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June - July 2013
Celebrating Our Fathers and Heroes 365!
"A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the
most valuable assets in our society." -- Billy Graham, Christian Evangelist
Black Pearls Magazine is a free digital magazine committed to inspire, encourage and empower a international group of readers. Our mission is to provide information that is essential, enlightening and entertaining.
We believe in Giving the Gift of Knowledge! We are here to bring you those
extraordinary literary jewels, Black Pearls, that are sure to bring you and your love ones much pleasure and empowerment.
Tantalizing stories, memorable characters, provocative storylines are all here!
We bring you the hottest titles released by the most talented authors, writers, and poets of the craft.
Join us in daily
book chats on Facebook, listen to incredible audio book
previews, and help us expose great books to the world. These
pages are filled with glorious books and author introductions! We have more than
enough to entertain and educate you all month long.
Share this spirit filled issue with at least 10 friends and co-workers.
Would you like to be a guest blogger? We are now seeking virtual tour stops! If you want to be added as a stop on our literary tours, contact
me today. Just email Ella Curry with any questions or comments
2013 ATL Chocolate Social Details
Thursday Night, August 1, 2013 at 7:30 pm EST
Location: Shula's 347 Grill, Marriott Buckhead Hotel
3405 Lenox Road Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30326
Party with Legends!
Bookclubs and Authors, it's your time to shine! Join us for a of night of fabulous fun created in honor of you. We will host the awards ceremony for the 2013 Black Pearls Literary Excellence Award Winners! Join the party by mingling with celebrated authors, publishers, literary icons and 40+ bookclub presidents. Enjoy a elegant plated meal, laughter with publishing industry professionals, door prizes and more.
Come out to network with an open mind and a spirit of fellowship. The atmosphere will be full of energy as six authors provide live, dramatic readings and entertainment!
Each guest will have a chance to mingle with the authors and to receive a gift bag filled with awesome books.
Authors this is your chance to meet the presidents up close. Vending opportunities
are available for $90.00 per author/business/and or person. More
information here: http://www.edc-creations.com/chocolate2013.htm
Give the Gift of Knowledge
Give Books as Gifts 365!
Appreciate the Book Lovers of the World!
Creations, The Sankofa Literary Society and The Black Authors Network
are proud to announce the launch of the 2013-2014 "Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign," bringing readers and authors together to help improve literacy.
Each holiday season, we encourage readers to purchase books to give as gifts. 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!
Each year thousands of people - educators, concerned parents, community leaders, authors, poets and publishers - devote their time and resources to presenting the reader with great books! However, too many outstanding books do not get the attention and reader support that they deserve. It is our mission to connect readers with these hidden gems and bring them books that will change their lives. Instead of giving expensive gifts that don't shape lives --- let's "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.
Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations
Black Pearls Magazine Online-Founder
Black Authors Network Radio-Founder
Social Media Strategist - Internet Publicist - Branding Coach
A History of Father's Day
Black Pearls celebrates great men!
By Lisa A. Mason
In the fast paced world we live in and with all the things that need to be done it is extremely hard sometimes to find the time to show Dad how much you care. Fathers Day is that special time of year where we all have the opportunity to let our Dad's know just how much we really love them, but have you ever wondered how Fathers Day first got started?
During the first part of the twentieth century, Fathers Day was added to the list of celebrated holidays as a way to honor Dad's all over the world for the wonderful job they do. It was designed to compliment Mothers Day and is usually celebrated shortly after Mothers Day although Fathers Day is celebrated on different days in different parts of the world.
This holiday is celebrated by giving Dad gifts and planning activities for the whole family to enjoy together. Recently gifts such as tools and electronics are widely promoted as great Fathers Day presents. Flowers are also worn to celebrate this wonderful holiday. Traditionally, a white flower is worn to honor a Dad that is deceased and a red rose is for the Dad who is still living.
There are several different events that involve a variety of people that helped to inspire and make Father's Day a holiday. The very first Father's Day that was celebrated in the United States was in the year 1908 on July 5th. The Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South in Fairmont West Virginia is where this Fathers Day service was held.
The two events that are believed to have inspired this service are as follows. One event was a service that was held for Mother's Day in a nearby town for the very first time and the other was a tragic explosion that killed three hundred and sixty-one men. This explosion occurred in a mine that was located in Monongah.
However, the person who is given the most credit for getting this holiday underway is a lady named Mrs. Sonora Dodd. Her father was named Mr. William Smart. His wife died when she was delivering their sixth child and he continued to raise and care for all six children alone. Mrs. Dodd wanted to honor her father for this, so in 1909 she suggested making Father's Day a regular holiday. She asked that this day be on June 5th, but due to lack of time it was scheduled for the third Sunday in June.
During this time people all over the United States were beginning to celebrate Fathers Day as well. This is why some people remember Mrs. Charles Clayton from West Virginia as one of the people who originated Fathers Day. Still most of the credit is given to Mrs. Dodd.
In the year 1966 the presidential proclamation was signed that made Fathers Day an official holiday to be celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of every June. However, it was not actually recognized until the year 1972 when Richard Nixon was president. It has been celebrated every since and is one of the most popular holidays recognized today.
About the Columnist
Lisa Mason is a freelance writer with a specialty in Internet content and SEO articles. She has written thousands of articles, hundreds of ebooks and thousands of website pages and related content. She has also authored her own books and works as a consultant to other writers, Internet marketers and Internet businesses.
Lisa Mason, Professional wordsmith for hire: gamer, wife, mother, entrepreneur, published poet, co-owner of game guides company, public speaker and Internet business consultant. You can learn more or follow Lisa's blog from her website:
Inspiration for Father's Day
by Chris Benjamin
"The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him." Proverbs 23:24
What an awesome responsibility and joy it is to be a father! As we reflect on what this day means, let us take time to acknowledge our Heavenly Father. The One who comforts us in times of need and rejoices in our times of happiness. In His presence, all worldly problems dissolve away as His loving kindness surrounds us.
Fathers take this special day and use it to realign our priorities with our Father in heaven.
He has sent us to be the good shepherds of our families. We must be the best providers and protectors of the ones we are charged to love unconditionally. How are we to do that? We have to seek God and his strength and wisdom to accomplish this mission. Turn to God in faithful prayer, seek His truth in the bible, and put our faith in righteous action. If we center ourselves in God and continually seek His ways, we will not fail to deliver worthy lives.
I encourage all fathers to take time to learn about each individual in your family. Find out what makes each one unique and do something special for each one. Do something that says, "I am your father and I love you unconditionally. Never will I stop. We are together in this life and the next."
It is a difficult task to stay centered on being a godly father in our
society. But it is what we are made for and called to do for God's glory. Fathers, we can accomplish great things when we unite as faithful servants of God. Stay strong and know that we have the ultimate strength waiting to come to our side when we call. Look to the day when the Lord comes to call on us fathers with happy hearts, because we know we have been good shepherd's to His children.
Happy Fathers Day! God Bless!
About the Author
Chris Benjamin is the author of the inspirational book "Spiritual Basic Training" Learn more at
www.spiritualbasictraining.com to complete missions for a Spirit-filled life.
Reflections On Fatherhood
by Arleen M. Kaptur
stores are filled with gift ideas and cards. There are special programs dedicated to honoring fathers. Yes, fathers are a very special group of people.
This is an open letter to each and every father out in the world. This is directed at you if you currently are living and raising your children, your children are grown, or you have fathered a child but do not have the pleasure of being an integral part of that child’s life. Also, if you are a father and do not have or want any contact with a child that carries your physical attributes, this is for you.
A child is a unique combination of genes. Some are from the mother and some are contributed by the father. There are previous generations that also are taken into account. In other words, this child is a burning emblem of civilization and is given the responsibility of carrying the torch of the world to its resting place. There is so much more than scientific endowments. There are emotions, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. A child is a mirror that reflects only the best of what mankind is capable of creating. It is history in the making, a promise for the future, and the pride of the beholder.
A child is a complicated assortment of atoms and molecules, as well as a simple solution to loss of hope. You can dream with a child, and grow in awareness of everything around you. Miracles abound in life with the gift of innocence. Time comes to a standstill and our daily activities are sidestepped so we can look at an insect and marvel, or see a bird and truly see it for the first time. Giggles, hugs, and tickles wrap up a perfect day. We are one step closer to perfection and yet the small hand of a child holds the keys. Their steps are tiny and the road is long. They have endurance and capabilities we can only marvel at. A child is simplicity dressed up in its finest.
Missed opportunities of being with your child are irretrievable. Your child will never go back in time no matter how many times you do. Only their shadows remain to haunt and point an accusing finger. If you are not a vital part in your child’s life, there will always be a void that no one else can ever fill. This space in the soul of a child will ache and be painful for as long as the child lives. Only your touch, your attention, and only you can soothe and cure.
The responsibility is great but the rewards are incomprehensible. You are not complete if there is a void in your child’s life.
Taking a rocket to the moon is child’s play when compared to raising a child to adulthood. There are no owner’s manuals and no guarantees. There are only promises and assurances of tomorrow. Expectations may vary but there are no mistakes. You do the best you can and that is all that is asked. Mistakes also pave the way for growth but absence builds the roadblock. Walls of years of neglect can be torn down with a kiss or an embrace. Past disappointments are just that - the past. It may take time to completely undo what it may have taken years to build but the labor is worth it.
Your reflection will always be in your child’s eyes and your lifeblood flows in their bodies. Their hearts are equipped to forgive and forget, but they need to know you care. Feelings and emotions can be mended, but abandonment is an open sore that never heals.
On Father’s Day take the time to know your child, be a vital part of his/her existence and be grateful that you have contributed to the building of that rocket to the moon.
HAVE A HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! ENJOY!
(Written by someone who never knew their father)
About the Columnist
Arleen Kaptur has written numerous articles, cookbooks, and the novel: SEARCHING FOR AUSTIN JAMES. Please visit Arleen Kaptur's Websites:
Letter to a "Fatherless" Daughter
by Diane A. Sears
What do I say to someone whose heart has been literally
ripped out of the cavity of her chest? What can I say to ease the deep pain of a shattered heart -- a pain that reverberates through your soul -- a pain that greets you every morning
when you wake up? The deep hurt that was inflicted upon you was unintentional. There are two people in pain. You and your Father.
Every daughter wants and needs to hear their Father whisper, "I love you!" -- three words that affirm her. . . three words that tell her she matters. Had you heard those words from him during your journey from childhood to womanhood, it would have made a positive impact upon your life. Every Father wants to be in his daughter's life. The decisions and mistakes that your Father made robbed him of the chance to love and care for you. He is wrestling with the decisions and mistakes he made as a young man. He is wrestling with the fact that he was not there to hear you talk about your first day at school, to plan birthday parties for you and watch you blow out the candles on your birthday cakes, and to watch you blossom into the beautiful woman that you have become. And yes, you are beautiful. Beauty is within, not without. Circumstances and decisions beyond your control and which you had nothing to do with, prevented him from telling you how much he loved you and from affirming you.
But that was the past. Let's talk about NOW . . . TODAY.
If you think your Father does not think about you ... does not love you . . . does not recognize your existence, you are wrong. I understand that you cannot see or believe this. Your Father loves you and cares about you deeply. And when he thinks and speaks about you, his eyes sparkle, and a smile illuminates his face. So, why doesn't he show it? Why does he act as if you don't exist? Why is he pushing you away? Because he does not know how to tell you that he loves you and cares about you deeply. Your Father wants to be a part of your life, he just does know how to do that. You will have to teach him how to do that.
While you and your Father cannot change the past, the two of you can do something about the present and the future. I know that you are hurting, but you must find it within your heart to forgive him. Forgiveness is not about him, it is about YOU. Forgiveness is your path to healing . . . to fulfilling your destiny on this earth . . . and to being the vibrant, brilliant, and beautiful person that you truly are. Forgiveness is the path to helping your Father become a part of your life -- something that you desperately need and want.
There is a void in your life and in your Father's life. He needs you just as much as you need him. Find him -- send him an e-mail, call him -- tell him that you forgive him . . . that you love him . . . that you need him . . . and that he needs you. If he does not answer, don't pull away. Continue to shower him with telephone calls, voice mail messages, text messages, e-mail messages, and TWEETs that tell him: "Dad, I forgive you. I love you. I need you. I am here for you."
About the Columnist
Diane A. Sears, International Men's Day - United States Coordinator
Director, IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD® INTERNATIONAL FATHERHOOD PROGRAM
Member, University Council for Fatherhood and Men's Studies Program at Akamai University
Managing Editor - IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD® ( http://globalfatherhooddialogue.blogspot.com
Growing Up in Fatherless Homes
by Dr. Daryl Green
Expert shares tips to help individuals cope with this social epidemic
With millions of fathers missing from homes, there are unintended consequences to this epidemic in America. Despite all of the government and social support available, today’s children still need a strong male role model in their homes. A noted expert shares some helpful information with Black Pearls readers.
Recently, Desmond Hatchett made an impression with many people in the news. The 33 year old man from Tennessee was requesting
relief from the court on his child support. It was reported that he had 30 children with 11 women. With a minimum wage job, Hatchett was struggling to meet his financial comments to his children. The court required him to turn over 50% of his wages for child support, which was based primarily on the children ages and their needs. Sadly, some mothers were only getting $1.49 a month for their children. Consequently, Hatchett could not meet his financial responsibilities as a father. However, not meeting the mental and spiritual needs may have longer ramifications on his children.
Fatherless homes aren't a pleasant experience for many folks in society. Some individuals are fortunate to have a caring, supportive father. Unfortunately, numerous people live without one. Across the social spectrum, many individuals are living with deep wounds left by their fathers.
Some people maintain that today’s men are not simply sperm donors. According to the 2005 Census Report, there are 66.3 million fathers in the United States. There are 26.5 million fathers in a traditional family environment (married couples with children under the age of 18). Sadly, everything is not a pleasant story. There are 4.6 million fathers who pay child support, representing 84% of child support providers.
Dr. Daryl Green, nationally recognized lecturer on cultural issues, has done extensive research on cultural issues impacting today and future leaders. His last book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century: How to Assist Today’s College Students during Economic Turbulence, has been rated number one on Amazon.com. Dr. Green sees how popular culture has demonized traditional fathers: “Clearly, we are being bombarded with negative stories about fathers. Most people today view fathers in destructive stereotypes. However, most educators and researchers would argue the importance of a strong male role model in the home.” Missing fathers have become a national crisis with unintended consequences.
Due to the increase in ‘out-of-wedlock’ births and the high number of divorces, children living away from their biological fathers have become commonplace. Numerous stories paint a terrible picture for these fatherless children. Some facts that bear out this reality: (a) 85% of children with behavioral problems come from fatherless homes, according to the Center for Disease Control, (b) 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes, (c) 85% of all youth in prison come from fatherless homes, and (d) 75% of all youth in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes.
Dr. Green notes that single parents and other families without strong fathers need to find opportunities where they can showcase positive male figures. “Fathers are necessary to achieve a healthy family balance even though they are not celebrated as such.” He further suggests that citizens should showcase the positive things fathers are doing in their communities while counseling the misguided ones. America cannot survive without real fathers and real men.
Don’t Be An Old Fool is available online at Amazon.com and other book retailers.
You can also view the book trailer on Youtube.com at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_LKEMrIweA. Dr. Green is available for media interviews. For more information about the book or the authors, please contact Donna Gilliard at 865-216-9209 or visit Dr. Green on his website,
About the Author
Dr. Daryl Green is a management strategist and nationally-recognized author who has been noted and quoted in major media outlets, including USA Today, Associated Press, and Ebony Magazine. He is an adjunct professor at Lincoln Memorial University, and a former faculty member at Knoxville College. Green has spent more than 20 years assisting organizations and individuals with making good decisions.
The Imprint of the Past
by Anthony Weber
In my experience, there is a cycle to grief. Something from the trauma of the loss gets embedded in us - in our heart, our head, our emotions, maybe even our physiology.
I don't know exactly how to describe it, but I have noticed over the years that grief has left an imprint on my flesh as well as my spirit. My body remembers that something monumental happened on January 9, 2003, and it dutifully reminds me each year as the cycle of life unfolds.
Ten years ago today, my father died.
Reality shifted in a way I had never experienced before. Something in the world broke, not just in him but in me. I have mended for ten years now, and much like broken bones can become stronger after they mend, there are parts of me that have matured in ways that could not have happened without that experience. But for the past week I've been depressed, exhausted, on the verge of tears, unable to focus, using entertainment to get me through the evening on the way to a restless sleep.
My body remembers. It commemorates that week in my life every year. I have thought over the years that the world should have changed more when Dad died. Perhaps it did, and I didn't realize it.
A decade is a long time. There are times I feel like I should be over it more than I am. Other times, I'm pretty sure that I'm always supposed to have a place deep inside that misses him. Somewhere between despondency and amnesia I have found a healthy place where I miss him gently, poignantly, during the moments when a good father ought to be missed.
During weeks like this one, I am reminded that the once broken do not become the never broken. The broken become the repaired. Though they heal, they carry with them the history of their losses.
On rainy days, my surgically repaired knees hurt. I'm okay with that. The rainy days remind me that what I had been feeling every day has faded - not completely, but enough to make me grateful that broken is not the same as hopeless.
On days like today, my heart hurts. I'm okay with that, too. These days reminds me that what I had been feeling every day has faded - not completely, but enough that I can recognize the gift of a father whose passing is worthy of my lingering grief.
May his memory stay embedded in me, body and soul.
About the Author
Anthony Weber is a pastor, teacher, husband, father, author and blogger (learningtojumpagain.com; learningtojump.blogspot.com; empiresandmangers.blogspot.com). You can contact Anthony at
Source of Article. Stock photo shown above.
HEALING MEN . . .
REBUILDING THE VILLAGE
by Diane A. Sears
Every day – through deeds – Men teach us valuable life lessons about selflessness, courage, loyalty, compassion, unconditional love, and the importance of “doing what is best for the tribe” as opposed to “doing what is best for self”.
Yet, in some circles, the question of whether Men are really necessary is being discussed. Subliminal mixed messages about masculinity, parental roles and responsibilities, and the rules of engagement for courtship and marriage are being conveyed to Men through mainstream media, films, television situation comedies and literature.
Many Men live a “thankless” existence. They struggle to provide for their families, positively shape the minds and souls of their children, and empower the communities in which they live and work. No one – or hardly anyone – is telling a Man: “Thank you! Job well done! Hey, I appreciate you!” Conversely – implicitly and explicitly -- Men are being told consistently: “A real man does this! A real man does that!” Society tells boys and Men to be strong and that it is not “manly” to show their emotions. And when boys and Men seem not to show any emotion, we accuse them of being insensitive and uncaring. While society tells boys and men how to be a man, society is not telling girls and women how to be a woman. No one is telling girls and women: “A real women does this! A real woman does that!”
We seem to be so obsessed with telling men what they ought to do and what they are not doing. Hardly anyone is telling Men, “Your presence completes me as a person. Your presence completes our family – our community. You have value. You are loved. You are needed.” We seem so consumed about what a Man is supposed to give. The conversation always seems to be about: “A man is supposed to give this. A man is supposed to give that.” When it comes to Men, the conversation seems to be about “taking” – what we can and should take from him. Men are expected to provide safety and support. But when is the last time a man heard someone tell him: “Hey, I’ve got your back! You can count on me to protect and support you.” Men need to feel safe and supported, too!
What happens to a Man who is constantly bombarded with mixed signals about his role as a Man and a Father; badgered about what he ought to be doing and what he is not doing; and not expected to show any emotions even though he may be drowning in grief and pain? His spirit breaks and his soul shatters. Self-doubt, low self-esteem, and stress overtake him. He feels empty . . . isolated . . . powerless.
He may plunge into the deep abyss of depression. Or become emotionally detached. He may self-medicate his emotional pain with food, alcohol or drugs. His physical and mental health suffers. Is it any wonder that there is an alarmingly rising incidence of strokes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and diabetes? Should we find it surprising that some Men who have “given their all” only to discover that “giving their all” is just not enough, commit suicide as a means of escaping the abuse and madness that surrounds them?
