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2013 Holiday Gift Guide
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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
Give the Gift of Knowledge
Give Books as Gifts 365!
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to hear the author introduction or to read an excerpt. Purchase books as gifts!
by Monica McKayhan
Can passion in paradise become a forever love?
Sasha Winters has it all planned. She'll spend two days – exactly forty-eight hours – in the Bahamas for her sister's wedding. Then it's back to her hectic life as a lawyer on the fast track to partner. But when a storm strands her on an exotic island, Sasha's suddenly giving in to her sensual side and making moonlit magic with Vince Sullivan, a man she barely knows.
The groom's best man, Vince, hasn't given up on finding that special someone. It could be Sasha – if she'd allow herself to feel the full force of their chemistry. Determined to liberate the passionate woman behind the workaholic Atlanta attorney, Vince storms every last one of Sasha's defenses. Yet can their growing love survive, even as a crisis forces Sasha to choose between her lifelong ambitions and a lifetime of love?
Review by Janet Caldwell, Romance In Color
“…I really enjoyed this book. McKayhan admits to “taking sensuality to new levels” in this novel. I appreciate her technique and tasteful treatment of the love scenes which compliment Sasha and Vince’s charming love story.”
About the Author
Monica McKayhan writes adult and young adult fiction. She currently has 11 titles in print. Four are adult novels, and 7 are young adult titles. The first book in her young adult series, Indigo Summer, was the launch title for Harlequin’s imprint, Kimani TRU which made its debut in January of 2007. That same year in May, Indigo Summer snagged the #7 position on the Essence bestsellers list, another first for Kimani Press. It also appeared on the bestsellers list in the May 2007 issue of Black Issues Book Review (BIBR).
Indigo Summer appeared on the American Library Association (ALA)’s list of 2008, 2009 & 2010 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. Monica's young adult title, Ambitious, appeared on the ALA's list of 2013 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults.
In 2009, Monica received a film option from Karat Films for the first five books in the INDIGO SUMMER series. She most recently penned her first romance novel, Tropical Fantasy.
Monica is currently working on the first book in her upcoming romance series, entitled the The Talbots of Harbour Island. Look for it in 2014 by Harlequin's Kimani Romance.
African American Romance
Harlequin Kimani Romance
Follow on Twitter: @MonicaRomance
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
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
I Ain't Me No More
by E. N. Joy
Helen wasn't just born the devious vixen of New Day Temple of Faith. There had to be something rooted deep within her to make her inflict and feed off of other people's pain. Perhaps it was her own pain that she had suppressed for so many years-an unimaginable pain-that created an internal prison of which her mind was the only captive. But once the demons within her break free, those around her better beware, as Helen surely becomes the epitome of the saying, "Hurt people, hurt people."
In I Ain't Me No More, Helen has no shame displaying that she hasn't been saved all her life. Will the divas of New Day Temple of Faith think Helen's worth saving? But more importantly, can God save Helen from not only her evil past; can He save her from herself?
First Chapter Excerpt
Man, I hate the cleaning guy! Why does he have to do his job so well? Can’t he ever leave just one spot, smear or smudge on this dang stripper pole? Something so that I don’t have to see myself so painfully visible like this? What makes him think I want to be able to see myself twirling around this pole like some skilled monkey—caught up in the powerful grip of the almighty dollar; a grip known to have choked the life out of many while leaving others gasping for their last breath?
“That’s for you,” Damon spoke out over R. Kelly’s “Your Body’s Calling.” With his chestnut brown, bald head and facial hair that is edged up nice and clean, Damon licks his thumb and uses it to flick a twenty dollar bill off the stack of money he’s palming.
I swivel my body down to the ground the way the vanilla and chocolate swirl ice cream at the DQ makes its way from the machine to the cone. “Baby, you know it takes gas to keep a Cadillac like myself going,” I say to Damon. “As long as you keep filling up the tank, I’ma go-go all night.” I swivel my body back up to a standing position while adding, “In any direction you want me to go.”
Damon’s lips part into that sexy signature smile of his.
“Whatever you want,” Damon said. “It’s your Caddy. I’ll drive, ride, heck, I’ll even be a backseat passenger. Just know that I got you, Ma.” Damon begins to flick off bills like he’s the dealer in a game of spades.
I’m very much content with the hand I’m being dealt. So much so that I want to drop to my knees and begin scooping like a kid standing under a piñata that has just been busted open. But I don’t want to appear too desperate. Resolving to strip in the first place was out of desperation. At the time of making the decision I felt trapped, like Jonah in the belly of the big fish. I was always trying to make ends meet, but neither of my ends were the least bit interested in getting to know one another. Bills were due. I weighed some options on my immoral scale of desperation and stripping was a less load to travel with in my mental carry-on. I mean, at least I’m not selling my whole self --just bartering off a piece of me.
“Go on, Go-Go Girl. You know you wanna bend that thang over and pick up that loot.”
Once again, Damon licks his thumb and lightens his pile of money as he flicks a couple more bills onto the stage at my feet. “Come on, just show me a li’l sumpin’-sumpin’,” Damon urges. His eyes peruse my body from head to toe, wetting his thumb in preparation to keep making it rain.
And this was rain, might I add. Ones being flicked off; that’s a chance of rain. Fives being flicked off; that’s a little drizzle. Tens being flicked off; that’s a scattered shower. Twenties; that’s rain. Benjamins; an all-out thunderstorm!
“Come on, Damon, you know the rules. You don’t want me to break the rules and get put on punishment do you?” I ask, making a puppy dog face.
“Forget the rules,” Damon barks like the big dawg he is. “And if all that is worthy of just a peek,” he says, referring to all the money he’s laid at my feet, “I can only imagine what this will get me.”
