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

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

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

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


A Christmas Prayer 
by Kimberla Lawson Roby

WE HAVE A WINNER! Congratulations, Tonya Anderson Holmes submitted the winning puzzle from last week!  See a few of the players on Ella Curry's Facebook page, sign in and go here.

A Christmas Prayer by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Alexis Fletcher hasn't had a merry Christmas in five years-not since her mother passed away. Every December she remembers the joy her mother brought to everyone during the holiday season and feels the pain of her absence, even more so now that she and her sister are barely speaking. More than anything, Alexis wishes her family could be whole again.

However, with her wedding fast approaching, Alexis might just be ready to make some holiday memories with a new family of her own. Alexis's fiancé, Chase Dupont, is everything she ever dreamed of. He's kind, handsome, fully supportive of Alexis's career, and the CEO of a large company. But outside forces threaten to derail this happy couple from ever reaching the altar.

As tensions rise, a dramatic event causes Alexis to question everything. Will fate give her what she needs to finally embrace the season that has brought her so much pain? Will Alexis get her wish for a happy holiday? Or will her Christmas prayer go unanswered? 

Chapter 1 - A Christmas Prayer 

It was Black Friday, and while millions of folks were out chasing some of the most colossal deals of the century, all Alexis wanted was for this whole Christmas season to be over with. There were times when she wished she could feel differently, but ever since her mom had passed away five years ago, she hadn’t wanted anything to do with it. Of course, she did still recognize and mentally rejoice at the beautiful birth of Christ, but when it came to huge family celebrations and festive gatherings, she wanted no parts of them. What she did instead, mostly, was pray that New Year’s Day would come as quickly as possible so she could get on with her life.

Alexis curled her body into a tighter ball, picked up the remote control, and looked toward the flat-screen television on her bedroom wall. It was shortly past one in the afternoon, yet she still lay in her dark mahogany sleigh-style bed with her pajamas on. She just didn’t feel like doing anything, and the fact that almost every news channel she turned to showed massive shopping crowds and footage of customers and workers being trampled, well, that made Alexis want to turn off the TV altogether. As it was, she had already been trying her best to avoid every one of those sappy Hallmark Christmas card commercials, and she’d certainly been staying clear of one of her personal favorites—the Hallmark Channel itself, since they were doing what they did every year: airing those depressing Christmas movies day in and day out, twenty-four seven .

If only her mom were still here, Alexis would be so much happier. Even now, she couldn’t help thinking about how much her mom had loved, loved, loved Christmas. It had been by far her favorite holiday, and she’d adored it so much that she would immediately begin decorating the day after Thanksgiving. She would celebrate in various other ways, too, the entire month of December, including playing some of her favorite Christmas carols, such as “Silent Night,” “Away in a Manger,” and “The First Noel.” Then, on the twenty-fifth, she would host a huge family dinner. She bought gifts for everyone, she baked and cooked and baked and cooked some more, and on Christmas afternoon, she would say, “I almost hate to see the sun go down, because Christmas will be just about over.”

This was how it had always been, and it was because of these kinds of sentiments that Alexis was full of happy childhood memories. She even had fond memories from her adult life…that is, until her mom had passed. Now her heart was consumed only with sadness.

Alexis flipped through more channels, sighing heavily. But then she came upon one of her favorite movies, This Christmas, starring Loretta Devine, Regina King, and Idris Elba. She could tell the movie had been on for a while because Chris Brown was already walking toward the front of the church, preparing to sing…“This Christmas.” Alexis watched and listened, though she wasn’t sure why she tortured herself this way, because not once had she ever watched this scene without breaking into tears. It was such a reminder of her mom and the way she had loved and doted on her family. It also reminded Alexis of how her mom had taught her children exceedingly strong Christian values. She’d raised Alexis and her younger sister, Sabrina, to treat all people the way they wanted to be treated and to keep God and family first in their lives. The two of them had been very blessed to have such a loving, caring, and compassionate mother—and it meant everything.

Alexis watched Chris Brown singing from the depths of his soul and then saw family members standing and walking into the church aisle, embracing one another. It was after this that Alexis’s eyes welled up with tears, and she cried uncontrollably. She missed her mother so tremendously that her chest ached. Then, to make matters worse, the next scene showcased the entire family gathered around the dinner table. They looked as though they couldn’t be happier, and Alexis couldn’t help thinking how this was the way she’d once felt, too.

But as the saying went, that was then and this was now. Her mother was gone, and as far as Alexis was concerned, there wasn’t a single thing or person that could make her feel better about it, not even the people Alexis loved. Paula, her best friend since childhood, had been trying to lift her Christmas spirit for years, and so had Alexis’s fiancé, Chase, for the time he’d known her. But if anything, Alexis seemed to feel sadder with each passing year. In fact, this year she’d begun dreading the whole idea of Christmas as early as September. She wasn’t sure what had set her off, exactly; all she knew was that not long after Labor Day, the thought of Christmas had entered her mind and she’d become depressed. It was as if the simplest anticipation of it all had been enough to ruin Alexis’s day, which was the reason she’d taken that particular afternoon off. This hadn’t been hard to do, since she was self-employed as a motivational speaker and her hours were flexible, but she still hated that mere thoughts of Christmas affected her so gravely.

It also didn’t help that she and her sister, Sabrina, were usually at odds about one thing or another. Alexis and Sabrina had never gotten along the way sisters should. They were just too different, she guessed. But at least when their mom had been alive, they’d worked harder at it and tolerated each other more. Now, Alexis practically had to beg to see her niece, Courtney, and there were times when Sabrina still told her no just to be spiteful. The two of them had a lot of bad history, but that was a whole other story and one Alexis didn’t want to think about because it was far too distressing.

(  Continued...  )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Kimberla Lawson Roby. 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 Christmas Prayer by Kimberla Lawson Roby
On Sale Date: October 28, 2014;  Novella - Pages: 192



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Read the First Three Episodes of The Last King

Storytellers Blog Tour:  The Last King by A. Yamina Collins 

A. Yamina Collins is the author of the quirky short story collection The Blueberry Miller Files. A graduate of New York University, she lives in Manhattan. The Last King is her first novel, and it has already been in Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Fantasy, Science-fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature. Check out her blog at

First of all, congratulations on your book, The Last King, being a top 100 bestseller on Amazon!
Thank you. It’s actually been in the Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Fantasy, Science Fiction, Women's Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature. I am very excited about it, especially since the book hasn't even been fully released, yet.

You're releasing The Last King in episodes, right?
Right. Amazon has requested that I call the episodes volumes. So I am about to release volume (episode) 4 next.

Tell me about that process. Why release the book in pieces?
Well, actually I'm taking something old and try to make it new again. In the 19th century, authors like Charles Dickens and Alexander Dumas would release segments from their upcoming books in periodicals on a monthly or weekly basis. It sort of helped to build readership and helped them connect to their audiences. And that’s exactly what I want to do.

In fact, in some cases, those 19th century writers would slowly release a book over a period of more than two years! My time frame is about a year and a half. And of course, I am doing it digitally. This is the first book in The Last King trilogy and it will be chopped up into about 14 volumes (episodes). Each episode is made up of five chapters.

So what is The Last King about?
It tells the story of a young woman named Emmy Hughes who, in modern times, innocently finds herself caught in the midst of a game of wits between two rivals - God, and these immortal beings called Edenites whose ancestors marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life.

God considers the Edenites' possession of immortality to be theft and for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a "Glitch" ---an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen "property" of immortality and kill the Edenite off.

It turns out that Emmy discovers that she is a the Glitch of a rather imposing Edenite named Gilead Knightly. Now he has to get rid of her before she “wakes up” and gets rid of him. Problem is, Glitches are not only an Edenite's greatest threat, but also their greatest love. And so the game begins. Your readers can read the first three episodes for free, click here.  All I want is for them to leave a review for the episodes. 

Wow. Okay. That covers a lot of territory. Now your book is not typical of what one thinks of when they hear the words Fantasy Romance, is it?
No. It's a fantasy book that takes place in present day New York, well upstate New York that is. It’s a fantasy world full of cars, cell-phones and modern contraptions. But it’s still a fantasy world.

And the book covers several genres at once?
Yes. The book is classified under Science-Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Women's fiction, Religion and African-American literature. By the time the second book in the trilogy comes out, I am really going to have to throw in History as a category, too. Ha ha. I wish I could tailor it down to less genres, but it's an epic book and that’s just how it’s going to be.

Do you think all those genres will deter readers?
I hope not. In fact, I am hoping that audiences are looking for something new and different. So why not go for a book that has it's feet in a myriad of categories? Of course, it will be up to the readers to decide if I've done a good job of balance with all the genres. We shall see.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Oh, yes. I was nine-years old, standing in my grandmother's living room when I had a clear epiphany that I was going to be a writer someday. And I remember reading books like The Bluest Eye, The Turn of the Screw and To Kill a Mockingbird and thinking how stunning it was that those stories could move my soul. That's what I want to be able to do as a writer - to move people with my words.

What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or entertain? Illuminate? Inspire?
Well, I must admit that, as a writer, I have always dreamed of of writing The Great American Novel. Is that a bad thing to confess? I don’t know. It's a lofty dream, but it is a dream that inspires me to want to be excellent. I guess you could say my ultimate goals, however, are to educate and inspire.

Does your faith or education inspire your writing?
Absolutely. For example, I intentionally do not have my character's curse or take God's name in vain. I chose not to cross that line even though my main character hates God and is angry with him. I believe, as a Christian, I am not called to do those things, even in literature. So I have had to be real creative in how my characters vent their frustrations. I also could not help but bring God into the story. He is literally the One behind this intriguing game that Gilead and Emmy must play with one another. I know for some people these are not always topics they want to read about it, but I’ve tried to put it in a unique format.

Since the book takes place in New York, do we get to see a magical world in this modern-day tale?
Of course! How could I not add in some sword fighting, mind telepathy, wings, and animals who can fly? Just the sort of thing you expect to happen to a young woman who works in Brooklyn.

Nice. Well, thanks for being with us.
Thank you so much for having me!

Read Episodes 1-3 for FREE - The Last King: Book I - Series 1
Published by author A. Yamina Collins

Fantasy, Science-fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature
Follow Yamina's Blog for more news:  



The Last King 
by A. Yamina Collins

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

The Last King: Book 1, Volume #4 by A. Yamina Collins.  Available for download now: 

In episode #4 Emmy accepts an invitation to the home of Gilead and Markus - and when she enters their home, a whole new world of wonder opens up to her.

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt The Last King: Book I - Series 1

Chapter 1

It is doubtful the Master will ever hear of what is about to take place, Markus thinks, standing at the bank of this deserted lake. The branches on the trees around him sway peacefully, and the evening air hums a lullaby.

