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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! 

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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 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 Michelle Morgan Spady

The author, Michelle Morgan Spady, is a retired child care center owner, and teacher of English and Computer Technology. Ms. Spady loves reading and writing and tells many of her stories from her memories of days in the classroom and on the playground. She says that her writings are enriched by the illustrations provided by her artist son, whose love is in creating characters for her to develop in her stories. They work as a mother and son team.

With the formation of their company, ‘B’Artful’, dedicated to promoting emerging artists and writers and the release of their third book together, the duo are on a roll. Michelle Spady and Bradford O. Spady co-produced "An Artist and His Obsession", "7 Days 2 Tell" and the anti-bullying tale, titled: ‘ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground’. Ms. Spady lives in McLean, VA with her husband and son.

BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
I work with children all the time, and throughout many of my interactions with them, I am always conscious of the way they talk to each other and the way the solve their problems. I used to get very involved when my son would come home with stories of how he had been "over-powered" or "bullied" by some kid. One day this poem came to me and I wrote it down. I found some of my son's characters that he had drawn that I thought would fit the story perfectly. That's what got me started on the idea of writing and publishing a book.

BPM: What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like challenges, and I have been keeping journals for years saying that one day I was going to write a book. I still have not penned the book that I have had in my heart. for years There is a story that I want to tell. Right now, I'd like to help my son launch his career for storytelling and drawing.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Yes, all the books that we have published so far have some relevance to either his or my upbringing. The book 7 Days 2 Tell about college groups and hazing, is more about teens having to make a moral decision as to whether they should snitch on the fraternity and what they witnessed, more so than the act of hazing. ShoozyQ about bullying and An Artist and his Obsession is about relationships and friendships.

BPM: Do you write full-time? Do you write every day? Do you have a special time to write?
No, I wish I could write every day. I love writing, but because of our business there is so much more to do once we've finished a book project. The publishing process can be daunting and overwhelming, then there's the marketing.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
My son, Bradford came up with the idea of his first book "An Artist...". ShoozyQ..." and "7 Days..." were my idea. We write about what we're interested in. We don't want to be "pigeon-holed" into any one category. He likes to draw characters first and then write stories around them. I help him a lot with the writing, so it is challenging for me sometimes to have to come up with a story that he has already "drawn". He is of course, visual and he can draw a whole story. I have find the narrative.

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?
Well ShoozyQ and the AB Crew is a book about a group of kids who play on the playground every day and there is a bully who taunts them. One day ShoozyQ decides to stand up to the bully and she gathers her friends and tells them to follow her, she has an idea of how to get the bully to change his ways and just play with them instead. Without giving away the whole book, she uses positive words.

What makes our book different is that it is "written in poem format, the book uses vibrant illustrations, and a good dose of positivity to encourage children to look at bullying from another perspective. ShoozyQ and her “crew” persuade a schoolyard bully to change his behavior without being mean and abusive themselves – something that is often overlooked in books with an anti-bullying message.

“We include activities so that educators can get the discussions going with children. It’s important to keep the ball rolling after the story is over, and really get to the root of what the kids have learned from ShoozyQ’s experiences." It is available on Kindle and IBooks.

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
Because our characters are "cartoony" their very fun. My son, allows me to name them most of the time, so by the time we have completed a story we feel as though we know each one. My favorite character in the ShoozyQ book is the little African American girl named Kiana. She's got personality and she wears red cow girl boots. I went out and bought me a pair the character motivated me so. Actually, we have plans to promote Kiana little more after we get the ShoozyQ book off the ground.

BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters dealt with issues that are in current affairs?
In this book it's all about bullying, even hazing is about a form of bullying. ShoozyQ shows that children on both sides of bullying incidents need help. Everyone wants to help the victim or the kid who's been bullying, but not a lot of attention is shown to the bully or the bystander. As adults we should openly talk to our children about bullying before it happens. Studies show that children between 3-5 are most impressionable, and this age sets the foundation of how we will interact with people in general as we grow. Parents should never ignore bullying behaviors, and should model and teach their children about empathy, (the number one emotion most bullies don't have), kindness, compassion and positivity.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
On a personal level I felt it an honor to work with my son. He never ceases to amaze me. He has always struggled with learning differences, and before we started working together, I did not realize how creative, and smart he really is. He knows a lot about a lot of things. It is truly a joy to work with him. We both challenge and learn from each other.

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? How do you go about reaching new readers?
ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground - First and foremost for our last book we'd like for them to leave with a better understanding of what bullying is all about and how taking a different approach to resolving conflicts can be very beneficial to the bully, the bullied and the bystander. I hope that the awesome illustrations that my son provides will motivate people to want to check us out.