I freeze on the stage, which means the bill Damon is now displaying must be triggering some type of ice storm. Until this very moment, I never even knew that such a bill exists.
“What’s the matter, Go-Go Girl? You ain’t never seen a five hundred dollar bill before?” He chuckles. “So what do you say you make tonight a first for a lot of things?”
All of a sudden I’m starting to think about church, kicking myself for not having paid my respects (or tithes) to the house of the Lord in a couple of months. At the same time I’m trying my hardest to recall one of those messages that have to do with temptation-a scripture or something- because to tell the truth and shame the devil, I am beyond tempted to take Damon up on his offer.
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…” That isn’t exactly the scripture I’m grappling for, but it still seems fitting.
My name; Helen Lannden. How much is it worth today? Twenty-five year old Helen Lannden. How much will my name be worth tomorrow, especially if I trick for this money today?
( Continues... )
Copyright © 2013 by E. N. Joy. All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, E. N. Joy. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.
I Ain't Me No More: Book One of the Always Diva Series
Purchase now: http://amzn.com/1601627696
Path to Promise
by Sherryle Kiser Jackson
Sequel to Land of Promiscuity
There’s a difference between running scared and running free.
Rebecca Lucas is on the run again, running from rumors, running from reality, and most of all, running from Will, her best friend and soul mate. This time Rebecca is ready to reclaim the life she left behind in Salisbury before the burial of her mother and the handling of her mother’s estate. Time away, however, has done little to alleviate her biggest problem—her coworker Kenny Burke and the indecent proposal he pitched to her before leaving town. She’s back, and he uses every resource at his disposal to get her to go along with his plan.
Will Donovan, the man left in the trail of Rebecca’s taillights and exhaust fumes, has a few problems of his own. His father’s secrets have left the senior Pastor Donovan ousted from his longtime position as leader of Grace Apostle Methodist Church, and Will with one foot in the door. As a mandate of the church board, Will must apply and compete for his dad’s job. His competition is the very charismatic and well-connected Danny Glass Jr., heir of a televangelist empire. Will seems to be the only one questioning why Danny is on his turf when he has his own father to succeed. He struggles with the integrity of his decisions in an effort to carve out his own identity in ministry.
For Will and Rebecca, the Path to Promise is far from a utopian street paved with gold. Will their paths, marred with their own obstacles, cross and lead them to the promises of God?
Excerpt from Path to Promise
The next day Rebecca clung to her sixteen-ounce Colombian roast as life support to get her through the day. She practically had to reintroduce herself to the firm’s fifth-floor administrative assistant, Celeste, after she called out to the slightly older woman to hold the elevator on the ground floor. No greeting and no apology came from her colleague when they came face-to-face after Rebecca sacrificed her umbrella handle to prompt the door to open again.
“Thank you,” Rebecca said sarcastically before the elevator car became crowded with associates, who were just as rude, pushing them farther back with their wet umbrellas, their lawyer-speak, and their arrogance.
Their building had ten floors; the top five were occupied by the largest law firm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. When the elevator reached the fifth floor, an older man in an all-weather coat pushed the close button so quickly that Rebecca and Celeste couldn’t move forward and get off the elevator in time. The man acting as the lift operator then spoke loudly into his cell phone, letting the person on the other end of the line know his estimated time of arrival in the suite of offices on a higher floor. Having missed their floor, an indication of how insignificant they were on the firm’s totem pole, Rebecca and Celeste shared a perturbed look.
They rode to the top, stopping on practically every other floor, and then rode back down to the very bottom before they could move to the front and take control of the roving beast that was their elevator.
“I see nothing has changed around here,” Rebecca said once she was off the elevator and heading with her traveling companion to the administrative suite of cubicles and waiting rooms.
“Not a thing. I am glad one of us knows somebody that has enough pull to get a substantial vacation before vacation week.” Celeste smirked.
Apparently, Celeste hadn’t gotten the notice as to why she had been out, Rebecca thought. A “How are you doing?” would have been in order. Rebecca decided her business wasn’t worth telling. They weren’t friends. They had the same strained relationship Rebecca seemed to have with all women, one based on assumptions, envy, and petty arguments. She was thought to be worthless throughout high school because she didn’t hang in a clique of girls that had boyfriends, gossiped, or had a fashion obsession. Then she was considered a wanton threat because the boyfriends of those same girls got wind of the fact that she had contoured her body and wasn’t afraid to use it.
“I’m glad you’re back,” Celeste said, walking ahead to her command post, apparently in a hurry to grab something. Celeste grabbed a pile of papers and file folders with one arm. She turned at the precise time and practically shoved the stack into Rebecca’s midsection. “Now you can pull your own weight.”
Rebecca stepped back, not so much from the impact, but from the splash of her coffee. She fought to maintain her grip on the coffee cup. They were in a staring match, and it would continue, as far as Rebecca was concerned, until Celeste realized her hands were occupied. Still holding the pile of papers and folders, Celeste sighed heavily and begrudgingly followed Rebecca, whose gait was purposely slow. Celeste’s shoes squeaked due to the slickness of the floor from the spilled coffee and the cheap polyurethane material her shoes were made from. Before even attempting to retrieve what Celeste had for her, Rebecca sat her coffee down and draped her fur-trimmed sweater on the hook to the right of her desk once she was inside her cubicle. They exchanged smug looks and the load of papers before Celeste turned to leave.
What was her problem? Rebecca thought. No amount of coercion or sweet talk could make Celeste fill in for a paralegal. On numerous occasions, she had let attorneys and their lackeys alike know she was an administrative assistant. She worked with Windows software, not Workshare, and she absolutely wasn’t running back and forth across the street to the courthouse. Bethany or any of the other three paralegals in the building might be called upon to assist in her stead, but definitely not Celeste.