Markus does not suppose that the Master will hear about this and, really, what difference should it make if he does? It's just an old homeless guy that is going to die: Markus feels no guilt about it, so how could his thoughts give him away?

In a moment, he removes his hand from the old man's mouth because he knows the poor fool is too stunned to scream anyway---people are always speechless when they first see Markus's wings, stretched out as they are, twenty feet on either side of him, and tonight the old man simple blinks and lets spittle hang from the corners of his lips.

Markus does not know his victim's name, but his victim certainly knows it: Johnnie is what they call him, Johnnie Kubrick, and his very soul seems to have unzipped itself from his body and stepped outside of him. He is not just rigid but catatonic, and he longs for this to be some terrible dream he will soon wake up from.

But this is no dream, this is reality: there is a man standing before Johnnie who looks human, yet has glass wings on his back that are yellow and whose edges taper off to a thin, razor like end. The wings make a sound like metal crashing against metal as they flap - it is a harsh sound, a cold sound. And yet the wings themselves do not frighten the old man as much as what is attached to the wings do.

Johnnie's pale lips tremble.

"Wha---what are you?" he finally stutters. He does not mean to ask questions. He means to beg for his life because he does not want to die like this---not in these shabby clothes, near a bed of water where he can easily be disposed. He wants to die in a warm room, with someone who loves him holding his hand; Johnny Kubrick wants to die with dignity, different from the way he lived.

The old man chokes on his tears, wishing he was important again, the sort of man who would be missed in death, and he tries to recall how he ever became the sort of person other people diverted their gaze from on the streets. How had he become nameless, faceless, and useless to the world? When he was a boy, he never imagined the day his red hair, so straight and neat, would be constantly matted against his head.

Johnnie wants his mother here with him, so he could take in the soapy smell that was always on her, and smile at the sight of her emerald green eyes. If Johnnie's mother were still alive she would shield him from this boogeyman, and sing to him, like she did that Christmas morning when the cold of winter snapped at his bones but he happily cradled a shiny new firetruck in his arms.

( Continued... )

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

Excerpt The Last King: Book I - Episode 2


Kill her, a voice in his head tells him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's Him.

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

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

It's insulting.

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

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

Why should he fear her?

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

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

He will kill her tonight, somehow.

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

( Continued... )

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




Introduction to the Order of the Seers Trilogy 
by Cerece Rennie Murphy

What would you do if you held infinite power in the palm of your hand?

The Order of the Seers trilogy poses this question within a story that fuses action, mystery, romance, and adventure in a science fiction novel that keeps you at the edge of your seat.

Order of the Seers begins with the journey of Liam and Lilith Knight, a brother and sister who are hunted by The Guild, a ruthless world organization that seeks to capture and exploit Lilith’s unique ability as a Seer to envision the future. Soon after they are forced to leave their home, Lilith and Liam discover that she is not alone. Other Seers like Lilith are routinely kidnapped and enslaved by the Guild for the purpose of consolidating wealth and power around the world. But from within the organization, Marcus Akida, a captured Seer with powerful visioning capabilities, quietly plots his daring escape with the help of a beautiful and tortured Seer named Alessandra. When the escaped Seers are drawn to the same remote commune in Iowa as Liam and Lilith, they each find a place where they can rebuild their lives and rediscover their passion for life and love. 

As the Guild’s efforts to find them intensifies, the Seers ban together with outlaws from the commune to fight back against the organization that threatens their lives – setting off a chain of events that will unleash the full power of the Seers and change everything we know about the true potential that lies dormant in each of us. 

The Red Order - Book II  in the Order of the Seers Trilogy continues the epic battle for freedom which began in Order of the Seers, revealing the secret motives behind an organization that exists to exploit and a renegade movement that seeks to usher in the next phase in human evolution. 

So begins The Last Seer - Book III  in the Order of the Seers Trilogy - When the fall of one nemesis unleashes an even greater danger into the world, Lilli, Joel and the Lost Seers must stand against a new enemy with the means and the will to destroy all of mankind, starting with those they hold most dear. As the Seers mobilize to confront this new evil, the Guild tries desperately to uphold the crumbling world order on which it depends. When their attempts to manage the crisis fail, the members of the Guild are forced to place themselves at the mercy of an unlikely ally. 

But the Guild isn't the only one interested in maintaining control. An agreement made in secret threatens to destroy any hope of a peaceful alliance before it can be made and as the betrayals unfold, no one is safe against a power that will stop at nothing to get what it wants. 

To defeat this threat and ensure the survival of the human race, the Seers must push the boundaries of their abilities beyond any limits they have known and risk crossing the line between life and death. How far would you go to protect what matters most?

Purchase The Last Seer (Book 3 in the Order of the Seers Trilogy)


About the Author

Cerece Rennie Murphy
fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry. 

She earned her master’s degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “The X-Files.” 

In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event - a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the “Order of the Seers” trilogy.

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

Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy: 



Love and Order of the Seers
by Cerece Rennie Murphy

One of my favorite things about the story of Order of the Seers is the many different types of love I get to explore. Romantic love plays a strong role throughout the books, but there is also love of family, love of self, love of community and finally love for the world at large. Let me explain…

Love of Family
The first characters you get to meet in Order of the Seers (Book I) are Liam and Lillith (Lilli) Knight, a brother and sister whose love for each other is about to be pushed to a whole new level. At 16 and 13 years old, respectively, these young people haven’t had a lot of experience with sacrifice. While they both lost their father at a young age, they have lived a normal life in a modest, but comfortable home that their mother provided for them. I’ve always believed that sacrifice is the true measure of love. It’s easy to love someone when there is no inconvenience, no challenge and minimal effort on your part. 

But when love costs you something, that’s when you know its importance in your life. At the tender age of 16, Liam sacrifices a lot for the safety and well being of his sister. The changes to his life are jarring and painful, with consequences he can’t even perceive at the start, but each time he is tested, he makes the choice to protect his sister, to love her, no matter what. And slowly, as Lilli grows and learns what love is through her brother’s selfless example, she returns his love with a commitment and sacrifice of her own. 

Liam and Lilli’s story is just one way that familial love is explored in the books. Marcus Akida’s relationship with Alessandra Pino is another. At the point where you meet Alessandra, she feels as low as a person can feel. She is a slave – exploited for an extraordinary ability that she does not understand and can’t control. Every person, every interaction she can remember in her young life is about someone taking something from her. The people around her feed her, cloth her, keep her healthy only to keep her alive to exploit and she hates herself for it. When she first meets Marcus, she has no idea what to do with his kindness. In fact, she is immediately suspicious. His gentle demeanor is so unfamiliar that she runs from it, until he proves (and she realizes) that he is unlike anyone she’s ever met. 

Not only does he not want anything from her, he wants to offer her something she has no concept of – a vision of herself outside of the exploitation of her daily life, a vision of her own potential, her own value, her own worth. For Alessandra, as with all of us who experience unconditional love for the first time, it is nothing short of revolutionary. Marcus becomes her mentor and friend first, then ultimately her father. And through his love, she becomes unstoppable.

Romantic Love
The first time, Alessandra catches a glimpse of Liam in her future, her entire world shifts. She sees a man who holds her gently, smiles in delight at her presence and promises love with every syllable he utters. The notion that someone could, would and WILL love her that way is intoxicating. That simple vision gives her the courage she needs to risk everything to find him. 

But love, as any mature person knows, is not enough. One of the things I truly enjoy about the love story between Liam and Alessandra is the necessity of finding themselves before they finally find each other. There is a lot of awkwardness and starts and stops, which is fun (and sexy!), but there is also a lot of soul searching. I wanted my characters to walk in to their love knowing their own value and taking the risk, not out of desperation or fear, but out of a real sense of who they are and what they want. By the time our couple comes together, they are two people who understand themselves and can honestly say they want the same things from each other, which makes for a powerful bond to carry them through all the craziness and danger that follows.

Although Liam and Alessandra are the “romantic leads” in Order of the Seers, they are not the only ones. Other characters represent different phases and levels of ``romantic love that take you on a journey from the heights of physical love to the depths of a truly inseparable spiritual connection.

The journey of the Seers is absolutely one of self-discovery and love. As Seers within the Guild, they are striped of their memories, their identity, even their basic instinct to fight back. The entire context for their being is torn away. In place of these essential elements, they are given a purpose and identity that is solely about serving the needs of others. When the first of this group escapes the Guild, they literally do not know who they are, what they like or dislike or even the extent of their power to see the future. All of this they learn after they leave the Guild and are able to discover and define life on their own. 

For Marcus Akida, his unique resistance to the Guild’s mind-controlling drugs allowed the natural process of his own self-discovery and awareness to remain uninterrupted and, as a result, he becomes the most powerful Seer the Guild has ever seen. Marcus never doubts his value, no matter how he is treated or what they use him for. And he doesn’t stop there. Through his optimism and understanding of his own value, he teaches Alessandra and every person he comes in contact with how to do the same. This profound sense of his own identify – outside of the one assigned to him – allows Marcus to use his gift in a way that no one ever imagined and that spark of authenticity changes the world, bringing down an entire regime. Marcus is who I want to be when I grow up. 

Love for Your Community and the World
With Book I, you see the Seers as a group of people just trying to survive, fighting for the right to be whom and what they are. But as they come into their own and begin to truly understand what they are capable of, they see a higher purpose and calling for their power. 

The process begins in Iowa, at a commune where people, either by choice or necessity, are outcasts bought together by a common desire to stay hidden. People come and go, but there are no core beliefs that bind them together. However, when the Seers arrive, their presence pushes the makeshift arrangement within the commune to evolve into something deeper – a community with a common purpose and ideals. In turn, the Seers blossom in an environment where they are expected to give as well as receive. As they heal from their experiences with the Guild, the bond that the commune members create with the Seers becomes even more meaningful, something that the Seers are willing to use their powers to protect. For the Seers, it is the first time that any of them chooses to use their powers of their own free will and it is very telling that they choose to do so in service of those who have given them so much. 

The commune, like any healthy community, provides a safe place for them to learn and grow, share and trust. These relationships become the foundation upon which the Seers expand their mandate from a personal quest to a global crusade against the Guild.

Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy: 




The Wisdom of the Ancestors Series by Ann Jeffries 

Southern Exposures by Ann Jeffries
Law school student Vivian Lynn Alexander could no longer fight the undeniable truth that she had to end her three-year love affair with her college sweetheart, Carlton Andrews, to have the career she dreamed about in law. Nor could she deny a growing interracial passion that she felt for former basketball icon Chuck Montgomery—that is, until she met his best friend, Derrick “Dunk and Jam” Jackson, who was an even bigger star than Chuck. Both medical doctors now, Chuck and Derrick find that they have no medical skills to keep them both from falling hard for the attractive, young Georgetown Law student.

