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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. 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!

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Ripples of Assassinations 
by Minnie E. Miller

November 22, 1963. The day was humming with noise of a legal environment. Lawyers were checking their cases, staff typing indictments, orders, and motions on old-fashioned typewriters, and clerks penciling court orders in large, ragged journals. They stood behind a granite countertop half the length of the exceedingly voluminous space. At the end of that space was a glass-enclosed office consisting of one desk, a chair, and one man processing execution documents. My desk was the last in the large clerk’s office and directly in front of his office. I was one of the clerk typists assembling and typing documents being prepared for the execution of human beings.

The Clerk of the Criminal Division of the Court House in Chicago, Illinois, emerged from his sanctuary and announced, “The President of the United States has been shot. The building is closing. Please leave immediately.”

We stood in amazement, our faces frozen. Lawyers accustomed to trying gruesome murders of all types merged with common people for an instant, trying to understand what happened to our President. Law and tradition states that the President must be protected with security of the highest order. I thought, How could this happen?

I admired Senator Kennedy and nearly touched him (until secret service gently moved me further behind the barriers) when he visited Chicago to campaign for the presidency. Orders had come from top political bosses to be prepared to go to the airport. We were to greet the candidate the National Democratic Committee had backed for President of the United States of America. Buses were available at headquarters for those in need of a ride. No excuses accepted!

I was an assistant precinct captain at the time of his arrival, going door-to-door selling the candidate to voters. Nevertheless, it was a fun job for me. My job in the clerk’s office included, among other responsibilities, being a typist among four and the youngest at twenty-seven years old -- my first real job as a Six Ward Young Democrat. Rachel, (a fictitious name, of course), my immediate supervisor and deputy clerk of the criminal division, had taken me into her care. She was also my ride home so I ran when she ran, and followed as best my short legs would allow. Speed-walker best describes Rachel.

Rachel and I knew the workday was going to be short, but not because President Kennedy had been shot. Rachel’s Mother passed two days prior, and she being the oldest daughter had the responsibility of funeral arrangements. My Mom and I worked closely with the family during that stressful time.

The rush was on. Watching Rachel gather her belongings and people rushing by me was clue enough for me to move as well. It was a little past 1:00 p.m. -- lunchtime in the restaurant directly across the street from the Court House. Jimmy owned the restaurant for years. Always a gathering place for lawyers, ‘suspects’ and their families, members of the state attorneys, public defenders, and court stenographers; it seemed most of the criminal division walked across the street to the restaurant filling it to near overflowing.

Note: Some of those present have since moved on to judgeships, state offices and higher. Consequently, I will not name them here.

We all took seats at the selected tables and booths. Of course, all the lawyers were talking about the law, and capital punishment, and what will or should happen to the shooter or shooters. The television blared information from the Texas scene. Nevertheless, the lawyers examined all areas of criminal law in less than an hour.

Suddenly, the loud chatter changed to understated comments in confidential conversations. My mood had been following the crowd, but this shift threw me. Mystified, I mentally wondered what had happened and then followed the eyes of the group at our table. A man who had been on trial as a member of the mafia entered the restaurant with his lawyer leading the way.

Rachel whispered, “Watch me. Move when I move.”

The intrusive guest stood near the tables and announced, “Lunch for everybody,” waving his arms at us. “Jimmy ... steaks on me.”

Persons who knew the defendant uttered indistinctly their thanks, spoke excuses, and left immediately.

Rachel said, “Count me out. Have business to take care of,” and gently pulled me by my sleeve out of the big booth. We rushed to her car as she mumbled something about what the media would do with that stupid impromptu gathering with a member of the mafia.

Talk about unintentional significance!

That week and the following days were chaos for America, Rachel, and me. My Mother stayed close offering Rachel and family condolence even though she had only known Rachel for a short time.

April 4, 1968. Soon the assassination of another great man shook the nation. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was the leader of the modern American Civil Rights Movement. At age 35, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Dr. King died on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, from a killer’s bullet.

June 6, 1968. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles, CA. I was in Los Angeles; my second home and near the hotel on Mariposa Street. At the time, I was working for Governor Pat Brown of California.

These particular events affected my drive to write. I believe my choices are metaphor for life and losses. Please understand, I am still involved in politics, albeit it armchair politics. Working in the background gives one a different view, especially in the case of President Barack Obama. 

I believe history will treat our African American President with dignity and respect, unlike today. 

About the Author
Minnie E. Miller
presently resides in her native state of Illinois in Chicago's Hyde Park community. 

She has traveled to London, Paris, Jamaica, and many United States cities where she met individuals of all persuasions. She was a curious kid, a news junkie even in high school, and has worked in politics since the age of eighteen even though she was not old enough to vote.

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

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

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

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

Follow Minnie E. Miller Online
Writer, Essayist & Humanist  

Left for Dead by Ebony Canion

Ebony Canion is no stranger to adversity. In fact, her countless traumatic experiences in her childhood and adulthood have molded her to be strong, resilient, and faithful, in short—a survivor.

But on that fateful day, June 30, 2012, her strength was tested more than ever before. Run over, then dragged for over two hundred feet, Ebony Canion was left for dead.  She sustained multiple serious injuries and was in a coma for nearly two months. But keeping with the pattern of her life, Ebony’s spirit of faithfulness was bent but never broken. And it was then, healing in the hospital, that Ebony decided to share her story with the world. 

As an inspiration to all who know her, Ebony’s will to overcome, more importantly to survive, is unparalleled. She started a T-shirt company, Survival Story Tees, which empower others to let their scars tell their story. Ebony wants to show people all over the world that despite your scars—your journey and disappointments—they tell a story. 

Ebony’s scars show that no matter what situation she is confronted with, she will survive. Her book, Left for Dead (Life Changing Books- Jan, 2014), will show that despite her many obstacles, she will never be defeated—she will survive.

Ebony Canion: A True Survivor    (Life Lesson’s #1)
“Every single incident that happens to us, be it good or bad, should be learned from. Unforeseen situations are meant to throw you off guard. If we knew what was to come we would prepare for them taking away from the lesson to be learned! It's the shock factor that teaches the lesson and shows us just how much we don't know! Each lesson is a step that takes us higher in life and closer to our destiny!”

Excerpt from Left for Dead

We were all caught off guard by the argument. Needless to say, we shouted back to the group of girls trespassing on our property. The doors of their car opened quickly, and all five females hopped out. The fuse had been lit. Everyone met in the middle of the street and began taunting each other with words flying back and forth. Suddenly, catching me completely off guard, one of the girls from the car punched me. Out of reflex, I swung back even though I didn’t want any problems. I’d been through enough pain in life already. 

All Hell broke loose.

We were all brawling in the middle of the street. Punches and kicks were being thrown in all directions. Over a bunch of yelling and name calling, the girls headed back to their car. Threats were still being made from both sides but only out of anger. The girls finally climbed back into the car. Seconds later, one of them threw a bottle from their car window, targeted at me. It missed and shattered in the street. 

The moment that followed changed my life and will haunt my dreams until the day I die. It was at that moment that I had realized why my sixth sense had given me such a bad feeling about going out that night.

The engine of the car revved up. A second later, it sped out of the driveway screeching and burning rubber. As it did, the driver purposely jerked the steering wheel in my direction although she had plenty of space to go in any direction she wanted. As the headlights bore down on me, in a split second, I saw the many flashes of pain in my life: the man forcing me to do sexual things to him at a young age, the fists of the man I once loved crashing into my face, the fists of the men my mother loved crashing into hers, the knife going into her chest, the stench of the man who’d raped me in that bathroom at fourteen, the day my father moved out, the day I became a widow with three children to feed, and so much more. 

Each moment blazed by in blinding flashes. The pain of each moment rushed me. I guess it was a defense mechanism though, an act to instantly prepare me for the pain I was about to face.

The car slammed into me. Immediately, the force made me crumple over the hood and crash my hands down on its surface. At that moment…

Darkness. I can’t remember anything about that night from then on. 

From the way the story is now told, my sister India said that car mowed me down like a race car headed to the finish line. One moment I was there, the next I was gone. It was like I had simply vanished. It happened so fast. It happened in an absolute instant. It was so unbelievable and so unimaginable. No one watching could grasp what had happened. She herself at that moment didn’t believe that I had actually been hit. 

Pandemonium broke loose. Everyone began to let out the most ear piercing horrifying screams India had ever heard. She said the scream that affected her most though was that of her nephew. “My auntie!” he screamed. “My auntie’s under the car!”

That was when India’s mind deciphered what had happened. The car had run me over. Along with my family, she ran out into the street to see the car headed up the block. Its engine was revving loudly. Heavy smoke was coming from the hood. The gas pedal was obviously pressed to the floor but the car was moving slower than before. My body underneath was slowing it down.

“Stop!” everyone yelled horrifically. “Stop!”

The driver of the car didn’t stop. She continued to gas the engine and drag me. It was the most horrifying sight my sister had ever seen. Finally the car reached the corner and made a right turn. As it did, my body tore loose from the undercarriage. It flipped and rolled limply over the street top a few times and then came to rest as the car sped off.

My family reached me in a brief second. Although everything had happened so fast, the experience seemed to be going in slow motion. When they reached me, they couldn’t believe what they saw. I was lying on the ground with my arms and legs twisted in unnatural positions. It was obvious my bones were broken. The jagged edges of some were even poking through my flesh. One of my legs was actually touching my back. Patches of hair were ripped from my skull. Portions of my flesh were ripped open. Most of the left side of my face had been torn away. My tongue was ripped from my mouth and dangling, while parts of my dress had been torn away. Blood was spilling from me, not stopping or slowing. A trail of it led from where the car first hit me all the way to where I was now laying. At that moment, as I lay motionless. Everyone had thought the same thing: I had been literally…


( Continued... )

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

Purchase copies of Left for Dead

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Everything Old, Is New Again 
by A. Yamina Collins

If Amazon's recent Kindle Serials debut back in 2012 is any indication of current publishing trends, then releasing a novel in episodes may be the hottest new thing publishing has seen in a while - even though there is actually nothing new about the serialized format. 