Rebecca’s desk was neat, and the pile of depositions and files that she now held would give her a time line of what had gone on in her absence. She walked to the break room before taking on the task of going through the pile and devising a to-do list from it. She needed to refresh her cup of coffee and, in doing so, checked off her first assignment. It was her duty to start a pot of generic roast for clients and guests who would check in on their floor. A sad cutout of a Christmas tree, tacked up on the huge memo board and cluttered with generic cards from random staffers, was the only reminder of the holiday that had just past. Rebecca concentrated on setting the coffee machine to brew so she could forget how she had spent Christmas day sulking and sorting through mail of her own.
She backtracked now to her desk to grab her calendar to confer with Celeste. Like a chess player did a chessboard, she studied her calendar and kept it up to date at all times. She had to know where all the major players were. Jacobs, God help him, was no doubt in court. That left Minor and Burke, whom she was uncertain about.
Burke. The thought of him gave her shivers. She used to think the way he looked at her was sexy, but now it brought a curl to her lip. Would he be in today or out wooing some client? Maybe he had started his vacation. Would he be looking for her to help him entertain his potential client list, like he had implied before she left? Hopefully, he had found someone else to harass.
Maybe she could get a reprieve today. Yeah, who came in between Christmas and New Year’s, anyway? she told herself. Then she thought of all the attorneys in the elevator this morning. She bent back the corner on her agenda book, just thinking about it. It was crazy to keep dwelling on Burke’s proposition to befriend his client, Walter Calhoun that had happened just one time and would more than likely not happen again. Her plan was to attack the pile on her desk while attacking her anxiety. She did a one-eighty back to her desk, but like a revolving door, she spun around again with a favor in mind to ask Cruella De Vil at the front desk.
Rebecca stopped at Celeste’s desk and inhaled deeply as she waited to be acknowledged. “Celeste, since it’s my first day back, I’m really, really, really trying to play low key today. It’s like I’m not here. I wasn’t even going to report until Monday, anyway. Until I can weed my way through this pile and get things in order, I’m no good to anyone, anyway. I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t tell Burke that I’m back here. I’m not saying to lie, but just don’t make an announcement.”
“Oh, no way, sista. Then he’ll be loading me up with things to do, or he’ll have me searching for Bethany, who, between the two of you, hasn’t worked a weekend’s worth of time this month.” She leaned in, and although Rebecca found that odd, she leaned in as well to catch the apparent scoop Celeste was dishing. “You know, she’s nearly four months pregnant.”
Rebecca blinked several times as she digested the news, and wondered for a moment how much of her own business Celeste shared in this same manner with friends and foes alike. “Please, Celeste. I don’t ask you for much.”
“So you’re hiding from Burke?” Celeste gave her top molars a satisfied suck.
“Not hiding. I’m just a little disoriented. See,” she said, holding out her agenda book. “I don’t know where anyone is in any of their cases. Jacobs . . .”
“Is due in court at nine,” Celeste said, finishing Rebecca’s sentence for her.
Rebecca shrugged and shook her head at the same time. “They do that to him on purpose.”
“He does it to himself. He’s served more court time than a repeat offender, but he’s on a winning streak now. If he was smart, he’d hook up with seven and eight, like Minor is doing, working on a corporate bid. It should be interesting to see who between Burke and Minor wins an office upstairs first,” Celeste said, referring to the status of senior attorneys, who were housed on the seventh and eighth floors.
Rebecca had underestimated Celeste’s knowledge of office politics. Rebecca didn’t want to play them, but it was good to know the house rules.
“He’ll be in here, all right, without me saying a word,” Celeste said.
Rebecca gave her a quizzical look. “Who?”
“Burke. That’s who you’re worried about, aren’t you?” Celeste snapped.
Rebecca leaned in as Celeste had done to get her to pipe down. “What makes you so certain?”
This time Celeste backed away, as if Rebecca had some sort of disease. “One thing Mr. Kenny Burke can do well is sniff out fresh meat and money. In your case, meat he hasn’t fully picked over yet.”
Rebecca watched Celeste suck her teeth again, as if to dislodge remnants from her breakfast, before turning on her swivel chair. Rebecca was thoroughly disgusted. What did that mean? And what did she know?
( Continues... )
Copyright © 2013 by Sherryle Kiser Jackson. All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sherryle Kiser Jackson. 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
Multipublished author, wife, mother and teacher, Sherryle Kiser Jackson strives to be a fresh voice in Christian Fiction. Born in Prince Georges County, Maryland, Sherryle went on to get a degree in Elementary Education from from Salisbury State University. Her triumphant debut novel, Soon and Very Soon (2007) was followed up by her sophomore release, The Manual (2009), Soon After
(2010), Taylor- Made (2011) and Land of Promiscuity (2012) for Urban Christian Books. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.
Sherryle Kiser Jackson
Multipublished Christian Author
2013 -Thrive in God's grace and abound in His love
All That I Desire by Francis Ray
New York Times bestselling author Francis Ray turns up the heat in this sizzling Grayson Friends novel about a woman’s life, liberty…and pursuit of passion.
LOVE IS NEVER PICTURE-PERFECT…
Nothing can stop a woman like Skylar Dupree once she makes up her mind. Defying her family and leaving law school, she’s landed her dream job as an event director at the prestigious Navarone Resorts and Spas in Arizona. It’s all that Skylar’s ever desired—until she sees Rio Sanchez, the resort’s head of security and Blade Navarone’s own personal bodyguard. He’s the sexiest, most striking man she’s ever met.
