Sign Up for Black Pearls Weekly 
Literary News

  Join Our Network  
Enter your email address to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.

To Join By Phone
Dial 22828, Now Text  EDC1CREATIONS

Scan-to-Join BPM Subscribe Today!

Black Pearls Magazine

Celebrating Our Legends & Leaders! 





Special Features

Give Great 
Books as Gifts!

Black Pearls 
Online Bookstore

Purchase Books Here


Book Club Tribute

Read the Legacy Collection Today! 

Reading Room



Mobile Book Club

View Here Now!


Black Pearl Selections



Give the Gift of Knowledge 
Join Our Online Book Tour!

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

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

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

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



Explore BPM.  We Know You Want More!

Short Stories &  Articles Legend & Leader Interviews  Featured Books and Products
Latest Buzz & Motivation Dreamers & Achievers What We're Reading Now

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


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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

"Not exactly."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nyle remained quiet.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Purchase the entire series today! 




The Real Thing 
by Brenda Jackson 

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

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

Excerpt from The Real Thing by Brenda Jackson 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"No problem."

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

"Wants you."

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

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

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

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

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

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

She lifted a brow. "There is?"

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


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

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

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

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


The Real Thing by Brenda Jackson
Series:  The Westmorelands 
Available Mar 4, 2014





Open Door Marriage 
by Naleighna Kai

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt from Chapter 1 


NOVEMBER 22—7:23 P.M.

“You slept with my aunt?” 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In unison, everyone nodded.

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

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

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

“So, my mama is lying?” Tori asked. 

Dallas shifted uneasily. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Purchase Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai
Download Link: 




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

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

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

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

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

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

And that's how I get it done.

View the Source on the CMG Blog

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

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

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

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

Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy 





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, semi-retired, she continues to write short stores and articles on love, romance, relationships, and other topics of interest on her blog at  and runs a dating site at 

Follow Vivienne Diane Neal




Every Thing Happens for a Reason 
Musing of a Freedom Fighter 
by Darby West

I was born in the Bronx, NY and migrated to Queens to live with my father when I was five years old. The Queens neighborhood I lived in was a melting pot of cultures. We lived in a two family apartment home owned by a Jamaican family - the Andersons. Next door to them was a Puerto Rican family and beneath them was an African American family, though we were known as Negro and Black at that time. We had a pizza parlor, Chinese restaurant, A German get the picture. I went to PS-80 and my school was integrated. If there were any racial problems around me when I was a child I was not aware of them. 

At 10 years old I moved to NC - a small town called Swan Quarter, it was part of Hyde County. Hyde County was one of the poorest counties in the state. Most of its citizens relied on the fishing industry or the farming industry to survive and take care of their families. My grandparents lived there, and my three older siblings. I moved in May and was enrolled in O.A. Peay School. To my surprise the school was segregated. There were two other schools. One was in Swan Quarter called Mattamuskeet School, but it was for white children only. The other school was in another city of Hyde County called Engelhard, it was called Davis School. It too was segregated and was the other Negro school. Both O.A. Peay and Davis School were considered historical landmarks because they were the oldest schools in the county.

In my neighborhood lived my Cousin Dolly, her daughter and son, my aunt Lucy and Uncle Milton, Cousin Andrew, his wife, son, and two granddaughters, down the road was a white family but I didn't see them for at least a year after I moved down south. This was truly a rural area.

There were only a few weeks of school left that year. I hated this place. At school I was teased for being smart. I was teased because of the way I talked. I was teased because of the way I walked. One boy in my class made a joke one day. He asked the group of kids outside for recess if they knew the difference between a city girl and a country girl. "If the wind is blowing a city girl will hold down her hair and a country girl will hold down her dress!" My classmates laughed loudly. I didn't get it! 

My teacher was mean and cruel and would not call on me. She told me that she hated "uppity niggas that try to sound White and make their people look bad!" I had no idea what she was talking about, but those words I remember to this day. Teachers had a paddle and would beat any unruly student with it. The principal also had a paddle - The Board of Education- and he would beat students also. This was unheard of in my school back in Queens. 

I wanted to go back home. I could not wait for school to end. I spent the summer with my grandfather's sister, Aunt Deecie. She kept two of her grandchildren that summer - Cynthia Crudup and her brother Ricky. When school started I dreaded it. Nothing had changed. The kids still hated my guts, and talked about me. The boy who told the joke about the city girl and country girl made my life miserable and so did his friend Gary. Gary had been the smart guy in our class, now he had someone in class that was just as smart and he decided to beat me up every day. The teacher did nothing when this child would attack me for no reason other than being jealous and insecure. To further aggravate matters if I raised my hand she ignored me and if I didn’t raise my hand she would deliberately call on, sometimes catching me off guard. 

I could not imagine going to that school for the next six years. I had to run away! By the end of the school year we were protesting our civil rights. All I knew about it was that the white folks wanted to tear down one of the Negro schools and bus all the Negro students to that one remaining school. No! The Negro citizens determined it was time to integrate the schools. 

I remember my grandfather first trying to reason with my grandmother, trying to talk her into not participating. She was determined that she would and would bring us all along. Then he begged her, to no avail. Finally, he threatened her, "If you fools cause me to lose my job, these kids are going to live with their daddy!" 

That morning of the first march was so exciting. We had been watching on TV how Martin Luther King, Jr. was traveling all over the South, marching and boycotting buses, stores, and other businesses. I knew about Birmingham and Rosa Parks. I was ready and pumped! 

My grandfather worked just a stone’s throw from the church we were going to meet at, Jobs Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. We were all trying to get dressed so we could ride with him. "Y'all ain't riding nowhere with me! If you wanna get there, y'all better walk!" 

We headed out that morning walking the three miles to Jobs Chapel. When we got there a gazillion Negroes were there. I didn't even know that many of us lived in the county! Many of the people there I had never seen before. It was too many people so we had to meet outside. Our leader was Golden Frinks who was a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference or SCLC. We marched in twos, singing freedom songs all the way downtown Swan Quarter. As we passed the homes along the way, people stood on their porches watching nervously. They too had watched the racial drama unfold each night on the news. Martin Luther King, Jr. led non-violent protests and we were going to follow the same pattern.

We were out of school for an entire year protesting and marching for our civil rights. Finally, the schools were integrated and that led to another struggle, but now we were Freedom Fighters! Out of the poorest county in North Carolina rose medical doctors, college professors, school teachers, nurses, authors, journalists, fashion designers and more. 

I do believe that everything happens for a reason and becoming a Freedom Fighter was my reason for being in that small rural community. 

About the Author
Darby West
was born in New York and moved to North Carolina when she was a child. The culture shock of being in the rural south during the 60s was not the place the young girl wanted to be. To escape the pangs of a hurtful and racist society, Darby began writing short stories that she shared with her English teacher. The teacher, Mr. R. S. Spencer encouraged her to continue writing. 

In 1979 Darby began to work on her first novel, Through the Fire. It would take her over twenty years and much encouraging from her co-workers to get it published. By then she had nearly thirty-five manuscripts. 

Darby moved to Winston Salem in 1989, a move she has not once regretted. Since being there she has become active in storytelling, and is a member of the National Association of Black Storytellers and its affiliate, the North Carolina Association of Black Storytellers. 

She has shared her motivational stories from Tampa to New York, from North Carolina to San Diego. Follow Darby on Facebook at: 



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
Minnie E. Miller
Writer, Essayist & Humanist 


Living Free
Written by Peace Still

With each day that I am blessed to breath, I am more empowered to continue in my growth in Christ. I continue to let go and let God. I released the sadness of abandonment because I am never alone. I released the heartache and loneliness because I am never alone. I released the spirit of lack and inferiority, because God supplies all of my needs according to His riches in glory. 

My soul is free from all regrets and I no longer have the spirit of shoulda coulda because all things happen for a reason. Nothing no longer surprises me especially with people. I have learned in my years that people choose to do what is important to them, that is ok. I have learned that no matter your growth there will be those who only see your failures all the while failing to see their own. There was a time where all of this mattered. No more. There was a time that I too felt that I was a failure, no more because I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE and you are too.

This life, we only get one. There is no do over. Once death comes at your door, you can not change a thing. Trust that death will come and for me, that is when I will truly be free. Full of joy and happiness. Completely healed from all infirmities. Why? Because this world is not my home.

Each day is a new beginning. Each day is a day to start anew. Each day is a day to say I love you and show it. Each day is a day to give praise to the author and finisher of our existence. We are in control of nothing but one thing is true, we all have the ability to do what is right in the sight of God. Remember the day will come when He will ask, what did you do with my son?

We are not a perfect people and we will never be. We do have the power over the choices we make. To be a blessing or a burden. Never sleep on this fact, what you reep you will sow. It is written.

Posted by The Unique View, Peace Still - view the source.

Follow the Author on Facebook: 




African American Jubilee Legacy ~ Spiritual Odyssey 

“Never before has a book so clearly defined the African American heritage!” 
- Mr. Lamario G. Bradwell- Chairman/Executive Director The Civic Group, Inc.

Powerful, informative, life-changing: The African American story has never been told this way before! “African American Jubilee Legacy: An Adventure in learning and rediscovery” is a 460-page, full color vigorous adaptation of historical knowledge, archaic works of art and resourceful information that propels the iconic story of African Americans to a platform of resounding heroism and achievement. Co-Editors Dr. Charles H. Smith (American Bible Society; Former Deputy Director NAACP) and Cain Hope Fielder (World Renowned Speaker; Howard University Professor) provide an eloquent portrayal of the “Black Experience” with riveting facts and superb presentation.

Described as a “Spiritual Odyssey” the “African American Jubilee Legacy” takes readers on a compelling Spiritual and historical journey from beginning to end; with familiar topics relative to slavery and civil rights, to astounding revelations of Africans in the Bible. Plus, an arduous historical list of: African American clergy and the establishment of African American organizations, along with methodical research that outlines the legacy of ancient kingdoms ruled by Africans.

The “African American Jubilee Legacy” ~Spiritual Odyssey~ is a soul-stirring experience that confronts every misconception regarding the “Real Story” of African Americans past and present. If you’re looking for a resource that will enrich the lives of readers of all ages, races and socio-economic groups; full of inspiring topics and solutions for the existential crisis facing African Americans, then your search is over! This book is a “MASTERPIECE” and qualifies as a timeless keepsake for Institutions of higher learning and ALL generations for centuries to come!

Also available is the beautifully crafted leather bonded Jubilee Legacy: Holy Bible filled with magnificent pages of scriptures along with an arousing study outlining the unique culture of “the Black Church” highlighting the importance of understanding the African American Spiritual Legacy based on “TRUTH!”

Purchase African American Jubilee Legacy 

The Civic Group, Inc. "Purchase for A Cause" book promotion for the African American Jubilee Legacy ~Spiritual Odyssey~ African American Jubilee Legacy website address:

Lamario G. Bradwell
Executive Director of The Civic Group, Inc.
Visit the website:


A is for Anacostia 
by Dr. Courtney Davis

A is for Anacostia is a fun, colorful alphabet book for children of all ages. The story highlights the youth and activities in the Anacostia neighborhood, a vibrant community located in the southeastern quadrant of Washington, DC. 

Book Review for A is for Anacostia 
“A is for Anacostia is an interactive and enjoyable book for children of all ages. It’s a great model for engaging youth to take pride in their community.” - Jon West-Bey, Executive Director, American Poetry Museum

About the Author
Dr. Courtney Davis
has been an avid reader since she was a young girl. As the daughter of parents who valued reading, she was surrounded with books, magazines and opportunities to create stories. She has a passion for working with students in urban areas helping them unleash their potential to become change-agents in their communities. Dr. Davis has also been a practitioner and advocate for children with disabilities and their families for more than 15 years. These experiences inspired her to create books that encourage children to read. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Davis now happily resides in Historic Anacostia. This is her first picture book. Visit her online at
Dr. Davis Website:

A is for Anacostia by Dr. Courtney Davis
Genre: Children’s Literature; Children of all ages



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!

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.


The Last King 
by A. Yamina Collins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Excerpt The Last King: Book I - Series 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.



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

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

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

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

The Perfect Affair (The Shady Sisters Trilogy) 
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
African American  |  Contemporary Women's Fiction
Lutishia Lovely website: 

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

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




Pink & Patent Leather 
by Candy Jackson 

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

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

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

* Book Excerpt:

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

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

* Book Excerpt:

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

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

Because now, I was a woman.

* Book Excerpt:

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

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

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

About the Author

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

Purchase Pink & Patent Leather by Candy Jackson
Purchase today:  
BGP Publisher: 




When Perfection Fails: Victory Gospel Series 
by Tyora Moody

Reverend Jonathan Freeman and his wife Lenora are quickly becoming Charlotte’s “it” couple. All eyes are on them as Jonathan is named pastor of a church following the death of his father and Lenora has become a sought-after wedding planner. The Freemans are media darlings and a model couple; the picture of perfection. Or are they?

Behind the scenes, Jonathan struggles with his role as pastor of a megachurch while Lenora grows increasingly and uncharacteristically distant. A number of odd and tragic incidents push her further away from the love of her life and the façade of perfection begins to crack.

A carefully guarded secret catches up with Lenora and it threatens her security as well as that of her family. Has an imperfect past finally caught up with her? Will the ghost of someone she thought long dead rise like Lazarus from the grave and destroy all she has worked to preserve? Or will Lenora fight to protect the man she loves and the beautiful life God has blessed her to have?

Excerpt from When Perfection Fails by Tyora Moody


Charlotte, North Carolina, 1989

Lenora clutched the car dashboard and shouted as her friend almost rammed the Honda Civic into the car in front of them. The brakes squealed in protest as the car came to a stop inches away from the back of the Buick LaSabre. Charmayne smacked the steering wheel. “Woo, that was a close one.” Then, she started to laugh. 

Lenora stretched her eyes wide as she watched her friend appear as if she was having a mental breakdown. “That wasn’t funny. You need to get yourself together.” 

The light changed from red to green. The unscathed Buick took off and the driver behind them was blowing his horn. Charmayne stopped giggling. She grabbed the rearview mirror and made an obscene gesture with her hand. “I know you ain’t blowing your horn at me.” 

Lenora pointed towards the light. “Charmayne, the light is green. Go!” 