Years ago, it was the print novel that was being serialized rather than digitized works of today, and no less than Charles Dickens helped to establish the format with the release of his first novel, The Pickwick Papers back in 1836. In fact, that book is largely considered to have been the prototype of all serialization and indeed most of Dickens subsequent novels were originally published serially as well - in both weekly and monthly magazines, and often in as many as twenty monthly installments.

And make no mistake - Charles Dickens was not the only famous author to have tried his hand at serialization. French author Alexandre Dumas dolled out his Count of Monte Cristo in eighteen parts in the Journal des Débats, with publication running from August 28, 1844 to January 15, 1846, while Uncle Tom's Cabin, the American classic by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was serialized beginning in June 1851, over a 40-week period in an abolitionist periodical called National Era.

It's true that serialization sputtered in the early to mid-twentieth century and pretty much died. It's also true that now days audiences seem to have the attention span of two-year olds, making it difficult to hold readers interest in books that are dolled out slowly for public consumption. Yet it should not be assumed that there is absolutely no consumers for the serialized format.

In fact, one could make the argument that series books such as Harry Potter, Twilight and the Hunger Games, are themselves episodes told in larger, lump sum quantities (seven novels for Potter and three for Twilight and Hunger Games respectively). 

There have been even success stories of authors actually serializing a single novel in this day and age. In 2011, for example, author Hugh Howey wrote the indie sci-fi book "Wool". The book had been conceived as a stand-alone shorty story, but as its popularity increased, so did Mr. Howey's need to expand on the story, and thus a series was born - and a wildly successful one at that. 

But what are some of the benefits of serializing a book today? For starters, serialized formats can help build up readership for unknown authors, and help create greater interaction between an author and his or her audience (it has been said that for Charles Dickens, this format created greater intimacy between he and his readers). 

Another advantage is that authors can revise the novel even after it is serialized, in preparation for its stand-alone publication. As recent as 1984, Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities, ran in twenty-seven n parts in Rolling Stone magazine for which he was paid $200,000 for and yet, Mr. Wolfe went on to heavily revised the work before it was released in full form. 

Yet another advantage, As Mr. Howey once explained in an interview with, is that stand-alone books might remain invisible in a sea of books, but with a serialized novel one gets the same strange title sprinkled throughout the charts together, and that "sorta build(s) on top of each other like individual ripples growing into a much larger wave." In other words, ten entries of a book title are better for that book's chart hopes then just a single entry.

It is for all of these reasons I am releasing my two-book novel "The Last King" in a serialized format. I want to engage my readers even during the on going writing process; I want have a chance to correct some things I might miss down the road; and I want a chance build up an audience before the full, stand alone novel is released in late 2014.

It's also helpful that with Amazon's Kindle Serials, readers save money. When readers buy a Kindle Serial, they receive all existing episodes on their Kindle immediately, followed by future episodes as they are published at no additional cost. This will prove to be cheaper than buying all eleven episodes at separately.

I can't wait to see how serialization will change and grow throughout the next coming years. It's a totally new way for authors to think about publishing - even though it's also a very old idea.

About the Author
A. Yamina Collins
is the author of the quirky short story collection The Blueberry Miller Files. She has written for publications such as New York Resident magazine, Our Town and the Manhattan Spirit. A graduate of New York University, she lives in Manhattan. The Last King is her first novel. 

The Last King  (Book I, Serial #1) 
Science Fiction, African-American, Romance, Religious
Follow Yamina's Blog for more news: 


Motivating Yourself in 5 Easy Steps
By Delaina Miller 

We all struggle to find the energy we need to make our dreams a reality. Yet there are many easy and fun things you can do to motivate yourself into action. In this article I share five ways that I motivate myself and others.

Take the five or ten minutes of your snooze time to do two things. First, think about all of the things you are grateful for in your life. If you wake up feeling a little grumpy and cannot think of anything to be grateful for start with your bed.

Second, envision your day. Start with the tasks you are not excited about, ticking them off of your list quickly, and then envision all of the things you want to accomplish. When that alarm goes off, jump out of bed because you are all fired up to get on with your day.

(The key to both of these assignments is to feel good about your life. As the warm glow begins to rise in your heart, focus on it and how good you feel. )

It is a basic law of physics that a body at rest stays at rest but a body in motion stays in motion. Most people do not like exercise, so don't exercise, play! Allow yourself to feel like a kid again and just play with movement. Dance or invest in a rebounder and jump. Kick your legs out and feel the air rush around your head and play. You will find yourself bouncing, twisting, and doing high leg kicks you didn't know you could do. Before you know it, you will have cleaned out your lymph nodes, worked up a sweat, and all with a big grin on your face.

Because many of us are auditory learners affirmations can be used as personal validation as well as motivation tools. We need to hear good things about ourselves and expecting others to fill this role is unrealistic. It might seem ridiculous the first couple of times you do it but before you know it these positive declarations will become personalize positive feedback.

Mentally affirmations are healthy because they allow us to validate ourselves. As you are telling yourself such things as: "My challenges are opportunities to grow," you are giving yourself positive reinforcement. After all if you are not in your own corner then who will be?




Creating Your Next-Up List

So what's a next-up list? It's the small actions or goals that are up next on your list of things to do and accomplish. Not a major dream or ambition, but something you can do within the next few days to improve the quality of your life. With a pencil in hand and a pad of paper close by, write down your answers to the questions below. When finished, your next-up list will be ready to go!

Your Identity
What one small thing could you do to change or improve your character or personality? Would you like to be a bit more outgoing? Patient? Accepting? When you have it in mind, what step can you take within the next three to five days to put it into action?

Your Health
What one small thing could you do to change or improve your health? Is there particular food you should do without? An extra day of exercise you could throw in the routine? Perhaps you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor for a checkup? Write down your next-up health goal along with the action you'll take.

Your Career
What one small thing could you do to change or improve your career? Is there a project you'd love to get your hands on? Do you need to complete one that is already in the works? Whatever it is, write it down and match it with a specific action you can take within a few days to make it happen.

Your Finances
What one small thing could you do to change or improve your finances? Do you need to balance your checkbook? Schedule a meeting with a financial planner? Create or edit your monthly budget? When you've chosen the direction in which you want to head, write down the first step you'll take to put the plan into action.

Your Relationships
What one small thing could you do to change or improve your relationships? Is there a friend or family member you've been meaning to call but haven't? Someone close to you that needs more of your time and attention? A letter to write that would make someone's day? Add it to your goals and your next-up list is ready for action!

Get hundreds of simple motivation tips, along with your free Motivation123 Welcome Kit, at the website. Visit today.

Rid Yourself of Procrastinating Ways 
by Daryl D. Green

Can you afford the same procrastinating ways in 2014? Why aren’t you pursuing your dreams? At some point, we have all procrastinated, not wanting to move on an action. You say, “Now is not the right time.” Yet, you take no action. People have different motivations for taking action. Taking action means taking risk. Taking risk may cause you fear. This process creates self-doubt. Self-limiting beliefs are doubts that you create about your abilities. They cause you to feel inferior. You feel like you don’t deserve the best. You allow others to set your expectations. When you think like this, there is no way to win. You create negative ideas that you aren’t smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough, connected enough, creative enough, or powerful enough. “I can’t” becomes your motto. This article discusses how to overcome procrastination.

The Impending Landslide 
With the current economic situation, people can afford to procrastinate on critical actions. Employment and sheer survival may be at stake. In August of 2011, America posted no job gains. This economic slump is historical since it’s the first time since World War II that the economy has shown precisely zero net job creation for a month. Retail, manufacturing, information services, and construction all lost jobs. With over 15 million people unemployed in America, individuals must be internally motivated. 

Most people want to accomplish something in life. A new year could spark a new beginning; however, it gives most people time to make excuses for unfulfilled dreams. The more you repeat these self-limiting thoughts, the more you become trapped in your ways. Remember the definition of insanity: “doing the same thing that you always do and expecting something different to happen.” That’s a crazy way for anyone to live. Some people get caught up in this vicious circle. For example, look at the vicious cycle of New Year’s resolutions. Are you one of these procrastinators? 

Yet, the economic climate speaks against such procrastinating ways. Samuel Johnson said almost two centuries ago, “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, he concentrates his mind wonderfully.” You need to wake up. Procrastinators try to put off until tomorrow what they should do today. However, you can change and move in a new direction. The following suggestions are offered to overcome procrastinating habits:

1. Identify where the task is in terms of your priorities.
2. Create a motivation for taking action.
3. Develop a plan for seeing your task through. 
4. Set a deadline for completion.
5. Break the activity down into smaller components.
6. Reward yourself after each task.

In 2014, individuals must rid themselves of negative habits that prevent their success. Therefore, a person can’t wait any longer to change his or her unproductive actions. Tomorrow is not promised to you. Now is the time for action. All it takes is a little act of courage on your part. Individuals need to stop waiting and move. One speaker said, “There’s a fork at the end of the road. What do you do? Take one.” 

You have now approached the busy highway of life. Can you afford to slip back into the same procrastinating ways of the past? The answer should be ‘no!’   Individuals can start today by ridding themselves of these procrastinating ways in 2014. 

About Dr. Daryl Green
Dr. Daryl Green provides motivation, guidance, and training for leaders. 
at critical ages and stages of their development. He has over 20 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, you can go to or  ©Daryl D. Green


The Last King 
by A. Yamina Collins

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

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

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

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

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

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.



by William Fredrick Cooper

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt from Unbreakable: A Novel 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feeling a surge of energy, the novelist identified with what LeBron James might have felt on June 7th, 2012. With his Miami Heat on the brink of elimination -they were down 3 games to 2 in the Eastern Conference Finals - media pundits all around the globe ready to bury him forever, the organization ready to break up his team and everything he worked for hanging in the balance, he realized this was his defining moment in his life, his last chance to man up.

Then with a focused, fearless stare he torched the Celtics and Boston Garden for 45 (points) 15 (rebounds) and 5 (assists).

He's now a two-time NBA CHAMPION, but that was the night LeBron James became who God created him to be, a King.

“Can I borrow your gift for a tick, MJ? I won’t moonwalk away with it, man,” William persuaded.

Beaming, Michael Jackson knew what was about to happen.

Holding his hand for a tick, he said, “Make it funky!” 

