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, 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
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Black Authors Network Radio-Founder
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BEA 2014: Diversity in Children's Publishing Panel

Listen to the BAN Radio Rebroadcast of the Speakers, click here.

All the Children, Need All of the Books!

The panelists:  Wade Hudson of Just Us Books, author Tonya Bolden, packager Bernette Ford, Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati of Literary Media and Publishing Consultants, Patrik Henry Bass of Essence,  Regina Brooks of Serendipity Literary Agency, and Harlyn Pacheco of Qlovi.  
Photo taken by Jerry Craft, posted to his Facebook wall.

Prominent African-American and Hispanic children’s book publishers, publicists, agents, and authors were featured on the BEA panel “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?”

Moderated by Troy Johnson and organized by Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati, CEO of Literary Media and Publishing Consultants, the panel focused on the lack of availability of ethnically diverse children’s books in schools, libraries, and bookstores, and opened with a history of African-American children’s book publishing in the U.S., presented by Wade Hudson, co-founder of the children’s book publisher Just Us Books. This recording is a rebroadcast of that panel and the first speaker is Wade Hudson.  A common thread of the discussion was that children need books that reflect the world they live in.  The panelists offered concrete ideas about how to increase the number and visibility of books for children of color. Listen to this panel and share with others!  Quoted by PW.

Facebook Message from Mr. Wade Hudson

Book Expo America offered wonderful opportunities for Black writers and publishing professionals and people of color to share and network. There certainly is a desire among all of us to address the lack of diversity in publishing across the board. That was evident when seventeen Black children's and young adult book creators gathered at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum's 2nd Annual Children's Book Fair held on May 10th in Baltimore, MD.

After much discussion, we all left the book fair determined to take on the challenge. That same determination was present at Book Expo America as well. As I shared during the panel "Where Are the People of Color in Children's Books?", on Saturday at Book Expo America, we need a movement, with everyone involved--from those in the publishing world, to educators, parents, churches and community organizations, and of course, book creators. We had such a movement underway in the seventies, eighties, nineties and early years of 2000. But, for a number of reasons, it lost stream. We need to fire up the engine again. And I am sure we will do that!  We must!

We all know good books have power to change lives, to empower, to inform, and yes, to entertain. We must not wait on others! We need to do what we can, in organized and strategical ways, to get more diverse books published, but just as importantly, to get those books into the hands of all children, all people!

Black-owned presses such as Just Us Books, Jerry Craft's Mama Boyz, Inc., Zetta Elliott's Rosetta Press and independent presses such as Lee & Low Books and Cinco Puntos have been doing just that! These presses need to be supported as well as the books written by Black authors and authors of color that are published by larger publishers. The "movement" continues.  Read the original post and comments:


1. Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?  by Walter Dean Myers
Of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just 93 were about black people, according to a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin.

Reading came early to me, but I didn’t think of the words as anything special. I don’t think my step-mom thought of what she was doing as more than spending time with me in our small Harlem apartment. From my comfortable perch on her lap I watched as she moved her finger slowly across the page. She probably read at about the third grade level, but that was good enough for the True Romance magazines she read. I didn’t understand what the stories were about, what “bosom” meant or how someone’s heart could be “broken.” To me it was just the comfort of leaning against Mama and imagining the characters and what they were doing.


Walter Dean Myers, Prolific and Beloved Author of Award-Winning Children’s Books, Dies at Age 76.  Myers Touched So Many With His Eloquent and Unflinching Portrayal of Young African-American Lives

Walter Dean Myers, beloved and deeply respected children’s book author, died on July 1, 2014, following a brief illness. He was 76 years old.  In a career spanning over 45 years, Walter Dean Myers wrote more than 100 books for children of all ages. His impressive body of work includes two Newbery Honor Books, three National Book Award Finalists, and six Coretta Scott King Award/Honor-winning books. He was the winner of the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award, the first recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. 

In 2010, Walter was the United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, and in 2012 he was appointed the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, serving a two-year tenure in the position. Also in 2012, Walter was recognized as an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree, an honor given by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, for his substantial lifetime accomplishments and contribution to children’s literature.

Walter’s body of work includes picture books, novels for teens, poetry, and non-fiction alike. In 1968, Walter’s first published book, Where Does the Day Go?, illustrated by Leo Carty, won an award from the Council on Interracial Books for Children. Walter and his son Christopher, an artist, collaborated on a number of picture books for young readers, including We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart and Harlem, which received a Caldecott Honor Award, as well as the teen novel and National Book Award Finalist Autobiography of My Dead Brother, which Christopher illustrated. 

Walter’s novel Scorpions won a Newbery Honor Medal and the Margaret A. Edwards Award, while gritty teen novels Lockdown and Monster were both National Book Award Finalists. Monster appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, won the first Michael L. Printz Award, and received a Coretta Scott King Honor Award. 

His stunning Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel, Fallen Angels (1988), about the Vietnam War, was named one of the top ten American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults of all time. Twenty years later, Myers wrote a riveting contemporary companion novel, Sunrise Over Fallujah, which was named a New York Times Notable Book in 2008.

Walter often wrote books about the most difficult time in his own life—his teenage years—for the reader he once was; these were the books that he wished were available when he was that age. Throughout his life, Walter worked to make sure young adults had the tools necessary to become hungry readers, thirsty learners, and, therefore, successful adults. He frequently met with incarcerated teens in juvenile detention centers and received countless letters thanking him for his inspirational words. Walter also worked with and mentored teenage fan and writer Ross Workman, and they published the novel Kick together. 

As the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature from 2012-2013, Walter traveled around the United States promoting the slogan “Reading is not optional.” He strove to spread the message that a brighter future depends on reading proficiency and widespread literacy, not only during his two-year tenure as National Ambassador, but beyond. More than anything, Walter pushed for his stories to teach children and teenagers never to give up on life.  Read the entire bio on Mr. Myers website: 

2.  Diversity an Issue as Book Convention written Jet Magazine

Non-whites are virtually absent from BookExpo ...
Read More: 

3.  Diversity An Issue As Annual BookExpo America Convention Opens

A variety of topics important to the SFF community with a special focus on inclusivity and diversity.
Read More 

4.  Diversity in YA/Children's Lit, Ethnicity and YA Literature
A podcast of the diversity panel at BEA made up of Ellen Oh (PROPHECY Series), Aisha Saeed (Written in the Stars, 2015), Marieke Nijkamp, founder of DiversifYA, Lamar Giles (Fake ID) and Mike Jung (Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities). Special Guests included acclaimed Authors Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), Matt de la Peña (The Living) and Jacqueline Woodson (Beneath a Meth Moon).





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


About the Author

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

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

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

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

Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy: 





Love and Order of the Seers
by Cerece Rennie Murphy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy: 





by William Fredrick Cooper 


LOVE and FEAR. Two words we hear so much. Along with Pain and humiliation, we travel in a land of selfishness, compartmentalizing God's gift to us all by utilizing components of LOVE. Kickin' it casually, we might miss the opportunity of a future dream by being afraid of the pain REAL LOVE can bring. But do we realize that in that pain lay the beauty of LOVE, for if your heart was sincere, then the hurt when disappointed is just as real.

To be HOPEFUL is to be so stimulated with optimism and possibility that all fear, frustrations and foul-ups go out the window. A man forgets that he's playing the field, a woman finally exhales, and both are held right and loved right.

I long to be HOPEFUL with you. I'll be there in your fantasies, holding you tight with all my might, trying desperately, with all I have, to love you right. Soaring through galaxies of pleasure and pain together, your past is irrelevant and mines, I hope, is moot as well. A PLAYER IS A PLAYER BECAUSE HE'S SCARED TO FEEL, and judging from my Comedy of errors, my player card should have been revoked long before I even though I could be one. Cornballs are never cool, but there's another reason.

The reason why is because I FEEL.  The reason why is I'm HOPEFUL.  You say that you always wanted to wrap your body tight with another and make love to the beautiful beat of raindrops as they fall on us.

I say we can start with the beat of our bodies connecting to music. TEDDY? LUTHER? MICHAEL? Translation: Both of us are HOPEFUL.

Your hips, hypnotic in their sway, have me curious, though my heart has been dipped in Gold. I wanna know, can we dance in the land of hard and soft, wet and welcoming, lust, limbs and love? Like two dancers in sync, I am HOPEFUL that love will sweep me away.

God, just make me ready. As I stated earlier, I AM HOPEFUL.

We both been thru some things, yet here we stand, HOPEFUL that God deemed it right. A three-fold chord is not easily broken, and with HIS guidance, what's developing here will be of spirit and truth. Searching long and hard, near and far, I've stumbled so many times looking for love. Good ones have slipped through my grasp, and I'm grateful that even while exiting my life, ladies spared my heart.

"You're Not Ready," was the familiar refrain. God Bless Them, because I could have been called worse.

Going to my FATHER in Prayer, I have asked for help in putting away childish things I hold dear, for behind the jokes lay a man that wants a love all his. 

But Before God grants me LOVE with a woman, there must be HOPE. HOPE means not bailing when issues are discovered; HOPE means not placing value of material things, yet looking at potential and what's brought to the table. HOPE means taking a chance with your heart sans fear, and not worrying about an end result. HOPE means respect not attitude, honesty even when it hurts. HOPE brings an unspoken language that come when two attempt to be one. HOPE means PAIN (Positive Alterations Internally Needed) takes a backseat to the soft sensitive sounds that comes with femininity, and the Might that masculinity bred to provide and protect when surrending to that special woman.

HOPE means total SURRENDER, Brothers.
HOPE means SUBMISSION, Sisters.
Or is it just a start to LOVE?

If this is what we both want, then God's greatest Gift to us all, Love between Man and Woman, starts with HOPE.  Yesterday, I was in pain, thinking love may have passed me by.  Today I smile with the renewed warmth of a fighter who'll never give up on a great emotion. God, please continue working on me, for today, I am HOPEFUL.

About the Author
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 national periodicals such as Ebony Magazine and New York Times Bestselling Anthologies. A Brooklyn native and the father of Maranda Nicole Cooper, stop by Cooper's Facebook page (, listen to some great music and say hello. 

Unbreakable: A Novel by William Fredrick Cooper






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 I Do What I Do!
by J.M. Lominy

Writing is my passion, my lover and my air. She is my mistress who keeps me from home with jealous intent. She does not care that I have obligations. With joyous indulgence I cling to her snare. I write or else I will drown. It is my favorite form of expression. I communicate clearly with my writing where my verbal expression is not as forthcoming. Writing is the air that fills my lungs; populating every alveolus with a passionate expression of self.

My journey to writing started with reading. In grade school I didn’t have an appreciation for the written word. As a young adult I discovered the joy of a good read. It allowed me to travel into different realms, countries and times while physically remaining at my desk. 

I enjoyed reading so much, I became a recluse; preferring the company of books over human contact. My home library is full of books from different authors - some who I feel are outright geniuses. They have the ability to make a grown man sniffle with threats of tearful eyes. One particular author brought me so close to tears after the first two pages, I set the book down. I have yet to complete it given my male ego. 

I read all genres. A good book is a good book, so why should I limit my reading experience? I do have a favorite genre, but I will give any author a chance to snare my attention.

Like reading, writing is an addiction that clings tight to my psyche. I often find myself staring at a blank sheet of paper - no matter the size - with a desire to add the written word. It’s as if I can hear the paper beckoning me to come and write…so I write.

Meet the Author

Life began for J.M. Lominy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As a husband, father, nurse and veteran Lominy has been making room to write since 2000. Specializing in Historical Fiction, he is the author of the upcoming book, The Deadly Rose, An Assassin’s Tale.  His work, both poetic and determined in voice, places an emphasis on the Haitian experience as witnessed through the life of passionate characters.  Mr. Lominy currently resides in Georgia with his wife and his three sons. Visit J.M. Lominy at:  

The Deadly Rose, An Assassin's Tale by J.M. Lominy, chapter one is available for immediate reading:

J.M. Lominy website:  




My Publishing Journey: Navigating the Ups and Downs
by Trice Hickman

I will never forget the day I started writing my first novel. I’d been plagued by writer’s block for years, but one sunny Wednesday morning in March 2004, I had a breakthrough! I sat at my computer and watched in amazement as words flowed like sweet water from my fingertips to the keyboard, filling up page after page with thoughts, emotions, and characters that had been living inside my head. I was so excited! I wrote every single day, and four months later my debut novel, Unexpected Interruptions, was complete! The feeling of accomplishment was euphoric! But very quickly the next step was in front of me—how to get my work published?

I had always thought that writing a book was the hard part…little did I know that the hardest part was yet to come—publishing it, and harder still, selling it.

I began researching how to get my book published. I studied the pros and cons of traditional publishing versus self-publishing, and came to the conclusion that the traditional route was the way for me. So again, I did my research. I gathered the names of every literary agent, editor, and publisher whom I thought might be interested in my work, and I reached out to them. I waited with excitement for the offers to start pouring in. Well, letters started pouring in, but to my dismay, they weren’t offers to publish my manuscript. They were rejection letters.

Let me tell you, rejection really hurts!

“Did they really read my story?” I had wondered. “If they did, how could they have possibly turned me down?” That was the question I asked myself over and over, month after month as new rejection letters flooded into both my mailbox and inbox. Some were standard form letters with a generic let down, but some were personalized, stating hurtful words that temporarily halted my dream.

There’s a saying, “You haven’t loved until you’ve had your heart broken.” Well, you’re not a writer until you get your first rejection letter (or your first bad review, but that’s a discussion for another time). I basked in the grayness of a short-lived pity party, then I bounced back into action because I knew I had a few things on my side that beat rejection every time: belief, determination, perseverance, and faith!

I had spent long days and sleepless nights creating my characters and crafting their story. I believed in them. And I believed that if I could just get my book published, despite what had been said, someone would buy it. And if someone bought it they would read it and like it. And if they liked it they’d tell a friend, and that friend would tell another friend, and voila! I’d have a winner on my hands. I was determined to see my book in print, so I realigned my mission and set my sights on self-publishing.

Again, I did my research. I scoured the Internet for information. I purchased books to learn all I could about best practices and new industry trends. I attended workshops, seminars, book festivals, and literary conferences. I reached out to other authors and industry professionals. And most importantly, I developed a plan for publishing my book, complete with time sensitive tasks that I diligently followed. I set aside money from my paycheck every month and assembled a team of professionals who could help me execute my publishing plan. Finally, after nearly three years of preparation, I resigned from my job and started my own publishing company, Platinum Books, and released Unexpected Interruptions!

Just as I’ll never forget the day I started writing my first book, I’ll never forget that chilly Tuesday afternoon in October 2007, when my books arrived at my doorstep, hot from the printer. Holding the finished product in my hand was euphoric! But again, the next step was staring me in the face—how would I sell the book?

I had done a modest print run of 2,500 copies, and through marketing and pre-promotion efforts I managed to pre-sell 1,000 books before the novel was released (NOTE: this was before e-books really took off). Next, my goal was to sell the other 1,500 books and go from there. I contacted as many people as I could who had pre-ordered directly through my website and asked for their feedback. If they enjoyed the book, I asked them to please spread the word for me. Now this is where perseverance and having a plan paid off. I hit the road on a book tour that I had organized months in advance. My corporate sponsor, GODIVA Chocolatier (the main character in my book loved GODIVA, so I approached them about sponsoring a few of my signings), provided treats at some of my events that enticed readers to come out and join me. In less than thirty days I had sold all my books and was placing an order for another print run.

Unexpected Interruptions, went on to garner praise from readers and literary reviewers across the country. It also won two literary awards and topped several bookstore bestseller lists.

Three years and two additional books later, I was approached by Kensington Publishing Corp. (Dafina Books) to purchase the publishing rights for all three of my originally self-published titles. Kensington will re-release each of my books, providing broader distribution that will allow me to reach a much larger readership. My debut novel, Unexpected Interruptions, was re-released March 29, 2011, and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly! I was so excited, and the amazing thing was that Kensington did not change my story; even the cover art remained the same. Yes, the same book that everyone had turned down now received a nod from an industry giant. The faith I had in my work led me down a bumpy road that turned into a wonderful journey; one in which I wouldn’t change a thing!

To learn more about Trice Hickman and her books, please visit her website at If you’re interested in taking your first step toward becoming a published author, please contact Trice for a one-on-one coaching session by clicking on the Writer’s Corner page on her site.

Books by Trice Hickman 



What I Have Learned From Publishing My First Book 
by Cerece Rennie Murphy

A year ago, I published my first full-length story EVER– a sci-fi novel called Order of the Seers. It took me about a year to write and almost as long to get up the courage to publish it. But on September 4, 2012, I took the plunge, hit the send button, uploaded my file to Amazon and waited for the masses to collectively shudder in awe at the little piece of my heart that I sent out into the world. It has been quite a journey since then, and ever since I got my head out of my you-know-where and started using it, its been kind of fun too. How hard this journey has been hasn’t exactly been a surprise to me, but watching myself slowly evolve into a publisher has. This is a short list of some of the things I have learned so far.

1) Welcome to the REAL world AKA you are NOT an overnight sensation. The day my first book was published, I spent the entire day sick in bed with worry and fear. After a week, I think I had only sold about 20 ebook copies. I was devastated. I told myself my book was horrible and I shouldn’t have even tried to publish it. It took me a week to start THINKING about what I might have done better or differently. That’s when I really started to move into the new career that I have chosen. 

The Lesson: If you don’t become a bestseller your first week out, it’s not the worst thing in the world. It’s just where you started. Where you end up is up to you. 

2) One blog tour and one eblast does not a marketing plan make. Seriously - that was pretty much my marketing plan for the release of my 1st book. Yes, I was very naïve about what it would take for people to find out about my book. Most of my reluctance to developing a marketing plan had to do with  a) my fear of putting myself out there and  b) my general ignorance about what methods and resources were available to me. I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that for a while. Some things worked (I built my mailing list by going to comic/sci-fi conventions, did a cover reveal blog tour for the 2nd book along with a $.99 week long sale promotion for the 1st book) and some things didn’t (spent a ton of money on a Christmas ad campaign that cost way more than I sold in books).

The Lesson: If you have the guts to publish a book, have the guts to market it. One barely makes sense without the other. One of the best marketing pieces of advice that I have gotten so far is, “pick a monthly budget, no matter how big or small and do something every month to promote your book. Keep writing and keep marketing. Consistency will pay off.” It has taken me over a year, but I am finally seeing the maturity and wisdom of these words. For most writers, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

3) Guard Your Headspace AKA Read Reviews Sparingly. I have read this time and time again from accomplished veterans of the writing profession, but this advice is so hard to heed. In the beginning, I used to check my reviews every day. It would stress me out so much that, at one point, I was literally afraid to go on Goodreads. A glowing review would be met with relief, quickly followed by skepticism. A strong, but not effusive review would be picked over to death for the rest of the day. Neither one helped me write any better, but one could shut me down for a good 24-48 hours.

The Lesson: Everyone isn’t going to like your book. That’s a fact and it’s ok. Find some people you trust and respect. Get them to read and critique your work. Modify as needed, then let it be. Periodically, I will check the number of reviews I have when I am in the middle of a promotion. Sometimes, if it appears that I’ve gotten a few good ones, I’ll chance a glance and feel happy, but I don’t let myself linger. It’s just not that helpful to my state-of-mind.

4) Building Buzz Takes Time AKA Give yourself more than 4 month before you publish your 1st novel. I decided to publish my book at the end of May 2012 and I published my 1st book in September. This was stupid. The process of trying to learn what I was doing while I was doing it was so stressful and crazy. At the time, I didn’t want to give myself the chance to chicken-out, so I think I just tried to plow through it, but in the process, I missed opportunities for reviews and using other promotional resources that might have made my first release more successful. 

The Lesson: Don’t do what I did. Give yourself time to learn the business before you dive in. (But don’t use your research as an excuse to procrastinate!) 

5) The doubt doesn’t go away, but it gets more manageable as you go. I wish I could say that, a year later, I feel like a super-awesome self-published author, but I don’t. Most days, I feel the weight of all the things I still need to learn and do, but I can also acknowledge how far I have come. The release of my second book in the Order of the Seers trilogy this summer was a bit less personally traumatic and much more thoroughly planned out and executed than my first release. This was made possible only with the help of an author’s assistant, street promotion team, 3 book blog/promotion services running simultaneously, a small, but positive, collection of pre-release reviews, a week-long free sale of the 1st book and an uber-coordinated mailing list, Facebook and twitter campaign. The result - my second book stayed on Amazon Kindle’s best-seller list for over a month in the sci-fi/genetic engineering category and made it into Amazon’s Hot New Sci-fi releases list.

The Lesson: Believe in your story enough to work on writing it, honing it and sharing it, every day that you can.

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, see here.




The Perfect Vocal: A Revision Model

By Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Teena Marie had one in the song, “Fire and Desire,” and Luther Vandross had several throughout his career, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Phillip Bailey as a lead in the mega –group Earth, Wind and Fire. I’m talking about a perfect vocal where notes are delivered so clear that they touch down masterfully onto the musical melody. It’s undeniable, not a note, rift or run has to be changed. Most likely a production engineer did not say,” Let’s run that back and try again.” No remix needed. A remake by another artist is not advised. This is why I listen to music while I’m editing a novel. It reminds me that perfection is possible.

Artistry begets Artistry. We are all looking to produce as Larenz Tate described in the movie, Love Jones, ‘the definitive work.’  Julia Cameron in the book, The Artist Way talks about taking an artist date where you nourish your inner artist by indulging in muse-worthy activities. It could be a day at the theater, a movie or a leisurely walk through a park. You can find me taking my date tethered to Beats headphones with my 1418 song playlist.

What defines us, our brand – our message must all be contemplated when you’re editing. How will this work measure up to other books, and how will it stand out?

Revising a novel like recording a song must concentrate on what a work is saying.  A great beat is cool, but a song has to be lyrically strong for me to make a connection. Everyone knows or has known someone who can just,” . . .love them and leave them.” Still others may identify with the raw and vengeful voice of newcomer, Jazmine Sullivan who boldly confesses, ‘I bust the windows out your car.” Plotlines are everywhere. I create a playlist with each book I write as if I were asked to make a soundtrack for the movie version. Each song reminds me of the minutest detail in my story make up.

When I edit, I whittle my first draft back to my characters motivation and the pursuit of their goal. My goal is to reach the very nerve ending of my characters certainly, but my readers as well, and poke at it.

In fact on of my themes of my new book, Submissionary, about an unlikely missionary on his way to Haiti, is about editing his relationships after a long absence. It’s a process, you either love or hate, but it is necessary.

Revising a novel, like recording a song, is all about the way in which you say things.

Who can forget Adele’s break out hit, “Someone Like You.” Now, that’s a perfect vocal in its mix of what its saying and how it is said. It has very poignant lyrics, and it is haunting in its delivery. I try to be a relationship weaver in that same respect to show those bonds between people, and, certainly the bond between a person and their creator is what art is all about. It’s about experience. I guesstimate 85% of the songs written at its core are about relationships. Most of them are not ever covered the same way. 

Love has subtle nuances you don’t get right the first time whether on a digitally mastered MP3 or the printed page. The way people meet, how they love and how they clash, ultimately calls for creativity in one’s delivery. I must remember as a novelist that it’s not just the outcome but how my characters arrive there. It’s about the journey that seems fresh and new.

When you achieve what you’re trying to say and how you are trying to say it, you’ve just laid the perfect track. Admittedly, not everyone achieves it. You got to tinker with the elements- Earth, Wind and Fire – your Fire and Desire to get it right, and the saving grace of talent.

About the Author
Sherryle Kiser Jackson is a multi-published Christian Fiction author. Her brand of Soul-Satisfying Reads is her honest commentary on life. Her most recent work, Submissionary will be released in paperback and digital formats April of this year.  Her triumphant debut novel, Soon and Very Soon (2007) was followed up by her sophomore release, The Manual (2009), Soon After (2010), Taylor- Made (2011), Land of Promiscuity (2012) and Path to Promise (2013) for Urban Christian Books. She lives in Maryland with her husband and daughter.

Submissionary by Sherryle Kiser Jackson is published by Holy*Ghost*Writing* Publishing.

Purchase  Submissionary​ by Sherryle Kiser Jackson



How to Have Fun Giving an Interview 
by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Unlike most public speaking opportunities, I actually look forward to interviews. Whether they are in-person, on camera, radio or via an emailed list of questions, I always feel like I know how to prepare and just what to do because an interview is about the one thing you know best – you. You might not be able to list significant developments in the Middle East Crisis or come up with a succinct definition of “irony” on the spot, but you are an expert in you and your work and that’s all an interview is really about. So here are some thoughts I have on how to approach an interview with anticipation instead of dread. You might even have a little fun in the process.

1)  Ask yourself what you would want to know. Look at the body of work that the people interviewing you will be familiar with. Are there any interesting connections, inconsistencies or curious departures that, if you were a stranger, you’d want to know more about? Practice putting your thoughts together on how to describe, explain or clarify your unique journey. I wouldn’t recommend memorizing anything here, because if you get nervous and you can’t find “the word” that’s supposed to come next, you might convince yourself that you’re lost when you’re not. You can never be lost in an interview because you have the ultimate home court advantage – you know you better than anyone else. You just want to have thought about the questions they might ask long enough for your to identify the themes and patterns that are important to you so that you can recall them with more ease when you need to.

2)  Don’t be afraid to give an answer they don’t like. A really good interviewer wants to get to know you. The right answer is the one you give. It may not be what they are looking for, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong. I’ll never forget one of the last job interviews I had. One of the interviewers asked me what I would do if I disagreed with my supervisor. I told her that I would voice my opinion and then leave it up to the supervisor to decide. She didn’t like that. I could see it right away, but it was the truth and if she couldn’t handle that then I probably wasn’t the right fit for her or the organization. It’s tough to do this when your livelihood is on the line. You have to decide what are the things you can compromise on and what are the things you just can’t and stand as firm as you can for as long as you can, otherwise, it will come back to bite you in the butt.

3)  Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. Expect the question you didn’t prepare for. Be surprised. It’s ok. The trick is not in the fact that you didn’t know they were going to ask that question. That’s obvious, unless you are clairvoyant. The trick is in how you handle the surprise and answer the question anyway. Talk about what you do know on the subject, or why your attention has been focused on X thing that is more important to you/relevant to what you are doing, or how you would find out about Y thing and what you think are the most pressing questions to be answered. 

A surprise is your chance to surprise them right back. At a recent convention, I was pitching my book to an attendee (which is a mini-interview in itself) and in mid-pitch she cut me off and told me that my book sounded like another book by a British author. What do you say to that? Since I didn’t know what she was talking about, I asked her if she could remember the title and tell me a little bit about the storyline. I could tell she was taken aback. Her comment was meant to disarm me, but instead I was curious. She wasn’t expecting that. Suddenly, she became flustered, “I don’t really know,” she said sheepishly then grabbed a bookmark off my table. “Does this have all the information on your books,” she asked. “Yes,” I replied. “You can read the first chapter of the first book for free on my website.” 

Another surprised look came across her face, “Okay,” she offered, looking me in the eye for the first time during our interaction. “I’ll check it out,” she said finally before walking away. Maybe she will, maybe she won’t, but the point is, I wasn’t afraid, either way.

4)  And last, but not least, breathe and smile. I always feel honored whenever someone wants to know my opinion on anything. Take it as a sign that you’ve got something that someone thinks is worth sharing – so share it. You’ll feel better for it and you just might help someone else along the way.

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 can be found here today: 



Intimate Conversation with Melisa Alaba

Melisa Alaba is a thought leader, sought after speaker and life coach that expresses her gifts through healing, coaching, teaching. Melisa is a graduate of Roosevelt University, Chicago, with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Psychology. Melisa received special training in meditation and stress management.

Melisa empowers her clients to take control of their destiny. With over 12 years experience as a counselor and coach, Melisa has assisted hundreds of clients in reaching their goals and fulfilling their dreams. Melisa has also taught students at Joliet Junior College, Morton College and University of Phoenix in Psychology and Sociology courses. Melisa has been affectionately called “The Vision Coach” because she has assisted many clients in reclaiming and discovering their vision and purpose.