SOMETIMES IT’S EVEN BETTER…
When Skylar starts planning a huge charity auction at the resort, it’s Rio’s job to keep an eye on the prized art she collects from donors. Though he’s not blind to Skylar’s beauty, Rio is nothing if not professional—and he refuses to make a move. But when a mysterious stranger enters the picture—and puts Skylar’s life in danger—Rio attempts to protect her…only to be told, in no uncertain terms, that Skylar is capable of taking care of herself. Her brazen independence is enough to drive Rio crazy…with desire. Could it be that the strong, hard-hearted Rio has finally met his match?
Read an Excerpt
Skylar Dupree wasn’t the risk-taking type, but neither was she the type of woman to falter once she’d made up her mind. The only other time in her twenty-six years she dared do anything remotely defying tradition was leaving law school. Yet that had been more for self-preservation. Her parents were pragmatic; she tended to be more easygoing and laid-back.
Skylar paused on the curved stone staircase of the thirty-five-room castle. Easygoing wasn’t going to cut it this time, not if she wanted to grab Rio’s attention.
Just the thought sent her heart rate skittering out of control. Rio could look straight through you with hard, unblinking black eyes. He exuded danger. Nothing seemed to bother him. She could count on one hand the number of times she’d seen him smile, and those times had been when he was with his closest friends, Blade and Shane. As far as Skylar knew, he’d never bestowed upon anyone else a smile, let alone his laughter.
The task she’d chosen for herself was scary. Since Shane’s marriage, Rio was head of security for Blade’s business as well as Blade’s personal bodyguard. Even Rio’s security team had a healthy fear of the man reported to be deadlier than a viper, and just as stealthy. She’d heard one of his men refer to him as “smoke” because of his elusiveness.
Skylar had flown in that Sunday afternoon from Navarone Resorts and Spas’s headquarters to go over the final preparations for a charity auction and ball to benefit the Music Department of St. John’s College, where Mrs. Grayson was chair. The auction was two weeks away. The big draw to get the right people to come was that the auction would be held in Navarone Castle, near Santa Fe, a place heretofore off limits to anyone but close family and friends.
Much had been speculated about the home of the billionaire, which had a real moat, a working drawbridge, a helipad, and a lake. Sierra, Blade’s wife, might have owned the castle before her marriage, but Blade ensured their privacy by buying up all the surrounding property within fifty miles. You might get on the property, but with its constant patrols, you were quickly escorted off, which gave Navarone Castle even more of an air of mystique.
Continuing down the stairs with her iPad clutched to her chest, Skylar stepped into the comfortable great room. Sitting in sky-blue leather chairs and love seats were Blade, Sierra, and her mother on one side. On the other were Shane and his wife, Paige. Rio, arms folded, standing by the immense stone fireplace, glanced up. Her heart did a fast jitterbug.
Rio looked incredibly handsome in a long-sleeved white shirt with the cuffs rolled back to show strong wrists. He had a silver watch on one arm and a wide silver band on the other. His jeans delineated the long, sleek muscles of his thighs and made Skylar’s mouth dry.
In Tucson he’d always worn tailored clothes, the same as Blade. Here, Rio was more casual. The curly black hair she’d dreamed of running her fingers through was held at the base of his neck with a silver clip. His bronzed, hard body was honed to perfection.
There was nothing in his midnight-black eyes that indicated he desired or felt anything at all for her. Skylar stared back at the flat eyes that seemed to see right through her and stiffened her spine.
One day he’d look at her with desire.
“Hi, Skylar.” Sierra rose from her seat and went to greet Skylar. “I’m sorry we weren’t here to meet you.”
“That’s all right.” Skylar smiled. She and Sierra had hit it off immediately. “I enjoyed looking around the castle again. You have a beautiful home.”
“Thanks.” Sierra glanced back at Blade. “We like it.”
Skylar’s smile increased. One place she’d bet was off limits was the grotto downstairs that was Sierra and Blade’s secret place.
“Please have a seat.” Sierra took the other woman’s arm. “Can I get you anything?”
“No, thank you.” Skylar greeted everyone as she took a leather chair. Everyone spoke. Rio nodded.
“Is everything going as planned?” Ruth asked.
Skylar knew Ruth could have asked that question earlier, but hadn’t. Mrs. Grayson also didn’t let on she’d seen or talked with Skylar before. She smiled her thanks.
“Yes, Mrs. Grayson. In fact, we’re ahead of schedule. As planned, the auction will be by invitation only. Thanks to Lance’s help, a printed color catalog with the starting bid for each item has already been sent out.”
“Good thing,” Sierra interjected. “Because he and Fallon are off on their honeymoon.”
“Still discussing if she’ll be able to go scuba diving due to her pregnancy.” Blade glanced at Sierra. “She’s almost as strong-willed as another woman I know.”
“Aren’t you and Lance the lucky ones?” Sierra grinned and kissed Blade on the cheek.
Skylar cut a sideways glance at Rio. His arms remained crossed, his gaze somewhere over her head. He wasn’t going to make this easy. Back to the business at hand.
“I personally called everyone to ensure they received the catalog and still plan to attend.” Skylar pulled out the guest list and stood to give it to Rio. “This week, four of the invitees asked if they could bring a guest. It was to be expected that some would ignore the one-month time limit to invite a guest. I know you’d want to check the people out before I committed.”
He crossed to her in his effortless stride that reminded her of a stalking cat. Long, lean fingers took the list without looking at it. “Thank you.” His voice held no inflection.
Trying not to sigh, Skylar retook her seat. She needn’t have bothered wearing a tangerine-colored dress that complemented her complexion and hazel eyes. However, she wasn’t giving up.
“The items will be arriving by special courier or delivery service starting Tuesday. I’ll be here to check and sign them in. I’ll return each day until we have all the items in place,” Skylar told them. “We’ve already selected the room where they’ll be displayed.”