Why should we care about what happens to Men? Men are the glue that holds our families, communities, and our village – the global village we know as Planet Earth -- together. We are all connected to one another. And what affects Men impacts all of us. The village has become a chaotic and dangerous place for its most vulnerable members – our children – our babies and the bridge to the future – and our Elders.
It is glaringly apparent that the weight of the plethora of daunting challenges that our village finds itself immersed in is causing it to break apart. This “breaking apart” of the village is creating an opportunity for all of us to rebuild the village. Strong, empowered, clear thinking, and fully emotionally engaged Men and Women working together can create and sustain nurturing and efficiently functioning family units and transform chaotic, toxic, and violent communities into a nurturing, peaceful, and economically and environmentally vibrant village.
We must create a space and place for Men where can they cry, shout, laugh, and articulate their emotional pain without fear of having their manhood called into question. We must create an environment that is conducive to Men shedding their emotional baggage. Healing Men is the first step to rebuilding the village.
by Diane A. Sears
2013 International Men's Day - United States Coordinator
that Keeps on Giving
by Vanessa Davis Griggs
To have a wonderful, loving mother is a blessing indeed. I realize not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to say this. A mother who gives birth to a child gives that child the gift of life. Then there are those mothers who may not physically carry a child in their womb, but through adoption, foster care, becoming a stepmom, or one who just steps up to take on the role without any special title, they carry that child in their hearts. No, mothers don’t always have the right answers nor will she always do every single thing right. But a good mother will strive to do her best.
I have the privilege of being on both ends of the motherhood spectrum. I am the daughter of Josephine Davis and the mother of Jeffery, Jeremy, and Johnathan. As hard as life may have appeared at times growing up, when you become a mother, you quickly learn it’s no cakewalk. But the joy that lay before you, once you give your heart away to that child is worth whatever you may have to do or go through.
From the sixth grade to the eleventh grade, I tried out for cheerleader. Mid-February in my fifth grade year, we (meaning the black children from Village Springs, Alabama and other surrounding black communities) “integrated” into the white schools under the term “busing.” It was a strange term when you consider that prior to that time we were being bused to a black school a greater distance away. In any event, we had now entered into the era of integration. Being a young child, I didn’t know what any of that meant. I never thought of black and white as being separate. I never really thought of black and white in any way. I never realized we were going in through the back door when we visited the local white doctor in Pinson. In truth, I never even knew we were (by the country’s definition) “poor.” I never knew I was supposed to be inferior to anyone else. I never knew there were things I couldn’t or shouldn’t be able to do in life. And I credit a lot of this to my wonderful mother.
You see, my mother made sure that we knew we were rich and could do anything in life if we worked hard for it (I’d also add my father, but we’re talking about mothers here). Growing up with our mother, we felt rich because, in all that ever mattered in life, we were. We had love, a mother who worked hard to be sure we had what we needed; but most of all, a mother who introduced us to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. After the introduction, she guaranteed we continued our relationship, ensuring we not only maintained Sunday visits (and I mean every Sunday, sometimes twice that same day when there were afternoon programs) to deepen our knowledge and give God praise, but to keep every day holy.
THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE
Your Purpose Should Dictate How You Spend Your Time
by Brenda Johnson Padgitt
You don’t have time to waste or squander.
Your time is valuable, precious and limited. Make the best choices concerning your time each day. Choose what yields the greatest results when it comes to your time.
Start by writing a mission statement for your life. A mission statement highlights your intended purpose on Planet Earth. Your mission statement should include your talents, abilities and skills you want to contribute to the world. A mission statement will keep you focused. It will also help you be decisive about how you spend your time.
Your mission statement should be used to create the tasks to accomplish your goals.
It takes time and energy to see the results of your goals. Time spent on endeavors that are not related to your purpose is time lost or wasted.
According to Habakkuh 2:2, a vision should be written and made plain upon tables, that he may run that readest it. Your mission statement is the written purpose or vision for your life.
Developing a mission statement for your life helps you feel empowered. It helps you strategically move forward in accomplishing your goals. Your written purpose, however, does not keep you from encountering people who compete for your time and energy. Your time and energy should be spent to fulfill your purpose. Extra time should be used to volunteer to others. It’s nothing wrong with helping others. Always remember that charity starts at home.
In the article, “Success Formula! Avoid 10 Most Important Time Stealers” on Bukisa.com, Kamla Joshi lists the inability to say “No!” The struggle to say “No” is when you try to please people. You put what’s important to you aside to please someone else. Kamla Joshi says the five deadliest words that rob you of your time are from drop in visitors who say “Have you got a minute?” Kamla Joshi further states that knowing how to deal with interruptions is one of the best skills you can learn.
Eric Garner also talks about managing interruptions in his article “Say No To Time Stealers” on Articlesbase.com. He says learn to be brief because in business your time is your money. Hefurther states that wasting time with unnecessary long meetings with others is a way to let money trickle down the drain.
Using a planner is one way you can account for your time. It also helps when your schedule is in sync with your purpose. A planner helps you account for every second, minute and hour of your day. You can use daily, weekly and monthly planners. A planner can also serve as a record keeper to show how you spent your time for the year.
Before you waste another second, minute or hour, draft your life’s mission statement. Think about your talents, abilities and skills. What purpose do you feel you serve on Planet Earth? When you know your purpose you have clear direction. A mission statement helps you maximize on how you spend your time.
Meet the Author
Brenda Johnson Padgitt is an author, publisher, radio host and a humble servant of God. She enjoys spending time with her two beautiful girls, Diamond and Kamille. Ms. Padgitt has a B. A. Degree in Broadcast News Communications. She is an educator and has taught and tutored Pre-K through college.
Ms. Padgitt is the CEO/Founder of The Young Scholar's Book Club, The ASWIFTT Writer's Guild, ASWIFTT Jr. Writer's Guild, ASWIFTT Publishing, ASWIFTT Radio, ASWIFTT Journal and ASWIFTT Television.
Your Legacy is a Gift to Earth with Everlasting Memories
By Brenda Johnson Padgitt
What do you want people to remember about you? What kind of impact do you want to have for years to come? When you use your gifts and talents to serve others you are building relationships. Relationships involve people caring about others. People will remember you for your gifts, talents, ideas, inventions, services or products you offered.
Legacy according to the Random House College Dictionary is anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor. Legacy could also be personal property, money, laws, customs and traditions. Many people feel it is an honor to continue the legacies passed down from their ancestors. It is important to leave something of value that will continue to benefit others after you expire from Earth. Your legacy will be the remnant that remains of you in the Earth.
When you leave a legacy it shows your accomplishments during your lifetime.
It gives a snap shot of your goals, interests, talents and abilities. Your legacy shows what was dear to your heart while you lived on Earth. It shows what you were passionate about. Your legacy to Earth is usually a continuation of what people enjoyed while you lived. People continue to benefit from what you offered to Planet Earth.
Today we continue to benefit from the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his activism, ideas, speeches and marches to help in the Civil Rights Movement. Madame C. J. Walker left a legacy of the power of entrepreneurship. She is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the first female of any race to become a self made millionaire. Today we continue to enjoy the rags to riches story told about her life and the hair care products she manufactured.
According to Wikipedia.com, Karl Benz invented the first modern automobile in 1885. Henry Ford is remembered for maximizing on the assembly line technique in 1914. He manufactured the first affordable automobile called the Ford Model T in 1927. The invention of the modern automobile is still a major necessity in the United States and other countries around the world.
You can also leave a legacy of a good reputation that is associated with your name. According to the Bible in Proverbs 22:1, a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered also for his good name. He promoted and modeled peaceful demonstrations during the Civil Rights Movement. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
Planning, preparing and building your dreams goes hand in hand with your legacy.
Whatever you build successfully remains in the Earth when you expire. The business and profits you leave can be passed down to your children, family members or friends. Before you expire communicate to your family members how you want your legacy to continue. You can also re-communicate this in your Will. It is up to you to plan what you will leave and to whom. Your legacy will have everlasting memories from generation to generation. Your talents, gifts, ideas, inventions, services or products will continue to be used and appreciated by many.
About the Author
Brenda Johnson Padgitt is an author, publisher, radio host and a humble servant of God. She enjoys spending time with her two beautiful girls, Diamond and Kamille. Ms. Padgitt has a B. A. Degree in Broadcast News Communications. She is an educator and has taught and tutored Pre-K through college.
Ms. Padgitt is the CEO/Founder of The Young Scholar's Book Club, The ASWIFTT Writer's Guild, ASWIFTT Jr. Writer's Guild, ASWIFTT Publishing, ASWIFTT Radio, ASWIFTT Journal and ASWIFTT Television.
I'd Rather Be
(If I Can't Have You Sequel)
by Mary B. Morrison
From New York Times
bestselling author Mary B. Morrison comes the sizzling tale of two
friends and the provocative bet that forever changes their lives. Now, with
their futures up in the air, who will play one vengeful game too many? And who
will wish she wasn’t left standing?
I’m the wife Madison’s husband really deserves. Why won’t she let him go?
Nursing wealthy businessman Chicago DuBois back to health was the least
Loretta Lovelace figured she could do. After all, it was her bet that made Madison
the object of a crazed stalker’s affections and put Chicago at
death’s door. With Madison’s marriage on the rocks, Loretta couldn’t
resist looking after Chicago’s interests and reigniting his passion for life.
But now Madison wants to take back what’s no longer hers. . .
I’ve got a fresh chance to start over. But letting Loretta walk away with my
old life—that’s not going to happen. Madison’s life was perfect before
Loretta introduced her to Granville Washington and initiated the bet that
ruined Madison’s reputation and marriage. Now with a baby on the way and a
family empire to save, Madison knows it’s past time to make some tough
decisions. To get her life back on track, she’ll have to settle the score with
Loretta and deal with Sindy Singleton, another woman who’s trying to
make a play for Chicago. But this spoiled beauty has just the plan to handle her
competition, her stalker, and her straying husband. . .
Excerpt from I’d Rather Be With You
Have you ever loved someone so much you could kill him? My signature was a
heartbeat away from doing that. I’d signed the authorization to take my
husband off life support. He was a good man. But there were times when being a
good person wasn’t enough. Some would say he did all the right things in our
relationship, but he did them for the wrong woman. I’d disagree. Unlike most
women, I knew my self-worth. The brilliant diamond wedding ring on my finger was
there because I’d earned it.
“Mrs. DuBois,” the doctor softly said. “I still have the paper in my hand.
It’s not too late to have a change of heart.” He stood in front of me as
though my time was up. In a small private space, there was a desk, two chairs, a
computer, the doctor, and me. The door with a large square windowpane was
The room suddenly got colder as though someone had locked me in a morgue, alone,
with the Grim Reaper. The chill penetrated me so deep I froze from the inside
out. Reminded me of a trip I’d taken to New York City to celebrate New
Year’s Eve. I was in the midst of tens of thousands of people bundled in
coats. Their faces were wrapped with scarves. My feet were stuffed in fur-lined
boots. My hands were inside cashmere-coated gloves and I was in Times Square,
Tapered to my body, the sleeveless black dress I’d chosen to put on this
morning was midthigh. The back of my legs stuck to the hard plastic chair. I
hugged myself, then slid my hands up and down the chill bumps covering my arms.
I wiggled my fingers; they were stiff. I pressed them together; then I rubbed
them back and forth. I wanted to cry for my husband, for myself, but this was
not the time to break down. There were too many what-ifs in my mind competing
for attention; it felt like my head was going to explode. My unchanging heart
was heavy and numb. I’d heard the doctor, but I didn’t respond.
I sat staring at the beige tile beneath my four-inch black platform stilettos.
What if my husband died before I made it to the hospital’s exit? What if all
of his football fans blamed me for his death? What if I hadn’t had sex with
that idiot, Granville? What if the baby growing inside me was the result of my
infidelity? What if the tape Granville stole from my house of us having sex
ended up online for millions to see? What if I continued to delay having surgery
for my breast cancer? What if something went wrong with my operation and I ended
up on life support? Would I want someone to take me off?
Gazing into the doctor’s eyes, I told him, “My decision is final.”
He remained quiet for several minutes, then said, “Okay. I’m pretty sure you
don’t want to be in the room when he’s disconnected from the machine, but I
“Ask?” I paused, then continued, “No, you don’t.”
Already dressed for the possibility of becoming a grieving widow, I stood, with
one foot in front of him, and opened my mouth. I wanted to ask how long did he
think it would be before I received the call saying my husband was dead.
Don’t do that, Madison. The doctor will think you’re insensitive.
The truth was, I did care for Roosevelt. Hopefully, his transition would happen
within twenty-four hours. Just in case he lingered more than a day, I’d
already approved comfort care for him. The staff could insert an IV and
administer morphine as often as needed to eliminate the pain I had caused.
The Deadly Rose, An Assassin's Tale
by J.M. Lominy
Pierre-André François is handsome, intelligent, and the greatest soccer player in Haitian history. He also has a well-kept secret; he is an assassin. In fact, Pierre-André François is the vile and feared Haitian assassin known as
The Little Rose. Like a skilled painter, he kills with style and finesse, bringing death in broad purposeful strokes and sweeps of red. Signing each piece of work with a fragrant red rose.
The year is 1957 and Haiti is in turmoil. Political wrangling has kept the presidency vacant and the country is ripe with civil unrest and upheaval. Political positions are up for grabs and anyone with power, money and courage are out to claim them. Turmoil, conflict and distrust, the ideal environment for a skilled assassin to leave his mark!
However, the Little Rose is not alone. After he assassinates a popular senator, he finds himself hunted by an unknown depraved psychopath. Ever confident in his deadly skills, the Little Rose is put to the test when he comes face to face with the machete-carrying killer.
The Deadly Rose, An Assassin's Tale by J.M. Lominy
Excerpt from CHAPTER TWO
At five minutes after ten, a woman’s scream sounded, one so true and so frightening that neighbors two streets over came out to investigate. The scream came from the home of Laplace.
Laplace’s great wealth of a house stood sturdy and strong among beautiful homes in the heart of Pétion-Ville, on a hillside off of Rue Louverture. It faced west, smiling in the direction of the capital, with darling green paint and a grand balcony gracefully overlooking a beautiful front yard garden. On a clear sunny day, the garden’s colorful collage could be seen from Port-au-Prince, its carpet of roses and lilies planted and maintained by Mr. Laplace himself. A new seven-foot, decorative, cinder-block wall stood erect, forming a perfect rectangle around the perimeter of the property. It was the only house in the neighborhood to be so screened-in, a recent security measure undertaken because of the increasing political turmoil.
Minutes before she took claim to her screams, Madame Laplace was sound asleep, serenaded by crickets under a cool, soft, and steady breeze–a paradise she gladly welcomed. Life could not have been any better. She was dreadfully awakened by two thundering sounds, wondering if cannons had been fired outside her window. The sounds put a momentary pause to her heart, then a terrifying gallop.
Afraid to open her eyes, she fumbled over pillows in the dark and found her husband inches away. “Theodore wake up! They’re shooting outside,” Madame Laplace said scared and shaken. Mr. Laplace answered with silence. Their second floor bedroom faced a courtyard that led to a back entrance. That same passageway was now crowded with two dead bodies, men who were charged with their safety.
“Theodore didn’t you hear me? They’re shooting outside.” Madame Laplace repeated as she shook Theodore Laplace by the shoulder, still no answer.
An uncomfortable silence ensued, if only for a second. To Madame Laplace it seemed an eternity. Tightness crept up her chest. Suspicion lingered in the back of her thoughts. He was never difficult to awaken and rarely silent, even as he slept. Just minutes ago, it seemed, his snoring was a continuous humming that kept cadence with the crickets.
Gradually she opened her eyes, withdrawing her ivory hand from his broad shoulder. A thick warm liquid caked her hand. With controlled panic, she fumbled for the matches. With shaking hands she struck the box of matches, almost too petrified to look, but knowing she had to.
The fire took hold of the match with a bang, sending sparks of light everywhere, exposing the red liquid covering her delicate fingers. Through a haze of fear and the onset of nausea, she saw. Blood, the life force—as red as it was thick and still warm to the touch—was undeniably present.
Madame Laplace couldn’t believe what she saw, but at the same time it was indisputable. It must be a trick, a lie, a mirage, she thought. She blinked as if to clear her vision and wish the blood away. Her head started to spin out of control like a coconut tumbling down a tree, in a hurry to meet earth.
“My God,” escaped from her quivering lips. She turned pale as the meat in the center of a coconut and shook uncontrollably. She knew before she saw, deep down in her soul, she knew. Her innards twisted into cramping knots. Her suspicion was to be proven accurate. She knew that Theodore Vladimir Laplace had walked through the gates manned by Ghede, the voodoo god of the dead.
She stared at her own fingers caked with the congealed blood, wishing it were the past or a dream or even a crude joke by a malevolent spirit. Her small-reddened lips curled like a slingshot, stretched thin, ready to be released. With tears already forming in her eyes and her chest aching, she suddenly found it difficult to breathe, to think, when only moments ago it came so easily.
Time seemed to have slowed as she faced her husband of twenty-five years. Through blurred vision produced by rain-sized tears, she saw, paused, and gasped. The ghostly portrait of the former Theodore Laplace was smiling at her. His mouth was stuffed with a dirty rag, causing his already corpulent cheeks to spread out. His eyes stared up at heaven as if questioning God “Why now? Why me?” His neck sported a gaping V-shaped smile, the traditional bowtie cut left behind by a taker of souls, a Haitian assassin—the assassin’s baptism, as it was known amongst criminals. Only the cruelest of assassins can cut a man’s throat, leaving him with a flowing, red grin that mocked the living, as if to say death was not so bad.
( Continued... )
© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, J.M. Lominy. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.
Order your copy today from the J.M. Lominy website: http://jmlominy.com
From Amazon: http://amzn.com/0988827700
The Deadly Rose, An Assassin's Tale
Available on Kindle and Nook
Genre: Historical Fiction. Family, Religion, and Politics
ISBN-10: 0988827719 ebook
ISBN-10: 0988827700 paperback
Never Say Never
by Victoria Christopher Murray
A 9/11 inspired story. What happens when two best friends marry two best
then one becomes a widow?
In this emotionally charged and inspiring novel about a love triangle, secrets between best friends threaten to blow up friendships and a marriage and change lives forever.
When Miriam's fireman husband, Chauncey, dies while rescuing students from a school fire,
Miriam feels like her life is over. How is she going to raise her three children all by herself? How will she survive without the love of her life?
Luckily, Miriam's sister-friend Emily and Emily's husband, Jamal, are there to comfort her. Jamal and Chauncey grew up together and were best friends;
Jamal and Emily know they will do all they can to support Miriam through her grief. Jamal steps in and helps Miriam with the funeral arrangements and with her children, plus he gives her hope that she has a future. But all the time that they spend together—grieving, sharing, and reminiscing—brings the two closer in ways they never planned. . . .
Read the first 7 chapters Now!
We were just three best friends doing what we always did. Three best friends having our monthly get together on the second Tuesday of the month -- lunch at Roscoe's Chicken 'N Waffles.
We'd been doing this for twelve years, since we'd graduated from UCLA. But today, we'd changed it up a bit. Today, instead of driving over to Hollywood and meeting at the Roscoe's on Gower, we decided to check out the new one closer to my home, the one on Manchester.
Maybe that was a sign. Maybe if we'd kept everything the same, the world wouldn't have changed. Maybe if we'd been in Hollywood, Michellelee wouldn't have gotten that call just as I was stuffing that first sugary bite of a waffle into my mouth.
We'd been talking and laughing - or rather Michellelee and Emily had been doing all the talking, and as usual, I was just laughing.
Then, Michellelee's BlackBerry vibrated on the table.
I had glanced at Emily and we rolled our eyes together. There was hardly a time when
our celebrity friend wasn't called away from one of our lunches. That's just how it was for one of
the most recognizable faces in Los Angeles. As the evening anchor for KABC, Michellelee, who
had combined her first name Michelle with her last name Lee and was now known by just one
name, had one of the top ten news jobs in the country, even though we were just a little more
than a decade out of school.