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?
This is like a third, maybe fourth career for me already. I was a former teacher, a systems analyst and major account sales rep in a Fortune 500 Company and my husband and I have owned a company which once had a multi-million dollar contract with a state lottery for 13 years. At this stage of the game, success for me is seeing my son accomplished at whatever it is he'd like to do. We want to continue writing books for awhile and I'd like to see us accepted as serious authors and illustrator in the business. My son would like to see some of his characters in an animated featured film production.

BPM: Where do you find your daily inspiration or muse?
My son is my daily muse. He is so passionate about what he loves to do and that is drawing. He draws from the moment he wakes up in the morning (afternoon) till the wee wee hours of the night (morning). He makes me want to produce something, and help him.

BPM: Were there any challenges in bringing this story to life?
No, everything went pretty smoothly since this was my second self-published book. The process wasn't as daunting as the first, but yet challenging to dot all of your "i's" and cross all of your "t's". It makes it easier when you write the story yourself, illustrate the book yourself, and publish. You have total creative control over everything. There are some pros and cons to that. Of course, in self-publishing you are totally responsible for the product that you put out. The good, the bad, the ugly. You can't blame anyone for mistakes. No margin for error.

BPM: What are your expectations for this series of books?
My son is working on another book now and we are thinking of making it a series. As far as this one goes, we'll just market it and its message for as long as we can. Anti-bullying!

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject?
My goal is to inspire other writers and my son other artists. Our business B'Artful LLC hosts workshops and events for emerging authors and artists to enhance their creative skills. We talk about it on our website.

BPM: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?
I think the major advantage is that you have total control over your product. You can get it out as soon as you want or as late as you want. The disadvantage is, if you don't know the process you can miss some steps and then NOT have a quality product. It is up to you to find graphic designers, editors, copyright your material, buy all that you need to publish in paperback, hardback and ebook.

BPM: Are there any areas of your writing career that you wish you could go back and change?
Not yet, I do wish that I had started sooner in my life. I think I would have many more books published by now.

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Just that, if there are any parents reading this I'd like to say to them to always listen to your children. I found some papers from when my son was in kindergarten he wrote that he would be an artist when he grew up. He used to draw "stick drawings", but look at his work now. I'd like to think a lot of his growth came from us as parents nurturing his interest in art, and it hasn't stopped. He's 20 years old now, and we are still following him and his dreams. If you have a book you're thinking of writing, don't hesitate, go for it! You never know.

Michelle Morgan Spady, Author & Publisher B'Artful, LLC

B'Artful Website: 


Written in poem format,  ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground  uses vibrant illustrations, and a good dose of positivity to encourage children to look at bullying from another perspective. ShoozyQ and her “crew” persuade a schoolyard bully to change his behavior without being mean and abusive themselves-something that is often overlooked in books with an anti-bullying message.  The colorful drawings and simple, effective language all tie together to make ShoozyQ an exciting read for kids, and a learning tool for parents and teachers. There are activities at the end of the book for parents and educators to practice with the children.

Purchase ShoozyQ and the AB Crew: Bully on the Playground

Kindle Edition
ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground

Paperback Edition
ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground

ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground

General Education-Picture Book for K-4th grade. Available at, IBooks, Kindle, IngramSparks, CreateSpace & B’ for bulk discount




Intimate Conversation with Ava Bleu

Ava Bleu lives and loves in the Midwest, countering bitter winters with smooth jazz and tasty edibles. She is the author of the contemporary romantic comedy, The Diva of Peddler's Creek, and Glorious Sunset, an edgy inspirational romance with a time-traveling king, an angel and a love for the ages.

Ava can be found in bookstores and the public library camped next to the cookbooks and/or on the town keeping an eye out for hero-material.

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

I wanted to do an "epic" romance. I read so many historical romance novels based in Europe or the Scandinavian countries, it occurred to me that I had never read one that touched on Africa. This story allowed me to do that while creating a link between past and present.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew - leave it for months and then come back to it?
Always. Sometimes when you write you are too deep into your story to see what's missing or what doesn't make sense or flow. Your brain fills in the gaps because you already know what you're trying to say. But if you step away for a while and come to it with fresh eyes you can re-introduce yourself to your own work as if you were a stranger to it. That's when you find mistakes and smooth over the rough patches.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
Like with this story, glancing down to the ground and seeing something sparkle in the sun can get your imagination working. You wonder what it is, how it got there, and why no one seems to notice it but you. And next thing you know you imagine a king trapped in a piece of jewelry. Well, maybe a normal person wouldn't make that leap but a writer makes irrational leaps quite frequently. We end up calling them plots.