Melisa Alaba is the founder and CEO of Vision Works Counseling and Coaching and The Pure Life Club. Melisa is also an international wellness speaker with Cool Leaf Inc., one of the largest corporate wellness providers in the country.

Melisa has presented to companies such as: Alere (Fortune 500 company), Cobb County Social Workers Association, Woodward Private Academy and many community groups and organizations across the country. Melisa currently teaches workshops and leads retreats on Mindful meditation, Emotional healing, Purpose journaling and writing.

Additionally, Melisa has been featured as an expert in Ebony Magazine, featured guest on 1380 AM Radio and in many other notable publications and broadcasts. Melisa was honored by Stiletto Woman in Business (SWIBA) with the 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year for Health and Healing.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
After having a life changing car accident in 2008. I was forced to look at my life in a different manner. Over the period of two years I got my life back after suffering devastating loses. I wrote this book to help people who have gone through similar experiences or who are lost or just stuck and what to get free.

BPM: Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing?
Yes. Indeed. I write about life. I believe we are all on a beautiful journey in which has many turns and twist. It is up to us to embrace it all.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?
I write self-help books which often include rich and funny stories from life and the lives of thousands of people I have encountered over the years. I am a great observer and I learn through watching. I always include the latest research but I make it palatable with storytelling which explain concepts that will benefit you.

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?
Live Out Loud, 52 Ways to Reawaken Your Spirit and Live a Life of Purpose  is your gate way to living a life you will love. We live in a society where we equate money and things to success and I have learned that truly living on purpose is so much more. This books opens you up to simple exercises that will put you on the path to living your life full out and on purpose!

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Live Out Loud: 52 Ways to Reawaken Your Spirit and Live a Life of Purpose  introduces you to 11 keys to living a fully awake life: abundance, acceptance, balance, commitment, connection, discovery, forgiveness, giving, gratitude, organization, and purpose. I present exercises that are easy to follow that will move you from being stuck to embracing your power and overcoming disappointments or setbacks. The exercises can be done individually, with a partner, or in a group. The fifty-two mindful exercises are short and extremely powerful. Many are based on my firsthand experiences and biblical principles. They will move you to take action and gain the life you were created to live.

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Success for me has been having my readers contacting me and tell me that this book caused them to shift in their being. I wrote this book to impact the lives of others so they could impact the world. To that point I have already experienced success in that endeavor. I will continue to write books that empower people to find their voice, live authentically and deliver their gifts powerfully to the world.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
So many of us have been conditioned since youth to dim our light. We have been told that our gifts are not good enough or worthy to be shared. We have been conditioned to believe that safety should be our main concern. I believe that this book will guide readers in being liberated to discover, explore and claim their gifts so that they can transform lives.

Purchase Live Out Loud by Melisa Alaba
Kindle Edition:





Taming The Female Impostor 
by Dr. Sherine Vie 

"Dr. Vie’s book will inspire many to change their lifestyle and way of thinking for better health, peace of mind and harmony." - Dr. Verma, Ayurveda Doctor, India

Ancient secrets to creating the new woman - feminine, creative and super-conscious. She is the healing power to change the future of our Planet Earth.

Taming The Female Impostor: Book of Secrets to Rescuing Humanity - There is a global crisis where crime, illness and unhappiness are increasing, world-wide. The Book of Secrets uses fantasy characters to unravel shocking new insights into the root cause of the problems, and reveals the Magical Weapons of Veedinti, tools to restore peace, love and joy in your personal life, in your communities, nation and the world at large. 

The book is ideal for men and women, from teens to seniors seeking to improve their lives in general, and especially, in the areas of sexuality, family, food, friendships, work, relaxation and introspection. Through The Great Rescue Game (for children) and Taming the Human Impostor (for adults), you learn how to implement the tools in daily living. Dr. Vie Academy and Dr. Vie Radio Show: “Who Do You Think You Are?” stimulate further interaction.

Book Reviews for Taming The Female Impostor

“Through new insights, Dr. Vie unravels the root cause of the female global crises, and provides powerful practical tools to restore peace, health and vitality,”
~Dr. John Gray, Author, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, San Francisco

“I have worked all of my professional life with high performance women, whether it was a National Team, a University varsity team or our leading entertainment company. Dr. Vie is certainly an elite, high performance person regardless of the field she chooses to endeavor in to! Dr. Vie is a pioneer in each field she chooses to focus on! I’ve loved Dr. Vie SuperFoods since 2007. Now, yet again, through this book she reveals fascinating perspectives and intuitive wisdom, making it a must read, for men also.” ~Boris Verkhovsky, Former National Acrobatics Team Head Coach, Montreal.

"Finally! After millenniums of spiritual teachings primarily by and geared to men, teachings which have dismissed and often denigrated feminine wisdom and power, comes Dr. Vie's much needed guidance to help women cultivate and unleash their essential spirit. And just in time, so we wisely use balance feminine-masculine energy and co-create the healthy and harmonious evolution of humankind."~ Ellen Eatough, MA, Extatica, San Francisco

“The first word that comes to mind is inspiring. One inspiration is Dr. Vie herself who finds her own power in her extraordinary story. Another is the wisdom passed down through the Book of Secrets that tells of the power of women. We don’t always see the power in ourselves, but here in the words of this book it can be found, and self-confidence can flourish.” ~Melissa C. Water, Author, Lady Injury, Toronto

The book integrates lifes most sought after questions into a captivating tale and journey, where the reader can explore who they are, how to find true peace and the meaning of life. Dr. Vie radiates compassion, courage and love as she inspires service to humanity and our great planet.  ~Jenni Parly, Life Coach, Los Angeles

“Every once in a while there comes along a book that captivates the mind and uplifts the soul. This is one of those books. In real life Dr. Vie has managed to maneuver through global cultures with ease and finesse. With the same level of sophistication, she weaves a tapestry of universality in her book. Each of us has the ability to rise above our circumstance, be it racism, sexism, environmental issues or cultural and religious biases. Each of us can choose to reject change and remain the same or board the “Life Express” and embrace the change. This winning book will appeal to a wide range of audiences globally.”  ~Lena McCalla Njee, Author, Autism Inspires. Teacher of the Year 2011-2012, Nominee -2014 Governor of the Year Award, New Jersey 

First Chapter from Taming The Female Impostor

Ch 1.  Who Do You Think You Are?

At 29,000 feet above sea level, the tranquility of the Great Himalayas took Shakti’s breath away. She had waited twenty-five years for this day, for this moment. She had been preparing her whole life for this feeling, this state of being one with her true Self.

The tiny Indian woman, slender at 45kg (99 lbs.) and barely five feet tall, perched her body cross-legged on the bare rock surrounded by an expanse of virgin snow. She drank in the beauty around her, became mindful, lowered her eyelids, and took in a deep breath through her nostrils. She held it as she focused the energy on her third eye. In that moment of silence and super-consciousness, she was one with her true identity. She became a witness of her past life and the future.

As quickly as her rollercoaster past sped before her, the future shone so brightly that it startled her delicate frame. She opened her eyes briefly, took in another deep breath, and started to soar into the oneness of the eternal existence as she began to meditate in the home of the gods and goddesses, the land of her roots. She was blissfully peaceful.

It was only last week that she was in Australia, the country of her birth, spending a quiet Sunday afternoon with her dearest mother. Shakti had not been home for ten years. While sitting at the cozy dining table, she was startled when she said something aloud. It seemed as if the words were pouring out of her being. Once the words were spoken, she knew what was going to happen. Been there, done that! She had experienced that sensation hundreds of times before. . . .

When Shakti was a little girl growing up in Melbourne, she often experienced moments where she would say certain words without much control over what she was saying. It would seem as if someone else were saying those words through her. Strangely enough, within a few months, the very words that she had spoken, like a premonition, would turn into reality. As she grew into a young woman, the time between what she said and it happening became shorter and shorter. Eventually she learned to pay closer attention to the power of her words.

So when she casually said, “Mom, we should go to India,” Shakti’s mother was not at all surprised. Parvathi was quite used to her only child’s adventurous spirit. As her mother, Parvathi had partaken of so many of her child’s amazing experiences around the planet, and she could sense that yet another was unfolding.

Within a week, the Boeing was landing in Mumbai at Chhatrapati Shivaji airport, carrying two excited women on board. Their next adventure had begun. They were in India, among over a billion people.

As Shakti sank into deep meditation high in the Himalayas, images of women, children, babies, and the elderly from around the world entered her vision. Their wretched faces were lined with tears and wrinkled with pain. She could feel their emotions, their profound hurt, and their desperate desire for change, for hope, and for salvation. She shuddered at times as the images became stronger, closer, and clearer. Mothers were carrying babies on their hips, sobbing from hunger and dying of disease. 

Young girls who had been violated by their family members were crying themselves to sleep, hoping for a miracle. There were women so overweight they could barely walk without discomfort. Some of them were in motorized chairs. Other women were skeletally thin from the ravages of anorexia. Elderly women appeared fatigued by pain, suffering with brain disease and dementia. Young females were crying out, on the brink of ending their lives because of depression. The pain ripped through Shakti’s light body as the sorrow of millions and billions of individual souls entered her, sharp as knives. Oh, dear heavens above, what pain, what sorrow, what helplessness, what desperation, what cries for help she experienced in that fleeting moment! Why was there so much suffering? Where was peace? 

Just as quickly, a feeling of loving warmth enveloped her, as if a new era had dawned. She witnessed, through her third eye, women of every color smiling, arms held high as if reaching for the stars, dancing to the rhythm of their cultural music. Billions of women all around the world danced. Tears of joy streamed down Shakti’s face as she continued to observe throngs of children surrounding these women, their tiny faces filled with glee, dancing in rhythm to the sways of the blissful women.

All around the unsuspecting world, this dance emerged, this vibration of peace, this feeling of complete awareness, this sense of immense super-consciousness. These women, these creators of life, these mothers of Earth, were infusing the ground, the water, the air, and the heavens with their deep vibrational energies. Their natural healing powers were changing the fertility of their lands, the safety of their water, the purity of their air, and the power of their food. They were carving out a future of wellness, peace, happiness, and love over every inch of this planet. Around them, men were joyous as they used their amazing physical strength and lifetimes of wisdom to propel and maintain this new age in which the women and children were happy and well. Together, they became one. As one source of cosmic energy, they were changing the world. Love shone bright. Bliss descended over all. There was contentment.

( Continued... )

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


Read more: 

Meet the Author

Born in South Africa, with roots in India, Dr. Sherine Vie, a former Swiss-based medical device scientist changed her career to natural health after losing her father to heart disease and helping her mother recover from breast cancer. Facing heart-breaking challenges while living solo in six countries, in 2004 Dr. Vie Research pioneered Dr. Vie SuperFoods™ in the North Americas, & since 2007 Dr. Vie SuperKids mentors children & recently, Dr. Vie Academy with Dr. Vie Radio helps all ages globally. Dr. Vie is focused on restoring the link between humanity, nature and the source of all life. Dr. Vie is a mountain-lover and has trekked many ranges including the Himalayas.

Did You Know You are Really an Adventurer? 

Even before you get the book, take advantage of the special gift - The Great Rescue Adventure! A free 5-part series to help you to relax, and energize and learn about the Express Life Scale to track your life potential. You can immediately put the ELS into practice in your daily life. Find out where you score on the Life Scale, and how close you are to rescuing yourself, your family, and your communities, and even your nation and ultimately the world. Rank others on the ELS and learn how to interact with them based on their ELS rank.

After discovering the ELS, all Adventurers are rewarded with a special reading from the intriguing Book - by Dr. Sherine Vie herself.  Each month one lucky Adventurer wins the Book: Taming the Female Impostor. All Adventurers are eligible for the additional Gift (during the quarterly draw) of a special portable water filter, a constant companion of Dr. Vie during her explorations.

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The Wisdom of the Ancestors Series by Ann Jeffries 

Southern Exposures by Ann Jeffries

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

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

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

Book Reviews for Southern Exposures 

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

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

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

Southern Exposures: Family Reunion  

Touch Me In The Morning by Ann Jeffries

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

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

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

Book Reviews for Touch Me In The Morning 

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

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

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

Touch Me In The Morning  

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

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

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

Book Reviews for An Unguarded Moment 

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

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

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

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

An Unguarded Moment  

Excerpt from Southern Exposure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

( Continued... )

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

Southern Exposures: Family Reunion  

Meet the Author

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

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

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




The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho 
by Anjanette Delgado

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt from The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho


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

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

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

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

Yep. All me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Hey," I said.

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

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

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

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

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

"Trying to tell me something, mister?"

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"What's what?"

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


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

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

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

Then, "Hey! Where did it go?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

( Continues... )

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inside Mafietta 2: A House Divided

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

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

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

Mafietta by E.W. Brooks Book Review 

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

Meet Author E.W. Brooks

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

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

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

Follow the author on Google+, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter 




And Then There Were None 
by Clay Thomas Williams

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What,” I whispered.

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

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

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

“Oh! I mouthed silently

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

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

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

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

No stupid, I did. She wrote back.

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

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

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

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

I wrote back. Say word?

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

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

“WHAT,” I said out loud.

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

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

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

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

I wrote, well gotta do what you gotta do.

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





He Wasn’t My Daddy 
by Kristin L. Mitchell

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

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

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

Excerpt from He Wasn’t My Daddy

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

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

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

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

( Continued... )

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

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



The Legacy by Necole Ryse 
(New Adult Fiction)

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

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

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

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

Chapter excerpt from The Legacy by Necole Ryse 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

( Continued... )

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

Purchase The Legacy (The Birthright Series, Volume 1)

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



Dream and Pretense: The Ramseys 
by AlTonya Washington

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Please have a seat,” she invited.

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

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





Locked in Purgatory 
by Nakia R. Laushaul

A wise man leads his family by example.

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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



My father stopped and turned around slowly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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







A Letter for My Mother 
by Nina Foxx

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

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

Excerpt from A Letter for My Mother 

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

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

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

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

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

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





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? 


Review for The Perfect Affair by Lutishia Lovely

I’ll start by saying WOW! Lutishia Lovely has managed to put on paper a story that possesses all the necessary characteristics of a great primetime TV show! OMG! As the plot builds, the reader’s anticipation grows but it is written in such a way that you don’t always see the next thing coming.

Dr. Randall Atwater, an award-winning biologist, is among the best in his profession. Personally, he has succeeded as well. He possesses all the things that a successful man should have at this point in life.

Jacqueline Tate, a very attractive woman, has just landed a three month contract as a freelance writer and her career is climbing to new heights. A chance meeting leads to a career-validating interview which then leads to so much more. Nothing could have prepared me for the ride that this novel took me on.

This story was very well-written and entertaining. I felt my facial expressions changing along with each emotion that the storyline stirred in me. One scene would unfold and I’d scream noooo! Another development would transpire and I’d holler “shut the front door!” When I tell you this was a good book, you should definitely believe me. Again, I say WOW! The characters were so well developed and when it all came together I sat back in my chair and smiled. Great job Lutishia Lovely!  Five Stars!!! 
-- Review written by Tanishia Pearson-Jones, RT(R)


Award-winning biologist Randall Atwater walked toward the baggage claim area of Los Angeles International Airport envisioning green palm trees, blue skies, and fluffy white clouds. Instead, looking out the windows, he saw rain. Lots of it. Pouring out steadily and heavily from a dark gray sky.

I thought they said it never rained in California. Randall was sure he'd heard those words in a song. April showers were common in Virginia, where he lived and unfortunately where he'd left his umbrella. Sheesh. Looking down at the expensive outfit he'd just purchased for the trip, he lamented, So much for this brand-new, tailored designer suit.

He retrieved his bag and, using the USA Today he'd been given on the airplane for cover, made a dash for the taxi stand across from the passenger pick-up area. So focused was he on trying to stay dry and not getting hit, he didn't recognize the long line until he'd arrived at his destination, where only two taxis waited.

First the rain and now no taxis? Randall had enthusiastically boarded the plane back home, excited about coming to one of his favorite cities to meet some of his most esteemed colleagues and to learn the latest discoveries and innovations in his chosen field. He was still happy to be here, but so far the visit hadn't gotten off to a terrific start.

"Hey, excuse me," he said to the young man standing in front of him, whose thumbs were flying all over his iPhone screen. "Do you know what's going on, and why there are no taxis?"

"Accident," the man answered without looking up. "Traffic is having a hard time getting through."

"How long have you been standing here?"

"About thirty minutes."

Randall looked at the twenty or so people in front of him and his scowl increased. He looked at his watch and the crease in his brow deepened. The conference didn't start until the next morning, but he'd made plans to meet a talented colleague and good friend for drinks at six. It was now four thirty. Getting from the airport to downtown, where the conference was being held, could sometimes take forty-five minutes. Waiting a half hour for a taxi wasn't going to work for him. He turned and looked around, thinking of possible alternatives. And that's when he saw her.

Jacqueline gripped her full-sized umbrella in one hand while pulling her carry-on with the other. Organized and prepared to the point of what some would consider obsessive, she'd known about the 70 percent chance of rain hovering over Los Angeles and the seasonably cooler weather and had dressed and packed accordingly. She placed one Bebe-pump-covered, French-manicured foot in front of the other, thankful that she'd tightened the belt on her Burberry raincoat and donned a matching hat. Jacqueline was more self-conscious than conceited, but she knew how to highlight her best assets, and right now the best parts of what she was working with—breasts, legs, classically pretty face—were on full display.

She strode to the taxi stand, coyly smiling at the unabashed appreciation on Randall's face.

"Hello," he said with emphasis as soon as she joined the line.

"Hello," she replied. "Perfect California weather we're having, wouldn't you say?"

Randall smiled back. "I'm glad to be seeing a little sunshine now." He looked at her umbrella and then down at her rainy-weather attire. "I see someone checked the Internet."

"I like to be prepared."

"I'll remember that the next time I travel." He stuck out his hand. "Randall Atwater."

"A pleasure to meet you. Doctor Atwater, correct?"

Randall's brow rose. "Forgive me if I've forgotten but ... have we met?"

Jacqueline's laugh was melodic. "No," she said, holding out her hand. "Jacqueline Tate." Their hands touched and something happened: a magnetic electricity unlike anything she'd ever felt before. The way his eyes darkened as he continued to gaze at her, Jacqueline was sure he felt it too. And just as quickly as the absurd idea came to her head, she forced its exit and reclaimed her hand. "I'm a freelance writer with Science Today," she explained, working to forget the undeniable jolt she'd just experienced. "I'm well aware of your research and groundbreaking work."

"It's a pleasure to meet you. I take it you're also here for the conference?"





Momma: Gone A Personal Story 
by Nina Foxx

"Momma set me on the jukebox." So begins the personal story of Denise (Sweetie) Wooten, set between a post-civil rights era New York City and a growing, but stale rural Alabama. We are thrust in the midst of a family longing for normalcy, but instead struggling with illness and all that comes with it; denial, anger and misunderstanding and love. 

As cultures clash, we see the family through a child's eyes and walk with her as she makes sense of war fought far away, but with effects close to home, and a tragedy that changes her life forever. 

More truth than not, Momma: Gone is a story of survival, where all the lessons are taught by the child who must eventually lead them through and a classic American story of overcoming life's misfortunes to find the bloom on the other side.  Momma: Gone A Personal Story by Nina Foxx was shortlisted for a Doctorow Award in Innovative Fiction.

Praise for Momma: Gone A Personal Story, by Nina Foxx

A grief laden journey that will tug at your heart. Profoundly moving. 
---Anita Doreen Diggs, author The Other Side of the Game, former editor, Random House

Chapter Excerpt from Momma: Gone


Momma put me up on the jukebox. I could see everything from there, even all the people in the room. 

“Sweetie is my little lady,” she said. She steadied herself with one hand and pushed away from the bar with the other. Her skin was fair and the bluish veins showed through like she was much older than her thirty years. They all turned and looked and smiled at us with that plastered-on, woozy kind of smile. The smell that goes along with men in bars followed their heads as they turned and I could smell it, strong, leaping out at me. I heard Gramma call this “preserved-in-alcohol.” I smiled because I knew I was supposed to, but I was a little scared. Butterflies swam in my stomach. I bounced my legs off the jukebox to help calm them down. 

From where I was sitting, I could see over the top of everyone in the room. Momma and I were the only two ladies here. I guess the other ladies don't need medicine, only men and Momma. Momma says that other ladies take their medicine at home, but Daddy doesn't let her have hers there so we go to get it. Sometimes, just like now, she takes me with her. I really don't understand it all; medicine is supposed to make you better, but Momma seems to get sicker and sicker after she has it. 

Freda Payne is singing “Bring the Boys Home.” 

Everyone has forgotten about me. 

“Turn it up, Jeffrey. Turn it up.” Momma closed her eyes slowly and opened them again. Her head moved to something deeper than just the rhythm of the song. 

“Bring 'em back alive!” Freda said. Whenever I hear this song I wondered who she was talking about. Momma liked it and she played it over and over at home. She played it so much and danced and cried out for June-Bug till Daddy threw the record player in the yard. I was sad when he did that; I couldn't play my Muffin Man song anymore. We tried to make the record player work again, but it was no good trying; it just wouldn't go. Daddy apologized to Momma and when I asked him why he did it, he said because that song made Momma sad and he couldn't stand to see her cry. Maybe that is why I didn't get beat like other kids on our block; I cry as soon as I get in trouble, so Daddy just leaves me alone.




The Devil Made Me Do It 
by Colette R. Harrell

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.”





Executive Assistant Anthology

Unleash your naughty side with Evernight's Executive Assistant anthology…

These sizzling hot stories dare to explore the taboo world of office romance. From X-rated job interviews, controlling Doms, to the unprofessional use of office furniture—these twelve stories have it all.

The twelve bestselling authors are determined to make you squirm. You may never see the office the same way again!  Purchase at major e-retailers and at Evernight Publishing -
CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS:  Michelle Rhys, Doris O’Connor, Leteisha Newton, S.J. Maylee, Michelle Graham, Allyson Young, Lila Shaw, Elodie Parkes, Chacelyn Pierce, Jean Maxwell, D. Carter, and Jezebel Jorge. Visit Michelle Rhys at: 

Author Michelle Rhys (aka Michelle Monkou): Operation Conquer and Seduction Excerpt

7:15 a.m.

Melissa pushed open the familiar glass doors that changed her life. Her heels clicked along the marble floor as she approached the imposing receptionist’s desk. A familiar face, a mature picture of elegance and grace, looked up at her. The welcoming smile opened the release valve on Melissa’s panic, somewhat.

“Miss Honsou, good morning.”

“It’s good to see you, Laila. And please, stop pretending to be formal. I’m already nervous as hell. Can’t believe I’m back.”

“To your first job.”

“Yeah, a lot of firsts happened under this roof.” Melissa mentally ticked off her first office romance, sexual encounter, orgasm, falling in love, heartbreak, and resignation.

“And, now, you’re back, bigger and badder.” Laila winked, and covered her mouth as if she’d said a bad word.

“Hopefully, not too big.” Melissa patted her hips.

They hugged each other with their laughter filling the open atrium.

“Let me get you on your way. You don’t have much time. The executive team meeting will start in about forty-five minutes. And he’s particularly testy over his opening remarks.” Laila looked at her watch and then hurried back to the desk to answer the phone. She covered the mouthpiece and whispered, “I’ve got to take this. You know your way, right?”

Melissa gave her thumbs up. Of course, she knew her way. Three years on the job couldn’t be erased in a finger snap. Although in those days immediately after she’d left, her greatest wish was a clean memory sweep of New Dimensions Technologies. Supposedly, she had gotten over it and this would be a new chapter. At least that’s what Laila had spent many weeks convincing her to believe and not to give up. Melissa headed down the familiar hall that led to the executive wing.

( Continued... )

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

The Fatal Rose, An Assassin’s Tale 

“Politics is a rich man’s dream, a poor man’s nightmare, and a pain in the ass to all.”
—J.M. Lominy

Killing had always been sweet for Pierre-André François, the ruthless assassin known as The Little Rose. Wherever he struck, fear closely followed, his victims left as bloody works of art. The finishing touch on his canvas was a carefully placed rose, a signature on his deadly motif that haunted crime scenes, not to mention the police investigating them.

A man who takes joy in killing should never fear dying, and in fact, The Little Rose embraced death. So finding himself alive—after what he knew should have been a fatal dance with his foe, Millard Le Beast—was disappointing. Not only was the Beast stronger and faster, he slaughtered Pierre-André’s dearest love and revealed ugly truths behind Pierre-André’s most cherished memories. The Little Rose expected to slip from this life, if not from the Beast’s brutal blow then from the pain of those revelations and living without his longtime paramour.

But now, awakened, fully recovered (in body, anyway), and a fugitive on foreign soil, The Little Rose is forced to carry on. Having lost all desire to laugh, love, and kill, his sole purpose remains to avenge his loved ones’ deaths. But how can Haiti’s most feared assassin find the truth about his past with no motivation for the future?

Fortunately, revenge has no shelf life.

The Fatal Rose, An Assassin’s Tale: 

Book 1:  The Deadly Rose, An Assassin's Tale by J.M. Lominy


Above, the stars and the moon were hidden, a jet-black swirl draped around them making the sky seem not to exist, producing a strange but steady silence, giving pause to the wind. As if afraid of the darkness, the coconut trees barely moved against a teasing breeze making its way off the Haitian coast. That same breeze brought first, slave ships, and eventually, tourists in search of paradise—the Haitian experience was open to all. Foreigners came in droves to see and interact with the French-speaking Negroes.

Tonight, paradise was on valium, nodding to the beat of an unheard drum. Nocturnal insects lazily injected their nightly chorus into a harmony of darkness, tickling the silence with ancient songs of the ancestors. Barking dogs could be heard bickering back and forth like old women, disrupting what should have been a quiet, pleasant Wednesday night. The roads were deserted except for street vendors and homeless peasants making their beds on the side of the road.

At ten o’clock, two identical sounds thundered in the night, destroying the fabric of normalcy. The sounds echoed for what seemed an eternity, shaking the soul of every living creature within miles. The dogs went into hiding, and people in their yards scurried inside, locking their doors, the chorus of insects replaced by silence.

Gunfire had erupted in Pétion-Ville—a town in the mountains east of the capital Port-au-Prince, named after the great Haitian general who became president, for life, of a splintered Haiti. Even now—one hundred and fifty years later— Haiti remained divided like a suicidal schizophrenic, determined to paint a path toward a slow, painful death by gnawing her extremities up to the elbows.

It was close to the presidential election, two weeks to be exact. On the heels of the gunshots a citizen on the outskirts of Pétion-Ville whispered into his frightened spouse’s ear, “Haitian politics,” and returned to sleep, knowing that unless a bullet came racing into their home, they had nothing to fear. They had no political affiliation. Besides, guns were only in the hands of the police, the military, and the grand nég.

Although the sleeping man was partially right, it was not the police, the military, or the rich shooting this night. If he’d known the chaos that would ensue because of the vile act preceding those two shots, he would have run to the picture of Jesus that decorated his wall, begging for peace and tranquility in his country—or packed up his family and boarded the next ship sailing away.

Shamed and disliked, the former president, Paul Magloire, fell victim to a tsunami of public discontent nine months ago, the thirteenth of December 1956, to be exact, and went the same way as many before him—exiled. Four candidates clamored to replace him, clashing for the office that proved to be lethal to more than a handful of former presidents. Early in the campaign, a fifth candidate—an unknown with an aristocratic name—acquired sufficient votes in his district to pose a formidable challenge. When the mysterious candidate was discovered to be a snarling, stubborn donkey, he was promptly disqualified. The donkey’s owner and campaign manager publicly professed his innocence during an interview from prison. He argued that if Americans can have a donkey and an elephant on their ballots, what made Haitians any different? One particular radio personality was outraged by such mockery in the face of a serious election. But a competitor raised the argument that at least a donkey would do what it set out to do and not break promises, and that all the candidates except those he endorsed were less qualified than the sniveling but honest ass.