"You know she's going to have to rush out of here," Emily had said to me. I nodded, but then frowned when I looked back at Michellelee. Our friend wasn't talking;
she was just listening, which was the first sign that something was wrong. My heart was
pounding already. Today was Tuesday, September 11th and for the last ten years, on this date, I
was always on edge.
"Okay, I'm on my way," she said. "I'll call from the car." She clicked off the phone, and when she looked at me and Emily, I swore there were
tears in her eyes. "There's been a fire...." Emily and I both sat up straight.
Michellelee said, "At that new charter school on Western."
"That would be Chauncey's firehouse," I breathed.
"Jamal's there today, too," Emily said, as if she needed to remind me that her husband
worked with mine. I hardly recognized Emily's voice, so different from the glee that was inside of her a few
Emily asked Michellelee, "What else did they tell you?"
Michellelee shook her head. "No names. But more than twenty children were taken to
the hospital." Then her eyes moved between me and Emily. "And three firefighters were rushed
to the hospital as well."
"Oh, no," I moaned and Emily took my hand.
"Don't go there," Michellelee said moving straight into her elder role. She was the oldest
of the three of us, even if only by nineteen days. "This doesn't mean that any are your husbands.
Let's not start worrying."
"I've got to get over there." Emily said what I was thinking.
Michellelee nodded. "We'll take one car, I'll drive." She scooted her chair away from the
table and marched toward the hostess stand to pay the bill. It took me and Emily a couple of seconds to follow, as if our brains were just a little
behind. Finally, we jumped up, grabbed our purses and sweaters, leaving our half-eaten dishes
right there on the table.
Now sitting in the back seat of Michellelee's Mercedes, I could feel every bump on
Manchester as we sped down the boulevard. My eyes were closed, but I didn't need to see
Michellelee. I could imagine her -- her camera-ready, perfectly plucked and arched eyebrows
were probably knitted together causing deep lines in her forehead. Then, there was Emily. I couldn't picture her expression, though I'm sure it was a lot like
mine, a face frozen with fear. Every few seconds, I heard Emily sigh right before she said, "I
can't reach Jamal." I stopped counting after she said that for the fifth time. I wasn't even going to try to call my husband. It would be futile, especially if they were
in the midst of a fire. Cell phones never left the firehouse.
But even when Chauncey was at work I didn't call. I never called because if I ever
started, I'd never stop. I'd call every fifteen minutes for my own peace. So, he called me. Like
he'd just done a little over an hour ago, as I was pulling into Roscoe's parking lot to have lunch
with my girls. He'd called just to tell me that he loved me. It sounded like command-central in the front of the car with Emily and Michellelee
doing what they did best: taking control. So, I did what I knew, I took my cares to God. I
prayed like my life depended on it. Because, it did. There was no way I'd survive if anything
happened to Chauncey.
I didn't pray for my husband alone, I prayed for Jamal, too, because if anything happened
to him, my heart would still be broken. Jamal was Chauncey's best friend, but he was dear to
me, also. I'd known him for almost as long as I'd known Chauncey; I couldn't imagine our lives -- and definitely not Emily's life -- without him.
So, I kept my eyes closed and my lips moving like I'd done so often over the years. My
husband was living the firefighter's life that he'd dreamed of as a child, but his dreams were my
nightmares. The way he earned his living had me on my knees every time he walked out the
door. The daily stress was so much that I'd once asked myself if I should've married him. I had
started thinking that maybe it would've been better if I never fully loved him, than to love him
with everything I had...and lose him one day.
READ THE ENTIRE
Can't Keep a Bad Bride Down
by Miranda Parker
(Angel Crawford Series)
"A fast-paced, thrilling read." —Electa Rome Parks, author of The Stalker Chronicles
Bail recovery agent Angel Crawford isn't sure which is tougher—fighting crime, letting go of the skeletons in her past, or planning for her wedding. Either way, she's dealt with her share of surprises. But just when she least expects it, she gets the shock of her life. . .
It's been months since Angel and Pastor Justus Too-Hot-To-Be-Holy Morgan announced their engagement. Yet Angel's barely begun wedding planning. It's not that she's having doubts. She just wants to make sure the past doesn't interfere with their future. For
Angel, that means clearing up a kiss-tastrophe with U.S. Marshal Maxim West and facing off with her ex-fiancé's assassin. Angel wants to share her plans with
Justus, but before she can do it, a new complication arrives. . .
Praise For Miranda Parker
"I had such a good time reading this novel! I was in the story, watching and sipping on a mocktail."
—Pat G'Orge-Walker, Essence® bestselling author, on Can't Keep a Bad Bride Down
"Parker combines murder, romance, and church scandals amid plenty of suggestive sexuality."
—Publishers Weekly on A Good Excuse to Be Bad
"A surprise around every corner. . ..The combination of juicy mystery and the drama of a mega-church is an unbeatable one that makes this novel a real page-turner."
—RT Book Reviews on A Good Excuse to Be Bad
Saturday, 9:00 PM
Tybee Island Wedding Chapel, Tybee Island, Georgia
While at Lana Turner’s wedding reception, after the most handsome man in my universe placed the prettiest ring
ever seen on my finger, I decided to do something very uncharacteristic of me. I squealed in the octave of a high
school cheerleader and said, “Yes.”
Justus Morgan lifted me off the floor with his strong arms and then kissed me so sweetly, I almost forgot that the U.S.
marshal I had recently kissed was also in the chapel and could very well ruin all this yummy goodness. Although the
manhunt was over and I had killed our man, not everything had been resolved. There was still a leak in the marshal’s office.
But now was not the time to be in bail recovery agent Evangeline Crawford mode.
Now we were on Tybee Island for Lana’s wedding at a chapel appropriately called “Tybee Island Wedding Chapel.”
The chapel looked like something you’d see in a Nicholas Sparks movie. It was nestled between magnolias, oak trees,
and other Georgian greenery only seen in this part of the state. The chapel was white, and tonight every post and
window was decorated with a deep purple satin ribbon, white lace, and a single magnolia stem. Inside the chapel a
lavender color-wash illuminated every dahlia, hydrangea, and mini calla lily and rose centerpiece with just enough
sparkle to melt a cold heart. It was elegant, romantic, simple, and breathtaking. I almost felt blessed to be
To perform my bridesmaid’s duties, I looked like my Southern belle identical twin, the evangelist Ava: caramel
skin accented with a rose blush, feline-shaped eyes done up nice, but instead of a sophisticated coif, I sported a pixie
haircut. I was a bridesmaid by default (long story) and my younger sister/housemate Whitney was Lana’s maid of honor.
Mom had been here earlier with my seven-year-old daughter, Bella, but without my not-so-new, yet-absent-lots-lately
stepfather. By the end of the ceremony, Bella had been tired, so my mother had taken her back to the cottage. Ava, was
back home in Atlanta, more than likely secretly dating my only client, Big Tiger Jones of BT Trusted Bail Bonds. A lot
of foolery was going on between them, but none of their issues were as messy as the one lurking in my periphery.
Marshal Maxim West stood inside the chancel of the chapel between the black baby grand piano and the all-male jazz singer quartet. He
didn’t stand out to the wedding party, because he wore a black tuxedo and matching bow-tie, which was similar to the quartet’s uniform. But to me he
looked out of place and more handsome than the last time I’d seen him. Although I didn’t know him well, save for a
stolen kiss, I knew enough to know that dressing like a penguin was not the marshal/my teacher’s thing. He was the
black-Stetson-hat-blue-jean-cowboy-boots-wearing type. Tonight he looked like a jilted boyfriend, lurking in the shadows.
Justus, my new fiancé, placed me back onto the floor, but I didn’t want to come down. It was safer in his arms, because we were
immediately mobbed by well-wishers once he let me go.
“You’ve made me the happiest man in this room tonight—except the groom,” he said.
I heard a round of applause from everyone watching except Maxim. He hadn’t moved. He didn’t clap. I gulped.
Justus lifted my chin up with his hands and surveyed my eyes. “Is everything okay?”
My new fiancé shouldn’t have done that. I wasn’t any good when he looked me in the eye and in that way. Justus
was so handsome, the kind of handsome that girls like me only saw in movies or in men’s health magazines. He had
this golden brown–colored skin that glowed when he was happy and blazed when he was angry. His bright smile
teased my lips. His lips were perfect for smooches and long kisses, and his sultry deep voice calmed me when I had the
urge to do something stupid. He had long lashes that made it incredibly hard for me to think about God when he
closed his eyes to pray.
Justus prayed often. He was my pastor, and until today that fact didn’t bother me at all. The only thing that bothered
me was now walking toward us. I had to set things straight with Maxim and assure him that what happened
after I shot Biloxi “The Knocker” James was a mistake.
THE ENTIRE EXCERPT HERE
Have No Shame by Melissa Foster
SHAME: Where civil rights and forbidden love collide, will resonate with readers who enjoyed Kathryn Stockett's, THE HELP, Julie Kibler's, CALLING ME HOME, John Grisham's, A TIME TO KILL, Sue Monk Kidd's, THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, and Kathleen Grissom's, THE KITCHEN HOUSE.
Hagerstown Magazine calls HAVE NO SHAME a, “A gripping and poignant novel dealing with a subject once taboo in American society." When a secretive friendship with a young black man takes an unexpected romantic turn, Alison is forced to choose between her predetermined future, and the dangerous path that her heart yearns for.
HAVE NO SHAME is an emotionally compelling coming of age novel featuring a young woman who cannot reconcile the life she wants with the one she’s been brought up to live. Have No Shame will resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love, and those who have been forced to choose between what they know in their hearts to be true, and what others would like them to believe.
Chapter Excerpt from Have No Shame by Melissa Foster
It was the end of winter 1967, my father was preparin’ the fields for plantin’, the Vietnam War was in full swing, and spring was peekin’ its pretty head around the corner. The cypress trees stood tall and bare, like sentinels watchin’ over the St. Francis River. The bugs arrived early, thick and hungry, circlin’ my head like it was a big juicy vein as I walked across the rocks toward the water.
My legs pled with me to jump from rock to rock, like I used to do with my older sister, Maggie, who’s now away at college. I hummed my new favorite song, Penny Lane, and continued walkin’ instead of jumpin’ because that’s what’s expected of me. I could just hear Daddy admonishin’ me, “You’re eighteen now, a grown up. Grown ups don’t jump across rocks.” Even if no one’s watchin’ me at the moment, I wouldn’t want to disappoint Daddy. If Maggie were here, she’d jump. She might even get me to jump. But alone? No way.
The river usually smelled of sulfur and fish, with an underlyin’ hint of desperation, but today it smelled like somethin’ else all together. The rancid smell hit me like an invisible billow of smog. I covered my mouth and turned away, walkin’ a little faster. I tried to get around the stench, thinkin’ it was a dead animal carcass hidin’ beneath the rocks. I couldn’t outrun the smell, and before I knew it I was crouched five feet above the river on an outcroppin’ of rocks, and my hummin’ was replaced by retchin’ and dry heavin’ as the stench infiltrated my throat. I peered over the edge and fear singed my nerves like thousands of needles pokin’ me all at once. Floatin’ beneath me was the bloated and badly beaten body of a colored man. A scream escaped my lips. I stumbled backward and fell to my knees. My entire body began to shake. I covered my mouth to keep from throwin’ up. I knew I should turn away, run, get help, but I could not go back the way I’d come. I was paralyzed with fear, and yet, I was strangely drawn to the bloated and ghastly figure.
I stood back up, then stumbled in my gray midi-skirt and saddle shoes as I made my way over the rocks and toward the riverbank. The silt-laden river was still beneath the floatin’ body. A branch stretched across the river like a boney finger, snaggin’ the bruised and beaten body by the torn trousers that clung to its waist. His bare chest and arms were so bloated that it looked as if they might pop. Tremblin’ and gaspin’ for breath, I lowered myself to the ground, warm tears streamin’ down my cheeks.
THE ENTIRE EXCERPT HERE
Purchase Have No Shame by Melissa Foster
Discovering the Gift in You
by Nikole Morgan
My Dad often told me as a kid, I was such a liar. He had every right to make that statement, for I certainly by every means lived up to his expectation. I lied about everything under the sun. I lied to get out of trouble and even lied when I didn’t have to lie. I lied just because it sounded good. My daddy’s brand of me stayed embedded in my mind and even as an adult I couldn’t seem to shake who he said I was. He meant no harm in telling me I was a liar, his only concern was that I stop doing it.
I remember him flat out asking me before he gave me a whipping for lying. Baby, why do you lie so much? My response wasn’t as clever as the lies I’d told.
I don’t know daddy. I just can’t help it. Even when I want to tell the truth, a lie just comes out. I knew my daddy wanted to laugh but he had to show firmness at a time such as this. I remember sitting in my room after he rained down his punishment with the aid of his leather belt. My thoughts: I’ll never make it to heaven because God hates liars. I grew up most of my life thinking that’s who I was, a big fat liar.
As an adult that lying spirit would peek it’s ugly head up at any given time and just tell one or two. I’d set out at the beginning of the day saying: Today I am not going to lie about anything, but by the end of the day I’ve told at least four or five. It didn’t matter that most of the time they were little white lies, as simple as: Did you see the awards show last night? Man, so and so did so good. My response after not watching the show was… Yes, so and so was awesome!
I began shrugging off my issue as… oh well, some people cheat, steal, fornicate, etc… I was a habitual liar.
Why did my sin have to be one that God said he dispised. This thing tormented me. I didn’t want to do it, but I couldn’t stop… Seems silly doesn’t it?
I asked God a thousand times to please help me overcome this horrid spirit. I had a desire to honor him with the fruit of my lips and not a lying tongue. This is going to sound silly I know, but I have to be honest, especially since I’m now delivered. I would give myself a
five lie a day maximum and by the end if I didn’t reach five I was proud of myself.
I began writing down my thoughts as a way to escape painful memories in life.
My oldest son had been sentenced to 18 years in prison and I felt like a failure as a mother. I was on anti-depressants to help me cope and to just simply make it through the day. My son’s picture was flashed all over the news and I couldn’t find the courage to even turn on the television.
People at work who had heard of my misfortune were sitting issues of jail-bird news on my toolbox with my son’s picture circled. It was a living hell. I had to change my work shift from first to third just to make more money because my ex-husband left me and our children for crack. I believed in my heart I deserved this punishment, after all I was a liar.
THE ENTIRE EXCERPT HERE
The Prayer of Jabez: A Translation for Writers
by Sherryle Kiser Jackson
In 2008, I wrote an article titled, the Hezekiah Effect for Writers that spoke to the specific span of time a writer has with each work to make an impact in the marketplace. Four years later, I am persuaded as a Christian Writer or for writers that happens to be Christian that our voice must be heard amongst and in response to the rhetoric of the day. I’m thinking, Jabez, from 1st Chronicles 4:10, and his cry for blessings and increased exposure should similarly be the prayer of an author preparing to launch a book, in my case, my fifth novel.
According the Bible, Jabez was birthed in pain. If an artist were to be completely honest, it is the stress, the solitude, and yes, the pain likened to the force of an oyster producing a pearl that produces the greatest work. As I think of my novels, one was written while I was treading water as a middle school teacher with limited resources and limited pay in an urban school system, and most recently, the gestation of my latest novel went from its last trimester to delivery in my son’s hospital room during his many repeated stays. Writing a novel is laborious and requires, at least for me, a recovery period to get the character and plotlines out of my system.
Success in the current publishing industry can be daunting. It is my prayer that my readership grows with each title, for obvious reasons that book sales would translate to more revenue, but also that my efforts and message would translate as well. Social media is great but does not necessarily translate into more sales. Publishing provides a platform for a proverbial rocket ship to transcend time. Just like any time machine movie worth its weight, whatever you carry with you, leave or bring back could alter the landscape. It seems as if everyone can and are trying their hand at publishing. Just like finding your writing genre or niche, you’ve got to examine your motives for writing to see how you stand out amongst the rest. That’s why in my maturity, I try to write with the intention of being more poignant and substantive.
Check out Jabez’s prayer.
God’s Word translation records, Jabez prayed to the God of Israel, "Please bless me and give me more territory. May your power be with me and free me from evil so that I will not be in pain." God gave him what he prayed for.
Jabez’s name was recorded just this one time in the Bible. In terms of the publishing industry he was a mid-list author, at the bottom of the roster or left to do it on his own. He uttered this simple prayer for recognition out of the purest intentions. He prayed for power and that he would be void of evils of his time, so that he would not suffer needlessly because of it.
Jabez reminds us God is still in the prayer answering business. He heard Jabez and answered him. It’s my prayer that he also honors the work of my hands and increases my harvest to his satisfaction.
Listen to a reading from Land of Promiscuity by Sherryle Kiser Jackson
About the Author
Sherryle Kiser Jackson is an author of six titles, most recently Land of Promiscity and Path to Promise for Urban Christian/Urban Books/ Kensington.She is also founder and host of the Write Away Weekend, an intensive writer's residency. COnnect with Sherryle's Lit World at sherrylejackson.com.
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Temptation-Proof Your Marriage
by Jewell R. Powell
That's a mouthful! But it is important for us all to stop and consider whether our marriages are truly protected against the threat of temptation. The recent Tyler Perry movie, "Temptation" brought light to an all-too-common scenario in marriages, even in Christian marriages. When needs aren't met in a marriage (and I'm not talking about JUST physical), it opens to door to dangerous temptation that can be extremely detrimental.
This article borrowed from the Happily Ever After newsletter is dedicated to teaching you how to temptation-proof your marriage. It is my prayer that you will grow closer to God and to your spouse as you strive to protect your marital relationship.
Temptation in Marriage: Bringing a Taboo Topic to Light for a Healthy Marriage
For many couples, the topic of temptation in marriage, which involves discussion of sex, intimacy, attraction, and faithfulness, is not a popular subject. Some feel too embarrassed. Others feel too insecure. Still others think it could never been an issue in "MY marriage," so they go on their merry, oblivious way until they are faced with the heart-breaking reality that temptation IS indeed an issue for their marriage.
The truth is that temptation is an issue for every marriage and every human being. No human is perfect, except for Jesus Christ, and even HE faced temptation in the dessert! (Matthew 4:1) So what makes us think that we will walk through life without facing it, or without having our spouse face it?
Acknowledge Temptation Exists and Deal with It
In order to ensure our marriage relationships are protected and honored, we must bring this taboo topic to light. Ignoring an issue doesn't make it go away, but discussing an issue can make a big difference, especially if one or both spouses love God and want to honor him with their marriage.
When we think of temptation, we typically think it involves sexual attraction and infidelity. This is true in some cases, but in others it can be an emotional temptation-connecting your heart and emotions intimately with someone other than your spouse.
Being disconnected as a couple, such as living separate social lives, or even being together but not really sharing intimacy emotionally and/or sexually, leaves each spouse vulnerable to both sexual and emotional temptation. Tyler Perry's recent move "Temptation" addressed this issue in an interesting way-a husband and wife over the years developed a distant relationship, enabling the wife to be tempted and leading to an enormous amount of hurt and destruction. Of course, that was Hollywood's version, but similar scenarios happen all around us and, at times, right under our noses.
God Gives Us the Tools to Stop Temptation in Its Tracks
The good news in all of this is: we are not powerless in these situations. By bringing light to this issue, and removing the feelings of fear and inadequacy, we can all admit that temptation exists in the world, and we can tap into the power of Christ and the truths He gives us in the Bible to strengthen our marriages, reestablishing intimacy and love, so we protect the marital relationship from outside threats all the while experiencing a deeper connection with our spouse and with God.
For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), no matter how it comes or where it leads has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear. But God is faithful to His Word and to His compassionate nature, and He can be trusted not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will always also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
-- 1 Corinthians 10:13 AMP
As you move forward to strengthen your marriage and protect it from temptation, here are some resources I recommend to feed your mind and spirit:
* "Marriage 101: Sex & Intimacy" by Jewell R. Powell
* "The Language of Sex: Experiencing the Beauty of Sexual Intimacy" by Ted Cunningham
* "Open Hearts: Renewing Relationships with Recovery, Romance and Reality" by Patrick Carnes
* "Naked & Unashamed: The Journey Toward Sexual Fulfillment in Christian Marriage" by Dr. Stacy L. Spencer
3 Big Steps to Temptation-Proof Your Marriage
It makes sense that people don't like to think about temptation from people outside of the marriage relationship. It's an uncomfortable thought, and it really isn't something you should dwell upon, but it is important for you to make your marriage a priority so the risk of temptation is eliminated or at least reduced significantly.