The beleaguered author wasn’t done.

“Biggie, I’m gonna need yours, too.”

Clearly perturbed, Hip-Hop’s greatest storyteller on wax had an announcement.

“You better bring it, or there’s gonna be a lot of…”

“Neck wringin’ and fist swingin’, if my words aren’t particularly stingin’… Chill, brother, I got this,” William said.

Begrudgingly, the charcoal-skinned wordsmith stepped to the scribe. Removing his screw-face, he too tapped the three-time author and warned, “C-4 to your door, Coop.”

“Biggie… I get it.” 

Stepping to the mic in the sound room, knowing this was an absolute moment of truth, the determined glare in his eyes spoke words his mouth didn’t say.

Heavenly Father, I know this is my last shot. I’ll do my best and leave the end result in Your hands.

Shouting to the mastermind to so many jams for Mary Mary, Toni Braxton, the late Whitney Houston and others, "Rodney," he screamed.

A booming "Yo," response came from the control room.

"Can you play the “Unbreakable” instrumental? In my own words I want to let something fly."

"You got it!"

“And could you play it loud?”

“Punishing loud, Coop?”

“No, pulverizing loud. I want the message to be clear.” 

“No doubt.”

Darkchild, I hope they’re ready for this…

Blowing out the speakers, bluntness with a bangin’ beat returned to the room.

Accompanying the deep rhythm was a man with an edge. Entering a zone that comes with a renewing of mind, perhaps all the gobbledygook - being told he’s ‘an author in title only’ that ‘cries too much’, the “My Space Wag Attack” that nearly shattered his spirit; being called “phony”, “pretentious” and worse names when perceiving his passion for love, life and the empowerment of black literature as arrogance; all the mistakes trusting people with selfish agendas; the “weak,” and “gay” labels by those unfamiliar with Black Male sensitivity; the outlandish investigations and crazy job dismissals because of writing, losing all he owned not once but twice, the failed attempts at love in all the wrong places while letting the right ones get away; all those nights sleeping on office floors daring to dream and in a prostitute/drug infested rooming house after a devastating breakup, all those toilets cleaned fighting to keep his dreams alive; the four life-threatening situations with a knife-wielding man battling demons…

Perhaps all the gobbledygook in that crazy bowl of life led to this.  Rising from the ashes, he had a powerful word for all those who counted him out: the runaway train was on new tracks, coming through the station hard. Perfectly fitting this fresh swag, someone turned the flame up on the stove and the silence simmering so long in stainless steel stillness finally boiled over.   Bobbing his head, years of restraint was the detonation, and in staccato rhythm he set off an explosion that left everyone in the studio wide-eyed.


( Continued... )

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

Order Unbreakable: A Novel

by William Fredrick Cooper
Publication Date: March 18, 2014

Seoul Revelations 
by Bobby Cenoura

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

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

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

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

Excerpt from Seoul Revelations 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marcus crouched a little lower.

Jamal inched down lower to taunt Marcus.

Marcus pushed from his heels and using the force of his legs, sprung up like a frog from a lilly pad, ramming his head into the bridge of Jamal’s nose. Marcus followed Ms. Thompson’s advice: he used his head.

The crowd roared as Jamal shouted in pain.

Jamal, briefly through tears, saw JR laughing in the background. Before he could react, Marcus took lead of the fight tempo.

When Marcus was little, jokingly, he would pick up his mother by the lower legs just above the knees. From then on, he realized he could lift people bigger than him by using leverage of their legs and removing the center of their gravity.

Marcus slipped a punch that Jamal desperately threw. From the side, he scooped Jamal, and Jamal landed on his upper back and head. Jamal was completely taken by surprise by Marcus’ strength.

On the shoulder of a giant, Marcus felt like Jack climbing the beanstalk. But by this time he had pinned his knees into Jamal’s biceps and straddled his chest. Jamal struggled and wriggled to get free. The roars and laughter turned into silence as everyone realized the predicament that Jamal was in.

Marcus raised his fist and as he did, he saw Jamal turn his head to the side and close his eyes. As he saw the tears streaming down Jamal’s’ face, partially in pain and in embarrassment, Marcus’ anger subsided. Jamal opened one eye to see Marcus lowering his fist.

“Get up, man.” Marcus hollered. Marcus climbed off Jamal.

Everyone in the crowd watched Marcus with surprise.

“Finish him off!” Delonte shouted.

Even JR was silent. Everyone looked at the red blood mixed with boogers pouring out of Jamal’s nose like half-frozen cherry Kool-Aid.

Jamal crawled, and then rose up, jittery and shaken that the little warrior had taken him down. What messed his head up more was the mercy that Marcus showed him.

Marcus backed up a little to give the big man space. “Let’s squash this beef.” Marcus said. Jamal nodded the affirmative.

( Continued... )

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Bobby Cenoura. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.

About the Author
Bobby Cenoura
  is a literary artist born and raised in the Washington DC area. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and social sciences. Bobby has been an avid storyteller since his early childhood. He is also familiar with black market economics. Bobby’s literature, influenced by experiences and imagination, is called “quasi urban”. In addition to street literature, Bobby also plans on ushering in a genre he calls “Male Angst”, which deals with men’s dating issues. 

Seoul Revelations by Bobby Cenoura


Walk a Straight Line 
by Michelle Lindo-Rice

Two friends. Two brothers. Two weddings. Too many secrets. 

Colleen MacGregor rededicated her life to God when she met and married Terence Hayworth. However, her happily-ever-after will have to wait, because she has some serious dragons to slay to sustain her marriage and keep her friendship with Gina Price intact. After fifteen years of friendship, Colleen must now draw the line and stop telling Gina everything.

What did God do to her friend? Gina finds it hard to deal with Colleen's newfound faith. She thinks Colleen has become self-righteous, subjecting Gina to her holy tirades whenever the mood strikes. When Gina begins dating one brother, while simultaneously falling in love with another, boy, does she get an earful! Gina, however, is way too busy trying to sort her way through her own murky feelings to worry about her soul. Her heart wants what it wants.

Michelle Lindo-Rice explores the complicated world of female friendships. Can a friendship survive when one friend becomes saved?

Excerpt from Walk a Straight Line

Next to Gina, Colleen felt gauche, and lingered in her friend’s shadow—or so it seemed to her. She placed the blame on her height of five-ten—from that vantage point, pickings were slim.

Until Terence. He was six-four, and drawn to her. Best of all, she could wear heels without worry.

She dried herself and reached for one of her scented oils.

Once she finished oiling herself down, Colleen chose a pink and white teddy with ruffles and a delicate trim. Slipping into it, she thought about Terence and sizzled. She eased onto the bed and practiced several seductive poses.

She heard the lock click.


Quick, she struck her most tantalizing pose. Her chest heaved with anticipation as she waited. He stopped at the sight of her.


“Come and get it, Big boy.”

Terence hesitated for a split second before beginning to undress.

Not fast enough. Colleen flipped her long, curly hair and beckoned him to her bedside. Terence complied. She held her hands out for him to embrace her, but he paused.

Curious, Colleen asked. “What is it?”

“I feel grungy, you know, from all that sand,” Terence explained.

“Oh.” Embarrassed by her brazenness, she un-posed her body and stretched her legs as they had fallen asleep in that awkward position.

“Let me take a shower. Wash all this grime from me.” He was in the bathroom in seconds.

“Okay, what just happened here?”

Somehow that is not how that scene always played out on the soap operas. However, she clamped her disappointment because she knew how fastidious Terence was. Chilled, Colleen went under the covers and closed her eyes. She’d rest because when he came back, she was going to show him a thing or two. She had a creative mind, and now had the right to use it.

She felt something buzz against her leg, and jumped. It was Terence’s cell phone vibrating. She curved her leg to move it upwards, and grabbed it. She peeked at the number.

Why was Francine calling Terence on their honeymoon? Colleen debated for a second before she pressed the redial button. “Hi, Francine, is everything all right?”

“Isn’t this Terence’s phone?”

Wasn’t she Terence’s wife? “I—uhm—he’s in the shower—and I saw your number, so...” She rushed to explain.

“That doesn’t give you the right—just have him call me.”

With that, Colleen heard the dial tone. Her brow furrowed.

Terence came into the bedroom. He wore only a robe and used a hand-towel to vigorously dry his hair.

“Why is your mother calling you on your honeymoon?”

Terence tensed. “My mother called?”

“Yes, just now. What’s going on?”

“Why didn’t you let it go to voicemail?” he asked instead. Without waiting for an answer, Terence seized the phone from her hand. “Don’t answer my phone.”

Colleen shivered at his harsh tone. “In my defense, I didn’t think it would be a problem if I answered your phone. It could’ve been an emergency.”

Terence repeated with emphasis, “Don’t touch my phone.”

Colleen didn’t understand but she nodded her head. She turned away from him and moved to the edge of the bed. She felt the bed sink under his weight. Hurt, Colleen squeezed her eyes shut to hold the tears at bay. Who was this man?

( Continued... )

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


The Awakening: Book One of the Chronicles 
of the Nubian Underworld by Shakir Rashaan

An erotically charged journey inside Atlanta's African-American Fetish/BDSM community. The first in the series revolves around an African-American dominant couple, Ramesses and Neferterri, and their submissives, told in a conversational style.

"What goes on in the Palace, stays in the Palace..."

Life seems well within the "Nubian Underworld" of the ATL, as Ramesses, his wife Neferterri, and their submissives are at the center of what can only be described as "paradise" by those who have seen the debauchery within. Amenhotep, Ramesses' mentor, is on the verge of bringing in his newest slave to reside with him at the Palace, and the entire community has been invited to witness the decadence of the grounds and the libidinous nature of the guests in attendance. 

Unfortunately, life is not always a bed of roses... sometimes the thorns must be felt.

All hell breaks loose when Ramesses and Neferterri begin losing their submissives for a variety of reasons, and Amenhotep gets caught up in a sting operation that makes the local news and threatens to blow the lid off of the Atlanta Fetish community that thrives on the anonymity that is enjoyed by all. Despite it all, everyone in the circle is there for one another, no matter the consequences.