For me, it is the fleshing out of the characters that makes the true magic. My plots have never ended up being what I originally envisioned because the characters drive the story. If you force a character to do what is not consistent just to fit the plot readers notice, and they don't like it.

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?

Glorious Sunset is available in Nook and Kindle, as well as paperback. My novel is Glorious Sunset, an edgy inspirational romance. As someone who has always loved many different genres, it was exciting for me to create a hybrid of my own and I borrowed from tried-and-true models. Fables and fairytales were created to teach children themes of morality so it's not a leap to interpret aspects of fantasy as tools of learning. As children we were able to understand symbolism without much effort. As grownups we forget how to translate fantasy into something we can use.

After I took 'can't possibly happen' out of the equation, the question became, why wouldn't God use time or space or angels in whatever way he sees fit? There is a word for unexplainable occurrences ... they're called miracles! Once I made that connection and fleshed out the characters, the story wrote itself. 

I love this book because despite the seriousness of the subject matter, this novel is as light or as heavy as the reader wants it to be. At its core Glorious Sunset is a romance but there is plenty symbolism and lots of material to generate discussion. I'm proud that I was able to develop that complexity.

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?

Taka Olufemi is an arrogant, alpha male from way back (1600 A.D.), but he is honorable and dignified even as he struggles to be seen as a man worth loving in a time and place where his name means nothing and, according to the world, he holds no value.

Violet Jackson is an alpha female from way back but doesn't remember her glory-only remembers pain. Self-preservation has affected her choices in life and relationships, and not always for the better.

Taka has the gift, or curse, of hindsight (a.k.a., baggage) and Violet is flying blind and only focused on the future she can envision. Ultimately, just as in life, the only possible way these two wounded souls can find each other is through the grace of God.

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

Topics: trust in self, self-sacrifice for love's sake, personal value and growth.
On my blog I've been pretty open about the fact that I'm learning to exercise my own faith. This novel has helped me explore issues I didn't realize I had and identify obstacles along my own path in my relationship with God.

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

I want my readers to expect that I might do things a little differently and I might approach common themes in a different manner. I don't do it for shock value, I truly come by it honestly; I write the way I experience and interpret life because it's the only way I know how to do it.

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

I am on social media but I welcome readers to subscribe to my mailing list so I can keep them informed of happenings in my career and offer bonuses and giveaways. There is also my blog where I recently introduced the "Extraordinary Love" segment. "Extraordinary Love" are the posts where I invite fellow authors to describe what extraordinary love means to them. Love can be love of self, family, romantic interest, God...the possibilities are endless and the authors have varied experiences they choose to share. It's an interesting and unique spin on guest blogging and I've gotten great feedback from readers and browsers (some who aren't even familiar with my writing) who enjoy the personal insights into these authors. I'm very pleased with this segment.

Contact the Author

Ava Bleu, Author of Contemporary & Edgy Inspirational Romantic Fiction
Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Love:



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 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 Michelle Lindo-Rice

Michelle Lindo-Rice enjoys crafting women's fiction with themes centered around the four "F" words: Faith, Friendship, Family and Forgiveness. Her first published work, Sing A New Song, was a Black Expressions featured selection. Originally from Jamaica West Indies, Michelle Lindo-Rice calls herself a lifelong learner.

She has earned degrees from New York University, SUNY at Stony Brook, and Teachers College, Columbia University. When she moved to Florida, she enrolled in Argosy University where she completed her Education Specialist degree in Education Leadership. A pastor's kid, Michelle upholds the faith, preaching, teaching and ministering through praise and worship. Feel free to connect with her at

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
After writing Walk A Straight Line, readers wrote me asking questions about Keith and Gina. They felt the love between these two was so powerful. I, too, believed the characters still had more to tell. In Walk A Straight Line, Michael appeared too gullible. I wanted to delve more into his psyche and find out exactly what he would do when he found out about Keith and Gina’s betrayal. Boy, do we find out. Michael Ward evolves in this story. 

BPM: Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing?
My upbringing as a Pastor’s daughter inspire my writing because I do feel that since God gave me the gift, I should write to honor Him. Most of my inspiration comes from reading, television, conversations. At any moment, I can be inspired to write a story. I think it was what I was meant to do. My close relationships with family and friends may influence my writing but my work is fiction.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
My book ideas come from the news, nature, conversations - really anywhere and everywhere. I have learned to carry a post-it note or have a pen handy so I can jot my ideas down. I then save them on my computer and I’ll read through before deciding which character is ready to speak. My books are primarily character driven. The characters shape my story and often take me into unchartered territory. When I’m engulfed in writing, I allow them to speak and lead. Yes, I do plot, but the characters will often throw some curve ball in my plans. I think people relate to character-driven story lines. They really get to know them and root for them.