Admitting that all people are susceptible to temptation is a great first step. Acknowledging your marriage needs strengthening is also important, but then following through with the steps to protect your marriage is essential. You can do all the talking and thinking in the world, but unless you take action, it is all in vain.
Are you ready to dig your heels into the ground and get down to business to create a marriage that can stand the test of time while bringing greater honor to God? It may not always be easy. You may sometimes feel like you are the one putting in all the effort. But it WILL be worth it in the end, because you are honoring your covenant with your husband and with your God.
Here we go:
Step One: Spend time together.
Not doing the bills, or eating a meal with the family, or sitting on the couch with your individual electronic devices. Do something with just the two of you where you can be present, able to listen and communicate while looking at your spouse. Take a walk. Play a game (i.e. strip words with friends) together. Sit on the porch/deck and share your favorite drink/dessert. Pray together. Of course, making sure to have time for sexual intimacy is also incredibly important. This is where the Bible clearly tells us that the enemy will come to destroy a marriage if there is no sexual intimacy. First Corinthians 7:2-5 tells us:
It's good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality-the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to "stand up for your rights." Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it's for the purposes of prayer and fasting-but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it. (MSG)
Schedule it in if necessary. Discuss this part of your relationship together and decide on a number of times each week you should be sexually intimate to meet each others physical needs. Physically connecting with your spouse is essential to a healthy, happy marriage.
Step Two: Pick a hobby to do together.
It is very common for husband and wife to have different interests and hobbies, and that is perfectly healthy and normal. However, determining to share a hobby together will create a deeper intimacy. When you have fun together, this is solidifying your bond. You learn to enjoy time together even more, which goes a long way toward fighting off temptation from the outside world! Whether it is playing a sport together, working toward a fitness goal, listening to music, going to concerts or theater, or cooking up new recipes together, find a hobby you can do to bring some fun into your relationship. This type of togetherness will help you both to stay emotionally connected to one another.
Step Three: Honor one another.
Do you respect your spouse? Do you feel honored by your spouse? By taking action to make your spouse feel honored, you can create an atmosphere of love and respect in your relationship. What does this look like? Place value on your spouse...how he feels...what she says...what his hopes and dreams are. Don't just say he is most important and the #1 priority but then put everything, including children, in your life before him! Take action. Put his needs first, even before your own. Do something he likes to do. Value his opinion. When you dishonor your spouse, you dishonor God. But when you honor your spouse, you bring massive honor to your Heavenly Father. Spiritual intimacy is lacking in most relationships yet is so important because marriage is built on spiritual principles.
Follow these three steps in your marriage on purpose and you will be amazed by how God will bring the two of you closer. In Genesis 2:18, we know that God himself said that it is not good for man to be alone. It is for this reason, He created woman. This is the design for your marriage, so focus on building unity and it will be a natural antidote for temptation.
THE ENTIRE ARTICLE FOR COUPLES HERE
Black Marriage 365!
2013 the Year for Positive Change in Your Marriage
by Jewell R. Powell
If you are like most people in the world, you may find it difficult to stay committed to your resolutions, but there is a good reason for this. Most people consider resolutions more like a "Oh, wouldn't that would be nice?" idea. How can you get seriously committed to your marriage goals?
In order to remain dedicated to your goals, it must include something larger than yourself. God, the author of life and marriage, is available to help you create the right kind of goals to strengthen your marriage, and then He will be there all along the way as you strive to maintain your commitment.
Goals, as they pertain to your marriage, involve being committed to something other than your selfish desires and interests. It's about your commitment to God, because marriage is indeed a covenant with the Lord (Malachi 2:14). It's also about your commitment to your spouse as a result of your commitment to the Lord.
By staying in constant communication with God through prayer and Bible reading, you will be continually reminded of your commitment, which helps you to keep your eye on the prize
(Philippians 3:15). Here are some additional things you can do:
1) Attend a marriage conference or meeting.
2) Read at least two (2) marriage books.
3) Go on at least six (6) dates with your spouse this year.
4) Find one way you can improve your marriage and then DO IT!
MORE HERE - NUGGETS FOR ALL TYPES OF COUPLES
Whatever Happened to Joy?
Celebrate God All Day
by Rugina Poellnitz
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 NIV
Are you experiencing the vibrant and overflowing joy that comes from a relationship with God? Do you allow yourself to unabashedly praise and worship until every aspect of your being is aligned with His Spirit? When was the last time that you gave yourself permission to simply bask in His presence while handing out big doses of love and joy to others around you?
Alternatively, has your life been one disappointment after another until all joy is dried up? Were you raised to believe that joy and happiness must be stamped out in order to be a respected Christian? Are you afraid to embrace the freedom of joy and contentedness in life as it could easily be snatched away?
Saints, God generously hand out joy, contentedness, and peace to each one of us. If we open our hearts and renew out minds, we can most assuredly experience His life-sustaining presence and its corresponding intangible gifts in abundance. Over-arching joy fuel our life experiences and touch the lives of other. Joy can be contagious to the point of invigorating apathetic souls and brightening a dreary environment. We might be planted in certain workplaces, schools, or ministries so that we can spread the joy of the Lord therein.
We might be office mates, roommates, or assigned to certain individuals so that they experience the reality of abundant joy in action. Let's give ourselves permission to experience and bask in joy of the Lord. Unlike temporary and worldly joy - the type that God gives is doled out in large abundance and can't be snatched away.
When we experience this type of joy - external circumstances, negative experiences, and encounters with individuals that once drained us - no longer take hold. We are able to walk boldly in this joy and spread it all around in transparent genuineness.
As a result, we are able to spread the message of the gospel to others who are searching for something real with a thirst for the joy that only God can give. Let them taste and see that the Lord is real and that He is good by sharing this God-given joy.
Your Sisters in Christ,
Rugina Poellnitz, Linda Cunningham and Diann Thomas
The Morning Tea were started in 2003 and originally written by the late Diann Thomas and distributed by the late
Linda Cunningham-Hames. Sister Rugina Poellnitz still carries on the tradition of the
Teas in honor and awe of the three angels from God. Tamara A. Garrett introduced
The Morning Tea to us in July, 2012.
The Book of Purpose: The YOU Testament by Tracy McNeil
(Discover Your Purpose and Live It!)
“Purpose works anywhere, all the time and for anybody!” “This is no ordinary self-help book, but an experience.”
The Book of Purpose: The YOU Testament is an interactive resource that will allow you to answer two of life’s most intriguing
questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Your purpose! You may also wonder if there is more to life than what you are currently experiencing or maybe you are:
• Going through a transition
• At a crossroads
• Involved in a stagnant relationship
• Feeling religion isn’t enough
• Tired of the mundane
• Challenged by stress or frustration
But you want meaning, value and a greater sense of purpose. Your quality of life, through love, happiness and fulfillment, hinges on knowing who you are and why you are here. This is a companion tool for how to identify your purpose, successfully accomplish your life’s mission and create a personal guide, a testament, tailored for your self-discovery – Your Testament!
Excerpt from The Book of Purpose: The YOU Testament
So, if we give things purpose, how much more imperative is it to know our own? Who are you? What is your purpose? When it comes to wanting to know or discover one’s life purpose or the individual meaning of life, the questions posed are: What is my reason for being? What was I created to be? Ultimately, who am I? Purpose is your spiritual identity—the who that you are. Purpose identifies and illuminates your purest essence that goes beyond your name, occupation, family, status and social ties—that intriguing character that everything worthy in your life is attracted to and loves being associated with! Purpose is who you are before being labeled, categorized, or shaped by opinion.
Order copies of The Book of Purpose: The YOU Testament
Pre-orders available July 1– July 31, 2013 and made via author’s website:
Pre-launch Exclusive – receive book order 3 weeks prior to public release date and may request an autographed copy.
Meet the Author
TracyMac (Tracy McNeil) is a certified life coach helping corporations, non-profit organizations, veterans/dependents, and professional women and men move beyond what may have become mundane or unbalanced with discovering, fulfilling and continually advancing their life’s purpose and mission. Her brilliant listening skills and intuition facilitate a ripe environment for personal and professional strategic goal achievement and problem solving. She is the ideal go-to for sustaining results and measurable success.
As founder of Peace Place LLC, TracyMac Publishing and TracyMac Coaching Services, Coach TracyMac has been coaching since 2004 and is also the author of “The Book of Purpose: The You Testament”, a thought-provoking book that assists the reader in discovering the answers to two of life’s most intriguing questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Their purpose! She is also a contributing author and member of the Black Life Coaches Network. Serving in many leadership capacities, her twenty-six years of experience include the private sector, non-profits and state and federal government, which gives her the skill to connect with people from diverse cultures and economic levels.
She attended Winston Salem State University and later earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Behavioral Science from Western International University. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society. Additionally, she is a graduate of Coach Training Alliance and a Certified Master Life Strategist with Kairos Institute of Personal Discovery.
TracyMac invites readers to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org,
visit her website at www.iamtracymac.com
for personal, professional and group coaching, speaking engagements, seminars and workshops. Also, please connect with her on Facebook
at IAMTracyMac and follow her on Twitter at IAmTracyMac for updates and to receive words of wisdom and encouragement as you live your purpose and continue your journey of self-discovery.
by Missy B. Salick
On the same night that twenty four-year-old
Jordyn Sims has a miscarriage, her sister-in-law Tori Sims conceives a child. Nine months later, Tori, a long term heroin addict, abandons her two-hour-old drug addicted newborn
Jeremiah, in a hospital stairwell. Jordyn receives the news and pursues foster adoption. However,
Oscar, Tori's possessive drug-addicted boyfriend, is not about to give Jeremiah up so easily. While in confrontation with Tori and Oscar, Jordyn seeks help from the Administration of Children Services (ACS), only to discover she is faced with a maze of departments, regulations, legalities and overworked social workers. Jordyn, however, remains strong and continues to push through the uphill battle, even after she discovers she's pregnant.
With all odds against her adoption of Jeremiah, and her pregnancy at high risk from increasing stress, will Jordyn win this tough battle, or will her world crumble before her?
Excerpt from Claiming Jeremiah by Missy B. Salick
The Sunn was a hazy silver ball swathed in clouds in a pale sky. Restless waves foamed and rippled along the surface of the dark brown ocean. A light mist hung in the air. Seagulls glided overhead.
The sand was like powder and felt gritty under her feet. Her daughter, her curls bouncing as she ran on ahead, chased a flock of birds that had landed in search of food. Pretty, she thought.
People huddling on chairs and towels looked at the girl and smiled. She had taken a piece of bread from her mother’s picnic basket and was crumbling it into pieces in her tiny hands, sprinkling it along the sand as she ran, a picture of joy and uninhibited freedom. The birds that had fluttered nervously into the air as she ran past floated cautiously back down to the sand to pick at the breadcrumbs.
She turned toward the ocean and closed her eyes, allowing the frigid breeze to graze her body.
She turned to face her daughter, who was waving and smiling happily. She waved back.
“Come here! Come here Mommy!”
Then the waves halted on their way to the shore. People on the sand froze in the middle of what they were doing. The wind stopped blowing. Her daughter stood with her hand outstretched, her happy smile frozen on her face.
What the . . . ?
A raindrop hit her face and rolled down her cheek. Another splashed against her shoulder. She looked up. A spray of raindrops was cascading from the pale gray clouds.
Terrified, she tried to run toward her little girl, but her feet sank deep into the soft sand, which sucked her down.
“Mommy! Come here!” Her daughter’s lips were still frozen in that achingly sweet smile.
“I'm coming!” Her voice was trapped in her mouth. In a flash of light, her daughter was gone.
The pain came in suffocating waves that squeezed great jagged groans out of her. Blood streamed down her legs. She fell to her knees, frantically clawed at the sand, sinking deeper.
“Jordyn?” Her husband's voice came from beyond the clouds.
“Julian . . .” She tried to push the words through paralyzed lips.
THE ENTIRE EXCERPT HERE
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Conversation with Kimberla Lawson Roby
New York Times
Bestselling Author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 18 novels which
include THE PERFECT MARRIAGE, THE REVEREND’S WIFE, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY
FOR, A DEEP DARK SECRET, ONE IN A MILLION, and her debut title, BEHIND CLOSED
DOORS, which was originally self-published through her own company, Lenox Press.
Her novels have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including those in The New
York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, and Barnes and Noble
to name a few. Kimberla
is also the 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work –
Fiction, (in photo above) and she resides in Illinois with her husband,
Book: A House Divided
Times of trouble are descending upon the Black family in more ways than one.
Will they be able to overcome their challenges and stand together against
someone who could take it all away? Or is the Black family finally out of
BPM: What topics does your latest Curtis Black book address?
HOUSE DIVIDED addresses the subject of mothers and the struggle some tend to
have when it comes to allowing an adult child to make his or her own decisions
and mistakes. It also focuses on what can happen to a family when a parent
tries to control an adult child and force him or her to do only what they want
them to do--which is what Charlotte Black does to Matthew in the worst possible
way. I can't imagine what it must feel like having a controlling mother or
father, but the reason I wanted to write about this topic is because,
unfortunately, I do know a number of adult children who have distanced
themselves from their parents for this very reason.
BPM: You believe strongly in:
I believe strongly in God, myself, and family values.
BPM: You are humbled by:
I am deeply humbled by God and by my amazing readers.
BPM: Faith allows you to:
Faith allows me to do things I never thought imaginable or things I thought I
would never have the courage to even try to do. So for years now, my motto
in life has been to: "Believe in God, believe in yourself, and
believe in whatever it is you are trying to accomplish---believe in that
BPM: When you are afraid, you will:
When I am afraid or worried about anything, I pray, pray, pray until God removes
the spirit of fear and worry from me completely.
BPM: What have you learned from your readers:
What I have learned from my readers is that even when people have never met you,
they can still be some of the kindest and most loyal people in the world.
My readers are absolutely the best, and they are the reason I am able to have a
BPM: Your greatest accomplishment as a writer:
I have been blessed with many accomplishments as a writer, but my greatest
accomplishment to date is winning the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding
Literary Work - Fiction.
BPM: If this world were yours:
If this world were mine, every single person alive would treat others the way
they want to be treated.
BPM: Your writing educates, illuminates or entertains:
Because I write about real-life
social issues that can affect anyone, I believe my writing educates and
entertains all at the same time.
Connect with Kimberla
Intimate Conversation with J.M. Lominy
Life began for
J.M. Lominy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As a husband, father, nurse and veteran Lominy has been making room to write since 2000. Specializing in Historical Fiction, he is the author of the upcoming book,
The Deadly Rose, An Assassin’s Tale. His work, both poetic and determined in voice, places an emphasis on the Haitian experience as witnessed through the life of passionate characters. Mr. Lominy currently resides in Georgia with his wife and his three sons. Visit J.M. Lominy at:
BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
I got my first inkling to write during my first year of college. It was an emotional time and my life was full of turmoil. After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, my finances were stretched thin, I did not fit in with my peers, and at twenty-two years old I was a husband and father of two.
It was during that time, 1993, poetry came to me as if a flood bursting through a dam. The enormity of it was so strong I had to put it on paper. I always had stories coming to me even as a child and I had difficulty staying focus with all the colorful stories floating around in my mind but they never made it to paper. This continued into adulthood.
At the age of thirty-two I went to Haiti for the funeral of my maternal uncle, who was like a father to me. It was at that time, I realized how disconnected I was with my country of birth. I had limited knowledge of my history. I started to read books on Haitian history and that stimulated a barrage of story ideas. From that time on, I attended writer’s conferences, read books on the art of writing and more than anything else, I wrote.
THE ENTIRE AUTHOR INTERVIEW HERE
Intimate Conversation with Patricia Anne Phillips
Patricia Anne Phillips resides in Los Angeles, California. She has written nine romance novels. Her first novel Something In Common was self-published. June In Winter, her second novel was published at Kensington Publishing and was featured in Romance Times Magazine as Best Multicultural and best first time Multicultural Romance. As an enthusiastic fan of the romance genre, Patricia was inspired to begin writing her own romance novels.
BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
When I started reading novels I think I always knew that one day I would write a book of my own. It was just time for me to stop procrastinating and do something about it. Now, I wish I would have years earlier.
BPM: Introduce us to your book and the primary topics. What makes each one special?
Baldwin Hills Housewives is a story of five women. There is a vast audience that watches OC Housewives, Beverly Hills Housewives, and Atlanta Housewives but there are no housewives in Los Angeles. So I thought it was a good time to write my book.
As for Falling In The Deep, it’s a story that will give readers the real meaning of their marriage vows, a sense of commitment and responsibility.
BPM: What are you most thankful for right now, today?
I am most thankful that every day when I wake up I can open my eyes and get out of bed.
BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book? When someone finishes your book, what would you like for them to do?
I want readers to be entertained by reading Baldwin Hills Housewives, and for Falling In The Deep, get more knowledge of Multiple Sclerosis and be deeper commented to their marriage and spouse.
BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate? Entertain? Illuminate? Inspire?
I write novels that will inspire women so they can understand that whatever problems or unhappiness in their lives, life can be better tomorrow than it is today.
Baldwin Hills Housewives by Patricia Anne
Falling In The Deep by Patricia Anne Phillips
Conversation with Cerece Rennie Murphy
Rennie Murphy lives and writes just outside of her hometown of Washington,
DC. In addition to completing the Order of the Seers trilogy, Ms.
Murphy is also developing a children’s book series titled Enchanted: 5 Tales
of Magic in the Everyday and a book on understanding marriage/relationship
advice for single women entitled More than the Ring. To learn more about
the author and her upcoming projects, visit her website at www.crmurphybooks.com
Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one
special? Do you have any favorites?
The first book in the Order
of the Seers trilogy is about a group of people who can see the future and
are enslaved for that ability. The story takes you on the journey of how
they escape the organization that seeks to exploit them, regain their strength
and ultimately fight back. The characters in Order
of the Seers are struggling to understand who they are given the
extraordinary gifts and situations that they have been forced into. And
you see them make some incredible discoveries about life and love as they grow
to accept themselves and their abilities.
the sequel, The
Red Order, they take that knowledge further. Now that they
understand who they are, the Seers really show you what they can do with that
awareness. And all your favorites from the first book are back, Liam and
Alessandra, Lilli and Joel, Maura, Tess, Katia and Eric. I think you get
to know them a lot better in this book and watch them come together as family
with a mission. But unlike in the first book, when they were just
fighting for their own survival, each of them understands that they are
playing a vital role in something far greater than themselves. You
also get to know our villains a lot better in The
Red Order, which I think is really fun. If you thought Crane was
despicable in Order
of the Seers, just wait! His true colors come out in full force in
The Red Order.
for favorites, I have to say that I love the Seers. Liam and Joel are my
favorites in this book because their sacrifices are so profound, but I think
that is true of almost every character in these books.
Which character or topic in the book can you identify with the most? Why?
I think at its core, these books are about discovering and realizing your own
potential and it’s interesting because I didn’t know that when I started
writing the books. It was only later that I could see my own struggle to
understand myself written between the lines of the page. I think all of
us are told who we are - by our parents, our bosses, our communities.
Sometimes those opinions are right, but not often. I think it is our
work as human beings to find out who we truly are and distinguish between our
true selves and who people say we are. Often we are limited by other
people’s perceptions of us. Their perspective defines what we believe
we can and cannot do. But the real question is always who are you,
purely, truly. I think the answer to that question opens up infinite
potential in each of us. Answering that question for myself has been a
decade long journey and I am still on that path. But I have noticed that
the clearer I am about the answer, the more I am capable of.
Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your books?