“That’s too much trouble,” Sierra said. “It would be easier and make more sense if you stay here.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” Blade said.
“I couldn’t,” Skylar said, surprised by the invitation. While they were planning the auction, she’d always flown in and out of Santa Fe.
“We have plenty of guest rooms.” Sierra leaned against Blade. His arm immediately circled her slim shoulders. “We’re leaving for a new Navarone property in the morning; you’re welcome to stay here.”
Skylar didn’t know what to say. She was very aware that a lot of trust had gone into the invitation. If Rio stayed, she might run into him more. The thought had no more than materialized when she discarded it. She was not going to impose on Blade and Sierra’s kindness to go after Rio.
“It won’t be any trouble,” Skylar finally said. “I don’t mind the trip.”
“We won’t take no for an answer,” Blade told her.
“You’re staying and that’s final,” Sierra said firmly as if the matter was settled.
“Please.” Ruth leaned forward in her seat. “What you’re doing is to help my Music Department. We’ll benefit from your hard work. I’ll always be thankful. You could have passed when I asked if you had any ideas on how to raise funds. You didn’t. You even offered to take vacation time to help.”
“I appreciated the professionalism, but as I said then when you mentioned what you would be doing, using your vacation time won’t be necessary,” Blade said, his gaze direct.
Sierra patted his knee. “He’s even gotten over being a little miffed that you thought you had to ask. He forgot all men are not as wonderful as he is.”
Blade smiled at his wife, then Skylar, and she breathed a bit easier. She well remembered the harsh look on his face that day in his office. She hoped never again to see it directed at her and remained silent.
“Stay,” Blade said. “It would make up for my poor behavior.”
Blade wasn’t above apologizing. He just seldom had to. Shane had a grin on his face as he held Paige’s hand. No one had to tell Skylar that Blade’s love for Sierra and hers for her mother were the reasons behind the apology.
Skylar recalled Ruth’s words, No man should walk alone. Her gaze went to Ruth again as she wondered if she was trying to give Skylar a gentle push in Rio’s direction.
But as Blade’s bodyguard, he went with him everywhere or was at least nearby. Was he staying this time? She had her answer seconds later.
“To ensure the auction pieces remain safe, Rio is staying,” Blade told her.
“I should be going with you.” Rio unfolded his arms, his attention on Blade and Sierra.
Sierra lifted both hands in a fighter’s stance. “Don’t worry, Rio. I promise to take down anyone who looks suspicious.”
Shane was the only one who laughed. He ignored his wife’s nudge.
“You checked out the island; the men there were trained by you or Shane. You and Shane made sure my name is buried so no one outside the company knows we own the property,” Blade reminded him. “From the vantage point on the island you can see a boat miles away. We’ll be safe.”
“That’s why I should be there—to make sure.”
“I want you here.” Blade rose to his feet and went to Rio. “This is important to Mrs. Grayson. There’s some valuable merchandise coming. I trust you to ensure it’s kept safe.”
Rio remained silent. Skylar’s eyes and everyone else’s were on Rio and Blade. No one, absolutely no one—outside of Sierra—went against Blade’s orders. She sensed Rio might be the second. Protecting Blade and Sierra was more than a job to him.
Shane went to the two men. “I’ll fly down with them and check it out.”
Rio’s gaze slowly tracked to Shane’s and stayed there for a long moment before returning to Blade. “If you’ll excuse me, I’ll begin checking on the list.”
Skylar blew out a breath as Rio’s long strides took him from the room and up the stairs to the command center on the second floor of the castle’s front wing.
“You shouldn’t tease him,” Ruth said to Sierra.
“Who said I was teasing?” Sierra lifted innocent eyes to her mother.
Ruth shook her head once, then stood and pulled a set of keys from the pocket of her denim skirt. “Come on, Skylar. I’ll drive you to your hotel to get your things.”
Sierra stood, her arm going around her mother’s waist. “Since I’ve seen how Skylar packs, I’ll send a driver with the SUV.”
Ruth smiled at Sierra, then Skylar. “She likes clothes as much as you do.”
“You never know what you might need.” Sierra spoke to Skylar. “We’ll wait dinner for you.”
Skylar smiled. Sierra and her mother weren’t taking no for an answer. “I graciously accept. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
* * *
In less than fifteen minutes Skylar had checked out of the Casa de Serenidad Hotel. Thank goodness she had been so anxious to get to the castle that she hadn’t begun to unpack. Outside, she climbed into the SUV, and they headed back to Navarone Castle.
Skylar wasn’t the impatient type, but she was anxious to get back. She wondered if Rio ate with his men or Blade and Sierra. Everyone had someone, except him. But he didn’t seem to need anyone. He certainly wasn’t afraid to speak his mind—to anyone.
“Back again,” the driver said, startling Skylar out of her deep thoughts.
“Thank you.” She got out of the vehicle and walked to the back. She almost winced at the amount of luggage being unloaded. Besides the large trunk, she’d brought five large suitcases. It had taken her weeks to decide what to wear in the hope that Rio would stop looking through her and be just a little bit interested. With him staying and checking in the merchandise with her daily, it might just happen.
“Mrs. Navarone instructed me where to place your luggage. Please, go on in.”
“Thank you again, Jefferson.” Skylar picked up her overnight kit.
“I can take that as well.” The driver closed the back. “Don’t worry, Eli is sending someone to help. Besides, we’re both used to helping Mrs. Navarone load and unload for trips.”
Skylar placed the case on the stone driveway and laughed. “That’s very kind of you. Thank you.”
The driver tipped his hat. “No problem.”
