blocks from the church. My dad was nervous as he introduced us. “Dana,” he said. “I’d like you to meet Wanda. My friend.”

I raised my eyes, but answered her politely as I was taught to do. “Nice to meet you, Ma’am.”

My father looked as nervous as the cat that just got caught with his paw in the fishbowl as she laughed. “You don’t have to call me Ma’am. Aunty Wanda will do.”

As if. My Mom had no sisters. I sat in the back so she could ride with my dad, and she was very polite. We’d been through a few girlfriends by now and I’d learned to watch and wait. If they made it past a few weeks, then maybe the two of us could be friends. Otherwise, there was no reason to get attached too early. One mistake, and poof, she could be gone, just like that. 

If nothing else, this one was well-dressed, even if she was wearing one of those old lady knit suits. Her hair was pulled back into a tight bun, and her makeup was flawless. She looked a little uptight, but was tall and Top Model thin. Her navy suit fit her like a glove, and she smelled good. Two points for the new woman. My dad was into smell. The funny thing was, this one seemed as high-maintenance as Susan had been. Another mom-ism echoed in my head. What was that she’d say? The things that attract you also make you crazy later? It was like my father was attracted to the same woman, over and over. 

I stared out the window of the car and tried to ignore her chattering as we made our way through the streets of Brooklyn. A glimpse into the rearview mirror told me what I already knew. My father had a grin plastered to his face. He liked this one, but then, they always started out good.

“Dana, I’m so glad you were able to join us. Our church has such a great youth program. You’ll be able to meet some nice young people. Young people that are doing things.”

I rolled my eyes and kept looking out the window. There was no need for all the noise. Now, did I look like I needed a “program”? She obviously had things twisted. It wasn’t like I was some kind of problem child. I went to school regularly and got mostly good grades, and I was generally respectful to my parents, wasn’t pregnant and didn’t do drugs. I’d said I would go today, but I wasn’t trying to enjoy it and I made no promises about going again. And I certainly wasn’t trying to hang out with no church kids. I had my own life, in Queens, with all the friends I needed. What could I possible have in common with any of these people? Brooklyn was just too far for anything. I didn’t drive, and taking the bus or train all the way across town was just crazy.

We pulled up in front a huge, white brick building that seemed to take up the entire block. Crowds of people walked toward it. I was speechless as my father maneuvered the car into a space and we got out. I don’t know why I’d pictured a tiny little cute church, in a storefront or something like that. This building was huge, very old on one end, but it got newer as it went down the block. The corner stone said 1902. There was nothing that old in my neighborhood. Across the street, there was a huge parking lot that took up another city block and that looked like it was filling up, too.

Both Dad and Wanda smiled and greeted people and I tagged behind them. Wanda was the only one that looked comfortable, while my father just looked embarrassed. He was about to be on display like Wanda’s new man-candy. All the church ladies were grinning at him while Wanda walked with her head held high and her huge pink bible tucked under her arm, without a care in the world as she showed off her add-water-stir family.

I felt crazy out of place. All of these folks were smiling and laughing and all seemed to know each other. Me, I felt like a vegetarian at a beef convention. The best I could do was put a fake grin on my face. I couldn’t believe I’d let my father talk me into this. Not to mention, I’d dug to the bottom of my closet to find the dress I had on. I hated it and it felt like everyone could tell I wasn’t comfortable with my outfit. I kept tugging at the bottom to keep it from rising up. To make matters worse, just as we entered the church, I bumped into someone so hard, I almost fell back down the church steps. How embarrassed would I be all sprawled out at the bottom of the steps? What a way to make an entrance. I opened my mouth to swear just as a strong hand caught my arm. It was a good thing, too, because the words I was about to say had no business in a church.

“I’m so sorry. I wasn’t looking where I was going.” 

I found myself looking up into the most handsome light brown eyes I’d seen in a long time. I couldn’t say a word. Even if I wasn’t between boyfriends I would have been speechless.

“He’s the clumsy twin. You have to forgive him. Are you okay?” Another voice said.

My eyes darted back in forth, from one bag of hotness to the other. Oh. My. God. There were two of them. Two caramel-colored hotties, identical, except one had a small mole under his left eye. They wore identical blue suits, but one had on a white shirt and the other didn’t. So I wasn’t hallucinating. 

I managed to smile and I suddenly regretted that I hadn’t dug deeper in my closet. “No worries.” I brushed imaginary dirt off my dress just as my father called me. 

“I gotta go—“I was barely able to speak, but it didn’t matter, they were already gone, almost as if they weren’t there in the first place. They’d vanished, like a dream. It wasn’t until later that I thought to wonder if I'd flashed everybody when I fallen. I could've kicked myself as I reviewed all of the things I could have said that would have sounded so much better than “I gotta go”. Somehow, I always managed to find the wrong words.

Wanda introduced my father to every other person we met, grinning all the time and holding his arm showing him around like he was the new “it” bag she’d just bought or something. For the most part, people ignored me, and I only halfway said hello if they spoke. 

After what seemed like an eternity, Wanda finally led us to our seats, up in the balcony of the almost completely filled church. I scanned the crowd. There must have been over a thousand people in the building, so there was no way I could even think of spotting the twins. I hadn’t even thought to ask their names. I would surely be kicking myself for days about that. 

“Okay, I’ll see you two later.” Wanda had a wide grin on her face like she was proud of herself for getting us to our places or something.

My mouth dropped open a little. I know she didn’t bring us here to leave us in the middle of this place.

“You aren’t staying?” I asked.

“Of course I am. I have to sit with the choir, remember?” She pointed across the church where the choir was gathering. They were far enough away that I wasn’t able to make out any faces, instead, all I saw was a sea of royal blue robes, interrupted occasionally by a flash of gold.

I blushed with embarrassment. She'd probably told me that she sang in the choir while I wasn’t listening, on the ride over. I nodded.

“Break a leg.” My father still hadn't lost his silly grin.

“Okay. You two come on back to the choir room when it’s over. You remember where that is?”

My father nodded quickly. "How could I forget? I spent hours in there when I was a kid." 

“I knew you sang with that sexy baritone voice of yours. Sing to me sometime?” she said.

My dad didn’t answer, but instead blushed like he’d just been caught doing something he shouldn’t. He looked at me quickly, then looked away. 

Wanda flashed my dad a smile and then turned and made her way through the crowd.

At first, my dad just stood there. I had to tap him in the arm to remind him to breathe. “Dang, Dad. Do you have to be so obvious?” He might as well have drool dripping down his face. It was amazing that he could be so old and still have a woman get his nose wide open like that. 

My dad blushed, but didn't answer me. For a second, I was confused by the church-going, obviously whipped man that was next to me. I could barely recognize my father, but I knew he was in there somewhere.

I daydreamed all through the service. I tried to pay attention but it seemed to go on forever. I was so lost in thought, I almost missed the ending. I perked up when the choir sang, though. They seem to have two or three [A3] choirs and every one sounded like a professional television choir, complete with a very animated choir director and words projected on the wall like we were in a karaoke spot. Between the choir director dancing and one woman who looked like she was about to twerk any minute, they put on quite a show. A very long show.

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Open Door Marriage 
by Naleighna Kai

“Open Door Marriage is a page-turner from start to finish, uniquely written to explore the emotions of three people who have bonds that seem unbreakable. That is, until they are tested in a relationship that causes their families, religious leaders, and the public to be up in arms. Naleighna Kai has written a provocative novel that is about a relationship that is as complicated as it can get.” –Valarie Prince, author of The Lair of the Python

A chance encounter lands NBA star Dallas Avery back in the arms of the woman of his dreams. A woman he hasn’t seen in years. A woman he soon discovers just so happens to be his fiancée’s aunt! But Dallas’ fiancee, Tori, isn’t ready to give up all that she’s worked for, so she makes him a shocking offer – go through with the wedding and she’ll still allow him to be with the one woman he now can’t seem to do without. Dallas will get a family, something her much older aunt, Alicia can’t give him. Tori will get the lifestyle she clamors. And Alicia will get the love she’s longed for all her life. Everyone will get a little of what they want . . . and maybe a whole lot of what they don’t. 

The details of the trio’s love life play out in the tabloids and on talk shows, making Dallas the center of an NBA scandal. And eventually, the doors slam shut on this open marriage and Dallas is forced to make a choice to end the chaos. But moving on is easier than it looks and by the time all is said and done, secrets will be revealed, passions will be extinguished, and everyone’s lives will be forever changed.

“Open Door Marriage is a page-turner from start to finish, uniquely written to explore the emotions of three people who have bonds that seem unbreakable. That is, until they are tested in a relationship that causes their families, religious leaders, and the public to be up in arms. Naleighna Kai has written a provocative novel that is about a relationship that is as complicated as it can get.” –Valarie Prince, author of Lair of the Python

“While a few books have tackled this subject in different ways, the way Naleighna Kai approaches a difficult situation is sure to be fuel for heated conversations for years to come. Open Door Marriage proves many things, but mostly that the title of my novel holds true.—Janice Pernell, author of There’s No Right Way to do a Wrong Thing.


Excerpt from Chapter 1 

THANKSGIVING - CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

NOVEMBER 22—7:23 P.M.



“You slept with my aunt?” 

The words still didn’t register, even though this had to be Tori’s fifth time saying them. She glared at her fiancé, still desperately trying to come to terms with the information her mother had blasted to everyone at the packed Thanksgiving dinner table. 

“Seriously? How is that even humanly possible when you didn’t know the woman four hours ago?” Tori shouted.

“Tori, l-let me explain,” Dallas stammered.

Twelve pairs of eyes were now focused on the not-quite-blissful couple standing at the bottom of the stairs just off from the dining room. 

“But not here. Let’s go somewhere and talk. It’s not what you think.” 

“What did you do?” Tori snapped, glaring up at Dallas. “Trip over the sheets, and your penis somehow landed in a woman nearly twice my age?” 

The drumstick in Uncle Bill’s hand paused in midair on its journey to his wide mouth. Cousin Tiny’s fleshy hand flew to her overexposed bosom and came to rest somewhere above her heart. Even Tori’s father’s frozen expression of alarm would have been Three Stooges comical if the situation weren’t so tragic. 

Aunt Yoli was the first to recover. “Did they just say what I think they said?”

In unison, everyone nodded.

“Girl, shut the front door and run out the back!”

A few bursts of nervous laughter sprang up around the table, but they were not nearly enough to chase away the unease that had flooded the room when Tori stepped into the house. She’d gone to drop off Aunt Rose’s drunk self at home. Tori hadn’t even been in the house good when her mother, Bernice, blurted out that she’d caught Alicia and Dallas together. Alone. In bed. In the nude. Tori had picked up from there and summed it up in one sweep. “You slept with my aunt ...”

“Nothing happened, Tori,” Dallas said, his voice shaky. “I didn’t sleep with her.”

“So, my mama is lying?” Tori asked. 

Dallas shifted uneasily. 

“Hell naw. I know what I saw,” Bernice snapped. She had moved from the dining room table to the end of the staircase, right next to her daughter, poised as if she was ready to go to battle. “Both of you were in bed butt-ass naked.” She jabbed a finger in her sister-in-law’s direction. Alicia hadn’t moved from her spot at the top of the staircase. Probably, because she knew what was best for her. “She was butt-naked. And he was nut-naked,” Bernice yelled. “Wasn’t an inch of space between them.” She flickered a gaze a Dallas. “Look at him. You can tell he just got dressed!”

Tori closed her eyes and took deep breaths to calm the emotions that warred within her.

“See, I told you Alicia wasn’t worth a damn,” Bernice, crowed with savage satisfaction. “And looks like Mr. NBA ain’t much better. You thought he was all that and a side order of fries.”

Dallas Avery was the NBA’s most valuable player, and a man most women would give their right and left ovary to call their own. But Most Eligible Bachelor or not, he had set Tori’s bitch meter into overdrive. Even with his chiseled, handsome face, towering muscular frame and million dollar bank accounts, he was now worth next to nothing in her eyes. Too bad her aching heart didn’t get that memo.

Tori didn’t know if she was more enraged or hurt that her mother had been all too willing to drive this stake through her own daughter’s heart in order to publicly disgrace Alicia.

“Tori, we need to talk about this,” Dallas repeated before adding, “in private.”

Bernice wore a satisfied smirk as she glared openly up at Alicia, who just kept staring stoically at them from the second floor landing. “The angel of the family has fallen,” Bernice said. 

“Hey, Bernice,” Bill taunted with a hearty chuckle. “Bet you won’t say that when Alicia comes downstairs. You know she’s gonna put a hurting on you.”

“You mean put another hurting on her,” Aunt Yoli added, doubling over with laughter.

Tori wanted to scream. Her life was unraveling in front of her and her family was cracking jokes. 

Instinctively, Bernice inched away from the staircase and back toward the dining room table. Her hands went up to the small scar on her neck, probably remembering that a year ago on this very same holiday, Alicia had ended a vicious blow-for-blow fight with a knife at Bernice’s throat. Almost gave the woman a “Sicilian Smile”—an ear-to-ear slice across the throat. 

Dallas reached for Tori’s hand. “It’s not what it seems.”

She snatched away, parted her lips to give him what was left of her mind, but Cousin Tiny chimed in first. “Alicia had every right to take Bernice to the floor last year for that foul mess she said! I would’ve pulled out my own can of whoop ass behind that one.” 

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Lust and Basketball by Jeannie Eneh

The beautiful and talented author Jazz Halster of Atlanta, Georgia was dying to be loved. Jazz was at a point in her life where she had serious doubts about finding that special man. Then she meets former NBA baller and now the iconic head coach of the Panthers in Atlanta, Coach Clayton Dewberry. However; Clayton was enjoying the game of basketball and not looking for love until he crosses path with Jazz. Everything changes within a blink of an eye. Will Jazz find the love she so desired; will Clayton's heart be filled with lust or love for the beautiful Jazz Halster? Author Jazz Halster has no idea that her life would be scripted this way...

The stunning and brilliant superstar agent to the stars Liz James had it all, wealth, a business empire, great kids, and a wonderful husband or so she thought she had it all until one night she meets former NBA baller now head coach at University of Miami Kyle Williams. Was it possible to meet someone once and know that you love them?

Kyle Williams thought he had the perfect life, money, played in the NBA, now a head coach in Miami; the other sin city, no nagging wife, and free to come and go as he pleases. That is until he meets Liz James. Was it possible to love someone so deep that you were willing to step into another man's territory? 

Excerpt from Lust and Basketball 

As Liz made her way to the estate of basketball great Clayton Dewberry's mansion to attend an engagement party he and Jazz decided to give to formally announce their engagement. Which to be honest came at a great surprise to Liz; not because the two made such a beautiful couple but because of Jazz refusal to get any type of physiological help; which in the end could damage her relationship with Clayton. Liz breathe a heavy sigh as the valet attendant opened her door as she throw her long legs onto the cement. Liz's husband of twenty years all of a sudden could not attend with her as usual nothing else is new Liz thought to herself. The good thing is she can escape the party after an hour easily by coming alone anyways.

Liz worn a black, snug mini dress with see thru arms. At 43, she was still a knock out with her platinum blonde hair and natural green eyes. Men seem to appreciate her beauty when she is in a room with them. But her beauty could be shielded by her been a tough, shrewd business woman.
However her first and only love her husband Fabian did not. In fact he treated her as if she was a misfit. Liz bargained with herself that she had to stay in this lifeless marriage because of their four kids. The truth of the matter is three of her kids are in college; mind you prestigious universities through out the United States and her last baby girl which Liz had out of desperation in an attempt to save her loveless and lust-less marriage was the last one to leave for college in less than a year.Maybe one day she will get the guts and the glory to finally leave her husband.

As Liz entered into the gorgeous mansion; she spotted Jazz and Clayton arm and arm and she immediately went to them. Jazz and Liz kissed and Clayton reached down and planted a soft kiss onto Liz's right cheek. "Wow! You guys look awesome. Congratulations on your blessed engagement; you know I wish you well." Liz stated very eloquently.

"Thank you my friend, I am truly happy for the first time in my life." Jazz admitted tearfully. Clayton put his strong arm around her and brought her closer to him. "God has once again been kind." Clayton confessed. At that moment another tall, Liz was assuming former baller approached Clayton with a gigantic bear hug. "Dewberry, congrats brother." the former baller said with one of the most widest, beautiful smiles Liz has ever witness. Now Liz knew her business she has seen the face but could not put a name with the face.

"Liz," Clayton started, "this is Kyle Williams, a former teammate of mine, thou he still balling as a head coach in Miami." Clayton added. Liz and Kyle locked eyes then he quickly glanced at her left ring finger and noted she was married, not only married but that rock was at least 10 carets. As if Liz was in sync with Kyle thoughts she glanced at his ring hand and notice no ring.

Kyle stepped closer to Liz and invaded her space, "Nice to meet you" as he extended his large hand. Liz offered her hand and he firmly grasp it. "You live here in ATL." Kyle inquired. "I do." Liz offered. Liz felt strange, why was she attracted to this man. She reasoned within she is probably going through mid-life crisis; yes that's exactly what it is she thought.


( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Jeannie Eneh. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.


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Meet the Author
Jeannie Eneh
is the author of two published books, Color Me Black and now Lust and Basketball. She resides in Dallas, Texas. Her favorite past times are reading, writing, spending time with her family and enjoying the quietness of God's nature. Author Eneh shares, "My ultimate goal is to start up the Jeannie Eneh Foundation in my home town geared toward inner city youth; specifically African-American Males. If this is in God's plan.

 

 


When Ice Melts 
by AlTonya Washington

Icia Graham’s love affair with Rakim Transou had the makings of a fairy tale romance with the happily ever after ending, until the night of Rakim’s college graduation gathering. For Icia, it was the night her life was forever changed. Sadly, the changes were brought about by a horrific incident causing Icia to close herself off to everyone-especially Rakim. So desperate to escape the memories of being assaulted by Rakim’s two best friends, Icia left school and the man she loved.

Years passed and; in that time, both Rakim and Icia reached goals that carried them to the heights of success. For Rakim it was a powerful advertising agency that brought him a respected and revered name in the business. Icia’s accomplishment was a bit darker, but no less revered. In addition to counseling battered women, she offered her clients a special service-the service of destroying their abusers.

For Icia, her business brought her a satisfaction that could only be topped by seeing her own attackers pay the price for what they’d put her through. At any rate, she had no desire to revisit the past and be tortured by thoughts of love lost with the only man she’d ever wanted.

A series of events however would bring Icia right back to where she swore she’d never return. Once more Rakim Transou was back in her life and Icia was simultaneously overjoyed and distraught. How could she start anew with the man who still meant everything to her, when there were so many secrets between them? When the need for vengeance on two men; who were still very much a part of Rakim’s life, still raged so viciously inside her?


BOOK EXCERPT: WHEN ICE MELTS 


“This is fantastic,” Leontynne McRae whispered, her slanting green stare focused through the magnifying glass. The contact sheet from her photo session of downtown Houston had turned out perfectly. She had been a bundle of nerves waiting on some word from The Transou Agency. The initial interview had gone so well, they called her back for a second meeting. Now, she was at her wits end waiting on a decision about the job. In an attempt to dispel some of her nervous energy, she decided to get out of the hotel and spend the day shooting the city.

A fashion photographer out of California, Leontynne was proud of the landscape shots she’d taken. It was a refreshing change, but Leontynne knew she’d never exchange it for the success and notoriety she’d acquired in fashion.

The phone rang, bringing a halt to the critique of the contact sheets. She rushed over to the maple message desk and uttered a silent prayer before answering.

“Yes?”

“Leontynne McRae?”

Leontynne smiled at the deep voice on the line. “This is she.”

Rakim could hear the anxiety tingeing the woman’s voice and chuckled softly. “Ms. McRae, this is Rakim Transou from The Transou Agency.”