The Awakening: Book One of the Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld is a journey inside Atlanta's African-American Fetish/BDSM community, and the ties that bind the principle players of this exciting new series. With its twists and turns and surprises along the way, it is sure to become an "awakening" for any who dare to journey to the "Dark side."

Excerpt from The Awakening/Book One of the Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld

Being in the Fulton County Jail was a bittersweet moment for me.

Before I turned to professional shutterbug I wanted to be a detective, like my father before me. So, being at the jail wasn’t supposed to give me the butterflies in my stomach I felt. It felt like an eternity walking towards the communication area to speak to Amenhotep, but somehow I managed to get there.

Seeing him on the other side of that window, my heart damn near broke. Here was a man who made me the Dominant I am. Now, here he sat, an accused rapist and kidnapper, eyes completely bloodshot from staying up all night in the holding cell before they moved him to general population. I refused to take pity, though. In my mind he was never guilty in the first place. I was going to move heaven and earth to make sure he comes out of this without much of a scratch on him, mainly because I knew he would do the same for me. Family has to look out for each other.

I picked up the receiver, making eye contact with Him for the first time. He looked human to me, after looking like a god for so long. “How are you holding up?”

“Not good, youngster. I’m not even supposed to be in here,” Amenhotep stated through the receiver. “Ramesses, I didn’t do it. she said awful things, man. Said I raped her…abused her, man.”  I sat there and watch helplessly as he was nearly reduced to tears. The first thing on my mind was whether the other slaves were okay.

“Paka came down as soon as she found out. The cops took the computers…everything in the dungeon that wasn’t bolted down.” Amenhotep repeated what paka told him earlier. “All of the girls gave statements to dispute what Safi told the cops.”

“Why the hell would she say such things? You have a reputation within the community. She’s got to be aware of that.” My anger was boiling and mounting with each passing moment and with each word I spoke.

“Something spooked her. I know it,” Amenhotep regained his composure. “Either that, or she’s pissed about something. But what was it? I treated her like I treat all my girls.”  Yeah, every one of the girls was treated the same way, except for Paka. The green eyed monster was on the loose. Damn.

“I’ve got some tough questions for You, Sir, and I need straight answers,” Ramesses took over inside of me, and it was needed. “How old is Safi?”

“You know better,” Amenhotep didn’t like my tone, but I really didn’t care at that point. We were family, yes, but there was no time to look at things with rose-colored glasses. “I taught You, remember that.”

“What…was…her…age?” I commanded. I didn’t back down like I normally did when He asserted Himself and didn’t want to answer questions. Too much was at stake.

“19. Confirmed,” Amenhotep replied. “Next.”

“What was her status?” I stated, moving on to the next point of fact I needed. By status, I wanted to know in what capacity was Safi supposed to serve as. In His House there were two categories: sexual and domestic.

“Sexual and domestic,” Amenhotep again answered in a monotone voice. “Next.”

“Did you corrupt her station?” In asking that question, I meant did she begin to think that she was more than what her station dictated… and more importantly, did He give her the impression she meant more than her station suggested.

“I decline to answer.” Amenhotep shut down, pulling His ear away from the receiver.

“Not good enough, Sir,” I warned. I motioned for him to place his ear to the receiver. “Rumors will run rampant, and I need ammo to combat things until You post bond.”

“How long have we known each other?” Amenhotep asked, pushing His face closer to the glass.

“Sir, you are my mentor, and I love you like a father, but I need and I will get full disclosure.” I was blunt about my intentions, even if the answer would hurt.

“Yes, I did!” Amenhotep stared me straight in the eyes, suddenly convinced of His own innocence. “I did nothing wrong, Ramesses. You, above all others, should know that.”

“Have you lost your mind?!?! You may have violated your core rules, Sir,” I scolded. “This will make things extremely messy.”

“Her state of mind was solid, Ramesses,” Amenhotep said, getting more demonstrative by the minute. “She belongs to me, in any manner I see fit. Who are you to judge me, Sir?”

“What did she do to you for you to act this way?” I asked Him again, getting as close to the glass as he was. This was a showdown, whether we liked it or not. Time to throw down, and whoever backed down first, lost. I saw the fire in his eyes, looking at me like I was some cut rate novice challenging his kingdom.

“You would never understand, and you never will! she…” and all of a sudden, he simply shut down. “None of the other girls betrayed me the way she did. So, I dismissed her from the House.”

 ( Continued... )

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Shakir Rashaan. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.

The Awakening by Shakir Rashaan
Erotica/Erotic Romance
Fetish/BDSM, Polyamory & Swinging




Freshmen Fifteen 
by Jasmine N.H. Sheffield

Do you remember your first?

Firsts are almost unforgettable... First day of school, first crush, first kiss, first love. No matter how dreamy or undesirable, you'll always remember your first rumble in the sheets.

Laila had plans of making her first time memorable on her high school graduation night, but those plans were thwarted by her jailed boyfriend. Now she's headed to college, a virgin. Although her top priority is to do well in school, to thoroughly enjoy the college experience, the horny beast inside of her is begging to be released. After all, her hand can only bring her so much pleasure. 

While searching for the right guy to give her virginity to, her natural curiosity leads her to discover the pleasurable, and not so pleasurable, stories of her friends' sexcapades. Finally, she meets Chris, a sexy, senior, frat boy. Is he just a playboy or will he be worthy of taking her virginity?

Amazon Customer Book Review
4.5 out of 5 stars by Diva's Literary World

Laila is now a high school graduate and on this special night, she decides to give her virginity away to her long time drug dealing boyfriend, Travis. She had it all planned out except she wasn't expecting him to get arrested before she could even get to his house to indulge in their special act of love.

Pissed off and over Travis and his situation, Laila decides to embark on a new chapter of her life since she will be going to college in the fall. Once on campus, Laila totally forgets about Travis and has her eyes on a sexy senior named Chris. As her freshman year progresses, Laila develops feelings for Chris and decided to give him her virginity.

Little does she know, one of Chris' exes has plans to get him back. Who will Chris choose? Will Laila lose her virginity in her freshman year of college?

The author does a good job developing Laila and her friend's characters. I think a little bit more could have been given on Chris' background especially since Laila becomes so involved with him. I did enjoy the flow of the story as it gives you a realistic view of college life in regards to the dorms, parties and studying.
*** A complimentary copy was given in exchange for an honest review ***

Freshmen Fifteen Excerpt

My legs begin to shake again. I should have had another drink. I try to calm my nerves. Tonight is going to be everything I have ever dreamed. 

With Tanya singing Kendrick Lamar’s Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe at the top of her lungs, I’m surprised I hear my phone ring. It’s Devon. On my phone? Why would he be calling me? I look over at Tanya as I answer the phone. 

“Hey Devon, what’s up?” The background is really noisy, which is not what I expect if they are preparing the rooms for tonight.

Between Tanya singing and the background noise, I have to strain to hear him.

“Laila, it’s about Travis. He got picked up tonight...” I couldn’t have heard him say Travis got picked up. That can’t possibly be what I just heard.

“Say that again.” As he repeats himself, I drop the phone. I shake my head to fight back the tears that are forming at the sides of my eyes. Throwing my hands in the air, “Not tonight.”

Tanya picks up the phone from the seat. “Devon, what the hell happened? Where are you?”

Travis and Devon aren’t the boyfriends our parents would choose for us. They both dropped out of high school. Devon at least finished the GED program. I’ve tried to convince Travis to finish, but he just isn’t motivated. They are both small-time street pharmacists. Neither of them has been picked up on any serious charges...yet.

Tanya turns the car around and heads in the direction of Travis’ house. Looking out the window, the tears begin to flow. The breeze isn’t keeping me cool anymore, my temperature is rising. Of all the nights to get in trouble, why tonight?

Tanya reaches over and rubs my hand. Unlike the tears flowing from my eyes, the words I want to speak are stuck in my throat like a lump of food. 

Tanya breaks the silence. “Laila, I’m sorry, girl. Devon said it’s serious. He thinks Travis had enough on him for the police to keep him for a while.” 

My mouth finally moves, but the only thing that escapes is a loud scream, startling Tanya. Travis has taken me through ups and downs. I stayed with him after my parents forbade me to see him, after he cheated, after all the lies. I just wanted tonight to be special. He couldn’t even do that. 

As we turn onto Travis’ street we roll up the windows and make sure the doors are locked. Our usual routine. At this time of night the street is packed. Guys on the corner and women strolling. Both waiting for their regular customers.

Finally, Tanya pulls up to Travis’ house. I look down to avoid making eye contact with the guys waiting in front of his house. Devon jogs over to the car. As Tanya gets out, I glance at the guys. I do a double-take then shake my head when I realize it’s James I see and not Travis. 

James and Travis could pass as twins. Tonight, the resemblance is painful. I close my eyes tightly, hoping I can wake up from this nightmare.

I jump when I hear a tap on the window. James is standing there, looking at me with sympathetic eyes. My legs are too weak to hold my body. Instead of getting out of the car, I roll down the window. 

“Laila, I’m sorry. I hate Travis had to get picked up on your graduation night. You should be celebrating, not crying.”

Looks are the only thing James and Travis have in common. James is in the military, a straight and narrow dude. If only he could have convinced Travis to leave the streets.

Oddly, I manage to give James a slight smile and shrug my shoulders. I’m sure James doesn’t realize just how special this night would have been. 

( Continued... )

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Jasmine N.H. Sheffield. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.

Watch and Share the Freshmen Fifteen Book Trailer:  
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Purchase copies of Freshmen Fifteen  




I Ain't Me No More 
by E. N. Joy

Helen wasn't just born the devious vixen of New Day Temple of Faith. There had to be something rooted deep within her to make her inflict and feed off of other people's pain.

Perhaps it was her own pain that she had suppressed for so many years-an unimaginable pain-that created an internal prison of which her mind was the only captive. But once the demons within her break free, those around her better beware, as Helen surely becomes the epitome of the saying, "Hurt people, hurt people."

In I Ain't Me No More, Helen has no shame displaying that she hasn't been saved all her life. Will the divas of New Day Temple of Faith think Helen's worth saving? But more importantly, can God save Helen from not only her evil past; can He save her from herself?