Radio advertisements flooded the airwaves as the various contenders vilified opponents and justified themselves as puritanical, as the people’s choice, energizing the populace. Candidates’ slogans read of liberty, equality, and fraternity— promises that had been doled out to the people before, from the mouths of wolves tending to the soon-to-be slaughtered sheep. They rang as true as a white rhinoceros parading along the Champ de Mars, as true as those who swore on the Virgin Mary that their candidate would liberate the Haitian people from years of suffering. Friends and neighbors swore to their candidates’ righteousness in friendly debates that went on without insult— intellectual duels of differing philosophies sprang up in living rooms like sugar cane during the rainy season.

Politics had become the national pastime, second only to religion or soccer, and not necessarily in that order. Pedestrians could not go very far without hearing government in one conversation or another, from the street shoeshine boy to the businessman out for lunch. Most were passionate about their candidate. These debates spilled over into the region’s poorest neighborhoods, where residents kept their sharpened machetes close at hand, in adherence to the philosophy of muscle and steel. They saw their candidates as saviors from poverty and would not think twice to malign anyone who dared to openly challenge them.

On this night, the echoes of gunfire proved how quickly the nation’s volatile mood could explode into an inferno of violence. A political whirlwind was brewing, with a power so destructive only God could foresee.


Two Haitian men lay dead, contorted in a pile, their eyes and chests unmoving, lungs ignoring the surrounding sweet island air. Smoke and gunpowder hovered nearby like clouds of gnats. Blood from their wounds pooled onto the dirt, fertilizing the devil’s garden below.

The blossoms of red seeping through the victims’ military blue guayabera shirts testified to the reality of their death and to their killer’s marksmanship. Next to their corpses lay two useless shotguns, weapons that proved too slow against a quicker foe, a phantom that dispatched death faster than one can produce life, impregnating its victims with darkness before disappearing like a shadow on a black canvas.

The victims were clueless about their fate until the screaming projectiles informed them that Death had arrived, an unwelcome guest who seldom knocked before entering to take what she deemed to be hers. They had no time for a final confession and were probably at the gates of hell wishing they could repent. A tragedy that was neither Greek nor Roman but Haitian— paradise was awaken by the fires of hell, announcing that turmoil would soon follow.


( Continued... )

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

Book 2:  The Fatal Rose, An Assassin’s Tale (Coming Fall 2014)

Order here: 

Meet the Author

Life began for J.M. Lominy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As a husband, father, nurse and veteran Lominy has been making room to write since 2000. Specializing in Historical Fiction, he is the author of the Amazon bestseller, The Deadly Rose, An Assassin’s Tale.  His work, both poetic and determined in voice, places an emphasis on the Haitian experience as witnessed through the life of passionate characters. Mr. Lominy currently resides in Georgia with his wife and his three sons. Visit J.M. Lominy at: 




by M. Ann Ricks 

There is a sense of urgency in the atmosphere as God is transitioning what the world has deemed impossible and unbelievable into the possible and the believable. 

Pastor Douglass and his family have been chosen for such a supernatural transition but because of the dense fog of deception that seems to surround them, some in the Douglass family have created their own beliefs, fabricating their own sense of self; negating the truth, God’s truth, even when truth is staring them in the face. They, like many, are living lives devoid of the knowledge of who they really are and robbing themselves and those they love of their true identity and freedom. Deeply embedded lies from enemy have blinded eyes, impaired hearing and hardened hearts and Angels from the army of God have been deployed. 

Dreams, supernatural revelation and actual attacks from man's ultimate foe will expose all and confirm God’s plan for Xion, Veronica, Zeborah, Bo and Pastor Douglas. Can they handle the truth and surrender? The lives of the Douglass family will never be the same and neither will you, because of THE SHIFT!"

Excerpt from THE SHIFT 

Veronica began to walk back to her car but something invisible stopped her. She turned and faced the building as if hearing someone requesting her to do so. She stared at the church. Veronica couldn’t take her eyes off the building. It was invitingly picturesque. She took note of every arch, engraving and architectural characteristic. She observed the expertly crafted stained glass windows and circular graduating steps. The domed structure was magnificent. Veronica was drawn to the gigantic golden double doors. They were each bordered with silver and gold. Each door housed carvings of a story from the gospels. Veronica remembered the stories and recognized Jesus walking on water with Peter, Jesus feeding the five thousand, Jesus’ Baptism, Mary Magdalene washing Jesus’ feet and Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The doors were shining. She was captivated by the doors.

How were they so bright at five o’clock in the morning, she wondered. They were gleaming, freshly polished. Veronica slowly lowered herself onto the grass and sat, not understanding why she was so moved, but moved nonetheless. Her heart was brimming with a feeling. She’d felt this before. It was right before she decided to come home.

Veronica sat without movement for a long moment. She just sat stark still, looking at the structure as the pre-dawn sky provided a celestial backdrop. Her eyes found the golden door. Veronica wanted to enter The Kingdom Revelation Center.

“This looks like a place God would reside,” Veronica breathed.

Almost as if her heart was being caressed, she heard words whispered into her, “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

She needed to be somewhere God resided. Her mother always told her that there was refuge in the sanctuary of a church.

Veronica’s mother thought she was sleeping when she’d whisper scriptures into her ear. Her mother, regardless of what was going on in her own life, would gather Veronica into her arms and sing to her. 

At that moment, Veronica heard her mother whispering in her ear, “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler...” 

Veronica felt a soothing and reassuring embrace. It was her mother’s embrace.

Her mother’s arms were always an asylum for her. A tear escaped as she envisioned her mother. All at once she declared aloud, not caring if anyone heard her, “What do I have to lose? The trajectory of my life is spiraling downward,” she admitted as she looked back at the doors of the church. “I’m going to the hotel, shower and come back to see my mother.”

( Continued... )

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

THE SHIFT  by M. Ann Ricks
Available on Nook and Kindle 

Christian Fiction;  Topics: Supernatural, Domestic Abuse, Homosexuality



Silver Bullets 
by Suzetta Perkins

In this sizzling, exciting novel, four women show that age is just a number by seeking out new forms of pleasure, love, and romance.

Whether it be getting a tattoo, using whips and chains, or preparing dinner in nothing but stilettos, four divas—all best friends and over fifty years old—decide that they need to spice up their love lives. And they’re willing to go to any length to achieve it.

So Emma, Queenie, Yolanda, and Connie set out to get the pleasure they crave. For Emma, that means rekindling her sex life with her doting husband, who she decides to take care of for once. Yolanda, who is still turning heads and could have anyone she wants, finally meets a man who suits her tastes—but can she suit his? Queenie, who is fifty-eight and divorced, entertains her on-again, off-again male friend, sometimes preparing him a meal in nothing but a pair of four-inch heels. And Connie, who has never been married, is in love with a man who won’t put a ring on her finger. Will she be able to convince him to marry her?

As things start heating up, the ladies’ lives get sexier…and more complicated. And the four divas soon face more drama than they bargained for.

Excerpt from Silver Bullets


Queenie Jackson threw her designer pocketbook on the pink, Queen-Anne sofa, kicked off her black Manolo pumps, let out a sigh, and plopped down on the sofa next to her bag. She was exhausted from having to sing her solo part over and over again until she got it right during choir rehearsal at Shiloh Baptist Church. However, her exhaustion stemmed from a heated argument with her best friend and the choir director, Emma Wilcox, who said she’d seen her boo slipping into Minnie Smith's house. 

A squeaking sound came from the kitchen. Queenie jumped up from her seat and ran toward the kitchen in her stocking feet. She grabbed her chest when she saw Linden’s butt bent over, extracting food from her refrigerator, as if he paid the bills at her residence. Linden was Queenie’s on again, off again boyfriend that she was through with and didn’t want to see tonight or any other night.

“What are you doing here, Linden?” Queenie asked, her hands hugging her pleasingly plump hips. “You scared the hell out of me, and furthermore, you can’t ride up in here anytime you feel you’ve got the urge.” Queenie shook her finger in his face. “I’m not that kind of sistah. This is my house, and you’re going to respect my space. I want my spare key before you leave here tonight.”

“Now hold your horses, Red. I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but I’m not going anywhere tonight but in your bed. I had a hard day at work, and I know you have something in this refrigerator that will give me a boost of energy so we can…you know…throw down in the bedroom tonight.”

Queenie stared at the six-foot, nut-brown, bald-headed brother, with the light-brown eyes thanks to his special brand of contacts. Linden Robinson turned sixty on his last birthday three weeks ago—February 29—leap year. He was well groomed and still maintained his relatively good looks and was in pretty decent shape, except for a slight limp he incurred from his days of playing basketball. “I’m not in the mood tonight, sugah. You tail has got to go.”

“Look, Red, I can whip it on you tonight. I’ve got the blue pills in my back pocket ready to rock-n-roll when you give the word. You might as well call that job of yours and tell them you won’t be seeing them tomorrow. Now give me some of that sweet, brown sugar.”

Queenie slammed the refrigerator door shut. She tried to push her argument with Emma to the back of her mind, however, vivid images of Linden creeping inside Minnie’s house formed in her head and wouldn’t let go. “I don’t care if you have red, green, pink, or blue pills, you won’t be touching my sheets tonight. Give me my key and get your sorry ass behind out of my house, now. Go to Minnie’s since you seem to be so comfortable with her and she evidently has what you need. I’m nobody’s stopover station.”

The look on Linden’s face didn’t faze Queenie one bit. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Red. Your old-ass, gossiping girlfriends run their mouths and tell lies every chance they get. Yeah, I was over at Minnie’s…”


( Continued... )

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

About the Author

Writing has always been in Suzetta Perkins’ blood. Her first published work can be found in her high school yearbook in which she was co-editor.  Suzetta is the author of nine novels—Behind the Veil, A Love So Deep, Ex-Terminator, Déjà vu, Nothing Stays the Same, Betrayed, At the End of the Day, In My Rearview Mirror, and Silver Bullets. Suzetta is President of the Sistahs Book Club and Secretary of the University at Fayetteville State University, her alma mater. 

Silver Bullets (Zane Presents)
by Suzetta Perkins;  Women’s fiction





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.”



Legal Seduction by Sharon C. Cooper

Bestselling author Sharon C. Cooper brings you another exciting romance!

In the courtroom, criminal defense attorney Iris Sinclair is cool and confident. Yet, around her new client's guardian, she loses all composure. Atlanta club owner Nash Dupree is an infamous playboy who could compromise Iris's heart as well as her case. For once, she feels like a curvy goddess instead of a strait-laced lawyer-even if the evidence suggests what he's looking for is strictly short-term.

No matter what the tabloids claim, Nash has made his teenage niece his first priority, and without Iris's help he'll lose guardianship. What began as seduction, a sweet thrill, has turned into something more-now he wants Iris forever. But proving his intentions means winning her trust before his reputation drives away the only woman who has ever captivated him, body and soul...

Sneak Peek at Legal Seduction

Nash dribbled the ball. "Do you play?" he asked, holding up the basketball.

"I used to."

"How about a little one-on-one?" He shot the ball from the three-point line and made it. He then followed that with an easy layup.

Iris had played basketball in high school and received an athletic scholarship to attend Spelman College, but hadn't played ball much since then. She knew she could hold her own against Nash, but basketball was a contact sport, and too much of that with him probably wouldn't be a good idea. As it was, she could barely breathe whenever he was close, and the way he made a simple touch feel like a sensual caress sent brazen thoughts straight to her brain.

"So, what do you say?" Nash continued shooting around, making one basket after another.

"About what?"

"About playing. How about a game?"

"I don't know, Nash. You clearly play often and I don't want to embarrass myself."

"I play, but not often. I'm sure you'll do fine. Besides, it's just me and we'll just be playing around for fun."

She pulled her bottom lip between her teeth and thought about it for a few seconds. "Oh, what the heck, why not?"

Iris sat her bag on the bottom bleacher. She removed her sweater and tossed it next to the bag, leaving her with a white T-shirt and jeans on.

Nash threw her the ball. "Let's play to eleven, counting by ones." He tugged his shirt out of his pants and lifted it over his head.

Iris was sure her heart stopped at that moment. She breathed in, trying to get oxygen to her lungs, but it wasn't working. Her head spun at the sight of his smooth, chiseled chest sprinkled with a light sheen of perspiration, his muscles contracting with every move. She tried not to stare, but she couldn't help it. His well-defined pecs were perfectly sculpted. She had always assumed he had an amazing body, but his flawless physique was way beyond her imagination.

"Uh, you can't play like that," she stuttered and the basketball slipped out of her hands and rolled a few feet away. She licked her lips and swallowed hard when Nash turned and faced her, giving her a better view of his enticing body.

"Play like what?" He frowned.

"Like..." She gestured at his body with a wave. "Like that. Put your shirt back on."

As realization of the problem dawned on Nash, he grinned and moved closer to Iris. Her heartbeat pounded in her ears and her stomach dropped when he made his pecs dance.

"Does my being half-naked bother you?"

Hell, yeah, it bothers me, she thought, but said nothing. She only continued to stare at the smoothness of his skin, appreciating how his broad shoulders tapered down to flat abs and a narrow waist.

"You know..." Nash yanked on one of her belt loops and pulled her closer, his mouth so close she could smell his fresh breath " could take off your shirt, too, if you feel that you're at a disadvantage. I won't mind."

( Continued... )

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

Legal Seduction (Kimani Hotties) 
Contemporary Romance by Sharon Cooper 
Purchase Link: 



Catfish by Nina Foxx

Best Friends Dana and Damika share everything about each other, because that's what best friends do, right? But when it comes to relationships, the high schoolers are keeping secrets in cyberspace. After Boy Crazy Dana meets the "perfect" guy, she figures the only way to get close is to tell little white lies. As their relationship flourishes, an inappropriate photo sent for his eyes only...ends up going viral, and threatens Dana's reputation and her future. 

Tech nerd Damika is able to reinvent herself online and she's created a cyber life that no one knows about but her. When she meets Rosheon, she's thrilled at their budding relationship, until she discovers there's a lot more to him than meets the eye because just as she can reinvent can others. As the lies become unmanageable, can Dana and Damika dig themselves out of a web of a mess before it's too late? 

In this page-turning novel, Catfish,  Nina Foxx dives into a world where nothing is as it seems and danger takes on new meaning in cyberspace.

Excerpt from Chapter One


My father was not slick. I tried not to twist my mouth as I listened to him attempting to convince me that what he talking about was a good thing. We have a pretty good relationship since he and my mother got divorced, but sometimes he was just transparent as hell. 

“Dana, you’re gonna love this new church.” He looked at me all starry-eyed and he talked in that voice he used on me when he wanted something. He looked and sounded the same way my boy crazy best friend, Damika did every time she met a new hottie.

I groaned. “Church?” Since when had he found religion? Our time together was limited and we didn’t usually spend it in church. I wasn’t sure he’d even been inside one since before my mother divorced him, and even then, he’d only gone kicking and screaming. 

He wanted me to say something. So, I did. 

“And what’s your new girlfriend’s name?” 

My dad’s mouth dropped open. That probably wasn’t what he was looking for. I might have been sixteen, but I wasn’t born yesterday. The only reason my father would be talking about new churches and religion was behind a woman. I shook my head. He was going to have to text me from hell.

I couldn’t blame him, really. My father was a hot commodity. He’s a single, good-looking black man with a good heart. He owned his own home and paid his child support like clockwork. Plus, he had it going on - for an older man. Even though he had a teenaged daughter, he was still attractive and dressed well. He might not be all swole with underwear model abs, but he was a catch. Back in the day, he was really into fitness and now that he was old, it paid off. He didn’t have a potbelly like other people’s fathers, so I was used to women chasing him. They’d done that before, even when he was married, and it had only gotten worse since.

A lot of kids get messed up when their parent’s spilt up, but me, I was okay with it. It was a relief actually, because when they were together, they’d fought all the time. My mother said they loved hard and they fought hard, too. The problem was, I remember the fighting more than anything. If there was love, I never saw it. A few times I’d have to keep myself from throwing up when I heard the noises in their bedroom, but even I knew that sex and love wasn't the same thing. Toward the end they would yell and scream way into the early hours of the morning. 

“It’s okay. I’ll go if you need me to.” It almost hurt me to say that. I really didn’t feel like going to church, especially one all the way in Brooklyn, but it was easy to see how my words had made him happy. Unlike my mom, he was easy to please. His shoulders relaxed and the nervous look on his face was replaced by a smile. 

“It’s not what you think. I actually used to go here with my mother when I was a kid,” he said.

I folded my arms across my chest and cocked my head to the side. “So, you’re saying that it’ll just be the two of us?” I knew the answer, but I couldn’t resist asking anyway. My father was just too easy sometimes. Clearly, I was the one running game here.

Dad fidgeted a little; similar to the way I did when I was about to tell an un-truth. “No. A friend invited me.”

“Um-huh. I knew it. You can’t put anything over on me, Dad. I’ve only been your daughter for sixteen years.”

He laughed. “You’ll like her. You’ll see.”

That remained to be seen. Lots of kids had hot moms, but having a hot father was another matter. Women threw themselves at him all the time, all kinds of women. They would hear that “boom-chicka-wawa” when he came in and it was all over. My parents fought about that often, like his swagger was something he could control. My mother would get mad and say it was my father’s fault. Now that they were apart, the women threw themselves at him and me, like they had to win me over, too. And they were right, they did.

I had to admit that I was going to miss the last one. She’d been a buyer for Macy’s, and let me tell you, that had its benefits for me. I owed the hot Baby Phat outfit I had on right now to her. She'd hooked me up with clothes regularly, but of course, the gear stopped coming as soon as they'd broken up.

“Dad, what happened to Susan? I liked her.”

“Too high maintenance. Can you go upstairs and put on a dress? If we’re going to get there on time, we gotta get going.”

I was a little upset that we'd be spending what was left of our weekend with someone that was practically a stranger to me, but it was obvious that my father really wanted me to go. I could overlook my disappointment just this once.

We picked up my father’s new girlfriend just a few blocks from the church. My dad was nervous as he introduced us. “Dana,” he said. “I’d like you to meet Wanda. My friend.”

I raised my eyes, but answered her politely as I was taught to do. “Nice to meet you, Ma’am.”

My father looked as nervous as the cat that just got caught with his paw in the fishbowl as she laughed. “You don’t have to call me Ma’am. Aunty Wanda will do.”

As if. My Mom had no sisters. I sat in the back so she could ride with my dad, and she was very polite. We’d been through a few girlfriends by now and I’d learned to watch and wait. If they made it past a few weeks, then maybe the two of us could be friends. Otherwise, there was no reason to get attached too early. One mistake, and poof, she could be gone, just like that. 

If nothing else, this one was well-dressed, even if she was wearing one of those old lady knit suits. Her hair was pulled back into a tight bun, and her makeup was flawless. She looked a little uptight, but was tall and Top Model thin. Her navy suit fit her like a glove, and she smelled good. Two points for the new woman. My dad was into smell. The funny thing was, this one seemed as high-maintenance as Susan had been. Another mom-ism echoed in my head. What was that she’d say? The things that attract you also make you crazy later? It was like my father was attracted to the same woman, over and over. 

I stared out the window of the car and tried to ignore her chattering as we made our way through the streets of Brooklyn. A glimpse into the rearview mirror told me what I already knew. My father had a grin plastered to his face. He liked this one, but then, they always started out good.

“Dana, I’m so glad you were able to join us. Our church has such a great youth program. You’ll be able to meet some nice young people. Young people that are doing things.”

I rolled my eyes and kept looking out the window. There was no need for all the noise. Now, did I look like I needed a “program”? She obviously had things twisted. It wasn’t like I was some kind of problem child. I went to school regularly and got mostly good grades, and I was generally respectful to my parents, wasn’t pregnant and didn’t do drugs. I’d said I would go today, but I wasn’t trying to enjoy it and I made no promises about going again. And I certainly wasn’t trying to hang out with no church kids. I had my own life, in Queens, with all the friends I needed. What could I possible have in common with any of these people? Brooklyn was just too far for anything. I didn’t drive, and taking the bus or train all the way across town was just crazy.

We pulled up in front a huge, white brick building that seemed to take up the entire block. Crowds of people walked toward it. I was speechless as my father maneuvered the car into a space and we got out. I don’t know why I’d pictured a tiny little cute church, in a storefront or something like that. This building was huge, very old on one end, but it got newer as it went down the block. The corner stone said 1902. There was nothing that old in my neighborhood. Across the street, there was a huge parking lot that took up another city block and that looked like it was filling up, too.

Both Dad and Wanda smiled and greeted people and I tagged behind them. Wanda was the only one that looked comfortable, while my father just looked embarrassed. He was about to be on display like Wanda’s new man-candy. All the church ladies were grinning at him while Wanda walked with her head held high and her huge pink bible tucked under her arm, without a care in the world as she showed off her add-water-stir family.







The Temptation of a Good Man 
by Delaney Diamond



For the first time ever, the first book in the Hawthorne Family series is absolutely FREE! Meet the oldest sibling, Roarke Hawthorne, in The Temptation of a Good Man. A physics professor, Roarke falls hard for Celeste Burton the night he meets her. Then read how the other siblings find their happily ever after in this contemporary romance series: A Hard Man to Love, Here Comes Trouble, and For Better or Worse. 

Can true love be found after one night of passion?

Celeste Burton goes out with her girlfriends to celebrate turning thirty and winds up spending an unforgettable night with the man of her dreams. One week later, as a favor, she attends a wedding with a friend as his date and is shocked when she sees Roarke again.

Roarke Hawthorne despises cheating. Cheating tore apart his family years ago. When the physics professor sees the woman he spent the night with show up at his sister’s wedding on the arm of his brother, he knows he should keep his distance. But because of the night they set fire to the sheets in his hotel room, he can’t resist the urge to be close to her–nor can he resist the temptation to have her back in his bed.

Excerpt: The Temptation of a Good Man

“It’s my birthday.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Well, happy birthday. I’m not even going to ask your age because I know better.”

“Smart man.” They both laughed. The tension in her shoulders lessened. “So . . . astrophysicist? I don’t meet one every day. How did that happen?”

“I’ll give you the short version. My mother bought a telescope for my tenth birthday, and ever since then I’ve been fascinated by astronomy. I became obsessed. At night, I would get up after I should have been asleep, pull aside the curtains, and watch the stars. I was in awe of the universe and amazed by its beauty. As I got older, I wanted to know more.

“I studied ancient civilizations, their take on astronomy and its relevance in guiding their everyday lives. I read every book I could get my hands on about Galileo. Imagine, we now see him as the father of astronomy and physics, but in the early part of the seventeenth century, they placed him under house arrest because he dared to contradict the geocentric view at the time that the earth was the center of the universe. He argued that it was the sun, and scientists back then—” He stopped, then grinned ruefully. “I got carried away. Boring, right?”

“No, not at all.” Boring was the last thing she thought of him. He spoke so passionately about the subject, she practically felt his excitement. “I think it’s kind of . . . interesting.”

He groaned and, making air quotes with his hands, repeated, “Interesting?”

Celeste nodded. “In a good way.”

“Years ago it wasn’t in a ‘good way.’ I wasn’t the most popular kid in school, and I wore the Coke-bottle-lens glasses to match.”

“You wear glasses?”

“No. Thank God for laser eye surgery. And puberty.” They both chuckled.

Especially puberty.

“Okay, so what’s your story?”

Celeste shrugged. “There’s not much to tell. I recently graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in public policy.”

“My younger brother and sister graduated from there. Congratulations.”

“Thanks. Now I need to find a job.” She took a deep breath. “And I have a six-year-old daughter. My world revolves around her.” She liked to mention her daughter up front, which caused some men to run in the opposite direction. She watched his reaction, but he didn’t flinch.

“I understand.”

The vehemence with which he said the words prompted Celeste to ask, “Do you have kids?”

“No, but I raised my younger brother and sister from the time I was eighteen. I tell them all the time they’re my kids.”

“What happened to your parents, if you don’t mind my asking?”

The immediate transformation in his disposition made her regret the question. The smile on his lips evaporated, and his face became shuttered. Even though she’d tried to tread carefully, her question had obviously been too personal and made him uncomfortable.

“They’re both dead.”




by Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Damon Myers-Jones despised the awkward hyphenated name forced upon him at birth because it represented two things Damon would rather forget: his adopted father’s death and his real father’s absence. Now thirty years old, newly engaged Damon struggles with the constant tug-of-war with the women in his life. 

His mother, Laverne Myers-Jones, who cloaked him with his name in the first place, wants to extend her influence to his choice of mate. Damon’s fiancée, Hope Daniels, can’t see beyond her longing to keep what she deems the perfect man and plans for her happily ever after. 

In a desperate attempt to find himself, Damon impulsively sets out on a mission's trip to Haiti in search of his birth father where he experiences a shift that changes his world. Will his personal mission coincide with what God has in store for him?

Praise for Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Sherryle Kiser Jackson is to be commended for creating an emotionally authentic tale of redemption and one man's search for love. Fans of her other works will not be disappointed, and new readers prepare to discover your new favorite author.  --- Booker T. Mattison, filmmaker and author of Unsigned Hype and Snitch.

Chapter 1

He boarded first at Shady Grove station. She boarded six stops later at Bethesda. They rode another six stops together. She exited before him at DuPont Circle. He held his spot until Judiciary Square. The red line of the Washington, DC Metropolitan area subway system—or Metro, as it is called—represented the vein of their relationship—a mastery of timing and schedules. A twenty-eight-minute ride, five times a week that became thirty-three minutes the midst of rush hour, was the delicate tissue that covered that vein. It provided a great quantity of quality time for their relationship.

Today was the beginning of a typical workweek for them, but it felt like anything but to Damon Myers-Jones. He glanced down at a text message summoning him and his teammates to a mandatory meeting, which would take place first thing this morning. Ever since the previous evening, when he first spotted the text, he’d tried to figure out what the meeting could be about. His preoccupation seemed to throw him off, to swirl in the nauseating abyss that immersed his life nowadays.

Damon missed the opening and closing of the doors, and his fiancée, Hope, entering the subway car, with her carefully rehabbed right leg, encumbered by a slight limp, moving toward him. He had muscled his way to a seat when he boarded, and used his bag to save the vacant seat beside him for her.

“What, no bagels?” Hope Daniels said, as she shifted his bag and plopped down beside him, wearing a waist-length leather jacket and a Wrangler satchel strewn about her body to tie together her outerwear.

“I’ve got that meeting,” Damon said.

“Yeah, that’s right, the mystery meeting,” she said. “Well, at least we both got seats.”

Staring at him with one arched eyebrow, a jutted chin and a smile begging him to smother her with his lips, a peck was the best he could do. He had too much angst for anything else. He had not always been reluctant to participate in the public displays of affection she craved. Now engaged, and although the ring had unlocked chambers and doors, a big part of his reluctance was because it didn’t get him any closer to the vault of physicality, the war chest of sex that he craved from her. A smaller portion of his reluctance was also due to the guilt he felt that he had not yet told his mom of the seriousness of his relationship with Hope, and that her little boy had taken the ultimate big-boy step. For that, he felt as if he were being watched, and the lookout would report the ring size, cut and clarity of the diamond directly to his mom before he had the chance to tell her himself. Still, a fraction of that guilt was reserved for the itch of an impulse that he kept a secret from both his ladies. So, as far as he was concerned, and with all he had going on, Hope’s engagement ring and Facebook profile would have to suffice her need to flaunt their upgraded relationship status right now.

Leaning forward, he rested his arms on his thighs amongst the butts and guts of passengers forced to stand in front of them. Once again, he checked his text message, as if it had changed in the last ten minutes.

“Damon, stop obsessing,” Hope said, stroking his back with her right hand. “Wait, look, I got something to show you.”

Damon watched her pull out a stack of papers with a section of the New York Times on top. He determined that if she started in on him about moving to New York again he would exit the train at the Van Ness station, leaving her alone, and connect with another train there.