Leontynne pulled the phone from her ear and pressed it against her chest. “Yes, Mr. Transou?” She replied, once she’d calmed herself.

“I’m calling about the portfolio you left. It’s very impressive.”

“Thank you,” Leontynne managed, her excitement continuing to mount.

“Ms. McRae, we've been commissioned for several high profile TV spots around the time for the Super Bowl. We’re in the process of choosing a model and lead photographer. We hope to choose them both from the portfolios. We believe this would go further to insure a rapport with the team.”

“I agree.”

Rakim chuckled. “I’m glad, because I think you’re perfect for the job.”

Leontynne let her excitement show. She uttered a piercing scream and jumped up and down with the phone clutched to her ear. “I’m sorry! Mr. Transou. I’m sorry. It’s just that this is-I just didn't think I could do this. I know the competition was something fierce.”


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Another Woman's Husband 
by Angel Mechelle

Bree Michaels finally has it all: her dream career, a new fiancé, athlete Eric Newsome, and a beautiful family. Yet she is unhappy. She can’t put her finger on it, but something is not right in paradise. Still haunted by Dre, who she knows is no good for her. But still….. 

When she moves back to Florida, the last thing on her mind is Dre Edwards and all of the drama that comes with him. But elsewhere across the country Dre has still never forgotten about her and when a chance encounter drops the opportunity right in Dre’s lap to connect with Bree, he doesn’t hesitate to go hard in his quest to see her and be her man again. Newly single and practically drama-free, Dre wants a new start…and another chance with Bree.

Will Bree sabotage everything she has worked so hard for to give love with Dre one last try, or will she follow her mind and maintain her comfortable life as she maneuvers through the murky waters of life and love?


Excerpt from Another Woman's Husband 2 

It wasn’t that long ago that Bree was tied up in a crazy love triangle that she couldn’t seem to get out of, no matter how hard she tried. The Dre, Neecy, Chante, and Bree saga had been over for more than one year and she was finally getting past it.

I was trying to find Trina and Nikki amongst the crowd when someone walked up behind me and grabbed my hand.

“Bree,” he asked in his deep ball player voice. I turned to face him and ask him how he knew my name and tell him about grabbing my hand, but when I turned around I was speechless.

“I’m…”

“I know who you are. You play for the…”

“Can we talk?” He interrupted.

“I hesitated and then smiled. “Sure"

Recently engaged to professional basketball player Eric Newsome, things seemed to be on the up and up. But even though Bree loved Eric, sometimes she couldn’t help but think of Dre. Sometimes it was the smallest thing Eric did or said that would send Bree flying back to the past and right into those memories of the love and connection she shared with Dre and no one else since. She remembered how she fit perfectly in Dre’s arms back then. That was her spot.

Bree had to admit that Dre’s letter had her curious, especially the part about divorcing Neecy.


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Smoke In The Citi 
by Joy Avery 

Where there’s smoke…

When Passion Phillips agrees to work elbow to elbow with the man who left her at the altar, flames ignite inside the Citi Café. Flames capable of engulfing her mind and body. She’s made the mistake of loving him once, but won’t make the same mistake again. Burned by his betrayal, she is determined keep him at a distance. If only her heart would listen. 

…there’s fire!

Dasher Howard is not the man he used to be. All he needs now is the opportunity to show Passion that he’s no longer the man she once knew. With a mission to prove to her love can be better the second time around, he’ll do whatever it takes to reclaim her heart. Even if it means manipulating the odds in his favor. 

The only thing hotter than the food inside Citi Café is the blaze igniting between Passion and Dasher. How will he prove to her that he is the only man for her? Especially when she is hell-bent on hating him.


Excerpt from Chapter One 


The idea of showing up at Second Empire restaurant, in full wedding attire, to confront the man who’d jilted her at the altar two months earlier had seemed like a grand idea to Passion Phillips two hours ago; not so much now as she stood in the Pine Room of the restored Dodd-Hinsdale house.

Dasher’s eyes glowed intense as hot embers as he watched her with a hard stare. Those captivating brown eyes had once made her dizzy with desire. Had the setting been different, they probably still could. The reality of the admission caused a knot in her stomach.

The other diners at the table, presumably colleagues, stared at her as if she’d recently been released from a mental institution and still donned the facility-issued wardrobe instead of the Vera Wang gown she wore.

The strapless, natural-waist ballerina gown had cost over six thousand dollars. It’d been much more than she’d ever dreamed of paying for a gown she would only wear once. In awe, she’d marveled at the bottom layers of laser-cut organza with a floral pattern etched in, as well as the detachable bustier top with its sweetheart neckline. It wasn’t long before she’d fallen in love with the pricey garment. And thanks to the man in front of her, it had been a total waste of money.

Standing feet away from Dasher made her realize just how unprepared she was. Unprepared to face the one person who, despite her loathing, still made an inferno burn in the pit of her stomach. That shouldn’t be the case. Especially when he’d shattered her heart just months earlier.

Although distance lay between them, she could feel Dasher’s body heat. It was more likely the heat of rage and fury coursing between them as his lethal eyes penetrated to her core.

Standing in front of the rolling cameras of a local news investigation team a year prior, defending her restaurant against trumped up allegations of food poisoning, was a cakewalk compared to standing inches from the man with whom, up until that fateful day, she’d planned to spend the rest of her life with.

“Good evening, Dasher,” she said, sweeping her veil over a shoulder.

His dark, thick brows bunched. “Passion, what are you doing here?”

Was he that oblivious? Did he really have to ask? “I wanted you to see exactly how I would have looked on our wedding day. You forfeited that opportunity when you left me at the altar.” Simply saying the words made her want to break down in tears, but she took heed not to show any emotion. Why did he need to know how much she was still hurting over his deception? Why did he need to know that her heart was still bleeding over him?

Dasher scanned the table of well-dressed and distinguished men and women. “This is neither the time—nor place for this.”

A condescending laugh escaped her. “Really? And at the church, an hour before our ceremony, was the appropriate time for you to decide you didn’t want to marry me?”


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Seoul Revelations 
by Bobby Cenoura

In the late 90s, Washington D.C., affectionately dubbed “Chocolate City”, was recovering from the crack epidemic and the label of “murder capital”. Interaction beyond the bulletproof glass that divides Black customers and Korean merchants is what drives SEOUL REVELATIONS. Race, culture and inner city survival are examined and revealed.

SEOUL REVELATIONS is a story of friendship and betrayal; one that analyzes the challenges of a budding interracial relationship between Marcus Richardson, a young Black community college student and aspiring four-year university enrollee, and Kim Han, a young Korean American college girl whose father runs Sunbeam Market, a liquor store/bodega in Marcus' inner city neighborhood. Marcus, wanting to escape the snares of the inner city, has built a friendship of trust and fresh perspective with Kim. 

Meanwhile his best friend Tyrell deals with issues of depression and self-esteem because he feels that he lives his life in Marcus’ shadow. Neighborhood thug Delonte Harris has no intentions of leaving the ‘hood, in fact, he intends on becoming a major player in the local drug game. He gets an opportunity from a regional kingpin Parnell “P-nutt” Jacobs. 

Worlds collide when Delonte cheats P-Nutt and is given an ultimatum to recover the money plus interest or face execution. Delonte sets his sights on Sunbeam Market as a target for robbery which drastically impacts Marcus’ and Kim’s relationship.


Excerpt from Seoul Revelations 


Ms. Thompson knelt down a little and talked to Marcus. “Honey, I am honored that a handsome young man like you would stand up for a lady like Ms. Thompson. Not many grown men would do such a thing, but what you have to understand, honeychild, is that it is your duty to get your education. I know you are a young man, and you have to stand up for what’s yours. I want you to use your head. Students like Jamal can take you places where you don’t want to go.”

The beef between Marcus and Jamal and had marinated, and the entire 7th grade was buzzing about and wanted to see a barbecue at 3:20 p.m.

After school, Marcus, Tyrell and Delonte walked to the football field. All Marcus was thinking about how he would fight Jamal. Pride drug him to the battlefield, and no matter what he would retain his honor.

It was amazing that at such a young age they have a concept of honor. One could hear about numerous shootings in the city, sometimes because someone stepped on someone’s shoe, or looked at them wrong. Where was the honor in such senseless violence?

In feudal Japan, a man would be killed for stepping over the sword of a samurai. These timeless shoguns, symbols of nobility and martial art, could arguably be the most senseless or the most honorable, depending on how you look at it. In those times, if you wanted to live, or you didn’t want to kill, you would not step over the sword of the samurai. They lived by a code—and people of the street, follow these codes to determine who is who.

The only people talking about “senseless” are those with something to lose. They don’t want to lose their lives, or limbs, or go to jail and lose time, or lose their job, or reputation. There is a fear behind loss.

Everyone cleared a circle for the two fighters as Marcus stood in the middle.

JR said, “Go on,” and hit Jamal on the back. Jamal walked with his fists balled toward Marcus. As he approached, Marcus recalled a story his mother told him about David and Goliath. Marc felt as if he was David and Jamal was Goliath, the giant uncircumcised Philistine. This was the battlefield of the Lord. His fear left him and he walked toward Jamal. They both came to each other’s presence and then Jamal moved in close, face-to-face with Marcus, again.

Since Marcus was shorter, Jamal craned his neck down to talk in his face. “Pop all that junk you was poppin’ earlier.”

Marcus inched down a little, and Delonte saw it and shouted, “Come on, Marc, don’t punk out! Hit him!”

Jamal continued to talk in Marcus’ face as he shrunk lower.

“Come on, you punk, talk that trash again, so I can steal you in your face.”

Marcus crouched a little lower.

 

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The Devil Made Me Do It 
by Colette R. Harrell



On Shelves June 24, 2014

The Devil Made Me Do It  is Christian Fiction at its best. The novel is full of lessons about passion, pain and God's abundant blessings. Filled with suspense, laughter and touching moments, this page-turning novel will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page. Colette is a new author to definitely watch. Brava, Ms. Harrell. --- Victoria Christopher Murray, Bestselling Author


The voluptuous Esther Wiley has always known that she is special. She’s a tiara-wearing, wand-carrying kind of Cinderella princess in disguise. The problem that her very own Fairy Godmother, the Prophetess Mother Reed, struggles with is getting her to live like it. 

Briggs Stokes is the reluctant heir to his father’s worldwide, multimillion-dollar televangelist ministry, yet he yearns to be his own man. His past mistakes have caused him a private life of hurt and loneliness. 

Esther and Briggs meet and develop a deep soul connection, until tragedy strikes and the two are thrust apart. Their separation leads each down a different path scattered with emotional minefields. While each step they take brings them closer to who they were always meant to be, the devil is on assignment. He sends in reinforcements to usher in confusion and create chaos, and soon no one is safe. The members of Love Zion church reel from the rumors, innuendo, and downright sabotage that is going on around them. 

When others devise evil schemes to seek the destruction of Esther and Briggs through jealousy, greed, and murder, only divine intervention can save them. As an all-out battle for dominion breaks out in the heavens, will Esther and Briggs become a casualty of war?


Excerpt from The Devil Made Me Do It

Prologue 

1975


Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep (Genesis 1:2).

Two ominous figures sat in quiet contemplation, the larger one’s head was gargantuan in nature, and foul droplets of acidic mucus fell from his protruding fangs. The smaller one stood sixteen feet tall and his rapier tail was wrapped protectively around his middle. He sat as still as cold hard stone. His sinister eyes were yellow rimmed and telegraphed evil cunning. He was known as The Leader. Their silhouettes cast eerie shadows against the backdrop of the smoke-filled flames that spewed from the lake of fire. 

“Ummm, this is my favorite place. Listen to the melodic sound of souls screaming in agony—it is music to my ears. If you concentrate, you can hear the desperate pleas for release. Yessss . . .It allows me to know that all is right in our world,” The High Master said. 

The Leader shuddered as the menacing timbre of The High Master’s voice snaked fear around his chest. For him, it was equal to the singe of demon skin from a thousand innocent prayers; he loathed it. His tail subconsciously tightened as he awaited his newest orders. 

The High Master continued, “These human souls are pathetic with their self-serving natures. They frighten at the sound of our bumps in the dark, but create havoc in their own lives. What idiots they are and not fit for company until they have totally crossed to our side. And even then they tire me soooo . . .” 

The Leader didn’t stir; his thoughts were of survival. He refused to speak. He knew a wrong word could cause such suffering and pain. The High Master’s punishments are prompt and fierce. One seeks death, but yet, death will not come.

The High Master continued his tirade, his grimace displaying double rows of slime-covered fangs. His was a chilling profile. “Your charges are young. Both are being raised in good homes, and, as a result, they are overconfident creatures. Leader, do not underestimate their youth; innocence is a powerful weapon. In their kingdom, the weak become strong. But we must prey on that weakness and use it to our advantage. You must destroy them before they complete their purpose. I am giving you this head start; you must not fail.”

After speaking, he stood his full twenty feet in height, his shoulders reared back as his frame vibrated with his frustrated bellowing. “In the beginning, we owned their world. After the fall, we adjusted; the land we were given was dark and empty, but we were content with our lot. Then He whose name is not spoken, created man, and we were once again demoted. All we seek is our rightful power, our rightful place. Make haste, bold one, and steal, kill, and destroy all that stands in your way.” 

The Leader bowed his head in submission. 

“And, Leader—this was a most productive conversation. You are learning.” 

The Leader’s tail unwrapped from his torso as he swiftly rose and slithered toward his point of ascent into the Earth realm. He was determined not to fail. 


Chapter One 


The Detroit pollution and cold, foggy weather covered Esther Wiley’s shivering body in crisp, arctic shades of blue gray, reminiscent of watercolors dancing in the jelly jar after her arts and crafts class. She shivered, but stubbornly refused to let her mother put a scarf around her small head. She was going to be Cinderella. Cinderella didn’t wear an old ugly scarf. Well, maybe when she was cleaning, but she wasn’t trying to be that kind of Cinderella. No ashes to ashes and dust to dust for her. She was all about glass slippers and diamond tiaras. 

Esther’s round cheeks were rosy from the wind, her hated freckles beet red glowing in contrast to the caramel cream of her skin. Her knobby knees were pressed together whenever she wasn’t bouncing from foot to foot in the frigid air. She was on a mission. She wasn’t allowing a hideous scarf to mess up her hair in exchange for a little warmth. She had endured two hours of “hold the grease jar lid on your ear pain” that produced silky pressed hair. There was torture in the quest for straight tresses. In her seven-year-old mind, her priorities were clear. 

Esther’s petulant voice screeched. “Mama, how much longer do we have to wait? I can’t stand it. I want to try on the glass slipper—right now.” 

“Mind your manners. In a moment, I’m going to give you what your Grandma Vic used to call a private deliverance in a public place.”

A curl of warm breath escaped when Esther sighed. She turned away, rolled her eyes, and then stared defiantly at her mother. The same hands that calmly cuddled her at night now moved restlessly after giving up trying to place a warm scarf on Esther’s head. Esther didn’t dare speak. She had badgered her mother to bring her and her two best friends to downtown Detroit for the Cinderella contest. When they arrived, the line to enter the historical skyscraper snaked around the building. Two hours later they still couldn’t see the front entrance. As the wind bellowed, time stood still, but because of her mother’s mood, she resisted the urge to tell her she was freezing. 

She peeked at her friends’ reaction to her mother’s scolding. She could see Sheri and Deborah were indifferent to her embarrassment; their faces tense as they craned their necks to see the start of the line. 

Esther puffed warm breath into her mittens. “Y’all shouldn’t have come if you didn’t want to wait.” 

Sheri’s elfin face was etched in anxiety. Her shoulders sagging, she grimaced at the time on her watch. She leaned forward in a panicked whisper. “You know I had to sneak out of the house to come. If my mama finds out I’m here, I’ma get a whipping.”

“You should have told her,” Deborah smacked her sour grape gum, then twirled it around her finger.

Sheri’s jaw tightened. “I tried.” She pointed her finger in a mock role play of her mother. “‘Ain’t no such thing as Cinderella, and sho’ ain’t no Prince Charming. Get in them school books. There isn’t anything worse than being ignorant.’ Y’all know how my mama gets.”

Laughing, Deborah slapped her hand against her thigh. “Uh, uh, uh,” she stuck her gum back into her mouth and popped it. “Girl, you sounded just like your mama.”

With hands on her small hips, Esther swung her head toward Deborah. “Well, what about you? You could have stayed home.”

“Oh no, where you two go, I go. You can’t leave me out. I can stand this girly stuff for one day.” Deborah eyeballed her and popped her gum for emphasis.

 

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Purchase copies today  
The Devil Made Me Do It
by Colette R. Harrell
Link:  http://amzn.com/1601627823  

 


With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?  
by Kennedee Devoe 


With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies is a story inspired by actual events about a group of women who form a friendship in junior high school, and follows them into adulthood. Life is heating up for Chloe, Sage, Emil, Talia, and Kennedee.  Loyalty, character, and integrity will be tested as they deal with man issues, betrayal, and jealousy. But will the sisterhood be enough to maintain the friendship? Or will the wounds be too deep to mend?


Book Review for With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies
I could not put this book down. Kudos for proper grammar, editing, and syntax!

The story centered around several girlfriends who were tight as teenagers, but in essence, grew apart as young adults. This book shows the ups and downs, adventures, sisterhood, and discord among the friends as time progressed from being middle school students to adults. The descriptiveness was very clear, you could almost see the characters and feel what they were encountering. The book was written in a very believable manner and the characters almost came to life as you read the story.

The author's witty and periodically comedic storytelling kept the reader captivated from beginning to end. I read it in a day. I could not put it down for wondering what was going to happen next.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a good, honest story void of pimps, prostitutes, guns, drugs, hustlers, money, and other urban cliches. Well written!


Chapter Excerpt: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies


I remember it was like yesterday when Tyson and Talia met. It was summer of 2000 at Venice Beach. Emil, Talia, and I were walking from the boardwalk towards the parking lot when we saw this fine pack of men approaching us. I mean, they was all so fine that it was hard to choose which one I was going to mack up. As they came our way, I started to claim dibs on the one that I wanted. I dodged the pretty boy because somehow I knew he would turn out to be a problem. 

The pretty boy, who turned out to be Tyson, ended up talking to Talia. Tyson was fine. He was at least 6’2” with a caramel-brown complexion, pretty hazel eyes, and curly hair, but I think it might have really been an S curl. Either way he was fine. In addition, he was quite charming, and intelligent. He would tell Talia that he’d never met anyone as beautiful as her. 

Talia was an assistant bank manager. She was in charge of promoting and marketing the branch and its products, meeting with customers, resolving any problems or complaints, ensuring there was a high level of customer service, monitoring sales targets, and reporting to the head office. She was making decent money. She had always low-key been a geek so I wasn’t surprised at her success.

She had come a long way from the ugly duckling she was in junior high. She had what some would say was the body of a goddess, but a face from hell. She finally had gotten some glasses that complimented her face a bit. However, Tyson seemed to really be into her. I was happy for her that she had finally found a good man.

I thought it was true love until he asked her to borrow $400. I don’t know about you, but giving/loaning grown men money is not a good look, especially if you’ve only known him for about twelve weeks. That beefcake must have been hella good, because Talia totally ignored my warning when I told her not to give that boy that money and she did it anyway. She could be so damn gullible when it came to men. When she called me crying about not hearing from him after he got the money, I wasn’t nowhere near shocked. 

“Do you think you can pick me up?” she asked.

I said, “I’m on my way to church, what’s up?”

She suggested, “Why don’t you pick me up so you can go with me to this new church?”

“What new church?”

“It’s in Inglewood.”

“It’s new?”

“No, I just haven’t been there before,” she said. 

“Alright, be ready in thirty minutes.”

When we got to Faithful Central, she motioned for me to pull into the parking lot. “Park right over there!” she demanded. 

I said, “Why everybody look like they coming outta church already?”