Kenneth and Benjamin Alexander are brother and best friends, but as different as night and day. Kenneth, the older, the cool, calm and collected President of his San Francisco-based electronics and security telecommunications company, and Benjamin, the dashing young US Air Force jet fighter pilot, stationed in San Diego. Yet they came to the same conclusion: They were both falling in love with the same woman—the beautiful and alluring JeNelle Towson, owner of INSIGHTS, a Santa Barbara landmark emporium of style and grace.

Despite their individual and desperate problems, the three of five Alexander siblings rally at perilous risk to themselves and others they care about when everything is on the line and the weight on all of them is the greatest. Two is company, but three is a family.

Book Reviews for Southern Exposures 

“Ann Jeffries definitely has a skill for storytelling. There is vitality and high drama in Southern Exposures. The author did an excellent job with honing in and focusing on the three main, important characters of which the drama surrounds. I fell in love with the Alexanders. Job well done!” -- Jessica Tillis, Author/Editor 

“Loved the way Ann Jeffries described the activities . . . I felt as though I was there witnessing everything that she was describing. She immediately got my attention with the colorful . . . attention to details. The book is very warm. The characters have to face challenges and each does it in a different way. Loved the focus on loving family—members of the family loving each other and believing in each other.” -- Brenda Irons LeCesne, Esq.

“There are a lot of promising plots within the story. I thoroughly enjoyed . . . this novel. I think Ann Jeffries’ ability to create emotion is a true talent. She did a great job creating suspense. The characters’ stories seemed most authentic and entertaining. Language and dialogue over all . . . is a strong area for Ann. 
-- Karen R. Thomas, President, Creative Minds Book Group

Southern Exposures: Family Reunion  

Touch Me In The Morning by Ann Jeffries

In Summer County, South Carolina, Satarah Whitfield, head Emergency Room nurse battles to save the lives of countless accident victims of the record-breaking blizzard. She did not have time to think about her husband’s and sister’s betrayal when they absconded with every dime she had leaving their twin boys behind for her to raise. For one patient, a young boy whose name she did not even know, she risks her career to save his life by performing an unauthorized surgery that, if it goes wrong, could land her in prison. She only hopes that, if her own missing son needed extreme measures to save his life, someone would step up to save him.

In Richmond, Virginia, firefighter, Deputy Battalion Chief, Douglas Johnson, is battling to save his career after giving testimony in court against his fire department for malfeasants. That would be enough pressure to contend with, but his young, defiant adopted son is driving him to distraction with his preteen angst. If Doug’s wife hadn’t committed suicide, perhaps he would not feel like throwing in the towel.

When the chips were down neither Satarah nor Douglas have been quitters. So when Douglas learns that his boy was in a near fatal school bus accident on his way to Disney World, a trip that Douglas knew nothing about, his fear for his son’s life chases him to a South Carolina community he has never heard of and to a woman the likes of which he has never met. When these two bruised, but not broken people unite, they battle together to save their future. 

Book Reviews for Touch Me In The Morning 

“I could not put my iPad down once I started reading. Loved the characters and story line which kept me guessing what was going to happen next.”  -- Pauline, an avid reader.

“Ms. Jeffries has given us a love story about two adults who, having experienced some of life's darker moments, fall deeply and passionately in love. Her characters are real life and enable the reader to eagerly ride along with them on their adventure.”  -- Abraham Leib, Critic.

“I loved this novel; many times finding myself lost in their lives. The author did a fantastic job with character and plot development, and an unpredictable storyline.”  -- Jessica Tillis, Author

Touch Me In The Morning  

An Unguarded Moment by Ann Jeffries
Otis Redding probably said it best in his rendition of “If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right.” An affair between two married people can sometimes be more, mean more than just sex and infidelity. It can mean everything to two love-starved people.

Former Texas beauty queen, JaiHonnah Reise Chapman of African and Native American ancestry is finally moving back to the United States after studying abroad for the last four years and completing her doctorates in architecture and structural engineering at Arcadia Laboratories, Politecnico di Milano, Italy. A new career opportunity awaits her in Washington, DC, away from her wealthy, powerful, and manipulative father, Jake Hawkins, and the brutal man she married, international financier, Calvin Chapman. The last thing she needs or wants at the beginning of her professional life is to have An Unguarded Moment with another woman’s husband, her new boss.

J. Roderick Baylor, known as the sports icon JRock, has shed the highlights of his illustrious, professional basketball career, and the lowlights of his disastrous marriage to Monique, a would-be starlet. Now he has his twin, five-year-old daughters, Shelly and Shelby, a highly successful construction and development business and loving supportive family and friends around with which to build a new life. Little did he know that an illicit affair with another man’s wife, his new employee, had the power to refurbish the torn parts of his life and erect a monument to the power of love.

Book Reviews for An Unguarded Moment 

“Ann Jeffries does an excellent job of weaving her characters' stories together and keeping the reader captivated.” -- Nancy Engle, Author “Murder at Mount Joy”

“An engrossing and sensuous love story that immediately grabs your attention and keeps you involved till the last page.” -- Abraham Leib, Critic

“My overall view is that this is a good, intelligent read! It's the kind of story you never want to end.” 
-- Janice Sims, Author “This Winter Night”

“I really admire Ann’s smooth writing style and the appealing premise of this project.” 
-- Mavis Allen, Associate Senior Editor, Silhouette Books

An Unguarded Moment  

Excerpt from Southern Exposure

A piercing scream followed by shrilled laughter tore Vivian Alexander's attention away from reading Fahey: Treatise on Ethics. She shifted Black's Law Dictionary to her side, and lifted her eyes to the little children playing raucous games with complete strangers, sending torrents of infectious giggles and laughter up to the high, cavernous ceiling. The vision brought a smile to her gamine face, bright brown eyes, and curved Cupie Doll mouth. She thought of her younger siblings—Gregory and Aretha—when they were at that age. She watched the children for a moment or two longer, hoping the little unguided missiles didn't fall flat on their faces or tumble over a piece of Samsonite luggage. The children were, however, under the watchful eyes of their parents who scolded them for making too much noise and, nodding toward her, smiled apologetically. Vivian acknowledged the parents with a smile and a shrug and turned her attention to the wintery scene unfolding outside the tall, wide window. Snow was still falling, blurring her panoramic view of the airport tarmac.

It was a very cold, grey, blustery day in Chicago. Muck-blotched snow was heaped high in places on the airport landscape at O'Hare International. Ground crews dodged arriving and departing international and domestic aircraft, as they scurried to load provisions, luggage, and/or fuel into waiting airplanes. In the background, deicing trucks spewed clear, slushy fluid on the aircraft fuselage and wings. 

It was the Christmas holiday season, just before New Years’ Eve. At any airport in the country, literally thousands of people were traveling. O'Hare Airport, still one of the largest and busiest in the world, was no exception despite the horrendous weather conditions. Controlled chaos would aptly describe the scene along the wide corridors of the airport's many concourses with passengers of many nationalities in a hurry to catch a flight to some distant destination. Little shops and food concession stands were bustling with activity. Airline flight crews briskly walked, pulling their rolling essentials behind them in black leather luggage not much larger than a breadbox. Passenger loading-bay areas were jammed with people sitting or standing guard over more carry on luggage than they probably needed. Ground-crew flight attendants scurried to their appointed posts, and were immediately mobbed by travelers looking for seat assignments, checking on connecting flight schedules, or asking questions about in-flight food service. Announcement after announcement chronicled the arrival and departure of many flights. 

Some babies cried while others slept, nestled peacefully in their parents' arms. Little children continued their play, as if the melee were an extension of the just past Christmas morning enthusiasm. Occasionally, aircraft engines roared into action, as a ground crew released the front wheel of the aircraft and energetic hand signals sent it on its way. 

Vivian quietly sat before one of the wide, ceiling-high windows in the airport on a padded bench with her long legs curled up under her. She was nearly oblivious to the chaos that surrounded her. She leaned back against a tall column, reading and occasionally observing ground flight crews, as they loaded baggage in steel cases into the belly of the airplane parked at the end of the long, slanted ramp. She, her parents, Bernard and Sylvia Alexander, her younger brother, Gregory Clayton, and her eleven-year-old sister, Aretha Grace, were waiting at Gate 6 for the United Airlines’ attendant to announce that the flight was ready for boarding. They would continue their trip home to Goodwill, South Carolina, a small town located in Summer County, more than forty miles from South Carolina's state capitol of Columbia. Her return flight to Washington, DC, and Georgetown University Law Center, would not be leaving until 6:15 P.M. from Gate 23. 

The Alexander family was returning from San Francisco, California, where they spent the week of Christmas holidays visiting with Kenneth James, the eldest offspring of the Alexanders. Benjamin Staton Alexander, her twenty-eight-year-old brother, an Air Force jet pilot, managed to get some time off and fly himself to San Francisco from San Diego for a few days. It wasn't like being at home in Goodwill for the holidays, Vivian mused, but at least the family was able to spend another special time together. 

They stayed at Kenneth’s home in Marin County, outside of San Francisco. Vivian was enormously proud of her oldest brother, holding him and his accomplishments in awe. Before starting his own company, he worked as the lead electronics engineering specialist for Sandoval Anniston Corporation, a huge American aircraft and electronics manufacturing operation with corporate offices based in New York and other worldwide locations. Being the thorough researcher that she was, in undergrad she used Sandoval as an example in one of many business classes she took. The company had many military contracts for sophisticated and top secret surveillance and guidance systems, as well as doing some work for the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, and the super-secret National Security Agency (NSA). She had done very well on that paper. Now Kenneth was the Executive Director of his own company, CompuCorrect, Incorporated (CCI).

For a few moments, Vivian allowed herself a respite from her intense focus on her reading of Fehey's Treatise, as she noticed her parents talking quietly together a short distance away from where she sat. She couldn't hear the conversation, but they always seemed to have so much to say to each other. She smiled, thinking that she couldn't have designed two more perfect parents. Her parents would have never permitted the raucous public display that she witnessed with the young parents seated nearby and their rambunctious offspring. Her parents could do more with one look than most parents did with a good scolding. She smiled again and turned her attention away from her parents and back to her reading.

( Continued... )

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

Southern Exposures: Family Reunion 

Meet the Author

Ann Jeffries
is a native of Washington, D. C. She is an only child who enjoyed the benefits of a private school education at Allen in Asheville, NC, and a public education at the University of Maryland. She began writing fiction for her own amusement. She is currently writing novels in her Family Reunion: The Wisdom of the Ancestors series.