“You know the extra credit vocabulary I like to assign from the crossword puzzle each week? Well, guess who came up with the right answer this week?” she gloated. She began shuffling through the pile of corrected papers. “A six-letter word that means spread dirt on someone crossed with a thirteen-letter word meaning the race for the highest office in a state, each starting with the letter G.”

Relieved, Damon sat up and began pointing at his fingers, as if he were counting. She punched him, and he smiled. “You got me. I’m the numbers man, remember?”

When Hope found the paper she was searching for, she bent the corner toward her so Damon couldn’t see the name. “Gossip and gubernatorial are the answers. Challenging, right? Guess who got the answer correct?”





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.

A modern-day fantasy romance about a young woman innocently caught in a war between two age-old nemesis: God, and immortal beings whose ancestors ate from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.

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  and  Episode #3.  View all chapters here.

Excerpt The Last King: Book I - Series 2

CHAPTER 8 - Her 

Kill her, a voice in his head tells him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's Him.

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

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

It's insulting.

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

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

Why should he fear her?





Our Curious World of Mirror Images 
by Titus Joseph 

Reflections on how Symmetry Frames our Universe, 
Empowers the Creative Process and Provides Context to Shape our Lives

Titus Joseph uses mirror image symmetry to explain existence. ‘Our Curious World of Mirror Images’ combines science seamlessly with philosophy to propose new concept.

In his new book, “Our Curious World of Mirror Images: Reflections on how Symmetry Frames our Universe, Empowers the Creative Process and Provides Context to Shape our Lives” (published by Balboa Press), philosopher Titus Joseph draws on concepts from ancient philosophy, science and even religion to unveil a new model of the universe that explains how all things come into existence. 

“Today, with all the advances in science, including cosmology, quantum mechanics and relativity,” Joseph says, “I am prepared to demonstrate using advanced science and philosophy, a new theory that explains how things come into existence through the curious symmetries found everywhere in nature.”

The central concept of “Our Curious World of Mirror Images” is called positional symmetry (requisite mirror image). The book begins by introducing readers to the beauty and universality of symmetry, and the paradox of duality. Joseph outlines ancient holistic philosophies, past ideas about space and time, new concepts from Einstein’s theory of relativity, and recent discoveries from the science of cosmology. 

After providing a broad overview of the universe and a brief background in quantum theory, “Our Curious World of Mirror Images” explains the new concept using illustrations and examples from everyday life. The new paradigm serves as a lens to conceive how things come into being and illustrates a new holistic model of the universe, all in an accessible manner for most anyone to read. The end result reconciles many polarized views and brings considerable amounts of added meaning to life.

• Introducing a whole new way of looking at our world

• Combines science and philosophy seamlessly to explain the cosmos of space and time in an engaging way leading to a spiritual impulse

• Reconciles eastern paradigms with western views, and the intractable problem of duality that polarizes our lens on reality

• Demonstrates how all things come into being

• Provides a broad overview of the cosmos as a whole entity

• An eye-opener to the meaning of God

Chapter excerpts including graphics are available at , includes the table of contents, bibliography and pages 1-10 of the book.

The Arche: Western History on Metaphysics 
Excerpt 1 - [ pgs 13-14 ]

Science Rocks! It leads the way in the path of knowledge due to its many successes. Yet, even for the sciences the fundamental theories have proven to lead to very strange places. So, what of the rest of us searching for a foundation of truth? Many have discovered their own truth in astrology, numerology, the occult, or through faith is some type of spirituality. These alternative and universal types of beliefs have existed since the beginning of human history, and have enabled many different types of peoples, around the world, to feel as though their consciousness reaches beyond the physical limits of the immediate senses. These so-called “mystical beliefs” exists to provide a foundation in the form of an underlying truth in all reality. 

The search for the underlying truth to reality is the holy grail of philosophy, referred to as the philosopher’s stone. It is the long sought after elixir of life. It is also the overriding goal of empirical science to determine one grand unified theory that accounts for everything in reality. 

The spiritually inclined have actively turned their attention to a higher domain or for many people, an underlying principle, in the pursuit for meaningful answers to master life’s travails. This principle can be viewed as supreme, and when personified, viewed as a supreme being. 

Consider that if we have something so ineffable as consciousness and intelligence in our finite seemingly meaningless lives, why not then propose of more consciousness at higher cosmic scales? The question is what would consciousness be like at cosmic scales. Well, consider that the galaxies of the cosmos are interconnected forming the cosmic web – the highest known structure in the cosmos. Inflationary theory demonstrates that the cosmic web originates from infinitesimal quantum fluctuations at the beginning of the universe. 

“…in a quantum world, nothing is ever perfectly uniform because of the jitteriness inherent to the uncertainty principle…such nonuniformity can be stretched from the microworld…providing the seeds for the formation of large astrophysical bodies like galaxies (Greene, 2006, 307). 

This observation by one of the world’s leading authorities on cosmology gives assent to the ancient proverb, “as above, so below.” Dr. Greene demonstrates that the highest visible structure of the universe is a direct extrapolation of the infinitesimal jitteriness that is the inherent nature of the quantum realm…Taking this observation to a natural conclusion, I see no real differences between scientific theories, as represented by Western science and justified as legitimate, and the ideas of a supreme principle that is alive and conscious does not seem alien to me, because we are alive, conscious, and intelligent, and presumably derived from this same principle. 

Introducing the Wavicle
Excerpt 2 - [ pgs 56-57 ]

In the early 19th century, Thomas Young demonstrated that light acts as a wave using what is now commonly called the double slit experiment. The double slit experiment was designed by shining a beam of light at a screen with two pinholes in it. Young noticed that the light created alternating light and dark vertical stripes when it arrived on the second screen. These stripes demonstrate the waves of light spreading out from the two pinholes and overlapping with each other, creating an interference pattern. This showed that light acts as a wave. 

Conversely in 1905, Albert Einstein showed that light is composed of particles that we now know of as photons. Stephen Hawking explains, There is thus a duality between waves and particles in quantum mechanics: for some purposes it is helpful to think of particles as waves and for other purposes it is better to think of waves as particles (Hawking, A Brief History of Time, 75). 

In the quantum world all particles, and not just photons behave as waves, and waves can behave as particles, but there is something significant about the wavelike nature of particles. The pulse of the wave does not occur purely within an atom, but throughout the universe. Dr. Brian Greene says that an electron can also be described as a wave whose existence is spread throughout the universe (Green, The Fabric of the Cosmos, 90). 

Consider the paradox in the observation that fundamental particles are simultaneously waves and thus, spread throughout the entire universe. How can this be? We can separate a drop of water from the ocean but when it is in the ocean, that drop becomes ocean. So it appears then that the wavelike behavior of fundamental particles is a feature of the quantum world, and therefore demonstrates non-spatial properties because the wavelike functions are spread throughout the universe. Yet paradoxically, particles can also be measured as a point with some specific position or speed. 

The objects that we experience in daily life have spatial location. They exist in a specific place during some time. We live in a “24 hours in a day” scale of space and time. The quantum world however, has no space and no time, so events are very jittery and short-lived. Events in the quantum world have lifespans in the billionths of a second. Spacetime, therefore, is not a relevant concept in the quantum world. This means that it is very difficult to predict with precision what will happen at the subatomic level and ‘probabilities’ become more relevant than predictions. 

Dr. John Gribbin, British astrophysicist and one of the most prolific writers in science, explains:  Probability lies at the heart of the mystery of quantum reality, because the quantum world obeys strict probabilistic rules…Quantum probability can be seen to be at work at the level of individual atoms, photons and electrons (Gribbin, Q is for Quantum, An Encyclopedia of Particle Physics, 291).

Dr. Greene explains that the quantum norm is a “fuzzy hybrid reality” because it is composed of probabilities. These are possibilities that have not been realized. Take your time and pause here. 

( Continued... )

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

About the Author
Titus Joseph
has a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy with a minor in religious studies and a Master’s degree in counseling. Mr. Joseph has worked throughout his life as a counselor and at present, he develops group homes for individuals with disabilities. Titus identifies most as a philosopher - which is to say - a lover of wisdom. Though grateful for his formal education, above all else, it’s the love of wisdom that motivates him and I think you will find out why as you read Our Curious World of Mirror Images ( 

Change the way you see the world!
Titus Joseph website:  
Facebook: Titus Joseph;  Twitter: Titus




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

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More Than I Can Bear by E.N. Joy

Always Divas Series Book Two 

Paige begs to differ with the scripture that says God will not put on a person more than they can bear, because she is truly on the edge. One slight push from another one of life’s unexpected and unpleasant occurrences, and she’ll be free falling.

As if having suffered physical, mental, sexual and spiritual abuse from her husband hadn’t weighed heavily on her enough, Paige had to deal with learning that her best friend and sister in Christ had done the ultimate no-no and slept with her husband. Thank God one of Paige’s co-workers, Norman, who she now deems as a true friend, was there to catch her fall before she hit the ground. But will Norman be there when Paige receives news that may not only push her off the edge, but cause her to jump willingly?

In More Than I Can Bear, not only when it rains does it pour, but there is lightening and plenty of thunder to go along with it. Will Paige drown in the storm she finds herself in with no umbrella, or will she catch hold of the life saver God extends to her?


“Was that my boy I heard?”

The singsong voice coming from the dining room was heard prior to Norman, Paige or Miss Nettie ever even making their way into the room. 

“Oh, he’s here all right, Mrs. Vanderdale,” Miss Nettie called out as she looked back over her shoulder at Paige while pushing the swinging dining room door at the same time. “My oh my is he here.” Miss Nettie hustled her way through that door with Paige in tow as if there was a three alarm fire they were trying to escape. There may not have been a fire, but Miss Nettie knew one thing for certain, there was at least about to be some smoke blown. And where there’s smoke…

“Son! My only son. Come give Mumsy some love.”

Paige watched as a pail skinned woman with blond hair and a house coat that would have given both Maud and Mrs. Roper a run for their money, brushed by her and embraced Norman.

“Mom, please,” Norman said as his mother began planting kisses all over his face as if he were a five year old child. “Come on, Mom,” he pleaded to no avail, finally just dropping his arms down to his side like dead weight and giving in. He rolled his eyes up in his head while his mother smothered him with kisses.

“You don’t come visit as often as I’d like, so I have to make up for times missed,” his mother said, planting one more smuckerroo right on his nose. 

“Come on, Mother, let’s not start with the whole ‘You never come by to see me routine.’ You know I make it by as often as I can.”

“Oh, hogwash. You’re too busy at that ridiculous peasant collar job of yours.” His mother shooed her hand.

“It’s blue collar,” Norman corrected his mother, not noticing the offended look on Paige’s face, seeming she worked at the same place of employment. “And don’t say it with your nose up in the air, so. Miss Nettie here’s job is blue collar. I’m sure she might find that offensive.”

“Oh please,” she shooed her hand again, never taking her eyes off of Norman as she straightened his already straightened collar. “Nettie is family. I don’t even consider her part of the hired help anymore. It’s just like having a dog. Once it’s been around for so long, it’s like part of the family,” she chuckled, planting an unforeseen peck on her son’s lips. 

“What the…” Paige started under her breath, lightweight lunging toward her mother-in-law until Miss Nettie’s grip on her hand tightened and pulled her back.

Paige’s words reminded Mrs. Vanderdale that someone other than her and her son were in the room. She turned and addressed Mrs. Nettie. That’s when, for the first time, she noticed Paige. “Why Miss Nettie, you didn’t tell me one of your kin folks was in town again.” She lowered her voice but with a stern tone and wagging finger in Miss Nettie’s face she said, “I thought we had this talk before. Now I don’t mind your people coming for a visit every now and again and sharing your quarters, but you must give Mr. Vanderdale and me a heads up. Is that understood?”

“Yes, ma’am, but I-” Miss Nettie started before Mrs. Vanderdale cut her off.

“Now I hope you saw to it that the kitchen staff made extra for your guest. You know we are already going to start having an extra mouth to feed whenever my Norman comes around now that he’s a married man.” She sharply turned to Norman. “Speaking of which, son, where is that lovely bride of yours? Why I can’t wait to welcome her to the family.” Mrs. Vanderdale began looking over Norman’s shoulder toward the swinging door leading to the living room.

“She’s right there, Mother.” Norman nodded toward Paige. 

His mother turned around only to find Mrs. Nettie and her supposed kinfolk standing there. She continued looking at the doorway. “Where, Son?”

“Right here, Mother. Standing right here in your face.” Norman walked around his mother and went and stood next to Paige. “Mumsy, this is my wife, Paige. Paige, this is-”

“Mrs. Vanderdale!” Miss Nettie shouted as she quickly went to her boss’s aid. 

Norman joined Nettie in keeping his mother to her feet as she appeared faint and weak, as if her knees had given out.

“Mom, are you okay?” Norman asked worriedly. “Miss Nettie, help get mother over to the chair. And please, have Stuart fetch her some water.”

Miss Nettie just stood there torn, not moving a muscle.

“Please, Miss Nettie, why are you just standing there?” Norman asked.





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. 


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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 by Minnie E Miller

Looking for love, wherever!

In “What if it feels Good?” D.J. McLaurin makes it clear in her opening that Michael Bagley is not your typical teenager. McLaurin’s skillful mapping of Michael’s life would seem to some “unspeakable.” Conversely, to Michael it was a matter of survival. Michael runs head-on with his mother’s boyfriend because of his abuse, which leads to a near fatal conflict between the two, causing the 14-year-old kid to escape into the streets, and live among the homeless. Legal trouble lands Michael into a home for adolescent boys. A friend of Michael’s biological father begs and threatens him into rescuing his bastard son, and taking him into his established family. Michael goes from rags to riches under Joe’s roof. The mixture is not mixing well, however. 

Young Michael’s needs overpower his logic, and he falls in love with an older man, who is fascinated by the young boy’s wit and wisdom, feels he is 14 going on 30. The odd couple receives constant blows to the stomach about their relationship, especially from an ex-girlfriend. This novel makes it even more evident that the need for love does not go away unless it’s satisfied, no matter the age. 

As I sat glued to D.J.’s novel, my emotions were on a roller coaster ride. I felt fear, anger, happiness, and sadness for Michael.  D.J. McLaurin is a professional author with undeniable talent, depth, and perception. She made a believer out of me, a seasoned woman, and author. I give the novel 5 stars.

Minnie E Miller, Author

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. 


What If It Feels Good by D.J. McLaurin
Contemporary, Alternative Fiction 




by Bobby Cenoura 

Male Angst Volume I.: FML, I Always Get Those Chicks is the antithesis to 50 Shades of Grey. In this novel, Reggie recounts two disastrous short term relationships: the first to a weed head Vietnamese mother of two who owns a nail salon and has an obsessed “husband”; and the second to an underemployed yet overweight Hispanic mother of two with two baby-daddies and secret sauce. Add to the character mix an interesting oasis of thugs and lowlifes who are sympathetic to Reggie’s cause and help him to count his blessings.

Reggie Jenkins is on to something but he just isn’t getting it right. He is quasi-urban: too black for the mainstream, but not black enough for the underground. The passing away of people, opportunities, and relationships in Reggie’s life have left a hole that he attempts to fill with sex, drugs, and false ego. Reggie has ‘Male Angst’. 


Under the Sea

Tara Thai is a restaurant where the theme is ‘under the sea’. The walls are decorated with elaborate aquamarine and teal-colored paint to give the diner an oceanic feel. Painted on these walls are pictures of fish and other marine life, and the lighting was composed of circular bulbs adorned with golden streamers to make them represent jellyfish floating along on an ocean blue. Even more extreme was the hoisted life-sized mannequin of a diver swimming with oxygen tank and all, suspended by thin wires as if it were deus ex machina , it was definitely a date-night restaurant waiting to drain the pockets of an unsuspecting sap if he dares to pay for a full course meal for two, appetizer, drink and desert.

We both sat across from each other scanning the menus. From time to time, I looked at her to see her face gently illuminated by the faux candle sitting in the middle of the table. It felt good to be out with a cute girl, but a creeping thought was whether or not we should go Dutch, because one, I really didn’t know her like that, and two, I didn’t want her to think that I was some punk that would just pay for her off the top. I decided that a happy medium would be to offer to pay for the dinner while suggesting that she pay the tip. That way, I would extend my hand in a chivalrous-like courtesy, while allowing her to exercise her new-age womanly right to independence.

When I go to these restaurants, my favorite dish is to order the whole fish. The fish is usually deep-fried and embellished with a chili-basil sauce. The sweetness of basil contrasted the spiciness of the peppers. Of course, the whole fish is usually the most expensive item on the menu, because its price dared to be defiant and read: MARKET.  Not that I wouldn’t mind ordering a whole fish, but to do so with her is like a team effort. I wanted to put it out there, since I think that it would have created a bond between us, but at the same time, I didn’t want her to think I was ordering for her. As my thought process was churning, it was interrupted by a single robotic voice.

“Koos mey, how are you today? Would you layke to start with something to dwenk?”

I looked at Linh and she looked at me from behind her menu, almost as if we were playing peekaboo.

“Get wactha want, I got this round,” I said to her with the confidence that it wasn’t trickin’ if I had it.

“Okay…I’ll have a…Mint Mojito.”

“Okeyy, an you, sir? Would you layke something to dwenk?”

“Yeah, I’ll have a Long Island Iced Tea.”

“Zenk yoo.”

As the lady left our table, she seemed to try hard to switch her hips, as she dragged her heels across the floor. Then I got a flashback of a lot of Asian people I knew who tended to drag their heels as they walked. I wondered why that was. Maybe, I thought, they had such strong calves that they couldn’t help it.

After a couple of sips of my drink, it hit me directly as I didn’t have much in my stomach. I was now feeling enthusiastic about the night and wanting to go balls out.

“So, have you ever had the whole Flounder before? It’s pretty good. You wanna get a whole flounder? We can share it.”


There was a brief silence between us. The thing about the word “meh” is that I am not even sure if it is a word. It’s more like an expression suggesting disinterest. For a moment, it was a bit of a buzz kill, my ego expecting cooperation and companionship. I let it go and turned my attention to the menu. Then she spoke.

“Umm they have curry puffs. I love those. Do you like them?”

“They’re okay.”

The truth was that I really loved curry puffs, but since she took the whole experience down a notch with her lack of enthusiasm, I countered, letting her know that I didn’t give a crap if she wanted to continue on this “date.” I knew that she probably recognized that her utterance of that friggin’ annoying word turned me off and she was trying to make up for it. I let her take the lead in the conversation.

“I am so glad we came here. I haven’t eaten since early this afternoon, and sometimes I become a different person when I haven’t had food.”

“Kinda like the grumpy guy on the Snickers commercial before he gets a Snickers?”

“Yeah, like that.”

Okay, so the night was still salvageable. She was actually trying to explain why she was being a drag, and I followed up with it. In an essence, she just apologized to me and I accepted it.

We finally ordered the food. To start, we ordered a couple of curry puffs, which resembled a Pop-Tart filled with a curry chicken filling, and were golden brown and flaky. Next to it was a small relish dish made from pickles, red onions and vinegar to dip them in. We also ordered a couple of the Typhoon Soups-- the Americanized version of Tom Yum, a lemongrass-based seafood soup with spicy broth, two shrimp, five calamari, two scallops, and four mussels. They definitely had a system, because I realized she had the exact same number of items in her soup as I did in mine.  I would be wrong to call it seafood soup, since it didn’t contain any fish, just mollusks and bottom-feeders that, while tasty, not the most healthful. However, I did not come to the restaurant to initiate Linh into some sort of Halal food syndicate. I came here to wine, dine, and possibly bang her into a stupor.

“So I started writing this book,” Linh said in between slurping up her soup and taking a bite of her chicken patty.

“What kind of book?”

“It’s a crime/thriller/love story.”

“What’s it about?”

“It’s about a girl who belongs to a Vietnamese organized crime family, kinda like the Yakuza, and she is the daughter of the boss. And they hired a highly-trained bodyguard to drive her around, to you know, like school, shopping, etc.”

“That’s interesting. So where does the love story come in?”

“Well what happens is this body guard starts to fall in love with her, and he doesn’t show it directly, but he shows it in different ways, especially when he saves her life.”

“So does the girl end up falling for the guy?”

“Actually, that’s the thing. It’s gonna be one of those unrequited love stories. The girl is actually gonna fall for another guy who the bodyguard eventually finds out that he is from a rival crime family. Then in the end, the bodyguard is going to die saving her life…”

“And what about the guy she falls for? Is he going to end up killing her?”

“No, they are going to end up getting married and he is attempting to consolidate the wealth of the two crime families.”

“Hmm…have you decided on a title?”

“Yea, the Vietnamese Princess Bride.”

“Ahh, the Vietnamese Princess Bride, or VPB. Hey, wait a minute! Those are the initials for Vietnamese Playboys, this old school gang that wore the scorpion tattoos on their forearm?!”


“Girl, you betta be careful writing shit and coding it.”

“Well at least I would have done something I love before I die.”

“No guts, no glory, they say. I think that’s pretty cool that you like to write.”

“Yeah, I just haven’t even finished the first chapter yet, but I love to read stories all the time on my Kindle.”

“Well, we have a lot in common, ‘cause I like to write, too.”

“Really? What are you writing about?”

“A fictional story regarding the relationships between African Americans and Koreans in the inner city.”

“That’s interesting. Nobody’s done that before.”

“Yeah, it kind of focuses on the aspect of Koreans owning liquor stores in the inner city and how they relate—kinda how y’all own nail salons. Have you ever thought about it?”

“About what?”

“About how Blacks and Asians have a kind of interdependent ecosystem—we’re like the consumers and you guys are like the merchants—if it wasn’t for us, y’all wouldn’t eat,” I said in a southern-like accent. She giggled and nodded her head. I continued.

“In my book, the surroundings touch the Korean characters on a deeper level; one of the female characters becomes involved with one of the brothas from the inner city.”

“Is it a love story?”

“Not really, because I want to focus more on the cultural aspects to enlighten the reader so they won’t get distracted by sexual aspects of man and woman.”

When she asked me about my book, I felt like I was connecting with her, and that we had something in common, besides the fact that we both drink and like Thai food. Our entrees had already arrived. I ordered a tofu and vegetable Pad Ka-Prao, which Tara Thai had intentionally misspelled as Ka-Pow to draw the American eye. Despite semantics, the dish did have a spicy kick to it. If I could liken it to anything conventional, it would be like Chinese Pepper-steak stir-fry, but a vegetarian version. Linh ordered Penang curry. It had a burnt-sienna color broken by orange bubbles of oil that seemed to swirl around the dish in the curry sauce, mimicking the red-eye storm cloud of Jupiter, swirling around in its brown-orange atmosphere. She had ordered this dish with chicken. Little bamboo shoots floated on the river of spicy sauce like a series of bamboo rafts floating toward the horizon on a sunset river. The white mounts of jasmine rice steamed in bowls with a clean and aromatic smell.

At our table, we dined Asian style, and it made me feel closer to her. For me, and where I’m from, people didn’t usually order different foods and share with each other. To me, black folks were every-man-for-himself when it came to dining. I briefly recalled a moment in time when I was low on cash and didn’t have money for food. This black guy named Rohan would eat chicken in front of my face without offering me any. It wasn’t until I started to hang around with Asian people that I realized their “community pot” way of sharing food. They always asked me if I minded dining that way (sharing), but as we ate that night, we had a mutual understanding that we were dining with a sense of camaraderie. During this moment of total immersion, we moved about the table with our wrists, sampling and tasting different entrees and even daring to mix them.

“So what’s your deal? You know, like do you got a boyfriend or something?”

“Naw, well I don’t have a boyfriend or anything but I am divorced. I figure I would just tell you that from the jump…besides, you might actually know my ex-husband…”

“Oh really? What’s his name?”


“I don’t think I know him.”

“Well, you might see him on my FB page leaving me pet messages. He just doesn’t get it.”

“Get what?”

“That it’s over.”

“Wow. So do you guys have kids?”

“We have two, but he isn’t around much anymore to see them. My sister takes care of them when I’m away.”

“Where is he now?”

“He’s stationed in Iraq.”

As soon as she said that her ex couldn’t get over her, two things jumped to my mind. They were like a push away from her and a pull toward her. I thought to myself, What type of thang-thang does she got that it’s making her ex refuse to let it go? That gave me a curious “pull” toward her. While contemplating this, my mind suddenly became overwhelmed by images of “Hamburger Hill” and “Rambo” with some random crazed marine with a scope on top of a rifle kicking down my door for dicking-down his ex. A part of me wondered if I should even try to get involved with this chick, but another part of me said, Well it’s not like she’s throwing it at you, so just enjoy the moment and see where it takes you.

“Well…that’s cool. I hope you guys work out things for your kids.”

“There is nothing to work out. He and I are over. Didn’t you hear me? He like cheated on me twice when he came back from one of his rotations, and I’m not playing his game of Mr. Righteous Serviceman anymore. The only reason why I didn’t divorce him was because I didn’t want to seem like an ice-cold bitch since he is serving in the military.”

After her bout of anger, I caught her in her first lie. She told me she was divorced. Now I started to doubt this chick. But before jumping to conclusions, I pried further.

“I thought you said you were already divorced. Is that for real or not?”

“Well, we’re practically divorced. We’ve been separated over a year and the paperwork is in process, but it’s hard to serve him the papers because of his military status. But I assure you, when he is done with his tour of duty, I will have him served.”

I heard all I needed to hear. I understood that sometimes relationships could be complicated, especially when you have a good-looking chick and kids. I decided to back off from that topic. After all, it was really none of my business.

“That’s cool. I didn’t mean to stir up your shit.”

“It’s okay.”

“I’m a little curious. Why did you decide to link up with me today anyway?” I asked her because I wanted to know if she saw my shirtless FB pics and thought I was sexy, or maybe she saw that I had similar acquaintances.


She candidly took a sip of her drink and then looked up and to the left, then returned her gaze to me, although averted a little; I could tell that she was getting kind of buzzed. In my mind, I thanked the waiters for making the drinks at a good strength, as I always believed in alcohol as a ‘truth’ serum.

“…at first when you messaged me, I was like who is this guy? But then I thought you were kinda funny when you started talking to me, and I noticed that we knew a lot of the same people. So I thought it was cool.”

Just as I thought, she felt comfortable about me because we knew the same people. I am glad my sense of humor still worked, and I am pretty sure if she went through my pics she would have seen the shirtless ones with my abs flexed. Hopefully I sealed the deal between sense of humor, sexiness, and connections. I know that the people she and I both knew were connected in the drug world, so she probably ‘dabbled’. I just had to mention Kayla to get it out of the way.

“That’s cool. Hey, listen, you may have seen my FB pics and me with a particular girl in a lot of them…in different places. That girl is not my girlfriend. We used to go together, but now we are just really good friends.”

“You don’t have to explain anything to me. It’s your life—your business.”

When Linh made that statement, my mind began to torment me again. The first positively, like thinking to myself about how women like guys that other women already like—so being in pictures with girls is a plus in that sense. I also felt good that she respected my privacy and my space, but of course, like a leaking roof, the negative feelings started to seep in, like standing storm water. I started to think, “If she doesn’t care who I’m with, I wonder who or what she could be hiding” in “her business” that she felt she wouldn’t have to explain to me, since I didn’t have to explain anything to her? The phrase Denzel Washington uttered in Training Day: “This is chess, not checkers!” rang in my head, as I considered that Linh could possibly be a roller. Though she did seem mature enough for a girl in her early twenties. I thought that having kids would give a woman consideration over the future and thus, less likely to take risks.

My ego was still suspicious that the girl that sat across from me sharing out of the same meal dishes was a ho. This suspiciousness came to mind whenever I thought I met a girl that was complete. It never fails… I told myself negatively, there’s always a friggin’ catch. Sitting there with a girl who was this attractive, I began to realize the tradeoff: she’s got two snotty-nosed kids, and a psychotic shell-shocked husband, and Heaven knows how many other guys are taking her out. FML, I always get those type of chicks, I said to myself.