“Oh, I think this is the 11:00 service or something letting out.”

I found a parking spot, I backed the car into the stall. Talia began to recline the passenger chair. “What are you doing?” I asked as I looked over at her. 

“I’m hiding.”

“From who? We at a church.”

READ MORE HERE


With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?
by Kennedee Devoe
Link: http://amzn.com/0989987124 

 

 

 

 


The Next Thing is Joy: Gospel According to Vivian Grace
by Tracey Michae'l Lewis


HOW DO YOU FORGIVE THE ONES WHO HAVE HURT YOU?


Knowing that she doesn't want to live a life that lacks significance, Vivian Grace begins working to empower the people in her community. She believes she's found her true calling as a member of the Black Panther Party in Chicago. What Vivian doesn't count on finding is love. 


ALL THAT GLITTERS… 

But Vivian's love affair with the charismatic Black Panther Party leader, Reggie, takes a turn for the worse when his abusive side surfaces. To protect herself and her unborn child, Vivian has to commit a cardinal sin in order to escape the relationship alive. She finally finds refuge in the most unlikely of places and begins her long journey toward healing. If Vivian can receive God's forgiveness and extend the same to those who have hurt her, waiting for her is a love she could have never imagined. 

As part of the read-in-any-order "Gospel of Grace Women" trilogy, Tracey Michae'l Lewis reveals the genesis of the generational curses that have plagued the Grace women: Sasha Renee, Crystal Justine and the matriarch, Vivian Grace. This story shows how the struggle to choose courage over fear and forgiveness over bitterness is a real but necessary fight. 



Book Review for The Next Thing is Joy


“Lyrical. Powerful. Moving. Passionate. Enduring.

Tracey Michae'l Lewis' latest work; The Next Thing is Joy, is exactly the kind of literature people should be reading. It's not chick lit, or a beach read, because it really transports the reader to a different place and time.

You feel the character's emotions and angst. Sometimes, I wanted to shake Vivian by her shoulders and tell her to, 'Wake up!' Other times, my heart broke for her because I know other women that have suffered like she did.  This is a great read and I look forward to more work from Lewis.” 
- Written by Keleigh Crigler Hadley, Author of Revenge, Inc. 



Excerpt from The Next Thing is Joy



“Um, so why are we crouched down in your car outside some strange building?” 

“Shh, Viv!” 

I really couldn’t believe what we were doing.

“My neck is starting to hurt, Maddy.”

She waved her hand.

“Okay, okay. Give me a couple more minutes. He should be...” 

Her voice trailed off.

The day started off normal. I’d spent the night at her house and we got up early to do our usual: nothing. We laid around drinking coffee, reading magazines, the paper, and chit-chatting. I loved the coffee and chit-chat but reading the paper always made me nervous. The Panthers were in the news regularly and I was constantly afraid that she’d ask me about them.

She never did.

That afternoon Madison asked me to take a ride with her to Oak Park, Illinois, a small suburb just west of the city. I wasn’t terribly comfortable with that only because Oak Park was probably one of the least integrated places in the area. There were a few black folks moving in from the city, but you could probably count them on one hand. I was certain my large Afro and black, three-quarters length jacket would stand out a bit. But Maddy was adamant. She said she had to go check on something and didn’t want to go alone. I didn’t want to leave her hanging, so I jumped in her car and we rolled.

But sitting in the car outside of a large, semi-detached home waiting on God knew what, I regretted my decision.

“Listen, I don’t know what we are doing here but I can only imagine it has something to do with Daniel.”

Daniel was her newest “boyfriend,” if you could call him that. She met him during one of her many shopping trips on Michigan Avenue and found herself in his bed that same night. He was amaaaaazing, let her tell it. But after a few more dates and a few more nights, his calls became increasingly infrequent. That didn’t surprise me at all but it dumbfounded her. She thought they had a “connection.”

“Is this his house, Maddy?”

She looked up at me from her bent over position near the floor of the car. Her eyes affirmed what I thought. I was no fool. As soon as we reached the intersection where the house was located and she abruptly told me to “get down,” I knew something was up.

“Okay,” she whispered. “Yes! This is his house.” 

I sighed.

“I don’t know. I just have to know what happened, Viv.” 

I looked at her incredulously. Her hair was straightened and dyed black allegedly because, according to her, she was channeling Cher. I suspected that it was a style he recommended. 

“Seriously? Are you really trying to say that you don’t know what the deal is?”?

She was silent.

“Or is it that you don’t want to know?”

She still didn’t say anything.

“You are going to have to admit to yourself at some point, Maddy, that the way you go about these relationships is not working for you.”

Her eyes narrowed and I knew what she was thinking. I wasn’t really in a position to talk. But it wasn’t about me in that moment. She was the one spying on a man.

“Shhhh!” 

She shushed me again.

An attractive man with blond hair and who seemed to be more tan than was possible even during the hottest of Chicago summers, stepped outside of the doorway and walked down the pathway toward the street. He was dressed impeccably, wearing fitted, bell bottomed trousers that accentuated a narrow waist and a white, butterfly-collared shirt unbuttoned low enough to show a bushel of blond hair peeking out from the top.

“See? He’s by himself. It’s fine. Maybe he’s just been busy,” I said, somewhat relieved. 

“Shh!” 

By that point, I’d gotten sick and tired of her shushing me. I started to sit upright when suddenly a woman stepped outside of the same door Daniel did. I slid back down in my seat and watched as my friends’ world stopped.

The woman looked like she was wearing a man’s overcoat and nothing else. She ran over to Daniel and handed him what appeared to be a watch. He smiled at her with pure adoration in his eyes and leaned down to kiss her passionately on the lips. He loved that woman.

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The Next Thing Is Joy: The Gospel According to Vivian Grace
Link: http://amzn.com/0991532201 

 

 

 


What If It Feels Good 
by D.J. McLaurin

Michael Bagley, street savvy and beautiful, learned the art of the con and sleeps with older women to survive. When an accidental shooting sets off a citywide manhunt and thrusts Michael into certain danger, his mother, a stripper at a local nightclub, is finally forced to confront the biological father who didn’t know Michael existed. Soon he finds himself whisked off the streets of Detroit and transplanted into a world of champagne dreams with more money at his fingertips than he ever thought possible.

Then Michael’s life takes a bizarre turn as he bonds with his father’s best friend. Chachi is a charming, down-to-earth ladies ’man who awakens sensations Michael can’t explain, throwing him into identity turmoil. But when the dust settles, Michael learns that neither riches, fame nor age has anything to do with love. As Michael fights to keep a relationship that may be against the odds and out of his league, he hopes the streets have toughened him enough to withstand a scorned woman’s wrath, his parent’s attempted sabotage—and the public’s outrage.

In this story of love, betrayal, and revenge, bonds are tested, friendships are challenged, dark secrets surface and an epic romance blossoms amidst a media circus.


Book Review Written by CHayes 


What If It Feels Good by D.J. McLaurin  is a riveting novel that throws you into the pit of hell and drags you into another world. This book is filled with everything from abusive relationships, cheating, stardom, uniting, and salvaging memories; you name it, it is in here.

Meet Michael Bagley, a young man forced to move out of his mother's home because of an abusive boyfriend. Where can he turn when he does not know who is his real father? Michael hits the streets where he does anything for money, food and shelter. When Michael tries to save his mother, Sarah, from her violent boyfriend the confrontation has him on the run. Facing jail time, Sarah must tell Michael the truth about the identity of his father, and Michaels' life will never be the same.

D.J. McLaurin pushes you to the point of no return. When Michael meets his father and is faced with his fathers' lavish lifestyle and happy family, all hell breaks loose. For goodness sake he was eating out of garbage cans, prostituting himself and sleeping under a bridge. How could Sarah let him live under these conditions given his father's status?

Michael now has a new battle to face; he has fallen in love with his father's best friend of twenty years. Will love prevail? When the lies become too much and boundaries are crossed who will come out unscathed?

This book is filled with an abundance of emotions; forcing me to feel the inevitable, cry and pray for Michaels' safety and sanity. As a parent, I was filled with mixed emotions, in regards to the lack of parental control the parents had over his life. I did however, enjoy reading this book, and look forward to the riveting sequel to find out if love conquers all.  I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys reading, feeling and appreciating a good story. 
Reviewed by: Cheryl H, APOOO BookClub


Book Excerpt: What If It Feels Good by D.J. McLaurin


The phone rang. Michael ran to it.

“That little fool!” Sarah screeched. “He hung up on me!”

“Who?” Michael asked.

“I called the number you gave me and respectfully asked to speak to Joe, right? Why did that little prick ask me how I got the number? Like it was any of his business!”

“Who, ma?”

“I oughta hop a plane right now and go beat the crap out of him! I see what you mean now, honey! I don’t want you there anymore!”

“Ma, what are you talking about? Who hung up on you?”

“David! I asked to speak to Joe and he told me he couldn’t take my call, and just hung up on me--”

Michael dropped the phone and headed for the door.

“Uh, Oh,” Eric muttered. He and Leah scurried after him.

“What’s going on?” Leah asked as they descended the staircase. Michael ignored the both of them.

“Look man, this is just ridiculous!” Eric put his hand on Michael’s shoulder but, with a shake, Michael sent him sailing down several stairs before Eric was able to stop his fall by grabbing hold to the banister railing. 

Michael searched rooms, kicking doors open, until he found David in Joe’s study, reading an investment magazine. David spun around in surprise.

“You hung up on my mother, you little prick?” Michael growled.

“Wha….?” 

Michael’s fist made contact with David’s jaw, knocking him backward out of his chair.

“Daaaad! Daaaad!” Leah shrieked. 

Michael grabbed David by his shirt collar and punched him over and over again. 

Eric made a fruitless attempt to separate them before Joe and Dominic came rushing from the adjoining office.

David’s shirt was already splattered with the blood oozing from his nose and mouth when Joe reached them. 

“Stop it!” Joe demanded. He wrapped his arm around Michael’s neck and attempted to pull him away from David. He underestimated Michael’s strength and all three of them went toppling forward. 

Dominic wedged his body between the two boys to help separate them. It finally worked. 

“What is your problem?” Joe yelled at Michael. 

“You too!” Michael spat at him. 

Joe touched his hand to his face and watched the wet stuff drip down his finger in disbelief. “He did not just spit on me…” he said, his eyes widening then shrinking as his face darkened.

“I hate all of you!” Michael shouted. His chest heaved, his eyes were red with anger. “You think you’re gonna treat my mother like a piece of shyt, you good-for-nothing, stuck up--”

Joe dived on top of Michael. 

They tussled on the floor before Michael twisted from underneath his father. He sprang to his feet with the agility of youth, fist raised and ready. 

Joe stood too, aghast with shock. “How dare you,” he snarled, seething with anger. 

Eric, Leah, and David huddled behind Dominic, watching helplessly. 

READ MORE HERE

What If It Feels Good by D.J. McLaurin
Contemporary, Alternative Fiction 
BGP:  http://browngirlspublishing.com/catalog-item/what-if-it-feels-good/ 

 

 


Momma: Gone A Personal Story 
by Nina Foxx

"Momma set me on the jukebox." So begins the personal story of Denise (Sweetie) Wooten, set between a post-civil rights era New York City and a growing, but stale rural Alabama. We are thrust in the midst of a family longing for normalcy, but instead struggling with illness and all that comes with it; denial, anger and misunderstanding and love. 

As cultures clash, we see the family through a child's eyes and walk with her as she makes sense of war fought far away, but with effects close to home, and a tragedy that changes her life forever. 

More truth than not, Momma: Gone is a story of survival, where all the lessons are taught by the child who must eventually lead them through and a classic American story of overcoming life's misfortunes to find the bloom on the other side.  Momma: Gone A Personal Story by Nina Foxx was shortlisted for a Doctorow Award in Innovative Fiction


Praise for Momma: Gone A Personal Story, by Nina Foxx

A grief laden journey that will tug at your heart. Profoundly moving. 
---Anita Doreen Diggs, author The Other Side of the Game, former editor, Random House


Chapter Excerpt from Momma: Gone

ONE



Momma put me up on the jukebox. I could see everything from there, even all the people in the room. 

“Sweetie is my little lady,” she said. She steadied herself with one hand and pushed away from the bar with the other. Her skin was fair and the bluish veins showed through like she was much older than her thirty years. They all turned and looked and smiled at us with that plastered-on, woozy kind of smile. The smell that goes along with men in bars followed their heads as they turned and I could smell it, strong, leaping out at me. I heard Gramma call this “preserved-in-alcohol.” I smiled because I knew I was supposed to, but I was a little scared. Butterflies swam in my stomach. I bounced my legs off the jukebox to help calm them down. 

From where I was sitting, I could see over the top of everyone in the room. Momma and I were the only two ladies here. I guess the other ladies don't need medicine, only men and Momma. Momma says that other ladies take their medicine at home, but Daddy doesn't let her have hers there so we go to get it. Sometimes, just like now, she takes me with her. I really don't understand it all; medicine is supposed to make you better, but Momma seems to get sicker and sicker after she has it. 

Freda Payne is singing “Bring the Boys Home.” 

Everyone has forgotten about me. 

“Turn it up, Jeffrey. Turn it up.” Momma closed her eyes slowly and opened them again. Her head moved to something deeper than just the rhythm of the song. 

“Bring 'em back alive!” Freda said. Whenever I hear this song I wondered who she was talking about. Momma liked it and she played it over and over at home. She played it so much and danced and cried out for June-Bug till Daddy threw the record player in the yard. I was sad when he did that; I couldn't play my Muffin Man song anymore. We tried to make the record player work again, but it was no good trying; it just wouldn't go. Daddy apologized to Momma and when I asked him why he did it, he said because that song made Momma sad and he couldn't stand to see her cry. Maybe that is why I didn't get beat like other kids on our block; I cry as soon as I get in trouble, so Daddy just leaves me alone.

I don't know where June-Bug went but I sure wish he would come back. They said he went someplace to fight folks. Momma and Freda want him back like I do. 

“How come he can fight and I can't?” I asked the same question over and over but I never got an answer. It’s almost like they think I don’t understand how things work, but I do. More than they want to say. 

June-Bug is the best big brother a little sister could have. He buys me ice cream and takes me everywhere he goes, even to see karate movies. He has an Afro and people call him Red because he is the color of the Alabama Red dirt that Auntie calls “bay-bay” dirt. She bakes it in the ovens sometimes and eats it too. I like when she does stuff like this; folks in New York never bake no dirt, but folks in Alabama ain’t ever seen too many folks like June-Bug neither. 

I want an Afro like June-Bug but Momma says no Afro for me. We tried it in secret one time but my hair wouldn't stand up. To tell the truth, his don't stand up either, not really. His 'fro was always sort of flat on one side, but that is okay with me, he still looks cool.

“Elva, can that sweetie pie of yours dance?” 

One man hollers at Momma although he doesn't have to. He was standing right by her and the music ain’t really that loud. The fat man kept wiping the bar and Momma laughed. She put me on the floor at the same time. 

READ MORE HERE


Momma: Gone A Personal Story, by Nina Foxx

(May 2, 2014)  Link: http://amzn.com/0615902162
 

 

 


Betrayal by Naomi Chase



Some people know better and do worse...

Since she was acquitted of murder, Tamia Luke has been on a mission to prove she’s a changed woman—especially to the love of her life, Brandon Chambers. She thinks she’s succeeded—until Brandon reveals that his ex-girlfriend is pregnant, and it’s his duty to marry her. 

With time running out, Tamia is determined to have one last rendezvous to win Brandon back. But she’s stunned when the man who blackmailed and betrayed her suddenly reappears on the scene—with an offer she can’t refuse, though she knows she may regret it. And when Tamia finds her life on the line once more, will she die harboring another secret—or live to commit another betrayal?


Praise for Naomi Chase

“Chase delivers an astounding sequel to Exposed and Deception. Betrayal is brimming with tantalizing and addictive sex, gutsy dialogue and conniving and demented characters—all linked in a frenzied scandal that boggles the mind right up until the bombshell climax. Chase develops a twist on betrayal that is superb.”
— RT Book Reviews


Excerpt from Betrayal (Exposed) 

CHAPTER 1

Tamia



Time ground to a halt as Tamia stared up at Dominic Archer, stunned speechless. 

She couldn’t believe he was standing at her table, looking like he had every right to be there with his hands casually tucked into his pockets, a smile playing at the corners of his full lips. She couldn’t believe he had the audacity to approach her after the way he’d nearly ruined her life, blackmailing her for sex by threatening to expose her past as a porn star.

As fury quickly replaced her shock, Tamia spat, “What the hell are you doing here?”

His eyes glinted with amusement. “Hello to you too, Tamia.”

“Don’t ‘hello’ me, motherf—” Glancing around the elegant restaurant, she lowered her voice to an angry hiss. “I don’t know what the hell you think you’re doing, but we have nothing to say to each other.”

“I disagree,” Dominic said calmly. “I think we have plenty to talk about.”

“I don’t give a shit what you think.” Tamia turned her head, darting an anxious glance toward the front entrance. The last thing she wanted was for her ex-boyfriend Brandon to show up and see Dominic standing at her table. There was no telling what Brandon would think—or do.

“You need to leave, Dominic. I’m serious.”

“Why?” His eyes gleamed. “You expecting someone?”

Tamia scowled. “Not that it’s any of your damn business, but yeah, I am expecting someone. He should be here any moment.”

Or so she hoped. 

For the past twenty minutes, she’d been anxiously waiting for Brandon to join her at Da Marco, the Italian restaurant he’d taken her to on their first date. She’d told him to meet her there at four o’clock. It was now ten minutes past the hour. 

He’s coming, she assured herself. He’s just running late. 

She didn’t want to consider the alternative. That Brandon was at the justice of the peace this very moment exchanging vows with his fiancée, Cynthia Yarbrough. She couldn’t bear the thought of it. 

“Let me buy you dinner,” Dominic drawled.

Tamia gaped at him, incredulous. “What part of ‘I’m expecting someone’ did you not understand?”

He looked amused. “Come on, Tamia. You don’t really think he’s coming, do you?” 

Her eyes narrowed with suspicion. “How the hell do you even know who I’m waiting for?”

Dominic chuckled softly. “I think I can safely assume that you’re waiting for Brandon. Which is unfortunate, since I heard through the grapevine that he’s getting married today.” He raised a thick brow at Tamia. “Did I hear wrong?”

She glared at him. “How did you know I’d be here?” she demanded, ignoring his question. “Have you been following me?”

“Of course not,” he said with lazy amusement. “I had a business meeting this afternoon, but my client had to cancel. I was just about to leave when I saw you.” 

Tamia didn’t believe him, not for one damn second. This was the same conniving bastard who’d had an affair with her while he was married. She couldn’t believe a word that came out of his lying mouth. 

Before she could light into his ass, the waiter appeared. After topping off Tamia’s water, he divided a friendly smile between her and Dominic. “Will you two be dining together this evening?” 

“No,” Tamia said so sharply that the man looked startled. 

Dominic smiled at the waiter. “Give us another minute.”

“We don’t need another minute,” Tamia interjected through clenched teeth. “He’s not joining me for dinner. I’m waiting for someone else. In the meantime, I’d like to order the grilled scampi with orange honey salad.” 

“Excellent, signorina.” The waiter shot a sympathetic glance at Dominic before moving off. 

Tamia picked up her crocodile Dolce & Gabbana handbag, one of many expensive gifts Brandon had lavished upon her during their recent trip to Italy. 

“I’m going to the ladies’ room,” she coldly informed Dominic as she rose from the table. “I expect you to be gone when I get back.” 

With that, she turned and stalked off, feeling Dominic’s gaze on her ass until she rounded the corner and disappeared from view. 

Once inside the empty restroom, she slipped into the nearest stall and retrieved her smartphone from her handbag. After taking several deep breaths, she pulled up Brandon’s number and pressed SEND.