First and foremost, I would like them to enjoy the story. I hope that it
provides whatever escape or entertainment they are seeking from it. But
ultimately, I hope they close these books, look in the mirror and ask
themselves, what am I capable of? I would love for the readers of the
Order of the Seers trilogy to become really curious about the difference
between what they believe about themselves and what is actually true. I
hope they begin to rattle the lock of their own perception.
THE ENTIRE AUTHOR INTERVIEW HERE
Intimate Conversation with Ericka
Williams is a tour de force, a phenomenal woman. She is a compassionate
person who not only cares about herself and hers, but she cares about
humanity. All of her books are themed to show the unlimited access of human
beings to redemption. She is a Christian, spreading the message that Jesus
saves; no matter who you are, what you've done, or what other people think of
you. She uses societal ills, her own experiences, and real situations that we
all face, to show that their is a light at the end of every tunnel, if you
take God's hand and let him lead the way. She may not fit the mold of a
"saint", but she sure is a believer and she knows that we all only
have the obligation to spread the Word, the way that we personally know how.
Ericka Williams is a mother of two, an elementary school Language Arts
teacher, an actor, a director, and a producer of short films. She is currently
in the cast of The Cartel Publications, feature "Pitbulls in a
Skirt" movie. She continues to write books, act, and prepare to fulfill
her dream of having her books turned into films. Ericka Williams is a
humanitarian, a mentor, a public speaker and above all, a Child of God. You
may contact her at email@example.com. You may "like" her
at Ericka Monique Williams on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter
BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you
advance the call for writing? Do you have anyone in your life that was
heavily influential in your deciding to become an author?
My cousin Nadja’s death influenced me to write a book for young ladies, my
first book All that Glitters. Nadja was older than me and I looked up to her.
I wanted to be just like her and emulate her. When she passed I became
pregnant with my first child, so I wanted to dedicate something to her to
carry on her name and legacy. Although she wasn’t famous, she was a pretty
girl who got caught up in the glamour of money and the streets. She inspired
me to show the pitfalls of living fast and the results of dying young. She
lives on every time someone reads the dedication and reads “All That
BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes
each one special? Do you have any favorites?
A Woman Scorned 3: Déjà vu is the third installment of the “A
Woman Scorned” series. The main character Brielle starts off in the first
book as a woman with many inner conflicts and issues. She miscarriages three
times, kills her husband, and is lost in the past and afflicted by the lack of
love she received from both of her parents as a child.
In “A Woman Scorned 2: Family Ties, Brielle is trying to put the
pieces of her life back together with a new love, but her treacherous cousin
is trying to keep her down and bound; where her younger sister proves to be an
unhealthy comrade and equally negative part of her life. Brielle has got to
let go of the past, before she can have her happy ending.
THE ENTIRE AUTHOR INTERVIEW HERE
Intimate Conversation with Kristopher Holbert
is an African-American author, born in the southern part of Dallas, Texas. While being raised by a single mother and bred from a long line of brute convicts, Holbert found himself down the familiar path of criminal lifestyle. In his early twenties the author was Federally indicted and sentenced when arrested by Customs and Border Patrol agents on the drug war infested Texas-Mexico border. It was a very dangerous environment especially for Holbert, being the only African-American inmate amongst thousands of Mexican drug cartel and street gang members.
Leaving that lifestyle behind, today Holbert has dedicated his life to transforming the minds of those who feel their only relevance in life comes from money or material goods by putting out literature and working to enlighten those seeking light in darkness.
BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you answer the call for writing?
I actually started off writing rap music, which was one of the biggest time consumers and expenses of my past. It’s really strange because in that era of my life I hardly ever got consumed or excited by anything that was not monetary, but when I would write, it would just seem as though I was building something for me to enjoy internally that related to my perspective.
As far as how I answered the call (to write) the only reply I have for that is I that understand my purpose; I just did it. I knew that helping people positively was what I wanted to do and I have passion for this as well as a gift of expression, so how could I not do it?
BPM: Allow me to introduce Wisdom & Knowledge Sprinkled With Some Good Game: The Recipe For A Better You by Kristopher Holbert.
In this book Kristopher Holbert launches his “Revelation Before Rehabilitation
Campaign”, sharing with his readers his newly reformed understanding of life skills, morality, and general common sense. Delivering inherited wisdom and knowledge from his troubled past life, the one time Drug Trafficker, Dealer, Gang Affiliate, and Federal inmate dispenses street savvy urban wisdom tagged as “Game” to the millions of people seeking a positive change. Holbert explores many different mentalities of today and offers strong insight regarding purpose and ethical solutions to self-destructive behavior. This socially conscious transformational tool captivates the uncivil with a more civil approach and is beneficial to all that strive for personal growth and development.
BPM: What inspired you to write this Self-Help/Transformational themed book? Does your faith or education inspire your writing?
Wisdom & Knowledge Sprinkled With Some Good Game was inspired by my faith and the people it was meant to serve (which is anyone who can relate). I felt the need was there and that I could genuinely help people as well as my community as a whole. This is also what my “movement” is all about: helping people gain knowledge and enlightenment while providing wisdom that can positively impact the outcome of a person’s life. This is what inspires and motivates me to keep working. I feel in order for change in any circumstance there must not only be a desire to change, but that desire to change should also be met with proper and adequate understanding to maintain that change. As I am a stern critic and adversary of ignorance and moral indecency, I feel obligated to offer a plan of action as well as a solution to those in my community that seek an alternative understanding of the things I speak against.
BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book, Wisdom & Knowledge Sprinkled With Some Good Game?
(Big Smile on The Face) Ultimately, I would like the readers to gain wisdom and knowledge and a little bit of game extending beyond the superficial world. A world that I believe has many of us chained and bound to all the wrong things. This book contains what is needed to build a solid platform or foundation for life. Now I do NOT believe that this book is your life’s foundation but it does possess the tools to make the assembly or repair of your life’s foundation easier. But even more importantly than anything else, I would like readers to take away whatever is necessary to put their life on a righteous path. Above all, that’s the most important thing to me.
BPM: What would you like to accomplish as you continue to write?
The most important thing I would like to accomplish is to provoke serious thinking in those that sincerely need to take a look at how they are living their life. But even more importantly, I want to reach those that want to change, yet find themselves stuck in situations that seems impossible to break free from. This book is a true testimony within its own right, its content and mere development provide proof that nothing is impossible and everyone can restore their life positively.
Intimate Conversation with Monica Mathis-Stowe
Monica Mathis-Stowe is a native of Washington, D.C. and lives in Maryland. She decided to become a writer because she wanted to entertain people with her stories. Monica’s novels portray the drama in relationships among families, lovers, friends, and colleagues. She likes to take her readers on a roller-coaster ride of emotions that will make them laugh, cry, gasp, think, and question people and their actions. Her series, Where Did We Go Wrong? is now available where ever books are sold.
Where Did We Go Wrong? by Monica Mathis-Stowe
True friends help you through the consequences of poor judgment when no one else will.
In this newly released romantic suspense novel, best friends Gabby, Maxine and Joy protect each other at all costs, even if it means keeping secrets that turn their lives upside down.
Gabby has no boundaries when it comes to getting what she wants. She pulls out every trick in the book to keep her daughter's married father out of their lives but keep his money in her bank account...
Maxine lives for her family but when her husband’s excessive spending lands them in more debt than they can handle, the stress takes a toll on their perfect marriage...
After Joy's loyalty to her controlling mother causes her to lose the only man she'’s ever loved, she marries a man she barely knows. After her wedding, she quickly realizes she made the biggest mistake of her life and it puts everybody she loves in danger. Unfortunately, someone will have to pay the ultimate price with their life.
Where Did We Go Wrong Again?
( Sequel to Where Did We Go Wrong
Forgiveness is the pulse that sustains all friendships.
Where Did We Go Wrong? left readers asking, “Who got shot?”
Where Did We Go Wrong Again? continues immediately after the shooting. One of the beloved central characters is critically wounded and another is murdered. The bonds of friendship and love are tested after the tragedy causes all involved to make irrational decisions that complicate their lives even more. Nothing will ever be the same as everyone is forced to make monumental, life-altering decisions. Can relationships be salvaged in time to help one other through the consequences of poor judgment?
BPM: What have you realized about yourself since becoming a published author?
The positive feedback and reviews from readers made me realize that I’m a good storyteller. Readers contact me through my website, Facebook and Twitter to tell me how once they started reading Where Did We Go Wrong? they couldn’t put it down. When my family and friends told me they enjoyed my novel and it was a good read, I always wondered if they were trying to spare my feelings. But when complete strangers and reviewers purchased my book on Amazon and sent emails praising it and posting 5-Star reviews, I couldn’t help but to smile and pat myself on the back because I accomplished what I set out to do. I wrote an entertaining story that held the readers’ interest and left them asking for more.
BPM: What is your definition of success?
When I think of success, I think of balance. A person who has balance in his or her life is a successful person to me. You can have more money than you’ll ever spend and a closet full of designer clothes, shoes and jewelry, or your dream job/career but if you don’t have balance, then you have nothing. My definition of success is balance in five areas: 1) Spiritual 2) Family 3) Career 4) Finances and 5) Health. Balance in these areas lead to confidence which leads to success.
Purchase books by Monica Mathis Stowe
Intimate Conversation with BlaQue
The author BlaQue, nicknamed the BlaQue Angel because of the twisted and dark stories she weaves, was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area where she currently resides with her son.
BlaQue began writing after reading several Donald Goines books and decided she would love to pen stories in the same gritty, fast-paced manner. After writing her first novel Dirty DNA and allowing several of her peers to read and critique her work, she decided to submit it to G Street Chronicles where she joined the ranks of some of the heaviest hitting authors in Urban Literature.
BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
I first began to write after reading several Donald Goines novels and thinking to myself, I can do that! I wanted to bring that realness back to the Urban Fiction genre. I did not want to write the stereotypical hustler's tale.
BPM: Do you have anyone in your life that was heavily influential in your deciding to become an author?
My father was my biggest influence to write. He told me at a young age with all the paper I used writing I should put my talent to use. When he passed away I made a promise to write a book in his honor. His unconditional love for his daughters made me push to complete my first novel.
That is how Dirty DNA was born.
BPM: Tell us about the sequel, Dirty DNA
2. Which topic in the book can you identify with the most? Why?
One of the biggest messages in this book is that a parent's love is the most important to a child no matter how old they are. Every child deserves to have the love and guidance of their parents no matter what the child's issues may be.
Dirty DNA 2: 'Til Death Do Us
Part: Washington, D.C. has never seen rage like that of ShaniQua “NiQue” Watkins. After taking out her entire family she has decided to settle in on being a mother to her newborn daughter, YaSheema Nicole, and soon-to-be wife to her rapper fiancé’, Ronald “Dread” Evans.
Just when she thought her life was headed in the right direction, the demon Pajay who lives within her resurfaces to wreak havoc on the remaining family members of the Clayton-Reynolds clan.
NiQue tries desperately to suppress the darkness from taking hold of not only her last surviving sibling, Neko Reynolds, and his girlfriend Pinky York but any and everyone who won’t cooperate.
NiQue battles with her own past while trying to survive long enough to have a future worth living for. Will she be able to tame the beast that lies in the darkest part of her soul? Or will Pajay reign supreme and demolish the rest of the surviving members of the notorious Reynolds-Clayton family once and for all?
Intimate Conversation with Allison Gregory Daniels
Daniels is president and CEO of ADG Enterprises and All God’s Doing
Ministries. She conducts workshops and seminars throughout the United States and
abroad for women. She is the author of more than twenty-one books and the
coauthor of three books. Currently a book consultant and published author, she
lives in Upper Marlboro, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.
Allison speaks with authority, wisdom and experience. Her books are certain to
breathe life into those who feel like that can't go on anymore because of their
life circumstances. Her book Life Goes On offers an example of maintaining faith
through adversity. Her readers and followers will benefit from her examples. Life
Goes On will challenge and encourage readers to look inside themselves for
the changes they want to see. This is an ideal book for book clubs, women
ministries, women retreats and for Christian women who seek support on their
spiritual and emotional journey through life. This dynamic book offer powerful
tips, strategies and tools for overcoming your past hurts, surviving emotional
setbacks and handling and maintaining your emotions as life goes on.
Life Goes On (How to Maintain Your Faith through Adversity) by Allison Daniels
You can maintain your faith even through adversity and begin to live a life of
purpose.In Life Goes On, author Allison Gregory Daniels shares how she did just
that. She chronicles her life experiences and her refusal to let events destroy
God’s calling for her. She offers testimony to the trust that she placed in
God and the knowledge that her past experiences did not have to destroy her
future dreams. She knew that she would dream again, love again, and laugh again
once she changed how she dealt with her past disappointments and found her true
The Word of God warns us that the enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy; even
so, if you let Jesus into your life, you can live life more abundantly with His
love and guidance. Life Goes On challenges and encourages each of us to look
inside ourselves for the changes we want to see and make a difference. The
answer lies within each of us, and the time has come to take back our lives and
change how we think about ourselves and how God fits into our everyday
to the author read from the book.
BPM: Do you have anyone in your life that was heavily influential in you
deciding to become an author?
My mother has been heavily influential in my writer because she encourage me to
pursue my dreams and never give up. I have been blessed to have family and
friends around that encourage me daily to continue to pursue my dreams and my
BPM: Introduce us to the primary topics in your book. What makes each one
Life Goes On is a dynamic, step-by-step guide offering powerful tips,
strategies, and tools for overcoming your past hurts, surviving emotional
setbacks, and handling your emotions. Some primary topics include: The Purpose
of my trials, Embracing Change and Personal transition and Life Goes on even in
the midst of it all. Each chapter is special to me because I hope to instill
confidence, faith, hope and value into the hearts of wounded women.
BPM: What inspired you to write this book? Does your faith or education
inspire your writing?
I was inspired by God to write this book to share with other women that you are
not alone. I wrote this book while I was going through a healing process within
my own life. The Life
Goes On book will challenge and encourage you to look inside yourself for
the changes you want to see and make a difference. The answer lies within each
of us, and the time will come where you will have to take back your life and
live again, love again, laugh again, dream again and just began again because Life
Life Goes On by Allison Gregory Daniels
on Amazon Kindle for Download Today
Non-ficton; Health & Well-being; Coping; Death, Grief and Bereavement
Intimate Conversation with Tonia Askins & Victor Kwegyir
“You’ve Been Fired! Now What?”
helps anyone transform a job seeking challenge into wealth creation opportunities. In this collaborative project, two international business consultants walk you through identifying enterprising possibilities and opportunities around you to create a secured future. Not only that, for the existing business owner seeking to implement vital systems and standards, it serves as a practical, insightful and experience packed guide for success.
Primary topics include:
* The way forward
* 16 benefits of starting your own business
* 16 advantages economic downturn present for start-ups
* 33 proven principles for building a successful business
* 40 researched businesses you can start Now
* Essential systems for business success
* Successful business examples
* Progress with Right Connections
Each chapter has been written to help the reader easily understand the process of transitioning with steps and practical guides in turning around the seemingly negative situation into an opportunity for success and growth. With highlights of great advantages the current economy presents for those willing to take the leap to create a successful future. Great examples of how others made it, having been inspired by differing ideas, prove how ideas and opportunities can be inspired by anything, especially when we are at varying crossroads in life. Also included are chapters that spotlight well-researched ideas for the reader, as well as the best principles and systems necessary to ensure an excellent start.
Tonia Askins: Entrepreneur and international business consultant, has serviced individuals, emerging entrepreneurs, existing small business owners and corporations for over fifteen years. Her client list ranging from Fine Artists to Computer Application Developers is just as diverse as her experience. Right from LSU Tonia’s management and executive career took-off, gaining industry experience within – mortgage finance, law, real estate and hospitality. Tonia has also successfully managed and administered an international non-profits human resources department overseeing more than 100 employees, operating within – group benefits, employee relations, recruitment, and non-profit law. An entrepreneur at heart, she founded the US based firms, Virtual Live Assistant and Northstar Pathways Consulting and Coaching, offering various executive, management and administrative business support services globally.
Her other experience includes owning and managing a restaurant. Tonia is also the founder of Louisiana Love, a special events photography company which provides photography for a national publisher as well as covers major events by request for arts, entertainment and humanitarian efforts within Louisiana. Service through volunteering to non-profits and individuals through mentoring and coaching has provided some of her most rewarding efforts. Truly, a no limits mind-set, diverse experience and passion for people are her main driving force.
Victor Kwegyir: Is an international business consultant, business motivational speaker, author, the founder and CEO of Vike Invest (UK) Ltd, a growing International Business Consultancy firm in London, UK. He has over fifteen years experience in business, and holds a Masters degree (MSc in International Financial Systems) with other qualifications. He speaks internationally at seminars, challenging and equipping people with the knowledge and practical tools in starting and growing a successful business. Victor is a regular guest speaker and contributor to entrepreneurial development and business growth & profitability radio shows (over 50 guest appearances).
He also has his own blog as well as contributes to other blogs and business finance and management websites around the world. In addition to this book, Victor has also authored such books as “The Business You Can Start – Spotting the greatest opportunities in the economic downturn” - available on Amazon, Kindle (eBook edition), Barnes and Nobles, Vikebusinessservices.com and book stores near you on request. Victor’s other upcoming books include, “Creating The Compelling Business Plan” and “Wealth creation as God intended."
BPM: What inspired you to write this book? Does your faith or education inspire your writing?
As consultants, irrespective of our practice in different continents and countries, we both have solution focused mind-sets as we daily help our clients grow their businesses. The state of the current global economy, has placed a lot of individuals in positions that they have never faced before with no solution or direction for the way forward. That is primarily what gave us all the motivation we needed to write the book as a resource tool, knowing that it’s possible to creatively turn around the dire situations. Indeed our faith as believers, education and professional experience has contributed immensely in believing in possibilities irrespective of the challenges one may be facing at any given time in life.
BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book? When someone finishes your book, what would you like for them to do?
We will love our readers to be inspired and believe in the possibility of turning around any current challenging economic situation into an opportunity to positively change the course of their economic destiny. Empowering them to gain the confidence and take strategic steps to identify business opportunities, and with the shared principles, systems and invaluable contents of the book start and grow successful enterprises for a secure future. Ultimately, a reader taking advantage of this great tool will be equipped to achieve success in business, which will enhance not only their life but the lives of people within their family, business and community.
Purchase You’ve Been Fired! Now What?
The Seven Year Itch by S.D. Skye ( J. J. McCall Novel - Book 1 )
Son of a Itch by S.D. Skye ( J. J. McCall Novel - Book 2 )
In the Game of Espionage, Spy Takes Traitor.
J.J. McCall Takes Over. Checkmate.
A born lie detector, Special Agent McCall unravels webs of lies to recruit Russian spies and hunt
down American traitors...and her first target is burrowed deep inside FBI Counterintelligence.
When turncoats betray America’s human intelligence assets, there is no greater failure than the loss of life—and no one knows that better than FBI Special Agent J.J. McCall, a born lie detector who recruits foreign spies to catch American traitors. She and co-case agent Tony Donato have lost two of their most critical Russian sources in the past two years, and they may lose another in just a few short days if they don’t catch him. The ICE PHANTOM. Code name for a near-dead investigation initiated to identify a rumored insider spy more insidious and elusive than Ames and Hanssen combined. After a decade of fruitless investigations, the Intelligence Community fears it might be chasing ghosts—but J.J. and Tony suspect he might be burrowed deep inside FBI counterintelligence. And his body count is going up.
Drawn into an unsanctioned mole hunt, J.J. and Tony have a week to catch ICE PHANTOM, save a key source’s life—and their own. While J.J.’s lie detecting ability helps them narrow down the list of suspects, the ultimate lie, the one she’s been telling herself for too many years, may help the ICE PHANTOM defect to Moscow and get away with the murder of the man she cannot live without.
Filled with mystery, espionage, romance, and suspense, this new FBI Series will keep you burning through the pages until J.J. catches the very last mole.
Welcome to the Hunt. Can YOU identify the Mole?
Read The Seven Year Itch, Book 1 in the Suspenseful New FBI Espionage Series by Author and former FBI Analyst S.D. Skye.
Now Available in paperback and ebook on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!