Ann is the recipient of many awards for leadership and public service. A speaker at colleges, universities, conferences and conventions, she has extensively traveled the North American continent, Asia and Europe. Among other things, she is an entrepreneur, an avid viewer of public television and a voracious reader of fiction. 

Ms. Jeffries’ pride and joy are her family, particularly her Fabulous Four grands. She lives in Maryland and South Carolina.  Website address:;  Facebook @Ann Jeffries; Twitter @newviewlit; e-mail at 




Troublemaker by Trice Hickman
Unexpected Love Series

Every joy has its challenges. . .

After twenty years, childhood best friends Alexandria Thornton and PJ Brightwood have reunited--and fallen in love. Alex's artistic nature as a spoken word artist, and PJ's success as a talented surgeon promise a bright future. But their happiness brings unexpected complications for those they care about most. . .

A devoted wife, loving mother, and successful businesswoman, Victoria Thornton is a pillar of her suburban Atlanta community. But when her daughter, Alexandria, becomes engaged to the son of Victoria's former lover, her past mistake threatens her orderly life. As the impending marriage reunites both families, it reignites old feelings that test all of their relationships--and all of their boundaries. . .



Alexandria smiled as she stretched her long, shapely legs across PJ's buttery-soft leather sofa. "Now that I've finished cooking, it's time to relax" she said aloud. She ran her fingers through the mass of thick curls atop her head and let out a deep breath of relief, glad she was finally able to relax after her long day. She'd been busy from the moment she'd stepped out the door this morning with a coffee mug in one hand and a toasted bagel in the other. Her life had been more hectic in the last year than she could ever remember. So much was changing so fast, but with that change she felt the hope and excitement of new possibilities that lay ahead.

She breathed a sigh of relief when she thought about the fact that this Friday would be her last day of work at a job she'd dreaded since the day she'd started. She was an attorney, on the fast track, employed with the prestigious downtown Atlanta law firm of Johnson, Taylor, and Associates. Alexandria had worked there since she'd interned with them while still in law school. Now, six years later, she was ready to step out of what she'd been academically trained to do, and take hold of the direction in which her heart had always led her, which was to pursue her passion as a writer and spoken-word artist.

Alexandria thought about her promising future as she lay on her back and flipped through one of her many bridal magazines. Even though her wedding day was just one month away, and all the major details had been planned to a tee, she still couldn't resist looking at pictures of happy couples, replete with bountiful flowers and their wedding parties in tow, all overflowing with nuptial bliss.

Alexandria smiled every time she thought about how happy she was and how much her life had significantly changed since this time last year. It seemed as though it were just yesterday that she'd broken up with her old boyfriend, Peter, and in less than twenty-four hours, fate, along with her grandma Allene's sage advice, had led her down a completely different path to peace, understanding, and true love. Now she was engaged to PJ, her childhood best friend who'd walked into her life and changed her world.

She could still remember her grandma Allene's words. Speak what's in your heart. Say what it is that you desire, and watch it walk into your life.

Alexandria had heeded those words and still lived by them today. She knew that speaking what she wanted, and then trusting and believing with indomitable faith that her desires would be met in abundance, was the reason PJ was in her life. As she looked at the beautiful gowns of silk and tulle, she raised her hand in the air, as if in praise, and gave thanks for her blessings. "Amen," she said quietly.

She was thankful for this joyous time in her life, and she planned to savor every moment because she was all too aware of the trouble that was lying in wait on the other side. Gritty realities and unpleasant truths were about to surface, not just in her life, but in the lives of family and friends whom she loved. She knew the road ahead was paved with detours, rough patches, and a few hazard signs. But she also knew she'd get through them thanks to her faith, her grandma Allene, and the amazing gift of prophecy she now embraced.

"Thank you, Grandma Allene," Alexandria whispered. "I love you for showing me the way."

As soon as her words floated into the air, Alexandria knew that her grandma Allene's spirit had entered the room. Whenever she felt a warm breeze, a gentle, unexplainable tug at her arm, or smelled the unmistakably sweet scent of magnolias—which had just wafted by her nose—she knew it was her great-great-grandmother communicating with her.

Alexandria inhaled the fragrant, uniquely Southern scent that always made her feel safe and at ease. That sense of comfort and security was very different from the turmoil and strife she'd experienced in the past whenever she thought about her gift.

Communicating with spirits and having premonitions were abilities that had burdened Alexandria since she was five years old. She'd always felt different and out of place, constantly trying to navigate where she stood in a world filled with uncertainty. Her lack of grounding and understanding of her gift had made her afraid of the supernatural powers she possessed. But all that had changed last summer when Allene had contacted her for the first time.

Initially, Alexandria had been leery, and she hadn't want any part of the mysteriously frightening world that had been haunting her since she was five years old. Many times she could remember waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat and covered with fear, terrified of the voices that belonged to spirits from another world that she couldn't see or touch.

She also recognized that the ability to know what was going to happen in a given situation before it took place wasn't always a good thing, and it had quickly become a heavy weight on her shoulders. She'd worried about things that kids her age didn't have to deal with. She'd witnessed accidents, death, and destruction, and it had made her fearful of doing something as normal as dreaming at night because of what she might see. She'd often stood helpless with her knowledge, not knowing what to do or in whom to confide, so she'd learned how to ignore her gift and block out visions whenever they threatened her peace of mind.

But once her grandma Allene had come into her life and shown her the beauty of her gift, along with the strength and infinite possibilities it held, a new world had opened up to her for the first time.

She'd been hoping that her grandma Allene would soon make contact with her again. She missed hearing the old woman's comforting voice and the soothing, down-home Southern accent it carried. Allene hadn't communicated with her in nearly three months, which had initially alarmed Alexandria. But then she remembered Allene's promise—that she'd always be there to guide and protect her. Alexandria knew she'd have to wait patiently and trust in Allene's words, which were solid and rooted in love.

The one thing that Alexandria longed for more than anything was to talk with Allene face-to-face, instead of speaking in whispered tones through visions that always seemed to end much too quickly. During one of their talks, Alexandria had asked Allene to appear to her in the flesh.

"Grandma Allene, I want to see you. Can you come visit me?" she'd asked.

( Continued... )

Excerpted from Troublemaker by Trice Hickman. © 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Trice Hickman. 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
Trice Hickman
is a self-proclaimed Southern girl, and award-winning, bestselling author. Trice’s love of reading and the power she recognized in the written word inspired her to become a writer. After receiving rejection letters from every agent and publisher she submitted her work to, Trice was determined to bring her stories to life. She self-published her first three novels to great success, and shortly thereafter, landed a multi-book deal with Kensington (Dafina Books) where she is currently published. When she’s not busy writing and reading, Trice enjoys cooking, traveling, decorating, and meeting good people. Learn more about Trice at

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The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho 
by Anjanette Delgado

"A thrilling, hilarious, and mysterious romp." --Patricia Engel, It's Not Love, It's Just Paris

Two divorces have taught Mariela Estevez that she's better suited to being a mistress than a wife. Whose heart needs all that "forever after" trouble? Still, her affair with her married lover, Hector, has become problematic--especially because he's also a tenant in her apartment building in the heart of Miami's Calle Ocho in Little Havana. But when Hector is found dead just steps from Mariela's back door, on the eve of her fortieth birthday, she's forced to examine her life--and come up with a plan to save it, fast...

Complicating matters, Hector's passing sparks the unexpected return of a gift Mariela rejected years ago and thought she'd never have to face again: clairvoyance. Suddenly, Mariela's visions come swiftly and unbidden, as do revelations about her other tenants. Lost loves, hidden yearnings, old jealousies--all reside on Calle Ocho. Most of all, Mariela's second sight awakens her not just to the truth about Hector's death and the secrets in others' lives--but to the possibilities blooming within her own.

With warmth, wit, and insight, award-winning author Anjanette Delgado explores one woman's flawed but heartfelt attempt to live and love well, transporting readers to the center of contemporary Little Havana and a community of uniquely human, unforgettable characters.

"The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho reminds me of why I started reading in the first place--to be enchanted, to be carried away from my world and dropped into a world more vivid and incandescent. Anjanette Delgado loves her characters, even the miscreants, and makes us love them too." 
--John Dufresne, author of No Regrets, Coyote 

Read an Excerpt from The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho


No hay peor ciego que el que no quiere ver. There is none more blind than he who doesn't want to see.

In my life, I've found that this is most true of women married to unfaithful men. As for the mistress in the equation, the truth is that being the other woman is a decision. A conscious one. Don't believe any woman who tells you she didn't know what she was doing when the penis belonging to your husband just happened to land inside her vagina. Walk away if she starts with "I didn't know," "We started out as friends," or "By the time I realized what was happening, it was too late and we were in love." Because this woman isn't stupid, innocent, or deluded. She's lying.

I can assert this with such conviction because I've been both: the blind woman married to a man who likes to spread it around and the other woman with no excuse.

Or at least that's who I was that afternoon, casually checking into the Hotel St. Michel in Coral Gables. Me, walking into the freshly cleaned room with its French hay-yellow walls, blue-and-white chinoiserie-patterned linens, and dark wood furniture. Me lighting tea lights inside the whiskey glasses I'd lugged here in my environmentally conscious, recycled cotton "Feed" tote, before slipping into the sheer, navy blue, boatneck baby-doll I'd picked up at a Ross Dress for Less discount store for a quarter of its Victoria's Secret price. And none other than moi, waiting for my married lover, Hector Ferro, to walk through the door.

Yep. All me.

A new me. An unmarried me. A me without an owner. Where before I'd wasted life hours straightening my long, wavy black hair because "my husband likes it this way," I now sported honey-colored, neck-length curls around my too-pale face and wide-set brown eyes. Where I used to wear A-line skirts to hide my protruding backside, I now sported snug- enough jeans all the time (high-waisted, low-waisted, skinny, or destroyed to a literal inch of their useful lives), like a symbolic uniform, to show I belonged with the strong, the sexy, and the free.

As I walked around the cozy little room making myself at home, early afternoon sun shafts of light seemed to slip in through the shutters, igniting the yellow walls and making it seem as if the whole room were aglow. In that light, it was easy to imagine I was in Paris instead of Miami, to accept the role of mistress, to allow myself its perks. I was glowing too, more so at thirty-nine than I ever had at twenty-nine, and looked as radiant as if I'd just had a facial, thanks to the green vegetable shakes my neighbor Iris swore by and had taught me to make. That, and a recipe for Dr. Etti's fruity rooibos tea drink, had helped me eliminate almost thirty pounds from my five-foot-five-inch frame in mere months. (Place pineapple and apple peels and a handful of goji berries in a pot of hot water. Allow to boil. Add a few tea bags of African red bush, also called rooibos, set aside to cool, and then refrigerate. Drink with a squirt of raw blue agave nectar for a delicious diuretic.)