READ MORE HERE


Purchase Betrayal (Exposed) by Naomi Chase

Women’s Fiction/Urban Lit
Link:  http://amzn.com/B00FH1IFT0 


 

 

 


True Colors 
by K.R. Raye

The Colors Trilogy follows three college friend as they strive for their goals. There's:  Naïve, romantic, biracial Melody Wilkins who aims to find true love at college just like her parents. Melody brings the heart and sense of hope to the story. No-nonsense Imani Jordan strives for good grades and a chemical engineering degree. Imani's the common sense, tell-it-like-it-is conscience. Lance Dunn is only serious about two things: football and protecting his girls, Melody and Imani. Lance is practical and fiercely loyal; he keeps them grounded with the male perspective. 

Book 1. The Colors of Friendship:  Three college friends search for true love, NFL fame, and a successful engineering career. Will one friend’s quest for happiness endanger all three of their lives? After the torrents of jealousy, sex, and abuse subside, will their friendship survive…The Colors of Friendship? 

Book 2. The Colors of Love:  After their lives are threatened, three college friends attempt to continue their search for true love, NFL fame, and a successful engineering career. When the dynamics of their relationships change, will their friendship survive…The Colors of Love? 

Book 3. True Colors:  After tragedy strikes, Imani, Melody, and Lance try to rekindle their college friendship. Can they move forward towards happiness or will ghosts from their past haunt them? When life’s challenges arise what are your…True Colors?  


Prologue from True Colors


Cold. Hard. Steel. Pressed against her forehead. Melody closed her eyes and willed the situation away. But when she reopened them, the gun remained lodged between her eyes. 

The setting sun painted a crimson swath across the budding landscape. Crimson red…blood red. Oh God, how did it all lead to this she wondered as the ice cold barrel ironically seemed to sear her skin, like a poker fresh from a stoked fire. Her blood ran cold through her veins and her body began to shake. 

Why? The faster her mind raced, the more she trembled.

Her friends had warned her, but she didn’t want to believe them. If only she had listened to Imani or stayed with Lance, things might have ended differently. 

But then again, what if her friends were wrong? Imani and Lance always meddled in her business. They were too overbearing and judgmental. Really, they had no one to blame but themselves. In fact if they weren’t here butting in now, making the situation worse…

The gun dug further into her forehead, threatening to break skin. Melody realized as cold dread soaked her skin, it didn’t matter whose fault it was; all three of them were going to die here tonight. 


( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, K.R. Raye. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.


About the Author
K.R. Raye
lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons. She grew up in Kansas City, attended college in New York, and has resided in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New Zealand. Throughout her diverse career working as a mechanical engineer, adjunct professor, and in sales, she continues to weave her love of marketing, computer information systems, and operations together with her passion for writing. That diverse experience influences her writing style to traverse the contemporary, horror, romance, drama, mystery, and sci-fi genres. 

Purchase books at:   http://www.amazon.com/K.-R.-Raye/e/B00DY5G6QU The books are available in paperback and digital formats on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and they're coming soon to iBooks.

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Mary B. Morrison 

Mary B. Morrison, New York Times best-selling author also writes as HoneyB. She has 20 novels including her newest release, If You Don't Know Me. Writing for both Kensington Publishing Corporation as Mary B. Morrison and Grand Central Publishing (formerly Warner Books) as HoneyB, Mary is at the top of the African-American fiction genre. In her novels, Mary addresses social and sexual issues that impacts relationships. Mary is pro-female empowerment and believes all women are worthy of living free from abuse. 

Mary received her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from Vista (now Berkeley) Community College. She worked 18 years for the government. Earning nearly six-figures, Mary resigned from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development on June 3, 2000, and withdrew her retirement to self-publish her debut novel Soulmates Dissipate.  Soulmates Dissipate is currently being made for motion picture by Codeblack Entertainment and Lionsgate. In 2006, Mary sponsored an anthology publishing 33 students entitled Diverse Stories: From the Imaginations of Sixth Graders. 

Mary currently splits her time between Atlanta, Georgia  and  Oakland, California. Her wonderful son Jesse Byrd, Jr. is writing his first novel for 6th to 8th graders. To contact Mary visit www.MaryMorrison.com. Check out all of the books by Mary B. Morrison on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-B.-Morrison/e/B001ILIDYU  

BPM: From Mary B. Morrison comes the sizzling tale of two friends and the provocative bet that forever changes their lives and the lives of so many others. Now, with all of their futures up in the air, who will play one vengeful game too many? And who will wish she wasn’t left standing? What  is the main topics in your latest book, If You Don't Know Me?
Deception runs deeper than love. Men and women will lie to get what they want, fight to keep the person they don’t deserve, and hate the one they love most. People do this because they don’t know who they are but believe they can define their partner. 

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to?
Everyone that reads or listens to my books on audio. I’m pro-female empowerment. I write strong female characters. No matter how difficult the journey may be for my heroines/protagonists, they almost always overcome their obstacles. I believe women rule. The problem, as I see it, irrespective of socio-economic status, is that most women don’t realize how powerful they are. 

BPM: You believe strongly in: 

God. Sexual liberation. Self-actualization. Non-judgment. Taking risk.

BPM: Faith allows you to: 
Overcome fear of failure. God never fails us. He never lets us down. If we fall, He extends a hand. Faith allows me to stand-in ‘my’ truth and stand-up for what ‘I’ believe in.

BPM: Criticism makes you:
Stronger. I wholeheartedly embrace freedom of speech and expression. What people say about me and/or my work expresses how they feel about themselves. How and what I respond to defines me.

BPM: Do you consider yourself a role model: 
I don’t consider myself a role model. I feel I’m an inspiration to many of my fans and readers. Eddie Murphy, Terry McMillan, Tyler Perry, and Wendy Williams are just a few of the people who inspire me because I aspire to do more than what they’ve done. 

BPM: When you are afraid, you will:
Sleep with the light on. Not in the traditional sense. I mean seek clarity. Manifest destiny. I’m not really afraid of anything, especially failure. Why? Because failure is a concept and the catalyst to success. 

BPM: What surprised you the most about becoming an adult:
Growing up is a natural progression. As a kid, I worried I wouldn’t be able to pay rent, bills, etc. We learn work ethics and discipline starting with . . . do your homework, clean your room, go to bed. I give my guardians and teachers my gold stars for helping me to become who I am. The word ‘believe’ may be the most powerful word in all of our development. When others believe in us, we’re awesome. When we believe in ourselves, we are amazing!

BPM: The greatest threat to literary freedom is: 
Censorship. Doesn’t matter if it originates in the mind of the writer or the omission of the editor, it’s lethal. Deleting or changing one word can alter the meaning of an entire sentence. The most genuine aspect of writing is to be authentic. Society is so sensitive that freedom of speech isn’t free. Say or write something offensive and you could jeopardize your life-long career. 

BPM: How has your writing evolved: 
It’s eternally evolving. I’m working on giving readers what they want before they realize they need it. I consider the non-fiction book I’m penning, D.A.D.: A Woman’s Guide to Choosing the Right One, a new perspective for a new generation.

BPM: Do you view writing as a gift or a career:
The answer for me is both. Fourteen years in the industry and currently working on book number twenty-one denotes sustainability. I don’t take my success for granted. Each novel is more difficult to pen because I’m always striving to do and become better.

BPM: Advice you would give a new author:
Be true to your characters or they will be false to your readers. You cannot please everyone. Don’t try. Do not censor your first writing. Let it flow. Always hire a professional editor. Learn the business. Brand yourself. Set and attain goals. Know what you want. Please don’t tell me, “I just want to write a book. I don’t care about making money.” Then talk to someone who isn’t making money. You don’t need advice from me for that. Don’t ask me, “I want to write a book. Where do I start?” Published writers, editors, and agents respect you when you can show (not prove) you’ve accomplished something. 

BPM: Your greatest accomplishment as a writer: 
Is yet to come. What I appreciate most is having a loyal fan base. Some readers have purchased all of my books. I love them for that. I do take time to smell the roses but there’s so much I want to do I know I’m going to run out of time before I do it all. I’m ready to produce my first book-to-film with Codeblack Entertainment. I’m eager to write for television, executive produce another stage play, open a restaurant, and host a talk show. There’s so much to do I don’t focus on what I’ve done. Already getting paid for that. On to the next!

BPM: What you know for sure: 
I love my sons, Jesse and Max. Max is my adorable seven-year-old Yorkshire terrier. Men are like dogs but harder to train. I have no problem telling a man what I want. Women need to understand that what one man won’t do, another man will. Ladies should ask men for a “relationship ring.” I do. It’s not a promise ring because I can’t promise a man shit. I’ll explain why this ring is important in my non-fiction book.

BPM: Life's greatest teacher is:
Some may say experience. I say, “teachers.” I love my teachers so much! 

BPM: Success means: 
Being your best. Accomplishing your goals. What I/we aspire to do in our lifetime is meaningful. For some it’s graduating from college, others want to become astronauts. We know man can land on the moon. What else can we do? Whatever one dreams of is extremely rewarding when it’s achieved. But don’t stop there. Set a goal. Achieve a goal. Set a goal. Achieve a goal. Success is not a destination or a place to vacation. It’s a revolving door. We must sacrifice for success, not for society. If you want to be a stay-at-home mom, do that. But do not give up your career or livelihood to ‘do the right thing.’ I ain’t trying to be right, y’all. I’m living to be me (whatever that is). I am not the person anyone else thinks I should be. I am who I am.

BPM: Your writing educates, illuminates or entertains: 
All three. I can make just about anyone laugh and at the same time learn something. 

BPM: Will the printed book ever become obsolete:
I sure am glad typewriters are. I got tired of that damn whiteout, especially when the document had carbon copies. I’m on a flight to Atlanta and I’m working on my 11-inch MacBook Air that fits in my purse. We no longer print our books and send them to the publishers. I love it!  Everything is done electronically and we’re talking the last five years or so. I tell my son that his kids will ask, “Daddy, what’s a book?” In about 10 years (or less) I believe printed books will be a collector’s item, and that’s not a bad thing. Buy and have them signed now!  Especially the first editions. 

BPM: What legacy do you wish to leave future generations of readers: 
Positive life lessons. Time changes. Being smart will never grow or get old. 


Visit Mary online at www.marymorrison.com 

Follow Mary on Twitter: https://twitter.com/marybmorrison  
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Honey-B-Morrison/167732794577  


The Series in Order of Publication

Purchase the entire series today! 
Book 3: If You Don't Know Me 
Book 2: I'd Rather Be With You
Book 1: If I Can't Have You 
 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Pamela Samuels Young

Pamela Samuels Young is a NAACP Image Award winning author and practicing attorney who’s taken a brief hiatus from crafting her fast-paced mystery novels to write about her newest passion: natural hair care. In her first non-fiction book, Kinky Coily: A Resource Guide to Going Natural, Pamela chronicles her transition to natural hair. Kinky Coily also provides tips and resources for other women who want to begin their own natural hair journey. A bona fide natural hair enthusiast, Pamela is excited about sharing her new found knowledge in the hope of helping other women learn the beauty and versatility of their kinky coils. You can visit Pamela’s YouTube channel, KinkyCurlyPamela, and her website, www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com, for more hair care tips and videos.

Have you been thinking about transitioning to natural hair, but don’t know where to start? Then Kinky Coily: A Resource Guide for Going Natural is for you. A literal treasure trove of information, Kinky Coily is a roadmap for anyone interested in beginning a natural hair journey. You’ll find the best bloggers, the best books and magazines, as well as recommendations on how to select the right hair care tools and products. 

Better yet, you’ll learn how to begin your natural hair journey, how to develop a weekly hair care regime and how to track your progress. Whether you’re transitioning from a relaxer, ready to give up your weave or flat iron, or already rocking your natural locs, Kinky Coily: A Resource Guide for Going Natural will open your eyes to the true beauty and versatility of your naturally kinky coils. 

BPM: Why did you go natural? How did you start the journey from permed hair to natural hair?
I decided to go natural after my hair started falling out from a relaxer. One day I had a head full of hair and only a few months later, I had patches of bald spots. My hair was shedding at an alarming rate every single day and neither I nor the hair stylist I was seeing knew how to stop it. A friend of mind had recently gone natural and introduced me to her natural hair mentor, Deanie. Deanie met me at the beauty supply, told me about sulfates and moisturizing, recommended conditioners and protein treatment, and gave me a list of do’s and don’ts. After the very first treatment, my hair stopped falling out—immediately. That’s when I became a believer and set out on a journey to take charge of my own hair care.

BPM: Did you go for the "big chop" or did you transition to natural hair with braids or a wig?
Initially, I refused to do the big chop. I just didn’t want to sport a teeny weenie after. So I hid my damaged hair underneath a wig. But after about three months, I got tired of putting on a wig every morning and taking it off every night. So I did it. I chopped it all off and I’m so glad I did.

BPM: How did your husband feel about your new hair styles? Was his input a major concern?
My husband does not like my natural hair!  But I do!  He prefers my hair straightened. But I know that once it grows longer, he’ll love it.

BPM: We saw your YouTube videos.  Amazing! You are so brave to share your story with millions, what inspired you?
I’ve learned so much about my natural hair. For example, I had no idea my hair had a natural wave pattern. So many people see my hair and say, “My hair would never do that.” I would’ve said the same thing. That’s because we don’t know our hair!  I’m on a mission to change that. Your readers can view all of the videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/KinkyCurlyPamela  

BPM: What three tips would you offer women who are thinking about going natural?
My top three tips are: 1) No sulfates! Either wash with a conditioner (co-wash) or find a sulfate free shampoo; 2) stay away from the heat, that means flat irons as well as blow dryers; and 3) moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Kinky hair needs moisture!  I deep condition at least twice a week and moisturize and seal nightly.

BPM: What products do you use? Share with us your favorite products.
Unfortunately, the same products don’t work for every hair texture. You’ll need to experiment to find out what works best for you. I have kinky, tightly coiled hair. So if you have a looser curl pattern or if your hair isn’t as coarse as mine, the products I love won’t work for you.

That said, my can’t-do-without products are: Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic, Kinky Curly Knot Today conditioner, Organic Roots Stimulator’s Temple Balm and Curl Refresher, and Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship Conditioner. I love Herbal Essence for co washing. I also love mixing my own oils. My favorites are amla oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil and peppermint oil.

BPM: How long did it take for your hair become more healthy in your opinion?
It took about three months before I noticed my bald spots growing in. Within about six months, I really saw a change. My hair grew back much thicker and healthier.

BPM: How did you wear your hair to work during the transition?
I hid my damaged hair underneath a wig, until I finally broke down and did the big chop. I have to say, though, my Mommy wig was quite cute. I still plan to wear it sometime.

BPM: Do you think our hair has a lot to do with our body image and self-esteem?
Absolutely! I don’t care what I’m wearing. If my hair isn’t right, I don’t feel good about myself.

BPM: Research helps us learn to embrace our beautiful hair. Did you do a lot of research?
Tons of research. I recommend that everybody read The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy. That book is an encyclopedia on kinky hair. I learned so much from that book. And I lived on the internet and YouTube. My favorite bloggers are Curly Nikki, Naptural 85, KimmayTube, Mahogany Curls and African Export. I owe those sistas a debt of gratitude for everything they taught me.

BPM: What was the most rewarding part of this experience?
All the compliments I get about my hair. Women always come up to me to ask about the products I use and I’m always glad to share.

BPM: How will your book Kinky Coily motivate women to consider moving toward natural hair care?
I think when they see other women taking charge of their own hair, they will feel free to do the same.

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book and your how-to-videos?
I want them to have the confidence to take charge of their own hair care. I’m not trying to put hair stylists out of business. But I want women to know they can remedy their own hair care problems. If I’d known everything I know now when my hair started falling out, I could have stopped my shedding. My hair was damaged from the heat and badly needed moisture. I was also getting touch ups too often. But I didn’t that because I knew nothing about the care of my hair. Now I do!  

BPM: What advice would you give a person who wants to tell their hair care story?
Take good notes during your hair care journey. I keep a journal and took pictures every three months. After you finish your book, ask for constructive feedback from family and friends.

BPM: Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases.
I’m working on a books and beauty showcase called Natural Born Writers. Several fiction authors who just happen to be natural, are going to gather to talk about books and being natural. A popular natural hair blogger will also join us. We hope to hit several cities. So stay tuned!

Connect with Pamela Online
www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com
www.twitter.com/pamsamuelsyoung
www.youtube.com/kinkycurlypamela
www.facebook.com/pamelasamuelsyoung

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Roni Teson

Roni Teson's dream to become an author was realized after she was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and wrote her first novel, Heaven or Hell, which received an award at the 2013 Reader's Favorite International Book Awards and the 2013 Los Angeles Book Festival.

A consummate believer in the declaration that all things happen for a reason, when Roni went into complete remission her passion to write intensified along with her imagination. Her writing that was once a part of her cancer recovery became an integral part of her daily life.

Twist, her most recent novel is a suspense driven love story that is delivered through a cast of characters who leap off the pages and stay in your heart long after the last page has been turned.

BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now? 
Once I started writing this book, Twist, I could not stop. I'd just finished working on a book that is not published yet with a co-writer. I moved into my dream writer's retreat home on the beach and outside my window is access to the sand for the lifeguard trucks. A big sign with the letter "B" on it is posted on the streetlight pole as a designation for this entry. My door has the letter "B" on it because I live in unit "B." When I moved in late last year, I said, "If I get another little dog I'm going to name her B." I'd just spent the last few years rebuilding my life and I missed not having a dog. But instead of a new pet I wrote the book Twist about Bea. Beatrice Malcolm. 

Why now? I had in mind that I would be entering this book, if I could finish it in time, into the Amazon Break Through Novel of the Year Award. I wanted to write a short, quick, suspenseful read that I could develop the 300-word pitch that would only add to the intrigue of the overall story. 

Funny thing happened along the way to the Amazon contest, as I was finishing my rewrites in mid-January on a weekend trip visiting a mutual friend of Victoria Christopher Murray--who happened to be in the same location—she was getting ready to launch Brown Girls Publishing with ReShonda Tate Billingsley. She wanted to know what I was working on (she'd read my first novel, Heaven or Hell and liked it). When I shared my new novel Twist with her, she immediately asked me to publish the book with Brown Girls Publishing. Of course I said yes!

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Yes. I hated reading when I was a child—I know, most authors loved to read their whole life, not me. I didn't really enjoy reading until well after college. Now, I am an avid reader. I love, love, love to read—and I read everything, fiction, non-fiction—I go through my reading phases. Out of this love of reading came a need to create and build my own stories. I started taking writing courses in 2001 and then off and on over the years. I had this dream that was born from reading and loving books as described above, to write my own novel. I always let me work or my relationships get in the way of this dream.

When I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer and my entire world came to a grinding halt, I took the time to completely redevelop the small parts I had down on paper of my first novel, Heaven or Hell, and then finish the book. It seemed like my recovery from the cancer was a part of this process because as I the story was done, literally with the last edits I learned I was in remission.

Then, exactly one year to the date of the original cancer diagnosis, I was told I had an unrelated thyroid cancer. Amazing to me to even fathom any illness since I ran 3 miles a day, didn't smoke or drink, and always thought I was healthy. 

Today, I am real close to being four years away from the initial cancer diagnosis which was Breast Cancer HER2 positive, metastasized into my bone (sternum) and lymph nodes and three years away from the thyroid cancer. I am in complete remission from both, NED: No evidence of disease! (reading that back gave me chills).

I've written four books since the diagnosis, two of which are published and two that I wrote with a co-writer—who I met through a writers group (the experience of co-writing has made my writing so much better, but that's another tale in and of itself).  Every day I wake up at 4am and I write. I am so grateful to finally follow my dream that now my dream drives me.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
I come from a very creative family—my ideas are crazy sometimes. My co-writer had to calm me down in our two books as I spent a lot of time developing the characters and the plot—there were times where she was instrumental in making the unbelievable become something that could really happen—which was a valuable lesson learned.