"Thick with layers, THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH is filled with strife, deceit, lust, pain, mystery, and humor."
Reviewed by OOSA Online Book Club
Son of a Itch by S.D. Skye ( Coming in August,
2013 - J. J. McCall Novel - Book 2 )
On the lam from the FBI, the ICE Phantom continues with plans to defect to Moscow but not before getting revenge against J.J. McCall, the woman who cost her everything, including the man she loves. Meanwhile the FBI commences Task Force Phantom Hunter, a team ordered by Director Russell Freeman to flush out suspected illegals within the U.S. Intelligence Community. And not a moment too soon. A listening device found embedded in the White House Situation Room walls, implanted by an agent of the Russian Intelligence Services, takes lie-detecting FBI Agent J.J. McCall’s next mole hunt to the highest echelons of the President’s staff. J.J. and her co-case agent lead the motley crew while she struggles to deal with her alcoholism, juggles conflicting feelings for the man she loves and the man she loves to hate, and bumps heads with a sexy but egotistical Secret Service agent whose jurisdictional stonewalling complicates her every effort to identify the culprit before he gets away.
About the Author
S.D. Skye is a former FBI Russian Counterintelligence Program Intelligence Analyst and supported several key cases during her 12-year tenure at the Bureau. She has personally witnessed the blowback the Intelligence Community suffered due to the most significant compromises in U.S. history, including the arrests of former CIA Case Officer Aldrich Ames and two of the Bureau's own--FBI Agents Earl Pitts and Robert Hanssen. She has spent 20 years supporting counterintelligence, intelligence, and military missions in the U.S. Intelligence Community.
An award-winning author of romantic comedies in her other life, Skye is a member of the Maryland Writer's Association, Romance Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She's addicted to writing and chocolate--not necessarily in that order--and currently lives in the Washington D.C. area with her son. Skye is hard at work on the next installment of the series.
by S.D. Skye
Introspection As Seen
In Black American Writing
writer Hiltrud Eve
literature portraits of women were reflected only as a man’s view of what
women should be. What women had actually felt and experienced had not been
heard of in literature. Traditionally in most fiction, men were the central
characters and women just played a background figure. When male writers depict
female characters, they often write from a fiercely male perspective. Women were
seen primarily in relation to male protagonist who occupied the works. Generally
African American male writers were in the depictions of the above stated
Women of African origin in the United States were keenly aware of the impact of
race, class gender and oppression upon their lives. Since slavery they had
struggled individually and in groups to eradicate the multiple injustices which
their communities face. The history of black women in United States began with
the forced migration of millions of African women from the interiors of the west
coast of Africa. They were transported as human cargo across the Atlantic Ocean
to plantations in the West Indies. The enslaved Africans were then sold to
Black women faced misery and suffering in redefining themselves. The
enslaved black women were not given proper medical care, because blacks were
assumed to be less fragile; who gave birth easily and therefore needed less care
than white women. The women were made to work as lumberjacks and turpentine
producers in the forests of Georgia and Carolina. They hauled logs by leather
straps attached to their shoulders. They plowed using mules or oxen and
sometimes worked with heaviest implements available.
Black men under slavery were equally powerless, so the women could not depend
upon them for protection, but at time even they poured out their frustration on
the black women. Therefore the black women had to protect themselves against the
white men. Some were bold enough to rebel and fight against their masters; some
even murdered them while they managed to escape. By the end of nineteenth
century numerous clubs and organizations came to support women suffrage and gave
priority to social and political issues that affected the black community as
well as black women specifically. The
National Association of Colored Women formed in 1896 brought together more
than one hundred black women’s club.
Many movements like the Civil
Rights Movement (1955-1965), started by Martin Luther King came up to rebel
against racism presented by the Black Panthers. Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and others came face to face with
black liberation. The Black feminist movement grew out of and in response to the
Liberation Movement and Women’s Movement in an effort to meet the needs of
black women who felt they were being racially oppressed in women’s movement
and sexually oppressed in the black liberation movement.
Segregation breeds hostility and fear, superiority and inferiority. In
the 1930s and 1940s, African-Americans is the southern states of the USA were
treated with contempt by the majority of white people. There was segregation.
Black people were not allowed to have good school, good jobs, good housing or
medical treatment. They were kept poor and ignorant. They had to treat white
people with respect and show great humility. They were employed by whites, but
were paid very little.
Black children feared whites, and in fact, as in the case of the author, did not
think of them as being human. At that time in America, women had a lower place
in society that man, both for whites and Blacks. During the times of
slavery, the order of importance in American Society was clearly mapped out.
First the white males, next white women, then black males, and finally black
women. So being a black woman was thought to be as low in society as one
could be. They were servants to whites and servants to men. However,
things were different in the north. Blacks had a much easier time than those in
the south. Black women in general would suffer the same harsh and
unbearable treatment from black men, as they would white, physical abuse,
emotional abuse, and sexual assault were all a part of the everyday lives of
African American women during the age of slavery.
Literature and the Black Womanist/Feminist Movement
Many writers defined the Black
Feminist Movement, but the most notable is Alice
Walker, defining black feminist movement as “Womanism”. Alice
Walker, one of the leading voices amongst black American women writers, has
produced an acclaimed body of work including: poetry, novels, short stories,
essays, and political themed criticisms. Her writings portrays the struggle of
black people throughout history. She is praised for her insightful and riveting
portraits of black culture, in particular the experiences of women in a often
times sexist and racist society.
Walker in her acclaimed womanist prose In Search Of Our Mother’s Garden
defines “Womanist” as “a black feminist or feminist of color.
” Three main writers heralded the rise of a new black women’s
creative activism. Michelle Wallace’s controversial Black Macho
and the Myth of the Superwoman (1978). Ntozake Shanges’s
explosive play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow
is Enuf (1975) and Alice Walker’s powerful and provocative novel The
Color Purple (1982).
Black feminist groups had to overcome three mammoth challenges that no other
feminist group had to face. The first and most important
challenge was to “convince other black women that feminism was their power to
claim. Feminism was not just for other races of women.” 2) They
also had to demand that women of other races “join this fight, this movement,
with them and embrace diversity” and 3) “face the equally
misogynist and gender bias attitude of Black Nationalists.” Alice Walker
and other womanists pointed out that black women experienced a different and
more intense kind of oppression from that of white women.
“ Black Women” says Alice Walker “are of America’s greatest
heroes… Not enough credit has been given to the black women who have been
oppressed beyond recognition.” A good majority of Walker’s novels,
short stories, essays, and poems focus on issues of civil rights, emphasizing
especially the plight of black women, who suffer the dual oppression of racism
Black feminists contend that the liberation of black women entails freedom for
all people, of all races, classes and religions since it would bring
about the end of racism, sexism, and class oppression. The black feminist
writers through their works aimed at demolishing the negative portrayal of black
people by white writers and society. They presented their people as complete,
whole and independent and not as the downtrodden people who were suppressed for
hundreds of years. Though black feminist writers wrote of a particular race, yet
they had a universal appeal because the oppression of women exists in all
communities, male-female relationships, emotions, feelings were same for all
Feminist Writers: Toni Morrison, Maya Angleou, Jamaica Kincaid and
Rita Dove were also noted feminist writers who talked about the sufferings of
black American women in their writings. Other important
Black feminist authors include: Kimberle Crenshaw, Sapphire, Jewelle
Gomez, Ann Allen Shockley, Bell Hooks, June Jordan, Patricia Hill Collins,
Audre Lorde, Becky Birtha, Donna Allegra, and Cheryl Clarke.
The legendary Toni Morrison's writing created a sound impact of the
representation of Black women in literature. Toni Morrison’s novels
revolved round the theme of isolation and identity, tales of the disposed and
disillusioned black voice. Toni Morrison’s novels revealed a black
woman’s life centered around a love for children, for parents, and bereft
always of an autonomous self. Toni Morrison’s novels stressed the need
for self-discovery and self- identity leading to self- actualization.
Neal Hurston was serious cataloger of
African American folk stories, dialect and religious practices. Hurston wrote
four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays.
She is a legend in the literary world. Several of Hurston's literary
contemporaries criticized Hurston's use of dialect as a representation of
African American lore. The credit of Hurston’s rise to current literary
greatness goes to Alice Walker. An article, "In Search of Zora Neale
Hurston", written by Alice Walker for the March 1975 issue of Ms. Magazine
renewed interest in Hurston's work.
works, Walker found African American people were presented as complete and
complex individual undiminished by the negative stereotypes of the
characterizations depicted by the society. Hurston was rejected by society for
picturing African American people as whole and complete in themselves instead of
downtrodden, oppressed people. Many contemporary writers today strive to bring
the same solid sense of unity, peace, purpose and freedom to Black people world
wide. Who are your favorite modern day feminist writers?
Author: Hiltrud Eve, COMPLETED M.A., Mphil. and have six years writing
God Don't Make No Mistakes
by Mary Monroe
CAN PUTTING YOUR TRUST IN THE WRONG PERSON
CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER?
“Monroe is a masterful storyteller.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe returns with the book fans have been clamoring for—the long-awaited conclusion to her much-loved and bestselling God series—of two forever friends facing their biggest betrayals yet.
#1 Essence bestselling author MARY MONROE has been described by the Chicago Sun-Times as a “remarkable talent,” known for insightful, entertaining and poignant stories spun around the complicated dynamics between friends, lovers and family. The daughter of sharecroppers and the first in her family to graduate high school, Alabama-born Monroe has been described by the San Francisco Chronicle as
In November of 2000, Monroe introduced readers to Annette Goode in the award winning novel God Don’t Like Ugly. Readers immediately embraced the character and fell in love with what would become the first installment of the “The God
series.” In 2006, God Don’t Play reunited Monroe with the characters she had first introduced in God Don’t Like Ugly and marked her debut onto The New York Times bestseller list and her second #1 Essence bestselling novel.
With her extraordinary circumstances and often unsettling portrayal, they followed Annette as she endured and triumphed over childhood poverty, sexual abuse, and obesity. Perhaps what
pulled readers in the most, was Annette’s longtime friendship with Rhoda
O’Toole. They were forever friends, who like most friends; fought, hurt but at the end of it all, loved. This summer, Monroe brings readers the dramatic finale of her successful God series in
GOD DON'T MAKE NO MISTAKES.
These days, Annette Goode Davis has a pretty full plate—literally and figuratively. Although she’s trying to reconcile with her husband,
Pee Wee, she’s still seeing other men on the side. With her love life hopping, Annette should be as pleased as punch. Instead, the stress has her eating everything in sight and when her world is rocked by a terrible revelation, she’ll discover that appearances can be very, very deceiving. Meanwhile, Annette’s best friend,
Rhoda O’Toole, has her hands full—as usual—dealing with her wild child daughter
Jade. Jade has always been a cross to bear, but when her antics almost cost Rhoda her man, Rhoda decides things between her and Jade must change.
Excerpt from GOD DON’T MAKE NO MISTAKES
Chapter One Eight months earlier
MY MOTHER HAD TOLD ME YEARS AGO THAT IF I EVER GOT married, I'd better keep a parachute nearby, because I was probably going to have to jump out of the relationship sooner or later. A parachute wouldn't have done me much good. A trampoline was what I needed. I did a lot of bouncing back and forth with Pee Wee, my estranged husband. Despite our bitter breakup several months ago, he still spent a lot of time in bed with me.
"I guess I still got it, huh?" Pee Wee asked with an anxious look on his dark, still-handsome face. Except for his receding hairline and that spare tire around his waist, he was still attractive for a man of forty-eight.
"Still got what?" I asked, with my eyes on the five crisp $100 bills that he had dropped onto the nightstand next to my bed, just before he dropped his pants. Even though I had a high-paying job and we didn't have a financial arrangement, he gave me a couple thousand dollars a month for me to spend on myself and our daughter, Charlotte.
Pee Wee's eyes got wide. "Don't mess with me, woman. You know what I'm talkin' about. Judging from the way you was whoopin' and hollerin' in that damn bed a few minutes ago, I know I'm still handlin' my manly job well for a man my age," he teased.
I rolled my eyes and gave him an exasperated look. "So it's a job to you now," I pouted. The last thing I wanted to hear was the implication that sex with me was a "job," because that's exactly what it had been to me at one time. I had made my money working as a prostitute during my teens. When my husband pulled out the $500 a few minutes ago, it brought back some painful memories. "You make me feel like a prostitute...."
Pee Wee shook his head, rolled his eyes, and glanced at his watch. "Look, I got to get to my shop and open up. I got a lot of hair to cut today. So if you are tryin' to tell me somethin', hurry up and tell me."
"I did tell you something."
"So what if I do make you feel like a prostitute? Whores need love too."
I threw up my hands. "If I were you, I'd stop while I was ahead," I warned. I rubbed the back of my neck and sucked in some air. We had had conversations similar to this one so many times that I felt like I was rehearsing for a play. "Look, I think we can still work things out and not do ... this," I told him, patting the bed and hoping that he wouldn't agree with my last statement. "Every time you come over here now, we end up in bed. You don't have to sleep with me, and you don't have to pay me to do it. That's why I suggested we still date other people, until we can decide if we want to reconcile or not."
Pee Wee gave me a confused look. "Don't you enjoy these little get-togethers as much as I do?"
"I do, but I don't want you to think that we have to do it."
He gave me another confused look, this time blinking so hard and fast I thought something had got caught in his eye. "Why? Do you not want to make love with me? You don't find me attractive anymore?" he asked.
"Don't be so sensitive," I scolded. "You know I enjoy making love with you. I always have."
"Then why we talkin' all this crap, baby? You know that the money I give to you is for my daughter. I ain't payin' you to make love with me. I ain't never paid for no pussy before in my life, and I never will. Not even with you."
I didn't see any reason to remind Pee Wee about the times he'd told me that when he was in the army, he and every other member of his platoon had paid Vietnamese prostitutes for sex.
Friends & Foes
Sinners & Saints Sequel
by Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Rachel Jackson Adams’ husband has won the coveted position of president of the American Baptist Coalition,
Jasmine Larson Bush has concocted a scheme to one-up her rival—by promoting her new community center on the nation’s #1 television talk show!
The power play won’t stop Rachel, who jets from Houston to Chicago to sabotage Jasmine’s TV appearance. But Chicago is the last place Rachel should be when one of the Coalition’s heaviest hitters turns up dead— and Rachel looks guilty as sin. Will her nemesis leave her stranded and let her take the rap? Or will Jasmine help Rachel hunt down a killer?
Could danger this deep turn the enemies into BFFs? After all, miracles do happen. . . .
Friends & Foes
“Frenetic and deliciously slapstick sequel to Sinners & Saints…These frenemies [Rachel Jackson Adams and Jasmine Larson Bush] are drama queens at their best and smartest, a combination that will leave fans praying for their further misadventures.” (Publishers Weekly )
Rachel Jackson Adams
Chapter One Friends & Foes
God has a great sense of humor.
Rachel Jackson Adams could remember her mother’s words as if she’d just uttered them yesterday. When Rachel was growing up, it was one of the sayings Loretta Jackson loved most.
Well, God must be some kind of comedian because this had to be the biggest joke of all.
“Why are you sitting there with your mouth wide open?”
Rachel jumped at the sound of Lester’s voice. She’d been so engrossed in the email she’d just read, she hadn’t even heard her husband come in the house.
Rachel didn’t bother to speak as she shook her head in disbelief. “This is unbelievable,” she muttered, more to herself than to him as she leaned back in the leather office chair.
Lester set down his briefcase, walked over, and kissed his wife on the head. “What’s unbelievable? Macy’s is having a going-out-of-business sale? Dillard’s is closing early?” he joked.
The evil eye she flashed at him wiped the smile right off his face. After nine years of marriage, Lester knew when his wife was about to lose it and she was definitely on the verge right now.
“Okay, babe, what’s going on? You look like you’re about to explode,” Lester asked, all traces of laughter gone.
“I am,” Rachel snapped. She spun her laptop around to face him. “Look at this mess.”
Lester peered at the screen. “Okay, it’s an email.”
“No kidding.” She jabbed a manicured nail at the screen. “It’s an email from Yvette.”
“Who is Yvette?”
She huffed and rolled her eyes. “Good grief, Lester, the publicist for the American Baptist Coalition. You know, the woman we hired.”
“Okay, calm down,” Lester said as he continued reading. “I just didn’t immediately realize who you were talking about.” When he got to the end of the email, a huge grin spread across Lester’s face. “That is phenomenal.”
Rachel popped her husband upside the back of his head.
“Wow, what did you do that for?”
“What do you mean, it’s phenomenal?”
He looked at her, confused. “Oprah isn’t phenomenal?” She didn’t answer, just kept glaring at him like he’d done something wrong. “Sweetheart, I don’t understand,” he continued. “The American Baptist Coalition is about to be represented on Oprah and you’re upset about that?”
“You doggone right, I’m upset,” Rachel said, slamming the laptop shut. “Why in the world is she going on Oprah?”
“Lady Jasmine?” he asked, still bewildered.
“Her name ain’t no damn Lady Jasmine!” Rachel yelled. “I told you to stop calling her that. Call her Shady Jasmine, Jas, Jazzy, shoot, call her Pepper Pulaski after the name she used to use when she was a stripper for all I care, but stop calling her that like she’s some type of royalty!”
Lester took a deep breath, trying to stay calm in order to keep her calm. “Okay, let’s back up because I really don’t understand your anger.”
Her husband really and truly could work her nerves sometimes. He could be so naïve. Granted, over the years he’d gotten a little backbone and since he’d become a popular preacher, his confidence had soared. It had gone to even new heights when he’d won the election for the presidency of the American Baptist Coalition six months ago. That had been a brutal fight—not between Lester and the man he was running against, Pastor Hosea Bush, but between Rachel and Pastor Bush’s wife, Jasmine. Things had gotten downright ugly between the two of them, but at the end of the day, Rachel had emerged victorious. Just like she knew she would.
When Memories Fade
by Tyora Moody
Angel Roberts has embraced her new faith, but past memories remain fresh. When her beloved grandmother suffers a stroke, Angel sets out to investigate a mystery that has created family tensions and lingered since she was five years old. What happened to her mother?
She teams up with investigative reporter, Wes Cade, a man obsessed with his Alzheimer stricken grandfather’s remaining memories. As Angel lets her guard down with Wes, his determination to get the story could push her to the edge. Is his interest in her or the story?
Angel must conquer her fears to find the truth. Unknown to her someone close is working feverishly to stop Angel from unlocking the truth of what really happened to her mother. Who will win?
Excerpt from When Memories Fade by Tyora Moody
She gripped the steering wheel in fear as she calculated every move he made. For the last hour, he held the gun in her direction. What if she jerked the car off the road? No. She wanted to live. Still the car accident had to be better than what he would do to her. She had no idea where they were going.
“Pull over, right up here.” He turned his hot breath on her. “Do it now.”
With as much ease as her trembling body allowed, she slowed the car and pulled to the side of the road. There hadn't been another car for miles on this back road. The sun had disappeared as cloudy, dark gray skies loomed ahead.
He cocked the gun towards her chest. “Get out.”
Her hands felt ice-cold as she struggled to grasp the door handle.
“Come on,” he growled.
She yanked the door handle and scrambled out of the car to face her abductor.
The man waved the gun and yelled, “Start walking.”
Sticks and leaves crunched as they walked into the mass of trees. From a distance, she saw lightning streak across the sky. A cool breeze whipped through the trees but it brought no comfort. Her heart raced as if she had just run a marathon. She choked back a sob. He was going to kill her.
To think how much she had trusted him. It never would have crossed her mind that he would hurt her. More lightning split the sky followed by an intense rumble of thunder. The trees shook their limbs as if taunting her for being so naïve.
A Thousand Steps
by Anita Bunkley
In 1855, risking everything for a chance at happiness, two women—separated by class, race, and geographic distance – travel to the rugged plains of Indian Territory where their lives intersect in a stunning explosion of danger, death, and revenge.
A Thousand Steps Cast of Characters
Tama: A beautiful fugitive determined to live free.
Elinore: An active abolitionist on a mission to find happiness.
Julee: A girl with no past who seeks a future among the Indians.