First Chapter Excerpt

Man, I hate the cleaning guy! Why does he have to do his job so well? Can’t he ever leave just one spot, smear or smudge on this dang stripper pole? Something so that I don’t have to see myself so painfully visible like this? What makes him think I want to be able to see myself twirling around this pole like some skilled monkey—caught up in the powerful grip of the almighty dollar; a grip known to have choked the life out of many while leaving others gasping for their last breath?

“That’s for you,” Damon spoke out over R. Kelly’s “Your Body’s Calling.” With his chestnut brown, bald head and facial hair that is edged up nice and clean, Damon licks his thumb and uses it to flick a twenty dollar bill off the stack of money he’s palming.

I swivel my body down to the ground the way the vanilla and chocolate swirl ice cream at the DQ makes its way from the machine to the cone. “Baby, you know it takes gas to keep a Cadillac like myself going,” I say to Damon. “As long as you keep filling up the tank, I’ma go-go all night.” I swivel my body back up to a standing position while adding, “In any direction you want me to go.”

Damon’s lips part into that sexy signature smile of his.

“Whatever you want,” Damon said. “It’s your Caddy. I’ll drive, ride, heck, I’ll even be a backseat passenger. Just know that I got you, Ma.” Damon begins to flick off bills like he’s the dealer in a game of spades.

I’m very much content with the hand I’m being dealt. So much so that I want to drop to my knees and begin scooping like a kid standing under a piñata that has just been busted open. But I don’t want to appear too desperate. Resolving to strip in the first place was out of desperation. At the time of making the decision I felt trapped, like Jonah in the belly of the big fish. I was always trying to make ends meet, but neither of my ends were the least bit interested in getting to know one another. Bills were due. I weighed some options on my immoral scale of desperation and stripping was a less load to travel with in my mental carry-on. I mean, at least I’m not selling my whole self --just bartering off a piece of me.

“Go on, Go-Go Girl. You know you wanna bend that thang over and pick up that loot.”



Living Separate Lives 
by Paulette Harper

Four Friends, One Secret and The Weekend That Changed Their Destiny

Candace Walker, Kaylan Smith, Jordan Tate, and Tiffany Thomas have their share of sorrows, but neither of them realizes how deep the sorrow goes. What happens when they agree to meet for a weekend of relaxation in beautiful Napa County? Which one will leave the same or worse?

For Candace Walker, life has left her battered and bruised. Kaylan Smith has struggled with prejudice from her in-laws. After fifteen years of marriage, bitterness is trying to raise its ugly head for Jordan Tate, whose husband wants to call it quits. And for Tiffany Thomas, dealing with rejection has never been one of her greatest feats. 

Although they have been friends for years, they thought they knew each other well. But will a secret destroy their relationship and bring the sisterhood to a complete halt? Will they be able to forgive and allow God to mend that which might be torn? 

Excerpt: Living Separate Lives by Paulette Harper

“Who cares anyway if I die? I hate my life; I curse the day I was born,” said Candace as she rolled out of her twin bed to face yet another day of sheer disappointments. Her feet landed on the beige, shaggy, dirty carpet that had seen better days. As she sat on the edge of her bed, she looked around the small apartment as though she was expecting to see something different, but nothing had changed. 

“Lord, can I get a break? Can something good happen in my life?” she cried as her head collapsed in her hands. She knew within herself that today would be like all the rest: gloomy, sad, and most of all, lonely. After all she had experienced in life, how could she think today would be any different? 

Candace lived in a small studio apartment off of School Street in the city of Pittsburg, California, a city surrounded by the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. Her apartment had enough room for only one dresser and a nightstand, which she got at the neighborhood Goodwill store. 

The walls of her apartment were dirty from years of cigarette smoke that didn’t escape out of the window. Her kitchen table was made of plywood, which she covered with a red tablecloth. The table was encompassed by two chairs, one for her and the other one she had hoped would be occupied by someone who genuinely wanted to be with her. The blue and cream décor in her kitchen came from visiting the neighborhood garage sales. Her neighbors knew her so well because of the frequent visits she made to their sales. Although Candace always had a roof over her head, she did not like the environment in which she lived. After looking intently at her dwelling place, she lay back on her bed and stared at the ceiling. Her thoughts shifted from her disappointing apartment to her anger about the issues she had to deal with, problems that had been with her for years, issues with her family.




From Sagging to Success 
by Florence M. Howard, Illustrated by Emery Franklin 

From Sagging to Success” is a message to urban youth and the adults who want to help them become extraordinary. Young people are unfairly judged because of their appearance and cultural misperceptions. They need to be made aware of the repercussions of sagging. Sagging pants even might be an indication of a sagging mindset or low self-esteem. A fictionalized character in book illustrations, Derrick goes from sagging to success as he learns about Black history, reads books read and written by successful people and changes the way he thinks. 

He shares his new knowledge with his parents who also embrace a positive outlook, productive behaviors and principles of success. At the end of the book, Derrick and his parents have successfully transmitted principles of success to the next generation. The book is beautifully illustrated and the paintings were created first as a library gallery exhibit.

The book educates readers our history and successes, illuminates concepts of success and inspires them to act on what they learn. Readers are motivated to examine their thinking patterns, to recapture the dreams that they laid aside or never attempted and to accomplish them. They gain the wisdom and tools to become successful and are equipped to share those ideas, concepts and actions with others. 

Excerpt from Introduction – From Sagging to Success

Author Note: The book contains 15 paintings by illustrator Emery Franklin. The 14 of the illustrations are from his narrative art series, Crossroads: From Sagging to Success art series, that was on exhibit at the Benjamin L. Hooks Library during February 2011.

Sagging is the fashion style of intentionally wearing your pants so that your underwear shows. This style is much older than the last 15-20 years. The trend can be traced back to urban teenagers of the 1970’s and the popularity of silk underwear. As one friend put it, “We sagged because it was cool and to show our manhood. It was our way of saying, ‘Look! I’m wearing silk, these ain’t cotton.’” If you’re under the age of 15, ask your mother, grandmother or aunt, if she wore bell-bottoms, platform shoes, halter tops and mini-skirts during her teens. Chances are she did. Fashion trends come and go, and come again.

MTV, BET, YouTube, and DVDs have transformed this 1970’s rite of passage into a universal statement of individuality. It has lasted and lasted and crossed generational lines. Baby boomers in their 50’s and 60’s have been sagging along with their grandchildren. 

* * *

In From Sagging to Success, the story is told through the eyes of a fictional young man who is inspired to take a look at sagging, and its place in urban society. His name is Derrick and he contemplates the struggle for freedom and equality through the eyes of his ancestors…. Derrick is searching for the secret to success. Once he finds it, he shares it with his family and friends.

As the series opens, Derrick is thinking about the history of African Americans and how Africans came to America ’s shores. He daydreams of a time after the 13th Amendment. In his mind, he envisions a man of African descent returning to his homeland, and his roots, on the continent of Africa. 




Son of a Itch 
( J.J. McCall Novel - Book 2 )


On the lam from the FBI, the ICE PHANTOM continues with plans to defect to Moscow but not before seeking revenge on J.J. McCall. Meanwhile, the FBI commences Task Force PHANTOM HUNTER, a team ordered by Director Russell Freeman to track down suspected Russian illegals within the U.S. Intelligence Community—and not a moment too soon. An agent of the Russian Intelligence Services is targeting the nerve center of U.S. national security, taking the lie-detecting FBI Agent and her cohorts’ next mole hunt to the highest echelons of the U.S. government. 

J.J. and her co-case agent lead the motley crew of spy catchers while she struggles to deal with sobriety, conflicting feelings for Tony and Six, and an egotistical Secret Service agent whose jurisdictional stonewalling complicates her every effort to identify the culprit before he gets away—with murder. 

Excerpt from Son of a Itch - J.J. McCall Novel, Book 2 

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller

Monday, November 16th – G.W. University Hospital 

Exactly three moments defined the entire course of J.J.’s being —the day she got “the itch,” the generational curse that sparked random irritating tingles through her body anytime she heard a lie; the day her mother died; and this one, the day in which she grasped the fragility of life and how it could slip away in an instant. 

The ambulance siren blared down Pennsylvania Avenue through the remnants of rush hour traffic as she stared down at his tearful eyes, his face shredded with pain, his body curled with anguish. Slowly, his lids opened to expose a bloodshot blank stare. She saw her mother’s eyes in his, and his last breath whispered in the distance, drawing ever near. 

“I’m here. You’re going to be okay. We’re almost there,” she said as her voice shook. 

George Washington University Hospital was just a few minutes away and had one of the best trauma centers in the D.C. area. 

He placed his trembling hand on hers and struggled to speak. “There…something…you should…kn—” 

“Shhhh. Save your strength,” J.J. shook her head to dissuade him from speaking. She stroked his fingers and tried to maintain a steady front. “You’re gonna be okay. You can tell me everything when you’re better.” 

Her mind whirred as the ambulance zipped into the circular driveway beneath the overhang and masked emergency personnel in blue and green scrubs swarmed the doors. They pulled the gurney out and wheeling him inside, beyond her view. She’d never felt so alone in her life. She had calls to make, people to notify, but her mind was still foggy from the shock. 

She searched her purse for the flask, the reminder of just how far she’d come and how much further she had to go.  J.J. walked into the waiting area and slipped onto one of the cold, cramped seats near the television, hoping to check the news for signs of a press leak. Instead, the hospital station replayed loops of doctors giving prevention tips on high blood pressure and heart disease.

Disappointed in the dearth of distractions, her eyes drifted from one ailing patient to another. She gazed at her feet until her vision blurred and left her wondering how she got to this place of confusion and despair. She was irresistibly drawn to this duty to her country, but with every day that passed she longed to understand her true purpose, the one that perhaps wasn’t tied to her mother’s legacy. 

Even still, she was committed to see the task force through until every Russian spy was caught despite, once again, being neutered by the FBI. 