I'm lucky. Creativity is in my DNA. My mom is an artist so is my brother and sister, but I also believe that I have some assistance from a higher calling in my writing. This might seem odd to some folks, but when I read what I've written I sometimes cannot believe it came from me—many times when I'm writing I feel like a channel and I sincerely believe that the universe or God, whichever you prefer, is delivering to me what needs to be said (like when an athlete is playing in the 'zone'). 

Sometimes I start with a character, as I did with Twist, and these people come to life and take over. Many of my writer friends tend to feel the same way, that the character will take you where you need to be. I'm fast at work on my next book, which started with three characters and a plot idea (a combination of the two)—and these women won't leave me alone, this is exactly what Beatrice Malcolm did to me when I wrote Twist.

One more thing that happened to me when I was writing Twist, I felt like I was the reader as I was writing, and I wanted to know how this book would end—it was just as enjoyable to me as it would have been had I been the actual reader and not the author. The ending shocked me, but it was satisfying. Writing Twist was one of the best experiences of my life. 

And this topic has a lot to do with freedom and how I feel now living at the ocean, driving a convertible car and being me—I never felt like I've had this type of freedom in my life, until now.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle? 
Imagine your first intimate experience. What if it was unexpected, unintended and yet somehow the entire world could witness it through an unwarranted Internet posting? To top off these critical defining points in your life, your mother is dead and your father is missing and wanted by the FBI splashed across the news media. 
The FBI thinks he's guilty because of the NSA, or so he says, and then you find out all of it, every bit of everything that has happened is about you! If you refuse to believe this you might not live . . .

Genres: Romance and Suspense. Available at all online retailers: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and all eBooks. 

Here is the official BGP intro for Twist
A Romantic Suspense full of twists and turns....


When a steamy incident in the back seat of a borrowed car plunges sixteen-year-old Beatrice Malcolm smack in the middle of a global manhunt, she discovers that the search for her fugitive father has more to do with her than she could ever imagine.

With her mother gone, Bea's life is unraveling in the worst possible way as she's thrust into a world of government conspiracy, insanity, and mind-altering experimentation that forces her to make a life or death decision on who to believe—the FBI or her father.

In Twist, Roni Teson has crafted a suspenseful tale of love, betrayal and intrigue with a cast of characters who will leap off the pages and stay in your heart long after the last page has been turned.

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
Beatrice Malcolm is an unsuspecting, smart, sixteen-year-old who's mother recently died and her father is one of the FBI's most wanted. She's living with her Aunt Charlotte and Uncle George. Bea has always had many boys interested in her. She's this beautiful ‘tomboyish’ girl with real sincerity. But she has never reciprocated with any of the boys that like her because it’s been more of a nuisance to her. Boys hanging around her doing things for her. 

Until Beatrice meets Lucas Drake, a family friend who she immediately falls for. He's a popular surfer guy at her new school who has a history with many girls, but finds himself smitten with Bea. Luke also has a hidden life with a high IQ he's getting ready to leave high-school a year early. But once the two star-crossed lovers paths meet both of their lives unravel in different, yet similar ways. 

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
First there is the topic of loss: losing a mother at an early age, in addition to the loss of a father who's a fugitive and eventually the loss of ones mind. Then the privacy concerns and the far reaching arm of the NSA, and the FBI also violating American citizen's rights to privacy and further sharing their most intimate moments, and maybe even inflicting physical pain upon innocent people in an effort to get what they want with no conscience of the consequences to those being used. Conspiracy theorists may also find a tangled web in the middle of this story. Brain trauma, brain diseases and brain damage all play a major part in the mishaps that happen to both Bea and Luke. 

On a personal note, I learned about the rarity of amnesia and mad cows disease, and CJD, as well as reiterating a constant theme in my writing that I tend to realize later, after the last EYE has been dotted. This doesn't happen purposefully. But my stories tend to reflect how important your own perception of life is and when bad things happen to you or to someone you love the one thing you can control is your own reaction. Sometimes a reaction to something bad can make it worse, and sometimes the opposite happens—which is how I try to live my own life. 

I strive to let go of that control freak that lives inside of me and just let the universe guide me to where I need to be, especially when something critical happens to me. Like cancer driving me to eventually write, and my relationship folding in the middle of the cancer battle—nearly killed me but now, I understand why and I had to learn the hard way.

BPM: What defines success for you? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
It is my desire to become a best selling author and to constantly pound out stories that my readers tell me are page turners and those same readers can't wait for my next book. I want to see my novels transferred to the big screen and be a party to writing the screenplays, if not the screenplay writer myself. It is my desire to be known as an author that produces superb stories and writes well. I want to create full time, and enjoy interaction with my readers and be in that space that a selected few have landed, a author that earns a living at writing constantly and consistently.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
I want this book to be a bestseller! I'd like to see this book take hold in a grass roots campaign, because there is no big publisher to back this book, but an independent publisher with Brown Girls, who believes in its value. I'd like for this book to spur people on to talk about the last chapter and the epilogue, as I’ve seen with the first reviews and my preview readers who have called me at the wee hours of the morning wanting to talk about the book. Beatrice Malcolm has her own Twitter account at: @beamalcolm  and email designed for readers to reach out to her directly:  Beatrice.malcolm@yahoo.com

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and your work?
My website is: www.roniteson.com. I encourage anyone interested to join my email list through my website and don’t be surprised if Beatrice Malcolm reaches out to you personally.

Roni's website: www.roniteson.com

Follow on Twitter page: @roniteson
Beatrice Malcolm Twitter:  @beamalcolm
Facebook fan page:  https://www.facebook.com/ronijeanteson 
Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/Roni-Teson/e/B008ZUUA7A 




Purchase Twist by Roni Teson 
http://www.amazon.com/Twist-Roni-Teson/dp/0991532236 

Purchase the first book, Heaven or Hell 
http://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Hell-Roni-Teson-ebook/dp/B00CW5D8S2 

 


Intimate Conversation with Cheri Paris Edwards

Cheri Paris Edwards is a writer and educator originally from East Central Illinois, and now living in Denton, Texas. Cheri is the author of 3 novels, “Plenty Good Room,” “The Other Sister” and “Something About April.”  Cheri was an instructor at North Central Texas College and is now a Teaching Assistant at Texas Woman’s University where she will complete a Master’s Degree in English this summer. In the fall, Cheri will be a Teaching Fellow at The University of North Texas where she will begin work on her PhD in English with a focus on American Literature.

Something About April 
is the second novel in a planned series of four books about the midwestern Jefferson family introduced in The Other Sister. In this fast-paced story focus shifts to older characters, and moves from the conversation of faith to the daily struggles of the Jefferson family and their friends as they strive to meet life's challenges.

Edwards is the mother of adult sons, Charles and Sam, and a toy poodle named Mocha. She lives sin Denton, Texas where she's at work on Book III of the Jefferson stories, Music in the Night.

BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
The catalyst for the story was a personal experience that happened several years ago. I looked up an old friend from college, who responded with a note and an old photo of myself that brought on a rash of unexpected emotions. After thinking about the story a while, I began working on the manuscript shortly after I’d moved to Texas about 3 years ago. It was a tumultuous time and writing helped calm me. I’d left my two part-time jobs, because I couldn’t do them anymore, then my mother passed, and I somewhat impulsively packed my 3-bedroom townhouse into a storage unit, loaded all that I could and my doggie Mocha into my car and traveled through the pouring rain to get here to Texas. It was tough start in recreating a life for myself here, and I typed the beginnings of this story seated on the floor of my apartment because I had no furniture other than an inflatable mattress and some odds and ends I’d collected for about a year and half. 

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
My upbringing inspires me to write about families like those I knew and the diversity I’ve experienced in my background and life. This story could be described as multicultural although the primary characters are black. Moving here to Texas has influenced me as well, prompting me to include even more to include diversity in my characters, because the friendships and relationships I see here are definitely diverse.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  
I think my books are character and plot driven. I’m definitely invested in the characters, and I try to present them as full-bodied individuals. However, I am equally concerned with the plot and the structure of the story. Sometimes I’m working from inspiration that may have been a catalyzing moment or even a song. My interest is in how characters’ choices create drama and challenges in their lives and how the consequences of their choices affect them (and their family and friends in some instances) and how they handle those effects.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
My current work is Something About April. It is the second Jefferson story and the focus is two characters who had limited exposure in the first story. The genre is woman’s contemporary, multicultural/African-American general fiction. To some the story may have a chick-lit feel, because there’s definitely humor, but the writing is not the traditional chick-it first-person and the overall themes are not as lighthearted. Though father James Jefferson is a pastor by vocation, there is no Christian focus. 

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
This family is interesting to me, because they seem to have little dysfunction. But, as we get to know them better, they’re inner struggles and idiosyncrasies are revealed. My background and life (especially as an adult) has been much more complex than the Jeffersons, but I believe its true that everyone has struggles and often react to life’s challenges in similar ways. 

James Jefferson – is the father who is driven by his own humble beginnings by a need to give back to the community and take care of his family, so he’s a bit of a social activist with a pulpit. He defines himself as “project boy” and he is the son of single mother who struggled to raise him and a sister. A promising athlete, he grew up in the church, and his faith and the church became a respite leading him to eventually followed become a minister. Faith Community is not a mega-church but does have a thriving congregation. He also owns and sells real estate, and while not wealthy, has provided a middle-class lifestyle for his family.

Lena Jefferson – is his wife who spent much of her life shaping herself into the person she thought a minister’s wife should be. She served as part-time church secretary, and was a homemaker. Now that her daughters are adults and living on their own she’s left with a void in her life. 

Carla Jefferson – is the older Jefferson daughter who’s always tried to do the right thing. She’s a bit of a perfectionist, a school administrator at a charter middle school who has felt eclipsed by her younger, athletic sister Sanita who is also more outgoing. In the first story, she had been on a few dates with ex-pro basketball player Terrence Catchings who fell head over heels for Sanita when she returned to town.

Sanita Jefferson – the younger Jefferson sister, who also is an ex-athlete. Poor decisions while she was away from home, put her both her health and freedom at risk, but with a cleared slate, she is rebounding, living on her own now and taking courses at the community college.

Marcella Lewiston- is the well-dressed church founder’s daughter who’s in everyone’s business, critical of everybody and annoys everyone. *LOL* 

Denesha Lewiston – schoolteacher, best friend to Sanita and Marcella’s daughter.

We learn more about James and Lena in this story and Lena’s attorney friend Nadine, Javier Quintero, and Mandy who is Carla’s good friend are introduced in this book.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed in the series? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
The Jefferson stories will eventually grow to four novels that reflect a season in the life of this family, although artistic license allows that the seasons aren’t necessarily in succession and it’s not necessarily just a year that’s covered. The first book took place autumn, and this book is set in spring. The rebirth of nature that happens in spring reflects in blossoming romance for one character, and themes of rediscovery, renewal and rejuvenation thread through the story. The romantic story is a multi-cultural one and stirs questions about prejudice, and unreal expectations. 

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
A success for me is just finishing a book, which is no easy feat, because writing and revising is ongoing and takes great swaths of time, discipline and effort. The second is publishing it, which is just as difficult. I decided to self-publish this time (I fell into it last time) and that made the process an even more challenging experience. Putting works into the world for others to read carries responsibility and it’s not a venture that I take lightly. 

My goal is to keep on writing. As a graduate student and instructor, I have a full plate in the other parts of my life, but creative writing gives balance for my life. It was my fiction writing that landing me back in college and having the ability to structure fiction writing has impoved my effectiveness as an academic writer. 

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Readers may find out more about my books at my website: http://www.cheriparisedwards.net, where they can also friend me on Facebook, and follow me at Blogger and Twitter.  Read more about the series: http://www.cheriparisedwards.net/#!books/cnec 

The Other Sister (The Jeffersons) (Volume 1)
Link: http://amzn.com/0991458702  

Something About April (The Jeffersons) (Volume 2)
Link:
http://amzn.com/0991458710 

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Angela Hobbs

Angela Hobbs is a 2004 journalism graduate from Columbia College Chicago and the former editor of retired teen e-zine “Young City.”  A native of Chicago's South Side, she enjoys reading and writing horror, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi and thrillers. Angela resides with her husband and three children. The 2013 published "Isle of Beasts" is her debut novel.

BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
I’ve always written short stories but my goal was to finish a novel. The urge to finally accomplish that got overwhelming to where I decided to get over any self-doubt and just do it. I stopped holding myself back from all these imaginary reasons I’d come up with as to why right now wasn’t a good time to write a book.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Definitely, and I didn’t realize how true that was until reading the first draft and recognizing some of my characters as people I knew in real life. Isle of Beasts is a fiction novel but a lot of the characters’ lingo, spiritual beliefs, and even the over-the-top situations they find themselves in were inspired by my real life.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
Some of the best advice I’ve received is to “write what you enjoy”. So with Isle of Beasts, I knew I wanted a mix of thrills, adventure, and horror without all the gore. I like to infuse social messages into my work but the most important thing for me is to be entertained. When I read a good fiction novel, I’m looking to escape reality and become enthralled in this new world and in these new characters I’m about to meet. I’m all about action, so while I definitely focus on character development, I’d say Isle of Beasts and all my other stories are more plot driven.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
Isle of Beasts is a fantasy novel. The content would also make it appropriate for a young adult audience. It’s the story of an island where all the native children are cursed to transform into beasts on their 20th birthday. The curse has devastated the island to the point where they’ve been quarantined from the rest of the world and the inhabitants are on the verge of extinction. Along comes the protagonist, 19-year-old Raphael Solomon, and like his peers, he’s had to mentally prepare himself all of his short life for the inevitable transformation he’s about to face. 

Drama ensues when a long, hidden secret surfaces and threatens not only the island, but Raphael’s immediate future, as well. With most hidden things, there’s an entity that’s desperate to protect the secret at any cost and it manifests as an overwhelming obstacle for Raphael. The island’s salvation depends on whether Raphael can survive his adversaries. Isle of Beasts is available in paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It can be digitally downloaded to the Kindle.

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
My main character, Raphael, is a young man who’s had to accept his mortality from the moment he was old enough to learn about the curse on his island. He would give anything to see the other side of twenty years old and then unexpectedly, he gets that opportunity. Ironically, instead of it being a dream come true, Raphael is thrust into a living nightmare where he’s responsible for an entire island’s survival. Throughout the novel’s drama, we see Raphael cope with fear, frustration, heartbreak, and a host of other emotions that drive his maturation from a boy to a man. 

I think all readers will be able to relate to Raphael and be able to recall whatever defining event in their lives that took them from a child to an adult. Lastly, Raphael was inspired by my middle child, both in temperament and physical traits, so he’s a very special character to me. Then, there’s the villain of the novel, Commander Wilkes. In movies and books, I always find myself secretly rooting for the bad guy to not necessarily win, but to at least put up a good fight. Villains bring the flavor to the story and I admit that I enjoyed creating Cmdr. Wilkes. Some of his antics and commentary are highly entertaining.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
Isle of Beasts focuses a lot on faith. I know that’s probably not a topic one would expect from a fantasy/thriller novel but it’s what makes Isle of Beasts a unique read. The islands’ inhabitants rely on their faith despite this devastating curse. Then Raphael has to rely on his faith to survive one dangerous situation after another. Isle of Beasts will challenge its readers to determine their level of faith and their will to survive in the most unpredictable circumstances. Writing this novel has been like holding a mirror up to myself in that it’s shown me my own priorities in life and how much a woman of faith I actually am.

BPM: What defines success for you? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Success is actually finishing the novel and having it published. Knowing that I’ve finished what I’ve started and I’ve created this body of work that will live on after I’m gone. Creating something that I’m proud of and can see my name on, is my version of success. My ambition is to continue to write according to my own standards. 

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
My main expectation is to entertain and get the reader to step out of their comfort zone and enjoy a storyline they may not typically gravitate towards. After reading Isle of Beasts, I want the reader to simply remember Raphael, the people of the island, and the turmoil I put them through. Seeing these characters and their story on the silver screen is definitely a huge dream of mine. 

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and your work?
I have a Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/hobbsangela where readers can follow any updates concerning Isle of Beasts and any of my future works. I also have an author page at: www.amazon.com/author/angelahobbs 


Angela Hobbs Books: www.amazon.com/author/angelahobbs

Connect with Angela on FB: https://www.facebook.com/hobbsangela 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7542936.Angela_Hobbs 

Purchase Your Copies Today!
Isle of Beasts by Angela Hobbs

 

 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Nina Foxx 
Discussing A Letter for My Mother 

Nina Foxx is an award-winning filmmaker, playwright, and novelist. She writes as both Nina Foxx and Cynnamon Foster. Her work has appeared on numerous bestseller lists around the country, and her films have won awards at the Sundance Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, Cannes, and the Rome International Film Festival. Originally from Jamaica, New York, she lives with her family near Seattle, Washington, where she works in Human-Computer interaction for a major software company. Nina is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, The Links and Jack & Jill of America. Visit her at www.ninafoxx.com or her blog at ninafoxx.blogspot.com 

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
A year or so ago, I got a call that the woman who used to be my mother in law was dying. We hadn't had a good relationship, but I was surprised because the news was very upsetting to me. I was across the country and couldn't go to where she was encouraged by my sister to write a letter to her and tell her what I wanted to say. The idea was that someone who was there with her could share the letter with her. 

After I was done, I thought I would blog it or try to have it published in a magazine. My agent suggested that I write this as an anthology instead; so many woman have interesting relationships with their mothers, mother figures and other women in their lives. So I asked my writer and filmmaker friends to contribute to what is now this book. I didn't realize how difficult it would be for so many people. People caled me crying and struggling through. Others just couldn't do it so they refused to be in the project. They weren't ready to face whatever issues they had with their mother-figure. They are people who had things to say but chose to write under pseudonym to conceal their identities. Everyone that participated said the process was cathartic for them and the result are some amazing pieces.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. Is this book available in digital forms?
A Letter for My Mother is creative non-fiction and essays. It is available where ever books are sold and in all digital formats.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Every woman that participated wrote a letter and a short essay, to their mother or mother figure. They had to tell them something that they either never had the chance to, or something they coudlnt' tell them before. My only requirement was that they had to focus on the positive that they had gained from the relationship with this person. My own mother died when I was a child, and I didn't think I felt any way about that anymore. After I helped each person write their piece, I realized I had something to say to my own mother and sister. That is the last letter in the book.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book,
A Letter for My Mother? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
After reading this, I would hope that readers tell a woman they love something they have given them; thank them for whatever that is. I also have related film project in my head.

Nina's website: http://www.ninafoxx.com

Blogging: http://ninafoxx.blogspot.com
Like and follow on Twitter: @ninafoxx

A Letter for My Mother by Nina Foxx
Genre: Creative Non-fiction

Link: http://amzn.com/1593095325 


 


Intimate Conversation with Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Multi-published author, wife, mother and teacher, Sherryle Kiser Jackson strives to be a fresh voice in Christian Fiction. Born in Prince Georges County, Maryland, Sherryle went on to get a degree in Elementary Education from from Salisbury State University. Her triumphant debut novel, Soon and Very Soon (2007) was followed up by her sophomore release, The Manual (2009), Soon After (2010), Taylor- Made (2011), Land of Promiscuity (2012) and Path to Promise (2013) for Urban Christian Books. She lives in Maryland with her family.


BPM: What topics does your latest book address? Why?

I started with what it meant to be a missionary. My sister is the President of the Missions Ministry at my church and has been on several missions’ trips. We’re so different in that respect. To be real, I know I am not selfless enough most of the time to shed my comfortable existence to the degree where I can be of service.