Hakan: A proud man entrusted with the survival of his people.
Thorne: A man obsessed with claiming what he owns.
From the snow-covered mountains of North Carolina to the untamed wilds of Indian Territory, "A Thousand Steps" takes readers on a perilous quest for freedom, truth, and love.
the author read from the book.
Excerpt from Chapter 18
On the third night of her capture, the door of the shed finally burst open. Tama stirred, groaned, and then turned her face away from the intrusive lamp light. Her body ached, her head throbbed, and the welts and gashes on her wrists and ankles from the weight of the heavy manacles flared in pain. However, she forced herself to sit up, and then scooted as far into a corner as she could, afraid, yet curious about who was coming through the door.
The shadowy figure held a burning oil lamp that spread light into the dark space. Cautiously, Tama leaned out from the shadows and gasped. Her visitor was a woman – dressed in a coarse cotton night coat over a filmy gown – and her long yellow hair spread over her shoulders. Her pale eyes were set like smooth stones in her stark white face, and Tama recognized her as the woman in the tiny oval painting on Zachary's desk.
"Get up, you whoring slut," the woman demanded, rushing closer. Her opaque eyes flared as she kicked at Tama, using one foot, and then the other to pound Tama's flesh with the hard leather of her shoes. "Get up or I will set this lamp to you and be happy to watch you burn."
With great difficulty, Tama stood, raising dark eyes to the woman's pale ones.
"You'll not be sharing my husband's bed again, you daughter of a dog," she vowed, putting the lamp so close to Tama's face the flame danced around Tama's wildly matted hair.
"I was never in your husband's bed," Tama dared to object, determined to defend her last shed of pride.
"Liar!" Zachary's wife kicked Tama harder, making her cotton night coat flap like the wings of a pigeon as she raised her leg to strike repeatedly. "You stinking savage. I know your kind. Consorting with Indians for food and favors to elevate your stinking half-breed self from the low-life nigger you are. Well, your disgusting behavior with my husband is over." The wife spat into the dirt, then threw a heavy iron key at Tama, striking her in the middle of her chest. Then she grabbed a handful of Tama's hair and pulled her face up to hers. "Unlock your shackles and get the hell off this place," she hissed through gritted teeth. "You take your filthy belongings and your whoring self out of here and get as far away as you can by daylight." She gave Tama's hair another hard yank; then the pale-eyed woman threw Tama’s cloth bundle at her. "And you'd better run fast because if you get caught and they bring you back alive, I will personally whip you to death."
Rainwater filled Tama's moccasins, weighing her down, yet easing the pain that was throbbing in her legs. As she sloshed through tall grass, two words bounced around in her head. Fort Gibson. She had no idea how far away the new Indian homeland might be, but whether it took a thousand steps or a million steps to get there, she was going to find Hakan and never part from him again. Driven by her love for Hakan and an unflinching determination to remain free, Tama continued to walk until her strength gave out. Collapsing beneath a thick-trunked tree, she fell into a near-unconscious sleep.
( The Story Continues... )
© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Anita Bunkley. 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.
Purchase A Thousand Steps by Anita Bunkley
Book is available for download today on Nook and Kindle
ISBN-10: 0962401234 | ISBN-13: 978-0962401237
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Blacks in the West, Native Americans and Blacks
About the Author
During Anita Bunkley’s twenty-plus years of writing she has created much-needed and welcome literature that takes readers into periods of history from the Afro-centric point of view. Reviewers and fans refer to her novels as sweeping sagas that are extremely entertaining -- embraced for their historical accuracy, strong romantic themes, and vivid characterizations of black people, especially women, in periods of history not widely showcased in literary works. A member of the TEXAS INSTITUTE OF LETTERS, Anita lives in Houston, Texas. She is represented by Marcil-O'Farrell Literary LLC. NY, NY.
Sing a New Song
by Michelle Lindo-Rice
If you found out you were dying, would you suddenly confess all your past sins?
When former chart-topper
Tiffany Knightly learns that she’s dying from cancer, she leaves behind her plush California lifestyle to return to Hempstead, New York, with
Karlie, her reluctant teenaged daughter. Her fans think she has simply gone home to die, but Tiffany has another mission. She desperately wishes she could leave her past in the past, but in order to secure her daughter’s future, she must tear open past wounds.
Life wasn’t always easy for Tiffany. With a stepfather who abused her and a mother who didn’t believe her, she acted out by becoming promiscuous. Fifteen years later, she’s back to reveal to her ex-husband that he might not be Karlie’s biological father. In fact, there are four men who could have fathered Karlie—four that she’s willing to acknowledge, anyway.
As Tiffany reveals her truth and searches for Karlie’s father, she reconnects with old friends and old lovers. Some reunions are happy, but some innocent lives are torn apart, leaving Tiffany to wonder if she’s doing the right thing. Through it all, she will have to learn to rely on the healing power of God’s unfathomable love.
Excerpt from Sing a New Song Michelle Lindo-Rice
“I’m sorry, Tiffany. We’ve done all that we can do.” Dr. Ettelman spoke those words with great dread.
Tiffany Knightly leaned back in the plush black chair across from Dr. Ettelman’s wide mahogany desk. The sun beamed on her honey-blond curls and heightened her hazel-colored eyes. From her vantage point of three floors up, she could look out the window behind him and make out the business-clad people scurrying like ants to keep appointments. Tiffany blinked in slow motion. How could the world go on when she had just received the most devastating news of her life? Dr. Ettelman must have moved from behind his chair, though Tiffany did not recall seeing him move. But the next thing she felt were his hands gently squeezing her shoulders. Instinctively she shrank away from him. He was the monster at that moment.
“Whoosh.” Tiffany finally exhaled the breath she had been holding. Vehemently, she shook her head. “No, Dr. Ettelman, I must not have heard you correctly,” she croaked in a voice she hardly even recognized. She panted hard, feeling as if she was about to pass out from the magnitude of emotions hitting her all at once. Dr. Ettelman’s face reflected empathy. He was still talking about something. What was he even saying?
“We’ve done all that we could do, Ms. Knightly. Is there someone that you can call?” She heard the hopeful inquiry but robotically shook her head. She needed some alone time to process the news she’d just received, and did not feel like calling anyone. Tiffany opened her mouth, but it just hung open. Words were stuck in her throat. Vestiges of all coherent thought left her body. It was as if her mind had disintegrated, leaving her powerless to stop the feeling of losing sanity. She screamed on the inside to regain some semblance of control. Tiffany could barely process the doctor’s words, but he had said it. He had said that she was dying.
No. He must be mistaken—he was talking about someone else.
Tiffany frantically looked around the room, scarcely seeing the pictures on the wall. Her eyes rested on his medical degree prominently displaying his specialty. Her eyes zoomed in on the calendar behind her. Today was March 17 . . . March 17 . . . March 17. . . . March 17 was the day she received her death sentence. Almost subconsciously, Tiffany picked up a picture frame on his desk. There was a girl smiling back at her. In slow motion, she replaced the silver-encrusted frame before finally looking into Dr. Ettelman’s sympathetic face. Her tall, lithe frame drooped, and she sank even lower in her chair.
She could not be . . . No, she could not be dying. Tiffany absolutely refused to accept that, emphatically shaking her head in abject denial. Death was too . . . final. She looked to Dr. Ettelman to provide some measure of comfort. In her heyday, she had been a national icon, but at this moment, Tiffany Knightly was just a patient, like any other who was the recipient of terrible news. She keenly listened as he spoke.
Purchase Sing a New Song by Michelle Lindo-Rice
Genre: Christian Fiction; Christian women 18+
No Ordinary Love by Mz. Robinson
The Love, Lies & Lust Series Continues . . .
In the 5th installment of
The Love, Lies & Lust
Series, Octavia and Damon are back and more in love than ever. Together they've seen their share of death and destruction. Now, with the conviction of Octavia s abductor, their lives can finally return to normal. However, there is nothing normal about being a Whitmore and trouble always seems to surface when it's least expected. When the unthinkable happens, Octavia is faced with her most devastating tragedy yet and slips into a pit of depression where her mind seems to be her number one enemy and maintaining her sanity is slowly becoming a losing battle. There is nothing Damon won t do for Octavia but there are some things even his love and money can t repair. The more he attempts to console her, the further she pushes him away. What is a man to do when giving his all is just not enough? As the drama unfolds, Octavia and Damon are reminded that life is far from a fairy tale and very few people get their own happily ever after.
Excerpt from No Ordinary Love by Mz. Robinson
I slipped in and out of consciousness while everything around me appeared in a blur. I could feel myself moving, hear the sound of tires screeching, and smell the distinct smell that only came with a new car. I was in the back of a vehicle. “I need you there immediately!” I heard a woman say before I passed out again. I can’t tell you how many seconds passed, but I was later on my back with my legs up in stirrups, lying on a bed. The sounds and smells around me were notification that I was in the hospital.
“We’ve got to get her stabilized!” A man screamed. “This baby is coming now!”
“Damon,” I said softly, attempting to fight against the weight bearing down on my eyes. I looked around at the figures surrounding me, wanting desperately to be able to make out the faces and distinguish between the voices.
“Who’s Damon?” the man asked.
“Her husband,” the woman replied.
“Something’s wrong,” I whispered. I felt heavy pressure in the center of my chest while in between my legs I felt hands, then the weight of what I knew was my child’s head breaking through my gateway.
“It’s a boy.” I heard a soft hum, followed by the words, “We’re losing her!”
I slipped between the gap of life and death; thoughts flooded my brain like raging rivers overtaking unprotected lands. I thought about my husband and the life the two of us shared, of my daughter and the joy she brings, of my parents and their unyielding love, of the baby I had just given birth to, and lastly of Shontay and the last moments of her life. I closed my eyes then took a deep excruciating breath, the one that was designated to be my last.
( Continues... )
© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author. 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.
About the Author
was born and currently resides in Huntsville, Alabama. She is a Criminal Justice major and worked as a Realtor before deciding to write full time. Although, she began writing as a child, it was not until much later in life that she began to pen short stories. After falling in love with the characters she created, she turned one of her short stories into her debut novel: What We Won't Do For Love. After completing her first manuscript, Mz. Robinson took a break from writing to pursue other career opportunities. However, deep in her heart writing was always her passion. Five years later she decided to pursue her passion and secured her first contract with G Street Chronicles. Today Mz. Robinson has eight published novels with many more on the way.
Connect with the Author
No Ordinary Love by Mz. Robinson
Part 5 of The Love, Lies & Lust Series (Contemporary Fiction)
Mama Ruby by Mary Monroe
Prequel to the Upper Room
If you are a fan of Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston, you will love Mama Ruby and the writings of Mary Monroe!
New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe presents an unforgettable tale featuring
Mama Ruby, the indomitable heroine of her acclaimed novel The Upper
Room. Now readers will get a peek into Ruby’s early years, as she transforms from a spoiled small-town girl into one of the South’s most notorious and volatile women…
Growing up in Shreveport, Louisiana, Ruby Jean Upshaw is the kind of girl who knows what she wants and knows how to get it. By the time she’s fifteen,
Ruby has developed a taste for fast men and cheap liquor, and not even her preacher daddy can set her straight. Most everyone in the neighborhood knows you don’t cross Ruby. Only
Othella Mae Cartier, daughter of the town tramp, understands what makes Ruby tick.
When Ruby discovers she’s in the family way, she’s scared for the first time in her life. After hiding her growing belly with baggy dresses, Ruby secretly gives birth to a baby girl at Othella’s house. With few choices, Othella talks Ruby into giving the child away and with the help of a shocking revelation, convinces Ruby to run off with her to New Orleans.
But nothing can erase Ruby’s memories of the child she lost or quell her simmering rage at Othella for persuading her to let her precious baby go. If there’s a fine line between best friend and worst nightmare, Ruby is surely treading it. Because someday, there will be a reckoning. And when it comes, Othella will learn the hard way that no one knows how to exact revenge quite like Ruby Jean Upshaw!
Introduction to Mama Ruby,
Prequel to The Upper Room
Originally published in 1985, Mary Monroe's engaging debut novel, The Upper
Room, features Ruby Montgomery, an obese, indomitable character who steals her best friend's baby daughter and flees to rural Florida, where she establishes herself as an almost mythical figure. The dialogue and setting are reminiscent of Zora Neale Hurston. The Upper Room by Mary Monroe is a candid portrayal of the cold-blooded yet fascinating Mama Ruby.
How did Ruby and Othella Mae come to be who they are today? Find out in the exciting prequel to The Upper Room. There’s a fine line between best friend and worst nightmare…but there will be a reckoning....
Excerpt from Mama Ruby by Mary Monroe
~ Shreveport, Louisiana, 1934 ~
Nobody ever had to tell Ruby Jean Upshaw that she was special, but she heard it from every member of her family, her father’s congregation, her classmates, and even the people in her neighborhood almost every day. She was the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. To some black folks, that was a very high position on the food chain. It meant that she had mystical abilities usually associated with Biblical icons. But as a child, Ruby didn’t care one way or the other about being “special” like that.
She balked when people insisted that she’d eventually have “healing hands” and the ability to “predict the future” like other seventh daughters of seventh daughters. But Ruby didn’t care about healing anybody, that was God’s job, and those snake oil salesmen who rolled through town from time to time. And she certainly didn’t want to be telling anybody what the future held for them. Because if it was something bad, they didn’t need to know, and she didn’t want to know.
The bottom line was, and she’d told a lot of people this when they brought it up, she didn’t want those responsibilities. The last thing she needed cluttering up her life was a bunch of superstitious people taking up her time, and drawing unwanted attention to her. Just being the daughter of a preacher was enough of a burden.
And since Ruby was the youngest member of the Upshaw family, her parents watched her like a hawk, and tried to monitor and control most of her activities. “Why do I have to go to church every Sunday?” she asked her mother one Sunday morning when she was just eight. “I want to have some fun!”
“You go to church because you are supposed to, gal. How would it look to the rest of your Papa’s congregation if his own daughter don’t come to church?” Ida replied, giving Ruby a stern look. “Don’t you want to be saved?”
“Saved from what, Mama?” Ruby questioned, looking out of the living room window at the kids across the street building a tent in their front yard.
“Saved from the world, worldly ways. This planet is full of all kinds of pitfalls out there waitin’ on a girl like you. Drinkin’. Men with more lust in their heads than brain matter. Violence. Loud music and sleazy outfits that would shock a harlot,” Ida answered.
Ruby already knew all of that. From what she’d been able to determine; it was a lot more fun to be “worldly” than it was to be the way her parents wanted her to be. “I want to have some fun like the rest of the kids!” she pouted, knowing that she faced a no-win situation. Her parents’ minds were as nimble as concrete. Once they laid down the rules for Ruby, there were no exceptions.
by Max W. Miller
Avani Darrisaw just wants to lead a normal teen life, but with a father who fights in a secret war and a mother resembling a science fiction goddess, she fears her wish will never come true. At sixteen, her fears become reality when she discovers she is a descendent from
Amarka, an alien planet. Horror replaces fear after a Star Warrior choses her to save him.
Seth, a prince of the Amarkarue Hierarchy is trapped in a dying sphere. He has come to join the battle on Earth, but needs Avani’s blood to do so. She has to become a willingly participant in a dangerous blood-exchange ceremony—the
Avani wants no part of this “Chosen One” designation and cannot understand why her parents feel so honored by this awful thing that has happened to her. They sent for an overweight, shape-shifting school counselor to scare her into attending some training school for freaks. Avani rebels and runs away—not knowing that Seth could transport himself on short trips to Earth to peruse her.
With mental exhaustion crumbling her will, Avani gives over to her feelings for the gorgeous prince with the honey-brown eyes. It is after her heart declares her love for him that she finds out there is more to the Blood Melt story than even her parents has told. She knew the
Amarkarues had come to help their Earth descendants battle against the Walfarian
Spikers. She did not know that consenting to the Blood Melt unleashed an assassin assigned to murder her. The odds of surviving the Blood Melt were slim; the odds of surviving a Walfarian assassin were none. Will Seth and Avani survive the Blood Melt, and if they do, can Seth free himself from his prison in time to save her?
for Blood Melt written by Harriett Reynolds
"A good fantasy novel for teens. The author has a wonderfully inventive imagination… Readers will undoubtedly look forward to the next books in the
Excerpt from Blood Melt by Max W. Miller
CHAPTER 3 - EXODUS
Dizziness overtook her. She was headed face-first for the concrete floor. Her muscles tightened, preparing for something that never happened. All she remembered was a strong, unintimidating grasp circling her waist and then seeing the Star Warrior’s face suspended over hers. Weightless, her body moved through the air. She was in denial as she glided underneath him. They were in a horizontal position and totally gliding through the air.
“Seth,” he said as his amazing honey-brown eyes caught hers. Breathlessness commanded her to stop releasing air—to hold as much inside her lungs as possible. The feeling of her featherweight-gliding body paled in comparison to his overwhelming presence. Without physical touch, he reached into places inside her, places she’d never explored before, places beyond where she would have let him invade, if she had a choice. She’d never experienced helplessness like this and wished it would never happen again. Did she really mean that? she wondered. Never is a long time.
His golden coat surrounded them. Floating through an Amtrak train corridor with a drop-dead gorgeous alien Star Warrior hovering over you was the kind of thing psych wards were made of. From there, it got crazier. He began to look faded and speckled, as if he were changing into . . .
“Oh, no, not you too. Please don’t change into a grizzly bear or a big nasty bloody heart with teeth. Please don’t scare me again.”
“No distress, Avani Darrisaw.”
If anything could make this situation right, it was his words. Yet he continued to change—not into an oversized bloody heart with teeth, but into a new soothing frame. Now he reminded her of what she imagined the inside of a computer’s motherboard would look like—high tech. His body had separated into rays of infinitesimal lights. So cool. She could still tell where his eyes were and trace the image of his body.
“No distress,” he whispered. “Molecular structure alteration commences.”
And that’s when it happened.
“Aaaaah. Aaaaah.” A sensation seized her body, like huge colonies of ants marching inside her flesh. Prickling dull needles annoyed her skin, while her body tingled and itched, as if the colony of ants were carefully pulling it apart cell by cell. Disjointed, she tried to panic, but the trillions of separated cells didn’t know how to panic. What had the Star Warrior done to her?
Drugs. It had to be some kind of spaceman drugs he’d given her. But how? And why would he do that? What did she ever do to him to deserve this? Numb with fear, Avani tried to convince herself that she was walking on a beautiful beach on a sunny day, watching the helpless churning of sand swirling at the will of the wind. She told herself that it wasn’t her body that had separated like his did, that it was just grains of sand on a beach.
She didn’t know how long it had been before the golden coat lifted, leaving her seated back on the same dusty bench she’d slept on half the night. Staring ahead at the same washed-out wall, shocking disbelief set in. Her eyes blinked in a stupor. Had what she thought just happened actually happen? Did the Star Warrior come out of her dreams to protect her from that man, catching her when she was falling?
And what was that feeling of being completely pulled apart all about? How could she see her body disintegrate into so many small pieces until . . . until she was framed out like a faded light show—just like him?
Purchase Blood Melt by Max W. Miller
Science Fiction and Fantasy Genre
The Men Who Sleep With My Husband
by Alicia Coston
The Bible or the
Pastor Quincy Wallace is a man of the cloth and a man of many secrets. When his beautiful and successful wife,
Lavender, discovers his affairs with different men, she takes matters into her own hands with the help of a mysterious contract killer named The Magician. Lavender plans to get rid of each of her husband's lovers and then frame her husband for the murders.
Everything seems to be going smoothly until Lavender finds herself falling for sexy
Detective Tai Exavier, the same person investigating the disturbing case of the missing men. Not to mention her teenaged son, Jalen, begins to have suspicions about the father he's looked up to for years. Will Lavender's scheme give her the revenge she seeks, or will her road to redemption hit a life-changing dead end?
Excerpt: The Men Who Sleep With My Husband by Alicia Coston
When I saw Deacon Gray fumbling with my husband's zipper in the pulpit, I knew he wasn’t kneeling before him in prayer. There is one quintessential moment in a woman’s life when she realizes she never really wanted the proof that could support her intuition. Except this time, my intuition didn’t give me fair warning. The dinner I ate at Tripps suddenly climbed and lingered in my throat. I swallowed hard while I swallowed the scene before me. My husband and his lover.