Download the Son of a Itch Today! 
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Book 1 - The Seven Year Itch 
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Meet Author S.D. Skye 

S.D. Skye  is a former FBI Russian Counterintelligence Program Intelligence Analyst and supported many cases during her 12-year tenure at the Bureau. She has personally witnessed the blowback the Intelligence Community suffered due to the most significant compromises in U.S. history, including the arrests of former CIA Case Officer Aldrich Ames and two of the Bureau's own—FBI Agents Earl Pitts and Robert Hanssen. She has spent 20 years supporting a range of counterintelligence, intelligence, and military missions within the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Skye is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association, Romance Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She’s addicted to writing and chocolate—not necessarily in that order—and currently lives in the Washington D.C. area with her son. She’s hard at work on the next installment of the series.

Visit S.D. Skye Online  

Twitter: @sdskye1 

Anybody’s Daughter 
by Pamela Samuels Young

When 13-year-old Brianna is forced into the horrifying world of human sex trafficking, her Uncle Dre, a former drug dealer, scours the dark corners of L.A. determined to find her. He ultimately comes up with a daring plan, one that puts many lives in danger. But will he find Brianna before it's too late?


Brianna sat cross-legged in the middle of her bed, her thumbs rhythmically tapping the screen of her iPhone. She paused, then hit the Send button, firing off the text message ready?  Her soft hazel eyes lasered into the screen, anticipating—no craving—an instantaneous response. Jaden had told her to text him when she was about to leave the house. So why didn’t he respond?  She hopped off the bed and cracked open the door. A gentle tinkle—probably a spoon clanking against the side of a stainless steel pot—signaled that her mother was busy in the kitchen preparing breakfast. 

Easing the door shut, Brianna leaned against it and closed her eyes. To pull this off, Brianna couldn’t just act calm, she had to be calm. Otherwise, her mother would surely notice. But at only thirteen, she’d become pretty clear after finding ways around mother’s unreasonable rules. She gently shook the phone as if that might make Jaden’s response instantly appear. Brianna was both thrilled and nervous about finally meeting Jaden, her first real boyfriend—a boyfriend she wasn’t supposed to have. Texts and emails had been racing back and forth between them ever since Jaden friended her on Facebook five weeks earlier. 

It still bothered Brianna—but only a little—that Jaden had refused to hook up with her on Skype or FaceTime or even talk to her on the phone. Jaden had explained that he wanted to hear her voice and see her face for the first time in person. When she thought about it, that was kind of romantic. 

If it hadn’t been for her Uncle Dre, Brianna would never have been able to have a secret boyfriend. When her uncle presented her with an iPhone for her birthday two months ago, her mother immediately launched into a tirade about perverts and predators on the Internet. But Uncle Dre had teased her mother for being so uptight and successfully pleaded her case.

Thank God her mother was such a techno-square. Although she’d insisted that they share the same Gmail account and barred her from Facebook, Brianna simply used her iPhone to open a Facebook account using a Yahoo address that her mother knew nothing about. As for her texts, she immediately erased them. 



The Colors Trilogy 
by K.R. Raye

The Colors Trilogy follows three college friend as they strive for their goals. There's:  Naïve, romantic, biracial Melody Wilkins who aims to find true love at college just like her parents. Melody brings the heart and sense of hope to the story. No-nonsense Imani Jordan strives for good grades and a chemical engineering degree. Imani's the common sense, tell-it-like-it-is conscience. Lance Dunn is only serious about two things: football and protecting his girls, Melody and Imani. Lance is practical and fiercely loyal; he keeps them grounded with the male perspective. 

Book 1. The Colors of Friendship:  Three college friends search for true love, NFL fame, and a successful engineering career. Will one friend’s quest for happiness endanger all three of their lives? After the torrents of jealousy, sex, and abuse subside, will their friendship survive…The Colors of Friendship? 

Book 2. The Colors of Love:  After their lives are threatened, three college friends attempt to continue their search for true love, NFL fame, and a successful engineering career. When the dynamics of their relationships change, will their friendship survive…The Colors of Love? 

Book 3. True Colors:  After tragedy strikes, Imani, Melody, and Lance try to rekindle their college friendship. Can they move forward towards happiness or will ghosts from their past haunt them? When life’s challenges arise what are your…True Colors? Coming March 25, 2014!


Cold. Hard. Steel. Pressed against her forehead. Melody closed her eyes and willed the situation away. But when she reopened them, the gun remained lodged between her eyes. 

The setting sun painted a crimson swath across the budding landscape. Crimson red…blood red. Oh God, how did it all lead to this she wondered as the ice cold barrel ironically seemed to sear her skin, like a poker fresh from a stoked fire. Her blood ran cold through her veins and her body began to shake. 

Why? The faster her mind raced, the more she trembled.

Her friends had warned her, but she didn’t want to believe them. If only she had listened to Imani or stayed with Lance, things might have ended differently. 

But then again, what if her friends were wrong? Imani and Lance always meddled in her business. They were too overbearing and judgmental. Really, they had no one to blame but themselves. In fact if they weren’t here butting in now, making the situation worse…

The gun dug further into her forehead, threatening to break skin. Melody realized as cold dread soaked her skin, it didn’t matter whose fault it was; all three of them were going to die here tonight. 

( Continued... )

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

About the Author
K.R. Raye
lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons. She grew up in Kansas City, attended college in New York, and has resided in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New Zealand. Throughout her diverse career working as a mechanical engineer, adjunct professor, and in sales, she continues to weave her love of marketing, computer information systems, and operations together with her passion for writing. That diverse experience influences her writing style to traverse the contemporary, horror, romance, drama, mystery, and sci-fi genres. 

Purchase books at: The books are available in paperback and digital formats on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and they're coming soon to iBooks.


Twisted Vows of Seduction 

Previously in Twisted Seduction, thirty-two-year-old Denise Jackson sacrifices her nine years of marriage to pursue a three-year affair with her multimillionaire client, Greg Adams. To keep things intact, she orchestrates the perfect twisted diversion by allowing her husband and best friend to carry on a full-fledged affair. But once everyone’s dirty mattresses gets aired out, every player in the game starts to feel the heat, and what seems to be picture-perfect happiness is inevitably one twisted illusion. 

One year later in Twisted Vows of Seduction…

Still mourning the death of his lover, Denise, Greg Adams conspires to leave his wife, Vivian, for a woman who resembles his departed mistress. Could it really be that his true love has come back to him, or has he fallen victim to a twisted game of deceit and seduction clandestinely arranged by no one other than his own vengeful wife? 

A torrid affair with her best friend’s husband, Jeff, has scarred Nadine Collins for life. Jeff’s unwillingness to commit pushes her into the arms of another man, but he has a few skeletons in his own closet that could rob her of her very existence.

Ménage, an aspiring actress, has her sights set on Hollywood. She will do anything to ensure her rise to the top, including robbing Jeff of all the life insurance money he collected after his wife died. But a blast from the past slows her down. When Jeff comes running to her rescue, it proves to be the perfect setup. 

The real twisted games are just beginning!

Chapter Excerpt from Twisted Vows of Seduction 

"Daddy where's, Ebony?" Deandra asked the instant she walked through the door. She hadn't seen Ménage's car and Jeff knew she would be looking for her. Especially considering how well Deandra seemed to take to her. 

"She's not here," Jeff said as he took his keys and cell phone out of his pockets and laid them on the table. "And she won't be back." Just that quick he'd saved himself from having to answer a million questions. 

"But...I thought the two of you were getting married."

Jeff's face seemed to swell. "Married!" He'd banned that word from his vocabulary months ago. So as his cheekbones pushed his eyes into a squint, he looked at her wondering where in the hell that ludicrous idea had come from.

"Deandra, why would you think Ebony and I were getting married?" 

"Because she told me you were."

Jeff snatched off his tie. The anger rising inside of him had his blood boiling. He clenched his jaws. 

"Ebony told you we were getting married?" He wanting to make sure he'd heard her right the first time.

Deandra nodded profusely. Not an ounce of doubt in her face. "She told me I would be the flower girl and that Nadine..." 

"Nadine?" Jeff shot. 

"Yes, Daddy. She said that Nadine was going to be her maid and that she would get to hold her dress as she walked down the aisle." 

"She lied to you, Deandra, and she used you for information!" He was furious. 

Deandra appeared saddened. "Daddy, please don't be mad at me. She told me to pinky swear not to say anything because it was supposed to be a surprise." 

Jeff shook his head and walked over to hug his daughter. "Daddy's not mad at you, baby. I'm mad at myself because I should have never brought her here." He kissed his daughter on the forehead. He wished like hell that he had seen this one coming. He was upset with himself more than anything because he'd given her the benefit of the doubt. He thought he was helping her. Now he wondered if she really had been robbed or if it was all part of her scheme to rob him. 

"Go on and do your homework," he said. "I need to handle some business." 

"Okay, Daddy." 

Jeff picked up his phone to call Nadine. He needed to fix this because she was the last person he wanted to believe this nonsense. Not so much that her input would have mattered had he chosen to walk that path again, but she deserved the truth. And the truth was, he wasn't marrying anybody. Not today, not tomorrow, or years to come. 

"This is Nadine." 

"Are you busy? I had something I needed to straighten out." 


"Here, baby, let me get that for you," the male's voice in the background called out. 

"Thank you," Nadine said, obviously switching her attention from Jeff to whoever she had been conversing with before his call. 

"Ma Ma..." 

Jeff froze in his steps. That was his son. 

"Nadine where are you?" 

"Jeff, can this wait until later?" 

"Where are you with my son?" He didn't mean to sound as angry as it came out. 

As if muffling her voice to speak, she asked, "What's so important that you need to talk to me right now?" 

"I'm coming over."

"We're not home." 

"I want to see my son!" Jeff could hear the rounds of laughter in the background and it made his stomach churn. 

"Leonard, I'm going to step out for a minute, baby. I'll be right back." 

Jeff could hear her heels patter across the floor. There was an echo as she moved from one area to the other, but even in the distance, Jeff could hear his son laughing, playing, and enjoying, this other man. 

"What has gotten into you?" Nadine lit into him. "It's only Monday, and all of a sudden, you want to see your son." 

"Don't do that."

"Don't do what? Tell you how I really feel for a change?" She didn't give him time to respond. "I'm sick of you playing part-time daddy to Canvas when it's convenient for you! He needs a father, Jeff. A father! So why don't you, Deandra, and your new fiancée, go on with your happy lives, and let me do what's best for my son. You can clock back in on Friday!" ... to be continued in Twisted Vows of Seduction. All books are available nationwide and wherever books are sold. 