Skylar went up the steps and rang the doorbell. There was a key pad for a code, but she didn’t know it.
The door opened. Eli Patterson, the house manager, stood there in his black suit, freshly starched white shirt, and shiny leather shoes. Of medium height, he had a lined, fatherly face and a balding head.
“Hello, Mr. Patterson,” Skylar greeted.
“Hello, Ms. Dupree. I’ll assist with your luggage,” he told her. “Mr. Navarone asked that you see him in his office as soon as you returned. This way.”
Unsure of what was going on, she followed the house manager past the wide foyer, then left to an arched door at least fifteen feet tall. Opening the door, he stepped aside.
Thanking him, she entered the office, an immense room lined with bookshelves, a fireplace, and tall windows with silk burgundy draperies. On the slate floor were handwoven area rugs. Blade sat behind an antique mahogany desk with ball-and-claw feet. Her eyes narrowed on seeing Shane and Rio standing on either side of him.
“Thank you for coming, Skylar. Please have a seat.” Blade indicated the chair in front of his desk.
Skylar sat down in the straight-back chair, upholstered in a deeper shade of burgundy than the curtains, demurely crossed her legs, and placed her clutch in her lap. She’d learned not to jump to conclusions just because she was summoned by Blade, and not to ask questions.
“One of the men on the list you gave Rio is Sherman Tennyson, a venture capitalist. Several months ago, Tennyson used my name to entice backers into buying property. The deal folded.” Blade’s black eyes hardened. “A lot of good men lost money. Tennyson put the word out that it was my fault.”
“No.” Skylar’s voice was barely above a whisper as she placed her hand on her galloping heart. People who made huge mistakes at Navarone were out the door.
Shane picked up the story. “Blade has been able to overcome the lies, but Tennyson lost a lot of his credibility, along with money he could ill afford to let go.”
Blade’s fist clenched on top of his desk. “Tennyson hates my guts, and the feeling is mutual.”
Skylar came to her feet. “Mr. Navarone, I just checked to ensure he had the funds to purchase if he chose. I apologize.”
Blade waved her apology aside. “There’s no need. You foiled Tennyson’s plan.” He leaned back in his chair, the sides of his mouth kicking up. “You didn’t just okay the names as he probably expected because the auction is in two weeks and he has money. Instead you had the foresight to give Rio the list of names before committing. You did well.”
“I agree,” Shane said. “Good thinking.”
From Rio there was nothing. Trying to keep from looking at him, she retook her seat. “Should I call Mr. Hampton, the man who had asked if Tennyson could attend?”
Blade’s smile was like the sharp edge of a knife. “I’ll take care of it. That’s all.”
Eternally thankful she wasn’t the unfortunate man, Skylar came to her feet. “I’ll go change for dinner. Good-bye.”
“Good-bye,” Blade and Shane said.
She told herself not to turn, but a force stronger than her will had her glancing over her shoulder at Rio to see if there might be a spark of admiration. She saw nothing but eyes devoid of warmth. Unconsciously she narrowed hers before turning to leave the room.
Stubborn man! He might not know it, but he’d only made her more determined!
( Continued... )
Copyright © 2013 by Francis Ray. All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author's family, Michelle Ray. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.
Purchase All That I Desire by Francis Ray
Series: Grayson Friends Series- Book #10
Sienna St. James Series
by Leslie J. Sherrod
She’s a sleuth. She’s a scorned wife. She’s a sista on a mission.
Sienna St. James is more than a sharp-witted social worker. She’s a problem solver who keeps getting pulled into life-and-death mysteries that only complicate her already complex life. With a head-strong teenage son and a missing, estranged husband - who could be anywhere on the globe - Sienna has to figure out what gets her focus first: the questions she has about her own love and loss or the dangerous quirks and dark confusion of her current clients... And then there are the current eligible men around her who are jockeying for position, waiting for her to make up her mind about it all.
Social worker Sienna St. James is a woman with a complicated past and an alarming Tuesday morning. In one single day, every advance Sienna has made in getting over her long lost globe-trotting husband unravels in unexplainable fashion. From a mysterious package that hails from another continent to a new teen client who claims to have a missing sister, Sienna finds herself in the middle of a city-wide scandal, all while sorting out the painful details of her personal life. At center are two suspicious foster parents, a mega-church ministry leader, and Sienna's own fragile emotions over a man who changed the direction of her life. It's a test of her professional and moral will as Sienna seeks closure from a love she never understood and answers about whether a little girl named Hope ever existed. And if she did, where is she now? In this first installment of the suspenseful Sienna St. James Series, finding hope in the midst of questions and chaos becomes essential when life takes an unexpected turn.
She’s moved forward, but has she really moved ahead? Social worker Sienna St. James is no stranger to setbacks. As far as she is concerned, her estranged husband set her back and off course over a decade ago. Now, she has reclaimed her sense of hope and purpose, set up a new therapy practice, bought a new home, and has finally moved on. Maybe. When a wealthy, secretive new couple she’s counseling pulls her into their very real life-and-death drama, and her long-lost husband’s whereabouts can no longer be ignored, Sienna realizes the truth about what has kept her emotionally frozen and fragile—it’s fear. Ready or not, she has frightening challenges to overcome: a kidnapping, a teenage son who’s gone AWOL, a tired-of-waiting potential new beau, and a journalist who’s made it clear that he’s interested in getting more from her than the breaking news the twists in her life are offering. Torn by professional and personal struggles that have now become a full blown war, Sienna must come face-to-face with her deepest fears—and survive them—before it’s too late.
Excerpt from Without
“Make a U-turn. Now turn left at the light.”