Of course, there was more to my glow than tea. I was now, for the first time in my life, enjoying being the object of a man's reckless desire and nothing more. I'd played the role of the betrayed wife twice before. Wasn't I entitled to be on the other side of the broken vows for a change?

A single rap on the hotel room door told me he was here, and I rushed to open it, loving that he jumped all these hoops for no other reason than to make love to me, while resting in the complacent knowledge that the unfaithful ways of the man now slowly and knowingly taking me in with his eyes were someone else's problem.

Hector was in his late forties and attractive in a sophisticated, sexy, citizen-of-the-world kind of way: strong jaw, dark blue eyes that crinkled at the slightest smile, ash-brown hair parted on the side like a newscaster's, and the lean, lanky build of those who can eat what they want without putting on weight.

He'd been a college professor in Argentina and still dressed like one: tan slacks, slightly rumpled cotton shirts always open to reveal crisp, white undershirts, and the same careless khaki trench coat that he must have worn around his Buenos Aires campus, because even in Miami, he never took it off, rain or shine. I could imagine him walking to classes, absorbed in his thoughts, never imagining his country's economy would get so bad he'd have to emigrate to the United States with his wife, a nutritionist of some sort, and use what savings he'd protected to buy a small bookstore in Miami's far-from-gentrified Little Havana.

He was one of those men whose thinning hair did nothing to diminish the power of his charm and undeniable masculinity. I could almost see how his unruly brows coupled with the smile I'd come to know so well, always somewhere between properly friendly and slightly mischievous, might have been hard to resist for even the most emotionally stable of his students.

He was smiling that smile now, as his eyes took in my feet and then my hips, lingering for a moment on my breasts. Next: the outlining of my mouth, and finally a full stop right into my eyes, before grinning with feigned modesty, as if the evil of his thoughts were too much even for him.

"Hey," I said.

"Ey," he returned my greeting, forgetting the h, stepping into the room, and kicking the door shut with his foot before wrapping his arms around me and walking forward, all the while holding me tight, so that I was forced to walk backward in a jumbled tango two-step past the suite's little salon and into the bedroom area, where I heard him toss what I knew would be a book onto the bed behind me.

"I brought you somesing," he said into my ear, the thick Argentinean accent that seemed to underline every sound before it came out of his mouth seeming, to me, even more sexy than usual that day.

I scurried away to see what message might be hidden in the book he'd chosen to bring me this time. It was the pocket version of Chiquita, a novel about a real-life Cuban burlesque dancer who drove men crazy in the late 1800s despite being little more than two feet tall. I smiled. Hector had placed a piece of cigarette box foil on page 405, marking the beginning of a paragraph that I proceeded to read out loud while fighting his efforts to liberate my body from the baby-doll.

"A scandal like that was in no one's best interest so, with all the pain of their souls, the lovers had to separate," I read, then closed the book, confused.

"What's wrong, flaca?" he asked, using his favorite endearment for me, which means "slim" and is common in Argentina.

"Trying to tell me something, mister?"

"What? No! Of course not. The marker, eh, how you say? It must've slipped. You can see how sophisticated it is." He smiled, taking off the trench and slipping off his shoes. "Nah, I just love the author. And, you know, he's local, comes into the store a lot, so, if you like it, I can introduce you to him one of these days."


"Why? Were you scared I was telling you somesing?"

"Pu-leeze," I said, pursing my lips to the side like a good Cuban.

"You do look a little scared," he said, coming closer with pretend concern.

"Nope. I don't do scared, and, frankly, my dear, you think too damn much of yourself," I finished, making my voice deep and husky, my best imitation of Rhett Butler.

He gave me the puzzled look he saved for trying to figure out what movie I was quoting or referring to.

"Gone with the Wind? 'Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn'?" I said.

"Aaaaah, my God, why don't you quote books? Books make good quotes."

"It is a book. A book with over a thousand pages I'll never read when there's a perfectly good movie to tell me the story."

"But if you read the book, you'd know the quote is 'My dear, I don't give a damn.' None of this 'frankly' business. Simple. As it should be. That's why you should quote, and read, books."

"Yes, Professor Ferro," I mocked him, making a mental note to buy the book and read at least the first few chapters, see what I'd been missing.

That was one of the great things about my affair with Hector. Though I never went to college, I wanted to learn and had long before decided to make up for the formal education I'd denied myself by reading everything I could get my hands on. I'd spent countless hours learning all kinds of things: art history, math, philosophy, politics, biology, and enjoying nothing as much as I enjoyed fiction. Literary or trashy, it didn't matter. I craved stories and felt frustrated when my limited education prevented me from fully understanding the old English expressions in a great love story like Wuthering Heights. (I'm sure I'm still missing a lot of it, though I've read it twice.) But now, with Hector, it was like having a private tutor who could unlock any book's secrets. He called it providing context. I called it finally connecting the dots I'd been accumulating for years and loved the thrill of "getting it" when he explained something I'd missed.

"Oooh, forget what I'm saying. A beautiful woman in my hotel room and me a terrrrible, terrrrrible bore," he was saying now. "Why should I tell you what to quote? We're different people with different lives. If you want to watch the movie, you watch the movie, and I'll read the book. Perfect, eh? We'll complement each other."

"Exactly," I said, unsure I liked this interpretation of us.

"Too bad I'll never know what you're quoting," he said, kissing me, his hands searching my willing hips, the keys to my common sense relinquished so many months ago.

"We're not that different," I said, eyes closed, trying to fix what was bothering me. "You're the one who says we have the story chemistry, and—"

"Wait! What is this?" he asked suddenly, focusing the tips of his fingers on a particular spot along my outer thigh.

"What's what?"

"This," he said seriously, lowering himself until he was sitting on his haunches, pretending to examine my thigh with his hands, dragging the tip of his index finger softly over my upper leg, as if outlining something.


"This, eh, like a circle, right here."

"Oh. That. It's a birthmark," I said. Then trying to give the smooth, round, cinnamon-colored stain a positive spin, I added, "My mother had it too," as if that settled that and made it a family heirloom.

"A birthmark. Interesting," he said, closing his eyes and kissing the fleshy top part of my leg where he'd been "tracing."

Then, "Hey! Where did it go?"

I shrugged my shoulders innocently, holding my arms straight and close to my body in order to help the baby-doll fall to the floor, then putting my hands on my hips and looking directly into his eyes.

"A vast improvement," he said, eyes slowly traveling up my body, reaching and meeting my gaze.

"I thought I'd show you I have nothing to hide," I said.

"Clever," he responded, imitating my pure business tone. "Maybe now we'll be able to find it."

"Maybe," I said, thinking men can be endearing when they're being ridiculous and preferring this Hector to the one who lived to argue and to lecture, but could never admit to being wrong.

"Unless you're hiding it," he said, kissing a line across my pelvis. "You do understand, I must be thorough in my search?" he continued, effortlessly coming up to my belly button, kissing it, then my right rib cage. Then, "Wait! I think it may have hidden under here," he said, slipping his palm under the slight curving of my breast as if to cup it. "Um-huh. Yes. Right here."

( Continues... )

Excerpted from The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho by Anjanette V. Delgado. Copyright © 2014 Anjanette V. Delgado. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


"When you're going through hell, keep going." -Winston Churchill

Anjanette Delgado is an award-winning novelist, speaker, and journalist who has written or produced for media outlets such as NBC, CNN, NPR, Univision, HBO and Vogue Magazine’s Latam and Mexico divisions, and for Telemundo, among others. She’s covered presidential coups, elections, the Olympics, both Iraq wars and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Early in her career, she became fascinated with heartbreak, the different ways in which it occurs, and the consequences it brings. Her human-interest television series “Madres en la Lejanía” won an Emmy award for its depiction of Latina mothers working as undocumented nannies in the United States, while living with the consequences of having left their own children behind in search of a better life.

Her original screenplay for HBO, “Good in Bed,” was a thesis on the life moments in which sex, love, identity, self, and society collide. 

Her first novel, The Heartbreak Pill (Atria Books, 2008, 2009), about a modern-day Latina enmeshed in a battle between her brain and her heart, won first prize at the Latino International Book Award for Best Romance in English, was a Triple Crown Winner for Best Romance Book in Spanish in 2010, and first prize for Best Romance in Latino Literacy’s “Books into Movies” competition in 2011.

The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho is Anjanette’s latest novel. Set in vibrant Little Havana, it tells the story of Mariela Esteves, a woman whose choice to renounce her true calling results in two failed marriages, a brush with murder, and a lot of heartbreak. It will be released in the Fall of 2014 by Kensington Books Publishing, and in Spanish in the U.S. and Mexico by Penguin Random House. Both novels have also been optioned recently for film and television.

Anjanette has an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida International University and was admitted as a contributor to the prestigious Bread Loaf Writing Conference in 2013 and in the upcoming 2014 session. She teaches writing at the Miami International Book Fair’s Florida Literacy Arts Center and lives in Miami with her husband Daniel and her mini dachshund Chloe. She is a native of Puerto Rico, has two daughters, and drinks a café con leche made with almond coconut milk every morning at precisely 7:45 a.m. You can learn more or connect with Anja via this site:

The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho by Anjanette Delgado
General, Women's Fiction 
Released on August 26, 2014 




My Steps Are Ordered by Michelle Lindo-Rice

What happens when your husband finds out you're in love with his brother?

Gina Ward has it all: a husband, a child, and all the finer things life have to offer. She doesn't see herself as one of the less fortunate who needs God. But, what happens when her only son, Trey, falls ill? Will she rely on the only one who holds the world in His hands?

Keith Ward is a respected minister, but he cannot shake his inappropriate feelings for his brother's wife. When his nephew falls ill, Keith knows he has to drop everything to be by her side. Will he finally find healing for his broken heart?

Michael Ward is living the dream life, but life as he knows it changes drastically when his son falls ill. Everything he thought to be truth will be brought into question. What will he do when he realizes he is living one big lie?

Team Keith? Team Michael? How about Team God?

Excerpt: My Steps Are Ordered by Michelle Lindo-Rice

The Second Installment of the "On the Right Path" series promises to keep you turning the pages until the stunning end.

It couldn’t be.

No. It was impossible.

Immobilized, Pastor Keith Ward felt suspended in time. His breath caught. His yellow tie, sprinkled with tiny red polka dots, threatened to choke the life out of him.

The voices of the choir faded in the distant echo. All around him people praised and rejoiced while Keith felt the scales around his heart chip away. 

Time stood still. 