( Continued... )

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

Meet the Author
Bobby Cenoura
writes fact based fictional stories about contemporary Male and African American adaptations to post modern situations: "Male Angst"(a newly coined genre) and "Quasi Urban" (an offshoot of Urban Fiction/Street Literature) respectively.

Book smart + Street smart = Bobby's brash yet logical explanation of Black people's problems and Male Angst through the eyes of focused yet jaded main characters who dabble in contemporary and underground markets. Targets of his analysis include religion, race, family structure, the Afro-American self image and dating market conundrums. Bust your gut laughing or rub your chin in reflection.

Bobby was born and raised in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area and has seen sweeping change in the area since the 1980s, which inspires a lions share of his literature. Other places that inspired him are California, Mexico and Peru. Bobby holds a double undergraduate degree in business and social sciences from the University of Maryland.

Purchase Male Angst: FML I Always Get "Those" Chicks 
(Male Angst Series Book 1) by Bobby Cenoura





Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer
by Joyce Nanette Johnson

Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer”, is a humorous look at the real lives of Boomers, vs. the media’s unrealistic view of some sexy, energized person that only exists in some marketing mavens’ mind. There are many of these advertising darlings out there, but Over Fifty Ain't Always Fabulous isn't aimed at those Boomers, but it is for those who have survived the scrapes and bumps of life, but we are not as shiny or energetic as some of our touted counterparts. “Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous” laughs out loud at the present and then takes you on a sentimental visit to the past examining how the same situation means different results for Boomers today. Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer is a shout out to the past, examination of the present , and a celebration of life’s poignant but hysterical journey.

“Boomers have always been vocal, boisterous, have a history of implementing social and political change and can still sway advertisers with our discretionary income, if we have any money left at the end of the month. Through humor and poignancy, my new book will have fellow Baby Boomers laughing at the past and present.

It’s important for us to have a light-hearted view on life. My drugs cupboard is full to the brim with pills of all sizes and colors (if you were to see it you’d think I was making money from it) and I can’t exert too much energy without rolling on the floor with a writhing Charlie horse – but this is a small price to pay for the lives we Boomers have lived. My book celebrates all that is great about being over fifty – even if I can’t really get my eyes to focus properly on the pages!

Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer invites you along for the comical ride that is accompanied with hearty, out loud in your face laughter,” said Johnson.

Amazon Book Review

Since its release, the book has garnered a string of rave reviews. For example, one reader commented, “Over 50 Ain't Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer” is a great read, packed full with everyday situations that will appeal to everyone whether you’re over 50 or not. The author doesn't just dispel the commercial myths of women over 50 , but also engages the reader with jokes of the trials and tribulations most of us have experienced or will experience after passing the big five 0.”

Excerpt: Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer 

I have a few words to say, “Fifty ain’t always fabulous”. There I’ve said it. I’ve said it and you know what? I’m glad I said it. You probably want to say it too, but you’re scared to say it.

Scared of the rhetoric and gasps of dis-belief that will come from those so-called cougars that you see in a magazine that are artfully draped over a cliff, as the Greek Isles dashes waves of glorious blue-green water over her. Then there is always a man staring at her with obsessed, hooded eyes.

You’re scared that your world does not measure up to the professionally made-up actors on TV. These women are shouting out a challenge to you and I suspect you think you can’t live up to the hype. However, what they’re asking us to believe is “the hype”.

My back would laugh at me and taunt me, “Go on and try it you old fool and watch what I do to you!” My upper and lower torso would be plotting their sadistic revenge if I ever thought I could lounge against hard rock. I would end up dying on that rock as the water gurgled in my lungs because I couldn’t get up.

Where is this sexy, vibrant older woman that we see on the TV? She does not live in my house nor take up residence in my mirrors. Ladies, if you were not that hot looking when you were young do not believe the hype that you will turn into this wild, unleashed, beautifully sculpted cougar. At times I look like an old toothless, clawless, scruffy house cat only waiting for a bowl of warm milk for pure contentment.

Clothes Today and Then

I remember I used to like everything tight. I liked tight jeans that showed off my perfectly rounded butt. My butt at this point does not need to be showed off; it is the most visible part of my body. It will take over any space without being invited. Even when I am staring straight ahead looking at you, my butt can be seen poking from around the back. It intrudes its way into the conversation. It is a rude, obnoxious appendage that wants to flaunt its appearance at any occasion. It is almost another person complete with its own personal 5 o’clock shadow and zip code. Neither diets, nor exercise can undo the big booty. 


I have observed some of the people in the clubs dancing today. I could not be a “Hoochie Mama Dancer” of today. I don’t think I could “Drop it Like It’s Hot”. If I drop it, it will still be there until the paramedics come to pick me and “it” off the floor. Sexual contortions and gyrations would only cause a late run to the drug store for a new heat pack. My idea of going low to the floor is to point my head down and bob it in unison to the music. 

Mother-Daughter Relationships

When did I become the caregiver of my mother? Now in my 50’s the music has switched to a new tempo for both of us. In the beginning it was she who led and it was me who followed. As the last mournful sound is played the positions are switched. I was silently elected to a position that I never envisioned would come. I cannot remember the exact day that the exchange took place and our parallel worlds tumbled into a vortex and intermixed into and we have now evolved into almost a new species.


I will not go to a gym, because I do not want to go to jail for assaulting a youngster with a perfect uplifted body in every area and strangling her after I hear for the hundredth time in an exasperated tone “ Now, really now. Is that the best we can do?” These stressful reproachful words are muttered after I can’t keep up in Zumba class or had gotten entangled in the sports equipment and had to be helped down. 

( Continued... )

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Joyce Nanette Johnson. 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
Joyce Nanette Johnson
is a freelance writer based in St. Petersburg, FL. Born in Newark, NJ she grew on the central Jersey shore, in Long Branch, NJ. For many years Florida has been her adopted home. Joyce Nanette Johnson has been a contributing writer for The Tampabay Times, correspondent for the Weekly Challenger and St. Pete Bulletin newspapers, and was a columnist for Citilife Magazine. Her first acceptance was for a short story for Essence Magazine. She is the owner of Joydee Productions, which developed and produced websites for community organizations and other public relations projects. Joyce Nanette Johnson was a finalist in 2010 and 2011 Tampabay Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists Awards. Ms. Johnson was the recipient of the 2011 Women in Communications Award presented by the Gathering of Women, Inc. St. Petersburg, FL.

Over 50 Ain't Always Fabulous-Reflections of a Baby Boomer
by Joyce Nanette Johnson


Corporate Thugs 
by Bridgett Renay

What’s the first sign that lets you know you’re dealing with a sociopath? Corporate Thugs is riddled with clues.

Set in the new reigning hub of African-American drama – suburban Atlanta – it’s the scandalous saga of the ambitious and untamed Gerald Alexander that chronicles his descent into the dismal world of irrationality. From high school to college and throughout the pros – his story will have you watching your back ever so closely. 

Gerald had only two dreams – to play professional football in the NFL and to make the cover of Sports Illustrated. When the former became a reality it was short-lived due to a serious injury. And just like that, all the fame, fortune, parties, women…gone. On the contrary, his best friend since childhood, Marcus Stone, was on top of the world – a successful business, a beautiful wife, a fat bank account…he had it all.

Being a supportive friend, Marcus offers Gerald a job hoping that Gerald would have a positive impact on his company. But when jealously and murder come between them, which one will fall? Could Gerald be so callous that he'd set up his best friend? Is Marcus even capable of unleashing his own wrath? 

They solved the riddle. Can you?

First Chapter Excerpt: Corporate Thugs

Born Troy Lewis, Slink was fated to live a life that revolved around crime. He was conceived in the back room of a strip club and born in prison. His mother was convicted on federal drug charges and by the time she gave birth to Slink in a women’s prison, his father, or who his mother believed to be his father, was convicted and serving time on larceny charges. 

Slink spent the first seven years of his life caught up in the anarchy of the foster care system until his maternal great-grandmother, Nana Kay, took him in. Nana Kay was a sweet enough old lady. She was in her late sixties and unfortunately had just about every illness listed in the New England Journal of Medicine. While Nana Kay was in and out of hospitals, he was in and out of trouble. 

Despite it all, Slink had learned to survive by being tranquil, mystical, and clever. Add that to his cunning stride and his slender physique and you’d be describing a Slinky – Slink for short. He used every talent he had to manipulate those that were unfortunate enough to cross his path.

Slink had arrived in Atlanta via Jackson, Mississippi. As usual, he found himself right in the middle of some serious bull in Jackson. Two men were found dead in the back alley of a pool hall just hours after being seen arguing with Slink. Slink got word that the police were asking around about him so he decided he needed to get out of town. He wasn’t a stranger to transporting dope across state lines and when he found out about a huge drug run to Atlanta he made his move. 

Not only did the drug lords know Slink by reputation, they also knew he was desperate to get out of town for a while so they offered him twenty-five thousand dollars to transfer a shipment of their product to Atlanta. They also knew that as crazy as he was, he wasn’t suicidal enough to try to run off with it. 

Slink knew where to draw the line and who to draw the line with – depending on what was at stake of course. He also knew he was being played short because a run like that could easily go for fifty thousand at the least, but the last thing he needed was a run-in with one of Jackson’s finest so he took the deal. 

When Slink got to Atlanta and delivered the dope he was twenty-five thousand dollars richer and had about five pounds of dope of his own. That was all he needed to start up his own dope-slinging operation. On his drive from Jackson to Atlanta he stopped at a campground near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, pitched a tent, and carefully removed a few ounces from each of the bricks he was transporting. Slink always got what he felt was his in the end. Screw honor among thieves. 

He didn’t even sweat driving an SUV full of dope across two state lines because Slink was nobody’s dummy. He understood America. He didn't walk around with his pants hanging down to his knees. No way was Slink getting locked up trying to keep up with thug fashion. He always dressed like a perfect little gentlemen. His pants and shirts were professionally pressed. He wore sneakers only while wearing athletic gear. Slink even wore a tie every now and then. He was the portrait of a man on his way to visit his sweet, elderly momma for a Sunday dinner.


It was in the middle of Marcus and Gerald’s junior year of high school when Slink moved into an apartment a few miles from the Burger Hut. He didn’t know anything about healthy eating so he immediately began to frequent the restaurant. He came in one day while Gerald was behind the grill flipping burgers. When Slink walked up to place his order he recognized Gerald from the sports section of the neighborhood newspaper and was impressed. His low-key, semi-thuggish behavior intrigued Gerald as well so they talked often. 

Slink enjoyed turning young brothers out so he played the role of one of those non-threatening thugs – the kind that may steal, but would never kill. Gerald was fooled by Slink’s big puppy-dog eyes and his slender frame. All of the malnutrition he suffered growing up gave Slink the appearance of a nineteen-year-old. Gerald didn’t know Slink was twenty-six-years-old and straight-up demented. 

The two became quick friends, therefore, Marcus soon became a friend. The more Slink realized how bright Gerald and Marcus’ future looked, the more he tried to gain their confidence. Slink didn’t like seeing brothers sincerely happy and legitimately successful. He felt it was his duty to put an end to all that. If his soul couldn’t be emancipated, neither could anyone else’s.

( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Bridgett Renay. 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.

Corporate Thugs by Bridgett Renay
Genre: Urban Fiction

About the Author

Always the quiet but observant type, Bridgett Renay's written words spoke for her. As a young girl she undoubtedly had the gift of writing. Everything from poetry to short stories filled her PeeChee folder with fantasies as well as the realities of life growing up in south central Los Angeles. In elementary school, one Thanksgiving Day poem she wrote even found its way to the local newspaper. That was then.

Years of professional growth as a Navy Reservist and corporate operative, as well as personal triumphs earning an undergraduate and a master's degree, tells the story of a journey that took her to faraway places, introduced her to intoxicating people, and shaped the way she viewed the world and her place in it. 

Now that she is firmly settled in Atlanta, Georgia and has reached the top of her pyramid, per se, Bridgett has allowed herself to re-focus on her true calling - writing. And though usually conservative, she never misses out on an opportunity to flip any script. Bridgett had no choice but to pen the venomous Corporate Thugs. The characters were so alive in her head that they had to be released and shared with reading enthusiasts of diversified genres.

Corporate Thugs is her first novel - her dream deferred. The pen is back, the passion never left...a new journey begins. 



Intimate Conversation with Victoria Christopher Murray

Victoria Christopher Murray is the Essence bestselling author of more than twenty novels including: The Ex Files, Lady Jasmine, and The Deal, the Dance, and the Devil. Winner of the African American Literary Award for Fiction and Author of the Year (Female), Murray is also a two-time NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Fiction. She splits her time between Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

Victoria Christopher Murray always knew she would become an author, even as she was taking an unlikely path to that destination. A native of Queens, Victoria first left New York to attend Hampton University where she majored in Communication Disorders. After graduating, Victoria attended New York University where she received her MBA.

Victoria has received numerous awards including the Golden Pen Award for Best Inspirational Fiction and the Phyllis Wheatley Trailblazer Award for being a pioneer in African American Fiction. Since 2007, Victoria has won six African American Literary Awards for best novel, best Christian fiction and Author of the Year - Female. Her 2013 NAACP Image Award nomination for Destiny's Divas was her second Image Award nomination.

In 2008, Victoria’s first novels in her Christian fiction teen series - The Divine Divas – were published and were optioned to become a television series. She is currently in negotiations for her novel, The Ex Files, to become a movie. With over one million books in print, Victoria is one of the country's top African American contemporary authors.

BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing Forever an Ex? Why now?
That's an interesting question because you would probably be surprised to know that I don't particularly enjoy writing sequels. I love the freshness of new characters and so sequels just aren't my thing. Now, I'm saying this after having five sequels with my character, Jasmine, and now this, Forever an Ex which is the sequel to the Ex Files.

The idea to write this book first came to me when the Ex Files was optioned to become a movie. The producer asked for more content because he liked the characters so much and hoped to be able to turn their stories into a television series. So, I had to go back and talk to these ladies again. And actually, I was glad to hear what "they" had to say.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
I'm sure it does. I would like to believe that everything I write comes from my imagination, but people tend to write what they know. So a good many of my characters live the kind of life I've lived. Most of my stories take place in Los Angeles or New York, the two cities where I've spent most of my life. And most of the women are professional women who have college and maybe even graduate degrees.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?
My books are definitely character driven and that is by choice. I used to take lots of writing classes at the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival program and that is such a good school, a bit "high-brow," if you will. It was there that I learned that most literary fiction was character driven and most commercial fiction was plot driven. So, I decided then that I wanted to be more of a character driven author. Now, don't get me wrong -- I know that I'm not writing the next GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL. Nor do my books rival any of the great contemporary literary novelists. But, I do put as much of a focus on the characters as I possibly can.

I don't have any challenges coming up with ideas. Not at all. I think every idea for every book that I have written and will write in my lifetime was already inside of me when I was born. That's the gift that I've been given. God gave me the gift to write, and that included the ideas to put down on paper.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work, Forever an Ex. We are always seeking to place the right book, with the right reader, what genre do you consider your book? 
Ugh! I almost hate that word -- genre. I think a truly creative person can't (and shouldn't) be boxed into any category. If you go with your creative flow, one novel may be more suspense, the other may be more romance. But if I had to put myself into a box, I would be inside Christian fiction. 

It's important to note, though that I don't write to genre rules. So many who read my novels are surprised that my characters are really flawed and they're just trying to work it out. I haven't written a perfect character yet because I believe there was only one perfect person to walk this earth -- and they already wrote HIS story...

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
Well, Sheridan is the character where this story all began. After seventeen years of what she thought was a loving marriage, her husband told her that he'd fallen in love with a man. Of course, devastation doesn't begin to describe how she feels, but she's pulled her life back together and now seven years later, she's set. But her ex is back -- with a fiancee. Sheridan is shocked to find out that her ex husband is about to marry a woman...isn't he gay? But what complicates this is that her ex's fiancee has some questions for Sheridan....

Kendall has been living a life filled with bitterness since she found her husband in bed with her sister. She excommunicated them from her life, but now that her father has been diagnosed with cancer, Kendall finds herself back in touch with her sister and her ex -- who are now married and expecting a baby. But then a man enters Kendall's life and she finds herself and her inability to forgive being tested in ways she never thought....

Asia really needs to grow up, but though eight years have passed since her ex left her to go back to his wife, Asia finds herself longing to have him back in her life. She puts together a plan to get him back -- this time permanently. But the plan may come at a high cost, and Asia finds herself having to choose between her man and her daughter.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed in Forever an Ex? 
The characters discuss lots of things, but the primary lesson I think is forgiveness. Not that we have to forgive, but what may happen if we don't...

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Oooooh, this is a hard question. Success as an author, like success in life can be defined in so many different ways. And in today's times, success is just having a contract with a major publisher. My career has been touch and go for a few years now, and so I'm still hanging on. Of course, I want to see progress in my career...I want to see my career continue to grow, continue to build. And who day, I just might be a New York Times best selling author...

BPM: What are your expectations for this book, Forever an Ex? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
I don't like to write books with messages. I like to write books that entertain and then if anyone gets a message, I'm happy. But this book right here? This book is all about forgiveness. I think it's a slap you right in your face book about forgiveness that may have you sitting down and thinking about who in your life do you need to forgive...

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?
On my website, I have the first few chapters of every single book I've ever written -- this is my 22nd and I am so proud that after all these years -- I'm still here! So if anyone wants to do a test-read first, is the place to go. 

Also, I've very active on Facebook and Twitter. I love interacting with readers. Both my readers and I believe these characters are real so we have some great discussions. LOL! Thank you so, so much.

BPM: What's next for Victoria Christopher Murray?
Sheridan has to deal with an ex husband who once was gay, but now he's not -- at least, that's what he says. Kendall has to find a way to accept that her ex husband and her sister (who are now married) are having a child, and Asia has decided that it is time to steal her ex-lover from his wife -- this time for good! FOREVER AN EX coming June 17th. Visit my website at: to read the first few chapters.

Forever an Ex by Victoria Christopher Murray

Three Los Angeles women who've helped each other overcome heartbreak are reunited eight years later when their troublesome exes come back into the picture in this follow up to Victoria Christopher Murray's bestselling novel The Ex Files.

Sheridan, Kendall, and Asia first bonded when they met seven years ago at a church prayer support group and now, their friendship has blossomed into a strong sisterhood. They've helped each other through the tragedies of their breakups and together, they've celebrated their triumphs. But now, their exes are back, wreaking havoc on lives they've work so hard to rebuild.

Sheridan has found love again after her ex-husband left her for a man. But old wounds are reopened when her ex-husband appears with his fiancée--a woman! And all of Sheridan's insecurities and doubts come rushing back. Kendall's former husband is now married to Kendall's sister, Sabrina. And though Kendall has refused to interact with either one in the last seven years, she's forced to reunite with Sabrina when their father is diagnosed with cancer. Asia has done her best to move away from her married boyfriend, a former star with the LA Lakers. But when they share a kiss, old desires are rekindled and Asia decides that it's time for her and Bobby Johnson to get back together again.

With her trademark writing that "has the kind of momentum that prompts you to elbow disbelief aside and flip the pages in horrified enjoyment"(The Washington Post), Forever an Ex is Murray's best novel yet.

Purchase Forever an Ex: A Novel
by Victoria Christopher Murray



Intimate Conversation with Titus Joseph

Titus Joseph has a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy with a minor in religious studies and a Master’s degree in counseling. Mr. Joseph has worked throughout his life as a counselor and at present, he develops group homes for individuals with disabilities. Titus identifies most as a philosopher - which is to say - a lover of wisdom. Though grateful for his formal education, above all else, it’s the love of wisdom that motivates him and I think you will find out why as you read Our Curious World of Mirror Images ( 

BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
I became motivated to write this book due to the times that we are in. Our sense of reality has changed a lot due to the history that we are experiencing. Reality has become more fluid and we have witnessed some amazing history play out. The book actually began sometime in the 1980’s. This means that I grew up from my mid-20’s to middle age, marinating and thinking about this new holistic concept while witnessing history play out and also, keeping up with the science as it hits the news. Incorporating the science comes naturally to me because of my educational background. My mind thinks in holistic terms so because of the maturity in the time since its’ been over 25 years now, the abundance of scientific evidence, and personal development, and also because the Mayan calendar’s change of time that occurred at the end of 2012. This resonates with me as true so I’m thinking, write the book. 

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely, there is nothing that I can write that is not informed through daily experience. Our thoughts are formed in our experiences. The experiences are types of thoughts and the way we reflect on them forms a meta-layer of thought that involves how we reconcile ourselves to it. But of my background, I was born by the sea and my father was a fisherman. My mom came to America seeking a better life for us meaning a more materialistic life. Life was good living by the sea, eating fresh delicious food. Good food, but materialism is demanding. My mom got a job doing domestic work at a home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. I went to one of the best high schools in the country and I was always a good student, particularly in biology. Today I am a father and a husband to my wife, and frankly because of that family context – I have the resources and I am able to write. Of course, I have to thank the universe for being and providing. 

BPM: Do you write full-time? Do you write every day? Do you have a special time to write?
I do not write full-time and I would only be writing every day if I were in the midst of a creative period of time. My special time to write is definitely in early morning. I develop group homes for individuals with disabilities; this work keeps me grounded and provides the balance that I need to sustain the faithful process in writing a book. 

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
Absolutely! This is a very important point. The creative process involves time itself. Yes, we have an impulse, a thought, a creative moment, but the telling of a story is determined by the ending, so time has to be accessed. Sometimes I can feel that spinning wheel sensation when I am waisting time trying to “do,” when for now, it is time to rest. 

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? 
Book ideas come from subconscious thought processes. There is an ongoing level of consciousness that transcends one’s own conscious mind. The subconscious mind transcends individuals and incorporates whole societies. It is from these sub-conscious thought processes that new events emerge in consciousness, including books. 

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What separates this story from the millions of other books on the shelves? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
“Our Curious World of Mirror Images: Reflections on how Symmetry Frames our Universe, Empowers the Creative Process and Provides Context to Shape our Lives” (published by Balboa Press), opens up our eyes to a spiritual way of thinking that is relevant because it uses hard science as well as ancient philosophy to confirm an amazing new idea. The seamless interplay between science and spirituality demonstrates that space and time exist in the meaning of the words Alpha and Omega. This book is available at all local resellers, directly from the author’s website at, and is available as a digital book, hard cover edition or soft cover. 

BPM: Can you outline some areas where your book dealt with issues that are in current affairs?
In science today, there is great excitement and controversy about where the science is leading. Here’s an example of what I mean when I say that the science informs the spirituality in this book.  

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
The main topics of this book include spirituality, metaphysics, philosophy, cosmology, relativity, quantum mechanics, symmetry, and being. I have learned a lot from writing this book but in terms of personal development, I have learned more humility. 

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? How do you go about reaching new readers? 
If you are serious about your life, and read through this book with an open and thoughtful mind, you will experience signs in your personal reality that will confirm for you, in your private views, that this new paradigm is real and thus very meaningful to your life. Your way of thinking will change as a consequence of experiencing meaningful perceptions affirming the knowledge disclosed in this book. 

After reading this book you will have a clear and concise understanding of how space and time exist and how symmetry frames the universe. This new paradigm, though deeply spiritual in its implications, is presented with compelling scientific evidence and thus the implications are profound, leading potentially to a true foundation for meaning in life. 

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career? What would you like to accomplish after the book is released? 
Success for me would mean that the concepts brought to light in this book become universally known. 

BPM: What’s the most important quality a writer should have? 
Perseverance, faith, and trust in time because there are many challenges to surmount in the process of writing a book. As mentioned, the challenges include one’s own literary skills, the need to research, logistical and economic challenges and along the way psychological challenges as you manage to cope with balancing these demands with the ordinary demands of everyday life. 

BPM: What are your expectations for this book?
I hope to be a part of history unfolding to inspire a generation of new thinkers whose minds attain to higher levels of consciousness.

BPM: Finish this sentence – My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors. 
My hope is that this book will increase their consciousness in a manner that brings added value and meaning to life. 

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Visit my website at I have contact information there, a blog, a comment section designed to engage anyone interested in talking not just metaphysics, but also spirituality, politics, social change, music, etc. Looking forward to hear from you. 




Intimate Conversation with Kristin L. Mitchell

Kristin L. Mitchell, M.Ed. is a native Washingtonian. She graduated from Spelman College and George Mason University, with high honors and degrees in education and special education. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and enjoys a career as a special education teacher with the District of Columbia Public School system. 

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

My relationship with an ex-boyfriend was my inspiration for writing, He Wasn’t My Daddy. The demise of this relationship catapulted into a platform that is relevant to millions of women across the globe. This platform is that of being a “fatherless daughter.” This relationship allowed me to realize that I was a “fatherless daughter” and that I had, “daddy issues.” Thusly, I began to realize the importance of having that father figure in your life, and the detriment that can be caused when that presence is absent, as in my case. 

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

Absolutely! In this book, I am speaking from a very personal place. I am telling, “Kristin’s story, based on Kristin’s perspective.” My story is all about my upbringing, being raised by a single mother, and being a, “fatherless daughter.” I speak to how not having the presence of a father figure in my life affected me, how it caused me to cling onto situations and people and look for that unique love in all the wrong places. 

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What separates this story from the millions of other books on the shelves? Will the book become available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?

You know, this is a story about love, loss, abandonment, and restoration! It truly takes you through the journey of a “fatherless daughter.” It is written in a way that bonds “fatherless daughters” across the world. It connects us by teaching and allowing the reader to see that so many of us share the same and/or similar stories, as it relates to this platform. It provides real-life examples of how to reach a happier ending; and most importantly, it’s expression of vulnerability and emotional exposure makes it easy for readers to relieve some of the shame and/or guilt for the decisions that they might have made, as a result of not having that father figure. He Wasn’t My Daddy is honest, holds nothing back, and allows for others to witness that it is okay to expose all, in an effort to heal open wounds. Yes, it will be available on Nook and Kindle.

BPM: Give us an insight into the relationships discussed in the book. What makes each one so special? 

The two biggest relationships that I discuss in the book are the relationship with my ex, L.B. and the relationship between my father and I. Where do I begin? My relationship with L.B. was my first real, “adult” relationship. I would have moved Heaven and Earth for that man. There was something about the genuine care and concern that I believed he felt for me that drew me into him. I mean, I don’t recall ever feeling as if a man felt that type of genuine care and concern about me before. He wanted the best for me, he cared about my well being, he was interested in my finishing undergrad; he just wanted the overall best for me. No wonder I latched on! I quickly and unknowingly, placed him on a pedestal: one so tall that I left no room for him to fall – no room for error. I believe this is where I subconsciously placed him in the role of a father figure. He became my “everything!” 

After L.B. and I broke up, and I began to experience an, “emotional rollercoaster.” During the aftermath, I began to realize what I had subconsciously done; but it took me four long years! I realized that I did have, “daddy issues” and all this time, I was looking fort L.B. to fulfill that role. I mean I had never had my father around growing up. He was imprisoned when I was so young. All those years that I missed out on having my father around, affected me in a very subconscious way. All this time I thought that I was just looking for and yearning for L.B.’s love; when all the while, I was yearning for the love of my father; the type of love that L.B. would never have been able to give me, no matter how hard he tried. Needless to say, the book definitely speaks to my father and my estranged relationship and the journey that we are on to build what should have always been there. 

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 

Wow! This book delves deep. He Wasn’t My Daddy speaks to various topics, platforms. The primary one being that of, “fatherless daughters.” Additionally, I discuss mental illness, suicidal ideations, sexual promiscuity, love & relationships, and self-esteem. Writing this book was definitely therapeutic for me. It allowed me to uncover a LOT of deep-rooted baggage that I was blindly carrying around. Being able to share my story and connect with other women in the same and/or similar circumstances is a pure blessing! 

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 take away that if I can make it, Lord knows they can too! I mean, the struggle is definitely real, and there will be days that seem unbearable. However, I want to be the voice that says, “You can make it. Don’t give up and stay the course.” Look at the bright side, having the opportunity to reconnect to your father, or any parent is a blessing. It allows you to learn more about yourself, repair other broken relationships, set realistic expectations and ways of being for romantic relationships, and it opens up so many doors for emotional healing. 