My question when starting this novel became can servants also be self-serving in the process of helping others. I thought wouldn’t it be interesting to see a totally selfish person try to navigate that landscape. I mean, imagine your most self-absorbed friend or high maintenance family member leaving their cell phone, tablet or priceless wardrobe pieces behind for the barest of necessities. 

My main character sets off on a mission’s trip to Haiti with the goal to find his birth father. He’s a fatherless child trying to answer a lifetime of questions about the man that helped conceive him. In the midst of that struggle I layered an interracial love story and all the issues that brings. I’ve connected with some great people on Pinterest who support the missionaries in their lives and found a community dealing with the absentee of loved ones similar to that of military families with a loved one on a long deployment.

BPM: Did you conduct alot of research for this book, Submissionary (Seek. Find. Release)?
Yes! Have you heard of Symbaloo? It's like a dashboard of websites all in one place. Some might find it interesting to see the sites I used to get insight into pre and post quake Haiti. Check it out: http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/submissionary

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to?
I write personally poignant and hopefully impactful and uplifting literature. It’s my version of Christian fiction that is neither preachy nor compromised. My goal is never to write a salacious story. I think many equate that with being a really good story. In reality most of us don’t live on that extreme. With storylines centered around the root of my character’s decisions and the impact on their relationships, my literary work speaks to women and Christians specifically. I call it my brand of soul satisfying reads.

BPM: You believe strongly in:
I believe strongly in showing faith in action which is not an elaborate Hollywood set washed in white light, full of one-liners and magic tricks. I am also on a mission to take the dirty laundry off the clothes lines of our community, sweep the streets clean of other people’s business and bring virtue back.

BPM: Faith allows you:
Faith allows me the freedom to hope and face life’s challenges, to call out inconsistencies in the world, but particularly, inconsistencies in my life that are contrary to what God ordained and promised. I suppose ( in fact, I know) I can get as arrogant, self-absorbed or ratchet as the next person, BUT, something reminds me to, “act like I know.” I have to act like I know Him, and that I am profoundly different because I know Him. Yep, I preach to the choir. It’s characteristic of my brand. I am the one that gives you the gentle reminder - Seriously, you better act like you know!

BPM: Criticism makes you:
Criticism makes me reassess. I’m sure it depends on the spirit in which the criticism is given. I can’t say I am one with great discernment of people’s motives. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I receive it in love. I get my feelings hurt sometimes. Ultimately, I know what to take from critism and what to discard.

BPM: Do you consider yourself a role model:
Everyone is to a certain degree. I mean, I am a teacher as well, and not just by profession. I am keenly aware that we have a role to edify one another. So when I see people follow my RSS feed, or on social media, I am conscious of the message I put out.

BPM: When you are afraid, you will:
When I am fearful I become unproductive. Fear is something I work to get under control right away. Besides the fact that the Bible suggest that fear is a fabrication because the Lord hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, for that reason, a wise woman once said, “I aint got time for that.”

BPM: What surprised you the most about becoming a business owner?
It surprised me that it is completely different from my natural, creative being. Although, publishing yourself can both work to lessen and add to your stress. You have the leeway to let a story unfold organically, but you have the added pressure to put out a quality product and be responsible for all parts of the product. You have to take note of the persuasions in society to be seen and heard among the rhetoric of the day.

BPM: The greatest threat to literary freedom are:
The greatest threat to literary freedom are those that try to silence the story tellers Choked out of major and mom and pop bookstore shelves alike that are closing by the dozens, we fail to recognize the soul and essence of who we are. We feel all our stories must somehow have to be the same. We sometimes become divisive in our pursuit to compete with each other for readers. It is important that our work be as diverse as we are. It is also important that the authenticity of our stories, and not solely money or notoriety be the aim of the storytellers.

BPM: How has your writing evolved:
I now know I don’t have to hammer every point. Readers desire a distraction not constant direction. I am a wordsmith that can sometimes get happy in the turn of a phrase, but I’ve learned I cannot forget my audience.

BPM: Do you view writing as a gift or a career:
A career may be the hope, writing is a definite gifting. It’s cathartic. You may hear some writers speak of the words to a story just flowing at a point in their process. I think this is an accurate account of what gifting truly is. There is a natural ebb and flow to things. When you are working in your gifting there is a point you can tuck into the flow and the story comes out naturally.

BPM: Advice you would give a new author:
Read. Write. Be brave and find your own voice.


BPM: Your greatest accomplishment as a writer:
Besides the seven novels, and one anthology, I am most proud of my offerings to my church magazine, Kingdom Living Magazine. In one edition I wrote an article called, “What is Special Needs” that highlighted those differently-abled members of our congregation and their caregivers. Many family members came to thank me for the recognition the article garnered them.

BPM: What you know for sure:
I know for sure that God’s Word is true. Do I understand every part of the Bible? Do I understand why people don’t get along and most of us have to suffer great pain in our lives? No. The Word says, now, we only know in part like looking through a glass darkly, but one day we will know as we are known. Deep, I know.

BPM: Life's greatest teacher is:
Life’s greatest teacher is experience

BPM: Success means:
You attempt to live out your purpose.

BPM: Your writing educates, illuminates or entertains:
If I am successful it will do all three; educate, illuminate and entertain..

BPM: Will the printed book ever become obsolete:
The printed book may become obsolete, but a well-written story doesn’t lose its potency if you engage the mind of the reader.

BPM: What legacy do you wish to leave future generations of readers:

My literary legacy will show that words live beyond the pages if they are true and authentic.

Purchase Submissionary by Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Watch the Submissionary movie trailer: http://youtu.be/Ty75E4eiG-g 
Visit Sherryle Kiser Jackson's website: http://www.sherrylejackson.com 
Books by Sherryle: http://www.amazon.com/Sherryle-Kiser-Jackson/e/B004G1X9HU 

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Jeannie Eneh

Jeannie Eneh is the author of two published books, Color Me Black and now Lust and Basketball. She resides in Dallas, Texas. Her favorite past times are reading, writing, spending time with her family and enjoying the quietness of God's nature. Author Eneh shares, "My ultimate goal is to start up the Jeannie Eneh Foundation in my home town geared toward inner city youth; specifically African-American Males. If this is in God's plan.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

I started brainstorming for my new book, Lust and Basketball about a year ago. I am a huge basketball fan: NBA, WNBA, College and High School; also my son plays college basketball so I have been around the basketball arena for a minute.

BPM: Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing?

Yes, most definitely. As a child probably around the age of 5 years old; I've always had an active imagination. My friends were the characters I created inside my head. I started writing short stories and poems at a very early age as well. One of my very early most vivid memories is I wrote a screen play about Morris Day and the Time music group; I think I was around 14 years old. Though I never sent it off to anyone.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 

I'd really have to say character driven. For Lust and Basketball I created the main character Author Jazz Halster prior to the plot.  For me, once I create a character I can run with the plot.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?

Lust and Basketball falls in the Romance genre. Though some of the scenes are sensual. My book is available for Nook, Kindle and hard back as well as soft back. In my library at home I have all hard back books; something about reading an actual book and flipping pages.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 

Author Jazz Halster is dying to be loved; she is a renowned Author living in ATL and is currently single until she meets head coach Clayton Dewberry of the Panthers. However; Coach Dewberry is happy with just a game of basketball or so he thought; until he meets Jazz.  Liz James is an agent to the stars. She has built her business empire from scratch and is now worth millions; however Liz thought she had the perfect life until she meets the iconic coach Kyle Williams- head basketball coach in Miami.

BPM:  Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?

The main topics are dealing with the many different emotions that surface from love to lust to maybe feelings of betrayal. I certainly learned not to take love for granted; because at the blink of eye...the unthinkable could happen. I'm a fan of being in love.

BPM: What defines success for you? What are your ambitions for your writing career?

An established Author told me when my first book Color Me Black came out. She said, "Count yourself lucky if one person buys your work." At the moment I'm having a great time, and meeting lots of wonderful folks.

BPM:  What would you like for readers to do after reading this book?
 
I'm excited and truly blessed to have completed the task of writing Lust and Basketball. However; I do hope my readers do as Liz James did in the book; to pay it forward.

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? 

I am currently working on my third book titled: My Common Sense Diet & Fitness Book: How I Lost 36 pounds in 4 Months. Expected release date Fall 2014.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Readers can hit me up at: www.facebook.com/jeannieeneh  or follow on Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/4960089.Jeannie_Eneh 

 

 


 


Intimate Conversation with Naleighna Kai 

 

 

Naleighna Kai is the national bestselling author of Every Woman Needs a Wife, with a spin-off titled, The Pleasure’s All Mine and Open Door Marriage.  She independently published her first two novels before acquiring a book deal with Simon & Schuster and most recently a book deal with Brown Girls Publishing—the offspring of mega-successful national bestselling authors—Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley. 

Naleighna is a contributing author to a New York Times Bestseller and the E. Lynn Harris Author of Distinction.  Naleighna is also the brainchild behind the annual Cavalcade of Authors events which takes place in her hometown of Chicago.  Find her on the web at www.naleighnakai.com  and www.thecavalcadeofauthors.com  

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing your latest book? Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
I’ve had a ring-side seat to an Open Marriage that had, what I felt at that time, to be a horrible beginning and a painful middle. I can’t say end, because as far as I know, it’s still going on. I got off that merry-go-round of pain and grew up enough to realize that the w

I love catchy titles, but I love writing about complicated relationships even more. But why would I write this type of novel? What influenced me to explore the outcome of three unlikely people entering into an open relationship such as the one in this novel?  Because I’ve had a front seat to one that—in my honest opinion—was the most painful intimate relationship that I had ever witnessed in my life. The only person who seemed to benefit was the man—who was not the primary breadwinner.

Actually I never saw him slide in a crumb. The women brought home the bacon, the eggs, the grits, and even the plates, utensils and everything else that landed on the table. It took nearly two decades for me to wise up and realize one basic thing: these folks are grown and you need to mind your business. The women chose to stay for whatever reason, regardless of his inability to maintain them financially; regardless of how unhappy they seemed or how unfair I thought it was. 

When I stopped seeing the legal wife as the “victim” in all of this, it drastically changed, not only how I perceived her, but also our friendship. Not that I didn’t love her, but when I exercised my right to say “no” it was clear that she hadn’t learned that declaration. But what I also learned about myself is: no matter how much I love someone else, I will always love myself more. Hence, I no longer put band-aids on self-inflicted relationship wounds. Am I saying that Open Marriages can’t work? Absolutely not! What I’m saying is, that it should be something that is fair to everyone involved. If you like it, I love it. If you don’t like, then pack your bags, pull up stakes and make another choice. A choice that’s fair to you. Bottom line.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
My ideas come from “what if?” Like for Every Woman Needs a Wife, my question was, “what if I caught my husband cheating?” Well, most men think there’s only two options that they’ve given their wives: leave or stay. Well, I put a third option on the table. Stay, and bring the mistress home to earn her keep the honest way: on her feet helping the wife, instead of on her back servicing the husband. Infidelity has been done to death, but that’s what made the novel unique. In  Open Door Marriage, I wanted to explore the concept in a different way than the one that I knew of in real life. What if the man did have money and actually could afford to support more than one woman. Would it work? That’s what drove me to write the novel.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? 
Open Door Marriage, is the first contemporary fiction work to launch mega-powerhouse publisher, Brown Girls Publishing created by national bestselling authors, Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley. The story centers around three people caught up in an all too familiar triangle. When the love of Dallas Avery’s life disappeared, she resurfaces years later at the most inopportune time. Oh, he still loves Alicia Mitchell, an older woman who captured his heart, but it’s unfortunate that he’s now engaged to a woman he learns—is her niece. When his fiancée, Tori, lays a proposition on the table, it seems that everyone will get a little of what they want, but maybe a whole lot of what they don’t. The stage is set for them to learn one valuable lesson: There’s no right way to do a wrong thing.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
The reasons why women would choose to be in an open marriage. I learned plenty, mostly that I need to mind my own business!!!  I learned not to judge what three grown adults decide to do--as long as it doesn’t come spilling over in my life--if it’s floating your boat, keep rowing in that ocean. 

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? 
I want them to be taken on an emotional journey. I want them to identify with the characters or even understand their reasoning or motivation. They might not make the same choices in real life, but I want them to put themselves in the character’s mindset. An overall theme in most of my novels, are healing and forgiveness. That too, is something I want them to have a sense of when they read my work.

BPM: What are your ambitions for your writing career after three books?
In the beginning it was national bestselling author. I achieved that. But I found it amazing that I could practice writing those words--national bestselling author--but I couldn’t write New York Times bestselling author until just recently. My mind couldn’t wrap around that and see that level of success. But what had happened was (don’t you love sentences that start that way?), I finally grew up last November and stopped giving my energy to people who were taking, taking and taking and didn’t realize I was giving. THAT’S when all the good things started lining up. And that’s when this new book deal landed on my plate. So now I’m seeing New York Times bestselling author. I would also like to see Pulitzer Prize for Slaves of Heaven when it releases. 

BPM: Do you set out to educate or inspire your readers? Entertain? 
My goal as a writer is to evolve. I didn’t grow up and say that I wanted to be an author. I kind of fell into it and it was something I do well. I want to keep learning the craft from people who are much better at it than I am (such as Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley who are mentoring me at this point because I’m now under their publishing umbrella). In that way, I give readers a polished work that has been through their standards of writing honed by years of being edited by a major publishing house. 

 

Every book I write, I do look for it to be entertaining, but also that the reader can take away some life lesson as well. And it is my hope that my journey from being a self-published author to an author who has landed not only one deal, but yet another with a mega-powerhouse publisher, that it will inspire those who have a story to tell to quit sitting on it and take that chance.

READ MORE HERE


Purchase Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai
Download Link:  http://amzn.com/B00I5VFS3K 

Available in Print and on eReaders:  Nook and Kindle 
Primary Topics:  Open Marriage, May-December Romance and Polyamorous relationships

 

 

 

 

 


 


Intimate Conversation with Candy Jackson


Candy Jackson is a long time resident in the Washington D.C. area. In the early eighties with the outbreak of African American authors, she became an avid reader, reading nearly a book a day for many years. 

She had been a artist of the spoken word for growing up and loved to write then happened to find herself writing stories but never having the time to finish. Busy with working, raising children and attending school she put both the poetry and writing on the back-burner and dug into reading when the time allowed. Well, as life would have it, (she likes to say) her children grew up and gone were the days of hustling and bustling kids to and fro' so she was able to jump back into her first love of writing.

After under going a minor surgery, she had a chance meeting with one of her favorite authors who encouraged her to step up her game and convincing Candy that she had talent and great stories to share. 

She's the mother of three, Nicholas, Chase, and Jourdan. She also has one daughter-in-law, Tiffane and one grandson, Dominic. Candy says now that she has the time and (energy) she has penned her first novel; Pink and Patent Leather....When the Fall From the Pedestal isn't Far Enough.


BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
I have been writing since I was a child and I've always loved telling stories growing up, but one particular Sunday, I was at church and the pastor was saying how women always come to him and say, "The Lord told me that you're suppose to be my prayer partner." I thought it was hilarious at first, but once I got home I thought about it. I know when I hear from God, I go with it, but is it God telling me all the things I hear? I felt the story brewing.

 


READ MORE HERE

 

 

 

 


 

Intimate Conversation with Tiffany L. Warren 

 


BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites? 
The three main characters are Quentin and the two ladies vying for his affection - Chloe and Montana. Chloe is an Atlanta socialite. When I think of her, I think of Marlo from the Real Housewives of Atlanta. She is the kind of woman who knows how to land a rich man. And Quentin is the heir to a billion dollar estate from a his family's hair care product line. Montana is the polar opposite of Chloe! She's sweet, God-fearing and loves his kids. But don't think Montana is a boring little Bible thumper. She's got spice...and a past that comes back to haunt her a little. I love Montana because she gives everyone the benefit of the doubt up front. I'm alot like that. I trust people until they give me a reason to do otherwise.

BPM: Which character or topic in the book can you identify with the most? Why? 
I have five children, so I understand the chaos of Quentin's world. I couldn't imagine my husband trying to handle our brood without me. 

BPM: What drew you to tackle the topics in your book? 
Well, I wanted to do a story about confronting grief for a long time. And this is really what this story is about - Quentin dealing with the grief of losing his first wife. People handle grief in so many different ways, and our faith is always challenged when things happen that we can't understand, so there was a lot of room for a reconciliation story. 


READ MORE HERE

 

 

 

 


 

Intimate Conversation with Tracey Michae'l Lewis

 

 


Tracey Michae'l Lewis is a writer and educator based out of the metro Philadelphia area. She is the author of six books including The Gospel According to Sasha Renee, Interruption: The Gospel According to Crystal Justine (both part of the "Gospel of Grace Women" trilogy) and The Unlikely Remnant. Tracey has written for numerous publications (regional, national, and online) including Circuit Rider, Philadelphia Weekly, and Denene Millner's MyBrownBaby.com. She's also a professor of writing at Community College of Philadelphia and Philadelphia University

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book? 
TML: The primary driver was the fact that this is the third book in the read-in-any-order “Gospel of Grace Women” series and so many readers who loved Sasha (The Gospel According to Sasha Renee) and C.J. (Interruption: The Gospel According to Crystal Justine) wanted me to get it done. Like yesterday. LOL! I’d been playing around with Vivian’s character for a couple of years but the story seemed to come together in my head during the latter part of 2013. 

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
TML: I don’t think that writers can escape their own life experiences influencing their work. Even if it’s the smallest detail, it happens. So yes, I think my experiences definitely inspired this story. Just like Vivian, I was once young and dumb and in love. LOL! My experience with relationships certainly don’t mirror hers exactly but I think that the concept of being willing to sacrifice what I know to be right and true for the love of a man—well, yeah, I’ve been there. 

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  
TML: Oh my work is definitely character-driven! I get great joy from trying to figure out a character’s motivations, feelings, reasonings, etc. Sure, they do have to get from point A to point B in the story but what’s most interesting to me are the whys and hows of that journey. My book ideas usually begin with a character. That character has usually been hanging around my brain for a while or he or she is a composite of someone I’ve been observing. Either way, that’s where it starts. It’s like I have to ask the character, “So what’s up with you? What are you doing here?” And then, the story is born. 

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? 
TML:  This book, like the rest, is definitely inspirational fiction.  Vivian Grace is the matriarch of the women in this family. She’s Sasha’s mother and Crystal Justine’s grandmother. She also represents the genesis of some of the generational stuff that comes up in all three books. This particular story is set in the early 70s. Vivian becomes a member of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panthers and falls in love with one of its charismatic leaders. That relationship is filled with drama and ultimately Vivian has to decide whether or not she is strong enough to move on with her life without Reggie, her man. That really is the big question of the book: will she allow her past to define her future and the future of her unborn child? 

BPM: Give us an insight into your main character. What makes her so special? 
TML: We all know Vivian. We’ve either been her or have been around her. Even if we don’t want to admit it. LOL! We’ve all had that friend who we wanted to just shake and say, “Why are you letting him do this to you?! Don’t you know how much you’re worth, how much you’re loved?!” And that’s the thing with Vivian. The reader will be rooting for her—even when she let’s them down again and again. You want her to win. You want her to “get it.” And she does. Just in a way that most people will not expect. 

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
TML: Topic such as domestic abuse, self-esteem, race, and sisterhood all come up in this story. But at its core, this book is really about forgiveness. How do you forgive someone who’s hurt you over and over again? How do you let go of the pain of your past (childhood)? What do you really believe about love and God and faith?   These themes have shown up quite a bit in my own life so to have the opportunity to explore them in this story, feels like an extreme privilege. 

READ MORE HERE


 




 

Intimate Conversation with D.J. McLaurin

 

 

Chicago native, DJ McLaurin, is the author of the provocative new novel, What if it Feels Good? A graduate of DePaul University and a Certified Public Accountant, DJ has worked in various fields including banking, auditing, a twenty-two year stint in radio, and, most recently, the Theatre Industry. She resides in South Holland, Illinois, with her husband and her two daughters, where she is working on Pretty Boy, a riveting follow up to What If It Feels Good, Falling Up, and Metamorphosis, as well as a new venture into the genre of the supernatural titled In The Company of Ghosts.