No wonder she’d been on his mind. Even on his way to the podium, Keith had had to repeat scriptures to temper the need that filled his being. His psyche must have known something. Leaning forward, Keith squinted to focus into the distance. That’s her all right. She was here.

Gina Ward. His brother’s wife.

And, the mother of Keith’s child. Yes, he was a father.

Keith’s heart slammed into his chest. Its beating sounded like thunder booming to his ears. Gripping the handles, Keith eased his body out of the chair, intent on pursuing the woman who twisted his insides and stole his heart. 

He had to go to her.

As he stood, Keith felt a moment of disorientation; belatedly realizing the crowd was standing and cheering. It seemed as if they were giving him a standing ovation. Flabbergasted, Keith watched Gina leave. All of his thoughts about his sermon left the forefront of his mind.

He turned his head to see his assistant, Natalie Henderson, or as he called her, “The Hawk,” gesturing towards the podium. She mouthed the words, “Go. Go,” with frantic hands.

Keith gritted his teeth, clenched his fists and closed his eyes. Lord, help me. Help me.

The crowd shouted praises, presuming he was hearing something from God. Summoning every ounce of self-control he possessed, Keith stepped up to the podium. He opened his Bible, worn from use—but he’d refused to get a new one. This one had sentimental value. Then, with authority and anointing, he addressed his parishioners waiting on a word from God.

( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Michelle Lindo-Rice. 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 My Steps Are Ordered 
by Michelle Lindo-Rice





Mafietta 2: A House Divided 
by E.W. Brooks

If you're looking for a love story where your typical heroine wins the hot heartthrob's heart by flaunting her beauty to win him over, you're in the wrong place. - Minolta White, Author and Blogger

Mafietta, part 1, follows Clarke, a woman tired of bankrolling her suitors, entertaining a man she normally wouldn't consider - a man from the underworld.

Errol, the head of the Bellow Brothers, is tired of the opportunistic women that find their way into his path. He was done with love, but meeting Clarke changed all of that.

Their perfect love story falls apart when a tragic turn of events sends Errol behind bars and forces Clarke to run the family business. When a good girl turns mafia queen, she is forced to choose between the love she's always wanted and a lifestyle she's grown to hate

Mafietta 2: A House Divided  instantly draws you into the Port City’s chaotic underworld as Clarke is left to choose between the man she loves and the lifestyle she has grown to hate. 

Non-stop action thrillers, Mafietta 1 & 2 are a cacophony of action that expresses the deep passion and unique skill that E.W. Brooks possesses!  The Mafietta novellas are a quick escape. They are fast paced, action packed and great for the person or group looking for something to read quickly. A House Divided is the second installment in the series.  Watch thrilling videos here: 

Coming Soon: Mafietta 2, Contemporary Fiction-Suspense-Thriller written E.W. Brooks

Inside Mafietta 2: A House Divided

“I want to go back to the days when I was blind to the things you do. I want my innocence back.”
— Clarke

“These are not the type of people you just walk away from. Do you know how much money you made for them while I was gone?”
— Errol

"Money doesn't make a man a monster. The person within does. Money merely magnifies the mirror; if you are a good man, you become a better one."
— Admiral

Mafietta by E.W. Brooks Book Review 

“Buckle your seat belts and hide your kids because Mafietta is one relentless thrill ride from beginning to end. Female empowerment is boasted proudly in this fast paced novel. Brooks doesn't hold back as she challenges the characters’ mental and spiritual development throughout the book. Mafietta is a highly recommended book club favorite and avid reader’s joy ride.”  —Minolta White, Author

Meet Author E.W. Brooks

“I hope to continue to put out content that people want to read. If something I write can take someone away from the stresses of their day, I've accomplished my goal. I don't seek to change the world with my books, I have a blog for that, but I do hope to entertain it.”  - E.W. Brooks

Growing up in a small town fueled E.W.’s desire to see more and led her to larger cities where she always kept abreast of events via the nightly news and local newspapers. Brooks was intrigued by the stories of those who made an effort at a better life; on the wrong side of the law. Her curiosities led to much research and her writing, Mafietta. 

E.W. Brooks is an Army wife, big sister and mentor with a big imagination. She is the founder of the Campbell Sisterhood, a group of women who support and empower each other as well as other Army Wives. Brooks also donates 10% of book proceeds to the Military Matters Project. However, she says her greatest joy comes from spending time with her family and seeing the smiling faces of those she’s helped to find a bit of light along their journey.

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And Then There Were None 
by Clay Thomas Williams

Imagine being so full of yourself, that you ignore the obvious. You’re so busy doing you that you fail to see what’s right under your nose. Octavia’s selfish destructive behavior that was full of lies and deceit caused her life to spiral out of control until she crashed and burned costing her everything. She gambled with love and lost totally obliterating her life as she knew it.  Octavia thought she had it all; beauty, two loves, and a promising career. And in the end she ends up with nothing.  A tale of a rude awakening to one day be forced to realize life doesn’t revolve around her. 

Excerpt from And Then There Were None by Clay Thomas Williams
Audio Reading:  

I need to be in church, maybe I can get some clarity. I haven't been to church since our Grandmother passed away; I just couldn't find my way here. We grew up in the church and its funny, the only time I come to church now is when I have a problem. I was a pure demon for the past two years and now I need Jesus. Good thing God is a forgiving God.

Sitting in church looking for answers to my secret problem; it seemed as if Pastor Clark was in my head. God sees all, and what’s done in the dark always comes to light.

Who told him, is God sending me a personal sermon?

As I sat there waddling in my own little sea of deceit, Yvette franticly patted my leg and pointed across the church. I thought for a minute as Jesus appeared to escort my sinning behind directly to the devil in a brimstone laced chariot.

“What,” I whispered.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Sister Johnson schooled us like she did when we were ten. She turned all the way around with her big yellow hat with a feather in it; rolled her big eyes with her inch long fake lashes at us, then turned back around and faced Pastor Clark. 

Yvette put one finger up in a wait one minute position, reached in her Fendi bag and pulled out a pen and sticky note pad just like she did when we were ten, and began to write and handed me the note. The guy in the yellow shirt and brown suit, that’s Jason.

I shrugged my shoulders as if to say who the heck is Jason, Yvette snatched the note from my hands balled it up and proceeded to write another. She held the note in her two hands turned it to me; the note said JASON HILL FROM HIGH SCHOOL.... in all capital letters

“Oh! I mouthed silently

Yvette shook her head up and down balled up the note and let out a frustrated growl and began to write again.

“Octavia, you don’t remember him, she wrote.

I took another look at him, took her pen and sticky note and wrote back.

NO! I don’t. Why should I remember him, did I date him?

No stupid, I did. She wrote back.

Yvette started writing again. I looked away from the note and across the sea of big hats and prayer clothes to the good looking brother in the brown suit. I looked back at Yvette with an agreeing nod and whispered a sarcastic, “And?”

At this point I have had quite enough of Yvette’s little guessing game and snatched her pen and sticky note pad and wrote.

Get to the point girl, cause you, Sister Johnson and that dude in the brown suit are working my last nerve yawl gonna make me lose my religion up in here.

Remember that incident in high school and he gave me four hundred and fifty dollars, and you and me went shopping.

I wrote back. Say word?

I’m going to tell him the truth and apologize, the note said.

My eyes widened as I snapped my head back in Yvette’s direction.

“WHAT,” I said out loud.

Yvette Shhhhed me and nodded her head yes. I took her paper and began to write. “Are you nuts? He probably doesn't remember it or you.

She wrote back I’m gonna do it anyway, to clear my conscience.

I wrote, are you serious? For ten years you've had a case of the “I don’t give a crap” and your conscience hasn't bugged you in all this time. All of a sudden you see him and you’ve got a case of morals. Girrrrrl, please.

She wrote, just something I have to do; the truth shall set you free.

I wrote, well gotta do what you gotta do.

I began to think God touched this girl and urged her to clean her soul with the whole truth shall set you free thing. The truth can get you a black eye, I wanted to talk her out of it but she seemed to be at peace with her decision so I kept any further comments to myself.





He Wasn’t My Daddy 
by Kristin L. Mitchell

Kristin L. Mitchell sought Daddy’s love in all the wrong places and people. Today, she is still seeking Daddy’s love. Her story will travel you down the road to her restoration through pain, anger, therapy sessions that felt like episodes of Dr. Phil, promiscuity, attempts of suicide and stints in mental wards. 

He Wasn’t My Daddy takes you on a journey of exploring the effects absent fathers have on their daughters. 
This book tells all. Nothing is off limits. Nothing is kept secret.

Non-Fiction - Memoir
* Fatherless Daughters
* Mental Illness 
* Sexual Promiscuity
* Self Esteem 

Excerpt from He Wasn’t My Daddy

“Subconsciously, I longed for a father, never knowing I was longing for a father.”

I was his baby. He took me under his wing and protected me. He was never supposed to hurt me or lie to me. I had high expectations of him. He was supposed to be my daddy, my family, the one man in my life that would love and protect me forever. He was supposed to cherish me and put me first. I trusted him completely, giving him my all and removing all barriers surrounding my heart because he said he would never hurt or forsake me. Daddies don’t do that to their little girls. However, there was just one little problem. He wasn’t my daddy.

He was my man. Without realizing it, his love was a substitution for the love I lacked from my father. Unbeknownst to him, he took my father’s place. Was it unfair? Maybe, but at the time I had no realization that the love, care and protection I required and desired from him was based on the needs of a fatherless daughter. Subconsciously, I longed for a father, never knowing I was longing for a father. Yet, little did I know that my longing would take me down a path of pain, anger, therapy sessions that felt like episodes of Dr. Phil, and stints in mental wards.

I am Kristin Mitchell. I am a fatherless daughter who looked for Daddy’s love in all the wrong places and people. Today, I am still seeking Daddy’s love. My story will travel you down the road to my restoration. It will also take you on a journey of exploring the effects absent fathers have on their daughters. This is my story. This is my road to restoration. 

( Continued... )

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

About the Author
Kristin L. Mitchell, M.Ed
. is a native Washingtonian. She graduated from Spelman College and George Mason University, with high honors and degrees in education and special education. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and enjoys a career as a special education teacher with the District of Columbia Public School system.   Purchase He Wasn’t My Daddy by Kristin L. Mitchell: 



The Legacy by Necole Ryse 
(New Adult Fiction)

In the Black Ivy League, people will do anything to protect their legacy, even kill. What’s your legacy? 

Nineteen-year-old Raevyn Jones has never worn a designer gown. She's never had access to unlimited champagne or chauffeured limo rides. But when she is dropped in the midst of the Black Ivy League—against her will—she has to pretend that everything is normal, as if she belongs.