“Whatever!” Charmayne placed her hands on the steering wheel. The car lurched forward as she pressed the accelerator. After they had driven half-way down the block, Lenora asked, “How much did you drink? Maybe I should drive.” 

Charmayne shook her head. “Girl, you can’t drive. Besides I’m fine.” 

Her friend held up her fingers and counted. “I only had like two, three beers. I think.” 

Lenora held her hand to her forehead. “If I had known...” 

Charmayne held her hand towards Lenora’s face. “Girl, would you stop tripping? I can tell your momma don’t let you go nowhere. This might have been your first time to a party, not mine. Just sit tight. I will have you home in a second, okay.” She reached over and turned the radio’s volume dial up high. 

As Charmayne proceeded to sing loudly to Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative,”  Lenora sucked her teeth and crossed her arms. Why did I let Charmayne convince me to go to this party? She felt bad lying to her mother knowing how hard she worked and expected Lenora to keep up her grades. Tonight was definitely not a study group session at Charmayne’s house. As Lenora glanced out the window, something whizzed by the passenger side. Before Lenora could register what she was seeing the car slid to the right crashing into the flying object. The sounds of screeching metal over the loud thumping music terrified Lenora. 

“What was that?” Lenora yelled. She turned her body to see what had just scraped the side of the car. “Charmayne, you have to stop the car.” 

Charmayne slowed the car down and turned the blaring music down. She grabbed the rearview mirror and whined, “Oh no!” 

“What?” Lenora spun around to peer out the back window. They had turned down the road leading to her home and there weren’t any other cars behind them. Lenora squinted into the darkness. A streetlight illuminated cars parked along the streets. Her eyes locked in on what appeared to be a body on the road. Panic rose in her gut. She looked at Charmayne. “What did you do? Is that a person?” Lenora spun around and reached for the door handle. 



When Perfection Fails, Victory Gospel Series, Book 3
Romantic Suspense/Christian Fiction




The Replacement Wife 
by Tiffany L. Warren 

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

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

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

Excerpt The Replacement Wife

Chapter 1

Five years later . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I am telling Quentin,” Lichelle said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



The Replacement Wife
by Tiffany L. Warren



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.




Blue Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas

Is the World Ready for a Black Ballerina?

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

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

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

Excerpt Blue Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas

From Chapter One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's what they say he sounded like.

( Continued... )

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

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

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

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



When Ice Melts 
by AlTonya Washington

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


“Leontynne McRae?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I agree.”

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

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





Another Woman's Husband 
by Angel Mechelle

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

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

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

Excerpt from Another Woman's Husband 2 

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

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

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


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

“Can we talk?” He interrupted.

“I hesitated and then smiled. “Sure"

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

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



Smoke In The Citi 
by Joy Avery 

Where there’s smoke…

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

…there’s fire!

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

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

Excerpt from Chapter One 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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.






The Devil Made Me Do It 
by Colette R. Harrell

On Shelves June 24, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt from The Devil Made Me Do It



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Leader bowed his head in submission. 

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

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

Chapter One 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Esther sighed in her trademark dramatic fashion. “Please stop playing with your gum. That’s just nasty.” 

She wished her friends cared as much about the Cinderella contest as she did. Sheri was the smart one, but her whippings from her mama were the talk of the block. Deborah was the tomboy; she had seven brothers. 

Esther’s older sister, Phyllis once said, “Deborah’s mama better take that chile in hand quick ’cause if she don’t, she gon’ end up funny.” 

Esther tried to explain that’s what she liked about Deborah—that she was funny. Phyllis just stared at her with small slit eyes, sucked her teeth, and told her to get out of her room.

She didn’t know why Phyllis always said that because half the drawers and closet space were hers, and she slept on the bottom bunk bed. But before she got pinched . . . Or worse, she’d leave the room. 

Esther understood her friends’ mood; it was her mother, she couldn’t figure out. Mrs. Wiley reminded her of herself when she had to go to the doctor and get a shot; frightened. 

Esther swallowed, summoned her courage, and pulled on her mother’s coat sleeve. “Mama, what’s wrong? Why did you say we might have to leave before I try on the slipper?”

Her mother’s eyes blinked in rapid succession. “I—well—I—girl, quit asking me questions.” 

In a huff, Esther folded her arms, and clamped her lips tight. In a snail-like increment, thirty minutes dragged by, and finally they entered the department store. 


It was so beautiful; Hudson’s department store had turned the tenth-floor lobby into a lighted winter wonderland. In the center of the room, a handsome prince with dark hair and sapphire eyes kneeled before each little girl as she sat on the white, satin bench and tried on the glass slipper. To a young heart, it was breathtaking. 

Esther was so excited that she peed—just a little—in her underwear. When it was her time to approach the bench and sit down, she closed her eyes, folded her hands, prayed, and waited for the miracle that her grandmother had assured her God could deliver.

“Yes. Yes . . . Yes!” she squealed. The glass slipper fit her small foot perfectly. 

Her mother cried out, “Oh my goodness; you won, you won.”

Her friends danced around, and they all jumped up and down together. It took them a few minutes—the silence around them incredulous—to notice that they were the only ones celebrating. 

Esther hugged her mother around the waist and peeked at the crowd. Somber pale faces reflected shock, anger, and disbelief; it was plain that their small entourage’s happiness lacked the crowd’s support. 

The distressed prince rose, his back ramrod straight. He confidently looked over at the tall, austere man who seemed to be in charge. 

“I am sorry, miss,” the man advanced on Esther’s mother, his hawkish nose tilted in an imperious manner. “It isn’t a proper fit. Please relinquish the slipper to the next person. You and your daughter are holding up the line.” 

Esther wailed in protest. “But, Mama—” Her mother placed a finger over her mouth and used her other hand to wipe her burgeoning tears.

Mrs. Wiley’s voice was soft and gentle, her hands tender in their ministrations of comfort. “Shush, baby, let’s go.” Her face was strained, and her eyes inflamed with a century of unspoken words and kindled rage. 

Esther discerned something unspeakable had happened, and she should not ask about it. She grabbed her mother’s hand and placed her other hand in Sheri’s, who then took hold of Deborah’s. They were linked; one.

The friends were confused; somehow they had done something . . . Wrong. The swirling abyss in their stomachs paid homage to their guilt. Shame hovered over them like the Detroit factory’s smokestack stench. They huddled together, drawing comfort from each other. Stiff and silent, they exited the store into fresh falling snow. Esther felt the chill of the cold air all around her. She released Sheri’s hand and with tears frozen on her face, spoke in a meek, trembling voice. “Mama, my face is cold.” 

Her mother reached down and slowly tied the ugly floral printed scarf around her silky pressed hair. 

As the small, dejected group hurried down the street, a shadow followed along the wall; its long form slithered between the cracks of worn buildings as it hissed along the way. It was oblivious to the noise of traffic and other people rushing to and fro. It was a single-minded creature, and they were not his problem. He was only concerned with his assignment. 

Today had been a good start, and he was pleased but not satisfied. He was like The High Master in that regard. Until the fruit from the vine was spoiled, his job wasn’t complete. For each of his young assignments, he was just beginning. He knew from experience it was better to catch the fruit before it matured. He watched as they scrambled forward, seeking solace in each other’s presence. As he followed, he wore a look of utter contempt for his charges. His yellow eyes gleamed eerily with a malignant delight against the growing darkness of the day. After all, it was a job well done.

( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Colette R. Harrell. 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.

Meet Colette R. Harrell
At the mature age of sixteen, Colette (Ford) Harrell had a severe case of chicken pox. Not wanting her best friend to see her Frankenstein appearance, and being bored out of her mind (there were no smartphones, Xboxs, cable, or Netflix services in those days), the two friends decided to write a soap opera. Every morning, Colette would place her written pages in the family mailbox, and then she would retrieve her best friend’s pages in return. This was the beginning of her love for telling a good story in written form, and she has taken pen to paper ever since. By the way, the Mod Squad script they later sent to Hollywood was never picked up . . . but Colette’s dream to one day write a novel was birthed.

Colette a wife, mother, author, poet, songwriter, and playwright. Holding a master’s degree, she is a director of social services. No, she’s not Superwoman—red is not her best color, but she believes God has a plan for every life. She is co-founder of COJACK Productions, a Christian entertainment company. She is an active member of her church, Kingdom Christian Center, and is involved in several ministries. She is a motivational speaker, teaching customer and human service workshops on state and national levels. 

A Detroit native, she currently resides in Ohio, writing with humor and compassion to engage and minister to the human heart. Her motto is: whatever you do, do it “for love alone.”

The Devil Made Me Do It is her debut novel. It looks at our choices and shows us the natural and supernatural consequences behind them. You get a close-up, technicolor view of the Devil’s intent to destroy us in any way possible. She wrote the book to answer the question: What would happen if you knew what really went on behind the scenes of your life? Would you make different decisions? Or, would you continue along the path of destruction, claiming at every turn that “the devil made you do it?” 

In this delectable read, romance, suspense, humor, and the supernatural all come together, and some lives will never be the same. 

Purchase copies today  
The Devil Made Me Do It
by Colette R. Harrell


The Prodigal Son 
by Kimberla Lawson Roby 

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

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

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

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

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


Chapter 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew opened his eyes and turned his head toward Racquel. At first she ignored him, even though he knew she saw him looking at her, but finally, she turned toward him in a huff.

“Why do you keep staring at me?”

Matthew gazed at her. “Because.”

“Because what, Matt?”

“Look at you? All that long, beautiful hair. When was the last time you even bothered to comb it? Or put on a little makeup?”

“Excuse me? Well, in case you haven’t noticed, I have a baby to take care of. So trying to look beautiful is the very least of my worries.”

“Maybe. But have you taken a good look at this place?” Matthew scanned the living room and looked toward the kitchen. Her and MJ’s dirty clothes, were scattered everywhere. He also saw just about every toy MJ owned strewn across the floor. “It’s a complete mess, Racquel. We’re practically living in filth, and you stroll around here like it’s clean as a whistle.”

“Like I said, I have a baby to take care of.”

“Is that also the reason we don’t make love anymore?”

Racquel squint her eyes. “Is that all you care about?”

“No, but I think it’s a cryin’ shame that I’m a married man, yet I haven’t had sex in over two months. And even when we did it then, I had to nag you for three days about it.”

Racquel rolled her eyes and turned back to the television.

Matthew snatched the remote control from the sofa and turned it off.

Racquel stood up. “Are you crazy? What’s wrong with you?”

“Everything, Racquel! I’m sick of this. All you do is watch those mindless reality shows, eat a ton of junk food and then you watch more stupid reality shows. And I’m not sure how much more I can take.”

“Oh really? Well, why don’t you leave then? Why don’t you just file for a divorce, because nobody’s forcing you to be here.”

Matthew swallowed hard. He’d known for a while that they had major marital problems, but he hadn’t expected her to suggest a breakup so quickly. “Wow. So that’s how you feel about me?”

“You’re the one complaining, Matt, so if you want out I won’t try to stop you. If you’re that miserable and unhappy, then what’s the point?”

“Are you saying you don’t love me anymore?”

“I’m not saying that at all, but you’re mother ruined everything for us. She had my child taken from me, Matt. She made false accusations about me and my mom, even though neither of us would ever do anything to hurt little MJ. I nearly had a nervous breakdown over that nonsense.”

“I understand that, baby, but my mother hasn’t been in the picture for a while. I cut her off because of what she did, and then I married you. I stuck by you, because I love you.”

Racquel didn’t respond and walked into the kitchen. Matthew wasn’t sure whether to follow her or not. He knew she’d been traumatized, but he also didn’t think it was fair for her to blame him for his mother’s actions. He hadn’t done anything to cause her pain, and actually, all he’d done was try to love her and be there for her. He’d given up Harvard, a close relationship with his parents, and a comfortable way of living—all of which he hadn’t minded doing as long as he had his wife and son.

Racquel walked back into the living room with a can of orange soda in her hand and a package of cookies and dropped back down on the sofa. She sat as close to the arm of the couch as she could and as far away from Matthew as possible.

“Maybe we should see a counselor,” he said.

Racquel picked up the selector and turned the TV back on, but she never looked at him. “I don’t think so.”


“Because there’s nothing wrong with me.”

“Maybe not, baby, but you just said a few minutes ago yourself that you nearly had a nervous breakdown.”

“That was then, but I’m fine now. I’m good.”

“No, you’re not, and neither are we as a couple.”

Racquel sighed loudly and pulled her legs under her behind. She flipped through a few channels and finally settled on…another reality show.

Matthew wanted to protest—wanted to shut the TV off again, but instead, he got up and went into their bedroom. He dove face first onto the bed and took a deep breath. A ton of thoughts gyrated through his mind but there was one thought that troubled him a great deal: he regretted ever marrying Racquel. He did still love her he guessed, but he was starting not to like her very much and this wasn’t good. As a matter of fact, to him, not liking the person you were married to was a lot worse than not being in love with them. If you didn’t like someone, you almost hated having to be around them. Then, you eventually got to a point where you avoided them completely, and there was usually no turning back from that. Matthew hated the way he was feeling because something told him that his once happy marriage was only going to crumble even further—not just slightly but to the extreme.

( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Kimberla Lawson Roby. 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.

Meet the Author
Kimberla Lawson Roby  is a New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 19 novels, with her 20th novel, THE PRODIGAL SON being released, May 13, 2014. She is also releasing her 1st Christmas novella in November 2014. Kimberla is the 2013 NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Literary Work - Fiction and lives in Illinois with her husband, Will.

The Prodigal Son by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Series: A Reverend Curtis Black Novel





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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Excerpt: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What new church?”

“It’s in Inglewood.”

“It’s new?”

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

“Alright, be ready in thirty minutes.”

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

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

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

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

“I’m hiding.”

“From who? We at a church.”

“From Tyson.”

“Please tell me that you didn’t just make me miss church over some foolishness with y’all two.”

“Well, I haven’t heard from him, so I figured I’d catch him here.”

“Wow, you can’t be serious right now! Why did I need to come?”

“Girl, he knows my car. I just want my money back, that’s all.”

I sat there in disbelief. “We should’ve just gone to his house. Look, I am not about to act a fool on the church grounds. So you’re on your own with this.”

“Fine,” she huffed.

We were out there for about ten minutes with her in the passenger seat looking like crouching tiger/hidden dragon, thinking she was hiding by slouching down. I looked over to my right side and I had to do a double take. “Oooh!” I shouted.