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book? 

I worked for the company that produced the Today’s Black Woman Expo in Chicago, and author Naleighna Kai would appear as guest speaker annually. I would sit in the back and watch her work that room. One year, I gathered enough nerve to approach her and talk about a novel idea I had been keeping in my heart. She was so appalled that I let fear snatch my pen. She literally threatened that I’d better not attend another one of her events without that manuscript in my hand. It was completed by the next event and she guided me from there.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing? 

Absolutely! I am 4th from the bottom of 11 children. Inside that brood, I rarely got enough attention. I had my siblings to play with, but it was mostly my imagination that I turned to for comfort. To help my mother with the younger siblings and cousins, I would draw pictures and tell them stories from the pictures. When I was older and able to write coherently, I began reading to them, both from my own writings and from books. I would read anything: food labels, dictionaries, encyclopedias, weekly readers, Jet Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Readers Digest, Life Magazine…anything I’d find laying around the house. When I read a story and didn’t like the ending, I’d rewrite it.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 

My books are mainly character driven. Characters form themselves in my head and live out many lives for many months—years even—until the events of their lives began to stitch themselves into novels worth sharing. I like stepping into the shoes of folks who are completely unlike me.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? 

I’m currently writing contemporary fiction, with an alternative flair; but I can’t wait to delve into other genre’s—particularly fantasy and paranormal. All books will be available via Kindle, and possibly Nook.

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
Michael is a street savvy, homeless, young beauty who makes a living hustling alongside his stripper Mom, Sarah. His stunning brains and wealth of charisma does not reconcile with his lot, and Michael senses that he comes from something else, but he doesn’t press his mother. What he longs for most, besides life’s basic needs, is simply love. Because of his looks, he cannot escape the attentions of others, male and female. Life has hardened him to these affections, and he has to eat, so he uses what he can get…until someone special unlocks his passions and all his secrets…

Out of fear, Sarah withholds the truth of Michael’s birth and spirals into a life of self-abuse in an effort to outrun her past…and her guilt. When her beautiful son finds trouble, she risks everything to save him, revealing his true birth-right, and turning many lives head over feet.

Chachi is a juggernaut of a man, in stature, power and personality. With his tightly-bound group of friends, he has created an empire. With this life comes the spoil of the rich: money, houses, cars, women…he has it all. But he’s in his thirties and has never been in love…until…

BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters dealt with issues that are in current affairs? Homelessness, street soliciting, forbidden romance, adultery, celebrity w/ paparazzi issues, are all current affairs explored in What If It Feels Good.

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? How do you go about reaching new readers? 

I want to give readers another perspective. I won’t them to reconsider their lifelong opinions and viewpoints. I tend to use social media to reach as many new readers as possible, but I’m hoping this books uses those “legs” to carry it even farther. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend.

READ MORE HERE


 

 

 


 

 

Intimate Conversation with Bobby Cenoura

 

Bobby Cenoura is a literary artist born and raised in the Washington DC area. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and social sciences. Bobby has been an avid storyteller since his early childhood. He is also familiar with black market economics. Bobby’s literature, influenced by experiences and imagination, is called “quasi urban”. In addition to street literature, Bobby also plans on ushering in a genre he calls “Male Angst”, which deals with men’s dating issues. 

BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?
There are four main characters, Marcus Richardson, Kim Han, Tyrell Jones, and Delonte Harris.  Marcus Richardson is in his early twenties during the main events in the book. He is the primary character that the story revolves around. He is special because he is street smart and book smart—a fisher of men. He adapts to his surroundings, and he knows how to handle himself around people his age and older generations.

Kim Han is also in her early twenties. She is the Korean woman who is the secondary character and Marcus’ love/friendship interest. She is special because she navigates a world between Korean, Korean American, and African American cultures. In addition, her father and mother own Sunbeam market, the liquor store/bodega which is central to the action in the novel.

Tyrell Jones is in his early twenties. He is Marcus’ best friend since childhood. He is a character who complements and foils Marcus—almost like Marcus’ child-like and immature side. He is special because he is unwillingly involved in events that cataclysmically affect Kim and Marcus.

Delonte Harris is a little older than Marcus and Tyrell. He is the neighborhood thug, who like Marcus, is very versatile street wise. He manages himself around people his age and the drug kingpins and older customers. He is the catalyst for conflict in the novel due to his unsavory dealings and disrespectful demeanor.

Those are the main characters, but a couple of my favorites are not the main characters, but auxiliary characters. Carlos Morales, mid 30s and Dominican, and Sobah, mid 40’s and African are two characters whose accents I write out in onomatopoeia. I love writing this way because it opens up my imagination comedy-wise. Example:

1. After P-nutt tackles Delonte to the ground Carlos shouts: “Towche doune! P’no!”   Translated: ‘Touch Down P-nutt’’ (accentuating the vowels)

2. After Delonte swears revenge on Marcus after a fight, Sobah overhears and comes to the aid (tense moment comic relief but serious):  “Don’t wahrry my little kneegas, we are all wahriahs in dis joint. I saw dat little thowg kneegah weet a blowdy mout, wall-kin’ downda street talkin’ sheet ‘bout chu kneegas. Sobah keep his peepo fram dengah, an I see da blowd on ya sheet kneega, so I know you facked daht kneega ahp.”
Translated:  “Don’t worry nephews, we are all warriors. I saw that thug bloodied up, talking about revenge. I got your back. I see blood on your hands [Marcus], so I know you did it.”

BPM: What drew you to tackle the topics in your book?
When I visited my father who lived in DC in the 90s I became intrigued about Asian store owners in predominately Black neighborhoods. Since I lived in a predominately multicultural suburb outside of the city, I was used to seeing Asians, but not against the backdrop of poverty. As a youth, whenever I saw poorness I saw blackness.

More interesting were the ways that the Asians and Blacks interacted--the bulletproof glass and the rotunda. On more than one occasion I noticed that Asians brought their children to work with them at these corner stores. I wondered how they felt and would they interact with people beyond the glass.

Later in life I would hear certain family members talk about Asians selling poison to Blacks because there was a “liquor store on every corner”.  As I got older I learned about the drug trade and black markets, I studied economics and some realities about owning businesses and I realized how the black market is a market, and the mentality of profits were the same regardless if one owned a store or sold contraband.

One day it hit me to combine the things that I learned and experienced into a fiction of sorts and out came Seoul Revelations. It originally was going to be called ‘Seoul Food’ because of how the two main characters got to know each other.

 


READ MORE HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Intimate Conversation with 
WomenOverIncarcerated.org Founder 
 



Jamila T. Davis
, born and raised in Jamaica Queens, New York, is a motivational speaker and the creator of the Voices of Consequences Enrichment Series for incarcerated women. Through her powerful delivery, Davis illustrates the real-life lessons and consequences that result from poor choices. She also provides the techniques and strategies that she personally has utilized to dethrone negative thinking patterns, achieve emotional healing, and restoration and growth. 

Davis is no stranger to triumphs and defeats. By the age of 25, she utilized her business savvy and street smarts to rise to the top of her field, becoming a lead go-to person in the Hip-Hop Music Industry and a self-made millionaire through real estate investments. Davis lived a care-free lavish lifestyle, surrounded by rap stars, professional sports figures and other well known celebrities. All seemed well until the thorn of materialism clouded Davis’ judgments and her business shortcuts backfired, causing her self-made empire to crumble. Davis was convicted of bank fraud, for her role in a multi-million dollar bank fraud scheme, and sentenced to 12 1/2 years in federal prison. Davis’ life was in a great shambles as she faced the obstacle of imprisonment. 

While living in a prison cell, stripped of all her worldly possessions, and abandoned by most of her peers, she was forced to deal with the root of her dilemmas- her own inner self. Davis searched passionately for answers and strategies to heal and regain her self-confidence, and to discover her life’s purpose. She utilized her formal training from Lincoln University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, along with her real-life post-incarceration experiences and documented her discoveries. 

Revealing the tools, techniques and strategies she used to heal, Davis composed a series of books geared to empower women. Davis’ goal is to utilize her life experiences to uplift, inspire and empower her audience to achieve spiritual and emotional wholeness and become their very best, despite their dilemmas and past obstacles.


BPM: Introduce us to Womenoverincarcerated.org and tell us what kind of work they do in the community.
Womenoverincarcerated.org is an online advocacy group created to educate the public about the rising epidemic of federally incarcerated women and the consequences of their imprisonment. It’s focus is on exposing the gross injustice women face in the U.S. judicial system, and the disparities between state and federal, male and female, and minority and non-minority offenders. WomenOverIncarcerated.org aims to challenge the absence of parole, which causes each federal prisoner to serve 85% of her sentence without recourse, and introduce alternatives.

BPM: I see that you have several new projects taking place, moving toward helping women make better choices. Tell us about what's new.
For the last couple of months I've been working hard on putting together an effective prison reform movement. I knew it would be important to have visuals, so people could see the true impact of over-incarceration. I am pleased that we were able to create the 2014 WomenOverIncarcerated.org Calendar. It definitely illustrates a powerful stories!  Readers can view the promotional calendar by clicking here: http://voicesbooks.com/?page_id=470.  Support the women by purchasing the calendar from  womenoverincarcerated.org.

Check it out at the newly revised website www.WomenOverIncarcerated.org. Now that the visuals are in place, we are officially kicking off our "Enough Is Enough: End Mass Incarceration" campaign. The goal is to increase public awareness using visual aides, political and celebrity endorsements. We have planned a T-shirt campaign for the cause.  We also want people to be aware of the THE “ONE-SHOT” BILL. Read more about it by clicking here later. http://www.womenoverincarcerated.org/the-one-shot-bill/ 


Our Goals for the "Enough Is Enough: End Mass Incarceration" campaign are:

* To enlighten the general public about the alarming growth rate of women in prison and the consequences.

* To shed light on the true personas of female prisoners versus those created in movies and on television and have their authentic voices heard.

* To assist in eliminating the stigma of being a “criminal” upon re-entry into an already economically challenged and unstable environment.

* To advocate for reform in the U.S. judicial system and to support programs that truly rehabilitate and serve to help women rather than simply make examples of them.

* To support alternative sentencing for women offenders in order to prevent already vulnerable women from further psychological, emotional and mental injury due to their confinement in an uncontrollably toxic environment. 


BPM: Tell us about the new book series you started to bring even more awareness to the plight of women incarcerated in the United States.
When you’re busted by the FEDS, automatically the odds are stacked against you! With a 95% conviction rate, very few are able to escape the wrath of the government. Due to hefty penalties and strict sentencing laws, over 220,000 Americans are serving time in federal prison. Shockingly, in recent years, a drastic increase of these offenders are women!

She's All Caught Up is a cautionary tale based on my life. Here's the official write up: Jamila grew up in a loving middle class home, raised to become her parent's ideal star child. All was copacetic until high school years. Jamila rebels and chooses to live life in the fast lane. When this good girl goes bad, it seems there is no turning back! Download complimentary copies of the entire series today:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/377986 


The High Price I Had To Pay Book Series is an action packed, true-crime series based on the lives of women serving hefty sentences in federal prison. Written as cautionary tales, these memoirs expose readers to the real-life circumstances, and the choices these women made, that led to their incarceration. As each story unfolds, readers are privy to the startling details of what happens behind the scenes in the U.S. judicial system, exposing who gets prosecuted and who does not and the injustice of sentencing disparities.

Unique in nature, each captivating mini-book sheds light on the true faces of the women serving time behind bars and the detriment of mass incarceration. The jaw dropping details will cause you to think. Does the U.S. judicial system represent justice for all?  Download complimentary copies of the entire series today: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jamiladavis 


* The High Price I Had To Pay - Book 1 is a captivating real-life story that reveals another aspect of the inside fraud perpetrated by Lehman executives that has yet to be told!

This illuminating journey written by author Jamila T. Davis, who is currently serving a 12 1/2 year sentence in federal prison for bank fraud, is shared from a unique stand point. Davis was labeled by Lehman attorneys as the 25 year old mastermind who devised an elaborate mortgage scheme that defrauded their bank of 22 million dollars. Her shocking story captures the inside tricks of Wall Street elite and takes you up-close and personal into a world driven by greed and power.

Jamila T. Davis’ story will leave you amazed and make you think. Have savvy Wall Street executives, such as Richard Fuld, been able to out smart the world? And while these executives escape unpunished, is it fair that “small fries,” like Davis, are left to do big time? Download a complimentary copy of Book 1 today: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jamiladavis 


* The High Price I Had To Pay - Book 2 is a cautionary tale based on the life of Michelle Miles, a 21 year old, African American woman, who tried her hand in the drug game as a means to escape poverty. Joining the notorious “Burrell Organization,” run by her boyfriend, overnight Miles went from “rags-to-riches.” 

All was well until the FEDS got wind of the operation. With the help of informants, the Burrell empire swiftly crumbled and the key players were arrested, including Miles who was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.

Michelle Miles’ story will leave you shocked about the rules of prosecution for drug offenders in the U.S. judicial system and make you think. Should a first time, non-violent offender receive a thirty year sentence?

About The Author:  MICHELLE MILES, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, is currently a federal prisoner who is serving a 30 year sentence as a non¬violent, drug offender. With 16 years of serving prison time under her belt, she has utilized her real-life experience to enlighten others to the true-life circumstances of women in prison and the dilemmas that they face in the U.S. judicial system. Miles is a modern day voice for women behind bars and prison reform in America. Download a complimentary copy of Book 2 today: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/377047 



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Intimate Conversation with Colette (Ford) Harrell 

 


Colette (Ford) Harrell the author of the debut novel The Devil Made Me Do It is passionate about the written word. Holding a master’s degree, she is a director of human services. Her creation and implementation of a health and energy medical program stands as a best practices model. As a motivational speaker, she specializes in customer and human service workshops on state and national levels. She is co-founder of COJACK Productions, a Christian entertainment company. As an active member of her church, Kingdom Christian Center, she serves in several ministries.

Colette is a wife, mother, author, poet, songwriter, and playwright. Her novel is a delectable read, where romance, suspense, humor, and the supernatural all come together to entertain, educate, and inspire. A Detroit native, she currently resides in Ohio, writing with humor and compassion to engage and minister to the human heart. Her motto is: whatever you do, do it “for love alone.”

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
When I was sixteen years old, I had chicken pox. Now, I’m not sure if you know, but the older you are when you get chicken pox, the worse you look. I defined UGLY. I wouldn’t even let my best friend see me. But, I was bored. A shoot-me-now,-’cause-this-ain’t-getting-any-better-type of boredom. Every day my friend would phone and tell me what happened at school, and I would share what happened on the soaps. After two days of watching that paint dry, we decided to write our own soap opera—only nobody was singing. I mean nobody . . . but it opened the door to a dream.

From then on, I knew that someday I would write a book. I started writing The Devil Made Me Do It when I saw a writer’s contest on the Internet. You needed one hundred pages of a story. I wrote the pages to see if I could do it, and I was superamped to find out I was one of the winners of the contest. It encouraged me to continue writing and to finish the book.

The story of  The Devil Made Me Do It resounded in my spirit because I always wondered what would happen if the heavens (or hell) rolled back and we could see what was happening in the supernatural. There birthed my trilogy, the Heaven over Hell series.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely. I’m this down-home chick with a Southern twang from the hood of southwest Detroit. I was raised in a two-parent household with four siblings. My parents were all about reading versus television consumption. I think we were the last household in the neighborhood to purchase a color television. What we did have were books, magazines, and newspapers. I was still in elementary school when I walked to the River Rouge Library (a good mile away) to borrow books. Many times I walked alone. But at that age, reading was my passion, and it still is.

For me, a good book is like good gossip—you just have to share it. In sharing, I began to want to tell my own story, my own way. As a result, I have always loved to tell a good story—I promise there weren’t any lies—sometimes making it up as I went.

Growing up in Detroit, I found myself in some tight spots, just by the nature of being in the vicinity of something “going down.” It’s a wonder I never woke up dead. When that happened, I would call on my praying mother, begging her to pray just one more prayer. Eventually, those times taught me how much God must love my hardheaded, tryna-get-it-right foolish self. Now, there are always two sides to every coin. And some of the spots I was graced (Mama was praying hard!) to wiggle out of were pretty tight—persuading me fully that the devil must hate me. I know I really hate him and his modus operandi. Hence, my story, The Devil Made Me Do It, and how I decided to tell it.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from?
My book ideas evolve from my conversations with others. My friends and I tend to have these deep conversations that result in my getting this animated lightbulb over my head. Its bright glow and halo effect asks the question: “What if?” My stories answer those questions.

BPM: Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?
Wow . . . I think a little of both. I start out with the light shining over my head, and I take that idea and begin writing without thought, and then a plot unfolds and the characters in the plot begin to take shape and demand to tell their story. I let them have their way. And, there are times when even I’m surprised at the choices they make. In The Devil Made Me Do It, Briggs’s and Esther’s journey totally amazed me. Even though each book in the Heaven over Hell trilogy stands alone, the next two books will continue their saga.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? 
I consider the book Christian fiction with an edge. I say that because, yes, my characters are Christian (well, most of them), but they aren’t perfect, and they don’t part the Red Sea or walk on water (although I do believe that miracles and wonders still occur). My characters sometimes make poor choices, and they have to face the consequences of those choices.

My main character, Esther, as a child, believed she was special. I once heard someone say that African American parents tend to tell their children not to think more of themselves than they should. They went on to explain that this schematic stemmed from slavery, when thinking too much of yourself could get you killed. As years passed, we reinforced these beliefs with negative thought patterns that belittled rather than built up. We’ve all heard: “You think you’re so cute” . . . “Stop getting a big head” . . . “Stop acting like you all of that!” And, these utterances of wisdom were from family members!

I wanted to explore what happens when the devil comes for your sense of self at a young age, and he didn’t just stumble on to you; he’s on assignment. The scripture pertaining to the devil wanting to kill, steal, and destroy you is not only speaking of a physical act, but it is also mental and emotional in origin.

The book’s glimpse into the supernatural provides a twist that is “cover-your-eyes scary,” and in the next chapter “slap the table, fun and humorous.” Esther Wiley is one of three childhood friends who are joined at the hip from kindergarten to college. In college, Esther meets Briggs Stokes, and they fall in love. But, life throws all the friends a shocking curve ball that causes a ripple effect that lasts for years.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
Esther dares to believe, even from a young age, that she is special. As African Americans, we are so conditioned not to speak well of ourselves less we be called prideful. Sometimes we become so conditioned to not think ourselves wonderful that we end up with self-esteem issues. Esther dared to believe and to act on that belief.

Briggs is a son of privilege, but it’s that same privilege that makes him come to believe that in his truest self he is invisible. It’s not just about his inherited money, but about who he really is. He struggles with the question: How do you grow up around God’s anointed superstar and still be seen for yourself?

The devil uses both of these issues to destroy the destiny God has for each of them. When they allow the spirit of lack to decide their futures, both lose. Identity theft was committed long before the computer age. My pastor has always taught that if you fail to know the purpose of a thing, you are destined to abuse it.
This first book in the trilogy shows the hidden agenda of those who should be for you and how making the right decision when you come to spiritual forks in your road will decide your destiny. And, for the record, it doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger. LOL.

 

 

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Intimate Conversation with AlTonya Washington

 

 

AlTonya Washington has been a published romance novelist for 10 years. In 2013, her Harlequin Kimani novel "His Texas Touch" won the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Series Romance of 2012.  She also works as a college Reference Librarian. As T. Onyx, AlTonya released her latest erotica "Ravenous: Ruler of Perfection II" in 2013.  In November she released "A Lover's Debt," the 17th title in the Ramsey Tesano saga.