When her new friends start to question her sketchy past and her shaky legacy at Benjamin Wallace Fitzgerald University, Raevyn realizes she will have to rely on her street smarts more than ever before. Raevyn starts to receive cryptic text messages and emails from an anonymous sender, and she soon discovers that not only does someone want her to leave B. W. Fitz—someone also wants her dead.

The Legacy, is a part of a trilogy called The Birthright Trilogy. It’s a “new adult fiction” book. Since the characters are in college, it isn’t really considered young adult fiction, but since new adult is such a new genre, most people classify it as young adult fiction. 

Chapter excerpt from The Legacy by Necole Ryse 

I crept closer to the door and realized more than one voice was cutting into each other. This was an argument. 

“Are you sure she was sleeping when you left?” someone asked.

“Yes, quit asking me that!” someone else hissed.

“So, what are we going to do? She can’t come back here.”

“Why not?” a third person asked. “You’re the only one that has a problem with her.”

“Corrine, spare me.” I knew that condescending voice from anywhere. That was Andrea. “You have a problem with her, too.”

“Yeah, but she’s my best friend,” Corrine whined.

“She can’t come back, you’re right.” I assumed the last voice was Regina’s. It was barely above a whisper. “The semester is almost over. That leaves us winter break to figure this out.”

“I’m going to bed.” Andrea yawned. “I have an Econ pre-final tomorrow that I can’t fail messing around with y’all.”

While they argued a bit more, I slipped past the room unnoticed and darted up the stairs. A million questions invaded my brain. Was I the she they spoke about? Were they trying to stop me from coming back next semester? Could they do that? Why? Why would they do that? Why waste all their time and money quizzing me on name brands and itchy fabrics if they just wanted me to leave? Did Miss Tanner set this up? That woman just wouldn’t quit.

My gut reaction was to get mad, but instead, dread filled my veins. Everyone thought I was a legacy. They thought if I got kicked out I could just go back to my home in Atlanta and attend some other college. They didn’t know this was my last shot. I had to ace every test and complete every assignment because I had to stay at B. W. Fitz. I had nowhere else to go. I realized that I had to act like a legacy.

( Continued... )

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

Purchase The Legacy (The Birthright Series, Volume 1)

About the Author
Necole Ryse
graduated from Towson University with Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications. Bored with life as an adult, Necole decided to follow her dreams to write fiction and she hasn’t looked back. She joined the Winslet Press family to release her first novel, THE LEGACY. She enjoys chocolate covered pretzels, Criminal Minds marathons, and all things Harry Potter.



The Bishop by Patricia G. Pope

Bishop Sullivan B. Kirk, a charismatic and wildly popular church leader, is challenged beyond the comfort zone of his well-ordered and successful lifestyle when two young boys, a vengeful father, and the transparency of truth all converge to bring Babylon to his doorstep.

After years of successfully providing educational and recreational programs for numerous underprivileged pre-teen and teenage boys, the secrets, lies and deceptions that Bishop Sullivan B. Kirk has worked hard to shield from everyone, is now about to destroy his well-ordered and successful lifestyle; and, possibly, land him in jail. Two of his most trusted young followers, now of the age of consent, have come forth to announce that they have been sexually abused by Bishop Kirk since they were young boys in the Bishop’s care. And they have hired one of the city’s most formidable attorneys to sue the Bishop for a huge amount of punitive and financial damages.

Jabazz Williams, a senior youth leader and paid employee of Bishop Kirk’s Walking in Faith Church, and Antwan Graham, his best friend, have recently been cast aside by the Bishop in favor of younger boys. They can’t get the Bishop to return their phone calls; he refuses to have anything more to do with them, and they are angry. Together, they agree that it is time to “bring the Bishop down.” After all, they have been with the Bishop since they were five or six years old; and they know what the Bishop has been up to, then and now. Lately, they have come to see the Bishop for who and what he really is---a pedophile.

Charismatic and popular, Bishop Kirk is head of one of Atlanta’s largest and most successful Black churches; and he is not about to allow his young accusers to bring down his empire and ruin his name and reputation. But what the Bishop does not know is that others are beginning to suspect the same truth about him; including Josh Crenshaw, owner of Titan Arms Security, the firm that provides personal bodyguard and protective services to the Bishop. Josh’s best friend and business partner, Devon Spencer, is even more committed to blowing the whistle on the Bishop, even if it means the potential loss of the services contract with the Bishop; or of jeopardizing his relationship with Josh.

For nearly ten years, Josh Crenshaw has quietly managed to look the other way in order to maintain his lucrative contractual obligations as head of security, as well as his loyalty to the Bishop. But, lately, sparked by his fiancée Wendy’s concerns about the rumors swirling around the Bishop’s activities with young boys, Josh is becoming increasingly concerned that what he knows might place his personal integrity at risk; not to mention the possible legal ramifications that could ensue.

Devon Spencer, on the other hand, possesses no conflicts about his willingness to see justice done by blowing the whistle on Bishop Kirk. So he offers his support to Jabazz and Antwan, and the stage is set for a confrontation that threatens to involve the entire Black community of Atlanta. Along with Darryl Sawyer, another former favorite of the Bishop, the four of them present their case to Attorney Judy Goldberg, and the stage is set for a potentially dirty and vehement confrontation.

Once the matter is settled, Jabazz’ estranged father, consumed with guilt for abandoning Jabazz and his mother when his son was a baby, vows to avenge his son’s treatment at the hands of the Bishop; plotting to take matters into his own hands. In his drug-induced state, he sets out to confront the Bishop, in what may prove to be a lethal and inevitable climax. 

Excerpt from THE BISHOP by Patricia Pope

Wendy one of the female characters in the novel has come to a crossroad in her life where she has run out of options!

She promised Jesus and all the saints that if she could survive this deadly sin, she would turn her life around forever. She promised that she would make a choice and stand by that choice under all circumstances. That choice would be God. She needed just one more chance. A chance to stand.

The fourth week of fasting from drugs, food and praying, she opened her email and the results of her HIV test stated: negative. One other line warning her to be tested again in six months seemed irreverent but she understood to be necessary. She sensed the tender voice of Jesus as she had not experienced before and a realization that held her steadfast.

The Holy Spirit touches the heart and the mind, the spirit and the soul of those called. No man, no demon or any form of command can change that or control God's will. Falling to her knees for a second time, she thanked him for replacing her fear with faith. She went into drug rehab that afternoon. Because it was her third trip to rehab, she was placed on the outer perimeter somewhere near London's mountain range in a therapeutic community. 

( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of Dwan Abrams on behalf of Patricia Pope, the author. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. 

Purchase from Smashwords 

DISCLAIMER: This book is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead is entirely coincidental.

Meet the Author

Patricia G. Pope is an award-winning author, featured speaker, and celebrated freelance journalist.

A sought after speaker, Patricia was referred to as a “younger Maya Angelou,” during a book signing and a CBS affiliated filming in Harrisburg, PA. She responded by stating “Having my name in the same sentence with Maya Angelou is all-inspiring. Maya Angelou is of royalty in the literary world and the world of humanity.”

Patricia is the holder of many awards and medals with a degree in Drug Management and Supervision. She studied drama in Los Angeles, CA including a two year stint with Jed Horner at Screens Gems. She is a retired Federal employee and is noteworthy as the first black, female, minority to be promoted within the ranks of the Public Safety Service. She views writing as her “go to” stress reliever.

“Colored Waiting Room”, which deals with the conflict of a Black female entangled with the good ole boy system in rural East Tennessee, is an award wining novel and has received rave reviews. A second novel, “The Bishop”, recently released, examines misconduct and misconceptions within the wall of modern day churches. Both novels have been optioned for major movies with “Colored Waiting Room” currently in development.

Awards: Mary Walker Foundations Image Award, Forensic Award, Black History Month Honoree, Bessie Smith Foundation Honoree, Operation Push Honoree, Honoree of Positive Minds Book Club, Honoree of Friends of Black Children.

Patricia G. Pope Contact Info  



For the Sake of Love by Dwan Abrams 

Spade Spencer’s life seems to be coming together. He’s engaged to be married to the love of his life, Bria Murray, and he’s an up and coming rapper who recently signed a major record deal. When Spade gets diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, rather than lean on his fiancée for strength, he calls off the wedding, leaving Bria feeling alone and rejected. 

In an effort to move on with her life, Bria pours her energy into running her new company, The Spa Factory. Kerryngton Kruse, CEO of the record label that signed Spade, begins to pursue Bria romantically. Bria finally allows herself to develop feelings for Kerryngton, only to discover that Spade has different plans. Caught in the middle of a love triangle, Bria must make the difficult decision between love and money. Does she follow her heart and marry the one she can’t live without, or does she marry for security, in hopes that love will eventually follow? 

Excerpt: For the Sake of Love by Dwan Abrams 

When they returned, Chance had freshened up and changed clothes. They were right on-time for one of Chance’s corny jokes.

“Knock, knock,” Chance said.

“Who’s there?” Nya and Kola said in unison.


“Doris who?” They continued to indulge him.

“Doris locked; that’s why I’m knocking.”

As lame as Bria thought that was, Chance’s joke actually got a chuckle out of her. 

“Ready to grub?” Chance asked.

“Yeah,” Bria answered, patting Chance’s oversized belly. “I can see that you’ve been doing a little bit too much grubbin’.”

“As long as my pookie butt likes it, it’s all good.” He gave Nya a hug and kiss on the cheek.

“Negro, please. Your plump behind better go to the gym before you run, I mean walk, around here looking as fat and bloated as the Goodyear Blimp,” Bria said.

“Are you going to let her talk to me like that?” he said to Nya. He turned his face up and stared at her.

“Just call me Switzerland. I’m neutral,” she said.

“That’s right thickalicious.” She acted like he was the Pillsbury Doughboy and poked his belly with her finger. “Now what?”

“Why don’t you take the Tyson approach and bite me?”

“Too much grease and blubber is bad for my cholesterol. “I’ll have to pass on biting you today. Thank you just the same.”

“Kids, kids, please,” Nya interjected.

Kola and Spade were busy cracking up laughing.

“Let’s eat,” Nya said.

They went in the kitchen and fixed their plates. The food smelled delectable. They said grace and then ate until they got the ‘itis.’ The food was so good that the only sounds being made were chewing and finger licking.

When Chance finished eating, he said, “Now I got the black people syndrome.” He rubbed his stomach.

They laughed and Spade added, “I feel ya.”

“Anybody want dessert?” Nya offered while clearing the table. She and Bria usually ate a scoop of vanilla ice cream after dinner.

“Not right now,” Chance said.

“None for me,” Spade echoed that sentiment.

“What cha got?” Kola asked.

“Ice cream or cake?” Nya told her.