She popped up in the seat. “What?”

I pointed out the windshield. There was Tyson walking past the car with some other girl, who had evidently worn her too-tight club dress from the night before to church by mistake. Before I could say anything else, I could hear the alert letting me know one of the car doors had been left ajar. I looked over to see my car door wide open with Talia missing from the passenger seat.

It all happened so fast I couldn’t even tell you verbatim what happened. All I know is that as soon I looked up, Talia’s glasses were sitting on my dashboard and my passenger side door was open. I saw the tight-dress girl with a fist full of Talia’s hair. I hurried up and jumped out of the car. All church etiquette went out the window. I yelled,

( Continued... )

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Kennedee Devoe. 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.

Meet the Author
Kennedee Devoe
is the Author of Amazons Bestseller, Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right...It Makes Us Even, and With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies. Kennedee is the Publisher of Devoe Publications. She holds an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Studies, a Bachelors Degree in Business Management, and a Masters Degree in Human Services. She has worked for a variety of Parks and Recreations Departments, for-profits, and non-profits agencies. She currently works in the nonprofit sector as a Program Director. Kennedee hails from Carson, CA, and currently resides in Los Angeles. 

Kennedee started writing poetry in high school. She was also was the editor for her high school newspaper. She initially wanted to become a journalist, but her passion to help others led her to the Human Services field for the last 13 years. In her debut book Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right…It Makes Us Even Kennedee shares about her good, bad, and ugly dating experiences, and the life lessons she has learned along the way. In her follow up book With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies she shares some unexpected twists and turns in dealing with friendships. Kennedee will be releasing her third book summer of 2015. 

Hit Follow: www.instragram/itmustbekd  
Add Me:  
Follow Me: 
Like the Page: 

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





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


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


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

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

Book Review for The Next Thing is Joy

“Lyrical. Powerful. Moving. Passionate. Enduring.

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

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

Excerpt from The Next Thing is Joy

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

“Shh, Viv!” 

I really couldn’t believe what we were doing.

“My neck is starting to hurt, Maddy.”

She waved her hand.

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

Her voice trailed off.

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

She never did.

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

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

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

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

“Is this his house, Maddy?”

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

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

I sighed.

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

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

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

She was silent.

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

She still didn’t say anything.

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

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


She shushed me again.

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

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


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

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

I heard Madison crumble in her seat before I even turned around to actually see the grief on her face. The woman outside caressed Daniel’s arm as they talked. It was obvious that she’d said goodbye to him this way many, many times before. As Daniel turned around to get into his car, the woman flipped her hair casually. That’s when I noticed it. Her hair was long and black. Like Cher’s.

I sat up finally. There was no use hiding anymore. I reached over and rubbed Madison’s back as she was still bent over, her head rocking back and forth. Her knuckles were red and swollen because she gripped the steering wheel so tight. Then the sobs came. Lower at first, then louder. We would repeat this scenario several times. Each time she’d have a different hairstyle and new hope. And each time, rejection would find her.

Yes, I could have ran down all the mistakes she made; all the things she did wrong. But I knew firsthand that it wouldn’t mean much until she was ready to change. So I just sat with my friend and held her. I embraced her and let her cry.

( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Tracey Michae'l Lewis. 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
Tracey Michae'l Lewis
is a writer and educator based out of the metro Philadelphia area. She is the author of six books including The Gospel According to Sasha Renee, Interruption: The Gospel According to Crystal Justine (both part of the "Gospel of Grace Women" trilogy) and The Unlikely Remnant. Tracey has written for numerous publications (regional, national, and online) including Circuit Rider, Philadelphia Weekly, and Denene Millner's She's also a professor of writing at Community College of Philadelphia and Philadelphia University

Connect with Tracey Michae'l Lewis

writer. educator. servant.

The Next Thing Is Joy: The Gospel According to Vivian Grace





What If It Feels Good 
by D.J. McLaurin

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

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

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

Book Review Written by CHayes 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The phone rang. Michael ran to it.

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

“Who?” Michael asked.

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

“Who, ma?”

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

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

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

Michael dropped the phone and headed for the door.

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

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

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

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

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


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

“Daaaad! Daaaad!” Leah shrieked. 

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

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

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

“Stop it!” Joe demanded. He wrapped his arm around Michael’s neck and attempted to pull him away from David. He underestimated Michael’s strength and all three of them went toppling forward. 

Dominic wedged his body between the two boys to help separate them. It finally worked. 

“What is your problem?” Joe yelled at Michael. 

“You too!” Michael spat at him. 

Joe touched his hand to his face and watched the wet stuff drip down his finger in disbelief. “He did not just spit on me…” he said, his eyes widening then shrinking as his face darkened.

“I hate all of you!” Michael shouted. His chest heaved, his eyes were red with anger. “You think you’re gonna treat my mother like a piece of shyt, you good-for-nothing, stuck up--”

Joe dived on top of Michael. 

They tussled on the floor before Michael twisted from underneath his father. He sprang to his feet with the agility of youth, fist raised and ready. 

Joe stood too, aghast with shock. “How dare you,” he snarled, seething with anger. 

Eric, Leah, and David huddled behind Dominic, watching helplessly. 

“Oh, you’re a man now?” Joe challenged Michael, his chest laboring. “You think you’re man enough to take me, Michael? Cause if you think so, let me know, and I’ll beat your ass like a man!” 

“I swear,” Michael panted, “you hit me, I’ll kill you.”

Joe slapped Michael’s face with a force that sent him reeling. 

Michael responded with a right hook, grazing Joe’s chin. Stunned, Joe cradled his face. He’s dealing with no ordinary boy. 

Michael darted across the room and headed for the stairs as soon as Dominic was able to detain Joe. 

Joe shook himself from Dominic’s grip. Leah ran for the phone. 

Michael raced for his bedroom, attempting to push the door closed behind him, but Joe was already at the threshold. Using his foot and shoulder, Joe pushed his way in, slamming and locking the door behind him. 

Michael retreated to one side of the bed, Joe the other, out of breath, gazes locked. 

Outside the door, Lydia and Dominic pleaded with Joe. 

“So, whatcha think now, Michael?” 

Michael’s shoulder’s sagged. “Just leave me alone!” he pleaded. 

Joe lunged across the king-sized bed and grabbed him.

“What’s wrong?” Joe asked, his face distorted and close, his breath coming fast, “Something wrong?” 

Michael shook his head frantically. 

“Oh, you’ve decided you don’t wanna be a man now, huh? C’mon Mike, make up your mind! You’re a man or a boy!”

Michael shut his eyes tight and lowered his head.

A key turned in the door. 

Joe yelled, “Don’t come in here!” He turned back to Michael “I didn’t hear you.” 

“I’m not a man,” Michael whispered, humiliated. He just wanted it to stop. This dude had gone mad. 

“Oh, now I hear you,” Joe’s eyes were shining. “You’re a boy now. Good.” He shoved the boy onto the bed and unbuckled his belt, removing it from his pants loops. “Now I’ll just beat your ass like a boy.” 

Joe sat in his office and swiveled in his chair. He could hear the commotion outside his door. Lydia, crying, begged for him to come out. Jake’s voice trailed toward the staircase. More muffled voices, then Dominic was at the door making his appeal.

Joe knew he screwed up. He was upset with himself for losing control, but he was not crazy and he knew he had not done enough harm to cause Michael any permanent damage. The phone on his desk rang. He figured it was Chachi or maybe Sarah, or whoever. It didn’t matter. He was going to handle this his way. It wasn’t until Steven showed up, furiously banging on the door that he decided to emerge.

“Come out you crazy bastard!  You coward!” Steven shouted. 

Joe yanked the door open. Steven stared at Joe with rage-inflamed eyes. Joe leaned casually against the frame.

“You beat that little boy like that?” Steven yelled.

Joe waved a hand at Steven. “He’ll be okay.” He turned back into his office. 

Steven stormed in behind him. “Okay? Are you crazy? That boy is up there hanging by a thread! You almost killed him!”

Joe walked over to his desk and sat down. “If I was trying to kill him, he’d be dead.”

“You think this is a game, don’t you?” Steven bent over Joe’s desk to meet his face. 

“What’s your point, Steven?” 

“My point? I’ll show you my point!”

Dominic and Jake had come in quietly. Steven had almost run the two of them down storming out of the office.

“Where are you going?” Dominic grabbed Steven’s arm.

“I’m taking him out of here!”

“Don’t you touch him!” Joe shouted. Steven turned to look at him. “He’s my son, and I say don’t touch him!” 

Steven breathed deeply. “I’ll file a motion in the morning to have this child snatched from you so fast it’ll make you dizzy!”

“Do what you have to do,” Joe warned. “But don’t you touch him.”

Steven spun around, but Jake blocked his path. 

“Wait a minute!” Jake pleaded. “Joe, what’s going on?”

Joe exhaled. “I know I lost it.” He shot a hot glance in Steven’s direction. “But I’ve got it under control now.”

“You need to see a doctor!” Steven charged.

“I need to see a doctor?” Joe flushed. “The boy spit on me! Spit! And he punched the shyt out of my face!” Joe turned his head to the side to display a bruised chin. “And yes, I beat his ass, and nobody is gonna come into my house and tell me how to raise my kids--not you,” he pointed at Steven, “not the judge, not the police!”

“You’re sick!” Steven shouted.

“Is he gonna be okay, Jake?” Joe asked as coolly as if he were asking about the weather.

“He’s got a bloody nose and some cuts as well as some bruising. He’ll be sore but he’ll be okay,” Jake said.

“Good.” Though Joe smiled, his eyes did not. “See?” he said turning to Steven with a sneer. “Now get the hell out of my house!”

( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, D.J. McLaurin. 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.

What If It Feels Good by D.J. McLaurin

Contemporary, Alternative Fiction 



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.”





Son of a Itch 
by S.D. Skye


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. 



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”

“Girl them damn men gonna drive us insane,” said Sophia

“Right I don’t know the whereabouts of my man most of the time,” replied Kita

“Shit girl you preaching to the choir. I ain’t talk to Rell all yesterday and now his phone going straight to voicemail.

“Aww I hope everything is ok with them fools. Mike called and said he was looking for Reese and that he was wildin’ out like he was on a wet trip.”

Sophia thoughts in her mind over powered Kita’s voice for a moment thinking of how Reese had bent her over and was slaying her in Kita’s house.

“I’m just glad Monica ain’t tell Kita about me and her father. High head dummy got everybody in a search party looking for him.”

“Hello, hello, this girl done hung up on me,” Kita screamed though the phone interrupting Sophia’s daydream.

“No, no, no I’m here Kita. What’s the weather going to be like today?”

“That’s a good question. I don’t know.

“I’m about to turn on the news.”

“Alright, me too,” Kita said

Kita and Sophia both turned on their televisions to the Fox 29 news. A bold caption that read “Multiple Shootings, Homicides Being Investigated in Frankford,” highlighted the top of their television screens. Kita’s jaw dropped and heart began to pound as she said a silent prayer that Reese was not among the people they had found slain.

“The rampage started just after 8pm in the driveway of the 5200 block of Burton. An African American male in his early to mid twenties was found dead in the driver’s seat of his bullet filled vehicle. Just one hour later another homicide was reported when a young lady went to visit a relative and discovered the bodies of her cousin, Tiffany Justice and her boyfriend identified as Malik Carry inside of Ms. Justice residence on Cheltenham Avenue and Horrock Street. Lastly the body of Maurice Brown was found shot multiple times at Jackson and Kennedy Streets. Currently investigators have no suspects for any of the homicides and are calling for the community to come forth with any information they have. Reporting live from the Frankford section this is Rachel Lane, back to you Mat.”





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.





Left for Dead by Ebony Canion

“Victory at all costs…in spite of all terror…however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.” - Winston Churchill

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.

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

Ebony's Website:  
Follow on Instagram:  
Purchase T-shirts:  
Subscribe to Survival Story: 






Intimate Conversation with Naleighna Kai 



Naleighna Kai is the national bestselling author of Every Woman Needs a Wife, with a spin-off titled, The Pleasure’s All Mine and Open Door Marriage.  She independently published her first two novels before acquiring a book deal with Simon & Schuster and most recently a book deal with Brown Girls Publishing—the offspring of mega-successful national bestselling authors—Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley. 

Naleighna is a contributing author to a New York Times Bestseller and the E. Lynn Harris Author of Distinction.  Naleighna is also the brainchild behind the annual Cavalcade of Authors events which takes place in her hometown of Chicago.  Find her on the web at  and  

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing your latest book? Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
I’ve had a ring-side seat to an Open Marriage that had, what I felt at that time, to be a horrible beginning and a painful middle. I can’t say end, because as far as I know, it’s still going on. I got off that merry-go-round of pain and grew up enough to realize that the w

I love catchy titles, but I love writing about complicated relationships even more. But why would I write this type of novel? What influenced me to explore the outcome of three unlikely people entering into an open relationship such as the one in this novel?  Because I’ve had a front seat to one that—in my honest opinion—was the most painful intimate relationship that I had ever witnessed in my life. The only person who seemed to benefit was the man—who was not the primary breadwinner.

Actually I never saw him slide in a crumb. The women brought home the bacon, the eggs, the grits, and even the plates, utensils and everything else that landed on the table. It took nearly two decades for me to wise up and realize one basic thing: these folks are grown and you need to mind your business. The women chose to stay for whatever reason, regardless of his inability to maintain them financially; regardless of how unhappy they seemed or how unfair I thought it was. 