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 current work is My Steps Are Ordered. It is the second in the “On the Right Path” series. Like the series title suggest, each of the characters face situation that may lead them astray, but we soon realize that was the path God meant for them to take. All roads lead to Him. I consider my book Christian fiction, meaning fiction appropriate for Christians to read. It’s not lacking in drama or edge, but does not have profanity or sex scenes. I also consider my work women’s fiction. It is available in Paperback. I’m not exactly sure when Urban Books will release it in digital form.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
Keith Ward goes through some changes. He keeps his distance, but he can’t shake his feelings for Gina. When Keith becomes saved, we see his struggle with pleasing God, being a man of God and just being a man—very much human. Keith is strong-willed and used to getting his own way but we will see him make some tough decisions that are uncharacteristic. Michael transforms in this second novel. He is a smart businessman but too trusting in his personal relationships. When the truth of his brother’s love for his wife hits him, Michael’s fury is unequaled. He is not someone you want as an enemy. Gina bears the guilt of coming between two brothers. She tries to do the right thing but her heart wants Keith. The only thing that trumps her love for him is her devotion to her son, Trey. We will share her joy and pain of motherhood especially when Trey falls ill.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Topics and themes covered in My Steps Are Ordered are illness of a child; betrayal, unrequited love, family, forgiveness and trusting in God. He knows best. What I’ve learned from writing My Steps Are Ordered is that God has a way of working everything out for our good in His time and in His way. I learned God is able to take us through anything. I’ve learned I need to trust Him more and to be patient. My walk with Christ is stronger because of my writing.

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
For me, success is being able to bless others because of my work. I love when readers contact me to talk about my characters. I love when they say they’ve made some changes because they’ve read my work. Success is when they recommend it to someone else. Isn’t that a huge compliment? My ambitions are high, but I submit to what God has planned because I have no other choice. I would love to see my book on bestseller list or on the big screen, but honestly my ambitions are to keep writing. I hope I always have a story to tell. 

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
My expectations for My Steps Are Ordered are for readers to laugh, cry and rejoice at God at work in the characters lives. I hope they will sit for hours with eyes wide open until they get to the last page, then regret they’re on the last page, lol. I would like for readers to be drawn closer to God. I would love them to tell five or more friends about it. I want their hearts singing at the love story.

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? 
I am grateful for the opportunity you provide for authors to reach more readers. Please join my mailing list and tell someone. Also, please keep me in your prayers. I need them.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Readers please reach out to me on social media, I’m everywhere. Please join my mailing list at to keep up with my latest releases. On my website you’ll learn more about me and can read sample chapters for all the books. 

Michelle Lindo-Rice Published Works 

Genre: Christian Fiction/Women’s Fiction

Novellas: Color Blind (May 2014)
4 Full-Length Novels:
Sing A New Song (Feb. 2013) 
Walk A Straight Line (Jan. 2014)
My Steps Are Ordered (Aug. 2014)
The Fall of the Prodigal (Feb. 2015)

Michelle Lindo-Rice Amazon Page 
YouTube Trailer:



Intimate Conversation with Dwan Abrams

Dwan Abrams was born in Florida. She has lived in Europe and throughout the United States.

After graduating from high school with honors, she served four honorable years in the United States Air Force. While in the Air Force she was recognized as Airman of the Month twice and Personnel Specialist of the Quarter. Due to her outstanding leadership skills, she was promoted early to the rank of Senior Airman.

Dwan is a graduate of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Dwan worked as a manager for a Fortune 100 company. She has experience in sales, customer service, and marketing.

A true leader in the community, Dwan was a mentor at Shamrock Middle School. She has participated in Career Day and Job Shadowing Day at local Atlanta middle and high schools. As a supporter of Johnnie's House "Feed the Hungry" campaign, she appeared in a Public Service Announcement that aired on WATC TV 57 in Atlanta. Dwan has volunteered for United Way campaigns, Adopt-a-Family, and Santa's Helping Hands.

As a freelance editor, Dwan has edited numerous manuscripts for aspiring and established authors. Her services include: copy editing, substantive editing, ghostwriting, and manuscript critiques and evaluations.