His face was hidden from me, but his voice served as a menacing GPS, weaving me in and out of the suburbs and finally into the narrow side streets of East Baltimore. Any lessons I’d had about self-defense, whether to scream, whether to fight back or keep still, had gone out of the window the minute I’d felt that cold metal on my neck.
“Make this turn here. Okay, right.” His voice sounded youthful, but the gun told me he was not playing games.
After almost an hour had gone by, I found courage to speak.
“I’m going to run out of gas.”
“Shut up and turn left at the stop sign.”
We drove for ten minutes more as I wondered if these were my last moments. I looked at the people, buildings, homes, and cars around me anew, trying to savor small details that I probably would not have even noticed any other time. I counted trees that grew out of small patches of dirt in the concrete; noticed the handwritten store signs on some corner stores; listened to the loud laugh of a woman with a short, scruffy ponytail sitting on a stoop with a group of giggling toddlers; imagined Roman never knowing what ever happened to either his mother or his father; Leon never knowing that my heart wanted to love him; Laz wondering what ever happened to his beautiful silver BMW.
“Right here. Stop. The third house down,” the man’s voice interrupted. “Get out. Go straight to the door.”
We’d stopped in front of a narrow row house near East Biddle Street, I think. My mind had gone numb and my memory evaded me. All I could see were crumbling brick steps, a dingy front door, and a single potted plant on the cement porch. He used a key to open the door and used the gun to beckon me inside. My eyes adjusted to the dark interior of a living room in shambles.
“David? Is that you?” A large woman in a wheelchair sat in the darkness, an oxygen tube running from her nose, her hair done in two sloppy, graying cornrows, her eyes staring off into space. She appeared to be blind. “You picked up my medicine?”
“Yes, Grandma. I’ll get your water in just a minute.” He walked behind me, pushing me forward, the tip of the gun now at the center of my spine. His breaths were as labored as mine.
Both of us were scared.
He seemed to be pushing me toward the kitchen, toward a closed door that sat right beyond a large pantry.
“David,” the woman’s shrill voice called out again, “someone with you?”
“It’s okay, Grandma. I’m getting your water.”
He reached from behind me and opened the door, and I saw that his hands looked massive, powerful. “Go down there,” he whispered, nudging me down unfinished wooden steps. I took the first one and the door clicked closed behind me. I heard him lock it.
“I’m sorry I had to do it like this.” A voice from the crawl space behind the stairs whipped my head around. There in the shadows of the stairwell sat....
( Continues... )
© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author Leslie J. Sherrod. 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.
Featured Books by Leslie J. Sherrod
* Losing Hope (Available Now)
* Without Faith (Coming Fall 2013)
* Sacrifices of Joy (Coming Spring 2014)
Order Books by Leslie J. Sherrod: http://www.amazon.com/author/lesliejsherrod
About the Author
Leslie J. Sherrod is a social worker and the author of several novels, including Losing Hope and Without Faith, the first two books of the praised “Sienna St. James Series;” Secret Place, which was featured on CBS and NBC affiliates; and Like Sheep Gone Astray, which received a starred review from Booklist. A short story, “The Jericho Band” is available exclusively on Amazon Kindle. Leslie was recognized with the SORMAG Readers Choice Award as Christian Author of the Year (2012).
by Sabrina Sims McAfee
This hot nurse is the master of seduction
Nurse Katilla Richardson was recently dumped by her NFL superstar boyfriend. Now that she’s out on the dating market again, she’s determined not to let any man break her heart. Believing that true love is impossible, she sets out to seduce a renowned wealthy physician for her own personal gain. However, she’s shocked when her hot game of seduction backfires after she ends up in the fine doctor’s bed.
The game of seduction gets hotter
Dr. Kenneth Michaels is a leading cardiologist still grieving the death of his wife. Feeling as if he’s already had his opportunity at true love, he meets a beautiful woman that changes his mind about second chances. As he engage in a steamy love affair with the pretty lady he’s so smitten with, he begins to fall madly in love with her. But then suddenly, when he learns of the seductive nurse’s secret, and someone from her past returns, things become explosive!
Will Kenneth and Katilla’s relationship survive her deceitful game of sinful seduction?
Excerpt Sinful Seduction
Heartland Memorial Hospital
“Get the OR - stat!” Dread strained from Dr. Maze’s tight vocal cords as his bloody, gloved covered hands maneuvered the trapped fetus stuck inside the womb of his pregnant patient. With her thighs parted wide cupping her knees, her leaking entrance was clenching the fetus’ head, preventing it from moving further down her constricted canal.
Nurse Katilla towered over the doctor, fighting hard to keep her raw emotions in check. Before she turned on her heels, the woman on the birthing table bolted upright and pushed. Clenching her teeth, she grunted, “Aaagghhh!” A clear, thick film excreted from her opening onto the crisp white sheets beneath her.
“Push, Margie! Push!” The urgency in the physician’s voice caused Katilla’s heart to spin and had her hustling to the other side of the room, where she made an emergency call, requesting OR preparation for an emergency cesarean. She slammed the phone back on the receiver, then hurried back over to where Dr. Maze was still struggling to deliver the baby.
Katilla stood slightly behind Dr. Maze and glared down over his shoulders between the pregnant woman’s bloody thighs. She then looked at the confident physician, Dr. Maze. Tiny beads of sweat dotted his crinkly forehead as he slid the length of his arms up inside the woman’s stretched vagina, twisting and turning them as he maneuvered the stuck fetus.
With no success, the brainy doctor extended a red, stained gloved hand toward Katilla and she lowered a shiny silver instrument to his palm so he could perform an episiotomy on the distressed woman.
Katilla’s intense gaze went to the heart monitor posted beside the patient, Margie’s, bed. The red number on the machine was steadily increasing, worrying the heck out of Katilla.