When I stopped seeing the legal wife as the “victim” in all of this, it drastically changed, not only how I perceived her, but also our friendship. Not that I didn’t love her, but when I exercised my right to say “no” it was clear that she hadn’t learned that declaration. But what I also learned about myself is: no matter how much I love someone else, I will always love myself more. Hence, I no longer put band-aids on self-inflicted relationship wounds. Am I saying that Open Marriages can’t work? Absolutely not! What I’m saying is, that it should be something that is fair to everyone involved. If you like it, I love it. If you don’t like, then pack your bags, pull up stakes and make another choice. A choice that’s fair to you. Bottom line.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
My ideas come from “what if?” Like for Every Woman Needs a Wife, my question was, “what if I caught my husband cheating?” Well, most men think there’s only two options that they’ve given their wives: leave or stay. Well, I put a third option on the table. Stay, and bring the mistress home to earn her keep the honest way: on her feet helping the wife, instead of on her back servicing the husband. Infidelity has been done to death, but that’s what made the novel unique. In  Open Door Marriage, I wanted to explore the concept in a different way than the one that I knew of in real life. What if the man did have money and actually could afford to support more than one woman. Would it work? That’s what drove me to write the novel.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? 
Open Door Marriage, is the first contemporary fiction work to launch mega-powerhouse publisher, Brown Girls Publishing created by national bestselling authors, Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley. The story centers around three people caught up in an all too familiar triangle. When the love of Dallas Avery’s life disappeared, she resurfaces years later at the most inopportune time. Oh, he still loves Alicia Mitchell, an older woman who captured his heart, but it’s unfortunate that he’s now engaged to a woman he learns—is her niece. When his fiancée, Tori, lays a proposition on the table, it seems that everyone will get a little of what they want, but maybe a whole lot of what they don’t. The stage is set for them to learn one valuable lesson: There’s no right way to do a wrong thing.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
The reasons why women would choose to be in an open marriage. I learned plenty, mostly that I need to mind my own business!!!  I learned not to judge what three grown adults decide to do--as long as it doesn’t come spilling over in my life--if it’s floating your boat, keep rowing in that ocean. 

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? 
I want them to be taken on an emotional journey. I want them to identify with the characters or even understand their reasoning or motivation. They might not make the same choices in real life, but I want them to put themselves in the character’s mindset. An overall theme in most of my novels, are healing and forgiveness. That too, is something I want them to have a sense of when they read my work.

BPM: What are your ambitions for your writing career after three books?
In the beginning it was national bestselling author. I achieved that. But I found it amazing that I could practice writing those words--national bestselling author--but I couldn’t write New York Times bestselling author until just recently. My mind couldn’t wrap around that and see that level of success. But what had happened was (don’t you love sentences that start that way?), I finally grew up last November and stopped giving my energy to people who were taking, taking and taking and didn’t realize I was giving. THAT’S when all the good things started lining up. And that’s when this new book deal landed on my plate. So now I’m seeing New York Times bestselling author. I would also like to see Pulitzer Prize for Slaves of Heaven when it releases. 

BPM: Do you set out to educate or inspire your readers? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject? 
My goal as a writer is to evolve. I didn’t grow up and say that I wanted to be an author. I kind of fell into it and it was something I do well. I want to keep learning the craft from people who are much better at it than I am (such as Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley who are mentoring me at this point because I’m now under their publishing umbrella). In that way, I give readers a polished work that has been through their standards of writing honed by years of being edited by a major publishing house. 


Every book I write, I do look for it to be entertaining, but also that the reader can take away some life lesson as well. And it is my hope that my journey from being a self-published author to an author who has landed not only one deal, but yet another with a mega-powerhouse publisher, that it will inspire those who have a story to tell to quit sitting on it and take that chance.

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? 
Once, a reader was so moved by my work that she came to Chicago to meet now only me, but the minister/sexual abuse counselor that was mentioned in the book. It sparked her own healing. We’ve been good friends to this day. Success has not been monetary before now, but more spiritual in the opportunities that it has given me to heal; and the wonderful readers and fellow authors I have met along the way. Each person is another brick on my road to releasing pain, anger, and onto healing and forgiveness; because in sharing my stories, they share some connection with me. 


Now, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t love to be writing at a level where I can just do that for a living, but when the money is put aside, what else is there?  The people. The experience. The sharing. The healing. That has been very important to me.

BPM: Where do you see publishing going in the future? In your opinion, will ebooks continue to reign?
I’m a die-hard trade paperback woman. But there were two books that made me give in because I didn’t want to wait for them to come via snail or hell mail. I think readers have a problem now that wasn’t around fifteen years ago--they’ve run out of space!!  E-books make a lot of sense. But for me, I still buy it in trade paperback if it’s a book that I’ll read a second or third time. With so many authors flooding the market and readers soaking up good books like they’re biscuits and gravy, yes e-books sales will continue to climb. 

BPM: What can expect from you in the future? How can readers discover more about you and your work? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
Brown Girls Publishing  has picked up some of my other novels. I’m excited to see what will happen with those as they did a phenomenal job with Open Door Marriage. From here on out I believe I’ll be releasing at least two books per year. Readers can connect with me on  or on Facebook and Twitter. The novel is available in all digital formats and in trade paperback as well. I have sample chapters of all of my work on the website. 

BPM:  Finish this sentence - “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors... ”
“My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors in that I have used writing as a medium for healing from child abuse and sexual abuse and it, in turned, has helped me to forgive those who have harmed me. It has given me the opportunity to connect with those who also need the kind of healing that I desired, and that they, in some way, can see themselves in my characters, or if they can look at my life and say, “I don’t have to carry the weight of what someone else did to me all of my life. I too, can be free. Yes, I deserve to be free.”

Purchase Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai
Download Link: 

Available in Print and on eReaders:  Nook and Kindle 
Primary Topics:  Open Marriage, May-December Romance and Polyamorous relationships








Intimate Conversation with Candy Jackson

Candy Jackson is a long time resident in the Washington D.C. area. In the early eighties with the outbreak of African American authors, she became an avid reader, reading nearly a book a day for many years. 

She had been a artist of the spoken word for growing up and loved to write then happened to find herself writing stories but never having the time to finish. Busy with working, raising children and attending school she put both the poetry and writing on the back-burner and dug into reading when the time allowed. Well, as life would have it, (she likes to say) her children grew up and gone were the days of hustling and bustling kids to and fro' so she was able to jump back into her first love of writing.

After under going a minor surgery, she had a chance meeting with one of her favorite authors who encouraged her to step up her game and convincing Candy that she had talent and great stories to share. 

She's the mother of three, Nicholas, Chase, and Jourdan. She also has one daughter-in-law, Tiffane and one grandson, Dominic. Candy says now that she has the time and (energy) she has penned her first novel; Pink and Patent Leather....When the Fall From the Pedestal isn't Far Enough.

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
I have been writing since I was a child and I've always loved telling stories growing up, but one particular Sunday, I was at church and the pastor was saying how women always come to him and say, "The Lord told me that you're suppose to be my prayer partner." I thought it was hilarious at first, but once I got home I thought about it. I know when I hear from God, I go with it, but is it God telling me all the things I hear? I felt the story brewing.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven and why?
Ideas for me just drop in my lap!  But, there's a story I'm working on now that I had to write. It's close to my heart and I felt like for a while that if I didn't tell it, it wouldn't let me rest. Most of my stories are character driven, however as I said before, Pink and Patent Leather was story driven because of what the pastor had told the church.

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? How do you go about reaching new readers?
I want readers to escape from their everyday lives, even if it's just for a little while. We get so caught up in life's ups and down's, the kids, the jobs the people who surround us, heck, folks need relief! I want them to fit inside the story and ride it out. I'm very new in the business. Although I'm social networking, heck, I called Ella!

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing? 
YES!  The title Pink and Patent Leather came directly from the way I was brought up. The character Sasha or "Pink" kept saying that she is special, she's not average and that she was an only girl. I knew that girl. Growing up, my parents and brother all made me feel very special, mostly because I was the baby of the bunch, but I was also the only girl and my mother literally dressed me in pink everyday. Today, it's my favorite color, back then I would beg her to buy me a different color clothing or paint my room white or something. lol!

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like to accomplish after the book is released?
I'm expecting to move into my further as a full time author. This book for me is a miracle. I say this because I had given up on living my dream, and then in the mist of all of my failures, I decided to trust God, and since then, my life has blossomed into a wonderful journey. I wake each day with great expectations and lay my head now at night knowing that I've had a great day, everyday. 

After my book is released, I hope to gain a following of readers who think outside the box, because I want to write stories that make you laugh, cry, shout, root for the underdog and celebrate life.

Follow on Twitter: 
Like on Facebook: 
Available from the BGP publisher: 









Intimate Conversation with Tiffany L. Warren 


BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites? 
The three main characters are Quentin and the two ladies vying for his affection - Chloe and Montana. Chloe is an Atlanta socialite. When I think of her, I think of Marlo from the Real Housewives of Atlanta. She is the kind of woman who knows how to land a rich man. And Quentin is the heir to a billion dollar estate from a his family's hair care product line. Montana is the polar opposite of Chloe! She's sweet, God-fearing and loves his kids. But don't think Montana is a boring little Bible thumper. She's got spice...and a past that comes back to haunt her a little. I love Montana because she gives everyone the benefit of the doubt up front. I'm alot like that. I trust people until they give me a reason to do otherwise.

BPM: Which character or topic in the book can you identify with the most? Why? 
I have five children, so I understand the chaos of Quentin's world. I couldn't imagine my husband trying to handle our brood without me. 

BPM: What drew you to tackle the topics in your book? 
Well, I wanted to do a story about confronting grief for a long time. And this is really what this story is about - Quentin dealing with the grief of losing his first wife. People handle grief in so many different ways, and our faith is always challenged when things happen that we can't understand, so there was a lot of room for a reconciliation story. 

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing? 
My upbringing definitely inspired this book! It is definitely a nod to my childhood, because my grandmother made us watch The Sound of Music every year. While this story is a lot different from that movie, the central idea of a man erasing music from his home because of his grief is very similar. Trivia: I know all of the songs from The Sound of Music!

BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters dealt with issues that are in current affairs
Prior to her pursuit of Quentin, Chloe dated a rich elderly man who died. She wasn't able to get the ring, and his children made sure she got nothing. It reminded me of the Anna Nicole Smith saga. 

BPM: How do you go about reaching new readers? What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? 
I like to go to book signings and events because I am an avid reader as well as an author. This year I am going to Romance Slam Jam for the first time in New Orleans! I am looking forward to connecting with readers there. I want my readers primarily to get a great story. I hope they get the faith lessons too :)

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate?   
I consider myself to be a storyteller. My faith shines through in the writing, because that's who I am. I want to entertain and hopefully edify the reader as well.

BPM: How do you feel about ebooks? Have they helped your business to grow? 
I love ebooks! I love the convenience of them. When the mood strikes me, I can just download a book without leaving my home. Also, as a writer, I have the opportunity to give my readers little nuggets in the form of ebook novellas. I think these drive readers back to my novels, especially readers who've never read my work before. They may feel more comfortable buying a cheaper ebook before progressing to my full length novels. 

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. How may our readers follow you online? 
I am nominated for the 2013 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Multicultural Fiction, so I'm excited about that! I also will be publishing the sequel to my very popular ebook Lies and Alibis later this spring. Readers can find me on Facebook, Twitter and on my website 

Follow on Twitter: 










Intimate Conversation with Tracey Michae'l Lewis



Tracey Michae'l Lewis is a writer and educator based out of the metro Philadelphia area. She is the author of six books including The Gospel According to Sasha Renee, Interruption: The Gospel According to Crystal Justine (both part of the "Gospel of Grace Women" trilogy) and The Unlikely Remnant. Tracey has written for numerous publications (regional, national, and online) including Circuit Rider, Philadelphia Weekly, and Denene Millner's She's also a professor of writing at Community College of Philadelphia and Philadelphia University

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book? 
TML: The primary driver was the fact that this is the third book in the read-in-any-order “Gospel of Grace Women” series and so many readers who loved Sasha (The Gospel According to Sasha Renee) and C.J. (Interruption: The Gospel According to Crystal Justine) wanted me to get it done. Like yesterday. LOL! I’d been playing around with Vivian’s character for a couple of years but the story seemed to come together in my head during the latter part of 2013. 

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
TML: I don’t think that writers can escape their own life experiences influencing their work. Even if it’s the smallest detail, it happens. So yes, I think my experiences definitely inspired this story. Just like Vivian, I was once young and dumb and in love. LOL! My experience with relationships certainly don’t mirror hers exactly but I think that the concept of being willing to sacrifice what I know to be right and true for the love of a man—well, yeah, I’ve been there. 

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  
TML: Oh my work is definitely character-driven! I get great joy from trying to figure out a character’s motivations, feelings, reasonings, etc. Sure, they do have to get from point A to point B in the story but what’s most interesting to me are the whys and hows of that journey. My book ideas usually begin with a character. That character has usually been hanging around my brain for a while or he or she is a composite of someone I’ve been observing. Either way, that’s where it starts. It’s like I have to ask the character, “So what’s up with you? What are you doing here?” And then, the story is born. 

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? 
TML:  This book, like the rest, is definitely inspirational fiction.  Vivian Grace is the matriarch of the women in this family. She’s Sasha’s mother and Crystal Justine’s grandmother. She also represents the genesis of some of the generational stuff that comes up in all three books. This particular story is set in the early 70s. Vivian becomes a member of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panthers and falls in love with one of its charismatic leaders. That relationship is filled with drama and ultimately Vivian has to decide whether or not she is strong enough to move on with her life without Reggie, her man. That really is the big question of the book: will she allow her past to define her future and the future of her unborn child? 

BPM: Give us an insight into your main character. What makes her so special? 
TML: We all know Vivian. We’ve either been her or have been around her. Even if we don’t want to admit it. LOL! We’ve all had that friend who we wanted to just shake and say, “Why are you letting him do this to you?! Don’t you know how much you’re worth, how much you’re loved?!” And that’s the thing with Vivian. The reader will be rooting for her—even when she let’s them down again and again. You want her to win. You want her to “get it.” And she does. Just in a way that most people will not expect. 

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
TML: Topic such as domestic abuse, self-esteem, race, and sisterhood all come up in this story. But at its core, this book is really about forgiveness. How do you forgive someone who’s hurt you over and over again? How do you let go of the pain of your past (childhood)? What do you really believe about love and God and faith?   These themes have shown up quite a bit in my own life so to have the opportunity to explore them in this story, feels like an extreme privilege. 

BPM:  What are your ambitions for your writing career?
TML: I think early on in my career I wanted what most writers want. To be published. To sell lots of books. To be on Oprah. LOL! Today, I’m in a different space. Yes, I’d still like those things but I’m clear now that if none of those were possible, I’d still write. I’d still study the craft. So my ambitions are slightly different. I want to tell great stories. Period. Stories that resonate. Stories that move people, maybe even just a person. Stories that will be read years and years from now and still have great meaning. That’s what I’m striving for. Legacy. 

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
TML: I don’t know if I have any expectations. Expectations can get you in trouble because inevitably you will under or overestimate things. But I would encourage everyone to tell someone about it. Yes, so they can purchase it. But also tell them why you liked it, if you did. How did the book affect you? Also, write reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Talk to your book clubs. Spread the word. 