Dwan has been featured in Booking Matters and Awareness magazines. She's been interviewed on Atlanta Live, which aired on WATC TV 57. Due to her hard work and determination, Dwan has been inducted into the 2006 and 2010 "Who's Who" in Black Atlanta. She's the former President of Faith Based Fiction Writers of Atlanta.

She's the best-selling author of When the Fairytale Ends (Book #2 in the Married Series), My Mother's Child (the anticipated sequel to Divorcing the Devil), Married Strangers, Divorcing the Devil (nominated for the 2008 African American Literary Awards Show), Only True Love Waits (winner of the 2007 Pen of the Writer POWER Award for Best Fiction), The Scream Within, and Favor (a short story appearing in The Midnight Clear: Stories of Love, Hope and Inspiration anthology).

Her seventh novel, For the Sake of Love, was released by Kensington in June 2014. She currently resides in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia with her family.

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 latest book, For the Sake of Love, is a love triangle. Bria finds herself having to choose between the man she loves and the man trying to woo her with his money. I consider For the Sake of Love to be an inspirational romance, and yes, it is available in both Nook and Kindle. 

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

I had first written For the Sake of Love as a novella. For years I wanted to turn it into a full length novel but didn't know what direction I wanted to take it. Finally, I found the motivation and inspiration to craft the story.

BPM: Does your life experiences inspire your writing?
Sometimes. It really depends on the character. I have the most fun with characters inspired by people I know.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  
My book ideas come from all over the place. There's no one set thing. In the past, I have spoken to people with interesting professions and made mental notes to give my characters those professions. Something as simple as that can spark the idea for a new book.

I would definitely say that my books are character driven. My characters determine the situation and direction of the story. I don't start out with an entire premise and place the characters in the scenes.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
Bria is special because she's growing as a person. She's discovering new things about herself. Bria's best friend, Nya, is a wild card. She's a ride or die chick.

Nya's husband, Chance, is somewhat of a jokester. What makes him so special is that I had a reader once tell me that she loved Chance for Bria. I had never even considered that.

Spade wants so badly to be Bria's hero that he sometimes comes off as a zero. Readers will have to figure out whether Kerryngton is glitter or gold. 

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
The different love languages are primarily discussed in For the Sake of Love. I did learn that I probably would not have made the same choice as Bria.

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
I didn't have to conduct an extensive amount of research for this book. Everyone involved I already knew. Nonetheless, the feedback on the men and who Bria should end up with was priceless.

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Success for me means doing what God has purposed for me to do. As long as I walk in my calling, I'm a success. I don't measure success in monetary standards. Every time my publisher agrees to publish one of my books, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Whenever I receive an email from a reader telling me he or she enjoyed my book, I feel honored.  As for my ambitions, I have quite a few. I believe that as long as I keep my character intact, my gifts will make room for me. I don't put myself into a box.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
I don't believe in putting expectations on my work. I simply write the stories I feel compelled to write to the best of my abilities. As long as I feel good about my work once I'm done, I'm happy. I pray about it and release it.  I would like for my readers to post their favorable reviews on Amazon or I also like to hear from my readers. Those emails make my day. And of course, I want my readers to tell ten more readers to go out and buy the book.

BPM: Did you ever ask yourself, "Why am I doing this? Should I change course and maybe try to get some of the things on that list?"
No, I have never wondered if writing was the right thing for me. When I was in corporate America, that was a different story. I often thought that. I actually wrote my first two books while working in corporate America. My dream was to leave my job and write full-time. Eight years ago I was blessed to do just that. I've been doing what I love ever since. Currently, I teach business classes at a college twice a week. I enjoy doing that because it doesn't require a lot of my time and doesn't interfere with my writing.

BPM: Do you feel as if you are a role model for other authors?
I don't look at myself that way. I strive to be the best person that I can be, and if that inspires other people, then I'm thankful. 

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I'm always working on projects. LOL! I'll reveal them as they start coming to pass.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Readers can visit my web site They can also connect with me on social networking sites.

Purchase For the Sake of Love by Dwan Abrams 



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 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.

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Recently, my book was selected as the feature book for the cast of 72 Hours a film set to release in early 2015 by Christopher Nolen.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Subscribe to my newsletter and receive my free Live Out Loud Toolkit which includes meditations and a few copies of the book at You can also check out the many courses that I offer on living your best life.


Google +: 

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: IS THE BEST WAY TO SWEETEN YOUR LIFE!