“I’ll take a slice of cake, but I can get it.” She pushed her chair back and got up. The ladies went in the kitchen and fixed their desserts. They returned to the table already eating their sweet treats.

“I don’t know how you all have the room,” Chance said. “I feel like a stuffed pig.”

“And you look like one too.” Bria couldn’t resist. She burst out laughing. In between laughs she managed to say, “I’m just kidding.” Bria realized that in the presence of a stranger her teasing may seem a bit harsh, but that’s just how she and Chance have always interacted. Chance mean mugged her.

“You’ll get used to these two,” Nya said to Kola. “They act like real brother and sister.”

( Continued... )

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


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Dream and Pretense: The Ramseys 
by AlTonya Washington

Powerful, Beautiful, Scandalous, Sexy- they are the Ramseys. Step inside a world of glamour, danger and family secrets. Secrets that include many ugly things, among them...murder. 

When Michaela Sellars accepts a job to pen a family biography on the Ramseys of Seattle, Washington she is totally unprepared for the dramatic shift her life is about to take. The savvy investigative journalist turned successful author has caught the scent of a sensational story and has every intention of uncovering every ugly layer. Then she meets Quest Ramsey. Laid back and to-die-for land developer can set the most no-nonsense woman off kilter. Mick discovers she’s no different and has no weapon capable of fending off the insatiable attraction this man instills. 

Quest Ramsey won’t deny that he is obsessively attracted to the curvy, chocolate beauty that waltzes without a care into his midst seemingly unaware of her devastating effect on him. In spite of his wants, Quest knows that to invite this particular woman in to his world could have equally devastating effects on his family-none of them good. The story the lovely author hopes to uncover is one certain Ramseys would see left buried. While Quest longs for justice; almost as much as he longs for Michaela, he has more to contend with. The story Mick Sellars hopes to uncover includes the person Quest loves most in the world, his twin brother Quaysar. 

Quay Ramsey has lived with the fact that he’s cursed in love for many years. Of course one would never look at him and believe such a thing. Tall, dark and to-die-for, the man’s success with women is the stuff of legend. Sadly, that prowess with the opposite sex hasn’t brought Quay the one woman he desires above all others. Just as well, since he’s done everything he can think of to ensure that Tykira Lowery stays as far away from him as possible. Her very life depended on it. At least, that’s what has motivated Quay’s actions for the better part of fifteen years. Pushing Ty away had been the hardest thing he’d ever done but he had no intention of changing course then. Not when truths uncovered by the unlikely intervention of a tenacious investigative journalist rearrange everything Quay thought he knew. 

When Tykira returns at the behest of his brother, Quay is torn between remaining cold and running hot as her very presence stirs his desire in tandem with an insatiable need to protect the only woman he’s ever loved. Yet, Quay can’t deny a very real fact- someone played a role in the disappearance of most every woman Quay has ever shown an interest in. While it’s insane to believe the culprit would target Tykira at such a late date, Quay can’t stop the possibility from waging war on his psyche. From his point of view, pushing Tykira away would be best. He’d done it before, but that ability had deserted him. All that remained was the desire to claim, love, cherish and protect but not from a distance-Never again from a distance. 

5.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Written by FeversD
Although I have read these two books numerous times, it was a treat to get them together, as this is another one of those EPIC series that will live on far beyond the pages of the book! Altonya Washington is another one of those strategic, and very creative authors whose mind is phenomenal and genius at concocting such page turning, alpha male reading books, and who also writes with passion and a deep love for the characters she creates. This is a Highly Recommended read as it will have you up all night wanting to know how their unconditional love survives even the greatest of it will also have you re-reading the books that followed for this is approximately 17 books in the series to include several novellas, with two more left to come! Awesome job Altonya Washington!


Mick was fluffing out the unruly thick dark curls across her head. She and County were scheduled to have dinner later and she was trying to decide whether to do anything different with the mop of riotous locks. The doorbell chimed and Mick took that as confirmation to let her hair alone. It’d never obey her wishes to stay pulled into an elaborate updo anyway, she thought with a disapproving snort.

Turning quickly, she shuffled toward the door. The long ears on her bunny slippers slapped the carpet as her steps quickened. She figured it was County, but looked out the peephole anyway. A quick ‘oh’ wisped past her lips when she glimpsed her visitor.

“Damn it,” she whispered, glancing down at her attire, which consisted of a cap-sleeved tee with a pair of glittery pink lips emblazoned across her breasts. The sleep pants hugged her hips, while flattering her bottom in the most adoring manner, and were covered with hundreds of full pink lips. Then there were the bunny slippers…

“Oh what the hell, he’s already seen me dressed up,” she reasoned and flung open the door. Her expression was light and inviting as she prepared to greet Quaysar Ramsey. But the easy look in her amber stare turned questioning as she gazed up at the man who filled her doorway. Subconsciously, she took a step backward.

“Mr. Ramsey,” she greeted, her coolness returning a bit. “I was hoping to meet you before I left town.”

Now it was Quest’s turn to appear confused. “You know who I am?” he asked, obvious disbelief clinging to every word.

Mick nodded, her soft smile instantly drawing his eyes to her mouth.

“How?” he probed after commanding himself not to allow the woman’s X-rated lips to make him lose track of his senses.

Mick was surprised by her intuition as well, but realized that although the Ramsey twins were clearly identical, they possessed distinct differences. Especially Quest. For some reason, Mick believed she would know him anywhere, and that belief was more than a little disconcerting.

At last, she shrugged. “It’s my secret,” she said in a prim tone, her heart fluttering when his laughter touched her ears. Stop it, Mick! she demanded, feeling completely disgusted by her light-headed behavior.

“I’m sorry for keeping you in the hall, please come in,” she urged with a gracious wave as she stepped aside.

Quest stood just inside the suite. Mick closed the door and waited for him to precede her to the living room, but he didn’t move. Finally, she realized that he was waiting on her to precede him.

“Could I get you something or have something sent up?” Mick offered as she breezed into the living area.

Quest shook his head. “I’m good. Don’t go to any trouble.”

For a moment, they stood opposite one another in the room. Finally Mick nodded.

“Please have a seat,” she invited.

Quest simply waved one hand toward the cushiony cream furnishings and Mick saw that he was waiting for her to do so first. She responded slowly, almost stunned that this man could actually possess the rare- in her opinion, the extremely rare- quality of gallantry. She watched him settle into the armchair across from her and recalled the meeting with his brother.

Quest Ramsey, she surmised, moved far differently from his twin whose movements were bold and purpose-filled. Quest wasn’t slow, awkward or uncertain but smooth and relaxed. It was as though he had all the time in the world and the world was waiting on him.





Locked in Purgatory 
by Nakia R. Laushaul

A wise man leads his family by example.

AFTER TEN LONG YEARS LEFT TO ROT IN A NURSING HOME, LUTHER BENNETT is plum sick of this life. Paralyzed from the waist down after suffering a series of strokes, the man who once held power, wealth and prestige in the palm of his hands, now has nothing at all unless you can count his disturbing memory bank of dreams from his past. Luther’s son, SAMUEL BENNETT, heir to the misfortune of his father’s wealth has grown weary of slipping into Luther’s shoes and desperately desires an identity all his own. Trapped in a relationship that doesn’t exist and a mounting mistrust of all men, Luther’s only daughter, LYNNE BENNETT just can’t seem to find the love and validation that should have come from her father.

As their lives begin to unravel, the Bennett family must finally make a decision. Live the way they’ve always lived—rooted in secrets, denial and festering anger or change. Can Luther, a mere shell of his former self, save his shattered family from the devastating purgatory he’s created?


There will come a time when wealth means absolutely nothing. And then what? Meet Luther.


“Come on, baby, be nice for a couple of hours,” I said, entering our master bedroom. I had planned to reason with her one last time before I left her at home—alone with her attitude for company. I wasn’t up for another one of Marian’s hateful moods. She yanked the closet door open and shuffled hangers around noisily.

“If this was Woody, would you want me to miss his graduation?” I already knew that the answer was a firm, no. It had always been clear that Marian cared very little for my other two children. “You have five minutes and I’m leaving.” I swallowed my drink.

Marian knew what she was doing when she put that skirt on. It was her way of upstaging Sylvia, who was very modest. I didn’t feel like a woman war that night. It was all about Samuel. I wanted my wife and my other son, Woody, there, but I wasn’t going to fight. She rolled her eyes and pursed her lips together. The silent treatment again. I walked into the bathroom, washed my face, and gargled with a little mouthwash to rinse the bitter taste of bourbon out of my mouth.

“I’m sorry for getting mad, honey. You’re right.” Marian had walked up behind me and wrapped her hands around my waist from the back. She rested her head between my shoulder blades. “It’s just that I love this skirt and never get to wear it,” she said, whining.

“Get the camera and I’ll take a picture of you wearing it to remember how good you look in it,” I said jokingly. “But you still have to change or I’m leaving you behind.

“Okay.” Marian went back into the bedroom and I was so glad that she had agreed to change. A few moments later, she called out to me, “Come on, honey. I’m ready for my close-up.”



My father stopped and turned around slowly.

“What is this?” My mother barely whispered, tears still pouring down her face.

“I’m sorry, Sylvia. I was going to tell you. I—I. . .” He held up his one free hand in a gesture of apology. “Samuel? Samuel.”

“Yes, sir?” I jumped to attention. It was the first time since I had been home that I had been acknowledged. As I walked toward him, half of me hated my father and felt guilty for it. The other half of me didn’t and loved him unconditionally. Either way, I still had to speak to him with a respect that I didn’t feel. I folded up the acceptance letter and put it in my back pocket.

“Come and get your mama. I’m going to need you to be the man of the house for a little while. Take care of your sister too. I’ll be back to check on you.” He didn’t wait for a response. He didn’t address my mother any further. He walked out the door and closed it behind him.

My mother used the sleeve of her shirt to wipe her face, leaving brown and black smudges on it. Then she closed her eyes, fanned her face with her hands, and let out a long sigh. And as if nothing had happened, she asked, “What’d the letter say?”

“Huh? What letter?” I asked, confused.

She didn’t say anything more, but waited until I caught on to what she was referring to.

“Oh, it said I got accepted,” I said dryly. Although I was excited, it just didn’t seem right to celebrate getting accepted to Texas A&M when my father had just walked out the door, most likely for good now that he’d gone off and married Marian.

“Well, that’s good for you, son. I guess you’re gonna be an Aggie man just like your daddy.” She tried to smile. “That’s really good news, honey.”







A Letter for My Mother 
by Nina Foxx

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

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

Excerpt from A Letter for My Mother 

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

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

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

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

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

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







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Founder & Editor In Chief Black Pearls Magazine





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