My husband, Pastor Quincy Wallace. Quincy, my “better” half, commanded the attention of the crowd for the majority of his life. He’d certainly caught mine the first time I saw him. I was a sophomore in high school, perusing the football field as most teenaged girls do after they’ve reached puberty. My deep-set eyes followed the skyscraper making his way around the track. Quincy’s legs were pistons pounding the hot asphalt. I wondered what led God to make a seventeen-year-old boy look like a man. Dark as sin. Faint mustache. Determined lips.
“Don’t even waste your time!”
I jumped when I heard Corinne’s voice behind me. Ms. Michaels, my best friend since the age of six, stood there with a hand on her hip and a crooked smile on her lips. I hoped the way I watched the sweat trickle from his flat top haircut down his forehead to his muscular torso wasn’t obvious.
“What?” she mimicked in a high nasally voice. “Girl, you know who I’m talking about! Quincy Wallace. Star athlete. Straight-A student. And did I forget fine as hell?” I rolled my eyes.
“Okay, so I was checking him out. And? After all those things you just named, what’s not to like?” Corinne shook her head sympathetically. She placed an arm around my shoulders and put her lips to my ear as though she was about to share a CIA secret.
“I hear he’s not into girls.” I pulled away to look at her.
“It’s true! I heard he messed with Fruit Rollup. And I’m a cheerleader so you know I hear all the good gossip first.”
“And that’s exactly what it is, Corinne. Gossip. Don’t tell me you believe everything you hear? Furthermore, who in the world is Fruit Rollup?” Corinne cocked her head to the left and looked skyward.
“Never mind. You don’t know him.”
“Besides, who could turn down all this?” I did a little spin as we walked along the fence, an afternoon ritual we shared whenever Corinne finished practice.
“Well, you ain’t all that,” she joked. “Let me stop, you know you’re beautiful. Out of all the girls at this school, I think you have the best chance. After all, he is a deacon’s son and that’s probably why he’s turning down all these fast chicks left and right. He has standards. And you have more to offer than just your looks. Plus, you’re the new girl.”
That’s why I love Corinne. Not because she strokes my ego but because she doesn’t mind giving props to another black girl when they’re due. Even a “high-yellow” one.
My parents taught me a long time ago not to rely on my face as soon as I was old enough to realize that everyone thought I was “cute”. I followed their cue. I applied myself to my studies and even though I started modeling at the age of nine, I wasn’t thinking about investing my money in a Reese’s peanut butter cup. I wanted my own beauty salon one day. Maybe my model’s height was what really drew me to Quincy. When you’re a girl that’s sixteen and stands almost six feet tall, it’s hard to find a boyfriend who reaches your chin while you’re wearing heels. Or one that doesn’t joke about being so short that he can offer other things—supposedly, that was the advantage to being vertically challenged.
A Woman Scorned 3: Deja Vu
by Ericka Monique Williams
In A Woman Scorned 3-Déjà
vu, Brielle is still tormented by her past and still dealing with an uncontrollable rage within her. Her issues are threatening to destroy her marriage to
Shawn. Brielle must keep Shawn from finding out that she is the one who almost killed him. She desperately needs to keep her husband, finally bring a pregnancy to full term, and have the family that she always dreamed of.
Those in charge of Shawn’s care are leery of Brielle and are trying to convince Shawn to leave her. Brielle has no one to support her and be on her side. Everyone continues to scrutinize her because of
Dante’s death and everyone feels that she is due to get back, what she has dished out. Brielle is trying to put the past behind her and is preparing to move forward. She is comforted by the fact that
Janay is in prison, but taunted by the nude pictures that Janay sent of herself in Shawn's room.
To help her heal, mentally and emotionally, Brielle enlists the help of a psychiatrist. What she does not realize is that
Dr. Nia Gray is a twisted therapist who wants to control Brielle mentally and exaggerate Brielle's demons; instead of healing them. Dr. Gray has one goal in mind; to steal Shawn and save him from his crazy wife. However, another new addition to the series has the same idea.
The last installment to the “A Woman Scorned” series ends with a Bang!
Excerpt from A Woman Scorned 3-Déjà vu by Ericka Williams
The Shocking Conclusion to the “A Women Scorned” Series
“I’m asking you a question. What if a woman were to get too attached and then tell your wife? Or what if she feels you took advantage of her? What if she feels that you used her and that it is unfair for you to move on with your life, leaving her heart in pieces, for her to put back together?”
“I will not allow a bitch to break up my family. She knew what she was getting involved in; she is grown.”
“I didn’t. You didn’t tell me up front that you were married. You didn’t give me the right to decide if I wanted to fall for a married man or not.”
“Well, it’s not too late. Shit, you ain’t fall in love over two sexual encounters. So, maybe it’s good that you asked. Save both of us the unnecessary headaches. If you can’t handle it, it’s cool.” Gregory sat up in the bed, put his feet on the floor, and got ready to stand up.
“Not so fast. I need fifty thousand dollars,” Danae said courageously and sternly.
Gregory spun around. “What?! I ain’t giving you fifty thousand dollars. You must be out of your fucking mind.” Gregory stood up over the bed. He was confused as to where the request came from.
“Let me rephrase that for you, Mr. Married Man. If you don’t want your wife to find out about our little affair, you will need to pay me fifty thousand dollars.” Danae remained calm while Gregory began to lose his cool. He leaned in her face.
“I ain’t giving you shit. Now lose my number.” He turned around and walked toward his clothes.
“Well, let me inform you that I have you on tape from the last dinner date. Your wife will receive the tape in the mail. I know where you live. I will give you three days—” Gregory was on top of Danae before she could get any more words out of her mouth. He started choking her.
Danae was helpless. She was defenseless because she was lying flat on her back. She could not move his weight off of her. Gregory’s grip was so tight that she began to feel herself losing consciousness. Her fingers could not pry his fingers off of her. She turned her head to look for something to grab that she could hit him over the head with and get him off of her. In her peripheral vision Danae could see a pen on the night table next to the bed. Danae was gasping for air as Gregory began to taunt her.
Still Not Satisfied
by SA Brown
Christian Goodman loves the ladies. So when an old girlfriend calls, it’s game on—until her play forces
Chris to the
sidelines. While there, his grandmother and best friend lose faith in him. With no one left, Chris turns to a psychiatrist and finds
Dr. Devin Rainey in her own struggle. Chris enters her life only to serve as a reminder of what she is missing, thus, creating tension between
the two. She fights to remain professional but personal needs blur the lines. In the end, Chris turns to an unlikely ally as he learns why he
is Still Not Satisfied.
Excerpt from Still Not Satisfied
Chapter 1 - A Bumpy Night
Moonlight illuminated the room as Chris stumbled into his bathroom. He admired his silhouette as he walked past the mirror. Even his muscular frame was sexy in the darkness. Chris’ self-admiration was interrupted when he noticed a small figure reflecting in the corner of the mirror. His mind had always played tricks on him, and lately the occurrence had been more consistent. As always, when he looked over his shoulder, nothing was there. This time would be no different.
When he returned to his bed, he found himself alone. His lady friend had dressed and left without making a sound, but she left a note on his nightstand.
We really should stop this.
Chris chuckled. “That’s what you said the last time and the time before that.”
Chris spoke as if talking to her. He crumpled the note and lay back on his poster bed. Deep down, he knew she was right. As he stared into space, he hoped he would sleep peacefully this night. Just one night without the dream. Please, just one night.
Christian James Goodman was the epitome of a beautiful African-American man. Standing at six-foot-two and 220 pounds, Chris defined sexy. His chiseled body and broad physique got him a lot of attention from the ladies. His warm smile and mocha color added to his style. His hazel eyes simply perpetuated his swagger while his strong baritone voice made the women yearn with desire. Yes, Chris had several physical attributes that men would pay money for and the confidence to put them to use.
( Continues... )
© 2012 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author. 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.
About the Author
is a writer in every sense of the word. This literary journey started as a contributing author for Sugar and Spice: Anthology for the Grown and Sexy. Now it includes scripts for film and the stage. A short story, In The Dark, will be featured in Zane’s upcoming anthology.
With hopes of inspiring, encouraging, and entertaining readers with compelling characters and thought-provoking story lines, SA's biggest desire is that everyone learns a life lesson every time they walk away from any of the stories.
The first solo effort, Still Not Satisfied, chronicles the journey of someone who might have to lose everything to gain anything. Stop by
www.sabentertainment.com to learn more about SA Brown.
Purchase Still Not Satisfied
Picking Up His Pieces
by Nikole Morgan
In suburban Richmond, Virginia, three generations of up-and-coming African American families strive to overcome inherited weaknesses while establishing a legacy on which to build their faith and futures.
Pastor Ivan (Ivy) James, whose father’s life was destroyed by sexual deviance, must come to terms with his own imbalanced view of marital romance with beloved wife
Yolanda. Learning to express emotional as well as physical intimacy, Ivy
simultaneously struggles to father the six children borne by various women during his wild youth. A unique challenge is Ivy’s troubled twelve-year-old son
Dominic who comes to live with Ivy and Yolanda when his crack-addicted mother cannot provide for him. Ivy's sex addiction faces the ultimate test in Satan’s efforts to destroy his ministry.
Malcolm Stewart is distrait when lovely wife Telese begins divorce proceedings following yet another bout with his violent temper. Making the decision to change his life permanently, Malcolm enrolls in anger management classes and graduates with honors in hopes of winning back
Telese and their two bright children. Stress sends him over the edge in a dangerous emotional spiral. But new friend
Steven Hill, security guard who ministers to the homeless and hopeless on the streets, teaches
Malcolm to channel his anger positively – by punching the boxing bag to release pain and frustration.
Raymond Durrant’s career path in the business world is clear and smooth as long he remains in the clutches of supervisor Amanda who will stop at nothing to break up Ray’s marriage. When he is tricked into making a terrible mistake,
Ray searches for the right answers to his problem and finally makes a stand to choose God over personal success.
Amanda tries everything in her power to destroy what he and wife Donae
have, risking her reputation and career in an all-out quest to snare Ray for herself. Ray learns to allow God to make his name great, as promised in Scripture. He joins Malcolm and
Steven to form a three-cord strand of faith that helps each man fulfill God’s purpose for his life.
These dynamic young couples build relationships on solid ground to rise above the sin natures of their fathers and mothers and the weaknesses of their own flesh to sow seeds of faith and rebirth.
Excerpt from Picking Up His Pieces
Donae walked into Ray’s office and rushed over to his bathroom to tinkle. She washed and then dried her hands on the monogrammed towels that she’d purchased for him as a just because gift. Although he hated surprises, he loved that his wife was so thoughtful. Laughing loudly at herself, she started undressing, leaving on her purple lace thong and matching bra. Grabbing her clutch purse, she touched up her make-up so she’d look irresistible from head to toe. Knowing Ray was a fragrance fanatic, she dabbed a few drops in all his favorite places. Strolling around his office in her sexy undies, she admired the photos of their children on his desk. Both were the splitting image of Ray. Donae often thought the only part she played was in the fun of making them and the pain of having them. Aggressively Donae studied their photos for a sign of her DNA, only to rediscover the one thing they inherited from her was her gleaming smile.
Spotting a photo of herself, she giggled at the snapshot Ray had taken of her with a huge afro. She’d just taken her braids out that day and her hair was tightly crinkled. As she started to pick it out, he snapped the picture. Although she hated that photo, he loved it, saying it captured her natural beauty. Donae wondered if all the pictures on his desk of her and the kids were an escape from a stressful day. She wondered if Ray had experienced any of those hectic days some of the management wives were referring to.
It was at that moment when Donae realized how truly blessed she was. She loved her life, her husband, her job, and her children, but most of all her God, for spilling so much favor into their lives. Donae was so grateful for everything the Lord had brought them through and thanked Him for giving her such a great man. Ray was an awesome protector and provider. Tonight she had celebrated his dream, and on this night, not only one dream would come true, but two.
Making a pit stop by the waste can, she made it official, and then excitedly raced to the restroom to grab her cell phone from her clutch purse. Once she was pleased with her seductive allure, she struck a pose on his soft leather sofa and snapped the shot, certain that the picture mail would speed him considerably.
The text message under her picture read: Congrats 2 U Honey! Waiting 4 u - HURRY. Before she pressed “send,” the sound of whispering voices outside Ray’s door sounded an alarm for her to hide. Racing to the bathroom, she quickly closed the door leaving only a small crack. Donae was certain that whoever was with Ray would soon be rushed out once her French manicure nail hit the “send” button.
Ray rushed into his office nervously. Behind him was an univited guest, almost on his heels.
( Continued... )
© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Nikole Morgan. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.
About the Author
Nikole Morgan was born and raised in Greenville, S.C. where she currently resides with her husband and children. After obtaining a Cosmetology License as well as years working in
manufacturing she realized her gifts and talents didn’t rest there. Her passion for writing was a desire from within that would never die, no matter how much she attempted to surpress it. She began writing as a way to escape painful memories of life’s misfortunes and allowed her own words to minister strength to her soul. As God worked through her she faced her fears of doubting herself, no longer believing the lie that the enemy planted in her mind of not being good enough. She trusted God and courageously embarked upon a journey to fulfill a lifetime dream of bringing words to life. She’s proven through her heart felt writing that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things. Picking Up His Pieces is her first novel. Readers are encouraged to visit her website, www.nikolemorgan.com or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact her for speaking engagements, book clubs visits or readings.
Purchase Picking Up His Pieces by Nikole Morgan
Five Days of Darkness
by J.J. Michael
The last several years had been tough for
Serenity Rankin. She knew marrying Jack was going to be difficult. She was black, and a Democrat; Jack was white, rich and a Republican, working for the most powerful Senator on the Hill. They were in love. Then Jack deserted her, leaving her to care for their autistic son,
Charlie, who was no ordinary child. Determined to save her marriage and get help for Charlie, Serenity sets out to find
Sophia, the mysterious healer of a subculture group, Unity for Oneness (UFO), who she believes is her only salvation. Little did Serenity know that she was being caught up in the biggest chess game of life.
Excerpt from Five Days of Darkness
They were an ordinary family that found themselves caught up in the biggest chess game of life. On the run for their lives they must rely on their autistic child, Charlie, with his special gifts to lead them through a quagmire of experiences to find the mysterious healer and leader Sophia, of Unity for Oneness (UFO), whom they believe is their only salvation. The family must choose between remaining in the ignorance of illusions or experiencing the painful truth of reality.
Day 1, spring 2015
Blinking back tears, I opened my eyes and took a deep breath. The past came floating back into my memory. It was as if the trip to The Dome had happened yesterday. I wanted to push the memory away and never think about it again. But as I lay in bed bits and pieces kept surfacing in my mind: Ms. Lillian’s thin pale face, her thick accent, the Devil card and the dream. I don’t think she fully explained what it all meant. It was if she wanted to get rid of us after I told her about the snake in my dream. Enough, I told myself. Let that experience go. It was just another one of Melissa’s ways to try and help me. Besides, Melissa told me Ms.Lillian had passed away soon after I had that reading.
I slowly sat up on the edge of the bed and looked at my long slim fingers. The flower design that my manicurist had labored to paint on my nails weeks ago was just about gone and the deep rich pink polish was chipped. It was hit and miss with me when it came to scheduling manicure appointments. Drop in appointments worked better. I could only show up at the nail shop when my hands felt okay. Today I would do them myself. There was no way I could sit in the chair for an hour while she massaged my hands, and then filed and polished my nails.
I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes again as I felt that first sting that could easily turn into a burning inferno. I quietly opened my night table drawer and took out a bottle of pain killers. After my son Charlie was diagnosed with autism, the burning had intensified and my doctor told me it was stress and anxiety. The medical tests showed no medical reason for the burning. He gave me two prescriptions, one for pain and the other anxiety. Before leaving his office, he handed me a referral to a therapist, which I immediately trashed.
Egypt Roberts is
privileged, spoiled, and living the good life afforded to her by her parents and
fiancée. Still living with her mother and father at the age of 24, Egypt wants
for nothing and is cared for by her childhood nanny and her father's wealth. But
after the death of her nanny, the lies that crafted her perfect life unravel and
cause Egypt's mental and emotional breakdown. Meet Andrea Atkins, a young
girl with a bright future; although her life is a living hell thanks to a mother
with substance abuse issues she has hopes of escaping her life after her high
But before she can make her escape, Andrea's world comes crashing down after a
business transaction gone wrong is interrupted by her mother. Andrea's life is
flipped upside down and she retreats into silence; protecting the secret of the
night her mother was killed. Blakely Hammond is a lost and confused soul
with no knowledge of her past or who she is due to suppressed memories. A
graduate student with dreams of becoming an author and college professor, she is
never able to stay on the straight and narrow because of her best friends'
After a scheme gone wrong Blakely is landed in jail for a crime she doesn't
remember committing and a best friend that has gone M.I.A. Tragic events
lead Egypt, Andrea, and Blakely to the Rose Program at the Rosa Lee
Institution for Women and Children where they discover things about
themselves and their lives that they never knew were possible. Through
individual and group sessions in the Rose Ward, Egypt, Andrea, and
Blakely create bonds with one another and the staff while getting a sample of
what crazy tastes like...
Taste of Insanity
Isabella speaking: "My desert flower, what are you doing
here?! Evelyn and Duke would have a fit child."
I could care less about what Evelyn and Duke thought as of this morning; I was
just happy to see Isabella. Here I was, 24 years old, and my parents had kept a
secret from me like I was a little girl on the verge of finding out that Santa
Claus wasn't real.
“Oh Bella, I'm just
happy to see you, Mother and Father don't have to know I was here. You look
great, not sick at all, are you sure this is really a hospice?"
She chuckled at my
child like ways. "Egypt this place is way too expensive for my taste you
know but Duke and Evelyn only want the best; it's more like a recovery center
for the rich and famous, I'm the only hospice patient here."
I was pleased that she
was being adequately attended to. "Can we go to your room and talk?"
She hesitated as though I had come to sit in the lobby and then leave. No, I
wanted answers and I was not leaving until I got them.
"Sure let's take
the elevator, I'm on the top floor; I have a beautiful view of the city."
Isabella's room was magnificent. The Memphis skyline was intriguing. Bella
dismissed her nurse so we would have privacy. She motioned for me to sit down
and the questions began to flow like a water fountain, "Bella how long have
you been here, from the looks of it you couldn't have just moved in today."
"Bella tell me what's going on, I'm not leaving until you do." She
shifted in her seat and grabbed a glass of water and took two pills.
"Well if you feel
that you're ready I'm going to tell you everything because you deserve to know.
My days are numbered and I have wanted to tell you for so long the truth about
everything but Evelyn wasn't having it. Evelyn didn't want you to know until
after I died, but I wasn't falling for that; I could be gone tomorrow and you
still wouldn't know the truth!" She kept going on and on venting about
Mother; I didn't understand.
'Bella, be more
specific, the truth about what?"
"Oh Lord, I'm sorry, I don't know what got into me. A long time ago, I fell
in love with this man, so much I would have given up my life for him. He was an
associate at the firm I was a receptionist at; we didn't want anybody to know we
were involved but it was obvious because of the way he doted on me. He was
handsome and all the women in the office wanted him, even the big boss'
daughter. That girl hated me but she loved this man just like me. They had dated
back in college and she never got over him. I turned up pregnant but never told
anyone in the office it was his child. The boss' daughter found out about it and
she threatened to ruin his good name if he didn't get rid of me and get back
with her. I wasn't giving up my baby but he thought his career was more
important than me and the baby so he chose her. I was devastated and with that
and the baby coming I lost my job from the stress. I had nowhere to go and he
and his new bride had no choice but to take me and the baby in. She told him
that I could be my baby's nanny and that they would adopt my daughter since she
couldn't have any children of her own. It was my only security so I agreed on
the terms that after my child graduated from high school, she'd know I was her
mother. But she was never told about me."
Taste of Insanity by Morenike'
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