Lastly, I want readers to realize just how much not having a relationship with a parent can affect romantic relationships. We wonder why we as women put up with so much from the men in our lives; here is a good reason why! 

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career? What would you like to accomplish after the book is released? 

To me, success can’t really be defined or measured. Success is your personal satisfaction with self, both professionally and personally. That is very different for everyone and depending on where you are in your life, it can change for the individual as well. Don’t try to be successful; if you’re anything like me, you will run yourself into the ground trying to keep up with yourself. Rather, work toward accomplishing whatever realistic goals you set out for yourself. That’s it, that’s all! 

BPM: What’s the most important quality a writer should have?

I believe that the most important quality a writer should have is transparency. I do not believe that you can truly affect change, inspire, and uplift people if you do not bring a strong sense of transparency. People want someone that they can relate to, someone who is not afraid to be vulnerable and share their story; with the hopes that someone else can benefit from it. 

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? 
My expectations for this book are two things. The first being to continue to spark a nation-wide and worldwide dialogue about, “fatherless daughters.” It is important for women to understand that there are millions of other women out there who understand and have fought this struggle and that they are not alone. It is equally as important for them to realize that often time their personal and romantic relationships have a great potential to be negatively affected as a result of being a, “fatherless daughter.” 

Often time we do not realize the detriment that is caused, the cycles that we perpetuate and how the decisions we make are predicated on those primary relationships we build with our parents; and as daughters with our fathers. Perhaps, continuing this dialogue will open the eyes of many to this issue. 

My second expectation of this book is to travel the world, being a voice for and connecting to women like me! What a more fulfilling experience? Let’s talk, allow me to share how made it through my darkest times, my mental illness, my suicidal attempts. Allow me to share the steps that my father and I have taken to mend our relationship, and how that has tremendously benefited my life and helped to uncover so many other broken relationships; and most importantly, allow me to share how the grace of God has kept me.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject? 

My primary goals as a writer are to inspire, to uplift, to share, to connect, and to restore broken women. 

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
The best ways to discover more about my work and me is to follow me on social media and invite me to speak at panel discussions and various events. 

Connect with Kristin L. Mitchell


Intimate Conversation with Suzetta Perkins

A native of Oakland, California, Suzetta Perkins resides in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She has two grown children, Teliza and Gerald, and two granddaughters she adores.  Writing has always been in her blood. While a senior in high school, Suzetta realized her first published work in her high school yearbook, in which she was co-editor.

Suzetta penned her first novel, Behind the Veil, in 2000, and it was published in 2006. Since then, she has published eight more novels that include A Love So Deep, Ex-Terminator: Life After Marriage, Déjà vu, Nothing Stays the Same, Betrayed, At the End of the Day, In My Rearview Mirror, and Silver Bullet, which will be released April 2014. 

Suzetta is a contributing author of My Soul to His Spirit, an anthology that received the 2006 Fresh Voices Award and was featured in the 2005 issue of Ebony magazine. Besides writing, Suzetta’s other passions are reading and scrapbooking. 

Suzetta is the President and co-founder of the Sistahs Book Club and is a member of New Visions Writers Group in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is also Secretary of the University at Fayetteville State University, her alma mater. 

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
As a woman who’s over the half-century mark, I thought it would be great to write about women like myself—single, married, widowed, divorced, who are in that place in their lives when they wonder if they still have it going on. I want readers to know that life isn’t over; it’s only the second round and you can still be fabulous, fierce, sexy regardless of who you are and how old you are.

BPM: Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing?
Life experiences have certainly prompted several of my stories. My first three novels were forms of therapy, as Behind the Veil was written during a turbulent time in my marriage, A Love So Deep was written after the death of my dear mother, and Ex-Terminator: Life After Marriage helped me get through a few rough pages. But I love those novels. They set the tone for the rest of my writing.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
Book ideas are constantly swimming in my head. Some come from experiences, others current events and social issues. With an idea, I usually come up with a title first. While I believe my stories are plot driven, a developed character will tell me what to do and say.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre to you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
Silver Bullets is women’s fiction and available in all digital forms. Silver Bullets is about four women, best friends, over 50 years of age, who will go to any length to spice up their love lives, whether its using whips and chains, getting a tattoo, or preparing dinner in nothing but a pair of stilettos. Queenie Jackson is insecure in her relationships and doesn’t realize she doesn’t need a man to be happy. Emma Wilcox has been married for 26 years to her now retired husband who does everything for her to include frying chicken every Wednesday, although their love life is stale. Connie Maxwell is on the verge of turning 50 and is still waiting for the man of her dreams to pop the question, even after three years of being together. And then there’s newly divorced Yolanda Maxwell Morris, Connie’s sister, who is done with men—it’s her and Jesus—until she meets the fine Mr. Illya Newsome. This cast of characters will have you laughing and crying with some of their crazy antics.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from your writing your book?
In writing Silver Bullets, and I’m sure I didn’t just discover it, I’ve become astutely aware that I’m not defined by any man or relationships. I love the person I am and that I can accept someone else into my life on my terms.

BPM: What defines success for you as a published author? 
Success is to love what I do. I’d love to eventually write screenplays.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book?
I hope readers will see that although one may have hit the half-century mark, life isn’t OVER. It may mean spicing up a marriage or trading in a loser for one who’s attentive. It may mean taking out more time for yourself to do you and just have fun.

I hope readers will tell all of their friends about my book as well as have an open dialogue about what life really means to them and what they’d like to achieve during the balance of their lives.

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I’d like to thank my publisher, Zane of Strebor Books/Simon & Schuster, for giving me the opportunity to share my work with the world. I’d like to also thank my agent, Maxine Thompson, for believing in me and directing my literary journey. 

BPM: How can readers discover more about your work?
Readers can connect with me on my website at:; Perkins. Fan Page:

Silver Bullets by Suzetta Perkins

In this sizzling, exciting novel, four women show that age is just a number by seeking out new forms of pleasure, love, and romance.

Whether it be getting a tattoo, using whips and chains, or preparing dinner in nothing but stilettos, four divas—all best friends and over fifty years 0ld—decide that they need to spice up their love lives. And they’re willing to go to any length to achieve it.

So Emma, Queenie, Yolanda, and Connie set out to get the pleasure they crave. For Emma, that means rekindling her sex life with her doting husband, who she decides to take care of for once. Yolanda, who is still turning heads and could have anyone she wants, finally meets a man who suits her tastes—but can she suit his? Queenie, who is fifty-eight and divorced, entertains her on-again, off-again male friend, sometimes preparing him a meal in nothing but a pair of four-inch heels. And Connie, who has never been married, is in love with a man who won’t put a ring on her finger. Will she be able to convince him to marry her?

As things start heating up, the ladies’ lives get sexier…and more complicated. And the four divas soon face more drama than they bargained for.

Silver Bullets (Zane Presents) by Suzetta Perkins






Intimate Conversation with Cerece Rennie Murphy

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. 

BPM: What moved you enough to sit down and actually start writing this book?
When I got the idea for Order of the Seers, it felt like a blessing to me, this incredible gift and I just didn't want to waste it. The story came to me in such a complete way, with character names and backstories, plot lines - even the title of the story came to me. I felt convicted to try and bring it to life. To me, each story is a gift and the journey to telling that story is a privilege. It was never a question of *if* I would write it. It also helped that, in the beginning, I had no inkling of trying to publish Order of the Seers as a novel. I think if I'd had that notion from the start, I would have been too intimidated. Instead of worrying about if my story was "publishable", I was able to focus on writing.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely, though I have to say that I don’t do it intentionally. All my questions about God, what our true purpose is on this earth and what we are truly capable of and meant for as a species are in Order of the Seers. My own struggles to find and protect my identity are reflected in characters like Alessandra, who has so much self-doubt when you first meet her, and Liam whose guilt weighs him down to the point where he becomes a different person. Self-discovery and determination are big themes in Order of the Seers because they are themes that I relate to on a very personal level. 

Family is also very important to me and, in retrospect, I can see how I got to explore the idea of family in a variety of ways throughout the book. I'm not someone who grew up with a lot of family around me, but I learned that family doesn't have to mean people who are related to you by blood. Someone who knows you and loves you for exactly who you are can be family, too. Family can be the people you claim and those who claim you. The story’s main villain, Crane Le Dieu, is basically an amalgamation of all my worst fears. Almost every aspect of his personality terrifies me. I think I would faint if I met him in the street. 

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  
So far, my book ideas come from questions that are on my mind that I would like to explore, but I also have at least two books planned that came to me in a dream, so who knows. I'll take inspiration anywhere I can get it! I read one reviewer who described my books as "very character-driven" which I took as a compliment because it said to me that she liked the book because she cared about the characters and that's ultimately what defines a good story for me. All kinds of cool stuff can be happening in a book, but if I don't care about the characters then I can check out of almost any story pretty quick. 

But to be completely honest, I don't think about any of that when I'm writing. In fact, I try not to come with any personal agenda. I believe the story exists already. As a writer, I think my job is to see that story clearly and try to describe it to the readers as best I can. I'm following the story that is taking place in my head and trying to write it down as true to that vision as possible. 

My only exception to this rule is when I chose not to expound on a particular aspect of a story because I am trying to keep the pace of the book pretty tight. At the end of each chapter, I want there to be a reason why you need to turn the page and I try very hard to keep the story from meandering into territory that might compromise the pace. Other than that, the characters and the story are in charge and the more I can keep my own agenda out of it, the better the story turns out. 

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?
Right now I am working on the final book in the Order of the Seers Trilogy, which is about a group of people who can see the future and are enslaved for that ability. The entire trilogy takes you on a journey as they escape the group that hunts them, rebuild their lives and start fighting back. Through books 1 and 2, you watch these characters evolve from a group of people who are just trying to survive to a community that answers a much larger calling to restore a legacy that was broken for every man, woman and child on earth.

Order of the Seers falls solidly into the science fiction genre, but if you enjoy a lot of action, mystery and suspense in your stories, you could still enjoy this book even if you aren’t into science fiction. Both books are available in Kindle and Nook. Book I is also available in audiobook.

BPM: Introduce us to your book! Take us inside the world of your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
Sure. The book starts out with Liam and Lilith (Lilli) Knight, a brother and sister who are about to have their world turned upside down when they discover that their parents died to hide a secret so powerful the people hunting them will stop at nothing to get it. Before this happens, Liam and Lilli are your typical American teenagers, living life day-by-day without a care in the world. What makes these characters so special to me is how they come together to create this safe haven for each other. The adversity they endure could have easily torn them apart, but instead they form this incredible bond of familial love that helps them weather all the storms in their lives.

Marcus Akida is another main character that I love. Before he was captured, he had a wife, a son and was a leader in his community. In some ways, he is the character who’s lost the most in the book, but he is anything but bitter. His spirit is gentle, optimist and kind, despite everything that has been taken from him. He never losses himself to the brutality around him and as a result becomes the most powerful Seer. His character was very much inspired by Colin Powell and Nelson Mandela, people I deeply admire for their compassion and integrity. 

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
You know, even though Order of the Seers is science fiction, at its core this is a story about the importance of self-discovery and finding your true purpose. The story is set in the real world for a reason. Now more than ever, we need to encourage people to unleash their greatest potential so that it can be used to heal this world. The Seers in this story are doing the same thing, and while the powers may seem a bit extreme, the potential for each and every one of us to change the world is VERY real.

The journey of writing this story has taught me so much, but I think there are two main things that I discovered about myself. The first is that I can write a full-length story (and then some). Before this book, I never knew that about myself. In fact, I used to tell myself that I couldn’t write anything longer than about 5 pages. So, to be working on my 3rd book with another 5 books in varying stages of development is just incredible to me. People ask me if this is a dream come true and I tell them, “No,” because I never dreamed of doing anything like this. This experience is literally, beyond my wildest dreams.

The second thing that I’ve learned about myself is just how afraid I am of putting myself in front. The fear factor for putting my self, my work and even my picture “out there” for the world to judge and criticize is huge for me. It’s gotten better since I started, but only be degrees. (The fear used to be enormous, now it’s only huge.) Two years ago, when I published my 1st book, I hid under the covers the entire day, sick with worry. By the time I released my second book less than a year later, I actually had the presence of mind to go have lunch with a friend to celebrate. I may have felt a little queasy, but I kept everything down. That’s progress!

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I have many levels of success that I hope to achieve with my writing. The first and foremost is to write each story I am given to the best of my abilities and to be obedient to God’s will for them. I know that if I can do that, then someone will read my books and enjoy them, be inspired by them and maybe even change a little bit for the better. If I can achieve that, then I would have accomplished a great deal.

For the next level of success, I would like my writing career to be financially self-sustaining. It’s a very competitive market out there, but I would like my publishing business to be profitable. Ultimately, I would like to make enough money from my writing to retire my husband. I have the best partner in the world and I would love to see us both have the financial freedom to pursue our passions. 

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
You know, I don’t have expectations for the book because you never know how a story will (or won’t) impact a reader. It’s such a subjective experience. On the most basic level, I’d like them to have been entertained by the story and satisfied by the conclusion. On a deeper level, I hope that after finishing Order of the Seers, readers will be more curious about the limits of their own potential and examine their own spiritual relationship more closely as it relates to their unique purpose and calling.

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?
I definitely want to say THANK YOU for the opportunity to do this interview! It’s given me a great chance to reflect on my journey as a writer and I so appreciate that. If anyone would like to learn more about my upcoming projects, you can visit my website at  You can also visit my Facebook page at

The Last Seer (Book 3 in the Order of the Seers Trilogy)
Books by Cerece: 





Intimate Conversation with J.M. Lominy

J.M. Lominy Speaks on The Deadly Rose, An Assassin's Tale.  The impact this book will have on readers is the wonderful reality of humanest, even from the point of view of a ruthless assassin. The primary message in the book is family, religion and politics rule the human world but it is God who decides.

Life began for J.M. Lominy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As a husband, father, nurse and veteran Lominy has been making room to write since 2000. Specializing in Historical Fiction, he is the author of the upcoming book, The Deadly Rose, An Assassin’s Tale. His work, both poetic and determined in voice, places an emphasis on the Haitian experience as witnessed through the life of passionate characters. Mr. Lominy currently resides in Georgia with his wife and his three sons. Visit J.M. Lominy at: 

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
I got my first inkling to write during my first year of college. It was an emotional time and my life was full of turmoil. After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, my finances were stretched thin, I did not fit in with my peers, and at twenty-two years old I was a husband and father of two.

It was during that time, 1993, poetry came to me as if a flood bursting through a dam. The enormity of it was so strong I had to put it on paper. I always had stories coming to me even as a child and I had difficulty staying focus with all the colorful stories floating around in my mind but they never made it to paper. This continued into adulthood.

At the age of thirty-two I went to Haiti for the funeral of my maternal uncle, who was like a father to me. It was at that time, I realized how disconnected I was with my country of birth. I had limited knowledge of my history. I started to read books on Haitian history and that stimulated a barrage of story ideas. From that time on, I attended writer’s conferences, read books on the art of writing and more than anything else, I wrote.

BPM: Do you have anyone in your life that was heavily influential in your deciding to become an author?
My wife, has always been that voice to keep me on a straight path. Telling me to stay focus. She was my first critic, a harsh one at that. She also pushed me to pursue what made me happy.

BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?
In 1957 Haiti was in turmoil. The former president is in exile and his seat is up for grabs. A popular Haitian senator is assassinated and the assassin escapes to find himself hunted by an unknown psychopathic killer.

Pierre-André François is twenty-six years old, a handsome star soccer player. He is pleasant, approachable and adored by thousands of fans. He is sometimes a jokester with witty intelligence. He has a secret; he is the vile and feared assassin known as The Little Rose.

Marie-Anne Savoire, is a young energetic and stylish beauty that dates wealthy men or those in position of power. She has that ability to make a man pause in mid-sentence once she enters a room. She is a close friend of Pierre-André.

Marcel St. Louis is a twenty-four years old medical student with direct lineage from France. He is the son of an influential retired army general. He and Pierre-André have been friends since childhood. Their friendship has developed into something more than friendship.

Frank Gaston, is one of the three leaders in the largest criminal organizations in Haiti. He is a ruthless strategist. He is Pierre-André’s maternal uncle and surrogate father.

My favorite character amongst them all is Marie-Anne. She is full of life and colorful. I consider her sweet and sour; just as she starts to taste good in your mouth she drops you from boredom.

BPM: Which character or topic in the book can you identify with the most? Why?
One of the topics in the book I identify with is family. My main character, Pierre-André is an efficient killer, but deep down in his mind and spirit, he is family centered; that is his core, his Achilles heel. I can identify with that, family is important to me.

BPM: What inspired you to write this book? Does your faith or education inspire your writing?
The inspiration for this book came from the vestibules of knowledge flowing through my mind. It just came to me, like many other ideas that will morph into books. I have a constant flow of thoughts that resonate in my mind while I do my daily activities. Some of them end up on paper. It has always been that way with me.

Faith and education does inspire my writing. It can be found throughout my writing. It is intertwined within my story as though a dash of spice that you know is there but you could barely taste it.

BPM: Is this the book you intended on writing or did the story take on a life of its own as you were writing? How do you stay focused?
What I call the book fairies took over the story and it turned out better than I anticipated. On many occasions I had to take a conscious pause and weight the pros and cons of going with the story in a certain direction. I kept focus by sequestering myself in my office while listening to jazz. Visualizing my book on the shelves of the big bookstores or the retailer’s was also a motivator. I arise daily at 4am to write.

BPM: Share with us a quote from one of the most powerful chapters.
“If a man muddies his shoe, does he not clean it, or should he buy another.”

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want readers to gain knowledge of Haiti, its people and the core that binds us all; family, religion and politics.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Did you set out to educate? Illuminate? Inspire?
My goals as a writer is to educate, entertain and illuminate about the Haitian experience. An experience that is no different than any other human struggle. What makes it unique is that Haiti is rich with colors.

When you’re in Haiti, the air feels alive the stars twinkle hinting at the secrets they keep. Haitians smile no matter their condition. I bring those feelings in my story; a historical fiction that you will want to be true.

BPM: What would you like to accomplish as you continue to write?
I would like to develop a brand that resonates with readers through laughter, excitement, and gratification. Overall, I want readers to know that every time they open a J.M. Lominy novel, they will be entertained in a different and unsuspecting kind of way.

BPM: Finish this sentence- “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... ”
My writing offers the following legacy, a look into the past that brings clarity to the present.

BPM: We are here to shine the spotlight on your new book, but what's next? How may our readers follow you online?
I am writing the sequel to the current book. In addition, I’m starting another book line under another name and genre. Readers can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and they can sign up for my newsletter at WWW.JMLOMINY.COM.

J.M. Lominy website:  

Preview The Deadly Rose, An Assassin's Tale by J.M. Lominy 

Purchase The Deadly Rose, An Assassin's Tale
Available on Kindle and Nook 

BOOK 2: The Fatal Rose, An Assassin’s Tale (Coming Fall 2014)
Order here: 




Intimate Conversation with Bobby Cenoura

Bobby Cenoura is a literary artist born and raised in the Washington DC area. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and social sciences. Bobby has been an avid storyteller since his early childhood. He is also familiar with black market economics. Bobby’s literature, influenced by experiences and imagination, is called “quasi urban”. Bobby’s newest genre entitled “Male Angst”, deals with men’s dating dilemmas, and dating market economics.

BPM: What is the book genre, target audience and subject matter of the book?
“Male Angst”, in the broadest sense of the literary genre, deals with the displeasure a male feels because of the actions he takes or thinks he has to take to obtain desired but apparently scarce resources. The focus is primarily on the displeasure heterosexual males experience in the contemporary, post-modern dating market that they feel are attributable to heterosexual females. The genre utilizes reflection and self-analysis regarding these unpleasant situations to empower males to produce viable solutions. As an ideology, Male Angst counters quasi-feminism without being anti-female at its core.

The target audience is primarily heterosexual males 28 to 58, but women are also welcome to stick their noses in the book to find out how they cause or can mitigate Male Angst! The primary subject matter deals with the adult subject of dating and sex and what a man is going through to get the things he wants. There is also partying/drug use and other whimsical themes to help the plot along.

BPM: The book is from the point of view of a main character who has two disastrous relationships. Can you tell us a little bit about them?
The main character is Reginald Jenkins (Reggie), who is a thirty-something single guy who is getting his bearings dating after getting out of a long-term committed relationship that took up most of his early to mid-twenties. Reggie realizes that the perceived quality of women he meets is drastically different than his late-teen to early-twenty years. He meets Linh, a Vietnamese mother of two in her early twenties, who still parties hard, and whose family owns a nail salon. Linh has a husband in Iraq who she stays married to solely for appearances sake. The second woman is Leslie, an El-Salvadorean mother of two in her early twenties with two baby-daddies and sloth.

In addition to the relationships and situations with these women, Reggie talks about his current circle of friends and lowlifes and his sub-optimal job condition.

BPM: This new book is very different from the book we last showcased called Seoul Revelations what prompted you to write from the first person and why this book? Why now?
One, because I wanted to get guys to read: I buddy of mine who read an excerpt said he could not stop laughing once he started reading it because it reminded him so much of things he went through while dating.

Two, Because Pseudo Feminism appears to be running rampant. Pseudo Feminism is the theory that the average postmodern woman will embrace the benefits of feminism but not bear the costs of feminism especially when it comes to dating. For example, a working woman who embraces the fact that she makes a professional level salary but still feels like a man should pay on the first date.

I believe it is caused by Biology and Sociology being at odds with each other in the post-modern predicament. Biology, I believe, prompts women to desire men who can provide, while sociology prompts women to provide for themselves, thus sending a ‘mixed’ message between partner/provider. It almost as if the women who can provide for themselves look for men that are better providers than even they are. They effectively want their cake and to eat it too.

BPM: I also noticed that there were mentions of ‘dating market economics’ in the book. How does this tie in to the genre?
Dating Market Values: My hypothesis is that at any given age, time and other factors, each male has a dating market value. Since men are “beggars” and women are “choosers” (scientific evidence per the Bateman principle (elaborate if asked) women spend more resources on mating and therefore are the choosier sex as opposed to men, who virtually have an unlimited amount of offspring, therefore is the more “competitive” sex), a man’s dating market value must be slightly to moderately higher than the market “price” of a woman who is in her MVW (Market Value Window: period of time where a woman is in her reproductive prime, socially and legally). Factors that affect men who are in their MVW’s dating market value are assumed as follows:

In addition, since Market Value is relative to the woman’s, the woman usually has a “-“where the man has a “+”. For example, women who are considered “fat” don’t usually date men who are as fat as they are. So a man can be fat, but a woman will take him if she is relatively fatter than he is. Therefore weight after a certain poundage man decrease a man’s MV, if the woman that chooses him has a weight heavier than his, this makes him relatively lighter, and thus he gets a “+” in her eyes.

Facebook fan page: 

Purchase Male Angst Volume I.: FML, I Always Get Those Chicks 



Intimate Conversation with Curtis Bunn

Curtis Bunn is an Essence Magazine #1 bestselling author of Truth is in the Wine, Homecoming Weekend and A Cold Piece of Work. A Washington, D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, he is the founder of the National Book Club Conference, an organization that hosts an annual literary event for African-American readers and authors. Visit him at and on Facebook and Twitter.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
I'm almost obsessed with creating stories that are fun and that people can relate to across the board. In the case of The Old Man In The Club, we've all see that guy. We all know that guy. I not only asked the question that most people ask --"Why is he in this night club?"--but I also answered the question. And the answer, in this case, is not as simple as a "dirty old man" seeking young companionship. It's much more intricate and involved. There are a few side stories that are emotional and engaging and will place the reader in the story and make him vested in the outcome of the storylines. Why now? Because all the issues in the book--relationships, family struggles, friendship challenges--are all very real concerns of today.

BPM: Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing?
For sure, my experience as a well-traveled sports journalist for more than three decades has exposed me to a lot of interesting places, people and situations that certainly inspire thoughts and help generate creative flow. I've been single, married, divorced and engaged, so I've experienced a lot in relationships, too, which also gives me a perspective that is vast. I'm from Southeast, Washington, D.C., worked for 11years in New York and I live in Atlanta. So I have lifestyle perspectives on three amazing but different cities. I've traveled the world for work and play, and those experience are priceless and add inspiration to my work. So, I'm inspired from various aspects of life.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  
My books come from anything and anywhere and everywhere. When you're an author, your senses are more keen and your mind more active. . . at least for me it is. So it's hard to say one function of my life helps me formulate my ideas. They just come to me and when they hit that chord, I know it instantly. My books are both plot and character driven. I believe the plots should be involved, realistic and engaging, with twists that are unexpected but believable. That's important: believable. The characters must have layers that show a complete person that is capable of going wherever my imagination take him. Ultimately, you can't have a plot-driven book with dull characters. Likewise, you can't have interesting characters with a stale plot. 

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What kind of growth have you seen in your writing?
I improve everyday as a writer because I write everyday and I work hard at my craft. That's the only way to get better--to write and study your work and to always, no matter how much you like what you've crafted, work hard at making it better. Be a better editor than a writer. That's where my improvement has been the greatest. When I was a young author, I liked what I wrote and kept it moving. I didn't explore ways to make it even stronger. Now, every sentence has a purpose, every scene a purpose, every character a purpose. . . all of it to advance the story and make it more clear and engaging to the reader.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
The main character is Elliot Thomas, who is 61 years old and exploring the Atlanta nightlife with twentysomethings. He's hardly the "dirty old man" preying on young girls. He's not even the "Sugar Daddy" who gets young women's attention by giving them things. Rather, he's a man who overcame some severe challenges and reached a point to live life on his terms. One of them was to recapture his twenties, making him quite an interesting character. He has a lot going on in his life and had some events in his past that contribute to his disposition of going back in time.

Tamara Worthington is the 25-year-old lead female character who always had an attraction to older men. She was considered an "old soul" by her family when she was a girl, and that mentality carried over to her choice of men. So when Elliot approaches her, she's less turned off than many other women her age. Henry, Elliot's closest friend, is a major character who shocks and disappoints Elliot. so much so that their friendship is threatened. Elliot is placed in a moral dilemma that will make readers wonder what they would do in his situation.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
To protect the plot, I will say the topics, in general, range from how we select mates, how divorce can impact a family, the value of friendship and what we'd do to protect the people we love. I learned from writing this book that we (my included) have a propensity for judging people without knowing enough to make a judgment. But we do it anyway, which isn't fair. I also learned that if a friendship is truly of value to you, you have to be loyal to it. . . even if you're severely tested by it.

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Success is defined by the number of people I hear from who tell me they enjoyed my books and that they got something meaningful out of them. Of course, everyone wants the bestseller. But the reasons you want that bestseller's list could be different. I want to reach the masses because I believe I tell stories that embraceable and learnig and fun and will provide a wonderful reading experience, no matter your background. That's success for me. And that's my ambition, too--to reach as many people as possible with a story that they will enjoy, become emotionally invested and close the book at the end feeling like they had a worthwhile reading experience.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
My expectations are that those who support it will love it and share with others in their life that they believe will enjoy it, too. After a reader finishes it, I'd like them to e-mail me about their experience, share knowledge of the book to family and friends and encourage them to read it, too.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
My website is and I'm a constant on Facebook with my person page and author page. I'm on Twitter and Instagram, too: @curtisbunn. I LOVE hearing from readers!!!

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? 
I'm a book club lover. I love meeting with book clubs to discuss my work. The energy and conversation is always fun and lively and I think we all leave the meeting feeling uplifted and like we learned something. So, I look forward to hearing from book clubs about traveling to their city to meet with them and have a fun time. 

I am truly grateful for your support. It means more than I can express. I hope you enjoy the book, are entertained by it, learn a few things and think about the old man in the club differently the next time you see him. THANK YOU!!

The Old Man In The Club by Curtis Bunn

He’s the “old guy in the club” who everyone judges and scorns, but there’s so much more to his story…
Travel into the mind and soul of a complex man on the road to redemption in this riveting, true-to-life novel.