( Continued... )

Twisted Vows of Seduction by N’TYSE Excerpt. © 2013 Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.

Twisted Vows of Seduction by N’Tyse
(Part 2 in the Twisted Series); Genre: Erotic Romance
Purchase from Amazon:



The Blindsided Prophet 
by Sonja Lewis

1980. Coffee, Georgia. A mass killing in a church claims the lives of twelve people. Isaiah Brown, a fourteen-year-old prophet, fails to predict the massacre, in which his mother and grandfather die. 

After the killings, a blind and traumatized Isaiah flees the scene, disappearing into the woods. 

Fifteen years later, at God's bidding, and able to see again in all senses, Isaiah returns to Coffee, to make reparation and free himself from his past. 

There, he finds the people of Coffee on the brink of an even worse trauma than that experienced in 1980. Can Isaiah discover what was behind the original tragedy, and why he didn't foresee the event? Will he be able to prevent another impending tragedy? Or will he be blindsided by his love for one woman?

The Blindsided Prophet explores man's relationship with God and its effect on daily living. Also, the novel examines beliefs and values at the deepest level, as well as how they shape our thoughts, ideas, and experiences.


The tall man freed himself of his friend’s hand on his shoulder and walked ahead. The shorter one stared at him for a few seconds, his cigar between his lips, and then he followed. Lydia waited until they were on the porch. They lingered there for longer than she wanted them to, both taking off their hats and looking out over the land. She moved back further behind the tree, and held her breath; when she thought they were inside, she shot back towards the woods. In her haste to get out of there, she slammed into a white boy, knocking him to the ground. 

She tried to keep going, but he caught her leg, tripping her to the ground, too. 

"Hey," he said, "who are you? Why are you trespassing on my property?"

She was just trying to free herself, but she noticed that his voice was distinctly southern and more refined than the other two men’s. When she finally stopped struggling and looked back, she was moved by his frightened green eyes in a way she had not been expecting. She seemed to have the same effect on him. He released her. 

"You remind me of somebody," he said. 

"Yeah, right," she said. 

Still he gazed at her until she felt hot and uncomfortable. She lowered her eyes and pushed herself up to her feet. He stood, too, and brushed off his suit. Though he wasn’t even as tall as she was, he was quite handsome, with a head full of hair the color of hers. It was parted to one side. 

"Who are you?" she asked. 

"That's what I want to know about you." 

"I come from the other side of the woods," she said.

“A colored preacher lives on the other side of the creek,” he said, squinting. 




15th District Chronicles of the 19124
by Wali Akidele and Andrew Jones

Maurice “Reese” Brown is a man who lives by the code of the streets. The indoctrination was embedded in him throughout his upbringing in the mean streets of North Philadelphia. When Reese is faced with a proposition to break new ground and make more money than he has ever seen. The bright idea all stems from the calculating mind of his old head and mentor Mike, who sets up shop in Frankford fiercely taking the neighborhood by storm.

Accompanied with childhood friend Slim, their movement faces an abrupt stop when Reese suddenly goes to jail for a murder that he didn’t commit. With blood on Mike’s hands and Slim in a fresh grave, Mike put his brain power to work creating a small empire for Reese to return home to.

Upon Reese’s release from prison he has a new alliance and plans to make back what he has lost all while trying to please his baby mother and wifey of twenty years, Kita, and his nearly grown daughter, Monica. Slim is resurrected through his son Rell, who is running with the same crew as his father, stepping into his shoes.

Be prepared to embark on journey of drugs, sex, treachery, friendship, betrayal and murder all diligently existing in the 15th District, Chronicles of the 19124.

Excerpt from the “15th District Chronicles of the 19124”

I’m Out

Chapter 1

The humming of the cell door being buzzed open at 8:00am, made Reese hop out of his “boat”, a bed which laid on the floor of a three man cell.  “I gotta get the fuck out of here. This county shit in the way,” Reese mumbled to himself as he staggered towards the steel cell door to find out which one out of the trio of men was being summoned by the guard.

“Ah! Johnson, Fuck you buzz my door for? I ain’t got no visit today.”

“Discharge, Pack up.” Bellowed C/O Johnson over the intercom.

Without washing his face or brushing his teeth, Reese put on his sneakers, balled up his blanket and sheet, snatched up his mail and was ready to roll. Malik, his cellmate woke up from all the rambling around that Reese was doing.

“Insha Allah I see you on the streets my nigga. Here’s my people’s number. Get with me so we can do what we talked about once I touch.”

Reese and Malik had grown close during their county bid. Reese had served fifteen years upstate on a murder charge, which he didn’t commit. Kita said he was selfish and stupid for not ratting, but he always told her he was what he was and that’s a stand-up nigga.

Reese came down to the county on writ after making parole, to finish a county bid from 1993. This was a chapter in his life that he was ready to close the books on. Smoker Pooh, Reese’s other cellie, peeked out from under his blanket.

“Yo, be safe out there.”

Reese left without even responding to him. Smoker Pooh was waste of life. He was what people called in Philly a real crum.

“Fuck outta here. He’ll be back anyway” Smoker Pooh mumbled, as he put his head back under the grey, itchy, wool blanket.

After being medically cleared, Reese made his way to receiving. As he walked along side his C/O escort, a million things were running through his mind at once. His adrenaline was pumping like crazy with anticipation. They say there’s a thin line between excitement and fear, as of this moment he couldn’t tell which one he was feeling.

Reese stepped outside of the prison and inhaled a deep breath of the outside air. Even polluted city air seemed refreshing compared to the stale, recycled air that existed inside the jails. His eyes scanned through all the parked cars that were in the parking lot in search of his right hand man Mike.

“Where the fuck this nigga at?” he thought growing impatient. “This dude always got a mothafucka waiting.” His thoughts were broken by a familiar voice calling out his name.

“A yo Reese” Mike shouted as he smoothly strolled towards Reese. Dressed in a black and red stripped Polo shirt, black Evisu Jeans with a red logo, and a pair of patent leather low top Prada sneakers Mike looked like new money. He was about 5’11”, brown skin, with a thick beard, that he never trimmed because he was a proud Muslim. He was husky with a pudgy stomach but always wore his clothing well.

The first sight of Mike gave Reese a bitter sweet feeling. The two had been best friend since childhood and literally did everything together. From sharing bitches to busting guns the two always looked out for one another, so there was no doubt that a mutual brotherly love existed between the two. 

“Damn nigga I thought I was going to have to hop on the bus to get back to the hood,” Reese said as they shook hands.

“Naw got kinda caught up. Just hopped out of some good pussy to come get ya nut ass.” smirked Mike reaching into his pocket to pull out five stacks and tossed it to Reese like it was nothing.

“Damn you getting it like that?”

“The block poppin' right now, that right there ain’t about shit, you my man. This other pocket got another five stacks for us to go fuck up the mall wit,” Mike said tapping on his back pocket. “You know I gotta get you right before you show ya face in the hood. It's only right feel me?”

“Yeah I feel you my dude.”

As Mike counted out money, Reese sat in the passenger seat of the Cranberry, Cadillac STS with an unshakeable nervous feeling in his chest. Glancing back at CFCF from the rear view window he knew that he had to pass Mike up on his offer to go back into the trap. Finished counting Mike cranked up his “Ready to Die” CD and glanced over in Reese’s direction.

“You ready to get this money” he said flashing a convincing grin.

“Yeah Reese, but I gotta holla at you about something.” reluctantly responded.

“Alright, what’s the verdict?”

( Continued... )

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

15th District Chronicles of the 19124 
by Wali Akidele and Andrew Jones
Genre: Urban Fiction; Coming Feb. 24, 2014
Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the Apple iBookstore, and the Vook Store.


Heat And Chemistry 
by Darvanni Autonomy

Keisha Johnson, a young beautiful woman absconds from her deranged boyfriend Wayne and strives to regain the love and happiness of her life.  But there's one thing Keisha's missing, the man whose spirit ignites the chemistry between them, and who is brave enough to protect her from her stalking, absurd ex-boyfriend Wayne. Traumatized by life's problems, Keisha escapes the madness in Chicago and finds herself in a world of danger. Will she survive and meet her king? And will the heat of her love ever be quenched?

Download Heat and Chemistry by Darvanni Autonomy:  

Excerpt from Heat And Chemistry


Turtle Island, Fiji. Early August, 2008 

The Fiji islands are a paradise on earth during sunset, with clear light blue waves rippling against the island’s shoreline, fresh breezes blowing off the ocean surface now and then, long shadows of tall tropical trees stretching across the sands, all beneath a magnificent dark reddish orange sky. Suddenly, dark gray rain clouds blew in from the east, threatening, Demarcus Good’s perfect evening.

Demarcus and Porsha Smith strolled hand in hand along the ocean front on one of Fiji’s secluded islands. Porsha took a seat in a blue lounge chair as he knelt down on one knee in the white sand. He took her beautiful hands into his own and gazed into her eyes.  Demarcus expressed, “The first day I laid eyes on you, I knew you were special and perfect for me. You brought so much into my life, things I didn’t acknowledge to exist. That’s when an Angel came down to earth and stayed. Your smile brightens up my days.”

Porsha smiled with adoration.

He continued, “You changed my life in so many astonishing ways. Your love touches every part of my life. Your love grew and now my love for you is without end, like the universe. All I want to do is love you forever.”

Porsha’s heart skipped a beat as her eyes batted.

He licked his lips then formulated, “We came along way from home and reached this moment at last. We’re twenty-eight and we’re not getting any younger. Porsha, you complete me . . . you make me-me str-str-onger.” Emotionally tongue tied, he bowed his head and slowly returned his eyes to hers. “Every morning I want to wake up with you by my side . . . I want to share my world with you, grow old with you . . . let’s become one . . . I’m asking you from my soul, from the bottom of my heart.”



Tropical Fantasy 
by Monica McKayhan

Can passion in paradise become a forever love? 