Too many self-help books today regurgitate the same old information. Not enough of them stand out because there is no difference, no specialness that draws the reader with truth—well now there’s a book that brings a fresh outpouring of the Word and Wisdom of GOD–Melisa Alaba’s Christian self-help book, LIVING OUT LOUD: 52 Ways to Awaken Your Spirit. With a gentle but firm writing style, Ms. Alaba dishes the truth in tasty, easy to digest tidbits.

Step-by-step, in a loving, authentic voice, Ms. Alaba gives you the Word and the way to change your life in 52 weeks from barely living to living out loud! From abundance to acceptance to purpose, she illustrates eleven principles that will elevate your life from the ground floor to the penthouse! This easy to read blueprint for good living is bound to be a keeper for anyone who reads it. Get your copy and start enjoying the abundant life today!

Purchase Live Out Loud by Melisa Alaba
Kindle Edition:






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 Ann Jeffries

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; and Twitter @newviewlit

BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
Ann: Boredom. I had hundreds of cable television channels to choose from and plenty of books in my library, yet I was still bored. So I picked up a pen and paper and Southern Exposures was born. I enjoyed the writing so much that several books followed. 

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Ann: Yes, to a certain extent it does. My ancestors were born and raised in a small country town in Sumter County, South Carolina. As a child, while my parents worked, my maternal grandmother would take me to South Carolina during the summer to visit with our rather large family there. I would listen to the stories that they told about their youth in the south that were so different from my northern experiences and the stories that they remembered from their parents and grandparents. Some of that history is reflected in the personalities of my characters. It’s like the old souls showing up and reminding me of what I recall from my childhood coupled with my adult life experiences.

One such life experience was listening to former Congresswoman Barbara Jordon deliver the “Who Speaks For The Common Good” keynote address at the National Democratic Convention. Her words to me were even more riveting than Dr. King’s I Have A Dream speech. I encourage readers to listen to her blueprint for a better society. 

BPM: Do you write full-time? Do you write every day? Do you have a special time to write?
Ann: Yes, I write full-time, every day and most days, all day. If the story is flowing for me, I do not stop until all of the voices that show up are captured on the printed page.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
Ann: Always. I complete my manuscripts and then put them aside and work on another part of the series. Then I go back and re-read my stories to insure that the theme of the series is still on course. It may be months before I get back to a story that I’ve completed.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
Ann: I have short and long term plans for my books and each character that walks into my story can bring a new idea or twist to the story that I ultimately want to tell from different perspectives in this series. There are currently twenty-six books in the series in various stages of completion. Some of the manuscripts are plot driven while others are character driven. 

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?
Ann:  Yes, Southern Exposures is available on Amazon’s Kindle and in paperback format.
Southern Exposures is the introduction to the Alexander family of Goodwill, Summer County, South Carolina. Dr. Bernard Alexander, an educator, and his wife of thirty-plus years, Sylvia Benson Alexander, a nurse, are successfully raising five young adults. Kenneth and Benjamin Alexander are brothers and best friends, but as different as night and day. Kenneth, the older, the cool, calm, and collected is a highly trained electronics engineer and businessman, President of his San Francisco-based computer hardware, software and telecommunications company. Captain Benjamin Staton Alexander is 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, a businesswoman who owns INSIGHTS, a Santa Barbara emporium. 

Next in the family line is Vivian Lynn Alexander, a Georgetown Law School student who comes to the conclusion that she could no longer be in a relationship with her college sweetheart and be a successful lawyer. She becomes friends with former basketball icon Chuck Montgomery; an interracial relationship ensues until she meets Chuck’s best friend, Derrick “Dunk and Jam” Jackson, who was an even more celebrated basketball star. Both medical doctors now, Chuck and Derrick find that they have no protection from falling hard for the former basketball Olympic Gold Medalist turned law school student. 

Two more Alexander offspring, Gregory, a high school student, and Aretha, a young genius, are a part of the story, but have their own novels later in the series. We watch as the Alexander offspring grow and move out into a society so very different from the principles that their parents and ancestors laid out for them. They encounter people along the way who challenge them on so many levels. Life is hard, but these characters continue to work for what former Congresswoman Barbara Jordon called “The Common Good.”

I believe that it’s for my readers to say what they believe separates these stories from the mass market literature available on the shelves. For certain my stories have triumphs and trials, love and hate, humor and horror, suspense and mystery, and plots and pleasures to serve the taste of most adult readers. Of Southern Exposures, author Jessica Tilles wrote: “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.” 

Attorney Brenda Irons LeCesne wrote: “Loved the way Ann described the activities. I felt as though I was there witnessing everything. The book is very warm and the characters have to face challenges each in a different way. Loved the focus on loving family.” 