Oh no! Margie’s heart rate is rising! We need to deliver this baby now!
Katilla looked at the round, high swell of Margie’s unyielding belly. Worried sick over her patient’s labor, her pulse pounded hard in her dry throat. She met Margie’s intense gaze and swallowed with fear.
“It’s time to push again,” she told her as she went to stand by her side. Looking into her darkening irises, she grabbed her hand. “On the count of three, I need you to push, Margie, okay?” Margie nodded. “One…two…three...push!”
With her thighs quaking wide apart, Margie was clasping her knees, clenching her jaws, and pushing harshly. “I can’t do this! I’m so tired!” she grunted through clenched teeth then slumped back on the firm mattress. With quick breaths winding from her pursed lips, a worried expression washed over Margie’s crimson, perspiring face.
Dr. Maze looked into Margie’s eyes. “You can’t quit on me now, you must keep pushing. Everything will be just fine if you do as I tell you to,” he promised unrealistically.
Katilla knew the real reason he’d urgently requested the emergency team to prep for surgery. Margie needed to have a cesarean, only now it was too late and too risky to perform the possible life saving surgery. The fetus was too far submerged down the birth canal, and its heartbeat was steadily declining.
Booksellers: www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and www.allromanceebooks.com
About the Author
Sabrina Sims McAfee is your writer of suspense drama, romantic suspense, and dark thrillers. She loves writing suspense/dramas and about bad boys, sexy strong women, and the adventurous journeys they travel. She lived in Florida for most of her life, but now she's a current resident of Myrtle Beach, SC. She lives there with her husband and two teenage children. In her leisure she likes spending time with her family, reading, traveling, and watching reality and suspense TV shows.
Sabrina's goals are to produce a stage play, study film, and to one day produce one of her books into a movie. As she strives toward her dream, she plans to study the craft of writing, take writing risks, and try her hardest to bring readers great satisfying stories.
( Continues... )
Copyright © 2013 by Sabrina Sims McAfee. 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.
Sabrina Sims McAfee, Author
Queen of Suspense Drama
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
When did you get your first inkling to write science fiction/speculative
fiction, and how did you advance the call for writing in this genre?
I am as surprised as anyone that I am a sci-fi/speculative fiction writer.
I have loved the genre from since I was a little girl watching Star Wars on
the big screen, but I never thought I could be a writer, much less a science
fiction writer. But one day, while washing the dishes I got this vision
of a man walking towards me. He had a cataract-like film over his eyes
with ash blonde hair and dark skin. Immediately, I knew his name was
Marcus and that he was a Seer. Literally within minutes I had this whole
world running through my mind and I just knew I wouldn’t let it go. I
didn’t even know if I could write the story that was in my head, but I never
doubted that I would try. To me, the story of the Seers is a gift.
One I am privileged to tell.
far as advancing the call for writing in this genre, I don’t know that I
have done that. There are a ton of talented authors in this genre and I
am happy to be among them. But if seeing my work and hearing my story
can convince someone who is wavering in their own desire to write to jump in
the ring then I am even more honored to be in the position that I am.
Do you have anyone in your life that was heavily influential in your deciding
to become an author?
My sister Monica and my friend Trice Hickman. From since I was a
teenager, my oldest sister, Monica, has been telling me that I could write.
She was the first person that I ever let read my poems and I know her
encouragement helped me believe that somewhere in me was the ability to write
these stories. My other big influence was and continues to be Trice
Hickman. When I called Trice and told her about this story idea that I
had, she was so excited. Immediately, she said “You’re writing a
book!” I told her that I hadn’t even written down the first word and
she said “Oh, that doesn’t matter. You’re going to write a
book!” Watching the sheer determination and professionalism with which she
has approached the artistry and business of becoming an author is truly
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.
What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate? Entertain?
As a writer, my goal is very simple - to be true to the story that I am trying
to tell. What that means for me is keeping in the mindset that allows me
to override my own baggage about what I want to say, or am afraid to say and
just tell the story. With all of the stories I have in my head, I
don’t feel like the originator. I feel like each story line is a gift
given to me for the purpose of telling. I chose each word in hopes of
being worthy enough to tell the story as it needs to be told. If I have
done that, then it is a success. If I do that, I believe the story will
do the rest – reach who it needs to reach, inspire who it needs to inspire.
For me, the story itself is illuminating, inspiring, educational and
entertaining. My part is simply to write the story so that its essence
can shine through to the heart that needs it
Share with us your latest news. How may our readers follow you online?
I am very excited about the release of The Red Order. The
book will be available on Amazon and BN.com as well as your local bookstore
(though they may have to order it for you J) in both paperback and ebook
format. I will be attending a number
of sci-fi/comic conventions in Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York, so please
visit my website at www.crmurphybooks.com to find out the latest information
on my appearances and upcoming projects. Links to the Order of the Seers
Facebook page can be accessed from my website. I am also on Twitter at
@cerecermurphy or you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
BPM: Thank you for sharing a little bit about yourself, your journey and
your book with our readers!
Thank you, Ella and all the Black Pearl Magazine readers. It has been a
Author website: www.crmurphybooks.com
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Order-Of-The-Seers/205753729546299
The Red Order by
Cerece Rennie Murphy
Science Fiction; ISBN-10: 0985621028; ISBN-13:
Topics: Supernatural powers, conspiracy, spiritual development and romantic love
Available book formats: Paperback, Kindle, Nook, iTunes, and Sony Kobo
Purchase Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy
The Red Order - http://www.amazon.com/Red-Order-Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/dp/0985621028
Order of the Seers - http://www.amazon.com/Order-Seers-Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/dp/0985621001
Black Pearls Magazine family
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Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations
Founder & Editor In Chief Black Pearls Magazine