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and your work?
TML: Readers can keep up with me on my website/blog at I’m always writing about something or another over there and they will be able to stay up to date on all my future projects. 

Connect with Tracey Michae'l Lewis
writer. educator. servant.






Intimate Conversation with D.J. McLaurin



Chicago native, DJ McLaurin, is the author of the provocative new novel, What if it Feels Good? A graduate of DePaul University and a Certified Public Accountant, DJ has worked in various fields including banking, auditing, a twenty-two year stint in radio, and, most recently, the Theatre Industry. She resides in South Holland, Illinois, with her husband and her two daughters, where she is working on Pretty Boy, a riveting follow up to What If It Feels Good, Falling Up, and Metamorphosis, as well as a new venture into the genre of the supernatural titled In The Company of Ghosts.

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book? 

I worked for the company that produced the Today’s Black Woman Expo in Chicago, and author Naleighna Kai would appear as guest speaker annually. I would sit in the back and watch her work that room. One year, I gathered enough nerve to approach her and talk about a novel idea I had been keeping in my heart. She was so appalled that I let fear snatch my pen. She literally threatened that I’d better not attend another one of her events without that manuscript in my hand. It was completed by the next event and she guided me from there.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing? 

Absolutely! I am 4th from the bottom of 11 children. Inside that brood, I rarely got enough attention. I had my siblings to play with, but it was mostly my imagination that I turned to for comfort. To help my mother with the younger siblings and cousins, I would draw pictures and tell them stories from the pictures. When I was older and able to write coherently, I began reading to them, both from my own writings and from books. I would read anything: food labels, dictionaries, encyclopedias, weekly readers, Jet Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Readers Digest, Life Magazine…anything I’d find laying around the house. When I read a story and didn’t like the ending, I’d rewrite it.

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you write every day? 
My published novels were written on a full-time schedule, and I wrote everyday with one day off. Lately, I write more for my own enjoyment. Therefore, if it feels like work, I don’t do it. I write as my muse indulges me. Otherwise, I pick up a book.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it? 

Never for months, but weeks? Yes. I’ll push a manuscript aside and read great stories or watch great movies for inspiration, or just a change of pace.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 

My books are mainly character driven. Characters form themselves in my head and live out many lives for many months—years even—until the events of their lives began to stitch themselves into novels worth sharing. I like stepping into the shoes of folks who are completely unlike me.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? 

I’m currently writing contemporary fiction, with an alternative flair; but I can’t wait to delve into other genre’s—particularly fantasy and paranormal. All books will be available via Kindle, and possibly Nook.

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
Michael is a street savvy, homeless, young beauty who makes a living hustling alongside his stripper Mom, Sarah. His stunning brains and wealth of charisma does not reconcile with his lot, and Michael senses that he comes from something else, but he doesn’t press his mother. What he longs for most, besides life’s basic needs, is simply love. Because of his looks, he cannot escape the attentions of others, male and female. Life has hardened him to these affections, and he has to eat, so he uses what he can get…until someone special unlocks his passions and all his secrets…

Out of fear, Sarah withholds the truth of Michael’s birth and spirals into a life of self-abuse in an effort to outrun her past…and her guilt. When her beautiful son finds trouble, she risks everything to save him, revealing his true birth-right, and turning many lives head over feet.

Chachi is a juggernaut of a man, in stature, power and personality. With his tightly-bound group of friends, he has created an empire. With this life comes the spoil of the rich: money, houses, cars, women…he has it all. But he’s in his thirties and has never been in love…until…

BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters dealt with issues that are in current affairs? Homelessness, street soliciting, forbidden romance, adultery, celebrity w/ paparazzi issues, are all current affairs explored in What If It Feels Good.

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? How do you go about reaching new readers? 

I want to give readers another perspective. I won’t them to reconsider their lifelong opinions and viewpoints. I tend to use social media to reach as many new readers as possible, but I’m hoping this books uses those “legs” to carry it even farther. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend.

BPM: What are your ambitions for your writing career? 

I would love for the world to read and love my books. I love to write thought-provoking plots and get a reader’s feedback. That’s the only reason I publish—to reach these readers that would appreciate such stories and share the experience. Otherwise, I would be happy writing as a hobby.

BPM: What is your favorite positive saying? Where do you find your daily inspiration? 

My mom always says, “ No ain’t never killed anyone.” Meaning, to ask for what you want and not let the fear of rejection stop you.

BPM: Were there any challenges in bringing this story to life? 

Writing from the male point of view was a challenge. I’m constantly reviewing the emotional temperature of the characters. Men aren’t as emotional as women, and I have trouble with balancing that.

BPM: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing? 

The disadvantages of self-publishing are often the advantages. Self-publishers have the autonomy to make all the decisions and reap the bulk of the benefits. On the one hand, that’s a lot of hard work. On the other hand, you get to make all the decisions and reap the bulk of the benefits…

BPM: Where do you see publishing in the future? In your opinion, will ebooks continue to reign? 

Ebooks will reign supreme! I still love paper books, and don’t own an e-reader (yet), but who can deny the genius of this superservice!

BPM: What’s your views on social media? Which social network worked best for you? 

The Internet, and social media at large, is a brilliant marketing tool. It’s also a vast oasis, so you have to know what you’re doing, or hire someone that knows what they’re doing, or you’ll find that you’re simply spinning your wheels.

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

Leave me a note at  or  visit 
Follow on Twitter: @mclaurindj









Intimate Conversation with Founder 

Jamila T. Davis, born and raised in Jamaica Queens, New York, is a motivational speaker and the creator of the Voices of Consequences Enrichment Series for incarcerated women. Through her powerful delivery, Davis illustrates the real-life lessons and consequences that result from poor choices. She also provides the techniques and strategies that she personally has utilized to dethrone negative thinking patterns, achieve emotional healing, and restoration and growth. 

Davis is no stranger to triumphs and defeats. By the age of 25, she utilized her business savvy and street smarts to rise to the top of her field, becoming a lead go-to person in the Hip-Hop Music Industry and a self-made millionaire through real estate investments. Davis lived a care-free lavish lifestyle, surrounded by rap stars, professional sports figures and other well known celebrities. All seemed well until the thorn of materialism clouded Davis’ judgments and her business shortcuts backfired, causing her self-made empire to crumble. Davis was convicted of bank fraud, for her role in a multi-million dollar bank fraud scheme, and sentenced to 12 1/2 years in federal prison. Davis’ life was in a great shambles as she faced the obstacle of imprisonment. 

While living in a prison cell, stripped of all her worldly possessions, and abandoned by most of her peers, she was forced to deal with the root of her dilemmas- her own inner self. Davis searched passionately for answers and strategies to heal and regain her self-confidence, and to discover her life’s purpose. She utilized her formal training from Lincoln University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, along with her real-life post-incarceration experiences and documented her discoveries. 

Revealing the tools, techniques and strategies she used to heal, Davis composed a series of books geared to empower women. Davis’ goal is to utilize her life experiences to uplift, inspire and empower her audience to achieve spiritual and emotional wholeness and become their very best, despite their dilemmas and past obstacles.

BPM: Introduce us to and tell us what kind of work they do in the community. is an online advocacy group created to educate the public about the rising epidemic of federally incarcerated women and the consequences of their imprisonment. It’s focus is on exposing the gross injustice women face in the U.S. judicial system, and the disparities between state and federal, male and female, and minority and non-minority offenders. aims to challenge the absence of parole, which causes each federal prisoner to serve 85% of her sentence without recourse, and introduce alternatives.

BPM: I see that you have several new projects taking place, moving toward helping women make better choices. Tell us about what's new.
For the last couple of months I've been working hard on putting together an effective prison reform movement. I knew it would be important to have visuals, so people could see the true impact of over-incarceration. I am pleased that we were able to create the 2014 Calendar. It definitely illustrates a powerful stories!  Readers can view the promotional calendar by clicking here:  Support the women by purchasing the calendar from

Check it out at the newly revised website Now that the visuals are in place, we are officially kicking off our "Enough Is Enough: End Mass Incarceration" campaign. The goal is to increase public awareness using visual aides, political and celebrity endorsements. We have planned a T-shirt campaign for the cause.  We also want people to be aware of the THE “ONE-SHOT” BILL. Read more about it by clicking here later. 

Our Goals for the "Enough Is Enough: End Mass Incarceration" campaign are:

* To enlighten the general public about the alarming growth rate of women in prison and the consequences.

* To shed light on the true personas of female prisoners versus those created in movies and on television and have their authentic voices heard.

* To assist in eliminating the stigma of being a “criminal” upon re-entry into an already economically challenged and unstable environment.

* To advocate for reform in the U.S. judicial system and to support programs that truly rehabilitate and serve to help women rather than simply make examples of them.

* To support alternative sentencing for women offenders in order to prevent already vulnerable women from further psychological, emotional and mental injury due to their confinement in an uncontrollably toxic environment. 

BPM: Tell us about the new book series you started to bring even more awareness to the plight of women incarcerated in the United States.
When you’re busted by the FEDS, automatically the odds are stacked against you! With a 95% conviction rate, very few are able to escape the wrath of the government. Due to hefty penalties and strict sentencing laws, over 220,000 Americans are serving time in federal prison. Shockingly, in recent years, a drastic increase of these offenders are women!

She's All Caught Up is a cautionary tale based on my life. Here's the official write up: Jamila grew up in a loving middle class home, raised to become her parent's ideal star child. All was copacetic until high school years. Jamila rebels and chooses to live life in the fast lane. When this good girl goes bad, it seems there is no turning back! Download complimentary copies of the entire series today: 

The High Price I Had To Pay Book Series is an action packed, true-crime series based on the lives of women serving hefty sentences in federal prison. Written as cautionary tales, these memoirs expose readers to the real-life circumstances, and the choices these women made, that led to their incarceration. As each story unfolds, readers are privy to the startling details of what happens behind the scenes in the U.S. judicial system, exposing who gets prosecuted and who does not and the injustice of sentencing disparities.

Unique in nature, each captivating mini-book sheds light on the true faces of the women serving time behind bars and the detriment of mass incarceration. The jaw dropping details will cause you to think. Does the U.S. judicial system represent justice for all?  Download complimentary copies of the entire series today: 

* The High Price I Had To Pay - Book 1 is a captivating real-life story that reveals another aspect of the inside fraud perpetrated by Lehman executives that has yet to be told!

This illuminating journey written by author Jamila T. Davis, who is currently serving a 12 1/2 year sentence in federal prison for bank fraud, is shared from a unique stand point. Davis was labeled by Lehman attorneys as the 25 year old mastermind who devised an elaborate mortgage scheme that defrauded their bank of 22 million dollars. Her shocking story captures the inside tricks of Wall Street elite and takes you up-close and personal into a world driven by greed and power.

Jamila T. Davis’ story will leave you amazed and make you think. Have savvy Wall Street executives, such as Richard Fuld, been able to out smart the world? And while these executives escape unpunished, is it fair that “small fries,” like Davis, are left to do big time? Download a complimentary copy of Book 1 today: 

* The High Price I Had To Pay - Book 2 is a cautionary tale based on the life of Michelle Miles, a 21 year old, African American woman, who tried her hand in the drug game as a means to escape poverty. Joining the notorious “Burrell Organization,” run by her boyfriend, overnight Miles went from “rags-to-riches.” 

All was well until the FEDS got wind of the operation. With the help of informants, the Burrell empire swiftly crumbled and the key players were arrested, including Miles who was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.

Michelle Miles’ story will leave you shocked about the rules of prosecution for drug offenders in the U.S. judicial system and make you think. Should a first time, non-violent offender receive a thirty year sentence?

About The Author:  MICHELLE MILES, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, is currently a federal prisoner who is serving a 30 year sentence as a non¬violent, drug offender. With 16 years of serving prison time under her belt, she has utilized her real-life experience to enlighten others to the true-life circumstances of women in prison and the dilemmas that they face in the U.S. judicial system. Miles is a modern day voice for women behind bars and prison reform in America. Download a complimentary copy of Book 2 today: 

BPM: There are people out there today reading this article that might not be aware of how serious this topic is for our community. If they are not informed, they can't act! Tell us some of the facts and why we should be concerned.
I would like for the readers to visit our website to get a full view of our circumstances, but I will start it off by sharing some of the facts. Here we go...

Facts About Women In Prison

The female incarcerated population in the U.S. continues to grow at alarming rates. More women are entering the United States prison system than any other country in the world! According to the Sentencing Project’s September 12, 2012 Fact Sheet, the number of incarcerated women in prison in the U.S. increased 646% between 1980 and 2010, rising from 15,118 to 112,797. Today there are more than 205,000 women incarcerated in our nation. Most of these women are mothers, and many of them are first time offenders.

Out of the 220,000 prisoners that the federal Bureau of Prisons houses, roughly 7% (approximately 14,500) are women. Behind the walls of prisons throughout our country, women of diverse backgrounds, races and creeds are serving lengthy sentences for federal offenses. For comparable charges, state offenders are serving significantly less sentences. Contrary to popular belief, these women are not violent offenders who pose a physical threat to our society. Most of them are nonviolent offenders who can be effectively rehabilitated through alternative means to incarceration.

Of greater concern, these women have been ripped away from their children and families, causing psychological and financial hardships. Unlike state prisoners, female federal prisoners are often housed in states far away from their residences. It is common for families to have to travel in excess of 500 miles to visit women in federal prison, because there are limited facilities that house these women. As a result, many federal female inmates only get to see their children a few times each year. Some, who lack the necessary finances, don’t get to see their children at all! This vicious cycle of incarceration spirals yet another epidemic of youth vulnerable to criminal behavior, because of the lack of guidance and support from their maternal, parental figures.

Instead of paying their way forward and becoming productive members of society, these women are being “warehoused” in prisons throughout our nation, without receiving adequate programming to foster true rehabilitation. Instead of paying their debt back to society, tax payers are paying a hefty price to house these prisoners, and in many cases, also pay for the care of their children. In the case of females in federal prison, these figures add up quickly. The average cost to house each woman is approximately $30,000 a year, not including medical expenses. Utilizing this figure, it cost tax payers over $6.1 billion a year to house female offenders!