Karen R Thomas, President of Creative Minds Book Group wrote: “I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I think that Ann’s 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 overall is a strong area for Ann.” I could not have described Southern Exposures better than these three readers.

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
Ann: Kenneth James Alexander has a strong, but unassuming personality who believes in the theory that he is his brothers’ and sisters’ keeper. He’s an electronics genius, astute businessman and a bit of a nerd who is oblivious to the attention his good looks and fine physique accord him. He sets the high, moral standards as an example for his siblings to follow and is willing to sacrifice his own needs and desires for his family’s happiness.

Benjamin “Benny” Staton Alexander has always wanted to fly jets and rejects opportunities that he had to play professional basketball in order to pursue his dream of one day piloting missions to outer space. He is a brilliant pilot who gives new meaning to the term “Benny and the jets” and rises through the ranks of the Air Force effortlessly. Still, unlike his older brother, he takes time to maintain an active social life. He is just a dedicated to his family as Kenneth, but he loves his life as a bachelor and does not deny himself the creature comforts that his single lifestyle affords him.

Vivian Lynn Alexander has been a bright, energetic and dynamic leader since her early childhood when her parents read great speeches to her as bedtime stories. One such speech was the Barbara Jordon’s “Who Speaks For The Common Good” speech that set the framework for Vivian’s decision to become a lawyer. She was the first to volunteer to champion causes for which she feels a great deal of passion and doesn’t suffer fools lightly. Like her older brothers she is athletic and was picked to be on an Olympic basketball team that won the gold. 

BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters dealt with issues that are in current affairs?
Ann: Vivian, although a busy law school student, volunteers time at a family homeless shelter where she meets a destitute Peruvian woman, Signora Anna Menendez-Gaza and her two young children, Angelique and Miguel. She helps Anna’s family by bringing them to live in, Benny’s, (her brother’s) huge brownstone, where she rents rooms to other law school students. All of her housemates pool their resources to help this family find out what happened to Anna’s husband who has mysteriously disappeared. Homelessness is a fact of astronomical proportions in current society. It is often rare to see the extent of human kindness up close and personal as we do in this aspect of the story.

In another part of the story, Kenneth and Benjamin learn that JeNelle has been the victim of spousal abuse during her former marriage. Again, a current day issue that has yet to be solved. Kenneth and Benjamin both address this situation in an effort to help JeNelle work through her issues. 

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Ann: With Vivian and the other law school students, the current political climate runs the gamut. One of the housemates, William “Bill” Chandler is a former male prostitute and high-priced, high fashion model, who comes from a dysfunctional family in the heart of Little Italy in New York City. Bill’s backstory is fertile ground for an airing of issues related to sexuality.

Another housemate and law school student, Alan Lightfoot, is a full-blooded Navajo Native American and former US Marine who is fighting to preserve his heritage and his ancestral home. There is quite a scandal that is uncovered about the powers-that-be who continue to mistreat Native Americans and the reasons for it.

I learned that I love to write from going through this process and that even the research that goes into the details is a lot of fun. 

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? How do you go about reaching new readers?
Ann: There are a lot of “take aways” from my novels; however, perhaps the most poignant is Amanda Wheeler’s words in her book Arms of the Magnolia. She wrote: “I have this love-hate relationship with the South. Some of my best and worst experiences took place there. I believe that African Americans who have never had southern exposure have a limited prospective on racism. They think it’s all about jobs, but it’s not only about jobs. It’s about land, ownership and self-sufficiency. Our story might be different, if we had gotten our forty acres and a mule. People who can grow their own food and live independent of salaries are the ones who will survive. Everything else is fleeting . . .” 

If I say something that is relevant to my audience, I trust that they will remember it and pass it on. Word of mouth may be a low-tech means of reaching a small audience, but some of the great authors started that way. However, regardless of whether I ever reach the New York Times best sellers’ list or have my series optioned for a movie or television show, I will have thoroughly enjoyed this process. 

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?
Ann: Success for me has already been achieved. I have three books on the market with twenty-three to go . . . so far. I also have a mystery series that I’m actively working on. There are three books currently in that series. In early 2015, I want to start releasing The Jenna Baker Mystery series. 

BPM: Where do you find your daily inspiration or muse?
Ann: I certainly don’t want to freak anyone out or bring my sanity into question, but my characters just show up and beg to have their stories told. Sometimes I ignore them until I have the right vehicle to showcase their stories. Other times I create them because they are the right fit for what I want to say. Men who can cook and women with a strong sense of who they are, are often my inspirations. Couple that with the incredible personalities that I read about in magazines, like Black Enterprise and/or Essence, and I never go wanting for inspiration or muses.