Sasha Winters has it all planned. She'll spend two days - exactly forty-eight hours - in the Bahama's for her sister's wedding. Then it's back to her hectic life as a lawyer on the fast track to partner. But when a storm strands her on an exotic island, Sasha's suddenly giving in to her sensual side and making moonlit magic with Vince Sullivan, a man she barely knows.

The groom's best man, Vince, hasn't given up on finding that special someone. It could be Sasha - if she'd allow herself to feel the full force of their chemistry. Determined to liberate the passionate woman behind the workaholic attorney, Vince storms every one of Sasha's defenses. Yet, can their growing love survive, even as a crisis forces Sasha to choose between her lifelong ambitions and a lifetime of love?

Chapter Excerpt from Tropical Fantasy 

As much as Sasha wanted to play hard to get, she couldn’t. She’d secretly hoped that she would bump into Vince. He’d cluttered her thoughts all day – the intoxicating smell of his cologne, his eyes and that smile had haunted her. She’d wondered how he was spending his day while she was being pampered with the girls. Had he driven his rented Mercedes along the streets of Nassau, sightseeing? Was he a shopper? A fisherman? Did he play golf? Perhaps that was the thing that Vince and her father had in common. She’d found herself wondering these things and couldn’t for the life of her understand why.

Vince helped Sasha climb onto a stool at the poolside bar. 

He asked, “What are you having?” 

“I’m a wine girl,” she said, and then turned to the bartender, 

“Your house Chardonnay please.”

“A black Russian for me, Jake” said Vince, calling the bartender by name.

“What is a black Russian anyway?” Sasha asked.

“Vodka and Kahlua,” Vince explained.

“Is it good?”

“It’s an interesting drink, with many variations,” he raised his glass after Jake set the drink in front of him, “this is a Black Russian. Add cola, and it becomes a Dirty Black Russian. Add ginger ale and you have a Brown Russian. Add a touch of Guinness beer, and you have a Smooth Black Russian,” his voice sultry as those last three words rolled off of his tongue. Smooth Black Russian.

“Okay, I get it.”

“You should try one.”

“I’m not much of a drinker.

“You’re on vacation. Let go of your inhibitions. Live a little.” 

Vince suggested, “Jake, give the lady a Brown Russian.”

“How do you know I wouldn’t like a Smooth Black Russian? Or perhaps a dirty one?

“You don’t strike me as smooth or dirty,” teased Vince.

“I beg your pardon. You don’t know me like that,” Sasha giggled and took a long sip of her wine. 

“You’re right. I don’t know you as well as I’d like to,” Vince said, “how does one break through that hard exterior of yours – that shield that you put up for the world?”

“I don’t have a shield!” Sasha argued, “You don’t know anything about me.”

“I know that you’re a workaholic, and you’d rather be somewhere other than here right now.”

He was wrong. She was exactly where she wanted to be at the moment. She raised her glass to alert Jake that she needed another Brown Russian, and before long she’d polished off three. Suddenly Vince’s jokes became outrageously funny, and Sasha found herself laughing long and hard – and loud. Vince pulled his chair around closer to Sasha, until she could feel his breath on her neck. His cologne crept its way into her nostrils.

“You smell wonderful,” she whispered.

His lips pressed themselves against hers, and his tongue teased the inside of her mouth. Whatever good sense she had was out the window as Vince took her to a new level of delight. His huge hand palmed her head and pulled her closer, and she wondered what that hand would feel like on her breast and even between her thighs. It had been a very long time since she’d even been kissed by a man. With his gentle touch, Vince had awakened every sensation in her and she got lost in the moment. She simply got lost.

As the bright sunshine beamed through her window and crept across her face, Sasha slowly and reluctantly opened her eyes. Her head was pounding – the alcohol had proven to be a more powerful force than she thought. She groaned, regretting every Brown Russian that she’d indulged in with a man that she barely knew. It was her sister’s wedding day, and she knew she wouldn’t have the luxury of recovering from her awful hangover. She needed to meet the other girls for hair and make-up at eleven. And the nuptials were scheduled to take place at noon. As much as it pained her, she needed to know what time it was and slowly turned her aching head to look at the digital clock on the nightstand.

With a loud shriek, she jumped out of bed! “What are you doing here?” She asked Vince, who was nestled beneath the crisp white sheets in her in bed. She grabbed her thick bathrobe from the chair and wrapped it around her naked body, “Oh my God! Did you…did we?”

“Did we make love?” Vince was calm, and didn’t move. 

“Did we have sex?”

“Having sex sounds so cheap and lustful. Making love sounds so much more passionate,” Vince smiled, sat up in bed.

( Continued... )

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Monica McKayhan. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.

Tropical Fantasy by Monica McKayhan
Genre: Romance; (Kimani Hotties)
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Intimate Conversation with E. N. Joy

BLESSED selling Author E. N. Joy is the writer behind the five book series, “New Day Divas,” the “Still Divas” three book series and the “Always Divas” three book series, which have been coined the “Soap Opera In Print.”

The “New Day Divas” series includes the titles: She Who Finds A Husband, Been There Prayed That, Love Honor or Stray, Trying to Stay Saved and I Can Do Better All By Myself.   The “Still Divas” series includes the titles:  And You Call Yourself a Christian, The Perfect Christian and The Sunday Only Christian. The “Always Divas” series includes the titles I Ain’t Me No More, More Than I Can Bear and You Get What You Pray For. 

Joy writes children’s and young adult titles under the name N. Joy. Her children’s story, The Secret Olivia Told Me, received the American Library Association Coretta Scott King Honor. Book club rights were acquired by Scholastic Books and the book has sold almost 100,000 copies. Elementary and middle school children have fallen in love with reading and creative writing as a result of the readings and workshops Joy performs in schools nationwide.

Currently, Joy is the executive editor for Urban Christian, an imprint of Urban Books in which the titles are distributed by Kensington Publishing Corporation. In addition, Joy is the artistic developer for a young girl group named DJHK Gurls. Joy pens original songs for the group that deal with messages that affect today’s youth, such as bullying. You can visit Joy at

BPM: What drew you to tackle the questions or topics in I Ain't Me No More
When I started this book five years ago, at the time, I was so displeased with who I was. The problem was, I didn't want to admit who I was, which was an angry, hurt and bitter person who had internalized and held onto those things, circumstances and situations that had made me that way. Doing so gave me an excuse to be mad. If I held onto what so and so did to me umpteen years ago, it justified the way I could treat so and so today. You can't quit it if you can't admit it. 

So I had to take a for real-for real look at myself in the mirror, tell that reflection staring back at me just what I thought about her, and once I turned away from that mirror, make a conscious decision to leave her behind. I declared that I would do everything in my power to not be that person anymore...because she was disgusting and I hated her. If you go through life hating who you are, displaying love to others (heck, even like for that matter) is next to impossible. I had dealt with so much hurt and pain in my life that it ultimately became my normal. So if you wanted to fit into my normal world, you had to bring the hurt, bring the pain. When I got into church and got saved, I thought I was fixed. I was still broken though. It takes more work than just showing up at church every week and running down to the altar for someone to touch and agree with you or lay hands on you to get fixed. 

The main character in I Ain't Me No More, Helen, is mad, bitter and angry at the hand she was dealt in life. Her problem; does she want to be fixed or is she so comfortable with pain that she wouldn't know how to live without it? Plain and simple: Helen is not that likeable. As a matter of fact, the last book I wrote, The Sunday Only Christian, the main character in that one wasn't so likeable either. So as God kept giving me these unlikable people as main characters, I got scared. As an author there was a fear that if readers didn't like my main character, then they wouldn't like my book. So during prayer I expressed to God my concerns. His reply: "This book is not for people to like the main character. This book is for people like the main character."






Intimate Conversation with Sonja Lewis

Author of The Barrenness, Sonja Lewis has appeared on CNN and The Tom Joyner Morning Show. She has also been featured in Black Enterprise, and in the media in Canada and the United Kingdom. A former reporter for The Albany Herald (Georgia), Sonja has also written for British newspaper The Guardian. Currently, she writes a blog for the Huffington Post, UK. A member of the Society of Authors, Sonja lives in London with her husband, Paul.

BPM: Introduce us to your book, The Blindsided Prophet, and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?
The Blindsided Prophet is the story of a modern day prophet who is caught unawares by a tragic event when he is a teenager. This alters his life forever. Fifteen years later, at God’s bidding Isaiah Brown returns to Coffee, GA, to unravel the tragedy, make reparation and prevent an even worse tragedy.

The main character, Isaiah Brown, is probably my favorite because he is original. I don’t know anyone like him. Naturally, he had to come from somewhere so I must have drawn on characteristics of some of the world’s great people, some perhaps renown. In any case, he is unique. He is a modern-day prophet.

Also, I favor Mae Cook as she is so very much like many people I know—well meaning, good to the core, but gets it wrong a lot of times. At middle age, she learns valuable life lessons. Through Mae, we see that it is never too late to grow-up.

BPM: What drew you to tackle the questions or topics in The Blindsided Prophet?
My faith, I suppose is the short answer. I remember being called arrogant once by a young preacher when I talked of my own personal relationship with God. I wanted to show that faith is not just about religion, it is about dwelling/residing within yourself if you will. Deep within you meet God as and when you please. You just have to focus. There, you find the answers.






Happy New Year!  The Black Pearls Magazine family would like to thank each of you for joining us monthly in celebrating the best in literature and the arts.  Our team of writers, bookclubs and authors are so humbled that you have allowed us entrance into your life. It amazes me each month as I check our subscribers how many of  you deem us worthy of your time and support. 

We appreciate each of you for telling 10 people about the magazine and for driving people to this site. YOU make Black Pearls the magnificent publication that it is, by sharing the Gift of Knowledge!

Please know, as we prepare each issue for you, we look for those stimulating conversations, the most thought provoking articles and most of all, the best books on the shelves. We want each page of this magazine to add value to your lives!  Your comments and feedback are welcomed. Join our blog and share your news, advice and wisdom with the other readers. Tell us what you want to read too!

As we take off in this new year we hope to bring you more provocative topics and life empowering books to shape your lives. We have contests for the readers and more interactive sections added to the magazine. Let us know what you think of the fresh new content by emailing us here.  Thank you!

Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations
Founder & Editor In Chief Black Pearls Magazine




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