Female federal offenders often face discrimination in the U.S. judicial system. Females are more likely to receive greater sentences than their male counterparts who commit the same exact crimes, especially for white collar crimes. As federal inmates, these women are left to serve 85% of their sentence without any recourse. Unlike state prisoners, federal inmates do not receive parole. As a result, the large population of female offenders experience over-crowdedness and lack of access to effective programming, and often insufficient health care. These women are simply housed in prison, for significant periods of time, serving no productive purpose. Does any of this make any sense? You be the judge!

Read more facts on women incarcerated in the U.S., go here today. 

BPM: I read all of those unbelieveable facts and stats!  What can our readers do today to help bring attention to the stories of females incarcerated in the U.S., which continues to grow at alarming rates?
Please ask them all to sign the petition to request that Congress to Move immediately to Reestablish a Federal Parole System. Read more hardcore facts and sign the petition here:

We are offering She's All Caught Up as a FREE eBook in order to get as many parents as we can on board the movement. It is available at:  My request is that your readers help us to garner book reviews and blogger comments about the book. We need their help! 

My goal is to get She's All Caught Up and The High Price I Had To Pay Book Series in the hands of as many youth as I can, and their parents, so they can avoid the pitfalls I once fell prey to, which ultimately altered my destiny. I definitely believe all of the books can help change many lives. I pray you and your readers will assist me on accomplishing this mission. 

Readers can obtain copies for review and sharing on Smashwords. Download complimentary copies of the entire series today: 







Intimate Conversation with Colette (Ford) Harrell 


Colette (Ford) Harrell the author of the debut novel The Devil Made Me Do It is passionate about the written word. Holding a master’s degree, she is a director of human services. Her creation and implementation of a health and energy medical program stands as a best practices model. As a motivational speaker, she specializes in customer and human service workshops on state and national levels. She is co-founder of COJACK Productions, a Christian entertainment company. As an active member of her church, Kingdom Christian Center, she serves in several ministries.

Colette is a wife, mother, author, poet, songwriter, and playwright. Her novel is a delectable read, where romance, suspense, humor, and the supernatural all come together to entertain, educate, and inspire. A Detroit native, she currently resides in Ohio, writing with humor and compassion to engage and minister to the human heart. Her motto is: whatever you do, do it “for love alone.”

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
When I was sixteen years old, I had chicken pox. Now, I’m not sure if you know, but the older you are when you get chicken pox, the worse you look. I defined UGLY. I wouldn’t even let my best friend see me. But, I was bored. A shoot-me-now,-’cause-this-ain’t-getting-any-better-type of boredom. Every day my friend would phone and tell me what happened at school, and I would share what happened on the soaps. After two days of watching that paint dry, we decided to write our own soap opera—only nobody was singing. I mean nobody . . . but it opened the door to a dream.

From then on, I knew that someday I would write a book. I started writing The Devil Made Me Do It when I saw a writer’s contest on the Internet. You needed one hundred pages of a story. I wrote the pages to see if I could do it, and I was superamped to find out I was one of the winners of the contest. It encouraged me to continue writing and to finish the book.

The story of  The Devil Made Me Do It resounded in my spirit because I always wondered what would happen if the heavens (or hell) rolled back and we could see what was happening in the supernatural. There birthed my trilogy, the Heaven over Hell series.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely. I’m this down-home chick with a Southern twang from the hood of southwest Detroit. I was raised in a two-parent household with four siblings. My parents were all about reading versus television consumption. I think we were the last household in the neighborhood to purchase a color television. What we did have were books, magazines, and newspapers. I was still in elementary school when I walked to the River Rouge Library (a good mile away) to borrow books. Many times I walked alone. But at that age, reading was my passion, and it still is.

For me, a good book is like good gossip—you just have to share it. In sharing, I began to want to tell my own story, my own way. As a result, I have always loved to tell a good story—I promise there weren’t any lies—sometimes making it up as I went.

Growing up in Detroit, I found myself in some tight spots, just by the nature of being in the vicinity of something “going down.” It’s a wonder I never woke up dead. When that happened, I would call on my praying mother, begging her to pray just one more prayer. Eventually, those times taught me how much God must love my hardheaded, tryna-get-it-right foolish self. Now, there are always two sides to every coin. And some of the spots I was graced (Mama was praying hard!) to wiggle out of were pretty tight—persuading me fully that the devil must hate me. I know I really hate him and his modus operandi. Hence, my story, The Devil Made Me Do It, and how I decided to tell it.

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write?
Trust me when I say as a full-time director of social services, every day something occurs that inspires me to whip out my pen. If I’m not laughing, I’m crying. Who wouldn’t want to write about it? Consequently, I’ve learned to write something every day, if just for a little while; maybe a page or two. Now, that’s not an absolute, because I don’t want to be a prisoner of anything but hope. So, there are those days that I manage to do . . . nothing.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew—leave it for months, and then come back to it?
Maybe not months. I can’t leave my child alone that long (that would be child abuse). But, yes, I have had to leave it. To let fresh eyes take another look at it later, and create, once again, from the heart. To pray that God gives me an understanding of where my characters are headed and how they will get there. In the meantime, I’m working on something else. Eventually, I will go back to the book and complete it; after all, you have to give the child you birthed a happy ending . . . or maybe not.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from?
My book ideas evolve from my conversations with others. My friends and I tend to have these deep conversations that result in my getting this animated lightbulb over my head. Its bright glow and halo effect asks the question: “What if?” My stories answer those questions.

BPM: Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?
Wow . . . I think a little of both. I start out with the light shining over my head, and I take that idea and begin writing without thought, and then a plot unfolds and the characters in the plot begin to take shape and demand to tell their story. I let them have their way. And, there are times when even I’m surprised at the choices they make. In The Devil Made Me Do It, Briggs’s and Esther’s journey totally amazed me. Even though each book in the Heaven over Hell trilogy stands alone, the next two books will continue their saga.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? 
I consider the book Christian fiction with an edge. I say that because, yes, my characters are Christian (well, most of them), but they aren’t perfect, and they don’t part the Red Sea or walk on water (although I do believe that miracles and wonders still occur). My characters sometimes make poor choices, and they have to face the consequences of those choices.

My main character, Esther, as a child, believed she was special. I once heard someone say that African American parents tend to tell their children not to think more of themselves than they should. They went on to explain that this schematic stemmed from slavery, when thinking too much of yourself could get you killed. As years passed, we reinforced these beliefs with negative thought patterns that belittled rather than built up. We’ve all heard: “You think you’re so cute” . . . “Stop getting a big head” . . . “Stop acting like you all of that!” And, these utterances of wisdom were from family members!

I wanted to explore what happens when the devil comes for your sense of self at a young age, and he didn’t just stumble on to you; he’s on assignment. The scripture pertaining to the devil wanting to kill, steal, and destroy you is not only speaking of a physical act, but it is also mental and emotional in origin.

The book’s glimpse into the supernatural provides a twist that is “cover-your-eyes scary,” and in the next chapter “slap the table, fun and humorous.” Esther Wiley is one of three childhood friends who are joined at the hip from kindergarten to college. In college, Esther meets Briggs Stokes, and they fall in love. But, life throws all the friends a shocking curve ball that causes a ripple effect that lasts for years.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
Esther dares to believe, even from a young age, that she is special. As African Americans, we are so conditioned not to speak well of ourselves less we be called prideful. Sometimes we become so conditioned to not think ourselves wonderful that we end up with self-esteem issues. Esther dared to believe and to act on that belief.

Briggs is a son of privilege, but it’s that same privilege that makes him come to believe that in his truest self he is invisible. It’s not just about his inherited money, but about who he really is. He struggles with the question: How do you grow up around God’s anointed superstar and still be seen for yourself?

The devil uses both of these issues to destroy the destiny God has for each of them. When they allow the spirit of lack to decide their futures, both lose. Identity theft was committed long before the computer age. My pastor has always taught that if you fail to know the purpose of a thing, you are destined to abuse it.
This first book in the trilogy shows the hidden agenda of those who should be for you and how making the right decision when you come to spiritual forks in your road will decide your destiny. And, for the record, it doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger. LOL.

BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters dealt with issues that are in current affairs?
Yes, they deal with suicide—a taboo subject in most communities. They also deal with lust and adultery. And . . . the question: Is it adultery if you don’t consummate it? The Bible states if you sin in your heart . . . But, what does man say? And when adultery is committed, how and can you forgive? All of America is hooked on a television show built around adultery with one of the most powerful men in the country. It’s entertaining; it’s riveting . . . but is it biblical?

There’s an intimacy to sharing yourself with another person that I wanted to explore. You don’t just cheat physically, but you cheat in every area of your life. You have to lie . . . to create a separate life—so you become spiritually schizophrenic—one way with one person, another with someone else.

Also, I deal with fraud on the job, a phenomenon that is occurring more and more. I deal with abuse—verbal and physical. And I deal with obsession. We see more and more stalkers today.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
I discuss all of the above. I also discuss how choices affect our lives. I ask and answer the question: Can one childhood incident shape the rest of your life?

There’s an area in the book where I discuss the male African American youths of today, and what they need. It was eye-opening.  I did learn . . . Some of the pearls of wisdom that came out while writing also ministered to me. It’s something to reread your own work and know that the Holy Ghost was your ghost writer.

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing?
I want them to be entertained. I want them to have Aha! moments that set them on the road to self-discovery. I want them to draw closer to a God who loves them unconditionally.

BPM: How do you go about reaching new readers?
Three avenues:  First, tell a good story. The best compliment I received was from someone stating that their friends who were not Christians would read The Devil Made Me Do It because it was so entertaining.

Second, in an excerpt reading with men (who were coerced to come by their wives), their feedback was that it wasn’t the normal chick-flick literature they thought it was going to be, and they all asked me to keep reading. Tell a good story that others can relate to. 

And, third, hopefully, people who read this interview will be inspired to run out and buy The Devil Made Me Do It, and then tell others to buy it too. Tell a good story and it promotes itself!  (See how I keep mentioning the name of the book? Subconsciously, you’re hearing—buy the book, buy the book . . . LOL.)

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author?
Well, here is where I get very philosophical and state that I’m not in this for the money. NOT! This is a time-consuming, not-for-the-fainthearted venture. So, maybe not first, even though it’s listed here as first, I’d like to make a living at this. That would be one form of success.

Another would be for others to enjoy the story so much that they reread it. And that they sit in anticipation for the next book. Those both would be a form of success. Last, but most important, I would define success as something on the inside of the reader that transcends the mundane and spiritually enhances their life. That would be the ultimate form and definition of success for me as a published author.

BPM: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Up, up, and away! I would love to do this when I am retired and old, sitting on my screened-in porch, sipping on a mango lemonade under a blue summer sky, typing away. You gotta love it!

BPM: What is your favorite positive saying? Where do you find your daily inspiration or muse?
For Love Alone. I think it speaks to the motivation of why people do what they do. I’ve had people do the right thing for the wrong reason, and even though it was needed—it wasn’t wanted due to the intent of the person’s heart. You think you’ve made a friend, but what they really want is to use and manipulate your gifts.

I have so many places I receive my inspiration. From my husband and children; my daughter is a singer and songwriter so she can say some things that blow me away. My best friend and partner in my production company is very good at inspiring me; iron sharpening iron. Of course, my pastor is a great teacher, and I can eat on his message all week. And the Holy Spirit drops pearls of wisdom in my spirit that humble me beyond belief. I’ll go back and read something I wrote or said to someone and do an Urkle—“Did I say that?”

BPM: Were there any challenges in bringing this story to life?
There were a lot of challenges. It took keeping hope alive to believe that one day this book would be read by people beyond my social circle. It took faith to bring this to fruition.  I am still challenged to hone my skills; writing is a craft. I’ve learned more about this art after I submitted my book and had it accepted by my publishing company than I ever knew before. Thank God! I might have given up if I had any idea how much I didn’t know!

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like to accomplish after the book is released?
Best Seller, baby! I would love to have created my second career . . . and that twenty years later, I’ll still be writing, sitting in my rocking chair in a sunny place, sipping on my mango lemonade. So, you, your cousin, brother-in-law, and your hairdresser run out and buy the book or download the book. Just . . . Get the book!

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? 
I set out to inspire and entertain. I think that the way to do that so that it is lasting is to educate. When we learn something, it changes our thinking on a given subject; therefore, we carry it in our spirits. Anything that is part of your spirit is part of you. Entertaining allows the education and inspiration to be like medicine going down with a spoonful of sugar. I am always trying to illuminate the goodness of God. This message continues to provide light in dark places.

BPM: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?
I didn’t self-publish. However, I would think one advantage of self-publishing would be that you would be the captain of your own destiny, making your own decisions . . . your way. I would think the one disadvantage of self-publishing would be that you would be the captain of your own destiny, making your own decisions . . . your way. LOL. As a new writer, you could be separating yourself from boundless amounts of expertise and assistance by doing it yourself . . . especially if you’re new to the game.

BPM: Where do you see publishing going in the future? Will e-books continue to reign?
I really do think e-books will reign, especially for those who are older. Being able to customize fonts, read in the dark next to your spouse without bothering him/her is major for those of us who read constantly. Carrying around two hundred books in a lightweight tablet is no small feat . . . Yeah, it’ll be here. And I’ll keep buying too. Now my parting words are . . . I miss books—the feel of the paper, writing along the blank spaces, and still being able to read it when the battery dies.

BPM: Finish this sentence: “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers . . .”
“My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors who dare to be different. To go down the path less traveled. Trust your imagination and the story that you want to tell. Others DO want to hear it.”

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and your work?
My goal is to continue writing beyond my trilogy. I have a “small ideas notebook” where I write down dynamic characters and interesting plots. So I plan to be around.

I have a website called Writespirit that can be read by going to I will provide my calendar of events, book excerpts, and current works on the Web site. My blog will also be accessed through the web site. I have developed a fictional character by the name of Mother Maku Sweat, and her husband is Bishop Mo Sweat. She’s a feisty evangelist full of the wisdom of the ages. I plan to have Mother Sweat’s video advice column on my Web site as well. 

The Devil Made Me Do It, Colette R. Harrell

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

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

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

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

Christian Fiction, topics include: suicide, abuse, adultery, company fraud, and obsession. Available at Amazon:   








Intimate Conversation with AlTonya Washington



AlTonya Washington has been a published romance novelist for 10 years. In 2013, her Harlequin Kimani novel "His Texas Touch" won the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Series Romance of 2012.  She also works as a college Reference Librarian. As T. Onyx, AlTonya released her latest erotica "Ravenous: Ruler of Perfection II" in 2013.  In November she released "A Lover's Debt," the 17th title in the Ramsey Tesano saga.