BPM: Were there any challenges in bringing this story to life?
Ann: My biggest challenges were keeping my characters in line and trying to manage the extraordinary number of people and personalities involved in the backstories and arcs. Each novel in the Family Reunion—Wisdom of the Ancestors series sets the stage for the next to follow and then the next. Although each book is a stand-alone story, characters do reappear in other story lines. 

BPM: What are your expectations for this series of books?
Ann: My expectations for the series are not grand. Once I identify where I’m going, getting there may be the easiest part. I may take some detours along the route, but ultimately I want to share something that I enjoy reading with my family, friends and fans. 

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject?
Ann: I have simple goals as a writer: Tell a good, entertaining story that people will enjoy; never put a story to bed with regrets; and leave my audience demanding more. 

BPM: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?
Ann: Self-publishing allow the writer to use all of the creative tools in the tool box without debilitating interference or influence. I do not seek to appeal to everyone’s taste. However, in my view, the best gauge of an author’s work product comes from the audience reviews whether they are good, bad or indifferent.

BPM: Are there any areas of your writing career that you wish you could go back and change? 
Ann: Yes. I regret not taking the advice of my family and friends much sooner. They encouraged me to publish my stories long before I actually made the effort.

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Ann: Thank you for providing this forum to address your audience. It’s been a teachable moment for me. 

BPM: Finish this sentence - “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors...”
Ann: “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors that you, too, have a voice that should be heard in the literary arena.”

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Ann: I welcome readers to follow my efforts and submit comments through my publishing house, New View Literature (see,, Twitter @newviewlit, and on Facebook @ Ann Jeffries.

Books in the Family Reunion — In The Wisdom of the Ancestors series: 

1. Southern Exposures: Family Reunion  

2. Touch Me In The Morning  

3. An Unguarded Moment  



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 Athena Lark 

Athena Lark is the author of the greatly anticipated debut novel, Avenue of Palms. She graduated from the University of California at Riverside, where she received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts. She has been published in; the Literary Journals, Gently Read Literature, Hippo Reads and Whistling Fire, the Florida Times Union newspaper, Jacksonville Business Journal, Jacksonville Advocate, the Albany Herald, UNF Spinnaker, and UNF Alumni Magazine. She is currently writing her memoir, Sailor Girl about her life in the U. S. Navy.  For more on the novel, check out my website at: Also, the cinematic book trailer on YouTube is wonderfully produced: 

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
I was inspired to write Avenue of Palms, when I visited an old slave plantation in Jacksonville, FL. As I walked through one of the slave cabins, I felt a presence, and then saw a vision. Sitting in a rocking chair, in front of the large fire place, was an old slave woman. She was crying, as she sewed on a quilt. The vision left just as quickly as it appeared. My heart felt very heavy, as I thought about the trials and tribulations the people who lived in the cabin had to endure. I began to cry uncontrollably, mindless of the tourists standing outside the cabin. After gaining some self-control, I thought about writing a book about the woman in front of the fire. Here name would be Violet. 

BPM: Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing?
A great deal of my life experiences inspired my writing. My career in the U.S. Navy gave me vast amounts of inspiration to develop characters, plots, and dialogue.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?
I’ve always been a lover of books, since my early childhood. My book ideas come mainly from observing things around me, and studying my history. 

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 research of African American history helped me enormously in writing Avenue of Palms. Although the book is a work of fiction, there are some actual facts which laid the foundation. Kinglsey Plantation was once a very profitable venture, for the white owner and his African wife. The dynamics of the odd couple helped me to develop my characters in the book. Avenue of Palms is more than just another slave story. 

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Violet Kingsley, the protagonist is a strong willed, courageous, and loving woman and mother. Her journey from Africa, through the Middle Passage, and finally to the shores of Kingsley Plantation, and beyond is a tale of struggle, empowerment, revelations, and redemption. Writing the book has confirmed the importance of knowing one’s history. Currently the novel is not available in digital forms.

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Many writers define success by the number of accolades the book receives, such as a good review by the NY Times. However, to me true success is when a reader lets me know how much they enjoyed the novel, and how Violet lingers with them, far after the last page is read. It would be ideal if Avenue of Palms was picked up by a traditional publishing company. I’ve been told Avenue of Palms would make a great movie. If that were to happen it would be a dream come true. I’m also in the process of writing my memoir, Sailor Girl. 

Purchase Avenue of Palms by Athena Lark





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 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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