Almost everyone who has been to a nightclub has seen him: the proverbial “old man in the club.” He’s the graying, elderly loner looking totally out of place, like he could be everyone’s father. Or grandfather. And almost everyone’s wondering the same thing: Why is he in here?

In Curtis Bunn’s The Old Man in the Club, you learn why.  Meet Elliott Thomas, sixty-one years old, and not afraid of spending a night among twenty-something strangers. But his motivation for hanging out in clubs isn’t his fear of growing old; it’s his desire to “catch up on what I have missed.” Life hasn’t been easy for Elliott, and now he’s on a journey to redemption. How he goes about it, however, gives some people pause. Some find him charming, some find him creepy. The women his age find him disgusting. His buddies marvel at his nerve. His children loathe his existence. But no matter who judges him, Elliott is set on reclaiming his youth—the way he wants to.

A page-turner that outlines the depth, complexities, and motivations of an intriguing character, this novel will surprise you, challenge you and touch you—and make sure you never look at the “old man in the club” the same way again.

Curtis Bunn is an Essence magazine #1 bestselling author of Truth is in the Wine, Homecoming Weekend and A Cold Piece of Work. A Washington, D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, he is the founder of the National Book Club Conference, an organization that hosts an annual literary event for African-American readers and authors. Visit him at and on Facebook and Twitter.

Purchase The Old Man in the Club by Curtis Bunn
Amazon Link:


Intimate Conversation with Necole Ryse

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

BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
I had no choice. I’ve always been a writer and when I graduated college I felt like it wasn’t a smart career choice to venture into, so I put my dreams on hold while I worked a bunch of jobs I had no passion in. Finally, after a terrible day at work I decided to quit. I gave myself one year to make my dreams come true or I was going back to work. So, I sat down and started writing. Right now, I don’t have children, a husband or a mortgage, so it seemed like the perfect time to take a leap of faith. 

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

Sometimes, yes. People always say write what you know. Some of my scenes in the books are from actual conversations or experiences I had, but most come from my imagination. 

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  
I wish I could tell you where my book ideas come from. They just happen. I will overhear something in a conversation or see someone interesting and start making a story about them. I can find inspiration anywhere. My books are both plot and character driven. Good books have both excellent plots and evolving characters and I focus on developing both at the same time. 

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

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
The Legacy centers around 4 girls, Raevyn, Regina, Corrine and Andrea. Raevyn is the narrator or the story and she is one tough chick. Her father drove her cross country to his alma mater, Benjamin Wallace Fitzgerald University, the nation’s first African American Ivy League school, because she got into some trouble with the law. She had to blend in at the school because she couldn’t come back home. The problem is, Raevyn is from a low-income family, and therefore it’s hard to blend in with the posh crowd at the Black Ivy League. Her roommate, Regina Fitzgerald, yes you read that right, Fitzgerald, is the heiress to the Fitzgerald name. Her great-great-grandfather founded the school. 

Regina’s friends are Andrea and Corrine. Regina is special because she, like most people, has been hurt. Just because she is the “it” girl at school doesn’t mean her own personal life isn’t falling apart. Because of her internal turmoil she comes off as a bitch to most people. But, once her layers are peeled back, over the course of the trilogy, she reveals herself. Andrea is an Ice Queen. She is the friend who tells it like it is and doesn’t care what you think. 

She is my favorite character of all. She holds no cut cards and will provide the readers with a laugh or two throughout the course of the novel. Corrine is the friendly one. She becomes really close to Raevyn and the two begin to bond in places that Regina and Andrea can’t reach. She is sweet as sugar, but like most people at the Black Ivy League, she harbors a lot of secrets. 

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
In the book, topics range from relationships to love, school work and lots and lots of fashion! From this book I learned that I can’t control my characters. Once I put them on the page they come to life and I have to go with the flow after that.

BPM:  What are your ambitions for your writing career?

My ultimate goal is reaching the NYT Best Seller list before 30. Success for me means touching someone’s life. If a reader says to me, “your book inspired me” or “your story made me feel like I could do anything” I have done my due diligence as a writer. Success is touching someone’s life. I want a Black girl to read my book and see herself. That’s the meaning of success

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book?

My goal for this book is to create a conversation! I want more writers to write for African Americans in higher education. After this book I want readers to tweet me, Facebook me and beg for the next one! 

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?

I can be reached a number of ways: Facebook:; Twitter and IG: @necoleryse. I would love to hear from you! I always answer emails, too.

Twitter and IG: @necoleryse



Intimate Conversation with M. Ann Ricks

M. Ann Ricks is a Christian Fiction novelist, living for Christ ON PURPOSE as a literary vessel.  She is a graduate of Rider University. Using Jesus Christ as her example as He shared many parables, M. Ann creates stories with fictional characters who contend with real life issues and inserts the Word of God providing literature that will not only entertain but encourage, enlighten, emancipate and restore. M. Ann is the author of THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME and her most recent release, THE SHIFT.

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
So many are believing the lies of the enemy and truth be told, although stating that they are Christians, many are still in bondage. They have yet to be delivered from fear, shame, guilt and even rebellion. Jesus is waiting. He hasn’t forgotten about us regardless of how far we’ve strayed and His love is unending. He is an EVER present in the times of our greatest challenge. Hearts have been broken and even hardened as a result of the enemy’s lies. It’s time for the eyes and hearts of the hurt and confused to be opened so that they can truly experience the freedom and power that being a true and unapologetic follower of Christ affords.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
My upbringing had a great deal to do with my writing style. I was always strongly encouraged to read which resulted in my writing. Everyone in my family enjoyed reading. We also love the Lord as He is and has always been an integral part of our lives. It would only make sense that I would write about Jesus because I love to read about Him. I also loved reading historical novels, harlequin romances, etc. Words have the power to influence and even transport and that has always intrigued me, even as a child. As a result, being very descriptive while telling the story is a large part of my style. I want the reader to find themselves immersed into each scene. I want them to be in the midst, actively observing, whatever is transpiring in the novel. My lifelong love of words, adjectives especially, have a wonderful way of granting the reader deeper access into the story. It’s a blessing.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
Honestly, as I began to write THE SHIFT, the ideas just started flowing. The plot was Holy Spirit driven.
I’ve always wanted to incorporate the truth of the supernatural into my writing. I want people to see past what they can physically visualize in the “natural”. Knowing that there is an underlying spiritual aspect to everything that one may encounter is essential. Believe it or not, I had a totally different premise… But GOD! He knows what He’s doing and I’m learning to be obedient. J There’s nothing like the HOLY SPIRIT! Each idea for THE SHIFT was a divine whisper.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? 
My recent release is named, THE SHIFT and it is a Christian Fiction novel but I call it, “Godspirational” as it inspires and reveals as only God can.

I’ll let the synopsis peak your interest… “There is a sense of urgency in the atmosphere as God is transitioning what the world has deemed impossible and unbelievable into the possible and the believable. Pastor Douglass and his family have been chosen for such a supernatural transition but because of the dense fog of deception that seems to surround them, some in the Douglass family have created their own beliefs, fabricating their own sense of self; negating the truth, God’s truth, even when truth is staring them in the face. They, like many, are living lives devoid of the knowledge of who they really are and robbing themselves and those they love of their true identity and freedom. Deeply embedded lies from enemy have blinded eyes, impaired hearing and hardened hearts and Angels from the army of God have been deployed. 

Dreams, supernatural revelation and actual attacks from man's ultimate foe will expose all and confirm God’s plan for Xion, Veronica, Zeborah, Bo and Pastor Douglas. Can they handle the truth and surrender? The lives of the Douglass family will never be the same and neither will you, because of THE SHIFT!"  

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 

The main characters are Zeborah, (grandmother, mother,) Xion, (granddaughter),Veronica, ( daughter) Pastor Douglass, ( grandfather, stepdad) and Bo(?, I’ll let the reader decide). Each character has their own destiny which makes them singularly intricate and important to the story but because they are each dealing with issues specific to their own path, they are interdependent upon one another to bring it to fruition and crazily enough, that links each character. I would love the reader arrive at their own reason as to why each character might be deemed special.

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? How do you go about reaching new readers? 
It is my hope that people will realize while reading THE SHIFT that God is not just an ideal or unapproachable entity. God, the Creator of everything is REAL and most importantly Jesus is waiting. His love is unending. We have the awesome opportunity to be everything God says we are because of Jesus’ unstoppable and unshakable affection towards us. He can suddenly change (hence, THE SHIFT) our lives into ones of true purpose. Lives that will give Him glory! All He desires is a YES!

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Success for me is people receiving Jesus the Christ as their personal Lord and Savior as a result of reading what God has given me to share in my novels. I am a literary vessel. Only what I do for God will last and I know because the novel is infused with His word, that it will get to the intents of the heart of the people who read it and lives will be changes as a result. I am seeking FIRST the Kingdom as everything else, financial security, realized dreams, movies, etc. will come as a result of my obedience to God!

BPM: Were there any challenges in bringing this story to life?
Initially, I was a bit apprehensive about some of the seemingly sensitive subject matter in the novel and I wanted to shy away from it but I realized that I had to be obedient to God as He knew who this novel would help. Once I resolved to simply obey God and write, I found that there wasn’t anything holding me back. I just had to trust God!

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like to accomplish now that it has been released? 
I wholeheartedly expect lives to change as a result of reading THE SHIFT and that people will begin to actually recognize God! I desire that people not simply “know of” Jesus but hunger to actually KNOW Jesus! I really want this novel to take the world by storm and supernaturally bless anyone who reads it! My greatest dream is that THE SHIFT become a major motion picture.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject?
I definitely desire to inspire using the word of God and illuminate Jesus the Christ so that all will see Him and that He might draw men to Him as He is lifted up in my writing.

BPM: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?
The main advantage of self-publishing is calling your own shots, so-to-speak. The self-publishing author makes all of the decisions. The author can be a creative as he or she wishes because there isn’t a cookie cutter guideline that she/he has to follow or adhere to. A disadvantage that many self-publishing authors confront is the marketing and promotions aspect. Because there isn’t a large publishing house representing them, it is sometimes difficult to get their project to the masses in a global and more cost-effective way.

BPM: Where do you see publishing going in the future? In your opinion, will eBooks continue to reign?
Not really, I still hear many avid readers saying that they need to feel the pages and enjoy the feel of the book in their hands. E-books are a great alternative but the hardcover and paperback book is not going anywhere. Not just yet.

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and you work?

I so appreciate the readers taking the time to read this interview! I feel incredibly BLESSED!! I consider it an honor to write for Jesus the Christ as each kind word, e-mail and communication describing how lives have been changed is confirmation that He had them on His mind when He breathed the words of each novel into my spirit! Continue to pray for me as I pray for you!

Interested readers may find my novels on all online literary websites. (i.e.: / Additionally, feel free to visit my website, to purchase any of my novels. For speaking engagements, Literary Dialogues and book club gatherings, please feel free to contact me directly using: I have an Author’s Page on Facebook, go here  and Twitter: @Hisblessings4me

BPM: Finish this sentence - “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers & authors... ”
“My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors because only what one does for Christ will last. Heaven and Earth shall pass away but the word of God will last forever. Because my novels incorporate the word of God, I am promised legacy that will truly last forever.” – M. Ann Ricks, Christian Fiction Novelist.

Google+ Page:  M. Ann Ricks
FB Fanpage: 




Intimate Conversation with Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Multi-published author, wife, mother and teacher, Sherryle Kiser Jackson strives to be a fresh voice in Christian Fiction. Born in Prince Georges County, Maryland, Sherryle went on to get a degree in Elementary Education from from Salisbury State University. Her triumphant debut novel, Soon and Very Soon (2007) was followed up by her sophomore release, The Manual (2009), Soon After (2010), Taylor- Made (2011), Land of Promiscuity (2012) and Path to Promise (2013) for Urban Christian Books. She lives in Maryland with her family.

BPM: What topics does your latest book address? Why?

I started with what it meant to be a missionary. My sister is the President of the Missions Ministry at my church and has been on several missions’ trips. We’re so different in that respect. To be real, I know I am not selfless enough most of the time to shed my comfortable existence to the degree where I can be of service.

My question when starting this novel became can servants also be self-serving in the process of helping others. I thought wouldn’t it be interesting to see a totally selfish person try to navigate that landscape. I mean, imagine your most self-absorbed friend or high maintenance family member leaving their cell phone, tablet or priceless wardrobe pieces behind for the barest of necessities. 

My main character sets off on a mission’s trip to Haiti with the goal to find his birth father. He’s a fatherless child trying to answer a lifetime of questions about the man that helped conceive him. In the midst of that struggle I layered an interracial love story and all the issues that brings. I’ve connected with some great people on Pinterest who support the missionaries in their lives and found a community dealing with the absentee of loved ones similar to that of military families with a loved one on a long deployment.

BPM: Did you conduct alot of research for this book, Submissionary (Seek. Find. Release)?
Yes! Have you heard of Symbaloo? It's like a dashboard of websites all in one place. Some might find it interesting to see the sites I used to get insight into pre and post quake Haiti. Check it out:

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to?
I write personally poignant and hopefully impactful and uplifting literature. It’s my version of Christian fiction that is neither preachy nor compromised. My goal is never to write a salacious story. I think many equate that with being a really good story. In reality most of us don’t live on that extreme. With storylines centered around the root of my character’s decisions and the impact on their relationships, my literary work speaks to women and Christians specifically. I call it my brand of soul satisfying reads.

BPM: You believe strongly in:
I believe strongly in showing faith in action which is not an elaborate Hollywood set washed in white light, full of one-liners and magic tricks. I am also on a mission to take the dirty laundry off the clothes lines of our community, sweep the streets clean of other people’s business and bring virtue back.

BPM: Faith allows you:
Faith allows me the freedom to hope and face life’s challenges, to call out inconsistencies in the world, but particularly, inconsistencies in my life that are contrary to what God ordained and promised. I suppose ( in fact, I know) I can get as arrogant, self-absorbed or ratchet as the next person, BUT, something reminds me to, “act like I know.” I have to act like I know Him, and that I am profoundly different because I know Him. Yep, I preach to the choir. It’s characteristic of my brand. I am the one that gives you the gentle reminder - Seriously, you better act like you know!

BPM: Criticism makes you:
Criticism makes me reassess. I’m sure it depends on the spirit in which the criticism is given. I can’t say I am one with great discernment of people’s motives. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I receive it in love. I get my feelings hurt sometimes. Ultimately, I know what to take from critism and what to discard.

BPM: Do you consider yourself a role model:
Everyone is to a certain degree. I mean, I am a teacher as well, and not just by profession. I am keenly aware that we have a role to edify one another. So when I see people follow my RSS feed, or on social media, I am conscious of the message I put out.





Intimate Conversation with Mary B. Morrison 

Mary B. Morrison, New York Times best-selling author also writes as HoneyB. She has 20 novels including her newest release, If You Don't Know Me. Writing for both Kensington Publishing Corporation as Mary B. Morrison and Grand Central Publishing (formerly Warner Books) as HoneyB, Mary is at the top of the African-American fiction genre. In her novels, Mary addresses social and sexual issues that impacts relationships. Mary is pro-female empowerment and believes all women are worthy of living free from abuse. 

Mary received her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from Vista (now Berkeley) Community College. She worked 18 years for the government. Earning nearly six-figures, Mary resigned from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development on June 3, 2000, and withdrew her retirement to self-publish her debut novel Soulmates Dissipate.  Soulmates Dissipate is currently being made for motion picture by Codeblack Entertainment and Lionsgate. In 2006, Mary sponsored an anthology publishing 33 students entitled Diverse Stories: From the Imaginations of Sixth Graders. 

Mary currently splits her time between Atlanta, Georgia  and  Oakland, California. Her wonderful son Jesse Byrd, Jr. is writing his first novel for 6th to 8th graders. To contact Mary visit Check out all of the books by Mary B. Morrison on Amazon:  

BPM: From Mary B. Morrison comes the sizzling tale of two friends and the provocative bet that forever changes their lives and the lives of so many others. Now, with all of their futures up in the air, who will play one vengeful game too many? And who will wish she wasn’t left standing? What  is the main topics in your latest book, If You Don't Know Me?
Deception runs deeper than love. Men and women will lie to get what they want, fight to keep the person they don’t deserve, and hate the one they love most. People do this because they don’t know who they are but believe they can define their partner. 

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to?
Everyone that reads or listens to my books on audio. I’m pro-female empowerment. I write strong female characters. No matter how difficult the journey may be for my heroines/protagonists, they almost always overcome their obstacles. I believe women rule. The problem, as I see it, irrespective of socio-economic status, is that most women don’t realize how powerful they are. 

BPM: You believe strongly in: 

God. Sexual liberation. Self-actualization. Non-judgment. Taking risk.

BPM: Faith allows you to: 
Overcome fear of failure. God never fails us. He never lets us down. If we fall, He extends a hand. Faith allows me to stand-in ‘my’ truth and stand-up for what ‘I’ believe in.

BPM: Criticism makes you:
Stronger. I wholeheartedly embrace freedom of speech and expression. What people say about me and/or my work expresses how they feel about themselves. How and what I respond to defines me.

BPM: Do you consider yourself a role model: 
I don’t consider myself a role model. I feel I’m an inspiration to many of my fans and readers. Eddie Murphy, Terry McMillan, Tyler Perry, and Wendy Williams are just a few of the people who inspire me because I aspire to do more than what they’ve done. 

BPM: When you are afraid, you will:
Sleep with the light on. Not in the traditional sense. I mean seek clarity. Manifest destiny. I’m not really afraid of anything, especially failure. Why? Because failure is a concept and the catalyst to success. 

BPM: What surprised you the most about becoming an adult:
Growing up is a natural progression. As a kid, I worried I wouldn’t be able to pay rent, bills, etc. We learn work ethics and discipline starting with . . . do your homework, clean your room, go to bed. I give my guardians and teachers my gold stars for helping me to become who I am. The word ‘believe’ may be the most powerful word in all of our development. When others believe in us, we’re awesome. When we believe in ourselves, we are amazing!

BPM: The greatest threat to literary freedom is: 
Censorship. Doesn’t matter if it originates in the mind of the writer or the omission of the editor, it’s lethal. Deleting or changing one word can alter the meaning of an entire sentence. The most genuine aspect of writing is to be authentic. Society is so sensitive that freedom of speech isn’t free. Say or write something offensive and you could jeopardize your life-long career. 

BPM: How has your writing evolved: 
It’s eternally evolving. I’m working on giving readers what they want before they realize they need it. I consider the non-fiction book I’m penning, D.A.D.: A Woman’s Guide to Choosing the Right One, a new perspective for a new generation.

BPM: Do you view writing as a gift or a career:
The answer for me is both. Fourteen years in the industry and currently working on book number twenty-one denotes sustainability. I don’t take my success for granted. Each novel is more difficult to pen because I’m always striving to do and become better.

BPM: Advice you would give a new author:
Be true to your characters or they will be false to your readers. You cannot please everyone. Don’t try. Do not censor your first writing. Let it flow. Always hire a professional editor. Learn the business. Brand yourself. Set and attain goals. Know what you want. Please don’t tell me, “I just want to write a book. I don’t care about making money.” Then talk to someone who isn’t making money. You don’t need advice from me for that. Don’t ask me, “I want to write a book. Where do I start?” Published writers, editors, and agents respect you when you can show (not prove) you’ve accomplished something. 

BPM: Your greatest accomplishment as a writer: 
Is yet to come. What I appreciate most is having a loyal fan base. Some readers have purchased all of my books. I love them for that. I do take time to smell the roses but there’s so much I want to do I know I’m going to run out of time before I do it all. I’m ready to produce my first book-to-film with Codeblack Entertainment. I’m eager to write for television, executive produce another stage play, open a restaurant, and host a talk show. There’s so much to do I don’t focus on what I’ve done. Already getting paid for that. On to the next!

BPM: What you know for sure: 
I love my sons, Jesse and Max. Max is my adorable seven-year-old Yorkshire terrier. Men are like dogs but harder to train. I have no problem telling a man what I want. Women need to understand that what one man won’t do, another man will. Ladies should ask men for a “relationship ring.” I do. It’s not a promise ring because I can’t promise a man shit. I’ll explain why this ring is important in my non-fiction book.







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 Pamela Samuels Young

Pamela Samuels Young is a NAACP Image Award winning author and practicing attorney who’s taken a brief hiatus from crafting her fast-paced mystery novels to write about her newest passion: natural hair care. In her first non-fiction book, Kinky Coily: A Resource Guide to Going Natural, Pamela chronicles her transition to natural hair. Kinky Coily also provides tips and resources for other women who want to begin their own natural hair journey. A bona fide natural hair enthusiast, Pamela is excited about sharing her new found knowledge in the hope of helping other women learn the beauty and versatility of their kinky coils. You can visit Pamela’s YouTube channel, KinkyCurlyPamela, and her website,, for more hair care tips and videos.

Have you been thinking about transitioning to natural hair, but don’t know where to start? Then Kinky Coily: A Resource Guide for Going Natural is for you. A literal treasure trove of information, Kinky Coily is a roadmap for anyone interested in beginning a natural hair journey. You’ll find the best bloggers, the best books and magazines, as well as recommendations on how to select the right hair care tools and products. 

Better yet, you’ll learn how to begin your natural hair journey, how to develop a weekly hair care regime and how to track your progress. Whether you’re transitioning from a relaxer, ready to give up your weave or flat iron, or already rocking your natural locs, Kinky Coily: A Resource Guide for Going Natural will open your eyes to the true beauty and versatility of your naturally kinky coils. 

BPM: Why did you go natural? How did you start the journey from permed hair to natural hair?
I decided to go natural after my hair started falling out from a relaxer. One day I had a head full of hair and only a few months later, I had patches of bald spots. My hair was shedding at an alarming rate every single day and neither I nor the hair stylist I was seeing knew how to stop it. A friend of mind had recently gone natural and introduced me to her natural hair mentor, Deanie. Deanie met me at the beauty supply, told me about sulfates and moisturizing, recommended conditioners and protein treatment, and gave me a list of do’s and don’ts. After the very first treatment, my hair stopped falling out—immediately. That’s when I became a believer and set out on a journey to take charge of my own hair care.

BPM: Did you go for the "big chop" or did you transition to natural hair with braids or a wig?
Initially, I refused to do the big chop. I just didn’t want to sport a teeny weenie after. So I hid my damaged hair underneath a wig. But after about three months, I got tired of putting on a wig every morning and taking it off every night. So I did it. I chopped it all off and I’m so glad I did.

BPM: How did your husband feel about your new hair styles? Was his input a major concern?
My husband does not like my natural hair!  But I do!  He prefers my hair straightened. But I know that once it grows longer, he’ll love it.

BPM: We saw your YouTube videos.  Amazing! You are so brave to share your story with millions, what inspired you?
I’ve learned so much about my natural hair. For example, I had no idea my hair had a natural wave pattern. So many people see my hair and say, “My hair would never do that.” I would’ve said the same thing. That’s because we don’t know our hair!  I’m on a mission to change that. Your readers can view all of the videos:  

BPM: What three tips would you offer women who are thinking about going natural?
My top three tips are: 1) No sulfates! Either wash with a conditioner (co-wash) or find a sulfate free shampoo; 2) stay away from the heat, that means flat irons as well as blow dryers; and 3) moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Kinky hair needs moisture!  I deep condition at least twice a week and moisturize and seal nightly.

BPM: What products do you use? Share with us your favorite products.
Unfortunately, the same products don’t work for every hair texture. You’ll need to experiment to find out what works best for you. I have kinky, tightly coiled hair. So if you have a looser curl pattern or if your hair isn’t as coarse as mine, the products I love won’t work for you.

That said, my can’t-do-without products are: Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic, Kinky Curly Knot Today conditioner, Organic Roots Stimulator’s Temple Balm and Curl Refresher, and Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship Conditioner. I love Herbal Essence for co washing. I also love mixing my own oils. My favorites are amla oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil and peppermint oil.

BPM: How long did it take for your hair become more healthy in your opinion?
It took about three months before I noticed my bald spots growing in. Within about six months, I really saw a change. My hair grew back much thicker and healthier.

BPM: How did you wear your hair to work during the transition?
I hid my damaged hair underneath a wig, until I finally broke down and did the big chop. I have to say, though, my Mommy wig was quite cute. I still plan to wear it sometime.

BPM: Do you think our hair has a lot to do with our body image and self-esteem?
Absolutely! I don’t care what I’m wearing. If my hair isn’t right, I don’t feel good about myself.

BPM: Research helps us learn to embrace our beautiful hair. Did you do a lot of research?
Tons of research. I recommend that everybody read The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy. That book is an encyclopedia on kinky hair. I learned so much from that book. And I lived on the internet and YouTube. My favorite bloggers are Curly Nikki, Naptural 85, KimmayTube, Mahogany Curls and African Export. I owe those sistas a debt of gratitude for everything they taught me.






Intimate Conversation with Nakia R. Laushaul



Nakia R. Laushaul resides in Houston, Texas with her lovable teenage son. She is an inspirational poet, motivational speaker, novelist and entrepreneur. She recently stepped away from Corporate America to pursue a more creative life. She is the CEO and chief designer of A Reader’s Perspective, which offers a host of literary services ranging from publishing consultations to typesetting.

Nakia is the author of, “The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose,” “Running from Solace,” a 2011 USA Book News Best Books Award Winner and 2012 Finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Nakia is featured in the Writer’s Digest inaugural publication dedicated to self-published authors: “2014 Guide to Self-Publishing.” Nakia is proud to present her 2014 title to readers, Locked in Purgatory.

Nakia is committed to challenging everyone within her reach to find compassion and empathy in the differences that exist among us all. Nakia truly believes that by doing what you love, you become happy! She hopes that you will go find your happiness.

For more information or to book Nakia R. Laushaul for your book club meeting or other special event, visit her website: Check out her blog, Random Rants of Truth of a Social Butterfly: For more information regarding publishing services please visit:

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
I started writing this book two days after I finished writing my first novel, Running from Solace in 2010 because there was so much more that needed to be said on the topic of generational curses. I finished it in 2012 and I’ve had an interesting journey to publication up until this very day. Why now? We have got to save our families.

BPM: Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing?
Definitely. If I touch a tree limb, I am inspired. I see a character, a setting, and snippets of dialogue in everything. I have had an amazingly tumultuous and blessed life. And many of my experiences have been just so I could write from the inside out.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
A character will begin speaking to me around the same time I see a title and a new book idea is born. I think I go right down the middle between character and plot driven stories. The characters drive the plots/the plots move the characters. Both are important and need to be well-developed.

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?
I write Inspirational Fiction. All of my books are available in paper and digital formats.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
I have three main characters: Luther Bennett, the family Patriarch who has fallen from grace. He’s the kind of man you’ll love to hate. Maybe. Next, there’s Lynne Bennett, Luther’s misguided adult daughter. She’s the woman we all know and love who just can’t seem to get it together in the romance department. Finally, Samuel Bennett, Luther’s eldest son, a man after Luther’s own heart, but at what cost?

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Locked in Purgatory tackles the very sensitive subject of fatherlessness and abandonment from a very real perspective. It’s not just another story about a deadbeat dad, it’s so much more than that. I am still in awe that I wrote it. I feel as though I experienced an amazing level of growth as a writer and a human being and I am humbled for being chosen to deliver this message.









Intimate Conversation with E.W. Brooks 




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

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

BPM: Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in a small North Carolina town with only two stop lights. My desire to see more led me to larger cities where I always kept abreast of events via the nightly news and local newspapers. I was intrigued by the stories of those who made an effort at a better life; on the wrong side of the law. My curiosities led to much research and my writing, “Mafietta” in hopes of shining a light on what the women who aspired to date these types of men would face when they were shipped away.

BPM: When did you first start writing?
I’ve always written. My grandmother communicated with me in letters for as long as I can remember and it ultimately helped me to express myself through writing. Then, after living a bit of life, it was important to me to share the struggle of the single woman and urban community, so writing a novel seemed to be the natural next step.