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time?  Do you write every day, five days a week? 
This is a tough question because I write ALL THE TIME- however I do still have “a day job.” A few years ago, I decided that becoming a librarian was something I very much wanted to accomplish. I reached that goal and now work as a college reference librarian. Writing though, is my absolute passion and something that I aspire to one day do full time in every sense of the word. Right now, I write pretty much every day as I’m blessed to have both a traditional and independent writing career. They keep me very busy. I don’t really carve out a special time or place to write (I’m blessed in that I can write pretty much anywhere)- but when crafting a love scene I do try to work on that material late afternoon/early evening at home with a special playlist going.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it? 
I actually used to do that a lot more often when I was just starting out with my writing. There are so many titles that I crafted early in my career and then went back to revise or rework years later after I’d learned more about the techniques that could really make my stories sing.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
My ideas come from all over the place- I can watch a movie or TV show, see a person walking in the background of a scene and suddenly be hit with an idea. Sometimes, I’m reading or listening to a book or even a song and some aspect of it sends me off on this wild tangent and I find myself concocting all these scenarios- a few of them have been powerful enough to make it to the rough draft/final draft stage. My books are very much character driven. For me, if I’m not invested in the characters- who they are, where they come from, why they think the way they do…then it’s near impossible for me to care about what else is going on in the story. I craft the stories that I, as a reader, would want to spend my time with and hope that other readers will want to spend their time with them too.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle? 
When Ice Melts is the story of Rakim Transou and Icia Graham. The couple was torn apart when Icia suffered a traumatic event on the eve of Rakim’s college graduation. While the romance between these lost loves is the most prevalent aspect, I would consider it more of a suspense given the intricacies of the plot regarding the secondary characters and the vivid roles they play in story. The book is available in print as well as electronically via Nook and Kindle.  It’s also available in the Apple, Sony and Kobo stores.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
This book deals with a lot of difficult topics, spousal abuse and revenge among them. I think what stood out to me most during the writing of this story related to revenge and how far people will go to see that it is carried out. What’s more, people fulfill their needs for revenge in very different ways. The complexities of characters and how they are motivated to act is a major reason why my stories revolve so heavily around them.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject? 
I think I set out to inspire and entertain mostly. I believe reading is the most enjoyable and limitless way of escaping the pressures of life. I like for my readers to feel immersed in a world totally different and intriguing from their own for however long they are absorbed inside the pages of my work. If the reader is somehow educated by what I have to share, then I’m elated by the fact that they were able to grasp an additional slice of enjoyment.

BPM: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing? 
Well I’d say the main advantage is that it’s all you- it’s all YOUR vision, your words, you control it all. Sadly this advantage can also be a disadvantage as it is ALL YOU.   Every glitch, every typo…these are all on your plate. It’s very necessary for an author to be diligent in seeing to every detail- not only as it relates to the copy, but also the cover art, the publishing platforms used, how the work is marketed. Self-publishing has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, but that reward does not come without a tremendous amount of hard work.

BPM: What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you? 
I think it’s wonderful. For me it’s wonderful in moderation- I’m not on my Facebook and Twitter feeds every day and when I am “socializing” there it’s not always for the purposes of discussing my latest book. 

I’m enjoying social media a little more each day and I’m very happy that I’ve not become addicted to it. I can shut it down. I am; however, happy for the chance to communicate with my readers or followers as a person- one who likes to read, enjoys movies and music, one who watches way too much TV and loves to talk about it, one who from time to time shares a funny story about her crazy kid. I’m pretty long-winded so Facebook works best for me when I really want to share something intense with my reader-friends or have a lot to say about a new book coming out- it allows me to share snippets of work and I prefer it for book chats. I enjoy Twitter very much! 


I mostly use it to go on and on about all those TV shows I watch. I also quickly share with my readers news about my work- new projects, release dates and audio snippets that I tend to record throughout the year.

Connnect with AlTonya Washington 



Intimate Conversation with Lutishia Lovely


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

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

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
One day, this amazing story simply began downloading in my head. It was awesome, just like a movie. The woman, now known as lead character Jacqueline Tate, gave me the basic premise, which I immediately fleshed out into an outline and shot over to my editor, Selena James. She loved the idea, as I did, and approved it right away. There were still a couple books due before I’d get the chance to dive into this brave new world but once that happened I was in seventh heaven. Still am, as I am now writing the sequel to The Perfect Affair titled, The Perfect Deception!

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely. I believe that all of who we are, where we’ve been and what we’ve learned inspires all creative artists, be they writer, actor, singer, painter, etc. That being said, I am also a voyeur with a chameleon-like personality so it is easy for me to relate to and describe a lifestyle or situation very personally and vividly while having no personal experience on the matter. I think my background as an actor helps me in this as well.

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when? Do you have a special time to write?
I am blessed and thankful to be a full-time author without a set writing schedule. Most days, I’m writing, editing and/or promoting something and when not doing that handling the business aspects of my company, Lovely Day.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
That’s basically what happens when I send the book off to the publisher for its first edits. When it comes back to me, there have usually been a few months in between and I see the story with new eyes. Inevitably, this leads to positive changes and sometimes whole subplots newly formed.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
Ella, they come from the Universe! Sometimes that’s as easy as the character tapping on my shoulder, as Jacqueline Tate did, or through a pow-wow with my editor or literary friends. Other times inspiration comes from hearing a news story, watching something on TV or overhearing a conversation. I’m constantly being inspired which can be both a blessing and a challenge all at once! 

For the most part, my novels are plot-driven by very strongly identified characters.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
The Shady Sisters Trilogy is a fascinating new contemporary fiction series about women who find themselves in interesting and precarious romantic situations. In the debut novel, The Perfect Affair, we meet a woman who finds Mr. Right just when she’s about to give up on the game. When she finds out he’s married…oh well. Jacqueline Tate knows this is but a minor inconvenience because she always gets what she wants!

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
First of all, I must say that I am absolutely in love with these characters and with this book! There are so many layers to both of them; complexities brought about by some of the very things I mentioned earlier that make us who we are: what we know, what we’ve learned, and experiences we’ve had. On one hand, Jacqueline is a woman with whom most of us is familiar – we either know her or someone like her. She’s attractive, smart, with an exciting career. But like so many women, this success doesn’t translate into the relationship department. I believe readers, like her friends in the novel, will want to know why, and will root for her to find this happiness. 


On the other hand, again, like many of us, the problem in Jacqueline’s relationships begins with the relationship with herself. People do things and we judge without understanding; we blame without having all the facts. She’s written to take readers on a reflective journey…and that makes her special to me.

Dr. Randall Atwater was fun to write. First off, it’s the first time I’ve dealt with a scientist which considering how bad I did in chemistry, was a bit intimidating, even fictitiously Ha! But I loved showing this guy who came from a tough background but because someone recognized and showed interest in his passion, was able to rise above his situation and achieve success. He’s special because of his character and integrity, even when situations around him contradict these parts of him.




Intimate Conversation with Jamila T. Davis


Jamila T. Davis, author of the Voices of Consequences Enrichment Series is a self-help expert, motivational speaker and a women's prison reform activist, who is currently a federal inmate. At age 25, she was a multimillionaire, high-flying real estate investor with ties to the hip-hop world. At age 31, she was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in federal prison for her role in a multimillion-dollar bank fraud scheme. While imprisoned, Davis has helped to change the lives of many through her inspirational books and cautionary tales based on her real-life experiences. For more information on Jamila T. Davis and to check out her latest memoir The High Price I Had To Pay visit or

BPM:   Introduce us to your book, She's All Caught Up and tell us what makes it unique. 
Hello, my name is Jamila T. Davis. I am the author of She's All Caught Up, which is a memoir about my childhood. My book is a cautionary tale that exemplifies the early influences in my life, which ultimately swayed my thinking and turned me into a die-hard "money-chaser." Unlike typical urban books that glorify street life through a fictional character, my story is told from a true perspective. And, most importantly, it reveals the severe consequences of living life in the fast lane. 

Here is the official introduction we are using to promote the book:  She's All Caught Up is a real-life cautionary tale that exemplifies the powerful negative influences that affect today's youth and the consequences that arise from poor choices. Young Jamila grew up in a loving middle class home, raised by two hardworking parents, the Davises, in the suburbs of Jamaica Queens, New York. Determined to afford their children with the luxuries that they themselves never had, the Davises provided their children with a good life, hoping to guarantee their children's success. 

At first it seemed as though their formula worked. Young Jamila maintained straight As and became her parents ideal "star child," as she graced the stage of Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in dance recitals and toured the country in a leading role in an off-Broadway play. All was copacetic in the Davis household until high school years when Jamila met her first love Craig- a 16 year old drug dealer from the Southside housing projects of Jamaica Queens. 

As this high school teen rebels, breaking loose from her parents' tight reins, the Davises wage an "all-out" battle to save their only daughter whom they love so desperately. But Jamila is in too deep! Poisoned by the thorn of materialism, she lusts after independence, power and notoriety, and she chooses life in the fast last to claim them.  When this good girl goes bad, it seems there is no turning back!   Follow author Jamila T. Davis (creator of the Voices of Consequences Enrichment Series in her blazing memoir, She's All Caught Up! 

BPM:   If you had to describe your book in one word, what would you call it? Why?
I would call my book a mirror, because it was written to cause readers to go within and reflect. At least one experience of Young Jamila will cause readers to relate to her struggles, regardless of their background, color or creed. I didn't hold back any of the truth of the events that occurred. I shared my strengths with my audience, as well as my weaknesses. I exposed the inner turmoil that kept me chasing inner fulfillment. My book reveals my dark secrets and my insecurities. I believe the pureness of my story, and its common similarities to the experiences of other females, will cause readers to reflect and explore their own characteristics, past influences and choices. 

BPM:   Tell us a little about your life and your upbringing. 
I grew up in Jamaica, Queens- New York, in a middle class home. I was raised by both my parents, who were hard workers that migrated from the South. They overcame the barriers of poverty and racism and made a good life for themselves. Because they lacked certain opportunities growing up, they were determined to provide my brother and myself with the opportunities that they didn't have. I guess you could say my mother was like a stage mom. She had me enrolled in every activity you could think of from singing, dancing, and acting, to swimming, judo and tennis. She was determined that her kids would be well-rounded and successful. She raised me to have a ton of drive and ambition, because every day she had something different planned for us to do. 

All was well in my household until high school years when I rebelled. I was introduced to the hood by my first boyfriend, a well known drug dealer, and that was all she wrote! I was hooked into life in the fast lane. I guess you could say, overnight I turned into the ultimate hustler. Instead of pursuing the plans that my parents had established for me, I choose to live a ghetto fabulous lifestyle. That's how I got caught up. 

BPM:    Tell us why many people refer to you as a "get-money" chick? 
I grew up around many of my friends who became successful rappers, music industry executives, and just plain die hard hustlers. During my era street-life was glorified. I was mesmerized by this lifestyle and became determined to get a piece of the pie. I always had a knack for business, so it was easy to jump in the game. When I got my first taste of money and I saw the notoriety that it brought me, I fell in love with money. My passion caused me to quickly flourish, so I did a lot in a short period of time. By the time I was 25 years old, I was a multimillionaire and a lead financial go-to-person in the hip-hop music industry. 

Seeking after the accolades of my peers, I hung out with gangsters, rap stars and professional sports figures. I drove fancy cars, rocked all the latest fashions, and I had a blinged out jewelry collection that would put a seasoned, materialistic, rapper to shame. I became driven by material gain. If a new car came out, I had to be the one amongst all my peers to have it first. I drove a Maybach way before Rick Ross was ever a rapper. When I came through, I made it my business to turn heads. Besides the fact, I was a female doing big things. That was rare, so I stood out. My insatiable drive kept me shooting for the stars. That's how I became referred to as a "get-money" chick. 







Intimate Conversation with William Fredrick Cooper

William Fredrick Cooper Uplifts The African-American Community With His Novels

William Fredrick Cooper is the author of the critically-acclaimed SIX DAYS IN JANUARY, the Essence/Black Expressions Bestselling novel THERE'S ALWAYS A REASON and the author of ONE SEASON IN PINSTRIPES, a sports memoir chronicling the 2009 championship season of the New York Yankees. A dynamic speaker known for giving enlightening radio interviews, he has edited several award-winning novels and contributed to New York Times bestselling anthologies and national periodicals such as Ebony Magazine. 

His fourth book, UNBREAKABLE (A LOVE BALLAD) is scheduled for publication on March 18, 2014. (All books were published through Strebor Books/Simon and Schuster). A Brooklyn native and the proud father of Maranda Nicole Cooper, stop by Cooper's Facebook page, listen to some great music and say hello. 

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? What road did you travel?
Ella, I traveled the road of self-publishing. Back in 2000, when I received my 72nd and last rejection letter, one that actually said my writing was “too emotional for a black man,” (sigh) I decided to do this on my own. So I went to First Books Library (Currently known as Author House), a print-on-demand company. 

In 2001, I was speaking at the University of Maryland at College Park about the struggles of my literary journey and little did I know God had put someone in that audience that was listening to my every word. After the conference the woman and I put books up for a vendor. She me told her vision then asked me to tag along. At first I rejected her, but she never forgot about me, even as she grew in stature. Through her, I received my first computer (when I wrote the lead story in the book, and the rest is history. I owe her a bit, and love her in my own special way. Thanks, Zane.

BPM: What is your definition of success? Does money play a part in how you gauge success?
My definitions of success are broad and none of them have anything to do with money. That we are contributing pebbles in the vast ocean of African-American Literary History makes us successful. That a person can maximize their potential in any area of light at a high level defines success.

BPM: What books or authors made a difference in your life?
So many books have inspired me. Terry McMillan and “Waiting to Exhale” was one, because it started the current literary phenomenon. The literary works of David Halberstam (Summer of ’49, October of 1964, The Best and the Brightest) have influenced my flow, as I love his intellectual rhythm with words. 