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time?  Do you write every day, five days a week? 
This is a tough question because I write ALL THE TIME- however I do still have “a day job.” A few years ago, I decided that becoming a librarian was something I very much wanted to accomplish. I reached that goal and now work as a college reference librarian. Writing though, is my absolute passion and something that I aspire to one day do full time in every sense of the word. Right now, I write pretty much every day as I’m blessed to have both a traditional and independent writing career. They keep me very busy. I don’t really carve out a special time or place to write (I’m blessed in that I can write pretty much anywhere)- but when crafting a love scene I do try to work on that material late afternoon/early evening at home with a special playlist going.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it? 
I actually used to do that a lot more often when I was just starting out with my writing. There are so many titles that I crafted early in my career and then went back to revise or rework years later after I’d learned more about the techniques that could really make my stories sing.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
My ideas come from all over the place- I can watch a movie or TV show, see a person walking in the background of a scene and suddenly be hit with an idea. Sometimes, I’m reading or listening to a book or even a song and some aspect of it sends me off on this wild tangent and I find myself concocting all these scenarios- a few of them have been powerful enough to make it to the rough draft/final draft stage. My books are very much character driven. For me, if I’m not invested in the characters- who they are, where they come from, why they think the way they do…then it’s near impossible for me to care about what else is going on in the story. I craft the stories that I, as a reader, would want to spend my time with and hope that other readers will want to spend their time with them too.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle? 
When Ice Melts is the story of Rakim Transou and Icia Graham. The couple was torn apart when Icia suffered a traumatic event on the eve of Rakim’s college graduation. While the romance between these lost loves is the most prevalent aspect, I would consider it more of a suspense given the intricacies of the plot regarding the secondary characters and the vivid roles they play in story. The book is available in print as well as electronically via Nook and Kindle.  It’s also available in the Apple, Sony and Kobo stores.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
This book deals with a lot of difficult topics, spousal abuse and revenge among them. I think what stood out to me most during the writing of this story related to revenge and how far people will go to see that it is carried out. What’s more, people fulfill their needs for revenge in very different ways. The complexities of characters and how they are motivated to act is a major reason why my stories revolve so heavily around them.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject? 
I think I set out to inspire and entertain mostly. I believe reading is the most enjoyable and limitless way of escaping the pressures of life. I like for my readers to feel immersed in a world totally different and intriguing from their own for however long they are absorbed inside the pages of my work. If the reader is somehow educated by what I have to share, then I’m elated by the fact that they were able to grasp an additional slice of enjoyment.

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Intimate Conversation with Lutishia Lovely

 

Lutishia Lovely is an award-winning author of seventeen novels, six of which are romance titles written under her alter-ego pseudo, Zuri Day. In addition to her wildly popular Hallelujah Love Series, Ms. Lovely has a hot new trilogy called "The Business" about a soul food dynasty where delicious drama and sizzling scandal is always on the menu!

Prior to becoming a full-time author, Lutishia enjoyed many different careers. They all, however, had one thing in common - they all were linked into a "world of words". From administrative assistant to radio personality to actor to managing editor and senior writer for a holistic magazine,words have always been the magic that made Lutishia's world go 'round. Probably one of the spins that would most surprise readers is the fact that Lutishia was a rapper! That's right, for a short stint in the 90s, Lutishia was billed as "The Rhaptress" (a combination of a rapper and an actress), and toured with other singers and musicians throughout southern CA. She's happy now to beat out a rhythm on her keyboard...songs in the key of "writer" that she hopes will inspire and entertain!

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
One day, this amazing story simply began downloading in my head. It was awesome, just like a movie. The woman, now known as lead character Jacqueline Tate, gave me the basic premise, which I immediately fleshed out into an outline and shot over to my editor, Selena James. She loved the idea, as I did, and approved it right away. There were still a couple books due before I’d get the chance to dive into this brave new world but once that happened I was in seventh heaven. Still am, as I am now writing the sequel to The Perfect Affair titled, The Perfect Deception!

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely. I believe that all of who we are, where we’ve been and what we’ve learned inspires all creative artists, be they writer, actor, singer, painter, etc. That being said, I am also a voyeur with a chameleon-like personality so it is easy for me to relate to and describe a lifestyle or situation very personally and vividly while having no personal experience on the matter. I think my background as an actor helps me in this as well.

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when? Do you have a special time to write?
I am blessed and thankful to be a full-time author without a set writing schedule. Most days, I’m writing, editing and/or promoting something and when not doing that handling the business aspects of my company, Lovely Day.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
That’s basically what happens when I send the book off to the publisher for its first edits. When it comes back to me, there have usually been a few months in between and I see the story with new eyes. Inevitably, this leads to positive changes and sometimes whole subplots newly formed.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
Ella, they come from the Universe! Sometimes that’s as easy as the character tapping on my shoulder, as Jacqueline Tate did, or through a pow-wow with my editor or literary friends. Other times inspiration comes from hearing a news story, watching something on TV or overhearing a conversation. I’m constantly being inspired which can be both a blessing and a challenge all at once! 

For the most part, my novels are plot-driven by very strongly identified characters.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
The Shady Sisters Trilogy is a fascinating new contemporary fiction series about women who find themselves in interesting and precarious romantic situations. In the debut novel, The Perfect Affair, we meet a woman who finds Mr. Right just when she’s about to give up on the game. When she finds out he’s married…oh well. Jacqueline Tate knows this is but a minor inconvenience because she always gets what she wants!

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
First of all, I must say that I am absolutely in love with these characters and with this book! There are so many layers to both of them; complexities brought about by some of the very things I mentioned earlier that make us who we are: what we know, what we’ve learned, and experiences we’ve had. On one hand, Jacqueline is a woman with whom most of us is familiar – we either know her or someone like her. She’s attractive, smart, with an exciting career. But like so many women, this success doesn’t translate into the relationship department. I believe readers, like her friends in the novel, will want to know why, and will root for her to find this happiness. 

 

On the other hand, again, like many of us, the problem in Jacqueline’s relationships begins with the relationship with herself. People do things and we judge without understanding; we blame without having all the facts. She’s written to take readers on a reflective journey…and that makes her special to me.

Dr. Randall Atwater was fun to write. First off, it’s the first time I’ve dealt with a scientist which considering how bad I did in chemistry, was a bit intimidating, even fictitiously Ha! But I loved showing this guy who came from a tough background but because someone recognized and showed interest in his passion, was able to rise above his situation and achieve success. He’s special because of his character and integrity, even when situations around him contradict these parts of him.

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Intimate Conversation with William Fredrick Cooper




William Fredrick Cooper Uplifts The African-American Community With His Novels

William Fredrick Cooper is the author of the critically-acclaimed SIX DAYS IN JANUARY, the Essence/Black Expressions Bestselling novel THERE'S ALWAYS A REASON and the author of ONE SEASON IN PINSTRIPES, a sports memoir chronicling the 2009 championship season of the New York Yankees. A dynamic speaker known for giving enlightening radio interviews, he has edited several award-winning novels and contributed to New York Times bestselling anthologies and national periodicals such as Ebony Magazine. 

His fourth book, UNBREAKABLE (A LOVE BALLAD) is scheduled for publication on March 18, 2014. (All books were published through Strebor Books/Simon and Schuster). A Brooklyn native and the proud father of Maranda Nicole Cooper, stop by Cooper's Facebook page www.facebook.com/wfcooper, listen to some great music and say hello. 

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? What road did you travel?
Ella, I traveled the road of self-publishing. Back in 2000, when I received my 72nd and last rejection letter, one that actually said my writing was “too emotional for a black man,” (sigh) I decided to do this on my own. So I went to First Books Library (Currently known as Author House), a print-on-demand company. 

In 2001, I was speaking at the University of Maryland at College Park about the struggles of my literary journey and little did I know God had put someone in that audience that was listening to my every word. After the conference the woman and I put books up for a vendor. She me told her vision then asked me to tag along. At first I rejected her, but she never forgot about me, even as she grew in stature. Through her, I received my first computer (when I wrote the lead story in the book Sistergirls.com), and the rest is history. I owe her a bit, and love her in my own special way. Thanks, Zane.

BPM: What is your definition of success? Does money play a part in how you gauge success?
My definitions of success are broad and none of them have anything to do with money. That we are contributing pebbles in the vast ocean of African-American Literary History makes us successful. That a person can maximize their potential in any area of light at a high level defines success.

BPM: What books or authors made a difference in your life?
So many books have inspired me. Terry McMillan and “Waiting to Exhale” was one, because it started the current literary phenomenon. The literary works of David Halberstam (Summer of ’49, October of 1964, The Best and the Brightest) have influenced my flow, as I love his intellectual rhythm with words. 

The romance writers (Donna Hill, Rochelle Alers, Brenda Jackson, Cheryl Faye) taught me narrative imagery, James Baldwin’s diversity, Timmothy McCann’s books passion, Eric Jerome Dickey’s usage of commas in paragraphs, Cornel West, Earl Graves and others for social content, and of course, The BIBLE, for faith.

BPM: How many books have you written? How has your writing style evolved over the years? What stimulated your growth the most? 
Ella, I am blessed to have done four books. Three of them novels, and a fourth was a sports book. God has really blessed me with a versatile pen: In my early days, I wrote novels and steamy erotic short stories, but I would always challenge myself in writing short op-ed pieces on diverse issues. That would eventually pay off when I wrote my sports memoir ONE SEASON IN PINSTRIPES. 

Good writers stimulate me. People like Robert Fleming (Cole Riley) influenced me so much as a writer, because they can do anything with a pen. Intellectually stimulating and articulately-driven, I admire his range. I think he’s one of the most underappreciated writers of our generation. GIVE HIM HIS DUE!!!

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, STUDY YOUR CRAFT! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE STUDY THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THIS. A LOT OF GREED!!  TOO MUCH GREED!! 

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Intimate Conversation with A. Yamina Collins

 

 

BPM: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I recall how and where. I was nine-years old, standing in my grandmother's living room when I had a clear epiphany that I was going to be a writer someday. As for the how, I remember reading books like The Bluest Eye, The Turn of the Screw and To Kill a Mockingbird and thinking how stunning it was that those stories could move my soul. That's what I want to be able to do as a writer; to move people with my words.

BPM: What does “challenge” mean to you? Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Challenge means not writing the same kind of stories I tend to see in African-American literature; specifically, I decided to write a different sort of black male character, one who had, in my opinion, a real inner life and one who was not a stereotype. I wanted to see a man like Gilead Knightly be a master and king, and I wanted to abandon any concept of black male bashing. This is not to say that Gilead does not have some major character flaws, because he does. But he is not a black male archetype. 

It was also a psychological challenge to write the dark-colored girl as the beautiful love interest. You would think that as a black woman that would have been easy for me to do. Not so. A history of literature had conditioned me to think otherwise - or at least to give her light skin with straight hair. But I abandoned that model altogether because it's been played out and I believe that it harms black women's self-esteem.

BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?
The Last King is about a line of people who cannot die because their ancestors marched into the
Garden of Eden and ate from the tree of life. God, however, considers this act, and the subsequent immortality that came with it, to be theft. He wants their immortality returned and he deals with their transgression by playing a cosmic sort of chess game with them - each individual Edenite has a Glitch that's meant just for them. A Glitch is a human who acts as an agent to retrieve the stolen property of immortality and kill off the Edenite. But all The Edenite has to do in return is kill his or her Glitch, and the game is over. But there is a conflict: and Edenite's Glitch is also their greatest love. Emmy, my female protagonist, is the Glitch for Gilead Knightly, the male protagonist.

But of all the two, is definitely my favorite. I love his complexity; in so many ways he is a torn man - he is in love yet hates that he is in love; he is a protector and as well as the man whom Emmy should fear. He is the antagonist and the protagonist both at the same time. He is, to me, a man of great contradictions, and I love that about him. 

BPM: Why did you choose to write in your particular genre? If you write in more than one genre, how do you balance them? 
The Last King is a science-fiction romance, but its location is rooted here on earth. I chose science fiction and romance because, as far as I am aware, we don't have a lot of African-American books that deal with these two genres in the same breath, let alone separately. The book also has a historical bent to it and I was fascinated by African history. The history of black people - Africans, African-Americans etc. - goes beyond us being slaves in America, entertainers or thugs, and through Gilead I wanted to start exploring those other parts of our heritage. So yes, I write in more than one genre - really four genres (religious, historical, science-fiction and romance). As to how I managed to balance the genres, ha! I am not sure that I have. It will be up to the readers to decide if I've done a good job of balance, I guess. We shall see. 

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or other life path?
"Where there is no vision, the people perish." That's a quote from proverbs 28: 18 in the King James versions. And that's what I think the African-American literature has been suffering from lately - vision of what we can be Caucasian authors let their children dream of being superheroes and princesses and the Harry Potter's of the world. But much of our fiction, while not all bad, nonetheless keeps us confined to baby mama drama, hustlers, players and thugs - tons of stories filled with unending pain. But where are the heroes that inspire us? Where are the beautiful black women who get to be the love interest? Where are the kings and queens of old? Can't a black male turn out to be the hero in the end? That's the path I want to be on with my stories: now, don't get me wrong - Gilead in particular is no saint, but he is on a journey to someplace great, I think. And that's what I liked about him.

BPM: What drew you to tackle the questions or topics in The Last King?
I, personally, have gotten tired of either reading slave narratives (though they do have their place in our world, so this is not to put them down - we do need them) ghetto lit stories, stories about bad black women and no-account black men. Yeah, I just got exhausted of it. I wanted to see black love written about , but one that jumped outside of the prisms of what we are used to hearing and seeing. And I wanted to address it from a fantasy perspective. I dig the world of fantasy. I think it can be fun and your characters get to be larger than life. And Gilead Knightly is definitely larger than life. I mean, the man keeps panthers with him in his bedroom, for crying out loud!


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Intimate Conversation with K.R. Raye


K.R. Raye lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons. She grew up in Kansas City, attended college in New York, and has resided in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New Zealand. Throughout her diverse career working as a mechanical engineer, adjunct professor, and in sales, she continues to weave her love of marketing, computer information systems, and operations together with her passion for writing. That diverse experience influences her writing style to traverse the contemporary, horror, romance, drama, mystery, and sci-fi genres. 

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book? 
Growing up, I learned to read at three and write little poems by four. For me, writing is a fun way to express feelings and emotions, try things you never considered, or create whole new worlds or alternative universes. When I wrote The Colors Trilogy books, I followed the old adage, "write what you know." To me, there weren't many books that highlighted the college experience from a realistic side with multi-cultural characters and good friends from both sexes. 

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when? Do you have a special time to write?
I write part-time, however, I try to write every day for at least 30 minutes, it doesn't matter when or where. Of course there are some days where life gets in the way and my daily word count equals zero, then there are other times when I can write all day and all night to my heart's content. 

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
Yes, you have to let it stew. After you finish writing the book, you need to read it again with fresh eyes and a less passionate perspective to see which areas need improvement and which sections soar. 

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
I enjoy writing about what I see in reality (the truth really is stranger than fiction) or crazy worlds I dream about. When writing, I try to keep a nice balance between plot driven and character driven stories. As a writer, your book can have all the action in the world, but if people don't like your characters, they won't connect or care. On the flip side, if you stay too character driven then you can run the risk of having readers say that all your characters did was talk to themselves without taking any action, which can bore your readers. So, I strive for an exciting balance between the two. 

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
The Colors Trilogy follows three college friends as they search for true love, NFL fame, and a successful engineering career. The books are available in paperback and digital formats on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and they're coming soon to iBooks.


The three novels The Colors of Friendship (Book One, published August 13, 2013), The Colors of Love (Book Two, published November 19, 2013), and True Colors (Book Three, publishing March 25, 2014) fall under the Contemporary, New Adult genres. 

The Colors of Friendship: Three college friends search for true love, NFL fame, and a successful engineering career. Will one friend’s quest for happiness endanger all three of their lives? After the torrents of jealousy, sex, and abuse subside, will their friendship survive…The Colors of Friendship? 

The Colors of Love: After their lives are threatened, three college friends attempt to continue their search for true love, NFL fame, and a successful engineering career. When the dynamics of their relationships change, will their friendship survive…The Colors of Love? 

True Colors: After tragedy strikes, Imani, Melody, and Lance try to rekindle their college friendship. Can they move forward towards happiness or will ghosts from their past haunt them? When life’s challenges arise what are your…True Colors? 

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
The Colors Trilogy follows three college friend as they strive for their goals. There's:
Naïve, romantic, biracial Melody Wilkins who aims to find true love at college just like her parents. Melody brings the heart and sense of hope to the story.  No-nonsense Imani Jordan strives for good grades and a chemical engineering degree. Imani's the common sense, tell-it-like-it-is conscience.  Lance Dunn is only serious about two things: football and protecting his girls, Melody and Imani. Lance is practical and fiercely loyal; he keeps them grounded with the male perspective. 

 


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Intimate Conversation with Jasmine Sheffield


Jasmine N.H. Sheffield, a loving mother and wife, is a resident of Virginia. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University where she received a B.S. in Computer Information Systems. She went on to receive her M.S. in Management Information Systems from the University of Illinois Springfield. Freshmen Fifteen is Jasmine’s debut novel. She has also written a self-help book titled Journey after School: A Guide to Starting Your Career and Managing Your Finances. She has enjoyed the writing process and has other books on the horizon. You can visit her website www.ourjourneypublishing.com for more information.

BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? 
In Freshmen Fifteen, Laila who is graduating from high school has planned to lose her virginity to her boyfriend. But, on graduation night when it is all set to happen her boyfriend is arrested. With her boyfriend away, Laila goes to college a virgin. Throughout the book, Laila meets different girl friends who have had different experiences with losing their virginity. Of her friends, Nicole is my favorite. She’s a free-spirit and not afraid to tell it like it is. 

BPM: What drew you to tackle the questions or topics in Freshmen Fifteen?
For many virgins, the details of sex can be daunting especially around topics not covered in sex-ed. In Freshmen Fifteen, Laila transitioning from high school to college is an age range where these topics are most convoluted. To avoid the “Just don’t have sex” vibe many adults try to force into the heads of the youth, I want to provide a glimpse into the reality of sex. 

BPM: Does your faith or education inspire your writing?
I’ve never been a writer, nor wished to publish a novel. It just so happened that my first book, Journey After School: A Guide to Starting Your Career and Managing Your Finances, was an idea suggested by a friend. Then one day, the idea of Freshmen Fifteen popped in my head. I’m a strong believer that God has a plan for us that may be different than the plan we have for ourselves. I’m being obedient and following His path. 

BPM: Why did you choose an HBCU as the setting of the book?
I attended Florida A&M University, and my HBCU experience was amazing. By choosing an HBCU as the setting for Freshmen Fifteen I am able to give a glimpse into that experience. Hopefully, those who have a negative perception of HBCUs will be enlightened.


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The Black Pearls Magazine family would like to thank each of you for joining us monthly in celebrating the best in literature and the arts.  Our team of writers, bookclubs and authors are so humbled that you have allowed us entrance into your life. It amazes me each month as I check our subscribers how many of  you deem us worthy of your time and support. 

We appreciate each of you for telling 10 people about the magazine and for driving people to this site. YOU make Black Pearls the magnificent publication that it is, by sharing the Gift of Knowledge!

Please know, as we prepare each issue for you, we look for those stimulating conversations, the most thought provoking articles and most of all, the best books on the shelves. We want each page of this magazine to add value to your lives!  Your comments and feedback are welcomed. Join our blog and share your news, advice and wisdom with the other readers. Tell us what you want to read too!

As we take off in this new year we hope to bring you more provocative topics and life empowering books to shape your lives. We have contests for the readers and more interactive sections added to the magazine. Let us know what you think of the fresh new content by emailing us here.  Thank you!

Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations
Founder & Editor In Chief Black Pearls Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                           

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