BPM: Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite book is East of Eden by John Steinbeck because it explains that you may overcome evil. I also enjoy anything written by Maya Angelou.

BPM: How often do you write?
I write daily. Whether it is keeping a journal, working on a blog. or my next project. I have to get it out.

BPM: What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I spend a lot of time volunteering. There is nothing like the feeling you feel when someone finally gets it!! I am just honored and humbled that I can sometimes be used as the tool that brings enlightenment Writing gives me a larger platform to do just that.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
I always let my books stew. I usually write the first few chapters to establish the characters’ position at the beginning of the story. After that I may wait months before coming back to write anything. Doing this gives me time to sort of work out a starting point for the next chapter in my head. Once I get to that point and the writing takes over – I have story lines that came out completely different than I’d imagined, but this is one of the things I love about writing.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? For the Mafietta Series, what came first the characters or the idea?
The idea definitely came first. Then it was up to me to create characters that were consistent with it.  I am intrigued by those who choose to get ahead on the wrong side of the law. I love movies like The Godfather, In Too Deep, American Gangster, and Belly. However, none of these movies really delve into the effects this type of lifestyle has on women.

Consequently, I decided to present a situation where a woman would head this illegal enterprise; so for me the story line is character driven. It is important that Clarke and Errol begin with a pure and innocent love. Creating plots that coincide with that are significant to me.

BPM: What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
LIFE and the ability to make it better for my family.

BPM: Where do you find your daily inspiration or muse?
My favorite positive saying is, “Everyone wants to be loved.” This is somewhat of a prevailing them throughout both novellas. Believe it or not, Jay-Z and Beyoncé were mere my muses in developing the love between Errol and Clarke. For example, both couples share a visible connection and genuine love while being beasts in business.  Clarke and Errol are just going about it a bit differently. In other words, let's tilt the thought and have The Carters be the same powerhouse couple on the other side of the law - Now, that couple is the one in my book. That couple is Errol and Clarke.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like to accomplish after the book is released? 
I expect Mafietta 2 to generate interest in the series as a whole. I expect this quick read to please readers from everywhere and leave them wondering what’s going to happen next and how long it will take me to come out with the next one. After the book is released, I would love to see Mafietta as a television show.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject?
As I writer, I want to always write content my audience will enjoy. I want my work to, of course entertain, but it is important to me that it also educate and inspire. Each of my characters offer a life lesson. I want the reader to understand the lesson.






Intimate Chat with Angie Daniels & Sasha Campbell



ANGIE DANIELS  has released over two dozen novels. She has won or been nominated for four RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award and numerous Emma Awards. For more information about upcoming releases, and to connect with Angie on Facebook, visit her website at 

SASHA CAMPBELL,  the alter ego of Angie Daniels, is a free spirit who isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind or even better, write about it. Since strutting onto the literary scene in five-inch heels, she’s been capturing her audience’s attention with her wild imagination and style for keeping it real. This vivacious woman knows exactly what her readers want and is always ready to deliver. Visit Sasha online at

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now? 
I had been hearing so many positive things about meeting your soul mate on an internet dating site that I decided to give it a try. My experience was so hilarious, I felt compelled to write Talk a Good Game.

BPM: Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing? 
Funny you should ask. Everything in my life inspires my writing. I always manage to find a way to sprinkle a little of my own life experiences on top of a double dose of drama to create the perfect plot twist for my next book.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  
My books are always dialogue driven. I am all about the characters and giving them their own voice. I think stories that have strong characters with amazing voices are what drive a story.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work, Talk A Good Game. 
After years of failed relationships, two sexy, single best friends decide to each take a chance at on-line dating. And they quickly discover that things aren’t always what they seem…
Air Force sergeant Nyree Dawson meets Jeremy Samuels, and as far as she’s concerned he is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. It isn’t until after the couple is married that the lies begin to surface, and the relationship goes from “I do” to, “what in the world have I done?”  Restaurant owner, Janelle Fox has always had a spare boo in her back pocket, but when she meets Kaleb Kerrington on a dating site, the rules change. At first Janelle finds the jealousy cute, but after a while the accusations get to be too much that she realizes the confident man she craved is very insecure and unforgiving. 

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
I loved creating the characters of Talk A Good Game. Janelle Fox is the owner of FoxTrot and looking for a new sponsor to provide her the finer things in life. She has a hard exterior but she truly has a soft spot for a teenager desperate for help. Throughout the series, readers will get to see just how determined she is to find out the truth and the strong connection she has to this child. Nyree Dawson is a sergeant in the military. She has spent her entire life letting other people tell her what to do, but like so many women, she’s ready to finally rule her own life. Nyree will show readers she’s a lot stronger than they realized.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
The primary topic of this book is trust. Janelle and Nyree both find themselves in relationships with men who aren’t at all what they made themselves to be. While writing this book I learned a great deal about relationships and that it does take time before you really get to know someone.









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: 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 Conversations with Nina Foxx

A Letter for My Mother and Momma: Gone A Personal Story

Nina Foxx is an award-winning filmmaker, playwright, and novelist. She writes as both Nina Foxx and Cynnamon Foster. Her work has appeared on numerous bestseller lists around the country, and her films have won awards at the Sundance Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, Cannes, and the Rome International Film Festival. 

Originally from Jamaica, New York, she lives with her family near Seattle, Washington, where she works in Human-Computer interaction for a major software company. Nina is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, The Links and Jack & Jill of America. Visit her at or her blog at

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book, A Letter for My Mother?
A year or so ago, I got a call that the woman who used to be my mother in law was dying. We hadn't had a good relationship, but I was surprised because the news was very upsetting to me. I was across the country and couldn't go to where she was encouraged by my sister to write a letter to her and tell her what I wanted to say. The idea was that someone who was there with her could share the letter with her.

After I was done, I thought I would blog it or try to have it published in a magazine. My agent suggested that I write this as an anthology instead; so many woman have interesting relationships with their mothers, mother figures and other women in their lives. So I asked my writer and filmmaker friends to contribute to what is now this book. I didn't realize how difficult it would be for so many people. People caled me crying and struggling through. Others just couldn't do it so they refused to be in the project. They weren't ready to face whatever issues they had with their mother-figure. They are people who had things to say but chose to write under pseudonym to conceal their identities. Everyone that participated said the process was cathartic for them and the result are some amazing pieces.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work, A Letter for My Mother.  
A Letter for My Mother is creative non-fiction and essays. It is available where ever books are sold and in all digital formats.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything from writing your book?
Every woman that participated wrote a letter and a short essay, to their mother or mother figure. They had to tell them something that they either never had the chance to, or something they coudlnt' tell them before. My only requirement was that they had to focus on the positive that they had gained from the relationship with this person. My own mother died when I was a child, and I didn't think I felt any way about that anymore. After I helped each person write their piece, I realized I had something to say to my own mother and sister. That is the last letter in the book.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book, A Letter for My Mother? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book?
After reading this, I would hope that readers tell a woman they love something they have given them; thank them for whatever that is. I also have related film project in my head.

Discussing Momma: Gone A Personal Story

BPM: What inspired you to write this book, Momma: Gone A Personal Story?

I started writing this many years ago. I think it is actually the first thing I ever tried to write. I had a memory of going to a bar with my mother and wanted to put it on paper. She died before I was seven, so it was very hazy, but more things unfolded from my memory.

BPM: Is this a true story, Momma: Gone A Personal Story?
Absolutely. This book is based on my childhood. It is embellished, of course. Sweetie (main character) had a story that needed to be told.

BPM: Introduce us to Momma: Gone A Personal Story.
Well, this book is literary fiction. If I'd had more courage, I would have written it as Creative non-fiction. This is a story about family and heartbreak as much as it is about loss and recovery. More truth than not, Momma: Gone is a story of survival, where all the lessons are taught by the child who must eventually lead them through and a classic American story of overcoming life's misfortunes to find the bloom on the other side.

BPM: Tell us about your main characters. What makes them so special?
Sweetie is seven years old when this story begins. She is a precocious child that is very much aware of the things that are going on around her, even though the adults never tell her what is going on. She is aware of her mother's illness and the effect it has on the family.

"Momma set me on the jukebox." So begins the personal story of Denise (Sweetie) Wooten, set between a post-civil rights era New York City and a growing, but stale rural Alabama. We are thrust in the midst of a family longing for normalcy, but instead struggling with illness and all that comes with it; denial, anger and misunderstanding and love. As cultures clash, we see the family through a child's eyes and walk with her as she makes sense of war fought far away, but with effects close to home, and a tragedy that changes her life forever. 

More truth than not, Momma: Gone is a story of survival, where all the lessons are taught by the child who must eventually lead them through and a classic American story of overcoming life s misfortunes to find the bloom on the other side. -Momma: Gone A Personal Story was shortlisted for a Doctorow Award in Innovative Fiction.

BPM: What are your goals for your writing career?
Momma: Gone is my 15th book. I just want to continue to tell good stories and make a few good movies.

BPM: What would you like for readers to do after reading Momma: Gone A Personal Story?
I want people to feel along with the main character as she grows, then go out and tell someone about it. 

Nina's website: 
Like and follow on Twitter: @ninafoxx

A Letter for My Mother by Nina Foxx

Genre: Creative Non-fiction

Momma: Gone A Personal Story 
by Nina Foxx








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: 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.




Intimate Conversation with Chalecha Cunningham

Born and raised in the heart of Dallas, Texas, in Oak Cliff, Chalecha Cunningham is no stranger to all types of people. Life was always in her face. Currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia by way of Baltimore, Maryland; she has never lost her Southern Hospitality. Chalecha is a veteran of the United States Navy, a licensed barber and an Information Systems Specialist. Jackie of all trades. 

Chalecha Cunningham is a freelance writer, poet and blogger. Her online blog includes as well as her first published work of poetry, "Unspoken Southern Hospitality" which was published at the end of last year (2013). Chalecha has definitely proven that you are not where you come from but what you do when you get to where you are going. 

Chalecha embodies her self-made motto, "built for this life" and she firmly believes you only have one life to live and it's yours to live it. Through her poetry she speaks of love, cultural biases, heartbreak, life and the courage to live. She takes you on a journey through her poetry that takes you outside of what is expected, into simply being! Chalecha fully engages and encourages her readers to not only live life but to live YOUR life!

BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
I actually had written this book about a year ago but it is such a personal and intimate part of my life that I was afraid of sharing and allowing so many people to see me. It's hard being naked and this book is my nakedness. Why now? I decided to put it out there now because it represents a major crossroad in my life. I was in a situation where I could do what would make me happy or stay in a place that limited my happiness. In making the decision to be happy I had to let go of someone who made me very happy and it was very hard so I put it all into my book. 

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing? 
My upbringing and life experiences definitely are what I draw on for a lot of inspiration in my writings. I was born and raised in the South, in Oak Cliff (Dallas), Texas but I left home my sophomore year in college and joined the military, so where I came from and my values have always been instilled in me. I also have my own personal beliefs and some things that I inherited from my military experience so I have a lot of different things that make me who I am. I have seen a lot of things through others and that also inspires and influences my writing.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from?
My book ideas come from life, LOL. These are some of my experiences and the things that I have been through directly and indirectly. My ideas are the direct images from my mind, which sometimes seep out of my mouth and onto the page. Everything that we do in life has some type of lesson and for me, I draw on every experience and believe that there is some type of plot or purpose for every character or person you meet in life.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work,
Unspoken Southern Hospitality.
My current work is a book of poetry titled, "Unspoken Southern Hospitality." I believe that everyone at some point in life has had an experience in love! The concept behind this book is based on the different types of love that we go through and experience throughout life. It's about the pain, the joy, the confusion, the want, and unspoken love. It takes you through so many emotions and touches on things that you may have said or have wanted to say but just couldn't find the words. To me, this book gives love an actual voice. 

BPM: Give us an insight into your story. What makes it so special? 
In this particular work, the main character is me and my experiences and it's special because it's simply me and it's pure and real. Everything in this book comes from a very personal place or moment. It comes from something that has drawn me to write about it.  Read more about it and the excerpt here, go.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
I learned how to deal with past hurts and the stigma or ideas that are embedded in us as children and women that we are supposed to be a certain way and do certain things. 

Mental illness is a major disease in America and especially in the black community. It is seen as a sign of shame and there is a major stigma associated with it. The more we educate ourselves as well as become more open to conversations about this disease, the better we will become at addressing it. Too many lives are lost to mental illness so don't be ashamed or afraid; address it!!

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author?
Success for me as a published author came when I held the first copy of my book in my hand and when I was able to send copies to my family and friends and share in that moment. Success for me comes in knowing that I was able to speak to someone that I have never met in life and give him or her a voice and let him or her know that they are not alone in this world.

BPM: What are your ambitions for your writing career? 
My ambitions for my writing career are to be able to grow not only as an author but also as a motivator. It is to share, teach, and heal someone. I want my words to provoke not only thought but I want them to provoke a movement. I want my words to encourage and strengthen someone who may be broken or who may have self-doubt. I want my writing to be the fuel for someone else to do great things in their life!

BPM: What are your expectations for this book?
I honestly don't have any expectations for this book. I'm just blessed to have my first book published and be able to share my talent. 

BPM: What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
I would like for readers to reflect and refuel. I want people to read this and again be encouraged, be motivated, and dream. I want people to read my book and become so inspired that they go out and do something that they never thought they could do or at least say something that they have always wanted to say.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 
Readers can follow my blog, to read previews of upcoming projects and learn more about me. Readers can also find me on Instagram at unspokensouthernhospitality and on Facebook at:

Unspoken Southern Hospitality by Chalecha Cunningham
Kindle Link: 

Unspoken Southern Hospitality by Chalecha Cunningham
PB Link: 





Intimate Conversation with Joyce Nanette Johnson

Calling St. Petersburg her adopted home having lived here for two decades, Joyce Nanette Johnson was born and raised in the central shore area of New Jersey where she remembers looking forward to essay question tests throughout school.  “Even if I didn’t know what the test was about, all I needed were three key ideas about the subject and I’d make it happen,” Johnson said.

The night Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was slain, Johnson sat down and put pen to paper and came up with a free verse poem written from her heart. She sent a copy to the local newspaper and one to Dr. King’s wife, Coretta Scott King. Not only did the newspaper print the poem, but she received a thank you card from Mrs. King.

It was then that Johnson began to focus on developing her correspondence skills. The free verse poem was her first and last, but has continued to follow her dream of being a writer.  A veteran writer with years of experience, her work is showcased between the pages of various newspapers, periodicals and magazines. Her writing can be seen in the St. Petersburg Times, Citilife Magazine, St. Pete Bulletin, Essence Magazine, and The Weekly Challenger.

Joyce Nanette Johnson is the owner of Joydee Productions, which developed and produced websites for community organizations and other public relations projects. Joyce Nanette Johnson was a finalist in 2010 and 2011 Tampabay Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists Awards. Ms. Johnson was the recipient of the 2011 Women in Communications Award presented by the Gathering of Women, Inc. St. Petersburg, FL.

BPM: What is your favorite positive saying?
My favorite positive saying or daily mantra is “Be About Your Business.” Now ladies I’m not talking about that gossipy, nosey being in other people’s business like your neighbors, family members, or gossiping about what’s going on in the church with Sister Sneaky and Brother Up to No Good. Which is a total waste of valuable time that could be invested in “self” I’m talking about our “personal business.” The business that God and the fates have destined for us to fulfill. As women we have that nurturing spirit and we should be active and have a vested interest in our homes, our children, our mates, our community and the world at large. But we need to have that purpose for which we were created to be nurtured also. We should carve a few precious moments out of our daily hectic lives for own personal dreams or destiny. My business is writing. 

I have often told my daughter Tracy when I am most tired and feel like quitting that if I don’t write, then the words will not get written. If you don’t pick up that brush no colors will bloom on your canvas. If you do not take the initial baby steps to start that business you will not become a successful entrepreneur. But we as women pile more and more on our shoulders balancing the world’s problems, while our own dreams and desires are shoved to the bottom of the pile like dirty laundry. Once you discover and admit to yourself that this is your dream. You have to “Be about Your Business”, make time for it, and treat it like a jealous lover. Every day the enemy devises more ways for me to stray from the path. Sometimes it can come disguised as family issues, at others times it rears its head as a day of hell with the boss from hell on the job, or just being depressed or tired. I have to remind myself every day to “Be about My Business”

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually write the book?
The media drove me to do this. As a baby-boomer I laughed at all of the commercials and media hype that said all of us were sexy, exciting, vibrant, and fun. When in reality I am not a sexy cougar that can drop it like it’s hot. I’m more like a slow simmering chili, still hot but not bubbling. Commercials show us gleefully hiking down some exotic trail when in reality I am limping down the pathway plagued by arthritis and plantar fasciitis and the glee comes with the relief of mentholated ointment. I wanted to show the reality of women aging while reflecting a humorous bent to the bumpy ride. 

I also wanted to share some baby-boomer type passages in life such as discos, baptismal marijuana smoking, and the joy that existed in sheer sexual abandonment with the advent of the pill and before diseases were racking up death fatalities. I wanted those in baby-boomer years to smile and have out loud belly laughs while their younger counterparts can get an actual picture of back in the day and also to let them know some of the things in store for them as their minds and bodies age. As my mom says sarcastically you got to get old to experience some of this good stuff. Keep on living you’ll see.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Yes, all of my experiences have come together in this book. In the book I talk about what I am experiencing now and then I have a “Back in the Day” section for each chapter. For example I have a chapter on Mother-Daughter relationships. I compare how the roles have been exchanged, I am now the leader and she is the follower. I have taken on the role of caregiver, supporter, and staunch ally. I then go back in the day to relate to a school shopping spree that any daughter can relate to. My experiences that I shared with my best friend as a little girl, whispering secrets and giggling to the best friends of today who area wisecracking, flawed to perfection, and who will sit quietly as I twist and turn with some dire depression and is there is say after my tirade, “Snap out of it.”  The book is a comedic journey of all of the experiences throughout the different stages of my life.

BPM: Introduce as to your current work, what genre do you consider your book?
Funny, Funnier, Funniest and served with a slice of satire. The book is humorously written while taking a swipe at the hypocrisy of the media. I hope to share the fact that though we are Baby Boomers we are still laughing. I want people to laugh out loud at a passage that reminds them of their Mother or an Aunt. I want people to smile as they remember that school girl friend from long, forgotten years ago. And I want people to remember to chuckle as they laugh at themselves as they see themselves and others mirrored in the pages of the book. Aging ain’t perfect, but at the moment it’s the only game in town. Laugh, hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

The book takes you on a hysterical journey that explores how Baby boomers are dealing with some of the same issues they were dealing with in the past, but with a slightly different twist. It explores the sexuality of the Boomer, which though similar it is nothing like the “drop it like it’s hot” acrobatics of today. Another chapter is the Yin and Yang of Life: The biological changes of your period and Menopause. Here ladies I have not found either condition to be the wonderful life changing event they are heralded to be. It looks at clothes today and then and what it represented at the time. Because the chapters are each divided into the now and back in the day it makes for fun stories about the difference in such subjects as exercise, clothes today and yesterday, and even the traditional family holiday is revisited. Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer is a shout out to the past, examination of the present, and a celebration of life’s poignant but hysterical journey

BPM: What is the writer’s responsibility to the reader?
To create a believable story that entertains, enlightens and takes the reader on a personal journey along with you. To never take my readers for granted.

BPM: What would you like the readers to take away from your writing?
For the Baby Boomers I want them to see themselves in the past and now in the present and laugh out loud. I want them to celebrate their journey with a smile and an “Oh Well” and satisfied sigh. I want them to know that the advertising is hype and it’s okay to ache and not be a slick cougar, you’re okay. You did not miss the boat. For the younger ones I want them to see and experience some of the world of the Boomers. I want them to feel our spirit, our passion, and the innovation that we brought into the world. I want them to join in the laughter when they read the words and it reminds them of their mothers, aunt, and grandmothers. I want them to know that when they arrive at this stage of life it’s gonna be alight if you just keep your perspective and find the humor in the progression.


Over 50 Ain't Always Fabulous-Reflections of a Baby Boomer
by Joyce Nanette Johnson





Intimate Conversation with Angeline Bishop

Angeline Bishop writes contemporary romance fiction and has a growing fan base. Angeline’s novels are thought-provoking, refreshingly entertaining, fast paced, and with a strong romantic elements. She was born in Washington, D. C., but lived most of her life in New Jersey and considers the 'Garden State' her home. Her childhood passion for writing led to a degree in English Literature and a membership in Romance Writers of America.

Aside from writing her own novels and blogging, Angeline is the Vice President of the Cultural, Interracial, and Multicultural Special Interest Chapter of Romance Writers of America and enjoys helping authors strengthen their craft. She co-hosts the AMB Talk Radio podcasts each Fall with her pop-culture loving, college-aged daughter. And she’s the founder of the AMB Ovation Awards (The Angie) which provides honor and recognition of authors’ outstanding achievements in the multicultural romance literary profession.

South Beach, the second novel in the Sheridan Series, will soon be following by Wild West and Big East. Angeline also looks forward to launching the Jacmuir Series, a multicultural New Adult series inspired by her college-reader fan base.

BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
AMB: SOUTH BEACH is the continuation of Laila Sheridan story; readers receive a glimpse of her love life drama in NORTH STAR so I had to pull back the curtain and let them see the rest of her story in Book Two. For me, it’s important to show how Laila manages her relationships. Readers will see the confident woman that seems to have it all together in the boardroom can still have a lot to learn in the real world.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
AMB: Oh, of course. My maternal grandfather was a strong patriarch that raised seven children within the sacred bonds of a 59 year marriage. He kind of acted like Ben Cartwright (from Bonanza, played by Lorne Greene), looked like a lighter Morgan Freeman, and talked like Melvin Van Peebles. When he laughed, the laughter always drifted up to his eyes and made him tear up with every chuckle. I would say his wisdom influences most of the pearls of wisdom in the Sheridan Series. My daily life experiences in Corporate America and Academic influence the rest of the characters.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  
AMB: I’m a plotter to a fault. Have you seen the character bios on my website? You would think I’m ready to cast the movie roles. (Grins) I really enjoy plotting my books because I want the characters to be distinct. I don’t want to get in the habit of not respecting the reader’s intelligence. When I fail to plot out a book it becomes easy for me to drift back into stereotypical, one-dimensional characters and I really don’t want to start doing that. 

As for where do I get my book ideas, I would say they are born from my author tagline “Our Love Stories, Our Community, Our Connections". If my novel embodies that mantra, then I know I’m on the right track. I also let my friends, colleagues, and a few acquaintances inspire me. 

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?
AMB: SOUTH BEACH is a multicultural contemporary romance but some of my Romance Writers of America colleagues say it could be categorized as Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements. And yes, it’s currently available in the Nook and Kindle digital forms along with being presented in paperback. 

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
AMB: Okay, here’s the condensed version of all five. Laila Sheridan, the youngest sibling in the Sheridan family, is a fashion enthusiast with a penchant for shopping and that has an unhealthy attraction for bad boys. Her sister Janet believes she’s a passive commitment-phobic that dates bad boys in order to sabotaging her relationships, while her big brother Graham thinks Laila just isn’t ready for what it takes to be with a real man.

Her best friend Dr. Sofìa Barea-Vega is a survivor of the foster care system. She learn early that education would be the key to her financial freedom but her inner demons keep testing her relationships and her peace of mind. Laila’s other best friend is Marina Carter, co-owner of her family’s southern cuisine restaurant. She’s a Preacher’s kid that knows how to assert herself if she’s pushed too far. But overall, she’s an easy-going woman and can be seen as a bit sheltered because of her conservative Christian values.

Laila’s two love interests in SOUTH BEACH are Gray and Malcolm. Gray Ryley is the man you want with you on Survivor Island. He’s a resourceful, dependable, intelligent, handsome and Sheridan Graham’s favorite ‘go to’ person when a crisis arises at Psyche Magazine. When he’s in a relationship, he’s all in or not doing it at all. No drama, secrecy, or game playing. Seeing his mother’s life unravel because of love choices gone wrong, taught him to be true to himself…no matter what. On the other hand, Malcolm Khalid wants a writing career that will have him scheduled for speaking engagements and writing his own New York Times column. And he’ll do whatever he can to achieve that, including using his romantic relationships to get connections. He may be considered a bad boy but he truly believes Laila knows the real man underneath the hard exterior.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
AMB: The bond between women is heavily looked at, along with the topic of striving to have authentic relationships. As I wrote this novel, I let the characters take me where they wanted to go emotionally. Sofìa is so closed off and sees the world as black and white because of her failed marriage and her previous life experiences. She loves her best friends but she’s never learned to lean on anyone but herself. While Laila learns trying to control anyone’s perceptions of herself or her friends will always jeopardize her relationships.

As the author of SOUTH BEACH, I was reminded to be very selective in who I grant the privilege of calling my best friend because there’s a great amount of commitment, loyalty, and honesty that comes with that title. 

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
AMB: Success for me is being proud of the stories I’ve presented to the world. I want to look back and know I gave the world a glimpse into a family I was proud to create. Not because of their accoutrements of success and good looks but due to their close family bond. They have values and principles that their parents worked very hard to instil in them.

As far as my ambitions go, I want the Sheridan Series and my Jacmuir Series (New Adult) to be well received my readers and my peers. I don’t think anything would make me happier than to be able to show my two daughters and the young women at the university that dreams can come true. 

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
AMB: I’m expecting the book to entertain readers while making them think about their own relationship choices. I would love for booklovers to let me know their thoughts by reviewing SOUTH BEACH at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or on my website. Oh, and since I have some great giveaways coming up this summer, I would love for them to sign up for my newsletter at my website too.

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?
AMB: As the founder of the AMB Ovation Award (The Angie), I would like everyone to get ready to nominate their favorite romance writers. Unlike traditional awards shows that carry more romance industry notoriety, like the RITA, we created a fan-based platform to increase awareness of the growth of the Multicultural/Interracial/African-American romance genres. These reader-based awards serve to remind writers their fans appreciate their efforts. The nomination form will be posted on my website from June 16th – July 31, 2014. 

You can learn more about my novels and what I’m up to by following me on Twitter or checking out my blog at 



Intimate Conversation with Lauren Francis-Sharma 

Lauren Francis-Sharma, a child of Trinidadian immigrants, was born in New York City and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature with a minor in African-American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband and two children. 'Til the Well Runs Dry is her first novel. 

BPM:  What inspired you to write this book, ‘TIL THE WELL RUNS DRY? 
A: I was not inspired as much as I was looking to understand my maternal grandmother, a woman whom I did not feel like I really knew. When she had her first stroke, I sat next to her hospital bed and realized I knew so little. She was not one to share her feelings and I had never bothered to push her on the details of her life story. I wrote this book, which is loosely based on the little I knew about her, as a way to fill that void. 

BPM:  The case could be made that Blanchisseuse, a sea-side village in Trinidad, is a character in the book. What drew you to this particular town, and what effect does it have on the lives of your characters? 
A: I firmly believe that the places where we live as children are natural characters in our story, so it seemed befitting to attempt to make Blanchisseuse come alive on the page, as this is how Marcia feels about her birthplace. My grandmother's family purchased land in Blanchisseuse in the early twentieth century, and my grandmother was born and raised there. Many of my mother's childhood memories, her stories, are set there. To me, Blanchisseuse is a magical place, and it has been a part of me for as long as I remember. 

BPM:  The chapters in ‘Til the Well Runs Dry are told from the perspective of three central characters. Why did you choose these specific characters to hold up the arc of the story? 
A: When I began writing this story, Jacqueline was the protagonist. On the first page she wakes to the sound of her mother tapping a spoon on the lip of a pot. The story should have been a coming-of-age story where Jacqueline grows to understand herself and her quite difficult mother. But as I continued to write, this mother, Marcia, began to steal scenes. And before long, Farouk also became a necessity, as someone needed to tell his story. Now I couldn't imagine it any other way. 






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Founder & Editor In Chief Black Pearls Magazine







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