The romance writers (Donna Hill, Rochelle Alers, Brenda Jackson, Cheryl Faye) taught me narrative imagery, James Baldwin’s diversity, Timmothy McCann’s books passion, Eric Jerome Dickey’s usage of commas in paragraphs, Cornel West, Earl Graves and others for social content, and of course, The BIBLE, for faith.

BPM: How many books have you written? How has your writing style evolved over the years? What stimulated your growth the most? 
Ella, I am blessed to have done four books. Three of them novels, and a fourth was a sports book. God has really blessed me with a versatile pen: In my early days, I wrote novels and steamy erotic short stories, but I would always challenge myself in writing short op-ed pieces on diverse issues. That would eventually pay off when I wrote my sports memoir ONE SEASON IN PINSTRIPES. 

Good writers stimulate me. People like Robert Fleming (Cole Riley) influenced me so much as a writer, because they can do anything with a pen. Intellectually stimulating and articulately-driven, I admire his range. I think he’s one of the most underappreciated writers of our generation. GIVE HIM HIS DUE!!!

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?





Intimate Conversation with Shakir Rashaan

Shakir Rashaan currently lives in suburban Atlanta with his wife and two children. Rashaan’s catalog includes the series Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld and the upcoming Kink, P.I., and two novels under the pen name Curtis Alexander Hamilton, titled All I Want…Is You and The Devil’s All-American. Other credits include several anthologies, including the bestselling Zane Presents Z-Rated: Chocolate Flava 3. One of Rashaan’s goals is to educate and titillate while reading his novels. You can see more of Rashaan at

BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? 
First, I want to thank Black Pearls Magazine for the opportunity to present my series and my characters to your readers. Now, to give you an idea of what my book and characters are all about. My series, the Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld, is a look inside a world that very few were aware of before the turn of the century and, to some degree, a world that most still don’t have the inside access to: the BDSM/Fetish community, and particularly to my series, the African-American community.

The central characters in this series are a married couple, Kane and Mercedes. In their “vanilla” lives, they are business professionals and parents of three kids, involved in both very much. However, when the kids are put to bed or go to grandma’s house for the weekend, they deal in the “other” side of their lives as a Dominant couple, Ramesses and Neferterri. This power couple is a force to be reckoned with within the Atlanta BDSM/Fetish community, with Neferterri being a co-owner of an adult nightclub and Ramesses helping with the operation of a residence that doubles as ground zero for a lot of the parties that occur in the Atlanta area: the Palace.

I have a special affinity for this couple in particular because they were the first to come from my “NEBU Universe,” which I affectionately termed the creative universe in my mind. You never forget your first, and I have come to love them uniquely for who they are and what they bring to my series: the strength and swagger of the ultimate Alpha Dominant in Ramesses, and the sensuality and quiet power as a complement to her husband in Neferterri.

There are other characters within the series that I’ve come to enjoy and watch grow: the submissives of Ramesses and Neferterri, shamise, Kitana (who would later be referenced by another name, but you will have to read the book to find that out), and Damian, who represents a very misunderstood segment of the BDSM community in the submissive black male. There are also other fringe characters in the series: Dominic (who has a spinoff series in Kink, P.I. coming soon), Amenhotep, who is Ramesses’ mentor and long-time friend, Mistress Sinsual, tiger (another submissive male), there is a large cast of characters that help make this series unlike any other on the market right now.

BPM: Which character or topic in the book can you identify with the most? Why?
Ramesses is easily the character I identify with the most. He and I are like kindred spirits, which gave this book and series such a unique feel. As a lifestyle Dominant myself in the real-time BDSM community, I wanted to give a positive image to those like me. In a literary world that has been bombarded by billionaire Caucasian Alpha males, I wanted to introduce an alternative that readers will fall in love with.

BPM: How do you go about reaching new readers? What would you like for readers to take away from your writing?
Word of mouth has been the best way for me to reach new readers. Because I am an erotica author, especially with the subjects I tackle, I rely on my core readers to help me spread the word. I enjoy interacting with my readers a lot, both on social media and by email because I feel it gives them a personal connection to me and it makes them feel like they’re a part of the “Shakir Experience.” Whether I’m video blogging (something I plan to do a LOT of in the next year), interacting with listeners on my Blog Talk Radio show, The Wine Down w/Sh’moore & Shakir on Wednesday nights at 10:30 p.m. (shameless plug LOL) or doing radio interviews and blog interviews, it gives me new opportunities to find readers who I otherwise would not be able to reach.

As far as what I would like readers to take away from my writing, well, that’s easy: I want readers to walk away from my writing feeling like they’ve experienced something unlike anything else they’ve read before. I want them to feel like I’ve helped them understand things that were once taboo and realize that the people who engage in the taboo are real people, too. Finally, I want them to tell a friend that they’ve found a male author who can actually pen an erotic story that doesn’t feel like pornography. The best compliment I have received from one of my new readers has been the “symphonic” visuals I created while telling the story. She felt she was right there in the action, and it completely engrossed her to the point to where she forgot how much time had passed when she finally put the book down. That is what I hope to make readers feel like every time they pick up a Shakir Rashaan novel…to be engrossed within the “Shakir Experience.”



Intimate Conversation with A. Yamina Collins



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

BPM: What does “challenge” mean to you? Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Challenge means not writing the same kind of stories I tend to see in African-American literature; specifically, I decided to write a different sort of black male character, one who had, in my opinion, a real inner life and one who was not a stereotype. I wanted to see a man like Gilead Knightly be a master and king, and I wanted to abandon any concept of black male bashing. This is not to say that Gilead does not have some major character flaws, because he does. But he is not a black male archetype. 

It was also a psychological challenge to write the dark-colored girl as the beautiful love interest. You would think that as a black woman that would have been easy for me to do. Not so. A history of literature had conditioned me to think otherwise - or at least to give her light skin with straight hair. But I abandoned that model altogether because it's been played out and I believe that it harms black women's self-esteem.

BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?
The Last King is about a line of people who cannot die because their ancestors marched into the
Garden of Eden and ate from the tree of life. God, however, considers this act, and the subsequent immortality that came with it, to be theft. He wants their immortality returned and he deals with their transgression by playing a cosmic sort of chess game with them - each individual Edenite has a Glitch that's meant just for them. A Glitch is a human who acts as an agent to retrieve the stolen property of immortality and kill off the Edenite. But all The Edenite has to do in return is kill his or her Glitch, and the game is over. But there is a conflict: and Edenite's Glitch is also their greatest love. Emmy, my female protagonist, is the Glitch for Gilead Knightly, the male protagonist.

But of all the two, is definitely my favorite. I love his complexity; in so many ways he is a torn man - he is in love yet hates that he is in love; he is a protector and as well as the man whom Emmy should fear. He is the antagonist and the protagonist both at the same time. He is, to me, a man of great contradictions, and I love that about him. 

BPM: Why did you choose to write in your particular genre? If you write in more than one genre, how do you balance them? 
The Last King is a science-fiction romance, but its location is rooted here on earth. I chose science fiction and romance because, as far as I am aware, we don't have a lot of African-American books that deal with these two genres in the same breath, let alone separately. The book also has a historical bent to it and I was fascinated by African history. The history of black people - Africans, African-Americans etc. - goes beyond us being slaves in America, entertainers or thugs, and through Gilead I wanted to start exploring those other parts of our heritage. So yes, I write in more than one genre - really four genres (religious, historical, science-fiction and romance). As to how I managed to balance the genres, ha! I am not sure that I have. It will be up to the readers to decide if I've done a good job of balance, I guess. We shall see. 

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or other life path?
"Where there is no vision, the people perish." That's a quote from proverbs 28: 18 in the King James versions. And that's what I think the African-American literature has been suffering from lately - vision of what we can be Caucasian authors let their children dream of being superheroes and princesses and the Harry Potter's of the world. But much of our fiction, while not all bad, nonetheless keeps us confined to baby mama drama, hustlers, players and thugs - tons of stories filled with unending pain. But where are the heroes that inspire us? Where are the beautiful black women who get to be the love interest? Where are the kings and queens of old? Can't a black male turn out to be the hero in the end? That's the path I want to be on with my stories: now, don't get me wrong - Gilead in particular is no saint, but he is on a journey to someplace great, I think. And that's what I liked about him.

BPM: What drew you to tackle the questions or topics in The Last King?
I, personally, have gotten tired of either reading slave narratives (though they do have their place in our world, so this is not to put them down - we do need them) ghetto lit stories, stories about bad black women and no-account black men. Yeah, I just got exhausted of it. I wanted to see black love written about , but one that jumped outside of the prisms of what we are used to hearing and seeing. And I wanted to address it from a fantasy perspective. I dig the world of fantasy. I think it can be fun and your characters get to be larger than life. And Gilead Knightly is definitely larger than life. I mean, the man keeps panthers with him in his bedroom, for crying out loud!







Intimate Conversation with K.R. Raye

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

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book? 
Growing up, I learned to read at three and write little poems by four. For me, writing is a fun way to express feelings and emotions, try things you never considered, or create whole new worlds or alternative universes. When I wrote The Colors Trilogy books, I followed the old adage, "write what you know." To me, there weren't many books that highlighted the college experience from a realistic side with multi-cultural characters and good friends from both sexes. 

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when? Do you have a special time to write?
I write part-time, however, I try to write every day for at least 30 minutes, it doesn't matter when or where. Of course there are some days where life gets in the way and my daily word count equals zero, then there are other times when I can write all day and all night to my heart's content. 

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
Yes, you have to let it stew. After you finish writing the book, you need to read it again with fresh eyes and a less passionate perspective to see which areas need improvement and which sections soar. 

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
I enjoy writing about what I see in reality (the truth really is stranger than fiction) or crazy worlds I dream about. When writing, I try to keep a nice balance between plot driven and character driven stories. As a writer, your book can have all the action in the world, but if people don't like your characters, they won't connect or care. On the flip side, if you stay too character driven then you can run the risk of having readers say that all your characters did was talk to themselves without taking any action, which can bore your readers. So, I strive for an exciting balance between the two. 

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
The Colors Trilogy follows three college friends as they search for true love, NFL fame, and a successful engineering career. The books are available in paperback and digital formats on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and they're coming soon to iBooks.

The three novels The Colors of Friendship (Book One, published August 13, 2013), The Colors of Love (Book Two, published November 19, 2013), and True Colors (Book Three, publishing March 25, 2014) fall under the Contemporary, New Adult genres. 

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

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

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

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








Intimate Conversation with Sabrina Sims McAfee

Sabrina McAfee is your bestselling author of suspense drama. She also writes romantic suspense and mainstream. Originally from Florida, she’s a current resident of Myrtle Beach, SC.  In her leisure she likes spending time with her family, reading, traveling, and watching reality and suspense TV shows.  Sabrina’s goal is to someday produce one of her books into a movie.  As she strives toward her dream, she plans to try her hardest to bring readers great satisfying stories. She thanks all of her readers. Listen to Sabrina on BAN Radio with Ella Curry

BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?
My book Sinful Seduction is a suspense drama packed with sensual romance that begins with Katilla.  Katilla is a nurse that was recently dumped by her NFL superstar boyfriend. The sudden breakup leaves her scorn and unable to trust. Now that she’s out on the dating market again, she’s determined not to let any man break her heart. Believing that true love is impossible, she meets fine, and handsome Dr. Kenneth Michaels. Because of her past, Katilla only has one thing on her mind, and that’s seducing Kenneth so she can get accepted into medical school.

Kenneth is a leading cardiologist still grieving the death of his wife when he meets Katilla. Feeling as if he’s already had his opportunity at true love, he’s surprised when he begins a steamy love affair with her and begins to fall madly in love. But then suddenly, when he learns of Katilla’s seductive secret to use him so she can get accepted into medical school, and her destructive ex boyfriend returns with a scandal of his own, things become explosive! They’re thrown them into a painful web of lies, deceit, and danger! 

Sinful Seduction  has many twists and turns, ups and downs, and evokes many emotions. However, in the end it demonstrates that true love prevails.  Katilla is special because she’s a dedicated friend, has a good heart, and goes to back for the people she loves. Kenneth is special because when he finally gives love a second chance, he gives it 100 percent and he’s a strong, likeable man.






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.









Intimate Conversation with Shaquana Jackson

Shaquana Jackson was born in Lafayette, LA but  currently resides in Abbeville, LA. She has a degree in General Studies with an concentration in Liberal Arts. She began writing at the age of ten when she encountered an accident that changed things in her life from that point on. However, she says it was a blessing because she may have never discovered her talent given from God above.

BPM: Introduce us to your book, Now That the Cover is Removed  and the main characters. 
Now That the Cover is Removed will be released on Tuesday, November 4, 2013. Makeup and laughter is what Justina uses to cover up her beatings and pain that comes from within her very own home. She's living a life that she never thought she would live with her mother and the misery from her past. Along with abuse, Justina has to deal with a long lost sibling who wants her dead and seeks to carry out a wayward dream of becoming Justina. Justina’s past love interests tag along for the thrill of keeping her in despair. The past knows Justina weakness and tests her to see how long it will be before she will break free from all harm. Will she have enough strength and determination to forgive her abusers, find redemption and stare danger in the face to remain alive?

Colleen is a successful counselor who seems to have more problems than her patients. Along with dealing with family issues at home, she puts herself in harm’s way when trying to counsel someone she has a strong connection with. Getting too close to her patients opens doors that no one can seem to close. She begins to lose her ability to keep work, because she becomes too intimate with her client's lives and struggles. This also causes major problems within her marriage. Will Colleen lose what she has spent her life working for as she tries to capture what she lost years ago?

Aalisa's dream of becoming a New York Times bestselling author has come true, but it brings along the unforeseen dangers of becoming famous, which opens her life up for scrutiny. On her rise to the top, Aalisa has to come to grips with the fact she doesn't know how to accept the good along with the bad. A diabolical stalker from the past finds her and refuses to leave her alive this time! Her stalker’s obsession has taken precedence in Aalisa’s life because it now involves the safety of her only child. Aalisa must find a way to destroy her past, so that she can save her child. Will she stop the stalker and continue on with her life, so that she can focus on the romance she so longs for?

To conquer all the drama and heartache the three friends face, they must confide in one another and let their damaging secrets be known, in order to help conquer their situations. Even though it’s a hard pill to swallow, telling each other the shocking secrets they have held in for years might change their lives for the better and even put their past to rest at last.





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 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. 






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




HOME     |     Author Interviews      |    Bookclub Interviews     |   Featured Articles     |    Book Store